Hey guys! UtilityCookie here and back with another affiliation series, this time: X-Force!
In this series I will try to guide you through my thought process in building a hybrid X-Force roster. This series will not focus on X-force alone but will branch out a bit into another affiliation to help the X-force core on scenario’s where spread out play is more beneficial on the crisis combination. More on this in chapter 2: Character selection and Tactics cards.
So I ask you, do you like to change the odds in your favour? Want to keep rerolling dice till eternity? Do you like to threaten your opponent on the first activation of turn 1? Then X-Force is just the affiliation for you!
The X-force core
The core of a X-Force roster (until new releases are added) revolve around Cable, Domino and Deadpool and their dance partner Baron Zemo. This core is hyper focussed on one thing, rolling lots of dice and fixing them, both on the offense and on defense. With Cable and Domino incinerating the opponents models, a ton of rapid fire attacks and Bang! attacks you will quickly start melting the opponents models and activations. On top of this Deadpool is rocking a reroll on defense and attack rolls, Domino can create crits out of skulls and Zemo is boosting their morale as well while within 2 and creates another reroll on defense and attack. And if this was not enough the leadership will add another reroll where most needed. More on this later on how and when to best use the leadership bonus.
What is X-Forces’ gameplan?
X-Force wants to win by quickly removing some key pieces and out-attrition their way to victory. As described above the core of models have lots of ways to tilt the dice odds in their favour. The long ranges on their attacks will help you to enable this gameplan right from the start. Using Cat and Mouse to place Cable 2 further up the board after deployment can make the opponent real hesitant to leave their deployment zone. From this position Cable can bodyslide by one to place himself a further 2, combined with his range 5 there is almost nowhere where Cable can’t reach out and attack an opponent. Deadpool is another model that can catch opponents off guard by how much damage he can deal. With his range 4 Bang! attack he has the possibility to create up to 2 more attacks per action. The third Bang! attack or Bang!,Bang!,Bang! comes up more than you might expect.
Keeping Zemo within 2 of these models will not only increase your damage output but your survivability as well, making you very strong in a straight up brawl.
Your opponent can’t score points if they are dazed or KO’d.
You might think that this is not that consistent to achieve but in practise it turns out it actually is. Since defense dice have worse odds than attack dice, the opponent will be rolling 0-1 blocks on defense often simply because of the overwhelming number of rapid fire attacks. When that happens you can turn on your dice fixing from the leadership, zemo and the bonuses the models themselves bring and really pump out some good damage numbers. this is the strength of a list focussed on rapid fires and dice fixing,
The downside is, that while this fortress of death is trying to mow down the opposition your opponent might be running circles around you and scoring points.
So how can we prevent this? By selecting the right crisis that will allow us to deploy and use our fortress, but also by calling in some outside help that can play on the wider scenarios and bring in models that fit the X-force game plan as well.
If we want to create situations where the opponent is forced to fight with us, or is heavily punished for running away, we have to bring the right crisis to make this happen.
I am a firm believer that if a roster wants to perform well it should not care about point values or the type of crisis played. So the crisis that we pick here are not influenced by point values we want, but entirely based to either counterpick or favour us in the matchups.
Research Station Attacked! – 16 points – E shape
A central scenario that counters the many run away strategies currently popular in the meta. Looking at you Angela and Enchantress!
Since this extract can’t be picked up but has to be secured and can be worth 4 points your opponent can’t ignore it. This one helps us a lot by forcing a fight in the center. And since we do not need to pay power to pick up extracts, all of our X force members can benefit from the Pretty Sneaky Sis! tactics card on round 2 which is very strong in the fight we are forcing.
Mutant Extremists Target U.S. Senators! – 14 points – C shape
14 points enables us to play our 4 core characters of Cable, Zemo, Domino and Deadpool. If no one picks up the senator it becomes a real slow scenario, if the opponent picks it up we can easily daze that model with our many attacks and long ranges. Should the opponent bring a wide secure we will bring in our second affiliation to deal with that. X-Force can play on a D shape by keeping Cable on the back secure and Deadpool and Domino in your zemo bubble on a flank. Once the senator is found on a flank, go all in on that flank and suddenly it has become a fight again, favouring your playstyle.
Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities – 18 points – D shape
Everyone likes a hammer, rapid fire models like it a lot more. Don’t pick this crisis if your opponent can grab both flanks safely. The idea is to go even on hammers and win fights with your superior number of attacks and dice fixing.
S.W.O.R.D. Establishes Base On Moon’s Blue Area – 14 points – C shape
Again enabling our core of 4 characters while still being able to huddle up in our fortress in the center, Zemo can dart in and out to interact with the flank secures and ending back again within 2 of your damage dealers.
This is another scenario that forces the fight since the secure scores a lot of points, the push you can do if you are the one controlling more secures is also very nice to either push a model away or into range of your attacks. A push from the opponent hurts us less because of the long threat ranges of our models.
Gamma Waves Sweeps Across Midwest – 15 points – E shape
A central scenario that forces fights, everyone will be in Zemo’s bubble. What’s not to love? You might fear the dreaded Wakanda at 15 but you should not have to. Vs wakanda you probably picked extracts so it will be either hammer or senators. Either slowing down the scenario or helping you in removing the more oppressive models from Wakanda. They are not that tanky vs this X-Force set up.
Vs most others the dice odds are in your favour that you should come out on top.
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? – 19 points – E shape
Another central scenario, lowers the defense of your opponent through incinerate, need I say more? Pretty sweet pick and enables a sweet killy team at 19.
On any other Crisis that is not skrulls or Alien Ship, we will bring in another affiliation and leader: Sin!
Alien ship and skrulls are not chosen by us, so we can still force a fight in the center on a slow scoring scenario.
Sin will allow us to play with more models on every point value and we can build easily into Cabal since we are already using Zemo. Even Sabretooth will have a use here with his dual affiliation! Her leadership will also help a lot when more extracts are in play.
So stay tuned for the next chapter of X Gon’ Give It to Ya: How to roll dice and win – Chapter 2 – Characters