Posts Tagged With: Tournaments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Monthly Mayhem 22Jan2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Lee playing Spider-Foes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Mike playing Criminal Syndicate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: James playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Ryan playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Steve playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Liam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Nick playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Kai playing X-Force

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Liam playing Cabal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Gavin playing Brotherhood of Mutants

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Stu playing Defenders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Monthly Mayhem 22Oct2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Graeme playing Asgard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Zoe playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Jack playing Criminal Syndicate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Danny playing Brotherhood of Mutants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Steve playing Asgard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Steve playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Stephen playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4 – Grant playing Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: September Smackdown 17Sep2022

I was able to join in another Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament being held at Common Ground Games in Stirling. I hadn’t given any special thought to which affiliation to use this time out so I rather arbitrarily picked up A-Force. It’s been a while since I put She-Hulk et al on the table and I don’t think that ever used them in a tournament before. The upside to this approach is that it keeps things nice and fresh since the different affiliations do feel very different to play; of course the downside is that I never really get that deep level of familiarity with the roster. It’s a small price to pay for my amusement, I think.

Characters: (10)
—She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) Threat: 6
Angela (Aldrif Odinsdottir) Threat: 5
Black Cat (Felica Hardy) Threat: 3
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) Threat: 4
Okoye (Okoye) Threat: 2
Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) Threat: 5
Shuri (Shuri) Threat: 3
Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) Threat: 3
Hulk (Bruce Banner) Threat: 6
Rogue (Anna Marie LeBeau) Threat: 4

Tactics: (10)
Patch Up
Follow Me
A-Force Assemble!
Special Delivery
Stalwart Determination
No More Mutants
Pym Particles
Inspiring Monologue
Mission Objective
Escort to Safety

Secure Crisis: (3)
Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians (Threat: 17)
Portals Overrun City With Spider-People! (Threat: 18)
Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City (Threat: 20)

Extract Crisis: (3)
Fear Grips World As “Worthy” Terrorize Cities (Threat: 18)
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Threat: 17)
Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership (Threat: 17)

A-Force has already got more than 10 characters in it, even once I exclude the ones I don’t own. I ended up removing a couple of characters that I’ve tended to use a lot in the past (Domino and Valkyrie) and added in Rogue and Hulk. The former is just generally fun to use and can potentially manage three throws in a turn if filled up with power, which isn’t too hard to do in A-Force. And Hulk is just hilarious to play and I wanted to do a double Hulk team at some point. Two of my Secures are Energy-based pay-to-flip crises which should be handy for my team which tends toward high energy defences, while the last is Terrigen Clouds; this one was selected because the Clouds cause Poison and I can field quite a lot of characters which are immune. I am much less happy with my Extractions and honestly these could almost have been any three at all as I just don’t really get which ones play well for A-Force yet.

Game 1: Adam playing X-Men

I get paired up with Adam for the first round. I’m really looking forward to this as Adam is a very strong player and I hope that I can give him a good game. We actually have very similar Crisis cards so the Priority roll is not too important; as it happens I win it and choose Secures so Adam gets to pick the threat level.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Threat: 18
My team: She-Hulk, Angela, Captain Marvel, Shuri
My cards: A-Force Assemble, Follow Me, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Adam’s team: Storm, Beast, Doctor Voodoo, Domino, Toad, X-23
Adam’s cards: Brace For Impact, Mission Objective, Sacrifice, To Me My X-Men, X-Ceptional Healing

Round 1: Storm flips the Portal on the right and Shuri takes my home one. Toad rummages for the Skrull in the centre but doesn’t get it. Doctor Voodoo takes Adam’s home Portal and Captain Marvel re-flips the one on the right back to me. X-23 comes in on the left and gets She-Hulk dropped on her by Special Delivery; however the attacks from her and Angela only do one damage between them although Angela does at least take the Portal there. Beast gets the Skrull in the centre after it is too late for me to do anything about it and She Hulk dazes X-23. The score is 3 – 3.

Round 2: I need to deal with Beast as a priority or Adam will just send him to a corner and play keep away for the rest of the game. Shuri zaps Beast a couple of times to push him toward She Hulk so he flees back to safety before Captain Marvel dazes Storm. Domino and Toad both come forward but can’t take my home Portal due to Shuri’s presence. She-Hulk chases Beast and throws him into Doctor Voodoo; in return the latter Possesses her with his Brother Daniel token which I’m sure will be annoying for the whole game. The score stays neat at 6 – 6.

Round 3: I guess I still need to find a way to get that Skrull on the ground. Beast gets dazed by She-Hulk and uses Mission Objective to pass it to X-23. X-23 then plays a judicious use of X-Ceptional Healing to survive on one wound. Adam plays To Me My X-Men to move X-23 further over then retreats with her toward the back right corner. Angela hurts both Domino and Toad but because I’m an idiot I totally forget to use her re-rolls from Shuri’s Upgrade ability. Whoops! Toad then flips the left Portal and Shuri leaves Domino on one wound. Storm throws Captain Marvel away and flips the right Portal so Captain Marvel flies back and takes it back again. The score goes to 10 – 8 to Adam.

Round 4: X-23 is about as safe as she’s going to get over in that corner so I decide to try to deal with the stuff going on in the open field this time as I still have priority. Shuri drops Domino and plays Follow Me so that Angela can daze Toad by throwing the building at him and taking back the left Portal. She-Hulk goes over to X-23 and needs to slap her for three using her spender. I get a decent roll but Adam manages to come up with five blocks off X-23’s three defence dice so the mutant lives on one wound. Eventually Captain Marvel is able to KO her by throwing her into Doctor Voodoo (also dazing the latter) and collect the Skrull. Meanwhile Beast has come across and flipped a Portal. The score is back to even at 12 – 12.

Round 5: I’ve lost priority but I’ve got something of a local attrition advantage over in that right corner. I just need to deal with Doctor Voodoo as otherwise his Possession ability will make it too easy for Adam to hold out the game. Doctor Voodoo takes back his token and Possesses Captain Marvel. He picks up the Skrull, throws Captain Marvel away and then runs for it. She Hulk chases him, puts a good few wounds on him and throws him back toward Captain Marvel. Adam moves Storm carefully to ensure that he can play Sacrifice most effectively and I eventually have to just roll the dice with Captain Marvel. I do get lucky enough to KO Doctor Voodoo even through Sacrifice but sadly Captain Marvel is too far away to collect it. Meanwhile Shuri hurts Beast a little and flips back my point. Toad retakes the left one and Angela takes it back yet again. The score is 15 – 13 to Adam.

Round 6: I need to get lucky on the Portal rolls here, not to mention actually hanging onto the Skrull. Angela fails to deal with Domino on the left, predictably leaving her on one wound. Storm takes the Skrull to make me work for it so She Hulk drops her and moves to right Portal. Domino shows Angela how it is done, dazing her from full in one action, though she does get unlucky and fail to flip that Portal. Captain Marvel collect the fallen Skrull but can’t make it to the far Portal. In the last activation of the game Toad needs to flip two Portals, one of which has a healthy Shuri standing on it. Crucially he makes it and doesn’t roll a skull, then he hops over and easily takes the left one too. The game ends at 18 – 16 to Adam.

What a close game! It felt quite fitting that this came down to the last few dice rolled and it could really have gone either way. Adam played a very tight game using all his cards at the right moment and I think that perhaps that was the main difference. At the end of the game I still had most of my cards left and there were several times where I forgot to use one of my key superpowers. Notably I could have amped up Angela’s output on Domino and Toad in round 3 if I’d remembered she could re-roll using Shuri’s Upgrades power and Shuri herself failed to hurt Beast with Sonic Crush but rolled all shields – if I’d remembered to use Super Genius I could perhaps have dealt with him there and then. Anyway, opportunities to improve my game notwithstanding I had a really fun game and I look forward to getting more games with Adam.

