Wednesday 10 July 2024

"Marvel United" Battle Report: Black Widow & Hulk Verses The Red Skull

THE RED SKULL ATTEMPTS TO TAKEOVER NEW YORK CITY

This game is the first in a series of planned games designed to encourage me to paint up a significant number of the numerous hard-plastic miniatures available for "Marvel United" by "CoolMiniOrNot", and to help refamiliarize us with the core rules. It was played using some of the figures from the original starter set, and took place upon the 90cm diameter double-sided playmat - which was exclusively released as part of the game's "X-Men" Kickstarter in April 2021.

“The story so far… The dastardly Red Skull is leading a deadly attack upon S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage and Law-Enforcement Division) in New York City with the help of his Hydra hordes. Alerted to the mad Nazi super-villain's evil machinations, the Avengers have dispatched both the Black Widow and incredible Hulk to take the maniac and his minions down."

THE TABLETOP - NEW YORK CITY
Due to featuring just two heroes, the Red Skull was awarded four health tokens, and the following six locations were deployed: S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, Central Park, Avengers Mansion, Stark Labs, S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and Avengers Tower. All of these sites' marked slots where then appropriately filled with either Civilian or Thug tokens. The villain's threat cards were also randomly placed face up at the bottom of each loaction.

Johann Schmidt's nefarious alter-ego started his assault at Stark Labs, whilst both the Black Widow and Hulk began at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters - facing off against the Red Skull's personal bodyguard, Crossbones. In his first move, the "confidant of Adolf Hitler" moved to Avengers Mansion and triggered "Subversion", which caused one Civilian at that location to be removed and the Fear Track to advance to one. However, having added some more Thugs and Civilians to the adjoining locations, the Fear Track ended up at four (of twenty).

In response, the Hulk moved over to Central Park and immediately started clobbering poor Bob, Agent of Hydra. The Black Widow followed this up by joining the Green Goliath and making short work of the colourfully-costumed goon. This cleared the public open space of Hydra's malign influence, and allowed a Civilian there to relocate to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, and a Thug go to Avengers Tower.

POOR BOB, AGENT OF HYDRA IS CLOBBERED STRAIGHT OUT OF CENTRAL PARK

With one of the Red Skull's three minions already 'out for the count', the Hulk performed a "Smash" to leap over to Avengers Mansion where the super-villain himself was waiting. The impact of the founding Avenger's landing caused both Thugs there to be KO'd, the Civilian to scatter and even Schmidt to take a wound.

Incensed at the arrogance of his savage foe, the Red Skull remained where he was and whacked the muscle-bound Hulk in retaliation, costing the brute a card in damage. With the Fear Track subsequently advancing to six points, Natasha Romanova decided the Avengers should stick together as best as they could, so joined Hulk at Avengers Mansion, and then used two Heroic actions to almost best the "Subversion" threat present there.

THE RED SKULL STANDS TOE-TO-TOE WITH THE INCREDIBLE HULK

Building upon this team-work, the Jade Giant also used a Heroic action to remove "Subversion", moved over to Stark Labs, and beat-up a pair of Thugs loitering there.

The momentum was clearly with the heroes at this stage, as the Black Widow followed up her recent success by visiting Central Park, stinging the two Thugs awaiting her, and simultaneously rescuing a Civilian there too. It certainly looked like the Avengers had things well in hand currently.

Realising he had to act quickly to stop the gamma monstrosity before him, the Red Skull gave a "Hail Hydra" and damaged the Hulk a second time (removing another card from the monster's hand). The Fear Track was also move up to seven, meaning the diabolical super-villain was already a third of the way to succeeding in his devilish plan.

THE RED SKULL'S "HAIL HYDRA" ALMOST BRINGS THE HULK TO HIS KNEES 

Badly wounded, the Hulk used as many wild cards and heroic acts as he could muster to eradicate the "Brainwashing" threat at Stark Labs, and then returned Avengers Mansion once again to use its location's effect - drawing his hand back to three cards (and resultantly regaining his health).

Natasha Romanova decided it was time to "Interrogate" the heavily-muscled minion Crossbones, so moved over to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters to do so, and having learnt of Schmidt's imminent scheme, decided to allow the villain to continue his master plan. Brock Rumlow however suffered two damage at the Avenger's not-so-delicate hands.

Knowing what was coming next, Bruce Banner's alter-ego returned to Stark Labs, and knocked out the thug there, completely clearing the technologically advanced facility.

THE HULK COMPLETELY CLEARS OUT STARK LABS OF THUGS

Deciding he had done all the damage which he could at Avengers Mansion, the Red Skull joined Madame Hydra at Avengers Tower, and ordered a number of abducted civilians be brought to his location, S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier - raising the the threat level to eight.

In the meantime, the Black Widow continued to pummel Crossbones for more information, and again decided to let Schmidt continue with his machinations in the short term, now the Avengers knew precisely what they were. The Hulk decided to tackle the formidable Hydra Elite Troops aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Just a single thug was left standing after his attack, meaning that the super-heroes needed to just defeat one more to completely resolve the "Defeat Thugs" mission.

THE BLACK WIDOW HEAVILY INTERROGATES CROSSBONES

Having beaten as much out of Crossbones as she could, Natasha Romanova knocked the bodyguard out for the count and successfully concluded the "Clear Threats" mission. This meant that the Red Skull would now act after every two Hero cards rather than the normal three, so she subsequently whacked a thug at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters too, and finished the "Defeat Thugs" mission too. Now the diabolical Nazi villain was vulnerable to direct attacks, and knowing full well what Schmidt planned next, the Black Widow travelled to Central Park to thwart him.

It was clear things were not going well for the leader of Hydra, so mustering all his evilness for one last 'roll of the dice', the Red Skull 'retreated' to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters and managed to raise the Fear Track to an unhealthy twelve.

However, with a roar the Hulk was soon upon him, courtesy of another "Smash!" The impact not only hurt Schmidt directly. But also cleverly dispersed the four civilians the scarlet-faced bounder had been using as a shield. Before the despot could complain though, the Green Goliath socked him in the mouth.

THE HULK AND BLACK WIDOW FACE THE RED SKULL AT S.H.I.E.L.D. HEADQUARTERS
This just left room for the Black Widow to reach S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters and defeat the Red Skull with a shock from her Widow's Bite. New York City was safe, and Johann Schmidt had been beaten...

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun game Simon, has it encouraged you to get more painted though ?

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    1. It was a cracking game, Dave, with more to come, and I've already painted up two more of the game's figures following this one, so plenty more Marvel United to come.

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  2. Replies
    1. Cheers Michal. It's always good to get a game in to keep the mojo going, and its definitely working this month.

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