|LOBSTER JOHNSON VERSES RASPUTIN|
This game was played predominantly using “The Battle” episode rules of “ZTV2” by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio”. However in order to better accommodate the fact we were playing on a 2’ x 2’ game board, the Special Rule that models within 6” of an objective token could each reroll one die every turn was shrunk to just 3”. As I wanted to try out the rules ‘straight from the box’ all of the Stars and Co-Stars used were taken from the sixty cast members which come with the Starter Set.
“The story so far… The mad monk Grigori Efimovich Rasputin has lured some of the multi-verse’s most despicable villains to the dimension of the Ogdru Jahad in order to help him open a permanent portal to our world. Forewarned of the fiend’s plan, Lobster Johnson has put together a team of heroes in order to thwart the servant of the Dark Gods. But having traversed the interspatial gap between realities and subsequently tracked down his foe, the New York City vigilante realizes the only way he is going to be able to stop the black magician is by winning an out-and-out fight…"
Before the game started a number of boulders were positioned randomly about the tabletop, as well as a small toxic pool and a somewhat larger one. In addition five objective tokens (some oil barrels, a broken robot, a grave marker, a statue and some ducklings) were also placed on the board. It was then determined that the super-villains would be the attackers, so Moon Knight, Molly Hayes and Doctor Who (as the defenders) were all deployed in the southwest corner of the battlefield. Whilst Rasputin’s forces were situated in the opposite corner. Finally Lobster Johnson, a Flamboyant Agent Star, was placed close to the robot objective in the centre of the table on account of being a Spy.
|THE TABLETOP - THE BARREN DIMENSION OF THE OGDRU JAHAD|
Having finished determining the two casts' start locations, the episode’s countdown deck was created using five randomly drawn cards from each Act One, Act Two and Act Three category; totalling fifteen cards. In addition both sides created their own gadget pools with the heroes forming a formidable pool of weaponry and equipment on account of Doctor Who’s Impressive Junk Pile special effect. With the TV show’s director just about to call “Action!” both sides rolled for initiative adding Lobster Johnson and Rasputin’s Mind statistic to their respective totals. As a result the heroes got the first turn and the villains immediately gained two plot points.
Turn One began
with some last minute “Script Editing” which saw Molly Hayes and Travis
immediately swap positions on the table; an unexpected occurrence which
arguably placed both Co-Stars in jeopardy. Fortunately the mutant child was
able to take full advantage of the exchange by using her star quality Beat Back
to knock Rasputin over. Having then utilized her Special Effect Mighty Blow to
gain +2 to her next attack, the super-strong girl seemed certain to be about to
pulverize the one-time Nazi agent when he expended a plot point of his own to
use his own Psychic special effect and change Molly’s successful roll of a six
into a failing one… Surrounded by the Joker and the Grey Hulk, the diminutive Strongarm looked to
be in real trouble until she pulled out a Jet Pack from under her cuddly
animal hat and blasted 12” south away from the damnable rogues.
|SCRIPT EDITING CAUSES MOLLY HAYES AND SPACE COMMANDER TRAVIS TO SWAP PLACES|
Back in the southwest corner things were not looking too good for Moon Knight either, as Travis had ‘materialized’ behind him, forcing the ‘caped crusader’ to turnaround in order to face his foe rather than simply charge the Space Commander and acquire a free attack in the process. As it was the Fist of Khonshu had to use his last action to assault the Jackbooted Sadist and found his Martial Arts wanting… at least until the vigilante’s Luck granted him a re-roll and caused Travis to take an early wound. Meanwhile Lobster Johnson moved east up to the broken robot objective and claimed the prize; gaining two plot points to his side in the process. Demonstrating he could be equally as productive, Doctor Who moved 6” northeast to the grave marker objective, collected it up and earnt the heroes two more plot points, meaning that Johnson’s group were already in the lead with two victory points.
started with the makings of a "Blooper Reel". But as neither cast had any Extras,
no-one was knocked down. Rasputin however was already on the floor on account
of Princess Power’s earlier Beat Back, so was forced to spend an action picking
himself up off the ground. The Sinister Mystic’s Leader(2) special effect did
mean though, that the monk activated both The Joker and the Grey Hulk for free.
