One of the most popular team tactics cards is Recalibration Matrix. It can help you smooth out your opponent’s really good dice or your really bad dice, but there are a few quirks about the card that bear some digging in to.
The first thing to realise is that this card is not a complete “do over” – instead it is a reroll mechanic. As such, it happens in phase 9 or possibly 10 of the attack sequence. Any fails rolled in the initial roll cannot be rerolled. Any extra dice from criticals in the initial roll are rerolled, but any any criticals in the rerolled results don’t generate any extra dice as this happens in step 8.
The main application of Recalibration Matrix is to prevent big spikes in dice or to ameliorate really poor rolls. An opponent counting up their 9 hits or you fluffing an injured Cap’s 6 dice roll are both big moments in a game and for 3 power you can force rerolls. Judging when to use it can be tricky, as there are rarely rolls it obvious you should use it on.
As a guide, you want to look for impact:
- Does it stop a character that hasn’t acted yet from being Dazed/KOed? In a game where each character might only activate 4 times, losing out on an activation can be a really big loss.
- Will it cause me to prevent losing VPs? A character carrying a single extract piece like a Wakandan herb or Kree power core has a premium on their survival: equally a flubbed roll when using Usurp the throne can ‘cost’ you 2 VPs.
- How likely is it that <unwanted effect> will happen again anyway? A difficult one to quantify in the middle of a game, but it extends to more than just dazing. Most wild effects won’t happen until all the modify steps are done with, so it could prevent a stagger, for example. Having a passing knowledge of the odds of wilds will help judge, but remember to factor in fails removing dice form the pool and extra dice being added. The lack of crits adding extra dice actually changes the maths from a normal roll, to those below:
It has an interesting interaction with certain wild effects and cover. Pierce in particular can be somewhat neutered by RecalibrationMatrix. Pierce modifies the opponent’s dice in step 10. Recliabration Matrix specifies it is played at the end of the modify step – so you can choose it to be at the end of step 10. The step for applying pierce will already have ended, so any wilds on the reroll won’t be applied to the defenders results. It’s not a reason to play the card, but an interaction to be aware of. The same logic applies to cover – by using Recalibration Matrix cover can essentially be ignored, allowing some counterplay to Psychic Fortress.
As it is a suped up modify mechanic, this card has some interesting applications with or against Venom. Venom’s Symbiote Insticts superpower prevents the defender’s dice from being modified, which means Recalibration Matrix can’t reroll the defenders dice when Venom is attacking. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the dice rolls. If you are attacking with Venom and your opponent rolls no blocks but you get very few hits, you could use it to rerolls just your dice against a defenseless target. If on the other hand you are defending against Venom and roll a bunch of defensive dice but they still manage to push damage through with their own very high roll, you can force them to reroll their dice, but keep yours.
Power Cost – ★★★★☆
Ease of set up – ★★★★★
Impact – ★★★☆☆
Breadth of applicability – ★★★☆☆
Overall rating: ★★★★☆