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BCL - APOKA


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#1
TeamApoka

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Hello everyone,

 

This is Ktoto from Apoka team speaking.

Things took a new unexpected turn this week and after months of hesitation I think it is time to speak publicly about everything.

 

I am afraid the recent announcements of the BCL are the beginning of new tensions. So far the two projects only raised tension and division. And I would like to make sure everyone has a clear picture of the story so far and to make a proposition.

 

About cooperation

First, let’s talk about cooperation, some facts.

 

I contacted Sam Man the first time around September 2016 to propose to work together.

We had another possible merge discussion early December.

A few weeks before their first release I proposed again to work with them to make a common Release plan as well as working the visuals with Kripper to get the best quality.

After the release, in February, I proposed again a merge of the projects.

It didn’t happen.

 

In the meantime, we proposed the same thing to a lot of other communities (who had or not, their own card design team) and they all accepted to join. Today the Apoka cards are influenced by the french community proposals, by the italian feedbacks, by NY or Boston gaming clubs, by players from all around the globe. We got the help of rules experts and we share the playtests files with any group willing to help.

 

Why do we share and make sure the project is as open as possible? Because we think this is the way to get a united community.

And we are sad to see that the BCL project is the only one that didn’t want to cooperate. And we mean it: sad. Not angry, or hateful, but sad for the community.

 

But we know what happened. Let’s speak frankly. The BCL members felt insulted / provoked / backstabbed by our project. Because Sam Man and I maybe did not communicate enough at that time, when we first released it may have been a surprise for most of them. An unpleasant surprise.

So, let me say this, on the behalf of Team Apoka: We apologize to the BCL members. We are sorry this miscommunication and absence of coordination led to bad feelings.

And I mean it. It’s not fake apologizes. There is a lot to say about what happened next, tensions or whatever. But about the spark that lightened all this, we apologize for our part of the responsibility on all this mess.

 

About what we think

As you all know, we tried our best to avoid problems between the teams. I had the chance to be in contact with Sam Mann since the beginning and I thought coexistence was possible.

- We delayed our pack 3 release to make sure they can release in good conditions.

- As many can attest (I don’t want to name them here), I was adamant that we will not launch any tournament as long as the Black Crusade League was running.

- We have a clear policy to never be rude or vitriolic.

 

And we don’t want competition either. We don’t want to compete against another design project. This is not our goal at all. Kripper and I, as head of the team, are really, really not the fighting type.

 

About people

Before going further, I would like to say a few words to the most involved BCL members or supporters.

 

Jacob / Mjob

I know you really don’t like us. I am not sure why, but if I only could convince you of one thing: I am not at the head of a secret organisation willing to buy Conquest from FFG or anything. You can ask Sam Man: I’m just a normal guy, enjoying Conquest. I’m sure it only takes to know each other to dissipate misunderstanding. You can find me on facebook, let’s chat a bit!

 

Joey “Smooth” Cook

Thank you. Without your comment on Sneaky Lootin’ on facebook we would have printed 80 packs with a wrong wording on a card. It may seem minor but to us it means a lot because we really want to provide the best quality possible. Just to make it clear: we hold no grudge against you today, and we really appreciated your help.

 

Stefan R / Behold Tmind!

Well… I’m Douniazad on OCTGN. We played a lot of very pleasant games together. When I found out that Tmind = StefanR I was afraid to tell you and lose a game partner (a generic word for “him stomping me”).

I know you are the founder of the #Nopoka movement and guardian of the purity of the Skype group. ^^ You have all rights to be angry against us, especially if you were, as I mentioned earlier, not aware of our project before we first release. But you are an excellent player and and jolly fellow when we don’t mention Apoka in front of you. I hope we can sort something out.

 

Sam Mann

I could have reached out on facebook as usual. But I thought this needed a public explanation. I hope you won’t mind. I’ve noticed, as everyone, that you have not yet precised what is the card legality for the World Championship you want to organize. I took this as an opening sign.

 

About now

Why am I writing all this?

I’m convinced coexistence won’t work. Division is really bad. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just that our community would be so happy and relieved to have one clear project, one online league.

 

So I want to publicly propose again the BCL dudes to join forces.

 

Our inability (as teams) to merge is not nice for the community. Let’s be honest about this, it’s not a very friendly atmosphere we created. No one really wants to take a side out of respect for the other side. And as a result the community is stuck in the middle.

Should we call this new entity Apoka, or BCL, or a new name? We don’t care. It can be whatever you want (I personally think a new name would mark a new start better). But for the sake of Conquest, we urge you to consider what the community will gain.

 

- A unique fanmade expansion

- No opposition or risk of being labelled a traitor

- Only one league with everyone

- No problem of “what are you playing?” on OCTGN

- No more tension on cardgamedb or facebook

 

What do I have in mind

Some BCL expansion cards feature nice ideas.

