Hot off the presses, today we’re looking at AMG’s newest addition to the MCP Affiliation stable, Weapon X. And what is Weapon X? Well Weapon X is what happens when someone looked at Wolverine and decided he was not edgy enough, which is itself a terrifying prospect, but the fictional reality of Weapon X is also a scary concept, a secret government scientific project to brainwash and experiment on mutants for the purpose of creating covert killers. Whew! Anyway, on the table what this means is a new home for and new versions of some of our favourite homicidal mutants. Let’s jump in and take a look in more detail.
The Weapon X program was actually mentioned in passing in Wolverine’s very first comic appearance back in Incredible Hulk #180 in 1974, but the concept was finally fully fleshed out in the seminal Marvel Comics Presents: Weapon X series released in 1988, written and penned by the awesome Barry Windsor-Smith.
The program and its agents/victims were expanded in the peak of real-world mutant hysteria, in 1992’s X-Men #5-7, with the first appearance of Omega Red causing Wolverine to dredge up a suppressed past (and plenty of amazing Jim Lee art) when he and Sabretooth, amongst others, operated as a brainwashed assassination team in the 1960’s
Weapon X later became a team in its own right across the pages of Wolverine’s book (Wolverine 159-186, 2000-03) and then in their own book (Weapon X #1-28, 2002-04), which features some very dark storylines involving the government mutant death camp, Neverland.
Most recently, Weapon X returned to its evil agenda again in another dedicated title (Weapon X Vol 3 #1-27) which ran from 2017 until the Hickman Marvel mutant reboot in 2019. This was the title which introduced Domino to the fold.
Weapon X in MCP
At release, Weapon X incorporates six characters into the affiliation, with two of those being the new versions of Sabretooth and Wolverine (the old ones don’t make the cut). And the Weapon X Leadership does not sit on a character, but on a Tactics Card; so let’s take a look:
The Weapon X Leadership Ability is called Are You Sure You Want To Remember? which is played after Deployment. Any Laura Kinney or James Howlett character may play this, at which point that character gains the Leadership Ability It Was YOU!!! And three Memory Tokens.
Whenever an Allied Weapon X character is targeted by an attack you may remove a Memory Token from the leader and add two dice to its Defense roll. If the character suffers no damage from that attack they may advance S toward the attacker.
Additionally, if an Allied Character is Dazed or KO’ed by an enemy effect, the leader gains a Memory Token, up to a maximum of 3.
A lot going on here, and firstly I have to say a great attempt to capture the thematic nature of the Weapon X program. An on-demand additional two defense dice certainly sounds good, but the limitation of three uses (before any dazes or KO’s) does puts a cap on the impact. It is also limited to attacks targeting Weapon X characters, which incentivizes us to go affiliation-heavy in squad building.
Weapon X have two other dedicated Tactics Cards in addition to the Leadership Card:
Call The Pack
When a Weapon X character removes damage it may spend 2 power to play this card, and may then advance Short. Any allies who are then within Range 3 of it may also advance Short, toward the character that played this card.
This is an interesting card that gives plenty of extra movement to an affiliation that has lots of ways to trigger it. The limitations on the direction of the second set of movement are somewhat restrictive, but this definitely helps Weapon X stay in their opponent’s face. Grade: B-
Another complicated one, this can be played by one of Logan, The Wolverine, Sabretooth, Apex Predator, or X-23 in the first power phase of the game. Their opponent must then nominate one of their own characters to hold an objective token, the Dossier. The Weapon X character that played the card then gains a superpower called Give Me That! that allows them to reroll and modify Skulls and any attack dice when they attack the opposing character holding the Dossier. They also must attack that character with their first action if they start within Range 2 of it.
If any Weapon X character ends up holding the dossier, their movement becomes L, and they gain 2 dice on attack rolls. This is a really interesting card with potentially very strong upside that causes lots of fun decision making for both players. Grade: A
Building Your Roster
Logan, The Wolverine
We have two brand new characters to form the core of our new affiliation, starting with Logan, The Wolverine. Just like the existing Wolverine, he is a 4-Threat character, and other than gaining an Energy defense and going from 7/5 to 6/6 health, his base stats are the same.
