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SportsClix Sampler

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7 April 2004page first published

6,057 hits since 7 Apr 2004
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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WizKids doesn't send out review materials (no matter how hard I beg), but I recently had a chance to get my hands on an inexpensive "sampler" set for their new SportsClix game.

This promotional set, which ran me $1.99 USD from a company called Beckett Publications (plus the chore of being subscribed to their mailing list...), arrived in the mail two weeks after ordering. Included are five SportsClix figures (apparently the same in every sampler set), five dice, and a sheet of rules for something called the Hitting Derby.

Three batters, two pitchers in the sampler set

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the figures (though they would look nicer without the "garish" green clix bases). The colors are in the right places, and there is even a degree of shading. There are details, such as painted stripes on the baseballs, uniform markings on front and back, and even the batting gloves are correctly done.

Dice in the bag

The dice provided are one "normal" six-sided die, and four custom SportsClix dice (two for pitching, two for hitting).

Alfonso Soriano/New York

The Hitting Derby is a pretty basic game, and is essentially a dice game with the figures serving as attractive "combat resolution" devices. Each player picks a pitcher and a batter set, and they decide how many innings to play for. The d6 is rolled to determine which is the home team (last up each inning) (and is the only time the "normal" die is used!).

Alex Rodriguez/Texas

During each inning, each side puts its batter up and hits at pitches. The pitching side may use either the Velocity or the Control die, while the batting player chooses between the Power or Contact dice. (Dice selection is secret until the dice are rolled.)

This angle view of Cubs Mark Prior shows the game resolution results

When the dice are rolled, two symbols result. The two-symbol combination can be found on either the batter's or pitcher's base, and is cross-referenced to a coded result in the base notch. There are lots of results possible, but for Hitting Derby purposes, there are only hits and outs.

With two exceptions. Two special symbol combos give the pitcher or batter (respectively) a "performance boost" - this means their clix bases rotate a notch to a higher setting (and for the current at-bat, the player can choose any outcome shown in the notch). (It would be simpler to just say the batter always gets a hit on a power-up, and is always out when the pitcher gets a power-up...since that seems to be what happens.)

At the end of play, the side with the most hits, wins.

Randy Johnson/Arizona

Presumably there's more to the full MLB SportsClix game than this, although surprisingly, this sampler says nothing about expanded rules if you buy the official sets. (I'm guessing the marketing strategy is to hook you on the figures, and not to sell this product on a game basis...) The bases have some markings which are unexplained in the Hitting Derby rules, as well as some possible combo-results that are undefined (I guess you just re-roll in those cases...). And the full rules probably allow abilities to decline, rather than to just improve constantly over the course of a game...

With the official figures selling at over $2 USD each, this sampler set is good value for those wanting to see the figures before buying the Starter Sets at $19.99 USD a pop. The bases are marked "promo," however.