Author Archives: Argentbadger

Painted Achilles Ridgerunner

This is an Achilles Ridgerunner, a fast attack choice for my Genestealer Cult army in Warhammer 40,000. It helpfully works just like it looks like it ought to – very fast with one big death cannon strapped on the back. So far we’ve only being playing very small games with this force so it’s proven quite annoying for my friends to bring down; however I think that this will not last when we move up to bigger points values and I’m facing some competent anti-tank weapons. Nonetheless it has been fun kiting away from things and zapping away with the attached mining laser.

I wanted to keep the overall blue and yellow scheme for this force and I’m not sure that it works so well with such a big object. I like it thematically that the Ridgerunner is high visibility since it’s meant to be a utilitarian industrial vehicle rather than a purpose built war machine, but I don’t like the way that it looks like a big yellow brick. I think if I paint another one of these I’ll try to break up the yellow with more blue markings. Otherwise I’m really satisfied with the results here, especially considering that I’ve been deliberately trying to keep to quick and dirty paint jobs on the GSC forces.

Next on the painting table: Kraven the Hunter.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer 40000 | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Painted Scarlet Witch

This is Scarlet Witch for Marvel Crisis Protocol. She comes in at a hefty five threat and is quite the offensive powerhouse; she brings long range Mystic type attacks. I most often see and use Scarlet Witch as a sort of long ranged turret where she can sit on a side point and vapourise anyone who comes in to take it off her. Scarlet Witch’s main gimmick is counting Skulls as successes which really messes with the expected results of attacks from and into her. She also has a very helpful card called No More Mutants – it allows her to stop a superpower being used just like Ebony Maw’s Shhh… card. This might seem quite a minor thing but turning off a key power for a turn can be huge when timed well; however my main problem with it is that I never seem to be able to pick a good time to use it.

I tried to paint Scarlet Witch somewhere between her hilarious original comic book outfit and her fractionally less silly film costume. I guess it’s hard not to look at least a bit odd when you’re wearing spandex tights and are surrounded by glowing mystical nonsense. I did really enjoy painting her; even the swirly stuff which I normally find to be a bit of a grind just seemed to work nicely.

Next on the painting table: Achilles Ridgerunner.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 7 Comments

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: , , | 1 Comment

Painted Neophyte Hybrids

This is my first batch of Neophyte Hybrids for a Genestealer Cult force in Warhammer 40,000. They’re the cheapest of the cheap infantry but have two main things going for them (apart from low cost, which I guess is an advantage all of its own) – the Seismic Cannon heavy weapons that can be embedded in the squads are really effective, and because of the ease of recursion there is a good chance to get a second round of shooting out of the unit unless the other player is willing to commit enough resource to wipe out the unit in one go. That’s not especially hard to do but since the whole squad is so cheap it can lead to an imbalance of effort put into killing the Neophytes and can sometimes let another more valuable target survive. I’ve generally used the Neophytes in units of twenty with a Cult Icon and four Seismic Cannons – there are builds out there with over one hundred of these little chaps!

Painting the Neophytes has been quite a fun experience. In retrospect, picking a yellow-based colour scheme for a horde army was quite a poor move but I’m in no special hurry to paint them all. I’ve purposefully spent a lot less time per mini here than I usually would; they’re definitely getting a basic tabletop standard paint job as I simply don’t paint quick enough to get through any meaningful force before the heat death of the universe if I do this at my normal speed. The yellow and blue combination has turned out to be quite a striking contrast and so I’ve deliberately left the other colours rather muted so that they can stand out better. I gave the Neophyte’s skin a blue wash to try to emphasise their non-human lineage and while that has worked in a sense I’m not especially happy with the way it actually looks on them. I think that I’ll have to continue to experiment with this. For my own sanity I’ve been painting the Neophytes in groups of five with something to break it up in between, so this lot actually represents two batches of them.

Next on the painting table: Scarlet Witch.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer 40000 | Tags: , | 18 Comments

Painted Star-Lord

This is Star-Lord for Marvel Crisis Protocol. He’s the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy affiliation and has probably arguably been the biggest beneficiary of the AMG errata from last year. Previously both Star-Lord and the Guardians were regarded as hopelessly underpowered, mainly because of Star-Lord’s leadership, but now they’re everywhere and able to run wide or high teams as needed with a focus on dice manipulation to give a very stable attrition output. Star Lord himself plays a lot like you might expect (always a strong point of MCP in my opinion) in that he’s a highly mobile ranged skirmisher with energy-typed attacks that are generally very desirable. I find that he plays quite straightforwardly without a lot of jank but his leadership can really enable other characters by smoothing out the dice variation.

Star-Lord, as for most of my MCP minis, is painted in accordance with the card art so I’ve kept with a slightly more sombre brown coat rather than the redder leather that he sometimes gets. He was a very simple paint and I very much enjoyed working on him. I think if I were to go back to Star-Lord I might spend a bit more time on the smoke trails from his rocket boots but he definitely gets in the ‘good enough’ pile for now.

Next on the painting table: Neophyte Hybrids.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 17 Comments

Painted Black Widow Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

This is Black Widow Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. for Marvel Crisis Protocol, otherwise known as Agent Widow to differentiate her from the Black Widow in the Core Box. This version of Black Widow sacrifices some of her speed for considerably improved damage output but more importantly a highly amusing ability to Interrogate dazed enemy characters for a VP. This is surprisingly hard for me to pull off as, even though there are always dazed characters in a game you need to have her in the right spot, with the right amount of power to get it to work. I’ve heard it theorised that A-Force (where she is affiliated) is a good option for this as she gains enough power to do the Interrogate in the first place while being quite far behind She-Hulk in the target priority; however, I’ve yet to actually try this out.

