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AlphaClix: A New Beginning
Michael Jones (08/10/2009)
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Alpha HeroClixAlphaClix: Batman is a game designed for new players; many regular HeroClix players will find it too simplistic because it is intended for a much younger age group (those eight and up). Existing players’ experience of AlphaClix has been based on what they know of HeroClix; this resulted in a lot of negative feedback and folk seem to have missed the point entirely. AlphaClix is not HeroClix 2.5 as many think, people need to appreciate that this game is created to ensure we have a vibrant community coming into the game in the future and not as a substitute for HeroClix.

I have been playing AlphaClix with young relatives and also with friends who like both comics and games (but found the full HeroClix rules far too complex to actually play). While the second group is not going to be converting over to the full game, the first group has the potential to be a new generation of players.

Each Booster of AlphaClix has been designed as a mini starter, which comes with figures, rules sheet, map, and dice. Ideally each player needs two Boosters to get enough map sections for a full sized map and since the rules are on the back of the map, one extra Boosters so they can refer to the rules while playing the game!

Unlike HorrorClix, Alpha and Hero games are completely compatible. Figures made for one game can be played in the other and while some figures became stronger, others became weaker. To cut the rules down to a couple of pages, a lot has been taken out. There are no Action Tokens, no Objects, Feats or Barrier Tokens... in fact the only cardboard left is the Character Cards. Some rules have also gone such as Breakaway and Destroying walls, other are significantly changes -- for instance, you can now shoot through friendly figures! So let us have a quick look at the rules of the game.

HeroClix WorldVictory & Reinforcements
Victory conditions for AlphaClix are simple. You get 1 KO point for every enemy you Knock Out and the first player to 5 KO points wins! To ensure that every player has a chance there is a "Reinforcements" rule. At the start of a turn a player can bring fresh blood into the battle to replace each figure they have lost, and to give the advantage to the underdog these new figures can cost up to 10 points more than the figure that was eliminated. So when your 50 point Batman gets taken out you can replace him with your 60 point Batman if you wish. So deciding who to use as your reinforcements and who to use as your team can be important to winning the game.

Team Build
Each team consists of at least five starting characters with a combined point value of up to 250 points. With all the Batman figures ranging from 20-90 points it isn't hard to put together a team of five or more figures and the rest becomes your reinforcements (so you have a chance to bring them into play later). As there are no action tokens in the game, Figures can act every turn. Because victory is based off the number of figures knocked out, and not their points value, running a swarm team of a ten or more cheap characters does not work well under Alpha Rules. I would recommend starting a team with two or three 60+ point figures and rounding it out from there.

HeroClix World AlphaClixProbably the biggest change with AlphaClix is that every figure can move four squares and attack as their action. This gives a tremendous boost to overall mobility in the game and allows for much faster play. It also means that Powers like Charge (that allow move and attack) are boosted up to allow full movement and then attack.

With the complete removal of any Tokens on the map, some powers needed a complete overhaul and thus resulted in some new Alpha mechanics. One of the most important is the ability to move after attacking, much like Hypersonic Speedsters do in regular HeroClix. Evade & Cover are both appropriately named powers as characters using them have the potential to get out of sight or range of enemies when using them.

EVADE (Willpower) After you attack, you can move up to 4.
COVER (Smoke Cloud) After you attack, you can move up to 2.

There are no Critical hits, misses, or “rule of three” in Alpha, so lots of player's thought were that the +2 Attack Value granted by leadership could be stacked and they could have characters running around with attack values higher than Galactus! Fortunately “Rule of Three” has been replaced with the restriction that characters can only be affected by one Black Tab power at a time. So irrelevant of how much Leadership, Defend or Perplex you use no one is going to get more than +1 Defense or +2 Attack.

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Your Comments:
I always loved alpha as it was my first clix (I mistaked it as a cheap starter)
The peices work great in regular games.

Posted by: tronixton on 12/8/2013 2:59:20 PM
I've just started teaching the missus how to play and decided to start her on the regular rules rather than alpha. i just didnt see the point of teaching her alpha only to turn to her afterwards and say ok, forget everything you've learnt so far, now im gonna teach you to play it with the grown up rules!

That being said im still a fan as it gave me a chance to get some of the older sculpts with better stats.
Just wish they could have kept the team abilities on the dials, they dont need to have rules in alpha, they could just be there to indicate whever someone is good or evil, but this would allow them to cross over into the regular game more definitively.
Another thing i really liked about them was the fact that you get and could see which Batman was in each box. I still remember opening my first box of clix(Sinister) and the only thing i recognised was Rhino, and thinking, who the bloody hell everyone else was! thankfully i'm a little more hero-literate these days,buying too many graphic novels on a monthly basis, all thanks to heroclix of course

Posted by: Ste on 6/25/2010 10:45:36 PM
i like alphaclix it how i got in to all the heroclix i have are dc.i do have a small mavel group but i would love spider-man alphaclix to be fare i started to make the set(how about spide-man & spider-girl duo)

Posted by: ikari on 1/5/2010 10:41:32 AM
I am a BIG fan of AlphaClix, so I like this article -- especially the correlations back to regular Clix, which hopefully calm the "Alpha-phobes"... Well done!
I actually prefer the 70 point Nightwing over his Crisis counterpart... the "purple defend box" (Willpower/Evade) and 3 damage down the dial are great for Clix and Alpha alike.

Posted by: Chris (WolvieFan9) on 8/19/2009 3:33:51 PM
Good article! A friend stopped by and we had a blast playing a sealed game of Alpha. It players fast, is pretty easy to pick up for HC players and much more importantly for the non-HC players it was really geared toward.
For hard core HC folks there's still a lot of value - some of the pieces work well in HC and some of the dials make for great custom dials. I recently had a custom Gladiator (old DD foe) made and had him put on a Killer Croc dial. Also some of the really pricey HC figs like the Chase Alfred and the U Oracle are more easily available. going to have the "Alfred with shotgun" custom made from the extra one I just pulled.
You're right, a lot of the criticism was from Clix people who really didn't get the purpose. Plus since it was a brainchild of Mark Tuttle, some people would have hated it no matter what!
The fact that it is 100% compatible is the key. Moving forward I really hope NECA learns from this if they plan "clix-related" game sets.

Posted by: Tom Price on 8/10/2009 12:47:01 PM
Harley -can- fire out of adjacency as far as I can gather, but she can't use her shooting powers against an adjacent opponent.

Posted by: James on 8/10/2009 10:35:30 AM
"However under Alpha rules there is nothing to stop her using RCE while based"

I don't believe this to be the case. From the AlphaClix rules sheet:

A punch is an attack made against
an adjacent enemy. An enemy
is adjacent to you if it occupies
a square next to yours, even
diagonally. When determining line
of sight to punch a diagonal enemy,
ignore other characters.

A shot is an attack made against an
enemy at range. You can shoot at an
enemy that is a number of squares
away from you up to your range. If
your range is 0, you can’t shoot.

If you're making an attack against an adjacent enemy, that's a punch by definition.

Posted by: James on 8/10/2009 10:33:24 AM
Great review.
Having played heroclix, I never even bothered to look at Alpha as a stand alone game, just as support pieces for my regular teams. Brings new light into a game I already love.

Posted by: incredibile on 8/10/2009 10:24:26 AM