The Bovine Overlord -Inhumans team tournament report: Crisis In Caledonia 20Apr2024

We had a team event in Marvel Crisis Protocol last weekend, hosted by Allan and run out of Common Ground Games in Stirling. Akos, Frazer, Gareth and Joe joined me in Underpowered Scoundrels Form Mediocre Syndicate and we set out with the full expectation of coming in at the bottom of the pack.

The rules meant that only one of each character and Tactics Card could be used per team, and all of the Crisis Cards had to be used at least once before they could be duplicated. The Serious Business way to play this would be to work out the five strongest rosters, divide up the all of the best characters appropriately and then carefully work out who we would try to put into each match up with the other teams. We didn’t do any of that. Instead, we all just listed the teams that we wanted to play, and then went through and removed any duplicates. Our goal in the match-up process was to get entertaining match-ups where possible rather than trying to specifically arrange an overall team win. I stuck with Inhumans and removed a few of the tech pieces from my ‘main’ roster as they were needed elsewhere; otherwise our team was Brotherhood of Mutants (Akos), Asgard & Wakanda (Frazer), Avengers (Gareth) and finally Spider Foes & Criminal Syndicate (Joe).

Characters (10)
Black Bolt (5)
Crystal (3)
Medusa (4)
Ms. Marvel (3)
Quicksilver (3)
Crimson Dynamo (4)
Toad (2)
Beast (3)
Spider-Man (Miles Morales) (3)
Spider-Woman (4)

Team Tactics (10)
Sacrifice (R)
Can I Borrow That?
Inhuman Royal Family
No Matter the Cost
Double Agent
Escort to Safety
Trip Up

Secure Crisis
Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest (E, 15)
Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? (E, 19)
Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse (C, 19)

Extract Crisis
Research Station Attacked! (E, 15)
Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown! (C, 17)
Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? (C, 19)

Game 1: David playing Midnight Suns

In our first game we’re up against Absolute Weapon who are clearly taking things a bit more seriously than us. I end up playing into David with his Midnight Suns roster; he wins priority and chooses his own Secures. I go for the slightly lower threat level for the simple reason that I can make a team out of it nicely. Crimson Dynamo is there to make the likely triggers from David’s team a bit less likely while Medusa can put out a lot of consistent damage while moving my own pieces around in case they inevitably get displaced. David’s team is a lot less worried about the Stun from the Secures than I am so my plan is not to contest too hard in round 1 and work over Blade and Juggernaut, then I can hope to deal with Hulk in due course.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown!
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows To Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Black Bolt, Medusa, Ms Marvel, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: Escort To Safety, Inhuman Royal Family, No Matter The Cost, Sacrifice, Smash
David’s team: Blade, Immortal Hulk, Juggernaut
David’s cards: Do You Know Who I Am?, One Below All, Patch Up, Siege Of Darkness, Smash

Round 1: I don’t want to put up anyone too quickly because David’s team will make short work of them. On the other hand, I can’t afford to let things get too far out of hand or I’ll run out of fighting time. Juggernaut collects the central Core and then Bumps onto the righthand objective. I should have collected the left Core with Ms Marvel at this point but I was really worried that Hulk would just drop her in one so instead Dynamo takes a power from Black Bolt, jumps forward and starts applying Shock to Juggernaut. David uses his Pass and Medusa uses Royal Decree to bring Black Bolt into the fray. Hulk takes the left Core and sites on the Secure over there. On the one hand, I guess I’m happy for him to be out of my hair, but on the other hand I can’t just give up three VPs a turn if David goes on the defensive. Ms Marvel and Blade both spend their activations walking to the right and finally Black Bolt rolls like a champion to daze Juggernaut which is pretty handy. The score is 3 – 0 to David.

Round 2: The priority here is to KO Juggernaut because if I can bring him down then the rest of my life gets easier. Juggernaut slightly helps me out with some weak attacks into Black Bolt but then throws Crimson Dynamo into him and the king away with Do You Know Who I Am to daze my leader. Medusa does at least daze Blade in return. Immortal Hulk uses Smash, his own jump and One Below All to get across the board and slap Ms Marvel and Crimson Dynamo around a bit. Ms Marvel tickles Juggernaut and Crimson Dynamo applies Shock to both of David’s big guys. The score now goes to 3 – 2, though Ms Marvel also dazes in the end phase because of the scenario effects.

Round 3: Black hurts Ms Marvel then plays a brutal Siege of Darkness turn to really pile on the damage. Crimson Dynamo continues to put damage onto the Midnight Suns and then Juggernaut has an amazing turn where he dazes Medusa and KOs Ms Marvel while also receiving a Patch Up from Blade. Black Bolt is forced to walk over and uses Whisper to do some very nice damage into both Juggernaut and Blade. Hulk dazes Dynamo and throws Black Bolt off the point and the score goes to a rather alarming 9 – 2, though at least Blade gets Koed from the scenario.

