Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Into Another Marvel-ous Year 14Jan2023

New year, more Marvel Crisis Protocol games! I travelled with Gareth across to Common Ground Games in Stirling for the first of Allan’s MCP tournaments of 2023, meeting up with another couple of Edinburgh-based players on our way. This was going to be a fairly well-attended event considering that it’s just a random local day out; after a few late dropouts I think we ended up with 24 players.

Characters: (11)
—Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) Threat: 4
Black Cat (Felica Hardy) Threat: 3
Bullseye (Benjamin Poindexter) Threat: 2
Hood (Parker Robbins) Threat: 3
Modok (George Tarleton) Threat: 5
Mysterio (Quentin Beck) Threat: 3
Ant-Man (Scott Lang) Threat: 3
Lizard (Curtis Connors) Threat: 3
—Crimson Dynamo (Dimitri Bukharin) Threat: 4
—Shadowland Daredevil (Matt Murdock) Threat: 4
Hand Ninjas () Threat: 0

Tactics: (10)
All According To Plan
Shadow Organization
Hood’s Gang
The Grand Illusion
Monkey Brain Is Lizard Home
Patch Up
Mission Objective
Marked for Death

Secure Crisis: (3)
Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate! (Threat: 20)
Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 (Threat: 17)
Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest (Threat: 15)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? (Threat: 19)
Research Station Attacked! (Threat: 15)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)

This is largely the same Criminal Syndicate roster as I played last time, but I’ve acquired Shadowland Daredevil in the meantime so he was swapped in for Doctor Voodoo. In the intervening time there have been sweeping changes to the Crisis Cards which I’m generally in favour of as a quality-of-life improvement; however none of the ones I was using previously changed enough to make me want to swap them out, so the names remain the same even if the scoring is going to be a bit different.

Game 1: Ryan playing Web Warriors

Ryan and I got to play again which I was very happy with as he’s a lovely chap to share a game of MCP with. I won the priority roll and picked my Secures, though I think that I could have lived with Ryan’s Secures if it had gone the other way. We end up playing Gamma Wave and Senators and Ryan picks the lower choice of 15 threat. With the reduction of scoring on Gamma Wave I’ve been in two minds about whether Ant-Man is still worth it, so this was a good opportunity to find out. Otherwise my plan was to use Bullseye to sit on my back point and then brawl around the middle with the rest of my team, picking up Senators as opportunity allows.

Extraction: Mutant Extremists Target US Senators!
Secure: Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest
Threat: 15
My team: Kingpin, Bullseye, Hood, Mysterio, Ant-Man
My cards: All According To Plan, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Patch Up, The Grand Illusion
Ryan’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Ghost Spider, Venom, Ms Marvel, Okoye
Ryan’s cards: All Webbed Up, Lethal Protector, Patch Up, Smash, Spider Tracker

Round 1: Mysterio and Ms Marvel get us started nice and early by moving up to pick up Senators. Kingpin joins Mysterio in the centre and it turns out that he’s in range for Venom to walk once and attack him, however he can’t quite contest the rear point when doing so. Bullseye takes up his traditional post on my rear point and Okoye comes into the middle where Hood totally fails to damage her with his mystic attacks. Ghost Spider collects another Witness on the left and I use Ant-Man shenanigans to get him onto the rear point. Spider-Man walks across to attack but fortunately doesn’t roll a wild to throw him off the point. The score is 6 – 3 to me.

Round 2: I’m in a fairly good position here so I’m going to mainly work on attrition this turn, although if the opportunity arise to collect more Senators then I will take that. Hood starts us out playing Hood’s Gang and then neatly drops both Gwen and Okoye, picking up the Witness dropped by the former. I love Hood. Ms Marvel pulls him and the moves to contest the far Shelter, so Ant-Man dazes her and sticks both Stun and Poison on Venom, receiving no damage in return from Venom’s counterattack. The symbiote makes no such mistake in his own activation though, easily dazing Ant-Man. Bullseye comes off his point to collect a Witness which might not have been a sensible move; he didn’t have anyone to attack and it felt like this was neutral for scoring this round and hopefully better next round. Spider-Man moves to the middle to drop All Webbed Up on half of my team and kicks Kingpin down to a single remaining wound. Ouch! Mysterio can’t do anything to him but does Patch Up my leader for a few wounds. Kingpin also can’t seem to hurt Spider-Man and ends up just pushing him away with a Headbutt. The score goes to 11 – 3 to me.

Round 3: All of Ryan’s heroes are full of power now (except Venom) so I need to try to either KO them before they activate or try to control them away from the action. I play All According To Plan to regain Priority. Kingpin hits Okoye and throw her into Spider-Man, dazing him. Gwen then gets revenge by one-shotting Hood, collecting his Senator and strolling over to my home Shelter. Ant-Man puts some nice damage into Ms Marvel. Okoye tries to deal with Bullseye but can’t finish him off so he shakes Slow and moves back to my rear point. Ms Marvel has clearly had enough of my nonsense – she plays Smash after transforming, then dazes Kingpin and one-shots Mysterio from full health; not a bad activation. Venom shakes Stun but somehow fails to hurt Ant-Man. That was a brutal round but at least Bullseye is scoring me some points; 13 – 6 to me.

Round 4: I only need to pick up 3 points to get over the line here so that is my priority. This turn I’m the one flush with power so it should be reasonable to keep hold of enough scoring points to complete this. Hood charges to the back to finish off Ms Marvel. He then uses Empowered Dark Lightning on Venom and the splash damage takes out Okoye. However Venom’s return attack takes him down to one wound. Still, two KOs in one activation is hard to argue with. Spider-Man doesn’t need to work too hard to finish him off, throwing him off into a lamppost. Ant-Man lets loose with his Bullet Ant Barrage and Venom finally has enough power for Lethal Protector. Sadly (for Venom) he takes enough damage this time to get dazed. Ant-Man then walks back to the rear point and Ryan cleverly uses Spider Tracker to move Spider-Man onto it too. Ghost Spider dazes Bullseye. Kingpin moves to control the far Shelter and Mysterio picks up a another fallen Senator. We finish up at 17 – 10 to me.

Thanks to Ryan for a fun game again. From my point of view that went pretty much as I had hoped, though it’s going to take me a while to get used to having six Senator tokens on the board in this Crisis. Hood had a crazy game, dazing/KOing four of Ryan’s team and getting KOed himself. I think that Ryan got too dragged into brawling with me, which is very much the game I want to play. He probably would have been better embracing more of the control aspects of his team as there are so many pushes and throws available to him.

Game 2: Steve playing Avengers

The second games sees me paired up with Steve who is currently running through some highly themed Avengers rosters – in this case ‘what if everyone had a damage reducer?’ which promised to be fun. I quite like the look of this as clearly Steve was set up to brawl and that basically suited me just fine. He won priority and picked his Extractions which I think slightly favours me (as I like my Secures more) but our Crises are not very different. Both cards are 20 threat so I don’t get any choice there. I’m going to stick with the Kingpin leadership as Steve’s crew mostly wants to be sitting on my Secures and punching me, so I might as well try to count double while it happens.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate
Threat: 20
My team: Kingpin, Bullseye, Hood, Mysterio, Shadowland Daredevil, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: All According To Plan, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Patch Up, The Grand Illusion
Steve’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Iron Man, Luke Cage, Warmachine, Drax The Destroyer, Rogue
Steve’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Heroes For Hire, Mission Objective, Patch Up, Second Wind

Round 1: I should be able to hold three Secure points here and keep parity on Skrulls but I don’t have anyone great to get the further away of the central Skrulls. My plan is just to get what I can with the Extractions and make sure that I’m sitting on the Secures so that I can make Steve’s team come to me. Crimson Dynamo gets into the centre with Drax taking the leftmost Skrull and Iron Man on the right. Bullseye hurts Iron Man since he’s conveniently sitting in range. Luke Cage gets pushed picking up the other central Skrull and so Mysterio is able to pull him in a bit further. Kingpin lays into Cage who eventually plays Heroes For Hire on himself (I hate that this is possible!), throwing my leader into Hood. Hood fails to dodge any of the incoming fat New Yorker and is later flattened by a Charge from Rogue. The score is 5 – 4 to Steve.

Round 2: I need to relieve either Cage or Drax of their Skrull in order to bring this back to equal; alternatively I might be able to bully my way onto one of the rear objectives if Steve really commits to a brawl on my side. Luke Cage and Iron Man pay for Second Wind and then Cage bounces ineffectively off Mysterio. Kingpin tickles Rogue gently and throw her into Cage before she too turns on Mysterio. Crimson Dynamo finally dazes Luke Cage who immediately plays Mission Objective to hand his Skrull off to Rogue. Captain America moves to the centre but can’t finish Mysterio either. I will note that twice in a row Steve paid for his characters to ignore Mysterio’s Mystic defence only for me to roll a Crit into a Block – sorry Steve! Truly it is better to be lucky than good. Daredevil moves onto the back left point; Drax attacks him for very little effect and I pay for Indomitable to ride out the throw. Warmachine come across to take my own left point in return and Hood opens up on him to little effect. Over on the right Iron Man retreats to the back point (I’d hoped he would get greedy and come forward) with the Ninjas in hot pursuit; Bullseye throws a couple of knives at Rogue and uses Patch Up on Mysterio. The score now goes to 10 – 8 to Steve, though it seems that I forgot a photo.

Round 3: I’m a little behind but generally my characters are standing where I need them whereas three of Steve’s will need to walk to get anywhere useful. This is the All According To Plan turn, and Hood starts me off by playing Hood’s Gang and dropping the necessary two points of damage each into Warmachine and Rogue. Captain America throws Crimson Dynamo off the central point and Bullseye rolls like a champion to dazes Captain America in return. Luke Cage and Iron Man pay for Avengers Assemble; the former moves back toward the action while Iron Man moves further way up the board, though I don’t really understand why. Cage continues to hit Mysterio uselessly and gets moved away with Hypnosis Gas, triggering Tricks and Traps to move onto the central objective. Drax throws Daredevil off the point and he just moves back – I don’t bother attacking as I don’t need to power up Drax with a Vengeance token and I’m quite happy to just have Daredevil sit there and score me points. Iron Man shoots Crimson Dynamo but doesn’t roll the wild to push him away. In return, Dynamo finally dazes Iron Man and Propulsion Thrusters onto the rear right objective. The score swaps to 15 – 11 to me.

Round 4: There are a lot of points on the table here so I still need to be very careful not to give anything significant up to Steve. Luke Cage is vulnerable to Bullseye so unless Steve uses him first I can certainly finish him off and take that threat off the table. I think that a defensive, Secure-focussed play here will still be enough to see me over the line. Rogue starts us off by dropping Hood, so Bullseye retaliates by KOing Cage. Captain America, who by now is very sick of Mysterio’s nonsense, dazes him. The Ninjas pick up a Skrull and run for the corner while Daredevil moves away to score the central point instead as Drax needs to gain power to throw so I can stop him doing that by just keeping him out of range of anyone. Iron Man probably need to daze Crimson Dynamo to keep Steve in the game but he can’t manage it thanks to Disruption Field. Kingpin does very little to Warmachine but does throw him away; Drax manages to hurt Kingpin and throw him off the left point. The score finishes at 20 – 15.

That ended up being a very fun, tight game where all of our characters got a chance to do their Cool Thing. I got lucky a few times with Mysterio taking a lot longer to deal with than maybe he should have, but I was mainly trying to think about my positional play. For the most part, I was able to keep my characters standing on the Secures while some of Steve’s (mainly Luke Cage) just never got to be in the right place. Daredevil ended up never making an attack all game but because of his defences, and the fact that Steve never moved Drax onto the Secure to deny my cover, he scored me enough points and kept Drax busy for long enough to seal the result.

Game 3: Liam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

It seemed inevitable that I’d eventually get paired up with the mighty Liam, this time packing a Thanos-centred Guardians roster. I won Priority and chose my Secures so we ended up with Superpowered Scoundrels and Montesi; slightly to my surprise Liam went for the lower threat of 18. With Thanos in play it would be hard to keep reliable scoring of the Secures so I decided to try a cheeky Daredevil play to try to get ahead on the book and then just do what I can not to give up too much on the Secures. I used Kingpin’s leadership thinking that it might help for the times where we were one and one on the objective.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate
Threat: 18
My team: Kingpin, Hood, Mysterio, Shadowland Daredevil, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: All According To Plan, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Patch Up, The Grand Illusion
Liam’s team: Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, Toad, Thanos (Reality and Space gems)
Liam’s cards: Deadly Duo, Fall Back, Lovable Misfits, Recalibration Matrix, We Are Groot

Round 1: Thanos, Star-Lord and Rocket get Winging It tokens. The Ninjas take my home Book and Vanish to give it to Mysterio, then Daredevil breathes deeply and goes in the middle to get the central one. Toad, Hood, Groot and Kingpin all take up station on the edges of the board. Thanos comes forward and hurts Daredevil. Crimson Dynamo shocks the Mad Titan and uses Propulsion Thrusters to get on the central point while Star-Lord take a wound off Hood so I change him into his Possessed form as I can see that I’ll need the armour. Rocket comes forward and leaves Daredevil on one health. The score is 5 – 3 to me.

Round 2: I need to get Daredevil’s book to safety and find some way of displacing Groot. I can already see that this is going to be the kind of game where I don’t get to do anything with Kingpin other than walk onto objectives after Thanos teleports him away; hopefully the Shock will blunt his power generation a bit. The same characters get Winging It tokens. Daredevil gently tickles Rocket but doesn’t manage to roll the Wild needed to teleport over to the right objective; looking back I’d have been better to walk. Rocket plays Deadly Duo and follows up with a Large Hadron Collider to daze Mysterio. Crimson Dynamo dazes Rocket (I was surprised that Liam ‘let’ me do this but in retrospect I suppose that it was to abuse Death’s Decree even harder) and collects Mysterio’s fallen Book. Groot heals himself and dazes Daredevil so Hood just strolls over and collects the Book and moves back to his point. Star Lord dazes him on the first attack (four wounds through cover and Hood’s great reducer) and picks up the book while scoring that point. Thanos leaves Crimson Dynamo on a single wound so the Shock is clearly not slowing him down and moves Kingpin back off his point. The score goes to 8 – 7 to Liam.

Round 3: I need to start wearing down some of Liam’s characters and get those Books back or this will be over very quickly. Liam gives his Winging It tokens to the same characters. Crimson Dynamo hoses down Groot and Rocket, shocking them both but not finishing either of them. I made a big mistake here thinking that Mysterio’s Grand Illusion card needed to be played in his own activation; if I’d remembered then I could have played it and that might have made a difference. Rocket one-shots Mysterio and then finishes Crimson Dynamo to boot. Hood and Star-Lord hurt each other but the advantage is with Star-Lord as he’s healthy and holding a book. Kingpin throws Thanos at Groot to daze him. Thanos then one-shots Daredevil – seven damage against one of the best defensive profiles in the game, plus Thanos had Shock – then teleports Kingpin off the point and Rocket onto it. The score goes to 14 – 8 to Liam.

Round 4: This is pretty much over as I don’t have enough characters remaining to actually achieve much, plus Liam even has Toad just sitting there happily scoring every turn but ready to get involved. Hood plays Hood’s Gang and finally dazes Star-Lord. Rocket hurts Crimson Dynamo and I do at least KO him in the end. Groot unleashes his spender on Crimson Dynamo to throw him away, then heals. Kingpin hasn’t got much of a better option than to throw Thanos away; of course Thanos just walks back and displaces Kingpin in turn. We finish up at 18 – 11.

Another fun game with Liam, and another defeat. I actually felt that I had the right overall idea here but I made too many unforced errors. Notably I could have just run to (relative) safety with Daredevil at the start of round 2, and I should have played The Grand Illusion at the start of round 3. To beat someone as good as Liam I need to play an error-free game. I wasn’t helped by Liam’s insane dice but I guess I had some pretty good fortune in the earlier rounds so I can’t complain too much there.

Game 4: Nick playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Since I was out of the running to finish undefeated I decided to try to run all of the characters in my roster (except Black Cat who I was sharing with Gareth – since he was still 3 – 0 at this point I didn’t want to distract him on this point) which meant that Lizard and MODOK were in regardless of what we ended up playing. I got to meet Nick who was submarining his way gloriously through the tournament. I won priority and chose my Secures as usual, and Nick picked 17 threat. With 8 threat tied up in my ‘auto-picks’ I just went with my favoured characters for the rest of the crew. I did realise as we started deploying that I was highly vulnerable to being left babysitting two objectives while the rest of my team got dogpiled on the others, but anyway I’d figured we’d have a fun ‘no pressure’ kind of game to finish the day.

