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Clix Heros

DC ClixA couple weeks ago, I ran into my friend Eric at Akron Comic Con. He’d recently taken over my preferred comic shop Comics are Go! (it was a peaceful takeover, and it couldn’t be in better hands) and he mentioned they were doing something new with Heroclix on Sundays. Saturdays would be for the serious games – the WizKids events, the tournament play. Sundays would be for friendly games. Goofy shenanigans. Last week Deadpool had a malfunctioning sheep gun that kept spawning a new sheep every turn and creating obstacles.

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This week it was everyone vs Thanos. Everyone brought a 500 point team and worked together to defeat Thanos in his home base.

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I’m just saying, mixing Composite Superman with Pym Particles is not going to end well!

Let’s face it. The plain truth of things is, I quit playing because I’m not competitive. I’m also not great at the game and I definitely don’t have the kind of money you need to sink into it to get good. But this wasn’t a competitive game. This was advertised as fun Sunday shenanigans. So for the first time in probably two years, I built a team, packed my case and headed out.

I found myself with a group of guys I’d never met before. Still, everyone was friendly, and Moose, the host introduced himself and promised to forget my name at least two more times before the end of the day.

I was surprised at the variety of figures everyone else used. I had brought Superman, Composite Superman and Quicksilver (because I don’t have a Flash, and his “Arrogant Attack” is good for the hit and run tactics I was planning). It’s a very “Me” kind of team, but looking around everyone else had spread thier points around a lot more, bringing four, five, six figures.  Thanos himself was a 5000 point monster, and I was hoping I could keep my hypersonic abilities through a good portion of the match to keep attacking without getting based.

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Thanos began the game with a special ability, dealing one click of damage to half of the entire force. The attack hit all three of my characters and when a pulse wave followed a Sentinel (Thanos’ minion) attack on his first turn, I found my Superman based, and my Quicksilver without his special attack. I quickly rethought my strategy and began to run my figures as a tentpole team, with Quicksilver constantly perplexing up Superman and my Composite Superman TKing the character into position to strike. I landed four attacks, with two thrown out by Probability Control. The others were solid five click hits, leaving me pleased to have done SOME damage against the behemoth.

15179223_1345547425489677_9145878815337744755_nThis was exactly the kind of game I like. Everyone was just there to play, to have fun. We shared Probability control and perplexes. I began the game carrying another players piece into position. Hammers rained down on our team and were shared freely. We joked with each other, we talked comics as we played. We marveled at the absurdities.

“Is anyone else disturbed that Shocker has done more damage to Thanos than SUPERMAN????”

“Thanos attacks you.”
“Well, actually it’s the staircase dial in sawgplay right now – so it’s the stair case attacking me. How does a staircase attack anyhow?”
“A door opens up, and a large Hanna Barbara-looking boot comes out and kicks you.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened to me.”

“Anyone else notice that the map is pretty much almost all villians? Villians….and one Spider-Man.  You know what’s going to happen after they defeat Thanos?”
“Yeah, someone grabs the Gauntlet and they all go after Spider-Man.”

It was a nice time. It’s fun to be able to do a Clix column again. Truth is, I’m still a little far removed from the game. New abilities and terminology have cropped up since I left and I don’t see me getting back into the Clix world any time soon, but I can definitely see myself perhaps slipping down to Comics Are Go! once in a while for some more of Moose’s Sunday Shenanigans.


Illuminations: Competitive Vs Casual?

DC ClixI still have lots of friends in the game and I admit I still poke around HC Relms from time to time. I found this article recetnly and really liked it, and though I’d share it with all of you.
Competitive Vs Casual?
Jamie Macneil (Jmacneil1329)

When I first started playing HeroClix, it was purely for fun. I work with a group of teenagers, teaching them strategic games, and I picked up HeroClix to play with them and to have a cool game to teach. We had a lot of house rules, mistakenly messed up on a lot of power interactions, and had a great deal of fun. Most importantly, we were able to help the kids make friends, have a good time, and develop some life skills. We didn’t have many resources, but we tried hard to get donations for pieces and spare board games. We even bought discount bricks online to run tournaments for them. After a while, the other volunteers, Sam Nurge and John Elia, and I started playing by ourselves with all sorts of teams, reading over the ‘Realms, and having more fun making competitive teams and being more involved in the game.

The next step for us seemed to be going to bigger tournaments, but as we read the forums and talked to more people online, we got the impression that competitive players were a mean group who would stab you in the back and steal your dog if they got the chance. This led us to stay away from any big tournaments (no matter how much we wanted the chance to make our own figure or ATA) and make assumptions about anyone that went to big tournaments and events. I never wanted to find myself becoming “one of those meta guys.” I told myself I would have no part in being a jerk gamer and therefore wouldn’t go to any conventions. Just like most other HeroClix players, I found the biggest jerk who was semi-competitive and type-casted the rest of competitive clixers to be just like him. When we brought the teens that we worked with to weekly events, he was the type of guy who would cheat them with false rulings and short clixing when I wasn’t looking. It always made me upset and turned me away from the competitive scene even more.

