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Design Insight

Design Insight: Sketch Variant HeroClix

Sketch Variant HeroClix Banner

HeroClix Fans,

Comic books have their roots in black and white art, a tradition that has continued through the ages. Superheroes Superman and The Phantom adventured in black and white as daily newspaper strips during the 1930s and 40s and were the beginnings of the funny book craze. The Silver Age brought color and widespread popularity to comic books, but Jack Kirby and others continued to experiment with black and white art for effect during this period. The rise of modern comic books in the 80s saw black and white art as a tool for creating a moodier environment. Today’s fans are more familiar with the process of creating comic books and variant covers showcase artist sketches.

In our effort to pay homage to the comic licenses that we draw from, we introduced new sketch variant HeroClix with the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles HeroClix, as the set’s chase theme. Our sculpting team rejoiced as sketch coloring highlighted the minute details that can get lost in the normal paint jobs.

Players were excited to see these retro versions of the Turtles as a new portrayal. Embracing the success of the visual we saw on TMNT, we decided to find a new home for it.

In Marvel HeroClix: Superior Foes of Spider-Man, all figures will now have black and white versions! In addition to the black and white coloring, each sketch variant sculpt is mounted on a white base to set them apart from their regular versions. Opening boosters is now more exciting as you may get a rarer sketch variant or traditional version of a figure. Although visually these figures are different from their full-color counterparts, they have identical game play.

Sketch variants are another way that HeroClix is showing love to its source material while providing more options for players and collectors. We are excited to roll out these Sketch Variant HeroClix while still doing all of the other cool stuff that HeroClix fans have come to expect!

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Design Insight

Design Insight- Optional Traits

HeroClix-Design-Insight

Optional Traits

The focus of most of the recent Design Insight articles has been to inform players about changes/updates to rules or game mechanics. Today’s article, however, is to introduce a brand new mechanic: Optional Traits.

While Optional Traits may be technically a new mechanic, it combines two long-standing and recognizable HeroClix concepts — traits and add-on effects. Traits (indicated by the Trait star) grant powers/abilities to characters that are not linked to specific clicks on the character’s dial; instead, they are available to the character throughout their dial. Add-on effects are any game effect that a player would assign to characters on their force by paying additional points when building their team. Some examples of add-on effects throughout the history of HeroClix include Feats, Additional Team Abilities, and any equipment/equippable game elements that would be assigned during force construction (such as the Entities and Construct attachments from DC Comics HeroClix: War of Light).

Optional Traits are traits that will only be in effect for a character if the player paid the additional cost as indicated on the character’s card next to the Optional Trait. Optional Traits are indicated by the Trait star symbol with a black background (instead of the white background on standard Traits). An example of an Optional Trait and the Optional Trait indicator can be seen on the recently previewed Marvel HeroClix: The Uncanny X-Men 005a Emma Frost:

DI Switch to Diamond

Emma Frost’s base point cost is 80 points — however, with this Optional Trait, players may pay 85 points for Emma Frost when building their force to be able to add the 005b Emma Frost Prime to their sideline and be able to benefit from the additional effect of the Optional Trait.

Why Optional Traits? At times, when we are designing dials for characters, we have ideas for game effects that may be compelling but situational. In the case of Emma Frost, her Optional Trait is predicated upon the player not only having 005b Emma Frost but also NOT having any other Prime figure on their force (as you would not be able to add another Prime to your force — even on the sideline). So, rather than designing Emma Frost at 85 points with a standard Trait and having the answer be “Too bad, so sad” if the player did not happen to have 005b Emma Frost, we thought it would be better to make this an optional effect. This way, players don’t feel as if there are wasted points in her cost for a game effect that they are not able to utilize.

A trait requiring a certain replacement figure is, of course, just one example of why we might implement an Optional Trait. Others may include game effects predicated on sharing keywords with other figures on your force/having another specific named figure on your force; or for game effects that work better on larger teams or higher-point/multi-player games. Another possible implementation is to tie a group of figures together thematically through a shared Optional Trait — similar in fashion and function to Additional Team Abilities printed on character cards.

Keep an eye out for other Optional Traits on figures in upcoming HeroClix sets — until then, double check your math!

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Design Insight

Design Insight- STOP Click

HeroClix-Design-Insight

“STOP” clicks and new “STOP” key term

Hello HeroClix Players,

Over the past year, we have been exploring ways in which we can improve the game of HeroClix. One specific goal we are working towards — as stated in a previous Design Insight article — is to clarify the language of the game. In this article, we are introducing a new key term — similar to the key term “UNIQUE MODIFIER” we introduced in a previous Design Insight article. The intent of creating these key terms is to help keep the language in special powers and other game effects consistent not only for you the players, but for our design team as well. While we work on updating the HeroClix rulebook to incorporate these terms and other rules changes, we feel it is necessary to introduce some of these changes early, as we have designed figures/game elements that will be released prior to the new rulebook that make use of these terms in their powers/game effects.

The new key term we will be discussing today is STOP. Most veteran players should be familiar with what has been coined in HeroClix parlance as a “stop click.” These are clicks that have a special power that instruct you to stop turning the character’s dial when that particular special power is revealed while you are turning the character’s combat dial — even if the character was supposed to have taken more damage. An example of such a power can be seen on the recent preview of the Uncanny X-Men 005b Emma Frost:

Marvel HeroClix: The Uncanny X-Men - Emma Frost 005b

INJURED BUT STILL HERE STOP. Emma Frost can use Invulnerability.

Prior to the STOP key term, that same power would have looked like this:

INJURED BUT STILL HERE Emma Frost can use Invulnerability. When turning the dial, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. This power can’t be ignored.

What the new STOP key term does is take most of that wording and condense it into a single term. With the new key term, anytime you see “STOP” as part of a power, it is shorthand for the following game effect:

When this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing character’s attack, stop turning the dial. This power can’t be countered or ignored.

One benefit of key terms — besides the obvious one of reduction of words on a character’s card — is that they are a method to easily and concisely indicate a larger game concept/effect (in the case of STOP the concept being to stop turning the dial when the click is revealed). Another is to ensure that the game concept/effect is consistently implemented across all game elements (since the key term points to a base rule governing the game effect that is not dependent upon how the game effect is worded on an individual character card).

