WizKids’ 09 MAY 2014 Press Release: Portion concerning HeroClix (v1.1)

Last Friday, WizKids posted to heroclix.com about it’s Marvel Dice Masters line of products, and some comments about HeroClix.

Here: http://heroclix.com/announcements/marvel-dice-masters-update/#axzz31VgJbYF9

Copying and pasting the portion specifically about HeroClix below.

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HeroClix

Last year was a pretty amazing year for HeroClix, however, it did not come without a few bumps in the road.   Specifically, a number of last minute delays forced us to move release dates on short notice. There are many things that can (and will) derail a products release date. Most are under our control; unfortunately, some are not.   During the last six months, we got hit with so many issues, it is remarkable that we were able to perform as we did. It is a testament to the hard work of our distributors and the patience, creativity and tenacity of the retailers and customers that shop at FLGS. We know how disruptive a release date change is to an OP program. We know that release date changes ruins schedules, planning and participation. We appreciate the effort to work with us while we cope with changes outside of our control.

So why were the release dates impacted?

1: Weather: As I’m sure you recall, last winter was one of the worst winters in recent history. The weather had a tremendous impact on our shipping & warehousing infrastructure. We had numerous logistics issues and closures caused by inclement weather. Obviously, all this wreaks havoc on a release-date driven system.

2: Customs: In an attempt to curb counterfeit product, the U.S. Customs office increased their screening of containers filled with games and toys, especially those with licensed products. Over the past six months, we’ve had an unusually high number of containers pulled for routine inspection. Even if we pass through these inspections with no issues, the entire container may be detained for up to four weeks.   The issue here is that the last containers are usually coming in one to two weeks before release and, if they are detained, it usually creates an automatic delay. The complexity comes from the fact that you don’t know for how long the container is going to be held. You literally have to check on the items everyday. So when a container is pulled for inspection, it could take one day or it could take 21 days. This makes announcing a delay very challenging. Do you announce a delay on a container that might clear in one day, only to have to announce a false alarm? Do you wait until you have better information and can estimate a release date? We opt for the latter, as it allows a store to reset their event and communicate complete information and eliminates the ‘false alarm’ issue. We have hundreds of containers delivering each year. Announcing potential delays for every routine inspection is not feasible.

Thank you for your continued support and patience. We’re floored by the response so far and we’re doing everything within our power to get product into your hands in a timely fashion.

Have a great weekend,
Justin [Ziran, BigWig WizKid HeadHoncho]

Read more: http://heroclix.com/announcements/marvel-dice-masters-update/#ixzz31VhfT7BG

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Very professional. Glad they explained all of this, to the extent that they could.

Didn’t realize toy counterfeiting was such a problem.

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WizKids releases HeroClix Watch List info. (v1.2)

Well, WizKids released something late enough in the day yesterday that I totally missed it: http://heroclix.com/uncategorized/heroclix-watch-list-upcoming-changes/#axzz2iUGEpEP9

The general rule changes addressing damage and multiple attacks were unexpected, but understandable and welcome.

Vehicles rules changes: about time they addressed “size”.

Spiral’s changes were what took me. Wow. No objections. “Alpha Strike via Portal” threat has been neutralized. As someone who wants to see “Portals”-like powers appear on other characters in the future, it’s a great fix. I couldn’t imagine anything other that the “treating portals as adjacent terrain” kind of thing. Requiring an action of some sort to “step through” reminds me a bit of the old Teleport Pad special objects, and the ability for an opponent to “put a cork in it” (attempting to keep someone from coming through by occupying the Portal square) is thematically cool, too. Just, wow. Always amazed.

It will be something to see how the changes to Team Bases shakes out.

I really should get back into playing. it’s been so long. Maybe attend a tournament?

EDIT: Wait a minute, so when exactly IS the new Player’s Guide coming out that will cover this?

I still say I’d gladly pay like a $3.99 upfront fee and a $0.99/month subscription fee for a “living heroclix rules app” for my mobile device. The Game really needs it at this point.