A few years later, the Infinity Gauntlet came around right when I was headed back to college. The figures and Infinity Gauntlet were too good to pass up, so I found a group to go to near my school and started taking the drive to the store. I even taught a few new guys to play and brought them along. The store was called Comics and More and it was in the King of Prussia mall, the second biggest mall in America, so naturally it brought a large and diverse group. Every week these guys helped my friends and I build teams, gave us free figures, and even bought our entry fee for us sometimes; they were by far some of the best clixers I’ve ever met.

During one of these events, I was in the running to win, and I had never won before so I was pretty excited. I had figured out a tricky team based on BB Shazam and IH Hulk/SM Libra. Basically, I would convert Bruce Banner into Hulk (who ignores all damage unless the attack roll is doubles) and have two Libras there to re roll opponents attacks (because its not prob). I would get in people’s faces to tie them up, while Shazam would swing around with two AIM Agents and pick people off. In the second to last match, my opponent told me the Hydra TA didn’t benefit you unless the person shooting actually had the Hydra TA. The judge confirmed the ruling even though I argued against it, and it cost me the hit I needed to win. I ended up coming in fourth. When my opponent found out the ruling was wrong, he called me the next day, apologized profusely, and gave me a free Black Adam SR figure to make up for it.

I realized I was in the best play group ever. I was surrounded by people who wanted to benefit, not only the game they were playing, but also the people playing it. My friends and I were always invited back, invited to different events outside of gaming, and generally taken care of. What shocked me is that I was playing with some of the best players in the game.

I found out most of these people went to high level events, competed at a Worlds level tournament, and even regularly played with a Worlds winner at another local play group. I was perplexed. I thought Worlds players were wolves in sheep’s clothing! I thought Worlds players were all out to get me! I was told they were all jerks that couldn’t care less about anything except prize sharking and glory grabbing, but I realized that was wrong.

m_deadpool_sdcc12tourAfter that, I started to attend more events, went to all the local tournaments, and met a lot of great guys. When Realms Open Championship’s (ROC) came out, I started to go to those and even hosted one of my own. Again, some of the best players from around the world sat across the table from me and gave me a smile and a nice handshake. I won some, I lost some, but the game only got better. When I lost, I tried to be graceful and my opponents were friendly. When I won, I received the same courtesy and I always left tournaments with a smile and a sense of fun.

Eventually I made my way to Dragon*Con for the ROC Championship. The first day of the event was an absolute blast! I lost to Joshua Ernest (probably the nicest person I have ever met) in the final round of the ROC held that day and ended up coming in third. Even though I didn’t win, I made great friends. The second day was even better; I met people like Pat Yapjoco, Keenan Notae, and Matt Devine (all people who know the game in and out and can play better than almost anyone I know). Some of the funniest times I can remember happened sitting around a Hibachi table, all with the people I used to think were out to short their way to the top.

Later on in the day, Matt Devine and I had the unfortunate luck to be held up at gunpoint hours before we were supposed to play in the championship. They took everything… even Matt’s clix (that they probably had no idea what to do with). When the community heard about it, they came to life. I was expecting to get no sympathy from these people competing to win their share of the $15,000, but instead, they paid for our meals, helped us find the clix we needed that were lost, gave us cards and dice and tokens and markers and maps, and everything we needed. Majestix even offered to let us all stay in their room. I couldn’t believe I had judged these gamers so poorly in the past, and I became very thankful that I had these new friends in my life.

Whatever I had heard on the ‘Realms about the “evil meta-gamers” was dead wrong, and whatever was told to me about “not having fun at high level events” was even more wrong. If I had stayed in the bubble of fearing ROC’s and Regionals, I would never have the privilege to know these people, nor would I have had the fun of great competition. I’m glad I made the change. I’m glad I stopped judging people’s intentions from behind a message board, and started letting myself have a good time at great tournaments. I realized that being “one of those meta-guys” would be a huge compliment.

If there is one piece of advice I can give, it is to not limit yourself to local events. Don’t be afraid to try your dice at a ROC table or take a trip to a big event. Big events are the place where you meet new people, get new ideas, and have tons of fun. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.

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DC Clix

It’s been a while since we had one of these. The reason is simple. I don’t play the game anymore. However I recently saw an excellent post up on HC Relms that I thought bore some discussion. I’ll reprint it here in it’s entirety.

A Tale of Two ‘Clixers

The announcement of the 2014 convention exclusives brought along with it the resurgence of talks about the vast difference in play styles among the two major camps in HeroClix.

Just like the Bulls and Bears of Wall Street, or the Rep’s and Dem’s of Capitol Hill, most HeroClix players (or ‘Clixers) seem to fall in between two distinct categories – what we’ll call “Heroes” and “Dials.”

“Heroes” are those players that champion the characters of the game, regardless of how effective the dial, statistics, or power combinations are. Hero ‘Clixers will play a comic accurate Justice League Dark theme team, not because they expect it will win, but because they want to see the mystical Leaguers on the map, and perhaps challenge themselves to see if they can do anything noteworthy in a 50 minute round. First and foremost, Hero ‘Clixers are in love with the iconic personalities that the game system uses to market itself with dials and powers often a secondary consideration.

