[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!!]
Welcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!
Y’know, I spend a decent amount of time complaining about the state of the game in this space; but to be fair, there’s a lot Wizkids does right. I mean, we’re all still playing the damn game, aren’t we? So the designers have to be doing something right, I’d say.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today! Things Wizkids did this year that I think should be called out as positive situations within the game.
So, without further ado, here are five things that I think Wizkids did right this year!
Look, it’s an often overlooked part of the game since it’s primarily aesthetic, but once again, Wizkids took sculpts to the next level this year.
Wizkids has always produced great Colossal Sculpts, but I was blown away by some of the standard size looks this year.
2019 was a banner year for Wizkids on the Production side.
4. Print Runs!!!!
Remember about two years ago when Wizkids came out with The Mighty Thor and filled it with crazy powerful Chases, Colossals and Equipment?
And then remember when they made, like, two cases of it and people practically had to fight each other just for packs?
Now, obviously everyone’s experience with product availability differs depending on their locale, but my Lord, people were fighting each other for Bricks just to try and resell them on eBay or Amazon for triple the price. Everyone was hunting Mjolnirs and Carnage Colossals!
Well, this summer, Wizkids released another Marvel Heroclix expansion chock full of insanely powerful pieces and Equipment, except this time there was enough to go around. Heck, my local store still has about a Brick or so in stock.
And many of the singles still hold a decent value!
Sometimes, like with “What If… ?” and Elseworlds, Wizkids seriously overestimates demand and/or cheaps out on production costs. But Earth X, ABPI and X-Men: The Animated Series all had great production value AND seemed to be right in the middle of the Supply/Demand curve.
I’ve complained about Wizkids screwing these things up in the past; this year, I thought they knocked it out of the park.
3. Star Trek Clix That People Actually Wanted!!!
Yes, I was just as bummed as everyone else that the Star Trek: TNG full booster set was broken into 2 Gravity Feeds. Not sure why that happened, but the first set, “Resistance Is Futile,” actually contains a bevy of interesting pieces that I’ve played several times already.
Q Prime is still like $300, and SR Q is still hovering around $50, so there’s still great value there at the high end. But there’s lots of great Federation Bridge Crew pieces (Uncommon Reginald Barclay, Rare Geordi La Forge, Rare Wesley Crusher, etc.) that I’ve taken into both fun and competitive games and won Matches with.
Rare William Riker is an interesting piece to play, the various Shifting Focus Datas are almost Meta and Lore is a brutally effective addition to any Robot or Borg team at only 60 Points!
Plus, Chase Mirror Beverly Crusher is quite useful also!
I didn’t find as much to love in the second ST: TNG release (“To Boldly Go”), but there’s still so much material to cover that I hope we get more future releases from this franchise!
2. Lemme See Your Cards!!
So… I still don’t love this new rule. But it really hasn’t turned into the disaster that I predicted it would be, either.
Also, the more I play games with this new stipulation, the more I’ve noticed that my opponent’s turns–and my turns–are going by slightly quicker (not a lot, but definitely slightly). I think it’s because decisions that we use to agonize and debate over are now much more clear cut.
It’s no longer “Hmmm… should I use RCE and add 1 to Attack, 1 to Damage? Or all on Damage? Damn, I can’t remember if his character has 6 or 7 Clicks. Hmmm… ”
Now you just politely ask to see your opponent’s card, and there’s no more guesswork, so you can make the correct decision much more often and much more quickly.
Also, some of the (relatively) newer players at my venue have in fact stated that getting to see opposing dials as the game progresses has made Heroclix easier to learn and play for them.
I still think there’s a strategy cost to this change that hasn’t been fully realized or appreciated yet, but I also have to admit it wasn’t the end of the world, either.
1. Pauper Steps Into the Heroclix Mainstream!
Okay, this is a little bit of a cheat, since Pauper was sort of developed outside of Wizkids’s purview, and it really emerged as an official tournament format at the ROC State Championships this Fall, which I guess isn’t strictly Wizkids, but there is a connection there now, so… I’m counting it.
Pauper was fun! It was probably the most fun I’ve had at a Constructed Meta event in quite some time. It helped I’m sure that I happened to be playing Ninwashui’s Brotherhood Build, which turned out to be one of the best Builds in the format, but still!
In addition to the Pauper tournament, I’ve used versions of that team in other formats and done pretty well.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: And Ninwashui himself just wrote about that on Night Four!!]
I never would have considered a team like that had I not played it in Pauper!
What about you? What do you think Wizkids did right this year? Sound off in the Comments below!
And stay tuned right here for more 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!
2 thoughts on “The Ghost of Clix-Mas Present Once Again… uh… PRESENTS: Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year!! (Or, The Fifth Night of Clix-mas 2019!!)”
WizKids did a lot right for sure and we do spend a lot of time critiquing their moves.
For me, I liked (in order):
1. Worlds. I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend, but everyone I talked with had nothing but positive things to say. Having an event and venue that is exclusively for Heroclix is a huge positive!
2. Looking at the back of the card. There was a huge outcry when this was first announced. I didn’t think it was going to affect the game negatively, but I also didn’t believe that it would necessarily help newer players. Overall, I think the change is a positive one.
3. Star Trek, Orville, and WWE licenses. While I would have preferred that Star Trek was released in a booster format, I understand that it’s a niche line. WWE affected the Pauper format in a positive and powerful way and introduced its own set of game effects that interjected new energy into the game play.
Honorable mention: Deep cuts and Skirmish format. While I’m not a painter, I appreciate that WK is exploring different things to attract a wider audience. I also like that they’re exploring different game play scenarios. The Skirmish format just needed to be marketed to the venues better, probably in an organized play scenario.
Things I didn’t like (not necessarily WizKids exclusively):
1. ROC partnership. I never participated in too many ROC events prior to their agreement with WizKids, but there just seems to be something off, from the prizing to the play. I’m hoping that this improves in the future into something more structured.
2. ROC maps. While I appreciate them as prizes in Win-A-Maps and major state and regional events, there needs to be a better job with their design. While a map is an important part of the game, it shouldn’t exclude a team from functioning. They need to be designed with more balance.
3. X-Men Regenesis’ execution was not great. It ran a bit long and the small number of figures made the game play repetitive in the following months. For me, the best thing from the event were the maps. While we got some great X-Men figures, none are necessarily must have thanks to the animated series.
What I would like to see in 2020:
1. More innovation to attract newer players.
2. A well-run summer event that doesn’t run too long, offers new meta-level characters to entice high participation, and a grand prize that encourages regular attendance.
3. More WK neoprene maps. They seemed more balanced than the ROC ones.
4. Continued rules tweaking and simplification.
5. A Bronze Age format that allows for older game sets.
6. Incorporation of Pauper and Bronze Age formats at WKO events, not just sealed.
7. Team formats at WKO events, not just at nationals and worlds.
I agree with most of these points. Especially regarding the Summer Events. War of Light is the last event I can think of that really drove people to come out and play. I’d like to see a return to something a little more substantial for the Summer OP event personally.