Sunday, 8 January 2017

Dice Masters Report: Spider-Man & The Human Torch Verses Captain America & The Beast

A MISUNDERSTANDING LEADS TO THE HUMAN TORCH FIGHTING CAPTAIN AMERICA
This game was played using the “Avengers Vs. X-Men” rules for “Dice Masters” by “Wizkids”. However, in order to help visualise events occurring on the play mat, a three-dimensional representation of the battle was created alongside using both the Urban Apocalypse Terrain by “Battle Systems” and some painted “Heroclix” miniatures. To keep things simple we just utilised the Basic Action Cards “Force Beam”, “Inner Rage” and “Thrown Car”, as dictated by the rule-book’s “Your First Game” recommendation, and fielded Human Torch (Playing with Fire) and Spider-Man (Webhead) against Beast (Mutate #666) and Captain America (American Hero); a somewhat bizarre scenario considering one team consists of Spidey and a founding member of the Fantastic Four, whilst the other features the (First) Avenger and an original X-Man…

“The story so far… The Phoenix Force has returned and initiated a war between the Avengers and the X-Men. In an effort to try and prevent the all-powerful entity from possessing Hope Summers, Captain America and Hank McCoy are racing across New York City in a bid to place her into protective custody. However, foolishly believing that the pair are in fact about to battle one another, hot-head Johnny Storm attacks the duo in a bid to separate them. Realising that his long-time friend is outnumbered, the local friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man swings to his pal’s side, and equally misinterprets an admittedly tense situation…”
THE PLAY MAT - A DICE MOVEMENT DIAGRAM
Drawing four dice from their bag, Team Spidey found themselves owning two melee energies, a blast energy and a wildcard energy. This meant that the Human Torch could quickly get himself involved in the fight by spending the blast and wildcard energies in order to purchase one of his ‘Playing with Fire’ dice. However, before doing that they two melee energies were re-rolled and surprising landed as a blast energy and a wildcard energy. Something which allowed Johnny Storm to purchase both of his character dice.
JOHNNY STORM ASSUMES THE WORST WHEN HE SPIES CAPTAIN AMERICA
Team Cap likewise rolled the four dice they’d pulled from their bag, and astonishing found themselves with two toughness energies and two wildcard energies; just enough to purchase one of Steve Roger’s “American Hero” dice.

Turn Two saw Team Spidey roll their remaining four dice and subsequently purchase an “Inner Rage” basic action dice, and field a sidekick dice (in this case a nearby Police officer who, sensing trouble, attempts to intercept Captain America in order to establish what is going on). The sidekick dice damages Team Cap for one of their ten health points and is placed in the used pile; or rather in narrative terms momentarily interrupts the Sentinel of Liberty long enough to delay him before resuming his patrol.
NEW YORK CITY'S FINEST ENCOUNTER A DETERMINED SENTINEL OF LIBERTY
In return Team Cap rolled enough energies to field two sidekicks of their own (a pair of passing flatfoots) and purchase one of Beast’s “Mutate #666” dice. One of the Police officers ends up questioning the Human Torch (costing Team Spidey one of their ten health points) before being removed to the used pile, whilst the other remains in play in order to block any further delays by New York City’s finest.

Turn Three began with both sides collecting all the dice they’ve rolled and bought (except Team Cap’s sidekick die which is still in play), and placing them in their bags, before drawing four more dice. Team Spidey not only roll a sidekick (Police officer), but having drawn one of their Human Torch dice, roll it so its Attack:2 Defence:2 face is showing. This dice is especially useful as it costs nothing to immediately put into play, and suddenly the helpful Police officer trying to protect Cappy’s race to find Hope Summers is facing both a fellow lawman and a rather fiery hot-headed super-hero.
CAPTAIN AMERICA MOMENTARILY ENJOYS THE SUPPORT OF THE LAW
Assailed by both the Human Torch and their flatfoot, Team Cap can only defend against one of their foes, and as the founding member of the Fantastic Four would cause the most damage if unblocked, their only defender (the well-meaning street cop) is knocked out by one of Johnny Storm’s fireballs. This leaves Team Spidey’s own sidekick (another Police officer) to reduce Team Cap’s health by another point before being removed to the used pile. The unconscious flatfoot however, is placed in Team Cap’s prep area, and thus can be added to the four dice subsequently drawn from their bag – giving the Sentinel of Liberty and Beast five dice to roll instead of the usual four…

Rolling their five energy dice, as unfortunately Team Cap didn’t draw any character or action dice, the Beast is pleased to be able to purchase the second of his “Mutate #666” dice and an accompanying “Inner Rage” basic action. But without any sidekicks in play the Avenger/X-Man line-up were looking rather vulnerable, as the Human Torch was about to attack again with his “Playing with Fire” dice just for starters.
THE HUMAN TORCH IMPULSIVELY STARTS HURLING FIREBALLS AT CAP AND THE POLICE
Turn Four saw Team Spidey able to both field Johnny Storm’s second “Playing with Fire” dice (this time showing Cost:1 Attack:3 Defence:3) and pay the energy cost required in order to immediately field the ability. In doing this, the Fantastic Four flyer also activated his character’s special ability which whenever “you field a character each turn” provides “each Human Torch already in the field” with “+1A and +1D until the end of the turn.” This ‘power-up’ therefore now made Team Spidey’s other Human Torch dice an impressive Attack:3 Defence:3. In addition, the misguided super-heroes also rolled an “Inner Rage” dice which staggeringly caused both Human Torch dice to be increased to Attack:5 Defence:5 until the end of the turn.
JOHNNY STORM DEFEATS CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE BEAST
With nothing in the way of the flame-powered super-hero’s scorching attacks, Team Cap fell before ten points of damage, and were both knocked out for the count. The Human Torch (and Spider-Man) had won, but at what cost…

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like an episode of 'Powers' off the tv!

