These Turtles Go To Eleven!! (Or, The Top Eleven Figures in TMNT: Unplugged!!)

Mikey Injustice 2

A Heroclix set based on a TMNT video game appearance? Sign me up!

Michaelangelo 8-bit

OOOOOoooohhhh… THAT TMNT video game? Even better!

Hello again!!

We’ve been so busy lately talking about Avengers: Infinity Chases and Colossals and Batman: TAS spoilers and broken Superfriends Chases that we almost forgot… there’s a new Turtles set!

And here’s a secret nobody’s talking about… it’s kinda really good!

It’s also got almost 50 different new pieces (if you include the six new Bystander tokens from the Starter), so that means we’re gonna have to determine…

THE TOP TEN ELEVEN FIGURES IN TMNT: UNPLUGGED!!

But first, how about…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

TMNT ARCADE Poster.jpg

–In the lead-up to the release, I heard a lot of varying opinions on the “pixelated” sculpts that grace many (but oddly, not all–more on that in a minute) of the new pieces in the set. I actually fall on the “I Like It” side of the ledger, but I see why some wouldn’t like it. The sculpts look better from further away, but I think the video game sculpts are a creative new way to introduce cool new mechanics while still giving us familiar characters (more on that later too).

Krang Unplugged.jpg

–Unfortunately, some of the most interesting dials (Krang; Baxter Stockman; etc.) are essentially just repaints, even though they’re representing the video game version of the character. A ”pixelated” Krang especially would have been great!

–With Wizkids busy pumping out product for their Marvel, DC, TMNT and Star Trek licenses, this might be as close as we get to another video game set for quite awhile! For those who remember releases like the Street Fighter set or Halo-Clix, it’s kind of sad. But who knows what the future will hold? If these 8-bit clix are well-received, is it so far-fetched to think that Wizkids might hop on the nostalgia train again and give us a set of Nintendo characters (Mario! Link! Samus Aran!) or Capcom favorites?

So, without further ado…

THE TOP ELEVEN CLIX IN TMNT: UNPLUGGED!!

 

Rocksteady.jpg

11. TMNT4018 Rocksteady — 50 Points — Uncommon: We’ve got our first “Indie-set” Shifting Focus piece!

Yes, he only has, like, two versions to shift between (at least for now), but the ability to snap your fingers and turn a decent close combat piece into a decent ranged attacker is nice.

 

Blue Foot Elite

10. TMNT4015 Foot Elite (Boomerang) — 25 Points — Uncommon: For 25 Points this guy is an absolute STEAL! His top dial includes Sidestep, a 4 Range, 10 Attack with poor man’s Prob (BOOMERANG: When Foot Elite would miss a range attack by 1 or 2, once per turn you may reroll that attack roll.), a 17 Defense with ES/D AND a natural 3 Damage with Enhancement!!

Play 3 or 4 together and you have a slightly mobile (via Sidestep) Boomerang Turret that can spit out up to 6 Damage an attack! That ES/D makes them tough to hit before they get into range, too, so you have a decent chance of getting a devastating attack or two off before your opponent can pick them apart.

 

Muddy Mud Man

9. TMNT4B006 Mud Man — 20 Points — Fast Forces Bystander Token: Yeah, he costs 10 more points than the other tokens, but he’s probably worth 20 or 30 more points in actuality. For those 20 valuable points, you get Plasticity, Sidestep, Quake with a 10 Attack and Super Senses with Shape Change (always a crowd-pleaser!), 3 natural Damage… that’s a solid POG!

But wait… unlike other Pogs, Mud Man here essentially has 2 more clicks, with the possibility to gain even more if he KO’s opposing pieces (again, look at those stats–it’s certainly possible to KO opposing figures with this piece! Especially if he KO’s multiple characters with a well-timed Sidestep/Quake!).

But wait again! That actually undersells that Engulfing Boss Trait (ENGULFING BOSS: Plasticity. Mud Man starts the game with 2 Life tokens, and gains a Life token each time he KO’s an opposing character. When Mud Man would be KO’d, if he has any Life tokens, instead remove one. Protected: Pulse Wave.). It’s actually better than having two more physical clicks. Instead of clicking, Mud Man can take any amount of damage (even if Chase EW050 Superman hits Mud Man with an object and deals, like, 8 Damage…) and it still just costs him 1 “Life” token.

Then factor in the amount of wasted attacks from Mud Man’s SS/SC combo, and you have twenty points of mud that can cause all kinds of issues for your opponent. Even his main liability (mobility; ie his ability to get into attack range) is somewhat offset by his Sidestep and the fact that he’s a Standard character (and thus able to be carried by normal Taxis or TK’d by supporting pieces).

This is arguably the most solid Pog we’ve seen since Skadi’s Warbot (at least in terms of Pogs you can field by themselves).

 

Raph Auto Scroll.png

8. TMNT4037 Raphael — 100 Points — Chase:

7. TMNT4036 Michaelangelo — 100 Points — Chase:

All of the Chases have ridiculously good mobility via there shared video game level Trait (AUTO-SCROLLING SKATE LEVEL: At the beginning of your turn, you may move Raphael 1 square. FREE: Move up to 3 squares in a direct path.) and the fact that they all Ignore Characters on Movement.

What sets this Raphael apart from, say, the Leo Chase is Raph’s weapon Special (SAIS: Flurry. When making a close attack, Raphael deals penetrating damage.) and the fact that he’s sporting Battle Fury, so he chews right through opposing Shape Change.

Mikey gets slotted one spot higher because he’s got top dial Perp, bottom dial Support and his personal weapon Special (NUNCHAKUS: Flurry. Each time Michelangelo hits an opposing character, after resolutions you may give that character an action token.) that throws action tokens on opposing pieces as long as he simply hits them.

Penetrating Damage is fantastic. But I would personally value the board control offered by Mikey’s ability to give action tokens to pieces he hits.

 

Karai

6. TMNT4026 Karai — 75 Points — Rare:

Finally, a TMNT-Universe Recruiter! Her Trait (REBUILD THE FOOT CLAN IN THE OLD WAYS: Leadership. When building your force, friendly characters 75 points or less with the Martial Artist keyword also have the Foot Clan keyword.) opens up all kinds of Themed Team builds between disparate Martial Artist or Foot characters.

Then you get to her dial:

–She Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain on Movement.

–Her top dial Special Movement power (TEACHINGS OF THE ASHI NO HIMITSU: Sidestep, Stealth. When Karai uses Sidestep, if no opposing character has line of fire to her when giving the action, she can move up to 4 squares instead of 2.) will have her hopping all over the board, and she’s rocking an 11 Attack top dial with B/C/F AND a 6 Range with RCE, so Karai is deadly from up close or afar.

The only thing she’s really missing is some form of Willpower. In this era of Equipment, giving her a Symbiote (Shape Change, Plasticity and the possibility of taking her already solid stats to the next level) or Mjolnir (she can hop around with her giant Sidestep Special and strike for boatloads of B/C/F damage from a Stealthy position).

(Incidentally, there’s a pretty good case to be made for Karai as the best TMNT 4 Sealed piece. Usually only matters for release events, but there it is!)

 

Shredder and Clone

5. TMNT4005 Shredder Illusion — 20 Points — Common:

4. TMNT4024 Shredder — 80 + 20 Points — Rare:

Another pair of figures that are really meant to go together.

The Shredder Illusion is a solid little sort of Damage-dealing lottery ticket. He has a micro-Charge (Charge with a Movement Value of 6) and only 1 Damage top dial, but his (its?) B/C/F makes that 1 Damage almost meaningless.

The Illusions also have the ability to be nice little tie-up pieces, with Shape Change and Combat Reflexes making them particularly hard to deal with once they’ve latched on.

They’ve also got one solitary Trait (TEMPORARY SHREDDER ILLUSION: For all characters that can use this trait, whenever a friendly character within 6 squares named Shredder would take damage, you may reduce that damage by 1 in addition to any other effects that reduce damage. If you do, after resolutions, deal 1 unavoidable damage to a friendly character named Shredder Illusion.) that works exceedingly well with any character named Shredder in general and the Rare Main Set Shredder in particular.

