Battle reports

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

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

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

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

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Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Monthly Mayhem 22Jan2023

I was lucky enough to be able to travel to another Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament this weekend. Allan kindly drove us both down the A1 to Protech Games in Stockton where it seems that the MCP scene has really taken off lately, with almost double the number of players as the last time that we visited. Will, one of the locals, has been hard at work creating some truly beautiful boards to play on that (as usual) my photos completely fail to show nicely.

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

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

Secure Crisis: (3)
Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate! (Threat: 20)
Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest (Threat: 15)
Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse (Threat: 19)

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

This is the last hurrah for the current iteration of my Criminal Syndicate roster that I’ve been playing. I removed MODOK from the list and replaced him initially with Doctor Voodoo, but then decided to substitute Winter Soldier for some fun times with Daredevil’s leadership. Following my terrible play last week on the Extremis 3.0 crisis, I also swapped that out for Intrusions Open on the basis that it would be less spread out and stop my slow, short ranged characters (I’m looking at you here, Kingpin!) from getting isolated away from the action.

Game 1: Lee playing Spider-Foes

I was really happy to be drawn with Lee in my first game; I’ve met him at a few previous events and he’s a lovely chap but we’ve never played yet. He was also giving me a nice advantage by starting the day mildly hungover which was very kind of him. I won priority and picked my Secures, and Lee had no choice but to choose 19 threat. My plan here was to sit on the Portals and score points while not allowing myself to go too far behind on the Extraction. Black Cat got the nod as she could potentially steal the Virus tokens and, if the opportunity arose, take them all and score me the points bonus for the full set; I took Mission Objective for the same reason. The rest of my team was chosen to keep up sufficiently on attrition that I could hope to stay in the game for the Secures for long enough to score it out.

Extraction: Deadly Legacy Virus Cured?
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse
Threat: 19
My team: Kingpin, Black Cat, Bullseye, Hood, Mysterio, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: All According To Plan, Indomitable, Mission Objective, Patch Up, The Grand Illusion
Lee’s team: Green Goblin, Bullseye, Doctor Octopus, Rhino, Hulk
Lee’s cards: Neogenetic Recombinator, Sacrifice, Sinister Traps, This Is A Robbery, Well Laid Plans

Round 1: Well, that’s quite a beefy team across the table from me. Lee puts down his Sinister Trap on the left. My plan for turn one is to collect the centre token and sit on the central and right points. As I will have the last activation I can see what happens on the left before committing Black Cat to the possibility of getting hit by the Trap over there. Mysterio starts us off by floating into the middle and picking up the Virus token. To my huge surprise Lee goes with Doctor Octopus who gently tickles Mysterio and doesn’t generate enough power to throw him, so Bullseye takes advantage and collects the token on the right. Lee’s Bullseye comes in to contest on the right and Kingpin takes the centre. Hood and Hulk respectively attack them for minimal effect, while Crimson Dynamo applies Shock to Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus which ought to make them a bit more manageable. Rhino decides that he doesn’t fancy the trap on the left and goes central so Black Cat just takes the damage (three) from the Trap and collects the last token on that side – 2 VPs here is well worth a bit of damage on her. The score goes to 6 – 0 to me.

Round 2: I think that as long as I’m careful about incoming damage I can hold all three Secures so my plan here must be just to keep picking away at the Spider-Foes and try not to drop all of the Virus tokens. Hulk gets us started by dazing Mysterio; he easily generates enough power to ignore Mysterio’s nonsense. I do make a mistake not using Mission Objective to hold onto the token though, so instead Hulk ends up getting it. Hood dazes Lee’s Bullseye on the right and Green Goblin puts a little damage into Crimson Dynamo along with a load of annoying conditions. In return, Dynamo dazes both Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus and shocks Rhino. Rhino uses his hilarious Mobility to daze Black Cat (not too hard, even with Shock) but doesn’t sit on that side of the board and instead uses the Portal to return to the centre to punch Dynamo. Bullseye teleports to the left Portal and Kingpin pokes Hulk a little. The score is 9 – 2 to me.

Round 3: I use All According To Plan so I can hope to capitalise on some of the good damage I did last turn. My team are quite vulnerable here as they’ve taken a bit of a pasting whereas most of Lee’s team are flush with power after they dazed last turn, so I’m going to try to stem the tide a bit and hopefully KO at least one of Lee’s characters. Mysterio pays for The Grand Illusion since almost all of Lee’s team are clustered in a big ball in the middle. Crimson Dynamo lets fly with some Beam attacks – Green Goblin passes one to Hulk with Sacrifice (which does at least give Hulk Shock) and Rhino uses Aggressive to get himself out of the line for the second beam. Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus pay for Well Laid Plans to get Bullseye to drop the last token I had. Rhino uses some really cool placement tricks to nearly KO Black Cat, collects the fallen token, then moves back to the centre and plays Neogenetic Recombinator to move some of his damage onto Doctor Octopus. Mysterio moves Hulk away (I know that he can just Gamma Leap back but it messes with his power economy a little) and then rolls like a champion to KO Doctor Octopus, finally paying to Patch Up Crimson Dynamo. Green Goblin finishes off Black Cat, dazes my Bullseye with a Glider Ram and comes back into the middle to hurt Mysterio. Hood can’t quite finish Lee’s Bullseye as he wisely plays Parting Shot to get out of range. Hulk comes back in to fight Kingpin but achieves little as Crimson Dynamo has more than enough power to pay for Disruption Field repeatedly, plus Hulk also had to contend with The Grand Illusion. However, he does do enough to bring Kingpin down into range for Bullseye to daze him before he activates with a decent roll, which he does. The score goes to 10 -6 to me; even though that felt like quite a beating I’m still in a good position here as only Hulk and Rhino are really in a position to affect the game state from here.

Round 4: At least Kingpin getting dazed allowed me to keep Priority! I think that I can take out Green Goblin and maybe daze Rhino here, while Bullseye is certainly always a possible victim. Crimson Dynamo gets us started by KOing Green Goblin and leaving Rhino on one wound. Hulk Gamma Leaps over to Crimson Dynamo and lays into him but I have more that enough power to blunt this with Disruption Field and I pay for Indomitable to avoid the throw. I think that Lee would have been better using Rhino first here. Bullseye uses I Never Miss to daze Rhino but the timing on Hit And Run means that there is no window to pick up the fallen tokens before retreating back to the left Portal. Lee’s Bullseye casually KOs mine, which I didn’t really see coming even though Bullseye is extremely easy to damage. Mysterio moves Hulk away from the action and Hood uses the Portal and collect the tokens dropped by Rhino earlier. The score does to 15 – 7 in my favour, though it looks like in all the excitement I forgot to take a picture.

Round 5: This is basically over as I don’t think that Lee has any way to stop me scoring at least one VP, so here but we’re definitely going to play it out and see where the scores land. Rhino plays This Is A Robbery to throw Hood into the only remaining item on that side of the board – his own teammate Bullseye! To add insult to injury Bullseye dodges all of the damage when even one wound would have finished him off; Rhino collects the Virus tokens. Crimson Dynamo attacks him in return and he uses Aggressive to move back toward the centre where Mysterio rolls all successes on a Tricks And Traps to KO the big chap. Hulk moves to the middle and Mysterio floats over and collects those fallen tokens; the score goes to 19 – 9.

Playing Lee was as much fun as I thought it would be, he’s such a lovely man to share a game with. I made some errors here; notably I should have actually remembered to use Mission Objective or just picked Hood’s Gang like I usually do. There was a move in turn 2 or 3 where I could probably have gotten all three tokens onto Black Cat but she’d have been left sitting next to an unactivated Hulk so I didn’t bother; in retrospect I might have been better to ‘allow’ Hulk to KO himself with the tokens as those 6 points would have been enough to end the game and it would have given me an insurmountable advantage on the Secures. This is one more way where the change in Crises from last year has really changed the game for the better, allowing more interesting interactive choices to be made.

Game 2: Mike playing Criminal Syndicate

For the second game I was drawn against Mike who also had Criminal Syndicate. Since he only had Kingpin I decided to try out Shadowland Daredevil for the first time as leader (probably this was a mistake!) since I don’t really like mirror matches in general and specifically a Kingpin mirror would probably be the dullest and most passive game imaginable. Mike won Priority and picks Secures, though our cards are not particularly different; I choose the lower threat. Winter Soldier gets the nod this time as his Rapid Fire (along with Hood’s) seems to make him a good fit for Daredevil’s leadership.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Superpowered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate
Threat: 17
My team: Shadowland Daredevil, Hood, Mysterio, Crimson Dynamo, Winter Soldier
My cards: All According To Plan, Indomitable, Hood’s Gang, Patch Up, The Grand Illusion
Mike’s team: Kingpin, Black Cat, Bullseye, Hood, Lizard, Toad
Mike’s cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Mission Objective, Warpath, X-Ceptional Healing

Round 1: I imagine that Mike is going to take a lead in the first couple of turns and then hopefully I can get enough damage done that the attritions starts to go my way before he scores this out. It’s even worse as Mike has Priority so he’s definitely going to be able to take the central Cube. Predictably, Toad comes in and nabs the Cube in the middle while keeping safely back. Both Hood take up position in their corners on the right and Lizard ends up in the middle with Mysterio. Winter Soldier and Crimson Dynamo make some attacks into Lizard but after some good defence rolls (plus the cover and his reducer, of course) he takes no damage at all. Black Cat double moves over to score the back left point that Winter Soldier is standing on. The score is 7 – 3 to Mike.

Round 2: I need to get some damage out here. Normally I’d go with Hood first so he could play Hood’s Gang but I don’t have any good targets for him. Instead I start out with Daredevil. The Ninjas do some nice damage to Toad who uses Slippery to get away, then they and Daredevil give Lizard all they’ve got… which turns out to be nothing whatsoever. Black Cat tickles Winter Soldier to get the Power needed to relieve him of his Cube and then runs off laughing. I feel like I’m committed now to dealing with Lizard so Winter Soldier unloads into him for very little effect, though I do at least draw out X-Ceptional Healing from one decent hit. Lizard pushes Daredevil off the centre, which felt quite rude getting the needed Wild off three dice (due to Shock) after what he’d survived already, and then threw Crimson Dynamo away. Hood finally dazes Lizard and Mike’s Hood heals Toad after KOing my Ninjas. Mysterio moves Bullseye and he just moves back and Kingpin ends by throwing Dynamo back off the middle after he’d moved in there, and sitting on it himself. The score goes to 15 – 5.

