Out with old. In with new.

I’ve been away for the holidays and so haven’t made any recent updates. Sorry about that!

But I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas. And while we’re all looking forward to a brand new year, it’s nice to look back at the one almost finished with.

It was a good year for HeroClix, as it transitioned from its near-death experience of 2009 to its current state:

  • In April, The Brave and The Bold released. Unlike its predecessor Hammer of Thor (which was all but fully completed when Topps pulled the rug out from under WizKids in December 2008), the first new DC set in over a year felt incomplete due to its bad LEs, unusually numerous sculpt recycles and lots of duos. But for DC Clix fans, it was still refreshing (especially after being delayed from a late-February release), and initial disappointment turned to grudging and sometimes outright admiration.
  • A late April release for the Blackest Night Starter Set turned to late June. It wasn’t totally worth the extra wait, as the map was missing important terrain color-coding. But the figures were nice and it’s always good to get the new rules.
  • Delays were the rule in 2010, as both Watchmen and Web of Spider-Man were shoved back about a month or so to August and September, respectively. Watchmen was controversial for being loaded with unpopular duos instead of the-blink-and-you-missed-them Minutemen or a generic or three, and for being $100. Web of Spider-Man was a bit better-received due to being A) a Marvel set and B) it was the first brand-new, no-holdover-from Topps full set.
  • October brought us Brightest Day, a 7-figure Action Pack with a 2-sided map. That had to tide players over until December, when the delayed DC75th Anniversary set released at almost the end of the year. The verdict’s still out on the set — it’s barely 2 weeks old and the Christmas holidays have disrupted a lot of tournament schedules — but initial buzz is that it’s one of the best yet.


For the next few weeks, in lieu of my usual features, I’ll be sharing my Top Ten of 2010, which will be much different from 2009’s due to simply having so many more to choose from! In fact, my current plan is to do a standard one for Most Playable of the year and a second one for MY top ten favoritesm which may not be playable at all. Bookmark the site and return daily starting Jan. 3!

Veteran STARMAN (Cosmic Justice)

Kneeling in mid-air...?

I’ve never liked the “standing on the flight disk” pose in HeroClix. Ones like this are even worse. So when WizKids did away with the flight stands, I decided to do away with his.

  • Used hobby knife to cut him free from flight stand.
  • Snapped off flight stand.
  • Glued him to base.

Fits in my box better, too.

Completed late-2009.
NEXT WEEK: My first dial transplant.

No Friday Force-Building this week. We’ve all got brand-new clix to pull and try out! In that spirit, here’s a look at one of my favorite themes.

Several weeks ago, I posted a simply titanic article about the Atlantis keyword in HeroClix. Long a thoroughly uncompetitive keyword theme, it’s gotten some boosts in the past couple of years with the emergence of Namor in Secret Invasion, one of the most flat-out effective beasticks (not a typo; see the glossary) in the game and, more recently, Aquaman (Brightest Day) for his ability to make other Atlanteans quasi-Mystics and his own considerable offensive prowess.

Now there are three new Atlantis pieces in DC 75th Anniversary set. Let’s look at what they do for life under da sea:

50-100 points

Ocean Master (DC75): Aquaman’s villainous half-brother makes his HeroClix debut. He’s not very good, though, with only a pitiful 3 range, Force Blast and Mastermind available for his first two clicks. Mid-dial he gets a Special Power granting him Blades/Claws/Fangs at range, but at the risk of taking 1 unavoidable damage if he rolls a 1 or 2.

The only reason he should be considered for an Atlantis team is his trait giving him Probability Control while in water. Because of this, and his super-short range, he should be feated with Submerged whenever possible. He’s purely a weak support piece, so you may want to spend the 65 points on other Atlanteans instead.


I don't yet own a Mera fig, but I got a shot of her at my venue. And, as you see, she can tote her token! (Barely. Squeeze it between her hair and shoulder.)


