Power Placement!! (Or, the 5 Worst Standard Powers in Heroclix!!)

Sidekick!

Sidekick!

In Heroclix there are powers players seek out (outwit, perplex, impervious, etc…) because they are always good. This article isn’t about them. This is about the other guys. These powers need help to be competitive. Obvious penalty powers earthbound and battle fury were purposely ignored for this article. Here’s the worst powers in Heroclix and how I think they should be fixed. Here’s hoping they use my ideas in the next PAC.

5. Willpower – This power isn’t bad in and of itself, but seeing it on your dial means that character doesn’t really have a defensive ability. Apparently when that super hero goes to stop a mugger his battle plan involves taking a beating so the original victim has a chance to get away. The only hero I could think of that should be represented that way in heroclix is this guy. How to fix it: Characters that can use willpower can also use toughness on their first click. That makes sense comic wise with everyone you’d normally think of having willpower and it’s not broken for all the bigger characters with indomitable that would usually have toughness (or better) anyway. It’s not a huge change, but I think it can work.

4. Incapacitate – Using an action to essentially cost another figure a turn also shuts you down for that turn. So you’ve given an action token to an opposing figure and then action tokened your own at the same time. Assuming you and your opponent both spend the next turns resting those figures then it’s like you you’ve lost the advantage of being able to strike first and given that advantage to your opponent. Sure there are instances where your really low point character incapacitates the opposing teams tent pole, but those are few and far between. Multi-target ranged attacks help this power, but those mostly come on really high point figures that you need to be dealing damage. How to fix it: Characters using incapacitate on one target deal normal close combat or ranged combat attack damage when using incapacitate. Hitting multiple targets adds an action token, but deals no damage. No combining it with other powers.

3. Mind Control – How this power should work is you mind control your opponents best attacker and that guy turns and takes out the rest of the opposing team. What usually happens is that you get lucky and hit the huge first roll to take control of someone. Then you attack and roll a four… You need to make both rolls to do damage to anyone (other than yourself with feedback damage). A normal attack requires just one roll. How to fix it: Characters using Mind Control on one target give that target an action token when it’s hit. Hitting multiple targets lets you use mind control, but doesn’t add a token. So at least now hitting that first attack roll is rewarded with something. Additionally a character should only take feedback damage when trying to control more than one character.

2. Smoke Cloud – Imagine Batman in a movie running up near some gangsters. He stops to take a breather while the bad guys shoot at him. Then he drops a smoke cloud. Then the smoke clears and he walks off to tend to the bullet wounds he got while preparing the smoke that should have concealed him. Of course he could have thrown the smoke first and taken a breather. Then he approaches the gangsters a minute after the smoke clears and he still gets shot. This is not making for a great movie. I think the Heroclix designers also noticed this power needs help. The latest PAC gave it a bonus (it used to be worse) and the latest characters to come out with it (IIM Iron soldier, TT Robin, and AO Joker) have a modified version of the power that doesn’t suck. How to fix it: Smoke Cloud should have always been a free action. One character should be able to use it to cover their approach. You shouldn’t need a whole team of people with that power to use it effectively. As a downside you can’t use smoke cloud if you’ve attacked this turn and you can’t attack if you’ve used smoke cloud this turn. It should help movement only. If you attack you could be exposed.

1. Force Blast – It seems like it would be a nice enough power. Use a power action to knock back anyone basing you. But then you look at the fine print. Who can’t be knocked back? People bigger than your figure, or people with Charge, or people with Combat Reflexes. If someone is trying to base you to do damage how likely is it they have one of those powers? Pretty freaking likely. Like 90% of the close combat figures out there have one or more of those attributes. Maybe you’ll occasionally get a version of Wolverine with leap climb and toughness, but I’m having a hard time thinking of another close combat figure this power actually affects. It’s not like someone is going to run Hawkeye up to base you. Plus you’re probably better off doing damage than spending you’re whole turn trying to move someone away from you. How to fix it: This power should a be a free action. When used outside of a normal attack (IE rolling the d6) it should also produce knockback that can’t be ignored by anyone your size or smaller. As a slight downside you could say characters using force blast can’t use stealth until the start of their next turn (it’s not subtle). Yes this would mean that if you played a close combat attacker facing this power (that couldn’t just charge back the next turn) you might have to have one of your other figures help out. It might actually produce a situation where someone actually has to outwit force blast for like the first time ever. Wow.

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Infinity Gauntlet? Uh, he’s already got one, you see. Oh yes, it’s very nice! (Or, a second opinion for The Build–02/08/2014!!)

I told him we already got one.

I told him we already got one.

I’ll love to write a huge rebuttal article about how I decided what I am playing against Hypefox in the 600 point tournament, but it would be a huge lie. The truth is I got two team bases given to me over the holidays that total exactly 600 points and there will never be a better opportunity to play them at my local venue. So I will be playing the New Mutants and Trinity of Sin Team bases. What really needs deciding is a team name. “New Mutants of Sin”? “Trinity of New Mutants”? “Susan“?

This will be the first time I will be playing any team base in any format. I still need to brush up on my strategy and knowledge of the rules for team bases. Don’t quote me on this, but I think I can just pop off Warlock and Question turn one and use them and the team base dials the rest of the game. That’s a ton of perplex. Riddle me this Thanos… I will have to roll into something nice on the asset dial for the New Mutants, but the Trinity of sin will have all their powers available from the get-go.

Win or lose it should at make for a great tournie report. Can Warlock’s Techno Organic Virus assimilate Thanos? Stay tuned.

Word press shows me that we’ve started to get some traffic, but most everyone has been pretty shy about posting a comment. If you’re reading this, what would you play in a 600 point modern Tournament? Be sure to tell me why.

Shadow of the Colossals!! (Or, The Build–02/08/2014!!)

Colossus

[Editor’s Note: We’re back! Illness and other factors meant we had to go dark for a week, but we now return you to your regularly scheduled programmingThe Build is (hopefully) gonna be a semi-regular column wherein I discuss an upcoming tourney at my local venue and explain what I’m playing and why, and then I’ll write a follow-up entry detailing the results.]

Normally, my venue only allows Modern Age figs, ATA’s and Relics, and generally between 300 and 400 points. But for the next tourney, they’re cooking up something a little special…

So let’s get to it!

