What Makes An Apocalypse Game Successful?

In the aftermath of our last Apocalypse game, I pondered as to what it takes to make Apoc into a good, fun time for all involved.  In my research, I came up with the following list of sites that had something to add to the subject:

All of those provide great insight, but this weekend, I learned what it really takes to make a fun game:

Good people.

It’s not rocket science.  When you get a bunch of good guys together to play a friendly game, things just seem to work out.  Sure, there are discrepancies, rules queries, etc., but ultimately when good people are out to simply have fun, things just work out for the best.

In our most recent game, The Battle for Argos Prime, (battle report still to come) we had the privilege of hand-picking each of the entrants, and as a result, the room was filled with fun loving guys.  Granted, we put some interesting plot twists and home-spun rules into the equation which helped add flavor to the game, but ultimately it’s all about the players.

Case in point, when I asked what I could make for everyone to eat, one person suggested a pot luck.  I was all for this, because it would mean less work for me, as the host (which I think was the original intent).  Everyone willingly accepted, and came up with a great spread.  One player thought ahead to bring drinks, another utensils, another cake, and another breakfast.  The food, like the game, was a great success…

But it’s not the potluck that worked out so well, it’s the fact that everyone involved wanted to contribute, and they all put more than a moment’s thought into it.  In short, we have a grand bunch of gamers in the local scene, and despite my inability to play in this most recent game, I enjoyed myself tremendously.

And so everyone knows, the write-up from this game is going to take a little time, and a few blog posts.  Expect:

  • A post to cover the general flow of the game, and photos we took
  • A post to cover the deviations from normal rules, including a return of the 2nd Edition Strategy Cards, destroyable objectives, and personal objectives for every player
  • Likely a post to go over the planning that went into the game, and the required flexibility when we didn’t get enough participants (Darn you, Jeff!)

So, thanks to all of the great gamers out there.  You’re the reason why I still play this game!

“This is so great, I had to share it with you” image from www.explodingdog.com.  Go there, buy his stuff!!

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8 comments on “What Makes An Apocalypse Game Successful?

  1. I thought the game went quite well, even though it wasn't the intended 10 players. It WAS a good group of dudes and I think that we are setting some good standards for games in the future. Being creative and “bending” the rules to throw in the strategy cards and also the addition of individual “TOP SECRET” strat cards was a great idea. Let's keep the group growing and games flowing!

  2. We have just started an apoc league game in our neck of the woods, one game a month until Christmas. I absolutely agree with the comment that the players make the game. The players all have to be there for the same reason. Some of the houserules that are enforced to make it fun for all include:All PAINTED models can contest and score. This seems as if it will strike the balance between an attractive looking set of models, but still allows players to field 'their latest buy'. 100% WYSIWYG, no exceptions. We played one game without WYSIWYG and it was too confusing, and messy. There were too many people who had too many different ideas about what was acceptable. A general description of what the battle will be well before it occurs. This enables advanced planning. The biggest downside is that on team evil there are 3 players with large armies, and on team good, only one player. The scenarios are designed so that the wide range of units will be showcased. However it means that the players with large collections can field 'good' armies regularly, whilst those players who only have a smaller collection will be hampered in some games.

  3. “All PAINTED models can contest and score”That is a FANTASTIC idea. We toyed with making an Apoc game where onlypainted models were allowed, but it just restricts so many good players fromattending. We're definitely going to use that rule in the future. Thanks abunch for your contribution!

  4. You're welcome. Hopefully it works as well for you as it did from us. We wend from between 50-60% painted to 90% painted just with that rule. Our resident “I can't paint, I won't paint” player will likely field a fully painted army on Saturday. <fingers crossed>

  5. I suspect it won't inspire so much, as our unpainted players either haveentire too much stuff, or just have resolved after 20 years not to painttheir armies… but it can't hurt. 🙂

  6. “All PAINTED models can contest and score”That is a FANTASTIC idea. We toyed with making an Apoc game where onlypainted models were allowed, but it just restricts so many good players fromattending. We're definitely going to use that rule in the future. Thanks abunch for your contribution!

  7. You're welcome. Hopefully it works as well for you as it did from us. We wend from between 50-60% painted to 90% painted just with that rule. Our resident “I can't paint, I won't paint” player will likely field a fully painted army on Saturday. <fingers crossed>

  8. I suspect it won't inspire so much, as our unpainted players either haveentire too much stuff, or just have resolved after 20 years not to painttheir armies… but it can't hurt. 🙂

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