It’s not dice, it’s you – Feature pt.1
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Today we have the first article from a new feature writer, Chris Young. Chris is going to be talking about the fact that It’s not dice, it’s you, and what you can do to mitigate bad dice
It’s Not Dice, it’s you
If you are just playing the game to throw cars at your friends and socialise, then this article isn’t really for you, as why do dice/their results matter in that case anyway! But if you enjoy the challenge of trying to beat your opponent and have ever uttered the words “I lost because of the dice” then this might help you out a little.
Hello, my name is Chris and I’m a dice blamer. It’s something I’ve done many times (and still do on occasion) so I thought I would share where I’m trying to improve with this, both myself and my game. I’ve been gaming for about twenty four years (Yes, I’m old!) playing lots of different systems, each with their own degree of reliance on dice to the end outcome, and ultimately meaning you need a little bit of luck as well as some skill.
Dice in Marvel Crisis Protocol
One of the big things I love about Marvel Crisis Protocol is that it has enough in the game that doesn’t rely on dice results – So decision making is by far the greatest skill, and the dice stop it becoming chess where there is no randomness and you just move pieces along (You also can’t throw cars at people in chess!).
From my years of blaming dice, I would say that there are three reasons you shouldn’t do it:
Firstly, even if they don’t say anything and you don’t mean it this way, you are taking away from your opponents win which is just bad sportsmanship in any form.
Secondly, you won’t learn anything about the game or progress to be any better if you justify that Dice were the “only reason you lost”.
Finally, you have no control over the dice – so can’t change anything anyway. It’s a factor of the game that will always be there, and some times dice are with you, and sometimes they’re not.
Killing isn’t winning
Outside of a few tactics cards and Thanos’ leadership, Dazing and KO’ing your opponents characters does not give you victory. It may lead you to victory in the sense that “If you disable his hand, the enemy cannot push the button” which is to say if you KO enough models then they simply can’t score the Crisis points. Atomic Mass Games has craftily stopped this being a reliable route to victory though, as it is very difficult to remove all your opponent’s models, although not impossible, as Corvus will tell you!
Damaging the opponent is a double-edged sword – Nobody wants to be stood next to that Iron Fist you failed to kill, who now has eight power and some serious Chi to channel!
Dice don’t always need to be involved
So, this is to say that to win the game you just need to score more Victory point, and this is normally done through positioning yourself on the secures or claiming the extracts. You can get your opponent off of the secures by pushing, throwing or advancing them away with superpowers. You still need the power to do these, but some attacks give you power just for doing them – And even with bad dice your power will tick up as the game goes on or you take damage yourself.
So, taking some characters with the ability to move the opponent whilst making sure they are in position to score themselves is key if you want to really nail the secures.
There is an increasing way to take extracts straight off of your opponent without relying on any damage or dice. With characters like Black Cat and Enchantress, you can steal Extracts – As long as you get the power, and position yourself correctly so you can factor this into your plans.
So… I shouldn’t be attacking?
Now, I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t be attacking your opponent’s models as attrition in the game helps you slowly remove the characters and their abilities that your opponent has – And ultimately is the best way to gain power. Attacking for the fun of it will only power up your opponent to hit back harder, so you need to understand why you’re attacking. Don’t get greedy.
I’m massively guilty of this myself at times, the best example of this in a recent game. My Valkyrie was on three power, and I needed to get an opponent off of a secure. I decided I would move once, then charge, needing to do one point of damage which would give me enough to throw them off of the secure. Well, you guessed it, no damage. What I should have done is just double move and thrown them off with the power I already had, is it as fun as charging in swords swinging? No, but it was the smarter thing to do and would of guaranteed me the secure. I like to think that a lot of the fourteen million variations Doctor Strange looked at might of been the fun options, but ultimately failed to stop the Mad Titan.
The proof is in the pudding
Just to try and back up what I’m saying, if you look at the “Worst” affiliation currently – Which is arguably the Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s because they all rely on killing the opponents’ models with very few superpowers to push and throw them – So if the dice don’t want to work, they have few other options to fall back on.
Generally believed to be the current “Best” affiliation is Wakanda, who have so many pushes they even work when you don’t want them to. Another good affiliation is Black order, who have a team worth of auto advances and pushes in Thanos when he has the Mind and Time stone. Black Order also has Corvus – Who has every single dice buff possible – Yet I’ve still seen the dice fail him in games.
Can’t roll dice dream team
If you are still determined to roll lots of dice, despite being as lucky as those who fight Black Cat, these characters may help to shift the dice your favour:
Scarlet Witch – I love her as skulls count as successes so rolling bad with her can be good – She basically has an additional success on the dice where others have failures.
Bullseye – Much maligned Bullseye’s “I Never Miss” Superpower means he is the guy you will want when your opponent’s model has one health left but you just can’t risk the dice. Even if you roll a full set of failures, this Superpower means you will always do one damage!
Domino – This lucky lady can turn those skulls into Crits, which then even give you extra dice! If you’ve got enough power, you have the effect of the Reality gem on a stick!.
Corvus Glaive, with the Reality gem – If glaives edge and the Reality Gem can’t fix your dice, then nobody can. Counting blanks as successes, and treating one skull as a Crit means you can roll away and not worry about bad dice – Unless you have an uncanny talent for rolling shields!
I hope this has given you something to think about, and next time those dice fail you, have a check why you needed to roll them in the first place and if there was something else you could have done. Dice are the only variable, so if you rely on them as little as possible you have much greater control. If you like this article and want more – Then comment below to let me know – I’m happy to put in more fun topics and thoughts, and even talk about Asgardian roster building!
As always please leave a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading, or a thumbs down if you didn’t! Please feel free to comment with any thoughts you have! I’m sure we will be hearing from Chris again soon – And remember, it’s not always the dice!
If you’re looking to expand your roster or jump in to Marvel Crisis Protocol, Check out Board in Brums Marvel section here, for all the MCP goodness you need. Thanks once again for reading!
Fascinating reading, thanks Chris! I’m not massively into the nitty-gritty, so it’s really interesting to take a deep dive into the mechanics underneath the game and see it from a macro perspective (and I may have to take your advice on characters if my luck continues to hold…).