Posted July 1, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Gaming

DIAL H FOR HEROCLIX (How I Spend My Sunday Afternoons)


There are only three constants in this universe: change, a second thing that I can’t think of right now but need to mention anyway for the sole purpose of stretching this joke, and my FlipGeeks boss calling me at the worst possible times.

Tony: “Hello?”

Kyle: *sigh* “What is it?

Tony: “Is this Kyle?”

Kyle: “No, this is the Lorax.”

Tony: “Really?”

Kyle: “…No. No, of COURSE this isn’t the Lorax. The Lorax doesn’t even exist, except maybe in children’s dreams, but that’s beside the point. This is Kyle. Me. Kyle. You CALLED my number, right? Why on Earth would this not be Kyle?”

Tony: “Kyle. Chill. Sheesh. At least I didn’t call you at 4AM like last time. I mean, it’s not like you’re in the shower, currently trying to get soap out of your eye and cursing your existence, right?”

Kyle: “Actually, I am in the shower, trying to get soap out of my eye and cursing my existence. And your tendency to call me at the worst possible times.”

Tony: “Ah. Sorry about that. Speaking of last time, though… I’m not happy with what you wrote. You made me sound like a slave-driver who has absolutely no concern about the welfare of his employees, instead of the kind, loving, generous bro that I really am (make sure to write that in the next column*).”

Kyle: “…Drugs are bad for you, boss. Veeeery bad. Also, what’s all this talk about a ‘next column’?”

Tony: “Well, the last one DID pull in a good number of views, so I’ve decided to give you a weekly column, out of the goodness of my heart.”

Kyle: “Whee, more quota work that I won’t get paid a single cent for. Thank you so much, bossman!”

Tony: “You know me, I’m all heart. Now, tell me – what are you going to write about next?”

Kyle: “Well, I can write something about Man of Steel-“

Tony: Done to death.”

Kyle: “-or how about the two new Rurouni Kenshin sequels that were just recently-“

Tony: “Not enough details available as of the moment, and besides, we’ve already got Elaine covering that. What, you want to take her job away from her? What kind of heartless bastard are you?

Kyle: “-ooooor I can write about HeroClix.”

Tony: “HeroClix? Those little gaming figurines with numbered bases? Isn’t that a dead franchise already? I remember I had the Green Lantern ones, though. They were awesome.”

Kyle: “Actually, the line was revived when NECA took over the license a few years ago. Since then, the gaming community has been thriving, mainly because of updated rules and better sculpting across the line-“

Tony: “I had Hal Jordan. Did you know that he’s my favorite Green Lantern?”

Kyle: “Anyway, I’d like to write about how I’ve slowly been getting the hang of the game-“

Tony: “I once won a tourney with just Hal Jordan and Kilowog.”

Kyle: “Er, boss?”

Tony: “A tourney.”

Kyle: “Boss.”

Tony: “I remember, it was way back in 2003…”

Kyle: “BOSS. Snap out of it.”

Tony: “Oh! Oh, right. Go on, go and write about your HeroClix article.”

Kyle: “Okey-dokey, boss!”

Tony: “…Does anyone even say ‘okey-dokey’ anymore?”

Kyle: “Oh, boss, one more thing. I need to ask you a favor. You know, for my research.”

Tony: “Ask away, my good man!”

Kyle: “I need to be able to play with updated pieces to interact with HeroClix players. Could you maybe sponsor a HeroClix brick**? It’ll cost about 5,000php.”

Tony: “…waitKylecan’thearyouchoppylineIneedthatcolumnbyMondaymorningbuhbye.”

Kyle: “Boss, wai-“


First lesson is on the house, and via phone. DEFINITELY via phone.

Now, to be fair, I had the option to write about other things. Like Alodia’s FHM cover, for example, which seems to be a hot topic right now. Unfortunately, since I’m a boring prude of a columnist, you’re stuck reading about grown men clicking little dials and throwing dice. Besides, other people have written about HeroClix and met really positive response (like my good friend Jerald Uy, who featured a guy who’s REALLY good at making and painting these tiny things). Awesome, right?

My, er, love affair with HeroClix began last ToyCon. It was on the morning of the last day, I think, when my friends (let’s give them the totally fictional names Miko and Fau) and I were goofing around (what else is there to do at a convention, after all?). I was skipping around, looking for something to buy, because I didn’t want to go home empty-handed. I stumbled upon – as in, literally, I almost did a fantastic faceplant on the table, no thanks to that fat Kamen Rider cosplayer who bumped me – a booth selling HeroClix. Marvel HeroClix.

Spider-Man HeroClix.

Granted, they were blindpacked – meaning I didn’t know what was inside each of the individually-wrapped containers – but Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider were among the possible “rewards” for those who were brave enough to fork over a hundred pesos. As I stood there staring at the boxes and clutching my wallet nervously, my friends finally managed to catch up with me. They saw me, saw the boxes, and, like the good friends that they are, proceeded to coax me into buying one pack.

Miko“Come on, man, don’t be a killjoy. Go get one of those packs, trust us, it’ll be worth it.”

Kyle“Guys. You’re well aware of how bad my luck is when it comes to randomly picking things for myself. Remember when we raided that gashapon machine at Toys ‘R Us? When I went crazy with tokens in a mad attempt to get Shinken Blue? What did I get again?

Fau: “Shinken Red, Shinken Black, Shinken Pink, Shinken Yellow…”

Kyle: “…and?”

Miko“…and another Shinken Red.”

Kyle: “See? Yeah, no thanks. Knowing my luck, I’d probably get, I don’t know, Shocker or something.”

And of course I ended up buying one anyway, and of course I got Shocker. Of course.

