For the past couple of years, I’ve done Top Ten lists of HeroClix on Pojo.com (in addition to semi-regular reviews, which I once planned to archive here. That’s probably not happening). In honor of the return of the game, I’m back with a Top Ten HeroClix of 2009 list.
…wwwhich pretty much means a Top Ten Hammer of Thor HeroClix list. ūüėÄ
But actually, HoT was absolutely packed with excellent pieces, so selecting these top 10 was every bit as difficult as in previous years with 3-4 times the sets.
So, without further delay, here’s #10!
==================================

...but he's Number ONE with the BULLETS.

Star-Lord
boot symbol
90 points
Team: Defenders
Keywords: Guardians of the Galaxy, Soldier
Range: 8 x 2
DIAL: http://wizkidsgames.com/heroclix/gallery/
STRENGTHS: ‚ÄúGalactic Marksman‚ÄĚ is a fantastic Special Power. It gives him the choice to boost his AV +2 against a single target or his damage +2 against two. Coupled with his Running Shot and Sharpshooter ability, he can truly lay down some hurt at range or up close. Defenders TA shores up his Combat Reflexes-enhanced DV (assuming you run some higher DV’d teammates with him). His AV rises, making him fairly pushable. He’s also got Leadership to aid the team (and possibly himself).
His late dial gains Stealth and Ranged Combat Expert to remain a threat.
WEAKNESSES: His 16 DV is pretty mediocre, and it only gets worse on his back half. If he can’t find two targets, his damage is too low on his early dial. His dial is short for his point cost.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: CONTINGENCY PLAN can offset the AV penalty on his double-target option of Galactic Marksman. The KINETIC ACCELERATOR is good to boost his Running Shot range. And if you’re not running him with any other Defenders, go ahead and put the powers-protecting GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ATA on him.
IN SUM: A figure riddled with weaknesses nevertheless got a lot of support from readers to make the top 10 list because of its incredible versatility. Star-Lord is much better in practice than he looks on paper.
#9 is hardly a lord, taking us out of the stars but not out of the heavens…!

Read the introduction to the series here.

E004 52

Based on DC's year-long weekly series (thus the moniker "52"). I wasn't a fan.

TURN THE DIAL: At the end of each turn, roll 2d6; turn the dial if the result is 9-12, and at the end of each round.
WHAT IT MEANS: Unlike the series that inspired it, this dial can move pretty fast, so don’t get too used to any one condition.
A YEAR WITHOUT… (blue, slots A-D): At the beginning of each round, each player can choose a team ability. All chosen abilities are ignored until the end of the round.
WHAT IT MEANS: Avoid a team ability that is key to your strategy. Your opponents get to turn it off for the first few rounds of the match.
ON THE TRAIL (Brown, slots B-F): Once during your turn for the duration of an action, one of your characters can ignore the effects of hindering terrain on movement, combat, powers and feats.
WHAT IT MEANS: Avoid Stealth. ON THE TRAIL allows an enemy to ignore hindering terrain’s effects not just on himself, but period. In conjunction with the next condition, cheap tie-up could really benefit from this to get next to enemy pieces.
THE EVERYMAN PROJECT (orange, slots C-E): A character that has a point value of 100 or less that is using no other powers can use one of the following powers for the duration of an action: Blades/Claws/Fangs, Charge, Energy Explosion, Mind Control, Phasing/Teleport, Psychic Blast, Quake, Running Shot, Steal Energy, Telekinesis, or Willpower.
WHAT IT MEANS: Field cheap tie-up pieces. This effect will turn these stallers into dangerous attackers.
RAIN OF THE SUPERMEN (black, slots F): All powers are countered.
WHAT IT MEANS: When damage reducers suddenly vanish, shots will be taken. Try to field high defense numbers over the powers in preparation for this.
NEW QUESTIONS AND DEALS WITH THE DEVIL (gray, slots G-K): When a character is knocked out but before it is removed from the game, remove an action token from all friendly characters 3 or fewer squares from the characters that have one action token.
WHAT IT MEANS: Clustering your team a bit might be worth it to gain this slight second wind.
WORLD WAR III (red, slots I-J): When making an attack roll, roll 3d6 and choose two of them to be the result of the roll. Damage dealt by critical hits is penetrating damage.
WHAT IT MEANS: Three dice increases the chance of hits. This is also the dial-ending effect.
SUMMING IT UP: This dial can mess you up at first if you like team abilities too much, but overall it’s not too hairy.
Next go-round we’ll ring up some more fun with the Dial “H” For Hero dial!

