Tag Archives: rules

Why I Hate the New Prob Rule


In 2013, the rules for my absolute favorite HeroClix power, Probability Control, changed. Just a subtle change, to the average Clix player’s eye…but for my personal playstyle and collection, it was disastrous. Here’s the official ruling from the 2013 Powers and Abilities card:


See that line saying “A character using this power must be within range (minimum range 6)?” That’s the change. Your Probability Control character must be within at least 6 squares of the character he/she is Probbing, or have a range greater than 6 so they can be farther back. (They also changed Perplex and Outwit to read the same, but my main beef is with Prob since it’s my favorite power.)

The Problem: This Hurts 0-Range Probbers

Unfortunately, there are lots of older, cheap “just-Prob” HeroClix figures with low or no range (Destiny, Black Cat, and even a Scarlet Witch or two are notable examples). For that matter, any figure with Prob and low/no range falls victim to this–they get granted a 6 range as a grace while using Prob, but they still have to be much closer to the action than you want ANY Prob piece to be.

See, Probability Control, at least for me, is a power best played from mid- to back-field, so that you can more easily protect the Prob piece from attack. Most of my Prob pieces, in particular are shorter-dialed and weaker; this new rule short-circuits my careful Prob playstyle, forcing me to bring my one-trick Prob ponies potentially into the fray.

In short, I’m having to rethink my whole playstyle, since Prob is so important to all my team builds and I’m used to playing Prob a certain way. It’s a challenge to my whole Clix mindset. Argh.

Devil’s Advocate: Why They Probably Did This

However, I can admit that I know at least one reason why they changed this rule–to stop exactly the kind of tactic I’ve been employing. Probbing from way far back on the map means that you can use a 20-point piece to effectively change the course of a 400- or 500-point game. VERY sneaky (and very funny, but that’s beside the point). I can understand how annoying that would be from an opponent’s perspective, not to be able to get to the supportive pieces to knock them out.

Moving Forward: How to Play Around This New Rule

So how do we players with no-range/weaker Prob pieces adapt? Well, after some thought (and some trial/error), here are some ways I’ve come up with?

  • Pair a no-range/weaker Prob piece with a stronger piece, ideally with Flight/Carry ability, longer range, and/or Defend. The Flight will make the Prob piece more mobile; Defend will bring up the Prob piece’s defense; range will enable the stronger piece to fend off opposing pieces before they get too close.
  • Position weaker Prob pieces on Hindering Terrain to give them a defense boost at range.
  • Use several close-combat pieces as “tie-up” for opposing characters, so that they cannot get free and attack your Prob pieces.
  • When possible, do not move your Prob piece any closer than 6 squares away from the general center of battle.
  • Use Elevated Terrain to your advantage, especially when playing against a largely close-combat team; your no-range Prob piece sitting up high will enable that 6 Prob range to be used more effectively.

Split and Merge: How They Really Work

Recently, a new way of playing multi-figure bases has been given life in HeroClix: the ability to Split the multi-figure base into its composite characters, or to Merge two or more characters into a multi-figure base.

This new set of rules gives quite a bit more team flexibility and options, especially with all the Duo and Trio figures floating about, but along with those options comes a slew of rulings questions. So, today, I thought I’d bring to light some of the stickier points about Split and Merge rules, to make it a little easier to understand.

(Note: Each of the following rules questions and some of the answers appeared on HCRealms.com. The answers have been checked by and expanded on (if necessary) by an official HeroClix judge [also known as my awesome “rules lawyer” boyfriend :D].)

First, The Official Rulings

Split: Give this character a power action if it has no action tokens. Replace this character with one or more qualifying characters each from a different entry listed on this character’s character card. The qualifying replacement character(s) must have either qualifying name and total no more than this character’s point value (unless those characters previously used the Merge ability to be replaced by this character). Replacement character(s) are assigned an action token and can’t be given an action this turn. Replacement character(s) begin a number of clicks from their starting line equal to the number of clicks from this character’s starting line. This ability can’t be countered.

Merge: When this character is adjacent to other friendly characters that each represent one distinct qualifying character listed on a Duo character’s character card and all of them have no action tokens, give this character a free action to replace all of them with that Duo character, the same number of clicks from its star ting line as this character. The combined point value of the qualifying char acters must be equal to or greater than the point value of the Duo character (unless that Duo character previously used the Split ability to be replaced by these same characters). The Duo character can’t use the Split ability this turn. This ability can’t be countered.

Question #1: Which Click Do Split Characters End Up On?

So let’s say I want to split the 400 point Avengers Prime after he had taken 5 clicks of damage. So when I split him, Thor, Cap and Iron Man all begin on their fifth click, right? What if I started at the 300 point starting line? If Avengers Prime had 5 clicks of damage, would Iron Man, Cap and Thor start on their 5th click or their 8th click (since Avengers Prime’s 300 point dial begins on click 4)?

