REVIEW: WizKids Marvel HeroClix Fear Itself Month 1 Prize Kit
Tournament Opener Features Loki, Book Of The Skull, Kuurth’s Hammer, And More...
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WizKids’ HeroClix tournament series have been the talk of the town for the past year or so, with the impressive initial Infinity Gauntlet events and then the follow up No Man’s Land series. Now that the Batman storyline is done, the pendulum swings back to Marvel Comics for a tournament series pulled from the major recent event Fear Itself! The 2011 crossover event featured the return of a monstrous Asgardian threat, a whole slew of magical weapons transforming both heroes and villains, epic action, and much more. Now players will experience the iconic battles and locales of Fear Itself with the new 6-month tournament series starting in June! For Month 1, WizKids has a very cool prize kit full of goodies every player is going to want. Today we’ll be taking a look at the Book of the Skull and Kuurth’s Hammer participation prizes, Loki Limited Edition prize figure, and the all-new Book of the Skull Fortress and The Raft maps.
Fear Itself began with a strange journey as Sin (the Red Skull’s daughter) traveled the world with Baron Zemo in search of a relic near and dear to her. That object was revealed to be the Book of the Skull, a tome in which Sin’s father put his accumulated knowledge about Asgardian magic and weaponry... notably the location of a powerful weapon the Skull summoned to Earth but could not wield. That discovery set off a chain of events that would shake our world and others beyond it with the transformation of Sin into Skadi, the release of the Serpent, and the subsequent summoning of his Hammers and creation of the Worthy.
In HeroClix, the Book of the Skull is a participation prize that everyone playing in Fear Itself Month 1 will get. It appears as a 2x2 base resource dial with a very interesting sculpt. The physical piece portrays an ancient wide platform, essentially an altar. Stairs lead up to the top from one side, and in the center is a podium upon which rests the book itself. Surrounding that podium are eight specially shaped indentations for the addition of the Mighty hammers. The entire “Book” setting looks really cool, with great little details like the cracked and broken stairs, missing stones, rocky surface, and more. The podium features some very intricately sculpted decorative patterns, and at the very top is the book itself complete with classic bookmark! The stonework is a very light tan that stands out well from the darker colored gray of the natural base and parts of the podium. The book has white pages, a green cover complete with Asgardian runes, and a glossy red bookmark.
The Book of the Skull definitely looks cool, but what does it do? For that you need to check out its card that outlines its special rules. The Book costs 6 points to add to your force, plus 3 points for each Hammer that starts the game on it. Like other resource dials, the Book grants bonuses and powers to characters on your force (as described on the card), but the coolest part is that it’s essentially a Hammer delivery system! At the beginning of your turns you can remove one Hammer from the Book and place it in the square of a friendly character for free, and one of your figures can be given a power action to launch a second one. Where the Hammers land the characters can immediately use Quake, and when they roll to pick up the weapons they automatically succeed! The number of Hammers you start the game with determine how many bonuses your figures can get from the Book’s dial, and as more of them get equipped by your figures the special abilities keep on coming; once 3 are equipped your figures can swap Hammers, 4 means your figures can dual-wield Hammers, and once you hit 7 everyone carrying one has Power Cosmic! For the full explanation of the Book of the Skull, visit HeroClix.com.
Along with the Book of the Skull, players this month will receive Kuurth’s Hammer, an item that can be used on its own as a relic or attached to the Book. One of the magical weapons summoned by the Serpent, this massive bludgeoning implement crashed into the Raft where it was discovered by none other than the Juggernaut. Upon picking up the Hammer Cain Marko was mystically transformed into the hulking Kuurth just as Sin had become Skadi. Like her Hammer (available in the Blitzkrieg U.S.A. Scenario Pack - see our review HERE), Kuurth’s takes the form of a unique physical object along with a map square-sized base that includes key information.
This 8 point relic captures the weapon’s iconic shape, a cylinder with hemispherical ends attached to a short braided handle. The latter section is a flat wood brown color while the enormous head is bright silver and sculpted with Kuurth’s circular symbol and plenty of nicks and dents. The Hammer rests upon a terrain base of rocks and mud, with an indentation that fits the weapon’s head. A character can pick up the Hammer on a roll of 5-6 and when it does gets the following bonuses: Charge, Improved Movement (Hindering Terrain and destroy Blocking Terrain), Toughness, and +2 to its attack value! Of course, Kuurth’s Hammer is made all the more deadly when you attach it to the Book of the Skull.
While all participants will receive the Book and Hammer in Fear Itself Month 1, only the tournament champion, second place player, and fellowship winner will walk away with the Limited Edition prize figure Loki! A mainstay in Thor comics and as much a threat as he is a hero, the mischief god died while trying to save the day at the end of 2010’s Siege storyline. However, you can’t keep a good god down for long and Loki was back soon enough, this time reincarnated as a young boy. During Fear Itself the trickster used a magical bridle from Thor’s chariot to impress a Hel-Wolf into his service, always working on his own schemes.
