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That’s a photo of my back door, found kicked in by thieves who stole my computer.

With it went files and software for Pocket checklists and other stuff I used to make this blog fun.

Jerks.

So for the moment, I have to update this blog on the phone, which is difficult.

Heroclixin’ … Down but not out.

 

 

GetOut

GetOut

Avengers Defenders War is out, and I am in the Sunken Place.

So I’m not a completionist in this game. Nevertheless, I have a number of themes I’ve enjoyed collecting because they make me happy. And for these, I am something of a completionist. A sampling:

  • Justice Society keyword
  • Legion of Super-Heroes keyword
  • Masters of Evil keyword
  • Young Avengers keyword
  • Guardians of the Galaxy keyword
  • Nova Corps keyword
  • Iron Man’s many armors
  • Diana’s Wardrobe: Each costume variant of Wonder Woman
  • Kal-El’s Closet: Each costume variant of Superman
  • Every Aquaman, Namor and Atlantis figure
  • Every Black Widow figure
  • Most variants of Captain America
  • Hey, We Thought This Was The Archery Contest: Every character with a bow and arrow

But all of these have been bent or outright broken at points when they simply became too much trouble to keep up. For example, for the Legion, I’m lacking only Supergirl [Crisis ], I think. But she’s a character who’s duplicated about five times over, so I haven’t made acquiring it much of a goal at all. So that theme is bent.

Then there are ones that got BROKE: When the Justice Society added one of HeroClix’s first chase figures, Queen Hippolyta [Origin 217], that destroyed my completionist streak for that theme. Even when I got one later, I was never again pressed to get every JSA-er.

Another example: Iron Man armors. In this case, it was extreme disappointment with a figure that broke me. This collection is largely about the optics, and this one looked so damned stupid that I couldn’t continue.

tabM-003

And so this went from a top priority theme to one that’s……………lower.

But the granddaddy of all my collecting priorities is the Black Box: a collection of every single black character in HeroClix.

Because another thing I decided to do early on in this hobby was to build a competitive team composed solely of such characters. When I started, that was an impossibility. But with time and power creep — as well as an ever-increasing proportion of said characters in the game — it has become not only possible but difficult not to include some melanin-rich representation in some of the top meta builds.

Generally, this has been a breeze to stay on top of. When I started, there were only one or two black characters in a given set. Fantastic Forces had only the Power Man REV trio. I gave the Middle Eastern villainess Asp from the same set honorary Black Box status for YEARS just so I’d be able to build a team.

Fast forward to the past couple of years, which have dramatically increased the number of candidates for the Black Box:

2014 releases:

20151228_192927

2015 releases:

20151228_192950

And my Black Box completion was put to its sorest test this past year with the releases of the first such piece to be a chase, Spider-Punk [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 062], then of Jakeem Thunder [Joker’s Wild 053b], a top-level meta competitive piece in the Super Rare prime slot, almost as scarce as and an orders of magnitude more expensive than older chase figures. I spent more money on that than I ever have on a single piece before (sort of. I sold an older meta SR prime to raise the majority of the funds to buy the JT figure).

But now we come to ADW. And it’s got me feeling like the opening image from “Get Out”.

  • Two new Luke Cages, a common rarity (which I somehow have not pulled from eight packs) and a Fast Forces version.
  • Generic Atlantean Warriors for the Atlantis theme.
  • W’Kabi and Wakanda Warriors, an Uncommon and another generic needed in multiples.
  • Two new Black Widows [026 and 037]. An Uncommon and a Rare.
  • A new Iron Man suit in Iron Man [053]. A Super Rare.
  • Two Masters of Evil, a Rare and a Super Rare.
  • Three new archers in Hawkeye [004, 022, 067], one a CHASE.
  • Two new Cap variants, both unlikely to be remade. A Super Rare and another CHASE.

And the absolute worst, two Super Rares and THREE CHASES to go in the Black Box: Black Panther [058], Man-Ape [061], Captain America [069], Iron Heart [071] and Black Panther [074]. Before now, I never had more than two in any rarity above rare status in one set. Ever.

And let’s not forget the LE The Man Without Fear [101], another Black Panther version, released during an event I can’t run as judge of my venue.

I’m screaming inside.

No, not this one.

BBP

THIS one:

> aou045 cacws006cacw013 cwsop109

Black Panther [Age of Ultron Storyline 045] 140
Black Panther [Captain America: Civil War Starter Set 006] 95
Black Panther [Captain America: Civil War 013] 80
Black Panther [Captain America: Civil War 109] 70
+ Pym Particles 2

= 397 points.