The Game:

600 Points. Modern Age. Anything Goes (Resources, Relics, Colossals, ATA’s, Team Bases & Vehicles all allowed).

The Build:

I want to build a team that’s both competitive AND fun to play. Basically, that means I’m not going to go with 5 Mole Men, The Power Plant and Shuma–I’m trying to beat my opponents, not make them hate me. And that type of army–cheap, broken, stupid–is not what I want to play. I want a team that will be pretty good UNDER the current rules and not one that will be good because it EXPLOITS the current rules.

Going in, I know I have a few fixed points for this build. I already know I want to play a Colossal (because it is so rare for my venue to allow them and, well, dammit, they’re fun to play!), and I know I want to play a resource (for the same reasons).

So I already know a little bit about what I’m going to play. Let’s start with the resource.

I own four resource dials in total. The Infinity Gauntlet (for which I own 4 of the 6 gems); The Utility Belt (with only three pouches); The Penguin (for only a slight 10 point investment, he’s sneaky good); and the Book of the Skull (7 of 8 Hammers, which is all I really need–plus Splitlip, who basically takes almost all of the drawbacks away from the book and just makes it stupid broken). AvX hasn’t happened at my venue, and may not ever happen [Editor’s Note: Bleeccch. This sucks! Stupid distributors…], so the Phoenix dial is not available to me.

–The Infinity Gauntlet is great, but without all the gems, I’m going to cross it off my list (although it would be awesome to play with the team I have in mind–more on that later).

–The Utility Belt is also a non-starter, for mostly the same reason (I don’t own enough attachments), and I never liked it as much as the Gauntlet anyway. It’s still ridiculously powerful (what resource isn’t?), but the nerfing of Prep Time really puts it at the bottom of my list.

–The Penguin is a nifty resource that can be thrown in to an army at that last minute when you find out you’ve miscalculated and you need 10 more points. Unlike the other resources in the game, the Penguin probably isn’t sticking around for the whole match, but he’s a great boon for the first four to six turns. After that, he’s probably run his course and is out of the game.

–The Book of the Skull is damn near broken. I could make a very compelling argument that two of its eight Relic components (Angrir’s Hammer and Nul’s Hammer) ARE broken. And even though I don’t have Skadi’s Hammer (only available in the Blitzkrieg USA Pack), I still have the other seven Hammers and Splitlip, which means that all four slots on the dial will be active AND I can give two Hammers to three different characters should I choose to.

I don’t have the Batcave or the Power Plant. This decision is really pretty easy–I’m going to go with the Book of the Skull and Splitlip.

My Army:

The Book of the Skull–27 Points.

Splitlip–20 Points.

Okay! So far, the Build stands at 47 Points. We’re off and running! Next, let’s talk about Colossals. Cuz I really want to play one, and I don’t have a ton of choices. The three Modern Age Colossals I currently own are:

Thanos (Infinity Gauntlet); Oatu the Watcher (Galactic Guardians); Master Mold (Galactic Guardians)

And that’s about it. This decision is going to be a little harder than choosing a resource because even though I only have 3 figures to choose from, they each can be played at multiple point levels that would fit this build.

Let’s start with The Watcher; he can be played at three different point levels: 400, 200 and 50.

–The 400 point level features 16 clicks and builds slowly (oh my stars and garters, does it ever build SLOOOOOWLY) in damage output (he starts with a stinkin’ 2 and keeps it for his FIRST FOUR CLICKS!), but he’s got a really cool defensive power (POWER NEGATING FORCE-FIELD: Uatu The Watcher can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Toughness. When an opposing character misses Uatu The Watcher with an attack, counter all powers that character possesses until that character’s next turn.) that looks even better when you remember that he has a 12 (TWELVE!!) range. So your opponent is basically going to be dealing with at least a 19 defense until he gets in close. However, with the 2 damage Uatu starts with, even with starting Outwit (and there’s no guarantee in a 600 point game that your opponent’s main striker won’t also have Power Cosmic or Quintessence, which would render the Outwit useless unless you’re also running GG Adam Warlock), you’re just not going to be doing enough damage to justify his 400 point cost.Towards the end of his dial, his damage does ramp up and he starts getting things like Pen/Psy and Mind Control, but chances are the entire rest of your team could be KO’d by then. Now, if this was, like, a 1200 point game? Well yeah, then he’d be a great supporting piece. But for this game, he’s just not the best option. As much as I like Uatu, his 400 point dial is simply a nonstarter for this build.

–200 point Uatu is just the opposite. He’s practically a DPS machine, with a little bit of range support via Enhancement thrown in. He’s only got six clicks, but there’s not a bad click in the bunch. Solid 18 Defense with either Invuln or Impervious the entire dial, and he starts out doing 4 damage with Pen/Psy on an 11 Attack (or 13, if you want to give him one of the Serpent’s Hammers!). This is a strong contender for a secondary attacker; it will just depend on which figure I go with for my main piece.

–50 point Uatu changes everything up again. He will deal no damage; in fact, he’s forbidden from attacking. But he is hard to kill with starting 18 Super Senses on Defense, and he will, depending on click number, provide you with either Outwit, Probability Control, or Perplex. The downside is, every time you use one of those powers, he’s got a 66% chance to take one unavoidable damage. Still, for 50 points, you have to view him almost like a second resource. When viewed that way, his dial goes from seeming a little overcosted to almost being undercosted, since there’s no other way in the game (that I’m aware of) to assign a second resource to your force. In a game like this, your opponent is almost doing you a favor if he bothers to actually attack Uatu–every attack directed at him is an attack directed away from your actual force, and with the Defense slot I mentioned above, there’s every chance that your opponent will miss! In a “Hammer Raining From the Sky” environment (as Ninwashui puts it) such as this, there’s also one last thing to consider: The Watcher can fling Hammers! His “unavoidable damage” Trait only kicks in when he uses Prob, Perplex or Outwit. And while he can’t use the free Quake attack that Hammer landings provide, you CAN use him to get Hammers off of the Book faster and fling them at friendly characters to let THEM Quake up a storm, if you wish! 50 Point Uatu is also a strong contender to make my team!

Now let’s look at Master Mold. He can be played at two different point levels that would fit this game: 600 and 200.

