Welcome to what is probably the last installment of my series on how each of the MCP affiliations play and which models you should buy for them (until they add more!). To reiterate my disclaimers: These are all just, like, my opinions and moreover I’m going to focus exclusively on how well the model plays on the table. As before I will describe every affiliation’s style of play on the table to assist with that decision. I’ll also give the “core characters” (see our upcoming podcast episode on this topic), as well as some interesting tactics cards and preferred crises for them. I’ll be using the shorthand crisis names I set up in my first article, so pull up the reference chart at the end if you need a reminder.
Spider-Foes (Green Goblin)
Just like midnight Sons, Spider-Foes are another desperately power starved attrition faction with just enough scenario abilities to keep them in the running. Most characters in this affiliation are either extremely resilient and with multiple pushes and throws or do a ton of damage and make up for scenario with their Tactics Cards. The leadership is a bit hard to remember (since you have to ask your opponent to do something and you have to remember to only do it once per turn) and several affiliated characters are more cool than good (looking at you, Carnage and Kraven), but if you play your cards right this Affiliation can be really strong.
- Core Characters: Green Goblin (4), Doctor Octopus (3), Lizard (3)
- Tactics Cards: Sinister Traps is such a good card that it was worth playing without a leader back in the day when Green Goblin was terrible. This extremely versatile card can drastically change the outcome of scenarios simply by forcing your opponent to waste an action clearing the trap – just be careful not to trap the element on a D scenar near their deployment, because a Huge-based model can pick it up without moving/triggering the trap, and then the trap will still work once they drop it. Well-Laid Plans is another excellent scenario card that can swing a high scoring extract all the way from “about to lose” to “winning handily”.
- Preferred Crises: As power starved as the affiliation is, you need to really avoid flip secures and take the power-generating scenarios (Infinity Formula and Cubes). In addition, they like extracts with a lot of elements such as Spider-infected and Hammers.
Uncanny X-Men (Storm. Just Storm)
Ok, first thing first, in general the more popular an X-Men character is in the comics, the less powerful they are – so if you’re looking to play a team of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Wolverine you’re going to be very disappointed. Especially Cyclops. Once you get over that, and are prepared to be playing mostly Storm, Beast, X-23 and Domino you’re actually left with a pretty good affiliation – four different excellent affiliated 3 threats is a great place to start. Storm’s leadership is decent defensively (especially in the current long range rapid fire meta), and the “hop” allowing characters to place off each other is much better than it seems. Especially with their First Class tactics cards, this affiliation is one of the best in the game at flip secures, which is a great place to be.
- Core Characters: Storm (3), X-23 (3), Beast (3)
- Tactics Cards: First Class is a great way to interact with multiple scenario elements on the first turn – such as trying a flip secure and picking up an extract. To me, my X-men is a decent way to move a couple of friendly characters, though a bit difficult to use.
- Preferred Crises: Flip Secures, all the way (though probably not sword base)
Wakanda (Black Panther)
Despite having the smallest affiliated roster in the game (except for Dark Dimension, technically) and having no affiliated releases at all after Storm, Wakanda is still an extremely good affiliation. Most lists start with Black Panther, Shuri and Okoye which gives you two of the strongest scenario models in the game, and 2 of the better attrition models in the game (yes, Black Panther counts as both), an unbelievable number of rerolls, and then leaves you with plenty of points to take unaffiliated characters to focus one way or the other. Wakanda is one of the three archetypical scenario affiliations – they are so good at moving characters off of points with their attacks that it almost doesn’t matter that they’re so good at dealing damage.
- Core Characters: Black Panther (4), Shuri (3), Okoye (2)
- Tactics Cards: Wakanda forever can be used to get extra pushes out of your main characters (and bonus points if you use it during mystique’s turn in order to prevent your opponent from using reactive abilities and cards) and Vibranium shielding is a good way to use Black Panther’s extra power whole taking him (and nearby allies) from “difficult to kill” to “essentially impossible to kill”.
