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Norman "nbperp" Barth Interview
(Part II)
The Le (07/31/2009)
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The Le: Put your designer cap on for a moment. Let's say you're tasked with designing one special power for a new Superman figure. What would that Special Power be?

In The Line of FireNorman: Something I don't think any existing Superman figure allows right now is to reflect how he will fly in to protect his teammates. There is at least one version that has "Defend" but that doesn't really reflect the classic shot of Superman flying in front of someone, bullets bouncing off his chest. So I'd want to work out something along the lines of "When a single teammate is targeted with a ranged attack, Superman may be given a move action so that he moves into a square the blocks the line of fire." Now this would need some polishing. Most likely, Superman needs to at least be given a token, and maybe needs to be pushed by doing this. I don't know. That's what playtesting and point values are for. But that's the kind of special power I'd like to see.

The Le: Thanks for the chat. Do you have any final thoughts on HeroClix or thoughts for the loyal players out there?

Norman: Games are never dead. Some games take a very long time to get all of the pieces out to the public, but as long as you and your friends enjoy playing a game, it is alive and well. There are pockets of Heroclix activity around the country and non-tournament games being played in even more places. I'd love nothing more to see Hammer of Thor hit the shelves (the finalized set, not what might be at best the broken first pass of things). I'd love for Topps to see that there is still money to be made in creating even more for the brand and for there to be subsequent sets. In the end, if that doesn't happen, I still have my complete set and buddies that I get together with as often as I can to play. That's a living game there, it is.


Note: The above answer was give before the San Diego Comic Con, when we all found out about NECA and HeroClix. Norman has kindly given a followup:


Norman: I think it's great news to hear that Heroclix is coming back. I think it's a tip of the hat not only to the fans who have kept the faith, but to the corporate people who have believed in this product and have worked hard to get it back to us. Naturally, some of the decisions of the new owners will be applauded while others are reviled. For what it's worth, I'm going into it with an open mind. If it provides me what I want - additional superheroes with clix dials that grow the game - I'll be happy. Everything else is the "trimmings".


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Your Comments (Note: We only display last 50 comments, but we have a record of all of them):
I've met Norm on several occasions (conventions)and admired his enthusiasm for the game. It takes alot of patience to be a judge let alone give a ruling on a particular game mechanic and I believe wizkids made a very good choice in naming Norm as ruler arbitrator. I enjoy the game so much, that think of teams even at work, so imagine how sad it felt to see the game go down and come back up the way it did. I personally would like to thank all the convention judges at wizkids, the fans of the game and especially Norm for all the years I've played and the good times I've had.

Posted by: Errol Hanna on 8/7/2009 12:46:45 AM
Great interview, TheLé. I agree with Norm about some future Superman needing a SP to rescue friends.

Posted by: Rurouni KJS on 8/1/2009 11:04:15 PM
I hear what Norman is saying about not being able to get things perfect. But at the same time not catching the obvious mistakes is an organizational failure. One option would be to playtest the figures. If Moon Knight were playtested his mistake would have been caught. The same goes for Lobo.

Posted by: lunar on 8/1/2009 10:00:44 AM
I really like the FEAT card off to the right. Did Norm come up with that? I must say I've met him at Maryland MegaGame II and he's a real nice guy. Excellent trade where I acquired 3 more Robot Supes, very fair guy.

Posted by: Jarosa on 8/1/2009 9:03:59 AM
Good interview (part 1 & 2). Mr Barth write that the game will not be over since we play again, but it's a lot more difficult to play without the use of the official web site. Why topps just don't change Wizkids for topps and keep the web site where we can rapidly refer to built forces or seek combination of power or dial of figs that we don't already have. I hope they will do something to set this by respect for the $$$$ spent by the fans.
About the futur figs, my choices are Dargoth, Doctor Druid, Charlie 27, Nikki, Martinex, Mercurio, Jigsaw, Thundra and all the bad inhumans (Falconia, nebulo, etc.)
Long life to this web site !

Posted by: oglim on 7/31/2009 1:38:05 PM
Special Powers that actually reflect what a character does not only as a function of their ability but also as a reflection of their personality/character is the real genius behind the potential of SPs and character cards.
Great (and even unique but not iconic) characters often have one or more characteristics that when you see it, you just say "Oh yeah, THAT's what he/she does!"
I love that idea for Superman, I hope we eventually see that and more like it!

Posted by: Tom Price on 7/31/2009 11:50:18 AM
I have talked about a power like that for Superman from the day feat cards came out. I would love to see Supes be a more hand to hand fighter with a touch of rush in and protect his allies feel. The shoot you from range and run away has never felt "right" for him.
Thanks for another great article!

Posted by: evereadyhdst on 7/31/2009 8:12:56 AM
Another great bit of insight from Le and Norm.
Superman's Defend power!! Call it "Faster than a speeding bullet!" Great idea!
Thanks Norm.
Thanks Le.

Posted by: incredibile on 7/31/2009 7:23:45 AM
I certainly agree when it comes to special powers. While I would personally -love- to have a better Moon Knight dial, if there's too much errata that is essentially an entirely re-written card then you can't rely on -any- card to be accurate and up-to-date anymore. Better to play them as written.

Posted by: James on 7/31/2009 6:05:00 AM