Continuing the photographic record of Super-Strong figs in the Amazing Spider-Man set holding object tokens with the title character himself:

Yup. Spider-Man (024) juuuuust grips the token as shown.

But not only does the original Spidey tote tokens. Behold the latest version of the character, young Miles Morales:

Spider-Man (039) needs a bit of webbing help, but the hold is very secure.

This is actually going to be more of a straight-up battle report, as the 900-point Modern Age tourney I attended got me the chance to play a big Birds of Prey theme:

Big Barda (Batman) 148

Black Canary (Fast Forces) 100

Huntress (Fast Forces) 100

Hawk (Fast Forces) 100

Dove (Batman) 86

Katana (Batman) 76

Lady Shiva (Streets) 67

Lady Blackhawk (Fast Forces) 50

Oracle (Fast Forces) 50

and, wearing a maxed-out Utility Belt…

Oracle (10th Anniversary) 73

Wait…WHAT? Wasn’t this one of the Top Ten WORST pieces of 2012? Yes, it was. But the U.B. on this barely mobile support piece seemed the most F.U.N. approach to using it.

My basic strat was to use Lady Blackhawk to ferry Barda, Shiva, little Oracle and Canary to hindering patches in preparation for Boom Tubings. Big Oracle would use PC or Perplex or Outwit as needed from the starting area or a building somewhere (which wouldn’t be a problem thanks to a pair of Grapnel Guns on her Belt) with Katana acting as bodyguard. Hawk and Dove would back up Barda.

Here’s how it actually went down (all played on the Jotunheim mountain map):

  1. Dan, my first opponent, was really green and blundered right into my attack. But I played a little too conservatively and got Dove killed before she could finish a near-dead Terrax. Also rather improbably missed four of five attacks in one turn on Ancient One, who slowed down my force from helping. Meanwhile, Dan had sent Gladiator pushing to one-shot 10th Oracle clear on my side of the map for the difference in the game. 0-1.
  2. The very young Kai’s army of Haunted Tank, tons of Living Mummies and a pair of Franken-Castles were no match for my superior tactics. KO’d both his Spider-Girls (which were there just to grab LE The Zombie’s relic) and Franken-Castles for the win when time ran out. 1-1.
  3. Ended with a victory against new but learning Dakota’s pair of Electros, The Mighty Avenger (fully Gauntleted), Baron Mordo, Big Barda, Ancient One and Man-Thing. He unwisely claimed the high ground, which put him in my swing range. I lost Black Canary but took Barda and both Electros for the clear difference. 2-1.

Had a lot of unplayed pieces in this team:

Black Canary (Fast Forces): Despite Barda ostensibly being the lead attacker, in each match it was Canary who actually made the first strike with her Running Shot + Pulse Wave combo. A fantastic piece that totally made this team work.

Huntress (Fast Forces) impressed much less, but that’s only because of the sheer firepower on the force. Running Shot + Willpower allowed her to press the attack more than once. I probably should have been much more aggressive with her than I was. I’m not totally sold on her as my go-to Huntress, but less likely to just trade/sell the piece away now.

Hawk (Fast Forces) IS my go-to version of the character. Great attack value and armor makes him the better partner to Dove (especially the 0 damage version I prefer).

Lady Shiva (Streets) was Big Barda’s passenger, the KO blow to Barda’s opening shot. Combat Reflexes + 18 DV made her a great tie-up piece to safeguard Barda post-Boom Tube. 

Lady Blackhawk (Fast Forces), along with her set-mate Oracle, was the engine of mobility for this team. Her super-taxi skills got Barda and Canary in range of attacking anyone for the early game, then ferried Dove in range for her combat skills in the thick of it.