Game 2: Allan playing Winter Guard

Slightly to my surprise I find that Allan has also lost his first game so we get paired for game 2. He’s packing Winter Guard with a roster filled up pretty much with anyone else in the game with a vaguely Russian connection… plus Juggernaut for some reason. I’m quite looking forward to this one as I’ve never faced Winter Guard, plus Allan is always a lot of fun to play. Allan wins priority and chooses Extracts. I think I’ve got competent teams at either 15 or 18 threat so I go for the lower one to hopefully make Allan’s team building a bit more annoying.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest
Threat: 15
My team: She-Hulk, Angela, Captain Marvel
My cards: A-Force Assemble, Follow Me, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Allan’s team: Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Juggernaut, Red Guardian
Allan’s cards: Brace For Impact, Comrade’s Keeper, Do You Know Who I Am?, Patch Up, Smash

Round 1: Darkstar and Captain Marvel collect the flank Hammers, then She Hulk and Juggernaut pick up our home Hammers and head for the middle. Angela gently tickles Juggernaut after he throws She-Hulk off the point with Do You Know Who I Am?. Red Guardian comes into the middle to score it for Allan; the score is 5 – 2 to him.

Round 2: Angela attacks Juggernaut but Red Guardian interrupts with a timely play of Comrade’s Keeper. Angela’s free Place after using her builder comes in handy here so I backstop her against Crimson Dynamo so that Red Guardian has to throw her into his leader. She knocks a couple of hit points off Crimson Dynamo as a follow-up. Red Guardian hurts Angela in return and gets a Patch Up to keep him in the game, and Crimson Dynamo finishes Angela. Captain Marvel uses Special Delivery to apply She-Hulk to Juggernaut and then throws the big chap into Red Guardian to daze him. She-Hulk throws Juggernaut off the central point after slapping him around a bit and the score moves to 8 – 5 in Allan’s favour.

Round 3: Now that Red Guardian is dazed my priority is to KO him and get him out of contention for contesting the scenario points. Captain Marvel does just that, then Darkstar puts some tasty damage into her in return. Angela and Crimson Dynamo have a highly ineffective slapping match over the far scenario point and She-Hulk dazes Juggernaut. The score closes to 10 – 9 to Allan.

Round 4: I play Stalwart Determination now that Juggernaut’s throw is online. I think that if I can daze or KO one more character I can brute force this out, but unfortunately I’ve given away priority. Darkstar gets us started this round by dazing Captain Marvel and taking her Hammer – not the way I wanted this to go. She-Hulk KOs Juggernaut and it’s now going to be pretty hard for Allan to hold on to anything as both She-Hulk and Captain Marvel have brutal character throws. Over at the back Crimson Dynamo can’t quite drop Angela and she finally dazes him in return. The score is now 15 -12 to me.

Round 5: I just need to avoid doing anything silly here and I can comfortably hold on; She-Hulk is almost undamaged and is holding two Hammers so it seems a big ask for Allan to take them off her from here. Darkstar hurts Captain Marvel and runs off to (relative) safety; in retrospect we think that Allan might have forgotten to add the attack dice for her Hammers which potentially would have made things a bit more exciting. Crimson Dynamo adjusts to try to bring down Captain Marvel but She-Hulk is able to Bodyguard it. Captain Marvel throws Crimson Dynamo off the Gamma Shelter and I spread out to score points. We finish up at 22 – 15 to me.

Thanks as usual to Allan for a very fun game. Despite the wide score I think that this was rather close. The main difference was that once I had Juggernaut under control Allan didn’t really have a great way to deal with She-Hulk and she’s quite scary once she’s holding a pair of Hammers. The scenario forced us into a brawl in the middle and, while it let Allan’s cool defensive tech shine, it also highlighted how little offensive punch he had available. From my side I wonder if I might have been better off leaving the right Hammer until Allan brought it to me and just having Captain Marvel join the scrum in midfield. I also once again failed to use my cards cleverly and still had most of them available at the end.

Game 3: Jay playing Midnight Sons

For this round I come against Jay, a lovely chap who has 100% got the measure of me so far. I win priority and picks Secures so Jay selects the lower threat value. I go back and forth several times and consider a much sillier team before settling on these heroes. Rogue gets the nod even though she’s not actually affiliated because she is immune to Poison, and Black Cat is mainly in the roster to deal with these single Extraction scenarios.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City
Threat: 17
My team: She-Hulk, Black Cat, Captain Marvel, Rogue
My cards: A-Force Assemble, Follow Me, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Jay’s team: Blade, Black Cat, Bullseye, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem), Iron Fist
Jay’s cards: Bats the Ghost Hound, Brace For Impact, Disarm, Heroes For Hire, Siege of Darkness [note that I must have made a mistake with my notes here as it looks like Jay has three restricted cards in the Reality Gem, Brace For Impact and Disarm – sorry Jay!]

Round 1: We mostly just position our heroes on the Terrigen Clouds. My Black Cat finds the Skrull in the centre and suddenly feels very lonely. Iron Fist makes a good move to get onto the right Cloud by using his Flying Kick attack against Rogue, though it doesn’t actually do much damage. Corvus doesn’t even bother going to the cloud and instead drops a casual four damage onto Captain Marvel. The score is 4 – 0 to me.

Round 2: I need to get Black Cat to safety here and ideally consolidate on the left; that will leave Rogue to mind the fort alone on the right but she has pretty good displacement so she might be able to clear the Cloud once or twice. She-Hulk plays Patch Up to fully heal Captain Marvel; in retrospect this was something of a mistake as I should have left her with two power so that I could get her to Bodyguard attacks instead. Black Cat lugs the Skrull over to the left but I make a mistake and aim to maintain distance from Corvus rather than getting into Bodyguard range of She-Hulk. Corvus then goes and one-shots all six health from Captain Marvel and triggers Flurry; he uses the move to get over to Black Cat and one-shots her too. He picks up the Skrull for good measure. Well, I guess I might as well have saved myself the bother of playing Patch-Up! Over on the right Rogue dazes Iron Fist and Blade sticks a little damage on her. Black Cat sticks Stagger on She-Hulk to keep her away from Corvus; instead She-Hulk moves over to stand on the Terrigen Cloud again. Finally Bullseye strolls onto the right Cloud. The score goes to 6 – 4 in my favour but clearly it was so tense that I forgot to take a photo.

Round 3: I need to find a way to get the Skrull off Corvus or do enough damage on both Clouds that I can hold out on them for the rest of the game and force Corvus to come back and play. Rogue is chock full of power and everyone except Iron Fist (who just flipped) has taken some chip damage so I might be able to get her to do some serious work. Sadly it doesn’t work out that way as two attacks into Bullseye do exactly zero damage to him and Iron Fist is able to play Brace For Impact to avoid the nearby crates being thrown at him. To say that I’m let down is something of an understatement. Corvus makes no such mistake, easily cutting down Black Cat and moving further away from my hitters. Captain Marvel uses Special Delivery to drop She-Hulk into Corvus for no damage, though she does at least manage to daze Black Cat before she applies another Stagger to my team. Bullseye and Blade slap Rogue down to one wound left and Iron Fist wanders off the join the mess around the Skrull. The score goes to 8 – 6 to Jay. I move the right Cloud so it does the last point of damage on Rogue’s healthy side which makes it much more likely that I’ll get to activate her next round, and I again forget the picture.

