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Subject: Two noobs time travel through Heroclix rss

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Ryan DeLano
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West Valley City
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As a lifelong Marvel fan, I bought heavily into Heroclix when it was released in 2002. The game was fun, and the theme distinguished it enough from Mage Knight, which I had also bought into a bit. Unfortunately, it didn't have much staying power for my friends and I at the time, and so it faded into the background.

That was, until last year, when I saw that they had released an Amazing Spider-Man set. Spidey is my favorite hero, so my curiosity was piqued enough to buy a few boosters. I was surprised to see how much the game had evolved. Figures had cards now, there were traits, improved abilities, new powers, and vastly improved sculpts and maps. I kept buying off and on, and recently hit up the secondary market (read: CoolStuffInc.) for about $300 worth of clix that I got for "free" by trading in some old Magic cards and other collectible miniatures.

Now that I had this newfound collection, I needed someone to inflict it upon. Fortunately, I was able to coerce
Stu Jones
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and we decided to make a day of it. I thought it would be best to approach the game in layers, and so we did a bit of traveling through the history of Clix, going from Infinity Challenge to Days of Future Past.


Game 1

Map: Map 1 - Indoor

Teams
Stu
ic043 Kingpin - 24 pts.
ic020 Skrull Agent - 13 pts.
ic021 Skrull Agent - 16 pts.
ic080 Juggernaut - 125 pts.
io004 The Joker - 41 pts.
ic110 Mr. Hyde - 50 pts.
ic061 Puppet Master - 25 pts.
Total: 294 pts.

Ryan
ic005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Medic - 15 pts.
ic147 Cyclops - 39 pts.
ic127 Magneto - 80 pts.
ic058 Hulk - 103 pts.
ic070 Spider-Man - 61 pts.
Total: 298 pts.

My goal was to try and bait the heavy hitters (Hyde and Jugs) to come within range of Cyclops and Spider-Man, to try and whittle them down so that Hulk could mop up. Unfortunately, things didn't end up going as planned...


Here we go!

I started off by moving the Hulk up as far as I could, and got Cyclops into position behind some hindering terrain, with a SHIELD Medic behind him.

Stu had Jugs pick up a super heavy object and moved to the entrance of the mall, still well out of my range. Hyde picked up another object and moved in behind him. Kingpin and the Joker moved up on the other side of the map, along with the Skrull agents. Stu was very good at taking advantage of Joker/Kingpins leadership, and the team abilities that allowed for move actions to not count towards your action total for the turn.

I then moved Spidey up behind a wall, and Hulk moved on top of a heavy object, taking pushing damage which effectively turned him into the Hulk, allowing him to pick up that object when he moved off of it on a future turn. Magneto moved over to a heavy object, with the hopes of being able to use telekinesis on it in the future. Cyclops and the medic cleared their tokens.

Stu then pushed Joker up to the middle of the map, behind a fountain. Since Joker had Stealth, it was going to be tricky to take him out. Puppet Master also moved up. Everyone else cleared.


I had no idea how badly I was about to get destroyed

The SHIELD Medic took a power action to use her SHIELD team ability to give Cyclops an extra boost on his next ranged attack, and Cyclops used that to blast the Skrull in the doorway into oblivion.

Stu then moved the second Skrull and Kingpin into a room on the side of the map, and Jugs and Hyde get a room on the other side of the map. I think at this point Stu realized better than I did that getting those guys out of the line of fire and inching his way towards me would ensure his victory.

I then made a tremendously foolish mistake. I moved Cyclops and Magneto over to a clear line of fire of Joker and Kingpin, and used Spider-Man to get into melee with Joker. This was probably the worst thing I could do. Spider-Man's strength was his incapacitate power and putting Cyclops and Magneto so close to the enemy was a sure way to get them killed. Hindsight is 20/20, of course.

Stu moved Puppet Master into melee with Cyclops and Spidey. Joker then punched Spider-Man for a couple of clicks.

Hulk runs into Kingpin and rolls Snake-Eyes. He huts himself and only becomes more angry. The SHIELD Medic runs over to Spider-Man. Too bad I forgot that she can't use Support if she or the friendly figure is in melee with an enemy. Everyone else clears.

Joker punches Spidey for another 2 damage, giving him Outwit. Puppet Master adds insult to injury by giving him another click of damage. Kingpin also manages to give the Hulk a click of damage as well. Jugs and Hyde move over to Cyclops and Magneto. Uh-oh.