Shredder proper is a Close Combat monster, with Charge, 12 Attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs, Mastermind and a native 4 Damage (if you literally don’t want to roll the dice for B/C/F).

The +20 Kicker is certainly worth it, as it activates a Trait ((+20) ILLUSIONARY DOUBLE: FREE: If no friendly character named Shredder Illusion is on your force, generate a TMNTUP #005 Shredder Illusion. Your opponents don’t score that character.) that gives you CONSTANT Mastermind fodder and, again, access to that Temporary Shredder Illusion Trait.

While most pieces have trouble with Outwit, this Shredder in particular is really vulnerable to a well-timed Outwit on his Mastermind or Charge, so that is something to keep in mind when using this guy.

 

Alopex

3. TMNT4033 Alopex — 90 Points — Super Rare: 90 Points gets you Hypersonic Speed with Precision Strike and 3 Damage top dial. She Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain on Movement, and she sports the crowd-pleasing Super Senses/Shape Change combo on Defense.

Two Traits also bump her effectiveness and allow her to manipulate probabilities on the Map.

The first (CURSED BLADES OF VENGEANCE: When Alopex hits an opposing character, give them a Curse token. // Characters with one or more Curse tokens modify attack -1, and any attack made by those characters that misses all targets becomes a critical miss.) can have a big effect on your whole team’s survivability.

The second (CATCH A TIGER BY THE TAIL: At the beginning of the game, choose an opposing character. Alopex modifies attack +1 when attacking the chosen character and modifies defense +1 when attacked by the chosen character.) enhances her own survivability, and can pump her Defense up to nigh unhittable levels if she gets a pop in first (which is likely given that Hypersonic Speed she’s sporting).

 

Donnie 2012

2. TMNT4029 Donatello — 80 Points — Super Rare: The whole set of Super Rares in this set is pretty universally solid; having said that, I like the SR Donnie better than his brothers in this series.

While they all share some version of the “Tales… ” Trait (TALES OF THE TMNT: At the beginning of the game, for all characters that can use this trait, choose a “Tale:” trait that a friendly character can use. This game, all friendly characters with a “Tale:” trait can use the chosen trait instead of any other “Tale:” trait.), Donatello’s is perhaps the most gamechanging (TALE: MAZES AND MUTANTS: This character has PROTECTED: opposing Perplex, opposing Probability Control.).

When you factor in his own top dial Prob, you suddenly can field a team of Turtles that pretty much has total control of Prob and Perplex–two of the strongest support abilities in the game–for the whole game!

This is more environmental control than the typical Turtles team allows.

 

Krang Unplugged number one

1. TMNT4034 Krang — 130 Points — Super Rare: Basically the ranged version of the Shredder piece I was just raving about.

Krang’s issue is that he sports Phasing/Teleport top dial instead of a move-and-attack ability, so he needs a good Taxi or a TK’er. Other than that, he’s a straight killer, with an Attack dial that alternates between Pen/Psy and Pulse Wave, Defense that alternates between Invincible, Invulnerable and Impervious.

He also has top dial Outwit and a Damage Special Power (RECOVERED THE TURNSTONE!: Shape Change, but succeeds on a 4-6. Perplex, but modifies the combat value +2 or -2. Opposing characters can’t use Perplex or Shape Change.) on the bottom of his dial that is one of the best Special Powers ever given out.

His Boss Trait, like Shredder’s, also resurrects him TWICE (GAME BOSS: FLASHING RED: The first two times Krang would be KO’d, instead turn him to click #6, then heal him 1 click if an opposing force has 1 or 2 characters on it; otherwise, heal him 2 clicks. Protected: Pulse Wave.), and has a decent chance of landing him on his Turnstone clicks.

Finally, his last Trait (RUTHLESS ALIEN CONQUEROR: When Krang KO’s an opposing character, put a Conquest marker in a square they occupied. Opposing characters modify their attack and defense values -1 for each Conquest marker within 3 squares of them.) can really pin down an opponent who didn’t bring a team with good mobility and/or range.

It is possible for your opponent to just ignore Krang, or try and get him to his less effective middle clicks (Clicks 3 & 4) and keep him there, but it’s not clear that allowing a piece with 8 Range and Pen/Psy essentially unfettered access to attack your team is a really very good idea.

 

Okay!! That’s my list! What’s yours? Let us know in the Comments below!

 

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To Infinity… And Beyond!! (Or, A List of the Top Ten Pieces in Avengers Infinity!!!)

Were waiting

So we’ve been waiting for an Avengers Infinity Top Ten Set Review…

So have I guys!

But since HypeFox is still working on his, I thought I’d drop mine… hmmm… how about right now!!

But first…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • The packs were more expensive, but worth it. Each one had seemingly two chances to pull something cool. In my Dune Buggy pack I pulled a chase and in a pack with 4 regular sized uncommon and common figures you’re going to get a Colossal rare or Super Rare.
  • The abstract entities are godlike in the comics, but none are very good for their cost in HeroClix. AIG023R Eternity may be the lone exception. Thankfully they are good for display purposes and people will likely seek them out for that reason.
  • Although there were only two really bad characters in this set (AI003 Black Widow, AI027 Starfox), I wasn’t real impressed by the Space Knights. They were ok, but not interesting and likely wouldn’t do well as a team. Unfortunately they were literally every Prime in the set. Which means this was another set with lackluster Prime figures. Which is a real bummer when you buy a brick and get a Prime instead of a Chase.
  • Early on I was worried that every colossal in this set would be a Colossal Retaliator. I was glad to see that wasn’t the case.
  • I love that the Infinity Watch got such nice remakes. Maxam was a great new figure. Now we just need a modern Mole Man. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Do we though? I mean, he was in like one issue of Infinity Watch! Maxam was in a ton! It was great that the GG version of him had the IW Keyword, but really, he was basically just their landlord. This is the Infinity Watch roster we really wanted!]
  • Why did we not get a Thanos with the Reality Stone? All the other Infinity Watch members made the set with their respective stone Traits. Missed opportunity. [EDITOR’S NOTE: It seems like a huge oversight. The only thing I can think of is that we might get him as a Con Exclusive next year. It’s possible that this was their intention all along, but that they were already too far down the road with the Thanos-Copter as a ConEx this year. Alternatively, Reality Gem Thanos could show up randomly in another cosmic set or cosmic-adjacent set (the only thing on the schedule that’s even remotely fits this description is Battleworld in October). Remember, Thanos is coming back in Avengers 4, so there will still be a bunch of Thanos tie-in products from Marvel licensees arriving next year.]

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Adam-Warlock

5) AI038 Adam Warlock (125 points) – With most of his stats and powers he appears to be just an average attacker. However push him to click 2 and he gains a special power that allows him to do what no one else in modern Clix can: “OUTSIDE OF ETERNITY, CHAOS AND ORDER: Outwit. FREE: Choose a target opposing character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t use PROTECTED: Outwit and its powers lose Protected: Outwit.

Throw in a trait that grants steal energy for ALL attacks and then passes regular Steal Energy to another piece when KOed and I can see him being quite successful with the right support around him. If he had his special power on his first click he would be on the cusp of being Meta.

He’s also one of HypeFox’s favorite Marvel heroes, so listing him as a mere Honorable Mention will annoy him to no end.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: ]

Spider Mobile.jpg

4) AIG015 Spider-Mobile (50 points) – Don’t think of it as a vehicle, think of it as armor. It’s armor that grants another piece with (hopefully) great stats 7 extra clicks of health for just 50 points. For Example, if you use Chase Thor from this set as a pilot then all 7 clicks will have a constant 12 attack and 4 damage the whole dial. And once you get through those clicks your opponent still faces an angry Thor on click 2 or 3.  However the real reason to play this piece is the Trait: SPIDER SPOTLIGHT LOCKED ON: FREE: Improved Targeting: Hindering. Choose a character within range and line of fire. That character can’t use Shape Change or Stealth this turn.” We’ve seen characters before that allow your team to ignore stealth (JW052 Green Lantern, ADW038 Jessica Jones, WKM17-013 Dazzler, etc…), but I’ve never seen a character that will also allow others to ignore Shape Change.

