Tag Archives: Super Mission Force

“Strongest One There Is!”

Jealousy. I has it.

The source? Not an unfaithful wife. Not another’s success, wealth or good looks. Not even another’s superior painting skill or bagpiping prowess. None of these. Yet my particular jealousy was a daily, unwelcome guest for many months. It would arrive when unexpected and stay far too long, like an irritating relative, or an annoying ghost. It consumed me and I could think of little else.

Put simply, I coveted the Knight Models Hulk miniature possessed by frequent Dead Dick’s visitor and owner of Cheaphammer, Kieron, and wanted it for my own.

I’m not proud of this. Although I nursed my envy closely and didn’t let Kieron know how hotly it burned, it remains that jealousy is unbecoming. It diminished me as a person. And over what? It’s just a miniature. A MINIATURE.

Well, I am happy to report that all that is past, and that I am no longer consumed with burning jealousy. I would like to say that is because I have evolved as a person. That I have now realized that jealousy is a base, toxic emotion that is an obstacle on my path to self-actualization. I would like to say that, but I can’t.

Because the real reason I am no longer jealous of Kieron’s Knight Models Incredible Hulk miniature IS ‘CUZ I GOT MY OWN!

I finally managed to snag one off of eBay! The price? More than I would typically pay for any miniature, but certainly nowhere near what the “standard” starting point is for this particular model on the secondary market. With shipping, it was still less than almost everything on Games Workshop’s site.

And I love it so.

This model is HUGE, and it’s all metal.  It’s also an asshole of a miniature. It’s seven pieces (not counting the base), and because it’s a Knight Models miniature, it was a pain in the ass to put together, requiring much in the way of gap-filling green stuff and Magic Sculpt.

I knew right away I wanted my Hulk to be darker in hue than the Knight Models version. I was never a big fan of the neon green Hulk. (I have a Hallmark Hulk Christmas ornament that’s particularly egregious; he might as well be yellow. If it wasn’t stored away in my attic with all my other Christmas decorations, I’d show you.)

To achieve this, I first primed him black. Then I painted his skin Citadel Caliban Green, followed by Vallejo Uniform Green, and finally Coat D’arms Goblin Green. Then I applied a wash of Citadel Waywatcher Green, followed by a final application of Yellow Wash. The pants were painted Citadel Naggaroth Night, followed by Vallejo Royal Purple, highlighted with Citadel Screamer Pink. The final highlight was a thinned-down wash of Vallejo Warlord Purple. The shirt (what’s left of it) was based with Reaper’s Bone Shadow, highlighted with Reaper’s Polished Bone and Vampiric Skin.  I applied two coats of Citadel Stirland Mud to the base before I drybrushed it with Reaper Stained Ivory and added all the grass and tufts.

To give you a better idea of how enormous the KM Hulk is, here he is between a Reaper Hill Giant (also all metal) and a Heroclix Hulk. Most impressive, n’est ce-pas?

Last year I played a Super Mission Force scenario based on Hulk #300, in which pretty much every Marvel hero in New York tries to stop the rampaging Hulk from destroying the city. One of my friends who is a lifelong Hulk fan controlled the Hulk, while the rest of us took teams of various heroes. For that, I used the Heroclix Hulk shown above. Nice, but…

You see what I’m saying?

Above: The Leader is using his super-brain to calculate to the nearest power just how exponentially fucked he is.

With the release of SMF 2nd Edition and my acquisition of this model, I think it might be time to fire up that scenario once again, to prove once and for all that “HULK IS STRONGEST ONE THERE IS!”

This is the first miniature I’ve painted in a while, as Terrain Time had been my focus last month. The insanity pile has suffered a bit, as in addition to the Hulk I bought a box of Modiphius Klingons, too…

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Purchased: 69

Miniatures Painted: 123

Total: +54

How AWESOME is this???

A couple of weeks back I was pleasantly surprised to receive a PM on Lead Adventure Forum from Scott Pyle, creator of Super Mission Force. Visitors to this site probably know that I am a huge fan of this game, so I was very happy to find that he wanted to send me a copy of the new second edition in appreciation for my support!

I certainly don’t trumpet my love for SMF in the hopes of getting freebies, but I’m not about to say no to one, either. I’m very grateful for the gift, which arrived today. I chose the coil binding, so the booklet can lay flat if I’m referencing something during play.

Although I didn’t have any problems with the first edition, it looks like Scott has expanded the archetypes, powers and team composition rules quite a bit. The inclusion of a blank hero sheet is a welcome addition, too. I’m sure there are other changes I have yet to discover, and I will be giving it a good look-through this weekend.

As if getting a copy for free wasn’t cool enough, there’s also this:

Another surprise! I am happy that I could contribute in any way.

Once again, a heartfelt thanks to Scott Pyle both for his generosity and for creating one of my favorite games of all time. I can’t wait to try out the new edition!

Buried on a Sunday…Born on a Monday…

I never heard, or even knew of, the Solomon Grundy nursery rhyme as a child. I think perhaps this is a more common nursery rhyme overseas than here in the States. It wasn’t until I got older, fell in love with Celtic music and started listening to the Pogues that I heard it for the first time, at the very, very end of Billy’s Bones.

