Using Catwoman Effectively
by Aaron Schantz
Halle Berry’s Catwoman has an alluring pose that belies her deadliness. And anyone who falls for her feline charisma will discover that this cat has claws – her HeroClix version has combat values as treacherous as her looks!
While Catwoman might traditionally be a loner, the best way to use her in the game is on a team designed to take advantage of her attributes, especially her ample supply of Exploit Weakness. This power allows her to face off against
characters two or three times her point value and still leave a mark. While
those opponents are busy dealing with her, your own bruisers are free to
execute your offensive strategy.
Catwoman is likely to hit because of her solid attack value, and she won’t have to worry about an Impervious roll thanks to Exploit Weakness. Willpower makes her an immediate danger; you should push her if you get the chance. Plus, her starting click of Stealth means that if you can position her properly, your opponent won’t be able to target her from range.
This girl doesn’t like being a sacrificial lamb, but having nine lives is certainly an
advantage. Just about any hit she takes will put her into Super Senses, so she
can be annoying to finish off. And if your opponent doesn’t do the job
completely, Regeneration allows her to come back from the brink. And because
just about any Regeneration roll will put her back into Exploit Weakness and
Super Senses, she becomes even more irritating if you’re on her bad side.
With these abilities, Catwoman is designed to stick around and fight after taking a hit. If you would rather retreat or find a new target, however, her middial
Leap/Climb will let you do what you like without having to worry about how to
Although Catwoman’s dial is only six clicks deep, and it might appear that she’s done for on some occasions, she still has two more clicks of nothing but
Regeneration, representing her extra lives.
For a character costing only 50 points, Catwoman has the boldness to match up against bigger and badder characters – and the combat values and powers to pull it off!
Soaring to Victory
Since the debut of HeroClix, several rules changes have altered the way the game is played, among them FCCF (fliers cannot carry fliers) and NAAT (no action after being taxied). Each new set, however, also subtly changes the game by introducing new powers and power combinations. Unleashed has inspired me to examine the role of soaring in the game. Soaring is viewed by some players as
useless. They say things like, “I can’t shoot or outwit grounded or hovering
characters if I’m soaring. But my enemy can blast me out of the sky! What’s the
point?” Well, it’s a good thing soaring characters have limitations, or we’d
see all kinds of abuse. So the point? Let me show you. In honor of Unleashed,
I will focus on DC figures.
First, a soaring recap. As discussed, soaring characters cannot attack grounded or hovering characters or use any power to directly affect them in any way. They
may affect only other soaring characters and big figures. Soaring characters do
not interact with grounded terrain features when moving and for line of fire
purposes. Soaring characters may be targeted by any and all attacks or powers
as normal, except that the effective distance to a soaring target is doubled.
So soaring can be outwitted, which returns the character to ground level in
hovering mode. Soaring targets may also be attacked by characters in adjacent
squares that have the Leap/Climb power. Moving from grounded to soaring may be done at any point during movement; doing so counts as moving one square.
So what good is all of that? If your opponent’s team is primarily composed of close combat characters, your soaring characters will be safe until you decide to come down. This is a good way to get your characters where they need to be. For instance, a low-cost flier like Parademon Scout can be sent behind enemy lines to disrupt healing and other support activities. By soaring along the way, the character is less likely to be attack or based. With proper team coordination, this
strategy can work even against a ranged combat–oriented team. Just base the
shooters – watching out for Running Shot and Outwit – and you can have a clear
shot at your enemy’s flank. And when a flying character is hurt and needs to
head back to Dr. DEO Agent, just soar it on its way. Of course, an opposing
flier throws a wrench into this strategy.
By now, most experienced players know what this kind of protection can mean for characters with move-and-attack abilities. Cheap flying chargers like Hawkman and Hawkgirl can soar in out of range and then swoop down for the attack. Move up to an Experienced (E) or Veteran (V) Fury and you can combine this strategy with Super Strength for an even bigger hit. Of course, you can always upgrade to Wonder Woman or SOD Superman if you plan to seriously throw down. Whichever way you go, this is a good way to combat the Stealth that is so common today.
Cheap Trick #1
If you are facing someone using a stealthed outwitter and counting his or her
squares exactly, remember that the magic number is 6. You can place a soaring
character just outside of Outwit range, yet close enough to base or even use
Charge. Then you can force the hidden character either to move up to outwit
Charge (out of stealth, if you positioned things well) or to retreat out of
range of the charge. Both Hawkman and Hawkgirl can charge in for a hit from
this distance with the aid of Perplex.
Likewise, Running Shot can be drastically more effective on soaring characters. You can keep your character out of range until you’re ready to drop the hammer.
Starfire already gave us this option in a fairly cheap package, but some new
contenders are Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), KC Batman, and Supergirl. Starfire
and Green Lantern have only a natural 2 damage, but their high speed values
really put their effective ranges through the roof. Batman can now do his signature double-Incapacitate on the run. E and V Supergirl bring this tactic to a whole new level with the introduction of Running Shot to the Superman family. That’s right: Running Shot and x-ray vision.
Cheap Trick #2
Don’t forget that Running Shot and soaring equal a great anti-soaring tactic.
Use your first point of movement to click up your flight base and the rest to
draw a bead on a soaring opponent. Since a Running Shot character can cover a
large area, on the ground or in the air, your opponent will have to think twice
about where to move his or her forces. Board control: It’s a good thing.
Then there is the great-granddaddy of them all: Hypersonic Speed. Ranged or close, it allows you to move, attack, and then move again. What this means to the canny clixer is that you can start in soaring, move down to shoot, and then end in
soaring again, never losing your protection. In addition, soaring removes the
one weakness of Hypersonic Speed: hindering terrain. Because your movement is not halved (as with Charge or Running Shot), Perplex is that much more
effective in expanding your range. Remember, you don’t always have to increase
a damage value!
Cheap Trick #3
Jesse Quick is the cheapest soaring character to date with Hypersonic Speed.
Along with an E DEO Agent, you can increase her damage to 2, her attack to 10,
or her move to 13 as the need arises. And that’s with just one use of Perplex!
The key here is to be bold, unpredictable, and quick!
Cheap Trick #4
When using characters like Green Lantern and Dr. Fate, getting knocked down to Barrier clicks is a good indication that you need to get out of the fight. When
you see that blue, go up to soaring and back off a bit. If things are still
under control, or if healing is impossible, just keep your character up there,
building walls wherever you might need them.
