Forgotten Heroes: The Super Mission Force Builds

As I said a few posts back, I first encountered the Liberty Legion in an adventure for TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes RPG that was published in Dragon magazine #104. Although the adventure was pretty good, I was surprised by how low-powered the Legion was by “modern” standards. Even the other “big” WWII-era supers team, the Invaders (watch this space soon!) far outclassed the Liberty Legion in power level. Nonetheless, I sought out all the appearances (up until then, anyway) of the Liberty Legion in Marvel Premiere, Marvel Spotlight and The Invaders, and I became a fan.

Painting and converting the team for Forgotten Heroes has been a blast. As promised, true believers, I present some background and the SMF gaming statistics for the Liberty Legion!

With a couple of minor exceptions, these profiles and builds are based only on what I knew about the Legion as presented in the Dragon adventure. In other words, more “current” versions of these characters probably exist (see Carrion Crow’s explanation as to why Thin Man uses knives nowadays in the comments section of this post), but these are the versions I am familiar with (and would use if I was gaming with the Legion).

First up: Miss America. Madeline Joyce got struck by lightning while visiting a lighthouse. When she woke up, she found out her “powers” had awakened. After the War she and Whizzer got married and had a son, Nuklo. That didn’t turn out so well.

Red Raven’s parents were killed when their plane crashed into a floating city of Inhumans called the Bird People. (Don’t you hate when people just park their floating cities anywhere? You’d think Red’s parents would notice something as big as a city before they crashed into it, but perhaps they were the worst pilots in the world.) The Bird People raised him and gave him a bird costume. Then he joined the Liberty Legion. After the war, he placed himself and the Bird People in suspended animation. He woke up, fought the X-Men, went insane and committed suicide when he discovered the Bird People were all dead due to a malfunction in the life support. Ahhh, happy endings.

Patriot was a reporter for the Daily Bugle who quit his job to put on a costume and root out Nazi agents working in America. He had no super powers other than a good right hook. As his name suggests, he was quite patriotic and made stirring radio broadcasts to bolster the war effort. He was a founding member of the Liberty Legion. After the second Captain America fell in battle, Patriot took up the mantle.

Whizzer got bitten by a cobra when he was a boy. A mongoose killed the cobra (of course). Then, for no sound medical reason,  his scientist father injected Whizzer with some of the mongoose’s blood, which inexplicably gave Whizzer his super speed. Then his father died. He and Miss America joined the All-Winner’s squad and got married after the war.

Under Jack Frost’s background in the TSR adventure, it simply says: “Jack Frost’s personal history at this time is unknown to anyone.” Works for me. Anyway, his powers basically make him a much less cool (pardon the pun) version of Iceman.

Thin Man discovered a lost city in the Himalayas where people can flatten themselves as thin as paper. Why they do this is not really explained, but they gave him a chemical that let him do the same and also made him age so slowly he’s effectively immortal. Somewhere along the line he picked up a special plane that only he can pilot safely (presumably because the controls require flattening and stretching of the appendages in order to operate).

Blue Diamond, along with Pink Heart, Yellow Moon, Orange Star, Green Clover and (later) Purple Horseshoe, formed the ill-fated super team the Lucky Charms. Blue Diamond was the only survivor when a homicidal cannibalistic leprechaun slaughtered and ate the remaining members of his team. Actually, his true origin is almost as stupid as that. He was a normal guy standing next to a huge diamond when it suddenly exploded, embedding millions of diamond shards in his skin. This gave him super strength and durability, rather than shredding him to bits (which is the much more likely outcome when the human body is bombarded with diamond shards).

Like Patriot, Spirit of ’76 has no super powers and got his start fighting Nazi espionage at home. Unlike Patriot, Spirit of ’76 is a complete douchebag in a really stupid costume. Early in the war, he went to England and joined the Crusaders to fight the Nazis. He is an awkward and constant reminder of the American War of Independence (from the British), he has no super powers, and he wears a really stupid costume. How Union Jack didn’t constantly kick his ass is a mystery to me. He eventually becomes the second Captain America when the original Cap disappears (after being frozen in a block of ice).

Bucky needs no introduction. He’s Captain America’s sidekick! At least until he “died in an explosion” only to resurface as the Winter Soldier decades later.

Finally, Union Jack is Lord James Falsworth, a peer of the realm and brother to bloodsucking vampire Lord John Falsworth (Baron Blood). He was active during WWI, then resurfaced in WWII, offering his home to the Invaders to use as a base during the war. His brother threw a giant rock on him, effectively ending his career as Union Jack. Luckily, his son eventually took over. Union Jack is just a badass. He has no super powers, but packs a Webley. And his costume is cool.

Here are my Super Mission Force builds:

Miss America (Wild Card) Minor: Leaping, Super Strength, Enhanced Senses, Iron Will

(I really had to work to make a version of Miss America that (just barely) doesn’t suck. Her ONLY power in the TSR game was that she could levitate for up to 2 hours and she can make “controlled leaps”. She’s not even particularly good at fighting. In other words, Wonder Woman she ain’t. She should probably be a Street-Level archetype, but I pored over her pre-Marvel bio and found some minor, vague mentions of other powers possibly retconned out by the time she joined the Legion. It mentioned super strength, and the ability to “project X-Ray energy.” I guess this could be power blasts or enhanced senses. I chose the latter.)

Red Raven (Wild Card) Minor: Armor, Flight, Power Blasts, Reflection

Red Raven’s powers all come from his suit. He can shoot frikkin’ lasers out of his wings and use them as a shield.

Patriot (Brawler): Major: Scrapper, Minor: Clever, Melee Specialist

Patriot has no powers. He’s just good at hitting things.

Whizzer (Speedster): Major: Speed, Minor: Melee Specialist, Super Agility

Whizzer is really good at using his speed powers to their maximum potential in combat.

Jack Frost (Blaster) Major: Power Blasts, Minor: Armor, Entangle, Flight

Jack is a poor man’s Iceman. He can use his ice powers to travel on slides as a form of Flight.

Thin Man (Super) Major: Metamorph:Elasticity, Minor: Resistance, Savant, Immortal

A “super” archetype only because of game mechanics (i.e. power slots). Thin Man isn’t really that impressive.

Blue Diamond (Brick) Major: Super-Strength, Minor: Armor, Resistance

Blue Diamond is a tank, pure and simple.

Spirit of ’76 (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Armor, Melee Specialist

About the only thing good about Spirit of ’76’s costume is that he has a bulletproof cape. This is unfortunate, as it protects him from getting shot.

Bucky (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Power Blasts, Grenades

I thought about making Bucky a Wild Card or even a Street Level archetype, but then I remembered he was a soldier who was trained by Captain America.

Union Jack (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Power Blasts, Melee Specialist.

Another non-powered ass-kicker, only British this time.

In the comics, the Liberty Legion often faced off against low-powered goons and tons of henchmen. This was ideal, as most members were also low-powered. This works for roleplaying games like the old TSR Marvel game, but in Super Mission Force the heroes can easily dispense with hordes of henchmen. They’re actually more powerful in SMF because the henchmen rules favor the heroes. Also, there are a lot of Brawlers in the Liberty Legion, and Scrapper is one of the best powers in the game (IMO). This means the Legion would probably do fairly well in Super Mission Force combat.

