Brad Boyles Reports on the Heroclix For Huntington's Event
Back at it again with day 2 of my tournament report. If you haven’t read about the last one, go check it out!
I played 9 rounds of Heroclix, but before that, I traveled a couple hundred miles to play an in-person tournament, in which I claimed second place against a tough and competitive field of opponents. Then after almost 12 hours of playing with a lot of standing up, we drove back 6 straight hours home. I had signed up to play in Heroclix for Huntington's tournament for Scott Porter but when I got home at 5 am, I was not even sure if I would play. So, I went to sleep without my alarm set and told myself, if I don’t wake up before the tournament starts then I would have been too tired to play anyway. As fate would have it, I woke up 15 minutes before start time. I hopped on my laptop and would see how far I made it before I fell back asleep.
Here’s my main force in case you missed my other article:
HoX003b Bishop 40
HoX044 Magneto 25
HoX051 Maggott 40
HoX051 Maggott 40
HoX068-70 Apocalypse (Krakoan) 70
WKM17-015 Lila Cheney 25
xdpG020p Dark Phoenix 30
xdpG020p Dark Phoenix 30
Forgive me, but the memory has faded whilst compounded by still waking up and fighting my heavy eyelids. I’ll try to remember the highlights that stuck out.
Tylor Spees, 2018 World Champ and all around nice guy, funny too. Usually I would be super intimidated, but I was too tired to let any other emotions kick in. Tylor played a +11 robots theme. One of my team's weaknesses, a lot of attackers. It does better when there are two or three that I can focus on. It’s not an automatic bad match up, but it does become more of a toss up of who will win. I won map and we went to Ultron’s Lair. I don't remember the specifics of the match. I just know I misplayed and misplaced my team more than a couple of times against Tylor. I also tried to give as good as I got but I gave up more points than I should have. I think I would have won eventually, but time ran out. I lost 250-175. I know the points look more in his favor, but with Krakoan Revival, I believe it was in my favor with 10 more minutes. Which is another weakness of the team, giving up points. Krakoan Revival is strong but the point differential can really get away from you if things don't go your way.
Matt Esbrook, almost always a top cut contender but with a unique play style and equally unique team builds. This tournament was no exception with, I think, the most creative team I saw that day.
cc002 Invisible Woman100
cc002e Invisible Woman75
G001d Herald Dial (Galactus)25
G001c Elemental Converter (Galactus)0
With some objects mixed in to support his team.
This build requires a lot of patience, as you play keep away, try to score something and keep playing keep away. It doesn't score a lot points I think, but it doesn't matter because it really only loses to a couple of specific teams: you need mobility, range, and Pulse Wave or you generate characters within 3 to be able target the Invisible Woman. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for Matt, my team can chase him down and generate 2 bystanders every turn to work their dials down.
So back to our match, he won map. He equipped his stuff. I moved up all the way I could with the -A- team: -A-, Lila, Bishop, and both Maggots. Also moved up both Phoenix carrying Shard and Magneto. I outwitted Wolverine’s Blades/Claw/Fangs to minimize damage. He moved up on to elevation carrying both Invisible Woman and Wolverine. Positioned very well, it was a single row of elevation, with Wolverine in front. I made multiple attacks and got Wolverine off the map. I then brought out a Brainiac with “Let’s Cause Trouble” and then rolled his special to ping both Invisible Woman for 1 damage. He Phased carrying Invisible Woman to another single row of elevation, my Brainiac rolled low to stay on the map. I carried Maggots and Brainiac to follow, and pinged the Women for another damage. I tried attacking with bystanders and hurt an Invisible Woman for another 1 damage. I attacked with bystanders and chipped at the Women for another damage. I think he had to rest for a turn, because I pinged for another damage with Brainiac. I also spread out the rest of my team to limit his options where to run to next. He booked it to another area, off elevation this time since Brainiac was putting in overtime. I was able to follow with the Maggots and Lila again. Attacking and poisoning his Women until there was one then there were none. Took 3 very lucky turns with Brainiac, but I won 299-0.
Scott Cramton, National champ and multiple other wins upon wins, was matched up with me and he was playing a mish mash of good stuff and they all played well with each other. I don't remember the entire team but i do remember he had a Harry Leland which is sort of a counter for my team. Cant retal with Dark Phoenix and cant charge with Maggot or bystanders. I had range to fight that, but he had barrier with Marvella and Ch’p with Catchers Mitt to give ESD to everyone. Plus he had Sky Tyrant and Scarab for his offense. He hit and run with Sky Tyrant, KOing a Dark Phoenix I had moved up to get rid of barrier. Scott had to play everything right though, position well and do things in a certain order, or else my team could just clean up the support pieces. I didnt have the best luck this match, dice were not in my favor and I didn't have enough time to undo the careful work Scott was trying to prevent me from doing. I lost 185-70.
