Categories
Heroclix HeroClix Rules Review Rules Question

HeroClix Player’s Guide – A Major Revision

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

Today marks the arrival of a brand new Player’s Guide!  This PG covers A LOT of information and went through several revisions as its authors repeatedly added errata and character clarifications to an already immense completed document. This Player’s Guide is much the same, yet very different than Player’s Guides of the past. The Player’s Guide has gotten a facelift since you last read it and has added Heroclix Watch List elements.

The first thing you will notice about the Player’s Guide is that it looks different than it did last time around. Working together, the Rules Team (RT) and Game Development (GDV) thought up a new, intuitive format for the PG. Now, the PG is spit into 8 sections; General, Powers and Abilities, Character Errata and Clarifications, Character Reference, Team Abilities, Maps, Objects/Resources/Hordes, and finally Feats & Battlefield Conditions. No more paging through sections of extraneous information, players and judges can turn to the exact section that contains the answers they seek. Need the updated wording for a character? Head to Section 3. Wondering what the Runaways ATA does? Section 4 has the answer.

The game of HeroClix experienced a first in its 12 year history recently; game elements arose that fundamentally changed how games of Heroclix are prepared for, played, and won. These elements lead to the creation of the Heroclix Watch List, (HWL). As the details of the HWL surfaced many opinions on how to present the information to the player base were explored.  Should we add an entry to Section 1, General Information, to direct players to the HWL elements? Each game element affected by the Heroclix Watch List would be presented in its appropriate section.

The Rules Team is proud to present this document as it represents months of work, thousands of emails and the exchange of uncountable ideas and opinions. Until next time, win if you can, lose if you must, always Clix.
Necromagus
RA

 

Section 1 – General Rules

Section 2 – Powers and Abilities

Section 3 – Characters – Errata and Clarifications

Section 4 – Characters – Reference Guide

Section 5 – Team Abilities

Section 6 – Maps

Section 7 – Objects, Resources, and Hordes

Section 8 – Feats and Battlefield Conditions

 

Categories
HeroClix Watch List Uncategorized

The HeroClix Watch List: Upcoming Changes

Greetings HeroClixers, it is at last time to circle back on the Watch List and announce some big changes. As discussed in previous articles (The Announcement and An Update), by launching the Watch List, our goal is to encourage a healthy game environment for HeroClix. The list below gives a very high level description of the changes that will be made.  Note that the specific rules language hasn’t been finalized yet, as we’re checking for corner cases, but the essentials of each change is below.

GENERAL RULE CHANGE

The process of analyzing and testing the items on the Watch List demonstrated there was one general issue  contributing to an unhealthy game environment – the ability to create situations where a single character could make multiple attacks during the course of a turn. Therefore, the first major rules change to come out from the Watch List is: “Each time a character makes an attack in a turn after their first, their damage value is modified by -1 until the end of the turn, minimum 1.”

Now, this causes a trickle-down of other errata. Duo Attack and Multiattack are both combat abilities that already do this, so the modifier in those combat abilities will be removed, which slightly improves Multiattack. Flurry is a standard power that was never envisioned to have this penalty, so it will get language that would prevent this new general rule from affecting it. This modifier will be just like other modifiers, so it will be subject to the rule of 3, a locked value would not be modified, etc. Right now, we don’t envision errata to any characters that make multiple attacks via a special power that doesn’t use Flurry – they’ll get the -1 to damage.

TEAM BASES

While the Working Together ability is impacted by the new general rule, it was not quite enough to bring this ability to where it needed to be. Therefore the number of actions a team base gets from this ability is being toned down as well. Going forward, while using Working Together, a team can be given up to 1 action as a free action for every 200 points (or fraction thereof) of the team’s point value. The same restrictions apply, only up to one of each power, move, close combat or ranged combat action, and then the rest can be attacks.

While the Working Together ability was the primary focus of team bases during this analysis, two other changes for team bases are being implemented. First, being able to heal a character up beyond the click it was brought into the game is a mechanic that needed to be revisited. While the basic mechanics of Solo Adventure remains the same, the characters brought on the map through this ability will consider that colored click number as their starting line. Now, there are still isolated cases where characters have the ability to heal beyond their starting line (like Black Queen), but outside of those isolated cases, these characters won’t be able to heal up past the click they are brought in on.

The other change is to the roll to see who goes first. The bonus a player gets as a result of playing a team base will change. Instead of being +1 for each character on the team base, it will be +1 for per 100 points (or fraction thereof) of the team’s point value.

SHATTERSTAR

A late addition to the watch list, he bubbled up as the “piece to play” if everything else on the list was addressed. Again, many different approaches were tried, with the goal to keep him a solid piece to use, but to remove the abuse of being able to bring a character to attack anyone/anywhere. To that end, he will be issued errata preventing the teleported character from being given a non-free action this turn. This alters his play style significantly. You’ll be using him to position offensively when you can afford to wait until your next turn to act with the teleported character or, more likely, you’ll see Shatterstar’s teleportation being used defensively much more frequently.

BAT-MITE

Another character that brings the danger of teleportation, but this time it already had a clause preventing the non-free action. The flip side with Bat-Mite was the Idol’s likelihood to be making a close or ranged combat attack as a free action. Now, the first thing is the new general rule scales this back a touch. In addition, we are issuing errata for this mechanic. Instead of dealing unavoidable damage on a 1 only, the risk to the Idol is now going to result in unavoidable damage on a result of 1-2 (and the ability for Bat-Mite’s player to control the location and not take damage occurs on a 3-6 instead of a 2-6).

HEROES FOR HIRE

This ATA made a huge splash at Nationals and brought characters like Ghost Rider to top teams. While the ability needed to be toned down, we wanted to maintain a similar mechanic. Going forward, Heroes for Hire will allow the character to remove a Hired token to make a close or ranged combat attack as a free action, instead of being given any action as a free action. And, of course, the general rule would apply to this as well, so if they’ve already made an attack this turn, this one will be at -1 damage.

UTILITY BELT

The Utility Belt was the first HeroClix piece to allow you to customize your force after you had seen what you were up against. With its ability to allow you to use Prep Time to get to the +2 click, the focus of the Belt has been all about the bonus and the items have been an after-thought. While this change will certainly drop the Belt in terms of its effectiveness, it will encourage the player who is making use of Utility Belt Items to make the most of them. Prep Time will be issued errata to say: “Give the assigned character a double power action and turn the Utility Belt to any click that does not have a special power. Do not otherwise turn the dial at the end of your turn.”