As a comic book fan, though, I knew who Solomon Grundy was very early on. The guy was in the Legion of Doom on Superfriends (a cartoon that absolutely does NOT hold up). Later, I remember seeing a Bernie Wrightson portfolio with a couple of plates depicting Solomon Grundy, but that was about the extent of my exposure to him.

Now, of course, EVERYONE knows that Solomon Grundy was born on a Monday… et cetera, et cetera. He was a significant character on TV’s Gotham, and I remember cackling with glee the first time I realized that…

SPOILER ALERT

…Butch’s real name turned out to be Cyrus Gold.

Anyway…Grundy has about 12 different origin stories (look it up if you don’t believe me), but a common thread throughout all of them was that he was once a man named Cyrus Gold, who was murdered and dumped in Slaughter Swamp, the location of which changes but is usually outside of Gotham City. Something in the water reanimates him, so he is basically an indestructible zombie. He’s super strong (he can go toe-to-toe with Superman), nigh-invulnerable and impossible to permanently put down. He doesn’t have to breathe and he doesn’t bleed. He’s also usually, but not always, really dumb.

He started out as a villain for Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, but now he’s more of a Batman villain. The thing is, I can’t figure out why he’s a villain at all. Most villains have schemes and plans, things they wish to accomplish. Grundy just usually shows up and fights whoever happens to be around until he gets beat up or killed. Then he rises again some time later and starts all over. Not really a “big picture” kind of guy.

I bought this Knight Models Solomon Grundy because it’s AWESOME, and the Heroclix Grundy looks laughably small next to him.

I primed him black and drybrushed some Citadel Celestra Grey on him to pick out the details. Then I painted his skin using Citadel’s Rakarth Flesh, followed by a wash of Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted with Flayed One Flesh and finally, Pallid Wych Flesh. For the suit, I did a thin layer of Coat D’Arms Deadly NIghtshade, followed by an even lighter coat of Army Painter Dark Sky. This covered the Celestra Grey and provided some nice highlights to the clothing. His shirt was based in Citadel Tau Light Ochre, washed with Agrax Earthshade and highlighted up to Dorn Yellow. I used GW’s Stirland Mud to texture the base and stuck an old Armorcast broken tombstone on it before flocking the whole thing.

And that was the end of Solomon Grundy, and of Supers Month here at Dead Dick’s Tavern.

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Purchased: 58

Miniatures Painted: 122

Total: +64

Forgotten Heroes 2019: Viva La Bandera!

I must thank my friend Carrion Crow for coming up with Forgotten Heroes. It is a challenge in more ways than one. For example, last year I converted my very own Wundarr the Aquarian, who I consider to be one of the worst Marvel characters ever. Even though my results weren’t great, I was pretty proud of myself for converting such a terrible character. The Aquarian was  met with much amusement, and I thought I would never find another character so lame.

Until now, that is. May I present: La Bandera!

Some background. Once upon a time, Wolverine (along with the rest of the X-Men) was supposed to be dead, so he ditched the superhero life to open a bar in seedy Madripoor. He took the identity of “Patch” (Logan with an eyepatch, get it?) which shouldn’t have fooled anyone with vision better than Mr. Magoo, considering he kept popping his claws all the time. To make matters worse, Wolverine soon started dressing up as fucking WOLVERINE, and everyone sat around scratching their heads at the strange short guy in the Wolverine costume. No one seemed able to put  two and two together and come up with “Hey…that guy is Wolverine.”

Anyway, at one point, Wolverine travels to the South American dictatorship Tierra Verde, hot on the trail of Roughhouse, a Madripoor-based bad guy he beat the shit out of a few times. Roughhouse was kidnapped by a guy named Geist, who was a Nazi “scientist” who was working for Caridad, the mustachioed dictator of Tierra Verde. Geist was experimenting on people in the hope of creating a superhero for Tierra Verde at Caridad’s request.

Sigh. Enter La Bandera,  a teenage girl who was born in Cuba to Castro revolutionary parents, who then moved to Miami, where her father became a drug addict and died of a drug overdose. When she got to be a teenager, she manifested her mutant power, inspiration. She can influence the emotions of others, so she used this to inspire the common folk to fight drug dealers in Miami. Oh, and she can also shoot power blasts through a stick she carries, but these seem to be dependent on how may people she is currently inspiring. When their morale tanks, she loses this ability.

Yawn. Moving on, La Bandera pissed off the Kingpin, because her rabble-rousing started fucking with his bottom line: his Miami drug profits. So he hired Tiger Shark to kill her. But before Tiger Shark could, she traced the drugs to Tierra Verde, and traveled there to inspire the populace to overthrow their evil dictator, Caridad. Wolverine saved her from Tiger Shark, who was in the process of removing La Bandera’s head from her shoulders. Then he saved her from Geist, who, in addition to a Nazi scientist and expert barber, turned out to be a giant, evil fungus. Then they overthrew the dictator together and saved Roughhouse.

Yaay.

This all took a very long seven issues of Wolverine. There was more to the story (Caridad suffers from migraines and his ex-wife, a nun named “Sister Salvation”, is the only one who can soothe his pain) but just forget it.  If you’ve never heard of La Bandera, you have missed nothing. But the reason is because she, and the story she rode in on, sucks out loud.

