Character Card Breakdown
Soon I’ll be starting a series of articles, going through all of the characters that are currently released, and then updating every time we get a new character. As this is going to be quite a lengthy task, I thought I’d take the time to explain all the different things we get on a character card, so that newer players can still understand what I’m talking about in these reviews. So, diving straight in, I’m going to break down all the numbers and symbols we see on a character card, and I’ll use Venom as an example.
In the top right, the larger text shows the characters name, and the smaller text underneath shows their Alter ego. You can never have two characters in the same roster who share the same alter ego, such as Spider Man and Amazing Spiderman who are both Peter Parker. You could however have Spider man, Peter Parker and Spider man, Miles Morales.
Physical, Energy and Mystical defence
Every character in the game has three different defence values. This is represented here, and different characters have different values for each defence. Venom, for example, is quite tanky when it comes to blunt force and physical trauma, so he has a physical defence of 4. However, he is a lot less resilient to energy beams and sonic attacks, which is why his energy defence is only 2. The different defence stats are a great mechanic in the game as they can mean a character could be very hard to put down using one type of attack, but has an Achilles heel in the form of another. Physical is the most common attack type in the game, followed by Energy and Mystic, so some people value them in that order. With the new Mystic and Sorcerer characters on their way out, characters with lower Mystic defences may have to take to the side line for a while.
Stamina, Size, Speed and Threat value
This is your character’s health, and the first side of a character card is it’s healthy side. Whenever a character takes damage, it puts a number of damage tokens onto its card. When they reach its Stamina threshold, the character is dazed, and then it flips to its unhealthy side in the clean-up phase. When a character has a number of damage tokens equal to its stamina on its unhealthy side, it is KO’d and removed from the battlefield.
Some characters have slightly different stats and rules on their unhealthy sides compared to their healthy sides. Venom is the same both sides, except for on his unhealthy side he has one less Stamina, dropping down to six from seven. Certain team tactics cards remove damage from characters, and some can even flip a character back over to its healthy side. It’s important to remember that just one Healthy characters always trumps Unhealthy character when contesting objectives – Regardless of the number of unhealthy characters.
There are three different movement tools in the game; Small, Medium and Long. A characters card will have either S, M or L to show its speed, and therefore which movement tool it uses when making a move action. These tools are also used when advancing a character, throwing an object/character and when climbing. Whenever a character moves, if they move over or onto a terrain feature that is bigger than them, they use the Small movement tool, regardless of their move value. This is called climbing, which all characters have to do unless they have a superpower like Wall Crawler or Fly.
A character’s size represents, well, their size. Most human sized heroes are size two, with the bigger characters like Hulk being size four, and smaller characters like Ant Man in his shrunken form being size one. Certain attacks and superpowers let our heroes throw other characters, so with size two being the most common, they’re usually the easiest to throw around. However bigger characters like Hulk can throw anything up to size four. When a character is thrown, it suffers one damage if they are thrown into anything. If a character has another character or a terrain feature thrown at them, they have to make a dodge roll, dodging a number of damage equal to the size of the thrown object or character plus 1. When making a dodge roll, a character rolls a number of defence dice equal to its unmodified physical defence.
Threat Value is how much it will cost you to take a character in your team, similar to points in Warhammer. Each Mission is played at a different threat value, ranging from 14 – 20. You need to bear in mind when selecting your roster that you could end up playing at any threat level, so you need to plan out what you’ll take at each value when building a team.
Listed on the right side of a character card are its attacks. There are three different types of attacks, which mirror the different defences – Physical, Energy and Mystic. Some characters may only have Physical attacks, whereas other could have any combination of different types. When defending, the defending character uses the defence value matching the type of the attack.
Different attacks can have different rules, all varying on the specific attack. There are still a few core characteristics that we can break down.
At the top of the box, you’ll find the attacks name, such as Symbiote Tendrils . This is primarily just a narrative element that can sometimes be referenced by other rules.
The first characteristic is the attacks range, which shows how close it needs to be to use it. Some attacks, like basic strikes, are range two, meaning the character needs to be up close to attack. Symbiote Tendrils is range three, meaning it can be used from a decent distance away. Other attacks, like Hawkeye’s bow, are range four, meaning he can attack from a much further distance.
The second characteristic is the attacks strength, which in this case is five. This is simply the base number of dice the attack rolls. This value can be modified, and dice can be added and removed from attack rolls using different superpowers and tactics cards.
The third value is the attacks power cost. A lot of basic attacks, like symbiote tendrils, have a cost of zero, whilst bigger attacks can cost anywhere from one to eight power!
Inside of the attack box, you’ll find any special rules for the attack. These rules might have specific criteria that need to be met, like a trigger of rolling one Wild in the attack roll. These rules will usually specify when they happen and what they do, and some triggers can be seen across quite a few different attacks – Like the Rapid fire rule, which lets the character make another attack.
The last part of a characters card is its superpowers. There are three different kinds of superpowers, which are represented by their different symbols. Each superpower has a name, a type, a power cost (On the right) and then the special rules it has.
An active superpower can be used at any time during a character’s activation. Some superpowers also require an action to be used, and they will be preceded by ‘Action’. Venom has two active superpowers, Klyntar Rage and Web Snare.
Reactive superpowers require a trigger to be used, and can only be used once per trigger. So Many Snacks is a reactive superpower, that can be used after an attack targeting Venom is resolved.
Innate superpowers do not have a power cost and don’t need to be activated, they’re more like passive abilities. Characters that are dazed do not benefit from their Innate superpowers – For a moment they’re too busy trying to pick themselves up off of the floor! Some innate superpowers are quite common, like Wall Crawler, Fly and Immunity.
Wall Crawler/Flight – When placing a the movement tool during an advance, a character with this superpower counts as size five.
Immunity (Special condition) – The character can never suffer the listed condition. For example, Vision has Immunity (Bleed, Poison) so can never gain a Bleed or Poison token or suffer from there effects. I’ll be going through all the different conditions and what they do in another article.
Hopefully this article has helped to explain what your actually looking at when you get a character card. As always, if you enjoyed the post or found it useful, then please leave a thumbs up! If you didn’t, feel free to leave a thumbs down. If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to comment or send me a message directly.