Super Hero first game

For those who don’t care about my ramblings on the games I design, feel free to scroll down…oooh pretty pictures.  For the rest of you (and I will pretend there still are readers), my wife and I played the first game of the super hero project I have been working on.  Although I do intend to produce scenarios down the road (I have 4-5 in my head that need tweaking), we just played a straight up fight.

To play this scenario, both players select models up to the agree on total level and play until the first model is removed.  The first game was played at 6 points – that means 2x level 3 heroes.  A model has 1 wound for each level and their attributes drop in level for each wound inflicted.  On the side of good (played by my wife) we have Black Widow and Iron Man facing off against Whiplash and White Huntress.

Urban terrain at a corner. Soon to be site of an epic conflict.

Urban terrain at a corner. Soon to be site of an epic conflict.

The table itself is quite small (approximately 2’x2′) and it is intentional.  This is a fast and dirty skirmish game.

The first couple of opening turns were quite boring.  Both Black Widow and White Huntress made use of Stealth and due to lucky die rolls, neither one was spotted by the other side.  This meant that each was effectively hidden until an action other than a move was taken.

White Huntress lurking in an alley.

White Huntress lurking in an alley.

Iron Man lands on a balcony to survey the scene from cover.

Iron Man lands on a balcony to survey the scene from cover.

The initial probing moves left Iron Man trusting to his suit to protect him as he led the way to draw out Whiplash.

Player cards. Move from left to right, top to bottom.

Player cards. Move from left to right, top to bottom.

The initiative system is a different type of inter-twined turns.  Turn order is based first on the Cunning level, then by Rating.  As shown, Black Widow always went first, then White Huntress, Iron Man and finally Whiplash.  At any time, a player can have his model delay their turn.  Simply move them to the top of the next stack.  Why would somebody do that?  Normally to avoid attacks or wait in ambush.  If a model is wounded before their turn, the move in the initiative order based on the modified attribute level.  To activate a model, the player picks up the card and places it beside them to clearly indicate who is left to act.

Iron Man hovers and takes aim at Whiplash.

Iron Man hovers and takes aim at Whiplash.

White Huntress Lures Iron Man to the ground.

White Huntress Lures Iron Man to the ground.

After the initial cat and mouse, Iron Man flew low to take aim at Whiplash.  His blasters streaked blue energy across the sheet-metal fence, keeping Whiplash safe from harm.

When-ever any obstacle is in the way, there is a chance it is struck instead.  After rolling the attack, the attack is re-rolled to check if the obstacle is in the way.  A result of 1 on the die or a total less than 5 will strike the object.  In this case, Iron Man rolled a 1 and the otherwise critical hit harmlessly scorched the fence.

Following his attack, Whiplash moved forward and started over-charging his whip.  The next attack he made would be devastating.  Meanwhile, Black Widow was able to Distract Whiplash and leave him idle.

White Huntress reached out with her mind and Lured Iron-Man to the ground.  With the critical success she rolled she was able to move Iron Man twice and effectively cancel his next turn.  She then took careful aim at his conveniently exposed back.

Iron Man has the Vehicle ability.  This means only the most powerful attacks (with Anti-Tank) can hurt him.  White Huntress has a character attribute she can use to choose an item, and she chose her next attack to have Anti-Tank.  So she effectively had 1 chance to take out Iron Man.

White Huntress aimed wide with her shot and missed.  With no actions remaining to use Stealth, she was left in the open and vulnerable.

White Huntress tries killing Black Widow while Whiplash is dumb-founded.

White Huntress tries killing Black Widow while Whiplash is dumb-founded.

Black Widow, meanwhile was not idle.  She managed to Distract Whiplash, effectively ending his turn.  Distract removes an action, if the roll is double the defense, then the victim loses two actions.  Black Widow was just too Cunning for Whiplash.  As he stood there stupefied, she snapped off a shot with her pistol and missed.

White Huntress instead moved in to target Black Widow.  She dove past Iron Man and snapped a quick shot at Black Widow’s back, nearly dropping the super-spy as she inflicted 2 wounds.

White Huntress’ ability Ambush inflicts an extra wound when she attacks from behind or from Stealth.

White Huntress is struck down by Iron Man.

White Huntress is struck down by Iron Man.

With her attack failing to win the game, Iron Man quickly took off into the air again and fired a blast at White Huntress.  As the energy bolts struck the ruthless mercenary, the game was won.  Iron Man rolled a critical that was 3 times the defense roll of White Huntress, inflicting 3 wounds with one attack.  This ended the game.  All together, the game lasted maybe 15 minutes.  A very quick and easy to play game.

But wait, there’s more.  At that point, we decided to play a second game with 3 models per side.  Now the Avengers had the most powerful threat I have assembled: Hulk.

