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C3G Strategy - July 2017 (Guest Writer)

Posted July 10th, 2017 at 02:45 PM by HS Codex

C3G Strategy Guide
LexCorp Security
By: Lazy Orang (Guest Writer)



The LexCorp Security are the core of one of my favourite builds in the game, and one I have found to be extremely strong—not Sinestro Corps level, but very little is, and a good LexCorp build can easily be as strong as a good Professor X build, in my opinion—and yet, they only have a C- in the power rankings. Let’s see if I (a decidedly unqualified casual player) can shed some light on this sadly underappreciated squad.

Analyzed Statistics

Left Box Breakdown
Species – Human (Slight synergy, but it’s nothing major, and being a common squad eliminates most of it (Alfred Pennyworth, Cloning, etc). I believe it’s pretty much just the ability to add one to the attack and defence of an adjacent Civvie ... yeah, that’s worthwhile.)
Uniqueness – Common Squad [2 figures] (Two man squads have a lot to make up for.)
Class – Enforcer
Personality – Professional
Size/Height – Medium 5 (Manoeuverable, can use ladders, and can be affected by a number of beneficial powers such as Carry, but also vulnerable to a number of enemy powers, like Magneto’s throws.)

Despite being a unit that relies on synergy, the LexCorp receive basically none; their left box can be mostly ignored.

Statistics Breakdown
Life – 1 (They’re a squad, what do you expect?)
Move – 6 (Pretty fast.)
Range – 5 (Average.)
Attack – 4 (Average.)
Defense – 5 (Reasonably durable.)
Points – 130 (Expensive for a two man squad.)

They’re a nicely tough, fast ranged squad: all good things, but they aren’t worth that price tag for two of them based on their stats alone.

Powers Breakdown

Criminal Alliance
After revealing an Order Marker on this card, you may choose only one LexCorp Security figure to take a turn with this turn. After taking a turn with the chosen LexCorp Security figure, you may take a turn with one Unique Criminal Hero you control. Add 1 die to that Unique Criminal Hero's normal attack this turn.

This is why you take them: order marker flexibility, a +1 attack to all criminal heroes, and a free activation with a fast, durable, ranged, flying squaddie? Yes, please! Tactical Advantage – Extremely High.

Kryptonian Armor
When rolling defense against a normal attack, you may count one blank rolled as an extra shield.

A nice boost to their durability against normal attacks, which is already pretty good anyway. Tactical Advantage – Moderate.

Super Strength

Mostly a keyword power, providing a few immunities, safety from falling (not that that comes up often, or that they’ll need it at all, being fliers), the ability to punch through walls, etc. Becomes much more interesing if you throw in the Knockback and Throwing Destructible Object optional rules. Tactical Advantage – Low, though somewhat better if you’re playing with the throwing destructible object rules.

Flying

Do I really have to explain this one? We all know what it does and how useful it is, though I will say that the ability to fly is particularly good for these guys. Tactical Advantage – High.


In Depth Analysis

For the purposes of this strategy article, I will be using a slight variation on Agatagary’s chess-based unit evaluation system; for those unfamiliar, it goes as follows (not that it should be too hard to work out):
  • Pawn Class (expendable: units that can be useful, but are not worth enormous trouble to protect)
  • Bishop Class (more useful than a pawn, but still somewhat expendable)
  • Knight Class (units that are interestingly powerful and can have a significant impact on the game in and of themselves; it is advisable that they be kept alive, but if absolutely necessary they may be sacrificed)
  • Rook Class (units that almost inevitably have a significant impact on the game, and whose death should be avoided as much as possible)
  • Queen Class (devastatingly powerful or important units that should be protected at all costs)

My own addition to this system for the purposes of strategic evaluation in C3G is the King Class: extremely valuable units not for what they can provide on the front lines, but for what they provide to your army. They are generally (though not always) non-combatants who will always provide some kind of intense synergy that should be protected at all costs lest your team as a whole crumble—they are the core of your army. Professor X is the archetypal king, though units like Nick Fury, Mister Fantastic, Baron Heinrich Zemo, Cosmic Boy, Odin, Amanda Waller and Iron Man (Mark V) can all qualify to greater or lesser degrees. I know these types of units are generally considered queens under the regular system, but think about it: the queen in chess is an active piece, who is highly valuable, due to how powerful she is to capture enemy pieces with, but who should still be used judiciously to avoid wasting her potential—more like a high-level combatant such as Silver Surfer or Thor—while the king is decidedly not meant for combat and needs to be protected in order to avoid defeat ... a much more fitting comparison for Charles Xavier. There is crossover between kings and some other classes though: Stark’s Mark V suit, for example, I would class as a joint rook/king, or one or the other, depending on how he’s played and in what build.

