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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sinister presents

So, I was bitching a little bit earlier this week because, you know, what with one thing and another (legal fees, medical bills, auto repair costs), there hasn't been a great deal of money to spare for foolish indulgences lately. And, well, 'lately' has been going on for a few months now. And it's starting to really, really wear on all of us.

Oh, there's always a little spare cash. I can generally afford to pick up the new issue of 52 every week. I've bought some Magic cards lately. But today is the day that the latest HeroClix set, Sinister, hit the shops, along with the newest starter set, Danger Room. I badly, badly wanted to order a case of Sinister, because it has taken me forever to get all the figs I've wanted from the past four or so expansions that I haven't been able to order cases of, and since WizKids has adopted new fig distribution policies, ordering a case honestly seems to be really the only feasible way to get everything you want in a set... otherwise, at least two or three Vet figs will elude you forever, because they're harder to get than any of the Uniques, and anyone who has them refuses to trade them, and you can't even find them in the shops as singles, and if you did, you'd be paying ridiculous prices for them. (I finally managed to snag a Vet Captain America and a Vet Ultron from Armor Wars; I had to trade my extra Krypto to get them. Before I had the extra Krypto to offer, nobody on the WK boards would even admit to having extras of those two figs, because they were so hard to get and avidly sought after.)

I also badly wanted a Danger Room starter set, for the figs (which you can't get anywhere else) and the map and the new 3D objects and the new rules book... but unlike previous starter sets, this one books at $14.99. And, frankly, while I can scrape up a few extra bucks a week for an issue of 52 or some Magic boosters, a couple of hundred for a case of HeroClix, or even $15 all in one place for a starter set with six new figs and some other stuff in it... that was a different thing.

So I was bitching about it a bit earlier this week. Just venting. I know we have three kids, I know SuperFiancee needed the medical procedure she had a few months back, I know we need to keep the car running, and I very much know there's an asshole ex husband in the equation who is smugly pleased at his ability to force his ex wife and I to spend a few thousand dollars on absolutely avoidable legal fees for no reason besides spite... and beyond all that, I know the lawyer-cash was and continues to be well spent, because the less time the kids have to spend with their dickhead natural father, the happier they are and the saner they will grow up.

I know all that, and I accept it, and if that's where pretty much every spare cent SuperFiancee and I make is going these days, well, it's okay. SuperFiancee is happier and healthier, the kids are happier and healthier, the car continues to function... I say, good business is where you find it. So, you know, I'm okay with it... but still, I was feeling a little down because, you know, Sinister was coming out today, and I really really wanted to be looking for an email from some geek shop telling me when my case was going to arrive by FedEx, and it wasn't going to happen.

If I haven't mentioned this before, I am the luckiest man in the world.

See, I came out of work tonight and as always, SuperFiancee was there to pick me up. This time she had Super Dependable Teen in the back seat, which isn't that unusual. So I got in and kissed my beloved hello and said hi to the middle baby and off we went, and we were talking about this and that and half-listening to something on the radio and abruptly SuperFiancee started snapping her fingers and I gave her a "what the hell" look, and she shrugged and said, acidly, "Somebody doesn't seem to be picking up on the signal", and I thought, for a moment, that I had forgotten something vital and pre-arranged, but no, it was SuperDependable Teen, who said "Oh yeah!" from the back seat, leaned forward, picked something up from under my seat... and handed me a big brown paper bag.

Inside which were 5 Sinister booster packs, and a Danger Room starter set.

To prove that SuperFiancee still has the magic touch, out of 5 boosters she chose for me, I pulled 4 Uniques --

Nick Fury
Baron Strucker

Out of these 4, the only one I really want is Baron Strucker. But I don't mind having the others; even the wretched Ultimates Nick Fury will make a nice boost for a SHIELD team, and if I insist that he's actually Gabe Jones, well, that's just me making the best of a bad situation. (Actually, I have every intention of trading Wolvie, Nick and Forge to any one foolish enough to offer me something better for them, but even if I can't, I'll find used for them.)

The rest of the booster contents went as follows:

2 SHIELD Snipers (the Experienced level of the SHIELD REV)
1 SHIELD Trooper (the Rookie)
1 Veteran Swordsman
1 Rookie Hydroman
1 Rookie Paste Pot Pete
1 Veteran Trapster
1 Experienced Beetle
1 Experienced Wizard
1 Veteran Fixer
2 Rookie Sprites
2 Rookie Nighthawks
1 Experienced Madrox
1 Jamie Madrox pog
1 Experienced Meggan

I also got a Pummel, a Sgt. Tork, a Mary Jane Watson, and a Statue object token.

Out of the Danger Room starter set, I got all the figs you see in the graphic, as well as the two new 3-D objects and the new map. The new starter set also gave me a new rules book, more dice, some more object tokens and map markers, another ring of power.

All told, a pretty decent haul, on a day when I expected absolutely nothing but a ride home and an excellent dinner (unless I cook, which is very rare, dinner is always excellent here at Castle Anthrax).

Unpleasantly, it turns out that reports of no Avengers TA on the Vet Swordsman's dial were true. I can and will House Rule the appropriate TA onto the piece when necessary, but still, it's aggravating, as is the appallingly low 9 Attack Value for the most skilled swordsman in the entire world. Nonetheless, I'm very happy to have a Swordsman fig, even one with a monumentally incorrect dial.

