Marvel: Crisis Protocol Warfaire Weekend Report with guest author Dustin!

Spider-Foes at Warfaire Weekend, ft. Rocket and Groot

Introduction and Roster

Two weeks ago I took Spider-Foes to Warfaire Weekend. I had a blast and got a whopping 13 games in over the weekend—four in a tag team event, four in the main event, and five casual games. After reading Philip’s lovely article about one of his A-Force games, I felt an itch to do a write up of my Foes games in the main event. I learned a lot from playing them, and now, I hope you can, too!

First off, a breakdown of the roster:

Characters (10):

Green Goblin (4)

Doctor Octopus (3)

Lizard (3)

Rocket Raccoon (2)

Groot (3)

Venom (4)

Bullseye (2)

Winter Soldier (3)

Hulk (6)

Black Cat (3)

Tactics (10):

Sinister Traps

Well-Laid Plans

Deadly Duo

We Are Groot

Lethal Protector

Patch Up (R)

Brace for Impact (R)

Mission Objective

Monkey Brain is Lizard Home

Recalibration Matrix

Secure Crisis (3):

Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park (B, 18)

Terrigen Clouds Sweep Over City (C, 20)

Infinity Formula Goes Missing! (B, 17)

Extract Crisis (3):

Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities (D, 18)

Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan (F, 17)

Struggle for the Cube Continues (F, 17)

High-Level Roster Idea

Ever since I started playing MCP I’d wanted to run Spider-Foes, but this was my first time taking them to an in-person event. 

The roster’s genesis comes from two commitments I made to myself: 1) that I’d play Spider-Foes, and 2) that if my mother painted Rocket and Groot (her favorite Marvel characters), I would include them in the roster. She painted them, so the stipulation was go! I guess Spider-Man owes Rocket some money. Fortunately, Rocket and Groot are great under Green Goblin, both individually and as a pair.

Goblin’s leadership, to recap, allows you to reroll an opposing defense die once per turn. This does nothing if you don’t make attacks, but if you do, and particularly if you make a lot of builder attacks, it nets both damage and power. One way to build for Goblin is to lean on the leadership and the Foes’ health pools to grind the opponent down before they do the same to you. However, because they aren’t the most violent, you need to use mobility and tankiness to play scenario in the meantime.

Rocket and Groot contribute excellently to both sides of this game plan. Rocket brings an efficient range 5 gun and Booby Traps, while Groot brings an impressive AoE 4 heal (on a tactics card) and access to Stagger and a no-size-limit character throw. Together, they bring Deadly Duo, turning the package up to 11.

I am Groot.

The exact resulting configurations vary, but Rocket and Groot slot very nicely into a “gunline that also scenarios” build of Foes. One I’m especially fond of is the 18 threat of Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Lizard, Winter Soldier, Rocket, and Groot, which I’ve dubbed the All-New, All-Different Sinister Six. It runs especially well on Fear Grips (aka Hammers) and Mutant Madman, with three of medium-move, medium based, 4 physical defense characters running scenario backed up by the vicious guns of Goblin, Bucky, and Rocket.

Character Selection

Green Goblin is the only leader, but he’s quite good. His leadership is great if you consistently make attacks, which the rest of the roster is designed to do. Importantly, it’s an offensive leadership that works on Malekith, along with Incinerate, which Goblin has as a wild on his 5-dice builder and on damage on his 7-dice spender. It also triggers once per turn, so Venom and Bucky can use it again on any out-of-activation attacks. Being cagey with Goblin and keeping him on his healthy side long enough to get a scenario advantage is key. I rarely play with Trick or Treat in mind, but sometimes it’s huge—just remember it’s only advances or places, so no throws, pushes, or even climbs trigger it.

Rocket and Groot were locked in for previously explained reasons. To recap, Rocket shoots well and Groot brings more healing. They are best when taken together, but Rocket slots well into any shooty/go-wide plan (unless Sam or Steve are on the other side) and Groot goes in if I need more healing or another Stagger.

Lizard and Venom are efficient enough that they are frequently splashed elsewhere, so it’s great to have them in affiliation. Lizard is a premier cheap and mobile tank who can throw size 3 characters and terrain. Venom is less personally mobile (though Lethal Protector helps) but is capable of massive displacement with multiple medium pulls (no size limit) and a size 3 medium character/terrain throw. He can be very tanky through his health pool and potential reactive healing attacks. 