“Dials” are those players that champion the dials of the game, promoting a min/max play style looking to exploit or otherwise capitalize on combat values and special powers. A Dial ‘Clixer will build a theme team, and while it may be a character they like, they often build a force to get the biggest bang for their buck on the map dismissing some figures outright for average stats. Dial ‘Clixers are enamored with the game mechanics more than they care about the colorful costume on top of the dial.


Just let me play with MY TOYS!

Now by no means are the two groups mutually exclusive – players can be a bit of both Hero and Dial ‘Clixer, and there’s no shame associated with whichever category a person falls into. There’s no “right” side as the game caters to both play styles… to an extent.

Since it’s inception HeroClix has almost always favored Dial ‘Clixers – from the Infinity Challenge release “Pit Crew” players would often resort to non-comic accurate force builds to maximize winning potential (for example teaming up the Avenger’s Black Panther with a couple of civilian Con Artists, a Paramedic and Destiny from the Brotherhood).


5 range? Who saw that coming?

Keyword theme teams attempted to reduce such oddball pairings and whether the theme team mechanic succeeded or failed, it was a recognition of game design to steer towards some kind of bonus for using certain combinations of characters. It’s only been recently that the game balance has drastically swung to favor Dial ‘Clixers with the addition of resources in 2011.

While the game is called HeroClix, more recently it resembles DialClix.


#Stophammertime

Once upon a time when building a team, a player would start by looking at which characters (heroes) they wanted to field. Today many players look to which resource dial they want to build around which is often evidenced when a new figure is previewed and the comments that follow are “He’d be really good with THIS Hammer or THAT ring.”

We could argue that resource dials give Hero ‘Clixers the ability to make their beloved characters competitive, from Ambush Bug to (Arnim) Zola. Resources give these lovable losers a fighting chance but the truth is that…

Resources make EVERY figure better

So any advantage to be gained by a Hero ‘Clixer equipping Element Woman with Skaadi’s Hammer is offset by those Dial ‘Clixers fielding Bullseye with an Electro Blast ring.


No really, Lester is my favorite character evar!

The other main shift in gaming since the resource floodgates were opened is the rise of restrictive house rules at venues across the country*. Rules restricting or banning game elements when looking for places to play are often commonplace now – it might be for one event or all, but the message is the same – some of these pieces cannot be used on a regular basis.

Aside from Golden/Modern Age, and Highlander variations the biggest offenders appear to be (in no order) Colossi, Vehicles, Team Bases and Resources. It’s worth noting that of these fab four “taboo” items, the latter three are recent conceptions that have barely had two years of game life under the NECA design team.

What does it say about game design when most of the new, unique, and eye popping elements used to draw in players can’t or won’t be used because those running the venues agree that for whatever reason they are imbalanced and shouldn’t be used regularly?

It’s especially strange when you consider that Team Bases and Vehicle hate seems to stem from individual cases (The Beetle’s Bug, PD squad Cars, JLA TB) all of which would be better served with a Watch List revised ruling than blanket banning.

Rather than make any other judgements or point blame, I’d prefer to offer solutions, specifically an option that presents a win for everyone involved – a more structured organized play system that both Hero ‘Clixers and Dial ‘Clixers can enjoy and it involves updating the use and definition of Tactics.


Let me check the definition!

Currently the term Tactics refers to:

Quote : Originally Posted by Page 20, Section 4, 2013 HeroClix Rulebook
“optional elements that you can choose to play in HeroClix games.”

Tactics include Special Objects, Resources, Feats, Battlefield Conditions, Event Dials, Bystander Tokens and Themed Teams. It may serve the game well to update Tactics to include some of the more “questionably balanced” Tactical Elements of the game like Resources, Epic Actions, Primes, Multiple Based figures, figures with certain combat symbols and so on (possibly adding figures that are temporarily on the Watch List and waiting for resolution).

At that point game design could break up Tactics into two or three levels to allow for a tiered level of organized play and venues could more easily filter out “questionably balanced” elements that they perceive is harming their venue’s attendance.

  • At level 1 play you would have your basic game.
  • Level 2 (Tactics) would provide players the basic game plus the basic Tactics.
  • Level 3 would be Level 2 plus the added Tactical Elements – basically a no holds barred, Team Base, Resource Colossi-Palooza.

Once established the Tactic Levels act like the Golden/Modern Age distinction, providing universally shared terminology that lets players know what to expect when they show up at a new venue, while letting other players plan on which events they should attend based on their own play style.


Seriously, I just wanna play with MY TOYS!

This also helps recruit newer players by compartmentalizing the rules to an extent, addressing complexity issues by restricting the newer, more complicated elements to higher levels of play. A player can be free to learn the basics at a Level 1 game without getting overwhelmed by facing elements found at level’s 2 & 3.

So long as a venue caters to both camps, everyone wins getting to use the toys and characters they love in a format they are comfortable with. WizKids wins because they can keep selling the dynamic looking team bases, Colossi and vehicles which have been marginalized by many venues as imbalanced and have taken a backseat to blanket banning.

As mentioned before, keyword theme teams were initially added to the game when Game Design recognized a need to cater to the Hero ‘Clixers. It’s high time that Game Design admits they have a problem of “questionably balanced” mechanics and offers more structure to the OP system to help control the issue.

