Pros: It's DC. It's about time!
Cons: No Wonder Woman, Shazam! or Green Lantern in this set.
It all begin two years ago with a game from WizKids called HeroClix. Actually it really began when I was six years as became enamoured with superheroes and comic books (but that's another discussion best left for the therapists to unravel for some other time). When HeroClix first made its debut with Marvel Comics characters, I didn't get into at because I wasn't what you call a gamer. However, I couldn't resist looking at these cool figures. Seven months after it's release I bought into it hook, line and sinker. Even though the game became very addicting and quite fun to play, and I was extremely familiar with the Marvel characters (who doesn't know Spider-Man, Hulk, those merry band of X-Men, and so much more), my heart was really set on the characters from DC Comics. I yearned to play with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman (who doesn't dream of playing with Wonder Woman) and the rest of those super friends. But alas, I didn't think WizKids would make DC characters.
Boy was I wrong because my wish came true.
The Distinguished Competition Competes
What is HeroClix?
If you read my first review on Marvel HeroClix: Infinity Challenge Starter Set (insert shameless plug), then you are probably familiar with the concept. Okay so I lied. It's all gobbledygook. HeroClix is a fast-playing game of tabletop combat using collectable, painted miniatures of comic book personalities all designed by WizKids. That's right, they are already painted so you can actually spend the time playing the game.
DC HeroClix: Hypertime Starter Set is needed as it contains the necessary materials in order to begin the addiction. Each starter set contains 8 figures from this series of 130 figures. Figures are randomly inserted in these boxes so don't try guessing what's inside. Your X-ray vision is useless as these boxes are lined with lead. Also included:
one rule book but we never read the rules;
one 2-sided battle map choose whether you want to play on an outdoor or indoor map; plus, each map is placed in a grid format so you will know how many spaces you can move;
two 6-sided dice probably the most unluckiest pair of dice... EVER! Fine, they are unlucky just for me;
six object tokens 3 light objects & 3 heavy objects;
ten 2-sided terrain markers;
one Powers & Abilities Card (PAC) with a figures checklist; and
8 blank stickers if you wish to mark your figures;
one official HeroClix ring it actually does have a purpose, but if you paint it green, you can pretend you're Green Lantern!
HeroClix combines roleplaying and board games together under one system. However, unlike other roleplaying games that require you to keep track of hit points separately on a piece of paper or have a gamesmaster tally the outcome, every stat you need to know is found on each figure. This is called the combat dial that helps indicate the following:
Movement (how many spaces a character can move at a time);
Attack Value (the base number added to your dice roll the higher the roll, the better chance of succeeding with your attack);
Defense Value (the number to beat for your opponent's attack to succeed);
Damage (the number of damage points inflicted upon your opponent);
Range (the amount of spaces for characters that can shoot using long ranged items);
Lightning Bolts (the number of targets a character can hit with one shot);
Team Affiliation (special team abilities);
Point Value (to see how much your character is worth).
That's right, all this info is on the combat dial. Itis amazing what you can fit on a small object. Better than trying to write my name of a grain of rice.
It can be overwhelming to find out exactly how many characters are in DC's Hypertime series. 130 to be exact. However, if you look closely you'll notice a lot of duplicates. Don't worry, this is normal. Each character comes in three versions Rookie, Experienced and Veteran. The colour ring on the dials indicates the level of the character that is in your possession. Lowest on the totem pole is the Rookie version (yellow ring). The character then starts to advance with the Experienced version (blue ring) and peaks off with the Veteran version (red ring). As the level increases for each character so do the point values. It's best to determine which character is needed for the job. Sometimes being a Veteran doesn't mean you are better than a Rookie (though in most cases it possibly holds true). When choosing your character many factors come into play, most notably the types of powers available and team affiliations. Some characters are assigned a iteami which enhances their usage for play.
For example, the Rookie, Experienced and Veteran (R/E/V for short) versions of Batman have team abilities. Both the Rookie and Experienced versions are assigned the Batman Ally team ability meaning that he can automatically go into stealth mode and hide from his enemies once he enters any hindering terrain. The Veteran version has the JLA (Justice League of America) team ability allowing him to make a move action for free. One would think that the Veteran version of Batman would be the best but in this case he is not. What would you rather have: free movement or stealth? That's what I thought as well.
On top of the Rookie, Experienced and Veteran versions, WizKids also included chase figures in the set as well. Chase figures, rare figures, or in this case "Uniques" is the one everyone wants since they are only one of a kind; they don't get the 3 version treatment. They can be identified with the silver ring on its base. I've seen grown men tear off their limbs and beat people with them if they even took a breath on these Uniques. They are popular and can cause you to go bankrupt in trying to obtain them. Don't believe me? Check out some eBay listings and tell me what you see. Now that's insane.
Are You Friend Or Foe?
Every good hero is usually defined by his villains (some more vile and nasty than others) and HeroClix truly allows the players to see who will really come out on top. In DC's Hypertime set, there are special coloured bases on certain characters (hero and villain) that set them apart from the others. It's to indicate that these characters have an archenemy in the set. And just who are these characters that deserve such special attention?
Aquaman (#052-054) vs. Black Manta (#076-078) orange base
Who remembers watching the old The Challenge of The Super-Friends cartoons back in the day? There was that guy dressed in black who was a reject from the Darth Vader casting call (he couldn't do the voice properly). He usually created trouble on the Seven Seas which caused Aquaman to chase him around on his Aqua-scooter (why he needed to ride a scooter when he could already swim faster in the water baffled me). And Aquaman is that same guy who remembered as well. He doesn't wear that orange shirt anymore but he instead sports long hair, a beard, and a hook on his hand. Don't worry though, he still talks to the fishies.