Oracle (10th Anniversary) was on the team for the F.U.N. combo of her running the Utility Belt: Friendly because, well, it’s Oracle; Useful because of her “Eyes Are Everywhere” trait; and Nifty because much of it is quite character-accurate for Oracle’s long reach. I used the following items:

  • Radar Monitor to leech enemy team abilities. Cracking enemy codes is totally something Oracle would do.
  • Two (2) Grapnel Guns were to ensure she could get onto elevated terrain in a hurry if necessary. Oracle’s been known to use them to hoist herself to different levels of her Clock Tower in emergencies.
  • Gas Pellets (planted on her team ahead of time to be remotely activated in need) were useful as a surprise contingency combined with her trait. Next time I try this Oracle+Belt combo, I need to double up on these!
  • Two set of Batarangs, on the other hand, were NOT as needed nor as comic-accurate. I’ll drop ’em in a flash for Flash Grenades (natch!) or more Gas Pellets.

That wasn’t the only fun I had with the Utility Belt. Prior to the tourney, I had a quick fun game with some unplayed Spy pieces:


El Gaucho

Skrull Saboteur

and, cinching her business suit with a Utility Belt (OBVIOUSLY snatched from Bruce Wayne’s boudoir, so to speak), my #10 Favorite piece of 2012:

Miranda Tate

Unfortunately, the opponent was Blackheart and his two Hellfire Guards. The big bad demon kept siccing his Poison gargoyle on my team, drawing my fire over and over. I should’ve let it Poison Tate to her Outwit and then countered its Poison over and over.

The Belt’s stat boosts were a great help to a low-damage piece like Tate. I also got some use out of Gas Pellets, Batarangs and the Radar Monitor.

As for the never-played pieces on the team:

KGBeast was OK with his range but missed the one shot he got off before that stupid gargoyle tied him up and Poisoned.    He’s a bit too soft for the attacker he ought to be. I’ll keep him around for the Russian theme team I’ve been wanting to run (complete with accent to being used for each declared action, da?) but not beyond that.

Similarly, Skrull Saboteur spent most of the time tied by that same Gargoyle. A decent tie-up in his own right (thanks to Toughness), SS is more suited to range with his Energy Explosion. But he’s for Skrull teams or nothing, IMO.

Finally, El Gaucho was unable to effectively leverage his talents with the knife as he needed to get in close to deal with Blackheart and his Hellfire shields. He did OK, but played more like a 60-point piece rather than a 92-point one.


So I’m warming to the Utility Belt. It’s a dynamic little resource outside of the +1/+2 stuff. As you can see from this article, I’m still more focused on making it F.U.N. rather than powergamey. But that’s what you expect from Heroclixin’!

On Friday, just in time for Black History Month to be over, check out my reviews of a half-dozen black characters in the second half of Figure Flush Week Two.

Continuing Heroclixin’s photographic record of Super-Strong figs that can hold objects:

Chase figure Prodigy (Amazing Spider-Man 001b) holds a token between his neck and outstretched arm. This hold works better with the newer, thicker tokens than the older variety I do most of my tests with.

And while there are some more pix to share (see Thursday for those), here are the characters in the set that DO NOT have any good holds at all:

Dracula (and Vampire)

Hannibal King



Tomorrow continues Figure Flush, a new series of battle reports/figure reviews of finally-played HeroClix pieces. Stay tuned!

Continuing this series talking about DC feats and BFC cards that I went back and customized with artwork for fun. (Here’s a link back to the original concept.) Today, Card Arts continues with Origin’s battlefield conditions.


The fallout from DC’s Identity Crisis retcon was still fresh in early 2007, so it was an easy pick for this card (that was probably inspired by the storyline in the first place).

Art’s by Rags Morales, again. Man, that guy is good.


Next time, Card Arts continues with the last BFC of Origin.

Thanks to WizKids’ torrent of releases in 2012, my stable of unplayed figures has grown from the smallest of my cases to a lot of six leftover clamshells from Fast Forces and starter sets. But after adjusting the way I judge my venue, I’m able to get a lot more games in and no longer have to worry about building actual good teams to win.

