We’ve covered the exciting changes of the new HeroClix Core Rulebook and today we’re going to start taking a look at the new Powers and Abilities Card.
Combat abilities are abilities that characters are able to tap into through their combat symbols. The mapping of symbols to abilities has not changed by very much, although the combat symbols relating to Giant and Colossal characters got “juggled” a little in order to bring similar mechanics into one ability.
|,||Carry and Flight|
|, , and||Carry and Move and Attack (in addition to other abilities)|
|Giant Reach, Great Size|
|Colossal Stamina, Great Size|
As far as changes go, we’ll review the change made to Move and Attack and then get into how the new rulebook changes the way you’ll be playing Giants and Colossals.
Move and Attack
This combat ability as it read now is a series of exceptions. In an effort to line it up with Hypersonic Speed, the use of full range has been removed from this ability. It now reads “This character can use Hypersonic Speed if it is not adjacent to an opposing character when given the power action, but it’s attack value is modified by -2.”
COUs – Characters of Unusual Size
If you read through the Powers and Abilities Card from the Blackest Night starter, you’ll see that Colossal Size and Giant Size overlap in many of their mechanics. Any time a question came up regarding a Giant character, the inevitable same question would come up to confirm if it was also true for Colossal characters.
We’re going to dive into the nitty-gritty here for lines of fire and how they work with Giant and Colossal characters. This explanation is not intended for the new or casual player, but we like to be perfectly clear when we introduce something new, as it cuts down on questions later. The basic rule is: they behave like you’d expect, and they are “taller” than any outdoor terrain features.
With the 2011 Powers and Abilities Card, we are now granting both and characters one single ability called Great Size which reads:
This character can’t be knocked back. When this character makes a close combat attack, it may target characters on higher elevations. This character ignores the effects of hindering terrain, elevated, and outdoor blocking terrain on movement and can move through squares adjacent to and occupied by smaller opposing characters. Smaller characters do not block line of fire to or from this character. This character may draw lines of fire (and have lines of fire drawn to it) as if the character occupied the elevation equal to or greater than the elevation it occupies, using the elevation level with the least restrictive line of fire. Characters with the combat symbol are smaller than those with the combat symbol who are smaller than ones with the symbol. This ability can’t be countered.
A lot going on there, let’s break it down:
This character can’t be knocked back. This is easy. If you’re a giant character or a colossal character, knock back is not happening. Period.
When this character makes a close combat attack, it may target characters on higher elevations. This is also just the way things are now, though it’s restated a little bit in order to account for the possibility that the map you’re playing on has multiple elevation levels. With this phrase, a Giant on level 1 would be allowed to close combat against a character that was on elevation level 4, as long as they are adjacent (or within 2 squares, but that’s the next ability)
This character ignores the effects of hindering terrain, elevated, and outdoor blocking terrain on movement and can move through squares adjacent to and occupied by smaller opposing characters. Movement is easier when you’re big. Although this ability does not grant automatic break away, once a giant or colossal character is in motion, they aren’t being stopped by most terrains nor do opposing characters halt their movement. There are only 2 things that can prevent their movement – indoor blocking terrain (which includes indoor walls) and characters that aren’t “smaller”.
Smaller characters do not block line of fire to or from this character. Another reference to smaller characters, so let’s skip a line and see what this is referring to.
Characters with the combat symbol are smaller than those with the combat symbol who are smaller than ones with the symbol. This sentence explains relative size in HeroClix. With this, the only character that would prevent a from moving is another . Meanwhile, when a moves, other characters as well as characters cause movement to stop. This relative size also influences lines of fire. A can draw a line of fire though a or , but won’t be able to draw one through another . A character, on the other hand, would have their line of fire blocked by either another or a .
This character may draw lines of fire (and have lines of fire drawn to it) as if the character occupied the elevation equal to or greater than the elevation it occupies, using the elevation level with the least restrictive line of fire. This is HUGE! Take a look at the diagram below. Loki, Surtur and Fenris Wolf are both grounded (or at elevation level 1) while Thor is elevated. Right now, Thor can draw a line of fire to either Surtur or Fenris Wolf, but the 2 giants can’t draw line of fire to one another. Even without ranged attacks (both giants have a 0 range) that line of fire is still important so that they can make a close combat attack against a character 2 squares away.
