Thursday, December 30, 2010

A giant X-Men fan

Heroclix is coming out with Giant Sized X-men in the new year and it may be early to talk about it, but I can't help myself. I'm a big X-men fan.

I've been hoping for a better Cyclops and updates to all the X-men who showed up in X-plosion. It would be great to see a new Banshee and Storm too. I will be watching with great anticipation for this set. There almost isn't anything I don't know about classic X-men.

I know their powers in and out. I've seen a lot of inaccuracies (by my own opinion I realize) but I have high hopes for the new way they've been assigning powers. Traits and white powers could open up the X-pages in a whole new way. If 75th is any sign of how that will be, we have a lot to look forward to.

I already know of some we get to see if you check out the report at, you can see them too. What I wonder about is how many giant figures will be made in this set for the giant boosters. I know Apocalypse will be there and likely sentinels, but who or what else? Maybe the Living Monolith? Well, who do you think will make an appearance. Giant size and classic have more than enough characters to work with.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My DC 75th TOP TEN

Okay, this is info that's going to vary depending on your own personal interests and play style, so bear with me. But I want to get one more good post in on 75th before I take off for handling the holidays. Hope you enjoy this.

Qualifications for my top ten (what I considered):

1: Nothing over 200 points because I'm looking for playability in the 300 to 400 point formats. Something that absorbs over 50% of your team doesn't make the cut for me.

2: Tactics: What do they bring to the table and how does it weigh versus need for a themed team? Is it supportable or could it support a win condition? Or is it just too broken not to use (like Nightcrawler)?

3: Point cost versus what they do, comparable to the 200 point rule, but you get the idea.

4: No chase figures. I'm interested in listing figures you can reasonably get your hands on.

As I said, you may not agree with me, but I have my reasons and you have yours, so smile.

10: WARLORD: Surprised already? Warlord is an old favorite of mine from the comics and I'm really glad to finally see a figure for him. I once read a team up with him and Green Arrow, awesome. So why does he make my list? At fifty points, he's simple with an old school combo of charge and blades with a nice 11 attack. Combat Reflexes gives him an 18 up close for defense and might just keep him around long enough to do some nice damage. The only thing that would really make him better for his points is toughness. Sadly, one good hit can take him out. I see him going down easily from high damage, but used right he can soften up a heavy for you or play some great interception on other pieces. So he's simple in application, old school, good damage and attack, and his points make him fit very very well in your warrior themes.

9: ANIMAL MAN: Remember that combo I mentioned with Warlord? Animal Man has it even better with greater movement to make up a bit for the one point lower in attack. And he starts with even better defense. His trait makes him an excellent centerpiece for a big keyword for this set, ANIMAL. Team him up with Beast Boy or all the gorillas and duplicate their powers in Animal Man. The only drawback is that he can't use the power you name until the beginning of your next turn, but it still makes him an excellent tactical wild card. If you think ahead on your plays at all, you can make great use of Animal Man and he's only 79 points. He fits well with all the low cost animals.

8: BEAST BOY: For even less points than Animal Man (60) you get another wild card. Two of the interchangeable forms of Beast Boy are commons and I got extras in my case. Hypersonic speed in the cheetah or more charge blades combo in the bear? Super. Here comes more combo with Animal Man already. I also like that Beast Boy carries the Outsiders team ability for his low cost. There's some awesome tactical ability in being able to pop up and lock down someones stats so they can't be increased or decreased by any power or effect. Beast Boy rocks.

7: ISIS: Now why would Isis (granted she's under a hundred points) beat out Beast Boy and the animal theme? How about Charge, flight, telekinesis AND quake locked at 3 damage? Normal quake is 2 damage to all opponents in base contact with knockback for those who don't know. Raise it to three and surround her with animals for all I care. If she doesn't hit one for three damage, she'll hit them all for three damage. Very nice. And she doesn't stop there for her points with Probability control on the same place in the dial as her special quake, she has mid-dial regeneration and then higher defense with willpower and a jump in damage to 4. Isis also has the "mystical" keyword, another big one with this set. You want tactics that fit in small teams? Isis has that in spades.