In addition the Russian moved 6” southwest towards some boulders and the statue
objective marker. Growling Bruce Banner’s alter-ego moved 8” south straight
towards Molly Hayes. Whilst the Clown prince of Crime followed behind him
before firing one of his jokerfish pistols at the girl… and wounding her as a
|LOBSTER JOHNSON AND DOCTOR WHO CAPTURE A COUPLE OF OBJECTIVE MARKERS|
Meanwhile Travis confronted Moon Knight and tried to punch the costumed crime-fighter. Two failed swings later and things were not looking good for the Terran Federation officer. Fortunately though Servalan’s right-hand man had his cybernetic Laseron Destroyer (Pen Gun) fully charged, and managed to wound the Egyptian God’s agent with a one-shot blast from it. Angry at such a cowardly attack the Moon deity’s servant utilized his Fight Back special effect and took Travis out of the game with a second wound. Two more Victory Points for the good guys.
|THE GREY HULK AND THE JOKER BATTLE MOLLY HAYES AND WOUND THE LITTLE GIRL|
Somewhat strangely Turn Three began with some "Set Dressing" as the large toxic pool was shifted 2” southwest in order to allow for some better camera work. However all eyes were upon Molly Hayes as the little girl charged the Grey Hulk and a battle of Spirit as well as body took place. Because the gamma-irradiated behemoth was a Marauding Monster, and therefore Fearsome, the young mutant needed to pass a Spirit test before she could attack him or halve her strike’s strength against the model until the end of the turn. Having initially balked at the huge creature Molly used her Luck to successfully pound away at the Grey Hulk. But found all her efforts were for naught. Realizing she needed to get away fast, Hayes Beat Back Bruce Banner’s alter-ego onto his backside and then used a Grappling Gun to whiz her 12” south to a pile of boulders.
Eager to give his Strongarm some covering fire, Lobster Johnson stood in the centre of the board and fired his (Two Shots) pistol at Rasputin. One bullet would have wounded his foe if not for the mad monk’s Psychic ability to turn the vigilante’s dice roll to a one. Sensing this fight might be won by brains rather than brawn, Doctor Who concentrated on Cobbling Together a Rocket Cigarette from the gadget pile and then moved north. Whilst Moon Knight sprinted east towards Molly’s side.
|A TITANIC BATTLE BETWEEN POWERHOUSES SEES MOLLY HAYES BEST THE GREY HULK|
Concerned at the dominating position Lobster Johnson held, the villains were delighted at the start of Turn Four as the Star momentarily found some of his future scenes on the "Cutting Room Floor". As a result the Flamboyant Spy would be unable to activate next turn. Although the heroes did gain a plot point for this inconvenience. Rasputin used this turn of events to his full advantage by moving west towards the somewhat ‘immobilized’ New York City vigilante and successfully Weakened him by casting his Disorienting Gaze upon him.
Laughing insanely the Joker fired one of his jokerfish pistols at the debilitated Johnson. But the Evil Mastermind found himself out of range so moved west to join Grigori. Bellowing ferociously the Grey Hulk stood up and lumbered west towards the statue objective marker.
|RASPUTIN GATHERS HIS FORCES TO WEAKEN LOBSTER JOHNSON WITH A DISORIENTING GAZE|
The final turn of Act One provided some "Off Camera Action" as Moon Knight was permitted to take one action immediately. Taking advantage of the large toxic pool’s earlier repositioning, the Fist of Khonshu moved north near to the barrels objective. Ensuring the Clown Prince of Crime was well within the sights of his throwing crescent moons by taking an Aim action, the Action Hero scored a wound on the giggling ghoul. Then, hoping to press his advantage Marc Spector utilized his star quality to give himself a Burst Of Action and threw a second crescent moon at the Joker. Sadly this attack missed its mark.
To the far west Doctor Who, a Crackpot Inventor, continued his trek towards the ducklings objective marker, all the while Cobbling Together some (ultimately rather useless) Climbing Suckers. On the opposite side of the battlefield Molly Hayes sprinted round an outcrop of boulders in order to finish alongside the barrels objective marker.
|CRACKPOT INVENTOR AND STRONGARM SEEK OUT SOME MORE OBJECTIVES|
With the advertisements starting, and Act Two some minutes away, it currently looked like the heroes were well on top of the situation leading Rasputin’s depleted villainous super-group by four Victory Points to none… But during the second part of this episode the action would soon begin to heat up as the Countdown Phase mainly focus' upon attacking the opposing cast.