Author Archives: Argentbadger

Marvel Crisis Protocol video battle report: Criminal Syndicate vs Spider-Foes

This is another Marvel Crisis Protocol game recorded by Allan on his excellent (and excellently named) Midlife Crisis Protocol channel.  The game itself was played back in December 2022 but is only released now according to Allan’s inscrutable scheduling.  As always the credit goes to Allan for the work that’s gone into this; my sole involvement was to enjoy a fun game.

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Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Fantastic February 25Feb2023

I took a train across to Common Ground Games in Stirling to play another Marvel Crisis Protocol event. This time I had my son Scott for company, but my usual gaming buddy Gareth was unavailable. I’m impressed by how effective the community-building has been in Scotland for MCP; we regularly get over 20 people for these events and while it’s true that many of the players are regular attendees we do get new people showing up almost every time.

I wanted to play Brotherhood of Mutants this time out, partly because they’re cool and partly because I’ve never really played them before. My main objectives were to get in games using both Mystique and Magneto as leaders and to clear as big of a patch of board as possible of terrain by throwing it around constantly. I had a plan to use Mystique’s leadership ability along with Hulk and Juggernaut’s movement shenanigans to get some midline objectives and move back to (relative) safety with them, then ride out the games from there. As such I picked my Crisis cards on the basis of being either high scoring, high threat or having a lot of Extracts available.

Characters: (10)
—Magneto (Max Eisenhardt) Threat: 6
—Mystique (Raven Darkholme) Threat: 3
Juggernaut (Cain Marko) Threat: 5
Pyro (St. John Allerdyce) Threat: 3
Rogue (Anna Marie LeBeau) Threat: 4
Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) Threat: 5
The Blob (Fred Dukes) Threat: 3
Toad (Mortimer Toynbee) Threat: 2
Luke Cage (Luke Cage) Threat: 3
Hulk (Bruce Banner) Threat: 6

Tactics: (10)
Asteroid M
Do You Know Who I Am?
Magnetic Refraction
No More Mutants
Patch Up
Mission Objective
Heroes for Hire

Secure Crisis: (3)
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (Threat: 19)
Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse (Threat: 19)
Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate! (Threat: 20)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Mutant Extremists Target U.S. Senators! (Threat: 19)
Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership (Threat: 20)
Research Station Attacked! (Threat: 15)

Game 1: Frankie playing A-Force

For round one I’m up against Frankie, who I’ve played before but I think never in an event. He wins priority and decides that he doesn’t fancy my Extracts; I choose the slightly higher threat value. I go with Magneto on the basis that he can probably push through some very nice damage on She-Hulk and the Crisis is likely to force that match-up. I’m also taking Luke Cage here as I basically expect this to descend into a central brawl and being able to push some of the damage off onto him could be useful. Pyro goes in along with his Tactics card to let me hopefully get a few of Franky’s Hammers on the ground in the mid-game. I leave out the Asteroid M card as I don’t find that it works very well with the Hammers crisis.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seal Collapse
Threat: 19
My team: Magento, Juggernaut, Pyro, Toad, Luke Cage
My cards: Do You Know Who I Am?, Heroes For Hire, Magnetic Refraction, Patch Up, Pyrotechnics
Frankie’s team: She-Hulk, Angela, Black Widow, Shuri, Valkyrie
Frankie’s cards: A-Force Assemble, Brace For Impact, Escort To Safety, Patch Up, Special Delivery

Round 1: We should end up even on Hammers due to their locations so the difference here is going to come down to how well we score on the Portals. Black Widow takes the right Hammer and Toad gets the left one, using his Prehensile Tongue to collect it from range 2. I’m not sure what I was thinking here as this obviously meant that he wasn’t contesting the left Portal and he was easily in walk plus charge range of Valkyrie either way so it didn’t help me in any way at all. Valkyrie does indeed come for him but awful dice from Frankie means that Toad takes no damage. Shuri and Cage come forward into the middle; Angela throws a building into Cage. Juggernaut takes the middle and one-shots Shuri before She-Hulk picks up her back Hammer and throws Cage off the middle point. Magneto picks up the last Hammer and very slowly saunters into the middle. Finally on the right Pyro moves forward and shoots Black Widow. This is an awful move – I think I was hoping to get lucky with the wild Incinerate then use Pyrotechnics to make her drop the Hammer but of course I don’t (and wasn’t particularly likely to) and leaves him out of position for next turn too. The score is 4 – 2 to Frankie.

