Marvel: Crisis Protocol @ TCB

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For the most part, Marvel Crisis Protocol plays like a standard modern miniatures game. Characters get two actions which they can use to do things like move, attack, or activate particular hero powers. Movement and range are measured with included custom tools to keep things fast and simple. Attacks are resolved by each player rolling a pool of dice and looking for hit or block symbols to attack or defend, with “wild” icons adding additional effects depending on the attack used.

Marvel: Crisis Protocol - Earth's Mightiest Core Set Board Game Review - IGN Image

With each character representing a superhero, you can probably imagine that these additional effects, along with their unique attacks and powers, encompass a wild range of wacky results. Spider-Man, for example, can slam enemy characters into the scenery, while Red Skull can warp both himself and other characters around the map. Most of the more powerful abilities require you to pay a resource called power which is in short supply at the beginning of the game.

Note: figures come unpainted.However, in a twist of considerable genius, characters get extra power when they’re wounded and when they use particular attacks. This is a useful feedback loop that boosts a player taking hits due to unlucky dice, but it also results in an escalating feedback loop whereby the more everyone is punching and throwing each other around, the more options they have to punch and throw each other even harder. Characters also get dazed after accumulating enough wounds, which flips their character cards over and sometimes reveals even more powerful effects to bring into play.

The result is an ever-escalating fist-fight that feels like flipping the panels on your favorite comic. It won’t be long before characters are chaining attacks into other attacks, throwing the scenery around, throwing each other around -- sometimes into the paths of incoming attacks -- and crisscrossing the battlefield with energy beams or freeze rays and generally doing what superheroes do best: escalating craziness with every punch until someone finally gets hit for six at the climax.

Not only is this the thematic core of Marvel: Crisis Protocol, it’s also where a lot of the tactical decisions lie. It all comes down to assessing the situation and trying to choose which heroes and powers will work best together to counter the enemy. 

The remainder of the strategy comes from the game’s objective system. This is a clever concept that removes a lot of the rock-paper-scissors faction match-up issues that plague a lot of other miniatures games. You build a team of 10 models, and support that team with a choice of crisis cards, which determine the scenario, and team tactics cards, one-shot special powers. Each player draws a crisis card at random from their roster, and those two become the scenario objectives -- one detailing objectives to hold and one with items or civilians to get off the battlefield. They also mandate a points cap, and players can choose which of their 10 models to use up to that points value.

This is essentially a kind of sideboard system which allows you to strategically prepare sets of cards and figures that work well together and then finalize them when the exact parameters of the mission become clear. In turn, it offers tons of variety and means you can be much more flexible in how you approach your goals each and every game. So you’re reacting to a new tactical challenge each time by making informed decisions rather than just showing up with a list and hoping your picks will be up to doing whatever job turns out to be asked of them.

 Introductory Information:

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Still want to learn more? Check out the Marvel: Crisis Protocol Forum on Atomic Mass Games' website HERE

Please enjoy some pictures of actual in-store gameplay from March 10, 2024 BELOW:


    ***A special thanks to for providing the meat-and-potatoes of this overview of MCP.***

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