HeroClix is a miniatures game created by the fine people at Wizkids Games. The basic premise is a fairly simple one: you control a group of super heroes and/or villains, and you fight an opposing group of similar point value (every character is worth a certain amount of points, based on how powerful they are). You play on a map that is provided to you when you purchase a starter pack (packs of characters come in two sizes: the starter, and the smaller booster), and use dice (six-sided) to keep many factors chance-based (ie, to attack you roll two six-sided dice, and add the characters attack value, and if this equals or beats the opposing characters defense value, you hit them). You can play as many of your favorite Marvel or DC characters, and soon Wizkids will be throwing some Indy comics (such as Dark Horse, CrossGen, Top Cow, Chaos, and 2000AD) into the mix.

Each pre-painted, plastic miniature hero or villain comes mounted to a base known as the combat dial, which showcases all of their powers and abilities. However, these abilities are not set in stone (or even immobile plastic). As the character takes ‘clicks’ of damage, you rotate the dial a corresponding number of clicks to the right. Once the dial reads all KO’s, he is out of the battle. The combat dial lists number to represent Speed, Attack prowess, Defense prowess, Damage dealt, and how many ranged attacks the character can make, and how far away they can be from the target they can be. Also it has a ring around it in either gray, red, blue or yellow which represents to characters rarity and experience level. A yellow one means the character is a rookie, the weakest and least expensive version, while a blue represents a character that is experienced, and red represents a veteran, or a character at their most powerful (and costly). A gray ring indicates that the figure is unique, meaning very rare, and often powerful. Also some characters have the base ring of their dial in a different color, which indicates that they have an arch nemesis. Characters with matching colors on the base of their dials are nemesis’, which means that if one kills the other, you receive double the normal amount of points.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the powers and what it is they do:

Speed Powers:
Green – Charge. This character can move half his speed value and then make a close combat action in the same turn.
Red – Flurry. This character can make two close combat attacks with one action.
Blue – Mind Control. This character can make a ranged combat attack to give an action to an opposing figure.
Orange – Leap/Climb. This character ignores effects of hindering terrain when moving and can make close combat actions against characters regardless of elevation.
Yellow – Phasing. This character ignores effects of hindering terrain when moving.
Black – Stealth. Hindering terrain blocks lines of fire to this character.
Gray – Running Shot. This character can move half his speed value and then make a ranged combat action.
Purple – Force Blast. This character can use a move action to knock another character back spaces equal to his damage value.
Brown – Hypersonic Speed. This character can move, attack partway through the move, and continue moving. They also ignore breaking away entirely.
Dark Blue – Plasticity. This character can break away on any roll but that of one, and opposing characters require a roll of six to break away.

Attack Powers:
Green – Super Strength. This character can pick up objects and use them as weapons.
Red – Blades/Claws/Fangs. This character can roll a six-sided die to determine his damage instead of dealing his normal damage.
Blue – Incapacitate. This character can use a ranged or close combat action to give an action token to one target.
Orange – Energy Explosion. This character can use a ranged combat action to hit all characters adjacent to one target in his range for one click of damage.
Yellow – Pulse Wave. This character can make a ranged attack and have it affect every character within half his range for one click of damage.
Black – Steal Energy. This character receives one click of healing when he makes a successful close combat action.
Gray – Telekinesis. This character can use a close combat action to move another figure or an object 10 spaces in any direction.
Purple – Smoke Cloud. This character can use a move action to create four squares of hindering terrain anywhere within his range.
Brown – Poison. At the beginning of your turn, this character delivers one click of damage to each opposing figure adjacent to him/her.
Dark Blue – Psychic Blast. Ranged combat actions made by this character ignore powers that reduce damage.

Defense Powers:
Green – Energy Shield/Deflection. This characters defense value is increased by two against ranged attacks.
Red – Super Senses. When this character is successfully hit by an attack, roll a six-sided die. On a 5 or 6, the attack misses instead.
Blue – Barrier. This character can use a move action to create up to 4 squares of blocking terrain anywhere within his range.
Orange – Toughness. This character reduces damage dealt to him/her by one click.
Yellow- Defend. This character can share his/her defense value with friendly figures in adjacent squares.
Black – Regeneration. This character can use a move action to heal himself. Roll a six-sided die, and subtract two (treat negative result as zero) then heal the character that many clicks.
Gray – Invulnerability. This character reduces damage dealt to him/her by two clicks.
Purple – Willpower. This character takes no damage from a push (going twice in a row).
Brown – Impervious. This character reduces damage dealt to him/her by three clicks.
Dark Blue – Mastermind. This character can deflect damage received onto a friendly, adjacent character.

Damage Powers:
Green – Enhancement. This character increases the damage dealt by friendly, adjacent characters by one click.
Red – Ranged Combat Expert. This character adds two to their damage value when making ranged combat actions.
Blue – Probability Control. This character allows you to re-roll any die once per turn.
Orange – Battle Fury. This character is immune to mind control, cannot be carried, and cannot make ranged attacks.
Yellow – Support. This character may make a close combat action against a friendly character to heal them. Roll a six-sided to die to determine how many clicks of healing they receive.
Back – Outwit. Once during your turn this character may negate a super power on a target character, which removes until the beginning of your next turn.
Gray – Leadership. At the beginning of your turn roll one six-sided die, and if the result is greater than 4, you receive an additional action for the turn.
Purple – Close Combat Expert. This character adds two to their damage value when making close combat actions.
Brown – Perplex. Once during your turn this character can add or subtract one to any combat value on any character in the game for the duration of your turn.
Dark Blue – Shape Change. When this character is chosen as the target of an attack, roll one six-sided die. On a result of six, this character cannot be chosen as a target.

So clearly, their a lot of different roads to victory in a game with so many different powers. Though it doesn’t take to long to get the hang of the simple, turn-based strategies, it does take a great long while to master them. And just collecting all your favorite comic heroes and villains can be pretty satisfying as well. Who wouldn’t want to have a battle between, say, Nightcrawler and the Hulk, or Magneto and Iron Man right in your own living room, without the fuss of having the surrounding 5 blocks or so razed to the ground, and perhaps smelling lightly of brimstone? There are currently three sets of Marvel heroclix: Infinity challenge (the base set), Clobberin' Time (which centers around the Fantastic Four, and Xplosion (which centers around the X-men. There is only one DC set out, and that is Hypertime (base set). But the next set, Cosmic Justice (centered around the Justice League) is due out quite soon.
To learn more I suggest going to www.hcrealms.com, a very complete site where you can look up characters by abilities or name.