Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 08Jan2022

Allan and I (without Gareth this time) travelled down the A1 again to Stanley to take part in a Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament at The Bearded Card Trader. The turnout was similar to the last time but with a different mix of locals which is probably a good sign of a healthy scene in the area.

This time I opted to play Criminal Syndicate. This is mainly because I recently acquired Omega Red and wanted to try him out, but also the scenario-focused playstyle of Kingpin’s leadership makes them a lot of fun to put on the table. Adding to the interest are the recent changes to Bullseye making him an in-affiliation two threat character, plus the presence of one of my favourite MCP characters (to play, I’m not particularly fussed about him in the comics) in the form of MODOK. The game plan is basically to sit on the Secure points and rack up VPs while either annoying the other team over the Extracts or, more likely, beating them senseless to cement an attrition advantage. If I lose Priority I can get it back with the All According To Plan tactics card which I’m aiming to play in round 3 if necessary. In terms of out-of-affiliation picks, I took Beast (has a cheap throw and I love to play him), Ant-Man (very mobile so I could use him to jump on an unguarded Secure late in a round), Okoye (another two threat, plus she’s disproportionately hard to kill in a brawl) and Black Dwarf (really hard to kill, has a cool throw and is quite hard to get off a point without special tech). I also borrowed the Research Station card from Allan to use as an Extract since it’s pretty much a Secure in disguise.

[Characters]
– Ant-Man: 3
– Beast: 3
– Black Cat: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Crossbones: 3
– Kingpin: 4
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Okoye: 2
– Omega Red: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All According to Plan
– Brace for Impact
– Carbonadium Synthesizer
– Climbing Gear
– Cruelty
– Disarm
– Field Dressing
– Shadow Organization
– Tactical Analysis

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses [C]: 16
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

Game 1 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

First round I got paired up with Martin. I’ve never played him before but I recall that he played Allan to a standstill at the last tournament so he must be pretty good. I win priority and, since I can live with all of his Secures I pick to select Extracts.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 19
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Martin’s team: Blade, Black Cat, Doctor Voodoo, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight
Martin’s cards: Bats the Ghost Hound, Climbing Gear, Medpack, Patch Up, Siege of Darkness

I figured here that if Martin wanted to meaningfully contest the centre then he’d have to commit far enough forward that MODOK could sit on my back point and zap whoever came in. Ideally I could pin Martin back close to his home Portal, score the centre one with either Kingpin or Omega Red (preferably the latter considering his own good range) and then just harrass with Beast. Crossbones got the nod on the basis of being cheap and being able to ignore the damage from any Cubes he happened to pick up.

Round 1: Beast zips forward and picks up the central Cube while Moon Knight and Crossbones collect the ones on the right. Ghost Rider and Doctor Voodoo zap Beast and MODOK bounces an ineffective shot off Ghost Rider. Kingpin and Blade collect the last two Cubes and the latter pings a damage off Omega Red who has come onto the central Portal. The score is 5 – 3 to me.

Round 2: Beast goes crazy and dazes both Ghost Rider and Moon Knight, picking up the latter’s dropped Cube. He’s going down this turn anyway so I figure I might as well make Martin work for it. Black Cat uses the Midnight Sons leadership to get in range of Crossbones and gives him Stagger – if ever there was a character who didn’t want to get even slower it is surely him. Omega Red uses Carbonadium Synthesiser to get rid of Incinerate and Bleed and pokes Doctor Voodoo for fairly minimal effect. Blade dazes Beast without much effort and scoops up those Cubes, then Medpacks Doctor Voodoo. MODOK sadly can’t finish Doctor Voodoo, sadly leaving him on one wound with Bleed; at least it’ll force an interesting decision from Martin on what to do with him. This also draws out Martin to use the Bats the Ghost Hound card to keep him in the game so it’s not totally worthless. He then goes on a rampage, dazing Omega Red from full in one attack then hurting Kingpin and making him drop the Cube fragment before finally dying to Bleed. Kingpin is in a bit of an awkward position in that he can either collect the dropped Cube or get into the action but not both; I decide to have him move up to contest Martin’s home Portal and he also applies Field Dressing to Omega Red on the way. The score moves to 9 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: I play All According To Plan to get Priority back. Beast throws Blade into Black Cat to damage him since he’s been badly hurt by the three Cube fragment he was holding last turn, then KOs Moon Knight to get him out of my hair; he only has enough power left to collect one of the Cubes lying around. Martin plays a very effective Siege of Darkness with Black Cat and Ghost Rider teaming up to daze Kingpin and Doctor Voodoo easily dazing Omega Red. Ghost Rider then follows up by also dazing Crossbones. MODOK is clearly impressed with this show of power as he then does nothing whatsoever to Doctor Voodoo who uses this opportunity to collect a Cube and Black Cat collects another two. The score moves to 11 – 11.

