Monthly Archiv: April, 2010

Protectorate of Menoth available NOW!

The Road to Salvation is Paved with the Skulls of Heretics
 

Driven by Menoth’s will, the Protectorate of Menoth wages a crusade against the other nations and lesser faiths of western Immoren. Powerful warcasters imbue their towering warjacks with divine might while masses of zealots, mighty Knights Exemplar, and ranks of disciplined Temple Flameguard stand ready to cleanse the stain of heresy wherever it may be found. Against those who carry out the Creator’s will, there can be no hope of victory!

March forth with the hosts of the Lawbringer in Forces of WARMACHINE: Protectorate of Menoth, featuring:

  • Complete faction rules and profiles for using all current Protectorate models in WARMACHINE Mk II.
  • New troops to bring to the fight, plus the all-new warcaster Vice Scrutator Vindictus.
  • An in-depth look at the history and structure of the Protectorate’s military.
  • A painting and modeling guide to help you ready your forces for battle.
  • Protectorate Theme Force lists and rules, which allow you to create armies based on specialized forces from the Protectorate of Menoth.

Let Your Righteous Wrath Burn the Unbelievers! Available in softcover (PIP 1027 MSRP $34.99) and hardcover (PIP 1028 MSRP $44.99).

Comics for 4/28/10


PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS

MAR101692

GAME TRADE MAGAZINE #123

PI

MAR100005

PREVIEWS #260 MAY 2010

PI

DARK HORSE COMICS

JAN100191

BPRD TP VOL 12 WAR ON FROGS

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OCT090123

BTVS SUPERNATURAL DEFENSE KIT NEW PTG (NOTE PRICE)

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CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #20 KOZAKI PT 2 (OF 3)

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APR090025

GIGANTIC TP VOL 01

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LITTLE LULU GIANT SIZE TP VOL 01

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RAPTURE TP VOL 01

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SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN TP VOL 07

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DC COMICS

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IDW PUBLISHING

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IMAGE COMICS

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MARVEL COMICS

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FANTASTIC FOUR #578

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HULK #20 2ND PTG MCGUINNESS VAR (PP #913)

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HULK #21 2ND PTG MCGUINNESS VAR (PP #913)

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INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #25 HA

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INVINCIBLE IRON MAN OMNIBUS HC VOL 02 COLAN DM ED

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IRON MAN DEADLY SOLUTIONS PREM HC

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IRON MAN DEADLY SOLUTIONS PREM HC DM ED 42

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KABUKI REFLECTIONS HC

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DEC090578

KABUKI REFLECTIONS HC LTD ED VAR

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MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD INFINITY SWORD QUEST HC

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NOV090529

MMW INHUMANS HC VOL 02

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MMW SILVER SURFER TP VOL 01

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MMW SILVER SURFER TP VOL 01 DM VAR ED 15

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MS MARVEL PREM HC VOL 09 BEST YOU CAN BE

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FEB100629

MS MARVEL TP VOL 08 WAR OF MARVELS

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FEB100428

NEW AVENGERS #64 SIEGE

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NOV090536

NEW AVENGERS HC VOL 04

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FEB100599

NEW MUTANTS PREM HC NECROSHA

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JAN100679

NEW MUTANTS TP VOL 01 RETURN OF LEGION

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FEB100634

NEW WARRIORS CLASSIC TP VOL 02

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FEB100483

PETER PARKER #2

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FEB100535

PUNISHER #16

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FEB100537

SECRET WARRIORS #15

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FEB108074

SIEGE #1 (OF 4) 2ND PTG COIPEL VAR (PP #913)

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FEB108049

SIEGE #2 (OF 4) 3RD PTG COIPEL VAR (PP #913)

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FEB100445

SIEGE SECRET WARRIORS #1

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FEB100529

SPIDER-MAN #1

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FEB100607

STAR COMICS TP ALL-STAR COLLECTION GN VOL 03

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FEB100625

STRANGE TP DOCTOR IS OUT

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FEB100433

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FEB100430

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ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS 2 #1

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FEB100621

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FEB108020

ULTIMATE COMICS X #1 3RD PTG ART ADAMS VAR (PP #912)

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FEB100612

WOLVERINE NOIR GN TP

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FEB100575

WOLVERINE ORIGINS #47

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FEB100514

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FEB100564

X-FORCE #26 XSC

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FEB100581

X-MEN FOREVER #22

$3.99

WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT

MAR100671

WIZARD MAGAZINE #225 A TEAM CVR

$5.99

Comics for 4/21/10

DARK HORSE COMICS

FEB100017

DEVIL #3 (OF 4)

$3.50

JAN100220

GELASKINS 13 INCH LAPTOP 300 MOON

$29.95

JAN100223

GELASKINS 13 INCH LAPTOP 300 SPARTANS

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FEB100093

GELASKINS 13 INCH LAPTOP BTVS WILLOW

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DEC090098

GELASKINS 13 INCH LAPTOP BURTON PIN CUSHION QUEEN

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FEB100096

GELASKINS 13 INCH LAPTOP GOON VS MR WICKER

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JAN100214

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JAN100217

GELASKINS 13 INCH LAPTOP SIN CITY LIST

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GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP 300 MOON

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JAN100224

GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP 300 SPARTANS

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FEB100094

GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP BTVS WILLOW

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DEC090107

GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP BURTON TOXIC & STAIN BOY

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FEB100097

GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP GOON VS MR WICKER

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JAN100215

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JAN100218

GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP SIN CITY LIST

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DEC090104

GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP TIM BURTON OYSTER BOY

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DEC090106

GELASKINS 15 INCH LAPTOP TIM BURTON STAIN BOY

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JAN100222

GELASKINS IPHONE 300 MOON

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JAN100225

GELASKINS IPHONE 300 SPARTANS

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FEB100095

GELASKINS IPHONE BTVS WILLOW

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GELASKINS IPHONE GOON VS MR WICKER

