Wish-List: “Man-Spider” (v1.1)

wpid-SpiderMan-ManSpider.jpgThe image here of a Peter Parker/Spider-Man mutated into a “Man-Spider” is “fan art” from a guy on the internet who goes by the handle of “Ronnie Thunderbolts”. Pretty cool, huh? And no, I can’t remember the issues this version of Pete appeared in. I don’t even think I ever had those issues. (I think I read them in a trade paperback collection? At the local public library? Man, that was years ago. God Bless the public library system.)

Since we always get new versions of the “major characters” — Batman, Iron Man, Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, et cetera — would love to see this version of Spidey made, most likely in the next Spider-Man themed set. (Which would be when? 2016? Maybe?)


HeroClix Tinkering: “Generic, Specific, Named” (v1.7)

Keywords.  HeroClix.  Current categories: “generic” (ex: scientist, soldier, reporter, detective,  etc.) or “named” (ex: Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, Brood, etc). Some players of a particular mind like to nitpick that the proper antonym to “generic” should be “specific”, not “named”. But then, this is HeroClix. Games sometimes need to deviate in order to establish and solidify certain functions of the game. But, there may be some potential in the concept of “specific keywords” as an “in between” category.

I’ve brought this idea up a few times over the years, trying to refine it. [EDIT: And it appears I deleted most of those previous posts, with the exception of the one about Mole Man and his Moloids. I guess sometimes I tinker with this blog a little too much.]

Hang with me here: There’s a bit of a “Masters/Minions” snag in this game, the glitch I see being with keywords and their use in “Theme Teams”. For example, Mole Man and his Moloids: Mole Man’s minions have the “monster” keyword, while some versions of their “king”, the Mole Man, don’t have the “monster” keyword. That makes forming a theme team a bit of a hassle. And under the current theme team rules, theme teams formed using *only* “generic” keywords basically get less in the way of benefits. Looks like a bit of a “hole” to me.

Yeah, maybe Mole Man and his Moloids shouldn’t have the full benefits of a “named” theme team, but they aren’t an ad hoc temporary “team-up” either. That’s the way I tend to interpret “generic” keyworded theme teams: individuals banding together temporarily. The “named” theme teams are about how they’ve formed a more cohesive unit, developed coordinated tactics, some specialized training, and so on. But, the “Master and his Minions” tropes in the comics seem to be an “in-between dynamic” to me.

Per page 23 of the 2013 HeroClix Core Rulebook, theme team qualifications are:

  • all characters on a team — or “force” — must share a keyword.
  • the team must have at least two characters (I’d say “figure”; a Duo character is “conceptually” two “characters”, but it’s only one figure in the game, for example)
  • theme teams may be assigned Additional Team Abilities (ATA’s)
  • theme teams receive a bonus to the “initiative roll”.
  • and theme teams where the characters all share a “named” keyword get access to Theme Team Probability Control (TTPC), 1 per 100 points of the build (restrictions apply).

Filling the gap: “Specific” keywords.A “specific keyword” would be a combination keyword. Could combine generic and generic keywords, or generic and named, I suppose. Or, a generic or named keyword with a seemingly “generic qualifier”.

Keeping with the Mole Man/Moloids examples: Mole Man wouldn’t need to have the “monster” keyword; he could have a keyword like “monster ruler” or “monster leader’ or “monster master” instead. I mean, if we’re trying to emulate the comics, Mole Man is not physically or even “mentally” a monster. He’s a brilliant, physically ugly, but otherwise normal human being, of certain exceptional skills. Under the contrivances of the game, he’s had to be saddled with the “monster” keyword so that a group of his own minions could benefit a little more by his presence on a team-build.

Personally, I’m liking the use of “leader” as a qualifier for creating “specific keywords”.

Effects? Presence of one — and only one — “[x] leader” gives your theme team one TTPC, as long as all other characters on a team/force build share the [x] keyword. I’m undecided about further restrictions, but am leaning toward only the [x] leader being able to use that “bonus TTPC”, as i think that would be fitting. I guess that *could* depend on whether or not the [x] in the specific keyword was “generic” or “named”. But, “named theme teams” already have greater advantages, so if they get a “leader TTPC”, it should have the restriction on use.

This form of “specific keyword”, as I said earlier, could also be combined with “named” keywords, maybe.”Hydra leader.” “Avengers leader.” “X-Men leader.” “Fantastic Four leader.” “Brood leader.” “Black Hole Sons leader.” “Duhg’s Army leader.” “Great Lakes Avengers leader.” “Maximum Carnage leader.” (if they continue with “named” keyword based on actual “events”; “event keywords”?) On and on.

We could have a lot of fun revising who has what keyword(s) as well. Always thought that if the Skrulls, Kree, Shi’ar, and Brood have their own “named” keywords, the Moloids should have a “Moloid” keyword. Could be fun then, running them on their own as a Moloid theme team. For an extra “kick”, add in a “Moloid leader” Mole Man, or maybe a “Moloid leader” Val-Or.

