One of the most important things that we have learned from producing our podcast and writing for this website is that it really forces us to expand our gaming horizons. Let’s be honest, we can’t just write about Xbox and Magic the Gathering all of the time. That would be boring as hell for you as well as boring for us. Variety is the spice of life and there are some great games out there that deserve their moment in the spotlight. As Shawn has already covered the World of Warcraft card game I thought I would take a little time to talk about the next game that we will be dabbling in; Heroclix.
Late last summer, Shawn mentioned that he would like to try the Warmachine/Hordes tabletop game in order to really bring our nerdiness to the next level. OK, OK, it was actually because he has had an ongoing interest in trying a tabletop game, also the models looked great and the paint/craft aspect was appealing to him. Being an artist, the paint aspect intrigued me as well so I googled the game and was amazed at how incredible the models looked. Then I realized I googled Whores not Hordes. Heh..bad joke..sorry..ahem.. seriously though the models are absolutely amazing and I was immediately fumbling for my debit card. Then I saw the price tag. Game over. Since I have never played a tabletop miniatures game I couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars to get enough models to build an army. I mean that’s a lot of scratch lost if for some reason the game isn’t that good. So instead I decided that it would be better to go with the low cost alternative; Heroclix, so we could get a feel for tabletop gaming. We are both comic geeks so it seemed like a good fit. Being completely ignorant in the ways of ‘Clix, I logged onto Ebay and ordered the first booster I saw (Marvel Sinister). A week later it arrived and I eagerly tore the box open. What the?! Where were the character cards?! More importantly where were the goddamn functional dials?! The dials were terrible; it was extremely tough to move it even 1 click on every piece. Frustrated, I slammed them back in the box and tossed them in the closet. I couldn’t understand why people spoke so highly of the game. I sent a message to Shawn letting him know that I thought I should have done more research on the game before making a purchase. After a couple of days, I decided to “Wiki” Heroclix and found out that the Sinister set was one of the very first expansions. The first sets had crappy dials, and had no character cards, you just had to memorize the powers. To get actual functional dials and character cards, I would need to buy a more recent set. Long story short, I bought a booster of Fear Itself and a booster of Guardians of the Galaxy. I won’t get into every piece that I got as that will be coming in a new column where we’ll document our pack and box breaks with pictures or video. (Cheap plug.)
So what are my first impressions of the game? Well that’s tough to say, we have yet to play an actual “real” game..but I’ve played myself (I can hear your jokes from here.), and it’s gone well. I’ve started to be able to memorize what the colors on the dials mean. I was a bit overwhelmed when I first opened the rulebook but just taking the time to actually study and memorize the colors on the dials, the powers they represent and their meanings made a world of difference. I really like the heavy emphasis on strategy and building the right team. From building your team right up to your last move, you really have to think before you act. It’s like chess but with cooler pieces..aaaaand a ton more rules. As far as the actual pieces themselves…well it’s never going to be confused with Warmachine/Hordes but some of the sculpts are pretty damn good (Tanarus and Dr. Strange come to mind). But some of them are pretty damn goofy too. With that said, the good sculpts definitely outnumber the bad ones. I’m really looking forward to playing an actual game in the near future. I picked up this game as a way to get acclimated to the world of tabletop gaming and as a primer for Warmachine but to my surprise I found a really great game that will most likely stick around in my gaming rotation.