Upcoming Games: Heroclix: The Gathering: Month 3: Time Spiral!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a quick series of local game announcements for SouthEast Michigan Clix’ers before we go back to our regular programming!! We’re running a Scenario called Heroclix: The Gathering, obviously inspired by the eternally popular CCG Magic: The Gathering. Each month is based–very loosely–off of an existing Magic expansion. We then weave everything together with an ever-evolving narrative that changes based on the results of our local tournaments. Think of this as a “What If” Magic: The Gathering story told through Heroclix! Read about the Month One posting here, and the Month Two scenario here!]

Time Spiral Two

 

HEROCLIX: THE GATHERING: MONTH TWO: NEW PHYREXIA!!

The Guildpact has been shattered. Szadek, Parun of the House Dimir, stands triumphant as the supreme leader of Ravnica. Long may he reign…

Except that his ascension and the fall of the Guildpact has attracted the attention of the predatory plane of New Phyrexia, who have opened portals to Ravnica in pursuit of conquest and resources. 

New Phyrexia invasion 2

As the Phyrexian legions pour in, the city of Ravnica is quickly overrun. The Boros Legion meets the Phyrexians head on, but their lines are quickly broken and Razia, their angleic Parun, is impaled with her own sword by the leader of the invasion, Praetor Sheoldred.

Razia Falls

But just as Phyrexian Compleation seems inevitable, Momir Vig, Simic Guildmaster, unveils his secret weapon:  Experiment Kraj, a gigantic, mutated Ooze. 

Kraj rolls through the City, absorbing Ravnican and Phyrexian alike, until the Phyrexian legions are left decimated and forced to retreat as the surviving Paruns regroup in the vast smoldering ruin of the Azorius Senate…

 

HEROCLIX: THE GATHERING: MONTH THREE: TIME SPIRAL!!

Day's Undoing

“I thought I might find you here.” Glissa the Traitor flicks her wrist, and behind her bursts a portal to New Phyrexia. 

The surviving Paruns react defensively, but Glissa waves them off. “Please,” she smiles, “I’ve not come to fight. I stand before you a humble ambassador.” Her eyes narrow ever so slightly. “With a message.”

“Then speak it and be gone.” The voice of Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and Parun of the Izzet League boomed and echoed against the remains of the Senate Chamber.

Glissa 2

“You Ravnicans have done well to defeat our scouting party. Sheoldred in his arrogance believed your plane conquerable with just a tenth of our forces. But your oblivion will not be stopped. Compleation awaits this world,” Glissa takes a step into the portal. “And we will see you soon.”

For a moment, there was silence. Finally Szadek’s rage broke forth.

“We will not stand by and let our city be taken by such filth! I would tear the city of guilds apart before I see it fall to the twisted metal tendrils of New Phyrexia!”

Niv-Mizzet

A puff of fumes erupts from Niv-Mizzet. “And tear it apart you have, little vampire. But what would you do to stop them?”

Momir Vig steps forward. “Perhaps I am being overly analytical, but if The Traitor was being truthful about the size of the next invading force, then perhaps this is not a question of tactics, but one of numbers.”

Szadek directs his gaze to the Simic Guildmaster. “Explain.”

“Given the current state of our houses, not to mention that Boros is all but wiped out, we simply do not have enough warriors to mount anything but a token defense of our land.”

“Obviously. So what do you propose?”

Momir Vig 2

“There is a spell, Szadek. Old magick that predates even you. I doubt any but the ancient Firemind may remember its existence. But recently I encountered records of it in my research. It’s called a Time Twister, and if executed correctly, we could pull the greatest warriors of Ravnica’s established past and possible futures to fight for us in our current, well… present.”

“And if executed incorrectly?”

Niv-Mizzet shifts his weight and lowers his gaze to Vig. “If executed incorrectly, our world will be ripped from the multi-verse and experience temporal folding until we cease to exist. I remember this magick. I also remember why its practice was banned. It is dangerous beyond understanding.”

“Yes,” Vig replied, “but it may also be the only chance we have to survive.”

