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AlphaClix: Batman is a game designed for new players; many regular HeroClix players will find it too simplistic because it is intended for a much younger age group (those eight and up). Existing players’ experience of AlphaClix has been based on what they know of HeroClix; this resulted in a lot of negative feedback and folk seem to have missed the point entirely. AlphaClix is not HeroClix 2.5 as many think, people need to appreciate that this game is created to ensure we have a vibrant community coming into the game in the future and not as a substitute for HeroClix.
I have been playing AlphaClix with young relatives and also with friends who like both comics and games (but found the full HeroClix rules far too complex to actually play). While the second group is not going to be converting over to the full game, the first group has the potential to be a new generation of players.
Each Booster of AlphaClix has been designed as a mini starter, which comes with figures, rules sheet, map, and dice. Ideally each player needs two Boosters to get enough map sections for a full sized map and since the rules are on the back of the map, one extra Boosters so they can refer to the rules while playing the game!
Unlike HorrorClix, Alpha and Hero games are completely compatible. Figures made for one game can be played in the other and while some figures became stronger, others became weaker. To cut the rules down to a couple of pages, a lot has been taken out. There are no Action Tokens, no Objects, Feats or Barrier Tokens... in fact the only cardboard left is the Character Cards. Some rules have also gone such as Breakaway and Destroying walls, other are significantly changes -- for instance, you can now shoot through friendly figures! So let us have a quick look at the rules of the game.
Victory & Reinforcements
Victory conditions for AlphaClix are simple. You get 1 KO point for every enemy you Knock Out and the first player to 5 KO points wins! To ensure that every player has a chance there is a "Reinforcements" rule. At the start of a turn a player can bring fresh blood into the battle to replace each figure they have lost, and to give the advantage to the underdog these new figures can cost up to 10 points more than the figure that was eliminated. So when your 50 point Batman gets taken out you can replace him with your 60 point Batman if you wish. So deciding who to use as your reinforcements and who to use as your team can be important to winning the game.
Each team consists of at least five starting characters with a combined point value of up to 250 points. With all the Batman figures ranging from 20-90 points it isn't hard to put together a team of five or more figures and the rest becomes your reinforcements (so you have a chance to bring them into play later). As there are no action tokens in the game, Figures can act every turn. Because victory is based off the number of figures knocked out, and not their points value, running a swarm team of a ten or more cheap characters does not work well under Alpha Rules. I would recommend starting a team with two or three 60+ point figures and rounding it out from there.
Probably the biggest change with AlphaClix is that every figure can move four squares and attack as their action. This gives a tremendous boost to overall mobility in the game and allows for much faster play. It also means that Powers like Charge (that allow move and attack) are boosted up to allow full movement and then attack.
With the complete removal of any Tokens on the map, some powers needed a complete overhaul and thus resulted in some new Alpha mechanics. One of the most important is the ability to move after attacking, much like Hypersonic Speedsters do in regular HeroClix. Evade & Cover are both appropriately named powers as characters using them have the potential to get out of sight or range of enemies when using them.
EVADE (Willpower) After you attack, you can move up to 4.
COVER (Smoke Cloud) After you attack, you can move up to 2.
There are no Critical hits, misses, or “rule of three” in Alpha, so lots of player's thought were that the +2 Attack Value granted by leadership could be stacked and they could have characters running around with attack values higher than Galactus! Fortunately “Rule of Three” has been replaced with the restriction that characters can only be affected by one Black Tab power at a time. So irrelevant of how much Leadership, Defend or Perplex you use no one is going to get more than +1 Defense or +2 Attack.
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