Battle reports

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Summer Slam 30Jul2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Derek playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Liam playing Brotherhood of Mutants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Simon playing Wakanda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Allan playing Asgard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Shhh…
Brace for Impact
Indomitable
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.

[Characters]
– 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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Scotland May Event 07May2022

Gareth and I made our way across to Stirling’s Common Ground Games for another Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament run by Allan, this time with the imaginative name of ‘MCP Scotland May Event’. We were meant to be joined by another friend but she pulled out; luckily this meant that there were an even number of attendees so it wasn’t all bad.

I’ve been back and forth a bit on affiliations lately but decided it would be fun to go back to the Black Order. I began with them as a solo affiliation but found a bit of a weakness at 14 and 15 threat so swapped in Web Warriors for most of my splash characters so I could have a wider control option. The basic plan is to hope for 16 threat which gives me Thanos, Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight, and then add characters as they fit at higher threat values. For the Web Warriors I’m really intended to use Spider-Man (Miles Morales) as my leader but I do have Amazing Spider-Man in case I want to use them at a higher threat value… though I have to admit that I find Amazing Spider-Man very variable in his offensive output.

[Characters]
– Amazing Spider-Man: 5
– Black Panther: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Corvus Glaive: 4
— Infinity Gem: Reality: 1
– Doctor Voodoo: 4
– Ghost-Spider: 3
– Proxima Midnight: 3
– Spider-Man (Miles Morales): 3
– Thanos, the Mad Titan: 6
— Infinity Gem: Mind: 1
— Infinity Gem: Space: 1
– Venom: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All Webbed Up
– Brace for Impact
– Climbing Gear
– Execute
– Indomitable
– Lethal Protector
– Medpack
– Mothership
– Sacrifice

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16

[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: Liam playing Brotherhood of Mutants

For our first game of the day I’m matched up with Liam, one of the best players in my country and who is playing soon in the finals of the current online league. He wins priority and chooses Secures, leaving us with Sinister Syndicate and Deadly Legacy Virus. I think that I’m probably better off going wider here considering the mission and pick 19 threat. I use Web Warriors and splash in Doctor Voodoo to hopefully mess with Liam’s objective game. When I see his team I realise that I’ve probably picked the wrong option though – I’m never going to get to use Venom as he’ll spend the entire game getting pushed away and Miles and Gwen’s control doesn’t work on size 3 or above characters.

Extraction: Deadly Legacy Virus Cured?
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate!
Threat: 19
My team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Spider, Venom, Doctor Voodoo
My cards: All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Lethal Protector, Medpack
Liam’s team: Magneto, Juggernaut, Thanos (Space and Reality stones)
Liam’s cards: Asteroid M, Do You Know Who I Am?, Field Dressing, Magnetic Refraction, Patch Up

Round 1: I send ASM into the centre to get the syringe, then he heads back to one of the Secure markers. Liam passes a couple of times and eventually Juggernaut smashes some terrain on the left to hand out power and picks up a syringe. I’m going to have to commit something to the game so Gwen goes onto the right syringe and takes it. Thanos pulls her in and one-shots her before Portal-ing Venom backwards. Magneto and Doctor Voodoo contest the centre. The score is 3 – 2 to Liam.

Round 2: Thanos one-shots Gwen again to KO her and Portals Doctor Voodoo away. ASM goes into Magneto and achieves nothing at all, so Magneto dazes him in return with a little help from Thanos using Death’s Decree. Venom moves back into the action but can’t put any damage on Magneto. Over on the left, Juggernaut tries to play Do You Know Who I Am? to punt Miles but I stop it with Indomitable; he does get slapped for 4 damage though. Doctor Voodoo moves back to the centre and does no damage to Magneto while Miles uses Medpack and moves back to the Secure. The score goes to 8 – 4 in Liam’s favour.

Round 3: Magneto KOs Amazing Spider-Man and Voodoo dazes Magento in return. I need to get lucky and send Miles over Juggernaut but I don’t get any damage on him; Thanos eventually uses Cosmic Portal to move both Venom and Miles off the Secures while Venom strolls back onto the point he’s been bouncing off all game. I didn’t note what Juggernaut even did this turn, but it seems unlikely that Liam forgot to activate him. The score moves to 12 – 6.

Round 4: Magneto dazes Doctor Voodoo and Venom, both from full health; Venom tries a So Many Snacks counter attack but can’t do a single point of damage. Not surprisingly, Miles is not able to drop Juggernaut, and though he does have the power to Venom Blast the syringe off him I don’t have the power to pick it up. The finish with a flourish, Thanos saunters over and picks up the two syringes lying around to KO himself and score 8 VPs. We finish at 20 – 6.

Well, it’s been a while since I was outplayed that badly. With hindsight I probably would have been better off going with a Black Order core here as many of my control tools were wasted against Liam’s team. The dice also were not helping me; I didn’t roll a single success on any dice until round 3 and I was picking up my characters left and right as Liam’s team delivered damage with impunity. It’s not really easy to explain in the text but I do want to point out the fantastic positioning of both Magneto and Thanos in the mid-board; Liam has them snuggled up between bits of terrain so even if I had ever generated enough power to use my throws and pulls I couldn’t actually have meaningfully displaced them. Still, I really enjoyed the game – Liam was a gentleman throughout and executed his game plan very efficiently. Hopefully we’ll get to play again sometime and I can put up a bit more of a fight.

Game 2: Paul playing Guardians of the Galaxy

I was hoping that I might get a bit of an easier game here as I was in the 0 – 1 bracket but it was not to be as I faced Paul. However, this was great news as Paul is an excellent old friend who I know from back when we were both playing a lot of Malifaux; I was honestly a bit surprised to find him here with me having lost his first game too as he’s a very good player. Paul won priority and chose Extractions so we ended up with Cubes and Intrusions; I picked 17 threat because I wanted to specifically try Black Panther in this match-up; he has good defences and mobility and I think he’s quite resilient in general to the physical and energy typed attacks I was expecting. My plan is to contest across the middle in round 1 then abandon one of the Portal markers and consolidate between the other two until I can get an attrition advantage.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Thanos (Mind and Space stones), Corvus Glaive (Reality Stone), Black Panther
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, Indomitable, Medpack, Mothership
Paul’s team: Star Lord, Rocket, Nebula, Toad, Thanos (Mind and Space stones)
Paul’s cards: Field Dressing, Indomitable, Medpack, No Matter The Cost, Sacrifice

Round 1: Paul gives Winging It tokens to Star Lord, Rocket and Thanos. Toad and Rocket take the Cubes on Paul’s side of the board and, after a couple of passes, Corvus and Black Panther take mine and sit on the left and right Portals respectively. Nebula attacks Black Panther for no damage while Star Lord double moves onto the right Portal. My Thanos pulls him in but fails to do any damage, then his Thanos strolls up to the centre and moves Black Panther and my Thanos away, taking the Cube there in the process. The score is 4 – 3 in Paul’s favour.

Round 2: Paul gives Winging It tokens to Nebula, Star Lord and Thanos. Black Panther dazes Star Lord and then Nebula and Rocket take pot shots at him for minimal effect. Corvus goes through the Portal but the roll goes against me and Paul puts him in a really awkward place on the far right of the board so I have to use Climbing Gear to get him into the action. Sadly this needed the power I was hoping to use for a tasty Death Blow attack. He does at least manage to daze Rocket. Toad breathes a sigh of relief that the scary man has gone away and hops onto the left Portal. My Thanos punches his Thanos a couple of times, throwing him into Nebula to daze her and drawing out Indomitable in the process. Paul’s Thanos slaps mine a bit, moves both him and Corvus away and applies a Field Dressing to Star Lord. Star Lord then rolls brilliantly, doing the exact amount of damage to both Corvus and Black Panther that they will be dazed by the Cubes in the next power phase, which pretty much ensures that the game is over. The score is 9 – 6 to Paul.

Round 3: My Thanos slaps around a couple of Guardians but I would need to get pretty lucky to KO anyone, especially as Paul can play Sacrifice to ensure that two different victims get hit. Paul could probably daze my Thanos if needed but actually he just needs to pick up the Cubes and stand on the Portals to win anyway, so he does just that. Paul wins 17 – 6.

Oh dear, this is not going very well at all! Despite the margin of victory here, I think that this is actually closer than it looks. If Star Lord had done either one more or one less damage to either Corvus or Black Panther at the end of turn 2 I could have made a game of this as they could have actually got some attrition work done; probably KOing one or both of Nebula and Rocket (and perhaps even more if it had been Corvus). Paul played a solid game and in retrospect I think that I made an error in which way round I put Black Panther and Corvus. Corvus would have been more useful on my right with Thanos while Black Panther’s speed would have made him more effective in hunting down Toad on the left. Full credit to Paul, he used his team solidly and played him tactics cards at the right time to stop me doing what I needed.

Game 3: Craig playing Asgard

For game three I do indeed get an easier match-up (at least in terms of experience) as it turns out that this is actually going to be Craig’s third game ever. Craig wins priority and chooses Extractions so we end up with Cubes (again) and Mutant Madman; I go for 18 threat as this will mean that I can have a decent team that will use the last two characters from my roster who I haven’t used yet today. Mutant Madman is arguably better for Asgard than it is for me as they have so much power available, but on the other hand I like it because I can keep my characters moving around. I’m careful to explain how this Black Order team works as Craig almost certainly hasn’t played them before and the range from which Thanos can pull in his victims can be quite surprising.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Thanos (Mind and Space stones), Corvus Glaive (Reality Stone), Proxima Midnight, Bullseye
My cards: Brace For Impact, Execute, Indomitable, Medpack, Mothership
Craig’s team: Thor, Angela, Valkyrie, Black Widow, Baron Zemo
Craig’s cards: Disarm, Field Dressing, Inspiring Monologue, Odin’s Blessing, Rainbow Bridge

Round 1: Angela collects a couple of Cubes and sits in the middle of the board. Proxima double moves to the back left Secure and takes it but Bullseye fails to flip the near left one. Black Widow gets the one on the far right. Thor comes forward and Thanos pulls him in while using the Space stone to move Corvus forward onto the Secure. Corvus does Corvus things and dazes Thor, collects a cube and flips that Secure. Zemo and Valkyrie scoot into the centre. The score is 3 – 3.

Round 2: Corvus lays into Thor but can’t quite seal the deal through Odin’s Blessing, so Thor revs up and slaps Thanos silly. I go with Thanos who gratefully applies a Medpack before KOing the Asgardian prince. He also Cosmic Portals Valkyrie and Zemo back further from the action. Angela smacks another five damage into Thanos, who may be beginning to wonder if today is not his day! Bullseye throws a knife at her just to get the power and then collects the nearby Cube and flips the last Secure to atone for his failure last turn. Zemo bounces off Thanos and Proxima collects the Cube fragment from her corner and starts to gallop back in the direction of the action. Valkyrie tears into Thanos, leaving him on a single wound. We move to 10 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: I get a bit greedy with Corvus hoping for the Flurry trigger but don’t get it; Zemo is left on one wound and Angela gets dazed. Zemo makes no mistake this time and dazes Thanos. Bullseye plinks a couple of wounds off Valkyrie and she then dazes Corvus and collects one of the Cubes scattered around the floor by all these dazed characters. Proxima finally makes it into the fight and dazes Zemo before picking up both cubes. Black Widow can’t get the supreme luck that she would have needed to drop Proxima this round. The score goes to 17 – 8 in my favour.

Craig was a lovely opponent and I have to credit his bravery and confidence to come along to a tournament without having played even a single game before. That said, the mis-match of experience was great enough here that I think that the actual result wasn’t really in doubt and my only hope is that Craig enjoyed the game (and indeed, the whole event) enough that he’ll come back next time with some more games under his belt. From my side, I decided that I could get away with having Corvus and Proxima on opposite sides of the board on the basis that I was likely to keep priority regardless of combining their activations and by the time I needed to worry about that I would probably have enough power on them to Mothership them around.

Game 4: Ryan playing Web Warriors

For our last game of the day I was matched up with Ryan. For the fourth time I lost priority, though Ryan had also lost priority for his first three games so one of us was destined to end the streak here. He chose Secures and I was quite happy to have a nice brawl across the middle; I went for 18 threat for the simple reason that I would be able to use the same team as last time and not worry about it. My basic plan was to have Proxima take the right Hammer and then leg it back to the centre so I could brawl between the left and central Origin Bombs.