6: DEADSHOT: Lets face it, sharpshooter as a tactic RULES. Ranged combat expert directly in the face is a beautiful thing. Deadshot gains the ability to use that and have it be penetrating damage. You don't want to let him sit anywhere for long, but getting up close won't help you. His 12 attack with all that make him a deadly threat. Never mind finally being able to fill out the vaunted Secret Six teams people have been wanting for so long.

5: GREEN ARROW: He only beats Deadshot for place on this list by 9 points and one tactic that I love. Running shot to the face. Green Arrow's sharpshooter ability allows him to pull off running shot on his second click right into base contact. Then his defense increases by 2 for up close (giving him an 18) to make him a deadly tie up piece. And he keeps Ranged combat expert for most of his dial, so he starts doing four damage at a time to that close up target. His range is one better than Deadshot too. I have to say I find the 9 range weird and rare since most go right to 10, but I hardly care for what I get. Awesome tactics.

4: BART ALLEN: Kid Flash is back and better than ever! You gotta love hypersonic that ignores figures and hindering completely. But it can't be countered? Really? Yeah! That means NO outwit and no powers that would shut down his speed. It's not even listed as Hypersonic speed officially so it's fantastic. He has a decent attack value at 10 and a 19 defense against ranged combat. His speed allows him to stay out of reach and maybe even out of direct range. His damage isn't enough to take down heavies, but he can sure run interference on everything else. And since his points fit so well (like the rest of the Teen Titans in this set) it's not long before he can be the finisher for a piece softened up by one of his buddies. And he's a common! That's why he's number four!

3: OSIRIS: This member of the Shazam family starts out with a combo that's been a win condition in a lot of tournaments. I'm talking about the mix of Hypersonic speed with Super strength. He's mystical and I really don't care about his 3 range. Put him with other mysticals or his sister, Isis and get ready for some beat down. Starting out with Impervious in defense isn't shabby either. Even when he loses hypersonic (yeah, he only has one click of it) he remains a warrior. He's also themed for Teen Titans, though he doesn't get the team ability. I see mean possibilities for a hypersonic Teen Titans arrangement that could make opponents dizzy. Three of them are one this list and together they are still under 300 points.

2: BARRY ALLEN: One of the best Flash figures yet. He comes to the table with 14 movement (hypersonic), 11 attack, 18 defense (super senses) and a whopping 3 damage for a speeder of his type. Worried about not having that phasing trick one of the last incarnations had? Why? Later in his dial you get to put him anywhere on the whole freaking map to pull a double swing attack with flurry. That's better than phasing could ever be. Tired of that pesky medic and it's out of reach? Not any more. There's no where to hide from the Flash. You want to know a sick team up? Nightcrawler and this Flash. Need I say more? Throw in Bart, still be under 300 and I don't care if its themed or not.

So it's time for NUMBER ONE: GREEN LANTERN: Surprised? Green Lantern of All Star Squadron, carrying the JSA team ability is totally, totally awesome. Let me tell you why. First off, he KILLS stealth. He ignores stealth for his attacks and when he hits someone with stealth, he turns it off so all his buddies can shoot at the target too! That's a TRAIT so it never goes away. He's mystical too and starts out with a combo power of psychic blast and telekinesis. He's got Idomitable so auto-will power, push him with abandon and impervious. His opening click alone make him a jack of all trades and all purpose tool. At 145 points, he's about the best costed Green Lantern you can get. He's going to fit that All Star Squadron team all too well. He'll make it deadly too. Yeah, he's a super rare, but if you get your hands on him, hold on tight. He's worth it! Did I forget to mention his Running shot and 8 range? Probably because they're just icing on the cake. Oh, let me mention a nice built in wicked combo on Green Lantern. Pulse wave later in his dial, versus a slew of stealth targets. He hits them all for one damage that they can't avoid and they all lose stealth for that round.

