RQ Boss Fight: Malvin & Mayhem

I may be a little late to the party on this one, but I’ve only just managed to get my hands on Riot Quest’s first Boss Fight expansion, Malvin & Mayhem, so you get to hear about it now. A June release, the Malvin & Mayhem box adds a brand new fighter to your crew in the shape of a warjack being directly piloted by a mad scientist gobber (Is that redundant?). While the idea of adding a walking engine of destruction to your crew is tantalizing enough, the Boss Fight option brings something new: Co-operative play.

Gaming with your friends and family is always a wonderful experience, but sometimes the dynamic doesn’t work well for competitive play. Do I really want to grind my niece’s army into the tabletop? At the same time, to I really want to play less than my best? I mean, personally, my best is still pretty subject to whimsy and I will always prioritize fun over competition, but still. Being able to set up the table to play not against my friends, but with them against a common foe, can really flip the paradigm and make for a more enriching experience for some. The Boss Fight option allows you to do just that. Put your crew together and team up with your friends to bring that nasty warjack down, and maybe get some sweet loot in the process.

More timely, with the COVID-19 pandemic still hampering gatherings, the Malvin & Mayhem box allows you to set yourself up for a particularly challenging game that doesn’t require any other players at all. Boss Fight is designed for 1-4 players… In other words, strap on your sturdiest codpiece, Sir Deryfuss, it’s time to tackle this thing solo! The rulesheet does state that single player will be particularly challenging, but so is everything else in life right now for many of us. Why should Riot Quest be any different?

We’ll take a closer look at Malvin & Mayhem as a hero when I get the models painted, but for today let’s look at them as a threat for you to gang up on.

Boss Fight M&M (which really could have been a cross-promotional marketing option with candy-coated chocolate) is bigger, badder, and downright more unpleasant than pretty much everything we’ve seen in the game to date. Boss M&M is as fast as Black Bella, better armored than Ledfoot & Tredz, and has as  much stamina as Boomhowler and Orsus combined. His stat card doesn’t have an abundance of special rules, but he cannot be moved by enemy effects or abilities, and he can move through all enemy models and obstacles as if they weren’t there at all. Mayhem’s Scrap Metal Fists roll harder than any other melee attack (2 boost/3 power dice) and the Wrench Launcher shoots as far as Scythe’s Mecha-Bow – 5 hexes – and loads up on the damage (1 boost, 3 power dice).

Boss Fight M&M plays a game much like any other – he’s trying to collect 7 or more scrap – but the only way the players can win is to take him out. Howhe plays the game is the key. While the players activate as normal, Boss M&M uses the Boss deck. The key card is Systems Online, which he starts the game with, and drives the cards for him. Every turn that he takes damage, he draws an extra Boss Card and puts it into play. Also, every turn the players don’t attack, rig or raid, he draws another and put it into play. This means that the players need to keep on pressure to stop Boss M&M becoming an unstoppable juggernaut.

Examples of the Boss deck cards include:

  • Ratta Tatta Tatta Tatta: At the end of each player’s turn, Mayhem shoots the three closes enemies
  • It’s Whoopin’ Time: At the start of each turn. Mayhem moves toward the nearest enemy and makes two melee attacks
  • Initiate Greeting Protocol: At the start of each turn, add a loot token. At the end of the turn, if there’s three, immediately remove them, advance toward the nearest enemy and make both a melee and a ranged attack against them

Now, most of the Boss cards have a means by which they can be discarded (eg, Ratta Tatta Tatta Tatta can be removed by completing a Rig action adjacent to the big fella), but not all. As you play the game, if you’re not taking steps to stop Boss M&M from drawing the cards in the first place, and removing active cards any time you get a chance, it’s entirely feasible that there’ll be 3, 4, 5 cards active simultaneously. Working to stay on top of Malvin and his wrecking ball on legs is going to be a challenge.

So… what’s it take to solo the Boss? I’ll be slotting him into the painting schedule, and once he’s done we’ll see.

For now, if you’re looking to expand your Riot Quest experience (or even if you backed the Wintertime Wasteland kickstarter and just want to get a headstart on heroes), Malvin & Mayhem are ready to bolster your ranks, or to give you something to team up against. Support your FLGS or preferred online retailer, or order direct from Privateer Press’  online store.