I love Heroclix.
I've been reading comics since I was 9 years old, starting with Marvel Team-Up #20 featuring Spider-man and the Black Panther facing off against Stegron the Dinosaur Man back in 1974. That started a long love affair with superheroes that continues to today.
So, Heroclix is something of a natural for me. The game, and it's related Clix-brethren are somewhat derided in the "serious gamer" camp. That's fine. They can bash all they like. It won't ruin my enjoyment of the game one bit.
What do I like about Heroclix? Well, there's the theme, of course. I like the rules (which you can download for free right here). They're not too complex, yet they do allow for considerable strategies in both the building of your force and in gameplay. I like the fact that the miniatures are pre-painted. That's a huge plus for me.
What I don't like about Heroclix is that I don't get to play it very often. There's a good group that plays about twice a month on Saturdays at The Guardtower in Columbus, OH. The challenge for me is that my wife works on Saturdays, and I've got my very energetic 6 yr old daughter. Either that, or there's just been various scheduling conflicts. But, I'm hoping to make it down there for a game soon.
Heroclix launched back in 2002, following the success that Wizkids had with their fantasy-based clix game, Mage Knight. Wizkids was acquired by Topps, who pulled the plug on all Wizkids product lines in 2008. But, just like a host of comic book characters this death was not the end for Wizkids or Heroclix.
There was a variety of efforts to save the game from both fans and ex-Wizkids employees. A fan site called SaveHeroclix.com was started up and a new game company, Piñata Games, was formed for the purpose of buying the Heroclix IP from Topps. All these efforts ultimately failed, and collectibles company NECA surprised everyone buying the bulk of Wizkids and it's intellectual properties. The game returned to store shelves in November 2009.
Since then the new Wizkids has been firing on all cylinders returning Heroclix to prominence in the gaming world, as well as diversifying their game line with board games such as the upcoming Star Trek Expeditions (which has been very well-reviewed), the dice-building game Qwarriors and more. There's also upcoming games based on The Lord of the Rings and the return of Mage Knight, as well.
I'm extremely excited to see Wizkids return to the Origins Game Fair this year. It's been several years since they last made an appearance at the second largest gaming convention in the US. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what they've got in store. The Rural Gamer will be covering Origins, so be sure to check back for the latest news about Wizkids during and after the con next month.