Merry Christmas to my readers! I gift you with a blow-by-blow battle report of a recent HeroClix game I played.
So most of the time I’m just glad to be playing, trying new figs, building goofball themes — y’know, having F.U.N. But after all the mental errors and straight up FAIL I recounted in last week’s report, I decided to go hard one time with a team designed to straight-up beat faces in.
I know, not exactly “goodwill and peace on Earth,” right? But this is just a game.
War Machine [Invincible Iron Man 029a] 245
Forge [Wolverine and the X-Men] 90
Rescue [Invincible Iron Man 002] 65
=400 points on the nose. This prime version of War Machine is a tentpole designed to get the alpha strike and never get completely outactioned thanks to the double power action SP, his Indomitable and his Retaliatory Strike trait. He’s ably backed by the Telekinesis-using Rescue, who nearly guarantees that first strike, and Forge, who serves as a secondary attacker if needed.
I tested the team first in one of the FAIL efforts from last week. It was there that I realized that not using the DPA Alpha Strike was a mistake, one that probably cost me that game. Landing Bane [Arkham Origins 021] on his “stop” clicks would have set him up nicely for Forge’s followup KO (Forge being one of the few characters able to deal with Bane’s end dial with no difficulty). But instead Bane was able to heal and later deliver the game-ending blow.
Thus forewarned, I face Bill’s Animal team of Alyosha Kraven, WATX Wolfsbane, IIM Snowbird, Cosmo, ASM Lizard and 30-point FI Loki on the Soul World map. He’s got a Gamma Bomb, too.
I’m not at all afraid of the Bomb, because Forge can dismantle it via his SP to remove an object to gain Perplex. But I don’t go for it because it’s bait for a TK+Charge threat from the other side. I instead fly Forge and Rescue to a spot seemingly safe with elevated between us.
That first decision nearly costs me the game thanks to my first User Error: I’ve fallen into a bad habit of eyeballing ranges and lines of fire instead of focusing and actually counting squares. I’m very good at lines of fire and use it to take opponents by surprise. I need to be more vigilant about the ranges, though, because I’M the one who gets jumped.
In this instance, Snowbird uses a Kraven-granted free-action move to fly over the mountain to get within Sidestep range of Rescue to claw her. Lizard follows up with his own attack, landing her on her last click and keeping her from acting. That’s due to my second User Error: Thoroughly forgetting that the adjacent Forge could heal her one click FOR FREE through his trait. So even though she was doomed, she still could’ve attempted a last-gasp push to Incap either of her assailants. Who knows? It might have saved her.
Instead, though, next round, Forge just cobbles Perplex from the light object he’s on. War Machine uses Alpha Strike to first move next to Forge, then to Running Shot and carry him away into the water so no Charge figures can reach either for a few turns. With 2-arrow Sharpshooter, War Machine can fire at both Lizard and Snowbird.
BOTH hit their Shape Change roll.
Two more Shape Changes would succeed, leaving only the 0-point Guyladkin lion pog as a target for Forge’s sole attack before he is overwhelmed by the animals closing in.
And then there is one: War Machine all alone, with the Gamma Bomb about to explode at the cost of only one of the enemy (Loki).
The rest of the match is a lesson on never giving up. War Machine manages to KO Lizard, Alyosha and Snowbird without a great deal of fuss, leaving only a wounded, Battle Fury-laden Wolfsbane in the lake and Cosmo on mid-dial against a still-Invulnerable War Machine. Cosmo attempts and lands a Mind Control to move WM next to Wolfsbane, who claws him onto Hypersonic Speed clicks
Here, then, is my final User Error, in retrospect. I choose to HSS away to finish her off with Precision Strike instead of, well, finishing her off with Precision Strike right there. But I roll a 1 on the break attempt and she doesn’t miss her next chance.
I came to win and am instead 0-1 in a game that, in Bill’s words, I was not supposed to lose. But that’s what happens when mind and dice both fail.
The second and third rounds go much better for me, as my long-out-of-the-game opponent Jocelyn is thoroughly outmatched — she’s running Shadow King, Deathlok [WATX 011a], Longshot, Korvus and Pepper Potts cum Rescue — and Paul A. isn’t prepared for the assault of War Machine.
He’s running Thor, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch and Magik, all of the Avengers vs. X-Men starters and all at their lower point values. He forgets to call Mystics during his turn for his wild card Spidey and I blast him (though it doesn’t matter, as the adjacent Forge would have healed WM immediately of the unavoidable damage anyway) off the map and Thor, with the second Alpha attack, into near-uselessness.
Paul makes the mistake of retreating to what he thinks is safety instead of first attempting to heal Thor when he has the chance. Thus my whole team gets a turn to set up for the endgame, and the win.
The eventual winning force was a team led by Fear Itself Dracula, whose Stealth may have been the perfect counter to War Machine’s range attacks. But if Drac were forced to attack outside Stealth, he’d be open to Retaliatory attacks which could prove the difference. It’s a shame we couldn’t face off to see which would come out the winner.
Overall, I wasn’t disappointed in the team’s results. WM turned out to be stronger than I expected, and both supporting pieces very much made the big prime work. And despite the fact that the team was meant to go harder than my usual F.U.N. builds, I still had the F.U.N. factor going:
- It didn’t use resources. Resources are rarely any F.U.N.
- It still rocked most of the STOPP formula [Support, Telekinesis, outwit, Probability Control, Perplex] and had great synergy, from Forge’s armor heals to Rescue’s ability to carry the wounded War Machine at need.
- It had an Armor/technology theme going for the Neato part of the equation.
Hope your Christmas is or was beautiful. Look forward to the start of 2014 next week and beginning of Heroclixin’s annual best of series of series.