Posts Tagged With: Battle reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Liam playing Brotherhood of Mutants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Paul playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Craig playing Asgard

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Ryan playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Avenging April 02Apr2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Stephen playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Ewan playing X-Men

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Allan playing Brotherhood of Mutants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Jay playing Defenders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1 – Alastair playing Spider Foes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2 – Stephen playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3 – Jay playing Wakanda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2 – Sam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3 – Anthony playing A-Force

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1 – Liam playing Inhumans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2 – Scott playing Midnight Sons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3 – Stu playing Defenders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1 – Callum playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2 – Adam playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3 – Grant playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 19Dec2020

I got another game of Warmachine / Hordes in via Wartable. My opponent this time was Andrew who is working on a Convergence list with more than a little jank in it.

Game 33 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Andrew’s Convergence of Cyriss

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nqr1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Lord Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This is the same list as I’ve used for the last few games. I think it’s useful to play a list for a few games regardless of how good or bad the match-up is so that you can see where it has good options and where you’ll struggle. More importantly, I’ve been finding it really fun.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cc201b_-2od2nBnBoRnHpMoNoNpB1hpNpNpN2525

Convergence
[Theme] Strange Bedfellows

[Aurora 1] Aurora, the Numen of Aerogenesis [+29]
– Mule [14]
– Mule [14]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Prefect Hypatia [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Asphyxious the Sanctified [14]
– Stalker [8]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Soulhunters (min) [11]
Soulhunters (min) [11]

Andrew is using the Convergence theme that incorporates a load of random Mercenary and Cryx options. I assume that the point of this list is to turbo-charge those Soul Hunters and fire them into me from across the board.

I win the roll-off and choose to move first. Against such a fast force I’m worried that I’ll be jammed up in my own deployment zone if I let Andrew take the first turn; he gives me the side with a slightly more annoying house. I keep my deployment quite symmetrical as usual, with one of each Archon and one unit of Valkyries on each flank and everything else going straight up the middle. My JAIMs picks the left unit of Negation Angels as Prey; Andrew’s JAIMs chooses the Void Archon on the right.

Turn 1: Minions
Everything runs forward. I can’t avoid being in range of the Negation Angels with the leading Valkyries so I spread them out to ensure that I should only lose one per unit if Andrew commits them (which I doubt). Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself and Phantasm on the leftmost unit of Valkyries.

Turn 1: Convergence of Cyriss
Everything moves up but mostly stays clear of my threat ranges. Aurora casts Aerogenesis and Arcane Might; Asphyxious puts some clouds on the left to cover some Soul Hunters.

Turn 2: Minions
I’m not really in range to do much so my plan is just to rush up and claim some table space where I can, then Feat and hope not to lose too much. Azazello drops Phantasm but upkeeps Storm Rager; he also Feats and shoots a couple of wounds off the central Void Archon. Over on the right the Valkyries drop a Soul Hunter and I send Flugwug in to eat a pair of Negation Angels; I figure that he’s cheap enough to make that a worthwhile trade. Then I pass the turn and cross my fingers.

Turn 2: Convergence of Cyriss
Aurora upkeeps Arcane Might. Various things move with Swift Vengeance or Apparition; JAIMs triggers a Counter Charge from the Primal Archon which misses anyway. Aurora Feats (catching pretty much her entire army), casts Aerogenesis and then charges a Valkyrie on the right and repositions onto the flag. We mess the rules up a bit here as we forget to give her Shadowbind from the Primal Archon and I also take a Riposte attack when she misses the Valkyrie even though she’s too far from Azazello to get Riposte. We figure that this evens out fairly, and anyway Aurora could have just run to the flag if she really needed it. The Hermit uses Whispers at the Gate and repositions deep into my right side. JAIMs kills her Void Archon and sidesteps into my zone; the lone Negation Angel flies right to the back of my zone too. The Soul Hunters on the right charge into the Dhunian Archon; the first one amusingly misses an impact attack on Flugwug and dies to Riposte but the second one leaves the Archon on a single box. The Stalker and a unit of Negation Angels team up to kill the Primal Archon on that side. The lead Void Archon finishes the wounded Dhunian Archon and also incidentally kills Flugwug with the spray. Asphyxious kills the two contesting Valkyries on the right and puts down a cloud in the centre to block my view. On the left, Andrew pulls back most of his models, though the Negation Angels do get stuck into the Void Archon for a little damage. Andrew scores his zone and the right flag; 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Ouch! I’ve lost a lot and my first thought here is to go for assassination. I upkeep Storm Rager. The Valkyries in the centre have a go at clearing the way for Azazello to get to Aurora but I would need to get extremely lucky to get everything (in fact I’m not at all certain that I even have enough attacks to make it work) and abandon the attempt as it’s clear after just this activation that it isn’t going to work out. Instead, I switch to seeing what else I can do to stay in the game. On the left, JAIMs and the Dhunian Archon clear the Negation Angels off my flag, though due to poor positioning and order of activation issues I need to waste the Void Archon’s activation to just sit on the flag. The Road Hog sets JAIMs and the lead Void Archon on the right ablaze and Boomhowler knocks down JAIMs but can’t get lucky enough to kill the contesting Negation Angel. Crucially, I forget to put Special Orders on Azazello. My Warlock uses Wind Rush to get round the building and walks over to kills Asphyxious (and JAIMs by using Flashing Blade) but it takes all of his Fury to do so, meaning that I can’t use Sprint to get back to safety. We each score the edge flags; 3 – 1 to Andrew.

Turn 3: Convergence of Cyriss
Aurora upkeeps Arcane Might and the Hermit puts up Whispers again. The Negation Angels make full use of Arcane Might to Paralyse Azazello and kill him easily without any other models even needing to activate. Minions lose by assassination.

Many thanks to Andrew for being a fun opponent, and sorry to him for not putting up more of a fight here. Andrew made very good use of his mobility to pivot me round that building in the middle and ensure that most of my hitters were stranded away from where I could use them. I need to think of a way to deal with such an army; I’m just not certain how to position against an alpha strike with such a long threat range, Flight and Parry. Any suggestions will be gratefully received. That said, I think it’s easier to learn from a defeat than a victory so hopefully this will help me improve as a player.

  • Always use one of Boomhowler’s Fell Calls. Repositioning Azazello 3” backward behind the house in my last turn might well have been enough to keep me in the game.
  • Also on the subject of Boomhowler, I could have made much better use of him further on the right; his gun is perfect for handling the Hermit in particular since the low POW doesn’t really matter. Critical knock down can be clutch too.
  • I’m not really getting good value out of the Primal Archon’s counter charge. Perhaps it is just something where I need to opportunistically take advantage of a positional error from my opponents but in general I find that it is very easily shut down.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Retribution of Scyrah (75 points); 07Dec2020

Allan’s adventures in the CID for Retribution of Scyrah continue and I was happy to oblige him for another game of WarmaHordes via Wartable.

Game 32 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Allan’s Retribution of Scyrah

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nqr1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Lord Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

Hurrah! Conflict Chamber is updated to include Azazello.

In the interests of my sanity I kept the same list as before. I figure that this also helps Allan’s testing a bit by giving him a stable baseline to work against, but the main reason was definitely my quest to get a handle on my own rules.

Retribution of Scyrah
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Falcir 1] Falcir, the Merciless [+28]
– Gorgon [9]
– Aeternae [17]
House Ellowuyr Warden Executioner [5]
House Ellowuyr Warden Executioner [0(5)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Scythe [0(6)]
House Ellowuyr Swordsmen (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
House Ellowuyr Swordsmen (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Dawnguard Trident [16]
Dawnguard Trident [16]

Allan wanted to try out the new Warcaster, Falcir the Merciless. These are week 2 rules which is probably good for me as she seemed to be regarded as quite oppressive in her original incarnation. Much of the rest of the force is also either brand new or under test for CID, but as per the previous game I just don’t know enough about the original rules to comment on the changes. I’m assuming that the basic plan is to jam me up with those Swordsmen units, use Falcir’s Bounty rules to hamstring any reply, then finish up any survivors with the Executioners and the Warjacks.

Allan wins the roll-off and asks to have the first turn. The terrain on the bottom looks a bit less annoying so I give Allan the top; I might be able to use that house to score my own zone. I go with my usual set-up with a unit of Valkyries accompanying one of each Archon out on the flanks and everything else in the middle. I do put Flugwug out on the left as I might be able to use his stealth and mobility to get a cheeky score on that flag. JAIMs chooses the left unit of Swordsmen as her Prey.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Falcir casts Flashing Steel on the left Swordsmen and uses Cyclone to move further forward; everything else rushes me.

Turn 1: Minions
My stuff also runs, though I’m careful to keep out of melee threat range. I can’t stay out of Trident shooting range but with all my Shield Guards I’m not too worried about them, whereas my Road Hog and Void Archons will make short work of the Swordsmen if Allan wants to play keep-away. Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself and Phantasm on the Henchwomen Valkyries in centre.

Turn 2: Retribution of Scyrah
Falcir gets Pathfinder from the Objective and drops Flashing Steel. She moves up to cover pretty much my entire army and Feats to give Bounty tokens to Azazello, both Void Archons, the left-most unit of Valkyries and the Road Hog. Falcir also casts Pay The Price on the War Hog to give it a token too, then Cyclones back to safety behind the wall. At this point, she chooses Azazello’s token to be Falter Courage and the War Hog’s to be Snare. Scythe shoots the Road Hog; the first one is deflected back by the Wastelander (and the damage is cancelled by the Hermit’s Mad Visions) and the others do some nice damage. The Valkyries’ Bounty is chosen as Snare and all the others (both Void Archons and the Road Hog) are Confuse. Both Tridents use Telekinetic Wave to move a Swordsman forwards but rather surprisingly elect not to bother shooting. I suppose that this was to avoid triggering Vengeance but I’m not sure that it is worth avoiding Vengeance if the cost is not killing any of my stuff. The Swordsmen run to jam on both sides; one makes sure to contest my zone.

Turn 2: Minions
Looking at the effect of these Bounty tokens, I don’t think that they’re going to be as crippling as Allan seems to expect. I can definitely score my zone and I can probably get the left flag as there are only Swordsmen around it. Otherwise, Allan has offered up enough Swordsmen that I reckon I can more or less take them all off the table this turn and get a nice leg up on attrition. The Objective heals my Road Hog and Azazello upkeeps Storm Rager but drops Phantasm. I start on the left where the Valkyries shuffle a bit to maximise Gang coverage and clear out the front row of Swordsmen. The Primal Archon then charges through and eats a couple more and threatens as far forward as I dare while the Void Archon sprays down several more (using the glut of souls acquired to boost in order get round Confuse) then Void Walks back behind the Valkyries. Flugwug moves round, Jumps to the flag and kills the last two contesting Swordsmen to make sure that I can score the flag. On the right, things work out more or less the same, though the Primal Archon manages to knock down a significant number of Swordsmen plus the Gorgon and Executioner. The Void Archon takes the opportunity to kill off the knocked down Executioner and Void Walk back to safety. The Henchwomen Valkyries clear the Road Hog and knock down the Hermit; Boomhowler finishes him off. The Road Hog slightly strands itself by killing its Swordsman target with the assault spray to stop it Sprinting back (I thought that this still worked but Allan assured me otherwise) and setting the Gorgon ablaze. JAIMs runs to contest Allan’s zone. Finally, Azazello moves forward, Feats rather defensively, kills the Gorgon with his pistol and Wind Rushes back a bit. I had to strike a balance here between covering my models on the left under his Feat and staying in Shield Guard Range; I opt more for the former on the basis that his stats are probably good enough. I score my zone and the flag on the left; 2 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Retribution of Scyrah
Allan’s going to have to assassinate me here or he’ll run out of models long before I do. The Aeternae gets Pathfinder from the objective and gets Empowered by both Mechaniks. Scythe one-shots JAIMs, presumably just to clear her out of the way. The left Trident trundles forwards but fails to deal with the leader of the Henchwomen Valkyries. The Executioner also fails to kill her (but I don’t get a cheeky Riposte knockdown either, sadly) and shoots the War Hog. Aeternae also fails to kill that Valkyrie so Falcir has to take the long route. She walks forward, Cyclones into melee with Azazello but fails to even hit him. I had the Hermit and two transfers in case that is needed too. Killing Falcir from here would be trivial so Allan [virtually] shakes my hand; Minions win by concession.

I had a fun game here and Allan’s always a nice chap to play with. I think that he made too much of a mess of his second turn, mainly over-estimating the impact of Falcir’s Bounty tokens, for this to be much of a learning experience on my side. Still, it is quite satisfying to have a turn where everything just plain works.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Retribution of Scyrah (75 points); 04Dec2020

Allan asked for a game of WarmaHordes to try out some of the legacy models in the current Retribution of Scyrah CID. Lucky for me that I don’t know what most of them did before so I’m not burdened by having two slightly different sets of rules to worry about.

Game 31 – Recon II (scenario 6) vs Allan’s Retribution of Scyrah

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nev1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

(Note that Azazello isn’t in Conflict Chamber yet so the link uses Helga1 instead as she has the same number of Warbeast points)

No change for my Azazello list. It seems to be doing quite nicely and when I consider swapping out solos I always seem to find some case where the current load-out works fine. Since my main issues with the list at the moment are 1) remembering what the rules of my many solos actually are and 2) working out where to apply said solos for best impact in the game, I figure that minimising changes is probably for the best.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c5201A_-1nf10v0vhQhJ3y4141oNhO3uhO3umpmp

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Thyron 1] Thyron, Sword of Truth [+27]
– Manticore [14]
– Manticore [14]
– Fane Knight Guardian [0(4)]
Aelyth Vyr, Blade of Nyssor [0(5)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Void Archon [8]
Ryssovass Defenders (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Ryssovass Defenders (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Dawnguard Trident [16]
Dawnguard Trident [16]

(Note that this adds up to 77 points; this is because Ryssovass Defenders are being tested at 15 points for a max unit)

Allan’s list is mostly legacy models that he’s testing for the CID process; we’re using the week 2 rules. Thyron is pretty much the elf version of Azazello so this should be quite an entertaining match-up. I also note that neither of us have any great way to speed things up, nor any meaningful ranged threat (apart from the Tridents) so I’m expecting a big brawl in the centrefield.

I win the roll-off and choose to move second. This is partly so that I can force Allan to deal with the annoying house in the right zone, partly to keep practicing playing second (since at least locally almost everyone seems to prefer to move first) and partly because with the movement ranges on offer here I think that I’m unlikely to get jammed out of anything. Giving the Tridents a shot at before I move twice is a little annoying, but I’ve got plenty of Shield Guards so I’m unlikely to lose anything that I don’t want. JAIMs chooses Aelyth as her Prey; I figure that she’s got to come forward if she’s going to do more than just apply Veteran Leader to the Defenders.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Thyron puts Storm Rager on himself and Fury on the left Defenders. Then everything runs right down my throat.

Turn 1: Minions
All my stuff also runs. I figure that Allan will direct the Tridents to take out my Void Archons, so I make sure that they’re well surrounded by Shield Guards. Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself (so, it’s going to be one those games!) and Phantasm on the leftmost Valkyries though I don’t expect the latter to actually be shot directly by anything.

Turn 2: Retribution of Scyrah
Both spells are upkept, but no Focus is allocated. Both Tridents shoot at their Void Archons and I spread the incoming fire across the Valkyries and Dhunian Archons; in the end I have Vengeance on both units and the Void Archons aren’t even touched. I will also note that Allan rolled a lot of 7s here when he needed 8s to hit the Void Archons which was perhaps a bit improbable. The Manticores on each side put down Covering Fire in the zones, then the Defenders flood forwards.

Turn 2: Minions
Allan hasn’t contested my flag, so I need to make sure that I get at least one point. The Objective is probably within reach too, but I think that I’ll be better served taking out the Void Archon if I can get that far. Otherwise my plan is to tidy up as many of the Defenders as possible, contest all the scenario elements and use Azazello’s Feat to weather the following turn. I drop Phantasm but upkeep Storm Rager. The Valkyries on the left kill a few Defenders though one does die to a Last Word attack. The Void Archon there sprays down a few more and Void Walks back to relative safety and the Primal Archon moves forward to be an annoying counter-charge threat. Boomhowler gives the Henchwomen Valkyries in the centre Reposition then lays down his own covering fire to keep the remaining Defenders bottled up at the back of their zone. The central Valkyries clear some of the Defenders in the middle and Reposition back a little, then Azazello takes his turn. He Feats, casts Wind Rush to move forward and then charges the Void Archon. After killing the ghostie in one swing he casts Lightning Strike to Sprint back and sit at 20/20 (in melee) with a couple of transfers and the Hermit handy, daring Thyron to come for him and hoping that he won’t get knocked down by anything. That felt very satisfying. JAIMs is apparently awestruck by this display and missed both attacks into a Defender so the Void Archon lines up a perfect spray to kill five of them and make her lack of contribution irrelevant. The Valkyries move to block a landing spot for the Trident to get into melee with the Void Archon and gun down another couple of Defenders. Allan’s tough rolls were truly awful; I think that he made only one or two all turn. I score my flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Retribution of Scyrah
The Objective gives Thyron Pathfinder; he drops Fury from the tattered remnants of the Defenders unit and upkeeps Storm Rager. The left Manticore gets Empower from the Mechanik. The Ghost Sniper shoots a Valkyrie on the left so I Shield Gard it to the one which won’t automatically die. Thyron uses his Feat and charges Azazello. Flashing Blade attacks kill a nearby Valkyrie and JAIMs and force out both my transfers and the Hermit, but Azazello is untouched; Thyron Side Steps clear at the end. Aelyth goes in but misses her swing. The left Defenders poke at the Primal Archon and a Valkyrie in the way, though I use the Dhunian Archon to save the Valkyrie; in the end the Manticore has to kill her to clear a landing zone for the Trident. It now goes for the big play by slamming the last Valkyrie, but Allan doesn’t manage the 5” slam he would have needed to contact Azazello. The Trident lets rip with its gun anyway but only a single fully boosted shot gets through (though that does really hurt). Back on the right the Trident slams the Primal Archon and shoots up my Valkyries a bit for pleasingly little effect while the Defenders jam me up. One of them kills Aelyth to make room for the Fane Knight to charge in out of nowhere but luckily (for me) he doesn’t manage to hit. I score my flag again, 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
There is probably some way that I can score my flag plus another couple of points to just win on scenario, but Thyron is right there and it would be rude not to just kill him. Azazello upkeeps Storm Rager and cuts back to full fury. The Valkyries kill the Fane Knight and a couple of Defenders to clear off the right Void Archon. It charges into Thyron’s back but misses both initials; it does chip a few point of damage off with the spray and Void Walks to a open up more landing spots in case I need them. Azazello takes off most of Thyron’s boxes with boosted attacks (dying now to a cheeky Riposte would be rather sad) then the Wastelander reminds me what I pay him for by rolling a hilarious damage roll and over-killing the Warcaster about three times over. Minions win by assassination.

Many thanks to Allan for a fun game on a Friday evening. It felt very good to do what I dreamed with Azazello and have him tank pretty much Allan’s whole army though I would have also found it quite cool if the Trident had managed the slam and got the kill even under such high stats. I’m enjoying the learning process of what I can and can’t get away with using such an interactive front-line caster.

Things I learned:

  • I need to get better on my planning for movement. Too much of my army ended up bottled up in the centre between the big rock and the burning rubble and getting them clear of it ended up being blocked in with my other stuff.
  • Each solo is an interesting packet of tools; I am still trying to work out when I need to use each one. This is easier with pieces like Boomhowler and the Dhunian Archons as they can stay safe at the back and still contribute but Flugwug, JAIMs and the Wastelander are quite easy to squander if I send them in at the wrong time.
  • DEF20, ARM20 turns out to be quite a tricky stat-line to deal with. Obviously I knew that intellectually but it was quite fun to experience it in the game.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 28Nov2020

Andrew and I managed to find time for another Wartable game of Warmachine / Hordes after several rearrangements. It’s a mystery how we ever got proper face to face games considering how hard it can be to schedule even a remote game!

Game 30 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Andrew’s Convergence of Cyriss

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nev1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

(Note that Azazello isn’t in Conflict Chamber yet so the link uses Helga1 instead as she has the same number of Warbeast points)

This is the same list as last time. There are a few pieces that I’m not sure about (mainly Boomhowler and Flugwug) but I think that it’s probably operator error here so I plan to keep using them while I work out what they’re good for.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cc201b_-1-d8dndndBdedgdgpBnVpx8j

Convergence
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Conservator [12]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Asphyxious the Sanctified [14]
– Blockader [33]
Artificer Prime Nemo [18]
– Freebooter [9]

Andrew’s list is comprised mainly of the big cool toys he bought during lockdown and wants to convince himself will actually see play. Fortunately, the Blockader, Nemo4 and Asphyxious4 are all solid pieces that can probably fit in almost anywhere. Since the Conservators (and the Corollary, I suppose) have Counter Charge thank to Axis, the interactions with the Primal Archons could get quite silly.

I win the roll-off and pick second. If I’m being honest, this is mainly because I almost always pick to go first when I can so I wanted to see if a more reactive gameplay where I can potentially score first might be interesting; however when I remember what Axis’s Feat does I think that this is probably the wrong choice. I do at least lumber Andrew with the most annoying terrain. Andrew’s deployment is skewed a little to the left (presumably because of the building in the central zone) so I do the same with my Battlegroup. I make sure that the Wastelander goes on the right near Nemo as that’s pretty much the only shot that he can deflect. JAIMs also chooses Nemo as her Prey in the hope that will make him a bit more cagey. We both pick Observatory for our Objectives in case that central cloud becomes relevant.

Turn 1: Convergence of Cyriss
Axis allocates a Focus to a Conservator that will be passed around the Vectors as needed. Most things run at me; the Reflex Servitors advance and Dig In. Nemo magics up a Frustrum Locus, puts Lightning Shroud on the Freebooter and moves it up with Locomotion.

Turn 1: Minions
Almost all of my stuff also runs up. On the one hand I don’t want to make it too easy to kill all my stuff but on the other hand Andrew will certainly use Axis’s Feat next turn so I need to be far enough up to get any work at all done. In the end, I push hard on both flanks but stay a bit more cautious in the centre and use Valkyries to gum up the middle and hopefully keep the Blockader from taking out the War Hog too easily. Boomhowler puts Reposition on the central Valkyries to get them a bit further upfield. Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself and Phantasm on the right unit of Valkyries.

Turn 2: Convergence of Cyriss
The central Conservator gets Eyeless Sight and Lightning Shroud is upkept. That Conservator received three Focus and the Blockader gets two (possibly from the Corollary a little later). Axis puts Iron Aggression on the Blockader moves forward and uses his Feat. The central Valkyrie needs to go so that the Blockader has a landing spot to get my War Hog. First a Reflex Servitor blows itself up for no effect. Then the fully loaded Conservator goes in, misses a couple of attacks and has the Dhunian Archon block the one that does hit. The Blockader, denied a chance to get stuck into the War Hog, vents its frustration by smashing the awkward Valkyrie and also one-shotting my Primal Archon. The Arcane Mechaniks use Empower on the Freebooter and super-tune Nemo, but the Freebooter can’t actually get to anything relevant this turn. Nemo shoots JAIMs and ends up killing a Valkyrie due to Shield Guard. The rest of the Servitors mostly run up to jam me.

Turn 2: Minions
It’s an Axis Feat turn so I’m not going to get much useful done here. With a bit of luck I might possibly clear the right zone, otherwise my plan is keep the Blockader bottled up with Valkyries and take out the lead Conservator. Azazello upkeeps Storm Rager but drops Phantasm. After numerous attempts to knock down that Conservator with re-rolled hammer attacks from the Valkyries and shots from Boomhowler, I still can’t get it down; in the end the War Hog has to trudge forward and wreck it the old-fashioned way. The Road Hog sprays down the side of the building to set a few things (notable Axis) on fire. On the right I almost clear the zone but one cheeky Servitor survives to contest. Finally, Azazello uses his Feat and Wind Rush to hopefully buy me another turn in which to actually do some work. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Convergence of Cyriss
Iron Aggression and Lightning Shroud are both upkept. The fire on Axis annoyingly goes out, though the corrosion on the Blockader chips a single point of damage off. The Blockader gets two Focus, then the Mechaniks Empower the Freebooter and super-tune Nemo. Nemo uses Locomotion to clear the Freebooter around the corner of the building then shoots the Primal Archon; the Wastelander deflects the first (though sadly Nemo is immune to his own weapon) and a Valkyrie catches the second. Asphyxious moves into position to Interface with the Blockader once it shuffles to the right; it makes short work of the War Hog and my Objective. Axis swaps Iron Aggression to the Freebooter which charges into the Road Hog. A free strike from a Valkyrie fails again to get the critical knock down (though in retrospect it’s immune anyway due to Lash) but does crank the damage to take out the Movement system and therefore fail the charge. It’s better to be lucky than good! The Conservator on the left bops a Valkyrie and then various spare attacks kill the Mechaniks to stop me doing any shenanigans with Void Archons. Andrew scores for the Objective; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Now I can get some work done. I can pick up the right zone quite painlessly but the main goal for this turn will be to swing attrition in the centre; in particular the Blockader needs to go. Storm Rager is upkept again and Azazello cuts for one. On the right, the Valkyries take the jamming Servitor at the back. The Void Archon charges the Servitor on the right and sprays a truly ridiculous roll to one-shot the Frustrum Locus. That handily gives the Primal Archon a clear lane into Nemo though the damage isn’t too exciting; JAIMs and the Wastelander follow to threaten for next turn. The Hermit moves up to cover the Blockader, Freebooter and Asphyxious with Whispers At The Gate; it’s also covering most of my army too so my plans will have to work! The left Valkyries shuffle around to put a little damage on the Warjacks and mainly to stop the Conservator doing a cheeky Counter Charge. The Void Archon charges the Blockader to apply Dark Shroud and knock off a load more boxes. The Henchwomen Valkyries pleasingly finish it off, saving me from having to send in the Dhunian Archon too. The Road Hog polishes off the Freebooter and Lightning Strikes clear of Azazello who Wind Rushes in to kill Asphyxious and Sprint back. That felt like a pretty effective turn but Azazello couldn’t quite get clear off the Hermit’s aura so I’ll be in danger here from an assassination attempt. I score the right zone; 1 – 1.

Turn 4: Convergence of Cyriss
A Servitor puts Flare on Azazello by shooting from out of range so I can’t Shield Guard it; the scatter is lucky and lands on him. Axis casts Unstoppable Force and hits Azazello with a Battering Ram for a bit of damage. The Corollary Bulldozes the nearest Valkyrie out of Shield Guard range of Azazello. Nemo moves away from the Primal Archon (which Counter Charges but he can still shoot) and shoots Azazello, hitting and forcing my one transfer with a massive hit. Luckily, Azazello also gets pushed out of range of the second shot so I survive.

Turn 4: Minions
The Primal Archon knocks Axis down and punches him a few times, then JAIMs finishes the job. A real robot killing a human cosplaying as a robot; justice is done. Minions win by assassination.

As always, Andrew is a fun opponent and I really enjoyed this game. Playing via Wartable always takes ages, of course, and we spent plenty of time chatting here and talking through our options so it was after midnight when we finished. I was very pessimistic about my chances after turn 2 with a Blockader in my face and having done basically nothing that turn due to Axis’s Feat but I guess that Andrew found Azazello’s Feat comparably annoying.

Things I learned:

  • Boomhowler is more of a toolbox than I had originally thought. Beat Back and critical knock down on his gun is quite useful (though I didn’t trigger it even once this game) and the Covering Fire template feels like it should be effective with so many single wound infantry around.
  • Sending Azazello in on turn 3 to kill Asphyxious was just as satisfying as I hoped. It’s been an interesting change to have a Warlock who can contribute to the game; Dr Arkadius and Jaga-Jaga are rather passive.
  • Using the Hermit is going to take a lot of practice. That armour debuff is great but it’s going to be hard not to have it bite me back in my turn if I use it too freely.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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