Basic Heroclix Barriers

Only Iceman’s quick thinking saved him from the coconut.

Anyway, barriers. The idea of a constantly changing battlefield with walls of ice and fire sprouting up all over sounded cool, but you could count on one hand how many times my gaming group used that “barrier” ability. To give that power some legs, we whipped up a house rule:  if a figure can create a barrier, they can cast it as part of any other action (movement or attack) either at the start or end of that action. Each barrier also has a defensive value equal to the caster’s current defense.

Another wrinkle was that depending on a character’s power, they’d create a specific barrier type. Iceman, Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze, those guys would create ice barriers. The Human Torch, Heatwave, Pyro and the like would create fire barriers. Force fields for the Invisible Woman and Dr. Light, webs for Spidey and Venom, earth for Avalanche and Terra, blah, blah, blah.

Once that was settled, I went into the workshop to whip up some custom barriers…

Ice Barriers

Foam core (or foam board) cut to shape with the exposed foam interiors (mostly just the edges) coated with a thin layer of Elmer’s glue to protect it from the corrosive properties of paint. Let that dry, then drip some hot glue on ’em to get that runny, lumpy ice effect. Some acrylic paint, a spray of matte and dat’s dat.

Ice barriers have the ‘Toughness’ modifier and if one section of ice barrier is destroyed, all adjacent sections also shatter. If a section of fire barrier is placed adjacent to a section of ice barrier, that section of ice barrier is destroyed. On the flip side, an ice barrier placed next to fire barrier–while almost immediately destroyed–will also put out that (and all adjacent) fire barriers. They cancel each other. Remember, FIRE, WATER, WATER PUT OUT FIRE!

Instead of a standard ice wall, a figure can opt to use the barrier ability to lock an opponent in an ice prison. While the rules for ice barriers also apply to the ice prison, casting the ice prison must be counted as the caster’s attack action. Standard line-of-sight attack rules apply and, if successful, the target is dealt the figure’s attack damage AND is encased in the ice prison. On your frozen opponent’s turn they can attempt to break free (rolling vs the ice prison’s defense, which was Toughness + the caster’s defense). If successful, the escape is not counted as an action and your opponent is now free to take any action. If the escape roll misses, your opponent receives a token and is stuck until the prison melts at the start of the caster’s next turn (or they can be freed by an ally).

The walls of the ice prison are bits of action figure clamshell glued to a cardboard frame. I f*cking hate action figure clamshells. I then used index card paper shaped like frosty stalactites and stalagmites encroaching over the clear walls. Some hot glue *carefully* applied  for some icy bumps (don’t melt the clamshell!), let dry and then acrylic paint took it home.

Another option for frosty figs? The ice bridge. These, like the barriers, can be cast as or part of any action and provide a quick way to move among rooftops or as a hasty retreat off a building. Plus they look neat stretched across two buildings and hosting a battle between some figs.

Unlike every other barrier type, these suckers stay around for up to six rounds (mark with a die that counts down every round). The caster decides how long they last when conjured.

Each section of ice bridge is one section wide, two long and they plug into each other so you can customize the shape. These, like everything else, are foam core, hot glue and in all likelihood ridiculously flammable. Speaking of which…

Fire Barriers

Whoa, everyone get ready to stomp out Ragman when he catches fire.

More foam core cut to shape, then liberal amounts of hot glue added and, with the help of some modeling tools, shaped while hot. Some sloppy application of acrylic paint, some matte and done.

Fire barriers can do a couple of neat things:

1) Put one next to an ice barrier and SLUSH, that section of ice–and all adjacent sections–are melted. Trouble is all that water will also extinguish all adjacent fire barriers. So sad.

2) Put a fire barrier next to a web barrier and PING, PING, PING, all those web strands snap apart, the fire destroying any adjacent web barriers.

3) Unlike all the other barrier types, fire barriers can be moved through (though not targeted through). Any item (including figures) moving through a fire barrier is dealt 1d6 damage (all damage modifiers can be used against this “attack”). Any figure that can cast fire barrier can move through a fire barrier without taking any damage.

4) When cast, fire barriers attack all adjacent enemy figures for 1 point of damage using the caster’s offense (all damage modifiers can be used here, including agility).

Force Field Barriers

Foam core bases cut to shape and hand painted with acrylics, action figure clamshells then used for the vertical “force field.” To get ’em to stand, put a slight bend in the plastic–make them concave–before sticking ’em in the foam core base. Oh, and use an x-acto to make a thin slit in the foam core for the clamshell to slip into, add a thin smear of Elmer’s at the base of the clamshell when plugging it in to help it stay put.

These buggers–the strongest of all the barrier types–have an impervious defense modifier.

Earth Barriers

…who pooped the board?

Yeah, the earth barriers didn’t come out so hot. Eh, what can you do? More foam core cut to shape with random scrap of foam used to give ’em that irregular shape. Then some hot glue added to the mix and–while hot–shaped with a modeling tool to give the surface a rough look. While still hot I wedged some twigs and pebbles in there, let it dry, gave it a few coats of acrylic paint, let it dry a final time and then added some modeling moss. Granola crunchy!

Tied for the second toughest barrier type, these suckers have the invulnerable defense modifier and, when cast, attack all adjacent enemy figure for Force Blast: 1.

Web Barriers

That Hulk figure makes me laugh every time I see it. I love how much he hates that shirt.

More of that trusty foam core cut to shape, edges sealed with Elmer’s and hit with some speckle paint for texture and hand painted with acrylics. A thick needle was used to punch holes on either side of the “walls,” fishing line was strung between the uprights and…well, to be honest, I’m the least happy with how these came out. How do you make self-standing web walls? I dunno, but I’m pretty sure I can now tell you how NOT to make ’em.

Anyway, these suckers have the invulnerable defense modifier and any enemy figures adjacent to the web barriers when cast must roll a breakaway vs. plasticity to escape. And yep, that’s as annoying as it sounds. To help offset that irritation, if a fire barrier is placed next to a web barrier, kiss those webs goodbye.

The maps used as backdrops in this post are two custom Heroclix boards I cobbled together. There’s a flat, modular one you can check out by clicking here and a double decker map with subterranean levels you can see by clicking here. Get a better look at the flight stands used by the flying figures by clicking here.

…and that’s that. A special thanks to the always fragrant Doc Schrute for his help in setting up these pics and to his impossibly patient wife for putting up with the mess we made.

One Response

  1. Ahhhh, posting these–the first barriers I ever made–brings back so many good memories.

    ‘Clix is still fun, but nothing beats those early first-time games…playing every power wrong, a single game that lasted five hours, every team having either the Wasp, the Controller or a handful of Skrulls on it because those were the only figures available. I wish I had thought to taken photos of those early games and the friends playing them.

    Good times, good times.

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