Ah Wasp. It seems like so long ago now since your card was spoiled during the AMG GenCon streams. Since then we have had spoilers for Wong, Doctor Strange (yay) and, more recently, Ghost Rider; but lets skip back a few steps to see how this founding Avenger has been translated into the game. What’s that n the horizon – new mechanics ahoy!
Before jumping in and looking at Janet’s character stats, we need to talk about a new mechanic called Transform. As one might expect, Wasp and Ant-Man have abilities that enable them to change size. When deploying the character you start off with the normal miniature in play, and use the attacks and superpowers as listed under the normal section of the character card (which is now landscape and split into 2 sections – normal and tiny in this case). When the character transforms you place the miniature for the new form within range 1 of the normal miniature and remove the normal miniature, keeping all tokens on the character. So that’s a bit of added mobility to start with. But let’s take a look now at Wasps stats and abilities, both normal and tiny, and see what type of person she shapes up to be.
STAMINA – 5 stamina puts Janet somewhere in the middle of the pack – not super flimsy, but not super hardy either.
MOVEMENT – In her normal state Janet moves medium, but once tiny this increases to long.
SIZE – When normal sized Wasp is size 2, entirely average; but once shrunk down she becomes size 1. This mean that any terrain that she is close enough to has the potential to give her cover, very valuable indeed, and nifty for some line of sight shenanigans.
THREAT – Janet is 3 threat, meaning she coudl be quite flexible when it comes to roster building. I am pretty sure that AMG will list her as an Avenger, so it is most welcome to have another affiliated 3-pointer along with Hawkeye and, dare I say it, Iron Man.
DEFENCES – Regardless of size Wasp has a defensive lineup of 3 dice for physical, 2 for energy and 3 for mystic. Ouch, that 2 hurts. There are rather a lot of energy attacks in the game now and having 2 energy defence dice on a character with only 5 stamina means Janet could be a viable target for a 1-shot, although as mentioned earlier, cover when tiny could be her salvation. I guess we will have to see how this plays out.
ATTACKS – When of normal size Wasp has but 1 attack. The attack is called Size-Changing Smack Down and has a range of 3, strength of 5 and power cost of 0. As usual, after the attack resolves power equal to the damage dealt is gained. Then, after the attack resolves Wasp may transform into her tiny form. If she does then she drops all objective tokens she is holding. I like that this attack doesn’t force Janet to transform, so you have some control about what state she will be in afterwards. Dropping objectives may at first seem to be a huge negative but just think for a moment, how many times in the games you have played have you wished that you could park up next to an allied character and drop an objective near them? So far the only ways which we have to drop or transfer objective tokens that we control is the Mission Objective team tactics card, and getting a character dazed (that’s not including effects that make enemy characters drop obejctives like the Professionals team tactics card or Miles Morales’ Venom Blast attack), but now we have a way to drop an objective on demand, a really useful ability to have access to.
If you do decide to get Wasp into her tiny form then as a reward you will get access to 2 new attacks. Stinger Blast is a physical attack with a range of 2, strength of 5 and power cost of 0. Again, after the attack resolves power equal to the damage dealt is gained, but as an additional bonus the target character does not gain power for damage dealt by this attack. We have seen a few abilities like this power denial already, but having it on a 3 threat character is a pretty big deal. Being denied power from an incoming attack is a pretty gittish thing to have happen to you. Gaining power from taking damage which you can then use to fight back is a fundamental aspect of the game, and being able to play around with that has the potential to leave your opponent with head in hands.
Wasp’s final attack is also only available in her tiny form and is an energy attack called Wasp’s Fury. This attack has a range of 3, strength of 6 and power cost of 2. After the attack is resolved Wasp may advance medium, and also she tranforms into her normal size. The may on the medium advance is nice, Janet can stick around where she is if she needs to, but being able to do a decent attack and then get a medium move all for 2 power seems great. The downside being that you have to transform into normal size – no choice. Still, if you recall the transform rules you place the tranformed mini within range 1 of its current location, so in effect you are getting a medium move + range 1 out of this attack. Thats mobile as heck!
SUPERPOWERS – Back in her normal state Wasp has quite a few superpowers. First up is an active superpower called Change Size. For the measly cost of 1 power Janet can change into her tiny form. This superpower is also present on the tiny side of her card and has the same cost and effects, so can be used whatever size she is. A very nice ability to have on tap. The downside being that, once again, she drops all objective tokens that she is carrying. Or is it an upside…?
Still in Wasp’s normal size we have another active superpower called Pym Discs, which has a power cost of 3. Wasp can choose a terrain feature of size 3 or less within range 2 and throw it medium once per turn. A size 3 throw on a 3 threat character is very nice indeed. It’s a shame it doesn’t include enemy characters but we can’t have everything can we.
Still in normal size we have a reactive superpower that costs 1 power and is called Pym Particle Control. This superpower states that when Wasp is targeted by an enemy attack or would suffer a collision she drops all objective tokens she is holding and then transforms into her tiny size before the attack or collision continues. This is a fun superpower that could be used to good effect to give Wasp cover or stop line of sight being drawn to her, and also protect her allies a bit if she is thrown into them – rather than an allied character having to roll against 3 collision damage coming at them they now only have to roll against 2 in their dodge roll – every little helps! This superpower also plays nicely into some innate superpowers which Wasp has on her tiny side like…
Tiny Superhero which states that Wasp may reroll any number of defence or dodge die, and cannot hold objective tokens. Nifty – get targeted by an attack in normal size and fire off Pym Particle Control to shrink down and get access to defence and dodge rerolls. Shrinking down also gives Wasp access to Stealth which states that characters must be within range 3 of Wasp to target her with attacks. These rerolls and Stealth are nice ways of mitigating those weaker defences and stamina.
