Welcome to article number five 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.
With our booster boxes opened earlier, it was now time to play a set of matches by choosing from our new roster of heroes and villains. Both me and Loretta had some radically different characters, so choosing who to play as took quite some time!
One thing we decided to do to shake things up more is use our own map. We had a gridded dry wipe friendly map handy from Pathfinder which we decided to use. In hindsight this didn’t work as best as planned, due to the grid sizes not matching up. HeroClix are noticeably bigger than Pathfinder minis so it was a bit of a tight squeeze at times, but it was still do-able.
We drew out a (very) rough map featuring different terrain and more space than we’d had so far on our little street.
The first match we played we set a really high point limit for. Where the Avengers characters so far had all been around the same point value, the booster box characters were a selection of high and low points. This meant there was a lot of flexibility in team creation. I had to ask myself if I wanted to go for a balanced team or put in some really heavy hitters and then toss them a little assistant. The choice was really interesting and knowing how much it would then affect gameplay made the options even more exciting.
I decided on a team of deities, going for Loki, Black Widow Thor and Silverclaw. Loretta decided to have Red Skull as her centrepiece character and a group of lower tiered minions for him to boss around.
Loki vs. Red Skull, it was time to find out who was the better evil mastermind!
Playing as Thor Widow made one thing really clear to me: taking damage really does change the way characters play. I’d glimpsed it in earlier fights with characters like Hulk, but Thor Widow seemed to change tactics entirely as she got weaker, meaning I then started playing her differently. Amusingly I automatically pictured what must be happening at this state were this a comic book plot, which was a fun little nerdy side-effect of playing with such iconic characters.
Loki offered up some new ways to play that I hadn’t seen yet, including mind control. True to his comic book personality, Loki played like a clever trickster, turning enemies into temporary allies and using his shape change ability to avoid attacks.
After a lengthy battle Red Skull came out on top, but only just. Interestingly despite taking different approaches to the point limit, the two teams had felt evenly matched which shows how well the game is balanced.
Myself and Loretta had a chat about the game and we both agreed that it was radically different playing with such different characters, it really showed off the depth of HeroClix. The more we delve into the game the more we find how flexible and varied it really is. Also, it remains really fun!
Afterwards we played a couple of small matches to wrap up, as our 500-point game had taken quite a while to play, compared to the smaller Avengers vs. Avengers match. Again we found ourselves happily surprised by how different the game became by swapping out the characters. Different abilities directly led to different strategies and a completely different battle.
With all the characters we have access to it’ll be months before we exhaust all the different combinations. With how much fun we’ve had so far, I’m looking forward to trying every single miniature.
Another thing on our minds was how much maps can affect the game. With only one dedicated HeroClix map so far, we’ve been quite limited in getting to see different terrain effects. But what we have seen has added an interesting twist to gameplay.
My expectation of HeroClix was that it would be fairly straightforward, but every day has brought new surprises in how deep the game actually is. There are a lot of ways to make each new match unique and it’s about much more than just charging towards your opponent.
Although we still consider ourselves beginners, altogether the last few days have given us a good look at Marvel HeroClix. What’s our overall opinion? Check back tomorrow for our full review!