Sunday, 24 March 2013

X-Men vs The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants

This weekend I've run a few more test games of the superhero skirmish rules I'm working on. This is just one of them. For this writeup I thought I'd move away from Batman, and into territory with which I'm more familiar - Marvel's X-Men.

Pulling figures out of my Heroclix boxes I assembled two teams of three characters:

On the left, some X-Men - Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Wolverine. On the right a contingent from The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants - Quicksilver (yes, I know - let's assume he's been mind-controlled or blackmailed or something), The Blob and Pyro.

It was a chance to try out some newer abilities. Cyclops and Pyro both have Power Blast, which is an upgraded ranged attack. Nightcrawler has Teleport, which enables him to make long moves, but with diminishing accuracy the longer they get. Wolverine has Weapon, which gives optional bonus combat dice at the risk of losing the ability if you roll too well. Quicksilver has Speed, which allows him an extra move or an extra action each turn. And both Wolverine and The Blob have Resilience, which gives them more powerful defensive dice.

I went for an off-the-cuff scenarion - basically it's Capture The Flag. Both sides have an objective counter in the centre of their board edge. Their opponents have to grab it (an action) then get it to he centre of their board edge. Without any planning on my part, both sides have a solid close-combat specialist, a movement specialist and a ranged-combat specialist.

Here are the X-Men, ready to go. Wolverine guards the objective.

The Evil Mutants. The Blob is their guard.

And the playing area - some rough going, some blocking terrain.

Nightcrawler kicks things off, teleporting about halfway down one flank.

But Pyro moves up and uses his Hinder power to entrap the German mutant.

The board a the end of the first turn. Most characters have just move into better positions.

Nightcrawler throws off the Hinder, and teleports again, but Pyro follows and entraps him again. Unfortunately at this stage one counter isn't enough to seriously inconvenience Nightcrawler, as he can use his his action to get rid of it and then move. Two markers would stop him completely for a turn, but Pyro just can't manage it.

On the other flank Quicksilver makes a run for the objective. Wolverine waits patiently.

Cyclops zaps Pyro for two hits. Not good.

The Blob opts for an active defence, and moves in on Nightcrawler. With the Hinder marker on him, his defences are lower, so this is a chance to seriously damage him. But The Blob fails to score a hit.

Nightcrawler teleports to the objective, but lands just short.

The Blob follows, but still can't land a hit on him.

Quicksilver zips in and attacks Wolverine, who is suitable unimpressed.

 Cyclops has another shot at Pyro, but misses.

Wolverine hits Quicksilver. Quicksilver's speed is not enough to make an impression on the Canadian mutant.

Third time lucky - Cyclops downs Pyro.

The Blob lands a good hit on Nightcrawler, and only his Agility reroll saves him from some damage.

Quicksilver retreats. Quickly.

Cyclops takes a shot at him, but misses.

Nightcrawler grabs the objective.

Then teleports to relative safety. He doesn't have a line of sight to his home point, though, owing to a missed teleport roll.

Quicksilver runs over and scores a hit on him.

 Nightcrawler teleports to within sight of home.

Meanwhile Wolverine moves to block Quicksilver from following him.

But Quicksilver takes a detour through the rough going ...

... and his double move is enough to reach Nightcrawler. He inflicts no damage though.

Cyclops blasts him for one hit. He's on his last point now, and things are looking bad for the Evil Mutants.

On the next turn Quicksilver gets the initiative and uses a double action to try and take down Nightcrawler. But he fails to score any hits as Nightcrawler evades him - just.

The Blob, meanwhile, has come up behind Cyclops, and plants a solid hit on him.

Desperate times breed desperate measures - Quicksilver moves to grab their objective.

However this puts him closer to Wolverine, who has just enough movement to reach him. Applying his Weapon ability he wades in with his claws and cuts Quicksilver down, scoring four hits, none of which are blocked  - Professor X will not be happy ...

Nightcrawler somersaults onto the home point to win the battle for the X-Men.

There's still plenty of testing to do, but I think I have the core of some rules that provides quick, exciting games. I need to fine-tune some of the defensive abilities still, so I will try some games with armoured characters at some stage and see how they turn out. And I haven't tested that superhero mainstay - Flight - yet.


  1. Nice write-up. What size board/table are you playing games on?

    1. Varies from game to game, but for this one I just used one of my 24" HOTT boards. Other games haven't been much bigger though.

  2. Another fascinating read, bravo KK!

  3. Really enjoying these reports. The rules are really coming on and it shows that you can have a lot of fun with just a few figures and dice. Keep it up!

  4. great stuff Kaptain!

    "Wolverine has Weapon, which gives optional bonus combat dice at the risk of losing the ability if you roll too well "

    I think this requires some modification, the blades of Wolverine are not weapons that could fall or get stuck

    1. I'm quite aware of that. However I use a lot of abstraction in the rules. With Wolverine you can assume he's using his claws whenever necessary, and that's just built into his standard combat roll (he has Martial Arts too, which gives him a reroll in close combat, so that could include claw action). The Weapon effect reflects when he has one of his rages, and that isn't all of the time. 'Weapon' reflects an attack that, in the comics, might only get used once or twice per issue - I'd probably use it for those full page 'Hulk Smash!' moments, for example, or for when Mr Fantastic concocts an intricate, one-shot, device to take down a bad guy.

      In one game, featuring a squad of soldiers, I used it to represent the squad's one rocket launcher.

      Maybe the name isn't very helpful, though.


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