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The Rule of Law

WizKids Product Development Manager Drew Nolosco here with some news on the new DC HeroClix Starter Game coming out on May 12th, 2010. Every starter includes new figures (this starter’s figures are unbelievably good looking), new accessories, and a new rulebook. The 2010 HeroClix rulebook includes a number of improvements which I wanted to share with you.

When the HeroClix rules team – Norm Barth (Rules Arbitrator), Eric Engelhard (R&D), Drew Nolosco and Will Price (both from Product Development) – started discussing the new rulebook, we quickly agreed upon this philosophy:

HeroClix is more fun when a game’s outcome is decided by players’ choices, plus the random excitement of die rolls. HeroClix is less fun when a game’s outcome is decided due to a player forgetting a key piece of information during the game or suffering from rules confusion.

Guided by this philosophy, we examined the rulebook and Powers and Abilities Card for ways to improve the layout, wording and organization. We also came up with some better ways to display information in HeroClix. General HeroClix rules changes are only going to be made at the time a new rulebook is printed. It’s too confusing to make changes that aren’t reflected in the current rulebook. As such, all the changes I’m talking about will be in the May DC HeroClix Starter Game, and not in products which come out earlier in than that this year.

I wanted to highlight five improvements we made to bring HeroClix closer to this philosophy:

1. The Power and Abilities Card is now a much more useful reference tool – it now includes Standard Powers, the Movement Icons rules, the Combat Abilities rules and the DC Team Abilities. The rules team examined all of the above list for unnecessary wordiness, and cleaned up the language in such a way that a game rule didn’t accidentally change as the word count was reduced.

2. In the previous rulebook, the rules for numerous topics were divided up and spread out over many sections. We grouped topics together wherever possible. Now, if you need to look up a rule pertaining to objects, the rules for that topic will all be in the same place.

3. The rulebook used to take up a fair amount of space discussing how to decide which tactics players would use, and giving names to each of those level. Players of all skill levels do this inherently, so we removed it. Now, the Core Rules section covers all tactics and treats all tactics as being part of HeroClix. If you want to make a house rule which excludes battlefield conditions, event dials of figures starting with the letter Q, go to town.

4. The rules team has also made some upgrades to figures themselves. We’ve added a new number to the clix dial which indicates which click you are on, with click number one being the figure’s starting click. Now if you need to pick up your figure for any reason, you can easily see which click your fig is on, in case you need to revert to that click. This will also help running tournaments quite a bit. For those of you who used to play Halo ActionClix, the number is in the same place on the dial – the area which which is uncovered by using a wedge dial as opposed to an L-dial.

5. Lastly, we’ve added a way for players to instant see by looking at a figure base if that figure has a trait. Since traits are ‘always on’, there should always be a reminder on the figure itself that a trait impacts how that figure plays. If a character has a trait, it will now have a ‘trait star’ icon (the one you find on the character card) printed on the figure base, to the left of the combat icons.

Please give us your feedback to these changes! In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more about the Starter Game (including figures!) and other improvements we’ve made. Next up: Questions which Norm ends up answering every day, or, The Golden Rules of HeroClix!

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