• Category Archives Marvel Crisis Protocol
  • MCP in the post GenCan’t haze

    Last weekend we didn’t get to have GenCon in the traditional sense, but we did get to have GenCan’t (or GenCon Online, however you choose to refer to it). There was no slowly going deaf and hoarse as you tried to communicate in the vendor or tournament hall, there was no rushing through the doors to get a copy of a limited release game, there was no big fuzzy machine handing out soap and watermelons (yes, that was a thing last year), but I think it’s fair to say that Atomic Mass Games knocked it out of the park, considering the socially distanced limitations they were working with, by presenting a string of spoilers and reveals for models in the pipeline, and it all started with this…

    After a full year of “X-Men plz?!?”, well, we’re getting X-Men! The rosters are opening with the leaders of the Blue and Gold teams – Cyclops and Storm – along with the rampaging Canuck Wolverine, and Mama McCoy’s bouncing baby boy, the Beast. With a roster as wide and varied as Xavier’s mutants, I think these are excellent choices to kick the door down with. Storm and Cyclops could each come with a different Leadership ability for their teams, Storm could also be added to the Wakanda affiliation, and both Wolverine and Beast have also been Avengers. There’s some great opportunity for thematic cross-pollination for those of us that love playing affilition-centric teams.

    Add to the mix that Beast – sculpted by the inimitable Brian Dugas – comes with an alternate hand that has him holding a book rather than a clenched fist – and all I know is I’m going to have to practice my freehand to replicate a teeny tiny dustjacket!

    Where you have X-Men, can the Brotherhood truly be too far behind? Magneto and Mystique have led the Brotherhood at different times, Sabretooth is an obvious counterpart to Wolverine, but I think more than any other character I’m excited for Toad. He’s been an iconic member of the Brotherhood since its inception, and in terms of gameplay, his ability to move opposing characters away from objectives should be downright prodigious. Never mind how fantastic the sculpt looks, and how much I enjoy painting golden yellows 😉

    Also of note in this pack is the two bases littered with bent and twisted metal. Mobile obstacles for Magneto to send careening around the table maybe?

    The reveals didn’t stop there, of course. That was just the opening salvo.

    Hot on the heels of the X-Men we saw teasers and full model shots, of Kingpin, Bullseye, Taskmaster and the Punisher. As Marvel’s New York Underworld unfolded (remember, kids, Punisher’s entry into Marvel comics as as a hitman hired to kill Spider-Man, though I don’t expect him to share any affiliation with Fisk & co. when released) we were also made privy to a brand new terrain pack.

    A skid steer, mixer, demountable office, a selection of barriers and barrels make up the Construction Site terrain pack, an excellent complement to your New York themed tabletop.

    My main ponderance with this block is just how Bullseye’s unerring accuracy will be reflected on the table. Does he count blanks as hits, perhaps?

    Daredevil  was next in the queue, sharing this tableau with Dr Strange (who I’m super keen to get my mitts on). While Daredevil doesn’t share the Defenders affiliation (the full roster for which was also spoiled), we did confirm that Luke Cage and Iron Fist are on the way, so fielding the TV incarnation of the team is getting closer and closer to a possibility… but for now, defending reality will do without ol’ Hornhead. With Ghost Rider on the team, battles through the streets of the city may be more in line than across the rooftops of New York.

    We’ve known Angela has been in the works for some time – She’s on the Asgard and Guardians of the Galaxy affiliation cards – but it’s fair to say that Asgard’s Assassin will unleash some slicey-dicey pain upon your opponents, despite her ribbon trails offering hugs and kisses to anyone who cares to read them.

    With the Asgardian ranks gaining a new model, is it any surprise that Amora the Enchantress was also revealed? Arguably one of Thor’s greatest opponents (along with Loki and Surtur), Enchantress is an exceptionally powerful sorceress and illusionist, more than capable of messing with an entire team of Avengers all on her lonesome. In the absence of Mephisto, Dormammu or Baron Mordo, I’d say the bad guys are getting their own Dr Strange. Of course, he has a much better moustache.

    And then there’s Jennifer Walters, the Sensational She-Hulk. One of my favorite Marvel characters, she’s possessed of strength almost on par with her cousin Bruce, but she retains her incredibly sharp legal mind with hulk’d out. There have been entire comic series written about her that had pretty much nothing to do with her strength and invulnerability, and everything about her work as a lawyer. I’m really hoping she gets abilities named things like “Motion to dismiss!” where she throws an opponent away, or “Objection!” where she negates an opponent’s use of a power by leading them in verbal circles until they’re confused, or somesuch.

