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The Ages of HeroClix

HeroClix tournament formats update – welcome to the Modern Age!

HeroClix’s latest and greatest set, DC Heroclix: The Brave and the Bold will be hitting the streets in April and the amazing Blackest Night starter a few weeks later in May. With these releases, HeroClix tournament players around the world will be asking themselves one question – “How does this change the restricted tournament environment?” OK, maybe there will be some other questions, but since the release of Hammer of Thor, we’ve been silent on the issue of retirement. With a new set on the way and  the 2010 HeroClix World Championship scheduled for GenCon in August, it’s time for the silence to be broken.

The restricted/unrestricted environment is, as of the release of the DC HeroClix Blackest Night Starter Game, history. Gone. Fini. To bring our game more in-line with its comic book roots, we introduce the Golden Age and Modern Age formats. At first glance, these may appear to simply be new labels for the same thing, but in fact, they are two very different play environments. What’s more, they leave the door open for future possibilities…

FIGURES IN EACH AGE

HeroClix events run in the Modern Age format will work similarly to how the restricted environment worked before; all figures and sets from a particular point in time to the present are in the Modern Age, while all other sets are categorized as Golden Age. With the release of the Blackest Night starter, the Legion of Super-Heroes starter – and all sets that precede it – are considered “Golden Age”. That leaves all sets from Avengers through Blackest Night as Modern Age. Going forward, we will continue to re-categorize sets once per year, usually announcing what the change will be in the Spring-time and tying the change to a particular release, usually in the summer months.  In general, we will remove one year’s worth of sets at a time, leaving the Modern Age as very roughly the “past two years” worth of sets, similar to our old restricted environment.  (Because of our 10 month hiatus, for a while this “two year rule” will be very approximate indeed to give each set a full chance to be explored in a tournament setting.)

If you do not know your sets by heart, the characters and special objects in Modern Age will all have set icons from one of the following:

Marvel HeroClix: Avengers, Monsters and Mutations, Secret Invasion (which includes the Fantastic Four starter), and Hammer of Thor.

DC HeroClix: Justice League, Crisis (which includes the Anti-Monitor Action Pack), Batman Alpha, Arkham Asylum, The Brave and the Bold, and the Blackest Night starter.

HeroClix Classics: All of the HeroClix Classic figures are a part of the Modern Age format. Any figure from a Golden Age set that has been reprinted in a HeroClix Classics set is considered Modern Age as well, and can be used in place of the Classics figure.  A reprint is a figure that is identical to an older figure in every aspect except for set symbol and collector’s number.

Colossals (if the build total in your Modern Age game is high enough): Galactus Eater of Worlds, Fin Fan Foom, Starro, Anti-Monitor, and Sinestro Corps Anti-Monitor.  Though only one Fin Fang Foom debuted after Avengers, all versions remain legal.  As the two versions of Galactus have slightly different powers, only the more recent Coming of Galactus event version remains legal.

Maps: All official HeroClix maps with the modern color-coding remain legal in Modern Age, regardless of what set they were released with.

GAMEPLAY THROUGH THE AGES

Over the years, HeroClix has grown from its original concept. What used to be a game of super heroes on a map has grown. Bystanders, Feats, Battlefield Conditions, Special Objects, Character Cards, and Event Dials are just some of the evolutions the game has had since its first release.

All of the elements that have been added to the game have brought with them their own ways of making the game more challenging and more fun. We wanted the Modern Age tournament format to have many of these elements while also returning us closer to the original idea of the game – it’s about miniatures on a map. I emphasize the word “closer” because there are certain mechanics in the game (most notably, character cards) that cannot and should not be removed from the Modern Age environment.

Mjolnir 3-D Object Card

But many of the others can. When you see WizKids sponsoring an official Modern Age event this means that Feats (more info on Alternate Team Abilities soon!), Battlefield Conditions, and Event Dials are not included as part of your force. Bystanders and Special Objects are both consistent with the original vision – they bring something more to the battlemap that players interact with. Our addition of a ‘Trait Star’ to the bases of characters with Traits is another way in which we are bringing the focus back to the map and the characters, so everything that interacts with the game is marked on the map somehow.

To be clear, we are not stopping our support or creation of the other elements of the game like Feats or Battlefield Conditions. Especially with the “print-and-play” policy, you can look to our website for occasional surprise releases.

As you might expect, the Golden Age format allows all HeroClix game elements that have ever been made to be played – including figures from any set, as well as Feats and Battlefield Conditions.  Event Dials and Scenario Cards can be played in the Golden Age as well, though they still explicitly require the permission of all players in a game.

Figures Special Objects / Bystanders Colossals Alternate Team Abilities Non-ATA Feats Battlefield Conditions Event Dials / Scenario Cards Maps
Modern Age Recent Sets, including all special sets and reprints Rotates with set symbol Rotates with set symbol** All-more info soon! Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed All with modern color coding
Golden Age All sets* All* All* All All All As per the tournament All

*   The 2009 Holiday set Turkey and Turducken and other similar promos are not legal in Golden Age, unless the tournament organizer indicates they are legal, or where there is no organizer, all players agree beforehand.
** Though only one version was released “recently”, all versions of Fin Fang Foom are legal because the latter versions are reprints.

TOURNAMENT PLAY

For the events that WizKids hosts (notably, a 4 day series of events at GenCon 2010) we will be clear if the format for each event is Modern Age or Golden Age. Not a promise, but a general goal of ours is to be sure that we support at least one constructed event in each Age when we are setting up schedules for any convention.  GenCon features Modern Age as the primary format of the World Championships, and there is at least one Golden Age event at GenCon as well.

The policy for organized play remains the same as it has been. We will continue to send format recommendations to venues when they purchase an Organized Play Kit. Venues can choose to follow those recommendations or come up with their own format to play. Perhaps your store wants to run Modern Age tournaments with Feats but not Battlefield Conditions. That’s ok. A Golden Age event that’s figures only? That’s ok, too. The local level will remain firmly focused on the venue establishing the best gaming environment for its players. While we definitely encourage competitive venues to run a series of “practice” events in the Modern Age format before GenCon, absolutely no venue is required to do so.

Welcome to a whole new age!

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