ADVANCE REVIEW: WizKids Games DC HeroClix No Man’s Land Month 3 Prize Kit
Ultimate Clayface, Grapnel Guns, and Gotham City Power Plant in February...
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WizKids’ No Man’s Land HeroClix tournament series continues, with players everywhere slugging it out in the remains of Gotham City. The series celebrates the classic 1999 storyline in which Gotham City is excised from the country after a devastating earthquake, forcing its inhabitants to fend for themselves while various gangs carve the city into their territories. During the first month participating players received the Utility Belt resource dial, and each month’s new tournament will be equipping them with additional items that they can attach to it. In January the tournaments took place on the Wayne Manor map with players vying for the Batgirl Limited Edition figure, and February will bring an all new location and prizes to the table. Today we’re going to take a look at that set including the Ultimate Clayface prize figure, Grapnel Gun special object, and the Gotham City Power Plant map!
Batman has a lot of enemies who have threatened Gotham City over the years, but one of the most memorable (especially for those of us growing up watching the Animated Series) has to be Clayface. Once an actor named Basil Karlo, the villain first appeared all the way back in 1940’s Detective Comics #40. At first unpowered, Karlo would later team up with other “Clayfaces” and gain their abilities to melt and alter his form, becoming the self-proclaimed “Ultimate Clayface.” During No Man’s Land Basil takes over Robinson Park, imprisoning its former master Poison Ivy. Batman comes to her rescue, but with Ultimate Clayface’s powers enhanced by crystals and elements from the Earth it takes both the Caped Crusader and Ivy to defeat him. Infusing him with plants (he’s “good soil”), the master of vegetation is able to defeat him seemingly for good, though Ultimate Clayface would one day return.
A couple of different Clayfaces have appeared in HeroClix before, but nothing like this powerhouse! Ultimate Clayface has the familiar shape of a humanoid made of dark brown mud with a huge upper body and relatively smaller legs. The villain twists at the waist, lunging forward to grab at the Dark Knight with his right hand while his left clenches into a fist behind him. Karlo features a gruesomely intricate sculpt of sloppy, flowing mud with a couple of specific aberrations. Across his back and left arm are white crystalline quartz structures while his right hand is wreathed in translucent orange flames, and his face has a mud-packed nose and open mouth with tiny sculpted teeth! Finally, in addition to the brown, white, and orange, Ultimate Clayface has creepy yellow eyes.
Previous Clayface figures have topped out at just under 100 points, and since they all came before the advent of Special Powers had pretty standard abilities and power sets. The No Man’s Land Ultimate Clayface clocks in at 136 points, a sizeable portion of your team. Let’s take a look at some of the things he brings to the table. First off he has the Batman Enemy Team Ability so he can borrow a higher attack value or share his with adjacent allies. 3 range represents his ability to stretch and hit nearby opponents, and the star on his dial represents the trait “Suction” that can end an opposing figure’s action immediately after hitting him with a close combat attack. Clayface is a little on the slow side, but his entire movement track has the Special Power “Suffocate” giving him Plasticity and preventing adjacent enemies from breaking away automatically and penalizing them with an action token when attempting to get away and failing. Solid attack numbers bring a full dial of his next Special Power “Burning Touch” giving him Poison with a roll that potentially turns it into penetrating damage!
Ultimate Clayface has very good defense numbers and a typical succession of Impervious, Invulnerability, and Toughness (a damage reducer on every click). Finally, the muddy monster has alternating 3 and 2 damage with a full dial of Shape Change to avoid enemy attacks. In addition to all of his fun powers Ultimate Clayface even plays well with others with the keywords Arkham Asylum, Brute, Monster, Mud Pack, and Secret Society of Super-Villains.
In the No Man’s Land tournament series, each month’s participation prize features an item you can attach to the Utility Belt resource dial. Month 3 brings the Batman’s number one tool for getting around Gotham City, the Grapnel Gun! The 3D object is a miniature gun with a nicely intricate sculpt that can be placed on the field of battle to be used as a Relic or attached to the belt. As a standalone object the Grapnel can be picked up on a roll of 4-6 and grants a character Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain and the Carry ability! Attached to the Utility Belt and used as a Resource it supercharges a character’s movement. Whenever it is given a move action it can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain and the Carry ability, and if ends its move on a higher elevation than where it began it may be given a close combat action as a free action.
With Ultimate Clayface and the Grapnel Gun on the line, next month’s tournaments are sure to be tough events. Now let’s look at where those games will be played: the Gotham City Power Plant! A key location held by Mr. Freeze in the No Man’s Land storyline, the Power Plant is a striking outdoor map with an industrial complex taking up one half and a wooded area on the other. The latter features a couple squares of rocky blocking terrain, lots of foliage for hindering terrain, and four separate pools of water for your swimming characters. The other half of the map is a much more intimidating concrete jungle with a massive two-step elevated building, blocking terrain from high voltage power lines and smokestacks, and hindering terrain from air conditioning units and other machinery. Players are going to have an interesting time navigating all of the terrain and setting up attacks on their opponents.
Should an earthquake occur during your match (a 3 or less on a 2d6 roll at the end of each player’s turn), flip the map to reveal Gotham City Power Plant: Post-Cataclysm! On the one side, a large portion of the power plant building has collapsed, leaving a different pattern of elevations - but surprisingly little hindering terrain. Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze has created an ice castle next door to oversee the operations (see Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #121)! Another multi-storied structure, the castle has lots of stairs, several elevation 3 towers, columns for both hindering and blocking terrain, and a really look with icy surfaces. The cold and ice has even frozen the environs, blanketing everything in gray and eliminating the foliage and water terrain.
February’s No Man’s Land Month 3 event has a WizKids-suggested format of a 400 point Constructed tournament with at least 200 points of each player’s team coming from Batman, Streets of Gotham, and/or No Man’s Land. Check with your local venue to find out when it’s holding the tournament, or check out the “Find a Store” feature on HeroClix.com to locate a game near you. Keep in mind that you need to participate in a few No Man’s Land events to be eligible to compete in the Month 6 finale. Finally, in each tournament you pick a gang affiliation for even more glory and special prizes. Good luck in Month 3 winning Ultimate Clayface!
Stay tuned to Figures.com for more HeroClix reviews coming soon!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of WizKids Games