Hi and welcome back to SGP. Yesterday AMG gave us the full rules for their time line events. I’m not going to give a full rundown of the rules as you can just get the document from their website in full if you’re interested, but rather what we learned about the game in general from the announcement, and what the character and card list ends up being for the first timeline.
General reception of the format wasn’t great to begin with and it’s not gotten better with the announcement in my experience. I was more on the defending side of the argument where I think bringing 30 minis to a tournament isn’t an insane task and playing 3 different rosters with no duplicates is a fun challenge that can be embraced rather than criticized. But I always said adding restrictions to that then feels counter intuitive and the actual list of allowed stuff makes or breaks the format for me. And oh boy…
Now we all have to remember that this is for the most part completely optional and the only known time it will be used is at Adepticon. Where we also don’t know if it will be the main (only?) event or if there’s going to be a standard tournament anyway. So for 99% of players, including me, this all has basically 0 effect on our gaming life.
But we definitely can learn something for it all.
First of, confirmations on affiliations for the new characters coming out in early 24:
King T’Challa: Avengers, Wakanda (leader)
So just like 4 threat Black Panther. I wasn’t sure he’d get the Avengers tag but he did and that gives them a boost no doubt.
Shadowking was a character I didn’t know where to expect and would have probably guessed Cabal instead. He honestly doesn’t jump out to me under either BH leadership but he’s very hard to evaluate without having seen him on the table anyway.
Professor X: Uncanny X-Men (leader)
I think my cats could have predicted this. Until we get the inevitable Krakoa affiliation nothing else would’ve made sense for the Prof.
Bishop: Uncanny X-Men, X-Force
Killing our collective hope of him having a second X-Force leadership Bishop lands where you’d expected him to.
Iceman: Uncanny X-Men
Nothing to add here.
Nightcrawler: Uncanny X-Men
Booo! I was expecting him to be in X-Force too but oh well….
Shadowcat: Uncanny X-Men
Killmonger, Usurper: Wakanda
Notably not Cabal or CS like his older version.
What we also learned:
None of the other announced models, like Ben Riley, Gwenom, the new Spider-Foes, Shang Shi and Silver Sable are on the list. Which probably means none of these will be available before Adepticon 😩.
It’s kind of hard to realise which tactics cards are missing from the list so I don’t claim to have the extensive list here but three big ones missing I noticed:
Eyes on the Prize*
First Class (X-Men)
Rumors of Eyes going away are making their rounds for quite a few weeks now and O wouldn’t be too surprised to see it restricted at least but it is completely absent in timeline. However looking at the list of allowed characters there basically isn’t anyone left who can use it without outside help on turn 1.
Let’s get into the list then.
While missing a ton of affiliated models A-Force appears to have some core members there. She-Hulk, Okoye, Spider-Woman, Black Cat is a pretty standard core for the faction anyway with Domino, Widow 3 and Cosmic Carol adding good options for additional 3, 4 and 5 threats.
Does not get to play. My current favourite faction and the one I have the best winrate with is excluded for not being boring earth people. Boo. We also can’t guess a release date for the new affi box because of it but it appears to be a looong time off yet 😕.
No Sam, Hulk or Voodoo. Is the end near for the Avengers? Probably not, still a lot of very good models on the list. And War Machine. He is also there. He won’t be taken but he made it on the list. Loads of overlap with A-Force and dual affiliating appears to be the name of the game here for me. But the question is what you gain from it… Avengers will still be one of the three rosters for most players I would bet.
Brotherhood comes out mostly intact and with only every third list having brace Magneto is truly the big bad in the format. I expect everyone to run BH at least as part of a roster too. And having Quicksilver, Pyro and Toad there means the Mystique plan is a viable option as well. Toad feels especially surprising because he offers a somewhat safe grab, which is something not wanted in the format very apparently.
Not included. Meh.
Like Avengers Cabal gets reduced to the new core box leadership. They also loose one of their best affiliated models in 3 threat Baron Zemo (notably non of the core 1 characters is legal in timeline). Unlike Avengers or Brotherhood Cabal doesn’t strike me as particularly strong or interesting in this format.