I’m not particularly happy with the way that Black Widow’s costume has come out; the red ‘pops’ less than I had intended and the black part doesn’t really have that shiny look. If I was to go back to her (which, realistically, I’m not going to) I would spend some more time building up to a brighter shade on the red bits to make them stand out a bit better. Additionally, the brown straps and metallic bits on her arms don’t stand out enough from the rest of the costume.  However, I’m quite satisfied with the work on her head and I think that I managed to get her hair looking just the right shade.

Next on the painting table: Star-Lord.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 11 Comments

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 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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Infinity Series – Soul 10Jul2022

Following the excellent MCP Nations team tournament, Sunday’s agenda was a singles event for Marvel Crisis Protocol. I think that this is part of a series of six events but the locations mean that this is the only one I’m likely to be able to attend. Most, though surprisingly not all, of the players from the team event were taking part in addition to a number of others who couldn’t commit to both days for various reasons.

As the new standard play rules were effective for this event I had to make a few small changes to my roster – Wakandan Herb had been added to the banned list and half of my cards were now restricted. I also wanted to make a fairly small number of character changes so minimise the number of minis I had to remember. Since Clea and Juggernaut were only present for Wakandan Herb jank, I removed them and all the associated cards. I put in Hood simply because I quite like playing him and theorise that he’d be pretty good in Convocation, and then put in Omega Red for Poison synergy with both Ancient One and Doctor Strange. I also swapped in Terrigen Clouds (borrowed from Allan) with the theory that it might go nicely with the Poison theme. I didn’t actually get a chance to try any of this out before the event so I didn’t have particularly high hopes.

Characters: (10)
Ancient One (Ancient One) Threat: 4
Baron Mordo (Karl Amadeus Mordo) Threat: 3
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Stephen Vincent Strange) Threat: 5
Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) Threat: 4
Wong (Wong) Threat: 2
Magik (Illyana Rasputin) Threat: 3
Ebony Maw (Ebony Maw) Threat: 5
Hood (Parker Robbins) Threat: 3
Lizard (Curtis Connors) Threat: 3
Omega Red (Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich) Threat: 4

Tactics: (10)
Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath
Plane of Pohldahk
The Bar With No Doors
Wand of Watoomb
Hood’s Gang
Journey Through Limbo
Brace for Impact
Monkey Brain Is Lizard Home

Secure Crisis: (3)
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (Threat: 19)
Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse (Threat: 19)
Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City (Threat: 20)

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

Game 1: Giacomo playing Convocation

For the first round I’m drawn against Giacomo who was part of an Italian team who swept all before them in the MCP Nations event. He won priority, picking Extracts, and we end up with Spider Portals and Research Station. I choose 18 threat, though looking back on it I wonder if 16 would have been a bit better for me. The choice of 18 threat was mainly so I could use Ebony Maw and let him throw various bits of terrain at everyone – there was certainly plenty on the board – but it might have been better just to use Lizard instead and have him sit on the central point. I also was in two minds about whether to take Iron-Bound Books as one of my cards – in the Convocation match-up it’s not much use but Giacomo did have the option to play Avengers instead.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Giacomo’s team: Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo, Baron Mordo, Deadpool, Ms Marvel
Giacomo’s cards: Astral Ring, Brace For Impact, Face Me, Indomitable, Plane of Pohdahk

Round 1: Baron Mordo takes the back Portal and gets placed away and Ebony Maw gets the same treatment on the right which enables Deadpool to saunter up and take that one. My Doctor Strange takes the left Portal and Ms Marvel takes it off him. The Ancient One flips my home Portal and everyone else joins the party in the middle. The score is 3 – 1 to Giacomo.

Round 2: My Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books and Plane of Pohldahk on Giacomo’s Doctor Voodoo, Giacomo pays to flip his leadership away from the bump side. Ancient One leaves Doctor Voodoo on one hit point plus Stagger – leaving him on one is terrible for me as it means that he can get his Brother Daniel token out onto someone. Predictably his Doctor Voodoo hurts mine and Possesses the Ancient One. My Doctor Voodoo finishes his off and gently tickles Doctor Strange, who dazes him right back and heals himself. Ebony Maw dazes Deadpool and flips the right Portal and Ms Marvel leaves my Doctor Strange on one hit point, though oddly I didn’t note what he did first. The score is 7 – 3 to him.

Round 3: My Doctor Voodoo rolls like a chump and does nothing at all to either Doctor Voodoo nor Doctor Strange in the centre. Giacomo’s Doctor Strange pushes Doctor Voodoo away and Staggers the Ancient One. She Staggers Doctor Voodoo right back and he throws her away before moving off to safety at the back. Ebony Maw hurts Mordo who moves up and flips my home Portal. My Doctor Strange dazes Ms Marvel and the score moves to 11 – 5 to Giacomo.

Round 4: My Doctor Voodoo continues his ineffective tickling of Doctor Strange, then Ms Marvel easily dazes my Doctor Strange. The Ancient One fails to hurt either Baron Mordo or Doctor Strange while Ebony Maw can’t plink the last few wounds off Doctor Voodoo. Giacomo’s characters don’t even need to attack, they just flip the remaining points and he wins 17 – 5.

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t put up more of a fight there against Giacomo, but he was a lovely chap to play against and I very much enjoyed our game. As mentioned at the start, I think that I might have been better off playing at 16 threat and picking Lizard (along with his ‘push everyone away’ card) over Ebony Maw. I noticed that Giacomo wanted to move second onto the Portals on the left and right so that he could have the last chance to score them. I need to consider this in more detail as I’ve usually tried to go first as it’s easier to take them if no-one else is standing there; perhaps that is a risk I should be taking sometimes. I almost never pick the re-roll side of the Convocation leadership as the bump is so useful, but Giacomo flipped to it on round two and it helped him out a lot. I guess that is one of the reasons that he’s so successful at this game.