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JAN100219

GELASKINS IPHONE SIN CITY WORTH DYING FOR

$14.95

DEC090111

GELASKINS IPHONE TIM BURTON OYSTER BOY

$14.95

DEC090112

GELASKINS IPHONE TIM BURTON PIN CUSHION QUEEN

$14.95

DEC090113

GELASKINS IPHONE TIM BURTON STAIN BOY

$14.95

DEC090114

GELASKINS IPHONE TIM BURTON TOXIC & STAIN BOY

$14.95

DEC090116

GELASKINS IPHONE WETA RAYGUNS

$14.95

DEC090117

GELASKINS IPHONE WETA UNNATURAL SELECTOR

$14.95

DEC090118

GELASKINS IPHONE WETA VENUSIANS ATTACK

$14.95

FEB100020

GUILD #2 (OF 3) DONALDSON CVR

$3.50

FEB100019

GUILD #2 (OF 3) STAWICKI CVR

$3.50

NOV090062

SHINJUKU HC

$29.99

DC COMICS

SEP090163

ABSOLUTE GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH HC

$75.00

FEB100141

AZRAEL #7

$2.99

FEB100137

BATMAN STREETS OF GOTHAM #11

$3.99

FEB100217

BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM #15

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FEB100128

BLACKEST NIGHT DIRECTORS CUT

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SEP090252

BLACKEST NIGHT SER 4 BLACK HAND AF

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SEP090253

BLACKEST NIGHT SER 4 BLACK LANTERN FIRESTORM AF

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SEP090254

BLACKEST NIGHT SER 4 KYLE RAYNER AF

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SEP090255

BLACKEST NIGHT SER 4 WONDER WOMAN AF

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FEB100161

BRAVE AND THE BOLD #33

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JAN100301

CRISIS ON MULTIPLE EARTHS TP VOL 05

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FEB100224

DV8 GODS AND MONSTERS #1 (OF 8)

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FEB100118

GREEN LANTERN #53 (BRIGHTEST DAY)

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FEB100185

GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH TP NEW EDITION (RES)

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FEB100203

HUMAN TARGET #1 NEW PTG

$1.00

FEB100126

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #44

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FEB100172

POWER GIRL #11

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FEB100178

REBELS #15

$2.99

JAN100362

SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE TP VOL 08

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JAN100303

SHOWCASE PRESENTS DIAL H FOR HERO TP

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FEB100156

SPIRIT #1

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FEB100149

SUPERGIRL #52

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FEB100153

SUPERMAN BATMAN #71

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DEC090217

SUPERMAN CODENAME PATRIOT HC

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JAN100308

SUPERMAN THE COMING OF ATLAS TP

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FEB100236

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FEB100220

TINY TITANS #27

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IDW PUBLISHING

FEB100971

ANGEL HOLE IN THE WORLD #5

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FEB101010

ART OF P CRAIG RUSSELL HC

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FEB101011

ART OF P CRAIG RUSSELL HC S/N ED

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JAN100999

ART OF TONY HARRIS ART & SKULLDUGGERY HC S/N ED (IDW)

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FEB100979

A-TEAM SHOTGUN WEDDING #4

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FEB101005

BLOOM COUNTY COMPLETE LIBRARY HC VOL 02

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FEB101013

DIGGER & FRIENDS TP

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FEB100949

GI JOE #17

$3.99

FEB100999

GRIMJACK MANX CAT TP VOL 01

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FEB101014

SWORD OF MY MOUTH TP VOL 01

$14.99

FEB100943

TRANSFORMERS LAST STAND O/T WRECKERS #4

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FEB100941

TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT PROWL #1

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IMAGE COMICS

OCT082333

BROKEN TRINITY CVR SET

$21.99

DEC090405

ELEPHANTMEN #25

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FEB100393

FADE TO BLACK #2 (OF 5)

$3.50

NOV090350

INVINCIBLE HC VOL 05 ULTIMATE COLL (RES)

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FEB092456

JINGLE BELLE SANTA CLAUS VS FRANKENSTEIN SGN

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FEB100406

MAGDALENA (ONGOING) #1

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JAN100442

MICE TEMPLAR HC VOL 02 .1 DESTINY PT 1

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APR090421

MILO VENTIMIGLIA PRESENTS BERSERKER #0 NYCC VAR CVR SGN

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MARVEL COMICS

FEB100478

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628

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FEB100493

AVENGERS VS ATLAS #4 (OF 4)

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FEB100463

CAPTAIN AMERICA WHO WONT WIELD SHIELD #1

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JAN100525

DARK TOWER BATTLE OF JERICHO HILL #5 (OF 5)

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FEB100573

DARK WOLVERINE #85

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FEB100496

DEATHLOK #6 (OF 7)

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FEB100503

DOOMWAR #3 (OF 6)

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FEB100511

FALL OF HULKS SAVAGE SHE-HULKS #2 (OF 3)

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FEB100453

FIRESTAR #1

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FEB100550

GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #25

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FEB100492

HERCULES FALL OF AN AVENGER #2 (OF 2)

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FEB100452

HER-OES #1

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FEB100526

IRON MANUAL MARK 3 #1

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FEB100609

LOCKJAW AND PET AVENGERS TP GN

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FEB100458

MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ #5 (OF 8)

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FEB100490

NEW AVENGERS MGC #1

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FEB100553

NOVA #36

$2.99

FEB100620

PUNISHER DEAD END TP

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FEB100611

RUNAWAYS TP VOL 10 ROCK ZOMBIES DIGEST

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FEB100439

SIEGE SPIDER-MAN #1

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JAN100520

SIF #1

$3.99

FEB100622

THUNDERBOLTS TP WIDOWMAKER

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FEB100544

TORCH #7 (OF 8)

