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saturnflight
02/03/2011, 00:45
http://www.gridreality.com/images/park_200w.jpgThe Park
GridReality

The impact a map can have on a game is often overlooked. A good strategy incorporates a tactically-sound map choice. But when it comes to locale, sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. We're here to help you make smart decisions when it comes to Heroclix real estate.

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 00:45
http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=1412&pictureid=14511
Image provided by GridReality (http://www.gridreality.com/).

Official Title: The Park
Commonly Known As: n/a
Map on Reverse: The Swamp
Dimensions: 24" x 36" (16x24 squares)
Set: none
Status: Unofficial Map
Availability: Currently available at GridReality (http://www.gridreality.com/).

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 00:45
Miniature games have always inspired customization, from modified figures to house rules. Somewhere along this spectrum lies the custom map: artistically inspired, yet dynamically impacting a game. In the year that Heroclix was dead, creativity took hold of the clixing community and created a market for unofficial product that has lasted through the comic-appropriate rebirth of the game.

There are many people offering fantastic unofficial maps, and you can expect to see some of them highlighted down the road. Today, we're looking at another map offered by GridReality. This map-making website boasts that it offers designs by ibeatdrew, the current graphic artist for Wizkids' official maps. For someone who's wary about leaving the safety of Wizkids-endorsed maps, these offer a gentle conceptual transition. The Park is available now at GridReality, and also has a second map, The Swamp (click here for last month's review), printed on the back.

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 00:46
The Park is a familiar setting that's already been explored in previous Heroclix maps. However, this map isn't set up like any Wizkids-created parks we've seen. Rather than open fields, this map is heavy on the trees, creating a maze of clear terrain between large clusters of hindering. For a grounded figure, this makes for limited mobility and constantly obstructed line of fire. This layout is a soft attempt at a labyrinth, with none of the drastic confines of walls.

With this map, GridReality picked a theme and stuck with it. A narrow path winding through a forest of hindering terrain is exactly what you get, without variation. Well, without variation isn't exactly true; there are two fountains located conveniently on either end, placed well for the predominantly-hand-to-hand nature of aquatic characters.

http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=1412&pictureid=14514
While Triton may be free to move through water, he can't enter hindering without stopping, keeping Maximus safe from Triton's Charge.

The lack of any form of blocking terrain makes this map easy to draw line of fire on. At the same time, the plethora of hindering terrain means that most shots will be hindered. This makes close combat especially appealing; most ranged attacks will require higher dice rolls than close combat attacks. There are, however, a few points where unusually long, clear lines of fire can be drawn. Look out for setting your figures in these straightaways, especially if you're using Stealth casually (behind hindering rather than in it).

http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=1412&pictureid=14513
Just a few of the long lines of fire to be aware of.

The tightly-held theme makes this map very easy to analyze. It comes down to one question: can you make effective use of hindering terrain or not?

-Characters who ignore terrain. Flight, Ultimates, Leap/Climb, pick your variety. However they choose to do it, characters who can move right through the trees are in great shape here, blazing their own trails through the winding layout.

-Stealth works well here for even those without mobility. You'll often find cover behind hindering terrain without needing to occupy it. Without any walls, Stealthed figures may be the only blocking available. And speaking of blocking...

-Barrier. You may have noticed by now that Barrier comes up in most every map review. That's because Barrier is a fantastic ability that can let you reshape the battlefield. In this case, it's a great way to impede movement and block line of fire at the same time.

-Quake, Force Blast, and Telekinesis. Moving opposing characters around is always beneficial, but here you can drop them in hindering for added annoyance. Or knock that hidden opponent out of his hiding spot. You decide.

http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=1412&pictureid=14515
Gorgon's Quake avoids Super Skrull: X-men's retaliatory Flurry, ruins Skrull Emperor's Stealth, and slows down Warskrull's Charge.

-Long-range figures who can't move. Of course, it's always better to have the option to run and gun, but if that's not available on your character of choice, take up a position here and there's no need to worry about opponents leaving your line of fire. Just make sure you're prepared for the defensive bonus; bring Probability Control and a high attack value.

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 00:47
So how would I rate my stroll through the park?