- Preferred Crises: They really want to take high-scoring secures like Gamma Wave and super-powered scoundrels – but make sure you have a plan for Juggernaut (since the other scenario factions play him and want the same scenarios, and your core characters can’t push him).
Web warriors (Miles Morales, Amazing Spider-Man)
Rounding out the trio of Scenario-dominating affiliation are the webheads. They often start with a core of Miles, Black Cat and Ghost spider – which gives you an unbelievable 2 extract steals, a sizeless auto-hitting push superpower, and extremely good defenses. I almost always round that out at 17 points with Doctor Voodoo (for yet another extract steal) and Nick Fury, Jr (to safely grab the center extract, and to make up for their low damage output). Unfortunately, Amazing Spider-Man is a little misnamed – he reinforces the defensive abilities of the affiliation, but little else. His leadership is wildly misplaced in an Affiliation that is probably the most power-starved in the entire game, and he brings no ways to move enemy models.
- Core Characters: Spider-Man (Miles Morales, 3), Black Cat (3), Ghost-Spider (3)
- Tactics Cards: All Webbed Up is fine but not excellent (since you rarely want to be attacking with this affiliation), but if you do bring it make sure to take Moon Knight and/or Venom to take advantage of it. Their other card, Spider Tracker, is much better than it may seem (even if it doesn’t work on non-action movements), allowing you to avoid close ranged attacks and possibly getting back onto scenario elements after being pushed off.
- Preferred Crises: Web warriors definitely want to take cubes and spider-infected, but probably want to avoid hammers (since that may allow the enemy to break through their defenses). They should definitely avoid flip secures (although Juggernaut and/or Quicksilver can help with those) and instead focus on spread out secures (Extremis, Fisk, and especially Infinity Formula) since it’s very difficult to take out a webhead without being able to focus several characters into one.
Winter Guard (Crimson Dynamo)
As the newest affiliation to be released, there are still many open questions about how they function, but if you’ll indulge me in some wild speculation. The Winter Guard leadership encourages a focus on standing next to secures (since it makes it more difficult to push them off) and the affiliation has decent ranged attacks (and even a beam on their leader) – so they look like they would love central secures where the opponent groups up and they can land their debuffs and beams on the entire enemy team. They also have many ways to move characters back onto points after they take damage, further punishing opponents who try to push them away from a central point. I would also be remiss to not mention Hood, since the leadership can clear off the bleed downside of his heal, and being able to transform after being damaged fits the “Move-on-Damage” theme of the affiliation.
- Core Characters: Crimson Dynamo (4), Darkstar (3), Red Guardian (3)
- Tactics Cards: Winter Rush makes your team extremely difficult to dislodge for a turn – allowing a Winter Guard character to advance any time any of your characters is damaged by any enemy effect. Darkstar’s unique card is great for debuffing a whole group of chracters for Crimson Dynamo to beam, and Red Guardian’s card is yet another way to move a character when you’re attacked – and keep someone alive in the process.
- Preferred Crises: The E scenarios (Gamma Wave, Demons, Research Station and Montesi) all seem great for them, but more testing is required.
Last, and possibly least, is X-force. This affiliation suffers from being nearly a subset of X-Men, having an expensive yet unreliable leader, a weak leadership, and 2 of the worst affiliated tactics cards in the game. It doesn’t help that I personally despise Deadpool, and he’s pretty much the only reason to play this affiliation over uncanny X-Men. Just play Cable in Avengers under Steve and leave this affiliation alone until it gets some help.
- Core Characters: Cable (5), X-23 (3), Honey Badger (2)
- Tactics Cards: Pretty Sneaky, Sis is actually pretty good, giving super-stealth to x-force characters for a round – but the other two are truly awful.
- Preferred Crises: Cable really likes the B secures like Infinity Formula, but doesn’t really have the power to do well on flip secures.
With that, we are finally completed with every single affiliation in MCP. I wish I had considered how many there were before I started this article that I thought would be a single page, but here we are – and hopefully you’ve enjoyed the ride. Next week! Some other topic! Stay tuned!
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