A Really Long Reply: Skye’s Father and Other Random Thoughts…

This started off as a really long comment/reply to Hypefox’s last Mid-Weekly Roundup. With everything he brought up, my reply ended up being long enough to be it’s own article.

What follows is in no particular order…

Agents of Shield Title

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D:

–I read an article today theorizing that the Inhumans are coming to Agents of S.H.I. E.L.D. . The author theorized that the blue alien that healed Coulson was a Kree and that Skye was an Inhuman. That’s why Skye shared some DNA with the blue alien (being that the Inhumans were the result of Kree genetic experiments on humans). They also theorized that the obelisk is actually a Terrigan Crystal. Various characters in the series have also mentioned several times that Skye and her father were from the Himalayas. That was the original location of the home of the Inhumans (before it moved to the moon and before it blew up). Now, the author of the article thought Skye’s father would either be Mr. Hyde (retconned to now be an Inhuman), Maximus, or the Unspoken! The first one would make Skye into “Daisy” from Marvel’s Secret Warriors and the last two would actually make Skye part of the Inhuman royal family!

My guess?

I think it will turn out that Mr. Hyde will be Skye’s father. There is talk of an Inhumans movie and if that’s true then Mr. Hyde would be the least likely character that would be needed for such an endeavor, which in turn would mean that the showrunners would have free rein to do whatever they wanted to with the character. That’s why I think Season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t feature more recognizable super people–they didn’t know which characters would and would not be needed for MCU films in the near future. Having a major villain debut on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pretty much ensures that character won’t make it into the movies (at least not in any meaningful way, i.e. the primary antagonist).

Can you imagine if, say, a Hawkeye movie featured as the main villain someone that Phil Coulson’s team fought (and ostensibly beat) during an episode of MAoS? There could definitely be a feeling of ‘been there, done that’ to the proceedings, which could cause ticket sales to suffer, which is just about the last thing you would want for a tentpole flick that would cost a minimum of $150 million to produce.

However, if the MCU movies used some of the characters who were first established on TV (or, say, one of the upcoming Netflix series) to fill in the edges of some of their stories, well, that could be really cool. For example, if, say, Absorbing Man showed up as bit player in the next Avengers movie then I think that would drive the up popularity of both media, and would make the TV series “matter” in the movie universe. Can you imagine Avengers 2 opening with the already-established-on-Agents-of-S.H.I.E.L.D.-Absorbing Man fighting the Hulk in Times Square before the opening credits? Then Ultron reveals him himself after the Avengers assemble post-fight back at the tower. I don’t think they’ll do it, but it’s awesome to think about. Really, the possibilities for this sort of thing are endless…

 

"Oh, Stephen, noooo!"

Celebrate-Gate…

 The Detroit Lions – These guys have been known in years past (really every other year previous to now) to lead fans on and make them start to believe only to yank the football away at the last second like Lucy does with Charlie Brown. Their defense this year will be remembered as one of the best the team has ever had. The offense will likely not be remembered at all. They won their latest game in incredible fashion, or more accurately the Falcons lost their latest game in incredible fashion. On the plus side this week no major player injured themselves celebrating, and our field goal kicker proved he can actually make a field goal if you give him a free do-over. Seriously I would love it if Jason Hanson came back. I think the Lions are getting kickers from the same place that the Tigers get closers.

 

Avengers_Assemble_TV_series

Marvel Cartoon Series – I don’t have any new news here. I just wanted to bring these to your attention in case you haven’t been checking them out. When Marvel connected everything in their movie universe by releasing the Avengers, the cartoon universe made that same move. In 2013, the current (at that time) Avengers cartoon was based off of the comics. It was replaced by Avengers Assemble, which started in episode one with the events of the Avengers movie. From there it diverges wildly (like adding falcon to the team in episode 1), but it’s nice for new viewers to have the movie starting point. Being in cartoon form also allows them to do things that wouldn’t fly in the movies – like having Dracula (yes that Dracula) be a reoccurring villain.  Avengers Assemble also connects with Ultimate Spider-man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in the same cartoon Universe. This allows them to guest star characters frequently between series and keep the same voice actors for characters regardless of show. For example, Iron Man is always voiced by Adrian Pasdar (who is also Glen Talbot on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) regardless of which of the shows he’s appearing on at the time. That inter-connectedness makes it cool.

 

redbox

On Blu-Ray this month – I’ve got kids so I miss a ton of movies in theatres. I took a chance and rented Godzilla this week. I loved Pacific Rim and I was hoping this would be similarly fun. That ended up not being the case. The director made the incomprehensible decision to shoot the movie with realistic lighting conditions. Like maybe the monsters would be a lot scarier if you couldn’t really see them. Except in other movies that do that there is something else for the viewers to watch. This was just dark and hard to see. Can you imagine if the original Star Wars used realistic lighting conditions and you could barely see the Death Star the whole movie? Ridiculous. The plot also was absurd and that’s coming from someone who thought the Mathew Brodrick version was decent. HISHE has a wonderful spoof on this movie. The part with the “let them fight” line was dead on.

I’m hoping to rent The Edge of Tomorrow and 1000 Ways to Die in the West soon. I have higher hopes for those movies.

 

The_Flash_(2014_TV_series)_logo

The Entire Flash set Versus Speed Demon – They’ve revealed five Hypersonic Speed-based character dials for The Flash set so far. While they each have some interesting powers, they all require you to hit an opponent before you can really do anything special. There are faster pieces in this set, but so far it looks like Speed Demon will remain the best Hypersonic HeroClix character [EDITOR’S NOTE: All characters get better with Entities, obviously, but he is damn near broken! Ion is great with him; Ophidian might be just as good, if not better (keep in mind, if you can find a way to give Speed Demon Sidestep, his Trait still activates! So in addition to your normal attack and first Speed Cyclone Uplift victim, if you’re careful enough with your positioning, you would have a 1 in 6 chance to do another 1 damage to an opposing figure. That’s three freaking chances to deal damage to opposing figures, and two of them don’t even need attack rolls. Sick, sick SICK!!]

