F.U.N. Fights: ROC animals

Posted on March 12, 2014

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A few weeks ago, I went with most of the regular players from the venue that I judge to attend one of the Realms Open Championship qualifiers in a neighboring state, mostly for fun and to prove to myself that I could play this game at a high level after all these years of playing almost entirely for F.U.N.

Turns out I made it to No. 7 out of nearly 50 players. Not bad. Here’s the team that got me a spot in the top 16 finals.

Lizard [Amazing Spider-Man] 88
Vixen [Streets of Gotham] 74 + Justice League: Generation Lost ATA 3
Alyosha Kraven [Amazing Spider-Man] 70
Beast Boy [DC 75th Anniversary ] 60
Cosmo [Galactic Guardians] 52
Catwoman [10th Anniversary ] 35
Flock of Bats [Batman 99c] 18
= 400 points.

The ROC Format, as it’s called, requires No Tactics force construction. That means

  • No special objects/relics
  • No resources
  • No feats
  • No Battlefield Conditions
  • No Bystanders

The only tactic still allowed is themed teams. It also bans multi-base figures larger than peanut bases. It’s an interesting format that nerfs some strong abilities — for example, it prevents certain characters whose SPs or traits bring in bystanders from using those effects. That was a big deal, as one of my key pieces has a bystander friend, Gulyadkin the Lion.

Although this is definitely a F.U.N. team, it’s built for combat for sure.

The Flock of Bats is filler, yes, but also an important tie-up piece and blocker, not to mention its Poison threat. Catwoman, too, is a Stealthy, Willpowered Weakness Exploiter who doesn’t take up much room on the team but can influence matters greatly. Cosmo adds TK for extra mobility and his Enhancement + Police TA for aid to the ranged attacker of the team. Beast Boy is a Hypersonic harasser with a few other tricks via a full complement of Morph candidates. Alyosha is, of course, the engine that makes the team go, even without his trusty lion. But it’s Vixen who’s the real initial threat of the team, with her ability to go HSS via Beast Boy or get TK’d for normal range shots — through Stealth, too, if the JL:GL ATA target is viable, and with Willpower [thanks, Catwoman]. While teams are dealing with her, Lizard reamins unmolested and hard to kill.

ROUND ONE
vs. Shatterstar, Caped Crusader+flock of Bats 99a, Flock of Bats 99c, Madame Web

With a +7 on map roll, I won to choose Karnak, the “short-board” map from the Watchmen Crimebusters Fast Forces set. I’d heard of the Shatterstar+Flock+Caped Crusader alpha strike tech, so I was determined to shorten the distance to CC as much as possible.

Turning Point: CRITICAL MISUNDERSTANDING

It actually came almost immediately. On first turn, I moved only Catwoman into a patch of hindering terrain; I needed her alive to loan her powers to Vixen. But I dared not do ANYTHING else, knowing that ‘Star and bats and Bats were coming.

My opponent thought that move eliminated First Round Immunity for my whole team, not just Catwoman, and he warped in with Shatterstar to the back row where Catwoman had been with the grey Flock of Bats, then brought in Caped Crusader with the free action switch.

That’s when I told him he had no targets due to the real nature of First Round Immunity. Because the CC move was a free action, I let him take it back. But Shatterstar and the Flock he brought were there to stay — die, surrounded as they were by my whole team. The rest of the match held pretty firmly in my favor all the way to the end. 1-0.

Best Vixen move [because this is a thing I do when writing about this figure]: Using the Justice League: Generation Lost ATA to select Caped Crusader as her mark at the game’s start made the big-point Batman variant an easy KO from 8 range even when he thought he was hidden.

ROUND TWO

vs. Silver Centurion, Rescue [002], Tony Stark [IIM 015], Forge [WAXM]
Again, I selected Karnak, to get to the enemy start zone as soon as possible.

Turning Point: CRITICAL MISS

After I got first attack on round 2 thanks to an Alyosha-granted free move with Vixen followed by a ranged attack and subsequent TK yoyo, my opponent decided to do likewise. But he snaked his attack, and although he didn’t suffer any real harm — Forge could autoheal the crit damage and Rescue yanked him out of retaliation range — the fact that Vixen remained at full health rather than at death’s door kept me in the game all the way to the end, leading to Vixen’s Best Move:

Tantu Toteming Super Senses from Beast Boy and dodging the “last action” Torpedo attack that would have KOed her for the loss instead of me going…
2-0

ROUND THREE
Iron Pharaoh, Scarlet Witch [Chaos War] x3, Jinx [Teen Titans], Scarlet Witch [AvX].

This one was on the AvX Latveria map, as I lost the initiative roll. And ugh…though normally all this blocking terrain would be an advantage for my mostly melee team, Iron Pharaoh’s “Golden Falcon, Soaring” trait can’t be hidden from.

Turning point: CRITICAL MISPLAY
My only hope, I thought, was to bust enough of that double Barrier team to engage. I moved Alyosha Kraven, one of my 3 damage figs, far into the middle of the map with thoughts of Barrier-breaking ASAP. But that was a game-killing misplay, as I’d fatally underestimated the speed of the Falcon and its ability, with Iron Pharaoh being Perplexed by three SWitches to a 6 damage, to kill Kraven with one guaranteed-hit attack [thanks to those three SWitches, again] and thus killing my only hope of getting enough actions to do the Barrier-break. Best Vixen Move: None. Although she made to the Witch coven to make an attempt at a fight, my other terrible decision to Tantu Totem Willpower and not push her to her much-more survivable Combat Reflexes click made her an easy KO instead of a difficult one. You’d think I’d have learned to trust Super Senses a bit more after last round…
2-1

ROUND FOUR
vs. Brandon, one of my companions on the road trip, and his Mystical team of Dr. Strange [ 028], Shaman [IIM], Scarlet Witch [CW] and Astral Dr. Strange x 2 [and more on the sideline]

Back with map choice again, I once again went with Karnak, being once again faced with a “fight you from the back row” kind of team. [I really, really hate this trend in HeroClix.] This was complicated when Shaman killed my Flight skills, badly ruining my team’s mobility. It’d take the whole game to get the Flock of Bats to tie up the enemy. I had no way of getting up the stairs to attack with them being blocked with Barrier most of the time. .

Turning point: CRITICAL MIS-BARRIER
Early on, he built Barrier to block in Beast Boy to halt the Cheetah’s minor HSS threat. Trouble was, he needed Perplex to get the range to make the Barrier “airtight,” losing damage he’d needed to KO Kraven later in the round. Keeping Kraven — and his Animal Influence SP, once he Regenerated back to it — gave me just enough figs and actions KO each of the Astrals and incap the Dr. long enough to get Shaman, too, for a slim margin of victory.

Best Vixen Move: For too long, I forgot her TK potential to maybe sling Lizard to the roof. But in the end, her use of HSS to KO Shaman was the best move of the game.

Final: 3-1 record was enough to get to the top 16 single elimination tournament. And if you read last week’s F.U.N. Fights, you know how that turned out.

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