Stalwart Determination – Feature pt.1
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As I mentioned yesterday, the Illuminati has slowly grown as we’ve been to some more events. One of the newest members – Ben – I actually met a few months ago when we played. I think at that event Ben went 1 – 3. More recently though Ben has won his first event, and went 3 – 1 at Sanctuary, only losing to Elliot! He is coming with us tomorrow too Boards and Swords, and I asked if he would talk a little about his experience with Marvel Crisis Protocol, his roster and what he is taking tomorrow!
Hello True Believers! When Arun asked for volunteers to write up their rosters, I was happy to chip in. I’ve been a contributor to podcasts and blogs in previous game systems, and it’s an honour to join up with Arun here for Marvel Crisis Protocol.
An early disclaimer – whilst I bought into MCP in around April 2020, I’ve only recently been able to get games in as gaming centres have reopened here in the UK and events have started running again. So this weekend is actually only my 5th event for Crisis Protocol, although I have played miniatures games competitively for a long time. As we all do, I started off with Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy, but I’ve moved into skirmish games and focused on Malifaux and lately Guild Ball – That was before jumping into Marvel Crisis Protocol after Guildball’s untimely demise.
I’m playing A-Force at the moment, and there were two main draws for me. The first was the lore – I love strong female characters, and their affiliation list is a who’s who of comics I’ve really enjoyed. From Dan Slott’s She-Hulk run, to Angela and Gamora as the Murder Girls in Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Cat’s recent runs, and Medusa and Crystal in Inhumans, there’s a lot there!
The second reason is the play style and breadth of characters. I like to have lots of options open and A-Force can go from a really heavy attrition style roster with the likes of She-Hulk, Angela and Valkyrie, to a more scenario-focused team including Black Cat, Black Widow and Crystal with all the Long moves. So, with all this in mind, here is my roster for tomorrow.
She-Hulk (L), Angela, Black Cat, Black Widow, Crystal, Domino, Jean Grey, Medusa, Okoye, Valkyrie
Team Tactics Cards
Brace for Impact, Patch Up, Climbing Gear, Mental Domination, Recalibration Matrix, SMASH, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination
Crisis Cards, Extract
Research Station Attacked! – 16
The Montesi Formula Found – 17
Fear Grips World As “Worthy” Terrorize Cities – 18
Crisis Cards, Secure
S.W.O.R.D Establishes Base on Moons Blue Area – 14
Demons Downtown! Has Our comeuppance come due? – 19
Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City – 20
I’m sure some of my roster has caused a few comments of ‘What!?‘ out there, so a few words of explanation.
My personal play style is to lean heavily into an affiliation, a strategy encouraged by cards like Stalwart Determination that reward you for running affiliated teams. A roster needs to fit into my head canon and so I don’t tend to go big on unaffiliated characters. I don’t include any male characters in A-Force for that reason. I also prefer to avoid the infamous top tier characters as a rule and go for the next tier down, models which are still strong but who are not as well known. For example, Enchantress is a top tier control choice, but I prefer to run Black Cat, who I find to be a really powerful character that not many players have gotten reps with.
Crystal is great for Special Delivery plays, as she has both an Long move and Flight. She’s also an underrated fighter. All her attacks are four dice, but they also all throw out status conditions. She has a built-in reroll and she’s almost certainly getting three attacks a turn with her guaranteed power generation and Elemental Onslaught.
I haven’t included Shuri in my roster, which I know is heresy of the highest order. The main reason for this – she makes my teams too predictable. My opponents know I’ll want to set up the fight in range of the Upgrades bubble and so I can rest assured that the targets I want to hit will be well clear of that. And whilst Panther Gauntlets is a great attack, I don’t find it to be worth the slot on its own a lot of the time.
Jean Grey has been much derided but I firmly believe that on this one, the Internet is wrong. I don’t bring her out often but when she does hit the table, she is always really impactful, especially in A-Force when you can power her up. Shield Mind protects She-Hulk from a lot of control, such as Web Warriors’ superpowers and Siren Call. Matter Transmutation is just pure gold. I’ve had a lot of joy using it to shunt enemy characters off points, as well as moving my own characters onto them in order to score. Given that this directly scores victory points, and victory points are how you win, it’s an incredibly powerful ability. I play Mental Domination pretty much entirely for the extra advance on enemy characters, and the Attack almost just feels like a bonus.
The common perception is that A-Force is weak on S.W.O.R.D base because of all the expensive characters and a six threat leader, so I’ve had a lot of opponents force it on me and choose fourteen threat. I’m absolutely fine with this – my roster is 5-0 on S.W.O.R.D base at fourteen threat. My team is Medusa, Valkyrie, Domino, Okoye and Black Widow. If there is a high value extract, then Black Cat makes the cut instead of Domino. Crucially this team is five wide, with a good amount of resilience and hitting power as well as the speed to get around the board. I lean on Stalwart Determination to try and get the S.W.O.R.D consoles locked down turn two, and then build from there, using the pushes to control the biggest threat on the opposing team.
Research Station is just a great crisis for an affiliation that has this many throws. She-Hulk, Medusa and Valkyrie can all do a lot of damage, and then use the Power they’ve gained from doing the damage to use their throws and clear the enemy team from the Researcher, or just throw something into them to Daze or KO them!
I’m happy to pitch in Terrigen Clouds because I have a lot of immunity to Poison, my roster really likes high threat as much as anyone else, and there are so many Long moves and repositions that it isn’t a struggle to switch models between the two cloud markers. Angela in particular loves this one, as she can really bully three threat characters and cover a lot of ground whilst doing so.
My healing card is Patch Up because the A-Force leadership usually means I have the power to use it. Models like She-Hulk, Angela and Valkyrie in particular can really benefit from a five stamina heal. It has its own quirks and lots of people would just take Medpack, but I find it worthwhile.
As far as She-Hulk is concerned, SMASH is a bonus two dice for two power. There’s usually a lot of size two terrain to play this on, and if I can see there isn’t when building my team I can always just take a different Tactics card. With it though, her damage output for that turn is exceptional. Sensational Uppercut is then a nine dice builder, and Superior Weight Training can push that up again to an whopping eleven or even twelve dice. This helps to let She-Hulk really punish swarm lists, and even Thanos and Dormammu have to respect that kind of damage output.
So that’s a lot of the theory behind my roster. I’m always happy to chat about A-Force and MCP in general, and you can find me under the username @PanzerHarris on Twitter and most Discords. Arun has already said he is more than happy for me to do some more articles in the future, so I’ll try and keep people posted on how I get on at the event and any changes to my Roster moving forward!
I was really impressed with Ben’s article, and I look forward to being able to share more of his articles with you guys in the future. Who knows, the Web Heads might have to face off against Ben’s A-Force, so we will see how that goes!
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If you’re looking to expand your roster or jump in and get involved, then you can check out Board in Brums Marvel section here, for all the MCP goodness you need. Thanks for reading!