“Well then… ” Szadek smiled. “It seems we have some work to do.”

 

Okay!! Hello fellow Clixers, and welcome to Month Three of Heroclix: The Gathering, exclusiviely at Comics & More in Madison Heights, MI!! Month One ended with Roberto Ty piloting a House Dimir team to victory (with noted Spy Nick Fury standing in for Szadek!), which is why House Dimir came out on tops in our Month One recap story.

However, in Month Two, Matthew Wenderski used a Simic Combine squad to triumph over all comers (which is why Momir Vig saves the day in this month’s story!).

But the Phyrexian war machine will not be denied, so the Ravnican Paruns have turned to some dangerous magick! The Past and the Future are merging in the present, so you know what that means. It’s time for:

The Game: Heroclix: The Gathering: Month 3: Time Spiral!

The Build: 500 Points (an even bigger conflict means even bigger armies!!), GOLDEN AGE, No Tactics (No Resources, ATA’s or Relics.)

(Since time itself is being ripped open and the past is once again present, this game is now GOLDEN AGE!!)

No figure larger than a peanut base. No Call-Ins.

Possession pieces are okay to play. (Basically the Heroclix version of an Aura Enchantment, right?)

You must choose a Guild or other faction from the chart below. Once you’ve chosen, your army must be built around the generic keyword pairings associated with that Guild or faction. This means that everyone on your force must have at least ONE of the two generic keywords listed.

All characters friendly to your force can use the associated Guild Team Ability (GTA) or Faction Team Ability (FTA).

NOTE: After the sundering of the Guildpact, the Guild Team Abilities are all your figures have to fall back on. This means that ANY OTHER TEAM ABILITY POSSESSED BY YOUR PIECES CANNOT BE USED. Note that characters still POSSESS whatever Team Abilities are printed on their base and card; they just cannot USE them.

And that’s not the only change. Some of the Guilds have had to adapt to their changing environment to survive. And another Guild didn’t make it out of Month Two…

 

List of Ravnica Guilds (Guild descriptions provided by MTGSalvation.com):

 

azorius

AZORIUS SENATE

The Azorius Senate functions as the government of Ravnica and creates Ravnican laws.

Keywords:  PoliticianRuler

Azorius Senate Team AbilityAt the beginning of the game, place an Immunity token on the character card of one character with the highest point value of those using this team ability. When a character with an Immunity token is within 8 squares of an opposing character’s starting area and is dealt damage, it may be given an action token to remove the Immunity token from its card and ignore the damage dealt. When a character with the Immunity token on its card is KO’d, you may place the Immunity token on the card of the remaining character on your force that is the highest point character that can use the team ability.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: The Azorius Senate was all but destroyed following the events of Month One. Their leader, Augustin IV was murdered and their guild hall was decimated. They are still rebuilding. Therefore, the Azorius Senate MAY NOT BE CHOSEN for Month Three builds.

 

boros-legion

BOROS LEGION

Ravnica’s security force, the Boros Legion is both Ravnica’s constabulary and standing army. Their numbers will be sorely tested when the New Phryexians invade…

Keywords:  Police, Soldier

Boros Legion Team AbilityWhen a character using this Team Ability is adjacent to a friendly character making a ranged combat attack, modify the target’s defense value by -1 if the target is within line of fire of this character.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: The Boros Legion lost its Parun in Month Two and its morale and numbers have been decimated. The Boros Legion may NOT be chosen for Month Three.

 

house-dimir

HOUSE DIMIR

In practice, little information on the Dimir is known. It is, however, known that the Dimir are involved in assassinations, criminal activity, and espionage on a contractual basis.

Szadek has led his House to victory, but the celebration is short lived. Even if he can muster enough strength to repel the invaders, the other guilds may use this new conflict as an opportunity to take back what was taken from them. 