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DEC090470

ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS #6

$3.99

FEB108009

ULTIMATE COMICS NEW ULTIMATES #1 2ND PTG CHO VAR (PP #912)

$3.99

FEB100472

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9

$3.99

FEB100618

WHAT IF SECRET INVASION TP

$19.99

FEB100568

X-FACTOR #204 XSC

$2.99

FEB100631

X-FACTOR TP VOL 08 OVERTIME

$19.99

FEB100579

X-MEN FOREVER ANNUAL #1

$4.99

FEB100561

X-MEN LEGACY #235 XSC

$2.99

FEB100578

X-MEN PIXIE STRIKES BACK #3 (OF 4)

$3.99

Coming in July

Three Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit

This fun card game updates the popular Three-Dragon Ante card game, adding new cards and new ways to foil your opponents! Designed for 2–6 players, Three-Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit showcases dragons and iconic character archetypes from the D&D world. Easy to learn and play, this game is great for everyone, from dedicated D&D gamers to poker fans to casual card players. D&D characters can also play Three-Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit within the context of any D&D campaign.

In addition to the added cards and rules, this game also contains complete rules for the original Three-Dragon Ante card game.

Price: $15

Upcoming: San Juan Qualifier Tournaments

The WPN Championship–San Juan Qualifier Tournaments are a series of qualifiers run throughout North and Latin America. The winner at each qualifier earns an invitation to the WPN Championship–San Juan tournament, to be held at the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour San Juan 2010 event in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 30, 2010. (Note: the winner of each qualifier does not receive airfare to attend Pro Tour San Juan or an invitation to play in the Pro Tour).

The winner of the WPN Championship–San Juan will receive round-trip airfare and 4 nights hotel accommodation to attend the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour–Amsterdam 2010 event on September 3-5, 2010; subject to the official rules.

ENTRY FEES

  • $15

Format

  • Standard Constructed
  • Deck lists are required
  • Tournaments with less than 8 players will be canceled
  • Note: This is a premier Magic tournament. Organizers and judges of the WPN Championship–San Juan Qualifier Tournaments are not permitted to play in the qualifiers.

Tournament Length

  • Swiss rounds – 50 minutes per round
  • Number of Swiss rounds based on attendance according to the following chart:
  • Attendance Number of Swiss Rounds
    8 3 (Single Elim.)
    9 – 16 4 (Cut to Top 4)
    17 – 32 5
    33 – 64 6
    65 – 128 7
    129 – 226 8
    227 – 409 9
    410 or higher 10

Advancement

  • All players may participate in all Swiss rounds.
  • The top 8 players after the final Swiss round will advance to the top 8 single-elimination finals.

Top 8

  • Top 8 matches will be best 2 of 3
  • Top 8 matches will have no time limit.
  • Where necessary, the standings after the Swiss rounds will still be used to determine final order in the standings.

Prizes

  • The winner will win an invitation to the WPN Championship–San Juan tournament held at Pro Tour–San Juan 2010 on Sunday, May 30, 2010, which is subject to the official rules.
  • Prizes will be determined based upon tournament attendance.

Notes

  • 16K, REL Regular
  • All Universal Tournament Rules and Magic: the Gathering Floor Rules are in effect for this event unless specifically overruled by information in this Format Document
  • Players must bring pen, paper, card sleeves and appropriate counters.

Comics available 4/13/10


Premier Publishers

DARK HORSE COMICS

FEB100045

BPRD KING OF FEAR #4 (OF 5)

$2.99

FEB100009

HELLCYON #1 (OF 4)

$3.50

JUN090059

STAR WARS DARK TIMES #16 BLUE HARVEST PT 4 (OF 5)

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DC COMICS

FEB100150

ACTION COMICS #888

$3.99

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ADVENTURE COMICS #10

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BATGIRL #9

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BATMAN #698

$2.99

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BOOSTER GOLD #31

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BRIGHTEST DAY #0

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DC COVER ART PRINT POWER GIRL

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FEB100154

DOC SAVAGE #1

$3.99

FEB100205

EX MACHINA #1 NEW PTG

$1.00

FEB100123

FLASH #1

$3.99

FEB100237

FREE REALMS #8 (OF 12)

$3.99

FEB100229

GEN 13 #35

$2.99

DEC090207

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS UNION HC

$19.99

FEB108033

GREEN ARROW #31 2ND PTG

$2.99

FEB100165

GREEN ARROW #32

$2.99

FEB100170

HUMAN TARGET #3 (OF 6)

$2.99

JAN100296

JONAH HEX SIX GUN WAR TP

$14.99

FEB100204

LOSERS #1 NEW PTG

$1.00

FEB100168

MAGOG #8

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JAN100373

NAME OF THE FLOWER VOL 04

$9.99

JAN100299

POWER GIRL A NEW BEGINNING TP

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FEB100223

SCOOBY DOO #155

$2.50

FEB100173

SECRET SIX #20

$2.99

FEB100175

SHIELD #8

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JAN100306

SUPERMAN CHRONICLES TP VOL 08

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DEC090253

TOM STRONG DELUXE ED HC BOOK 02

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SEP090247

WOMEN OF THE DCU SERIES 3 BATGIRL BUST

$60.00

IDW PUBLISHING

FEB100967

ANGEL BARBARY COAST #1

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JAN100998

ART OF TONY HARRIS ART & SKULLDUGGERY HC (IDW)

$49.99

FEB100980

A-TEAM WAR STORIES FACE #1

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DEC090926

DAN DECARLOS JETTA HC

$21.99

FEB100955

GI JOE OPERATION HISS #3

$3.99

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KILL SHAKESPEARE #1

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PANTHEON #1

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FEB100997

PILGRIM #1

$3.99

FEB100972

STAR TREK MCCOY #1

$3.99

FEB100945

TRANSFORMERS NEFARIOUS #2

$3.99

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TRANSFORMERS TALES O/T FALLEN TP

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The Brave and The Bold Preview: Cave Carson

This intrepid underground explorer is a Forgotten Hero no longer!

