Welcome again to the photographic record of how all the sculpts of characters with the Super Strength power can hold object tokens.

I’m pleased to present a brand-new piece, Chaos War’s THOR:

He holds it under his arm (and hammer handle) and on the base. It’s not the best hold out there, but it’ll get the job done.


Tomorrow will either be the introduction to the new monthly Top Ten list or a callback to an old one.

I was torn between a highlander-friendly all-Batman and Robin (and Alfred) team, a nearly full complement of Runaways, and a Red Hulk/Leader-led Intelligencia squad for a recent 400-point tourney. Because the last team had the most never-before-played pieces, I went with it:

Red Hulk (Incredible Hulk 028) 187
The Leader (Incredible Hulk  014) 100
Humanoid (Incredible Hulk  001) 40 x 3

= 398 points. No room for an Additional Team Ability of any kind. So how’d this team do in the potentially ultra-competitive Infinity Gauntlet event?

FIRST ROUND was against Charlie’s Justice Society: Shazam and Black Adam, Wonder Woman (DC 75th Anniversary 051), Mr. Terrific (DC 75th Anniversary) and Dr. Fate (WizKids D-002) on the event-required Collector’s ship map. I made two critical mistakes of such degree that it reminded me of the “FAIL scale” I came up for on my all-Alter-Ego game played last summer:

  • Ran a Humanoid out to tie up his team or draw fire. It worked too well, costing me those 40 points immediately due to my forgetting Wonder Woman’s Exploit Weakness. Moreover, said Humanoid lost the light object he’d been holding as well. FAIL level: 2
  • Leapt Red Hulk 11 squares to make his free attack, completely forgetting that he could only do so for 6 squares and still do it. This is with Leader fully able to TK the brute within the needed range. This landed him next to Shazadam holding a heavy, so I’d depend on Red Hulk’s Toughness to help him survive the possible preemptive strike. But I’d inadvertently jumped in range of Wonder Woman’s Charge, and she punched right through Rulk’s defenses with my own light object dropped a couple turns earlier. One failed Impervious roll against Shazadam’s 7 damage the next action and my heavy hitter was gone in two actions. FAIL level 3.

The rest was just clean-up. Got skunked (wiped out with 0 victory points).

SECOND round, CC brought the Infinity Watch: Gamora (Galactic Guardians), Mole Man (Galactic Guardians), Drax (Galactic Guardians 011) and Adam Warlock (Galactic Guardians 032). This time I was actually doing OK, getting Drax tied down with a Humanoid and knocking Moley off Outwit. But Red Hulk continued to miss attacks, and I made my FAIL level 2: Even though I remembered to use the Humanoid’s Poison, I totally overlooked Red Hulk’s far better version of the power. (The only reason this isn’t a level 3 is because the Poison wouldn’t have saved me. Only actually landing an attack would.) Got skunked again, not even taking out the very wounded Mole Man or last-click Gamora.

FINALLY, Paul W. joined me on the loser table to see who the biggest loser would be: his Metropolis team of Eradicator, Superman (Superman 001), Mercy Graves and Fast Forces Lex Luthor, or my thus-far (un)Intelligencia.

I managed to draw out his deadly All-Star Superman out to Outwit my Leader from 10 out, out of Leader’s retaliation range and with Eradicator ready to make a deadly Psychic Blast, too. But I jumped Red Hulk out to Outwit A.S.Supes (and Poison Lex) and a pair of Humanoids to tie up all Superman’s buddies with Plasticity. Meanwhile, with Leader free to Outwit again, the little bighead deactivated A.S.S’s Hypersonic and Indomitable, stranding the Kryptonian for Rulk to  push to L/C with a heavy and one-shot him.

It would’ve worked if not for a FAIL level 1 dice roll that, in retrospect, was actually a massive FAIL level 3.

See, before getting Poisoned, Lex Luthor managed to punch Rulk for 1 damage, knocking him to a 10 Speed instead of 11. In my mind, for some reason, I seemed to think that meant he could only L/C 5 squares to clobber Superman instead of the 6-square limit his SP actually calls for. So I pushed Leader to TK Rulk out to jump the 5 squares, landing a solid hit…that A.S.S. Theme Probability Controlled into a miss. That completely unnecessary TK left Leader unable to Theme Probability Control that miss into a hit.

FAIL level 3. BIG TIME.

A.S.S. proceeded to immediately crithit Rulk into his AE clicks and too far away to even maybe get into the fight later. And though I wasn’t skunked this time — I got Lex and his girl Mercy, at least — the game was essentially over with that.



Red Hulk: His very light defenses on opening click blunt his effectiveness a lot. It cost me in EVERY SINGLE MATCH as he was far too easily damaged by heavy and light hitters alike. But some more aware play on my part would certainly have alleviated that some. You can’t totally stop dice fails. You can stop stupid moves.


