HeroClix 2017 Rules 12: Reader Feedback! And Rules Tweaks!

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 until April 7th 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 Clixers! As promised, this article is in response to all the great feedback you’ve sent! After hundreds of responses and discussions we’ve had with retailers, judges and players, we are happy to report that nearly all of the feedback has expressed excitement about the general direction and agreement with the majority of the rules changes. When we started, we weren’t sure that would be the case and we are excited to bring these changes to the community later this year.

Based on your extensive feedback, we’re making some tweaks before we finalize things for this rules pass. Thanks for being part of making the rules better!

For the Hide ability, current rules for objects actually change terrain, and we got a bit too focused on using markers to change terrain in a similar way to how it currently works. We haven’t shown you the full rules on terrain markers, but there are very good reasons to only allow markers to change terrain. That’s their purpose, and in the final version there will be clear rules for what happens when an aquatic character puts a Water marker in a square with a Smoke Cloud marker, etc. Heavy objects can’t simply “act” like hindering terrain without causing issues.

However, since moving through objects is now permitted, we only need to concern ourselves with lines of fire. We don’t need to change the terrain at all, just the type of the line of fire. Players (Kevin R being the first) had suggestions along those lines, and we crafted it into this:

An otherwise clear line of fire drawn through a square containing a heavy object becomes hindered.
SIDEBAR: This includes lines of fire drawn to a character occupying the same square as the heavy object.

Sorry, Hide ability, it was nice to know you, you had a nice name and flavor, but we won’t be needing you anymore. This is just a lot simpler execution for virtually the same effect.

Moving on to the bigger changes. For the standard powers that were directly affected by other fundamental changes, we are taking our lead from the comments received and bringing some of the changes we were eyeing for the next rules pass forward.

This may seem an obvious choice to many of you, but it’s serious stuff –we don’t want to lose any players who think that this is “one change too many”. HeroClix is still the great game it always was, and we want you to be able to share your love for the game with as wide an audience as possible. As part of that, we’re doing several other things:

  • Sidekick Nights is planned to be available to all stores in the fall/winter sometime after these rules launch.
  • The PAC, among other useful things and a larger font size, will have a section on other “basic rules” like pushing, hindering, critical hits, etc., that will help new players understand the most important concepts not on the PAC or character cards.
  • Having quick-start rules available to help teach the game in starters along with these new rules, moving forward. This will be a small booklet that will also be available on our website.

If your favorite tweak isn’t included below, please keep in mind our goal of making the most fundamental changes now, and doing some more focused power-level tweaks next pass after the new rules have been played by all of you for a while.

Poison
FREE: If this character hasn’t moved or been placed this turn, deal 1 damage to adjacent opposing characters.

(Shout-out to Joshua S and Nick Z who wrote in suggesting the planned Poison tweak almost exactly.)

Poison can now combo with Outwit again! The combo with Sidestep was never intended to be a key part of the power, and that interaction lost something that’s always been fundamental to Poison – that your opponent has the chance to run away before it happens. There’s also a few new tricks here like making an attack before using Poison to try and drop them onto a click without reducers.

Blades/Claws/Fangs
When you hit and would deal normal damage during a CLOSE action, you may roll a d6. Deal damage equal to the result instead of normal damage. Minimum result is ‘your printed damage value -1’.

For Blades/Claws/Fangs, it always has been and remains a power that requires taking a chance, and Probability Control was used to mitigate that risk. Right now, it’s a hard power to give to higher point characters because of the large risk of dealing less damage than they could otherwise. This mitigates some of the risk in a more balanced way, and allows BCF to go on more types of characters than before.

Regeneration
POWER: Roll a d6. Heal a number of clicks equal to half the result (rounded up).

For Regeneration, this has been a long time coming. Since we realized its ability to be easily rerolled should be removed to improve the game, we have been planning this change, to allow it to heal at least 1 click. The main concern with the change related to how it interacts with STOP clicks (which you can see further below).

Support
POWER: Choose a target adjacent friendly character. If this character and the target aren’t adjacent to any opposing characters, roll 2d6. Add the result to this character’s attack value, and if that is equal to or higher than the target’s defense value, roll a d6. [1-4]: Heal the target 2 clicks. [5]: Heal the target 3 clicks. [6]: Heal the target 4 clicks. (This is not an attack.)

For Support, it already has several special conditions Regeneration doesn’t have, like making an attack and not being adjacent to opponents. We have long wanted to move it closer to “heal 2” on average. But we also didn’t want to entirely remove the possibility of higher healing, and this allows us to write it in a way that’s more in line with how we write a lot of special powers.

STOP
When this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. When this character would be healed by Regeneration or Support, it’s healed 1 less click. Protected: Outwit, Pulse Wave.