I still want to play real people for real prizes or real fun, though. So I headed out later the same weekend to get a tournament AND a friendly match.

The tournament required half the team be from non-Modern Age elements. I chose Science:

Lex Luthor (Icons 051)
LE Thomas Oscar Morrow (Hypertime)
Researcher (Web of Spider-Man) x 3

Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man 024)
Hugo Strange (Batman 039)
Hugo Strange (Streets of Gotham 101)

and in a prior fun (but shortened) game, I ran this “themed” team: YA WANNA KATANA?!?!?

Katana (Batman 011), Blade (Amazing Spider-Man 004), Blade (Amazing Spider-Man 207), Psylocke (Giant-Size X-Men 024), Zealot (Batman 028), Gorgon (Captain America 046), Colleen Wing (Amazing Spider-Man 044)

And here’s my experience with each unplayed piece:

Lex Luthor (Icons 051): He was the main offensive threat on that science team, and he got maybe 4 attacks total off. VERY top-loaded, he pales next to his cheaper versions in just about every set since. Hard to say if I’ll ever play big Lex again.

Thomas Oscar Morrow (Hypertime), on the other hand, lives up to the hype I’ve heard for years. The 37-point, 10-ranged RCE piece is one of the very few Hypertime figs to hold up in modern day play. In addition to being a cheap Scientist team filler, he’ll be a fixture on any “labcoat” theme I formulate.

Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man 024) disappointed a bit, if only because his HSS didn’t seem to work so well for me due to A) user error like hitting a Mastermind figure or B) crit missing or C) going up against Sentry & Void. So yeah, I actually like this Spidey, just on a better team than this!

Hugo Strange (Batman 039) is tricky to play, as he nerfs the Outwit and Perplex of friend and foe alike. But he’s got to get so close to use that trait that he’s easy pickings for enemy attack (thanks to his near-total lack of defenses. I’ll use him on the aforementioned labcoat fun team and on other strange themes, but nowhere else.

Hugo Strange (Streets of Gotham 101) shaves 9 points compared to the above version to get Bat Ally TA as a defense technique. There’s also Outwit and Mind Control. I wasn’t able to get him into the fights very well with this team. I’ll use him again on a Strange team.

Katana (Batman 011) barely got into the fight in the time-shortened game she saw action; just long enough to miss her Charge and Outsider a Super-Strong target. Definitely worth running again!

Blade (Amazing Spider-Man 004) also only got a single Charge in on an opposing Franken-Castle, and unfortunately didn’t roll high enough to take the ex-Punisher down. Can’t complain; there was no way to one-shot that piece.

Blade (Amazing Spider-Man 207) DID score my only KO with a Running Shot on Johnny Blaze. Will have the toughest time deciding in the future which Blade to wield.

Zealot (Batman 028) only got a single attack (a miss) on Franken-Castle. Would like to try her on a WildCATs team later.

Colleen Wing (Amazing Spider-Man 044) was the sole disappointment, getting one-hit off the board by a Charging Franken-Castle before getting to do anything other than hide by the wall with the Hand ATA. Definitely won’t stop me from trying this cute lil’ samurai another time.


So much for Figure Flush Week One. This was fun! Week Two is coming mid-week. In the meantime, see more Card Art on Monday and more Token Totin’ on Tuesday. And have F.U.N. Heroclixin’! 

Continuing Heroclixin’s photographic record of Super-Strong figs that can hold objects, we move on through the Amazing Spider-Man set with:

Wedging the token upright in the stat slot and wrist of Scarlet Spider (Amazing Spider-Man 001b & 209) works for him. Meanwhile, Rhino (020) tenuously grips his token where his left leg and torso meet.

The bigger half of Man-Thing and Howard The Duck (047) holds a token with solid ease in his right forearm.


Tomorrow, Figure Flush continues.

So thanks to WizKids’ torrent of releases in 2012, my stable of unplayed figures has grown from the smallest of my cases to a lot of six leftover clamshells from Fast Forces and starter sets.