     

    Add in painting videos, twitch streams discussing Atomic Mass Games’ design process, painting contest and more, and I think that all told it was a very successful GenCan’t for AMG. Here’s looking forward to another fun year… once we can actually get together to play games 😉


  • MCP: Rocket & Groot

    Guess who found their way onto the painting table? It’s everyone’s favourite tree and small mammal with a gun, Groot and Rocket! Two of the most beloved characters in the MCU, Rocket and Groot were on the agenda for Atomic Mass Games from the get go, with their presence in the display cabinet at GenCon 2019 causing no small amount of excitement. It’s oddly fitting that I finally got them painted just before what would have been GenCon 2020. Who knows what I’ll get painted before GenCon 2021!

    Continue reading  Post ID 20128


  • MCP: Spider-Foes incoming

    Were you watching yesterday’s Twitch stream? I wasn’t, cos I was at work and being a responsible adult and stuff, but those who were able to listen to the dulcet tones of the Atomic Mass crew were treated to a special glimpse of shenanigans to come. With the Green Goblin incoming, there was speculation that we’d be looking at the Sinister Six, which would promise such Spider-Men classic enemies as Rhino, Electro, Sandman, Kraven and Vulture (though later incarnations also included Rhino, Lizard, Hobgoblin and others)

    Here’s the run though: Of the fifteen incarnations of the Sinister Six that formed in the main Marvel universe, Green Goblin has only featured in three of those rosters. Heck, Boomeranghas been the Sinister Six’s leader twice, while Green Goblin’s only been the leader once. While there’s absolutely no doubt that the Green Goblin is one of the most iconic opponents for our favorite webhead, putting him in charge of the Sinister Six wouldn’t quite ring true.

    But having him head up the Spider-Foes, an admittedly more catch-all affiliation name for Spider-Man’s enemies, makes plenty of sense.

    The Spider-Foes list has plenty of room to expand and grow over time, but the more exciting reveal here is that Carnage, Kingpin and Mysterio will be joining us on the tabletop, and the rampant speculation as to what they’ll be able to do has already begun.

    Carnage will surely be slapping the Bleed token all over the place, Mysterio’s defensive tricks will likely be bananas (you can’t lay a hand on an opponent you can’t see, right?), but it’s Kingpin that has me intrigued.

    Maybe it’s just from watching the Netflix Daredevil series, but the Kingpin – Wilson Fisk – is possibly one of my favorite bad guys from New York’s seedy underbelly. Hopefully his model will be released with some goons… and I think it’s understandable to look at Kingpin and think of him squaring up against the devil of Hell’s Kitchen, but he’s played a significant role as Spider-Man’s nemesis as well – to the extent that Spidey donned the black suit one more time, despite its association with Venom, to deliver what some consider one of the most brutal villain beatdowns of all time after Fisk puts a hit on Aunt May.  Kingpin’s an excellent inclusion in the list, and when Daredevil gets released at some point in the future (Surely a sign that Atomic Mass will one day give me Stilt-Man!), well, there’s only good times ahead right there.

    Of note is Green Goblin’s leader ability for the team – Oscorp Weaponry.

    Once per turn, while an allied character is attacking, it can spend 1 Power when modifying opposing defense dice. If it does, it may reroll 1 opposing defense die.

    So not only are we looking at a team affiliation that seems geared for offense, but Green Goblin will make them all the more effective on the attack by hampering opposing defense. The jerk. I’m totally gonna shoot him with Rocket Racoon.

    I’ll gladly admit that more than any other affiliation I’m looking forward to being able to field a Defenders team headed up by Dr Strange, but the Spider-Foes are a worthy addition to the game.

     

     


  • What’s on your Societal Reboot agenda?

    While the self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing of the Era of COVID-19 has been a boon for hobbyists in terms of getting things painted, it’s been an active struggle for those of us that crave the tabletop experience. Yes, there are tabletop simulators online, but they don’t compare to the actual fun of pushing toy soldiers around a tabletop, rolling dice, and uttering vague (or even specific!) invectives against the dice gods as your sure-thing turns into a complete crapfest.

    I’ve spoken several times on social media about the benefits of having a hobby that we can sink into while distant from our opponents, enjoying a creative outlet and getting models painted, but the end of the list of benefits is always that we have something to look forward to: Actually getting to play our games with our friends, putting the models we’ve been working on onto the table, and enjoying the full tabletop gaming experience with fully painted armies.

    To that end, I ask this – what are you lining up for your gaming experiences? What are you most looking forward to?

    Myself, Age of Sigmar is high on the list since my main #PandemicProject was my Flesh-Eater Courts army. My Court of the Radiant King is almost ready to ride out across the shining plains if Hysh in service to their liege, to unleash truth, liberty and justice upon those evil ne’er-do-wells of the so-called Realm-Lords. Of course, since they’re bat-sh!t crazy, truth, liberty and justice actually translates to horror, dessecration and a whole lot of snacking. The painting table’s gotten a little jumbled lately, but I’ll find time to paint the Terrorgheist yet. And yes, for the 40K fans out there I am keenly aware of the Indomitus crusade, but my Flesh Tearers are nowhere near ready to field. Yet. And yes, I’m aware that I’m playing Flesh-Eaters for AoS and Flesh Tearers for 40K. There may be a subconscious theme running here. I admit nothing.

    Marvel Crisis Protocol is right up there as well. I’m keen to assemble the full Guardians of the Galaxy roster (still need to get Drax/Ronan) and to get some personal experience as to how well they synergize (or don’t, which would also be totally in character). I’ve been slowly painting up other MCP models as well, so don’t be surprised if Spidey or Shuri find themselves in the mix, I’ve never been shy of applying whimsy to list creation.

    The world of Riot Quest is expanding with Wintertime Wasteland, but I still have a bunch of models to finish painting from the Mayhem block. Finishing Feora the Forsaken also resulted in War Room being fired up and a list being put together that I’d love to try out… and of course, it’s become another painting project waiting to be launched.

    Perhaps more timely is the imminent release of Warcaster. My Iron Star Alliance will be put on the table against AEdge’s Marcher Worlds, and pal Brandon’s admitted that the Empyreans are right up his alley aesthetically, so kicking tires with a new system is always on the to-do list… as is playing Monsterpocalypse. Blastikutter’s out now, it’s only a matter of time before Privateer gives me more units to work with beyond the Mollock Berserkers and Brutes.

    Now I need to finish the commission paintjobs I have on the table so I can get back to work on models for each of these plans…


  • MCP: Civil War – Captain America and Iron Man

    It’s been a busy old time in the Gdaycave, what with work and life and other such stuff, and the painting table’s been busy with a number of commissions and review models, but I’ve been able to enjoy slowly putting paint on various personal projects in between other models, not the least of which has been working through the remainder of the Marvel: Crisis Protocol starter box. Today we get a double whammy, with Captain America and Iron Man both being finished.

    Captain America and Iron Man are both pivotal characters in the Marvel Universe, and both have played critical roles in storyline after storyline, crossover after crossover. Both have led the Avengers for significant stretches, and both have led their own teams over the decades, but perhaps never with the impact on the Marvel Universe as they did during the Civil War storyline.

    The comic Civil War was a little different than what we saw in the movies. After an elementary school is blown up by the villain Nuke during a botched attempt to capture him by the New Warriors, more interested in getting ratings for their reality TV show than in safe apprehension of a bad guy who can literally detonate himself in a localized nuclear explosion (and reform himself later), public outcry demands that the New Warriors – and all superheroes – be held responsible for collateral damage caused by their conflicts. They demand all superheroes be registered and licensed, young superheroes be trained before being allowed to go save the day, and more.

    Tony is the figurehead for the Superhero Registration Act, which he sees as trying to safeguard not only the public, but also future generations of superheroes. Steve sees the whole thing as an infringement of their rights, and believes heroes should be free to act without government oversight. This in large part mirrors the ideologies we see in the movies. Iron Man and the pro-SHRA side are in the limelight, and Captain America and his allies are driven underground. The whole thing ends when an sleeper assassin kills Steve Rogers, leading to the chain of events that results in Sam Wilson – The Falcon – taking up the shield as the new Captain America. Until Steve Rogers returns, of course, because it’s a bloody miracle when anyone actually stays dead in the comics.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20128


  • MCP: Unboxing Gamora & Nebula

    I’ve decided to dub these two the Sisters Of Absolutely No Mercy Whatsoever. I have mixed feelings on the two characters based on their comic history, admittedly based in part on my limited exposure to them. I don’t know that I’ve read more than a few comics with Nebula in them, and my exposure to Gamora in large part stems from her time with Adam Warlock’s Infinity Watch in the 90’s, when her prime function was standing around in a swimsuit with large mesh segments and wearing a cape.

