I have always wanted to play in a Heroclix Marquee and loved the idea of playing in a sealed booster tournament where I think the playing field is a little more even than a constructed.  I couldn’t make the Unleashed Marquee so I was determined to make sure I made it the Ultimate one being held in my area.  I really wanted to play in a Marquee where it is the first time I ever see the figures and have no idea who is in the set, but since the Marquee is usually 2 or 3 weeks after the set comes out I can never wait that long to buy a couple of boosters.


The tournament was held on Wednesday July 21st  . It was suppose to be the previous Sunday, but a lack of turnout pushed it back to Wednesday, which is the regular night for the guys in the area to get together and play Heroclix.   We were able to get a field of six guys together and each grabbed three boosters. I’m not sure if all sealed boosters are played the same way, but I like the way this place ran it.   You open your first booster and pull out all the figures.  You then pick one figure you wish to hang onto and then pass the other three to the left. From the three new figures you get passed your way you select one of those and pass the other two to the left and repeat until you have 4 figures. Then you repeat the process switching to the right for the second booster and back to the left for the third. 


Only two Uniques were pulled, one being the Goblin Queen and the other being the mystery Unique that will be revealed later in my report.   I wasn’t fortunate enough to pull either. I did get some decent figures, but overall I didn’t feel I had a great pull. I found myself keeping some figures simply because I did not have them in my collection yet while I passed on some I already had that might have been useful. I also didn’t realize how hard it would be to field a 300-point team which such limited figures to chose from.  My first attempt came in about 20 points short and I wanted to get closer than 280 points.  My second attempt came in 1 point over and thus I had to scrap that team and start over.  Eventually I settled on the following team:


R Colossus                   74 points          E Cyclops                    55 points

V Lizard                       50 points          V Hellcat                      38 points

R Sidewinder                24 points          R Sidewinder                24 points

V Sentinel Trooper       28 points

Total = 293 points


I was awfully tempted to use E Wrecker in place of R Colossus because he has a click of Impervious, and 5 of Invulnerability.  But his Attack wasn’t as high as I would have liked and it would be hard to digest the 119 points cost.  I also figured that this set had a lot of Outwitters so Impervious probably wouldn’t last very long.  As for myself I didn’t get a single Outwitter so I knew I was going to be at a disadvantage.


Match #1


Opposing Team

R Captain America       72 points          V Black Widow           59 points

V Beast                        68 points          V Hellcat                      38 points

E Spider-Man              44 points          R Hellfire Guard           11 points

Total = 292 points


In all the games the standard Infinity Challenge starter map was used.  This game was played on the outdoor map.  I would like to say that my first battle in a tournament was a resounding victory, but it was not.  I have to admit that the most annoying piece on his team was V Black Widow.  With no Ultimates on my team and no way to really get close to her I couldn’t take her out.  I also had to keep my figures out of her 6 range because with Willpower she would eat me alive. My Hellcat got tagged by her when he used Beast to Perplex up her range.  We both spent most of the game being cautious. I decided to go after his Hellcat with Lizard, but she knocked him around early.  He spent the rest of the game trying to Regenerate. I swear I must have rolled a 1 or 2 four or five times. 


In the middle of the board Cyclops finally finished off Hellcat with Running Shot.  Colossus meandered slowly up the board.  I couldn’t use the Sentinel Trooper to carry him because I had to push him to get him charged up so he had to walk on his own and I used Sentinel Trooper to carry around Cyclops freeing him up to use Running Shot further up the board.  I finally contained Black Widow by moving the first Sidewinder (which I nicknamed Sidewinder Dumb) into base-to-base contact with her.  This allowed me to move Colossus up next to Beast who was hiding in her range, but I couldn’t use Charge because he was too far.  Needless to say that Black Widow not only beat the crap out of Sidewinder Dumb, but rolled doubles so he got knocked back. I had to move my second Sidewinder (nicknamed Sidewinder Duh, in honor of Homer Simpson) to prevent her from getting ranged shots at Colossus.


