What do you get when you mix Chess, D&D, craps, blind boxes, and comic books? You get Heroclix and its glorious! HeroClix is a collectable miniature game that uses the Clix System that centers on the world of superheroes and villains of comic books, especially the Marvel and DC Universe. Players construct teams of characters in a turn-by-turn battle on a large grid map featuring a variety of terrains and locations.
I am Groot.
Each detailed figure sits on a combat dial that keeps track of a figure’s stats, such as Attack, Defense, Speed, and Damage, and special abilities via a rotating dial. As a figure suffers damage through combat, the dial is turned the required number of clicks (“Clix”, get it?) to reveal new stats and different special abilities.
Combat Dial and Figure Base
The dial also contains other information such as the point value of each figure (used in the construction of a team), the range of a figure’s attack (how far away a character can attack another character), number of characters that can be attacked, team affiliations (which may give additional abilities), and rarity or Experience of a character (Rookie, Experience, and Veteran).
When constructing a team, a point value is agreed upon by the players, for example 200 points and each player picks figures who’s combined point total is 200 points or less. It’s usually better to be closer to the point value and maximize their figures stats. Each non-rare character in a set will have a Rookie, Experienced, and Veteran version. The Rookie version will cost the least number of points but will have the lowest stats out of the three versions. The Experienced version will have better stats but cost more points. And the Veteran version will have the best stats but cost the most points. The dials for each version can also differ in that some special abilities will be available for more clix on their dial and/or have more clix before they get KO’ed.
Pick me! I’m a good teammate!
Throughout the combat dial a character may have a stat highlighted by a color which denotes a special ability. For example a Red color on the Attack stat means that the character has the “Blades and Claws” ability giving the player the ability to roll one six-sided die to determine the amount of damage they deal to another figure instead of dealing the number of clix damage shown on the figure’s Damage stat. Roll a 6 and you’re golden. Roll a 1 and maybe you were better off dealing the 2 damage. A Red color on the Damage stat might mean the figure is a “Range Combat Expert” and deals an additional 2 clix of damage when making a range attack. So if Cyclops deals a normal 2 clix of damage, it now gets bumped up to 4 clix. An Orange color on the Defense stat means a character has “Toughness” and reduces the number of clix of damage done to it by 1 clix. So if a character like Wolverine is attacked by a character that only does 1 clix of damage, guess what… Wolverine isn’t taking any damage. There are tons of different special abilities that help a figure feel like the comic book character they’re modeled after and are convenient kept track of by referring to a Special Abilities card.
So how do you do clix of damage? Simple, if your figure is within range to attack another figure (figures with ‘0’ range can only attack another figure if its right next to it), you take the figure your attacking’s Defense Stat, say its 14, you take your figure’s Attack stat, say its 9, and you try to roll the difference with two six-sided dice – so you have to roll a 5 or better. If you successfully role the difference you then apply the number clix of damage shown in your Damage stat to another figure’s combat dial taking into account any special abilities and damage modifiers your figure has, reduced by any special abilities your opponents figure has.
It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Superman!
Turn-by-Turn Based Actions
Each player is allowed a number of actions to perform – either move a character, make an attack, or use a special ability. The number of actions you’re allowed to perform per turn is based on the number of points the game is agreed upon divided by 100. So for a 200 point game, each team is allowed to take 2 actions – unless a team affiliation or special ability (“Leadership”) allows you to take additional actions. After a figure takes an action, a counter is placed next to the figure, to denote it took an action that turn. Each figure can take one action per turn. After you perform your actions, your turn is over and the other team then performs their actions. After all other teams perform their actions, it’s your turn again. You can then perform actions with your other characters who didn’t perform an action your last turn, or you can “Push” your character to an additional action in back to back turns. In doing so, your character then gets a second counter, and takes one clix of damage for pushing themselves. All other characters who had a counter on them who didn’t push gets to clear the counter of their figure. If a figure has two counters on them, they cannot “Push” for a third turn and they’ll have to clear their counters for this turn before performing another action. So why push your characters? Sometimes a character has a special ability (“Willpower”) that allows them to not take the “Push” damage. Some characters actually get better stats and special abilities later in their dial and this allows the player to get to those stats. For example the Hulk starts out with modest stats of a Bruce Banner – but push him a little bit to make him angry and his stats go through the roof! But push him too much, and he can die without anyone attacking him.
There is tons of strategy when building a team around so many different characters with special abilities. The trick is trying to mix and match different supporting characters like medics to heal your characters, flying characters that can carry other characters around the map, and random Thugs to act like meat shield pawns to block other figures attacks as you move around the map.
There are websites such as http://www.hcrealms.com/ and http://heroclix.com/ that have search engines that help you search for figures with specific Special Abilities so that you can quickly know which of your figures have what Special Abilities to help you build your team. That way you don’t have to click through the Combat Dials to hunt down who has what Special Abilities.
One of my favorite strategies revolves around using characters with Telekinesis to “throw” another character up to 10 spaces on the map, and then attack with the character that was thrown – like Colossus and Wolverine’s famous “Fastball Special.” But instead of Wolverine, I like throwing Spiral because she has the Special Ability to make two separate attacks (“Flurry”) combined with the “Blades/Claws/Fangs” ability to roll a six-sided die to determine the amount of damage she deals with a successful attack.
My Flying Ball of Swords
Where can I get these? How are they sold? How can I start playing?
They’re sold at your local comic book and tabletop gaming stores as blind boxes. Blind boxes are sold as individual boxes containing 1 figure, or a bigger blind box pack of 3 random characters. These stores will also occasionally hold Blind Box Draft tournaments where participants open a case of these blind boxes and take turns drafting characters to their team.
A Case of Marvel HeroClix
There’s so much to HeroClix that I haven’t discussed (Maps, Line of Sight, Critical Hit, Critical Miss, tons of other Special Abilities, Firelord, Silver Surfer, Nightcrawler, the list goes on and on!), but hopefully this intrigues someone enough to go out and buy a couple boxes and put together a killer team. Have fun and Clix On!