In addition, game effects allowing the Belt-holder to also make attacks as free actions created an unintended loophole where the dial was not clicked. So we are adding a clause to the Turning the Dial section so that it says: “At the end of your turn, if the assigned character was given a non-free action or made an attack, roll a d6”

VEHICLES / GCPD CRUISER

As we took a look at the non-attack capability of the GCPD Cruiser, other vehicle-related issues came up. While many of these changes might not be “Watch List” caliber, it was felt that they bring a more rational set of rules for vehicles in general. For one thing, from now on, pilots can’t be bystanders. Secondly, since we use the damage symbol to communicate “size”, pilots are also prohibited from being larger than the vehicle they are piloting – so Giants and Colossals can no longer be pilots (except Giants may pilot the Bug which has the Giant symbol). Lastly, vehicles can no longer be assigned a resource (with resources like the Book of the Skull that apply to your entire force, the exact wording of how this is going to be implemented is still in the works).

With the general non-Watch List related items out of the way, the tweak for the GCPD Cruiser is a very simple change. It maintains the capability to still move characters about and it will continue to deal damage, but the “penetrating” aspect of the damage it deals with Clear the Streets is being removed.

Well, folks, that is a whole lot of changes for the game environment. While it was certainly not our…

What’s that?

You were expecting more?

Let me check my papers here…

(shuffle shuffle)

Heh

Yes. There was indeed one more topic to cover.

Ahem.

SPIRAL

No one on the Watch List generated as much passion and discussion as this girl. Comments ranged from as extreme as “just leave her be, there are other ways to address her” (with a long list of strategies) to the other end of “just remove the trait altogether.”

So, it is known that whatever change is being made here, it’s going to be seen as “not enough” for some people and “way too much” for others. Our primary goal was to bring Spiral to a place where she could be a playable piece, worth fielding for her point value, and not an automatic go-to in order to circumvent the map choice.

With that in mind, we’re implementing the following changes to Portals. It will now read: “Give Spiral a double power action, remove all of her Gateway markers from the map and place 2 Gateway markers on the map. Place one in an adjacent square and the other may be placed in any square on the map. Starting with your next turn, give a friendly character occupying the square of a Gateway marker a free action and place it in the square of the other Gateway marker.”

That’s 3 important changes, each underlined separately.

First, the Spiral on one force no longer messes around with the Gateway markers of an opposing Spiral. While this was a good thing to have in balance on the original version, with the other changes made, this was no longer a necessary exploit.

Next, the opposing team will now have a turn to react before Spiral’s force starts utilizing the Gateway. While you certain can place the Gateway marker among your opponent’s force to get maximum attack capability, the opponent might take that opportunity to scatter, occupy the Gateway, or other strategies to address it.

Lastly, it is no longer a simple “move” to go from one square to another. You have to give a character a specific free action to change from one Gateway to another. That will mean that the other Gateway will need to be clear. It’ll mean that if you aren’t occupying the Gateway at the beginning of the turn, you need to find a way to get that character to that square in order to be able to get to the other side.

In short, Spiral’s Portals are still useful but they aren’t the shortcut to alpha strike that they used to be.

CONCLUSION

Those are some pretty big changes and it will no doubt be some time before they are all included in the Player’s Guide with final language. We would advise judges running events to work with their player base and consider adopting these rulings sooner rather than later.

That’s it for this iteration of the Watch List.  Brother Voodoo was determined not to need refinement at this time.  The Watch List is closed for now, but if gameplay issues come up again, either through new figures or new exploits of previous game elements, we may reopen the list with new additions.

And, with that, we really are done. Other games would issue “bannings” to these pieces, but that’s not the path we chose.  We want you to be able to play these pieces, but we don’t want them to be the only option for competitive play.  So we have reduced the power on some of these pieces and are hopeful that these changes bring about a more balanced field of choice.  We always want a healthy gameplay environment, but we also want a dynamic environment with innovative mechanics and character designs that intrigue players.  From time to time, that means we may need to tidy things up, as every other collectible game that has lasted more than 10 years also needs to do.  This is why we instituted the Watch List.  Lots of amazing pieces have come out in the past year that may get a chance to shine now, and there’s more amazing stuff on the way.  Stay tuned!

 

Categories
HeroClix Watch List

The HeroClix Watch List: An Update

Logo

 

Greetings HeroClix fans,

Shortly after the HeroClix Watch List was published, both the R&D and playtesting teams began to attack the challenge with renewed vigor. While each had their own take on how to fix individual aspects of each item on the Watch List, there was a consistent message that came across: Addressing only one item on the Watch List would only result in less feasible teams. In order to encourage a more balanced metagame, there is a need for many, if not all, items on the Watch List to have some change.

Some of the proposed changes wouldn’t directly errata the listed items, but would change the game in other ways. Some of the proposed changes would be errata. At this point, it is not looking like anything specific will need to be banned, though that option will remain available should playtesting prove it necessary.

One thing we can report is that Shatterstar has been added to the Watch List as well and some game alteration can be expected that would affect this piece as well.

We are currently narrowing down the options we plan to use for errata. This process will lead into a series of additional playtest cycles, with each team testing at least one of the Watch List items with the proposed changes. This process itself takes time and there will then need to be some time to analyze the results and formalize the changes. You can be sure that we’ll be back here when that stage is complete.

As always, thank you for your continued support and interest,
-The WizKids Team

Categories
Heroclix HeroClix Nationals HeroClix Worlds

On The Road: 2012 HeroClix Nationals Result

June 13-15 saw HeroClix players from around the country gather at Origins Game Fair to participate in the 2013 US Nationals. The winner will pre-qualify for August’s 2013 World Championship being held at GenCon later this year.

While it was no surprise to see the Justice League taking up 2 seats out of the top 8, with 4 teams sporting the Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability, it looked to be a fascinating event right from the get-go.

The strategy of the Justice League team is brute force to the nth degree. Using the new Team Base mechanic, forces are able to gain board position and attack with ease. For weeks prior to this event, you’d think that it was so strong, that nothing could beat it. Well, Ross Yudis and his Heroes for Hire team demonstrated that the same first-strike capability could be achieved with a more diverse team and though he lost one game during the Swiss portion of the day, went on to win the day, defeating the very same player who had given him a loss earlier in the day.

The Heroes for Hire team is very effective against the Justice League and, in fact, is very effective against many forces, especially those that sink most of its points into a primary attacker and use what’s leftover for support of that piece. That’s because, with the HfH ATA, you can essentially give a single character 2 actions in a single turn. Mind you, it’s not a trick you can pull off often – Ross’s team only had one HfH character on it, so it was something he could only do once – but as long as you are executing that action judiciously, you will see tremendous results.

