Thank you to AMG for sending us the new core set. I was at first apprehensive about this release, unsure of why it was necessary or how many more Spiders-Man models we needed (actually we do need Spiders-Man, AMG. Whenever you’re ready). After opening the box and looking at the new sculpts I am very happy with the decision to revamp the core set like this.
AMG showed off all of the models in 360-degree view, team tactics cards, and stat cards here: Earth’s Mightiest Core Set – atomicmassgames.
Contents of the Box
13 new character models:
- The Black Widow
- Invincible Iron Man
- Captain America, First Avenger
- Spectacular Spider-Man
- Winter Soldier, Operative
- Captain Marvel, Cosmic Avenger (Normal)
- Captain Marvel, Cosmic Avenger (Binary)
- Doc Ock, Sinister Scientist
- Red Skull, Master of the World
- Crossbones, Merciless Merc
- Baron Helmut Zemo
- Ultron, Metal Tyrant
- Ultron Drones
26 models of terrain:
- 2 bulldozers, 6 barrels, and 6 concrete dividers from the NYC Construction Site terrain set
- 2 cars, 2 traffic lights, 2 lamp posts, and 2 dumpsters from the NYC terrain pack
- A new Roxxon gas station and terrain featuring ultron bots instead of a destroyed sentinel
Redesigned status condition and game tokens.
It also contains the same old dice and measuring tools you need to play MCP, new stat cards for all the characters, 20 team tactics cards, and 3 new extraction mission cards and 3 new secure mission cards.
The sprues are organized very well. Every bit is clearly labeled with a letter and a number. Each letter specifically corresponds to a model, so the confusion about which bits you should be using is almost non-existent. The terrain sprue is just really simple and has a couple of Ultron Drones you have to consider when clipping bits.
To start off, it’s important to note that these new models and stat cards don’t invalidate the old models and stat cards from the original core set insofar that you are still allowed to play in events with those models and stat cards. However, these new stat cards will make you think twice about doing that considering how the game has evolved since that first set. Not only are the sculpts better, the stat cards are better as well. As I discuss the models and the build experience, I will discuss the rules as well. For anyone who cares, I timed myself to build each character.
Captain America, First Avenger took me 11 minutes. They did a really good job with all of these models hiding seams between pieces as clothing seams or divots in the model’s actual sculpt. Captain America felt great to build with really solid joins. He was hands down the best model to build out of the bunch. I had zero issues putting him together. His stat card is pretty nice. His builder is solid with additional upside to hit another character if you roll a wild and a hit. Brooklyn Brawler is a good attack that gives Cap an option for displacing the enemy as well as giving him a follow-up use of the attack if you roll a wild, a hit, and a defend. Cap gets a lot of opportunities to attack with his card and if you use the Avengers affiliation he has a leader ability that allows his allies to modify a dice if they roll a hit and spend one power. I prefer old Cap’s leader ability personally, but modifying dice is very valuable. On Cap’s damaged side he gains a new static ability in “I Can Do This All Day” (classic call back to the MCU) in which he adds Blanks as success in defense rolls. Cap ends up being pretty durable for a threat 4, 6 health model. His affiliations are Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Captain Marvel (normal and binary) took me, in total, 24 minutes to build both models. The characters on their own were good builds, no issues with seams at the joins, but the energy blasts she flies from have annoying sprue tags that leave you stabbing yourself to clean them. What will begin to be a running theme in these models is that where the energy blasts connect to the blasts on the ground, and where her feet connect to the energy blasts keyed rather shallowly for how much weight they have to support. I had to be decently gentle and patient with these joins as I moved on to other models. Carol Danvers has a lot of shit going on in her stat card. She is built to gain power fast and hard because once she hits 6 power she transforms from Normal to Binary form. Her normal form has 2 builders to facilitate this (binary form has no builders), and “Enhanced Energy Absorption” and “You Call That a Punch?” grant Carol more energy after resolving attacks and effects against her respectively. When she hits Binary form she rightly becomes a powerhouse. She can throw size 4 terrain, take extra actions, and gains immunity to Stagger and Stun. When her power is inevitably reduced to 3 or less, however, she returns to the normal form which helps to balance out the raw power she can bring in Binary form. Her affiliations are A-Force, Avengers, and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Baron Helmut Zemo took me 9 minutes. Much like Cap, Zemo was simple and easy to put together. No weird joins that you have to worry about putting together in a correct sequence. He’s just a guy. Guys that are dudes are so easy to put together. Give me more builds like this. His foot was a bit of a pain to lock into the rock he is leaping from. Just key these joins better or make the pegs and holes longer/deeper to secure the join. Zemo’s builder has good upside, letting him change the defenders result to a blank if you roll a wild or getting free movement for a crit and a wild in the roll. Zemo wants to strike his enemies and dance around the board to cut them down. His leadership (for the Hydra affiliation) ability allows you to get an additional Team Tactic Card from your unused pile and he refunds power to allied characters for using Team Tactics Cards. His affiliations are Cabal and Hydra.
Ultron, Metal Tyrant took me 10 minutes. 10 minutes seemed to be about the average time to get single models put together, given they didn’t have annoying joins. The exhaust coming out of Ultron’s feet required the most patience. It connects very nicely to the ground beneath him, but the connection to the feet was difficult to nail in. Granted, I glued the exhaust to the ground first instead of two his feet first, so I recommend not vibing on this one and just following the instructions. Ultron is big and strong, the second character in this set to be able to throw size 4 terrain, His builder can apply both poison and bleed, and he can generate his Ultron Drones when terrain gets destroyed by an ally. The last thing you want to do against Ultron is fight with your magic. His defenses are so strong and powerful with 5 defense dice against mystic attacks and to add on he counts wilds as 2 successes against mystic attacks. His only affiliation is Cabal.
Crossbones, Merciless Merc once again took me 10 minutes. He is another great guy being a dude. You definitely need to follow the instructions on this one. You’ll have a fun time putting his assault rifle over his shoulder if you put his arms together first. His rifle slings over his right shoulder and if you put his arms together first you won’t have enough clearance to get the sling into place. Your boy is out here with a beam range on his builder. Pretty nice for a guy who has two separate uses for his power. Crossbones is out here trying to run up to the enemy, tank pot shots (against physical attacks) and run away. He has a displacement on his superpower, but it’s only range 2 so the movement he gains from “Hit and Run” and “Aggressive” becomes extremely important for his short movement speed. His affiliations are Cabal, Criminal Syndicate, and Hydra.
Red Skull, Master of the World took me 10 minutes. The worst thing about this build was the cloak being split on the sprue so you have to be careful with that join so it’s smooth after the glue dries. I ended up sanding the joins down so there wouldn’t be a visible lip when I prime him.The briefcase he’s standing on also isn’t flat so the contact points with the base are pretty small. Just glue his right foot down then put some glue on the corners of the case so it actually locks in. This Red Skull is all about bending and warping reality. He modifies his dice, modifies ally dice and throws terrain and displaces characters. He also has a neat ability where he can use the superpowers or attacks from allies within range 3. He has leadership for the Cabal affiliation as well, which is surprising since Red Skull is famously the leader of Hydra, but maybe my Marvel lore isn’t up to snuff. His affiliations are Cabal and Hydra.
Doc Ock, Sinister Scientist took me 25 minutes. The connection points to the claws for his tentacles were dubious. They didn’t lock in nearly as much as I’d like and as I tried to let him dry he was falling over. Just be patient and careful with this one. The claw holding the beaker was the worst offender as it didn’t have a peg to glue into, just a slightly shallow keyed joint. I held that in place for about 3 minutes before I decided it was going to stay. Ock’s builder is great, rolling wilds count as 2 successes instead of 1 and he’s already rolling 5 dice on the attack. He leads the Spider-Foes affiliation and gives those allies additional power if they remain standing after an attack and if the character suffers damage from an enemy attack they can remove one of Shock, Slow, or Incinerate from itself. He also gains power for rolling crits as part of his “Scientific Hubris”. I like the look of him and as my Spider-Foes collection grows I get more interested in running them. His only affiliation is Spider-Foes.