Round 4: At least I now have priority. I need to score a lot of point this turn, but I can probably get a clear turn as Black Bolt should be able to deal with both of David’s remaining characters. He starts with a Master Punch to throw Hulk into Juggernaut. I consider doing that again but there are too many failure cases (daze Hulk in one and don’t throw him, get the throw but don’t daze Juggernaut etc) so he uses No Matter The Cost for a Whisper that does the job. I make a big mistake though and don’t place Black Bolt on the point at this stage. Crimson Dynamo moves to stand on the left point with an Extract and Medusa goes to the right but doesn’t have the movement to also collect a token so there is one sitting on the ground still. The score goes to 9 – 8 to David.

Round 5: If Black Bolt can survive a round with Hulk I’m confident of a win here. Otherwise, it’s going to be very tight. Either way, there probably aren’t too many remaining decision points since I don’t have any useful way to displace him if Black Bolt goes down. Hulk goes into Black Bolt and drops him with the exact damage needed which is rather upsetting. Dynamo and Medusa run around scooping up the Cores and standing places that Hulk isn’t, and the score goes to 12 – 12.

Round 6: If Hulk can drop Medusa with a single attack (since he’ll have to walk and Gamma Leap to make the attack) then I’ll lose, otherwise I’ll win. David rolls the dice and does 6 damage off his 7 dice attack, and I roll zero blocks even with a reroll. Oh well. The score is 15 – 15.

Round 7: This is over now; if we just sit there then Crimson Dynamo will run out of wounds from the scenario damage long before Hulk does. But we don’t need to worry about that, as Hulk KOs him with a single swing giving David a well-deserved win.

Wow, what a close fun game. I was debating between Ms Marvel and Crystal for my team and I should definitely have gone with Crystal; her long move and conditions could have ben relevant in many cases. Ms Marvel could still have been impactful if I hadn’t deployed her in the worst possible place – she should have been pretty much in the centre so I could send her after either of the outside Extracts. I could also have just placed Black Bolt more sensibly in round 4 and been able to score us out in round 6 by getting Medusa to collect the final Core earlier. Still, I got lucky to drop Juggernaut in round 1 and I should really have been playing all of this 3 points down. Good work by David who punished my mistakes and had an actual plan here. The rest of the team largely fares as well as I did and we go down 4 – 1.

Game 2: Kai playing Avengers

This time we’re matched up with Brotherhood Without Manners, all regulars at our events and mainly based in Dundee. I get Kai, who I think that I haven’t played in a long time, and win priority to choose my Secures. With Demons and Hammers this is going to be all about murdering the other team so I go down that route as hard as possible with the only ‘soft’ option being Quicksilver who will hopefully steal someone’s Hammer at some stage and run away with it.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy Terrorise Cities
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 19
My team: Black Bolt, Medusa, Ms Marvel, Quicksilver, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: Can I Borrow That, Escort To Safety, Inhuman Royal Family, Sacrifice, Smash
Kai’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Ghost Rider, Winter Soldier
Kai’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Brace For Impact, Deal With The Devil, Second Wind, Stark Armoury

Round 1: This is a pretty simple plan – take the right Hammer with Ms Marvel, let steal the left Hammer with Quicksilver’s card and then fight everyone in the middle. The combination of Bodyguard and Got Your Back is likely to be quite annoying but I think I can play around it. Predictably, Ms Marvel does take the Hammer on the right and Iron Man goes on the left. Quicksilver takes some power from Black Bolt and uses Speedster to get up to Iron Man but then fails to do any damage and hence just leaves him sitting there perplexed but still holding the Hammer. Captain America takes the middle and Medusa moves Crimson Dynamo with Royal Decree having borrowed Black Bolt’s other power. Winter Soldier comes on to the back point and takes that Hammer, then points out that I left Medusa too far forward by shooting off half of her health. Black Bolt bounces uselessly off Captain America, Captain Marvel joins him in the middle and Crimson Dynamo beams the three of them to give out Shock all round. Finally Ghost Rider surprises me by not attacking Ms Marvel for her Hammer but instead dazes Medusa. The score is 4 – 3 to Kai.