That being said, I would consider the LexCorp to be on the borderline between low-level bishop and high-level pawn: it’s kind of hard to tell, but they’re definitely fairly expendable. That is, except for one of them: you should always treat one of them like your king, as I will explain.

The Desk Job
The LexCorp provide three things to a criminal army: order marker management, a bonus attack die, and a bonus activation with one of them—a combination of useful things that make for an exceptionally strong build, and should be prized when building and playing your army. However, it is imperative that these bonuses, or at least most of them, be maintained. As such, while I will use most of my LexCorp on the front line, I will always keep a single chap at the back with a “desk job”: this LexCorp is your king, and should be preserved for as long as possible. If all other LexCorp are dead, tempting as it may be to go in for the kill with him for the extra activation, don’t: his job is to stay at the back, issuing commands, providing order marker flexibility and allowing your heroes to get that all important +1 attack. Should you be down to just one criminal hero remaining, then it is reasonable to let this guy enter combat himself for the extra activation, but only if you can guarantee his safety, i.e. by keeping any potential threats tied up in combat with your remaining hero—losing any unrevealed order markers and the extra attack die could easily be the difference between victory and defeat in a game that goes down to the wire.

One of the nice things about the LexCorp is that, if your king should somehow get assassinated while there are still some other LexCorp in play, as long as you can make sure to keep at least one alive at all times, you should be okay.

Engaging the Enemy
For all that at least one LexCorp securityman must be protected at all times, the free activations with the rest of them should be used aggressively: their strengths are their speed, range, and durability, and you should be sure to make use of all of them. While the heavy lifting should primarily be left to your boosted criminal heroes, your LexCorp fill a vital supplementary role that can be the difference between victory and defeat. With a flying move of 6 and a range of 5, giving them an effective threat range of 11 spaces even over uneven terrain, your LexCorp will often be able to make the first strike, and their already decent (since it’s supplementary to your primary turn with your criminal hero) attack of four can easily go up to five given how simple it is for them to claim the high ground and open fire from there. In addition, this level of range and mobility means that, on most maps, reinforcing your front lines with reserves after the presently activated LexCorp is killed is quick and efficient, usually achievable within a single turn ... extremely useful, considering that your front-line LexCorp, unlike your king, should be treated as fundamentally expendable.

Despite their range, you should not be shy about throwing them into melee with enemy forces to tie them up if it serves your advantage, giving your slower criminals that crucial extra turn to claim board position before your opponents, or keeping an enemy fighter or sniper from striking a more valuable target. Even better, their mobility makes doing so fairly easy, and their impressive durability for a squad figure complements using them as roadblocks brilliantly. Though, with one life, you should probably assume that any LexCorp you sacrifice in this way will be dead by the end of your opponent’s turn, it is not unlikey to see them deflect any hits coming their way and leave the opposing forces tied down for another turn or so.

In summary, the LexCorp’s utility on your front lines is to support your criminal heroes (whose job it is to bear the brunt of the conflict)—either by kiting the enemy and flying from high point to high point, opening fire with pot shots to make your criminals’ lives easier, or by flying in and serving as a roadblock—and effective use of them will usually involve seeing both strategies employed at varying points of the battle.

