Continuing this photographic record of figures hefting objects, let’s look at some more from Fear Itself, like the Slinger below, Prodigy [Fear Itself]:

He doesn’t do much else other than die in most of the FI games Heroclixin’ has witnessed, but he holds his token perfectly between his left arm and leg.


Future editions of Token Totin’ Thursday will highlight more Fear Itself until it’s all shown.

Have F.U.N. Heroclixin!’

Although the store of unplayed HeroClix figures hasn’t reached the extremes of late 2012-early 2013, I’m still carting around more of these pieces than I care to. It’s all because changes to my work schedule and running Fear Itself events have taken a large bite out of my ability to play as many Clix games as I’d like.

Still, every chance I DO get to play, I make certain to run a fresh figure. Here’s what I thought of the last few virgin minis fielded recently, and how likely I am to revisit ’em:

Big Bertha: Perhaps the one piece in all of HeroClix that could, and almost did survive taking all five attacks from an enemy team base’s alpha strike. Man, if only I coulda gotten ONE of those “Impervious” rolls. Of course, BB is a founding member of the Great Lakes Avengers and she’ll be a fixture on my Fatties theme teams.

Bishop [Wolverine + The X-Men]: Fun and effective, he nevertheless took a lot more attacks than I liked. because he’s so soft-skinned for his price. But then no one wants to shoot him once he hits middial. Not sure what team I’ll use him on next. But I WILL use him.

Captain America [Fear Itself]: The only thing I really wanted out of the Fear Itself: Blitzkrieg pack, this latest version of BuckyCap didn’t disappoint.

The Goblin King: I wanted him for my theme team of overweight clix, and boy, none better fits the bill like this piece. His epic Perplex and Leadership actually gave a glimmer of hope of defeating X-Men: Gold. But it was not to be, at all. I will probably ONLY play him on the Fat teams.

Kid Omega: The trouble with him is he’s left alone in the starting area after flinging all his pals away. Not great for a 128 fig that should be fighting more.  Unsure how or if he’ll find a spot on future builds.

Lockheed  [Wolverine + The X-Men]: Not sure why he’s a Mystical, but he made my themed team work. Sadly, HE didn’t work, failing his sole shot at a Pulse Wave. Oh well. He’s destined for Pet Avengers squads anyway.

Magik  [Wolverine + The X-Men 061]: Man, did I pick the wrooong map for her…not a square of blocking terrain to be found. But that’s my own fault. She did her job in keeping me in the game beyond reason and in serving as trade bait to get the chase I REALLY wanted, Namor. Glad I got to run her first.

Martian Manhunter [WK-D002]: I fielded him with the Brave+Bold, 10th Anniversary and Brightest Day characters of the same name for a “My Favorite Martian” theme team of 900 points. And it turns out this one is NOT my favorite. Now that I’ve gotten that team idea out of my system, I may be trying to trade this one for something.

Monkey King: Finally got one of these. He worked fine. I’d like to run him AS the monkey king of other simians like Grodd, Solovar and the Super-Apes.

Phoenix [Wolverine + The X-Men]: Rachel Summers was a boss for me in the tournament I used her in, even though I didn’t play her to full potential. She’s got me thinking of a “Sculpts that yell ‘Fire’ on a crowded map” theme.

Shadowcat [Wolverine + The X-Men 204]: Being one more source of Outwit on a team filled with it made her feel superfluous. In fact, I’m not crazy about either of the set’s version of Miss Pryde.

Shadow King [Wolverine + The X-Men]: Missed one must-hit attack on a team base. That was sad. Other than that, he was fine. I wanted him for — and played him on — my Weight Watchers team of fat clix.

Thule Society Priest: I have only played in ONE Fear Itself event in all these months. So I only just managed to trade for one of these guys (and the Monkey King mentioned earlier). All he did for me, though, was A) be cheap enough to fit the generic theme and B) pick up a relic himself. That got him killed because he was no longer Stealthed and so he was shot to KO. At least he was a wildcarded Mystic…


Another weekend approaches, and it’s another one when I’m unlikely to get much heroclixin’ done. So the Figure Flush will continue for a time. Stay tuned.

Continuing this photographic record of figures hefting objects, and our multi-week look at figs from the new Wolverine and the X-Men full set. Next up? A pair of Imperial Guardsmen, Warstar (Wolverine and The X-Men 048) and Gladiator  (Wolverine and The X-Men 074)  .

Warstar’s hold is barely there; you have to wedge it JUST right for it to work. But it does work. Gladiator, on the other hand, confidently grips his token between cape and left arm.