The Avengers stage on either side of the street.

The Avengers stage on either side of the street.

To the forces of evil I added the Silver Samurai.  Knowing he was the only guy I have (other than Dr. Doom) who had any sort of chance against the Hulk, and would be very tough to wound by either Black Widow or Iron Man.

Hulk measure...

Hulk measure…

The Silver Samurai has Armour that doubles his Defense rating against all attacks (except those with Anti-Tank).  Both Black Widow and Iron Man gained Anti-Tank when they scored a critical hit…a tough prospect with the modifiers in this case.

The first round saw Hulk showing off.  With Leap he is able to ignore terrain that is under his move value in height and distance.  The small gap between buildings saw Hulk leap to the next roof…

...Hulk land!

…Hulk land!

…and use a second move to land on top of the car parked out front.

Iron Man flanks the villains and unleashes volley after volley.

Iron Man flanks the villains and unleashes volley after volley.

The other initial moves saw the two sneaky ladies again roll very well on Stealth and Iron Man use his Afterburners to move to the far corner.

As he zoomed into range of Silver Samurai, his shots were deflected by the nearly indestructible armour of the villain.  In ominous preparation for the melee with Hulk, both Whiplash and Silver Samurai began to Overcharge their weapons as they slowly advanced.

Overcharge is an ability shared by both Whiplash and Silver Samurai.  This lets the model spend an action to increase the die roll of the next attack by +2 and it gains Anti-Tank.  Oh, and it stacks so they are able to spend multiple turns increasing the lethality of the eventual attack.  After doing this twice, both had a good chance of hurting the Hulk, even if Iron Man stayed out of reach of their whip and sword.

White Huntress tries to psychically control Hulk.

White Huntress tries to psychically control Hulk.

Whiplash and Silver Samurai squaring off against the Hulk.

Whiplash and Silver Samurai squaring off against the Hulk.

As the Hulk sprinted across the street, White Huntress reached out with her mind to Lure Hulk away from the fight.

My cunning plan was to pull Hulk away from the fight and let both of my fighters keep Overcharge build-up going until they could finish Hulk with a couple of quick swings.

The strong-willed Hulk shook off both attempts to Lure him away.  Iron Man saw that even Hulk could have trouble with two and fired at Whiplash, inflicting a wound on his nemesis.  Seeing the only option for victory was slipping away, Silver Samurai teleported beside Hulk and swung with his sword…and barely scratched the unstoppable beast.

Tough is one of the nastiest abilities I developed.  The model ignores the first wound each turn.  Since Hulk has a very high Defense, this makes him very dangerous.  Had Silver Samurai rolled anything but a 1, the Hulk would have at least taken a wound.

As both Hulk and Whiplash had the same Cunning they roll each turn to see who goes first, with Hulk having the initiative, he grabbed Silver Samurai to Throw him at Whiplash.  Missing the car, the Silver Samurai was thrown with tremendous force and took out both himself and Whiplash on his flight.

Whiplash and Silver Samurai after the Hulk was done.

Whiplash and Silver Samurai after the Hulk was done.

Throw enables a model to throw, a distance determined by the margin of success.  If something else is hit by the throw, then the new target also is attacked.  Since the car was avoided by the attack, Whiplash was also attacked and suffered two wounds.

This of course ended the second game, but Hulk not finished.  Hulk use second action to throw car.  Hulk happy.

Hulk rage!

Hulk rage!

Both my wife and I enjoyed ourselves.  She commented that each of the heroes definitely fit in the genre and played like their characters do.  She did comment that Hulk was fun, and kind of hinted that maybe he was a bit over the top.  So I showed her who could stop him dead…Dr. Doom.

I dropped him down only a short distance from Hulk.  In initiative order, Dr. Doom lashed out at Hulk with lightning and inflicted a wound.  Hulk ran in and used Smash (yes I went there, it is actually a melee attack with Anti-Tank).  At that point she rolled a ridiculously large number and laughed.  Then I showed her that Dr. Doom can ignore fatal attacks with his ability Escape DeathEscape Death negates fatal attacks by using a character trait or equipment, Dr. Doom has two character traits so essentially can ignore the first two times he is killed.

In scenarios, Hulk will be less valuable, as he can do two things well: smash and survive.  If the objective is to disarm a bomb or close a portal spawning endless enemies his Might will be of questionable value.  All around heroes like Nick Fury, Iron Man or Dr. Doom then prove to be much more valuable.

The next play scenario may see the trial of the handicap system: if a player chooses fewer levels of models, they get additional character traits in a pool they can use on any of their models.  As these give access to the key abilities needed to target a specific ability, a lone hero like Batman would be quite dangerous.

Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to give those crazy ideas you have a try on the tabletop.

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