Cheap Trick #5
Now that fliers cannot be carried by other fliers, it can be difficult to get
your airborne teammates where they need to be. Don’t forget that Telekinesis is
just as useful on soaring characters as it is on grounded ones. A soaring
character with Telekinesis is even more useful for this purpose, as both it and
its target can start the game adjacent in soaring mode.
The addition of Telekinesis makes just about any of the above strategies better. Need a little extra range for Charge, Hypersonic Speed, or Running Shot? No problem. Need Dr. Fate a couple of squares closer to the action so that he can secure your retreat with a well-placed barrier? Done. For dirt-cheap soaring
Telekinesis (and a wild card team ability to boot), you can’t go wrong with
Rookie (R) Cosmic Boy. If you are looking for a little extra meat with your
support, try E Fatality. After she pulls off the move you need, she can do some
respectable damage of her own.
Cheap Trick #6
Pairing a soaring character with Telekinesis with a soaring character with
Outwit makes for an impressive Outwit cannon. Try R Cosmic Boy and R Brainiac 5. Begin the game with them soaring if you are facing Hypersonic Speed or other soaring strategies. When you are ready to strike, send Brainiac out the full 10 squares using Telekinesis and then move him 5 or 6 squares more (depending on whether you change flight mode) for an across-the-board Outwit.
My Favorite Soaring Characters
- E Green Lantern (Hal
Jordan): Barrier, Running Shot, Telekinesis
- E Green Lantern (Hal
- E Doctor Fate: Barrier,
- E Doctor Fate: Barrier,
- V Jesse Quick: Cheap
- V Jesse Quick: Cheap
- V Black Adam:
Well-costed Hypersonic Speed bruiser
- V Black Adam:
- And finally, all of the
Legion of Super Heroes, but especially Brainiac 5 for his great combo of
Outwit, Perplex, and wild card team ability
- And finally, all of the
All right. Get out there and have fun with the brand-new set and don’t forget to take advantage of soaring whenever you can.
Smoke and Mirrors: A Clear Look at Smoke Cloud
It has been said that we learn more from losing than from winning. This adage is especially true in HeroClix.
I had been playing HeroClix for a little less than a year, and in that time I had
never once seen Smoke Cloud used in a game. Then, one not-so-very-special
Saturday in the Midwest, I lost horribly to a team that effectively used Smoke
Cloud, in the process learning a valuable lesson: ignore Smoke Cloud at your
(optional): Give this character a power action. This character may create up to
4 squares of hindering terrain anywhere within its range. A character with a
range of 0 may place the markers in its square and in adjacent squares. Place
up to 4 smoke terrain markers on the battlefield. Each smoke terrain marker
must be adjacent to another smoke terrain marker created by this character.
These terrain markers remain in place until the beginning of your next turn or
until the power is countered or lost.
Before discussing four specific Smoke Cloud tactics, let me say that most of my
contact with Batman and the DC world was through the animated television series that ran in the mid-to-late 90s. I loved that show! I always saw one villain or another escaping in a cloud of smoke. I also recall abandoned warehouses
filling up with smoke and then observing batarangs spinning out and disabling
various thugs. I think the Smoke Cloud power is very solidly based in the comic
book world from which it comes, introduces a great deal of interesting
situations to the game, and fleshes out many characters like Batman, Robin, the
Joker, Harley Quinn, and the like.
Use #1: Stopping Charging/Moving Characters
Smoke Cloud can be used to prevent opposing characters with Charge or
Hypersonic Speed from attacking your grounded team members. The smoke terrain markers are hindering terrain, and they stop and any grounded characters than that enter their squares. This is amazingly useful indoors! Almost all doorways are either one or two squares wide, and Smoke Cloud produces 4 squares of hindering terrain that can “block” those doorways. This tactic is great against big bruisers like Doomsday and Ulik and Hypersonic Speed characters like Flash.
Use #2: Smokey Prison: The Real Incapacitate
You can put your four smoke markers at the four cardinal directions around an
opponent’s grounded character, and that character will be limited to a maximum
of one square of movement (it will be hitting hindering terrain and will have
to stop its movement). Of course, this won’t work on hovering characters (as
they can fly right over hindering terrain), but you can see how this can really
put a hold on your opponents’ grounded characters.
Use #3: Stealth
Stealth and Smoke Cloud can be combined both defensively and offensively.
The defensive aspects of Smoke Cloud for characters with Stealth or team abilities that emulate Stealth are obvious. Keep in mind that smoke markers cannot be placed in squares that contains characters, objects, or other terrain features.
So you cannot put down a smoke marker on top of Batman, but lines of fire drawn to Batman that pass through a smoke marker cannot target him. Thus, you can either set up your smoke markers in a “wall” formation (in a straight plane or in a “U” shape) or surround him with them, as described in Use #2. This won’t, however, work against ranged combat attacks originating from a higher
Offensively, although you cannot place smoke markers on top of characters, you can place a marker and then move a character into it, thus protecting it from attackers at all elevations. Try this tactic: 1) Throw down some smoke. 2) Use Telekinesis to move a stealthed character with a ranged combat attack (Veteran Shi, for example) into the cover. 3) Attack from the hindering terrain. Your opponent will be unable to be hit her at range during his or her turn, and you will be able to move Shi back next turn. Because this tactic will push Shi, you have a
few other options. You could push your character with Smoke Cloud and keep Shi there for another turn and get off another ranged combat attack. Or you could wait a turn so that Shi can move back without pushing.
Use #4: Basic Defense
The final use of Smoke Cloud is the simplest. If you need a little boost to one
of your character’s defense value against a ranged combat attack, just drop
some smoke in the line of fire. Make sure to do this at the end of your turn so
that only your opponent will be stuck shooting through smoke. I have
participated in many HeroClix games in which a crucial attack roll
succeeded only by a margin of one. But with a little bit of smoke in the way,
it would have failed, and my character would have been around a little longer.
And Then There Was Batgirl
After all of this Smoke Cloud discussion, you might want to put a character
with this versatile power on your next team. Many characters have the Smoke
Cloud power, but Unleashed has given us a great new choice: Experienced
Batgirl. Along with Smoke Cloud, she brings Perplex, Leap/Climb, and the Batman team ability to your team.