I was pleased to get a Rookie Nighthawk to add to my Daredevil villains sub grouping. I wish to God he was in the correct costume, but still, it's okay, and he actually has a vaguely useful dial... the combination of Super Strength and Willpower allows, under my House Rules, for a Grab/Smash maneuver that would normally force a fig to take a click of pushing damage; heretofore, only the Experienced Moon Knight has been able to pull it off. (It's a useful maneuver; on the first turn, the attacker grabs an opposing fig; on the second turn, assuming the grabbed fig hasn't escaped, the attacker can use the fig as a bashing weapon to attack another opponent with. It means you can effectively deal damage to 2 different opponents at once. Normally, though, as I say, since you have to take actions two turns in a row, you'd end up giving the attacking fig a click of pushing damage.)

I was also happy to get a Vet Trapster, and wish I'd gotten a Vet Wizard to go with him, although I can settle for the Experienced for now (and am very glad I got one of each piece).

Hydro-Man is an idiotic Denny O'Neil creation I can take or leave, but he was for one brief interval a member of the Frightful Four, and he's got a very nice sculpt. If I have to have one, I'd rather have the Vet, though.

It's always good to get more SHIELD cannon fodder, and I was happy to add the Vet Fixer to my Thunderbolts line up... again, I'll House Rule the appropriate TA onto him when I need to. And I was very pleased to get a Beetle fig, although, as always, I'd rather have a Vet.

The rest I don't much care about.

As to the remainder of the set, my sought after pieces will be:

HYDRA soldiers
SHIELD agents, especially the jet pack equipped Veteran levels
Mockingbird, hopefully a Vet
a Vet Wizard
a Vet Electro
a Vet Rhino
Mach IV (the vet level, natch)
a Vet Valkyrie
any level of Deathlok (honestly, he should be a Unique)
a vet Radioactive Man
a full REV of Captain Marvel
a Vet Daredevil
a Vet Bullseye
a Vet Kraven

Purple Man
Black Bolt

So, this should give me something to do until Supernova comes out...

Oh, yeah, I realize everyone but SuperFiancee was completely embarrassed by the previous entry where I shrilly accuse Kurt Busiek of swiping a bad superhero I made up in high school for a not particularly great one use character appearing in a six year old issue of Astro City. I do understand this; it's like, you read that and you just don't know where to look. And it's okay. I know how I sound. I didn't expect anyone to comment, really.

But, nonetheless, I'm still correct, dammit. He totally ripped off the Red Tiger. I know it, and he knows it.

And one more oh yeah.. the title is supposed to be read as sounding like "Sinister presence". But it looks like "Sinister pre-SENTS", as in, Ed Sullivan
pre-SENTS the Beatles. I realize that. But I can't come up with a better header at the moment. Sorry.


At 2:32 AM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

Ha! I figured something like this would fall into place, and was happy to see it did.

Especially with ol' Magic Touch on your side, you did nicely with the five boosters! Some of the brick reports (that's 12 boosters for the uninitiated) I've read haven't boasted as good a spread of characters as you managed in less than half that number of boosters.

You'll likely find the Forge and Wolverine to be some of the more trade-worthy uniques among the general mass of clix fans who aren't running at the case level. The only two on your list of desired uniques they might not budge are Stiltman (people looking for two or more for the sake of building a crazy tall version) and Black Bolt. Even those who don't care about either know there's been a buzz of interest, and Black Bolt's likely to be seen as simply a fairly potent game piece.

I start my own plunge into the set in probably less than 6 hours, so I should get some sleep.

At 7:17 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

I already have an offer on the Wolverine and the Nick Fury Uniques -- someone is offering to trade me Vet Kraven, Vet Wizard, Vet Electro and Vet Valkyrie for them, and throw in an unspecified number of Multiple Men.

I'd rather try to trade Uniques for Uniques, but still, this seems like a good offer.

At 10:29 AM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

It does look like a fairly nice deal, especially since they're not only pieces you'd want but the vet Kraven's going to be more difficult to lay hands on than the average unique from this set. In roughly one in three cases there'll be four duplicate uniques along with the set of twelve, while based on what I've seen it's unlikely there'll be more than one vet Kraven (- or Bullseye, Meggan, Daredevil, Speed Demon, Rhino, Pulsar or Radioactive Man) in any case, unless they moved the divider on me again.

Aside from seeing if there isn't one more piece from the first half or so of the set you're looking for that he'd be willing to kick in, the deal you mentioned is probably one you can be happy with.

I posted my brick pull a short time ago, and as Mike T. was also the purchasing agent (as the shop he goes to discounts his pre-orders) I made a standing offer through him if the guy wants to trade a Stiltman - should he pull one - for one of the uniques I pulled from mine. I figured Forge would be the one the guy would go after most, but Mike thought (based on what the guy's been saying) that Ka-Zar is a higher priority for the guy. I don't know if he's simply into the character or if he has his eyes on such a well-packed, 40 pt killer. Either way, I should know by sometime Saturday.

At 1:42 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

Hey dude, I thought you were 'Magic' touched. How can you afford two pasttimes? heh

At 8:05 AM , Anonymous The Aberrant Eye said...

there's an asshole ex husband in the equation

Is it bad that, by analogy with Super Fiancee and the Super Kids, I tend to compress "asshole ex-husband" into "Lex Husband"?

At 2:54 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

hmmm. Well, he's not bald... and he's not that bright. Well... maybe he's as bright as the new Kevin Spacey Lex Luthor...


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