All right, so the initial run of the Agents of Atlas went…not so well at all, actually. Definitely had some changes to make for a real tournament.
Jimmy Woo 46 + Contingency Plan 12
M-11 59
Gorilla-Man 61
Namora 76
Marvel Boy (Hammer of Thor) 102
Venus 125
+ Nanobots 10 + Camouflage 8
= 499 points. BFCs were: Bright Lights, Mistrust and something that got killed anyway.
++++++++++++++++++++++
FIRST up was the previous two weeks’ champ, Solomon:
Wonder Woman (Arkham Asylum) 248 + Fortitude 25 + Protected 8
Robin (Crisis) 79
Iron Fist (Secret Invasion) 70
Mister Mind 68
= 498 points. On the BPRD map, I used Bright Lights to rob the Bat Ally and friends of cover to hide in. Setting up Namora on the Kinetic Accelerator, I waited for Wonder Woman to close in. Solomon wouldn’t do it, instead Mind Controlling M-11 to attack Gorilla Man with a heavy object for swift early damage. G-Man pushed and retreated to my Eleha’al Vine to heal.
Marvel Boy, with a SHIELD boost to range and Contingency boost to AV, managed to roll high enough to hit Mister Mind and then Robin off Outwit, and later to hit Iron Fist. That was enough for M-11 to knock Mind and Fist out for good. With Robin taking more fire, Solomon was forced to bring Wonder Woman from hovering just out of range and into the fight ‚ÄĒ and into Namora’s swing zone!
She took the bait and hit WW for 6…which was Protected away. :( But that left WW tied up and unable to stop the free folks from taking Robin in the final seconds for the win. KO’d Iron Fist and Mister Mind as well, losing none. 1-0.
++++++++++++++++++++++
NEXT, I faced Paul’s Spy team:
Ms. Marvel-b (Secret Invasion) 168 + Armor Piercing 10 + Fortitude 25
Warskrull 110
Winter Soldier 70
Ghost Widow 54
Agent Brand 44
+ Contingency Plan 12
Alfred (Hypertime) 6
= 493 points. I picked the BPRD map. We both theme-cancelled each other’s cards.
He got an early OHKO of Woo but that left the offender, Ms. Skrullvel, open to Namora’s successfully crippling Meteorite strike. Gorilla-Man and Marvel Boy teamed up to finish her. Venus, though camped next to blocking terrain for the Camouflage, got her Shape Change countered by Warskrull and had to Mastermind a shot from Winter Soldier to Marvel Boy for big damage.
Marvel Boy ran to the Vine, but Ghost Widow was right there to Poison him. Giving him up pretty much for lost (especially when he failed to break away), I concentrated on fighting Winter Soldier. Venus Incapped him for a push.
Winter Soldier got closer and got a shot on Gorilla-Man. Caught between the sniper and the Warskrull, the ape went down. But Namora and M-11, boosted by the Accelerator, got to Winter Solder for a KO. They were coming for Ghost Widow when time ran out. 2-0.
++++++++++++++++++++++
FINALLY, it was the championship match against Vic’s Skrull team:
Ms. Marvel-b (Secret Invasion) 168
Skrull Emperor 140 + Protected 8
Super Skrull: Avengers 126
Skrull Warrior (Supernova) 30
Skrull Infiltrator (Supernova) 25
= 497 points. He theme-cancelled my Mistrust BFC and put us on the Prison map.
Vic made four Hypersonic Speed-y attack rolls on Namora (thanks to a pair of theme PCs) and failed them all. That left Ms. Skrullvel in range of an easy strike with Namora’s Meteorite Charge.
Which was nullified by a successful Skrull roll. DAMN!!!!!!!
Although Namora was able to KO a neighboring Warrior instead, that single rolled 6 did more to kill my chances of a win than anything else. Vic was able to Hypersonic Speed attack to and from hindering terrain at will for 4+ damage thanks to Skrull Emperor’s Perplex, KOing Namora in the very next turn.
Once Gorilla-Man went down in a single turn as well, I decided I wasn’t going to allow that tactic any longer and ran down the long hall near my starting area. It didn’t work, though, costing Jimmy Woo his life and garnering me just 25 more points as I’d KO’d the Infiltrator before fleeing.
WIN-LOSS: 2-1. OK, so it appears that Agents of Atlas utterly  crumbles against double Hypersonic Speed 4+ damage teams.
But really. Who doesn’t?
Final thoughts.
Jimmy Woo
Contingency Plan was key, mainly to make Namora’s initial attack stick. Better yet was his SHIELD TA, which made Marvel Boy a far more dangerous shooter. A great team player, making the whole squad work better together.
Hmm. Kinda like the leader he’s supposed to be, isn’t it?
M-11
Most of the time simply in Namora’s tow, he was valuable for taking theme PC tokens as well as dishing some damage of his own. In builds with more feat room I might give him Nanoarmor at a minimum, or Opportunist or Automatic Regeneration.
Gorilla-Man
His chief role was as Mastermind fodder for Venus (and his Leap/Climb was indispensable for that), but he dealt some key blows as well. Wish I could’ve added Lunge or Armor Piercing or Automatic Regeneration to him.
Namora
Didn’t disappoint as my big gun (aside from the Protected- and Skrulls-forced whiffs). The Kinetic Accelerator absolutely does wonders for her, enabling her to usually carry M-11 to help finish off whoever she Charges.
Marvel Boy
Otherwise acting as Venus’s taxi and occasional Mastermind sponge, he was the surprise of this team, backed as he was by Woo’s SHIELD TA. Suddenly able to shoot for 4 damage, he becomes a game-changer. Had he been able to even target someone in the last game, who knows how it might’ve gone?
Venus
Lacking in damage and mobility skills, Venus’s use in these games as anything but a decoy was a bit suspect. Never used the Nanobots combo I’d intended, as the objects disappeared all too quickly. Outsmart may have been a better choice. Camouflage was worth it, though. In bigger builds, she’ll have Mental Shields to be a more active battler. Or Knockdown, for the same reason.

