Increasingly, we’ve been seeing lists emerging that play to the style of particular secures. Gamma Shelters and Infinity Formula both have strong lists built for them. I’ve written before about Meteors/Origin Bombs, but recently I’ve been turning my attention to the fourth Secure: Extremis Consoles.
There are few features that stand out about this secure that I’m considering when building lists.
The first is that the secures give you the option of interacting with them to heal. This costs you one power to heal one damage. Anyone can benefit from that healing, but there are certain characters that benefit more than others.
If a character like Valkyrie – one without much in the way of defensive tech – heals up one health that is much easier to mitigate for the opponent than a more durable character. For the same power investment, you get better value on tougher characters. This is a small effect, but it’s one that can subtly shift the odds which over the course of the game can add up to a significant advantage.
Captain America and Black Panther are great examples of characters that are durable. They have ways of adding additional dice or changing the basic dice maths by adding blanks.
Even cheaper characters like Core Black Widow and Okoye that have dice changing mechanics can really get a lot out of the additional health.
Other characters that I am disposed to include are anyone with an Invulnerability style defensive ability. Healing one damage on them can almost be worth two. This has got me thinking especially about Black Order on this crisis as they have three affiliated Invun characters.
Opponents tend to focus fire, taking down one character rather than spreading damage around. Bodyguard can cause damage to spread more allowing more use of the healing objective.
The set up of the secures dictates a lot about this scenario. A typical way the game might play out is that after grabbing extracts, each player assigns one character to hold their “home” extremis consoles, whilst commuting the rest of their forces to fight over the two wide ones. Which character is assigned defensive duty can have a huge impact on the game.
One school of thought is to invest as little as possible on this character to maximise you threat on the wide scenarios. A great piece for this style is Core a Black Widow. At two threat she is cheap, but with stealth, she is impossible to deal with without getting close up. Given the nature of the scenario, you can’t be at the sweet spot for dealing with her (outside of range 2, inside of range 3) and still be contesting any of the secures, so if your opponent wants to deal with her they either have to turn on her Martial Artist making her much tougher to deal with or not score the VP from the secure. Her L move also allows her to go and grab an extract and then move on the console round one, so for a small investment you should have her scoring 2VP per turn. She will, however, not be contributing any further to your plans.
That brings me on to characters that can. The geometry of the set up means that even with Range 5 attacks or abilities, it is possible to position your pieces so that the character n the home console can’t contribute to the rest of the fight.
Just by keeping your models on the far side of the wide console you can be out of range. Larger bases extend the range potential, but until we get a 50mm or 65mm with a 5 range attack, you’ll be safe from Shuri, for example, unless she abandons her post.
There are some characters that can reach out and touch you though. They all have additional mobility of some form.
The first is Hawkeye. His Hook Arrow allows him to move, shoot then reposition back on to the home console. His range 5 and Trick Shot mean that terrain is largely irrelevant to his ability to do this as well. Add in Avengers Leadership power discount and he can do this every turn, even without generating power off his attack.
Another option is a fast charger like Baron Zemo. He can Charge over to another console, launch an attack – ideally a Range 3 attack like Steel Rush that means it is impossible to be out of range of the attack while contesting – and then move back L; though Zemo has an especially easy time with the advance off Steel Rush.
You can get similar effects with out of turn move or place effects. Most of these are one use; team tactics cards like Avengers Assemble or Tactcial Analysis. But some effects are reusable. Red Skull has Master of the Cube and some characters have access to the Space Gem which can move the character back on to the home secure. This has a high cost in terms of power and restrictions on your list building and roster, but can maximise your objective sitter, especially if they have Range 4+ attacks.
Finally, Hulk. His gamma leap allows him to get in range of his Thunderclap by moving, attacking leaping back. Whilst Hulk does have some cute plays on this crisis, as seen in this video, you are investing six threat and only getting one attack out of your Hulk per turn. I suggest you may be better off taking a Core Widow and having 4 threat that can make two attacks (or more) a turn. Also you have to be sitting on at least 5 power to do this, meaning you are likely to be doing this only every other turn. There is an argument for taking Hulk to Gamma Launch a threat on to their home objective at the end of Round 1 and then I guess his mobility is useful after that, so long as he has the power to fuel it. This play breaks the typical dynamic of the crisis, with you aiming to score both “home” objectives and commit heavily to one wide one and putting a “sticky” annoying character on the other. Someone like Vision or Black Panther might fit that role.
Panther in particular is great for taking on a superior force, as he is durable and can easily and reliably push two opponents off the secure with his Strike.
Here are some lists that use some of the ideas above:
- 17 threat
- Captain America
- Core Black Widow
- Black Panther
An all Avengers line up. Black Widow can camp the home objective. Hawkeye supports an assault on one objective with Cap and Vision, whilst Panther tries to hold off the other flank. Cap and Vision Circle round after clearing their flank with Hawkeye hanging back to claim the now cleared wide objective. Avengers Assemble is maximised in effectiveness. Cap and Panther are hard to damage and Cap has Bodyguard, getting good use out of healing.
- 17 threat
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- Black Dwarf
- Proxima Midnight
All the Invun. Hawkeye back marks the home objective. Cap protects Proxima going after one wide console, Black Dwarf sort of protects Iron Man on the other.
- 18threat (hammers)
- Core Black Widow
- Black Dwarf
Doubling down on healing with the Asgardian Leadership. Hela can fill that Sticky character role, Black Widow takes the back marker and the Asgardians can get stuck in and duke it out like they want to. Black Dwarf plays the Asgardian game really well, and can draw fire away from Valkyrie who is a bit less durable.