Rules and Regs - Vehicles

Monday, 15 April 2013 19:17:00 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 review the Vehicles. The new symbol on the dial, new mechanics, combos and lots of possibilities to enhance the game into a new way to play. Here and now, let´s try to understand and to spread some tricks about the vehicles of Heroclix.

First Look - What can you do?

Vehicles have common characteristics, easy to understand. The new defense symbol grants the use of Carry ability (without modifying the speed value and ignoring the combat symbols of the carried characters), and while using Carry ability, can use Improve Movement: Hindering Terrain and Characters. Mastermind does not work with vehicles. We cannot pass damage through the Mastermind power to a vehicle.

Some vehicles have the Ram ability. During a move action (horizontal or vertical path without changing its orientation), the vehicle can make a close combat attack (as a free action) against all opposing characters that were moved through. Each hit character is dealt the vehicle's damage value, and the vehicle suffers 1 unavoidable damage for each 100 points of characters dealt damage during this action. Remember that you have to end the move action in legal squares. Ram and the vehicle's movement deserve a full article about them.

Also, vehicles can make ranged attacks against opposing characters, even when it is adjacent to an opposing character. We only need to draw a line of fire to the target, and be in range.


TIP: The new symbol grants the use of Carry and Improve Movement. The vehicle does not "possess" these abilities, so we cannot use Outwit to cancel them.

Our friendly car – Autopiloted Mode

Vehicles can be played without a pilot, with a point value less than the piloted mode. It´s a way to use long dials for few points. In this mode we haven´t the Pilot abilities, but we gain his seat for another passenger. Our vehicle can do any action, but if it made an attack during that action, the vehicle will suffer 1 unavoidable damage after the action resolves.


Batcycle is played in autopilot mode. Batman needs some support so the vehicle can use Carry to take Zealot and bring some coverage to the masked crusader. In this example, it´s a movement action, so the cycle doesn´t suffer the damage. If we need some cover fire, we can use Running Shot instead, but the vehicle will suffer the damage.

Play in this mode it´s interesting for some teams. We have cheap taxi for our strong characters, we can use the base size as a shield for our characters, to block enemies or whatever. Furthermore, it's not recommended to use more than one vehicle in this mode, unless you have an incredible combo. With a taxi is enough. Remember that you have to kill the opponent and driverless vehicles usually are not very strong.

Hero on Wheels – Piloted Mode
If we are going to play the vehicle in piloted mode, we need a character to be a pilot. Any friendly character can be the pilot. We only need a free action, being adjacent to the vehicle, to become the pilot. The only limit it´s that the pilot cannot have Battle Fury or be another vehicle.
So, when our friendly character becomes a pilot, we removed him from the map. Any game effect, ability or powers of the removed character are ignored, unless that power specifies it activates when the character is on the vehicle. If he had actions tokens when was removed, in the next turn we can remove them, because we did not give him any non-free action.



Batman uses Outwit and cancels Silver Banshee’s Invulnerability. Then he uses the free action to become Batcycle’s Pilot. Batman’s Outwit is ignored, because he has been removed from the map. The opposing character recovers his invulnerability in the same moment Batman went out.
Tip: A character who becomes a pilot cannot ejects in the same turn (and vice versa)
While the pilot is on the vehicle, he cannot be targeted by any game effect, power or ability and we cannot give actions to him. So if our pilot has the Utility Belt, we cannot use it again until the pilot is ejected from the vehicle.

The advantages of being a pilot
Some vehicles have additional abilities when they are piloted. These abilities are considered traits, so cannot be outwitted. If our pilot has the prerequisites, the vehicle possesses those traits. These abilities are different from one vehicle to another, and the same for the requisites.
Also, once per trip, the vehicle can replace its combat values with the combat values (any or all) of the pilot. He (the pilot) will suffer 1 unavoidable damage at the beginning of your next turn (even if he left the vehicle). We need to give a free action to the vehicle to gain this, and remember it, we can only do it once per trip (Rules define trip as the time between a character becoming a pilot and being ejected)
Tip: We can give a non-free action to a vehicle in piloted mode without a pilot, but after action resolve, the vehicle suffers 1 unavoidable damage.

End of the trip
We can give the vehicle a free action to bring back our pilot. It´s easy, we have to place the character in a legal and unoccupied square, adjacent to the vehicle. Check the different elevations and follow the rules of adjacency to make this legal.
Tip: If our pilot gains Battle fury while he´s piloting, ejects him instantly from the vehicle.
Another way to eject the pilot is when the vehicle is destroyed, our pilot ejects immediately, placing him in a square of our choice, and suffers 1 unavoidable damage.


