ADVANCE REVIEW: WizKids DC HeroClix No Manís Land Month 6 Prize Kit
Big Finale Brings The Batcave...
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HeroClix players everywhere have been eagerly looking forward to May, because that month brings the epic finale to the No Man’s Land tournament series! Players have battled their way across Gotham City in this event based on the 1999 comic storyline of the same name in which a massive earthquake shatters the city and gangs fight over the resulting blocks. Each month’s tournament has pitted players against one another in different Gotham City locales, with great new versions of some of the Dark Knight’s most iconic villains as exclusive prizes and cool gadgets for the Utility Belt resource dial given away for participation. All of that has led up to this, and for Month 6 WizKids has pulled out all the stops. First off, participating players will receive not one but two items, Handcuffs and the Batman Cowl. First place, second place, and the fellowship winner will go home with the exclusive Joker and Harley Quinn duo figure, while the overall winner will also get the epic Batcave resource dial! Even that’s not all. In each month players have been aligned with different Gotham City gangs; the three leaders of the winning gang will also receive a special Penguin that can be played as a normal figure or as a resource dial too. Oh, and there’s a really fun map where all of the Month 6 action will take place, the Dockside Amusement Park. Let’s take a look through the entire Month 6 prize kit.
There are certain things that go hand in hand with Batman, like the Batmobile, Utility Belt, Batarang, etc. One of the most iconic is also the Batcave, which grew from a simple underground crime lab in 1943 to the incredibly huge and jam-packed base/hangar/lab/hospital/museum and so much more that we’ve all come to know and love. As with most of Batman’s repertoire, the Batcave can pretty much do anything that’s required of it by the character and the story, from storing endless vehicles to providing Bruce Wayne with the latest cutting edge tech. The centerpiece of the cave is the Batcomputer, possibly the most sophisticated computing machine on the planet (or beyond?), which is again capable of pretty much anything. And who, pray tell, manages all of the goings on in the Batcave? It’s none other than Bruce Wayne’s magical butler/assistant/confidant/healer Alfred Pennyworth. Now how does all of that translate into HeroClix? Here comes the Batcave.
Simply put, the ‘cave is one of the most impressive HeroClix pieces... ever. It starts with a 6x3 dial base, the kind generally used for the largest colossal figures. Perched on that is a huge chunk of the Batcave, an uneven rocky base with a great detailed texture. Mounted in, on, and around the rock foundation are several iconic Batcave elements including the central command center with the Batcomputer and the Dark Knight’s chair, an elevated perch where Bruce can prepare for action, a Bat symbol platform, a mini Bat Signal, and a cool staircase linking several of the levels. There is an incredible amount of sculpted detail throughout, from the cross-hatched stairs to the mini screens surrounding the main monitor and the multitude of control surfaces beneath them. The sculpting goes all the way around too, with paneling and more rocky elements on the reverse. In addition to the overall setting there’s even an Alfred Pennyworth figure standing at attention near Bruce’s chair, holding a tray of medical equipment and ready to assist the Batman any way he can!
Most of the structure is painted a shiny silver, while the rock below it is a grayish brown. On one side the platform is a matte gray, while on the other the symbol is shiny black and yellow. Meanwhile, in the center of the cave the screens and control panels are a mixture of blue hues with a sleek, high tech look. Alfred is his usual stoic self in his black suit and white shirt, elegantly trimmed facial hair, and a silver tray kitted out with white and silver items.
The Batcave looks incredible, so now let’s see what it does on the battlefield. Classified as a resource (like the Infinity Gauntlet and Utility Belt before it and the Penguin from the same month), the cave has four dials on its base and comes with a folding pamphlet-style rules card. At 85 points the Batcave joins your force and is assigned to a character (you can even include the Utility Belt with a Costume and up to six Items for free!), and additional ones for only 10 points more. Doing so activates the Batcave Computer segment of the cave. Or, you can play it at 100 points to get the Computer and Alfred Pennyworth. The cave itself is placed in your starting area and doesn’t move, but that doesn’t mean it sits there helpless. Both the Batcave Computer and Alfred have their own dials and act just like any other character!
The Batcave Computer and Alfred Pennyworth both come equipped with the Batman Ally and Hypertime Team Abilities, while the Computer has a comprehensive trait giving it the feel of a high tech system created by Batman and embedded in a cave. With no movement it strikes with a potential 8 range and the Sharpshooter ability, and features powers including Plasticity, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, Quake, Invulnerability, Toughness, and Shape Change.
Alfred, on the other hand, has a short dial focused on healing with Willpower, a special power granting Support that works even if enemies are adjacent, and a final click power that sacrifices this Alfred to field one of his versions from the Batman set! Finally, the base has Offense and Defense dials that grant bonus powers, Team Abilities, and special features to characters assigned the resource and deny powers to (and otherwise hinder) opposing characters targeting them. For a complete in-depth look at the Batcave, check out HeroClix.com.
