For this article, we build on the discussion of our affiliated characters in article 1, to consider some of our favourite Spider Foes unaffiliated characters.
Mystique is a very useful character to add to your Spider Foes Roster when looking outside of affiliated models. She has some useful utility in her attacks and abilities and very good synergy with some of the other Spider Foes characters. Adding a Long mover with Stealth into your list adds another dimension that can put pressure on both the Extract and Secure game. Her tactic card Deception is easily one of the strongest, most impactful and dangerous TT cards out there if used wisely. Let’s have a look at some of the ways that the master shapeshifter can help you out and how she synergises with your Spider Foes buddies.
Movement Synergies with Deception – A fair number of the spider foes affiliated characters have abilities that trigger when enemy models move or are made to move nearby. Mysterio has Tricks and Traps, Goblin has Trick or Treat and Kraven has Corner the Beast. All of these abilities can be leveraged very effectively with the help of Mystique when she uses Deception as she moves enemies into range of these movement triggered abilities. Remember that you can use Deception when you are the active player so this can be done when you are activating another of your characters.
You can really mess with someone’s careful placement of their characters using Venom (or Carnage with the Carnage Rules TT card) to pull a character away from their safe place and then double tap it with Deception. This can help to pull priority targets well into your back field and next to models like Carnage and Kraven who love to attack with both of their actions each round.
Mystique is great at the secure game too as she can long move towards a model, Deception them off a point, then use her second move to stand on the point herself to score it. This is best used on an enemy that has already activated this round to stop them just walking back towards the point and attacking her. Lastly, we have to talk about the TT card Sinister Traps.
Sinister Traps is an amazing TT card that the Spider Foes can use to put a trap on an Objective Token. The Trap will blow up when ANY model ends a movement within range 2 of it, causing a 5 dice roll that causes damage for each Crit, Hit or Wild rolled and pushing the module Short in any direction if damaged. Enemy models will tend to try and avoid this trap (or find a tanky character to deliberately disarm it). Mystique can use Deception to pull enemy models onto the trap.
Shape Shifter. Mystique has an innate super power called Shapeshifter which states that during her activation, enemy models cannot use reactive super powers or reactive team tactics cards. This is an excellent way to get around bodyguard type abilities found on characters like Okoye, Luke Cage, Black Dwarf etc. There are a few other very annoying abilities in the game that Mystique turns off with Shapeshifter. Doctor Strange cannot use Hoggoths Horay Wisdom, the Heroes for Hire TT card can’t be used….the list goes on. Try very hard to remember this as it is a dangerous part of her kit.
TT Card Synergies. We have already covered the joy of pulling people into Sinister Traps. Let’s just quickly look at some other interactions here.
It has been pretty widely discussed on the Discord and Facebook groups that building your Spider Foes roster with All You’ve Got and Doomed Prophecy is a lethal combination if used well. Carnage is often the main character you want to use this combination with but Mystique can also be very dangerous using these two cards. She has Rapid Fire on her Pistol attack so can feasibly roll 32 attack dice on a DP/AYG turn, all at Strength 7. This Rapid Fire Pistol also allows her to reliably gain enough power to pay for All You’ve Got. This can be a devastating activation when used well.
Blind Obsession is also a common card in a Spider Foes roster and works in a similar way, giving Mystique’s rapid fire attacks some real spice as she guns her chosen enemy down in a withering hail of bullets.
Conclusion – Mystique has great synergy with other Spider Foes, a Long move for good board coverage, and Stealth to keep her safe. She can make your list a real pain to deal with and can ramp up the threat that you can leverage on the table.
Nebula is my preferred 2 Threat option with Spider Foes. She cannot score VPs for your team, but she is a Long mover that excels in Dazing/KOing enemy models who are scoring VPs thanks to her Assassin innate Superpower which allows her to re-roll dice when attacking enemy models holding or contesting an objective. This presents a very difficult choice (a Spider Foe speciality) for your opponents – ignore Nebula because she isn’t scoring VPs and allow her to potentially be devastating, or dedicate resources to dealing with her which means they are having to ignore your own scoring pieces.
