Quick synopsis: The Toyman is attempting to detonate a bomb during the Christmas celebration in the town square. Superman is attempting to thwart his nefarious scheme and protect the civilians that have been drawn to the square by the big stacks of presents Toyman dropped to lure them there. For more detailed scenario information and special rules, please refer to my last post.
At the start of the game, here is the board setup:
There are 7 possible locations for the bomb. Clockwise from the top right corner, they are: stack of presents 1, the fountain/Christmas tree, stack 2, the house, stack 3, stack 4, and the church.
Superman sets up in the middle of the board, while 6 civilians are scattered around the board.
Toyman won’t arrive until the end of round 3, so no initiative roll is necessary. Superman has a few rounds to get a jump on finding the bomb’s location. First, though, the civilians randomly meander around. Then, I draw from the location and hazard decks. I get stack of presents #3 as the location, but draw a “nothing happens” as an event. An early lucky break for the Man of Steel!
Superman moves to the closest possible location, which is the fountain and Christmas tree. He takes a Special Action to scan for the bomb. The secret counter underneath the tree reveals there is no bomb here (good thing, or this would have been a short game indeed). Superman uses the remainder of his Move action to fly to stack #1. Although he can easily reach it, he can’t take any further actions this turn, so the round ends!
Once again, the civilians move around randomly. My deck draws indicate that the Santa Bot appears at stack #1, which just so happens to be where Superman is at the moment. And it’s a good thing, too, considering that 2 civilians are within range of the Santa Bot’s machine gun (Power Blasts) and would have certainly been easy targets if the Man of Steel wasn’t around to draw the Bot’s fire.
Since Toyman isn’t around to direct his toys yet, Superman automatically has initiative. Superman now has to decide whether to fight the robot or scan the stack of presents for the bomb; he can’t take both a Special Action and a Combat Action in the same turn! Being Superman, he decides the most immediate threat to the civilians is the Santa Bot, so he charges the Bot and attacks! He does a measly one net goal’s worth of damage, not enough to drop the Santa Bot. The Bot fights back, but fails to hurt Superman at all. The round ends!
“Great Caesar’s Ghost!”
Once again, the civilians wander without purpose. My deck draws indicate that at stack #2, Teddy appears! Teddy is a big robotic teddy bear that isn’t very friendly. Unfortunately there is a civilian who looks an awful lot like Daily Planet editor Perry White standing right next to present stack #2. Perry White threatens the bear with a rolled-up copy of the Planet, but Teddy doesn’t seem too impressed.
Now Superman has a real dilemma: protect the civilians nearest him, protect Perry White on the other side of the board, or scan for the bomb??
Superman attacks the Santa Bot with a haymaker, flooring the robot with a net 7 goals of damage! That takes care of the civilians nearest to him, but should he scan stack #1 for the bomb next turn, or leave to protect Perry White from Teddy?
It’s no choice at all. Superman uses his Move action to fly across the board into base contact with Teddy, thus ensuring the big robotic bear has his full attention. Teddy attacks Superman (leaving Perry White alone for now), but fails to do any damage.
At the end of round 3, the Toyman arrives in spectacular fashion by parachuting onto the middle of the square inside a huge Christmas present!
The civilians move randomly, as usual. One of them takes the opportunity to get the hell out of the square and moves off the board, thus ensuring he lives to celebrate Christmas at all! Perry White’s random movement actually moves him closer to Teddy, but I decide that Mr. White is probably a lot smarter than that and move him in the opposite direction. The deck draws indicate that the house is the location for this round’s event, which is that the clockwork soldiers regenerate or that nothing happens. Since the soldiers aren’t in need of regeneration, nothing happens!
This is the first turn Toyman is on the board, and so initiative has to be determined. Toyman beats Superman’s roll. The huge present opens, and Toyman and his clockwork henchmen emerge!
Superman attacks Teddy, inflicting 2 net goals of damage and knocking Teddy back 8″. Teddy is knocked down and can’t reach Superman to fight back on his turn.
Score: 0-1, Superman
The civilians move randomly. The deck draws indicate that the 2 rock’em, sock’em robots burst out the front door of the church! Unfortunately, there are 2 civilians directly in the path of these clanking, metallic pugilists, and the Man of Steel is all the way across the board! What can he do?
Well, nothing yet, because Toyman keeps initiative this turn. He moves himself and his clockwork henchmen within firing range and open fire on Superman! They manage to inflict 2 net goals of damage. Ouch!
Superman is once again faced with a dilemma. Two civilians are in danger from the robots at the church, and Perry White is stuck between Teddy and the Toyman. Plus, there’s that pesky bomb to find…
Superman does the best he can. He flies over to Perry White and grabs him up, continuing to the nearest board edge and moving his boss to safety. Since this doesn’t count as an action, Superman returns to stack # 2 and uses his Special Action to scan it for the bomb, ignoring both Toyman and Teddy for now. Unfortunately, his gamble fails. Stack #2 doesn’t contain the bomb, either!
Teddy charges Superman, but Superman shrugs him off, and can only watch helplessly…
…as the robots move to attack the closest civilian and quickly pummel him into unconsciousness. Poor guy! Where’s Superman when you need him?
Score 1-2, Superman
It’s halfway into the game, and Superman has only been able to scan 2 of the possible 7 bomb locations. That bomb could go off at any moment! He better get moving!
Of course, the civilians move randomly first. Another moves off the board to safety. The deck draws indicate that stack #4 is the location, and the event is once again that the clockwork soldiers regenerate or nothing happens. The soldiers have not been damaged, so nothing happens.
