Categories
Announcements Watch List

HeroClix Watch List Q2 2015– Official Changes

Dear HeroClix Players,

Please see below the official changes to the figures/game elements that were on the Q2 2015 Watch List (Click here to see the original Q2 2015 Watch List post).

The following errata/clarifications/rulings are effective immediately as of this posting.  As such, these errata/clarifications/rulings will be in place for all events at GenCon 2015.  We acknowledge and apologize for the late notice, however we feel that the benefits of implementing these changes immediately will make for a better GenCon experience for all players.

Felix Faust (WK #D-027)

Revised Game Text for Felix Faust’s powers below.

Additionally, please see the ruling regarding Probability Control in the Related Rules Changes below.

Revised Game text:

SEEK THE BOOKS OF MAGIC: Give Felix Faust a free action. Until your next turn, opposing characters within 7 squares may only be given ranged combat actions. Felix Faust must roll his d20 on his next turn.
GREEN BELL OF UTHOOL: Give Felix Faust a free action. Until your next turn, opposing characters within 7 squares may only be given move actions. Felix Faust must roll his d20 on his next turn.
WHEEL OF NYORLATH: Give Felix Faust a free action. Until your next turn, opposing characters within 7 squares may only be given close combat actions. Felix Faust must roll his d20 on his next turn.
RED JAR OF CALYTHOS: Give Felix Faust a free action. Until your next turn, action tokens are not removed from opposing characters within 7 squares. Felix Faust must roll his d20 on his next turn.
PROJECT THAUMATON: Give Felix Faust a free action. Until your next turn, opposing characters within 7 squares may only be given free actions. Felix Faust must roll his d20 on his next turn.
MYSTICAL TRAP: Give Felix Faust a power action and choose one opposing character within 8 squares with the Mystical keyword and one other opposing character within 8 squares. Place a special Mystical Trap marker in a square occupied by each chosen character. Even if this power is lost, while a character occupies a square with a special Mystical Trap marker, that characters can’t move from the square. When a character who occupies a square with a special Mystical Trap marker takes damage from an attack or all opposing characters occupy Mystical Trap markers, remove the special Mystical Trap marker.

 

Dr. Strange (WK #M-028)

No changes— however, please see the ruling regarding Probability Control in the Related Rules Changes below.

Scarlet Witch (WK #M15-006)

Revised Game Text for Scarlet Witch’s HEX MAGIC power below.

Revised Game text:

HEX MAGIC: Once per turn, after an attack roll has been determined, Scarlet Witch may give the attacker up to 3 Hex Magic tokens if the attacker is within range. A character may not be given Hex Magic tokens if they would have more than 3 Hex Magic tokens on their card. For each token she gives the attacker, reduce the attack total by 1. Opposing characters may be given a free action to remove a Hex Magic token and modify any friendly character’s attack value by +1 this turn.

Additionally, please see the following clarification on Scarlet Witch’s HEX MAGIC power:

Clarification: 

Opposing characters may be given a free action to remove a Hex Magic token and modify any friendly character’s attack value by +1 this turn.

Any opposing character may be given the free action to remove a Hex magic token from a character friendly to them to activate the modifier effect.

Please note— with the errata & clarification above, we are reversing previous rulings that were posted on the Wizkids Rules Forum (http://www.wizkidseventsystem.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5003) and have updated the post and rulings accordingly.

Power Battery (Orange Lantern Corps) (WoL #R-103)

No changes— however, please note the ruling regarding map effects in the Related Rules Changes below.

Power Battery (Sinestro Corps) (WoL #R-105)

No changes

Related Rules Changes:

Probability Control

Probability Control may only be used on rolls that utilize d6s.

Maps

Game effects granted by map effects can’t be countered, ignored, or prevented from being used by any non-map effects.

Relevant Examples—

For the following maps/map effects, the Orange Power Battery Emotional Spectrum effect would not be able to prevent opposing characters from using the abilities granted by these map effects.

  • Fear Itself — Pacific Ocean
    • OCEAN DEPTHS: Characters ignore water terrain for movement purposes. Characters that can use the Swim ability modify their speed value by +2 and can use Improved Movement: [HINDERING], [ELEVATED], [CHARACTERS], during this movement. Objects and terrain markers may be placed as though water terrain is clear terrain.
  • Justice League: Trinity War — Atlantis
    • OCEAN DEPTHS: Characters ignore water and elevated terrain for movement purposes. Characters that can use the Swim ability modify their speed value by +2 and can use Improved Movement: [HINDERING], [CHARACTERS], during this movement. Objects and terrain markers may be placed as though water terrain is clear terrain.
  • War of Light— Space Map
    • LOW GRAVITY: All characters can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevation
  • Avengers vs. X-Men— Surface of the Moon
    • LOW GRAVITY: All characters can use Improved Movement: [Elevated]
Categories
Announcements Rules Watch List

HeroClix Watch List — Q2 2015

The HeroClix Watch List is a mechanism by which we will communicate our intent to review elements of our games that may require refinement. This allows us to respond to elements that take away from the dynamic and exciting gameplay the HeroClix system has to offer.

The following figures/game elements are being added to the Watch List.

  • Felix Faust (WK #D-027)
  • Dr. Strange (WK #M-028)
  • Scarlet Witch (WK #M15-006)
  • Power Battery (Orange Lantern Corps) (WOL #R-103)
  • Power Battery (Sinestro Corps) (WOL #R-105)
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