The question now becomes what will dominate at GenCon. There are only a handful of Modern Age figures that will be legal that have not been released yet, so you can expect that your opponents are all looking at the meta game. Teams with one primary attacker have always had a glass jaw and now there’s a one-two punch that can address. Will that be the team to beat? Will JLA still be the most common team played? Or is there a team being played by one of you, hidden from the rest, that will come out and shine?

Origins Game Fair – 2013 HeroClix Nationals Top 8

WINNER

Player: Ross Yudis
Team:
ASM 046 Ghost Rider
CWFF 006 Scarlet Witch (50)
CWFF 006 Scarlet Witch (50)
FI B002 Skadi’s Warbot
ATA: Heroes for Hire (*1)
Resource: Utility Belt (14 points – Ghost Rider)

RUNNER-UP

Player: John Rowe (2011 Nationals Winner)
Team:
TT T002 Justice League
Sideline:
TT 067 Batman
TT 015 Aquaman
TT 025 Cyborg
TT 066 Superman
TT 050 The Flash
TT 069 Wonder Woman
TT 033 Green Lantern

SEMI-FINALISTS

Player: Calvin Truvillion
Team:
ASM 042 Nightmare
ASM 017b Brother Voodoo
JL 016 Enchantress
TT 007 Jinx
ATA: Heroes for Hire (*1)
Resource: Utility Belt (14 points – Nightmare)

Player: Brad Mason
Team:
ASM 046 Ghost Rider
ASM 017b Brother Voodoo
CWFF 006 Scarlet Witch (50)
ATA: Heroes for Hire (*2)
Resource: Utility Belt (10 points – Ghost Rider)

REST OF TOP 8

Player: Michael Byers
Team:
ASM 046 Ghost Rider
ASM 017b Brother Voodoo
CWFF 006 Scarlet Witch (50)
ATA: Heroes for Hire (*2)
Resource: Utility Belt (10 points – Ghost Rider)

Player: George Massu (2010 World Champion)
Team:
ASM 031b Aloysha Kraven
DC75 014 Beast Boy
BAT 019 Beast Boy
ASM 014 Werewolf
ASM 014 Werewolf
DC75 102 Gleek
BAT 099A Flock of Bats (Black)
Resource: Utility Belt (14 points – BAT 019 Beast Boy)
Sideline:
DC75 055 Beast Boy
DC75 055 Beast Boy
DC75 014 Beast Boy
BAT 019 Beast Boy
TT 038 Changeling
DC75 015 Beast Boy
DC75 016 Beast Boy

Player: Alex Avila (2012 World Champion)
Team:
ASM 046 Ghost Rider
ASM 017b Brother Voodoo
CWFF 006 Scarlet Witch (50)
ATA: Heroes for Hire (*2)
Resource: Utility Belt (10 points – Ghost Rider)

Player: Noel Torres II
Team:
TT T002 Justice League
Sideline:
TT 067 Batman
TT 050 The Flash
TT 033 Green Lantern

Categories
Heroclix HeroClix Rules Review Rules Question

2013 Rule Book Review: New Ideas

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

With the release of a new rule book, many of you will be scouring the pages searching for changes and tweaks.  Well, we figured we’d save you a little time and talk about three of those changes.  Below you will find three brand new terms to the HeroClix lexicon: Direct line of fire, direct line, and area of effect.

All of these ideas have been with HeroClix for some time; we just never had a specific name for the concepts before this rulebook.  All three terms are meant to take large ideas and present them as a small phrase in powers and abilities, thereby allowing us to succinctly convey information that we use with some regularity.  Also, these new terms are meant to provide a framework so that larger, more complicated ideas can be conveyed without a whole lot of extra text.

Direct line of fire

Up first, from page 6 of the 2013 rulebook, we have the following:

When a line of fire remains in the same row, same column, or crosses an intersection in the square of the target it is said to be a “direct line of fire.”

This is pretty straight forward.  In fact, you might even be wondering why we need such a term.  Well, you might notice that we can now say “same row, same column, or crosses an intersection in the square of the target” as just “direct line of fire”.  We can now cram a whole lot of information into one simple phrase.  This doesn’t have a whole lot of immediate impact, but be on the lookout for “direct line of fire” to appear in future special powers and abilities.

The one part of this power that might have folks wondering is how it described a line of fire that “crosses an intersection in the square of the target”. We wanted an effect that would cover a line of fire in the same row, column, or “45 degree diagonal”. When we started with “a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line of fire,” we quickly moved off of that because, all lines of fire that aren’t horizontal or vertical are going to be diagonal, even if it is not that “perfect 45 degree angle”. So we used this language to give players a definition that used existing game terms (square, intersection) to get us there.

Direct line

Next we have, from page 9 of the 2013 rulebook, a term that is very similar to direct line of fire:

When a character moves in the same direction– horizontally, vertically, or diagonally– without altering the direction within the movement, it is said to be moving in a direct line. A character moving in a direct line might move as little as one square.

Some of you might recognize that there are few special powers and abilities out there that already use some very similar wording.  For example, The new Rhino (Marvel HeroClix: Amazing Spider-Man #020) has a special power called Head Down, Horn Up:

Head Down, Horn Up: Rhino can use Charge. When he does, he automatically breaks away and if he moves only in a straight horizontal, vertical, or diagonal path and hits a character along that path, roll a d6; increase Rhino’s damage value by half the result.

Like “direct line of fire”, using “direct line” would have not only made this special power more succinct, but we now have in the definition of direct line a little nugget of information that (until now) was not so clearly spelled out.  For emphasis:

When a character moves in the same direction– horizontally, vertically, or diagonally– without altering the direction within the movement, it is said to be moving in a direct line. A character moving in a direct line might move as little as one square.

In the past, many have asked if a character like Rhino could scoot back and forth in the same row (or column, or whatever).  The answer was always, “no, that won’t work,” but now it has been spelled out in black and white here: your character must move in the same direction, not back and forth, when a direct line is called for.

It also clarifies that to move in a direct line requires that your character moves at least 1 square. The normal rules for movement do allow you to move a character 0 squares and it is still considered “moving.” But with a direct line, you need move at least 1 square.

In addition to simplifying and clearing up some special powers and abilities, direct line has also appeared other places where appropriate.  For example, from page 11 of the 2013 rulebook:

If the knock back path is not along a direct line, then the knock back path follows the diagonal line starting with the square that is on the opposite side of the target from the attacker, in both the vertical as well as horizontal direction.

Knock back itself hasn’t really changed, it still works the same way it did in the 2012 rules, but the term “direct line” once again shortens and clarifies the old wording.