Mera (DC75): At last, the first super-spouse in comics gets her own figure in HeroClix. And like a good woman, she definitely improves the union by bringing several things to the marriage!
First, Telekinesis. A single click on top gives Atlantis first-strike capability at last, whether by throwing objects or, more likely, super-strong friends holding objects. She also gets the power back on her whole back-dial, too.
She also brings unparalleled mobility with Phasing/Teleport (for some reason) and Exploit Weakness with Super Strength to make her a close-combat threat (with Toughness for survival). Later, she shifts focus to Mind Control (again, it doesn’t fit her powerset), Barrier and Regeneration.
At 85 points, she’s not cheap, but that TK is indispensable.

100+ points


This one's standing on a BLUE tentacle.

Veteran Aquaman (DC75): Sharing a near-identical sculpt, near-identical cost and the dolphin-transporter symbol with Brightest Day Aquaman, this 106-point model has a very different dial. His Speed power is special “Sea Life Telepathy” Mind Control that’s +3 AV and zero feedback damage against the Atlantis keyword. Even better, his Attack SP “Rise From The Deep” allows him to warp in water terrain the way OOTS Batman does in hindering terrain.


He’s not as thick-skinned as BD Aquaman, with Toughness sandwiching some Invulnerability in the middle, nor does he have Super Strength to boost his naturally-high 4 damage. But he’s got an extra click of life and some more keywords to make him fit on most JLA-themed teams.
Bucket of Water: One of the 3D LE objects in DC75, this 0-point light object is water terrain instead of hindering terrain, providing yet another way to activate the Atlantis keyword members’ various water-based powers. It benefits:
  • any Submerged character;
  • Aqualad and Garth, who can use it to hide via their SPs, then Charge off it (for no penalty to Speed);
  • Starro Aquaman and JL Arthur Curry, who can use it to gain their water-based Invulnerability and, respectively, extra Charge Speed and late-dial Regen and Close Combat Expert;
  • SI Namor, who can use his Regen-only-in-water late clicks on it;
  • BD Aquaman, who gains 8 range when on it;
  • DC75 Aquaman, who could use it for his RFTD attacks;
  • Namora and Attuma, who, because they both gain water-activated SPs after their Super Strength clicks, stand to benefit somewhat even after taking massive damage;
  • Ocean Master, who offers Probability Control on it;
  • Atlantean Warriors, who can use it in conjunction with other hindering terrain to activate their Stealth;
  • and DC75 Mera, who could TK the object to best effect for any of the previously mentioned characters (by, for example, moving the bucket into a square of hindering terrain, thereby allowing the aforementioned Atlantean Warrior to use Stealth even more efficiently), not to mention the ones I forgot and non-Atlantis pieces like Triton and Frog of Thunder.
In conclusion, the addition of both TK and PC leaves Atlantis missing only Outwit among the classic HeroClix support powers. In just a short time, the fish have grown considerably more competitive! So go for a swim and swamp some enemy forces!

U SANDMAN (Origin)

OK, I would MUCH rather have gotten this character in the grittier Sandman Mystery Theatre revamp as opposed to this “Darkwing Duck” look.

It's as though the sculptor couldn't choose between the original 1940s DC Comics depiction and the more realistic 1990s Vertigo revamp/retcon.

And I toyed with the idea of doing a more substantial modification. But instead I decided to try a simple fix first:

  • Painted “duck bill” in silver enamel.

Completed late-2009.
Unbelievably better with just that one dab.
NEXT MONDAY: another JSA member made good.