Round 2: My only saving grace from round 1 was that Frankie’s dice were awful so I got a decent start on attrition. I think that I need to continue on this path as I can catch up these points if I can start to reduce the A-Force options. We start out with She-Hulk one-shotting Magneto even through Force Projection and collecting his Hammer. She then uses her spender on Juggernaut and I play Heroes For Hire to throw her off the point with Cage. Toad gets lucky and dazes Valkyrie before Hopping onto the left Portal. Black Widow gives Pyro a Stagger token and Cage dazes Angela. Pyro does manage to Incinerate Black Widow but I evidently forget about my plan to steal her Hammer with Pyrotechnics; eventually Juggernaut comes across to swat her and collect that Hammer. Shuri pushes Toad off the left Portal and we finish up tied at 6 – 6.

Round 3: That feels a bit better, albeit that I’ve still got Pyro stranded out of position and I’m really only scoring well because of Frankie’s rubbish dice on anyone other than She-Hulk. If I can start to get some damage on She-Hulk then I can probably overwhelm the centre; I need to deal with her somehow as I have to relieve her of those two Hammers. Angela starts us off with a Special Delivery to bring her leader back into the middle and She-Hulk slaps a mighty seven damage onto Magneto. I was planning to go with Pyro at this point but with the way the dice have been going I think that I want to get an activation out of Magneto first as I doubt that he’ll survive an activation from She-Hulk even after Luke Cage plays Patch Up on him. I throw everything from Magneto at She-Hulk, neatly clearing the nearby area of terrain, and do some nice damage but ultimately I’m not really achieving a lot apart from powering her right up. Black Widow dazes Pyro over on the right and Cage piles some more damage onto She-Hulk before Angela uses Patch Up to undo some of this work. She-Hulk lets rip on Magneto and Luke Cage bravely takes one of the hits, leaving him on one and Magneto only hanging on by a thread. Toad can’t KO Valkyrie and she one-shots him in return before taking the last wound off Luke Cage. Shuri takes up position in the middle and Juggernaut comes back to the centre and throws She-Hulk away with Do You Know Who I Am? We finish the round at 10 – 9 to Frankie.

Round 4: I need to take out Valkyrie on the left and Black Widow on the right and I can probably keep She-Hulk busy enough in the middle to see out the game. She-Hulk has no difficulty in KOing Magneto in the middle. On the left Toad blanks out both of his spender attacks, failing to take Valkyrie’s remaining two health; she hits back but Cage takes the hits. Pyro at least makes no mistaking finally KOing Black Widow but the Counter-Strikes have left him feeling very poorly. Angela KOs Cage and uses Angelic Assassin to move over and finish off Toad. Juggernaut frustratingly leaves She-Hulk clinging to a single remaining wound; the score is now 14 – 12 in Frankie’s favour.

Round 5: I need to get very lucky here, though I do at least have priority. I need Juggernaut to survive in the middle, which isn’t too unlikely as he’s basically unhurt, and also for Pyro to somehow stay alive. Juggernaut drops She-Hulk by sliding into her, then also KOs Shuri as he’s toting three Hammers by now. Angela makes a critical roll to hop through the Portal and it comes up good; not surprisingly she’s easily able to KO Pyro and that’s the game. Frankie wins by 17 – 16.

Well done Frankie! I very much enjoyed our game here but I’m a bit frustrated at the number of completely avoidable errors I made. The least-forgivable of these were my failure to contest the outside points on round 1 with Toad and Pyro. I was quite unlikely to lose Toad or daze Black Widow with single attacks so early. Frankie’s frankly awful dice at the start kept me in it, though they were probably balanced by the truly amazing damage rolls from She-Hulk into Magneto – I don’t think that I’ve ever lost Magneto with as few attacks as that, and despite being able to use Force Projection on just about every attack into him (plus spreading some of them onto Luke Cage) he just got punched out like a chump.