    Any further news on when "Attack of the Zombie Giraffes on stilts" hits the cinemas?

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    1. Thanks Roy. Hopefully it makes sense as it was quite hard to explain some of the mechanics behind the game and keep the narrative going. Plus the bizarre pairing of super-heroes for the tutorial didn't help either. A full game features eight characters aside, but I thought I'd start small first to gauge the interest.

      I thought "Attack of the Zombie Giraffes on Stilts" would be popular, hence the photo. As memory serves that title was decided upon by the backers of the "Battle Systems" Kickstarter :-)

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    2. It all made sense to me, as much as someone not knowing the game can understand it, when read with your game explanation of dice rolls and narrative.

      The "Play Mat" diagram is slightly confusing, when not knowing the rules, but most of us gamers can probably get a grasp on it from knowledge of other games. So its useful to see it, to get a better understanding on what the 'true' game is.

      No, it was a fun read. I'll see if I can find a Youtube video to get a better visualisation of the game mechanics, just out of passing interest.

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    3. Cheers Roy. Hopefully it'll pique other peoples interest too - the entire point of the BatRep :-) This is the best series of Youtube vids on the game, and the ones I used when I first bought my starter set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVmqPvAVPI4&list=PLHvfN_pNBj_HynZ8-TqU7rUVOT2HBbfaO

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    4. Yes, those were the videos I found. $0.99 for a booster pack sounds way too addictive though! :)

      I can remember seeing a chap buy about £100 of Magic the Gathering cards, back in the day, just in the hope of finding a rare card. It got too much for him though, it was more about the price value of the cards than the game. Buying the magazine religiously which listed the latest price guides.

      Still, Magic was a good game from what I played of it, so can understand the appeal of Dicemasters and the lack of miniatures is no issue to me.

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    5. I must confess I don't buy the dice blind myself. But get them as singles from across the Pond at a very reasonable rate. That way I know what I'm getting. There are a couple of dice I've forked out on (e.g. Bat-Mite). But they tend to be the ones you could only get by going to different conventions etc.

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  2. A while ago you hinted that I might be interested in the "Dice Masters" game. I watched a lot of gameplay videos of it on YouTube and sadly, decided it was not for me... although my wallet would disagree. Still, it is good to see you trying something different in the superhero genre and it was especially pleasing to see you making use of the excellent Battle Systems Urban terrain. I agree that the two sides did seem odd but in superhero stories odd alliances happen all the time, so it didn't bother me too much.

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    1. Thanks Bryan. I think the biggest draw is that in less than an hour you can have a full-on pitched battle, with thrown vehicles etc, between sixteen super-hero/villains across "Marvel", "DC Comics" and now "TMNT" :-)

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  3. Sounds fun dude. Nice to see the miniatures being used.

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    1. Cheers Simon. Nice to get a BatRep in using miniatures rather than spaceships ;-)

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  4. Always interesting to see other gaming systems, looks like it was fun which is the main thing with any game

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    1. Thanks Dave. I'm a huge fan of "Dicemasters" but felt a BatRep just showing dice would be a bit... uninspiring.

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  5. Very Interesting, the brother in-law and I looked at getting the "Dragon Dice" game years ago, but (and I can't remember why) we didn't in the end, though this look interesting I don't think I'll be jumping aboard this train, I did enjoy the rep though and the the use of figures to represent what was going on greatly added to the narrative.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Cheers Roger. Glad you liked it, I may do some more (with a few more characters aside) in the future. Perhaps Marvel Vs DC or something..?

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  6. As I've always been a fan of funky dice and owned some of 'Dragon Dice' in my time, you have piqued my curiosity with this game. As both my FLGS and Toys'R'Us both stock it, I may pick up a base set, just to satisfy my curiosity. The fact that it's quite portable as well is also a selling point. Might be an opportunity to finally build my 'perfect' Avengers team inexpensively.

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    1. Thanks Jez. I strongly recommend "Dice Masters", and would be very interested to hear how you get on with it.

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  7. I have a lot of Dice Masters myself (and my son has some Yugioh dice too), but I never thought to combine it with miniatures as a way of dramatising a game!

    "Thrown Car" is one of my favourites, if only because it's so full of flavour :-) .

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    1. Cheers Hugh. Big fan of "Thrown Car" myself :-)

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  8. Hrm... Interesting game to read, not one I'll try out though. As usual mate, a very well put together report - thanks!

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    1. Thanks Dai. I think "Dicemasters" definitely has its pros and cons, and is certainly rather different from our usual wargaming tabletop fare.

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