Black Tree Design is having a 50% off sale on WWII miniatures until July 4th and I’m tempted to splurge and buy a bunch or Wehrmacht. The only thing that’s stopping me is that I don’t game WWII, so I would only be buying them as henchmen for this team to face off against. I think some of the mechs and walkers from Dust Tactics and AT-43 might work as opposition, too…guess we’ll see if I take the plunge or not!

 

 

Forgotten Heroes: The Liberty Legion: The Conversions!

Yesterday I posted the repainted members of the Liberty Legion. But of course, they don’t really count as far as Forgotten Heroes is concerned…they’re just an added bonus! The remaining heroes, to my knowledge, have never been released in miniature form, and thus they required the conversions below.

Before we start, a big thanks to Russ Dunaway from Old Glory miniatures for very generously providing me with some 28mm heads wearing three-cornered hats. I thought I might use one in one of my conversions (see below), but it turns out they were a little too small to scale with Heroclix. Still, his kindness is most appreciated, so I say again: thank you, Russ!

Next, a couple of disclaimers. First, I am not a sculptor. I use green stuff to fill gaps, and I am in awe of anyone who can work with that substance without it sticking to their fingers and making a mess. Yes, I know enough to wet my hands and use color shapers, but I still suck at it. Second, I am (and have always been) terrible at painting anything freehand. Give me a design that’s sculpted onto a miniature and I’m good. Make me draw it with a paintbrush and nine times out of ten it’s going to look like complete ass. Please bear all this in mind and don’t judge my efforts too harshly!

First up, the Patriot!

For the Patriot’s body, I chose the Wrecker. He had the gloves I needed and his costume was such that it could easily serve for the Patriot with a quick repaint. Trimming away his crowbar gave him a two-fisted tough guy stance (tough for a guy with no superpowers). For his head I used one off of a Kree Warrior. The Kree helmet has a central fin similar to Patriot’s cowl, so it was a perfect fit!

The end result, though, is a bit disappointing. As I said above, I suck at painting anything freehand, and the chest eagle and little stars proved very difficult. Using the Wrecker’s body may have been a close fit for the costume, but it resulted in Patriot being a lot beefier than he normally is depicted. Someone’s been sneaking shots of the Super Soldier serum!

Patriot’s head is where I had the most problems.  I never strip Heroclix prior to repainting (it’s rarely necessary), but this is one occasion when I wish I had. The Kree Warrior is a first generation Infinity Challenge clix model, and they are notorious for being covered in gloopy paint. By the time I repainted his helmet into Patriot’s cowl, I found it difficult to maintain any level of detail. To me, it just looks like the model has way too many layers of paint. This is by far the conversion I am least happy with.

Next is Jack Frost!

Jack is another basic head swap conversion. I had an old Scorpion miniature laying around that somehow lost his tail, so I decided to use that as the body. I packed some green stuff around the hump on his back and filled in the hole where the tail used to be. I removed Scorpion’s head and used the head off a Quicksilver model, since it seemed a good match for Jack Frost’s wavy hair.

A quick prime of white paint, a wash of some ice-blue ink, a touch-up of white, and Jack Frost was done in about ten minutes, by far the easiest conversion and quickest paint job of all the Legionnaires. I’m not sure why I painted his gloves and boots (Jack is usually barefoot and gloveless), but I guess I could fix that pretty easily. I added some sea glass “ice” to his base and flocked it with snow. Done!

Next, arguably the most powerful member of the Liberty Legion: Blue Diamond!

Blue Diamond began as a DC Heroclix Hawk figure, from the Hypertime set. I trimmed away his tattered cape-thing, sanded him down a bit and rebased him before priming him black.

Once primed, I repainted him as shown. I had a tough time “drawing” the diamond on his chest with a paintbrush (my eyes aren’t what they used to be), but I guess I’ll just live with it. I think Hawk’s modified costume is a good match for Blue Diamond. What do you think?

And last but not least, another special guest star: Spirit of ’76! (Dear Lord, is this guy a tool or what?)

To make him, I used the body and cape of the Adam Warlock clix on top, combined with the legs and forearms of Doc Samson. I sculpted the gloves, buckles, cravat and hat (turns out it’s not really a three-corner hat after all) out of green stuff and rebased him before priming him black. I considered trying to sculpt his domino mask, but decided to quit while I was ahead. I’d just paint it on later.

Here is how he looks repainted. I’m pretty happy with the way he turned out, even though his face could be a lot better. Turns out painting that domino mask on wasn’t much easier, and I didn’t even attempt the little blue stars around his chest (I just painted little dots). He was the most challenging conversion by far. Like I said, I’m no sculptor.

Tomorrow: as promised, I will provide some background on the Liberty Legion members, as well as my Super Mission Force builds for each hero! Now that I’ve painted them, I need to use them in a game!

 

 

Forgotten Heroes: The Liberty Legion: The Repaints

Sincere apologies to my fellow participants, but I have been unable to post an update to my Forgotten Heroes contribution until now. First up: the repaints. These are members of the Liberty Legion who already had a released miniature, and who required only a fresh coat of paint and a few minor adjustments to be ready:

Here’s what they looked like before repainting. All I did here was rebase them.

And here’s how they look after my brushwork. From l-r, Miss America, Whizzer, and Thin Man! Miss America has an annoying habit of leaning back, which isn’t something I can seem to correct. I really hate the plastic “effects”, like Whizzer’s speed blur, on some of the newer clix, but this one’s pretty much impossible to remove.

For some reason unknown to me, Thin Man came equipped with a couple of knives and was sporting a handlebar mustache. Not the way I remember him. the Thin Man I remember was clean-shaven, had a different costume (this one is better!) and he didn’t have any knives. (After all, he can become almost completely two-dimensional, so if he had need of a knife, he could just make his hand into one.) Needless to say, I decided to remove the knives. The mustache was trickier and I opted not to remove it; rather I just painted over it in the hopes we could all pretend not to see it, much like Cesar Romero’s Joker ‘stache. (If he looks too shiny, it’s because I took the picture before I had a chance to give him a spray of Dullcote!)

 

Here’s a closeup of Miss America. Note the annoying lean.

Red Raven began as an X-Men Angel miniature. His original yellow costume was ideally suited for Red Raven, and all I needed to do was paint him red! I really like the way he came out.

And finally, some special guest stars: Union Jack and Bucky! Bucky’s gun is bent and there’s no way to fix it short of giving him a new one. I don’t have a spare Thompson, but I may add some grenades or a knife to his belt (remember, Bucky was a soldier!). We’ll see.

Here’s a shot of all the repainted miniatures.

Tomorrow, the real Forgotten Heroes submissions. I mean full-blown conversions of the remaining members of the Liberty Legion: Jack Frost, Blue Diamond, and the Patriot! Plus a very special guest!

Forgotten Heroes: The Liberty Legion!

My British pen pal and fellow supers-enthusiast Carrion Crow graciously invited me to take part in his annual “Forgotten Heroes” challenge. At first I didn’t see a way I could participate this year (too much real life), but the thought of not taking part in a challenge so ideally suited to me kept me up at night. I was too late to the party last year, and I missed out on the fun.

