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saturnflight
04/20/2011, 11:15
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201104/Review-%20Space.jpgThe 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.

Official Title: Outer Space
Commonly Known As: Space
Map on Reverse: None
Dimensions: 24" x 36" (16x24 squares)
Set: Supernova
Status: Active

saturnflight
04/20/2011, 11:19
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201104/Map-%20Space.jpg

Official Title: Outer Space
Commonly Known As: Space
Map on Reverse: None
Dimensions: 24" x 36" (16x24 squares)
Set: Supernova
Status: Active
Availability: The Outer Space map was available packaged in cases of Marvel: Supernova, and has the set poster printed on the back. The map is no longer available outside of the secondary market, but is usually easy to find.

saturnflight
04/20/2011, 12:25
In comics, Outer Space is often the setting for epic battles against huge threats. It's home to powerful characters that worlds cannot contain, who often harness massive energy and brawl across expansive battlefields. Space is where a character like Green Lantern or the Silver Surfer can really let loose, free of the restraint that comes with heavily populated locales.

And yet, Outer Space doesn't help create that epic feel as you pit the Annihilators against Thanos. This is not a battle that spreads across the cosmos. In fact, your area of combat is likely to find itself shrunken down as the Silver Surfer's Hypersonic Speed meets Orange Special Terrain rules to crunch a 10 range down to a 3.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201104/Mini- Space 1.jpgHit and run? Silver Surfer's attack against Thanos looks more like hit and sit.

This map had a lot of firsts: the first map with abnormal starting areas, the first map with special terrain, and the first map to be house-overruled at venues across the country. To this day, you will still find player groups where this map is played without special rules, either through frustration with the effect or through absentmindedness.

Since the dominant terrain of this map is decidedly the Orange Special area, let's take a look at the rules for fighting in zero gravity:

Squares inside the boundary of an orange line on this map are space terrain. Space terrain is clear terrain modified by the following rules:

1. Characters given move actions when they occupy space terrain modify their speed values by +2 for the action. 2. Halve the range values of all characters occupying space terrain and all characters drawing a line of fire to a character occupying space terrain.

3. A successful attack that does not otherwise knock back a character occupying space terrain knocks back that character a number of squares equal to damage dealt -2, to a minimum of 0. 4. When targeting a character occupying space terrain with Force Blast, roll two six-sided dice instead of one. All knock back ends immediately when a character enters the first square that is not space terrain. Characters occupying space terrain are not dealt knock back damage if their knock back paths are ended by the edge of the map.

Multiple effects mean that often something is overlooked or forgotten. Let's break it down a bit.

Characters who begin a move action in Space gain +2 to their movement. This is a neat little bonus, showing how effortless it is to keep yourself moving. While this can be helpful as you set up, ultimately move actions end up being the least used actions in a game, and as you'll need to wait until at least your second move action to utilize it, this ability is of questionable value to most players.

When damage is dealt to a character in Space terrain, they're dealt knockback equal to the damage they took -2. Knockback modifiers are often forgotten, and ultimately it's up to the player who's set to gain an advantage to remember this effect. As ranged combat attackers are usually able to draw fire to a target in any number of squares, it's the close combatants that will suffer most as they have to close the ground between them and their target after each successful attack. Consider surrounding a figure on both sides if your brawler lacks move and attack capabilities. Oh, and there's some fun stuff with Force Blast too.

<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201104/Mini- Space 2.jpg" class="imagecenter" width="400px" />
Drax relies on Bug to keep Annihilus in place.

Range values are cut in half when drawn to or from a character occupying Space terrain. I'm not at all sure what they thought they were representing here, but this effect puts a serious damper on the spacefaring superheroes that likely made you consider this theme to begin with. This may drive you to positioning your long-range figures on the meteors, so that they can use their full range on any opponents stupid enough to take positions on other meteors AND leave you with line of fire to them.

This last effect will have the largest impact on your game, and may turn you off to the Space map entirely. After all, what's the fun of running Ultron through space when it cuts his Pulse Wave radius to 3?

<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201104/Mini- Space 3.jpg" class="imagecenter" width="600px" />
"I never should have left Earth."