HeroClix: “Power Creep” versus “Unique” (v1.1)

I like Special Powers. I like Trait abilities. I really like the various Improved abilities.

What I get worried about is the “Power Creep”.

And I worry most about one particular version of Power Creep: When the character may have a powerful dial, but is below 100 points and a non-Unique.

If I recall correctly, WizKids’ Design Team still considers the 300-point force build for tournaments as a “baseline” when they design a character. Then they kinda work with what game mechanics are available, what combination can be a reasoned/reasonable representation of a character based on its comic book (or other media) appearances, and then consider what role that piece will have on a force.

The silver “Unique” ring is a way of reining things in a bit. It’s a limitation, a restriction. And I’m looking at the new Melter they just previewed, and started thinking about how he can tear up the terrain and opposing forces. For *just* 86 points. Melter? Potentially a “Shredder”.

Not that anyone would do it, but you could fit 3 of these Melters on a 300-point force. That’s 258 points, plus 15 points to apply the Additional Team Ability to them, totalling 273 points, 27 point left to round out. Something about that not sitting well with me.

Intuition is that WizKids needs to apply that Unique designation more often, and should probably do so when using a lot of Improved abilities on a character.

Just a thought.

EDIT (2016-05-24): Can’t belive this post got traffic recently. Plopping in the mentioned preview, for reference —

034-Melter

Kickstarter, HeroClix, & Character Selection (v1.1)

One of the complaints of the past few years that crops up again and again in the forums over at  HCRealms.com: “We just got {character x} in the last {y} set(s), where is {character z, who still hasn’t had a “first appearance” in HeroClix yet}?!?!?!?1? {Angry Face}”

Yeah, one of my pet peeves as well.

I get it. I get that WizKids has to design sets and pieces a year to two years in advance. I get that re-publishing some of the most-marketable characters is necessary to sell the sets.

And, I’m talking about the “comic book superhero genre” of sets, here. Setting aside all the movie/TV and video/computer game releases, which are smaller. Even the movie and video game sets that use characters from the superhero comic.

Speaking strictly of character from the Marvel and DC Universes.

Question to WizKIds: Is there a way to use Kickstarter for players to “vote with their money” for specific characters? Run multiple “Kickstarters”. You put your money up for X amount, you will receive two copies of the character, in the mail, shipping already included.

And the way Kickstarter works, nothing happens if the goal isn’t met; you get your pledge back.

We could cobble together a whole “set” like this. “Player’s Choice.”

Still have to leave design of the character up to the WizKids Design Team, obviously.

I’m getting burned-out on the rapid releases, and the rarity scale, and seeing some of the same “faces” over and over again, all while waiting patiently for some of the “odd ball” characters.

Just tossing that out there.

And, YES, this request and post is a result (partially) of the whole GOLEM ARCANA Kickstarter thing.

ClixWatch: WizKids-created Super-Characters. (v2.8)

So, I wander into a section of HCRealms.com and stumble into this thread — http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?p=7522295&posted=1#post7522295 — and mentally go completely ape-shit over these pictures:

InstantAccessBannerWKOriginalStarterSet-1

Holy shit and shine-ola! WizKids, creating its own super-characters! Apparently only for the HeroClix Online game. Almost makes me want to jump into HCO, but that would mean pulling out of the physical table-top game. So, “almost”.

Maybe WizKids will do next year’s Starter Sets with these? Or a CTD? Could be coooooooool.

If it’s not a hoax, anyway.

EDIT: And you know what? I loved the “City of Heroes”/”City of Villains” figures they did back in the day, when those two PC game properties were hot. And now BIOSHOCK: INFINITE has raised a bar for non-superhero comics-based generics. This could be a really good thing!

EDIT (24 AUG 2013): Some industrious posters over at HCRealms.com in the thread linked to above managed to code the HCO dials, so I incorporated them into a “collage”. —

NuWK_Characters

Other posters on that thread who also want to see the characters (which are currently available “virtual only” on HeroClix Online) made available as “physical clix” keep emphasizing a full-on Starter Set.

