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    REVIEW: WizKids Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles HeroClix Mouser Mayhem Starter Set

    Beginner-Friendly TMNT Pack Plus A HeroClix GIVEAWAY!...



    CLICK HERE FOR OVER 50 NEW PHOTOS OF THE TMNT STARTER SET!



    For hobby miniatures and all your gaming needs, including WizKids HeroClix, visit MiniatureMarket.com!




    Pretty much since the first Marvel and DC HeroClix sets debuted in 2002 players have been dreaming of a day when they could field Leonardo, Raphael, and the rest of the cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles alongside or against the likes of Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Iron Man. Well folks, that day has finally arrived! RIGHT NOW at your local comic book and game stores you can find three different TMNT HeroClix items from WizKids Games: single-figure Gravity Feed foil packs, a Dice & Token Pack, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles HeroClix Mouser Mayhem Starter Set which we’ll be taking a look at today. This is the perfect jumping-on product for new players providing you with standard HeroClix rules, tokens, maps, dice, additional “scenario” rules ranging from 1 to 5 players, and of course figures of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

    If you’ve been living in a cave for the last few decades, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a property that began as artwork and a comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984. That original run by Mirage Studios led to licensing the characters into miniatures and toys and from there was no stopping the TMNT franchise. The Turtles have appeared in comic and manga forms by several companies as well as multiple video games, animated TV shows, live action films, and more. The team, its leader, and their iconic enemies were created as parodies of Marvel Comics characters in the 80s like Daredevil and the Hand ninja clan. The amphibians’ origin story involves four normal turtles getting doused with radioactive ooze, transforming them into anthropomorphic creatures with human intelligence and even better strength and dexterity. They were trained in the martial arts by Master Splinter (a similarly mutated rat) and named after Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Donatello di Niccolo di Betto Bardi, and Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. The foursome would go on to fight crime locally on the streets (and in the sewers) of New York City though their further adventures would take them to other planets, throughout time, and beyond.




    Designed as a truly everything-you-need-to-play product, the TMNT HeroClix Starter Set comes in a nice-sized box reminiscent of past movie “mini games” like we’ve seen for Star Trek, Pacific Rim, Thor: the Dark World, and others. A big rectangular package, the Mouser Mayhem box is immediately recognizable as a TMNT item with its green color scheme and prolific use of Turtles imagery. The front panel has the HeroClix and Nickelodeon logos plus the set’s name and a cool, classic image of the foursome in their all red bandana days; at the bottom is a window through which you can see the four included figures in all their glory. The back of the box has a wealth of information about the set including a list of its content, a description of the included scenarios, an explanation of HeroClix itself, photos of some of the materials, and more.




    Open it all up and you’ll have four figures, two dice, six sheets of special tokens and bystanders, two sheets of standard HeroClix tokens, a large comprehensive scenario book (with an introduction to the game), HeroClix 2015 rulebook and Powers & Abilities Chart, a double-sided map, and additional map tiles for the scenarios. There’s a lot packed in here!




    Let’s start by taking a look at the most important thing in this set: the figures! The four Turtles here share the same sculpts as the 1984 Mirage Comics versions of these characters in the Gravity Feed, though the Starter incarnations feature the different colored bandanas most people associate with them. As a group the Turtles are heavily muscled humanoids that appear slightly short (because of their bent knees). Their battle-ready poses are unique and appropriate for their individual weapon choices; Mikey holds his nunchaku with one hanging loose, Donny presents his bo staff in front of him with both hands, and both Leo and Raph brandish their twin katanas and sais respectively at low guards. You can read a lot of their dispositions in their stances as well from Donatello’s defensive posture to Raphael’s aggressive tilt. The sculpting on the Turtle figures is pretty phenomenal with a lot of musculature details nicely contrasting with the smooth planes of their chests, their segmented “half-shell” backs, their various belts and wrappings, weapons, and of course their bandana ends that variously hang over shoulders or fly loose. And while later incarnations of TMNT would differentiate the colors of the characters these guys share the same pea green limbs, yellow-green torsos, and dark brown shells and accoutrements. As noted their bandana masks are different colors, and there are additional paint details on the weapons.




    The trend with this foursome is that each time they appear in a group they all have the same point value, and this case is no different. While the foil pack common Turtles are each 50 points and the rare/super rares are 60, the Starter Set figures are each 75 points of Turtle Power. They share some interesting elements, notably the Swim symbol, the “Shell Shock” trait giving them permanent Toughness and easy to learn/play 6-click dials divided into two sets of powers. Leonardo (0 range) starts with Charge/Precision Strike/Combat Reflexes/Leadership and transitions to Sidestep/Blades/Claws/Fangs/Willpower/Empower, Michelangelo (0 range) goes from Sidestep/Incapacitate/Willpower to Charge/Super Senses/Perplex, Raphael (4 range) begins with Flurry/Combat Reflexes/Shape Change then Running Shot/Penetrating/Psychic Blast/Willpower/Exploit Weakness, and finally Donatello (2 range) goes from Leap/Climb/Quake/Willpower/Outwit to Sidestep/Energy Shield/Deflection/Support. Each of those power blocks on the dials also features values that don’t change, so essentially each Turtle has only two different clicks of stats; it’s another thing that will make it easy for new players to run these guys. The foursome adds up to a fun 300 point team with a lot of mobility and close combat ability plus a little range and some support powers. In the TMNT world they’ll do well, but be careful running this team in a standard HeroClix environment lest you get picked apart at range.




