Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Marvel Christmas

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!.” Night 10 was a look at upcoming Monthly OP kits! Finally, we listed some of our other favorite Clix content creators on Night 11!]

Welcome to the final night of Clix-Mas 2018!!

Like we do every year, we just want to close out the last post of the season with a hearty “Thank You” to all of our readers and commenters.

There will be some great Clix and movies and games coming our way in 2019, and we plan to continue to do what we’re doing–just hopefully more often!!

We hope that you and yours have a great holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all, even.

Thank you all so much for sticking with us! We’ll see you in the new year!

–The Staff at Critical Missives

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The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents: My Favorite Current Clix Content Creators!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Dial_H_Logo_2

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!.” And finally, Night 10 was a look at upcoming Monthly OP kits!]

Hello again, and welcome to Night 11 of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today will be short and sweet, but I wanted to call out a few of the many Clix creators whose content I really enjoy!

PODCASTS:

Dial H For Heroclix: One of the longest running Clix casts out there (Episode 237 just dropped two days ago!), the current hosts have fantastic chemistry and seamlessly cater to both casual and Meta players in every outing!

Two Clix From KO: Another fun podcast that trends a little more towards the serious players. Lots of cutting edge info here! Episode 157 just released a couple weeks ago and introduced Aaron’s new cohost!

(I also enjoy Edward Shelton’s commentary wherever he pops up too!)

YOUTUBE: 

Mr. Clixfix: You will not find a more consistent content creator when it comes to Heroclix.

Married With Clix: These two are my go-to for box openings not done by Scott Porter! They also make great contributions to the Meta Lab project!

Speaking of…

Scott Porter: He is the premier Clix video host, whether he’s unboxing new sets or appearing on “Indomitable.” I honestly don’t really start getting excited for new sets until I see Scott popping unreleased packs on my computer screen.

BLOGS: 

APEX PREDATORS: Again, there’s a lot of great content out there, but if you want to walk along the cutting edge, this is the blog for you. There’s a ton of articles written by some of the most successful modern Clixers of all-time!

 

Okay, that’s really it for today. We’re closing down the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas with a brief message tomorrow. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!

 

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future Presents: A Look At Some Upcoming OP Kits!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary! Night 8 was a celebration of the X-Men 2099, and finally, Night 9 was a guide to a house game Ninwashui and I enjoyed playing called “Raid Night!”]

Welcome to Night 10 of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today we’re going to take a look at what Wizkids has planned on the OP kit front… especially because “Best There Is Games” on YouTube has just gotten their hands on some Deadpool OP kit images!

This kit is coming to Local Game Stores in January, and it will feature Deadpool (natch), Wolverine and Negasonic Teenage Warhead!

Click the link above if you want to see the cards and dials for Deadpool and Wolverine. But suffice it to say that Negasonic Teenage Warhead is the winner of the bunch.

She’s 40 points and comes with 4 Clicks. She has 4 Range and top dial Sidestep, ES/D with a 17 Defense and a Special Attack Power ( Watch This!: Pulse Wave, Telekinesis. POWER: If Negasonic Teenage Warhead has no action tokens, she can use Pulse Wave and Telekinesis at no cost in either order.) on her first two Clicks (along with a 10 Attack).

With the Heroes for Hire keyword and the Mercs For Money Trait (Mercs For Money: When another friendly character with the Heroes For Hire keyword KO’s and opposing character, after resolutions heal Negasonic Teenage Warhead 1 click.), she will slide right in with your favorite characters from 2017’s Deadpool and X-Force!

If you place in a local event and get a chance at one of these pieces, Negasonic is probably your best choice!

Now the fact that hard news about these pieces is already filtering through definitely inspires confidence that we’ll see the other already announced kits actually drop when they’re scheduled for release.

For the record, that means we’ll be getting:

–Heroes For Hire Monthly OP kit (February)

–Too Many Spider-Man OP kit (March)

–Public Enemy: Bullseye OP kit (April)

–X-Men: Empowered OP kit (May)

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print for the moment

Good luck with your January events, and we’ll see you here tomorrow night for some more Clix-Mas!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are sourcing this information from a video posted by “BEST THERE IS GAMES” on YouTube! We highly recommend clicking the link and checking out there content for pictures of the actual cards for these figures (and hints on what the sculpts will look like!).]

 

 

Scenario: Raid Night! (Or, Raid Boss Scenario #1: Living Tribunal!!)(Or, Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

This Is Raid Night

Hello again!

Today we’re trying something completely different!

This is our new Raid Boss Scenario series, where we take existing Colossal/high point figures, alter a few things about them and then create Single and/or Multi-Player Raid scenarios based around that piece!

So first, a definition. If you’ve been playing Heroclix for awhile, you probably have a general understanding of most of these terms, as they’ve been around for a long time (although exact terminology may vary by LGS).

Lich King raid

We’re trying to do the Heroclix version of this, essentially.

–RAID BOSS SCENARIO: A game wherein a high-costed figure (generally–but not always–a Colossal) is piloted by one player (sometimes referred to as “The Boss”) while a second (and sometimes third) player assembles a team (sometimes referred to as “The Raiders”) of equal points designed to beat the Raid Boss.

By now, Heroclix has a long and storied tradition of making some great high-point figures. However, some of them aren’t quite Boss material unless you tweak a few things about the figure. Luckily, Heroclix is a versatile game! It’s very nature allows you to create almost any Scenario you can imagine for house games!

