Finally at the end!

The #2 WINNER is:


Battle Fury has long been little more than a detriment: it keeps one from making ranged attacks or being carried. Sure, it protected one from Mind Control, but how often does that help ya?

Well, it’s finally gotten a couple of upgrades. First, it now ignores that other light-blue power…Incapacitate. Second, it ignores Shape Change (including the variety used by the Skrulls/Danger Girl team abilities). And, of course, the power retains its other qualities, especially its discounting effect on point cost.

With a pair of completely positive changes and no drawbacks, Battle Fury is nearly the biggest winner of 2011’s ruleset.

The #2 LOSER?


Otherwise known as Giant Walking Targets, these tall ones have always been magnets for ranged attacks, and the introduction of multiple elevations to the game does nothing to alleviate that weakness…it maybe makes it a little worse.

But the biggest harm they suffer has nothing to do with their own abilities, but rather a change to another. Friendly Giants can no longer be moved with Telekinesis. This used to be a nice little way of addressing Giants’ difficulty in getting into a fight without being shot to pieces first, or getting them out of trouble. It’s gone now.

Another game change is the removal of canceling. Until now, a character could cancel its powers/abilities during a turn. This was good for a few characters who possessed the Giant symbol via a Special Power, allowing them to “shrink” to normal size for a turn and avoid enemy lines of fire — something other Giants can’t do. Now these part-time Giants (Crisis Mordru, M+M Box and especially SI Yellowjacket Skrull) are just as vulnerable as the regular ones.

Giants do get a few new plusses: they can interact with higher elevations at will (though that works both ways for line of fire), or carry regardless of tokens (though only on move actions) and their Great Size and Giant Reach abilities can’t be countered. But their inherent positioning issues are still too big a liability, making them nearly the biggest losers of all.


And the #1 WINNER after the 2011 rulebook kicks in May 1st is:


It’s always been the ultimate answer to any power in HeroClix.

  • Stealth blocking LOF? Not to Pulse Wave.
  • Impervious target? Not to Pulse Wave?
  • Your opponent keeps forcing rerolls with Prob Control? Not if they’re Pulse Waved.

Basically the only defense against it was to hide behind blocking terrain or a Barrier. But when the 2008 rules shut down ranged attacks in adjacency, Pulse Wave got its own rock to its scissors — a tied-up PWer couldn’t use the power, as Pulse Wave is a ranged attack.

That’s no longer the case in 2011. Pulse Wave can now be used even when based. This is super for every single character with the power, ranging from the great (Hammer of Thor’s Odin and Ultron just got terrifyingly stronger still) to the small (Arkham Asylum’s Human Bomb and Johnny Sorrow are smiling now, even though you can’t see their faces). And the ever-frightening Nova Blast feat will certainly come back in vogue for Golden Age games.

This fantastically simple yet powerful improvement to one of the game’s strongest powers makes Pulse Wave the #1 winner of the 2011 rulebook!

The #1 biggest LOSER on May 1st?


Apparently undercosted at its inception and even moreso once true Hypersonic Speed lost its second option, the powers that be decided to remove its ability to fire at full range. This doesn’t affect those with no range, but folks like GX Archangel and FF Hawkeye take a hit.

Um...Aquaman...? The new rules kill Manta enough. You don't need to kill him anymore.

(And, frankly, Brightest Day Aquaman’s latter-dial doesn’t dig this change so much, either.)

With a huge negative and no counterbalancing positives, Move And Attack is the biggest loser with the 2011 rules. But that won’t stop anyone from using it if they’ve got it!

Thanks for reading!

The #4 WINNER(s):


Originally, I had saved this slot for Multi-Attack alone. The power action has gotten a hefty upgrade, allowing for ANY two actions rather than just two power actions that attack. (Thus, CD Spectre can, at last, Phase in and then Psychic Blast for massive damage. But note that he can’t get two of the same action, per the new “once-per-turn” global rule on free actions.) But, as I realized that the only characters with the ability were Colossals, I just chalked up this rule change along with the other boosts Colossals got.

Then I considered two other powers that got nothing but better, Quake and Mind Control. Instead of capping higher damage at 2, Quake now boosts even lower damage to 2 as well. And Mind Control’s minimum range is 4, instead of only granting the 4 range to 0-range figs with the power. Nice!…

…until I noted, like Multi-Attack, hardly any characters benefitted from either change. Only 20 of thousands of HC characters have Quake and under 2 damage. Meanwhile, only about TWO characters in the whole game have Mind Control and a range less than 4 but greater than 0.