Nebula really likes to play in scenario combinations where there are a lot of Objectives as this increases the likelihood that she can maximise her Assassin Superpower and choice of targets. Fortunately, Spider Foes like to play a lot of Crises that have a high number of objectives. We’ll discuss these in more depth in article 4 but Mutant Madman, Infinity Formula, Spider Infected and Cubes are all excellent choices with Spider Foes which means it is very easy for Nebula to have a target to pick where she can be most devastating.
Like Mystique, she is also model that synergises very well with some of our core tactics card choices – All You’ve Got, Blind Obsession, and, to a lesser extent, Doomed Prophecy. A typical play with Nebula will be to move Long round one and shoot her Blaster Pistol from Range 3 to gain a static 1 Power. This means that she can start Round 2 with enough Power to play Blind Obsession. This doesn’t have to be done Round 2 but it is a strong opinion and any Round you have priority this can be devastating but even if you don’t, using Blind Obsession on Nebula can make those difficult choices even more difficult for your opponent (I’ve been known to Doomed Prophecy one model and Blind Obsession another and let my opponent pick their poison). Nebula also doesn’t have many ways to spend her power which means she is very good at having the Power to play All You’ve Got and the combination of Blind Obsession and All You’ve Got Nebula is terrifying against virtually any model in the game (I’ve taken out Thanos with this combo with an attack to spare).
So that’s Nebula. She’s a one trick pony but she’s a very good one and fits into the Spider Foes gameplan of providing difficult choices for your opponent. Just don’t mention the Shock Sword Assault that gives Stun and not Shock!
Red Skull (TheGerman (Nik))
I have to give credit where credit is due and without the amazing Lexa White from the Morlocks Podcast (shameless plug, go check it out now… then continue reading!) I wouldn’t have thought of bringing Red Skull into a Spider Foes list. In a mostly physical attack-based team like Spider Foes, bringing some long range energy attacks to mix things up is quite helpful, and his statline plays well with our approach of fielding a lot of high physical defence characters.
Red Skull’s Strike has an unrestricted size push on a Wild (take that Dormammu!) and Cosmic Blast offers a Range 4 Energy attack with Sap Power on a Wild. His real power comes from Unleash the Cube which is just a powerhouse of an attack and his kit makes sure you can unleash it multiple times during a game. Not only is it a 7 dice enEnergy ergie attack with range 4, it also enables Red Skull to throw ANY SIZED character short (eat it again Dormammu!) Oh, and on a Wild you also hand out Stun to all characters in Range One (be careful as this includes your own, Red Skull cares not!).
In addition to his attacks, Hail Hydra is a great way to get more use out of our more durable characters like Lizard and Venom, and Red Skull really shines in combination with Venom! Hail Hydra gives you another opportunity to use Venom’s So Many Snacks and being able to place Venom in Range 2 Round One enables a lot of possibilities, like a double attack for Venom if your opponent commits one of their characters to contesting a middle, or one of your home, objectives. With the help of Advanced R&D (more on that in article 3) Venom is able to Web Snare an enemy character off the point and into attacking range, or double moves to contest the point himself.
As you can see, Red Skull is a versatile and aggressive support piece and with that he is filling a unique slot in our foes roster. He can enable a lot of turn one play options with his self-sufficient kit, has a huge impact on activation economy with his placements, while primarily being a supporter, can easily hold his own ground and brings a reliable source of long range energy attacks with him. All in all he fits right in any foes roster that goes down the road of being just up in the opponent’s face while still bringing some decent control, tankieness and damage output to the gaming table.
So that’s it for now, I hope I could convince you to take a closer look at our furious red-headed leader of Hydra. I’ll advise you to try him out; he won’t disappoint, and you can scream “HAIL HYDRA” multiple times each game.
Ar .. ka..dy? Arkady Gri, Grog, Grego.. Ahhh F* that! It’s OMEGA RED! (TheGerman (Nik))
What is better than one Range 4 Medium Push? Two Range 4 Medium Pushes! That’s right, Nik here again bringing you yet another character with a thick accent and an unpronounceable alias. This time it’s everyone’s favourite Russian, Omega Red. In contrast to Red Skull, who’s a versatile support piece, Omega Red is much more straightforward, like Russians tend to be, though he has some nasty tricks up his red sleeves, which I’m going to talk about.
He is another beefy Size 3 Medium base with a Short move, decent Range 3 attacks and a Range 4 medium push towards him… hold on a sec… I recognize this combination.. he’s another version of Venom! Omega Red trades in the control provided by Venom’s throw in order to receive a flat 1 down damage negation (to a minimum of 1) and a more well-rounded 3/3/3 defence profile. With his increased defence, you can be a bit more aggressive with him, especially against the threat of energy attacks.
Putting Omega Red, in combination with Venom, on the table enables your squad to have an additional Range 4 push towards, which provides you with more options and your opponent with more touch decisions to make (a Spider Foe speciality). Also, Omega Red benefits more from this ability than Venom as his Death Factor and Death Spores superpowers synergize perfectly with the push. Poison is often an overlooked condition but it messes with power economy and is a constant nuisance for your opponent. Poison might not be flashy as Shock, Hex or Incinerate, but it will matter across the length of a game, if your opponent does not deal with it and in both situations it’s beneficial for us. If they don’t use an action to Shake, Omega Red can use Death Factor to auto damage himself and all enemies in Range 2 currently affected by the poison condition then heal himself with his Carbonadium Coils provided he does damage, pretty handy I would say!
His kit allows Omega Red to threaten a whole flank or centre objective by himself, while influencing the decision-making of your opponent. He shines on centreline Crisis like E and Cs, as well as Bs (which by now should be clear, is our favoured crisis layout) where his Push, Range 3 attacks and Death Factor cane be maximised. The damage negation keeps him in the game longer and Red Terror might surprise some of your opponents. Supported by tactics cards (again, more on that in article 3) he can have some nasty Round one plays, which set him up to be more than annoying for your opponent in the following rounds. His Size 3 also provides some decent counterplay for the more common displacements such as Valkyrie. Taken all together, Omega Red shapes up to be a solid unaffiliated slot in our spider foes roster to tackle almost every situation. That’s it from me for now, I hope I could give you a brief idea on why Omega Red is a solid choice to fill an unaffiliated slot in your Spider Foes roster.
What can I say its Green Goblins ‘Favourite’ Web Head, the Amazing Spider-Man (Chewie89)
Well, what can I say, I like 5 Threat models who move long and can snag outside D scenario objectives along with the middle extract on F maps with just 1 single move on Round 1 and have a 2nd action to run away and defend the extract. Now there is only 1 other character who can do this more effectively and that’s Angela (more on her below) because she gains 1 more power in the Power Phase but what she doesn’t have is defensive tech. Spider-Man has the innate superpower Mastered Spider Sense which allows to re-roll all of your defence dice including dodge rolls (yes I said it dodge rolls!). Spider-Foes don’t have a reliable long mover in affiliation currently, so this character helps out on 2 maps where I feel Spider Foes struggle the most – D and F maps. This also allows more freedom about where you place Sinister Traps (more on that in the next article!). For example, if you have Priority and you’re Playing Spider-infected (spoiler – we like this one), you know you can grab that middle objective safely with Amazing Spider-Man, which allows you to place the Sinister Trap elsewhere. This creates another difficult decision for your opponent who has to consider triggering Sinister Traps on an objective that they thought they would get rather easily.