Your opponent, running, say, an Avengers theme team will probably weigh his/her options: “So, do I add an “Avengers leader” to my team? To get that extra TTPC?” (Candidates for an “Avengers leader” specific keyword are broader than you might think. Captain America may be the obvious character to get such a specific keyword, but versions of Wasp, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Iron Man, even Spider-Man might have an “Avengers leader” specific keyword.) [EDIT: You could conceivably make a team full of “Avengers leader” keyworded pieces, but you should still only get one additional TTPC, and you’d have to decide before set-up which “leader” would have access to it.]

Specific “generic-generic” keywords could be: “police leader”; “soldier leader”; “politician leader”; “monster leader”; “ruler leader” (heh; it’d have to *always* be Dr. Doom, as he’d recognize no other) and so on.

WizKids would have to be very, very careful on what the “x” is in such [x] leader keyworded pieces, and use sparingly. (I was only kidding about the “Duhg’s Army leader thing.)

Certain ATA’s *could* require a specific leader with the specific [x] leader keyword.

Anyway, some possibilities. Can’t be applied willy-nilly.

Something to try out anyway.


EDIT (2014-06-23): To be clear, the [x] in an “[x] leader” specific keyword can be either generic or named, and its presence is still used for qualifying for typical generic or nsmed Theme Team benefits, as well as other game effects, such as from Traits or Special Powers.

Wish-List: Super-Apes (v3.0)

EDIT (02 APR 2013): Yet another transfer from “greyheroclixzealot”, originally posted on 17 MAR 2013. Almost done. 

Marvel’s “Super-Apes”. Love them, love the concept. This is a  Wish-List post for a “ReClix” of some characters we’ve seen published  in the game before — the Super-Apes, the Red Ghost’s teammates/”Minions”. They first appeared in 1963’s Fantastic Four #13. Hey, I’ve been pushing for a HeroClix set focused on “Marvel Monsters & Villains”, and they fit the theme, in slightly different ways, but very fun.

The old ones aren’t bad, useful for the points. Just old. SUPERNOVA, pre-CURSR “Special Powers and Traits” era. From the SUPERNOVA SET (2006), we currently have —

  • SNV#019 Super Apes: Igor @ 50 points. In the comics, he’s a shape-changer. Igor has an insane level of shapeshifting ability; once he turned into a gun! Worked like a gun! HOW IN THE HELL DOES THAT WORK? Fleshy-thing Baboon-butt turned into a metal gun with moving parts! Ah, well. Comics. Still, could have some fun with Igor, with new mechanics like “Tiny Size”, having him size-change via special power. This version has Shape Change, Plasticity, Leap/Climb, Perplex, and Super Senses.
  • SNV#020 Super Apes: Mikhlo @ 50 points. Please note that WizKids screwed up with the sculpts; Mikhlo is supposed to be a Gorilla, possibly a “silver back”, but the sculpt on this figure is that of Peoter, the Orangutan. Mikhlo is the “brick” or “brute” of the bunch. Powers: Super Strength, Flurry, Toughness, Combat Reflexes, Battle Fury.
  • SNV#021 Super Apes: Peoter @ 50 points. Peotr either has Magneto-like magnetic powers, Graviton-like gravity powers, or more-standardized telekinetic powers (depends on the writer, i guess); either way, power set is also predictable. This version has the Powers: Force Blast, Leap/Climb, and Telekinesis.
  • All of the above also have the Minions of Doom team ability, along with the Animal and Super Apes keywords.

There are other “Super Apes” int he Marvel Universe. Recently, Mikhlo was killed, only to be replaced with a younger version by the name of Grigori. In the past, briefly in a couple issues of Iron Man (#15 & #16, I think), Red Ghost had two more gorillas he imbued with superpowers named Alpha & Beta. Alpha was like Mikhlo, Beta was a very strong telepath. Sort of like DC Comic’s Gorilla Grodd split into two separate apes. Like all the Super Apes, they got more intelligent after being changed.

Super-Apes_Mash-UpWould love to see the originals return as part of a “Marvel Monsters” or “Marvel Super-Villains” set, and joined by Grigori, Alpha, and Beta. Would like to make an argument for them having the “Monster” keyword as well, not just Super-Apes and Animal keywords, in as much as they are “mutated” or “altered” animals.

I wonder what could be done? I mean, aside from some iteration of “Minion” special powers for use when Red Ghost is around. Well, looks like Team Bases and its related mechanic, SwitchClix, could really help. What WizKids has revealed for the TEEN TITANS set is phenomenal, and we haven’t seen yet what they’ve cooked up for WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN Team Bases. Plus the individual SwitchClix figure could benefit from the “multiple starting line” design tools.

Might be fun to have Alpha & Beta on a “peanut” double-base as a Duo figure.

Oh, I guess we need a new Red Ghost as well. Team Bases, you know, might as well. The old SUPERNOVA Unique is still okay, though.