Fun is something that’s in short supply these days, so I begged and pleaded with the Crow to allow me into his challenge, even though I missed the start by some 5 days or so. In response, he asked me to pledge him my loyalty. I didn’t feel that was appropriate, and told him so. He seemed irritated, but he graciously allowed me to join the challenge anyway.

(Perhaps it didn’t happen exactly like that. Perhaps.)

The rules are simple:

  1. The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it.
  2. The figure must be in 28mm scale.
  3. The figure must be completed during the month of June.
  4. In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why.

I decided I could do that. But forget one character. Carrion Crow has inspired me to do a whole freakin’ team! From the battlefields of WWII, I bring you THE LIBERTY LEGION!!!!

Clockwise from the top in the picture above, I present: Miss America! The Patriot! Jack Frost! Blue Diamond! Bucky (not an official member)! Red Raven! The Whizzer ( weak bladder, apparently)! and finally, Thin Man!

I first became aware of the Liberty Legion through an (surprisingly good) adventure for TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes, published in Dragon Magazine #104. At the time, I read their statistics and thought, “Man, these guys SUCK!” And they sure do. They are all pretty low-powered, especially by modern standards. I’ll go into their powers and provide my Super Mission Force builds for them later in the month.

I have a fondness for WWII comics, especially ones featuring supers. The Liberty Legion fought the stinkin’ Ratzis alongside the Invaders and other Allied heroes like Union Jack. They were formed by Bucky to rescue the Invaders from the Red Skull. (Side note: I love the Invaders. Keep your eyes open. They’re soon to be shown here, too!).

Now, before all you naysayers inform me that there are Liberty Legion miniatures out there already, let me say “Yes, but not ALL the members have miniatures yet!” Currently, Miss America, Thin Man,  and Whizzer have Heroclix releases. All the rest don’t…which means they will require a conversion  of some kind or a complete repaint of another miniature in order to pass muster. And if you think I would convert and paint up half the team without at least repainting the awful factory jobs on the ones they DID release, well then you, sir (or madam), are clearly visiting Dead Dick’s Tavern for the first time!!!

I would love to adapt the TSR adventure for Super Mission Force, but I’m having some trouble. I doubt Heroclix will release the villains “Master Man and Warrior Woman”.  Master Man is a big, dumb Aryan poster boy with super strength; while Warrior Woman is a crazed Nazi dominatrix, also with super strength (and a whip).  Both have too many swastikas for commercial release. But perhaps I could work something out with the Red Skull and Baron Blood instead…hmmm…

Anyway, watch this space for the end results of my repainting/conversion efforts! Perhaps some special guests not mentioned may make an appearance by the end, too!

Julie Newmar

 

Like many of you, I often have things playing in the background while I’m painting. Sometimes it’s YouTube videos. Sometimes it’s Old Time Radio programs (Gunsmoke and Rocky Jordan are my favorites).

Sometimes it’s other stuff.

The person who loves me most in the world got me the entire Tales of the Gold Monkey DVD set for Christmas. I just finished watching it while painting dwarfs.

Now, I’ve moved on to the Batman TV series. I bought this for myself a few months back.

It should be said that I was born about 7 years after this show aired on TV. So, my familiarity with Adam West’s Batman was mainly gained through my viewing of the series in reruns as a child. In other words, when you’re 6-7 years old, the camp is lost on you and Batman is cool.

Now, I am an adult. And I am a huge Batman and comic book fan. So watching the old TV series makes me laugh. A lot.

One thing that doesn’t make me laugh, though, is Julie Newmar. Holy crap on toast. She is unbelievably hot. Not even really my type.

But damn.

Just…damn.

Penguins!

I used to hate the Penguin. He’s kind of silly. But now I’ve found a new appreciation for him as an adult. He’s been portrayed pretty well by most everyone who has played him. Burgess Meredith is, of course, the classic; but I love Robin Lord Taylor’s “skinny” Penguin on Gotham. (I wasn’t a big fan of Danny DeVito’s take, although I got where Tim Burton was going with it.)

Above are two Heroclix versions of Mr. Cobblepot, both crying out for repainting and rebasing. The one on the left is the classic version, while the one on the right is the Penguin from the Arkham series of video games. Voiced very well by Nolan North, this version of the Penguin is probably the darkest and most menacing. For instance, he doesn’t wear a monocle; rather the glass around his eye is actually the bottom of a bottle that was jabbed into his eye socket during a bar fight. If he removes it now, he could die. So he just keeps it and scares little kids.

Here they are after I got my talons on them.

Wak! Wak! Wak!

The original had the Penguin standing on bags of money, but I decided to cover them in white paint and sea glass so that they looked like ice and snow. I chose a classic, brighter color palette and added some Copplestone penguins. Now he’s ready to commit some avian-themed larceny!

The Penguin of the Arkham games doesn’t go in for that trick umbrella nonsense. He’s an arms dealer. I figured if he’s going up against Batman, he needs all the help he can get, so I gave him a grenade launcher. I also couldn’t resist adding a penguin to his base too.

I had a bunch of penguins left over, so I based them in little groups. Many thanks to fellow TMPer Frederick, who hooked me up with these Copplestone penguins for FREEEEEEEE!

My Batman rogue’s gallery is growing. Mr. Freeze, the Riddler, and now these two versions of the Penguin. Who’s next?

Pulp Chinese

Like a truffle-seeking sow, I was rooting around in my unpainted miniatures box recently when I uncovered the bulk of my last Pulp Figures order. These Chinese pirates, gangsters and ordinary citizens have been awaiting paint for almost 2 years now. Even though I was neck-deep in my Super Mission Force campaign, I was struck with the sudden determination that they should not wait for even one more day! (Besides, I am contemplating placing another order with Mr. Murch, and it’s easier to convince myself if I’ve finished with the last one first.)

First up are some Chinatown residents. Sadly,most of this range is currently out of production pending redesign. I really like these miniatures as they have a lot of character. I only wish I had bought more of the range!

These unsavory types are Tong gangsters. Wargames Illustrated recently had a good article on using Tong in The Chicago Way, a game I’ve yet to try. I’ll be using them for games of .45 Adventure, most likely!

These fellows are Chinese river pirates. There are a few different sets of these guys, but I just bought this one (I needed some rifle-armed bad guys).

Finally, The guys on the left and right are part of the court of the sinister Dr. Koo (not pictured, if you want to see him go here). I painted them a long time ago, but figured I’d show them here. The fellow in the middle is a recently repainted Heroclix Wong (Dr. Strange’s servant). Observant folks may notice that the sky needs a good ironing; I was trying something new for the picture.

Savage Land Characters

As anyone who read my Breeder Bombs campaign knows, I decided rather late in the campaign to set the final scenario in the Savage Land and to add some classic characters to the mix. Here’s what I did.

For Sauron, I didn’t do much beyond a rebasing and a new paint job. Above is the factory paint job, which, I think we can all agree, looks like complete shit.

Here is the finished product. I’m not the greatest painter in the world, but it doesn’t take much effort to make the original factory paint job look a hell of a lot better (or at least not like complete shit).

No game set in the Savage land would be complete without Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu. I looked up the clix versions of the characters and instantly hated them all. Well, Ka-Zar wasn’t too bad, but I knew I could do a lot better for Shanna and Zabu.