(Ninwashui and I have tried this a couple times, and we had a lot of fun. So as we try out a few more “Bosses,” we’ll report back any alterations we attempt that seem to work.)

Up first for the “Boss” treatment is…

Living Tribunal with Card

AIG024 Living Tribunal!!

Living Tribunal is 900 points and he is pretty much the master of all of the Marvel multiverses. His dial is great, and really does lend itself to a fun Boss fight. However, I can tell you from experience that if you’re going to Pilot him in a Boss fight, his Traits need a few upgrades.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Now is as good a time as any to mention that in running any Raid Scenario, any tweaks you make should never affect anything that’s actually PRINTED on the Boss’s dial–essentially, don’t try to give him new stats or standard/Special abilities. It just gets too confusing.]

Right! Any “edits” we’re making to a Boss are made by adding/removing Traits, which is what we’re going to do here.

(I usually just make a note on my phone or write down the revisions on a piece of paper.)

For example, on Living Tribunal, the “Cosmic Entity” Trait is, essentially, worthless for a Boss (he’s a solo piece in this Raid Scenario, so he would never be a target of a Multi-Attack).

Instead, we’re going to replace “Cosmic Entity” with a new Trait of our own design:

Judge of All Realities: FREE: Choose a Team Ability. Opposing Characters can’t use the chosen Team Ability until your next turn.

Also, for Raid encounters, we suggest setting the Action Total cap at 5. In this instance, that would actually reduce down to four for the raiders due to the Boss’s “You Can’t Kill the Abstract–Living Tribunal” Trait (but could be increased back up to a max of 5 with Leadership, etc.).

That was all Ninwashui and I did for our Living Tribunal Raid! We ended up going 1-1 against each other, but each game was a lot of fun!

I’ve heard of other folks running similar games deciding to put a minimum point threshold for each character (so you don’t end up with literally 30 pieces on the board); Ninwashui and I didn’t feel the need to do this (he was playing mostly 90-200 point pieces anyway while I played the Living Tribunal), but your mileage may vary.

living tribunal heroic mode

This is what “downing the Boss” looks like in this Scenario…

Finally, once the Raiders have “farmed” out the raid encounter, you can always spice it up with a “Heroic Mode.” In this case, “Living Tribunal–Heroic Mode” would consist of all of the above new rules, plus one more Trait:

Simultaneous Multi-versal Manifestion: Living Tribunal can use the Multi-Attack ability.

So far, Raid Night has been a fun way for us to spice up our home games. We’ll run another one of these once we test out a different Boss.

Until then, come see us here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas shenanigans!

 

 

The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents: The One Sub-Theme I Want… (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

X-Men 2099

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary!]

Welcome to the Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!

Tonight’s post is really more of a question:

With news dropping a few days ago that we’re getting the Elders of the Universe and the Infinity Gems back in Modern with next year’s Avengers: Black Panther and the Illuminati set, which past sub-theme (figures, mechanics or equipment) do you want to see return to Heroclix?

For me, it’s pretty easy (especially now that we’re getting a new Infinity Gauntlet, so that’s off the list):

X-Men 2099 spread.png

I want new X-Men 2099 pieces!

Yes, the 2099 corner of the Marvel Universe isn’t always remembered as fondly as other stories 0f the 90’s, but having grown up during that era I recall actually really liking this series as much or more than any other X-tales.

(For the record, Spider-Man 2099 and Doom 2099 were actually better than folks remember as well.)

Anyway, John Francis Moore and Ron Lim still stand in my mind as one of my favorite creative teams of all-time.

How big of a fan was I?

Well, when I got a little bit older, I started buying X-Men 2099 covers straight from the artists! I spent money I probably didn’t really have back then to have them custom-framed, and they still hang on my walls to this day!

So yeah, I like these characters a lot!

And Wizkids hasn’t completely ignored them. There was a special limited edition release in December of 2006 when they made seven characters from the 2099 universe–including two from X-Men 2099 (Junkpile and Mean Streak).

Since then, we’ve gotten a really good version of Miguel O’Hara (in ASM), but nothing 2099-related since then. That’s five X-focused sets (counting the two Deadpool sets but not counting wider sets like AvX) since GSX in 2011 with not even ONE X-Men 2099 sub-Theme!

I doubt that we’ll see them show up in X-Men Adventures either, but please Wizkids! Xi’an Chi Xan, Skullfire, Bloodhawk, Metalhead, Shakti… these characters and stories are too much fun too just leave unclix’d!!

So which sub-theme or equipment from the past would you like to see updated for Modern Clix? Sound of in the Comments below, and then come back here for Night Nine of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

The Ghost of Christmas Past Presents… My Three Favorite Sets for Heroclix Sealed Play and Why I Love Them!! (Or, The Fifth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

BTAS Banner.jpg

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years!]

Welcome to Night 5 of The Twelve Nights of Christmas!

Tonight I’m gonna talk about my favorite Sealed sets.

Sealed balance is mixed bag for Wizkids. It’s one of my favorite ways to play, but not every set is as much fun to play Sealed as some others are. The following sets I think are some of the best Wizkids has ever made, albeit for various reasons.

 

Deadpool 2014

3. DEADPOOL (2014)

Reason: Great Roster of Characters; Creativity of Mechanics; Sealed Release Prizes

2016’s Deadpool and X-Force almost took this spot, but I give the edge to the original because the Deadpools worked better on their own if you only happened to pull one (and the best ones weren’t all at the Chase level).

Admittedly, you probably liked this set better if you were a Deadpool fan (I know some comic readers can’t stand the character, but I’ve been a fan since the Joe Kelly solo series days), but still, this set had everything!

The Word Balloon mechanic is still one of my favorite pieces of game design to this day! Outside of “Hammer Time,” which you only got if you lucked into the Super Rare Thor Deadpool, all of the Word Balloons were extremely situational, so pulling a Deadpool didn’t automatically mean you were going to steamroll someone. Still, they were occasionally useful, and even if you only pulled a couple ‘Pools from the Common slot (like Headpool and Dogpool), you could interchange their Word Balloons for maximum effectiveness.

But beyond that, this was a set with great, synergistic sub-themes (Sinister Syndicate, Thunderbolts, Z-Virus, Heroes For Hire) that yielded some high-demand figures. The Super Rare level was filled with hits, but even in the Rare slot you could pull a piece like Black Talon and–if you pulled the right supporting cast–steamroll the competition.

Chases were better when played together (although zombie Electro was pretty deadly on his own or paired with other Sinister Syndicate pieces), so again, if you were lucky enough to pull one, it didn’t mean you would auto-win.

The Uncommon, Rare and Super Rare Primes were all a ton of fun (Evil Deadpool!!), and this is also the set that gave us DP053A Speed Demon, probably the most unique speedster dial Wizkids has ever given us!

And you wanted to do well at the Sealed Release events, because Wizkids gave us four (FOUR!!) fantastic LE pieces that only came in the Deadpool OP kits.

–DP101 Ultimate Deadpool, who I think to this day has the most Named Keywords and who also came with an exclusive Word Balloon.

–Bill, Agent of A.I.M., a 30 point Taxi with an Attack Special (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING: Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character adjacent to Bill, Agent of A.I.M. and line of fire for that attack isn’t blocked.) that was so good he ended up as a Meta piece for the next year and a half.

Bill, like his counterpart Bob, Agent of Hydra, is one of Deadpool’s most popular supporting cast members and this was the only way to get him as he didn’t appear in the main set.

–Wolverine, Agent of Hydra, who was the “boss” character that both The Hand and Hydra teams were looking for at the time. I wouldn’t say he ended up being Meta, but he made a bunch of ninja teams viable at house games over the next year.

–Cosmic X-23. This was the first solo version of X-23 the game had seen in 4 years. She was borderline Meta, but never really got there. Still, she had two great dials and was also in high demand from players who collect the various Captain Universe pieces.

To this day, I don’t think we’ve seen better release day LE’s. In fact, I think shortly after this set Wizkids switched to including just one release OP LE figure for new standard sets.

 

Heroclix WOL

2. War of Light (2014)

Reason: Titanic, High-Point Battles; $$$$!!

Man, 2014 was the year to be playing Sealed! War of Light was the 2014 Summer OP Limited Edition set, and it was crazy popular.

First of all, there are a LOT of Lantern fans out there, and the Clix community had been waiting for powerful, Modern interpretations of these characters (or, in some cases, their debut). Suddenly EVERY color on the spectrum had enough pieces to field viable teams for house games; some colors (Green, Yellow) even found themselves in the Meta.

Because you could only get these boosters by playing at your local game store (or by sniping a brick on eBay, where they were going for $210-$249 a BRICK during their heyday!), almost every SR was worth more than $25, with some going for $50-$80 the first month the set was released.

And the Chases… each color got a Chase Entity (except for Black, whose Entity piece was SR) that went for $100 plus (or $200 in the case of Parallax) because of both their scarcity and their power level in the Meta (from June 2014–January 2015, EVERY Meta team had at least one Entity on it).

All of which turned these Sealed OP events into lottery draws. So these events were PACKED, and competitors were hyped EVEN BEFORE FOLKS STARTED PLAYING!

Now, I talked a bit about balance with Deadpool (and I’ll talk a LOT more about balance with the #1 set), but WOL was NOT the most balanced set Wizkids has ever designed. Far from it, actually.

But that imbalance just fed into the whole lottery craze! A lot of folks sold their most expensive pulls on eBay after the event, so for some, the event itself was the only time they’d ever get to play with these figs.

And Battle Royales… wow! I’ve never seen so many folks queue up for Battle Royales than the fall of 2014 when the bigger venues in town would run a ROC or other big event! If WOL was on the menu, people would be there!

I can remember being ganged up on in one WOL BR by two different guys who knew each other and happened to be in the same pod as me. Unfortunately for them, I pulled the Weaponer of Qward, so it didn’t go so well for them (as opposed to when the same thing happened to me during an Uncanny X-Men BR, and I got my @$$ handed to me!).

But that was the boom or bust nature of the set. In month one at my LGS, I pulled Ophidian with Red Lantern Superboy Prime. In Round 2 I played Ninwashui, and the game lasted about 15 minutes, since his best pull was Brother Warth (to be fair, I think he actually got Supes down to, like, click 3 or 4).

But I will always remember the furor this set inspired, and that’s why it’s number two on this list!

 

BTAS SLASHES.jpg

1. BATMAN, THE ANIMATED SERIES (2018)

Reason: Insanely Well-Balanced!! Plus Some Nice Nostalgia… 

And now for my favorite Sealed Set! Yup! It just came out in July!