Invincible Iron Man was another easy model and took 10 minutes. The difficult part for him was that his wrists are sliced open like hotdogs as separate bits from the rest of his arm. Unsurprisingly, I am unhappy with how his flight exhaust joins to the base and his feet. As far as the stat card goes iron Man gets a lot of displacement effects as part of his attacks. Despite being called “Focus Unibeam” his super is not a beam range. Iron man leads the S.H.I.E.L.D. affiliation and lets those allies re-roll 1 dice when attacking, defending, or dodging for the low price of one power. Pretty decent I guess. He also has another support ability in “J.A.R.V.I.S.” letting him pay 1-3 power to help an allied character within range 4 and re-roll that many attack dice. His defenses are pretty average, but he also has damage reduction for 1 power. His affiliations are Avengers, and S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Black Widow is the only dude-type model that took me 15 minutes. Fucked up connections to make her pose kicking off an Ultron bot. Cool gall. Love the energy. Why would you make me fuck with these shin connections for this pose? Actively deranged sprue design on this one. She loves to stun and shock enemies. Not sure what else you expected here. HEr super also lets her follow-up with her builder re-rolling results including skull results, and for 2 power she can re-roll her defense dice against physical or mental attacks including skull results. Being able to re-roll skulls, even sparingly, is extremely valuable. She’s going to be your stealth attacker picking up objectives and sprinting out of the fray with her long movement speed. Her affiliations are A-Force, Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Winter Guard.
Spectacular Spider-Man took me 10 minutes despite the seemingly complicated sprue. None of the connections are actually that egregious. Despite how thin the pieces are he actually fits everything together pretty solidly. Just be careful not to break the pieces when you’re tidying sprue tags. The symbiote on his base is a nice touch, given we already have Venom and Carnage as characters I’m tempted to paint it as Phage or another lesser known symbiote. Interestingly he’s now the only Peter Parker with a medium movement speed rather than long. Much like other web heads Spectacular Spider-Man has wall crawler and a litany of movement options. He’s definitely a solid addition to the roster and is another spider to give you opponent a headache. His affiliations are S.H.I.E.L.D., and Web Warriors.
Bucky took 8 minutes. He was the fastest and kindest model to build. He’s just a guy. Much like Zemo, guys that are dudes are so easy to put together. Not much else to say here except that this model blows the first Winter Soldier model out of the water. As far as his stats card goes he has Hit and Run to do as the ability describes, he can blow up a size 3 or less terrain feature to deal damage to an enemy within range 2 of the feature, and he has stealth. Definitely an interesting character to harass with. His affiliations are Avengers, Cabal, Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Winter Guard.
The Ultron Drones took 30 minutes. Mostly due to building them being like building 5 models in one, but also because the 2 guys flying are joined at one guy’s wrist being sculpted onto the other’s thigh and that guy’s thigh has to key into a join on the standing guy’s hand. Big tip when you build these: put the flying guys together first and put them on the base before you build and glue the middle standing guy. That guy gets in the way of easily putting the flying guys onto the base. The stat card is nothing to write home about. You get them for free when Ultron’s ally blows something up, so they have that going for them. An extra body on the board is use enough.
I did not time the individual terrain pieces. That would be maddening. It did take me a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes to build all of the terrain. Mold lines were pretty present on all of the terrain but you can just take a sanding file to them pretty easily and it cleans up nice. The Assembly guide for this core set only has instructions for building the new terrain: the Roxxon gas station and destroyed car. The NYC and NYC Construction site terrain kit assembly guides are not on AMG’s website anymore. Thankfully the small pieces and cars are easy to intuit how they go together. The bulldozers, on the other hand, would have been nice to have instructions for. There were a lot of pieces that clam shell around other pieces and I did not realize this at first glance. I have attached images of these treacherous pitfalls that caused me to carefully rip the pieces apart and reassemble them properly. Follow these images as instructions to put the arms of the bulldozer together and you shouldn’t have any issues. You will simply repeat the steps with the parts mirrored on either side of the bulldozer.
Please do not repeat my mistakes. Use my knowledge I beg of you.
Overall, I am really happy with this set. The models are beautiful, despite awkward and weak connection points on some of the bits; it comes with a decent amount of terrain, so your game board doesn’t feel so empty when you first start playing; and the stat cards feel like worthwhile upgrades to re-make all of these characters. If you haven’t played Marvel: Crisis Protocol yet this is a great place to start. If you have played, pick it up anyway, these models rule.