At 41 points, the Experienced Batgirl doesn’t start with Perplex (none of her
versions do), but you need to push only once to bring it to her dial. At that
second click, she has the Batman team ability, Combat Reflexes, Leap/Climb, and Smoke Cloud, all with a range value of 6 with a one-target ranged attack. For
the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal.
So, try Smoke Cloud on your next team and surprise your opponent with your studied application of this oft-overlooked power.
Alert the Suicide Squad
The Unleashed set has unlocked a formidable new team, Suicide Squad, which will likely see a great deal of play in current and future tournaments. There are currently only two Suicide Squad (SS) members – Experienced (E) and Veteran (V) Killer Frost (54 and 76 points, respectively) and E and V Deadshot (50 and 71 points, respectively). They offer a wide variety of powers, including Barrier,
Incapacitate, Ranged Combat Expert, and Running Shot. And the SS team ability
can be a killer:
When an adjacent friendly character is KOd, roll one six-sided die and subtract
2 from the result. If the result is less than 1, the result is 1. The character
is healed of damage equal to the result.
Characters with wild card team abilities will be wise to take advantage of this ability, especially given the dearth of support characters in tournament play. If using SS characters, modify your tactics so that your SS characters are adjacent to friendly characters as often as possible.
Killer Frost and Deadshot are both deadly at range. Deadshot offers Running
Shot and Killer Frost offers Barrier, Incapacitate, and Steal Energy. Their SS
team ability will also make your opponents think twice about poisoning your
other team members. Mystics make especially tasty targets because retaliatory
damage they deal is likely to be more a help than a hindrance to your SS
characters. How likely are you to get a big hit of healing if an adjacent
friendly character is KOd? Let’s break it down two ways:
Odds of getting healed a particular number
- 1 click: 50%
- 2 clicks: 16.7%
- 3 clicks: 16.7%
- 4 clicks: 16.7%
Odds of getting healed AT LEAST a particular number
- 1 click: 100%
- 2 clicks: 50%
- 3 clicks: 33.3%
- 4 clicks: 16.7%
Your KOd friendly figures can be thought of as restoring your SS
character’s health during the game, like when Shazam sacrificed his life to
save Earth. SS members are ready to continue fighting during the game. The
best-case scenario is that you will not ever see the SS ability come into play
because you are in command of the match. In my experience, it is painful to see
one of my team members get KOd in battle. But SS characters make that reality a
little easier to bear.
There are a couple of defensive ways to use the SS team ability.
You can use Telekinesis to move a critically wounded character adjacent to an
injured SS member and then push it to KO and heal your SS character. Or even
better, use a flier with the Green Lantern team ability to carry a group of
critically wounded characters and place them adjacent to one or more injured SS
There are also devious offensive ways to use the SS team ability.
Use Mind Control on an opponent’s weakened character, and then push it to KO to heal your SS character! Or use this tactic, but instead move it adjacent to a
SS character and attack a Mystics character, thereby doing damage and healing
your SS character at the same time!
And SS characters must watch out for characters with Energy Explosion and Pulse Wave: An opponent will quickly eliminate a SS character before you can use its team ability if he or she rolls doubles and your characters suffer knockback.
In addition, clustering your team so that the SS characters can
take advantage of their team ability will make it easy for your opponent to use
damaging powers and abilities that affect a large area. For example, characters
with Quake can cause havoc by dealing 2 damage and making an entire team suffer knockback.
Unleashed also has many Hypersonic Speed figures, like Jesse Quick and
Black Adam, that can pummel a SS character with a little help from a perplexing
comrade. Deadshot has only 5 to 6 clicks of health and Killer Frost has only 6
to 7 clicks of health, and their low defense values (14 to 15) help make them
easy targets for this strategy.
One thing’s for sure: The SS team ability will force players to
create different strategies to win, both offensively and defensively.
by Aaron Schantz
For long-time Green Lantern fans, Hal Jordan finally gets his due. Because Hal is arguably the greatest Green Lantern ever, the task of transforming him into a HeroClix
character without upsetting his notoriously zealous fans was a delicate one at
Although two of the stronger powers, Running Shot and Willpower, can come with drawbacks on some characters, they aren’t a problem for Hal. He has an excellent range value on all his versions, as well as an extremely high defense, especially for a DC HeroClix character.
Although Hal is good on the whole, his Rookie version does start off a bit weak. Let’s begin with his attack value. At 9, it’s not terrible, but it could be better on a
character approaching 100 points. His Running Shot is reasonably average, with
a 10 movement and 8 range, giving him a shot at a character up to 13 squares
away. To improve his attack value, consider having Green Lantern carry a
character with the Police team ability – maybe a DEO Agent, since it’s bound to
be quite popular.
One small drawback to Green Lantern’s Running Shot (that doesn’t get any better with other versions) is his damage value. Ranged Combat Expert for 2+ damage is great for a standing shot, but doesn’t hit all that hard when using Running Shot. But if you’re willing to stick around for the following turn, Green
Lantern can use Willpower to attack with Ranged Combat Expert for double
Willpower is the second power that makes this character, especially because there are so many powers that can take advantage of Willpower. We’ve already talked about Running Shot, but Telekinesis is another one. The green guy can strike an excellent one-two punch by using Telekinesis to get a teammate out on one turn and then following it up the next turn with a Running Shot attack (or vice versa).
Many other Willpower characters tend use it for improved mobility; move into position one turn and then act the next without pushing (Batman, Deathstroke, etc.). This is all well and good, but doesn’t get you as much as back-to-back uses of Telekinesis, a Telekinesis–Running Shot combo, or a Running Shot–Ranged Combat Expert combo. Green Lantern opens up a lot of Willpower options that other characters can’t match.
So back to the Rookie. In spite of his attack value, Green Lantern still has a whole lot going for him. Use him for early-game mobility and transportation, then later as a clean-up hitter. The latter is a particularly good use for him because it will keep him out of harm’s way early in the game when your opponent is gunning to take out your key characters.
The Experienced Hal Jordan has improved range, defense, and attack values. And the point increase isn’t a huge burden. It’s enough to cover the increases but is not a deal breaker by any means. It also helps that he gets an extra click of
life and the JLA team ability.
Although the team ability might not be a huge boon, the increase in range and attack are. The defense increase is nice, but not so much that it alone makes the deal. Similarly, Running Shot on the second click is not that important, either.
Having powers carry over typically is helpful, but Willpower makes that less
The Experienced Green Lantern is more offensively minded than the Rookie, not only because of the improved attack value but because of the extra clicks (literally twice!) of Ranged Combat Expert. Mid-dial Barrier is also a nice bonus,
allowing you to vary your strategy mid-game if you’ve thought about it ahead of
Now for the Veteran, who weighs in at an impressive 165 points. There’s no doubt that the Veteran is superior to the Experienced, but is it worth the increased cost? The extra point of attack value is welcome, as is the increased movement. But it’s not as impressive an improvement as it is from Rookie to Experienced, and in my opinion not as worthy of the point increase.
The Green Lanterns team ability went from game buster back in Cosmic Justice to “Oh, hey” in the wink of a rules change. Fliers no longer able to carry fliers and
characters barred from being given an action after being carried really put the
kibosh on the “game breaking” aspect of the team ability that got fans up in
arms a year ago. It’s still good – just not as potent as it once was. One perk,
however, is that Green Lantern can use Running Shot and still carry his
whole entourage. With that ability, plus Telekinesis and Willpower, you can
send out attackers via Telekinesis over and over and keep a medic in the wings
for an occasional hit back.
The main complaint against Veteran Green Lantern is that he doesn’t get any
damage-reducing powers with his high cost. Without damage-reducing powers, any attack that pierces his 18 defense is really going to hurt. And even though his
defense stays high throughout his whole dial, it probably won’t save him in the
end. What it will do, unfortunately, is make it more difficult for a medic to
Don’t get me wrong: An 18 defense is great, but with more characters than ever sporting 11 attack values, the Police team ability, and Perplex, it’s not unrealistic to think that your opponent can get a successful shot off against Green Lantern.
Despite these drawbacks, there is no denying that the Veteran is a force. In
higher-point games in which Green Lantern is not the main piece on your team –
but rather a Swiss army knife–type character who is good all around – he can
support the team and take shots of his own without being the lightning rod. And
taking the bull’s eye off his back goes a long way to mitigating his higher
All in all, every version of Green Lantern has its uses. The Rookie is a good starting point and will be a great part of a team as long as he’s not pushed to the
front of the action. The Veteran is fantastic but may tumble from grace because
of his high cost. But the Experienced is the gem of the bunch. At a reasonable
cost and with great powers and stats that work well together, he will be a
fantastic part of nearly any winning team.
by Aaron Schantz
“Heroes Unite” (398 points)
E Batgirl (41)
E DEO Agent (18)
E Gotham Undercover (16)
E Green Lantern (125)
E Raven (65)
V Cyborg (65)
V Jesse Quick (68)
proves that it’s not necessary for a team have a theme or a name – just that
it’s fun to play.
Lantern is the backbone of this team. His Willpower lets him overcome the
drawback that other “backbone” characters have: too many options that cause you
push them too often.
Green Lantern is the keystone here, he shouldn’t start off as the primary
attacker; that is left to the other capable members of this eclectic array of
Cyborg, Jesse Quick, and Raven all work wonderfully together. Jesse, with a
high movement value and Hypersonic Speed, is the game’s greatest “taxi.” So not
only can she travel far and carry someone in the process, but she can also
attack at the end of her move. Cyborg has a great dial with solid attack and
defense and a few tricks. And Raven is a one-woman support team.
cover for the group are Gotham Undercover and Batgirl. Gotham Undercover is
here mainly to give the rest of the team cover; move him into hindering terrain
and hide behind him while your team sets up. He can also help out with his
Police team ability by giving Green Lantern and Raven a boost to their attack
values. Batgirl’s permanent Stealth allows her to be a blocker as well, but her
real value is on her second click, when where she gains Perplex (just like the
this team seems fairly straightforward, its beauty lies in its versatility. A
strong starting tactic is to move Green Lantern out a few squares into the map
carrying Cyborg, while the DEO Agent gives herself an action in anticipation of
pushing next turn. Batgirl can move into some terrain, and Jesse Quick can
carry Raven to set up position near Green Lantern and Cyborg. Now you’ve got a
very strong group of characters, with Green Lantern able to use Willpower and
Telekinesis to send out an attacker next turn.
push the DEO Agent onto Perplex. Then jump right to the offensive by sending
Cyborg over to your opponent’s force with Telekinesis and then pulse waving them
for all he’s worth. Pulse Wave is an awesome opening move because it can take
your opponent’s characters off their starting clicks, even ones hiding via
Stealth or with defensive powers. That can completely ruin his or her entire
strategy, if not whole game, right from the start! Also don’t forget that
you’ve got the DEO Agent waiting to help out with Perplex to boost his attack
value – or even sneakier, his range. Raven is standing by with Probability
Control to make sure her teammates hit. That’s three actions so far, so you
could still push Batgirl or use Raven to put up a barrier around Cyborg for
no opportunity for a Telekinesis–Pulse Wave attack, hold tight and move up
Gotham Undercover for more protection and push Batgirl. Next turn, Jesse Quick
can move in with Hypersonic Speed and boosted by two perplexers, carrying
Cyborg into battle.
solid first hit against a critical opposing piece can swing a game in your
favor early on and force your opponent to change his or her strategy and play
defense while you push your offense. With so many quick-strike options
available to this team, as well as solid follow-ups, you can hit early and
getting in some solid hits with the rest of the team, move in Green Lantern for
the kill. His Running Shot and 10 range will give him a bead on nearly the
entire board. He can’t use Ranged Combat Expert with Running Shot, but
fortunately you have two perplexers on your team to help out with that. And
don’t forget to use Gotham Undercover or DEO Agent’s Police team ability to
boost Green Lantern’s attack value.
don’t immediately go your way, or you just need a pick-me-up later in the game,
you’ve got two options. Pushing either the DEO Agent or Raven will put them on Support
clicks for healing. And the beauty of Raven is that she can take damage from a
fellow Titan to put her onto Support. Then, if she takes too much damage, she
can Regenerate back up or get healed by the DEO. Don’t forget that when you’re
not using Raven in a support role, she can still attack with Incapacitate.