On an unrelated note, FL204 Central City Police Captain has a power that reads “LAW ENFORCEMENT CONSULTANT: When building your force, all characters with the Police keyword have the Central City keyword.” With the Batman and Streets of Gotham sets still being legal, Police teams might be a thing again. As always, stay tuned…

 

Krampus

Team of the week – I’ve had reason to study the Krampus/Helspont combo recently and I’m finding the only teams truly resistant are teams that feature a tent pole that costs over 199 points (because Helspont can’t switch with them). To that end I put together this quick team.

“Deadpool is Just the Man to Teachethetheth Thee.”

  • DP055 Deadpool (w/DPW003 “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?”)
  • TDW011 Fandral
  • FIR100 The Book of the Skull
  • FIR107 Angrir’s Hammer
  • Total = 299 points

If someone tries to “Krampus” this team they won’t be able to touch Deadpool due to his point cost.  That leaves Fandral. Fandral can use his perplex to raise his defense by one and then Krampus would need hit a 20 defense to get his Capture. It’s still very possible Krampus makes that roll, but it’s a certainly not a “lock”. That’s not really even the worst part for the Krampus player. If Helspont switches with Fandral, he’ll end up double tokened next to Deadpool. Deadpool has outwit, pulse wave, and an attack of 14. He’s not going to miss except on snake eyes. Helspont will be near the end of his dial very quickly.

Against non-Krampus teams, Deadpool is still a killer and Fandral is still a very competent backup attacker. If Fandral rolls low on Blades then Deadpool gets a free close combat attack via Fandrals’s Feint special power . If Fandral rolls high on Blades, then he rolls high on Blades. Isn’t that enough?

The approach on the battlefield against other teams might hurt because Deadpool only has a six range, but once you close with another team you will be incredibly deadly.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Any team using the Yellow Power Battery has the possibility to give Krampus fits as well, provided your figures are over 79 Points. The Hal Jordan Parallax team from the first “Let’s Be Lanterns” should be able to mop the floor with a Krampus/Helspont team. Having said that, yeah, there’s not a lot that effectively counters Krampus/Helspont. Props to you again, Andrew!]

Well, that’s it for now. Man, that was a lot of randomness that I just scribbled down. I feel like Larry King! Now if only I got paid like him…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry. Not gonna happen.]

Damn.

 

 

 

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Flash Forward!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 10/19/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Welcome Back!!

So what’s happened since our last Roundup? Well, let’s see….

–The Tigers flamed out of the playoffs in just three short games. Joba Chamberlain and the bullpen were characteristically awful (seriously, it seemed like they were filming a sequel to “Firestarter” there EVERY FREAKING NIGHT!), as was manager Brad Ausmus, who–when it came to making pitching changes–made the wrong choice just about every time:

Bossmus

What’s that? Anibal Sanchez is available? No thanks! Joba just blew an inning last game, so, mathematically, there’s no possible way he can blow a 4-run lead today! It’s science!”

I get that the number of good bullpen options he had were limited, but to not use virtually ANY of them is just idiotic. Even Blaine Hardy would have inspired more confidence than the Pu-Pu Platter of Joba Chamberlain and Joaquin Soria that he kept shoveling out there night after night.

Brad Ausmus's version of Sabermetrics.

While demonstrating his mastery of Sabermetrics, Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus delivers the results of his statistical analysis of using Joe Nathan as his closer.

Overall, I actually thought Ausmus was fairly solid as a manager during the regular season. We’ll see how Year 2 goes. I can’t imagine that the leash is long for him after such a playoff debacle. We shall see, though. Bring on the Hot Stove league!

 

–The Lions have tricked everyone into thinking they’re respectable again. Spoiler Alert: They’re not. They’ve beaten up on a Murderer’s Row of awful quarterbacks , and they still managed to find a way to lose at home to Kyle Orton. That’s not easy. Now, they are 5-2, and they still have 3 games against Minnesota and Chicago, who are terrible, so getting to 10+ wins should be fairly straightforward. Of course, with this team, things are never straightforward.

I’m cautiously optimistic, but after last year’s swoon, I’m gonna need to see a lot more than what they’ve shown me so far before I get my hopes up. Remember, we’re not even, like, a month removed from this highlight yet:

"Oh, Stephen, noooo!"

“Oh, Stephen, noooo!”

 

But enough about sports! What you’re really here for is a Heroclix recap, right?

Well, look no further than…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was back with an episode near and dear to my heart! Episode 66, “Lantern Team Building Advice,” was a shortie but a goodie. Similar in premise to the “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we ran right here in August (but with much more of a “Dial H” spin, of course, and a much more thorough analysis of each color’s Power Battery), there’s no shortage of good advice for players contained within (FYI–the Blue Lantern actually does NOT work with LE Absorbing Man–that’s a pending errata right from Wizkids’s own rules forum–but the rest of the advice they give is spot on!).

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–As far as I can tell, Episode 27, which covers the end of the ROC’s first season, is still the most recent entry!

Push to Regen

–In case you missed it last time, in somewhat sad news, Push to Regen has announced on Reddit that they have released their final episode. Their Facebook page is still up, and still posting the occasional news item, but for now, the show has reached its final destination.

"We're a Thing again!"

–ClixCast is back! They have yet to release an October ep, but you can catch their August and September offerings right here!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–While I haven’t seen any recent results, you can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–Having said that, I know I went on a big rant last time about the possibility of Copycat screwing up the ROC’s current format. Until I get some hard results that will either back up or destroy my argument, I’m going to back off a little bit… but I will definitely be watching these next few ROC’s with great interest!

