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Heroclix Review
by Ugavine

So, Heroclix, where to begin on this quite epic Super Hero game?  Heroclix is a collectable Miniatures game primarily based on Marvel and DC comic characters and has been going now for over 15 years.  The game allows players to collect the figures which come pre-painted then build teams to fight each other on one of the many maps provided.

Heroclix uses the unique Clix mechanic, where the characters stats and powers are on the base which turns as they take damage to reveal different stats and powers; some figures get weaker while a few, like the Incredible Hulk, get stronger until they are KO'd.  Hey kids, no one dies, they're just knocked out or defeated.  Other than a few early sets each figure also comes with a stat card explaining the abilities and powers, and even adding a few special ones the characters can use.  There are many Powers such as Super Strength (allowing a character to use heavy objects in an attack), Charge (you can move and make a close combat attack), Outwit (cancels an opponents power) and so on and so on.  All of these are referenced on the PAC (Powers and Abilities Chart) which comes in starter sets.

Gameplay.  Players take it in turns to give their characters actions, the number of actions you have  depends on the size of the game or by the scenario rules you are using.  Each time you make an action you give your character a token.  The next turn you mostly rest, clearing the token. You can 'push' to take an action but take damage yourself (unless a Power says otherwise).  And I really cannot go into the full list of powers and their interactions, it can get complicated.  And that can be seen as either the strength or weakness of the game.  Some power interactions are complicated and, it's best to just go with the rules rather than think about the logic, but then there are enough players to please those that want simple play and those that want complicated strategy and synergy between their characters.



Teams.  One of the big plus's of the game is that all the figures from the sets are compatible meaning you can make some fun teams, especially with the vast array of characters available.  Also there are different versions of characters from their various comics, you can play a low 50 point Batman as a support character or the 200pt combat monster.  What about the Batmobile, and the Batcave?  Yep, available too.  Want to team Superman with the Green Goblin, Spider-Man with Batman or give Michaelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Infinity Gauntlet, all possible.  That's silly, you'll be saying you can team Spider-Ham with Ace the Bat-Hound next... yep.  As well as TMNT those extra sets also include Yu-Gi-Ho! Kick-Ass and Eddie from the heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

Collecting.  This is where you either love or hate the game.  There are all kinds of ways of getting figures, and some are pretty difficult to get, such as Convention Exclusives or Prize figures which end up fetching high prices on the secondary market.  Generally the figures are bought in packs of 5 random figures called a Booseter.  Rarities in these sets are usually Common, Uncommon, Rare, Super-Rare and Chase.  As a minium you should get a Rare figure in every Booster.  There is a 1 in 4 chance of getting a Super-Rare and 1 in 20 of getting the Chase.  Set sizes vary but are often around 60 figures.  If random collecting is not for you you can usually buy the figures from online shops or auction websites.  Many forums and trade groups also offer ways to get figures you want.

Quality.  This is a bit of a downside, but do remember you are buying mass produced pre-painted figures.  Figure quality can vary drastically, and mistakes are supposedly frequent, although to be honest the worst I've had is a misprinted stats card and a figure come off it's base, which was easily fixed with a dab of glue.  The Common figures generally, but not always, have less detail than the Rare's.  And while I have seen some poor figures, the recent Owl from Defenders/Avengers War set is quite poor, the Chase figure of Sunfire in the Uncanny X-Men is superb.  I genuinely believe that if quality could be addressed this would be one of the greatest games on the market.

Getting started.  Starter sets can be few and far between, but these do include a map the rules and several figures.  It also includes the PAC, this is the Powers and Abilities Chart, and is vital to understand the Powers.

Fast Forces give a group of related figures ready to play.  The early versions of these also inclded a map, the current ones sadly don't.

Maps.  For a starting player this seems to be the biggest problem, especially as starters are hard to find and Fast Forces no longer include them.  I generally get mine from playing in events at my local games shop, otherwise you will have to look online for these as they are not available to buy other than a couple of the expensive Premium quality ones.  But many Heroclix players will have spare maps they're sure to part with.

Overall.  It's a difficult game to judge, it has so many ups and downs.  For many gamers the collectable nature instantly puts them off, and the vast amount of hard to get figures means you will be extremely frustrated, or broke, if you are a completionist.  Quality is also a let down.  But at the heart of it all is this great fun game with Super Heroes with near infinite variety; a 300 point skirmish or a 2000 point epic fight agaist Galactus!  I am going to give the game 4 Squirrels, it's one of my favourite games, but I cannot justify 5 Squirrels to a collectable game with varying quality.

(4 Squirrels)  Excellent game.  Great fun with much replayability.


Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle Villains vs Marauders



Club Squirrel ratings

     (1 Squirrel)  Pretty bad.  Not fun.  Play before you buy. 

     (2 Squirrels)  Below average, not much fun.

     (3 Squirrels)  Good game.  Fun with solid mechanics.

     (4 Squirrels)  Excellent game.  Great fun with much replayability.

     (5 Squirrels)  GOLDEN SQUIRREL.  One of the best games out there.




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