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    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Marvel HeroClix Hammer of Thor Top Ten Figures

    Asgardians, demons, Runaways and more take over top collectible game...

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    It’s been more than a year since the last HeroClix set was released by Wizkids, DC’s Arkham Asylum in October of 2008. At the time, rumors and hints were beginning to circulate for the next Marvel set, believed to be called Hammer of Thor. But, a month later came the update heard ‘round the world: Topps was stopping production on all Wizkids lines. HeroClix fans (and supporters of the company’s other miniature games) were devastated, and ultimately floundered in limbo for nearly a year while various companies attempted to take over the game. And then it happened; just a few months ago at San Diego Comic-Con NECA revealed its partnership with Wizkids with the highly visible sale of the Marvel HeroClix Hammer of Thor exclusive Thor’s Mighty Chariot game piece! Soon after came the official announcement that the Hammer of Thor set was on its way very soon. I’m glad to relay that the time is now. Hammer of Thor boosters hit the shelves at your local comic book store today!

    For those of you who may not be familiar with the HeroClix game, think of it as a cross between a board game and your favorite superhero comic book characters made into cool, collectible miniature figures. Wizkids created a game that truly recreates the fast-paced battles and awesome super powers that you know and love with its easy to learn and easy to play ‘Clix system. Each character is mounted on a rotating dial that shows its current stats through a window. As the character is damaged (or healed), the dial is moved a certain number of “clicks” and new numbers are revealed. Most characters decline in stats as damage is taken, though some are notable for their increasing fury or abilities as they are hurt (the Hulk, Bizarro, etc.). Numbers are limited to speed, attack, defense, damage, and range values, making the game streamlined and preventing the headaches often associated with bookkeeping in miniature and role playing games. Best of all are the powers...

    While the numbers on a HeroClix dial tell you a lot, they’re only half the story. Surrounding many of those numbers are colored boxes that correspond to super powers. These can appear on any of the four main stats (speed, attack, defense, and damage), and allow you to recreate all of the cool things the heroes and villains do. Leap/Climb and Stealth help get your Batman Allies into position and protect them from enemy fire. Super Strength and Charge let the Hulk pick up a heavy object on his way to smashing everything in sight. With Outwit and Perplex Doctor Doom and Mr. Fantastic can turn off their opponents’ powers or bolster their own. And it’s exactly these combinations of powers that make HeroClix so fun and exciting!

    The new Hammer of Thor set brings fans a lot of long-requested and desired figures. Other than the obvious bunch of Asgardians (heroic, villainous, and Warriors Three!), the new set includes members of the Runaways, Agents of Atlas, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more. There are quite a few very powerful figures here, with 27 units over the century mark, 5 of those in the 200s, and a duo that’s way beyond 300! On the other hand, there are also excellent new low-cost generics (including Asgardians, ninjas, demons, and more) sure to make army builders and theme fans happy, not least of which because of the new Minion rules.

    Okay, enough intro. Let’s take a look at ten of the coolest figures in the new Hammer of Thor set:

    #010 M-11 Unique (Common)
    A robot and member of the Agents of Atlas (strongly represented in Hammer of Thor), M-11 was created by a scientist who had a crisis of conscience regarding turning over such a powerful weapon. Ordering the robot to kill him, the scientist became a part of M-11, giving it sentience. Though out of commission for a long time M-11 now serves alongside James Woo, Namora, and the other Agents. A robot designed in the 1950s, M-11 has an awesome retro look complete with banded arms and bunny-eared helmet!

    M-11, or the “unstoppable robot,” is a very tough nut to crack for only 59 points. His dial is fully eight clicks long, with defense descending only from 18 to 16 with five clicks of Willpower and three of Regeneration to get back into the fight if damaged. Speed is a decent 7 across the board, though there are no powers in that slot. Attack is fantastic with seven clicks of 10 and one of 9. Even better, the first three clicks have Super Strength and the next four have Psychic Blast (6 range). Solid and sturdy, M-11 is sure to appear on many Agents of Atlas teams.

    #015 Fire Demon Rookie (Common)
    No Thor-related set would be complete without a collection of traditional Asgardian foes, and thankfully Hammer of Thor does not disappoint. Coming in at 33 points is the Fire Demon, a very cool-looking monster that heralds a new mechanic in the HeroClix game: Minions. Minions are low level enemies who share a common power activated by a commander; in this case, Fire Demons get Charge and a +1 to attack whenever there’s a friendly “Surtur” within 8 squares! Swarm teams and multiple generics have long been standard practice in HeroClix, and with the new rules Minion teams take that thematic element even further. Did I mention just how wickedly evil the Fire Demon looks? You’ll definitely want an army of them, and they’re going to be perfect for customizing (need a “Frost” Demon, paint it blue!).