Area of Effect

This next entry may seem like a whole new concept, but the idea of having a power or attack affect more than just a single target character has been around for a long time. From page 18 of the 2013 rulebook:

Some powers and abilities use the term “area of effect.” An area of effect allows a power or game effect to target more than one character. Characters within the area of an effect are affected even though they may not be within the character’s range or line of fire. When it includes an attack, only one attack roll is made and the Attack Total is compared to each target character as well as any other characters specified by the area of effect. When a character is attacked exclusively as a result of being in an area of effect, it is not considered a target of the attack and it may be friendly to the attacking character. The game effect including an area of effect will define how damage is dealt to hit characters and may specify targeted characters’ damage differently from other hit characters. When a power or ability uses a ranged combat attack with an area of effect, if the game effect describes target characters, then the attacking character may multi-target normally, possibly creating multiple areas of effect.

So there is a fair amount of stuff happening in that paragraph, so let’s break it down.

An area of effect allows a power or game effect to target more than one character.  First it tells us that an Area of Effect (or AoE) exists to that a power might allow for there to be other characters affected by it.

Characters within the area of an effect are affected even though they may not be within the character’s range or line of fire. Next, it explains that a character can be within an AoE even if, normally, it’s not someone that can be targeted.

When it includes an attack, only one attack roll is made and the Attack Total is compared to each target character as well as any other characters specified by the area of effect. This is a general sentence that basically says “if you’re attacking and using an AoE to hit multiple characters, you only make one attack roll.”

When a character is attacked exclusively as a result of being in an area of effect, it is not considered a target of the attack and it may be friendly to the attacking character. This is the double-edged sword of AoE attacks. By default, they include friendly characters as characters that may be affected by it. This in itself isn’t really a new concept to HeroClix and the first 2 powers with using Area of Effect – Energy Explosion and Pulse Wave – have been potentially damaging friendly characters for a while now.

The game effect including an area of effect will define how damage is dealt to hit characters and may specify targeted characters’ damage differently from other hit characters. The key in this sentence is the fact that we start to see the kind of language AoE game effects will use, specifically things like “targeted characters” and “other hit characters”. There is no overlap with an AoE. You are either being targeted OR you are “other character”.

When a power or ability uses a ranged combat attack with an area of effect, if the game effect describes target characters, then the attacking character may multi-target normally, possibly creating multiple areas of effect. And here is the true power of AoE effects. Characters with the ability to multi-target can still do so with AoE attacks, provided that there’s a ranged attack going on and the character is targeting opposing characters.

In a nutshell, we were looking for a way to easily describe any kind of effect (whether it was some kind of an attack or not) that would cover more than one square. By using this term, now, we can do this easily and make it more clear how damage is dealt to targets and “other characters.” For an example of how this would work, please take a look at our article earlier in this series that focused on Energy Explosion.

Summary

This wraps up our series of rules articles to walk through the 2013 Rule Book and Powers and Abilities Card. We hope you’ve both enjoyed  and learned from it.

Now I can’t promise you that there might not also be a couple little tweaks here and there to the rule book, but these series hopefully covered all the big changes. If you have any more questions about these new terms or anything else in the rules, send an e-mail to HeroClixRules@gmail.com or hit the Rules Deputies up on the forums!

 

Categories
Heroclix HeroClix Rules Review Rules Question

A Whole New World – Energy Explosion

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

Welcome back to our series of articles where we walk you through the new changes to the Powers and Abilities card recently revealed and coming soon to a starter near you.

Today’s article is going to focus on one power and one power only – Energy Explosion.

For years, this power has been challenging for players, both rookies and veterans, leading to questions about targeting, damage, and so on. When we were tackling this project, we looked back to some of the various versions of Energy Explosion we have had, how effective they were, how things changed and why.

If you’ve been playing HeroClix for any amount of time, if you’ve used even once, you need to throw out all of your preconceptions for how the power works, because of all the things changed in 2013, this one power has changed the most. The spirit of what it does is very close, but the way in which it works is drastically different. Let’s take a look:

Energy-Explosion

There is the PAC entry, but we’re going to take the language one step at a time.

When this character is given a ranged combat action…

Right up front, there is a major change to how Energy Explosion activates. Energy Explosion now activates any time you are given a ranged combat action; it doesn’t require its own action for activation. Think of how Blades/Claws/Fangs works (in relation to a close combat action)and this change should be no problem to understand. Just like Blades will activate any time you use Flurry or within Charge, Energy Explosion will activate within a Running Shot, when you use Penetrating/Psychic Blast, or even Pulse Wave. We’ll look at some of these combinations later. The important thing to remember is that you no longer give your character an action to activate Energy Explosion. It automatically activates whenever that character is given a ranged combat action.

…and deals damage,…

In order for the power to activate, besides the ranged combat action, there also needs to be damage dealt. Now, there’s been a fair amount of confusion for what this means, so I’ll make it as plain as can be. When damage is assigned to a character that is the target of the ranged combat attack, that causes Energy Explosion to activate. The design team has determined that mentioning the damage in this specific clause isn’t communicating that properly, so we are going to adjust this part of the language, but we’ll talk about that more later.

…an area of effect may include…

Before we start figuring out what is included, let’s check out these few words. If you’re wondering about “area of effect”, we’ll be talking about it in some detail in an upcoming article. The short version: it’s saying that when you make this damage-dealing ranged-combat action, there are going to be some characters that are going to possibly be targeted/attacked that wouldn’t normally have been.

Also important is the word “may”. Energy Explosion activates EVERY time your character is given a ranged combat action that deals damage. But whether or not there is an area of effect is up to you.

OK, so who is in this area of effect?

… all untargeted characters that are adjacent to one or more hit targets that are assigned at least 1 damage from the attack.

So let’s break that down a little more. We already know that we’re making a ranged combat attack of some kind (we must be, we’ve been given a ranged combat action). Well, ranged combat attacks have targets, that is, the characters you’re attacking. So the first criteria for these “other characters” is that they are NOT anyone that you are currently attacking. This is very much like the original version of this power, which would cause damage to all adjacent characters. You will also note that there is no mention of the word “opposing” in this criteria, so just like the original Energy Explosion, if you are using it, your characters adjacent to the target are just as much at risk as the opposing ones. Remember that you get to decide if you are using Energy Explosion, but once you decide to use it, the area of effect exists for friendly and opposing characters alike. You can’t choose to only have the opposing characters be hit by the Energy Explosion part.

Next, you’ll see a bit of editing of the power to handle the second criteria for these characters. This errata will be included in the Player’s Guide when it is published with this PAC’s release. This criteria says that the untargeted character must also be adjacent to at least one of the characters you’ve hit that are assigned damage.  Let’s see how damage plays out.

