Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A New Dimension to Gaming: (Wizkids did it right - part 3)

Heroclix was always branded as 3D gaming - taking the two dimensional characters off the page and putting them onto a map, playing out battles from four color funnybook panels. However, as time went on, game design injected some peculiar 2D elements into the mix, namely bystander tokens.

Bystander tokens (better known by the nickname "pogs") were poorly a named game mechanic, mostly because they often weren’t bystanders: Adeline Wilson was a crack shot with a rifle, The Challengers of the Unknown had their own comic title, and it was just an insult that Harvey Bullock was weaker than a Rookie Gotham Policeman. Don’t get me started on the Daughters of the Dragon, or this guy...

pick me next Wizkids!

With WoS we see a few more bystander tokens graduate to 3D - namely Mary Jane and J. Jonah Jameson. Some feel these figures have no place in a combat game, and I couldn’t disagree more. MJ & JJJ have been known to tussle opponents from time to time, and effect the battlefield when they can. Even Aunt May brained Doc Ock in Spider-man 2.

I welcome their inclusion in ‘Web, and look forward to seeing other iconic “supporting cast” figures in the future. The keyword is Iconic. I’m willing to admit that not every minor role needs a sculpted piece to go along with it - but the Rick Joneses, Jimmy Olsens’ and Snapper Carr’s of comics deserve some attention.

Where's my coffee, Parker!

And really, after 10 years of clix, and fifteen Marvel booster expansions it’s okay to burn a few slots on the little guys. It’s not like we really need another version of Elektra or the Beast anyway.

So to sum up the three things I think Wizkids did right with WoS:
1.)making Chases standard rarity
2.)bringing some excitement to the convention circuit
3.) graduating deserving characters from bystander status to 3d sculpts.

What do you think Wizkids has done right (or got wrong) with this latest set?

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