Thursday, January 13, 2011

The "I hate Apoc" rant

Every time I've played Apoc, I've hated it.  There's nothing more mindless and chaotic than putting every single model you own on the table with a bunch of other guys.

To spare you guys of a full-on nerd rage, let me sum it up with bullet points:

  • I don't have unlimited resources aka money to buy a billion tanks.
  • The same can apply to time and energy to assemble a billion tanks.
  • Both of these applies to buying, building, painting and putting a Titan on the field.
  • There's nothing I hate more than moving a billion models.  That's why I have things in transports and use a good amount of tanks.  Now I don't know about you guys, but I don't have a tank for every 10-Marines I own.  I would need something like 50 tanks.
  • There's nothing more depressing than watching a 10-year old kid paint up his minis, put them on the table, and telling him to take them off because some a-hole on your team dropped a apoc-barrage on his mans.
  • I hate those strategems that they use.  What did it for me is the lack of actual control you have over the game when entire armies start outflanking from your side of the table.
  • Speaking of structure, there's no such thing.  I've seen 6 Grand Masters walk through 6 Hierodules because that's how we roll.
  • Did I mention Apoc barrage and explosions?  I was walking along side a friendly Baneblade before with my Marines and I went to the bathroom because the turn was taking forever.  I came back to a giant ass crater and all my models relocated to the empty table next to me.  Apparently, the Baneblade went critical and bad things happened.
  • The time it takes to play a TURN.  You might make it to 3 turns after a whole day.

What about you guys?  The biggest apoc game in history is coming up and that should be a lolstorm to hear about.


Big Jim said...

I concur that Apoc is a mess right out of the book. Especially if you are not playing with your gaming buddies.

Apocalypse needs house rules to work properly in my opinion. Even then I hate giant Apoc games the start off as a parking lot of armor.

My group uses Apoc as the final game of our narrative campaigns. So our games have structure through thematic play and through the use of sensible house rules.

Eric said...

I have never had much of a desire to play apoc. After watching some of the guys at our local club play one weekend I determined that I in fact had NO desire to play apoc at all! They played about 3 turns in 6 hours. There were alot of arguments and at the end every single one of them was saying how they didn't want to play apoc again for a couple of months. It has been the same story in every single apoc game they've played since.

Now I don't know about you, but when I am done with 6 hours of regular games I am ready for another 6 hours of regular games! Why would I want to play a game that when I'm finished I feel exhausted to the point that I don't want to play it again for months at a time?

Unknown said...

Complete lack of balance. The biggest of which is:

"Hi I have Warhound. You don't? I win."

Tecumseh Sherman said...

It makes for good pictures, though.

ColKillgore said...

Call me biased but I am the opposite, I love Apocalypse games. I feel your pain and have played in some bad games but I have also played in some down to the wire nail biters. Like Big Jim said the basic Apocalypse rules can use a few tweaks to make a more enjoyable game. I am lucky to be part of the Apoc-Eclipse gaming group based in North Carolina. We usually play a couple 100k+ point Apocalypse games each year. The founder of the group Matt Plonski, has a webpage and yahoo group that we use to keep track of special rules and changes to the basic rules, so everybody knows how we interpret them. Everybody being on the same page before we show up for a game makes a big difference.
The one thing that has been the downfall of several Apocalypse games I have played in is the player mentality. Some players get frustrated because they don't understand the differences between regular 40k games and apocalypse games. When a big chunk of your forces go up in smoke, you just have to live with. A friend of mine had two thirds of his army killed before it hit the table because of the ambush strategem, the flip side is when I had my plague tower killed by a wolf scout squad with metla bombs that infilrated behind it. You have to concentrate on the ones that survived, not dwell on the models that were destroyed.
I don't have alot of money to spend on models either. I have spent years collecting models, mostly second hand and discounted, to get were I am now. If you want an apocalypse sized army take the long view, plan your army and never buy retail. It might take you years but eventually you will have the army you envisioned.
You don't have to buy forgeworld or armorcast to field a super heavy, if you want it scratch build one. The center pieces of my Deathguard are three Plague towers I build out of foam insulation, cardboard, angle styrene, pvc pipe, air dry clay, vitamin bottles, toy plactic skulls and some resin wheels I cast up. Some drone from GW may tell me I can't play with them in their store but there isn't a GW store within 100 miles of me so no big problem there. The towers might not be as snazzy as other models but I like them. It took me a few years to get them finished and painted but I have played with them in a dozen or more games and can't wait till the next one. I have seen flower pot stompas, toy tanks, Mcfarlane models and starwars models all used as one thing or another in Apocalypse games.

I guess I will get down from the pulpit now,
Have Fun

Unknown said...

I have never played an Apoc. game that was held in a store that I found enjoyable for the same reasons already listed, from disorganized to few balancing factors to even fewer people knowing what the rules are and how to play. They all slow down an already slow game (due to size) and have always ruined a fun experience. I refused an offer (along with a friend) from the local bunker manager to play in the record attempt although the two of us could easily field over 140,000 on account that it wont be fun and we'll walk away with less models than we came with.