Extraction: Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians
Threat: 18
My team: Thanos (Mind and Space stones), Corvus Glaive (Reality Stone), Proxima Midnight, Bullseye
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, Indomitable, Medpack, Mothership
Ryan’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Spider, Black Cat, Captain Marvel
Ryan’s cards: All Webbed Up, Aunt May’s Wheat Cakes, Mission Objective, Patch Up, Spider Tracker

Round 1: Miles flips the left Origin Bomb and Proxima races up to snatch the right Hammer. Thanos pulls Miles in for Corvus, though this was probably a mistake and I should have had Bullseye take the left Hammer instead. Ryan takes advantage of my error and has Ghost Spider pick up that Hammer so Bullseye plinks a few wounds into her and fails to reflip the Origin Bomb. Annoyingly Corvus can’t put the remaining two wounds onto Miles, but fair’s fair so ASM completely fails to hurt Proxima on the far side. Captain Marvel takes the last hammer and heads for the centre. The score is 5 – 2 to Ryan.

Round 2: It seems like a waste to use Corvus to deal with Miles when Bullseye can do it without relying on rolling dice, so Miles gets dazed and Bullseye successfully flips the left Origin Bomb from under Gwen’s feet. She’s having none of his nonsense though, and dazes him easily. Proxima slaps Black Cat for a good few wounds and I see a chance to make ASM’s life really annoying so Proxima applies All The Conditions to ASM via her spender attack. He does punch her back but without power he’s very hard to get good value out of; he also plays Aunt May’s Wheat Cakes to remove damage from most of the Web Warriors. Thanos pulls Ghost Spider in and dazes her before flipping the central Origin Bomb. I don’t pick up the dropped Hammer with him partly because I think it’ll be more useful on Corvus and partly because I want to see if I can bait Ryan to move Captain Marvel in there to stand next to my two big hitters. Instead she dazes Proxima so Corvus picks up the Hammer, dazes her in return and collects the third Hammer. Black Cat picks up Proxima’s hammer and comes over to slap Corvus for minimal effect. The score is now 8 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: Corvus with three Hammers turns out to be a bit of a murder machine and he KOs both Miles and Ghost Spider. Captain Marvel hurts him in return and applies Stagger to Thanos with her spender before Thanos dazes Black Cat and gets the last hammer. ASM more or less bounces off Proxima. The score moves to 17 – 6 in my favour.

That felt like the sort of game where everything just went my way. I was pretty lucky on the dice and Ryan wasn’t. Amazing Spider-Man in particular is extremely reliant on good dice to get the power he needs to do all his cool stuff, so between generally not rolling well and having Proxima stick Poison and Stun on him in turn 2 meant that he didn’t really get rolling. This isn’t a match-up where you can afford to have your biggest hitter bouncing off their targets. In many ways this felt a bit like the reverse of my first game against Liam, where this time I was the one who just had to stick to a solid game plan while my opponent floundered against me. Ryan was a lovely chap and I hope that we get to play again soon.

Overall this was perhaps a result I’m happy with but not the manner that I came by it. I’d normally be perfectly pleased with a 2 – 2 result but it felt like I came up short playing into the stronger players against whom I compare myself and got one of my wins in a match-up against someone who was never going to be able to compete because of the huge mismatch in terms of experience level. Still, it’s just some games of dollies so even if I lose four in a row I’m pleased to be able to get four games in with lovely opponents. Many thanks to Liam, Paul, Craig and Ryan for four very fun games of Crisis Protocol, and of course thanks to Allan for putting the event on. I’ll be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Avenging April 02Apr2022

I was fortunate to be able to travel over to Common Ground Games in Stirling for another of Allan’s Marvel Crisis Protocol events. The scene is steadily growing here in Scotland, thanks in no small part to Allan’s own efforts, and along with a few travellers from the north of England we ended up with a nice neat 16 players.

At the end of my last event I had stated that I wanted to play Cabal for this event, mainly because I was trying to get Cassandra Nova to work for me. After many games against Gareth and others I just couldn’t get a satisfactory amount of work out of Cassandra Nova and I found that Cabal are just not really my cup of tea at the moment either. Luckily, I have no shortage of dollies available to play with so I went back to X-Men, partly because they’re a comic book favourite of mine and partly because there have been a few new releases for them which mixes up the possible rosters quite interestingly. I locked in Doctor Strange as an unaffiliated member as he synergises very nicely with Storm’s leadership, leaving me with two spaces. I wanted to include Mystique (quite an annoying scenario piece with some cute tech, plus she has the Deception card to keep the other team on their toes), Hulk (a much-needed brawler who I’ve used in X-Men previously) and Doctor Voodoo (the current meta hotness due to his scenario-based superpower but also rather hard to put down for an old wizard). After going back and forth on all of these, even on the train travelling to the event, I ended up keeping them all and taking Gambit out of my roster.

[Characters]
– Beast: 3
– Doctor Strange: 5
– Doctor Voodoo: 4
– Domino: 3
– Honey Badger: 2
– Hulk: 6
– Mystique: 3
– Rogue: 4
– Storm: 3
– X-23: 3

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– Brace for Impact
– Climbing Gear
– Deception
– First Class
– Indomitable
– Jonathan the Unstoppable
– Medpack
– Mission Objective
– To Me, My X-men!

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17
– The Montesi Formula Found [E]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians [C]: 17
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18
– Portals Overrun City with Spider-People [D]: 18

Game 1: Stephen playing Avengers

For the first round I get paired up with Stephen. By luck I’d actually met him on the train earlier and we had discussed some roster selection choices as he, like me, had 11 characters that he needed to pare down to 10 spaces. I won priority and picked Secures; none of his Extracts were looking terrible for me and I prefer to pick Secures so that I can leverage First Class.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Beast, Doctor Strange
My cards: Brace For Impact, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack, Mission Objective
Stephen’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Hulk, Killmonger, Vision
Stephen’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Field Dressing, Indomitable, Medpack, Usurp The Throne

Round 1: I don’t think I’ve got what it takes to drop Hulk here so I’m going to use Doctor Strange to control him as much as possible and play the scenario with the hope of winning before Hulk kills all my team. I play First Class. Storm takes the left Portal and fails to find the Skrull, then Vision comes over and gets it on her side which is probably not a bad result for me – I don’t want it to end up on Hulk. Rogue flips the Portal on the right and Beast and Captain America take each of our ‘home’ Portals; Beast positions so that Doctor Strange can get as close as possible to Vision with the X-Men flip. Killmonger Charges Rogue and retakes the right Portal; I could try to take it back with Domino but I think I’m better trying to drop Killmonger while he’s not in Bodyguard range of Captain America so she puts a nice few wounds on the Wakandan. Doctor Strange gets a couple of nice shots into Vision, pushing him closer to my team to hopefully relieve him of the Skrull shortly. You can see in the photo that I’ve lined up Vision to get a perfect beam attack into Beast and Doctor Strange which was rather silly of me. Finally Hulk races over to the left Portal but fails to flip it and gets placed away due to rolling a skull. The score is 4 – 2 to Stephen.

Round 2: I need to keep Hulk out of my hair (easier said than done) and get the Skrull off Vision here. On the right I’m not too worried; if Killmonger gets a turn he’ll probably daze one or the other of Domino and Rogue but the other one ought to daze him in return. Vision zaps Doctor Strange but leaves him on a single wound remaining and I have to play Indomitable to stop him from being dazed by a throw into Beast. He also Medpacks himself, which Doctor Strange immediately follows suit. I use Strange’s spender into Vision (he’s too resistant to energy attacks at this point to feel likely to daze him) and get the stagger but leave him standing. I could attack him again and hope for a spiky roll but decide to push Hulk away instead and make him spend some effort coming back to me. Killmonger easily dazes Rogue and Beast can’t quite drop Vision which is going to be a bit of a problem for me as I’m expecting Captain America to come over and take hits as needed after that, which indeed he does after playing Avengers Assemble to get everyone into a much better position on the left. Storm zaps Hulk to apply Shock then drops Vision (this was surely an error from Stephen as he probably had the power to Bodyguard it onto Captain America). She X-Men flips over and picks up the Skrull – go Storm! Sadly her elation is short-lived as Hulk strolls over and smites her easily and for once I remember to play Mission Objective to hand the Skrull to Beast. Over on the right, Domino dazes Killmonger and reflips the Portal. The score is now 7 – 5 in my favour.

Round 3: I’m almost certain to give up the Skrull here so I need to deal with Killmonger and then get Rogue and Domino over to take Stephen’s home Portal and get involved in the brawl. To my huge surprise, Hulk can’t quite drop Beast after I have Doctor Strange use all his power on shielding him, plus Beast’s own re-rolls and the effect of Shock on Hulk; Doctor Strange does get dazed by a throw though. That changes my plans a bit so Beast high-tails it out of there as fast as he can. Stephen is obviously mindful of the situation over on the right so Killmonger KOs Rogue. Storm uses two powered-up beam attacks since Captain America, Hulk and Vision are neatly lined up; the first one is totally useless but I do get some nice damage out of the second. Captain America and Vision chase Beast but the former gets unlucky with a shield throw and the latter has to shake stagger. Meanwhile Domino KOs Killmonger, which is certainly a relief. The score moves to a rather fortunate 11 – 7 to me.

Round 4: Now that I have priority, my first plan is to somehow keep Beast alive. I could just keep moving him but I think that Doctor Strange can probably use a bit of control to reduce Stephen’s options. Over on the right, Domino is now free to start making a run for the open Portal on Stephen’s side. Doctor Strange dazes Captain America after he Bodyguards a shot targeting Vision and pushes Hulk away from Beast. Vision still somehow can’t finish off Beast and even with a throw into Strange he’s able to survive with Brace For Impact; however this does make it easier for Hulk to get to him. Beast keeps on his slow Skrull-laden jog away from the action. Hulk applies Field Dressing to Captain America and has enough movement to get within range to throw a building at Beast. I need four blocks from four dice on the dodge roll and, incredibly, I get it! At this point I’m apologising to Stephen for my crazy defence dice on Beast. Storm makes up for it by failing to push through the one point of damage she would need to daze Captain America again and retakes the left Portal; Captain America saunters over and takes it right back. The score moves to 15 – 9.

Round 5: I don’t actually need to do anything at all here as there is no way for Stephen to relieve me of the Skrull and both of my Portals, but we play it out anyway. Hulk finally smashes Beast into the ground like a tent peg and collects the Skrull. Doctor Strange dazes Captain America and KOs Vision, then Storm and Domino take the last two Portals. We finish up at 19 – 11 in my favour.

Well, that was a funny game with Beast’s defence dice. I think that I had enough board presence to keep ahead on the Spider Portals even if Hulk had taken the Skrull when he probably ought to have done in turn 3, though I would have needed to prioritise things a bit differently. Stephen was a great chap to play and credit to him for keeping himself in the game even when Beast was leading a charmed life. I think that he probably wasted Killmonger a bit as he was never going to get Usurp The Throne while he was on the opposite side of the board from Doctor Strange.

Game 2: Ewan playing X-Men

This is going to be an interesting mirror match. It’s good to finally be able to get in a game against Ewan as he’s travelled down from Aberdeen for all of these events at CGG but I’ve never actually faced him. Ewan wins priority and decides to take Secures. I go for the lower threat as I can see that he has Juggernaut and I want to make sure that he’s a big investment in such a wide scenario. I swap in Mystique as I want to be able to threaten a Deception to either pull a Hammer-holding character in for the kill early while unsupported or drag someone off a scoring point into no-man’s-land.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorize Cities
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Mystique, Doctor Strange
My cards: Brace For Impact, Deception, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack
Ewan’s team: Storm, Juggernaut, Gambit, Wolverine, X-23
Ewan’s cards: Bitter Rivals, Do You Know Who I Am?, Patch-Up, Wolverines, X-Ceptional Healing

Round 1: I want Doctor Strange to end up on the central point to push people around, then I think that we’ll probably end up with two Hammers each unless Ewan is a bit careless on Mystique’s side of the board. I play First Class. Both of our Storms collect a Hammer on the sides and Juggernaut and Rogue take the ones closest to our deployment zones. The combat is pretty uninspired, with Gambit failing to hurt Storm and Doctor Strange similarly failing against Juggernaut. The score is a neat 4 – 4.