A few points to note about the game effect being granted by the new key term STOP:

  • While some previous “stop clicks” may have had different triggers for you to stop turning the dial, with the new STOP key term you will only stop turning the dial when the power is revealed due to taking damage from an opponent’s attack. Revealing the power due to healing or taking damage from an effect that wasn’t an attack won’t trigger the power and cause you to stop turning the dial.
  • Some previous “stop clicks” stated that they could not be countered and/or ignored, while others did not. The game effect indicated by the new STOP key term includes the phrase “This power can’t be countered or ignored” so it will always prevent the special power from being countered or ignored. This includes not only the “stopping” effect of the power but also any other powers/abilities/game effects granted by the special power (for example, the Invulnerability power granted by Emma Frost’s special power in the example above).

Keep an eye out for figures in upcoming sets using the new STOP key term as well as future Design Insight articles!

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Design Insight

HeroClix Design Insight

Wizkids Heroclix

Design-insight

Some of the information below has been updated here: http://heroclix.com/design-insight/heroclix-design-insight/#axzz3z2k37RyJ

Dear HeroClix players,

As part of our ongoing efforts to communicate with you more openly, we are using this Design Insight post as an opportunity to pull back the curtain on a few major initiatives that we have underway. Under each goal will be an example or two to illustrate how we plan on delivering on those goals.

Goal 1: Make the game easier to learn for new players

When we first started talking about what is important to improve HeroClix, everyone agreed that making it easier to learn for a new player would be great, but we also heard a lot of worry about taking away what makes the game fun in order to make it more accessible. The work we are doing is directed at making the game more accessible (easier to get to the best parts) while keeping all the interesting, fun and challenging depth for the veteran HeroClix player.

The first initiative under this goal is specialists vs. generalists. Let’s start with what we mean by “specialist” and “generalist.”

When we look at designing a dial for a character, we look at the capabilities of the character from the source material as the palette from which we can choose. A generalist dial is a collage of all the colors on the palette, while a specialist dial highlights and accentuates a select number of colors from the palette. Internally, we call this a “slice” of the character.

Why do we think specialists need to be a more important part of the game?

Specialist dial designs offer players (especially new players) options for characters (especially popular characters) that are:

  1. Easier to build teams with/around — as they will tend to have relatively low point values
  2. Easier to determine their role — as their dials will be economized towards a specific set of powers or game functions
  3. Easier to “pilot” — as their dials will tend to have fewer powers and abilities to track

Specialist dial designs can focus on a standard power, special power, power combo, strategy or just designing a team so you can field more of your beloved characters, each with their own place in your strategy.

Conversely, a “generalist” dial design offers a wide variety of HeroClix powers and abilities encompassing much more of a character’s abilities from the source material. There will of course be dials between these two extremes, but in any given set there will be some from each end of the spectrum. For those HeroClix players that have been around a while, you’ll recall there were many dials that would have met these criteria in previous sets, so really this isn’t a new idea, but rather an idea that needs to be reincorporated into the game.

Additionally, we believe the idea of specialists also helps us with our next goal…

Goal 2: Provide more interesting choices

Providing specialists provides interesting choices for an expert player in team building; specifically, the points vs. utility tradeoff. Perhaps it’s more important to have the flexibility of a generalist figure with more powers, or the precision of the specialist.

It also allows for different slices of a character to be featured, which will keep the characters themselves interesting set after set. Instead of choosing which one or two generalist X-Men you get to put on a team for a game, now you can field a team of X-Men, each with their unique specialist role.

Additionally, since specialists will also tend to be lower point values, teams can have more figures which offers interesting tradeoffs in force construction and map positioning. Which leads us to the next goal…

Goal 3: Make maps matter

With the plethora of resources, high point cost characters and other game effects, actual positioning and movement on a map has in some instances become less important. It is our goal to ensure that maps always matter and are built into the game with everything we do.

Tactically you’ll see more selective assignment of Improved Movement, Improved Targeting, and any other traits/powers/abilities that circumvent the core game aspect of movement and positioning.

Incidentally, we also looked at the player’s interaction with the actual physical maps on the table. This led us to develop a program to bring premium maps to the market that we hope players will find to be a nice upgrade from paper maps. Below are a few photos of the 3’ x 2’ roll-up maps that will be coming to the market in the summer of this year at a price of $24.99 MSRP. These durable premium maps are printed on non-slip neoprene, do away with the creases found on our folded maps and provide a great rolling surface.

 

If you want to get your hands on them early, at Worlds we’re planning on having a few opportunities for players to win a map at select tables.

This leads me to the last goal that we’re going to talk about today…

Goal 4: Clarify the language of the game

This goal, which also helps with Goal 1, is the one we’ve been working on the most and we hope to roll out the results this year. From using consistent language across the various documents to cleaning up information that is no longer valid, we hope to make it easier to learn and keep up with the game.

To be clear, we are not making major changes to the mechanics themselves, only how they are described. In some cases, we’ll split apart the essence of a mechanic from the details for edge case situations to a more in-depth document so new players do not get bogged down in issues they don’t need to worry about. There will be keywords added for key concepts to help communicate the game to all players that will help make the game easier to explain. We will roll out specific examples in the coming months so you can better understand the work we’ve started.

This goal clearly has high overlap with Goal 1, but to summarize: let’s make things easier to understand, up to date and easy to access.

Back to Goal 1:

And now let’s return to Goal 1, with what many will find is the most important change of them all, and before we introduce it we want to share with you how seriously we take it.

We’ve been thinking about implementing this change with the current team for going on six years now. We have talked to retailers and players and asked what we can do to make it easier for new players to get into HeroClix. Much of that has been incorporated into the goals above.

But the final hurdle we’re going to talk about today, the one that turns off a large percentage of what would otherwise be happy new HeroClix players, is the dread of having to memorize the dials. Yes, we’re implementing visible dials.

In order to implement visible dials, we are also taking the opportunity to update the look of our HeroClix Character Cards—click the image below for a sneak peek at our new card design direction (and a special preview as well!)

*Please note the following: The above image uses a figure from the upcoming Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men set, however the Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men set will use the current HeroClix card layout.  Also note that the new character cards will be the same size as the current character cards.

