ADVANCE REVIEW: DC Comics HeroClix Teen Titans Fast Forces & OP Kit
Titans Are Go With Upcoming Set’s Ravager Theme...
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HeroClix players look back fondly at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 as the era of Batman with a set of that name as well as Streets of Gotham and of course the No Man’s Land tournament series. Now it’s time to look ahead to the next DC Comics HeroClix release, Teen Titans this month! Celebrating the ultra-popular “junior” team of heroes, this new expansion includes Titans (Teen and otherwise) from all eras, cool villains, and even new team bases that let you field entire groups of characters together or separately via the SwitchClix mechanic. In addition to the main booster set and a gravity feed of single-figure boosters, WizKids is releasing a Fast Forces pack and an Organized Play prize kit, both including “Ravagers” of different varieties. Today we’ll be taking a look at the Ravagers Fast Forces as well as the Teen Titans OP Kit featuring Ravager and other cool prizes!
WizKids has been cranking out Fast Forces packs for a while now, and they’re immediately recognizable on your comic book store’s shelves with their sleek clamshells. The clear package lets you see the six included figures, and in the case of the Ravagers is decorated with themed art coming from the comic of the same name. The overall theme is their escape from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., with an insert on the front panel highlighting Fairchild and the Teen Titans set logo, and more images of the characters on the side and back panels. The reverse side of the box also lists the pack’s contents and shows you thumbnail images of the included maps. Inside you’ll find the aforementioned six figures and cards for each, the double-sided map, a code for online content, and a sheet explaining the basic rules of the game.
The name “Ravager” has played a part in the lives of young DC Comics heroes since 1980 when the first character using that name, Grant Wilson, appeared. Various others would take on its mantle (including Rose who we’ll discuss later) over the years, but in 2012’s “Second Wave” of the New 52 a whole new team of Ravagers were unleashed! Combining some familiar faces from DC and the old Wildstorm universe as well as some new characters, the Ravagers focused on young heroes and their allies escaping from the clutches of the evil organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. The core team was revealed on the cover of the first issue and is gathered in this Fast Forces pack with former captives Terra, Thunder, Beast Boy, and Lightning, and former N.O.W.H.E.R.E. “employees” Ridge and Fairchild! Dr. Caitlin Fairchild had been working on the Superboy project before being discovered as a metahuman herself (with the ability to grow into a more powerful form), at which point she decided to free the Colony’s young captives. To do so she needed the help of the powerful and imposing Ridge, who was already growing disenchanted with the organization’s methods. Among the most powerful and resilient youths to escape were siblings Alya and Alexei (electricity and concussive energy powers), Garfield Logan (animal transformation power), and Tara Markov (control over Earth).
On the run from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., the newly minted Ravagers literally only had the clothing on their backs, leading to a variety of looks for the “team” members. Those initial appearances translate into the sextet of figures here. Fairchild, wearing her green and purple outfit and bulked up in her empowered form, strides forward with a mighty punch. The scientist turned fugitive bodysuit has tons of details on the textured padding, and the goggles pushed up on her forehead complete her look. Terra, Thunder, and Lightning each wear their unique N.O.W.H.E.R.E. outfits, black jumpsuits with differently colored neon circuitry-like details. Lightning has a wide stance as she summons a sphere of crackling energy with her trademark blonde and purple hair, blue accented costume, and translucent blue energy ball. Her brother Alexei, meanwhile, leans back to unleash a massive “thunderclap” blast, a really nicely detailed translucent yellow energy effect emerging from his chest. Terra’s suit is green accented, and reveals her literal connection to the earth with bare feet touching a detailed rocky base. She’s captured in a cool pose as she reaches forward to hurl a rocky projectile, a look of concentration on her face surrounded by her four blonde braids. Garfield crouches in an animalistic pose with fur and claws evident on his red skin; his yellow-patterned jumpsuit is shredded and remains only as a collar, shorts, and wrist cuffs. Finally, the massive Ridge compresses his heavily muscled form into a tightly-packed hunch, ready to leap forward into danger. His lumpy body features all of the textures and weird shapes of his unique body.
One of the reasons Fast Forces packs are so popular is that they make it so easy to build teams that you can play right out of the box. The Ravagers are no different, with point values that make it a snap to create 300 or 400 point forces. Each of the four young metahumans clocks in at 75 points, making them a 300 point team right off the bat. Add Fairchild (100) and/or Ridge (150) to the mix for more easily assembled 300 or 400 point teams. All six of them have the new Ravagers keyword, so no matter what the permutation you’ll have a theme team, and they feature new dials.