La Bandera is one of those annoying, purposeless characters that festooned the X-books throughout the late eighties and nineties. She’s a stereotype (a Cuban-born revolutionary), but at least we are spared the “Claremont-ization” of her speech patterns (a la Black Tom Cassidy, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Moira MacTaggart, Gambit and countless others…) because she was created by Archie Goodwin, not Chris Claremont; but although there’s nary a “Madre de Dios!” to be found, she’s still pretty damn lame.

Perfect for Forgotten Heroes. Although her national allegiance isn’t clear, she’s definitely a patriotic character, as she inspires feelings of nationalism in others. so, she’s kind of a patriotic everyman. And she has a colorful costume. That’s about all I got.

As my base figure, I used a Heroclix Nikki. I have no idea who the hell Nikki is, but she’s apparently affiliated with the Defenders. She’ll do.

I removed her from her dial and took her arm off at the shoulder. I considered just clipping off the gun, but her arms are so thin I was worried about attaching a staff to both sides of her hand. So I opted to just remove the hand and replace it with this GW skink spear hand. I removed the spear head and hoped no one would notice that La Bandera has a freakishly-large right hand, and that it only has three fingers.

Then I started applying green stuff and magic sculpt to build up her poofy sleeves. Although I suck at sculpting, I took my time. I built it up in several sessions rather than trying to get it all done at once.

Finally, I sculpted her mask and her flowing belt and mask ties. This took a while. I rolled out the magic sculpt in a long ribbon, flattened it out, twisted it and let it dry. Then I clipped it and super-glued it to the miniature. A final dab of putty secured both belt and mask tie in place.

Finally, all that was left was to paint her. You may notice that my paint job doesn’t match the artwork above. That’s because throughout that excruciating seven-issue run, La Bandera’s costume lacked a consistent color scheme, which may have been a printing error, or may have just been indicative of how much anyone working on her story gave a fuck. I went with the one that was shown the most. I’m not happy with her mask. Perhaps I should have just painted her face instead of sculpting a mask, as it looks a little weird. But I take comfort in the fact that although I’m probably one of the only people in the world with a La Bandera miniature, I will, in all likelihood, never have to use her in a game.

Unless she teams up with the Aquarian. Damn. Now I’m thinking about it.

That brings my Forgotten Heroes submissions to an end for this year. I really wanted to do General Glory from the post-Legends JLI, but I didn’t have the time. Maybe next year, although I’m pretty sure the Crow will have a new challenge by then…

My Name is Mud!

A local comic shop had a pretty spectacular sale on gaming items recently, and I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a few of the original metal Knight Models Batman figures on the shelf. I couldn’t resist picking up a few (at a deep discount), and so I present…Clayface!

At last count, there are about 72 different Clayfaces running around the DC universe. (I may be off by one or two, but suffice it to say there are a lot.) The original was Basil Karlo, a B-list actor who went crazy when he learned he wasn’t going to be in a remake of a horror film he starred in, so he wore a mask and tried to kill all the other actors who starred in the remake. The second Clayface was Matt Hagen, an Indiana Jones-type adventurer who was exposed to some kind of weird protoplasm that made him malleable and able to assume any form. The third Clayface was a guy named Preston Payne, whose touch dissolves flesh, so naturally he goes crazy and falls in love with a mannequin. The rest of the Clayfaces don’t matter. Trust me. They just don’t fucking matter.

My favorite version of Clayface is from the Batman Animated Series. That Clayface was based a combination of the first and second Clayface, i.e. he was Matt Hagen, who was a great actor who became disfigured in a car crash. He began using an experimental, protoplasmic face cream developed by Roland Daggett, an unscrupulous big-pharma type who used Hagen to commit crimes in exchange for more of the cream (kinda like a heroin dealer, or so I’ve heard). Finally, Daggett’s men poured a ton of the protoplasmic cream on Hagen, thinking it would kill him. Instead, it turned him into Clayface. (This version of Clayface was also voiced by Ron Perlman, which pretty much ensures he’s the coolest version of Clayface that was, is, or will ever be.)

As far as the miniature itself: it’s BIG. And metal, and all stretched out in a lunge, which means he’s unbalanced. I immediately tossed the ridiculous 40mm slotta base he came with and rebased him on a 40mm MDF base. Unfortunately, that was too small and the model kept tipping over. So, I based the 40mm base on a 60 mm base for stability. Then I set about painting him.

There’s really not a lot to this model, paint-wise. Aside from his face, he’s all brown. I used various brown paints and washes to make him look as he does, which is pretty much like a turd. I considered applying some gloss varnish to make him look like wet clay, but decided not to.

To give you an idea of how big he is, here is the Knight Models Clayface next to a Heroclix Clayface.

And here he is next to a Heroclix R’as al Ghul. (Weird that I don’t have a repainted ‘Clix Batman yet.) The KM version seems much more true to scale when compared to a normal-sized human (R’as). As with Killer Croc, the ‘Clix version looks kind of puny by comparison.

I have other Knight Models to paint, and I am still laboring away on another Forgotten Heroes entry before month’s end. Returning to true Piper form, I will be submitting another hero who absolutely should be forgotten.

