Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Look! Up in the sky!

I have long puzzled over how to represent a 3D fighting space on a 2d Heroclix map. The answer is simple: you can't.

Perhaps that's why I enjoy the challenge.  I can't feel bad if I fail (because it's clearly impossible), and any small success I have in capturing the flavor of 3D action feels ENORMOUS.

Besides, there are some comic books scenes that just demand it.  Villains attack from space.  Or a battle is raging too close to occupied areas and a hero tries to take it up, up, and away from vulnerable civilians and property.  Or someone tries to escape a flying pursuer by darting in and among the maze-like city environment.

Also the perfectly foursquare 'from above' view on all standard Heroclix maps can get boring, since that is not at all how we see the world, even if we are flying above it.

So, here's my latest attempt, titled, "Look, Up in the Sky!"

It works by dividing the map into three sections that function as different "levels" in the 3D arena (those are separate by the fuzzy white boundary lines).  You can move from one to the other but adjacency/line-of-fire (and other game effects, such as Poison, Perplex, Pulse Wave, etc.) do not cross the boundary between sections.  If someone is in another section of the board, you gotta go get 'em, if you want 'em.

The lowest section is full of blocking and hindering terrain (as you would expect).  But no elevated terrain; that would just confuse things.

The middle section has a bit of blocking terrain, representing the tops of skyscrapers.  The sun (well, the sunLIGHT, really, but you get the idea) and some clouds provide hindering terrain.  The second level is restricted to flyers, so the hindering terrain really only hinders their line of fire, not their movement.

The upper section (naturally, also restricted to flyers) is the empty space above the city, where hiding is just not an option.  Oh, since some characters can actually lose the power of flight at certain points on their dial, there is a rule on how to let the figure "fall" back down to the lowest section with a loud "OW!" (represented by three clicks of damage).  

There's a lot of characters that would feel good on this map. The Superman family and foes, of course.  The Lanterns.  The Hawkfolk.  Certain versions of Wonder Woman (particularly with the Invisible Plane). The "Brave & Bold" style Batman with his Batplane.  The Martian Manhunter (particularly if you throw in some sort of 'flaming meteorite' heavy object he's got to stop without getting too close to).

Aquaman and Flash, however, are going to feel a little left out.  But perhaps I can find a way to make it up to them in the future...


SallyP said...

It's...it's so pretty!

Unknown said...

Loved the map! I posted it to reddit, hope that is ok!

Scipio said...

Well, I don't know what that is, but you are welcome to post any of my maps anywhere.