Fairchild has an interesting dial representing her various skills, training, and powers. She’s tough to hit with starting Stealth, Combat Reflexes, and Perplex before switching to elite battlefield controller with Mastermind and Outwit. Mid-dial her metahuman powers erupt with Charge, the special “Growth” power giving her the Giant symbol and Willpower, and Invulnerability; if knocked there by damage from an opponent’s you even stop turning the dial so she can get in her licks! Recent incarnations of Beast Boy have focused on different animal forms achieved through the “Morph” mechanic, but this new red version keeps it all in one place. Right off the top he has Flight and a trait that lets you choose one of the following powers to use each turn: Blades/Claws/Fangs, Charge, Plasticity, or Poison. His dial features four clicks of Leap/Climb to move about the battlefield, some Quake, and a first click of Shape Change. For defense he progresses from Toughness to Combat Reflexes and finally Willpower on his end dial in conjunction with Flurry. Terra has a six range and a progressive dial with six clicks and three distinct power sets. She starts with Telekinesis (good for getting her fellow Ravagers into combat), Toughness, and the special Earthquake power that lets her use Quake from any square within her range and line of fire! Mid-dial she switches to Running Shot, Pulse Wave, and Barrier before ending strong with Force Blast (especially good with the new PAC), TK, Energy Shield/Deflection, and the return of Earthquake.
Lightning has the longest range of the Ravagers with a 7 and two targets, extended even further by her first two clicks of Running Shot. On her first two and last two clicks she has a special power granting Penetrating/Psychic Blast with a bonus to attack and damage when attacking a character with two tokens (perfect in conjunction with her brother’s Incapacitate powers) sandwiching mid-dial Energy Explosion. Defensively the electrokinetic has Energy Shield/Deflection with some mid-dial Willpower and four middle clicks of Ranged Combat Expert. Her brother Thunder starts with a trait giving him Willpower when adjacent to Lightning, and one initial click of Running Shot. His attack track alternates with two clicks of a special power tacking a token onto enemies he hits with Energy Explosion and one click of Incapacitate repeated twice. On defense he has Toughness for the first half of his dial and Energy Shield/Deflection for the latter, and despite no powers there his damage is respectable with several clicks of 3 interspersed with 2s. Finally, Ridge offers a somewhat unique take on the “brick” figure. Indomitable is a huge help on Ravagers teams, and he’s mobile with successive sections of Charge and Leap/Climb before end-dial Flurry. Similarly the attack powers progress from Super Strength to Quake, and finally Blades/Claws/Fangs. Defensively he’s all 17s and 16s with great powers; first, last, and middle clicks are covered with both Invulnerability and Combat Reflexes, with Impervious appearing on the rest. His base damage is average with almost all 3s, though of course it’s boosted by the aforementioned attack powers as well as some Close Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness.
The Teen Titans Fast Forces pack has a highly thematic map, the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Arctic Base where the team first escaped! Here one team starts outside in the cold with clear entrance lines into the building, while the other begins play deep within the installation. Starting from the exterior, there’s a mid-line control room with computer stations (hindering terrain) and biohazard crates along the outer walls (hindering). In the middle section of the map, but offset toward the back of the building, is a large central room with an elevated computer core and surrounding work stations (hindering). At the back of the base are two very different rooms on either long side; clean barracks consist of many small rooms with hindering terrain furniture while opposite those is a room where captives are held and experimented on with gurneys, straps, hoses, and filthy floors. In between those is a large power junction (blocking) and more interfaces (hindering).
On the flipside is the first of two iconic locations specific to this set, the Teen Titans Tower Grounds! Similar to what we’ve seen before on outdoor maps on the grounds of Wayne Manor or the Avengers Mansion, this battlefield includes just the façade of the building in question and a huge chunk of the external decorations. This interesting map is broken up into three horizontal sections in increasing elevations starting with the short side opposite the building. Running along the long sides are massive areas of foliage, perfect for Flyers and Leap/Climbers to utilize in their approaches. In the center of the map (and slightly offset toward the building) is a large 4x4 statue (blocking terrain) depicting various heroes. Can you name them all just from the bird’s eye view? At the top level is the entrance to the Teen Titans Tower, a 6x2 stretch of blocking terrain that morphs the starting area there into an odd shape.
When the Teen Titans set comes out in two weeks participating venues will also be receiving the set’s Organized Play (OP) kit with exclusive prizes that can’t be purchased any other way. Headlining this kit is a figure with a familiar name, Ravager! Yet another member of the Wilson family and the fifth character to use the Ravager name, Rose was the illegitimate daughter of Deathstroke (Slade Wilson).