Game 2: Eduardo playing Web Warriors

For the second game I get Eduardo with a Web Warriors roster. He wins priority and chooses Secures so we get Infinity Formula and Spider-Infected which means that we’re definitely playing at 17 threat. I feel like I should have the tools to do well on this combination, though I’d obviously prefer priority to get a head start on the Extracts. I don’t know what happened with that first photo, I must have sneezed or something!

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Baron Mordo, Wong, Lizard
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Wand of Watoomb
Eduardo’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Moon Knight, Venom, Ghost-Spider, Doctor Voodoo
Eduardo’s cards: All Webbed Up, Disarm, Lethal Protector, Psychic Shielding Device, Spider Tracker

Round 1: Miles takes the Spider-Infected on the right so I send up Baron Mordo on the left to take the far one over there. This was probably a mistake as I could have just picked up the central one here with Doctor Voodoo; Lizard can usually survive the sort of punishment from a cheeky play like that but Baron Mordo is much less resilient. Gwen zaps him for a horrible three damage; the only saving grace is that I can get him behind the building to avoid the pull into Doctor Voodoo’s range. My Doctor Voodoo takes the central Spider-Infected and his zaps Mordo. I think that he could possibly have Possessed Baron Mordo at this point but opts not to; it doesn’t matter as Moon Knight easily drops him and picks up the Spider-Infected. Wong and Doctor Strange take the remaining Spider-Infected on my side. The score is 5 – 4 to me.

Round 2: I put Iron-Bound Books into play from Mordo. Venom hurts Wong who bumps back and has to play Indomitable to avoid being pulled in for the daze. Baron Mordo pays for his spender and gets no successes against Gwen who puts a couple of wounds on him in return. Lizard throws Venom off the rear point and Miles throws him off in turn. Doctor Strange fails to hurt Doctor Voodoo who applies the Brother Daniel token to take his Spider-Infected. The score is now 9 – 8 to Eduardo.

Round 3: Wong somehow survives a round of attacks from Miles and used the Wand of Watoomb to zap Venom, doing no damage but at least applying a couple of annoying conditions. Venom uses Web Snare to send Lizard away and drops Wong. Doctor Strange dazes Doctor Voodoo but can’t pick up the Spider-Infected as he’s still Possessed; Gwen picks it up after slapping Mordo around a bit. My Doctor Voodoo Possesses Miles but also can’t pick up that Spider-Infected as he’s already carrying one. Moon Knight KOs Baron Mordo and Lizard dazes Venom. The score is now 13 – 11 to him.

Round 4: Wong pays for Iron-Bound Books. Miles plays All Webbed Up and KOs Wong, then Gwen and Moon Knight pay to Disarm Doctor Strange. Lizard throws Venom into Miles but leaves Miles on one hit point; Venom pulls Lizard off the scoring point with Web Snare. Eduardo wins 18 – 14.

That was a fun, close game, but again I’m a little disappointed in my play. I should have stacked the right side – especially Doctor Strange should have been facing off against Venom as he has the tools to make life very hard for the symbiote. I should have left the back left Spider-Infected alone as Baron Mordo is too fragile for a cheeky steal on that side, especially considering that all the characters facing him on that side have long enough range attacks that they can probably get two goes at him even if he bumps back from the first. Instead, my play should have been just to take the near left Spider-Infected and then pull everyone over to the right and overwhelm Eduardo’s characters on that side if he wanted to leave anyone on the left to score those points. Oh well, we shall see if I manage to learn this lesson for the future. Eduardo made the game very enjoyable and he played a solid game to get the win.

Game 3: Jacob playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Finally I get paired into the current boogeyman roster of Guardians plus Thanos. Jacob wins priority and chooses Extracts so we end up with Hammers and Demons Downtown. I choose 18 threat as I think that it’s more convenient for me to go four wide and try to maintain priority. I think that I have two choices – either focus down Thanos or try to keep him out of my hair until I’ve thinned out the Guardians.

Extraction: Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Jacob’s team: Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Nebula, Thanos (Space and Mind Gems)
Jacob’s cards: Crew of the Milano, Deadly Duo, Lovable Misfits, Mission Objective, We Are Groot

Round 1: Groot picks up the left Hammer and Doctor Strange zaps him in for a mighty five damage. I could have gone for the right Hammer at this point instead but felt that I’d just lose whatever I sent up to Thanos pulling them across the board so I figure if I let a Guardian pick it up first I might be able to get something cheeky with the trigger on Ebony Maw’s Black Tongue attack. Star Lord does indeed come up for the Hammer and Lovable Misfits is played from Nebula, Rocket and Groot; I don’t actually remember anything happening from this so I guess it wasn’t a big effect whatever got rolled. Ebony Maw leaves Star Lord on one hit point and doesn’t manage to roll the Wild which would have let me bring him to me, so Thanos collects a Hammer of his own, comes up and pulls Star Lord right back into his lines while also displacing the Maw. The Ancient One picks up a Hammer and moves up and everyone else sits on a Portal. Somewhere in here Groot plays We Are Groot to heal back some of that damage from Doctor Strange’s spike. The score is 4 – 2 to Jacob.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for both Iron-Bound Books and Plane of Pohldahk on Thanos. Ebony Maw throws some terrain at Nebula (this was a mistake, I wasn’t likely to daze her and I should have properly focussed on Thanos), then fails to hurt Thanos twice despite the full re-rolls and Incinerate. Thanos does minimal damage to Doctor Voodoo, I use Shhh… to prevent some Cosmic Portal shenanigans, then uses the Mind Gem to move Voodoo back. Voodoo hits the big chap and Possesses him. Star Lord drops Doctor Voodoo, Nebula hurts Ebony Maw and Doctor Strange hurts Groot again. Rocket picks up a fallen Hammer from somewhere. The score moves to 8 – 4 to Jacob.

