Sunday, 15 May 2011

Spring Dawning

So, as of tomorrow, 15th May, Heroclix Modern Age reaches rotation again. The fact that Neca have retired sets shows that they are going to keep with the annual practice, which took a longer hiatus than the break between owners.

So, this time around we lose four sets, the first major sets with cards for the figures. This is also an important quartet of sets to lose because they take with them the major colossal figures. The ones from Giant Sized X-Men are far fairer to play against, compared to the likes of Galactus and the Sinestro Corps Anti-Monitor. These sets are:-

Justice Leagure
Monsters and Mutations

While we still have plenty of legal sets and figures within Modern Age, it is with mixed feelings that we say goodbye to these sets. Let's go through the figures I will miss and the figures I am glad to see the back of.

They shall be missed;
Captain America
His sculpt was awful, but he was a potent 100 point fighter. Much maligned on the internet for his potato head, I always found him to be worth the points.
The Young Avengers
Most of this team leaves before we get a Speed to go with them. That's a shame, especially given the recent sets giving us full teams.
The Invaders
Another them leaving, this time a much more playable one. They were especially good during the 5 weeks of Sealed Booster play that happened for the set.
Winter Soldier
The inspiration for the title of this post, and possibly the figure I've used the most from these four sets. 70 points gets you the most lethal sniper the game has ever seen. This is the figure I'm going to miss most, but he shall be replaced in the Captain America set by a new dial and his Bucky-Cap sculpt.
The Heralds of Galactus
We fought long and hard over 5 weeks for these bad boys. All of them are pretty good in their own right. These events are also the start of my judging career, so I also have the alternate Judge promo versions.
Glad they are gone;
Moon Knight
So, these were the first figures in a main set with special powers. And if this guy uses his Perplex, it damages him. Which them removes the stat bonus... Somebody dropped the ball when designing that power, and he received no errata to fix him. It's a sham because he was otherwise good for his points.
The Liberators
No wonder these guys lost the fight. Not only does this set supply the only two members of this team the game has seen so far, but it also gives them such terrible stats. It's like the designers wanted them to auto lose any fight. They even made one of the two a Super Rare :(
Identical dial to the original version, but being able to make one less action a turn makes hin weaker. Also, something is wrong with the paint on these. If kept in the box, the paint melts onto the plastic. This was still happening to them a year later. Mine isn't sticky anymore, but I don't keep it confined either.

Justice League
They shall be missed;
Hector Hammond
He looks like Richard Nixon, and if you hit him for just enough damage he becomes 0 move. This allows you to spend the rest of the game dancing just out of his range while he can do nothing about it. And he looks like Richard Nixon.
Justice Legion A
A cool team, pointed to make a variety of teams at a variety of points level, it was a shame that all but one of these guys was Super Rare. They were cool enough to make me get they comics they are from,  to find out more about them.
He had some interesting abilities, especially his healing ones. Shame that his dial was too strong for the points, especially if your opponent is unprepared
Glad they are gone;
Overrated and overused. We had five weeks of sealed, where he dominated because he was common and the map for the events was covered in the hindering terrain he needs. After that, we quickly adapted and he was never a problem again. In fact, no-one got much decent use out of the character until his Arkham Asylum versions were produced. Glad he is gone though, because as easy as it is to deal with him, it makes it no less annoying to see him every round in a tournament.
Overcosted and doesn't do anything. His powers are badly worded and confusing to use. Then, in the next set they produce the Super-Adaptoid with the same special powers for the same points. However, the Super-Adaptoid also has other powers and abilites, which Parasite doesn't.
See Parasite above but replace confusing with cool and Super-Adaptoid with Jericho.
The Starro Slaves
Cheap versions of the characters makes them weak versions of the characters. Also, the only thing that lets you know they are slaves of Starro is the starfish over their faces on the sculpts. They have no powers to represent this and keyword via the Justice League of America keyword. Seems like a missed opportunity.

Mutations and Monsters
They shall be missed
The Cuckoos
Awesome special powers gives a team with built in synergy. I ran these guys at the last Nationals and they are awesome.
The Marvel Zombies
A chance for those of us who didn't get hold of the original chases to play the team. They are also pretty good, if you pretend Iron Man doesn't exist.
Professor X
Cerebro is an awesome special power, and he is especially good with the Cuckoos. He also has range 12.
Glad they are gone;
The Hood
He doesn't do anything. He is 28 points of do nothing. I know he was made before the character became a powerful mob boss with help from Dormmamu, but surely he wasn't worth doing like this. Might as well wait for a time he would be more relavant then give him this dial. He doesn't even fit the themes of the set.
I'll admit I used this feat at Nationals, but that was the problem. It was broken. Somebody figured out how to use it to hide behind a Barrier every turn. I used it to make Hypersonic Speed attacks with the same figure every turn. I broke a fundamental rule of the game, 2 actions in every three turns, without giving a drawback. Glad feats are gone from the game as it's harder to regulate what figures they will be used on.

They shall be missed;
The Metal Men 
A cool team, glad to see them all make a set. They were even quite playable if used carefully.
A little overplayed, but just the right power level for his points, and beatable unless used properly. Not an auto win piece, but hard to lose with.
At Nationals I used him to back up the Cuckoos and I wasn't disappointed. A tie-up piece with Mind Control and great defensive powers. His -2 Perplex is also amazing.
Azrael as Batman, awesome sculpt and ok dial.
The Teen Titans
So, my favourite DC team. This set gave it some awesome figures. And then at Nationals my 1st boosted for sealed had a complete team of them. It's a shame so many are leaving Modern Age, but DC75th gave us some awesome figures to replace them on the roster.
Glad they are gone;
The Royal Flush Gang
The whole team is here, and they are rubbish. I'm not sure who's foes they are meant to be but I feel like nearly any good guy figure could take them on single handedly, let alone with back up.
Star Sapphire
So it mentions in the background on the card that there is a Star Sapphire Corps. This is fine, she was made after this was revelaed in the comics. They are since made two more members of this corps. So why has she got no keywords? She can't even theme with the Injustice League as suggested by her team ability. There doesn't seem to be a reason for this, which really let the figure down, especially since the Blackest Night pack came out.

Mourn for the allies we have lost. Rejoice for the foes that are gone. The battlefield of Modern Age has changed and we have more recruits coming this year...   

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