Therefore, Multi-Attack, Quake, and Mind Control tie as #4 winners. All got simpler and more effective upgrades, but only a tiny handful of figs benefit from it.

Meanwhile, the #4 LOSER is:

"DAMN! Spotted me."


It’s long been an inexpensive power with a big impact, making its users practically invulnerable to range-based powers in this range-focused game. It was also a pain for friend and foe alike when trying to draw line of fire to use Perplex or Probability Control. If you forgot to cancel Stealth on your turn, you couldn’t PC that crit miss into something less injurious.

Now, though, it’s only effective on opponents’ turns, making it simple to Perplex Batman before taking that shot. But…the enemy also has no problem PCing that crit hit into something less injurious.

If the change to the power itself was the only issue Stealth had, it wouldn’t be this high on the losers’ list. But a couple of other rule changes negatively affect the black Speed power:

  1. Immobile objects no longer leave debris. Fielding the blue-ringed Special Objects used to be a way to guarantee a customized bit of permanent hindering terrain for the Stealthers, but this game-streamlining rule change removes that option.
  2. Telekinesis can use objects to attack targets in Stealth. The final ruling on this hasn’t been delivered, but the intent is plain; because TKing an object into a square is drawing line of fire to the square, not the character, it gets around Stealth’s usual blocking of said line and allows the ranged attack.

These are a couple of big knocks for Stealth. It’s still one of the most viable powers in the game, but it’s nevertheless one of the biggest losers of 2011’s rule changes.


The #3 WINNER is:


Wait…wasn’t this a loser? Yes, it is…

…if you use it the old way by putting just one little Leadership piece on the team (because successful rolls didn’t stack anyway) and using some feat like Contingency Plan or Inspiring Command. Adding more Leadership was rarely a good use of points (again, because of the non-stacking), and it was really wasted on higher-cost characters since you couldn’t use the extra actions anyway, usually (except, again, in the service of a feat like Contingency Plan). With the lower chance of Leadership even working, using the power in such a minimal fashion has become a losing proposition, making it the #9 loser.

But, as you see, it has placed very high on the winners’ list. Here’s why:

  • A cheaper adjacent ally gets to remove a token. This is new incentive to use the high-point Leadership pieces that were wasted on the power before.
  • The extra actions gained by additional Leadership rolls now stack. This makes fielding multiple Leadership characters beneficial instead of a near-total waste.

If not for the lower chances of a successful roll, this could’ve easily been the #1 winner of all the 2011 rulebook changes.

The #3 LOSER:


First, generic themed teams got a little harder to build. Instead of needing 1 character for every 100 points, you now need 3 for every 300 points, 6 for 301-600, 9 for 601-900, and so on. Worse still, they only get ONE theme team Probability Control per 300 points; gone are the days of swarm teams loaded with “Probs.”

Named keywords (the new term for “non-generic”) didn’t get it quite as bad, only needing 2 characters and getting 2 uses of themeProb at each level. (Unfortunately, that makes certain 400-point themes impossible.)

Additionally, it’s the themeProb itself which has changed to the detriment of both:

  • it can’t be used by characters lacking the keyword. That excludes pogs or certain Alter-Ego-style variants brought into the game like DC75 Beast Boys or GX Jamie Madrox.
  • it can’t be used by actual Probability Control figures like Scarlet Witch or Rip Hunter.

It did get a slight boost in that only non-free actions keep one from using it. But yeah…theme teams lose pretty big in 2011.

The #6 WINNER:


It’s become a move action, not a power action, so it works with “free move” team abilities like Avengers and Top Cow. And it’s GX Leech-proof, too! This simple change is nothing but positive and wins this super-mobile power a #6 berth.

The #6 LOSER:


Whereas wild cards used to be able to switch team abilities with every little action, they’ve gradually been scaled back from that extreme flexibility to their 2011 reality: now switching TAs is a free action. (Fortunately, it’s an exception to the new “once-per-turn” rule governing free actions.) That means there’ll be no switching from Batman Ally to JSA to Mystics during others’ turns…they’re stuck with the last one they picked on their turn! Pick carefully.


The #5 WINNER?


It finally works alongside Super Strength now; if you’re holding an object and you use CCE, the object boosts your damage, too.

It’s gonna be pretty situational, since most characters with Super Strength+CCE will likely have used their object in a Charge or HSS maneuver already, and it’s subject to the Rule of Three. But in those instances when, say, BD Aquaman is based before he can move in (to prevent him from using Move And Attack, for example), he can hit ’em for 6 clicks — one more than he’d have done otherwise. Nice, simple upgrade.

The #5 LOSER?


