I work evenings, meaning I get home around midnight. Being a night person, I rarely go straight to bed. More often I’ll stay up watching a film or surfing the web or even working on this blog.
But last week, I decided to play a big ol’ solo game of HeroClix to flush the rest of the unplayed figures out of my tackle box. It was straight heroes versus villains:
Thor [Thor The Dark World 019] 400
Iron Man and Iron Patriot 400*
Odin [Fear Itself] 350
Cherno Alpha [Pacific Rim] 325
Crimson Typhoon [Pacific Rim] 300
Coyote Tango [Pacific Rim] 250
Gipsy Danger [Pacific Rim] 225
Superman [Man of Steel 100] 200
Heimdall [Thor The Dark World] 175
Dr. Strange [Fear Itself] 145
Iron Man [Invincible Iron Man 201] 110
Red Robin [Teen Titans 018] 101
Batman [Batman TV] 100
Red Robin [Teen Titans 201] 98
Red Robin [Batman 009] 80
Robin [Batman TV] 50
Dwarf [Fear Itself] 16 x 2
Air Force Airman [Fear Itself] 10 x 4
Navy Seaman [Fear Itself] 8 x 4
Army Private [Fear Itself] 8 x 4
Thug [Infinity Challenge] 6 …doing community service
+ Com Dish
= 3683 points (but I thought it was within the limit because I’d misread Cherno Alpha’s full cost as 225. As it would turn out, it wasn’t an advantage because…well, you’ll see).
Slattern [Pacific Rim] 600
Leatherback [Pacific Rim] 450
Raiju [Pacific Rim] 400
Scunner [Pacific Rim] 400
Malekith [Thor The Dark World 004] 350
General Zod [Legacy] 236
Angrir [Fear Itself] 235
Skirn [Fear Itself] 150
Hobgoblin [Amazing Spider-Man 041a] 150
Dreadnought [Invincible Iron Man 204] 75
Skadi’s Warbot [Fear Itself] 30
Dagorland Orc [Fellowship of the Ring] 16 x 2
Warbot Flamethrower [Fear Itself] 15 x 6
Warbot Machine Gun [Fear Itself] 15 x 6
Warbot Rocket [Fear Itself] 15 x 6
Mary Jane Watson [Infinity Challenge] 5
+ Tank Turret 2
= 3598 points.
The match was played on Daerave’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired map. Lots of indoor blocking terrain surrounded by walls, with a big area of elevated* in the main room. I thought the villains would be outmaneuvered and out-actioned by the more numerous and mobile heroes, but the sheer amount of Mystics/Kaiju TA characters served as a check to that.
Because nearly all these pieces were being fielded and, for the most part, faced for the first time, misplays were rampant. In fact, it’s safe to say I had a mental crit fail with almost every one of them.
Thor [Thor The Dark World 019]: This was the biggest fail I made. Tired of the hesitation on both sides — because of the sure knowledge that whoever made and missed the first strike would get ganged up on next turn — Thor made a bold move that might’ve worked HAD I THOUGHT TO USE HIS SPECIAL POWER, “CALL DOWN THE LIGHTNING:” Give Thor a ranged combat action and he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters for this action. The area of effect for this ranged attack is any one square within range and line of fire and each square adjacent to it. A hit character occupying the chosen square is dealt Thor’s printed damage value. Other hit characters are dealt Thor’s printed damage -1.
That would have dealt with the Mary Jane pog that would cause trouble later even though the attack on Zod missed. CRIT FAIL. And just like that, by the end of next round, heroes were 400 points down.
Odin: He’d backed his son up, scoring a needed hit against Malekith after being TK’d forward by his so-empowered minions. But he was the next victim of the swarm that took out Thor.
Hobgoblin: His Leadership was key at times, and he was a good taxi for Skirn. CRIT FAIL: I forgot his Shape Change; it may have cost him. But he was still worth every point and then some on this squad.
Skirn: didn’t last long against the swarm she tied up for a turn or two. But keeping heat off the kaiju was worth it. CRIT FAIL: Didn’t remember her hammer drop, to bring a revert piece, or to use her Worthy-keyword-based powers at all.