Round 3: I’m obviously not going to stop Mike scoring the single point needed to win the game so I decide to see how hard I can push the damage on this turn. Hood plays Hood’s Gang and KOs Lizard. Black Cat double moves to the back corner to guarantee the win; sensible move from Mike. Winter Soldier dazes Bullseye and puts a bit of damage on Kingpin who throws Crimson Dynamo and one-shots Mysterio from full health which felt quite rude as he didn’t even pay to avoid Mysterio’s defences. Daredevil goes after Hood but can only manage a single point of damage even after some help from the Ninjas reappearing. Toad takes Kingpin’s Cube and moves back to his Secure. I send Crimson Dynamo after Toad and I just need to do one damage to drop him with two rerolls available; needless to say Toad was still standing afterwards. Not that it affected the result but it could have made the score a little more respectable. We finish up at 22 – 8 to Mike.

Well that certainly didn’t go to plan! Mike was a lovely opponent and despite the loss I stand by my choice to avoid the Kingpin mirror match in the name of entertainment. Mike played a very sensible game of doing just exactly what was needed to score points at each time. I got bogged down in the dice rolls and I think that I possibly needed to be a bit lucky to beat a player of Mike’s calibre, which I certainly wasn’t here. Looking back I could probably have been better served by starting out round 2 with Winter Soldier as I could maybe have dropped Black Cat before she stole the Cube. However, with the way the dice fell from Daredevil (who I actually used first) it would have been irrelevant – those rolls would have done nothing to her just like they did nothing to Lizard. Well played by Mike who went on to win overall.

Game 3: James playing Avengers

I’m always pleased when I get to meet up with new people at events and so it was a pleasure to be drawn with James here and get to know him over a game. I won Priority and picked Secures, of course, and he chose the higher threat value. I’m still in two minds about whether Ant-Man is worth it just for Gamma Wave in Criminal Syndicate but since he’s in the roster for this purpose this was going to be his time to shine. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be better off with Hood and Mysterio or Daredevil and Bullseye for the last spots and went with the utility of the latter; I will admit that this was also partly because I play Hood and Mysterio all the time and decided to give them a rest for this one. Note that in a slightly weird coincidence I’m actually on the same table as the last game.

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest
Threat: 17
My team: Kingpin, Bullseye, Shadowland Daredevil, Ant-Man, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: All According To Plan, Cruelty, Indomitable, Mission Objective, Patch Up
James’ team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain America (Sam Wilson), Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Winter Soldier
James’ cards: Avengers Assemble, Inspiring Monologue, Mission Objective, Ricochet Blast, To The End Of The Line

Round 1: James declares that he’ll use Captain Steve’s leadership. I have Priority so my plan here is to collect three of the Spider-Infected and sit on the back and middle points. If the opportunity allows for Ant-Man to do a round one rush to score the back objective then I’ll take it but otherwise I’ll play it a bit cagier. Daredevil sits in the centre holding a Spider-Infected while the Ninjas take the back right one and move to the middle. This gives Captain Sam an easy opportunity to drop the Ninjas and he takes the back right Spider-Infected for himself. That was silly of me; the Ninjas could just as easily been at the back point. Winter Soldier goes to the left Spider-Infected and shoots Daredevil. Kingpin and Crimson Dynamo end up in the middle and Iron Man moves to collect the fallen Spider-Infected. Captain Marvel throws a casual four dice Energy Blast at Crimson Dynamo and he ends up almost dazed in one go! She’s also sitting on the back point so I don’t drop Ant-Man there. The score is 4 – 4, but helpfully James has left several of his characters away from the Shelters so hopefully that little bit of damage will be helpful in the long term.

Round 2: I can live with being one Spider-Infected down as long as I’m comfortable on the Gamma Shelters so I’m going to focus on that part and only target James’ Spider-Infected holders if they’re useful targets otherwise. Crimson Dynamo manages to apply Shock to Captain Marvel and Iron Man but pretty much nothing else substantial. Iron Man continues this trend by totally failing to do anything useful in return. Ant-Man uses Hitch A Ride to get to the back point and gently tickles Captain Marvel; sadly this also meant that he didn’t generate enough power for a Bullet Ant Barrage. In return she shakes Shock, turns on Binary Form and one-shots poor Scott. Daredevil uses Baton Snare on her to advance to the back point; he doesn’t do much to Captain Marvel but the Ninjas reappear and put a little more damage into Iron Man. Winter Soldier lets rip on Crimson Dynamo but James’ rolls are awful and he lives on one wound. Bullseye, who had been pushed off the back point by his Spider-Infected, hurts Winter Soldier but because I’m a total idiot I get the power use completely wrong and he can’t get back to the rear objective. Captain Steve hurts Daredevil and I have to use Indomitable to stay on the point. Kingpin pushes Iron Man away and throws Captain Marvel off the point; James plays Avengers Assemble to get people back onto the scoring points… at least it’s out of his hand now. Finally Captain Sam moves to my back point. The score is 9 – 7 in James’ favour; I made some poor choices there.

Round 3: I need to get better on this round with my positioning; most of James’ characters are badly injured and think that I can daze most of them this turn which should make the Secure scoring a bit easier. Kingpin has to come off the central point to get range to Captain Marvel; he then throws her into Winter Soldier to daze them both which I think is probably worth it. He collects the dropped Spider-Infected and then pushes Captain Steve away. Iron Man shakes Stun (oddly, I think I’d have gone for Shock) and then plays a really cool Ricochet Blast which almost one-shots Kingpin. Ant-Man dazes Captain Steve and uses Patch Up to heal Crimson Dynamo for the full five wounds. Captain Sam hurts Bullseye who uses Parting Shot to get out of range for a second shot; I guess Sam could have Charged but then he’d end up off that Gamma Shelter. Crimson Dynamo and Bullseye leave him on one wound which Daredevil is unable to apply, though the Ninjas do daze Iron Man. The score moves to a rather more comfortable 15 – 10 to me.

Round 4: I only need to score one more point to get over the line here but there are enough points available that I need to be careful to limit James’ scoring too. The first priority is to drop Sam Wilson as he’s the main way of scoring for James at this point; after that I probably want to just control rather than damage people as they’re all on full health again and I’m unlikely to KO them. I play All According To Plan and Bullseye gets us off to a good start by dazing Captain Sam. Winter Soldier pays for Inspiring Monologue on Captain Marvel which pretty much ensures that she’s not even worth the trouble of attacking. He then takes Kingpin down to one wound but rather than finishing him off he turns his attention to Daredevil and can’t daze him either. Kingpin, who will certainly be dazed very soon, activates now so that I actually get to use him. He throws Captain Marvel as far away as possible and then Headbutts Captain Steve to push him further away. Captain Steve throws Ant-Man off the point and into the Ninjas before Daredevil comes back to sit on the central point and does some minor chip damage in return. Iron Man KOs Ant-Man and dazes Kingpin in a highly effective turn, though this does mean that he’s still stranded out away from the scoring points. Crimson Dynamo picks up a fallen Spider-Infected and moves to capture the far Gamma Shelter. Captain Marvel double moves to the centre and throws Daredevil into the gun platform to daze him, relieving him of his Spider-Infected in the process. We finish up at 20 – 13 to me.

James was a lovely fun opponent and I look forward to seeing him across the table in the future once he’s got a bit more experience. For my part I made a lot of silly errors, especially in round two where I could have had Bullseye scoring my home Gamma Shelter instead of ceding it to Captain America for nothing. Overall my attrition plan worked quite well but James could possibly have pushed me harder on it by ensuring that his pieces moved to contest the objectives rather than sitting out in the open taking damage from the Crisis. Hood and Mysterio probably would have been a better option than Daredevil and Bullseye as I didn’t use them very cleverly; perhaps more importantly I totally forgot to use either Cruelty or Mission Objective which would have been the appropriate character cards if I’d made that change. Overall I was perhaps a bit fortunate to ‘get away’ with some poor play here.

Game 4: Ian playing S.H.I.E.L.D.

My final game I’m up against Ian who is apparently famous locally for S.H.I.E.L.D. jank. Luckily for me I usually find that S.H.I.E.L.D. jank is no match for just standing on all of the objectives and being annoying to get rid of! I win Priority (which is nice because it takes some of the most annoying Nick Fury Jr plays off the table) and pick my Secures as usual. We end up with Intrusions Open and Hammers and Ian chooses the slightly lower threat option. Daredevil makes the team this time as I think that I can use the Ninjas to body block some good landing spots for Ian’s heroes in the opening rounds, plus I think that they probably won’t have many Mystic attack options so he can use his full suite of defensive tech.

Extraction: Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse
Threat: 18
My team: Kingpin, Hood, Mysterio, Shadowland Daredevil, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: All According To Plan, Indomitable, Hood’s Gang, Patch Up, The Grand Illusion
Ian’s team: Nick Fury Jr, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Taskmaster, The Original Human Torch
Ian’s cards: A New Age, Battlefield Medicine, Brace For Impact, Eye In The Sky, Sitrep

Round 1: I’m a little surprised not to see She-Hulk on Ian’s side as I thought that her throws and control would have been an big asset for him. I pick Kingpin’s leadership. My plan here is to get the right Hammer with Daredevil and sit the Ninjas on the far side of the left one so that anyone who wants it has to either waste an action dealing with the Ninjas (not hard, but also it’s quite inefficient) or come closer to my lines to do so. Otherwise, Ian hasn’t got enough on the left to displace Daredevil so I’ll flood the centre and then start trying to drop some of the more vulnerable S.H.I.E.L.D. heroes. Daredevil starts us off by collecting the right Hammer and the Ninjas move up in front of the left one, leaving it on the ground. Hawkeye has to spend both actions killing them – I didn’t actually think that Ian would leave that lying on the ground so Hood gratefully runs over and collects it. Fury comes forward and does no damage on a poor shot into Hood and most of my team moves to the middle. Torch gets a pretty sweet beam into Kingpin and Mysterio which I certainly could have lived without while Iron Man (who gets a Hammer) pushes Crimson Dynamo (also with a Hammer) over slightly into a very neat formation for my inevitable Torch-ing next turn. Black Widow ends the turn by moving onto the left point and playing Sitrep so Fury can join her The score is 5 – 1 to me.