So I hope you enjoyed my little top ten list and that you got lots of clicky goodness for your holidays and the one to come.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DC 75th case review

So I got my case of DC 75th today and after school my son and I had a little pack party. I have to say that the claim of getting "at least" one white lantern per brick held true. Two bricks are in a case and we did indeed get two white lanterns. We got White Lantern Wonder Woman and Bart Allen. Not bad. As for the rest of the pulls we got:

COMMONS: All of them, yep, all of the commons nearly twice over. That's good for my son's collection.
Easy Company Soldier x 4
Dominator x 2
Gorilla City Warrior x3
Donna Troy
Crimson Avenger
Bart Allen
Johnny Quick
Mr. Terrific
The Atom
Green Arrow
Beast Boy with Cheetah and Bear versions

UNCOMMONS: Got all of these too with a few extras nearly completing my son's set once again.
SGT Rock
Queen Aga'Po
Ruling Caste Dominator
Detective Chimp
Sargon the Sorcerer
Ocean Master
Wonder Woman

RARES: Missing a few yet but,
Animal Man
Captain Comet
Kyle Rayner
Guy Gardner
Saint Walker
John Stewart
Carol Ferris

SUPER RARES: Got seven of them with no duplicates.
Green Lantern
Hal Jordan
Barry Allen
Wonder Twins

I see three great theme teams in this that are easily built in the 300 to 400 point circuits; All Star Squadron, Teen Titans, and Mystical. Those are pretty much the most flexible and I think strongest teams that can be made from this set. The Animal keyword gets honorable mention thanks to Beast Boy, lots of Gorillas, and Animal Man.

The rest are pretty much power pieces that only fit themes for this set in 400 or better without looking at recent sets that help with filling out. Not to say I'm not impressed with the powers and arrangements in this set because I am. I can get to some opinions on those pieces a bit later right now I'm going to address something else.

Game mechanics do get a "A" because of how many stand alone teams are doable in this set within reasonable points.

Next lets look at the sculpts. There are some great sculpts in this and manufacturing managed not to destroy that on most of them. Unfortunately there are some downright shoddy sculpts too. Take Ice for example. Her face and detail just don't match up to the other pieces. Details aren't as sharp as they were in Web of Spiderman overall. I've seen them change how pieces are made to shave costs in the past and the result is typically a minus in craftsmanship. Carol Ferris has the same problem. Figures that turned out awesome are Doomsday and Sinestro. At least mine were. Zamaron and her Queen counterpart are the absolute worst. You can't even turn her dial without almost twisting the figure off. You have to be too careful.

Fortunately, I had only one or two dials that didn't want to turn and those were of Wonder Woman. she's also a very thin figure and bends too easily. You shouldn't have to try and grasp that moon shaped base they stand on with your knuckles to turn the dial. It's not as easy as it looks. I'm more critical on manufacturing than almost anything because it directly affects how long pieces will last, how well they can handle just being played for that matter. I'm paying top dollar for my game and if I can't count on the piece to hold together it's not worth the money. C- toward a D+ for sculpts and manufacturing. It looks like we pay more for the flashy laminated cards than the figures we twist and tug on and actually play with.

Packaging is my next area of fun and games. The way they keep coming up with extra shapes on figures makes it a real puzzle to get them out of the plastic holders. Yeah, I know, not that big a deal, but still. The plastic holder is built for the ease of packing the figures, not unpacking them. That's for sure. I realize there may not be much of a solution for this, but if they are going to keep getting crazy with the shapes, capes and poses; they may want to think about it. I hate most commercial packaging anyway.

In a final note, while I am happy with my pieces and will play them assuredly, why does Superman look so freaking sad? He looks seriously depressed, people. Just look at him. He looks like he wants to take a giant leap and hug some kryptonite on the way. Even his shoulders are drooping. Oh well. Hope you all enjoy your pulls!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scenario: Blizzard Attack!