–600 Point Master Mold is pretty sick. He can churn out mini-sentinels to tie up your opponent–oh hell, who am I kidding? I’m playing Thanos.

cropped-cropped-photo-1.jpg

I mean.

It’s freaking.

THANOS!! He’s the masthead of this site. Of course I’m playing Thanos. Is Master Mold more efficient? Possibly. I don’t care. Thanos wearing the Infinity Gauntlet is right up there with Warlock wearing the Infinity Gauntlet as my favorite piece ever made (as you might be guessing, Infinity Gauntlet is my favorite story of all time).

So really, I have three choices then for my main piece in this build. Thanos has a 500, 400 and 300 Point dial, and each are appealing, but for different reasons.

–500 Point Thanos has 20 clicks and 1 weakness Trait (MAKING THE GRAB FOR THE GAUNTLET: If the result of a successful close combat attack roll made by an opposing character against Thanos is a critical hit, after actions resolve that character may make another close combat attack that deals penetrating damage targeting Thanos as a free action.) that gives me pause, even though it won’t go off very often. His other Trait (SHRINKING THE HULK: After Thanos takes damage from an opposing character’s attack, either give that character a shrink token or, if there is already a shrink token assigned, move the shrink token to that character. A character with a shrink token modifies its combat values by -1.) can be awesome in a game like this depending on how many characters your opponent is fielding. The more you whittle your opponent’s force down, the closer he gets to essentially having a permanent -1 to all his combat values on his best fig. Later in the dial, he also gets an attack power that lets him place two squares of blocking terrain after he KO’s someone, and a damage power that gives him Exploit Weakness and doesn’t allow lines of fire to be drawn to him from more than 6 squares away.

His attack never goes above a 12, but his defense stays consistently high, especially early on. Opening click Prob is nice, but at 500 Points, there’s just not much space left to build an army around him. So this Thanos gonna be a pass.

–400 Point Thanos has similar stats but only 11 clicks of life. His Trait (DISSENSION IN YOUR RANKS: Opposing characters lose all keywords. Opposing characters adjacent to Thanos can’t use team abilities.) is beyond awesome, especially in a game like this, and you get Terraxia as a free addition to your force. She’s a 100 Point character with Charge and Super Strength and, as long as you’re playing her with Thanos, Perplex. Finally, on five of his 11 clicks he gets: TORTURE MY “GRANDDAUGHTER”: Thanos can use Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When he does, if he targets a single opposing character and hits, counter all speed and attack powers the hit character possesses until your next turn. Pen/Psy is one of the best attack powers out there; Pen/Psy that Outwits Hypersonic Speed, Running Shot, Charge, Pulse Wave, Pen/Psy, Steal Energy or whatever the hell else your enemy may have in his speed or attack slots? That’s ridiculous. Btw, here’s a picture of me imagining 400 Point Thanos with Angrir’s Hammer and Mokk’s Hammer:

the_joker_smile_by_angrypig-d4k075d

Also on the plus side, I’d have 153 Points left over for support pieces (after the 47 I’m using for Booklip). That should be just enough to round out my army. This Thanos is the leader in the clubhouse, but let’s look at 300 Point Thanos.

–300 Point Thanos has one less click and about the same raw stats. His Trait (IMPRISON MY BROTHER: At the beginning of the first turn using this dial, you may choose an opposing character. Place that character in its own starting area and give it two action tokens.) is great when playing all five issues of the Infinity Gauntlet in a row; for this game, it’s merely very good. For most of his dial, his attack slot alternates between a souped-up Pulse Wave (if lines of fire are drawn to more than one opposing character, it does 2 damage instead of one) and Pen/Psy, which is pretty damn good. But he doesn’t mess with opposing keywords or Team Abilities, and he doesn’t give you Terraxia. His last damage power (UNNATURAL DISASTERS: Give Thanos a power action and roll a d6. Use the effect described by that roll below. 1-2 Earthquake; Deal each character that can’t use the Flight ability 1 damage. 3-4 Tidal Wave; Choose an edge of the map. Knock back each opposing character 2 squares, in a straight line away from the chosen edge of the map. 5-6 Tornado; Choose any 2 adjacent squares on the map not occupied by a character. Thanos can use Quake as a free action as if he occupied both the chosen squares.) is probably the most convoluted and unreliable power Thanos gets on any of his dials. If you could just choose which option you want, it would be “meh” at best. The fact that it’s random means that it’s possibly one of the worst uses of Thanos’s time that I can think of.

I’m leaning toward 400 Point Thanos. Is there a more efficient use of 100 Points than Terraxia? Almost certainly, but she works well with Thanos and fits thematically, even if I’m not fielding a Theme Team.

Alright! I have my Colossal! And it only took, like, 1200 words of prattling to make my decision! Yay!

So, to review:

My Army:

The Book of the Skull–27 Points

Splitlip–20 Points

Thanos–400 Points

That’s 447 Points. 153 Points left to round out my army. I have a few Primes I’m considering: Hannibal King, Brother Voodoo and Cerise. GG LE Iron Man would be perfect, except he’s 150 and would use up everything I have left. Still, his Colossal Mind Control power is awesome. Another problem–I don’t own him. The other main support piece I’m considering is Experienced AvX Scarlet Witch. Her 8 range is huge. I’m not as concerned about Team Abilities killing me with Thanos’s Trait, but she can definitely shut them down even more. The fact that she gets Prob, Support AND Perplex means she’s winner. Which leaves me with 53 Points!!

Aldrich Killian is most known for shutting down ATA’s (good lord, if nothing else, I will shut down TA’s in this tourney!), but he also has the Hydra TA and Support. And when he heals someone, their combat values are +1 for the next turn. If he heals Thanos even once, that could be game changing.

And finally, to support Killian, I’m throwing in a stupid Flock of Bats for 15 Points. Since Killian can use Stealth on his top clicks, the Bats will give him +1 on those Support rolls. Not to mention that they can be an annoying tie-up piece at some point too. [Editor’s Note: Whoops! Totally forgot that Support doesn’t allow modifiers! Thanks to several folks for pointing this out. Begone, Bats! I’m gonna replace them with a Warbot of some kind, methinks!]

