A couple of weeks ago, the notorious Heroclix Watch List made its first appearance in a couple of years. Less than two weeks later, we have the results!

 

Felix Faust

WHAT WE SAID

The Realms Open Championship league banned Felix twice. WizKids hasn’t banned a figure in its entire history. Perhaps Felix will be the first, because there’s really no elegant fix for this douchebag of a piece.

Wizkids agreed. Where convention exclusive pieces usually have a long shelf life before rotating out (for example, Bat-Mite was released in spring 2013 and just got retired this June), Felix Faust gets the axe immediately.

Sooo… Not banned. But… Yeah, banned.

“Bye Feliciax”

 

 

 

Jakeem Thunder

WHAT WE SAID:

Should escape the Watch List unscathed for a number of reasons. First, he already has built in balances within his “pick a power” trait: Limited to beginning of turn, limited selection of “grade A” powers. Second, the new version of Outwit will be a gut punch …

Again, Wizkids agreed. Jakeem is not the problem here.

 

Pym Tank

WHAT WE SAID

 it’s rather like Precision Strike in that it’s an element that combos with EVERY SORT of attack with an effective Area of Effect that far exceeds its 8-point price and has almost no counter.

At minimum, it shouldn’t combo with other attacks.

Wizkids more than agreed. Not only is it a no damage attack — which is appropriate because it’s essentially like tossing a grenade — but they took its penetrating damage as well.

Heroclixin’ likes this change. It is enough that the tank forcibly moves Invulnerability-plus figs. It should NOT damage them the same as completely unarmored characters.

It’s called INVULNERABILITY.

More the point: it’s an 8-point piece. Its reward (high) was all out of proportion to its risk/expense (low).

Finally, on a F.U.N. level: use of Pym Particles in a fight is not something that should be easy for any old character not named Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne or Scott (or Cassie) Lang to pull off.

 

 

Goblin King

WHAT WE SAID

Oh, WizKids, you were doing so well with balancing the “pick a power” thing.

Then you go and make Goblin King with NONE of those [balances]. AND protected from Outwit.

Whose design is this???

Heroclixin’s fix: If he picks powers, he can’t use Power Cosmic.

Wizkids went even further, banning from using the team ability at all on his lower point costs. Some have complained that him losing Willpower is the bigger deal. But one of his two power choices can always be Willpower (unlike Jakeem), sooo… This isn’t a problem unless you need easy mode Heroclix.

Same goes for the old loophole that allowed him to have four powers in a turn because he kept his choices until he chose again. Wizkids closed it.

Heroclixin’ is on board with all this.

Frequently when a new HeroClix set releases, a sub theme will emerge as a new favorite for yours truly. In late 2009, it was Guardians of the Galaxy in the Hammer of Thor set. 2014’s The Flash introduced me to The Authority.

This go-round, in the Deadpool+X-Force set, it’s X-Statix.

X-Statix_logo

This isn’t a very optimized crew. There’s hardly ANY of the old “STOPP” formula of pit crew powers.

  • No Support. X-Men team ability is a source of healing, true, but it has its built-in drawback.
  • No Telekinesis. This team is unlikely to ever get first strike.
  • No starting Outwit. By the time it shows up, the team is likely in deep trouble.
  • No Perplex. At all. EVER
  • There’s only starting Probability Control, and only on Doop’s fragile 35-point dial.

 

So these lovable losers are going to have an uphill fight. Let’s look at what they have going for them. We’ll also give HEADLINE TIPS focusing on their shared trait to rack up Headline tokens that’ll grant each a unique effect via different traits and powers.

 

 

U-Go Girl [Deadpool & X-Force 013] 40 points

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She’s the team taxi, of course, though only on alternating turns; she can carry 4 friendlies with her keywords when she’s free of action tokens. So barring token removal, once she ferries her crew in, they’re stuck there for the time being. She serves as OK tie-up with Reflexes.

HEADLINE TIPS: Despite 10 AV and Quake, she’s unlikely to gain Headlines. And her benefit — moving as free action — isn’t the best use for them because she generally needs to be free of action tokens to use her taxi skills.

She’s vital to the team, freeing the others up from burning actions getting to the fight.

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Anarchist [Deadpool & X-Force 030] 75 points

anarchist3

Running Shot and Penetrating/Psychic Blast makes him the best source of early offense and Headlines. He’s also got Poison and Improved Targeting to shoot even in adjacency so tying him up is dangerous and largely pointless for foes. The downside is he’s fragile with only ESD for defense.