If a Watch List won’t fix or can’t fix some of the problems, and a ban list is not an option, then at least explore updating Tactics to include a multi-tiered system that provides tools for venues to use to shape the organized play scene into something everyone can enjoy.

Marvel Clix

colson copyA few of my own  thoughts on this excellent article. Was always a Hero Clixer, which is one of the reasons I’m not very good. But really, where’s the fun in being a dial clixer? At that point it’s just …. math. Part of why I played was to have a reason to collect the cool looking pieces. But a bigger part was to hang out. TO make fun of what was going on the board – Coleson screams “This is not what I had in mind when I took the Civil Service Exam!!!” as Preadator X rips him to pieces. To hang out at the comic shop and talk Marvel vs DC. I drifted away because I honestly was getting tired of paying a five dollar entry fee to get beaten down in ten minuets by numbers not pieces. Prize support was nice, but was never that important to me.

That sounds kind of bitter. It’s not meant to be really. I still have really fond IMG_20130222_185801memories of playing; that great night where we were all trying to beat Galactus and it was down to me and Jesse and whoever hit their next role would take him down and win the game! The evening of Star Trek clix vs. Galactus with Jim and Mike. That first time Trinity of Sin got pulled out and nothing Eric or I could do would take that stinking thing down (although my tactic with Blackheart worked…just no quick enough). My girls still ask to play from time to time and those were good times.

At the end of the day though, I don’t have  the proper temperament for competitive tournament play. Just ask the Same and Jesse and Aaron about how long it took to 100_1862finally convince me to get an Infinity Gauntlet! But I’m really just playing for fun…and competitive play isn’t fun for me. It’s the same reason that in High School I enjoyed being on the Church basketball team WAY more than I enjoyed being on the Jr. Varsity team.

In the end, I really would just rather have casual games built around themes and scenarios, and wish the rest of you guys well.


Poor Batman

DC Clix

IMG_20130118_212449While we were playing one night, Eric found that his daughter had slipped a few tiny kitty toys in with his heroclix. he thought it was cute and put one in between the claws of the Predator X he was playing.

Then he immediately attacked my Batman with it.

So Predator X is beating my Batman to death with a squeaky toy and all I can think about is how mad Batman is at the indignity of it all.

batman x copy


Composite Superman!

 

Marvel ClixWay back on Saint Patrick Day, we Jessie ran a game over at Warzone where the characters had to either wear green as their primary costume or be irish. I watched the rules clarifications on Facebook and saw that green skin was okay.

scanI figured Everybody would be using Green Lantern, Green Arrow or the Hulk (I wasn’t wrong by the way) I wanted something different, so I pulled my Composite Superman.

This is one of those characters I grew up reading about in DC’s Who’s Who, and has really been my favorite figure out of the Superman set. I was always a little surprised at how well he plays. For 180 points, I suppose he’d better be a decent charater, but still, it’s always a surprise at how effective he can be, both with the shape change and more importantly a really deep dial, about nine clicks in all. It’s not just about satying power though, he even managed to take down a Hulk.

Hulk Smash

Also on the team were Quicksilver and Vision. Quicksilver was another really pleasant surprise with his arrogant attack – essentially hypersonic with flurry. I kept using him as a hit and run. He’s everything I could want from a Flash figure….except HE’S NOT THE FLASH!!!! Arrrgh!

I threw the Utility Belt on Vision. One of the first times I really came to appreciate it. The belt made the difference a few times on whether or not the attack succeeded. Still, it’s kind of funny to see Vision with the belt on when you’ve got Composite Superman who’s half-Batman in the first place! I’d almost think he had more right to it….even if Vision needed it more. I can kind of see that discussion going something like this :

trio words

 


Man Thing!

DC Clix

Really, the utility belt is a cool fun idea, but when you can slap that thing on anyone, it gets a little weird….especially when it can copy just about any powers imaginable. Jessie was playing his Man Thing out of the ASM set with the utility belt, copying the Power Cosmic. This is what immediately came to my mind :

man thing copy


This time Deadpool is the jerk

Marvel Clix

There are times when you see Deadpool sneaking up on someone, he’s stealthed and just being generally annoying. you know an attack will hit and do no damage, but you just feel like you have to take the shot anyhow.

clix heros idea


Arcade map

Marvel Clix

I miss arcades. Back when I was a kid, we had an arcade in every mall. I especially remember two, the one in Midway Mall- Aladdins Castle, and the one at Center Ridge Lanes. Over the years I’ve built a MAME cabinet and put all the games I remember on it…but I still miss the arcade.

I first saw the template over here : http://www.wayoftherodent.com/gd101/bs_paperarcade.htm 281343_220254144685683_59518_nand thought  that was such a cool idea. It also occurred to me that I could make these machines even smaller and maybe adapt them for use in Heroclix. Around the same time I noticed my friend Jim making an Arcade machine or two and that cemented my resolve.