World famous spelunker and geologist Cave Carson pursued his lifelong dream of becoming an explorer while working to develop the “Mighty Mole” digging machine. Cave Carson experienced many bizarre adventures under the earth with the machine and a group of like-minded adventurers. Eventually, he began working aboveground with some costumed heroes in a loose grouping known as the “Forgotten Heroes.” He continues to police the sub-levels of the earth and on several occasions has alerted Wonder Woman and Superman to various underworld menaces he has encountered that were too much for him to handle alone.

DC HeroClix The Brave and The Bold hits comic and hobby shops nationwide on April 14, 2010 – just two days away! Featuring 55 new figures, including the best team-ups from DC Comics, all-new Alter-Egos and powers that will revolutionize your HeroClix games, DC HeroClix The Brave and The Bold is a must-collect for all DC HeroClix fans. Keep checking back at wizkidsgames.com for more previews!

Pick a Card—Almost Any Card

I have been thinking about my preview card this week within the context of the Top 8 decks from Grand Prix-Huston that took place last weekend. The card is a single-mana pinpoint discard spell in the tradition of Duress, Thoughtseize, and Ostracize. There are restrictions on which cards it can take, but it is also more open-ended than either Duress or Ostracize. Let’s take a look at the card in question:

As you can see, the only restriction as to the card types you can select with Inquisition of Kozilek is lands—although that’s not the only restriction on what cards you can pick. You are limited to picking cards with a casting cost of three or less but your pick can be sorcery, creature, instant, enchantment, or even planeswalker (if you happen to catch someone playing with original Jace). Duress is just not up to the task of taking down a Kargan Dragonlord and Ostrasize is not gonna get you around the Realms Uncharted looming in your opponent’s hand. Inquisition of Kozilek can handle both of them, and do so without having to pay 2 life to do it. Let’s take a look at some of the decks from the Top 8 of Houston and see just how many targets there would be if you played this card against them.

Check out the Tomoharu Saito–designed Hypergenesis update that Shuhei piloted into the Top 8 of the event:

Shuhei Nakamura’s Hypergenesis
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix-Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

2  Calciform Pools
3  Forbidden Orchard
1  Forest
3  Fungal Reaches
4  Gemstone Mine
4  Reflecting Pool
4  Tendo Ice Bridge

21 lands

4  Angel of Dispair
4  Bogarden Hellkite
4  Progentis
4  Simian Spirit Guide
4  Terastodon


20 creatures
3  Akroma’s Memorial
4  Ardent Plea
3  Compulsive Research
1  Deamonic Dread
3  Hypergensis
1  Oblivion Ring
4  Violent Outburst

19 other spells

Sideboard

2  Coalition Relic
3  Crovax, Ascended Hero
3  Firespout
1  Oblivion Ring
2  Ricochet Trap
2  Shreikmaw
2  Venser, Shaper Savant
15 sideboard cards

Putting sideboards aside for the moment, in the maindeck you can nab the following:

4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Ardent Plea
3 Compulsive Research
1 Demonic Dread
3 Hypergensis
1 Oblivion Ring
4 Violent Outburst

It is highly unlikely that you are going to want to take Hypergensis—although your opponent could suspend it—but you would certainly be happy to disrupt Shuhei’s plan by taking a Violent Outburst or Ardent Plea out from among a hand of otherwise uncastable fatties. Taking a Compulsive Research or Simian Spirit Guide could be fine but you are almost always going to want a card that is going to become a Hypergensis. Against this deck you are not going to be getting any flexibility to offset the limitation of not being able to hit a sideboarded Venser, Shaper Savant or to thin a hand of creatures by taking Bogardan Hellkite.

How about against Charles Lancaster’s exciting black-white Smallpox deck that got as far as the Quarterfinals?

Charles Lancaster
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix-Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

4  Fetid Heath
4  Flagstones of Trokair
3  Godless Shrine
4  Marsh Flats
2  Plains
4  Swamp
2  Uroborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

23 lands

2  Baneslayer Angel
4  Bloodghast
4  Dark Confident
4  Gatekeeper of Malakir
3  Kitchen Finks
2  Stoneforge Mystic
4  Tidehollow Sculler


23 creatures
4  Smallpox
2  Smother
1  Sword of Fire and Ice
1  Sword of Light and Shadow
4  Thoughtsieze
2  Umezawa’s Jitte

14 other spells

Sideboard

3  Celestial Purge
2  Damnation
3  Deathmark
2  Extirpate
4  Leyline of the Void
1  Wrath of God


15 sideboard cards

Now this is a deck that Inquisition of Kozilek really shines against. Look at all the potential targets for discard—basically every non-land in the deck except for Baneslayer Angel:

4 Bloodghast
4 Dark Confident
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
3 Kitchen Finks
2 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Tidehollow Sculler
4 Smallpox
2 Smother
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
4 Thoughtseize
2 Umezawa’s Jitte

With the exception of Bloodghast—which you are almost never going to want to them to discard—pretty much every other card in the deck is something you would conceivably want to take. You can force them to lose Tidehollow Sculler or Thoughtseize, Smother or GAtekeepr of Malakir, or Smallpox or Dark Confident. Obviously Thoughtseize offers you even more flexibility in Extended—which was the format for last weekend—but paying two life is not always good for your health.

