MH-2 Time Trap Part 1: The Menace of the Mimic!

PROLOGUE

They are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers! Captain America, Captain Marvel, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Starfox and Wasp! Their quiet afternoon at Avengers Mansion is shattered, as suddenly, without warning, a visitor appears in their midst, trailing a mysterious, billowing smoke! They recognize him immediately as Immortus, Lord of Limbo!

“Avengers,” says Immortus. “We have no time to exchange pleasantries. In several days, a solar flare will destroy this galaxy. You must act quickly to prevent this, or Earth is doomed. The only way to do this is to allow me to use my mastery of time to send you back to various points in history, where you must prevent certain events from occurring. The flare develops as a result of these events, so you must alter the course of time and ensure they do not take place.”

“Wait a minute, Immortus,” Captain America says. “How do we know that this is the best course of action? Messing around with the timeline seems drastic. Perhaps we can consult with Dr. Richards and come up with a better plan?” Several of the Avengers nod in agreement.

“I am Master of Time, Captain, and I assure you we have little of it left. You must act now. There are two events that require immediate attention. The first involves a young man named Calvin Rankin. The other event concerns Drax the Destroyer. Both must be stopped!”

“Drax!” exclaims Wasp. “That’s never good news.”

“I assure you that Rankin is every bit as formidable. Nonetheless, we have little time to debate.”

Captain America nods reluctantly. “All right, then. Captain Marvel, Wanda…you’re with me. We’ll deal with Rankin. Starfox, Wasp, Vision…you handle Drax. And be careful.”

“How fortunate you are, Captain, to enjoy the assistance of these two beautiful women,” says Starfox, “but Janet’s beauty is so sublime that I consider myself equally fortunate.”

“Keep your mind on the mission, Starfox,” says Cap. I’d love to punch him in the dick, he thinks to himself.

Immortus turns towards Captain America’s group. “Very well, then. You will be sent back to the year 1969. Calvin Rankin is in Central Park. You must find him and convince him to put this on.” Immortus holds up a strange-looking headset.

“Why?” asks the Scarlet Witch.

Immortus sighs in irritation. “Have I not impressed upon you the need for haste? Because Rankin will eventually come in contact with an alien device that will increase his intellect a thousand fold, allowing him to develop dangerous technologies that will directly lead to the formation of the solar flare. This headset will ensure his mind will not be altered in this fashion. It will not otherwise harm him.”

“What if he won’t put it on?” asks Captain Marvel.

“Then you must put it on him,” Immortus says, as though talking to a child. He hands the headset to Captain America. “Now, enough talk. Prepare yourselves!”

The mysterious smoke billows forth from Immortus’s hands, surrounding the small team. They are transported through time!

The Scenario:

The prologue pretty much sums it up. The Avengers must find Calvin Rankin in the park and make sure he puts on the headset. What Immortus didn’t tell them is that Calvin Rankin is a powerful mutant with the ability to absorb and mimic the powers of anyone he comes across, and that he’s not going down without a fight. To add challenge, there are innocent civilians in harm’s way and the fight quickly draws the attention and intervention of law enforcement.

Setup:

I used a 4′ x 4′ area set up like a park, with trees and natural terrain scattered around. There is a lot of open space. A statue is in the middle of the board. The Avengers deploy on one side of the board. The Mimic is deployed at the statue. There are six civilians deployed randomly around the board. The police do not deploy at the start of the game (see below).

SPECIAL RULES

The Mimic: At the start of the game, The Mimic has a Move, Body and Psyche of 6 and has only one power: Mimic. The Mimic’s power is a stronger version of the Mimic super power in Super Mission Force. Once per round, the Mimic can attempt to copy the powers of EVERY hero within 15″ of him. The mechanism is the same: a 5D Psyche-based opposed roll, every goal allows the Mimic to mimic one minor power of his choice, while major powers require two goals. Obviously, the Mimic can’t copy powers that are not technically powers, such as Captain America’s shield, and cannot copy both the major and minor versions of the same power. (This is stronger then the normal Mimic power, which only targets one individual at a time, and has a range of only 5″.) Once copied, the mimicked powers are usable for the remainder of the scenario.

