SG Protocol: Which… Johann Schmidt?

Welcome back to SG Protocol, where we continue with our Which… series.

After world favourite Peter Parker and personal favourite Matt Murdock today we look at a character I have 0 sympathy with in lore: Johann Schmidt.

Red Skull has gotten his third incarnation in Core 2 and all three are leaders:

Original Core set Red Skull is a much maligned character but has done good things for me every time I’ve put him on the table.

He is very much a back board enabler for the rest of the team and not someone fighting at the front line. His leadership is OK but feels essential to have for his own kit so his splashability is rather low for my taste. Unleash the cube with its Range 4 and unlimited size throw is fantastic. His strike push is also unrestricted so if you ever need to push a Sentinel off of a secure Red Skull 1 is your man.

His signature move has to be to use Cosmic Cube and either Master of the Cube to deliver a big bad like MODOK to the fight faster, or use Advanced RnD to power up a team of charge characters for round 1 (Zemo, Ulik, Killmonger for example). Credit to Lexa White from the Morlocks Podcast for the latter.

After fueling round 1 shenanigans RS1 is more of a back point babysitter trying to Cosmic Blast people as much as possible and maybe use Master of the Cube and/or Unleash the Cube if possible. Meaning if his turn 1 isn’t impactful the rest of his game probably won’t be either.

Sculpt: B. Just a solid menacing pose. Nothing exciting but solid.

If you didn’t like the play pattern of RS1 you can maybe get behind the Master of Hydra version of Johnny here. While kind of a glass canon RS2 punches harder as almost anyone in the game if you can pay for empowered Gauntlets which you should almost always prioritise over saving up for the spender.

RS2 is mobile (even an Eyes on the Prize candidate if you can swallow the damage) and hard hitting but doesn’t support his team outside of his (very good) leadership.

His Grunts are flat out the best ones there are and cause for discussion if Grunts as a whole and his specifically were a mistake. They only gain an activated token when he dazes so they continue to contest secure objectives and cone back automatically when he activates should your opponent have taken care of them.

Sculpt: B+ if you don’t overdue the wide grin. The studio box art held me off of buying this version for some time. His in game strength brought me to buy him after all and in person it wasn’t nearly as bad.

RS3 is the newest incarnation of Herrn Schmidt and feels like an updated RS1. He loses his Strike but His Cosmic Burst is a builder. His spender is flatly worse in most situations and a waste of his power to me. A Range 3, size 3, M terrain throw for 3 power is a more interesting way to spend it. And he has what is basically Scalpel of Strange. It has advantages and disadvantages over RS1s version: the place is longer but he has to be closer. It is more expensive but it can target enemies.

As of today we don’t have a forum ruling on whose power he can spend with his innate superpower. Is it just from one character or multiple? We don’t know yet.

Sculpt: C. It is much better in person than it looked in the previews but it is still just a variation of the first sculpt and not an improvement over it in my opinion.

So which version should you take if you want to play Johann Schmidt in every game?

It depends on what you want him to be like in the table. As a in the fight bruiser you have to go with RS2 who is very strong regardless of whether he is the leader or not. When you want your Johann to be more of a menacing backboard supporter it depends on what specific things you prefer on RS1 and 3. They are so similar that it will often come down to leadership. Both 1 and 3 don’t feel worth their 4 threat as splashes for me; 2 even as a 5 threat absolutely does.

That’s it for today. Next we’ll take a look at the king of Wakanda: T’Challa. See you then and Cheers from Germany 🍻

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All cards from Jarvis Protocol.

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