Rules and Regs - Themed Teams

Tuesday, 3 June 2014 10:34:00 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.

With the new rules, the Themed Teams has changed. The Named Teams receive all benefits, against generic ones that lose the always favorite Themed Team Probability Control. New ways to use this effect, new rules to use the Alternative Team Abilities (ATA)... there´s a bunch of tips and tricks to be explained, so let's start!

Whoever you are... assemble!

Before these changes in the rules, Themed teams required a minimum characters to be valid. You can check the helpful table of requirements and benefits in the 2013 Core Rulebook. Try to fit characters with a high point value in one of these Themed Teams was not easy. If you wanted to play Odin (From Fear Itself) in an Asgardian themed team, you needed 4 characters in a 400 point game... and its point value is 350!

With the new rules, make a themed team is more easy. A force is considered a themed team when includes at least 2 characters and they (the entire force) must have the shared keyword. This requirement is checked before the beginning of the game and remains until the end of game, even if we use game effects that break the criteria of that themed team. (Alter Ego, Mighty Revert, Split and Marge, Ultron's drone, etc.)

Tip: Bystander Tokens can join themed teams without problem. They have not keywords but cannot use the benefits of the themed team.

So, check the example. We have two themed teams (both named). We need two characters (minimum) to make our themed team. Both teams are valid (Odin and the Troll would not be themed with the old rules).

Themed teams have benefits in the initiative roll. Simple as a +1 bonus to the initiative roll for each character who share the themed keyword. We have five mutants in the first team and two Asgardians in the second, so the first one receives a +5 and the other a +2

Themed Team Probability Control
This benefits is restricted now to named themed teams, maybe to encourage accurate teams or whatever. Now the spies, soldiers, warriors and mystical teams no longer enjoy this themed team probability control.

This probability control has changed too. Now we can use it a number of times equal to the number of characters on our force (checked at the beginning of the game too), up to 1 per 100 points of the game's build total.

So, check the previous picture. Playing at 400 points. X-men has five characters and Asgardians have two. The first team can use four times the Themed Team Probability Control (although they are five, is limited to the points played). For the mighty Asgardians, they are only two characters so in this team we can use only two times this benefit.

I see a lot of time how players use the Themed Team Probability control in a wrong way. There are a list of requirements for the characters using this effect.

Must possess the keyword that establishes the theme of the force

In this example, Red She-hulk (FI #020) uses his special power Mighty Revert to be replaced with her normal version (FI #006). The new character does not possess The Mighty keyword. The team still being themed, but she cannot use the Themed Team Probability Control. This applies to characters like Daredevil from Deadpool Set or Morgana Le Fay from Chaos War set. They can be included in a themed team (Heroes for Hire in the first case and Avenger in the second one) but they have no that keyword so cannot use the themed probability control.

Must not have already been given a non-free action this turn

Another simple requirement. If our character has been given a non-free action this turn, cannot use the Themed Team Probability Control. In the example Iron Fist attacked Skadi this turn, carrying Valkyrie. Then Hawkeye make an attack and fail the roll. With this requisite only Valkyrie can help the archer.

Must not be able to use Probability Control through another game effect, and must not have used Probability Control in this way earlier in the turn.

This is simple. If the character can use Probability Control through another game effect (power shown in its dial, resource, relics, whatever...) then he cannot use the Themed Team Probability Control. In the example, the Serpent and Skirin are both part of a named themed team (Worthy), he can use Probability Control, so he cannot use the Themed Team Probability Control.

Tip: If the Serpent has its Probability Control outwitted, then he can use then the Themed Team Probability Control.

Must immediately be given an action token.

This don´t limit that character to make any action this turn (remember that the requirement is that the character has not made a non-free action prior the use of the Themed Team Probability Control). Colossus receives an action token to make a new roll for the Cyclops attack. After the action resolves, he can use charge against Loki. Colossus has indomitable, so he can receive another action token without suffering push damage.

Alternative Team Abilities
Heroes for Hire, Thunderbolts, Reavers, Alpha Flight... this abilities are very useful and tactical, but with the new changes are limited only to themed teams. Before the new changes we could play Deathlok prime in any team and assign it the Maximum Carnage ATA. Now we must use any ATA only if our team is themed.

But wait! We are not forced to use the themed team keyword for our ATA. In the example we have another Asgardian Team. Juggernaut possess the Thunderbolt Keyword so we can choose to play Thunderbolt ATA (only for that character).

Remember, this Additional Abilities still working as usual (It must to be assigned to every character that meet the prerequisites and you must pay the cost per character in order to use it)

Final Words

The themed team rules has been simplified. Now is more easy to build teams with our favorite "high cost" characters into a themed team (Galactus has now options). I like the new changes, fast and easy for go directly to the battle. What do you think?

See you in the battlefield!

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 which includes many Heroclix articles in his native Spanish.


Posted in Rules and Regs By

Vicente de los Santos

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Ian King

posted on Thursday, 5 June 2014 20:51:50 Europe/London
Thanks Vincente! Your images always make things clearer and the speech bubbles often raise a laugh!

Your final point about the ATA not needing to match the themed keyword is one I'd overlooked. My heroes for hire team isn't obliged to take the H4H ATA but can just have Marvel Knights on a couple of figs. Cool! Presumably my 'soldier' team could also select any ATA for the qualifying figures as generic theme teams can still take ATAs but can't prob-control?

"Galactus now has options" LOL!! I now have the mental image of 'the eater of worlds' surfing Blue Rat to find himself some friends to play with!

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