In a bye match I fielded it against Superdoom [Superman/Wonder Woman 059] and President Lex Luthor [WizKids D15-004].

My gameplay was sound. I made AoU Panther a giant with Pym Particles — to make him a taxi and able to attack without triggering Hypertime team ability — and kept him near blocking. The CW starter BP was safely in back, the CW rare’s trait was safe from shooting, and I forgot to use the CWSL Panther’s ability to jump into hindering for Stealth.

Wait…that last bit…Nooooooooo

Sure enough, Superdoom caught that last BP out in the wind and one-shot both him and my chances of winning.

This wasn’t even my first time running this figure. I’d used it RECENTLY. And spammed the HELL out of that ability.

I just don’t understand how I make such terrible FAIL moves like this after so many years.

It was still a fun match, as my opponent was a HUGE Black Panther fan and got almost as much a kick out of just seeing the team as I did playing it.

I just wish I hadn’t made such a FAIL move…

 

There’s been a lot of talk about the long-awaited rules changes coming to HeroClix in mid-summer. But unlike other commentaries, Heroclixin’ is focusing on how F.U.N. these changes promise to be — or not.

  • F = Friendly: How unpleasant is this aspect of the game likely to be to face when it’s not on your side? The more so, the less it rates on this metric.
  • U = Useful: It’s still nice to have utility on your force. So how’s it rate in this manner?
  • N = Nerdcore: Finally, there’s the question of whether this change adequately reflects the source material, the comics. And we found that this metric mattered to us much more than we expected in rating these new rules.

Let’s dish.

EDIT: So not half a DAY after I made this post live, WizKids released an update featuring changes to the changes! So things are being struck out like so and new commentary likewise inserted.

 

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Themed Teams: Additional Team Abilities gone from Modern Age, Themed Team Probability Control uses equal to number of members, max 5 

The TTPC cap is a fantastic change. I still remember an old game from 2008 that I lost chiefly due to an endless* series of TTPCs. And with other changes to Prob, this will be a Friendlier element of the game going forward. It definitely has less Utility, but in truth, this is a much more comic-accurate Nerdcore reflection of the comics: there’s a limit to how much keyword synergy can influence a battlefield.

But my ATAs tho. I loved these point fillers — they were usually Friendly but Useful and really enhanced the Nerdcore aspect of the game — and now they’re gone from Modern Age. If they go, RESOURCES should go.

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uxm033

Leadership: Always only +1 action for team. Remove tokens from shared keyword or lower points

Though we’ll miss the multiple extra actions and the Usefulness that sometimes offered, the guaranteed +1 action is much more Nerdcore accurate to reflect the effect of any decent leader on an organization. The d6 roll, then, represents the flashes of inspiration that good leaders have to make the team even more effective — and it makes sense that the leader needn’t always be beefier than the followers. While this has some potentially VERY unFriendly applications — 50-point Cap removes token from raging 300-point Hulk — Heroclixin’ is looking forward to this one.

(A possible F.U.N. Fix: Battle Fury can’t be affected by Leadership.)

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wf059

Mastermind: Instead of damage transfer, it switches hit targets. It also works via keywords similarly to Leadership above.

So this means Energy Explosion and Poison can’t be MM’d anymore. This is Nerdcore accurate because Joker can’t somehow make the Thug breathe in tear gas for him. This is also a boost against Precision Strike, though, which probably SHOULD still work against Mastermind, so we have to dock it Nerdcore points. Overall, we’re glad it’s relevant again.

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Phases: Beginning of Turn, Action, End of Turn, Clearing.

It’s much cleaner gameplay (Friendly) but takes away so many combos (less Useful). Still on the fence on Niftiness.

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DC18-WF-007b-Poison-Ivy

Poison: No longer free action but Beginning of Turn effect (that kills Sidestep+Outwit combos)

Poison is the highest profile casualty of the new turn phases. On the one hand, the old combos made this cheap power way more effective than it’s priced to be, and it’s still free damage, every turn. But on the other, this change makes it utterly ineffective against any damage reducer and elevates its risk vs. reward ratio to a problematic degree. The designers took some player feedback into account and came up with a solid rewrite and compromise: Poison is FREE if the poisoner hasn’t been moved or placed. Very nice!