But I found a very few real game design issues.

 

Example:

  • Fiery Heart Immolator + Searchlight = Infinite damage combo.

 

You can wipe the planets of all enemy units each round.

You just go to an empty planet with your warlord. Then exhaust, move the Immolator, deal 2 damage, ready at end of round, exhaust again, etc.

(It also work with the salamander to create 10 tokens / round.)

I also know some members of the BCL team have doubts on the necron cards balancing.

 

So to say, my proposition is as follow:

  • We merge the teams and create a new entity

  • We work together on the BCL cards to make sure they will fit on a long term vision and use our templates to improve their visual design

  • We check together the Release Plan we currently have and we do all that is necessary so all members really feel comfortable in the new entity.

  • The new entity set a new Release Plan and the first pack to be released is a remastered version of BCL first pack that is compatible with the other cards done so far and the work planned so no work is left behind and nothing goes to the trash bin.

 

This is my proposition today.

I hope the best for our community.

 

With respect for everyone’s opinion and efforts,

Ktoto


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#2
SmoothCriminal15

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Nah. No one felt backstabbed or insulted or anything. The primary reason that we have not wanted to join up, in the past, was that we have 2 different goals.

Which is a large part of why I don't, personally, see a problem. No players are being forced to choose sides. Much to my personal annoyance, there were some aggravated parties in the beginning, but they seem to be at rest and were a small minority, in the first place. In fact, it is kind of nice that players who don't like our cards can use yours and vice versa.

I am, however, unsure about which tensions you're talking about. When you release or announce something, the community is happy and responsive. When we release or announce something, the community is happy and responsive. Nor do I see much division. Some players use only 1 expansion. Some players use neither. Some players use both. The players, in general, seem happy with their options, and we are glad to be a part of it.

The atmosphere has become a friendly and inviting one after a few rocky bumps, largely due to the efforts of both of our teams (I'd like to think). I urge you to help us keep it that way, and not do anything that may reignite tensions that have long since died, as posts like this have a chance to do (I 100% do not believe that is your intention).

I respect what your project does.


Disclaimer: Joey Smooth Cook does not speak on behalf of the BCL team or any of its members. All comments and opinions made in this post reflect only his opinion and first impressions. These comments do not reflect on any intentions for or against any type of merge between BCL and Apoka teams. Joey Smooth Cook did not proofread or spellcheck his comments. Read at your own risk.
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#3
SmoothCriminal15

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(I'll look into the Searchlight thing. I find it miraculous that an issue did not come up during testing with Maksim. Thanks for the heads up.)

#4
Eu8L1ch

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I want to step in to provide my support.

 

What follows is my personal account of how I got involved with Apoka.

If you don't feel like reading it, feel free to skip to the bottom.

Spoiler

 

Why do I think it's important for the two teams to merge?

Ktoto highlighted most of the important points I think, but I want to stress this: the BCL and Apoka team cannot coexist because their sets of cards are not meant to be played together. They have different design philosophies and different goals. What this means is that they are competing for a limited amount of resources (i.e., the remaining players) - an amount which, like it or not, has shrunken signficantly.

I do not think there are enough players right now to support two different sets of cards: someone will be left with none to play with.

What Apoka is proposing right now is not for everyone to fall under their evil tyrannical rule, but for both teams to cooperate.

Sure, cooperation requires compromises and it might be difficult to find an agreement sometimes, but all those who wish to work for the future of Conquest need to engage in a discussion, lest the community be split apart.

I know many of the people on both sides - in the strange manner that internet allows of course, but I think I can say I know and appreciate them nonetheless. I do not want to think such capable persons cannot find a way to work together for the Greater Good.

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the Tau reference, but that one just slipped in. :P


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#5
Solaris

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I'm all for both teams to cooperate, because I believe TeamApoka and BCL are important for the future of this card game. Everybody wants to see Conquest continue after FFG's decision to end their support, and whatever the obstacle is I hope both group realized that they want the same thing, and keep the discussions civil and respectful. 


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#6
SmoothCriminal15

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I'm all for both teams to cooperate, because I believe TeamApoka and BCL are important for the future of this card game. Everybody wants to see Conquest continue after FFG's decision to end their support, and whatever the obstacle is I hope both group realized that they want the same thing, and keep the discussions civil and respectful.


I think it's only a few of the fans who have been uncivil. Seems to be over with, anyhow.
For those who don't know, the 2 teams do keep in touch privately and are civil.
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#7
dnapolitano

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When Conquest was first cancelled I was outspoken about there being only one design team and I too thought more than one team would fracture the community.  At the time BCL had announced their plans for continuing with new content. I thought, given that the team was made up of people who were longtime participants in the community, some of whom were world-champions, that they were the best bet at keeping the game alive. This view stuck with me even after Apoka put their cards up on conquestdb and announced their website. I saw their move as fracturing the community and yes, if I were to be honest, I have had my own doubts of their motivations similar to those others have voiced (though I understand my doubts are probably more a factor of the country I live in and my current state of abject paranoia, given what is written above).