The Leader: With Rulk failing miserably, he needed to be able to fight more. But with him either hurling big Red into the fray or support him with Outwit from the safety of hindering terrain, he never could provide the backup Rulk sorely needed. He’s no secondary attacker despite his solid AV.


Humanoids: Pulled a pair of regenerated ‘oids  in the first two games, resulting only in extra victory points. Too weak to be good cleanup (and lacking the object pool to make good use of their Super Strength beyond a single shot or so) and too slow to be great tieup, they’re a tad disappointing. On the other hand, they have that Strength, the Poison, the respawn ability (with the right Leader, of course) and the Willpower to make them a credible threat even as they tie down targets with Plasticity, and ALL of those qualities came into play. They just need more effective fighters for them to back up.


All in all, the Intelligencia was, well…the UNintelligencia in my game. Not even the ATA could’ve helped me here. But maybe it’ll help the team in the next Battle Report in a couple of weeks. (Next is the monthly scheduled Top Ten.)

I don’t know if I can DO this anymore.

I picked up the Dark Knight Rising Starter set of HeroClix this week, and was disappointed with some of the quality control. The figures were fine — no breakage, the cards were pristine.

But the map…the MAP!

It was very poorly folded, with corners not matching or anything. After years of excellently folded maps in every single HeroClix release I’ve ever seen, this was a new low. Also, the coating on the map appears to have not been quite dry when folded, resulting in glued-together portions of the map that peeled and make the map look like it’s endured a year of rough play instead of being brand-new.

Worse still was the rulebook. It, too, was folded over in half — which is kind of intolerable given that the 2011 rulebook fit in three different starter sets (Lord of the Rings, Street Fighter and Avengers Movie) just fine. For some reason, instead of printing the 2012 version at the same size, they went back to a larger format, necessitating the crude foldover.

But back to the subject du jour. The new tokens in the starters now are TOO FAT to do most of the Token Totin’ methods!

The newer, fatter one is on the left. The original style, on the right.

It’s a bit distressing to me. (Not really.)

Anyway, the series will continue. But it will continue with the old-style tokens, with notes as to whether the new tokens can be held without damaging them as well.

Welcome again to the photographic record of how all the sculpts of characters with the Super Strength power can hold object tokens.

I’m pleased to present one of the very latest strong clix in the game: the diabolic scheming muscleman, Bane:


He holds it tucked just under his chin and propped up on his left arm.



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:

  • male
  • 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.

Back to regular rotation of talking about DC feats and BFC cards I went back and customized with artwork for fun. (Here’s a link back to the original concept.)

Moving on to the Collateral Damage set and its two battlefield conditions. First up is Debris:

This, one of my favorite BFCs (now more than ever — see my blog on why Super Strength needs to change) was an easy pick. I just needed some rubble, and this Patrick Gleason splash page detail in Aquaman #22 fit the bill.

The other BFC of the set was ably illustrated by some art from Scott McDaniel’s Green Arrow again:

BOOM! Perfect art. My scanning and Photoshop skills are also beginning to tighten up at this point, maybe.


Next week, look for Card Arts to start in on the feats of Collateral Damage.

Long before keywords, I was all about theme teams in HeroClix. From attempting to run teams composed entirely of Black women back in 2006 to the Wall-to-Wall Alter Egos squads I tried last summer, it’s clear that “theme” has a broader meaning that just running a bunch of Martial Artist-keyworded fellows on a team. Case in point:


To be a Luchador, the figure had to be:

  • male
  • masked, with head fully covered
  • at least partially bare-armed

Like these folks:

Bane (DC 75th Anniversary) 140


Atom Smasher (Giants) 97

The Atom (DC 75th Anniversary) 50


Red Shift (Galactic Guardians) 106 

Juggernaut (Giant-Size X-Men) 193

= 586 points of ready-for-Mexican-rumble-in-the-ring roughhousing. I’d add some brick-friendly feats and BFCs to help this low-range team:

  • Resistance (for the JSA members to share in Outwit protection)
  • Darkness (to cut down on enemy ranges)
  • Skyscrapers (to eliminate sniper perches)
  • Protected and Not So Special (both for my giant target, Atom Smasher)
  • Secret Six ATA (for Bane)

I ran this cool team in a 600-point Golden tournament last weekend. Check in on Wednesday’s Battle Report to see if they body-slammed foes — or got forced to tap out.

Welcome again to the photographic record of how all the sculpts of characters with the Super Strength power can hold object tokens.

I’m pleased to present another oldie (but not so good, really) who, at first glance, doesn’t even seem to rate Super Strength, a lawyer to super-people, Kate Spencer aka Manhunter:

She holds it like so under her arm and on the base. Though your results may vary due to how bendy she can get buried in the tackle box as she is along with hundreds of other figures that hardly ever see any play.


Next Token Totin’ edition will be SMASHING!

I really wanted to try all my Nova Corps pieces in a single team.