Batwing has been destroyed. Alfred was the pilot and he ejects, placing him in a legal adjacent square. The wording of the card may be a little confusing, because does not specify that the square must be adjacent to the vehicle. It has been revised, so the pilot must be placed in an adjacent square. After placing him, Alfred suffers 1 damage unavoidable. Check the passengers (Batgirl in the example). They are not pilots, so they cannot be placed nor suffer damage unavoidable. They will stay in the same square they were carried before the destruction of the plane.

In my opinion the vehicles are too powerful. Low cost, strong dials and interesting tactics that change the gameplay of Heroclix. Now we look to the sky and see the Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet, carrying dudes that can attack us after being carried... and take a look on the streets, because the Gotham Police Cars are going to ram us without fear...
Now... I only hope I can play with X-Men's Blackbird or Punisher's van someday...

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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Alan Gibson

posted on Friday, 19 April 2013 09:42:44 Europe/London
Oh well, i forgot that it wasn't just the combat symbols that prevented carrying but the size of the base. You could though carry a giant, collosal or flying character around as long as they had a normal sized base.

Vicente De los Santos

posted on Thursday, 18 April 2013 08:14:04 Europe/London
Hello Alan!
Special bases cannot be carried (Peanut and superior). Ignoring the combat symbols it´s useful for flying characters (for example). Batman can go for a ride with his beloved friend Superman in his Batcycle.


Alan Gibson

posted on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 11:33:58 Europe/London
I have a question regarding the carry abilities of vehicles.

The cards say that "when using the carry ability, vehicles ignore the combat symbols of friendly characters"

Does this mean that they can carry giant and collosal characters. So not only can Galactus ride around on the robincycle (as Patrick mentioned) he can give Starro a ride on the back as well?

Patrick Jones

posted on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 09:38:24 Europe/London
Oh and i forgot one, characters with the vehicle symbol shouldn't be allowed to have resources allocated to them or use objects. i think they made vehicles = characters which i think is just wrong, especially when they are so cheap (in points terms anyway). they need to have some downsides to even this out

The news rules and pac have just come out and no mention of vehicles, hope the players guide, whenever it comes out, will address some of these.

Vicente De los Santos

posted on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 13:10:15 Europe/London
Hello Patrick! Thanks for your comment!

I´m totally agree with you and with the need of making some changes in the rules.

The Mind Control and the Pilot it´s a dirty trick using the wording of the rules. You can use the power on a vehicle and then eject the pilot (because it´s the vehicle the one who makes the free action to eject his pilot) - In this case we can do only if the character did not become the pilot in that turn. About use the Mind Control to "capture" opponents characters... hehe it´s really a dirty game. I hope that the next Player Guide will fix it. As a judge, I think that the character will be ejected immediately (after the mind control action resolves) because it´s not a legal character as a pilot (Same way for a character who gains Battle Fury inside it)

Movement it´s another problem. By the rules, we move square to square, so the vehicles can use ladders or stairs to change elevation. A fix about the movement of the vehicles may be more confusing that the current rule. An easy one would be that non-flying vehicles cannot change from one elevation to another in the same move action.

And about the pilots, I think that a simple base would be enough and fair. I´ve played Thanos and his Altar as pilot of the Batcycle, just for joking about the rules and the vehicles. "Hello sir, this is my Altar and this is my Bike"
Taking a look over the vehicles, a police car is more tough and menacing that lots of heroes and villains of the games, maybe disrupting the essence of the game...

Patrick Jones

posted on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:05:06 Europe/London
hi there, good article about the basics of vehicles. While I am in favor of iconic vehicles in heroclix I think that how the rules have been written leave a lot to be desired. I think wizkids should make the following changes to them

1. in order to become a pilot of a vehicle you cannot be mind controlled. loads of discussion on hcrealms about how vehicles can swallow opponent characters because although they can pilot your vehicle if mind controlled them once the mind control wears off they have no way of getting out (as the current rules are written)
2. in order to become a pilot of a vehicle you need to have a standard damage symbol. have you seen Galactus riding round on a robincycle?
3. Vehicles cannot use ladders to move up or down elevated terrain. would limit the usefulness of the police cruiser which at present can just run everyone down with no consequences. at least you can hide somewhere from it. this problem stems from the problem of how large based figures move and really this needs looking at in general.

even with this changes they are great value with long dials for their points but at least this would stop some of the abuses.

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