All in all,
this team shows that some seemingly straightforward characters can actually
give you a ton of versatility when played together. Cyborg’s Pulse Wave is a
tremendous opening attack or great for taking a chunk out of a bruiser. Jesse
Quick will live up to her namesake by zipping around the board and causing
havoc among your opponent’s Support and Stealth pieces, and Green Lantern is
there coordinating the whole thing before jumping in to finish off the
The Women of Hypertime
drafting Hypertime, most players will make heavy hitters or inexpensive
taxis their first picks. I want to bring to light one of the most overlooked
categories of the Hypertime set: the women. When looking at the women of
Hypertime, one thing becomes clear: There is no weak link. Each
character is well rounded and none are really “support only” pieces. Each has a
nice set of stats and can hold her own if need be. The real fun comes when they
all decide to join forces to kick a little bootie. Using them in a
male-dominated arena might seem ill-advised, but played correctly these ladies
can deal out the damage!
team looks like this:
1 Veteran Catwoman (68 pts.)
1 Veteran Checkmate Agent (16 pts.)
1 Veteran Harley Quinn (42 pts.)
1 Experienced Dove (51 pts.)
1 Experienced Huntress (23 pts.)
at each of the characters and see what they provide in way of battle.
I prefer to use the non-Unique version for one reason: Outwit. Nothing says
lovin’ like a well-placed Outwit. With her Leap/Climb ability, Catwoman is
easily going to get to the best possible place to weaken your opponent. Should
she ever get into close combat, her nice attack value of 9 plus her Super
Senses and defense of 17 will keep her in play for a while.
In her Veteran version, Harley has gone from a support character to a viable
back-up combatant. She has two clicks of Perplex right out front and “ends with
a bang” with Outwit on her last click. Her moderate attack value of 8 plus her
range of 6 make her a good mid-range figure who can put the final slug in a
weak opponent, or take out those pesky medics that like to hang back.
Well, this little lady has a lot going for her. Two ranged attacks at a
whopping 8 range make her a gem. Her 8 attack value might not look like much,
but when she’s got a little Perplex action going from Harley, she’s not to be
taken lightly. She even starts out with 2 damage on her first click and
comprises only 16 points of our build total.
The Experienced version trades in her Batman team ability for a little more
firepower. Two clicks of Ranged Combat Expert are going to come in handy, and
her Leap/Climb will get her to a good position to play sniper. She also has a
nice starting attack value of 9.
Like her counterpart, Hawk, Dove starts out with a “powerless” first click.
Normally this is a detriment, but it suits her well, as she can easily push to
her better clicks while being used to taxi your figures out onto the
battlefield. Once you get into her dial, it’s easy to see what she’s there for.
Her Close Combat Expert coupled with a whopping 10 attack value makes her your
hardest-hitting character. Of special note is her last click: She keeps Super
Senses and CCE until the very end, so be very aware of how much damage she has
taken. The last thing you want to do is attempt a push on the last click and
not be aware that she’s almost down for the count.
Now that we know a little about the girls, let’s discuss how to play the team
as a whole. The team works well indoors or outdoors, and you’ll end up playing
them the same either way. The team does not have one hard-hitting, stand-out
character. As such you won’t feel obligated to protect any one particular
character. The team is best played on a reactionary basis. Wait for your
opponent to come out a bit. Push Dove to get your Agent in a good position and
then do the same with Harley. Catwoman and Huntress can get around very well on
their own with Leap/Climb. If you can help it, keep the team relatively close
and pick off one opposing figure at a time. The last thing you want to do is
overextend yourself. By using a focused, sustained attack, you can easily take
out an opponent. Teamwork is what will pull these girls through.
Perplex should be used every turn. Harley should always have line of sight to
at least one other team member. If things go wrong, remember that she can
always use Perplex on herself if cornered. Make use of your team abilities as
well. Catwoman can boost Harley’s attack value if they are adjacent. Use Smoke
Cloud if you have no other options. In the latter portion of the game, Smoke
Cloud’s bonus to your figures’ defense can be key to winning. A smoke screen
may give cover to most, if not all, of your characters, giving you one turn to
time you decide it’s time for a little clixin’, take a look at the fairer sex.
They work well together and can really give many teams a run for their money.
Holy HeroClix, Batman!
The streets of Gotham City are dark and dangerous. It’s no secret
that after midnight the danger level increases a hundredfold. No one is more
acquainted with this truth than the city’s greatest defender, Batman. Taking on
the persona of a winged avenger, Batman searches the alleyways by rooftop,
waiting to strike when evil raises its ugly head. But he does not fight alone.
By his side is a crew of crime fighters trained by Batman himself, among them
Nightwing, Robin, and Huntress, just to name a few. Evildoers beware.
Specifically, HeroClix evildoers. Because tonight the streets are
guarded by a 300-point team with Batman as its leader. Batman and his allies
will have to be on their toes, because his arch enemy the Joker is out there
somewhere, and he won’t go back to Archam without a fight! Perhaps I’m being a
bit melodramatic setting up this article, but if I’m not allowed to be
melodramatic with Batman, then when will I be?
I can’t tell
you how excited I was when I dug into the DC HeroClix set. What I
discovered was that my all-time favorite DC characters were incredibly
playable. It takes no genius at this point to figure out who my favorites are.
Batman and any character associated with Batman are my favorites. WizKids
really did a great job putting together Batman-related figures, and now I will
try to put together a good Batman-related 300-point team.
First off is
the Experienced Batman at 92 points. This is my favorite version of the caped
crusader because of the Batman team ability. He is always stealthed from ranged
attacks when in or behind hindering terrain. To complement this he is gifted
with Leap/Climb, so his movement is not slowed coming out of hindering terrain.
He also has two of my favorite powers: Willpower and Outwit. On top of that is
perhaps the most overlooked power in the set, Incapacitate. When you add this
one power to Batman’s range of 6 and the ability to target two characters, you
end up with a wonderful outcome. Imagine Bane and Manbat on their way to break
Batman’s spine. They both have an action token. Now imagine tying them up for
another round and giving them each a click of damage—all from one attack of
Incapacitate. That’s one whole turn that they are sitting ducks, begging to be
Experienced Batman has a weakness, it’s that his attack value is in single
digits at a 9. I’ve countered that by putting two Gotham Policemen at his side.