The Cops: It’s 1969, and those damn dirty hippies are protesting everywhere. The NYPD has a strong presence in Central Park, and they are not about to take any shit from a bunch of barefoot longhairs. There are 3 Henchmen groups of police officers that may eventually be drawn to the combat. The first group enters at the end of Round 2; the next at the end of Round 4, and the last at the end of Round 6. The groups enter via the board edge that is closest to the majority of the action.

“We’re here to help!”: Unfortunately for the Avengers, with the exception of Captain America, the cops have no idea who they are. (1969 is well before the formation of the team.) This means they’re just as likely to open fire on the heroes, especially if they feel there is a threat to public safety (and there is). The Avengers CANNOT harm the police officers in any way. They’re the good guys, remember? Instead, they must either work around the cops, or convince them that they’re the good guys. Any hero can spend an entire round trying to convince the cops to join their side. This is tough to do, as the cops are used to seeing outlandishly dressed youths rebelling against authorit-aah pretty regularly. It requires a 3 Goals on a Chance roll to persuade the police to stop shooting at the Avengers.

Cap has it easier. Some of these cops are veterans and fought in the Big One, and all of them know Captain America (who was technically still active at this time, although Steve Rogers is still in a block of ice somewhere…) It only takes Cap 2 goals to convince the cops that the Avengers are not the bad guys. Once the cops recognize this, they assist in any way they can.

Civilians: There are 6 civilians milling around the park at the start of the game. They move randomly at the start of each turn and follow the standard rules for civilians in Super Mission Force. If things go poorly, the Mimic will not hesitate to threaten innocent bystanders.

The Headset: The Mimic will not willingly put on the headset provided by Immortus (Kang). In order to slip it on his head while he is still conscious, a hero must win an opposed grapple check in close combat with the Mimic. Of course, it can be easily placed on his head if the Mimic is KO’ed. Captain America has the headset at the start of the game. Big surprise: the headset doesn’t do what Immortus says it does. Rather, it strips the Mimic of his powers entirely, thus ensuring he never joins the X-Men. As a result, more mutants, including some future Avengers, are subverted to future lives of crime rather than heroism. MU-HU-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

ROUND 1

Calvin Rankin sits on a stone bench, eyes glazed, riding a reefer buzz. The new Hendrix is on the transistor radio of the girl across the way: “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire.” Hendrix reaches the chorus right around the time Calvin hears his name being called by a cat dressed like Captain America.

“Calvin Rankin,” Cap calls. “It’s important that we speak to you, son. Please come here.”

For a minute, Calvin considers it. After all, whoever this cat is, he has a couple of fab foxes with him. The he remembers the reefer. These three are probably from the draft board. Complete squares, man…

The civilians move randomly. The Mimic gains initiative for the round.

First, he moves just enough to catch all three heroes within 15″. Then he tries to mimic the powers of all 3 heroes. He gets enough goals to absorb Power Blasts (Major), Fortune and Jinx from Scarlet Witch; and Density Decrease, Flight and Invisibility from Captain Marvel. The only “power” he could absorb from Captain America is Super Agility, but he fails to do that. He promptly turns invisible. Then he decides to try out another of his new powers: Jinx. He successfully uses it on Scarlet Witch (who fails to detect him), which will make things tough for her on her next turn.

Captain Marvel fails to spot the Mimic, so all she can do is activate her Density Decrease power and fly out to the general vicinity of where she thinks he is. Scarlet Witch, possibly because she was jinxed, spots the Mimic and moves towards him. She trips and face-plants ( a result of the jinx), taking one Body worth of damage. She then successfully jinxes the Mimic right back, giving him a taste of his own bad luck. Captain America fails to spot the Mimic, so he moves to a position between his teammates and uses his Enhance power, granting Scarlet Witch two re-rolls to her dice pool and Captain Marvel one re-roll to hers.

