I had the pleasure of getting out to Tomsey’s house for a game of Marvel Crisis Protocol following the easing of restrictions here in Melbourne. This is a shorter than usual battle report as I did not take my usual diligent notes and also the game occurred over the course of a 12 hours session full of catching up, beer, food in addition to the dice rolling.
Tomsey won priority and chose the extract crisis, ultimately selecting “Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!” with a whopping 20 threat level which of course Tomsey selected so we could play with the maximum number of toys. I selected “Riot Sparks Over Extremis 3.0” thinking I could use the mobility of my team (via wallcrawler, hook arrow and Dr Strange’s Pentagrams of Farallah) to jump across the board.
I had selected my 10 man roster with a view to the coolest characters available rather than any overall strategy, focussed specifically on making sure my favourite characters, Punisher and Hawkeye, got to the field. I wasn’t entirely prepared for 20 threat, but ultimately decided on Dr Strange with Soul Gem, Wong, Punisher, Spiderman (Peter Parker version) and Black Widow (core box version). The basic plan was for Hawkeye and Dr Strange to push up the field and wreck things, the Punisher to push up the right flank and wreck things and Spiderman and Black Widow on the left flank to try and make some effort at holding objectives. My tactics cards were Medpack, Pentagrams of Farallah, Brace for Impact, Advanced R&D and Recalibration Matrix.
Tomsey selected a Black Order list which had Thanos, Black Dwarf, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight and Rocket. For his tactics cards, Tomsey took Execute, Blind Obsession, Mothership, Medpack and Doomed Prophesy.
I set up my team to have Strange, Hawkeye and Wong in the centre, Punished on the right flank and Spiderman and Black Widow on the left flank. The idea was to use Pentagrams to boost the speed of Hawkeye and Strange (and hopefully do a double shot alpha strike with Hawkeye), whilst relying on Spiderman and Widow’s higher speed and manoeuvrability on the left flank. I figured I’d just let Frank be reactive and shoot things as they came into sight.
I had Black Dwarf and Rocket deployed in the centre across form me, with Thanos slightly to my right of them, whilst Corvus and Proxima were deployed on my left, opposite Spiderman and Widow.
In the power phase I used Strange’s two power (infinity gems generate an additional power for their bearers) to open the Pentagram portal between him and the centre of the board.
Over the turn, Thanos managed to secure the Kree power core early on with the first search of the game yielding it. I did my best to kill Rocket, having Hawkeye shoot twice but seeing him remain healthy, albeit with one health, before I committed the Punisher who moved, used the portal and then shot him once to stun him. Corvus and Proxima moved on to the Extremis console on my left flank, whilst Spiderman and Black Widow moved up to contest it. Wong grabbed the closest Extremis console. Tomsey drew out to an early lead having secured two consoles and the Kree power core to my one console.
I had Hawkeye move down to contest the far Extremis console, and took a shot at Rocket for good measure. Rocket went next and fired off his rifle at either Hawkeye or the Punisher. The Punisher used his Warzone ability to destroy the diner, hoping to take down Rocket and deal some damage to Black Dwarf although this wasn’t as effective as I’d hoped.
Dr Strange came through the portals to finish off Rocket (but only managed to push him away form the objective) at some point, whilst Black Dwarf toddled off to help out his buddies on my left flank after Spiderman and Black Widow used a one-two punch to daze Proxima.
Thanos held on to the Extremis console he was on over the turn, and without any real ranged capability didn’t play much of a role outside generating two VPs a turn (although it’s not bad work if you can get it).
Black Dwarf took issue with Dr Strange and pounded on him a bit during the turn. I doubled down on Proxima and Spiderman and Black Widow were ultimately able to KO her. Corvus in turn smacked Black Widow out of action, with Punisher then moving over to support Spidey against Corvus (not wanting a bar of Black Dwarf).
Wong and Thanos didn’t do anything much except generate VPs.
The Remaining Turns
My camera got put away at some point, so there is no evidence of the last three turns, which is probably a good thing as Tomsey chalked up a fairly convincing victory. I wasn’t able to wrest back any objectives and so couldn’t pull back the lead he’d generated early on. Well played, sir, well played.
I thought I’d mention a mistakes I’d made over the course of the game, some things that worked out well and some things I’ll do differently next time.
- I really didn’t have a solid plan going into the game as to how I’d play the various objectives which really punished me
- Spiderman did not fit my list very well. I would have been better served including another character either someone more aggressive (e.g. Killmonger) or someone with ranged firepower (e.g. Winter Soldier) to better support my other characters
- I got lucky that Thanos was effectively neutralised by having to hold the objective on my right flank, but it was also a trap as leaving him to rack up two uncontested VPs each turn was a mistake
- I forgot what I think is one of the fundamentals of wargaming, don’t split fire. I should have identified key threats, in this case Thanos after he got the Kree power core, and focused fire on bringing him down. This worked relatively well on my left flank, where the double team on Proxima took her out
- Tactic card selection is not an afterthought, it should be focused on and synergising with delivering your game plan and meeting the mission objectives
It was excellent to roll some dice again and get MCP back to the table, I had a rad time playing and really enjoy the game. There seems to be hidden depth to the game despite the relatively simple core rules and it feels like it rewards thinking through different teams and tactics cards and working out synergies between them. Thanks again for the game Tomsey, I can’t wait for the next one!