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kolakoski's Impressionistic Battle Report

Posted August 12th, 2016 at 12:44 PM by kolakoski

Well met, Gang fans!

I love it when a plan comes together . . .

The Gang of Four met yesterday (8/10/16), and twice played
The Faceless Ones! - Draft Version. A good time was had by all, and thanks once again to chas for once again making his Game Palace a site of joy for everyone (and recording the Draft and Armies lists below).

Before we could begin, the contretemps concerning how to play Malekith and Chameleon within Sherman's Team Rules for this scenario was settled. Sherman convinced me, and the rest of the Gang, that this was possible without any ambiguities. We also decided to play within our usual 10 Round time limit. That being done, we continued the first Snake Draft. After we completed the Draft (for each game), teammates were determined randomly. [Taeblewalker took a few pics with his (late model) phone. You'll be able to actually see something. I'll add them when they hit the Gallery.]





GAME ONE

Game One Draft: (chas and Taeblewalker vs kolakoski and Sherman Davies)

C: Dr. Strange
K: Namor
TW: Silver Banshee
SD: Chameleon and Hand Ninjas x2
SD: Hydroman
TW: Puppet Master
K: Aquaman
C: Malekith
C: Tempest
K: Iron Monger
TW: Scarlet Spider
SD: Parademon
SD: Black Knight
TW: Ragman
K: Iron Man
C: Abe Sapien


Game One Armies

chas
Dr. Strange
Malekith
Tempest
Abe Sapien


AND


Tablewalker
Silver Banshee
Puppet Master
Scarlet Spider
Ragman


VS:

kolakoski
Namor
Aquaman
Iron Monger
Iron Man


AND


Sherman Davies
Chameleon & Hand Ninja x 2
Hydroman
Parademon
Black Knight


During our post-game discussions, we concluded that too much caution concerning Malekith's
ILLUSIONARY ARTS and Puppet Master's REACTIVE MIND CONTROL 8 (misread by me to imply total temporary control) was a major reason that Sherman and I lost. We all vowed to play differently, if and when we found ourselves opposing them.


GAME TWO



Game Two Draft: (chas and Sherman Davies vs kolakoski and Taeblewalker)

SD: Chameleon & Hand Ninja x2
K: Dr. Strange
TW: Puppet Master
Chas: Namor
Chas: Aquaman
TW: Ragman
K: Malekith
SD: Silver Banshee
SD: Hydroman
K: Iron Monger
TW: Black Knight
C: Tempest
C Para Demon
TW: Scarlet Spider
K: Iron Man
SD: Abe Sapien


Game Two Armies

chas
Namor
Aquaman
Tempest
Para Demon


AND


Sherman Davies
Chameleon & Hand Ninja x2
Silver Banshee
Hydroman
Abe Sapien


VS


kolakoski
Dr. Strange
Malekith
Iron Monger
Iron Man

AND

Taeblewalker
Puppet Master
Ragman
Black Knight
Scarlet Spider

Game One provided us with a greater familiarity with the Cards as we prepared to play Game Two. chas and I ended up exchanging Game One's Doctor Strange/Malekith and Namor/Aquaman. Taeblewalker drafted three out of four of his Game One army resulting in Scarlet Spider (190) being his most expensive unit. Sherman, absolutely convinced of their value [not by my discussion with Tornado and Dysole, honest], drafted Chameleon/Hand Ninjas at his first opprtunity in both Games (for all the good it did him). I was stubborn about Iron Monger's value (even after he whiffed and died early in Game One), and took him over Tempest. I was especially glad to find Iron Man available so late in the Draft in Game Two. [Dysole, you were so right about him!] I used him to move Namor and Aquaman out of Water to low ground, and Silver Banshee away before she could use her
ACCURSED WAIL. He also move Parademon out of engagement on the high ground, freeing up Dr. Strange et al to deliver damage. Rather than spending most of the game in his Start Zone as the object of Chameleon's IMPERSONATE, Scarlet Spider came out early in Game Two, and used his IMPACT WEBBING SPECIAL ATTACK to immobilize Silver Banshee (directly leading to her death before she could use ACCURSED WAIL) and, I think, Namor, and another unit. Taeblewalker and I won Game Two.