Round 4: I need to finally deal with Corvus but Black Cat has so much power on her by now that she can easily steal the Skrull if I pick it up, and Iron Fist is also fully powered up and in the mix. She-Hulk does at least daze Corvus and pick up the Skrull. Iron Fist does his big attack, somehow leaving Captain Marvel on a single wound but with an activated token for company. Rogue attacks Bullseye, who has only two wound left, twice and fails to hurt him at all so in return he just saunters off toward the other Cloud. Blade leaves Rogue on one wound with Bleed and Black Cat puts Stagger on She-Hulk again, takes the Skrull and runs off. The score is now 12 – 6 in Jay’s favour but I still don’t remember my photo.

Round 5: Rogue takes two attacks to poke the last wound off Blade and then KOs due to Bleed. Corvus makes short work of Captain Marvel’s final wound and then moves away from She-Hulk. The game is over so I at least get to have my fun by getting She-Hulk to flatten Iron Fist before Bullseye walks to the left Cloud. We finish the game at 16 – 6 to Jay.

That defeat did sting a little, and I will admit to being a bit salty about the dice afterwards. Credit to Jay for, as always, being a very fun chap to play a game with but also for very sympathetically listening to my whining about the contrast between the way Rogue spent three turns failing to deal with Bullseye and Corvus scything his way through my entire left flank. I think that my biggest error came in turn two when I spent too much of She-Hulk’s power on Patch Up to prevent her from being able to use Bodyguard at all (though I think that I still would have backed Captain Marvel to survive a swing from Corvus and not used Bodyguard anyway), while also not making sure to get Black Cat in Bodyguard range to keep her and the Skrull safe from anyone but Jay’s Black Cat. Yet again I ended up not using most of my cards.

Game 4: Stuart playing Web Warriors

In our final game I get matched up with Stuart, who I think I’ve seen from some Warmachine events in the past though I don’t know that we ever played each other. I win priority and choose Secures again; Stuart chooses a slightly lower threat. Since we’re both in midtable obscurity I decide that this is the moment to play my silly A-Force team and just mess about a bit. The basic plan is to hold Cubes and force Stuart’s heroes to come to me, then punch them when they arrive. I also have some pretty good displacement so I can throw the Web Warriors around a bit if needed.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Threat: 17
My team: She-Hulk, Angela, Hulk
My cards: Follow Me, Inspiring Monologue, Patch Up, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Stuart’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amazing Spider-Man, Black Cat, Ghost Spider, Moon Knight
Stuart’s cards: All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Patch Up, Spider Tracker, The Cat and The Spider

Round 1: Moon Knight collects the Cube on the right and moves to the Portal. Hulk Gamma Leaps over but totally fails to hurt Moon Knight, meaning that I don’t actually score anything over there… this might turn out to be a problem. Amazing Spider-Man collects the central Cube and moves back to safety. She-Hulk flips my home Portal and heads to the left, collecting a Cube on her way. Black Cat takes the left Portal and Spider-Man gets the far one. Angela gently and ineffectually tickles Black Cat before taking the left Portal back to me. The score is a rather unexpected 4 – 3 to Stuart since one of the Cubes and one of the Portals are still untouched.

Round 2: I think that I’m quite happy to continue playing attrition here; the Cube damage is much more telling on the rather fragile Web Warriors than on my team so I just need to stop Stuart getting too far ahead while I thin out his options. Angela hits Black Cat again so she can place near She-Hulk then I play Special Delivery to drop the latter on Amazing Spider-Man, admittedly for not more effect. Black Cat reflips the left Portal. She-Hulk dazes Amazing Spider-Man and takes his Cube before flipping that Portal right back again. Moon Knight runs away from Hulk and picks up the Cube that’s just lying on the ground, but Hulk follows him, dazes him and collects both Cubes. Gwen flips my home Portal and Spider-Man pokes Angela before failing to reflip the left Portal. The score now moves to 8 – 7 to him.

Round 3: Since we’re pretty close to parity my plan here to just to keep squeezing on attrition and worry about points specifically only once I’ve KOed two of Stuart team. The Cubes are also doing a pretty good job for me here as neither She-Hulk nor Hulk are in much danger from them and I’m really enjoying having All The Power on them. Angela puts some damage into Amazing Spider-Man and flips the far Portal; he plays All Webbed Up and dazes her in return. She-Hulk KOs Amazing Spider-Man, much to my relief, and Hulk shrugs off a few insipid attacks from Moon Knight before KOing him and badly hurting Ghost Spider. He reflips my home Portal for good measure. Around this point Stuart realises that both Spider-Man and Black Cat have one wound left and are holding a Cube so he can only ‘save’ one of them. In the end Miles pays to Patch Up Black Cat and they both put some good damage into She-Hulk; Black Cat also Staggers her. The score ties at 12 – 12.

Round 4: This is quite a fast scoring scenario combination so ordinarily I would be worried about being choked out on points here but my characters are holding most of the Cubes and Stuart will only get to activate two characters since Spider-Man will daze in the power phase thanks to his Cube. She-Hulk pretty much seals this on her own by dazing Black Cat and picking up all the Cubes lying around. Ghost Spider has a go at keeping this honourable by using Web Line to pull She-Hulk into range but she doesn’t have the damage output to take my big lawyer down. We call it there; I’m pretty sure that Hulk could have finished off Ghost Spider if required. We finish up at 19 -12 to me.

That was a very entertaining game between two teams with very different approaches to how to win at Crisis Protocol. Stuart was a really fun opponent and I’m pretty sure that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with once he gets some more games under his belt. Obviously everything went according to plan for me which I suppose is to be expected when I have much more experience at the game. My big weakness yet again was the tactics cards; I’m just not finding the right moment to play them for good impact.

So when the scores are counted up I’m 8th of 12 players; bottom of the 2/2 results. I had a great time and will be back again in a month or so for the next event. A-Force were quite entertaining but I’ve already decided to move on again to another affiliation so now I need to try to get a few friendly games in and lock down a roster. Thanks as always to Adam, Allan, Jay and Stuart for four fun games of Crisis Protocol, and again to Allan for running the event.

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Summer Slam 30Jul2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Derek playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Liam playing Brotherhood of Mutants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Simon playing Wakanda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Allan playing Asgard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Infinity Series – Soul 10Jul2022

Following the excellent MCP Nations team tournament, Sunday’s agenda was a singles event for Marvel Crisis Protocol. I think that this is part of a series of six events but the locations mean that this is the only one I’m likely to be able to attend. Most, though surprisingly not all, of the players from the team event were taking part in addition to a number of others who couldn’t commit to both days for various reasons.

As the new standard play rules were effective for this event I had to make a few small changes to my roster – Wakandan Herb had been added to the banned list and half of my cards were now restricted. I also wanted to make a fairly small number of character changes so minimise the number of minis I had to remember. Since Clea and Juggernaut were only present for Wakandan Herb jank, I removed them and all the associated cards. I put in Hood simply because I quite like playing him and theorise that he’d be pretty good in Convocation, and then put in Omega Red for Poison synergy with both Ancient One and Doctor Strange. I also swapped in Terrigen Clouds (borrowed from Allan) with the theory that it might go nicely with the Poison theme. I didn’t actually get a chance to try any of this out before the event so I didn’t have particularly high hopes.