Photon.jpg

3) AI049 Photon (90 Points) – The best thing she brings to the table is a Special Power that hurts opposing bystanders the likes of which the game has never seen before. Additionally she has a Trait that would be good to build a team around. “THE 5TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: DIVERSITY: Flurry. Once per turn, when Photon’s attack roll has a 5, friendly characters modify their defense +1 for every two printed keywords they have until your next turn.”

(Hint: CWSOP002 Iron Man has 6 keywords!)

She’s good up close with Traited Flurry and Pulse Wave that starts showing up on click 2. If you are planning to use her at range then you should probably bring another character with Enhancement. She also has the best Stop Clicks of any of the Chases with your choice of using Flurry or RCE to go along with her Precision Strike.

Vision.jpg

2) AI005 Vision (100 points) – Vision’s Special move power is what puts him on this list. “WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT ME: Phasing/Teleport. When Vision is given a MOVE action, after resolutions he may make an attack (close or range).”

Unfortunately, his 10 attack and three damage aren’t going to scare many people. So make sure to bring some other characters along that can help those values.

The Unseen.jpg

1) AI043 Unseen (65 points) – On the eve of NFAOS056 Nick Fury retiring from Modern they decided to include another version of him from that same “Original Sin” storyline in this set… albeit with some major focus/role changes. This new piece is similar in that they both have Probability Control, almost every form of Improved Targeting known to man and a way to turn off powers. Where the new version is better is that it’s almost exactly half the point cost of the original and can free action smoke cloud after moving. All it’s missing is offense. Like any form of offense at all. Time will tell if a 65 point support character is Meta, but I am just hesitant enough about it that it didn’t quite make the top 10.

Speaking of which… here is my…

TOP TEN PIECES IN AVENGERS INFINITY!!:

Gamora.jpg

10) AI020 Gamora (65 points) – For 65 points you get a very efficient close combat piece who is dangerous on every click. What sets her apart from other similar characters are her 12 starting attack, relatively low cost, and Traited Probability control that passes to another friendly character when she is KOed: TIME GEM CHOOSES ITS BEARER: Probability Control with minimum range value 8 // When Gamora is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, choose a friendly character. For the rest of the game, that character can use Probability Control.”

The only things keeping her from being higher on this list are a weak defense and the existence of AI030 Mantis who fills a similar roll and costs less.

Sentry 459

9) AIG013R Sentry #459 (150 points) – There is a new Trait introduced on this set that was seen on quite a few Colossal figures that shows some promise thanks to the new rules for Quake called Mass Destruction. It reads, MASS DESTRUCTION: Super Strength. When Sentry #459 is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” In my opinion this 150 dial is the most efficient character to feature that Trait.

It has better combat values then all of the other similarly costed characters with “Mass Destruction” and the Green Hulk is the only other “Mass Destruction” piece that comes close to being as useful in combat.

Giant Girl.jpg

8) AIG001 Giant-Girl (70 points) – Giant Girl has roughly 250 thousand different starting lines. I feel like the 70 point line isn’t too expensive and doesn’t make it very easy for the opponent to KO her before she gets an attack off.

To be honest I’d probably vary her point value according the team I was playing with her. The best parts about her is that she can Colossal Retaliate on any click, gets bigger when she KOs someone, and she makes a great Taxi for as low as 10 points. I didn’t include her Fast Forces or title character version on this list because I felt their combat values were just not up to snuff.

Iron Man 1.jpg

7) FFAI001E Iron Man (50 points) – Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, just a really efficient piece for the points. His great movement values make him a very good Taxi. His 4 clicks of Invulnerability make him tougher than just about every other 50 point piece. And his ability to see through Stealth is just the cherry on top.

Cosmo

6) AI039 Cosmo (70 points) – This is one of the Guardians pieces in the new set with a Trait that grants Protected: Outwit or +1 to Attack and Defense. There are very few situations where I’d chose Protected: Outwit with this or any of the Guardians pieces. +1 to Attack and Defense is just too good.

Now let me tell you what’s special about Cosmo. He has Outwit and Ignores Hindering for Targeting which a great combo. He also TK and Willpower on his first click. So on turn one move everyone up and on turn 2 use TK without taking push damage. Because of his Trait he has 19 starting defense and can get up to 12 Attack with his multi-target Mind Control. But the real kicker is his unique special power starting on click two that reads “YOU HAVE LOUD BRAIN: Free: Choose an opposing character within range. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given POWER actions.” That’s a free action and doesn’t require line of fire. There are lots of Power actions in the game, but the first ones I will be looking to use this on are Charge, Running Shot, and Hypersonic Speed.

Nadia Van Wasp.jpg 5) AI044 Wasp (70 points) – While she isn’t great on offense without some help, her defenses are excellent. She has a special Traited Shape Change that reads PYM PARTICLES IN MY BLOOD, RED ROOM TRAINING IN MY MIND: Shape Change. When Wasp uses it and succeeds, after resolutions the attacker is dealt 1 penetrating damage.” It reminds me of TMT002 Loki and WF030 The Wizard. If I was facing her I would attack her last. She also gives you the option of Outwit on click 1 or a Special Perplex when you push to click 2.

Mantis

4) AI030 Mantis (50 points) – Like AI020 Gamora she is an efficient close combat piece that features a 12 starting Attack Value. The advantages that Mantis has over Gamora are a better Defense, an extra click of life, a lower point cost, and IM:Hindering. While Gamora has a better Trait, Mantis’s trait is no slouch either. It reads: I WILL HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: Friendly characters within 4 squares have “FREE: This character can’t use Battle Fury or Earthbound/Neutralized this turn.” At very least that can help you carry Battle Fury characters and you could potentially build a team around it.

Quasar

3) AI037 Quasar (125 points) – Whenever Quasar hits with a ranged attack he gets to use Barrier as a few action. That can be crippling to the opposing team. If he does that more than a couple of times in a game, you’re likely going to win. So it’s up to you to do everything you can to make that happen. Run him with someone like ADW038 Jessica Jones to counter Stealth. You should also include some good close combat pieces to discourage your opponent from basing him.

Tonys car

2) AIG012 Tony Stark’s Car (10 Points) – As a 100 point vehicle this piece is Ok, but as Special Terrain it’s Meta.

Everyone knows special terrain can be useful because of the WKDP17-008 Boxing Ring. Unfortunately every Special Terrain created since then has been less powerful.

Until now.

This car has a power that reads, It’s still rolling. Use as cover:” Adjacent friendly characters can use Energy Shield/Deflection.” It also has an option to move it one square at the risk of KOing it. I would never do that. As long as your opponent can’t shoot you across the car, then they won’t be able to KO it. I would place the car within firing range of the opposing starting zone and then stand in front of the car for the whole game. You still get ESD and the opponent won’t be able to KO the car. 10 points to give your whole team ESD for the whole game is a steal. Buy this now while it’s still cheap.

Starfox.jpg

1) AI048 Starfox (80 points) – Hmm. This character has a double Perplex and the Eternal keyword. Where have I seen that before? I wonder if there is some top meta piece out there that he would work well with?

Chase Starfox is still a great piece in it’s own right. We all know that a double Perplex can be deadly, but Starfox also sports the best of the Chase Traits. it reads, THE 4TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: PASSION: Flurry. Once per turn, when Starfox’s attack roll has a 4, after resolutions heal each friendly character 1 click if they are adjacent to another friendly character.” So whenever you roll any 4 while attacking with this guy he will heal your entire team for 1 click of damage regardless of where they are on the board (as long they have a friendly piece next them.) That’s huge. I don’t ever remember seeing any other figure capable of a full team heal. And this isn’t even it’s own action, it’s just part of him attacking.

His whole dial also features Steal Energy so when he gets damaged he has an additional option to heal up. He’s not an offensive powerhouse, but with his Trait, Stop Click, Power Cosmic TA, and 12 starting attack — he’s the best character in this set.

 

Call It A Gift Then!! (Or, Y’know… Let’s Talk BRIEFLY About Avengers: Infinity War!!)

