While this game is older, and really did not gain an overabundance of followers, it is still a great game with new figures being released. Released as a combined effort between Marvel and Wizkids, among the comic book fans and collectors it became obvious that something both unique and awesome had been born. Soon other companies such as DC and Darkhorse would join the playing field with their own lines of figures which would slowly bring the fans together.
So, what is Heroclix? In short, it is a board game that uses figures based on comic book heroes and villains and lets the players build their ‘dream teams’ to duke it out based on powers, dice, and rankings of those powers. The ‘life’ of a character is what gives you the part of the name ‘clix’. Each hit they take the hero or villain takes a certain number of ‘clicks’ of damage until their dial reads ‘KO’.
The system appears complicated to beginners, but you can quickly catch on with a glance to the rule books, power pamphlet, and the character dial. We want to give you a basic overview and hope to give you an idea for your next family night or just hanging out with friends.
Fourth wall? That’s more like 16!!
Yep, that’s right, you can play as Deadpool, and in all his myriad of forms and ranks for each. This is true about most of the comic universes that have become part of the Heroclix ‘universe’. We have even seen some little-known characters surface and what game players would call ‘NPCs’ have appeared to make the game more interesting. We are going to go over Deadpool to give a little more understanding of the variety of picking your game pieces simply because he has SO many variants.
Deadpool, the original red and black dressed character in figure form comes in everything from rarity of common up to ‘unique’ which is the highest ranking and often the most powerful. Rarity is shown by the color of the outer ring, and though there has been changes to it the rarity levels remain the same: Common, Uncommon, Rare and Unique. In some games this may not matter, but for Heroclix it is the difference between a 4-5 click death and a 10-12 click death. It also changes their abilities and how powerful those abilities are.
Of course, Deadpool is known for skipping through time, space and totally ignoring the rules of reality. This means that he has multiple versions, original, DogPool, Ladypool, Headpool, etc. There are figures for each of these and probably more- and each one’s powers and abilities may vary with it. The Unique ‘Pools’ are not only different in the color ring on the base, but like other Unique’s, the figure itself looks different.
This is the best one to grab for explaining just how vast your choices are in a single hero, but there are variants for most of the comic book characters and you might find yourself looking for a particular one. This can be difficult due to just how valuable each character is- rarity does indeed tell you how likely you are to find them by buying them out of a store or through the company. Often the Unique and tournament figures (yes there are tournaments!) can only be bought off another player if you want to be absolutely sure of what you are getting.
Blind Date anyone??
The only pack you know what your getting with this game is a starter pack. There are several of these and they come with a map, icons, objects, figures, dice and the rules/power pamphlets. You can get a DC or Marvel starting box pretty easily, but you are not likely to get yourself a unique this way. If you have everything and want to start hunting down a particular character, you are going to be hunting down a ‘buy it now’ or bidding on a site somewhere- but why?
Well, Heroclix are sold in ‘blind boxes’ from stores and dealers. This is why you won’t really know what you are getting till you pay. The boxes aren’t as expensive as bidding or outright buying a single figure in most cases, especially if your talking about a rare or unique figure. Like any game with collectibles, though, you may end up stacking it up to get that figure. Most boxes come with 4 figures at least, but unique’s are often larger, so if you do get one (and we have yet to hear of anyone getting more than one unique in a box) you’re likely only to get 3 figures instead of the usual 4.
It can be fun to open it up and attain a unique on your own, but many of those fans go for are only from a certain year and or set, so in the end, you may still end up going out and paying the extra bucks to get it. The tournament figures can be attained through separate purchase as well, or again from someone who won and is willing to sell or part with it.
The tournament figures are often much larger than even unique’s and have more than one dial to represent their ability to withstand assault as well as their usually large number of powers. An example of this would be one of the very first released which was Galactus. This figure had five dials in total and had regeneration abilities on each making him too hard to take down alone. The tournament rules had it set up so several teams fought each Galactus figure together and the last team standing, or the one whose team gave the final blow, won the figure.
This led to a few issues during play with people not working as much together as had hoped. Often their goal ended up being the last one standing by the time Galactus reached the other side of the map and the end of the game was announced. Since then the rules for tournament figures and winning has changed and progressed to make it easier to declare a winner and less likely to completely ignore the main ‘boss’ of the tournament.
Many of these giant-sized figures exist today, but each one is hard to get your hands on and often go for a few hundred dollars a figure.
Easy peasy or hard to grasp?
The game rules are a little hard to decipher at first, as a lot goes into a single battlefield. Like a video game brought to your table, characters have a certain amount of spaces they can travel and certain powers they can use, which change as they get hit with damage. There are also extra rules for playing with items if you choose to do so. Climbing and flying also come into play as well as if your capable of running and using their abilities in the same turn.
The biggest rule is how many ‘points’ you are allowed per team. On each dial there is a number, and that’s the cost of that character as part of your team. This is so you don’t end up with an entirely rookie and low leveled team of characters facing a team of massive power and rarity.
Most people who play for fun play on house rules, but you can easily find the true rules for the game online. If you want to get involved with tournaments, this is definitely what you want to learn and get used to playing by. Is it easy? Not entirely, but it can be learned through practice and a few fun rounds with friends and family. The best age to really start learning this game is probably between 10 and 12 due to the math and light complexity of how things run both based on the stats and how turns work.
Wrap it up- I need a night on the town!
If you want a fun game with characters you already know and love as something to collect and use, this game is one to look into. There are hundreds, if not thousands of playable comic book characters, and despite the lack of notoriety they are still being produced. They can run at about $7-10 for a box and between $20-30 for the starter packs. You may want to get a starter kit, but even if you don’t there are printable maps online and each box comes with the rules as well as the power cards for each character.