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Your Epic Favorites and Why

 Post subject: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 8:13 pm 
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So I was going through and organizing my Epic stuff and was just in awe of what I have accumulated. Some of these games are over 25 years old. While I may have faded in and out of Epic as a whole since I first got into it, I can't think of many things I have been fascinated with for so long. And its just not gaming in general, I don't have anywhere near the appreciation for other games as I do Epic even if you grouped them all together.

So since I have been around for awhile, I thought about talking about the pros and cons I found in each game, and see if anything I feel syncs up with what you guys feel, and then maybe have some way of explaining to others why these games are so important.

Adeptus Titanics / Space Marine v1 / Codex Titanicus / Early White Dwarfs - I first saw AT in a comic book store, and while I thought it looked cool, but I could tell the hobby was expensive to get into. I had a loose idea of what GW's Space Marines were, and thought they were cool. A few years later (while SM2 was just coming out), someone sold me their old collection in one huge gigantic unorganized pile for me to sort out. The Heresy, the things units could do, the comical Orks, coolness of the Eldar, literally blew me away. No game/system before or since has captured my imagination more than this one.

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Pros: Pretty cool box sets for their time. While the models started out a little repetitive, the rules allowed a lot of customizing of the titans (which gave them a lot of personality), and there was a lot you could do with the units. An incredible amount of detail, and you didn't need a huge amount of space to play. Individual units could have their heroic moments. Lots of interesting detail. Even though SM1 was just Space Marines vs Space Marines, there really is a lot tucked into that rulebook to keep you busy for a long time. And while there were set detachments, the rules allowed you to create your own.

Cons: While I love the detail, it does slow the game down, no question. There are some things I would leave out of a game today, like fire arcs for individual weapons on vehicles, but in this case, it adds another level of tactical decisions you don't bother with today. This means while playing small games could be really interesting, playing big games can take several gaming nights to play out, and we had some that took 5 nights to resolve. But we kept coming back.

Also, the rules are not only spread out across 3 rulebooks, but also White Dwarf issues as the game evolved, and can be a cluttered mess. Some rules were tucked away in a random article, like 'oh hey remember that rule about this? Well its that now'. That didn't happen in later versions of Epic. Despite selling the models, GW never expanded the rules for the Eldar, which was really the only thing that disappointed me during this time.

Space Marine v2 / Titan Legions - I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to play this system, as I thought the more simplified unit stats would give me fewer tactical decisions to make, and therefore I would like it less. But GW had been releasing new models we didn't have rules for in the earlier system, and my group wanted to play them, and we played everything. And once we did, this group never went back to AT/SM1. There is no question this is the easiest Epic system to introduce new players to. The box sets really only serve as introductions to the hobby than as more playable games as their predecessors, but there was a lot out there to expand on.

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Pros: - Easier and faster play than the previous edition. Captures a fun and colorful atmosphere. A ton of variety of units for 8 different armies. Was incredibly popular for its day.

Cons: - While the general rules were very simple, the detail and rule complexity for specific units led to some being broken. Also, having detachments being a certain size, sometimes it was hard fielding the actual models the units were supposed to be be (Eldar Howling Banshees, Ork Nobz, etc). And this was back then, and even a little more difficult today.

Epic 40,000 - Like everyone else, I was stunned with the direction GW took when this game hit the market. It basically took the attention from the individual unit and gave it to the detachment. A lot of time went by before I gave Epic 40k a try, well after it was no longer supported by GW and everything was sold at a discount. What I found was some really novel ideas, and really gained a lot of respect for the game they put together.

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Pros: - Probably the most impressive box set ever released for Epic. Not only did it include two really nice Space Marine and Ork armies, but also the rules for Imperial Guard, Eldar, Orks, Chaos, and Tyranids. With the flexible detachment building, you could literally play out of this box for years just adding a new model here and there. And the terrain was really nice too. The flexibility (and perhaps too much), allowed players to create detachments with leftovers in their bitz box. Loved how they were able to find the right balance of complexity AND simplicity with the War Engines.

Cons: - There are a lot of things I have issues with in this game, from the short weapon ranges, ridiculous firefights, but there are elements in it that the previous game just don't have and its an interesting change.

