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On Line



By Jeff Klass

Rules are rules, but....

One of the most off putting things about playing Heroclix is the myriad of rules. Anyone that has picked up a Starter set and seen the book, plus the PAC (Powers and Abilities Card) might be tempted just to put all that paperwork aside and play with the figures like little green army men. Add in the FAQ & Rules Updates posted at www.wizkidsgames.com, currently somewhere around 20 pages, and I can see why just running Hulk up to Superman, making a "bash" noise and saying, "Hulk SMASH puny blue man!" might be a fun way to use your figures. But you're missing out on a lot.

That's fine if that's how you want to play, but remember, the rules are there to add to the game play, not encumber it in legalese. If it always worked that way, it would be great, however there always seem to be disagreements over the interpretations of the printed rule. I have just been sanctioned as a WizKids Judge for the Heroclix line, and I still find myself looking at things and not quite getting it. Some of that may be the way it is written by WizKids, some of that may be because of our own prejudices. But I find even I am constantly learning and adapting my own game play, and I play this game a lot.

One way around arbitrary rulings, or rules you don't like, is to employ what are known as House Rules. House rules are tournament legal, as long as the judge publishes them before a tournament and all participants agree to them in advance. Even in a non-tournament game, house rules can help things go much smoother. Where I regularly play, we have a printed list of house rules that are there for all to see. Any answers not found in our PAC's or FAQ's, as we call them, are found there on the House Rules list.

Yes, it is "legal" to make a house rule saying pretty much anything you want, like Doc Ock can fly because of house rules, but I suggest you keep it a bit simpler than that. One of our house rules is the "No Dupes" rule. Simply stated, there is only 1 of each character allowed on the board, other than "common" characters. We consider a common figure to be a Thug, Lackey, Criminal, Doombot, S.H.I.E.L.D. member, Hydra, Intergang, etc.

But 2 Spidey's, Thor's or Doomsday's? Uh uh. I think the no dupes rule allows the game to be a bit closer to the comic books, as everyone knows there is only one Superman. Well, there WAS that whole 4 Supermen thing a while back, but they were eventually all shown to be imposters. And there is only ONE Spiderman, OK, bad example, what with that whole clone fiasco, but I still haven't forgiven Marvel for that either.

Answers to rule questions or game play questions can be addressed to WizKids, or www.hcrealms.com, or even to me. I will answer to the best of my ability, and if I can't answer it, I will get a ruling from a WizKids Rules Arbitrator. Questions about legality of game play moves can be addressed in the same way.

Yes, there are a lot of rules, and some may seem contradictory to others, but with a little reading, a little web time, and a little help from your friendly neighborhood judge, playing the game by the rules will lead to better games, more fair games, and a much more fun experience for you and your 'clix buddies.

So break out your starter and booster packs, grab a friend, throw a couple of teams together, and play already. I bet in 20 minutes you'll be having a blast. Just don't forget the rules. And don't forget to come to the New Years Sale at South on January 5th for a Heroclix demonstration, where I will be happy to help with any questions you might have.

Jeff Klass
WizKids Judge for the HeroClix line

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