Saturday, July 30, 2011

New scale of power in Superman set

I've been checking out the spoilers for the new upcoming Superman (slated to come out in September) set with awe. There's a new game mechanic that's going to shake up the game in a major way.

As a prime example we look at Superman and Black Adam. This mechanic involves a choice of starting zones on the dial, a first for standard sized dials. Each starting click has a point value to incorporate into your team. Based on the point level you choose, that's where you start on the dial and play through to KO (if he gets KO'd, that is).

I think this is amazing. This gives some major playability to pieces that wouldn't often hit the table. Talk about options! Another thing this kind of brings back to me, is the old days of rookies, experts, and veterans. Just look at those lines on Black Adam's dial below! Just click on a pic to see it bigger.

Now for a little review. First, Superman; a one man army in a 300 point game is always a risk. I don't care what you put on that dial. The kicker is, I think Superman could actually pull it off! For the first time in a long time, I think we're getting a Superman worthy of his name! Just look at what he can do. His dial is loaded with hypersonic speed, charge, and running shot. They way it's arranged means you don't know what he's going to do if and when you do hit him. This can make him hard to track for the guy playing him too, so get to know Supe's dial. He starts out awesome. 11 movement with hypersonic? Check! High attack value of 12? Check! Impervious defense of 18? You know it! Deals five damage with outwit? HUH? Yeah, Superman starts with outwit. I'll take it! This is based on the "All Star Superman". You know, the one who got over radiated and died from being too freaking powerful.

Then turn him to that second starting line to play him for half his points and build a good team around him. He's still worth half the 300 point team, but very playable with a new keyword, Scientist. Now let's just wait and see how accessible he's going to be.

Black Adam! Oh boy. You can play him at three levels; point costs of 300, 200 or 100. Even his lowest level of play isn't particularly weak. This figure is a monster and well worth the ranking of a super rare. Sadly, I haven't been able to land my hands on a Black Adam (solo, as I have the duo of Shazam/Black Adam) since he first came out. I have the veteran of that figure. Ever since then, I've coveted a new Black Adam. Now this one moves up on the want list past the previous one. I'm afraid his secondary market value is going to be ridiculous however.

Let's take a look at those white powers. His movement power allows him to charge a full ten spaces so long as he has no tokens on him. He also can't carry an object or person with him. This is actually an excellent "killing move" power. Past that, he has a ton of charge. I think he actually has too much charge. Take a look at his third click in from the 300 point start. It's an 11 movement with charge. This is redundant since he can use charge with his white power. He really should have started out with Hypersonic speed or that third click should have been hypersonic. Still, his numbers are amazing.

There's an important point to these numbers on the first two start lines that make those number hurt. It's his defense power that allows him to drop 3 damage instead of 2 (if being hit for four or more). But that's not the clincher for this power. It also says his powers cannot be outwitted (except his outwit power). And with a 19 defense to clear, he's not an easy hit. This makes his movement power as an opener a little silly. Who, in their right mind, wants to take pushing damage off of a defense like that? Unless it's the winning move, I would never do it. He's lethal with that defense power so I would hold it as long as possible.

Now for his attack power of Regenerative Lightning. It only comes up twice in his dial (like his defense power) but it will seriously hurt. Since Black Adam is mainly a close up fighter, you can be sure that he's going to be mobbed. So this click pops up and he can regenerate while dealing a penetrating damage to everyone in two spaces of him. That's like having a short range pulse wave while healing! Basically, he shouts, "SHAZAM!" and POW! This combination could make Black Adam a decent one man army in a 300 point match.

Now the really cool thing about this piece is the sculpt. For the first time ever, you see a sculpt of the person who designed this piece, being held by the throat. That's a sculpt of the designer of this piece, George Massu, 2010 Heroclix World Champion. So, if you really don't like this piece, or maybe he beat you in the championship; you can look at this and say "Take that George Massu!" (just kidding, George! Congrats on the big win!).

So this set, so far, is looking like a powermonger's dream. I'm not so sure that's a good thing. I hope to see some more balance coming to it soon. Till then, keep clixing!

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