Wait…wasn’t this a winner, a few days back? Yes..but for all its boosts, TK got a lot of drawbacks as well.

  • The TKer needs line of fire to the destinationperiod! Before, the TK’d figure didn’t block LOF for the TKer, but now they can’t be in the way. This leaves the TKer more open than ever to getting the power countered, or simply being shot off the TK clicks.
  • Likewise, the TKee has to have line of fire to the destination. No more TKing from behind meat shields or blocking terrain/walls, again making it easier for enemy Outwitters or shooters to mess up your catapult plans.
  • And, like always, the line of fire between the TKer and TKee must be clear.

This triangle of clear LOF makes many current TK maneuvers impossible. No more TKing around corners or from the middle of a rooftop to the ground below; it’s got to be a straight-line shot like every other LOF-based ability. Positioning and placement will be more important than ever.

This extreme loss of flexibility makes TK the mid-point loser of 2011.

The #8 WINNER is:


In the past, SC was a great line of defense against attack. But if the character was the only possible target and won the roll, the attacker still sometimes had the option to attempt a different action, such as a break away attempt or a simple move action.

No more. The 2011 wording now requires you to choose a different target for your attack. If you don’t have another legal target, you just wasted an action; take your token.

This is a simple yet fantastic upgrade for Shape Change.

The #8 LOSER is:


Battle Fury now ignores Shape Change. They’re so angry they don’t care who you look like! Fortunately, BF is rare enough that you won’t face it terribly often. But it’s still enough to make Shape Change a mild loser in this Top Ten.


The #7 WINNER:


It was annoying that Colossals, aside from being able to shoot out of adjacency while based, were
completely outclassed by the mere Giants at being, well, big. Now that’s changed. They break away automatically and share Giants’ ability to ignore smaller characters for movement, whereas before they had no break away or movement bonuses. Along with their already-implemented ability to act with 2 action tokens, Colossals just got better and better.

And it’s all because of GROOT.


No, seriously.

Groot, being the first character to have a Special Power making him a Colossal piece, had to have made the designers realize that being Colossal did practically nothing for him in and of itself other than make him a colossal, immobile bull’s-eye for shooters beyond his paltry 4 range. Remember, virtually every other Colossal character until him had come with a half-ton of special rules and immunities to half the PAC, masking the inherent lameness of Colossal Size.

So thank Groot. :)

(One more thing: Multi-Attack also got a big upgrade/simplification in that it now allows any two actions instead of just any-two-power-actions-that-lead-to-an-attack-ONLY. But because there are only a handful of characters with the ability and all of them are Colossals, this is just one more way that these biggest of the big get a win in 2011.)

The #7 LOSER?


It also got the “no damage” treatment that Energy Explosion received, making it crit-miss-proof. So why is it a loser?

  • it lost the critical hit potential (which was always a bit of a double-edge sword, given that Incap was a way to damage Mystics without hitting them directly. So this isn’t really a huge downgrade) and;
  • It’s now 100% less effective against Battle Fury, just like Shape Change. Also, the new aspects of Leadership can potentially render a successful Incap completely useless.

The combo of both these drawbacks puts Incap a slot lower on the list of the lame than SC. (At least Stunning Blow still works.)

With each new spring or summer in Heroclix, there comes a new rulebook massaging and sometimes warping the game we enjoy. And with every change, there are winners and losers. For the next four days, Heroclixin’ will highlight two winners and two losers.

#10 WINNER is:


TK got a hefty upgrade in 2008’s rulebook and PAC by gaining an 8-square range of effect as opposed to its prior ability to only sling adjacent characters away. But to balance the new flexibility, the moved characters had to break away from foes and then be carefully moved around other foes. It was a hot mess to explain to players both new and old.

Now, with characters no longer being moved but instead placed, pals can be grabbed from enemy tie-up with ease. And that’s not the only upgrade: now a TKer can use their own TK after being TK’d — something expressly prohibited before. Players can set up some crazy TK chains with this maneuver!

With all this going for the Grey* attack power, you may wonder why it ranks only #10. Well…you’ll see, as we climb (descend?) the ladder on the 2011 rules losers.

*(Get it? Grey? As in…Jean Gr…never mind…)

Meanwhile, the #10 LOSER is:


It used to be that you could take a potentially unlimited number of free actions if the power or ability allowed. But I guess the powers that be realized that almost every type of free action was pretty much already limited to once per turn somehow and decided to just make it a global rule.

So why is this a loss? Perhaps for its effect on the SHIELD team ability and a few other things. So Nanobots can only ever be used once to heal a couple of clicks per turn. Big deal! That’s why the reining-in of Free Actions is the least of the Top Ten Losers of the 2011 rules.