Some may argue that memorizing dials isn’t that important (then why not make them visible), or that it is important but at their store they let new players look at their dials while they play.

But ask yourself: do you actually enjoy memorizing dials? Do you feel it’s at the heart of what makes the game fun? We believe the joy of the game is in team-building, thematic recreation, and the actual decisions one makes during the game.

Picture a store with an active and vibrant HeroClix scene. A customer walks into that store and sees a fun, raucous good time happening. The player walks over and is naturally intrigued by the cool figures and the idea of the game. Inevitably the dial and the need to know what’s on the dial comes up. It feels like homework, like a chore that must be overcome, and it’s at that moment that we have forever lost that player to another game.

This is not the first time we’ve done visible dials. Halo, a very popular release, had them and we were constantly asked about our intention to include them in HeroClix. We’ve felt visible dials was something that would help the game for a long time, but we’ve taken years to talk to stores, judges and players to ensure our understanding was accurate.

Once rolled out, our tournament rules will allow any set that has printed visible dials on the card to be used in a tournament (cards prior to this will not have the luxury of a visible dial). We understand the fear that this may slow the game down, but we feel that good judges will strike the right balance of referencing vs. stalling.

As we work through the goals above, we plan on posting updates to our progress and sharing with you the exciting things we have planned. We feel that for the vast majority of current and future HeroClix players, this will result in a vibrant and healthy game for decades into the future.

*Edited February 4, 2016 at 5:10 pm: Clarification- “cards prior to this will not have the luxury of a visible dial.”

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DC HeroClix: World's Finest

Design Insight – Unique Modifiers

Hello HeroClix Players,

Today we bring you another Design Insight article as well as a special preview of some upcoming figures in the DC HeroClix: World’s Finest set.

For this article, we are going to take a look at a few figures that fit in the Mystical sub-theme of the DC HeroClix: World’s Finest set and discuss a new game term— just the word “Mystical” conjures up images of Witches and Warlocks… so let’s scry with our little eyes the Witch and the Warlock generics!

DC HeroClix: World's Finest- Witch

DC HeroClix: World's Finest- Warlock

Both figures come in at 20 points— a nice low-point option to fill up or fill out a Mystical team.  The two dial designs play off of each other— the Witch being more range-combat oriented, while the Warlock is more close-combat oriented.  For their speed slot, the Witch has Sidestep on her first click going into Phasing/Teleport on her later clicks while the Warlock starts with Phasing/Teleport and goes into Sidestep.  For defense, the Witch starts with Energy Shield/Deflection to help protect her from range attacks while the Warlock starts with Combat Reflexes to help protect him from close attacks.  In their damage slot, they each have a special power— Dark Lightning for the Witch and Battle Magic for the Warlock— that grant them Enhancement and Empower respectively with an additional effect that also boosts the attack value of an adjacent friendly character with the Mystical keyword.  It is in that last part that we see something new— UNIQUE MODIFIER.  In parenthesis after the effect wording, we get a brief description of what a UNIQUE MODIFIER is— Characters can only be modified by one effect of this name.  While that sums up the definition nicely, we thought we’d expand on it just a bit further.

Previously, when we wanted to prevent a game effect from being duplicated/stacked, we would include the phrasing “if not already modified by this effect” as part of the effect, or, in extreme cases we would make the figure Unique (preventing players from playing multiples of that figure on their force—however the Witch and the Warlock are generic figures so, of course, we did not want to go that route). Essentially, what we have done is to take that “if not already modified by this effect” wording and condensed it to a game term— UNIQUE MODIFIER.  From this point forward, anytime a special modifier is labeled as a UNIQUE MODIFIER, it means that the modifier from that named effect can only be applied once to a character no matter how many copies of that character are in play.  Keep in mind that a character can be affected by multiple UNIQUE MODIFIERS as long as each UNIQUE MODIFIER is from a different named effect.

For the first few sets in which UNIQUE MODIFIERS appear on characters, the reminder text (UNIQUE MODIFIER – Characters can only be modified by one effect of this name) will appear on their character card, however after a few sets this will no longer be added to the cards.

With UNIQUE MODIFIER, we can limit specific powers/game effects without limiting team building with the figure/game element itself.  As seen with the Witch and the Warlock, we can even limit parts of a specific powers/game effect—their Enhancement and Empower are not part of the UNIQUE MODIFIER effect of the power, so they are not limited by the UNIQUE MODIFIER caveat.  This means you can have multiple Witches granting multiple damage boosts to an adjacent friendly character from their Enhancement, but that adjacent character (assuming they have the Mystical keyword) can only get one boost to their attack value from the UNIQUE MODIFIER portion of the power.

We hope you enjoyed this preview and our explanation of this new game term.  We look forward to sharing more in the future.

Until next time!

*POOF*

 

Wait… are you still here?

 

Well, since you made it this far, how about another preview?

Since we already saw the Warlock, how about taking a look at one of the most pre-eminent warlocks in the DC Universe— Jason Blood!

DC HeroClix: World's Finest- Jason Blood

Jason Blood shares a sculpt with the Warlock generic sporting a new paint scheme.  The human host for the Demon Etrigan, Jason Blood comes in at 100 points with six clicks. Blood possesses the Mystics team ability as well as a range of six squares with one target. For standard powers, Jason Blood brings some major functionality to a team, with Stealth, Sidestep, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Probability Control, and Outwit, amongst others – but where he truly shines are his two special powers which really take advantage of his positioning and functionality as a team player.

First, his special defensive Sorcerous Wards power grants him Super Senses and also grants adjacent friendly characters that share a keyword with him the ability to use Super Senses, but they only succeed on a roll of a 6. In addition to that is his special defensive power, Unravel Your Simple Magicks, granting Blood the use of both Outwit and Probability Control. This alone would be beneficial, but again, Jason Blood shows his usefulness in a team setting by preventing adjacent friendly characters from being targeted by opposing characters’ Probability Control!

Of course, Jason Blood’s other half is represented on his dial as well with a trait that features his signature rhyme – Gone! Gone! the Form of Man; Rise the Demon Etrigan! allows you to give Jason Blood a free action if he began your turn on the map, replacing him with the DC Comics HeroClix: World’s Finest #045 Etrigan figure on the same click number.

Thanks again!

Until next time!

