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To coincide with the Avengers vs. the X-Men event that took place in the Marvel universe some time ago Wizkids recently released two complete sets of Heroclix, one with an Avengers team and the other with a team of X-Men. Last night was the first night of the event at the Geekadrome, one of my friendly local gaming stores.

The rules for assembling our forces were pretty straightforward. Each player had to use at least one figure from either the Avengers or the X-men starter sets and we were given three hundred points to build our forces. All of the participants were also asked to choose one of the two factions, and after making that choice we would compete for our respective teams throughout the rest of the event.

With so many great figures to choose from and a 300 point limit it was difficult to choose who I wanted to bring to the table. Ultimately I decided to use Iron Man for 100 points, Spider-Man for 125 points, and Wolverine for 75 points.

This team is nearly identical to the one I used in another event not too long ago that served me very well. The only major difference is that it doesn’t include my 99 point Luke Cage because there was just no way to make him fit onto the team. Iron Man’s ability to generate knockback with every attack, along with his regeneration, flight, outwit, and perplex make him a versatile and relatively inexpensive piece. He also his indomitable allowing him to take actions two turns in a row without taking pushing damage. I chose Wolverine for his regeneration, indomitable, and his ability to use charge as well as blades/claws/fangs. Spider-Man was the single highest costing figure in my force and one of the primary reasons I included him is due to his ability to avoid being damaged in combat.

Round 1
TabApp Wolverine
Cyclops (X-Men Set)
Wolverine (Wolverine and the X-Men)

This match had three different versions of Wolverine proving that the X-Men’s favorite Canadian can still serve on as many teams as he wants to. We were placed on a map of the Savage Land with a river running across the majority of the map and plenty of hindering terrain to be taken advantage of. In the first round I had Iron Man carry Wolverine right over the river to keep him from being slowed down by the water and with Spider-Man’s ability to move almost anywhere I let him web his way right over the opposite shore as well. The far side of the river quickly turned into a battleground as all three Wolverines squared off with one another in a flurry of snikts.

Cyclops and Iron Man spent most of the match trying to blast one another into bits, thankfully Iron Man’s ability to use regeneration and a lucky roll kept him alive long enough to win the shootout. The Wolverine from the TabApp proved to be a tough opponent owing to his Keep Comin’ At Ya ability. When Wolverine takes damage and reveals a click with this ability he stops taking damage, and gains regeneration. Ultimately my Wolverine was defeated and the TabApp Wolverine went on to cut down my Iron Man.

Luckily Spider-Man had managed to avoid taking any damage throughout the match so he was able to finish of Wolverine before he could close the gap between them. It was a very close match and we were both down to our final figure which always makes it more exciting in my opinion.

Round 2
Cyclops(Avengers vs. X-Men Starter Set)
Dazzler (Wolverine and the X-Men)
Longshot (Wolverine and the X-Men)

For the second match I landed at another table featuring the Savage Land map, which seemed like a good omen. I joked around with my fellow player Justin, we both agreed that Wolverine would be trying to sniff out the tyrannosaurus rex that must be hiding in the bushes.

Justin brought his forces across a shallow portion of the river and chose to bring the battle to the center of the map. His duo of Longshot and Dazzler combined powerful ranged attacks with probability to control with devastating effect. My Wolverine was defeated by Dazzler within three rounds before he ever got close enough to do any damage. Luckily I managed to get Iron Man into some cover and Spider-Man’s spider sense kept Cyclops from hitting him throughout the match. Stark Tech won out over mutant abilities when Iron Man hit Longshot and Dazzler with a couple of lucky attacks.

Cyclops kept firing until the last round, but he couldn’t manage to hit either of my Avengers. Longshot performed so well I think I’m going to have to try to get my hands on one of those figures. I’ve already got Dazzler so the duo could be performing on my tabletop in the near future.

Round 3
Magneto (Wolverine and the X-Men)
TabApp Cyclops
Cyclops (Avengers vs. the X-Men Starter Set)
Gamma Bomb (Incredible Hulk)

For the last match of the night the Avengers found themselves on a snowy mountaintop, and I found myself face to face with the famous gamma bomb that turned Bruce Banner into the incredible Hulk. The gamma bomb is an interesting piece that begins to count down at the start of the game, and at the beginning of each player’s turn the dial is turned one click further. When the countdown is complete it unleashes an wave of destruction that blasts out in every direction for eight squares. Any character can attempt to disarm the bomb, turning the dial back to delay detonation, but each character can only attempt to do so once during the game. Since I only got back to playing Heroclix a few months ago I had never seen the gamma bomb before, and I was really excited to have it included in our match.

Luckily the differing terrain of the mountaintop didn’t offer too much of an obstacle to the Avengers thanks to Iron Man’s flight and Spider-Man’s webs. I was very impressed by Magneto’s ability to carry up to six characters which allowed him to carry the Cyclops duo up the mountain in one trip. Magneto and Cyclops brought Spider-Man into melee negating one of his better defensive powers. Wolverine and Iron Man spent the next few rounds whittling away at Cyclops before Magneto carried the remaining ruby-eyed renegade out of the fight. At that point the gamma bomb went off damaging Wolverine and Iron Man, but they both survived the blast. Iron Man fired a final shot that knocked Cyclops down the mountain and ending the match.

In all these were three great games with wonderful, talented, friendly players who challenged me from the moment I sat down at the table across from them. I found myself enjoying the discussion of tactics, characters, and the game itself. If you are in the Pittsburgh area you should definitely drop in at the Geekadrome one Tuesday evening and join in on the fun. All of the players have been extraordinarily welcoming to a newcomer and every event I’ve attended has been extraordinarily fun. If you aren’t a Pittsburgh resident and you’d like to take part in the event find a friendly local gaming store, grab one of the starter sets, and join the fun.

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