So I’ve adjusted the way I judge my venue now. Instead of building a single team for playing the bye round or just sitting/standing around during the tournament, I’m building FOUR teams for the event and either playing three of them (a different one each round) or I’ll do a solo game against myself if there is no bye round.

The latter is how it fell out this past weekend. The scenario was a 400-point “Valentines Only” game in which only figures with a romantic history were allowed. Here were my teams:

Marvel Girl (10th Anniversary) 54
Cyclops (Fast Forces) 75
Storm 59 (10th Anniversary
Rookie Black Panther (Infinity Challenge) 27
Lyja the Lazerfist 80
Human Torch (Fantastic Four) 100
Oracle (Fast Forces) 50
Nightwing (Batman primer) 85
Dove (Fast Forces) 100
Hawk (Fast Forces) 100
Movie Star (Infinity Challenge) 3
Bruce Wayne (Batman) 60


Aquaman (Justice League New 52) 111
Mera (Crisis) 6
Bruce Wayne (Batman primer) 50
Talia (Batman Alpha) 20
August General In Iron (Batman) 142
Ghost Fox Killer 68
Green Lantern (10th Anniversary) 145
Star Sapphire (Fast Forces) 75
Joker (Batman primer) 125
Harley Quinn (Batman) 50

And here’s my experience with each unplayed piece:

August General In Iron fell victim to missed attacks, including the snake-eyed variety. Not really his fault, though, and he survived to the end of the game. Will definitely play him again because I’m a Great Ten fan, but he’s not the obvious choice over his 100-point precursor from 2007’s Justice League set.

Bruce Wayne (Batman primer) was super-useful for TK and Perplex. Will play him next on a “BRUUUCE” team for sure.

Bruce Wayne (Batman), on the other hand, was somewhat high-priced filler on his team. Still, Perplex for friends is never useless. Another lock for the “BRUUUCE” team.

Cyclops (Fast Forces) wasn’t bad. He comprised most of the effective offense for his team thanks to Running Shot + Willpower. But he really pales in comparison with the 110-pt. GSX model. Guess I’ll grab him as a bargain version if necessary — if I even keep the piece.

Dove (Fast Forces) was mostly useful for Prob and her synergy with partner Hawk. I’ll always pick the main set version over her, though.

Green Lantern (10th Anniversary) was better than I expected — that Barrier trait came in handy. He never fell off click #1. There are so many versions of Hal I can’t say this will be the first I consider, due to his expense, though.

Harley Quinn (Batman) Joker’s lil’ gal was OK, basically serving just as a trigger for his revenge trait.

Hawk (Fast Forces) IS the one I’ll be playing from now on; he’s the main reason I decided to go ahead and buy the Fast Forces. I like him SO much better than the main set Hawk (who I don’t even HAVE anymore). One-shotted Black Panther and survived to game’s end despite taking a fair amount of fire.

Joker (Batman primer) works better than the main set Joker. But I really need to be careful when playing him with a Harley. Using that trait got him away from any Mastermind fodder and, consequently, killed by Aquaman.

Lyja the Lazerfist was there to make Human Torch viable, and vice versa. But overall, I was unimpressed. There’s a reason she’s sat unplayed in my box for nearly a year.

Marvel Girl (10th Anniversary), you’ll recall, was the worst of 2012 in my reckoning. But TK is never useless. That’s all I can say. She’s gettin’ traded ASAP.

Nightwing (Batman primer) was a blunder to play, being a piece with starting Enhancement on a team with 0 zero besides him. Still, he has enough talents to have served as the other offensive engine of the team.

Oracle (Fast Forces) of course got that engine going with her piece-moving ability. She didn’t contribute any more than that. I kinda played her close to the action, being willing to use her as a decoy. But I didn’t take the bait due to her Stealth and Shape Change and the presence of other, more threatening targets. I imagine that can work out either way: lose 50 points and her mobilizing factor but leave the fighters still free to punish you (especially since at that point, they probably won’t need Oracle so much any more) or focus on the fighters while she continues putting pieces in place. Devil’s choice, and why she’ll come out the box more than once.