For STOP clicks, characters that heal on that click (with new Regeneration or Support) would become very difficult to KO, much more than intended or is healthy for the metagame. In general, while we and most players we talked to love STOP clicks, we have been rightfully cautious with them because of the possibility of unfun and unfair games where an opponent can’t make progress against them. This makes healing still possible on those clicks at about the same level it is now, but a little more difficult and uncertain, and will allow STOP clicks to be used just a bit more.

Ah, Mind Control. We received a lot of feedback on feedback damage, among other topics related to it. No one loves the clause about feedback damage, especially the part about using a specific 150 point value. We hear you. It’s very clunky.

And though we’re a bit nervous about this change, we’re committed to simplifying what is one of the most complicated powers on the PAC. To really do that as promised, and based on your feedback and our playtesting, we feel we can take the extra step to remove feedback damage entirely.

Mind Control
CLOSE/RANGE: Minimum range value 4. Make a close/range attack. Instead of normal damage, a hit character halves speed and becomes friendly to your force and may in either order: Move and/or make an attack. Then it reverts forces.

The reason we are a bit nervous is that cheap Mind Controllers with multiple targets are still potentially dangerous and we recognize that, and we’ll take it into account in future design. Feedback damage wasn’t effectively focused enough on reigning in these specific kinds of characters anyway. If they do end up needed to be reigned in, we’ll take another approach next rules pass.

Some of you that wrote in feel that Mind Control will be weaker, and sometimes it will, but testing has shown it will also be stronger in other situations. We’ll be watching it closely over the next year to see where it ends up.

We have gotten a lot of other feedback on many other diverse topics, but the changes above intersect with what many players want, the goals we have for the new rules, and the balance of the game.

On Energy Explosion, we know some players are disappointed that it’s often weaker with 3 targets. Someday in the distant future we hope to write an article that covers this in more detail, but in general Energy Explosion is one of the “cheaper” standard powers and for the past few years has been performing well above expectations. We believe that with the changes it’ll still be a useful power on many teams, especially with many figures in recent sets being lower points and not having as many powers that can reduce damage by 2.

Powers like Leap/Climb and Force Blast are staying the same as no rules impacted them, but we know that they are quite weak, even considering that they are some of the cheaper standard powers. They will also be near the top of the list to examine next rules pass.

Finally, let’s address some questions about existing figures/cards that have older language.

We’re going to issue some general, broad errata for the new language as you would expect. “Give this character a free action to” will become “FREE:”, “Can’t be countered” will become “Protected: Outwit”, any power that otherwise uses “counter” will instead say “can’t use”, etc.

There’s a small number of specific Modern Age characters whose special power wordings may become a bit ambiguous, and we’ll make sure it’s clear how they work. Most notably (and many of you wrote in, first Caique S and Daniel H) Superior Foes of Spider-Man 049 Spider-Man’s trait is “Spider-Man can use Super Senses and can evade attacks made by characters using Precision Strike. When hit by a range attack, increase the result of this roll by 1.”

This will be updated to become “Super Senses. When Spider-Man uses it, he doesn’t decrease the roll due to Precision Strike and during a range attack, increase the result of this roll by +1.” Similarly for any other characters with similar language referring to Precision Strike.

We’re also going to clean up some Golden Age rules and game elements affected by these changes, though at a lower priority than Modern Age. We’re not intending this to be an ongoing adjustment, but a one-time effort to make sure that it’s clear how the older mechanics actually work. We’re not going to be ruling on every interaction like we do for Modern Age, but we hope that cleaning up the rules and language will make the interactions clearer in general.

This feedback process has been a very positive one for us (and we hope for you as well!) and we look forward to using similar feedback tools on big WizKids topics in the future from time to time. We’ll be disabling the gamefeedback@wizkids.com email address on April 7th, so please provide any other feedback you have soon.

P.S.

A few more shout-outs before we go.

For Mick C and Cory V and other players who have written in wondering, we did actually receive your emails and read them. The rules process may not support all of the requests you made, but it was still very useful to hear the spectrum of opinions.

It was also great to hear from some of our international players all over the world like Toni V from Finland, Stefano D from Italy, and Tiago P from Brazil, among many others.

In addition to those already mentioned, we got some great and thoughtful feedback from Kyle A, Jerome F, Derrick C, Rob W, Simon PC, Amber K, Fred B, Stewart E, Nate W, Ray P, Jacob F, David L, Matts G and R, Jordan B, Alexander R, Mikeneto, Jevon G, and way too many others to list, and many more in face to face meetings. Thank you all who took the time to write in or talk to us!

Keep on Clixin!

2017-03-29T15:55:15+00:00 March 29th, 2017|2017, HeroClix Rules|