This set is arguably the most well-balanced Sealed set Wizkids has ever designed. I’ve written before about how I lucked into possibly the BEST Sealed configuration a person can pull from this set at a WKO, and I still lost on a roll-off in the playoffs against stiff comepetition!

I’ll say it again–even the BEST PIECES IN THE SET were no guarantee of victory!

The point distribution between characters was very narrow for the most part, and outside of a few characters <cough–Hawkman & Hawkgirl–cough>, no piece had distinct offensive or mobility advantages over the others (okay, maybe Rare Batman with his Batarang, which was insanely good in Sealed!).

I’ve played this set Sealed probably four or five times now, and I’ve enjoyed every game!

That’s why it’s my favorite Sealed Set… so far!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I would give an Honorable Mention to Avengers: Infinity, also from this year, solely because it’s the first time we saw Sealed Colossal vs. Colossal play! There were some other slight issues that caused the set to slip down my personal rankings a bit, but for the Colossal novelty alone, I thought it also deserved a mention here. More of this please, Wizkids!!]

What are yours? Sound off in the Comments below, then join us right here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas!!

The Ghost of Christmas Present… uh, PRESENTS… The Marvel Heroclix Set We Should Have By Now, But Don’t!! (Or, The Fourth Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

 

 

New FF Intro.jpeg

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces!]

Welcome back for Night Four of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2018!!

Tonight we’re going to look at a (for now) imaginary set that, when you think about it in the abstract, we should have gotten already, but for whatever reason, Wizkids has yet to produce.

FF Tortured

Yup… getting the FF back in Clix has indeed been a torturous endeavor.

Whew! That’s as awkward an article description as any I think I’ve ever written. Nevertheless… here we go!

The Marvel set we should have gotten by now but haven’t is…

New Fantastic Four.jpg

THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR:

There’s been no shortage of articles detailing Marvel’s alleged (wait, is it even still “alleged” anymore? Hasn’t it been proven?) reluctance to allow any licensed merchandise featuring the X-Men or Fantastic Four. But the weird part is, this shadowban of FOX movie properties seems to have expired some time ago for the X-Men. How long ago? Well, long enough ago that their big return to Clix, Uncanny X-Men, HAS ALREADY SHIFTED TO GOLDEN AGE!

When you consider that the first Deadpool set and the DoFP comic book Gravity Feed (which itself was essentially just Marvel using Wizkids to send Fox a giant middle finger) both came out in Spring 2014, we were really only without Marvel’s Merry Mutants in Heroclix for about two years. Meanwhile, Marvel’s First Family hasn’t had a core character appear in any set since Fear Itself in 2013 (the Super Rare FI033 Angrir) and a regular set since Chaos War in 2012. 20-FREAKING-12!!

So this leaves me with two questions:

1.) Why are the FF (and their related characters) being withheld from Clix while the X-Men have basically had a green light to appear for going on three years now when their respective licenses were both being held by the same competitor?!

2.) IF the FF were to ever be allowed to front another Heroclix set, which version of the team would I personally like to see as the focus of such a set?

The answers:

1.) Nobody knows.

Seriously. At this point, I’m really not sure if anyone even freaking knows. And even if someone deep inside of Marvel or Wizkids did know, I doubt they’d ever tell us.

2.) Hmmmm… how about…

All of them?

And thus, I would simply call this hypothetical set “New Fantastic Four” (from the famous Walt Simonson run) and plaster the box art with both the traditional Reed-Sue-Johnny-Ben lineup AND the Hulk, Spidey, Wolverine and Ghost Rider lineup.

I mean, did you know that if you look up the FF all-time roster on Wikipedia there are 17 names BEFORE it even gets to the New Fantastic Four entry?

So this set would still have a ton of Marvel Heroclix staples like Spidey and Wolverine WHILE AT THE SAME TIME finally giving us Modern Age designs for the traditional lineup! I’d even add in a “Fantastic Five” sub-theme from the MC2 Universe.

Add in some Doctor Doom and a Latveria sub-theme along with a new Surfer and Doc Strange-led “Defenders” sub-Theme, and you’ve got more than enough pieces for a full five-figure set.

Hell, if you want to ensure that this set would literally blow off the shelves and sell out everywhere nearly instantly, Wizkids could meme us all and make the Chase theme for this set “Fox-owned figures that played starring roles in the stories other sets were based upon yet never showed up.”

Chase figures like:

Sue Storm AOU Best

–Invisible Woman (from the “Age of Ultron” comic story and Limited Edition set)

Wolverine and Wolverine.jpg

–Wolverine and Wolverine duo fig (from the “Age of Ultron” comic story and Limited Edition set)

The Silver and Golden Surfers.jpg

–Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock duo fig (from the famous Infinity Gauntlet series and the Avengers: Infinity set)

Molecule Man slice

–Infinite Molecule Man (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

Black Priest Doc Strange.jpg

–Black Priest Doctor Strange (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

Rabam Alal.jpg

–Doctor Doom as Rabam Alal (from the “Time Runs Out” storyline and Secret Wars: Battleworld set)

And, of course, the special Ultra-Chase that fans have been demanding for almost four years:

God Emperor Doom

God. Emperor. Doom!

Boom. Mic drop.