Flash (#103-105) vs. Gorilla Grodd (#070-072) yellow base
This is another The Challenge of the Super-Friends match-up as the Scarlet Speedster matches wits with a talking gorilla. Um, I mean a super-intelligent, telepathic simian. Yeah, that's it. Okay fine, a big reject chimp from The Planet of the Apes. Did I mention that he was highly intelligent?
Batman (#106-108, #129) vs. Joker (#097-099, #126) gray base
This is a classic feud that started over 60 years ago o The Dark Knight Detective vs. The Clown Prince of Crime. Thereis really nothing more to be said about this except for one thing: there is also a Unique version of Batman and Joker. Unique Joker (#126) costs a few more points than his other versions and does a bit more damage. Thereis not much different in the sculpt except that he sports a hat and holds two guns which has POW! flags popping out of them. Unique Batman (#129), however, is entirely a different looking figure. This version of Batman is taken from the famous Frank Miller storyline called The Dark Knight Returns. This Batman sports kryptonite gloves in his showdown against the Man of Steel. They should have made a Frank Miller version of Superman and make these two archenemies.
Superman (#109-111, #130) vs. Doomsday (#094-096) blue base
Dooms-WHO??!! Back in 1993, there was this hoopla surrounding the death of Superman which garnered such a media buzz that the common Joe off the street wanted to know what the heck was going on. In that series, Superman was killed by a monster named Doomsday. Of course we all knew that Superman would return (all least those in comicland). That's why Unique Superman (#130) sports the reborn Superman in his not- so classic uniform. This Superman has long hair and a black costume with a silver S-shield. He is also less powerful than his regular versions. Oh, and no cape. Definitely no cape.
There are special rules pertaining to these characters that have archenemy bases. Well, really only two.
Rule #1: No archenemy can be on the same team.
In layman's term, no archenemy can be on the same team. Okay so it really says that Batman and Joker can't be on the same side because there would be a big kerfuffle and they would wipe out each other before their opponents would get to them. Yeah, yeah I made that up but it made sense. Fine, they just canit be on the same team. Period.
Rule #2: If your archenemy is on your opponentis team and you defeat him, you are rewarded double the point value for that character.
In other words, if Batman defeats the Joker and KO's him, Batman gets double the points of whatever the Joker is worth. This only happens when that particular character defeats his own archenemy. It won't work if, say, Superman defeats the Joker. Even though they have archenemy bases they aren't the same colour. So there.
It should be noted that these bases, first used from Marvel's Infinity Challenge HeroClix set, are now only solely used for characters with an archenemy. The rest of the set has a different turning base which now requires a ring to starting clicking the dial. This is because the characters were starting to break off their base under the old format.
The HeroCrack Addiction Continues
Obsessions are rightly defined because this is exactly what HeroClix has become... an obsession. After getting a starter or two, it all comes down to buying booster packs which randomly have 4 characters in each box. This is where the addiction gets out of control. You can't buy just one. I should know. This "obsession" has been going on for over 2 years and it won't end. It doesn't help that I love my DC characters as well. Build a Justice League army or Teen Titans. Maybe you want all Batman Allies or Batman Enemies. It just never ends.
To make matters worse, there is Limited Edition figures available if you sign up and play in sanctioned HeroClix tournaments. That's right you heard me right... HeroClix tournaments! These figures can be obtained by either becoming the champion of a tournament or get selected as the most sportsmanlike player. I know I'll never get the sportsmanlike award so it's better just to kick some derriere to obtain the prize.
On the surface it looks like a simple game of rolling the dice and trying to beat down your opponent. Believe it or not though, there is more to it than that as I have found out through the many games I have played. This is chess using miniatures (I was about to saying action figures but that's not true since WizKids doesn't have a license to produce action figures). There is a lot of strategy and thinking involved in playing these games which I find invigorating because no two games are the same. I like the creativity that arises from these situations and it definitely gets the juices flowing (brain fluid, you sick people).
Okay, I also like laying the smackdown on my opponents as well.
**NOTE: DC has followed up with two expansion packs after Hypertime called Cosmic Justice and Unleashed. There are only 96 figures for the former and 97 for the latter of these two sets that are only available in booster packs.
List of Hypertime Figures
#001-#003 Gotham Policeman
#004-#006 Metropolis SCU
#007-#009 Checkmate Agent
#010-#012 Checkmate Medic
#013-#015 Intergang Agent
#016-#018 Intergang Medic
#034-#036 Harley Quinn
#046-#048 Mad Hatter
#049-#051 T.O. Morrow
#055-#057 Blue Beetle
#058-#060 Booster Gold
#070-#072 Gorilla Grodd
#073-#075 Solomon Grundy
#076-#078 Black Manta
#079-#081 Weather Wizard
#082-#084 Clayface III
#100-#102 Plastic Man
#115-#117 Swamp Thing
#118-#120 Brainiac 13
#124 Commissioner Gordon
#125 The Key
#126 Joker (w/ hat and BANG-BANG guns)
#127 Catwoman (in purple costime w/ whip)
#128 Flash (Golden Age Jay Garrick)
#129 Batman (w/ kryptonite gloves)
#130 Superman (in black & silver costume w/ long hair)