Still, it’s more Nerdcore-comic-accurate than ever, actually. Poison usually takes a minute to kick in. And although we usually take several minutes to resolve rounds of HeroClix play, the events are occurring in seconds. So this change is pretty spot-on.

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rey-take-money

Costed actions: New term for non-free actions. Nested free actions, such as the free close action during Charge, are now actions “at no cost.”

So some years ago, there was a 45-point figure made that each dealt enemies 1 unavoidable damage for doing any of the following (among other actions) within 8 squares:

  • Flurry
  • Charge
  • Running Shot
  • Hypersonic Speed
  • Duo Attack

No line of fire needed. And it triggers even if you KO this figure. Seem a little too good? Well, part of the reason was that “free action” had a very broad definition, not only including standalone ones like Outwit or Poison but also “nested” ones that only worked within a non-free one. Now, with the new “costed” term, there’s a way to use these powers without triggering the wrath of the Science Police who call the Legion of Super-Heroes for help.

For just this figure alone, this will be a great change. It also keeps stuff like White Witch or the Green Lantern Power Battery from being the F.U.N.-sucking things they could be. (Jury is still out on Felix Faust, though.)

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blackpanther1

Outwit: Instead of countering possessed powers/abilities on dial, it says “can’t use” special/standard powers of any source. Also can nix powers before they ever show up!

Back in 2013, when Outwit, Prob. Control and Perplex got their former 10-square reach slashed to just six, Outwit suffered the most. Worse, with relics and resources and traits and equipment, there were a TON of powers it couldn’t touch. But now its gotten its Usefulness back, and while that’s a fair bit less Friendly — Outwit is going to be a lot scarier to see on the other team — it’s perfectly Nerdcore and RIGHT.

Being able to preemptively deny use of powers not yet in use is the part that troubles us. While it’s highly Nerdcore for certain characters (doesn’t master Outwitter Black Panther regularly counteract enemy powers on the fly?) it’s quite a stretch for others (J. Jonah Jameson is NOT a tactical genius).

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Protected: new key word for immunities. Ex: “Protected: Outwit” = “can’t be countered.”

So if Outwit is getting such a boost, it seems only fair that there some guard be against it. Time will tell how Friendly this will be, but its certainly Useful and potentially Nerdcore.

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kingpin

Objects: All characters can hold lights. No more ultras. Objects aren’t hindering.

One of the most Nerdcore changes, as it never made a great deal of sense that only Super Strength characters could hold light objects, usually depicted as nothing more weighty than a manhole cover (and usually considerably lighter). It also was implausible that light objects could be used as cover for Stealth characters, especially giants with the power, and that they would trip up runners the way a hedge would. So it’s a highly welcome change to see objects cease to be hindering terrain, even if that puts the kibosh on some of their old Utility.

Also, a note on ultra heavy objects’ exit from the main game: As cool as they were, they really were a demoralizing factor for the receiving end. We’re not that sad to see them go. Note: They’re considered special objects in Golden Age, so only one of each of ultra light and heavy will likely be allowed.

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"DAMN! Spotted me."

Hide: standard and tiny figs can turn heavy objects they’re on into hindering at end of turn.

Heavy objects retain some of their Utility for Stealth figs, though the mechanic is a little clunky (you’re supposed to put a hindering marker there, but actually the object acts as the hindering marker? Um…OK)  Heavy objects are hindering terrain for line of fire. Seems legit.

It’s also fantastically Nerdcore that this trick is no longer available to giants at all.

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4874144-0412782322-2we1.

Super Strength: Deals knockback, holds heavies.

The green attack power getting to deal knock back is a nice Nerdcore and Useful upgrade. There are enough counters to knock back in the game that this looks pretty Friendly as well.

CAVEAT: It needs to be worded to work with close attacks or Object Attacks ONLY. Otherwise it makes no sense with characters such as, say, Spider-Woman [Avengers Assemble 028] to deal auto-knockback while shooting a foe. That range power has nothing to do with her muscle.

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lantern-transports

 

Carry: -1 for each passenger. Vehicles’ “Passenger” number is standard for all. Can’t carry while holding object.

I’ve always been surprised how many players question whether you can carry both a passenger and an object. The answer has always been “yes…” until now. This is a fairly Nerdcore change, because in truth we almost never see a character carrying both in the comics. The carrying penalty is also a simple compromise from the old flat -2. It’s going to be a little less Friendly, as the penalty used to serve as a check on Charge and Running Shot while carrying, say, Enhancement allies or something.