Doctor Octopus functions as a less tanky Lizard with a bit more reach and who gives access to the excellent Well-Laid Plans tactics card. He and Lizard love being on the flanks. People are frequently caught off guard by how solid Ock is: 3 threat for 5+6 health and 4-3-4 defenses is no joke. He loves flip scenarios as he is very mobile and can refund the power if he rolls a crit.

Winter Soldier (Bucky from now on) emerged early in testing as a key piece in the nasty firebase of Rocket + Goblin + Bucky. His ceiling is just insane. This is obvious on attrition, but it’s also true on scenario due to Hydra Tactics, which importantly has no “can’t be holding objective tokens” clause.

These 7 (Goblin, Rocket, Groot, Ock, Lizard, Venom) were locked in about two months before WfW, and from there I was testing who helps in the other slots. I got about 30 games over this testing period, mostly on Tabletop Simulator.

Bullseye was a clear addition for making the All-New All-Different Sinister Six into a Sinister Seven at 20. In a gunline, he is great at finishing enemies off or running away with an extract. Having a second two threat is also handy for being able to, for example, go 5 wide on a 14 threat SWORD base game.

While the gunline builds above can shoot Malekith off the board, that plan is not great on every scenario, and besides I wanted to be able to threaten to go taller. Hulk became my favorite in this spot, also bringing versatile character displacement, a Size 4 throw, and really deep scenario options. Being able to heal him for 7 (Patch Up + We Are Groot) and protect him with Lethal Protector is no joke, either.

The last slot has seen the most frequent iteration. For a long time it was Mysterio, and while I think he’s great, he wasn’t helping me with single extracts, which I felt were a weakness for the list. I also experimented with Carnage and Kingpin, who let me take Rocket and Groot together at 17, but the resulting teams have either major vulnerabilities to energy or too many slow movers. Kraven, Mordo, Mystique, and MODOK have also been in that slot.

Ultimately I put Black Cat in the spot because she’s just good, handles single extracts well, and is thematically still a Spider-Foe. She’d also performed extremely well (alongside Hulk and Mysterio) in our Tag Team even the day before, surprising no one but still adding to my inclination to include her.

Crisis Selection

Covering this before tactics selection as it informs my tactics cards.

My Secures were all split scenarios. Foes play Mutant Madman really well due to their high physical defenses and mobility. They don’t mind the power from Infinity Formula either. I figured if I was getting a bunch of practice with two lanes, I may as well go all the way. I like my 20 threat roster options with Hulk, and Hulk likes Terrigen, so I went with that. I also figured that if I had more practice with splitting my squad than my opponent, I would be strategically favored out of the gate.

The extracts are all 4+ objectives to grab: Fear Grips, Cubes, Spider-Infected. Foes love Spider-Infected as the advance can trigger our traps and it forces spreading the objectives. Cubes damage everybody, swinging the “I shoot you and keep healing” pendulum further in my favor. On Fear Grips, they don’t capitalize as well as, say, Shadowland Criminals, but Rocket, Bucky, Goblin, and even Doctor Octopus are all quite nasty with a hammer. Well-Laid Plans is great on all of these, especially Spider-Infected.

Tactic Selection

Sinister Traps can fundamentally change matchups, preventing opponents with priority from grabbing central extracts and importantly stopping turn 1 World Domination from Hydra. Sometimes running it is a trap (pun intended), but the option to play it is a huge draw of Foes.

Well-Laid Plans is another, and as mentioned in the Crisis section it is great on all my extracts. If you can get it off, it is actually quite reliable (about 76%) to do at least one damage to non-Juggernaut types. The tough part can be finding a time where Ock and Goblin each have 3 power and are both alive and awake to use it. Just remember that you can use it before deciding who to activate, so you can see what drops before choosing who is retrieving.

Deadly Duo and We Are Groot are givens with Rocket and Groot. Three extra attacks is wild, as is an AoE 4 (!) heal.

Lethal Protector is also basically stapled to Venom. Redirecting an attack is very strong, especially since he can retaliate and either heal or auto-apply Bleed to the active character. It also offsets his low mobility (for a Spider-Foe). Remember that he can use it on himself!