So, my final choices look like this:

My Army:

The Book of the Skull–27 Points

Splitlip–20 Points

Thanos–400 Points

Scarlet Witch–100 Points

Aldrich Killian–35 Points

Flock of Bats–15 Points

Random Warbot–10 Points

Secret Avengers ATA-5 Points (for the Scarlet Witch)

That’s 597!! Alright! So, that’s my army. Later in February, I’ll post my results with this motley crew, and we’ll see if any of my theories about this environment held water. What would you change if this was your army? Post your choices below! Given the same restrictions, let me know how you would create…

THE BUILD!!

Weekly Roundup!! 01/12/2014-01/18/2014

Roundup

The third week of the New Year has come and gone; here’s what happened in the Clix world this week!

Podcasts:

Dial H for Heroclix was brand again this week (yay for consistency!). The guys discussed which Clix they most want to see that have never been previously made, and they also revealed the results of the most recent “Best Build” contest–all while the Colts hopelessly struggle in their futile playoff contest against New England.

Duo Attack was dark again this week. No news on if and when it will return. As this was arguably the most entertaining Clix podcast around, I’d definitely be saddened if it just fades away.

–The Quarry was back with Episode 5! Lots of info from the latest ROC Super Qualifier, but interviews and conversations with the winner and other from the tourney.

Push to Regen still hasn’t posted Episode 30 (on iTunes at least), but, per their Facebook page, we’re “getting some awesome info in the next episode when it drops!” courtesy of a pop-in from WizKids’s own Brian Roll!

Previews:

–A major SLOSH preview for Toyman! He’s a Super Rare who gets better if you collect all his toys and attach two to his base. He may be more trouble than he’s worth, but his sculpt looks extremely intricate and he’s certainly an interesting concept. With DeadPool and War of the Light coming this summer, we’re only gonna see more “attach x and/or y to character Z’s base and gain Bonus A and Bonus B” characters. Hmmm… that sentence confused even me.

Angel was the latest preview from X-Men: Days of Future Past!

ROC:

–Big changes for the ROC. After the events at Tulsa, there were MAJOR changes to the current format. The biggest change in my opinion was the outright banning of anything bigger than a peanut base. That means no more Team Bases, no more Shuma-Gorath or any other Colossal with a large base (you’re still safe, Pacific Rim Colossals!! … except that you’re not Modern Age, so you’re still disqualified until sometime after March!), and that also means that the ROC Meta just got turned on its ear!

Critical Missives:

–Two big articles this week! HypeFox started some conversations with his article on the Top Ten MovieClix of 2013, and–

–Ninwashui unveiled a sick new Armor-keyworded team that may replace the now banned Mind Control Shuma-Gorath teams at ROC tournaments–the Mind Control Iron Pharaoh team!

And with that, we’ll be back with more thoughts, reviews, analysis & opinions next week!

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

 

Who’s the Boss? Tony is the boss!

Iron MN

So a few weeks ago when ranking the IIM pieces I rated IMM015 Tony Stark 8th most powerful in the set. In my original review I told you his defensive specials made him well-nigh invulnerable 1 on 1. I missed the part where his auto regeneration only works if he doesn’t take damage on your opponents turn. He’s still very strong defensively, but he’s not the support version of IIM103 Absorbing Man that I thought he was.

In that same article I said “There has to be a way to break this piece and it’s Mole Man-like ability to make you armor pieces awesome. I think I’ve found it. I call this team...

photo (5)

Golden Falcon, Destroying!

  • IIM015 Tony Stark
  • IIM015 Tony Stark
  • IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC)
  • FI301 Splitlip
  • FIR100C The Book of the Skull (complete)
  • Total =300

How It works: This team is centered around turning Iron Pharaoh’s gentle golden falcon into something akin to the Terminator from Terminator 1. Slow moving, but indestructible and able to take out anything that gets near him. Yeah that guy. The power reads, GOLDEN FALCON, SOARING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.” Now imagine funneling you entire team’s attacks through something that ignores any movement restrictions (even walls are meaningless), any targeting restrictions (stealth is meaningless), and most importantly can’t be hurt back! At least when GSX Professor X stayed in his starting zone you could kill the guys he sent out. The falcon ignores everything!

Imagine this scenario:  you start the turn with your falcon 6 squares away from your opponents best figure. You move the Falcon up 3 squares and you are in range. Start with outwit. Use Split Lip’s Enhancement and the two Tonys’ perplexes to up Pharaoh’s damage by 3. Nul’s Hammer ups his attack by 2. You attack through the Falcon for 6 damage. Then Tony Stark does mind control and you attack for 5. Then the other Tony mind controls and you attack for 4. That’s 15 damage that you can spread around and you got to use outwit first! The next turn the Falcon moves for free and you can do it all again! Against some teams you could KO everyone before they are even in range to attack any of your figures! Try to always keep the falcon between your real team and the opposing team.

What if the opposing team manages to get past the Falcon and get you your actual team? Well the your team should be positioned with the hard-to-KO (and Stealthy) Tony Starks as a wall in front of Splitlip and the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh’s 9 range and hammer-granted running shot should still give you an alpha strike of 3 attacks totaling 15 damage with outwit in the middle. That much damage should give you an edge. If your opponent does manage to somehow kill the Pharaoh the two Tony Starks can be dangerous on their own. They can mind control each other. Drop Skadi’s hammer on one, use perplex, and swing for the fences… twice!

I think this team would have a fighting chance in any competitive tournament. Someone should take it to the next ROC. It can also be used casually at your local venue to make everyone hate you and make your friends give you the nick-name “cheese whiz”.

If you want something more casual that doesn’t say “I lack a moral compass“, try this team:

Bowling for action tokens!

  • IIM015 Tony Stark
  • IIM002 Rescue
  • IM3014 Iron Man Mk 40
  • Total = 300

How It works: This team is much simpler that the one above. Use Rescue’s TK to put Iron Man in position and then use Tony’s Stark Mind control to activate his SONIC BOOM. (Give Iron Man Mk 40 a move action and modify his speed value by +3. Iron Man Mk 40 must move along a horizontal or vertical path until he can’t move. All other characters occupying squares Iron Man Mk 40 moved through are dealt 1 damage and are given an action token. Characters in squares adjacent to the path are given an action token.) Once you sonic boom through the opposing team, have Iron Man use the same power again to get back to where he started. That should double action token and slightly damage the entire opposing team. The next turn you can push and do it again! Eventually you will need to use the perplexes to have Iron Man start attacking, but hopefully the other team will be severely weakened by then. Win or lose, it should be fun.