Round 2: Apart from a few niggles, that went pretty much the way I wanted it. I want to spend this turn leveraging attrition as the scores aren’t likely to change hugely so I just need to stop Kai from getting hold of too many Hammers. Medusa starts us out by throwing Ghost Rider into Captain Marvel, drawing out Brace For Impact. She then dazes Captain America (who had used Bodyguard to take the attack for Winter Soldier) and the Got Your Back KOs her in a single shot. Well that is quite annoying. Captain Marvel goes into Binary Form but then largely bounces off Crimson Dynamo as he uses Disruption Field to keep the incoming damage down to a respectable amount. In return Dynamo dazes Winter Soldier, Propulsion Thrusters over to collect the fallen Hammer and finishes dazing Captain Marvel. Ghost Rider puts a lot of damage into Crimson Dynamo but he stays standing. Quicksilver then has the most remarkable turn I’ve ever seen. He hits Iron Man and uses Can I Borrow That? to steal his Hammer. He then rolls both triggers on his builder six times in a row to bounce back and forth between Ghost Rider and Iron Man, eventually dazing the latter. Ms Marvel and Black Bolt daze Ghost Rider and the score goes to 8 – 4 in my favour.

Round 3: I’m expecting a pretty big fight-back turn here from Kai but overall the game have swung to favour me. My plan is to focus down and KO characters to get back to parity with number and then just see the game out. Unfortunately that stellar round of attacks has somehow given away priority despite me already having lost Medusa. Captain Marvel goes into Binary Form again and dazes Crimson Dynamo, the Kai pays for Avengers Assemble on her, Captain America and Iron Man to move them into better spots. Black Bolt tries to swing at Ghost Rider but Captain America takes it so I throw him out of the way, pick up a fallen Hammer and then try again with a bit more success. Ghost Rider uses Hell On Wheels to make sure that Quicksilver can’t just run out of range and leaves him on a single wound before dropping Ms Marvel in a single go. Quicksilver has another good run of dice to KO Iron Man before Winter Soldier dazes him and uses Hydra Tactics to hop around and collect some Hammers. Captain America ends by throwing Black Bolt off the back point. The score evens up at 9 – 9.

Round 4: Now that I have priority back I can get to work polishing off Kai’s wounded team; Winter Soldier is the first target because I don’t want him doing Got Your Back with a pair of Hammers on him. Ms Marvel throws him into Ghost Rider, Embiggens, pays for Smash and then thumps him for the KO. She picks up those Hammer and KOs Ghost Rider; Kai could play Deal With The Devil here but decides that the two Captains are too important to sacrifice for this. Captain Marvel goes Binary again and dazes Black Bolt. Crimson Dynamo hops onto the middle and beams Kai’s team before Captain America pushes him off again. Quicksilver puts the last wound onto Captain Marvel and gratefully collects her Hammers. The score is now 14 – 10 to me.

Round 5: With just Captain America left, this is basically all over. He hurts Ms Marvel but can’t finish her off. I could probably KO Captain America in return but it seems needless so Ms Marvel throws him off the point and we score up. The final result is 21 – 10.

Many thanks to Kai for a very fun game. That probably featured the silliest dice I’ve seen in a long time with both Quicksilver and Winter Solder rolling absolutely stellar whenever they needed it. Kai probably could have focused more on having Captain America and Captain Marvel throw Crimson Dynamo into my team as they really hate that (especially without Brace For Impact in this format) and made more use of Ghost Rider down the middle where his immunity to Incinerate and his beam attack would have been really annoying to deal with. The games for the rest of the team have not favoured us though and we’re squeaked out 3 – 2.

Game 3: Simon playing Criminal Syndicate

So here we are, as foretold, at the bottom table. The match-up process puts me in with Simon who is returning to the scene after a while away having had another baby. I win priority which is helpful into Criminals as it should slow down the scoring by enough to fight everyone and we end up with a very satisfactory arrangement of Crises to play on. Since we’re at 19 again I just stick with basically the same team as last time with the exception of swapping out Quicksilver for Crystal.

Extraction: Deadly Legacy Virus Cured?
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 19
My team: Black Bolt, Crystal, Medusa, Ms Marvel, Crimson Dynamo
My cards: Escort To Safety, Inhuman Royal Family, No Matter The Cost, Sacrifice, Smash
Simon’s team: Kingpin, Bullseye, MODOK, Rhino, Shadowlands Daredevil
Simon’s cards: All According To Plan, Disarm, Indomitable, Shadow Organisation, This Is A Robbery

Round 1: The plan here is largely the same as the last game with Kai – don’t give up too much of a points lead and focus on attrition until I have enough of a lead that I can start to catch up on points again Ms Marvel takes the Extract on the right and Rhino picks up the one on the left. Medusa uses Royal Decree to bring Crimson Dynamo forward and picks up the final token. MODOK zaps Crimson Dynamo rather more effectively that I would have liked and Bows Medusa backwards, which is probably not too bad for me as it means at least that she won’t get Incinerate. Crystal puts Incinerate on Rhino but does no actual damage, Daredevil bounces similarly off Ms Marvel and Black Bolt continues this trend by failing to do a great deal of anything to MODOK. Kingpin comes into the middle and Crimson Dynamo shoots him and MODOK a little. The score is 3 – 2 to Simon.