Characters: (10)
Ancient One (Ancient One) Threat: 4
Baron Mordo (Karl Amadeus Mordo) Threat: 3
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (Stephen Vincent Strange) Threat: 5
Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) Threat: 4
Wong (Wong) Threat: 2
Magik (Illyana Rasputin) Threat: 3
Ebony Maw (Ebony Maw) Threat: 5
Hood (Parker Robbins) Threat: 3
Lizard (Curtis Connors) Threat: 3
Omega Red (Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich) Threat: 4

Tactics: (10)
Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath
Plane of Pohldahk
The Bar With No Doors
Wand of Watoomb
Hood’s Gang
Journey Through Limbo
Shhh…
Brace for Impact
Indomitable
Monkey Brain Is Lizard Home

Secure Crisis: (3)
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (Threat: 19)
Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse (Threat: 19)
Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City (Threat: 20)

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

Game 1: Giacomo playing Convocation

For the first round I’m drawn against Giacomo who was part of an Italian team who swept all before them in the MCP Nations event. He won priority, picking Extracts, and we end up with Spider Portals and Research Station. I choose 18 threat, though looking back on it I wonder if 16 would have been a bit better for me. The choice of 18 threat was mainly so I could use Ebony Maw and let him throw various bits of terrain at everyone – there was certainly plenty on the board – but it might have been better just to use Lizard instead and have him sit on the central point. I also was in two minds about whether to take Iron-Bound Books as one of my cards – in the Convocation match-up it’s not much use but Giacomo did have the option to play Avengers instead.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Giacomo’s team: Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo, Baron Mordo, Deadpool, Ms Marvel
Giacomo’s cards: Astral Ring, Brace For Impact, Face Me, Indomitable, Plane of Pohdahk

Round 1: Baron Mordo takes the back Portal and gets placed away and Ebony Maw gets the same treatment on the right which enables Deadpool to saunter up and take that one. My Doctor Strange takes the left Portal and Ms Marvel takes it off him. The Ancient One flips my home Portal and everyone else joins the party in the middle. The score is 3 – 1 to Giacomo.

Round 2: My Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books and Plane of Pohldahk on Giacomo’s Doctor Voodoo, Giacomo pays to flip his leadership away from the bump side. Ancient One leaves Doctor Voodoo on one hit point plus Stagger – leaving him on one is terrible for me as it means that he can get his Brother Daniel token out onto someone. Predictably his Doctor Voodoo hurts mine and Possesses the Ancient One. My Doctor Voodoo finishes his off and gently tickles Doctor Strange, who dazes him right back and heals himself. Ebony Maw dazes Deadpool and flips the right Portal and Ms Marvel leaves my Doctor Strange on one hit point, though oddly I didn’t note what he did first. The score is 7 – 3 to him.

Round 3: My Doctor Voodoo rolls like a chump and does nothing at all to either Doctor Voodoo nor Doctor Strange in the centre. Giacomo’s Doctor Strange pushes Doctor Voodoo away and Staggers the Ancient One. She Staggers Doctor Voodoo right back and he throws her away before moving off to safety at the back. Ebony Maw hurts Mordo who moves up and flips my home Portal. My Doctor Strange dazes Ms Marvel and the score moves to 11 – 5 to Giacomo.

Round 4: My Doctor Voodoo continues his ineffective tickling of Doctor Strange, then Ms Marvel easily dazes my Doctor Strange. The Ancient One fails to hurt either Baron Mordo or Doctor Strange while Ebony Maw can’t plink the last few wounds off Doctor Voodoo. Giacomo’s characters don’t even need to attack, they just flip the remaining points and he wins 17 – 5.

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t put up more of a fight there against Giacomo, but he was a lovely chap to play against and I very much enjoyed our game. As mentioned at the start, I think that I might have been better off playing at 16 threat and picking Lizard (along with his ‘push everyone away’ card) over Ebony Maw. I noticed that Giacomo wanted to move second onto the Portals on the left and right so that he could have the last chance to score them. I need to consider this in more detail as I’ve usually tried to go first as it’s easier to take them if no-one else is standing there; perhaps that is a risk I should be taking sometimes. I almost never pick the re-roll side of the Convocation leadership as the bump is so useful, but Giacomo flipped to it on round two and it helped him out a lot. I guess that is one of the reasons that he’s so successful at this game.

Game 2: Eduardo playing Web Warriors

For the second game I get Eduardo with a Web Warriors roster. He wins priority and chooses Secures so we get Infinity Formula and Spider-Infected which means that we’re definitely playing at 17 threat. I feel like I should have the tools to do well on this combination, though I’d obviously prefer priority to get a head start on the Extracts. I don’t know what happened with that first photo, I must have sneezed or something!

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Baron Mordo, Wong, Lizard
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Wand of Watoomb
Eduardo’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Moon Knight, Venom, Ghost-Spider, Doctor Voodoo
Eduardo’s cards: All Webbed Up, Disarm, Lethal Protector, Psychic Shielding Device, Spider Tracker

Round 1: Miles takes the Spider-Infected on the right so I send up Baron Mordo on the left to take the far one over there. This was probably a mistake as I could have just picked up the central one here with Doctor Voodoo; Lizard can usually survive the sort of punishment from a cheeky play like that but Baron Mordo is much less resilient. Gwen zaps him for a horrible three damage; the only saving grace is that I can get him behind the building to avoid the pull into Doctor Voodoo’s range. My Doctor Voodoo takes the central Spider-Infected and his zaps Mordo. I think that he could possibly have Possessed Baron Mordo at this point but opts not to; it doesn’t matter as Moon Knight easily drops him and picks up the Spider-Infected. Wong and Doctor Strange take the remaining Spider-Infected on my side. The score is 5 – 4 to me.

Round 2: I put Iron-Bound Books into play from Mordo. Venom hurts Wong who bumps back and has to play Indomitable to avoid being pulled in for the daze. Baron Mordo pays for his spender and gets no successes against Gwen who puts a couple of wounds on him in return. Lizard throws Venom off the rear point and Miles throws him off in turn. Doctor Strange fails to hurt Doctor Voodoo who applies the Brother Daniel token to take his Spider-Infected. The score is now 9 – 8 to Eduardo.

Round 3: Wong somehow survives a round of attacks from Miles and used the Wand of Watoomb to zap Venom, doing no damage but at least applying a couple of annoying conditions. Venom uses Web Snare to send Lizard away and drops Wong. Doctor Strange dazes Doctor Voodoo but can’t pick up the Spider-Infected as he’s still Possessed; Gwen picks it up after slapping Mordo around a bit. My Doctor Voodoo Possesses Miles but also can’t pick up that Spider-Infected as he’s already carrying one. Moon Knight KOs Baron Mordo and Lizard dazes Venom. The score is now 13 – 11 to him.

Round 4: Wong pays for Iron-Bound Books. Miles plays All Webbed Up and KOs Wong, then Gwen and Moon Knight pay to Disarm Doctor Strange. Lizard throws Venom into Miles but leaves Miles on one hit point; Venom pulls Lizard off the scoring point with Web Snare. Eduardo wins 18 – 14.

That was a fun, close game, but again I’m a little disappointed in my play. I should have stacked the right side – especially Doctor Strange should have been facing off against Venom as he has the tools to make life very hard for the symbiote. I should have left the back left Spider-Infected alone as Baron Mordo is too fragile for a cheeky steal on that side, especially considering that all the characters facing him on that side have long enough range attacks that they can probably get two goes at him even if he bumps back from the first. Instead, my play should have been just to take the near left Spider-Infected and then pull everyone over to the right and overwhelm Eduardo’s characters on that side if he wanted to leave anyone on the left to score those points. Oh well, we shall see if I manage to learn this lesson for the future. Eduardo made the game very enjoyable and he played a solid game to get the win.

