Articles From The Danger Room: Intro/ What is X-Force in Marvel Crisis Protocol?


Well hello, and welcome to the inaugural article within a series focusing on X-Force. For those who do not know, I go by Dyzard (pronounced like lizard) on the various Discord’s related to Marvel Crisis Protocol (MCP) as well I am one of the hosts on The Danger Room Podcast. I will start with saying the opinions I will be relaying in these articles are mine not Jacob’s or Sploosh’s and this is kind of a solo thing for me to express my thoughts primarily related to X-Force, and maybe branching out after a little bit. For now though, this is the focus. For some background on why I feel rather qualified to write an article even about this topic is I have been trying to make X-Force work in MCP since they launched. X-Force was one of my favorite comics growing up and hosted some of my go to characters that I loved as a child. So, when X-Force came out I was rather ecstatic and loved the models. I’m sure many of you out there soon after receiving your models started to realize there is some things left to be wanted while playing X-Force just as I realized. Sure they are fun, or thematic, or just nostalgic, but I want to be able to win games with my favorite faction! I spent many countless, sleepless nights just thinking, talking, theory-crafting, and playing X-Force to try and crack the code so to say. I would say I have at least 100 different iterations of rosters that I have tried from subbing this character in, trying that crisis, tactic card, you name it! Which leads to having played well over 100 different games “maining” (main faction) X-Force. So with this in mind I would like to think my opinions on the matter are a little less of a dude typing behind a screen and ranting and raving, but found conclusions of how this affiliation works, what to play with it, goals of the game, etc etc… Sure even with my countless tests and runs with the game I am sure I have missed something or didn’t consider another. For example, in the Danger Room Podcast recently we did the 18 Days of Christmas episodes. During my interview with Johnny Pastrami he brought up The Ancient One as a character to use, which I had not tried or even remotely considered and found the thought to be fascinating. So I am by no means the end all be all word on X-Force, the statements in this series of articles is strictly my opinion, how I play X-Force, and I do hope you enjoy and as we say on the podcast, Level up your game with X-Force! Now that’s out of the way, let’s get started!

What is X-Force in MCP?

Trash, not playable, an underdog, the “why are you playing that faction” Cable is bad… the list goes on and on. If you have taken X-Force to an event or played the team I am sure you have heard these statements, or even talked about playing the team! Firstly, I will say don’t listen to the nay-sayers, this is a fun game and whether you play competitively or casually X-Force is just pure fun! I could be winning or losing a game and when I am playing X-Force I’m still usually having a good time. X-Force is typically described as a faction that is completely reliant on dice going your way, I am sure I have even said this on the podcast. It usually feels like you have no backup plan its just dice. Whereas other factions will have a game-plan and then they will have backup plan, being able to shift from a beat-down to control team or running objectives whatever the case may be. With X-Force a lot of times it doesn’t really feel like you have that option and its just well I hope dice go my way this game. But for a definition, X-Force is looked at as a not so great attrition list, with a 5 threat character who in my opinion people expect the world of, and really isn’t that bad of a 5 threat, we will get into this when we do character breakdowns. but it can be a gun-line, a melee force, or a mixture of both ( I prefer this build, having some guns to take care of long range and some melee to keep the pressure off my guns, seems to work best) As well, each of its affiliated characters really seem to have a schtick so to say, for instance, domino is great at spiking and doing damage plus incinerate, Deadpool is great at being annoying and harassing ( oh how I wish he had witty banter) wolverine is an aggressive beater, sabretooth is actually more of an extract runner with some decent counter attack going on in affiliation ( don’t sleep on sabre hes actually quite decent in affiliation) Cable, being more of a support character, if you look at it in this light he really isn’t that bad, has a great throw, the shield is amazing, and he occasionally puts out incinerate, he can also bounce between points quite well for a S mover. I like him for this. Colossus who will be coming out soon I am still wrapping my head around but hes a tank, fastball special and him with Wolverine is definitely an interesting play and can help the team out in some aspects but a lot of this we will get into when we cover the characters and roster discussion. Then X-23 who we are assuming is affiliated is a massive brawler and puts up great numbers, is mobile pretty much shes a killer and can take points too but primarily a killer. We probably wont be touching too much on Badger since we don’t know if she is or isn’t X-Force affiliated, I have ran both mindsets and oh boy if she is X-Force affiliated it is extremely good for the team.

