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

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

Indy Clix

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

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

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

Marvel Sales

Actual internal sales document from Marvel…

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

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

DXF

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

AVD War Banner.jpg

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

What IF.jpg

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

TMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The Ghost of Christmas Present Is Going on a Star Trek!! (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Star Trek: Away Team!!)(Or OR The Fourth Night of Clix-Mas!!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! And the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here!]

Welcome to Night 4 of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today we’re diving right in to a Top Ten Set Review of Star Trek: Away Team!

So, without further ado, here are…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN STAR TREK: AWAY TEAM!!

Nurse Chapel

10. STAT009 Nurse Chapel15 PointsCommon: Does what it says on the box. She has sneaky good mobility (notably from having Sidestep on each click) and a special Support that heals Starfleet personnel a click more than everyone else. Willpower means that she can attempt a heal two out of every three turns–which she may need to given that her Attack tops out at 9. Still, this is a pretty useful package for just 15 Points.

Yeoman Rand.jpg

9. STAT022 Yeoman Rand25 PointsCommon: Very similar to Nurse Chapel, except her Special Power (Can I Help You Captain?: POWER: Remove an action token from an adjacent friendly character of 50 points or less. If that character has the Starfleet keyword, it may be a character of 100 points or less instead.) allows her to take away action tokens.

This can be very useful if you’re building around it. Her top dial Willpower means its a trick you can keep running, too.

Captain Kirk.jpg

8. STAT026 Captain Kirk100 PointsRare: One of the three (THREE?!?) Title Characters in this set, Captain Kirk has a long dial (8 clicks), Running Shot/Pen/Psy, Indomitable, Super Senses and Leadership… and that’s before you even get to his Title Character abilities.

His master ability actually lets him “Beam In” Starfleet characters from outside of the game! It takes awhile to build up, but it’s not impossible to beam in extra 40 or 50 point piece in a regular game. Pretty impressive.

Lt Uhura

7. STAT029 Lt. Uhura 40 PointsRare: One of the best supporting pieces in the set, Uhura costs 5 more points than KC Green Lantern on Tower Mode, but also offers a bit more.

First, her Trait (Communications Officer: At the beginning of the game, you may choose a copyable team ability that an opposing character can use. As long as Lt Uhura is on the map, adjacent friendly characters and friendly characters with the Starfleet keyword can use that Team Ability.) is reeeeeallly good on a Starfleet Themed Team.

(Incidentally, more than a few of the pieces in Star Trek: Away Team seem like they’ll get even better as more faction options become available upon the release of future sets.)

Second, her Perplex Special (Monitoring All Channels, Captain: Perplex. When Lt Uhura uses it, she has a range value of 10 and can use Targeting: Ignores Hindering, Elevated, Blocking.) is, for my money, one of the best in the game. It’s even better than KC Green Lantern’s when you consider the fact that she can actually move via Sidestep or normal movement, whereas Green Lantern is stuck in one place the whole game.

Mirror Universe Uhura.jpg

6. STAT038 Uhura (Mirror Universe Version) — 75 PointsSuper Rare: And then there’s the more lethal version of Uhura from the “Mirror, Mirror” universe.

She has two things that make her stand out.

First, her awesomely-named Trait (Assassination Of Superiors Is A Common Means Of Advancing In Rank: FREE: Choose an adjacent opposing character of 100 points or less. That character can’t use defense powers until the beginning of your next turn.) makes her the new Winter Soldier Agent 13.

Second, her second and third clicks are absolutely LETHAL when combined with her Trait. She has both Flurry and B/C/F on both clicks, which she can use to absolutely end figures that cost three times as much as her.

Finally, her Mirror Universe Team Ability is basically Mystics, so she’ll even do penetrating damage on her way out.

Mirror Universe Spock.jpg

5. STAT036 Mr. Spock100 PointsRare: While his dial is not bad, the main reason Mirror Mirror Spock is this far up the list is his awesome Barrier Special (Agony Booth: Barrier. When Mr. Spock uses it, after resolutions if an opposing character is adjacent to 4 of his Barrier markers, roll a d6 and deal that character penetrating damage equal to half the result.).

So, wait, for 100 Points I can completely shut down my opponents best character by surrounding that piece with four Barrier tokens AND squeeze in up to 3 penetrating damage at the same time?! Sign me up!!

Khan.jpg

4. STAT048 Khan — 100 Points — Chase: Some of the guys I play with were slightly disappointed with his dial, but I like it. Primarily because of his sweet Damage Special (Although Your Abilities Intrigue Me, You Are Quite Honestly Inferior.: FREE: Choose a standard damage power that an opposing character within range can use. Khan can use that power until your next turn. If you choose Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control, also modify his combat values +1 until your next turn. Khan has PROTECTED:Outwit.).

He’s slightly dependent on the pieces that your opponent is playing, but he can punch above his weight in the right matchups.

Gorn

3. STAT043 Gorn100 PointsSuper Rare: A relentless close combat monster, Gorn is ten clicks long for just 100 Points. He only has one Special (it’s on Defense) that doesn’t show up until halfway through his dial (Bare-Handed Against The Gorn, I Have No Chance.: Toughness. At the beginning of your turn, heal Gorn 1 click. Protected: Outwit.).

But his dial becomes reeeaaaallly interesting when you equip him with Proteus. If ever there was a piece that didn’t care about that possible one damage a turn from Proteus, it’s Gorn. And with +1 to all stats, Gorn becomes even that much harder to deal with.

Charlie X.jpg

2. STAT037 Charlie X40 PointsSuper Rare: At first, he just seems like a typical Prob-equipped supporting piece with really good mobility for his Points (Sidestep, Willpower).

But what really makes him dangerous is his Trait (Don’t Laugh At Me!: When Charlie X is the only target of an attack that misses, after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to its printed damage value.).

So you can let Charlie flit about the board controlling rolls, or you can try and take him out–and risk taking massive damage!

Trelane

1. STAT044 Trelane50 PointsSuper Rare: So yeah, the Super Rares in this set are pretty good.

His Traits ( It’s My Game And My Rules: At the beginning of the game, roll a d6 and place it on this card. POWER: If there is no d6 on this card, roll a d6 and place it on this card. Trelane has PROTECTED: Outwit.) and (I Can Do Anything I Want. I Should Think You Would Have Realized That By Now.: Whenever a character rolls an attack roll, you may remove the d6 from this card and replace a die in the roll with it.) essentially make him the new Mr. Myxzptlk.

He only deals two damage (with a 10 Attack top dial), but he also has Super Senses and a STOP click to keep him annoying your opponent for most of the game.

 

And there you have it. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below. And be sure to head back here tomorrow for more Clix-Mas!!