The mischievous Asgardian has appeared in HeroClix several times, going back all the way to Mutant Mayhem. This, however, is the first appearance of “Kid” Loki, and it’s a very unique figure in conjunction with the Wolf. Taking full advantage of its double base, Loki’s ride is an enormous animal. A bizarre quadruped, the Hel-Wolf has a long, thin body with a segmented tail, hind legs with huge claws, front legs with hands for feet, and a frightening ogre-like head on a long neck. The creature is a solid green with dark metallic gray armor and accessories, white claws, horns, and teeth, and beady red eyes. Perched on the Wolf’s back is the small figure of Loki sitting astride the saddle and holding on with one hand while he pumps a fist into the air. The childlike god wears his trademark green, white, gold, and black outfit complete with fur collar, cowl, and small crown. The duo has excellent sculpt and paint details from the banded armor on the Wolf to Loki’s small proportions and very well-painted eyes.
Most of the Loki figures thus far have shared the same sort of power set, including a lot of hiding, manipulating others, and blasting away from afar. “Kid” Loki on the Hel-Wolf, meanwhile, brings a different version to the game. A 100 point duo figure, Loki has the Transporter symbol and a Trait that keeps his attack value intact when using the Move and Attack ability! The pair has no special powers, but a nice mix of standard ones. They start with Charge, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Toughness, and Outwit to get into the battle early and cause some damage. Charge shows up again a few clicks in, giving way to end dial Phasing/Teleport (always very handy for a Transporter). The first and fourth click share B/C/F, while two and three have Poison. Toughness gives way to Super Senses after the first click, then returns for the final three. Finally, on the damage track Loki alternates between Outwit and Perplex with one click of Probability Control near the end. The figure has a secondary starting line at click 5 for 30 points, giving you a highly mobile supporter, and is furnished with the keywords Animal, Asgardian, Deity, and Mystical.
As paranoid as he was brilliant and evil, the Red Skull didn’t just leave his Book lying around anywhere. Buried deep in the Egyptian desert was a hidden fortress containing the relic, lying undisturbed for decades until found by Sin and Zemo. This first map captures the inner sanctum of that building in an indoor map with some very cool features. Players start on opposite short sides with two blocking terrain columns nearby. The outer ring of the map is elevated on Level 2, while in the center (inside a ring of more columns) is a sunken chamber with some hindering terrain statuary and a central room with the Book at its center. Meanwhile, the long sides of the map each have four double-based orange-ringed mechs. These Security Drones have special rules giving them free attacks against characters who move into or through nearby squares!
On the other side is the Raft, an island super villain prison and headquarters of the Thunderbolts. It was here that Juggernaut was getting in a workout when the Serpent’s Hammers crashed to Earth, with Kuurth’s seeking Marko. The map captures the unique locale with starting areas just inside of swaths of water terrain on both short ends. Further inland is the installation proper with lots of blocking terrain fortifications and hindering terrain in the form of rubble, computers, and the Juggernaut’s exercise equipment. The maze of walls is made even more interesting by various smashed segments, and just off-center is a 2x2 area of special orange terrain: “Kuurth’s Hammer Impact Zone.” The map’s text allows for either player to place the Kuurth’s Hammer object inside the zone; while it’s there no character can use Charge within 6 squares of the zone!
In addition to the prizes and maps, the Fear Itself Month 1 kit comes with some additional special items for participating stores. As with No Man’s Land there’s a poster; this one shows a map of the world with Fear Itself battlefield locations along with a “Fear Tracker.” Before each tournament players will choose to align with either the Worthy or the Mighty; an included Fear Tracker token emblazoned with the Serpent’s symbol will show which way the pendulum is swinging on the poster! Plus, all players can then use the Mighty or Worthy Additional Team Abilities in their games, and the kit has double-sided physical cards of them for everyone.
Fear Itself tournaments also utilize an entirely new and unique set of figures in exclusive Fear Itself boosters (included with the stores’ prize kits). Players will purchase one of these snazzy black and silver boosters along with a second, non-Fear Itself booster to build their teams. The tournament exclusive set includes a great variety of characters from the event including the Worthy and the Mighty. Since playing in this series is the only way to get these figures, the events will fill up fast, so don’t wait to sign up for the one(s) nearest you. Get in on Fear Itself and play for Loki at a store near you. You can find one on WizKids’ Store Locator, and for more info visit their Fear Itself portal.
Stay tuned to Figures.com for more HeroClix reviews coming soon!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids Games