Last Friday, I posted a titanic article on the Atlantis keyword in anticipation of the just-released Brightest Day Action Pack featuring Aquaman. Early in it, I listed all the tournament-legal maps containing water terrain. But I didn’t know the Brightest Day map would also contain water on both sides!

The Crater has a small 3×3 spot of water on one end that usually won’t be very useful for Atlantis, but if they lose map choice, it might be good to have that end of the map to retreat to. Also, if you place the Opened Hydrant special object in the special squares in the center of the map, you’ll have nigh-permanent water terrain down there; it then can’t be destroyed. Use this to surprising advantage!

On the flipside, The Monument has a much larger and longer pool of water along one side of the map, equally accessible by both ends. The elevated portion of the map has great nooks to place the Opened Hydrant to create extra watery zones on the ground, too.

Look for Atlantis battle reports in the coming weeks. :)

Unique NIMROD (Fantastic Forces)

Or is he Pepto-Bismol Man?

OK, yes, it’s true that Nimrod has always had a slightly pink shade:

And yes, in his then-recent appearances, that shade was being colored a bit more deeply pink. But come on, now! It’s plain that he’s 95% shaded white, not pink!

What makes it worse is that he’s almost correct on the actual set poster! (Couldn’t find a scan of it, though.) He’s translucent white except for the dark pink details of his face and chest.

When I finally got a Nimrod, I wanted to strip the pink paint off. But I feared getting some on the base details and accidentally stripping those off as well. There was also no guarantee that he was actually going to be the neutral color seen on the poster. So I chose to attempt a repaint instead:

  • Painted over main pink body with white Testors enamel.

Completed mid-2009.

It’s not a complete success, as I got fingerprints on it and never achieved the even coverage I sought. But it’s still a darn sight better than it was, and I suppose the fact that some of the pink still shows through is more character accurate than my original intent.
Next week: Another character painted white. But in a different way.

The Fish(men) Fight Back!!!

The only non-generic keyword to span both the DC and Marvel universes, Atlantis makes for some fun teams for players looking for a bit of a challenge, as the characters available lack many of the tools found in the most min/max team builds.

It’s focused on the dolphin speed symbol, which is only marginally useful yet costs extra points anyway. Note, for example, how nearly every character with the symbol made since the debut of Special Powers also bears one granting other special abilities related to water terrain.
No STOPP/TOPPS “pit crew.” Absolutely devoid of Telekinesis and Outwit, it has only one Perplexer, only two Support healers, and Probability Control is only available through themed team bonus.
Almost no range at all and even less long range makes things hard in a range-focused game.
Watery maps. Make sure you have some. At a minimum, they gain you a bit of mobility advantage; more importantly, some of these characters’ powers depend upon water.
First, try to get the mostly water terrain Aruna Temple map from the BPRD Action Pack. Next wettest map is the Dockyard from the Starro Attacks event. Web of Spider-Man’s The Bridge is surrounded by water. The Dawn of Time from Crisis has a large river  running through it (and if you play its Time Zones, the Kooey Kooey Kooey and Camelot zones offer a lot and a little water, respectively). Finally, the Castle Ruins (HorrorClix), Castle Doom Gardens (Fantastic Four) and Asgard (Hammer of Thor) all sport a fair amount of water.
Other maps also offer some water, but the trouble with many of these maps is that the water is either so minimal (see the Graveyard [The Brave and the Bold]) or remotely placed (as in The Lab (Armor Wars) or both (re: the Axis Chemical Plant [Icons]), the Training Complex and Institute Grounds [both Danger Room]) as to be tactically useless, or it’s so central that the water becomes a barrel shoot for snipers and Hypersonic hit-and-runners (Centennial Park Zoo [Icons]).
And, of course, many maps have no water at all, which is why you should always run…
Atlantis Rising. Once in a while in a Golden Age game, you’ll get stuck on a non-water map. Save this Battlefield Condition for that eventuality and hope your opponent doesn’t have his themed-team ignore function to spend. But even if you’re not able to use this card, all is not lost.
The Opened Hydrant special object. It gives you water on any map. Place it carefully! Indoor maps are best, as the water effect isn’t blocked by walls. Note that it only works on clear grounded terrain.
The Submerged feat. Moving through water is OK. Hiding in water is pretty awesome. On a Golden Age team this 5-point feat should be present on multiple characters.
Rip It Up. Although it’s a double-edged sword that keeps you from picking up heavy items, it’s still a way to make certain this Super Strength-laden keyword always has extra damage and/or range attack!
OK. Now for the characters.
Below 50 points
Rookie Aquaman (Hypertime): At 27 points, he’s by far the cheapest Atlantean in the game, and the only character in the whole game at that price point who can do 5 damage unaided by other characters. But his defense is a sad 15 or less with zero protection and he has no move and attack. Atlantis has no Telekinesis, so R Aquaman’s effectiveness is really blunted. Only use him if you A) don’t have the points for the next cheapest pieces in the Atlantis roster or B) just choose the better offense.
As he’s a Golden Age piece, you’ll want to use the Submerged feat, if anything, to help him survive long enough to maybe make that first strike. He’s also good as a dedicated Contingency Plan piece.