Avengers Infinity War masthead

Wow!!

I mean… we knew it was going to be good.

But WOW!!

So, I have some thoughts. I might ramble a bit, but I want to get this column out so we’re free and clear for some Clix coverage in the immediate future!

[SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW!! BUT IF YOU READ THIS BLOG AND HAVEN’T SEEN THIS MOVIE YET, YOU MUST BE A UNICORN… ]

I wrote before about what the trailer for this movie meant to me (check that piece out here), and now that I’ve seen the whole film, I can say it did not disappoint in any way.

Did it have elements of Thanos Quest? Yep. Did it have characters from Hickman’s Infinity event from a few years ago? Sure.

But make no mistake: This was an adaptation of Infinity Gauntlet (or the first part of Infinity Gauntlet, at least), one of the crown jewels from Marvel’s brilliant history. And it’s something that would have been ABSOLUTELY INCONCEIVABLE just ten years ago.

Some of the Highlights:

Josh Brolin as Thanos: Absolutely delivered one of the best performances of his career. A lot of folks have been talking about Thanos as perhaps the best mo-cap movie character ever created, as if he’s only the result of technological breakthroughs. That’s certainly true, but Brolin truly became this character even though we never seen him physically onscreen.

The creators (specifically the writers and directors) said this would be Thanos’s story, and they were not lying. And a lot of that hangs on Josh Brolin’s shoulders;

Chris Hemsworth as Thor: This character has gone from the forgotten MCU Avenger to everyone’s favorite overnight. No one really missed him in Civil War; Ragnarok seemed like just an obligatory, almost contractual entry on Marvel’s calendar. Then we actually saw the damn thing, and it was terrific.

In some ways, about a third of Infinity War is basically a sequel to Ragnarok. And it was one of the best parts of the movie. Hemsworth has finally found a groove with Thor; on one hand, I’d understand if he decides he’s done with the grind of portraying a superhero; on the other hand… he’s doing his best work right now! Drama! Comedy! Action! Adventure! Thor has become an amazing character, and I really hope he sticks around.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange: Wow! Doctor Strange has come a long way. More than even in his own movie, this is the Doctor Strange that I remember from the comics!

Some of the Lowlights: 

–Really, not much. Some folks have brought up some minor pacing issues; others didn’t like Star-Lord screwing up the plan. But I didn’t notice anything that took me out of the movie.

No, the only thing I would’ve hoped for was actually some more screen time for Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive. The weapons are cool; their backstory is even cooler. In the comics, Corvus Glaive is actually more of an orator about Thanos than Ebony Maw ever was.

It’s a minor quibble, but not having more of Proxima or Corvus robbed us of two things:

First, if we’d spent a little more time with them, they wouldn’t have felt just like cannon fodder during that final battle in Wakanda.

Secondly, Corvus Glaive has one of the best death scenes in comics when he takes on Hyperion in Infinity.

Corvus Death 1

Corvus Glaive Part 2

Even if they had given this sequence to, say, Iron Man dispatching Ebony Maw, this was one great exchange from the comics that I missed in the film.

How Did They Even Make This Movie Without the Silver Surfer Or, Y’know, Adam Warlock… WHO WAS THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THE ORIGINAL COMIC?

–By dividing up their parts among some of the other characters.

Let’s start with the Surfer. His main purpose in Infinity Gauntlet was three-fold.

First, Surfer is extremely powerful, so when Thanos quite easily dispatches him, that tells the audience that Thanos is a badass who is going to be hell to deal with. Then, Surfer is hurtled towards Earth from space to warn the rest of the Marvel heroes that Thanos. Is. Coming! Finally, Surfer was one of the key heavy-hitting combatants that confronts Thanos at the very end of the story.

Hmmm… pretty much every one of those plot points was given to the Hulk in Infinity War. I was actually surprised at how easily the writers were able to slide Hulk into that role.

Adam Warlock’s part was more complicated. I think they actually split his role and gave it to two different characters.

First… I think it’s pretty clear that most of the Soul Stone shenanigans that Warlock gets into in Infinity Gauntlet were given to Gamora (this actually isn’t too far from the comic–Gamora was with Warlock when he emerged from the Soul Stone in the beginning of the story).

I really think Gamora will find her way out of the Soul Stone eventually. She might be the only non-“snap” death that eventually gets reversed. Remember that orange-tinged scene with young Gamora and Thanos at the end of the film, when it seemed like Thanos was having some sort of vision? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that took place in the Soul Stone where Gamora–at least some part of her–still resides.

But there was one other character who got some of Warlock’s lines, I think. As it happens, he also wielded a green Infinity Gem…

Doctor Strange.

In Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock devises what is essentially a long con to wrest control of the Gauntlet from Thanos (who is impossible to defeat in any sort of battle while possessing the gems). At one point, he explains part of his plan to the Silver Surfer, who is horrified to find out that Warlock is interacting with the crisis as if it is some sort of game.

A Game.png

Indeed, gathering Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to face off against Thanos was nothing more than a ploy to distract the Mad Titan, and their subsequent horrific deaths could in fact be attributed to Warlock’s seeming indifference (we find out later that Warlock had no intention of letting their deaths be permanent, but still… ).

Well, I think there’s a lot more going on in the scene between Tony Stark and Doctor Strange on Titan where Strange tells Stark that giving Thanos the Time Gem was “the only way.”

Strange knows something in that scene that we do not. I’m convinced of it! And even if it meant sacrificing half of the galaxy (albeit perhaps temporarily), Strange was willing to do that if it meant ultimate victory in the end.

 

Whew. Alright, that was a little scattered, but I just wanted to get some thoughts down on paper. I loved, loved LOVED this movie, and I hope you all did too!

Back in a few days with some more Clix coverage!

 

Tournament Report 3/17 WKO in Warren Michigan

What I played:

  • NFAOS056 Nick Fury
  • EW027 Superman 
  • WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence ( On Superman)
  • NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 (calling in another Nick Fury)
  • XXSXID-006 All-New Wolverine (calling in All-New Wolverine)

I thought my two character spy team was pretty meta. The Supreme intelligence got clicked to click 2 granting Superman full dial Stealth and Willpower and purposely never moved past that point. So both Characters had stealth and the ability see through hindering terrain. Additionally Superman got Shape Change and Super Senses on his first click until making his first attack. I envisioned Nick taking shots and Superman Flying him away as the opponent closed in.  Additionally the team was only two figures so the opponent couldn’t just KO one little figure like a retaliator and run away from me the rest of the game.

I expected to face Uni-mind, Shredders, and this PJ Bolin team where ADW chase cap rides around with General Lane, Beta Ray Bill, and Overdrive. Against the Uni-mind I could see through his stealth if he chose it and use the Watcher Eye to cancel on of his powers (including Perplex). Against Shredders I was going to lean heavily on the invincible, Stealthy, Hypersonic Superman. The Shredders would have been hard pressed to damage him. Against the PJ Bolin Team I was hoping to use Hypersonic Superman or the All-new Wolverine call in to Damage beta Ray Bill. Once that figure takes a single click of damage the whole team is exposed.

Round 1 –

Versus:

  • TMTG006R Mangog
  • NFAOS059B Nighthawk
  • JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow
  • TMTG001P Surtur
  • I forget the other 10 points of his team

I didn’t know how long Mangog’s Dial was and with the support characters he had with him I judged (correctly) that I wasn’t going to stop him from pulling the Odin Sword. Instead I KOed everything except Mangog and the Bizzaro Green Arrow He was carrying and got my team to a stealth patch hidden in the middle of the map. I was able to finish off Bizzaro Green Arrow, but then his Mangog landed some nice shots on Superman (who thankfully has 8 clicks) with Giant reach before time was called. I missed a bunch of rolls that game, but still got the win. Had the game gone longer I am not sure who would have won, but time was called and he only scored 8 points worth of ID cards.

