Rules and Regs - Size Matters Update

Thursday, 3 December 2015 08:00:00 Europe/London

Welcome to a series of articles focusing on the Rules of Heroclix, designed to help you better understand some of the more complex mechanics and improve your game. 

The rule changes to size categories has been out for a few weeks now and appear to have been well received by most players. The Design Insight article linked here on explained the changes very well so instead of just going over the same ground I will try and focus on some ways in which they will impact your game and hopefully give you some ideas about how you can exploit them.

 In no particular order let's start with the changes to line of fire. The main change here is included in Great Size, which is granted by virtue of having the Giant or Colossal damage symbol, and reads as follows:

 Lines of fire drawn to or from this character are not blocked by elevated terrain or outdoor blocking terrain, and are not hindered unless the target occupies hindering terrain.

 This means that pretty much the only thing that blocks lines of fire both to and from a Giant or Colossal character is indoor blocking terrain. This is potentially good if you have Great Size and have a decent ranged attack but is not so good if your focus is on close combat. It is also a very good way around barrier, on an outdoor map at least, and especially the Wall construct which is pretty much an auto include on Battery resources. Another thing to remember with this is that it is not improved targeting so the orange battery can't stop you using it. This change does hurt a lot of characters as I think most existing Giants and Colossals have more of a close combat focus but where it can be very useful is if you have the ability to give a normal sized character Great Size.

 Currently there are a few ways of doing this in modern including Pym Particles, AOU003 Ant-Man and Mr. Mxyzptlk. Mr Mxyzptlk especially is very good at this as not only does he have the option to give friendly characters Great Size he can also use it on opposing characters. Pym Particles is useful in that you don't have to immediately equip it and can hold the object and can delay the power action until the most opportune time in the game. My personal favourite though is AOU003 Ant-Man mainly because he has the ability to be called in with an ID Card, well technically 2 with the Ant-Man and Hank Pym cards, and can give a friendly character the Giant Symbol. As an ID card character there are then various ways to get rid of him before the end of your turn so your character reverts to normal size. Alternatively the Ant-Man ID card has an inspiration effect that allows adjacent characters to be given a free action to have the Tiny Symbol so if you are wanting to try this out the Ant-Man card is superior if you are lucky enough to have one. One thing you have to watch out for is that entities and other forms of equipment will not function on characters with the giant size or colossal damage symbol so be careful you haven't just nerfed yourself by doing this.

 The next change to discuss is the addition of the Carry ability to size inherent game effects. The main difference is that all characters can now carry one smaller character regardless of combat symbols and they don't reduce their speed value. Note it says “combat symbols” not just speed symbols like vehicles now have so if you want to carry that single based duo figure around Giants and Colossals are the way to go. This mainly benefits Colossals and especially some of the new Colossals in the Superman and Wonder Woman set on their colossal retaliation clicks. A figure like G001 The Atom suddenly becomes a great taxi with that sidestep for 15 points as well as being a potent attacker with his Atomic Punch retaliation power.

 Next on the list of changes is Giant Reach which is now dependent upon the size of the character and just like the changes to carry this mainly benefits Colossal characters. So instead of having to be adjacent to make close combat attacks colossals can now do this from 3 squares away and again benefit from the new rules on lines of fire for this attack. Obviously all colossals benefit from this but some benefit more than others. Some one like Hulkbuster G001 from the Nick Fury set has a power Evacuate the Area that reads:

 Hulkbuster Mark II can use Charge and Quake. Give Hulkbuster Mark II a move action and after it resolves, he can use Quake as a free action

 Previously targets of that quake would be in a 4 x 4 square but now it's an 8 x 8 square. You might not do a lot of damage with the quake but remember quake knocks back whether you take damage or not so you can really disrupt your opponent's formation. Another character who benefits hugely from this is Dr Demonicus as his close combat summons have suddenly become much more fearsome. Batragon, for example, now has an effective charge range of 8 instead of 5 and Hand of Five can flurry you from 3 squares away.

 As well as these major changes there are a couple of other small changes that I will quickly mention but shouldn't have a huge impact in play. Knock back has been adjusted so that characters can't be knocked back by someone smaller than them, so no more putting the Bulldozer construct on despotellis to give him something else to do rather than just using poison. Break away has also been made easier if you are larger than the character you are attempting to break away from so for example Tiny sized characters with plasticity have been made slightly less useful, Atomica I am looking at you.

 Looking at these changes as a whole one of the things as a player you should be taking away is that Maps are pretty important when dealing with characters that are not normal sized. Facing a ranged colossal/giant on an indoor map as opposed to an outdoor map is a very different prospect so plan accordingly. In this respect getting an initiative bonus from a themed team becomes ever more useful as does testing your team on a variety of maps. Finally I would also suggest if you haven't already played around with these new rules then get ahold of a figure that benefits from the changes and try them out. At the time of writing Blue Rat Games still has most of the SMWW colossals in stock (shameless advertisement) but Dr Demonicus, Ant-Man or Mr Mxyzptlk are equally great figures to test out.

 If you have already played around with the new rules please feel free to let me know how it went and share your experiences in the comment section below.


As well as playing and reading about Heroclix, Chris also listens to Heroclix podcasts and enjoys nothing better than to curl up in front of the fire and dream about Heroclix. In this spare time he runs Blue Rat Games which is the number one specialist retailer of Heroclix in the UK, but you knew that already.

Posted in Rules and Regs By

Chris Dunn

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Ian King

posted on Thursday, 3 December 2015 17:45:00 Europe/London
The new size rules seem both intuitive and simply worded. What has gone wrong WizKids!?!?!? The ability to prevent knockback, in conjunction with Mr M and the already abusable Red Tornado may lead to some serious free penetrating damage!

Andrew Wood

posted on Thursday, 3 December 2015 16:38:52 Europe/London
It's a good point about Mr. Mxyzptlk giving people Great Size to get around outdoor blocking (free action Wall from battery etc)

Just add it to the list of reasons he's already fantastic!

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