Monday, April 2, 2012

"It's Clobberin' Time!": Marvel Heroscape

Back on the 24'th of March I was going to re-unite the League of Paper Champions to have a bash at the old Marvel Super Hero RPG.  As luck would have it, I got crazy busy during the previous week and didn't get a chance to dig out the adventure I'd already written until the night before I was supposed to run the game.

And hey, guess what I couldn't find despite tearing my entire house apart?

Although I was adventureless, I still had the Fellowship over the following day to test this baby out as a consolation prize:

Rules, Character Selection & Scenario 

Game One

The Good Guys

Me:  Captain America and Sgt. Drake Alexander
Mark: The Hulk and a Krav Maga Agent
Cheryl:  Iron Man and Spider-Man

The Bad Guys

Dean:  Doctor Doom, Abomination and the Deathwalker 9000
Sabina:  Red Skull, Venom, Zettion Guard

Round One  

Dean's Deathwalker lobs a grenade at the heroes.  Iron Man blasts away at Abomination.  Sabina's 'bot proves to be ineffectual against ol' Shell-Head.  Cap throws his mighty shield and brains Abomination.  Doom try to control Tony Stark but his Mind Control powers seem to be useless against the inebriated.  Hulk leaps into the fray but the Abomination ducks!

Round Two

The Red Skull takes an ill-advised pot-shot at the Green Goliath.  Hulk feeds Abomination a knuckle sandwich.  Abomination goes toe-to-toe with his arch enemy.  Iron Man tries to crack Doom's armor.  Venom cheap-shots The Hulk, taking him from slightly pissed to uber-furious.  Cap strikes down several rivals with one blow!

Round Three  
Abomination tries his best to match The Hulk blow-for-blow but eventually gets his face re-arranged.  Venom surreptitiously boots The Hulk right in the 'nards.  Iron Man attempts to crack Doom's armor with a repulsor can opener.  The Red Skull unexpectedly gets the best of his hated rival.  Spider-Man web-slings towards the goal line.      

Round Four

The Hulk pops Red Skull's head like an over-ripe zit.  Ol' Web-Head reaches the end zone.  Venom gets the best of a tenderized Hulk.  Doom keeps shuckin' and jivin' against Iron Man and then fails to nail his web-slinging quarry.  

Round Five

Iron Man defends his home turf against Doom.  Venom's spider-sense proves to be nowhere as effective as his counterpart's and he's soon caught napping in more ways then one.  


Game Two

The Good Guys

Dean:  Captain America and Krav Maga Agent
Mark: The Hulk and Iron Man
Cheryl:  Spider-Man and Sgt. Drake Alexander

The Bad Guys

Me:  Doctor Doom and two Zettion Guards
Sabina:  Red Skull, Abomination, Venom and Deathwalker 9000

Round One  

Abomination leaps into the fray and lands on Iron Man's helmet.  In a repeat of Game One, Cap drops two robots without breaking a sweat.  After having his brains scrambled by The Hulk, Abomination does a mean Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.  Iron Man tries to fly away but gets punched right in the L'il Iron Man.  

Round Two

Abomination deftly extradites himself from a toxic engagement.  Captain America sees stars and telegraphs the Skull.   The villains foolishly allow "Samurai Jack" to live and he goes all Kill Bill on  Abomination.  Doom clips the wings of the First Avenger but fails to tame The Hulk.  

Round Three

Abomination breaks his date with The Hulk but just can't tag that pesky wall-crawler.  Drake keeps back-stabbing the Abomination.  Skull's Dust of Death proves to be a dud and Hulk bitch-slaps him for his trouble.  Doom finally puts the kibosh on a certain katana-armed G.I. but fails to enthrall the spider.    Ol' web-head breaks into the Stark warehouse.  

Round Four

While leaping out of a scrum, Abomination takes a smack.  He lands in the warehouse with Spidey but fails to hit the agile arachnid.  Hulk does a stompy two-fer on the Red Skull and Venom.  Doom flies into Stark headquarters to squash the spider but his luck isn't any better.  Spidey tea-bags Abomination with his web-bawlz.  Venom seeks out his old enemy.  

Round Five    

Hulk leaps into the now-crowded warehouse and Abomination manages to avoid death from above.  Doom is heard to shout "Cursed arachnid!" more than once as he fails to blast Spidey not once but twice.  Abomination is able to avoid the Hulk's initial wrath but gets his cranium smashed in on the second attack.  Try as he might, Venom just can't draw the attention of the Green Goliath.   

Round Six  

Frustrated by his inability to hit Spider-Man, Doom switches his focus to The Hulk.  Not only does he completely whiff, he also fails with his Mind Control powers yet again.  In response, Hulk tries to put a dent in Doom's faceplate.  Spidey proves to be just as elusive against Venom as he was against the (not-so-good) Doctor.  A suicidal Krav Maga agent tries to snipe the Lord of Latveria.       

Round Seven

Doom's armor stays true against an all-out assault by a rampaging Hulk but his counter-attack fails to pacify the beast.  Venom goes after a soft target and then drives the Hulk into an epic level of rage.   

Round Eight

"Hulk smash!!!"  'Nuff said.  


Marvel Heroscape is a ton of mindless fun.  I really wish that this line had been more successful, since I would have loved to have seen more expansions for this set.   

Even with the obvious limitations of the base set, we still had a lot of fun.  Having said that, given the scant amount of terrain, scenarios and characters included, I fear that the base set by itself would quickly get stale.  

Despite this, I really like Heroscape's intuitive rules, the top-notch components and all of the variable stats and powers.  For such a simple game it really does a great job replicating a classic comic book free-for-all.

It just makes me sad that I'll never get my Heroscape Wolverine. 

Four pips outta six!  

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