 

Preview

–Want to know what it’ll be like tearing into a case of FLASH boosters next month? Well, wonder no longer, because Friday Night Lights alum and celebrity Heroclix fan Scott Porter (Iceman425 on the Realms) has teamed with DC VP of Creative Sciences Kevin Kiniry to do just that–and they recorded it all!

A couple of takeaways from that video:

-There are only 3 Chases (unofficially, they will be The Question, Pandora and Phantom Stranger)

-If you buy a case of The Flash, well… you are NOT guaranteed to pull one of them!! That’s right, Scott and Kevin pulled 2 Primes (the Common and Uncommon Prime, I believe). This means that the Chases will probably be REALLY expensive on the secondary market, especially initially. And if they’re actually good… yikes! Will they even be able to replace the Trinity of Sin Team Base figures? That is a dark horse rumor. That I just started.

-Some of the sculpts are amazing. Or at least they look amazing on film.

-I don’t know much about any of the Flash characters beyond Wally West, Barry Allen and Jay Garrick. I know virtually nothing about their Rogues’ Gallery. Having said that, a lot of people who do seem to be really, REALLY excited for this set. Basically, this seems like the DC version of the DeadPool set we got back in May. The characters I’d probably be most excited for are the Trinity of Sin characters, and they’re gonna be some really hard to pull Chases. And maybe a Kingdom Come Flash (He’s rumored to be a Super Rare. I loved that story, and all of the initial Kingdom Come characters were so overpowered it was ridiculous!). So while I may not grab nearly as much of this set as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m glad all the folks who really love these characters are finally getting a set!

-Finally, Deadpool kind of set the bar for how broken/awesome a Hypersonic Speed character can be with Speed Demon (and, to a lesser extent, Whizzer), so we’ll see if any of the characters in Flash can hang with the most recent Marvel speedsters!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week, we’re gonna spotlight local player Andrew’s team from Ninwashui’s most recent Local Tourney Report!

Krampus

Team Name: Krampin’ Your Style

Theme: None

Roster:

WKWK–002 Krampus79 Points

(assigned The Utility Belt with 1 item)–8

SLOSH042 Helspont200

DP018 Blind Al13

=300 Points

 

What We Liked About This Build: Holy crap, this was pretty fun to play against! Krampus with a 13 Attack and Capture is just devastating, and Helspont’s ability–and Andrew’s creative way of getting Helspont to the correct click–was just some awesome out-of-the-box thinking! Ninwashui mentioned in his report that while he admired the creativity of the Build, he didn’t have a great time losing half of his army by Turn 2. I had a different experience.

Playing the Orange Power Battery with Iron Pharaoh (Possessed by Ophidian) and Speed Demon (Possessed by Ion), I saw Andrew capture Iron Pharaoh on Andrew’s first turn (using a double power action) and had to spend my next two turns racing across the board to try and free the Pharaoh. Speed Demon ended up rolling a 12, which did enough damage to KO Krampus in one hit. Had I not gotten that stroke of luck, I still would have had about a 66% chance to do the last two damage that I needed via Speed Demon’s Cyclone Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.), but had I rolled a 1 or a 2, I would have been in a world of hurt; Krampus would have scored Iron Pharaoh on his next turn, which would have healed him back up to full, Speed Demon would be on his second click, and Andrew could just trade places with Speed Demon again using Helspont and sent my last piece all the way across the map (while double-tokened!).

In other words, the game would almost be over at that point. I’d have needed an extraordinary amount of luck to get back in the match, so it all came down to that initial push with Speed Demon to try and get Iron Pharaoh back. At the risk of coming across as the biggest nerd to ever pick up a pair of dice, it was probably my most dramatic Heroclix moment so far!

But that’s mostly a recap. What I want to focus on is Andrew’s army! Ninwashui and I spent probably 15 minutes after that tournament discussing Andrew’s Build and how it affected every decision each of us made in our respective matches. We also looked at it from Andrew’s perspective; after I described our match, Ninwashui was absolutely sure that Andrew should have grabbed Speed Demon instead of Iron Pharaoh. But I pointed out that Andrew then would have had a double tokened Helspont in a prime position (roughly 3 squares away) to get 2-shotted by Iron Pharaoh (who was sporting the Orange Crossbow and would have basically had a 13 Attack of his own and would have been sporting 5-6 Damage against Helspont at that point). So if Andrew takes Speed Demon, he scores around 185 Points, but he’d probably lose a 200 Point character immediately after! That would leave him Krampus and Blind Al, who, frankly, would have had no shot against the Pharaoh.

And that was just a small snippet of the dozens of scenarios Ninwashui and I were running through A HALF HOUR AFTER THE TOURNAMENT ENDED! I can’t remember the last Build that got us talking so much. Ninwashui was right in his report insomuch as there ARE several team types that will have next to no shot against Andrew’s team IF HIS CAPTURE GOES TO PLAN. But there are also plenty of Meta Builds that still match up well against Andrew’s squad! I was simply lucky in that I was playing just such a team (although, as I stated above, I still needed one really lucky roll!).

At the end of the day, I think Heroclix is actually a better game for having a team like Andrew’s in it. It was different and creative, and that’s why it’s this week’s Army of the Week! Great job, Andrew!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Agents of Shield Title

–So last time, I talked about what was wrong with Gotham, and some things they could do to fix the show. The last two episodes weren’t fabulous, but they were a step in the right direction. So this week, I want to focus on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

If you gave up on this show last year, you are really missing something this year. These episodes have a raw momentum that was missing from many of the initial offerings last season. The creators have somehow also managed to introduce a TON of new characters while still remembering to give each of the main characters a share of the spotlight in every episode so far. More than that, the villains this year have been much more formidable (and, y’know, actually INTERESTING in their own right!).