Nul: One of those Worthy. CRIT FAIL: I wasted many early rounds not using his free-action move trait. But I eventually caught on to it and used it to devastating effect, especially the round he took the beginning of turn to shift up to Dr. Strange, then Poison him off Super Senses to make for a one-action KO, “Mighty Revert” click be damned.
Dr. Strange: In desperation to get more and much-needed offense going, I got too close to the crowded action, allowing for the above Nul maneuver.
Heimdall was the third hero to fall with his lords Odin and Thor. His defenses were no good against Malekith.
Malekith: Absolutely the MVP of the villains team. His ability to hit and nix defense powers forced the heroes to fall much faster than they should have. Add to that his Prob Control and you have a fig as deadly on click #5 — where he remained nearly all game — as #1. CRIT FAIL: Non-use of Perplex. But it was too late to even NEED IT.
Cherno Alpha: Couldn’t roll higher than 5 on clutch attempts. In Soviet Russia, is MVP, but…
Crimson Typhoon: CRIT FAIL — I overlooked its ability to use Giant Reach. Might’ve avoided Malekith’s LOF.
Gipsy Danger: CRIT FAIL — Blades roll. Had a superb shot on an Outwitted kaiju and only mustered a measly 2 damage. Lesson Learned: Don’t ever use that power on click #1. Just settle for the 5 damage.
All the Kaiju: SOOO beast, despite my CRIT FAIL: the game was almost completely done before I remembered they could use Giant Reach. Not that they needed it. The Poison was reaping dividends by itself.
Red Robin 201: Took a shot to get rid of Skadi’s Warbot before she could further harm Odin or Heimdall, but failed and was soon overmatched by Leatherback.
Red Robin 018: Spent far too much of the game in Stealth yet unable to contribute due to lack of LOF and pals to help with Leadership. Positioning CRIT FAIL.
Red Robin 009: See Red Robin 018.
New Mutants: Perhaps the most successful heroes piece of the game despite the new team base rules. Took forever to get into the fight, but the youngsters did a fair amount of embarrassing deep into the affray, especially when they Charged a bunch of horde stacks on elevated terrain. Sunspot was the Solo Adventurer and he scored some KO points himself.
General Zod only rolled poorly. Being able to use Superman Enemy was key, of course. He lasted to the end of the game.
Superman: A positioning CRIT FAIL had him too far away to back up allies at the needful moment (or so I thought — see the next listing) and then he goes and misses his only attack roll. He did NOT last to the end of the game.
Batman: His defense SP served as a good deterrent against Kaiju attacks. But perhaps I’d have focused more on him if I hadn’t made a huge CRIT FAIL in never, ever using his Outwit or Perplex. The heroes needed both — especially Supes.
Angrir: My only CRIT FAIL with ensorcelled Thing was a failure to remember to use Steal Energy on an early successful hit. No big whoop.
Police Deputy: Positioning CRIT FAIL. Could never get them next to shooters without being tied up themselves. The were quietly Poisoned to death.
Similarly, the Army Privates and Airman were matched against other stacks or kaiju, making their M powers nigh-useless. The only one worth anything was the stack of Navy Seamen — Enhancement helped the New Mutants gain traction in the late game and they even got a penetrating hit on a reborn Slattern near game’s end . But again, positioning was a problem, as the sailors’ speed is a pretty poor 6.
Iron Man and War Machine: The duo hung in the back, unable to get into the fight once Odin’s TK-granting SP was gone. They’d made a dent in the game — and taken a few — when I belatedly realized my biggest CRIT FAIL of the whole shebang: I’d been running them at 300 points instead of 400, essentially costing myself that one extra attacker I’d been needing all night. ARGH. I’d have happily dropped any one of the Red Robins to get more Hypersonic Speed on the team. At least it made my accidentally overbuilt Heroes team actually legal.
And finally, my other huge CRIT FAIL of the game: That area of elevated terrain I played the whole game around turned out, upon closer inspection, not to be elevated at all. I guess the map predated elevation numbers, and the mapmaker didn’t draw the red line correctly. But that zone is supposed to be grounded while the REST of the map is actually elevated.
Regardless of all the mess-ups, I had fun trying all these clix out across a couple of nights. And it cleared out the never-played box just in time for it to take in brand-new figs from Arkham Origins and Invincible Iron Man and Avengers vs X-Men. And so the cycle begins again…!