Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Summer Slam 30Jul2022

I took the train across to Common Ground Games in Stirling for another Marvel Crisis Protocol event run by Allan. This was always going to be a smaller affair than our recent adventure at Element games but a slew of late drops brought us down to a nice round 12 players this time. I had initially intended to continue playing Convocation, but I made a late swap to Spider Foes, mainly because I just bought Green Goblin and fancied giving them a run out. From a strictly performance perspective, putting down a roster that I’d never played before is probably a poor move but ultimately this is more about what I find amusing.

The roster creation was quite simple – I started out with all of the affiliated minis. I was tempted to fill the rest of the slots with Criminal Syndicate as Kingpin is in both affiliations and they can bring a nice skew to the table, but ultimately decided that I’d be more likely to end up second guessing myself and playing Criminal Syndicate in the wrong match-ups… plus I wanted to lead with Green Goblin in all four games. I also removed Carnage as I think that there are only a few specific match-ups where I want him and I’m not confident in getting those correct. So with four spare slots, I added Bullseye (not affiliated but cheap and happy to sit on a back point while still contributing), Rocket and Groot (just plain fun) and Ultron (to cause headaches for anyone who wanted to play around his Age of Ultron card). I also had convinced myself that Ultron was immune to Incinerate for some reason but of course he isn’t, as became clear in game three.

Characters: (10)
—Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) Threat: 4
Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius) Threat: 3
Kraven the Hunter (Sergei Nikolaevich Kravinoff) Threat: 3
Lizard (Curtis Connors) Threat: 3
Mysterio (Quentin Beck) Threat: 3
Venom (Eddie Brock) Threat: 4
Ultron (Ultron) Threat: 4
Bullseye (Benjamin Poindexter) Threat: 2
Groot (I Am Groot) Threat: 3
Rocket Raccoon (Rocket Raccoon) Threat: 2

Tactics: (10)
Sinister Traps
Deadly Duo
Lethal Protector
Monkey Brain Is Lizard Home
The Age of Ultron
The Grand Illusion
We Are Groot
Well-Laid Plans
Brace for Impact
Patch Up

Secure Crisis: (3)
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (Threat: 19)
Infinity Formula Goes Missing! (Threat: 17)
Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park (Threat: 18)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)
Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan (Threat: 17)
Research Station Attacked! (Threat: 16)

Game 1: Derek playing Guardians of the Galaxy

My first game is into Derek, who I’ve met at some previous events but never managed to play yet. I won priority and opted to take Secures on the basis that all of Derek’s Extract cards were probably OK for me, and perhaps more importantly because I didn’t have enough experience playing Spider Foes to be worth spending a long time thinking about it.

Extraction: Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Kraven The Hunter, Lizard, Rocket Raccoon, Groot
My cards: Deadly Duo, Patch Up, Sinister Traps, We are Groot, Well Laid Plans
Derek’s team: Star Lord, Groot, Angela, Hulk
Derek’s cards: Disarm, Indomitable, No Matter The Cost, Trip Up, We Are Groot

Round 1: Everyone except Groot gets a Winging It token, and I put my Sinister Trap on the back right trap near Star Lord. Green Goblin takes the Hammer on the left then Hulk and Rocket take our home Hammers. Angela comes in to throw a building at Green Goblin and he dodges all the damage, which is probably setting the scene for how the dice are going to flow for the rest of the game, before playing No Matter The Cost to smack him with her spender. I’m a bit surprised to see Derek use that card on her, I really thought it would be more effective on Hulk (who doesn’t mind having some damage on him) or Groot (who can heal it back later anyway). Lizard and both Groots flip the Traps, though I do use Trick or Treat on the Goblin to put some minor damage onto his Groot as he comes closer, before Kraven picks up the last Hammer. Star Lord sighs, triggers my Sinister Trap and gets pushed toward my lines so he uses Hit and Run to get back on the scenario point and flip it. Doctor Octopus legs it across the board and claims it for me instead so the score is 6 – 2 in my favour.

Round 2: The same three characters get Winging It tokens. In what will become a theme running through this event, Star Lord one-shots Doctor Octopus then uses Hit and Run and zaps Groot. Green Goblin polishes off Angela using Hit and Run before Groot can heal her then takes one look at the oncoming Hulk and runs away as fast as his hoverboard can carry him. Hulk chases him but Derek’s dice desert him and nothing substantial happens. My Groot dazes Star Lord and his fails to do more than tickle Lizard, who moves to flip the back left Trap. Rocket moves over and fails to put even a single damage on Groot. The score goes to 13 – 3 to me.

Round 3: Star Lord, Angela and Hulk get the Winging It tokens again. Star Lord one-shots Doctor Octopus again, putting paid to my idea to make Hulk drop his Hammer with Well Laid Plans and then flips both traps on the right. Rocket plays Deadly Duo, dazing Groot but not achieving a great deal else, so Hulk easily dazes Goblin and takes his Hammer and dazing my Groot. Kraven flips the back right trap back to me and Angela realises that she can’t stop me winning and tries to drop Rocket, but somehow leaves him on a single wound left. We finish at 18 – 6 to me.

That was a fun game with Derek. I think that the dice were probably somewhat on my side (other than poor Doctor Octopus) but I tried to concentrate on scoring the objectives with attrition as a secondary goal and that paid off pretty well. I was considering abandoning the left side of the board but despite Star Lord’s heroic display he was outmatched 4 to 1 on the right so I was starting to swing Kraven and Rocket in towards the centre before the game ended. On Derek’s side, I think that he might have been better picking up his home Hammer with someone other than Hulk – Hulk doesn’t need the extra damage and it would have left him the power to Gamma Leap in round 1 and therefore make an attack on some unfortunate victim. In his position I might also have considered just leaving my Sinister Trap alone and bringing Star Lord over to the left to help out against Green Goblin and Lizard which might have stranded Groot with his slow move.

Game 2: Liam playing Brotherhood of Mutants

It was inevitable that I’d meet Liam at some point – he’s a great player with a very effective roster. I knew what he was likely to play into me (Magneto, Thanos and someone else depending on the threat level) but that didn’t make it easier to unravel. I like my chances slightly more if I win priority in which case we might get a B Secure which I think would force him to move to a different game plan but Liam gets priority so we’re very much playing his heavy attrition game. I’m at a loss as to what to put down so I go for all Spider Foes, mixing it up by swapping Lizard out for Mysterio just to get some more game time with the latter.

Extraction: Struggle for the Cube Continues
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City and Seals Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Kraven The Hunter, Mysterio, Venom
My cards: Brace for Impact, Patch Up, Sinister Traps, The Grand Illusion, Well Laid Plans
Liam’s team: Magneto, Mystique, Thanos (Reality, Space)
Liam’s cards: Asteroid M, Deception, Inspiring Monologue, Magnetic Refraction, Recalibration Matrix

Round 1: I put my Sinister Trap on the back left Cube near to Mystique. While Liam passes, I collect the back two Cubes with Mysterio and Venom. Mystique moves laterally across the whole board to Deception Venom into the death zone. Thanos pulls him in and beats him up a bit, though a nice counter attack does get some useful damage in return. He then moves across and Cosmic Portals Doctor Octopus onto my own Sinister Trap, which I probably should have seen coming but was nonetheless pretty cool. Magneto dazes Venom and throws a building at the Goblin while the rest of my team rather timidly moves onto various scenario points. The score is 4 – 1 to me.

Round 2: Magneto throws stuff at Venom and KOs him on the second attack, which is quite annoying as I think it’s not out of the question for him to survive that. He then puts Inspiring Monologue on Thanos. Green Goblin puts no damage at all into Thanos, who then dazes both him and Doctor Octopus with a single shot. Mystique collects a Cube and one-shots Mysterio. Kraven realises that he’s not in a useful position to do anything so just sits there – or maybe he saw that the other four members of his team were KOed or dazed and decides he wants no part of that! The score now moves to 5 – 5 but after that round it’s already over.

Round 3: Mystique one-shots Green Goblin. I play The Grand Illusion and Doctor Octopus throws Magneto into Thanos and hits him twice for a total of 2 damage. Thanos then one-shots Mysterio and Doctor Octopus from full health. Kraven messes with the Portal, gets it wrong and finds himself still stranded far from the action, and Magneto just twiddles his thumbs a bit. Liam leads by 11 – 6.

Round 4: Mystique dazes due to the Cubes. Kraven might as well do something before the game ends so he dazes Magneto and picks up as many Cubes as he can manage. Not surprisingly, Thanos has no difficiulting in dazing him right back. The game finishes at 17 – 6.

That was pretty brutal! Credit to Liam for being a really lovely chap throughout this one-sided non-game and I have to say sorry to him for, once again, totally failing to make him work for his victory. Liam’s a good enough player that I was pretty unlikely to win here but the dice made sure that it wasn’t even a factor. Thinking of alternative approaches, I possibly should have put in Ultron instead of Venom. He is at risk of being dropped by Mystique and not getting to play Age of Ultron, but having to make Liam play around that might have given me a bit of breathing room to get some work done elsewhere. Having two short movers (Venom and Mysterio) was probably a mistake anyway as even if Liam wasn’t able to deal with as easily as he did Thanos could simply have Cosmic Portal-ed them away to irrelevance each round. Back to the drawing board for how to deal with this roster when expertly piloted by Liam.

Game 3: Simon playing Wakanda

It’s been a long time since I played into a Wakandan roster and I was intrigued to see how Simon used them. He won priority and chose Extracts; I picked the slightly higher threat level mainly because I had already picked a possible team for Demons Downtown. Note that, as mentioned before, I had convinced myself that Ultron was immune to Incinerate which is mainly the reason he’s in here over Venom. Bullseye is there to sit on a back point and score it while plinking off the odd wound here and there. Using Bullseye and Ultron also means that I’ve put all 10 of my roster on the table, which is somehow also a little bit important to me. It also seems that I forgot to take a picture of deployment.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 19
My team: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Lizard, Mysterio, Bullseye, Ultron
My cards: Patch Up, Sinister Traps, The Age of Ultron, The Grand Illusion, Well Laid Plans
Simon’s team: Black Panther, Killmonger, Okoye, Shuri, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Hawkeye
Simon’s cards: Brace for Impact, Patch Up, Usurp The Throne, Vibranium Shielding, Wakanda Forever

Round 1: I put Sinister Traps on the back objectives and Okoye starts us off by obligingly dazing herself on it, so I’ve already gotten to live the Spider Foes dream. Ultron collects the central book and Hawkeye applies Shock to him. Bullseye gets my back book. Shuri pushes Ultron away while Spider-Man and Mysterio move up to position for next turn. Doctor Octopus slaps Spider-Man a bit and then throws him into Shuri causing Simon to play Brace for Impact. Black Panther collects the last book and everyone else moves to a big ball in the centre. The score is a neat 3 – 3.

Round 2: Killmonger helpfully bounces off Ultron and Simon decides to have him retreat rather than try his luck at a second attack. Doctor Octopus tickles Panther and throws him away so the King of Wakanda come in and gets an amazing beam from the spell book (aided by Mantle of the Black Panther) which one-shots both Bullseye and Doctor Octopus and does some nasty damage elsewhere. Ultron dazes Black Panther in return. Okoye pays to Patch Up Spider-Man who rushes up and collects one of the fallen spell books. Lizard throws Killmonger into Shuri and Okoye gets KOed bodyguarding a shot from Green Goblin into Killmonger. Finally Shuri pushes Green Goblin out of the action but Lizard is positioned in such a way that he can’t get pushed off the central point. The score moves to 6 – 5 in my favour.

