REVIEW: ADVANCE LOOK: WizKids DC HeroClix No Man’s Land Month 5 Prize Kit
Killer Croc, Rebreathers, and Gotham City Waterfront in April...
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As the HeroClix No Man’s Land tournament series draws toward its epic conclusion, we’ve still got two months left of exciting play and cool prizes. If you’ve read any of my articles on the previous months’ sets (or better yet if you’ve played in the tournaments), you know that the six month series is based on the 1999 comic storyline of the same name in which Gotham City is crippled by a massive earthquake and then divided into blocks fought over by various interested parties. Fans of Batman and his Rogue’s Gallery have had lots of fun lately with the Batman and Streets of Gotham expansion sets, and the prizes in No Man’s Land starting with the Utility Belt resource dial. Each subsequent month’s prize kits have included exclusive figures and cool gadgets you can attach to your Utility Belt; the penultimate No Man’s Land 5 set for April brings Killer Croc, Rebreathers, and the Gotham Waterfront map!
Another classic Batman villain and fan favorite is Killer Croc, the reptilian sewer-dweller. Waylon Jones was born an evolutionary throwback with scaly skin and a bestial form. After suffering abuse at home he would strike out on his own and become a criminal menace in Gotham City, coming into conflict with Batman and his allies on many occasions. Before the earthquake Croc was at peace in Arkham Asylum, under heavy sedation. Once the craziness hit Joker altered the medical orders, having Croc receive stimulants to drive him mad. Outside the asylum Waylon eventually created his own gang and faced off against Mr. Zsasz before reinventing himself as a big time crime boss complete with fancy designer white suit! Of course, that spree wouldn’t last...
Up until recently, Killer Croc was absent from HeroClix for a number of years. Thankfully, WizKids has released two great Crocs in quick succession with a version in last year’s Streets of Gotham and the new Gotham City Strategy Game that releases this week (see my review HERE). So what does yet another Killer Croc bring to the table? Let’s take a look. First off, you’ve got to admire that suit! Croc’s killer sculpt captures the gangster in his finest duds, crouching menacingly with one hand outstretched as if to taunt his opponent. The suit has some really nice details like the sculpted collar, lapel, and lots of creases in appropriate places. While there’s not a lot of Croc’s hide visible, what is seen on his hands and head has a great reptilian texture with sharp claws and a vicious grimace on his face. Waylon’s suit is an all-over bright white, with a black shirt and striped black and white tie. Killer Croc himself is a deep green, with yellowish claws, white teeth, and slitted red eyes.
Most Killer Croc HeroClix figures cost around 80-90 points, with the recent additions from Streets of Gotham at 96 and Gotham City Strategy Game at 82. But when he dons the white suit, watch out; this Croc is a massive 173 points! The most powerful version to date has the usual Batman Enemy Team Ability and the Swimmer symbol so he can ignore water terrain for movement purposes while adding Indomitable. For a close combat bruiser Croc has good stats, with two clicks of 11 attack and five clicks before his defense drops below 17. The proof though is really in his Trait and powers. The former provides Croc with his “Death Roll,” permanent Blades/Claws/Fangs with the incredible bonus of rolling 2d6 and choosing the one to use for your damage! On the dial itself, the Gotham villain has a full dial of Charge including four clicks of a “Predator of the Sewers” which also gives him Plasticity and makes lines of fire drawn to him blocked when in water. Likewise he has Toughness for his entire dial, backed up with Regeneration on clicks with the special “Reptilian Regeneration” power. And if Trait B/C/F wasn’t enough, Croc also has three clicks of Super Strength mid-dial and a full damage track of Exploit Weakness and Close Combat Expert. Killer Croc is a damage dealing machine; the hardest part is going to be choosing which powers to use!
The participation prize for the penultimate Month 5 is Batman’s Rebreather, another item that can be used on its own as a Relic or as a Resource attached to the Utility Belt dial. The physical game object is another yellow belt pouch, this time with a couple of the breathing devices sticking out from the loosened top flap; you can even see the tiny Bat symbol on the top one. As a Relic the Rebreather can be picked up on a roll of 4-6 to give a character Willpower while occupying water terrain AND the ability to ignore opposing characters’ Poison. Unlike some of the other items that do a variation of the Relic effect when on the Utility Belt, the Rebreather is a very different sort of gadget as a Resource. On the Belt it give you the option of giving the character a power action when occupying water terrain to give it the Swimmer/Transporter symbol and let it use the Move and Attack ability as a free action WITHOUT the -2 to attack! That’s an incredibly powerful ability and definitely one thematic of Batman being prepared for anything, in this case when the tide of battle takes him into the water.
When you play in No Man’s Land month 5 to get the Rebreather and try to win a Killer Croc you’ll be facing down your opponents on the brand new Gotham City Waterfront map! This section of Gotham’s oceanside district is a busy mercantile hub with two (indoor) warehouses full of material, shipping containers outside, and two large cargo ships docked next door. It’s a night time scene which really adds to the atmosphere of this map, and streetlights ringing the warehouses shine light that dissipates the further you get. Besides looking really nice, this map has plenty of interesting terrain for your confrontations. The starting areas are slightly off-center, letting both players position behind their respective warehouses. The cargo inside each is primarily elevated terrain with some hindering, and the same goes for the shipping containers and other paraphernalia outside. Two ramps lead to each ship where you can find more elevated containers and hindering cargo, while outside is a nice swath of water.
But, get a 2 or 3 on your earthquake roll and flip the map to reveal Gotham City Waterfront: Post-Cataclysm! No suffering mere earthquake damage, the waterfront is now the site of a horrific ship collision and crash with debris and fire enveloping the docks. Again, I really have to hand it to WizKids for creating a visually striking map with a lot of atmosphere. The two large ships are now smashed together and nosing into the waterfront close to the low numbered side of the map. All of the crates in both warehouses have caught fire, and there are more small patches on and around the ships. These orange squares are special Fire terrain, treated as blocking and indestructible. Meanwhile, in the middle section of the map part of the docks have collapsed, dumping containers into the water, and at both ends of the map Gotham Police ships have arrived on scene to investigate the “accident.”
As the last tournament before the big finale, No Man’s Land month 5 is your last chance to accumulate points to qualify for May AND to win territory for your chosen gang. The WizKids suggested build is a 400 point sealed game utilizing two boosters from the Batman expansion set, and games are going to be very interesting with its selection of highly mobile figures, not to mention Beast Boy in dolphin form! Of course, players will also be hoping for the hard to find Prime and Chase figures. To find a venue near you where you can join in on the No Man’s Land madness, check out the “Find a Store” feature on HeroClix.com.
Stay tuned to Figures.com for more HeroClix reviews coming soon!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of WizKids Games