Crisis Report 2: Skrull bombs

Welcome to a second crisis report.

In my roster in brought the core set minus Iron Man plus Hulk. I had the three core extract scenarios, and gamma shelters, oblivion bombs and infinity formula for secure. For Team tactic cards I chose

  • Age of Ultron, to recur Ultron who could be offered early game to take some punishment
  • Gamma Launch, for the ludicrous redeployment opportunities
  • Dark reign, to focus fire an important character while playing Cabal
  • Cosmic invigoration, to get that sweet double activation
  • Avengers Assemble, for out of activation movement
  • Sucker, as a counter to an opponent’s Age of Ultron
  • Mission Objevtive, for passing around extract objectives, especially Skrulls and Kree power Core
  • Follow me, for big swingy plays.

My opponent and I set up the scenery and I won priority. I chose secure and drew oblivion bombs and gamma shelters. I’d played a good bit of gamma shelters, so wanted to play the meteor bombs and chose that. My opponent went for Skrulls, so we double stacked the tokens:

For a squad I flirted with the idea of a Cabal-Hulk team, thinking that Skull would shift attacks on to hulk and shift him forward. Hulk would also be a great skrull holder, as he already moves S and takes a lot to take out and can’t be dazed. But I realised that team would make the other half of the scenario pretty tough, with lots of 3s and 2s on energy defense.

Instead Captain Marvel and Captain America were first in to my team. Their 4 energy defense would hopefully mean taking some bombs from my opponent even when he had a character or two contesting. Next was Spider-Man for push-pull shenanigans. I needed another Avenger and had left Iron Man at home, so in went black widow. That left 3 points which was perfect to squeeze Zemo in there.

It was at this point I realised the problem with my Team Tactic card selection. With no cabal, Ultron or Hulk, I had only four cards that I could actually play. Oh well. Lesson learnt.

My opponent chose a really similar team. Captain America, Captain Marvel, Zemo, Iron Man and Doc Ock. For Team tactic cards, he chose Ricochet blast, recalibration matrix, one-two punch, heave ho and patch up.

As a thought exercise I posted a poll on a Facebook group asking for team selection in this scenario/terrain set up.

Zemo came out top by far. Pretty much everyone included him. That didn’t surprise me. Black Widow, Iron Man and Cap came a short way behind, all level. The prevalence of avengers I suspect is due to Cap: he’s great at taking and holding bombs and is a great Skrull carrier. Doc Ock and Captain Marvel were just slightly behind those. It seems we were both of a mind with the internet hive mind.

We deployed:

Round 1

First up, my Captain Marvel double moved to the bomb in front of her and took control of it.

My opponent mirrored me on the other side, moving his Carol up to claim the other wife meteor.

My Zemo moved up then charged his Carol, for 3 damage and bleed on her. A decent amount of damage and gained power from the sword strike to try at both claiming the bomb and find the skrull, but failed at both.

His Iron Man moved up twice, and found the Skrull! Having already activated my Carol I only had black widow on that side: I wasn’t going to be able to do anything about that this turn, so I decided to focus on winning the bomb battle.

I’d keep Cap to try and claim later, so Spidey moved up to claim the centre bomb.

In return, his Cap moved up and managed to wrest back control of the bomb with his 4 dice.

So it should be easy for me to do the same, right? Wrong. Sometimes the dice just aren’t with you. This looked bad: he was controlling 2 bombs and the skrull and all I had left to activate was black widow.

His Zemo came in to the central scrum, charging Cap for 2 damage.

With only an outside chance of it working, black widow came in to the centre as the bomb in front of her was already mine. With only two dice needing two successes, it was a long shot (25%), but it was worth a roll. But again it turned out not to be.

With a 5-0 lead in the bag for this round, my opponents Doc Ock indulged in his own petty feud and dinged Spider-Man for two.

0-5, and it already looked like a mountain to climb.

Round 2

My Zemo had done good work on my opponent’s Carol last turn and he would easily be able to clean her up this turn and take control of that bomb. He took her out with his first sword strike, freeing up the objective for him to claim. With a decent amount of power available, he charged out to steel rush Doc Ock, and my dice go crazy, dazing Doc Ock. Apparently that’s not okay, so recalibration matrix forces a load of rerolls, after which Doc only took one damage. Zemo used the move to get back to contest the left comet near an angry but dazed carol.

Man, Zemo is a beast.

Seeing the devastation my Zemo wrought, his Zemo steel rushed my Widow, doing only two, and taking two damage from her Counter measures. Then he charged up towards my Captain marvel, and did two damage. Just enough to power a…

… rocket punch. That Skrull on Iron Man was something I’d have to deal with. I was really hoping for a wild stagger, something with a 65% chance of happening, but alas, I had to settle for three damage. No matter, an energy blast should be enough. Dice, however, often have other ideas – even with rerolls. At least I banked an energy from it.

Luckily bad dice was catching, as his Doc Ock failed to damage my Spidey twice with strikes.