The turning point of the game was when Colossus swung his Heavy Object at Beast smashing him for 6 points.  But alas even with my opponent rolling pretty crappy up until this point he rolled a 5 to shrug off the damage with Super Senses. Blasted Super Senses! Never have I seen so many games decided by that infernal power either by its untimely failure or untimely success. After that Captain America and Spider-Man teamed up on Colossus.  I was finally able to take out Beast and Cyclops smacked around Captain America, but I didn’t KO him. I finally had to push Lizard to try to Regenerate and I was able to roll a 4, but after the push damage that left me only healed 1 click. Black Widow finished off Sidewinder Dumb, and Duh and soon his forces moved down to finish off Cyclops and Sentinel Trooper.  The time ended leaving me with just Lizard.


I made a few mistakes in this game that could have helped me.  Even with both Rookie Sidewinders having Leadership I forgot to roll most of the time and it cost me extra actions I could have used.  I also moved Lizard up to quickly and should have accounted for Beast’s Perplex when I positioned Hellcat. Still it was a learning experience and I felt I hadn’t done too poorly.  At this point unsure of my fate I felt that my chance of going home with a prize had dwindled. I wasn’t sure how they ran the tournament since I had never done one before and thought if it was one and done then my day was over.  They played a three game rotation with the highest two point totals playing, then the middle two, and then the bottom two losers playing.  I ended up with 174 points and quickly learned that the final point tally was just as critical as winning or losing. So I took my experience into match #2 hoping I could rebound.


Match #2


Opposing Team

E Captain America       89 points          V Mysterio                   68 points

R Wolverine                 52 points          E Hellcat                      31 points

E Spider Man               44 points

Total = 284


In match number 2 my opponent decided to try an indoor battle.   I thought my team might play well in a more confined environment since I had Serpent Society and two figures with Leap/Climb so I was looking forward to the fight. I had a little better feeling for my team as well and didn’t change up any of the figures hoping I could just be a little smarter with them.


I started inside the building and moved forward pretty easily. I remembered to roll my Leadership and with two figures able to roll I got it almost every turn.  Serpent Society is sweet with Sidewinder’s high movement and both Sidewinder Dumb and Sidewinder Duh moved easily in and out of the rooms.  My opponent decided not to use the front door and instead smashed an entrance into one of the side rooms.  It was a good game plan, but it left his figures bunched together and confined. In effect his figures formed a congo line as they tried to get inside the newly created hole.  I carried Cyclops forward and then he used Running Shot on the next turn to move outside and fire at the back of the line. I wanted to go after Captain America, but with a Defense against ranged attacks at 19 I didn’t want to waste getting first blood. I went after Hellcat and pegged her for 4 damage.  Lizard then moved into base-to-base contact with Captain America hoping to take advantage of his first click only having Energy Shield Deflection.  I found with Captain America that this is his Achilles heel. If you can knock him past his Impervious clicks you can rough him up pretty good.


Needless to say that Lizard got smacked around and with the Cap rolling doubles he got smashed into some weeds outside to lick his wounds.  Inside my opponents congo line started to disperse throughout the room.  I wanted to try to contain him so I moved Colossus up towards the doorframe so he can Charge one of the figures in the room with relative ease on his next turn.  To protect him I moved Sidewinder Dumb in front of him.  This way they couldn’t attack Colossus and later I could move Sidewinder Dumb freeing up Colossus to Charge.  Well things worked better than that because Sidewinder Dumb got hit by Mysterio, but shrugged off the damage with Super Senses (which wasn’t Outwitted).  He then moved Wolverine into contact with Sidewinder Dumb to start slashing him to pieces later on.


Then things took a very good turn for me. I pushed Sidewinder Dumb to attack Wolverine and landed a hit against his fairly weak Defense.  Hellcat moved out into base-to-base contact with Captain America. The next turn I pushed her and landed a hit with Close Combat Expert for 4 damage.  Cyclops then went after Captain America hitting him for another 4 and finishing him off. 


