F.U.N. Friday: The Dark Knight (and power creep) Rises [part 2 of 3]

Posted on July 27, 2012

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Last week, Heroclixin’ began analyzing how street-level set like Dark Knight Rises is at least a little overpowered. Sometimes grossly so.

After seeing the film, some of my opinions are altered. For example, the Mercenary whose super-Support I criticized a week ago seems to actually sort of deserve it, a little.

Well, actually, no. There’s still no reason his Support should be so much better than normal characters’. But it at least doesn’t look so out of place now.

Bruce Wayne having Leap/Climb looks even MORE wrong after TDKR.

But I digress. On with the list proper, where we left off:

Miranda Tate 012: After seeing the film, I say yes, she absolutely deserves her dial. Great support piece that bulks up in power later on. Power Leap Factor: 0

Alfred Pennyworth 013: Wayne’s faithful butler, OTOH, rates a Power Leap Factor of 3 with his unconscionably high 17 Defend — he’s an aged butler, for goodness’ sake, I don’t care what he could do as a younger man. Especially paired with his Bat Ally TA.

Bane 014: The opening three clicks of Invulnerability trouble me. They’re only there because they gave the same three to The Dark Knight 001. In a more balanced-for-the-rest-of-HeroClix, accurate set, he’d top out at just two clicks of it, I say. Power Leap Factor: 2

Master Bruce Wayne 015: His dial looks well-balanced and character-accurate, until you realize that his 5-click dial is A) brim-full of powers, he’s got B) two team abilities and C) he’s just 50 points. Something smells, here. Power Leap Factor: 1

Salvatore Maroni 016: Here we’ve got a 60-point character that, unlike Bruce above, is highly powerless. But it still rates a Power Leap rating for bringing his no-line-of-fire boost to Mind Control. Only the fact that Mind Control is so bank-bustingly expensive and awkward to use keeps the Power Leap Factor a minimal 1.

Harvey Dent 017: Why does a mere district attorney get Probability Control as a core power? He’s not a reality-warper like Scarlet Witch. He’s not a technological genius like Mr. Terrific. He’s just an internal affairs cop who became a head prosecutor. And he gives adjacent allies free WILLPOWER? With not even any keyword restrictions? And how’s he rate Batman Ally? He’s not that sneaky as Dent. Not character-accurate. Overdone. Power Leap Factor of 4. He’d be higher if not for the stuff he pulls off later as Two-Face.

Rachel Dawes 018: His ladyfriend here is even more overpowered. She’s a lawyer/politician, not a cop — why’s she get PD TA? Perplex once would be a stretch for Maggie G, but TWO times a turn? And Plasticity for someone who’s always getting captured? And Incap, for a taser she stopped using after the first film? Where the dingdong are the multiple clicks of 17 DV coming from for this untrained-in-combat civilian? And all for just 45 points? Only her weak “activation click” keeps her from being even worse than Power Leap Factor 4.

The Joker’s Henchman #2: It’s nuts that this is a more sanely designed piece than the previous two. With very modest stats and a limited version of Prob, this only rates Power Leap Factor 1.

The Joker As Sgt. 020: This looks overpowered at first, but is actually pretty nifty. At a not-svelte cost of 78 points, yes, he gets very high AV and Penetrating/Psychic Blast to represent an unexpected close-range, can’t-miss shot, along with similarly disguised cronies to shuffle hits off onto. The 3 range keeps him from getting more than a mere Power Leap Factor 1.

Lt. Gordon 021: But now we’re getting stupid again. His stats and standard powers are modest; his SP is game-warping, giving multiple keywords a lot of extra movement for the cost of his single power action. To be both character-accurate and game-balanced, it should’ve been limited to less-expensive Police-keyworded characters. As is, though? Power Leap Factor 4.

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So far, we’ve only looked at the Common and Uncommon pieces. What of the rares? Well, Ra’s al Ghul isn’t so bad, dial-wise, though he’s got an interesting (and mostly character-accurate) switcheroo trait that’s a serious double-edge katana. His more expensive lieutenant/master Henri Ducard also makes sense for his 85-point cost (although 2 TAs AND Indomitable seems to push it a bit). Carmine Falcone is a pretty standard Leadership/Mastermind piece, and his low AV balances out his Incap-plus trait; the same goes for Scarecrow (though in Dr. Crane’s case, it’s a low, barenaked DV that’s the achilles heel). Lucius Fox is a genius with no powers other than the usual genius powers (Perplex, Outwit) and a dab of Leadership-plus. None of these rate above Power Leap Factor 1.

Commissioner Gordon is the first piece of the Rares with an actual Power Leap Factor worth considering. Like the common Bruce Wayne, his 18 Defend seems at least a point too high, and, again, the Leap/Climb is totally uncalled for. His high cost is enough to keep him down to Power Leap Factor 2, but still, he’s too good.

And then there’s The Joker 028. This 194-point monstrosity is a dial of might that one skinny psycho clown shouldn’t have — especially the ultra-healing SP on his end-dial — unless you look at it as a something more akin to a scenario dial that represents Joker and his gang and, most of all, his grandest scheme and gags all working together to cause maximum chaos. Even so: Power Leap Factor 3.

The final Rare piece is The Batman 029 — the Outwitting, Leap/Climbing, Charging, flying Batman. With a chunk of Invulnerability in mid-dial and Indomitable for a nearly staggering 8-click dial, this Bats is overdone in almost every way. Previous Batman dials generally had to compromise in various manners. Some could L/C and Charge, but were hindered using the latter. Some had a solid amount of Outwit but little or no armor to protect it. Only the fact that he’s the most expensive solo Batman ever made keeps him from rating a Power Leap Factor greater than 2.

The Power Creep Rises once more in a week with looks at the Power Leap Factor of the Marquee and DKR starter pieces (#s 100-106) and the mass market figures (#s 201-210). Monday through Thursday, though, get ready for the August Top Ten countdown of the top Duo figures in HeroClix!

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