While only the winner of Month 6 will walk away with the Batcave, there are several other prize figures in contention. Foremost is the new power couple of HeroClix, The Joker and Harley Quinn! The quintessential Batman villain, the Joker is endlessly mysterious and brutally chaotic. He first appeared in the pages of Batman #1 in 1940 and has been tormenting the Dark Knight and Gotham City ever since. The Clown Prince of Crime uses a wide variety of lethal jokes and dirty tricks in addition to an army of thugs and henchmen, but his most loyal ally has always been Harley Quinn. A psychiatrist working at Arkham Asylum, Dr. Harleen Quinzel found herself seduced by the Joker and became his costumed sidekick. Her name naturally suggested a jester identity and the name Harley Quinn, leading to her iconic red, black, and white costume. Together there’s nothing these crazies can’t accomplish, unless of course Batman shows up.
Joker and Harley have appeared numerous times in HeroClix, but never together as a duo until now. The two make a great couple with Joker gleefully stretching out his hand to unveil his latest death trap while his loyal sidekick clutches him closely. The madman leans on his trusty cane while wearing his crazy finest, a suit complete with sculpted tails, vest with buttons, lapels, cuffs, and more. Meanwhile, Harley cozies up to her puddin’ with one hand at his back and the other on his, one leg tucked against him and her face staring up at his adoringly. The colors couldn’t be more contrasting (and appropriate), with Joker’s purple suit, orange vest, light green shirt, dark green tie and hair, red button and lipstick, and white gloves and face paint. Quinn wears her black, red, and white harlequin outfit with nicely detailed diamond patterns on her arms and legs. Both figures have excellently sculpted faces that are completed with great paint jobs, especially Harley’s with her perfect mask, lipstick, and eyes.
As the first duo of Joker and Harley, this figure packs a lot of interesting and fun features into one dial. The pair costs a sizeable 178 points and immediately you’ll notice the Batman Enemy Team Ability, Duo symbol, Indomitable symbol, and 4 range with two targets. While that may seem like a lot of points for a duo with seven clicks of life, check out that trait; “I’ll Protect You Mistah J” says that once per game when the duo would be knocked out it comes back to life on click one (now with Earthbound to represent Joker returning without his ally)! Decent speed values are covered by a full dial of a special power granting Stealth and Plasticity, just daring enemies to get up close where J&H can dish out the pain. They’ve got very good attack values and start with two clicks of the “Diabolical Death Trap” power that locks down opponents and on subsequent rounds lets you damage them for free! After the traps are done the duo switches to Blades/Claws/Fangs and later Poison. As two nuts the duo doesn’t focus much on defense; that track has slouching numbers but some Regeneration at the end. Finally Joker and Harley have relatively low damage numbers but several powers that make the output stick with a double Perplex (then regular after the resurrection) special power and Exploit Weakness, plus of course the Death Traps. Add some Joker Thugs or Hired Henchmen who share Joker & Harley’s Arkham Asylum keyword and you’ve got a pretty fun team!
As a fun addition to the No Man’s Land tournament series, participating players have been representing their chosen “gangs” (from the comic storyline). The highest-ranking players in the winning gang will receive the Penguin prize figure in Month 6, bringing another fun version of Oswald Cobblepot to the game! Another of Batman’s longest running foes, the fowl villain first appeared in 1941’s Detective Comics #58. No bird-brain, the Penguin is a criminal genius and mastermind, one of the few Gotham rogues who seems to spend more time actually trying to build his empire than torment Batman with crazy stunts. In No Man’s Land specifically Cobblepot ran an import and trading company bringing in not just weapons and luxury items but food and other necessities when no one else could.
Penguin appears here as he did during No Man’s Land, dressed in his stately white-on-white tuxedo and resting on his opulent throne. Cobblepot sits with his right foot over his left leg, and both hands clutch his trademark umbrella across his lap. The figure’s sculpt includes plenty of clothing details like creases, bowtie, lapels, shoes, boutonniere, and more. Penguin’s head sculpt captures the crime boss perfectly with his odd features, monocle, pointy hair, and devious smile. Meanwhile, the little man’s throne has varying textures for the different materials of the chair and neat decorations in the design. As mentioned Cobblepot’s suit is a pristine white, broken only by the deep red of his flower. Black is used on the umbrella and Oswald’s hair and eyes, while his monocle is shiny silver. The throne is gold (of course) with plush red cushions.
