Saturday, February 17, 2007

Horrible confession time.

My roommate and I... we... we might've started playing Heroclix. Like, a whole lot. We have piles of the damnable little things all about the apartment, from the totally boss - Zombie Captain America! Korvac! Bizarro! Blue Devil! - to the mind-breakingly lame - a Kobra Fanatic! The Weather Wizard! Echo! - to the At Least They Have Neat Sculpts - Hydro Man! Manhunter! Charcoal! Piles.

The roommate, he knows absolutely nothing about comics beyond things I've explained to him - he now has a bafflingly complete knowledge of the Fourth World, which will never, ever, ever come in handy - but he does love Risk. And Heroclix is pretty much just Risk without the weakness of the Ukraine. Okay, not really at all, but whatever. It was actually him that wanted to play this, ostensibly to master the game and then use said mastery to beat the Hell out of little kids. That hasn't paid off, as I've never seen a little kid playing. And I'm pretty sure that the first time I try to play one, it'll be some kind of seven-year-old Heroclix w√ľnderkind who'll murder my crack squad of, like, three different Jokers and Deadshot in half a turn.

I bring this up because I figure whatever random stragglers of an audience this only-occasionally-actually-updated trainwreck still has may well have a better collective working knowledge of this game than I, and I've run into a problem.

See, the roommate, he's assembled possibly the most annoying team in ever. Kang. A Science Police. Blackfire. Starhawk. For those keeping score, that's three guys who either have Running Shot or Hypersonic Speed their first couple clicks and a support figure that ups their already totally absurdly high attacks by one when they're shooting from range. Starhawk has a range of frigging twelve on top of a speed of ten, meaning he can shoot damned near across the map on his first turn. Both Kang and Starhawk pick up Probability Control at least once each over the course of their dials. Starhawk has Support for a while. The point is that they're bastards, they're hard to hurt, and they do comical amounts of damage. And he pretty much just has them hide behind a building, only to peak out to shoot my dudes in the face.

Basically, the only solution I've found to the problem of winning against this damned wrecking crew is to gangbang Starhawk to death with cheap characters and win on points. My usual team consists of Blue Devil - the Mystics team ability is the cheapest, most annoying power in the game, I think, plus he's got a couple clicks of Regeneration, making him tough as Hell; the Joker - the one in the Killing Joke get-up, so he's got Stealth, Poison, Outwit and Perplex for a click; a DEO Officer - gets me the Police team ability, one click of Support and one of Perplex for, like, nineteen points; Deadshot - really short-ranged Running Shot, but he's got Ranged Combat Expert for a couple clicks. He's terrible once he gets a little banged up, but in the early going, coupled with the DEO Officer Perplexing his damage and upping his attack and Joker Outwitting that Goddamn Energy Shield power both Kang and Starhawk start with, he's a total murderer; and then a cheap flyer to round it out and carry Blue Devil up front - usually the mid-level Starfire or Kid Quantum wild-carding the Mystics TA.

That team could perform fairly admirably in the face of Kang's guns from the fucking future and Starhawk's vaguely-defined Marvel Space Guy Powers (let's see; he can see the future, fly at the speed of light, survive unaided in space, is invulnerable and he's got that old standby power for characters that aren't thought all the way through, "energy manipulation." Was he created by me, age nine?), especially since they'd get hurt every time they managed to hit Blue Devil for damage. Joker, holed up in a bush, can outwit at least one of the Running Shots or Hypersonic Speeds on the board, which cuts the team's mobility down a bit, but even then, Kang and Starhawk? Hard to kill. Blue Devil punching Kang in the face with a motorcycle helps, but it's still a tricky proposition.

I finally got pissed at getting plunked by a freaking half-man/half-woman in heavy AFI-style eyeshadow Guardian of the Galaxy douche and threw Darkseid in. Because nothing stops Darkseid. I mean, if I'm getting nailed with cheap space bastards, I'm going to respond in kind. Darkseid's backup consisted of Cheetah - from the Icons starter. High attack, Blades/Claws/Fangs, stays alive forever but kind of sucks once she loses Charge; Joker - also from the Icons starter. Really high attack for somebody so cheap, Stealth for a bit and a bunch of Perplex; my bitty, the DEO Agent; and the Scarecrow. I don't know, I figured I could park him next to Joker and the DEO Agent, use the Batman Enemy and Police TAs at the same time to up his attack to 11 and hit Starhawk with Mind Control. I never really got a chance to try that out, but it was an idea, anyway.

Cheetah got her ass good and kicked. Scarecrow got wailed on for a bit and then ran and hid, only to be healed up later on when the DEO Agent picked up Support. Joker parked in a bush, after I realized I was an idiot - he has Willpower, so I couldn't just push him to get to his far more useful Perplex on click two (he did manage to hurt Blackfire enough that she no longer had the capability to move and fire in the same turn, which is nice). But it didn't matter, because Darkseid cleaned house. Well, at the very least, he killed the Science Police and the much-hated Starhawk, which gave me the win on points.

But there has to be a better way to combat a team of high-speed run-and-gunners than to just throw the Rock and the Chain and the Lightning at them, right? There must be some superlogical strategy that I cannot think up through my haze of blind rage and frustration. Anything?


Scipio said...

Zombie Cap? Impressive!

Oh, and don't discount the Kobra Fanatic; just combine it with a stealthed figure to protect it while it prepares to charge...

Scipio said...

Pick and outdoor map, and pick a team of flying chick bricks, set to soar. This halves the range of Running Shooters, letting you put the chick bricks in place to Charge. They've picked up Objects along the way, and, if you've points to spare, a perplexer or two will up their damage even further.

Push to do immediately multiple damage if necessary; roll for breakaway (aided by a teammate's PC, if possible) then pull back damages fig to, say, a Dr. Midnite for healing.

You know; that sort of thing.

Jon said...

I somehow got Zombie Cap in the same booster as Korvac. Red-letter day, I tell you.

Scipio said...

Yeesh, I'm taking you to Vegas.

Hey; coming to the New Guy Night at the Monkey on the 24th?

Golden Age Wonder Womans galore!

Jon said...

I was there. I won a Wonder Woman. I do believe you walked behind me at one point. I almost said something, but I was awestruck into silence.

Anonymous said...

C'mon if he can't win...
(yes he DOES have a heroclix figure)

Anonymous said...

You may be well past this problem by now, but note that Joker's Willpower (like all Willpower) is [optional]. Someone had to point this out to me when I couldn't figure out how to get him off that wasted Leadership click.

So, you turn off your own Willpower to take the push.