 

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It's because you didn't declare CLOSE, Pete

It’s because you didn’t declare CLOSE, Pete

Destroy: wrecking objects/terrain are CLOSE/RANGE actions.  (Doesn’t combo with HSS.)

WizKids really seems to want to take the plain vanilla attack out of the game, or at least to sideline it as much as possible outside of the occasional special power. This is a Friendly but not entirely Nerdcore change that takes even more Utility out of Hypersonic Speed.

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aquaman-crane

Object Attacks: CLOSE/RANGE actions. 6 range. (Doesn’t combo with HSS.)

It never entirely made Nerdcore sense to be able to combo Exploit Weakness with use of a Tank Turret or any other ultra heavy object, so this change delights us at Heroclixin’. Or at least it did until we realized using objects wouldn’t combo with Flurry anymore, either. Or Close Combat Expert.

Still, this change is taking a lot of the needless complexity out of the equation. Consider, for example, how using objects currently works with EW, CCE and Flurry but DOSEN’T function with other melee powers like Quake, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Incap or Mind Control. This change makes it its own thing so players don’t have to memorize or consult a flow chart to figure out basic combos.

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Flash trips

Hypersonic Speed: Moves through characters, can’t carry, always has +2 breakaway even on normal movement. Instead of attacking during move, the move stops, then vanilla attacks (no more object attack), then breakaway to move rest of speed. 

This power is much more Friendly and Nerdcore with these changes. For although we’ve been addicted to the HSS+SStrength combo since the power debuted, I am very hard pressed to bring up even a single instance when Superman flew full tilt into an enemy’s face holding a tank. The passive breakaway bonus is great.

The end of One-Hit KOs is more than enough reason for us to cheer this change. We’ll take in stride the fact that Plasticity is no longer a hard counter to 0 range HSS.

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Iron man 15-1

Pulse Wave: Now ignores powers and effects from LOF drawing onward.

This removes the corner cases that used to get around the ultimate solvent in the game. But we’re fretting that if it busts all powers and effects in range, doesn’t that mean it affect Barrier, too? We need answers, because Barrier should remain the one power Pulse Wave can’t ignore.

 

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Ringmaster

Mind Control: Instead of giving action, it gives halved move AND vanilla attack.

We CANNOT WAIT to use the new Mind Control. Heroclixin’s hated this power for years despite its grand potential: It’s always had too much potential to fail. Now it effectively gives all hit figures the ability to move and attack for you. We also find it much more Nerdcore, as though the MC’d target is fighting the outside influence. Additionally, WK decided to drop the feedback damage completely. 

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invincible001

Invincible: reduces 2 (incl. penetrating damage) and caps damage at 3

This power’s Friendliness takes a hit because one of its most balancing features was that as stout as it was, all it took was 2 damage to thwart it. It was like a light armor that scaled up in effectiveness based on the size of the threat. Now that it both reduces by 2 AND softens penetrating damage, it seems more like Impervious-plus. It’s much more Useful. I suppose it retains its essential Nerdcore cred by being that damage reducer that works on everything.

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Precision: single target only, evade rolls -1.

So while Precision Strike was the needed natural counter for Super Senses and Mastermind, it was quickly problematic when it got handed out to scores of dials. The trouble with P.Strike was that it comboed with EVERY MODE OF ATTACK and rendered SSenses, an already unreliable defense, utterly unusable. Now, it’s Friendlier by simply making Super Senses even more unreliable than usual. Unfortunately, PStrike’s Useful quotient drops severely, as it no longer functions against Mastermind, either. But it’s much more Nerdcore with its new single target restriction. The name of the power is “PRECISION.”  That doesn’t mix well with a power called Energy Explosion. And speaking of which…

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grenade

Energy Explosion: deals 2 to all hit figs. No longer must hit central target to deal the splash.

This change feels both Friendlier and a bit more Useful. Sure, we’ve lost the borderline gross combos with PPB and whatnot. But the power is on the less expensive side of the spectrum anyway, and low-powered characters will get a boost. We particularly love the slight nerf to Super Senses and the fact that the power’s useful against isolated targets, too.

 

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Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 1.20.51 PM

Probability Control only on attacks and breakaways

Prob is one of the game’s best powers and yet not its most expensive. It’s probably been a little overpowered all along.

So now it should be Friendlier and more focused by not being able to reroll every little thing. But it’s a darn sight less Useful — poor Regen! Ultimately, it’s more Nerdcore IMHO, since there’s a limit to how much reality-warping should actually occur in a given instant. We’ll live with it.

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Overall, the gamers Heroclixin’ has spoken to are generally enthused with the direction these rules are going — except the Poison and Regen fallout. No one’s crazy about those.

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Wolverinepic2

But apparently WizKids wasn’t done. With the change to Prob Control, powers such as Regen and BCF got worse. So they (and Support) got slight upgrades:

  • BCF’s minimum result is printed damage -1.
  • Regen heals half the d6 roll, for a minimum 1 and maximum 3. 
  • For its part, Support heals a minimum 2, max 4. 
  • They also made STOP clicks cause 1 less healing when using Regen or Support.

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OK, then. NOW Heroclixin’ is more enthused than ever.

A few weeks ago, I shared the story of my latest trip to a WizKids Open event. Typically, my experience in this level of competition has been … checkered. My first round of this one was the perfect storm of utter IMperfection. Every possible way to fail at this game, from minor misplays to dice to colossal, illegal screwups, I did. It was so bad I didn’t even have a Round 2, suffering the bye win.

Though I strongly considered dropping, I didn’t want to just sit around for the next four hours while my carpool and Heroclixin’ bid Sceritz continued his bid at the top cut. So I endured. And my team still wasn’t trash:

Jakeem Thunder + Hulkbuster Torso

Engineer

Fast Forces Jean Grey

SHIELD Level 7 ID card (Fast Forces Nick Fury, Jr.)

Ant-Man ID Card (Fast Forces Ant-Man)

 

ROUND THREE I faced Ray and his Jakeem Thunder+Brainiac equip, Green Lantern [Joker’s Wild], Green Lantern [World’s Finest] and Mercury. He picked Hank Pym’s Lab. It started pretty dire for me when he Barrier’d up the middle room pretty tightly. I saw I’d have to bust a pair of walls to maybe have an access way. But to set up, I Sidestepped too far forward AGAIN and left Engineer to get shot at AGAIN and lost her in one attack AGAIN. Though it left Ray’s Jakeem overextended, he had Prob and equipment-dial Impervious to protect him from my counterattack.

But I had him exactly where I wanted him now.

Jean called out Nick Jr. and my Jakeem picked Charge+Flurry. Nick landed a solid attack despite Prob Control and, most crucially, got past the Impervious roll so he could use his Special Power:

FIGURE OUT HOW YOU’RE DOING THAT, AND STOP IT: When Nick Fury, Jr. damages an opposing character and actions resolve, choose a power or team ability that character can use. That character can’t use that power or team ability until your next turn.

Nick thus nixed the Brainiac-granted Imperv. With no armor and no Prob, Ray’s JT fell easily to my JT’s next action. And that was that; Ray scooped, as the Green Lanterns just didn’t have the firepower to have a prayer against Jakeem.

 

ROUND FOUR: My opponent was using Krang, Juston Seyfert, FF Jean and the Rock of Eternity resource. He chose a WizKids premium map I don’t recall the name of. It’s got a block of elevated in the middle and on side, some squares of blocking, a strip of hindering.

He chose to power up Krang with the Rock rather than come right at me, so once I got cleared, I sent both my fighters out to HSS to first KO Juston then knock Jean off her free TK. It barely helped, as Engineer got one-shot AGAIN and JT was crippled by Krang’s counterhit. I had to flee to my side of the map and try to Regen as I helplessly watched the wounded Krang heal via Sloth. Fortunately, I got a good Regen roll and went back the fight. Selecting Energy Explosion and Precision Strike, I scored a lucky crit hit in the final seconds that KO’d Jean for the margin of victory.

 

In ROUND FIVE, my luck would absolutely end, as I faced Wes and his Ultron 18.2 drone, OP Dr. Octopus, FF Atomica, Overdrive, 40-points of ID Cards+Round Table and Felix Faust, whose d20 roll absolutely kills Engineer, who needs a free action to even pick powers that she might not even be able to use. My late game error of choosing Regen with Jakeem WHEN HE ALREADY HAD IT ON DIAL only sealed my fate (honestly, I was so gobsmacked at the utter helplessness of my squad that I barely even noticed what click I was on). It was probably the worst possible draw I could’ve had in the whole tourney, to face a mobile Felix.

But I wasn’t upset. After the worst single round of clix I’ve had in years to open the event, I managed two earned wins and an official winning record of 3-2.

