Sunday, December 5, 2010

On Practical Difficulties

So, I really want to play a game of Apocalypse 40k at some point.  Probably not before break, since I straight-up don't have time.  But next semester, maybe.  Unfortunately, you can't spell "Apocalypse 40k" without at least a few of the letters from "Logistical Nightmare."

Why is Apocalypse such a pain to orchestrate, you ask?  Well, there are a few reasons.

First and foremost, TIME and SPACE themselves are against you!  You need roughly 64 square feet of table/floor-space for a good game of Apocalypse, and at least 8-ish hours.  As I understand it, the game is best played a bit like Cricket - over the course of an entire day, at a leisurely pace, and interrupted frequently by tea-breaks.

Secondly, it requires you to get at least one other person into this 64 square foot space for roughly the same 8-ish hours that you occupy it.  It's also generally advisable that you get them to want to be there of their own volition for the entire time.  I think anyone who has ever tried to schedule anything ever can speak to the difficulty of this.

Finally, Apocalypse itself is, to put it nicely, degenerate.  There are no limitations to what you can run.  No force organization charts, no "single army" restrictions, no nothing.  You can put Eldrad with a bunch of Dark Eldar Archons and then re-roll your 2+ Invulnerable Saves until the cows come home*.  You can put 4,000 points into a single model and then OUTFLANK the damn thing.  You can give disposable infantrymen (or, god forbid, Guardsman Marbo) a grenade that opens a rift directly into the warp, killing everything it touches.  So, since it's such a pain in the ass to get a game running, you can take two routes - both sides can see the other's list and give it an 'okay,' or you can go in blind and just try to out-cheese your opponent as hard as possible, Vortex Missles and Strength-D template weapons blazing.  Of course, you have to get all players on the same page in this regard, or the 500 Orbital Lance Strikes and 0 models that one player is fielding are going to make the game rather boring (and depressing) for the person with the balanced army list.

So, if it's this much trouble, why play Apocalypse at all, you ask?  A very reasonable question, to which I have a very simple answer:

C'mon, HTMC.  I'll help you proxy-up that Manta!

*You can only reroll each failed roll once, of course.  Still, that's a 2++ that rerolls.