One of the things that the Heroclix series of models do very well is capture the look and feel of a particular storyline or theme. For example, the FUTURE FOUNDATION release was so full of interesting characters and mechanics that even a standard game felt like an episode of the comics. MARVEL HEROCLIX X-MEN RISE AND FALL does this in spades; the source material is a cinematic style full on space action story with a touch of intrigue. This new release of Heroclix gives a similar experience; lots of action and enough strategy to delight any gamer.
Each booster box comes with 5 models and they’re a random selection, so if you want specific models you’re going to either get multiple boxes and play the odds, or wait for the aftermarket. The former is a lot more fun and if you play Heroclix, who doesn’t want more models.Stand out pieces in this range include Iceman, who looks amazing as a model (it’s literally a translucent hero standing on a ice-style base) and also happen to be a great defensive character and also lets you make extra attacks in the right circumstances.
This is the more cocky and experienced Iceman that we see in the storyline. We also really liked Mimic. This hero/villain is an X-Men/Exiles hero that can emulate other mutant powers. This sculpt gives him wings and he’s wielding energy in both hands. He looks cool and also his powers let you duplicate other powers in your team, which can be very handy, especially if you have some tough on your team. Such as Colossus. As you might expect, this model depicts a more mature, contemplative Colossus, but he’s still pretty much invulnerable, especially now that he has the outwit rule to get out of terrible damage. Similarly, this sets black leather version of Cyclops looks like he’s taking it all very seriously and not only can he keep doing the damage, he can also use the Rally ability (new to the game) to keep his team (and himself) going.
Smasher is one of the key models of this range; he’s a Shiar hero that is a mobile and tough combat hero. His exospex trait allows you to utilise abilities that will get you into the fight faster, so you can start dealing out damage straight away. Sticking with the Shiar, Emperor Vulcan is a proper ‘one model to rule them all’ piece. Not only does he rock a great flying pose and look fab in his golden armour, he’s tough to hit, tougher to kill and can keep using Exploit Weakness and Quake to knock his foes out.
We get the ‘smaller’ version of Sentinel (person sized). This is a low level minion that keeps coming back once it’s knocked out. It’s a common model, so you can essentially have a horde of these mutant hating baddies, it’s a great swarm choice. Speaking of swarms, Brood is only 15 points and though they’re easily to kill, this insect nightmare has blades and stealth; hard to hit and can deal enough damage before getting stomped. This is a Shiar set and in terms of minions, we also get a Shair solider. It’s a bit of a generic sculpt and there high-damage potential is tricky to make happen, but it’s fun idea and sometimes it’s fun to play cannon fodder rather than just a few heavy hitters.
Wolverine spin-off villain Daken can do a lot of damage in a very space of time, is tough and the model is also very, very nice; it’s sometime tricky to pull off a near-naked character, but Daken is striking and deadly. This set also features a very angry version of X-23, just in case you really want a low-level Wolverine-like fighter that can just keep going relentlessly. It’s nice, combat posed sculpt. Whilst we’re on that theme, we also like this set’s take on Sabretooth; it looks like he’s walked straight out of a classic John Byrne comic and can do huge amounts of damage with his claws.
The release has come with a ‘Play At Home’ Kit, which features a map of an Abandoned Weapon X Facility for you to use as a battle matt. It’s a well thought out map with plenty of strategic locations. The kit also features Deadpool leaping out of a Blue Birthday cake, as Deadpool is 30 this year. It’s a fun model with a solid design, and it’s actually very playable in the game itself. They are blue and pink cakes available with latter being a super rare model available in the booster boxes. Contact your Friendly Local Games Store for more information on Play At Home kits.
As expected with these releases, we also get a Dice and Token kit. These are two custom 6-sided dice and six poker-chips. We get X-Men pictures on one side and stats for Bystanders on the other. (Including Lockheed as a bystander, just in case you want an adorable dragon to blow up things for you.) The dice have the Shiar Empire symbol on them as well, just in case you missed the theme of the range.
Finally, for those of you who just want the core models, there is a Fast Forces kit, which feature six of the core models from the range. We get Marvel Girl, Darwin, Warpath, Havok, Professor X and Polaris. All of these models are heavy hitters with a good mix of damage and cunning. Both Darwin and the Prof can outwit your opponent whilst everyone else can deal lots of damage. The sculpts on all these are great and paint job on these minis are of a very good standard. We really liked the Professor X piece; not only his he standing, but he’s poised in a way that gives off powerful business man style vibes.
Overall, the is a cracking set and one well worth seeking out, especially if you’re a fan of the X-Men. Ideal for gaming but also very pretty on display.