Gone Hollywood (Or The Top 10 MovieClix of 2013!!)

And, as we wait for new Clix in 2014, we continue our look back at what we got in 2013…

photo (6)

So I was channel surfing a couple nights ago, and a late-night FX Network screening of Thor inspired me to reminisce about the set that got me back into Heroclix after a long time away from the game—the Avengers Movie Set!

In particular, it was the Gravity Feed set that came out in Targets across the country in the summer of 2012 that inspired me to get back into Clix. I bought two little packs and pulled a movie-Cap and the Chase Loki. I hadn’t played Heroclix since the days of Secret Invasion, but I was hooked again as soon as I saw that lil’ plastic Tom Hiddleston! He’s a boatload of points, but man, with Mystics, Power Cosmic AND every copyable enemy TA, he is a rough day for your opponent before the match even begins! (As he should be. He almost singlehandedly took down the stars of, like, 2 billion dollars worth of blockbusters.)

The main Avengers movie set also had two more Chases, Odin and the Red Skull. Odin was fine; he was a little bizarre, with two Odinsleep clix that almost ensure you’ll lose in a 300 point game if you land on them (unless your opponent misses against that 19 defense, though. Then he’s in trouble.). But in a 300 or 400 point game, sinking 250 points into an Odin with two different Clix that are devoid of damage reducers is a tough way to go.

The Red Skull Chase was a different story, though. He had great keywords and is still widely used a year and a half later to be the engine on a multitude of different Hydra teams. The rest of the set was awesome, too, with a great mix of support pieces and a very useful new Team Ability for Marvel: Avengers Initiative (the Superman Ally TA finally comes to Marvel!). Avengers, Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. teams got the biggest boost (Gravity Feed Phil Coulson was one of the best Perplex sources for the points for a few months there), but there was a little bit of something for everyone.

When WizKids released a Dark Knight Rises set just a couple months later, it became clear that movie tie-in sets were going to be a THING going forward, and that you would ignore them at your own peril. If you were someone who only collected “comic sets,” you were gonna miss out on some great pieces. How many? Well, in 2013, WizKids released sets for:

Iron Man 3 Movie Set (April) (Regular CTD AND Target Exclusive Gravity Feed)

Man of Steel (June) (Regular CTD AND Target Exclusive Gravity Feed)

Fellowship of the Ring (June also) (CTD–only 12 years late!)

Pacific Rim (July) (CTD) (Giant Robots and Giant Monsters—the whole set is Giant figs, and it’s as cool as it sounds)

Lone Ranger (July again) (Mini-starter set with 4 bizarrely sculpted figures—they have oversized heads for whatever reason—and a couple of generic POGS)

Kick Ass 2 (Oh good Lord, July again—they really went for it in July, eh?) (CTD)

Thor: The Dark World (October) (Regular CTD AND Target Exclusive Gravity Feed)

The Two Towers (November) (CTD—this one’s only 11 years late! Much more timely!)

The Desolation of Smaug (November—wait, two separate Tolkien sets two weeks apart? That’s insane.) (CTD)

By my count, that’s at least 9 movie tie-in sets. Not every set is legal for every format, so I don’t blame you one bit if you let some of those releases pass you by (9! There were 9 freaking sets! WizKids HAD to be drunk, right? Everyone? Like, all of the Wizard Childern?) uncollected, but the Marvel and DC sets are legal in pretty much any standard game, so they’re definitely worth tracking down. But which figs will give you the best bang for your buck? Or, put another way, which pieces were the best? Man, if only someone would publish, like, a TOP TEN best MovieClix for 2013, then I’d know what to buy… Well, random italicized trailing stream of consciousness, your ethereal wish has been granted!!

(As Doctor Who once said, that sentence got away from me.)

THE TOP 10 MOVIECLIX OF 2013!!

Slattern

10. Slattern (#007) 600 points (Common–Pacific Rim CTD):  What do you get for 600 points nowadays? 13 Attack, 6 Damage with Shape Change, 20 Defense with Impervious and a 12 Movement with Charge and Giant Reach. Oh, and a hungry, colossal behemoth who comes back to life if your opponent somehow manage to kill him (as all great movie monsters must and should!) just so he can try to eat them again.

His Trait (BIGGEST, BADDEST MONSTER TO EVER WALK THE EARTH: Once per game, when Slattern would be KO’d, instead, heal it to its starting line, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, and subtract 1. Deal it the result as unavoidable damage. For the rest of the game, modify Slattern’s attack and damage values by +1. This power can’t be ignored.) is ridiculously awesome, even more so when you consider that he’s got the Pacific Rim version of Mystics (it’s called Kaiju, but it’s Mystics). That’s up to 22 clicks of Mystics TA to get through, which means you’re in for a long day of hating yourself if you’re sitting across the table from him.

So after all that, why is he only number 10 on this list? Cuz I once saw his 300 point version taken down almost singlehandedly by a 100 point Holiday Elf in a battle royale where I was controlling neither figure. Is that relevant? Not remotely, especially since we’re talking about the 600 point Veteran here. But that experience was seared into my memory. So, sorry Slattern, but 10 is as high as you go.

Colonel SAS

9. Colonel Stars and Stripes (#200) 100 Points (Marquee–Kick-Ass 2 CTD): This set kind of came and went quickly without making much impact at my local venue, but there are some interesting pieces here, none more so than Colonel Stars and Stripes. He has Traited Duo Attack with his dog Eisenhower, and he can be given a power action to release his dog as a Bystander token, which he can then give a free move action to each turn (provided the pup is still within 4 squares of his master). Add in Running Shot, Charge and Flurry at various points in his dial, and you have a nifty lil’ fig here. Pieces like this are what get me excited about “lesser sets” like movie sets—this isn’t a power piece per say, but he looks like he’s a lot of fun to play and he’s totally different from most of the Modern Age pieces we have right now (Squirrel Girl is probably his closest comp, but she plays a slightly different role—and is less points, too. Oh, and I think she’s either out of Modern Age or about to be rotated out this year…). You couldn’t actually PLAY him in a Modern Age game, but he’d be a lot of fun to mess around with at your local venue or in an Indy-themed tournament. Plus, given how he responded to the promotion of this movie, this is almost definitely the first and last time Jim Carrey will be Clix’d.

