A I wrote last Friday, I’ve been all about theme teams in HeroClix since I started in 2005. From attempting to run teams composed entirely of bug-people — Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Wasp, to name a few — to a “Bright Yellow Boots” squad of Unleashed Shazam, E Black Adam and Vet Power Man, it’s clear that “theme” has a broader meaning than just running a bunch of Scientist-keyworded fellows on a team. Case in point was the Luchador team I posted Friday.
Bane (DC 75th Anniversary) 140 + Secret Six ATA 3
Atom Smasher (Giants) 97 + Protected 8 + Not So Special 3
The Atom (DC 75th Anniversary) 50
Red Shift (Galactic Guardians) 106
Juggernaut (Giant-Size X-Men) 193
= 600 points.
Each fit the Luchador archetype:
- masked, with head fully covered
- at least partially bare-armed
FIRST GAME was a loss to returning player Vic’s cosmic team of Lord Mar-Vell, Adam Warlock (Galactic Guardians 032), Red Shift and Rick Jones/Capt. Marvel. The Darkness BFC cut his range advantage on the Dawn of Time map and an early critmiss on Vic’s Hypersonic attack ceded the early momentum to me, but a round of total misses on my part in the mid-game coupled with Lord M’s dominance left the Luchadors in too deep to climb to victory. Lost Red Shift, Juggy and Atom while only taking Warlock and Red Shift.
SECOND GAME was versus occasional guest columnist Morrison, who made a surprise appearance (usually, this overachiever is too busy pursuing Eagle Scout status and earning early college credit to play with little plastic superheroes)! His Armor force of Iron Man (Secret Invasion and Supernova), Abner Jenkins, Doombot 5359 and Master Chief (Battle Rifle) was only made tougher by his choice of the Crater map. My Skyscrapers BFC was rendered utterly useless because it’s illegal on maps where the starting areas are on elevated terrain.
I made a decent fight of it, despite taking a fair amount of fire along the way, KOing both Iron Men and the ‘Bot. But my team was wiped completely.
FINAL GAME, I had the choice of facing the judge’s team of Frost Giants or a squad of Martial Artists. Of course the Lucha Libre vatos wanted to test the kickboxers! They were: Batman (Dark Knight Rises 201), Catwoman (Dark Knight Rises 203), Gamora (Galactic Guardians), Hawkeye (Avengers Movie 208), Diana Prince (Brave and the Bold 103) and The Question (Arkham Asylum) on the Graveyard.
Juggernaut again got pounded and sent running right off with a heavily boosted Legolas shot. I returned the favor with interest by one-shotting Batman with an Atom Smasher charge. From there, though, things went well south for me as Question began Outwitting (thanks to a FAIL level 3 on my part — I was playing the Resistance BFC and thoroughly neglected to use it!) and Legolas made multiple Super Senses rolls in between Sharpshooting first Juggernaut, then Bane and finally Atom Smasher into so many victory points. My only other KOs were Gamora and Hawkeye.
So the Luchadors went winless at 0-3. But they competed in every match. With a different strategy (and fewer mistakes) I might’ve come out on top anyway.
Bane (DC 75th Anniversary): I held this guy far too much in reserve due to his weak starting 16 DV with Toughness, instead waiting to Charge him in with a +2 Venom Pump to land on his Invulnerability 18 DV. The problem with this strat was that I needed his firepower sooner. Moreover, even a solid hit lands him on a long run of Outwit, which could’ve evened matters up for me a bit. Finally, if he goes down fighting early, he has a chance to use the Secret Six ATA to blow up an adjacent foe.
I never once remembered to use his Secret Six ATA.
Atom Smasher (Giants): Despite being a giant, somehow big Al here got a solid Charge and hit in every game. He also got hit back pretty solidly in every game, being a giant target, and that’s his weakness: his mid-dial sports the most mediocre stats imaginable on a piece of his 97 cost. The Not So Special feat is an absolute must in Golden Age games — it REALLY helped in these games — as is a fellow JSAer/wildcard to help his DV. Speaking of which…
The Atom (DC 75th Anniversary): The littlest luchador had the biggest impact. He serves as a much-needed DV sharer for Atom Smasher, a hard-t0-target meat shield for the bigger boys of the team, a tie-up piece and, not inconsequentially, a capable minor attacker to bat leadoff or cleanup as needed. My problem and regret with him is that too often he was the first gone and Atom Smasher was without his needed partner. But for 50 points, whaddaya expect?
Red Shift (Galactic Guardians): It seemed every game went like clockwork; he’d make a HSS strike, would have to base a dangerous shooter to let the rest of the slow team advance, and take just enough damage to end up on his very soft ESD clicks. The extra mobility and range were quite welcome, though. And though he was a KO in each match, he gave the team a shot at victory every time.
Juggernaut (Giant-Size X-Men): Never truly was unstoppable in these games, as opponents invariably not only had little trouble hitting his 18 Impervious but seemed also to make it stick every time. I needed to use him and Bane as a total tag team, piling on foes together instead of Juggy trying so hard to get that first big hit in.
0-3 record notwithstanding, I loved this team. I’d like to try it again sometime, this time using Bane more aggressively and remembering my much-needed features like BFCs and ATAs.