Patch Up and Brace for Impact are my restricted cards. This team wants to outlast opponents, and both these cards either undo or prevent damage. The tendency of the roster to go wide and break into squads means that using Patch Up is often straightforward, though it does get trickier in cases of extreme flanking.

Mission Objective is great on all my extracts and even better on single extracts should I face them.

Recalibration Matrix had really impressed me in the team tournament the day before, so it came in. It adds to the “stay alive” plan but can also reroll Hulk or Venom’s attack dice in case of a big whiff.

Monkey Brain is Lizard Home came in because it can win games, especially on Researcher or Gamma—it is an AoE attack from Lizard that pushes short regardless of the roll or enemy size. Yes, it pushes Malekith, Juggernaut, and Sentinels. This spot could have been X-Ceptional Healing or Neogenetic Recombinator. Like my 10th character slot, experimentation is ongoing.

With that, let’s get into the games!

Round 1 vs Brotherhood of Mutants

  • Priority: Opponent
  • Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (D)
  • Extract: Struggle for the Cube Continues! (F)
  • Threat: 19
My Squad Green GoblinDoctor OctopusLizardHulkGrootOpponent SquadMagnetoMystiqueQuicksilverJuggernautToad
My TacticsBrace for ImpactMission ObjectiveWe Are GrootPatch UpWell-Laid PlansOpponent TacticsAsteroid MDeceptionDo You Know Who I Am?Magnetic Refraction(not Quicksilver’s stealing card, apparently)

My first game was against Matt—who mentioned this was his first MCP event—playing Brotherhood. I lost priority, and he took his secures, giving us Demons Downtown/Cubes on 19 threat. This scenario combo is pretty live, though most of the action comes from the extracts. It can also be extremely violent due to the combo of Cubes damaging characters who are also getting incinerated. I brought Doctor Octopus for Well-Laid Plans, Hulk because he holds Cubes well and can tangle with Magneto and Juggernaut, Groot to heal everybody, and Lizard because he heals himself. Another point “in favor” of bringing Hulk was recency bias; he had performed so well in my partner’s hands at the team event that I was inclined to use him. Tactics were mostly clear, but I was torn on Mission Objective vs Sinister Traps, ultimately choosing Mission Objective as I planned to be aggressive on the extracts myself.

Deployment: Matt’s deployment saw Toad on my left, Magneto, Mystique, and Juggernaut fairly central, and Quicksilver on my right. I lined up Octopus on Toad, Groot, Hulk, and Goblin centrally, and Lizard on Quicksilver.

Round 1: I usually expect my opponent to grab the center cube, but instead Quicksilver grabs his own flank Cube. Thus, I send Hulk boldly to grab the center Cube, hoping he can weather being Deception’d into a ready Magneto. Toad gets the other back cube, then there’s a huge swing: Goblin takes a potshot at Quicksilver and dazes him through Cover and rerolls. Quicksilver had rolled Block/Skull/Skull, and Goblin spiked damage while rerolling his block into a blank. Thanks Oscorp Weaponry! Lizard grabs Quicksilver’s Cube, and Ock takes my left Cube, giving me three cubes to Matt’s two. Mystique pulls Hulk off of the center for Magneto to begin beating. Score: 5-2

Quicksilver can’t believe how much that pumpkin bomb hurt.

Round 2: Magneto has already begun beating on Hulk, and now he’s out for blood to finish the job. I’m fortunate that Mystique has already pulled Hulk off of the objective as this means he’s not incinerated. Magneto spikes and leaves Hulk on 17 out of 20 damage—a big ouchie, but not quite enough. Hulk then punches Mystique’s lights out (I think punch + throw), gets Patched up for 2 or 3 by Octopus, and runs the heck away. That’s the agenda for most of the team—run away with Cubes—except for Octopus, who runs in to try to get that last cube and displace Magneto. I score 6 to Matt’s 1. Score: 11-3.

Round 3: Ock gets the last cube with a spike on Toad and tosses Magneto away. Groot heals the team, resetting all the cube damage they’ve taken so far. The retreat proceeds, now with all 5 cubes. I think Juggernaut gets Lizard’s cube before the round ends, but I’m able to swap someone in to score the middle portal, for a final score of 17-5.

We are Groot!

Afterthoughts: I really caught a break there with the spike from Goblin and Hulk surviving Magneto. While the scenario was in my favor from that first spike, I didn’t want to be stuck eating Magneto offense turn over turn. The Hulk/Ock bait and switch, coupled with dominance on the extracts, let the Foes play exactly the game they wanted.

