HeroClix Tournament and Comprehensive Rules Update
WizKids is proud to announce an update to the General Tournament Rules and Comprehensive Rules for all HeroClix Organized Play Events, including local store events and Premier Events as of May 11th, 2019. For additional information about the HeroClix Comprehensive Rulebook and corresponding changelog click here. The majority of existing rules are identical or slightly updated to consolidate sections. However, there are some rules adjustments and new sections added to improve the tournament experience. It will be important to review these if you plan to compete at the U.S. HeroClix National Championship at Origins Game Fair as they will be in effect. For additional information on WizKids U.S. National Events such as schedule, pre-registration, etc, click here. So, without further ado, let’s review the major differences found in the General Tournament Rules.
- Note Taking – Players are allowed to use non-electronic devices (such as pen and paper or a custom designed tool) to record and keep track of the game state. This typically applies to effects that allow selection of powers/abilities and also to keep track of the current score. Players must be able to record this information in a timely manner, otherwise they risk a penalty for delaying the game.
This new rule allows players to be more proactive about the current game state, and more importantly, what the score of the game is. There are many powers/abilities in the game that allow standard powers to be selected on a turn-by-turn basis and this can be difficult to remember over the course of a match.
- Custom/Modified Game Element Sculpts – Players may not use custom or modified sculpts for their game elements. All game element sculpts must be their original sculpts and must be the correct sculpt for their combat dial. Players may use custom action tokens and custom items for generated game elements (markers, bystanders, etc.). The tournament staff may, at their discretion, forbid custom action tokens or items that are potentially offensive or excessively confusing.
- Custom Painted Game Element Sculpts – Players may custom paint their game element sculpts and use them in tournaments without needing an opponent’s approval. This includes the painting of pre-painted sculpts and unpainted sculpts. The tournament staff may, at their discretion, forbid custom paints that are potentially offensive or excessively confusing.
- Game Element Cards – Players are required to bring and use the original cards for all of their game elements. Proxy cards will not be allowed. If a card becomes damaged beyond use or is missing (when playing in a sealed event), at the discretion of the tournament staff, a replacement card may be used (if available) or the player may use a printed version of the card provided by the tournament staff.
These three rules all address the physical game elements a player uses during a HeroClix match. To state them simply – custom sculpts aren’t allowed at HeroClix events, custom paint jobs are generally allowed, and printed out cards are not allowed.
- No custom sculpts. This has always been a rule; we’re just making explicit.
- Custom paint jobs. There is a line of Unpainted HeroClix figures releasing later this year, and there’s a chance that some people who paint their favorite superheroes are first-time HeroClix players. We’re hoping getting to play with their custom-painted figures helps welcome them into the game we love. It’s important to note that any custom-painted figure must not cause any confusion in a tournament environment, such as painting all of you characters on your force in a single shade of black with no other details, as if they were chess pieces or purposefully painting them a scheme that would cause confusion with other pieces on the team or with the identification of the figure. Basically, don’t paint them for an in-game advantage.
- Printed out or proxy cards are not allowed, this has also been a rule and we’re making explicit. However, the tournament staff may issue a replacement (in the form of a print out just for that event or borrowing a card). An example would include playing in a Sealed event and receiving a character that did not come with the corresponding character card or someone losing a character card during the tournament, but had it at the start of the tournament.
Victory Conditions – A HeroClix game has three ways to determine the winner.
- When only one player is undefeated before the time limit is reached.
- The time limit is reached. If the time limit is reached, the player that scored the most victory points in that game wins.
- During a 2-player game, if a player’s victory point total is equal or higher than the build total value plus 100 after the most recent effect resolves, that player is the victor. (for example, if the build total is 300, the game would end as soon as a player scores 400 or more points).
Most players probably noticed a third, new, victory condition that’s only for tournaments with 2-player games. Since (as stated earlier in the article) note-taking is allowed, players can track this easily, though for most games they won’t need to do so. It’s intended to stop the negative play experience that people sometime encounter with teams that can generate or re-use characters, and would require your opponent to knock out double or even triple what the tournament’s build total is in order to win. We’re hoping this creates a more interesting balance of risk and reward for game elements that let you revive knocked out figures or bring in high point-cost characters for a fraction of their actual cost, etc., while keeping the HeroClix experienced rooted in combat and tactics.
- Scoring & Point Cap – Win/Loss and victory points are recorded on a player’s Team Build sheet. A player’s maximum recorded point total can be no more than the build total (typically 300). Note that a player can score more than the build total during a game and that score will be used (if needed) to determine the winner, but the maximum total that can be recorded is the build total value.
A player may have opportunity to score more points and achieve the 3rd Win condition listed above, but when it is all said and done, when recording the results of the match, the build total (usually 300 points) is the maximum that can be recorded. It’s unfair that some players have the opportunity to rack up an enormous number of tiebreaker points in a tournament by knocking out over 500 points of characters in a single 300 point game because of their opponent’s particular kind of force. By updating this, this leads to another change…
- Byes –A bye is issued when there are an odd number of players in a Swiss event. A bye is considered a win. First round byes are assigned randomly. In subsequent rounds, the bye is given to the lowest ranked player who has not already received a bye. The player that receives the bye receives a Win for that round with a score of half of the build total points (typically 150 points).
By having the maximum score one can record being capped at 300 points, we feel comfortable changing how byes work. Players who earn a bye due to an odd number of players at a tournament are awarded a Win and half the point build of that tournament (usually 150 points). With all the changes listed above, we feel that a player who does receive a Bye (which is beyond their control), is not at an extreme disadvantage if the need for a tiebreaker arises in the final tournament standings.
- Ties – During the Swiss rounds of an event, if a game ends with both players scoring 0 points, both players will receive a game loss. Otherwise, if players have a tied victory point total, the winner will be determined by a roll-off of two d6, with the winner being the player that has the higher result (rerolling ties). During the single-elimination portion of an event, for any ties (including 0-point ties), the winner will be determined by a roll-off.
A 0-point tie resulting in a roll-off was no fun, and not part of the spirit of HeroClix that we want to promote. When it came to determine what to replace it with, the ROC’s rules had already been field-tested by some of the best HeroClix players in the World across several years and formats. They liked it. This rule obviously encourages players to engage in combat rather than taking actions that fail to advance the game state. In any event, any game during a Swiss round that results in a 0-0 score is now a loss for both players.
To reiterate, these changes go into effect on May 11th, 2019, for all HeroClix tournaments (including those at the local store) and will be live at Origins and other National Events around the World. Feel free to bookmark this page as a source of reference for both the rules and the rationale behind the changes. We understand this may be a lot to absorb and wanted to leave a treat for all our fans; the remainder of the 2019 Convention Exclusives! Please share with your local play groups as well, because if you’re reading this you’re probably among our most energized fans and it helps when our best advocates share upcoming changes with their local communities.
Thank you again and may all your attack rolls be critical hits.