    The reinvention of Gamora into a character more befitting her sobriquet as the deadliest woman in the galaxy occurred later, and the concept became the cornerstone of her portrayal in the MCU. While Peter Quill does give her a tough time when they first meet, there’s no questioning that she’s come a long way from the shallow portrayals of her early comic history. There’s a reason her two attacks in Crisis Protocol are God Slayerand Cosmic Assassin.

    Nebula largely flew under my radar as a cosmic bad guy in the Marvel universe, until Karen Gillan’s reveal that at a comicon panel that she’d shaved her head for the role. So yes, I freely admit that my fondness of Nebula is almost entirely based on my being a fan of Karen Gillan from her time as Amy Pond in Doctor Who. I regret nothing.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20128


  • MCP: Unboxing Rocket & Groot

    When we talk about some of the more endearing characters from modern cinema, the odd couple that is Rocket & Groot are high on pretty much every MCU fan’s list. On the one hand we have an enormous, sentient tree, perhaps something of a simpleton, with a pure heart, who’ll do anything to safeguard his friends. On the other, we have a diminutive, acerbic, bio-engineered heavy weapons expert who refuses to acknowledge just how much he cares, unless you’re asking how much he likes high explosives. Their Marvel: Crisis Protocol models have been available for awhile, but they deserve their place in the spotlight as much as anyone else, so today we’re doing a little unboxing.

    I’ll confess, I didn’t know a whole lot about Rocket and Groot until Marvel’s 2006 Annihilation event, when they brought Star-Lord back to lead a team of specialists, almost suicide-squad-esque, as the powers that be tried to fight back against the Annihilation Wave that was tearing its way across the galaxy. Rocket and Groot were recruited as a duo once Rocket’s affinity for heavy weapons was uncovered, and Groot essentially served as the mobile weapon platform for which Rocket was the gunner. As with their MCU depiction, they were a highly effective team.

    Drax, Gamora and Ronan all had time in the spotlight during Annihilation and the subsequent Annihilation: Conquest, as did Mantis. I heartily recommend reading both series if you get the opportunity.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20128


  • Miggy’s Table: Pt6 – I love it when a plan comes together

    Hello friends and fellow Losties! I’m back with an exciting update of my modular tile adventure!

    So, I’ve got everything primed, base coated, and now washed. The next step is to dry brush and add some finishing touches! I initially thought that this should be fairly quick because that’s how dry brushing works. Boy was I wrong. I learned a few things from this last step.

    First: I need to go back to the gym. Too many weeks of skipping out on arm day really showed. Remember how I got tired from basecoating and washing? Yeah, times that by like 3000.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20128


  • Miggy’s Table: Pt5 – Wash your streets

    Hello fellow Losties! Hope y’all are staying safe and keeping healthy out there in this quarantine. I’m back with another entry in my tabletop creation adventures.

    So now that I’ve got a stack of tiles all ready for some paint but first I need to make sure that I’m protecting the foam and compound from potential damage. You know how it is when you’re throwing eight dice with Hulk at an unsuspecting Star Lord. (Trust me, it’s a funny sight.) I needed a way to prevent wear and tear to the tiles so I turned to Jeremy from Black Magic Craft. Now, Jeremy swears by a super secret special potion that he developed by making sacrifices to the Emperor King and the Devourer Wurm. Just kidding. It’s just Mod Podge with black craft paint.

    I actually bought a small tub of the stuff back in the summer of ‘19 along with some really cheap acrylic paints. It was really kind of a wonder, watching Jeremy prime and protect his projects with this stuff. So I decided to give it a shot myself. I opened up my bottle of Mod Podge and poured in as much black it could take, all while stirring to get a good blend. The color was perfect. A dark grey (or light black) base that acted like a matte varnish. Now it was time to slop this on. Only I wasn’t prepared for just how long this part of the project would take.

    At first, I thought I’d use a heavy coat to speed through this only it really muddied up some of the details that I had put into the sidewalks. I decided to try using my painting experience and filled up my water mug to get my brush wet before dipping into the pot of Podge mix. This helped a lot, but took two or three coats to get good coverage. Should have figured that it was just like any painting technique that I’m used to. The final product was worth it though.

    Here’s where I’d have a pic of the work in progress if I had remembered to take one. Oops! Sorry about that. The streets were also coated in this mix so you can see what they looked like down below. Moving on from this stage, I decided to dry brush some lighter dark grey on the street and paint the sidewalks.

    It’s a little sloppy but that’s ok. For a first attempt it’s not bad and will still bring my games to life. Time to lightly dry brush the tarmac!

    Continue reading  Post ID 20128


  • Miggy’s Table: Pt3 – “Add some cracks and voila!”

    Hey hey, Losties! Miggy back with another installment in my tabletop adventures! So, I’ve got this stack of cardboard squares ready to go but no idea how I’m gonna make them look into a city’s ground floor. To the drawing board!

    Literally. I make me laugh sometimes.

    I took the time to separate my boards into specific piles. 3 “flagstone foundations”, 3 parking lots, 5 crossroads, 5 turns, 5 two-way streets, and 5 one way streets. Now I originally was only going to do 25 squares but I decided that a little extra variety wouldn’t hurt. Who knows? If this thing goes well, I might even make more boards to spice things up! So now I had to figure out what these were going to look like. I took a throwaway board to map out what I thought would be the best for my tiles.

       

    I intended to use one inch sidewalks for most of the boards. The one way streets were going to use more space for the “concrete” to allow for buildings to be placed. Now was the time to test this out. I tried visualizing what the two ways would look like using some of the vehicles available to MCP players. I also messed with the dimensions of the sidewalks for this two way street, as well as the material that I’d be using. I was originally going to use one inch strips of chipboard (you know the stuff cereal boxes are made of) and just draw the lines to indicate the sidewalk blocks. But just to see what it would look like, I cut a strip out of some foam core. I even used some leftover bases to see what it could look like.

     

    So the first thing I noticed is that the foam has a leg up on the chipboard. While it might be a bit scarcer for me, I do think it could match up to the height of the bases quite nicely. The second thing that caught my eye is that those cars have an awful lot of space to drive around. Plus those sidewalks aren’t nearly wide enough to match the bases. So I upped them to one and a half inches.

    Even with the large Oscorp truck, this looks more realistic to an urban street here in the States. (Unless it’s Texas. That place is so big…) So now I wanted to tackle making the sidewalks look just like they’re supposed to. I turned to my good friend YouTube to find some inspiration. As it turns out, Mel from The Terrain Tutor has an old video on just what he did. There were some things that I hadn’t thought about that helped me figure out what I need to do to elevate my craft.

    Firstly, I need to think about the asphalt! I hadn’t even given it a thought until this point. Mel used long, wide strips of sandpaper to make up the tarmac. It was so simple and easy that I almost choked on how obvious it should have been. Second was how he turned some simple foam boards into nice looking sidewalks.

    He made sure to sand down the edges of the foam down to get rid of the lip. The strips in the previous picture are a little too rigid and don’t look organic enough. So I followed Mel’s example and sanded the edges down.As you can see, I also took a moment to line out the flagstone blocks with a pen. I took care to make sure that the lines were also on the side of the strips facing the street. Next, I wanted to mimic Mel’s indenting technique. He took a knife along the lines, almost cutting all the way through.

     

    I also took a leaf out of Jeremy of Black Magic Craft’s book and used a ball of foil to add some extra texture to the foam. Now, using the corners of my straight edge, I pushed into the foam at random to make sure that there was some variety in the flagstone. You know how concrete can dip and try to trip you as you drag your feet. What do you mean that’s only me?

       

    I added some cracks with a pen and voila! All done with my sidewalks. Now I dry fitted them to the tile to see how they’d look but I also added some strips of chipboard to act as the gutter.

     

    Not bad right? So now it was time to glue this thing down. I used tacky glue for the foam (don’t want to use superglue as that’ll melt the foam) and just some old PVA for the chipboard.

    With Doc and Spidey’s approval, I’ll be moving on to finishing up the other 25 tiles and going towards making some tarmac strips. Until next time, Losties!

    -Miggy Sawdust