For earlier articles in this series please click here.

Reminder: These rules are not finalized yet and will not replace the current rules until sometime after the  2017 HeroClix World Championship at Origins Game Fair. Email gamefeedback@wizkids.com with feedback on this topic. We will try and read everything on topic but can only respond via articles we write addressing shared concerns.

Hey HeroClix fans,

Here in HeroClix design and development, we are very excited to share what we’ve been working on! We wanted to start with a major change we’ll need to cover before we get farther, and that’s some of the new language and phrasing that we’re going to be using, per the goals of keeping things “succinct”, “reusable”, and easier to learn.

The direct impetus behind all of these changes is a simple one – we want players to only have to read words that are actually relevant to the game, in terms of what a power does or how it will interact. We are not going to abbreviate everything into oblivion, for example we want most special power text to still be in sentence form. However, there are some common phrases where we can reduce word count, and improve clarity without losing any meaning. Walls of text can be intimidating to new (and current) players, and keyphrases and clear abbreviations can make it easier to find information on the card when you’re in the heat of competition.

The first big change to HeroClix language is one that we have seen suggested many times over the years. We are abbreviating the phrase “Give this character a move action to” into something much shorter. It’s going to become just “MOVE:” and similarly for the other actions.

CLOSE:

RANGE:

POWER: (and also DOUBLE POWER: )

FREE:

These abbreviations will only be used for actions that can actually be given to characters (usually just that specific character, but just like now, certain effects may let you grant them to other characters). If we’re referring to a MOVE action in another way, it’ll be “MOVE action”, as in “When this character is given a MOVE action”. It will not have “:” and it will be followed by the word “action”.

Let’s see some simple examples. Please note that we want to give you the actual correct examples, so from here on out, there will be some phrases that we don’t explain right away. They will be covered in future articles, most of them quite soon.

(Text taken directly from the 2017 rulebook or PAC will be written in [BURGUNDY COLOR] text in this and future articles.)

Flurry

CLOSE: Make up to two close attacks.

Charge

Can’t be knocked back. POWER: Halve speed. Move, then CLOSE: at no cost.

If you want to know what you can activate with the “CLOSE:” that Charge gives you, scan your card and see if your character has any powers that have “CLOSE:” in them (usually near the front). They should stand out much more in all capital letters. This should be a great help to newer players trying to figure out what can combo with what.

The second major change is eliminating “This character can use”. We’ve consolidated “use” and “possess” into the same concept (more on that someday in the future). As such, there’s no longer any relevant game information being conveyed by saying “This character can use”.

So here are some examples (from upcoming figures, guess away!):

Flurry, Hypersonic Speed.

He can use these two standard powers normally. All we need is a list of them. We decided “and” wasn’t needed as this isn’t a sentence anymore, just a list.

Phasing/Teleport. When [character name] uses it to move 5 squares or less, after resolutions he can make a range attack.

If he has one standard power and then gets a bonus for using it, we’ll list the power with a period after it and then “When [character name] uses it” (instead of previous “when he does”).

Phasing/Teleport, Stealth. When [character name] uses Phasing/Teleport to move 5 squares or less, after resolutions CLOSE: at no cost.

If there’s more than one standard power listed, then we’ll specify which one we’re talking about.

Incapacitate, .

The Improved traits are handled the same way, but will be the appropriate symbol and will be at the end of the list.

Penetrating/Psychic Blast. Probability Control, but only during a range attack.

If a power has a restriction on its use of some kind instead of a bonus, the power will be part of a “sentence” with the restriction. This should help players easily find powers with restrictions. Additionally, these “sentences” will have language like “only” to help identify them.

Related to all this, we will no longer be using the phrase “he can use the power normally”. If it’s in a list (or by itself) at the beginning of the special power, it’s assumed you can use it normally. For this example from earlier:

Phasing/Teleport. When [character name] uses it to move 5 squares or less, after resolutions he can make a range attack.

Well, you certainly can move up to your full speed value, not just 5 squares. Only when it’s part of a “sentence” with a restriction listed will you not be able to use a power normally. See below:

Phasing/Teleport, but only to move up to 5 squares. When [character name] uses it, after resolutions he can make a range attack.

The third and final one to talk about today is “[character name]’s attack value is modified by +1” and similar phrases. Well, we just don’t need that many words. If the effect is applying only to the character it’s on, all we really need to say is “attack +1” (and a duration if needed). Even though the word “attack” has multiple meanings in HeroClix, it should be clear that this doesn’t mean to “make” an attack.

Close Combat Expert
POWER: Choose one: attack +2, damage +2, or both +1. Make a close attack.

This gets Close Combat Expert down from 42 words to 14 words (depending on how you count it), a 2/3rds reduction. We also have further clarified durations so that it should be clearer that unless they say “until” or “this turn” these modifiers only last for this action.

When we want a power to apply to other characters, we can also keep the wording pretty short without losing anything. “Adjacent friendly characters modify damage +1” is all we need. We don’t need “their… values by” anymore. We tried losing the “modify” for a while, but the text became confusing, so we kept it as the verb to make full sentences.

Empower
Adjacent friendly characters modify damage +1 while making a close attack.

In a lot of cases, this change may only save 3 words. But we use modifiers all the time, and they are certainly one of, if not the most common kind of special text in a power. We feel that even a small change like this can really add up over the course of a card (and set).

When we halve something, we will similarly just use a single word, as in “halve speed.” In all cases, other than modifiers or halving, when we refer to a combat value, we will still use the full “speed value” to refer to it, as something potentially more complicated and confusing may be going on.

While there are definitely some other new terms and keyphrases we’ll encounter, these are the most visible changes to HeroClix language.

Until next time, keep on Clixin’!