Saturday, June 01, 2013

Mod maze

And by that title I mean not "mod" as in groovy modern but rather "mod" as in "modular".

As much as a I love most Heroclix maps (especially mine own), they all share a common problem: they are static.  They are the same every time you play them.  After a while you're familiar enough with the map that you can work its particular layout to your advantage.  That's fun, but it does take a bit of the surprise out of things.

Mazes are like that, too.  They look quite daunting at first, but once you've navigated them, that's it.  They hold no further possibilities.

But not so for THIS maze:

Originally, I wanted to make this maze all, you know, Riddler-y.  But that would really limit the occasions for using it.  Besides, I figure anyone who actually has this printed is probably going to be someone with a Court of Owls fixation.  And so: a dungeon maze.  Any figures with Charge, Running Shot, or Sidestep are going to have a good time here.

The map is mostly clear floor tiles and blocking walls.  But there are also two small water areas, two small elevated areas, and two small hindering areas (just because they are so DARK you can't go running through them).  But here's where the REAL fun begins:

If you cut the map along those white lines, you can then place the sections down any way you like to form a different version of the map. That's a lot of combinations; in the parlance of the internet "more than 9000".  Actually, 2,949,120, I believe (I may have lost count at some point there).

Thursday, May 30, 2013


In a recent interview Joss Whedon said: "If I could get my hands on absolutely anybody it would be Batman. (audience applause) He's a Marvel character in the DC universe."

That's the final straw.  I have (mostly) kept my trap shut for years on-line about despising Whedon's immature meta-driven snark-dripping characters who all speak with the same voice and his ability to make virtually any character sound like an adolescent who needs smacked.  I've never wanted to upset my friends who like his fan-pandering work and keep trying to shove it down my throat.  Yes, friends, I know you enjoy those burgers from Five Guys; but that doesn't mean that they are good food.  Whedon's work is the Five Guys of fandom, appealing to your basest tastes while clogging you literary arteries and starving your soul.

But now he's crossed a line. Saying you'd like to work on the Batman IP is one thing; who wouldn't?

But claiming that Batman


is "a Marvel character in the DC universe" shows that not only do you not understand Batman but that you don't understand the DCU.

Stay away, Whedon.  Stay in the Marvelverse where you're feel to write any character as a troubled, fractious, self-centered jerk and have people applaud you for it.  Because you are not welcome in any version of the DCU that I would recognize.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Penguin Henchmen

One of my hopes for the forthcoming Heroclix set based on the Adam West/ Burt Ward version of Batman from 1960s teevee is that it will entice some people to try Heroclix who never have before.

And no villain is more emblematic of that show as Burgess Meredith's rendition of the Penguin.  Not only was he hilarious and ingenious, but there was no question: Penguin was BOSS.  Watch the 1967 Batman movie; it's quite clear who is running the United Underworld (despite the failure of his exploding shark).  

Forget about the Penguin's rap sheet; Burgess Meredith stole every scene he was in. 

We're sure to get a figure for him in the new set, but if we're going to have the rascally Penguin, we need his fine feathered finks!

I always got the impression that the Penguin's henchmen were among the most professional of their sort and had a good gig.  They got lots of airtime because the Penguin was always up to something.  They got away with occasionally calling the boss "Pengy" and he treated them with a reasonable amount of respect (well, as much respect at the Penguin gives anyone).  He never made them wear anything ridiculous (unlike, say, the Catwoman's gang), they knew how to fence with umbrellas, and they even had their own union of sorts (the Grand Order of Occidental Nighthawks).  

I always got the impression that these G.O.O.N.s managed to get by without the Penguin when he was in prison; the henchmen for the other supercriminals all looked like they just puttered around walking into walls while waiting for the boss to come back.

So, courtesy of Israeli illustrator Aviv Itzcovitz, I present to youthese Fine Feather Finks tokens to use with the new Pengy Heroclix figure when it arrives. For rules on using them see here.