One is a Veteran and the other a Rookie. Depending on how the figures are
placed, Batman can now attack at up to 11 using the Police team ability. This
does not require an action token from the Policemen, and also leaves them free
Next is a
Veteran Nightwing at 72 points; he’s basically a slightly lesser version of
Batman. On his first click the only thing he lacks is Willpower, but at 10 his
attack is better than his mentor’s. The other differences show up later on his
dial. Batman gains powers such as Close Combat Expert, and Nightwing does not.
To Nightwing’s credit, though, is a range of 8, and he also has the ability to
hit two targets.
you have a Batman team without a Robin? I’m choosing the Veteran version at an
amazingly low point value of 22. He is good to use on virtually any team. He is
always stealthed, has Leap/Climb, Smoke Cloud, and a range of 6. Great figure.
about a Rookie Huntress at just 18 points? Sure, she and Batman have had their
differences, but in this version she shares the same team ability. She and
Robin both start with only 2 damage each, but with Batman and Nightwing
outwitting defensive powers, they can be great assets to the team.
round out this team with two figures that make sense only in a strategic way.
You guessed it: They are both flyers. (Hey, at least they are good guys!) I’ve
chosen a Rookie Hawkman at 32 points, and an Experienced Booster Gold at 38
points. They both have a 10 movement and the Justice League free movement team
ability. As extras, Hawkman has Charge, and Booster Gold has Toughness. They
will be used as taxis primarily for Batman and Nightwing. Adding their points
to the mix brings us to a total of 300 points even.
would without hesitation play this team in a tournament, there are a few things
to be aware of. One is a figure like Bane. Bane with a flyer can sneak up and
do major damage to both Batman and Nightwing. With his Close Combat Expert, he
delivers 5 clicks of damage up close. After 5 clicks, Batman loses Leap/Climb
and will have trouble getting away.
potential problem is any member of the Superman team. When faced with this
team, you must target Superman figures first. Superman team members are the
only figures that can make ranged attacks against Team Batman.
All said, I
believe this Batman team to be a good one, not only because it is competitive,
but also because it is fun. And isn’t fun the reason we play this game? Now all
that is left to do is search the rooftops in search of some sort of wrong
doing. Who knows, perhaps now I’ll turn to the dark side and create Team Joker?
Making Sinestro Work for You
by Brother Magneto
He’s yellow. He throws lightning. And he’s one of the most misunderstood and
underutilized figures in DC HeroClix. He’s Sinestro, the “Big Figure” in
the Hypertime set – nine and a half inches of plastic mayhem, but an
uncarryable, lumbering target that can seem more trouble than he’s worth. If
you break him out in a tournament, you’re bound to hear a few fearful gasps,
followed by four rounds of unmitigated hate as everyone tries to focus on
bringing Big Yellow down. After all, he’s huge and scary and worth lots of
those things going against him, it’s only fair to ask: why field him in the
first place? Why should I shell out for one figure that costs almost as much as
three boosters, when he’s just going to be beaten to death whenever I play him
in a tournament? Answer: support him, treat him well, and you will bring home
the prize. With the correct combination of backup and variety, you can make a
tournament-caliber DC team with Sinestro as its centerpiece.
fielding Sinestro, you have to be fully aware of his weaknesses, strengths, and
dial position, almost more than any other figure. Sinestro uses atypical rules,
which can be an advantage if you know how to utilize them, and a disadvantage
if you don’t (but your opponent does.) First, he’s huge. The only thing that
blocks line of sight to Sinestro is a Barrier or indoor blocking terrain (a
wall). That means he can’t hide behind buildings or other figures. But, on the
upside, he can always return the favor (unless it’s a Stealth/Batman Team
character in hindering terrain). This is important, especially in his larger
incarnations, since Sinestro is a deadly ranged opponent. But in his lower
dial, he has very little in the way of defenses, so keep enemy shooters either
tied up with adjacent opposing characters or make sure Sinestro is out of range
of their guns.
other main weaknesses, aside from making a juicy target, is that he cannot be
carried or healed with Support. This usually isn’t a problem, since he
basically has built-in Leap/Climb (Sinestro disregards terrain and adjacency so
long as he doesn’t stop illegally – if part of his dial is on elevated and the
other part is not, for example). But it means that he can easily be left in the
middle of combat, surrounded by five or six enemies, and like Gulliver with the
Lilliputians he will fall in a matter of seconds, especially since Medics are
useless to try to bring him back.
is not his longevity, although twelve clicks of health even in his weakest
incarnation shouldn’t be ignored. What makes Sinestro an invaluable figure is
his ability to capture, giving you double the points for a figure – or triple,
when stealing Green Lanterns. Add to that his ability to continuously push, a
range of 10 (only two other pieces in the Hypertime set have a range
that long, and one of them is an LE) and his Ranged Combat Expert in the upper
parts of his dial, and you’ve got a sizable part of a tournament-caliber team.
said a part of a team. Too many players make the mistake of thinking one
or two figures will be all they need to win the game, and the other figures are
there for looks. Nothing could be further from the truth. HeroClix, like any
other strategy game, requires teams that work together and a little bit of
strategy from the players to ensure each piece plays a role in the whole.
Therefore, play Sinestro’s strengths: use him to capture when possible, and
keep him in back as an untouchable artillery piece when not. In fact, Sinestro
should never venture any farther than one turn’s move (usually 7 or 8 squares)
from your starting grid, because doing otherwise makes his capture ability
almost a moot point.
team, we’re playing in a 400-point head-to-head tournament and using a
100-point Sinestro, which means he starts right in the middle of his RCE
territory, but without the benefit of Toughness. The team breaks down as
Sinestro – 100 points
Rookie Batman – 85 points
Rookie Harley Quinn – 27 points
Experienced Man-Bat – 27 points
Veteran Gorilla Grodd – 86 points
Veteran Nightwing – 72 points
397 points total
The entire team
is a decent mixture of multi-purpose figures, except for Harley and Man-Bat,
who are there for Perplex and Flight respectively. The team’s main weaknesses
are a lack of Medics and a lack of taxis, so a rush-and-shoot isn’t possible
here – instead, a player will have to take the map a piece at a time, whittling
as she goes.
