Rules and Regs - Replace then Modify

Sunday, 18 August 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.

Today we are going to dive into the game mechanics that alter the combat values. They can be seen as an easy rule, but they can be a complicated issue for beginners... I will try to explain these differences for the rookies, although experienced players may enjoy and refresh the rules, and maybe find some tricks...

Rule of the Three

The golden rule of Heroclix. A combat value cannot be modified up to +3/-3. Powers like Perplex, abilities as Carry or Move and Attack are examples of game effects that modifies combat values. It means that if we apply more than that limit, we cannot use it, but we don´t lose them. We have to keep this rule in mind always, because there are a lot of game effects to alter or modify our combat values, and 3 is always the maximum allowed.

Replace then Modify 1

Check this example, featuring Ultron from Chaos War (Upgraded by me) and an Iron Man drone. The drone can make a free action for a movement modified by -2. On the picture, the drone try to focus on Hawkeye, carrying Ultron. Iron Man Drone has a -2 for the free action, and if it carries Ultron, it has another -2. The total modifiers for its movement is -4, and it's not valid, because of the Rule of Three. The base value of the drone's movement is 6, and after the modifiers is 3.

But what if the drone uses Charge?. In Heroclix we treat the modifiers in two ways. We can Replace and we can modify. It's important to have a clear concept of both ways of altering.

Replace then Modify
When the combat value is changed by any game effect, the controller of the character must establish the timing of these changes:
We start with the printed value.
Then we apply the replacements (if any) and keep an eye if that replacement is locked or not.
Finally, we add or subtract all the modifiers, in the order we want (always with the Rule of Three in mind)
So, the key is that modifiers always are applied at the end of the “formula”. Take a look on the next example:

Replace then Modify 2

Thor is using Charge, carrying Captain America. Both Sharon Carter and Scarlet Witch are supporting the god of thunder with Perplex, so once the player announces the action, we have to apply all the game effects activated. The right order would be:
Sharon Carter uses Perplex on Iron Man (Movement +1)
Scarlet Witch uses Perplex on Iron Man too (Movement +1)
Thor uses Charge, carrying Captain America. It halves the movement value (Replaced by the power) and the movement is modified by -2 because Carry ability.

So, we start to apply the changes. Thor's movement value is 11, so after halve it we have a 6 (Remember, we always round up)
After the replace, we apply the modifiers. We have -2 (Carry) and +2 (Perplex from Scarlet and Sharon), so after all, the sum is 0. Thor uses charge moving 6 squares and placing Captain America in a tactical place for the next turn.

Outsiders Team Ability
Outsiders Team Ability is a great way against the modifiers. An opposing character targeted by this TA has powers as Combat Reflexes or Energy Shield completely useless (because it doesn´t get the benefit of the modifiers that give the powers). For our characters, Outsider can also remove the negative modifiers of abilities as Move and Attack or Carry.

Replace then modify

The important issue here is that Outsiders only works with modifiers. Powers like Charge or Running Shot does not work with Outsiders. Why? Because these powers halve the combat value and this is a replacement value not a modify.

Locked Values
Some combat values are locked after a replacement. When we have a locked value, we ignore other replacements or modifiers for that combat value. So, when a combat value is calculated and is locked, this is the only change available for that value. Locked values last until the end of the attack or action that activated this game effect.

Locked Values

Let´s check another example, Wolverine and Scarlet Witch against Loki. Wolverine can use Blade/Claws/Fangs, so he can choose between his damage value (3) or roll a d6 and get a locked damage value. Scarlet can use Perplex on Wolverine to boost Damage or Attack. The choices are:
Scarlet uses Perplex on Wolverine's damage value (+1) so his damage value this turn is 4. If Wolverine uses Blade/Claws/Fangs, this modifier will not apply. (Because the damage value of the mutant is locked). It´s not important that Scarlet uses Perplex before the Claws, if a combat value is locked, there's no modifiers for it.
Scarlet uses Perplex on Wolverine's attack value (+1) so if he uses Blade/Claws/Fangs, we depend only on the roll. Higher attack value is a great chance to hit.

In this example, the locked value is random due to we roll a d6. In other cases we can have a fixed number, and it's the one that we have to apply. Normally we have certain requisites for this lock. Pulse Wave locks the damage value to 1 if there is more than one character within range, and Quake locks the damage to 2. If you check the following picture, you can see Hulk using Earthquake. His printed damage value is 4, but is reduced (and locked) to 2 while using this power.

Locked Values 2

Hint: If the damage value of a character using Quake is 1, this value is replaced by 2 and locked (he can feel powerful a bit)
So here ends the article. Now you can exploit a bit better the game, understanding this mechanic and using the powers correctly. Remember the formula and everything will be easy. Start with the printed value, then replace (if there is replacement) and finally add the modifiers.
See you! 

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.

Posted in Rules and Regs By

Vicente de los Santos

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Vicente De los Santos

posted on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 11:54:04 Europe/London
Thanks dudes! :D

Samual Grieve

posted on Monday, 19 August 2013 21:00:06 Europe/London
I'd second that comment. The graphics in your articles are always fun but relevant to the article. Top stuff Vicente.

EViL ED

posted on Monday, 19 August 2013 16:55:25 Europe/London
I always love your little comic strips :)

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