Hello interweb, Nate here. So I’ve fallen behind on my posts and this is mostly due to being busy, uninspired, and waiting for the third volume of Superior Spider-man to arrive at my library so I can read and review the series based off of a reader’s request. So with little to really talk about currently, I decided I wanted to stray away from the actual comics to talk about a game that I’ve recently been diving head-first into that features Marvel and DC characters: HeroClix.
I’m not sure how many of my followers are framiliar to the game as the game seems to be one of, if not the, most popular CMG (Collectable Miniature Game) out there and yet I have never heard about it until a few months prior to Christmas (2014) when I got my first HeroClix starter set. The game features miniatures of Marvel and DC characters (although they’re not the only companies with miniatures, I’ll get to that in a sec) played on a grid maps. The game started in 2002 and manufactured by WizKids but only featured Marvel characters initially but later included DC characters as well as characters from other areas.
The gameplay features a miniature model of a character on a plastic base. The base in question features information that effects gameplay with a dial that can be turned as a character is damaged or healed. Normally the more damage a character receives, the lower the point values will go. There are four types of stats: speed, attack, defense, and damage; with speed representing how far a character can move in a single turn, attack being how likely an attack will hit the target, defense representing how well a character can avoid an attack, and damage being how many clicks of damage an attack will result in. There is also range that determines how far a character can attack.
The rules for the game is far too complicated to explain here so I’ll include a link to the official 2014 HeroClix Rules (the current rules used) below under Resources. The basic gameplay goes like this: a player makes a team (or “force” as it’s officially called) of figurines and use these figurines on a grid map with the goal of destroying the opposing player’s force. A force is created based on the point value decided on the game and creating a force with figurine’s point value adding up or being less than the chosen point value. For example, I own a Flash that is worth 130 points and a Mirror Master that is worth 75 points. 130 + 75 = 205, so I can’t use them both on a 200 point game but I can use them on a 300 point game (with 95 points too spare for another character if I so desire). Generally, the higher the point value, the stronger the character (makes sense as it would be more expensive to use a more powerful character). Some characters even have multiple point values and you can choose which one you wish too use. For example, I own a Thor that is worth 200/150 points so I can choose which one too chose from for my team (naturally, the 150 points have lower stats than the 200 points).
I do really enjoy the game (even with the large amounts of rules that must be followed) and I play it quite a bit with my brother. I’m still new to it (only been playing the game for about 7 months [and yet I still get quite a few rules wrong here and there]). One thing I do like about it is that it’s designed to be as realistic as possible to an actual battle. I even appreciate how certain figurines are larger than others to try and accurately represent sizes of the characters. The vast majority of characters have a single base (taking up one square of a map) but some characters are large enough to be on two bases shaped similarly to that of a peanut (taking up two spaces). There are even huge characters that stand on 4×6 bases and stand at about 16 in. tall such as the Galactus. There are even 4×6 based figurines of Doctor Manhattan and Cthulhu (from the HorrorClix set).
Speaking of Cthulhu, while I don’t currently own characters beyond Marvel and DC (simply because those are the companies I’m most comfortable with), there are HeroClix for companies such as Halo, Gears of War, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and even Lord of the Rings/Hobbit.
My only disappointment is that there are no Pokemon Heroclix or even Nintendo Heroclix that contains Pokemon in them (there was a Pokemon TFG [Trading Figure Game] at one point but I’m pretty sure they no longer make them). I seriously would love to see a Pikachu Vs Thor match (even though I’m pretty sure Pikachu wouldn’t stand a chance).
Despite of my newly found love for the game, there are a few things that bugs me. For one, I don’t feel like some of the character’s strengths are accurately translated to the game. For each character there are three levels of strengths: Rookie (yellow), Experienced (blue), and Veteran (red) (there are also unique and prime [which is silver and green respectfully]) and some characters can even be both at once (the Thor I mentioned earlier was Experienced at 200 and rookie at 150).
But even when taking this into account, I still feel like some characters aren’t accurately judged; even if we compare a Marvel character to another Marvel character instead of a DC character. For instance: my brother’s Black Bolt is worth 150/100 points (veteran/experienced) while my Thor is 200/150 (experienced/rookie) yet I feel like Black Bolt should put up quite a fight with Thor considering that he can destroy a planet simply by yelling. I guess strength levels are kinda hard to judge between comics and collectable figurine games, but there are times where I feel a character got nerfed (a term used to describe a character in a game that is weakened or become less usable).
Another gripe of mine is when a character has a feature that is inaccurate to the character. My brother owns a figurine based off of the time Hal Jordan was possessed by Parallax (google it) and it is featured with normal movement instead of flying (which actually does effect the gameplay quite a bit) even though he’s a Green Lantern.
Despite my gripes, I do love the game. It’s a fun game that features characters I’ve never even heard of in a way that allows you to use customizable teams against your opponent. I also like the figurines that have comic book references to them such as the Parallax/Hal Jordan one I mentioned earlier and there’s a figurine of vampire Jubilee! If you like comics and you also love collectable games, than I would definitely recommend this one. It can get a little pricey but a starter set (containing one map and a couple of figurines) costs about $16 at my comic book store with booster packs (containing 5 figurines including a 1 rare) costing about $11 and single packs (containing one random figurine) being about $5.
- 2014 HeroClix Rules
- A 50 min YouTube Video on How To Play
- Dave’s Corner of the Universe on Geek Obscura: HorrorClix
So have you ever played HeroClix? If so, what are your thoughts on it? And as a little bonus, comment below if you have any ideas for franchises that can turn their characters into HeroClix figurines. I want them to do Pokemon but I’m really curious on what ideas you guys have on the subject.