I checked a lot of manufacturers for a Tarzan figure. Tin Man makes a great traditional Tarzan, and Warlord has a very cool “Beastlord”. I settled on Reaper, because I thought Reaper’s version best captured Ka-Zar’s look. (Plus, he comes with a monkey. Who doesn’t need another monkey?) I also went to Reaper for a Sabretooth tiger miniature. Although Reaper makes more than one tiger, I chose this one based entirely on price. One slightly-rushed paint job later, and they were ready to go. I think his dagger looks a bit too “fantasy” for Ka-Zar’s Bowie knife, but I felt like converting it would just be a little more trouble than it was worth, so I left it as-is.

Shanna was a bit more work. I used this Heroclix Tigra miniature as the base model, because she’s practically wearing Shanna’s costume already (how many miniatures have a tooth-belt bikini?). One quick application of the nippy cutters removed her tail and her right arm. For the spear arm I used the arm from a GW skink warrior. It turned out to be the perfect size (although it’s a bit more muscular than Tigra’s other arm).

Another slightly-rushed paint job later and presto! One Shanna the She-Devil, ready to rumble in the jungle!

Although I don’t see myself using these miniatures for further Savage Land adventures, they’re useful for other genres…(Pulp and Congo gaming come to mind).

Now I just need to replace my Tigra miniature since I’ll probably be needing her sooner or later…

The Breeder Bombs Finale: Savage Land Showdown!!!

We come now to the final chapter in our Super Mission Force campaign, True Believers! And hold onto your hats, because it’s a doozy!

The Scenario: Having thwarted Magneto’s plan thus far, the X-Men track the last Breeder Bomb to the Savage Land, where Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants await!

Friendly-looking fellow, isn’t he? A primitive saurian attacks!

But they’re not alone. Everyone’s favorite Greek pterodactyl, Sauron (not to be confused with the Lord of the Rings guy) isn’t thrilled with this violation of his territory. Although he wants everyone out, he agrees to temporarily aid Magneto against the hated X-Men. To this end, has enslaved an army of primitive saurians to do his bidding!

But the X-Men are not without allies in the Savage Land. Answering the call is Ka-Zar and his wife, Shanna the She Devil, accompanied as always by Ka-Zar’s adoptive Dad (really, look it up), the saber-tooth tiger Zabu!

The SR-71 Blackbird’s VTOL engines whine as the pilot, Cyclops, sets the plane down in a clearing. Magneto watches from atop a sacrificial temple, nearby. Powerful energies surround him as he clenches and unclenches his hands. “X-Men!” he bellows, “Welcome…to DIE!!!”

Setup: I used a 4′ x 4′ area, filled with jungle and swamp scenery. There are two large temple-like structures on the villain’s side of the board. One is a sacrificial altar, the other a temple. In the center is the Breeder Bomb (it’s inactive, see below). The X-Men and the Brotherhood deploy in opposite corners of the table. Ka-Zar and family deploy on opposite corner from Sauron and his army of saurian henchmen.  The 20 henchmen are all veterans, so they deploy in four groups of five and must be within 4″ of the temple in their deployment zone.

Special Rules:

Objectives: Magneto’s goal is to destroy the meddling X-Men once and for all. The X-Men must defeat Magneto in order to ensure his plan fails. In other words, it’s a straight-up fight to the end!

The Breeder Bomb: Since he’s been trying to convince Sauron to help him, Magneto hasn’t had time to arm his Breeder Bomb yet. There’s no need to disarm it. For this scenario it simply functions as a big, menacing obstacle. (This is because with this many models on the board, there would be virtually no chance to disarm the bomb if we used the same rules as in past scenarios.)

Sauron’s Henchmen: Sauron’s henchmen are veterans, thus they deploy in smaller groups and are a little better than normal scrubs. As long as Sauron is alive and well (i.e. not KO’ed), they are endless. Whenever a henchmen group is wiped out, it may reform at the end of the turn. This newly-reformed group must deploy within 2″ of one of the temples. This represents the saurian horde pouring out from underground tunnels, heeding the psychic summons of their reptilian overlord!

Difficult Ground: All the swamps and jungle terrain is considered difficult ground, and restricts movement by half as per the SMF rules. Ka-Zar and Shanna have no penalty when moving over difficult ground, as they are quite used to the terrain of the Savage Land.

Injured Heroes: As a result of their fight with the Soviet Super Soldiers last scenario, three of the X-Men were wounded. Nightcrawler was wounded most severely and is not available for this scenario. Storm is -1D to attacks and -3″ to her movement, while Rogue is -2″ to her Movement for this fight.

ROUND 1

With so many miniatures, going back and forth will be tedious, so I won’t necessarily cover the actions in the order in which they happened, rather I’ll lump them together where I can.

The villains gain initiative.

The henchmen groups all move forward towards the middle of the board. The Blob and Colossus both lumber forward their slow 5″ move (Bricks are SLOW).

Zabu, Ka-Zar and Shanna all move up into the swamp area and end their movement in hiding. Toad, the sneaky git, moves into hiding as well. Kitty Pryde phases and moves unhindered through the difficult swampland in front of her. Cyclops uses his Enhance power to shout some strategic tips to his teammates. He scores enough goals to give his teammate, Storm, 2 re-rolls she can use later in the game to help attack or defend as needed. (Hopefully, that will help to offset the injuries she sustained in Arganistan.)

The Scarlet Witch uses her Fortune power to giver herself some extra defense capability (it’s looking like she might have a face full of tiger pretty soon). Storm flies shakily towards the center of the board and focuses on Magneto, realizing that the faster they drop him the quicker they can all go home. She Power Blasts him from pretty far away and uses her re-rolls, but fails to inflict any damage.

Sauron takes off from atop the temple and charges Storm. The two circle each other in a dazzling aerial display, but no damage is inflicted.

He’s the best he is at what he does…

SNIKT!!! Wolverine uses a Brawler maneuver called Speed Burst to really move and charges henchmen group 1. When all is said and done, Wolverine scores enough goals to completely wipe out the group of five saurians (because that’s what Wolverine does).

Quicksilver tries to take out the X-Men’s leader, Cyclops. As a Speedster, he has more than enough movement (40″!) to run across the table, but it’s a risky maneuver that leaves him far in enemy territory. Quicksilver has never been much of a reasoned and cautious fellow, and he’s counting on his speed to get him out of a tough spot. Unfortunately, even after using a Machine Gun Punch (a Speedster maneuver), he only inflicts 1 damage on Cyclops, and is now locked in combat with him.

Nearby, Rogue decides that that Speed power is pretty cool and she wantses it, my precious…so she successfully uses Mimic and copies it. Unfortunately for Quicksilver, he’s the only guy near enough to attack. So Rogue attacks Quicksilver with his own Machine Gun Punch, but he manages to duck and weave at supersonic speeds and avoids damage! Of course, now he has one more person to fight next turn…

Finally, Magneto acts (he’s been pontificating the whole time). From atop the Sacrificial Altar, he Power Blasts Storm. Although he risks hitting Sauron instead, he misses them both.