Kenny Ellis’s deck from the Top 8 has plenty of cards that you could nail with Inquisition of Kozilek since he built his deck in such a way to take even more advantage of Muddle the Mixture than most other decks in the format. Ken’s white-blue control deck was able to “tutor” up a maindeck Mind Spring and a sideboarded Martial Coup. How lucky for Kozilek to have so many targets!

Kenneth Ellis
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

2  Academy Ruins
1  Ancient Den
1  Azorius Chancery
1  Celesital Colonnade
1  Faerie Conclave
1  Ghost Quarter
2  Glacial Fortress
2  Island
4  Mystic Gate
3  Plains
2  Seat of the Synod
1  Snow-Covered Island
1  Snow-Covered Plain
1  Tectonic Edge
3  Tolaria West

26 lands


0 creatures
2  Cryptic Command
1  Echoing Truth
2  Engineered Explosives
2  Jace, The Mind Sculptor
1  Mind Sprind
4  Muddle the Mixture
1  Negate
4  Oblivion Ring
4  Path to Exile
2  Repeal
3  Sword of the Meek
4  Thirst for Knowledge
4  Thopter Foundry

34 other spells

Sideboard

2  Celestial Purge
1  Chalice of the Void
2  Ethersworn Canonist
2  Glen Elenda Archmage
1  Martial Coup
4  Meddeling Mage
1  Negate
1  Shadow of Doubt
1  Tormod’s Crypt


15 sideboard cards

Just look at all the cards you can snag against this deck.

1 Echoing Truth
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Mind Spring
4 Muddle the Mixture
1 Negate
4 Oblivion Ring
4 Path to Exile
2 Repeal
3 Sword of the Meek
4 Thirst for Knowledge
4 Thopter Foundry

People certainly play with cards that cost more than three—and this whole block is all about that—but there is a reason that Spell Snare has been a tournament staple. It seems like the best cards cost two mana. From Counterbalance to Tarmogoyf to Jitte and on and one and on. Do I think it will replace Thoughtseize? Not in Extended, but I think this card will immediately find a place in Standard, where it can take things like Blightning or Knight of the Reliquary. That is flexibility not currently available in Standard on the first turn. In Block Constructed it can hit either end of the Cunning Sparkmage / Basilisk Collar combo (as well as intermediary Stoneforge Mystic), and it should be a valuable tool for players preparing for Pro Tour–San Juan.

I think we already get the point that decks in Extended play with a lot of cards that cost three or less, but I want to showcase one more deck from the GP in Houston but mostly to take a paragraph to congratulate Adam Yurchick on finally getting a win after a pretty ridiculous string of near misses that had him in danger of being dubbed the Silver Surfer.

Adam Yurchick
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

1  Academy Ruins
4  Dark Depths
3  Island
4  River Tears
4  Sunken Ruins
2  Swamp
2  Tolaria West
4  Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

24 lands

4  Dark Confidant
4  Vampire Hexmage


8 creatures
1  Boomerang
4  Chrome Mox
3  Compulsive Research
1  Engineered Explosives
2  Jace, the Mindsculptor
4  Muddle the Mixture
1  Rite of Consumption
1  Slaghter Pact
1  Smother
2  Sword of the Meek
1  Thirst for Knowledge
3  Thopter Foundry
4  Thoughtseize

28 other spells

Sideboard

1  Chalice of the Void
2  Damnation
1  Darkblast
3  Deathmark
2  Duress
3  Extirpate
1  Gatekeeper of Malakir
1  Ghost Quarter
1  Jace, the Mind Sculptor


15 sideboard cards

Adam finished 2nd at Grand Prix-Philadelphia a couple of seasons ago, finished 2nd at GP-Oakland earlier this PTQ season, finishes 2nd at last year’s National Championships, and even finished 9th in Pro Tour-Hollywood. The sound you heard on Sunday was not a jet passing overhead, but an enormous sigh of relief from Adam as he was able to close out Shaun Rodriguez in two games in the finals with a Jace to the face for the win.

“Jace feels pretty good!” said Adam as he reduced his opponent’s library to the two cards Shaun had been holding. “That is the first time I have ever ultimated it in my life!”

Three Parademons Walk into a Bar…

Three Parademons Walk into a Bar…

Last Friday, I previewed one example of our new execution of REV which featured Damian Wayne using two different identities.  Today, rather than focusing on two versions of one character, my Brave & The Bold sneak peak features  different, thematically related characters that allow for a variety of new force-building options.

* Quick note- To get larger versions of the pics below, please click on them.  I’m learning the ins-and-outs of our new-ish WordPress client, so please be merciful as I learn how to add in cool bells and whistles to posts.  Thanks!

Before we dive into the pics, I have to confess that I am huge fan of Apokalips and the Jack-Kirby New Gods storylines.  Darkseid, his minions, and his enemies stand out to me as a compelling mythology that spans the DC Universe.  When we compiled potential characters to include for the ‘Minion’ mechanic in Brave & The Bold, Parademons, the rank-and-file of Apokalips, seemed like a natural fit.  Having no version of them in HeroClix since Cosmic Justice, they were long-overdue for a triumphant return.

While incorporating the literally grunt-level Parademons into the set, we were split on whether to include a handful of Apokalips characters directly into Brave & The Bold or leave the Parademons simply as pieces that interact with past sets (like Lashina from Arkham Asylum).  We ultimately decided to split the difference and include a Parademon officer to help amp up army building, while still leaving the Apokalips cast as grist for a future set (maybe as a powerful counterbalance in a Superman-themed set?).  For the Parademon Sergeant, I especially like the “Darkseid’s Motivational Techniques” power that was submitted by our R&D team.  It’s flavorful and adds an interesting tension to the game.