While subtlety will always be the primary tactic of House Dimir, the time has come to step out from the shadows and remind everyone why they should be afraid of what stirs in the night…

Keywords:  Spy, Assassin

House Dimir Team Ability: A character using this team ability can’t have their defense power countered if they occupy the lowest elevation of terrain.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: The House Dimir Team Ability has not changed since its revision in Month Two. While their presence in the shadows of Ravnica is now common knowledge, they are still very hard to deal with if encountered on their home turf–Ravnica’s sewers and Underbelly…

 

golgari-swarm

GOLGARI SWARM

Denizens of Ravnica’s agricultural and waste management sectors. Run by Gorgon sisters. And creepy fungal sewer monsters.

Keywords: Monster, Assassin

Golgari Swarm Team Ability: Characters using this team ability can use Stealth on their starting click. If that character can already use Stealth on their starting click, lines of fire may not be drawn to that character by opposing characters while on that click.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Golgari Swarm.

 

gruul-clans

GRUUL CLANS

Ravnica’s foresters, gamekeepers, park rangers, wildlife officers, and wildskeepers. But with the wilds declining, the role of the Clans has also diminished, and many Gruul Clans members have adopted an anarcho-primitivist ideology and become Ravnica’s defenders of nature, intent on destroying civilization.

Keywords: Animal, Brute

Gruul Clans Team AbilityAll successful attacks made by a character using this Team Ability generate knock back. Knock back generated by a character using this Team Ability cannot be ignored.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Gruul Clans.

 

izzet-league

IZZET LEAGUE

Ravnica’s formative and physical scientists and engineers. The Izzet League are known to perform magical experiments, ever with reckless abandon and sometimes with spectacular but severe results.

Keywords: Scientist, Mystical 

Izzet League Team AbilityWhen a character using the Izzet League Team Ability takes damage from an attack, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and consult the chart below for the resulting effect.

1: This character takes 1 additional unavoidable damage and gets an action token after actions resolve.

2: This character takes 1 additional unavoidable damage.

3-4: The attacker is dealt 1 unavoidable damage.

5: The attacker is dealt 1 unavoidable damage and gets an additional action token after actions resolve (if able).

6: The attacker is dealt 2 unavoidable damage.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Izzet League. Once normal Mystics was turned off, this GTA worked extremely well (instead of being EXTREMELY overpowered).

 

orzhov-syndicate

ORZHOV SYNDICATE

Nearly every business in Ravnica ties back to the Orzhov in some devious way or another. Whilst they bear the facade of a religious group and may well have been a true faith at the signing of the Guildpact, they now worship only profit and power.

Keywords: Mystical, Politician

Orzhov Syndicate Team AbilityCharacters using this Team Ability can’t be the target of an opponent’s Outwit or Perplex unless they’ve been targeted with an attack previously in the same turn.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Orzhov.

 

rakdos

CULT OF RAKDOS

Founded by Parun Rakdos, an ancient demon, the Cult of Rakdos attend to menial labor and the services industry, which includes some less-than-savory offerings, such as assassination, as well as more agreeable ones, such as the catering (i.e., food service) and entertainment industries.

Using the strife of the end of the Guildpact as a distraction, acolytes of Rakdos have finally managed to raise their Parun from the depths of darkness and despair. But will Rakdos choose to fight the invaders or decide to use this opportunity to thwart Szadek and seize Ravnica for his own?

Keywords: Monster, Mystical

Cult of Rakdos Team AbilityWhenever a character using this team ability is KO’d, you may roll a d6 and subtract 2 (minimum 1). Deal that much damage, divided as you choose, among any number of opposing characters adjacent to the square the KO’d character occupied.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to the Team Ability, but please note that the return of the demon Rakdos has slightly altered the Cult of Rakdos keywords. Now a character must have either the Monster or Mystical keyword to be eligible for the Cult of Rakdos (I mean, they just awakened their demon overlord, so, yeah… )

 

selesnya-conclave

SELESNYA CONCLAVE

Despite their superficial appearance of being a “good” and “peace-loving”, in truth the guild is just as hypocritical and as sinister, if not more so, as other Ravnican guilds. The Selesnya Conclave often employs its quietmen and other members to silence the civilians of Ravnica from up close and wreak havoc.