Round 2: I need to try to break the deadlock. I’m not very likely to take Juggernaut’s Hammer off him so I’ll have to control him if possible and go for Storm; that has the advantage of possibly dislodging her from that point. Storm puts Shock on Domino but Mystique rolls very nicely to daze Gambit so I put her on the back left point to be annoying with Martial Artist. Juggernaut crashes over and drops Storm to a single hit point. She has to go and use Medpack before I lose her and she zaps Wolverine a couple of times in the (forlorn) hope of applying Shock. Doctor Strange leaves X-23 on a single hit point too and forces her to play X-Ceptional Healing and Rogue dazes her. The score goes to 8 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: The plan remains the same here; control Juggernaut and get Storm’s Hammer. Ideally I’ll also KO Gambit but I think that I’m pretty likely to lose my Storm too. X-23 gets stuck into Storm, nearly dazing her, then plays the Wolverines card. Since I’m about to lose her, my Storm puts Shock on Juggernaut, meanwhile Ewan’s Storm does nothing useful to Domino. Mystique leaves Gambit on a single wound so he zaps her back a bit before Doctor Strange KOs him. Wolverine dazes my Storm and collects her Hammer and Rogue slaps Juggernaut a bit. The big chap dazes Mystique with a cheeky Power Slide and pushes Doctor Strange off the central point. Domino dazes Ewan’s Storm and picks up her Hammer. The score is tied again at 11 – 11.

Round 4: We’re tied again on the Hammers so I need to up my game as far as the Secures go here. Having KOed Gambit will work in my favour as it means that Ewan is even more thinly spread for board presence. Juggernaut starts us off by hurting Domino who rolls some hilariously bad attacks into Storm (no hits for Rapid Fire, not even any skulls to turn into criticals). The run of weird dice continues as Storm fails to get her back and Mystique does nothing to Wolverine, also not rolling a single hit. Wolverine makes short work of my Storm and Doctor Strange can’t quite finish off the other Storm, though he does move back to the central point. X-23 and Rogue both move to sit on Secures. The game ends at 16 – 14 in my favour.

That was a fun game, and it shows the interesting breadth of Crisis Protocol as despite this being a mirror match we only had one character and no cards the same. I think that I possibly got a bit lucky in dazing Gambit so easily in round two and it set me up to have a slight numerical advantage which turned out to be critical in the end. On the other the dice also got a bit weird in round four and I could perhaps have hoped to get a bit of an attritional advantage then if the game wasn’t about to end anyway. Juggernaut is pretty spooky under Storm’s leadership; he’s already a pain to deal with so the extra cover is a huge problem, and he loves the positioning too. Ewan played him very well and I don’t think that I had a great answer to him.

Game 3: Allan playing Brotherhood of Mutants

Allan was able to play in his own event in order to avoid needing a bye, and it was great to get to play him again. We actually got to play a few games a couple of weeks ago so I don’t think that either of us had any big surprises for each other here. I win priority and choose Extractions as I don’t really mind his Secures too much but I don’t fancy playing Alien Ship at 20 threat. I put Doctor Voodoo in as I figure that this is going to be a brawl in the middle and he is quite tough, plus I only just painted him and want to get him on the table. Allan’s team is a bit of a surprise, I was expecting to see Juggernaut instead of Toad and Magik.

Extraction: Struggle for the Cube Continues
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse
Threat: 19
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack
Allan’s team: Magneto, Magik, Doctor Voodoo, Toad, Rogue
Allan’s cards: Asteroid M, Indomitable, Journey Through Limbo, Mind If I Cut In?, Patch Up

Round 1: Since we’re playing Cubes and I have priority it would feel rude not to take the central one straight away so my plan is just to be on 3 vs 2 of the Cubes and not give up anything silly on the Secures. I play First Class. Doctor Voodoo get to be the lucky bait and moves into the centre to collect the first Cube; there is actually a nice play with X-Men where a medium base medium move character can get to the centreline for an Extract and then away again but since I need to be there anyway for the Portal I don’t need to use it. Toad comes right over to my side of the board for a very cheeky play to take the near left Cube. Doctor Strange uses the X-Men flip to get in sight of him but leaves the little chap alive and he is able to Slippery away off the second attack. Magik comes over on the right, collecting a Cube en route. Domino walks up and dazes Toad which lets me collect ‘my’ Cube fragment from that side; I admire the boldness of Allan’s play there and I think that it has a pretty reasonable chance of working out for him. Magneto walks twice and throws the first of many bits of terrain at Doctor Strange and everyone else just gets settled in on the centreline for a brawl. The score is 4 – 2 to me.

Round 2: I want to KO Toad and get him out of my hair and also keep at least one of the side Portals free; the centre is going to be a huge scrum whatever we both do. Rogue gets us started by hitting Toad and Doctor Voodoo, the latter uses Indomitable to avoid the throw into the former. Allan has his Rogue play Mind If I Cut In? then Doctor Voodoo starts chewing through my Rogue’s wounds. My own Doctor Voodoo KOs Toad by throwing Rogue at him and she then uses Patch Up on his Doctor Voodoo. Doctor Strange pushes Rogue away from the action then Magneto dazes my Doctor Voodoo, collects his Cube and plays Asteroid M to bring Rogue back into the fray. Storm puts Shock on Magik and throws her off the point, and of course Magik comes right back over and uses Journey Through Limbo to send Storm away instead. Back in the centre Domino dazes Rogue and neatly leaves Magneto on a single hit point. The score moves to 8 – 6 to me.

Round 3: I need to get some attrition work done here and just keep myself in the game. We start off with Magento’s Cube dazing him which is a rather nice way to get going. Allan’s Rogue dazes Domino and my Rogue hurts Doctor Voodoo and throws him into Allan’s Rogue before his Doctor Voodoo dazes my Rogue. Hmm, quite confusing! Storm dazes Magik but can’t get back onto the Portal. My Doctor Voodoo KOs Allan’s Rogue (that ought to make things a bit simpler), picks up a pair of Cubes and strolls to the left Portal. Finally Doctor Strange dazes Allan’s Doctor Voodoo and takes his Cube. The score moves now to 15 – 6.

Round 4: Allan’s going to have his work cut out here as I only need one more point and he can’t get over the line in one turn even if he scores all the points. My best bet is going to be holding onto the left Portal so I want to keep that clear and also get Storm as far away from Magik as possible to keep her Cube in play. Magneto is full of power and angry, he drops Doctor Strange and almost polishes off Domino. Storm runs away from Magik but the scary lady catches her anyway and dazes her to take her Cube. Domino guns down Doctor Voodoo and the game finishes at 19 – 9 in my favour.

As ever, Allan was a fun opponent and I really enjoyed this game. In a sense things hinged a bit on the results of his Toad play right at the start – if I couldn’t have dazed Toad then he would be a thorn in my side for much longer, would have scored an extra point for him in round one etc, and more importantly me KOing him in turn two meant that I could really start to take advantage of the attrition in the centre using Doctor Strange’s defensive and healing superpowers to extend my team’s longevity.

Game 4: Jay playing Defenders

It’s the final game and I’m up against Jay, who has spent the day very modestly talking down his skills but is clearly a strong player. Jay wins priority and chooses Secures, and I go for a lower threat value in the hope that being locked into an expensive leader will be slightly more annoying for him. Actually that doesn’t make any difference at all as I also pick Doctor Strange, partly on the basis that he’s been doing well for me all day and partly thinking that his pushes and healing will be quite handy here. I did consider taking Hulk instead (and swapping around some of the X-Men, of course) and it would be interesting to try that match-up and see how it played out.

Extraction: Struggle for the Cube Continues
Secure: Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest
Threat: 15
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Doctor Strange
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack
Jay’s team: Doctor Strange, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Vision
Jay’s cards: Brace For Impact, Field Dressing, Follow Me, Heroes For Hire, Seven Suns of Cinnibus

Round 1: If I get the chance I’ll send Rogue up the middle for the Cube as she’s the hardest to kill but as Jay has priority I’m expecting him to pick it up with Luke Cage (also not trivial to kill!) and that I’ll end up with two Cube fragments on my side of the board. Storm will sit on my ‘home’ point and zap stuff, Rogue and Doctor Strange will be on the middle point and Domino can just float between them gunfighting… at least this is the plan. I play First Class for a little bit of power efficiency. Jay leads off by sending Moon Knight to take his right Cube and then returning to his shelter so Rogue goes up the middle to take the central Cube. Doctor Strange collects the back left Cube and pushes her off the point, applying Hex of course. I put my own Doctor Strange in the mix and push his away. Storm and Domino collect the Cubes on my side of the board and head for the shelters. I didn’t realise it at the time, but my poor positioning in the centre with Doctor Strange and Domino practically holding hands is going to cause me big problems with Jay’s beam attacks next turn; in retrospect this is even more frustrating since I made the same mistake against Stephen’s Vision in game 1. The score is 4 – 3 to me.

Round 2: We’ve picked up all the Cubes so it’s just going to be a straight up brawl from here on in. Doctor Strange uses Seven Suns of Cinnibus and zaps my Doctor Strange and Domino. I possibly should have gone with Strange here so I could heal him but instead used Rogue who hits Vision then Luke Cage Bodyguards her spender and gets thrown. Vision goes to work with his beam, dazing both Doctor Strange and Domino and forcing me to use Indomitable in the process; Storm does at least daze him in return. Cage picks up the fallen Cube fragments and Moon Knight rolls like a monster to drop Rogue to one wound. The score goes to 9 – 7 to Jay.

Round 3: I need to get some good work done here, especially as Rogue gets dazed in the power phase by her Cube fragment. I decide to go with Domino first on the basis that Doctor Strange is not likely to die in one go and therefore might be able to use his healing power. She does manage to daze Cage but leaves Vision on one wound and he doesn’t make the same mistake on Strange, KOing him in a single turn and throwing Domino away for good measure. Storm throws Vision to KO him at least and get him out of the way. Moon Knight comes up and dazes Storm and Strange stands on my shelter. Jay takes the game 17 – 9.

That was certainly a lesson! Jay was a tremendous fun opponent and I’m hopeful that I can get many more games in with him, though clearly I need to up my game considerably. Jay very charitably put this down to dice but I think I gave the chance for the dice to be against me; simply positioning Strange and Domino further apart in turn one would have made his life considerably harder as it allowed Vision and his Doctor Strange to beam through them very effectively. I also didn’t play my cards very well; I missed a couple of good opportunities to use Climbing Gear to get around the board and Medpack was never used simply because my heroes went from healthy to zero in a single activation. It also occurred to me on the train home that I could actually have played a fairly amusing Defenders list myself (using Doctor Strange, Hulk and either Rogue or Doctor Voodoo) but I’m relying on Hulk holding a lot of Cube fragments there and I suspect that he would spend a lot of time being pushed around by Jay’s Doctor Strange.

In the end I still come in second, top of the 3 – 1 players on Strength of Schedule which I’m very happy with. More importantly I had a fantastic day out gaming with fun and interesting matches. Many thanks to Stephen, Ewan, Allan and Jay for four fun games of Crisis Protocol, and especially to Allan for also doing all the work to organise everything. I’ll be back for the next event in a month or so, and I’m already thinking about what to bring!

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Be My Vibranium Valentine 12Feb2022

Marvel Crisis Protocol is back on at Common Ground Games in Stirling so I went out to try my luck again at Allan’s event. Previous MCP tournaments locally have tended to be around a dozen players so it was a wonderful surprise to us all that we had 26 attendees for this one hailing from across Scotland and the North East of England.

I played Criminal Syndicate again, swapping out Ant-Man and Beast for some new acquisitions in the form of Mysterio and Hood. My game plan remains simply sitting on Secure points while not letting the Extract game get too far away from me. I’ve found that I play a more aggressive Criminal Syndicate game plan than some others; mainly this is because I find it more fun to interact with the game rather than just gently push the other team around while never attacking them.

[Characters]
– Black Cat: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Crossbones: 3
– Hood: 3
– Kingpin: 4
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Mysterio: 3
– Okoye: 2
– Omega Red: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All According to Plan
– Brace for Impact
– Carbonadium Synthesizer
– Climbing Gear
– Hood’s Gang
– Medpack
– Mission Objective
– Shadow Organization
– The Grand Illusion

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses [C]: 16
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

Game 1 – Alastair playing Spider Foes

Alastair is an old friend and we’ve been trying to arrange a game anyway so it was very pleasant to be drawn into him in the first round. He wins priority and picks Extracts; I think that my game at lower threat is a bit stronger than his so I pick the lower option.

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Black Dwarf, Okoye, Bullseye
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Medpack
Alastair’s team: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Lizard, Kraven
Alastair’s cards: Grand Illusion, Medpack, Monkey Brain is Lizard Home, Sinister Traps, Well Laid Plans

Criminal Syndicate really hate Spider-Infected as the random pushes are as good as a stagger for them most times. On the other hand, Missing Witnesses can be quite fast scoring and I think I can probably rack up 4 points a turn, so if I can just keep the extracts under control then I can probably survive into a round 3 win.

Round 1: Alastair plays sinister traps on my left Spider-Infected. Okoye gets us going by picking up the central marker but Green Goblin drops her in a single shot despite the cover to pick it up himself. Black Dwarf triggers the traps on the left (better him than Bullseye) so Bullseye has to stand on the left Witness. Luckily, Mysterio is too slow to contest it so I still score thanks to Kingpin’s leadership. I take a 6 – 3 lead but forgot to take a photo until partway through the next round – Alastair is the kind of gentleman who would probably be happy to rewind the game state so I could take one but I didn’t ask since it’s a Serious Business event.

Round 2: I do get pretty lucky with the Spider-Infected pushing Green Goblin back a bit but not affecting Black Dwarf or Kingpin. Mysterio gets going with his trickery to move both Bullseye and Black Dwarf around and use traps to hurt them. Bullseye survives on a single hit point so I throw some knives into Mysterio. Doctor Octopus really hurts Omega Red so he uses Carbondium Synthesiser and Medpack then slaps him right back in a tentacle-on-tentacle fight. Kraven stabs Okoye and Kingpin hurts him before throwing him away. Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus play the least effective Well Laid Plans ever, getting no damage on Black Dwarf and only one on Kingpin which he pays power to ignore. In a rage, Green Goblin lands some tasty damage onto Kingpin. Okoye dazes Kraven and Lizard gets stuck into Black Dwarf with minimal effect, though I do play Brace For Impact to avoid the damage from a rather cheeky throw. In return, Black Dwarf smacks Lizard around, then throws him off toward my corner. The scoring continues at the same rate; 12 – 6 to me.

Round 3: The Spider-Infected shuffle us around a bit but crucially allow me to move Lizard right into the corner away from the action. Kraven uses Expert Hunter on Black Dwarf and Kingpin, adding Corner the Beast to the latter before getting stuck in with his spear. Black Dwarf dazes Mysterio, to my great relief. Doctor Octopus daze Kingpin and Medpacks the damage he took last turn, then Okoye sticks a bit of damage into Kraven. Omega Red pulls Doctor Octopus off the right Witness and stands on it himself. Lizard can only double walk back to the left Witness and I’m just resigned to going another round when we both remember that Bullseye is still on his healthy side. So he strolls over and scores that Witness too. I get the win at 17 – 9.

That was a really fun game that I think was closer than the scoreline suggest. Alastair is a really great chap to play and could have won if the dice had favoured him in a few key places; notably the Well-Laid Plans being completely ineffective was a big blow to his chances. I’m not sure if I would perhaps have been better off just letting Green Goblin take the central Spider Infected and sending Okoye out to the left side to shore up the mess that Mysterio was making of my positioning over there; on the other hand it wasn’t particularly likely that he could drop her in a single shot so maybe it was worth the risk.

Game 2 – Stephen playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Stephen is a new face to our tournaments and it was great to see him and his own isolated gaming group coming out to join in the wider Scotland scene. I win priority and pick Secures as he had a couple of ‘pay to flip’ cards that I don’t really want to play with for Criminal Syndicate.  We end up playing the basic teaching scenario from the core rule book.

Extraction: Struggle for the Cube Continues
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0
Threat: 17
My team: Kingpin, MODOK, Crossbones, Hood, Bullseye
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, Hood’s Gang Medpack
Stephen’s team: Star Lord, Angela, Ronan, Rocket, Groot
Stephen’s cards: Deadly Duo, Field Dressing, I Am Groot, Lovable Misfits, Medpack

Crossbones and Kingpin really love Cubes as they can choose whether to take the damage or not. I picked MODOK as he’s great on D maps where he can just sit on the back point and zap fools around the board with his huge range as required. I often find that the action is drawn away from one or other of the edge points so I thought if I tried to keep the action away from the right spot it might be a good place for Hood to stand and plink away at people.

Round 1: Not much happens as we mostly just position ourselves around the edges. Stephen makes a mistake (in my opinion) by taking the central cube with Ronan rather than Angela so he’s left hanging about in the middle for MODOK to shoot with mind bullets. We go to 4 – 4 on the score.

Round 2: Winging It tokens are given to Angela, Rocket and Ronan. MODOK rolls like a champion, dazing Angela and Ronan; he didn’t even need to throw any terrain! Rocket uses Deadly Duo to hurt Bullseye and Kingpin, so Kingpin throws Groot away but annoyingly can’t drop Rocket – I guess I used up my luck with MODOK. Groot strolls back to the point and uses We Are Groot to heal Rocket back to full. Star Lord shoots MODOK and then uses Field Dressing on Ronan; I do explain about Bullseye’s superpower but he’s happy to do it anyway. So Bullseye of course just drops Ronan again and gets thrown away after a smiting from Ronan’s The Accuser superpower. He uses Climbing Gear to get onto the left console and somewhere in here Crossbones collects Angela’s cube. The score moves to 11 – 5 to me.

Round 3: The same three characters get Winging It tokens, and I play All According To Plan. MODOK continues his rampage, KOing Angela and dazing Star Lord, then Bows Ronan to walk away from the action. Rocket dazes both Kingpin and Bullseye with an application of his Hadron Enforcer, then Hood and Crossbones move to cover the back and right Secures. Ronan hits MODOK after a long slog back to relevance and Groot picks up Kingpin’s cube, but it’s too little too late for the Guardians and I win 17 – 9. However, it seems that I forgot to take a photo.

I really enjoyed that and I hope that I didn’t put Stephen off tournaments! It’s hard to learn much from a game where everything goes so nicely in my favour, and especially because MODOK just did so much attrition work in the centre that Stephen was going to have a really uphill fight to stay in the game.

Game 3 – Jay playing Wakanda

I’ve never met Jay before but he seems highly experienced mainly through playing in the TTS leagues. He had a really cool dual-affiliation Asgard and Wakanda roster but I think that I was expecting him to lean more into the control side of Wakanda against my Criminal Syndicate. He wins priority and picks Extracts, which I suspect is to avoid the risk that I draw Research Station or Deadly Legacy Virus. I again pick the slightly lower threat as I don’t really want to see Thor getting rerolls from Shuri.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Black Dwarf, Okoye, Bullseye
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Medpack
Jay’s team: Black Panther, Shuri, Okoye, Lizard, Enchantress
Jay’s cards: Bitter Rivals, Blind Obsession, Indomitable, Medpack, Wakanda Forever

I picked the same team that I used again Alastair in round 1 as I figured that it worked well enough. Black Dwarf is now big enough that Black Panther and Shuri can’t push him around which is a very nice advantage. On Jay’s side, he is clearly looking to enjoy the brief window before Indomitable gets added to the Restricted list by taking it in his cards.

Round 1: Lizard walks up and takes the central book. Enchantress Bows Bullseye off the left point to take it and Shuri pushes Omega Red on the right, forcing me to commit Black Dwarf over there. The score is 3 – 3 as for some reason Jay never took the time to collect the book at his end; Okoye has mine.

Round 2: Shuri picks up the last book, and Kingpin rolls really well to daze Enchantress; he also throws Okoye away. Lizard hurts Bullseye then throws Kingpin at him, forcing me to play Brace For Impact to keep him in the game. Bullseye dazes Okoye and Omega Red walks back to the right point. My Okoye walks onto the Witness and zaps Shuri and Black Panther with her spellbook before Black Panther pounces, pushes her away and applies Medpack. Black Dwarf begins a very slow trudge across the board to become relevant and Kingpin uses Climbing Gear to get back onto the Witness. The score moves to 8 – 5 in my favour.

Round 3: To no-one’s surprise, I use All According To Plan. Black Dwarf throws Lizard into Shuri, dazing her, then collects the fallen book and beams Black Planther and Lizard. Lizard moves back into the mix. Kingpin moves onto the point, headbutts Black Panther (but Okoye Bodyguards it) and tries to throw Lizard but he pays for Indomitable this time. Enchantress moves over and uses Spurned Affection to beam Kingpin and Bullseye and Okoye dazes Kingpin. Black Panther dazes my Okoye and collects her fallen book. The score is now 11 – 9 to me.

Round 4: Kingpin throws Lizard for the daze, but can’t finish off the Enchantress with a headbutt. I made a mistake here; I should have had him pick up the book and beam Enchantress and Okoye; the extra die might have been enough to push through one last point on Enchantress to finish her off. Shuri pays for Bitter Rivals on Bullseye, then Enchantress Bows Okoye into line for a beam and tags her (for the KO), Bullseye and Kingpin twice each. I made a huge misplay here; I should have used Parting Shot on the first attack to drop her and save myself all the damage from the second beam. Wakanda Forever gets played to drop Kingpin too, and Okoye puts a bit of damage onto Black Dwarf. He throws Okoye into Black Panther to KO her but can’t polish off the Wakandan king so he uses Medpack. Black Panther pounces to finish off Bullseye but doesn’t hurt Black Dwarf. The score is now 14 – 12 in my favour, but I’m going to lose.

Round 5: Lizard uses Blind Obsession on Black Dwarf but it’s not needed and Black Panther dazes him and collects the book. The final score moves to 17 – 16 in Jay’s favour and he takes the well-earned win.

What a game! That was nail-biting right down to the end of round 4 and could have gone either way very easily. I made two big misplays in round 4 which I think was probably enough to swing this tight game in Jay’s favour. Thinking over the game in more detail, I wondered if I might have been better placed to move Okoye over to the right so that Omega Red could have come across to get involved in the scrum on the left, where he would have been more useful. But the mobility advantage was very much on Jay’s side so I suspect that I would have just had Okoye getting beaten up by Black Panther for a couple of turns instead. Jay was a really fun opponent and I very much hope to see him across the table again so I can try my luck against his formidable skills once more.

Game 4 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

I was really glad to get matched up in the final round against Martin as we’ve played before and he’s a really nice guy with a very strong understanding of the game. I won priority here and picked Secures as I didn’t fancy Martin’s (and he knew it); I was quite surprised that he picked the lower threat value though.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Black Cat
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Medpack
Martin’s team: Blade, Black Dwarf, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight
Martin’s cards: Blind Obsession, Highway to Hell, Medpack, Patch Up, Siege of Darkness

Since this was the final game and with nothing in particular riding on it (we were both out of contention for an outright win) I decided to try MODOK in this split scenario and see if his control would be enough despite having to spend his first turn walking. I wanted Black Cat to give me an option on stealing the Core if needed, and I just like Omega Red. When I saw Martin’s team I realised that part of Martin’s game plan would be using Highway to Hell to get MODOK way out of the action.

Round 1: Black Cat, Blade and Kingpin move directly up to their respective piles of rubble and all fail to find the Kree Core. Moon Knight starts throwing attacks into Kingpin. Black Dwarf and MODOK move into the right scrum and also don’t find the Core, but Black Dwarf crucial blocks off Omega Red from getting near the Witness. So Omega Red has to content himself with giving Black Dwarf and Blade some Poison. The score is 2 – 2.

Round 2: MODOK bounces frustratingly off Ghost Rider and Bows Black Dwarf to move away. Ghost Rider, by contrast, rolls like a hero against Omega Red, Medpacks a little damage away and then finds the Core. Omega Red gets a similar turn of luck, dazing Ghost Rider and collecting the Core (I didn’t note it but I think that I must have also used Medpack here). Moon Knight dazes Kingpin, forcing me to send Black Cat that way rather than heading right to help out MODOK and Omega Red; in retrospect I wonder if this was a mistake. Black Dwarf puts a bit more damage onto Omega Red but can’t drop him so the score is now 6 – 4 in my favour.

Round 3: Moon Knight puts Blind Obsession on Kingpin. Omega Red hurts Ghost Rider, then Blade hits back. Martin plays Siege of Darkness so Moon Knight pays to stick some damage into Kingpin and Ghost Rider dazes Omega Red. Blade picks up the Core. MODOK lets fly but leaves Ghost Rider and Blade on a single hit point each which is a really annoying outcome. Moon Knight has no such trouble, finishing off Kingpin before Black Cat dazes him. Ghost Rider plays Highway to Hell with all the power that MODOK kindly gave him to get my big headed one way away from the action near my board edge. The score moves to 8 – 8, though at least the Witness moving over dazes Blade and KOs Ghost Rider.

Round 4: Omega Red lets loose on Blade and again leaves him on just a single wound, so Blade just moves away from the witness. Black Cat Staggers Moon Knight, but he dazes her anyway. MODOK uses Climbing Gear to get back in the action but can’t finish Blade; in the end I can either Bow Black Dwarf away or take my chances throwing something at Blade and decide to go for the former. Black Dwarf moves back in and throws MODOK off the Witness. The score goes to 12 – 10 to Martin, but at least the Witness finishes Blade off. The Witnesses are doing better than my villains!

Round 5: Omega Red is not able to deal with Black Dwarf but MODOK dazes him. On the other side of the board, Moon Knight continues his rampage by KOing Black Cat. I didn’t actually note what happened to the Core here but presumably neither of us picked it up. The score is 14 – 12 to Martin, and I guess I also forgot to take a photo.

Round 6: Black Dwarf finally polishes off Omega Red and picks up the Core. MODOK would have to get staggeringly lucky to take it off him (which is what is needed now) and doesn’t manage it; he does at least Bow him off the Witness so I can score it. We finish at 18 – 14 with a win for Martin.

This was a really fun way to end the event, and I’ve very much enjoyed playing with Martin. Strategically, I think that I would probably play the game largely the same again if I’m honest. Moon Knight dropping Kingpin as fast as he did is pretty improbable and hanging on for another turn would have allowed me to use Black Cat on the right. There were also an frustrating number of times where I left Blade or Ghost Rider on a single wound and if any of them come up with a daze of KO instead I think that the momentum is back with me. Still, it’s no good blaming the dice – Martin played his team and cards very well, making the moves he needed to very cleverly to keep me on the back foot for most of the game. Martin is the host of the Tales Of Crisis podcast so I’ll look forward to hearing about how this looked from his side later on.

So when all the dust settles I’m still in a fairly creditable 9th place, top of the 2 – 2 players. More importantly, I had a great time and got to play four very fun games of MCP against four very nice gentlemen. That’s probably it for my Criminal Syndicate for now as I have a hankering to play Red Skull Cabal for a bit; if they’re fun to play I’ll aim to take them out to the next event. Many thanks to Alastair, Stephen, Jay and Martin for the highly enjoyable games, and of course to Allan for running the whole thing. I’ll be back!

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 08Jan2022

Allan and I (without Gareth this time) travelled down the A1 again to Stanley to take part in a Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament at The Bearded Card Trader. The turnout was similar to the last time but with a different mix of locals which is probably a good sign of a healthy scene in the area.

This time I opted to play Criminal Syndicate. This is mainly because I recently acquired Omega Red and wanted to try him out, but also the scenario-focused playstyle of Kingpin’s leadership makes them a lot of fun to put on the table. Adding to the interest are the recent changes to Bullseye making him an in-affiliation two threat character, plus the presence of one of my favourite MCP characters (to play, I’m not particularly fussed about him in the comics) in the form of MODOK. The game plan is basically to sit on the Secure points and rack up VPs while either annoying the other team over the Extracts or, more likely, beating them senseless to cement an attrition advantage. If I lose Priority I can get it back with the All According To Plan tactics card which I’m aiming to play in round 3 if necessary. In terms of out-of-affiliation picks, I took Beast (has a cheap throw and I love to play him), Ant-Man (very mobile so I could use him to jump on an unguarded Secure late in a round), Okoye (another two threat, plus she’s disproportionately hard to kill in a brawl) and Black Dwarf (really hard to kill, has a cool throw and is quite hard to get off a point without special tech). I also borrowed the Research Station card from Allan to use as an Extract since it’s pretty much a Secure in disguise.

[Characters]
– Ant-Man: 3
– Beast: 3
– Black Cat: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Crossbones: 3
– Kingpin: 4
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Okoye: 2
– Omega Red: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All According to Plan
– Brace for Impact
– Carbonadium Synthesizer
– Climbing Gear
– Cruelty
– Disarm
– Field Dressing
– Shadow Organization
– Tactical Analysis

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses [C]: 16
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

Game 1 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

First round I got paired up with Martin. I’ve never played him before but I recall that he played Allan to a standstill at the last tournament so he must be pretty good. I win priority and, since I can live with all of his Secures I pick to select Extracts.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 19
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Martin’s team: Blade, Black Cat, Doctor Voodoo, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight
Martin’s cards: Bats the Ghost Hound, Climbing Gear, Medpack, Patch Up, Siege of Darkness

I figured here that if Martin wanted to meaningfully contest the centre then he’d have to commit far enough forward that MODOK could sit on my back point and zap whoever came in. Ideally I could pin Martin back close to his home Portal, score the centre one with either Kingpin or Omega Red (preferably the latter considering his own good range) and then just harrass with Beast. Crossbones got the nod on the basis of being cheap and being able to ignore the damage from any Cubes he happened to pick up.

Round 1: Beast zips forward and picks up the central Cube while Moon Knight and Crossbones collect the ones on the right. Ghost Rider and Doctor Voodoo zap Beast and MODOK bounces an ineffective shot off Ghost Rider. Kingpin and Blade collect the last two Cubes and the latter pings a damage off Omega Red who has come onto the central Portal. The score is 5 – 3 to me.

Round 2: Beast goes crazy and dazes both Ghost Rider and Moon Knight, picking up the latter’s dropped Cube. He’s going down this turn anyway so I figure I might as well make Martin work for it. Black Cat uses the Midnight Sons leadership to get in range of Crossbones and gives him Stagger – if ever there was a character who didn’t want to get even slower it is surely him. Omega Red uses Carbonadium Synthesiser to get rid of Incinerate and Bleed and pokes Doctor Voodoo for fairly minimal effect. Blade dazes Beast without much effort and scoops up those Cubes, then Medpacks Doctor Voodoo. MODOK sadly can’t finish Doctor Voodoo, sadly leaving him on one wound with Bleed; at least it’ll force an interesting decision from Martin on what to do with him. This also draws out Martin to use the Bats the Ghost Hound card to keep him in the game so it’s not totally worthless. He then goes on a rampage, dazing Omega Red from full in one attack then hurting Kingpin and making him drop the Cube fragment before finally dying to Bleed. Kingpin is in a bit of an awkward position in that he can either collect the dropped Cube or get into the action but not both; I decide to have him move up to contest Martin’s home Portal and he also applies Field Dressing to Omega Red on the way. The score moves to 9 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: I play All According To Plan to get Priority back. Beast throws Blade into Black Cat to damage him since he’s been badly hurt by the three Cube fragment he was holding last turn, then KOs Moon Knight to get him out of my hair; he only has enough power left to collect one of the Cubes lying around. Martin plays a very effective Siege of Darkness with Black Cat and Ghost Rider teaming up to daze Kingpin and Doctor Voodoo easily dazing Omega Red. Ghost Rider then follows up by also dazing Crossbones. MODOK is clearly impressed with this show of power as he then does nothing whatsoever to Doctor Voodoo who uses this opportunity to collect a Cube and Black Cat collects another two. The score moves to 11 – 11.

Round 4: Kingpin fails to hurt Blade with his attacks but he does at least Stagger him and throw him off the Portal. Blade uses Patch Up to heal Black Cat and then nearly kills Beast. Beast goes after Black Cat but sadly can’t quite get her before he KOs himself by not clearing the Bleed condition. Doctor Voodoo throws everything he has at Crossbones but leaves him on a single wound (rather a theme for this game!) so Crossbones throws him off the Portal and KOs Ghost Rider. Martin passes, which I think is a mistake – I reckon that he should have activated Black Cat and had her run away. Instead Omega Red moves over and pulls her in with Ensnare, dazes her and collects one Cube before using Climbing Gear to get back on the Portal. Time is called before we go any further and we get to 15 – 12 in my favour so I get the win.

Wow, that was such a tight game. Martin was a tremendous opponent and pushed me at every step. As mentioned, I think that he made a mistake in not running away with Black Cat right at the end but that was pretty much the only thing that I could capitalise on. Most of my game went according to plan (rather fittingly for Criminal Syndicate) and I even managed to use most of my tactics card which is a bit of a change. MODOK’s performance was a bit of a disappointment but Doctor Voodoo is a hard target for him and he did keep my Portal safe and score 4 points so maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Game 2 – Sam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Sam had just finished a very tight Guardians mirror match to beat Allan so I was looking forward to seeing how he played. Interestingly there were four Guardians players at the event, albeit one of them was dual-affiliation with Asgard. Sam won priority and, slightly to my surprise, picks Extracts. I choose the slightly lower threat on the basis that he has both Angela and Hulkbuster in his roster and I want to make it hard for him to use them.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Bullseye, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Sam’s team: Star Lord, Ronan the Accuser, Nebula, Enchantress, Groot
Sam’s cards: Brace For Impact, Crew of the Milano, Loveable Misfits, Medpack, We Are Groot

I picked the same team here except swapping MODOK out for Bullseye to account for the lower threat. Kingpin and Crossbones are both fine with Cubes and I actually think that Criminal Syndicate don’t mind the Crisis anyway as they can stay ahead with the Secures and are happy if the other team take the chip damage from holding Cube fragments. I’m basically going to send Kingpin to stand on one Witness and Omega Red on the other and then send the rest to plug gaps as required. I put Bullseye and Beast in the middle; if Sam collects the Cube in turn one then I can try to start taking him down with them and if he doesn’t then I’ll send Beast in later on and cross my fingers.

Round 1: Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. Not very surprisingly, Star Lord zooms to the centre and picks up the Cube there. Bullseye saunters forward and casually rolls four successes to no blocks against him so this is looking quite spicy already. Groot, Crossbones, Enchantress and Omega Red collect the other cubes but only Omega Red actually bothers to move to a Witness token. Over on the right, Ronan, Nebula and Kingpin stand by the Witness; Nebula’s not actually close enough but since she doesn’t context objectives it doesn’t matter anyway. Beast moves up and dazes Star Lord, picking up his fallen Cube in the process. The score is 7 – 2 to me.

Round 2: The same three characters get Winging It tokens again. Sam moves the Witness tokens such that Crossbones, Kingpin and Omega Red take the damage and the stun. I’ve rather unwisely positioned Bullseye and Beast right next to each other so Enchantress dazes them both with her beam attack and picks up the Cube that Beast drops. Oops! Kingpin dazes Nebula to keep her out of my hair but can’t do much more than Stagger Ronan. Ronan then plays Crew of the Milano to get rid of that annoying Stagger, Medpacks himself and beats up Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and Star Lord zaps a few wounds off Crossbones, who in turn gets Ronan down to a single wound. Sam uses Lovable Misfits – Ronan does a bit more damage to Crossbones and Kingpin before Star Lord and Groot move. the score moves to 13 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Once again Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. The Witnesses get moved to do some slight damage to my characters, though Crossbones and Kingpin both pay to ignore it and they’ve all got Stun already. I start the round out with All According To Plan and Bullseye uses Hit and Run and his I Never Miss power to daze Enchantress, pick up her Cube (surely the most hotly contested in the game!) before moving to join Omega Red on the left. That’s basically the game right there as Sam doesn’t have anything remotely near that Witness and even if he did it’s pretty unlikely that he can deal with Omega Red in one go. Nonetheless we play on for the sheer pleasure of it. Ronan dazes both Kingpin and Crossbones, perhaps not surprising considering the pasting they’ve both taken. Beast uses Climbing Gear to get back in the action, hits Groot for not much effect and throws Nebula into Ronan to daze him. Sadly Ronan’s revenge strike hurts Beast pretty badly and Nebula has no difficulty KOing him. Groot collects a Cube lying on the ground and Star Lord moves over to see if he’s in range to deal with Bullseye, but can’t get there. We finish up at 18 – 9 in my favour.

Sam was a very nice chap to play with and I enjoyed the game a lot. I made a few positional mistakes, notably with Bullseye and Beast at the end of round 1 which let Enchantress pick them both off for free (though in fairness she could have used Siren’s Call to line it up anyway if needed) but Sam didn’t really use Groot at all and never even tried to tackle Omega Red for the Witness or Cube on the left which meant that I could just rack up points on that side.

Game 3 – Anthony playing A-Force

For the final game I get paired up against one of the two other undefeated players (the other one gets a pair down against Martin from game 1) with a nasty looking A-Force roster. I’d ideally like to keep the threat low here but I win Priority so that’s not likely to happen. I don’t fancy Anthony’s Secures much so I pick them.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown!
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0
Threat: 20
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Black Cat, Black Dwarf
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Anthony’s team: She-Hulk, Angela, Black Cat, Enchantress, Okoye
Anthony’s cards: Battle Lust, Blind Obsession, Follow Me, Medpack, Special Delivery

I did briefly consider going wide here but this is not going to be fast scoring game and if I take squishier characters then She-Hulk et al will just wreck them one at a time long before I can hope to eke out a scenario win. I put in Black Dwarf as his huge sack of hit point, Stagger on his spender and epic throw are likely to come in useful. Black Cat is a no-brainer for a single-extract scenario like this one, but when I see that Anthony has (not surprisingly) also picked her in addition to Enchantress I’m going to struggle to hold on to the Power Core. In deployment Anthony makes a mistake putting Enchantress next to She-Hulk instead of Angela which will prevent him using Special Delivery until the mid game – neither of us spotted this at the time but Anthony realised it early in round 2. I’m also a bit surprised to see She-Hulk all the way out on the left but Anthony is clearly a more experienced A-Force player than me so perhaps this was part of a cunning plan.

Round 1: Omega Red finds the Power Core in the very first turn all the way over on the right. This is a huge stroke of luck for me as She-Hulk and Enchantress are stranded all the way over on the far side of the board. Anthony’s Black Cat moves up very agressively and Black Dwarf beats her up a bit before MODOK leaves her on a single wound. Angela comes in and throws digger at my Black Cat who uses this extra power to Stagger the Asgardian. She-Hulk moves onto the left point and I decide that I’m quite happy to leave her there so Kingpin moves more centrally. The score is 4 – 2 to me.

Round 2: MODOK attacks Angela in teh hope of getting enough power to throw something at Black Cat but does no damage. Oh well, I attack Black Cat instead and fail to damage her either. Good work MODOK, only needed to do one damage to Black Cat. Predictably, Black Cat pinches the Power Core off Omega Red and hoofs it back up the board. Black Dwarf dazes Angela. Critically, we forget at the time that Black Cat will take a point of damage from the Power Core at the end of her activation, which would have dazed her. Since we’ve already rolled the dice on Black Dwarf, we agree to just play the game as it lies, so a grateful Okoye rushes over to pick it up. Omega Red can’t drop her so Okoye gets to keep it this round. Enchantress moves back to the back Secure and my Black Cat follows her. Kingpin puts a bit of damage on She-Hulk and throws her off the left objective but can’t get there to score it himself. The score moves to 7 – 4 in my favour.

Round 3: Enchantress dazes my Black Cat then MODOK does a bit more damage to She-Hulk and Angela before moving the latter away with Bow to the Will of MODOK. Okoye plays Battle Lust and moves to the centre so she can push MODOK off the back point. Kingpin applies Stagger to She-Hulk and moves to score the left objective. Angela now plays Special Delivery and drops She-Hulk on Kingpin but between the two of them (and including She-Hulk playing Blind Obsession) they can’t bring down the big chap. Black Dwarf fails to hurt Enchantress but does at least stand on my back objective since MODOK has been moved off it. Omega Red pulls Okoye in with Embrace but unfortunately she ends up close enough to use Martial Artist and he can’t drop her. The score is now a rather tight 9 – 8 to me.

Round 4: Kingpin Staggers She-Hulk and KOs Angela which is certainly a relief. Okoye flees Omega Red but this is probably an error on Anthony’s side as she walks right into range of my Black Cat who steals the Power Core and legs it up the board, using Grappling Hook to increase the distance from Anthony’s Black Cat. A bit of a possible mistake from me here too as I had enough power to use Climbing Gear to increase the distance still further and this turns out to be critical as Enchantress races over and uses Siren’s Call to bring my Black Cat into range of Anthony’s. Also critical though is that this move ends up with Enchantress within range 2 of Omega Red so she gets Poison. MODOK just moves back to his point and fails yet again to hurt Enchantress and She-Hulk finally dazes Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and the A-Force Black Cat races over and collects the Power Core off mine, but ends up next to Omega Red and gets Poison for her trouble. Finally, Black Dwarf moves to sit on the back point – note that I’d actually premeasured this earlier (when he couldn’t fit as Black Cat was standing in the landing spot) which I shouldn’t have been allowed to do, and Anthony very kindly let me away with it. The score changes to 12 – 11, still in my favour.

Round 5: I play All According To Plan, and Omega Red uses Death Factor to daze Enchantress and hurt Black Cat, then finishes off the latter and picks up the Power Core. She-Hulk hammers Kingpin but he survives on a single wound (and with Stagger) after judicious use of Intense Physical Conditioning. Black Dwarf tries to deal Okoye’s final couple of wounds but of course bounces off her, and he doesn’t even have enough power to throw her. Okoye makes a last desperate attack to finish Kingpin but I roll really well on defence and it doesn’t work, so Kingpin throws She-Hulk off the objective and stands on it himself. The game ends at 18 – 11 to me.

Well, that could have been the most intense game of MCP ever. The dice were very interesting in that we seemed to roll consistently no successes or a yahtzee of criticals; I don’t think it favoured one of us over the other, but it made the attacks very spiky. Anthony’s positional play (apart from his error with Okoye in round 4) was spot on – I constantly found myself millimetres out of range to attack his pieces. Otherwise, I think that our skills matched up well and the game errors (especially with the Power Core dazing Black Cat in round two) were not decisive. He was also considerably better than me at using his tactics cards while I yet again had a handful of them left at the end.

When the final scores come in, I’m the only player left undefeated as Martin won in the pair-down. This is probably greatly to the relief of tournament organiser JP as Longshanks (the tournament matchmaking and stats software) went down during round 2 and I’m sure that he was very glad not to have to manually calculate tie breaks. Once again I had a great time playing a very lovely group of people. Many thanks to Martin, Sam and Anthony for three very fun games of Crisis Protocol, JP for running the show very smoothly and of course to Allan for kindly driving us down to Stanley.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 11Dec2021

For the first time in a long time I was able to take a road trip out of my local area to attend a tournament, this one for Marvel Crisis Protocol at the Bearded Card Trader near Durham. Allan kindly drove Gareth and me down the A1 and it was a pleasure to be able to do the pre- and post-game chats on the road… just like in the times before COVID made all this travel harder and more fraught than the past. The shop itself was bright and spacious, though it’s not easy to find, and the locals were very welcoming. It was particularly nice to meet Nate and Scott again, both of whom I’ve played Malifaux with in the past.

For this event I’ve decided to play X-Men. If I’m honest about it, part of this is because I really enjoyed the X-Men comics and cartoons of my youth, and the Bryan Singer films were (along with Blade, Batman and the Tobey Maguire Spiderman films) the beginnings of the modern superhero franchises on the big screen. Mechanically they seem to be regarded as rather middle-of-the road but they’re a lot of fun, especially Beast who feels very dynamic and is never short of cool things to do. Storm’s leadership allows a friendly characters to ‘jump’ across each other once per round so I picked the three biggest based characters I own – Black Dwarf, Hulk and MODOK. Hulk recently got a notable power-boost with the balance pass in November while all three benefit a lot from the addition of size caps (usually at size 3) to many of the control elements in the game like Shuri’s Panther Gauntlets. Finally, I took Okoye in case anyone forced a 14 threat SWORD on me so that I had the option to go 5 wide.

[Characters]
– Beast: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Cable: 5
– Cyclops: 4
– Domino: 3
– Hulk: 6
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Mystique: 3
– Okoye: 2
– Storm: 3

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– Brace for Impact
– Children of the Atom
– Deception
– Disarm
– Field Dressing
– First Class
– Follow Me
– Gamma Launch
– To Me, My X-men!

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Cosmic Invasion! Black Order Descends on Earth [D]: 16
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18

Game 1 – Liam playing Inhumans

I got paired up with Liam playing an Inhumans roster. I’ve never played against any of the Inhumans apart from Medusa before so this was sure to be interesting; I figured I’d aim to play my game and worry about how Liam could disrupt me reactively. I win priority and choose Secures as I want to force ‘pay to flip’ objectives and get value out of my First Class card.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Liam’s team: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Lockjaw, Deadpool
Liam’s cards: Attilan Rising, Elemental Infusion, Bitter Rivals, Last Minute Save, Grievous Wounds

I’ve enjoyed Hulk lately so I just picked the 3-threat core of X-Men (Storm, Beast and Domino), then Mystique as another fun 3 threat option and finally Hulk to bully the centre. I sent Storm to go for the left Portal as she can fly and I thought that might be handy with that huge building but in retrospect I might have been better served sending Mystique that way and made use of Storm’s range in the centre.

Round 1: I play First Class, though with Research Station being more of a ‘secure in disguise’ I’m not sure it made too much difference. Storm flies up on the left and flips the Portal and Crystal immediately zooms over to take it back. Domino flips the right Portal and Deadpool moves forward to contest the Researcher in the middle. Mystique takes a couple of potshots at him for no damage, then flips my home Portal and gets teleported backwards for her trouble. Over on the right, Lockjaw teleports Medusa forward and she pushes Domino off the Portal and flips it herself. Hulk flips over Beast (what a cinematic image!), Gamma Leaps forward and smashes Deadpool into the turf; Beast follows to the centre to make sure that I control it. Black Bolt zaps Beast a bit but hasn’t positioned close enough to the back Portal to flip it. X-Men lead by 3 – 2 and I move the Researcher closer to Liam’s board edge.

Round 2: Hulk smashes Black Bolt, giving him the Stagger token and throwing him away. He then throws Deadpool away from the Researcher to waste one his actions coming back into range. Deadpool shoots Hulk to minimal effect. Storm zaps Crystal a couple of times, giving her Shock but not actually damaging her; she does manage to take back that left Portal for me. Mystique gently tickles Lockjaw, Black Bolt takes the Portal on Liam’s side of the board but Crystal is as effective into Storm as the other way round (i.e. not at all) and fails to flip the Portal back. Beast flips over Hulk to daze Lockjaw, then throws Deadpool further away from the action. Over on the right, Domino shoots Medusa a couple of times and takes that Portal again for me, so Medusa dazes her and takes it right back again. The score moves to 7 – 4 in my favour and I move the Researcher onto the Evac Point.

Round 3: Domino starts us out by dazing Medusa and taking the right Portal back to me yet again; she gets teleported backwards in the process. Crystal Dazes Storm but rolls terribly to retake that Portal and I get to move her right so she’s in range for Mystique to attack. Hulk dazes Black Bolt and throws poor Deadpool even further from the action; the latter continues to fire back without much effect. Beast pushes Lockjaw away from the Researcher so the Good Boy takes the right Portal back from Domino. Mystique puts a couple of ineffective shots into Crystal then moves to flip Liam’s home Portal. Now that the Researcher is safely on my Evac Point, the score moves to 14 – 5 to me.

Round 4: The game seems pretty comfortably in my favour now but there is still plenty of fun to be had. Black Bolt lines up his cool Whisper attack on Beast and Mystique but some fairly uninspiring dice from Liam means that neither of them get dazed. He does flip back his home Portal though, so that’s helpful. Domino KOs Lockjaw and drops Medusa to a single hit point with some fairly spicy rolls and good use of her superpowers; Medusa is having none of this and KOs her right back. Storm finally gets her act together and dazes Crystal. Deadpool comes into the scrum and spreads some damage around with Maximum Effort but it’s too late. As the game is done I don’t bother using Hulk, Beast or Mystique to try to pick off Black Bolt, Deadpool or both as it seems rather needless. The final score is 20 – 7 to me.

That was a very fun game. Of course, it’s always nice to start with a win but more importantly Liam was a lovely opponent and we were keeping up the cinematic commentary as the game went along. It turned out that Liam is quite new to MCP so hopefully he learned from that game and will carry on his good attitude. From my side of the board Storm’s actual output continued to disappoint; that four dice builder just seems to roll low so often. On the other hand she’s only 3 threat and her leadership ability is really good so it’s not like I’m not going to play her.

Game 2 – Scott playing Midnight Sons

This time I got to play Scott; a real pleasure as I’ve known him and (I’m pretty sure) played a few games with him back when we were both regulars at Malifaux tournaments. He had a combined Midnight Sons and Convocation list but opted to play the former based on the Secure that was flipped. Scott won priority and picked Extracts.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Scott’s team: Blade, Moon Knight, Black Cat, Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Winter Soldier
Scott’s cards: Siege of Darkness, Trip Up, Mission Objective, Advanced R&D, Patch Up

That team from the previous round seemed quite effective so I decided to just use it again. The time Storm was assigned to the right to deal with that massive building by just flying over it; Domino and Mystique got the left together as the building there was going to make positioning a bit tricky for anyone who wasn’t a Wall Crawler or could Fly. My hope was that Scott would send a hero to the centre to collect that book and I could then use Hulk to beat them senseless.

Round 1: I play First Class, of course. Moon Knight and Storm claim the back left and near right Traps; the former also moves toward the centre. Domino takes the opportunity to put a few bullets into Moon Knight but fails to claim the near left Trap marker so Mystique has to do that. Blade takes the back Book and positions cautiously and Black Cat moves to pick up the central one. Hulk flips off Beast and Gamma Leaps to be close to both Black Cat and Moon Knight, then exceeds my wildest expectations by dazing both (and collecting Black Cat’s Book in the process). Over on the right Winter Soldier takes the final Trap and Beast picks up the last Book. The score is 4 – 3 to me.

Round 2: Moon Knight pokes Hulk and moves toward Storm but does little to her. Hulk KOs Black Cat and Staggers Doctor Strange, also throwing the latter into Blade. Doctor Strange clears the Stagger and pays to Scalpel himself next to Hulk and uses Shining Circle of Seraphim to heal a bit (though due to the way that Stagger works, this wasn’t also able to clear Stagger as Scott had planned). Beast hurts Winter Soldier and Doctor Strange again, flipping the back right Trap, so Winter Soldier pushes him off and flips it right back. Storm continues her run of poor attacks, failing to damage Winter Soldier at all (though she does at least stick Shock on him). Mystique takes the back left Trap but doesn’t manage to hurt Blade who then dazes her and takes it back. We continue to score the same; 8 – 6 to me now.

Round 3: Scott plays Siege of Darkness; Blade stabs Mystique and Mon Knight hits Storm. Doctor Strange then dazes Beast, picks up his Book and retreats behind the big building at the back left. I’m honestly a bit perplexed here as it would be a great way to eke out the last couple of points and claim a win but the game is nowhere near ending and anyway I’m in the lead. Perhaps Scott just didn’t want Hulk to hit Strange again. Instead, Hulk dazes Winter Soldier, KOs Moon Knight and flips the back right Trap to my side. Blade KOs Mystique and takes the near left Trap; Domino leaves him on a single health. Storm uses Field Dressing on Beast who flips the back left Trap and then immediately dazes again due to Bleed. The score is now 12 – 9 in favour of the X-Men.

Round 4: Blade dazes Domino and flips the back left Trap again. Hulk KOs Winter Soldier then Doctor Strange comes back into the fray and zaps Storm a little. Beast throws Blade into the building to get rid of his last hit point and then flips both Traps on that side. The final score in 18 – 10 to the X-Men.

I enjoyed that game, and it was especially lovely to play against Scott after all this time. Scott’s dice weren’t great in the first couple of rounds (especially defending against Hulk’s attacks on Black Cat and Moon Knight in round 1) and I think that frustrated him a bit. The game ended up being very dynamic as heroes, particularly Blade, scurried back and forth trying to claim the Traps. From my side, I was aiming to use Hulk to get an attrition advantage and it paid off when Black Cat went down early in round 2.

Game 3 – Stu playing Defenders

One of the other games was a draw so this ends up very neatly with only Stu and my on 2 – 0 so we’re playing for the tournament here. Unfortunately Stu has another engagement that means he’ll have to leave partway into the round. He offers to play as much of the game as we can, then we agree that we can try to assess the likely winner at that point based on the board situation; he also very kindly offers to favour me if it’s looking even as it’s his appointment that will cut the game short. I don’t want to win based on a biased judgment call so hopefully we can end up with one side clearly ahead when we have to stop playing. Stu was an absolute gentleman about all this; there was no drama and we (and the TO) were both fully in agreement about how to proceed. Stu wins priority and chooses Extracts.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Stu’s team: Doctor Strange with the Soul Gem, Valkyrie, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Shuri
Stu’s cards: Brace For Impact, Heroes For Hire, Patch Up, Pentagram of Farallah, Seven Suns of Cinnibus

We somehow end up with the exact same combination of Extraction and Secure cards as my last game. Since it worked out fine last time, I decide to stick with 18 threat and use the same team. There isn’t so much terrain for Storm to worry about so I put her on the left; that turns out to be a bit hairy as Stu stacks that side; on the other hand I guess it means that Domino and Mystique can try to deal with Luke Cage on the right before swinging toward the centre.

Round 1: As always, I start out by playing First Class. Shuri takes her home Book and moves toward the middle. Storm, Cage and Domino all take their Traps but I get a bit too aggressive with Storm’s placement and she ends up in walk + Charge range of Valkyrie. I’m a bit lucky on defence and she takes little damage but that was a definite unforced error. Mystique takes the central Book and uses Deception to lure Shuri into Hulk range. Doctor Strange flips the final (back left) Trap. Hulk flips off Beast’s base and Gamma Leaps up to daze Shuri and take her Book while Beast picks up the last one. The score is 5 – 2 to the X-Men.

Round 2: Doctor Strange zaps Beast then plays Seven Suns of Cinnibus to unleash a tasty beam attack which dazes Beast and hurts Hulk; he also picks up the Book dropped by Beast. Hulk knocks Shuri down to a single hit point and Staggers Valkyrie leaving her also on a single hit point and a throw also leave Iron Fist on a single hit point which is a little awkward. Iron Fist kicks the absolute hell out of Hulk, leaving the big green chap on just four health remaining. Storm throws Valkyrie at Iron Fist and Stu uses Brace For Impact, after two attacks she does at least manage to push through the remaining single point of damage to daze Valkyrie. Luke Cage marches up and punch Domino, paying the power to also apply Hex. Mystique guns down Shuri to finish her off and then flips the back right Trap. Finally, Domino clears Hex and shoots half of Cage’s wounds off him. The score moves to 9 – 4 in my favour.

At this point, Stu has to pack up and leave. We briefly discuss the probable outcome of the game. On the right, Cage may daze Domino if he gets to go before her but will probably eventually fall to her and Mystique; I’ve also got both Traps on that side nicely under control. Over on the left, I’ll probably lose either Hulk or Beast to whoever activates first but it’s not likely that they both go down; whichever is left can then throw Iron Fist around to daze him and probably drop Valkyrie. In the end, Stu decides that it’s likely that I hold on to my substantial points lead for the eventual win and so that gets recorded.

Despite the very speedy turns we took and having to cut the actual game short, I really enjoyed that. Stu was an absolutely terrific chap to play with and I hope to get the chance to do so again. He’s clearly very talented at the game and apparently has only recently started playing so he’ll clearly be a force to be reckoned with. My plan was going quite nicely, taking Shuri out early for an attrition advantage but Iron Fist’s dice absolutely exploded on Hulk and that made everything a bit more worrying! Stu is the only person so far just to focus fire on Hulk and perhaps that is the best approach to dealing with him.

So when the scores are added up, I’m the only player left on three wins so I get first place and a very nifty little trophy to take home with me. Allan finished in second place with two wins and a draw but Gareth has a bit more of a tough time including losing his last game to Allan; fortunately the only match drawn between those of us who travelled down together. Many thanks to Liam, Scott and Stu for three very fun games of MCP and of course thanks to JP for organising the whole thing. We’ll definitely be back for another event when schedules allow.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Not Quite Halloween Heist 16Oct2021

It’s been a long time since I was at any kind of wargaming tournament, but this weekend Gareth and I had the opportunity to join in a Marvel Crisis Protocol event put on by my good friend Allan at Common Ground Games in Stirling. The scene for this game, which is currently my favourite, is still growing locally but we got 10 players joining in which is more than enough for a fun time.

My roster is a combined Black Order and Web Warriors option. The idea is that I can switch between primarily control options with the Web Warriors or straight-up brawling with the Black Order as dictated by the crises chosen. I have competent (if not actually good) options at all threat levels from 14 to 20 but my preference is going to be either to force Gamma Waves at 15 and just beat people up with Thanos et al, or go wider at 18 threat under the leadership of Miles Morales Spider-Man (just Spider-Man from here on in for my teams as Peter Parker doesn’t feature at the moment).

[Characters]
– Black Cat: 3
– Corvus Glaive: 4
– Ghost-Spider: 3
– Infinity Gem: Mind: 1
– Infinity Gem: Reality: 1
– Nebula: 2
– Proxima Midnight: 3
– Spider-Man (Miles Morales): 3
– Thanos, the Mad Titan: 6
– Venom: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All Webbed Up
– Brace for Impact
– Execute
– Field Dressing
– Lethal Protector
– Mothership
– Uneasy Allies

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership [C]: 17
– The Montesi Formula Found [E]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest [E]: 15
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18
– Portals Overrun City with Spider-People [D]: 18

Game 1 – Callum playing Avengers

I’m drawn against an old friend I know from playing Malifaux, Callum. Callum is new to Crisis Protocol but is always a good player of wargames and I will have to be on my toes if I’m going to beat him here. Callum wins Priority and opts to choose Secures.

Extraction: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Secure: The Montesi Formula Found
Threat: 17
My team: Thanos (Mind Gem), Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight, Nebula
My cards: Advanced R&D, Brace For Impact, Execute, Field Dressing, Mothership
Callum’s team: Captain America (Sam Wilson), Black Widow, Valkyrie, Warmachine, Baron Zemo, Winter Soldier
Callum’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Field Dressing, Mission Objective, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up

I just wanted to play a straightforward brawl here; I don’t think that my chosen team is especially good at this combination. My idea was to send Thanos up the middle to collect a book and then split either left or right depending on how well Corvus and Proxima were doing on the left, while Nebula did annoying Nebula things on the right. Callum’s team is pretty well set here to collect some books and play keep-away with their greater numbers while just picking up points from the Secures that I couldn’t stand on.

Round 1: Captain America moves to take the central book and Nebula takes a random pot shot at him; this turns out to roll like crazy and drop four points of damage onto the poor hero. Black Widow picks up a second book and the uses Avengers Assemble to try to get Captain America back to safety. I scent blood here so after Thanos picks up a book he rolls into the centre and Mind Gems Sam back into the middle. Annoyingly Proxima fails to put the last damage point on him with a thrown spear but it works out fair as Valkyrie has similar luck with a speculative move and charge into Thanos. Everyone else just saunters onto scoring positions. The score is 5 – 2 to Callum.

Round 2: Proxima dazes Sam who uses Mission Objective to hand his book to Valkyrie. A clever play, but Proxima and Corvus daze her too and Corvus one-shots Warmachine for good measure with a little help from Thanos in the form of Death’s Decree. In a bit of a misplay from me, I make the book drop into a place where the lamp post stops Corvus from picking it up and scoring the Secure on Callum’s side so it’ll just sit there for a turn; still, I guess I can’t complain about the way the dice fell there. Over on the other side, Zemo leaves Nebula on a single hit point but then she doesn’t deal with him in one go (I guess we can’t all be Corvus Glaive!) and Zemo finishes the job with a Counter Strike. Thanos Portals Proxima onto my left Extraction point since she was a bit shy of scoring it after she was done with Sam and Valkyrie though this does require the use of my Advanced R&D card. He then walks to my right Extraction point and Mind Gems Zemo out of the way. The score moves 7 – 6 in Callum’s favour.

Round 3: Proxima hurts both Warmachine and Valkyrie, then Corvus KOs both Captain America and Warmachine; only Odin’s Blessing saves Valkyrie from the same fate. Valkyrie throws everything she has at Corvus but in the end he stands on one hit point. Winter Soldier takes one look at Thanos and high-tails it across the board to stand on the back left Infinity Formula; Thanos dazes Black Widow and Nebula dazes Zemo. The score is now 12 – 8 to me, though the swathe I’m cutting through Callum’s team means that he now has Priority.

Round 4: Valkyrie doesn’t make a mess this time, dazing Corvus and throwing Proxima off her point. Proxima gets back in place with a spear throw that KOs Valkyrie and uses Field Dressing to get Corvus running again; not surprisingly considering how my dice have been this game, he easily dazes Winter Soldier. Zemo applies a lot of damage to Thanos who embarrassingly fails to finish off Black Widow before dazing from Bleed damage. Black Widow puts Stagger on Nebula but the latter only needs one action to KO Nat. The game finishes 17 – 8 to me.

That was a very fun game, but I was helped both by Callum’s inexperience and my hot dice whenever Corvus was rolling. I’m not sure that Montesi Formula is particularly good here for me and I’m thinking about swapping it out; I think that Black Order probably want Secures in the middle to force victims to brawl with them, rather than Extractions where the other team can pick up the goodies and run away. Demons Downtown is pretty appealing in terms of objective placement but I’m not sure I want my elite crew to be easier to drop with all the Incinerate there; maybe having Incinerate on the other team is overall a benefit if my game plan is primarily to stay in the game on objectives and win by KOing stuff and scoring for doing it with Thanos’s leadership.

Game 2 – Adam playing Web Warriors

This time I’m drawn with Adam, a nice chap I’ve played against in a recent Crisis Protocol open play day. I consider him to be a strong player who know how to focus on winning the game rather than being distracted by brawling so I need to make sure that I have a plan to keep on top of the scoring. Adam wins Priority and decides to choose Extraction.

Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Threat: 18
My team: Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider, Venom, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight
My cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Execute, Lethal Protector
Adam’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales; leader), Ghost-Spider, Black Cat, Amazing Spider-Man, Medusa
Adam’s cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Medpack, Spider-Tracker

I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that Adam selected 18 threat here (17 was also available) as we’d played a match-up previously with similar rosters and he noted that 18 threat was a bit awkward for him; presumably he’d tweaked things in the interim to cover that weakness. I need to go wide here as I can’t just allow the Spider-Infected to be left lying around and each hero can only carry one at a time, so that indicates Web-Warriors. I like this particular team at 18 threat and have played it several times so it has the advantage of being comfortable and familiar. The particular layout will allow me to gain priority by moving with Corvus to collect a Spider-Infected, flip a Portal (which he’s amazing at, thanks to the Reality Gem) and still be in range to chain activate Proxima. I will also note that we’re playing a Web Warriors mirror match using a Spider-related Secure and Extraction; how thematic could we get?

Round 1: To no-one’s surprise, Amazing Spider-Man races out to pick-up the center Spider-Infected and then moves back to safety. Black Cat uses Advanced R&D to give him her power so that he can also flip the nearby Portal. I use Corvus on the left to collect the nearby Spider-Infected and flip the left Portal before using the Husband and Wife combo to activate Proxima who flips the central Portal. Adam hesitates over on the right and this allows me to send in Ghost-Spider to stand next to the Portal there having picked up a Spider-Infected on the way. My Spider-Man eventually flips the Portal over there, getting placed forward by it, and I back him up with Venom; meanwhile Adam’s team seem a bit unsure and don’t commit at all on that side. The score is 5 – 4 to me, then both Corvus and Amazing Spider-Man get moved away from the action by their Spider-Infected while Adam’s Ghost-Spider is moved towards my team.

Round 2: Venom helpfully dazes Medusa, so that is one thing out of my hair. Adam’s Spider-Miles takes my home Portal so my Ghost-Spider takes his. Black Cat attacks Ghost-Spider rather too effectively for my liking which gains her the power to steal her Spider-Infected before running to the right Portal and failing to flip it thanks to Venom’s hulking presence. Adam’s Ghost-Spider and Proxima take our respective home Portals back over and the latter also pokes Spider-Miles a bit; Adam then cleverly uses the Spider-Tracker card to move Miles to safety when Corvus comes after him scenting blood. Amazing Spider-Man decides that scoring points is more useful that punching a few of my heroes and heads out on his own to the left and flips my Portal over. The score evens up nicely at 9 – 9; Corvus gets pushed around again by his Spider-Infected.

Round 3: Venom continues his good run by KOing Medusa even after she uses Brace For Impact to avoid an ambulance being thown at her; it doesn’t help me with points but it’s a huge relief not to have her messing up all my plans by pushing my heroes out of position. Adam’s Ghost-Spider dazes mine and uses Medpack on Black Cat and pushes my Spider Man back. He gets revenge by dazing Black Cat anyway, picking up her Spider-Infected, then hitting Ghost-Spider with Venom Blast to make her drop her own Spider-Infected. It doesn’t lie there for long as Adam’s Spider-Miles rushes over to pick it up before Corvus comes over and dazes him to drop it again. Amazing Spider Man puts some damage onto Proxima but doesn’t have enough power to web swing to my Portal and also flip it. Proxima walks to the Spider-Infected that’s just lying on the ground, uses her spear throw to daze Ghost-Spider and place near the newly uncontested Portal on Adam’s side of the board and flips it to me. The game ends at 16 – 10 to me.

Wow, what a great game. The sheer mobility of both teams just meant that none of the Secures were ever safe from a cheeky switch and any Spider-Infected on the ground would be snapped up in the next activation. I had to be very careful with Venom and Medusa as they both counter each other very effectively; here I was able to use Corvus and Proxima to guarantee turn 2 priority to make sure that Venom got the drop on Medusa and I was lucky enough that I got to put her down both times.

Game 3 – Grant playing Avengers

For my final game I’m drawn against Grant, a new face to me. I really like the way that these tournaments match me up with new and old friends and I hope to get many more games with Grant. He’s also on two wins here so clearly no pushover. This time I win priority and choose secures; I was hoping to force a 15 threat Gamma Portals but it gets discarded.

Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Threat: 18
My team: Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider, Venom, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight
My cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Execute, Lethal Protector
Grant’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Deadpool, Baron Zemo, Hawkeye, Amazing Spider-Man
Grant’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Brace For Impact, Disarm, Escort To Safety, Eyes On The Prize

I picked 18 threat here pretty much purely to play this team again as I felt happy that it could do what I needed here; pick up a bunch of Cubes and then run around with the fast elements and pick off unattended Secures. I made a mistake during set-up by putting down Venom early which let Grant counter-deploy Hawkeye.

Round 1: Proxima takes the centre Cube, then Deadpool and Corvus take the ones nearest them; the latter also switches the right trap to me. I don’t need to chain activate this pair this time as I will already have Priority going into round 2. Zemo fails to roll any successes on his right trap so I zoom Ghost-Spider over there and take it myself. Spider-Man also fails to take my left Secure and so strolls forward, sadly I misplay here and put him too far forward so Hawkeye shoots him; no damage but does cause Shock which (spoiler alert!) will be annoyingly relevant for much of the game. Venom and Captain America take the Cubes on the left and finally Amazing Spider-Man punches Ghost-Spider a bit and fails to switch the trap over to me. The score is 5 – 3 in my favour and Amazing Spider-Man takes a bit of damage from the nearby trap.

Round 2: Ghost-Spider plays All Webbed Up to slow Amazing Spider-Man, Deadpool and Zemo, but it’s at this point that my dice just start to say ‘no’ as two attacks into Deadpool get me a single point of damage. Captain America and Hawkeye get Venom down to a single wound left; return attacks from him and Spider-Man achieve nothing except throwing Captain America backwards into the shipping container with Klyntar Rage. Corvus and Proxima both go into Zemo but can’t drop him; Zemo’s return attacks daze Corvus and he picks up the Cube while Deadpool dazes Ghost-Spider. Amazing Spider-Man plays Eyes On The Prize to take the Secure back, then dazes Proxima and takes the Secure on my side of the board too. The score moves to 10 – 7 in Grant’s favour.

Round 3: In the power phase, the Cube dazes Venom which is awkward timing. Well, at least I have Priority and Corvus and Proxima are all revved up. It doesn’t help much; Proxima does daze Deadpool (taking his cube) and flip the back right trap but Corvus just can’t take the needed two wounds off Amazing Spider-Man. Zemo KOs Ghost-Spider, but at least Amazing Spider-Man fails to repeat the performance of last turn and largely bounces off Corvus while failing to take back that trap. Over on the right, I try a desperation play to deal with Captain America and Hawkeye; Spider-Man Web Swings over and fails to damage on one attack, then gets the wild throw on the second which of course Grant sensibly uses Brace For Impact to ignore. In fairness, Captain America was able to use his Vibranium Shield and Bodyguard to great effect here so I would have to have been very lucky to do anything substantial to either of them with Spider-Man. He does at least pick up Venom’s dropped Cube before Captain America Shield Bashes him away and Hawkeye takes some shots to little effect. The turn ends 15 – 10 to Grant and Zemo suffers a damage from the trap in that corner.

Round 4: Well, I’m up against it now as I either need to stop Grant scoring at all or somehow ourscore him by six points, both of which seem a bit improbable. Helpfully both Captain America and Baron Zemo suffer the same fate as Venom did last time, taking their last point of damage and dazing in the power phase. Corvus and Proxima do team up to finally put down Amazing Spider-Man; the latter uses Spear Throw very effectively to cover the ground needed to swap the near right trap back to me and the former ends up holding both Cubes on that side of the board. On the left, Hawkeye picks up the cube that Captain America dropped and runs for the corner, even using Avengers Assemble to get further away from Spider-Man. Venom takes the back left trap for me and then Deadpool gets stuck into Corvus Glaive. After using a huge amount of the power he’d accumulated, Deadpool couldn’t quite put down Corvus who stands on a single wound but proudly still clutching both Cube fragments and also causing Deadpool to fail to switch back that trap. Finally, Miles Web Swings and walks toward Hawkeye who has just a single remaining wound but can’t drop him. This is super tight but when we add up the points I get the win 18 – 17.

That was as close and as fun a game as I’m ever going to get. I genuinely thought that I was out of it after Corvus and Proxima’s continued failure on the right during rounds 2 and 3 combined with the ease with which Zemo, Deadpool and Amazing Spider-Man were able to deal with me on that side. In the end I was able to make more of the board positioning due to my high mobility; on Grant’s side only Amazing Spider-Man and Baron Zemo were likely to push through to the Secures on my side and they were both on the same flank. This meant that Venom and Spider-Man could leave the near left Secure and ensure that their fight with Hawkeye and Captain America was always threatening the trap on Grant’s side of the board rather than mine. Grant was a very fun opponent and I look forward to getting more games in with him.

When the final scores were counted up, I was the overall winner with three wins. I had a great time and I’m already looking forward to the next event. Many thanks to Callum, Adam and Grant for three very fun games of Crisis Protocol, and of course especially thanks to Allan for running the whole thing. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with (some variation on) this roster for the next one; there are so many heroes that I’m keen to put on the tabletop it might be interesting to switch around for a while. In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Montesi Formula isn’t particularly useful for Black Order so I either need to make a plan to do that one with Web Warriors or swap it out.
  • I’ve been consistently terrible at remembering to use my Tactics Cards; I must make a concerted effort to use them in my games as it feels like a wasted resource at this point. I think I always ended up with at least two cards left over. I’m also not finding that I want to use Uneasy Allies so I might try to find something else to put in for that.
  • Web Warriors have a lot of pulls and pushes that I’m using as a second thought after attacking people with them. Perhaps I should aim to make that part of their game play be ‘plan A’ to starve the other team of power.
Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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