Updated: Aug 29, 2020
Well, this took a little longer than planned thanks to having to work for a living, but here is the second OSP battle report. This week's game sees Norman Osbourn's Green Goblin and Co. taking on the Avengers on New York's streets.
The Spider-Foes won priority and opted to select the extract, choosing Wakandan Herb, while the Avengers selected Deadly Meteors as the secure. The game will be played at 17 threat.
The lists were revealed as:
Usurp the Throne
Black Widow (Core)
Spider-Man (Peter Parker).
Here's the setup and an icon guide:
Ever so slightly more colourful this week, I've pushed my MS Paint skills to their limit in building a cosmetic road! I've also tried out a reader's suggestion from last week to swap the plain circles for characters with an appropriate icon. Remember to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to see anything tried differently.
All that happens in the Power Phase is Vision takes a quick look at the attacks lined-up against him and decides to start the game phased. On to the action!
Spider-Foes 1: Doc Ock opens the game with double move up the left-flank and using his scientific know-how to tries flip a bomb. He rolls 2 hits and a skull, claiming the bomb but taking a damage in the process.
Avengers 1: Spider-Man starts for the Avengers with a mirror play, running to the opposite bomb and successfully flipping it; but unlike Ock he manages to not get hit doing so.
Spider-Foes 2: Killmonger sprints up the right flank towards Spider-Man, but needs both moves to get there, so no violence just yet. Instead he takes an ambitious shot at flipping the bomb, but manages to fail to secure the bomb for his team and also takes a point of damage.
Avengers 2: Black Widow is considered for a turn, but a poor deployment decision is spotted - Widow should have been the herb runner rather than Parker and is therefore on the wrong end of the battlefield! While her strategy for the game is reconsidered (noting her two energy defence won't make her a brilliant bomb-flipper either), the Avengers instead activate Vision. As he also only has 2 energy defence he tries to take the middle bomb before anyone else is contesting it (increasing its difficulty). A double move and a good dice roll sees Vision take the objective without injury.
Spider-Foes 3: Green Goblin takes an advance up the middle, playing Drop-Off to take Venom with him. Venom, unable to believe he is doing anything other than moving in the first round, takes his free attack to stab at Venom with his symbiote tendrils. Vision is unable to use his rapid phasing for bonus defence due to spending his power flipping that bomb, but Venom can only manage 2 damage, and to add insult to injury, Vision gloats that he is immune to Venom's guaranteed bleed effect. For his second action, Gobbo throws a pumpkin bomb at Vision. It's selected as a physical attack, but with Vision having power now he quickly phases for the bonus defence dice. It's 5 hits to 4 blocks for a point of damage, and no wilds in the roll so Gobbo is unable to land an intended incinerate on Vision which could have dropped his defence against future attacks.
Avengers 3: Ironman takes a double advance down the left to face-off against Ock. He tries for the bomb despite Ock contesting it, but follows Killmonger's example and both fails to take the bomb and suffers a damage in the process.
Spider-Foes 4: Venom decides he is going to try daze Vision before Captain America shows up and starts bodyguarding attacks. A first symbiote tendrils manages no damage, and neither does the second. Venom briefly considers trying to take the bomb, but with 2 energy defence and Vision contesting it, he decides there will be better uses for his power in the future and instead ends his activation having achieved nothing.
Avengers 4: Captain America joins the knife fight in the middle of the board by advancing once and throwing his shield** at Venom. Cap's attack and Venom's defence ends up 2v2 so it deals no damage, but he does roll the wild needed to trigger a ricochet and repeats the attack against Green Goblin which manages a single point of damage. Once the shield stops flying around, Venom is just in range to counter-attack with 'So Many Snacks' (thanks to conserving his power last activation) and decides that even if he doesn't manage to deal any damage, that free bleed effect on Cap right before his turn ends is too good to turn down. It's another 2v2 roll so no damage again, but Cap is bleeding and immediately takes a point of damage as that is the end of his go. The Spider-Foes player changes his dice after 3 consecutive appalling attack rolls from Venom. New dice always help.