Here’s my ideal keyword-friendly 600-point version:

Jimmy Woo 46 + Contingency Plan 12
M-11 59 + Nanoarmor 6
Gorilla-Man 61 + Automatic Regeneration 12
Namora 76 + Submerged 5
Marvel Boy (Hammer of Thor) 102
Venus 125 + Outsmart 10 + Camouflage 8 + Knockdown 5
Jimmy Woo 46 (stand-in for ex-SHIELD agent Derek Khanata)
Thug  (Avengers) 7 (old-school Atlas members)
Thug  (Avengers) 7
Thug  (Avengers) 7
= 594 points. Opting to stay as highlander-friendly as possible while keeping the keyword…that’s why I wouldn’t just run another M-11. He’s one-of-a-kind. :)

Lately I’ve been making incredibly bad blunders in the game.
Even a couple of years into HeroClix, I regularly would make about one big rookie mistake per tournament. But these recent mental pratfalls take the cake!
=====================
Exhibit One: “Girrrl, I Got Your Back — oh, Never Mind.”
I was playing my 200-pt FOXEY LADIES team: Ghost Fox Killer 68 + Loner 5, Crimson Fox 44 + Lunge 5, E Vixen 38 + Lunge 5 and R Vixen 33
(Crimson Fox is one of those pieces I didn’t like at first but grew to love a little bit. I just don’t get that many chances to play her. This little theme was perfect.) And even in a 4-man battle royale opposing a Super Skrull from Supernova and a Contingency Plan-equipped Hammer of Thor Captain America teamed WITH “Out of the Shadows” (OOTS) Justice League Batman, they were holding their own, totally.
But you read the title of this blog post, right?
So we were on the Legion of Super-Heroes indoor map. Cap was cowering on the elevated portion and I took it upon myself to fight and tie him up with a Lunging E Vixen. I had him on the ropes, but Experience Vixen was taking damage, too…Cap’s no joke. Worse, OOTS Bats was waiting in the wings to warp to an object and blast her.
Fortunately, I had Rookie Vixen free and available to block Batman’s only possible line of fire. And even if she paid the ultimate price, E Vixen’s Suicide Squad TA would kick in and she’d heal at least 1 click, maybe 4. And so I moved R Vixen to that square.
And then, unthinkingly, I changed my mind and I moved R Vixen to another square. For no good reason.
E Vixen was quite reliably KO’d in short order. Meat shield¬†FAIL.
====================
Exhibit Two: “That’s Why I’m Called INVINCI — oh, wait.”
It was a 3-way battle royal on the Arena. Invincible had just made a successful HSS KO of an enemy Thor. But instead of retreating well behind the battle lines, where remaining teammates Angstrom Levy, Omni-Man or Atom Eve might be able to shield him or back him up, I put him next to a weakened opposing Spider-Man…where my TK-equipped other opponent easily plonked down a Meteorite-carrying M-11.
Six clicks gone one easy die roll later. Hypersonic Speed FAIL.
====================
Exhibit Three: “Yeah, Let’s start CLOSER to danger.”
In a 400-point tourny using the Fantastic Four and Power Pack with the FF ATA, I picked three apt battlefield conditions:
Assembled. That’s good for a team full of the same team symbol.
Resistance. That’s even better for this team.
Infiltration. Wait…what? Instead of Ordinary Day? Really?
It might look like a little thing, but it truly cost me the final championship match through this string of events:
  • I was unable to cancel out Deep Shadows, which
  • Allowed Lamppost Batman to hide in plain sight, which