I think maybe they could go a different route: A “truncated” Starter, consisting of a Core Rulebook, Powers & Abilities Card, dice (optional), the obligatory terrain markers and object tokens, and…. (wait for it)…. Two characters and maybe 6 “Bystander Tokens”. (Geez, I hate the term “Bystander Tokens”.)

The two clix characters could be Von Grussom and one V.I.L.E. Soldier, and the BT’s some mix of V.I.L.E. personnel that make the two clix a viable 200 or 300-point team. Or maybe instead of or in addition to BT’s, some sort of “Doomsday Weapon” Special Object Token.

Then release the others as non-blind two-packs: One “hero” or “villain” character per pack, and one V.I.L.E. Soldier per pack.

Could be fun.

Meanwhile, another person on that thread mentioned WizKids might want to look into purchasing the old “City of Heroes”/”City of Villains” computer game intellectual properties for *cheap*, work them into HCO and physical HeroClix as their own characters. Sounds good to me. Loved the designs of the old COH/COV pieces, as I said above. Would like to see more.

COH_COV_Mash-Up

EDIT (02SEP 2013): Just wanted to say, I think the characters seem inspired by Marvel Comics. (A lot of detractors are saying they “look DC”.) That “Reincarnator”, he may have a look similar to DC’s The Spectre, but he also seems like Marvel’s character The Vision. But his power set doesn’t say “modern era android Vision” but “Golden Age other-dimensional Vision”.

Tinkering: “Standard Defense” (v1.1)

Back when the 2012 PAC was introduced last year, quite a stir was caused by the addition of the “Split” and “Merge” game mechanics tied to the {Duo} symbol. For the first time ever, one of the “standard combat symbols” (the {Foot} for the Speed slot; the {Fist} for the Attack slot; the {Shield} for the Defense slot; the {Burst} for the Damage slot), had a combat ability associated with it: The {Fist} symbol allowed access to the Merge combat ability, *theoretically* for every character. Apparently with no increase in cost.

Obviously, there aren’t {Duo} symbolic characters for every other {Fist} to Merge in to. But the potential for future use just is cool, in a baseline “rising tide lifts all boats” kinda way.

Should something similar be done for the other “standard combat symbols”??

Stick with me here: I’ve played with the idea for long time to somehow change the damage reducing standard power definitions to allow for some sort of chance to “ignore” or “resist” being countered by Outwit. Did several posts on it (only one on this blog is left, as of right now). It was sort of a response to how expensive characters with damage reducing powers can be, yet how easily they can be “shut down” and ripped apart in one turn by a single Outwit. A lot of players were screaming for changes to Outwit as a result; kinda got that with the 2013 PAC mucking with Outwit’s range.

That’s all good. Love that change.

Still,…. Impervious, Invulnerability, and Toughness. (Not counting Invincible, since it doesn’t technically “reduce” damage; it “ignores” half instead.)

Would like to see a combat ability tied to the “standard” {Shield} Defense slot symbol. Proposed combat ability —  “DurableWhen a damage reducing power in this character’s Defense slot would be countered by Outwit, roll a d6 that can not be re-rolled; on a result of 6, the power is not countered.

Or something along those lines. Still a lot of conditions to meet. Only a 1-in-6 chance to resist the use of a “stock” Outwit (doesn’t address other “tailored” game effects that may be produced Special Powers or Traits). The character actually has to *have* a damage reducing power, and it has to be in its Defense slot (not somewhere else due to a Special Power or Resource or whatnot).

Heh-heh. With so damn many fanboy-ish players wanting the {Indomitable} symbol slapped on every character because of the access it provides to Willpower, would love to hear them howl if this were to actually become a thing. Would help out a lot of “Pre-Character Card Era” pieces as well, just a tiny bit. “Rising tide lifts all boats” kinda thing.

…I wonder what could be done with {Foot} and {Burst}….? Hmm.