Game 3: Jacob playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Finally I get paired into the current boogeyman roster of Guardians plus Thanos. Jacob wins priority and chooses Extracts so we end up with Hammers and Demons Downtown. I choose 18 threat as I think that it’s more convenient for me to go four wide and try to maintain priority. I think that I have two choices – either focus down Thanos or try to keep him out of my hair until I’ve thinned out the Guardians.

Extraction: Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Jacob’s team: Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Nebula, Thanos (Space and Mind Gems)
Jacob’s cards: Crew of the Milano, Deadly Duo, Lovable Misfits, Mission Objective, We Are Groot

Round 1: Groot picks up the left Hammer and Doctor Strange zaps him in for a mighty five damage. I could have gone for the right Hammer at this point instead but felt that I’d just lose whatever I sent up to Thanos pulling them across the board so I figure if I let a Guardian pick it up first I might be able to get something cheeky with the trigger on Ebony Maw’s Black Tongue attack. Star Lord does indeed come up for the Hammer and Lovable Misfits is played from Nebula, Rocket and Groot; I don’t actually remember anything happening from this so I guess it wasn’t a big effect whatever got rolled. Ebony Maw leaves Star Lord on one hit point and doesn’t manage to roll the Wild which would have let me bring him to me, so Thanos collects a Hammer of his own, comes up and pulls Star Lord right back into his lines while also displacing the Maw. The Ancient One picks up a Hammer and moves up and everyone else sits on a Portal. Somewhere in here Groot plays We Are Groot to heal back some of that damage from Doctor Strange’s spike. The score is 4 – 2 to Jacob.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for both Iron-Bound Books and Plane of Pohldahk on Thanos. Ebony Maw throws some terrain at Nebula (this was a mistake, I wasn’t likely to daze her and I should have properly focussed on Thanos), then fails to hurt Thanos twice despite the full re-rolls and Incinerate. Thanos does minimal damage to Doctor Voodoo, I use Shhh… to prevent some Cosmic Portal shenanigans, then uses the Mind Gem to move Voodoo back. Voodoo hits the big chap and Possesses him. Star Lord drops Doctor Voodoo, Nebula hurts Ebony Maw and Doctor Strange hurts Groot again. Rocket picks up a fallen Hammer from somewhere. The score moves to 8 – 4 to Jacob.

Round 3: Ebony Maw dazes Thanos but rolls abysmally against Rocket who is sitting ready to be dazed and far from Groot. Rocket in turn bounces uselessly off Doctor Voodoo then both he and Groot are dazed by Doctor Strange rolling like a champion; he also collects a hammer. The Ancient One finally dazes Star Lord and, since I’m losing priority anyway, Voodoo dazes Nebula. The score is now 10 – 8 to me.

Round 4: Thanos Mind Gems the Ancient One into range and dazes her then collects a pair of Hammers lying on the ground. He also uses the Space Gem to move Rocket next to Groot. Ebony Maw attacks Rocket, which gets bodyguarded to Groot and moves him away with the Black Tongue trigger, then actually attacks Rocket. Sadly a single Wild was all I rolled in both attacks so all of this does no damage whatsoever. Nebula KOs Doctor Voodoo with help from Thanos and Doctor Strange shows the Maw how it’s done, finally ending Rocket. Star Lord puts some nice damage into Doctor Strange. The score goes to 13 – 11 in my favour.

Round 5: Doctor Strange dazes Groot and hurts Thanos with his area attack but Thanos dazes him despite a bit of healing. He then picks up the remaining Hammers and dazes Ebony Maw. The Ancient One KOs Star Lord. The score is 15 – 11.

Round 6: I need to KO Thanos here or I definitely lose; even if I can do it Nebula might do enough damage to shut me out of the game anyway. I decide to start with Ebony Maw as he has enough power to do his Spender twice, but I roll awfully and Jacob rolls three blocks from three dice on both attacks, so nothing happens there. Thanos KOs Doctor Strange and Mind Gems the Ancient One away. The Ancient One gives him all she’s got but leaves the big chap on one hit point, still clinging onto all four hammers. The score ends up at 19 – 13 to Jacob.

That was a very frustrating exercise in dice rolling, and I’m very sorry to Jacob for probably sounding like a moany old man throughout. Jacob was a nice guy and made the game enjoyable and I hope to meet him again at some future event. I’m not unhappy here with the way I played; I felt that I was doing quite nicely drawing out both We Are Groot and Crew of the Milano for no real impact in round 1. Perhaps in the final round I would have been better going with Doctor Strange first into Thanos as his full rerolls might have been instrumental in getting Thanos, but Jacob rolled so many blocks on defence that I think it wouldn’t have made any difference as it turned out. I’d also stand by my play in round 1 of letting Star Lord take the Hammer on the right; one more damage or a Wild in the roll from Ebony Maw gets me that Hammer from a position of relative safety.

Round 4: Kian playing Avengers

In the last round I was paired up with Kian. In some ways it was quite liberating to be right at the bottom of the pile as even a win wouldn’t get me up to the mid table, but on the other hand I hate to go through a whole event and not get even a single victory. Still, I resolved to be light-hearted about this game and not take it seriously no matter how it played out. I win priority this time and, even though I would normally choose Extracts I pick Secures. This was because Kian had SWORD, which I hate anyway, and the possibility to force it at 14 threat with Sam Wilson as his leader. We end up with Intrusions and Skrulls. I fancy playing Omega Red for no particular tactical reason, so he goes down. Ironically, half of Kian’s team is immune to Poison, so his main trick is neutered straight away! Hulk is potentially quite bad news but I have some tricks to control him, and Captain America hates a lot of mystic attacks.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadershiip
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Omega Red
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Wand of Watoomb
Kian’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Crystal, Hulk, Doctor Voodoo
Kian’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Elemental Infusion, Gamma Launch, Mission Objective, Recalibration Matrix

Round 1: Omega Red heads to the left, Captain America to the centre and Crystal to the right, but no-one finds the Skrull. We both put a few desultory attacks but nothing substantial happens. Doctor Voodoo and Hulk pay for Avengers Assemble to get them on the outside points; the latter also pushes Omega Red off the left Portal, though he doesn’t find the Skrull. The score is 2 – 0 to Kian.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books. The Ancient One dazes Captain America, messes with the Portal and gets it wrong, landing next to the Hulk (though actually that was where I wanted her anyway) and Staggers him. He dazes her in one go and finds the Skrull, which is going to be a problem. Doctor Strange zaps Doctor Voodoo and Crystal zaps him back. Omega Red pulls Hulk off the Portal and slaps him a little and eventually my Doctor Voodoo is able to build up enough power to Possess the big chap, though I’ve run out of power to actually pick the Skrull back up. The score goes to 3 – 0 to Kian, so hopefully the attrition is moving in my favour!

Round 3: Hulk beats the hell out of both Ancient One and Omega Red but some poor dice from Kian see them both survive. Doctor Strange dazes Doctor Voodoo, pokes Captain America and Scalpels him away. Crystal pays for Elemental Infusion and dazes my Doctor Voodoo. She nearly gets Omega Red too but he narrowly survives, though he has plenty of conditions on him. The Ancient One manages to drop the Hulk, which is certainly a relief, but Kian plays Mission Objective to get the Skrull to Crystal. Omega Red can’t pull her out of Captain America’s Bodyguard range. The score goes to 5 – 2 to Kian, not the most high-scoring game!

Round 4: Crystal dazes Omega Red and hurts Doctor Strange, so in turn he dazes her and KOs Captain America. I’m feeling confident from an attrition perspective now, I just need to start scoring some points. My Doctor Voodoo and Ancient One KO his Doctor Voodoo; the former also picks up the Skrull out of this mess somewhere. The score now moves to 6 – 5 in my favour.