Theme: 3/5
I really do admire the dedication to a concept seen here. They wanted a path through a park, and they did just that. That said, I'm not entirely sure who patrols a park. If I could come up with even one team who really felt right on this map, I could rate it higher. Perhaps Alpha Flight?
Clarity: 5/5
As if it weren't already apparent by the redundancy of terrain, the markings are perfectly clear here. Unlike George of the Jungle, you'll have no trouble ID'ing trees.
Tactical Impact: 4/5
I don't often give a lot of tactical impact weight to Hindering terrain, as so many maps have it and so many powers ignore it; but this map really pushes the hindering terrain in your face. Clear terrain becomes a novelty, and often your decision to engage the enemy is at least partially motivated by controlling key points of the map.
Balance: 4/5
There are a few differences in placement of long lines of fire, but nothing that will break the bank. Stealth's bonus here isn't terribly more abusive than the average map. And while it hurts to be a ground pounding brick here, it's still not as bad as any map with elevated terrain.
Terrain Diversity: 1/5
Obviously, there's not much of that going on. The water features are mechanically similar to hindering terrain (aside from line of fire), making this map one big movement blocker.

Overall: 3.4/5
This map is unoffensive, fun, and different, but not a must-have. A lot of the teams that would make the best use of this map would find other maps give them greater benefits. This is the sort of map that's ideal for a home game, where you don't want to kill someone's chances by shutting down their team's tactics with a map roll.

Also of note, this map is expandable for multiple players. By connecting it with another copy of itself (or the Mansion map, available in GridReality's Map Pack 3 (http://www.gridreality.com)), you can transform your two-player map into a four-player map. This map's open design without serious disadvantage to any common tactics makes it ideal for the wide variety of playstyles found in multi-player match-ups.

Thanks for reading, and come back next week when we go to a much more closed-in location. Until next time, enjoy the scenery!

dantheman5999
02/03/2011, 03:03
Nice review. This map is a blast to play on.

momethesis
02/03/2011, 03:45
This map is great against hypersonic speed teams.

Shuttle
02/03/2011, 06:42
Theme: 3/5
I really do admire the dedication to a concept seen here. They wanted a path through a park, and they did just that. That said, I'm not entirely sure who patrols a park. If I could come up with even one team who really felt right on this map, I could rate it higher. Perhaps Alpha Flight?

A super team who go down to the park? Power Pack!

Ignatz_Mouse
02/03/2011, 08:02
OOTS Batman's favorite map!

I'd rate the balance lower, I think all that hindering has more effect than you think.

Regardless, one of my favorites of the custom maps.

Fun story- facing a new Ares team, I hit him with a TK attack and placed him in some bushes. That ultimately won the game for me.

pg3wg
02/03/2011, 08:35
Nice review, but a little disappointed to see two GridReality maps reviewed before we see any Mighty Maps or curiouslurker's maps shown. I still like these articles and look forward to more

Wombatboy
02/03/2011, 09:01
Nice review, but a little disappointed to see two GridReality maps reviewed before we see any Mighty Maps or curiouslurker's maps shown. I still like these articles and look forward to more

Well GridReality does have a link at the top of the page, so I don't mind seeing their stuff reviewed first. And Mighty Maps gets lots of love at #############.com while GridReality does not, but I wouldn't mind seeing some Mighty Maps reviewed in the future, along with Curious Lurker's double-sided Dark Alley / Nightclub map.

Great review! This really is a fun map. I will point out that GridReality also sells a single-sided version of the Park for $5.00 for people that don't care for the swamp (or those of us who just wanted an extra copy of The Park).

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 09:02
It's up to the makers of custom maps to contact me if they'd like their maps reviewed. There's material I need them to provide to me, so without them taking the first step I won't have the right resources. Not to mention that takes the pressure off me as far as validating people's maps.

So, moral of the story? CuriousLurkings and MightyMaps, give me a PM and I'll put you on the schedule!

NeoShazam
02/03/2011, 10:26
Theme: 3/5
I really do admire the dedication to a concept seen here. They wanted a path through a park, and they did just that. That said, I'm not entirely sure who patrols a park. If I could come up with even one team who really felt right on this map, I could rate it higher. Perhaps Alpha Flight?


I believe Frank Castle had a bad incident at a Park. It also seems to fit well with The Flash or Superman when I think about their animated versions.

It's up to the makers of custom maps to contact me if they'd like their maps reviewed. There's material I need them to provide to me, so without them taking the first step I won't have the right resources. Not to mention that takes the pressure off me as far as validating people's maps.

