MCP: The Red Skull

With Marvel: Crisis Protocol dropping, it’s only fitting that we start the day off with our first look at the personalities we’ll be pushing around the table. At GenCon the first model I got to play with in the demo was Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull, and by some weird coincidence the Red Skull is also the first model from the core set that I’ve finished painting! Mad crazy happenstance, I know…

Given how I usually choose models that are on the more… good guy side (or at least convinced they are), I was surprised by how much I enjoyed playing a character that even the Joker refused to work with, in a crossover when he found out the Red Skull was an actual nazi. Maybe I was under the influence of the Cosmic Cube.

One of the least dynamic sculpts in the core set, this model nevertheless encapsulates much of what it means to be the Red Skull. While not averse to expressing his displeasure with his fists, Schmidt generally is the puppet master, the power behind the scenes, manipulating and controlling those around him as he furthers his nefarious plans. This is reflected in his superpowers, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Red Skull has 6 health on either side of his card, which actually gives him a higher total health pool than any of the Core Set’s other villains, and his defensive stats are in the middle of the pack at 4/3/3, nothing to be ashamed off. He can take a punch.

In return his own Strike is on the heavier end rolling 5 dice, recharging our bad guy and also potentially pushing his target out of retaliation range. In terms of ranged attacks he can expend Power for a Cosmic Blast – again rolling 5 dice, and draining the target’s Power to recharge Johann.

His third attack is to Unleash the Cube, flinging the target away and stunning everyone nearby with a cosmic backlash.

If you’re packing enough Cabal Members, you can unlock the Master of Evil ability and give your fellow evil-doers a recharge every time they do damage. Basically, if you’re playing Cabal and you *don’t* take Red Skull, I don’t know what you’re thinking.

For super-powers Schmidt can tap into the Cosmic Cube itself, gaining 3 Power but potentially at the cost of his own health. The Cosmic Cube is a source of amazing power, but at a price…

Master of the Cube lets him teleport a teammate around the board, but it’s Hail Hydra that makes me smile the most. In terms of expressing the character of the Red Skull in miniature form there’s a lot to be said for his willingness to sacrifice his own health in the quest for power, but Hail Hydra lets him sacrifice somebody else entirely. For 2 Power he can redirect any attack aimed at him, onto an allied model within Range 2. Now, imagine teaming him up with Hulk, whose attacks hit harder as he takes more damage…

Despite my usual good guys tendencies, I’m fascinated with the potential of the Red Skull and the Cabal in Crisis Protocol, and I’ll be focusing on painting up the bad guys first. Red Skull will be available to everyone who snaffles the core set, but how many of you have the courage to wield the Cosmic Cube?

I’ll be bringing Johann with me to CaptainCon, maybe we can test your mettle…