Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Father and Daughter part 2 & Emma Frost - Miniature Review


“Father and Daughter”

part 2

“Dad, there`s a light over there, look.. through the trees. Do you see it?” Barbara looked at her father silhouetted in the flashlight. His normally hard, chesseled chin, this night looked as though it was set in an even firmer fixed cast of solid iron.

Captain Gordon of the GCPD. Beat cop to street hero of Lower Cheap Side: arch nemesis of the Kingpin.. and all Boardwalk Casino Empire: rising star in the law enforce agency, charged with the thankless task of wiping the dirt from the streets. Normally this meant sweeping it out of sight and out of mind under the nearest convenient carpet. But James Gordon was old school. Captain Gordon believed in a better, cleaner world - free of vile villainy; he believe in streets and parks where the innocent could walk unmolested and children could play happily, and in safety. Free from the corruption running rife throughout many parts of the mega metropolis that comprised the vast four hundred mile conglomerate stretch of Angel City. The Black City... the criminal underworld called it.

James looked at his daughter, refracted through his water soaked glasses into a dozen tiny duplicate shards. He blinked inadvertently, as though the action would somehow clear his vision, but the rain remained firmly on the outside of his glasses, and the water continued to run down in rivulets and onto his already soaking shirt.

He looked once more towards the direction he had seen the barn. ` Hmmmm, what good would that do anyway, even if they could get inside. Hide from the rain?  Naaa, a vehicle could pass by on the road and they`d never hear it or flag it down in time.`  He thought about the noise he had heard coming from somewhere deep in the forest, up ahead. That sound was gone now, and whatever it was, would have to remain an unresolved mystery.

Answering his daughter he replied: “yeah..... yeah I guess that`s probably our best bet.”

Reaching inside the Black Cat, he pulled a lever, and the trunk swung open. Moving to the back of the saloon, he retrieved a large revolver and a few spare boxes of shells from under the tyre jack. The firearm he placed firmly under his jacket, and the shells were thrust deep into the driest inner recesses of his BP Vest. Slamming the trunk shut again he shouted through the wind and the rain:

“Okay, let’s go.”

The Game


Our two Superheroes set up at the entrance of the Haunted House map. I don’t remember which set this comes with, but it is part of the HorrorClix range of maps. Is it the reverse side of the map that comes with the starter set? Actually I truly can`t remember!


Barbara Gordon, James Gordon`s... later to become Commissioner Gordon`s... daughter”. Is she a Superhero? Well yes, she will in the comics, of course, later become Batgirl. So yes, she really is a Superhero, just like Bruce Wayne is too, even when he isn’t in his Batman gear, right?


James Gordon is a hero in a different way entirely when you think about it. He`s one of those hard-boiled detective types you can simply never put down. They will always pop up again and spit in the villains` faces. Gun them down, and they rise up again, stronger than ever before..  as the eternal champion`s banner is picked up and raised high by yet another incorruptible cop... no doubt inspired by the courageous belief in justice, as borne by each predecessor.  But thinking about it, even Commissioner Gordon will (later on in the comics)  take on the role of Batman for a while, when the real Batman goes missing on one of his crazy sabbaticals. So yeah, they are both entitled to wear the Hero status: and with pride I would say.