Thursdays for a while will feature pix from Fear Itself, with Tuesdays continuing the coverage of Wolverine +The X-Men.

Continuing the series recounting how I added art to DC cards to make ’em prettier. The next feat of Crisis WOULD be Opportunist, but it’s another WOT (Wall of Text) card that leaves little or no room for art. So it’s on to the next in line:


Man. At the time, there were very few Duos in DC Heroclix and even fewer images of them doing anything like what the card describes. This Alan Davis bit from the writer/artist’s “Another Nail” Elseworlds was the best I could find.

Next week, another BFC from Crisis.

Welcome back to an occasional series Heroclixin’ likes to call Fighting Fire with F.U.N. Here, we try to help players figure how not to have games ruined by overpowered mechanics.

But that’s been, well, sort of impossible lately. The kind of stuff that Heroclixin’ ranked last year in its Top Ten Torrid Things is junior league compared to the things on WizKids’ new Watch List:

  • HeroClix Team Bases’ Working Together ability
  • Spiral’s Dimensional Portal trait
  • The Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA)
  • Utility Belt’s Prep Time special power
  • Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) ATA
  • GCPD Cruiser’s pilot ability
  • Bat-Mite’s “You’re My Hero” ability and “Let Me Help” special powers
  • Brother Voodoo’s “My Spirit Brother Possesses You” trait

WizKids has said that they’re willing to take action on these powers and mechanics from doing nothing to total banning. And for once, Heroclixin’ wouldn’t be completely against the latter, because there really aren’t many F.U.N. ways to deal with the above list.

Here’s Heroclixin’s take on each.

HeroClix Team Bases’ Working Together ability
When we saw a 600-point piece with the ability to KO 2004’s GALACTUS — the ubër-powerful version with Cosmic Multiattack and the most powerful single piece in the game to that point — in ONE TURN, Heroclixin’ knew some designer or designers or playtesters had completely lost their damn minds. That’s what the team bases’ Working Together ability does, and it’s terrible for the game. Simply put, no other piece or force can do what an equal-costed team base can.
There’s a lot about team bases that Heroclixin’ doesn’t like, but Working Together in particular needs a change. Heroclixin’ recommends A) that each successive attack gets a damage penalty, as with Duo Attack, and B) that only one close and one ranged attack be allowed, instead of the unlimited number of today. We’d also like to see the Asset dial have to spin each turn Working Together is used.

Spiral’s Dimensional Portal trait
Maps don’t matter to this chick who allows her teammates to cross it with her double power action. Heroclixin’ hopes this too-powerful trait gets swapped with her late-dial SP granting her Flurry-plus. — that ought to be a trait, since she never stops having six arms. But we’d settle for the Gateways being a two-way street perhaps, so that any pieces that survive her teammates’ alpha strike at least have a shot at retaliation.

The Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA)
I really had hoped for a HFH ATA, but one that was more in the classic spirit of the professional hero agency. The current ability is too good, at least on a few of its more efficient members. Heroclixin’ would like to see the current ATA banned and then a new version released as something to enable its members to pick a “client” on the team, use Defend on it and both copy its team abilities and loan their printed team symbol(s) when adjacent.

Utility Belt’s Prep Time special power
Really, the whole Belt throws the game out of whack; it’s incredibly overpowered to be so cheap AND to have no counters in the game outside of fewer than five figures (10th Anniversary Catwoman, 10th Anniversary Iron Man and Fear Itself Iron Man — that’s IT). Prep Time is merely the aspect that’s most abused. Heroclixin’s solution would be to make all Resources’ effects vulnerable to Outwit — with no Line of Fire necessary when adjacent!

Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) ATA
Heroclixin’ isn’t so sure this one ought to be on the list by itself. But, like so much of the rest of the list, it’s how it works with OTHER effects that make it a problem. Our best solution is to limit it to characters below a certain point cost (namely, less than the GCPD Cruiser’s 68) while still requiring it to be put on higher-priced pieces per ATA rules. Stop crying — it’s only 2 points each.

GCPD Cruiser’s pilot abilities “Clear The Streets” and “Cuffed To The Bumper”
This vehicle topped Heroclixin’s list last year because of these effects. They really ought to be reined in to at least make the Cruiser more character accurate AND balanced. First, “CTTB” should shut off the Cruiser’s Improved Movement and Plasticity while keeping just the wording that prevents auto-breakaway from it; if it’s able to lockdown an enemy like that, it should be stationary itself. Second, “CTS” should cause the Cruiser 1 unavoidable damage for each fraction of 100 points of the chosen foe hit. When one can deal free damage to that degree, there ought be a price for doing so. Risk versus reward; it’s basic game design, and this GCPD Cruiser pilot ability COMPLETELY FAILS AT IT.

