We’re previewing the new 2011 Core Rulebook for HeroClix this week, spotlighting some of the changes and new rules. Last time, we talked about a new type of power action, canceling, and free actions. In particular we pointed out the new rule that you cannot give a character a free action for the same effect twice in one turn. As with many rules, there are some rare exceptions. We start today with the exception that you are most likely to see in your games.
Changing team abilities is now a matter of giving the character a free action. As with nearly all actions, that’s something you can only do on your own turn – not on your opponent’s turn. Wild Card teams take a little bit of a hit in terms of their flexibility, but their rules become much easier to explain to a new player.
Once the free action has been given, the wild card continues to use that team ability (as long as there is a friendly character with the natural team ability to copy from). A wild card team designed around only one “primary” team ability will work pretty much the same – give that character a free action, choose the team ability you want, and they can continue to use that team ability as long they have a friendly character to copy it from.
For teams with multiple team abilities to copy, if you need your wild card to copy the SHIELD team ability to boost a ranged attacker, go ahead. They can also change to Sinister Syndicate on that same turn in order to share their attack value with someone because the free action for changing wild cards is a rare, specific exception to the “no doubling up free actions” rule. However, when the end of the turn comes, you better view the board and figure out which team ability you want them to have on your opponent’s turn. Because once your turn is over, you won’t be able to change team abilities again until your next turn, since you can only give your characters actions on your own turn. So what will it be? The cover of terrain by copying Batman Ally or retaliation damage through copying Mystics? Maybe you want to increase your defensive capabilities with Defenders? Each wild card can be given a free action and choose something different from the other wild cards on your team, but they won’t be changing unless you can give them a free action to do so.
With his simplification, an entire paragraph dedicated to the weird interaction of changing a team ability mid-action can be removed, making the wild card rules much easier for a new player to comprehend.
The structure and benefits of themed teams went through a bit of an overhaul as well. As always, it’s useful to read the rulebook directly, but we’ll cover the various aspects here:
Building a Themed Team – The change for build requirements is subtle. Instead of being based on every 100 or 150 points of the build total, it is based around multiples of 300. If you are using a generic keyword, then you’ll need 3 characters on your team. If you are using a named keyword, then you’ll only need 2. (Wait a sec – what’s a named keyword? It’s a keyword that is not a generic keyword!). For build totals of 400 through 600, that number doubles (6 characters for a generic themed team, 4 characters for a named themed team). And so on.
Themed Team Bonuses
Themed Team Probability Control
Like the rules for building a force, the number of uses of Probability Control a themed team gets depends on the build total. Build totals of 300 points or less grant generic themed teams 1 use of Probability Control and named themed teams 2 uses. Again, like the build requirements, this would double for build totals 400 through 600, triple for 700 through 900, and so on.
How Probability Control can be used through this mechanic has a number of changes.
As with everything you are seeing this week, all of these changes were debated and playtested for many months. We went through many iterations before arriving at these rules, and we feel that they accomplish our twin goals of simplifying and balancing the basic game play of HeroClix.
UPDATE: I made a terrible game error in the last article talking about Ozymandias and how he gets assigned 2 tokens to move from his special power Outwit to a standard power Outwit. While the core lesson of the example remains accurate (if Ozy moves from one power to another, he can use both on the same turn), the specifics of the example – being allowed to use TTPC after being given a power action – was in error. I apologize for missing this interaction.
Next time: Climbing the mountain