Spidey and Cyclops both punch Puppet Master for 1 click a piece. Puppet Master now deals no damage at all, effectively making him annoying but not dangerous. Spidey outwits Juggernauts super-strength, making him drop his super-heavy object, but Magneto fails to TK Hyde away from him. Double uh-oh.


Well, it was fun while it lasted...

Hyde smashes Magneto down to his last click, and Jugs finishes him off. Yep, that could have gone better.

In response, Hulk smashes Kingpin for 3 clicks. The Medic desperately tries to hit Puppet Master, but misses. All the heroes and villains take a second to laugh at her.

The last Skrull and the Puppet Master both miss their attacks, but Joker kills Spider-Man. That's kind of a great idea for a comic. Norman Osborn going after the Joker for killing Spider-Man, taking away his obsession. Maybe Osborn kills Batman in response, and Joker and Gobbie go insane together forever. I digress.

Cyclops can't break away from his hell he's stuck in, and Hyde kills him for trying. Jugs takes out the Medic. Puppet Master pushes to attack the Hulk and kills himself. A fitting end. Joker tries, but can't hurt the Hulk. Kingpin manages to break away from him, however.

Hulk kills the Skrull in response. Jugs and Hyde grab a couple of objects and move into melee with the Hulk. No bueno.


This is how the Hulk ends...

Hyde smashes Hulk with a super-heavy and kills him.

Game 2

Map: Hell House

In this game we introduced modern, carded figures. We also used a modern map, the Hell House from the new Deadpool OP kit. The teams were as follows:

Teams
Stu
dp012 Weapon X - 91 pts.
dofp006 Pyro - 90 pts.
dofp002 Ariel - 55 pts.
dofp008 Senator Robert Kelly - 42 pts.
Total: 278 pts.

Ryan
dp047a Shang-Chi - 90 pts.
fi007 Iron Fist - 80 pts.
ca014 Luke Cage - 98 pts.
im3005 Extremis Soldier - 30 pts.
Total: 298 pts.

Senator Kelly chose Avengers as his keyword for his Mutant Registration Act ability, meaning that my Avengers (everyone but the Extremis Soldier) couldn't ignore pushing damage. Stu then immediately launched some rocket hands from Weapon X and flame constructs from Pyro. We really didn't know how these things worked, but were eager to try them out. Ariel then carried Senator Kelly to the middle of the map, behind a wall.


Time for the Heroes for Hire to take down this Avenger-hating politician and his pesky mutant bodyguards.

All of my team moved up to the middle, on the opposite side of the wall, and Stu followed suit, moving the rest of his team to his side of the wall.

The flame construct then creeped around the corner, and the rocket hands continued their lazy flight outside.

The Extremis Soldier had no problem putting the fire out while Luke and Shang-Chi moved inside the room in the middle of the map. Iron Fist moved over to the side, behind a wall. Watching. Waiting.


Everyone was about to start kung-fu fighting

Ariel carried Pyro to the Extremis Soldier, and Weapon X charged Shang-Chi and missed, probably because he had no hands. Either way, Shang-Chi puts a counter block token on his card, which he then uses to deal a damage to Weapon X. He follows that up by hitting poor Weapon X again for 4 damage. Luke moves over to Senator Kelly in the meantime, getting ready to have a chat with him about his policies. Iron Fist wraps up the turn by charging Pyro.

Ariel moves back into some hindering terrain, and Pyro summons a flame construct that bases the Extremis Soldier and Iron Fist. The Extremis Soldier doesn't care and just punches the fire to death. What a badass. Everyone else just clears and stops to congratulate the soldier for not dying.

Weapon X tries a flurry attack on Shang-Chi, and misses. I just picture Shang-Chi being like:



Shang-Chi counter blocks twice, killing Weapon X, and then charges Ariel. He astonishingly misses on his attack roll against her. She probably phased through the floor in fright or something. Extremis Soldier runs to cover and watches Luke Cage smash Senator Kelly with a Sentinel torso (super heavy object). The irony is palpable.

Pyro tries to break away and can't, so Ariel carries him away from Iron Fist. Shang-Chi charges her and Iron Fist charges Pyro again. Ariel and Pyro both go down, and the guys go out and grab some shawarma or something.

Game 3

Map: Surface of the Moon

Teams
Stu
Avengers Team Base with:
Red Hulk
Deadpool
Professor X
Captain America
Wolverine
Total: 600 pts.

