I usually start these ‘One Year On’ posts by saying something along the lines of, ‘it doesn’t see as much time at the table as it deserves,’ which is usually down to the fact that my moth-like mind has fluttered onto something new and shiny, but with this game things are a little different.
Marvel: Crisis Protocol has fast become a staple game in our household, in fact we played a couple of games earlier this week, and over the last year it has probably been the most played game in my collection.
So, what is it that has caught not just my attention, but my daughter’s too? Well, for starters, it’s Marvel through and through. The miniatures are fantastic and a joy to paint (though not always to assemble!) and the characters themselves have skills that represent their comic/movie namesakes to a tee.
Then there’s the cinematic feel of the gameplay – bouncing Iron-man’s beam off Captain America’s shield, or Loki jumping out of the way of Ghost Riders beam attack, leaving his compadres to take it on the chin – it makes you feel like you’re playing along to a movie, and its great entertainment.
What does take some by surprise, though, is the tactical depth of the game. It starts with roster creation, and just trying to decide which ten characters to take can be brain bursting – I started with characters I liked from the comics/movies, but over time, as I’ve gained more experience, I’ve refined my roster a little so that it works better on the table. For instance, If Loki’s in Yasmin’s roster of ten, then I’m likely include Captain America, as his leadership offsets Loki’s ‘God of Mischief’ superpower.
Things ramp up once the game has actually begun and there are many viable strategies one can take (bear in mind that we play just for fun and not competitively, so our plans and tactics are pretty simple). It’s all about Victory Points at the end of the day and bringing in more than your opponent every turn will win you the game, and this is the focus of each player. If I play characters with long movement, it may be viable to try and steal extract objectives that are on my opponent’s side of the table first. That way, if I can hold them for the first turn, I should be in front, after that it’s often a case of running away or protecting the character holding them.
I’ll usually place a powerful character in my centre, and advance to secure/control an objective that’s in the middle of the battlefield, that way they’re sure to draw fire, gain more power, and hence, become more deadly themselves. Of course, there are certain characters one just tries to avoid if possible. Yasmin will refrain from attacking Captain Marvel, because she’s slow at gaining power and if left might alone, may never have enough to become a danger. However, this often plays into my hands and, after she’s made a quick initial grab of an extract, she’ll keep bringing in VPs for the rest of the game.
Every game we’ve played so far has been different, mainly because we always have new characters we want to try out. The last couple of games it’s been Drax, and I wanted to see how he played with Ronan in a Guardians roster, I then played him in Avengers too. I really enjoyed how he played, especially with his superpower ‘The Destroyer,’ which enables him to throw characters and terrain of size 3 around – His Titan Killer strike throws characters of up to size 4, but you have to roll a wild to do so. He lacks range, which frustrated me at times, and is one of the drawbacks to playing all Guardians of the Galaxy characters, that, and the lack of fliers/wall crawlers.
It’s things like this, though, that make me want to keep playing. Buying, painting, and then playing with characters that I remember from my childhood is a joy, especially when they turn out to do the things you expect… just as long as you roll the right dice that is – is an absolute joy and I love it!
Knowing what I know now, would I still have bought it? Yes, yes, yes!
Will it still remain in my collection? Definitely, and I’m just going to keep adding to it. There are so many great characters available with many more on the horizon, and it makes it hard to decide who’s going to be next!
One Year On –If you like skirmish games and you’re into Marvel, then this is a must buy. Every time I play, I get a buzz from it. It might be someone’s just pulled of a really great tactical move, using skills in ways I’ve not thought of, to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat. Or, it might be an awesome cinematic moment, such as Drax whipping Bullseye in vengeance for an earlier attack. Either way, it makes me want to play again, and again, and again…
Read My original review HERE