Round 2 –

Versus:

  • SMWW028 General Lane
  • SFSM029 Overdrive
  • ADW069 Captain America
  • TMT063E Beta Ray Bill
  • JLA Teleporter and 5 cards.
  • (PJ Bolin designed team, but not played by the actual PJ Bolin)

I started of with a positioning mistake and he made me pay for it. I went behind blocking instead of staying in stealth. He moved up overdrive, had Cap use outwit and put his damage to 3 with enhancement and attack to 12 with perplex. I still got Shape Change and Super Senses with Superman so the odds were in my favor that this attack would fail. He hits his attack roll easily and I miss both of mine. Superman loses Hypersonic and the opponent’s whole team is sidestepped backwards by Overdrive so that I am out of range for ranged attacks. He is just close enough that I can use Superman to call in All-New Wolverine and send the Jonathan token after Beta Ray Bill. Even after the perplex from Wolverine and a Probability control reroll from Nick I can’t get a seven. He stays there an additional turn so that Overdrive isn’t taking pushing damage. I get two more chances with Jonathan. Both miss. Superman has to clear and Nick can’t see to get a shot because of Beta Ray Bill. The next turn he KOs Superman and I don’t get to make any more attacks that game. Kind of a bummer to lose to a team I knew I would see that day.

Round 3 –

Versus:

  • TMT056E Maestro
  • UND002 Dr. Frankenstein
  • JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow
  • TMTG004P Carnage
  • WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence (on Frankenstein)
  • TMTS001 Bloodaxe (On Hulk)
  • WFWFID-004 Green Arrow (elseworlds Green Arrow)
  • Boxing Ring

The match was a stalemate for most of the time. We couldn’t really see a good way to approach each other.  I had Nick take some pot shots against his team, but Bizzarro was adjacent to everyone and Dr. Frankenstein was easily healing the damage as a free action. I finally decided to try to rope him in. I landed Superman 8 squares away from his team in stealth knowing that he would summon Elseworlds Green Arrow and target Superman. I figured my Shape Change and Super Senses combo had to work this time. The next turn played out like I thought except that again I missed my rolls and he hit his roll. Superman took 5, but he’s still 8 squares away in stealth. On my next turn I stupidly took a shot with Nick (hitting) and cleared Superman’s action tokens instead of just running. It was stupid because of course the damage was healed with a free action and now Carnage could come after a wounded Superman. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized that the Supreme Intelligence was there to grant Dr. Frankenstein Side Step and TK or I could stopped that with a free action from Nick. He sent a 12 attack Maestro with Flurry at Superman and that was it for him. Nick Fury actually put up a good fight, but the healing from the Bloodaxe and the retaliation from carnage was too much for him.

After that I dropped and took my lousy rolls to a battle royale. I missed literally every attack, took fourth, and still walked away happy with an Earth X Cap and SR Venus De Milo.

What would I change if I had to do it again? I liked my team. With better rolls and better placement in game two things could have gone different. Knowing the dial for Bizzaro Green arrow would help too. I think game three I was at a disadvantage, but against most teams there I had a relatively good matchup. I would have liked to have faced the shredders team that I heard eventually won. My two characters work well together and I would run them again.

Eight Things I Want From Avengers: Infinity!! (Or, More Irresponsible Speculation!!)

Hi There! It’s been awhile (well, we’ve been tweeting up a storm the last few months, but still!).

Fresh off getting my butt kicked at the Spring WKO (look, I’d write about Call-Ins ruining the game, but it’s been discussed to death and Wizkids apparently has market research to show that people like extra value inserted into packs via things like Equipment or ID Cards, so, they’re not going away anytime soon… ), today we’re starting to get ready for one of the biggest sets of the year.

Yup! We’re talkin’ Avengers: Infinity!

Spoilers won’t start for a little while yet, so now is the perfect time for some of our patented Irresponsible Speculation!!

Here are eight things I hope we’ll get in this set!

FF

8. Fantastic Four Characters!!

Okay, I like the FF as much as anyone, but the two characters I’m really talking about here are Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom.

Unfortunately, both of these characters are probably still on the ban list until the Disney/Fox merger is complete (probably 16-24 months from now).

Still, Surfer (and, to a lesser extent, Doom) were big characters in the original Infinity Gauntlet (from which many of the characters in this set come), so their absence would definitely be missed.

 

Helicarrier

7. Helicarrier!!

C’mon, Wizkids! We want a Helicarrier already!

We know we’re getting vehicles in this set (Spider-Mobile!!); we know that at least one of those vehicles will be S.H.I.E.L.D.-related (Nick Fury’s flying car!); and you’ve even given us special Helicarrier maps in the past, so we know you guys are familiar with them!

Brainiac’s Skull Ship proves that you don’t mind making big ships, either! So the time has come for everyone’s favorite flying gunships to enter Heroclix!

 

Thanos Come and Get Me.jpg

6. Title Character Thanos!!

Of all the things on this list, this one might be the most likely.

The Title Character mechanic has been a lot of fun (and so far, not nearly as overpowered at it first might have seen, although Ninwashui and I still think Title Character Thor has a lot of untapped Meta possibilities), and Title Character Thanos would have the potential to be the coolest one yet (and this wouldn’t be a bad pose for his scuplt, either).

They wouldn’t necessarily have to give him the Infinity Gauntlet on this piece (although a Chase series of characters who have all wielded it at some point would be cool–hmmm, maybe there were really 9 Things I should have written about for this article), but Thanos is certainly deserving of the Title Character treatment considering he’s long been one of Marvel’s greatest villains.

 

Adam Warlock.jpg

5. Title Character Adam Warlock!!

And, in keeping with the recent trend of two Title Characters per set, who better for the second slot than Thanos’s greatest foil, Adam Warlock?

In addition to being one of my favorite characters, Adam Warlock was pretty much THE MAIN PROTAGONIST of Infinity Gauntlet (you can argue that Thanos was still the main character of the story; you can also argue that, from a certain point of view, Thanos was actually the protagonist in a weird way and Adam Warlock was the antagonist of the story, keeping Thanos from what he most desired–is it clear that I loved this story and have read and thought about it WAAAAY too much over the last 25 years?).

A Title Character Adam Warlock with the Infinity Watch keyword and some sort of Soul Stone Title Character ability would absolutely make my day!

 

Uatu

4. Updated Colossal Watcher!!

We haven’t gotten a Watcher since Galactic Guardians and this is the perfect time for an update!

I really liked the way the GG version played, which could fill different roles on your team for different point costs. Really, if they just updated the sculpt and Uatu’s stats, they could pretty much just release the last dial they made for him!

 

Infinity Gems.jpg

3. Infinity Gems!!

Look, we just got Equipment in Thor, and since then, virtually nothing. Give us some Infinity Gem Equipment inserts!!

This is almost too obvious of an idea for Wizkids to actually execute, but I would love to see it.

Who wouldn’t want to outfit their team of choice with the six Infinity Gems?

Oh, speaking of that…

 

Infinity Watch.jpg

2. Full Roster of the Infinity Watch!!

See that guy in the lower right corner? 12-year-old me remembers his name–Maxam! And for a time, he was an official member of the Infinity Watch–and he remains un-Clixed!

We know we’ll be getting some Infinity Watch pieces in this set, so it’s time for Wizkids to give us the WHOLE team! So yeah, we want Maxam, for sure, but the Galactic Guardians pieces haven’t aged well at all, so go ahead and give us updated versions of the entire team!

(For the record, that’d be Adam Warlock, Thanos, Drax, Maxam, Pip the Troll, Gamora and Moondragon.)

 

Galactus

1. Some form of Galactus!!

Yeah, he’s also tied up with the FF license Disney is trying to get back, but we’ve gotten a Zombie Galactus in the last few years, so he’s always a possiblity. But the unique nature of this set would allow them to give us a Modern Galactus that could be pulled right from a normal booster, something that’s never happened with a Galactus piece!

 

Okay, that’s my list! What’s on yours? Let me know in the Comments below!

It’s A Clix-Mas Miracle!! Ninwashui’s Back With A World Exclusive New Heroclix Accessory!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! Then the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! And the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! A couple days ago the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids! Then he came back again under the guise of The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation to talk about Marvel & DC stories that would make great Heroclix sets! Next, the Ghost of Christmas Past stopped by once more to give us his Five Least Favorite Figures of the Year! Finally, the Ghost of Overdue Top Tens presented us with the Top Ten Figures of Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE PART TWO:My God! King! King! That’s… that’s Ninwashui’s music! I can’t believe it! It’s pandemonium! Ninwashui is back! And if he’s back, that means…

Jim Ross

Yup! Ninwashui is back for the Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas! You didn’t think he was gonna sit the whole gimmick out, did you?! He’s been cooking up something special for the last article of the year!

But before we turn things over to him, all of us here at Critical Missives want to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season! This is going to do it for us this year (but this is the first time we’ve hit our Clix-Mas goal since we started the stupid thing three years ago!!), but we’ll be back and better than ever in January of 2018!

Until then, enjoy the final Clix-Mas article of 2017, and until next year, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!]

Yep! It’s me, Ninwashui. What, you didn’t think I’d let HypeFox have all the fun, did you? Nope. I’ve been quite busy, as it turns out, coming up with something I happen to think is pretty cool. Today, dear Critical Missives readers, I bring you… a world first (or at least internet first) Heroclix accessory!

You’ve seen custom maps:

You’ve seen custom action tokens:

You’ve even seen custom terrain markers:

After seeing all that it got me thinking about what I use to carry around my heroclix and if I could add a custom touch to that. Currently I have a box inside my backpack I use to carry around 1-3 armies at a time. This us what it looks like:

It’s the box my kid’s tablet came in. Perfectly usable, but not aesthetically pleasing. There is room for improvement. My brother Hypefox is in the same boat. Being that this is the Christmas season this seemed like a good opportunity for a gift for him. So I started by questioning him about his favorite hero. It came down to this guy:

This was a good choice because the recent movie means that there was a ton of Deadpool themed decorative items that could be used on the box.

Once I had an idea and a theme I created this:

The first ever heroclix army box! It’s Deadpool themed so I refer to it as “the Deadbox”. It features deadpool vinyl decals, a jack chain hinge, an automatic light, a magnetic lock, medical foam interior, and decorative neon accent lighting.

This wasn’t my first attempt. This actually is actually the Mark III version. It was definitely a learning process.

What’s in the box?

So here is what worked that ended up in the final design:

  • The box – to save time and money I started with a craft box I found at Hobby Lobby. It didn’t have a flat top so to I had to fill in the top with a piece of wood that I cut to size.
    • Magnetic lock – it’s actually a child lock I found at Baby’s R’ Us. It allows the box to be locked and have no visible locking mechanism on the outside. The only way to open the box is to hold a superstong magnet in the right place. I hid a strong magnet on the back of a deadpool keychain I got off EBay. It looks like this when you open the box:

  • The light – It lights up automaticly when the box is opened. I found it on Ebay for just over $1. I also bought shorter screws from home depot to avoid going through to the outside of the box.
  • The neon accent lighting – This was EL wire I found at 5 Below.
  • The foam – I’ve been through some stuff this year. In March I got flesh eating bacteria in my leg. My leg was saved, but I have been in physical therapy ever since. They just happened to have some unused foam laying around so it was free. If I didn’t have access to that I would have tried the Foam Factory , Home Depot, or just ordered some from Omni Medical Supply.

  • Some things that didn’t work:

    • Sound module – I ordered a sound module that is normally used in greeting cards from Bigdawgs. The idea was the that I could get the box to play Salt n’ Peppa’s “Shoop” when the box was opened. I chose that song because it was used in the movie and Deadpool didn’t have a theme song. It was working pretty well, but the batteries ran out too quickly. Plus replacement cell batteries of that size aren’t sold anywhere except online.
    • Wireless Bluetooth speaker. I found a wireless Bluetooth speaker for $10 at meijer. Even after taking it completely apart my box just wasn’t big enough to contain the components and protective housing. I hope to revisit this on future boxes.
    • Traxxit – I found this Bluetooth gps tracking unit at 5 Below and I couldn’t even begin to get it work. I threw it out. It’s tracking a garbage truck now.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or suggestions for future box improvements, let me know in the comments.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Or, Let’s Face It, Christmas Past at This Point!) Is Back With a Harley Quinn Top 10!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! Then the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! And the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! A couple days ago the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids! Then he came back again under the guise of The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation to talk about Marvel & DC stories that would make great Heroclix sets! Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Past stopped by once more to give us his Five Least Favorite Figures of the Year!]

Harley Quinn bombshell.jpg

After tonight, there’s just one Night left in the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2017!!

For Night Eleven, at long last, we’re gonna burn through a Top Ten Set Review for Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls!

 

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN HARLEY QUINN AND THE GOTHAM GIRLS:

 

Batman god of knowledge.jpg

10. HQ062 Batman, God of Knowledge — 225 Points — Chase: 

Advertised as the Uni-Mind killer (“His Trait shuts down Perplex!! Kind of!!”), Batman GOK is hardly that. He’s way too many points to be any sort of silver bullet.

Buuuut… that doesn’t mean he’s a terrible piece.

His God Trait (GOD OF KNOWLEDGE: Opposing characters within 6 squares and lower points can’t use Perplex.) is somewhat useful, he sees through Hindering Terrain and Characters, he has a 9 Range AND can Outwit a single opposing character twice a turn.

If you can keep him top dial, his Movement Special (MOBIUS CHAIR: Phasing/Teleport. Batman, God of Knowledge can use it as FREE if he has no action tokens. // Batman, God of Knowledge may carry friendly characters with “wing symbol”.) plus his Pen/Psy and 4 Damage will actually give him a puncher’s chance against almost any single foe.

 

Wonder Woman DS War.jpg

9. HQ067 Wonder Woman — 125 Points — Chase:

Yeah, this list is gonna be mostly Chases. I’m sorry, but that’s where most of the goodness in this set is. Don’t look at me. It’s not my fault.

Regardless, Diana has one of the most solid close combat dials I’ve ever seen. She’s a 9-click long Brick who’s almost impossible to Outwit, has a 12 Attack, Charge, Exploit Weakness with 4 Damage and Indomitable.

She also has a kind of bizarre Trait (NEVER GIVE UP: When a friendly character of 50 points or more is KO’d, give her a Determination token. When Wonder Woman would be KO’d, if she has one or more Determination tokens, instead turn her to click #8 then remove all Determination tokens and heal her that many clicks.) that let’s her resurrect if some of her teammates are KO’d!

 

Kite Man.jpg

8. HQ044 Kite Man — 15 Points — Rare: 

I hate when they put micro-costed characters at the Rare level. It can really screw up Sealed games.

Having said that, 15 Points for 4-clicks of anything is pretty good. When you factor in his Taxi Trait (KITE MAN. HELL, YEAH.: Passenger: 2. At the beginning of your turn, if Kite Man is holding an object, he may move up to 2 squares.) and the fact that he flies with a Movement Value of 10, he actually starts to become freaking AMAZING for his points!

 

Harley Quinn Yellow.jpg

7. HQ043B Harley Quinn — 100 Points — Rare Prime: 

Her Super Rare Prime got more buzz, but this is a really efficiently priced package!

100 Points for Hypersonic, Perplex (only on opposing pieces, but still), KNOCKBACK, 3 Damage with Enhancement and a 5 Range.

If you were to create the perfect Secondary Attacker in a lab, this dial is close to the result you’d come up with!

 

Green Lantern GOL.jpg

6. HQ064 Green Lantern, God of Light — 175 Points — Chase:

Nope. This isn’t the last Chase on this list (sigh).

Buuuuut, I have to put him on this list because of his Movement Special (I AM EVERYWHERE!: POWER: Place Green Lantern, God of Light in a square that’s within half his speed value, then make an attack.). He also has Pulse Wave and 4 Damage top dial, so that makes that Special even more ridiculous.

 

Kirk DePaul.jpg

5. HQ003B Kirk DePaul, Manhunter — 65 Points — Common PRIME:

Wow! This is another great Secondary Attacker. 6 Clicks for 65 Points, and that includes a top dial with Sidestep, Precision Strike with a 12 Attack and an absolutely awesome and versatile Trait (TALENT, TRAINING, AND GENETIC DESIGN: FREE: Choose: Close Combat Expert, Combat Reflexes -or- Ranged Combat Expert, Energy Shield/Deflection. Kirk DePaul, Manhunter can use the chosen powers until your next turn.)!