Well, we’ve come this far… might as well show you Etrigan

DC HeroClix: World's Finest- Etrigan

Etrigan, as well, is a 100 point, six-click piece, which makes up for his loss of Jason Blood’s more finesse powers by being a brute force attacker for your squad. With his standard powers, Etrigan possesses Running Shot, Stealth, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Toughness, Combat Reflexes, and Perplex – a solid mix of powers that fit together well – when in possession of Blades/Claws/Fangs, for example, Etrigan picks up Combat Reflexes, giving him a 19 and 18 defense on his closing three clicks for up-close evisceration. But, as nice as those standard powers are, where he really steps to the forefront are with his special powers, much like his human host.

First, on the last three clicks of his movement, Etrigan has a special power called Adept at Rhyming and Misdirection, which gives him the usage of both Plasticity and Sidestep. Additionally, while adjacent to an opposing character, he can’t be attacked by non-adjacent opposing characters – meaning, on those final three clicks, Etrigan can make use of Plasticity, Sidestep, Blades/Claws/Fangs, and Combat Reflexes, all while non-adjacent opposing characters can’t attack him. Next, on his first three clicks of his attack, Etrigan has the special power Never Beyond the Reach of My Searing Flame. This allows Etrigan the use of Energy Explosion, but also states that when he makes an attack and hits, after actions resolve, he can use Smoke Cloud as a free action. The only caveat to that is that he must place at least 1 hindering terrain marker adjacent to a hit character.

Of course, much like Jason Blood, there is a rhyme allowing Etrigan to return to the form of his human host. Gone, Gone O Etrigan! Rise Again the Form of Man! allows Etrigan to be given a free action if he began your turn on the map, replacing him with the DC Comics HeroClix: World’s Finest #029 Jason Blood.

OK, that’s all for today’s Design Insight.

Really… no more.

Don’t forget to visit the WizKids Event System to find DC HeroClix: World’s Finest Pre-Release Events near you.

 

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Design Insight

Design Insight- ClixFX Bases

ClixFX Logo

We have recently announced the release of a new accessory kit for HeroClix— the WizKids ClixFX Base Game Accessory Kit (scheduled to release in April 2016).  ClixFX Bases have also been mentioned as being included in upcoming HeroClix sets of Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men (scheduled to release in May 2016) and Marvel HeroClix: Superior Foes of Spider-Man (scheduled to release June 2016). In this Design Insight article, we are here to answer the question “What exactly is a ClixFX base?”

Since the advent of special powers in HeroClix, there have been powers that require “markers” to track the effect of the power.  When instructed to put a marker on a character’s card, this is typically handled by players putting a penny, bead or any other small object that players use for action tokens.  When instructed to place a marker on the map, players can use the SPECIAL markers included in Starter Sets (or any other flat object) that can be placed on the map.

The basic idea behind ClixFX bases was to create a physical marker that not just acted as a visual reminder of the game effect in play but also one that looked cool! We have created different sculpted ClixFX Bases that are general archetypes of power that one might see in the comic universe—

  • Fire
  • Ice Blocks/Wall
  • Wind/Speed
  • Water
  • Smoke
  • Web/Net
  • Energy
  • Slash

So, how do they work?  Well, it’s very simple… the Clix FX Bases in themselves do not have any inherent game play effect, but rather can be used as visual indicators of game effects from standard powers as well as for traits/special powers/etc on certain characters (and, in fact, if players so choose they do not have to use the ClixFX Base and can instead use any other markers as has always been done). ClixFX Bases will be available in stores as a HeroClix accessory kit for use to indicate standard power game effects such as Smoke Cloud and Barrier.  ClixFX Bases will also be included with certain characters in upcoming sets that will utilize ClixFX Bases to indicate their specific traits/special powers/etc.

Let’s look at some general information about the ClixFX Bases themselves, then we can see a specific example of how a ClixFX Base would interact with a character’s trait/special power.

This is fire:

ClixFX Fire

This is what it looks like when you set the Hulk on fire: ClixFX- Hulk on FireWhere is water terrain?… Hulk must SPLASH!

 

The ClixFX Bases are flat plastic disks that fit under a single-base figure with a sculpted visual effect that can be seen above the base on roughly one third of the circumference of the base— this allows the ClixFX Bases not only to be used under larger base figures, but also so that multiple ClixFX Bases (up to 3) can be stacked under a single single-base such as seen below:

ClixFX Stack

Webbed, Frozen and Burning… I feel bad for this figure.

 

In general, characters that have special powers that utilize the same type of ClixFX Bases will have a similar game effect— so a special power that utilizes the Fire ClixFX Base will have a similar effect as special power that utilizes a Fire ClixFX Base on another character.  Through use of different colors of the ClixFX Bases, we can also customize them to match that characters with which they are packaged— so the Smoke ClixFX Base in the ClixFX Base Accessory Kit will be grey, but Nightcrawler’s Smoke ClixFX Base will be purple.

ClixFX- Smoke on Nightcrawler

*BAMF*

 

As an example of what type of game effects we might see that would utilize a ClixFX Base, let’s take a sneak peek at the front of the character card of the Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Fast Forces X-23 to check out her trait that utilizes the Slash ClixFX Base:

Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men- X-23 Character Card          FX7-Slashes_HiresRender

So, as we can see from her trait, whenever X-23 successfully hits an opposing character with a close attack, you may choose to place a Slash marker on that hit character— packaged in the Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Fast Forces will be a Slash ClixFX Base that can be used as this marker.  The Slash marker tracks the ongoing effect that whenever the character with a Slash marker is given an action token, they are dealt 1 penetrating damage.  The character with the Slash marker can remove the Slash marker by clearing action tokens or healing the character. Having the Slash marker on a character can really make your opponent think twice about taking any action to retaliate against or even try to run away from X-23.  One important note: X-23 may only place one Slash marker out at a time so, if you were to hit another character while the ClixFX Base is already out on another character, you would have to choose if you want to keep it on the character who currently has it or move it to the new hit character.

Look for ClixFX Bases in the ClixFX Base WizKids Accessory Kit releasing this spring as well as included with select figures in upcoming HeroClix sets.  We look forward to showing you more X-citing game effects utilizing ClixFX bases when we officially start previews of the upcoming Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men set scheduled to release in May!