  • Allowed him to Charge + Flurry + Lunge at his top speed value over and over, whereas he’d normally be much more constrained.
  • And with that many attack rolls, a 19 DV is going to get hit, sooner or later. In my case, sooner. And often.
BFC Selection FAIL.
====================
Exhibit Four: “So bad I can’t even write something cute here to minimize it.”
Once again playing a Guardians of the Galaxy team (700, 50% Floor Hammer of Thor), this time with the keyword:
V Starhawk 144 + Spotter 5
Phyla-Vell 138 + Protected 8
Star-Lord 90 + Contingency Plan 12 + Inside Information 4
E Vance Astro 70 + Ambidexterous 16
Rocket Raccoon 65
Yondu 53
R Aleta 51
Bug 44
= 700 points.

I found myself facing, first round, this team:
Thor & Loki 362
+ Immortal Contempt 10
+ Sidestep 10
+ two more feats I can’t recall. (Surprisingly not Protected or Thunderbolts, though.)
Sif 93
Asgardian Warrior 37
Asgardian Warrior 37
Asgardian Warrior 37
Asgardian Warrior 37
Asgardian Warrior 37
Yeah, pretty daunting. He won map and picked the Lab. Not much room to use my several ranged attackers.
That’s not what broke me, though. We got to a spot where I made some short-range Running Shots on his Warriors instead of Thor & Loki, not wanting to take Mystics damage just yet. That left the big duo free to push and Running Shot me or Duo Attack me…unLESS I used Bug to tie them up for a turn. It’s almost certain doom for him if he does. But he’s only 44 points and might hit Super Senses, anyway, even for both attacks. That pushes Thor & Loki and leaves him open for Phyla-Vell and others next turn, perhaps. No-brainer.
I ended my turn without moving him.
Consequently, T & L force me to burn all 3 of my theme PCs, my Protected, and they still manage to Sidestep next to Phyla to hit her with a heavy object and all but KO her. All because I refused to sacrifice a 44-point figure.
Really?
REALLY?
I mean, didn’t I write this review on the guy?
FAIL. On so many levels.
====================
Example Five: “Extinction Event Due to Stupidity”
600-point 4-way Battle Royale. I play an Animal theme on my choice of the Docks map:
Devil Dinosaur & Moon Boy 151
U Hawkman 115
Shathra 99
Sauron 77
Thor, Frog of Thunder 72
Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace 54
In a battle royale against a bunch of New Avengers directly on my left, both Thor and Thor & Loki on my right and a quartet of Green Scar, Gamora, Susan Richards and CT Nightcrawler across the way.
Surrounded by all this, with my dinosaur-centric, by-far weakest team on the board, what do I do? Forget about first-turn immunity and move nearly everyone. I get triple-teamed almost immmediately and eventually wiped out with ease.
The worst of it is that I didn’t actually forget about first-turn immunity. I left two characters behind just for that purpose, and one was the first action I took. I can’t explain why I didn’t consider the rest of the team.
Consistent strategy FAIL.
====================
Exhibit Six: “How you like that handicap, sir?”
Some of you readers may have noticed that in Exhibit 4 I burned only three theme PCs on a team build that should have had four.
That’s because it wasn’t until I started to write up this article of fail that I realized I’d forgotten to actually put R Aleta on the field for all three games.

