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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Wizkids DOTA2 Heroclix Dire Starter Review

Updated: 02/18/2014 9:13 AM
Created: 02/05/2014 4:11 PM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

I used to go to comic book shops a few times a week back in college, and one game that I was introduced to was a game called “Heroclix,” and it is created by a company called Wizkids. 

As soon as I saw it, I had to buy a starter, some boosters and soon, my friends and I started playing it every chance we got.

“Heroclix” is a collectable miniatures game, and when it was first released, it featured most of the Marvel comic book characters.

Over the twelve years, there have been many other brands of “Heroclix” sets and expansion packs that you can buy like DC, “Mage Knight,” “Halo,” and now “DOTA2.

You can buy starters and booster packs of each themed “Heroclix” set, and you never know who you are going to get in the booster packs.

 In each booster pack, there could be a common, uncommon, rare or unique figure.  The unique figures are the ones players want to get because they are harder to find and also sometimes more powerful than the other characters.

“Heroclix” is a very easy game to learn and play.  Each figure is worth a certain amount of points and that is indicated on their base.  Before you play, you decide how many points you want to play with and then you create your team based on that.  Once you have you team, you place all of your figures on the map within the purple lines.  The maps usually come with a starter pack and you can use any of the “Heroclix” themed maps.

Any number of players can play, but it’s suggested that two to four players should play on one map.

“Heroclix” figures sit on a base that has a dial that you can turn.  Each character is unique and has its own special abilities, attacks, and hit points.  

Each character has a starting number that you need to turn his base to at the start of the game. 

The characters all have icons on their base, and this represents how fast they move, what their defense and attack strengths are, special moves, etc.. You look at the number next to the icon, and you can base your attacks and movements on that.  For example if “Spiderman” has a “four” by the foot icon, he can move four spaces in any direction. 

To have the characters fight, you need to move them so they are adjacent to each other, or if they can shoot, they have to be in a line of fire.  Then you roll a die and depending on the roll, the attack is successful.  The other player can roll the die also to see how much damage they take or if they blocked it.  There is an icon on the base that shows how much damage each character does when they attack.

When a character takes damage, you turn the dial on their base the number of hits they took.  If the character’s dial says “KO,” then they are removed from the game.

To win the game, you have to “KO” all of the other players’ figures.

I’m not going to go into everything, but it is all explained in the very detailed and easy to understand rule book that comes in every starter.

One of the latest “Heroclix” expansions that was just released by Wizkids is based on the very popular video game “Defense of the Ancients 2(DOTA2).”

“DOTA 2” is an online battle game that is extremely popular.

In the “Heroclix: DOTA 2”dire starter set, you get five figures, and they look awesome.   Fans of the game are going to be very happy with the way they look because they look like they just came right out of the video game

There is a ton of stuff that comes in the “DOTA2” dire starter and you get everything you need to play the game and I think that’s awesome.

Here is what is included:
 - five very detailed collectable figures (Lich, Faceless Void, Tidehunter, Witch Doctor, and Razor)
 - character cards (explain all of the character’s unique powers and how they can be used in the game)
 - a very helpful powers and abilities card that explains what all of the colors and symbols mean on the characters bases
 -   a rulebook which is very detailed and explains how to play in a very simple and easy to understand way
 - two dice
 - object tokens
 - terrain tokens
 - 36” x 36” full color map
 - plus an exclusive code for a “Blink Dagger” weapon for Tidehunter
that can be used for the online game.

My friends and I played a bunch of games this past weekend, and we had a blast.  It’s been a few years since we played, and it brought back a lot of great memories.

Each one of the characters has its own unique powers, and they are described on their character cards.   Two of the characters that were my favorite to use were “The Witch Doctor” and “Faceless Void,” because of their special powers. 

The Witch Doctor has a power called “Voodoo Restoration,” and it heals a certain amount of damage to all of the characters adjacent to it. 

The Faceless Void can cast a “chrono sphere” that will place two action tokens on all of the characters that are up to four spaces around him.  The tokens mean that on the opponents next turn if they choose to do something with that character with the tokens they will take damage.

WizKids has been releasing some video game themed expansions like, “Bioshock: Infinite, “Batman: Arkham Origins,” “Street Fighter” and “Halo.”  I hope they keep making them, because I think the figures look great and are a great addition to “Heroclix.”

I think that with every new set and expansion that is released by Wizkids, the figures look better and are more detailed.

I also really like all of the many different expansion sets that Wizkids has been coming up with for Marvel and DC as well.  There is always a new and exciting theme, along with a complete new line-up of amazing figures to collect. 

There are many reasons I am such a huge fan of “Heroclix.” I like that there are so many different characters and expansions that you can buy and play with.  Plus just about all of the “Heroclix” can be played together.  You can have “Spiderman” fighting “Batman” or “Superman,” the stories and teams that you can create are limitless. 

I also think that “Heroclix” is a great game of strategy because you have to think about which characters would make a great team.  Then as you are playing the game, you have to try and figure out which opposing characters you need to KO first.  There is just so many things to think about, and you will never play the same game twice, and that’s what appeals to me.

If you are a fan of “Heroclix,” “DOTA2,” or are looking for a fun and exciting game to play, I would highly recommend that you pick up Wizkids “Heroclix: DOTA2” dire starter today.


Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.


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