Star Sapphire (Fast Forces) did a similar thing in her game, keeping Aquaman and Green Lantern from fighting each other. But with Aquaman being a melee piece and thus unable to threaten GL, it served more to keep GL from shooting Aquaman, leaving the Sea King free to wreak mad havoc with my teammates. Despite Sapphire’s taxi skills and sniping powers,  I don’t think I’ll run her again.

Storm 59 (10th Anniversary) is every bit as effective as her 40-point Danger Room predeccessor. She landed one of her team’s only major shots. A good bargain Storm for the points…but one I’ll ONLY reach for if I’m short on points and need a Storm.


Check back on F.U.N. Friday for the 2nd half of Figure Flush Week One. And more Token Totin’ on Thursday. 

Continuing Heroclixin’s photographic record of Super-Strong figs that can hold objects, again. It’s been a while.


Upright on the base of “Big Time” Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man 001b) and held — barely — by a loop of webbing.

Monsters are strong.

Manphibian (Amazing Spider-Man 025) holds a token in the crook of his left arm like so while Living Mummy (Amazing Spider-Man 011) grips it under his triceps.


Tomorrow there MIGHT be  the start of a new series of battle reports/figure reviews. Stay tuned!

Time to resume this series talking about DC feats and BFC cards that I went back and customized with artwork for fun. (Here’s a link back to the original concept.)

Continuing with the Origin set’s BFCs. Next up is Protect The Innocent:


The artist is Denys Cowan, from his run on the latter days of Steel’s self-titled solo series in the late 1990s. It was definitely the best illustration in my collection for this card.

I rarely used this BFC, though. Despite my love of building fun teams, I heavily leaned more toward BFCs that screwed with opponents’ game. This one’s almost completely innocuous. And in this modern age of clix, a BFC that messes with pogs isn’t all that useful.

Or IS IT? Horde tokens are bystanders. This BFC can sweep ’em off the board as soon as they base you! And with no shot as respawning, either, as they weren’t KO’d!


Next time, Card Arts continues with more of Origin’s BFCs.

Hey, it’s a Heroclixin’ anniversary: the 500th post!

This will not be a double-sized installment, though. Sorry.

Finally done with my retrospective of 2012, which was more difficult than ever due to the sheer volume of ‘Clix released last year. We got almost 625 new figures in 2012 — and that’s not even accounting for the ones that had multiple dials and/or point costs. That’s nearly 175 more than 2011’s then-record 448 figures.

For perspective? In Topps’ only full year of production in the carded era, 2008, less than 250 pieces were released.

This torrent of ‘clix, then, has sorely tested my goal of playing every figure in my collection at least once. Where I used to be able to store unplayed pieces in my smallest tackle box and take them with me to a venue, I now need six leftover clamshell packs from Fast Forces/Starter Sets to hold the overflow.

For the first time ever, this year I’ve found myself selling or trading pieces I’ve never fielded. Me becoming the judge at my venue hasn’t helped either.

But perhaps now it CAN. If there’s an odd number of players, I can play the bye round. Better still, since I’m not in the running for the prize, I’ve decided to take a page from another judge in my area and play a different team in each bye round instead of using the same one. That’ll get THREE teams off the never-played rolls!

And if the players are even and I don’t get to play the bye? Not a problem.

See, several years back, I found myself recovering from an aggravated assault that kept me from tournaments for months. I kept myself playing by running solo playtests of my figures.

With that experience in mind, I’ll just set up an extra map and play two of my teams AGAINST each other myself in between answering judge questions.

My Wednesday battle reports in the near future, then, are probably going to detail the results of these F.U.N. figure trials more than my attempts at actually winning games that matter.