“Ninwashui’s ‘A Clixmas Carol'” (Or, the Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8Night 9 or Night 10 just by clicking the preceding links!]

A Clixmas Carol

by Ninwashui

"This is what me and HypeFox actually look like, FYI..."

This is what me and HypeFox actually look like, FYI…

It’s late at night on Christmas Eve and I am sitting here in front of my PC, with HCRealms.com up, planning teams. No, actually, that’s a lie. I am actually obsessing over a recent loss at a tournament.

A guy played 4 Wall Constructs on a 4 person team. I was piloting a Red Lantern team and when we met in battle and I got a few shots in, but it wasn’t nearly enough. He used Pulse Wave to quickly KO two of my men. I was left with 2/3 of my build, but only one character with a natural 3 damage showing and the other people left on team didn’t have move and attack abilities left on their dial. Even though I had all these characters on the board I was no longer capable of attacking his team. All these pieces left on the board and no matter what dice rolls I got or what strategy I used, from that point forward there was nothing to be done except lose.

So I am sitting here. Plotting. Obsessing. Planning team upon team. I should be lying in my bed, getting a decent night’s sleep so I can enjoy Christmas morning, but instead I am just sitting there planning. Plans of immortal Groots and Poisonous Grasshoppers are running through my head and I’m rejecting them all. They’re not good enough. None of them are good enough. And then my head starts to nod… and I am asleep. No, I’m awake! Asleep. Awake…

And then I hear it.

Someone–or more accurately some THING–creeping down the hallway, each step echoing like plastic parts rattling around in a cardboard box. Fearfully I turn my gaze to the door. Slowly now, ever slowly, it rounds the corner to my office and it’s… a man. Carrying several huge tackle boxes full of HeroClix, all stacked on top of each other in front of his face.

Trembling, I summon what courage I have left and ask, “W-who are you?” He–it’s a man, now, I can see his silhouette–he starts to reply in a deep jagged voice I don’t recognize. “Kyrphlxx.” Then he coughs and reveals himself by putting the boxes down on a chair.

In a familiar voice he bellows, “It’s me–your brother, HypeFox.”

“What are you doing here? Christmas isn’t until tomorrow.”

“You, Ninwashui, you… have brought me here,” and he points a bony finger in my direction. “You’ve forgotten what’s important. both in HeroClix… and in life. Will you be at my house on Christmas Day? Or will you still be here trying to figure out how to beat he who defeated you not a fortnight ago?

“You don’t understand! I’m so close!” I point at the Builds I’ve collected on the screen. “I’m SO CLOSE TO FIGURING IT OUT!”

“And once you finally figure out how to defeat that Build, Ninwashui, will someone else not find another Build that’s even more powerful? And will you not be right back where you started?”

“No,” I reply. “I can beat that guy. I’m going to buy some Entities off eBay. and I can always search the Forums on the Realms for strategies. I can beat that guy next time. I can beat them all!”

Hypefox sighs.

“I’ve been where you are. I’ve spent too much money and time on HeroClix. You need to learn what I could not before it’s too late. You need to remember that HeroClix is supposed to be a game, not an obsession. It’s not real life. I need to get that through to you before it’s too late. Now, you’re dreaming and it’s almost Christmas, so I’ve arranged something festive for you. Tonight you will be visited by three people. Without their help you cannot hope to shun the path you tread. Expect them tonight. But be warned: while the first two are friends, the last is one of the greatest enemies of fun the world has ever known. He will tempt you… but his is a path that leads to ruin. And years of obsolescence. Y’know what? It’ll make more sense after you meet him.” And just like that his giant tackle boxes fall over. I glance at the pile for just a moment, then turn back to HypeFox–but he’s gone. And now so are the tackle boxes. I am alone again. Or at least I thought I was…

Standing behind me I suddenly notice a tall figure. I turn and it’s my friend Scott. I’m startled, but he immediately cuts off my gasp and says, “I’m here to remind of your HeroClix past.” Suddenly we’re not at my house anymore. Instead, both of us are watching our younger selves in my parents basement. It’s 11 years ago. We had just stated playing HeroClix about a month earlier. Hypefox, Scott, and I were having a battle royal and sitting around an early map trying to figure what was hindering terrain and what was blocking. I noticed my team had Rogue and the Juggernaut. They weren’t very good, but they were some of my favorite characters from the comics and I just loved playing them for that reason.

Then something occurred to me. I turned to the older version of Scott that had brought me here. “I understand why you brought me here. You wanted me to remember why I play HeroClix. You wanted to remind me of why I thought it was fun. I get that. But, why are you here tonight? You don’t play HeroClix anymore.” He took a few seconds to think and replied, “That’s true. The way the game progressed didn’t follow my interests. Once they invented white powers the game was a little a more complicated than I liked for something that’s just a way to pass the time with friends. But, that’s not the case for you. You like Chess and you love playing complicated games. That’s how you have fun. Even though we have fun differently we can still have fun together–as long as it’s fun and not winning at all costs. That’s why I’m here tonight. Remember that and we’ll always be friends.” And then a mini Juggernaut comes flying through the air. I turn to look for who threw it, but I’m not there anymore. I’m back at my desk. But I’m not alone…

Standing there is my friendly rival Andrew from my local HeroClix venue. It seems that no matter how many people are at Comics & More on a particular night, we always end up playing each other. If I’m doing badly then I will see him at the losers table. If I am doing well then I see him in the Finals. The last time we played we were both competing to not be in last place at a Flash Sealed event. I won that round fielding a team that wasn’t good, but slightly less-worse than his. The time before that he won the day when he “Krampus’d” me.

He started addressing me as soon as he saw me. “I don’t have to take you far to show you what I need to show you tonight. What do you remember about playing HeroClix against Brian, the judge at our venue?”