Atlantean Warrior (Secret Invasion): Cons are low numbers and a difficult to use SP that offers him +2 Speed, Charge and Stealth in water (trouble is, Stealth still needs hindering terrain, and water terrain doesn’t count as such). But the newest “replace, then modify” rules give a healthy boost to his Charge power, and Toughness makes him a decent shield and tie-up piece against enemy shooters. Finally, whether playing Golden or Modern Age, these 35-point blue guys make good filler and themed-PC fodder (and work very well with certain other pieces in the Atlantis family…keep reading :) ). Feats probably aren’t wise, but Lunge can make him more dangerous once he gets Close Combat Expert on click 2.
Experienced Aquaman (Hypertime): Same story as the 27-point rookie, only you’re paying 9 more points — a full THIRD of the Rookie’s cost — to add JLA TA and a click of life, essentially. I totally wouldn’t bother.
Rookie Aquaman (Icons): 39 points buys a lot more Toughness for a more survivable Atlantean. You’re trading away the good AV of the Hypertime Aquamen, though. He’s a decent tie-up piece, nothing more. Feats defeat his one strength of cheap survivability; don’t use them.
Aqualad (Crisis): 40 points gives us another soft-shelled, short-lived swimmer. But his built-in super-Stealth in water makes him absolutely invaluable for the Atlantean cause. He blocks LOF to more important pieces while his Willpower makes him ever-ready to Charge with Super Strength at any targets forced to approach. It’s a rare event that you wouldn’t have at least one on an Atlantean team. No feats necessary in Golden Age; you don’t want to bloat his cheap cost. But if you simply must fill 8 points, Protected is good on Willpower characters.
Veteran Aquaman (Hypertime): The first Aquaman to top 10 AV and perhaps worth running just for that in spite of the same playability issues as the other Hypertime Sea Kings. At 41 points, though, he’s beginning to eat up some real points, compared to them — especially if you feat him out with Submerged or Contingency Plan to max out his effectiveness.

50-100 points


Arthur Curry (Hypertime): The last of the Hypertime set, he spends 10 more points to add Willpower to his top-dial and Toughness/CCE to his back half. The former makes him a tiny bit more likely to maybe get that first strike off. The latter makes him a tougher KO than he ought to be. Sadly, though, his CCE is wasted on a terrible AV and his similarly weak DV means he will take fire before he can attack. Do you feat him with Protected to increase his chance to use that excellent top-dial 11 AV? Or just Submerged?
Experienced Aquaman (Icons): Leadership, 10 AV, JLA TA and 4 range make this 56-point figure a huge upgrade over the Icons Rookie. Keep him Submerged so he can potentially snipe — or make a Contingency Plan — from watery cover.
LE Garth (Crisis): For a massive 25-point increase over Aqualad, you get two more clicks of life with Toughness, the same Stealth-plus SP, and,  2nd click in, a SP granting him an extra supply of light objects for 65 points. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance all standard light objects will be carried — if there are any at all in this Modern Age of special objects — and he won’t get to use this. Tough to recommend him over the ‘Lad. Don’t bloat his cost further with feats in Golden Age.
Aquaman (Justice League #101): Finally, an Aquaman that can first-strike! Solid DV SP gives the roster its cheapest (at 70 points) Invulnerability. The downside: an immediate downgrade to Toughness out of water. But when he can Charge from 6 out (thanks to the Surge SP), it’s not so bad. Use him as a 1-2 punch with other pieces. Submerged keeps him safe until he makes that Surge in Golden Age games.
Arthur Curry (Justice League #105): Similar to his sculpt-mate above (though with only normal Charge), A.C. offers more Toughness after his Invulnerability-in-water SP runs out and, via his other SP, a shot at Regen or Close Combat Expert (but only in water) in lieu of the JLA TA. I never use him if I can use the same-cost Starro Aquaman, but he’s not bad. In Golden Age games, try Automatic Regeneration and Submerged to maximize his survivability end-dial.
Veteran Aquaman (Icons): the first real Invulnerability piece on the roster, he still lacks that vital ability to move and attack. Unique in offering both Regen and Support end-dial, he does so with such low AV and DV numbers that neither is very usable. Once the cream of the Aqua-crop, he’s now just so much mediocre flotsam. Players determined to use him should consider (in addition to Submerged)  Automatic Regeneration to help him gain a possible 2nd wind. He’s also a good (if expensive at 71 points) Contingency Planner.
Namora (Hammer of Thor): Another lite Charging brick among the Atlanteans, she’s also the first flier and thus a valuable addition who can offer unprecedented mobility. She’s a little bit soft with only Toughness but sports the best average AV so far in the list BY far. In Golden Age, she needs no feats but Submerged works as well on her as any.
Attuma (Secret Invasion): Despite his lone bit of extra Leadership and weird, highly situational SP Quake, Attuma is really the most traditional sort of brick, starting with the usual Charge+Super Strength+Invuln. combo and staying Tough down the line (with Combat Reflexes in water). I’d only bother with him in larger builds were he can be a 2nd attacker rather than a main one — his 4 Charge speed is a little sub-par for his 90-point price compared to the 5- and 6-range Charges Namora and Starro Aquaman are capable of for 14 and 20 points less, respectively.