    At 33 points and affordable in swarms, the Fire Demon is a lightweight attacker with some bite. He’s got a dial only four clicks deep, with pretty slow flight at 6s and 5s. Attack values are very strong, starting at 10 and dropping to a final 8, with Blades/Claws/Fangs on the final two clicks to make sure he goes down fighting. Defense is decent with a starting 16, and three clicks of Willpower will help you get him in position to unleash that attack. Damage starts at 3, and all four clicks have the Minion power so make sure to field your Fire Demon army with a Surtur in range!

    #016 Thor Experienced (Common)
    Thor is the man. If you weren’t aware of that from reading his exploits in the Marvel Universe already, the fact that he’s headlining his own HeroClix set should have given you a clue. No? Well, then check out #016 Thor. Other than high numbers and great powers which I’ll get to in a minute, Thor has a great sculpt representing the character’s current incarnation, posed ready to do battle against the forces of Surtur! Standing atop a rocky outcropping, the god of thunder is fully decked out in his armor with a great red cape billowing out behind him. Leading the forces of Asgard, Thor lifts the mighty hammer Mjolnir high above his head.

    At 226 points he’s going to be a huge part of your force. Is he worth it? He’s got eight clicks of life, which isn’t too shabby, and a Trait that gives him permanent Super Strength! He’s got a big 10 range with two targets, which is nice for laying down some ranged Mjolnir hurt. In movement he’s a flyer and starts with three clicks of 10 with Running Shot, meaning he can hit enemies fully 15 squares distant. Then he’s got three clicks of 8 with Charge before dropping down to two plain 7s. Attack numbers are epic starting with 12 and working down to a 9 before bouncing back up at the end, with some mid-dial Quake. Enemies are going to have a hard time hitting Thor with an 18 defense that slowly drops to a 15 covered by almost an entire dial of Invulnerable, with two clicks of Toughness mixed in. Thor also posts big damage numbers starting with twin 5s and Leadership, trailing to 3s with Close Combat Expert before bouncing up to a 4 and 5 at the end with Exploit Weakness. The Thunder God is also Indomitable, which means he’ll be very mobile and able to dish out a lot of punishment. Grab some Asgardian Warriors and Valkyries to back him up and watch Thor go to work!

    #028 Rocket Raccoon Veteran (Uncommon)
    Fans have been clamoring for the inclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy in HeroClix, and they’ve finally got their wish in Hammer of Thor. Headlining the team is Rocket Raccoon, who above all else makes for a very unique miniature. He’s a humanoid raccoon in a military uniform wielding a futuristic handgun. What’s not to love?

    How does Rocket Raccoon do on the battlefield? Let’s check out his stats. 65 points gives Rocket five clicks of life with range. His speed is decent with three starting 8s, and he’s able to get into position with Leap/Climb before switching to a run and gun offense with Running Shot. That gun is no pea-shooter, as end-dial Energy Explosion proves. Attack is pretty consistent with two 9s, two 8s, and a 7. The wily Rocket has a full dial of Super Senses with a starting 17 defense for getting out of a jam, while in the damage slot he’s got battlefield-controlling Probability Control and Outwit on a full dial of 2s.

    #031 Ronan the Accuser Unique (Uncommon)
    Ronan the Accuser is one of the better known members of the alien Kree race, and has at times been a force for evil and a defender of the good in the Marvel Universe, most recently fighting the Phalanx. He has also appeared in the HeroClix game before, as a rare figure in the Critical Mass set. In sculpt and pose, the new Ronan is a huge improvement. Lunging forward with fierce determination, the Kree warrior swings his Universal Weapon behind him to unleash a mighty blow upon the enemies of the Kree Empire!

    This new version is 17 points cheaper at 130, though retaining 9 clicks of life and an 8 range with two targets. He’s a flyer with middling speed values and has four clicks of Force Blast. Ronan’s attack trades in Energy Explosion for front and end-dial Incapacitate, starting with a huge 12 and working down to a lowly 7. In defense the new Ronan has the edge with a starting 17 Impervious followed by some Invulnerable and lots of Toughness, finally bottoming out at 14. Damage is a mixture of 4s, 3, and 2s with the added benefit of the special power “Ruler of the Empire” that gives adjacent friendly Kree +1 to attack, so summon the troops!