“Well he’s very good. I’ve probably lost more than half the times I’ve played against him. I noticed he loves playing theme teams and usually they aren’t very good. I mean the pieces he uses aren’t the most powerful, but he plays them well and usually ends up beating me or at least playing me close. I’ve never had a blow out win against him. I know he got 4 Entities playing War of Light events. Maybe that means he’ll start using them on some really over-powered teams.”

“I know exactly what he’s doing with his Entities. Here let me show you.”

“Are you going to teleport me to his house?” He looks at me like I’m nuts.

“Wow. That’s creepy. I’d rather not, if that’s fine with you. Why would you even–”

“It’s been a long night.”

“I mean, how are we suppose to teleport, exactly? You know teleportation isn’t real, right? You know what? Just pull him up on Facebook. And then we’ll agree that we never had this conversation.”

I look up Brian, our venue judge, on Facebook. Just like Andrew said, his Facebook page shows all the unimaginably-evil plans for the Entities he owns. Actually, when I look closer the plans he has are the opposite of evil. The exact entry reads “I need X-Mas money! Make me an offer for these Entities.” He’s selling them all off to buy Christmas gifts for his family! He wasn’t really interested in making cutthroat teams–his Clixing would be just fine without the Entities. I turn to ask Andrew about it, but he’s gone.

But in his place is someone I sense is decidedly more evil…

Behind me is a figure in a black cloak, his countenance obscured by shadows from his large, billowing black hood.

“Your friends have shown you the weakling you are. But I can show you something else. Something… different.” His voice is strange. Each syllable drips with venom, but there is a hollowness to him, an emptiness that almost echoes against the walls. “I’ll show how to never lose a game of HeroClix ever again.”

Just like that his cloak opens up like a black hole and sucks me inside! It’s total darkness. When I can see again I’m looking at… myself. But I’m older. At least 5 years. I’m at very nice long wooden table. I look around at the room and it’s Comics & More. But it’s very different. The toys are gone and the comics are down to just one small bookshelf. In their place are row after row of nicely polished playing tables and some giant shelves with HeroClix for sale. There’s a slogan on the wall that says “Winning Means Never Having to Feel Like a Loser.”

I look at myself and notice that I’m arranging pieces for a tournament. I’m alone so I must be planning out my team before everyone gets there. I look at some of the things that I have displayed in front of me. I see at least 10 different Chase Primes. I see a new type of Possession Piece called a “Multiverse Alternate Reality Incursion Entity”. I see a new Infinity Gem Resource. I see a Quinjet. I even see two Team Bases with Galactus and the Spectre on them on them! All of these things must have come out in the next 5 years and it seems like I have them all!

The hooded figure speaks. “In your future HeroClix rides a wave of popularity generated by a new breed of player. The type of player that will win at any cost. Six months from now WizKids hires a new CEO. One they know will be able to get every last dime out of a well established successful brand. He’ll start by introducing new revenue streams such as needing a to pay for a special license just to purchase packs of HeroClix. Then he’ll make all of the most powerful figures more rare and hard to find with each passing set. The power level will increase so much from set to set that almost every figure in the previous set is useless as soon as the next set comes out.”

I look at all the pieces in front of me.

“Am I the new CEO?”

“No…” replies the hooded figure. “I am. But you’re the first and best of the new win at any costs HeroClix player base. You could even be the most successful Clix player ever. You just have make the right choice tonight–the choice to embrace your destiny.”

Then It happens. I was so busy looking at all of the HeroClix figures on display that I missed seeing the piece of paper on the table in front of my future self. I see it now, and I know that my future self has taken a dark path. The paper is a tournament flyer. It reads, “Come face the best HeroClix player in the world. Tournament hours 8-midnight on Christmas Eve.” I’m not alone at Comics & More because it’s early before a tournament. I’m alone because it’s Christmas Eve and everyone else is with their families tonight.

I point at the paper and turn to the figure in Black.

“I know now what kind of person I am in the future. That man has gone down a dark path. The only question now is who are you? Who is the CEO that is so determined to get every bit of profit out of his fanbase that he invented things like a pack license and the Prime Chase rarity?”

Slowly the hooded figure laughs and removes his hood. “My name? Oh, I think you know my name, Ninwashui. I think you’ve known it all along!”

The next CEO of WizKids

The next CEO of WizKids

“I’m former University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon.”

I wake up screaming at my keyboard, with Dave Brandon’s empty laughter ringing in my ears.

I look around. It’s morning. It’s Christmas. I look up at my screen and during the night I’ve created the most evil team I’ve ever seen. It exploits timing rules and a broken combo to KO an opposing team before they’ve left their starting area. This could beat anything wall guy could throw at me. I’ll be the best player ever. Then I look closely at it. A casual player wouldn’t even get an attack off against this team. It would win every game 300 to nothing. Before I even realize it I am pressing delete. I take a minute to send a simple text about my night to HypeFox and get ready to go see him. Somewhere he’s reading what he’ll soon tell me is the most confusing back-t0-back texts he’s ever seen.

“Hey HypeFox. It turns out I’m not evil.”

“Also, screw Dave Brandon.”

I stretch and stand. I head to the bathroom for a quick shower, but as soon as I look at the mirror, I’m startled by another visit from Phantom HypeFox.

“You know, Ninwa, I’ve been thinking–if you had used an Orange Power Battery, you could have prevented the Wall Guy from–”

I wave my hand to cut him off.

“Not today, HypeFox.” And I notice now that for the first time in the last couple days I’m actually smiling. “It’s Christmas, and I’ve got somewhere I gotta be.”

 

holly

From Hypefox and Ninwashui to all of our readers:

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

Local Tournament Report: War of Light Month 6!! (Or, The Second Night of Clix-Mas!!)

Local Tournament Report

Welcome to Evening Two of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, a Critical Missives event that basically involves us trying to bring you new content for 12 straight days (leading right up to Christmas!)!!