For 1 Power Amazing Spider-Man can use Witty Banter. If you are within Range 3 of this character and attacking an allied character then during the modify opponents dice step of the attack, you may re-roll 1 of their attack dice. This is somewhat similar to Green Goblin’s leadership but it is the last thing that happens in the dice rolling steps and it is not once per turn. This superpower has stopped Deadpool’s Bang Bang, and has saved me from getting dazed I don’t know how many times. Combined with the durability of most of our characters this can really help keep us in the fight longer. Amazing Spider-Man also has Webswing which helps along with his Long move to help either run away with an objective, or get into the fight when he needs to brawl. Did I also mention he has a Range 3 builder? This allows him to very easily be in the fight no matter what. So you’re saying to yourself I would never partner Spider-Foes most hated enemy with them, and Amazing Spider-Man would never work with Carnage and Venom in the lore and, bar some brief moments working with Venom, this is true. But, I play leaderless Spider Foes and this is MCP, so I can do whatever I want! Go ahead and give Amazing Spider-man a try and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
While Chewie prefers Amazing Spider-Man, Angela is my extract runner of choice. Her mobility combined with her offensive prowess makes her synergize fantastically with the Spider Foes. Let’s start by taking a look at what she brings to the Extract game:
Everyone in the community is already aware of how characters like Angela and Amazing Spider-Man can net you an early extract lead if you have priority on extracts like Cubes or Spider-Infected (both of which we like to play). In Spider Foes, this extract advantage is further compounded by Sinister Traps. With Angela, you’ll be able to steal the centre extract and retreat to safety, using Sinister Traps for another extract on the opposing side of the board. You can even threaten to steal your opponent’s Cube/Spider Infected with any of the medium base medium movers – of which you have no shortage of in Spider Foes. On even Extracts, like Hammers, if you have Priority, you can also come out with a round 1 advantage. Simply steal one side hammer with Angela, and Sinister Trap the other side’s hammer. If your opponent is lacking the ability to grab a side hammer and retreat to safety, you can even Sinister Traps your opponent’s home hammer, first turn grab a side hammer with Lizard, then threaten a single move attack plus throw on the other side hammer should your opponent dare to grab it.
When you don’t have priority, Angela is still a force to be reckoned with on Extracts. Sinister traps can be used to prevent your opponent from pulling the same trick and stealing the Centre extract. Then, being centrally deployed, Angela can threaten either of your opponent’s home Cube/Spider infected – just be sure to pick a side that isn’t able to go all in on Angela. Of course, this will be situation dependent. If your opponent is aggressive with their Extract grab (or Secure sitting), use Mystique to pull them in with Deception and Angela to throw something big into them. As a duo, Angela and Mystique are my preferred out of affiliation splashes into Foes.
When it comes to Secures, Angela is equally as strong on one of Spider Foes preferred Secures – Mutant Madmen. Angela’s long move and high physical defence allow her to threaten any of the secures while centrally deployed. Her mobility means that she can easily jump from board side to board side, flipping traps and winning you the Secure game. If you haven’t tested it yet, I would encourage you to try a game of Foes on Mutant Madmen with Goblin, Ock, Lizard, Angela and Mystique at 18 points. You’ll find that the speed and high physical defence of the entire team to be a perfect fit for the scenario.
Finally, as we’ve covered how Angela really synergizes well with the Spider Foes’ crises plan, she is equally synergistic in their attrition strategy. I often see Angela as an upgrade to Carnage – she is equally terrifying with Doomed Prophecy and AYG. Where Carnage can output more total damage through his area attack, Angela makes up for it with her mobility, allowing her to teleport off each target she attacks. Her throw also comes in handy when taking out annoying bodyguards to make sure your 10 dice builders are going into your preferred targets. Even Green Goblin’s underwhelming leadership can sometimes be gold when used with Angela. She’s often flush with Power, and the leadership can help you push through the one damage you need to trigger Angelic Assassin. In summary, Angela’s amazing synergy with the Spider Foes makes her an honorary member in my eyes.