Let's look at who's ready to shoot for the moon:

-Charging close combatants. The setback for range is a boost for close combat figures, but the automatic knockback can be a setback to you for dealing too much damage. The solution is to pack move and attack, allowing you to come right back at a figure you just swatted away. For some Charge figures, this is completely ideal; Cannonball, as an example, benefits from the opportunity to start every attack from a few squares away. As a bonus, Charge also lets you ignore knockback, so you can choose not to let the zero gravity effect you. (Remember that there is no move and attack ability that is actually a move action, so no +2 speed for Sam.)

-Precision Pulse Wave, which is to say Pulse Wave figures with 6-8 range and very high damage. These characters often like to use Pulse Wave as a form of penetrating damage, and should find it easier to catch only 1 opponent in their radius when it gets shrunk down to 2.

-Force Blast isn't necessary due to all the knockback generated here, but due to the '2d6' bonus given to Force Blast, it can certainly be fun; an average 3.5 now becomes an average 7, with a range of 1-6 squares becoming a range of 2-12. Free force blasters love this even more. Hello Malice! Is that Iron Man with you?

-Telekinesis, and any other attack with a range of effect rather than actual use of the character's range value. That's right, even in space you can throw an object 8 squares with TK (or Super Strength, if you're throwing a light object).

-Magneto is undeniably powerful on any map, but here his '1/2 range for opponents' comes out to '1/4 range for opponents in space'. While Magneto's Achilles' Heel is definitely close combat, shutting down a ranged option doesn't make an opposing ranged figure a competent close combatant. A Hypersonic figure with a range of 10 will need to get 2 squares away from Eric before he can launch an attack. Oh, and he has Telekinesis, so he can attack you from 8 squares away. Twice. For way too much damage. Sign me up as an Acolyte.

saturnflight
04/20/2011, 13:15
Is Outer Space all it's hyped up to be?

Theme: 2/5
The theme is cool- who doesn't want to battle in space?- but the graphics are merely acceptable. The biggest offense thematically is that the rules just don't work with what you want out of a space map. Cutting short range and giving an advantage to close combatants doesn't fit with anyone but Drax and Gamora. Thanks for the imaginative attempt, but you missed the boat.
Clarity: 4/5
The abundance of special rules associated with Space terrain can be difficult to remember, especially as the applicable situations arise. But aside from that, the map is clear in terrain labels.
Tactical Impact: 5/5
The strategic advantage of space terrain is particularly fun to utilize, yet there are plenty of times where heading to solid ground will be a better option. This balancing act is a big part of the map's enforced tactics, and makes for a fun variation on the game. It's also nice when a map tilts things in favor of close combat, even though in this case it doesn't make much sense why. (Perhaps the Space terrain rules should have appeared in the Arena?)
Balance: 2/5
Although the shift of power is going toward an underserved element of the game, it is a shift too far, and many teams will find themselves defeated as much by this map as by the opponent's Hercules/Namor team-up.
Terrain Diversity: 2/5
Elevated, hindering, and space. The former two are scarce and relegated to the outer walls; the last forms the majority of this map. Diverse this map is not.

Overall: 3/5
If you want to win against the power player of the week, and you want to do it with the Wrecking Crew just to rub it in, make sure you can win map roll and drop him here. If you want a cool cosmic map, you're better off with the Anti-Monitor's map (review coming soon!) or Hawkworld. If you have a chance at one, grab it for something different, but there's no need to chase it across eBay; you're not missing out on the play experience of your life.

dkrmguy
04/21/2011, 09:05
Great Article & Great map I enjoy playing Space. Most of all, when I have a close combat team & my opponent has range or when my opponent has a team with a lot of stealth.

prekrap
04/21/2011, 10:32
wonderin what house rules folk have used,and improved use of the space map,great reveiw of my favourite map.

drexis
04/21/2011, 10:47
Ok so correct me if im wrong, but since its "effortless" to move through space when you get knocked back shouldn't you move farther, not less?

saturnflight
04/21/2011, 10:54
Ok so correct me if im wrong, but since its "effortless" to move through space when you get knocked back shouldn't you move farther, not less?

A roll of doubles (or any other form of attack that deals knockback) still knocks back as normal.

It's the attacks that normally wouldn't knock back that now knock back at -2.

And just to REALLY show off, Force Blast (the easiest source of knockback) will toss you up to 12 squares with those 2 dice.