Nova Corps Recruit (Galactic Guardian 00) 50
R Nova (Supernova 037) 56
Nova Corps Denarian  (Galactic Guardians 210) 80
V Nova (Supernova 039) 78
Nova Corps Centurion  (Galactic Guardians 015) 100
Nova (Galactic Guardians Fast Forces 001) 125
Super-Nova (Galactic Guardians 200) 142
Nova Prime  (Galactic Guardians 001) 150
Air-Walker (Hammer of Thor 044) 201

The “Share Through The Worldmind” trait gives all the team some interesting — but nerfed — powers. Moreover, most also allow an additional game effect activated by fellow Corpsmen’s power action which we’ll call STW (Share Thru Worldmind) actions.

  • The Recruit offers a one-way Defend for the cheapies on the team, making him (and, by extension, the Supernova Rookie) good meat shields for bigger pieces. He’s also the best piece to take STW actions.
  • The Denarian’s version of Super Senses (only on a 6) could literally be a lifesaver. There’s also his ability to make an attack reroll after a STW, but this isn’t super-useful over making a standard move or attack action with the other Nova.
  • Both the Centurion and Super-Nova up the team’s firepower with Ranged Combat Expert (which maybe begs the use of Trick Shot on, say, the 10-ranged Supernova Vet, who could then shoot from behind the Recruit he’s loaning his 18 DV to). But a STW can give a Nova +1 damage for that turn, in case you need the damage boost for a close attack or a Running Shot.
  • Nova (201) contributes Force Blast to the team — a power you’ll probably use almost never, as the action needed to knock the foe back will either be useless (against, say, giants or Charge) or better used to fight or pump up damage. A STW action allows this Nova to knock back both friend and foe 1 square. Can’t think of a single time this would be useful when Force Blast would not — especially since this Nova breaks away automatically.
  • Nova Prime offers nerfed Leadership for all, which could come in handy for all. His STW option is even better, as he gets action tokens removed.


What sparked this interest in Nova Corps, aside from the fact that I reread much of the fine 36-issue series this week, is my frustration in either not being able to or neglecting to use the various “Shared Through the Worldmind” traits lately. The first time, I was using the Nova Corps ATA to fit Nova Prime on a team of 100-points-and-higher. The second, a half-constructed, half-sealed tourney, kept me from fitting on all the different traits to be had. But I had so much fun finessing the ones I did have available that I decided to scrap the Howling Commandos team I was going to play in a 900 Modern Age team in favor of this one, while I still had the chance in Modern Age:

Nova Corps Recruit (Galactic Guardians 002) 50
Nova Corps Recruit (Galactic Guardians 002) 50
Nova Corps Denarian (Galactic Guardians 210)  80
Nova Corps Centurion (Galactic Guardians 015)  100
Super-Nova  (Galactic Guardians 200) 142
Nova Prime  (Galactic Guardians 001) 150
Air-Walker (Hammer of Thor 044) 201
+ Infinity Gauntlet on Nova Prime 10
+ Soul Gem 5
+ Space Gem 5
+ Time Gem 5

= 898 points. This was a first outing using the Infinity Gauntlet, used on Nova Prime. It wound up in a 4-player battle royale against some Guardians of the Galaxy, a horde of Skrulls, and a hodgepodge team led by MODOK, Queen of Fables and Beta Ray Bill from Hammer of Thor.

I played it far too conservatively and scored only minimal points — namely, a generic Valkyrie and a Force Blasted-into-wall Space Phantom — before time ran out.

  • The Gauntlet was also highly useless on Prime, as it takes forEVER to get the dial moving. (I’m beginning to see that the Gauntlet is really only good on characters who can push freely. They don’t really need the help so much.)
  • Getting these “human rockets” going is an issue, as the team lacks both the swing and AV to get the first strikes, aside from Nova Prime.  Worse, the same Centurions that offer the extra TK boost are also the most reliable attackers of the rest of the team. What’s their real role?
  • Hard to figure out how to use Super-Nova. He’s well-armored with Impervious but his AV is a weak-for-the-cost 9. Pushing gets him to Running Shot and 10 AV but he’s down to Invulnerability, now.
  • Air-Walker remains the glass cannon of the team. Only a theme-team reroll saved me from a disastrous Hypersonic Speed critical miss stranding him in full view of multiple enemies.

I’m still highly dissatisfied. I need to run this crew soon in a full game or tournament — preferably with the Fast Forces Nova to pump up the team with his Perplex. Perhaps in the next 1000-point game?

Nova Corps Recruit (Galactic Guardians 002) 50
Nova Corps Recruit (Galactic Guardians 002) 50
Nova Corps Denarian (Galactic Guardians 210)  80
Nova Corps Centurion (Galactic Guardians 015)  100
Super-Nova  (Galactic Guardians 200) 142
Nova Prime  (Galactic Guardians 001) 150
Air-Walker (Hammer of Thor 044) 201
Nova (Galactic Guardians Fast Forces 001) 125
= 998 points. Throw in Mjolnir, the Black Lantern and a heavy for the Denarian…at least while the orange elements are still Modern Age through June!