The haunted house is a straight forward, typical.. erm... haunted house. Fill in all the thematic descriptions yourselves: aka - spiders webs, thick layers of dust covering everything. The dilapidated appearance of everything: right down to the mouldy foul smelling curtains and the creaking wooden floorboards. Even add in the low tuneless organ music if you like, and woohooo!! away you go!! Just let the imagination take over to do the rest. Normally I get carried away and write reams and reams of back story, but this time I`m going to reel myself in, and just get right down to it.
Let the blood bath begin.
 ***
{10 minutes later, at the entrance to a large empty looking old mansion}
Father and Daughter enter the haunted house map, and here I throw a die on my home made D30 randomiser table, which I always use when I`m playing solo.
It keeps the game interesting and unpredictable by throwing a few random elements in there, just to screw the heroes and bad guys up. Works a bit like the Plot Twist cards in HorrorClix, only I write a load of possibilities onto paper which I print out and have handy beside me as I`m playing. I assign numbers to my random elements, so (like rolling for a wandering monster in a standard game of D&D) on any turn I roll a 1 for the Monsters or a 6 for the Heroes, I simply roll a D30 and throw a spanner into the spokes of the game... sometimes its not a spanner, but an extra clip of much needed ammo, or even a machine gun, hehe. I tend to make up these random tables for a lot of my games, making them up and tailoring them as I go, for each style individual game being played.
Rolling a 6: Barbara thinks she hears a noise; or maybe she is just intuitively drawn to the left down a short passage and into a room at the end... and as her father steps cautiously ahead up a long passageway, he is oblivious to the fact that daughter is not right behind him.
Suddenly there is a figure, larger in size than any human has any right to be. It stands in the doorway of the room Barbara has just entered: completely blocking off any possible escape route for the girl.
"Hello Pretty"
Barbara spins round on her heels, and gasps when she sees the botched giant of a man standing before her - if man you could even call it. It was huge, easily nine feet tall, and seemed to have been forged from the dimensions of hell itself. Its bestial face leered at her and thick mucus... was that salivation... dripped from its foul twisted mouth. “Hello Pretty” the thing boomed with a voice comprising sand paper and carbon.
Barbara had seen all she needed to know. This thing meant to harm her, and the proof of this came moments later when she side stepped, looking for a way past the fiend. As she moved, IT moved to match her motion. With death defying bestial speed, it slipped forward, its fists clenched tightly in rage, and it growled like rocks shattering on a mountainside as it advanced upon her.
Thankfully, Barbara owns the ability LEAP/CLIMB, which means she gets to add 2 to her roll when  she attempts to break away from a foe. She rolls her die and throws a success! Even as the monster sweeps a powerful arm in a wide arc, with a fist that would have sent her wheeling and crashing to the floor with a painful concussion and ringing skull (would have in infected 3 straight wounds), she manages to dive out of harm’s way, throws herself in a tuck tight roll... between its legs, and rises, darting away as fast as she can go: back along the passage the way she first came.
Captain Gordon comes to a T junction. The passage carries on ahead but also branches away to the right. He looks over his shoulder and is about to talk to his daughter only.. she isn’t there!
A scream fills the air, and he calls out - fearful for his girl`s safety: “Barbara!”
Just at that moment there is a loud cracking sound as the rotten floorboards under him, splinter and give way beneath his feet. Suddenly he is falling... falling!

{Another roll on the random table has produced a critical mishap from the list}




When he gathers his senses, James finds he had landed in what he assumes must be the building`s old under croft. There is light, spilling in from a small grease and dust ridden window at one end of the cellar like chamber. James hobbles up onto his feet. Suddenly he becomes painfully aware his left ankle can barely carry his weight (he lost 1D4 wounds in the fall: rolling 4 on the die: his base is clicked 4 times - ouch!)


Meanwhile, Barbara hears a voice cry out her name: “Father?”  She replies. But then she hears a loud cracking sound followed by a panicked: “Aaaaauugghh”.


As she runs down the passageway, she spies a phone sitting on a table. It looks like it is plugged in and active, judging by the flashing light on the side.


Does Barbara..

A)    Run to where she heard the noise and try help her Father?
B)    Run out of the house and get the hell out of there... try to reach safety and return with help?
    C)  Does Barbara pick up the phone and try call emergency services? That thing doesn’t seem to be behind her, but can she get a line out and complete her call before it is?
You decide!

 Story by: Hilary Gilbert

Part Three of this story "Father and Daughter" will be in two weeks time. Meanwhile: next Wednesday, for an entirely different change of pace, we will see what Bryan has in store to surprise and delight us all. 