Round 3: Ebony Maw dazes Thanos but rolls abysmally against Rocket who is sitting ready to be dazed and far from Groot. Rocket in turn bounces uselessly off Doctor Voodoo then both he and Groot are dazed by Doctor Strange rolling like a champion; he also collects a hammer. The Ancient One finally dazes Star Lord and, since I’m losing priority anyway, Voodoo dazes Nebula. The score is now 10 – 8 to me.

Round 4: Thanos Mind Gems the Ancient One into range and dazes her then collects a pair of Hammers lying on the ground. He also uses the Space Gem to move Rocket next to Groot. Ebony Maw attacks Rocket, which gets bodyguarded to Groot and moves him away with the Black Tongue trigger, then actually attacks Rocket. Sadly a single Wild was all I rolled in both attacks so all of this does no damage whatsoever. Nebula KOs Doctor Voodoo with help from Thanos and Doctor Strange shows the Maw how it’s done, finally ending Rocket. Star Lord puts some nice damage into Doctor Strange. The score goes to 13 – 11 in my favour.

Round 5: Doctor Strange dazes Groot and hurts Thanos with his area attack but Thanos dazes him despite a bit of healing. He then picks up the remaining Hammers and dazes Ebony Maw. The Ancient One KOs Star Lord. The score is 15 – 11.

Round 6: I need to KO Thanos here or I definitely lose; even if I can do it Nebula might do enough damage to shut me out of the game anyway. I decide to start with Ebony Maw as he has enough power to do his Spender twice, but I roll awfully and Jacob rolls three blocks from three dice on both attacks, so nothing happens there. Thanos KOs Doctor Strange and Mind Gems the Ancient One away. The Ancient One gives him all she’s got but leaves the big chap on one hit point, still clinging onto all four hammers. The score ends up at 19 – 13 to Jacob.

That was a very frustrating exercise in dice rolling, and I’m very sorry to Jacob for probably sounding like a moany old man throughout. Jacob was a nice guy and made the game enjoyable and I hope to meet him again at some future event. I’m not unhappy here with the way I played; I felt that I was doing quite nicely drawing out both We Are Groot and Crew of the Milano for no real impact in round 1. Perhaps in the final round I would have been better going with Doctor Strange first into Thanos as his full rerolls might have been instrumental in getting Thanos, but Jacob rolled so many blocks on defence that I think it wouldn’t have made any difference as it turned out. I’d also stand by my play in round 1 of letting Star Lord take the Hammer on the right; one more damage or a Wild in the roll from Ebony Maw gets me that Hammer from a position of relative safety.

Round 4: Kian playing Avengers

In the last round I was paired up with Kian. In some ways it was quite liberating to be right at the bottom of the pile as even a win wouldn’t get me up to the mid table, but on the other hand I hate to go through a whole event and not get even a single victory. Still, I resolved to be light-hearted about this game and not take it seriously no matter how it played out. I win priority this time and, even though I would normally choose Extracts I pick Secures. This was because Kian had SWORD, which I hate anyway, and the possibility to force it at 14 threat with Sam Wilson as his leader. We end up with Intrusions and Skrulls. I fancy playing Omega Red for no particular tactical reason, so he goes down. Ironically, half of Kian’s team is immune to Poison, so his main trick is neutered straight away! Hulk is potentially quite bad news but I have some tricks to control him, and Captain America hates a lot of mystic attacks.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadershiip
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Omega Red
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Wand of Watoomb
Kian’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Crystal, Hulk, Doctor Voodoo
Kian’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Elemental Infusion, Gamma Launch, Mission Objective, Recalibration Matrix

Round 1: Omega Red heads to the left, Captain America to the centre and Crystal to the right, but no-one finds the Skrull. We both put a few desultory attacks but nothing substantial happens. Doctor Voodoo and Hulk pay for Avengers Assemble to get them on the outside points; the latter also pushes Omega Red off the left Portal, though he doesn’t find the Skrull. The score is 2 – 0 to Kian.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books. The Ancient One dazes Captain America, messes with the Portal and gets it wrong, landing next to the Hulk (though actually that was where I wanted her anyway) and Staggers him. He dazes her in one go and finds the Skrull, which is going to be a problem. Doctor Strange zaps Doctor Voodoo and Crystal zaps him back. Omega Red pulls Hulk off the Portal and slaps him a little and eventually my Doctor Voodoo is able to build up enough power to Possess the big chap, though I’ve run out of power to actually pick the Skrull back up. The score goes to 3 – 0 to Kian, so hopefully the attrition is moving in my favour!

Round 3: Hulk beats the hell out of both Ancient One and Omega Red but some poor dice from Kian see them both survive. Doctor Strange dazes Doctor Voodoo, pokes Captain America and Scalpels him away. Crystal pays for Elemental Infusion and dazes my Doctor Voodoo. She nearly gets Omega Red too but he narrowly survives, though he has plenty of conditions on him. The Ancient One manages to drop the Hulk, which is certainly a relief, but Kian plays Mission Objective to get the Skrull to Crystal. Omega Red can’t pull her out of Captain America’s Bodyguard range. The score goes to 5 – 2 to Kian, not the most high-scoring game!

Round 4: Crystal dazes Omega Red and hurts Doctor Strange, so in turn he dazes her and KOs Captain America. I’m feeling confident from an attrition perspective now, I just need to start scoring some points. My Doctor Voodoo and Ancient One KO his Doctor Voodoo; the former also picks up the Skrull out of this mess somewhere. The score now moves to 6 – 5 in my favour.

Round 5: Crystal, feeling rather lonely as the last Avenger, goes crazy by KOing the Ancient One and dazing Doctor Strange. She hops through a Portal to safety and to be honest I’m happy to see her go! I don’t bother to attack, just sit on the points to score this out. 10 – 6 to me.

Round 6: Crystal is going to have to have a hell of a turn here to pull this out. She jumps through the Portal and hits Doctor Voodoo but can’t finish him off. He KOs her with a thrown building. I finally get a win 15 – 6.

Thanks to Kian for a very fun game; we were laughing as we went through with the crazy dice rolls and the narrative of Crystal saying ‘fine, I’ll do it myself’ after finding herself alone facing my whole team. I was glad to get a win and avoid going 0 – 4, though the day had been so enjoyable it would also have been fine and fitting to end on another loss.

When all the scores come in I’m way down in 48th place out of 62 players so not my best performance. Nonetheless I had a very enjoyable time and got games with another four players I’d never met before. I have a lot to think about in terms of how I approach games but hopefully I can learn from some of these mistakes and come away a better player for next time. Gareth had a very successful day, going 3 – 1 in probably his best MCP tournament performance so well done to him. Many thanks to Giacomo, Eduardo, Jacob and Kian for four highly entertaining games of MCP, and most importantly to Tony for running everything so smoothly. I’ll be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Nations 09Jul2022

Last Saturday was the first MCP Nations Event, a 16 team Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament pitting teams of five against each other for four rounds. I had the pleasure to be part of a team led by Ewan and along with Gareth, Allan and Sean we travelled down to Element Games in Stockport to have some fun. The roster building rules meant that all characters and tactics cards had to be unique across the team which I think led to some nice diversity; I heard that out of 107 characters released for the game, 106 of them were represented at least once. For those closely following the game, the recent change to card rotation was not used for this event as the roster submission cut-off was slightly before that change came into effect. There was a match-making process between the captains at the beginning of each round to decide who got to play who, but I didn’t get involved in that, preferring to let Ewan make the decisions and just enjoy whoever I was picked to face.

I opted to play Convocation, an affiliation that I find very fun and rewarding although I don’t tend to get great results with them overall. The core of the team are, of course, all wizards and I ended up with most of the affiliated characters. Lizard is there as he enables some cool plays with Spider Infected or Cubes crises due to his speed, survivability and the Convocation leadership ability to bump after taking damage. Juggernaut was there for some funny jank to score the Wakandan Herb in round one. And finally Ebony Maw was added because I find him really fun to play; he also loves to see the Iron-Bound Books tactics card on the table. My basic game plan was to pick Extracts if I won priority and try to score the game out quickly as I find Convocation tend to fold quite badly in the later stages of the game.

– Ancient One: 4
– Baron Mordo: 3
– Clea: 3
– Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme: 5
– Doctor Voodoo: 4
– Ebony Maw: 5
– Juggernaut: 5
– Lizard: 3
– Magik: 3
– Wong: 2

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– Brace for Impact
– Indomitable
– Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath
– Journey Through Limbo
– Plane of Pohldahk
– Shhh…
– Tactical Analysis
– The Bar With No Doors
– Wand of Watoomb

[Extract Crises]
– Mystic Wakandan Herbs: Fact or Fiction? [A]: 15
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? [E]: 19
– Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse [C]: 19
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18

Game 1: Ged playing Defenders

For round one we get drawn against the beautifully names Mancunians of the Multiverse team and I end up playing to Ged with a Defenders roster. He wins Priority and picks Extracts so we get Alien Ship and Demons Downtown; I think I’ve probably got a decent option at 20 threat. Note that the central garden is marked as non-interactive so it can’t be thrown.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 20
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Wong, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Ged’s team: Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Vision, Hawkeye, Luke Cage
Ged’s cards: Brace For Impact, Deal With The Devil, Field Dressing, Heroes For Hire, Seven Suns of Cinnibus

Round 1: Luke Cage gets us started by finding the Kree Power Core in the centre on the first attempt. Ebony Maw moves up to attack him but doesn’t get the Wild result needed to move him into my range; the Ancient One also attacks him. Ged’s Doctor Strange eventually heals most of the damage off Cage. Ghost Rider moves up with Hell On Wheels and hexes my Doctor Strange. Doctor Voodoo moves forward and attacks Cage but for some reason I elect to throw him into Ged’s Doctor Strange rather than Possessing him so he dropped the Core. That’s a really silly mistake to make now that I look back at it. The score is 3 – 1 in Ged’s favour.

Round 2: Wong pays to put Iron-Bound books into play. Ged’s Doctor Strange zaps the Ancient One a bit and heals Cage again. Ancient One pays to put Plane of Pohldahk on Luke Cage then my Doctor Strange moves right into the middle of the big ball and unleashes his area attack. I do good damage over all but frustratingly leave both Strange and Cage on one wound, while also taking quite a bit of chip damage from Ghost Rider using Wicked Judgment. Ghost Rider then zaps Ebony Maw and one shots him, putting ten damage into him despite the Maw having six defense dice and cover. That was quite rude. The Ancient One finally drops Cage and Doctor Strange then picks up the Core. Vision throws my Doctor Strange so I play Indomitable, then zaps the rest of his wounds off anyway. Wong stands at the back feeling glad not be involved in that mess while he heals the Ancient One. Hawkeye shoots Doctor Voodoo a couple of time and applies Field Dressing to Doctor Strange, while Voodoo fails to do anything to Vision. The score is 5 – 4 to me.

Round 3: Ged’s Doctor Strange plays the Seven Suns card and gets a very tasty beam across most of my team, Ebony Maw uses Shhh… on his heal. My Doctor Strange unleashes his area attack, dazing Strange, KOing Luke Cage (which was rather fortunate as he’d played Heroes For Hire) however the healing I got from the attacks was not enough to counteract the huge damage that Ghost Rider was doing with Wicked Judgment and so my Strange was KOed. Doctor Voodoo throws Vision who uses Brace For Impact and then dazes him. Hawkeye dazes Ancient One and Wong removes Hex from Ebony Maw after Ghost Rider had applied it. Maw uses Black Tongue and gets the Wild to move Hawkeye off the point. The score goes to 7 – 4 to me.

Round 4: Ancient One pays to put Iron-Bound Books back into play. Doctor Strange KOs Ebony Maw then Ancient One finally dazes Ghost Rider. Vision dazes Doctor Voodoo and Hawkeye uses Hook Arrow to get back in the game before shooting up Ancient One again. The score creeps up to 9 – 7 in my favour, but I’m rapidly running out of heroes.

Round 5: Doctor Voodoo finally KOs Doctor Strange with a heroic roll but it sadly included four Criticals so Ghost Rider just chunks four wounds right off him. He briefly collects the Core before the rest of Ged’s team KO both Ancient One and Doctor Voodoo. We call it there at 11 – 9 to Ged.

I had a really fun time there and Ged was a great opponent. He played a very solid game, but I think that I could have done things better. In retrospect, it was a poor move taking Ebony Maw as the uninteractive terrain piece in the centre meant that I couldn’t really use his cool terrain throw. I wonder if I would have been better to drop Ebony Maw and Wong in favour of Baron Mordo and Lizard while making the game 19 threat rather than 20. I have no idea what I was thinking in round 1 by throwing Luke Cage instead of Possessing him; that would have been a very nice points swing. And I failed to learn from previous encounters with Ghost Rider that he has to be dealt with early. I left him hanging around on a couple of wounds for far too long and he chipped so many wounds off me characters with Wicked Judgment. Our team went down by 2 games to 3 and we moved onto the next round.

Game 2: Borja playing S.H.I.E.L.D.

This time we’re drawn again a Spanish team called 5 Trocolocos 1 Cup and I get matched up with a gentleman named Borja playing S.H.I.E.L.D. I win priority and choose Extracts so we end up playing Wakandan Herb and Infinity Formula; Borja selects 17 threat. I have a very specific plan on Wakandan Herbs that involves Clea, Juggernaut, Doctor Strange and anyone who can generate extra power in turn 1; the idea is to use various superpowers and tactics cards to get Juggernaut to score the Herb on round one.

Extraction: Mystic Wakandan Herbs: Fact or Fiction?
Secure: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Clea, Ancient One, Juggernaut
My cards: Advanced R&D, Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Tactical Analysis
Borja’s team: Nick Fury Jr, Black Widow Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Doctor Voodoo, Hawkeye, Winter Soldier
Borja’s cards: Battlefield Medicine, Eye in the Sky, Professionals, The Shieldmobile, Sitrep

Round 1: The Ancient One plays Advanced R&D, giving one power each to Juggernaut and Clea (this was a mistake, I should have given it to Doctor Strange instead of Clea) and strolls onto the near left secure. Juggernaut moves twice to the Herb, picks it up and then uses Nothing Stops The Juggernaut to start heading over to the scoring part of the board with it. Winter Soldier takes a pot shot and Ancient One but rather surprisingly does no damage. Clea uses Descendent of the Faltine to gain power (and helpfully doesn’t take damage) then moves Juggernaut further across the board with Vapours of Dormammu before joining Ancient One. The Agents collect Borja’s Herb so Doctor Strange drops them, mainly to get them out of my hair, before using Tactical Analysis to move Juggernaut closer to the objective. He’s still a bit short at this point which is because I gave the power from Ancient One to Clea instead of Doctor Strange; this prevented me from using the much bigger move of Scalpel of Strange. Helpfully Borja decides to take a shot at Juggernaut with Hawkeye after he collects his own herb; if I take a damage he can bump onto the objective with the Convocation leadership. What I hadn’t bargained for was Hawkeye piling 5 wounds on from his 6 dice attack – ouch! The score is 6 – 2 to me.

Round 2: Ancient One pays for Iron-Bound Books. Juggernaut dazes Black Widow (allowing Borja to score with the leadership) before sliding back to the objective. Winter Soldier leaves Ancient One on one wound with Bleed. She hurts him back and I’m left to decide if I prefer to daze Winter Soldier and daze myself with the bleed or play it safe. I decide that it’s too easy for Voodoo to deal with a 1 wound Ancient One so just drop Winter Soldier instead. Clea throws Voodoo away, he walks back and Possesses her. Strange moves up to attack Hawkeye who shoots him first with Fast Draw then moves clear with Eye in the Sky which feels like quite a cheeky interaction; he does at least zap Fury and then Scalpel him off to the other side of the truck. Hawkeye drops Juggernaut in one go and moves to score that point which is a bit annoying. The score is now 7 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Clea leaves Winter Soldier on one wound; he uses Eye in the Sky to move clear of her follow-up attack. Fury puts some attacks into Strange, then the Ancient One rolls like a hero for KO Winter Soldier and daze Doctor Voodoo. Black Widow uses Battlefield Medicine to help Fury and leaves Doctor Strange on one health, so he attacks Hawkeye and Black Widow right back before using Scalpel to move the latter away. Hawkeye starts heading for the objective and takes a random pot shot at Ancient One, then Fury pays for Sitrep and Shieldmobile to move Hawkeye a hilarious distance across the board an into scoring position. Juggernaut just collects the herb and moves back onto the objective. The score is now 12 – 11 in my favour.

Round 4: Ancient One again rolls like a champion attacking Doctor Voodoo, doing 5 damage (plus Stagger, of course) on the first attack. In retrospect I think that the right move was probably still to finish off Hawkeye at that point but I got greedy and KOed Voodoo instead. Hawkeye can’t repeat his earlier heroics and fails to drop Clea. Doctor Strange completely fails to hurt Fury, between Widow and the return fire he gets dazed (and Widow will eventually use Interrogate at the end). Clea throws Hawkeye into a building to daze him which is enough to end the game at 19 – 14 to me.

Many thanks to Borja for a fun game. It was quite nice to have my plan actually work, but since S.H.I.E.L.D. have tech of their own on Wakandan Herbs it didn’t feel too dirty. Anyway, that is the last hurrah for this particular game plan as Wakandan Herbs is now on the banned list and half the cards I used are restricted! I made a bit of an error with Advanced R&D in round one which could have affected things badly, but on the other hand I guess I wasn’t expecting Hawkeye to do so much damage to Juggernaut in a random potshot. The rest of the team do less well and we go down 2 wins to 3 for the second time, but this is a very close one – Ewan had could have won his own game with a flip of a SWORD point on the last activation of his game.

Game 3: Will playing Avengers

Round 3 saw us come up against a team based somewhat near us, out of the Pro Tech store in the North East. I get paired up against Will who is listed with Avengers and Defenders in his Roster, though I think that he could theoretically play A-Force too. I win priority and pick Extracts so we end up playing Research Station and Spider Portals at 18 threat. The board here is chock-full of size 3 containers so I decide to take Ebony Maw even though I don’t particularly think he likes this combination of crises. I’m not sure if Will was rather ‘thrown under the bus’ for this round as both Captain America and Black Panther hate facing a lot of mystic attacks, and of course that’s pretty much all I have.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Will’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Vision, Wong
Will’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Heavy Firepower, Second Wind, Tactical Analysis – and then he realised that all his other cards were tied to characters he didn’t want to use, so effectively played down by one card

Round 1: Ebony Maw takes the left Portal, Vision takes the right and the Ancient One takes my near one but gets moved back by the Portal. Black Panther shoots forward and flips the left Portal back. Wong helpfully fails to get his own Portal before moving up so Captain America has to do it, and as he gets placed backwards by the Portal he can’t make it to the centre. Captain Marvel and Doctor Voodoo both move into the central scrum and Doctor Strange dazes Wong. The score is 3 – 1 to Will.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound books and Ancient One plays Plane of Pohldahk on Black Panther. I should have waited to do this as Ebony Maw’s first move is throw a container into Black Panther which does four damage since he doesn’t dodge any of it. One attack is enough to daze him, but annoyingly the Maw can’t take that Portal for me. Wong Meditates and gives some power to Captain Marvel, who applies Stagger to Doctor Voodoo and he pays for Indomitable to stop the throw. In return, he KOs Wong. Captain America fails to do much of anything to Doctor Voodoo, mainly because of my Iron-Bound Books. Vision moves to my near Portal but rather fortuitously fails to flip it. Doctor Strange dazes Captain Marvel somewhere in here. The score is now 6 – 4 to Will.

Round 3: Ebony Maw bounces embarrassingly off Black Panther this time, though he does at least take back the Portal on that side. Captain Marvel puts Stagger back on Voodoo, throws him away and leaves Doctor Strange on a single wound. I have to go with Doctor Strange if I’m going to get any use out of him, so he does his nice area attack to heal a little, though it doesn’t help as Captain America immediately dazes him. The Ancient One fails to daze Captain America. Black Panther flips the left Portal yet again then gets onto the Researcher with Avengers Assemble, which Captain Marvel joins in with. Doctor Voodoo throws the former off the objective and puts Brother Daniel on Captain America, but Vision is able to throw the Ancient One off too. The score moves to 11 – 5 in Will’s favour. I feel like I’m doing OK on attrition but am increasingly worried that Will’s momentum might get him the win before I can catch up.

Round 4: Doctor Strange gets a good start by dazing Captain America and KOing Captain Marvel, then using Scalpel to send Vision as far away as I can manage. Black Panther uses Second Wind to heal a random wound and dazes Doctor Voodoo. The Ancient One flips the far Portal and moved onto the Researcher before Vision throws her off it again. Ebony Maw finally flips the left point again and moves to the Researcher again to keep it tied this round, we go to 12 – 8.

Round 5: Black Panther KOs Doctor Strange and in return Doctor Voodoo KOs Captain America. Ouch, two leaders KOed in back-to-back activations! Vision can’t quite finish off Doctor Voodoo so the Ancient One dazes him and Ebony Maw KOs Black Panther. The score is now 13 – 13.

Round 6: Vision needs a big turn here. He’s able to KO Doctor Voodoo but that’s all he can manage. We don’t bother rolling out the rest of it; the final score is 18 – 14 in my favour.

Wow, that was a tight game and Will was fun opponent throughout. I thought that we had interestingly different approaches in that I was clearly aiming to whittle Will’s team down and score late where as he was playing to score points first even at the cost of attrition. On the whole the game went more or less according to my plan, though I could definitely have been a bit cleverer about the way I played my tactics cards here. Our team finally managed to pull off a win, taking the round by 4 games to 1. By this point we were all pleased with achieving our objective of winning at least one round and winning at least one game each.

Game 4: Javier playing Brotherhood of Mutants

Our final round of the event was against another Spanish team with the great name ‘Team Is Pain’. Once again Ewan sorted out the match-ups and I get paired with Javier running Avengers and Brotherhood of Mutants. I once again win priority and choose Extracts, pleasingly getting the third and final card of that set, so we play a very thematic game of Spider-Infected and Spider Portals. Javier picks the higher threat of 18. I have Lizard in my roster for this specific crisis so he’s definitely in, as is Voodoo as he’s great for engineering swings by making someone drop their Spider-Infected. I figured that since it was the last game of the event and we weren’t in any kind of Serious Business position that it would be cool to use all the characters in my roster, so I added Magik and Baron Mordo. At this high threat I was really expecting to see Magneto but Javier explained later that he felt that Mystique was better on such a wide scenario.

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Magik, Baron Mordo, Lizard
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Journey Through Limbo, Plane of Pohldahk
Javier’s team: Mystique, Juggernaut, Rogue, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Iron Man
Javier’s cards: Asteroid M, Deception, Do You Know Who I Am?, Helios Laser Bombardment, Medpack

Round 1: Lizard does his party trick, rushing over to the far side of the board to collect a Spider-Infected. Juggernaut flips his home Portal and takes the central Spider-Infected. Doctor Strange gets the other right Spider-Infected and the Portal on that side. Baron Mordo makes a cheeky move to pick up the far left Spider-Infected – I had thought that Mystique might be far enough away from my near left one that she might not make it, but she does. It doesn’t help Javier as Voodoo hurts her and possesses her and collects that Spider-Infected. Captain America pushes Lizard and Doctor Strange around a bit and Rogue later fails to flip that Portal back. Mystique and Juggernaut play Asteroid M to get the former out of range to be ended by Magik, which was a surprise but I was certainly glad to have that card played in such a defensive manner. Magik flips the left Portal. The score is 6 – 2 to me.

Round 2: Frustratingly, all four of my Spider-Infected carriers get moved while Juggernaut gets to stay still. Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books. Mordo dazes Mystique and flips the far Portal. Captain America uses Redwing Assault on Lizard by Javier’s dice desert him and nothing happens, though he does manage to flip the Portal over there. Lizard hits him back, throws Rogue away and reflips the Portal. Continuing on this side, Rogue slaps Lizard around a bit but can’t manage to re-reflip the Portal. I’m already losing priority so I figure I might as well get started on attrition; Doctor Strange dazes Captain America. Iron Man takes the left Portal and Voodoo tickles him a bit. Juggernaut casually one-shots Baron Mordo and reflips the far Portal; luckily he’s already carrying a Spider-Infected so he can’t take the one dropped by Mordo. Magik completely fails to hurt Iron Man, then also fails to flip the left Portal back – good work Magik. The score goes to 10 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Once again all my team get pushed around by Spider-Infected. Iron Man and team pump 20 dice into the Helios laser and, not surprisingly, daze Doctor Voodoo; he also picks up the Spider-Infected. I hate that card. Mordo pays for Plane of Pohdahk on Mystique and applies his spender attack but even with the rerolls she stays up. I consider continuing to attack her but figure the dice aren’t really in favour of him finishing the job so he flips back the nearby Portal (which places him away) then walks to collect the Spider-Infected he dropped last round. Mystique plays Deception, then one-shots him, which is pretty rude on a 4 dice attack. Lizard double moves to take my home Portal which has somehow not been touched yet; he gets it but is placed back towards Captain America and Rogue. Captain America charges in but can’t do much damage to Lizard, Doctor Strange moves across to use his area attack and I roll like a champion, KOing Captain America and dazing Rogue. Clearly Captain America and Baron Mordo went to the same school of ‘do nothing, then die easily’. Juggernaut hurts Doctor Strange and uses Do You Know Who I Am? which I block with Indomitable; to add insult to injury he also fails to flip that right Portal. Magik hurts Iron Man and flips the left Portal. The score is now 15 – 9 to me. On a high scoring crisis combination like this one, I’m not home and dry yet but I think that Javier will have to have an extraordinary round to take this game from here.

Round 4: Annoyingly, I forget that I could play Iron-Bound Books again. Iron Man strolls across and takes my home Portal. I don’t know if Javier spotted it at the time but not dropping Doctor Voodoo pretty much guaranteed my victory as no-one else could get to him and Voodoo could easily Possess him and collect the Spider-Infected. Lizard throws a building at Mystique and leaves her on one health, then fails to take the back Portal. Rogue dazes Doctor Strange and takes his Spider-Infected. Magik races across to the back Portal but fails to flip it. Juggernaut power slides into Lizard but the bump from the Convocation leadership is enough to get Lizard to safety. As predicted, Doctor Voodoo gives Iron Man the Brother Daniel token, picks up the Spider-Infected and flips my near Portal back to me. The game ends at 19 – 14 in my favour.

It was great to play Javier and we had a good laugh and banter at the crazy dice; he was a gentleman to play even when I was rolling really high damage into Captain America and Rogue. I suspect that the swings of the dice make it a bit hard to learn much from this game so instead I’ll just say that I enjoyed having a chilled out finish to the event. As a team we pulled through with 3 wins to 2, comfortably ending the day in mid-table mediocrity at 2 – 2.

The event was an absolute blast, getting to play against players from far beyond my local area with very cool ideas about how to use their teams. Almost everyone went out directly from the shop for an excellent curry and then Gareth and I rounded out the evening with a cheeky beer in the hotel bar. Many thanks to Ewan for doing all the leg work for our team and all the hard captaining duties, to Ged, Borja, Will and Javier for four fun games of Crisis Protocol, and of course the biggest thanks to Tony and his small army of helpers for running the whole event and making this such a success.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Painted Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme

This is Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme. Don’t confuse him with just boring old normal Doctor Strange, this is a different character in game terms and represents them at different points in their career just like for Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man. Those of you familiar with Warmachine might liken it to the different iterations of their Warcasters. This version of Doctor Strange is much more direct than the other one’s support focus. He has a really sweet set of attacks which feel suitable for almost all occasions, including a very nice area attack as his main spender. Strange can also teleport friends or foes a really long way with his Scalpel of Strange ability and this is the one where I’ve really struggled – not because it’s not good (it’s amazing) but because I always slightly suspect that there is something even cooler that I could be doing with it.

I stuck with the box art for Doctor Strange’s costume, which is a fairly boring black and white. But because of the positioning, for me this mini is all about the head, the cape and the base. I deliberately tried to keep the case the same as the other version of Strange since it’s meant to be literally the same sentient clothing. I spent a lot more time than was really sensible on his face, trying to get the facial hair not to look like a joke shop disguise (mostly successful, I think, apart from maybe the eyebrows) and getting the trademark grey temples to look right. I’m pretty pleased with this. The base is just lovely and the sculpt for it gives this Strange mini an incredible dynamism; I spent quite a lot of effort messing about with the inside of the portal, only to realise that most of it is impossible to see when Strange himself is glued into place. Oh well, at least I know what it looks like! All in all, I’m really happy with my work here and I enjoyed the process too – an absolute favourite.

Next on the painting table: Black Widow, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 10 Comments

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