Keywords: Brute, Spy

Selesnya Conclave Team AbilityWhen characters using this Team Ability roll doubles on a successful close attack roll, that attack generates no knock back; instead, that attack cannot be evaded, damage dealt can’t be reduced below 1 and any hit characters get an action token.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change from Month 2.

 

simic-combine

SIMIC COMBINE

The original purpose of the Simic Combine was to preserve the health of all Ravnican life-forms. They were devoted to the study of life, medicines, and biomancy. But just as life can adapt, so did the Combine. Momir Vig, the Simic guildmaster, was dissatisfied with this original purpose and formed a new purpose: to improve upon life-forms of Ravnica.

Keywords: Animal, Scientist

Simic Combine Team Ability: At the beginning of your turn, choose one option to last until the end of your turn for all friendly characters using this Team Ability. All friendly characters using this Team Ability ignore Shape Change; or all friendly characters using this Team Ability ignore Stealth this turn.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: The Month 2 change helped this Guild quite a bit (indeed, both players in the Championship game were playing Simic), so it will stay as is for now.

 

phryexian-mana

NEW PHYREXIA

It came not in the form of a noble struggle, a fair contest of warriors clashing will against will, but as a wave of unstoppable slaughter. Mirran partisans resisted bravely, using their wits and magic to fend off the onslaught that originated from inside their own world. But their efforts were for naught. Phyrexia is victorious. Mirrodin now goes by a different name: New Phyrexia.

And New Phyrexia hungers…

Keywords: Robot, Armor

New Phyrexia Team Ability: Characters using this team ability can use Perplex, but only to target a character with the Armor or Robot keyword. This use of Perplex may not modify damage values, and no character may be targeted by this ability more than twice per turn. This use is in addition to any other uses of Perplex.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: No changes to the unstoppable New Phyrexia faction. They were a popular choice as well last Month.

 

Time Spiral logo

TIME SPIRAL

From Ravnica’s forged Past to its many posssible Futures come the warriors caught in the Time Spiral. But even if they are able to turn the tide of the war with New Phyrexia, what will become of them once the invasion is over? And if the sundering of the Guildpact awakened the interest of New Phyrexia, whose attention might the spiraling of time itself attract?

Keywords: Past, Future

Time Spiral Team Ability: Characters using this Team Ability may use
Probability Control. When a roll is ignored because of this
team ability an action token must be placed on a friendly
character on the battlefield or the roll is not ignored.

GAMEPLAY NOTES: The latest faction to join the fight, the time-displaced warriors of Ravnica come packed with the ability to manipulate time themselves…

 

Alright! There is your Month 3 Scenario! Hope to see everyone at the game!

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Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 08/05/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month Three: With a Vengeance!!

Local Tournament Report

Age of Ultron Month Three was played earlier this month at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan, and we’ve got the results!

This was the first month to use the Wave 2 boosters, so the set felt fresh and new again. I have to say, as hard as it makes collecting the entire set, releasing two waves of boosters for an OP event is definitely a good way to keep things fresh and exciting. It was fun last year with WoL, and it’s fun again this year with the (much) smaller Age of Ultron set.

What are the Wave 2 (Non-Chase) highlights? Let’s take a look (with the help of random cosplay images from around the net–hey, if Marvel can do a whole cosplay variant month, why can’t we?)!

Mockingbird cosplay

AOU010 Mockingbird52 PointsCommon: And here is your Modern Age Mockingbird! You may now dust off your Avengers Assemble Mockingbird Avengers ID Card that you’ve kept in that old sock drawer since May. As long as you can keep her next to a higher point friendly, she’s well worth her 52-Point investment. Alternatively, if you choose to use that ol’ ID Card, she’ll bring Empower, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and +1 to Defense for adjacent characters with her Inspire ability, along with her native 10 Attack and 3 Damage.

Captain America Cosplay

AOU020 Captain America65 PointsUncommon: A Cap that basically starts with Carry, Hypersonic Speed AND costs less than Rick Jones?!?! Sign me up! Down dial, he turns into a sniper, then gets real support-y. Unlike other figures that do that, though, Cap is only 65 Points, so he’s probably already filling that supporting character slot anyway!

