Friday, October 23, 2015

Heroclix (Because what's better than a game or a comic book? A game where comic books characters smash each other)

Now i'm going to make a declaration that most of you will be utterly shocked by, I'm a nerd.  I can tell by your audible gasps that some of you are shocked and amazed by this revelation but its true.  I've spent most of my life loving science fiction and fantasy, super heroes and video games.  I know that at least once in your life my fellow comic book fans that you have either been directly involved in or heard a conversation to the effect of

"Superman can beat batman."

"Nuh uh"

"Can too"

"No way, Bats takes Supes."

The more elderly of us will take this a step further,

"Which Supes, which bats?"

"Dark Knight Returns Bats vs. Red Son Supes."

"That's the stupidest fight ever."

(Note, i grabbed two specific iterations of characters effectively out of a hat, and i honestly have no idea how that fight would play out.  Please avoid lynch mobs and hate mail, thanks)

Imagine a game where you can take control of some of your favorite heroes, from the Justice League of America to the Avengers, and put them up against their arch villains (or more interestingly, each other).  A tactical game where position and action economy give you the strategic nuances of chess with a near limitless range of potential interactions and teams.  Oh, and its got SUPERHEROES.

That game exists, dear readers, it's called Heroclix.  Originally released in 2002 with the Marvel comics Set Infinity Challenge, Heroclix has gone forward to use Marvel, DC, and a variety of Indy comics as well as Horror sets, and a variety of licensed products.  The game requires two players, with each player controlling their own team of super powered miscreants (heroes or villains) and square off in head to head combat.  The game uses a standard 2D6 rolling system, with target numbers and bonuses printed on the base of each miniature.

This is where the game is a departure from other tactical minis games.  with a Powers and Abilities Card (PAC) you have all of the reference material you need to play the game, outside of the figures themselves.  Each figure has a combat dial that the mini itself is attached to, which contains the four primary statistics as well as color coding for any special powers that the figure may have.  The character takes damage in the form of clicking around the dial at a 1 for 1 pace (so 1 damage moves the figure one click around the dial) and as the dial moves, the statistics will change and new powers can emerge.

Each game has a set point value, either agreed upon by the players involved, or set by a tournament rules.  Each piece has a set point cost, either listed on the figure for older pieces, or included with a stat card for newer figures.  You can assemble any team of heroes/villains so long as you stay under your point limit.  However, there are a variety of shareable keywords and team abilities to consider when building your team.

Building a team along a theme (characters that are all in the same team, or all share the same keyword), gives you the usage of a limited number of re-rolls (called the theme team probability control).

Next time we'll go over a couple of more specific points, and you can catch up on some other information on the links below.  I would encourage you to visit Geek and Sundry, and their twitch TV channel on Fridays at 4 p.m. Pacific to catch Group Hug, a show where they play Heroclix with some of their friends. (Heroclix's homepage) (Heroclix Realms, an invaluable resource for the heroclix community)

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