The rest of the card is quite different, with both his builder and spender now allowing him to be placed within Range 1 of the target, and both having Pierce. He is also now loaded with additional superpowers, including Get Out Of My Head! Which causes 1 damage to all characters within range 3 the first time he is damaged by a mystic attack each turn. Probably his best new ability is On The Hunt, which lets him reroll 2 attack dice whenever he makes an attack with no allied characters within Range 3. This rewards a loner playstyle for Logan, something which has potential synergy with his other new power and the Weapon X Dossier tactic.
This was the Wolverine many people were waiting for, and he’s going to be an automatic pick for Weapon X Rosters. Grade: A
Sabretooth, Apex Predator
Sabretooth also makes a return as a re-formulated 4-Threat character. The Apex Predator drops from L to M movement, gains a point of Physical Defense and Health, and has heavily reworked superpowers.
He now has a Range 2 Size 3 Throw for 3 Power, and a Medium-Range Self-Throw without suffering damage for 3 Power. Finally for 4 Power he can add 3 dice to his next builder or spender. Both of those attacks both now have inbuilt Bleed and Pierce, and his spender places him within Range 1 of the target.
This a slower, but tougher and harder-hitting Sabretooth, whose Superpowers are quite power-hungry, but who has many self and opponent moving options and some potentially scary damage output. Grade: B+
The rest of our Weapon X lineup consists of the previously released characters Deadpool, Domino, Honey Badger, and X-23. Do they shine in Weapon X?
Well it’s worth pointing out that X-23 can play the Leadership Tactic, so she certainly has a place for giving the Affiliation options there. She also very much synergises with the other Weapon X playstyle goals and is probably one of the better characters on paper. Her lil sis Honey Badger is worth bringing for their synergies with each other, and at Threat 2 she can be useful to hit certain Crises’ Threat Totals.
Domino and Deadpool both provide some Range 4 attacks that no one else on the roster can. Whether this is something you want to bring these characters for or go outside the affiliation to grab is down to you. Domino is your only character who does not have a Healing Factor, so this reduces her synergies somewhat, but her Ranged 4 Grenade applies Incinerate which can be very valuable to your other attackers
Deadpool is probably your weakest character on paper, but his Bang attack does have huge potential if you can increase his attack dice, such as through grabbing the Dossier.
Give that the leadership card and Dossier are pretty much auto-takes, Weapon X will have fairly limited options for their other slots. Call The Pack is certainly good but still optional. For non-specific options X-Ceptional Healing is a must-take. Practically the entire roster can trigger this card and get great usage out of it. No Matter The Cost is another card that works great with healing factor characters, and several of ours will love the power cost reduction it provides. Brace For Impact is a perennial value card. If you have other spare slots you might well look to some of your character-specific options. Speaking of which…
Weapon X is a roster whose leaderships, cards, and playstyle tend to encourage playing the affiliated characters, because they do all almost the things you want. That said, the team can definitely benefit from some help in a couple of areas.
Pyro and Arnim Zola are both good ranged options that can apply nasty conditions to opponents, particularly Incinerate, which is a great tool for upping everyone’s damage.
Doctor Voodoo is an all-round nasty meta-threat, and also a source of Mystic damage, which this affiliation otherwise has no access to. Baron Mordo also plays the mystic damage roll well and his Ferocity Of Cytorrak ability is another great team-mate damage booster with a downside that is offset by all those Healing Factors.
So Are They Any Good?
Weapon X are a high pressure, high mobility, and potentially high-damage affiliation, entirely in keeping with their flavour, and they certainly are good at it. Between their leadership, tactics, and roster, they have many tools to keep their squad in the fight and in opponents’ faces. Dossier in particular can cause opponents many headaches in positioning while the rest of your team is bearing down on them.
Everything we’ve seen on the table suggests this is a strong new affiliation who are perhaps better than people thought they looked on paper.
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