Hit targets are dealt damage normally, …

So this part is easy. Anyone who was a target of the ranged combat attack is dealt damage just like they would be if Energy Explosion wasn’t going on.

…other hit characters are dealt 1 damage for each bolt printed on this character’s base.

Here’s where the power of Energy Explosion manifests. Each of those other characters, assuming you rolled high enough to hit them, are now being dealt 1 damage for each target the character has. Mind you, they do not have to hit that many targets, they don’t even need to be targeting that many targets – that’s just being used to determine the amount of damage being dealt.

ENERGY EXPLOSION EXAMPLE

Our attacking character for this example will be Exploding Ed, who has a 10 attack, 3 damage, and 2 targets. The targets are Fearful Fred (with a 17 defense) and Nervous Ned (with a 16 defense). There are 3 other characters – Bystander Bob (with an 18 defense), Innocent Irene (with a 17 defense), and Civilian Clive (with an 14 defense). Here’s our setup (everyone is indicated by the first letter of their name):

. . . . . . . .
. E . . . F . .
. . . . I . C .
. . . N . . . .
. . . . B . . .

Scenario 1: Exploding Ed rolls a “9”. This gives him an attack total of 19, and hits both Ned and Fred. He divides his damage up evenly, assigning 1 damage to Ned and 2 to Fred. Since some damage has been assigned to Ned, Bob and Irene are potential “untargeted hit characters”. Similarly, since Fred has been assigned some damage, Clive is also a potential “untargeted hit character”. Irene qualifies a second time due to Fred being hit, though it doesn’t matter how often you qualify, you still only get damaged once. Since Ed’s attack total is 19, well above all the defense values, Bob, Irene, and Clive are all dealt 2 damage each, while Ned and Fred are dealt 1 and 2, respectively (as that is how Ed assigned the damage from the ranged combat attack).

Scenario 2: Exploding Ed rolls a “7”. With an attack total of 17, he still hits both targets and assigns damage the same way. This time, however, while Bob remains a potential “untargeted hit character”, since the attack total was not high enough, he is not actually hit and therefore, is not dealt damage. Ned and Fred are still dealt 1 and 2, respectively, from the ranged combat attack, and Irene and Clive are dealt 2 each from the “splash” damage.

Scenario 3: Exploding Ed rolls a “6”. This time, Ed has not hit Fred, since his attack total is only a 16. Therefore, even though the attack total would easily hit Clive, Clive is not a potential “untargeted hit character” and isn’t damaged at all. All 3 of Ed’s damage is being dealt to Ned and we check Irene and Bob to see if they are hit (and they are not, since the attack total is not high enough).

Scenario 4: Exploding Ed rolls a “9”, but this time, Fred happens to be using Invulnerability. Ed has a couple of choices.

  1. Ed can assign all 3 damage to Ned. That will cause Ned to take 3 damage and then Irene and Bob will each be dealt 2 damage (as per the number of targets Ed has). Clive, however, would not be dealt any damage as no damage was assigned to Fred.
  2. Ed can send all 3 damage to Fred. This will cause Fred to take 1 damage (since he’s dealt 3 from Ed and reduces it by 2 thanks to Invulnerability) and then Clive and Irene are both dealt 2 damage (as per the number of targets Ed has). Ned and Bob both get off with no damage this time.
  3. Lastly, if it’s really important to Ed that both Clive and Bob are dealt damage, Ed can opt to assign 1 damage to Fred and 2 to Ned. Now, Ned will take 2 damage, ‘cause that’s what he’s been dealt. Bob will take 2 damage because he’s adjacent to Ned. Fred doesn’t take any damage, because his damage reducer drops it to 0. But, since he was assigned damage, Clive is dealt 2 as a result of the Energy Explosion. Lastly, Irene is dealt 2, and you can say it’s because she’s adjacent to Fred or because she’s adjacent to Ned. Either way, she’s dealt 2 damage.

ENERGY EXPLOSION COMBOS

Since we’re giving this power its own spotlight, why don’t we take a few moments to run down some of the various ways in which this power interacts with other powers.

RANGED COMBAT EXPERT – We’ll start with the easiest one. Since Ranged Combat Expert is a power action, Energy Explosion does not interact with it at all.

PENETRATING/PSYCHIC BLAST – Another relatively easy interaction. Penetrating/Psychic Blast says “Damage from the attack is penetrating damage.” That means the targets are being dealt penetrating damage and the “other hit characters” are also being dealt penetrating damage.

INCAPACITATE – With its new capability to deal damage to an already-pushed character, Incapacitate with Energy Explosion opens the door for some potential extra damage. First, remember that this only applies when you are using Incapacitate through a ranged combat action. Second, it only activates when you assign a targeted character damage from the attack, so if you are only targeting characters with less than 2 tokens, Energy Explosion does not activate. But if you hit that pushed character while using Incapacitate, then it will be dealt 1 penetrating damage, and then any “untargeted but adjacent characters” can be checked to see if they are dealt damage, too. Now, unlike Penetrating/Psychic Blast, the only damage that is specified as being penetrating is the 1 being dealt to the pushed character, so the Energy Explosion damage, in this case, would not be penetrating. Still, extra damage is good, isn’t it?

PULSE WAVE – Now it gets a little interesting. All of the characters “inside” the wave are “targeted characters”, so who might be the “untargeted hit characters”? First, look at the outer “edge” of the wave. Any characters on that edge that have someone adjacent to them (but outside the wave) are potentially hit as well. But there’s one more character who may be hit – the attacker. Pulse Wave got a boost a few years ago, allowing characters to use it while adjacent to an opposing character. When you have Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion going off together, be careful if the attacker is adjacent to an opposing character. The attacker has not been targeted, so if any adjacent character is hit by Pulse Wave, then the attacker is suddenly having to check themselves to see if they’ve been hit, too.

SPECIAL POWERS – Many special powers already exist using a language like “Grenade Man can use Energy Explosion as if he had boltboltbolt.” The Player’s Guide in June will include a general clarification that explains how this works under the 2013 rules. The boltboltbolt will allow the character to, essentially, make ranged attacks with up to 3 targets. And, if they hit, they potentially deal damage to the “other hit characters”. The important thing to understand is, going back to the original power, those “other hit characters” are dealt “1 damage for each bolt printed on” the attacker’s base. The special power has not changed what’s printed on the base, so if Grenade Man only has 1 target, then even though he is targeting 3 characters thanks to the special power, the “other hit characters” are only being dealt 1 a piece.

FREQUENTLY ASKED ENERGY EXPLOSION QUESTIONS

The way in which the power now works does not really change many of these Q&As. Still, they come up with Energy Explosion often enough, that it’s worth it to run down the usual suspects.