CORRECT RULING: It is from the starting line you started with. So if AP had taken 3 clicks of damage, they should be 3 clicks from their starting line no matter which points version you used. So Cap, Thor, and Iron Man should all be 3 clicks from their starting line.

Question #2: What If Splitting a Multi-Figure Base Would KO One of the Individual Figures?

What if I split Avengers Prime but realize one of three he splits into doesn’t have enough life to survive the split? Meaning, what if Avengers prime has taken 8 clicks of damage and splits and Captain America only has 6 clicks of life. Does Cap get KOed or would the split be declared invalid?

CORRECT RULING: Cap would be KOed–IF you chose him as one of the figures you would split Avengers Prime into. If you did want to split Avengers Prime and they were too beaten up for one of your figures, you are not required to split into that character.

Meaning, if A.Prime has taken 6 clicks of damage and is on “click 7” and the only Captain America you brought with you is HoT Cap, which only has 6 clicks of life, you are completely able to split A.Prime into just an Iron Man and a Thor as long as those 2 still meet the requirement of being costed = to or less than A.Prime.

Question #3: When Merging Figures on Different Clicks, Which Click Does the Multi-Figure Base End Up On?

Let’s say I have an Iron Man on click 3, a Cap on click 4 and a Thor on click 1. The three merge together – so which click do I put Avengers Prime to?

CORRECT RULING: Whichever one was given the free action to use Merge, their click number would be used. So if Cap was given the free action, Avengers Prime would be on click 4; if Thor was given the free action, then Avengers Prime would be on click 1.

Question #4: Do You Have to Specify Beforehand Which Characters Your Multi-Figure Bases Will Be Splitting Into?

When I go to an event, do I have to declare which Iron Man, Thor and Captain America I will be using for the splitting or can I bring a big baggy full of Ironmen, Caps and Thors and mix and match depending on my opponent? I feel like it is the former but I feel like I have to ask.

CORRECT RULING: You need to have your replacement figures specified before the game starts. However, how many figures you are allowed to have specified as “replacements” may vary by event rules, game shop house rules, or personal preference (if playing a casual game). (See Question #7.)

Question #5: Do All Merging Figures Need to be Present In Order to Merge into a Multi-Figure Base?

CORRECT RULING: While there are 3 figures represented, I see nothing in the rules that all 3 need to be present to use themerge ability. All that is required is that the character using the action be adjacent to the other qualifying character and their point value either be greater than the duo or have been split into those characters previously.

Example 1: 400 point Avengers Prime is on click number 8. A.Prime uses Split and turns into FCBD Thor on click #8 and CW201 Iron Man on click 8. Those 2 figures are equal to 400 points combined and meet the requirements of the split.

Example 1B: In the same game, Iron Man has used Regen and ended up on click 4, and has been cleared. He is adjacent to FCBD Thor on click 8 who is also without an action token. Iron Man takes the free action to use merge. As their point costs equal 400, they can merge into Avengers Prime at 400 and would be on click 4. Later in this game, A.Prime could split into a Captain America if one is present

SO A.Prime has another layer of complexity because it has 3 qualifying characters where most duos only have 2. This gives them a huge level of variety in what they can accomplish and turn into at any given point. (It’s also probably why they limited the “sideboard” because there could literally be hundreds of combinations of those 3 characters in Heroclix.)

Question #6: Do You Have to Use Exactly the Same Figures to Split and Merge Into Each Time?

Obviously I get the [basic concept of Split and Merge]. Thor & Herc (300 points) split into Thor (125) and Hercules (131) legally because 131+125= 256. Those two can rejoin even though 256 is less than 300 because of the exception. You just can’t start with the two and merge unless you have a 256 point Thor & Herc duo.

Here’s the sticky part: What defines “same character?” I know if you split Batman & Robin into Bats and a 40 point Robin, you can’t then grab a different 17 point Robin to glue back to Bats, unless Bats is at least 121 points. But how does this work with those characters merging and splitting with other people?

CORRECT RULING: You could merge Batman with a different Robin to form the Duo again, but you would still have to meet the requirements to be able to go back to the 138-pt base. Those requirements: if you’re going to split, choose figures of lower or equal points to the duo’s point total; if you merge, the characters have to equal or cost greater than the duo, unless they’ve already come from the duo before.

Question #7: How Many Figures Can You Have “Waiting in the Wings” to Split Into?

CORRECT RULING: Your force can be limited to just how many replacement characters can be waiting on the sideline. The rule book itself does not require a specific number, just like it doesn’t require a specific number for your build total. But the HeroClix Tournament standard will be 2 per 100 points of Force with a maximum of 12 characters.

Rulebook Article for Replacement Characters

(Note: Most players around my local shop have never heard of this “2 per 100 points” rule…to be sure you’re building your force right, ask your local shop’s HeroClix judge or shop owner about what they would prefer players to do for each tournament. Also, keep your ear to the ground for more rulings news about this point.)

Question Sources

Forums Post for Questions 1-5
Forums Post for Questions 6-7