Round 2: I have three Hammers and I’m in control of the Secures so I want to spend this turn working on attrition. I have a choice to make here – either I can try to drop Torch before he beams my three characters in the middle, or I can go with Hood to get Hood’s gang into play. I go with the latter and Hood starts blasting at Fury; my first couple of rolls are pretty rubbish despite the rerolls and it takes until the third shot before Fury has enough power to use Eye In The Sky and get himself out of there. Annoyingly I forgot that Hood was holding a Hammer until a few activations later so I could have been doing a lot more damage with him. Torch goes next, playing A New Age and beaming the hell out of Crimson Dynamo, Kingpin and Mysterio. This also gains him enough power to make Crimson Dynamo drop his Hammer and collect it himself. Kingpin tickles Torch rather gently and eventually throws him into Taskmaster so they both Brace it, before using Patch Up on Crimson Dynamo. Iron Man dazes Kingpin easily. Crimson Dynamo beams across Iron Man, Torch and Taskmaster which dazes Iron Man, then uses Propulsion Thrusters to line up another beam after collecting Iron Man’s Hammer, KOs the Agents and dazes the Torch and then finally gets dazed himself by Taskmaster’s counterattacks. What an activation! Fury comes across to the middle, summons some replacement Agents who pick up one of the fallen Hammers and uses Battlefield Medicine on himself. Mysterio, who is somehow still not dazed after all that carnage, picks up the other Hammer then KOs the Agents, dazes Taskmaster. Hawkeye Hook Arrows himself over to the action, picks up the Hammer dropped most recently by the Agents and dazes Mysterio. Daredevil one-shots Hawkeye and take his Hammer. Black Widow decides to leave Hood to his own devices over there on the left and hops through the Portal to the right. What an insane, hilarious round that turned out to be. Almost everyone took a turn at holding a Hammer at some point, I assume that this was all done to the background music of the Benny Hill theme music! When the smoke clears, I’m up 9 – 3.

Round 3: Everyone is bunched up in the middle so it’s time to get a nice big attrition swing going. Most of Ian’s characters are on full health as they’ve just flipped sides but they’re also very close to Mysterio and in a neat line for Crimson Dynamo to beam through. Mysterio pays for The Grand Illusion and Crismon Dynamo gets to work, beaming across Taskmaster (whose counterattacks are disappointing to say the least), Nick Fury and the Torch, annoyingly leaving the first two on a single wound each. To my surprise, Ian doesn’t activate Torch next but goes for Iron Man who uses Friday AI into a Unibeam for a really cool beam attack which KOs my Ninjas again, hurts both Crimson Dynamo and Kingpin and also clips Taskmaster to daze him. Kingpin throws Fury into the Torch to daze the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader then KOs the Torch with Hail To The King. Hawkeye goes for Crimson Dynamo but by this point he’s holding so much power that I can just Disruption Field pretty much every incoming attack and he achieves little. Mysterio dazes Black Widow and I realise that I can score this out by just hopping Daredevil onto the undefended right Portal, so I do that to finish us off at 16 – 4.

Thanks to Ian for a fun, if a little one-sided, game; I really enjoyed it despite his nickname! That was quite a brutal game, but I think that despite the good work that The Original Human Torch was putting in, the central brawl was very much favouring my game plan over Ian’s. Round 2 was very complex once we got into the cycle of badly-mauled characters picking up Hammers then getting jumped on by the next character and I think that we both had to consider quite carefully about who to activate at each time. I understood at the end that Ian had thought that my Ninjas had picked up a Hammer at the very start and perhaps that error threw him off his stride for the rest of the game.

Allan and I actually headed out before the end of the round as we had a long drive back home but I finished up in 5th place (of 20) which I’m very happy with. I could potentially have been a bit higher by scoring more VPs, for example by deliberately not finishing up in round 3 against Ian but dragging it out for another round, but that’s rather gamey and I don’t really like to be in that position where I’m slowing down a one-sided game for non-game reasons. I think that I’m going to put Criminal Syndicate to one side for now, despite just finding out that Rhino is affiliated, and try my hand with Brotherhood of (Evil) Mutants for a little while. Many thanks to Lee, Mike, James and Ian for four very entertaining games of MCP, to Anth for running the show and of course to Allan for chauffeuring me around for my gaming fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Ryan playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Steve playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Liam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Nick playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the fourth (of four so far) video of my good friend Allan and I playing Marvel Crisis Protocol at Common Ground Games in Stirling. All credit to Allan for doing all the actual work regarding the video – I just got to enjoy playing another fun game.

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Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Scotland November Event 12Nov2022

Gareth and I took the train across to Stirling for another Marvel Crisis Protocol event at Common Ground Games. This was an especially exciting event for me as my thirteen-year-old son Scott came to join us. I was a bit nervous on his behalf as he’d only played a couple of games to get the rules down, but the community here is very welcoming to new players and furthermore there were some other brand new people coming along for the first time including another two thirteen-year-olds. We spent the train ride running through Scott’s cards to try to give him a good chance to remember his rules and tactics.

Characters: (10)
—Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) Threat: 4
Black Cat (Felica Hardy) Threat: 3
Bullseye (Benjamin Poindexter) Threat: 2
Hood (Parker Robbins) Threat: 3
Modok (George Tarleton) Threat: 5
Mysterio (Quentin Beck) Threat: 3
Ant-Man (Scott Lang) Threat: 3
Lizard (Curtis Connors) Threat: 3
—Crimson Dynamo (Dimitri Bukharin) Threat: 4
Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) Threat: 4

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

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

Extract Crisis: (3)
Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? (Threat: 19)
Research Station Attacked! (Threat: 16)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)

I had decided to go back to Criminal Syndicate for this event as I’ve always had a lot of fun with them. I took Lizard this time as he’s a perfect fit for Kingpin’s leadership being mobile, hard to kill and having a nice character throw to get people off objectives. I brought Ant-Man to synergise with the Gamma Wave crisis as his mobility allows a very cheeky play to get an early lead on the scoring when played with Kingpin. I’ve also been trying out Crimson Dynamo as he loves the tight brawls that Criminal Syndicate want to play; he has a beam attack which can hand out Shock (making it harder for me to get damaged in return) and can use his Disruption Field to really stymie incoming attacks. Not only that but he’s quite tough to damage with his good defences and armour; he has been a great splash character.

Game 1: Kai playing X-Force

For the first game I got paired up with Kai. Kai is new to MCP but I’ve seen them around before playing Warmachine; I was looking forward to finally getting to play together. I knew that this was going to be a good one when I put down Crimson Dynamo and Kai shared some cool fluff about the character from his comic appearances. Kai won priority and sensibly picked his Secures but I drew Research Station which is as good as a Secure for me and so I knew that I could draw this into a central brawl.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 2.0
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Bullseye, Hood, Mysterio, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: All According To Plan, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Patch Up, The Grand Illusion
Kai’s team: Cable, Colossus, Wolverine, X-23
Kai’s cards: Dirty Work, Fastball Special, Pretty Sneaky Sis, Wolverines, X-Ceptional Healing

Round 1: I’ve got a pretty simple plan here – march down the middle escorting the Researcher to the far extraction point and not die in the process. I’m hoping that X-23 will be esnt off to deal with one of the side objectives to keep her out of my hair while I control the other three off the scoring points in the middle. We end up having the most sedate round 1 ever, in that everyone walks to various objectives and no-one attacks. I was a little surprised to see Kai put Wolverine on duty sitting on the right flank objective; 4 threat is a lot to dedicate to a single point per turn when your attacks are short ranged enough that you can’t contribute to the main business. The score is 4 – 2 to me.

Round 2: Cable opens fire on Crimson Dynamo and Incinerates him. Hood plays Hood’s Gang but fails to do even a single point of damage to Colossus; he didn’t even roll any hits to trigger Rapid Fire. X-23 also tears into Crimson Dynamo but can’t bring him down so Hood pays for Patch Up. Kingpin pushes Colossus away from the fray and throws X-23 to make sure that the Researcher is mine. Colossus tickles Crimson Dynamo before Mysterio moves him away. Wolverine and Bullseye twiddle their thumbs out on the edges and Crimson Dynamo beams some of Kai’s team to apply Shock but not a lot else. The score goes to 9 – 3 in my favour.

Round 3: Cable plays Dirty Work on Crimson Dynamo but doesn’t manage to get him. In return he beams through most of the X-Force team, dazing Cable and leaving Colossus on a single wound. X-23 claws Crimson Dynamo also down to one wound before Bullseye does what he does best, plinking Colossus’s final wound to daze him. The rest of my team push X-23 around a bit but can’t daze her, however it doesn’t actually matter as I get over the line at 16 – 4.

Kai was a lovely opponent but unfortunately this ended up being a bit of a mismatch in terms of how much experience we had in the game. Hopefully they’ve learned well and this will give some food for thought as to how to approach roster building and team building. For example, Kai could have taken Honey Badger and set the Jonathan The Unstoppable token on that objective on the right rather than paying to have Wolverine twiddle his thumbs on it. I look forward to another game when Kai has played a few more matches and has a better feel for the game.

Game 2: Liam playing Cabal

It was inevitable that I’d get matched up with Liam as we’d joked about this before the event. Liam is surely the strongest player in our country and I would have to be on top of my game to stand a chance. He won priority and picked Secures; I went for the lower threat option to limit Liam’s choices if he wanted to lead with Malekith. I think that I have decent game on these crises as Kingpin’s leadership benefits me well on both Extraction and Secure, plus having Black Cat affiliated gives me some fun options to steal the Syringes.

Extraction: Deadly Legacy Virus Cured?
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Black Cat, Bullseye, Hood, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: All According To Plan, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Mission Objective, Patch Up
Liam’s team: Malekith, Baron Zemo, Mystique, Black Cat
Liam’s cards: Brace For Impact, Dark Reign, Deception, Follow Me, The Black Bifrost

Round 1: I want to try to keep two of the Syringes and at least one of the Witness each turn to try to rack up a points lead here against Liam as I’m not well suited to out brawl him. I decide to commit Kingpin over on the right knowing that if Liam focuses on the left then I’ll be playing down four points. I think that this is probably worth it for 3 points a turn (if he can hold a Syringe too). Liam passes to start with so Bullseye collects the Syringe on the left. Mystique pulls him in with Deception and guns him down to the box, collecting the Syringe; Zemo moves from the leadership. Hood takes the central Syringe. Malekith comes in and hurts him so Hood transforms to try to stay in the game a bit longer. Zemo, having got the power from Malekith’s leadership in Mystique’s turn, is able to Charge Hood and drop him. Everyone else moves onto the Witnesses; the score is 3 – 2 to me.

Round 2: The attrition is already going very much the wrong way for me here. My plan with Kingpin is OK but I need to find a way to score over on the left which might be easier said that done, especially since two of my characters are already on their injured side. I need to control Malekith somehow and then either daze or displace enough of Liam’s team that I can score the Witness on the left. Mystique hurts Bullseye but can’t finish him this time.. Hood puts a very disappointing Empowered Dark Lightning into Zemo and then plays Hood’s Gang before Malekith KOs him. Mystique pays for Dark Reign on Crimson Dynamo. Bullseye dazes Zemo after very narrowly surviving a counterstrike before Black Cat KOs him. My Black Cat puts Stagger on Malekith with her Troublemaker attack, gets the Elusive trigger to move to Liam’s Black Cat and then improbably one-shots her. That was extraordinarily fortunate for me and allows her to collect the dropped Syringe and also means the Crimson Dynamo has uncontested control over the Witness on the left. We go to 9 – 3 in my favour.

Round 3: If I can keep Black Cat alive then she can basically win the game for me in one go. Otherwise I’ll need to work on attrition and hope to defend my lead while racking up points on the right with Kingpin. Malekith charges into Black Cat and doesn’t finish her off; she plays Indomitable to avoid taking damage from the throw. Then my hopes are dashed as he plays Follow Me into Mystique who makes no mistake, dazing Black Cat with the exact number of remaining wounds. Crimson Dynamo lets fly with a couple of beams across Black Cat and Malekith but it has depressingly little effect. Zemo does little more than scratch his red armour but Liam’s Black Cat finishes the job and dazes him. The score moves to 12 – 7 to me.

Round 4: Malekith plays Black Bifrost. I have two choices here – either set about Zemo, Black Cat and Malekith with Crimson Dynamo with decent odds to drop at least one of them as they’re all quite beaten up already; alternatively I can go with Black Cat to steal both of Mystique’s Syringes and run away. I don’t think that I can get her to safety if I do that so opt for the attrition plan. Crimson Dynamo lights up three of Liam’s team with two attacks each, needing to only do three or four damage to any of them for the daze (or KO). Needless to say, I manage a total of two damage across the six attacks, though at least all three now have the Shock condition. Malekith polishes off Black Cat. Zemo also does nothing useful back to Crimson Dynamo but Black Cat gives him Stagger, triggers Elusive and bounces through the Bifrost and steal Kingpin’s Syringe. She finishes this with one wound left so if Crimson Dynamo had managed to do just a single damage to her then this wouldn’t have been possible as using the Bifrost causes one damage. The score is now 14 – 12 in my favour.

Round 5: Kingpin KOs Black Cat and picks up her Syringe again, the Malekith comes through the Bifrost (also with a single wound on him when he arrives) and dazes Kingpin. My only hope now is for Crimson Dynamo to drop both Mystique and Zemo (the former from full health) with a single attack which, not surprisingly, he fails to do. Mystique hops through the Bifrost and collects the third Syringe, immediately ending the game. Liam wins by 20 – 14.

What. A. Game! That could perhaps have been my favourite game ever of MCP; we both had opportunities to win it. I will forever wonder if I would have been able to keep Black Cat alive had I opted to use her first in round 4 as the dice told me in no uncertain terms that Crimson Dynamo was the wrong choice. I certainly had a few moments of good fortune – notably the highly improbable one-shotting of Liam’s Black Cat in round 2 – but these were also balanced by rolling low on other occasions such as Crimson Dynamo’s torrid attempts to beam the Cabal on round 4. So overall I can’t say that luck was the decider here, and rather I’m glad to have been beaten so narrowly by a player of Liam’s skill.

Game 3: Gavin playing Brotherhood of Mutants

I got paired up here with Gavin; funnily enough he’d beaten Scott in game 1 so it was a bit of an opportunity for ‘avenge me, father!’ style banter. I did win priority this time but oddly our crisis cards were remarkably similar so I decided to take a chance on my Extraction cards as I felt that mine suited me a bit better. In the end we did manage to draw the Secure that I don’t have in my roster so at least it turned out to be a relevant decision. Gavin chose 16 threat (my third game in a row, though in fairness I chose it the last two times!) so I was going to pick the same team as in game one until I realised that most of the Brotherhood picks I expected to see here were quite resistant to Mysterio’s shenanigans and opted instead for the straightforward tankiness of Lizard.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Bullseye, Hood, Crimson Dynamo, Lizard
My cards: All According To Plan, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Monkey Brain Is Lizard Home, Patch Up
Gavin’s team: Magneto, Juggernaut, Scarlet Witch
Gavin’s cards: Asteroid M, Do You Know Who I Am?, Magnetic Refraction, Makin’ A Ruckuss, Patch Up

Round 1: Well, that’s quite a team. Luckily for me Research Station is quite fast scoring and I don’t think that Gavin can daze my team quickly enough to stop me getting the Research onto the Evac point, so my plan here is just to control Magneto and Scarlet Witch by throwing them away from the scoring points and then just do my best to keep the damage from Juggernaut in check. This scenario is likely to end up looking like a group of five-year-olds playing football so if I’m careful I might possibly be able to simply body block Juggernaut off the points. Crimson Dynamo moves onto the Researcher and Juggernaut strolls up and slaps a beefy five damage into him. Scarlet Witch stands on the back point and dazes him easily. Magneto uses Asteroid M to get to the middle and throw some damage out there but ultimately I’m happy to just sit my characters on the Researcher and bank the points. The score is 4 – 1 to me.

Round 2: Magneto throws everything he has at Lizard and leaves him on one wound. Crimson Dynamo applies Shock to Magneto and Scarlet Witch, pays for Patch Up on Lizard and uses his Propulsion Thrusters to get onto the Researcher again. Scarlet Witch does some more damage to Lizard who survives and throws Magneto away from the action; he follows this up by gently tickling Scarlet Witch and Juggernaut. Juggernaut plays Do You Know Who I Am? to get rid of the annoying Lizard, but he plays Indomitable to stay in the same awkward position. One swing with Juggernaut’s meaty fists is not enough to drop him either; of course, this kind of toughness is exactly why I have Lizard in my roster. Kingpin dazes Scarlet Witch and Hood moves to the far point so the score moves now to 9 – 1 to me.

Round 3: If I can hold on to the Researcher this turn then the game will be over so I need to either be able to throw Gavin’s models off it or outnumber them there; the other Portals are not really important any more. Magneto goes first and makes short work of dazing Hood. Crimson Dynamo activates and puts Shock on Juggernaut and Scarlet Witch, this also lets him power up nicely to use Disruption Field. Apparently it’s not as helpful as I’d hoped as the pair of them daze Kingpin. Meanwhile Lizard moves up to score the far point including the Researcher and Bullseye comes into the middle to join in the party. The score goes to 15 – 1 to me. Since there is no way for Gavin to stop me scoring at least two points next turn and he’d need to find at least 16, we call it a day there.

Thanks to Gavin for a really fun game. I liked this one as it showcased two very different styles of team – mine was all about not dying and instead scoring the points whereas Gavin had gone for a really tall, really attrition focussed team. Ultimately this worked out the way I predicted – Gavin spent the game blending my villains (even through the defensive tech that I was using) but I spent the game racking up points. I think that if he can find a way to mix the attrition play while keeping the score in sight then Gavin will become a force to be reckoned with and I hope to play him again soon.

Game 4: Stu playing Defenders

For the final game I got another opportunity to joke about family vengeance as Stu had also beaten Scott in an earlier round. We chatted once the crises were decided and decided between us to have a gentleman’s agreement not to use Doctor Voodoo since he was very much the obvious play here; it just seemed more fun to avoid similarities in our teams. I won priority and chose my Secure this time (which is basically the default plan as Criminal Syndicate) as I didn’t really mind any of Stu’s Extract cards, however I think that Alien Ship was probably the one I wanted least of his. Since there was a single Extract it was easy to pick Black Cat, and I also like Mysterio for this Secure crisis as he only needs to get one damage on his victims to move them off the scoring points. I don’t know that Crimson Dynamo is especially good in this scenario but I’d been having a great time using him all day and just wanted to carry on.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown!
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate
Threat: 20
My team: Kingpin, Black Cat, Hood, Mysterio, Crimson Dynamo, Lizard
My cards: All According To Plan, Hood’s Gang, Indomitable, Mission Objective, Patch Up
Stu’s team: Doctor Strange, Hulk, Luke Cage, Valkyrie, Lockjaw
Stu’s cards: Brace For Impact, Heroes For Hire, Last Minute Save, Patch Up, Pentagram of Farallah

Round 1: I’m not really interested in getting the Core here unless it happens to be in the centre; instead my plan is to sit on as many of the Secures as possible and score this out quickly before Hulk flattens my whole team. If (or, more likely, when) Stu finds the Core I’ll try and get it off him with Black Cat; otherwise she’ll mainly be on duty to Stagger Hulk. Mysterio starts us off in the middle but doesn’t find the Core; Valkyrie similarly fails to find it on the left. Lockjaw teleports Hulk forward (which is rather scary) and Crimson Dynamo is able to Shock Hulk before he comes in for a surprisingly anaemic attack on Mysterio which is followed by a Gamma Leap to the unoccupied back left point. Lizard strolls onto that point to make sure it’s now mine. Over on the right, Doctor Strange finds the Core on his first try. I’m not getting it off him any time soon but I will get all the Secure points as Luke Cage, Kingpin and Black Cat take up position. The score is 5 -2 in my favour.

Round 2: My priorities this turn are to relieve Doctor Strange of the Core and to keep control of as many Secure points as possible. I also need to mitigate how much damage Hulk can do. Black Cat doesn’t have enough power to steal the Core yet so I need to either hope she takes a small amount of damage from Luke Cage or somehow do a bit herself which is not something to rely upon with 4 attack dice. We start out with Valkyrie and Hood bouncing off each other on the left though the latter does put up Hood’s Gang. Luke Cage attacks Black Cat which would be good as I want some power on her but is actually really bad as he one-shots her. Today has not been kind to Black Cats! At least he doesn’t have anything useful to do with his second action. Lizard pushes Lockjaw away from Hulk and Mysterio uses Tricks and Traps for a little damage and so he can slightly reposition further from Hulk. Lockjaw throws some terrain at Mysterio before he in turn uses Hypnosis Gas to walk Hulk away twice. It doesn’t help though, as Hulk just comes steaming back in and easily dazes Mysterio. I guess he had that coming. Crimson Dynamo dazes Lockjaw in return, then Doctor Strange has the least effective turn ever, failing to damage Kingpin (and therefore move him) on either attack. Kingpin is too far away to attack anything and I’m quite happy with him scoring his point so he just moves up and throws Cage off the back right point. The score goes to 9 – 4.

Round 3: I steal Priority with All According To Plan since Mysterio has enough power to pay for it on his own after the beating the he received from Hulk. Since Black Cat is similarly powered up I can go with her to steal the Core from Doctor Strange. She starts off with a Troublemaker into him since I can hope for a cheeky wild Elusive too but Stu cleverly plays Heroes for Hire and so it’s Cage who takes the hit and then throws her away. I didn’t even get Elusive! Luckily she still has enough speed with her Long move to get close enough to steal the Core, Grappling Hook back to the Secure and then use Kingpin’s leadership to pass the Core to him. Good work Black Cat! This shows one of the cool things about MCP – once your character gets dazed they usually have enough power to get a turn of doing their Cool Stuff afterwards. On the other side of the board, Valkyrie is sick of Hood’s nonsense and dazes him easily, though she’s too far away from Lizard to attack him too (and he’s too big to throw anywhere). Crimson Dynamo beams through Lockjaw and Hulk for a rather disappointing amount of damage, though he is putting Shock out all over the place which is handy, plus he’s swimming in power for Disruption Fields later in the turn. Lockjaw puts Interdimensional Blood Hound on Mysterio and Crimson Dynamo; Mysterio moves Hulk and Lockjaw away until the former comes back in and dazes Crimson Dynamo even through all the defensive tech. Lizard throws Valkyrie off her point and Doctor Strange follows up his total failure last turn with more of the same by failing to hurt Black Cat. Kingpin just ends up passing since Cage can’t get to him, though he can get to Black Cat and KOs her in revenge. The score moves to 14 – 5, apparently it was so exciting that I forgot to take a photo.

Round 4: All I need to do here is either keep hold of the Core (easier said than done when Hulk is jumping about the place) or hold two of the objectives. I decide to try to drop Lockjaw first to limit Stu’s options so Crimson Dynamo sets about him and Hulk with the beam but again doesn’t achieve a lot apart from powering himself up. Hulk tries to throw Crimson Dynamo away and I play Indomitable to stay there; he goes for a Hulk Smash but Disruption Field gets me out of jail by making him reroll the wilds for the throw. Eventually Hulk just has to Gamma Leap to Kingpin but he doesn’t get much work done through Disruption Field and Intense Physical Conditioning. Hood dazes Valkyrie on the left which more or less guarantees me the game (in retrospect I’m not really sure why I didn’t do that first) and Doctor Strange continues to roll terribly in his attempts to down Kingpin. Mysterio KOs Lockjaw and moves Hulk further away. We end it there at 19 – 6 to me; no photo again because for some reason everyone was desperate to get the board tidied away.

I really enjoyed playing Stu again, and I also have to thank him for the loan of some crisis cards for the day. Superpowered Scoundrels is a Secure where Criminal Syndicate really excels and Stuart spread himself too thinly to hold back my scoring options. I like the way that he used Hulk to bully the centre; even with all the nonsense that Crimson Dynamo and Mysterio can apply they weren’t really doing much more than keeping him busy. Stu didn’t make much use of the very-annoying Defenders leadership ability and I think that would have been worth looking into a bit more, but I think that he’s quite new to playing the affiliation. My heart also goes out to him for the dice he got from Doctor Strange; even with rerolls from the Eye of Agamoto (except against Black Cat, of course) I don’t think that he did any damage at all this game; that said he did also spend the whole game just sitting in the middle of nowhere, not scoring and allowing me to use the crisis special rule to get cover for free.

When the dust settles I somehow come in second place, presumably because of the Strength of Schedule boost that comes from only losing to Liam who, perhaps not surprisingly, came out as the overall victor. More importantly Scott had a terrific day out and finished in a highly respectable 12th place with 2 wins and 2 losses; actually the same record as Gareth except that the latter was top of the 2-2 bracket with a ridiculous Strength of Schedule after two brutal games in the end with Grant and Adam. Thanks to Kai, Liam, Gavin and Stu for four really enjoyable games of Crisis Protocol, and of course thanks to Allan for running the event. We’ll be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol video battle report: Asgard vs Winter Guard

Another of the Marvel Crisis Protocol games I’ve recorded with Allan has made it onto YouTube. Don’t do what I do if you want to win a game, I don’t think I can recall ever having played as badly as this! It was a fun game though.

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Monthly Mayhem 22Oct2022

Another day, another Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament – it might be a long time since I posted about my previous event but actually this one took place the following day. Allan kindly gave me a ride down the A1 to Protech Games in Stockton so that we could have another four games of this fantastic system.

Characters: (10)
—Thor, Prince of Asgard (Thor Odinson) Threat: 5
Enchantress (Amora) Threat: 4
Heimdall, The All-Seeing (Heimdall) Threat: 3
Loki, God of Mischief (Loki Laufeyson) Threat: 4
Skurge, the Executioner (Skurge) Threat: 3
Valkyrie (Brunhilde) Threat: 3
Bullseye (Benjamin Poindexter) Threat: 2
Hood (Parker Robbins) Threat: 3
Winter Soldier (James “Bucky” Barnes) Threat: 3
—Malekith The Accursed (Malekith) Threat: 7

Tactics: (10)
Odin’s Blessing
Rainbow Bridge
Brace for Impact
Patch Up
Hood’s Gang
Meet My Executioner
Sibling Rivalry
Mission Objective
Dark Reign
Midnight Phantasmagoria

Secure Crisis: (3)
Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians (Threat: 17)
Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park (Threat: 18)
Portals Overrun City With Spider-People! (Threat: 18)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Fear Grips World As “Worthy” Terrorize Cities (Threat: 18)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)
Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan (Threat: 17)

My roster was the same as the day before; I didn’t see any particular reason to change it and anyway it would have been more likely that I would forget to pack any changes! So the plan is just the same really – make the most of Asgard power to use pay-to-flip Secures and bully people with Malekith.

Game 1: Graeme playing Asgard

I won priority and chose Secures but actually there wasn’t a lot to pick between our rosters here. This became obvious when Graeme and I picked almost exactly the same team. We had a quick chat and agreed that since this was a tiny tournament and not Serious Business we would rerack with a gentleman’s agreement not to pick the obvious Malekith-based roster. My revised roster was intended to spread chip damage across Graeme’s team with throws, Rapid Fire, and Forfend attacks.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians
Threat: 17
My team: Thor, Heimdall, Skurge, Valkyrie, Hood
My cards: Brace For Impact, Hood’s Gang, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Rainbow Bridge
Graeme’s team: Thor, Angela, Enchantress, Skurge
Graeme’s cards: Indomitable, Meet My Executioner, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Recalibration Matrix

Round 1: Usually on Hammers we end up with two apiece at the end of round 1 so my goal was to use my extra activation to hopefully keep the majority of the Origin Bombs. My Skurge takes the Hammer and Bomb on the right and Graeme’s Thor does the same on the left. I charge Thor with Valkyrie figuring that I can hope to get a single damage on him to then allow a flip of that Secure. Predictably, this doesn’t work out and Valkyrie is left just standing in front of a Hammer-wielding demigod. The Enchantress takes the central point and Heimdall takes it back. Angela picks up the far Hammer and re-flips the central point. My Thor picks up the last Hammer and hits Angela; he also puts Shock on her but since we’re playing Asgard that won’t last long. Skurge comes into the centre and gets shot a few times by Hood for his troubles. The score goes to 5 – 2 to Graeme.

Round 2: Most of the fighting looks to be in the middle so I need to find a way to flip that point. Graeme’s Skurge starts us off by hitting Heimdall. I go with Hood first, not that I particularly need him but I want to put Hood’s Gang into play early on; he does good work and drops Skurge. Enchantress moves Thor around and gets a nice beam attack on him and Heimdall. Valkyrie rolls like a hero and drops Thor, collecting his Hammer in the process. Annoyingly though, this run of luck doesn’t extend to flipping the point over there and I’m left ruing her missing even a single success. Thor fails to drop Enchantress and Skurge finally deals with her. Meanwhile Heimdall and Angela trade ineffective blows and I continue to miss taking that central Origin Bomb. The score is 9 – 5 to Graeme.

Round 3: This is running away from me and I need to get some points off the Origin Bombs or Graeme will just score the game out regardless of my good attitrional position. Enchantress moves Thor into a neat line, steals his Hammer and beams him, Heimdall (who uses Odin’s Blessing) and Hood before using Patch Up on Angela. Not a bad activation by anyone’s standards. Hood uses Patch Up on Thor who tickles Angela rather ineffectually and flips the central point; in return she dazes Heimdall even though I take the first hit onto Skurge. My Thor uses Brace For Impact to avoid a throw from her too, and she flips that centre Origin Bomb right back. Hood pumps a few shots into Skurge who dazes my Skurge in turn. Valkyrie does some nice damage on Graeme’s Thor and throws him off the point; he steams back in and hurts her back. The score moves to 15 – 6 for Graeme.

Round 4: I’m going to need a staggeringly good round here to avoid losing the one point that Graeme needs to see out the game. Thor gets us off to a good start by finally dazing Angela and taking her Hammer. On the left, the other Thor dazes Valkyrie and picks up her Hammer. My Skurge polishes off Enchantress and takes her Hammer, but critically Graeme’s Skurge runs off with his Hammer into the distance. I don’t have enough to get both Thor and Skurge so that’s basically it for the game. I finish us off by having Heimdall play Rainbow Bridge to get over and KO Thor. We finish up at 16 – 12.

What a close game. I think that the dice overall were quite even but I was cost dearly by constantly failing to flip the central point and even more so by Valkyrie not rolling even a single success on the left in round 2 – as it turned out was the difference between victory and defeat. Graeme played smartly and made the moves he needed to make – it would have been tempting for him to get stuck in with Skurge in the last round but running off with his Hammer was absolutely the right move. I think that if I was going to play the game again I would have been quite happy to use the same roster and make broadly the same attrition choices. The big building just to the left of the centre was actually really awkward to play around (until it got thrown away) as I think that I probably wanted Heimdall to sit in that area and give Valkyrie the benefit of rerolls.

Game 2: Zoe playing Guardians of the Galaxy

There turned out to be an odd number of people in the tournament so rather than have a bye for one of us each round, one of the people working in the shop got subbed in. Not a bad way to get paid! As a result I was paired up with Zoe, using a borrowed (but beautiful) Guardians roster; I had the impression that her game in round one had just been getting her back up to speed with the game after a long break. Zoe also didn’t have a set of Crisis cards set up so we just picked two of mine in the interests of getting a game in; as with Graeme in the previous round I was happy to ‘fly casual’.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continue
Secure: Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians
Threat: 17
My team: Thor, Heimdall, Skurge, Valkyrie, Hood
My cards: Brace For Impact, Hood’s Gang, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Rainbow Bridge
Zoe’s team: Star Lord, Gamora, Groot, Nebula, Rocket Raccoon, Lockjaw
Zoe’s cards: Crew of the Milano, Daughters of Thanos, Deadly Duo, Medpack, We Are Groot [I know that Medpack is not in the current rotation but it wasn’t going to be a big deal]

Round 1: Zoe gives Winging It tokens to Gamora, Nebula and Rocket. I’m going to lean hard on attrition here as there are too many Guardians for me to rely on getting scenario points in the early game. Rocket takes the Cube on the right and Skurge does the same on the left and flips that Bomb. Gamora goes to the left but fails to reflip that Bomb; Heimdall somehow finds himself with a free run at the centre and takes it happily. Star Lord takes the right point and Thor gives him Shock (but no damage) for his troubles. Valkyrie charges Gamora for no damage and Lockjaw eventually throws something at her followed by Nebula zooming in to zap her. Poor Valkyrie. The score is 6 – 2 to me.

Round 2: Zoe gives Winging It tokens to Gamora, Lockjaw and Rocket. I think that Thor can stay quite safe on the right as only I have a way of throwing that massive building, so my plan is to try and clear out some of the Guardians on the left as a priority and keep the pressure on the Origin Bombs. Valkyrie needs to go first since she’s been pretty badly beaten up already and she makes a good go of it, dazing Nebula and throwing Gamora into Lockjaw. Gamora comes back into Valkyrie – I take the first attack on Skurge but it’s not enough (and Skurge doesn’t have the needed power to do it again) so Valkyrie goes down on the second swing. Skurge dazes Gamora into return and throws more terrain into Lockjaw, who I guess is feeling rather put upon by now. Star Lord zaps Thor rather ineffectively due to the Shock and Thor dazes him in return, though he fails to flip the Bomb needing a single success on four dice. Rocket rolls very poorly and does no more than tickle Thor; Heimdall returns the favour by totally failing to hurt Groot. Lockjaw puts a bit of damage onto Skurge before Hood guns him down and Groot makes short work off Heimdall. Fortunately I was able to hang on to the Origin Bombs so the score goes to 12 – 4 to me.

Round 3: I forgot to note who got Winging It tokens this time, or maybe we just forgot about them entirely. I just need to hold on at this point as I’ve got a good score and a big leg up on attrition. I go with Hood first and fail to deal with Nebula; he does at least play Hood’s Gang and uses Patch Up on Skurge. Nebula uses Daughters of Thanos and the combined attacks KO Valkyrie and force Odin’s Blessing out on Skurge. Over on the right Thor KOs Star Lord and dazes Groot by repeatedly throwing the latter into the former. Rocket uses Medpack on himself and dazes Thor but doesn’t pick up any of the fallen Cubes. I assume that Zoe didn’t want him dazing from Cube damage. Skurge KOs Gamora though there was a very worrying moment when he needed the reroll from Hood’s Gang to avoid dazing himself from Martial Prowess. Heimdall saunters around on the right and collects the fallen Cubes and we finish up at 19 – 5 to me.

Thanks to Zoe for a very fun game. We took it very casually and the score is a reflection of the gulf in experience playing the game, so I think that there isn’t a lot to be learned here. It did feel like a properly superheroic game with heroes and buildings being thrown around left and right; I hope that Zoe enjoyed it as much as I did.

Game 3: Jack playing Criminal Syndicate

By this point Allan and I were on the same record so before the round was drawn I asked the TO if we could be kept apart – neither of us was going to win the event or lose it outright, and it is rubbish to have a six hour round trip just to play someone you can meet up with any time. Needless to say the first pairings did indeed put us together and in the redraw I got Jack. I won priority and picked Secures again just in case he was planning to use Kingpin; Jack chose 20 threat so I figured it was time to bring out Malekith. For the third time in a row I draw Origin Bombs.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!
Secure: Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians
Threat: 20
My team: Thor, Heimdall, Valkyrie, Bullseye, Malekith
My cards: Brace For Impact, Midnight Phantasmagoria, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Rainbow Bridge
Jack’s team: Shadowlands Daredevil, Baron Zemo, Crossbones, Iron Man, Mystique, Wolverine [now that I come to write this out, I think that the team isn’t actually affiliated so I guess I must have made a mistake in my notes]
Jack’s cards: Cruel Tutelage, Follow Me, Helios Laser Bombardment, No Mercy, Shuriken Arashi

Round 1: I’m not particularly keen to find the Alien Ship so my intention here is just to beat up Jack’s team until there isn’t enough of them left to contest anything. I put Malekith in the middle with the plan to take the central Origin Bomb and sweep to whichever side needs more support. I pass with my first action and Mystique then finds the Core in the centre… that’s going to change the game up a bit! Bullseye flips the right point and Zemo comes over to flip it right back. Malekith dazes Mystique and takes the Core while also taking the central point, not a bad activation at all. Wolverine flips the left point while Valkyrie’s time finally comes as she charges Zemo, dazes him in one hit and flips the Origin Bomb back to me. Thor fails to flip the left point and Daredevil pokes him a bit for his troubles. Iron Man goes for the central point but fails to flip it over. The score is 5 – 0 to me.

Round 2: This is feeling quite good for me – I’ve already dazed two of Jack’s characters and I’m holding the Core with one of the hardest characters in the game to get it away from, not to mention that Jack’s heaviest hitters are nowhere near him. My plan is to keep Malekith safe and continue to press on attrition; I can live with letting the Secure slip for a turn if I’m still holding the Core. Thor starts us off, he drops the Ninjas but otherwise has a fairly anaemic turn. Daredevil has a similarly useless activation, returning the Ninjas to play but otherwise bouncing off Heimdall. Valkyrie shows him how it’s done by KOing Zemo while Crossbones comes in and dazes Bullseye. Heimdall dazes Daredevil and uses his spender attack to push Wolverine away from the fight and finally flips that left Bomb. Wolverine comes back over and dazes Heimdall but can’t get the point back with Thor standing on it. Malekith leaves Mystique on a single wound; she pumps gunfire into him in return and Iron Man uses the world’s least effective Helios Laser, only getting a handful of damage through on Malekith and leaving him clutching the Core. The score goes to 10 – 0 to me in a ridiculously bloody round.

Round 3: I can’t see Jack coming back from here without extraordinary good fortune; the plan remains basically the same. Malekith finishes Mystique off, uses Midnight Phantasmagoria to push Iron Man away and heal a tiny amount and then chews a few more wounds off Iron Man. Daredevil uses his area attack and I have to play Odin’s Blessing to keep Heimdall alive. He follows this with Shuriken Arashi into Thor which improbably leaves my leader on one wound after some awful dice from Jack. Thor dazes Wolverine and leaves Daredevil clinging to life. Iron Man moves back to the centre and Valkyrie leaves Crossbones on one wound – it’s amazing how often that seems to happen. He hits Bullseye but can’t one-shot him so gets dazed by Parting Shot; Bullseye moves to the centre to Patch Up Malekith. Heimdall finishes off Daredevil and Jack has seen enough; we call it a day at 15 – 0.

That was a game that was decided right from the start when I was able to get the Core onto Malekith and daze Mystique. We both had some pretty insane attack dice, particularly in round 2 but I think that they were perhaps quite close to even across the course of the game. I felt that Jack’s team was a bit unfocused and that his cards were all in the ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘win the game’ category, though maybe I wouldn’t have said that if Shuriken Arashi had dazed Thor toward the end. Full credit to Jack though, he didn’t give up and kept pushing to keep in the game even up to the end.

Game 4: Danny playing Brotherhood of Mutants

Once again I get drawn into Allan and we get a quick reshuffle to avoid each other. I’m delighted to be paired up with Danny as I’ve met him around at a few previous events but never actually been able to play together. By this point I’m on my eighth game of the weekend so I just go with a fairly simple line up that will let me stand around and shoot people without too much worrying about fine positional play. Our Crisis cards are remarkably similar so even though Danny wins Priority it doesn’t actually matter too much in terms of what game we’re playing.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Thor, Heimdall, Loki, Hood, Winter Soldier
My cards: Brace For Impact, Hood’s Gang, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Sibling Rivalry
Danny’s team: Mystique, Juggernaut, Rogue, Iron Man, Lizard
Danny’s cards: Deception, Do You Know Who I Am?, Helios Laser Bombardment, Mission Objective, Patch Up

Round 1: This has the air of a game where the default position will be for us to score equally as we move through, so I need to find a way of breaking this. Overwhelm the left by repeatedly throwing Juggernaut into Rogue using Thor while just trying not to give up too much on the left. Rogue and Hood start us out by taking the right and left Hammers. Mystique uses Deception on Hood and shoots him so he transforms to move backwards and keep away from Iron Man. Winter Soldier and Iron Man collect the remaining Hammers and head to my left. Meanwhile the rest of our teams flip the various Traps and Thor throws a Shock onto Juggernaut. The score is 4 – 4.

Round 2: I’m still looking to keep it a bit cagey on the left and put my efforts into fighting on the right so I can hopefully take Rogue’s Hammer or the far right Trap. Mystique starts us out by hurting Heimdall. Thor puts Stagger onto Juggernaut (he can shake it easily but it affects order of operations a little) and applies Shock to Rogue. Juggernaut uses Do You Know Who I Am? to throw Loki away and flips the near right point. Winter Soldier dazes Iron Man before Rogue charges into Thor, drawing both Brace For Impact and Odin’s Blessing out of me. At the time, I thought that this was a mistake as it allowed Hood to charge into Lizard, hit him with one Hammer, pick up the second and hit him again with both. But the dice side with Danny as this onslaught does no damage to Lizard and he one-shots Hood in return to collect both of them. Heimdall also fails to scratch Lizard’s thick hide but Loki decides to turn up the heat by dropping Juggernaut to one wound remaining then reflipping that Trap. The score goes to 9 – 7 to Danny.

Round 3: We make a rules error here and play it that the damage from the Trap is in the power phase meaning that Juggernaut is dazed this turn, but actually he should have dazed at the end of round 2 and flipped ready to go again here. That should give me enough room to recover on the right and try to match up the scores again after Hood’s disaster on the left. Iron Man hits Hood with a 14 dice Helios Laser which somehow fails to finish him off, but a follow-up Repulsor Blast does the job. Thor puts everything he’s got into Rogue but, as is traditional, leaves her on one wound. He does take that far Trap but he takes it back. Heimdall continues to tickle Lizard before Mystique dazes him and plays Patch Up on Lizard. Loki dazes Rogue and Lizard throws Winter Soldier off the back left Trap but unluckily fails to flip that Trap. The score is now 13 – 11 in Danny’s favour.

Round 4: I need to take back control on the left otherwise Lizard will pretty much just win the game on his own by holding those two Hammers. Danny also realises this so Dr Connors flips the Trap and double moves away from any chance I have to stop him. That’s essentially game but we play it out anyway. Thor hurts Juggernaut and Rogue badly but can’t drop either. Iron Man KOs Heimdall with a single attack but Winter Soldier can’t do anything to Lizard. Juggernaut dazes Thor before Loki KOs Rogue; both flip nearby points. Danny sees the game out by 17 – 15.

That was a fun game but it felt a bit frustrating. I actually commented to Danny in round 2 that Hood failing to hurt Lizard before being dazed and hence giving up two Hammers was going to be the deciding moment of the game and I think that it turned out to be so. Danny played a good game to beat me here, and even us getting the rules wrong for Juggernaut and the Mutant Madman card in round 3 didn’t actually end up helping me… though to be honest I would have felt bad if I’d won because of that. I wonder if I might have been better to keep Hood in his normal form when Mystique attacked him in round one as he might then have been able to play Hood’s Gang which could have been huge. On the other hand, he might have just been dazed straight out by Iron Man so it’s hard to be sure.

When the dust settles I’m in midtable security/obscurity with 6th place out of ten players. It was a fun way to spend a day and I’d like to thank Graeme, Zoe, Jack and Danny for four fun games of MCP, Anth for running the whole event and of course Allan for driving us all the way there and back. I shall return… probably using a different affiliation again.

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Not Quite Halloween Heist 2 22Oct2022

Once I again I took the train from Edinburgh to Stirling so I could play a Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament at Common Ground Games. This time I was accompanied by Gareth, Simon and Stephen; I always like to travel with friends and enjoy chatting about our plans and rosters on the way.

Characters: (10)
—Thor, Prince of Asgard (Thor Odinson) Threat: 5
Enchantress (Amora) Threat: 4
Heimdall, The All-Seeing (Heimdall) Threat: 3
Loki, God of Mischief (Loki Laufeyson) Threat: 4
Skurge, the Executioner (Skurge) Threat: 3
Valkyrie (Brunhilde) Threat: 3
Bullseye (Benjamin Poindexter) Threat: 2
Hood (Parker Robbins) Threat: 3
Winter Soldier (James “Bucky” Barnes) Threat: 3
—Malekith The Accursed (Malekith) Threat: 7

Tactics: (10)
Odin’s Blessing
Rainbow Bridge
Brace for Impact
Patch Up
Hood’s Gang
Meet My Executioner
Sibling Rivalry
Mission Objective
Dark Reign
Midnight Phantasmagoria

Secure Crisis: (3)
Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians (Threat: 17)
Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park (Threat: 18)
Portals Overrun City With Spider-People! (Threat: 18)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Fear Grips World As “Worthy” Terrorize Cities (Threat: 18)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)
Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan (Threat: 17)

My roster this time is Asgard, and there are two reasons to pick them. Firstly, I somewhat recently picked up Heimdall and Skurge from the mighty Panzer Harris and I was excited to use them. Secondly, I ended up getting Malekith from Allan (which is a long and different story); since Malekith is The New Hotness and I figured that he fits well into Asgard I made my selection. My very first rosters included all the Asgardians and I’ve gradually removed the ones that I found I never actually played and added in a few splash characters. Notably I like Hood for some cheeky healing and much needed mystic attacks and Winter Soldier (and Bullseye) for hanging around on a back point and utilising their long range. In the end I added Dark Reign to my tactics cards as I have enough Cabal affiliated characters that I could actually run Malekith as my leader if required, but (spoiler alert!) I didn’t have any intention of actually doing so. As it happens, I’ve only played one game with Malekith so far and he really needs to do a lot to pull his substantial weight in a team, so unless we ended up in a no-brainer situation for him I was sort of using him more as a threat than having much intention of putting him on the table today.

Game 1: Steve playing Asgard

I was really looking forward to this test – Steve is a very strong player and his roster has a lot of overlap with mine, though he’s leaned much harder into the Cabal cross-over. I was almost certain that he would play Malekith into me so I was quite glad to draw a reasonably wide scenario; my worry was that Malekith would find the Skrull and force me to deal with him for it. I took Skurge and Enchantress partly so I could use their Meet My Executioner card and have another way to reduce the very high number of throws I was expecting. I won priority and picked Secures.

Extraction: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Secure: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Threat: 18
My team: Thor, Enchantress, Heimdall, Skurge, Hood
My cards: Brace For Impact, Hood’s Gang, Meet My Executioner, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up
Steve’s team: Thor, Valkyrie, Winter Soldier, Malekith
Steve’s cards: Advanced R&D, Escort To Safety, Mission Objective, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up

Round 1: A lot of this game is going to come down to how soon the Skrull turns up, and how far away from Malekith it is at the time. I start out by sending Enchantress up on the left; she flips the Trap but doesn’t find the Skrull. Winter Soldier flips his Trap and shoots her for no effect and Skurge follows his mistress’s lead on my right. Valkyrie plays Advanced R&D to give her power out to Thor and Malekith. Heimdall fails to find the Skrull on the left. Steve’s Thor uses For Asgard but fails to hurt Skurge so Hood plinks a couple of wounds off him. Malekith charges into Skurge and throws him into Hood. Thor throws his hammer at Malekith; it’s trivial for him to remove the Shock condition but I could possibly add more conditions depending on how the game goes and he can’t get rid of them all. The score is 2 – 1 to me.

Round 2: No Skrull so far which is overall OK by me. I think that I can overwhelm Winter Soldier and (probably) Valkyrie on the left and start coming across to support the rest of my team; I just need them to hang on in the face of Malekith. In the worst possible activiation for me Malekith dazes both Skurge and Thor, then finds the Skrull and finishes up by flipping my near right Trap. Oh dear. Hood shoots him for not much effect, mainly so that he’ll actually get an activation before Thor probably dazes him too. Steve surprisingly activates his Thor next, throwing Mjolnir at Hood and then strolling back to flip the rear right Trap. Heimdall continues my run of dice for this turn by teleporting to Winter Soldier, failing to hurt him, failing to flip the Trap and then immediately being dazed in return. Good work Heimdall. Enchantress shows him how it’s done by dazing Winter Soldier and taking that point despite only rolling two dice for it. Finally Valkyrie flips my back left Trap. The score goes to 6 – 3 to Steve.

Round 3: I need to get that Skrull out of Malekith’s hands, otherwise the game plan remains the same; at least I get to go first this time after the disaster of last turn. Thor frustratingly leaves Malekith on a single wound but does at least daze Steve’s Thor by repeatedly throwing Malekith into him. Malekith KOs Skurge despite my using both Brace for Impact and Odin’s Blessing to try to keep him in the game. Heimdall has clearly learned from his mistakes last time and KOs Winter Soldier. Valkyrie hurts Heimdall and Enchantress stroll back to reflip my back left Trap. Finally Hood only needs to put a single wound on Malekith to daze him but can’t manage it. At least he does flip back my Trap on that side. The score goes to 9 – 6 in Steve’s favour and Malekith gets dazed by the Trap. Evidently this was so exciting that I forgot to take a photo.

Round 4: This is going to be quite tight – on the left Heimdall and Enchantress should be able to deal with Valkyrie but I’m expecting to take a lot of damage over on the right especially as Malekith will go first and almost certainly collect the Skrull again. Malekith does indeed collect the Skrull but Steve’s dice go a bit cold and he doesn’t manage to drop either of my character over there. I figure that it’ll take a lot longer for Steve to chew through Thor’s wounds than Hood’s so I go with the little chap first. He plays Hood’s Gang and unloads into Thor, again annoyingly leaving him fully powered up and on one wound. I am the new Adam. Steve’s Thor hurts mine but doesn’t drop him. Heimdall goes back to his old ways and bounces uselessly off Valkyrie; she KOs him in return and flips that Trap. My Thor pours damage into Malekith but can’t finish him; he does KO his evil twin by throwing Malekith into him yet again. Hood uses some of the massive amount of power he’s amassed to Patch Up Thor. Enchantress retakes the back left Trap; she’s doing a great job for only rolling two dice at it each time.  We go to 12 – 9, still in Steve’s favour.

Round 5: This is going to come down to dice – if either Thor or Hood can still stand after Malekith finishes with them I’m fairly sure that I can drop him and see out the game. Otherwise it’s probably curtains for me. Malekith KOs Thor and dazes Hood, so that’s pretty much the end of it I reckon. Enchantress does at least daze Valkyrie. The score goes to 15 – 12 to Steve.

Round 6: I just need to get lucky here. Malekith’s dice desert him (deserved in my opinion after the rolls he had last turn) and he leaves Hood alive on one – crucially all the nearby terrain had already been destroyed so there was nothing to throw him into. Enchantress can’t hurt Valkyrie so she charges back in. However Steve gets greedy and uses up all her power trying to daze Enchantress and doesn’t quite pull it off so Valkyrie can’t afford the power to throw Enchantress off the point. She fails to roll the two successes needed to flip that Trap. So all the luck has been on my side this turn but I need it to continue as I still have to put one more wound on Malekith (allowing Hood to collect the Skrull) and flip the point with only two dice. We roll it out… Malekith goes down… the Trap gets flipped… my dice have saved me! The game now ends at 17 – 16 to me.

Wow, what a nailbiter of a game! I will admit to having been extremely fortunate with the dice in the final round, but overall I think that the luck was pretty average between us. I could have made my life a bit easier in the final round by transforming Hood into his demon form after he survived Malekith’s last attack so he could charge back to being relevant, but it didn’t end up mattering. Steve played his game very smoothly and I do love to get a game which is as close as this. Looking back I wonder if I should have not attacked Valkyrie with Enchantress in round 5 so I would have had priority; as it turned out it wasn’t needed but it would certainly have made my nerves a bit steadier!

Game 2: Steve playing Web Warriors

For the second game I’m up against another Steve, this time playing Web Warriors. I lose Priority and we end up with the highly thematic combination of Spider-Infected and Spider Portals. I bring in Loki this time as my own experience playing Web Warriors is that they can sometime struggle to generate enough power to use all of their cool superpowers and the Loki tax is quite annoying for them.

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Portals Overrun With Spider-People
Threat: 17
My team: Thor, Loki, Valkyrie, Bullseye, Hood
My cards: Brace For Impact, Hood’s Gang, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Sibling Rivalry
Steve’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Black Cat, Moon Knight, Venom, Black Panther
Steve’s cards: All Webbed Up, Aunt May’s Wheat Cakes, Disarm, One-Two Punch, Uneasy Allies

Round 1: There are a lot of scenario points that need power spent to deal with them out there, and I have more power to spend on them, so my plan is just to look after scenario first and look for attrition second. Black Panther flips the left Portal and gets places forward. Hood comes to him but does no damage before picking up a Spider-Infected. Bullseye hits Black Panther but fails to flip my home Portal; helpfully Venom does the same on his side of the board. Loki takes my Portal but gets moved back so he’s not in range to get the central Spider-Infected. Moon Knight and Black Cat collect a Spider-Infected. Thor does the same and flips the right Portal before being placed behind the building, so Spider-Man comes in and flips it right back. Valkyrie charges Black Panther hoping to score at least one power to try the Portal on that side but does no damage. The score is 4 – 3 in Steve’s favour.

Round 2: Well, the scenario plays didn’t go as well as I had hoped but I still think that it’s my best move to staying ahead here so I’m mainly going to be going for points over attrition. However Black Panther is in quite a vulnerable position close to Hood so if the opportunity presents itself to daze him then I’ll definitely need to take it. Moon Knight and Thor get moved by the Spider-Infected; at this rate Thor is going to spend the whole game walking back into position. Black Panther tickles Valkyrie and pushes her off the point and Hood dazes him. Moon Knight takes the back Portal and Valkyrie takes the one on the left as no-one is really in range to do much fighting at this point and we’re both playing a bit cagily. Venom commits to the centre and hurts Bullseye who uses Parting Shot to move toward the far Portal; sadly in his own activation he fails to flip it – two failures from two. Spider-Man throws the poor villain off the point. Loki walks over and takes that Portal and Black Cat fails to flip it back. Thor retakes the one on the right. The score goes to 10 – 7 to me.

Round 3: I’m quite well set to hold scenario points here as I have all of the Portals so I mainly just need to keep controlling the Web Warriors and avoid them taking too much off me. Thor again gets moved by the Spider-Infected and ends up right in the middle of the scrum. Venom plays Uneasy Allies and smacks him for about 15 damage so I use Odin’s Blessing. A second attack uses One-Tow Punch and leaves my leader on one health – that’s my line! I feel that I have to go with Thor now as he’s fully powered up, so he throws Venom into Spider-Man and dazes the little chap before getting a timely Patch Up from Loki; Thor then uses For Asgard to Stagger Black Cat. She decides to run away with her Spider-Infected. Valkyrie rolls crazy dice to KO Black Panther. Moon Knight would need to flip a Portal to even stay in the game but Steve doesn’t spot this and spend his activation dazing Valkyrie. We end it there as I win without taking more actions; 16 – 10 to me.

That was a very enjoyable game and Steve was a fun opponent. I think that this is just the kind of game where the difference in experience between us meant that it was always going to be slanted in my favour. It was quite fun to try to play more of a control and scenario game than my usual bloodthirsty attrition approach. I look forward to playing Steve again when he’s had a few more games under his belt.

Game 3: Stephen playing Web Warriors

After playing two Steves in a row I get a break with a Stephen! He’s even playing Web Warriors. I win priority and pick Secures as the extra power needed for my roster of pay-to-flip crises will be annoying for Web Warriors to deal with. Stephen chooses 18 threat this time so I go with the same team as last time except for ‘upgrading’ Bullseye to Winter Soldier for the extra threat.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Portals Overrun With Spider-People
Threat: 18
My team: Thor, Loki, Valkyrie, Hood, Winter Soldier
My cards: Brace For Impact, Hood’s Gang, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Sibling Rivalry
Stephen’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amazing Spider-Man, Black Cat, Moon Knight, Venom
Stephen’s cards: All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Inspiring Monologue, Lethal Protector, Recalibration Matrix

Round 1: My plan last time to focus on scenario ahead of attrition seemed to work well so I’m basically going to aim for the same here; hopefully I can starve the Web Warriors of power between that and the Loki tax. That said, Hammers does lend itself to a rather fighty approach so I suspect that turn two onwards will involve a considerable amount of punching. Thor takes the Hammer on the right but fails his roll on the Portal and gets placed for his troubles. Stephen, to my huge suprrise, doesn’t just go after the left Hammer but instead throws Amazing Spider-Man into Thor for basically no effect. Valkyrie gratefully saunters up to collect the left Hammer and flips the Portal. Venom also fails to hurt Thor and Loki takes the Portal on the right while ‘sharing’ his annoying power tax as widely as possible. Hood flips my home Portal and Winter Soldier picks up the Hammer there, meanwhile Moon Knight take the far Hammer, Black Cat takes back the right Portal from me and Spider-Man flips the last one on Stephen’s side. The score is 5 – 3 to me.

Round 2: That felt quite fortuitous, and Stephen has concentrated all his characters in one corner. Obviously on the one hand this is quite bad for me as it means that Thor and Loki and pretty heavily outgunned on that side, but the good news is that it means that I can swing in with the rest of my team and keep scoring the left and home Portals until Stephen gets round to them. Thor dazes Black Cat and draws out Brace For Impact by throwing that huge annoying building. Venom pulls in Winter Soldier and leaves him on one wound after I use Brace For Impact on the throw that would have finished him off. Loki reflips the Portal on the right and uses Patch Up on Winter Soldier for a rather anaemic two health. Amazing Spider-Man dazes Loki in return but actually I’m fine with this as it turns on his even more annoying aura. Winter Soldier moves over and unleashes a Red Fury into Amazing Spider-Man for no damage after all three attacks are done. Moon Knight joins the scrum on the right but fails to flip the Portal there because of the crazy number of characters contesting it. Hood shoots a few wounds into Spider-Man and then gets thrown away for his troubles. I don’t think that Valkyrie has the speed to get over and flip the unprotected far Portal which I want her to do so instead she moved and charges Spider-Man. Venom uses Lethal Protector to take the hit instead. The score now goes to 11 – 5 in my favour.

Round 3: I’m in position to see this game out if I can stay even on attrition so I’m switching here to fighting the Web Warriors. Black Cat applies a very short-lived Stagger to Thor, pinches his Hammer and runs off. Valkyrie throws Miles into Venom and attacks the latter, dazing both; she then walks over to take the far Portal. Moon Knight has a good turn, dazing Winter Soldier to collect his Hammer and then flipping the Portal on the right. Thor dazes him in return and takes the Hammer back. I make a mistake here and go after Amazing Spider-Man with him when I should have retreated, so Amazing Spider-Man dazes him easily and picks up both Hammers. He follows that by punching Loki for seven damage so I’m glad to be able to play Odin’s Blessing to keep him in the game. Loki flips the right point back to me and we finish at 16 – 8.

I’ve enjoyed every game I’ve played with Stephen and this was no exception – it’s been great watching him get better at playing MCP with each event. I think that the game was overall quite even but Stephen made a mistake in letting me have the left Hammer and Portal then compounded that by never really coming out of the far left quarter – this meant that I just had free points coming in each turn from the two Portals that were out of his reach without having to worry about defending them. I got a bit too bloodthirsty with Thor at the end but I’m not certain that I was keeping him alive anyway against Amazing Spider-Man and I had enough points coming in from elsewhere that I could afford that error.

Game 4 – Grant playing Avengers

For the final game I was paired up with Grant who’s been very consistently performing well at events here since they started being run so I knew that I was in for quite a stiff challenge. He’d also just seen off Gareth in the previous round. I won priority so picked Secures again to keep the power pressure on my side but we ended up also playing Cubes so there would be no shortage of power going round. I was torn between Enchantress and Loki and picked the former mainly to accompany Heimdall so I can do the Siren’s Call into Forfend trick for some extra attacks.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Thor, Enchantress, Heimdall, Hood, Winter Soldier
My cards: Brace For Impact, Hood’s Gang, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up, Rainbow Bridge
Grant’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers) [leader], Black Widow, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Deadpool, Hawkeye, Ms Marvel
Grants’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Bird of Prey, Brace For Impact, Disarm, Escort To Safety

Round 1: With Cubes on the table I need to stay in the scoring early so I’m planning not to do much attacking in the first round again. If I can get an early lead on the Cubes I’ll be in a good place to maintain parity for the rest of the game. I also am unlikely to lose priority as I’m playing five wide vs Grant’s six so I can afford to be a bit gallus when the fighting starts. Thor gets us underway collecting the Cube which is nicely positioned behind the trees. Captain Sam makes an extremely cheeky move, charging right across the table to pick up the near left Cube but fails to hurt either Enchantress or Heimdall in the process. Enchantress is clearly unimpressed and one-shots the poor chap, collecting the Cube fragment and flipping that Trap. Hawkeye flips the far left Trap but fails to hurt Enchantress, who is living rather a charmed life so far. Hood collects my near right Cube and Ms Marvel take the opposite one before gently tickling Hood from afar. Winter Soldier fails to hurt her in return and also frustratingly fails to flip the near right Trap. Deadpool picks up the last Cube and Captain Steve flips the last Trap. The score is perfectly balanced, as all things should be, at 4 – 4.

Round 2: Enchantress uses Siren’s Call to move Captain Sam into a nice line for a beam (Heimdall uses Forfend but does no damage) and dazes Deadpool on the way. Captain Sam uses Bird of Prey to daze her right back and steal that Cube along with the one dropped by Deadpool. Thor dazes Captain Steve who was using Bodyguard to keep Ms Marvel safe and then throws Ms Marvel away. She comes back to hurt Hood who transforms into demon Hood out of range of a second attack. He charges into Black Widow, does nothing useful and then gets dazed by the Counterstrike, which is rather annoying. Heimdall fails to hurt Hawkeye and fails to flip the nearby Trap, but helpfully Hawkeye is just as inept in return. Winter Soldier dazes Ms Marvel, the score goes to 9 – 7 to Grant. That was a turn of rather disappointing dice, and failing to flip Winter Soldier’s Trap in turn one has cost me quite dearly.

Round 3: Ms Marvel throws everything she’s got at Thor who has to use Brace For Impact and Odin’s Blessing to stay in the game. He dazes Black Widow and flips that Trap; Grant uses Escort To Safety very cleverly to make me waste the rider from For Asgard. Deadpool uses Maximum Effort into a Dance Party which takes Heimdall to one wound, but clearly the Asgardian is determined to make up for last turn’s total failure as he casually KOs Deadpool full health. It’s better to be lucky than good! Hood zaps an Empowered Dark Lightning into Captain Steve, doing nothing to him but hurting Ms Marvel with the splash damage. Hawkeye dazes Heimdall then Enchantress finishes off Captain Sam. Captain Steve dazes Thor and flips the Trap there yet again. Winter Soldier collects the dropped Cube and flips back the far Trap. The score is now 14 – 11 to me.

Round 4: There is a lot still to play for here in terms of points but I think that I have a big enough attrition lead overall that I can probably hang on just by not letting things get out of hand on the left. Ms Marvel throws Thor at Winter Soldier – he rolls heroically to dodge all the damage but her attacks daze him. Enchantress does the Siren’s Call and Forfend trick with Heimdall to KO Hawkeye. Grant passes (which was rather surprising to me) but does play Disarm on Hood, making him a very sad villain indeed. Thor makes it irrelevant by rolling the like the god he is – he throw Black Widow into Ms Marvel to KO the Inhuman, smacks Captain Steve to trigger the throw into Black Widow (which KOs her) and finishes up by KOing Captain America. The game ends at 23 – 11.

What a fun game! I think that we both had moments where our cool stuff just worked but the dice were definitely in my favour at the end. Full credit to Grant for being a gentleman about it, I’m sure I would have been less serene after watching Heimdall and Thor kick off to KO five characters between them. One of my criticisms of MCP is that it can be quite swingy with few dice being rolled each time and it only takes a couple of key rolls to really change the outcome of a game.

After winning all four games I get to come in first place, which is rather gratifying even if I do have to thank some extraordinary luck a few times for saving me. Of course, winning is a small cherry atop the very large cake which is playing four games. Thanks to Steve, Steve, Stephen and Grant for four very enjoyable games of Crisis Protocol, and as always thanks to Allan for running the show.

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol video battle report: Asgard vs Guardians of the Galaxy

This is a video of the second of four games of Marvel Crisis Protocol I played with Allan (of Midlife Crisis Protocol fame) at Common Ground Games in Stirling. The games were several weeks ago now but it takes him some time to do the editing and so on before the posting. All credit to Allan for making the video, I just got to enjoy a fun game.

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

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