Round 5: Crystal, feeling rather lonely as the last Avenger, goes crazy by KOing the Ancient One and dazing Doctor Strange. She hops through a Portal to safety and to be honest I’m happy to see her go! I don’t bother to attack, just sit on the points to score this out. 10 – 6 to me.

Round 6: Crystal is going to have to have a hell of a turn here to pull this out. She jumps through the Portal and hits Doctor Voodoo but can’t finish him off. He KOs her with a thrown building. I finally get a win 15 – 6.

Thanks to Kian for a very fun game; we were laughing as we went through with the crazy dice rolls and the narrative of Crystal saying ‘fine, I’ll do it myself’ after finding herself alone facing my whole team. I was glad to get a win and avoid going 0 – 4, though the day had been so enjoyable it would also have been fine and fitting to end on another loss.

When all the scores come in I’m way down in 48th place out of 62 players so not my best performance. Nonetheless I had a very enjoyable time and got games with another four players I’d never met before. I have a lot to think about in terms of how I approach games but hopefully I can learn from some of these mistakes and come away a better player for next time. Gareth had a very successful day, going 3 – 1 in probably his best MCP tournament performance so well done to him. Many thanks to Giacomo, Eduardo, Jacob and Kian for four highly entertaining games of MCP, and most importantly to Tony for running everything so smoothly. I’ll be back!

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

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Nations 09Jul2022

Last Saturday was the first MCP Nations Event, a 16 team Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament pitting teams of five against each other for four rounds. I had the pleasure to be part of a team led by Ewan and along with Gareth, Allan and Sean we travelled down to Element Games in Stockport to have some fun. The roster building rules meant that all characters and tactics cards had to be unique across the team which I think led to some nice diversity; I heard that out of 107 characters released for the game, 106 of them were represented at least once. For those closely following the game, the recent change to card rotation was not used for this event as the roster submission cut-off was slightly before that change came into effect. There was a match-making process between the captains at the beginning of each round to decide who got to play who, but I didn’t get involved in that, preferring to let Ewan make the decisions and just enjoy whoever I was picked to face.

I opted to play Convocation, an affiliation that I find very fun and rewarding although I don’t tend to get great results with them overall. The core of the team are, of course, all wizards and I ended up with most of the affiliated characters. Lizard is there as he enables some cool plays with Spider Infected or Cubes crises due to his speed, survivability and the Convocation leadership ability to bump after taking damage. Juggernaut was there for some funny jank to score the Wakandan Herb in round one. And finally Ebony Maw was added because I find him really fun to play; he also loves to see the Iron-Bound Books tactics card on the table. My basic game plan was to pick Extracts if I won priority and try to score the game out quickly as I find Convocation tend to fold quite badly in the later stages of the game.

[Characters]
– Ancient One: 4
– Baron Mordo: 3
– Clea: 3
– Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme: 5
– Doctor Voodoo: 4
– Ebony Maw: 5
– Juggernaut: 5
– Lizard: 3
– Magik: 3
– Wong: 2

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– Brace for Impact
– Indomitable
– Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath
– Journey Through Limbo
– Plane of Pohldahk
– Shhh…
– Tactical Analysis
– The Bar With No Doors
– Wand of Watoomb

[Extract Crises]
– Mystic Wakandan Herbs: Fact or Fiction? [A]: 15
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17

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

Game 1: Ged playing Defenders

For round one we get drawn against the beautifully names Mancunians of the Multiverse team and I end up playing to Ged with a Defenders roster. He wins Priority and picks Extracts so we get Alien Ship and Demons Downtown; I think I’ve probably got a decent option at 20 threat. Note that the central garden is marked as non-interactive so it can’t be thrown.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 20
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Wong, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Ged’s team: Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Vision, Hawkeye, Luke Cage
Ged’s cards: Brace For Impact, Deal With The Devil, Field Dressing, Heroes For Hire, Seven Suns of Cinnibus

Round 1: Luke Cage gets us started by finding the Kree Power Core in the centre on the first attempt. Ebony Maw moves up to attack him but doesn’t get the Wild result needed to move him into my range; the Ancient One also attacks him. Ged’s Doctor Strange eventually heals most of the damage off Cage. Ghost Rider moves up with Hell On Wheels and hexes my Doctor Strange. Doctor Voodoo moves forward and attacks Cage but for some reason I elect to throw him into Ged’s Doctor Strange rather than Possessing him so he dropped the Core. That’s a really silly mistake to make now that I look back at it. The score is 3 – 1 in Ged’s favour.

Round 2: Wong pays to put Iron-Bound books into play. Ged’s Doctor Strange zaps the Ancient One a bit and heals Cage again. Ancient One pays to put Plane of Pohldahk on Luke Cage then my Doctor Strange moves right into the middle of the big ball and unleashes his area attack. I do good damage over all but frustratingly leave both Strange and Cage on one wound, while also taking quite a bit of chip damage from Ghost Rider using Wicked Judgment. Ghost Rider then zaps Ebony Maw and one shots him, putting ten damage into him despite the Maw having six defense dice and cover. That was quite rude. The Ancient One finally drops Cage and Doctor Strange then picks up the Core. Vision throws my Doctor Strange so I play Indomitable, then zaps the rest of his wounds off anyway. Wong stands at the back feeling glad not be involved in that mess while he heals the Ancient One. Hawkeye shoots Doctor Voodoo a couple of time and applies Field Dressing to Doctor Strange, while Voodoo fails to do anything to Vision. The score is 5 – 4 to me.

Round 3: Ged’s Doctor Strange plays the Seven Suns card and gets a very tasty beam across most of my team, Ebony Maw uses Shhh… on his heal. My Doctor Strange unleashes his area attack, dazing Strange, KOing Luke Cage (which was rather fortunate as he’d played Heroes For Hire) however the healing I got from the attacks was not enough to counteract the huge damage that Ghost Rider was doing with Wicked Judgment and so my Strange was KOed. Doctor Voodoo throws Vision who uses Brace For Impact and then dazes him. Hawkeye dazes Ancient One and Wong removes Hex from Ebony Maw after Ghost Rider had applied it. Maw uses Black Tongue and gets the Wild to move Hawkeye off the point. The score goes to 7 – 4 to me.

Round 4: Ancient One pays to put Iron-Bound Books back into play. Doctor Strange KOs Ebony Maw then Ancient One finally dazes Ghost Rider. Vision dazes Doctor Voodoo and Hawkeye uses Hook Arrow to get back in the game before shooting up Ancient One again. The score creeps up to 9 – 7 in my favour, but I’m rapidly running out of heroes.

Round 5: Doctor Voodoo finally KOs Doctor Strange with a heroic roll but it sadly included four Criticals so Ghost Rider just chunks four wounds right off him. He briefly collects the Core before the rest of Ged’s team KO both Ancient One and Doctor Voodoo. We call it there at 11 – 9 to Ged.

I had a really fun time there and Ged was a great opponent. He played a very solid game, but I think that I could have done things better. In retrospect, it was a poor move taking Ebony Maw as the uninteractive terrain piece in the centre meant that I couldn’t really use his cool terrain throw. I wonder if I would have been better to drop Ebony Maw and Wong in favour of Baron Mordo and Lizard while making the game 19 threat rather than 20. I have no idea what I was thinking in round 1 by throwing Luke Cage instead of Possessing him; that would have been a very nice points swing. And I failed to learn from previous encounters with Ghost Rider that he has to be dealt with early. I left him hanging around on a couple of wounds for far too long and he chipped so many wounds off me characters with Wicked Judgment. Our team went down by 2 games to 3 and we moved onto the next round.

