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spacerimage via eBay HeroClix: One Fan's Beginning
by guest writer Pipestem

When Jager got back from his trip to Wizard World East, he told me all about Kaiju Big Battel. Then he told me all about the other things he saw, including a game called Heroclix. He said there was a whole bunch of people playing Heroclix all day... "like crazy" he said. So, being one of the people that used play Magic: The Gathering at comic book conventions, I decided to pick up a few Heroclix at The Gateway, my favorite comic book store. That was $250 ago and this is my story.

image via eBayWe had to go to town for several reasons, one of which was to get some comix at The Gateway. While there, I bought a starter pack of Heroclix figurines (MSRP $19.95) and one booster (MSRP $6.95). The friendly folks at The Gateway gave me an extra Incredible Hulk figure for free, because they're nice. Nice like a crack dealer is nice to fresh meat. We took the boxes of stuff home to check them out. The contents of the starter pack were:

  • 8 random Heroclix gamepieces (figures)
  • 2 six-sided dice
  • 1 Heroclix base-turning ring
  • 1 double-sided map
  • 8 stickers (used for differentiating your Heroclix from your opponent's)
  • 1 rulebook
  • 1 double-sided superpower explanation card
  • assorted laminate cardboard pictures of objects

The booster pack contained 4 more random Heroclix figures, 4 stickers, and some additions to the rulebook.

image via eBayAt first we were all just oohing and aahing about the level of detail present in the tiny Heroclix gamepieces. Each figure is representative of a comic book persona from either the DC or Marvel universe. I got a Mr. Fantastic that looked especially neat with his body stretched in an ethereal contortion. Each figure is made of rubbery plastic and come pre-painted. If you are a Warhammer 40k player used to carefully painting your own gaming miniatures, you may be disappointed in the factory paint job. Most of the figures in my collection are very well painted, but some have smudges here and there. Stripping the color and repainting them are quite easy and Heroclix maker Wizkids posts images of custom paint jobs on their website. Most of the figures are molded in cool fighting poses. Their poses seem natural for each character, i.e. Black Canary is calling out with her hands cupped around her mouth while Blade charges wildly with swords in mid-swing.

At the base of each figure, there is a rotating dial with 5 important sets of numbers printed on it. The number next to the foot corresponds to the maximum distance the figure can move. Each figure has an attack rating (fist number), defense rating (shield number), and damage rating (explosion number). Some figures have the ability to attack from a distance, the range of which is denoted by the number next to the lightning bolt. Any number with a square field of color behind it denotes a superpower for that figurine. For example the Incredible Hulk starts with no superpowers, but as he gets hit he gains powers including invulnerability (gray defense), super-strength (green attack), leap/climb (orange speed), and battle fury (orange damage).

© WizKids

After we got over the amazing artistic detail, I decided we needed more figures. Three more boosters were purchased and the contents examined. We hadn't even tried to play the game and I was already getting addicted to Heroclix. Actually it wasn't until a day later that we played for the first time.

image via eBayWe discovered that the basic object of the game is pretty simple: The player with the most points wins. Players are awarded points based on the heroes they defeat. For example, the Incredible Hulk is worth 147 points while the Blue Beetle is only worth 26. Prior to actually playing the game, we had to create a team of superheroes to use. The rulebook suggested that we start with a 100 or 200 point game wherein each player has a team that must not consist of more than the predetermined point total.

The instruction booklet does a great job of explaining the game and is available online at The first game crawled along due to the need for rule-checking during each turn. Even with the slowness of that game, I knew we had found something special. A typical turn consists of either moving or attacking with a figure. Some heroes have the ability to do both during the same turn. That's one of the most interesting aspects of this game. For every rule, there is a superpower that negates said rule. For example, the rules state that a character may not pass through a solid wall depicted on any one of the detailed maps. However, some figures sport the ability to phase or pass through any kind of terrain on the map including walls. When building a team, it is vitally important to consider the available powers of the figures at your disposal.

image via eBayWe played several more games and I came to the immediate realization that I had to have more figures. It began to consume my thoughts and dreams. After Jager left, I found myself incessantly searching the web for pictures and articles regarding Heroclix. I discovered plans for a new DC Heroclix expansion and pre-ordered 10 boosters. I found websites with people selling Heroclix of their own design. As I rubbed my hands together with glee I maniacally realized that I had only reached the tip of the iceberg.

The crazy thing is that I'm not really into reading comics. Apart from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's The Preacher, I don't really own that many comics. For me Heroclix is mostly a numerical game of strategy with cool looking figurines. For those of you who love comics, the game will seem even more exciting. You'll finally be able to see the battles you've always dreamed about. Can Spiderman ice Batman? Now you can find out!

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Where will it end? How much money will I spend? I can only imagine how many boosters of the next expansion I will buy. Wizkids has announced that in September we can expect a new set of Heroclix figures called Indyclix. Indyclix will be based not on DC or Marvel characters, but those of independent comic developers and distributors.

Now that my wife and close friends all play Heroclix, I have no leash to rein me in... no voice of reason in my feverish frenzy of Heroclix accumulation. I buy hundreds of Heroclix to cure my thirst for more. It is a temporary fix, but what can I do? Some of you have read my story and wisely thought that you won't purchase your first booster. Others will probably soon find yourself penniless and sitting in a kiddie pool filled with tiny figures of comic book characters. To the latter I only ask that you save a spot for me, friend.


My rating: 9.5 out of 10


  • endless fun
  • highly collectible
  • large player community
  • super cool figurines


  • way too addictive
  • relatively high cost to build a formidable force
  • many rules to remember
  • did I mention it was way too addictive?

Heroclix are copyright WizKids. Comic names and likenesses are copyright their respective owners. Article copyrighted 2003 Some of the images came from the internet, if you would like to provide copyright holder information or have the info removed, please contact us.

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