End of Round 1

ROUND 2

The X-Men seize initiative. Rogue attacks Quicksilver and clobbers him for 4 damage, knocking him off his feet and back into the trees, generally ruining his day. Quicksilver gets up and charges Rogue, using a Move-by Attack, a Speedster maneuver that lets him attack a model and if successful, continue his move and another model, etc….until he either fails an attack or runs out of movement. With 38″ of movement (he lost 2″ for having to stand up), he successfully attacks Rogue for 1 damage, then moves onto Cyclops, attacking him for 1 damage, and finally runs around the swamp, attacking Kitty Pryde for 1 damage! Not too shabby! Quicksilver could conceivably reach Colossus too, but he would probably not do any damage to the big Russian and would then be locked in combat with him. Quicksilver’s a hothead but he’s not stupid, so he opts to use the last of his movement to run back the way he came, putting some distance between him and the X-Men.

G’night sugah!

Cyclops resents being punched in the face, so he moves after Quicksilver and fires an optic blast at his dust cloud. As is usual for Cyclops in this campaign, he misses. Rogue puts her new Speed powers to good use and does a Move-by attack on the fleeing Quicksilver, whom she smacks for 3 net damage. Since he only had 2 Body left, he makes a KO check and fails. Quicksilver goes down for the count and Rogue moves on into henchmen group 4, dropping 3 of its members. She has no movement left so she’s stuck in combat with the remaining 2 saurians. They attack Rogue, but fail to wound her.

Sauron rips into Storm, causing 6 damage, which drops her to zero health in one shot. She fails her KO check and is out of the fight! (Cue triumphant pterodactyl scream.) Scarlet Witch spots Shanna with a successful Perception check and attempts to Power Blast the She-Devil, but Shanna is too agile.

Ka-Zar charges out of the swamp and attacks Scarlet Witch, whose Fortune power serves her well. She only takes 1 damage after all the dice are tallied. Toad sees his opportunity and rushes to Scarlet Witch’s aid, but Ka-Zar easily avoids Toad’s attack. Zabu bounds into the fray, attacking Toad with no effect.

Shanna charges Blob. She inflicts 1 damage which is soaked up by Blob’s armor. Thus, she learns the hard way that “Nothing moves the Blob!” Blob activates his Density Increase power and pounds her for 4 damage, knocking her back 16″. She manages to keep her footing, but she’s a lot less cheerful than she was a minute ago.

Deja vu?

Wolverine moves rapidly into combat with henchmen group 3, and does a repeat performance of last round, wiping them all out in one fell swoop. This gets Magneto’s attention. He quickly finishes his soliloquy about the futility of resistance, flies off the Sacrificial Altar he’s been perched atop and Power Blasts Wolverine, but only inflicts 1 damage. Henchmen group 2 moves up to support Magneto (as if he needs it).

Kitty and Colossus both move towards the action, but can’t really do anything.

At the end of the round, henchmen group 1 respawns near the sacrificial altar (near Magneto) and group 2 reforms near the temple.

End of Round 2

ROUND 3

The X-Men keep initiative. Rogue leaves combat with the two remaining henchmen in group 4 to charge Magneto, who is hovering nearby. The saurians get a free shot on her as she leaves, but they fail to injure her. She serves Magneto a knuckle sandwich that dishes out 3 net goals of damage, enough to knock him back 12″ and drop him to half his health! Magneto has the sudden thought that it might be a good idea to activate his Force Field, so he does. He’s also a guy who holds a grudge, so he Power Blasts Rogue for enough damage to drop her to 1 remaining health.

Wolverine regenerates his lost damage and charges henchmen group 3. He drops 3 of them, leaving 2 alive (for now). They attack Wolverine, but do no damage. Henchmen group 2 charges Wolverine from where they respawned (near the Temple). They also fail to wound Wolverine.

Sauron has a close target in the nearby Kitty Pryde, but notices that the Blob just knocked Shanna the She-Devil into next week and that she’s vulnerable. He dive-bombs her from across the board and hands her a heapin’ helpin’ of pterodactyl justice. Shanna is KO’ed and isn’t getting up anytime soon.  (Cue triumphant pterodactyl scream.)

Blob charges into combat to assist Toad, making it 2 against 1 for Zabu. Blob knocks the Smilodon back 8″ and inflicts 2 body worth of damage. The giant cat springs right back into action and charges Blob, tearing into him for 5 damage, dropping him from 8 body to 3. Ouch! Scarlet Witch leaves combat with Ka-Zar (thinking perhaps she may get her ass handed to her soon). Ka-Zar gets a free whack at her but misses. She promptly Jinxes Ka-Zar, which will make it difficult for him to do anything henceforth.

Toad moves to intercept Ka-Zar. The two fight but neither does any damage (Ka-Zar would have hurt Toad if not for the Jinx). Henchmen group 1, Colossus and Kitty Pryde all move towards the central combat. Cyclops moves and fires at what remains of henchmen group 4, taking them out of action (hey! he hit something!).

Henchmen group 4 reforms at the temple.

End of Round 3 (Side View)

ROUND 4

The X-Men keep initiative. Cyclops takes a long-rage shot at Magneto, who is hovering above the battlefield. He (naturally) misses.

How do you say “Good Night” in Transian?

Scarlet Witch turns her attention from Ka-Zar to Power Blast Rogue, scoring a ridiculous nine goals! Rogue fails to make even one resistance goal and fails her KO check, so she is out of the fight for good!

Blob activates his Density Increase power and trades blows with Zabu, but neither do any damage. It’s a good thing Blob activated his power first, because Colossus charges him and knocks him down to zero health! Blob makes his KO check and remains conscious. He’s also immune to knockback (Nothing moves the Blob!) thanks to the Density Increase, so he doesn’t go anywhere. Henchman group 1 charges into combat with Zabu, inflicting a net 3 goals of damage on the big cat.

He’s just one human! Get him!

Henchmen group 4 charges into combat with Wolverine, but does no damage; Wolverine counters and wipes out 4 of them. That leaves Wolverine in combat with a two Henchman groups: one with 1 member and 1 with 2 members left. Wolverine’s active Rage power is giving him more dice to roll, but he is bogged down in endless waves of saurians as he keeps getting charged every round! To illustrate this point, Henchman group 3 charges into combat with Wolverine too, but Wolverine shrugs off their spears in a fury of bloodlust!

Toad and  Ka-Zar attack each other but both miss. Sauron takes to the air and charges Cyclops, but he also misses. Kitty Pryde charges Sauron, hitting him for 2 damage.

End of Round 4

ROUND 5

The X-Men keep initiative. Kitty Pryde activates her Density Decrease power which makes her immune to body-damaging attacks, so she won’t have to worry about getting eviscerated by Sauron on his turn. She then performs a Ghostly Attack, doing 1 damage to Sauron. Cyclops attacks Sauron with his bare hands (he’s giving up on his own optic blasts), but his punch is as effective as his shooting (he misses). Sauron attacks Cyclops, dropping him to 1 body.

Magneto uses his Mentalist ability, Mind Meld, to give everyone on his team +2 re-rolls until next turn on all attacks. He takes a point of Psyche damage in doing so, but that’s of no concern to him.

Colossus throws a Haymaker into Blob’s fat face, doing no knockback (Nothing moves the Blob!) but dropping him on the spot in a spectacular KO. Scarlet Witch runs away from Colossus, then tries and fails to Jinx him. Meanwhile, Toad and Ka-Zar continue to fight each other this round without anyone actually landing a punch. Zabu and Henchmen group 1 do the same.

Wolverine makes a strategic decision…rather than wipe out one of the weaker henchmen groups he’s fighting and having it respawn at the end of the round, he attacks the largest one (henchmen group 3) hoping to do some damage, but not allow a full group to respawn. But Wolverine is berserk, and he overdoes it a bit. He wipes out henchmen group 3 anyway, ensuring the endless tide of saurians continues. The other two groups do no damage to him.

Henchmen group 3 respawns at the temple…

End of Round 5

ROUND 6

The X-Men keep initiative. Colossus grabs something large (a rock, tree, whatever…) and hurls it at Magneto, but Magneto’s Force Field easily deflects it.

Meddlesome Dullards!! I AM MAGNETO!!!!

Magneto is fed up. He Power Blasts Colossus, but makes it a Radial Attack in the hopes of catching Ka-Zar and Zabu in the blast and ending this combat with finality. Of course, henchmen group 1 and Toad are in the blast radius too, but Magneto has proven often that he cares nothing for lesser beings, and little indeed for Toad. Colossus takes 4 damage, dropping him to half his Body. Zabu takes a whopping 6 damage, enough to drop him to zero. He fails his KO check and goes to sleep. Ka-Zar, despite the Jinx, manages to come out of it unscathed. The villains fared poorly; Toad takes 3 damage, while henchmen group 1 is totally wiped out. Oops.

Toad attacks Ka-Zar and misses. Ka-Zar finally scores a hit resulting in 1 damage to Toad.

Wolverine knows that as long as he’s stuck here in combat with the endless saurians, he’s effectively being kept out of where he’s needed most. So he leaves combat with the henchmen groups (no damage from the free henchmen hits) and charges Scarlet Witch, who just got a little too close…when he reaches her he guts her like a mackerel for 7 goals of damage, enough to take her from 6 down to zero. She fails her KO roll and drops. Both henchmen groups formerly in combat with Wolverine charge him again; they fail to damage him and he automatically wipes them out because of his Scrapper counterattack ability (something I’ve neglected for the ENTIRE campaign).

Sauron attacks Cyclops but misses completely. Kitty Pryde and Cyclops both attack Sauron and manage to put him down for good. With Sauron gone, the saurian henchmen groups will not respawn any more. Henchmen group 3 is now all alone, and moves towards the two X-Men that just put down their master, but they are far away indeed.

End of Round 6

ROUND 7

The X-Men keep initiative again. Cyclops fires at Magneto, and actually manages to inflict 1 damage on Magneto despite his Force Field! Magneto responds in kind, Power Blasting Cyclops for an obscene amount of damage. Cyclops fails his KO check (it’s a bad game for KO checks) and it’s lights out!

At this point in the game, I’m wondering how the X-Men are really going to win. Magneto is flying above the battlefield and has no reason to land. He can just stay up there and blast away. Kitty and Wolverine can’t attack him from the ground. Both the flyers (Rogue and Storm) are out of the fight, as is Cyclops, limiting ranged attacks to whatever Colossus can throw.

A quick look at the table and an idea began to take shape. Wolverine and Colossus are pretty close to one another, certainly close enough for Colossus to walk over and grab Wolverine.

“Petey, Fastball Special!”

Super Mission Force doesn’t currently have official rules for the Fastball Special, but it’s certainly thematically appropriate and a classic maneuver perfected by these very two heroes! I decided that if Colossus can hit with a normal ranged attack, then he tosses Wolverine into Magneto. Wolverine then makes an attack. Should he count as charging? I decided HELL YES!

The odds were against them, as Colossus only has 4D to make the throw and Magneto has a Force Field up. They’d only get one shot at this…

Colossus managed to hit with one net goal. Wolverine inflicted 4 net damage. Magneto, like almost everyone else this game, failed his KO roll.

An awesome end to the campaign! Victory for the X-Men!!!

AFTERWORD

Well, the X-Men did it! They beat Magneto and the Brotherhood! They stopped the Breeder Bombs! They hit ’em with the Hein!

I’d like to extend special thanks to Joerg Bender from Things from the Basement, LLC. for all his help with the temple MDF kits. I was staring at a stack of pink insulation board, thinking I was going to have to construct the temple for this scenario, when I logged onto The Miniatures Page and saw these kits advertised. They’re from Joerg’s Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago terrain. It couldn’t have been better timing. I immediately purchased the set. I was worried that painting them would obscure the detail, but Joerg assured me it wouldn’t and shared his painting technique. He even offered to replace the pieces if the paint job obscured the detail. As you can see, it didn’t. So thanks, Joerg!

Also, thanks to Scott Pyle and company for creating Super Mission Force and making the playdoc version available to gamers early!

This scenario was by far the most fun scenario to play in the campaign. The classic match-up between the X-Men and Magneto didn’t disappoint. I made a lot of changes from the original as it was written for the RPG. In the original, Magneto and the Brotherhood were robots, the Breeder Bomb was active, and Magneto had some generic mutants helping him out. I decided to add Sauron and the saurian henchmen instead of the generic mutants. Once I decided to use Sauron, I couldn’t resist using Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu. (More on them in the next post!)

I think that throughout the five scenarios of the campaign I managed to learn the rules pretty well, although I was using an early version of the playdoc Scott Pyle graciously provided (version 1.30 to be exact). I know the test rules have been updated and modified since then, and I eagerly wait the final product. In the meantime I think I used a lot of the powers and maneuvers and got a pretty good handle on combat.

Of course I’m sure I made mistakes and overlooked some stuff, just as I consciously changed and ignored some things. There’s a lot more to the game than what you read here: I pretty much ignored backgrounds and character development, because I was using established comic characters that I adapted to the system. Perhaps when the finished rules come out I’ll create my own supers team to experience more of what Super Mission Force has to offer.

Here are my SMF builds for the villains and team-ups in this scenario:

Magneto (Powerhouse) Major: Power Blasts, Mentalism, Minor: Flight, Force Field, Iron Will, Telekinesis

Quicksilver (Speedster) Major: Speed,  Minor: Armor, Clever

Scarlet Witch (Blaster) Major: Power Blasts, Minor: Fortune, Jinx

Blob (Brick) Major: Super Strength, Minor: Armor, Density Increase

Toad (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Leaping, Super Agility

Sauron (Wild Card) Minor: Flight, Melee Specialist, Stun, Parasite

Saurian Henchmen (Veterans) Minor: Power Blasts, Melee Specialist

(Note that these archetypes represent the early versions of these characters, before Scarlet Witch became one of the most powerful mutants on earth, before Toad was a badass and before Sauron could breathe fire.)

Ka-Zar the Savage (Wild Card) Minor: Fast, Melee Specialist, Rapport (Shanna), Super Agility

Shanna the She-Devil (Wild Card) Minor: Fast, Melee Specialist, Rapport (Ka-Zar), Super Agility

Zabu (Big Cat) Minor: Enhanced Senses, Melee Specialist, Leaping, Super Agility.

Yes, Ka-Zar and Shanna are essentially the same character. (Shouldn’t they be?) For Zabu, I didn’t follow any rules. I just gave him what I thought an intelligent Smilodon should have. I also gave him a base movement of 12 and a body of 8, in case anyone cares.

