HeroClix is a tactical-combat collectible miniatures game that is centered around comic book characters, mostly from the DC and Marvel universes. Are you a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh!, The Lord of the Rings, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, BioShock, Assassin’s Creed, Halo, or Iron Maiden? Yes, Iron Maiden—they have all those too. New sets are released on a regular basis, so there’s always a chance to add fresh characters to your team.
Some people may be intimidated by the lengthy rules and abilities; I definitely was. My son and I discovered HeroClix last fall at MCBA ComiCon and have been playing almost weekly ever since. We were fortunate enough to find a local group that is very welcoming and willing to sacrifice their own characters to explain strategies.
So what exactly is HeroClix? I’ve heard it described as superhero chess turned up to 11 and compared to tabletop role-playing games, collectibles, and even polymorphic gaming. This is all true and more. But I’m not going into a long, drawn-out explanation of how to play the game—you can find tons of videos and forums for that information. Instead, I’m here to tell you why you should be playing.
1. New Rules
WizKids, creators of HeroClix, will be releasing a brand-new rule book this year, meaning that now is the perfect time to learn: unlike the people who have already been playing, you won’t have to unlearn the one. I’ve seen both positive and negative impressions of the new rules, but the reception seems to be mostly favorable. The game is challenging to master but easy to learn.
2. Sidekick Nights
I absolutely love WizKids’ Sidekick Nights initiative, developed as a relaxed and welcoming way for new players of HeroClix and Dice Masters to be introduced to the games. Veteran players are encouraged to bring along a “sidekick” on a specific night. Don’t know a veteran player? Just contact a local store and ask to be matched up with one. You can also check forums on HC Realms or look for groups on Facebook. Teammates play cooperatively in a scaled-down version of the game in a noncompetitive environment. This is similar to how I learned to play, except it didn’t have an official name.
3. Unlikely Allies and Adversaries
In HeroClix, you have the ability to make traditional enemies team up and friends fight against each other. Want Darkseid and Superman on the same side? Feel that Michelangelo and Dr. Strange would make a good combo? You have the power to make that happen. Just recently, I had a team that consisted of two separate Superman figures and two separate Wonder Woman figures who ultimately crushed Oliver Queen, Green Lantern, and the Flash.
4. Recreating Battles
Ever wonder if your favorite battle scene from the comics or movies could have ended differently? I’ve read comic books for years; I own hundreds, and conversations with family and friends about our favorite characters are usually a good time. But why not have that conversation over your own story with palpable characters? Put the teams together and recreate that story one attack at a time. What will happen when Dr. Strange and the Avengers join forces? Can your HeroClix battle predict the movie? How about if (spoiler alert) Superman didn’t die in Batman v Superman? What if Lex Luthor did? (But that’s a rant for another time.)
5. Brain Stimulation
Don’t tell my son this, but HeroClix is a fun way to stimulate that brain. Quick mental probability calculations, strategic thinking, and problem solving are all involved while you are focusing on making that next move.
6. Fun with Family and Friends
Lastly, my favorite thing about HeroClix is the time I’ve been able to spend with my son and the new people I’ve been able to meet. Yes, you can meet new people anywhere, but we are huge DC Comics fans, and it’s awesome to play a game based on this common interest. I have not only learned a new pastime but have made some pretty cool friends. Plus, I have been introduced to characters I had never heard of, which prompted me to discover new comics.
Intrigued yet? The Twin Cities area has multiple places where you can go to learn HeroClix. Personally, I enjoy the group at Level Up Games, but you can also find product and weekly events at the Gaming Goat, the Fantasy Flight Games Center, and Source Comics and Games. Schedules for official events are listed on the WizKids website, but you can also check individual gaming stores’ websites, call stores directly, or sometimes strike gold on forums like HC Realms or Reddit.
In addition to the weekly events, Level Up Games is hosting a Realms Open Championship state tournament on Saturday, July 29, and I highly suggest checking it out!