(If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here!)

Tonight, we’re gonna go local and take a peek at how War of Light Month 6 finished at my local venue Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan!!

War of LIght Cabinet

We finally played Month 6 of War of Light!

Who won? Who lost? Who took home the big prize?! Let’s go to the tape!

What I Played:

I didn’t open any figure with a point cost more than WOL054 Morro‘s 123. This was definitely new ground for me; every other month, I’ve gotten at least one thumper, if not more (tales of my ridiculous WoL luck can be viewed here and also here–particularly Round 3 of that second recap).

Well, my luck changed for Month 6. I ended up using:

WOL054 Morro123 Points

WOL011B Hal Jordan (Blue Lantern)104

WOL033 Sister Sercy66

WOL015 Arisia75

WOL016 Soranik Natu70

Plus the Orange Lantern Battery with the Decoy, Crossbow, Catapault, Mallet & Nurse.

=500 Points

That is what you would call a hodgepodge of little people.

Actually, this is what you call a hodgepodge of little people. Only in Hollywood, where diversity is practically a religion that is forced on every citizen, would a studio be allowed to make a movie about seven dwarves and not cast a single actual little person in any of the roles.

Actually, this is what you would call a hodgepodge of little people. On a related note, I’d forgotten how “meh” Snow White and the Huntsman was a few years ago. And why were there EIGHT dwarves again?

On paper, I think this is easily the worst team I fielded during this whole six-month adventure. But the game isn’t played on paper–it’s played on tables! Usually folding tables, actually.

Regardless, let’s get to Round 1!!

Butcher Entity

ROUND 1:

Versus:

WOLo44 Fatality – 180

(Possessed by WOL066P Butcher) – 25

WOL023 Mongul165

WOL016 Soranik Natu70

Plus the Green Lantern Battery (w/ various Constructs including The Shield)

FIGHT!!

In Round 1 I faced off once more against my once and future nemesis Roberto! This game was tense early on, with Fatality getting the first strike in on Morro. Luckily for me, this put Morro onto his Pulse Wave clicks.

The one advantage I really had here was an abundance of TK and support powers. Roberto also had Soranik Natu for TK, but I was able to keep his big hitters away from me for most of this match while picking and choosing my shots, wimpy as they usually were.

After a LOT of positioning, I was finally able to take out his Mongul with consecutive Pulse Waves from Morro (among other shots) over two turns. Then time was literally called right after, during my final move on that second turn.

The Verdict:

I won a close match with just 1 opposing figure being KO’d (Mongul). If there had been more time, I’ve no doubt Roberto would have cleared my side of the board. I was definitely overmatched here; my bag of parlor tricks would have only worked for so long. Also, Roberto did not have the best luck rolling, either.

"Oh, for the love of God, why do I keep smelling nutmeg!"

Oh, for the love of God, why do I keep smelling nutmeg?

(That’s an Elementary reference, btw.)

ROUND 2:

Versus:

WOLo41 Hal Jordan (Parallax) – 250

WOL058 Galius Zed (Black Lantern) – 140

WOL033 Sister Sercy – 66

Plus the Green Lantern Battery (w/ The Shield, Crossbow and a Decoy)

FIGHT!!

Parallax (Hal Jordan) is a monster. Just an absolute badass. He won me month 2 almost single-handedly. He has one flaw, though–he doesn’t fly. Therefore, I took this fight to the many-tiered R’yut side of the map after I got lucky and won Map Roll (I had a 50/50 shot). Galius is another potentially deadly piece, but again, he walks, and my opponent could only Carry one at a time with Sister Sercy. Eventually Galius and Sister Sercy made it up a few elevation levels before the majority of my troops shot down Sister Sercy from up on the mountaintop.

Parallax having to make the long walk to Mordor on his own meant that he wasn’t a factor for most of the game. I managed to do a little damage to Galius Zed once he made it to the top, but with the Shield assigned to him, I found it hard to hit with most of my attacks. Zed finally drilled Arisia and knocked her off the mountaintop, which put her on her last click, but also out of harm’s way. The judge called time shortly after.

Content with my victory all but assured, I passed to my opponent for his last turn (since he went second) before I realized that Parallax had climbed enough of the mountain to get a perfect shot off on Soranik Natu. This was a terrible mistake, but there was nothing I could do about it now. Soranik Natu has 6 Clicks with Toughness top dial, but Parallax has 5 native damage up top plus the Crossbow, which he used to pump his damage up to 7!

My only saving grace here was that I had been consistently taking away Probability Control with the Orange Lantern Battery, so my opponent would only have one shot to KO Soranik.

Her Defense was 17. Parallax’s attack was 12 (with the Ring Bonus). Yup. A roll of ‘5’ would beat me on points, 70-66. My opponent let his dice go…

And rolled a stinkin’ ‘3.’

Oh, man! By all rights, I should have lost this game. As it was, I barely squeaked by. Here’s an photo of the immediate aftermath of our match:

luckyoldman2

The Verdict:

I really shouldn’t have, but I did win this one 66-0 after KO’ing just one of my opponent’s figures (yet again). If I can somehow pull out this next match, I may set a record for fewest points scored in a winning month.

ROUND 3:

Versus:

WOLo37 Karu-Sil – 95

WOL048 Firestorm – 140

WOL030A Guy Gardner – 103

WOL033 Sister Sercy – 66

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit50

Plus the Yellow Lantern Battery (w/ the Red Power Ring and a bunch of Constructs)

FIGHT!!

This was a match against Matt (from yesterday’s article). We played on the same map, so the first couple turns were all about racing to the top of the map. The difference was, Matt had a few different guys who could fly. Firestorm, in particular, would prove to be quite difficult to deal with. He took out my Sister Sercy pretty quickly, while I retaliated by taking out his Sinestro Corps Recruit.

