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Monday, August 28, 2006

Cheez wiz

Here's why I would never, I mean NEVER, unless someone's life depended on it, play in an actual HeroClix tournament:

Wizard World Chicago 2006 Top 8 Forces

1. John Pauly (The_drubber)
V Ghost Rider (Fantastic Forces) with In Contact with Oracle
E Black Knight with Alpha Flight, In Contact with Oracle, and Protected
R Domino
V Mockingbird with Alpha Flight and Vault
R Dr. Mid-Nite with Nanobots

2. Rich Barrientos (LoNg-ShOt)
E Superman Robot with In Contact with Oracle, Nanobots, and Protected
E Batman (Icons Starter) with In Contact with Oracle and Protected
R Lockjaw with Double-Time
R Red Tornado
R Domino
Lian Harper bystander

3. Isaac Junk (Sublime1)
V Hawkeye (Fantastic Forces) with Alpha Flight, Heightened Reflexes, In Contact with Oracle, Nanobots, Protected, and
Trick Shot V Lockjaw with In Contact with Oracle and Protected
E Lockjaw with Protected (x2)
U Oracle

4. Joel LaPresta (joeldad)
E Joker (Icons) with Armor Piercing (x2)
R Lockjaw (x2)
E Lockjaw
R Dr. Mid-Nite
Lian Harper bystander (x2)

5. Spenser Davison (Ledhead)
U Flash (Legacy) with Armor Piercing, In Contact with Oracle, Nanobots, Protected, and Sidekick
V Lockjaw and In Contact with Oracle, Protected, and Sidekick
R Domino with Sidekick
Lian Harper bystander with Sidekick

6. Cory Taylor (DrDoom007)
U Flash (Legacy) with Armor Piercing, In Contact with Oracle, Lazarus Pit, Nanobots, Protected, and Sidekick
E Lockjaw with In Contact with Oracle, Protected, and Sidekick
U Oracle
Lian Harper bystander (x8)

7. Chuck LaPresta (mysterio107)
E Joker (Icons) with Armor Piercing (x2)
R Lockjaw with Protected (x2)
E Lockjaw with Protected
Lian Harper bystander (x2)

8. Kimberly Dyer (snowleopard)
V Bullseye (Sinister) with Protected
E Batman (Icons Starter)
V Jinx
E S.H.I.E.L.D. Sniper (Sinister)
V Mockingbird with Thunderbolts
V Cheetah with Nanobots

This is crap. I mean, THIS IS CRAP! Two Lockjaws? Bullseye and Batman on the same team? EIGHT FUCKING LIAN HARPERS ON ONE TEAM?

These people should be beaten into jam, with each other's hipbones.

I swear to God, I cannot understand the point of having a game in which the game pieces represent certain specific fictional characters, if the way one wins in competitive play is to completely ignore everything about those characters except the numbers and colors on the figures' dials.



At 12:46 PM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

Hey, hey! Teams four and seven have three Lockjaws on them! Don't be skimpin'! ;)

Certainly, I understand the aggravation.

Still, attach prizes to it and any game becomes corrupted. No board of comics purity could reign over a game - passing judgement on teams - and see it grow the way the business needs it to grow.

No one knows what the real breakdown is, (Wizkids likely has a better idea via their polls, but they never publish those results) but from the venues and events I've been to I can attest with some sense of authority that the majority of Heroclix players do not know anything substantial about most of the characters represented in clix form.

Many of them know a little more than the average guy on the street, which is to say they know what has leaked into popular culture. The longer they stay in the game the more they pick up via casual contact.

One step up from that extreme are those who know and read comics about a handful of the characters, but like the first group they don't really care much beyond it. They're as indifferent to backstories, histories and alliances than, well, I would be about someone being steeped in lore concerning suporting players in a Star Wars game. Someone starts telling me that Blitz Whiteknob and Frizz Hooplehole hate each other and would never be on the same team and some variation on "bite me, fanboy" is going to at least flash through my mind.

Most who show up at venues are there to play a game. The pieces can do certain things and cost a certain amount, and many of them can look mighty cool doing it, but most players don't know who Lockjaw is (beyond "the Inhumans' dog" - which they picked up from the people who know) and, beyond a minor point, most don't care.

None of this is to say that you should want to play in a tournament -- you'll see plenty of what you've seen here and worse the bigger the event is -- but simply to point out that most players can and do enjoy the game as a game beyond the relative handful of characters they know and care about. For most, utility trumps all.

At 12:55 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

Hmmm. New comments aren't showing on the frong page. Once again, I say -- Blogger. Worth every penny.

I understand what you're saying about the game simply as a game, I understand it, I even accept it, sort of. But I don't respect it and I will never like it. There are dozens of different games out there for people who just want to play a cool tabletop strategy game. There is only ONE game out there like this for superhero comics fans. The pure gamers can go do something else.

But all I can do about that is, well, refuse to play with anyone who doesn't respect the characters. And given that I can't find a match anyway to save my life, my pickiness hardly matters.

As to your Star Wars analogy, yeah, if I were playing with some Star Wars figs and someone said something about how those two figs would never be on the same team to me, my response would most likely be similar. But, again, I would certainly understand the Star Wars geek who feels that the Star Wars miniature game should only be for those who respect the source material.

But, in the end, I'm just venting. Even if I bought Topps and owned WizKids, I wouldn't seriously try to put something in the actual rules about source material compatability. I'd just bitch a lot. Which I am.

Thanks for the comment. Hope all is well at your end of the fiber optic link.

At 9:53 AM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

Okay, I know nothing about Heroclix, but even saying that, and acknowledging Mike's point about it just being a game and all, it seems to me that it *should* seem reasonable to, for example, have an official rule that you can't have a team which has more than one of the *same character*. I mean, what's to stop someone from building a team comprised of (pulling something out of my ass here, I don't know anything about the game) all Veteran Supermans (assuming this is the most powerful character there is, of course), for example?

And, just as an aside, a team with *three* dogs (that's what Lockjaw is, right?)? WTF?

At 1:29 PM , Blogger Highlander said...


There are rules against having more than one of a particular figure in a team. However, the weenies get around this by playing different versions of the same character -- the Rookie, Experienced, and Vet levels of a REV all count as 'different', plus, if the fig has a Limited Edition, they can use that, too.

I'm guessing the rule doesn't apply to pogs (Lian Harper is the four year old child of Roy "Speedy/Arsenal" Harper in comics, she's a 1 point pog in HeroClix).

Looking at it, while it had never occurred to me, 8 1 point pogs would be formidable, in that they would allow you to tie up your opponents for at least a round by using the pogs to engage most or all of their team base to base. The opponent figs would have to waste a round killing all the pogs to get free, and they'd get a whole 8 points for it, while you maneuvered the rest of your team into position for a devastating barrage.

Flyers could also carry Lians and put her down in such a way that they could hide behind her.

All of which is absolutely contrary to playing the game as representing the fictional characters the figs are supposed to be, and I hate it, but I can see the utility, if you're a fuckhead who only plays to win.


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