Round 4: Kingpin fails to hurt Blade with his attacks but he does at least Stagger him and throw him off the Portal. Blade uses Patch Up to heal Black Cat and then nearly kills Beast. Beast goes after Black Cat but sadly can’t quite get her before he KOs himself by not clearing the Bleed condition. Doctor Voodoo throws everything he has at Crossbones but leaves him on a single wound (rather a theme for this game!) so Crossbones throws him off the Portal and KOs Ghost Rider. Martin passes, which I think is a mistake – I reckon that he should have activated Black Cat and had her run away. Instead Omega Red moves over and pulls her in with Ensnare, dazes her and collects one Cube before using Climbing Gear to get back on the Portal. Time is called before we go any further and we get to 15 – 12 in my favour so I get the win.

Wow, that was such a tight game. Martin was a tremendous opponent and pushed me at every step. As mentioned, I think that he made a mistake in not running away with Black Cat right at the end but that was pretty much the only thing that I could capitalise on. Most of my game went according to plan (rather fittingly for Criminal Syndicate) and I even managed to use most of my tactics card which is a bit of a change. MODOK’s performance was a bit of a disappointment but Doctor Voodoo is a hard target for him and he did keep my Portal safe and score 4 points so maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Game 2 – Sam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Sam had just finished a very tight Guardians mirror match to beat Allan so I was looking forward to seeing how he played. Interestingly there were four Guardians players at the event, albeit one of them was dual-affiliation with Asgard. Sam won priority and, slightly to my surprise, picks Extracts. I choose the slightly lower threat on the basis that he has both Angela and Hulkbuster in his roster and I want to make it hard for him to use them.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Bullseye, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Sam’s team: Star Lord, Ronan the Accuser, Nebula, Enchantress, Groot
Sam’s cards: Brace For Impact, Crew of the Milano, Loveable Misfits, Medpack, We Are Groot

I picked the same team here except swapping MODOK out for Bullseye to account for the lower threat. Kingpin and Crossbones are both fine with Cubes and I actually think that Criminal Syndicate don’t mind the Crisis anyway as they can stay ahead with the Secures and are happy if the other team take the chip damage from holding Cube fragments. I’m basically going to send Kingpin to stand on one Witness and Omega Red on the other and then send the rest to plug gaps as required. I put Bullseye and Beast in the middle; if Sam collects the Cube in turn one then I can try to start taking him down with them and if he doesn’t then I’ll send Beast in later on and cross my fingers.

Round 1: Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. Not very surprisingly, Star Lord zooms to the centre and picks up the Cube there. Bullseye saunters forward and casually rolls four successes to no blocks against him so this is looking quite spicy already. Groot, Crossbones, Enchantress and Omega Red collect the other cubes but only Omega Red actually bothers to move to a Witness token. Over on the right, Ronan, Nebula and Kingpin stand by the Witness; Nebula’s not actually close enough but since she doesn’t context objectives it doesn’t matter anyway. Beast moves up and dazes Star Lord, picking up his fallen Cube in the process. The score is 7 – 2 to me.

