In our final article, we look at those Crisis choices that advantage Spider Foes the most.
Mutant Madmen Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park (Jonah)
This is the Crisis that we excel on the most, and will try to force in most circumstances (depending on our opponent and what Crises they have). B Secures are very favourable for Spider Foes as we have a lot of affiliated characters with a Medium base and Medium move (Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Lizard and Carnage) – this means that a double move gets us from our deployment zone to our opponent’s home objectives. We also have above average physical defence, which means our chances of flipping the objectives are very high – 93.8% for 4 defence and 96.8% for 5 defence. It is our chances of flipping contested objectives where we excel though – 68.8% for 4 defence and 81.2% for 5 defence which means that if our opponents only have one model contesting we have a high chance of still being able to flip it and score the VP (as well as then contesting to make it more difficult for our opponents to flip back unless they have high Physical defence models too – it is only a 50/50 to flip with defence 3). Depending on the board state, we can also proactively move onto enemy back points and flip them before they get the chance – our tanky favourite Lizard is excellent at this and, depending on enemy attack types, Carnage can also do it very well.
Infinity Formula (Jonah)
Like Mutant Madmen, this is a B Secure, which means that we can move to contest opposing home objectives from our deployment zone. Though we can’t steal these points as easily as we can with Mutant Madmen, we can stop our opponents scoring them unless they commit two (or more, depending on how many models we are prepared to commit) to the point. This helps give us an early points advantage. Infinity Formula also overcomes one of Spider Foes issues – not generating power very well. Though is probably going to become easier with the new Green Goblin (see my impressions HERE), we have a lot of excellent ways to spend Power which we can convert into throws (from Ock and Lizard) from round 2 with the Power bonus from the Formulas (if we’ve not picked up an Extract or used Power any other way) meaning that our ability to score our opponents home Formulas becomes much easier. This extra Power also allows us to switch on a lot of our other abilities earlier in the game – Well-Laid Plans, Trick or Treat, Tricks and Traps etc. This can really help get the difficult decision tree for our opponents kicking into gear earlier in the game. Exercise caution in taking this against other Power starved affiliations (e.g. Web Warriors) who may be able to make greater use of this Power advantage than us though.
Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorize Cities (aka Hammers) (Jonah)
A question – from Jacob of Xavier Protocols fame – that you should always ask when it comes to Hammers is ‘why are you better at it than your opponent?’. As an even number Extract, there needs to be a good reason for you to take this. Fortunately, there are several for Spider Foes. First is that it overcomes one of our weaknesses – 4-dice builders on most of our models. While getting a hammer might only bring our characters in line with other characters in the game by making these attacks 5 dice we get two significant benefits from this – firstly the new Green Goblin leadership means these 5 dice attacks are going to be much better/consistent at getting damage through, thereby generating our characters more Power. Secondly, we have a lot of effects that trigger on Wilds (e.g. Lizard’s Push or Doc Ock’s Flurry of Arms) which we are more likely to hit with the extra attack dice a hammer provides.
Sinister Traps also means we can also dictate which side Hammer our enemy goes to without Priority (see Nik’s suggestions on Advanced R&D for ways we can make opposing players regret this decision) or make it very difficult for our opponent to get a side Hammer if we’ve already taken the other side with priority.
You do need to exercise some caution with who picks Hammers up though. While an extra dice on Venom seems very attractive it means that Lethal Protector isn’t guaranteed to be online round two if you don’t spend Power round one unless there’s another way to get him Power (e.g. Infinity Formula, Advanced R&D or, if someone over commits, through attacking). Similarly the increased cost of Well Laid Plans means you should be cautious of giving Hammers to Doc Ock or Green Goblin.
Spider Infected Invade Manhattan (Jonah)
Spider Foes do really well with 5 Extracts and, unlike a lot of affiliations, we can run two of them (see below) in our roster and not be too concerned if we discard our 3rd Extract without Priority – typically a concern for most players – or, when the new Crisis rules come into effect, randomly choose one. This is because of Sinister Traps. The usual concern with choosing a 5 objective Extract without priority is that your opponent will take the middle Extract and move away, especially with models like Angela or Amazing Spider-Man, giving them a points advantage. With Sinister Traps, we can make this play much more risky and less appealing for our opponents, meaning we can play an odd objective Extract with parity or, if they decide to take the hit and do it anyway, leaving them in the middle of the table to allow us to try and get it back. With Priority we can do the usual steal from the middle play if we have Angela or Amazing Spider-Man ourselves to give ourselves advantage while trapping an opponent’s home Spider. Additionally, the double Medium move Medium base play that gets us to a back B Secure discussed above also allows us to go and grab opponents home Spiders if it doesn’t look too risky (our favourite Lizard again excels at this).
There are still three other advantages this Crisis has for us! First is that, because you can only hold one objective on a character, it tends to favour slightly wider lists and this is an advantage for us because we have a lot of good 3 threat characters at our disposal. Second, is Well-Laid Plans. With the objectives being spread among multiple enemy characters it means we have multiple attempts to do damage and cause them to drop their objectives. This can help set up a big swing turn through both attrition and/or VPs, allowing us to Daze/KO models more easily and/or pick up objectives and move away if necessary. As discussed in our tactics card article, don’t bet on Well-Laid Plans though as it can go wrong. Nevertheless, it’s a strong card on 5 objective Extracts. Finally, we have a lot of characters that punish characters for extra movement (e.g. Green Goblin’s Trick or Treat and Kraven’s Expert Tracker) which means we can cause extra pain for opposing models.
Struggle for the Cube Continues (Jonah)
Like Spider Infected above, this is a 5 objective Extract and so many of the things I discuss above are equally applicable on this Crisis. Cubes has two main differences to Spiders though – first is that you can carry multiple of them and second is that you take damage (and gain Power) for holding them. It is the latter of these that Spider Foes can use to their advantage. As has already been discussed in this article and elsewhere we tend to struggle for Power, particularly early game, so the extra Power Cubes give us is valuable. This comes at a price though – taking a point of damage for each Cube our characters are holding in the Power phase. Fortunately, we have several ways of minimising the effects of this. First is that we have a number of characters (e.g. Green Goblin, Carnage, Venom and Lizard) who have above average wounds for their threat costs. This helps us hold Cubes and keep those characters in play for longer. The second advantage is that most of these characters also have ways of healing which also allows us to completely negate the effects of Cube damage in a lot of instances (took 2 Cube damage on Venom – no problem, just use the extra Power for a We Are Venom attack and heal it back!). We also have Kingpin affiliated who is one of the few characters in the game who can reduce damage to zero making him a good target for holding Cubes (though note that no damage = no Power). Finally, the chip damage that our opponent takes also helps with our attrition play and is particularly valuable against models that are typically difficult to damage.
Chu Chu Chuuu, here comes the pain train, better known as Research Station (TheGerman(Nik))
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy are foes in for a treat if a research station gets picked! Hi my fellow Foes players, Nik here again and this time i want to talk about the pseudo extract Research Station, better known as the pain train. Why is research station great, you ask? Well first, it’s only one objective that we have to care about. Second, it’s an objective that takes over the whole crisis priority by being a high scoring one. And last but not least, this is one of the very few crises which support and reward aggression – you want to push the researcher towards your opponents’ deployment zone. And if Spider Foes are good at one thing, it’s sitting right in your opponent’s face or in this case pushing towards his table edge to get the juicy 4 VPs each round.
Characters like Lizard or Doc are great to double move in your first turn to contest the Researcher. Venom and Carnage love to set up an early aggression, or in Carnage’s case maybe set up round one for a round two massacre. Being clustered and forcing your opponent to react to your aggressive positioning of durable characters puts you in an advantageous position to utilize the hidden control elements your characters bring to the board. Pull someone off a point into carnage range, use Paint the Town Red to move in range to contest the researcher – plays like this makes Spider Foes really reliable on scoring as well as continuously pushing the researcher forward. Once hitting the sweet, so sweet 4 VPs location close to your opponent’s table edge, keeps the pressure on your opponent to react quickly, while also keeping the action economy in your advantage.