**which is usually unacceptable behaviour in a knife fight -ed.
Spider-Foes 5: Rocket takes a short walk forward and fires his over-sized weapon at Spider-Man, dealing no damage. Not much else to say about that and the Spider-Foes player ends his turn cursing his dice (again).
Avengers 5: Black Widow ends the round with a simple double move to try make the left-hand bomb more difficult for the Spider-foes to deal with.
It's worth pointing out here that Black Widow was the only person who climbed over a Cop Car this round while 'Team Oscorp' showed complete respect for the police.
The Wakandan herbs were not even picked up, let alone scored. So with a majority 2-1 control of the Origin Bombs, Round 1 ends 3-0 to the Avengers. Priority stays with Norman Osborn.
Nothing to talk about in the power phase except for Vision deciding to start things in his enhanced density mode.
Spider-Foes 1: Venom wastes no time trying to take control of the 'Gamma shelter-lite' situation that has formed in the centre of the board and tries (again) to deal with Vision. The first Symbiote Tendrils fails to find its mark but the second hits for 2 leaving Vision with one health remaining. Vision may be immune to bleed, but he isn't immune to being thrown at Captain America, and that is exactly what happens. Cap whiffs his defence and takes the full 3 damage, and Vision is dazed. Venom is all out of power so no attempt at the bomb for him, but a decent turn nonetheless.
Avengers 1: At the start of his turn the Avengers player uses Captain America to play a Field Dressing on Vision removing his daze and a damage. Vision then activates and starts by using a Medpack to heal another 3 points of damage from himself which gets Vision back in the fight (though maybe at the expense of priority). Vision advances back to the centre of the table and then unleashes his beam attack on Venom and Green Goblin. Venom takes 3 and Goblin takes 2 plus a sapped power trigger. Venom responds with another 'So Many Snacks', but can't manage any damage. Vision finishes with his size 3 'Calculated Trajectory' to throw Venom into Green Goblin. Venom takes another point of damage, and Goblin takes 3 leaving him with 1 health left. Not a bad turn for someone who started their activation dazed.
Another map update required to track this central battle!
Spider-Foes 2: Green Goblin with his 1 heath and stack of power decides he better try do some damage while he can. Being 'brand-new-off-the-sprue' today it's decided he should pump six power into a 'Hit and Run/Night of the Goblin' just to see what it does**. Goblin declares energy, Vision rapidly phases, and the attack deals a single point of damage and leaves Vision incinerated (but not poisoned because of his seemingly endless list of immunities). Goblin dashes away to a point that makes beam attacks less effective without Vision using an action to reposition himself with the hit and run effect and then throws a Pumpkin Bomb, again at Vision. The attack is physical this time forcing Vision to pay the power to phase again for his defence dice, (and this time without his discount from Cap having used it on the first hit). But yet again it's only a single point of damage and 'Vision the attack sponge' is left standing. Goblin finishes his turn with a punt at the bomb. He gets the two required success, but also a skull. So the bomb flips to Spider-Foes control putting them back in the lead 2-1, but Goblin is dazed.
**Not much, apparently.
Avengers 2: Captain America, having seen what Widow did last round and thinking it looked fun, also dives over a police car before throwing his shield at Venom, causing a single point of damage. The ricochet does much better and manages to daze Rocket who thought he was stood in a safe spot. Venom strikes back with another 'So Many Snacks', but again fails to deal any damage. Cap tries to flip the origin bomb back over and succeeds - but also rolls a skull leaving him on one health, which means the bleed effect from Venom's earlier Tendrils dazes him as soon as his activation ends. Venom claims a 'sort-of-win' which almost makes up for his poor dice tonight. The Avengers have taken control of the bombs back 2-1 and both leaders take consecutive dazes thanks to that centre bomb.
Spider-Foes 3: Killmonger double-taps Spider-Man, causing 3 damage total, and then successfully flips the Origin-bomb on the right-flank by rolling nothing but successes (something he was unable to do on his attack apparently). Quick and easy turn, and bomb control changes again, swinging back to the Spider-Foes 2-1. Time for a map update:
In two consecutive activations this round, both team leaders have dazed themselves dealing with the central objective. It's all very heroic.