Eventually, he used The Pack from Karu-Sil’s base to take out Soranik Natu and Arisia and to really beat up Blue Lantern Hal Jordan. Things were definitely going his way, but once Soranik Natu and Arisia were KO’d, I got to finally use Morro’s Trait and place them on Morro’s card. Suddenly Morro was actually pretty intimidating.

Matt still had most of his team left, but I had Firestorm within KO Range, then hit him with another attack… which Matt quickly Prob’d. Then I rolled a ‘3.’

That, my friends is Karma!

Time was called shortly after.

The Verdict:

Even with Firestorm’s KO, I wouldn’t have had enough points to win. Had the game gone on, I would have given myself about a 20% chance of pulling it out with Super-Morro (see what I did there?!). Matt’s a great player though, and he deserved to win. The truth is he just outmaneuvered me, and his strategy absolutely worked.

The Final Result:

Matt won Month 6. While I won two of my three rounds and played in the Championship Match, my point total was so minuscule that I probably finished close to last. Still, when you totaled all the results from all the Months together, I’m proud to say that I was able to claim one last prize…

The Spoils:

photo (21)

(One Last Cool Moment: My venue actually had a second Nekron to give away! Our Judge gave a pretty cool speech about how the Fellowship winner this Month was someone who attended every month, had to drive a decent way each time and who was always gracious whether in victory or defeat. He was talking about Matt, my Round 3 opponent and the player who won the month. It was a really neat moment, and Matt looked pretty shocked. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Congratulations, sir!)

 

Well, that’ll do for Night number 2 of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Join us tomorrow night for… Ninwashui’s Top Ten Flash Set Review!!

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!

Local Tournament Report: War of the Light Month One (06/18/2014 @ Comics And More)!!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box! Saint Walker prefers Boo-Berry while Atrocitus is, of course, a Franken-Berry man… alien… thing.

Welcome back!! Outside of Ninwashui’s recap that just hit yesterday, it’s been a little while since we ran a Build column or a Local Tournament Report of any kind (I think Month 4 of AvX!), so we’re going to correct that right here! Why? The War of the Light isn’t just coming any more–it’s here!! As we said, you already got Ninwashui’s take. But here’s what happened from a different perspective–mine!

We played Month One of War of Light at our trusty local venue Comics & More, so you know what that means!! It’s time for a…

Local Tournament Report

LOCAL TOURNAMENT REPORT!!

The Format: Each participant is given 2 boosters of the limited edition War of Light DC Heroclix set. From the figures contained within the two boosters, competitors must make the best 300 Point army they can and compete in 3 Rounds of competitive play.

The Stipulations: No outside Relics or Resources (since this was Month One at this venue, the Power Battery wouldn’t technically be “released” until after the games were done), but if you pulled a Ring, you could play it!

What I Opened: Okay… here’s where things took a turn. Keep a couple things in mind:  first, most venues were only going to open one pack of WoL per person; we just got fortunate enough that we had nearly the perfect number to open 2 packs per person. Again, we were just lucky, since everyone and their mother is trying to get their hands on this set. Having said that, most people opened packs that contained one rare; some opened their packs and discovered that one of them had a Super Rare, which are generally more powerful than most of the rares in this set and, thus, give a slight advantage to the player opening them than if they had just opened two rares. And then there was me. The ten figures I opened were:

COMMONS:

WOL001 Orange Construct35

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit50

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit50

WOL015 Arisia75 

WOL017 Boodikka75

Common Options Analysis: Some decent pulls there. The generic recruits in Wave One are all pretty solid for their points; moreover, because they’re generics and thus fewer points than many of the named characters, they’re great for filling in that last 35-50 points you might have left over when building a team in Sealed. That being said…

I didn’t use a one of these.

UNCOMMONS:

WOL023 Mongul165

WOL029 Brother Hymn85

Uncommon Options Analysis: Some really cool Uncommons. Mongul is a good pull because he can be you primary attacker if you don’t pull anything beefier in your Rare/Super Rare/etc. slot. Brother Hymn is flat out one of the best support pieces in the set. Top dial, he flies, has Barrier, Prob with 3 damage (so he can even be a secondary attacker if circumstances demand him to be), a limited Perplex, Enhancement AND he can pump up the Range of adjacent characters! Not bad for 85 Points.

I ended up using Brother Hymn.

RARES:

WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan)250

Rare Options Analysis: Now this is more like it! Hal Jordan as Parallax is definitely the sort of heavy hitter that can wipe the floor with opposing figures in this sort of format. His only problem is that he can’t fly (no, this doesn’t make sense on any level, but whatever–if he could fly, he’d probably be close to an even 300 in terms of point cost), but since I pulled a Sinestro Corps Recruit, I had a ready-made taxi whose 5o Point cost would fit beautifully with Parallax’s 250 Point cost. But…

I went another way.

SUPER RARES:

WOL057B Red Lantern Superboy Prime190

Super Rare Analysis: Wow! This is one of those heavy hitting Super Rares I was talking about! Superboy Prime has great top dial stats (he could easily go toe-t0-toe with Parallax, who costs another 60 Points) to combine with an even better power set that featured abilities like Hypersonic Speed, Invincible and Super Strength!

I chose to use Red Lantern Superboy Prime and teamed him with Brother Hymn!

But wait… that’s only 9 figures… and I’m 25 Points shy of 300. Hmmmm…

"Rawr! I mean, hisssss..."

“Rawr! I mean, hisssss…”

CHASES:

WOL063 Ophidian185/25

Chase Analysis: Okay, these are the types of pulls that make people hate you in Sealed. All I can tell you is, it’s not my fault! These were random pulls! Ophidian in particular and the Entities in general are basically like resources when you use their “Entity Possession” Trait. Considering that this is Month One, and peeps aren’t even allowed to use the Green Lantern Power Battery yet, the fact that I was the only one who pulled an Entity means that I’m effectively the only one with a resource.

Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good.

So, to review, my team was:

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

Brother Hymn and Red Lantern Superboy Prime (Possessed by Ophidian).

And now, to the Report!

 

ROUND 1:

VERSUS: Ninwashui!

FACING:

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

WOL047 Ganthet – 175 Points

WOL019 Bedovian – 115

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring – 4

=294 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City

FIGHT!

This, unfortunately for my writing partner, ended up being a stomp. Ninwashui pretty much ran into a brick wall. He won Map Roll and not much else.

Ninwashui started by moving up, but he made a couple mistakes with his initial placement of Bedovian; he put him right next to Ganthet (which negated Bedovian’s top dial Movement Special DID THAT ROCK JUST BLINK?: When it isn’t your turn and no other characters are within 2 squares of Bedovian, lines of fire to him are blocked.); and he forgot that Ophidian gave Superboy Prime the ability to gain Sidestep and +1 to his Range or Movement. This really didn’t end up being that big of a deal, since I ended up missing the attack roll, but the extra spaces I saved by being able to use a ranged attack instead of having to run up all the way let me move out Superboy Prime up to some Elevated Terrain after the attack and out of harm’s way (because neither of his figures had any move-and-attack powers top dial).

On his second turn, Ninwashui clears (with no move-and-attack top dial, he doesn’t have many options here), and when my next turn starts, I Perplex up Superboy Prime and go to town on Bedovian, hitting him for 5 damage (3 actual, after Bedovian’s Invuln reducer). Luckily for me, this knocks Bedovian off of his best damage clicks (no more RCE) and on to his Yellow Lantern Perplex down clicks. While this is normally a decent power, I’ve seen what Superboy Prime becomes in his mid-dial (since I now own his figure!) and I am not too worried. Brother Hymn takes a shot at Bedovian to (hopefully) finish him off but misses.

On Ninwa’s turn, he bases Superboy Prime with both of his figures. I clear on my turn, which allows Ninwashui to open fire on Superboy. He uses Ganthet’s Perplex to pump up his own damage, and then uses Ganthet’s Special Attack Power (WITH PAIN, HOPE: Ganthet can use Incapacitate. When he does, after actions resolve, hit characters are each dealt his printed damage value and, until your next turn, each hit character increases its defense value by the number of action tokens it is assigned.) and hits. Superboy Prime takes 3 actual damage and gets an action token (and a corresponding +1 to his Defense). Unfortunately for Ninwashui, he’s about to find out what I already know. On Click 4, Superboy Prime gains a Special Attack Power of his own (RAGE OF A PETULANT CHILD: Superboy Prime can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. Opposing characters can’t counter Superboy Prime’s other powers and abilities or modify his combat values.). So now he has penetrating Poison and both Ninwashui’s figures are based with him. Bedovian now has a base of 3 damage and a Perplex that no longer works on Superboy Prime. Oh, and Click 4 on Ophidian bascially gave back Superboy Prime access to all the powers he lost from his top dial.

Essentially, the rest of the match goes like this for Ninwashui:

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot.

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot during War of the Light Month One.

Within the next two turns, Bedovian is dead and Ganthet is hurting (Poison plus a successful attack), and the game ends soon afterwards (I don’t recall if it was another Superboy Prime attack or just his Poison, but it doesn’t really matter).

DECISION:

VICTORY! 300-0.

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–Red Lantern Superboy Prime is a beast, but his low-ish Defense stats (especially mid-dial) mean that you CAN hit him. Still, his top dial Invincible and mid-dial un-Outwittable Impervious also mean that it’s gonna take A LOT of damage to chew through his 8 Clicks of life, and he’s got a great Regeneration power on his last two clicks. If you pull him, he’s very close to a Must Play. His offensive potential is consistent throughout his entire dial, and he’s great in close (really good mid-dial with that penetrating Poison) or from range. I don’t think he’s Meta, but you can have a ton of fun with him in Constructed.

–Ophidian (and, presumably, the rest of the Entities) are the real deal. The recent results from Nationals at Origins and the ROC’s this month confirm that the Entities are here to stay for the next two(-ish) years in the Meta. I’d expect their price to fall marginally in the next few months as more are opened, but not by much, and once their gone (basically, once War of the Light is over), I wouldn’t be surprised if their price jumps up again. They seem to be opened at an approximate rate of 2 per every 3 bricks, so we’ll see. Keep in mind too, that we don’t know what the Red, Indigo, Violet or Green Entities will do (and we’re presuming that there will be no Black Entity, since that Battery–if memory serves–was powered by the Anti-Monitor, who we already know is going to be a Con-Exclusive Colossal and who does NOT have the “Entity Possession” ability).

ROUND 2:

VERSUS: Dan, a regular at our venue.

FACING:

My, that's a white hot Lantern!

My, that’s a White hot Lantern!

WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points

WOL017 Boodikka – 75

WOL015 Arisia75

=300 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again)

FIGHT!

Dan won Map Roll and went first. He advanced to the large Elevated Terrain in the center of the map, taking care to stay out of range of any sniping spots from the small Elevated area in front of my starting zone. On my turn, I used Ophidian to increase Superboy Prime’s Range by +1, then upped it again with Brother Hymn. I then Sidestepped Superboy Prime up to the small patch of Elevated Terrain and took a RCE shot (+1 to Attack and +1 to Damage) at White Lantern Swamp Thing. Hit! 5 Damage (4 get through due to Swamp Thing’s Toughness). That leaves Swamp Thing on a problem click for me with a Special Damage power (RESURRECT THE FALLEN: When a friendly character within range and occupying hindering terrain would be KO’d, roll a d6. On a result of 5, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 1 click, and they are now assigned 1 action token. On a result of 6, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 2 clicks, and remove all action tokens they are assigned.) that means I have to be very careful about when I try to take down Swamp Thing’s supporting crew. Swamp Thing’s Trait (RESTORE THE GREEN: Give Swamp Thing a move action, after actions resolve, you may place hindering terrain markers in any clear squares he moved through and he may make a close combat attack targeting one opposing character occupying a hindering terrain marker Swamp Thing just placed. These markers aren’t removed when Swamp Thing is KO’d.) means that Dan can get Hindering Terrain almost anywhere he wants.