As opposed to the Mort of the Month C-list roster fodder that the writers seemed to shuffle into every episode last year, this year started with a bang with an impressively realized Absorbing Man, Kraken (aka Daniel Whitehall) and Skye’s Evil Father (Mr. Hyde? A Kree? An original creation? We don’t know exactly who he is yet!).

This week’s episode also introduced Mockingbird into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it looks like things are just picking up.

Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix has been all over M.A.o.S.’s resurgence this year, and you can read his latest recap right here!

I have a lot of thoughts regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. specifically, and the MCU as a whole, that are probably best saved for a separate post. For now, I’ll just say that if you’ve been off the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bandwagon for awhile, now is a great time to climb back on!

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–Okay, we’ve already linked to Ninwashui’s articles from the last couple weeks, and we’ve got more content planned for the next couple weeks as well. Remember to Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates (and random thoughts) as soon as they happen! You can Follow us at @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

 

And that’s it for this week!! See ya next time, and until then, stay safe (and DRY!!), and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

Local Tournament Report – 10/15/14 Comics & More

Local Tournament Report

 

Okay! Here are the results from The Build 6, the game I had been preparing for earlier in the week!

The Format: 300 points, Modern Age, Anything Goes. Although those who play too much cheese will henceforth be shunned and be nicknamed “Limburger”.

Where is a robotic fly swatter when you really need it?

“Hmmm… I see my 3D graffiti project is already ahead of schedule.”

What I Played: “A Superior Way to Die”: (Scientist Theme)

DP060 Superior Spider-Man (w/ secret Avengers ATA)

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0

(Sideboarded) DP099A Spider-Bot (Mark 2) * 2

(Sideboarded) DP099B Spider-Bot (Mark 1) * 6

Total= 300 Points

 

The bloodiest game of basketball ever played...

The bloodiest game of basketball ever played.

Round 1: Facing DP050 Wolverine and X-23 (Magik shard) , DP007B The Professor (Emma Frost Shard), DOFP011 Destiny, AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (all shards).

An indoor map was chosen for this battle. I started this match the way I would start every match tonight:  by adding two Spiderbot Mark 1’s to Superior Spider-Man’s base on turns one and two, which gave SSM +2 to his Super Senses rolls for the remainder of the game.

Early on, it was a standoff. My opponent slowly moved up his Duo Figure and The Professor. He had no range, so he couldn’t hit me, but the Duo’s Trait (SNEAK AND KILL: Wolverine and X-Men can use Sidestep and Stealth. Unhindered lines of fire drawn to Wolverine and X-23 during an opponent’s turn are blocked unless Wolverine and X-23 have 2 action tokens or are adjacent to an opposing character not on its starting click.) combined with the Professor’s Defense Special Power (SECRET MASTERMIND: When adjacent to a friendly character, The Professor can’t be targeted by opposing characters.) meant that I couldn’t target his figures with a ranged attack either.

As he advanced, I retreated. I tried to hold Wolverine and X-23 in place with a Plasticity-sporting Spiderbot. Poison from the Phoenix Force made that a non-issue. Finally, I saw an opportunity. He was placing his figures in such a manner that I couldn’t shoot past the two that were advancing and hit destiny. However, I was able to roll a 6 for spider-bot creation and place it so that it could move and tie up destiny the same turn. That kept Destiny out of the fight for almost the rest of the game. Unfortunately, that put me close enough to his other figures that I knew I was going to get Charged that next turn.

The Professor moved up next to me and to tried to Outwit Superior Spidey’s Super Senses. I reminded my opponent of my ATA, and he did nothing with The Professor’s Outwit at that moment. Then he Charged and used Blades/Claws/Fangs with Flurry with his duo figure. Both attacks missed! Wow! I didn’t even have to roll Super Senses. That is some bad luck for my opponent. On my turn, I struck back and hit with a heavy object I was holding and the Duo took 3 (because of the Colossus Shard) That was my second action token. Then, on his turn, Superior suffered double Poison from both The Professor and W/X-23. They missed two more attacks due to Super Senses and then also missed their healing roll with a 1! Now that Spider-Man was injured I could ignore W/X-23’s hiding trait and attack them from range. Iron Monger did just that and hit them for two more damage. I took the Action Tokens off Superior.

On my opponent’s turn, Superior took two more Poison damage and healed for one click. When control was ceded back to me, Superior Rid Himself of That Weakling Parker (RIDDING MYSELF OF THE WEAKLING PARKER: Give Superior Spider-Man a free action and roll a d6. Once per game, on a result of 3-6, for the rest of the game modify Superior Spider-Man’s attack and damage by +1 and damage dealt by him can’t be reduced below 2.) via a Special Attack Power and proceeded to Flurry W/X-23 for the KO. Unfortunately, he took Mystics damage for it and was down to his final click. Iron Monger mopped up The Professor on the next turn taking another Mystics damage in the process. He was left on click three.

Meanwhile, Destiny had finally evaded my Plasticity bot and was on the run. It took several tries but my team finally cornered her, with Iron Monger ready to attack. Superior used Perplex on Iron Monger–then my opponent reminded me of Destiny’s IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN AGAINST THE FUTURE Trait (IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN AGAINST THE FUTURE: After an opposing character within 8 squares uses Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control and actions resolve, deal that character 1 damage if it has not already taken damage from this effect this turn.). Yup! I had just KOed my Superior Spider-Man by using Perplex! Smart. Veeeerrrry smart!

I KO’d Destiny shortly after that, but what should have been a rout turned out to be very close in points.

 

Who is Krampus? He destroys hopes and dreams. Especially mine it turns out...

