Rules and Regs - Bad Habits

Thursday, 7 November 2013 12:34:00 Europe/London

Hi my name is Vicente de los Santos and welcome to my latest article on the Heroclix rules. These articles are designed to help you better understand some of the new and complicated mechanics of the game and improve your game. I would also like to encourage a discussion of these mechanics and rules, so please feel free to ask any question you have in the comment section below.

Bad Habits 1

Almost everyone started playing Heroclix with friends, in a casual mode. Then, when you have a nice team built, you may want to test your luck, ability and knowledge about this game in a Store, trying to beat your opponents, picking a Limited Edition Figure and so on... The main difference between causal game and tournaments is that the second one is based on competition. So let´s check some important notes about Tournaments.

Rules
The rules are the most important thing in this game. In a casual game does not matter if anyone uses some rule in a wrong way (You are playing for fun). Certainly there are many aspects of the regulations that may be misinterpreted, you may play in a logical way but later you discover that it works differently...

Many times, in these casual games, we create bad habits. This is a disadvantage for us when we go to a tournament. Our tactics, under that bad habits, can be drowned in seconds when our adversary or the judge warn us about our wrong play.

Bad Habits 2


Remember the rules. Or keep at hand the last handbook.
You must know the abilities of your team, and all the rules around them. How its standard powers works is essential. As a judge, I resolve tons of questions about powers and combinations because players don't even read the character card. Also, if you do not know any figure on the opposing force, ask the player about it. It's better to ask before the game, because if the play something that you don´t expect, you cannot say "Oh crap, I don´t know that!"

Bad Habits

The Opponent
In a tournament you are going to face other players. You can meet kind players, furious and competitive, veteran for the Armor Wars or brave rookies with just an opened booster as a team. With so variety, there is only an important thing: education. Heroclix is a leisure game, so there is no reason to turn it into a dispute or worse. If during a game there is any disagreement between the players with the rules, cheat or anything related to the match, the best that you can do is keep calm and resolve it friendly. If not, call the judge.

Your Team and its stuff
Around your chosen heroes and villains there is a lot of stuff that you have to keep in mind. Character cards, Sidelines, Action tokens, maps, dice, etc. Have all that your team need ready for a better gameplay. Think about if you want to split your Hawkeye and Mocking Bird Duo Figure and you do not find the Hawkeye in your bag...

If we are going to use figures from outside the game (Ultron drones, Split/merge pools or any reverted figure from Fear Itself) you have to keep them in a KO click, and you cannot click it until they enter the game. This is the right way to keep your sideline and is a common mistake among players.

Try to use a pair of dice with clear numbers and action tokens that look as tokens. If you are using hindering terrain markers as tokens, it can be confusing. Crystal tokens, little stones or poker chips are good types of action tokens.

The tournament begins!
Usually the store tournaments have three or four rounds where players play against others in a way to score match points. The player with most victory points is the winner of the event. If there is a tie, the judge will check the victory points to determine a winner. So if you lose a round, don´t panic... and try to make it for the next ones. If the number of players is odd, the Bye appears. Is an automatic winning (with zero victory points) for a random player (in the first round) or for the player with less match points (after the first round)

Once the round is started, you meet your adversary and the procedure of the tournament starts.
First, reveal your team with all its add-ons. I like to keep my team noted in a paper, with a total point value of my team, the ATAs assigned, number of themed probability controls, etc. Even sometime is a better idea to score our progress in the tournament. Remember to check the character cards of your opposing force, ask any question you have about how a special power or ability works and check the total point value of the team. We are humans and we can make a mistake during the build of your team. Using relics and special objects together, exceed the build points or not qualify for themed team. If after the round we discover that the opposing team is built with 415 points instead of 400, both players are responsible for that mistake. So remember, check the team before start to play.

Bad Habits

You are responsible for both your team and your opponents!

Bad Habits
Once we start to play, we must keep control over our procedure. Depending on the person we have as opposed, a wrong movement or a mistake cannot be reconsidered. In a casual game maybe you can go back if you make a mistake, but in a tournament that move is an advantage for your adversary and if he does not let you to reconsider, we cannot complain about it.
 
