ADVANCE LOOK: Marvel HeroClix Giant-Size X-Men The Uncanny Fast Forces Pack
Six versatile mutants make team building a snap...
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HeroClix players look back fondly on the Giant-Size X-Men expansion set from last year (see our review HERE) for its great selection of characters and highly effective figures that continue to see plenty of use in games everywhere. It’s no secret that comic book fans love mutants, and this set filled in lots of gaps in the ranks of X-Men and Brotherhood while also providing much needed updates to figures either out of date or hard to find. Fast forward a little more than a year and we find that players are just as eager for more mutants. Well WizKids has listened and available everywhere today is a new Giant-Size X-Men Fast Forces pack: The Uncanny X-Men! An epithet often used of the X-Men, this set brings back six GSX figures with all new dials: Professor X, Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine, Rogue, and Iceman. Of course, no Fast Forces pack would be complete without a new double-sided map, and this one will also give you a new set of uncanny dice!
WizKids has standardized the Fast Forces packaging in a display that’s both functional and attractive. A sturdy clamshell displays the six figures while a decorated sleeve behind them holds all of the paper contents: map, character cards, etc. The uncanny mutants in front of a giant yellow “X” symbol background that’s sure to catch your eye when you’re looking for it at your local comic book or game store. Below the figures is an insert featuring Cyclops looking pensive and the set’s name. The sides of the package give you a breakdown of its contents while the back has a more detailed description and an image of Wolverine. Pop open the clamshell to free the figures from a plastic tray, but be very careful opening the sleeve; you have to cut open either side and you don’t want to damage the contents within. Also, don’t forget about the dice tucked in below Iceman!
While GSX brought players a ton of X-Men, the Fast Forces set could only include six. The chosen few don’t necessarily have anything specific in common, but they’re a good cross-section of mutant heroes. You can’t have X-Men without Professor X, the world’s most powerful telepath and the man whose dream started the whole thing. Three of his “First Class” team are present in their modern incarnations: the ever-serious and carefully plotting leader Cyclops, carefree Iceman, and resident expert on anything and everything Beast. Joining them are two latter-day X-Men who are no less popular: the power-stealing Rogue and everyone’s favorite Canadian berserker Wolverine!
When they first appeared in the Giant-Size X-Men set, these figures ranged in rarity from commons (Cyclops, Beast, and Wolverine) to uncommon (Rogue) and rare (Professor X and Iceman). Just like their powers, each mutant has a unique look that captures his or her character. Bobby Drake, known for his sense of humor, gives a thumbs up as he chills with a nameless mook encased in ice. Beast and Rogue get into the fight directly, the former leaping over a rock while the latter flies with a mighty fist outstretched. Professor X and Cyclops attack from range via Cerebro-enhanced telepathy and optic blasts, and Wolverine dares anyone to approach with his claws popped and ready. Along with the sculpts, the paint jobs are mostly identical to those from the main set GSX figures, especially with regards to Cyclops, Beast, and Wolverine. On the other hand, I find some of the colors to be more vibrant on the Fast Forces versions like Xavier’s shinier green jacket. The new Rogue has much better eyes than my original and interestingly the new Iceman has a bright white almost glow-in-the-dark color versus the bluish tint in GSX. Maybe it’s just me, but somehow all of these figures just look better on the new “oreo” bases as well.
And now for the part that everyone’s been waiting for... what are the dials like? In GSX these figures varied somewhat in point cost and power from Beast at 95 points to Rogue at 128. The “uncanny” versions on the other hand are a uniform 75 points. That’s right, each one is an Experienced version of the character at 75 points making it about as easy as possible to create teams. For a standard 300 point game all you have to do is grab any four of them! Naturally, this means that the Fast Forces figures are going to be somewhat less powerful than their GSX incarnations, but they’ve got some neat special powers and tricks up their sleeves.
Professor X gives up his fearsome Cerebro power for “Telepathic Confusion” sharing Shape Change with allies and trades Stealth and Perplex for Outwit but otherwise has similar powers. Cyclops is still the ranged powerhouse of the team with Energy Shield/Deflection to boost his late dial defense and Enhancement to help out the Professor or Iceman. Beast seems like a lower level version of his GSX figure with most of the same powers scattered around his dial, though this one adds some Support (he is a doctor even without the MD). Wolverine retains his massive damage-dealing potential with Indomitable, Flurry, and Blades/Claws/Fangs while staying in the game with Super Senses, Combat Reflexes, and Regeneration. Rogue too is definitely on track to become her GSX version with Charge, Super Strength, Toughness, Combat Reflexes, and a power stealing special combined with Outwit. Finally, Iceman is a slightly different animal starting with Running Shot, Toughness, and a cool new special Outwit power that slows down enemies. Later he dabbles in Incapacitate, Leap/Climb, Energy Shield/Deflection, Enhancement, and even end-dial Regeneration! And when you play your X-Men together the three original members (Cyclops, Beast, and Iceman) can utilize a special power they each have to use Probability Control on friendly X-Men attacks! All six figures naturally have the X-Men team ability and the X-Men keyword (among others) in common as well.
Other than the great reissued sculpts and new dials, the Uncanny X-Men also come with a brand new map! One side is the Starcore Space Station, a science installation orbiting the Earth that has had several run ins with the X-Men over the years. The map is a comprehensive indoor space station; at one end is a sunken command center (complete with Stark Industries logo on the floor) and at the other a quartet of semi-enclosed control rooms and two reactor cores. Notably, on the reactor side the starting area is split into two sections: the yellow and black “caution” areas in either corner. The map has a lot of different terrain with walls, blocking, hindering, and elevated areas making for quite a maze if you don’t have movement powers. On the other side is another indoor map, the Abandoned Weapon X Facility! Like the Starcore Station, this battleground has lots of interesting terrain. The player on the snowy side has to enter through a four square wide corridor with walls/blocking terrain on either side, and in the middle of the map are blocking sections that choke all movement through three narrow passes. At the other end is a sunken drainage area; the two separated starting areas are on either side. Overlooking this half of the map are elevated control areas with more hindering terrain while the center of the facility has broken machinery that looks very similar to a certain Weapon X’s tank...
Enough time has passed since the Giant-Size X-Men set came out that these figures will be welcome additions to a lot of players’ collections. They’re great, popular characters still featured in comics today, and these highly playable versions are super easy for team building especially for new players; grab a pack and you’re ready to play with cool new maps and even dice! There's even a sheet included that gives you three suggested builds with some tips on how to play them. The Uncanny X-Men Fast Forces pack is available this week so look for it at your local comic book/game store. Head over to HeroClix.com for more info as well as downloads of rules and maps.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our exclusive previews of the War of the Light and Uncanny X-Men Fast Forces sets this week. Look for more HeroClix previews and reviews on Figures.com soon!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of WizKids Games