So the Watch List results are in. Have they made the game more F.U.N. or not?
HeroClix Team Bases’ Working Together ability
This was the big one, given the mechanic’s capability of KOing any character — even Galactus! — in a single turn. WizKids agreed with Heroclixin’s recommendation that each successive attack get a -1 damage penalty, which brings Working Together more in line with existing abilities Multi-Attack and Duo Attack.
WK went further, though, by making said damage penalty a global rule rather than just for Working Together. Heroclixin’ thought this went too far until the article assured us that Flurry would be spared and that Duo Attack and Multi-Attack would lose their built-in penalties.
This change does take some of the Utility out of a number of more F.U.N. figures than the team bases, so the jury’s out on whether this change is for the best. But it makes the TBs less of a total auto-win and will require more strategy than “Move, Running Shot, then roll dice FOUR MOAR TIMES FTW”
Even more pointedly, Working Together now is limited by the point build: only one action per 200 points (so 2 for the 300 point range). Again, this brings them in line with other pieces in their point range while not denying them all their power. But Heroclixin’ wonders if maybe it’s a bit too far on top of the general multiple attacks rule. Perhaps Working Together should have allowed a minimum of two actions.
Still, they retain their ability to almost double their point build and actions with Solo Adventure. So my sympathies are limited. Instead of acting as early-game nuclear bombs against opponents, team bases now must be used with finesse and patience to get their full power.
Although it wasn’t on the list specifically, Team Bases’ map roll bonus, a practical guarantee in lower-point games especially, got a tweak that makes the roll matter: +1 for each fraction of 100 instead of +1 for each character on the base. Fantastic change that further brings them in line with the game.
Spiral’s Dimensional Portal trait
The Watch List completely removed the trait’s ability to invalidate an opponent’s positioning and gain cheap alpha strike ability as early as turn 1. Now, said opponent has a whole turn to react to Spiral’s Gateway placement.
Again, Heroclixin’ is unsure how to feel. On the one hand, the original ability completely took the map out of the equation as there was absolutely no way to defend against an alpha strike. On the other hand, it made less-than-mobile F.U.N. teams viable for the first time.
This change, though, puts a great deal more finesse into using the ability, and Spiral is worth all but 6 of her points if she NEVER uses the Gateway.
The Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA)
Heroclixin’ wanted a total rewrite because more free actions is NOT what this game needs. But limiting its free actions to basic vanilla attacks is a good compromise that removes the abusiveness from the ATA without making it toothless.
Utility Belt’s Prep Time special power
Heroclixin’ wishes Resources would either go away or, more importantly, have an actual hard counter in the game besides a few silver bullets. But the WK solution of preventing Prep Time from landing on any stat bonus click at least brings the thing’s power more in line with its dirt-cheap cost.
Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) ATA
Curiously ignored, probably because it was only a problem due to 2012’s Most Torrid Piece, the GCPD Cruiser…which was NOT ignored.
GCPD Cruiser’s pilot ability
Free stuff in this game needs to cost something. Dealing penetrating damage just for MOVING isn’t much of a cost. In the process of minimally tweaking this ability by removing the penetrating aspect, WizKids made some more substantive changes to the vehicles in general, primarily making them unpilotable by characters larger than themselves and unable to use Resources. Both changes should have been part of the vehicle rules from the beginning because Galactus doesn’t drive a Haunted Tank and cars can’t use a Utility Belt because they don’t have hands.
Bat-Mite’s “You’re My Hero” ability and “Let Me Help” special powers
Heroclixin’ really wanted this piece nerfed pretty hard, as much for character accuracy as for game balance. But we’ll settle for the the boost of him harming his Idol 33% of the time along with the global rule of -1 damage on multiple attacks.
Brother Voodoo’s “My Spirit Brother Possesses You” trait
This was rightly left alone. I think it only made the list because Heroes For Hire allowed him to remove his weakness of being exposed to enemy fire after his Mind Control move.
Shatterstar’s “X-Portal” trait
This works more like it does in the comics now instead of being total alpha strike material.