HEADLINE TIPS: Spending his Headlines to get penetrating Poison seems like a bit of a waste.

He’s vital to the team as its only real range.

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Orphan [Deadpool & X-Force 045] 70 points

Guy_Smith_(Earth-616)_from_Official_Handbook_of_the_Marvel_Universe_A-Z_Vol_1_7

The leader is not so great with Leadership that can’t remove tokens from any but one (or two) of the team due to his too-low point cost. He’ll improve with the new rulebook, but until then he’s just a decent close fighter (IM:Hindering 9 Speed Charge, 10 AV Precision). His real worth is his Leadership SP’s ability to shift Headline tokens from character to character. For example, if Anarchist is the only member with a Headline but Dead Girl is needing to heal, Orphan can give her the Headline.

Later in his dial, he gets Outwit, possibly offering the crew a second wind.

HEADLINE TIPS: His trait allows him to spend Headlines to add a die to his attacks. But as tempting as it is to roll extra dice, resist. Wait. Shift the first Headlines to Dead Girl if she doesn’t have any, then store them on Orphan himself. Try not to use more than one for his attacks, as he has a decent shot at regaining the one spent on a hit. And if you have Prob Control, use it on a normal attack FIRST before making the boosted Headline roll in the reroll.

He’s vital to the team for his Leadership and, as noted, to make the Headlines work.

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Doop [Deadpool & X-Force 046] 90 points / 35 points

Doop_translator

So he’s the sole member with multiple point costs. At 90, he’s the priciest of the lot, bringing Invincible and Close Combat Expert as his contribution. But with only constant Sidestep for movement, he’s rather unlikely to get to use the latter (without being taxied first). And anyway, you might prefer to roll the dice on his “The Unimaginable Power of Doop” trait which has a 33% chance each of either shifting adjacent figures 1 square, or pulling all figs within 4 next to him. On a 5, he grants a friendly fig Power Cosmic for the round and a 6 gives him 10 range and the power to shoot 3 targets (and everyone adjacent to them) for 3 damage each.

But using these results can be fraught with peril. Sometimes the repositioning for the first two options is problematic. The Power Cosmic only really benefits when a friendly has an action token (or enemy Outwit has been an issue). And the Rain of Mjolnirs is hampered by his middling 10 or 9 AV and is no good at all without line of fire.

So it might be more prudent to roll with the little round guy at 35 points as the team’s Prob Control. Though only a scant 2 clicks, he’s protected by Invincible and Regen. The latter gives him potential as an X-Men heal battery.

HEADLINE TIPS: Don’t spend Headlines to reroll his “TUPOD” result unless said result is worse than useless and you REALLY have to get something out of this power action.

Doop is vital at 35 points if only to get ONE of those STOPP powers working on the team’s behalf.

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Dead Girl [Deadpool & X-Force 051] 75 points

76797-20879-dead-girl

Along with Anarchist, she’s going to be the offensive engine of the team thanks to 11 AV Blades and 3 Exploit. Her drawback is 8 Speed holding her back, even with Flight. She’s going to depend highly on being ferried by U-Go Girl. But she also can serve a secondary role on the team as a healer. So long as she has a Headline token, she heals at turn start, making her a long-lasting X-Men TA battery. And she’s got insurance against KO with 3 or more Headlines.

We also can’t overlook her as a silver bullet against STOP clicks. When she hits, those clicks are unusable for the round.

HEADLINE TIPS: Every Headline should come her way until she has the three needed to dodge KO. She also doesn’t burn them to do her free healing.

She’s vital as the one member of the team with an above average AV, Flight and a degree of “don’t die” ability.

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There’s a wrinkle here. If Doop is run at 35 points, this team is 295 points. But at full cost, the team is an unwieldy 350. What to do with the extra 50 points that’s F.U.N.?

In Modern:

Bedlam [026] 40 points

He almost looks like a member of this version of X-Force — and of course has the X-Force keyword to keep the named theme. He nullifies equipment within his 5-square range, so there’s that.

Marrow [043] 40 points

She, on the other hand, doesn’t fit the fun feel of X-Statix. You just add her for the named keyword theme.

Domino [FF 006] 25 points

Likewise for this meta source of Prob even cheaper than Doop.

 

In Golden:

Orphan [Fantastic Forces 091] 50 points

Hey, an actual X-Statix piece! Despite the total lack of moving powers, 11 AV Exploit isn’t bad. He can draw attention from the rest of the team long enough to buy them time, or serve as X-Men TA heals once off his EW clicks.