Above 100 points


Aquaman (Brightest Day): This brand-new 105-point version of the character changes the game for Atlantis. Not only is he another solid Charging, Super Strong and Invulnerable attacker, but he also brings more skills to the theme:
  1. Close Combat Expert on the first half of his dial so that he can still deal 5 damage even after he’s used his heavy object;
  2. HSS-lite via his first-for-the-keyword transporter symbol;
  3. Another taxi (and one who can tote his own meat shields);
  4. The longest range attack of the theme via his mid-dial SP “Tentacle Whip” (when in water);
  5. Perma-line-of-fire to targets in water using same SP;
  6. Mind Control, contiguous with the SP ;
  7. the 2nd healer of the theme — one with a usable AV this time;
  8. and the biggie: “The Undead Sea,” a Trait that deals 2 damage to all enemies who helped KO an Atlantis member that turn. Suddenly those fragile but long-dialed HT Aquaman pieces and the tougher but short-lived Atlantean Warriors are no longer such inviting targets: either they’ll be mostly ignored for fear of the retaliation, making their tie-up/shielding role last longer, or they’ll draw the fire of tougher Invulnerable and Impervious enemies unafraid of the damage, leaving your bigger pieces alone. (Of those lesser pieces, I think I prefer the Atlantean Warriors. They have A) better movement values from water to better tie up foes, B) Toughness to better absorb multiple attacks, C) better-lasting average Attack Values as they take attacks, and D) a dial just long enough to absorb more than one attack in a turn, likely ensuring the feedback against multiple assailants — not all of whom may be able to weather it equally.)
As a Transporter, he can’t use Submerged, so he needs meat shields to protect him from range attack. His trait encourages you to build some onto the team and his SP helps him stay effective when hiding behind them and his Transporter ability helps him position them. Use Lunge instead to give him a hefty 7 Charge swing or even further reach with Move and Attack.
Tempest (Crisis): Expensive (116 points) and soft-shelled, the former Aqualad is here for one reason: portable water terrain. His SP duplicates the Opened Hydrant effect, making him a must-run for water-dependent teammates like Starro Aquaman, Atlantean Warriors, Aqualad, Attuma and any Submerged pieces (of whom he should be one to ensure the SP never gets countered). His Mystics TA, Barrier, double-target 6 range (with Incap and Energy Explosion) and Perplex are welcome icing to this cake.
Rookie Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Forces): the first non-swimmer on the roster, R Subby offers basic brick and taxi skills. His best point is that he’s a wild card thanks to the Minions of Doom TA. Team him up with the also-116-point Tempest to copy Mystics or with one of the Atlantis characters with Defenders TA. No feats necessary.
Namor (Fantastic Forces): Similarly, the 122-point LE of the Fantastic Forces REV offers a stronger and longer dial than the Rookie but no TA. No feats necessary, but Mercenary could be useful when teamed with Secret Invasion Namor.
Experienced Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Forces): Identical to the LE, except sporting the Defenders TA, costing 8 more points and strangely missing the three mid-life clicks of Flurry appearing on every other version in this set. The Defenders TA is useless unless you use another, better Namor. Only use him on a team of all-Namors or something.
Veteran Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Forces): The reigning king of the FF pieces, Vet Subby isn’t bad with a great Charge speed, AV and 16 Invulnerability. He also sports a whopping 11 clicks of life, all with damage reduction. His Avengers TA is quite useless for the Atlantis team, though in Golden Age he can use the Pym Particles feat to gain either a needed DV boost from ranged attack or (perferably) Giant status for when he finally makes his move from being Submerged. But for his 150-point cost even before those feats, you’re going to run the absolute king of Atlantis pieces instead…
Namor (Secret Invasion): This is the piece that showed everyone that Charge and Flurry are compatible powers. (Yeah, two of the Justice League Flashes did it first, but nobody cared.) He’s also the one that showed us a Flight character could be carried (as his SP grants him the Flight ability only, not the Wing symbol). Offering excellent defenses on the first half of his dial and massive offensive potential throughout, he singlehandedly makes the Atlantis keyword competitive. In Golden Age, Submerged and/or Fortitude are useful, as might be Automatic Regeneration for his very soft late clicks.