Superman gains initiative. A quick look at the board shows that there are only 2 civilians left to protect. One is all the way over by stack #1 and is in no immediate danger from anything, and the other is right next to the rock’em, sock’em robots. Superman leaves combat with Teddy to race across the board to the civilian near the robots. (Teddy gets a free attack on Superman as he flies away, but does no damage.) He flies the civilian off the board to safety and then lands next to the church, where he uses his Special Action to scan the church for the bomb. Once again, there is no bomb.
Toyman marshals his henchmen and moves towards Superman. The robots move towards him, too; and Teddy moves as fast as he can in Superman’s general direction. That’s about all they can do.
Score: 1-4, Superman
Civilians move. The Toyman’s deadly squadron of toy planes activates near stack #3.
Toyman gains initiative. He sends his planes over to attack Superman. They open fire, but fail to harm the Last Son of Krypton! Superman returns fire with his heat vision, destroying all but one of the planes. The robots charge into combat with Superman and mange to inflict one net goal of damage. (I probably should have moved Superman somewhere else and scanned another location, but instead I attacked the planes and forgot to move him at all! Dumb!) Toyman, his henchmen and Teddy all move towards Superman, but none of them can do anything else.
Score: 1-4, Superman
The one remaining civilian on the board moves around, but she’s so far away she’s in no danger unless something activates at stack #1 this turn. Instead, nothing happens at the fountain and Christmas tree this round. That bomb is still out there, and there are not many turns left. There are still 4 possible locations that bomb could be: stack #1, stack #3, stack #4 and the house!
Superman keeps initiative and leaves combat with the robots,taking 1 goal of damage in the process. He moves to stack #4, directly in front of him, and scans the stack for the bomb. No luck! he still has plenty of movement left, so he speeds over to stack #3. He can’t do anything else on his turn, but at least he’s in position for next round…if it’s not too late!
Toyman’s group and the one remaining plane move into firing range and open fire, but Superman takes no damage. The robots and Teddy both chase after Superman, but they pose little threat to Superman at this point. There’s only one civilian left and she’s safely out of harm’s way. The main concern is the bomb!!!
Score 1-4, Superman
The civilian wanders around stack #1. Holding my breath, I draw from both decks. Stack #2 is the location…and nothing happens!!!! Whew!
Superman keeps initiative. Superman immediately scans stack #3, hoping to find the bomb, but there is no bomb! There are only 3 rounds left in the game, and the bomb could go off on any one of them! Since one civilian has already fallen, if the bomb goes off, there is no way Superman can win this scenario.There are only 2 places it could be: stack #1, or the house. The house is closest…
Superman makes another calculated risk and flies across the board to stack #1., where he will scan for the bomb next turn. Even though the house is closer, he could get bogged down in combat with the Toyman’s toys, as they will all be in the same table quarter as the house by the end of this turn. It’s a gamble to be sure…
Toyman and all his toys consolidate near the house.
Score: 1-4, Superman
The remaining civilian moves. Convinced I’m about to draw the Joker, I pull from both decks. The location is the church…the event is…the presents shuffle positions! Lucky for Superman, the stacks that switch positions are stack #3 and stack #4, so he doesn’t have to worry about chasing stack #1 around the board…
Superman keeps initiative. He scans stack #1, and discovers the bomb. And not a moment too soon! Victory for Superman!
Score: 1-9, Superman.
Well, this game was the most fun I’ve had playing with myself since…well, never mind.
Despite going for 10 rounds, this game played very fast (about 30 minutes). The ending score was not as much of a runaway victory for Superman as it appears. If the bomb had gone off, there was no way Superman could have won the game, as he had already lost a point for the wounded civilian in round 5. Even if Superman saved all the other civilians, had the bomb exploded, the final score would have been 5-6, Toyman.
The game went down to the final 3 turns. The last 3 cards were the 10, Jack and Joker; the two “present shuffle” events and the bomb going off. I really did shuffle the cards pretty well, or so I thought. In any event, despite all hazards being activated, Superman got really lucky by drawing all the “nothing happens” events during the game. This gave him the breathing room he needed to try to be everywhere at once.
Well, almost everywhere. This guy will be spending Christmas in the hospital.
I think the scenario works well. The random position of the bomb, and the randomness of the locations and hazards really makes the game difficult to predict, which is what I was going for. After all, what else can Toyman really do to Superman but keep him occupied and distracted? Superman has to do his best to balance getting the civilians to safety with finding the bomb before time runs out. The hazards work to delay him, as Superman really only has to engage them if they threaten civilians. If no civilians are threatened, he’s free to fly around the board and search for the bomb.
Ironically, the bomb was in the second location Superman visited, but he had to leave it to go protect Perry White from Teddy back in round 3! He didn’t have time to scan the location after destroying the Santa Bot, because if he did, that would have allowed Teddy to attack Perry White if the bomb wasn’t there. He never made it back to stack #1 until the very end of the game.
Here are my Super Mission Force builds for the characters:
Superman (Powerhouse) Major: Speed, Super Strength, Minor: Armor, Enhanced Senses, Flight, Power Blasts, Resistance, Tough
Toyman (Mastermind) Major: Enhance, Minor: Gadgets, Savant
Note: Toyman DID make use of his Gadgets power to gain re-rolls each round, but either he failed to do so or they were used without any real effect on the overall game.
Merry Christmas everyone!