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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.

 

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Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury- Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Contessa Valentina & Madame Hydra

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

Continuing with previews of the upcoming Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Booster Bricks, we take a look at one of Nick Fury’s closest associates and former love interests, Contessa Valentina! 

Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Contessa Valentina

 

At 85 points, the uncommon #018 Contessa Valentina makes an affordable team-focused addition to your S.H.I.E.L.D. or Spy keyword teams. The Contessa has two traits that make her an excellent team player, both in helping her teammates as well as benefiting from them. The first trait, Changing the World, is shared by other characters with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword, but with different variation of it. For the Contessa, her version of the Changing the World trait is called Superior Espionage— this restricts the opponent’s ability to use Willpower and Outwit if there are two characters with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword adjacent to them! With her second trait, Setting the Table for Betrayal, Contessa Valentina shows her true colors. She also has use of the Mastermind trait for her entire dial, but can only use it to transfer damage to characters with the Hydra or S.H.I.E.L.D. keywords. When she uses Mastermind, you add a ‘Traitor’ token to her card, roll a d6, and add 1 for each Traitor token she has on her card.  If you roll high enough, you can replace her with #057 Madame Hydra (see below) on the same click number!

While she plots her betrayal, the Contessa sports a healthy mix of close combat and ranged combat options.  She has a 5 range with two targets and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability to help her adjacent allies with their ranged attacks. From the start, she is ready to draw in opposing characters for close combat using Stealth; then she can use Precision Strike with her 10 attack value, Combat Reflexes with her 17 defense value, and a base 3 damage.  For her second and third clicks, as her defense and damage values slowly tick down, she changes gears and trades Stealth for Running Shot and Combat Reflexes for Energy Shield/Deflection. For the back half of her dial, Contessa Valentina switches back to close combat mode with three clicks of Sidestep, Poison, Combat Reflexes, and Close Combat Expert; a deadly combination. Remember that Sidestep and Poison are both free actions that can be used at the beginning of your turn in any order. With Mastermind granting her the ability to transfer damage to friendly characters, you could keep her on her Poison clicks for as long as you need, just watch out for opposing characters with Precision Strike!

Whether or not her true intentions are revealed throughout the course of the fight, Contessa Valentina brings a solid mix of teamwork utility, self-survivability, and has the potential to be deadly up-close or at range. What happens if you choose to replace her with her Betrayal trait?  Let’s find out and take a sneak peek at Madame Hydra!

Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Madame Hydra

At 100 points, the super rare #057 Madame Hydra is 15 points more than the piece she replaces. The great thing about her is that you can play her on your force like a normal character, too, rather than using her as a replacement for Contessa. She has 6 range with two targets and the Hydra team ability to help her allies hit their marks. She also has the Assassin, Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Spy keywords. Madame Hydra brings two traits to the table; one to hurt opponents with and another to aid your own cause with. As the Contessa takes her role as a leader of Hydra, she features one of the Hydra’s Reach shared traits that can be found on other nefarious Hydra villains. Her version— Hydra’s Reach is Never-Ending— adds an action token to and deals one penetrating damage to a character of your choice adjacent to an attacker that dealt her damage. Either the opponent is going to break up their forces and forfeit any advantages they get from keeping their characters adjacent to avoid triggering this trait, or they’ll pay the consequences. Her second trait, Beauty With a Black Heart, grants her a click of healing every time a friendly character that shares a keyword with her is KO’d. With the right mix of lower point value S.H.I.E.L.D. or Hydra soldier teammates, you can definitely keep Madame Hydra in play for a while.

Thanks for joining us for another preview of the upcoming Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. set. Join us again next week to see some more new ‘Clix!

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Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury- Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Union Jack

Greetings HeroClix Fans!

To kick off the Booster Brick previews of the upcoming Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. set, we take a look at a member of the Invaders who has fought alongside Captain America but did not serve during World War II, and who also teamed up with Captain Britain as part of MI13. Please welcome Joseph Chapman, the third hero to adopt the identity of Union Jack!

Union Jack can be added to your force for 90 points and has a range of five squares and one target. He also has the Indomitable combat ability, so he can attack on two consecutive turns without taking damage from pushing. Union Jack has a pair of traits that make him fun to play: Invade Your Territory and Silver Bullets and Blade.

Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Union Jack

The first trait, Invade Your Territory, is shared by other characters in this set with the Invaders keyword. What makes Invade Your Territory fun is that Union Jack treats Barrier or Smoke Cloud markers as if they weren’t there and he removes them from the game if he’s moved through them. Opposing players who want to use those powers to slow down or stop Union Jack may have to rethink their strategy.

You’ll want to remember that Invade Your Territory only applies for movement. If Union Jack tries to draw a line of fire through a Smoke Cloud marker to a character using Stealth, it will be blocked. However, an Invaders teammate with the Invade Your Territory trait can move through the Smoke Cloud markers to remove them, giving Union Jack a clear line of fire to his target.

On his own, Union Jack is a mobile attacker from range and in close combat, thanks to a power set that includes The Webley or the Shiv?, a special power which lets him use Charge and Running Shot. Additionally, when Union Jack uses Charge, he can also use Blades/Claws/Fangs to potentially deal up to six clicks of damage. And when Union Jack uses Running Shot, he can use Improved Targeting to ignore characters when he draws lines of fire.

Energy Explosion appears on the same two clicks as The Webley or the Shiv?, which potentially lets Union Jack dish out damage to characters adjacent to his target when he shoots. Union Jack starts defensively with Toughness to reduce some of the damage dealt to him. The remaining mix of powers on Union Jack’s dial work well with one another. Toward the middle of Union Jack’s dial he gains the popular combination of Charge, Blades/Claws/Fangs and Exploit Weakness to potentially deal up to six clicks of penetrating damage. Combat Reflexes appears in his damage slot. On Union Jack’s last three clicks he switches to Sidestep and Super Strength, which lets him pick up objects to deal additional damage. Defensively, Toughness returns for a click before it’s replaced by Invulnerability.

Earlier we mentioned Union Jack’s other trait, Sliver Bullets and Blade. This trait lets Union Jack deal penetrating damage to an opposing character with the Monster keyword. Additionally, that character can’t heal for the rest of the game. Opposing Monster characters that rely upon the Regeneration or Steal Energy powers will want to think twice before engaging in a fight with Union Jack!

Union Jack has a trio of keywords (Excalibur, Invaders and Soldier) for theme team building purposes but he’s also a viable choice on any force, thanks to his point cost, combat values, and solid mix of powers and traits.

Thanks for reading. join us again as we reveal more exciting characters from the Marvel HeroClix: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D set!