In addition to the awesome army of Apokalips, many HeroClix fans have asked us to continue building the Secret Six.  I really admire Gail Simone’s innovative work with the Six (and Birds of Prey, too!), and when we knew that the minion Parademon Grunt would be included in the set, it was natural to add “The Parademon” using our new version of REV.  With “The Parademon,” there’s another great, flavorful example of a special power with “Motherbox Detonation.”

All in all, the Parademons provide three dynamic takes using the new twist on REV.  Brave & The Bold features quite a few interesting experiments, and I’m curious to see what players respond to and what interests people going forward.  With Hammer of Thor, we tried a variety of new ideas, garnering some definite hits that we plan to continue  in future sets.  We’re keenly interested to hear your feedback following the release of B&B.  Each set is like a mosaic tile that allows us continue the great, growing vision of what HeroClix is.  Will the picture ever be complete?

Well, with the amount of awesome new content that our licensors release (Blackest Night, anyone?), I think not.  We’ll certainly continue to show off classic figures from comics history and also showcase interesting new characters as they debut.

Expect more exciting Brave & The Bold previews this week!

-Jake

BUY NOW!

Masters of the Force

There is a Disturbance in the Force . . .

The greatest Star Wars heroes and villains of all eras explode into battle across the galaxy! Experience the power of these mighty wielders of the Force as they face off in epic confrontations!

Re-enact classic duels or create your own battles spanning all of the Star Wars universe! Collect Darth Vader, Yoda, Mace Windu, Freedon Nadd, Cay Qel-Droma, and other masters of the Force, as well as the incredible creatures from the famous dejarik hologame aboard the Millennium Falcon!

Product line features:

  • The ultimate collection of Jedi, heroes, and villains of all eras – 40 characters in all!
  • Collect Darth Vader, Yoda, Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker, General Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and more!
  • Includes all eight creatures from the dejarik hologame as seen in Star Wars: Episode IV!
  • Outstanding quality! These pre-painted plastic miniatures are durable, collectible, and appealing to all Star Wars fans.

Release Date: April 6, 2010, $15 per pack

Comics for 4/7/10


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Lucasfilm plans animated ‘Star Wars’ comedy series

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – After two hit “Robot Chicken” parodies of “Star Wars,” “Chicken” masterminds Seth Green and Matthew Senreich get to do the real thing.

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas’ Lucasfilm Animation said Monday it is developing a new animated “Star Wars” series that will take a comedic and irreverent look at the characters from the sci-fi franchise and will feature creative involvement from Green and Senreich as well as writing from Brendan Hay (“The Daily Show”).

“The ‘Star Wars’ universe is so dense and rich; it’s crazy to think that there aren’t normal, mundane everyday problems in a world so well-defined,” Green said. “What do these characters do when they’re not overthrowing empires?”

Added Senreich, “We’re going to pull back the curtain of some of those behind-the-scenes shenanigans.”

There is no network announced for the new series, but given Lucas Animation and Green and Senreich’s close ties with Cartoon Network, a deal with Cartoon or its Adult Swim programing block appears likely.

The new comedic “Star Wars” series follows Lucasfilm Animation’s series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which airs on Cartoon Network. Meanwhile, “Chicken” buoyed by its popular “Star Wars: Episode 1 and 2″ specials, is the flagship series on Adult Swim.

Fri Mar 26, 2010, 2:49 am EDT Reuters

Welcome to Creature Competition: Encounters!

Help decide which monster will be featured in the Season 3 D&D Encounters adventure!

Here’s how it works.

  • Go to My Picks, check out the head-to-head matchups, choose the monsters you think have a shot at winning the tournament, and click Submit Picks.
  • Next week, the competition begins! Starting April 8th, visit the Tournament, buff your monsters (one buff per monster, per week), and get the results the following Friday.
  • Winning creatures advance based on the total buffs a creature receives, “My Picks” nominations, and a good ol’ fashioned d20 die roll from the D&D game designers.
  • When four monsters are left standing, our own Chris Perkins will choose one of them to be featured in the Season 3 D&D Encounters adventure!
  • After 6 weeks of buffing, we’ll announce the ultimate tournament winner!

While you’re playing, share the Creature Competition with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, or just send them an email!

Play at http://www.wizards.com/dnd/cc.aspx

Blood Angels Launch; Blood Angels Models

After yesterday’s fun to celebrate April fools day (just in case there are any lingering doubts we aren’t releasing an ‘Eavy Metal Spray Gun!) we are back to reality on What’s New Today…

For the past few weeks everyone has been holding their breath in anticipation of the Blood Angels launch. So far everyone has been able to see the models here on games-workshop.com but from today you can actually get your hands on them and see just how amazing these Citadel Miniatures are, as well as read through the most comprehensive Blood Angles Codex ever produced. If you are new to Blood Angels then the guys in the Studio have put together a getting started guide so take a look and then head back here when you are done.

It seems that everyone has had their say on their favourite model. For me it just has to be Lemartes. Juan Diaz has done a wonderful job in bringing the Death Company Chaplain to life and along with his battlefield abilities he is a must in any Blood Angel army, who wouldn’t want their Death Company to re-roll all failed rolls to hit and to wound when they charge!


We’re launching three plastic kits this weekend, and all of them are firsts. The Sanguinary Guard have never been seen before in battle and the Death Company and Baal Predator are for the first time available as complete plastic kits. All three kits are crowded with additional extras to add to your squads and the Baal Predator is now equipped with the devastating Flamestorm Cannon. If you are having trouble with either Chaos Space Marines or Xenos in cover then this is the option for you as its AP 3 and Heavy 1.