Avengers 3: Spider-Man retaliates with a strike at Killmonger for no damage, and then a more successful impact webbing which hits for 3 and pushes him back short. He then fires his web-a-pult at Killmonger for another small throw just to get him away. Parker finishes by successfully taking control of the origin bomb, but suffers a damage in the process. The bombs are dealing higher damage output than a few of the characters tonight.
Spider-Foes 4: With Rocket dazed it's just Ock left for Team Oscorp. He opens with a Strike against Ironman. Stark whiffs on his defence roll and the attack leaves him with one health left. Ock then uses his throw to hurl Ironman into Black Widow: Widow takes a single point of damage and Ironman is dazed. Ock finishes with a strike at Widow which deals her another point of damage, but he then suffers one himself from Widow's Counter-Strike.
Avengers 4: Now that Ironman is down and their Field Dressing used it's just Black Widow left to activate. She considers using her 'Mixed Technique' on Ock for an attack and a move, but she can't get outside of range 3 for her 'Stealth' to take effect she ops to hit at Octavius with 2 strikes, but neither manages any damage. With only 2 energy defence and Ock stood on the bomb she decides against rolling for the objective as it’s considered not worth the risk, especially considering the Avengers currently in front, so that’ll end the round.
The herbs are still sat on the floor entirely ignored, and despite the bombs changing hands a lot this round, control again ends 2-1 in favour of the Avengers, moving the score to 6-0 to the Avengers. Both team leaders’ cards are flipped over, and so are those of Rocket Raccoon for the Spider-Foes and Ironman for the Avengers despite 'The Invincible Ironman' taking a significantly smaller beating than the Vision who remains on his healthy side.
In the Power Phase, Goblin's 'Unstable Psyche' gives him an additional 4 power for the round.
Spider Foes 1: The activation starts with Rocket Raccoon playing 'Advanced R&D' to share out the stack of power that he doubts he will need. Killmonger than activates and plays 'Usurp the Throne'. It's a target rich environment with Captain America; Spider-Man and Vision all a valid Usurp target, but Spider-Man is the obvious choice looking at his positioning. Despite Spider-Man managing to resolve two pushes against Killmonger last round, he is just in range to attack with his 'Vibranium Weapons' after a 'Charge' action meaning he can get in two attacks to try for the daze; but he doesn't need them both. The dice after first strike will leave Spiderman-Man with one health left, so Killmonger uses the 'Oscorp Weaponry' he has access to today to force Spider-Man to reroll one of his successful blocks, which comes up a skull. Spider-Man is dazed and the Spider-foes are on the scoreboard: it's 6-2 to the Avengers. Killmonger then takes an advance to get within range 1 of the right-hand bomb, but fails to take control of it back from the Avengers.
Avengers 1: Vision repositions himself for a better angle to fire his beam and unleashes it on Green Goblin and Venom, but it does not go too well. An almost-dazed Venom manages 3 blocks on his 2 dice, takes no damage, and then retaliates with 'So Many Snacks'. The crack back his for 3 which (again) dazes Vision before he can roll his attack against Green Goblin. The Vision is down and the Avengers learn an important lesson about attack sequencing.
'SMS' is certainly putting in some work today.
Spider-Foes 2: Green Goblin starts with playing a Medpack on Venom after his near miss (something that probably should have happened during Killmonger's activation). He then sets his sights on Black Widow as a potential daze target. He advances once and then uses his 'Glider Ram' to fly straight into Ironman. The glider strikes for 2 damage which Ironman reduces to 1. Goblin then throws an energy Pumpkin Bomb at Widow, the dice are tied at 2-2, but Oscorp Weaponry forces a single point of damage through. The wild rolled on the attack can cause bleed, poison or incinerate, but with Widow on 1 health remaining it seems an easy choice and Widow takes a bleed token. She tries to hit back with her Counter-Strike (no real reason not to with that Avengers discount), but doesn't manage any damage.