In a Modern Age game, you may need to fill some points…and that’s what Bystanders are for. But you want to pick some that won’t be hampered by all the water you should be playing in, especially since these pogs will likely be used to shield bigger pieces from being targeted.
Mera (Crisis): She’s a got good movement value of 8, but her 15 DV and 7 AV make her the least of the swimming pogs. For the same price of 6 points, Dolphin (Crisis) is her superior in Speed (9) and Attack (9).  Seven points buys you Walter “Prof” Haley‘s 7 Speed, 8 Attack, 1 damage and 16 DV with Willpower. And because pogs don’t break your theme bonuses, you could fill a 6-point gap with the 10-square Phasing/Teleport Lila Cheney pog for even better effect. But she’s probably better for the next section.

Non-Atlantis pieces of note (Modern Age)

There are some pieces that lack the Atlantis keyword but could be useful on non-keyword-yet-thematic builds featuring dolphin speed characters:

Aquaman (Justice League common): Or “Aquanoob” as I like to call him. This 68-point Rookie lacks any keywords (being a recent and very uncomfortable newcomer to Atlantis) and so is no good for the bonuses. But his “Telepathic Communication” SP, which allows him to Perplex every other dolphin symbol character on his team (except himself), might be better than any number of theme team bonuses. With Charge (on both ends of his dial), Super Strength (and later, Blades/Claws/Fangs) and “Parry” (Super Senses against close combat), he’s OK in a fight, too. In Golden Age, keep him safe in the first part of the battle with Submerged if possible. Loner is a good investment, too.


Black Manta (Arkham Asylum): Also 68 points, this archenemy to Aquaman offers enough to the theme to possibly overlook his blood feud with the hero. The first dolphin Transporter, he has 6-range Psychic Blast (later, Super Strength) and “Pirate,” granting him Perplex of himself or other swimmers only. In Modern Age, try to fit on the Yellow Lantern, which, along with his self-Perplex, can negate his Move & Attack penalty completely.  In Golden Age, Loner fits perfectly.


Mera (Blackest Night): 85 points buys another taxi for the team — one that can Charge in with 11 AV to deal 4 damage without so much as an object in sight. The Red Lantern is great for her Battle Fury. In Golden Age, she can use Submerged (she bears the dolphin symbol in a trait along with her dial’s wing symbol) and Loner.


Triton: He’s good as a character who can hide in the water like Aqualad. Even better is his ability to deal a click of damage free to adjacent foes in the water with him at the end of his turn. At 72 points, he’s pretty costly for this, though. With only the Inhumans keyword, he qualifies for Loner.


Thor, Frog of Thunder: Though not an actual swimmer, this chase figure has two Special Powers that work super in water. First is another Submerged-like power (though it also grants true Stealth as well). The other deals 1 damage to all enemies in or bordering water like a 6-square-ranged Poison. For this reason, Armor Piercing is probably the best choice of feat for him. But heck…if you’ve got the 3 points left over, why not use the brand-new Frog Legs feat to make him a true swimmer anyway?


King Shark (Justice League): Though his 9 AV seems a bit weak for a 100-point figure, his above-par 18 DV makes up for it a bit. Better still is the Suicide Squad TA, which could grant a second wind when played with the fragile low-point pieces in this theme. Played with the Red Lantern will bump his Battle Fury-ous 3 damage to a whopping 4, leaving no need for his B/C/F. He’s also a comic-accurate theme player along with Aquanoob, if you care about that sort of thing.

Two more:


Stingray (Avengers): A 29-point tie-up piece, he should only be used if you’ve broken theme already and can’t fit one of the other below-50-pointers on.

Namor (Avengers): Unless you just want to run an all-Namor team for some reason and don’t care about the theme bonuses (as this one lacks keywords), you should never field this 151 piece when there are two superior version of Namor.

Non-Atlantis pieces of note (Golden Age)

I don’t want to go into a lot of depth here, but just for completeness’ sake, don’t overlook these swimming characters:

Abe Sapien (BPRD): Stealthy wild card with some range and Leadership, he gets better on click two with identical stats and Perplex.

Veteran Badoon Commander (Supernova): Good for his range, Enhancement (for the few other shooters of Atlantis) and Smoke Cloud (to give Atlantean Warriors their Stealth). 37 points.


Captain Mako (City of Villains): One of the best indy clix ever, this 52-point chomper offers the Arachnos TA and good damage potential with Charge, Exploit Weakness, BCF and Flurry (though not at the same time).

Veteran Vixen (Collateral Damage): Plenty of damage potential here, too, but a Stealthy and free-moving JLA piece for 44 points.

Experienced OMAC (Collateral Damage): Brings wildcarded Outwit and Stealth to the fishies (though at a not-cheap 83 points).