My unit-by-unit impressions:

Ragman: He was very hard to kill. In Game One, he managed at least one extra attack with
RAG SUIT OF SOULS, but, in Game Two, he was mostly a target.

Puppet Master: He was rarely attacked in Game One, and avoided damage most of the time with
REACTIVE MIND CONTROL 8. In Game One, he hit a lot of STRING PULL 16s, using Namor to do significant damage. I don't remember him doing so much in Game Two, but he did displace a number of attackers to low ground and/or out of engagement.

Abe Sapien: He got in a few good attacks in Game Two, but he also was generally inanimate.

Parademon: He scared the crap out of us, and was attacked in proximity to enemy units only once, stubbornly, in spite of warning screams, by Taeblewalker, in Game Two. Fortunately, Parademon took no Wounds in the attack. [Whew!] He was ignored or gently moved away in both games, and was ultimately ineffectual.

Iron Man: Dysole predicted his usefulness in our pre-draft discussions, and boy was he right!. His
MAGNETIC TURBO INSULATORS II were especially good against the Water-advantaged in Game Two, but were in valuable throughout both games.

Black Knight: He did some significant damage in Game Two, but was not the game changer he might have been. His best targets were in Game One, but I think he spent most of it inactive.

Scarlet Spider: He spent most of Game One in his Start Zone, but, in Game Two, he really shined. His
IMPACT WEBBING SPECIAL ATTACK was extremely effective in Game Two, leading to the destruction of all the characters it impacted. A much better unit than I initially thought.

Hydro-Man: His
TIDAL WAVE SPECIAL ATTACK was an effective counter to Malekith's ILLUSIONARY ARTS, and he was able to use WATER MANIPULATION to enable him to attack from unusual angles with TIDAL WAVE SPECIAL ATTACK. WATER TUNNEL enabled him to barrel through traffic in the Pool to reach the unreachable foe.

Tempest: I expected him to be more of a factor, especially against the Hand Ninjas with
MYSTICAL TEMPEST. Unfortunately for him, the existence of so much Water already on the high ground, and the placement of units on the rim of the Pool, rendered him relatively impotent in the games we played.

Malekith: After all the discussion about
DARK FAERIE DECEPTION, and the ability to attack friendly units, it never came into play. Malekith's main duty was passive: To be prepared to use his ILLUSIONARY ARTS. That threat was a constant, and informed most of the actions of the opposing army. He was extremely useful.

Iron Monger: We gained an early advantage in Game One with
IMPOSING PRESENCE, but he whiffed on defense soon after. In Game Two, I put him on height next to the Pool, thinking him safe, but Namor managed to get into the Pool and, again, Iron Monger whiffed on defense. The Hand Ninjas would have been the main targets of his
AIR-TO-SURFACE MISSILES SPECIAL ATTACK, but they were allies in Game One, and he died before he could use it in Game Two. Bad luck or ineffectual unit . . . ?

Aquaman: A thug in Water, not so bad out of it.
HAND OF THE WATERBEARER was useful, but could not keep up with the damage on the non-MAGICAL DEFENSE units with which he was generally allied.

Sub-Mariner: Somehow, when in my possession, I was never able to execute
WATER AVENGER. The attacker was either too far away, or there were no spaces open adjacent to both attacker and defender. I don't know whether chas ever got the opportunity to use it in Game Two. My guess is he didn't, or forgot the power. Namor, other than when he destroyed Iron Monger, spent most of his time on low ground, thanks to Iron Man. He did do major damage to a few units while on Water, of course. In general, the Water-advantaged units were not as useful as I thought they'd be, although still pretty good.

Silver Banshee: Totally ineffectual in both games. Her fault or the fault of the Players . . . ?

Dr. Strange: It's no coincidence that he was on the winning side, and survived to the end, in both games. Removing OMs from Silver Banshee, a major factor in her demise, and uselessness, in Game Two. [Sherman and I were at odds about removing OMs in place of Wounding . . .] He was able to hang out on the high ground, rarely attacked because he was so tough and, in Game Two, raining death on the units (moved by Iron Man) below.

Chameleon/Hand Ninjas: Chameleon also survived to the end in both games. Yet, in spite of Sherman's faith, he, and they, were surprisingly ineffectual. Their attacks were too weak to hit much, and Chameleon removed OMs with
FRAMED! only once that I recall, at the beginning of Game One. For all the hype, they were on the losing side in both games. Coincidence . . . ?

chas' comments:

Tempest: He was in fact quite effective with Mystic Tempest against the Ninjas in Game One--on one OM he killed two at once, even though they had height!

[So that's what happened to them! Now that he mentions it, I do have a vague memory of that happening . . . ]

Namor:Sherman Davies controlled Namor in Game Two to go far ahead after Puppet Master, and took the Submariner far out of the water area. I was using Aquaman, and healed him up a bit.

[Like a fish out of Water!]

Dr. Strange:
Now its just strange that both sides won their games by just retreating him out of the battle area at the end of both battles, when the other team couldn't match his points. Was he just too strong, or was he left alone too long? (Dr. Strange--coming to a theater near you in November!)

[A question in my mind as well. I can imagine a number of tactics that could take him down. Malekith, with a Range of four, could stand outside Doc's Sorcerer Supreme (affects units within three spaces), especially if he couldn't move (Impact Webbing), or lost OMs (Monobeam). Malekith can also mitigate Doc's ability to attack. It wouldn't hurt if Doc was also down a defense die (and an attack die) due to Imposing Presence. Tidal Wave would be effective, as would Mystical Tempest. I could go on, but you get my drift. Is Doc too strong? We'll see . . . ]

Conclusions: In spite of what happened in Game One, other than chas and my flip flop of units, we were all pretty stubborn about our valuations of units, and our collective armies were primarily the same. Certain match ups never occurred. Sherman had Chameleon/Hand Ninjas and Hydro-Man in both his armies, and lost both games. Taeblewalker had Puppet Master, Ragman, and Scarlet Spider in both his armies (fielding the lowest point totals in both games, by huge margins), and won both games. The jury is still out on the relative value of most units, a most favorable outcome.

Game Two, especially, featured the sort of teaming up that I haven't seen happen in the Marvel movies lately (if it ever did), but was the whole point of teaming up in the Comics. I believe success in this scenario is all about teaming up the right units at the right time. The object of the Draft for each Player, then, is to maximize the chances of his units being a part of such team(s), and countering his opponents' endeavors to do the same. That the Player who got to draft Dr. Strange was also able to draft Malekith in both games was preventable. So was Taeblewalker's drafting of Scarlet Spider, Puppet Master, and Ragman in both games, but who knew . . . ?

This scenario was designed to be challenging and replayable, and I am happy to report that it is both. Happy gaming, dudes!



Total Comments 3

Comments

Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Upon reflection . . .



Well met!

Perhaps Dr. Strange is too strong. What do you all think of replacing him - with Deathstroke?

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 06:25 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Mini Madness

Well met!

Having sort of decided that Dr. Strange is too strong in this scenario as it stands, I again went to Troll & Toad online. I ended up purchasing the following, all as potential replacements for all units except Chameleon, and a Black Knight with scooter.

At the top end pointwise, I got good sculpts of Swamp Thing, Scarlet Witch and Mandarin. The good Deathstroke was upwards of $20, so I'll use Night Thrasher for him. I did bite the bullet for one of my faves, Fantomex, paying $6.19.

I found a good Batman sculpt, good for his many Cards. Other faves I found were a Wesley Snipes-like Blade, Lady Deathstrike and Moon Knight. I also got a good sculpt of Captain America (also good for many Cards, although I just realized that I already have him from the Marvel set), Iron Fist, a scooter Hawkeye and Diablo.
Posted August 15th, 2016 at 03:29 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated August 15th, 2016 at 04:02 PM by kolakoski
Old
Tornado's Avatar
Great read.

Sounds like a fun time.
Posted August 19th, 2016 at 07:51 AM by Tornado Tornado is offline
 
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