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Interview: Da Bank (Andy Tabor)

This week we’re focusing on a community member who is best known for his contributions to rules. Da Bank is the Rules Answer Mod for Mordheim, and is a fountain of knowledge of all the rules about the game. He’s been a valuable asset to the Mordheim community.

That’s not all though, as Da Bank has been hard at work on his own game… Death Squads. That’s right, along with Mordheimer and some others Da Bank has been hard at working creating a new skirmish game for your gaming pleasure. Read all about it below!

Death Squads in action!

Death Squads in action!

What is your real name?
It is a state secret as being an Answer Mod for Mordheim comes with it’s share of risks. (Man paging over intercom) “Mr. Andy Tabor, Mr. Andy Tabor please pick up the red courtesy phone” Yes, here I am,…oh crap! I just gave away my identity.

Where are you from?

I hail from the Midwest.

What is your occupation?
I am in the transportation/logistic world.

How long have you been interested in the tabletop hobby and how did you get into it?
I have been interested for years. I used to purchase 1/72 and 1/35 paintable models from companies and play “battles” as at the time I had no clue there were “rules” to play army guys. Then about 11 years ago my wife and I went into a GW store and the rest was history and I lately worked at two GW stores part time. You know to get the discount to buy more stuff.

What games do you play? What armies do you play in those games?
I only play Mordheim and Death Squads currently. I have played LOTR, 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Mordheim, Space Hulk, Death Squads and one attempt at Battle Fleet Gothic. I did have Ork and Empire and Khemri Armies. Now I only have enough to play Mordheim as I no longer wish to play “large” battles.

Can you explain what exactly being an Answer Mod for Mordheim entails? How did you end up in that position?
It is a very secretive position. There is the normal clandestine activities that you would see in a 007 movie, you know battling the Shadowlord, rescuing princesses and the such. Just Kidding, honestly….I just watch over the game and jump in when needed. SG’s viewpoint was to let Mordheim run with as little interference as needed. I have tried to do that. I ended up being the Answer MOD back some time ago when the “original” SG forum was up and running. There was a MOD at the time for Mordheim but he disappeared and a few of us (Vcountblood, Tkitch, Kawarda, Gobbo Freak and others) jumped in to moderate the forum and answer the rules questions. Then the site was shut down for another one to appear hosting all SG games, and Andy Hall was looking for MODs . I sent in my ballot and was picked along with Brahm Azoul to be Answer Mods for Mordheim and TKITCH and Kawarda to be MODs. With that Brahm and I would partner with TKITCH and Kawarda on rules queries and they likewise would partner with us on MODing the forum. Now, we have the third forum and I have kept on with the duties of Answer MOD for Mordheim.

Mordheim Action shot!

Mordheim Action shot!

Can you tell us a little bit about Death Squads? What are some of the main ideas behind it? How many people are working on it?
Death Squads is an awesome game that involves 40K Skirmish (true skirmish). A long, long time ago and in a not so distant time I created rules to a zombie game. Yes, I did, along with 50,000 other people. It was based off of Resident Evil or a concept of elite squads doing battle against Hordes of zombies. Over time and me running into my partner in Crime (Mordheimer) we came up with this game. Long story short, this is about the 40K Universe where Necromunda fell short and GorkaMorka and Space Hulk could not cover. It is similar to Mordheim but different in several ways.

Currently, we have at least 10-15 people working on the project at any given time. There is a core group that has remained solid almost since January. Mordheimer and myself did it all for 5 to 6 months before we let others become involved.

What are some of your influences or where do you draw your inspiration from?
Black Library 40K Novels and Fantasy novels have given me lots of inspiration

Are there any books, movies, art, or other sources that have had an impact on your work? Whose work has had an impact on you and your projects?
Sci Fi movies, LOTR and Black Library Novels.

Umbrella/Elysian Troopers 40K

Umbrella/Elysian Troopers 40K

What has been the hardest part or what are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome while developing your own game?
LOL, oh my! Group cohesiveness. I will say that if anyone was do to something similar have parameters completely lined out. We had our bumps along the way as some of those in the group saw things a different way and wanted to take the game a different way. I am not saying this is bad but at the time we didn’t have anything really hammered out and that was evident for a period of time during our development. We have long made up and got all back on track and we all “gave in” a little to make it all work out. This game design is no different than a marriage…seriously, it is a lot of giving and taking and no intimacy. LOL. Those of you who are married will get the joke. It is more about learning to see things in a different light and I am very happy to say we have done an excellent job at doing that.