Does a character with Shape Change that is not a target of the attack get to roll to possibly prevent the Energy Explosion attack?

No. The character isn’t being targeted with an attack, it is an “untargeted hit character”. Shape Change only activates when the character is (a) targeted by (b) an attack. While this is an attack, they are not targeted.

Does a character with Super Senses that is not a target of the attack get to roll to possibly evade the Energy Explosion attack?

Yes. The only criteria for Super Senses is that the character is being dealt damage from an attack. Even if you are untargeted, you are still being dealt damage from an attack, so you would be able to use Super Senses.

Does a character with Energy Shield/Deflection that is not a target of the attack get +2 to their defense value when determining if they are hit?

Yes. Energy Shield/Deflection activates for all ranged combat attacks (and the power doesn’t even specify that you need to be a target).

If a Mystic is an “untargeted hit character” and takes damage because of Energy Explosion, would the team ability activate?

Yes, because Energy Explosion is damage dealt from the attack. In order for Mystics to activate, the character needs to take damage from an attack. Both conditions are met here. Moreso, if you use Energy Explosion and damage a bunch of Mystics, that 1 unavoidable damage to your attacker for EACH Mystic, so I hope it’s worth it!

If one of the characters taking damage from the attack has Mastermind and shifts the damage to another character that’s taking damage from the attack, is the damage dealt “twice?” And, does it matter if the Mastermind character is a target or an “untargeted hit character”?

Firstly, it doesn’t matter if the Masterminder is the target or not. Also, all of the damage being dealt is from one attack and all at once. So while the Mastermind character can shift the damage to someone else, all of that damage gets dealt at once so any damage reducers would be calculated against the total damage dealt to the character, not against each damage individually.

ENERGY EXPLOSION, THE FINAL WORDING

Bringing all of the above together and demonstrating how it will be errata’d, this is the wording of Energy Explosion will have as per the June issue of the Player’s Guide: “When this character is given a ranged combat action, an area of effect may include all untargeted characters that are adjacent to one or more targets that are assigned at least 1 damage from the attack. Hit targets are dealt damage normally, other hit characters are dealt 1 damage for each bolt printed on this character’s base.

 

Categories
Heroclix HeroClix Rules Review Rules Question Uncategorized

A Whole New World – Attack Powers

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

Welcome to the section of this special Rules Review series dedicated to discussing the changes which are on the horizon for the standard attack powers.  There are quite a few changes coming with the upcoming release of the new Powers and Abilities Card.  Some of the changes are minor while some will prove to have quite a significant impact.

incap

The change in Incapacitate is a very simple one, but it is also a very potent one.

Under the 2012 definition for Incapacitate, the power has no effect on figures which already have 2 tokens.  Now, you’re able to go ahead and target that figure with 2 tokens and try to hit, not just for 1 damage, but for 1 penetrating damage.  Those pesky Indomitable figures with damage reducing powers need to fear every figure with Incapacitate, even those with a damage value of 0.

And if you think this new version is potent, wait until you see how it works combined with Energy Explosion.

Pulse-wave

There are two basic changes happening to this power.

First, it is now using the new “area of effect” mechanic in the determination of the targets.  In this case, however, all that is changed is the terminology.  The distance is still half of the range of the character using Pulse Wave.

The other aspect which has changed is somewhat of a return to previous language.  The current rules only allow the Pulse Wave character to ignore hindering terrain and characters for line of fire purposes. But that meant that characters with game effects that used other types of terrain/conditions to prevent the line of fire would activate against a Pulse Waver. So the language returned to describing the few limited things that can block the line of fire (blocking terrain, elevated terrain, walls, etc.) and became that much more dangerous to those characters trying to hide!

quake

The difference here is very subtle, but it is a significant difference.  When a character uses Quake now, all of the targets which are hit are knocked back 2 squares – event if they don’t actually take any damage from the attack! The same restrictions on knock back apply, of course, such as being unable to knock back characters with a multi-base dial or those using the Charge power, but there is an improvement in that a character using Quake still has the potential to affect many characters who would usually be unaffected due to their ability to reduce damage.

smoke-cloud

So this is another one with several significant changes.

One thing which should be readily apparent is the addition of 2 more hindering terrain markers being placed for a total of 6 squares.  This addition will be a big improvement all around due to the options that these two extra squares of instant hindering terrain will provide.

The next thing one may notice is something which doesn’t apply to every character who uses Smoke Cloud, but it is a pretty hefty boost for many.  The minimum range for this power has been increased from just 1 to a full 4 squares.  This extension makes those low range/low cost Smoke Cloud users much more enticing for their ability to provide the needed cover to boost their allies’ defenses.

Finally, included with this change is another benefit, though that benefit is potentially a double-edged sword.  The hindering terrain markers which are placed by this power now provide a penalty to the attack values of all figures occupying these markers.  With optimal placement, a Smoke Cloud user now has the capability to apply a two point swing in favor of the Smoke Cloud user’s team by not only giving a figure a -1 to his attack, but also by forcing the lines of fire to pass through hindering terrain in order to get +1 defense value boost.  Beware, however, as the -1 attack values will be applied to your own guys, if they occupy those squares.  Mastering the timing of the placement will be something one will need to do, but the payoff will prove to be worthwhile. It is worth noting that if the target character can use Smoke Cloud or can ignore hindering terrain, this -1 will not apply to them.

Putting all three of these changes together, Smoke Cloud has been transformed from something frequently overlooked and rarely utilized to something which is now a formidable asset for inclusion on many teams.

super-strength

The dreams of many have come true with one of the changes seen here.  For the first time ever, a character using Super Strength to hold an object may choose to place that object back on the map.  The ability to drop an object a figure is holding may be one of the most frequently requested effects over the years.

The practical applications of this newly gained ability are numerous, but foremost among them is the capability of one figure to pass off the object to another figure so they might get that additional damage boost right when you need it. The important thing to remember is that during a single move, a character may either pick up an object  or it may place it on the map. It can’t do both.

The other aspect of this power which has changed is that the +2 damage bonus for destroying terrain is being removed. While it’s certainly a decrease for the power, when you consider how often the damage bonus is needed/gets used and weigh that against the frequency with which the “putting down objects” will prove useful, it’s an equitable exchange!

Well, that just about wraps up the attack powers. We thought we’d get it all done in one, but the “paragraph” for Energy Explosion decided to get bigger and bigger, so we’re expanding this article into 2 parts. Stay tuned next week as we explore what is possible the biggest change in the attack slot from this year’s release.

If you have any more questions about these alterations or anything else in the rules, send an e-mail to HeroClixRules@gmail.com or hit the Rules Deputies up on the forums!