End of Round 1

ROUND 2

The civilians move randomly; about half move away while the other half move towards the action. Gotta love scatter dice and random movement.

The Mimic keeps initiative. He fails to absorb any powers from Captain Marvel and Captain America. He becomes visible, as invisibility only lasts from turn to turn unless successfully recharged. He tries to recharge it, but fails (due to the higher difficulty as a result of being jinxed). He attempts to activate his Density Decrease power, but fails to do that, too. He Power Blasts Captain America, but Cap easily dodges. Mimic decides he needs to put some space between himself and the heroes and flies away. Unfortunately, because of the jinx on him, he twists his ankle taking off and takes 2 Body worth of damage. Ouch.

Scarlet Witch sees the Mimic getting closer to civilians and decides to blast him. She succeeds, inflicting another 2 Body worth of damage on the Mimic. Captain Marvel maintains her Density Decrease power and flies straight through the statue, coming into base contact with a nearby civilian. This means she is protecting him, and any attacks against the civilian will target Captain Marvel instead. She takes her attack action to blast the Mimic again, but fails to damage him. Finally, Captain America charges forward, trying to get close enough to at least throw his shield. Unfortunately, he’s just out of range.

Here comes The Fuzz!

At the end of the round, the first group of police arrive at the closest table edge, drawn by the sounds of combat! Not a good round for the Mimic, as he’s lost 2/3 of his health!

End of Round 2

 

ROUND 3

The civilians move randomly, and one of them moves off the board to safety. The initiative goes to the Avengers, followed by the Mimic and finally, the cops.

Scarlet Witch wastes no time firing at the Mimic again, but fails to hit. The Mimic absorbs Speed, a major power, from Captain Marvel. He fails again to recharge his Invisibility power, so he instead activates Density Decrease and fires his Power Blasts at Captain America, wounding him for 1 Body worth of damage. He then uses his newfound Speed power to beat a hasty retreat, flying far across the board and into base contact with a civilian! What nefarious plans could he have?

The cops activate, and, seeing how Scarlet Witch is the closest target and is obviously a dirty hippie in a slinky costume, they open fire on her, inflicting 1 Body worth of damage, despite both her Fortune power and the re-rolls Cap gave her through Enhance. Captain America forgoes all his actions to try to convince the police that the Avengers are not the enemy…

“You, sir, are NO Captain America!”

…but totally screws the pooch. The cops ain’t buyin’ it.

Captain Marvel tries to blast Mimic before he can harm the civilian, but misses. She decides to stay and protect the civilian she’s currently with.

ROUND 4

The civilians move randomly. The initiative goes to the Mimic, then the cops, and lastly, the Avengers.

The Mimic fails again to recharge his Invisibilty and fails to maintain his Density Decrease power. Ignoring the civilian, he uses Speed to position himself behind the Scarlet Witch. He fires his Power Blasts at her, but misses.

Ignoring Captain America, the cops open fire on the Scarlet Witch again, but due to her Fortune power, they miss. Captain Marvel chases after the Mimic, blasting him for 1 more damage. The Mimic is reeling, with only 1 Body left!

Captain America once again tries to convince the cops that the Avengers are no threat, but the cops still aren’t buying it. (He’s really rolling like crap.)

At the end of the round, another group of cops enters from the opposite side of the board.

ROUND 5

The civilians move randomly. Another moves off the board. (“Feets, don’t fail me now!”)

The initiative order is The Avengers, the cops, then the Mimic.

Captain Marvel presses her attack, but fails to hit the Mimic with her blasts. The cops closest to Scarlet Witch fire upon her again. Her Fortune power didn’t recharge, but lucky for her she dives on the ground fast enough to avoid being riddled with bullets. The newly-arrived group of police fire upon the Mimic but miss.

End of Round 5.

The Mimic finally succeeds in recharging his Invisibility power. He turns invisible and blasts the Scarlet Witch, who fails to spot him. He does enough damage to KO her handily, and she fails her check to stay up. Captain America tries one more time to convince the police to help, and this time he finally succeeds (perhaps watching the Scarlet Witch get blasted into next week drove the point home). From now on, all the cops will target the Mimic, if possible.