Bat-Mite’s “You’re My Hero” ability and “Let Me Help” special powers
Ah, another piece that, by itself, isn’t so bad but makes a lot of the rest of the list disgusting. Case in point is “Let Me Help!” which actually has some balances built-in — chance of damage, no more actions after the freebie — but doesn’t quite go far enough with them. Heroclixin’ would make Bat-Mite cause a 50% chance of harm instead of the current mere 15% and make the attack a non-free action instead of a free action. Moreover, to represent Bat-Mite’s tendency to be a pest, once he’s adjacent to his Idol he can’t make move actions and his Idol MUST use the Carry ability to cart him around unless Bat-Mite is moved or placed by another effect (TK, knockback, his Super Senses SP) — and the opponent gets to choose how Bat-Mite is placed after each Carry!

Brother Voodoo’s “My Spirit Brother Possesses You” trait
This is one that Heroclixin’ doesn’t truly think is a game problem to the degree of most of the others, but it does seem that this trait is very cheaply costed when one considers that Mind Control is among the most expensive of powers. IF a fix must be made, Heroclixin’ recommends it either only work when he’s given an action token the same turn, or he gets no bonuses for the ensuing Mind Control.

There’s a couple more that ought to make the Watch List:

Arwen’s “I Call On the Loudwater” epic action trait
No-roll-penetrating damage shouldn’t be a thing…not more than once per game, anyhow. Or from anywhere on the map. Heroclixin’s fix would be to either make it a once-per game effect or to limit it to her line of fire and like 6 range. After all, it was a feat she did only once and within short range in the movie!

Shatterstar’s “X-Portal” trait
While powerful, this trait is fairly balanced by only working with lower-cost figures and once per game. But it needs also to only work with single-base, standard-sized or smaller characters because of the vehicle rules loophole of higher-cost figures becoming pilots of cheap vehicles, then thus being carried by Shatterstar, then jumping out of said vehicle ready to rampage next turn.


Those are Heroclixin’s hoped-for fixes, outside of more global changes like Incap being a built-in check on free actions or the aforementioned use of Outwit as the first real counter to Resources. What ideas do you have, readers?

Or, conversely, can you think of F.U.N. builds or tactics that mitigate the abuse of the items on the Watch List without using the items on the Watch List?


Continuing this photographic record of figures hefting objects, let’s look at some more from Fear Itself.

Nul [Fear Itself 032] can decently balance an object token on his head and arm as shown. HAMMERTIME HULK SMASH.


Future editions of Token Totin’ Thursday will highlight more Fear Itself until it’s all shown.

Have F.U.N. Heroclixin!’


So I had this idea for an eventual Top Ten list: The Best Animals for Vixen (Streets of Gotham 028) to run with. Remember, she topped my Favorites of 2012, especially when I thought her “pick a power” trait might be way more awesome  than it really is.

It didn’t stop me from trying her out for pretty much the first time since said ruling some time ago on an Animal team in a Modern Age 400-point scenario in which a character on your force can use a game effect similar to White Tiger (Incredible Hulk 020): “Once per game, when White Tiger would be KO’d, you may instead heal her to click #3. If you do, at the beginning of each of your turns while she is on the map, deal 1 unavoidable damage to another friendly character.”

The team really did look like a lineup of partners for Vixen.

Loki (Fear Itself 101) 100
Alyosha Kraven 70
Beast Boy (Pterodactyl) (Batman 019) 60
Ka-Zar (Incredible Hulk) 55
Catwoman (DC 10th Anniversary) 35

and, of course, the 74-point Vixen herself, along with the Justice League: Generation Lost ATA.
FIRST, I faced judge Bill and his Leash (Teen Titans 031), Raizo Kodo (Fear Itself) and four Mole Men (Galactic Guardians) on my new Blitzkrieg DC map. The team should have decimated me on Turn 1 but he couldn’t roll a 5 in three tries. That was the only bullet I needed to dodge to dominate and win this time-shortened game, though I needed one more piece of dice luck to avoid a last-second LOSS.

Best Vixen move: Having been hit to Poison, she Tantu Totemed Loki’s Outwit to get Raizo off his Impervious click.