So, moral of the story? CuriousLurkings and MightyMaps, give me a PM and I'll put you on the schedule!

I hope CL does it for his Dark Alley map and MM do it for their Trains map.
If interested in my Subway/Sewer one I'd love to send along info for that.

Poolboy
02/03/2011, 11:44
I believe Frank Castle had a bad incident at a Park. It also seems to fit well with The Flash or Superman when I think about their animated versions.

Don't forget that, as a native New Yorker, Spider-Man has had plenty of brawls in Central Park. Also, if memory serves correctly, Central Park was also the site of several major battles in the Marvel Universe including: the final battle with the Skrulls in Secret Invasion, a battle between the X-Men and Dark Phoenix, and (in keeping with the imminent release of Giant Size X-Men) the Avengers and Fantastic Four "sacrificing" their lives to allow the X-Men to finally defeat Onslaught. I also seem to recall that during World War Hulk the Hulk and his Warbound used Central Park as a base and an arena to force the captured heroes to watch the Illuminati fight each other against their will.

A superhero doesn't have to patrol a city park in order for a fight to either start there or spill over into one. If this were true, then one could also argue "What kind of heroes patrol a swamp? Or a train station?? Or an airport terminal???

pg3wg
02/03/2011, 11:56
It's up to the makers of custom maps to contact me if they'd like their maps reviewed. There's material I need them to provide to me, so without them taking the first step I won't have the right resources. Not to mention that takes the pressure off me as far as validating people's maps.

So, moral of the story? CuriousLurkings and MightyMaps, give me a PM and I'll put you on the schedule!


That sounds good. I just figured since all three mapmakers have websites with readily accessible images that they would all be equally easy to view, take images from, and write about. I do enjoy when you get the map makers perspective on certain parts of their creations.

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 12:14
Don't forget that, as a native New Yorker, Spider-Man has had plenty of brawls in Central Park. Also, if memory serves correctly, Central Park was also the site of several major battles in the Marvel Universe including: the final battle with the Skrulls in Secret Invasion, a battle between the X-Men and Dark Phoenix, and (in keeping with the imminent release of Giant Size X-Men) the Avengers and Fantastic Four "sacrificing" their lives to allow the X-Men to finally defeat Onslaught. I also seem to recall that during World War Hulk the Hulk and his Warbound used Central Park as a base and an arena to force the captured heroes to watch the Illuminati fight each other against their will.

A superhero doesn't have to patrol a city park in order for a fight to either start there or spill over into one. If this were true, then one could also argue "What kind of heroes patrol a swamp? Or a train station?? Or an airport terminal???

Ha ha! When I proofed this with ibeatdrew (the map designer), he pointed out many of the same comic fights! In that draft, I'd actually claimed the only comic event that happened in a park was Tobey Maguire finding the symbiote! Regardless, the locale of any of those incidents didn't jump out at me like some others do (swamps, per your example, usually have a big impact on the fight and are visually memorable). Consider it similar to me saying, 'Toughness doesn't matter anymore'.

lashelton1990
02/03/2011, 12:53
wow, talk about a map that HoT cap can wreck your day with

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 13:42
wow, talk about a map that HoT cap can wreck your day with

Not at all! HoT Cap is best when he can use a building or blocking to hide behind, as he ignores terrain outdoors. On this map, he loses that huge advantage; all he does here is ignore the +1 to defense.

HoT Cap should actually be much easier to defeat here.

dkrmguy
02/03/2011, 14:01
This map is very similar to a map designed by a group called Clixbuilders. Is Grid Reality & Clixbuilder the same designer?

Tim Drake
02/03/2011, 14:53
Theme: 3/5
I really do admire the dedication to a concept seen here. They wanted a path through a park, and they did just that. That said, I'm not entirely sure who patrols a park. If I could come up with even one team who really felt right on this map, I could rate it higher. Perhaps Alpha Flight?

Really? You can't think of who to play on this map? How many times have we seen villains rampage through parks in New York, Metropolis, Gotham, San Francisco? It happens all the time.

And as for "patrol"... Most comic book battles are fought when the heroes respond to the villains' attack somewhere, not while "on patrol." A bad guy or villain team attacks civilians in the park, heroes respond. Battle ensues.