Not one of the most physically imposing villains, Penguin has appeared previously in HeroClix between 26 and 70 points. This new version can be played normally as a 51 point character complete with the Batman Enemy Team Ability and a slight range of 2. Cobblepot has a pretty varied power set starting with Mind Control, Energy Shield/Deflection, and Exploit Weakness; on his second click he drops the latter two in favor of Blades/Claws/Fangs. The next two clicks feature Toughness and Close Combat Expert as Penguin proves his mettle before he switches to Blades/Claws/Fangs and Mastermind for two clicks with Exploit Weakness appearing as well on the last. He has solid attack values and with his various powers can dish out a good deal of damage. Perfect for this No Man’s Land version, the crime lord has the Gotham Underworld and Ruler keywords for team building. But, that’s not all. Instead of fighting the good fight this Penguin can sit back and provide support for your team as a resource dial! This 10 point addition can grant four powers (Force Blast, Energy Shield/Deflection, Toughness, and Outwit) one at a time to a friendly character, as well as some interesting combat value modifications as shown on his dial. After using him in this way you roll a die that determines which click he ends up on for your next turn, or if he is KO’d and removed from the game. For only 10 points it’s a fun dial to add to your force, and a nice representation of Penguin helping from behind the scenes.
For participating players the Month 6 kit offers not one but two prizes that everyone will receive. Both are items that can be used on their own as Relics or as Resources attached to the Utility Belt. The first is probably the most highly anticipated Belt object, the Batman Cowl costume! Like the Suit of Sorrows that came before it, the Cowl rests on a small clear plastic stand, while this time representing Batman’s iconic mask and cape on a dummy. The physical piece looks great with lots of creases and the elements you expect like the pointed hemline and familiar shape of the cowl. As a 5 point Relic it can be picked up on a roll of 4-6 to grant a character the Batman Ally Team Ability; if the character already had it he now gets the additional benefit of having lines of fire blocked when standing next to a wall or higher elevated terrain on your opponents’ turns! Alternatively, you can place the Batman Cowl inside the center column of your Utility Belt, in which case it grants the same benefits to the character assigned the resource dial.
Besides the Cowl players in Month 6 will go home with the Handcuffs object, another pouch item like those given out in previous No Man’s Land events. The physical item looks like the familiar yellow pouch, this time opened up with angular handcuffs sticking out of it. Separate from the Belt the Handcuffs are a 5 point Relic requiring a roll of 4-6 to pick up. Once rolled for, they give a character Plasticity with the added bonus that opposing adjacent characters modify their attack values by -1. When attached to the Utility Belt the Handcuffs let a character make a close combat attack (via a close combat action) that does no damage; instead, that character can do nothing but use power actions to roll to get out of the handcuffs on 4-6!
Not necessarily associated with fun and good times, even Gotham City’s hot spots are abandoned and decrepit if the Dockside Amusement Park map is any evidence. The location of No Man’s Land Month 6 tournament, the Amusement Park is an outdoor/indoor map featuring a ticket booth, Tunnel of Love ride, Ferris wheel, house of mirrors, and a kid’s ride. All of the above are dirty and in disrepair with lights out and huge cobwebs. Players start in opposite corners, one adjacent to the Love ride and utilizing the elevated ticket booth and the other entirely elevated within the other ride’s space. The outdoor areas have some water terrain peeking through the dockside surfaces, more elevated terrain, blocking (Ferris wheel), and some hindering where the ground is cracked and overgrown. The Tunnel of Love building has a meandering water track, hindering machinery and signs, and elevated control booths. Finally, the house of mirrors is a maze of walls with an elevated viewing platform. The variety of terrain (outdoor and indoor) on this map will make for very interesting games.
On the other side is the Dockside Amusement Park: Post-Cataclysm indoor/outdoor map, revealed during the tournament when a player gets 2 or 3 on the quake roll. While the other months featured destruction and chaos following the earthquake, in this case the Amusement Park has been taken over by Joker and remade in his image. The landscape and terrain has remained mostly the same, though now everything features a fresh coat of purple and green paint with Joker faces everywhere. Some neat specific changes include the Tunnel of Love boats having moved on their tracks, a variety of jack in the box Jokers have popped open throughout the park, mirrors have been smashed and walls broken in the house of mirrors, the ticket booth has been renamed “Joker World,” and the kid’s ride has rotated.
Just like the finale of the Infinity Gauntlet tournament series last year, No Man’s Land Month 6 is going to be an epic event! Expect packed houses as players show up to get the quintessential Batman Cowl item for their Utility Belts and fight hard for the amazing Batcave resource as well as the Joker & Harley Quinn duo. If your venue is anything like mine the gang war has reached a fever pitch (around here Killer Croc has just pulled ahead of Joker and it’s down to Month 6 to determine the winner) and no one’s sure who will go home with the Penguin either! These tournaments will take place in May with players building 600 point teams from figures in the last few Batman-related sets and No Man’s Land itself, so expect to see lots of Bat Allies and Utility Belts. Good luck, and have a great time!
For a complete in-depth look at the Batcave resource, check out HeroClix.com.
Stay tuned to Figures.com for more HeroClix reviews coming soon!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids Games