(Not gonna lie, there's not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

(Not gonna lie, there’s not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

AOU024 Ant-Man65 Points Uncommon: Apparently 65 Points is the new 50 Points, in that if a character from this set comes in at 65 Points he’s probably an auto-play in Sealed and even worth a look in Constructed. Scott Lang comes packing Outwit, Super Senses, an 18 Defense (19 against ranged attacks with his “Tiny” size) and Stealth. Also, he’s easy to move around via his AWESOME Trait (RIDING ON HAWKEYE’S ARROW: When an adjacent friendly character that shares a keyword with Ant-Man makes a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, you may place Ant-Man adjacent to the target.).  Literally, you can have Hawkeye (or any Avenger, really) shoot at a character, place Ant-Man right next to that character, Outwit that character’s defensive power and then attack them for 2 more damage. All at the cost of just 2 actions.

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here's his traditional visage.)

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here’s his traditional visage.)

AOU032 Wonder Man120 PointsRare: I always loved these characters with two dials who get better AFTER they would normally be KO’d (Spider-Man 2099 and Sodam Yat are other examples). The crazy thing is, Wonder Man might be the cheapest one they’ve ever made! He’s actually 5 Points CHEAPER than Sodam Yat’s NON-Ion dial!

Once he gets past his first dial, he hits a Stop Click and gains Charge, 11 Attack, Invincible, Poison and–oh yeah–when attacking, ALL OF HIS DAMAGE IS PENETRATING!!

But here’s the other big difference–unlike some of those other figs, your opponent really can’t afford to ignore Wonder Man at the beginning of the game–not when he can Charge for up to 7 Damage! A great piece for his points.

And, of course, the Chases are sick… but we’ll deal with them in a future article.

Alright, let’s get to the Month 3 results!

There were a TON of Thors being played (more on that in a bit), the Six-Armed Chase was pulled like three times (including twice by the same player!), and Captain America was fielded quite a bit as well (in fact, I used both Thor AND Cap!).

IMG_2829

In the end, Tim guided his Iron Fist/Luke Cage/Captain America trio to victory over Matt’s Thor (100-Point dial)/ War Machine squad.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: For whatever reason, anyone who played Thor ended up losing hard at one point because their dice quit on them, myself included. For everyone who thinks the AoU Thor is great for his points, just remember, WizKids has apparently included an ancient dice curse attached to the base of every AoU Thor. You’ve been warned.)

Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. Once again, we’ve broken the standings down into tiers.

But first, a scoring system refresher:

For the first three events, you score:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

(Through Month 3)

In the Pilot’s Seat:

(We have a tie! But with his 900 Victory Points accumulated, Tim actually has the lead with tiebreakers… )

Tim: 21 Points (1670)

Darren: 21 Points!!! (1487 Victory Points Accumulated)

 

Sitting in 1st Class:

Andrew: 18 Points (1795)

Carl: 16 Points (1060)

Nicholas: 16 Points (1692)

 

Comfortably Seated in Business Class:

Tyler: 15 Points (950)

Roberto: 15 Points (840)

Matt: 12 Points (1462)

 

Now Boarding… :

Shant: 11 Points (1060)

George: 9 Points (695)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

 

Okay! So that’s where things stand after three months! Tim and Darren tied for the lead, with Andrew close behind and Carl and Nicholas within shouting distance! It will all be settled on September 16th at Comics & More in Madison Heights!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 07/08/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month Two: The Quickening!!

Local Tournament Report

Age of Ultron Month Two went down at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan on July 8th, and we’ve got the results!

Just as everyone was competing for Grandmaster in Month One, in addition to playing for Quest for the Quinjet Points, players were also going for the monthly prize:

Graviton!

We again had 10 competitors (including myself, although, as the Judge, I was, as always, not allowed to accumulate points).