 

I've changed my view since and have talked a little about this. Were designers to merge into one team then I would be stuck with one vision, one design.  What if I don't like this design? Is my option then to leave?. Reflecting on this, I think even with merger you will lose people.

 

But what is worse, what of new designers?  What about people like me that hope to one day contribute their own card designs but don't like the existing federation? Where is my place? I want the game to remain open to everybody. Give people choice. Let people play what they like. Add a means to keep the design pools distinct in OCTGN, and deckbuilders (there's my plug...), and especially make clear what is FFG and not FFG. 

 

I also think, like any creative venture, a group design team will itself fracture. People will have different work ethics, different visions, different ideas of design fundamentals. A merged team may as well one day split into two teams anyway.

 

I'm excited that BCL is continuing.  In addition, I think Apoka's winter kit is amazing. 

 

Finally, if the two groups do merge, which I hope they don't, I hope that all design to date is trashed and all members start on equal footing with equal voice.


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#8
sammann11

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Good points by many on here. I'll get back to you on this when I have time to formulate a proper response.

#9
gertat

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I think that you all should take this discussion in private preferable in Skype or simular application where you can talk to oneother and not in text form. On every education in leadership I have gone to the theacher had made a point of that when you write something you should let someone else read what you write before you publish it. Every text is up for interpretation and even if you write with the best intentions the text will not come across as you intended.

So if you really want the best for the community take this in private and have respect for that people think different from you and that they make descisions that you dont like.

Agree to disagre
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#10
SmoothCriminal15

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TIL Gertat is smarter than everybody.
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#11
WarfStyxfury

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WOW I want try that combo.



#12
Intolerance

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It may be that overall a merger is better for the community, I do not know, but even then there will still be division. Vanilla/ffg conquest will always be a category that some groups play, a merger here still leaves people needing to play nice in a fractured community.

Also as others have mentioned, this is a private message kind of chat. The community cannot 'will' two groups into one.
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#13
mobj

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Jacob / Mjob

I know you really don’t like us. I am not sure why, but if I only could convince you of one thing: I am not at the head of a secret organisation willing to buy Conquest from FFG or anything. You can ask Sam Man: I’m just a normal guy, enjoying Conquest. I’m sure it only takes to know each other to dissipate misunderstanding. You can find me on facebook, let’s chat a bit!

 

 

I have no particular like or dislike of your team personally, indeed until this post I didn't even know which person(s) were speaking when the "Team Apoka" handle was used. What I observed and commented on was what I perceive as a general disconnect between the team's stated objectives (benefit of the community) and how it actually conducted itself. This latest post has only reinforced that perception, or at least the perception that 'the community' means 'the community as Apoka considers it should be'.

 

That being said, I wish you and the team all the best for the project. I think there's more than enough space for multiple fan sets out there, and in all honesty I think the two main players here are focusing on different enough demographics and goals that the net result will be more satisfied players all around.


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#14
SmoothCriminal15

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Well put, Mobj. I didn't know who you were before this post, but I appreciate your thoughtful words here.

I'm going to go out on a limb and speak for BCL in this instance (not my job but whatever).
The conversation has indeed been moved to private. Have no expectationsneed of course.
This thread has essentially run its course for its primary intent.
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#15
Yuanti

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My vote is the for the combination of the two groups. Not all the cards from FFG were loved or balanced, so it is perfectly understandable that future cards produced by either group will not be perfect for all players. I like the BCL goal of triage on the current weak warlords. I think that is essential to shoring up the holes in what FFG gave us. I do also love the idea of new cards with new ideas explored.
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#16
Dietzen

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Double post



#17
Dietzen

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I have no particular like or dislike of your team personally, indeed until this post I didn't even know which person(s) were speaking when the "Team Apoka" handle was used. What I observed and commented on was what I perceive as a general disconnect between the team's stated objectives (benefit of the community) and how it actually conducted itself. This latest post has only reinforced that perception, or at least the perception that 'the community' means 'the community as Apoka considers it should be'.

 

That being said, I wish you and the team all the best for the project. I think there's more than enough space for multiple fan sets out there, and in all honesty I think the two main players here are focusing on different enough demographics and goals that the net result will be more satisfied players all around.

Tbh I think the whole thing revolves around Apoka not much liking, how they've been treated from the beginning. If they explain themselves they're damned, if they don't say anything, they're damned. And that's whats happened. Just because they came in as the second team to do something for the community.

 

But I agree, this should move to private.


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#18
warder808

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I like the idea of a combined effort. All designs can go through, 1 organization. The main reason would be so that if the 2 groups make cards, they don't overlap much or step on each other's toes. 