Meanwhile, Boodikka and Arisia close on Brother Hymn while I keep Superboy Prime just out of line of fire and take Swamp Thing down to his Stop Click. While I de-token, Dan takes out Brother Hymn and Regenerates Swamp Thing back to click 5. I decide to change tactics and use Hypersonic Speed to take out Arisia (who happened to be standing in Clear Terrain). By pumping up Superboy Prime’s Movement +1 with Ophidian, I’m able to dart around the map and take pot shots at Swamp Thing and Boodikka while usually avoiding a counter-attack. Of course, with my team a figure down, I’m also hard-pressed in terms of actions to do anything but get Swamp Thing to his Stop Click. Finally, I take out Boodikka on the Elevated Terrain in the Center of the map, and Dan meets me there with Swamp (back at Click 5 again, I believe). At this point, Superboy Prime is down a few clicks, and Swamp Thing can Ignore Characters on Movement, so waiting on Superboy’s penetrating Poison clicks won’t do anything.

Finally, I solved Swamp Thing’s stop click by choosing Pulse Wave from Ophidian and getting, well, lucky. I roll two fives for doubles on Pulse Wave, which knocked Swamp Thing off of elevation… AFTER he hit his Stop Click. Game over.

DECISION:

Victory! 300-85 (Though, as you can probably guess from the description above, this was MUCH closer than the score might indicate.)

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–White Lantern Swamp Thing is the Truth! He’s got decent values, but the White Lantern “Life” Stop Click is great, and his special resurrection Damage Power really makes an opponent think about what order they should attack your figures in. Yes, it only has a 33% chance of going off, but that’s just as good as Shape Change or Super Senses, except HE’S GIVING THE POWER TO OTHER FIGURES! Very cool. The fact that he ignores everything on movement and has a TRAITED move-and-attack power means that he’s not just a support piece–he’s a legitimate threat as an attacker. That he can also place Hindering Terrain markers wherever you want on the map offers a ton of possibilities for army building in Constructed as well.

–Let there be no doubt–Ophidian was the difference in this battle. The fact that I could simply pick up a power as useful as Pulse Wave at the drop of a hat was really the difference in the game. If the roles had been reversed, and Swamp Thing had been Possessed by Ophidian, I would have been staring at a loss here.

ROUND 3:

VERSUS: A new player we’ll call A.

FACING:

"Get it? I'm the First Lantern. And I live... IN A LANTERN! Booyah!"

“Get it? I’m the First Lantern. And I live… IN A LIGHT LANTERN! Booyah! Honestly, this stuff writes itself at this point!”

WOL049 First Lantern – 260 Points

WOL001 Orange Lantern Construct – 35

=295 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again, again)

FIGHT!

For the final round, I faced a brand new player. I didn’t know a lot about the First Lantern, but I did know that A would need some advice during the game, given that it was only the second tourney game he’d ever played (he had a Round 1 bye).

Basically, First Lantern’s top dial Damage Special (DISCOVERED THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM FIRST: At the beginning of your turn, choose a color other than white. Until your next turn, any opposing character within range and line of fire can’t use powers of that color.) allowed A to take away my ability to use Hypersonic Speed. I was still able to slightly out-maneuver A’s team with Superboy Prime picking Sidestep from Ophidian and meeting up at the main Elevated Terrain with the patch of Blocking Terrain in the center. Finally, he got off a shot on Brother Hymn because of some careless placement and a failed attack by me, and then he brought in his Orange Lantern Construct on a Charge/Blades/Claws/Fangs, which finished off the good Brother. At this point, I realized that I needed to stop providing advice and start worrying about the fact that A was kicking my butt!

Because he kept choosing Brown (or Gold–however you want to describe the color of Hypersonic Speed and Impervious), he actually had Superboy on the ropes (or specifically, his penetrating Poison clicks). Eventually, I Poisoned the Construct to oblivion, but it wasn’t until I got a hit in on the First Lantern and got him past his Invincible clicks that the Poison actually did anything. Still, the game came down to A’s turn when he still had Superboy’s Impervious negated and 3 Damage showing. Superboy Prime had Shape Change from Ophidian… and hit it. Otherwise, a roll of six or higher would have ended the game.

Unfortunately for A, while I missed several more attacks, I proceeded to hit Shape Change TWICE MORE in the next couple rounds. Finally, a penetrating Poison went off, and the First Lantern was no more.

DECISION:

Victory295-85 (This was the closest game yet, and it was only through-yep!-more dumb luck that I won.)

Learning

–No one deserves to be on the receiving end of three Shape Changes in a row when they have the game basically won, but there it is. Yikes. Still, for just his second tourney game, A played very well.

–First Lantern is a good piece that would be great if he could either fly or if he cost about 200 Points. At 260 points, he’s just a bit expensive for what he does. Still, going forward, as the Build total increases each month, First Lantern will become a better and better piece with the ability to team more and better support figures with him.

–Orange Lantern Construct is a GREAT piece for his points. He’s the cheapest non-Entity piece in Wave One, and he’s well worth including in your force if you can fit him in.

–I just noticed that I haven’t said anything about Brother Hymn, but he was a champ. He’s arguably the BEST support piece in Wave One.

With the Final Round results, I finished first.

THE SPOILS:

He's MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

He’s MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

(Although, if we’re being honest, Red Lantern Superboy Prime and freaking Ophidian are a pretty damn good haul on their own!!)