The Build:

For the most part, we followed the WizKids Instruction Sheet and played 300 Point Builds while allowing players to use the Round Table Resource and any Avengers ID card the had accumulated the previous month (by paying its Point cost) or the Hank Pym ID Card if they had bought the Classic Avengers Fast Forces pack. Having said that, players could only play figures that they pulled this month. This basically means that you could play any Avengers ID card you pulled in either month on the Round Table Resource, but to Call-In a figure, you had to actually pull an eligible figure.

(For example, I played a Round Table with four cards: Iron Man, Hank Pym, Jocasta and Protector. If I rolled any of those slots, I could use that card’s Inspiration power for a turn. However, the only corresponding figure I pulled this month was Iron Man, so he was the only piece I could actually call in with the Resource.)

We also decided to allow the use of the Pym Particles Light Object from the Avengers Assemble LE kit (again, by paying its Point cost), as we deemed it as a group to be thematically appropriate.

Some Observations About Age of Ultron, Month 2:

–I played a team that revolved around She-Hulk and Yellowjacket. Having actually got to play She-Hulk this time, I saw nothing to dampen my enthusiasm from Month One. She’s fun to play, and she came through for me in 2 out of the 3 games I played (a little more on that later). I think her Rookie dial has a lot to offer in Constructed, so I’m glad I pulled her.

–Phalanx Ultron went 1-2. I was surprised, but the consensus seemed to be that it’s too easy for certain Builds to out-action him, even in a Sealed Event. I don’t know if I completely agree, but it’s hard to argue when the results were so one-sided this month…

–This whole set seems to be a bit schizophrenic. All of the pieces are either ONLY viable in Sealed or kinda suck in Sealed but good be game-changers in Constructed. We’ll see if Wave 2 brings a bit more balance…

–It’s still tough to make an all-Drone army. Again, the mechanic just isn’t as much fun as it seems like it should be to play…

The only known photo of Carl, the Month Two winner...

Artist’s rendering of Month Two winner “Carl,” based on descriptions provided by other Comics & More competitors…

The Winner:

This month ALSO came down to a pitched battle of unbeatens (mathematically, that wasn’t a huge surprise), and this time, Carl and his Hank Pym/Yellowjacket/Black Knight trio beat Tim’s double Iron Man plus Protector delight! I actually played against Carl’s Build and lost. I went all in with She-Hulk and it didn’t work out too well for me–Hank Pym was able to keep her Movement Power Outwitted after that first miss, which made things a lot tougher, although calling in Iron Man almost completely flipped the script.

I really love Tim’s Build; I think it was smart to double up on ol’ Shellhead, but he just ran up against a team that had a decent counter to that strategy with Carl’s Build. If Carl was able to get Black Knight going, those Iron Men weren’t going to last long…

Actual footage from the final match.

Actual footage from the final match.

Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. After two months, we’ve now got enough data to break the standings down into tiers.

But first, a scoring system refresher:

For the first three events, you score:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

I still don’t have any information yet on what–if anything–will change in terms of scoring for the fourth month. Nevertheless, here are the…

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

(Through Month 2)

In the Pilot’s Seat:

Darren: 15 Points!!! (1122 Victory Points Accumulated)

In the Co-Pilot’s Seat:

Andrew: 12 Points (1105)

Sitting in 1st Class:

Roberto: 11 Points (810)

Tim: 11 Points (770)

Carl: 11 Points (605)

Comfortably Seated in Business Class:

Nicholas: 10 Points (870)

Tyler: 10 Points (655)

George: 9 Points (695)

Now Boarding… :

Matt: 6 Points (740)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

Shant: 5 Points (295)

Okay! So that’s where things stand after two months!

The fact that Carl attended Month One, immediately dropped and THEN went on to win Month Two means that things are actually WIDE OPEN at the moment. Darren is still King of the Mountain thanks to his spectacular showing in Month One, but Andrew, Roberto and Tim’s consistent play over the first two months has them right in the thick of things.

Even Matt, who was great in Month One but wasn’t able to attend Month Two, still has a shot–but he’s probably gonna have to win Months Three AND Four! It’s even trickier for Brian and Shant, but again, if someone pulls off two event victories in a row, anything is possible.