Worker Spider

8. Worker Spider (#H006) 10 Points (Horde Token–The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Starter Set): Yes, a Bystander token made this list. It also made Top 16 at a recent ROC event. Why? Because it’s damn near broken for its point level. 10 points now gets you Empower? Okay, it’s a little harder to use than Enhancement; you can sell me on one click of Empower being only 10 points. It’s a newer power, so they may still be working out exactly what to charge for it. But why, pray tell, does this thing also get an 8 movement with Leap/Climb (a 10-point POG with a movement spec that puts figures 10 times its cost to shame?!) and Barrier?! Freaking Barrier?! It’s even got a tiny bit of range! Holy cow. For 10 points, this thing can pump up your melee damage by one AND block your opponent’s line of fire. I’m pretty sure it’ll do your taxes for you and take out the garbage too. It might as well; it does everything else apparently. It’s ridiculously efficient. Man, this is the first click that the first click of all other support figures need to be measured against, I guess…

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7. Aldrich Killian (#008) 35 Points (Common–Iron Man 3): He’s cheap, but he’s also capable of altering the board. Aldrich has only four clicks, but man, those clicks can be game-changing in certain situations. His Attack Special (A NEW WORLD IS DAWNING: Opposing characters within 8 squares can’t use Additional Team Abilities.) shut down certain Meta builds for a while (back when Ghost Rider could use Heroes for Hire to attack roughly 8 billion times each turn), and Barrier is almost always useful. His enhanced Support special (EXTREMIS TREATMENT: Aldrich Killian can use Support. When he does, a character healed through this use of Support modifies its attack and damage values by +1 until your next turn.) also means that, with a lucky role or two, he can completely flip a game on its ear in one turn. Only two keywords, but Soldier (Why does he have Soldier while Savin has Scientist again?!) means he can get into some shenanigans with his buddies Brandt and Savin, not to mention a host of figures from other sets. And if you are playing an Extremis A.I.M. team, his Trait (FATHER OF EXTREMIS: Friendly characters using the Extremis Explosion power affect characters and terrain within 7 squares instead of 5.) can really make his Extremis Brutes and Mercenaries devastating to deal with.

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6. Tony Stark (#006) 50 Points (Common–Iron Man 3): Just an awesome support piece who can be dangerous if left to his own devices. For a long while, he only rated two stars on HCRealms.com (Editor’s Note: His rating is now four stars out of five), and all I could think was “Man, these cats must not be playing the same game that I am. Cuz in the Heroclix that I play, Enhancement and Outwit for 50 points is damn good!” Add in Energy Explosion, 17 Defense with Willpower, a Promotion mechanic that lets him turn into a 75 point dial and 6 range with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability, and suddenly he’s not just a support piece, he’s a legitimate third attacker in most 300 point games! His sculpt is awesome as well (taken from some storyboards from the movie, I believe).

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5. Odin (#020) 350 Points (Chase–Thor: The Dark World): Full disclosure: I thought Thor: The Dark World was the best superhero movie of the year. I had some issues with Man of Steel, and I liked Iron Man 3 well enough, but Thor was where it was at this year (I didn’t actually get to see Kick-Ass 2; maybe it sucked, maybe it was great–I have no earthly idea. First one was pretty good though.). Tom Hiddleston stole the show as Loki, of course, but I don’t think Chris Hemsworth gets enough credit for the pathos he generates with Thor. But enough about the movie–this is about the movie’s Heroclix, dammit!

Odin has a 200 point version that’s well worth playing, but in epic games, this Odin is a beast. He has the Alpha Strike of all alpha strikes (GUNGNIR: Once per game, give Odin a double power action and make a ranged combat attack targeting the highest-point opposing character anywhere on the map. For this attack, Odin’s combat values are locked, the attack can’t be evaded and the attack roll can’t be rerolled by friendly characters. After actions resolve, deal Odin 1 unavoidable damage.), and you can’t hide from it. Super Senses and Stealth will not save you, as he ignores Hindering Terrain for targeting purposes, starts with a 12 Attack with Pen/Psy, 19 Defense with Invincible and Running Shot with 12 Movement and 9 (9!!) range with two targets and 5 raw damage. Power Cosmic TA keeps him out of reach of cheap Outwitters and such. You’re paying quite a bit, but damn, that’s nasty. And you can usually say this about any 350+ point character, but man, if you give him Angrir’s Hammer… ouch (EDITOR’S NOTE: You can say that about any character. They don’t have to be 350+ points. A 35 point character plus Angrir’s = Pain Train.). The All-Father is a forced to be reckoned with, but it’s that unique Trait that really makes him special. Obviously, Odin isn’t gonna affect the Meta at 350 points, and that’s fine. Not every piece is gonna be about that. But he might be the funnest piece to field on this list (although an argument can be made in that respect for one of the rares from this set–but we’ll get to that in a second!).

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4. War Machine (#016) 220 Points (Rare–Iron Man 3): Wow. He IS the War Machine. Edward Shelton once described this piece as having “everything you want, when you want it” on Dial H for Heroclix, and he wasn’t wrong. His Trait (WANNA BE THE WAR MACHINE?: At the beginning of your turn choose one of the following that you did not choose last turn: Energy Explosion, Penetrating/Psychic Blast or Ranged Combat Expert. War Machine can use that power until your next turn.) plus the fact that he sees through Stealth with the Avengers Initiative all but assures that you’re going to get damage through when you absolutely need to. The fact that he can Duo Attack as well with his Attack Special is just sick. His native Attack never gets above 11, but that’s still above average; his damage starts at 4 and eventually he gets Prob on his own attack rolls! Just beastly. I would have loved one click of 18 Defense, but his 17 Impervious will serve him well. We’re starting to break into a run of figs that you can competitively build around.