So yes, there's a lot of knockback going on and none of it is less than normal.

Equis
04/21/2011, 12:09
I think that half-range stuff means people "hovering" in space, not standing in a square. Has old flier rules, when you had to half your range to shoot them...

saturnflight
04/21/2011, 12:15
I think that half-range stuff means people "hovering" in space, not standing in a square. Has old flier rules, when you had to half your range to shoot them...

I never thought of it that way... but then since it works even on two people in space, does that mean everyone's hovering at different heights (or depths)? It's just not the effect that defines space in my mind.

Shuttle
04/21/2011, 12:56
I always thought the halved range was supposed to represent the 3D nature of fighting in space. That the figure you were targetting could be well above or below the horizontal plane of the map, and therefore could be considered to be a lot further away than the map showed. That was always my view on it anyway.

Shuttle
04/21/2011, 12:57
Oh, nice use of Anihilation characters in the diagrams by the way.

NeoShazam
04/21/2011, 13:27
The special effect would be better in the Great Arena but its still a really important map.

I'd want to have this one WAY before the Battle Square , Bridge , Axis Chemicals , Hawkworld , or the Airport which you gave better overall ratings.

The Prison is basically a close combat map that makes it hard to use support powers, Space is a close combat map that you makes it easy to use support powers.

I don't think Magneto would be a problem on this map, it is however a strong choice for Thingtron.

saturnflight
04/21/2011, 14:18
The special effect would be better in the Great Arena but its still a really important map.

I'd want to have this one WAY before the Battle Square , Bridge , Axis Chemicals , Hawkworld , or the Airport which you gave better overall ratings.

The Prison is basically a close combat map that makes it hard to use support powers, Space is a close combat map that you makes it easy to use support powers.

I don't think Magneto would be a problem on this map, it is however a strong choice for Thingtron.

Battle Square, Bridge, Hawkworld, and the Airport all fit the theme; losing points there really hurt Space. I wouldn't have thought Axis would have ranked better, but the scores can be read overall or individually. Space is certainly a very competitive map (as reflected in the Tactical Impact score), but there are a lot more requirements for a truly superb map.

Your assessment on the utility powers is spot on, however. This map does a great job of cutting off ranged combat while still allowing a wide area of effect. There are plenty of creative ways to exploit that.

Superfly
04/21/2011, 16:31
My favorite character for use on this map was always Vet FF Hawkeye. With a little help from ICWO or some perplex, Hawkeye could use Move-and-Attack power to make ranged attacks from non-space terrain to non-space terrain and really surprise people, as he regularly launched attacks (starting from space terrain) using a 10 AV and 5 Damage (with Armor Piercing) and 12 Movement to hit multiple targets and then moved away to a safe distance back in space. Now, with Move-and-Attack being changed to Hypersonic, this couldn't work anymore. Sure was fun back when the map debuted, though.

Clixjunkie
04/21/2011, 18:08
GSX Cyclops could be pretty sweet on this map.

tidge
04/22/2011, 16:43
This map is pretty much the one you want to face "as a force" Starro on.

Since so much of the Heroclix game defaults to "ranged attacks", this is a great change of pace for almost all comic-themed teams, who so rarely have a min-max ranged default build.

technom22
04/22/2011, 17:39
Oh , this map! As a newbie, I've never played on this one, but I always see people on HCRealms talk about it. I was wondering what were the effects, but now I know them.

Man, they're so weird, but cool at the same time. I'm looking forward to play on this map.

BoondockSaint1
04/28/2011, 03:56
Some figures *cough Graviton cough* don't really care if their range gets halved...

Nitecralwer24
04/28/2011, 16:25
nice review, as always :) and i also appreciate the use of annihilation quest characters. Go Bug! but isn't that bit of blocking terrain supposed to be elevated? with the 'stairs' on each side?(the slopes)

saturnflight
05/01/2011, 11:01
Yep, it is. Had that section of elevated terrain mattered to me at all, I would have noticed that mistake in the image. Nice catch.

goldpony
05/02/2011, 14:15
I really like this map, but feel it could be improved with some one square asteroids that act as blocking terrain. it would make the knockback on this maop something to be feared.

BTW, a player at my venue played Asgardians in space the other day. they wrecked on this map. and gotham city teams hate this map :)