ADVANCE REVIEW: Marvel HeroClix Chaos War Fast Forces Pack
Avengers Assemble in New Quick Start Pack...
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June and July are two big months for HeroClix this year with the release of the DC Batman: Dark Knight Rises set and the Marvel Chaos War expansion. As part of the latter players will be able to collect not only the booster set (with more than 50 figures), but also the already released Countertop set, and a Fast Forces pack that we’ll be taking a close look at today! Perfect for new players (and veterans too), Fast Forces sets include six figures with complementary point values so you can easily build a team right out of the box and start playing. As Chaos War heavily features Marvel’s greatest superhero team, it’s fitting that the Chaos War Fast Forces pack offers players several Avengers teams to choose from. With sculpts drawn from the booster set that comes out on the same day (July 11th), the FF has new dials for Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Wasp, Mockingbird, and Scarlet Witch plus a brand new double-sided map!
Just like previous Fast Forces sets (see our review of “The Uncanny” Giant-Size X-Men set HERE), the Chaos War version retains the functional and easy to spot packaging we’ve come to expect. A sturdy clamshell displays the six figures while a decorated sleeve behind them holds all of the paper contents: map, character cards, etc. In this case, the Avengers stand out prominently with a fiery backdrop behind them. The insert in front of the figures features a haughty Scarlet Witch at the bottom next to the name of the set, while Mockingbird appears on the side. The back panel is dominated by a huge image of the Chaos King with a description of the Fast Forces.
Over the years the Avengers have gone through countless versions with heroes coming and going. The Chaos War Fast Forces gathers its members from across the history of the superhero team to make a fun and varied group. And with three male and three female members you’ve got a nicely diverse group that will appeal to HeroClix players of both genders. Headlining the set are the “big three” of the Avengers: Iron Man (Tony Stark), Thor, and Captain America (Steve Rogers). On the other side we’ve got the reality-bending mutant Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff), tiny-sized Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), and martial artist Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse). While HeroClix has quite a few figures of the first three, the women of the Avengers provide long anticipated updates.
Joining together to stop the greatest threats to Earth, the Avengers are known for big action and excitement. It’s fitting then that the figures chosen to represent them in the Chaos War Fast Forces pack are pretty action-packed themselves. When super science runs amuck Iron Man is there to stop it. Old shellhead hovers on a burst of flames from his boots while preparing to fire a concentrated blast from both palm-mounted repulsor rays. The god of thunder steps up to the plate with an aggressive stance and Mjolnir held high while his long cape billows behind him. Cap advances on the enemies of freedom with his mighty shield held in front of him and a right cross lined up. Mockingbird has arguably the coolest pose of the set, crouched on a rooftop in her armored jumpsuit with batons held out to her sides. The tiny Wasp arcs over her base on a translucent flight effect while blasting away with a bio-stinger. Finally, Scarlet Witch summons magical energies with cool translucent red effects.
The Fast Forces versions of these figures differ in their dials from the main Chaos War incarnations (as well as the Countertop versions in the case of the men). With multiple starting lines and the Alter Ego mechanic on some of the figures you’ll have lots of options when it comes to team building even beyond the forces suggested by the included pamphlet. This experienced version of Captain America is 75 points, while the rookie Thor and experienced Iron Man both clock in at 125. Wasp is an even 50 points, and her fellow female Avengers have two starting lines each: Mockingbird at 50 or 25 and Scarlet Witch at 75 or 50.
You’ll find that you can easily create 300 point teams with Iron Man, Thor, and Wasp or Thor, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, and rookie Mockingbird. Finally, summon all six figures at their full point values for a 500 point team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Both Thor and Iron Man have the Alter Ego notation, so you can play their civilian identities of Dr. Donald Blake and Tony Stark respectively and “turn into” modest versions of their heroic counterparts.
Following the trend in Fast Forces sets these Chaos War versions have some cool powers without making the figures too hard for new players to understand. Scarlet Witch is a solid attacker and team supporter with Telekinesis to move around her friends, Penetrating/Psychic Blast to use on her enemies, a little Defend, a little Barrier, and an intermittent special power granting her the use of both Perplex AND Probability Control. Mockingbird has a suite of powers to get her up close to her enemies and then beat on them, while her trait “October 12th” boosts hers and a Hawkeye figure’s attack values when they are adjacent (note that there is a new Hawkeye in the Chaos War booster set). Wasp debuts the new “Tiny Size” mechanic with a trait that lets her break away automatically, while she’s even harder to hit with Stealth, Super Senses, Perplex, and Outwit; for offense she starts with Incapacitate and switches to Ranged Combat Expert.
Cap is good at both close and ranged combat with no fewer than 10 standard powers PLUS one special power at the beginning of his dial that’s like a super version of Leadership and another at the very end that stops damage taken when it appears if another Avenger (of equal or higher point value) is adjacent - both Thor and Iron Man share this power. The god of thunder is Indomitable, starts with ranged attacks (Running Shot), and then moves in to batter his opponents with Charge, Flurry, Quake, Exploit Weakness, Close Combat Expert, and more. This version of Stark’s suit is a Sharpshooter so he can blast away at adjacent opponents and he does it very well with Running Shot, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, some Outwit, a special power that lets him ignore hinder terrain for line of fire purposes, and more. Interestingly, all of these Avengers have at least some range (from Mockingbird’s 2 to Thor’s 8), while only Scarlet Witch has a Team Ability (the always deadly Mystics).
One of the main reasons why new and experienced players buy Fast Forces sets is for their new maps, and Chaos War has a couple of interesting ones. On one side is the generic-sounding “European Castle” (pictured above), the perfect lair for a Doctor Doom or a Masters of Evil or HYRDA mastermind. The map depicts a castle bailey with an elevated surrounding wall on three sides, higher turrets in all four corners, and a central courtyard with a well (water terrain), small building (elevated), and hindering terrain in the form of barrels and wagons.
On the other side of the map is the jaw-dropping “Quinjet Hangar” (above), an indoor battlefield dominated by a huge blocking terrain jet in the center. Attached to the front and rear of the Quinjet are elevated platforms with some hindering terrain computer terminals, and sections of both hindering and blocking terrain line the long walls. Similar in some respects to maps that have come before it (Metropolis and the Airbase), the Quinjet version has a much bigger blocking obstacle in the center that’ll really pose an interesting challenge for teams to get around it.
Like all Fast Forces, the Chaos War pack brings together fun figures and great new maps that really expand the HeroClix playing experience. This one will be released on July 11th alongside the Chaos War booster set in comic book and game stores everywhere, so look for it then. When it comes to choosing the pack you want to buy you can look for the best paint jobs and least bent figures (mine had some minor warping to Mockingbird’s batons), but overall these figures look great and they’re fun to play. As an added bonus, this Fast Forces pack also “Online Enhanced” with a redemption code you can use for exclusive online content.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids