Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: September Smackdown 17Sep2022

I was able to join in another Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament being held at Common Ground Games in Stirling. I hadn’t given any special thought to which affiliation to use this time out so I rather arbitrarily picked up A-Force. It’s been a while since I put She-Hulk et al on the table and I don’t think that ever used them in a tournament before. The upside to this approach is that it keeps things nice and fresh since the different affiliations do feel very different to play; of course the downside is that I never really get that deep level of familiarity with the roster. It’s a small price to pay for my amusement, I think.

Characters: (10)
—She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) Threat: 6
Angela (Aldrif Odinsdottir) Threat: 5
Black Cat (Felica Hardy) Threat: 3
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) Threat: 4
Okoye (Okoye) Threat: 2
Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) Threat: 5
Shuri (Shuri) Threat: 3
Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) Threat: 3
Hulk (Bruce Banner) Threat: 6
Rogue (Anna Marie LeBeau) Threat: 4

Tactics: (10)
Patch Up
Follow Me
A-Force Assemble!
Special Delivery
Stalwart Determination
No More Mutants
Pym Particles
Inspiring Monologue
Mission Objective
Escort to Safety

Secure Crisis: (3)
Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians (Threat: 17)
Portals Overrun City With Spider-People! (Threat: 18)
Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City (Threat: 20)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Fear Grips World As “Worthy” Terrorize Cities (Threat: 18)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)
Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership (Threat: 17)

A-Force has already got more than 10 characters in it, even once I exclude the ones I don’t own. I ended up removing a couple of characters that I’ve tended to use a lot in the past (Domino and Valkyrie) and added in Rogue and Hulk. The former is just generally fun to use and can potentially manage three throws in a turn if filled up with power, which isn’t too hard to do in A-Force. And Hulk is just hilarious to play and I wanted to do a double Hulk team at some point. Two of my Secures are Energy-based pay-to-flip crises which should be handy for my team which tends toward high energy defences, while the last is Terrigen Clouds; this one was selected because the Clouds cause Poison and I can field quite a lot of characters which are immune. I am much less happy with my Extractions and honestly these could almost have been any three at all as I just don’t really get which ones play well for A-Force yet.

Game 1: Adam playing X-Men

I get paired up with Adam for the first round. I’m really looking forward to this as Adam is a very strong player and I hope that I can give him a good game. We actually have very similar Crisis cards so the Priority roll is not too important; as it happens I win it and choose Secures so Adam gets to pick the threat level.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Threat: 18
My team: She-Hulk, Angela, Captain Marvel, Shuri
My cards: A-Force Assemble, Follow Me, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Adam’s team: Storm, Beast, Doctor Voodoo, Domino, Toad, X-23
Adam’s cards: Brace For Impact, Mission Objective, Sacrifice, To Me My X-Men, X-Ceptional Healing

Round 1: Storm flips the Portal on the right and Shuri takes my home one. Toad rummages for the Skrull in the centre but doesn’t get it. Doctor Voodoo takes Adam’s home Portal and Captain Marvel re-flips the one on the right back to me. X-23 comes in on the left and gets She-Hulk dropped on her by Special Delivery; however the attacks from her and Angela only do one damage between them although Angela does at least take the Portal there. Beast gets the Skrull in the centre after it is too late for me to do anything about it and She Hulk dazes X-23. The score is 3 – 3.

Round 2: I need to deal with Beast as a priority or Adam will just send him to a corner and play keep away for the rest of the game. Shuri zaps Beast a couple of times to push him toward She Hulk so he flees back to safety before Captain Marvel dazes Storm. Domino and Toad both come forward but can’t take my home Portal due to Shuri’s presence. She-Hulk chases Beast and throws him into Doctor Voodoo; in return the latter Possesses her with his Brother Daniel token which I’m sure will be annoying for the whole game. The score stays neat at 6 – 6.

Round 3: I guess I still need to find a way to get that Skrull on the ground. Beast gets dazed by She-Hulk and uses Mission Objective to pass it to X-23. X-23 then plays a judicious use of X-Ceptional Healing to survive on one wound. Adam plays To Me My X-Men to move X-23 further over then retreats with her toward the back right corner. Angela hurts both Domino and Toad but because I’m an idiot I totally forget to use her re-rolls from Shuri’s Upgrade ability. Whoops! Toad then flips the left Portal and Shuri leaves Domino on one wound. Storm throws Captain Marvel away and flips the right Portal so Captain Marvel flies back and takes it back again. The score goes to 10 – 8 to Adam.

Round 4: X-23 is about as safe as she’s going to get over in that corner so I decide to try to deal with the stuff going on in the open field this time as I still have priority. Shuri drops Domino and plays Follow Me so that Angela can daze Toad by throwing the building at him and taking back the left Portal. She-Hulk goes over to X-23 and needs to slap her for three using her spender. I get a decent roll but Adam manages to come up with five blocks off X-23’s three defence dice so the mutant lives on one wound. Eventually Captain Marvel is able to KO her by throwing her into Doctor Voodoo (also dazing the latter) and collect the Skrull. Meanwhile Beast has come across and flipped a Portal. The score is back to even at 12 – 12.

Round 5: I’ve lost priority but I’ve got something of a local attrition advantage over in that right corner. I just need to deal with Doctor Voodoo as otherwise his Possession ability will make it too easy for Adam to hold out the game. Doctor Voodoo takes back his token and Possesses Captain Marvel. He picks up the Skrull, throws Captain Marvel away and then runs for it. She Hulk chases him, puts a good few wounds on him and throws him back toward Captain Marvel. Adam moves Storm carefully to ensure that he can play Sacrifice most effectively and I eventually have to just roll the dice with Captain Marvel. I do get lucky enough to KO Doctor Voodoo even through Sacrifice but sadly Captain Marvel is too far away to collect it. Meanwhile Shuri hurts Beast a little and flips back my point. Toad retakes the left one and Angela takes it back yet again. The score is 15 – 13 to Adam.

Round 6: I need to get lucky on the Portal rolls here, not to mention actually hanging onto the Skrull. Angela fails to deal with Domino on the left, predictably leaving her on one wound. Storm takes the Skrull to make me work for it so She Hulk drops her and moves to right Portal. Domino shows Angela how it is done, dazing her from full in one action, though she does get unlucky and fail to flip that Portal. Captain Marvel collect the fallen Skrull but can’t make it to the far Portal. In the last activation of the game Toad needs to flip two Portals, one of which has a healthy Shuri standing on it. Crucially he makes it and doesn’t roll a skull, then he hops over and easily takes the left one too. The game ends at 18 – 16 to Adam.

What a close game! It felt quite fitting that this came down to the last few dice rolled and it could really have gone either way. Adam played a very tight game using all his cards at the right moment and I think that perhaps that was the main difference. At the end of the game I still had most of my cards left and there were several times where I forgot to use one of my key superpowers. Notably I could have amped up Angela’s output on Domino and Toad in round 3 if I’d remembered she could re-roll using Shuri’s Upgrades power and Shuri herself failed to hurt Beast with Sonic Crush but rolled all shields – if I’d remembered to use Super Genius I could perhaps have dealt with him there and then. Anyway, opportunities to improve my game notwithstanding I had a really fun game and I look forward to getting more games with Adam.

Game 2: Allan playing Winter Guard

Slightly to my surprise I find that Allan has also lost his first game so we get paired for game 2. He’s packing Winter Guard with a roster filled up pretty much with anyone else in the game with a vaguely Russian connection… plus Juggernaut for some reason. I’m quite looking forward to this one as I’ve never faced Winter Guard, plus Allan is always a lot of fun to play. Allan wins priority and chooses Extracts. I think I’ve got competent teams at either 15 or 18 threat so I go for the lower one to hopefully make Allan’s team building a bit more annoying.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest
Threat: 15
My team: She-Hulk, Angela, Captain Marvel
My cards: A-Force Assemble, Follow Me, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Allan’s team: Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Juggernaut, Red Guardian
Allan’s cards: Brace For Impact, Comrade’s Keeper, Do You Know Who I Am?, Patch Up, Smash

Round 1: Darkstar and Captain Marvel collect the flank Hammers, then She Hulk and Juggernaut pick up our home Hammers and head for the middle. Angela gently tickles Juggernaut after he throws She-Hulk off the point with Do You Know Who I Am?. Red Guardian comes into the middle to score it for Allan; the score is 5 – 2 to him.

Round 2: Angela attacks Juggernaut but Red Guardian interrupts with a timely play of Comrade’s Keeper. Angela’s free Place after using her builder comes in handy here so I backstop her against Crimson Dynamo so that Red Guardian has to throw her into his leader. She knocks a couple of hit points off Crimson Dynamo as a follow-up. Red Guardian hurts Angela in return and gets a Patch Up to keep him in the game, and Crimson Dynamo finishes Angela. Captain Marvel uses Special Delivery to apply She-Hulk to Juggernaut and then throws the big chap into Red Guardian to daze him. She-Hulk throws Juggernaut off the central point after slapping him around a bit and the score moves to 8 – 5 in Allan’s favour.

Round 3: Now that Red Guardian is dazed my priority is to KO him and get him out of contention for contesting the scenario points. Captain Marvel does just that, then Darkstar puts some tasty damage into her in return. Angela and Crimson Dynamo have a highly ineffective slapping match over the far scenario point and She-Hulk dazes Juggernaut. The score closes to 10 – 9 to Allan.

Round 4: I play Stalwart Determination now that Juggernaut’s throw is online. I think that if I can daze or KO one more character I can brute force this out, but unfortunately I’ve given away priority. Darkstar gets us started this round by dazing Captain Marvel and taking her Hammer – not the way I wanted this to go. She-Hulk KOs Juggernaut and it’s now going to be pretty hard for Allan to hold on to anything as both She-Hulk and Captain Marvel have brutal character throws. Over at the back Crimson Dynamo can’t quite drop Angela and she finally dazes him in return. The score is now 15 -12 to me.

Round 5: I just need to avoid doing anything silly here and I can comfortably hold on; She-Hulk is almost undamaged and is holding two Hammers so it seems a big ask for Allan to take them off her from here. Darkstar hurts Captain Marvel and runs off to (relative) safety; in retrospect we think that Allan might have forgotten to add the attack dice for her Hammers which potentially would have made things a bit more exciting. Crimson Dynamo adjusts to try to bring down Captain Marvel but She-Hulk is able to Bodyguard it. Captain Marvel throws Crimson Dynamo off the Gamma Shelter and I spread out to score points. We finish up at 22 – 15 to me.

Thanks as usual to Allan for a very fun game. Despite the wide score I think that this was rather close. The main difference was that once I had Juggernaut under control Allan didn’t really have a great way to deal with She-Hulk and she’s quite scary once she’s holding a pair of Hammers. The scenario forced us into a brawl in the middle and, while it let Allan’s cool defensive tech shine, it also highlighted how little offensive punch he had available. From my side I wonder if I might have been better off leaving the right Hammer until Allan brought it to me and just having Captain Marvel join the scrum in midfield. I also once again failed to use my cards cleverly and still had most of them available at the end.

Game 3: Jay playing Midnight Sons

For this round I come against Jay, a lovely chap who has 100% got the measure of me so far. I win priority and picks Secures so Jay selects the lower threat value. I go back and forth several times and consider a much sillier team before settling on these heroes. Rogue gets the nod even though she’s not actually affiliated because she is immune to Poison, and Black Cat is mainly in the roster to deal with these single Extraction scenarios.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City
Threat: 17
My team: She-Hulk, Black Cat, Captain Marvel, Rogue
My cards: A-Force Assemble, Follow Me, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Jay’s team: Blade, Black Cat, Bullseye, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem), Iron Fist
Jay’s cards: Bats the Ghost Hound, Brace For Impact, Disarm, Heroes For Hire, Siege of Darkness [note that I must have made a mistake with my notes here as it looks like Jay has three restricted cards in the Reality Gem, Brace For Impact and Disarm – sorry Jay!]

Round 1: We mostly just position our heroes on the Terrigen Clouds. My Black Cat finds the Skrull in the centre and suddenly feels very lonely. Iron Fist makes a good move to get onto the right Cloud by using his Flying Kick attack against Rogue, though it doesn’t actually do much damage. Corvus doesn’t even bother going to the cloud and instead drops a casual four damage onto Captain Marvel. The score is 4 – 0 to me.

Round 2: I need to get Black Cat to safety here and ideally consolidate on the left; that will leave Rogue to mind the fort alone on the right but she has pretty good displacement so she might be able to clear the Cloud once or twice. She-Hulk plays Patch Up to fully heal Captain Marvel; in retrospect this was something of a mistake as I should have left her with two power so that I could get her to Bodyguard attacks instead. Black Cat lugs the Skrull over to the left but I make a mistake and aim to maintain distance from Corvus rather than getting into Bodyguard range of She-Hulk. Corvus then goes and one-shots all six health from Captain Marvel and triggers Flurry; he uses the move to get over to Black Cat and one-shots her too. He picks up the Skrull for good measure. Well, I guess I might as well have saved myself the bother of playing Patch-Up! Over on the right Rogue dazes Iron Fist and Blade sticks a little damage on her. Black Cat sticks Stagger on She-Hulk to keep her away from Corvus; instead She-Hulk moves over to stand on the Terrigen Cloud again. Finally Bullseye strolls onto the right Cloud. The score goes to 6 – 4 in my favour but clearly it was so tense that I forgot to take a photo.

Round 3: I need to find a way to get the Skrull off Corvus or do enough damage on both Clouds that I can hold out on them for the rest of the game and force Corvus to come back and play. Rogue is chock full of power and everyone except Iron Fist (who just flipped) has taken some chip damage so I might be able to get her to do some serious work. Sadly it doesn’t work out that way as two attacks into Bullseye do exactly zero damage to him and Iron Fist is able to play Brace For Impact to avoid the nearby crates being thrown at him. To say that I’m let down is something of an understatement. Corvus makes no such mistake, easily cutting down Black Cat and moving further away from my hitters. Captain Marvel uses Special Delivery to drop She-Hulk into Corvus for no damage, though she does at least manage to daze Black Cat before she applies another Stagger to my team. Bullseye and Blade slap Rogue down to one wound left and Iron Fist wanders off the join the mess around the Skrull. The score goes to 8 – 6 to Jay. I move the right Cloud so it does the last point of damage on Rogue’s healthy side which makes it much more likely that I’ll get to activate her next round, and I again forget the picture.

Round 4: I need to finally deal with Corvus but Black Cat has so much power on her by now that she can easily steal the Skrull if I pick it up, and Iron Fist is also fully powered up and in the mix. She-Hulk does at least daze Corvus and pick up the Skrull. Iron Fist does his big attack, somehow leaving Captain Marvel on a single wound but with an activated token for company. Rogue attacks Bullseye, who has only two wound left, twice and fails to hurt him at all so in return he just saunters off toward the other Cloud. Blade leaves Rogue on one wound with Bleed and Black Cat puts Stagger on She-Hulk again, takes the Skrull and runs off. The score is now 12 – 6 in Jay’s favour but I still don’t remember my photo.

Round 5: Rogue takes two attacks to poke the last wound off Blade and then KOs due to Bleed. Corvus makes short work of Captain Marvel’s final wound and then moves away from She-Hulk. The game is over so I at least get to have my fun by getting She-Hulk to flatten Iron Fist before Bullseye walks to the left Cloud. We finish the game at 16 – 6 to Jay.

That defeat did sting a little, and I will admit to being a bit salty about the dice afterwards. Credit to Jay for, as always, being a very fun chap to play a game with but also for very sympathetically listening to my whining about the contrast between the way Rogue spent three turns failing to deal with Bullseye and Corvus scything his way through my entire left flank. I think that my biggest error came in turn two when I spent too much of She-Hulk’s power on Patch Up to prevent her from being able to use Bodyguard at all (though I think that I still would have backed Captain Marvel to survive a swing from Corvus and not used Bodyguard anyway), while also not making sure to get Black Cat in Bodyguard range to keep her and the Skrull safe from anyone but Jay’s Black Cat. Yet again I ended up not using most of my cards.

