I’ll get to the custom Heroclix feat cards in a second, but first something more pressing: Has there ever been a version of ‘Dogs Playing Poker’ with super pets? You could totally do it. How many dogs do you need, seven…? There’s Krypto, Lockjaw, Ace, Wonderdog, Dynomutt, Yuck (the world’s ugliest dog and yes, he counts) and Hong Kong Phooey. Somebody slip that project into the fine print of Alex Ross’ next contract.
So, anyway, all the stuff on this blog was built to not only pretty up HeroClix for my gaming group, but to add variety to the action as well. The custom figures, barriers and maps are nice, but the bulk of it is simple eye candy. I wanted a way to capture the epic scale—the feel—of superhero battles. Super strong bruisers toppling buildings, speedsters making the impossible save, sidekicks being beaten to death with crowbars, all that fun stuff. My goal was to marry those comic book moments into HeroClix and do it in a way that it would introduce an element of surprise. My solution: not at all innovative. Cards. I built a deck of cards featuring outlandish powers that players could spring on opponents.
Here’s the poop; a fifty-two card deck with two powers on each card. The weaker of the two abilities—printed in red—can be utilized by handing in a single card. The bigger punch—printed in black—can only be used if a player hands in a pair of cards.
At the end of their turn a player draws a card and adds it to his hand. Unless otherwise stated, players can use a card on any turn. That allows a certain level of strategy when deciding if you should save the cards for yourself, a teammate, a weakened opponent battling a mutual threat, etc.
There’s four of each card except for a quartet of troublemakers; Change of Plans, Rewind, Thief and Wild Card. One each of those since they’re a bit on the powerful side.
Nothing overly fancy went into making these buggers. They were printed out on yellow card stock paper and then attached to thin cardboard with as little Elmer’s as humanly possible. The images are bits of free clip art from around the web and—to fancy up the back of each card—*CHONK!*, a simple design courtesy a rubber stamp.
Overall I’d say this experiment was a mixed bag. It gave the game some cool moments (like the Hulk toppling a building onto—and KO’ing—a handful of baddies), but I was never happy with having a gaming element outside of a HeroClix figure. Shortly after I made the deck, WizKids introduced their own cards into the game. The basic idea was the same (juice up a figure’s power) and I liked how they tied it into the power dial with new boxed stats. Their take was a cleaner, simpler execution than mine and my gaming group—fickle bastards that they are—used my deck less and less. Just as well. I was the player the Hulk dropped the building on.
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