Who is Krampus? He’s a Christmas monster who destroys hopes and dreams. Especially mine, it turns out…

Round 2: Facing WKWK-002 Krampus (w/Utility belt), SLOSH042 Helspont, DP018 Blind Al, NMLR100 Utility Belt w/NMLR101 Gas Pellets/Smoke Grenade. FYIThis was the best combo team I have ever seen.

The game started off innocently enough. I made a Spiderbot, attached it, and moved up towards my opponent. Then the combo struck…

My opponent used Blind AL to do one damage to Helspont. Helspont used his I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO Movement Special (I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO: Give Helspont a double power action and select an opposing character of a lower point value. Place Helspont and the chosen character in each other’s squares, and after actions resolve, Helspont may be given a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) to switch places with Iron Monger 2.0. He’s now next to Superior Spider-Man and he gets to make a free attack. He misses but that’s not the bad part. Iron Monger is now next to Krampus. Krampus is obviously still in his starting area. Krampus uses Capture (with +3 to attack due to Blind Al’s Perplex, the Belt’s bonus, and a Perplex from Helspont). Iron Monger is captured. I haven’t even had my second turn yet and I’ve lost half my team…

The rest of the game plays like any normal game. It’s mostly a one-on-one with Helspont versus Spider-Man. I attached a second Spiderbot to Superior’s base. Over the next ten turns we exchanged attacks back and forth. I had a good streak going of hitting my Super Senses rolls. He wasn’t landing anything. Plus I had spawned some extra Mark I Spiderbots and at least twice they were able to use Exploit Weakness to do damage to Helspont. Unfortunately, for every attack that landed the next attack was stopped short by a Shape Change roll and when Helspont hits Shape Change, he automatically heals one click. All of my characters were only hitting for one at a time and he managed to heal as much as we were hurting him.

At one point Spider-Man lands on click 5 and it looked like he could finally turn things around by Ridding Himself of That Weakling Parker, but then Spidey missed Super Senses for the second turn in row and was KOed shortly after. Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecccch!!!

astros-butt-slide

This is what it’s feels like to face a first turn Krampus capture.

So… that happened.

 

"Obviously, the embodiment of Will is a floating space shark fish. With crazy, shimmery fins. What the $@#& were YOU expecting?"

Giant glowing space sharks. Why does it always have to be giant glowing space sharks?

Round 3: Facing M10A009E Iron Man (Possessed by WOL068P Predator) and AVX102 Lei-Kung the Thunderer (Possessed by WOL062P Ion).  Entity Theme Team. The entire game the Entities gave only some minor stat bumps. However, the powers they granted were ridiculous. Ion granted Lei-Kung Impervious, TK, and Outwit. Predator granted M10 Iron Man Shape Change along with the Quintessence and Mystics Team Abilities.

I started the game by attaching two Spiderbots to Superior before we closed in on each other. My opponent got in the first shot by using TK to move up Iron Man. Iron Man targeted Iron Monger 2.0 and missed. Due to elevation Iron Man had been forced to come close enough to my forces that I could make a Plasticity Spider-Bot adjacent to Iron Man. I did that and passed turn. My opponent responded by moving up Lei-Kung to Outwit Plasticity, and Iron Man tried to break away for a Running Shot. He missed the break away roll and was now double tokened. And then it was my turn.

Spider-man Charged in for a hit with a heavy item on Iron Man, but Impervious reduced the damage to just one. Iron Monger took a ranged shot and missed Iron Man. While it was still my turn I created another Spiderbot adjacent to both Lei Kung and Iron Man. My Opponent realized he was now stuck, but in short order he wisely figured out that he could use Lei-Kung’s Quake to push the bots away before they exploded, but each turn I was remaking them as fast as he could Quake.

That’s pretty much how the game went. Spider-man eventually took enough close combat damage from Iron Man (and pushing damage) to get to click 5. Once there, Doc Ock Rid Himself of That Weakling Parker and things really looked bad for my opponent. Iron Man was KOed by a Flurry the next turn. Then it was my team versus Lei Kung. At one point it looked like he would KO Spider-Man with Precision Strike, but he missed and I used Outwit to counter that power for the rest of the game. Lei Kung stuck around for a quite a while using Quake and Impervious to hold me off, but I was able to KO him just as time was being called.

The Result: My team managed to take second place out of the 6 people attending. With no Resources, Entities, or Team Bases, I was proud of that result.

What I Learned:

  • There now exists a combo that can ruin your team before your second turn. I checked and in the other two games that team played the combo didn’t quite work. In the first game Speed Demon crossed the board in two turns (which he had since Krampus had to double token to try his Capture maneuver) to KO Krampus before he could remove a Captured Iron Pharoah from the game. In the other match, Krampus actually rolled a three and missed the Capture roll. However, in my game the combo was completely deadly and unstoppable. Assuming the best Hypersonic character in the game isn’t left free on the board and your opponent can roll better than a three, I don’t know how you stop this combo. It can even take out a 200 point team base in one shot. It’s stupid and broken. Don’t get me wrong, I think my opponent was a genius  for playing it, but I am kind of bummed something like that exists in HeroClix at the moment. [Editor’s Note: I actually kind of love it. It’s creative, and there’s still a lot that can go wrong–especially if you’re up against a good Hypersonic piece, as you pointed out. And with Flash on the horizon, we’re about to get a bunch more good to great HS pieces. Also, wouldn’t Super Senses and Shape Change also potentially throw a huge monkey wrench into that combo? So, y’know… seems fair to me. Especially since it worked out for me but not for you. Ha!]
  • It thought Helspont was well worth his points during my Slosh Review, but I had never seen him in action before. It turns out I was right.
  • Superior Spider-Man was well worth his points. I want to try him again soon with some other figures on his team. Maybe with Zola next time. The one thing I would never do is play him without the Secret Avengers ATA. That is absolutely required to get the best out of him.
  • Iron Monger 2.0 was only okay for his points. The threat of exploding Spiderbots was neat, but it really happened only once the whole day. Without his Trait getting much use he’s really just not worth the points.