FAIL. EPIC FAIL.

I was going to write about what I learned from all this, but I’m too mad and depressed now. So I appeal to you, reader. What are some of your “favorite” personal moments of total FAIL in HeroClix?

Read the introduction to the series here.

E003 INFINITE CRISIS

Based on the 2006-2007 miniseries of the same name.

WHAT TO BRING: four extra SPECIAL markers.
THE SETUP: Before the beginning of the game, put four SPECIAL markers in squares of clear terrain as close to the center of the battlefield as possible. These four markers are the Machine; they are considered to be blocking terrain, but can’t be destroyed.
WHAT IT MEANS: You’ll see.
TURN THE DIAL: At the end of each round.
WHAT IT MEANS: Nothing special. :)
BROTHER EYE IS WATCHING (Black, slots A-D): Once during a player’s turn, one of his or her characters can use Outwit if they cannot already use it.
WHAT IT MEANS: Unlike some event dials (I’m thinking of YOU, SECRET INVASION: ILLUMINATI), someone will actually get to use Outwit.
ALEX LUTHOR’S MACHINE (yellow, slots B-E): All characters gain the Capture ability, but all characters modify their defenses values by +1 when they are the target of a capture attempt. Standard rules for releasing captives are ignored. Captives can be released only into unoccupied squares adjacent to the Machine; released captives are bound to the Machine: They can’t be given actions, are not considered friendly or opposing to any player, and cannot be targeted or damaged by any effect. If the game ends while this event is in effect, bound characters are considered to be eliminated and belong to their owner’s force.
WHAT IT MEANS: You should avoid One Man Armies and tentpoled builds; a successful Capture could get you a loss in short order.
DESTRUCTION OF BLUDHAVEN (Lime, slots E-I): All elevated terrain is hindering terrain. If any character occupies hindering terrain at the end of its controller’s turn, deal that character 1 damage.
WHAT IT MEANS: Stealth is a double-edged sword, since hindering is dangerous under this effect. Make sure any character in hindering has damage reducers. Also note that this effect is in force for the rest of the game.
SMALLVILLE THROWDOWN (Green, slots C-E): When the result of any successful attack roll is doubles (other than two 6s), deal 1 additional damage. Critical hits deal 1 additional unavoidable damage.
WHAT IT MEANS: Doubles rule. No way to prepare for this. Just roll with it. (Get it? “Roll” with it?)
PROGRAM: EARTH SPAWN (Blue, slots E-I): Once during your turn, one of your characters can use one of the following powers: Barrier, Outwit, Poison, Probability Control, or Support.
WHAT IT MEANS: No way to plan or build for this, either. In fact, it’s liable to screw up any number of plans for the rest of the game!
DESTRUCTION OF THE MACHINE (orange, slot F): At the beginning of the round, all bound characters are immediately no longer bound and are immediately controlled by its owner and friendly to his or her force. Beginning with the second player’s characters, any characters that were bound to the Machine can immediately be given any action as a free action by their controller. After all formerly bound characters have been given an action (if any), remove the SPECIAL tokens of the Machine from the game and replace them with debris markers. The round then begins normally with the first player.
WHAT IT MEANS: Second wind! You may want to avoid building a big themed team so that you’re more likely to be the 2nd player and get the first free action here. But it’s only an issue if you get your character Captured.
BATTLE OF METROPOLIS (Red, slot I): All characters can use Willpower. When the result of any successful attack roll is doubles, after the attack is resolved, deal 1 damage to any opposing character.
WHAT IT MEANS: Stealth and high defense values won’t necessarily save a character. Doubles will deal it damage regardless of where it is on the map. This is also the end of the dial, so you’ll be dealing with this condition until game’s end.
SUMMING IT UP: Fairly straightforward dial. Just make SURE not to be too tentpole-heavy, lest it get Captured and force you to an early loss.
The next dial has the shortest name yet in HeroClix. Look for that entry late this week.