----------
 Heroclix Uncanny X-Men
Emma Frost
Black Queen…White Queen.
The former White Queen of the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost is a powerful mutant telepath who can transform herself into organic diamond. She has become an eminent member among the X-Men. A gifted teacher, Emma is renowned for her beauty, wit, and revealing attire.
Subsequent story arc deviations have her as Cyclop`s (new) partner and lover, and a former co-leader of the X-Men, where she continues to play a prominent role in Cyclop`s teams. Other divergences and crossover storylines have her battling vampires (they can`t bite her in her diamond skin transformed state) and as teacher of Generation X.
Originally, Emma remained a serious thorn in the side of the X Men for many years, until Xavier finally caught up with her, and they talked. Frost confessed to Charles that the real reason she fought against him over young mutants, was that she believed she could offer them something Xavier couldn`t – true freedom, not just “self control, so they appear normal in ordinary humans` eyes!” Later when many mutants are slain, their deaths finally proved to Emma that she was very wrong, and at last she agreed to go to the X-Mansion and become one of their order.
Most people associate the enticingly beautiful Emma Frost adorned in her usual stunningly alluring wardrobe of all white attire.  


Here, on this amazingly beautiful miniature, we see Emma Frost dressed in an all black costume of equally stunning allure.


Emma can be a strong addition to your HeroClix team at a mere 80 points.  If your thing is keywords: Emma Frost has 4 options for theme building; Generation X, Hellfire Club, Hellions, and X-Men.  There have been similar set of powers and distribution of stats for several previous Clix versions of Emma over the years… starting with a 5 range single target Mind Control and Super Senses. This time she brings her head mistress status at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters to the battle, and puts those keywords to work, with her special damage power Teaching the Next Generation; still allowing her use Perplex but also giving her a cool option to use a combat value other than damage, and modify that value on all friendly characters within range that share a keyword with her, regardless of line of fire.
After 3 clicks of those powers (with 10 attack and 3 damage) she goes from being persuasive with her mental powers, to being an offensive force dealing penetrating damage with 3 clicks of Penetrating/Psychic Blast: the first of which is coupled with Running Shot.  She’s not coy or naïve in the least and keeps her defenses up with Energy Shield/Deflection and Shape Change.
If she gets knocked low, don’t worry! With the X-Men Team Ability she can benefit from some healing (from a friendly fellow X-Men) or you may have noticed that she has a Costed Trait Switch to Diamond Form in the Nick of Time for those really tricky, desperate moments
For an additional 5 points when building your force, you may activate this trait with a sidelined Emma Frost 005b prime. When Emma Frost 005a would be KO’d, you may instead replace her with the prime Emma on click #6!  Speaking of the prime Emma Frost, let’s take a look at her card and dial.
You’ll notice right away this version of Emma Frost has her diamond skin form when her secondary mutation manifests. She drops her keywords to Hellfire Club and X-Men but keeps the X-Men Team Ability.  Emma’s secondary mutation drops her mental powers in favour of physical strength and durability and in being the ‘diamond in the rough’ of close combat.  Her trait Diamond Form keeps her safe from being heavily damaged by range focused opponents, limiting her to taking a maximum of 1 damage from ranged attacks, and Indomitable keeps her leading your team by example… from the front.
For all 6 clicks of her 125 point dial she will be teaching some hard lessons: opening with Charge and Super Strength combined with Impervious to help keep her safe. Her top dial Outwit sets her apart from most close combat ‘tank’ type figures.  Later in her dial, her defense power changes to Invulnerability and she gains Sidestep to be able to maneuver into a position to deal penetrating damage with her Exploit Weakness.
But this babe isn’t over yet!  On her last click, Emma is graced with a STOP click that grants Invulnerability and she returns to the same combination of Charge, Super Strength and Outwit that she had on has on her top two clicks.  This is also the click you land on if you pay the 5 points for the common 005a Emma Frost to use her Costed Trait.
The Uncanny X-Men really is an amazing place to start cherry picking your prime needs for the amazing game experience that comprises HeroClix.
If you found this mini review in any way helpful or interesting, please let us know.
Tarot Hunt



19 comments:

  1. Two excellent articles! First up, Hil, that is the indoor map you get with the Horrorclix starter boxed set. Second, already the team have split up. This is rarely a good idea. Would Barbara really run out of the house before checking what has happened to her father? Surely, she'd want to see what happened to him and ascertain his status. So, I opt for option A. Is the phone for help option a separate option? It is also listed as Option A, which is why I'm asking. I think she should phone for help. If the phone is working, then make use of it.

