Tag Archives: Heroclix

How to Let Go: Gaming Dad’s Lament


I’ve written about the Gaming Dad’s Lament in the past. As a parent, we both celebrate and mourn the passing of childhood. In fact, I recently posted something on Instagram about the boys growing up. I never give in to the “you’re going to miss this crowd” because honestly, most of it you don’t miss. That’s why when you become grandparents, you are happy to give the kids back at the end of the day. You get all of the good and very little of the bad.

However, I admit that every now and then, I do get a pang of the old times and wish for just one more day of playing Thomas the Tank Engine or watching endless episodes of Paw Patrol. In fact, I suffered just such a pang the other day when Aiden came down with a box of Heroclix that he sold on eBay. You may wonder why this hit so hard, seeing as how Heroclix has to be one of the least referenced games on the page.

Heroclix: As Chris said, a game with such promise that we never actually realized.

Farewell Heroclix: Gaming Dad’s Lament?

Honestly, the sadness surprised me as well. I can count the number of times I played Heroclix on one hand and the number of times that I played Heroclix with the boys on one finger. Why such a strong emotional response, then, to losing them? I wish I knew.

As I wrote a few years ago in the article about the train show, forgive me my indulgence as I work through some emotions here. You are free to completely ignore this article until something more appropriate tickles your fancy. We are getting together on Saturday to play Commander, so expect that article sometime next week.

I suppose the sudden finality of it all hit me hard. As I said, we never played the game. But, to know that we never will brings a somber realization with it. But, and I need to focus on this, some positive came from that realization. Quinn just bought a new Pokemon deck with a gift card he got for Christmas. That inspired me to build a deck. Also, Aiden mentioned that he wanted to play Dicemasters again. When that game gets the heave ho, expect many more words about the passage of time.

The Verdict

Initially, I mourned the loss of our Heroclix. Much more than I ever worried about Skylanders getting sold or YuGiOh cards put into a binder and into the closet. We played both of those games far more than Heroclix. But, I got over it, shipped them, and just told Aiden that I found my Dicemasters teams. All that’s left is to actually build that Pokemon deck. How do you let go? I just hold on to what I still have.

Quick Update: Looking Back and Going Forward

(Editor’s Note: We are back from our many adventures on Cape Cod and ready to get back into the business of bringing fun and interesting content.)

There are two games around here that we really enjoy, but often get pushed to the back burner due to my interest in other games. Most notably, Magic the Gathering takes all of my money and time and we don’t get a chance to play much else. One of those games, Dicemasters, has been given much more coverage recently due to my purchase of a gravity feed of the World’s Finest set and our rainbow draft of the set. The other game is Heroclix, and it might be one of my favorite games. Shame, then, that I don’t get to play it often.

Unlike Dicemasters, where my history is murky and forgotten, I remember exactly when and how I was introduced to Heroclix. I’m positive that I’ve told the story before, so I will give the abridged version here. We were in one of our favorite local gaming stores to pick up something Pokemon card related for Liam. While in the store, Aiden noticed the Heroclix and asked about them. I had wanted to get into miniature games for a while, so we picked up an Avengers starter set and played a few rounds with very limited rules.

Am I the only one who imagines that the miniatures have squeaky little mouse voices when they talk?

To be fair, we are still playing with limited rules. However, we are much closer to playing the actual game than we were back then. There are still minor rules that we have changed or outright ignore. But, hey, we’re just playing around the kitchen table (sometimes literally), there’s no stakes to our games, and if we screw something up really badly, there’s always the option to take it back. So, what’s a little rules manipulation between friends and family?

At the same time that I purchased the World’s Finest Dicemasters gravity feed, I also bought a gravity feed of Wonder Woman Heroclix boosters. The idea was to play both games in June and report on them as part of a huge DC blowout in that month. But, it’s summer and the best laid plans and all that. The Heroclix lie, unopened, in the playroom. I know that it’s been promised before and there have been many false starts and I can’t say that this time won’t be different, but we have honestly gotten better about keeping a schedule and only really fell off the wagon for the month of July.

I wonder why podcasts and blogs haven’t been our top priority in July.