Oh the Inhumanity!! (Or, The Build 6–Comics & More 10/15/2014!!)

The Format: 300 Point Modern Age. Anything goes. I am limited only by my desire to be cool and my desire to avoid being cheesy. I will likely bring several teams and try and field one appropriate to the level of cheese in the room. I don’t want to give away wins by having an under powered team, but I don’t want to blow everyone out all night with no chance of them winning either. I like to play for the experience and not the prize.

My Team Choices (Listed in Order of Cheese):

 

Maximus

This is why Black Bolt won’t let his brother watch the Matrix – ever.

Inhumanity: (Inhumans Theme)

GOTG018 Alpha Primitive

GOTG037 Lockjaw

GOTG038 Maximus

GOTG060 Thane

GOTGS101 Terrigen Crystal

(Sideboarded) GOTG018 Alpha Primitive * 2

Total= 300 Points

I tested the Alpha Primitives recently in a game versus the Black Order and they were well worth their points. In fact, they usually were doing so much damage to the Black Order that they were KOing themselves (via the Black Order Trait). Is doing too much damage a downside?

Lockjaw is there for tie up and transport. Use his Perplex on his own Defense and you’ve got a 19. Add his Probability Control to that and even a figure with a 12 attack is more likely to miss than hit him.

Like I said in my GOTG set review, Maximus is what really makes the Alpha Primitives deadly. He provides Outwit, Perplex, and a Mole Man-style Mind Control. When you consider that he can make two Alpha Primitives himself, after the game has started, you get to play 360 points versus your opponents 300 point team.

Thane has the best Support power I think we’ve ever seen (INHUMAN HEALER: Thane can use Support. When he does he and/or the target may be adjacent to an opposing character. Once per game, Thane can use Pulse Wave as a free action. When you do, he can’t use Support for the rest of the game.). If you are willing to sacrifice him–or at least leave him vulnerable to a counter-attack [EDITOR’S NOTE: Bleeeccch. With Thane having top dial Invincible, without Outwit there’s really no way to even counter-attack him effectively if he cripples your best attacker]–then he can also dish out more punishment in one turn than any character we’ve ever seen near his point cost. He makes a great support piece, but an even better Primary Attacker– especially if you are able to spare a Perplex or two for his Attack Value. Assign the Terrigen Crystal here.

This was likely the team I was going to play, until some guy wrote this exact team up on a FB forum I follow today. I spent money and bought the pieces I didn’t have. Now it seems like I am copying. Sigh…

 

Where is a robotic fly swatter when you really need it?

Where is a robotic fly swatter when you really need it?

A Superior Way to Die: (Scientist Theme)

DP060 Superior Spider-Man (w/ secret Avengers ATA)

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0

(Sideboarded) DP099A Spider-Bot (Mark 1) * 2

(Sideboarded) DP099B Spider-Bot (Mark 2) * 6

Total= 300 Points

The idea is to make Superior Spider-Man nearly impossible to hit by equipping him with two Spider-Bots (Mark 1) and making his Super Senses rolls only miss on a one or a two. Secret Avengers ATA helps keep his Defense from being Outwitted. So does Spidey’s native top dial Outwit and Iron Monger 2.0’s top dial Damage Special Outwit that can’t be countered.

The battle plan here is to send Spider Man up close and keep Iron Monger 2.0 at maximum range. When you get close enough to an opponent, make a Spider-Bot and use it to tie up the opposing piece. If they spend an action to blow up the Spider-bot then Iron Monger’s trait says they take a damage. The best part is that that’s their action for the turn and you can make a new Spider-bot as a free action next turn.

HypeFox made this a team of the week once in a Weekly Round-Up after I gave him the idea [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, but I thought up the Team Name, genius, which is, like, 90% of the work!]. I recently acquired the pieces I need to play it. It’s a strong contender.

 

"James Howlett, you have a great capacity for compassion. Welcome to--waaaaiiit, did you just stab the $#!t out of someone? I don't think you understand how this ring works. "

How not to open a can of red paint.

Hydra Relic Acquisition Commission: (Hydra Theme)

DP006 Hand Ninja

DP054 Arnim Zola

DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra

FIH002 Warbot (Rocket)

FIR100C The Book of the Skull (with all hammers except Nerkkod’s Hammer) [EDITOR’S NOTE: Oooooo, I hope we play on a heavy water map!]

Total= 300 Points

This team is pretty simple. Equip Zola with Nul’s Hammer and then use Willpower to make a Gwen Stacy clone once every other turn. Repeat until your opponent makes you stop. In the mean time you can use the Book of Skull and your three remaining characters to give your team power cosmic. When the opponent gets close, engage with everyone except for Zola. The more Gwen’s the better.

 

Sebastian_Shaw_Dialogue

He’s poppin’ tags.

As Long As Our Love (And My Head) Survives: (Hellfire Club Theme)

WXM035 Black King

WXM020 White King

WOLR106 Power Battery (Star Sapphires)

WOLR306 Star Sapphire Ring

WOLR206.08 Scissors (Violet)

WOLR206.09 Nurse (Violet)

Total= 300 Points

Originally posted here. I proved my team building superiority by making it the greatest Lantern build ever (well, except for my Blue Lantern build [EDITOR’S NOTE: Do not play that damn Blue Lantern Build. I ain’t trying to deal with a 4% chance of damaging your &^(&^& Superior Spidey, which I never should have traded you.]). HypeFox glossed over it in the article and neither of us has fielded it yet so it might be time to test just how bad-@$$ this team really is. I also may change the team name to “Quit Hittin’ Yourself.”

