Announcements HeroClix Worlds

Congratulations to the HeroClix European Champion: Stefano Cestari!


Greetings HeroClix Fans!

Last week thousands of game enthusiasts converged upon the Messe Essen for Essen Spiel 2013.  Fans, manufacturers, designers, industry journalists and more all gathered for the annual show celebrating all that is fun in the world of Euro-gaming, as well as perhaps sneak a peek or two at some of the upcoming hotness to come!

WizKids Games was present for the action, spotlighting the premiere of two long-awaited games, The Hobbit: Journey to the Lonely Mountain Strategy Game and Trains and Stations, as well as the release of the latest expansion for the Mage Knight Board Game, the Krang Character Expansion.

However, if one were to stop by the WizKids booth during the show, not only would they see board game enthusiasts demo’ing these great games, they would also see a very happy and fun group of players enjoying HeroClix!

That’s right! Essen Spiel 2013 was the host of the 2013 HeroClix European Championship! With more than 40 players from nine different countries in attendance, the European Championship event took place over three days with constructed qualifiers on Thursday and Friday and the Championship event itself taking place on Saturday of the show.

Eight players from three different qualifiers (one on Thursday, two on Friday) plus the French HeroClix National Champion, Andrea Lupo, participated in the event on Saturday.  The players assembled with nervous excitement early in the day, and play commenced with all the intense strategizing one would expect from an event of this caliber, but it was hard to miss the atmosphere of camaraderie and goodwill the players had for each other at this inaugural event.  Missing character cards? Did one of your figures break in the harried move to take your seat? No problem, your fellow players had your back and were happy to help.

Over five rounds of play, with a brief break after round three for lunch, one player emerged to take first place as the undefeated winner of the event.  It is our great pleasure to announce the 2013 HeroClix European Champion, Stefano Cestari from Italy!

Stefano Cestari

Once the initial excitement and heartfelt congratulations had quieted some, we had a few moments to sit with Stefano and talk about winning the Championship, HeroClix-at-large, as well as his philosophy for the game.

WizKids (WK): Tell us about yourself Stefano; how long have you been playing HeroClix?

Stefano Cestari (SC): I’ve been playing the game since Infinity Challenge! In fact, I bought one of the first Infinity Challenge starters in all of Italy! I was in my first year at University at the time, and I bought the starter at the local Comic Book Shop.  You could say the store and I started HeroClix together; a few of us bought HeroClix and the store started running events.  Even though I’ve since moved away, the owner of that shop and I remain good friends to this day.

WK: What attracted you to HeroClix?

SC: I played Mage Knight a great deal, and enjoyed a lot about that game like Dungeons.  But when WizKids announced a new game using the same mechanics and super heroes? That was for me! I loved the strategy of Mage Knight and the figures, but super heroes are a greater love for me so I knew I had to try the game.

WK: So it was all downhill from there, right?

SC: (laughing) Yes.  HeroClix is the game of my life.  I love it.  It’s the best game in its field.

WK: What do you like most about HeroClix?

SC: It is a game of intellect.  In HeroClix, you get to compete using tests of memory, forethought, statistical evaluation and more!

WK: How long have you been playing competitively?

SC: Almost since the beginning.  I remember going to the first HeroClix event hosted at the Torino Comic Book Fair! There were only a few players back then, but I was completely destroyed by the opposition!

WK: That seems to have only ignited a desire to be a better player, no?

SC: Oh, absolutely!

WK: Where do you play now?

SC: It’s name translates to “The Sleeping Dragon”.  It’s a store in Torino, Italy.  We have a Facebook group for over 50 players that frequent the shop, though only 15-16 players usually show up for any given event.

WK: How many players from your area came to Essen Spiel?

SC: Four players and myself came to the event.  We were all very excited to attend an official WizKids HeroClix event in Europe.  I also participated in the French HeroClix National Championship and placed seventh.

WK: What can you tell us about your team? Why the New Mutants team base over, say, some of the other popular strategies out there?

SC: Shortly after Dragon Con, we began reviewing the footage and editorial from the Realms Open Championship.  In my opinion, the teams to beat were Spiral teams, The X-Men – Blue Strike Force teams, and Bat-Mite teams.  New Mutants won that event and while a little clunky, there was smart use of Solo Adventure with this Team Base.

WK: You played the same team in the Qualifier; were you afraid that someone would come up with a means to defeat your strategy?

SC: I looked at the competition and while there were a LOT of very good players here, I was confident in my strategy with the New Mutants.  This team base can absorb a lot of hits; most of the teams out there have one, maybe two, tricks but once those are done or gone, that’s it for the team.  One of the things I’ve noticed in HeroClix is the evolution of Aggro and Control in the Meta.  Control is, in my opinion, an under-valued strategy in HeroClix.  I prefer it over Aggro and the New Mutants fit that perfectly.

WK: You’re a very confident player, which is good of course.  Was there ever a moment when you were worried you may lose?

SC: (laughs) Yes of course! During the final round, when I played Patricia [Lam, of Canada], she was very meticulous – counting out her movements and planning her actions very carefully.  She is a really good opponent and challenging.  Well, at one point she one-shot’ed my Shatterstar.  Well, at that point a single bead of panic-sweat trickled down my forehead!

WK: What did you do?

SC: I did the only thing I could do! I played on and did not let it shake me.  As I say before, there are lots of options with the New Mutants Team Base and I was going to use them! Sunspot and Magik soon evened up the score for me!

