Criminal Syndicate – Kingpin

Criminal Syndicate are one of the factions that we got part way through the lockdown. Unless you were playing online, this meant a lot of people didn’t really get chance to give them a try. However, when I posted the poll asking what affiliation people would like to me start with when doing character reviews, Criminal Syndicate won by a landslide. 

So, as Kingpin is their only current leader – This article will be Criminal Syndicate – Kingpin, looking at his character card and his leadership ability. In a separate article, we’ll be looking at affiliation specific tactics cards, as well as what type of Crisis cards they might want to play into.

Kingpin character card by Atomic Mass Games


Kingpin is more than just a man. Although he doesn’t necessarily have powers like lots of his foes, he has the raw strength to stand up to Spiderman and Daredevil in a fist fight. Don’t let his size fool you, Fisk is one of the smartest Criminal masterminds to ever set foot in Hell’s Kitchen.

His basic stats show what an absolute tank he is. With seven health both sides, he has an impressive 14 stamina in total, one of the highest for a four threat character. His defences are 4/3/3, which are pretty average – But when combined with Intense Physical Training he is an absolute pain to shift. He is size four, and his one major downfall is that he is only a slow mover.


Kingpin has three attacks – Two physical and one energy. His first attack, Headbutt is a range two, five dice physical attack, that costs zero power. Not only does Kingpin gain one power for every damage it deals, he also gets a couple of triggers on Wilds. If he rolls one Wild in his attack roll, not only does the target gain the Stun special condition, but it also gets pushed away small before damage is dealt – As long as they are size three or less. This is a pretty solid basic attack, that can hamper enemy power gain and push them out of position. Great for when Kingpin is contesting a secure and needs to move the enemy to a more acceptable position.

Cane laser is a simple beam three, four dice energy attack that costs zero power. The attack ignores LOS, and the defending characters don’t benefit from cover, which is always nice. You won’t find yourself using this attack very often, but if you have a way of adding dice to the attack roll and hitting a clumped up bunch of enemy characters, then it might be worth it.

Hail to the King – Or as it has become known between myself and a few friends – Hail to the Motherf*****g King! is a range two, seven dice physical attack that costs three power. Kingpin can throw the target small before damage is dealt – With no size restriction. That means Kingpin can be throwing around Dormamu and Hulk, and any other character that gets added to the game. Not only does it automatically get the throw, but the target gains the Stagger condition as well. This attack is a real way to upset a high threat character like Thanos or Dormamu, throwing them out of position and causing them to lose an action.

Leadership ability – Illicit Network

Kingpins Illicit Network affiliation is a hugely powerful one. The first part of this affiliation let’s one character per turn, during their activation, pay two power, to transfer one asset or civilians they are holding to another friendly character within three. The amount of control that this gives the CS player over the extracts is huge, as they can quickly bounce objectives all over the place. The ability for a long move character like Toad, to move and essentially fetch a Hammer for a slow character like Venom is huge. Or, if a friendly character doesn’t look like they’re going to be alive for very long, they can quickly pass off the objective to a more healthy ally. 

The second part of his leadership means all friendly characters count as two models when contesting objectives as long as they’re healthy. In case you couldn’t already tell – Criminal Syndicate plays the objectives – And it plays them very well. At lower threat values this can be extremely difficult for your opponent to play around. If you both only have four characters – And say there are only three secures like Gamma Waves – Your gonna find it hard to stop the Mob from taking over – They essentially have eight characters to contest whereas you have four.

Characters with throws or pushes love this affiliation bonus. It means they can move onto an objective, throw or push away any enemy contending characters and then count as two for the secure – Making it really hard for the opponent to take it back from you. Of course, the obvious answer to this is to Daze all of the CS characters so they lose this part of their leadership bonus – But that isn’t going to always be as easy as you think.


Kingpins first superpower is Street-Level Negotiations. For two power, this active Superpower lets Kingpin choose an interactive terrain feature or enemy character of size three or less and within range three, and throw them medium. This superpower can only be used once per turn, but its a great way to throw a character out of position or even to a point where they have to move to get back in the game.

Intense Physical Conditioning is an amazing superpower. For one power, whenever this character would suffer damage, it may reduce the amount of damage suffered by one. This can be used on damage from any source – Whether its from an attack, a bleed token or a mission effect. On top of Kingpins reliable 4/3/3 defence, this makes him an absolute unit to try and shift. The biggest part of this superpower is that it doesn’t reduce it to a minimum. So, like I said, he can use it to reduce the damage from a Bleed token – Down to 0. There aren’t many characters in the game that can reduce damage to 0, I think the only current ones are Kingpin, Thanos and Crossbones.

Solid Frame is a solid innate superpower. Kingpin never suffers damage from collisions with other characters. This is when a character is thrown at him, or a he is thrown at a character. He still suffers damage from collisions with terrain however, and if terrain is thrown at him. Still, it isn’t easy to take him down! A neat little trick a lot of people don’t realise is that if you want to throw an enemy character to finish off their last health, and there isn’t much terrain about – Just throw them into Kingpin! This means they’ll take the damage, and when they get up, find themselves standing in front of a very angry mob-boss!

Overall Kingpin is one of the tankiest characters in the entire game. The only way to deal with him and the only thing to watch out for if your playing him – Is his small move. A good opponent will do everything they can to keep Kingpin at bay and out of position – Because once he is where he wants to be he can cause chaos.

Illicit Network is a super strong affiliation. In an objective based game, being able to double down on all objectives and pass them around like candy is absolutely huge. I definitely think its one of the stronger affiliations in the game, and has huge potential.

As always, please leave a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading, or a thumbs down if you didn’t! Please feel free to comment any thoughts you have and follow the blog if you want to see future posts!

If you’re looking to expand your roster or jump in to Criminal Syndicate – Check out Board in Brums Marvel section here, for all the MCP goodness you need. Thanks for reading!

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