Dunn-duh-duh-DUNNNN-DUNN, Dunn-duh-duh-DUNNNN-DUNN...!

Ever since I saw the classic scene using the piece in Apocalypse Now, I’ve loved Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” So when we got a new set of Valkyries in Hammer of Thor, I set about getting a new set of the Sinister set’s versions to run this team.
RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES
SR Valkyrie 145 + C. Plan 12 + Protected 8
V Sin. Valkyrie 71
Brunnhilde 69
E Sin. Valkyrie 60 + Unstoppable 5
R Sin. Valkyrie 44
HoT Valkyrie 38
HoT Valkyrie 38 + Invigorate 10
= 500 points.
FIRST, I faced Paul’s Warriors Three (again), V Wildcat, E Jean Grey (Infinity Challenge), V Avalanche (Infinity Challenge), V Pyro (Infinity Challenge), Amanda Waller (Crisis) and Lian Harper. I picked the Junkyard map and assembled my team behind and upon the elevated portion of it. This gave SR Valkyrie a safe place to perform Move & Attack attacks from — with a decent AV thanks to Contingency Plan — and, because that ability is not a power action (but a move action), I could use Invigorate to remove the token afterward.
That allowed me to immediately remove Jean Grey’s TK threat and greatly reduce the Warriors’ attack ability. Even when Fandral came to the roof to Outwit her Leadership, he soon took 4 clicks to the face.
Unfortunately, despite deep damage, Jean, Fandral and Volstagg all managed to get away from my encroaching Valkyries. I only scored a KO on Wildcat and lost Brunnhilde, for a narrow victory despite my dominance of the game. 1-0.
THEN, I went against Conrad’s HoT Thor, Fenris Wolf, Gharskyght and HoT Spider-Man. I used the same strategy against the boy, with similar success despite Thor being a FAR more dangerous piece to this team than the Warriors Three, whom I was able to hold off by camping on a rooftop. That wasn’t an option against Thor. Fortunately, Thor failed his alpha strike on big Val and it was my game to lose. KO’d Thor, Gharskyght and Spidey and lost zip.
FINAL: 2-0. This was actually a nice redemption for a failed 200-point version of the team run about a week earlier:
200 point battle royale, first player out. No pieces over 70 points.
Brunnhilde 69 + Unstoppable 5
HoT Valkyrie 38 + Invigorate 10
HoT Valkyrie 38
HoT Valkyrie 38
= 198 points.
Lenny played SI Iron Fist + Protected + Lunge, V Mantis, V Mockingbird and Swarm. Paul ran Jimmy Woo and 4 HoT Ninjas. Conrad’s team was V Nocturne, Shatterstar, R Blink and R Sprite. Basically, Paul and Conrad fought while Lenny decimated my Valkyries despite my potential action advantage. A Lunging Iron Fist was utterly unstoppable. I was the loser, Lenny the winner on points.
(we now return you to the event dials and Atlas articles in progress.)