Experienced Hydro-Man (Sinister): 17 DV with Defend on his first click is his drawing point. Only use him if you have a lot of 16 or below DV pieces worth spending the 57 points on this 1-click-wonder.

Veteran Marrina (Armor Wars): 9 clicks for only 55 points makes for a heckuva tie-up blocker. Too bad there’s no Mastermind in Atlantis yet. Her starting values and persistent Battle Fury might make her too unwieldy, though.

Diablo (Critical Mass): Definitely the oddball of the theme, and a WAY bit too costly at 110 points. But he’s got 8 range, three targets and Outwit. But if it’s swimming Outwit you want…

Unique Abbey Chase (Indy): …this is your gal, for 54 points. She’s Stealthy, too, with 6 range and dodgy with Danger Girls TA and Super Senses.


Well, that’s about all I’ve got on this subject. 😉
Enjoy team-building and have a nice swim, ‘Clixers!


As I checked my inventories of clix stuff and old articles, it occurred to me that I never finished this Event Dial series! There were still two left to go. Here’s the second and final one.

Read the introduction to the series HERE to get caught up on the whole premise and to link to the rest of the articles if you’re a recent visitor or follower and missed them the first time around.


THE SETUP: Each force must include at least one character with the Dolphin or Dolphin-transporter speed symbol.

WHAT IT MEANS: Time to get in the pool! More importantly, it show this dial as one of the reasons I started this whole series: some dials have to be specifically built for. In this case, you have to use one of those swimming characters in your collection.

TURN THE DIAL: At the end of each round.

WHAT IT MEANS: Standard steady-moving dial.

Mark of the Brides  (yellow, slots A-E): As a free action, a player can give a Mark of Set token to an opposing character that is adjacent to a friendly character. Each player can do this only twice per game.

WHAT IT MEANS: At some point, a thus-Marked fig is going to get into serious trouble. Try to field a character that can fight at a range so it’s less likely to get Marked. Conversely, consider using a high-speed character with Leap/Climb, Phasing/Teleport to get next to an enemy you want to Mark yourself!

Death of Namor  (lime, slots B-E): Remove a friendly character from the battlefield. All friendly characters with a point value less than that character’s modify their damage by +1 while this ability appears.

WHAT IT MEANS: Choosing a high-point tentpole as your “Namor” can make the remainder of the team dangerous, so it might be worth losing your big hitter for most of the game for this reason (especially if said tentpole has been saddled with a Mark of Set token). Two things to note, though:

  1. Youcan really only pick one character, despite how long this condition lasts.
  2. You don’t have to pick any character.

Whatever you do, you’d better consider the next few conditions…

War Zone: New York (blue, slots C-J): Treat all clear terrain as water terrain. Characters that possess the Dolphin or Dolphin Transporter speed symbol modify their attack and speed values by +2.

WHAT IT MEANS: Swimmers rule. Field plenty of them! If you chose to kill off “Namor,” these characters will be quite buffed. Fliers/Phasers/LeapClimbers can get around the mobility problem.

Becoming Serpent Men (brown, slots E-F): All characters can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and Toughness.

WHAT IT MEANS: Close combat is the flavor of the day, and it overlaps with “Death of Namor” and “War Zone” enough to make a swarm of low-cost swimmers really attractive in this scenario.

Summon the Seven Brides (orange, slots F-I): Once per turn as a free action, you can move any character that has a Mark of Set token to any square on the map that is not blocking terrain.

WHAT IT MEANS: Whatever your plan is, this just blows it the heck up. Don’t field characters or team abilities that utterly depend on positioning to work, such as Batman Allies or Defenders. They’ll find themselves plucked out of hindering terrain or away from higher-defense pals, respectively.

The Serpent Crown (black, slots H-J): Choose a friendly character. The character can use Energy Explosion, Telekinesis, and Mind Control, and is healed of 2 damage whenever a character that has a Mark of Set token is defeated.

WHAT IT MEANS: The destruction of your game plan continues. Whoever’s the most wounded of your pieces could get a nice second wind here.

Demogorge the God-Eater (red, slots J-K): At the beginning of each player’s turn, the character with the highest point value on each other player’s force is dealt 1 penetrating damage.

WHAT IT MEANS: With this condition, the destruction of your game plan, whatever it was, is complete. It’s also one more good reason to make sure your tentpole is off the field thanks to “Death of Namor.”

The Return of Namor (cyan, slot L): On your turn, put the friendly character removed from the battlefield in Death of Namor in any unoccupied square fully healed; you can give the character an action as a free action.

WHAT IT MEANS: Your tentpole (or whoever) is back and wreaking havoc upon the remnants of the game. And guess what? Because this dial lacks a red line, you can start the whole cycle again.