WK: So, now that you’ve won the European Championship, next up is Worlds in August.  If you should win, do you know who you would be interested in helping to design?

SC: I like the more obscure characters.  I think my first pick would either be the Phil Urich Green Goblin or maybe Thunderstrike.  We haven’t seen him in a long time!

WK: Thank you Stefano.  If you don’t mind, we just have a few more questions.  Marvel or DC?

SC: (laughs) Marvel.

WK: Favorite Marvel character(s)?

SC: As you can probably guess, my absolute favorite is Captain America (Editor’s note: Stefano wore a variety of Cap-themed shirts over the course of the weekend).  I am also a fan of the Phil Urich Green Goblin, Thunderstrike – anything by Tom DeFalco really.

WK: If you don’t mind our saying, Captain America is an interesting choice given that you’re from Italy.

SC: Yes, it is true! I like Captain America because of the ideal he represents.  Captain America is not about government or politics; he is about the people and doing the best you can, that you can make a difference with no powers.  When you think about it, Captain America has strong roots in European myth, which has then been sublimed into an ideal we can all understand and appreciate.

WK: We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.  How about a favorite team?

SC: Why, the Avengers of course!

WK: Any particular era or lineup?

SC: I particularly enjoyed the Heroes Return Busiek/Perez era.  I also enjoy all of the Secret Avengers lineups so far, especially Venom and Valkyrie.

WK: Anything not already in HeroClix that you would like to see in the game?

SC: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! (laughs) Also, perhaps Mortal Kombat.

WK: (laughs) Yes, we hear that a lot.

SC: Oh, and the Mystery Men! They would make a perfect Fast Forces pack!

WK: Ok, we gotta say that’s probably the first time we’ve heard that one! (laughing) Well, we never say “Never” in the office, so you never know.

WK: Last question, any words of advice for the HeroClix players out there, looking to improve their game?

SC: Yes! Of course! Build a team! Be a part of a community and play a lot! Share your strategies! Organize! You cannot be a winner if you do not play with anyone! Elevate the players around you and help them to get better, because that will make you a better player! And don’t hide yourself; get out and play as much as you can!

WK: Thank you Stefano, and congratulations again on your hard-fought victory.

SC: Thank you again for coming to Essen!

Stefano Cestari’s 2013 HeroClix European Championship team:

New Mutants Team Base (WaX T004) – 200 pts

  • Magik
  • Mirage
  • Sunspot
  • Warlock
  • Cannonball
  • Wolfsbane
  • Magma

Shatterstar (WaX 010, with the Utility Belt; five belt slots and one Costume slot) – 86 pts (73 pts for Shatterstar, 13 pts for the Utility Belt)
Tourist Bystander Token – 3 pts
Superfan Bystander Token – 3 pts
New Mutants Additional Team Ability (ATA) – 8 pts (4 pts each for Team Base and Shatterstar)

The Remaining Top 6 Players

Patricia Lam, 2nd Place

Ghost Rider (ASM 046, with the Utility Belt; six slots and one Costume slot) – 159 pts. (145 pts. for Ghost Rider, 14 pts. for the Utility Belt)
Loki (FI 101) – 30 pts.
Scarlet Witch (CWFF 006) – 50 pts.
Scarlet Witch (CWFF 006) – 50 pts.
Protester Bystander Token – 3 pts.
Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA), 8 pts (Ghost Rider)

Maillard Romuald, 3rd Place

Scarlet Witch (CWFF 006) – 50 pts.
Iron Fist (FI 007, with Utility Belt;  six slots and one Costume slot) – 94 pts. (80 pts. for Iron Fist, 14 pts. for the Utility Belt)
Batcycle; piloted (SoG V001) – 50 pts.
GCPD Motorcycle; autopiloted (SoG V004) – 19 pts.
Shatterstar (WaX 010) – 73 pts.
Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA), 8 pts (Iron Fist)

Olan Bureau, 4th Place

Spiral (WaX 041) – 106 pts
Scarlet Witch (CWFF 006) – 50 pts.
Astral Doctor Strange (GG 014b) – 13 pts.
Loki (FI 101) – 30 pts.
Iron Fist (FI 007, with Utility Belt;  five slots and one Costume slot) – 93 pts. (80 pts. for Iron Fist, 13 pts. for the Utility Belt)
Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA), 8 pts (Iron Fist)

Steve Boudart, 5th Place

Spiral (WaX 041) – 106 pts
Scarlet Witch (CWFF 006) – 50 pts.
Astral Doctor Strange (GG 014b) – 13 pts.
Loki (FI 101) – 30 pts.
Iron Fist (FI 007, with Utility Belt;  five slots and one Costume slot) – 93 pts. (80 pts. for Iron Fist, 13 pts. for the Utility Belt)
Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA), 8 pts (Iron Fist)

Vianney Vimeaux, 6th Place

Spiral (WaX 041) – 106 pts
Scarlet Witch (CWFF 006) – 50 pts.
Astral Doctor Strange (GG 014b) – 13 pts.
Loki (FI 101) – 30 pts.
Iron Fist (FI 007, with Utility Belt;  five slots and one Costume slot) – 93 pts. (80 pts. for Iron Fist, 13 pts. for the Utility Belt)
Heroes for Hire Additional Team Ability (ATA), 8 pts (Iron Fist)