ROUND 6

The remaining civilians move randomly as usual. The Avengers will act first, then the Mimic and finally, the police.

Captain America manages to spot the Mimic, despite his invisibility. He charges forward and hurls his shield at the Mimic, but misses.

“He’s got a kid!”

The Mimic loses his Invisibility and fails to recharge it. He’s getting desperate now, and decides he will take a hostage. He flies across the board into base contact with a civilian and grabs him, intending to use him as a bargaining chip, or, failing that, as a human shield! All attacks targeting the Mimic may hit the civilian instead!

End of Round 6

For the rest of the round, the cops closest to the Mimic surround him with guns drawn, but hesitate to open fire because of the hostage. The other cops move closer to the hostage situation, as does Captain Marvel. Finally, at the end of the turn, more cops arrive: two motorcycle cops and a heavy machine gun. They’re done playing!

ROUND 7

Whatever civilians are left move randomly, except for the kid being used as a human shield by the Mimic.

The cops act first, followed by the Avengers and the Mimic.

All the cops move to surround the Mimic. They don’t do anything else.

An eerie stillness descended on Central Park, broken only by the terrified gasps of the child hostage. The Mimic, wounded and under the influence of something, was like a cornered animal, snarling alternately at the Avengers and the police. Only the years of training stayed the trigger-fingers of the NYPD; that and the commanding presence of the Sentinel of Liberty, Captain America.

Captain Marvel silently calculated her chances of blasting the Mimic without harming the child. She glanced at Captain America. A subtle shake of his head told her all she needed to know. “Stand down, Monica.” She heard it as clearly as if he shouted it aloud.

 

The Moment of Truth…

Captain America charges into hand-to-hand combat with the Mimic. The Mimic attempts to fend off Cap by placing the child in harm’s way, but Captain America is a seasoned combatant. He scores six total goals. The Mimic resists with only five! He takes one damage, enough to force a KO check. He fails!

Victory to the Avengers!

Captain Marvel soothed the child while Captain America checked Calvin Rankin’s vital signs and, finding them steady, removed the headset from his belt. “I don’t like playing around with people’s minds, Monica,” he said softly, as the child was led away by police.

“I know, Cap. But the alternative…I’ll go check on Wanda.”

Cap nodded. He placed the headset on Rankin’s head.

EPILOGUE

First up, apologies for the yellowish tinge the pictures have. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I find it annoying. I’m no photographer.

I changed this scenario a bit. As originally written, all the Avengers are present, and the Mimic has to fight the whole team. If things start to go badly, a bunch of his football player friends show up to help beat up the Avengers. (Uh-huh.)

In Super Mission Force, 6 against 1 is a recipe for disaster, so I made the Mimic more powerful and split the team up. I think it worked out ok. I don’t have any high school football player miniatures, but I have plenty of cops. So I used them instead.

The dramatic scene at the end really wasn’t planned. It just kind of happened that way. Part of the fun of playing these adventures is trying to remain true to what I think the heroes would do in the comics, so having Cap take the shot seemed natural, as he was best equipped to take out the Mimic in hand to hand without harming the innocent hostage. Besides, he was carrying the headset…

Up next: Drax the Destroyer!

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2 Responses to “MH-2 Time Trap Part 1: The Menace of the Mimic!”

  1. Great AAR Keith, these are always so much fun, but I have to ask, are your scenarios set in a parallel universe? I only ask as a while back in one of your previous AAR’s we saw Captain America loitering outside a strip joint, and this time he wants to “punch Starfox in the dick!”. This sin’t the Cap I grew up with 😉

    Cheers Roger.

    P.S. looking forward to Drax appearance.

    • Thanks, Roger. Regarding the parallel universe: No, they’re set in the original Marvel universe. It turns out a lot of people want to punch Starfox in the dick. I suspect if you spent any amount of time with him, you’d feel the same way.
      I hate Starfox.

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