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Funkoverse: DC Comics

Funko Pops have been a toy collecting sensation. Funko have signed countless licensing agreements so there are literally thousands of Funko Pop models. They are Chiba-style vinyl figures with oversized heads - a little like bobbleheads but usually with fixed rather than wobbly heads. The Funko Pops make great collectibles but they are purely ornamental. At least that was the case until 2019 when Funko Games launched the first of their Funkoverse titles.

Since then there have been Funkoverse games covering several IPs, including DC comics, Marvel, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park. They follow a broadly similar format: usually two or four Funko Pop figures, a playing board, tokens and custom six-sided dice, and with several scenarios in the pack so that the game can be played in different ways. We're focusing here on the DC Comics sets 100 (Batman, Batgirl, Joker, Harley Quinn) and 101 (Robin, Catwoman), but we'll be featuring other titles from the Funkoverse range on Board's Eye View in the coming weeks, including Harry Potter, Rick & Morty and the Golden Girls!

With a design by Prospero Hall, you should probably think of the Funkoverse games as entry-level minis games but with Funko Pop figures instead of conventional minis. The DC Comics game (100) can be played as either a two-player game, ideally with each player controlling two characters or as a team game for up to four platers. Either way, you'll probably be pitting Batman and Batgirl against Joker and Harley Quinn, but the beauty of the Funkoverse design is that you can set up a scenario and play it with any character combos. That said, there's a synergy between the characters in this set so that, for example, Harley Quinn's special action in pushing opponents is especially effective when paired with Joker's ability to plant boobytraps. It's easy enough for Batman and Batgirl to step around a square with a trap on it, but if Harley pushes one of them...

In all the Funkoverse games, players activate their characters in turn, taking two actions - which can include taking the same action twice. Characters can Move two squares, orthogonally and diagonally. They can Assist a team mate by reviving them if they have been knocked down. They can Interact with markers on the board; for example to score points by claiming Control in the scenario shown in our Board's Eye View 360. A character can also use their special ability. As part of the simple but effective Prospero Hall design, when you activate a special ability you place the relevant marker token on a cool down track; you won't be able to use that ability again (or another that uses the same marker) until the indicated number of rounds has passed.

Tho' the scenarios vary, making use of the double-sided board that comes in every Funkoverse set, you can usually expect there to be combat; except that in the Funkoverse it's referred to as a Challenge. This isn't Funko Games being coy; it's a reflection of the fact that all the sets are designed to have the same core rules but not all have a theme that lends itself to combat in the conventional sense (Golden Girls, for example). A character can Challenge another usually only when they are in an adjacent square, although some Items (for example, a Batarang) facilitate a ranged attack. Challenges are resolved by rolling a set number of dice from among the six custom six-sided dice supplied. To succeed, the Challenger has to roll more hits than the defender rolls shields. The dice tend to favour the Challenger because three faces show hit symbols and only two show shields; the sixth die face counts as three successes tho' for whoever rolls it. In this game, a successful Challenge means the character is knocked down; if they are beaten again while being knocked down then they are knocked out - not actually eliminated from the game but placed on the countdown track. In the fight scenarios, a knockout will score a victory point.

Tho' the rules are simple enough for DC Funkoverse to be played as a family game, there's enough scope for strategy and tactics, reminiscent of Heroclix (WizKids). The various scenarios add to the game's deployability, as does the fact that the Funkoverse games can be mixed and matched. Set 101 plays as a standalone game in the same way as the larger Set 100, but you can also combine them so that you have three characters on each side. Equally you can combine them in different combinations: pit Batgirl and Robin against Catwoman and Harley Quinn, for example.

And the mix & match options don't stop there. Franchise owners are normally insanely protective of their intellectual properties (IPs) with strict prohibitions on how they are used. The clever thing about the Funkoverse design is that the core rules are the same throughout. That means if you collect the Funkoverse sets, there's nothing to stop you from combining different IPs in whatever combination takes your fancy. If you've dreamt of teaming up DC Comics characters with Marvel superheroes, now you have your chance! Buy Funkoverse DC Comics 100 and Funkoverse Marvel 100, and you can finally team Batman with Captain America!

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