Choosing Your Alliance
Okay, I’ve been dancing around the attack boost for a while now, talking about how useful it and their synergy as a whole is, but not going into detail. Honestly, there isn’t much to say about the attack boost, apart from saying, yes, it really is amazing: +1 attack to all criminal heroes you control as long as you’re bonding via Criminal Alliance (and why wouldn’t you?) really racks up over the course of an entire battle. Still, there are ways to optimise it, and, in general, one of the key points of strategy with these guys is choosing the right criminals to lead them into battle. There are plenty of options, most of which are excellent, but here I’ll go over a few notable ones in detail.
  • Doctor Octopus: Probably the most obvious combo, and definitiely the strongest: no other criminal benefits more from that +1 attack. Four attacks of three is good—four attacks of four is great. If you can manage to get height (which, with Expert Climbing and an effective range of two, isn’t unlikey), then four attacks of five is just insane. This guy takes an already great bonus and pushes it to its limit. Not only that, but he’s reasonably mobile and a great lockdown figure with that Cyber Claw, making him both a good front-liner and an excellent figure to help keep your king protected in the late game by engaging any potential threats. I’ve long considered Doc Ock the strongest point-for-point criminal in the game: this build is why, and I rarely take LexCorp without him in tow.
  • Lex Luthor (II): Another, in my opinion, underrated figure, though I can definitely see why he is. Lex Luthor has a lot going for him: range, a really fast flying move of seven, and an extremely tanky seven defence plus Kryptonian Armor. He does, however, have one glaring weakness (not including a weakness to auto-wounds due to his four life, though that’s hardly unique to him at this price range): his single attack of four looks—and, at his point level, is—a little bit pathetic. The LexCorp patch this weakness really nicely, buffing it up to a respectable five attack ... still nothing to light the world on fire, but considering how tough he is to bring down and the fact that he has that great flying move on top of that respectable range, meaning that it should be really easy to claim height to boost it to a healthy and pretty scary six, it’s certainly suddenly making him look tonnes better. Now you have a tanky as hell, fast as hell, ranged flier who’s actually capable of dealing some damage while bonding with your LexCorp Security, and, whether he’s kiting from range or keeping an enemy heavy hitter tied up in a duel it should probably be able to win faster than it actually can, Lex is going to be valuable to you.
  • Piledriver: This guy’s synergy with the LexCorp is notable and fairly obvious: as a figure who gets a second attack if he inflicts a wound, the LexCorp simultaneously increase the likelihood of the second attack while making both attacks more dangerous. Not too much to say, really ... his mobility isn’t great in comparison with a number of my other suggestions, but if you want a reasonably priced brawler who benefits more than most from an attack boost, Brian’s your man.
  • Scorpion (Mac Gargan): If you’re looking for a criminal at 200 points, you could go with Killer Croc, and he’d probably serve you well, but, in a LexCorp build at least, I’d say Scorpion was the superior choice. He may not hit quite as hard, but with seven move and Expert Climbing, he’ll be reaching the front lines quickly, and, as you may have noticed, I think that the potential mobility of a LexCorp build is one of its strongest assets. In addition, the LexCorp are going to be boosting that decent attack of five to a pretty scary attack of six—particularly helpful for Mac, as it increases the chances of Tail Whip. As a result, in a LexCorp build, Scorpion is as strong as Lizard when it comes to attack power, and that lightning fast movement means that you can often throw him to the front lines in only one turn and use him as a surprise attack, catching the enemy off guard before they’ve had time to spread out in anticipation of Tail Whip. Just another little synergy with one of the other criminals (one that I’ve never used but noticed when writing this article): as the only other insane criminal out there right now, Scorpion is the only big hitter this build has available immune to Scarecrow’s Fear Gas. I don’t know quite how strong that would be, but having Jonathan Crane drop a cannister and using Scorpion as your primary combat figure while your enemy is in a paroxysm of fear and can’t fight back effectively should at least be fun to try.
  • Tombstone: This guy may not be mobile, or have multi-attacks, or have powers that trigger on wounds, or any of the other things I’ve been focussing on so far, but he makes up for lacking all of that in two ways: being really cheap and tough as nails. At 160 points, Tombstone won’t be breaking the bank, and at 5 life, 5 attack and 6 defence, already has a nicely respectable statline. Bringing that attack up to six suddenly makes him really scary ... but that’s nothing when you consider what he’s like when you also play him on a city map. Suddenly, when you stack Criminal Alliance and Rule the Streets, his statline turns from 5/5/1/5/6 to 5/5/1/7/7—those sevens for attack and defence are the kind of thing you expect in the 300s point range, not sub-200. At that stage, his Intimidating Presence power is barely even worth talking about.
  • Whirlwind and Living Laser: I’m going to talk about these guys together, as they fill a very similar and fairly interchangeable role in your army: they are cheap (both exactly 190 points, in fact), fast, flying, ranged criminals who don’t have to worry about leaving engagement attacks, making them perfect for drawing first blood or kiting and shooting from hill to hill, and it should be fairly easy to make a nice big attack of six from height with them. Of course, they still have differences and reasons to prefer one over the other: Whirlwind is more durable, has fun tornado powers and doesn’t lose an attack die in melee, while Living Laser is even faster, has a slightly longer range, has Intangibility, and has that Laser Barrage Special Attack. But in the end, these guys both provide a really useful and similar role.
  • Mentallo: This one is less because I think he’s a great pick with the LexCorp and more because there’s a fun little trick you can pull and should try at least once, even if it isn’t the strongest. Ever wished you could forget about bonding and just swarm your enemy with three or even four LexCorp at a time? No? Well now you can! Just use Telepathic Suggestion on your own LexCorp, and you can use that in addition to your regular turn with the one that’s bonding with Mentallo—you could even potentially activate that guy twice, which could be a great way to move across the board quickly or strike an inaccessable location. Now, I’m not sure it’s such a great move tactically to have so many of your LexCorp on the front lines ready to be picked off at once, but this is too much fun to not at least give it a go, and 3 or 4 durable, fast, ranged fliers is hardly a bad assault force. Other than that, if you think your enemy is likely to have a figure you think you may wish to bond with instead of your own boosted criminals, then hey: take him, he’s cheap!
  • Trapster: An odd one to talk about, and not someone who really makes you think “I must take this guy!” when building your army, but he can make for a pretty good filler in a LexCorp build. Not only do they boost his attack to four, which is actually pretty decent for a ranged figure this cheap, but those Paste Pots can be pretty great for locking the enemy down, making him excellent at protecting your king from melee characters in late game. Oh, and with a point cost that ends in five, that fits together nicely with Doc Ock, who, as already established, you absolutely should be taking.