How did Death Squads get started?
It started with me asking Mordheimer to play Space Hulk but with no Termies. I hated 40K and Space Marines but I loved the aspect of “Aliens”. You know a few Marines against a horde of killing Xenos.

How did you come up with the idea for it?
It evolved, between Mordheimers OC(Obsessive Compulsive) behaviors and me pushing out ideas we came up with “Project X” as we were trying to keep it a secret and then Mordheimer came up with “Death Squads” and it stuck. Some people don’t like the name but I do.

Death Squads play testing

Death Squads play testing

How long has Death Squads been in development? How long did it take to get to a playable state?
Mordheimer and I started back in the middle of August 2008. Yes, it is very playable right now. We are just fine tuning spots, no different than a Mordheim Rules Review. Back to your second question; it took about 3 months for Mordheimer and myself to get it clicking and I wish I had video tape some of our games (unless I was taped doing something embarrassing) but there were those “light bulb” moments when he and I played the game that we created some awesome rules. Those were some great times.

What is your favorite thing that you’ve done (whether it be miniatures, terrain, or rules) or what are you most proud of?
I am really proud of Mordheim but I take no credit for that as all you wonderful people who play the game make me happy as the game is still flourishing. With that Death Squads is a very important aspect for me. I was happy to have many scenarios published for Mordheim and to be involved in many different Mordheim projects.

What do you like about it?
Death Squads is something so special (to me) I can’t fully explain it. I encourage people to just read the rules and you will see what we did and how different it is compared to what anyone else has done. Most other attempts to create a 40K Skirmish have only copied and pasted 40K to skirmish but it doesn’t work. We have worked hard to get this to a true skirmish level. With Mordheim, I love being involved in the game and I constantly get inspired by everyone’s enthusiasm, contributions and fellowship. It is funny as I have “friends” I have never met from being involved in Mordheim and to me that is very very special.

Private George Michael, by Mordheimer

Private George Michael, by Mordheimer

What is your favorite piece that someone else has done?
Oh yes, DeafNala has done some awesome work and he helped me with my Last Chancers and Mordheimer as he created Lt. Dan and George Michael for me.

Last Chancer's, painted by DeafNala

Last Chancer's, painted by DeafNala

What do you like about it?
Deafnala and Mordheimer are awesome artists….they are great people and to have something that they gave to me is very neat. I almost forgot about Warboss Kurgan he made me two Pirate Orks for some Space Hulk minis that are near and dear to my heart.

What is your favorite part of the hobby?
The great unknown and realizing your great plan just got crushed by rolling 1′s. LOL.

Are you working on any other projects currently?
We are working on a rules review for Mordheim and that is moving along and hopefully in a few months we will have some knowledge to impart but I am trying to up the SG forum Rules Review questions as we get them and saving the challenging ones till later.

What would be your dream project?
You mean besides rubbing lotion on Shakira. LOL J/K….I would love to be involved in the GW machine. I would love to be an official game tester or something like that.

More Last Chancer's

More Last Chancer's

What other hobbies do you have outside of tabletop gaming?
I am heavily involved in youth sports and athletics. I have been blessed with an opportunity to coach and be an athletic director at a local school.

Anything else about yourself that you care to share?
There is not too much to say. I am very straight forward and I like to have fun.

Do you have a website that people can check out if they are interested in knowing more about you
or seeing more of your work?

Yes, check out http://www.deathsquadsgame.com/forum.htm and register and check out our forum. It is no competition with TBMF and it was created for us developers and play testers to communicate more effectively.

Last Chancer Trooper and Scanner

Last Chancer Trooper and Scanner

Thanks to Da Bank for the interview. I hope you enjoyed the more rules oriented interview this time. Don’t forget to check out Death Squads! As always, if you’ve got suggestions for interview questions or people to be interviewed then please contact us.

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One Response to “Interview: Da Bank (Andy Tabor)”

  1. Mordheimer says:

    Awesome! Nice piece… pure win! Very true about the ‘eureka’ moments too! HA! Sad not to mention all the great stories DaBank has written about some games (narrative battle reports)… very creative and funny. They take you right to the spirit of the games… always leaving you wanting more. Check TBMF… many are posted there! ;)

    PS: I can see Private George Michael (the flamer guy!) junk from here! :P

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