Local Tournament Report – 5/07/14 Comics & More

Local Tournament Report

The Format:  (Directly from the judge’s post on HCrealms) 300 point Modern Age, no relics/resources/team bases/colossals. There are a couple of newbies showing up next Wednesday, so let’s try not to be too “Smashmouth” with our teams (EDITOR’S NOTE: At our venue, not constructing teams who are too “Smashmouth” is a somewhat odd yet surprisingly common build stipulation. Essentially, it means that you can’t use any characters who, in the comics upon which the figure is based, are powerful enough to walk on the actual sun, since, of course, “Walkin’ on the Sun” was the first hit single of the American Ska Punk band Smashmouth. This condition would preclude the inclusion of characters such as virtually any version of Superman, Hyperion, or even someone like, say, King Hyperion–hmm? What? Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… Wait are you sure? No, you’re right, that makes sense. I guess. Uh, gimme a second. I’ll be right back–).

(EDITOR’S NOTE REGARDING THE PREVIOUS EDITOR’S NOTE: Please, y’know, disregard it. I’ve just been informed that not only is that NOT what the Judge meant when he used the term Smashmouth, that’s actually NEVER been what ANYONE has ever meant when they used the term “Smashmouth.” Informed in a rather rude manner, by the way. Just throwing that out there. Not looking for sympathy, just wondering why everyone here at Critical Missives can’t show each other just a little bit more respect. People make mistakes. Please Keep Calm and Carry On.)

(EDITOR’S NOTE REGARDING THE END OF THE PREVIOUS EDITOR’S NOTE THAT CLARIFIED THE FIRST EDITOR’S NOTE: I was referring to ninwashui with my general plea to Keep Calm and Carry On, because he gets pretty crabby when I “ruin” his columns with my wonderful EDITOR’S NOTES. He was the rude person I was referring to, in case it wasn’t clear. Not trying to throw him under the bus, but–

(WRITER’S NOTE ABOUT THESE #&$^%#$% EDITOR’S NOTES: GOOD GOD, WE GET IT!! OKAY? CAN I CONTINUE? OR DO I NEED TO INVENT A NEW AND BIGGER CAPS LOCK BUTTON SO YOU CAN TELL HOW LOUDLY I’M SHOUTING AT YOU?)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Carry on.)

(WRITER’S NOTE: Thank you! Good Lord.)

Anyway:

 

The Builds I Considered:

DC Trinity: FFJL004 Wonder Woman, D10A001 Batman, D10A021 Superman, ATA080 Justice League *3 (Three 5 star figures on one team!)

Movie Avengers big three: AVM204 Captain America, IM3001R Iron Man Mk 7, TDW018 Thor (Thor next to Cap has 19 defense!)

Captain America TWS Movie inspired: CATWS003 Black Widow, CATWS015 Nick Fury, FI201 Captain America (Cap takes Mastermind damage and dies. Makes another figure better.)

Marvel Soldiers: IM3005 Extremis Soldier *2, CATWS006 Falcon, CATWS012 Captain America (Pretty balanced team. Push Extremis Soldiers to click 2 and they are awesome!)

Assassins: SOG038 David Cain, SOG039 Lady Shiva, SOG040 Deathstroke, ATA078 Birds of Prey *1 (Deathstroke can copy the Birds of Prey ATA. It’s one of the best in the game. This team was a real contender.)

Servants of the great Darkness: SLOSH058 Kalibak, SLOSH005A Daxamite (Was in the running until I realized I didn’t actually own the common Daxamite!)

Welcome to the Legion…Splitlip: FI301 Splitlip, SLOSH047B Black Witch, SLOSH202 Saturn Girl (Use Black Witch’s trait to add FIS106 Nul’s Hammer and GGS102 Cosmic Cube to the game in a no relic format!)

Quadruplicate Girl: SLOSH006 Triplicate Girl * 4, ATA038 Legion Lost * 4 (She is very powerful when there are three or more of her. If there are less than 3 she is almost useless.)

Just Plain Wrong: GG026 Mole Man * 2, SLOSH060 Orion (This would likely have gotten me kicked out of the venue.)

The Exact Team My Second Round Opponent Played: (And I thought I was being original.)

The Exact Team My Third Round Opponent Played: (I’m apparently very suggestible.)

 

What I Actually Played (Minus the Captain America Photobomb):

Pretty sure this isn't too "Smashmouth."

Pretty sure this team isn’t too “Smashmouth.”

IIM001AE Iron Man

CATWS003 Black Widow

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

Total = 300 Points

 

Round 1:

New Deathstroke! Now, with 100% more assassin-y goodness!

New Deathstroke! Now, with 100% more assassin-y goodness!

Facing:

SOG040 Deathstroke

DP201 Deadpool (With “Single File, Its Polka Time!” word balloon)

Total = 296 Points

Aww… generic theme means no theme probs for Black Widow to steal. Each of us made our three objects into a wall to hide behind in the center. We both move in to the center to start off the game. Deathstroke got the first shot off by doing a Running Shot from an object. He Perplexed the damage up to four, targeted Iron Man, and hit. That meant 4 damage went straight to… the generic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent! My opponent stopped to read the Agent’s card. Yep it worked like that. I had lost a 36 point character and Deathstroke was now double tokened in front of my team. Deadpool’s Sidestep wasn’t enough for him to get a shot in around Stealthy Black Widow.

It was my turn. Outwit defense. Iron Man Hits for Deathstroke for four. A second Attack from Black Widow scores the KO. On His turn he was side step over enough to get a shot off on Iron Man. Iron Man is hit for 4 damage (takes two after Invuln). My team clears. On his turn Deadpool clears his own token via the trait. He attacks Iron Man, but missed due to a theme team Prob from the Widow. On my Turn Widow Hit for 3 (2 after toughness). Iron Man misses. On my opponents turn he heals one.

