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Based on the popular Mage Knights system, but utilizing super hero characters from the Marvel and DC Comics Universe.

The game plays much like a miniatures game, but without the measure-and-move system or the constant consultation of hit charts. Rather, most of the vital statistical information is directly on the base of the characters, which can be rotated as characters take damage from hits.

Necessary Vocabulary

point value – how much a HeroClix figure “costs” to put on your team.
point total – how many points each player gets to build his or her team of heroes. These are usually in 100-point increments, like 100, 200, 300, etc. You can build a team that matches the point total exactly, but you cannot exceed the point total.
action token – a gaming bead, coin, or just anything little that helps remind you which heroes have already acted.
push – make a character act two turns in a row, which makes the character take 1 damage.
team symbol – a little graphic on the back of the character’s dial, which tells you what group the character is part of. Some heroes do not have team symbols.

To play, you need at least 2 six-sided dice (d6s), and a small collection of heroes. But how do you turn your collection of pieces into a team of any sort?

DC Heroclix Justice League Team Base

First thing: on every HeroClix base is a number, like 51, 35, 100, etc. This is the character’s point value. Every game of HeroClix starts out with a point total, which you must build within to play. Say, if the point total of a game was 200 points; you couldn’t play the 251-point Superman in that game, because he exceeds that threshold of points. You can make up a team of any type of heroes you want and nearly any point value–just make sure that all the point values of the different pieces add up to 200 or less for that game.

Actual gameplay is pretty simple–every turn, you can make only a certain number of actions (like moving a hero or attacking). You derive the number of actions you can do per turn by dividing the point total of the game by 100. For instance, if you’re playing a 100-point game, you can only make 1 action per turn; if you’re playing a 500-point game, you can make 5 actions per turn. When you have a character on your team act, afterwards he or she must be marked with an action token. That hero can move or attack next turn, but will be pushed if you have them do so. (Doing two attacks back to back would tire me out, too!) The exception to this is if the character has Willpower (purple on Defense), a special power that acts like Willpower, or has the Power Cosmic or Quintessence team ability–all of these prevent pushing damage.


On most HeroClix maps, lines of differing colors show where bushes and trees are, where buildings are, etc. Just like in the movies, your heroes can fight in the middle of a city where they’re all on top of buildings, or in the middle of a forest where every tree is a place to hide. These lines denote where different types of terrainare, and each type of terrain can be used to strategic advantage.

The following list shows what color lines mark which type of terrain:

  • Red: Elevated terrain (you have to use a ladder/stairs to get up to it unless you have Leap/Climb or you fly, and if you’re standing on the edge of elevated terrain, you can shoot grounded characters and be shot by grounded characters)
  • Yellow: Indoor terrain (indicates where a building’s walls are so you can differentiate between blocking terrain indoors and blocking terrain outdoors)
  • Green: Hindering terrain (+1 to defense, can’t see Stealth characters who are sitting in it, and you move half your normal move while you’re in it. Think of it this way–it takes a while to crawl through bushes or over desks.)
  • Blue: Water terrain (counts as hindering terrain only if you’re moving through it [because the characters have to wade in the water rather than run])
  • Brown: Blocking terrain (blocks line of sight, goes up forever indoors; flying and Leap/Climb characters can get over it outdoors)
  • Dark Pink: Starting area (the place where you and your opponent put your teams at the beginning of the game. You can’t put objects in your start area.)
Marvel Heroclix X-men Team Base

Team Symbols and Team Abilities

Last thing: Since we’re talking super heroes here, each character has special abilities and powers, which give the game its ‘comic’ book feel. While these powers are listed on separate charts, sometimes the interaction of these powers can cause confusion.  Some heroes come with a symbol on the back of their bases–these are hero team symbols, which have different team abilities–for instance, there’s a team ability specifically for the members of the Fantastic Four that lets you heal all other Fan Four team members 1 click when a teammate dies, and another team ability specifically for Green Lantern team members which allows them to carry up to 8 friendly characters, etc. These can be strategically very useful for building solid teams, providing a little more defense, boosting attack, or even giving a power that’s not on the character’s dial!