He even gets B/C/F and Regen at the end of his dial!

 

king Shark.jpg

4. HQ054 King Shark — 90 Points — Super Rare: 

So, if you can actually win the Map Roll and take your Suicide Squad to a Map with a lot of water, King Shark’s Damage Special (ME AND MY CHUM: Sidestep. FREE: If King Shark occupies water terrain, move him up to his speed value.) turns him into a straight up killer.

His top dial features Flurry, and 11 Attack AND 4 Damage with Shape Change and Exploit Weakness. So if you can use his Water Terrain Special and Sidestep effectively, he can start chopping away for 8 Damage (Dealt) a turn!

Also, the Sinister Six shared Trait (ONLY SIX OF US?: Stealth, but only if your force has three or more characters. Improved Movement: Hindering Terrain, but only if your force has five or more characters. Modify all combat values +1, but only if your force has exactly six characters.) is really cool and would let him one-shot significantly higher-costed characters if you can make it work!

 

Harley Quinn black and red.PNG

3. HQ059A Harley Quinn — 200 Points — Super Rare: 

Okay, yes, this dial might be a tad overcosted. But it’s one of the funnest dials I’ve ever seen!

Her first two Clicks are all gold–Hypersonic, Poison, Impervious and Perplex. She also has Indom and some darn good stats! Down dial, she gets a great Damage Special (I’M GONNA FURADICATE YOU!: When Harley Quinn hits an opposing character, for the rest of the game, if that character can use Invincible or Impervious, that character can’t use those powers but can use Invulnerability instead.) as well!

 

Prometheus.jpg

2. HQ045 Prometheus — 135 Points — Rare: 

Sidestep! Indom! Perplex! Good stats! Improved Targeting: Hindering Terrain. Plus one hell of a Trait (DOWNLOAD A COUNTER TO YOUR ABILITIES: FREE: Choose a standard attack and damage power. Prometheus can use those powers until your next turn.)!

If we haven’t mentioned it before, being able to continually pick good powers whenever you want is always pretty freaking good!

Incidentally, I was actually able to use Prometheus to take down a Shazam! Chase during our HQ Release Event. Very potent!

 

Flash GOD.jpg

1. HQ063 The Flash, The God of Death — 125 Points — Chase: 

Whoa!! 125 Points buys WAAAAY more than it used to!! There’s a reason this guy is WELL over a hundred bucks on the secondary market!

14 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, Precision Strike with an 11 Attack, 19 Defense with Super Senses and 4 native Damage top dial! Oh, and he ignores Hindering Terrain, keeps any opposing characters within 6 squares of him from healing, has Steal Energy AND has the ability to heal every time an opposing character is KO’d!!

Oh, and with the Quintessence TA, he has Willpower and none of his powers can be countered. That makes him one of the cheapest heavy hitting Primary Attackers Wizkids has ever designed!

 

Alright!! That’s it for tonight! Thank you to everyone reading this. Feel free to post your personal Top Tens below!!

Also… we’re one day away from hitting our 12 for 12 goal! Christmas Day is basically going to be a wrap-up with some info about what to look forward to from us in January!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and I’ll see you all here tomorrow!

The Ghost of Christmas Past Wants to Talk About the Five Figures He Hated the Most This Year!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! Then the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! And the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! A couple days ago the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids! Then he came back yesterday under the guise of The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation to talk about Marvel & DC stories that would make great Heroclix sets!]

I hate YOu.jpg

Okay! We’re back for Night Ten of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2017!!

So far this Clix-Mas, we’ve talked about underrated sets, valuable pieces and lots of things I loved about Heroclix this year.

This is not one of those columns.

Today we’re going to talk about the five pieces I hated the most this year! This list is personal to me (although I will offer some justification with each choice), and, as such, I make no apologies.

In reverse order…

Donna Troy

5. WW015 Donna Troy — 45 Points — Chase: 

The main reason she’s on this list is because she’s a worthless Chase from a (mostly) worthless expansion who has an essentially worthless power set.

But maybe that’s too harsh. I mean, remember when the Wonder Woman set came out this summer and everyone got really excited about building up those super useful Amazon tokens?

Yeah, me neither.

 

Daredevil TV

4. WI034 TV’s Daredevil — 30 Points — Rare: 

What if you pulled a 30 Point Rare who was only useful for keeping opposing characters in place via Plasticity?

I mean, seriously, what is the point of this piece? And how was it designed on the same scale as “Ha-Ha Joker” who, for the same point cost, is INFINITELY better at pretty much every aspect of the game?

Flora Colossus.jpg

3. TMTG008P Flora Colossus — 10 Points — Colossal: 

The whole point of Flora’s Colossal Retaliation is that its Trait (DRINK DEEP, SAPLING: Flora Colossus may heal past its starting lines but can’t heal except by this trait. At the end of your turn, you may roll a d6. 5-6: Heal 1 click. If it occupies water terrain, heal 2 clicks instead.) allows it to heal past its Starting Line.

So, you have a 16%-ish chance each turn to gain 1-2 clicks on Flora’s REALLY overcosted dial (even its 400 point dial is pretty crappy).

In the meantime, you have a chance to use Flora’s Colossal Retaliation, which could do up to ONE WHOLE DAMAGE to several opposing characters! Wow! All you have to do is hit with your 8 Attack Value!!

That makes Flora Colossus a piece that’s almost scientifically impossible to ever live up to its own point cost.

 

Foggy Nelson

This dramatizes how much effort you’ll need to make Foggy’s power useful…

2. ADW041 Foggy Nelson — 15 Points — Rare:

Sometimes, when I’m feeling really ambitious, I think I can neckbeard at my local venue and figure out which packs have Chases. When ADW came out, I was judging the Release Event and I remember tracking the packs that guys were opening from this one particular Brick. I was sure I had counted 3 SR’s and 6 Rares pulled.

Hmmm…

I cautiously approached the shelf. One pack left.

I brought it up to the counter, paid for it and then took it over to the play area while everyone else was making their Sealed teams. Nervously, I slowly opened the top. Just as I was about to pull out the contents, I heard one of the guys building his team excitedly call out.

Apparently, he hadn’t looked at his pulls very closely initially. That Common Cap he thought he pulled? Nope. It was Secret Empire Chase Cap.

Uh-oh. I immediately pulled out the contents of my pack.

Rare $#%@ing Foggy Nelson.

Pretty much what I deserved for trying to neckbeard. But my God is he terrible. As a Common, I’d be like, “Eh, I guess it’s kinda fun that he got Clix’d.”

But as a Rare?!?

#$%@ me.

The lone Trait on his two-click dial (TRUST ME… I’M A LAWYER: At the beginning of your turn, choose a friendly character of 150 points or less. Until your next turn as long as the chosen character is adjacent to Foggy Nelson, they cannot have their powers countered or their combat values decreased by opposing game effects.) is so cumbersome to effectively activate that it really seems like Foggy has no practical use in the game of Heroclix.

At all.

I don't Feel

This phrase is both the title of a Netflix movie with Elijah Wood and the entire contents of the last note left by the person who designed ADW041 Foggy Nelson before they disappeared…

 

Big Barda

Only six of them? Great! You’re probably only gonna get like 3 attacks off before you’re KO’d though, so…

1. HQ023B Big Barda — 100 Points — Uncommon Prime:

I was so happy when I pulled the Barda Prime during my local venue’s Harley Quinn Release Event. Then I used her. Holy God.

Game 1: First, I moved her 3 squares into the fray where she could reach out and attack almost anyone on my opponent’s team. Rolled a 2. Grrrrr. So, essentially she did nothing and picked up an action token for her trouble. She basically self-Incapacitated.

Next turn, I chose not to make another move-and-attack action SINCE SHE DOESN’T HAVE ACCESS TO WILLPOWER. Oh look, her non-Prime does…

Next turn. Even with her measly 4 range, I only had to move her 2 squares to take a potshot at my opponent’s most vulnerable supporting character and wipe the piece completely off the Map.