SUMMING IT UP: The last of the Event Dials, it again epitomizes the reason I wrote this long-running series. Some dials absolutely can’t be sprung upon unsuspecting players due to build requirements. And some dials are more fun when you can plan for its bonuses and minimize its detriments. Not one you can pick up and play, Atlantis Attacks is nevertheless one of the best E-dials due to its laser focus on its theme.


That does it for the Building For the Event Dial series. Hope you’ve enjoyed and benefitted from it.

Next: This weekend I continue the Atlantis love with an in-depth (heh) look at the keyword.

As I checked my inventories of clix stuff and old articles, it occurred to me that I never finished this Event Dial series! There were still two left to go. Here’s the first.

Read the introduction to the series HERE to get caught up on the whole premise and to link to the rest of the articles if you’re a recent visitor or follower and missed them the first time around.


"Love" that bad early 1990s art!

The Madness of a God: The character on your force with the highest point value is “Insane”: opposing to your force and friendly to the opponent to your left. (If two or more characters are tied, that opponent chooses one.) On your turn, before you give any actions, the opponent to your left can give an action to your Insane character. This action does not count against any player’s action total, and the Insane character can also be given actions normally on that opponent’s turn. Insane characters can use Willpower. If the Insane character you own is not defeated, you score 50 additional victory points. Choose a different friendly character to be your “Valkyrie”.

WHAT IT MEANS: Your high-point figure will be a liability, so try to field one that won’t deal death to your own team so easily. Avoid tentpoles! This may be a good time to pull out some less-than-efficient character to head up your team. Also note that your “Valkyrie” will be a key to your team that needs to be watched out for.

TURN THE DIAL: At the end of each round.
The Mind Valkyrie (brown, slots A-F) Valkyries can use Phasing/Teleport and Super Senses.

WHAT IT MEANS: Your “Valkyrie” will be hard to tie down or hit for several rounds. Pick a character that can’t already use these powers.

A Power Gem Gone Astray (blue, slots C-F): Before a player gives an action to your “Insane” character, that player rolls a d6. That player can replace any of that character’s combat values with a value equal to it’s unmodified value plus the result of the roll (halve the result if damage value is chosen) until the beginning of your next turn.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Insane character is even more dangerous to you, so again try not to field your usual power piece.

A Visit to Thanos (yellow, slots G-J) Insane characters can’t be given actions.

WHAT IT MEANS: For these four rounds, your high-point fig will be a sitting duck…one more reason not to pick your best pieces to be your Insane piece. You probably do want to pick one that’s defensively good, though, to help survive the inevitable assault.

Thanos vs. Odin (red, slots I-K) Choose a friendly character. That character can use Outwit, Perplex, and Force Blast. Choose another friendly character. That character can use Quake, Energy Explosion, Pulse Wave, and Toughness.

WHAT IT MEANS: Utter chaos and havoc, basically. With the sudden appearance of Outwit and Perplex, someone’s going off the board, most likely.

Death of the Valkyrie (black, slot L) If your Valkyrie has not been defeated, remove it from the game and you score 50 additional victory points. If your Valkyrie was defeated by an Insane character, that character’s controller scored 50 additional victory points.

WHAT IT MEANS: As though your Insane piece wasn’t enough to worry about, now you’ve got to worry about your “Valkyrie,” too.

SUMMING IT UP: Wild event dial that it is, it’s still not too hard to pick up and play. Warrior Madness probably rewards larger teams with lower-cost figures more than small, tentpole + pit crew-styled forces.

Next entry will wrap up the series entirely with the final event dial (ever?): Atlantis Attacks. Watch for it!



The last time I ran this comic-accurate team of the underage progeny of supervillain parents, I found them to be weak yet better than expected, sporting a lot of surprising tricks and mobility but lacking in offensive ability.
Now, with Web of Spider-Man, original members Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace, Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes and Nico Minoru have a new friend in Victor Mancha, another teen “born” to a supervillain.
Victor Mancha 96
Nico Minoru 84

Karolina Dean 55
Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace 54
Chase Stein 45

Molly Hayes 43
= 377 points. Enough room for feats or the Runaways ATA (at 3 points per Runaway keyword).
TOURNEY ONE: All characters must have the Kid of Teen keyword. No feats or BFCs.
Basically, this was identical to my “EAT IT, GRANDPA” scenario in the newest section of the site. Perfect time for this build:
Victor Mancha 96
Nico Minoru 84

Karolina Dean 55
Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace 54
Chase Stein 45

Molly Hayes 43
+ Runaways ATA 18
+ Yellow Lantern 5
= 400 points. With Molly safeguarding the AV-boosting Lantern, Victor would get better odds at landing hits and thus giving the rest of the team a resultant bump to their follow-up attacks. Here’s how it actually went:
FIRST, against Paul’s Kara Zor-El, Dream Girl, Shrinking Violet, X-23 (Web of Spider-Man), Wolfsbane (Web of Spider-Man) and Dawnstar, I landed the first hit against Dawny with a one-two shot on the wall she hid behind (thanks, Karolina-backed-by-Nico’s-Staff-of-One’d-Enhancement-followed-by-Victor). Kara was the next to fall victim to Victor’s shots.
Things got dicey, then. Nico got KO’d in short order by Shrinking Violet and Wolfsbane despite a surprise use of Poison against both. Vic stayed tied up for a long time, leaving the still-Invulnerable Kara, well…invulnerable to most everyone else. And Molly ended on the short end of the claws of X-23. Fortunately, I finally took down Kara, Wolfsbane and Vi in the end to make up for the losses of Nico and Molly.
SECOND and final round, I faced Conrad’s Nico, Firestorm (Justice League), Wiccan, Spider-Girl, Robin (“Emo” Crisis vet) and Vet Spider-Man (Ultimates).
The kid still plays recklessly even after a couple of years. (His math wasn’t so good this time, either.) He jumped Robin to a rooftop to counter Karolina’s Energy Shield/Deflection without making sure he’d stay Stealthed. The landed hit wasn’t worth it when Vic knocked Robin off the roof for 5 total damage. From there I used my superior rules knowledge to thoroughly pounce on every mistake he made.
Conrad actually got a little rules-lawyery when I forgot to declare Chase Stein’s Close Combat Expert. But hey, he’s keeping me honest, and if it helps him play better, I’m for it.
End result: I KO’d all but Firestorm and lost only Karolina and Gert & Old Lace. As winner, I got  LE Daken.
TOURNEY 2: 400 points, Modern Age.
I used the same team in this casual home game.
FIRST ROUND I faced Andy, using Iron Man/War Machine, Peter Parker, Ben Reilly and a Nurse on my chosen Prison map.
Key moments:
  • As I hunkered down in a hallway, Andy made a crucial misstep in using his Kinetic Accelerator. He got a high enough roll to make a Running Shot attack on my Victor Mancha, but none of us saw it until well after his move action was made. (And, in any case, he should’ve declared the Running Shot power action from the start anyway, according to the rules of this special object — which he’s only started using because I use it all. The. TIME 😉 )
  • Vic’s counterattack on the big duo was a critical miss. Two moves later, I realized I could have used the first of my three themed-team Probability Controls to reroll the attack. Ugh.
  • But that was a blessing in disguise as it left Chase free to run the team away from IM/WM without pushing.
  • Between IM/WM’s frequent misses and Psychic Blasts/Outwits from Vic and Nico, the Runaways, er…ran away with a surprise victory, KOing the 300-point duo and Ben Reilly/Scarlet Spider while losing only Molly and Gert & Old Lace.
THEN I faced the host Thomas and his Cosmic Spider-Man, Batgirl (Arkham Asylum) and Checkmate Knight (white) on my choice of the Arena map.
Unable to target any of the opposing figures (due to their Batman Ally-granted Stealth) and with Cosmic Spidey able to, via his HSS and his never-blocked Line of Fire trait, attack my pieces at will, I spent much of the game cowering my team in one of the corners. Though I eventually got the  Checkmate Knight, my whole team was slowly wiped out in the least fun game I’ve ever played against a non-colossal character.
(Digressional rant: Cosmic Spider-Man is a point-and-click character…as in, “point it at your opponent’s characters and click their dials.” It takes no actual strategy to play him effectively. Heaven forbid you actually do use strategy when playing him, like Thomas did in this team build and game. Extreme HSS, 10 range, Power Cosmic, perma-Line of Fire AND a wild card? Really? In good conscience, I can never give fellowship to a player who uses him unless they’re using him against a powerful colossal figure.
Digression over. Back to Runaways.)

Chase doesn’t have the sexy AV or DV, but he’s such a key to this team it’s not even funny. His ability to carry the team in and out of trouble was invaluable in the first games (even if I didn’t use it so well a couple of times). It’s telling that he was the first target of the CSM team.
Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace were useless except for taking theme PCs and occasionally forcing drive-by damage with their AV SP; in both tourneys they were KO’d in a single round of attacks. I need to either use them to plug up Hypersonic Speedster lanes on indoor maps or hurl them at foes to using Nico’s occasional TK after Vic’s softened a target up for the Runaways ATA.
Karolina was little else but an attack magnet and damage sponge. But that’s OK now that she’s not the only shooter or natural 10 AV on the team.
Molly was hobbled by her Super Strength forcing me to choose between her doing extra damage with an object or being taxied. More often she served as the best tie-up piece on the team.
As Nico lives or dies, so too does the team. That’s how it used to be, anyway, before Victor Mancha, a true attacker for the team who combines elements the others only provided piecemeal before: double-digit AV and Running Shot for a ranged threat (Dean), good damage (Molly) and a way to deal with Invulnerability-plus (both Molly and Nico, sometimes), strong defenses (Molly), taxi skills (Chase, Dean), and via his Indomitabilty, extra actions (Nico). His being able to press the attack or hasten the retreat makes the rest of the team better as well.
I want to play a Golden Age version of the team with Feats and Battlefield Conditions. Contingency Plan is a given on Nico to boost stats as needed. Armor Piercing, while good with Gert & Old Lace’s auto-damage “Arsenic” SP, might be too many points to put on this inefficient duo. Instead, Gert’s BF Chase can get excellent use from Lunge to give him move+attack ability in addition to taxiing pals. The 5-point Yellow Lantern is probably still the best use of the remaining 6 points to help Vic land his all-important Running Shots. With no team abilities, both the Alpha Strike and Disbanded BFCs work well on this build.

Huh. I was certain I hit “Publish” on that Runaways article I promised for last week, but it didn’t happen, I guess. Now it’s time for another Monday mod article, so the Runaways will have to wait until Tuesday.


Nice that they painted him in his Bucky costume colors. The trouble with that is, well, he never really wore his Bucky costume colors as the Winter Soldier:.

That's blue-black leather, yo.

I like my clix sculpts a lot more comic-accurate than that. So here’s what I did:

  • Painted mask with solid black acrylic paint.
  • Painted blue clothes with a translucent black ink wash.


Completed mid-2009. Simple and the thing looks WAY better.

Next Monday: Instead of painting one near-black, I go completely the other way.
Tomorrow: The Runaways!

Later this week: I actually never finished my Event Dials series, leaving the final (?) two — Warrior Madness and Atlantis Attacks from Hammer of Thor — unexamined. I rectify that oversight.

And, speaking of Atlantis…

By Friday: A look at every extant figure bearing this keyword, including Aquaman from the soon-to-be-released Brightest Day action pack!

Sorry again for blowing my deadline last week! To make up for it, here’s a double feature of girls from the 2007 AVENGERS set who got makeovers.

First up is the big girl I promised: Stature of the Young Avengers.

She doesn’t look really great in photos. Even in hand she’s not so glamorous. Maybe it’s because she’s part of a fairly exclusive club of HeroClix sculpts based directly on an image from the comics.


Seriously. Hold the Stature figure at this same angle and you'll see it for sure.


Wonderful art by Jim Cheung from Young Avengers # 5 or 6 or something. But what looks great in Cheung’s 2D style wound up looking less-than-glorious in 3D. And besides, the costume’s wrong. By the time she chose the Stature codename (over Ant-Girl), she was wearing this:

…and has been ever since. So here’s what I did to make this big girl right:

  • Repainted her costume details with acrylic paint. Specifically, I swapped her suit’s color palette: red to black and dark-blue to red.

Completed early 2009.

Simple, huh? :) A nice side effect of the mask is that it covers up those unattractive-in-3D furrows in her angry brow.


Stature wasn’t the only chick in AVENGERS to need work on her face. Here’s the original look of Super Rare WASP from the same set:


I call her Crash Test Dummy Wasp.


Terrible, huh? Doesn’t look a thing like this little beauty.

It was only made worse by the announcement of the then-new 60-figure sets made that spring. The brand manager at the time declared that Super Rare figures would be of markedly higher sculpt quality than the other rarities. Common rarity pieces in particular would be cheaper, lower-quality single-mold pieces.

In reality, though, all four of the “old-school Avengers” characters in the set — Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Wasp — are cheaper, lower-quality single-mold pieces despite their Super Rarity. (I’m convinced they were intended to be Commons but got moved to the Super Rare slots late in the game.)

Anyway, Wasp is by far the worst of the lot, both in playability and sculpt quality. So when I lost her sculpt in the washout that also claimed my original Aquaman mod, I wasn’t too perturbed…I knew I could get a replacement for just a few bucks.

And I did shell out those two bucks because I’d always intended to give Janet Van Dyne a proper face:

  • Painted in eyes, eyebrows, lipstick with acrylic paint and drawing ink.


Photo by Antonio Cade.



...and my photo.


These pictures don’t do her justice at all.

Next week: One more AVENGERS Super Rare repainted.

Next post: Either a Runaways battle report or DC Alternate Team Ability cards with art!

Many apologies to readers faithfully following the My Custom Mods feature. I’ve missed my usual Monday deadline by a couple of days. To make amends, I’ll likely do a double feature on Monday, Oct. 11.

In the meantime, there’s a new feature you might’ve missed: SCENARIOS. It’s a page full of (mostly) simple ideas to both change up the usual mode of play and, perhaps, to lessen certain players’ reliance on the same 20 figures every stupid week. :)

Just click the tab at the top right. And hey: feel free to leave your scenario ideas in your comments here! If I like ’em enough, I’ll add ’em to my list!