Round 3: Mysterio puts up The Grand Illusion then KOs Black Panther by hitting him with Hypnosis Gas, moving him and getting him with Tricks and Traps. Looking back I think that the dice probably were quite kind to me for that to happen; the free moves also let me put Mysterio in a really annoying position mid board. Shuri pushes both him and Lizard backwards. Bullseye using a Hit and Run Pincushion to daze Killmonger and get back to my home objective. Spider-Man moves in to get another tasty beam off but Mysterio’s Tricks and Traps do some more damage (and also let me move him back to a really annoying spot for The Grand Illusion) and eventually Bullseye is able to use Parting Shot to finish him off. Lizard throws that annoying oil derrick that Hawkeye has been parked behind for the whole game then uses a spell book to daze both Hawkeye and Shuri. I consider putting Green Goblin up on Simon’s objective to score another point but decide that will mean getting a Usurp The Throne round from Killmonger so I pull him back to (relative) safety. The score and attrition are very much moving in my favour now at 12 – 5.

Round 4: Killmonger Charges Lizard but can’t daze him with two attacks so he pays for Wakanda Forever to get the job done. Shuri also pushes Doctor Octopus away with her free attack. Doctor Octopus comes back into the fray, throws Hawkeye into Shuri and KOs the former with a nice beam attack from the spell book. Shuri can’t KO Doctor Octopus, making this the first time the whole event that someone attacked him and didn’t immediately end him. Ultron KOs Spider-Man and Simon has seen enough. We score up from there at 17 – 6. I would add that somewhere in this turn Vibranium Shielding was used but then Simon immediately forgot about it so that might have made a difference.

Thanks to Simon for a really fun game that was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. I made a few positioning errors that led to my big bases getting jammed up together which was compounded by some nice target priority from Simon using Shuri’s pushes that let the spell book beams be really effective. I was also quite slow to deal with Hawkeye and he was a real pain sitting behind his size three terrain and plinking away at all my big characters. Ultron did a fine job and I still like that the threat of Age of Ultron can create some tough choices for the other player, but also he’s partly in the roster for Demons Downtown so I might look at swapping him out for Captain Marvel.

Game 4: Allan playing Asgard

As a nice end-of-event treat I get paired up with Allan who is packing an Asgard list to play with Heimdall and Skurge as the new releases. He wins priority and chooses Secures, luckily getting one of the ones that I prefer anyway; I choose the higher threat level again as I really liked the team I used in game one. Allan isn’t going to let me take a big scenario lead so I need to be a bit more focused on the attrition side here. In particular I want to either focus down one Asgardian at a time to reduce the benefit of Thor’s leadership, or deal with Thor as quickly as possible… or preferably both at the same time.

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Kraven The Hunter, Lizard, Rocket Raccoon, Groot
My cards: Deadly Duo, Patch Up, Sinister Traps, We are Groot, Well Laid Plans
Allan’s team: Thor, Enchantress, Heimdall, Skurge, Hood
Allan’s cards: Follow Me, Hood’s Gang, Meet My Executioner, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up

Round 1: I place my Sinister Trap at the back left Spider-Infected. Thor takes the central Spider-Infected and Hood takes the one nearest to him; meanwhile Groot and Doctor Octopus flip the traps on my side of the board. Heimdall triggers my Sinister Trap for a tasty bit of damage before dealing with both scenario elements in that corner. Green Goblin zaps a couple of wounds off Thor, then Skurge flips the last trap and Lizard and Kraven pick up the remaining Spider-Infected. Enchantress uses Siren’s call to move Doctor Octopus (but I’m not sure I really understand why) and Rocket pumps a shot into Thor. Predictably, the score is 5 – 4 to Allan.

Round 2: Lizard and Heimdall are both moved back by their Spider-Infected. Thor pokes Kraven rather ineffectually and then retreats toward Skurge who uses Patch Up on the Asgardian prince. Thor then plays Follow Me into Hood who plays Hood’s Gang but otherwise just plinks a couple of wounds into Groot. Lizard pushes Enchantress away and she comes back across the building, Siren’s Calls my characters into a nice cuddle for a beam and then zaps them both. Groot slaps Hood (who transforms) and applies Root to Skurge. Allan passes, which turns out to be a mistake as Rocket plays Deadly Duo and then rolls absolutely crazy dice. After the dust settles Thor, Skurge and Hood are all dazed, even after using Odin’s Blessing. Sorry Allan! Doctor Octopus tanks a hit from Heimdall and then dazes him too and collects his Spider-Infected. The only fly in this ointment is that Kraven is body blocked away from the back right trap after I’ve moved him up. Green Goblin picks up the last Spider-Infected and the score goes to 10 – 7 to me.