HeroClix: “Thumbnail Review” of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (v1.1)

Okay, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN has been out for awhile now. Have to say, I love the set. Some commentors elsewhere have knocked the set for not really bring anything new to the game. Gee, after the cries of “too many new mechanics, too fast” last year, you think the detractors’d appreciate a “break”.

There’s still plenty of great characters in this selection, and some wonderful exploration of Special Powers and Trait abilities, both to produce fun tactics and situations during play and as a way to help bring these fictiona characters some “personality”.

This is just a “mini-post”, and I’m not going to give every single character some sort of review. There’s a lot of that out there on the net anyway. Just want to say something about two of my favorite pieces: Collen Wing & Misty Knight and Madame Web. Don’t know which I’m more impressed with.

Colleen Wing & Misty Knight: Just floored. I’m more a fan of Misty than Colleen, but still, what a dial. Not a “wasted” slot on the entire dial. No “K.O.” slots, WizKIds Design use the red “K.O. Lines” instead, which I don’t think we’ve seen since the SHAZAM! & Black Adam Duo figure back in BRAVE & THE BOLD.

There are four — 4! — ways to play this figure, at two different point-costs. At 70 points, you can play it as either Misty or Colleen. You get 5 clicks of life, K.O.’d once you pass a K.O. line. (Used this way, the piece is considered to be a standard figure; the Duo symbol is “replaced” with the standad “{Fist}” attack symbol.) Or! Or you can play it at 140 points. You can start with eiether Colleen’s or Misty’s starting line (whatever suits your play-style), and aren’t K.O.’d until you cross a third K.O. line. You get 2 clicks of life extra, to boot. Love the powers and stats for the costs, love the versatility.

Madame Web: A 24-point support piece, a scenario, and “Battlefield Condition” Card all by herself, in my opinion. Such an elegant design, for a character that most fans dismiss out-of-hand. Wonderful.

Other Comments:

Well, ecstatic about finally getting the “Identity Crisis”/”Slingers” characters. Manage to pull Hornet, Ricochet, and Dusk from my bricks, and scooped up Prodigy quickly and relatively cheaply.

Loving what WizKids is doing with its “Prime” concepts, even if I don’t like the way they’ve tied it to “rarity levels”. I see it as better than the “Unique” designation for potentially representing some of those “singular supervillains” that are so powerful that they take on whole super-teams, or multiple super-teams, single-handed. Looking forward to the first Korvac or Molecule Man doen as a “Prime”-level powerhouse.

Alter Egos: Still love the concept. Really tired, though, of seeing any character who’s “AE” he/she/it swaps into be of a HIGHER rarity level. Can’t stand that. Johnny Blaze (Common rarity Alter Ego) is not all that useful, IMO, on his own. Good luck getting ahold of the Super-Rare Ghost Rider he turns into.

“Morph” Mechanics: Loving them. At least, the way Spider-Man got done.

—possibly more comments later, as time permits—


Wish-List: Awesome Android (ReClix! v1.1)

Awesome Android! Durable brute of an “android”. Created by the Mad Thinker from some of Mr. Fantastic’s stolen intellectual property. He is at once an awesome achievement of science (in the comics, anyway) and woefully under-powered minion, often sent into skirmishes he can’t possibly win. “Mad Thinker” is a bit of a dick.



Haven’t had a new version of him in HeroClix. His only appearance so far is as the Rookie/Experienced/Veteran from the venerable FANTASTIC FORCES set. The selection of powers it sports — Force Blast, Super Strength, Quake, Impervious, Invulnerability, Toughness, and Close Combat Expert — are all appropriate.

Things I’d like to see in a new version:

  • A double-based Giant with a “wide stance”.
  • Special power to changed the printed {Giant Silhouette} damage symbol to {Colossal Fist} symbol.
  • Any/all of the standard powers the old REV has.
  • Plasticity, or at least some s.p. or Trait where an opposing character attempts a break away, AA may use Plasticity.
  • Modifier to the Force Blast roll; +2 should do it. A +3 would be awesome.
  • Alternately, ability to divide up the role of that Fore Blast among several characters….
  • ….or a “ranged Force Blast” option similar to certain special powers we’ve seen on versions of DC’s Blue Beetle and Marvel’s Iron Man.
  • For that reason, you might not want him to have an actual printed Range value, but some sort of “conditional Range value” applicable when using certain powers. It’s not like he shoots energy beams, or fires projectiles/missiles; he “blows”.
  • Minion special power, for use with Mad Thinker. Not sure what. May use the Masters of Evil team ability is Mad Thinker is on the map?
  • Re-use of SI022 Goliath’s “Throw” special power, maybe.
  • Keywords: Robot and Brute, naturally.
  • Between the 150 and 200 points range, and Unique-ring worthy.
  • Life: 11-clicks.

I know the “current fashion” is everyone wants new characters to have Indomitable and all manner of Improved combat abilities. Not sure I’d want to see any of that. I’d like a “push-able dial”, actually.

As always, will add more later…