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saturnflight
06/16/2011, 14:17
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201106/Review- Fountain.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: Fountain of Asgard
Commonly Known As: Rainbow Bridge, Asgard
Map on Reverse: None
Dimensions: 24" x 36" (16x24 squares)
Set: Hammer of Thor
Status: Active

saturnflight
06/16/2011, 14:18
<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201106/Fountain.jpg" class="imagecenter" width="300px" />
Image courtesy of HCUtils (http://www.ianparmenter.com/hcutils/newgame.jsp).

Official Title: Fountain of Asgard
Commonly Known As: Rainbow Bridge, Asgard
Map on Reverse: None
Dimensions: 24" x 36" (16x24 squares)
Set: Hammer of Thor
Status: Active
Availability: The Fountain of Asgard was distributed as a part of the Hammer of Thor prize support kit. These days, the secondary market is your only option.

saturnflight
06/16/2011, 14:18
The Fountain of Asgard is apparently a stop along the Rainbow Bridge, and it's no wonder why: the water runs right through the middle of the map, obstructing any crossing from one side to the next. Along that warrior theme, the map has four fortified towers set in the center (though what tactical benefit this setup would give a real army, I have no idea).

This map, like much of the Hammer of Thor set, has become iconic of Heroclix. Hammer of Thor heralded the return of the game after a year out of business. It was an extremely popular set, selling out relatively quickly and proving that the game was back with a vengeance.

More recently, Hammer of Thor has been featured in the beta version of Heroclix Online, where new gamers who weren't even playing during the set's availability have had the chance to field digital versions of the Asgardians, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and even the Runaways. The Fountain of Asgard was one of two maps available in this beta test version.

http://wizkidsgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/HCO4-300x231.jpg
A screenshot of the Fountain of Asgard on Heroclix Online.

As you can see in the HCOnline graphic above, the Rainbow Bridge is a feature unique to this map.
Squares inside the boundary of an orange line are bridge terrain. Bridge terrain is clear terrain, but when a character is moving as a result of an action assigned to that character, they can treat squares of bridge terrain in the same numbered row as adjacent for movement purposes only. (Not for tournament play.)
So you can start your Running Shot on the left side of the map and finish it on the right side. A cool feature, but one many players won't get to try out: it's not a legal game element in tournament play.

<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201106/Mini- Fountain1.jpg" class="imagecenter" width="400px" />
Ultron's 12 range can reach the Asgardian Warrior across the fountain, but using the bridge the Asgardian Warrior's Charge will get him right into Ultron's face.

This is a map that makes 24'x36' relavant. Because the map is narrow, long lines of fire that aren't obstructed by buildings can be very hard to draw, even with Running Shot to help with positioning. On a wider map, it's possible to keep your distance on a horizontal basis; narrow maps force you to work only with long vertical lines.

The map is very sparce on hindering terrain, hiding it all in the four corners and well out of usual combat range. If you have a 10+ range figure with Stealth, you may be able to use the hindering the map provides; otherwise, plan on taking up in an object.

The central fountain will probably have the biggest impact on gameplay, and figures who can't ignore its effect on movement will find themselves left out of the action time and time again. To a lesser degree, the four towers interfere as well, but with two stairways on each, it's often possible to find a direct path by going over it.

<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/80851/HCRealms.com/201106/Mini- Fountain2.jpg" class="imagecenter" width="400px" />
Using the rooftops, your close combatants can gain the upper hand on grounded ranged combatants.

When you're planning to cross the Rainbow Bridge, who should you bring?

-Hypersonic Speed can use this map well, and if you ignore terrain while doing so, you'll find yourself at quite the advantage. Keep the fountain between you and your target, and if possible keep a building between you as well. Don't stop in the center of the roof; there are lots of ways to get a line of fire to you there.

-Charge is seldom a stronger power than Hypersonic Speed, but here it's comparable due in large part to the map covering your approach and the usual increased attack options that Charge allows for. If you're a fan of the power or the sorts of characters that get the power, this map is a good choice for you. Again, ignoring terrain will make all the difference in your level of success.

-Aquatic, flying, Ultimates, Superman Allies, Phasing, Leap/Climbing, and Giant characters. If you haven't caught on yet, this map puts all the terrain right into the heart of the battle in the form of water and rooftops. If you can cross that central obstruction, you have the mobility advantage over your opponent. Giants have the bonus of being on eye level with the rooftops, letting a central position on the map become a powerful one. This is an ideal map for any character who gets a bonus for occupying water terrain.

-Smoke Cloud can either hold up figures already struggling to find a path of movement or provide a bridge for your own figures who need to cross the fountain. Think outside the box and make the most of it.

-Pulse Wave should be able to find a single target often, which allows for full damage without powers. You'll seldom have a longer line of fire anyway.

-Force Blast and Quake, or any other guaranteed source of knockback damage. If it's not tossing someone from the towers, it's shoving them into the fountain for hindered movement. Added fun if you can manage a team of all girls, and get that classic teen movie 'chick fight in a fountain' going.

saturnflight
06/16/2011, 14:26
Shalt thou proceed to the Rainbow Bridge?

