Saturday and Sunday mornings have always been a time for cartoons, and even though I'm thirty-five, they still are. Through an amazing stroke of luck Emma, my fiancée, likes superhero cartoons too. I've shown her many TV shows and films that I consider must-see classics, most are met with a initial grudging acceptance and after ten minutes or so a lack of interest that often ends in slumber. However, much to my surprise, when one day she found herself being shown a mid season one episode of Batman Beyond she not only stayed awake the whole way through but asked to see another episode and so started a mini obsession with DC superhero cartoons. Having exhausted my back catalogue of Batman and the new Young Justice on hiatus we gave the little known Legion of Super-heroes cartoon a go. LoSH is a re-telling of the young Clark Kent's trip to the future to aid Earth's teen-aged heroes, the Legion, before heading back to don tights and defend Metropolis. LoSH is at it's core a 'battle show'. Every episode has a plot that leads up to a climactic confrontation where fisty-cuffs ensue. My gaming brain started to tick.
As mentioned in an earlier post, Ems gaming criteria are less than ten minutes to explain the rules and no longer than an hours gameplay. So, I gambled. I suggested it, and much to my surprise Ems said yes. What am I on about? Well, this last weekend saw Emma play her first ever wargame. The table in the study was cleared, a map of Metropolis laid out and a few handfuls of Heroclix figures dusted off and we played a game.
I like scenarios, not just pointless grudge match battles, so I concocted a flimsy plot worthy of the LoSH show. A Boom tube had opened in Metropolis Park and a handful of nasty Parademons from Apokolips had come through to destroy the statue of Superman. The Legion were tasked with stopping them. I played the game more as a GM than a direct opponent, making sure the plot proceeded, including bringing through Tharok near the games end to provide more of a threat than the Paradeons (which are in fact a bit rubbish). Despite Tharok's appearance (and his invulnerability) Ems duly trounced me. I'm not going to go into full details but Heroclix really does encourage tactical thinking, especially as the characters powers change, you need to think about what the next click brings - do you lose powers or gain them ? How do powers work with other characters ? That sort of thing. I'd given a plot reason for an hour time limit (Boom tube could only stay open that long, clever eh ;) ) and a frantic hour of super-hero battles was enjoyed. She's even said she's willing to play it again!
Next time the Dark Knight and some of his allies will be taking on some ne'er-do-wells in Downtown Gotham...