    #036 Heimdall Unique (Rare)
    In Norse mythology, the Rainbow Bridge Bifrost connects the mortal plane with the home of the gods in Asgard. Forever guarding that bridge is the Asgardian Heimdall the Watcher. With senses far beyond those of mortals or even other gods, he stands ever vigilant, ready for anything. The mighty deity appears here for the first time in HeroClix, though he’s been involved in some of the most Earth-shattering events surrounding Thor and Asgard in Marvel comics. Heimdall appears in ‘Clix form just as you’d expect: a powerful armored warrior at the ready. He stands tall wearing Asgardian armor complete with huge horned helmet, resting his hand on his enormous sword. The detail on this figure is outstanding.

    How does Heimdall stack up against the enemies of Asgard? He’s mid-cost for a deity at 149, which brings a nice long 9 clicks of life plus Indomitable for endless defense. His movement values are better than you might expect, with six clicks of 8 before dropping down to 7 for the remainder; he’s also got Charge on the first five, then his special power “Gjallerhorn” that lets him teleport an Asgardian ally to his side. Heimdall’s attack numbers are awesome, with a starting 11 that works down to a 9 before rising to 11 again on his final click! The first four boxes are decorated with the usual green of Super Strength. What defense power do you think an Asgardian with “super senses” has? You’ve got it, a full dial of Super Senses starting at 18 and finishing at 15. But wait, there’s still more. In the defense slot Heimdall has all 3s until two final 4s, but it’s the power on the first four clicks that really makes him godly. “Sight to the Nine Worlds” means characters using Charge, Running Shot, or Hypersonic Speed do NO DAMAGE to Heimdall, and he ignores Shape Change and Stealth! No one gets past Heimdall.

    #038 Venom Veteran (Rare)
    When most people hear the name Venom, they probably think of Eddie Brock. However, current Marvel Comics readers also will be familiar with “Mac” Gargan, the third Venom and new HeroClix figure! The Venom atop this dial (and a cool bit of broken terrain) has the updated design seen on Gargan’s costume with the extended white spider logo. He’s a bit slimmer than Brock’s incarnation, but he looks just as deadly in a taunting pose with the outstretched claws and open jaw waiting for his next meal, er... victim.

    This new version of Venom comes in at a point cost of 73, in between the Experienced and Veteran Venoms of Critical Mass. He’s got a nice long dial with 8 clicks of life, and every single square on his oddly consistent dial is colored, with all powers changing halfway through as the symbiote takes over! Movement has four clicks of 9 with Plasticity followed by four 8s with Flurry, ensuring Venom can choose where he wants to be before unleashing his fury. Don’t forget that Venom’s special Trait also gives him permanent Leap/Climb! The attack slot shows four clicks of 9 with Blades/Claws/Fangs followed by two 10s and two 9s with Steal Energy to represent Gargan’s ferocity and gluttony. Defense starts with Super Senses at 17, which drops to the final four clicks of 15 with Combat Reflexes. Venom’s damage mixes 2s and 3s, with opening Shape Change and closing Battle Fury. It’ll take some finesse to play Venom seeing as how he basically switches from one character to another halfway through his dial.

    #040 Captain America Rookie (Rare)
    One of the most famous legends of the HeroClix universe is that of “Smokey Feet Captain America.” Leaked years ago in some blurry pics, the figure sat on a Wizkids brand manager’s desk, seemingly forever out of the reach of fans. The patriotic World War II hero stood on the field of battle with a cloud of smoke billowing around his feet, hence “Smokey Feet.” Fast forward to earlier this year and fans were shocked to see Smokey Feet on the Hammer of Thor advertising poster! The sculpt on this long-awaited figure is amazing, highlighting Cap’s classic heroism in WWII.

    There have been several Captain America figures in HeroClix, and it’s no coincidence that Smokey here comes in at the exact same point cost as Armor Wars’ Rookie Cap: 72. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. They both have 6 clicks of life, but the new version doubles the range to 8 and the targets to 2. Movement starts at a huge 10 with two clicks of Running Shot, dropping steadily to a final 7. Attach is very strong with two 10s, three 9s, and a final 8; the first three clicks have the long-awaited special power “Deflection Trajectory” that allows Cap’s shield to ignore anything but walls and indoor blocking terrain. Captain America is tough on defense as well, with a starting 18 with Energy Shield/Deflection transitioning halfway through the dial to Willpower and ending at a respectable 16. Damage output with Cap’s shield is pretty cool too, splitting the dial with front-loaded 3s and end-dial 2s. The first two clicks have Leadership, while the final three have Close Combat Expert.