Lesson learned: Never give up!

Here’s the latest installment of Heroclixin’ long-running  — but soon to end — quest to determine how each model with Super Strength can hold the object token the character is holding. Because standing on it is weak sauce and confusing. Putting it on the card is even WEAKER (and borderline cheating in our barely humble opinion because it’s sort of hidden).

So here’s how to be awesome instead:

 

Champool 20170307_100028 20170307_100141 20170307_100513 20170307_100556 20170307_095900 20170305_181343 20170305_151320 20170225_212054

I think we got them all on camera from the set. F.U.N. times!

But yes, this effort is slated to end. With the 2017 overhaul to the rules, now EVERY character will be able to hold light objects. So rather than run overselves ragged taking pix of every clix in the game, we’re going to cover the Super Strength ones only through June, and then Token Totin’ will be done.

We’ll enjoy the ride until then!

 

 

Despite supreme failures in 2016 WizKids Open events in both spring and fall, I decided to take the 2-hour drive to yet another this winter.

This time, though, unlike spring’s Ginger Gals force or the “Let’s Not Even Get To Roll For Our Spider-Verse trait” Celebrity theme, I had a team that might be able to win more than one round, with it being anchored by Heroclixin’s No. 2 best figure of 2016, Jakeem Thunder:

Jakeem Thunder [Joker’s Wild 053b] 140 + Hulkbuster Torso 10

Engineer [Flash 060] 90

Jean Grey [Uncanny X-Men Fast Forces 002] 50

SHIELD Level 7 ID card 5

Ant-Man ID card 5

= 300 points. Sideline: Nick Fury, Jr. [NFAOS Fast Forces 001], Ant-Man [Original Avengers Fast Forces 005]

I play tested this force a bit sans the ID card. It seemed strong, with Jean able to freely sling a potential pair of HSS fighters about. But I still held reservations about it all. The best players in this sort of event are the kind who have a planned strategy they can apply every game. My play style is decidedly reactive, so I can’t plan anything out. That’s why the pick-a-power pieces appeal greatly to me, enabling me to adjust on the fly.

Unfortunately, it also gave me the means to FAIL AT HEROCLIX IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY in my opening round.

 

METHOD ONE: Map

I lost map roll and selected a starting area. As failures go, this isn’t huge. But it was part of the Avalanche Effect that seems to plague at least half my games.

 

METHOD OF FAILURE TWO: Positioning

Normally, I’m good at positioning. But not this time, as it combined with my map failure above to snowball into a loss. The short of it was that I Sidestepped Engineer into the one square that would give my opponent an easy, low-risk line of fire to KO her with one Running Shot, because…

 

METHOD THREE: Power selection

The key to a swissblade team is picking the right powers. In this instance, I chose Plasticity and Probability Control over Shape Change. In the back of my mind was the fact that the Shifting Focus Superman I was facing had Hypersonic Speed and the Wrath relic. It didn’t occur to me that the Plasticity nullified the HSS threat. Shape Change was the needed layer of defense that I passed on.

Engineer was one-shot.

 

I wasn’t done picking poorly. In a bid to one-shot Superman, I chose Charge and Exploit Weakness (because Supes was equipped with Brainiac for Impervious). But I wasted Sidestep to pick up my ultra heavy object with the Super Strength I didn’t have. It would have been better to use HSS with Super Strength at the risk of the damage being reduced to 0 because….

 

METHOD FOUR: Crit happens

…I critically missed on the attack with my own Probability Control. And now Jakeem was stranded next to Superman, who used Brainiac’s Outwit to counter my Prob so I could suffer from his critical HIT.

 

METHOD FIVE: No comeback

I retreated to hindering terrain to try to Regen under cover of Stealth. But rolled a two for no healing. And so JT was KO’d in short order because Stealth was no defense against Superman Ally team ability.

 

METHOD SIX: Illegality

I was down to Jean Grey, trying to at least KO Atomica for her scant points. And she hit! But she got Probability Controlled into a miss.

It wasn’t until the third round of the tournament that I recalled this little trait she has:

TIME LOCKED: Opposing characters can’t use Probability Control to reroll attacks made by or targeting this character.

That wasn’t even the worst bit. No, that was

 

METHOD SEVEN

She shouldn’t have been making an attack at all. Not when she was token free and thus able to activate either of the TWO ID CARDS I’D BUILT INTO THE FORCE JUST IN CASE SHE NEEDED TO GET INTO THE FIGHT. But I forgot them completely until after the game.