Between some bad dice roles and another theme team prob, my opponent doesn’t get in any more damage this game. However it still ends up being a long game due to Deadpool’s 8 clicks and his healing ability. It probably took me at least 13 clicks of damage to get all the way through that 8 click dial because of all the healing.

Deathstroke was the weak link here. That sounded weird saying that.

But hey, at least Deadpool liked my recap:

Cool Story Bro

 

Round 2:

Kinda unladylike to fart out a whole Legion of superheroes. Like, one or two is fine, but not a whole legion.

The Quest for Cosmic Boy? How about figuring out why space is suddenly ORANGE first?!

Facing:

SM010R Supergirl

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

SLOSH003 Lightning Lad

ATA009 Legionnaires * 3

Total = 300 Points

To start off this battle I moved about a 3rd of the way up the map behind some blocking terrain. That was enough for my opponent to use his Cosmic Boy’s double TK to get the alpha strike on me. Supergirl hit Iron Man for four and it was all transferred to the CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent for a KO. Luckily Lightning Lad misses his attack. One my turn Iron Man outwits Lightning Lad’s defense and hit’s him for four. A follow up running shot from the Widow gets the KO on Lightning Lad. Both of my characters are pushed. The death of Lightning Lad untokens both of my opponent’s characters due to their ATA.

Supergirl hits Black Widow for 4 with knock back despite a theme team prob and a shape change roll. Cosmic boy flies up to join her. On my turn Widow sidesteps out of range and I clear tokens. On his turn my opponent flies Cosmic Boy up to some elevated terrain and Then uses a free action TK to bring Supergirl next to him.

On my turn Iron Man gets off a 4 damage hit (two after Invuln) with Knockback on Supergirl. Cosmic Boy removes actions tokens and Supergirl grabs an object and hides behind Blocking Terrain waiting for a chance to charge next turn. On my turn I remind my opponent that Iron Man shoots through Blocking Terrain. I outwit Super Girl’s defense and 4 damage scores a KO. Black Widow attacks Cosmic Boy and misses.

One my opponent’s turn he KOs Black Widow with an attack from Cosmic Boy. I clear Iron Man. He clears Cosmic Boy. I Outwit his defense and score a hit for 4. He misses. I finish off Cosmic boy with another hit for 4.

 

Round 3:

"Wait, didn't we just do this?"

“Wait, didn’t we just do this?”

Facing:

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

SLOSH002 Saturn Girl

SLOSH003 Lightning Lad

ATA038 Legion Lost * 3 (set to mystics TA)

Total = 300 Points

My opponent is near the center of the map. I’m a third of the way up in hindering. No one has tokens on them. My opponent starts with a double TK. He sets up Saturn Girl with a clear line of fire to Iron Man. Lightning Lad has to use Running Shot. At this point my opponent stopped to consider whether he should use his Mind Control or Psychic Blast first. I was afraid he was going to Mind Control Iron Man and KO my Agent. Instead he did the Running Shot first doing three to the Agent via Mastermind. The Agent lost his Mastermind power, but was still alive on his last click. Then he used Mind Control on Iron Man. Iron Man did a close combat attack on Widow that hit for 4.

On my turn I started by having Widow try to Incapacitate Lightning Lad. She missed. I had Iron Man Outwit his defense. The Agent used a power action from his TA to increase damage and combined that with his Enhancement to send Iron Man’s damage to 6! He shot at Lightning Lad and KOed him in one hit. Iron Man took a Mystics damage in the process. The next turn Saturn Girl KOed the Widow, but during her time alive Widow was able to use all three of my opponent’s theme Probs!

We each needed some time to clear tokens. The next action was Saturn Girl using Psychic Blast on Iron Man for 2 damage. Iron Man used Perplex to up his defense and cleared. Saturn Girl pushed and missed. Iron Man rolled Regen and got a 6! Full Health! Saturn Girl cleared. The Agent was still alive and used Enhancement on Iron Man. Precision Strike ignored Saturn Girl’s Super Senses and it was another 1 hit KO. He took 1 Mystics damage in return. Next turn Cosmic Boy KOed the Agent while Iron Man had to clear. Cosmic Boy then hit Iron Man for 3 (2 damage after toughness). Iron Man was back on Regen. On my turn I tried Regen and rolled a 1 to get no health back. Cosmic Boy missed on his turn. I opted to not push to Regen. Cosmic Boy had to clear. I tried Regen again and got another 6! Cosmic Boy hit me for 1 damage (after Invuln). I hit him for 3 and took 1 back. He hit me for 2 more (after Toughness). I was back on Regen again, but this time I shot Cosmic boy instead of using Regen and that scored the KO.

I originally thought it was a mistake not to use Mind Control to KO the Agent and then have that damage done to Iron Man instead, but the more I think about it – I think my opponent was right. The stealthy Black Widow was far more dangerous to his team of three ranged attackers.

Learning

What I Learned:

  • IIM001AE Iron Man is a paper tiger. Great on offense, but his defense is poor for a character of his point range. I would hesitate to play him again without a CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (or two) on my team.
  • CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent was my M.V.P. He absorbed my opponent’s alpha strike every game for my higher value pieces. In the last game he only took 3 damage and his Enhancement and TA were letting him contribute even on his last click. I would use him again any time I was playing a Shield character over 75 points.
  • CATWS003 Black Widow was good but not great. When she could steal theme probs she was great. Without that she was only good. Her attack value was low. Her ability to Outwit a stealthy figure is very good, but didn’t help me much this tournament. I would like to use her again to see if I can get better results.
  • SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy is the real deal. His double TK all but guarantees you a double first strike.
  • DP201 Deadpool was extremely tough, but his offense wasn’t great. My opponent kept getting stuck on clicks 3 and 4 that have a natural 2 damage showing. That’s not good on a 149 point character.