IntroI was at my local game store the other day and saw that the latest HeroClix set, Captain America, had been released. For those not in the know, Heroclix is a game where you buy pre-painted miniatures that have a special base that can turn and change their stats as they take damage. The models were originally launched by Wizkids and were snapped up by comic book fans of all ages, myself included. WizKids eventually went under and the game was thought dead until it was bought by Topps, then died again and has recently been resurrected by NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association).
First LookWhen I was into Heroclix, there were color coded levels of each model to represent their strengths, as well as unique and limited edition figures. It looks like they have done away with this and have gone to a straight up individual character system. There isn't a weak, experiened, or veteran model for each character, rather there is just one of each. I for one like this change. They do have different versions of the same character, mainly Captain America, but it's his set isn't it?
They have also started to include reference cards for the figures which are a nice touch, but they are made of a very flimsy material and the ones in my booster box were already bent up. I understand NECA is doing a replacement program so if it is a big deal, I bet they would replace them. As it is, I really liked that quick reference cards that tell you what powers are what, if you didn't know already. Even cooler than that was the other character information such as their background, real name, and significant appearances. It was a nice touch for the comic fans.
The ModelsThe models themselves are very similar to the old HeroClix models. For pre-painted miniatures, they are not bad, with some of the models in the pack having as many as six different colors. They even have some pretty small detail work done such as eyes, lips, teeth and pupils. It was pretty decent for pre-painted minis.
The cost has definitely gone up on the boosters though. I remember paying about seven dollars a pack and spent twelve on the one I picked up for the review. That’s a little more than two dollars per mini, not bad overall, but when you add in the factor of not knowing what you might get, it makes it difficult for me to jump in and keep buying more as there are some that I want much more than others and the idea of having a lot of the same mini for that price doesnt sit well.
LevelsOne of the other issues I had was that is was difficult to know what was what. They still adhere to the booster philosophy, meaning you get figures that are considered common, uncommon, and one rare, super rare, or chase figure. My set gave me a Hydra Agent and Adaptoid as commons, a Mister Hyde and Yelena Belova as uncommons, and Ursa Major as my rare. I went to the www.heroclix.com site and could not find a set list anywhere. There is a great tool over at www.hcrealms.com (A popular fan site) that allows you to see all the figures from the set and then click individual characters and get their number, rarity, and full display of their clix dial. I found out that WizKids did post a set list up, but on their Facebook page. The HeroClix site itself is more of a blog page with updates and announcements, but there was not a lot of meat. One good thing they have though is a full set of the rules in their downloads section, making it easy to pick up and play.
ConclusionIn the end, although I enjoyed opening my booster and getting my set, I doubt I will buy more. I love Captain America and really enjoy seeing these characters in the flesh, but the thought of getting repeat after repeat model is the reason I stopped buying these types of games in the first place. If you are okay with that and truly enjoy the rush of not knowing what you will get, then this is for you. If you are not okay with the gambling aspect of it and don’t want to throw money chasing that rare or unique model, you might check out the secondary market, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for those super rare or chase figures. At the time of writing this, a chase Cap Wolf figure went for one hundred and thirty dollars on eBay.
I’m glad that Heroclix is still going as I have some fond memories of my time playing the game. You will have to decide for yourself if the chase for those rare figures is going to be worth the investment. There are a lot of good things going on with this latest HeroClix release, especially for me as a Captain America fan, I just don’t know if I can swallow the hefty price tag either way to get what I would want.