If we make a power action to raise a barrier and put the markers wrong, the other player may realize the mistake and warn us about. Maybe then, the tactic that has in mind is now useless so "... Oh I don´t know... then I don´t do it". Is a common phrase that I´ve heard a bunch of times.

But hey! Not every aspect of a tournament is so black!. In a local tournament with common prizes maybe this impassible role is not as active as in a tournament where the final prize is Dark Phoenix Cyclops.

Common bad habits:
I´ve watched regular mistakes and bad habits every time I act as judge in Heroclix tournament. The next three points are, maybe, the most common... feel free to comment other bad habits or mistakes that you know!

Bad Habits

Line of fire
Applying the line of fire in Heroclix is a mess for mostly new players. The moment it that a figure block the line between one and another, the hindering terrain, elevation. In the new rulebook there is a useful chart where you can check the line of fire, some people use apps from smart phones, small ropes (from square to square) and even the logic and the maths. Maybe this theme (line of fire) deserves an entire article. But ok... be sure to check the chart that I´ve mentioned.

Put / Remove action tokens early
Action tokens must be put on the character after the action resolve. And it has to be removed at the end of turn, if possible. If you do it early, it may be confusing. If you are using Charge, don´t put the action token when you announce it. Move the character, try to hit the opposing character and after the action is resolved, put the action token.

Placing a character multiple times
Positioning in Heroclix is very important. You can check squares, count them and even mark possible destinations for a character. The bad habit here is to move the chosen figure to one square to another after the move action is resolved...
"I move here... mmm not... here is better... mmm .. No no... I definitely put the character here".

In a casual game, this is not important. In a tournament your opponent may force you to stay in the first square chosen, because the action was resolved in that way.

So...
The main objective of the game is to enjoy it. Is a game with lots of odds, rules (one more logic than others) and dice, that can be our allies, or our worst enemy (You can know every word of the main ruleset, but the luck is the luck). At least, if you know the rules, how to use them and you play clearly, you will enjoy Heroclix much more. Don´t lose a game because you don't know the rules (Let that the luck and the dice decide your destiny).

Vicente started playing Heroclix in 2008, and his first figure was Magneto, House of M. Nowadays is a Heroclix Judge in Sevilla, Spain, and runs the website A Seises which includes many Heroclix articles in his native Spanish.

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Vicente de los Santos

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Vicente De los Santos

posted on Sunday, 10 November 2013 08:16:28 Europe/London
Hey there Ian!

Elevated Line of Fire and terrain are the issues that most often raise questions or discussions.Time then to take a number of pictures and try to put a solution!

In the Dark Reign match... Doom is angry because he rolled a pair of 1... use probability control... snake eyes again...

Ian King

posted on Friday, 8 November 2013 16:29:50 Europe/London
Some nice food for thought as always. Here's my findings and failings:

I AM GUILTY OF: removing tokens at the start of a turn. "Iron Man will rest this turn" and off come the tokens; then "Gambit will make a ranged attack to...WHAT DO YOU MEAN MY TURN IS OVER!!!" Fortunately we only ever play friendly games at low points totals so I tend to get away with it, not too many figures to keep track of.

I HAVE NOTICED:
1) Figures shooting through the most unlikely of gaps "I'm pretty sure I can see that bit of his base there!"
2) Figures ignoring poorly printed terrain (It's often worth checking over the map with your opponent pre game to make sure all agree on where the walls are!).
3) Players who claim a die is too slanted to count as a roll and who then grab it up before comment can be passed.

I WOULD LOVE: if you did the line of fire article you mentioned. Probably the hardest aspect of the heroclix rules as the rulebook contains NO PICTURES! You always contain pictures (or at least your articles do!) as you seem to grasp how to explain rules better than Wizkids! I realise it's probably a copyright issue for WK but just pictures of Generic Hero A would help!

I DID LOVE: The Dark Reign clix match. First time I've laughed out loud at an internet pic in a long while!

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