Top Ten 2011 rules winners & losers: #10 & #9

Posted on April 25, 2011

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With each new spring or summer in Heroclix, there comes a new rulebook massaging and sometimes warping the game we enjoy. And with every change, there are winners and losers. For the next four days, Heroclixin’ will highlight two winners and two losers.

#10 WINNER is:

TELEKINESIS

TK got a hefty upgrade in 2008’s rulebook and PAC by gaining an 8-square range of effect as opposed to its prior ability to only sling adjacent characters away. But to balance the new flexibility, the moved characters had to break away from foes and then be carefully moved around other foes. It was a hot mess to explain to players both new and old.

Now, with characters no longer being moved but instead placed, pals can be grabbed from enemy tie-up with ease. And that’s not the only upgrade: now a TKer can use their own TK after being TK’d — something expressly prohibited before. Players can set up some crazy TK chains with this maneuver!

With all this going for the Grey* attack power, you may wonder why it ranks only #10. Well…you’ll see, as we climb (descend?) the ladder on the 2011 rules losers.

*(Get it? Grey? As in…Jean Gr…never mind…)

Meanwhile, the #10 LOSER is:

FREE ACTIONS

It used to be that you could take a potentially unlimited number of free actions if the power or ability allowed. But I guess the powers that be realized that almost every type of free action was pretty much already limited to once per turn somehow and decided to just make it a global rule.

So why is this a loss? Perhaps for its effect on the SHIELD team ability and a few other things. So Nanobots can only ever be used once to heal a couple of clicks per turn. Big deal! That’s why the reining-in of Free Actions is the least of the Top Ten Losers of the 2011 rules.

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The #9 WINNER is:

ENERGY EXPLOSION

It’s now a no damage attack, which prevents critical misses or critical hit rolls from dealing self-damage or extra damage, respectively. (Think of a critmiss being a dud grenade, for example.)

This would be a wash, then, if not for EE’s extra line stating that crit hits still deal the extra damage. A purely positive change makes for a modest win for Energy Explosion.

and the #9 LOSER is:

LEADERSHIP

Specifically because, now that its 50% chance of success is now reduced to 33%, it’s really not much good as it’s traditionally been used: on a lone, inexpensive character (usually feated with Contingency Plan) on a swarm team of other inexpensive characters that needs the extra actions.

And yes, Im thinking mainly of YOU, Sidewinder.

But as you’ll see in the coming days, this isn’t the bottom line on Leadership. Not by half.

Tune in tomorrow for numbers 8 and 7 in both categories!

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