Sinestro behind the lines, especially for the first couple of moves. He’s far
more useful capturing others, especially in the beginning when everyone is still
dealing heaps of damage. Batman and Nightwing can hold their own with
Leap/Climb and the Batman team ability – plus, they both have Outwit, which
will take away some of the more dangerous superpowers like Impervious and
Ranged Combat Expert. Use the two of them to create a scissor effect, so their
Outwit covers almost the entire map between the two of them. Then, use Batman’s
Willpower to push to deal his initial 3 damage, and follow through with
Nightwing after he has a turn to rest. If worse comes to worst, use Batman to
chase enemies around the board and into Nightwing’s range.
Grodd has two main uses: to Mind Control the competition and run a figure
straight into Sinestro’s waiting arms, or to pick up some objects and clock the
enemy upside the head. Grodd is a tough cookie, but loses his Mind Control
relatively fast; if your opponent is clued into what you’re planning, he’s
bound to go after Grodd first. If that happens, abandon the capture plan, move
Sinestro closer to the fight (but not too close), and let Nightwing and Batman
pay your opponent back point-for-point. With Harley’s Perplex and Outwit, you
have the potential to deal ten or eleven points of damage in one round – using
only three actions – among Sinestro, Bats, and Nightwing.
one of the most useful tools in HeroClix, and should never be ignored,
especially in games like this. Don’t always focus on Perplexing damage – use
Harley to increase Sinestro’s range to 11, zapping an opponent who thought he
was safe, or use her to pump Grodd’s attack value up, making it easier to
influence the weak-minded.
The key to
playing this team is to always keep a balance between trying to capture a piece
and decimating the enemy force. If possible, try to single out one juicy piece
to capture – a Superman, or a Bane, or Darkseid – and use the shooters to
soften it up a bit, lowering its defense so Grodd can easily mind control it
and Sinestro has no trouble scooping it up afterwards. Try to time the capture
so you can mind control and snatch on the same round, because you don’t want
Bane standing adjacent to Sinestro, upset because he doesn’t remember how he
At the same
time, work your opponent over from afar. Batman becomes an effective close
combat fighter after a couple of clicks, but in this game he’s far more
effective using his Leap/Climb to move freely around the enemy and plinking
them after using Outwit. If you focus entirely on shooting, you won’t capture,
and the team’s main tournament strength is removed. If you focus entirely on
the capture, you’ve doomed your pieces to almost certain failure, because your
mind won’t be on supporting Sinestro.
less important with this team than it is with others; if you like a wide-open
map, it’s fine so long as you can keep one step ahead of your opponent. If you
(or a tricky opponent) prefer an indoor map, make sure Sinestro has some walls
to cower behind and keep him close to a long hallway – don’t let him get mired
down in a tiny room where he has no chance to escape! Indoor maps are more fun,
because a savvy player can control his opponent through figure placement,
forcing the opponent to deal with adjacency – which makes forcing an enemy into
a situation where you can mind control him much easier.
word of advice: don’t worry about losing a piece or two. The object of the game
isn’t to wipe the enemy off the face of the Earth, it’s to use the capture
ability to push your score high enough so the round – and hopefully the
tournament – is all but assured. If you play it correctly – slow and steady, no
bravado, making deliberate moves, and picking on the juiciest figure – a win is
Beating The Bat
to sit down and take a good, hard look at how to deal with one of DC’s heavy
hitters: Batman. Many people have discussed the inherent difficulty of dealing
with the Dark Knight and I decided to put my own thoughts down to paper, and
share them with the HeroClix community.
issue when dealing with Batman (and many of his “family members”) is the
inherent beauty of the interaction of the Batman Team ability and the
Leap/Climb power. Since the Batman Team ability basically replicates the
Stealth power, all of the Batman Team members can be given Leap/Climb as a movement
power. As such, they can hide from their opponent and always break away when an
opponent gets too close for comfort.
terms: you cannot hit them with a ranged attack and when you get close enough
for a close combat attack, they run away! Not a very easy thing to deal with,
but we are forced to do it every weekend when we sit down and see Experienced
Batman being set up in our opponent’s starting area. The dread grows when you
also get to see Veteran Nightwing, Rookie Huntress and any Robin show up for
the party. What strategies can be used to handle Mr. Wayne and his dark-clad
friends? Let’s explore.
Team ability can be counteracted several ways. One is your basic swarm. Taxi in
a bunch of heavy hitters and pound on Batman. Very little finesse involved, but
it can get the job done. Your only issue is that you now are vulnerable on
several fronts. If you fail to hit Batman (let’s be honest, critical misses
occur all the time) or knock him out completely, you are possibly going to be subjected
to a nasty Close Combat Expert attack. Taking four damage on the chin is not
such a good thing. You also now have to worry about Batman’s backup.
Nightwing’s Outwit is going to do away with someone’s defensive power and then
he and Huntress are going to bring the punishment (plus you might have to deal
with the insult of Robin coming in and poking you with his stick for two damage
is utilizing the Superman Ally team ability. This team ability represents the
extremely useful “x-ray” vision that Superman sports from time to time. Able to
ignore the effects of hindering terrain for their attacks, these team members
can basically negate the Batman Ally team ability and “see” their opponent for
targeting purposes. The main drawback is cost. Both the Rookie and Experienced
Superman are well over 150 points, so unless you are playing with an extremely
high build total, they might not be viable for handling the threat. We look to
the Unique Superman (Hypertime #130) to possibly help us, but he lacks a
ranged attack, so he’s not really going to be an option either. That leaves us
with Rookie Steel, 66 points of Batman killing power.
us a good chance at taking out the Bat, and still live to tell the tale. He has
a nice range of 8, meaning he can stay just outside of Batman’s range, and deal
3 clicks of damage (thanks to Ranged Combat Expert). His attack values start at
a nice 9, meaning he’ll have a very good chance of hitting the 16 defense of
Batman or Nightwing. You are also going to need a support piece to help out Mr.
