Design Insight- Under the Hood

Published on August 13th, 2015

WizKids HeroClix

Design Insight

Dear HeroClix Players,

We hope you had an awesome release day!  As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Nick Fury with the release of the Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. set, a number of you may have had the good fortune of pulling one of the new vehicles that are the chase figures in this set and noticed that there has been an overhaul of the vehicle rules. This leads us to today’s Design Insight article.

Before we take this baby out on the road, let’s consult the owner’s manual with a quick review of the old vehicle rules…:

OLD Vehicle Rules

Old Vehicle RuleOld Vehicle Rule 2


Old Vehicle Rule 3

… and take a look at the specs of the 2015 model vehicle rules:

NEW Vehicle Rules

New Vehicle RuleNew Vehicle Rules 2

One thing you may notice right off the line is that the new vehicle rules are much more sleek and streamlined— all part of our ongoing effort to cut complexity wherever possible while still maintaining the strategic game play of the underlying mechanic (…huh, I wasn’t even going for a vehicle pun there).

So, let’s break down each part and see what makes this baby purr…


The first paragraph simply denotes that Vehicles are indicated by the WHEEL defense symbol and grants all vehicles with Improved Movement: Hindering and the ability to automatically break away.  It also stipulates that vehicles cannot be assigned resources or resource attachments or have damage transferred to it (so no Mastermind-ing damage to vehicles).  You may notice that vehicles did lose Improved Movement: Characters and the ability to make ranged attacks while adjacent as general vehicle abilities… instead these will be granted to certain vehicles as their own Improved abilities or via other abilities/special powers (as an example, see Ram in Options and Upgrades below).


In the Piloting section, we see how a character can become a pilot of a vehicle, how a pilot exits a vehicle and the restrictions on the combat symbols of characters that would not allow them to become a pilot— Duos, Team Bases, other Vehicles, bystanders and non-standard size characters (Tiny, Giant, Colossal) are all restricted from being Pilots.  While being a pilot, if a character no longer meets the prerequisite of being friendly to the vehicle or they gain one of the restricted combat symbols, the pilot is ejected from the vehicle and placed in an adjacent square (square chosen by the controlling player).

We also see the line “Vehicles without a pilot can’t be given actions”— while this is a general rule for Vehicles, some vehicles come equipped with the Autopilot option (see Autopilot below) as a separate trait.

In the last line we see a reference to Pilot Abilities… while none of the 2015 vehicle models have Pilot Abilities, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you might not see these options on some future models!


The rules under the Passenger section are not much functionally different from the old vehicle rules, just pulled into its own section that focuses on the vehicle’s ability to carry passengers.  The one major difference is that vehicles now only ignore the speed symbol of characters instead of all combat symbols— sorry Galactus, you are going to have to find your own ride.

Pilot Attacks

HeroClix is a game of superhero combat—so let’s get to the part where we shoot stuff!  Some vehicles have their own attack/damage/range values to represent those on-board weapons while other vehicles have 0s for attack/damage/range if they do not have weapons of their own.  In either case, if your pilot has better stats, you may choose to replace the vehicles attack, damage and range values to represent the pilot using their own weapons/superpowers. A few important note to make 1) you must replace all three values… you cannot choose which ones to replace if one of your pilot’s values are not as good as the vehicle’s value and 2) borrowing the pilot’s range value does not give you the number of targets of the pilot, you would still use the number of targets of the vehicle… the pilot does needs to keep one hand on the wheel after all.

You may also give the vehicle a free action to be able to use a standard attack or damage power from the pilot until your next turn—but if you do the vehicle cannot use any other attack or damage powers that it might have on its dial (or from any other sources).

Wrecked Vehicles

When a vehicle is KO’ed, it is considered Wrecked… hopefully your insurance will cover that.  When this occurs, the vehicle is removed from the map and replaced with a standard heavy object (note that this is different from old vehicle rules that had vehicle remain on the map and had them act as an ultra-heavy object).  If a character is unfortunate enough to be piloting a vehicle when it is wrecked, that pilot has a 50/50 chance of being dealt either 1 or 2 unavoidable damage before being ejected from the vehicle.

One last difference… in the previous vehicle rules, characters with Battle Fury could not pilot vehicles.  We felt that this was that added in as part of the vehicle rules for “flavor” and not for game balance— and while it did make for great road rage joke fodder we ultimately decided to remove it as an unnecessary layer of complexity on the vehicle rules. So… Hulk Crash!

Options & Upgrades



Instead of being part of the general rules for vehicles, Autopilot will now be assigned to certain vehicles as a separate trait.  The Autopilot trait will allow vehicles to be given an action without a pilot with the same caveat that the vehicle will suffer 1 unavoidable damage if that action involves an attack.



The Ram ability will now be given to certain vehicles as a trait or special power (in this case as a special power on Captain America’s Motorcycle).  This allows us to better customize the effects of the Ram ability for each vehicle— not only the effect on the poor saps being run over but also the effect on the vehicle itself… would you like to purchase the collision damage waiver before you head out on the road?

Personal Craft—

Personal Craft

Personal Craft is a new trait on some vehicles that allows certain vehicle to be part of a themed team if that team includes a specific character.  So, Thanos can always ride his throne into battle— as he should… he has spent eons crafting that butt groove.

Thank you all for joining us on this test drive of the new 2015 vehicle rules— we hope to see you riding around the HeroClix map once these new vehicle have all rolled off the showroom floor.  Visit your local game store now and pick up a booster pack of Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. today for your chance to grab the keys and take these exciting new vehicles for a spin!

Please note: the new vehicle rules now replace the old vehicle rules— for the official rules article stating such, please see the New Vehicle Rules article on


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