 

Would be nice to have 1 online league where all cards can be used without reservation. 

 

I do think that this should be continued in private. If all these cards can go onto traxissector.com that would be cool. I think it's a fun in depth tool that allows a lot of communication for decks/cards.



#19
Eu8L1ch

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In writing this I want to make clear that while I can be considered a contributor to Team Apoka, I am not representative of the whole Team. No one has officially approved what I'm writing and I'm fully responsible for it.

However, I also believe that one thing is either well put or not, and an argument well made or not, whoever is the person writing it and whatever is their allegiance.

 

I'll start by addressing the "this discussion should be moved to private" point.

It might not be clear, but the decision to make a public statement was deliberate.

The reason for that is that the question at hand is not something involving just Team Apoka and BCL, it's quite the opposite: the most important party involved is the community itself, the people playing and discussing Conquest.

Those are the people for whom Apoka - and BCL, I think it's fair to say - are working. I think it is important that those people know what's happening and get a say on that.

The details of any agreement the two teams may or may not reach are, naturally, to be discussed in private between their members, but the Conquest community is not Apoka's nor BCL's.

I understand what Intolerance means when he says: " the community cannot 'will' two groups into one". No one can nor should feel forced to do something they don't want. However, this begs the question of what Intolerance thinks the two teams should be working for.

This is because there are two main goals when making new cards.

One way is to make cards for one's own enjoyment; if other people like them, they're free to play with them - if not, who cares.

Another way is to conceive designing new cards as a kind of public service: you're doing cards not just for you, but for the other people to enjoy them. If the players like your cards and play with them, it's a great contribution to the community. If they don't, then you've missed your goal.

Note that while it's possible that the new cards will be enjoyed by the community in both cases, it's the focus that's different.

The result above is much more likely to be achieved in the second case, for the reason that you're more likely to reach a goal when you're working towards it, then you are to simply stumble upon it.

From dnapolitano's words - who is listed as a BCL member on their site, I don't know if that's correct - I gather that he thinks that each team should be inclined towards the first goal ("self sufficiency").

He writes:

"But what is worse, what of new designers?  What about people like me that hope to one day contribute their own card designs but don't like the existing federation? Where is my place? I want the game to remain open to everybody. Give people choice. Let people play what they like."

I am fairly certain that no one wants - nor would be able to, even if they were willing - to force people to play what they don't like.

However playing games has to do with accepting a shared set of rules.

Can you imagine what would happen if people who showed at tournaments protested for losing against Dark Eldar due to Klaivex?

"But I don't like Klaivex, I don't think it's fair. I didn't really lose that game, you have to give me a rematch!". The whole competitive scene would fracture into two groups: people who play Dark Eldar and people who don't! :P

In that situation, there would be no organised play to speak of, without a consent on what's lecit and what is not.

If dnapolitano's point of view were to prevail, we would be left without any chance of unity.

If you think the community is big enough to support a decently sized competitive scene, then I have not much to say for you. Last year's summer BCL had 120+ people playing, this winter's 50ish, and that's just speaking about online play.

Arguing, as Intolerance does, that "Vanilla/ffg conquest will always be a category that some groups play, a merger here still leaves people needing to play nice in a fractured community" does not imply that a merge between Apoka and BCL would be useless: if the current size of the community cannot support two different groups, let alone three.

I don't know exactly the reason why some people (such as Mobj) see Apoka as a group who 'wants the community to be what they consider it should be', but I think it is a misconception.

Let's first consider this: the only two projects that presented them as community-focused are indeed Apoka and the Black Crusade Team.

The Team Apoka make clear that they are not making cards just because they enjoy it (even if they do), or because they want something new to play with their buddies: they have the ambition to make cards that the whole community will enjoy. They care about the community and want it to stay as united as possible because that's what it was while FFG was still running the show - and everyone was happier because of that.

As for the Black Crusade team, I guess it's up to them to decide whether they want to share with the rest of the community what they think of the subject at hand or not, but when sammann11 announced the "Worlds 2017 Tournament" a few days ago, he did not decide to call it the "Black Crusade Uber Moshpit" or whatever, he chose a name that's as official as it gets.

Going back to the Eye of Terror announcement, it seems even clearer that their goal was focused on the community.

What we have in the first post of this discussion is a proposal to cooperate. Cooperation means working as equals, not one of the parties telling the other what they can/cannot do. This has to with unity, not with a control attempt.

Of course different teams are different, but wouldn't it be worth a shot to try and work together?


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#20
Gabb

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am I the only one who doesn't get how the Fiery Heart Immolator + Searchlight = Infinite damage combo works? Once the Immolator moves with search light isn't the warlord exhausted and will have to refresh in the HQ? How is it an infinite damage combo?