Its not my favorite version, but its a more complete game in a box than anything else GW has done for Epic.

NetEpic - Now I have read the rulebook some time ago, but I don't have a lot to say about it. I know a lot of hard work went into it, but I guess when I sit to play a game, there is a lot more I am thinking about than just the rules. It sounds crazy, but I am inspired as much by the fluff than I am the rules on what I can do with my units. I tend to approach my games through the atmosphere they create, and being the format NetEpic is, its kind of hard for me to get started. So I don't really have any pros and cons here. I just haven't given it an official go.

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Adeptus Titanicus II - This was a complete waste of time in my opinion. Just like the Epic Flyer game that came out after EpicA, this left me scratching my head, "Why?". Up to this point, I had three rule systems for Epic that incorporated infantry, tanks, titans, and in some cases, support weapons and aircraft. ATII focused only on titans and war engines, and I just didnt see the point. The beauty of Epic is allowing all of these units to be played out in one system.

Pros: - I really don't have any.

Cons: - It only focused on War Engines.

Epic Armageddon - I know this is a popular system here, but it comes with a lot of disappointment for me. After 20 years of playing Epic, I found myself exchanging emails with none other than Jervis Johnson, who might was well been the first man to the moon as far as I was concerned. Here was the man who single-handed was responsible for all the hours I spent painting and playing miniatures for Epic and 40k, and I was discussing the pros and cons of Epic with him. Still surprises me today.

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However, being on the playtester team, I could see the direction the game was heading, and found myself on the losing end of most arguments, even though I could predict Epic A's demise. There are several reasons for it, but in the end, if Epic A had been more popular, GW would have found some way to extend support for it. Regardless of how popular it might be to some players today, it just wasnt popular with enough of them then.

Pros: - Unit Activation system. Fixed detachment system, but also allowed them additional units to be added to them. Brought back the difference between anti-personal and anti-armor weapons, but did it in a ridiculous way forcing a detachment to chose which it would do, so not really sure if this is a pro or a con.

Cons: - No box set. Limited Specialist Games resources was probably the main culprit for this, but without a box set to make a splash with, I guessed only hardcore fans and those really really curious would bother with a rulebook only to get into the game. Some people have no problem playing with printed PDFs, but box sets capture the imagination and excitement far more than just a rulebook.

But the biggest killer of all, were the army release schedules. The main rulebook, covering an overly-covered Armageddon, only included the rules for Space Marines, Orks, and Imperial Guard. The only other supplement to follow introduced the Eldar, another Ork army, and another Imperial army. Meanwhile, the armies that would have gotten a lot of excitement a lot earlier like the Tau and Chaos, were scheduled years out, and that just sapped a lot of excitement for the people who had been involved at that point. Had GW released the armies everyone wanted right away, a lot more people would have been playing Epic. The Siegemasters could have waited.

Epic A is still going strong as a fan supported game which is great, but I just don't think it has the excitement of digging up a used copy of any of the previous editions on Ebay. But I know there are others here that would argue the opposite.

*** Conclusion ***

If I had to recommend a noob who was willing to shell out the cash, and spend the time searching for parts, I would probably recommend the Epic 40k box set first, followed by the SM2 set.

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For all its short-comings, the Epic 40k set is the most complete box set ever released for Epic, and a player could play a lot of games with the variety of the armies covered in the Armies book, and the suggestions in the Battles book. While expensive upfront (because I do see this game sell for a lot on Ebay), its the cheapest in the long run (as far as box sets go).

SM2 on the other hand, while probably cheaper upfront, will cost a lot of money overtime collecting the set number of units that make up detachments, and the various expansion sets to play most of them. But it is a easy game to play, and its understandable how popular this game was at its peak.

And as much as I love SM1, I know its a b**** to get into. I mean, the SM1 set is probably the second most impressive set after Epic 40k, but the work its going to take to get all of the rules that were released over a 2-3 year period is going to take some work. Its fascinating though.

Yes, I had some free time today. ;D Curious as to your views when you get the chance...


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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:20 pm 
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Hi!

