Marvel Crisis Protocol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1 – Callum playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2 – Adam playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3 – Grant playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since I’ve now painted all the miniatures released for the Black Order in Marcel Crisis Protocol (Black Dwarf, Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight and Thanos), I decided that it would be nice to have family photo. This shows off one of the things that I like about the miniatures for this game – they all look unique in size, pose, and colour scheme. In theory AMG might release Supergiant and/or Black Swan in which case I may expand this team but for now this is as complete a project as one will get in this wonderful hobby. I really enjoyed working on these on the painting table, and now I’m enjoying putting them on the tabletop.

I’m also not going to be doing group photos for many of the other affiliations since most of the others are huge (the Avengers and A-Force probably have 20ish models in-affiliation each already) or include minis that I’m not particularly interested in; plus the range is expanding faster than I care to purchase and paint already and I’m no completionist.

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Painted Corvus Glaive

Here is Corvus Glaive, the last mini currently released for the Black Order in Marvel Crisis Protocol. Corvus is an absolute blending machine when he gets revved up with power; his spender attack has a Wild result to allow him to make a ‘free’ builder attack so it’s possible with a bit of luck to smite something with his spender, trigger a builder attack and then generate enough power to do it again. Indeed, I did once live the dream of KOing four enemies in a single activation; admittedly this was in the late game when they were already quite beaten up but it did feel satisfying. I pretty much always give Corvus the Reality Gem which allows him to treat a single Skull result as a Critical whenever he rolls dice; obviously this is amazing when he’s attacking but it’s handy in defence and also works on some of the ‘roll to flip’ objectives. The final piece of the puzzle is the superpower he shares with Proxima Midnight which allows them to chain activate; not only does this mean that you can get two uninterrupted activations to fight the other team before they can do anything about it but it is also key to retaining Priority so that you can do it all again next turn.

Painting Corvus was really enjoyable; he’s just a lovely thematic sculpt and very crisply designed. The only part I found a bit awkward was distinguishing the tone of the black cloak from the black armour; I ended up giving the former a grey highlight and the latter a blue one before hitting it all up with the magic of Nuln Oil. I mostly painted Corvus according to the card art but I did paint his loin cloth (?) blue, partly to link him to Proxima and partly to give a bit more colour to an otherwise rather monochrome miniature.

Here is the happy couple: Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive. I really like that the comics play up their surprisingly sweet romance and love for each other; it makes a great counterpoint to the fact that they are otherwise unmitigated villains.

Next on the painting table: Void Archon.

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Painted Proxima Midnight

This is Proxima Midnight, another member of the Black Order for Marvel Crisis Protocol. She’s a highly mobile assassin in the game with a long move and the ability to place next to her victims with a fairly long ranged attack. I often use her to skirmish around the edge of the main battle picking up objective tokens if possible as, while she’s quite resilient, she’s nowhere near as tough as Thanos and the rest of the crew. She’s also excellent for setting up kills for Corvus Glaive (more about him later) as they can chain-activate thanks to their husband and wife rules.

Painting Proxima was one of those times when everything just worked exactly as I had hoped – the colours I picked matched what I was looking for without having to spend ages messing with them, the white on her chest and arms came out smooth without having to apply millions of layers and even the little glow in the end of Proxima’s spear looked fine with little effort. I stuck with the card art for colour and I’m very happy with the result.

Proxima Midnight, like the rest of the Black Order, fares considerably better in the comics than she does in the MCU. In Hickman’s Infinity War, for example, she leads a successful invasion of first Atlantis and then Wakanda before the heroes get their act together and send her packing again; I like it when the baddies require a bit of work to deal with. Having criticised Avengers: Infinity War a bit for having rather lackluster villains (apart from Thanos himself), I will note that I love the scene in the film where Proxima and Corvus fight Vision and Scarlet Witch in Edinburgh. As my home city, the attention to detail is excellent and I especially enjoyed that the geography of the fight is consistent with how that part of Edinburgh is actually laid out.

Next on the painting table: Void Archon.

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Painted Thanos, The Mad Titan

Here, probably needing no introduction in this MCU world, is the mighty Thanos. His incarnation in Marvel Crisis Protocol comes with the epithet ‘The Mad Titan’ in the normal two player mode but there is an alternate play mode in which two players team up against a procedurally driven (and vastly more powerful) Thanos at which point he gets a different name, presumably to differentiate the cards clearly. At 6 threat, even the ‘normal’ Thanos is a bit of a beast; interestingly I find that he’s best as a support and control piece rather than a direct damage dealer. His main draw is being able to take as many Infinity Gems as he likes and not having to pay power to use them. My favourite is to use the Mind Gem to either walk victims toward their doom (specifically, usually in the form of Corvus Glaive – more about him later) or away from scenario points, though the Time Gem for an extra action is also pretty amazing if you can afford it.

Thanos was an absolute joy to paint. Like the other big Crisis Protocol miniatures such as Hulk, Thanos has very nicely sculpted musculature which makes the painting so satisfactory even for a painter of my limited skills. I’ve used the colour scheme of the card art pretty much as it comes, right down to the rather weird metallic pants that Thanos seems to favour. I guess Titan has some odd fashions… or maybe that’s why they call Thanos ‘the mad’. Thanos does also come with a terrain piece to represent his throne but I passed that to a friend for painting in exchange for a couple of beers.

I very much enjoy Thanos as a baddy in the comics as, unlike so many others, he doesn’t come up with plans that can be defeated trivially and he’s rarely just depicted as a buffoon / punching-bag. Thanos gets to be the centre of a story line and it usually takes a lot of heroes (and in some cases, more than heroes) working together to defeat whatever his nefarious plans are.

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Next on the painting table: Primaris Outriders.

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Painted Valkyrie

This is Valkyrie, another Asgardian for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Valkyrie is a bit of an all round fighter and seems to be among the best for pure damage output in her threat cost. She has good power efficiency, a throw, a charge and her Dragon Fang spender attack is absolutely brutal to be on the wrong end of. Valkyrie is in both the Asgard and A-Force affiliations and, at least locally, shows up a lot as an out-of-affiliation pick as she just doesn’t need a lot of help to do what she does well.

Valkyrie is probably the character where my painting has deviated most from the card art. In all the MCP art Valkyrie is depicted more-or-less as she appears in her earliest comics, whereas I’ve tried to roughly follow how she looks in the film Thor: Ragnarök. Valkyrie is supposed to be stepping (as usual) on a tactical rock but helpfully her lead foot is raised by the right amount to use the kerb on the standard base so I did that instead. It’s not quite a perfect look due to the way the ankle is shaped but it works well enough for tabletop purposes. I’m really pleased with the final result on Valkyrie and I’m looking forward to using her fully-painted shortly.

Next on the painting table: Thanos, The Mad Titan.

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Painted Thor

This is Thor, another character for use in Marvel Crisis Protocol. He’s rather like She-Hulk and Black Panther in that he is the leader for his own affiliation (Asgard in this case) while also being a member of the Avengers. Of course, everyone who’s anyone has been an Avenger at some point. At a mighty 5 threat, Thor is a huge beatstick, able to throw people around and eventually charge up to a really cool area attack where he zaps everyone nearby with lightning. So far I’ve only played against Thor so I need to find some time to use him myself, either in Asgard (although I’d need to get some more Asgardians to keep him company if I do), Avengers or as an unaffiliated splash to another team; I theorise that he’d quite like the power gain from A-Force for example.

Thor has appeared in a great many costumes over the years, ranging from the truly silly days of golden-era comics to the fairly silly costumes of the MCU. His clothes are probably notable for having a higher combusting point than the metal used to make Stormbreaker in the Infinity War film. For the miniature, I went with the card art which is probably about middle of the road for how silly Thor has ever looked; I like the contrast between the brightness of the cape and the drabness of the rest of his clothes. All in all I very much enjoyed painting Thor; the miniature really looks like his comic book appearances. I tried the most basic possible interpretation of non-metallic-metal technique on the clasps (?) on Thor’s shirt in that I painted them using greys rather than metallic paints and I’m quite satisfied with the result.

Next on the painting table: Stannis Brocker.

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Painted Ghost-Spider

This is Ghost-Spider, another character for Marvel Crisis Protocol. I have to admit that I’d always thought of her as Spider-Gwen before picking up this box so it was quite nice to find out that she has a proper superhero name. Like most of the other Web Warrior, Ghost-Spider is really mobile and can move other characters around. In her case, she can pull friendlies out of range of attacks using her Life Saver superpower. Although she is affiliated with Web Warriors (and at the moment I think I would have her and Spider-Miles in any Web Warriors team) she fits really nicely into a lot of other rosters as an unaffiliated option; the additional control that Ghost-Spider offers is pretty unusual in the game.

I tried to keep the white on Ghost-Spider’s costume cleaner than usual but I couldn’t quite get it as smooth as I’d hoped. Not that I’m unhappy with the result as I think that the final miniature looks more than good enough for gaming purposes, but rather I feel that I could learn to go a bit further with the white. The pink webbing on the blue part of her arms was exactly as painful to paint as it looks; after several frustrating attempts I got as far as ‘that’ll do’ and actually I hope that the worst of the mistakes are on the lower side where they’re not so obvious.

Next on the painting table: Thor

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Painted Spider-Man

Here is Spider-Man for Marvel Crisis Protocol. This one is Miles Morales (the core box Spider-Man is Peter Parker) and so, due to the way that roster-building works in MCP I could have both Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?) in the same team as they have different ‘real’ names. Spider-Man is really dynamic and the rules fit the character well. He can move a long way, has a web-swinging superpower to move further, and does more damage on his builder attack if he moves first as he uses his momentum to smash into baddies. Unusually, Spider-Man has an ability to make enemies drop mission tokens using his spender attack; normally this can only be done by dazing or KOing them. Finally, Spider-Man is one of the leaders of the Web Warriors affiliation which gives him an extra role when it comes to team building.

I have to admit that I thought I’d hate painting Spider-Man as the webs on his suit are really fiddly to work with. But I resigned myself to doing it very slowly and patiently and in the end I’m really pleased with the result. There is certainly something very cool about the black and red costume. I think that the box he’s very athletically vaulting is a newspaper dispenser of a kind that doesn’t really exist in my country. I assume that it isn’t normally found in the middle of roads but I’m limited by the bases provided and ultimately in a game of magic people throwing each other into cars I don’t bother too much about what looks realistic.

I had not been aware of Miles Morales as a character until I took my son to see Into The Spider-Verse a few years ago and was delighted by the character and indeed the whole film. I loved that Miles has similar anxieties about growing up to Peter Parker but without just being the same person. And the ‘leap of faith’ scene is one of my favourite superhero film moments.

Next on the painting table: Ghost-Spider.

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

Painted Venom

This is Venom, another character for Marvel Crisis Protocol. He’s a pretty effective tank, having a Tactic Card that allows him to take a hit for a friendly character, a superpower to punch someone back after they’ve hit him, and the ability to heal wounds with his spender attack. I haven’t played enough games yet with Venom to have a good feel for his best use case but I rather suspect that positioning is going to be critical. Venom also has very weak energy defence so he needs to be bit choosy in his match-ups, though usually it just means he takes maybe 1 extra damage from energy attacks so it’s not exactly unplayable.

Venom, like quite a few other superhero characters, is mostly just one colour. I spent a fair bit of time highlighting his black suit (or, perhaps, highlighting Venom itself since Eddie is just somewhere in the middle there) with purple before hitting it with a black wash and I’m quite satisfied with the results. The big pink tongue provides a nice spot colour to make Venom a bit more interesting visually.

I’d always thought of Venom as one of Spider-Man’s baddies, but somewhere in the recent past he seems to have crossed over to be more of an anti-hero rather than a straight-up villain. I’m pretty sure that 20 years ago I never would have thought that Venom would have his own series of films, at least not ones that don’t just involve Spider-Man foiling all his nefarious plans and/or throwing him off buildings.

Next on the painting table: Spider-Man.

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

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