Monday, September 20, 2010

Team building with a twist - Paging Dr. Jackal!

One of the best things about a new set is the life it breathes into older figures. With each expansion the sheer number of exciting and different force builds increases, and Web of Spider-Man is no exception.

In addition to the prepackaged modular keyword teams like U-Foes, X-Force, HAMMER, and the Dark Avengers there's the other type of team building - the ones that eschew the Keyword bonus to exploit a power combination for the Min-Max players.

Finally, there's teams that are just plain silly and fun. Take the Jackal for instance. The villain responsible for creating the Spider-Clones makes his debut in Web of Spider-Man with an interesting set of powers that benefit duplicates.

What's interesting to note is his power taps into names, not figures, which allows for some loose interpretations on the battle map, and clever exploitation as we'll see below.

One of the things that always intrigued me as a comic reader is the way character names were compartmentalized into separate universes. DC had Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and the Boy Wonder, but not Wonder Man - that character belonged to Marvel. Obviously trademark issues were at stake preventing the big two from overlapping... except for where they DID overlap.

For instance, I find it hilarious that DC owns a character named Captain Marvel (which must be a sticking point to this day between the big two) and it's no surprise that Marvel in turn created their Captain Mar-vel in a thinly veiled retaliation, and eventually won the rights to the name in court.

Aside from the flagship characters, the big two blend together on a few other names as well. In some cases it's a simple "same name spelled different" as is the case with Sersi and Circe. Much of the double dipping comes from mythology as well - it's hard to justify a trademark on Norse mythology if you didn't invent it, which is why DC has a Thor and Loki, in addition to Hercules.

Finally each company has rights to a Chameleon, Sandman, and Enchantress. In HeroClix, there's a few places where these names overlap which lead me to create a Same Name Different Universe team, featuring Jackal as a linchpin.

72 WS046 Jackal
101 WS055 Sandman
59 OR086 Sandman
40 AA103 Henchman
13 IC018 Henchman
66 WS019 Chameleon
30 UN037 Chameleon
141 HA011 Enchantress
75 LG009 Enchantress

The not-a-clone team throws the Keyword bonus out the window, but picks up some surprising synergy. Three Wild Card TAs share Sinister Syndicate attack values and JSA defense values. The Mystics TA hands out some feedback damage, while the Suicide Squad TA extends the life of a few.

Aside from TAs, there's a good variety of support powers - TK, Perplex, PC, and Outwit are all present. Chameleon (DC) & Enchantress (DC) make for fine taxis, while both Henchman serve Jackal as Mastermind fodder. Positioned well everyone that needs to can use the Jackal's special power granting even a lowly Henchman some Shape Change.

I'll admit it's not the most competitive team, but played well it could win a few fights, should turn a few heads and may just earn fellowship.

No comments: