It dawned on me that I’ve been playing this game for a solid decade now. And Thanksgiving seems a fine time for Heroclixin’ to mark my Top Ten moments in 10 years of, well, Heroclixin’.
Getting that V Skullbuster: It wasn’t the first HeroClix fig given to me — that was Cosmic Justice Penguin — but this was the one that caught my interest, being a relatively fringe character that was yet made in plastic form. WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: It accurately illustrated that in HeroClix, ANY character was fair game, and that as much as any reason, got and keeps me ‘clixin’.
Also, as Tim Cummings, the giver of the ‘Clix, quipped: “The first one’s free, my brutha!!”
Buying V Aquaman: It was my first HeroClix purchase, done on a trip to my cousin’s 2005 high school graduation in my old college town of Columbia, Mo. [Mizzou-RAH!!!!] WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: Remember that “first one’s free” quip? This sent me down the collector’s path of getting figs of characters I like.
Pete’s box ‘o ‘clix: My friend Peter was getting out of the game in July 2005 as I was getting in. For the low price of just $10 or $20, I got a double-sided tacklebox full of figures. WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: At the time, I had no pieces with which to make trades, and I still wasn’t buying boosters. This gave my collection a real infusion to allow me to get the pieces I really wanted.
That Collateral Damage brick…and a half: Until now, I’d only bought on impulse or for sealed events here and there. But I was drawn in by the Giants Collector’s Set due the summer of 2006 and the only way to order it was to buy a brick of 8 boosters. I was already interested in the majority of the character selection, so I plunked down the money.
And then, when I didn’t see my No. 1 wanted fig in those boxes, I immediately ponied up for half a brick more. WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: I was all in, now.
So I went to a big clix event in early 2006 with this team:
Superman [Icons ]
Jean Grey [Infinity Challenge ]
Joker [Icons ] + Armor Piercing
Lockjaw [Fantastic Force 003]
Ghost Widow [City of Villains]
…or somesuch. This team was built to win it all, or at least to place highly. I went 3-1, my only loss coming to a brilliant but shady young player running a similar team (who later wound up being disqualified for being shady). Out of a field of 20-something players, I placed something like fifth or sixth: just out of the running for the excellent top prizes such as Galactus but still possibly able to randomly draw a great LE such as a Dark Phoenix or Hal Jordan or one of the still-high-dollar Cosmic Justice pieces.
I got LE Hephzibah.
Even at the time, this would be a bad prize in a home venue, much less an event with the kind of swag STILL ON THE TABLE that would go to players who placed worse than me. At the time, I chalked up to God punishing me for my mean cheese team.
WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: I realized that building a team solely to win isn’t any fun when I DON’T win.
In spring 2006, I built a pre-keywords theme team based on this graphic novel and, for the first time, went 3-0 at my venue.
Mr. Terrific [Legacy 018] 80
Batman [Legacy 084] 111
Power Girl [Legacy 027] 120
Shazam! [Unleashed 088] 166
Plastic Man [Hypertime 100] 40
Dr. Fate [Unleashed 071] 113
Green Lantern [Collateral Damage 051] 167
It may have certainly helped that a couple of the strongest players weren’t there. But I’ll take it!
WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: My first win, and one done on my as-yet-unnamed F.U.N. terms.
Judge a dead game: In autumn 2008, I’d just stepped up to take and pass the required judge test to become my venue’s new judge. And then, less than a month later, WizKids was closed and HeroClix effectively done. But I took the reins of our play group and we never stopped running events.
WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: I’d gone from merely an avid player to one actively involved in the game’s very survival.
Heroclixin’ launches in early 2009.
WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: You’re reading it.
Dragon Con 2009: I was out of work due to the Great Recession and couldn’t afford to go to things like comic book conventions. But some friends suggested I sneak in and only pay for the gaming tickets I’d need to play. I don’t usually break rules like that, but I was persuaded, having not been to the huge Atlanta event since the early 1990s.
Oh, my. It was like coming home.
WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: HeroClix got me back into the con scene and, specifically, cosplay, a new hobby and introduced me to so many new people. It also got me involved with the folks who run the Realms Open Championship, which I am still a volunteer for.
In 2011, toward the end of my long layoff due to the Great Recession, I was gifted a Wonder Woman [WizKids D-001] by an HCRealms member I’ve never met, sometime after I lamented there that it was a highly desired figure that I had zero chance of acquiring in my financial state.
WHY THIS MOMENT MATTERED: Such kindness from a relative stranger. Part of it was Christian brotherhood, but this moment has been repeated in smaller fashion with non-theists, too. Heroclixers are the nicest gamers of all.
I had a few big event victories in 2014: A ROC top 8 finish in March, a shared first place in April, a win for an extra AvX grand prize package. It was nice to know that in between my usual FAIL moments, I can still bring some real game at times.
But, y’know…it’s more important to have F.U.N. Happy Thanksgiving, players!