Avengers 2: Widow steps up looking to get some control back on the left-flank. She strikes at Ock but its 3v3 on the dice so no damage there. She considers removing the bleed, but as Ock is sat there on enough power to throw her at Ironman for an easy daze anyway, she decides to go down fighting and attacks with her 'Mixed Technique'. The attack hits for 1 damage, staggers Ock, and Widow ends her activation with the attack's free advances to jump onto the nearby car's roof before being dazed to her bleed.
Spider-Foes 3: Rocket looks for someone to attack, but with Spider-Man and Vision both dazed and Captain America being incredibly tanky on his wounded side he decides instead it's time to start playing the objective a little. Rocket takes an advance and manages to secure the bomb and then a second advance to hide behind the nearby building. Control of the Origin Bombs is now 2-1 to the Spider-Foes.
Avengers 3: Ironman checks his range and by the smallest of margins its agreed he doesn't need to move to catch both Goblin and Octavius with a beam attack, so he unleashes his 'UniBeam' on them which dazes Ock and hits the already wounded Goblin for 2. For his second action Ironman pays for 'Friday AI' and hits Goblin with a massive 'Repulsor Blast' which gets the game’s first KO and Goblin is return to the box. Everyone agrees that as the only unpainted mini on the table that he deserved it. Now that the Spider-Foes have no one contesting the left-hand bomb they've controlled all game, Ironman is able to safely take control of it and bomb control again switches to 2-1 to the Avengers.
Spider-Foes 4: It's just Venom and Cap left for the round, which is deemed interesting considering how the fight around the centre bomb was previously both players' main focus for those early activations. Goblin's activation of jumping to a flank and attacking different characters seems to have shifted the focus of the entire round afterwards. Venom starts with a Symbiote Tendrils against Cap which hits for 3 and puts a bleed effect back on Cap, but the bleed proves irrelevant as Venom follows this up with a massive 'We Are Venom'. Venom's dice explode and Cap despite managing to roll 4 blocks can't survive the onslaught. Venom heals back up to full health and Cap is removed from the table. In two activations both leaders are down. Venom with his last point of power goes for the bomb and despite poor energy defence gets control back. With Cap down that ends the round.
Gobbo briefly cursed his positioning having ran away from Vision only to set up another character with an effective beam, but acknowledges that being out of beam range would have meant the Glider Ram power he used earlier would have had to miss Ironman and hit the police car instead. So while it doesn't feel like a fair trade to the Spider-Foes, it's not chalked up as a misplay either. Certainly a lesson though.
Another turn with the bombs changing hands a lot, but Venom taking control of the centre bomb finally swung it in the Spider-Foes favour and they pick up their first points from the Crisis. After 3 rounds it's 6-5 to the Avengers. Ock, Spider-Man, Vision and Widow all flip their cards over and the Avengers take the priority token for the first time which is sure to help in such a violent game.
Avengers 1: The Avenger's player takes a moment to consider which bomb he can best utilise his priority over and take some control back. The Vision vs. Venom fight is briefly considered as despite Venom being back to full health, his energy weakness could mean Vision can put him down, but instead its Spider-Man who is selected. His plan is to fire impact webbing at Killmonger, pushing him back to that Spidey can then throw Killmonger into Rocket (as a throw would currently stop at the building Rocket ran behind). It's a great plan, but Spiderman forgets to pull his punch and Killmonger is dazed from the webbing meaning he cannot be thrown. There's the tiniest piece of Rocket's base sticking out from behind the building, so Spidey just goes for a Strike against Rocket, but the attack roll is poor and Rocket takes no damage. As he still has the power spare, Spidey ops to throw Rocket further away so he doesn’t have line of sight back to Spidey on Rocket’s own activation without moving. Spidey ends an effective turn by taking back control of the Bomb for the Avengers, putting them back in the lead.