This set would not sit on shelves. These are the characters fans want in Modern right now!

What do you guys think? Would you get hyped for “The New Fantastic Four?”

Let me know in the Comments below!

And next time the Ghost of Clix-Mas Presents appears, he’ll have a theoretical DC set to talk about that WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN YET!!

And come see us tomorrow night for Night Five of Clix-Mas 2018!

MCU 10 years

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally, this article was going to be about the TWO Marvel sets we should have by now but haven’t gotten yet. The other hypothetical set that people have been clamoring for is a MCU: Tenth Anniversary/Infinity War set. But this was a little bit harder to pin down for two reasons: First, it’s unclear whether we will be getting an MCU set for Avengers: Endgame. I don’t think anything’s been announced, but Captain Marvel’s MCU Clix set was sort of thrust on us in a low-key way, and I’m not sure we’d hear for certain either way until January or February. Secondly, a MCU Tenth Anniversary set seems to mean something different to everyone. Some folks just want the movies we never saw Clix’d from Phase 2 on (Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Ant-Man 2, etc.). Others really just want the (well, formally, now I guess) Netflix heroes Clix’d. So it would have been harder to articulate exactly what people would want from that set, even though it’s an expansion theme that I hear people requesting all the time!]

 

 

 

The Ghost of Christmas Past Presents: My Three Favorite Golden Age Clix… And What I Think They Can Tell Us About the Current State of Figure Design!! (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 just went down right here!]

Top Ten Iron Man Figures

Okay!

Welcome to the Third Night of Clix-Mas!!

Today I’m gonna take a stroll down memory lane and look at my three favorite Golden Age Clix of All-Time and try to figure out A.) Why I like them so much and B.) If there’s something about their design that can inform us about the game as it stands today!

So, without further ado…

 

SAV

3. CW057 Sentry and Void — 300 Points — Chase:

Why This Piece: On an aesthetic and backstory level, I have always liked The Sentry. Actually, let me rephrase that. I loved Paul Jenkins initial Sentry event, where he wove The Sentry into the Marvel Universe via Forrest Gump-like flashbacks. Even Stan Lee and Wizard Magazine (the premier comics price guide and entertainment zine at the time) got in on the act.

I don’t really know what the hell Bendis was doing with The Sentry in New Avengers, but some people liked that storyline, so whatever. But even I will admit that The Siege was pretty cool.

When we got to Chaos War, Ninwashui and I were just starting to get back into Clix. Once I found out this figure existed, I knew I had to have it to complete my Sentry collection. So I was predisposed to like this piece. But there’s more to it than that. On a pure design level, Sentry and Void was a masterpiece.

Now, Heroclix has always had expensive tentpoles, including other 300 point “One Man Army” pieces. In the early days of Heroclix, high-pointed pieces were generally overpowered. As people got more sophisticated with army builds and tactical strategy, these larger point pieces sort of fell out of favor. Hell, even today there’s a post-Kyle-Rayner-WOL-LE unofficial rule that you shouldn’t try any piece in the Meta that costs more than 150 points (and Kyle has been out of rotation for a few years now).

But back in 2012, Sentry and Void was a 300 point piece that actually had teeth! Power Cosmic, the Multi-Attack ability and top dial Hypersonic Speed solved many of the issues that made other high-cost pieces not viable in the Meta. To wit:

–With Power Cosmic, “Sentroid” could not be Outwitted, so you could just about always count on being able to take the action you wanted to take on your next turn without worrying that, say, your move-and-attack power would be nullified by some 30 point support piece.

–The inherent Willpower from PC and the Multi-Attack ability went a looooong way towards keeping this piece from being hopelessly out-actioned by the opposing force, a common problem for other behemoths.

–And Hypersonic Speed and Flight meant that Sentry and the Void didn’t have any of the mobility issues that slowed other high-cost pieces.

Sentry and Void also had an interesting Trait that allowed you to sub in a different version of either The Sentry or The Void (kind of a clunky precursor to “Shifting Focus”) for additional battlefield flexibility and a mid-dial Movement Special Power (ASGARD MUST FALL: Once per game, give Sentry and Void a double power action. For the rest of the game even if this power is lost elevated terrain is considered grounded hindering terrain. Deal Sentry and Void and each character occupying elevated terrain 1 unavoidable damage.) that essentially allowed you to level the Map if you got stuck in a disadvantageous terrain position on the Map.

Having said all that, Sentry and Void did have a few weaknesses as well, beyond the obvious weakness of only having one figure make up your entire army.

–No Improved Targeting meant that despite Sentry and Void’s awesome Range (11), they still had to run up to anyone in hidden in Stealth, which could sometimes leave them in a slightly vulnerable position given that their Movement Speed was only 10, which was actually on the low-end for Hypersonic Speed figures.

–A top dial 11 Attack was fine, but hardly gamebreaking, and left Sentry and Void severely vulnerable to forces that had fielded multiple sources of Probability Control and–to a lesser extent–Perplex.

This left Sentry and Void in a spot where it was viable in the 300 point Meta, but hardly dominant.

What Can Be Learned From Sentry and Void: In an era of where it seems like even Thor is getting multiple 50 and 75-point representations, I was worried that we’d never see a serious 300 point OMA ever again. But The Might Thor set from last August and the Avengers: Infinity expansion from May brought us a lot of great high-point and Colossal figures.