Duhg

3. Duhg (#015) 125 Points (Rare–Thor: The Dark World): Okay, this guy may be even more fun to play than Odin. He’s awesome. His Trait (A MOTLEY ARMY FROM ALL NINE REALMS: When building your force, if Duhg is the highest-point character, other characters that share a keyword with him also have the Duhg’s Army keyword.) is what gets everyone all hot and bothered, but his dial is actually pretty tremendous! At various points, he Charges, Sidesteps and Flurries, all the while leading his troops into battle with Leadership. He hasn’t been “broken” yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone finds a way to do that eventually.

The other thing I love about this character is just the total randomness of his existence. He’s in the movie for all of two seconds and has, like, zero lines. He reminds me of how toy companies would take, like, the fifth alien from the Cantina scene in Star Wars and make hugely popular action figures out of the character simply by giving him a name and a backstory on the back of the figure’s package. That’s basically what Marvel and WizKids did here, only they turned him into one of the more innovative pieces we got this year.

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2. Iron Man and War Machine (#018) 200 Points (Chase–Iron Man 3): Basically taken from this exact scene, this piece is a fantastic figure that has become sneakily easy to Merge into with the release of Invincible Iron Man (Cough–125 point War Machine! Cough). 11 Attack plus Energy Explosion with a 7 Range and 3 targets can be devastating, especially with the 2013 rules updates to how EE works. Even more so with Duo Attack. Later in the dial these guys get Pen/Psy, followed by Pulse Wave. Even better, one of their two excellent Traits (TRYING TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER: When Iron Man and War Machine use the Duo attack ability, you may give them a ranged combat action instead of the second attack.) lets them use those abilities WITHIN a Duo Attack. That’s pretty sick. Then you look at their defense; 18 with Impervious, combined with their other Trait (WATCH EACH OTHER’S BACKS: When Iron Man and War Machine do not have two tokens, Iron Man and War Machine can use Energy Shield/Deflection.), and all of the sudden these guys have a 21 Defense value against ranged attacks while standing in Hindering. You really can’t do better. So their hard to hit, and they bring tons of damage themselves. That was a winning combination when Heroclix first debuted, and it’s still a winning combination today. The fact that they’re on a single base is also advantageous for certain other abilities (Like Rescue’s Carry Trait) as well. Very deadly piece.

IMIP

1. Iron Man and Iron Patriot (#017) 300 Points Experienced Version (Chase–Iron Man 3): I’ll make this short and sweet–everything I just said about Iron Man and War Machine? This is that taken to the next level. In epic games, this is a sick, sick piece. In standard 300 point games… it’s a sick, sick piece. 2 Traits again (I’VE GOT YOUR BACK. NO, I’VE GOT YOUR BACK: Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Defend. Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use the Sharpshooter ability and may target non-adjacent characters with a ranged combat attack even when they are adjacent to an opposing character. AND THIS LONE GUNSLINGER ACT IS UNNECESSARY…YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE!: When Iron Man and Iron Patriot use Duo attack ability, each attack may use 2 targets instead of 1 target and one of their attacks may be a ranged combat action instead.), and they’re both basically SOUPED UP versions of the ridiculously awesome Iron Man and War Machine Traits! They even added another target! Four freaking targets? And they rotate through Pen/Psy, Pulse Wave and EE just like IM & WM? It’s like they took the already awesome Chase Duo from the Target set and said, “Okay, yeah, but MORE.”

Whew! Alright, that wraps up the list! Here’s to hoping this year’s movie sets match or even exceed what we got in 2013 (I’m looking at YOU, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, Godzilla & Guardians of the Galaxy!).

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to post YOUR lists in the comments below.

Weekly Roundup!! 01/05/2014-01/11/2014

 

Roundup

Hello again! Another week gone, and another week of great reveals from WizKids! So let’s get to it!

Rounding up the Clix Community highlights from the past week…

Podcasts:

Dial H for Heroclix was brand new this week with an episode wherein the guys discussed both what they THOUGHT was coming from WizKids (based on what’s already been spoiled) this year and what else they’re HOPING WizKids will release.

Duo Attack, as far as I can tell, was dark again this week. I read on Awesome Pod’s Facebook page that all of their shows may be having server issues or some sort of technical difficulty. I’ll try and update this situation next week, pending more information.

–The Quarry was dark again this week as well. Not sure when the next ep will be up, but it’s usually posted in the “ROC” section of HCRealms.com.

–And finally, last week I totally forgot about the great folks at Push to Regen! They were dark last week; here’s a link to their Podbean. I believe I saw somewhere on Reddit that their 30th episode has just been recorded, so that should be up sometime this week I’d imagine.

Previews:

–Tucked into their official announcement of a X-Men: Days of Future Past Gravity Feed set that had already been spoiled (and, in what I’m sure is a total coincidence, will be on store shelves at just about the same time as the Fox movie with the same title but to which it is definitely, totally and completely unrelated–wink!), WizKids unveiled one of the set’s Chases: Nimrod!! He is a beast who can be played at 150, 250 or 350. If you play him at his maximum point level, he gets Multi-Attack!! They also showed off the sculpts for Pyro and Storm. Very cool set. I’m looking forward to this one.

–Speaking of Days of Future Past, what would a SwitchClix Sentinel look like? Probably like this!

–I was never a Legion fan, so I don’t know much about Universo, but his dial is pretty stacked for 71 points. He’s a Wildcard, he can use Mind Control with three arrows at 7 range, and he’s really tough to nail at range himself with a 17 D PLUS Super Senses, ES/D & Shape Change. He’s only a rare, so he’s a great pull in a Sealed tourney.

–WizKids announced a DC fan vote winner… and it’s _________ . Look for that fig, oh, in a year or so I’d imagine. Right? Two years? I don’t know how this all works, actually. It’s cool though.

–WizKids also announced a manufacturer sellout of SLOSH, even though it won’t release for another month.

–And finally, there was an OFFICIAL announcement this week for War of the Light, the storyline event that will take place this summer (it works kind of like Fear Itself). The way comic shops order the set is going to be different than it was for Fear Itself, but the announcement did contain scuplt previews for Blue Lantern Brother Warth, Red Lantern Dex-Star and a Duo Fig Hal Jordan and Sinestro Green Lanterns. I actually really liked Fear Itself and the idea of boosters that can only be obtained through tournaments, so I’ll be looking forward to this set.