Spider-Foes 1: Doc Ock has noticed that the short advance Widow took last round after her attack has left her in the 'Widow Sweet Spot'**, so Ock gets to work knowing that a successful double attack could potentially KO both Ironman and Widow. He opens with 'Arm Lasers' against Ironman who would have been KO'd from the attack, but 'Invincible Ironman' saves him and instead he remains in play with one health left. Ock wants to throw Ironman into Widow, but because she moved onto the car last round a throw would hit the car first. While throwing Ironman into the car would get the daze, the Spider-Foes get greedy and instead opt to throw Widow into Ironman looking to get the daze and some damage on Widow at the same time. The greed costs them and Ironman successfully dodges the hit. With one attack left and both intended targets still standing Ock has to pick who to go for. Ironman is seen as the bigger threat, and a 'Strike' sees the games third KO as Ironman rolls zero for defence to Ock's 3 hits. Ock finishes with a return to his earlier form at the Crisis, by flipping the bomb and taking a damage in doing so.
**Within range 3, but outside of range 2. It's where you want to be when going against Romanoff.
Avengers 2: Vision activates and opens with an energy beam against Venom which hits for two. Venom strikes back (as usual) but doesn't manage any damage in return. Vision then pumps his power in his 'Synthezoid Avenger' but only manages to hit for 2 despite Venom rolling nothing on defence. Venom considers putting that 2 power into yet another 'So Many Snacks', but decides instead to bank the power in case he needs to use 'We are Venom' in the future to heal up. Vision then uses 'Calculated Trajectory' to throw Venom into a car, putting a fifth damage counter on him and destroying the terrain. Finally, Vision takes control of the centre Origin Bomb.
Spider-Foes 2: Venom now has enough power to try heal some damage after being thrown at a car. He measures range to Widow for his 'Web-Snare' to drag her off that flank but is just short so instead he hits Vision with a 'We are Venom' which deals 3 damage to Vision and takes the same amount back off Venom. He then takes a break from trying to eat Vision and changes gear to play the objective. Venom takes an advance back to the centre and takes middle bomb back for a leaderless Spider-Foes team.
Avengers 3: These rounds are getting short and it's just Black Widow left for the Avengers. Widow sees a good line, she could potentially interact with the left and centre bombs with an advance and an 'Avengers assemble', but she only has 1 power and that would require 3. To try generate enough power she hits Doc Ock with her Strike, but rolls an excellent defensive roll of all shields leaving Ock unscathed and Widow still lacking the power she needs for a big turn. She settles for an advance with her second action and spends her sole point of power on trying to take the left-bomb back, which she succeeds at. It wasn't quite as flashy as they'd hoped, but the Avengers switch back to controlling the bombs 2-1 with just Rocket left to go.
Spider-Foes 3: Rocket takes an advance, reappearing from the side of the building and fires a 'Plasma Rifle' shot at Spider-Man which hits for 3. This gives him enough power to play 'Fields Dressing', so he gets an un-activated Killmonger back on his feet. The Avengers have all been, so it rolls straight into another Spider-Foes turn.
Spider-Foes 4: Killmonger, no doubt frustrated with webbing at this point, charges at Spider-Man. It's another poor defence roll from the web-slinger and Spider-Man is KO'd. From where he is stood Killmonger is able to take back control of the bomb before making an advance to the left ready to deal with Vision in Round 5.
The fact that the game has essentially been played without an extract meant the secures were hotly contested again and it was another round with control of the bombs constantly changing, but it was the Spider-Foes who came out on top during that final Killmonger activation which was only possible as Rocket managed to generate enough power with a lucky shot to play the Field Dressing. So the Spider-foes pick up 3 more points and take the lead for the first time 8-6. Priority stays with an Avengers Team which now consists of a wounded Black Widow and Vision, lined-up against a healthy Venom and Killmonger plus a wounded Doc Ock and Rocket Raccoon.
