Clix: The Final Frontier

Some times, I think it’s best I cut my gaming-based impulse buy addictions back down to one set of plasticrack. (Which would be whatever kind of fantasy miniatures I can use for D&D/Pathfinder that I come across.) Of course, it helps that I don’t have any fellow addicts around; if I was still living on the west side of the state, I have to imagine Matt would be itching to break out the new Star Trek Clix every chance he gets. (Provided he saves his pennies and buys some.)

Promo Poster - click for high-res

I’ve looked long and hard—at least five minutes, totally—but these Star Trek Clix haven’t made very much of an impact (as-yet) in previews and reviews. Maybe because they released today, who knows. This site has a solid preview, including a ton of images, which was very helpful.

Pros: They look really damn good, which surprised me at first; lots of nice color and little details pop on those ship hulls, and unlike human figures, we don’t have to worry about the never-ending problem of googly-eyes. They use the HeroClix system, so if you’ve been a WizKids fan over the years, most like you can get into the action ten minutes after opening some packs. And since they’re prepainted plastic, they cost a helluva lot less than those old Starfleet Battles figs rusting in the back of the store.

Cons: They’re randomized, single-figure boosters, with the traditional rarity scheme, which are the same size as standard HeroClix—not to scale—that cover the full series’ spread for Federation and Klingon warships only. And they cost $5 per, at that; from what I’ve heard, it’s because getting the license from Paramount cost an arm and a leg. Reusing the HeroClix rules makes a certain kind of sense—the people most likely to buy these are familiar with the rules, and a unified system makes for a gateway drug into the other HeroClix games—but it’s an awkward-sounding fit. And despite its large and vocal fanbase, Trek has been off the air for years, and the next movie isn’t due until 2013—hence Paramount’s paranoia over licensed Trek products.

I’m kind of curious whether they’ll take off—they look well-done enough to please Trekkie gamers, and HeroClix is a venerable system, so that match sounds cool as hell. But I see a number of turn-offs from the acquisition angle that won’t send every gamer jumping up to pull out their wallet. Probably related to the expensive license, which is understandable. Then again, most serious WizKids gamers always buy it by the brick/case/pallet anyways.

I hope they sell well enough for WizKids to release more sets (e.g., more factions), and possibly even branch out into some pre-packaged battle fleets. (Maybe go properly stupid and have a full figure set for the original cast, so you can have Kirk take on Superman or Frodo.) While I don’t see them going the way of Star Wars Starship Battles—entry-set oblivion—I’m not sure they’re going to match HeroClix numbers. Trekkies, prove me wrong.

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