Round 2: I’m not Incinerated and most of Simon’s team is, so it’s time to get to work. I need to daze a couple of Simon’s team here so that I can start to KO them next turn and Kingpin is the number one target. Simon plays a very good use of Shadow Organisation on Kingpin and MODOK which messes with my immediate plans to start punching people with Black Bolt so instead Crimson Dynamo jumps in to zap Bullseye and Kingpin, getting the daze on the latter. Over on the right Daredevil and the Ninjas make short work of Ms Marvel and then on the other side Crystal rolls rather heroically to daze Rhino. Bullseye finishes off Crimson Dynamo and Black Bolt walks into range of MODOK and fails to roll even a single success on a Master Punch. Simon could have used Indomitable but I need to draw it out at some point. I also made a big error placing Black Bolt at the rear Secure which got him Incinerated without even scoring. MODOK hurts him back in return and Medusa puts a few attacks into MODOK for similarly little effect. The score is 5 – 4 to Simon now.

Round 3: That could have gone better (mainly with Black Bolt) but otherwise I’m kind of on the same plan. Daredevil is the lowest priority while Kingpin and Rhino and the ones I need to actually deal with. Medusa gets targeted with Disarm which is going to make her turn rather anaemic and Kingpin lays into Crimson Dynamo leaving him on a single point of damage with Stagger. Black Bolt uses Master Punch on Kingpin to force out Indomitable and then fails to damage MODOK for the second attack in a row. Rhino comes in and uses This Is A Robbery on Medusa (KOing Crimson Dynamo in the process of the throw) and then dazes her from full health. I guess that saves me worrying about Disarm. Ms Marvel dazes Daredevil in return and Bullseye puts a couple of shots into Black Bolt before Crystal dazes him too. MODOK completes the turn by dazing Black Bolt and Bowing Crystal out of the way. The score goes to 7 – 6, still in Simon’s favour.

Round 4: I can probably drop Kingpin this turn which will make my life a bit easier but I need to get MODOK under control after Black Bolt’s complete failure to do anything to the big head. Simon plays All According To Plan and Kingpin hurls my leader off out of the way before tickling Medusa. Medusa has an epic turn, throwing Bullseye at MODOK to make sure that he’s in range for her spender, then KOing Kingpin and Bullseye and finally dazing MODOK. That’s how you do it, Black Bolt! Daredevil comes over to do his area attack on Black Bolt and Ms Marvel and I gamble with Sacrifice onto Black Bolt hoping that I can keep them both up as my leader has 8 health here. It doesn’t pay off and he goes down. I compound my error by not immediately using Ms Marvel so Rhino survives what Crystal has to offer and KOs Ms Marvel. We’re now at 8 – 7 to Simon.

Round 5: I’m running out of pieces to do work with here so I just need to start evening up the odds. Medusa throws the Ninjas into Rhino hoping for an unlucky defence roll but he survives on one. She does at least KO MODOK. Rhino dazes Crystal, Stampedes across the board and drops a casual five damage into Medusa; I can probably hold on for a win if she survives but Daredevil manages the last damage on her from afar. 11 – 7 to Simon.

Round 6: Well, if Crystal can somehow KO both of Simon’s characters here I’ll take an ill-deserved win but it seems unlikely. She moves across and Incinerates both of them, (KOing Rhino in the process) but can’t quite get enough damage on Daredevil to seal the deal. The game finishes at 13 – 8 to Simon.

Well done Simon for beating me very soundly. I played a couple of turns very poorly, especially in round 4 where I activated characters in the wrong order repeatedly and also took a (I think reasonable) gamble with Sacrifice that didn’t pay off. Black Bolt’s apparent complete inability to put even a single damage on MODOK cost me very dearly, and I compounded it by getting him Incinerated for no gain at all. There is definitely plenty to improve from where I played here, but nonetheless I had a lot of fun getting to face Simon across the table again. The rest of my team fares better and we take the round 3 – 2 to avoid the wooden spoon.

Overall that was a lot of fun and I don’t think that I would change our overall ‘fly casual’ strategy if we had out time again. The event fuelled my nihilism as even if all three of my games had the opposite results then our team results wouldn’t have changed at all. Thanks to David, Kai and Simon for three more fun games of MCP, to the rest of my team (Akos, Frazer, Gareth and Joe) for joining me and putting up with my poor match-up decisions all day and of course to Allan for running the whole thing. I shall return!

Leave a Reply