Once in a while I try to give a shout to my Hebrew brothers and sisters and play a team of characters who are Jewish. Here’s my list of those made in the game so far (Modern Age in green):

The Atom (Jewish mom)
Atom Smasher
Colossal Boy
Doc Samson
Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace
Iceman (Jewish mom)
Dr. Manhattan (maybe. Has a common Jewish name (Osterman), at least)
Marvel Boy/Justice
Moon Knight (son of a rabbi)
Sandman (Origin Unique. Jewish mom)
The Thing/Benjamin J. Grimm

Not really much that’s kosher for Modern Age, which would be a problem this weekend for a 400-point Hanukah-themed game if I were going. But if I were going, I’d almost surely run something like this:

The Thing (Secret Invasion) 100
Benjamin J. Grimm (Secret Invasion) 100
Gert & Old Lace 54
Songbird (Hammer of Thor) 83 + Thunderbolts 8
Moon Knight (Avengers) 38
Thug (Avengers) 7
Thug (Avengers) 7
=397 points. Not a goyim in the lot.

Mazel tov? While this sure fits the bill for Friendly, I’m not certain it’s at all Useful. It’s definitely Neat, though. Just don’t play it on Saturday. It’ll lose. :p

With a new Narnia movie coming tomorrow, I’ve got Aslan the lion on my mind. Hence, Lionheart is today’s token-toter:

She easily holds between her legs, as her hands are full. :) So if you happen to use ol’ girl for any reason (and those reasons are few), now you know how she carries her rocks!

MY "kooky quartet" of Avengers.

Captain America (Hammer of Thor) 72
SR Hawkeye (Avengers) 56
SR Wasp (Avengers) 37
SR Scarlet Witch (Avengers) 35
+ Eleha’al Vine 0
+ Kinetic Accelerator 0
+ Dynamostat 0
=200 points.

FIRST MATCH: Charlie answered the question: “Who Watches the Watchmen?” by running Rorschach, Nite Owl, and the 83-point Comedian. I got to pick the Monument map, which is very good for Cap. Despite getting the first shots off, I made a crucial error by choosing to attack The Comedian with Scarlet Witch instead of running her away. The misogynist took her right out before taking down Hawkeye and Wasp. Cap was too much for Nite Owl to pin down, though, and he finished the rest of Charlie’s team. 1-0.

SECOND MATCH: Jessica attempted to blind me with Scientists Dr. Octopus (Secret Invasion), Beast (Mutations & Monsters) and Goliath (Secret Invasion). She’s a solid player but still a fairly recent one; she’d never seen Captain America in action before. Once Doc Ock was knocked off his Outwit, I had an easy time of it, losing only Hawkeye for the win. 2-0.

FINAL MATCH: Vic played an unofficial Black Lantern Corps theme of Nekron and Black Hand (Justice League). Vic decided to tie up only Cap instead of my whole team with Nekron, enabling Scarlet Witch to easily spirit Cap away. Clutch breakaway rolls in subsequent rounds also helped seal a victory as I whittled away at the dark villain.

UNDEFEATED! At 200 points, this Avengers team is very solid for a number of reasons. A) The Avengers team ability gives them an unparalleled action and positioning advantage, especially because B) two of them are dedicated taxis. C) Cap’s power enables the team to maintain great offensive pressure even when Hawkeye is hampered. But that doesn’t mean Hawkeye is useless, as D) he represents a 2nd source of 3 damage to deal with Invulnerability/Impervious. E) Wasp makes a good tie-up piece, too, and F) Cap’s Leadership allows that 3rd attack to really maintain the offensive or land a KO blow.

Experienced DAREDEVIL (Sinister)

The 1990s were a stupid time in comics, full of stupid revamps and stupid new directions and stupid new powers and and stupid new costumes. Daredevil’s briefly-worn “armor” costume was among the stupidest of all.

A character whose main thing is nimbleness and agility is gonna load up on armor plating? Yeah. SO makes sense.

But, I must admit…it did look cool. And when I saw this Experienced Daredevil dial sporting Toughness where no previous Daredevil had any at all, I figured this one must be this costume. So I decided to modify mine to match:

  • Painted body in black and red acrylics.
  • Painted armor details in silver enamel.


...and back. Photos by Antonio Cade.

Completed late-2009. Yep. It does look pretty cool.
NEXT MONDAY: A much less extensive repaint.