Nudok as the only viable leader is a harsh change for one of the premier competitive teams otherwise. No Kingpin and no Shadowlands Daredevil has me rather cold on this. It is an easy dual with Cabal if that’s interesting to explore.
Not included. No mystic arts allowed in this park it seems….
Dark Dimension :
Not included. No counter mystic arts either.
No Convocation also heavily affects the Defenders here as well who are pure Daredevil. The list is short but pretty strong nonetheless. Definitely one many people will at least consider. Also an easy dual with Avengers.
Guardians of the Galaxy:
Not included. The most played faction in the game and one of the most winning one on top of that. Probably the exclusion I have the least problem with 😅.
Not included. Emma couldn’t be bothered. Probably she doesn’t want to go to Chicago because the wind might mess up her hair.
Probably the better route to take if you want to play a bad guys team than Cabal. Not having their strongest affiliated model (Red Skull 2) is a huge hit but they at least have a good scenario team still available. Easy dual with both CS and Cabal.
Not included. Living on the moon means no party for the royal family.
Not included. Blade is busy in Tschernobyl it seems.
Sentinels keep their full roster. Yay? The overall meta might be a bit friendlier for them here but still…
Shield is missing a lot of their core pieces in Nick Furys Jr. (So no Eye in the Sky) And SR. as well as Agent Venom. They look very strong nonetheless. And you basically have an automatic Avengers affiliated roster on top of it.
No Kingpin here either. Also none of the new affi pack so they probably won’t be out until after Adepticon. So sad times…
No Storm on top of no First Class. I can hear the X-Men Fanboys and Girls crying from here 😅 We can’t say anything about their power level though as we don’t know anything about Prof X.
No Storm here either and in the entire timeline no character has multiple versions allowed and we get stuck with the rivals panels ones here. Both are decent at least.
Miles only Web Warriors here as Peter is in his Spectacular status here rather than Amazing. Meaning there aren’t true any safe grabs available in the format. Missing Gwen is also quite a hit for the faction. Still probably one to look out for.
Not included. Get your free Shrugs here.
AMG giveth, AMG taketh away. Winter Guard stays mostly intact but looses an important recent addition from standard in 2 threat Black Widow who gave them a fast objective runner they heavily lack otherwise.
Winter Guard is pretty strong in the right hands and can be a good alternative as a second affiliation in a roster for specific cases. Not a lot of overlap with other affiliations though. Also expected Crimson Dynamo in every single players list somewhere. He’s arguably the best available model in the format.
X-Force remains intact and gets the potential boost of Bishop on top of it. Probably one of the three rosters for many people.
That’s it. No Hulks, Malekith, Cosmic Ghost Rider or Beta Ray Bill. That makes the list interesting but so many exclusions overall combined with the three rosters will, in my opinion, create the opposite of a diverse playing field. With so much time in advance now the people interested in the format will figure out the three lists.
Without having spent too much time with it my guess is this:
- Roster: Shield/ Avengers
- Roster: Defenders / Web Warriors
- Roster: Brotherhood (+maybe Spider-Foes if you bring Ock, Venom and Rhino who all could be decent in Magneto and OK in Mystique)
X-Force might replace one of them. And X-Men are a wild card still because we don’t now what Charles’ leadership will be.
It will come down to where to put which cards and which roster will get which number.
Overall I gotta say I’m not a fan. As I said earlier I really like the idea of the three unique rosters but restricting the models so heavily then ends up doing the opposite of what was supposed to happen in making rosters very samey instead of diverse.
I can’t imagine too many events picking this format up except maybe as a little side event so it probably doesn’t matter too much for the game overall but it is definitely interesting how much AMG appears to dislike the safe grab.
Let’s hope for a Xavier card reveal soon so we can assess if X-Men can get a spot in the rosters or not.
That’s it for today. See you next time and cheers from Germany 🍻
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