However, that same friend and I have had apocalypse games in the past that have been fun. In fact we have a 10k per side one coming up ironically on the record weekend between JUST US and almost everything will be painted. The key I've found is to play with a small group of friends who know how to play, discuss what any limitations are (such as on stratagems), and if you can, throw in some back story or scenario. In this one coming up my friend and I did just such, and we also made no "win" conditions. We are simply focussing on having fun beating the crap out of each other and laughing at any misfortunes and cheering at any heroics that do come up. I may post back after our game for an result at whether this approach to making Apoc. battles fun.

Angelust said...

Key to Apoc is to play with people you know who are:

A) Not douches
B) Veteran 40k players
C) Quick
D) Looking for cinematic fun, not competitive challenge

I played a 4k vs. 4k game recently against my friend, and even though he takes time to play, and hasn't played in like a year, we finished a 6 turn game in about 3.5 hours. That's not too bad, and it was a lot of fun.

For good Apoc games, you need to balance out your lists manually with your opponent, because without Force Org, ally restrictions, and internal balancing, you might find your CC nids getting shot all day from 20 flying Vendettas and Valkyries.

I think it's definitely more for the hobbyist and not for the gamer.

But yes, games like the "Big Game" they're trying to do at the Bunker is just a nightmare waiting to happen, where it'll eat up your entire Saturday and leave you bored as hell. I played a big "Tanksgiving" game at the LA bunker a few years back, and I realized that the level of preparation and organization to handle that many players is just too strenuous for your average person with a job, family, etc (i.e. life).

Von said...

Apocalypse is a poster child for a kind of gaming which I think is quite hard to come by: the 'prior negotation of goals and setting of limitations' kind. With some limits set in advance to stop the people with more money and more willingness to proxy*, and a shared narrative that nobody wants to spoil, Apocalypse can be quite fun, but it's not something you can just play randomly as if it were a pick-up game at all.

* - when the expansion came out, someone in the shop I was playing in at the time immediately started working out how many Callidus Assassins he was going to proxy. That's called 'missing the point somewhat', and it's characterised most of the Apocalypse I've seen.

The GunGrave said...

I love Apoc games, mainly because i get to use my Reaver. However, that being said, we at our club apply the same rules/standards as Angleust outlined earlier! Play with mates, set your own army limits, and generally customise the game to everyones liking (we dont bother with Stategic Assets very much).

Apoc seems to work better this way i think, playing without the chaos and confusion that the apoc book seems to activly promote!

Dezzo said...

I make it a point to be very loud in my disdain of Apoc when it first came out so I would not be invited to any Apoc games.

About 2 years back, I participated in a 20 k game with a group that plays Apoc EXCLUSIVELY (abid relucantly... but you need to try something at least once to bash it, right?). Tyranids vs Everything Else. I was on the nid side (when i still had the army).

From the get go I was very annoyed with the set up because the scenerio wasn't written properly (the GM decided to disappear to a vacation on the eve of the game) and my team captain knows shit about writing army lists.

and his whole fucking nid army isn't WYSIWYG.

but then again this was the last nid codex so we had like 100 outflanking genestealers and 20 carnifexes on the table... along with all the crazy GMCs. There was even a Tyranid Matriarch which we proxied with a Macfarlane Alien Queen.

we also had to negociate for the Eldar Titan to be nerfed to a lesser version. this is because if the original choice (a phantom) were to shoot (and the allies were shooting first... scenerio rules) 1/2 the Tyranid army will disappear.

needless to say the game was a wrap the moment the GMCs hit the gunline (a heridule catastrophically blew up a shadowswordbanebladethingy) and 1/2 of the space marine army beside it) and the genestealers started outflanking and chain killing the IG carpark.

the allies captain (IG) started becoming very sore and started becoming very anal with dice-rolling and measuring movement (i wanted dice trays but nobody really listened).

the game was pretty much ending until the fluffy deathwatch player who was playing his Xbox most of the time (the scenerio was pretty much written for Deathwatch versus Nids) decided it was time to deepstrike in (he had some special rule that allows him to deepstrike whenever he wants) so his DW character can attack the Matriarch with a special mutagen that "can" instant kill the Matriarch (and secure victory points for the allies.)

unfortunately, he rolled a one for wounds caused and failed to kill the bitch. and the game ended when the smallest and pretty much most insignificant faction in the allies, Tau, brought down the Matriarch (which was left with one wound) with a Hammerhead mounted Railgun.

the game ended as a draw (both factions achieved their objectives) and was played over 3 days (1 day alone for set-up / deployment). that group still organizes Apoc games on a regular basis but i don't want to ever take part in another one ever.

i heard the other day another different group (that also likes apoc games) ran a 15k +/- game that only lasted one turn (forces of chaos went first and won lmao)

that is what happens when you employ somebody who doesn't understand scenerio/game design to write the game scenerio.

Musings of a Smurf said...

I wrote an article on the boons and boos of apoc a couple of months ago. I agree largely with you on all points. If your interested in reading it it can be found at:

Anon said...

I would only use apoc as the summation of a campaign or when I invite 4-5 friends over to play :D

The way I work them out is to have people create 3-4 mini forces for campaigns, and, depending upon position, you can only fight with the forces that are present. That way Apoc games are already worked out in terms of Forces and lists. In addition, we usually never go above 3,000 points and 2 stratagems

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