Welcome to article number two in our HeroClix week! As a re-cap you can read our introduction post here. In short: all this week we’re going to be checking out Marvel HeroClix, with a different article every week as we get further into the game.
So today we’re taking our first step into actually playing Marvel HeroClix with the Avengers Quick-Start Kit. Myself and Loretta are both absolute beginners, with no previous experience.
Inside the set was:
A Captain America miniature
An Iron Man miniature
One double-sided card for each character
A map of a ruined street
A set of basic rules
True to their word this was a set that allowed us to very quickly get set-up.
The rules explained that there are more advanced rules available on the official website, but we decided to keep things simple for now and play a game in the most straightforward manner we could. No abilities, no extra rules, just moving and close/ranged combat. We wanted a nice mega straightforward battle so we could get used to the basics of movement and attacking.
The only thing needed to play that wasn’t included in the set is dice, as 2 6-sided dice are rolled together for combat checks. As occasional players of other tabletop games, we dug into our box of games and grabbed a couple each. Then we were all set!
Playing as Captain America I had absolutely terrible luck and found myself annihilated by Loretta’s Iron Man. Poor Steve was basically burnt to a crisp while Tony barely took a scratch.
Next we decided to run a proper battle. Taking advantage of the ability cards of each character.
This time things were much more interesting.
When a character is damaged in HeroClix, you represent the damage by turning the dial on the miniature itself, “clicking” it around (get it?). This reveals new stats, representing the updated state of the character. Furthermore this unlocks and reveals new abilities, represented by the colours on the characters base. This means a character taking more damage doesn’t necessarily get weaker, it can unlock powerful moves to shake up the game.
We also took into account terrain effects too, which affected line of sight for ranged attacks, and made traveling through them more difficult. Although there were only two different alternative terrain types on this map, there are quite a few in the full game.
This time the fight was much closer. Iron Man still came out on top (grumble, grumble) but he was in much worse shape this time.
Feeling more comfortable with these basic rules, we played a couple of extra matches and came to the same conclusion: that was really fun!
Even without having moved on to the full advance rules yet we both had really enjoyed playing and can see the further potential in the game. One of things that surprised me, but shouldn’t have in hindsight, is how fast the game was to set up. Other games we enjoy playing together are the Game of Thrones board game and the Pathfinder Card Game, both are fun but take a while to get set up and ready. Playing HeroClix took moments to set up in comparison. Grab your character, get their status card, put down the map, roll for who goes first, then that’s it. Done, time to play and enjoy.
Likewise the stats are kept simple. One of my pet peeves when it comes to any sort of game is ridiculous numbers. Some love to throw in extra 0s on their stats to make things seem especially epic. HeroClix doesn’t bother with that nonsense and keeps the numbers small and simple to manage.
Characters can also move quite far per turn, which kept things moving fast. There was no lengthy crawl as we marched towards each other, we were trading blows pretty quick. Obviously this could be controlled with a different sized map, but by default I got the vibe that the focus was meant to be on action, not dramatically staring each other down.
So at the end of our first day of tinkering with HeroClix the two of us have high hopes for what else it to come. Tomorrow we break into the Classic Avengers Fast Forces Pack and have them face each other for more hero vs. hero action.