Game 2: Borja playing S.H.I.E.L.D.

This time we’re drawn again a Spanish team called 5 Trocolocos 1 Cup and I get matched up with a gentleman named Borja playing S.H.I.E.L.D. I win priority and choose Extracts so we end up playing Wakandan Herb and Infinity Formula; Borja selects 17 threat. I have a very specific plan on Wakandan Herbs that involves Clea, Juggernaut, Doctor Strange and anyone who can generate extra power in turn 1; the idea is to use various superpowers and tactics cards to get Juggernaut to score the Herb on round one.

Extraction: Mystic Wakandan Herbs: Fact or Fiction?
Secure: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Threat: 17
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Clea, Ancient One, Juggernaut
My cards: Advanced R&D, Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Tactical Analysis
Borja’s team: Nick Fury Jr, Black Widow Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Doctor Voodoo, Hawkeye, Winter Soldier
Borja’s cards: Battlefield Medicine, Eye in the Sky, Professionals, The Shieldmobile, Sitrep

Round 1: The Ancient One plays Advanced R&D, giving one power each to Juggernaut and Clea (this was a mistake, I should have given it to Doctor Strange instead of Clea) and strolls onto the near left secure. Juggernaut moves twice to the Herb, picks it up and then uses Nothing Stops The Juggernaut to start heading over to the scoring part of the board with it. Winter Soldier takes a pot shot and Ancient One but rather surprisingly does no damage. Clea uses Descendent of the Faltine to gain power (and helpfully doesn’t take damage) then moves Juggernaut further across the board with Vapours of Dormammu before joining Ancient One. The Agents collect Borja’s Herb so Doctor Strange drops them, mainly to get them out of my hair, before using Tactical Analysis to move Juggernaut closer to the objective. He’s still a bit short at this point which is because I gave the power from Ancient One to Clea instead of Doctor Strange; this prevented me from using the much bigger move of Scalpel of Strange. Helpfully Borja decides to take a shot at Juggernaut with Hawkeye after he collects his own herb; if I take a damage he can bump onto the objective with the Convocation leadership. What I hadn’t bargained for was Hawkeye piling 5 wounds on from his 6 dice attack – ouch! The score is 6 – 2 to me.

Round 2: Ancient One pays for Iron-Bound Books. Juggernaut dazes Black Widow (allowing Borja to score with the leadership) before sliding back to the objective. Winter Soldier leaves Ancient One on one wound with Bleed. She hurts him back and I’m left to decide if I prefer to daze Winter Soldier and daze myself with the bleed or play it safe. I decide that it’s too easy for Voodoo to deal with a 1 wound Ancient One so just drop Winter Soldier instead. Clea throws Voodoo away, he walks back and Possesses her. Strange moves up to attack Hawkeye who shoots him first with Fast Draw then moves clear with Eye in the Sky which feels like quite a cheeky interaction; he does at least zap Fury and then Scalpel him off to the other side of the truck. Hawkeye drops Juggernaut in one go and moves to score that point which is a bit annoying. The score is now 7 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Clea leaves Winter Soldier on one wound; he uses Eye in the Sky to move clear of her follow-up attack. Fury puts some attacks into Strange, then the Ancient One rolls like a hero for KO Winter Soldier and daze Doctor Voodoo. Black Widow uses Battlefield Medicine to help Fury and leaves Doctor Strange on one health, so he attacks Hawkeye and Black Widow right back before using Scalpel to move the latter away. Hawkeye starts heading for the objective and takes a random pot shot at Ancient One, then Fury pays for Sitrep and Shieldmobile to move Hawkeye a hilarious distance across the board an into scoring position. Juggernaut just collects the herb and moves back onto the objective. The score is now 12 – 11 in my favour.

Round 4: Ancient One again rolls like a champion attacking Doctor Voodoo, doing 5 damage (plus Stagger, of course) on the first attack. In retrospect I think that the right move was probably still to finish off Hawkeye at that point but I got greedy and KOed Voodoo instead. Hawkeye can’t repeat his earlier heroics and fails to drop Clea. Doctor Strange completely fails to hurt Fury, between Widow and the return fire he gets dazed (and Widow will eventually use Interrogate at the end). Clea throws Hawkeye into a building to daze him which is enough to end the game at 19 – 14 to me.

Many thanks to Borja for a fun game. It was quite nice to have my plan actually work, but since S.H.I.E.L.D. have tech of their own on Wakandan Herbs it didn’t feel too dirty. Anyway, that is the last hurrah for this particular game plan as Wakandan Herbs is now on the banned list and half the cards I used are restricted! I made a bit of an error with Advanced R&D in round one which could have affected things badly, but on the other hand I guess I wasn’t expecting Hawkeye to do so much damage to Juggernaut in a random potshot. The rest of the team do less well and we go down 2 wins to 3 for the second time, but this is a very close one – Ewan had could have won his own game with a flip of a SWORD point on the last activation of his game.

Game 3: Will playing Avengers

Round 3 saw us come up against a team based somewhat near us, out of the Pro Tech store in the North East. I get paired up against Will who is listed with Avengers and Defenders in his Roster, though I think that he could theoretically play A-Force too. I win priority and pick Extracts so we end up playing Research Station and Spider Portals at 18 threat. The board here is chock-full of size 3 containers so I decide to take Ebony Maw even though I don’t particularly think he likes this combination of crises. I’m not sure if Will was rather ‘thrown under the bus’ for this round as both Captain America and Black Panther hate facing a lot of mystic attacks, and of course that’s pretty much all I have.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Ancient One, Ebony Maw
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Plane of Pohldahk, Shhh…
Will’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Vision, Wong
Will’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Heavy Firepower, Second Wind, Tactical Analysis – and then he realised that all his other cards were tied to characters he didn’t want to use, so effectively played down by one card

Round 1: Ebony Maw takes the left Portal, Vision takes the right and the Ancient One takes my near one but gets moved back by the Portal. Black Panther shoots forward and flips the left Portal back. Wong helpfully fails to get his own Portal before moving up so Captain America has to do it, and as he gets placed backwards by the Portal he can’t make it to the centre. Captain Marvel and Doctor Voodoo both move into the central scrum and Doctor Strange dazes Wong. The score is 3 – 1 to Will.

Round 2: Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound books and Ancient One plays Plane of Pohldahk on Black Panther. I should have waited to do this as Ebony Maw’s first move is throw a container into Black Panther which does four damage since he doesn’t dodge any of it. One attack is enough to daze him, but annoyingly the Maw can’t take that Portal for me. Wong Meditates and gives some power to Captain Marvel, who applies Stagger to Doctor Voodoo and he pays for Indomitable to stop the throw. In return, he KOs Wong. Captain America fails to do much of anything to Doctor Voodoo, mainly because of my Iron-Bound Books. Vision moves to my near Portal but rather fortuitously fails to flip it. Doctor Strange dazes Captain Marvel somewhere in here. The score is now 6 – 4 to Will.

Round 3: Ebony Maw bounces embarrassingly off Black Panther this time, though he does at least take back the Portal on that side. Captain Marvel puts Stagger back on Voodoo, throws him away and leaves Doctor Strange on a single wound. I have to go with Doctor Strange if I’m going to get any use out of him, so he does his nice area attack to heal a little, though it doesn’t help as Captain America immediately dazes him. The Ancient One fails to daze Captain America. Black Panther flips the left Portal yet again then gets onto the Researcher with Avengers Assemble, which Captain Marvel joins in with. Doctor Voodoo throws the former off the objective and puts Brother Daniel on Captain America, but Vision is able to throw the Ancient One off too. The score moves to 11 – 5 in Will’s favour. I feel like I’m doing OK on attrition but am increasingly worried that Will’s momentum might get him the win before I can catch up.

