Rules Corner – The Hammer is Mightier – Amber Collins

A5 - Majestix - Rule Corner

Amber Kennedyby Amber Collins

Hi guys and welcome to the Rules Corner, an article series where we go over rulings made within the game – whether older overlooked rules or those recently made on the WIN Rules Forum – and how they affect the greater game. Today we’re going to be looking ahead to how equipment will be working under the new rules.

By the end of this month (August 2017) we will be entering a brand new era of Heroclix – a sort of Heroclix 2.0. Back at the beginning of the year we were informed that not only would we be getting an updated rulebook (finally!) but that the rules themselves were being remade from the ground up. Although a lot of things will be changing, the core basics of the game itself however will be staying the same.

One of the changes that will be made is in regards to how Equipment will work.

The Special Objects We Deserve

In August of 2015 we were introduced to a brand new type of Special Object – Equipment. Unfortunately the same set also reintroduced Vehicles, along with updated rules for them and we were somewhat left in the dark as to how Equipment really worked. Over the following months more clarifications were added and with only a few hiccoughs (like having Malice or Proteus unintentionally KO’ing your possessor) Equipment became fully integrated into the game and with Resources slowly phasing out, have begun to make their mark on the Competitive Scene as well.

The Mighty Thor

Speculation ran wild when the solicits for the Mighty Thor set went live earlier this year. Alongside the return of Super Boosters we were teased that we would be getting 24 Legendary Weapons. This past week many of those speculations became confirmed when Wizkids released their newest Design Insight article.

We now know for sure that these Legendary Weapons will be packaged in the 5 figure boosters with their corresponding Legendary Wielder – a character that begins the game equipped with their weapon. We also now know that there will be “Generic” Weapons found in each of the Super Boosters as well.

With this information we were also introduced to the new key terms that will appear on these weapons.

The New Equipment Rules

One of the biggest goals of the rules revamp is to make the language of the game itself more accessible. This has led to the introduction of key terms, or key phrases as I like to refer to them, which were introduced with World’s Finest with Unique Modifier and STOP. Having a Key Phrase on a card cuts down on the amount of words that are used and can help clear up a lot of confusion by creating consistency. Instead of a sentence being worded three different ways and meaning the same thing they can now have a single word that will always mean the same thing.

Before I get into the new Key Phrases for Equipment I want to note that you can still only equip a standard character – [C]A standard character is a character that is not a bystander and does not possess the , , , , , or combat symbols. This will no longer appear in the text of a piece of equipment as it will be a universal Rule, likely found in the rulebook itself.

The first phrase we’re introduced to is Indestructible. This key phrase will replace the common equipment sentence, “This object can only be KO’d by using it in an object attack or by its own effect”, which was found on the card of nearly every piece of equipment introduced in the past two years (with the exception of “Possession” characters) That being said if this key phrase is not found on a newly introduced piece of equipment that means that it can be destroyed with a standard CLOSE/RANGE Destroy action like any other standard (Light, Heavy) Object.

Next we’re given two different Key Phrases for how a piece of equipment is equipped – Equip: Friendly and Equip: Any. The first is the Key Phrase for what we already know about equipment, that they can only be equipped by the force that brought them to the game. The second key phrase is new and will be on pieces of equipment that can be equipped by any character in play, friendly or opposing. This is similar to how older Special Objects and Relics could have been used. Actually equipping the object works the same as it did before; by giving a standard character holding it or occupying the same square a power action.

The new mechanic that’s being introduced is Unequipping. Previously we never had a defined unequip for these special objects. Once equipped they were only removed if the character themselves were KO’d, equipped with a new piece of equipment or removed from the game for a purpose that wasn’t being KO’d or Replaced. The key phrases for this are Unequip: KO and Unequip: Drop. There’s still no way to voluntarily unequip an object but now we have a Key Phrase that let’s us know which objects get destroyed and which ones will end up back on the map. Unequip: KO is the key phrase for the rules we already know, as I stated above. If a character is KO’d or removed from the game (not from replacement or KO) or equipped with a new item and the one they already had was Unequip: Drop, instead of being KO’d and scored this item will be placed in the square they last occupied and can be equipped again by another character.

The final bit of information that we have from this Design Insight article is that all pieces of equipment that we have in the game already (with the exception of characters that become equipment – Possessors) will be errata’d to have the Key Phrases: Indestructible, Equip: Friendly, Unequip: KO. This aligns with the wording that’s already present on the cards of these equipment anyway. I do however want to point out that while by it’s own rules The Symbiote (SMoS s101) does have an Unequip mechanic, it will be receiving an errata to have Unequip: KO which means it will still KO when the character equipped it KO’s instead of it dropping into the character’s square. It will only unequip when the player rolls a 1, in accordance with it’s rules.

Let’s close this off by taking a look at these new Key Phrases in effect:
Here we see Thunderstrike, who will be packaged with it’s Legendary Wielder Thunderstrike. The front of the card is nice and simple. We see the three Key Phrases this piece of equipment has (Indestructible, Equip: Any and Unequip: Drop) along with the EFFECT the character gains once it’s equipped – EFFECT being one the Key Phrases that was introduced when Equipment first came on the scene.

The Mace is a Generic piece of Equipment and shows the other new Key Phrases – Equip: Any and Unequip: Drop. The lack of the Key Phrase Indestructible means that it can be destroyed by making a CLOSE/RANGE destroy action. This equipment can be equipped by either force and isn’t removed from the game when it becomes unequipped.

The cards look sleek and uncluttered and for the time being we’ll see what these Key Phrases mean on the back of the card. This will likely be removed in later sets once players become familiar with what each Key Phrase means.

That’s all for today but keep an eye out as we’ll be taking regular trips to the Rules Corner in the months to come as the new rules get underway!