I started out making machines themselves. The first hurdle was to figue out how 253378_223582737686157_5748869_nmuch I needed to shrink the template down. After testeing a few times and comparing the sizes to my minitures I figured out every machine I wanted. Some o those machines didn’t exist, and had to be created. A few web searches and I was able to find artwork to things like Mortal Kombat, or the X-Men four player and then alter existing templates. X-Men went on the Gauntlet template. Mortal Kombat went on the Pac-Man one. Mario went on the Donkey Kong template (a standard for all Nintendo stand up machines actually). As I got more machines together I created a floorplan, deciding how big the map was going to be. I wanted brick walls and shiny wood floors. I also wanted pool tables, just like at Center Ridge lanes, where you couldn’t play pool if you were under 18.

283103_223582821019482_323955_nVending machines would come next. I wanted pop machines, preferably old ones. Old Pepsi and 7Up machines and cigarette machines (on the pool table side) and Token vendors. I also figured such a place would paner to kids with less money and would have some generic pop there too, so I threw in a Faygo machine.

Next I had to cut them out and put them together. These are incredibly hard, especially at this size. I wasn’t using glue…to small and it would be to messy. instead I was using a Gluestick, which worked perfectly.  All in all, I created thirty arcade machines and a score of vending machines. Not only did I want vending machines in the arcade, but I wanted them in284814_227453670632397_839737_n the alleyway as well where we set up a kind of Vending machine farm. These are really common in Japan, though not so much in the US. Still if felt liek it fit. You can see machines for food, snacks, drinks, coffee and all sorts of things out there. Inside I added one more machine; a crane game.

Of course, for there to be an outside, we need to finish up those walls and add some Aladdins Castle logos. It was always going to be an Aladdins Castle, somehow I knew that, but it’s an idealized one; one that probably never really existed.

It’s a fun map for Alter Egos, a great place for Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson to hang out. It’s also great for super strength figures. Consider all the machines objects that you can pick up and attack with. Most of all though, it takes me back to a time when Co-Op meant going to the arcade, not just sitting on Broadband.

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Jimmy Olsen and Perry White

DC ClixIMG_20130714_205050You know, Batman has practically his whole supporting cast made into clix at this point – between the Batman sets and the Dark Knight sets we’ve gotten Dkck Grayson, Oracle, Bruce Waynes, Gordons and Harvy Bullock….heck, there’s TWO Alfreds AND two Lucias Foxs! Spidey has a MJ a Jonah and a Norman Osborne (all that’s missing really is Harry and Aunt May) but Superman…..not much really. We only now got a Lois Lane (a regular one in business attire) in the recent Man of Steel set….and that’s it.

It irritates me because Superman has a strong supporting cast that’s instantly recognizable and fairly integral to the story….and it’s comprised of ordinary people like Perry White and Jimmy Olson. That’s not as common in comics as it once was. These are potentially good figures, especially if you do a silver age influence. Jimmy was turning into something weird every other week back then. At the very least you could go elastic lad and turtle boy with an alter ego figure.

100_4510In any event, I find myself tired of waiting so I finally got around to modding a couple of figures. I took an intergang underboss and stuck him on JJJ’s base for Perry White. It seems to me that they would have similar stats, but for the rule lawyers who might object, I’ve attached the bystander token to the bottom of the piece and printed it out as a card so it can be played that way.

Jimmy on the other hand is a John Jameson base, repainted with the bystander token and card as well. I’m not trying to mod one of those oreo bases. Too hard. I think I have an extra 100_4521Plastic man though, and may try an elastic lad at some point. If that happens, I’ll move him to a different base and perhaps create some AE stats for him.

Seriously though, look at this. How cool is it to see the whole gang there? Honestly WizKids. It’s not that hard.

100_4518

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Not what I expected

Marvel ClixSo the word came down that we were playing a pick up game over at Comics are Go! I figured cool, friendly game, get to try out the utility belt and thought I’d create a fun team out of some of my movie figures..throw Dark Knight batman with Avengers movie Cap and Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern.

Yeah, that’s not what they had in mind.

IMG_20130118_195347

So the guys start pulling out these GIANT figures and decide the game is going to be 1800 points….I’m looking at what I brought and didn’t think I even HAD 1800 points there (I didn’t. It was 1250. They loaned me a Giant Man and another high point figure to make up the difference.)

As the Fing Fang Foom duked it out with Dormmamau, I was tryign to sneak my SHIELD Agent over to the bat signal. He didn’t make it over there before the Preadator X’s in thrall to Dormmamau caught him and ripped him to shreads. No surprise there, he wasn’t a superhero, just human. Still, I have to think his reaction to the situation would probably go a little something like this….

colson copy


Trinity of Sin

DC Clix

Trinity-of-SinI had the dubious honor of playing in a game against the Trinity of Sin this weekend over at Comics are Go!. The game actually turned out to be a three way game, and for the most part, it was two teams trying to take down the Trinity.