 

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Design Insight Errata

Design Insight- Size Categories

Dear HeroClix Players,

Over the past year, we have been exploring ways in which we can improve the game of HeroClix.  A few areas for improvement we have identified are (in broad strokes):

  • Streamline the game rules
  • Increase consistency in rules/power wording so it is clearer/more intuitive for players to understand intent of game effects
  • Better integrate/define/introduce game effects so it is clearer/more intuitive as to how they interact with other game effects
  • Better communicate changes to rules including clarifications/errata to general rules and clarifications/errata to powers/abilities on individual figures

The overall purpose of these efforts is to make the game of HeroClix a more enjoyable experience for current players and to make HeroClix more accessible for new players.

As we work towards completing a new rulebook and PAC, we’d like to introduce some rules revisions that are relevant to the release of the new Colossal figures in the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman set.

A character’s size is determined by the damage combat symbol it possesses.  There are four possible sizes a character may be.  A Tiny-sized character has the Tiny symbol, a Standard-sized character has the Damagesymbol, a Giant-sized character has the Giant symbol, and finally a Colossal-sized character has the Colossalsymbol.

The purpose of this article is not only to inform players of changes to the rules relating to Size of HeroClix characters and the game effects granted by a character’s Size, but also to provide some insight (hence the series name “Design Insight”) into the reasons why we are making these changes.

Before jumping into a comparison of old vs new, let’s take a look at the Size categories and the abilities that they grant—as this remains largely unchanged (with one noted exception marked as NEW).

SIZE CATEGORIES AND ABILITIES GRANTED

Tiny Tiny-sized characters gain:

  • Tiny Size Ability

Damage Standard-sized characters gain

  • No additional combat abilities

Giant Giant-sized characters gain:

  • Great Size Ability
  • Giant Reach Ability

Colossal Colossal-sized characters gain:

  • Great Size Ability
  • NEW— Giant Reach Ability
  • Colossal Stamina Ability

Now let’s go over each individual combat ability and see the game effects granted by these abilities (as currently written):

 

SIZE-RELATED ABILITIES AND GAME EFFECTS GRANTED (CURRENT)

Tiny Size Ability:

  • Bonus defense— +1 vs. Range
  • Carry— allowing larger characters to carry Tiny characters

Great Size Ability:

  • Breakaway— Ignoring Plasticity
  • Improved Movement— Hindering, Elevated, Outdoor Blocking, Adjacency
  • Knock Back
  • Close Combat Attack at Range
  • Line of Fire

Colossal Stamina Ability:

  • Break Away
  • Improved Targeting—Out of Adjacency
  • Continuous Actions

When designing the new Colossal figures featured in the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman set, we took a close look at the rules relating to Size.  In our review, we determined that one of the issues with the Size-related rules— and perhaps why there tends to be a good deal of confusion surrounding Size-related rules— is that many of the granted abilities had multiple different game effects rolled into those abilities that represented vastly different game concepts.  As such, we felt that the Size-related rules tended not to be very intuitive— for example: if I was to reference the Colossal Stamina ability and ask what it does, many veteran players would likely come up with an answer that it (functionally) allows characters to take an action even if they already have two tokens– and this would be true.  However, what many players, even veteran players, might forget is that the Colossal ability (as written) also included game effects relating to break away as well as their ability to make ranged attacks out of adjacency— certainly two important game effects for Colossal figures, but perhaps not ones that most players would associate with the concept of “Stamina.”

As such, we decided to consolidate the Size-related abilities into groupings of like game concepts that we feel are more intuitive—mostly because the name of the ability is evocative of its major effect without additional and unrelated effects that are not communicated in/associated with the ability name.

So, let’s go over each individual combat ability and see the game effects granted by these abilities under the new, revised Size rules:

SIZE-RELATED ABILITIES AND GAME EFFECTS GRANTED (REVISED)

Tiny Size Ability:

  • Bonus defense— +1 vs. Range

Great Size Ability:

  • Improved Movement— Hindering, Elevated, Outdoor Blocking, Adjacency
  • Improved Targeting—Out of Adjacency

Colossal Stamina Ability:

  • Continuous Actions

Giant Reach Ability:

  • Close Combat Attack at Range

The following game effects have been pulled out from individual abilities and now are inherent to a character’s Size category:

  • Line of Fire
  • Knock Back
  • Break Away
  • Carry

We have created this “Size Chart” to act as a player aid explaining the game effects inherent to a character’s Size and the abilities granted by their Size category.

 

HeroClix Size Chart PDF 

HeroClix Size Chart

SIZE-INHERENT GAME EFFECTS

Lines of Fire – Lines of fire drawn to or from a character are not blocked by characters smaller than themselves.

Break Away – When breaking away from only smaller characters, you increase your break away result by 1.  If all the characters you’re breaking away from are two or more sizes smaller, you automatically break away.  Note that if even one character you’re attempting to break away from is the same size or larger, you wouldn’t get any of the bonuses.

Knock Back – Characters can’t be knocked back by a character smaller than themselves. In order to knock back a character, it must be the same size as you or larger.

Carry – Characters can’t carry characters larger than themselves (this remains unchanged). All characters now have the innate ability to use the Carry ability (in addition to normal Carry granted from other sources) to carry one character smaller than themselves regardless of the carried character’s combat symbols and does not reduce its speed value for doing so.  So, for example, a Colossal character can carry a Giant character but a Giant character can’t carry a Colossal character and a Standard-sized flier can carry a Tiny-sized character as well as another Standard-sized character (assuming the Standard-sized character can be carried)Other rules for carry are still followed normally (no multi-base, no one holding an object, etc.)

INDIVIDUAL SIZE-RELATED ABILITIES

TINY SIZE

CURRENT: Modify this character’s defense value by +1 against ranged combat attacks. A friendly character that is larger and adjacent can use the Carry ability to carry up to one Tiny character regardless of its other combat symbols, does not reduce its speed value for doing so and can continue to use the Carry ability if it can normally. This ability can’t be countered.

REVISED: This character modifies its defense value by +1 against ranged combat attacks. This ability can’t be countered.

NOTES/RATIONALE: Since carrying one smaller character is now an innate ability for all characters, the references to Carry has been removed from Tiny Size.