    Tarot, I'm a fan of Emma Frost so I thoroughly enjoyed your article about her. I'm one of those you mentioned who remembers her in her white costume(s). I knew she worked as a teacher for the younger X-Men but not the details or why she opted for her new black costume. I hope you do more articles like this one.

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    1. Thank you Bryan, I`m glad you liked the run down on the new Emma figure. I think she`s beautiful, and especially because aesthetically she`s so different. But best of all maybe, her game stats make her absolutely incredible.

      But did you find it USEFUL, that` s the thing I`d be interested to know? I`d really like to cover a lot of the HeroClix singles, and some of the sets and team bases, if that`s okay.

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    2. I found the article very useful, T. I'll send you an e-mail going into greater detail but personally speaking I'm all for this type of article. More please!

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    3. Yaaaay!!!! good, I`m so glad. Wasn't looking for praise, just whether I should of more of these Clix reviews or not.

      I am aware HeroClix is a very specialised game, even if tens of thousands of people DO still play it: the majority of the gaming world has moved on to newer games nowadays, and Clix is no longer the `mighty flavour of the year` it once was.

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  2. OOops that now reads A B C lol.... my bad.

    Steve :))

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    1. In that case I choose option C - phone for help.

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  3. As I`m not playing in this week`s session, I think that means I`m allowed to vote too yeeeey!!!

    Hmmmm, knowing Barbara as well as I do from the Graphic Novel anthologies and so on (and staying in theme and without meta-gaming too much), I know her character is a little like Sarah Jane in Doctor Who.... ALWAYS going off alone and getting herself into trouble. Most stupid thing you could ever say to the Doctor`s assistant was “Stay here, and whatever you do, don`t touch that button!” Also, this dynamic Gotham duo have a chequered past together... yet the title of this story could so easily have been “Like Father Like Daughter.”

    So,

    Looking at the stats of The Fiend (nice model by the way... one of the cool Horror Monster threesome given to us by Jeremy) I see that if that thing followed up on Barbara, it would cut into her long before she reached her father – or the hole in the floor where her father was standing a few moments ago. But that`s meta gaming so I will stop that line of thought.

    However, staying in game whilst staying in theme, hmmmm: looking at the points cost of Barbara and Jim, I see this game is only going to afford 2 actions per side - per turn, so it’s quite possible `the house` will put other obstacles in the way of our intrepid heroes. Maybe that thing knows a short cut and will appear in front of Barbara: I dunno. I just know that Hil`s made up random table is often weird and very nasty. Yes it’s very possible that animated Frankenstein type fiend might well not be done with Barbara yet. And I`m worried if she tried to make a phone call, she simply won’t have time to pick up the receiver, dial the number (assuming she even knows a useful number to ring off the top of her head), and then find just the right words to describe where they are... all in maybe 10 seconds... 20 seconds if we seriously want to spent 2 turns doing this? But knowing Hil, this game has something the official rules doesn’t have built into it – role playing. So YES, course she won’t leave her father alone, not after hearing his anguished cry. But she`s no fool either, in fact one of her power/abilities I notice from the picture in part 1 of the story, is “Budding Detective”: so I think I am not going to cheat: and not choose any of the three options given. Again looking at the map, I see two side chambers, one on the left (a small room by the look of it) and one on the right (where they entered the house). So here`s my choice: She looks over her shoulder to make sure it’s not behind her, and then darts into one of the side rooms, presses herself against a wall behind the door, and stands dead still, gets her breath back (clears), and hopes the thing can`t immediately find her. This allows her to think, and decide what to do next based on `the houses` next move.

    I call this option D ^^

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  4. I think I AM going to cheat.... I meant lol

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  5. Another in depth and interesting post. And nice to see the Fiend getting some much-needed exercise after his cramped travelling conditions...
    In regards to the unfolding story, I think Babs would check on Dad first, perhaps checking for a dialling tone on the way past? A light is no indication that the phone is actually working...
    I have to say this takes me back to Fighting Fantasy - although we seem to taking the options as suggestions, rather than cut-and-dried decisions.
    And a nice review from Tarot - the only thing I would add in future is an indication as to the relative rarity and price if one was to be purchasing the figure individually.
    Good work all!