Round 4: Doctor Strange gets a good start by dazing Captain America and KOing Captain Marvel, then using Scalpel to send Vision as far away as I can manage. Black Panther uses Second Wind to heal a random wound and dazes Doctor Voodoo. The Ancient One flips the far Portal and moved onto the Researcher before Vision throws her off it again. Ebony Maw finally flips the left point again and moves to the Researcher again to keep it tied this round, we go to 12 – 8.

Round 5: Black Panther KOs Doctor Strange and in return Doctor Voodoo KOs Captain America. Ouch, two leaders KOed in back-to-back activations! Vision can’t quite finish off Doctor Voodoo so the Ancient One dazes him and Ebony Maw KOs Black Panther. The score is now 13 – 13.

Round 6: Vision needs a big turn here. He’s able to KO Doctor Voodoo but that’s all he can manage. We don’t bother rolling out the rest of it; the final score is 18 – 14 in my favour.

Wow, that was a tight game and Will was fun opponent throughout. I thought that we had interestingly different approaches in that I was clearly aiming to whittle Will’s team down and score late where as he was playing to score points first even at the cost of attrition. On the whole the game went more or less according to my plan, though I could definitely have been a bit cleverer about the way I played my tactics cards here. Our team finally managed to pull off a win, taking the round by 4 games to 1. By this point we were all pleased with achieving our objective of winning at least one round and winning at least one game each.

Game 4: Javier playing Brotherhood of Mutants

Our final round of the event was against another Spanish team with the great name ‘Team Is Pain’. Once again Ewan sorted out the match-ups and I get paired with Javier running Avengers and Brotherhood of Mutants. I once again win priority and choose Extracts, pleasingly getting the third and final card of that set, so we play a very thematic game of Spider-Infected and Spider Portals. Javier picks the higher threat of 18. I have Lizard in my roster for this specific crisis so he’s definitely in, as is Voodoo as he’s great for engineering swings by making someone drop their Spider-Infected. I figured that since it was the last game of the event and we weren’t in any kind of Serious Business position that it would be cool to use all the characters in my roster, so I added Magik and Baron Mordo. At this high threat I was really expecting to see Magneto but Javier explained later that he felt that Mystique was better on such a wide scenario.

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Voodoo, Magik, Baron Mordo, Lizard
My cards: Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Iron-Bound Books of Shuma-Gorath, Journey Through Limbo, Plane of Pohldahk
Javier’s team: Mystique, Juggernaut, Rogue, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Iron Man
Javier’s cards: Asteroid M, Deception, Do You Know Who I Am?, Helios Laser Bombardment, Medpack

Round 1: Lizard does his party trick, rushing over to the far side of the board to collect a Spider-Infected. Juggernaut flips his home Portal and takes the central Spider-Infected. Doctor Strange gets the other right Spider-Infected and the Portal on that side. Baron Mordo makes a cheeky move to pick up the far left Spider-Infected – I had thought that Mystique might be far enough away from my near left one that she might not make it, but she does. It doesn’t help Javier as Voodoo hurts her and possesses her and collects that Spider-Infected. Captain America pushes Lizard and Doctor Strange around a bit and Rogue later fails to flip that Portal back. Mystique and Juggernaut play Asteroid M to get the former out of range to be ended by Magik, which was a surprise but I was certainly glad to have that card played in such a defensive manner. Magik flips the left Portal. The score is 6 – 2 to me.

Round 2: Frustratingly, all four of my Spider-Infected carriers get moved while Juggernaut gets to stay still. Doctor Strange pays for Iron-Bound Books. Mordo dazes Mystique and flips the far Portal. Captain America uses Redwing Assault on Lizard by Javier’s dice desert him and nothing happens, though he does manage to flip the Portal over there. Lizard hits him back, throws Rogue away and reflips the Portal. Continuing on this side, Rogue slaps Lizard around a bit but can’t manage to re-reflip the Portal. I’m already losing priority so I figure I might as well get started on attrition; Doctor Strange dazes Captain America. Iron Man takes the left Portal and Voodoo tickles him a bit. Juggernaut casually one-shots Baron Mordo and reflips the far Portal; luckily he’s already carrying a Spider-Infected so he can’t take the one dropped by Mordo. Magik completely fails to hurt Iron Man, then also fails to flip the left Portal back – good work Magik. The score goes to 10 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Once again all my team get pushed around by Spider-Infected. Iron Man and team pump 20 dice into the Helios laser and, not surprisingly, daze Doctor Voodoo; he also picks up the Spider-Infected. I hate that card. Mordo pays for Plane of Pohdahk on Mystique and applies his spender attack but even with the rerolls she stays up. I consider continuing to attack her but figure the dice aren’t really in favour of him finishing the job so he flips back the nearby Portal (which places him away) then walks to collect the Spider-Infected he dropped last round. Mystique plays Deception, then one-shots him, which is pretty rude on a 4 dice attack. Lizard double moves to take my home Portal which has somehow not been touched yet; he gets it but is placed back towards Captain America and Rogue. Captain America charges in but can’t do much damage to Lizard, Doctor Strange moves across to use his area attack and I roll like a champion, KOing Captain America and dazing Rogue. Clearly Captain America and Baron Mordo went to the same school of ‘do nothing, then die easily’. Juggernaut hurts Doctor Strange and uses Do You Know Who I Am? which I block with Indomitable; to add insult to injury he also fails to flip that right Portal. Magik hurts Iron Man and flips the left Portal. The score is now 15 – 9 to me. On a high scoring crisis combination like this one, I’m not home and dry yet but I think that Javier will have to have an extraordinary round to take this game from here.

Round 4: Annoyingly, I forget that I could play Iron-Bound Books again. Iron Man strolls across and takes my home Portal. I don’t know if Javier spotted it at the time but not dropping Doctor Voodoo pretty much guaranteed my victory as no-one else could get to him and Voodoo could easily Possess him and collect the Spider-Infected. Lizard throws a building at Mystique and leaves her on one health, then fails to take the back Portal. Rogue dazes Doctor Strange and takes his Spider-Infected. Magik races across to the back Portal but fails to flip it. Juggernaut power slides into Lizard but the bump from the Convocation leadership is enough to get Lizard to safety. As predicted, Doctor Voodoo gives Iron Man the Brother Daniel token, picks up the Spider-Infected and flips my near Portal back to me. The game ends at 19 – 14 in my favour.

It was great to play Javier and we had a good laugh and banter at the crazy dice; he was a gentleman to play even when I was rolling really high damage into Captain America and Rogue. I suspect that the swings of the dice make it a bit hard to learn much from this game so instead I’ll just say that I enjoyed having a chilled out finish to the event. As a team we pulled through with 3 wins to 2, comfortably ending the day in mid-table mediocrity at 2 – 2.

The event was an absolute blast, getting to play against players from far beyond my local area with very cool ideas about how to use their teams. Almost everyone went out directly from the shop for an excellent curry and then Gareth and I rounded out the evening with a cheeky beer in the hotel bar. Many thanks to Ewan for doing all the leg work for our team and all the hard captaining duties, to Ged, Borja, Will and Javier for four fun games of Crisis Protocol, and of course the biggest thanks to Tony and his small army of helpers for running the whole event and making this such a success.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 1: Liam playing Brotherhood of Mutants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 2: Paul playing Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 3: Craig playing Asgard

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game 4: Ryan playing Web Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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