Heck, it'd be a challenge to find a non-Atlantis, non-space team that didn't feel right fighting on this map. X-Men, JLA, JSA, Avengers, Brotherhood, Wrecking Crew, Gotham City (good or bad), Teen Titans, Runaways, New Warriors... Who, except maybe Easy Company and the Blackhawks, wouldn't fight in a park?

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 15:12
Really? You can't think of who to play on this map? How many times have we seen villains rampage through parks in New York, Metropolis, Gotham, San Francisco? It happens all the time.

And as for "patrol"... Most comic book battles are fought when the heroes respond to the villains' attack somewhere, not while "on patrol." A bad guy or villain team attacks civilians in the park, heroes respond. Battle ensues.

Heck, it'd be a challenge to find a non-Atlantis, non-space team that didn't feel right fighting on this map. X-Men, JLA, JSA, Avengers, Brotherhood, Wrecking Crew, Gotham City (good or bad), Teen Titans, Runaways, New Warriors... Who, except maybe Easy Company and the Blackhawks, wouldn't fight in a park?

I'd agree that there's nothing inappropriate about the locale. I more meant that the Park is different than, say, the Danger Room in thematic tone. A 3 is a moderate rating for what I feel is an average theme. A 1 would be dropped on a map like the Infinity Challenge 4-square map- completely generic. A 5 would go to a map like the Days of Future Past X-Mansion Ruins (preview there), where you can see specific story elements in the map. A 5-rated map would inspire a team just by looking at it (Supernova's Space map instantly inspires the need to use Thanos or Silver Surfer). A 3 seems completely fair to me for a nonspecific park.

tyroclix
02/03/2011, 15:19
Not at all! HoT Cap is best when he can use a building or blocking to hide behind, as he ignores terrain outdoors. On this map, he loses that huge advantage; all he does here is ignore the +1 to defense.

HoT Cap should actually be much easier to defeat here.

I believe Caps SP says his LoF is only blocked by walls and indoor Blocking. It says nothing about hindering so opposing figures would still get the +1 hindering bonus.

It's what makes his 10 attack so average .

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 15:22
Not owning HoT Cap at the moment means I'm a little rusty on his ability. If that's the case, this is actually a terrible map for Cap!

Tim Drake
02/03/2011, 15:23
I'd agree that there's nothing inappropriate about the locale. I more meant that the Park is different than, say, the Danger Room in thematic tone. A 3 is a moderate rating for what I feel is an average theme. A 1 would be dropped on a map like the Infinity Challenge 4-square map- completely generic. A 5 would go to a map like the Days of Future Past X-Mansion Ruins (preview there), where you can see specific story elements in the map. A 3 seems completely fair to me for a nonspecific park.

Try rereading what I wrote. I wasn't responding to your rating of 3 at all, mate. Only to the comments, especially that you couldn't think of a team that felt right on the map. My argument is that you'd have to go a long way to find a team that doesn't feel right on this map.

saturnflight
02/03/2011, 16:22
Try rereading what I wrote. I wasn't responding to your rating of 3 at all, mate. Only to the comments, especially that you couldn't think of a team that felt right on the map. My argument is that you'd have to go a long way to find a team that doesn't feel right on this map.

Your clarification was helpful; I did focus on the wrong portion. My statement would have been better if I'd complained that the map did not inspire me to use any teams in particular, rather than questioning what teams would be appropriate for the map.

ibeatdrew
02/03/2011, 16:53
This map is very similar to a map designed by a group called Clixbuilders. Is Grid Reality & Clixbuilder the same designer?

I was the founder of Clixbuilders and all maps under that name were created by me. When I partnered with Typhon we recreated the company. This is a remake of The Park II. I spruced the graphics up and changed it around just slightly.

Thanks everyone for the comments!

themonkey
02/04/2011, 16:05
Great map, this is a blast to play on.

If you place your characters right, you can actually get some long lines of fire. The picture put into the article demonstrates that wonderfully. It's what I love about GridReality maps, they look fairly strait forward when you first look at them, but actually have tons of depth.

I agree that there a lots of superhero battles that take place in parks. Something about the heroes minimizing collateral damage.

Feral2k
02/06/2011, 11:45
Is anyone else having trouble getting the pictures to load? They don't seem to be working on my computer for some reason. Kind of hard to comment when you can't see what he's talking about . . .