I rolled a 1.

Nicholson Meme

Her “great” Movement Special (PERSONAL BOOM TUBE: Phasing/Teleport. When Big Barda uses it, after resolutions you may roll a d6. If the result is greater than the squares moved, make an attack.) seems like it gives you the best of both Running Shot and Charge.

It doesn’t. It gives you the worst part of neither, which is a statement that makes absolutely no sense unless you’re unlucky enough to have played this Barda. This power is literally a crap shoot. The problem is that you have to make your move BEFORE you know whether or not you’re even going to be able to make an attack.

Let’s compare “Personal Boom Tube” to DXF016 Dark Deadpool’s Movement Special (SURPRISE! YOU’RE DEAD!: Dark Deadpool can use Stealth. Give Dark Deadpool a free action to roll a d6, then place him in any square within half the result.). Oh look, he has Stealth AND GETS TO MOVE FIRST before you decide if attacking is the right move! And that’s with Dark Deadpool costing 15 LESS points and NOT taking up your sole Prime slot.

Yes, I know that Wizkids recently (and randomly) ruled that her own Special Empower somehow affects her as well. Great. So now that’s 5 Damage that I won’t be doing to my opponent’s pieces instead of 4. Fantastic.

By the way, I ended up going 2-1 that event. I won the rest of my games because I used Barda as a Taxi first, then as bait. While my opponent was busy attacking her and her useless dial, I cleaned up everything else (including a Chase Shazam) with Prometheus.

Who is awesome.

#$%@ you, Barda. #$%@ you.

Okay, that’s it for Night Ten of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas! Come back tomorrow to see what we’ve cooked up for Night Eleven!!

The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation Is Back With a Look at Modern Marvel/DC stories That Would Make Great Heroclix Sets!! (Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! And the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! Then, the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! Finally, yesterday, the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids!]

Justice League Trinity War

Justice League: Trinity War showed how one plot line from the comics can form the backbone of a regular set release, not just Storyline OP’s.

Welcome to Night Nine of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, our annual event where our little operation here tries to churn out fresh content for twelve straight nights!

After yesterday’s semi-editorial about the woeful state of Marvel publishing, I thought today would be a great day to look at three recent (read: published in the last five years) Marvel or DC stories that would form the basis for great Heroclix sets (or even just great sets in general)!

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

 

darkknightsmetal2

1. DARK KNIGHT: METAL:

From the last five years?! How about a story that’s ONGOING RIGHT NOW! Now, Wizkids might have to make a slight title change for marketing purposes–maybe something like “Batman: Metal” or “Justice League: Metal,” although it’s not impossible that they’d be just fine with the name as is.

But this set would allow Wizkids to give us:

–All new versions of the Justice League;

–Cool, creepy generics like Jokerized Robins; more Court of Owls pieces;

–Alternate Earth versions of DC heroes and villains;

–Primes:

Common Prime: Jokerized Damien Wayne;

Uncommon Prime: Joker of Earth-22;

Rare Prime: The Superman of Earth-1 (renegade Superman who the Batman of that world killed by becoming the Devastator);

Super Rare Prime: Nightmaster;

–Chases:

The Dark Knights (The Red Death, The Devastator, The Drowned, The Dawnbreaker, The Merciless, The Murder Machine, The Batman Who Laughs) and Barbatos.

I think a set like this would have DC Heroclix fans really excited, and it would synergize well with this year’s Elseworlds and Harley Quinn sets!

 

Time Runs Out.jpg

2. TIME RUNS OUT:

This was the lead up to Secret Wars, but that encompasses like two or three years worth of comics!

–You’d have entire teams of alternate Earth Avengers you could draw from;

Black Priests.jpg

–Strange, never before seen POWERFUL generics like the Black Priests;

–Ultra powerful Chases like Doctor Strange as the leader of the Black Priests; a new Black Swan piece; Thanos leading the Cabal; and Doctor Doom as Rabum Alal.

 

All of which would lead us into…

 

Secret Wars.jpg

3. SECRET WARS (2015):

This could even be a Storyline OP, right?

But we would get:

–The members of the 616 life rafts;

–The long awaited return of the Fantastic Four, although not quite as we remembered them;

–Any number of alternate versions of all of the Marvel Heroes and Villains–you could cherry pick from your favorite tie-in Battleworld series;

–A Colossal Thing as “The Wall!”

–More Thanos!

–A Chase Molecule Man, Chase Black Panther (with Infinity Gauntlet), or even…

God Emperor Doom.jpg

–An Ultra-Chase God-Emperor Doom!!

 

So yeah, there are still plenty of other great stories from Marvel and DC out there for Heroclix to adapt!

Which ones would you like to see?

Sound off in the comments below!

Why IndyClix Matter!! (Or, The Ghost of Christmas Future Is Back With an Editorial!!) (Or OR The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas 2017!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! And the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! Then, the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! And finally, the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year!]

Indy Clix

And so we’ve made it to Night Eight, which means we’re two-thirds of the way through The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, 2017!!

So tonight at my local venue we were playing the Holiday Havoc Scenario (from Night Two) and in between rounds I was talking to one of our regular players about Marvel comics. It turns out that neither of us had read much from Marvel in the last two years (for me, nothing really since Secret Wars, which was, what, like 2015?). And the more people I asked, the more I got the same(ish) answer.

Now, I don’t want to get into any of the corporate politics at Marvel or why their books have pretty much gone off the rails in terms of sales–there are plenty of other outlets that have been covering Marvel’s ongoing publishing death spiral (and whether the recent ascendance of new Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski will turn things around) for the better part of a year.

Marvel Sales

Actual internal sales document from Marvel…

What I’m more interested in is the effect this fallow period might have on Heroclix. It’s tough to make a game based on a comic book license if the comics themselves have no following. And when you consider that Marvel sets make up the bulk of the Heroclix product line, this has the potential to become a huge issue.

Hell, Wizkids almost went out of their way this past year to create Marvel sets that had nothing to do with current or even rectent storylines in the comics. Let’s look at the Marvel set releases (minus the MCU sets which, obviously, were based on movies and not comics):

DXF

Deadpool and X-Force: Okay, this took from both old and somewhat recent Deadpool comics. Fair enough.

AVD War Banner.jpg

Avengers/Defenders War: Uhhhh… what? This story was decades old. And the main Sub-Theme, Marvel Knights, primarily–yet unofficially–revolved around all of the Marvel Netflix heroes.

What IF.jpg

What If… ?: Again, an older series about alternate versions of superheroes that I don’t think has been published by Marvel in years. There were a few newer figs (like the Young Avenger versions of the Runaways), but not many.

TMT

The Mighty Thor: Among all the classic Thor stuff, I think there were maybe five or six pieces pulled from the last three years worth of stories, like Jane Foster Thor, Angela Prime and Colossal Ms. Marvel, among others. Out of more than seventy pieces!

So what does all this have to do with Indy Clix? Well… I think this is part of the reason why Wizkids has been pursuing other licenses like TMNT and Star Trek. Furthermore, I think it’s at least part of the reason why those sets are all Modern Legal, where previous Indy sets like Kick-Ass 2 or Pacific Rim or Iron Maiden were not.

Could we ever get to a point where Wizkids is releasing mostly MCU, DC and Indy sets in a calendar year?

Heck, the fact that Star Trek: Away Team was a 5-figure booster set instead of a Gravity Feed was almost shocking! Could this have been a stealthy “proof of concept” for Wizkids to show that the game could survive without the need for strong Marvel-publishing-based sets?

Well… no. I think that’s all just conjecture that I made up literally while I was typing the last couple paragraphs.

But! I think Marvel’s sales numbers HAVE to be concerning to Wizkids. I think they welcome the fact that Infinity War is coming out next year and that they have a chance to again revisit some old cosmic Marvel stories from the 90’s as a result!

So that’s all I have for today. But I don’t want to be all doom and gloom–tomorrow we’ll look at a few Marvel and DC stories from the last 5 years that could be adapted into great Heroclix sets!