Greetings HeroClix Fans!
Welcome to the section of this special Rules Review series dedicated to discussing the changes which are on the horizon for the standard attack powers. There are quite a few changes coming with the upcoming release of the new Powers and Abilities Card. Some of the changes are minor while some will prove to have quite a significant impact.
The change in Incapacitate is a very simple one, but it is also a very potent one.
Under the 2012 definition for Incapacitate, the power has no effect on figures which already have 2 tokens. Now, you’re able to go ahead and target that figure with 2 tokens and try to hit, not just for 1 damage, but for 1 penetrating damage. Those pesky Indomitable figures with damage reducing powers need to fear every figure with Incapacitate, even those with a damage value of 0.
And if you think this new version is potent, wait until you see how it works combined with Energy Explosion.
There are two basic changes happening to this power.
First, it is now using the new “area of effect” mechanic in the determination of the targets. In this case, however, all that is changed is the terminology. The distance is still half of the range of the character using Pulse Wave.
The other aspect which has changed is somewhat of a return to previous language. The current rules only allow the Pulse Wave character to ignore hindering terrain and characters for line of fire purposes. But that meant that characters with game effects that used other types of terrain/conditions to prevent the line of fire would activate against a Pulse Waver. So the language returned to describing the few limited things that can block the line of fire (blocking terrain, elevated terrain, walls, etc.) and became that much more dangerous to those characters trying to hide!
The difference here is very subtle, but it is a significant difference. When a character uses Quake now, all of the targets which are hit are knocked back 2 squares – event if they don’t actually take any damage from the attack! The same restrictions on knock back apply, of course, such as being unable to knock back characters with a multi-base dial or those using the Charge power, but there is an improvement in that a character using Quake still has the potential to affect many characters who would usually be unaffected due to their ability to reduce damage.
So this is another one with several significant changes.
One thing which should be readily apparent is the addition of 2 more hindering terrain markers being placed for a total of 6 squares. This addition will be a big improvement all around due to the options that these two extra squares of instant hindering terrain will provide.
The next thing one may notice is something which doesn’t apply to every character who uses Smoke Cloud, but it is a pretty hefty boost for many. The minimum range for this power has been increased from just 1 to a full 4 squares. This extension makes those low range/low cost Smoke Cloud users much more enticing for their ability to provide the needed cover to boost their allies’ defenses.
Finally, included with this change is another benefit, though that benefit is potentially a double-edged sword. The hindering terrain markers which are placed by this power now provide a penalty to the attack values of all figures occupying these markers. With optimal placement, a Smoke Cloud user now has the capability to apply a two point swing in favor of the Smoke Cloud user’s team by not only giving a figure a -1 to his attack, but also by forcing the lines of fire to pass through hindering terrain in order to get +1 defense value boost. Beware, however, as the -1 attack values will be applied to your own guys, if they occupy those squares. Mastering the timing of the placement will be something one will need to do, but the payoff will prove to be worthwhile. It is worth noting that if the target character can use Smoke Cloud or can ignore hindering terrain, this -1 will not apply to them.
Putting all three of these changes together, Smoke Cloud has been transformed from something frequently overlooked and rarely utilized to something which is now a formidable asset for inclusion on many teams.
The dreams of many have come true with one of the changes seen here. For the first time ever, a character using Super Strength to hold an object may choose to place that object back on the map. The ability to drop an object a figure is holding may be one of the most frequently requested effects over the years.
The practical applications of this newly gained ability are numerous, but foremost among them is the capability of one figure to pass off the object to another figure so they might get that additional damage boost right when you need it. The important thing to remember is that during a single move, a character may either pick up an object or it may place it on the map. It can’t do both.
The other aspect of this power which has changed is that the +2 damage bonus for destroying terrain is being removed. While it’s certainly a decrease for the power, when you consider how often the damage bonus is needed/gets used and weigh that against the frequency with which the “putting down objects” will prove useful, it’s an equitable exchange!
Well, that just about wraps up the attack powers. We thought we’d get it all done in one, but the “paragraph” for Energy Explosion decided to get bigger and bigger, so we’re expanding this article into 2 parts. Stay tuned next week as we explore what is possible the biggest change in the attack slot from this year’s release.
If you have any more questions about these alterations or anything else in the rules, send an e-mail to HeroClixRules@gmail.com or hit the Rules Deputies up on the forums!