 

There's a new HeroClix set out -today's going to be a wonderful day!

If I were addicted to winning I would play this team.

Patrick Yapjoco New Mutants: (New Mutants Theme)

WXMT004 New Mutants (All characters)

DP038 Copycat

NMLR100 Utility Belt

NMLR103 Grapnel Gun

NMLR105 Rebreather

NMLR106 Handcuffs

Total= 300 Points

Patrick Yapjoco won a ROC qualifier with this team so you know it’s power level is top notch. I can’t tell you more about playing this team because I’ve never done it. However, the fact that Copycat gives HypeFox nightmares makes me want to play it for that reason alone. I’ve named it most cheesy of the teams today due to the simple fact that it has a resource, a team base, and it’s a known tournament winner.

So there they are–all my choices. Look for a special recap section in the Weekly Roundup for the week of 10/19/2014 BATTLE REPORT to find out how I did!

How To Clinch The Central!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 09/28/2014!!)

Roundup

Howdy! It’s time for another edition of our patented Roundups! Why publish an update now, in the middle of the week? Well, a lot has happened in the last two weeks!

In the world of Michigan sports alone:

–Baseball’s regular season has finally ended, and the Tigers finished in first place in the AL Central. Finally! Here’s what the scene looked like in and around Comerica Park:

Noted baseball fans Barry Allen and Wally West run by the stadium wearing Tigers colors! (Not gonna lie, they were hard to capture on film!)

Noted baseball fans Barry Allen and Wally West run by the stadium wearing Tigers colors! (Barry was in the home whites; Wally was wearing the navy gear. And yes, that’s Ford Field–where the Lions play–right behind them. For any non-southeastern Michigan readers, the Lions and Tigers play right next to each other!)

 

Fans exiting the stadium. That's the Ren Cen in the skyline there.

Fans exiting the stadium. That’s the Ren Cen in the skyline there.

 

Folks ready to celebrate in downtown Detroit.

Folks ready to celebrate in downtown Detroit.

Now, here’s where it gets weird. After the Tigers beat Minnesota to clinch the division, two cops on horseback came out onto the grass near the fence in left-center field (by the bullpens.) There, they milled about for just two minutes or so, and then left. And that’s when I noticed something strange on the warning track:

photo (19)

Hmmm…” I thought, “That’s strange. Lemme see if I can zoom in a bit. That can’t be what I think it is... ”

"Oh yeah. That's what I thought it was."

Oh yeah. That’s what I thought it was.

Yep. An explosion of horsecrap right on the outfield dirt. Now our Warning Track needs a Warning Track.

–I bet the Twins felt crappy about losing.

–That horse was a real party pooper. (Okay, I’m done with the dookie puns now. Well… probably.)

–The Tigers will start their playoff run today in Baltimore at 5:37!

–Meanwhile, across the street, the Lions played Green Bay a couple weeks ago. They won the game, in large part because of their stellar defense. Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch was so excited to get a sack in the first half that he just had to express himself:

"Somehow, this is still more manly than the Martin Grammatica celebratory knee explosion. At least Tulloch actually did something worth celebrating...

Yup! These are my Lions!

–Still, after a 3-1 start, I have to be optimistic, right? I mean, it’s not like this team has a long, tortured and RECENT history of collapsing during the latter half of the season, right?

Bah. Best not to think of such things. In fact, I think it’s high time we turned our attention to:

 

THE MID-WEEKLY UPDATE!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is always new every week! Their latest episode included some spoilers for upcoming OP kits as well as a discussion of the second series of Yu-Gi-Oh! figures!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry has released Episode 27, which covers the end of the ROC’s first season!!

Push to Regen

–In somewhat sad news, Push to Regen has announced on Reddit that they have released their final episode. Their Facebook page is still up, and still posting the occasional news item, but the show has reached its final destination.

"We're a Thing again!"

We’re a Thing again!”

–And, in tribute to Elton John and the Circle of Life (never thought I’d make an Elton John reference on this blog; I was, apparently, wrong), just as Push to Regen goes quietly into that dark night, ClixCast rises from the ashes after six months and publishes two new episodes! Welcome back, gentlemen.

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–You can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

 

Preview

–Keep your GotG Nebula, Rocket Raccoon Movie Chase, Star-Lord Movie Starter piece, Movie Rare Groot, Movie Rare Yondu and Batroc handy–we have another Pirate to add to your force! It’s Pirate Deathstroke, and he’s… weird. But in a good way. His mid-dial “Take Their Vessel” Special Movement power has to be the weirdest justification EVER for granting the use of Mind Control, but he also has a great top dial Damage Special called “Steal More Than Your Gold” that allows him to basically steal a standard power from an opposing figure within 6 squares. The best part is, you’re preventing that character from “using” that power, not countering that power, so it gets around Power Cosmic or Quintessence or any powers that “can’t be countered.” I’d like a little more Range than 6, but for 112 Points, he’s certainly unique.

–Want to know what to expect when OP Rogue is up for grabs at your local venue? Click here to find out!

 

Wizkids

–In case you missed it last time, we got some announcements about some upcoming sets!! We are getting an Avengers Assemble set with 25 never-before-Clix’d characters along with next year’s OP set: Age of Ultron!! Oh, and we’re getting an Age of Ultron Movie Set as well. In addition, it appears that BOTH sets will use Avengers ID cards (randomly inserted in boosters?) that will work with the Avengers Roundtable Resource. How this will all play out, I don’t know. But what I do know is that somewhere along the way (probably but not definitely as the main prize from Age of Ultron) we will finally get… a Quinjet! Yep, Marvel’s finally getting a vehicle (at least one that didn’t start as a figure like Warlock)!