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Purchased: 58

Miniatures Painted: 121

Total: +63

“Oh, Frabjous Day!”

It’s been a while since I did a Heroclix repaint, and this time it’s another of Batman’s rogues gallery: Jervis Tetch, aka the Mad Hatter.

From DC FanDOM: Jervis Tetch, formerly a research scientist, is completely smitten with the works of Lewis Carroll. As his criminal name indicates, he takes the appearance of the Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He is an insane neuroscientist and developed hardware that can control the brain and induce hypnotic states, and often uses hats or other headgear for mind control.

Originally, the Hatter was a villain who committed robberies using his mind-controlling hats; nowadays, his motivations are a lot darker, as in addition to hats, he seems to be obsessed with kidnapping little girls named Alice. (Yep. It’s exactly what you think.)

This version of the Mad Hatter comes from the original DC Heroclix Hypertime set. He’s a redhead and he looks like a leprechuan; a bit too colorful for my tastes.

Here is my repaint. The Hatter is flanked by two miniatures from Lucid Eye’s Beast of Birchwood line, the “Sleeping Hare” and the “Sleeping Field Mouse”. I gather this game is a Victorian horror-themed skirmish game, so they fit right into Tetch’s Wonderland obsession as the March Hare and the Dormouse, thugs in his employ; or perhaps, more fittingly, under his mental control. What tough guy is going to willingly dress up as a bunny, after all?

Worst. Birthday Party. Ever.

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Purchased: 47

Miniatures Painted: 100

Total: +53

Kraven the Hunter

Kraven the Hunter is one of my favorite Spider-Man villains. I admire his lion-face vest, his zebra belt, his leopard tights and his cute green booties.

Sergei Kravinoff was considered by many (especially himself) to be the greatest hunter in the world. If it was alive and worthy, he hunted it, from big game animals to great cats to superheroes. Kraven was particularly fixated on Spider-Man, who cleaned his clock on more than one occasion. Kraven even helped start the Sinister Six hoping that with a little help he could say he defeated Spider-Man, but it never really happened for him.

Eventually, Kraven lost his shit and decided it wasn’t enough to just beat Spider-Man, he had to BECOME Spider-Man. Thus kicked off the “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline, which was pretty dark for Spider-Man, wherein Kraven “kills” Spider-Man and assumes his identity, running around New York crippling and killing criminals in an attempt to fully understand what it means to be the ultimate predator, The Spider. Then he eats a gun and blows his own head off. End credits.

The story, which ran through three Spider-Man titles back in 1987, was actually pretty good, and is considered one of the best Spidey stories of all time. Some have criticized its dark tone as being Marvel’s response to the critical acclaim of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, both published by DC the previous year. Maybe there is some truth to that. It’s certainly more adult in nature than what Marvel was publishing at the time, and it was set in the general continuity of the Marvel Universe. I liked it because it was drawn by Mike Zeck (Secret Wars, Punisher), and I love me some Mike Zeck art.

Since Kraven’s demise, which as far as I know is still permanent, his mantle was taken up by his son, Alyosha. I know nothing about Alyosha Kravinoff, so check Wikipedia if you want to know more.

Anyway, I actually wasn’t kidding when I said I like Kraven as a character. He’s definitely a second-stringer in the Spider-verse, a tier down from Green Goblin, Doc Ock and Venom (who I can’t stand).  He’s more on the level of Rhino, Electro and Scorpion, but he has a unique charm all his own.

Kraven doesn’t technically have any super-powers, but through ingestion of rare herbal potion he can do some pretty cool things. He was able to run super-fast for long periods of time. He was also an Olympic-level athlete and a superb fighter, who preferred archaic weapons like knives and spears over guns (which he considered dishonorable). He was the greatest hunter in the world, able to track his quarry using enhanced senses, much like Wolverine. His aging process was slowed dramatically; at the time of his suicide, Kraven was over 70 years of age, but was in the peak physical condition of a man in his 30’s.

Kraven is one of the villains in the old TSR Marvel Super Heroes adventure Lone Wolves, which I will shortly be converting to Super Mission Force. In other words, I had several reasons to do what I did, which is repaint a Kraven Heroclix miniature.

Over the years, Kraven has had several Heroclix sculpts. Above is the original version,  from the Critical Mass set. I removed him from his dial and stuck him on a base. To be clear: this is the original paint job and NOT my work. This is what came out of the blister pack back in 2003.

Here is my repaint. I decided to give him some real knives instead of the weenie dagger he had strapped to his thigh. I got rid of that, then I put some old GW space marine knives in his hands and sculpted some sheaths out of Magic Sculpt. I considered giving him a spear, but I think his two-fisted knives look pretty good.

Here is my Super Mission Force build for Kraven the Hunter:

Kraven (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Fast, Super Agility

(I gave him Fast because Kraven can reportedly run as fast as a cheetah for short periods of time, and this increases his Move to a 13, which I think fits. I could swap it out for Enhanced Senses; either one would work.)

 

What time is it?

Last month, while unwisely browsing eBay’s listings, I stumbled across this Ben Grimm miniature:

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you again: What time is it?

I think we all know what Mr. Grimm would say.

