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Friday, October 27, 2006

House clixin'

It's deeply wrong of me to smack my tiny audience with two frickin' HeroClix entries in a row, and I know it, and I'm sorry. I'm fully aware that only Mike Norton will ever read these (well, SuperFiancee will, too, but just because she's a glutton for the punishment that is my prose style). Still, it's stuff I'm working on, in between calls on the worst day on this job yet, and I am interested in seeing what any fellow clix players might think.

So, here are some mods I'm strongly considering for my House Rules:

Non-adjacent taxiing:

Flying and transporter characters meeting the prerequisites for taxiing other characters their full movement value may taxi characters that are not adjacent to them at the beginning of their movement, under the following conditions:

Taxiing character must be able to move to an unoccupied square adjacent to target character within their normal movement for the turn.

If a taxi character is attempting to taxi a non-adjacent friendly character, both the taxiing character and the non-adjacent friendly character will immediately take one click of damage when they become adjacent to each other during the taxiing character’s movement. This damage may be reduced normally but not transferred or evaded. The taxiing character may then carry the now adjacent friendly character for the remainder of its movement. It must set the carried character down as per taxi or transporter rules, whichever applies.

If a taxi character is attempting to taxi an opposing character, a successful attack roll must be made against the target opposing character as the two characters become adjacent. If this attack is successful, both the taxiing character and the now adjacent opposing character will immediately take one click of damage. This damage may be reduced normally but not transferred or evaded. The opposing character may then be carried by the taxiing character for the remainder of the taxiing character’s movement. The taxiing character must set the carried character down as per normal taxi or transporter rules, whichever applies.

If this attack to taxi is unsuccessful, the opposing character may make a close combat attack on the adjacent taxi character which unsuccessfully attacked it, as a free action.

Basically, this is to allow things like, a character is being beat down by enemies, and a member of his or her team comes flying in and snatches them away from the action on the wing. This happens often in comics, but under normal HeroClix rules, you'll never see it in a game. Similarly, you occasionally see a character grabbing up an enemy character and carrying them out of the thick of the fight and leaving them in some inopportune place, if for no other reason than to get them out of the way for few seconds. This is, again, impossible under normal HeroClix rules, where you simply can't grab and move an opposing character at all, but I'd like to make it possible under my House Rules.

My House Rules already allow a taxiing character to Soar and drop a character they are carrying, so this will open that option up as an attack on an opponent, as well.

Automatic knockback -- After any successful attack that results in the target character actually taking damage, the damaged character will be knocked back a total number of squares equal to the number of clicks they actually take minus 2, on a straight vector from the successfully attacking character. If this causes the knocked back character to strike another character, both characters take one click of damage from the impact, and the knocked back character comes to rest in the square formerly occupied by the character they have struck, while that character is moved one square over on the same vector. If this causes more characters to be struck and displaced, each additional impact causes an additional click of damage to each participant.

Any successful attack as above that results from a natural doubles being rolled on the dice does knockback equivalent to the full damage taken by the target character, plus 1.

In superhero comics, when hard hitting characters smack each other, the one that gets hit generally gets knocked through the air, smashed through walls, hurled into the people standing behind them, etc. HeroClix normal rules only has knockback happen when you roll doubles, but in point of fact, it happens much more often than that in comics. As my House Rules allow every figure to move and attack, this won't be all that onerous -- if Mr. Hyde knocks Batman back three squares, the Cobra can just move three more and smack Batman again -- so I don't mind making this change.

As always, though, I actively seek the feedback of the few people reading this who actually play HeroClix.

I'm also working on a few home made feats -- POLYMORPH, that long heralded add on which will allow different figures of the same character to be swapped in and out of games as a free action (when the character can shapeshift, or change size, or something). That one's specific definition is tasking me, but I'll work it out. Another I'm thinking of is PHASE IN, whereby a Phase/Teleport character would be held off the board until his player wanted to put him or her into play, at which point, the character could be put down anywhere on the board. I need to think about that one further, too... but it's certainly something that, say, Kang should be able to do.

Okay. Move along. Nothing to see here.


At 9:53 PM , Blogger Tony Collett said...