And if you expect to find yourself somewhere near southeastern Michigan next month and want to join in on the action (even if you didn’t play in the first two contests), Month Three is currently scheduled to go down at 6:15pm on August 5th, right back at Comics & More in Madison Heights!!

And for Month Three, in addition to the Quest for the Quinjet points, competitors will also be playing for this guy:

High Evolutionary

Also, all participants will receive Captain America’s Avengers ID Card!! Hope to see you there! And keep an eye on this space to read about the results next month!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 06/10/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month One: Electric Bugaloo!!

Local Tournament Report

Did you here that? Age of Ultron hit southeastern Michigan hard last Wednesday (June 10th), and we’ve got the full report!

Wave One of the new Marvel Heroclix Storyline Organized Play set has released, and I was privileged to run Month One at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan. In all, we had 10* competitors hit the tables to compete for the Month One Grandmaster LE!

Grandmaster LE

(*One competitor bought in, but had to bow out before dice started rolling. I took his place to make our numbers even, but as the Judge, I’m obviously not allowed to accumulate points.)

The Build:

For the most part, we followed the WizKids Instruction Sheet and played 300 Point Builds while allowing players to use the Hank Pym Avengers ID card as well (by paying its Point cost) if they had bought the Classic Avengers Fast Forces pack. We also decided to allow the use of the Pym Particles Light Object from the Avengers Assemble LE kit (again, by paying its Point cost), as we deemed it as a group to be thematically appropriate.

Some Observations About Age of Ultron, Month 1:

–In our Age of Ultron SLOP Preview, I mentioned that my biggest personal wants from this first Wave were Black Panther (Super Rare), Jocasta (Rare with the “Entity Possession” Trait) and the Protector ID card. Well, someone upstairs loves me, because in my two packs, I pulled… Black Panther, Jocasta and the Protector ID card. I can’t make this stuff up.

–The “Thebes, Egypt” side of the Wave One Map (remember, there is no Month Two Map, so all Month Two games will still be played on Month One Maps) seemed almost tailored to the powers of Black Panther. There were multiple tracts of Blocking Terrain to activate his Trait (CLOAKING TECH: Black Panther can use Stealth and Toughness. When it isn’t your turn, lines of fire to him are blocked if he is adjacent to blocking terrain.) and Special Attack Power (SPRING FROM THE SHADOWS: Black Panther can use Charge. When Black Panther occupies hindering terrain or is adjacent to blocking terrain, he can use Sidestep.).

Black Panther already has an awesome Dial and Power Set; the possibility of playing on the “Thebes, Egypt” Map really elevates Black Panther into a must-play if you pull him.

–For that matter, watching the players at my venue, in terms of Wave One Primary Attackers, my personal Top Five would now look like this:

She-Hulk AOU

5. AOU023 She-Hulk (Uncommon): While I was more concerned in our Preview about how she’d interact with AVAS044 Arcade in Constructed formats, I have to say that her full dial Damage Output Potential is frightening. Her top dial Attack Value is middling (it’s a 10), but there are enough supporting pieces with Perplex or Prob in this set to boost that. If you can grab a heavy object on your way, there’s not many figures in this set that She-Hulk can’t one-shot with that opening Charge/Flurry click.

In fact, I personally went 2-1, and the one game I lost was to a She-Hulk team that wrecked my Black Panther with a Heavy item hit. If I saw She-Hulk in my Uncommon slot and didn’t pull any of the next 4 pieces, I would revolve my team around Jennifer Walters.

Hercules AOU

4. AOU033 Hercules (Rare): Like She-Hulk on steroids. He can Charge and Flurry THROUGH Blocking Terrain, which almost makes him a silver bullet for Black Panther, except for his one glaring weakness: Outwit can just RUIN him, and there’s a significant amount of it in the set–including on Black Panther’s first click.

Black Panther AOU

3. AOU045 Black Panther (Super Rare): I talked at length about him already; he gives you both trickeration, solid (if not spectacular) stats and an excellent amount of avoidance (through his improved Stealth Trait and down dial Super Senses).