 

 

Categories
HeroClix Rules Review Rules Question

A Whole New World – Speed Powers

Speed Power Changes, PAC 2013

“What are your go-to powers? On the flip side, which powers do you not typically build a team around?”

That was how the team kicked off the 2013 PAC design meeting. “PAC” stands for the Powers and Abilities Card and this year, the goal was to get some of the powers that have been “shy and reserved” and see if they could stay true to their spirit with some changes to make them shine a little better.

Sure, almost everyone has that story of that one time they used Force Blast to knock Nightcrawler off the elevated terrain, or that time they used Incapacitate to completely lock down the opposing one-man-army, but in general there are a few powers that you tend to see on all the really successful teams (powers like Hypersonic Speed or Outwit) and powers that you very rarely ever see used (powers like Plasticity or Smoke Cloud) outside of special scenarios.  Game design took a long hard look at the types of characters that were being played to see what was and was not being used (and how it was being used), and took the PAC back to the drawing board.  Today, we will start looking at these changes with the speed powers.  Bear in mind that we’re only looking at changes, so if a power stayed the same, we’re just moving on.

Let’s start with the first power on the PAC, Flurry:

Flurry

There is only one change to Flurry, but it is a very important one.  If you compare this wording above to the 2012 wording, you’ll see that we’ve removed the line that tells you Flurry will stop working if the power is lost mid-action.  While rolling a critical miss or taking Mystics damage will still probably not be a happy occasion for you, at least now you don’t have to worry about Flurry ending prematurely when your character takes that damage.  Instead your character will get to finish the action normally and make its second attack, even if they power is lost and no longer on the dial.

Similarly, if you have the combo of Flurry with Steal Energy, then if you hit with that first attack and you heal onto a click that doesn’t have Flurry, you can still make that second attack.

Next we have a small change to Leap/Climb:

Leap-Climb

Look closely and you see that Leap/Climb no longer ignores characters for movement purposes.  Instead, when your character uses Leap/Climb, it can more around and through squares occupied by characters (just like the Flight ability).  Since it no longer ignores characters for movement, you do need to roll break away when using Leap/Climb, but you do get a +2 bonus to that break away roll.

Charge has a little cosmetic change:

Charge

Blink and you might miss it: the last sentence was tweaked slightly.   The overall effect is completely unchanged; however the old version sometimes caused some confusion so the power was altered for clarity.  That’s all.  REPEAT: THE FUNCTION OF THIS POWER HAS NOT CHANGED.

The next power, Mind Control, has some very significant changes:

Mind-Control

There are three big changes here.  First, Mind Control is no longer activated by a power action.  Instead, it is activated with a close combat action or ranged combat action.  This means you can now use Mind Control with Charge or Running Shot (or any other effect that allows your character to take a close/ranged combat action).

Second, your Mind Control character will still take damage if you use it on expensive characters, but the threshold has been raised to 150 points instead of 100.

Third, and related to the previous point, your character will only ever take 1 unavoidable damage now when controlling large-point characters.   It does not matter if your Mind Controller controls 150 points or 1500 points: it will take only 1 unavoidable damage for doing so.

All of these changes serve to make Mind Control a much more formidable power.  I always found it very useful (who doesn’t enjoy using your opponent’s own force against him?), but using Mind Control is now much more flexible and combo-friendly AND the penalties for using it are much more forgivable.

Now let’s look at what is quite possibly my favorite change on the PAC:

Plasticity

Plasticity still does everything it did before, but it has two VERY important additions.  First off, it now prevents characters from automatically breaking away.  A character that can ignore other characters (ImpMoveImp_Characters) for movement purposes will still not have to roll break away, but any other character is going to be forced to roll break away first… and that’s a very daunting prospect considering Plasticity still subtracts 2 from the break away die roll.

The other big change is that any character that moves adjacent to a Plasticity-using character must stop moving.  Even if the character could normally move around/through other characters (ImpMoveImp_BasedImp_Through) ; once again, the only way around this is if the character moving about completely ignores other characters (ImpMoveImp_Characters).

In a nutshell, outside of Phasing/Teleport, some Improved Movement characters, and a handful of special powers, Plasticity has become THE tie-up power.  One Plasticity character could lock down an entire team with proper positioning!

Another power that receives a huge bump in power is Force Blast:

Force-Blast

Like Mind Control and Plasticity, Force Blast has received a pretty significant upgrade.  On the one hand, it still work exactly like it did before, allow your character to knock back an adjacent character without needing any kind of attack roll: just assign a power action and roll the d6 for instant knock back.  But now there is brand new addition to its normal effects.  Now, anytime your character successfully attacks a character, you can choose to knock back that character back without needing to roll doubles!  Note that this “extra” knock back only occurs if the character wouldn’t otherwise be knocked back… you won’t get to knock back a character twice if you happen to roll doubles.  Also, since it says “may”, this new part is entirely optional.  If you’d rather not knock back the target (maybe you want it to stick around for a follow up attack), then you don’t need to use this new part of Force Blast. Lastly, bear in mind that this knock back is not any different than rolling doubles. So if the attacked character has Charge or another game effect that causes it to ignore knock back, it isn’t going anywhere.

Last, but not least, Hypersonic Speed has been tweaked, too:

Hypersonic-Speed

Like Leap/Climb, Hypersonic Speed now requires a break away roll.  And, like Leap/Climb, you get a +2 bonus to the break away.  This means that your speedsters will now have to think long and hard about using Hypersonic Speed if it is adjacent to an opposing character; no longer can they zip around the map with little fear of impediment.  Sure, a +2 bonus means that break away failure will be rare, but when it does happen, the action ends immediately and the character can’t even attack (much less run away).  And with the changes to Plasticity, even if your speedster isn’t adjacent to an opposing character when it is given the power action to use Hypersonic Speed, it may still have to stop mid-action if you aren’t careful!

Coming up next time!

We will take a detailed look at the changes to the standard attack powers on the 2013 PAC.  We’ve already shown you that Energy Explosion has been changed in a previous article… I wonder what other powers have been given a face lift?

I hope you found this primer on the new 2013 speed powers useful.  If you have any more questions about these alterations or anything else in the rules, send an e-mail to HeroClixRules@gmail.com or hit the Rules Deputies up on the forums!

 

Categories
Heroclix HeroClix Rules Review Rules Question

A Whole New World: Invincible and Empower

Greetings Heroclix fans!

Today we continue our look at the new powers added to the 2013 Powers and Abilities Card, and we start with the new Defense power, Invincible!