And that’s about it for now! I think I’ll take a break from SMF (and supers gaming in general) until I get my hands on the finished rules. I may adapt more TSR Marvel Super Heroes adventures when that happens, so stay tuned! In the meantime I have something big (pun soon to be understood) planned for May.

See you soon!

MH-1 The Breeder Bombs Part 4: Red Scare!

The Scenario: The X-Men follow Magneto’s trail to Arganistan (not Afghanistan; much like Roxxon Oil, Ryder’s Island and the Maggia crime families, Marvel changed the real world name ever-so-slightly here), where the next Breeder Bomb awaits! Magneto placed it smack in the middle of a farm close to the Soviet border, much like the Ust-Ordynski Collective that was the childhood home of Colossus!

Unfortunately, Colossus has little time for nostalgia. Magneto has alerted the Russian government that the X-Men are on their way. The Soviet Super Soldiers, along with a contingent of Soviet Super-Troopers, are dispatched to neighboring Arganistan (borders? what borders?) to confront and arrest the X-Men on charges of espionage, and, in Colossus’s case, high treason against the Motherland!

Setup: I used a 4′ x 4′ area of farmland with some outbuildings, pastures and the odd tree or two. A large water tower and some farm machinery are part of the terrain as well. The Breeder Bomb is in the middle of the play area.

The X-Men deploy on one side of the table opposite the Soviet Super Soldiers.

Special Rules:

The Breeder Bomb: The X-Men’s objective is to defuse the Breeder Bomb. Attacking the bomb is not an option as it could result in detonation.  In order to defuse the bomb, one of the X-Men must get into base contact with the control panel and use a Special Action to make an attempt. This attempt is a Science check, so Kitty Pryde gets a +2D bonus to an attempt. Defusing the bomb requires 4 goals and may not be attempted if there are any enemy models within 6″ of the bomb. Failure to defuse the bomb results in a radiation leak!

If the bomb begins leaking radiation, the X-Men and the Soviet Super Soldiers each take an automatic 2D attack at the start of each round. This may be resisted normally, but Armor has no effect on any damage received. This damage is cumulative (to a maximum of 6D) with each failed attempt to defuse the bomb (i.e. 2 failed attempts = 4D per round, 3 or more = 6D per round).

Capture the Traitor: The Soviet Super Soldiers have standing orders to stop the X-Men from doing whatever they’re doing. In addition, they have been ordered to capture Colossus, as the Soviet government views him as a traitor for joining an American super-group rather than putting his powers to use in service of Russia. Crimson Dynamo and Ursa Major must attack Colossus if it is possible to do so, and will prioritize him over other targets.

ROUND 1

The X-Men win initiative for the first round. Storm flies over to the left, taking some cover behind the trees before blasting the Soviet Super-Troopers (henchmen group) with a lightning bolt. She takes out two of them, bringing their number down to eight. Darkstar activates, flying over to her left on an almost mirror image course from Storm. She fires her darkforce power blasts at the hapless Kitty Pryde, inflicting 1 damage to her. Cyclops fires back at Darkstar, but fails to achieve even a single goal. Looks like Cyclops is off to another great start.

Red Guardian rushes forward, trying to get close to the Breeder Bomb. Colossus and Ursa Major both move towards the center of the table.

Rogue activates next, flying 20″ towards the center of the table, prepared to meet Red Guardian and Ursa Major should they charge, but unable to do anything this turn. Titanium Man activates, flying around the side of the Breeder Bomb and power blasting Rogue for 1 damage. Kitty Pryde moves towards the bomb’s control panel. Crimson Dynamo flies towards the center and has a clear shot at Colossus. He takes it, but Colossus shrugs off all damage.

Wolverine activates, moving quickly to close with Titanium Man. Unfortunately he doesn’t get there this turn. The Super Troopers activate as a group, moving forward 6″ around the woods.

Finally, Nightcrawler teleports into melee with Darkstar. Although he doesn’t count as charging, he still manages to inflict 2 damage on the Russian mutant, dropping her from 6 to 4!

ROUND 2

The Soviets gain initiative handily! Titanium Man charges Rogue. Since she’s on the ground, he has to land to do so, but when all is said and done, he smacks her for an additional 2 damage and knocks her back 8″! She manages to keep her footing, but that smarted! (No picture of this; I got caught up in the game and forgot to snap one!)

Wolverine activates and charges Titanium Man (who probably shouldn’t have landed after all…), shredding him for 4 damage! That drops Titanium Man’s body by half! Ursa Major moves forward a plodding 5″ (Bricks don’t move fast).

Storm flies around her woods and blasts Crimson Dynamo for 3 net goals worth of damage, dropping the ex-KGB agent to half his body! The Super Troopers activate, concentrating their fire on Storm. It pays off, and Storm takes 3 goals worth of damage, dropping her to half her body as well! Rogue activates, charging Crimson Dynamo who is still feeling the effects of Storm’s power blasts! Rogue decks him, dropping his body to zero and knocking him back 15″! Luckily, he makes his KO check and his knockdown check, so he’s still up (barely), but certainly not feeling all that well!

Crimson Dynamo activates next (probably because he won’t have too many more chances to activate!). He fires at Rogue, inflicting 1 damage. Hardly fitting retribution, but better than nothing. Cyclops activates, firing a wide-beam optic blast at the Super Troopers. You would figure that with 6 dice to roll against the Troopers measly 2 dice to resist, he would have scored enough goals to at least take out a few of the henchmen, but you would be wrong. Cyclops proves yet again that he sucks (at least in this campaign), failing to achieve even one goal. He does no damage to the group.

Darkstar attempts to entangle Nightcrawler and is successful, hoping to pummel him at her leisure next round. Nightcrawler tries to escape but fails. Next, Red Guardian moves, getting within the 5″ range needed to hurl his shield at Rogue for 1 damage, chipping away once again at her overall health. Colossus moves forward, but is too far out of range to charge anyone. Finally, Kitty moves right up to the control panel but can’t attempt a disarm as there are too many enemies within 6″ of the bomb.

The end of a bloody round, which saw the Crimson Dynamo nearly KO’ed, Titanium Man and Storm each reduced to half their overall health, and Rogue suffering 3 damage!

ROUND 3

The X-Men gain initiative. Rogue activates and charges Ursa Major, smacking him for 4 total damage, dropping the big bear by half his body in one shot and knocking him back 20″! He manages to keep his footing, but he’s a lot farther back than he was a minute ago. Red Guardian charges Rogue; after all the dice are rolled he inflicts 1 damage to Rogue, slowly but surely whittling away at her health.

 

Storm activates, power-blasting the Soviet Super-Troopers for 3 more damage, dropping 3 of their number. The troopers fire back at Storm, but they miss! Cyclops takes out another 2 of them on his turn. Titanium Man is locked in combat with Wolverine, and any attempt to leave would mean that Wolverine would get a free shot at him. Instead he decides to attack Wolverine, inflicting 1 damage on Wolverine and knocking him back 4″. Titanium Man then takes off and flies away, putting some space between him and those adamantium claws.

Nightcrawler breaks out of his entanglement and attacks Darkstar, but does no damage. Darkstar successfuly breaks from  melee without Nightcrawler landing a blow, backs off a few inches and recharges her power blasts, opening fire on Nightcrawler. But Nightcrawler proves too agile, and is unharmed. Kitty Pryde activates but still has no opportunity to disarm the bomb, and no one within range to attack. She does nothing.

