Last month’s World’s Finest set gave us some great, inexpensive tie-up pieces. But what exactly is a tie-up piece? This article’s going to identify this niche piece and show you how to use them.
What is it?
Tie-ups are a particular kind of support piece. They are cheap pieces designed to slow your opponent down. In Heroclix, very few characters can make ranged combat attacks if an opposing character is adjacent to them. This is called basing your opponent.
Additionally, if a character begins adjacent to an opposing figure and wants to move away, they have to break away. To break away, the player roles one d6. On a result of 1-3, the character is stuck but still gets an action token. On a 4-6, the character breaks away and go on about their movement.
In the picture above, Poison Ivy is basing Superman. She has him tied up. If Superman wants to attack Monsieur Mallah, he has to break away from Poison Ivy first. In the meantime, Superman is exposed to Monsieur Mallah’s attacks.
What Makes a Great Tie-Up?
- Tie-ups are inexpensive – Tie-up pieces do not usually deal much damage. They are designed to prevent your enemy from dealing damage. Because you are throwing them in the line of fire, there is a good chance they will be KO’ed. Good tie-up pieces cost as little as possible so you do not devote too much of your team to the task or hand too many points to your opponent.
- Plasticity – Plasticity gives your character +2 to their break away roll and gives your opponent -2 to their roll. So if two characters are the same size, your opponent would need to roll a 6 to get away from your tie-up. On the other hand, you can escape as long as you do not roll a 1. This keeps your enemy right where you want them.
- Poison – I said tie-ups do not usually deal much damage, but Poison is a great exception. Poison lets you deal all adjacent enemies 1 damage as a free action at the beginning of your turn. Tie-up an opponent and whittle them down? Yes please!
Not So Fast!
Not every opponent can be tied up as easily. These are some things you want to keep an eye out for before trying to base your target. Don’t let this list discourage you from trying. Even with various ways to work around it, tying up an opponent can throw a major wrench in their strategy.
- Hypersonic Speed – Characters using Hypersonic Speed get +2 to their break away roll. Unless you have Plasticity, it is tough to pin a speedster down.
- Phasing/Teleport – Characters with this power can be given a move action to ignore characters and terrain for their movement. Unless you have special tie-up pieces (like we’ll see below), there is no use trying to tie these pieces up.
- Leap/Climb – Characters with this power can be given a move action to ignore terrain. They also get +2 to their break away roll.
- IM: Ignores Characters – Characters with Improved Movement: Ignores Characters will ignore other characters for movement purposes. That means that they will act as though your tie-up piece is not even there. Unlike Phasing/Teleport or Leap/Climb, IM: Ignores Characters can be used with powers like Charge, Sidestep, or Running Shot because it is not a separate move action.
- Size Differences – Smaller characters can tie up larger characters but, according to the new size rules, larger characters get +1 to their break away roll. Characters with two levels of size difference automatically break away (e.g. a Giant automatically breaks away from a Tiny figure).
Tie-up pieces are super valuable! They let you control (or at least hinder) your opponent’s movement and can provide some protection for your attackers. Tie-up pieces are especially valuable on a range-heavy team. Tie-up your opponent’s attackers and take shots at them without them being able to immediately return fire.
I said World’s Finest gave us some new tie-ups. Here are two that really stand out to me, both of which are easy to get your hands on.
WF007a Poison Ivy – Poison Ivy has Poison in the event you want to base someone with her, but that is not her strong point. Her trait is the money. Poison Ivy can use Smoke Cloud as if she had a range of 6. Characters occupying one of those squares must break away even if they would not normally need to (e.g. Phasing/Teleport, IM: Ignores Characters). If they cannot break away, they receive an additional action token or one penetrating damage. For 65 points, she can be a real hassle with that Smoke Cloud.
WF014 Druid – Weighing in at 18 points, Druids are definitely inexpensive tie-up pieces. Druids have a similar Smoke Cloud to Poison Ivy except it does not deal damage or assign additional tokens. Characters occupying their Smoke Cloud tokens must break away and cannot break away automatically. Hide these Druids in hindering (or their own Smoke Cloud) with Stealth and lock down your opponents.