Jimmy Woo 46
M-11 59
Gorilla-Man 61
Namora 76
Marvel Boy 102
Venus 125
+ Warbound (Agents of Atlas)
= 499 points.
Tried out this Warbound team in a friendly match against a tough trio:
Superman (Justice League) 226
The Sentry (Secret Invasion) 197
Venom (Hammer of Thor) 73
I all but lost the game on my map choice (BPRD) and wrong placement of the Kinetic Accelerator, preventing Namora from reaching the special object with M-11 in tow. When she got an immediate opportunity to attack Sentry with the Com Dish, but failed, she was easy sushi for Supes and Sentry. M-11 didn’t last long, either.
At this point, I only had Marvel Boy left who could deal damage to Superman or Sentry, but his AV wasn’t up to the task of hitting a pair of 18+ DVs. And the one who could, Venus, was too tied up by Venom to do so for most of the game.
Venus still dealt the most damage through a MC of Sentry (who pasted Supes with the Generator), but it cost her life as the feedback knocked her off MM & SC. Marvel Boy and Gorilla-Man double-teamed Vemon for a KO. Woo was the last to fall, only able to run from the HSS tag team.

FAIL.

I’m probably not using this Warbound build again. It just constrains the team’s flexibility too much. If only Venus could Warbound to Gorilla-Man instead of only Namora and Marvel Boy, who are too important as damage-dealers to take her tokens!

Not giving up, though. After the next installment of the Event Dial series, watch this space to see how the team does in a proper tournament!

Read the introduction to the series here.

E002 IDENTITY CRISIS

Based on the depressing 2005 miniseries that broke up the happiest couple in comics. Figures it's one of the harder event dials to build for.

This event dial is one of the reasons this series was written, as it cannot be played with certain teams.
THE SETUP: All characters are Unique.
WHAT IT MEANS: The “highlander” rule is in FULL effect. Leave the generic swarms at home.
MORE SETUP: Before the beginning of the game, each player must choose one of his or her characters and secretly write the character’s name on a piece of paper.
WHAT IT MEANS: This is the Culprit, and this is why you can’t run multiples: it wouldn’t do to cheat and claim the Secret Invasion Spider-Man that got KO’d just happened not to be the one who’d make you lose on points. :)
TURN THE DIAL: At the end of each round.
WHAT IT MEANS: Straightforward progression.
WIN CONDITIONS: THE CULPRIT REVEALED: When victory points are being totaled, all players must reveal the name of the character they wrote down. If that character survived the battle, its player receives additional victory points based on the character’s point value.
1-49 = 100 victory points
50-99 =  75 victory points
100-149 = 50 victory points
150-199 =  25 victory points
200+ =  0 victory points
WHAT IT MEANS: Survival points make a comeback in HeroClix! Try fielding some mid-cost but survivable pieces to be the Culprit…or avoid the potential loss by making it the heavy.
MURDER! (Red, slot B): At the beginning of the round, each player (starting with the first player) chooses an opposing character. Deal the chosen character 2 penetrating damage. A character can be chosen and damaged by this effect only once.
WHAT IT MEANS: You’d better not field a character who’s too top-loaded with a power or powers you depend upon. By round 2, kiss those clicks bye-bye. (You may want to decoy opponents into hitting a character who gets BETTER on click three.)
VOTE TO MINDWIPE (Black, slots C-G): At the beginning of the round, each player receives a number of votes to the number of characters he or she currently has in the game and must vote for only one of the following options: 1) All team abilities are ignored; 2) all feats are ignored; or 3) all characters gain Earthbound. The option that receives the most votes is in effect until the end of the round. If multiple options have the most votes, all options with that number of votes are in effect.
WHAT IT MEANS: Having those cheap pieces on the board could pay off here. Just be careful not to mess yourself up; it wouldn’t do to expose your Batman Allies by voting for option 1. In fact, it may wise to not field such crucial TAs at all. Also note that this condition is present the rest of the game.
ONE AGAINST THE JLA (orange, slots D-F): If a character is attacked more than once in a round, modify that character’s defense value by +1 for each time it has previously been attacked during the round (+1 for the second attack, +2 for the third attack, etc.).
WHAT IT MEANS: Tentpoles probably get the most benefit from this effect, but it’s fine for anyone getting dogpiled.
SUMMING IT UP: This dial is one you absolutely have to plan a little for in advance, since you can’t run your cheeseburger multiple OOTS Batman squad. And as said above, running team abilities like Batman Ally might not be a good idea.
(In fact, maybe you just shouldn’t run Batman at all.) ¬†:)
You also have to be a little strategic in protecting your Culprit as well. You don’t want to telegraph its identity by playing too conservatively, but you don’t want to give up extra points either. What to do? WHAT TO DO?!?
Well, one thing to do is to watch this space this weekend for the next Crisis…an INFINITE Crisis. Between now and then, look for the 2nd part of a series of Agents of Atlas battle reports!