Round 2: The same three characters get Winging It tokens again. Sam moves the Witness tokens such that Crossbones, Kingpin and Omega Red take the damage and the stun. I’ve rather unwisely positioned Bullseye and Beast right next to each other so Enchantress dazes them both with her beam attack and picks up the Cube that Beast drops. Oops! Kingpin dazes Nebula to keep her out of my hair but can’t do much more than Stagger Ronan. Ronan then plays Crew of the Milano to get rid of that annoying Stagger, Medpacks himself and beats up Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and Star Lord zaps a few wounds off Crossbones, who in turn gets Ronan down to a single wound. Sam uses Lovable Misfits – Ronan does a bit more damage to Crossbones and Kingpin before Star Lord and Groot move. the score moves to 13 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Once again Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. The Witnesses get moved to do some slight damage to my characters, though Crossbones and Kingpin both pay to ignore it and they’ve all got Stun already. I start the round out with All According To Plan and Bullseye uses Hit and Run and his I Never Miss power to daze Enchantress, pick up her Cube (surely the most hotly contested in the game!) before moving to join Omega Red on the left. That’s basically the game right there as Sam doesn’t have anything remotely near that Witness and even if he did it’s pretty unlikely that he can deal with Omega Red in one go. Nonetheless we play on for the sheer pleasure of it. Ronan dazes both Kingpin and Crossbones, perhaps not surprising considering the pasting they’ve both taken. Beast uses Climbing Gear to get back in the action, hits Groot for not much effect and throws Nebula into Ronan to daze him. Sadly Ronan’s revenge strike hurts Beast pretty badly and Nebula has no difficulty KOing him. Groot collects a Cube lying on the ground and Star Lord moves over to see if he’s in range to deal with Bullseye, but can’t get there. We finish up at 18 – 9 in my favour.

Sam was a very nice chap to play with and I enjoyed the game a lot. I made a few positional mistakes, notably with Bullseye and Beast at the end of round 1 which let Enchantress pick them both off for free (though in fairness she could have used Siren’s Call to line it up anyway if needed) but Sam didn’t really use Groot at all and never even tried to tackle Omega Red for the Witness or Cube on the left which meant that I could just rack up points on that side.

Game 3 – Anthony playing A-Force

For the final game I get paired up against one of the two other undefeated players (the other one gets a pair down against Martin from game 1) with a nasty looking A-Force roster. I’d ideally like to keep the threat low here but I win Priority so that’s not likely to happen. I don’t fancy Anthony’s Secures much so I pick them.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown!
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0
Threat: 20
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Black Cat, Black Dwarf
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Anthony’s team: She-Hulk, Angela, Black Cat, Enchantress, Okoye
Anthony’s cards: Battle Lust, Blind Obsession, Follow Me, Medpack, Special Delivery

I did briefly consider going wide here but this is not going to be fast scoring game and if I take squishier characters then She-Hulk et al will just wreck them one at a time long before I can hope to eke out a scenario win. I put in Black Dwarf as his huge sack of hit point, Stagger on his spender and epic throw are likely to come in useful. Black Cat is a no-brainer for a single-extract scenario like this one, but when I see that Anthony has (not surprisingly) also picked her in addition to Enchantress I’m going to struggle to hold on to the Power Core. In deployment Anthony makes a mistake putting Enchantress next to She-Hulk instead of Angela which will prevent him using Special Delivery until the mid game – neither of us spotted this at the time but Anthony realised it early in round 2. I’m also a bit surprised to see She-Hulk all the way out on the left but Anthony is clearly a more experienced A-Force player than me so perhaps this was part of a cunning plan.

Round 1: Omega Red finds the Power Core in the very first turn all the way over on the right. This is a huge stroke of luck for me as She-Hulk and Enchantress are stranded all the way over on the far side of the board. Anthony’s Black Cat moves up very agressively and Black Dwarf beats her up a bit before MODOK leaves her on a single wound. Angela comes in and throws digger at my Black Cat who uses this extra power to Stagger the Asgardian. She-Hulk moves onto the left point and I decide that I’m quite happy to leave her there so Kingpin moves more centrally. The score is 4 – 2 to me.

Round 2: MODOK attacks Angela in teh hope of getting enough power to throw something at Black Cat but does no damage. Oh well, I attack Black Cat instead and fail to damage her either. Good work MODOK, only needed to do one damage to Black Cat. Predictably, Black Cat pinches the Power Core off Omega Red and hoofs it back up the board. Black Dwarf dazes Angela. Critically, we forget at the time that Black Cat will take a point of damage from the Power Core at the end of her activation, which would have dazed her. Since we’ve already rolled the dice on Black Dwarf, we agree to just play the game as it lies, so a grateful Okoye rushes over to pick it up. Omega Red can’t drop her so Okoye gets to keep it this round. Enchantress moves back to the back Secure and my Black Cat follows her. Kingpin puts a bit of damage on She-Hulk and throws her off the left objective but can’t get there to score it himself. The score moves to 7 – 4 in my favour.