As mentioned in the editor’s note, we are back from our many adventures on Cape Cod and I’m ready to commit to the web page again. I already recorded the test pilot for my new one man show, “Snap, *censored*, Pop Culture” and I’ve put together a schedule for the month of August that we should be able to follow without issue and that will let us keep updating on a regular basis. Again, I promise nothing, but it has to happen eventually, right?

If nothing else, I’m ready to crack into that box and see what goodies we got. I don’t know if we will do a draft or any such thing or just throw the new characters into the box and build some teams, but I have been wanting to play some miniatures. So, we will definitely play Heroclix this weekend and I’ll be back with a report of some of my favorite minis from the Wonder Woman set. Hope you all enjoyed the time off as much as we did and we’ll see you in full force next week!

Earth’s Mightiest (and Miniest) Heroes!

(Editor’s Note: We actually made it through this article without infringing on Stan Lee’s Excelsior copyright. It hasn’t yet had the intended effect of getting sued by the Generalissimo, so maybe we’ll just drop that and try to get famous the old fashioned way. Then again, the well behaved rarely make history, so… Excelsior, fellow Marvelites, and tally ho into the world of Herocilx!)

Imagine, if you will, a future in which the entire Marvel Universe was put into Ant Man’s shrinkerator, or injected with shrinking serum, or however it is that he is making himself so tiny in this iteration of the character. Then, suppose that you could freeze those tiny heroes in a pose that best captures their character. Finally, what if you could then make those mini super powered beings team up, fight, or do whatever you wanted them to do. How cool would that be? Maybe not cool at all for them, but really cool for us. Well, wonder no longer, because we live in that future!

You can almost hear him screaming, "This monster has trapped me in this (admittedly cool) plastic model. Please, release me. Vengeance must be served!
You can almost hear him screaming, “This monster has trapped me in this (admittedly cool) plastic model. Please, release me. Vengeance must be served!

The Gamer Bros and I talked about Heroclix in the latest episode of Noob and Sons. Chris and I talked about it on the main show, too. We’ve both written articles about our experiences in the game. When introduced to it, I never thought that this game would become one of my most played and discussed. But, the gaming gods work in mysterious ways.

When Chris and I played, we were both overwhelmed by the sheer number of rules and interactions. Now that I’ve researched other miniature games, I understand that rules and interactions are par for the course in the genre. Moreover, those who are interested in such games actually prefer having all of those rule. I don’t mind having all the rules. It is a trade off for having such a dynamic game environment.

However, one of the times that Chris and I tried to play was later at night and I just could not focus well enough to finish the game. Also, that rule set can be intimidating and scare off new players. That is the reason that I’m focusing so heavily on the rules in this article. I tried playing the game with Aiden when he was younger because he was the first to buy the figures. He had to play with a greatly reduced rules set just so that he could enjoy himself. Lesson learned, I suppose. these games are not for the weak.

You hear that, you *bleep* *bleep*.  This game isn't for *bleep* *bleep* *bleep*.  You better get your *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* in *bleep* shape or you will get *bleep* in your *bleep* *bleep*.
You hear that, you *bleep* *bleep*. This game isn’t for *bleep* *bleep* *bleep*. You better get your *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* in *bleep* shape or you will get *bleep* in your *bleep* *bleep*.

Still, the games with Chris inspired me to play more. It was during Christmas break, so I only had the boys as partners. Even though they are both older, I don’t think that they have the patience for the actual rules. Heck, as we’ve seen, I barely have the patience sometimes.

I looked up ways to play more than two players. The version I found most intriguing was called “King of the Hill”. You mark off a 3 by 3 (or maybe 4 by 4) area in the middle of the map, designate 4 potential starting zones and the teas battle to be king of the hill. We awarded points based on the number of characters on the “hill” during our first game. That turned out to be neither fair nor representative because larger teams with more characters received a potential disproportionate number of points. In an attempt to fix that, we recorded the point values of the characters in the “hill”. The effect of this was actually two fold. First, it gave all teams access to the maximum number of points. Second, it added strategy to the games in that you wanted to target the higher value opponents and keep them off the “hill”.