The Codex is a must for all Warhammer 40,000 fans. Obviously all of the rules and stat lines will be heaven for Blood Angels players but the new background on the Blood Angels themselves and each of the squads really will provide you with a new level of detail on the 41st Millennium. Also, it never hurts to know thy foe!

Don’t forget that many of the models that make up a Blood Angles army are available as part of our Space Marine range. Every Multi-part plastic kit that we do has plenty of options and additional pieces to customise you models. As well as this we have a whole range of Blood Angels models that are exclusive to games-workshop.com. Here are just a few, head over to the Blood Angels section of the site to see them all.

As always we never want to leave you without a little slice of hobby. I took a walk through the studio this morning and found a couple of pieces to whet your appetite for the week ahead.

You might recognise Christian’s model from this month’s White Dwarf. I spotted it on his paint station and took a picture from another angle. I also asked him about his paint scheme. Christian achieved his red by adding successive layers of Mechrite Red, Red Gore and finally Blood Red. For the highlight he added Bleached Bone. For the axe he started with Hawk Turquoise and then applied an Asurmen Blue wash before highlighting up by adding small amounts of Skull White with each layer.

Matt Hutson has been collecting and painting Blood Angels for many years. In the Studio he has two cabinet shelves devoted to them. I am sure we will show more of them over the next few weeks but here is how he achieves his red paint scheme. Matt starts with a 50/50 mix of Blood Red and Mechrite Red, this gives him a dark red base to work with. He then highlights the model by adding small amounts of Blazing Orange on each coat. Finally he adds a thin layer of Baal Red wash over the top to blend in the highlight.

REVolutions

REVolutions

Well, April Fool’s Day has passed.  Despite loaning a hefty sum of money to a deposed prince that contacted me over email, I remain upbeat and ready to talk ‘Clix.

Today, I have more DC HeroClix: Brave & The Bold goodness, previews, updates, and more.  We have a lot to cover, so let’s get moving.

When I speak (or in this case write) about HeroClix, I like to give the fans as much context to the decisions that we make as I can.  We try hard to get it right, and we enjoy hearing feedback (hopefully positive).  It is important to show our fans the thought process that goes into our decisions and let them know that we listen.

Several people have messaged me about continuing a blog series that I started a couple of years ago, where I explained different Brand Development philosophies and the rationale behind our decisions.  I plan to, but right now, I’m assuming you want to see the shiny new products that we have coming out.  Maybe after convention season, I’ll repost and wrap up the series.

Concerning new product releases, simply speaking, I think the following are necessary:

1)      Have new figures that make existing HeroClix players and collectors happy. We always want to debut exciting new characters that have yet to appear in HeroClix.  With booster releases, we can showcase characters that no other comic licensor has the bandwidth to show off.  We also want to update figures that fans demand to see new versions of in boosters.

2)      Have fresh new versions of figures for comic book fans. When we have the ability to “ride along” with hot storyline events, we produce figures in sets (and Starters) that feature those characters.  With great stories like Blackest Night, we recognize that comic fans will want new versions of characters featured in the storyline.  Our licensing partners are great, and sometimes, we get amazing scoops on upcoming new editorial (like we did this week).

3)      Have iconic characters for new collectors. There is an expression in the comics industry that “every comic is someone’s first.”  Every HeroClix set is someone’s first, as well.  It’s important to have recognizable, iconic characters for these new players to collect.

4)      Explore new ground. Each HeroClix set gives us a new canvas to develop new ideas, game mechanics, and “hooks.”  With Special Powers being a part of the game now, this is a little easier to accomplish without adding in too much extra complexity.  When fans embrace an idea (like Minion), we will continue to support it.  We definitely are wary of “rules creep,” but, in addition to each set having a story/character identity, new takes on gameplay and force-building are also important.

5)      Revisit past concepts, using current knowledge. Some ideas take time to germinate, and the data that we receive from players once a set hits the market is invaluable.  This topic is relevant to today’s Brave & The Bold preview, as with this set, we’re approaching a classic HeroClix concept that dates all the way back to Infinity Challenge in an all-new way.  We combined a previous idea with new possibilities that exist in current HeroClix.

Sneakily, I have put this topic in the fifth slot to build a segue.  Shhh… Don’t tell anyone.

Two years ago, when I first joined WizKids, the company had changed the product configuration of HeroClix radically.  The new booster release model, from Avengers on-ward, departed from the original REV system of HeroClix.  If you’re new to HeroClix, (first, thanks for checking out our game) you’ll need a little explanation.  If you’re one of our hardcore players, you can skip the text below and move on to the pretty pictures.  You may have done that already.

The acronym REV stands for Rookie-Experienced-Veteran.  In the first approximately twenty booster releases for HeroClix, multiple versions of a character existed in a set using the same sculpt.  They had different point costs and dials.  Some figures at higher rarities had tweaks to their sculpts and paints to show off the evolution of the character.

With Avengers, the game departed from REV, introducing unique, dynamic figures with each set.  The decision to remove REV from HeroClix was a polarizing decision among players, and many arguments in comic-book shops and on message boards have transpired regarding the right path for the game.  With the new system, fans got more visually distinct releases with less set constraints.  Under the old system, force-building was more flexible and players had more variance of abilities with figures.  I’ll explain.  It can be hard to capture all of the abilities of some superheroes (I’m looking at you, Superman) on one dial.  As a game designer, REV allows you to show different aspects of a character without worrying about getting all 20 colors on one dial, because this may be the only time the figure is released.  REV allows for more intra-set flexibility.

As you probably can tell by my writing, I’m not sure that there is a “correct” REV decision.  Both systems have their merits and drawbacks.  With Brave & The Bold, we decided to try something a little different.