The #9 WINNER is:


It’s now a no damage attack, which prevents critical misses or critical hit rolls from dealing self-damage or extra damage, respectively. (Think of a critmiss being a dud grenade, for example.)

This would be a wash, then, if not for EE’s extra line stating that crit hits still deal the extra damage. A purely positive change makes for a modest win for Energy Explosion.

and the #9 LOSER is:


Specifically because, now that its 50% chance of success is now reduced to 33%, it’s really not much good as it’s traditionally been used: on a lone, inexpensive character (usually feated with Contingency Plan) on a swarm team of other inexpensive characters that needs the extra actions.

And yes, Im thinking mainly of YOU, Sidewinder.

But as you’ll see in the coming days, this isn’t the bottom line on Leadership. Not by half.

Tune in tomorrow for numbers 8 and 7 in both categories!

Multiple men making many monologues.

One of my favorite characters, Madrox the Multiple Man makes another appearance in HeroClix. He’s quickly vaulted to the top of my “want-to-play” list, being another F.U.N. (Friendly, Useful, Neat or Nifty) piece:


GX Madrox is not a min/max piece (or pieces):
  • Lacking any sort of moving attack or carry ability (unlike, say, Cuckoos), they can have trouble getting into the fight proper.
  • It also takes two or more to really leverage their powers. But that’s 88+ points that might not be better than other characters with more fighting prowess.
  • There’s also the double-edged sword of his trait, which could mean a boatload of extra victory points for your opponent.
GX Madrox still has utility, though, serving a different role on each click of life:
  • 1st click: Sporting Toughness, he’s good Mastermind fodder, an X-Men heal battery, and a general meat shield/tie-up piece — which, if he’s run in multiples, makes him a potential Flurry piece as well (via his “More The Merrier” SP: “Madrox can use Flurry, but only if a friendly character whose name includes “Madrox” or “Multiple Man” is adjacent to the target of his first attack using Flurry.”). All this may just be biding time for:
  • 2nd click: Perplex. You should know how to use this power. It’s very easy to get to this click either by pushing or X-Men TA. Coupled with his SP Flurry, this could be the best click to stay on.
  • 3rd click: Outwit. This is his only click lacking his SP Flurry. He’s most likely to be hit to this click or X-heal to it. Could be very useful.
  • 4th and 5th clicks: He’s got Willpower, which is perfect for an emergency X-heal of a pal or a surprise Flurry if he’s got another Madrox to activate his reappearing SP.
C’mon. It’s Madrox!
  • He’s one of those few characters that no one can reasonably complain about using in multiples. It’s what he does! It’s what he is! Er…What they are!
    (Who he are?)
  • And don’t forget his ability to bring in an additional GX Jamie Madrox or GX Madrox. If Willpower’s showing, bring in Jamie. His dial’s longer and powers are better — the 4 range catches people by surprise. If the original took less damage, though, bring in a matching Madrox and double your Perplex or Outwit, suddenly.
Have a great clixin’ weekend!

Sorry for the light content so far this week. I’m preparing a double-decker Top Ten article for next week that will hopefully make up for it: the 10 biggest winners and losers among the 2011 Rulebook and PAC changes.

In the meantime, I may get another Token-Totin’ pic on tomorrow, and maybe another F.U.N. review for Friday. Drop in and see!

MARVEL BOY (Hammer of Thor)

The dial and sculpt only sort of matches the character’s Rookie state.


This is supposed to be the VETERAN?

And he doesn’t even CALL himself Marvel Boy anymore! Ugh!

And where are the short pants?

I can’t do anything about the horrible, horrible dial. But I could at least fix his outfit.

Here’s what I did:

  • Tried encapsulating head in clear, thick glue.
  • Looked horrible.
  • Removed head of Mysterio (Ultimates).
  • Removed Marvel Boy head and replaced with that of Mysterio (Ultimates).
  • Repainted with acrylic paints.

Completed mid-2010.

NEXT TIME: Cannibalizing one fig to make another.

Welcome again to F.U.N. Friday, where I share team builds that are Friendly yet Useful and, above all, Nifty.

Once I got Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, the Super Rare duo from The Brave And The Bold set, and  The Holiday Killer from same, I was finally able to build a decent Batman Enemy-centric team for a 700-point Modern Age tournament:

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy 175
The Joker (Arkham Asylum) 97
The Penguin (Arkham Asylum) 70
Firefly 68
Harvey Dent (Arkham Asylum) 67
Edward Nigma 60
The Holiday Killer 43
Catwoman (Batman Alpha) 40
Henchman (Arkham Asylum) 40
Henchman (Arkham Asylum) 40

= 700 points.


Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy 175

They’re quite pushable, gaining Perplex and Stealth on their 2nd click, so I won’t shy away from using Running Shot to gain a bit of initiative in offense. Harley’s super-Outwit makes me almost hope they get hit.


The Joker (Arkham Asylum) 97

His 11 AV isn’t quite as vital anymore for Batman Enemy teams now that wild cards can loan the team their attack values again. He’s also pretty fragile, with zero defenses outside of Stealth and a little Probability Control. But his 8 range is key in damage-dealing, and he has some help on this team, namely:


The Penguin (Arkham Asylum) 70

17 Defend and flying really helps the mostly ground-pounding Batfoes. Heck, to the degree that Penguin takes enemy fire instead of more threatening targets makes him worth every point.


Firefly 68

The other flyer of the crew and the most mobile attacker, Firefly gains a lot when teamed with better Batman Enemies and an Enhancer or two.


Harvey Dent (Arkham Asylum) 67

Stealthy Outwitting Willpower with Flurry. Any questions?

Well, there’s also his singular ability, on this team, to not be forced to cluster with the rest to be most effective. Makes him a fine tie-up piece or hidden supporter with equal ability.


Edward Nigma 60

Most put him on the team for his ability to allow a teammate to act turn after turn, but that power was barely used in my games. No, he was instrumental for his Outwit and especially his Enhancement, which made a threat out of so much else on this team.


The Holiday Killer 43

Stealthy Outwit to start, a simple push to 11AV to share with other Batfoes and another 8-ranged threat for under 50 points. Even with the short dial, what’s not to like?


Catwoman (Batman Alpha) 40

Long-lived tie-up piece that’s pushable to much better clicks. Better still, she was ripe for taking theme-PC tokens or Mastermind damage at any time.


Henchman (Arkham Asylum) 40
Not really the best choice to double up, still they’re quite useful on this force. Batman Enemy and E.Nigma’s Enhancement turn them into threats instead of just Mastermind fodder, and their self-Perplex SP offers a third method of improving their combat ability. Still, for half the cost the normal AA Street Thug works nearly as well. In a future run, I’ll just go with a single Henchman and fill out with Thugs.

"You WILL obey me...!"

I recently got a Watchmen Collector’s Set in a great trade. And because I like to play all my pieces at least once, I decided to use this team of no-good criminals in a 200-point tournament recently:

Moloch the Mystic 79
Knot Top Leader 37
Larry & Mike 33
Knot Top 25
Knot Top 25
= 199 points.

Each character possesses the Underworld team ability, giving each member the Carry ability to ferry fellow members. In addition to that key bit of mobility, my main tactic and attacker is Moloch and his Mind Control. Finally, the Stealthy Knot Tops would be a decent close-ranged threat.



was vs. Josh’s Red Arrow, Green Arrow (DC 75th Anniversary), and E Green Arrow (Cosmic Justice).


  • He won the initiative roll and chose the Crater map. That gave him a shooting gallery against my mostly low-range team.
  • Having missed my need-to-hit Mind Controls against enemy archers, I opted to make a retreat using the Underworld TA, making sure to move the Knot Top 10 squares away from the Green Arrow with 9 range perched in Stealth.

    But then.

    …I placed the Knot Top’s passenger, Moloch, exactly 9 squares away from Green Arrow…just within my enemy’s range…

    …despite the fact that Moloch has 10 RANGE. Terrible, terrible square miscount. A turn later, Moloch was KOed and so was my chance of an improbable win.



vs. Charlie’s Iron Widow, Doombot 5359, and Guardsman.


  • Knot Top Leader managed to survive an early hit. He’d heal up with the Vine and return to contribute to the end-game by Underworld-carrying Moloch around.
  • Charlie rolled increasingly badly toward the end-game, giving my last two pieces not only a chance against the stronger Iron Widow but, eventually, a victory.



vs. Chris’s LE Clint Barton (Ultimates), U Nick Fury (Classics), V Black Widow (Classics).


  • The Graveyard map was key for me, as the special squares kept key piece Moloch hidden even from the Ultimates. That gave Moloch the chance to Mind Control from relative safety.
  • Better still, his being able to MC enemy Ultimates gave my team a way to deal with the Stealth on Chris’s team. Thanks, Chris, for fielding that team. (Little did you know it was actually Moloch’s idea.)

After the first mega User Error’d round, I thought I was in for an 0-3 day. But I actually clawed out a 2-1 record. Good showing for the bad guys.