Not only is Nick’s 11 AV BCF a much better play than her bare 10 AV, but he might’ve blocked LOF to save her from being shot next turn.

 

This was a game where a Colossal Retaliation was waiting to happen and it never even got triggered.

 

METHOD EIGHT

My sorry showing landed me the bye for Round Two. I was sorely tempted to drop altogether and just play battle royals. But the pods filled up before I could join in.

 

“I drove all the way to another state for THIS?” I said, only half joking.

 

I can’t write anymore. I’ll finish this story up later.

Sceritz and I frequently meet for games the way me and Lenny have on multiple occasions. This time I suggested that we play our Top Ten Favorite lists against each other’s.

 

Cyclops [Uncanny X-Men 033] 85

Frog-Man [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 048] 35

Batman [Batman and His Greatest Foes Fast Forces 001] 75

Luke Cage [Civil War Storyline 011] 70

Alloy [World’s Finest 058] 300*

Spider-Punk [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 062] 75

Element Man [World’s Finest 040] 100

Goliath [Civil War Storyline 029] 90

Jakeem Thunder [Joker’s Wild 053b] 140

Grace [Joker’s Wild 031] 125

=1095 points

vs.

Iceman [Uncanny X-Men 051] 110

Spider-Man [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 049] 100

Rogue [Uncanny X-Men 052] 150

Mary Marvel [World’s Finest 041] 150

X-23 [Uncanny X-Men 037] 100

Mephisto [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 046] 130

Beast [Uncanny X-Men 050] 100

Wonder Woman [Batman V Superman 003] 105

She-Hulk [WizKids M16-005] 115

Spider-Gwen [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 052] 95

= 1155 points

 

To even the points exactly, I added an alternate favorite I considered for my top ten: Patriot [Civil War Storyline ]. 60 points exactly made both our teams 1155 points.

 

Sceritz got map choice and selected Jean Grey Institute Indoors. He huddled his force in the room next to the stairs, forgetting that Element Man can get TK, thus giving me first shot with Jakeem.

I took it.

Landed a double-target shot on both Beast and Mary Marvel, dealing 2 to each.

That’s where I lost the game. RIGHT THERE.

It wasn’t that I overextended with Jakeem, because I had a nice backup maneuver to bounce him behind a wall of other figures. Especially after I chose Plasticity with him next turn to prevent the still-dangerous Mary Marvel from any of her Hypersonic attacks.

It wasn’t even that I didn’t move Alloy up far enough, allowing Mephisto to shift the big robot aside just enough to allow X-23 to get a crippling strike on Jakeem.

It wasn’t even lost when Iceman froze Jakeem long enough for me to lose that lead attacker in short order.

No, it was lost when Alloy got Outwitted and KOed in a single turn a few rounds later.

It was when Cyclops got Outwitted and crit-hit off the map.

It was when Spider-Punk got his Senses countered and died in a single turn after making his sole attack.

It was when Bats and Goliath both couldn’t land a hit on a 17 DV Combat Reflexes and no one with range could land a shot on the bare 17.

It was when Batman got his Reflexes countered to finally take a hit.

It was when Element Man got Poisoned to death after his defense got nullified by Outwit.

It was when Luke Cage and Goliath and Grace all got countered and killed.

Sceritz had one source of Outwit and it was Beast and he DID ALL THAT STUFF IN BLUE

It was a classic game of Avalanche FAIL for me: where a very small decision, not even a mistake, snowballs into a seemingly inexorable loss.

If I’d known dealing Beast just two damage instead of all four was going to cost me all the above, I’d have made a very different decision. And because of this game, I always will.

———–

It wasn’t all bad. Frog-Man scored his first KO by bouncing Spider-Gwen into a wall and tokening almost the entire remaining force.

And the whole game was great fun. A chance for us to play forces full of figures we love?

 

* Sharp readers with a memory for point values may have noted that I misremembered Alloy’s full cost as 300 instead of its actual 275. So I was running at a 25-point deficit despite the addition of Patriot. Knowing I had 85 points to work with instead of 60, perhaps I would have chosen No. 4 F.U.N. fig Crazy Jane [World’s Finest 019] at 75 points. Even better, because I could build to the point total exactly, No. 1 F.U.N. fig Stilt-Man [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 013] with 5 additional Leg Extensions would have been viable.