From here my opponent’s team seemed to become demoralized. Mysterio rolled a double 1 on his attack. Spider-Man ran around the room like a dog needing to go to the bathroom, but unsure how to get outside. Finally he snuck past Colossus only to end up short on his move and within my Charge range. Colossus put a smackdown on Spidey for 6 points and wiped him out.  Wolverine landed a hit on Sidewinder, but could only do a couple of clicks of damage. At this point I started taking out the wounded figures and Sidewinder Duh moved through the wall and into contact with Mysterio stopping him from getting away. 


By that point it was merely mop up time and with only Mysterio left my team swarmed taking him down like a pack of ravenous wolves on a wounded caribou.   I was able to finish him off and I didn’t lose a single figure.   That vaulted me into a tie for 2nd place with one game left to go and a visit by a surprise figure who I just made my acquaintance with.


Match #3


U Xorn                         94 points          V Ghost Rider              93 points

R Mysterio                   44 points          R Spider Man               31 points

R Black Widow            34 points

Total = 296 points       


How irony weaves its way into our wicked little lives.   Just the very same morning of the day of the tournament I had finished my review of Xorn for Pojo.com’s Click of the Day.  And low and behold who was that across the field looking at me, but the Chinese member of the X-Men himself and he had brought some nasty friends.   I knew Mysterio had Outwit and that Ghost Rider was going to be nasty.  Rookie Black Widow could pose some problems, but I felt with 7 figures I should have the advantage in number of actions.


I also knew after doing my review of Xorn that he is such a different figure with his high cost and Support that a lot of people may not know what’s the best way to use him. Heck I’m still not sure what is the best way to use him which I guess doesn’t matter, because I have not yet pulled him. Anyway on a 300-point team he is nearly a third of the cost and you can’t afford not to throw him into the fray so it becomes a struggle to hold him back or throw him forward.


So the game began. I was actually hoping for indoor again to give me an edge, but my opponent wisely chose outdoors which would allow Xorn and Ghost Rider to be more effective.  After the basic first moves I pushed Colossus to charge him up and he did the same to Ghost Rider.  Suddenly that figure becomes a lot more scary on his 2nd dial. I also knew that my opponent had changed up his team from the previous games so if he was anything like me in my first game it took me awhile to get used to my figures.  I decided to use Lizard and Hellcat as a combo and move them both against Spider-Man. He could push to attack one, but then if he landed a hit I could use the other to try to land a hit back and just overwhelm him.  Then I could march down the right side of his flank. I am a flank man and prefer to load up one side and then overwhelm my opponent and move towards his center.


I also knew that I had to do something about Ghost Rider. I took a chance and used Cyclops with Running Shot.  If I missed I would be in range of his Charge and Cyclops would get a beat down.   I got lucky and landed the hit and he failed his Impervious role.  But he could still Charge at Cyclops if he wanted.  Instead he pulled a fast one which I admire him for trying.  He moved Xorn next to Ghost Rider which I thought was an attempt to heal him. The only problem with a figure like that is if you heal him all the way then you have to push him again and that takes time. Also that would leave him vulnerable to my counter-attack and I could easily knock him past his good stats.  So he used Xorn to Telekinesis Ghost Rider into Colossus and attack while Mysterio Outwitted his Invulnerability. It worked and Colossus got smacked for 3 damage with no way to reduce it.  The only glitch was he had to push Xorn to do it and I knew that pushing Xorn was dangerous because you get closer to losing that Support. With no other X-Men on the team once you lose that Support you can’t get it back.


Meanwhile my Lizard and Hellcat put the smackdown on Spidey. I like Hellcat’s starting dial with that Close Combat Expert (CCE).  For only 38 points I have no quarrels moving in with Leap Climb then pushing to hit with CCE.  I actually learned this trick from my first opponent when he used it quite effectively against me.   Plus on her second dial she now gains Blades/Claws/Fangs so she still has the chance to do some damage.   After a few turns Spidey was KO’d and I movde both of my figures down off the building and swarmed Black Cat. At close range with these two figures she didn’t pose much of a problem.


