What you should Have Gotten for Christmas but Probably Didn't
Just before Christmas this year, I tried out the new game Marvel Crisis Protocol from Atomic Mass Games (Asmodee). This game is great fun! Lots of fantastic action and encourages aggressive play. The different possible team builds emphasizes diverse play and gives the game a lot of replay value. You will enjoy this game as a mini hobbyist or a tactical gamer. It comes with minis to build and paint and all the trimmings of Downtown NYC.
There are lots of ways to mod and customize your minis as well as a four-color smashup of great individual and squad tactics to use. As for the rules, it’s basically Star Wars: Legion, but there is no mistaking that this is a Marvel minis game. It has a great superhero flavor to it, and the quality is incredible. Though the box set rulebook is fairly organized, it doesn’t elaborate a lot on the rules. When getting started make sure you check out the rules available online, which are more complete. YouTube tutorials can help you get through it as well.
I got this game completely on a whim in one of the FLGS (this one being The Louisville Game Shop), since I heard practically zero buzz on this product. Once I started minis together and painting them I was hooked--rules be damned. The minis are highly detailed and are perfect to put together, paint and customize whether you are a novice modeler or a seasoned pro. There are all kinds of great interactive (more on that later) terrain in the box as well, including two cars, two dumpsters, street lights, and even a Daily bugle nightstand. Lots and lots of punch out tokens, range finders, street lights and a dice set round out the set.
As for my experience with the game, I first built and painted as many as I could, watched some fantastic Youtube training wheel videos from Blackfyre to get acquainted with the rules. As I mentioned earlier, it plays a lot like Star Wars Legion, using squad-based tactics, similar range and movement rulers, and team/leader abilities. It does have a fantastic Superhero flair though, with characters able to pick up and throw things like cars, small buildings and such at each other and replicates many classic Comic Book and video game moves, like Captain America’s Ricochet Throw and Iron Man teaming up with Cap for a squad busting combo. Each side has their own objective to accomplish, and the first one to score the most Victory Points in 6 rounds wins, but honestly that gets forgotten as soon as The Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to blast the Hulk into a building. From then on, its Clobberin’ Time.
My Friend and longtime gaming partner Charlemagne White the III broke out the box on a Sunday for a trial run at another great FLGS (this one Card N All Gaming). We only played 3 of the 6 rounds as we were still finding our way through the game. But I believe we had used most of the rules and had a pretty good feel for the game, and the feel is pretty great. Each character has standard abilities that build up power tokens that you can use to unleash devastating powers on the field. There are great team abilities that can be used as well as special tactics cards that take advantage of team members abilities and the field itself.
The game comes with enough to build two basic teams: The Avengers with Captain America, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Spider-Man (yes, I hyphenate Spider-Man like you are damned well supposed to do, cretins). The Cabal with Red Skull, Ultron, Crossbones, Doctor Octopus, and Baron Zemo. There are extra models you can purchase, which I did, are The Hulk for the Avengers and Modok (which is as crazy to look at as it is to play). Other popular characters will be coming out in 2020.
We did the starter scenario from the book but changed up our roster a little since I had the extra figures. So my lineup with the Avengers was Cap, Spidey, Shell-head, and the Hulkster. Charlemagne outnumbered me by carefully picking out Red Skull (we used Modok as a mini proxy as the Skull wasn't finished), Ultron, Doc Ock, Crossbones, and Baron Zemo. The Avengers had the objective of getting Extremis tokens, the Cabal had to get Cosmic Cube fragments. It is possible to deny the other side their objective if you are close to the objective as well.
Now it’s time for massive carnage! Where’s the Damage Control figures? As we drew close to the middle of the field the fight was on! Doc Ock threw Garbage Dumpters at Cap and Spidey, Cap did ricochet shots with his shield that hit 3 targets (!) Crossbones is a flat BRUISER once he gets up the field, and Hulk completely whiffed on his huge 8 dice attack whammy. Again we didn't finish the game, but we did get enough of a taste of the game we were excited to play again. I highly recommend this game and hope you are able to get your hands on a copy before everyone realizes its value and you are left out!
Charlemagne won, this time, but we’ll definitely have more matches in the future!