After countless games, I think I have finally come to the real playstyle and have a way to put it into words of what you should be thinking when playing X-Force. AGGRESSION I came across this thought quite some time ago but then I had shifted over to Spider-Foes to cleanse the palate so to say. I needed something different, I had taken X-Force for so long and had gotten some places with it, win the occasional game but it was just brutal and I needed a break. As I have come back to the team recently, I came across this thought again and just double downed on this aggression, and truly think it is what the team should be defined as. You have different play-styles or Archetypes, as they’re commonly referred as, those being Attrition, or control. With these being broken down more by being Attrition: typically low model count, high damage high health, outlive your opponent as you’re taking them out, very little regard to VP other than VP denial to your opponent so they don’t just win round 3. Control: Focused on VP, board re-positions, constantly changing the board state, can even win without actually attacking, characters such as enchantress, or the team of Web Warriors, Wakanda Wave, etc. This leads to what X-Force is. If we look at X-Force in MCP we see that they really don’t fit into either of these categories. they don’t usually take a hit very well or are not really doing massive damage. (sure there are spikes and whatnot but if we look at the core not so much) My point being they really cant play a true attrition game due to these facts. Even less on the control side of the house, There is but one character push, or character throw inherent on an affiliated X-Force character currently in the game ( I had hopes with Colossus but well, we know what that is…) and that is on Wolverine’s Berserker Barrage, but we will cover wolverine when I get to him later in this series. With one character manipulation ability within the affiliation this makes control pretty much not the case. If we’re not control and we are eh kinda attrition then what are we? I will call it Aggro, I truly think X-Force can be defined as an Aggro, or aggression team. Here is why…

  1. Typically putting out damage round 1, or trying to find ways to get damage as fast as possible.
  2. Some of the Spikiest dice you will play in MCP
  3. Usually have a great start to a game then as rounds go on fizzle out
  4. Characters usually hit rather hard, but die easily ( I wouldn’t classify them as glass cannons but they’re pretty close to it)
  5. Aggression is the name of the game, I have found when I play with this in mind and just YOLO a character up and go for a crazy play that’s hyper aggressive it actually tends to work, sure sometimes you will whiff your dice but I would say most cases being aggressive with this team is the way to go!

Now, with that said, this is how in my opinion X-Force should be described. A team that takes patience to learn. Know they want to be aggressive, attack as much as possible, abuse that re-roll, in your face and don’t let up. Keep that pressure on your opponent. This is why I would call it Aggro. There are games where I will just ignore the VP (not completely just mostly) because it means I can push harder, or because of pushing harder I am able to score certain VP that normally I wouldn’t get due to spiking on a round 1 attack making my opponent drop the extract or getting them dazed to not contest a secure, whatever it may be. Aggression is the name of the game when you are playing this faction. Once you get that thought in your head and there while playing, I guarantee games will just end up being more fun. In my opinion it is how the team is meant to be played.

So, Why should I play X-Force?

Hands-down best short and sweet answer I can give you is it’s freaking fun. I know many a people who will watch a game of X-Force and just say, ” I should play X-Force again they’re just so much fun” or even myself I always find myself heading back to them to give another crack at em! For me it comes down to: they’re a blast to play, it’s nostalgic for me as one of my favorite comic lines as a kid, and the puzzle that is the team. How do I win with X-Force, how can I put them on the map and get people to stop saying they’re trash. That ultimately is my goal, hopefully win an event with them, but I know whenever I put X-Force down on the table I am going to enjoy it. It is my main-stay faction and in my opinion it probably always will be especially with the cast of characters that could potentially be in the game. So why not join me, let’s crack the code that is X-Force. The more people playing it the easier it is to find out isn’t it? or read this series of articles that I am planning on doing and see if you want to jump on this train with me, because I’m saying it here first, X-Force are on the up and up! ( kinda have a low bar to come from so they can only get better right?)

To end this short and sweet intro article, I will lay out my plan here. We will be discussing and going over pretty much every angle we can talking about my thoughts on the affiliation. From team construction, what to add for characters in and out of affiliation, what crisis best suit the team currently, and update that as we go. tactics, game-plans, squad construction at different point values, do we go mono or dual affiliated with our rosters, maybe even some fun ones like wish-lists. I have a lot planned for this series and I hope you will enjoy it as I enjoy talking about the team.But that’s all for now, quick to the point article to start a basis off, hopefully you enjoyed and look forward to more!

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Also if you haven’t, check out The Danger Room Podcast on your favorite podcast app or however you listen to them, we put out weekly content with a competitive focus with topics ranging from meta picks, to understanding competitive concepts, and pretty much anything under the sun that could be looked at in a competitive mindset! We also have a discord that you can join, chat and ask anything you like. our latest episode at time of writing…

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