Extraction: Paranoia Pummels Populace!
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0
Threat: 18
My team: Kingpin, Bullseye, Hood, MODOK, Lizard
My cards: All According To Plan, Cruelty, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Patch Up
Nick’s team: Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, Winter Soldier, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Ghost Spider
Nick’s cards: Brace For Impact, Deadly Duo, Patch Up, Warpath, We Are Groot

Round 1: Groot, Captain America and Winter Soldier get the Winging It tokens. Lizard takes the right token, Groot takes the centre, Kingpin goes on the left and Captain America takes the final central token. MODOK moves up to attack Groot but can’t get any damage through, this means that he can’t use Bow to move Groot forward either. Over on the right, the same trick works better for Nick as Ghost Spider pulls in Lizard and the gunline opens up. Considering Lizard’s defences I thought it was possible that he might live through the barrage but he doesn’t and eventually Star-Lord is able to pick up his token. The score goes to 4 – 4 – however we did the scoring wrong by not applying the bonus point and only fixed this at the end. The scores presented here are what we thought we were doing at the time.

Round 2: I need to take one of those Paranoia tokens back so that I can pick up a minor lead and then hope to ride this out; my best bet is probably the one on Groot as that will also force Nick to come into my hitters if he wants to play. The same three characters get Winging It tokens. Hood plays Hood’s Gang but needs two actions to drop Star-Lord. Captain America charges back to the middle point to throw a shield at Lizard. MODOK unleashes all he’s got at Groot but leaves him on one wound; at least Nick has to play Brace For Impact to avoid the last point of damage. Groot does fail to hurt Hood but heals himself. Lizard dazes Ghost Spider by throwing Groot at her then Winter Soldier one-shots Hood. Bullseye drops Rocket to finish the chaos for this turn. The score is now 8 – 8.

Round 3: I feel like I’m hanging on here despite not getting to use Kingpin at all. I didn’t get to really change anything last turn so I need to somehow get hold of the Extraction tokens which might require desperate measures. I play All According To Plan. The Winging It tokens go to Captain America, Ghost Spider and Winter Soldier. Hood KOs Star-Lord and Lizard leaves Ghost Spider on one wound. She plays Patch Up on Groot and Rocket dazes Bullseye. MODOK is forced to come off his point chasing Groot but can’t do enough to him, and Groot is clear mad as he one-shots Hood then uses his spender to smite MODOK down by half his wounds and fling him across the map into irrelevance. The big tree finishes up by playing We Are Groot to tidy up all the chip damage that I’d been doing. Winter Soldier and Captain America join up to KO Lizard. The score is 14 – 10 to Nick – if we’d scored correctly then I think he’d actually have won it here (17 to 13?) but we played another round even though nothing was going to happen in it.

Round 4: It’s basically impossible for me to stop Nick from scoring at least two points since I only have 3 characters left. Bullseye throws a knife at Rocket and Ghost Spider pulls him away to safety. We just rather needlessly move our minis back onto their objectives and let the turn end passively. At this point we realise our error with the scores and try to fix it; we recorded 21 – 17 to Nick which honestly feels a bit flattering to me.

Thanks to Nick for a great game, but I’m sorry I didn’t make him work harder for it. Despite my poor team choice I think that if the dice had fallen differently (for example, if I’d actually damaged Groot in round 1 with MODOK or if Lizard had survived his firing squad, neither of which are completely impossible) then I could possibly have made a game of this – I wonder if double walking MODOK to the middle to get a token at the start might have been useful instead. Moreover, I don’t think that I should have had Extremis 3.0 in my Crisis selection at all, so I think that for next time I’ll remove that and replace it with either Demons Downtown or Portals Collapse. I might (especially if I pick Demons Downtown) also replace MODOK with Doctor Voodoo.

I finish the day in midtable respectability at 8th of 24 players, top of the 2 – 2 bracket. Well done to Gareth for going 3 – 1 overall, losing only to Liam in the last game. Many thanks to Ryan, Steve, Liam and Nick for four great games of MCP, and as always to Allan for running the event. I shall be back, either with more Criminal Syndicate or possibly with the Brotherhood of Mutants.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Into Another Marvel-ous Year 14Jan2023

  1. This is a great write-up as always, mate. It sounds like you had some well-fought victories and valiant defeats as well 🙂 I’m glad most of the games were competitive as well.

    • Thanks Kuribo! The best games are the ones that are close, whether I win or lose… though obviously I prefer to win. This event was particularly good as all my games were somewhat even with no blow-outs either way.

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