An Old question, but one that never gets tiresome. ;)

My answer to some maybe odd given I maintain the Net Epic rules, but my favorite edition is first edition.

As far s I'm concerned everything that has come afterwards has been playing catch-up to emulate it.

The problem is that GW was a fledgling studio back them with none of the experience and refinement it has later on. So the first edition rules definitely have an amateurish look to them.

Add that the actual "rules" were spread out through several products, magazines and were often contradictory as the evolved and you get an incoherent system overall for all but those deeply involved in them.

SM2 may represent the "golden age" of epic, but they took to much out of SM! with little thought to its impact. Titan for example have been shadows of their glory under SM1 ever since. Most of the additions to net epic were in fact AT1 concepts modified to fit that rule set. But it never felt the same (let alone getting similar results).

Current endeavors (Platinum, 1st edition reboot, etc) are in fact racing back to their roots in SM1/AT1. They are still the "gold standard" for epic. From their organizational charts to the great and deep morale rules and truly mighty titans. Its the full package.

The rest of the later rule sets have their plus and minuses, but their was really no true heavy weight support from GW for anything beyond SM2.

Epic40k for all you could say against the rule set it is also fair to point out GW's utter incompetence on how this was marketed and presented and very quickly killed is equally if not more culpable for that failure.

EA I saw for what it is. An empty gesture that would never receive any real support and thus would gain no real traction on the level with SM2's heyday. The infamous "re-organization" a mere 10 months from its release did it no favors either, left to wither on the vine with less and less model support until it finally was ended.

I made my peace with epic's commercial demise back in 1997. Now I make my own "epic" with my own stamp on it.

Its actually quite rewarding. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 2:00 am 
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Me, like 90% of all the active epic players (as in actually playing regular games and tournaments) still around, prefer E:A. Best damn ruleset ever made. Tried NetEpic but found it boring and rigid.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 2:28 pm 
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I don't want to get into a pissing match, but I just have too many issues with Epic A to consider it better than the other systems. Take for example shooting. With a single formation, I can only shoot at a single enemy formation, and have to choose either AT or AP weapons, when that enemy formation might be made up of vehicles and infantry.

I cannot for the life of me, see how any of that could be remotely possible if applied to a real-world setting. Granted I know this is sci-fi, however I can still see things on a table top. I can see where units might be spread out in a way where not all of the units can see the same formation, and rather than splitting their fire between two different formations, I can only choose one, and the others go to waste. And worse, if the unit is made up of mixed units, then my firepower is decreased further for no reason. So in order to avoid this, I end up positioning units to face in a specific way that I wouldn't in other systems, such as placing them in the open so they all can face a single enemy formation, whereas I might leave them in cover facing another direction to cover their flank or something.

I'm pretty sure at a basic unit level, units are going to fire at targets of opportunity with the weapons they have available. So if a marine has a missile launcher, and he see's a tank, he's going to probably shoot at that. But if they guy the next squad over can't see the tank but see's some marines nearby, he's going to shoot at them.

The counter argument back in the day was that the game is better when you have to choose, but I just don't see that.

Anyway, not trying to pick a fight, just wondering how you justify this in a game setting.


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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 2:47 pm 
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I don't care what's a personal preference here as that's simply that: our preference and there's no right or wrong. Just what we like.

However I do need to correct a factual issue in your post. That's not how the EA shooting rules work whatsoever. You can have a pool of AP and AT shots from formation A against formation B. You're correct however if you meant, albeit oddly worded, that individual weapons with a weapon shot that can be AT or AP have to choose which they're going to use when attacking the target formation. If so then fair enough and ignore the rest of this.

However from what you wrote it appears that you're stating you can only make AT or AP shots from a formation to another. Incorrect. You can make both across the weapons (if multiple in the unit) and of course the various units in the formation, can individually pick what type of targets they're going for. If for instance I have 2 marine devestators and they perform long range shooting at a guard mechanized infantry company (so INF and AV targets) I can choose to make 2 AT shots and 2 AP shots, 1 AT and 3 AP, or all of one type. What I cannot do is take those AT shot hits and apply them on INF targets and vice versa. (however i can use AP or AT shots against a formation completely comprised of units of an ineligible type in order to apply blast markers though obviously I cannot inflict casualties on unbroken formations).