So in my ongoing quest to play all my HeroClix pieces at least once, I’m pretty much done with Hammer of Thor…except for the Agents of Atlas.
Jimmy Woo 46
M-11 59
Gorilla-Man 61
Namora 76
Marvel Boy 102
Venus 125
= 469 points. Only 31 points left for feats for a team that could really use all 50 points allowed.
Jimmy Woo
His Leadership begs for Contingency Plan, and the team could use a few stat bumps. But most of their AVs and ranges aren’t that bad as is (and his TA can help with damage and range), and maybe the points are better saved for something else.
I was especially concerned about overcosting him because Woo is very lightweight…not able to contribute much in the way of direct fighting. His price point reflects that. The question is whether to put him in harm’s way to get to Perplex faster or to hold him back and use SHIELD TA to the fullest. Either way, I wasn’t sure C.Plan was worth the points to drop on him.
M-11
So lethal to be this inexpensive, the killer robot may be best left featless. Still, he’s such a soft target that one wants to insure him with Automatic Regeneration, maybe. Opportunist, too, could ensure his damage sticks. He’s taxiable enough to collect the tokens. His best use may well be as an offensive meat shield for Namora until she can get in the fight proper. As such, maybe Protected or Nanoarmor is in order.
Gorilla-Man
Pounce fits but makes him expensive! Lunge fits but his damage is low. Auto Regen fits but it’s expensive. Just don’t know. In any case, Gorilla-Man is MM fodder for Venus, I think, until the fight gets close enough for him to contribute.
Namora
Submerged and maybe Opportunist could work, maybe, so long as there’s no HoT Cap America around to ruin things. She’s my main hitter, but should remain a fairly lean one. Got to protect her until she can make her alpha strike. It’s got to count.
Marvel Boy
Mental Shields or Stunning Blow? His 9 AV makes both a bit iffy IMO because landing the initial MC does not ensure the following Incap, especially if he takes feedback. Maybe it’s just better to give him Force Field to bolster his DV?
Despite his mediocre AV, he has some potential to actually be effective. He’s got the best DV at range of the lot, and Woo can nudge his range up a tad. At worst, as Venus’s taxi, he can serve as MM fodder in a pinch.
Venus
Soooo featable. I’ve seen good use of Mental Shields on her. But she’s soft defensively. Camouflage hides her from shooters (again, beware of HoTCap), Outsmart to help fight off Outwitters and, given her ability to Incap all adjacents, Knockdown could be quite fantastic. Trouble is, all that’s piling more points on her already high cost. Contingency Plan is another option, as is Compel. What to do?
Really, the way I feat this team depends on what I’ll be doing with Venus. Her AV says she’s the main attacker, but her damage is way too low. (Oh, for some starting Perplex on this team!) Mind Control? Do I really want her to be 140 points with the all-but-mandatory Mental Shields? OTOH, hiding her next to a wall with Camouflage seems like a bit of a waste…and not even a guarantee.
And then I could just dump all other feats for Warbound. Namora in particular could get great mileage carrying and shuffling tokens off to M-11 or G-Man. Marvel Boy…less so. Same for Venus, dumping tokens off to him (or Namora, the other qualifying member).
The trouble with feating this team is that nothing is a slam dunk for anyone. See what my decisions were and the team’s performance later this week.¬†Tomorrow, I resume the Event Dial series. Be here!