Since the launch of HeroClix in 2002, thousands of comic book and other characters have been translated into pre-painted miniature game pieces by WizKids. All of them are compatible and scaled to one another via a complex system that seems like magic, but which makes it easy to play by assigning each one a point value that, at a glance, lets you know how powerful a figure is. Need a refresher on how to play? Check out our run down here.
Last week on Group Hug we had a very unique scenario featuring Batman and Robin from the campy 1966 TV show facing off against modern day Christopher Nolan Batman movie villains! This unlikely meeting was put together utilizing 600 point teams, meaning that there were a lot of options as many Bat allies and rogues clock in at around 100 points or less. Let’s take a look at the teams and how some of the characters were captured as HeroClix figures.
Batman & Robin Team
feat. Birds of Prey and Some Old Guys
- 100 Batman (Batman Classic TV #1)
- 50 Robin (Batman Classic TV #3)
- 99 Commissioner Gordon (The Dark Knight Rises #27)
- 55 Alfred Pennyworth (The Dark Knight Rises #13)
- 35 Lucius Fox (The Dark Knight Rises #26)
- 50 Oracle (Fast Forces: Streets of Gotham #1)
- 100 Huntress (Fast Forces: Streets of Gotham #3)
- 100 Black Canary (Fast Forces: Streets of Gotham #4)
The Batman and Robin chosen for this team come from the Batman Classic TV set, which celebrates the old television show in fun and authentic ways. The 100 point Caped Crusader and 50 point Boy Wonder differ from most other Batman Family figures in that they do NOT have the traditional Batman Ally team ability that grants Stealth, so they need to be more careful to avoid ranged attacks. They have pretty good stats with solid attack values and some below average damage numbers, and neither is Indomitable or comes with Willpower. Also unlike other versions of these characters, this Dynamic Duo lacks range altogether, meaning they need to get up close to fight. So what do these guys bring to the table, other than their dashing good looks and retro costumes? They’re highly mobile and hard to hit, but what really set them apart are their amazing traits and special powers. Both have a trait called “Biff! Bang! Pow!” that makes all of their attack rolls of double 3s, 4s, and 5s critical hits (in addition to the standard 6s)! That’s really huge, as it means a few more dice roll options will ensure a hit, do additional damage, and knock back opponents.
Both figures have tricks for shutting down enemies; Batman has a special power giving him Outwit and Perplex and Robin’s crazy “Holy _______, Batman!” power lets him choose a type of action for a nearby enemy; if the figure performs that action type in the following turn it is instantly debuffed! Lastly, Batman has one of the coolest special powers in the game, “A Batman Tool for Every Occasion.” Every time Batman is targeted by an attack (whether it hits or not), he can pick a standard power color showing on his attacker’s dial and take on the Defense power that matches it! This means that every attack opens up options for Batman’s own defenses, and he can layer them as he chooses to get overlapping powers and even things like Willpower or Barrier. The ’66 Batman and Robin may not be everyone’s “go-to” Dynamic Duo, but they’re super fun to play.
The “old guys” on the team, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, and Lucius Fox, were chosen mostly as support figures with a range of powers like Leadership, Outwit, Support, Perplex, and Defend. Alfred and Gordon also have some offensive capability, though Fox is mainly a “behind the scenes” guy. Meanwhile, the three Birds of Prey members are highly effective and work really well together! Chosen from the Streets of Gotham Fast Forces pack, Huntress, Black Canary, and Oracle all have solid stats and great powers plus the two attackers get synergy bonuses and abilities from Oracle in her Clocktower. As a 250 point unit, this trio can help out any team.
Batman Cinematic Villains
- 194 The Joker (The Dark Knight Rises #28)
- 113 Bane (The Dark Knight Rises #14)
- 85 Scarecrow (The Dark Knight Rises #25)
- 65 Two-Face (The Dark Knight Rises #9)
- 35 The Joker’s Henchman #1 (The Dark Knight Rises #7)
- 33 The Joker’s Henchman #2 (The Dark Knight Rises #19)
- 35 The Joker’s Henchman #3 (The Dark Knight Rises #207)
- 40 The Joker’s Henchman #4 (The Dark Knight Rises #208)
By far the most expensive figure in this game was the rare version of Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Dark Knight Rises set. At 194 points, the chaotic villain brings a lot to the table, though he’s not the easiest to play. Every single slot on every single click has a power, and they change back and forth with alarming frequency. He starts out a ranged attacker with Running Shot, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Energy Shield/Deflection, and Outwit, but as soon as click #2, he switches to close combat with Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Joker is hit, it’s always a crapshoot to see what powers he’ll have afterward and how he can set up his next attack. On top of all that, he’s Indomitable so he doesn’t take pushing damage, he has a trait giving him Mastermind, so he can pass off damage onto his minions, and he has a late-dial special power offers the chance to heal the Clown Prince of Crime. Joker even has two team abilities; Batman Enemy lets friends share his high attack values and the Underworld ability means Joker can carry his mooks with him (all the better for Mastermind fodder!).
A sneaky standout on Joker’s team was the unassuming Dark Knight Rises set Scarecrow. At 85 points and with only mediocre stats he may not look like much at first glance, but as soon as some of his allies get into position and his enemies have tokens, Dr. Jonathan Crane really shines. This version of the Scarecrow isn’t so much focused on attacking as he is on getting next to opponents, holding them down, and hurting them with his fantastic trait. Fear and Control gives him perpetual Poison with the added benefit of free action Mind Control attacks when enemies are damaged by his poison gas! He’s further aided in his mission by a full dial of Plasticity to hold Batman in place, Perplex, Shape Change, Smoke Cloud, and Combat Reflexes for protection, and even top-loaded Incapacitate should he try his hand at attacking. Plus, with the Batman Enemy team ability he can borrow the attack values of his more martial friends like Joker, Bane, and Two-Face! The rest of the team is rounded out by a quartet of the Joker’s Henchmen (#1-4), each with his own unique focus and special power. There’s a lot of synergy in this gang through the team abilities (Batman Enemy and Underworld) and the Henchmen’s powers, plus support from multiple Outwits and Probability Controls. The baddies also have a decent mix of close and ranged attacking options that should be effective against a variety of pesky do-gooders.
As you can see, despite fielding characters from very different worlds, both of these teams have some really fun and interesting figures and a lot of capabilities on the battlefield. How do these Batman and Joker teams stack up against each other and who would win? Well, check out the video from last week’s episode of Geek and Sundry’s Group Hug to see the battle played out in real time! It was a great game with lots of back and forth as these surprisingly evenly matched forces battled head to head… though only one could be the victor.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below about how the game went, how you might have played differently, and which Batman-related HeroClix figures are your favorites. And tune in every Friday for brand new, LIVE episodes of Group Hug on Geek and Sundry’s Twitch channel!
Photo Credit: Scott Rubin