If you’ve been gaming for a long while, then perhaps you remember the time when what now are popular video games were played exclusively with paper and dice. Dungeons and Dragons, BattleTech, Lord of the Rings, and many other gaming franchises were originally games that took many hours to play. Now, one hour of checking the rulebook, rolling dice, calculating hits, and logging damage are simulated by the computer in just a few seconds.
In an unusual twist turn, a popular video game franchise has been brought to the tabletop, in the form of WizKids’ Halo ActionClix. Since Halo ActionClix aims to bring the frenzy of PvP to the tabletop, and thus the rules are simplified to make for quick gameplay (by tabletop standards).
I was able to meet with Becky Wilson of WizKids, who demonstrated the game for me. Many gamers may be interested in Halo ActionClix just for the collectibility factor of the miniatures. Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past 5 years, then you no doubt have played Halo.
The game will be available in several packs. You can buy the main pack, Series One, which contains nintey figures with characters from all three chapters of the Halo video games. Several add-on packs will follow in the months following the initial September 19th release date.
I asked if there really was a market for tabletop games today. Becky replied that some gamers would be interested in a game that offers a little more strategy but still like the PvP aspect of games. Card battle games remain somewhat strong in today’s market, and tabletop games have their loyal fans. A strong recognizable franchise like Halo is certain to interest the gaming community, and WizKids hopes to introduce tabletop gaming to those that haven’t tried it.
Becky stated that many first-person-shooters translate well to a tabletop experience, and hinted that there would be other popular video games scaled down into miniature form. She hopes to develop more of the story from the Halo Universe, but right now Bungie is tight-lipped about the storyline until Halo 3 is released. After that, WizKids hopes to incorporate and develop storylines into the game.
With the simple rules of ActionClix, gamers can play as little or as long as they want, with a typical game lasting between 20 to 30 minutes. Since this is basically a PvP battle, gamers can extend gameplay by increasing the number of kills required to win a match. Players can select different spawn markers on the map, and rules are included on the flip side of the gridded map. Statistics for each character are located under the base of each miniature, so there are no cards or papers to lose.
One of Ten maps will be available in each booster pack, which is basically a folded paper map. Galeforce 9, which has several detailed sculpted relief terrain available for tabletop games, will be creating some maps for the Halo ActionClix series.
Halo ActionClix will be available for purchase in Wal-Mart and Target stores nationwide. While pricing hasn’t been offially announced, booster packs of five figures should be abailable for $9.99, and Series One should be avilable for $24.99. Although WizKids works intimately with Bungie, these figures are not available on the Bungie online store.