The other consideration when playing with the boys is the actual rules of the game. I already discussed this aspect a little bit. From movement to special powers, line of sight to push damage, the rules set of any miniature game is overwhelming. Heroclix, because it is geared to a younger audience is less so. Still, there is a ton of information to process each turn. We eliminated all special powers in the first game. Chris and I spent most of our time looking up the powers on our phones and computers, so that one step eliminated most of the idle time and made the game faster.

[in an unexplained British accent]:  But, without my powers, I am just a pretty blonde muscular guy with a big hammer.  Then again, I suppose that isn't all bad.
[in an inexplicable British accent]: But, without my powers, I am just a pretty blonde muscular guy with a big hammer. Then again, I suppose that isn’t all bad.
We played with powers in the second and third games. By then, though, I had played enough that I knew most of the powers and the rest only required a quick reference check to remind myself. The only thing left was to tackle the somewhat convoluted movement rules of the game. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I don’t fully understand how actual movement is supposed to work each turn, so we simplified that, too.

Each character got one move or attack per turn. You could take “push” damage to give the option of a second action on any character. This method improved the flow of the game and kept the action at appropriate comic book levels. As I said, I don’t fully know the actual rules, so I’m not sure how different our version is from the official. I do know that it worked for me and the boys and Chris is open to trying them, too, the next time we play.

Now that we’ve worked out the things about the game that we didn’t like, it is a fun game. We have been busy and not able to play at all since the games at Christmas, but summer is coming and we will have more time. Who knows, as we play more, maybe we’ll go back to the actual rules of the game. Probably not, though, because I like our version.

Also, I'm not usually one to respect the rules.
Also, I’m not usually one to respect the rules.

[Noob and Sons] Episode 3 – Spring Back Into Gaming

Noob and Sons return triumphantly and spring back into the podcast with two of our favorite games.

The Digital Playground – We cover the whole range of Mario games and the various spinoffs.  Jump into the action with us!

On the Tabletop – We join forces with Earth’s mightiest mini heroes with some ideas for those of you who want to get into miniature games.  The conversation focused on Heroclix, but we talked briefly about other games, too.

Join us next time when we talk about Splatoon and Aiden’s new favorite card game, Yu Gi Oh.

Noob and Sons
Noob and Sons
[Noob and Sons] Episode 3 - Spring Back Into Gaming



Little Soldiers follow Tiny Leaders

(Editor’s Note: Must be the end of the semester. Two articles with possibly two more by the end of the week!)

Even though Chris and I hare not recording the podcast together, we still try to find time to hang out and play games. Over the last few months, time has been at a premium, thus leading to the change in direction of the podcast, but we were able to get together this month. What’s funny is we actually had two gaming nights in December after having none in the previous months. During the first of those two nights, we played some Dicemasters, started a Heroclix game that had to end early because it conflicted with my bedtime, and we also played Magic.

I find that last part to be the most interesting. Chris and I have spent the better part of the year trying to justify our interest in the hobby. He has been more successful than I as he found another play group. It’s the same guys that we played DTK sealed against earlier in the year. I have not been able to play with them since, but Chris has about once or twice a month. Nevertheless, as a result of the sealed night, I had two tiny leaders decks that I build and no live testing of either deck.

Wait, what?

All aboard my train of thought! Wait, what's that over there?!
All aboard my train of thought! What’s that over there?!

I admit that train of thought might be a bit difficult to follow, so I’ll explain. While making plans to do the sealed, it came up that some of the guys played the Tiny Leaders format. I had heard of it, but never played. I had some time and a couple of 3 mana or less legendary cards, so I put together the decks. I then forgot all of my Magic stuff on the night in question and then Chris and I got away from Magic for a while and finally had no time for any gaming for a few months.

I think it was me who suggested that Chris and I try the Tiny Leaders format during our table top night this month. My main reason is that his new group has enhanced his “Spike” tendencies, which is great. It’s given him a new outlet and interest in the game. My absence from the game has been absolute and I’ve not even looked at any of my decks. He’d simply mop the floor with me and that’s no fun for either of us. I need to either tune my current decks or go back to the drawing board and build some new tech to compete. Well, long story short (too late!), we played a couple of games and I finally go to see my decks live.