What’s the worst thing about playing against the Trinity? It’s not the massive 16 click dial. It’s not even the tough 19 defense it starts out with. It’s not even the occasional poison trait. That only comes up occasionally, when Pandora’s face shows up on the dial. No, the worst part of this thing is the horrifying feedback damage from the mystics keyword. Instead of the normal one click, if you keep all your figures on the team base, you take two clicks of damage every time you make a successful attack.1FCBDthor

Big Mike came in fast and hard with some heavy hitters, hoping to knock down that damage before the feedback destroyed him. I had a similar idea and really thought long and hard  about adding the FCBD Thor to my team. He starts off with a 5 damage and an 11 attack. The problem is, even if he hurdles that 19 defense, he only gets one hit at 5 damage and that’s a charge. Not only is that feedback going to knock his damage down to 4, but he’s also stuck being poisoned knocking him down even further, not to mention being in the line of fire for anyone using pulse wave – a go-to power for dealing with Mystics.

3699I think Pulse Wave could have worked here actually, but so slowly with that one damage at a time trying to chip away at that deep dial. I pulled my Composite Superman and played him at the 80 point level, then pushed him one click where he goes into Pulse wave fro a couple of clicks. Unfortunately, I deployed him badly, then got distracted trying to pick up a Kurreth’s Hammer and got based, then blasted.

My main strategy for dealing with the Trinity ended up being Blackheart. He’s a hefty piece, but he’s a mystic too, and any time he takes damage it would feedback on the Trinity- a good start.

The main reason I choose Blackheart though, was his pets. He comes with two detachable gargoyles. When he mcl1V_DXewdKofWJWVpQntwuses his power of Dark Thunder, a gargoyle detaches and becomes a bystander with it’s own attack and defense and movement. When it’s KOed, it returns to the Blackheart base where it can be summoned again.  I barely moved Black heart all game – in fact the only time he moved is when the red Gargoyle TKed him away from Trinity (on Mike’s suggestion – thanks!). I kept pulling up the gargoyles, placing them in front of Blackheart to protect him from ranged, then the red one would TK the blue one over to Trinity where it would attack. Trinity would then have to destroy it or take poison – taking one of Trinity’s actions. tumblr_mebxcyxotz1r75v8vo1_1280If there was no blue, the red one would make a ranged attack while Blackheart generated another blue one. My allies on the other side would perlex down that massive 19 defense to make it more manageable and I’d keep hitting, which would destroy the gargoyle but never give damage to Blackheart who would just pop another out. It chipped away at the Trinity dial while he was mopping up the other team.

It was fairly effective. We got the dial down to click 11, and I know I couldn’t have done that on my own. That’s why I said it was nice to play this as a three way game.  It gave us both a chance. Still, that Trinity of Sin is a monster piece.

I did find one thing cute. Every time I’d detach the gargoyles, they don’t stand well on their own. They would topple over and I would just lay them on their side. When I’d TK  the blue one over to Trinity, I’d lean it up by Phantom Stranger and say it was nuzzling him. If you can’t beat ’em, annoy them!

stranger

Okay, now that you’ve read that comic, head over to Violent Blue. We’ve got a new strip up today and meet us back here tomorrow!


Jokers hideout map

DC Clix

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Ages ago when I was first creating Heroclix maps, on of the first ones I ever did was this half size Joker’s Hideout map that I got from The Absorbsacon’s site. I did a couple from there and really liked them.

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223041_227457983965299_8329039_nTime passed, I was more busy with Violent Blue, not playing as much and I put the map away. Then, not too long ago I went down to grab it to setup a huge HC world, and it had vanished. I ended up rebuilding it, with some new touches.
206072_227458010631963_3101649_nFirst we start with the base. Layer two pieces of foam for height (we’ll need that height when we do the stairs)
Cut notches on one side which will be the front stairs. The back end is layered a bit to fit the second half of the base more tightly.

With the base created, we next need to glue the actual print out of the map on to the 188212_227458080631956_7336895_ntop of that foam surface.
Let the edges hang over a bit a cut two lines in  those stairs. We’ll trim that back in a while. In the front, we fold the stairs a couple of times to give a staggered look.
The next step will be to glue the sides on the bottom and under the edges.

Pinch the corners so they overlap and 281453_227458117298619_5920853_nsupport each other. These are made out of card stock and printed on both sides.

I  also printed out a second set of stairs because once folded, we’ll need just a bit more length. That’s one long piece of paper glued under the unit. Finally, glue the whole thing on a base (can be cardboard, I used some thin foam).
I added some columns to hide 283150_227458170631947_717462_nthe seams, and a few extras to complete the look. The columns are all mis-matched, which is perfectly appropriate for the Joker. More 3d elements than previously, and the walls are now brick, with purple painted brick inside. It’s set to look like they just moved in and painted the bare walls.

Ready to play!

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Yes those ARE Weeping Angels behind Harley there…..(customs I made)

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Galactus vs Star Trek

DC Clix

Comics are Go! decided to do something different this time around. Mike was wanting to play the Star 203564_616966514983887_695373556_nTrek Tactics game, and he decided to pair it with Galactus.

Now, I’m a fan of Star Trek – or  at least of good star trek (I feel it really got watered down towards the end of the century) built I haven’t been buying this game. I really hadn’t seen to many people playing it and honestly, I don’t need more Trek toys. I have a pretty full set of the Micro Machines ships and what few ship the Tactics set makes that Micro Machines didn’t are WAY expensive. Far more expensive than standard Heroclix. Too much for toys that I didn’t expect to play with and don’t have room to display.

