Web Search nikon coolpix digital cameras The Miserable Annals of the Earth: Early morning tweaking

Friday, July 20, 2007

Early morning tweaking

With SuperAdorable Kid on a sleepover at her aunt's, it's a rare opportunity to get on the computer for a few uninterrupted hours while the other two SuperKids sleep in. So, I've wasted my morning correcting some formatting problems to my HeroClix House Rules, and making a few minor tweaks, as follows:

A new character type:

Tiny Characters

Although there is no dial symbol that reflects this, certain characters are considered to be Tiny and to have specific power and movement affects from this size mode.
  • Tiny characters cannot carry any character who is not a tiny character.
  • Tiny characters ignore all effects of Hindering Terrain and other characters on their movement.
  • Tiny characters do not block line of fire.
  • Tiny characters modify Attack and Defense Values by +1 against normal sized and larger characters. They modify their damage values by -2 against normal sized and larger characters (minimum 0). They can be carried or thrown by any normal, Giant, or Colossal sized character, as if that character were a flyer with Super Strength.
Tiny characters to date: Ant-Man, Dr. Henry Pym, Yellowjacket (IC puck), Wasp, Atom, Shrinking Violet.

ERRATA: Shrinking Violet is considered to have the wing movement symbol.

All of which will let Tiny Characters like, for example, the Atom, be picked up and thrown by normal sized characters... which I don't expect to happen much, but, still, it would allow an approximation of the Atom riding around on Green Arrow's arrows, which he has done in various comics stories. It also keeps little folks from blocking line of sight, and makes a few other common sense improvements in how such tiny figures should be treated, as well.

Back before I was banned for all eternity from HCRealms for the grotesque sin of being rude to a (subliterate) moderator, I posted a first draft of these Tiny Character rules there looking for feedback, and discovered a curious thing: most HeroClix players seem to find the very concept of tiny characters extremely annoying. I got several useful suggestions, and incorporated them into the above rules, but also got several objections to modifying the stats on the dials in any way at all (or, at least, in any way that would make Tiny Characters more able to hit a normal sized target) or to making any other rules mods that would in any way make a tiny character's size any kind of advantage in combat with a normal character.

For example, a great many people thought that normal sized characters should not have to roll breakaway from Tiny Characters; they were rather annoyed when I said that in point of fact, where Ant-Man, the Wasp, or the Atom could fairly easily tie up a normal sized character, I felt that a Tiny Character such as that could just as easily break away from a normal sized character without making a roll. After all, if Ant-Man decides to go somewhere else, how are you going to stop him? On the other hand, you ignore the Ant-Man, or the Wasp, or the Atom, at your peril.

Basically, many clix players seem to feel that normal sized characters should be able to ignore Tiny Characters with impunity... that Tiny Characters should be nothing but minor, gnat like annoyances, at best. Now, that's not how I remember it working out in various ATOM and ANT-MAN stories I fondly remember from the Silver Age, so that's not what my rules reflect.

Under Objects:

Heavy, light, and movable special objects may also be used to hinder or obstruct the movement of opponents, as follows:

Any two characters may pick up and move a light object for purposes of hindering or obstructing an opponent’s movement. These two characters must each be able to move adjacent to the light object and move it to the desired square within their normal movement values. Each character subtracts one from its remaining movement when it picks up the light object, and both characters move simultaneously. Each character receives an action token. Once a light object is moved this way, it is considered to become Hindering Terrain for any opposing character that encounters it, with all attendant movement effects, until it is moved again, or destroyed. If a light object is moved this way and placed on a square occupied by an opposing character, the opposing character must effectively move out of Hindering Terrain on the following turn, and cannot use the light object moved this way for purposes of Stealth or to increase its defense value against ranged attacks.

Heavy objects may only be picked up and moved by characters with Super Strength or Telekinesis. If picked up and moved for the specific purpose of hindering or obstructing an opponent’s movement, a Heavy Object will be treated as Blocking Terrain filling the entire square that it is set down in until it is once more moved or destroyed. If a Heavy Object is picked up and moved this way onto a square occupied by an opposing character, that character is considered to be pinned by Blocking Terrain on all sides until the Heavy Object is either moved or destroyed.

This is because it seems to me that you should be able to pin certain types of characters under, say, a dumpster, or at least, slow them down by throwing a desk or something at them. It has the salubrious effect of giving a TK figure something effective to do, since under my House Rules, No Action After Taxi has been expanded to include Telekinesis... and if you can't use a TK character to 'cannon' another character up next to an opponent and get in a quick hit, TK has no real use at all, under normal WK rules. I've tried to make TK more useful by expanding its applications enormously, but even so, you still don't get a lot out of it. So this is one more potentially useful tactic for the TK repertoire.


This character can stretch his body into any shape. (Optional) This character only fails to break away on a die roll result of 1. Opponents trying to break away from a character with Plasticity must roll a 6 to successfully break away. Characters with Plasticity may make Close Combat attacks against opponents up to their full range value away, or, if their printed range value is less than 4, then out to 4 squares away, maximum.

This makes Plasticity a little bit more effective by bringing it closer to what it's supposed to be, i.e., the classic superhero ability to stretch one's physical form out and effect objects or people at a distance. This won't be all that useful except for figures that have both Plasticity and Close Combat Attack, or, I suppose, Plasticity and a range value less than 4, which is probably a little more common. Hmmm... or Plasticity and Blades/Claws/Fangs, I guess... it actually doubles Medusa's effective range on her first two clicks... hey, I may have hold of something here...

And a new Team Ability:

INVADERS: Pre-req: Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch, Bucky, Cap and Bucky, Toro, Spitfire, Union Jack, Blazing Skull, Thin Man. As long as there are two or more members of this team on a force, members of this team on that force succeed with any attack where the attack total equals or exceeds their target’s defense value. Members of this team may choose to reduce their Attack Values by 2 when making an attack; if they do, and their attack total is higher than their target’s Defense Value, they deal +1 Damage from that attack. (Duo Characters count as ‘two or more members’).

This has the unanticipated, but still pleasant, effect of making the Cap and Bucky Duo Character even more effective in combat than it already is, as the two of them will always qualify for the Invaders TA, even if included on other forces (such as, for example, if one were to let various Easy Company soldiers substitute for Howling Commandoes under Cap's leadership).

Okay, that's all you get right now.


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