Round 2 vs Black Order

  • Priority: Opponent
  • Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park! (B)
  • Extract: The Montesi Formula Found! (E)
  • Threat: 18
My Squad Green GoblinDoctor OctopusLizardHulkBullseyeOpponent SquadCorvus Glaive (Reality)Proxima MidnightEbony MawBlack Swan (Power)
My TacticsMission ObjectiveSinister TrapsRecalibration MatrixPatch UpWell-Laid PlansOpponent TacticsMothershipBrace for ImpactSHHH…Fall Back???

In round 2 I was up against Jeremy, who I’d played against the day before in the team event. He had a Black Order/Cabal roster with Malekith but no Thanos. We were at 18 threat on Montesi/Mutant Madman, and while the All-New, All Different Sinister Six has come through for me in shooting Malekith down in the past, I was worried about its ability to do so while also managing Corvus and Proxima. That being the case, I brought Goblin, Lizard, Octopus, Hulk, and Bullseye, along with Sinister Traps to mitigate the loss of priority. To my surprise, Jeremy brought Corvus, Ebony Maw, Proxima, and Black Swan, but no Malekith.

Deployment: I was on the same table as before. Black Swan was on my left by a size 5 building, Proxima and Maw in the middle, and Corvus on my right. I lined up Lizard against Black Swan (go ahead and hit him!), Octopus on the opposite flank, and dumped Hulk, Goblin, and Bullseye in the middle. I put my Sinister Trap on the middle book.

Round 1: Bullseye and Proxima each grab a book. Corvus and Black Swan flip their respective traps. Goblin flips my left trap, while Lizard tries to be cheeky and flip Black Swan’s trap, but fails. Ock flips my right trap and backs off. I think he refunds the power off a crit. Maw goes to my right and Hulk goes to my left, ready to back Lizard up. The middle book goes ignored because it’s trapped, and the Black Order doesn’t really have a spare activation to trip the trap. With one book and two traps each, we Score 3-3.

Round 2: Black Swan smashes Lizard off the building and dazes him. Hulk and Goblin chase her up the building, daze her, and flip that trap. I feel like I’m winning this flank, but Mothership is still live, so Corvus or Maw can jump over at any time if I leave Black Swan awake. Ock stays far enough back to not die yet, and after a few Black Order activations he goes in for a pair of flips: one doubly contested and one uncontested. He nails them both! Black Order resets one of the traps, and Ock is in for a world of pain, but for the moment parity is broken. Score:  7-5

Fools! The intelligence of Doctor Octopus cannot be stopped by a scant handful of aliens!

Round 3: With Octopus having broken the symmetry, Jeremy uses the Husband and Wife to trip my trap and grab the remaining book in a coordinated maneuver. Ock gets dazed while the whole rest of my team focuses down Black Swan. I think Lizard finishes the job by giving her the dumpster. Now the symmetry is breaking the other way, with each of us owning a pair of traps, but the Black Order holding two books to my one. Score: 10-9

Round 4: It’s time to invade. Bullseye runs away as far as he can with his book while the rest of the team books it across the table to help Doctor Octopus. I still have to watch out for a double move from Proxima + Mothership on Maw, but at least Corvus can’t use it anymore due to carrying a book. I don’t remember all the details of this turn… Except that Hulk tried to beat on Corvus and Proxima and was stifled by Ebony Maw (SHHH) and Brace. Still no book for me, so the score gets tied up! Score: 13-13

Some point during round 5. The invasion is underway and Ock hasn’t yet gone down.

Round 5: Corvus and Proxima chain activate to try to put Hulk down but wind up leaving him on 1. Recalibration Matrix gets used somewhere in this onslaught. Bullseye moves so far into my opponent’s table edge that we have to move his measuring equipment. I’m pretty sure Ock gets KO’d (unless it happened the round before?) but by the time he does, Lizard and Goblin are ready to rush in and outmaneuver Maw on the Traps. Maw has good attack dice but can’t be everywhere he needs to be for flip, not least of all because Corvus rolled some bad attacks and doesn’t have enough power for Mothership to move Maw. I flip both traps, scoring all traps and a book to win 18-15.