Now 1-2, I was ready for another tough match up and ready to go back to bed. There were a lot of good players and a lot of really good teams. I was hoping to do well enough to just get top cut and get knocked out early. My expectations were not high at this point, but I figured I would stick it out until I got that third loss, all but eliminating me from contention.
Steve Harmon is my opponent this round. I've seen him in the groups and I actually practiced with him before with my team. He was playing a scientist theme with a high bonus. He won map and goes first. He moves up and barriers with Teen Lantern and Molecule Man and he brings up the rest of the science squad. I move all the way carrying just Maggots, poison and KO Molecule Man and something else.. Afterwards, we had learned we forgot about the free damage Valeria could have dealt but I think I placed purposely to have avoided that. Can't remember exactly. He made some really good attacks with High Evolutionary and Flash, got my Magneto and a Dark Phoenix, I think. I poisoned and KO'd the rest of his support and got retal off with the other Dark Phoenix hurting some more of his attackers. He got some more points but I don't remember what. I won 300-105.
Jasper Vincent Alontaga, 2-2 along with me, also an international player from the Philippines, I think. His English was remarkably good and he was very pleasant especially since he was playing at 6 am after starting around midnight. I forget which Doom he picked but I assume it was Lord Doom. He shut down my Maggot bystanders and I shut down his prime Batman. I won map, Ultron’s Lair, and moved up the -A- team, dropping a Shard back in my starting area. He moved up his team and attacked with Sky Tyrant. Since the rest of his team was moved up, I didn't need to keep Lila alive. I retal’d my Dark Phoenix and did some damage to the majority of his team. I think I doubled up Sky Tyrant and targeted Lord Doom with Outwit and some attacks. I won 300-25.
3-2 with good points, so I made the top cut for sure. Usually this is where I am stressed out but I was too tired. I think I was in good positioning with match ups because of my seeding. With a tournament this big, top players with tough match ups are in the top half with good luck and the bottom half are players that will have tough match ups they may have already lost to, on top of bad luck.
Round 6, top 32
My opponent was Matt Groenhide. I've seen him compete and test his mettle against the other competitive players. I knew he’d try to give me a tough time especially since he also made the top cut. He was playing a JLU theme with shifting WW and prime Giganta at full plus JLU starter Green lantern to taxi his team around. That GL had great mobility and range. I tried to limit GL with Shard, but he was determined to go after my Dark Phoenix. I don't remember the specifics but I won out eventually against his team. Time and exhaustion both play a factor in trying to remember all 19 matches. I do recall that Matt was a great sportsman though. I am glad we got to play.
Round 7, top 16
Patrick Frazer, a National Champion of the US and my heart, is my next opponent. He’s someone on my short list of people to play; top tier competitor and sportsman. One of the great players who wins on the merits of his team building skills, also his ability to play and win without any gotchas or asterisks. He is one of the best players of the game and was sure I would have been proud to play, win or lose. Patrick was playing what looks like an animal theme with Ch’p Maggot, Hamurai, and Grodd, but breaks it with Mary Jane, Micron, Atom, and Duke Thomas. The team has full map reach and high attack values when swarming together from Duke Thomas. I moved up the -A- team and I made a Shard to get another attacker even though I didn't need to worry about range. I split up my Dark Phoenix on either side of the map to force which one Patrick would try to attack. Turns out he had enough reach to split up his team and kill both Dark Phoenix. He moved his Mitt from Ch’p to the bottom DP and killed it with Atom. The rest of his force went after the top Phoenix. I got an Impervious roll so he had to use his Exploit Weakness bystander to finish DP off. I went after the main force to kill Ch’p then his Atom would be stuck with the Mitt gone. I got to poison twice and killed Ch’p and Maggot. I brought out a Grodd to do some damage, but I dont think he did anything even with the rolls. Mary Jane brings out some paparazzi and I think he brings out a Grodd too. The Paparrazi and Hamurai start doing some work and I think kill my Maggot. I poison his stuff again and start attacking with Bishop, -A-, and even Lila. All that's left of his Duke Thomas and Patrick concedes. I won 300-100.