Ryan
X-Men Team Base with:
Colossus
Cyclops
Emma Frost
Namor
Magik
Total: 600 pts.

Ok, so I have all the AvX stuff I could get my hands on, and I really wanted to try out the team bases. At this point, neither Stu nor I had any idea what we were doing, but it was fun regardless. I didn't take notes this game, but it basically went like this:

X-Men move up, pop Colossus off the base. Avengers move up, pop Professor X off the base. Colossus gets his Speed power outwitted, so no charge or plasticity for him. Fortunately, the Professor fails to mind control him.

The X-Men run up to the Avengers and the Professor. Focusing on the Professor, they manage to take him out and still deal a few clicks to the Avengers.

The Avengers return fire, and the X-Men manage to make one of their super-senses rolls, but still take a staggering amount of damage. Also, Red Hulk shows up on the dial, meaning poison damage at the start of the next round. Colossus and the X-Men continue their assault on the Avengers, outwitting their defensive powers when they can.

The poison damage takes the X-Men down to their last click, but they manage to make a regeneration roll in return, healing back 3. The proceed to beat down the Avengers, knocking them back, then using a penetrating/psychic blast to end the game.

It was wild, and Stu and I learned a lot more in that team base game about power interactions and abilities than in either of the first two games. It was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to continuing our exploration of this new modern era of Clix. Thanks for reading!
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Chris Funk
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Springfield
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I still have all of my REV sets and a handful of uniques from 2002-2006. I actually still prefer them. While having the cards with the specialized power names, I really would rather stay with the one Size Fits All where everything you need to know is on the dial. Less clutter on the table, too.

Glad to hear that the game is looking to evolve into a better game.

I loved playing, at least until I went to play in tournaments where a new rule came out every Sunday and if you didn't know about it, you work up this whole elaborate plan to do something and find out from the other player that it changed yesterday and you can't do this move anymore...
 
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Ryan DeLano
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That is exactly why I'll never do Organized Play. I want to play with weird, fun themes and have access to all my figures without caring about winning over all else.

I can see the draw of the cardless figs, but I prefer the cards because they add a level of theme and reference the comics I love so much. They allow figures to have non-standard powers, such as Juggernaut being able to smash through walls as he moves, and Deadpool using his various word bubbles.
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Stu Jones
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I had a phenomenal time, thanks for hosting it Ryan! It's not a game I would have likely tried in any other fashion; but, already having a history of playing games with you and that you tend to care as much about theme as anything else, I knew we'd have a good time, even if the game bombed. Which, it didn't. If only we had stuck with Clix and not ended the evening trying High Command... *sigh*

To Chris's point, I do spend more time looking up things with the cards than without... it takes that extra time to reference the color/stat, look at the ability on the card, then look up the ability again on the global reference card thingamabob. If they had mini cards that just described the unique ability for the character that would go better I think. That being said, that's mostly just because I'm new, and once I started getting into the characters more, I see the appeal of uniquely named powers (even if they share the exact same rules as everyone else that just shares the ability, just under a different name). Plus, it took me longer to get the connection with the 'squared' abilities, and the character cards became far more useful in that regard. Yes, no cards is easier... but I like the extra gameplay they provide once I got used to them.

I definitely got into it, and had a ton of fun with the strange character interactions I had, which were somewhat close to randomly picked, and I learned a lot. I'd never collect the game at large, but I like Scenario driven mini gameplay, and some of the scenario kits have appeal, so I'll probably (continue to) collect those. I did get Fear Itself pt. 2 and War of the Light, so I have to at least seek out a reasonable Return on Investment, after all
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Bill Galloway
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Wow! You go right from the original stuff to the very newest X-Men figures! What a future shock.

It's really two different games you're playing there, isn't it? When I play at home I make sure to keep figures with cards separate from the older ones. Both sets are good individually, but you'd never want to face 300 points of new pieces when all you've got is 300 points of old.

I'd like to see more sessions like this that give insight into how (or if) the game still appeals to players who had "left the fold" and come back again.
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Ryan DeLano
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bill_galloway wrote:
I'd like to see more sessions like this that give insight into how (or if) the game still appeals to players who had "left the fold" and come back again.


You can bet on it. I just got my shipment the other day of 150 more figures from across the entire line of Marvel Heroclix releases. I'm going to see if I can't get Stu back to the table for this here in a couple weeks.
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