    #046 Fenris Wolf Rookie (Rare)
    The Fenris Wolf appears in Marvel comics just as he does in Norse mythology, a fearsome giant wolf bent on the destruction of the Asgard. Plaguing them from time to time, Fenris is most notable for his role in Ragnarok: swallowing the very sun and moon of Asgard! How would such a monster translate into HeroClix? As a huge (Giant) snarling black wolf perched on a rocky base. He looks vicious enough to take off a finger or two, and the detail on his furry sculpt is quite impressive. Best of all, he’s massive like a Giant should be!

    For 140 points, Fenris Wolf brings a lot to the table starting with nine clicks of life. His movement rate bounces around a bit from starting 10s down to 6s and back up to 8s, with a full dial of Charge to get him right into the faces of the hated Asgard. Attack starts at a mighty 11 that works down to 9 and back up to final 10s; all but those last two clicks have Blades/Claws/Fangs for terrific damage. Defense starts at 17 with Super Senses which gives way to Toughness, then back to Super Senses, and ends with two clicks of Impervious! Fenris goes down fighting. Fenris’ damage slot has the Giant symbol and shows steady 2s before ratcheting up to 4s at the end of his dial. In the middle it’s decorated with Exploit Weakness which gives way to the final four clicks with the power “Devourer of All That Remains” which makes all of Fenris’ damage penetrating against Asgardians! Finally, the mighty beast has the great keywords (that match a lot of other Hammer of Thor figures) Animal, Asgardian, and Monster.

    #058 Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace Unique (Super Rare)
    One of the most famous members of the Runaways, Gertrude is in the enviable position of owning her own pet dinosaur, a Deinonychus named Old Lace. Together they are Arsenic and Old Lace, and fight alongside the other children of the villainous Pride. The pair are one of only two duo figures in Hammer of Thor (both Super Rares), and capture the girl and dinosaur duo ready to attack. The fearsome Old Lace looks forward with baleful red eyes and wicked claws outstretched, while Gertrude kneels beside it, about to give the order for battle!

    Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace are relatively inexpensive at 54 points, which goes a long way to being able to field a whole team of Runaways. Together they share 6 clicks of life, some unique powers, and a very “consistent” dial of only two numbers per stat. Speed goes from 8 to 7, with two mid-dial clicks of Charge for when the action gets going. Their duo attacks are 9s and 8s, with the starting special power “Arsenic” (auto damage to someone who bases the duo) and two final clicks of Blades/Claws/Fangs. Defense goes from 15s to 14s with Toughness and then Super Senses to keep the two healthy. In the damage category they post solid 3s and 2s, with four closing clicks of the very cool special power “Lend a Dino” that gives Arsenic and Old Lace a free attack on an adjacent target when an adjacent ally attacks.

    Honorable mentions: #012 Valkyrie Rookie/#014 Asgardian Warrior Rookie (Commons)
    These two Minions are good poster children for the Hammer of Thor set. They look like epic warriors right out of Norse mythology or any sword and sandal film with great sculpts, detailed armor, and wicked weapons. They’re inexpensive as generics should be at 38 and 37 points respectively, with short life but decent stats. Both have good applicable powers (Running Shot and Toughness for Valkyrie and Blades/Claws/Fangs and Toughness for the Warrior). In addition, they both have Minion powers activated by a nearby Asgardian Deity that really boost their playability. Valkyrie turns into a healing taxi with Support and Carry (for Asgardians only) while the Warrior gets a surge of morale with Charge and +1 attack! Whether it’s for your HeroClix armies or collection of warrior figures, you’re going to want a whole army of these guys.

    Special mentions: Frankly, there are too many cool figures in Hammer of Thor to list, and it’s nearly impossible to cut it down to a best 10. Some other really great figures you’re going to want to check out: #023 Beta Ray Bill Veteran Uncommon (one of my favorite comic book characters and a great update), #042 Phyla-Vell Rookie Rare (awesome warrior woman floating on an explosion of energy), #045 Karolina Dean Experienced Rare (“Lucy in the Sky” Runaway in blazing colors), #048 Spider-Man Rookie Rare (also known as “Spider-Thor,” ‘nuff said), #057 Thor and Loki Experienced Super Rare (the baddest duo ever), and of course the previously released Thor’s Mighty Chariot.

    Hammer of Thor is on sale now. Head to your local comic book shop and pick up some boosters before they’re all gone. With awesome figures like these, they won’t last!

    - Scott Rubin

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