Honourable mentions go to Absorbing Man (potentially the highest attack available), Rhino (potentially the other highest attack available, just one step down—or equal when not fighting Thor), Sandman (Flint Marko) (auto-wounds, nice big attack and healing), and the rest of the Wrecking Crew (just solid), but really, almost any criminal should work pretty well in this kind of build; these are just a few of the best (well, and Mentallo).

The other aspect of army building with these guys, of course, is choosing how many squads to field, and in an average 1,000 to 1,200 points game, I’d suggest two or three, either of which has its advantages and drawbacks: with two, you’re probably going to have to stop using your bonus LexCorp activations aggressively part-way through the game, but you’ll have significantly more points to spend on criminal heroes; three squads may make a much larger hole in your budget, but are most likely going to be supporting you in combat throughout the whole game. One squad doesn’t give you anywhere near enough opportunity to use them to support you in combat (unless you wanted to try something a bit different by just taking them with one criminal in a larger army; that could work ... LexCorp x1 + Doc Ock + Captain America actually sounds quite terrifying), and makes them too easy to assassinate to cut off your bonus; and four squads is entering the land of significantly diminishing returns, unless you’re playing an extremely high points game. In the end, I’d probably suggest three squads, but two is perfectly serviceable and perhaps at times even preferable, especially at 1,000 points or lower.

Closing Thoughts

So, there you go: I hope this article has given you some appreciation for a really strong yet underrated build, and, hopefully, made you excited about the prospect of bringing them to the battlefield. Or, perhaps you think I’m simply talking out of my arse. Either way, may the dice gods bless you with victory!
Total Comments 6

Comments

Old
HS Codex's Avatar
We're excited to bring you this special C3G Strategy article by LazyOrang. She agreed to write a one-time strategy article for us to help fill in some of article gaps we've been having lately. Post a comment with your thoughts!
Posted July 10th, 2017 at 02:47 PM by HS Codex HS Codex is offline
Old
Tornado's Avatar
Great read L_O.

Lex Corp is one of my favorites as well.
Whirlwind is really good for his points!
Posted July 15th, 2017 at 09:25 AM by Tornado Tornado is offline
Old
Xael Raymand's Avatar
This was honestly one of my favorite articles that I have ever come across on this site. I wish we had more of these around for C3G.
Posted August 9th, 2017 at 12:51 PM by Xael Raymand Xael Raymand is offline
Old
Tornado's Avatar
Thanks for commenting Xael!
I believe L_O is working on fulfilling that wish.

She is a talented writer, her C3G playtests are must reads IMO.
Posted August 10th, 2017 at 11:41 AM by Tornado Tornado is offline
Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar
@Xael Raymand LO has indeed joined the Codex, and we anticipate her writing some more C3G Strategy Articles in the near future.
Posted August 10th, 2017 at 01:29 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Old
A3n's Avatar
Great read L_O. Very insightful.
Posted August 15th, 2017 at 11:07 PM by A3n A3n is offline
 
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