Trained as well in martial arts and weapons of all kinds, she was further empowered by the same serum that gave her father his heightened abilities. In addition, Rose has a metahuman precognitive sense letting her anticipate her enemies’ moves. Ravager’s new HeroClix figure captures the expert fighter in a sideways lunge, lifting her twin swords over her head in preparation of launching a final strike. She wears her iconic Deathstroke-like costume, a blue jumpsuit with silver mail shirt, orange boots, belt, and gloves, and two-tone half mask. The texture of her armor is very well done, as is the paint applications on her face, hair, and metallic swords.
The previous Rose Wilson “Ravager” figure topped out at 50 points and was a mobile, effective fighter. This new version is beefed up to 80 points with a great deal of utility and ferocity. Right off the bat you’ll notice she has Indomitable and Improved Movement: Ignores Characters so she can maneuver and take down her targets. Rose sports great attack values and a full dial of Blades/Claws/Fangs, proving that those swords aren’t just for show, offsetting her low base damage numbers. The rest of her dial is split evenly in half. On speed she has front-loaded Flurry and then Leap/Climb with respectable speed numbers. Defensively her 17s and 16s are protected by first Super Senses and then Combat Reflexes, while early Probability Control and late-dial Exploit Weakness ensure her attacks and damage will stick. Ravager picks her friends carefully with only the Martial Artist and Titans keywords.
The Teen Titans OP kit has no fewer than three special objects, the first being another addition to the Utility Belt: the Robin Uniform! The other half of the dynamic duo (the Batman Cowl was a participation in No Man’s Land Month 6), this new costume is a similar dummy stand showcasing the classic duds, in this case the bright red, yellow, and green synonymous with the Boy Wonder. Especially cool here is the translucent blank head on which the Robin domino mask is mounted. This item is usable in two ways, either as a 5 point Relic (requiring a roll of 4-6) or a resource as part of the Belt. In both forms it does the same thing, and is a big boost to Titans teams: the character “wearing” it possesses the Titans Team Ability, and if it already had it can now use it as a free action!
Next up is a fearsome weapon ripped from the pages of the New 52, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. creator’s Harvest Staff! “Staff” is a polite word for it, as the 3D object is a pretty sweet scythe with a black, rifled staff and a wicked translucent blue blade. It costs 15 points to add to your force and is a Relic requiring a roll of 6 to pick up... but once you do, watch out! Wielding the staff lets you use Incapacitate and Outwit, plus some crazy special abilities. First, if you Incap the same character you Outwitted your attack is +1. Give a power action to choose a power and counter it on all opposing nearby characters, or give a double power action to deal one character 1 unavoidable damage and turn off all of its powers and abilities!
Lastly, the OP Kit includes a traditional piece of Titans equipment that has shown off in pretty much any era, the Wonder Girl Lasso! Whether it’s Cassie or Donna, there’s usually a Wonder Girl around to lasso the Titans’ enemies. This 5 point Relic is represented by a coiled length of rope, made up of shiny translucent yellow plastic. It takes a roll of 5 or 6 for a character to pick up the Lasso, and if it does it can use Steal Energy and it also gets the healing when dealing damage via a ranged combat attack!
Included in the Teen Titans OP Kit is a new double-sided map featuring a New 52 location and a classic one. From the recent “Culling” storyline is N.O.W.H.E.R.E.: The Crucible, the brutal arena where the organization’s Culling process takes place and only the strong survive! A rocky underground battlefield shot through with lava, the Crucible features 7x3 starting areas sunken between elevated terrain (the only elevated on the map). Between them is a broken landscape with rocky formations providing hindering and blocking terrain. The two lava rivers stretch from the elevated sections across the map and are special Lava Squares that deal 1 unavoidable damage to any character in them at the end of each turn.
While the Fast Forces pack gives us the grounds of the Titans’ headquarters, the OP kit takes us inside to the Teen Titans Tower: Great Hall! A long interior setting, the hall starts players in similar though asymmetrical rooms with some blocking and hindering terrain. Occupying the center of the map is the meeting hall, dominated by the Titans “T”-shaped conference table, a nice chunk of hindering terrain that stealthy characters are going to love. On each side of that inner room are blocking terrain columns, and it’s flanked by more side rooms with hindering terrain furniture.
So there you have it, a look at the upcoming Teen Titans Fast Forces and OP kit. The former will be available for purchase at your local comic book or game store on May 15th, and on the same day they should be getting the kit so you can participate and play for the cool prizes. With fan favorite characters from all eras of DC Comics history as well as the new team bases the Titans booster set is going to be very popular, so don’t miss out. And for a preview, you can head to stores as of today to get the Teen Titans single-figure boosters, bringing you 10 characters from the main set with different dials (like with the Fast Forces characters).
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of WizKids Games