Game 2: Jamie playing Midnight Sons

For the second round I get paired up with Jamie and I’m really looking forward to it as he’s a very nice chap to game with. Jamie wins Priority and chooses his Extractions; since both Crises are 20 threat I don’t have much of a choice there. I fancy trying out my plan to use Hulk and Juggernaut under Mystique’s leadership to collect the central Skrulls and come back to relative safety.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate
Threat: 20
My team: Mystique, Blob, Juggernaut, Pyro, Hulk
My cards: Deception, Do You Know Who I Am?, Indomitable, Patch Up, Pyrotechnics
Jamie’s team: Blade, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Wong, Baron Zemo
Jamie’s cards: Brace For Impact, Deal With The Devil, Heroes For Hire, Patch Up, Siege of Darkness

Round 1: My plan is to end the turn with three of the Skrulls and control/contest the three nearest Secure points. Wong starts us off by Meditating and powering up Moon Knight. Blob collects the right-most Skrull and Ghost Rider get the one on the left. Juggernaut takes the further central Skrull and does get moved by it, so he slides back into the middle to make himself a less appealing target. Zemo comes across the board and picks up the last Skrull which does move him, so I send him deep into my lines. Pyro zaps him and uses Firewall on Ghost Rider then Iron Fist using his Flying Kick to get onto the middle point. Mystique opens up on Zemo but can’t deal with him and takes a four damage (from a possible four!) from his Counter-Strike; he actually shouldn’t have been able to do this due to her Shapeshifter ability but we didn’t notice it at the time. Hulk finishes him off and collects the Skrull but due to the positioning around the middle objective I can’t get him onto it. Finally Moon Knight throws something at Blob and gets pushed away for his troubles with Ha, Ha, Ha, That Tickles! The score is 4 – 3 to me as I couldn’t control the middle and realised that Blob didn’t have the movement to both collect a Skrull and get back to the rear right point.

Round 2: I want to KO Zemo and then retreat to hold the rear points here and just see out the game with Jamie forced to come to me. Pyro starts us out by putting Firewall on Zemo and hurting him, but the Baron is not ready to go down without a fight and he dazes both Pyro and Mystique. Juggernaut goes after Blade but fails to put any wounds on him, and Blade slaps a casual six back in return despite judicious use of Nice Punch. Blob retreats to my back point so at least he can have some cover before being inevitably turned into a pincushion by Moon Knight. Blade and Ghost Rider spend for Siege of Darkness and the latter finally dazes Juggernaut. Moon Knight contests Blob’s point and Hulk KOs Zemo and dazes Iron Fist. The score is 7 – 6 to me but I can’t carry on taking a beating like this for so little return.

Round 3: I need to clear out Blade and/or Ghost Rider so I can get their Skrulls back, and I should also be able to handle Moon Knight if Blob can go before him. Iron Fist starts us off by handing Hulk an activated token. Juggernaut dazes Blade by throwing Ghost Rider into him a couple of times; the first one is stopped with Brace For Impact. Ghost Rider hits back for some rather nice damage. Blob gently tickles Moon Knight and gets dazed in return, losing me the Skrull over there. Mystique uses Deception to pull Ghost Rider into the open and then gives him the most disappointing pistoling ever, getting a total of zero damage over four shots. Wong gives Iron Fist a bit more power and Pyro does a little damage to Ghost Rider but that’s a pretty poor match-up. Somehow the score goes to 12 – 9 to me.

Round 4: I’ve somehow lost priority again which is going to make this hard. I’ll be surprised if I get another activation with Juggernaut so I need to focus on handling Moon Knight (should be easy as he only has 2 hit points left and Blob is powered up) and Ghost Rider (tougher, but Hulk is right there). Blade easily finishes Juggernaut and applies Patch Up to Ghost Rider. Mystique fails to do much damage to Ghost Rider; probably activating her was a mistake as Hulk could have been a better option. Ghost Rider one-shots Mystique from full health in return then moves toward Wong to stay out of Hulk’s way. Blob uses his spender twice on Moon Knight; I literally just need to roll a wild on each attack to guarantee this as he’s already badly hurt. I do zero damage across both attacks, and only get a wild once to leave Moon Knight on a single wound. Moon Knight hits him back. Hulk goes across to deal with Blade since he’s on the point but I do no damage as Jamie rolls a tasty 4 shields on defence; as least he gets thrown off the point. Iron Fist comes over to contest Pyro’s point. The score is now 14 – 14.