Here's how things are looking:
Avengers 1: Vision knows he needs a big turn. He opens with 'Calculated Trajectory' to throw Killmonger into Venom. Killmonger takes his last point of damage and is dazed for the second time, Venom rolls one dodge and takes 2 damage. Vision then weights up an attack decision. He really needs to one-shot Venom here and not take another So Many Snacks. Synthezoid Avenger has the best chance of doing that, but it will cost every point of power he has, leaving him unable to attempt the bomb: while an energy beam is a slightly weaker attack (thought granted it is still energy which is usually fine versus Venom) but would leave Vision with power for the Crisis. As Venom is on 3 power and has 3 health remaining, he decides to go for the energy beam which is guaranteed to generate enough power to follow-up with a Synthezoid Avenger and still have power to try take control of the centre objective. If this does one damage, Venom will still be standing but can only strike back with a 'Symbiote Tendrils', while if it causes 3 damage Venom will be dazed, both of which are deemed acceptable. The worst-case scenario here will be if the energy beam hits for 2; as Venom will still be standing and have the 5 power he needs to counter-attack with the much stronger 'We are Venom'. The attack ends up 2v2 so deals no damage, but Vision generates one power automatically and saps another one with a wild, so the 'Synthezoid Avenger/take the bomb play' is on, assuming he survives the incoming So Many Snacks.............. which he does as Venom throws 3 skulls, a shield and a blank. Vision follows up with a Synthezoid Avenger and deals the 2 damage he was just saying he hoped he didn't roll. Venom takes a sixth damage counter and go for another So Many Snacks, though it’s just a Symbiote Tendrils as with not conserving power after the first attack he can't use 'We are Venom'. Venoms rolls a 2, Vision a 1, so Vision takes a point of damage. Vision finishes with trying to secure the bomb, but Venom is still healthy and contesting it, so Vision needs to succeed on both of his dice, which he is unable to do. No damage, but the bomb stays under Venom's control.
Spider-foes 1: Doc Ock sets about KO'ing Widow before she can activate. He starts with picking up the car she has been jumping over all game and drops it on her. Widow doesn't manage a single success on her dodge roll so with only one health left she is KO'd putting Ock on two knockouts for the game (with just a little help from Green Goblin earlier). With the flank to himself he then takes the bomb giving the Spider-Foes all 3. With both actions available he advances to towards Vision who is in enhanced density and doesn't have the power to rapidly phase, but Ock doesn't have the power to fire his arm lasers so instead 'strikes' at Vision, playing into his high defence. Ock can't manage any damage so his turn ends there, but the Avengers only have an activated Vision on the table so it's straight into another Spider-Foes turn.
Spider-Foes 2: Unlike Ock, Rocket is able to exploit Vision's low energy defence while he is unable to phase and uses his Plasma Rifle's massive range to get a shot in without moving. Rocket rolls out a massive 6 hits, Vision responds with just 1 block and that'll end the game. The final score is 8-6 with the Spider-foes in front, but it's a win by KO in the fifth round as the final Avenger is removed.
A few points of conversation you may find interesting from while the camera was still rolling after the game:
For the Spider-Foes, that was pretty much the plan. Wakandan herb was the intended scenario as the list had been designed with damage in mind. The idea was to use the herb's difficulty to slow the game as much as possible and try to win through attrition in the later rounds; not necessarily by KO'ing everything, but certainly to score more points on the secures once the opponent had lost a guy or two and couldn't dominate the board as effectively. The unaffiliated characters were picked for their potential damage output, with Usurp the Thone offering a nice little bonus in what was intended to be a low-scoring game.
For the Avengers, Widow and Spider-Man were certainly on the wrong flanks. Spider-Man should have been by his vessel, using his higher energy defence to try control a bomb, while Widow with her stealth, lower energy defence and access to 'Avengers Assemble' should have tried for the herb; but both plyers acknowledged that even then the herb is incredibly hard to score so she may still have failed to grab it. Ock was placed on the Avenger's Vessel and Venom in the middle as their throws if used in tandem could potentially throw a herb runner back across the board away from their vessel if they looked likely to score it.
Both players complained that 'Bombs' is a painful crisis that demands so much power which impacted on what a character could do on their turn often throughout the game. While much has been said of the Asgardian's love of that particular crisis, it was agreed that the secure did nonetheless favour the Avengers, as with Cap's leadership ability saving power; while Gob's ability costs power, the Avengers were still winning the 'power mini-game' and advantaged from the Secure in this particular matchup.