Still, when this opportunity came up, it was too good to resist. Galactus in general is a really good idea for this kind of game and it really got my imagination going. So much so that I created this prolog for the game. (They would definitely carry this comic at Taylors shop in Violent Blue)

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Mike ended up playing a Romulin team. Jim and I played Federation teams – I was borrowing pieces from Mike’s collection and tried not to duplicate anything that Jim was playing (except the cloaked Defiant. that was just too cool).

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526152_605633052786658_1704959097_nI did find a use for my old Micro machines toys. I used the little figures as counters. It ended up looking a little creepy though….like they were just people who had been sucked out of the ship, dead bodies floating is space.

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Jim brought along his custom Borg cube as well. I’d seen this while it was still a work in progress, but cool to see it complete with the custom dial mounted and in place.

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It’s didn’t get played, but it brings up the question – what would The Borg vs. Galactus look like? I speculated that he’d just slam his hand down on the cube and rip off a chunk with his fingers. Kind of like this.

galactus colored backgroud

A really fun scenario. I’m hoping to see more tactics played up at the shop. Definitely something I’d be up for if it turned into a monthly thing.


Bruce Wayne is a jerk

DC Clix

You know, it’s not really that he’s a jerk, but it just seems that way.

I was playing a game over at CoBlog Bruce Wayne & Batman 001mics are Go! in Sheffield, and the theme was play some new stuff. At the time, the Batman set was the new one out so it was pretty much almost all bat-characters.  My opponent was playing a Bruce Wayne as a support piece (which I eventually wiped out in about one attack…laying five clicks of damage immediately to keep him from alter ego into Batman) and at one point I noticed he was just….there. Standing in the middle of the battle field while other pieces slugged it out all around him Like the calm in the eye of a storm.

With that pieces particular sculpt, I couldn’t help but think of what a troublemaker he seemed like in the midst of it all!

 

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The Lone Ranger?

Marvel Clix

If you heard a high pitched squeeing noise last night, sorry. That was me as soon as I saw this news breaking.

LoneRanger_Toyfair_02They are actually going to make Lone ranger Heroclix.

For those of you skeptics that don’t see how this franchise could possibly have more than two figures though….let’s consider: really you could easily get a dozen figures out of this. Cavendish, Dan Reid (The Ranger’s nephew), A sheriff, Cavendish henchmen, Indian Brave, Indian Chief, throw in a couple of the dead rangers and a love interest. If you really needed more, they could go with the way they did the toy series in the 80s – wild west heroes like Wild Big Hickok and Wyatt Earp and stuff. If you head into the dynamite comics for characters, you have the Widow (Dan’s mother) along with the specific sheriff they’ve been working with, then throw in a comic/TV accurate version of each character. There really are some wide open possibilities. Even more if they did chases with the characters on horses.

I was never into westerns and never played cowboys and Indians. My father introduced me to the Loner Ranger and it was a gateway to westerns for me because the mask gave it a superhero vibe. Its still one of the best comics being published and I love the character because of his connection to the Green Hornet and the way it connects me to my father.

I think the Dynamite series was the first time anyone’s gotten the character right since that TV series, and when I’m playing these pieces, that’s the series I’ll be thinking of. I’m still holding out hope for the new movie though. Check out the trailer below, then head over to see today’s Violent Blue!


Red Lantern Claus

Marvel Clix

An unusual Heroclix post. One of the guys on Facebook asked us how we would make a Red Lantern Santa Claus. Various people posted powers, I decided to just post an illustration!

Red Lantern Santa copy

And a quick reminder, Argo City and Violent Blue will be on Christmas Break until January second!


Batman vs Deadshot

 

I was playing a game online one night and thought I’d try my Suicide Squad vs someone else’s Bat-team.  That leap/climb really killed me at the end and we ended up in a melee with Batman and Deadshot…which is exactly what you don’t want with Deadshot. He’s great at a distance, but up close…meh. John Delcared he was going to use Batman’s Exploit Weakness and I felt compelled to point out that he already had exploited Flyod’s weakness by engaging him in close quarters! I just imagined it happening like this.

 I’m pretty sure this is going to show up eventually in Violent Blue as a dream sequance


It was Merc team against my Brute squad. Now, to be fair, the dice were really rolling my way all night and I was making insane successes. Jessie was having the exact opposite kind of luck.

I don’t usually roll with Brutes – I prefer ranged attackers and would like to use some skill….except I really don’t have much skill as far as clix goes! Still I wanted to try out that Composite Superman and the Joe Fixit (grey Hulk) I got and it seemed like a good game to try it.

There was t his one moment when my Hulk Robot (one of those figures I got ENTIRELY because it looked cool – but it’s turned out to be a nice little piece after all) had Deadpool and Bob : Agent of Hydra based. Deadpool was maxed aout and about to get a big Hulk Smash with a light object. Bob rolled breakaway and ran for the hills. I kind of see the entire encounter going a little like this:


Mystery Guest

Okay, this was a while back, but the thing is…I lost the artwork.

It’s ironic, because the scenario this Clix Comic comes from is one I never got to play. I built this team, and even test played it at another venue, but the week I was supposed to do the actual game, it got cancelled.