Quasar AOU

2. AOU047 Quasar (Super Rare): This set has so little range it’s almost ridiculous. That’s why you can revolve your team around a close combatant and do quite well in a Wave One event. But Quasar is the Outlier.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: As much as I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s books, I still have no idea if I used “outlier” correctly. It’s a fun word though, and I feel like it makes me seem smarter–even if this admission confirms my stupidity.]

He gives you everything you could ask for in a Primary Attacker for a Constructed Build–in a limited environment like this, he and his 9 Range is virtually unstoppable.

Ultron Phalanx

1. AOU055A Ultron (Phalanx) (Chase):

We had competitors pull both Chases; the player who pulled Ultron from his time as leader of the Phalanx decided playing his 300 Point dial would be a little too cheesy and elected instead to play his Drone dial (he went 1-2, so he still found some success). I can’t say I would have been as charitable if I had pulled him!

Phalanx Ultron just would not work as a one-man army in Constructed. It would just be to easy to out-action him and chew through his dial, even with the back-to-back Stop Clicks.

But in Sealed? Yikes. He’s a monster with an extreme amount of survivability, and his 19 Impervious that shows up with his Stop Clicks would be EXTREMELY tough for most teams to even hit. Maybe you can play keep away with someone like Quasar, but man, it will not be easy…

— Ultron-7 (the other Chase) and Goliath (Super Rare) would probably be the sixth and seventh figures on this list in terms of best pieces to build around. So counting them, of the seven best Primary Attackers in the entire Wave, 1 is an Uncommon, 1 is a Rare, 3 are Super Rares and 2 are Chases. All of which is to say, it’s entirely possible that you won’t get one of the “Power 7” figures in your two boosters, which will make for some pretty tough sledding.

If you pull a Jocasta, you might be able to turn Victor Mancha or Tess-One or Iron Man into a Primary Attacker, but you really need to back them up with some heavy support if that’s the way you’re going. Hmmm… maybe, like, Protector and Wasp, or something. I mean, y’know, just spitballing there…

–The whole Main Dial/Drone Dial thing with the Ultron pieces (including the Chases) seems like an interesting idea that never reached it’s full potential in the design stage.

Now, we still have a bunch of Ultron dials to come (including two more Chases, I’m assuming, even though I’d prefer an alternate timeline Morgan Le Fay!), so that may make the Drones more viable in Constructed. But in Sealed, it’s still tough to do much with them unless your lucky enough to pull two.

Now, if you pull a Vision or Jocasta alongside them, it may suddenly be worth it to play some Drone dials…

The Winner:

FullSizeRender (1)

After a pitched battle of unbeatens, Darren piloted his Jocasta on Victor Mancha/Protector/Wasp Build to victory against Matt’s She-Hulk/Black Knight/Ant-Man squad to take not just the Grandmaster First Prize, but also the points lead in the Quest for the Quinjet!!

After some deliberation, it has been determined that we will follow WizKids suggested scoring scheme to determine our Quinjet winner at the end of the Storyline. That means that for the first three events, the scoring system looks like this:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

I don’t have information yet on what–if anything–will change in terms of scoring for the fourth month. Nevertheless, here are the…

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

Darren: 10 Points!!! (882 Victory Points Accumulated)

Matt: 6 Points (740)

Andrew: 6 Points (590)

Tyler: 6 Points (575)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

Roberto: 5 Points (495)

Nicholas: 5 Points (440)

Tim: 5 Points (245)

George: 4 Points (175)

Carl: 1 Point (0)

Okay! So that’s where things stand after Month One! And if you expect to find yourself somewhere near southeastern Michigan next month and want to join in on the action (even if you didn’t play Month One, if you join us for Month Two and win, you’ll be right in the thick of things!!), Month Two is currently scheduled to go down at 6:15pm on July 8th, right back at Comics & More in Madison Heights!!

And for Month Two, in addition to the Quest for the Quinjet points, competitors will also be playing for this guy:

 

Graviton!

 

Hope to see you there! And keep an eye on this space to read about the results next month!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!