Thursday, September 15, 2011
Heroclix tips for beginners
In this little article I am going to share some general tips in learning to play Heroclix for the beginner. Maybe you've been a collector and feel the need to finally play or maybe you just got your first starter? Either way, these are the things you should start with to get you into the game.
1: Learn what the numbers mean on the dial and how they work. This is a technique used at the conventions to demonstrate Heroclix. You ignore all the powers and just use the numbers and dice. Get a couple of figures on the map and roll dice for combat against each other until one of the figures is KO'd. Mess around with this until you feel comfortable with how the numbers work. Don't forget range and the number of targets you can have in this. It's useful to practice with. This gets you hands on practice and will be the kindling to start your blazing Heroclix skills.
2: Read the PAC and keep it near at all games. If you don't have a Powers and Abilities Card, find a way to get one. Be sure you've read it over before trying to mess with any powers. The best way to learn how powers work, of course, is just to dive in and play. However, in my experience, you pick it up faster if you've read the card. Don't forget team abilities either.
3: The next thing to learn past the dial is the map. You should learn what all the terrain features mean so you don't find yourself lost on the maps your opponent will choose.
4: Start with small point games. Build small teams and base them on the powers you want to practice. Remember good teams will have several powers working in tangent. Just think about your favorite comic book teams and what each member brings. Some great teams available out there are the Secret Warriors (Captain America) and the Warriors Three (Hammer of Thor). If you don't have those, it's okay, there are plenty of combinations that you can use.
5: Don't worry about keywords until you've played a few games. You can pick up on themes later. It's all up to your comfort zone on what you've learned though.
So, what should you put in a team that gives you a chance on the map? Well, here's what each team should have for good chances in play.
Move and attack: Figures that can move and attack in one action. These are thanks to the powers of Charge, Running shot, and Hypersonic Speed. Since Hypersonic is usually expensive (unless you play Rocket Racer from Web of Spiderman) you should get a charger or runner. Running shot is one of my personal favorites but a flyer with charge is also quite useful. More often than not, you can fit two moving attackers into a team. It's a good idea. The fall back is to use telekinesis.
Support powers: A cheap healer to run back to is very useful but you should also make sure you have something of these three; Outwit, Perplex, and Probability Control. You may have a hard time fitting all three on a team, but you should at least have one. Remember that they are there and use them. Forgetting to outwit someones Blades/Claws/Fangs or to perplex damage or defense can cost the game quickly.
Damage dealers: These can often be found with your moving attackers. Psychic Blast and Exploit Weakness are the best, but Pulse Wave is nice too. If you can't deal damage, you won't win, ever. The fastest way around pesky defense powers are these. Super senses can still be a pain but then you need to use it too.
Defense: 17+ are good on defense but make sure you pick powers that either reduce damage or make it harder to hit you. Super senses is a great power because it gives you a saving chance. Same for shape change. Those can save you from any damage or attack (almost).
A couple more pointers for the beginner:
1: A one man army can and will get mobbed. Don't do this until you've played quite a few games.
2: Don't rush into the face of danger. The first person to get close is usually the first person hit (except for those move and attack powers). The flip side to this is called Turtling. Turtling is when a person deliberately takes as long as humanly possible to move up or just spends the whole game running away. Players HATE that.
3: Never put someone in harms way alone unless you intend to use them as bait. Even then, make sure one of your other pieces can try to back them up.
So, there you have it, tips in a nutshell. Above all, no matter what you do, enjoy yourself and have fun. Heroclix is an awesome game with a great following. Keep clicking!