INVINCIBLE

When we started looking at the existing Defense powers, we quickly realized that the damage reducing powers were a bit limited – there is only so much that can be done with Toughness, Invulnerability and Impervious. Moreso, we didn’t think that what HeroClix needed was ”Impervious deluxe”. We wanted something that would always be useful and would provide a balance between Invulnerability and Invincble, with the possibility to be even better as it had to deal with more damage.

Invincible

Seemingly a very simple power, but with an interesting twist. Since Invincible doesn’t reduce damage, any power that deals penetrating damage (like Penetrating/Psychic Blast or Exploit Weakness) will still be affected by Invincible. Obviously this is a huge advantage, so ignoring half the damage was a fair trade-off to make sure Invincible didn’t get too potent – this way characters with lower damage values can still deal at least some damage to an Invincible character.

It is also important to note that you always round up in Heroclix unless otherwise stated. Since Invincible lets you ignore half the damage it means that a character with a Damage value of 1 will deal 0 damage to the Invincible character – half of 1 is 0.5, which is rounded up to 1, so the Invincible character would ignore 1 damage. By the same logic, if the Invincible character is dealt 3 damage it would ignore 2 damage and only take 1 damage and so forth.

To appreciate how Invincible compares to other defense powers, take a look at the following chart: (click on image to enlarge)

Slide1

As you can see, Invincible walks a different path. Sometimes, it’s not as good as Invulnerability. Eventually, it’s better than Impervious, even if you factor in the fact that one third of the time, Impervious reduces the damage to 0. At this time, the only strategy your opponent has to address Invincible is something like Pulse Wave, which allows powers to be ignored. But penetrating damage won’t change the way in which Invincible works.* The average is based on the idea that over time, you are going to roll a 1-4 two-thirds of the time and a 5-6 one-third of the time and averaging the damage taken.

EMPOWER

Invincible

The last new power to look at is the Damage power. Some might say that this power has been a long time coming. As the close combat equivalent of Enhancement, this new power is very easy and straightforward to apply. Just like ranged teams make use of their Enhancement support pieces, many teams are going to appreciate a piece that can support a character in the thick of the battle.

With Enhancement, you typically set up a ranged attacker with the support crew giving him a boost. While those characters are boosting the attacker’s damage value, what else are they doing for your force and while you’re positioning, your opponent is likely limiting the effectiveness of your ranged attack. With Empower, odds are good these guys will be in the thick of it, making attacks in addition to helping out their friends. And once you’re adjacent to another character, it’s much harder to prevent close combat from happening.

Since this is a fairly simple power, let us instead look at how it works with existing standard powers. Obviously anyone with Flurry or the Duo Attack or Multiattack abilities will love Empower as the damage boost isn’t limited to once per turn. The duration of the bonus is limited to the attack, though, so you can’t ”save” the bonus from the first attack and try to stack it for the second attack. Speaking of stacking, though, Empower can be used at the same time as many other power (like Super Strength, Close Combat Expert, or even with another Empower character) to modify the damage value for even greater impact.

It is worth keeping in mind that a locked damage value can’t be further modified, so Empower will have no effect when the attacker uses Blades/Claws/Fangs or Quake. And lastly, Steal Energy works any time the character deals damage to an opposing character with a close combat attack, so Empower will only make Steal Energy more effective!

That’s all for this time! In our next rules article, we’re going to start looking at the some of the new ideas from the 2013 Rule Book. But coming up next, we’ll see how one of these powers makes its debut with one of this year’s Limited Edition Convention figures.

 

Categories
Heroclix HeroClix Rules Review Rules Question

A Whole New World: Sidestep and Precision Strike

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

Among the changes to the HeroClix 2013 Core Rulebook and Powers and Abilities Card are 4 brand new standard powers to add variety to your HeroClix dials.  Today’s article will look at the new powers for the Speed and Attack slots.

SIDESTEP

Sidestep

At first glance, this new standard speed power might not seem too flashy, simply giving your character an extra 2 movement.  But 2 extra movement as a free action is pretty significant.

Sidestep can be used every turn, even if your character already has 2 action tokens.  Over the course of 3 turns, that’s 6 extra squares of movement, and the ability to move and clear on the same turn is not to be underestimated.

It can be used before or after another action.  Need to get closer to someone before using Close Combat Expert?  Use Sidestep first.  Need to duck behind a wall after using Penetrating/ Psychic Blast?  Use Sidestep after your ranged combat action.

The speed value is locked, so that 2 movement is the same whether you’re moving out of hindering, using the Carry ability, been Perplex’ed down, etc.  Of course, the downside is that this means the speed value of 2 can’t be increased during the action, either, but that’s a more than fair price to pay.

Remember, though, that if your “Sidestepper” is adjacent to an opposing character, you still have to roll for break away normally.  But if you do need to break away, you can always use Sidestep to try first, and if that fails, use a move action to try again. When you’re breaking away, it’s important to check your powers for those that might activate while you’re using Sidestep. Leap/Climb and Phasing/Teleport are both powers that require a move action, so they would not help you when trying to break away with Sidestep. Improved Movement (Characters), on the other hand, activates whenever the character moves, so it would be useful when using Sidestep.

As you can see, what make this new power so potent is that it goes well with everything.  (Just like bacon.)

PRECISION STRIKE

precision-strike

Speaking of new powers that work well with everything, let’s take a look at the new attack power, Precision Strike.

Damage reducing powers have always had a way to get through them with Penetrating/Psychic Blast, and later, Exploit Weakness.  But unless you were packing Outwit or Pulse Wave, there were still very few ways to neutralize damage that didn’t have an easy workaround.  Super Senses could still evade an attack, and Mastermind could transfer the damage to a different character.

With Precision Strike, your character’s attacks can’t be evaded (Sorry, Super Senses), the damage dealt can’t be transferred (Mama Mia, Mastermind), and there’s even a touch of the old Armor Piercing feat in there, since the damage can’t be reduced below 1 either!   Remember, though, that there are also powers that ignore damage rather than reducing it (come back here Tuesday to learn about one in particular), so those powers can still operate at full effect against Precision Strike.

Since Precision Strike doesn’t require its own action to activate, instead triggering “when this character makes an attack,” it works with every power that include an attack.  That makes it an extremely versatile power and one of the best tools to use if you need a way to deal some almost-guaranteed damage.  So, just like bacon and Sidestep, Precision Strike makes everything better.

 – – – – – – – – – –

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse at some of the exciting new powers coming this year, and stay tuned as we continue to preview the HeroClix 2013 Core Rulebook and Powers and Abilities Card. Coming up, we’ll have previews of characters that use these new powers, demonstrating just some of the interesting new combinations that can happen.  Until then, keep your clix off their K.O.’s!