JUDGE! 010: Point of View

Posted July 5th, 2024 by Joe Pangrazio

“Point of view” is not something that we talk about much in Heroclix. And that's because largely, it does not come into play. Most of the times, effects are reciprocal. If Character A can draw line of fire to Character B, Character B can draw line of fire to Character A. If Joni is adjacent to Ted, Ted is adjacent to Joni.

However, the devil is in the details. And this is not always true.

There are a few characters and effects in Modern that snub their noses at reciprocity. So I wanted to take a moment to deep dive on them, to hopefully make things a little clearer.

First up!

Roses for Red Iconix Poison Ivy 

CHOKING VINES Poison. // When Poison Ivy uses Poison or makes a close attack she considers characters occupying or adjacent to squares with friendly Plant terrain markers as adjacent to her. 

So, there's been a lot of talk about this figure and she is not the first figure to do something like this. But she's the most relevant and easiest to illustrate my point.

She (Poison Ivy) considers characters occupying or adjacent to squares with friendly Plant terrain markers as adjacent to her. Seems fairly straightforward, right? But let's explore what that means in game terms. She can Poison characters across the map, if they are adjacent to friendly Plant terrain markers. She can do the same for close attacks. But, what about Empower? Or Probability Control? Or the Swim Ability?

Those all have to reference the square that Ivy is actually in. Because while she may consider characters across the map as adjacent, they do not consider her adjacent. So, If she tries to attack a character with Swim more than 4 squares away, she can't. Because it's the other character's ability doing the check, not Ivy's. If the character she is attacking has Probability Control, they can't draw line of fire to her and she's not in range.

Let's look at a similarly worded effect that some people may, incorrectly, think works differently.

Trick Arrow BIG  

Choose a square adjacent to a hit character. After resolutions, this character may use Quake as FREE as if they occupied the chosen square and, after resolutions, generate a blocking terrain marker in that square.

So, you make an attack and flip over the BIG trick arrow. You choose a square and after resolutions your character gets to use Quake as FREE as if they occupy the chosen square. Again, seems simple, right?

First, let's look at a key phrase. “As if they occupied the chosen square.” Which means, they don't occupy the square. They just get to make an attack and knock characters back as if they occupy that square. If they have Giant Reach, they would be able to choose characters not adjacent to that square per the rules for Giant Reach. But, any Probability Control would have to be able to target the character's actual square. Because, from the point of view of the characters using Probability Control, there is no character in the chosen square.

And again, this is not a new concept. Giant Size X-Men Professor X had a similar effect. Quake from Captain America and the Avengers had a very similar effect. And it has been consistently ruled by the WIN, that other characters only care about the character's actual square.

Beyond Amazing Kingpin has a trait that works the way some people think the above effects should.

FINANCIER The Kingpin and friendly characters within 6 squares are considered adjacent to each other for the purposes of [Sinister Syndicate TA].

Here, the Kingpin allows other characters to all treat each other as adjacent. He is “expanding his point of view,” as it were. Which is functionally different and, in my opinion, more acceptable because of its limited application.

Hopefully this helps bring effects into focus a little. As always, wording is key and a little difference in wording can have a big impact.

If you have something you'd like covered in a future JUDGE! article, email joenexus36@gmail.com  

And if you'd like to read back over past JUDGE! articles, you can check out the archive here.  

Until next time, I can see you but you can't me, even if you ask the JUDGE!


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