Theme: 3/5
I don't really know what the Fountain of Asgard is, but the Rainbow Bridge is exciting. If only it weren't relegated to the very edge of the map. Meanwhile, the architecture makes little logical sense, and the greenery really should have been white. This should be a 4 for effort, and really the medievil feel is welcome in the game; but the map just doesn't feel like Asgard as much as it feels generic.
Clarity: 5/5
Even the potential confusion of the Rainbow Bridge was elegantly handled, and then invalidated for tournament play (potentially needlessly) to ensure no issues would arise.
Tactical Impact: 5/5
Rooftops that are right in the heart of the action, rather than acting as sniper positions. Water that's right in the heart of the action, rather than relegated to a token appearance. Hindering terrain that's nowhere near the heart of the action. This map reverses the expectations that come with terrain features, and can cramp a lot of team staples like Telekinesis, long range, and supporting powers requiring a wide field of sight.
Balance: 3/5
While most of the obstacles that come with this map are relatively balanced in how they affect all players, the water right down the center can make this map extremely difficult for a ground-pounding team, especially if they go first.
Terrain Diversity: 4/5
A lack of Blocking terrain isn't a terribly big deal, with the Elevated being used to much the same effect here (Magneto will probably be the only one to notice the difference). Otherwise, this map pretty much covers everything.

Overall: 4/5
Complaints against this map are mostly superficial; few teams are neutralized by it, and many are made much more plausible. The Fountain of Asgard makes an excellent map option for the tournament player looking to be competitive with something slightly unusual.

That's it for this week! Until next time, enjoy the scenery!

Headed to Worlds this year? Check out the Worlds Map Primer! (http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=319542)

iceman243
06/16/2011, 14:34
Good review, I like the list of who you should bring.

I especially like, "Added fun if you can manage a team of all girls, and get that classic teen movie 'chick fight in a fountain' going." :laugh:

silversurfr77
06/16/2011, 14:40
Saturnflight....Great review. I love this map and have always done well on it. Plus it looks really cool......rep incoming for another GREAT REVIEW !!! :)

joeracer
06/16/2011, 14:52
@Iceman243 I have done that! ha ha! It was pretty fun.

WestCoastAvengers
06/16/2011, 16:02
What is the point of the Rainbow Bridge if it is not allowed for tournaments?

PsychoHippie
06/16/2011, 16:21
Am I the only one who has trouble distinguishing the square borders on the tower spaces? If not, I'd take a half-point from Clarity.

supremepontiff
06/16/2011, 16:32
this is Captian America's second favorite map to be forced onto. It's Maelkith's favortie map. mindcontrolling over and from the middle of the towers is an awesome trick, and usually theme relevant.

-RmL

Dark_Knight
06/16/2011, 16:40
My favorite map, perfectly symmetrical which makes picking sides a non-factor.

Best piece to play? DC75 Batman SR with that devastating Rooftop Trait! He's beastly on this map

saturnflight
06/16/2011, 18:51
What is the point of the Rainbow Bridge if it is not allowed for tournaments?

Casual play.

I thought that would have been obvious...

flatmatt
06/16/2011, 23:37
What is the point of the Rainbow Bridge if it is not allowed for tournaments?
This is basically the only consistent house rule at my two venues. The map becomes much more balanced with the bridge. Without the bridge, you're screwed if you can't ignore water terrain, you have to spend turns and turns trying to get to the other side of the pond, then your opponent can just fly over to the other side again.

WestCoastAvengers
06/17/2011, 00:22
I got to use this map tonight when I won map choice. It's a fun map.

StormCrawler
06/17/2011, 13:15
Great review of a great map! Not sure though on the benefit for Ultimates/Supes. There's no hindering at all where most of the battles would take place.

saturnflight
06/17/2011, 15:32
Great review of a great map! Not sure though on the benefit for Ultimates/Supes. There's no hindering at all where most of the battles would take place.

There's no hindering to SEE through, but there IS water to MOVE through.

Carbon Rod
06/17/2011, 17:08
This map is a ton of fun. It's a map that makes you think "outside the box" on how to effectively use it (like Saturn said with the smoke cloud). At the two venue's I play at, one venue house rules it that you can use the bridge and the other doesn't. The bridge does make a HUGE difference, however I don't think it's a big enough one to be banned from tournament play. You just have to be aware of it and plan accordingly.

If I the docks map from Justice League set or the B.P.R.D. temple map isn't avalible but you're running Thor, Frog of Thunder, then this is the back up map. He's an evil, evil piece on here (and if you don't have that this map, then go with the Bridge from WoS).

Rurouni KJS
06/17/2011, 17:47
Added fun if you can manage a team of all girls, and get that classic teen movie 'chick fight in a fountain' going.??? I must not be watching the right movies.

This is basically the only consistent house rule at my two venues. The map becomes much more balanced with the bridge. Without the bridge, you're screwed if you can't ignore water terrain, you have to spend turns and turns trying to get to the other side of the pond, then your opponent can just fly over to the other side again.Yeah, I almost hate this map. Nearly no stealth or blocking means :m-boot: Charge figs are super-open to shooters and OW.

vlad the red
06/17/2011, 18:28
accually...this is one of the 15 tournament legal maps for worlds.i guess the map is legal,just not the special rules for the bridge.

Feral2k
06/18/2011, 14:43
My favorite map, perfectly symmetrical which makes picking sides a non-factor.

Best piece to play? DC75 Batman SR with that devastating Rooftop Trait! He's beastly on this map

SR Superman from the same set has a lot of fun here too. He can often get that free attack, no problem.

webhead76
06/21/2011, 14:29
This map seems like the perfect one for using Spider-Man (or any figure that has L/C). I could see the WoS Spider-Man having a field day on this map. Good review.

vlad the red
06/21/2011, 22:02
lamp post batman also is a beast on this map as he can stealth on the edges of elevated terrain.