After a successful Round One with Kingpin and the Criminal Syndicate, I am paired against Mike and a Pentathaletes roster as discussed by Xavier Protocols. The short story of the list is using Pentagram of Farallah for some exciting turn one plays, including scoring the Wakandan Herbs, Hulk picking up 3 Cube Shards, and getting M.O.D.O.K onto the midpoint of Gamma Shelters to take 4 actions attacking with All You’ve Got and healing with Field Dressing. None of these scenarios seems particularly good for me, but with the amount of VP the Syndicate can score, playing smart and calculated might let me pull out the W.
My opponent wins the priority roll off and selects Secures. That’s not so good of a start for me already. I hope to pull Senators to keep the threat value low, but of course, it is discarded. Now I have to chose between Herbs and Cubes. Cubes is probably the worst of the options for me while Syndicate has good play into Herbs, so I select that. I think he will score Herbs on the first turn, but I will score it on the second while blocking him. After that, it will be a scrum for sure. My opponent selects Demons Downtown and opts for 15 threat. He stated he didn’t want to see both M.O.D.O.K and Killmonger coming at him; not a bad point.
Character selection is somewhat predetermined for me at 15 points and Herbs. Kingpin, Taskmaster, Bullseye, Okoye, and Mystique are the easy call because I need to have at least 5 activations to keep him from going last. My TT cards are All According to Plan, Medpack, Brace for Impact, Deception, and Climbing Gear.
He selects Doctor Strange, Soul Gem, Wolverine, Valkyrie and Toad. His TT cards are Pentagram, Field Dressing, Advanced R & D, Medpack, and No Matter the Cost.
My opponent deploys Toad near the Herb vessel, Strange in the middle, Wolverine to my right, and Valkyrie in position to grab the Herb. I deploy Taskmaster to get my Herb, Bullseye next to him, Okoye in the middle, Kingpin to score on the vessel, and Mystique on my right flank. The post-match analysis says I should have deployed her more central. That’s how you learn. Her long move will help compensate for the poor deployment.
Round one goes as expected, Valkyrie moves to pick up the Herb, using the portal to teleport back. Bullseye double moves to the middle Demon portal. Strange secures the near Demon portal and takes a shot at Bullseye, doing 1 damage. Bullseye uses Parting Shot to move back into position and get a point of damage to Strange. Wolverine positions himself to do some damage in round two by climbing onto the size 5 building. Okoye moves to my Demon portal and shoots at Wolverine. She doesn’t get any damage through but does reach 2 power. Opponent passes. Kingpin moves towards my vessel in hopes of catching a Herb in round two. Toad uses Finder’s Keepers after Advanced R & D to take the Herb from Valkyrie and move into position to score. Taskmaster moves twice to pick up my Herb. Mystique moves twice to get closer to Toad so I can use Deception next round to prevent another 4-point VP swing.
In Round Two, my opponent starts with Valkyrie and a double move followed by a throw on Taskmaster. He wisely leaves her within range 2 of Toad to prevent a Deception play. Mystique moves towards Toad and takes a pistol shot at Valkyrie, dealing 2 damage and getting a hit, so Rapid Fire triggers and she does another 2 damage. With 4 damage on Valkyrie, my opponent moves Strange off of the back point to use Oshtur’s Refuge to heal Valkyrie 3 damage and then shoot Bullseye. Again, Strange does 1 damage to Bullseye while he uses Parting Shot to move back into position and get a point of damage to Strange. This leaves me in a bad spot as Taskmaster has been thrown out of position to both attack and move close enough to Okoye to use Illicit Network to pass the Herb. Taskmaster moves to range 2 and attacks Valkyrie with a strike. He’s quite angry about being thrown out of position and rolls 3 hits, 2 crits, and a skull. Remember that he gets an extra die because of the Herb. The crits add an extra hit and a blank. Valkyrie only blocks 1 damage even with the defense boost from Strange and is dazed. It was quite an amazing swing in momentum. Taskmaster plays Climbing Gear to move closer to Okoye and passes the Herb.
Wolverine is outside of range 3 to attack Okoye, so he moves closer, plays No Matter the Cost, and attacks her with Berserker Barrage. My opponent’s dice fail miserably and he only does 2 damage to an Incinerated Okoye. Okoye moves back to the Demon portal and passes the Herb to Kingpin. My opponent passes. Bullseye whiffs some knives at Strange to no effect. Toad gets into range 3 of Mystique and attacks her. She has cover from the billboard and only suffers 1 damage even though she is also Incinerated. Before Kingpin activates, I play Deception to pull Toad off of the vessel. In hindsight, I realize that we misplayed Oshtur’s Refuge as a range 3 effect instead of range 2, which would have prevented Deception. Kingpin moves to score the Herb for me and the round is over. It was a massive comeback in the second round for me. So far, it’s all going as I predicted. Round Three is to come.
Round Three is setting up as a beatdown of a round. Valkyrie charges and uses Dragon Fang and Warrior of Legend on Mystique. Unfortunately for him, my opponent’s dice are still ice cold. He only gets 2 hits with no wild to trigger the flurry attack. After that whiff, he decides to concede as he doesn’t think it’s worth continuing with frozen dice.
With the competition over, we chat about what would happen in the rest of the round. My Mystique would Expert Sabotage to blow up the yellow car to deal 2 damage to Toad and Valkyrie then Espionage to daze Toad. He would need to send Strange through the portal to come after Kingpin and move Wolverine to support that effort. It’s doubtful that the two of them can daze Kingpin this round to prevent the 4 VP for the Herb, especially with me holding Medpack to keep him standing. Bullseye would move to the far Demon portal and Taskmaster would end up on the middle Demon portal. This outcome would score me 7 VP this round, putting me to 15. The next round, my opponent would be able to score his Herb again and probably stop Kingpin from scoring mine, but he would not have the models or actions necessary to stop me from getting the last point and securing the win.
While the match was fun and exciting, it is always difficult when my opponent gets so frustrated with the dice that they don’t want to finish. We also had a pretty sizeable misplay in the range of Oshtur’s Refuge which certainly impacted the game, but we both missed it. Those things happen, sadly. I guess the take away is to double-check the range of effects even when you think you know them.
On to Week 3 where the number of 2-0 players drops yet again. With some luck and good fortune, I will be back in the winner’s circle but either way, I will post the play by play.