Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. I was starting to get a bit frustrated with MCP’s balance and lack of new scenarios and was pretty close to quitting when AMG decided to fix both of my problems with the game in a single week. Which means that I have to update my original Scenario overview with the new releases. I want this to be a complete resource, so I will be repeating information on the scenarios that haven’t changed, but I will include an analysis of what did and didn’t change at the end.
Standard games of Marvel Crisis Protocol are composed of a “secure” and an “extract”, and are in one of 11 shapes.
Jargon note: crises are usually referred to by the object you need to score points – such as “Extremis” for “Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0”. I’ve included a full translation guide at the end
Secures crises tend to shape how the game will flow, since they move around less than extracts and often require standing in multiple different places on the board in order to score.
The main categories are:
“Dead” secures – Demons, Gamma Wave, Witnesses and Intrusions. These scenarios are relatively low scoring (since controlling the entire board only grants 3 or 4 points per turn) and central so they tend to devolve into a brawl in the center. Attrition based teams like Brotherhood and Black Order prefer these because it gives them enough time to KO enemies and either lowers their defense with incinerate or allows repositioning through the intrusion portals.
“Live” or “Split” secures – Cosmic portals, Extremis, Infinity Formula, Witnesses, Super-Powered Scoundrels. These secures are relatively high scoring, but require controlling many areas of the board, often very far apart from each other. These are the secures that scenario teams always want to play on – no power required to control them, spread out to force attrition teams to waste movement getting to them, and enough points are available to reach 16 VPs before getting tabled.
“Flip” or “Pay-To-Flip” Secures – Mutant Madman, Deadly Meteors, Spider Portals, Sword base. These secures all require interacting with the objectives in order to control it, and require a die roll that gets more difficult the more enemy characters that are nearby. Because of the power required to continually interact and how Kingpin’s leadership is worded, the leading scenario teams HATE these kinds of secures. If I’m not playing one of those two teams and especially if I’m playing an attrition team, I often default to picking one or two of these simply to make scenario victory more difficult. Do note that sword base and meteors require a majority to score, and sword base’s interact mechanic is a simple 100% uncontested/50% contested rather than the defense based system of the others.
While there are fewer Extract Crises printed, expect them to have a much larger effect on the game than secures. They definitely affect the flow of the game by prioritizing attacks against opponents holding them, but do not force a set positioning beyond turn 1.
Wide extracts – Paranoia, Senators and Spider-infected. These extracts have a large number of objectives, but each character can only hold one of them. This encourages “wide” rosters – i.e. teams with many 2 or 3 threat characters in order to have enough non-dazed bodies to hold them. These scenarios score extremely quickly, with 5 or 6 points up for grab each round and don’t cause a huge amount of damage, making them perfect for teams that want to quickly win on scenario rather than fighting.
Combat extracts – Hammers and Cubes. These extracts are almost as as high-scoring, but a single character can hold more than one of them – so running an expensive and tough character works out better. I find that Hammers often betray me, since attrition teams don’t need the help with attacking and don’t want their tactics cards to be more expensive and scenario teams don’t want their opponents to be able to break through their defenses. Similarly, cubes provides a decent amount of additional damage, but both scenario and attrition teams need to be cautious about taking damage and giving their opponents power.
Slow extracts – Alien Ship, Skrulls, Montesi. These extracts only have a handful of elements, each character can only hold one of them and they have a negligible effect when being held (though definitely be careful of the power core, since rolling one or two skulls can often do 6 or more damage in a group of tightly packed characters). These crises are ideal for attrition teams because they punish scenario teams that want to score quickly and run away with the extracts.
Research station. This is a secure masquerading as an extract. Like Gamma Wave, it is an extremely slow-scoring crisis that forces characters into the center and has a very low threat value. Kingpin obviously loves having a non-secure crisis that his leadership affects, and many attrition teams love the central nature of this “extract”.
Strange Scenario – Legacy Virus. This crisis deserves a section all on its own because it is the only extract that gets more expensive the more of them you hold, and allows you to sacrifice a character to get an enormous amount of Victory Points. I believe this scenario is going to be rarely seen, and only by teams that are going to try to abuse it somehow.
While it is obviously way too early to make any definitive statements about how these new scenarios will affect the game, it definitely seems like extracts are going to be much more of a focus – with several new high-scoring extracts, and many of the high-scoring secures being reduced in value. The new shapes also tend to be much more central (especially Fisk and Meteors). Here are some broad trends I noticed:
- Secures changed much less than extracts. Half the secures saw no changes at all (portals, Madmen, Infinity Formula, Superpowered Scoundrels, Extremis and Demons) except to change “target of opportunity” to “point of interest”, whereas only Spider-infected remained the same among extracts.
- Secures are both worth fewer points (especially Gamma Wave) and are often harder to score (by being much closer together)
- The number of high-scoring extracts almost doubled – so have a plan for teams that want to take all three of the “wide” extracts
- There are no more “winner-take-all” flip secures (yay!) but Sword base does still have the snowball effect of giving a bonus to the person who controls more of them (boo!)
- Terrigen is just gone, and it’s interesting that Fisk is on the extremely claustrophobic H setup. Being able to go from one side of the table to the other (often needed for B’s and split C’s) is now much less valuable.
- Many crises now do a small amount of damage to characters, which makes healing factor seem much more valuable.
Secrure Crisis Nicknames:
|Cosmic Invasion! Black Order Descends on Earth||Cosmic Portals, Portals|
|Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians||Deadly Meteors, Meteors|
|Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?||Demons|
|Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest||Gamma Wave, Gamma Shelters|
|Infinity Formula Goes Missing!||Infinity Formula|
|Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse||Intrusions|
|Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses||Witnesses, Fisk|
|Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park||Mutant Madmen|
|Portals Overrun City with Spider-People!||Spider Portals|
|Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0||Extremis|
|S.W.O.R.D. Establishes Base on Moon’s Blue Area||Sword Base|
|Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate!||Scoundrels|
|Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City (BANNED)||Terrigen|
|Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!||Alien Ship|
|Deadly Legacy Virus Cured?||Legacy, Legacy Virus|
|Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities||Hammers|
|Mutant Extremists Target U.S. Senators!||Senators|
|Mystic Wakandan Herbs: Fact or Fiction? (BANNED)||Herbs|
|Panic Grips City as Evacuation Efforts Continue! (BANNED)||Panic|
|Research Station Attacked!||Research Station|
|Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership||Skrulls|
|Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan||Spider-infected|
|Struggle for the Cube Continues||Cubes|
|The Montesi Formula Found||Montesi, Books|
|Paranoia Pummels Populace!||Paranoia, Disturbances|