My Spidey went over and pulled in Iron Man, so he could strike him for one and throw some scenery at him to do the one remaining to Daze him. He dropped his Skrull, but Spidey was out of range to grab it and out of activations. If only he were an Avenger, he could have Assembled…

His Cap moved over to scoop up the Skrull, and throw a shield at Widow, hoping to Daze her, but missed entirely.

That left my Natasha free to claim the centre bomb giving me control of all three then tried to strike his Cap but for no damage, followed by a Mixed Technique that landed two on Cap and gave her a free move away.

With two dazed characters on my opponents team, I got to act again and Cap threw a shield twice at his Cap doing one damage, but leaving Cap contesting the central bomb for next turn.

3-7: A decent turn for me in terms of damage, but I was only eating one point in to that huge lead from turn one.

Round 3

Priority had finally passed to my opponent. Iron Man had shaken off his daze and was looking angrily at Spider-Man and Black Widow. Spider-Man managed a lucky swerve out of the way the Uni-beam, but Natasha took it full in the face, dazing her. Tony then moved up to the right bomb, but couldn’t take control while my Carol was glaring at him.

My Zemo has been great at dealing with Carol, and she was also looking angry, but I was low on power. After the first strike did no damage, a master swordsman strike did three and bleed on her. But that left her with a load of power.

This is where my opponent made an order of activation mistake. Carol and Zemo were alone one each side of the board. I’d activated my Zemo, and he chose to retaliate with his Carol, when this attack could easily have waited until later in the turn. He easily Dazed him with a Danvers Special throwing a car at him, followed by a binary form strike, leaving an action to shake the bleed and then claim the objective.

That meant I got to activate my Carol on the other side before his Zemo, Dazing him with a first attack. She shot and threw a dumpster at Iron Man to no effect. He can be really tanky. If his Zemo has activated first there’s a decent chance he would have done the four damage needed to daze her first.

His Cap Shield Slams Spidey dazing him, then bravely runs away with the Skrull.

The real Captain America, chases him down, uses his own Shield Slam into the imposter’s “Vibranium” shield, dazing him. Having used both activations my opponent thought he would be safe dropping the Skrull out of 1″ of Cap and towards Doc Ock. He’d forgotten I had Avengers Assemble up my sleeve, allowing cap to shift over and grab the Skrull.

With only Doc Ock left to activate, he Arm Lasered Cap to daze him, and make him drop the Skrull I’d worked so hard to finally steal off him. With one action left, he had a choice. I had two bombs controlled and the Skrull was dropped. He chose to move and grab back the Skrull. If instead he had chosen to go and throw 3 dice at the uncontested central objective, he’d have a 87.5% chance to score 3 to my 0. Instead he scored 2 to my 3. An easy mistake to make in the heat of the game and the narrative of wrestling to control the Skrull.

As it went, we ended round three 6-9. Some mistakes from my opponent had left the door a crack open for me, and I had priority back.

Round 4

Resuming the Carol vs Zemo, my Carol tried to take out Zemo. A strike failed to hit the mark. Not a great start. Zemo countermeasured for two, giving me enough power to Rocket Punch him to KO him. Slightly lucky there, but the result I was looking for.

Doc Ock looked forward carrying the Skrull. He used strike on Widow to do three damage, then used that power to throw a lamppost at her, KOing her. In retrospect this was probably another order of activation error. Especially considering what happened next.

My Zemo was sitting on a ludicrous amount of power allowing him do have a truly epic turn. First he steel rushed Carol, KOing her even through her binary form but choosing not to take the free move so he could claim the bomb back. Then he charged and steelrushed Doc Ock to daze him, and though he had free M move to get to it, he had finally run out of power so couldn’t pick up the Skrull. Damn.

Iron Man moved up then called on Cap to Ricochet blast the other Cap. But with a combination of Vibranium Shield, I can do this all day and a reroll from Zemo’s genius, Cap was entirely unscathed. He really could do it all day.

My Cap was in range to grab the Skrull. His Cap was sitting on two power, so I chose to strike him first. He spent one power on a Vibranium shield, meaning that I dealt no damage, but now only had one power so couldn’t afford another Vibranium Shield when I came in with my Shield Slam, doing one and throwing Cap in to a building for another one.

His Cap moves back in to range 2, and Slams Zemo for one, throwing him in to Cap for another damage on Zemo, but none on Cap. Zemo countermeasures on Cap for one.

With the Skrull secure and all three bombs under my control, I had a few activation with Spider-Man. He launched two taser webs at Iron Man, KOing him.

During clean up, the score went to 11-9.

My opponent surveyed the table. He only had a Doc Ock and Cap left, and Cap already had three damage on him. I had Cap, Spidey, Carol and Zemo. He quickly realised that with the weight of activations and attacks he would really struggle to get anywhere close to winning. He conceded with good grace. Had he chosen differently in round 3, the score would have been 8-8. Had he activated Zemo first, I might have been down a Carol and he’d be up a Zemo. A very different game state.

We both had a great time, and took away learning points. For me it was about card selection. Look out for an article on that shortly. For him, scenario priority and activation priority. Look out for an article on that soon too.