As always, well-reasoned rules that apply comics to the game, rather than vice-versa.
As for the PHASE IN you're comptemplating, may I suggest some sort of limitation baseed on number of spaces the character would move ordinarily? For example, if the character's movement is 8, and you wished to phase in that character onto the board on your second turn, any action beyond moving 8 spaces from the starting area would be a push? Hopefully this simplistic example gives you an idea of what I'm saying.

At 10:10 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

All suggestions always welcome, and that idea for PHASE IN hadn't occurred to me. I'll mull it. What's in my head now is to two tier it -- for 20 points, you take an action token and just sit there; for 30 points, you take an action token and may also move/attack.

However, limiting it by movement is an interesting idea. Maybe for a straight 20 points, you can put the character down anywhere within its Speed value of your starting area and move it normally for an action token, or, you can put it down somewhere beyond its Speed value from your home square and move it normally, but it gets two action tokens at the end of the turn.

This would make Phasers with Willpower the total shit... and the Vanisher would be perfect for taking out Medics and stuff. As he should be.

At 12:40 AM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

Finally, back and awake -- more or less.

I like the carrying on-the-fly changes you're proposing work for me. As you note, it's yet another shortcoming in the official game.

The Soar and drop form of attack is something that's come to mind recently because there are hints (and it may be clearly in the rules - I simply haven't read through them) that this mechanic is part of Horrorclix. As there are so far no flying characters in Horrorclix (but there will be) it hasn't been a working mechanic.

Since there's obviously interest both among fans and people on the production side of things in integrating the two games (see the plans for next year's Hellboy set and my comments today on the special , ultra-rare zombie surprises in Supernova) any mechanic like this has a good chance of cross-pollinating if it starts to become popular at venues.

The Phase In Feat/mechanic is one of those areas that's needed for comics accuracy, but figuring how much it should cost or otherwise what the drawbacks should be is, as ever, the trick. If one's working with Phasing/Teleport characers (ie pieces with that power showing on the dial) the closest we have now is the Double-Time Feat, though that would cause a click of damage to any that aren't Transporters, doesn't apply to flyers, and for all I know isn't even supposed to be compatible with Phasing/Teleport.

Yeah... the game has plenty of shortcomings.

At 5:09 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

The problem with the Double Time feat, beyond the fact that it won't apply to flyers, is that it expressly forbids moving and attacking. That's something I can House Rule away if necessary, but I've been reluctant, since once I do that, a great many figs become very susceptible to abusive positioning. I'd much rather craft something that only works for the Phasing/Teleport crew.

Perhaps I should simply make it a dice roll. How about:

WARP INTO PLACE: Prerequisite -- Phasing/Teleport Cost: 25 points This character is not placed on the board at the start of play in the normal starting area. Instead, this character's controller chooses any open square on the board during any turn after the first. Roll 1 d6. 1-2 Figure may be placed on any open square within 1-2 squares of the chosen square by opponent. 3-4 Figure may be placed on any open square within 1-4 squares of the chosen square by opponent. 5-6 Figure is placed on chosen square.

I don't know. Something like that.

At this moment in time, I'm more concerned with the new Silver Surfer, and the various other Power Cosmic figs we're about to see enter the gaming arena. Under my House Rules, where Invulnerability reduces damage by 3 and Impervious reduces it by 4, with a chance of reducing it fully to 0, Incapacitation and Outwit are extremely important powers. I've already limited Outwit very successfully by making it (at range) a Range attack for 0 damage (limiting it to the range of the figure doing it, and forcing a successful attack roll). A more frequent incidence of a TA that completely eliminates Outwit and Incapacitate, on characters that will have Impervious and Invulnerability (and thus, qualify for Fortitude and Repulsor Shield)... well, it's a nightmare waiting to happen.

Where I am at this point is rewriting Fortitude and Repulsor Shield so they cap Exploit Weakness and Psychic Blast damage at 1, instead of just eliminating the effect of the powers entirely. I'll get rid of the Feat's effect on my Super Strength damage mod (can't be reduced below 1) and also get rid of the two Feats together eliminating Armor Piercing. And I'll probably rewrite Power Cosmic itself so that adjacent Outwit is still possible, with a successful attack roll (as it currently is when someone slaps a Fortitude card on a character).

Otherwise, a Power Cosmic piece with Impervious, Fortitude, and Repulsor Shield will simply be straight up untouchable by any figure with a damage lower than 5. And even the bad asses like Count Nefaria, Thanos, and the Surfer can be hurt; you just need to figure out how.


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