What if you could take a handful of characters and do an updated 2010 version of REV?  With the arsenal of keywords, Special Powers, different paint options, and updated tournament formats, we thought it would be interesting to release a sampling of these “new REV” figures in Brave & The Bold and gauge fan interest.  We think that they can provide dynamic content for fans of the new system, while giving force-building flexibility and variety to fans of the old REV system.

By using alternate paints and by focusing on different aspects of his character, we had the opportunity to do two interesting versions of Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian Wayne.  In one version, he neatly plugs into a League of Assassins team, providing low-cost punch.  In his heroic (or at least vigilante) identity, he’s willing to team with Batman to mete out justice.   The paints, dials, and team affiliations clearly separate the two identities of one interesting character.

We’re committed to showing visual differences between both new REV characters and upcoming LEs.  The visual identity of each sculpt should have its own unique look and feel.  Will we do updated REV in the future?  It all depends on you, the fan.  Brave & The Bold allowed us to try a unique twist on an old idea, and we’re excited with the results.

Well, by getting to this point, you earn a merit badge for article reading.  Thanks for sticking around and we’ll chat next week.  With Brave & The Bold’s release approaching rapidly, expect bonus information on the set to arrive in heaping helpings.  Next week, I will show off a fresh take on this updated form of REV that involves not-so-little green men.

-Jake

P.S. I have seen a couple people guess the fourth Alter Ego.  We have clever fans.  I’ll spill the beans (or in this case, bean) next week.

Blackest Night: How the DC Comics Audience Got Their Groove Back


To say that DC Comics has galvanized their fanbase with “Blackest Night” is like saying that “Thriller” had a couple of hit songs. The Geoff Johns/Ivan Reis spacefaring zombie superhero epic — whose final issue hits on Wednesday — has been a gigantic success for the publisher on almost every conceivable level, selling comics, trinkets, action figures, t-shirts and convention tickets. But why “Blackest Night”? Why not the other mega-crossover, banshee-yell superhero events recently, like “Final Crisis” or “Siege”?

Critically, it’s been met with the standard backlash afforded any Geoff Johns vehicle, but do reviews even matter? “Blackest Night” isn’t about what’s happening now, it’s always about what’s happening NEXT, and therefore the entire concept of reflecting on what just happened is almost anathema to the book’s aim and mood. “Blackest Night” is a comic — in the supertext, text and subtext — that is all about sensory and emotional overload, and it has hit a huge chord with the audience, generating “Secret Invasion” and “Civil War” levels of fan involvement.

As Skrull masks were to 2008, and arguing about whether Tony Stark is Hitler was to 2006 and 2007, the cast of characters and symbols that Johns and his artistic collaborators have built around the emotional spectrum concept have dominated message board signatures and convention T-shirt choices for over a year now. The simple duality of “Whose Side Are You On?” and “Who Do You Trust?” has been replaced with the panoply of options offered by the question, “What Color Are You?”

Each of the seven Lantern corps came with their own Ethan Van Sciver-designed symbol and Geoff Johns-designed place within the mechanic of the Green Lantern mythology (which has, at this point, become that of the entire DC Universe), and provided DC with a host of toyetic iconography the likes of which comics have almost never seen. “Blackest Night” is the ultimate form of the superhero comic as summer action flick in that respect; I think it’s the only time I’ve ever seen the action figures solicited before the actual comic. While the production of “Final Crisis” seemed at times disorganized and error-laden, “Blackest Night” has been a smoothly-oiled corporate machine from soup to nuts, including audience relations.

These audience relations — this founding of the “DC Nation” that Dan DiDio has been dreaming of since 2006 — are maybe the most interesting thing about the reception of “Blackest Night.” Maybe more than any other event in comics history, “Blackest Night” is about giving the fans what they want. It’s easy to interpret this as an insult, but that’s not my intent — Johns has an almost preternatural instinct when it comes to knowing what DC’s fanbase wants, and how to deliver it. “Blackest Night” is less a work placed out there into the open and more a guided missile aimed at the center of DC’s fanbase.

By betting practically the entire DC Comics horse on it and Batman for the last year — and delivering to their fans — they pretty effectively formed a cult fanbase. Hit up the Google search – you’re gonna find exponentially more Saint Walker and Atrocitus fanart than you will Nix Uotan or Mandrakk. Of course, this can be a double-edged sword – for everyone who gets into, say, “Lost” because they want to play along, there seem to be an equal number of people outside the core audience for whom a cult following can get incredibly annoying.

Time will only tell how this works out for DC and the continuing tapestry that Johns & co. are building for “Brightest Day” and beyond. But make no mistake, this approach is only just beginning; Paul Levitz’s “Legion of Super-Heroes,” perhaps the granddaddy of all cult-following readership-interaction-heavy superhero comics, is returning in May, and Johns is getting geared up to do for “The Flash” what he’s done with the Green Lantern franchise. While initiatives such as the “Earth One” line and bringing J. Michael Straczynski onto the “Superman” and “Wonder Woman” titles point to an attempt to court new readers, the “Blackest Night”/”Brightest Day” stuff is easily their biggest seller, alongside Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Robin” which is, at this point, pretty far along and not particularly new reader-friendly itself.

So while “Blackest Night” #8 ostensibly brings the series to a close this week, I can almost guarantee it’s more of a beginning. It’s been a huge success for DC, bigger than they’ve had since “Infinite Crisis” (and, I think, MORE successful when you factor in the lowering ceiling on sales overall). There’s no reason for them not to replicate, or at least try to refine, the formula. So I’d say get used to it: This is going to be the face of DC Comics for quite some time to come.

Written by: David Uzumeri, 3/29/10, http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/03/29/blackest-night-how-dc-comics-audience-got-their-groove-back/