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Speaking of Golden Age, Feats can help greatly at the 400-point build:

Doop: Thanks to two opening clicks of CCE, he can gain a 4-square “charge” with Lunge.

Orphan: It’s pricey, but Contingency Plan on him can really patch the lack of Perplex on the team, especially with U-Go Girl freeing the team from having to burn actions getting into position.

Anarchist: Could use Force Field for the Toughness it grants.

Dead Girl: Because she usually gets carried into the fight, Opportunist can aid her (or Anarchist and Orphan, but they already have their feats) to make sure to land that needed first shot.

But even better is Warbound, which can keep U-Go Girl free of tokens to constantly be able to cart the crew about. Lack of Willpower hampers this feat — and the 40-point feat cap. So with the 3 points left over, lets try either Vault or better yet Alias.

Finally, although it’s not a feat, the old 5-point Yellow Lantern special object can give Anarchist and Dead Girl +1 to AV within 4 squares thanks to their PPB and EW, respectively so they can land those early hits.

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(We’ve opted not to cover the original convention exclusive Doop due to his general exclusivity. And at 95 points, he adds little to a force unless facing resources and relics, until the back half of his dial. But if you got him, run him.)

I’m alive!

After the theft of my computer, it’s been hard to stay at this blog. Too many RL things to handle, plus lack of, y’know, a computer and internet to update.

But we’re slowly getting back in the swing of things. I was gifted an old battery-less laptop and the library has free Wi-Fi.

 

I’m also motivated by the re-emergence of the notorious WizKids Watch List, by which problematic HeroClix figures are put on notice that, thanks to errata, their time of easy dominance of the game may be coming to an end.

 

Here’s what’s on the block and Heroclixin’s take on each.

 

Felix Faust

Seeing a repeat appearance here, ol’ Felix has been a long non-favorite in these parts. We’ve written extensively about Felix’s ability to affect the battlefield in a way that would have required an entire team of cheap Outwit figures to replicate.

Originally, Felix’s d20 effects were global; an errata shortly after 2015 Worlds reduced it to his natural range of 7. But that was clearly not sufficient because most of his effects are free and enough inexpensive taxis exist that he doesn’t have to so much as use an action to potentially lock down entire teams long enough for him or his allies to rack up hits and points.

The Realms Open Championship league banned Felix twice. WizKids hasn’t banned a figure in its entire history. Perhaps Felix will be the first, because there’s really no elegant fix for this douchebag of a piece. The closest Heroclixin’ can come up with is the “F.U.N. Fix” we suggested for using this figure in casual play:

“… give Felix a non-free action EVERY TIME he rolls the d20, and don’t roll it if he can’t [take a non-free action].”

It would have been better if this piece had never been made.

 

Jakeem Thunder

Should escape the Watch List unscathed for a number of reasons. First, he already has built in balances within his “pick a power” trait: Limited to beginning of turn, limited selection of “grade A” powers. Second, the new version of Outwit will be a gut punch to his current versatility. Finally, he’s really only problematic when wearing linked dial equipment or a resource.

 

Pym Tank

Heroclixin’ hasn’t talked much about this. But it is problematic on a level that nearly matches Felix. We don’t really have time to get into it, but it’s rather like Precision Strike in that it’s an element that combos with EVERY SORT of attack with an effective Area of Effect that far exceeds its 8-point price and has almost no counter.

At minimum, it shouldn’t combo with other attacks. Using it should be a power action or something. That’s Heroclixin’s stance, short of banning it outright. Only Hank Pym should be able to use it, anyway! IT’S HIS KEYCHAIN

 

Goblin King

Oh, WizKids, you were doing so well with balancing the “pick a power” thing. You wisely made Engineer [Flash 059] unable to pick defense and gave her light natural armor. You held Jakeem to one primo power at a time and at beginning of turn. You made Nico Minoru swap slots for her choices. You forced Element Man to choose one or end up taking damage. You ensured Iron Man had to give up powers to get powers.

Then you go and make Goblin King with NONE of those limitations. AND protected from Outwit.

Whose design is this???

Heroclixin’s fix: If he picks powers, he can’t use Power Cosmic.

YOU KNOW IT’S RIGHT.

 

So we’ll see what WizKids does. Part 2 will discuss the eventual changes.

20170527_020317

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.

 

55242cd026a32

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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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!