Those of you familiar with the page know that sometimes my decks maybe don't deserve life, but like their monstrous counterparts, they just want a hug.
Those of you familiar with the page know that sometimes my decks maybe don’t deserve life, but like their monstrous counterparts, they just want a hug.

Both performed will and mostly according to the strategies in mind when I designed them. First up, I put my Alesha (the first deck I built and actually tuned some) against his green/red mini ramp deck. His deck wasn’t strictly legal as he used Burning Tree Emissary as his leader, but I let it go because that’s our agreement. We play for fun above all else and I’m not going to nit pick silly rules in a kitchen table game. We both employed aggro strategy that ultimately paid off for me on the turn before he had definite lethal.

He picked B/W Constellation for his second deck. It is a deck that he has used in various forms before and one of his ongoing projects. My other deck was mono green and picked because I only had one other legal leader at the time. In no way can it be interpreted or assumed that any one strategy went into the construction of this deck. It is a hodge pogde of green Magic things. A bit of ramp, a dash of stompy (or as much stompy as 3 or less mana allows), some devotion, and a whole lot of praying that the opponent has no removal. Chris did and used it on the correct target to prevent me from killing him at 26 life on the next turn.

Pay me no mind. Just a 1/1 sitting here minding my own business. Nothing to see. No need to remove. Oh, hey, what are you doing with that black spell there? No, no, no! I'm too young (and valuable to your ultimate destruction) to die!
Pay me no mind. Just a 1/1 sitting here minding my own business. Nothing to see. No need to remove. Oh, hey, what are you doing with that black spell there? No, no, no! I’m too young (and a key instrument to your ultimate destruction) to die!

The games went quickly and were fast paced. Because nothing cost more than 3, we were able to cast at least one card every turn. There wasn’t much land/go that can sometimes happen in our other games. Both games were close, too, with a kill coming one turn before the opponent lethal. Either we are getting better at building decks or the format lends itself to closer games.

In any case, we both did remark that the singleton nature of the decks provided a challenge in more than one way. That, and the limited number of cards in each deck really make you think about what cards to include and, more importantly, what can be cut. Unlike a traditional Magic deck that sometimes has to include do nothing cards because they might be strong in certain situations, you really can’t get away with that in these decks. All cards need to have a specific purpose and need to fit the overall theme. That might have been why my mono green deck ultimately fizzled. I thought that the color might hold things together. I now realize that I might have been too scattered with my strategies. Oh well, all part of the learning process.

Overall, I enjoyed the format and it seemed like Chris did, too. I don’t know if it will be our preferred format, as he has grown attached to Modern/Legacy and I like eternal formats better, too. Still, it was a nice introduction back into the game. I’ve been drafting again and am brewing some potentially crazy new decks for our next nerd night in January.

This card, especially, has been dancing in my heads like the sugar plums are supposed to these days. Maybe that'll be my big break. The Nutcracker staring Dragonlord Ojutai.
This card, especially, has been dancing in my head like the sugar plums are supposed to these days. Maybe that’ll be my big break. The Nutcracker staring Dragonlord Ojutai.

Episode 7 – Marvel Madness Redux

Quality of audio and content are back this month!

On the Tabletop – We go full force with Heroclix and talk a little about Dicemasters.  More on that in a couple of months.

The Digital Playground – Marvel v. Capcom 2 is good!  3?  Eh, let’s not talk too much about that one.

No bonus segment this month.  We were going to review Age of Ultron, but neither of us has seen it yet.  When does it hit Redbox?

2 Guys Gaming
2 Guys Gaming
Episode 7 - Marvel Madness Redux



Is the Magic Gone?

(Editor’sNote: We’ve been AWOL here for about a month. I know that I said that wouldn’t happen again, but I misjudged the amount of work that this summer class has taken and it got in the way. I won’t promise that we’re all the way back, but two articles and the latest episode of the podcast should happen this week. Thanks, as always, for your patience.)

Do you want to build some standard?


Oh…okay. I suppose you are right. The standard meta can be a bit stale, especially with such a small play group.

Do you want to build some Legacy? We always have fun with that.

Not really.

Proxy Vintage Decks?