GREAT SIZE

CURRENT This character ignores opposing character’s Plasticity, can use Improved movement: box red, box green, box brown outdoor, pass through and can’t be knocked back. When this character makes a close combat attack, it may target characters on higher elevations. 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 ability can’t be countered.

REVISED This character can use Improved movement:box red, box green, box brown outdoor, pass throughand improved Targeting: pass through.  Lines of fire drawn to or from this character are not blocked by elevated terrain or outdoor blocking terrain, and are not hindered unless the target occupies hindering terrain. This character may occupy multiple elevations. This ability can’t be countered or ignored.

NOTES/RATIONALE: What we’ve done here is focus Great Size to game effects that represent a large character on the battlefield—

Terrain: Great Size characters retain their ability to move through most terrain.  If the Great Size character happens to be a multi-base character, its base can occupy multiple different levels of elevation.

Lines of Fire: We have removed the clause of allowing Great Size characters to have lines of fire drawn to and from them from any elevation. Now, lines of fire drawn to or from them are not blocked by elevated terrain or outdoor blocking terrain.  No more hiding behind a building or outdoor blocking terrain to avoid getting targeted by them.  Of course, if they can see you, you can see them. Also, when drawing lines of fire to or from a Great Size character, those lines of fire aren’t hindered unless the target of the line of fire (either the character the Great Size character is targeting or the Great Size character itself) is occupying hindering terrain.  Note that multi-base rules still apply, so if a multi-base figure only partly occupies hindering terrain, if you target a square it occupies that isn’t in hindering terrain it won’t be a hindered line of fire.

Ranged Attacks Out of Adjacency: In the current iteration of the Size-related abilities, the ability to make ranged attacks out of adjacency was part of Colossal Stamina (see Colossal Stamina below).  We figured that regardless if a character is wielding a weapon 20’ feet up in the air or 100’ up in the air, it is probably just as difficult to prevent them from using that weapon effectively— so, we decided that the Improved Targeting: Out of Adjacency made more sense as part of the Great Size ability.  What this does mean is that Giant characters now gain the ability to make ranged attacks to adjacent and non-adjacent characters even while adjacent to an opposing character when this was previously only allowed for Colossal characters.

The following two abilities are granted to Giant and Colossal sized characters as part of their Size, but it is important to note that these abilities can be granted to other non-Giant/Colossal characters to represent superhuman endurance and being able to hit people at a distance.

COLOSSAL STAMINA

CURRENT: This character automatically breaks away and can useimproved Targeting: pass through. 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.

REVISED: 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.

NOTES/RATIONALE: Originally, Colossal Stamina contained wording on automatically breaking away and Improved Targeting abilities.  The Improved Targeting effect has been moved to the Great Size ability and the break away effect is now part of the rules that are inherent to the different Size categories.  Colossal Stamina now focuses specifically on allowing characters to be given a non-free action when it has two action tokens— this is particularly important when we look to provide this ability to other non-Giant/Colossal characters and do not want to also grant them the ability to automatically break away and shoot out of adjacency (which may or may not make sense for the particular character).

GIANT REACH

CURRENT: This character adds 1 to its d6 roll when breaking away. This character 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.

REVISED:

GIANT REACH: X – When this character makes a close combat attack, characters occupying a square that is within X squares and line of fire may be targeted as if they were adjacent. This ability can’t be countered.

NOTES/RATIONALE: To focus this ability on the singular concept of being able to make close combat attacks at a distance, the break away effects and the granted Carry ability have been removed from Giant Reach and are now part of the rules that are inherent to the different Size categories.

The most notable change here is that Giant Reach is now available to Colossal figures and it is a variable effect— whenever a character is granted the Giant Reach ability, the X will be replaced by a number and that number will be the number of squares away the character can count for the effect.  By default, Giants have Giant Reach: 2 and Colossal characters have Giant Reach: 3. If a character is to have a different “reach”, a game effect will tell you what the new number is.

Let’s look at a specific example when this change to Giant Reach affects one of the new Colossal figures in the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman set.  SMWW #G003 Brimstone has the Colossal Retaliation power:

Colossal Retaliation: Flaming Sword Give Brimstone a free action if no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked Brimstone or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Brimstone such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character along a direct line, then do so with an area of effect that includes all characters along that direct line of fire to the target. Roll a d6, and each hit character is dealt damage equal to the result instead of normal damage.

Since Colossal figures did not have the Giant Reach ability with previous Size-related rules, Brimstone would have only been able attack to an opposing character in an adjacent square.  Now, with Colossals having Giant Reach: 3, Brimstone may be placed such that he is 3 squares from his target and his massive Flaming Sword strike will be able to hit all characters between him and his target.

And one last change that is needed to tie this all up (get it?) is a change to the standard power Plasticity:

CURRENT: This character adds 2 to its d6 roll when breaking away. Opposing characters can’t automatically break away from this character and subtract 2 from their d6 roll when breaking away from this character. Opposing characters entering a square adjacent to this character must end their movement, even if they would not have to do so normally.

REVISED: This character adds 2 to its d6 roll when breaking away. Opposing characters subtract 2 from their d6 roll when breaking away from this character.  Opposing characters of the same size or smaller can’t automatically break away from this character and must end their movement when entering a square adjacent to this character, even if they would not have to do so normally.

NOTES/RATIONALE:  This change simply comes down to trying to adopt some real-world logic to our game of superheroes— while allowing larger size characters to automatically break away from characters two size categories smaller, this would not have worked when compared to the wording of Plasticity that did not allow opposing characters to automatically break away.  It simply would not make much sense for a character the size of an ant to be able to tie-up a character the size of a building.  So, with the revised wording to Plasticity, the automatic break away is preserved for characters two sizes larger and characters one size larger are given a better chance at breaking away—so a Standard character with Plasticity would effectively subtract -2 from another adjacent opposing Tiny or Standard character’s breakaway, -1 from another adjacent opposing Giant character’s breakaway (-2 fromPlasticity; +1 from size bonus) and Colossal character will automatically break away.

Thank you all for joining us for some Design Insight on some early release rules.  There’s still lots more to come.  These rules changes are effective immediately and we’ll have the errata’d ability wordings posted in the Errata & Clarifications section of our WizKids Rules Forum.  We hope you enjoy using these new rules with the new Colossal figures recently released with the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman set.