Knight Models is a Spanish company that makes those terrific (and hugely overpriced) miniatures for the Batman Miniatures Game. (I splurged and bought a Killer Croc, because I really liked it.) For a brief time, they had the license to produce Marvel miniatures, too. I very much covet their Hulk model, and I would love to get one. But man, are they pricey on the secondary market! Most eBay listings for the KM Hulk start at around $75. That’s a shitload more than I want to pay for ANY miniature. (I don’t pony up that kind of cash to GW; I’m not about to give it to someone else, either.)

This miniature of Thing was listed on eBay for $25 with free shipping. It was mint in the box. I bought it. I’m glad I did.

First off, he’s huge. At 75mm, he’s way bigger than a Heroclix Thing. (I find the Heroclix “big guys” to be kind of small, but YMMV.) More on that below.

He’s a three-piece casting: the legs, body and left arm. The miniature required some filing and filling with green stuff to fit together properly. Not a big deal, but it was an essential step. I primed him black.

I based him on a 40mm Micro Arts Studio urban base and gave him his first basecoat: Citadel Ratskin Flesh for the orange rocky skin, and P3 Exile Blue for his speedo.

Here he is completed. I highlighted  his skin with Citadel Macharius Orange and a drybrush of Fire Dragon Bright, before giving the cracks a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone. His trunks were highlighted with Vallejo Prussian Blue and Reaper Dragon Blue.

Here’s the Fantastic Four from the early Clobberin’ Time Heroclix set. As you can see, Thing doesn’t look too bad.

But HERE is the Knight Models Thing with the rest of the Heroclix FF. Much better, don’t you think?

I plan on using the Knight Models Thing in any supers game where his large size doesn’t obviously conflict with other models of similar scale; in other words, I wouldn’t use this KM Thing in the same game I use a Heroclix Hulk (that would just be dumb) Instead I’ll use the ‘clix Thing for that.

There are presently two Knight Models miniatures I desperately want to acquire: the Hulk and Solomon Grundy, both seemingly impossible to find for sale at a reasonable price any longer.

I’ll keep looking, though…

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 41

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +40

 

MH-2 Time Trap Conclusion: Truth and Consequence!

PROLOGUE

Later, at the Baxter Building, the Avengers confer with the Fantastic Four in front of the time machine built by the Latverian tyrant, Victor Von Doom!

“Time is pretty resilient, Avengers,” says Mr. Fantastic. “It has a way of sorting things out on its own. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.”

“Really?” asks Wasp. “I’d always assumed if you go back in time and change something, it screws up the present and eventually, the future.”

“A solid theory,” says Mr. Fantastic. “But only one of many, I’m afraid. There are, at present, four leading theories in the area of temporal manipulation…take, for example, the theory of—”

“They don’t have all day, Reed,” says Invisible Woman. “Kang is still out there, somewhere in time, plotting his next scheme.”

“I don’t mean to contradict you, Sue, but this time machine means the Avengers technically DO have all day,” says Mr. Fantastic. “As many days as they need, in fact.” Invisible Woman gives her husband an icy stare. Mr. Fantastic sighs. “But, I suppose you’re right. We should get things rolling, dear.”

“You believe you can send us directly to Kang?” asks Captain America.

“Yes, of course,” says Mr. Fantastic. “Just hop onto the time machine’s transport platform.”

“But what if you’re wrong? asks Vision.

“Look, buddy,” says Mr. Fantastic, “do I come to your lab and tell you how to do your job?”

“My…job?” Vision seems taken aback. “Uh…no. No, you don’t. But I was merely—”

Whatever else he was going to say is cut short by Thing’s guffaw.“Reed’s just busting your chops, pal.”

Mr. Fantastic smiles. “Don’t worry, Vision. If I’m wrong, as you fear, I will know almost immediately and we will come to get you, wherever or whenever you may be. However, I think it far more likely that Kang is expecting you. He must know by now that his ambush failed, and he’s clever enough to know you’ll be coming for him as a result.”

“Great,” says Captain Marvel. “So much for the element of surprise.” She joins Captain America, Wasp and Vision on the platform, while Starfox hobbles to his feet, moving slowly.

“I wish we could go with you,” says the Human Torch, “but Reed says no, we shouldn’t mess with the time streams any more than necessary. It’s too bad.”

“Mmm. That is too bad,” says Captain Marvel, smiling flirtatiously.

“Let’s just go get this over with,” says Starfox, walking stiffly onto the platform. “I owe Kang some payback.”

“Just remember what I said, Starfox,” says the Human Torch. “When you get back to your own time, you want to apply some Icy-Hot directly to the…um..area.”

“Icy-Hot?” asks Starfox. “Isn’t that some kind of ointment?” The machine begins to hum.

“Yup,” says Thing, hiding a smile. “Best thing for ya. And don’t skimp on it. Just layer it on, good and plenty. You’ll thank us for it later.” The Human Torch coughs into his fist rather than laughing out loud.

A bright flash of light, and the Avengers are hurtled forward in time. They materialize in the other-where laboratory of Kang, the Conqueror!

Scenario

Kang is cornered in his lair, but he has had time to prepare for the Avengers’ arrival. His goal is to either defeat the Avengers once and for all or else escape to plague them another day. To this end, he has enlisted the aid of the mindless Dragon Man construct and an old Avengers foe, the Grey Gargoyle, as well as a group of elite henchmen bodyguards and sentry robots.