Afterthoughts: Whew, that came down to the wire! Sinister Traps and Doctor Octopus’s scenario rolls were big heroes here, and I was also happy about recognizing the right time to shift my team’s focus to the opposite flank. The Foes really like Mutant Madman, and Lizard and Ock showed why: with their tanky, mobile, cheap bodies, these two can afford to take low odds, high reward flips with little risk. Sometimes they work!

Jeremy played very well, forcing my hand into coming to fight the Black Order. I’m just lucky the fight of the two beaters—Hulk and Corvus—broke my way, even if I didn’t have a chance to bring Corvus down. I’m wondering if Brace would have been better than Recalibration Matrix given Ebony Maw and Malekith’s presence in the opposing roster.

Round 3 vs Hydra

  • Priority: Me
  • Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park! (B)
  • Extract: Struggle For The Cube Continues! (F)
  • Threat: 18
My Squad Green GoblinDoctor OctopusLizardHulkBullseyeOpponent SquadBaron StruckerRed Skull, Master of HydraBaron ZemoSabertoothMystique
My TacticsBrace for ImpactMission ObjectiveSinister TrapsPatch UpWell-Laid PlansOpponent TacticsBrace for ImpactX-Ceptional HealingDeceptionFace Me???

…and with that I was in the scary 2-0 bracket, facing Ian from Louisiana. While I’ve had stints of highish-level play in Guild Ball and Warmachine, this was just my third MCP event (fourth if the team event is included). Now I was nervous! It helped that the next opponent was Hydra, and I do have a lot of experience against them due to “Hydra Alek” being one of my main sparring partners. That said, having experience against them doesn’t make them easy to shift, and my opponent had Malekith and Hulk in his roster, causing some list chicken.

I brought the same roster as the previous game. I really wanted Groot and Hulk to manage Cubes, but can’t have both at 18; I felt Hulk was more important than Groot. For tactics, Brace also came in over Recalibration Matrix. In retrospect, it should have replaced Sinister Traps instead. The Traps can be huge against Hydra, but not when they don’t have priority and definitely not on Mutant Madman. They are great at stopping T1 World Domination, but that was not relevant here. To make it worse, with Face Me and Deception on the other side, the Traps can even be a liability. I think I was high on them after how well they performed in the previous game.

I’ll do my best to recall what happened in this one, but it should also be on video on the Infamous channel.

Deployment: Lizard and Ock each got their flanks, with Lizard lining up on Strucker, Mystique, and Skull on my left. Goblin and Ock lined up on Sabertooth and Zemo on the right, while Hulk and Bullseye went in the middle. I put my Traps on the trap nearest to Strucker. My opponent chose Strucker leadership, which is nasty on Cubes.

Round 1: Immediately I am a bit paralyzed due to facing Mystique *and* Face Me into a potential Zemo/Sabertooth/Skull/Strucker dogpile. That’s a lot of murder! I believe I send Bullseye to the center. Strucker eats my Traps to the face, giving him the power to Face Me on Bullseye (d’oh!) into a spot where Bullseye can’t see anyone to make an attack. Hulk grabs a different Cube and hugs Bullseye to avoid Deception. Mystique shoots Bullseye but leaves him on 2 health (whew!). Goblin, Strucker, and Zemo all wind up with Cubes as well, and Sabertooth rushes my trap to make a contested flip through Goblin. 3-2 for me on Cubes, but 1-3 on traps. Score: 4-5

Round 2: Skull terrifies me, so I assassinate him with Hulk and Patch Up Bullseye to full health. Ian then demonstrates to me the might of Hydra, with Arrogant Strucker chunking I think 13-14 damage onto Hulk. Ow! Mystique does the other 5-6 needed to put Hulk in a “die to cubes” state, with nothing I can do about it. Goblin flips traps and flees Sabertooth, hoping to salvage the left flank. Ock goes to tangle with Zemo. Sabertooth chases Goblin to the left, so Bullseye flees the developing mosh pit to join Ock on the right. Lizard flails around flipping traps. We end this turn with the same scoring situation, but it’s about to get ugly. Score: 8-10

Just after Hulk has dazed Red Skull, Master of Hydra.