    Speaking of new players, in the Mouser Mayhem box they’ve got all of the standard HeroClix elements needed to play like the comprehensive rulebook, Powers and Abilities Chart (“PAC”), tokens, etc. Of course, we’ve seen all of this before in starter sets. What makes this unique is the large booklet that gives you a breakdown of the figures’ dials, a quick introduction to the game, and THREE scenarios you can use to learn how to play or to provide different game experiences! Two of them even have rules so that you can play them solo to practice when your friends can’t make it. The first scenario is “Turtle vs. Turtle Training” which pits 2-4 players against each other using the heroes in a half-shell (each player can control one or more figures). There aren’t any special rules here but there are four Training Dummy light objects you can use to beat up on your friends.




    The next two scenarios get a bit more complex. In “Save Splinter” the team must protect its sensei as waves of robotic Mousers spawn from the sewer tunnels and invade the Turtles’ Lair. This set up uses the appropriately named Lair map where your heroes will start as well as 10 tunnel tiles and 5 junction room tiles to make a sewer complex around the home base. Mousers are spawned on specific squares using the included tokens, and their actions are laid out clearly in the scenario. You can even use Michelangelo’s stockpile of Manhole Covers (tokens) to block a limited number of spawn points. Lastly, there are some special characters making their introduction in this game including Splinter (who can fight but if he’s KO’d you lose), Turtles ally Casey Jones, and the villainous Rat King with his Rat swarms! While the Mouser win condition is clear the players have three difficulty options for survival: 8 rounds is easy, 10 is medium, and 12 is hard.




    The third and final scenario is the most complex and most fun, “Rescue April!” Instead of setting out the game board/map at the beginning, this adventure starts in the Turtles’ Lair and delves into the sewers as players pick random tiles to create their paths. Will they get lucky and discover the boss battle quickly or be swamped by Mousers and Rats? Once through the tunnels you’ll find your way to Baxter’s Lab where you must do as the mission is called by knocking out the mutated Baxter Stockman/fly creature! The randomness of drawing tiles and rolling to spawn Mousers makes this scenario highly replayable, and the difficulty stacks by adjusting how many tiles it takes to get to the Lab. Once again you have to contend with Mousers and (potentially) the Rat King, and Casey Jones can make an appearance but is limited to participating in the sewers OR lab (not both). Of course, this game adds the characters April O’Neil who can help the Turtles by sealing up Mouser spawn points via her “hacking” rolls and the Manhole Cover tokens and Baxter Stockman who uses his Running Shot to blast his ray gun at the heroes from the upper level of his lab.




    So what do the TMNT maps look like? On one side, and usable in all three scenarios, is the Turtles’ Lair. It’s a pretty straightforward indoor map with a decent variety of terrain that’s laid out in sensible ways. Toward one side of the battlefield a square sparring area is demarcated by a moat of water while at the other is an open area with a couch and TV (hindering terrain); pillars and large drums provide regular blocking and hindering terrain in two rows and there are additional water squares and scenario special terrain squares along three edges. Flip the map to find Baxter’s Lab, another indoor map. Evenly divided into three horizontal sections on elevations 1-3, the Lab has tons of computer equipment (hindering terrain) along the sides and on each elevation level plus blocking terrain in the form of power generators. This map will be all sorts of fun especially for figures that can change elevations freely or that can target characters on different levels.




    As you can see, while HeroClix Starters (and Fast Forces packs) are always outfitted to bring new players into the game, the Mouser Mayhem Set takes it a step further with a ton of play value in the scenarios and additional materials like the token sheets, map tiles, etc. Plus, thanks to special rules making them unique from standard HeroClix games the scenarios are enjoyable for new players as well as Clix veterans. I had a great time clearing the sewers of Mousers and rescuing April with these games. The Turtle figures in this set look great and have the colored bandanas many players will be looking for, so that’s another big value. You can find Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles HeroClix in your local comic book or game store this week, with this Mouser Mayhem Starter Set, the single foil pack expansion, and the Dice & Token pack.




    But wait, there’s more. In honor of the big debut of TMNT HeroClix we’re giving you the chance to WIN some single-figure foil packs from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gravity Feed! To enter, all you need to do is follow Figures.com on Twitter (twitter.com/figures_dot_com) and tweet your favorite Turtle with the hashtag #WinTMNTClix - it’s that easy. [Giveaway limited to U.S. addresses only.] Act now - giveaway ends April 18th, 2016.

    Visit HeroClix.com for even more info on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle HeroClix as well as downloads of rules and maps, and check Figures.com regularly as we continue our reviews of new HeroClix!


    Review and photos by Scott Rubin

    Review samples courtesy of WizKids Games




    For hobby miniatures and all your gaming needs, including WizKids HeroClix, visit MiniatureMarket.com!


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    Last edited by JeffSaylor; 04-29-2016 at 12:33 AM.

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