I immediately got pissed and bought another one. Cloak. Freaking Cloak. Who the hell thought putting Cloak in a blindpack would be even close to a good idea? And so I kept going, mainly out of frustration – Mysterio, another Cloak (argh), Spider-Girl, another Spider-Girl (ARGH). I was at my wits’ end. All I wanted was either one of the two Parkers, and now I had two villains, two underaged girls in black skintight spandex, and two walking blankets.

I was desperate. I decided to switch off my common sense and rely on my Spider sense (heh). I picked out two blindpacks…and got Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider! YAY!

Is that a stack of HeroClix under your mask, or are you just… No, seriously, what the hell is that?

Because I’m a terrible writer, I just realized that I didn’t even properly explain just what the hell HeroClix is. Well, “are”, if you’re referring to individual game pieces, but since I’m talking about the game, well, it’s singular. Don’t feel bad if you’re confused. The dumb “x” at the end is just there to give it that SUPER EDGY feel.

HeroClix is a tabletop game wherein each player assembles a team of characters with attack, defense, movement and damage values. Following a set of rules and using a pair of dice, the objective of the game is to completely wipe out your opponent’s forces. It’s a combination of skill (since there are a lot of factors that come into play when selecting a good team) and luck (because successful attacks and the use of most character-specific abilities are based primarily on dice rolls). Look at that, I managed to explain the game in relatively simple terms without having to Wiki anything. I’m so proud of myself.

Of course, I can’t play this game on my own. Well, technically, I can, but that would essentially be “playing with myself”, which sounds so wrong that I think I just felt my half of my readership (which would be somewhere around, what, two people) click the little red X at the top right corner of this window in disgust. Also, please don’t do that, because, trust me, this story gets better. Sorta.

Anyway, because I am an equally good friend and totally not a manipulative son of a gun, I ALSO convinced my buddies to get a few (and sold them my doubles, too). Now, I have game pieces AND people to play against! Can life possibly get any better than this?

I posted a picture of my new HeroClix haul on Facebook, partly because I wanted to post a subtle “Hey, hey, I got some HeroClix, who’s up for a game on a weekend?” invitation, and partly because social media exists entirely for people to project a positive image of themselves, and I want to look like a pretty cool guy. I mean, HeroClix and other geeky things are cool, right? Right? After all, everyone loves The Big Bang Theory and all those Nolan Batman movies and all. Bazinga!

These aren’t ice cubes, by the way.

Another friend (let’s give him another 100% fictional name, like, say, Louie) sent me a message, inviting me to a game the following Sunday. I’d never been invited to any social gathering in my entire life before, so I replied to my friend with a firm, heartfelt, emotional “yes” around ten minutes after I finally stopped crying.

I made it to the venue on time, and brought Miko with me. I saw that Louie had brought a mutual friend and fellow Spider-fan, Gino, with him. Turns out that Gino’s the veteran HeroClix player between the two of them, and that my first-ever HeroClix game would be against him. Pretty fuh-reaking sweet.

When you’re assembling your HeroClix team, you’re supposed to choose pieces based on a specific “point limit”. This is mainly to stop jerks from making teams with six Hulks of different colors and ruining the game for everybody. Each figure has a corresponding point value (for example, the variant of Spider-Man that I had at the time was worth 75 points). Gino and I agreed to set a 300-point limit for our game. I ended up picking Spider-Man and Iron Patriot (the movie version – Miko let me use him for that game), while Gino went with Blade, Spider-Girl, and Scarlet Spider. We then proceeded to play my first-ever game, and me being me, I succeeded in showing just how little I understood the mechanics of HeroClix.

Some choice quotes, all from me:

- “Freaking dice!”

- “Hey. HEY. How can Spider-Girl hurt Iron Patriot? That’s-that’s not possible! He’s stronger in the comics!”

- “Dammit, dice!”

- “What do you mean ‘that’s against the rules’? Spider-Man can web-swing, that’s as good as flying!”


- “What? Blade? Who the hell uses Blade? No one even cared about the third movie.”

- “I swear there’s something wrong with my dice…”

- “Wait, what just happened? Why am I dead?”


Irony of ironies, it was Blade who ended up completely demolishing my team. The little snot had Regeneration, Fangs, and a bunch of other things that I really, really think should have been illegal. The day wasn’t a total loss, though, as I ended up getting a couple of new HeroClix pieces to add to my roster. Still, I had a ton of fun, and since that first game, I’ve been spending my Sunday afternoons there, slowly getting the hang of this crazy game.

Oh, and as Miko and I were walking home that day, he brought up the spectacular train wreck that was my first game.

Miko: I still can’t believe you lost. You totally should have won.

Kyle: Yeah.

Miko: I mean, you had Toughness, Regeneration, Perplex, Outwit, Super Strength…

Kyle: Yeah… Excuse me, what?

Miko: …Running Shot, Flurry, Charge…

Kyle: Slow down, slow down. What are you yammering on about?

Miko: You know, the abilities. On the card. The one that came with the figure.

Kyle: …Dude. That was my. First. Game. Why didn’t you say anything?

Miko: I don’t know, it was fun to see you “incur an agonizing defeat”. Heh.

I love my friends. 


*And so I did.

**A “brick” consists of 10 booster packs (50 random sealed figures, with varying degrees of rarity).

The exchanges in this article are either purely fictional (see: phone conversation with my boss, who is actually a pretty nice guy) or exaggerated for comedic effect.

I’m not going to mention the place where I play on Sundays, because I’m not supposed to be advertising. After all, I want this column to stay as neutral and grounded as possible. Also, click the funky KYLE-O-PHONE banner at the top of this post for more ways to waste your time. Please?

Mikael Angelo Francisco