I don’t remember much except it was during the Superman launch and it was going to be a really close quarters  match, so I wanted close combat experts. I do recall though that this is where I really learned to love the Batgirl figure. I got her because I wanted a complete modern Batman family…who knew she would be such a good piece? She’s nearly impossible to hit from a distance and if you get into hand to hand she’s got close combat expert to drop tons of damage on you! Bronze Tiger’s not to shabby either though I need to mod his mask off so he look more like he did back in Suicide Squad.

I like to imagine that Batman was the leader of this group and the recruitment went a little like this (the “You??” at the end is because one of the rules was that we had to include one figure from a sealed booster) :


Barda vs. Witchblade

You may remember some of  this dialogue from the Clix party post a few months back. But seriously, if Big Barda met Witchblade, isn’t this JUST how the two would hit it off?


Avengers at Warzone

Finally! I think it’s been a month since I got that Avengers starter set and I finally got to break them out last night at Warzone

I’ve been looking forward to playing these. I really like seeing toy based on  the movie costumes instead of the comic ones, it’s a nice alternative. I’ll probably be all over the Dark Knight ones that are out now too.

The thing I really liked about these though was that you could just grab the starter set and pretty much be done. Other than Nick Fury, all the characters I really wanted to get are represented here. You’ve pretty much got the whole team. 

The game last night required me to have a scientist, a robot and a monster, so I added Hulk Robot and the Hulk figure from the last wave (Seriously? No monster keyword on the AVM Hulk?). I also threw in Spidey and MJ to hit the point total. I hate 1000 point games. While MJ met a spectacular demise (Doppelganger Spider-Man literaly ripped through her to get to the figure behind her!) Spidey himself actually was my last man standing. Those super-Senses really do wonders….and there’ll be a comic up about that showdown eventually.

I think Cap did the most damage, though that was less skill and more about being in the right place at the right time. I’d also really like to know why Thor doesn’t have indomitable or at least Willpower on the first couple of clicks. Seriously. He’s a god. Two actions in a row shouldn’t be pushing.

I like big free for all games. We had four players on one map and I’m a fan of that format. I kept my team mostly together and picked off who I could, but mostly hung back and let a lot of the action just go on around me. By the end it was obvious Aaron was going to get first place so I made sure he was the one who killed my last couple of figures instead of Sam – it got me second.

What was really cool was getting that Nick Fury in the prize draw. Like I said, he was pretty much the only other Avenger I really wanted and everyone was considerate enough not to grab him first. I also scored a SHIELD Agent. I know he’s not Colson, but you know what? As far as I’m concerned, he’s close enough.

Considering I walked in to that game intending to get flattened because I was using a bunch of figures I’d never played before it turned out to be a really nice night. Probably won’t make it back to Warzone untill next month, but I might hit Infinite Monkey in a week or two to try out my Avengers again.

You know what? I feel like watching the Avengers movie while I work on some Violent Blue. See you tomorrow.


Deadpool’s new power

You know, I don’t usually do these kinds of gags (that’s why this isn’t appearing over at Violent Blue) but it was a funny bit that happened one night as we were playing over at Warzone. I forget what all figures Jesse was playing, but he had his everpresent Deadpool, along with another piece that gave a free smoke cloud barrier each turn. His turn came and he started up the clouds around Deadpool. Someone (possibly Mark) made acomment about how he didn’t realize Deadpool had that power, and before he could point out that it was coming from another figure..well…..

I’ll admit to laughing.


So for a while there I was alternating my gaming between Warzone in Parma and Get’em Comics in Lorain. Get’em is closed now, but right before the last game nights there I decided it might be fun to whip up a 3D map of the shop for them.

I’ll bet the shop in Violent Blue looks a lot like this too….


Since I’m not going out tonight, I thought we’d look back at a game a couple of months ago.

I was really trying for a Mad Scientist/Robot team. The game was 1000 points and each figure needed to be over 100 points. I’m really not used to playing with such high numbers, but it gave me a chance to use some figures I normal hold in reserve. I decieded against using the 300 point Superman, because if Caff over at Get’em comics taught me anything, it’s that Superman is just a target with a great big “Kick Me” sign on his back. I really wanted to try to fit Supergirl in there though. I just couldn’t fit her in – that’s okay, I ended up using her the next time (see the previous Clix Heros post “girly clix”). I threw in all my iron man suits including FCBD War machine (love this piece) and Iron Patriot. My Hulk had really busted some heads a couple of weeks earlier at the sealed tourny  so I wanted to try him again with a Hulk robot. The Lex and Braniac figure had served me well in the past too.

All in all, I though I had a good team going.

Then Aaron busted out his GALACTUS figure.  Remeber wha I said earlier about Superman having a great big “Kick Me” sign on his back? Yeah. It looked like the plan was immediately going to become dogpile on Galactus.

It ended up with me and Jesse really trying to get that last hit in on Galactus. Jesse distracted me by tossing a Juggernaut my way, but I don’t really think it made that much difference, it was roll of the dice. He ended up taking Galactus off the board, but it was still a blast to actually play against the giant.

I kind of wonder though, what the discussion between Lex Luthor and Tony Stark was just before that team up, don’t you? I think it would have gone a little like this: