Posts Tagged With: Marvel Crisis Protocol

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

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

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Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Fantastic February 25Feb2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Frankie playing A-Force

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Jamie playing Midnight Sons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Derek playing Defenders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: William playing Spider Foes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Painted Shadowland Daredevil

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

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

Next on the painting table: The Blob.

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

Painted Hand Ninjas

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

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

Next on the painting table: Shadowland Daredevil.

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

Painted Captain America

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

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

Next on the painting table: Hand Ninjas.

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

Painted Red Guardian

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

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

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

Next on the painting table: Captain America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Monthly Mayhem 22Jan2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Lee playing Spider-Foes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Mike playing Criminal Syndicate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: James playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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