As for Ghost Rider I knew he was still my biggest concern.  I pushed Cyclops to attack and landed another hit for 4 damage.   He also moved Mysterio out of hiding to try to attack Colossus to finish him off, but this brought him into range of my Sentinel Trooper who tagged him for a couple of clicks of damage.  With Colossus wounded but still effective I attacked Ghost Rider and landed a hit that knocked him out of the game.   Running out of options my opponent had Xorn use Telekinesis to move Mysterio adjacent to Cyclops and Sentinel Trooper.  This was a good move because it stopped my ranged combat effectiveness, but I got some good roles and did some pretty decent damage to Mysterio reducing his effectiveness.


I knew I had to try to finish off Xorn so I moved Sidewinder Dumb and Sidewinder Duh next to Xorn to keep him from getting away.  After Black Widow was done in I then moved Lizard and Hellcat in to take down Xorn.


After a few more turns it was all over. Mysterio got chopped down by Cyclops and Xorn fell to Lizard making a 5 roll on Blades/Claws/Fangs.  All in all I was lucky that my dice rolled so well and I only missed a few attacks.   I ended the game with no figures KO’d and combined with my second game that was enough to vault me into first.  Hooray! I won my first Marquee and drove all the way home beaming over my new Limited Edition Frank Castle who becomes my first Limited Edition in my collection.


I’ve included a breakdown of each of my figures and how I felt they fared throughout the games.   I am surprised by some and disappointed by others.


R Colossus – Positives – 4 damage with Super Strength allowed me to land a couple of serious blows.  He took some blows in the last two games, but wasn’t KO’d.  Negatives – Having to push him was annoying and wasted valuable actions. A Speed of 6 with Charge made it hard to get into combat, and his low attack means he missed some crucial attacks.  Overall 5 out of 10.


V Lizard – Positives – Good Speed with Leap/Climb allowed him to get around well. Worked well as a tandem with Hellcat.  He did land a couple of good blows with BCF. Negatives – Couldn’t Regenerate worth a spit.  Seemed to also take damage quickly, but that’s because I moved him into combat early. Overall 6 out of 10.


V Sentinel Trooper – Positives – Good move for a taxi helped get Cyclops into place early in games.  Range of 6 helped him target and hit a few opponents that forgot about him.  I also noticed a lack of flyers in this tournament, which gave me a slight edge. Negatives – Didn’t really use the SHIELD team ability, although I was tempted a lot.  Overall 7 out of 10.


V Hellcat – Positives – Leap/Climb worked well to move into contact then push to land hit with CCE for 4 damage.  I learned how to use her in the later games and worked well with Lizard. Negatives – In the first game took damage quickly.   Overall 7 out of 10.


E Cyclops – Positives – Was the MVP of the Tournament for me.  Running Shot with an Attack of 10 and 4 Damage was dynamite.   Really softened up the big pieces of my opponent.  Negatives –Range of 6 was somewhat limiting and Running Shot with a Speed of 6 required use of Sentinel to move him closer to take a shot. I also would have preferred the Ultimate X-Men ability since I never used the Brotherhood, but that is a minor complaint.  Overall 9 out of 10.


R Sidewinder – Positives – This dynamic duo worked well together and were relatively cheap for a total cost of 48 points. Leadership was very helpful when I remembered to roll. Serpent Society team ability with a move of 10 helped me tie up some of the more annoying ranged combat figures.  Super Senses helped them avoid a couple of hits Negatives – If Super Senses failed they took damage pretty easily.  Didn’t have a lot of offensive power, but did land a few blows. Overall 8 out of 10.


Overall I found this event extremely enjoyable. All the guys I played against were laid back and fun to play with.   Noone got super competitive and everyone seemed to have about the same skill level and just had a good time. I also noticed that all of these guys played pretty honorably and questions over rules were settled pretty easily.  And the game play was pretty good.  We all made some mistakes in the game, but can still blame our loses on crappy dice rolling which always made me feel better when I lost. I plan on playing with these guys some more and look forward to playing some more sealed booster tournaments in the future.   I’m thinking for Mutant Mayhem maybe I will wait until the Marquee to see the figure for the first time.  Then again I doubt I could wait two weeks.