Round 3: Enchantress dazes my Black Cat then MODOK does a bit more damage to She-Hulk and Angela before moving the latter away with Bow to the Will of MODOK. Okoye plays Battle Lust and moves to the centre so she can push MODOK off the back point. Kingpin applies Stagger to She-Hulk and moves to score the left objective. Angela now plays Special Delivery and drops She-Hulk on Kingpin but between the two of them (and including She-Hulk playing Blind Obsession) they can’t bring down the big chap. Black Dwarf fails to hurt Enchantress but does at least stand on my back objective since MODOK has been moved off it. Omega Red pulls Okoye in with Embrace but unfortunately she ends up close enough to use Martial Artist and he can’t drop her. The score is now a rather tight 9 – 8 to me.

Round 4: Kingpin Staggers She-Hulk and KOs Angela which is certainly a relief. Okoye flees Omega Red but this is probably an error on Anthony’s side as she walks right into range of my Black Cat who steals the Power Core and legs it up the board, using Grappling Hook to increase the distance from Anthony’s Black Cat. A bit of a possible mistake from me here too as I had enough power to use Climbing Gear to increase the distance still further and this turns out to be critical as Enchantress races over and uses Siren’s Call to bring my Black Cat into range of Anthony’s. Also critical though is that this move ends up with Enchantress within range 2 of Omega Red so she gets Poison. MODOK just moves back to his point and fails yet again to hurt Enchantress and She-Hulk finally dazes Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and the A-Force Black Cat races over and collects the Power Core off mine, but ends up next to Omega Red and gets Poison for her trouble. Finally, Black Dwarf moves to sit on the back point – note that I’d actually premeasured this earlier (when he couldn’t fit as Black Cat was standing in the landing spot) which I shouldn’t have been allowed to do, and Anthony very kindly let me away with it. The score changes to 12 – 11, still in my favour.

Round 5: I play All According To Plan, and Omega Red uses Death Factor to daze Enchantress and hurt Black Cat, then finishes off the latter and picks up the Power Core. She-Hulk hammers Kingpin but he survives on a single wound (and with Stagger) after judicious use of Intense Physical Conditioning. Black Dwarf tries to deal Okoye’s final couple of wounds but of course bounces off her, and he doesn’t even have enough power to throw her. Okoye makes a last desperate attack to finish Kingpin but I roll really well on defence and it doesn’t work, so Kingpin throws She-Hulk off the objective and stands on it himself. The game ends at 18 – 11 to me.

Well, that could have been the most intense game of MCP ever. The dice were very interesting in that we seemed to roll consistently no successes or a yahtzee of criticals; I don’t think it favoured one of us over the other, but it made the attacks very spiky. Anthony’s positional play (apart from his error with Okoye in round 4) was spot on – I constantly found myself millimetres out of range to attack his pieces. Otherwise, I think that our skills matched up well and the game errors (especially with the Power Core dazing Black Cat in round two) were not decisive. He was also considerably better than me at using his tactics cards while I yet again had a handful of them left at the end.

When the final scores come in, I’m the only player left undefeated as Martin won in the pair-down. This is probably greatly to the relief of tournament organiser JP as Longshanks (the tournament matchmaking and stats software) went down during round 2 and I’m sure that he was very glad not to have to manually calculate tie breaks. Once again I had a great time playing a very lovely group of people. Many thanks to Martin, Sam and Anthony for three very fun games of Crisis Protocol, JP for running the show very smoothly and of course to Allan for kindly driving us down to Stanley.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 08Jan2022

  1. Very nice work, mate! Your tactics seem to be very strong as that is two wins in a row. Thanks for sharing and I enjoyed seeing how the tourney went 🙂

    • Thanks Kuribo. I hope that the write-up was comprehensible since I think that you’re not playing Crisis Protocol… yet 😉

      • I followed the action without knowing the rules so I’d say you did well. Haha, do not tempt me! 🙂

        • Consider yourself tempted! It’s a really fun game and you can play with just a few minis on each side – though of course you can also be like me and get loads of them for variety.

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