Still, I think Carnage from TMT might be the closest they’ve gotten to a viable 300 point piece (the jury’s still out on 300 Point Tri-Sentinel and 300 Point Starro). I really want to see Wizkids give us a viable 300 Point piece that kind of lands right in that “Goldilocks” design sweet spot of not overpowered, not underpowered, but just right for the competitive scene.

Spectre 2

2. WF066R Spectre — 35 Points — Chase:

Why This PieceReally, this could be almost any of the KC “Tower Mode” pieces; I just chose the Spectre because he was my favorite.

But this whole series of pieces was a home run that has paid dividends over multiple sets (we seem to get new KC pieces every year as Con Exclusives, and two more showed up in last year’s “Elseworlds” expansion!).

35 Points for one Click is expensive, but his Damage Special (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.) is potentially game-altering if not dealt with promptly. He has great Defense (18 with ES/D plus the KC and Mystics TA) for his cost as well.

As a cherry on top, this is his SECOND dial; he has a whole main dial if you’d rather use him that way.

All in all, a ton of value.

What Can Be Learned From Spectre: WizKids has a history of releasing broken Chase figures (usually from the DC universe) that just oppress the Meta from the first day they’re released (Lydea Mallor; just about every Entity from WOL).

The KC Chases didn’t do that. Oh, they were powerful as hell, and certainly viable in some Meta Builds, but they weren’t “must-haves” for folks who want to play competitively (or even folks who were just trying to keep up with the Joneses at their FLGS).

I can’t think of another Sub-Theme of Chases and/or Primes that walked that “Goldilocks” tightrope of being useful and popular and yet not gamebreaking. The fact that these characters come from one of the most popular DC graphic novels of all-time also helps.

I would like to see more Chase Sub-Themes like this. Figures that are playable in so many different Builds. I pulled a Chase Raphael on a skateboard at the last Turtles release we did. Awesome! Except I haven’t really been able to find the right build to field him since then.

But if you lucked into one of the KC pieces, you were excited not just because you pulled a rare piece that was gonna be worth some money; you knew that you were going to be able to play that piece again and again and again (I can’t tell you how many “Mystical” theme teams I’ve rounded out with this Spectre. Suffice to say: a lot!).

The recent “Superfriends” Chase theme from BTAS is the closest I think Wizkids has gotten to finding another evergreen Chase/Con Ex sub-theme that excites fans, but even with those pieces most people are fielding them exclusively in their Sideboard, which can be really annoying. But that’s another discussion for another day.

Speed Demon Speeches

1. DP053A Speed Demon — 110 Points — Super Rare:

Why This PieceAnd now we come to my favorite piece of all-time! I used this guy probably more than any other piece I own. He’s the reason I still love running Sinister Syndicate teams to this day.

I’m gonna repeat myself again here, but it’s all about the design, design, DESIGN!!

Speed Demon was incredibly useful not just because of his whole dial Hypersonic Speed, but also because of his ridiculously awesome, unique Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.).

This Trait was sooooo good that I thought it would be repeated ad nauseam in the Flash set that had been announced for later that year.

Nope. They never used it again.

But that Trait was a silver bullet against so many turtle strategies and adjacency-based squads.

He was certainly beatable. Only six clicks with an average 17 Defense from range and no Outwit protection of any kind. And at 110 points, you were paying close to a Primary Attacker cost for a Secondary piece. But he was able to wreak so much havoc on the opponent’s gameplan that he was worth his points and then some.

What Can Be Learned From Speed Demon: Really, it’s that we need more creative Traits like “Speed Cyclone Uplift” in the game. I would love it if we got back to figure designs with characters that had powers that forced your opponent to adapt to on the fly (in other words, pieces that force your opponent to actually PLAY THE GAME WITH YOU), rather than pieces that are just there to facilitate the next Call-In card use.

 

Wow! I thought this subject would be 500 words and out, but I guess I got a little carried away. 1700 words later, here we are.

Who are your favorite Golden Age pieces?

Sound off in the Comments below, and then meet us back here on Monday for the Fourth Night of Clix-Mas!!

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future Presents: Star Trek: TNG: Irresponsible Speculation!! (Or, The Second Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

TNG Cast Photo

I am SO excited to see these characters Clix’d!! Well… most of them. Like at least one of the Crushers. Two Thirds of this set will be sooooo awesome!

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our previous post!]

So, who’s excited for a full, 5-figure Star Trek: TNG set?

Well, put your hands down, cuz it ain’t happening.

Instead, WizKids split the set in two. What’s more, they also decided to use a Gravity Feed distribution model AND delayed both parts until next year.

Way to stoke that Trek excitement WizKids!!

Picard Gif 1

Anyway, this preview will now focus on the first set (Resistance is Futile), due (for now) in June of 2019.

Now, I’ve watched EVERY episode of TNG multiple times. Unfortunately for me, I’m old enough that when I was growing up, staying up to watch a double dose of TNG repeats airing on the local UHF station from 11:30pm-1:30am was the height of time-shifted entertainment (we’re talking ’92-’95-ish here). Those reruns are actually how I got into the show.

TNG remains my favorite version of Trek, so I had been imagining what my dream set would be for some time.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Eh, that could be a lie. Ask me on the right day and I’ll say DS9. Sisko was my always my favorite Captain, even if he was just a Commander for the first few seasons. He was a little more “man-of-action-y,” which led to more cool space battles, even if that wasn’t what Trek was ideally about.]