The heroes must defeat Kang; the other villains are just there to make it more difficult. The Avengers lose if they are defeated (Kang escapes).

Setup

I used a 2′ x 2′ board representing Kang’s laboratory. High-tech, futuristic equipment, including Kang’s time ship, is scattered around the lab. There are 3 docking stations that hold Kang’s sentry robots, and a large teleportation pad set in front of Kang’s Time Ship.

Kang deploys on one end of the board, close to a large computer. He is surrounded closely by a group of elite henchmen. The combat robots deploy in their respective docking stations. The heroes deploy on the opposite side from Kang. Dragon Man and Grey Gargoyle do not deploy at the start of the game (see below).

Special Rules

Pontification: Kang loves to talk. If he gives up all his actions and spends an entire round doing nothing else but telling the heroes how inferior they are, he gains the Fortune power in addition to all his regular powers for the remainder of the scenario.

Calling in Reinforcements: If in base contact with his Time Ship, Kang can use a Special Action to bring in either Dragon Man or Grey Gargoyle on the teleportation pad. He can only bring one villain in per round. These villains will fight for Kang, and will activate later in the same round.

Blaster Turret: Kang has upgraded his lab’s defenses with another blaster turret, much like the one used by the Super-Skrull last scenario (Range 15″, 5D blast, TN5, Body 4). Unlike the Super-Skrull, however, Kang has had time to calibrate the gun so that it fires only at the Avengers. At the start of the round, it fires at the closest Avenger that attacked Kang in the previous round. (It will fire into melee if Kang is fighting an Avenger in melee combat.) If no Avenger attacked Kang in the previous round, the blaster turret will fire at the closest Avenger to Kang. This blaster turret is not equipped with a force field.

Grey Gargoyle’s Petrification Power: Grey Gargoyle has a variation of the standard Entangle power. Like a standard Entangle, it’s a 5D attack, but Grey Gargoyle must be in melee to use it (i.e. it has no range). The upside of this (for Grey Gargoyle) is it’s tougher to break out once you’re turned to stone(TN5). Also, anyone turned to stone resists Body-damaging attacks with their base 4D pool, no matter what their usual defense is.

NOTE: There are a lot of miniatures on the board. Rather than relate the action step-by-step, I’ll give a general overview of what happened each round. These actions are not necessarily sequential.

ROUND 1

The blaster turret fires at Wasp, who happens to be the closest Avenger to Kang. It clips her for 1 damage before the game even really gets started. Ow!

Kang wins initiative for the first round. He makes a Chance roll for his Gadgets power, which gives him re-rolls equal to his successes. He gains 2. The he uses his Enhance power as a free action, and gains another 2 re-rolls which he gives to himself. (The rules don’t specifically say you can’t target yourself with Enhance, but if Scott Pyle is reading this, maybe he could give some clarification in the comments below… Kang is an expert on tactics, so I figured why the hell not?) Kang is going to do both of these things at the start of every round, so I’ll just keep a running tally of Kang’s re-rolls at the beginning of every round.

Enter the Dragon (Man)!

Kang immediately moves to his Time Ship and uses a special action to bring in Dragon Man on the teleport pad. (Yes, that’s a teleport pad, not a coffee can lid!)

Wasp activates her Shrinking power and flies out towards the turret. She blasts it, but does no damage.

Combat robot #1, the one closest to the Avengers,  fires at Captain Marvel and hits her for 3 damage. Then it moves quickly into base contact, trying to lock her up in melee for next round. Captain Marvel activates her Density Decrease power and flies away. Since she’s intangible, all the robot can do is ineffectively grab at her ghostly form as she flies out of melee. She flies over to help out the Wasp and blasts the turret for 2 damage, taking half its Body. Not enough to destroy it, though.

Dragon Man charges at Captain America and winds up with a haymaker. He rolls terribly, but not badly enough that Cap can reflect damage back. Cap attacks Dragon Man, scoring 3 Body worth of damage, dropping the big guy from 10 Body to 7.

Combat robot #3, the one closest to the turret, fires at Wasp but misses. Much like robot #1, it follows this attack up with a Move action which brings it into base contact with Wasp, locking her in melee for next round.

Starfox charges the henchmen group screening Kang, knocking 2 of them out of the fight. The henchmen try to fight back but deal no damage to Starfox. Combat robot #2 fires at Starfox, dealing 3 Body worth of damage! Starfox drops from 7 Body to 4. Again, like the other robots (it’s almost as if they were all programmed by the same person), robot #2 closes the distance with Starfox. It doesn’t quite make it into base contact, but since it has Reach of 2″, it just needs to get close.

Scarlet Witch uses Jinx on Dragon Man, successful despite his construct nature making it more difficult for her. She then runs away from both Dragon Man and robot #3, gaining some distance.

Finally, Vision activates his Density Increase power and charges Dragon Man, shouldering the big construct aside with a Haymaker that deals a net 5 Body worth of damage! He knocks Dragon Man back 8″ and onto his backside!

End of Round 1

ROUND 2

The turret fires at Starfox, as he’s the closest Avenger to Kang. He gets clipped for 1 more damage.