Okay, how about Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, maybe Time Vault and Voltaic Key to make it truly degenerate. What the hell. Let’s put in some storm effects for giggles, too. Okay, solitaire Magic deck built. Let’s play with ourselves.

You said it, Quagmire.
You said it, Quagmire.

In case that introduction wasn’t obvious enough, I’m in a bit of a paper Magic rut. I’m still playing the hell out of the game using the free client that I found, but I have few reasons and little desire to play the cards right now. I can see why Wizards would want the free client eradicated. I doubt there are many like me, but I get my fix there and it has absolutely turned me off to spending money on the game.

Guess I will just have to do this the old fashioned way.
Guess I will just have to do this the old fashioned way.

It isn’t solely the fault of free Magic. There are other factors, too. More on those momentarily. I mentioned earlier that I have only “few reasons and little desire” to buy or play Magic cards. You might have picked up on the fact that leaves an opening to get back into the hobby. You never truly leave Magic. Like any addiction, you find yourself falling back into the familiar embrace of those Kird Apes and Black Lotuses (Loti?). Still, this is as indifferent as I’ve been about paper Magic since before I started playing again a couple of years ago. The only thing that has me looking at the cards is that Chris met some guys through a Craigslist ad to liquidate his collection. They mentioned that they liked to play Tiny Leaders. I took a day or two and put together a couple of decks for the format, stacked the card boxes into the corner (new development: the card boxes have been moved to the play room, so out of sight and out of mind), and moved on to my newer obsessions.

They are the main reasons for my greatly reduced interest in Magic cards. I’ve already written about both of them here on the page. We discussed one of them on the podcast that is due to be released this weekend. I did an opening video for the other. I’ve invested more in the two games than I have in Magic over the last few months. We started the podcast and web page in part to discover new games. As I’ve said numerous times in response to that is that there have been unintended consequences. I never dreamed that finding a game that would replace Magic, let alone two of them, would end up being one of those unintended consequences.

Perhaps you can guess what these new games have in common.
Perhaps you can guess what these new games have in common.

I am talking, of course, about Heroclix and Dicemasters. Heroclix is the super hero miniature game. It doesn’t surprise me that I have enjoyed this one. Initially, I had a somewhat indifferent impression of the game. It was interesting, but my kids couldn’t play it and I hadn’t mentioned it to Chris. Unlike Magic, which I saw as a collection more than a game, Heroclix didn’t register right away in the same way.

I’ve always been interested in miniature games. I have looked at them in the local gaming score, priced out various starter boxes, researched what other gamers thought of the two major offering, and even bough a learn to paint kit for the one that I decided would be the most interesting. For the record, it was the Privateer games, Hordes and Warmachine. I do have a friend who has Warhammer figures, so I might get some of those, too.

Therefore, when Chris and I played a game of Heroclix, it made sense that I enjoyed it quite a bit. It gave me my introduction into a genre of games that I’ve been wanting to try for some time. What surprised me was that Chris liked the game, too. He’s never been into the fantasy setting RPG games (like D&D) as far as I know, so maybe it was the Marvel connection. Who knows? He might not enjoy the other war mini games as much.

What really surprised me is that our interest in the game has overshadowed our interest in Magic. It’s not just me who has found my enjoyment of our favorite TCG wane. We didn’t even play Magic this month. We do have it on the schedule for the next two months, though, so maybe some of the Magic (pun fully intended) will return. I doubt it will next month, unless through nerd rage, because we’re discussing Origins on the podcast and we both are underwhelmed by the set. Perhaps the month after when we talk about Ice Age. That’s when I first started collecting and playing. Either way, I’m sure we’ll be back.

I mean, who's not excited for this reprint, amirite?
I mean, who’s not excited for this reprint, amirite?

Part of the reason, I’m sure, is that Heroclix is new and shiny. I’m always distracted by new and shiny things. I know for a fact that Dicemasters is new and shiny and that’s part of the reason for my interest there. I never even knew that these types of games existed until I saw it on the web. I thought I’d give it a chance. The other reason that I’ve enjoyed the game so much is because my kids enjoy it and we play it together at least three times a week. Sometimes we play it daily. Plus, it is actually surprisingly fun game.