Round 8, top 8
Matt Donham, a world champ, is my opponent. He’s part of Team Earthbound and Down, a fellow Texas team and competitor. He’s won a lot of ROC states and almost always makes the top cut, so I knew I had my hands full this round. He ran a monster theme with Doppelganger prime, Absolute Carnage, Onslaught, Proteus(I think) and Wendigos to round out the rest of his team. I won map and we went to Ultron’s Lair. I moved up the -A- team, dropping a Shard behind with the Dark Phoenix, limiting the range on his Onslaught. He didn't seem to like the idea of waiting for my team to come to him so he launched Absolute Carnage with TK from Onslaught. Charged and tried going after my Lila to limit my mobility. He burned a theme team prob and prob from Onslaught and I burned all my theme team probs and both probs from Maggot to make him miss and then he missed with his second attack on Flurry as well. I outwitted Shape change and Psy blasted with -A-, hitting AC. I followed up with Dark Phoenix to finish him off. I think I missed and had to attack with the other one to finish him off. I rested Lila, ending my turn. He then moved up Onslaught again TKing Doppelganger to make some attacks. He did some damage this time around and I got some Wounded tokens. I think he KO'd a Maggot, hurt -A-, and I brought back with Krakoan Revival and he chose the running shot Pysblast pog to KO a Dark Phoenix. I think he got her. I healed up chase -A- with Xmen team ability twice back to Outwit, Outwitted Shape Change on Doppelganger, then moved and attacked with Bishop and hit, then Outwitted the special defense with Bishop. I sidestepped up and poisoned with a Maggot and I think I KOd Doppelganger. Matt then moved up Onslaught trying to triple Mind Control both Maggots and Lila, I super sensed with both Maggot and I think he hit a Maggot with Lila who failed her breakaway. I think he retal’d with Proteus but I got my Impervious roll both times with Dark Phoenix. Then I think he hit with Psyblast pog and killed a Maggot. I attacked Onslaught with Bishop hoping to get past Shape Change, I did, then succeeded with a plus 2 attack and 1 damage since Onslaught had Probability Control. I poisoned him and think I missed a couple of times, but managed to get another successful attack.to last click. I had another attacker, if missed then I get to bring out Black Vulcan to poison and kill Onslaught, if I hit then Onslaught is dead. I eventually won 300-125
Round 9, top 4
Josafa Jesus Alves, I don't know too much about him except that he plays regularly with the big name players and often wins against them. He was very fun to play even though it was almost midnight. He also played a monster theme with Sky Tyrant, double Scarab, Doppelganger, The Commissioner, and a couple of Proteus and some equipment. I won map and I put us on Hedge Maze to limit Scarab’s Outwit. I moved up the -A- team and made a Shard before I did. Bishop was very helpful in shutting down Scarab. He Charged up with Sky Tyrant and hit both times KOing Lila and a Maggot, but I brought back Maggot and he got a Skinless Assassin. He made a couple attacks and did some damage but didn't KO anything. He placed Sky Tyrant away from his team afterward and in an awkward position to retal. I retal’d though and double tapped his Sky Tyrant and gave him an action token. I don't think I KO'd Sky Tyrant though. I poisoned his Skinless Assassin then it was kind of a blur. We went back and forth trading hits and landed more than he did. This game was pretty close in my opinion, I won 300-170.
Round 10, top 2
Matthew Ventura, part of a team called Secret Invasion: a group of guys I played against in other tournaments, all of them good players and sportsmen. Like Scott Cramton, he played a mishmash of good stuff, but instead of countering with strategy like Harry Leland, it was a direct counter with Lord Doom, who stops my Maggot bystanders. He also played Molecule Man, Sky Tyrant, Dark Phoenix, Mister Oz, Valeria Von Doom, and Valeria Richards with an equipment and Latverian Village map bonus. I find I can usually fight a Lord Doom okay, it’s everything else I have trouble with, in this case, Molecule Man and time. This final match was played after 12 hours of play on top of playing yesterday, for both Matt and myself. We were tired but we played the best we could. I had misplayed and misplaced a few times and Matt burned 10 minutes the first turn trying to make an opening play but didn't like his options, so he barriers up up instead, rolling high with Molecule Man. I won map and put him on Ultron’s Lair. I moved up the -A- team, making a Shard, and moved up one Dark Phoenix to attempt to destroy his barrier from Molecule Man. I didn't move up far enough though. I was just too scared of both Sky Tyrant and Lord Doom’s charge. In retrospect, I might have been okay since then he would not have been able to barrier up the rest of his team. Since I couldn't get through two rows of barrier on my second turn, I just moved up a little with the -A- team, doubling up Lila. I think that was a mistake and should have rested. He attacked with Sky Tyrant and got his hit, KOing the Phoenix and Shard that was moved up. He moved Sky Tyrant closer to my starting area after resolutions. My next turn was devoted to KOing Sky Tyrant, which Matt followed up with a retal with his Dark Phoenix. I made an error with the order and placement of my attackers. He was able to get up on points and I had to work on his healed up Dark Phoenix. After that, I shortly lost on time. He had a couple of figures left plus Lord Doom. Matt Ventura played as well as he could and deserves the win, since it is a tournament with a time limit.
Part of the charm and draw in playing in these lengthy tournaments is to see who can play the best the longest. Part endurance, part skill, part preparation, and most importantly, part luck. Normally, I would be beside myself with anxiety with each passing round I win, but I was too tired to think about that. I had a good time overall that past weekend and I would do it all over again and again. I know some people say they can't play online, that it’s not the same and they lose out on the social aspect. I believe you get what you give, though, in certain regards, and in this case, if you put yourself out there and give it a try, like the first time you tried this game, you will find a community and resources at the tip of your fingers. A whole other experience is waiting for you and if you want any help, hit me up! You can reach me on Facebook or Discord.