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 3:12 pm 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
You can make both across the weapons (if multiple in the unit) and of course the various units in the formation, can individually pick what type of targets they're going for. If for instance I have 2 marine devestators and they perform long range shooting at a guard mechanized infantry company (so INF and AV targets) I can choose to make 2 AT shots and 2 AP shots, 1 AT and 3 AP, or all of one type. What I cannot do is take those AT shot hits and apply them on INF targets and vice versa. (however i can use AP or AT shots against a formation completely comprised of units of an ineligible type in order to apply blast markers though obviously I cannot inflict casualties on unbroken formations).


Oops yeah I was totally making stuff up there. Its been a while since I played that game, and sort have created a my own version lol. I guess I thru in some 40k 3rd edition in there too. ::)


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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 5:45 pm 
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SM1 & E:A ... the mechanics of rules "work" for me. And I started gaming in the 60s. But we added Activation and a few other things with SM1 based on other game rules like AH's Tobruk, etc. ...

SM2 is my least favorite, the rules IMO were very poor and more for the "kids". E40K was an interesting system, but I still though our "modified" SM1+ rules were more to our liking. And E:A, had activation so that was certainly appealing to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Legion how do you do that? Alternating activating within each order phase, or by skipping the order phase completely?


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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:34 pm 
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All units are given an Order Counter [invert]... then you alternate activating one unit ... back and forth. It's like chess. But more like simultaneous ... as it's not IGOUGO by army but by unit. Movement & Fire phases are integrated
An activated unit can move and fire or fire and move or just fire. That is it's activation.

Units on First Fire Orders can still fire ... when an enemy unit moves within it's LOS, etc. Then place a Snap Fire counter next to it. That was the unit's or piece's activation. So as you see this system requires the SM1/SM2 Order Counters, which we like. Once a unit has completed its activation.

You just keep the upright order counter next to the unit to show it has been activated. And may influence fire it takes. E.g. : a unit on Fallback orders gets a -1 cover bonus when being fired upon. As again it is "simultaneous". All like in SM1. And then other player activates a unit of his choice. We use all fire, movement and cover modifiers from SM1 also.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:45 pm 
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Legion 4 wrote:
All units are given an Order Counter [invert]... then you alternate activating one unit ... back and forth. It's like chess. But more like simultaneous ... as it's not IGOUGO by army but by unit. Movement & Fire phases are integrated
An activated unit can move and fire or fire and move or just fire. That is it's activation.

Units on First Fire Orders can still fire ... when an enemy unit moves within it's LOS, etc. Then place a Snap Fire counter next to it. That was the unit's or piece's activation. So as you see this system requires the SM1/SM2 Order Counters, which we like. Once a unit has completed its activation.

You just keep the upright order counter next to the unit to show it has been activated. And may influence fire it takes. E.g. : a unit on Fallback orders gets a -1 cover bonus when being fired upon. As again it is "simultaneous". All like in SM1. And then other player activates a unit of his choice. We use all fire, movement and cover modifiers from SM1 also.


Hi!

This is very close to what we do in net epic. Use order counters and alternate activation. Bisslers "evolution" net epic variant is exactly like this.

Funny thing is once the 1st edition update is done, it may look even more similar. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:29 pm 
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Great minds think alike ... or so I've heard ... ^-^

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:38 pm 
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Legion 4 wrote:
Great minds think alike ... or so I've heard ... ^-^


Hi!

Indeed they do. ;D

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:12 am 
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Has anyone ever tried compiling all of the SM1 source materials? I'd like to try it but i have an incomplete rule set to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:18 am 
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Sayrewolf wrote:
Has anyone ever tried compiling all of the SM1 source materials? I'd like to try it but i have an incomplete rule set to say the least.


Hi!

I have. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Your Epic Favorites and Why
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 1:59 am 
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I have to, but in hardcopy only.

There was a soft copy compilation that included some of the articles, but it was missing a lot. I don't know if that was ever expanded.


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