Round 3: Hulk goes down, and Hydra has priority. I’ve failed to position to use Mission Objective or prevent Deception. Mystique pulls Goblin to Strucker, who blows Goblin up handily. Attrition is basically going horribly for me at this point, and the Cube situation isn’t much better, but my saving grace is that Ian stops being able to roll for the Secures to save his life. Skull also fails to put Lizard down, and Lizard runs away from Sabertooth to hide on the truck after doing some good flips. On the other flank, Zemo has been applying Bleed to offset his Cube damage every round. Worried that Zemo will delete Bullseye, take his Cube, and run, I have Ock throw Zemo away, buying me time but depleting Ock’s power. Zemo lights Bullseye up anyway, but I think fails to kill him?  I believe I end this turn with all four traps and one Cube, while Ian has everything else (with 3 cubes on Strucker!), but we’ll have to check the tape.

Score: 13-14

Round 4: I get priority and use it to daze Zemo with a Pin Cushion from Bullseye. On the other flank, Strucker has taken 3 damage from Cubes, but unfortunately Hydra still has Brace for Impact and X-Ceptional Healing up. Strucker runs to the back edge of the board. Lizard now cannot kill Strucker, so my only line to victory is for Goblin to kill Strucker, have Lizard survive Sabertooth (with only 3 health), and then have Lizard come pick up the Cubes—since injured Goblin can’t pick up Cubes. If Ock had 3 power, I could have played Well-Laid Plans, but the throw from the previous turn took that off the table. Woops. I believe Goblin got Strucker down to 1, but Lizard did not then survive, and Ock was way too far away to help. Final score: 17-19, loss!

Ock runs over to witness his minions’ failure!

Afterthoughts: Hulk and Bullseye would have been better as Bucky/Rocket/Groot, I think. Focus fire can play around regeneration, and more bodies on my side means that all his murder can’t dogpile a single target. Sinister Traps was definitely a mistake. This felt like a game where I could play round one 10 times and learn a bit more each time, given the importance of Face Me and Deception and my opponent’s long moving murder bots. I’m also thinking I could have been cagier with Hulk, inviting Skull to my back ranks and using throws to bait out Brace and X-Ceptional Healing earlier. Finally, when it was clear my left flank was collapsing, I should not have sent Goblin over there with a Cube in tow. This concentrated the scoring elements on the side where Hydra was already stronger, which is always a losing proposition. Similar to finding the moment to invade in the previous game, that might have been the moment to bail. Ian was an excellent opponent and a gentleman, and I’m curious to see what I missed that’s on the tape!

Round 4 vs S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • Priority: Opponent
  • Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park! (B)
  • Extract: Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities (D)
  • Threat: 18
My Squad Green GoblinDoctor OctopusLizardRocket RaccoonGrootWinter SoldierOpponent SquadNick FuryIron ManMalekith the AccursedSteve Rogers, Captain America
My TacticsBrace for ImpactMission ObjectiveDeadly DuoPatch UpWe Are GrootOpponent TacticsEye in the SkySitrepThe Initiative??????

Losing such an intense game took some of the edge off, but now I was playing for a positive record and maybe, just maybe a chance to play on day 2. The original plan for a top 8 had been reduced to a top 4, so those odds were slim, but I was determined to do my best. The problem was that my brain was mush by this point…

My opponent was Aaron who I had also faced the day before. He was running SHIELD with Malekith. Gross. We got 18 threat on Madman/Hammers, so my roster choice was clear: the All-New, All-Different Sinister Six were going on their (overdue) cat hunt. To recap, that’s Goblin, Ock, Lizard, Rocket, Bucky, Groot. For my tactics I was torn between Mission Objective, Well-Laid Plans, and Sinister Traps. I thought I should have Brace to handle Malekith. In retrospect I should have definitely brought in Well-Laid Plans over Mission Objective, and maybe Traps over Brace. But we’ll get to that…

Deployment: This time we have a good deployment pic, but basically I had Bucky center, Ock on my right, and everyone else on my left. My opponent had Nick Fury Grunts and Iron Man on my left, Nick center, and Malekith and Steve on my right.

Get in, losers: we’re hunting a cat.

Round 1: The Fury grunts grab the left Hammer and Nick takes the middle. Immediately I’m regretting my life choices as there’s little chance Ock can hold a Hammer against Malekith. Oops. My hope had been that if Iron Man activated early, I might have been able to pop the grunts and retrieve that hammer, but it doesn’t work out that way. Ultimately my opponent winds up with 3/4 hammers (Malekith, Iron Man, Nick), and Lizard fails a contested Madman flip, leaving me behind. Score: 3-5

Round 2: With his first activation, Iron Man flees my half of the board. Rather than chase him immediately, I activate Ock to put some chip damage into Malekith. Nick then Sitreps Iron Man all the way into “fort SHIELD” (by the big truck), which gives new life to my game as it put Nick below the power needed for Eye in the Sky. I recognize that the only way I win this game is by storming the SHIELD base, even if they are behind a truck, and trying to get some hammers. God help me. I get both my traps, and he gets both of his. Hammers stay where they are. Lizard, Goblin, Bucky, Rocket, and Groot proceed into no man’s land. Score: 6-10

Here, kitty kitty.

Round 3: Malekith blows up Bucky and eats some Trick or Treat damage, then KOs Ock and uses Midnight Phantasmagoria to ruin my positioning and heal up. Brutal. Rocket lays into Malekith, not doing much in spite of Deadly Duo (which was only for Malekith). Iron Man one-shots Lizard and then backs off. That one hurt, but the saving grace is it gives me priority for next turn. Groot smacks Malekith and roots him, and then Goblin puts the team on his back and drops Malekith, taking both his hammers. Steve punches Goblin hard but narrowly fails to kill him, and suddenly there is some hope, however slim. We each score two traps and two hammers. Score: 10-14

Round 4: With his two hammers, the very worthy Norman Osborn smites the feline scourge of the meta. I believe he does 7 damage and incinerated on the first shot, then gets patched up by Bucky before doing a hit and run to finish the job and avoid Steve. Eye in the Sky is still not up for some reason. Steve throws and slows Bucky, who then gets healed by Groot. Lizard tries to have his vengeance on Iron Man, throwing, slowing, and bloodying, but failing to daze him. Iron Man gets into the cover of the truck but can’t get out of sight. Among the four points available on this side of the board (hammer on Iron Man, hammer on Nick, and two traps), I need to get at least two to keep the game going. With Bucky slowed, I have to do some funny maneuvering to first get Rocket and then Groot in range of Iron Man, while giving Bucky a place to Hydra Tactics to the trap. Ultimately it takes Rocket and Groot to drop Iron Man, letting Groot grab the hammer. Bucky then hops off Groot and walks twice onto a trap… that is contested. It’s a fifty-fifty to hit a contested objective flip on 3 dice, but Bucky nails it! Score: 16-16

Round 5: …and my opponent shakes my hand. He points out that four of the scenario points are essentially out of his reach, and I have two of the points on his side with 11 threat of characters ready to fight his 11. I think I might have kept going if I were in his shoes, but respect the decision given that we were in the X-1 bracket and it had been a (very) long day.

Afterthoughts: Well-Laid Plans! Sinister Traps! Where were you?! I think I lost this game in the opening between my tactic choices and misplays. The Sitrep on Iron Man leading into aggressive play with Malekith with no Eye in the Sky gave me an opportunity to fix things, though the dice still had to go my way. But they did, at multiple turns. But as a wise man once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

The All-New All-Different Sinister Six showed they have the killing power to drop a Malekith, though without hammers or facing an Eye in the Sky it might have been very different. Crazy game.

Concluding Thoughts

Overall, this was a great day for the Spider-Foes! My hope was to give Rocket and Groot a good showing while employed by Norman, and by the skin of my teeth I did so with a positive record. No dice on the top four, but that just meant more time for casual games (with Carnage back in… almost every time!). I certainly can complain about three wins and a close loss, even if that loss was a heartbreaker.

Some stray thoughts:

  • Given that I had 18 threat three times, I wish I’d played the All-New, All-Different Sinister Six more. Hulk is great, but I think I was overly high on him + scared of Malekith due to how much we used Hulk during the team event.
  • Not playing Venom was weird! Again, just how the points worked out.
  • I was fortunate to get multi-extracts every time and Mutant Madman 3/4 games. Both are great scenarios for Foes.
  • While I’m sure to experiment with wildly different rosters and affiliations in the near term, I’m definitely not done with this team. Rocket and Groot in Foes are a lot of fun!

Lastly, my opponents were great and made me feel so welcome in St. Louis. I’d flown out from California just to see how things were at WfW after 5 years, and after my recent experience, I’m looking into how I might do it again next year.

‘Til next time!

Dustin a.k.a. Drillboss D

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