SECOND round was on the other side of the Blitz pack map against Stephen’s Dracula (Amazing Spider-Man), Asgardian Troll (Fear Itself) and Werewolf times SIX. This one I did narrowly lose in the final rounds when Kraven was taken out by an unlikely hit from a Werewolf that I missed repeated easy shots on earlier.

Best Vixen move: Taking Catwoman’s Willpower to make a shot on an unsuspecting Werewolf. Unfortunately, I crit missed and crippled her ability for the rest of the game.

THIRD round, on the same map, was versus Lenny’s Midnight Sons: Ghost Rider (Amazing Spider-Man), Blade (Amazing Spider-Man 004), Frank Drake and Daimon Hellstrom. Although Loki was again hit early to his far less effective late clicks, I was able to recover and wipe out the enemy.

Best Vixen Move: Possessing the ATA and superior range, she copied Loki’s Outwit to take Frank Drake out of the equation.

By piece (and how each benefited Vixen):
Alyosha Kraven, of course, is THE essential Animal-themed team player; you don’t run this keyword without him. But he’s also great for Vixen aside from his metagame factor, chiefly for his opening Combat Reflexes. More than once, I’d use it to gain a respectable 18 DV from melee on top of her natural ESD. Ideally, his later-dial Outwit will never be usable because he never gets hit, but it’s there if you need it.

Loki (Fear Itself) at 100 points is the new other shortlisted partner for Vixen on Animal teams. That Outwit combines well with her long 8 range to real effect. If she needs some armor, there’s Toughness available, too (though the 30-point level is better for that). Down the line, Loki’s loaded with the other support powers, Perplex and Probability Control, and both certainly come in handy for Mari.

Aside from backing her up, Loki is fine as a Hypersonic Speedy fighter in between all the Outwit and whatnot. He’s also a great taxi, especially at the lower cost.

Beast Boy (Batman 019) in Pterodactyl form gave the team a Charging, weakness-Exploiting attack taxi. It also gives Vixen one more way to deal with armor when she Charges in herself by copying Exploit Weakness.

I morphed BB into the prime Gordian form (Teen Titans 005b) and back for the stat boost after. It slows down the team some, as the alien form can’t carry anyone but fellow Titans. But it always paid off in the end. EDIT: However, this Morph has been ruled illegal because it violates the one-prime-per-force rule despite it being a sideline figure.

Catwoman (DC 10th Anniversary 008) is probably the best Modern Age partner for Vixen in the game, even more than Alyosha. For just 35 points, she helps the African superheroine on defense (via Stealth), offense (Exploit Weakness) and action advantage (Willpower), all on her opening click. Of course, she’s fine as a piece in her own right with the above powers as well.

Ka-Zar (Incredible Hulk) was the one relative dud. As a Duo fig, he was untaxiable so it was very difficult to get him into proper position. He also lacks the high damage that makes Duo Attack a worthy ability and is too cheap for his Leadership to be effective most of the time. He’s helpful enough for a Vixen partner, offering Combat Reflexes or Stealth to aid her defense. And once in a while, she may want to use his Leadership if there’s no better option, I guess.

Finally, there’s the Justice League: Generation Lost ATA, three points that just oughta be put on Vixen from now on. Her AV is low enough that she can use the boost when shooting at her target through hindering.

Heroclixin’ will revisit this subject periodically as new — or old — Animals come up in the game to our attention. Because a Vixen should never be alone.

Continuing this photographic record of figures hefting objects, this time starting a multi-week look at figs from the new Wolverine and the X-Men full set. Next up? White King (Wolverine and The X-Men):

His coattails serve to hold the token. Stylish AND practical.

Legion (Wolverine +The X-Men) uses his blue psycho energy to hold his token.


Thursdays for a while will feature pix from Fear Itself, with Tuesdays continuing the coverage of Wolverine +The X-Men.

Continuing the series recounting how I choose art for DC cards to make ’em prettier.

Here’s the next BFC in the set:


Though he’s my favorite character, Aquaman on a wrecked throne well-illustrates the card. This was from a cover 2/3 through his 2002 series run, just after Atlantis had gotten smooshed by the insane Spectre during Infinite Crisis.

Next week, another feat from Crisis.

Continuing this photographic record of figures hefting objects, let’s look at the Jugga’naut, #####:

U know who the #### I am?

Kuurth [Fear Itself 026] can juuuuust barely balance an object token on his head and arm as shown. There might be another hold available, but I didn’t find one in the minute or so I had with someone else’s copy of the piece.


Future editions of Token Totin’ Thursday will highlight more Fear Itself until it’s all shown.

Have F.U.N. Heroclixin!’