Chapter 2.1.3: C3G - Favorite Units
C3G Books of Index
Finally, to wrap up my discussion of C3G before moving to the next chapter, I'd like to highlight some of my favorite units to give you a sense of the type of units C3G provides. I will do likewise for Chapters 2.2 and 2.3 (and indirectly 2.4). This won't be an exhaustive list, but I simply want to provide a few examples.
Anti-Monitor is where C3G broke the sound barrier. Many customs designers have attempted designs on 500+ point characters such as Galactus and Fin Fang Foom. I prompted the linked discussion before Anti-Monitor was released, because I had doubts that figures above a certain point level could be played fairly with mid-level and below figures. I've linked the discussion to give you a peek into the types of design complications these ultra-high level figures present.
I played Anti-Monitor the day after release, and the battle went down to the wire. C3G pulled another rabbit out of their hat with this unit. Perhaps this isn't the best figure to introduce, as this isn't really a typical customs figure. I initially thought Anti-Monitor would likely hit my gaming table on special occasions. However, he's proven to be so much fun, I've actually played him several times.
Let's talk a little more about this guy: He has 30 life, move 4, and 6/6/6 on range/attack/defense. This, I think, is likely the key to his success -- his stats aren't pumped where mid-level figures can't hit him.
However, his special abilities are positively cosmic. Master of Time allows him to remove an order marker from each opponent if he wins initiative. Master of Space allows him to use the X order marker to take a turn, and warp 10 spaces in the process. Erase from Existence allows him to use a d20 insta-kill roll on each enemy figure within 3 spaces.
With the most recent release (as of this writing) of Wave 4: Fight Against Fear, C3G has amped their Green and Yellow Lantern lineup.
All of the Lanterns have one common design element: use of battery markers. Each Lantern receives a certain number of these markers at the beginning of the game, and they can use their markers during play for certain bonuses and effects. The most common use of the marker is to cancel an attack where attack dice are rolled. In addition, for each marker on a Lantern's card, that Lantern's Move/Range/Attack/Defense are boosted +1 apiece! So the Lanterns begin the game as high-powered Death Stars, but they become significantly weaker as each battery is depleted.
But each Lantern also has their own personal uses for their battery markers that keep each Lantern from simply being a clone of each other. One of my favorites is Green Lantern (John Stewart), whose battery use in canceling an attack also doubles as a counter-strike by inflicting a wound on the attacker if the attacker is adjacent and uses a normal attack.
The entire battery marker mechanic introduces a very fun and challenging resource management element to the game.
Four words: Pumpkin Bomb Special Attack! Green Goblin flies over figures, selects one to bomb (which works like a grenade). But wait! It doesn't end there, as Green Goblin can now fly 4 more
spaces and fire his normal attack. If you think this sounds fun, just wait until you actually play it.
This was one of the figures that Hasbro was going to release in their first Marvel wave. I highly doubt they could have come up with anything better than this design. Loaded for pain, Punisher has an Assault Rifle that dishes out three attacks, an Auto Shotgun that is similar to other shotguns you've seen in Heroscape, and an Armor Piercing Rocket that reduces an opponent's defense for each skull rolled!
I love the Hawk Swoop ability because of the choices it gives you. If you "swoop" at least 4 spaces while flying, you can either roll 2 extra attack dice or attack twice. If you "swoop" at lease 2 spaces, but fewer than 4, then you just get 1 extra attack die. Now you have several things to consider: I've swooped, but should I just stay engaged and attack with no bonus, or use a turn to fly away at distance and swoop again? If I do swoop again, should I attack twice, or just once with extra dice?
Another thing this design encourages is what I call a "pinball" effect. If Hawkgirl swoops away to set up a future swoop attack, that figure might be able to move closer to Hawkgirl to reduce the distance and eliminate the bonus. But Hawkgirl has Stealth Flying, so she can attack one figure on one turn. Then on her next turn, she can select a different target that is at range of 4+ and swoop on that
The only drawback to Hawkgirl is that, for reasons I can not explain, the dice absolutely fail me when I defend with her; and she goes down in flames early in the game. I have the same problem with everybody else's Hawkgirl! But that's not something C3G can fix.
Chronos / Kang
C3G has already broken design barriers left and right. They have recently (as of this update) designed figures that use glyphs. Annihilus and Red Skull (C3G, not the official) are two recent examples where the figures begin with equipment glyphs.
However, Chronos and Kang have not only broken design barriers, they have crossed into some bizarre creative universe. You see, they don't begin with equipment glyphs. They begin with permanent glyphs. That brilliantly exploits C3G's glyph rules, because these glyphs can't go flying onto the board when Chronos or Kang take damage. No, Chronos and Kang plant their Temporal Displacement Glyphs like Easter Eggs. They can opt to backtrack onto the glyph on their turn to activate it. But the real power is they allow them to perform some nifty magic tricks.
Chronos can take a break and disappear off the map to fully heal, then plant himself back onto the map where any Temporal Displacement Glyph lies at a later time. Kang can snatch the Temporal Displacement Glyphs to take an extra turn. If there are several of those glyphs on the map, more turns for Kang! If that doesn't make Kang awesome enough, Kang is an Uncommon Hero! Now I have to sit down and breathe into a paper bag to keep from blacking out.
This fun doesn't come without a price. You could clog the glyphs on a single Kang, limiting their plant potential. If the enemy can park a unit onto the glyph(s), those glyphs become unavailable to Chronos/Kang, while also giving the opponent a nasty ability from the glyph itself. And if Chronos hasn't already been taken down in one knockout blow and is the only figure remaining in his army, he can't disappear off the board without conceding defeat to the opponent.
It all sounds complicated until you put it into actual gameplay. Once you've become acquainted with the mechanics, things flow very smoothly. I've only played one game with them so far, but I can imagine these may eventually become my all-time favorite C3G design. That's until C3G produces their next wave.
This is one of the most aggressively fun designs C3G has ever produced as of this entry. You're probably familiar with the Hasbro design where Hulk's attacks are boosted based on the number of wounds he's taken, up to a cap of +5.
This design boosts both attack and defense with no cap, but there's another element that simply takes this design to the top: Rage Marker. Hulk gets the Rage Marker if he takes 2 or more wounds in a turn. He only gets his attack/defense boosts when his Rage Marker is active. The opponent can try to calm Hulk down by keeping Hulk out of engagement at the start of a round. If the opponent succeeds, then the Rage Marker is removed, and he no longer gets the attack/defense bonus.
The impact on the battlefield is hilarious. You're sniping at Hulk, then you go, "Uh oh!" when you trigger his Rage. Now you're scrambling to break engagement, taking engagement strikes in the process, in an attempt to calm him down. Meanwhile, Hulk is smashing into engagement to keep the Rage going.
This concludes my discussion of C3G.