Until next time!

 

Categories
DC HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman Design Insight

Design Insight- Sebastian Faust

DC17-SMWW_HCshield

Design Insight

Hello everyone, my name is Patrick Yapjoco.  My teammates— Kevin Afrooz and Justino Jimenez— and I had the incredible experience of winning the inaugural WizKids HeroClix Team World Championship in 2014 at Gen Con.  It was probably the most exciting format that I had ever played and we wish to give a kudos to WizKids for coming up with such a great format to add to the HeroClix World Championship— incorporating a team environment to Heroclix is just genius.  But, that’s not what I’m here to talk about… I’m here to give you some Design Insight about the new Sebastian Faust figure in the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman set— the figure we picked to design as part of our prize for winning the HeroClix Team World Championship.

First, let’s take a quick look at Sebastian Faust’s background. Sebastian Faust is the son of the nefarious magician Felix Faust. His soul is sold by his father to a demon named Nebiros in exchange for power, but the demon cheats and grants the power to Sebastian instead of his father. Sebastian Faust uses “soul” magic and is able to steal the souls of others, granting him their abilities and powers, as well as recharging his powers. Faust’s powers include healing, regeneration, matter transformation, teleportation, and scrying. He primarily worked with the superhero team The Outsiders, and then later on he worked with the government organization Checkmate as a consultant against magic.  He is also associated with the Shadowpact and the Sentinels of Magic during the Day of Judgment storyline.

Why did we choose Faust? For starters, we wanted an “unclixed” figure, and, like many of you out there, we are HUGE fans of figures that have never been made before.  We also wanted to have an open-ended power set, and what better way to have that than a mystical character.  Lastly, we wanted something somewhat obscure, but still known in the general sense.  Sebastian Faust fit the bill perfectly.  Choosing Sebastian was Kevin’s suggestion— we felt Felix Faust is already well-known and wanted to give his son some shine.

DC HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman- Sebastian Faust

When designing the powers/abilities and dial, we wanted something under 100pts so the figure would be versatile.  We also wanted 7 clicks to show his survivability— although he is not particular durable (he uses his powers to heal himself), so we opted for the standard mystical defensive powers in Energy Shield/Deflection and Super SensesFaust isn’t super-powerful, so we felt that a figure that ended up around 100pts was a good representation of his power level.  We also wanted to delve into the “soul magic” a bit and come up with new ways to represent mystical characters.  The standard damage power set for mystical characters has always been Outwit, Perplex, and Probability Control.  We initially gave him Probability Control and Perplex to represent his Pocket Dimension, but we felt that was “old hat.”  So, I suggested to the design team using a power seen in the Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Movie set:

THE BIG THREE: When making an attack roll, Captain America may roll 3 dice instead of 2 and then choose 1 die to ignore.

Without batting an eye, they loved it and it was immediately added.

The next thing we wanted was his regeneration powers.  We originally made him with Steal Energy, but from range as well and also had him able to deal 1-damage to heal 1-damage as a free action within 3 squares.  They felt that was too powerful so we compromised and that’s how he got the current Steal Essence.  This made it a power action to an opposing adjacent character, but it now deals penetrating damage.  Obviously, he has Regeneration on the back end to further represent his healing powers.

Lastly, for inspiration for his Soul Magic trait, we took a look at a power from the Marvel HeroClix: Guardians of the Galaxy set:

MEMORY LEECH: Dire Wraith can use Precision Strike. When Dire Wraith KO’s an opposing character, place that character on this card on any click. Dire Wraith can use any standard powers that character possesses on that click.

We felt it was another good representation of soul magic and we just simplified it to include any power on the card, thus giving you the Soul Magic trait.

One more aspect of Faust that we wanted to add was his ability to “Shadow Walk”— which is basically teleport between shadows.  Sidestep and Stealth were what we originally came up with, but they just didn’t give the right feel of stepping through shadows.  So, we took a look at a power seen on Lydea Mallor from the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman and the Legion of Superheroes set:

WRAPPED IN SHADOW: Lydea Mallor can use Smoke Cloud and Stealth. Once per turn, when Lydea Mallor occupies hindering terrain and is given a non-free action, before the action begins or after actions resolve, you may place Lydea Mallor in any square of hindering terrain within 5 squares and line of fire.        

It was an almost perfect representation of Shadow Walk, but we wanted to make it unique, so the design team suggested that instead of triggering before being given a non-free action, it was just linked to his Sidestep.  We felt it was perfect and, after some tweaking, you get Faust’s Shadow Walk in its current state.  To keep the points down, we just cut the Stealth part.

To round off the design, we decided to keep the combat values pretty basic, if somewhat below average.  This was by design to keep his point value down and the dial longer.  His keywords are diverse, to say the least.  Of course, you can always play him on a Mystical themed team, but the fun starts when you look at Shadowpact, Outsiders and Checkmate teams.  Faust can be used as a secondary attacker primarily, but on a Checkmate team where you can use the Checkmate ATA, he can be a serious primary attacker.  With a lot of Perplexes and great special damage power, you can use Checkmate Knights and Pawns to pump his damage and range to hit for massive amounts of penetrating damage.  He is cheap enough so that you can easily play a swarm Checkmate team to fully exploit his damage potential.  If going with Shadowpact, Nightshade is a perfect pairing with Faust.  At 140 points, that still leaves lot to work with point-wise.  She can carry him around and use Smoke Cloud to help Faust Shadow Walk into position. With other pieces like Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon to round out the team, Faust will have the necessary support to do battle, and don’t forget that awesome Shadowpact ATA to counter Mystics!  Lastly, Outsiders themed teams offer a variety of options.  Faust can be used with Red Arrow (Crisis) as a nice 1-2 punch, as after Red Arrow shoots, he can use Smoke Cloud.  Then Faust can use Shadow Walk to get into position and shoot as a follow-up.  You can pair him with Halo for transport (as well as using the Outsiders team ability), or for more Shadow Walk-ing fun you can play the “Out of the Shadows” Batman so they can both “port” together!