Irons. Since no knowledgeable opponent will just wait for Steel to get into
range, you will need to provide a taxi for him. Rookie Hawkman is my personal
favorite. Free movement, due to the JLA team ability, plus a great movement of
10, allows Steel to be taxied into range and then fire away at your
unsuspecting opponent. This also helps keep you out of Outwit range, so you can
have full benefit of Steel’s Ranged Combat Expert.
thing to remember is that most Batman Allies rely on hindering terrain or
objects (which act like hindering terrain). Destroying the object just makes
more hindering terrain, so we are left with two choices: move the object or
move the opponent. This is where the fun starts. Due to the most recent ruling,
a character with Charge is no longer allowed to pick up an object as he/she
comes into a space adjacent to an opposing character. As such, we now look to
other ways of moving things.
the only character in DC Heroclix with Telekinesis is Sinestro at his
200 and 300 point level. Devoting that many points to just move Batman or a
crate seems like a little bit of overkill, so we look to TK’s younger brother,
Force Blast. Force Blast lets you have your way with the opponent. No attack
roll is needed, just move the opponent away the amount of squares equal to your
damage value. It causes no damage, but the opposing character may suffer damage
from knockback per those rules. Nice.
about where most Batman Ally characters hang out: buildings; usually right on
the edge, standing on an object. Force Blast lets you push Batman and company
off the building and on to the sidewalk, thus suffering 2 clicks of damage.
Very effective, especially since you do not even have to roll the dice! Add to
this the fact that Force Blast can be found on several figures and it’s cheap.
Blue Beetle, ranging from 26 to 43 points, starts off with several clicks of
Force Blast and a damage value of two, meaning he can easily move those “rats
with wings” into a nice clear spot for all your ranged attackers to draw a bead
on. If you would like a bit more mobility, try out the flying Weather Wizard,
only a bit more expensive, but gets to double as a taxi for only 31 to 50
points (and the Veteran version also has a click of Ranged Combat Expert in
case you need to do some sniping). Used with a taxi for best positioning,
either choice lets us have fun “pushing” Batman around.
really want to try and wrap all our options into one figure, then you really
need to go for the overkill and get yourself Superman (#141). Known by many as
OWAW (NOTE – I looked for this, tried to figure it out to spell it out, but I
couldn’t find anything) Superman, he has the Superman team ability, so he gets
to use his heat vision to attack those stealthy Bat-folks. He also has a great
combination of Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength, meaning he is allowed to
swoop in, yank the object out from underneath our opponent, smack them with it
and then continue on with his movement. Later in his dial he also gets to use
Force Push for more fun. He is currently the single most expensive character
and will not leave you much more room for support figures, but there is nothing
more satisfying than pulling one over on the master detective.
for dealing with Batman and company are available. The great thing about these
characters is that they do not suffer from being too focused on dealing with
Batman that they cannot be used effectively against other teams. Many might be
considered second stringers and not your first choice, but having the ability
to effectively deal with strategies other than just Batman make them highly
viable pieces that you might just want to take a second look at.
The Batman Team!
By Judge samebattime
earliest remembrances until this very day I have been a Batman fan. In the 70’s
I tied a towel around my neck as a cape and jumped off the couch. In the 80’s I
was among the first to watch the “first” Batman movie with Michael Keaton. In
the 90’s I was an avid comic book collector. By the way, the death of Robin was
a traumatic event for me. Now in the 00’s what can I do for fun and
entertainment? HeroClix? Hmmm, what’s this little box holding, Commissioner
Gordon, the Boy Wonder, Catwoman, or — the Holy Grail — Batman with
Kryptonite gloves? Watch out, Clark Kent, I’m not afraid to use these! Based on
my apparent obsession can you guess which team ability is central to my DC
Heroclix team? That’s correct, the Batman team ability! Tell them what they’ve
won, Johnny. You’ve won an all expense paid trip to Batman team ability 101.
The team consists of the following:
Rookie 85 points
Nightwing Vet. 72 points
Robin Vet. 22 points
Gotham Police Rookie 11 points
Checkmate Medic Rookie 13 points
Hawkman Rookie 32 points x 3
- Flyers – Rookie Hawkman
is the bargain figure for carrying my attackers. For a mere 32 points he
moves 10 spaces and as a member of the JLA, he has free movement. If
necessary he has Charge to surprise an unsuspecting foe. All of that, and
some wicked looking weapons to intimidate your opponent.
- Flyers – Rookie Hawkman
- Outwit – This team has
two figures with Outwit at the beginning of their dial, Batman and
Nightwing. This makes a huge difference in how you play. Having the
ability to turn off one of your opponent’s powers is a wonderful thing.
There is a sick kind of joy in turning off an opponent’s Impervious and
then pummeling it into the dirt. Or when the ever-so-nasty Bane tries to
sneak up and break your back it’s nice to have the ability to turn off his
Toughness with Batman and his Close Combat Expert with Nightwing.
- Outwit – This team has
- Leap Climb – This is one
of the safety nets for this team. If you get into a lot of trouble, you
can always get away with Leap/Climb, hobbling your way to the handy-dandy
Medic for some much needed support. Of course, there is the overwhelming
desire to paint the Checkmate Medic to resemble Alfred. I cannot help
myself; it fits into my theme team.
- Leap Climb – This is one
- Police Team ability – If
you look closely at the dials of my main attackers you notice that Robin
and Batman are 9s on attack and Nightwing is a 10. While those are
respectable numbers, 10s and an 11 would be even better, thus the addition
of Gotham’s best. The Police work closely with my Bat-team to improve the
condition of Gotham’s streets (and my chances of winning).
- Police Team ability – If
- Stealth – This team has
3 figures with permanent stealth — Batman, Robin and Nightwing. What is
there not to like about stealth characters? I can do a ranged
attack against you but you cannot repay the favor unless you’re on the
Superman team. You cannot outwit any of my powers while in I’m in stealth.
- Stealth – This team has
The keys to this team:
- Because my Bat-team uses
Stealth so much, positioning object tokens correctly is essential. I look
for areas that have open spaces and place object tokens so that my range
is maximized. A map with tons of hindering terrain would help immensely
- Because my Bat-team uses
- Nightwing needs to go
after the “Big Dog” on the other side of the map. He has the highest
attack and Outwit, so his task is obvious.
- Nightwing needs to go
- Batman can play
aggressively because of Willpower, and his dial gives me options even when
he is hurt.
- Batman can play
There are many more strategies that I would use with this team but
I cannot tell you all my secrets. What kind of Batman fan would I be if I
didn’t try to hide my secret identity, oops, my strategies? Sure, you could
make a team with figures that do more damage, like Bane. But I am a firm
believer that brains will win out over brute strength eventually. Trust me on
this one, I’ve read 30 years worth of Batman comics and he always wins.
Check out my other website at:
WereVerse Universe Baby!