As I sit here, looking out the window at the snow from blizzard Aiden that's buried us, I think of a scenario. Is that they way of a true heroclix addict? I think so. Anyway, this is my suggestion for scenario: Blizzard Attack:

Special rules: All ranges are reduced to 6 on all powers and attacks, even outwit and probability control and perplex. All clear terrain is hindering terrain. All terrain that started out as hindering is now blocking terrain.

Icy grounds: All attacks result in knockback though combat reflexes still applies. No save applies to doubles. All move and attack powers are affected by slippage. When ever charge, running shot, or hypersonic speed are used to make an attack by a figure that does not fly, roll one dice (six sider). On a 5 or 6, the attack misses and the attacking figure must move two extra spaces past the target in the direction it was originally headed. The move is over for that figure, even with hypersonic speed.

Windblown: At the beginning of the game decide on one direction on the map (agree on directions such as North, South, etc). At the beginning of each turn, each player rolls one dice. On a 5 or 6, move each figure with flying two spaces in that direction.

Optional rule: Freezing Temperatures: Applies to all figures that don't have damage reducers. At the beginning of each turn, each player rolls one dice. On a 6, all figures that player controls that don't have a damage reducing power take one unavoidable click of damage.

Naturally, if you have a map with partial indoors terrain, indoors is protected from all the rules. Past that, it would be NO fun to play on indoor terrain would it?

So, enjoy this musing and I hope you are save and warm where ever you are! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Talking about Barry Allen

In the new upcoming set, DC75, just days away; we have some nice pieces coming. I have to say that the newest Flash, Barry Allen, gives more justice to the character than any dial they have made yet. That's even if you do have to wait until later in the dial to get the cool power.

Let's take a look at this power they are calling, "Around the World". It allows for Flash to us flurry, but before he does, you can just put him next to any opposing figure on the whole map. That has killer possibilities.

Getting tired of that stupid medic your opponent keeps running off to? No problem, land next to that Valkyrie or Nurse and start swinging. Just need one more good hit on a fig but it ran away, like Nightcrawler? No problem, Flash can keep up without breaking a sweat.

I also like that he starts out with 3 damage now, much like his Blue Lantern version. I mean, seriously, a 750+ mph fist should always do more than just one on openers. At least this way it has a chance at a minimum of one against big defense powers.

I still think that they could round off their point values more as the odd numbers just aren't necessary and make fitting some teams difficult. But then, they are doing my son a world of good on his math practice.

All the same, I'm looking forward to the new set. I hope you are too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Scenario: The Magnificent Seven

I've been wanting to post this scenario idea for some time and I hope you enjoy it. I think it's a great way to play a higher point game without worry of someone landing a Phoenix or other wild powered fig on you.

In 700 points there must be 7 figures (no more and no less) and they must be themed. Custom key words are allowed, but must make sense. I've done circus performers and archers for example. The 10% feat rule applies and battlefield conditions are allowed.

Each player gets four moves and play continues until one person is totally wiped out. You can play time limit if you like, however. To enrich the play you can try adding some special rules as below. You may have difficulty keeping to theme if you do it that way. It seems to me that most of these "heroe's gathered" films have a few things in common and the ideas with special rules are:

The Leader: Must start with Leadership and will always have leadership. So long as it shows on the dial, his leadership counts for two extra actions instead of one.

The Rookie: Must have the teen or kid keyword. If a friendly figure within 3 squares of the rookie would take damage from a ranged combat attack, you may move the rookie in the path of that attack and he must take the full damage instead.

Explosives expert: Must have Energy Explosion and will always have energy explosion. So long as it shows on the dial, damage from energy explosion is penetrating.

The Sniper: Must have Ranged Combat Expert and always will. So long as it shows on the dial, the Sniper has free Trick Shot.

The Sneak: Must have stealth and always will. So long as it shows on the dial, this figure ignores hindering terrain for movement.

And then movies have a tendency to shake it up with different stuff like computers experts and disguise experts, you can fill it in from there. Have fun with this scenario. Got ideas that you would add? Put them in comments!