We love how our figure turned out and we had a blast designing it.  Our hope is that everyone has a fun time playing our figure and enjoys the game play.  We wanted to have a good figure, but not too-powerful that it sucks the fun out of playing the game.  We would like to thank the entire WizKids staff for giving us the opportunity and honor of designing our own figure. This is just another reason why this game is the best game out there.  I hope Faust does well for you in sealed tournaments, and remember, when in doubt, Perplex the attack!

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DC HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman Design Insight

Design Insight – Equipment, Linking and Standard Characters

DC17-SMWW_HCshield

Design Insight

Hello HeroClix Players,

We hope you are all looking forward to playing in the upcoming Pre-Release events starting today, Wednesday, October 21, for the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman set.  To find a store near you running a DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman Pre-Release event visit the WizKids Event System.

As we enjoy the early look at the set, you may have seen a recent Comicbook.com Unboxing Video which showed a sneak peek at the new Super-rare Eclipso figure.  He uses some new terminology that we’d like to touch upon, as there are other items that have been released using similar wording and future game elements will also use that wording.

DC17 Eclipso 055

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the wording for Eclipso’s Trait:

Black Diamond Possession When Eclipso is KO’d or if you pay 25 points when building your force, equip this character to a friendly character and link it to that character’s dial. (To equip, place this on the standard character’s card. The character can use its effects. If the character is KO’d or equipped again, KO the previously equipped game element. A linked dial is always on the same click number as the dial it’s linked to.)

EFFECT: At the beginning of your turn or after this character is clicked, you may choose 1 power on the equipped dial and 1 combat value on the equipped dial higher than this character’s same printed combat value. This character can use that power and modifies that combat value by +1 until your next turn or clicked. (A character is clicked whenever it is damaged or healed.)

So the first thing we notice is that Eclipso works the same as previous “Possessor” type characters.  This time though, he is treated as an equipped item.  With that being said, let’s discuss equipment.

“Equip” will be a new term going forward to indicate when and how a character can be assigned a game element.  A character with such a game element on their card will be “equipped” by that game element. Once equipped, the equipped character can use the effects as described on the item’s card.  Most importantly, by default, a character can only be equipped with one item at a time (unless a specific game effect says otherwise).  During force construction, a character can’t be equipped with more than one game element. During the game, if a character is equipped with a second item, the previously equipped item will be KO’d and scored for your opponent if appropriate.

The reason for this change in wording to what we have seen on previously released figures with similar mechanics is that the new term “Equip” will serve as a key term to describe this particular game mechanic without having to write out the underlying rules for it on each character’s character card.  The “Equip” term, it’s restrictions and game effects will be included in the next HeroClix rulebook—but for now, we have included explanatory text on special powers/traits that utilize this mechanic in parenthesis (as seen in the Eclipso example above).

To equip, place this on the standard character’s card. The character can use its effects. If the character is KO’d or equipped again, KO the previously equipped game element.

Another restriction to equipping will be that most equipment will only be able to be assigned to a “standard character”.  What is a standard character?  Let’s find out.

This is the official definition of a standard character:

A standard character is a character that is not a bystander and does not possess the Duo,Team , Tiny, Giant, Colossal, or Vehicle combat symbols.

If a character is not a standard character, then it can’t be equipped.  Using Eclipso as an example, he can’t be equipped to a bystander character, or any character that possesses one or more of the listed combat symbols.

The rationale behind the change to the definition of “standard character” is to address newer combat symbols that did not exist at the time of the original wording which we deemed were necessary to include— for the reason of game balance— as restricted to utilize game effects that are limited to “standard” characters.

In general, a game element that is equipped to another character is still whatever the game element normally is (Relic, Resource Attachment, Special Object, etc.).  The exception is with characters that become equipped items.  A character that becomes equipped to another character is no longer considered a character on your force or for any game effects that refer to “characters”.  Other than any effects they provide as an equipped item, they would no longer be able to use any of their other powers or abilities.  They would, however, be affected by effects that refer to equipped items.  Using Eclipso again as an example, if you choose to pay his 25 point cost during construction to equip him to a standard character on your force, he would not count as a character for any other parts of force construction, or later for any game effect that affects “friendly characters”, etc. This means his keywords would not apply to Themed Teams, he could not be assigned ATA’s, he would not count towards your initiative roll, etc.

PLEASE NOTE: Following up on this article, we will be posting an official errata for figures that previously utilized the “Possession” wording (DC Comics HeroClix: War of Light Entities and Marvel HeroClix: Age of Ultron Jocasta) so that they will now be updated to use the new “Equip” language.

One final new term to review is the term “linked”.  “Linked” will be a term used to describe the interaction with equipped items and some other game elements that have dials that we want to always turn the same way.  When a dial is “linked” to another dial, the linked dial must always match the click number of the character the dial is linked to.  For example, if a dial is linked to a character that is on click #3, the linked dial must be turned to click #3 as well regardless of what other click number it was on before it was linked.  No game effect can prevent a linked dial from matching the dial it is linked to.  If a linked dial is turned to a KO click after the resolution of effects, the linked dial will be KO’d.  A linked dial is also KO’d if it can no longer be turned to a matching click number.  For example, if a character’s dial is turned to click #15; unless the linked dial also has a click #15, the linked dial will be KO’d.

Similar to the reason behind creating the key term “Equip,” the creation of the term “Linked” is for the purpose of being able to have a single key term to communicate the underlying rules of the game mechanic without having to write out the rules for the game mechanic on each individual character’s card that features this mechanic.  The term “Linked” will also be included in the next HeroClix rulebook.

Thank you all for joining us for some Design Insight looking at some of the new game terms and rules we’ll be using.  We hope this has helped you get a better understanding of how to better use the figures.  Please make sure to visit your local game shops hosting the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman Pre-Release events for your chance to pick up Eclipso and many other great figures!

Until next time!

ADDENDUM (Reason: Further clarification of scope and timing of changes)

The information listed in this article applies specifically to game elements that uses the “Equip” terminology (and game elements that we specifically have changed to use the “Equip” wording). Other game elements that use different terminology such as “assign”, “attach”, etc. are not affected by this change and would not be held under the same game restrictions.

Game elements that are affected by these rules are affected by these rules immediately.

 

Categories
Design Insight

Design Insight- Under the Hood

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…

Vehicles

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).

Piloting

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!

Passengers

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

Autopilot—

Autopilot

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.

Ram—

Ram

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 HeroClix.com.