One of the things players like most about HeroClix is the ability to play out scenarios starring their favorite characters. For me, that sometimes manifests as a desire to play a team consisting only of several versions of a favorite character. (For example, back in late spring I played a 1000-point team consisting of enough Batman figures to place a different one in my starting area every time the ladies sing his name in the old theme song.)
Despite that, I’ve almost never run an all-Aquaman team for a couple of reasons:
- They just weren’t very good. They have almost no range ability, the best attackers have no defenses, and the thick-skinned ones almost never get any sort of attack advantage (such as Charge).
- Using all available Aquamen means losing the Atlantis theme bonus, as the Justice League common lacks the keyword. But his Special Power, Perplex for all swimmers (except himself) is so good that he kinda HAS to be included on the team…especially because he’s one of the few Aquamen with Charge. On the other hand, losing the theme team means I don’t get the special Probability Control, the battlefield condition-cancel ability and, most importantly, the better chance of choosing a watery map.
Consequently, running all-Aquaman teams has kinda been like asking to go 0-3 in the average tournament. But as I stated in my far-too-long-for-a-single-post Atlantis breakdown a few weeks back, the Brightest Day Aquaman really changes things, as you’ll see after the break.
I got to the venue late and was surprised to see that, for once, the guys actually got started on time! Good for them! Informed of the 500-point Golden Age format, I used my bye-round time to build my Aqua-team :
Aquaman (Brightest Day) 105 + Armor Piercing 10 + Lunge 5 + Alias 3
Veteran Aquaman (Icons) 71
LE Aquaman (Justice League) 70
common Aquaman (Justice League) 68
Experienced Aquaman (Icons) 56 + Submerged 5
Veteran Aquaman (Hypertime) 41
Rookie Aquaman (Icons) 39
Rookie Aquaman (Hypertime) 27
+ Opened Hydrant 0
+ Com Dish 0
+ Eleha’al Vine 0
= 500 points. Lots of Leadership and JLA team ability would boost my Aqua-swarm’s action advantage. Submerged feat on the sole ranged character offered a little security and board control. But above all, Armor Piercing ensured BD Aquaman’s “Undead Sea” trait would ping even the thickest-skinned assailants.
FIRST game was against Derrick, aka “Legendkilla,” a long-absent player making his return to the game. He was rolling with The Flashes, The Flash & Green Lantern, and X-23 (Web of Spider-Man). Unfortunately for him, I won map roll and picked the mostly-water Aruna Temple from BPRD set. I also used the Debris battlefield condition to give the Aquamen plenty of extra objects to wield.
With The Flashes slowed to half their speed, I was free to concentrate on the other duo figure and X-23. Alternating between HSS attack with BD Aquaman, range shots with E Icons and punches from whomever BD carried the previous turn, I took them both out and lost only the Icons Rookie for an easy win. 1-0.
NOW it came down to the championship match against Vic’s Skrull squad: Super-Skrull: Illuminati, Skrull Emperor (both In Contact With Oracle), Skrull Warrior (Supernova) and two Skrull Infiltrators. He picked the Lab map. I forgot to use either of my remaining battlefield conditions (Ordinary Day or, of course, Atlantis Rising). But this map’s indoor nature was fine, as it gave me a great spot to hide my Opened Hydrant to ensure water for my Aquamen.
Things almost went immediately south for me, though. Although I’d parked my Brightest Day Aquaman behind the Submerged Experienced Icons version, I’d inadvertently left a narrow path where Skrulluminati could potentially Running Shoot him. I wasn’t worried, since Aquaman’s Invulnerability would absorb the blow and land him on his range powers. But I didn’t anticipate:
- Skrull Emperor Perplexing Skrull Warrior’s damage to 3.
- Said Warrior shooting out the wall.
- The Emperor, even at half-speed, thus being able to reach a spot to Outwit that Invulnerability I was so counting on.
- Skrulluminati using In Contact With Oracle to boost his damage to 5 and his AV to 12 with his own SP as he Running Shot next to the Emperor’s Enhancement for a potential 6-click one-shot KO of my Aquaman!
And on top of it all, I completely forgot to use my Alias feat!
Fortunately, he rolled 5, one short of what he needed.
That utter disaster averted by dumb luck, we went about the business of actually fighting. Which, thanks to the Skrull team ability and Shape Change and Skrulluminati’s sky-high DV, meant a lot of missing opportunities on my part.
My opponent, for his part, had to tread carefully lest he trigger the “Undead Sea.” It was a close, tightly contested (and congested) game; in the end, I only lost my Icons and Hypertime Rookies while taking out all three Skrull generics.
FINAL: 2-0 (3-0 with the bye).
OK, so this game could have gone very, very poorly if not for that miss. But considering that that attack of opportunity wouldn’t have been possible at all if not for the In Contact With Oracle feat (which I hate with a passionate hatred) and my own not-quite-paranoid enough positioning, the Aqua-squad performed well, winning me the tournament!
As alluded to earlier, Brightest Day Aquaman was the key, providing not only a deterrent via his trait, but a super-capable, mobile attacker and taxi in and of himself. JL Aquaman helped a lot by pumping BD’s AV during his hit & runs. The Lunge feat gave BD a way to offset the Carry penalty so he could bring a friend to base his target, hit or miss. The Toughness-laden Icons Rookie proved the best for that role. The Hypertimes stunned opponents with their nigh-endless-for-the-cost dials and occasionally got the odd attack through (no one expects the thrown objects).
I’d love to try the team out again, swapping out Armor Piercing and Alias for Contingency Plan on one of the four pieces with Leadership. And although it’s a bit riskier if I face enemy Super Strength, I think I’ll swap out the Com Dish for the longer-lasting Generator.
Brightest Day Atlantis attacks bear an undefeated record of 4-0 up to this point. Will the winning waves continue? Or will the tide recede? Stay tuned to future installments of the Wednesday Battle Reports to find out!