Crimson Dynamo charges Rogue, who is in combat with Red Guardian. He rolls his normal 5D attack, plus 1D for charging, +1D for assisting Red Guardian, and scores a net 7 goals! That’s more than enough to drop Rogue permanently! She is knocked back 21″ and fails her KO check! Rogue is out of the battle!

Colossus moves steadily towards Titanium Man, Red Guardian and Crimson Dynamo. Ursa Major activates, moving slow as molasses back to the fray. Finally, Wolverine moves quickly around the Breeder Bomb in support of Colossus and the two are ready to rumble next Round!

ROUND 4

The X-Men keep initiative. Wolverine easily regenerates his lost health and is back to his maximum. He activates and charges Crimson Dynamo, who had to land last turn in order to pummel Rogue. Wolverine rolls poorly and inflicts no damage against the Russian.

Titanium Man sees an opening, and rather than attack Colossus or Wolverine, he opts to charge Storm instead! He inflicts 4 goals of damage, enough to force a KO check. Storm fails and is out of the fight!

 

Colossus charges into melee with Red Guardian and Crimson Dynamo. He attacks Crimson Dynamo, inflicting the necessary damage to put the Dynamo down for good!

Any celebration is short-lived! Darkstar activates and, after a successful recharge, power-blasts Nightcrawler for 6 total damage, enough to drop him from completely healthy to a KO check! Nightcrawler fails and is overcome by the darkforce blasts!

Cyclops fires at the Troopers again and finally wipes them out. Ursa Major moves ever closer to the fight, but is still out of it. Kitty can’t do anything for the same reasons as last round. Red Guardian attacks Wolverine, but does no damage.

Another bloody round, which saw the end of Storm and Nightcrawler, as well as the Crimson Dynamo!

ROUND 5

The Soviets wrest initiative away from the X- Men! Ursa Major, bellowing like the bear he is, charges into combat (finally) with Colossus and Wolverine. He uses a Haymaker and cracks Colossus for 2 damage, but knocks him back 24″ with the “Way Outta Here” Brick maneuver! Colossus manages to keep his footing. Wolverine attacks Ursa Major with an Acrobatic Attack (a Brawler maneuver), scoring 3 net goals and dropping Ursa Major’s body to 1! Red Guardian attacks Wolverine with an Acrobatic Attack of his own, inflicting 3 damage on Wolverine, dropping him from 8 to 5.

Cyclops steps up and blasts Titanium Man for 7 net goals, 3 more than needed to force a KO check. He passes (barely), and manages to remain conscious although much the worse for wear. Darkstar teleports closer to Colossus and attempts to entangle him, but fails to roll a single goal. She’s left herself quite vulnerable!

Colossus takes advantage and charges Darkstar, winding up with a Haymaker that whiffs for no damage! Talk about lucky!

Titanium Man decides to charge Cyclops as he does better in melee than with power blasts. He could shoot it out with Cyclops, but his chances are much better if he takes the fight directly to the mutant. He also tries a Haymaker, doing only 1 damage, but with the triple knockback from Way Outta Here, Cyclops is knocked back 12″ and is knocked down!

Kitty Pryde charges into combat with Darkstar, since she’s having no luck disarming the bomb. She manages to inflict 1 damage on Darkstar. Darkstar has seen better days…she’s locked in hand-to-hand with Kitty Pryde and Colossus, and any attempt to flee will allow them both to take a shot at her. What to do?

ROUND 6

The X-Men regain initiative. Wolverine regenerates all his lost health and is back to full. Cyclops stands up and moves 4″, blasting Titanium Man for 4 damage, enough to KO the Super-Soldier for the rest of the game! Ursa Major attacks Wolverine, scoring 3 goals and undoing his Regeneration for the round, dropping him back down to 5 body!

Colossus recharges his Haymaker and clobbers Darkstar for 3 net goals, enough to knock her back 12″ into the fence. She fails both her knockdown and KO roll, and is out of the fight!

Red Guardian recharges his Acrobatic Attack and attacks Wolverine, inflicting 2 more goals of damage on Wolverine. Kitty Pryde moves back to the Breeder Bomb’s control panel, but Red Guardian is still within 6″ and she can’t attempt to disarm it until he’s gone!

ROUND 7

The X-Men keep initiative. Wolverine rolls a ton of goals on his Regeneration roll and heals back up to full health. Wolverine recharges his Acrobatic Attack and attacks Ursa Major, but inflicts no damage. Ursa Major responds with a net 5 goals, knocking Wolverine 20″ back and dealing 5 damage! (Good thing he’s got that healing factor!)

Cyclops uses a Blaster special maneuver, Radius Attack, which allows him to blast Ursa Major and hit anyone within 5″ (in this case Red Guardian) with a residual blast. He hits Ursa Major for 3 goals, enough to KO the big bear (after a failed KO check). The residual blast encompasses Red Guardian, who ends up taking 2 damage from the explosion.

Run Away!

So at this point, the only Soviet left on the table is a wounded Red Guardian, who is facing down Wolverine, Cyclops, Colossus and Kitty Pryde. There’s no real point to playing out the scenario for a few more rounds until the inevitable happens. Once Red Guardian flees the field, Kitty has no trouble disarming the bomb. Victory for the X-Men…but at what cost?

Afterword:

I changed this scenario quite a bit from the original Marvel adventure, particularly with regard to the opposition. In the original Breeder Bombs adventure, the X-Men faced off against the Crimson Dynamo and a bunch of Soviet Super-Troopers (2 per X-Man). In a roleplaying game, that might have worked; in Super Mission Force, this is some weak opposition indeed as the X-Men would have little trouble taking out a henchmen group and one lone villain. So in addition to the troopers, I opted to include the entire Soviet Super Soldier team: Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Red Guardian and Ursa Major; along with sometime teammate Titanium Man. This worked out well and provided much more of a challenge to the heroes.

Storm, Rogue and Nightcrawler all got KO’ed this scenario, which means there may be some lingering effects for the last scenario of the campaign. Some quick rolls on the “Fate of the Fallen” tables yielded these results: Storm is seriously injured (-3 to Move, -1D to attack rolls for next battle); Rogue is lightly injured (-2 Move for next battle); and Nightcrawler is grievously injured (misses next battle), which means the team will just have to do without him next time as they face down Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!

My builds for the Soviet Super Soldiers are as follows:

Titanium Man (Super) Major: Super Strength, Minor: Power Blasts, Flight, Armor, Entangle

Red Guardian (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Shield, Super-Agility

Ursa Major (Brick) Major: Super Strength, Minor: Enhanced Senses, Melee Specialist

Darkstar (Sorcerer) Major: Sorcery, Power Blasts, Minor: Barrier, Entangle, Teleport, Flight

Crimson Dynamo (Blaster) Major: Power Blasts, Minor: Armor, Super Strength, Flight

Soviet Super-Troopers (Henchmen) Minor: Power Blasts, Armor

 

If anyone cares, I used U-Men for the Super Troopers and I used an old Grenadier werebear miniature for Ursa Major. That’s because the Heroclix Ursa Major looks incredibly silly.

Up next, the finale to the Breeder Bombs as the X-Men face off against Magneto and the Brotherhood in…The Savage Land!!!!!

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