Sisko wins

Now THAT is a tactical genius right there!

Now that we know what the rarity breakdown will be, I’m gonna try and get ultra-nerdy and come up with my ideal “Star Trek: Away Team: The Next Generation: Resistance Is Futile: Too Many Colons!” set!

Keep in mind, from the solicit we know that this first set will focus on Starfleet, Klingons, the Borg and Q Continuum as general themes.

Without further ado, here is my ideal Gravity Feed (sigh… ) Star Trek: Away Team: TNG set!

First…

9 COMMONS (PLUS 1 PRIME): 

Security Officers

Wait, I don’t think all of these were generics…

001: Federation Security Officer— This piece would have the UFP TA, Sidestep with 1 Damage and RCE (“Set Phasers to Stun”) on the front end, Charge and 2 Damage on the back end. Four or five clicks. 50 Points or less.

Borg drone

002: Borg Drone– Five clicks for 50 points, although I would probably have 2 five click-dials and let the player choose which one they were fielding at the beginning of the game with a Trait that is literally called “Resistance is Futile.’

The first dial would be close-combat oriented; the second would be support-y.

Oh, and we’d probably need a Borg TA. Something really strong that represents their adaptability, particularly their shields.

THE BORG: Once per turn, whenever a friendly character using this Team Ability is damaged by an opposing character’s attack, modify the Defense of all other friendly characters using this Team Ability by +1 until end of turn.”

Borg Invader

Pulling… it… OFF!

003A: Borg Assimilator– Four clicks with the Borg TA and some sort of special Mind Control power that let them use one of a hit character’s printed powers when executing their Mind Control attack.

Hugh

003B: Hugh– Hugh would be like a 75-100 Point Borg. I’m honestly not sure what power set I would give him (Shape Change? Support?) but he needs to be in this set!

Nurse Ogawa

004: Nurse Ogawa– Three Clicks with the UFP TA. Like 20 Points or so. She would have a Special Damage Power that reads “Second in Command of Sickbay: Support. Probability Control, but only to reroll rolls made while using the Support power.”

That wording gets a little clunky, but I think you get the gist.

Tamarian_first_officer

Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra, bitches!

005: Tamarian First Officer– Because I don’t care what anybody says: “Darmok” was awesome, and it deserves a couple of references in this set. This guy would be 40-60 points with some B/C/F and Leadership mixed in (maybe even some Empower).

You can make a pretty strong argument that the Darmok characters are better thematic fits for the next TNG set, “To Boldly Go… ,” and you may be right. But they’re trying to jam all of the important Romulan, Ferengi, and Cardassian characters (and even freaking Armus, the oil slick that killed Tasha Yar) that appeared in TNG into that set, so I’m gonna put the Tamarians in this one.

Klingon Warrior

006: Klingon Warrior– This would be your generic Klingon fighter. Think Asgardian Troll as far as the dial goes.

Wesley Crusher.jpg

007: Ensign Wesley Crusher– <sigh> He has to be included. Look, I’m not trying to pile on–it’s kind of a cliche at this point to find Wesley a lil annoying–but he was an integral part of the show’s early seasons and frankly has to be in this set.

In his defense, his character got way less annoying when they actually put him in a uniform.

Anyway, this version would be pretty squishy but offer a pretty strong combination of Perplex and a conditional Outwit (“Non-commissioned Genius: Perplex. FREE: Choose a Team Ability possessed by an opposing character within range and line of fire. That character cannot use that Team Ability this turn.).

Amanda Rogers.jpg

008: Amanda Rogers– If the Q Continuum is going to be a focus, I’d imagine they’re gonna put the only Q-kid from the series in here somewhere (probably not at Common, but that’s where I’m putting her!).

She would be more like 40 or like 90 points with some Support-y stuff up front, followed by a Stop click that activates her God Mode on her last two Clicks.

I also would not mind a Q Continuum Team Ability that mimicked the KC Team Ability (these are nigh-omnipotent beings after all).

Anyway, by putting her at Common, folks who pulled poorly would still have a good chance to get a higher point fig to build around.

Tasha yar

009: Lt. Tasha Yar– Like 60 Points with alternating CCE and RCE. Basically a better-statted version of 001 Starfleet Security Officer.

 

AND NOW…

8 UNCOMMONS:

 

Lwaxana Troi

010: Lwaxana Troi– A squishy support piece that could use a Power Action to reduce your opponent’s Action Total by one on their next turn (representing her mental abilities and negotiating skills).

Ensign Ro.jpg

011: Ensign Ro Laren– Everyone’s favorite spunky, no-nonsense helmsperson who inexplicably turned down a regular role on DS9!

Standard UFP Team Ability with some sort of mechanic that allows her to shift her allegiances after being KO’d or down dial (when she brutally betrayed the Federation and joined the evil Maquis! Yes, I realize that’s not how it went down…).

Miles O'Brien.jpg

012: Chief Miles O’Brien– He has to be a Taxi, right? Only he would use some sort of Special Phasing/TK combo.

Leah Brahms

013: Dr. Leah Brahms– She would give a bonus to movement for other friendly characters and a special stat bonus to Geordi!

Jack Crusher

014: Jack Crusher– Past keyword. UFP TA. Would probably give a stat boost to Wesley Crusher.