However, that changes with the new rulebook as a character drawing a line of fire may choose any level of a Great Size character as the level they are “targeting”. If the character drawing the line of fire is a Great Size character, it can start its line of fire from any level. If the target character is a Great Size character, then the line of fire can be targeting any level of elevation. In our diagram above, Surtur can choose to draw his line of fire from level 2 and choose that the line of fire drawn to Fenris Wolf is at level 2 as well. That makes for a clear line of fire, and he can make a close combat attack. Not something he’d be able to do with today’s rules.
When Loki tries to draw a line of fire to Surtur, he’ll run into a problem. Although he can choose any elevation when targeting a Great Size character, any elevation he chooses ends up blocked by the level 2 terrain along the line if fire. For example:
- Loki is on level 1. If he targets another character on level 1, then level 2 terrain will block the line of fire to Surtur.
- Loki is on level 1. If he targets another character on level 2, then level 2 terrain will block the line of fire (except for the square occupied by the target). Since there are other squares of terrain on level 2 between Loki and Surtur, the line of fire is still blocked.
These rules have a very interesting impact when it comes to drawing a line of fire between 2 characters with Great Size. Since they can choose any level of elevation for the line of fire, they can keep “going up” until they get to an elevation level that has no other terrain on the map, which would make the line of fire clear! Now, this trick will not work indoors (because walls and blocking terrain are at every level of elevation), but outdoors, those lines of fire can always be made. Outdoors, the Great Size character’s best hope is to occupy hindering terrain, because it doesn’t matter what level of elevation you target, if the character you are targeting occupies hindering terrain, they still get the hindering terrain bonus to their defense value. Here’s an example:
In the picture above, Surtur and Fenris Wolf are both on elevation level 2 and there is some level 3 terrain between them. If Surtur draws a line of fire to Fenris Wolf from level 2, then the line of fire will be blocked by the level 3 terrain (no matter what level he targets). If Surtur draws a line of fire to Fenris Wolf from level 3 and he targets level 3, then the line of fire would be hindered by that square of hindering terrain between them. On the other hand, if he decided to draw that line of fire from level 4 to level 4, then it would be clear as there is no terrain on level 4 at that point.
On the other hand, if Fenris Wolf were to draw a line of fire to Surtur, even if he drew it from level 4 to level 4, the line of fire would still be hindered because Surtur is occupying hindering terrain.
This ability can’t be countered. Last, but not least, the Great Size ability cannot be countered.
The Rest of the Giant and Colossal Abilities
With Great Size bringing everything they had in common together, new abilities were designed to distinguish the and characters. Presented in “size” order:
Giant Reach: This character ignores opposing characters’ Plasticity and adds 1 to its d6 roll when breaking away. When this character is given a move action it can use the Carry ability. When this character is given an action that includes a close combat attack, all squares within a range of 2 and line of fire are considered adjacent. This ability can’t be countered.
Everything for Giants stays pretty much the same. A bit of a bonus as their ability to use Carry is now only limited to move actions, the number of tokens is not an issue. It is worth reminding people that the Carry ability can only be used by Giants during a move action (unless they have access to the ability through some other means). A Giant using, say, Running Shot, would not be able to use Carry when he did so.
Colossal Stamina: This character automatically breaks away and can make ranged combat attacks against non-adjacent opposing characters when this character is adjacent to opposing characters. When this character has two action tokens, it can be given a non-free action. If you do, after actions resolve deal it 1 unavoidable damage and do not clear action tokens from it at the end of the turn. This ability can’t be countered.
I’m including Colossal Stamina for completeness at this point – this is nothing more than what Colossal characters can already do. It is worth pointing out that many Colossal character comes with their own rules that indicate how to handle actions after the character has been assigned two tokens. Those characters should follow their special rules instead.
[tug] [tug] (whisper whisper)
Excuse me folks – I have just been reminded that it is worth pointing out that a colossal character now automatically breaks away. At long last, the nightmare of having your 300+ point character tied up by a 35 point munchkin are over! Let freedom ring! Let freedom ring!
Last point on all of the abilities for and characters – notice that all of them cannot be countered. So now, when your opponent tries to shut down one of these character’s abilities, you don’t need to research the PAC or call a judge. Trying to outwit Great Size, Giant Reach or Colossal Stamina? I’ll just say “no.”
Golly – I was thinking we’d at least get started on the new wording for some powers, but that Great Size stuff seems to have taken up all my space. I guess that will wait till next time!