Kang burns through 2 re-rolls in his pool in order to keep Initiative. He gains 1 re-roll from Enhance and banks it for himself, bringing his total re-roll pool to 3. He uses a Special Action to bring in Grey Gargoyle via the Time Ship’s teleportation pad.

Vision charges Combat robot #1. He recharges his Haymaker, but does no damage to the robot. Combat robot #1 attacks back, rolling all 6’s! He scores the maximum number of possible goals, and Vision is walloped for 5 Body damage, dropping him from 9 to 4! Good thing Vision is Density Increased or he would have gone flying!

Combat robot #2 attacks Starfox, but misses.

“Hear me, Kang,” cries Starfox. “Your doom is at hand! I will exact revenge for my ruined testes!” Grey Gargoyle bursts out laughing as the Avengers collectively roll their eyes. Kang smiles. “Then take your vengeance if you can, you arrogant popinjay.”

Starfox attacks the henchmen group and wipes them out, then he moves into base contact with Kang. Unfortunately, by leaving combat with robot #2, he leaves himself wide open to a free attack. The robot cracks him for 1 Body worth of damage, but he manages to get into melee with Kang.

Scarlet Witch blasts robot #2, inflicting 2 damage. Captain Marvel destroys the turret with a well-placed power blast.

Combat robot #3 attacks Wasp, but Wasp manages to deftly slip through it’s grasping tentacles. She gambles on her evasiveness again and leaves combat, trying to get out of melee where she can do the most good with her power blasts. This proves to be a disaster, as the robot’s free attack hits her for 4 Body, taking her all the way down to 1!

Dragon Man charges Captain America, unhindered by Scarlet Witch’s Jinx; however once he gets into combat it’s a different story. He misses badly and Captain America deals 1 damage on his return attack. He knocks Dragon Man back 1″ so he can maneuver around the big guy towards Kang and the Grey Gargoyle. Dragon Man is down to 1 Body!

Grey Gargoyle charges Captain America, and manages to turn Captain America to stone!

After leaving combat with robot #3 (and barely escaping with her life), Wasp takes a parting shot at Dragon Man and manages to KO him (it?)!

End of Round 2

The first 2 rounds have been real slugfests! Wasp down to 1 Body! Dragon Man and Kang’s henchmen wiped out! Starfox down to 2 Body, Vision down to 4, Captain Marvel at 3!! One combat robot damaged, and Captain America turned to stone by the touch of the Grey Gargoyle!!!

ROUND 3

Without Captain America’s initiative bonus, Kang easily manages to hang onto initiative.

Kang’s re-roll pool is 3, and he gives 1 re-roll to the Grey Gargoyle. Kang attacks Starfox, but does no damage. He attempts a Power Attack at the hated Kang, but a sudden sharp pain in his groin distracts him and he whiffs badly.

Grey Gargoyle decides to stick around and punish the calcified Captain America. He does a Power Attack of his own, dealing 2 damage. Then he walks away towards Vision and Scarlet Witch. Scarlet Witch successfully Jinxes Grey Gargoyle and backs away from him, while Vision pounds combat robot #1 for 2 damage, knocking it back 8″. Combat robot #1 takes advantage of the distance and blasts back at Vision but does no damage. Then, predictably, it moves back into melee with Vision.

Combat robot #2 blasts Wasp and KO’s her, then moves into base contact with Starfox. Combat robot #3 fires at Scarlet Witch and would have fried her pretty good if not for her Fortune power. She escapes damage.

Captain America manages to free himself from Grey Gargoyle’s petrification. He hurls his shield at Grey Gargoyle, but misses. Finally, Captain Marvel blasts Grey Gargoyle, but misses. She puts some space between her and the robots.

ROUND 4

In order to keep initiative, Kang burns all 4 of his re-rolls. His Gadgets power gives him 1 re-roll back. Despite having Starfox in his face, Kang decides to Pontificate.

“You are all fools if you think you can ever truly defeat me,” says Kang. “It was all to easy to manipulate you into pulling loose the errant threads of your own existence!  Not one of you is a match for my superior intellect! I have had countless centuries of study. You will fall before me and Earth will look to me as their overlord! It is only a matter of time! Yes, time— of which I AM MASTER!! MU-HUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

This fiery little speech gives Kang the Fortune power for the rest of the game.

Starfox desperately tries to shut Kang up, but can’t even get through his force field. Combat robot #2 attacks Starfox but misses.

Captain America tries to inspire his team, but he gains no goals in his Enhance power. Undaunted, he charges Grey Gargoyle with an Acrobatic Attack that deals 2 damage. Grey Gargoyle tries to turn Captain America back to stone, but Scarlet Witch’s jinx ensures he doesn’t even come close. She blasts combat robot #3 for 5 damage, taking it all the way down to 1 Body. Then she moves into base contact with robot #1 to assist Vision. The robot attacks Vision but does no damage, while Vision clobbers it for 3 Body. He elects to do no knockback, instead keeping the robot in melee with him.

Captain Marvel takes a shot at Combat robot #3 and blasts it to slag.