Critical Missives:

–Fairly quiet this week, although Ninwashui did debut a tourney report column format that will probably recur as warranted in the future.

And we’ll be back with more thoughts, reviews, analysis & opinions next week!

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

 

 

 

 

Tourney Report: 01/08/2014!!

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Venue: Comics & More

Build & Stipulations: 600 points; No Relics, Resources, Team Bases or Colossals. No vehicles bigger than a peanut base.

What I Played: Deathlok Prime (WXM) w/ Maximum Carnage ATA (154+4); Iron Pharaoh (IIM) (110); Cul Borson (FI) (190); Psimon (TT) (123); GCPD Motorcycle–Autopilot (SoG) (19) = 600 Points

Why: There were two high-costing figures that I had acquired over the last few months that l really wanted to play at this event:

Fear Itself LE Cul Borson and Thor: The Dark World Chase Odin. I tried every way I could think of to play both, and towards the end, I had settled on playing Odin at full points (I really wanted to try his “Attack Anything Anywhere” double power action). But I ended up falling in love with Deathlok Prime and Psimon, two other figs I had recently acquired but not gotten to play. Eventually, that became the basis of my ragtag army–I was going to play as many cool figs that I’d never played before as I could fit into the army. Out went 350 point Odin, in came 190 point Cul Borson.

With Deathlok Prime, the Pharaoh & Psimon, I figured that I’d have a nice range superiority over most opponents (even my close combat bruiser, Cul, has a 9 range!) AND be able to Outwit Stealth thanks to the Pharaoh; that proved to be true, but it didn’t always matter.

Match 1:

The first game, I went up against a Sinister Syndicate team, albeit one running normal ASM Kraven (as opposed to the Prime that makes the Lizard just disgusting). I was able to hit virtually at will with Deathlok Prime using Sniper Stance, and my opponent eventually based him with Lizard and Kraven. That was a big turning point, as Deathlok Prime used Sharpshooter and his Maximum Carnage ATA to pop 5 damage on both (which, at that point of the game, would have killed both if not for his “No Killing” Trait). They were both dead by the next turn.

Psimon was able to keep most of the Syndicate from basing my guys by mind controlling enemies away from my core group. I don’t think Cul got touched. Iron Pharaoh did a little damage, but it was his Falcon and Outwit that I used the most.

In the end, I took out about half of my opponent’s force while losing only Deathlok Prime when the judge called time. Anything can happen in big games like this, but I’m confident I would have wiped out my opponent’s army with Cul & Iron Pharaoh had play continued.

Result: Won on points

Match 2: Played a hodgepodge team of Justin Hammer, Detroit Steel, White King, Indigo & Lady Deathstrike. Lots of Armor & Robot figs going at it in this game; my opponent kept his team balled up on elevated terrain in the middle of the map. He kept Deathlok from maximum effectiveness by using Indigo’s Outsiders TA on him, and using Justin Hammer’s “Anywhere” Outwit (provided the target is a Robot, Hammer Industries or Armor keyworded fig) to Outwit Iron Pharaoh’s Outwit caused a lot of problems for me.

I got Iron Pharaoh into the fight (this was actually me being impatient; had I just waited for his Special Terrain marker to get there, things would have been much easier for me), but any damage I did to Justin Hammer just got Masterminded to the White King. I believe I killed him three different times before time was called. I sent in Cul Borson via the GCPD Motorcycle, and the very next turn he Charged and Flurried with his 4 damage. He was beastly. Detroit Steel and Lady Deathstrike each took swipes at Cul, but he ended up making not one but TWO Super Sense rolls and survived the game.

In the end, Justin Hammer and Indigo fell, White King had been KO’d 2 times and was on his last click when time ended.

I didn’t lose any figs, but this was a deceptively clever team that my opponent put together. Had I not made both Super Senses rolls, Cul probably would have fallen.

Result: Won on points

Match 3:

I played the same Skrulls team that Ninwashui mentioned. My opponent made an average amount of Skrull and Super Senses rolls, but he used his Skrull Black Bolt exceptionally well. This game came right down to the wire, with Iron Pharaoh left standing on his last click against a very damaged Replica and a mildly hurt Super Skrull on his poison click.

Result: Lost

So I went 2-1 and ended up placing 3rd, which was good enough for:

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What I Learned:

I learned a lot about these figures.

Cul Borson: I was much too passive about getting him into the fight in a couple of matches. His damage ability that hoses opposing attack values and damage values is based entirely on how many action tokens he has, so moving or attacking with him each turn you can is crucial. There were a couple times I waited too long to deploy him. His Range is fantastic, but his lack of Improved Movement of any kind (Hindering would have been helpful; Elevated would have been divine) or Flight makes playing a dedicated taxi or TK’er a must with him. He feels like he could have been an awesome 160-point character; at 190 for his Experienced version, he’s a lil’ expensive, but man, if you want a guy who’s going to bring the pain, you could do a lot worse than Odin’s crazy bro.

GCPD Motorcycle: Must people already know how good this lil’ motor is. It was effective even sans a GCPD ATA. For only 19 points, you get a great taxi that can even throw out a Barrier every other round. Great piece.

Psimon: Psimon is great, but with his potentially devastating 8 range double target Mind Control ability, he was almost always targeted first. Still, his TK enabled a LOT of Cul’s destruction. And at 123 points, I’m confident I can work him into another army soon. He also brings a first-click Perplex. He was solid, but squishy, especially in a game with so many actions.

Deathlok Prime: He might as well cost 4 points more, cuz you MUST also play his ATA. It’s just so devastating. He can’t kill anyone first (because of his Trait), but he is an absolute beast who is capable of dishing out HUGE amounts of damage. I would play him again as well–I’m just not sure how I’ll do with a primary damage dealer who potentially has to kill things twice. One downside–Outsiders TA hurts him more than most figs. His abilities provide so many great modifiers that just get shut down by that TA. Still, his dial is very solid on its own, so he’s still very playable. But Outsiders is a bad matchup for him.

Iron Pharaoh: Very interesting figure. Kind of the opposite of Cul Borson in that you want him to hang back and fire through his Special Terrain marker, which, like the Machine in Person of Interest, sees everything.. Damn good dial for the points.

Well, that’s all for tonight. Had a lot of fun. I’m back Saturday for the weekly round-up