I am really interested in the Batman: Alpha characters and want to start collecting them. First of all, I want to know whether or not there is a starter for the set still out there.
My second question would be,"Are they even printing these anymore and can my local hobby store purchase something like a box full of boosters still." Buying each figure individually can be a bit pricey. So is there anyone who can maybe help me out?
There was never a starter set for Batman Alpha. Each booster contained a small map and small dice, as well as rules to play. You may be able to find sealed boosters/cases from some online stores, but I'm not sure that they can be ordered from a distributor.
I think the secondary market prices are driven by the availability. I know that after I bought my sixth booster, I was getting duplicates of more than just the visible Batman figure, which killed my interest in 'blind' purchases. If you are really excited about the set, I recommend trying to find an online retailer with a sealed case for sale.
One figure (The Batman, 031) was only available in packs sold at Target retail stores.
The figures have generally good stats that allow them to be useful in games. The typical complaint about the figures is the lack of Team Abilities, but the keywords can make up for this if you really are comitted to theme teams. My own impression of the figures is that *for the dial cost* they are satisfactory members of HeroClix forces...its just that many of the figures either have costlier versions with something more special about them (special white powers, team abilities) or even cheaper versions that have even more simpler dials.
Until you hit the rares most of the figures can be bought for under $2.00 from online stores. The ones you want Alfred, Oracle, Talia, and the Joker with cost you. Also if you buy a sealed case of them you will not get the full set. You will only be getting 2 of the 4 rares. Tidge is right about getting duplicates very early. I doubt your venue can order them but ask you may get lucky.
I want to know whether or not there is a starter for the set still out there.
I don't know if its a real starter set, but there is the "Batman Arkham Asylum Escape Mega Battle Pack". It came with 6 figs, rule book, map, and dice. I picked one up for $5 at an online store. It would at least start you off.
Also if you buy a sealed case of them you will not get the full set. You will only be getting 2 of the 4 rares.
This is an important point I should have mentioned. It is worth noting however that depending on the price of a (hypothetical) sealed case of Batman: Alpha, if you really want all four rare figures (Clown Prince of Crime, The Boy Wonder, Nightwing, Dynamic Duo) then no matter which two rares you get you probably have saved yourself a lot of grief in trying to track them down individually.
The figures I use most from this set have been: Robin, Huntress and Oracle. I have an original Alfred that I tend to use instead of the Alpha version, but the Alpha version is fine. Bane and the assorted Batman get consideration when points are an issue, but I haven't used them as much as I thought I would. I had an opponent use Talia recently, for the points she's probably the best bargain in the set.
They're ok figures, as they offer more for Gotham City teams, such as a Riddler with PC (though CSA Owlman is also an option from Collateral Damage), a cheap perplexer with a 40 point Penguin, the amazing 20 point Talia, and an easier to obtain Alfred for support.
Even the Commissioner Gordon looks great for the cheap 17 Defend. I recall my favorite Batman from that set being the Masked Manhunter, as when feats were still prevalent, it was fun to field him with Camouflage with his 8 range.
Far easier to obtain in singles, and I'm unsure if trading over HCRealms isn't a bad option, as that's how I got my Alfred. I do recall buying a few of the Alpha boosters and pulling some dupes, so that was unimpressive. And most of the dials are outdone by other versions of similar characters.
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I am a big Batman: Alpha fan as well, and I'll echo what everyone has already said.
I will say that IF you play the Alpha rules, which were seperate rules from HeroClix, having dupes of the figures wasn't a bad thing. Since you bring Reinforcements into the game after losing figures, having the full variety of the set to choose from was important. And since a lot of people didn't buy Alpha figures, I generally had an almost-complete second set of figures, in case someone wanted to actually play the Alpha game.
My favorite figures to play in regular HeroClix are:
Nightwing -- At 70 points, I found this Nightwing to be a damage-generating monster. With 9 L/C and Willpower, he could go anywhere to get into position and then next turn attack for 3 damage at 6 range. I always did plenty of damage to opponents with him. (And a full dial of Leadership offers some unique Feat opportunities as well.)
Clown Prince of Crime -- Also at 70 points, he's a "Charge in and attack" Joker that is very effective. I always think of the scene from the end of The Dark Knight where Joker attacks Batman with the metal bars (and the dogs!) and he's just wailing on Bats... that's what this Joker can do.
Dynamic Duo -- Don't think of it as a Duo (it's not). Think of it as an 80 point figure. And it's a VERY GOOD 80 point figure.
Batgirl -- At 30 points, with an 8 LC / 9 / 17 Willpower / 2 first click, and 6 range, she's an amazing tie-up figure that your opponent will not want to deal with, but will have to. She's generally my go-to Barbara Gordon Batgirl.
Robin -- Again, for 30 points, you get 8 LC / 10 / 17 / 2 that never drops below 9 Attack and 2 Damage. This is a tie-up Robin that will be out causing havok. (His full-dial Smoke Cloud works very well with OOTS Batman, by the way.)
Alfred -- As others have mentioned, good for the points, and especially if you don't have the chase. This is my "butler with a shotgun" dial, as he's got better attack numbers than the chase. And in EVERY game I have used him, I've managed to blast someone for 2 damage at least once.
Catwoman -- As the only Modern Age Catwoman (that's not connected to Batman), I have used her on a lot of Gotham teams. She's good for the points, but if her B/C/F clicks started on her first click, she'd be waaay better.
The Batman figures -- All four of the Batman figures were good, depending on what you wanted your Batman to do. 001 was a good mobile attacker, and for a while, the only Modern Age Justice League of America Batman. 002 wasn't popular but was good on Martial Artist teams if you had TK and could get him in place to hit for 4 damage. 003 was the favorite, with his full dial of Stealth, 8 Range, Shape Change, and 3 damage. Old-school 004 was a good in-your-face Batman, though not as good as the Origin Unique, in my opinion.
Commissioner Gordon -- 8 Range, three clicks of 17 Def with Defend, 10 Attack, and a couple of clicks of Leadership at 50 points made the Commish a go-to figure. Put him behind GCPD figures and they became much better at 20 points a piece.
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Back when I was the unofficial official "Alpha guru", I led an effort to adapt the Alpha rules to older Heroclix figs (back when retirement was a big deal and lots of us had extensive collections which were collecting dust). The link in my sig will take you to the unofficial expanded Alpha rules (which, although not an official WizKids product, was created with their blessing [under the old Topps regime]).
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You may want to check your local 5 Below as these booster were liquidated there when Wizkids went under the first time. Most of my 5 Belows have exhausted their stock but I was out of state recently and saw a few still on the shelves.