End of Round 4

ROUND 5

Kang wins initiative. He gains 5 re-rolls, bringing him to his maximum of 6. He gives 2 of them to Combat robot #2, bringing its total to 3. Then he attacks Starfox and KO’s him handily, being sure to crouch down and punch the Eternal in the crotch once more for good measure.

Captain Marvel turns invisible and blasts Kang, ripping through his force field. Kang burns a re-roll to resist, taking only 2 damage, dropping him from 6 to 4. Combat robot #2 manages to spot her despite her invisibility and fires, but misses. It rolls towards her on its Move action.

Captain America belts Grey Gargoyle for 2 more damage, keeping him close in melee. Grey Gargoyle tries to petrify Cap again, but fails.

Vision destroys Combat robot #1 in melee. Scarlet Witch tries to jinx Kang, but fails.

ROUND 6

Kang keeps initiative and gains enough re-rolls to max his pool at 6. He fires at Scarlet Witch but misses. She blasts back, and burns through 2 re-rolls resisting damage.

Captain Marvel fires at Combat robot #2 but doesn’t damage it. She also fails to keep her Invisibility active. She moves to set up a crossfire with Scarlet Witch for next turn.

Grey Gargoyle turns Cap to stone, and despite his best efforts, Captain America is stuck that way, failing his breakout attempt.

Vision drops his Density Increase power and recharges his Haymaker. He charges into combat with Kang and decks him hard, but Kang burns through 4 re-rolls and manages to take 2 damage, dropping him to 2 Body. Vision wants to keep Kang close, so he doesn’t do knockback.

End of Round 6

ROUND 7

Even though they’re operating without Captain America’s initiative bonus, the Avengers seize initiative for the first time, and Kang’s re-rolls don’t help him. He gains 3 re-rolls from his Gadgets power.

Vision fails to recharge his Haymaker, but he activates his Density Increase power before attacking Kang. He breaks through Kang’s force field and does 1 damage, dropping Kang to his last Body point! Kang burns all his re-rolls, including his newly acquired Fortune power, and is on the ropes!

Scarlet Witch fires at combat robot #2 but misses. Combat robot #2 fires at Vision and misses, so he moves into melee to assist Kang next round.

Captain America fails to free himself from Grey Gargoyle’s power.

Captain Marvel recharges her Invisibility and activates it. Then she fires at Kang, dropping him to zero Body. Kang fails his KO check and collapses! Victory to the Avengers!

End of Game

EPILOGUE

I suppose I could have continued to play out the scenario until all the bad guys were accounted for, but why? Grey Gargoyle is no genius, but he’s smart enough to know when he’s beaten. I figure he’d probably surrender.

My thoughts on the scenario, in no particular order:

I got to use my old TSR Marvel Super Heroes miniature for Kang! He scales very well with the Heroclix, which is good because I hate the two Heroclix versions of Kang that I own. I was very happy to get to use some classic lead in this game!

It was a tight space for so many miniatures. I probably should have used a 3′ x 3′ area rather than the 2′ x 2′ board. That being said, the action started pretty much immediately.

While I made use of a lot of Archetype combat maneuvers, I completely forgot about Kang’s abilities, as I was focused on remembering his re-roll pool. Kang is wily, but no match for most of the Avengers in a stand-up fight. He always has tricks up his sleeve, and he stacks the deck in his favor. I think using Kang’s re-roll pool to its best ability is what kept him healthy for so long.

Dragon Man was a huge disappointment. I thought he’d be good to tie up the Avengers for a while, but he performed so badly in this scenario he was little more than a distraction.

Not very surprising, the henchmen did nothing, except exactly what they were supposed to: protect Kang. By surrounding him so closely, they made it impossible for Kang to get charged early. Starfox had to waste precious time dealing with them before he could get to Kang. The robots performed very well, and blasting first and moving into combat second proved to be a good strategy to delay the heroes.

Why did I use Grey Gargoyle? Because he was in the original Time Trap module, in his own (very stupid) chapter. I had already repainted the miniature, so I threw him in as support for Kang in the final chapter. He seemed to work out well, as he took Captain America out of the fight for two of the rounds!

The overall campaign was a blast, despite having a rather lame cast of heroes and villains. I had as much fun with Starfox as I could. This was the first campaign I ran with the finalized Super Mission Force rules (The Breeder Bombs used the incomplete playdocs through various versions) and I think it went very smoothly.

Here are my Super Mission Force builds for the bad guys in this scenario:

Kang (Super) Major: Enhance, Minor: Clever, Force Field, Gadgets, Power Blasts

Like I said above, focusing on getting as many re-rolls as possible is my key to playing Kang. I considered giving him Armor and Savant in place of Force Field and Clever, but I like the above version better.

Dragon Man (Super) Major: Super Strength Minor: Construct, Flight, Power Blasts, Tough

Grey Gargoyle (Wild Card) Minor: Armor, Entangle, Super Strength, Resistance

Grey Gargoyle’s version of the Entangle power is described under Special Rules, above.

Combat Robots: Minor: Power Blasts, Melee Specialist (Reach 2″)

Henchmen: Armor, Power Blasts

That’s it for now. I plan on converting more Marvel Super Heroes modules to Super Mission Force, and I’ll likely have another campaign going before too long. It’s too much fun to pass up!