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. Official Titles: Mental Plane Dimensions: 24" x 36" (16x24 squares) Set:Infinity Gauntlet tournament series Map on Reverse: Shrine to Death Status: Active
If the goal of the Mental Plane was to belabor that point, it succeeded. The map for Infinity Gauntlet month 7 is, visually, a simple chess board layout. Mechanically, it's a whole lot more.
Let's start by talking format. Most venues will be playing this event as a sealed tournament using Chaos War (though if your venue's Gauntlet events usually occur early in the month you may be choosing an alternative format). That makes building for the map a very unlikely option. Pretty much everyone will instead be improvising as they hit the board. Thankfully, as maps go, this one isn't terribly obstructive.
And because it can be a little hard to see those terrain markings, here's the map again, with color coding.
Take a look at columns A and B. These are the only columns with no Blocking terrain in them. In every other column, you'll find your movement blocked at some point. More importantly, you'll find your line of sight blocked. If you're relying on stationary ranged attackers, this map will give you fits.
The low-cost tie-up is a strategy from the past that this map brings back to the forefront. In most cases, 3 squares of movement can completely change lines of fire, and a smart opponent looking to avoid being attacked could dodge your ranged attackers all game. Expect characters like Donald Blake to appear- and survive to the late game through nothing more than avoidance. The solution? Send out figures to tie up the opposition. Iron Man Drones, Ultron Drones, Lava Men; as long as they're fast and mildly durable, they'll improve your range-heavy team exponentially.
Do NOT rely on Stealth. A Stealthed character isn't necessarily a bad figure on this map, but if your primary defense for your main attacker is Stealth, you'll spend most of the game blowing up Blocking terrain and moving to new cover just to get lines of fire to opponents. A13-B14 has the widest area of effect of any Hindering terrain on the map, and still is within range of a Charge from behind Blocking. The Void is a fine alternate for Sentry, as the mobility of the latter can bring you back to safety before becoming the former, but do NOT start the Void.
I expect rave reviews of this map once players begin to use it. Both because of its theme and its layout, the Mental Plane is unique among its kind. I recommend getting familiar with it during the tournament, because you'll see it again after Month 8, when venues pass the maps out to their players. In constructed play, there are plenty of fun combos waiting to be played here: Magneto, Juggernaut, Worldbreaker Hulk, and anyone with a straight line, full movement Charge or Running Shot, for starters.
That's it for this week! Until next time, enjoy the scenery!