I’m not above playing games where the primary act is rolling dice. I’ve played D&D since I was an awkward preteen boy. However, that game also involved role play and story telling. Other than the dice, Dicemasters only has some strategy elements to keep you engaged. Sure, the strategy isn’t much, but it brings a different element to the game so that it doesn’t just feel like Yahtzee.

Though, rolling 5 energy symbols to get that Captain America feels a lot like natural Yahtzee.
Though, rolling 5 energy symbols to get that Captain America feels a lot like natural Yahtzee.

Even though these games have taken us away from Magic, I’m sure that we will be back. Chris already said that receiving his order of Theros gods inspired him to build a new deck. I’ve used my access to digital Magic to brainstorm a few deck ideas myself. I’m still trying to come up with a good Vintage deck of my own and I’m trying to make a Dragonlord Ojutai EDH deck work. You are never truly free of the madness. This might be a tough an long climb back to the saddle. It also seems less likely to happen with each passing day. I, for one, hold out hope that Zendikar will ignite our spark (again, pun fully intended) again. I missed the first trip to the plane and boxes are too expensive now.

Who knows? Maybe the break will be good for us. We can see other games and our bond with Magic will be strengthened. If you love something set it free and all. Because, in spite of the current issues, I do enjoy the game. I’d hate to see it suffer the same fate as another long time companion, World of Warcraft. I finally kicked that habit with some conflicted emotions. Ultimately, it just wasn’t the same. It wasn’t as fun. Magic currently occupies the same space right now.

Episode 6 – Do You Want to Build Some Standard?

First, apologies for the sound quality.  We got a new set up and I didn’t test it.  I thought that I had it figured out before recording, but I didn’t.  The sound quality will be much better next month.

On the Tabletop – We give a review of Dragons of Tarkir finally and talk a bit about our first experiences with Standard legal decks.

The Digital Playground – We talk about bizarre 2D fighters, take a look back on our introduction to the genre and set the stage for our Marvel vs. Capcom discussion on the next episode.

No bonus segment this month.  I’ll record something with the Gamer Bros. and start their new feed soon.

2 Guys Gaming
2 Guys Gaming
Episode 6 - Do You Want to Build Some Standard?



Small Superhero Slugfest

(Editor’s Note: Sorry for being AWOL lately. End of the semester is always a busy time. You think that I’d learn from previous semesters and adjust. You’d be wrong.)

In my last article, I went through my, admittedly flawed and possibly crooked, thought process behind the team that I drafted in our first Heroclix game. Chris answered with one of his own, but he one upped me by giving a play by play of the actual game, too. I mentioned at the end of my last article that I might do the same. However, I am notorious for neglecting and ignoring deadlines. It is good, then, that Chris tossed the ball back to me. Otherwise, you might have been denied this highly entertaining and insightful commentary. No, really, I mean it this time.

When we last left our intrepid heroes, I picked Captain Marvel (100 points…really 150, but I either can’t read, can’t do math, or intentionally cheated. It isn’t entirely clear which of the three is true), Swamp Thing (200, 150, 100…that last one is perfect for a 100 point Captain Marvel), Recorder (35 points), Manphibian (60 points), and Dire Wraith (55 points). I knew nothing about Dire Wraith. I still don’t. I pretended that my decision was difficult. It wasn’t. Under the mistaken impression of a 100 point Captain Marvel, my team basically built itself. Spoiler Alert: Who the hell is Dire Wraith and why does he look so weird? Draft drafted, team chosen. Time for the action!

As I said, Chris included his version of what happened in the game. I’m glad for that because I only have a vague recollection of the events on the night in question. I’ve often heard about how unreliable eye witness testimony is, but never experienced it to such a degree. As soon as I got home, I thought about writing this article. I texted Chris the day after to tell him that I wished that I’d written down the important pieces from the draft and the game because I didn’t remember any of it. He saved my butt by giving me his draft order. That, along with his article, might just be enough so that I sound like I know what I’m talking about. No promises, though.