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    1. FF, ah yes.. Classics are often the best.

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    2. I loved Fighting Fantasy. They don't make them like that nowadays do they? My bro had dozens of them, and I was weaned on borrowed copies stolen from his book shelf.

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  6. I tell you that Fiend is a real MONSTER in more ways than just a name. I spotted very quickly that this mini has two initial set up settings, Green (full strength) and Red when he`s in mega rage stats. The base itself only has, literally, ONE dial of Skulls or KO on it. So what I did was make up a few house rules. If the Fiend is ever clicked to defeated: dead, knocked out of the game. Instead he waits a turn and then pushes one more click, and gets up again off the floor on the RED start point. It makes him absolutely lethal in a game, and ideal for this sort of mini skirmish level game. Cost wise, I just add 50 points to his cost.

    And well spotted, it is a bit like Fighting Fantasy*, only you have direct contact with the person making up the stories, so can in fact go: “I don’t want to do any of those actions as described, but I DO what to do this instead?”

    *I dated that guy once)

    Also, wooohahaahaaa  evil laugh. Oh how well spotted, a flashing light is no sure fire proof the phones working. Picking it up (on the way past) and listening for a dial tone IS a good idea.

    Looking at the prices on eBay.co.uk I see the Emma Frost basic version sells, on average, for between £1 and £5 pounds. The prime `b` version in see-through plastic/crystal seems on average to sell for around the £10 mark. Finally, you are absolutely right, well noted. Prices with reviews would be handy in future, cheers Tar` hun. Also this mini is rather hard to find right now, and might soon almost go to `Chase` standard if what I see is true. Emma (a and b versions) are part of the current Uncanny X Men range. But these are selling and vanishing like hot cakes at the moment, so if interested, maybe get buying sooner than later!

    Once again thank you for the lovely gift of those three figures: as you see, they really ARE being used.

    Hil

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  7. Yipes! I paid 9.50 (in euro) for my basic (rookie) Uncanny X Men: Emma Frost. But I wouldn't change her for the world she`s such a cool fig. Having the matching crystal (b prime) version would be REALLY nice. But I don`t know if I`ll get lucky enough to find one.

    Okay, my vote. I`m sort of with Carrion Crow AND Steve here. Only by my estimation, if she takes another action she`ll be `pushing` but she really needs to get away from that room she just left behind, and the thing in it.

    I vote she `pushes` - possibly taking a click damage for doing so: not sure if she has Indom (Indomitable/Wilpower)? Next, lift the phone quickly as she runs past THEN hides in a room a turn while she `clears`, THEN goes find her Dad, the turn after that.

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  8. Where to start??

    Steve make a decision dude lol! I love your thought process man, it's so amazing the way you jump around with what youre thinking (I promise you that's a compliment! I seriously love it)

    Hil, darling, another corking episode, keep it up! You can write reams of background if you want and I'll lap it up. As for the next step, as my training dictates, call it in first - always get your backup running as soon as poss, emergency service 101.... So my vote goes to the phone and hit the 9s (or 911 as it is)

    Tarot, yes please my lovely keep up the reviews! My collection of 'clix is p*** poor but I love the minis and of course the Marvel and DC universes

    Did I miss anything out? I'm post a large glass of wine so not sure..... ;-)
    This blog is awesome btw

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  9. You got it Andy *hugs* I will do.

    Hey, I wanna glass of that stuff.. and red`s my fav` as well.

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  10. HAHA, Andy mate, you should see me being the Dungeon Master in our long standing game of D&D hahahaha. My mmind works ten to the dozen always.... always has lol, and yes I think aloud most the time (often drives Hillers crazy)

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  11. {{"as my training dictates, call it in first - always get your backup running as soon as poss"}}


    Now THATS my kinda man, thinks on his feet lol. Good stuff Andy. Its all been taken in and the votes for which option(s) have all been added up. Any new votes might yet change the outcome of part 3`s scenario, but we shall see. Next part (in 2 weeks) will be a biggie I think.

    Thank you )

    Hil xx

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  12. When we gonna see the NEXT PART?

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  13. Patience young Padawan,

    .... sooooon.

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