Round 5: I’m running out of options here so I just need to maximise my scoring opportunities where possible. Blob finally dazes Moon Knight at the third time of asking. He collects the Skrull and gets pushed so Jamie moves him toward Ghost Rider. Luckily he turns out to be in range to do his Thunderous Splash on Ghost Rider and dazes him too (but he’s still on the naughty list for his failures in the previous two turns!) and pushes Wong away. Iron Fist KOs Pyro and Hulk gives up on Blade and dazes Iron Fist in turn. Wong walks back in to contest but Jamie wisely resists the temptation to attack him and risk being pushed away. We’re now at 17 – 17.

Round 6: It’s going to come down to luck now, I think. Blob almost certainly goes down but actually as long as Wong stays up it’s irrelevant so that’s my first priority. Hulk might be able to KO Blade though he’s fully healthy so it’s very unlikely to work. I start with Blob and he fails to do the required 3 wounds to Wong, so that’s basically game right there. Improbably Ghost Rider and Wong can’t finish Blob in return though in fairness they only attacked once to avoid the risk that I push them off the point. Over on the left Hulk goes for a highly optimistic attack run on Blade which comes to a swift end when Blade once again delivers a defence roll of 4 shields. Jamie takes it 22 – 20 and I guess I must have forgotten to take a final photo in all the excitement.

What a close, wonderful game – well done to Jamie for taking advantage of my mistakes and playing a very clean game to take the victory. I’m a bit annoyed with myself for forgetting that Zemo couldn’t Counter-Strike Mystique at the start as that made it far more likely that he dazed her in round 2. In retrospect I think that I would have been better served playing more of a split game with Pyro on the right along with Blob as that would have scored me a critical extra point in round one. Pyro isn’t great into Ghost Rider due to his immunity to Incinerate, but on the other hand Ghost Rider certainly really hates Slow and that probably did impact how the game played out on that side of the board.

Game 3: Derek playing Defenders

It’s been a while since I’ve been 0 – 2 at this point in a tournament. On the one hand it’s quite liberating to not be pushing for a good performance, but on the other hand I hate it when I lose every game and I always want to come away with at least one win. I’m really pleased to get paired with the lovely Derek and his Defenders (which sounds like it should be a 60s pop group) so we can have a nice relaxed game. Derek wins the roll off and chooses his Extractions; this time I decide to play Mystique and take the lower threat value as I figure it should be a bit more limiting to Derek with his more expensive leader.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seal Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Mystique, Juggernaut, Pyro, Hulk
My cards: Deception, Do You Know Who I Am?, Indomitable, Patch Up, Pyrotechnics
Derek’s team: Doctor Strange (Soul Gem), Valkyrie, Wong, Taskmaster, Baron Mordo
Derek’s cards: Escort To Safety, Mission Objective, No Matter The Cost, Recalibration Matrix, Seven Suns Of Cinnibus

Round 1: I’m putting Hulk in the middle on the basis that if Derek wants to take the central Cube fragment then they have to be able to survive an attack and (probably) a throw from Hulk. Pyro goes on the right as Doctor strange will hate all the conditions that I plan to stack on him. My plan is not to worry about the far Cubes; just collect the ones on my side of the board (plus the middle one depending on how Hulk gets on) and then try to stay ahead on the Secures. Taskmaster and Mystique start us out by collecting their Cubes on the left and meeting in the middle. Wong goes in the centre and takes the Cube so Hulk flattens him before Derek can get anyone there for Mission Objective. Doctor Strange and Juggernaut collect the remaining Cube fragments and we end up with Valkyrie using he Charge to get stuck into Pyro but Derek unluckily blanks out his attack. The score is 5 – 3 to me.

Round 2: I have priority now. I think that I’m going to have to leave Mystique to take her licks from Taskmaster and Mordo and instead will focus on tying up Strange and Valkyrie on the right. Pyro Firewalls Strange and puts Incinerate on both him and Valkyrie. He then plays Pyrotechnics to push them both away and get Strange’s Cube on the floor. Over on the left Mordo pushes Mystique off the point, leaps through Portal (how thematic!) to tickle Juggernaut and collects the fallen Cube. Juggernaut dazes Valkyrie and plays Do You Know Who I Am? to throw Mordo into Wong; normally I would prefer to throw something big with that card but clearing the objective is well worth it here. Strange walks back toward the centre and pushes Hulk off the point. He come back in and uses a nice Thunderclap to hurt all three of Derek’s characters around the middle, then dazes Strange by throwing terrain at him. Wong heals Mordo a little. Mystique, who really was hoping to go after Taskmaster, plays Deception to get him off the Secure and shoots him for trivial damage (What is it with Mystique today? Has she just brought water pistols with her?) and he dazes her in return, collects the Cube and swaggers back to the left Portal. The score goes to 9 – 7 to me.

Round 3: Attrition is going my way and I’m quite happy with the way that the cubes are positioned so my goal this round is to keep chipping away at Derek’s team and make sure not to give up too much on the Cubes. Pyro starts us out by walking over to beam Mordo, Strange and Wong with Stoke The Flames. Wong is KOed somewhere in here, and Strange gets Firewall again. Strange then activates Hulk (for the second time today!) and heals himself. Mystique uses Expert Sabotage to daze Taskmaster who was quite badly hurt mainly because of the number of Cubes he was toting about the place. Valkyrie charges back to the fray and one-shots Pyro to make up for her failure in round one. Juggernaut hurts Strange but can’t finish him and Mordo ends up on the right Portal. We move to 14 – 9 to me.

Round 4: There are maximum 8 points available; I only need 2 to win, 6 isn’t enough for Derek and Mystique is carrying two Cube fragments. So we start off rather boringly with Mystique double moving to the far corner away from Taskmaster. Valkyrie chases her after jumping through the Portal but can’t make the distance. The game is essentially over with that but we play it out to see what else happens. Pyro dazes Mordo but doesn’t have enough power to pick up the Cube. Taskmaster hurts Hulk before Juggernaut KOs Strange and slides back to the middle point. Hulk scoops up the last Cube and we finish up at 21 – 11.

Thanks to Derek for a fun game. After the way that the first two rounds had gone, I am not too proud to admit that it felt good to have things work out the way I had planned! Derek was making the kind of misplays that I had done in the first game – not being careful to end moves in scoring positions and prioritising making attacks without any particular objective for them. Hulk and Juggernaut make quite a fun team; it’s not always easy to deal with one big character so by the time my opponent has dealt with one of them the other has usually had a chance to get some serious work done. My use of Mystique continues to be poor; I probably missed a good opportunity to pull Taskmaster off the left Portal in turn one which would have been a far more effective way to play.

Game 4: William playing Spider Foes

For my final game I’m up against teenager William. He’s in a great mood as he’s just managed his first ever tournament win (and a very well done to him for managing it) and I’m happy because at least now I’m not going to finish on 0 – 4. He wins the roll for Priority, meaning that I got to choose game size in all four games today, and I select 17 threat for the simple reason that I want to play the same team as last time and just throw stuff around while lighting it on fire. Before we started I noticed that William was a) only playing 16 threat (I said he could change but he wanted to use these characters) and b) playing with the original un-errataed cards for Green Goblin and Ultron (so I was at least able to give him the updated cards).

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown!
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seal Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Mystique, Juggernaut, Pyro, Hulk
My cards: Deception, Do You Know Who I Am?, Indomitable, Patch Up, Pyrotechnics
William’s team: Green Goblin, Carnage, Venom, Ultron
William’s cards: Carnage Rules, Lethal Protector, Sinister Traps, The Age Of Ultron, There Will Be Carnage

Round 1: William puts his Sinister Traps on the left Portal. Since the Cores are all sitting on top of the Portals this should be a proper bloodbath, which I think suits us both quite nicely. Green Goblin moves into the centre and takes the Core, while Juggernaut does the same on the right; he also puts down the Freedom Force token even though he’s standing there as I want to dump some power and avoid taking damage from the Core. Carnage also goes in the middle. Pyro neglects to stand on the middle point though in this case it’s because I don’t want to give Carnage an easy victim rather than because I forgot to try to score; he fails to get Incinerate or any damage on Green Goblin but does at least Firewall him. Ultron double moves forward to threaten Pyro and Mystique next turn. I figure that if I can hit Green Goblin for two with Hulk I can throw him into his own trap, so of course Hulk deals no damage to Goblin. In the end I decide to go for the left token with Mystique as she’s pretty unlikely to take 5 damage off 5 dice and it’ll be a tasty two point advantage. She triggers the Trap and takes the full five hits, dazing immediately. Oops. The score is 2 – 2.

Round 2: I think that I can take advantage of Hulk’s throw to keep Carnage honest while I set up to bring him down with Pyro, so mainly I’m going to be looking to control him. Venom strolls up to the now-clear left point and takes the Core before hitting Mystique. Hulk smacks some very nice damage into the Goblin before throwing Carnage away from the fray. Ultron rather helpfully bounces off Mystique and Pyro dazes the Goblin which will make my life considerably easier. Carnage moves back to being relevant for next turn and Juggernaut punches him before using Do You Know Who I Am? to make the nasty man go away again. Mystique fires four shots into Venom for a total of zero damage and the score goes to 6 – 4 to me.

Round 3: I think that I can carry on just letting Venom enjoy the left Portal and keep controlling Carnage out of the action; I do want to KO Green Goblin this turn to take his leadership out of the equation. Ultron very unluckily leaves Mystique on a single wound, Juggernaut comes across to use Patch Up on her and does some very nice damage into Green Goblin; the retaliation is not very effective as William’s dice are awful. Mystique unloads another four shots into Venom for another zero damage and makes me wonder why she got out of bed this morning. Venom ends her misery in a single attack later on. Carnage moves to the right point and removes my Freedom Force token. Hulk KOs Green Goblin and makes a start on Carnage and Pyro leaves him on a single wound. I forgot to make a note of the score here but I think it must be 10 – 6 to me.

Round 4: We’re each down a leader but apart from Pyro my remaining characters are pretty resistant to damage and I have much better displacement tools than William. I can probably daze Carnage this turn but the priority will be just to keep the Spider Foes off the Portals. Carnage helpfully rolls terribly into Hulk, but Hulk returns the favour by doing almost nothing to Venom apart from throwing him away from the point. Ultron continues our bizarre dice sequence by blanking out completely against Juggernaut who drops the last wound on Carnage by bumping into him and avoiding dice rolls entirely. Venom walks back onto the Portal so Pyro Incinerates him and uses Pyrotechnics to make him drop the Core and pushes away. The score is 15 – 6 in the most uninspiring round of dice I’ve ever seen.  Close observers may also note a certain mysterious figure appearing on the board here to keep an eye on the proceedings…

Round 5: The game is basically over now as there is no way that William can stop me scoring at least one point from here over the next two turns so instead of planning out any clever plays I just decide to not give peace a chance. Carnage gets his act together at last and dazes Juggernaut to collect the Core he’d been carrying around since round 1. Pyro dazes Venom and Firewalls Carnage just because he can. Ultron hurt Hulk who rather half-heartedly hits back. We finish the game at 19 – 8.

Well done by William who still ended the event with his best result ever – especially as he’d apparently been playing it on hard mode for the first three games by using the old cards for some of his characters. Ultimately he was more interested in making attacks that scoring points or even using most of his teams’ superpowers and that meant that the actual result was not really in much doubt – though I did have a moment of ‘oh no, it’s happening again!’ when Mystique got blown up by the traps in round 1.

I did want to make a quick note about the way the dice fall in these games of MCP. To those reading it probably seems like I have some kind of awful luck and the other players roll really well. I think that overall my dice are fine and average, it’s just that I’m taking notes and have a rather biased opinion of what is happening, so I notice it (and am more likely to write it in my notes) when something bad happens than when I roll high. So take my opinions with the appropriate amount of scepticism about my own cognitive biases.

So when the scores come in I’m 16th of 22 players and bottom of the 2 – 2 bracket, though losing the first two games tends to make it more likely that I get easier opponents in the latter stages of course. Massive well done to Scott for also getting a 2 – 2 record (including avenging me by beating Frankie in his final game!) and finishing in a highly creditable 13th position. The only downside was having to listen him tell me about coming above me in the table for the entire train ride back home… Thanks to Frankie, Jamie, Derek and William for four very fun games of Crisis Protocol and, as always, to Allan for running the event and his tireless work building the community. I’ll be back, probably with Criminal Syndicate in tow again next time.

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

Painted Shadowland Daredevil

Here is Shadowland Daredevil for Marvel Crisis Protocol. I’ll admit that I’m not an afficionado of Daredevil comics but I think that this is meant to be at some point when he became a baddie since he has a leadership for Criminal Syndicate. Daredevil’s attacks are not particularly exciting and so in my experience his main draw is his great defensive profile so usually I find that he just ends up trying to sit on an objective and tickle people while not taking much damage in return. His leadership ability is very good for attrition, especially for Rapid Fire characters like Hood or Winter Soldier, but it comes at the opportunity cost of not taking Kingpin’s amazing leadership instead.

Like the stealthy ninja that he is, Daredevil helpfully changed into a black costume to let everyone else know that he’d become a baddie. I tried a slightly different approach with the black suit as I wanted to avoid just being drab. This time I started with a black base then very heavily highlighted it in dark blue before hitting the lot with a blue wash. I’m really pleased with the way it’s turned out – black but with a hint of colour. The red details and his eyes really help the whole thing to pop, and I’m very pleased with the way that this looks considering that basically it’s just a man standing around in a one-colour spandex outfit.

Next on the painting table: The Blob.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 12 Comments

Painted Hand Ninjas

These are Hand Ninjas, a set of Grunts for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Grunts are meant to be normal (ie not superpowered) people and this is reflected in their abysmal stats. They come with ‘parent’ characters, in this case Shadowland Daredevil or Elektra, activate in their turn and have limitations in which parts of the game they can interact with. The Ninjas have a fairly unexciting attack and after a load of games with them I find that their main use is getting in the way and making enemy characters ‘waste’ attacks dealing with them; since the parent characters can bring them back in various ways it’s not usually too upsetting when the Ninjas inevitably get KOed.

I assume that bright red is not really a normal colour for stealthy ninjas to choose for their costumes but in the context of comics it probably stops them standing out amongst the even less tastefully attired heroes. I don’t think that I’ve ever actually read a comic with the Hand clan so it was an easy choice to use the box art as inspiration. I will say that the wraps around the arms and legs were a total pain to paint, even if they weren’t quite as frustrating as Carnage‘s horrible veins. The base is meant to be that ninja classic, the puff of smoke. I painted it grey and touched up the raised areas in white before hitting the lot with a black wash. The result is rather uninspiring in these close up photos but it’s pleasingly effective at tabletop distance.

Next on the painting table: Shadowland Daredevil.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 14 Comments

Painted Captain America

This is Captain America for Marvel Crisis Protocol, this time with Sam Wilson in the costume. Coming in at one threat cheaper than Steve Rogers, this version of Captain America can offer a very different way to play Avengers. Indeed, his Leadership was dominant in the game for a while with very wide lists leveraging cheap affiliated characters; however, that seems to have fallen out of favour as a result of a rise of ‘predator’ rosters to this style and changes to the Crises and Tactics cards that it favoured. Captain America is highly mobile and has a long ranged attack which makes him ideal on wide Crises like Infinity Formula where he can leverage his speed to secure various Objectives. The downside to all of this is that he can be rather fragile and he’s somewhat vulnerable to single big dice spikes just dazing him out of nowhere. Usually when I see this Captain America he’s either KOed very early or he’s an absolute terror flying round and interfering with all of my plans.

It was a lot of fun to paint Captain America; by the standards of most superheroes he has quite an interesting costue to work with and red, white and blue is certainly a classic combination of colours. I slightly deviated from the box art as I didn’t care for the red boots and I wanted to keep the look a bit closer to Anthony Mackie’s highly enjoyable portrayal of the character in the MCU. I think that the black boot and pouches gives a slightly less comedic look, though I recognise that this is still not exactly the kind of outfit one might wear to the pub.

Next on the painting table: Hand Ninjas.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 18 Comments

Painted Red Guardian

Here is Red Guardian, the last (for now) member of the Winter Guard in Marvel Crisis Protocol. Red Guardian plays rather like a budget Captain America too; he can do most of the cool stuff that Steve Rogers does but with a bit less panache, he gets dazed much more easily, and he can’t Bodyguard. What he does have is the Comrade’s Keeper card which does allow him to take a hit for a friendly character and then possibly throw the attacker away; unusually there is no size cap on the throw so he could hurl Dormammu or a Sentinel into the distance if needed.

Red Guardian’s red and white suit should have been painful to paint but actually it turned out to be a joy and I got him painted up very quickly and easily. I loved that the sculpt went all in on the old-school appearance with the enormous white boots and gloves. The contrast between the red and white turned out to really make both colours pop so that is something for me to remember in the future.

Red Guardian is meant to be a cheap and cheerful version of Captain America and his appearance in the Black Widow film toys with this idea a bit, although much of that is played for laughs anyway. Because of some oddities in the comic books, this particular person wearing the suit isn’t the same as the one portrayed in the film. Apparently in the Winter Guard there are just suits/jobs and they find suitable heroes to play that role; therefore there have been numerous Red Guardians etc as they retire or whatever. I guess that this maybe makes sense for suit-based heroes like Crimson Dynamo (after all, there could be anyone in there) but I do love the idea that there are a load of bear-people waiting to take over the role of Ursa Major when the current one decides to hand in his notice.

Next on the painting table: Captain America.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 12 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol video battle report: Avengers vs Brotherhood of Mutants

I was pleased to be invited for some more games on Allan’s excellent YouTube channel, Midlife Crisis Protocol, earlier this week. Here is a video of our first game between Allan’s Avengers roster and my Brotherhood of (Evil) Mutants; I assume that at some point Magneto was asked to remove the ‘Evil’ from his club’s name as it was influencing juries ;). I’ve been trying out Mystique’s leadership as it enables some fairly fun plays in the current Crisis deck plus she’s so much cheaper than Magneto that I can include other big toys. In this case I can bring along both Hulk and Juggernaut which makes quite an interesting challenge for another team to deal with. As always, all credit to Allan for the work that goes into turning a fun game into a video.

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

Painted Magus

This is the Magus for my Genestealer Cults in Warhammer 40,000. Of all of the modern plastic sculpts, this is surely the one which is most obviously a tribute to the classic art from the 90s (?) with a Magus looking just like this. The Magus is quite simple in the game, really just being a Psyker (ie a space-wizard) to either enhance your own forces or cripple the enemy. For some reason none of our games seem to have featured the Psychic phase very much and the Magus has similarly never really made the cut to get onto the table.

I absolutely loved painting the Magus. For a start, this was like going back in time to my early days in the hobby and finding that I had a plastic mini of one of the coolest pieces of art released by Games Workshop. The colour scheme was kept deliberately in line with the rest of the force, so mainly blues and yellows, though I did try to emphasise the blueness of the skin to increase the otherworldly-ness of this alien hybrid.

Next on the painting table: Red Guardian.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer 40000 | Tags: , | 10 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol video battle report: Criminal Syndicate vs S.H.I.E.L.D

Here is the second of the Marvel Crisis Protocol games recorded by Allan for his excellent YouTube channel, Midlife Crisis Protocol, back in December 2022. This one I’m continuing to play Criminal Syndicate and he’s using a fairly brawling style of S.H.I.E.L.D roster. As ever, all credit for the video goes to Allan.

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Marvel Crisis Protocol video battle report: Criminal Syndicate vs Web Warriors

This is another Marvel Crisis Protocol battle report from Allan’s Midlife Crisis Protocol YouTube channel. This one features the classic match-up of Spider-Man vs Kingpin, admittedly with a few unexpected allies. As ever, all credit to Allan for doing all the work related to recording, editing and publishing the video; my only contribution is to show up and have a fun game with him. The game itself was played in Dec2022 in case anyone is wondering why I’ve not moved onto Brotherhood yet.

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