Avengers Assemble should hit around May, and will be a normal 5-figure Booster set. Age of Ultron will come in two different waves of 5-Figure boosters. Wheeee!

You can find a link to the Alliance pictures HERE!!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

No Army of the Week this week, as we’re devoting a little extra time to debuting another new feature–Upcoming Local Games–at the bottom of this very article. Army of the Week will return next time, though!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Gotham and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have premiered! After two episodes apiece, they appear to be  heading in opposite directions. This week, I’ll talk about Gotham. Next week, we’ll take a look at Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Gotham Title

–Okay, I know this is a comic-book-based show, but the premiere and ESPECIALLY the second episode were really over the top. Not a great start. Ben McKenzie is fine as Jim Gordon, and I like his military backstory. But Donal Logue seems uncomfortable so far as Harvey Bullock (color me surprised–I would’ve thought he’d be brilliant), partially because every other scene has him spouting cartoonish exposition about how corrupt Gotham is and how Jim needs to get with the program. I think that’s what I dislike the most–Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock seem like characters from two different shows. And the abysmally named Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). the other character with the most screen time through episode 2, seems bizarrely misconceived.

Why does Fish Mooney  have a character banner like audience's already know who she is? Whaaa... ?! And really, a tough as nails female gangster has no problem with folks calling her Fish? Really?!

Why does Fish Mooney have a character banner like audiences already know who she is? And really, a tough as nails female gangster has no problem with folks calling her Fish?!

The only other standout so far is the guy playing the Penguin as a young thug. He’s good, but since he’s rail-thin and dressed to the nines all the time, every time someone talks about how much he looks or walks like a penguin (which supposedly sets him off on a violent rage every time he hears it), you just wonder what the hell they’re talking about.

The acting was really bad in episode 2, which featured indie movie vets Lili Taylor and Frank Whaley as a couple of creepy kidnappers. The roles were so poorly executed that neither actor ever seemed comfortable, and the whole thing devolved into a giant mess by the end. The show is also already having trouble connecting Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth to the weekly stories. This episode, Alfred caught Bruce burning his own hand with a candle flame, so of course he did the natural thing and went to see Jim Gordon, that detective Alfred has only met twice and who admittedly botched up the Wayne’s murder investigation. Well, of course that’s the guy he would turn to for parenting help.

This is only Episode 2, so the fact that the creative team is already having these sorts of structural problems with the premise of the show doesn’t bode well for the future. Look, I love Batman and Catwoman, but it seems like things would go a lot smoother if Bruce, Alfred, Selina Kyle and the young girl from the pilot who may or may not turn into Poison Ivy were recurring characters who only showed up a few times a season, at most. Because, despite what the marketing campaign would have you believe, the show’s not actually about them!

Based on what we saw in the pilot, Gotham is about a young detective named Jim Gordon, who happens to be the one honest cop in the city of Gotham, and his rise to prominence in the world’s most corrupt city. That’s it–that’s the logline of the show. Paring down the main cast to Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, their boss (I’m sorry, I can’t even remember her name), Jim’s fiance Barbara and whatever mobsters/villains you want them going after during the arc of the first season would free up a lot of constraints that are currently weighing down the show.

"I take it back--the marketing clearly showed the four completely different stories that the show would be telling this season."

“I take it back–the marketing clearly showed the five completely different stories that the show would be telling this season.”

Now, on the bright side, they did find a way to include Selina Kyle a little more directly (although, God help me, if she tells one more adult to call her “Cat,” I might throw something at my TV. She’s gonna be Catwoman in another decadeWE F–KING GET IT!!), not just for this episode but for at least the next few.

I haven’t watched much of Arrow, but from what I understand that enterprise started a little shaky too; now it’s become CAN’T-MISS TV!! for a lot of folks. Perhaps Gotham will get there; for now, it remains a flawed undertaking.

 

Local Tournament Report

Upcoming Local Events:

Hello! Welcome to the latest feature for the Weekly Update–Upcoming Local Events!

This is the spot where we’ll post a few notices about upcoming games at venues in and around Southeastern Michigan, where Critical Missives is based. If any venue would like us to announce an upcoming event anywhere in the country, you can hit us up on Twitter or let us know via feedback to this very post!

–Today @ 6pm, Big Ben’s Comix Oasis in Allen Park, MI will host some Free-For-All battles, 400 Points Modern Age–only single-based figures will be allowed. “Shock the Turtle” Battlefield conditions will be in effect.

–Comic City in Pontiac, MI also has a Zombie Team Base going to the winner of tonight’s game! Looks like the Build is a massive 1550?! Wow–gonna be some carnage tonight!

–Thursday night Clix is also happening at Comic City’s Canton location tonight! 300 Points, Modern Age.

–Fun 4 All Comics & Games in Ypsilanti (tonight!), The Amazing Book Store in Flint (Saturday the 4th), Warriors 3 Comics & Games in Wayne (Saturday the 4th), Comic Relief in Flint (Saturday the 4th) and Eternal Games in Warren (Sunday the 5th) are ALL running WoL Month 5 Events this week!

More updates to come next week!

And don’t forget that my local venue also has something cooking in a couple weeks:

–On Wednesday, October 15th @6:15pm, Comics & More in Madison Heights, MI will have some Zombie Team Bases from the GOTG OP kit up for grabs! The Build is 300 Points, and Colossals, Team Bases, Entities, Relics & Resources will ALL be allowed!

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–Our Top Ten Set Reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy have dropped! To read HypeFox’s take, click here! To check out Ninwashui’s rebuttal, go here!

And that’s all for now! Whew! Long one this week. Keep an eye out for us this week! We’ll have a Local Tourney Report for WOL Month 4 coming soon, as well as an article devoted to Copycat and some of the issues she’s created!

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