Katherine Pulaski.jpg

015: Dr. Katherine Pulaski– 45 Points. Support. UFP TA. Special Attack Power: “Beam Him Straight To Sickbay: POWER: Choose a friendly character with the Starfleet keyword that’s not not on their starting Click and give that character an Action Token. If you do, place that character in a square adjacent to Dr. Katherine Pulaski.

Gowron.jpg

016: Gowron– Okay, they probably won’t put three Klingons in a row, but all three of these dudes are important Klingons in modern Trek lore.

Kmpec

017: K’mpec– The High Chancellor. He’d have Leadership that wouldn’t be adjacent-dependent for Klingons.

Duras

018: Duras– Would allow for Klingon/Romulon hybrid teams. Heck, I’d even bring back the Arch-Enemy ring for Duras and Worf!

 

PLUS… 9 RARES:

 

Remmick.jpg

019: Lt. Commander Remmick– Think Brood Queen with all the power of Starfleet! this was one of the more disturbing storylines that Trek ever tried, even if they pulled the plug after two installments (what did ever happen to that signal Remmick sent at the end of “Conspiracy?”). I’d actually give him the Starfleet keyword and design a way for him to “infest” other characters with the Starfleet keyword–both friendly and opposing.

Worf

020: Worf-– 100 points. Kind of like a ranged Drax dial. Both Klingon and Starfleet keywords.

Picard.jpg

021: Captain Jean-Luc Picard– Title Character Picard!! This is where they should let their imaginations run wild!

I thought they were actually too restrained with the title characters from the Original Series Away Team set. I would rather see something that more easily affects the game board.

Like, what if Picard had the possibility to “promote” another piece with multiple starting lines up one dial (like when Mangog pulls the Odin sword?) as his ultimate? The possibilities are endless!

Kurn

022: Kurn– Worf’s brother. Starts the whole “Sons of Mogh” storyline that results in Worf straight killing Duras for his crimes!

Prof Moriarty.jpg

023: Professor Moriarty– The nemesis that Data accidentally creates on the Holodeck! Robot keyword, with lots of Perplex and Outwit! I’d even consider giving him a “Steal Your Transport” type of power like Nebula had back in the first GotG comics set!

William Riker.jpg

024: Lt. Commander Riker– Clearly this will be the bearded version! I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s an Uncommon in the second set, so that they can make a Prime Thomas Riker!

Geordi Laforge.jpg

025: Lt. Commander Geordi Laforge– He should add +2 to friendly character’s Movement speed. Or maybe even give him a Special that says: “POWER: An adjacent character may use Running Shot or Charge as FREE this turn.” That would be pretty sick.

Q2

026: Q2– In the series, he restores Q’s powers in a Season 3 episode (a rather good one, too). How that translates into Clix, I don’t know. What I do know is that this guy would–like Q himself–having Living Tribunal-levels of power.

Maybe make him another silver bullet against Colossal Retaliators and/or Cosmic characters?

Lal

027: Lal– Data’s daughter! Again, Robot keyword. Should have a special Perplex for Data.

 

ALSO…

5 SUPER RARES (PLUS 1 PRIME!): 

 

Tam Elbrun

028: Tam Elbrun– Wow! This Betazed had crazy mental powers that eventually grew out of control. He can read pretty much everybody’s thoughts. How you express that in game could take several forms. He should definitely have a way to cancel opposing Shape Change or Super Senses.

Noonian Soong.jpg

029: Noonian Soong– Scientist keyword. He’s the old man who created both Data and Lore. He should be the Chase Agamotto of this set, really.

Rasmussen,_Berlinghoff

030: Berlinghoff Rasmussen– Time travelling crook! I would give him a Trait where he can roll for a different power each turn (representing the different items he steals).

Troi

031: Deanna Troi– Well… we know she’s in the set. I don’t see why she would be an SR, but I don’t know yet how they’re going to translate her empathy powers into actual Clix. Anyway, this is my irresponsible speculation, so I’ll put her where I want, dammit!

Data GIF.gif

032A: Data– Think Prime Deathlok from Wolverine and the X-Men. Strong Robot with Outwit and high stats but his combat potential is held back by his credo to never murder.

Lore

032B: Lore– And then of course Lore would be the opposite, with lots of Outwit and Perplex, too.

I mean, Data and Lore have to be at least one set of the Primes, right? And given Lore’s later connection to the Borg (in Season 7, I believe), it only makes sense to make them the SR flipsides.

 

AND FINALLY… TWO CHASES!!

 

Locutus,_full_torso

033: Locutus of Borg– Okay, if the SR Prime isn’t Lore, then it would have to be Locutus. But I think Picard really needs to show up in the Rare slot, so making Locutus a Chase seems like the only other option.

Q

034: Q– So, I think there’s a good chance Q ends up as a Super Rare. They could actually make him the SR Chase with one version wearing the Farpoint gear, and the other version wearing a Starfleet uniform (or they could do the Deja Q powerless version that ran around telling people “to change the gravitational constant of the universe” to solve complex problems). But if he’s a Chase with Trelane or Mxyptzlk-like powers only with better stats, he will really drive sales of the set.

 

Okay! So, there’s my version of a kickass Star Trek Gravity Feed set, and there’s still plenty of great stuff like Armus and Guinan left for the next set! Come June, we’ll see how close I got.

What do you all want from a Star Trek: TNG Clix set? Post in the Comments below!