We had two maps as choices. I got one that came with my Avengers starter pack. Chris got two of the same map from one of his orders. I checked both maps to see if either had any water in the starting areas so that Manphibian could get a movement bonus. I know what you’re thinking. It’s not bad enough that I cheated when I put together the team. Now, I need to get even more of an advantage through terrain manipulation. Well Mr. (or Mrs., Miss., Ms, whatever) Judgmental, I will have you know that once I saw that there was no advantage, I graciously deferred to allow Chris to pick the map.

heroclix map
Similar map to the one that I brought.

He chose his map after we both agreed that the map that I brought would be awkward for our purposes. My map, as would be expected, centered on the Avengers. One side was Stark Tower and the other side was the Helicarrier similar to the one shown above. Neither of us wanted to consider what might happen if one of our characters got knocked off the side. Therefore, we found ourselves battling it out for superhero supremacy in Dr. Strange’s mansion. I’m glad that it wasn’t just some random mansion. I feel better about our heroes destroying the place.

heroclix map 2
The map that we used.

Heroes drafted? Check. Teams chosen? Check. Map selected? Check. Starting area and characters set up? Check. Now what? Time to figure out how the hell to play this game. Check the powers and abilities cards for each character and the reference sheet. Wow, some of these characters have a ton of abilities. This is how far they can move. That is their hit modifier. This is their range. Okay, got it. Go.

Chris wins the die roll. I think that he jokes that it will be “the last thing I win” or “I’ve got to win something in this game”. If only he knew how accurate that statement would turn out to be. He started by moving his characters to the entrance of the mansion. I saw this as an opportunity to get my tanky character in the middle to muck things up. I also took Chris a bit by surprise by applying actual strategy. While Man Thing kept a couple of his characters busy on the stairs, I sent the others to flank him on either side.

Wait, what did Chris just say? He asked about some color. I check the dial for one of my characters. Each number is a color. Oh, that’s why there are so many powers listed. Each power corresponds to a color and a symbol. Now I got it? Not completely, but enough to get through this game and familiarize myself more later.

His first character died very quickly. After that, it became a war of attrition with our guys trading hits back and forth while my guy (Manphibian) kept missing Spider-Girl. I finally got smart and broke off one prong of my attack by moving Recorder into a support role first in the middle. He did nothing to break that stalemate, so I sent him to help Manphibian, who continued to suffer from my terrible luck and couldn’t hit sand if he fell off a camel. Dr. Druid actually got stronger as he clicked down, so he broke through and KO’d Captain Marvel.

Manphibian missed every single one of the millions of grains and broke his leg falling off.

That actually allowed me to stop messing around. I moved Man Thing into melee range and just started pounding face. He also has some kind of poison aura that caused extra damage. After finishing off Dr. Druid, he joined the fracas with Recorder and Manphibian. Overwhelmed, the rest of his team (it might have just been Spider-GIrl at this point) eventually got KO’d.

I enjoyed the game. I always like the draft strategy in games even though I don’t get to implement it very often against other people. I do a draft a week in Magic Online, but that’s about it. I have been thinking about going to one of the local stores for their FNM draft, too. Sorry about that. This article isn’t about Magic. It’s just that Magic is the only reference that i have right now to compare table top games. Back to the topic. I like that you have to make up the strategy for your deck or team based on the characters or cards available from the packs rather than getting to choose from everything in your collection. It forces you to focus.

As for the game itself, I enjoyed playing it. Even though neither Chris nor I implemented much of a strategy in our game, Heroclix obviously offers a much different set than Magic. The map, movement of characters, powers that may change as the dial is clicked, and the randomness of the dice all lead to an ever evolving strategy during the game. Look, I’m an a noob and all, but I know that each game of Magic offers multiple lines of play and that you have to adjust based on changing conditions. In the end, though, it is still just cards fighting cards. Don’t get me wrong. I still love Magic and will continue to play it, but I’m also enjoying the variety of the new games. (Side note: My sons and I have been playing a ridiculous amount of Dice Masters lately. More on that next week.) We started the web page and podcast to bring fun back to games. We’ve been successful with that. As sometimes happens with these ventures, there are unintended consequences. One of those is the introduction of these new games. The other is that I have gotten to share all of these games with my kids. So far, they’ve liked Marvel vs. Capcom and Dice Masters the best. We tried Heroclix when they were younger, but the game was too fragile and complex for them at that age. Maybe its time to try again.