Round 3: Enchantress double beams Lizard and Doctor Octopus and also uses Siren’s Call to trigger a Forfend attack from Heimdall; the end result is that both are dazed. Kraven was clearly watching Rocket’s work last round – he puts Expert Tracker on Thor then drops him neatly with his two attacks. That generates so much power that he can apply Expert Tracker to Skurge and Hood too. Hood using Dark Lightning on Groot for some rather nasty damage but doesn’t roll any Wild results to splash damage on Kraven or Rocket. In return, Groot plays We Are Groot to remove a lot of damage on that side of the board and then I Am Groot to KO Skurge. Green Goblin KOs Hood but fails to flip the trap in that corner and Rocket picks up the last fallen Spider-Infected. Heimdall flips the trap over on the left. The score goes to 14 – 12 to me.

Round 4: Enchantress and Heimdall are going to have their work cut out for them now. Enchantress beams again through Lizard and Doctor Octopus but even with the Siren’s Call / Forfend trick she can’t KO either of them. Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus finally play Well Laid Plans but I don’t get a single damage on either character, however everything works out fine as Doctor Octopus KOs Heimdall. The rest of my team run about scoring points and we end at 22 – 13.

That was a fun game but it was 100% decided by my dice from Rocket in round 2 and Kraven in round 3. Allan and I are generally pretty evenly matched so getting such a ridiculous series of spikes made sure that this one fell my way. Full credit to Allan for taking it in his stride; I suspect that I would have been a bit salty watching Rocket roll endless successes for five attacks in a row. There probably isn’t a huge amount to learn from such a blow-out as this, except perhaps that it’s better to be lucky than good. Looking to the future of this roster I need to get better at planning around playing Patch Up – I didn’t actually mange to play it even once. Partly that is because I didn’t have it in my roster at all when I was playing Convocation but a well-timed heal can really mess with the other player’s plans. As always, more practice is needed!

In the end I come in fourth, bottom of the 3 – 1 players, having had a really enjoyable day of Crisis Protocol. Many thanks to Derek, Liam, Simon and Allan for four very fun games, and as always to Allan for doing all the work to organise the event.

Eagle-eyed readers will also have spotted that I was using green-and-purple tokens from round 2 onwards. These are courtesy of my good friends Kai and Lewis who have a business selling such tokens in faction colours at www.diceandtokens.co.uk. I thought that they were a good quality token set and I was happy to use them. But I will also mention that my review is far from unbiased as the tokens are made by my friends and I also got them for free so you can make of that what you will.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Summer Slam 30Jul2022

  1. Looks and sounds like great fun. I really need to get my arse into gear and get more MCP models painted…

    • Cheers Azazel, It was indeed fun. MCP is my current favourite game so I’d definitely be interested to read more about it on your blog too.

  2. As your manager, I am impressed and pleased by your performance! 😉 Three wins is excellent and it sounds like you got to play in some good games with great people which is the best part of all in any minis game.

  3. Another solid result. I’m sure you’ll break your duck with Liam at some point! On a tangent, I saw that 40K in 40minutes (you tube channel) have released a marvel battle rep. It’s on my list to watch but have you come across any other channels you can recommend?

    • Thank you!

      My current top picks are:
      Midlife Crisis Protocol – very accessible and mainly featuring a couple of solid (and unduly modest) players, one of whom is Allan who runs these events, drives me to far-flung tournaments and is all round like a MCP dealer for me.
      Web Warriors Protocols – hosted by arguably the top player in the UK but despite that isnt laden with obscure rules interactions, just solid and well explained play.

      Of course, there are numerous others with plenty to recommend them, but these will get you started nicely.

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