Discovering Heroclix

I started getting into tabletop games when I was in fifth grade. We had played a makeshift RPG based on crude rules that were taken from Dungeons and Dragons. It didn’t last long – most of the kids that I played with weren’t as into the game as I was, and the kid playing dungeon master soon got bored with it and we ended up dropping the whole game.

A year later, I got into Magic: The Gathering, a collectible card game (CCG) that is most likely the card game that started it all. I started playing around the time of the Ice Age expansion. I eventually got turned off of the game a year later, primarily because I didn’t like the people that I played with – they cheated, stole cards, and were very unsportsmanlike. I got back into CCGs in college, playing Legend of the Five Rings (a good game that still endures to this day) and some Ani-Mayhem (a bad game, no offense to the makers). Eventually, I lost interest in them and for years I found myself without a gaming-related hobby (video and computer games don’t count).

That is, until I caught wind of Heroclix. Heroclix and it’s predecessor, Mage Knight, were games that I’ve never seen anything quite like before they were released. Dubbed as collectible miniatures games (CMG) which involved the use of figurines as game pieces. There were other CMGs that existed before Mage Knight, but in my opinion, none of them captured the ease and feel that the “clix” mechanic offered. The clix mechanic that Mage Knight and Heroclix employed revolved around a combat dial that contained numbers and colors that represented the figures’ capabilities, as well as it’s lifespan. Whenever a figure took damage, you would turn the dial clockwise, and the colors and numbers would change to reflect how a character’s powers and abilities change whenever they took damage. Mage Knight featured medieval characters, and while I liked that genre a lot, it couldn’t compare to how much I loved the comic book genre, which is why I decided to get into Heroclix instead.

I got myself a Marvel Heroclix Infinity Challenge starter set, my first ever Heroclix purchase, in 2002. It was right after I graduated from college and just before I found work. I can still remember some of the significant pieces that I got in that set – Rookie Ultron and Rookie Hercules. I was quite disappointed – I didn’t plan on playing Heroclix full time and just wanted to get my hands on Spider-Man and a few other characters, thinking that I would be able to enjoy the game with just a few characters that I was quite fond of.  I ended up getting a lot of figures as I enjoyed the game more and more.

I eventually got burned out of the game though because of three reasons: (1) my work schedule didn’t allow me a lot of time for Heroclix,  (2) I found that setting up a game was quite tedious – we needed a big space for maps, and a game would last anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour, (3) my friends weren’t into the game and I didn’t enjoy the crowd that I was playing with at the time. So I quit the game and got into another CCG, this time a comic book-related one.

Officemates got me into the VS System card game by Upper Deck Entertainment. It was quite a good game, good enough to make me forget about Heroclix almost completely. I stopped playing Heroclix and played VS full time, ending up with more than 15 decks. Had the game continued to exist, I probably would still be playing it. However, VS System was discontinued by Upper Deck. Meanwhile, Heroclix continued to thrive, maintaining a core set of players that would continue to support the product. My desire to play the game was renewed, and I started purchasing figures again.

Eventually, Heroclix would also be discontinued. I was frustrated at first, but the designers who have been working on Heroclis wouldn’t let it die. More than a year after it’s announced discontinuation, the company Neca picked up the license and has now been able to release two full Marvel sets, two full DC sets, two DC starters/action packs, and a Watchmen set. There are plenty more sets on the way, and I think it’s safe to say that the game will continue to live on for near future.

A majority of my future posts will be about comic books, or about Heroclix. Only a few friends share the same passion that I have for comic books and for Heroclix, so I don’t get to discuss my thoughts and ideas as much  as I would like to. This blog will serve as an outlet for those thoughts; a means for me to share what’s in my head. I know that there won’t be a lot of people who’ll be interested, but I’m used to that. Plus, writing is a productive way to use up time, so why not, right?

I’m still hoping that there’s a person out there who will happen across this blog, read through my thoughts, and get entertained. If that doesn’t happen, well, that’s okay. So, let the writing begin!

 

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