Last of all Wasp has Flight which should not really come as a surprise to anyone. This adds to her mobility as now most terrain will not be a problem for her when it comes to movement.
INJURED SIDE – We haven’t seen Wasp’s injured side yet, but as far as I am aware nothing changes.
SUMMARY – Well, what can I say other than Wasp is a really interesting character. I think it is going to take quite some time to get to grips with using her, determining when is the best time to switch between her 2 sizes and when to trigger her abilities to make her drop objective tokens. I think she will be surprisingly mobile, and you know swapping out your minis a few times each game is going to be really fun!
AFFILIATIONS – I would be very surprised indeed if Wasp was not listed as an Avengers affiliated character considering her comics lore. The only real benefit that she would get from Cap’s leadership ability woud be a discount on her Pym Discs terrain throw, which would cost 2 power instead of 3. Still, an affiliated highly mobile character who has the ability to drop objective tokens where you want them is going to make for a nice change from reaching for core set Black Widow.
Wasp doesn’t seem to be a particularly heavy hitter, although she does seem to have decent attacks, but all her abilities are very cheap and she is very mobile, and so I think she could fit into a Cabal roster. Just getting a little bit of damage out would gain her a few power over the course of the game, and this could be used to good effect in paying for all her costed abilities – fetching objectives and dropping them next to M.O.D.O.K anyone?
I’m not convinced that Janet benefits immensely from the Wakandan leadership ability, but she would definitely benefit from Shuri rerolls (but then again, doesn’t everyone). Just like with M.O.D.O.K, using her to fetch objectives and then sticking them on Black Panther who is really tough could be fun.
An Asgard affiliation would improve Wasp’s longevity and hopefully help her stick around on the board longer, and she brings something to Asgard which the affiliation is missing – mobility. All the Asgard characters released to date move medium, although Thor and Valkyrie both have charge so are a bit more mobile. Having an allied Wasp zipping about the board and helping out where needed could be good and fun.
I’m not sold on a Guardians of the Galaxy affilaition, although that may change when I play a few games with the Guardians including Wasp. They already have a great deal of variety and have affiliated mobile characters. But again, having a character that can drop objectives on demand is a big deal, and she could be used to get objectives onto a tougher character like Ronan. Still, i’m not entirely convinced.
I think Black Order is not ideal for Wasp. There are already affiliated characters with good mobility, and I don’t think Wasp will be racking up the kills and earning those precious victory points. Plus, the affilaition is threat hungry and it is hard enough to make a Black Order list with affiliated characters!
A Web Warriors affiliation could be fun as Wasp would get access to another defensive reroll, and permission to reroll critical failures when holding or contesting an objective – something which Wasp clearly wants to do! I think she plays nicely into the Web Warriors leadership ability.
I’m not so sure on the Spider-Foes affiliation. I suspect Wasp wants to hold on to her power for her abilities rather than spending it to reroll an opponents defence die, more experimentation needed I think.
Lastly we come to the Defenders affiliation. Good, I think – spending a power to choose what attack type Wasp is doing means she can be more targeted with her damage output, and giving out the Hex special condition means that targets won’t get to explode their critical hits. Again, more experimentation needed.
TEAM TACTICS CARDS – The Ant-Man/Wasp pack comes with a few new cards, namely No Escape, Pym Particlesand Reversal. Pym Particles is the only Ant-Man-specific card in the bunch and states that Ant-Man or Wasp may pay 2 power to play it. If either does so then you get to choose another allied character within range 3 of the character who paid the 2 power, choose a terrain feature of size 3 or less within range 3 of the chosen character and throw it medium. I really like this card, because it covers such a huge distance. The terrain has to be within range 3 of the chosen character, who in turn has to be within range 3 of Ant-Man or Wasp. That’s a huge amount of range! A medium throw from across the board for a mere 2 power is not to be sniffed at.
As for cards which have been released a few come to mind when thinking about Janet. Advanced R&D would be a good way of getting Janet a power when needed in a pinch to change size.
The perennial favourite Battle Lust could also be used to good effect, no matter what size Janet is. Pay power equal to her size to add dice to her attack, then if she does damage push the target character away short.
I think Janet could use Disarm to good effect. As she is so mobile, she could zip up to an ally in need, trigger Disarm and then an enemy character rolls 2 fewer attack dice for the rest of the round. Very handy in a pinch! Along a similar vein is One-Two Punch – you could get Janet into position so that a nearby ally now gets to attack with 2 additional dice. Also Trip Up which allows the target character to be given the Stun and Stagger special conditions if damage from an attack is dealt – again, use Janet’s mobility to get her into position to pay for these cards.
Face Me could be fun. 3 power could be a bit of a stretch, but getting an enemy character within range 4 to advance its speed then make an attack could be good. Ideally they wouldn’t be able to attack anyone, but maybe then end up close enough to attack Janet but then PING, she’s tiny and now has Stealth, defensive rerolls and cover – if the enemy character can still draw line of sight to her that is!
Lastly, Heave Ho could be good fun too. Due to Wasp’s mobility she can nip next to a character and they can both pay 1 power to throw a nearby terrain feature medium. Lovely stuff.
So what do you make of Wasp? Will she make it into your list? Comment below!