Mini Marvel Maulers

(Editor’s Note: Join the Noobas he defiles yet another strategic game with his own special brand of ignorance.)

We recorded Episode 6 of the podcast this past weekend. We also tried to record some videos of Heroclix openings. I got a new computer, so the videos aren’t of the best quality and we will try again next month. It also took us a few tries to figure out how the microphone interacted with the new PC and I’m not sure we completely did. If the audio is bad this month, I apologize. Bear with us as we iron out all of these wrinkles. I can’t keep using that excuse indefinitely, but I’ll take any slack you offer. We’re not professionals, after all, just 2 guys gaming.

Speaking of gaming (how about that segue), we took a break from Magic to play some Heroclix. One of us suggested the game as both a topic for the show and to offer some variety during our monthly game nights. It served both purposes well. Due to time restrictions, we only got to play one game. Still, I can say with confidence that it was the first game of many. Personally, I can’t wait to play again.


We decided to initiate ourselves into the world of Heroclix with a booster draft. I brought my Guardians of the Galaxy pack that my four year old pried open, already putting Chris in a suspicious mood. This mood will pay off with actual shenanigans on my part, so stay tuned. Chris provided one from the Amazing Spider-Man series. On first glance, none of the characters in my pack looked terribly impressive. I should probably mention that I have been very busy with finals at school lately and have not been able to research the game at all. Even so, the characters in the other box looked way cooler. I think that it was mostly just Man Thing that had me all hot and bothered…no comments, perverts. As I found out, he is a bad ass, but I had no way of knowing that. Hell, while we played, I checked all of their abilities on the chart every single turn. The model just looked amazing and boy, was that Man Thing big….okay, I’m done.

Now, on to the draft. I will give the picks that Chris made each round after my picks and admittedly ignorant analysis. Maybe Chris can give his thought process in another article. *hint, hint* A final warning: Seeing as how neither of us ever played the game before, we probably did not adhere to time limits during the draft process. No one pick ever took longer than a few minutes. Still, we gave one another ample time to consider each choice. As with most of our gaming, we just took a more casual approach.

cmPack 1, Pick 1: My pack consisted of Captain Marvel (the Carol Danvers version), Crystal, Recorder, Deathurge, and Dire Wraith. This pick was easy. I took the most expensive–and strongest, I hoped–character. She took up so many points, but I figured she’d be worth it. Chris took Dr. Druid, a solid first pick.

Pack 2, Pick 1: Chris passed me Man-Thing, Werewolf, Spider-Girl, and Manphibian. mtI briefly considered Werewolf and Manphibian, but ultimately picked Man-Thing. He is just too strong. Plus, he has the flexibility of multiple point values. (I need to mention now that, at the time, I mistakenly read Captain Marvel as 100, not 150 points. Yes, a math teacher who can’t do math. ‘Merica! My team was illegal for a 300 point game. Dang. I tried so hard to put together the best team given the quota. All for naught.) Chris, not a cheater, picked Crystal.

recorderPack 1, Pick 2: After picking what I considered to be the core of my team, I started looking for support. Of the three remaining, Recorder had the strongest ability in that capacity, as far as I can tell. Chris takes Werewolf. Had I not been a cheater, I’d probably have taken him instead of Man-Thing, but who knows.

manphPack 2, Pick 2: Left with Manphibian and Spider-Girl, I take the chance that we might play an outside map with water so that he will have a movement bonus. I consider Spider-Girl for her support power, but I take the chance. Chris takes Deathurge, who I now notice has a point value of 140. He might be actually be strong. I will have to look at him again.

dwLeftover: I pass Chris Spider-Girl and receive Dire Wraith. Before this game, I had no idea that it was even a thing. If I read Captain Marvel’s point value right, he’d have become an integral part of my team. You can all see and understand why I cheated now, right?

I will write another article for post on Friday that discusses my strategy in putting together my team. I will also talk about the game that we played in that article. Tonight and tomorrow are reserved for editing the podcast. Until then, Excelsior and best of luck in your Mini Marvel adventures!