Game 4: Stuart playing Web Warriors

In our final game I get matched up with Stuart, who I think I’ve seen from some Warmachine events in the past though I don’t know that we ever played each other. I win priority and choose Secures again; Stuart chooses a slightly lower threat. Since we’re both in midtable obscurity I decide that this is the moment to play my silly A-Force team and just mess about a bit. The basic plan is to hold Cubes and force Stuart’s heroes to come to me, then punch them when they arrive. I also have some pretty good displacement so I can throw the Web Warriors around a bit if needed.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Threat: 17
My team: She-Hulk, Angela, Hulk
My cards: Follow Me, Inspiring Monologue, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Stuart’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amazing Spider-Man, Black Cat, Ghost Spider, Moon Knight
Stuart’s cards: All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Patch Up, Spider Tracker, The Cat and The Spider

Round 1: Moon Knight collects the Cube on the right and moves to the Portal. Hulk Gamma Leaps over but totally fails to hurt Moon Knight, meaning that I don’t actually score anything over there… this might turn out to be a problem. Amazing Spider-Man collects the central Cube and moves back to safety. She-Hulk flips my home Portal and heads to the left, collecting a Cube on her way. Black Cat takes the left Portal and Spider-Man gets the far one. Angela gently and ineffectually tickles Black Cat before taking the left Portal back to me. The score is a rather unexpected 4 – 3 to Stuart since one of the Cubes and one of the Portals are still untouched.

Round 2: I think that I’m quite happy to continue playing attrition here; the Cube damage is much more telling on the rather fragile Web Warriors than on my team so I just need to stop Stuart getting too far ahead while I thin out his options. Angela hits Black Cat again so she can place near She-Hulk then I play Special Delivery to drop the latter on Amazing Spider-Man, admittedly for not more effect. Black Cat reflips the left Portal. She-Hulk dazes Amazing Spider-Man and takes his Cube before flipping that Portal right back again. Moon Knight runs away from Hulk and picks up the Cube that’s just lying on the ground, but Hulk follows him, dazes him and collects both Cubes. Gwen flips my home Portal and Spider-Man pokes Angela before failing to reflip the left Portal. The score now moves to 8 – 7 to him.

Round 3: Since we’re pretty close to parity my plan here to just to keep squeezing on attrition and worry about points specifically only once I’ve KOed two of Stuart team. The Cubes are also doing a pretty good job for me here as neither She-Hulk nor Hulk are in much danger from them and I’m really enjoying having All The Power on them. Angela puts some damage into Amazing Spider-Man and flips the far Portal; he plays All Webbed Up and dazes her in return. She-Hulk KOs Amazing Spider-Man, much to my relief, and Hulk shrugs off a few insipid attacks from Moon Knight before KOing him and badly hurting Ghost Spider. He reflips my home Portal for good measure. Around this point Stuart realises that both Spider-Man and Black Cat have one wound left and are holding a Cube so he can only ‘save’ one of them. In the end Miles pays to Patch Up Black Cat and they both put some good damage into She-Hulk; Black Cat also Staggers her. The score ties at 12 – 12.

Round 4: This is quite a fast scoring scenario combination so ordinarily I would be worried about being choked out on points here but my characters are holding most of the Cubes and Stuart will only get to activate two characters since Spider-Man will daze in the power phase thanks to his Cube. She-Hulk pretty much seals this on her own by dazing Black Cat and picking up all the Cubes lying around. Ghost Spider has a go at keeping this honourable by using Web Line to pull She-Hulk into range but she doesn’t have the damage output to take my big lawyer down. We call it there; I’m pretty sure that Hulk could have finished off Ghost Spider if required. We finish up at 19 -12 to me.

That was a very entertaining game between two teams with very different approaches to how to win at Crisis Protocol. Stuart was a really fun opponent and I’m pretty sure that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with once he gets some more games under his belt. Obviously everything went according to plan for me which I suppose is to be expected when I have much more experience at the game. My big weakness yet again was the tactics cards; I’m just not finding the right moment to play them for good impact.

So when the scores are counted up I’m 8th of 12 players; bottom of the 2/2 results. I had a great time and will be back again in a month or so for the next event. A-Force were quite entertaining but I’ve already decided to move on again to another affiliation so now I need to try to get a few friendly games in and lock down a roster. Thanks as always to Adam, Allan, Jay and Stuart for four fun games of Crisis Protocol, and again to Allan for running the event.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: September Smackdown 17Sep2022

  1. Those were some close games you had there! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed another tournament and the more you practice with different combinations of miniatures, the better you’ll be at MCP I reckon too.

    • Thanks, I hope that this all makes sense. I’ve certainly tried to ‘worry’ less about the results and I’m loving all of these games whether I win or lose.

      • I followed it pretty well and I had a friend who did the same thing as you. He went to tournaments just to have fun and get some games in. As your manager, I will allow it 🙂

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