Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 08/05/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month Three: With a Vengeance!!

Local Tournament Report

Age of Ultron Month Three was played earlier this month at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan, and we’ve got the results!

This was the first month to use the Wave 2 boosters, so the set felt fresh and new again. I have to say, as hard as it makes collecting the entire set, releasing two waves of boosters for an OP event is definitely a good way to keep things fresh and exciting. It was fun last year with WoL, and it’s fun again this year with the (much) smaller Age of Ultron set.

What are the Wave 2 (Non-Chase) highlights? Let’s take a look (with the help of random cosplay images from around the net–hey, if Marvel can do a whole cosplay variant month, why can’t we?)!

Mockingbird cosplay

AOU010 Mockingbird52 PointsCommon: And here is your Modern Age Mockingbird! You may now dust off your Avengers Assemble Mockingbird Avengers ID Card that you’ve kept in that old sock drawer since May. As long as you can keep her next to a higher point friendly, she’s well worth her 52-Point investment. Alternatively, if you choose to use that ol’ ID Card, she’ll bring Empower, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and +1 to Defense for adjacent characters with her Inspire ability, along with her native 10 Attack and 3 Damage.

Captain America Cosplay

AOU020 Captain America65 PointsUncommon: A Cap that basically starts with Carry, Hypersonic Speed AND costs less than Rick Jones?!?! Sign me up! Down dial, he turns into a sniper, then gets real support-y. Unlike other figures that do that, though, Cap is only 65 Points, so he’s probably already filling that supporting character slot anyway!

(Not gonna lie, there's not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

(Not gonna lie, there’s not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

AOU024 Ant-Man65 Points Uncommon: Apparently 65 Points is the new 50 Points, in that if a character from this set comes in at 65 Points he’s probably an auto-play in Sealed and even worth a look in Constructed. Scott Lang comes packing Outwit, Super Senses, an 18 Defense (19 against ranged attacks with his “Tiny” size) and Stealth. Also, he’s easy to move around via his AWESOME Trait (RIDING ON HAWKEYE’S ARROW: When an adjacent friendly character that shares a keyword with Ant-Man makes a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, you may place Ant-Man adjacent to the target.).  Literally, you can have Hawkeye (or any Avenger, really) shoot at a character, place Ant-Man right next to that character, Outwit that character’s defensive power and then attack them for 2 more damage. All at the cost of just 2 actions.

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here's his traditional visage.)

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here’s his traditional visage.)

AOU032 Wonder Man120 PointsRare: I always loved these characters with two dials who get better AFTER they would normally be KO’d (Spider-Man 2099 and Sodam Yat are other examples). The crazy thing is, Wonder Man might be the cheapest one they’ve ever made! He’s actually 5 Points CHEAPER than Sodam Yat’s NON-Ion dial!

Once he gets past his first dial, he hits a Stop Click and gains Charge, 11 Attack, Invincible, Poison and–oh yeah–when attacking, ALL OF HIS DAMAGE IS PENETRATING!!

But here’s the other big difference–unlike some of those other figs, your opponent really can’t afford to ignore Wonder Man at the beginning of the game–not when he can Charge for up to 7 Damage! A great piece for his points.

And, of course, the Chases are sick… but we’ll deal with them in a future article.

Alright, let’s get to the Month 3 results!

There were a TON of Thors being played (more on that in a bit), the Six-Armed Chase was pulled like three times (including twice by the same player!), and Captain America was fielded quite a bit as well (in fact, I used both Thor AND Cap!).

IMG_2829

In the end, Tim guided his Iron Fist/Luke Cage/Captain America trio to victory over Matt’s Thor (100-Point dial)/ War Machine squad.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: For whatever reason, anyone who played Thor ended up losing hard at one point because their dice quit on them, myself included. For everyone who thinks the AoU Thor is great for his points, just remember, WizKids has apparently included an ancient dice curse attached to the base of every AoU Thor. You’ve been warned.)

Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. Once again, we’ve broken the standings down into tiers.

But first, a scoring system refresher:

For the first three events, you score:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

(Through Month 3)

In the Pilot’s Seat:

(We have a tie! But with his 900 Victory Points accumulated, Tim actually has the lead with tiebreakers… )

Tim: 21 Points (1670)

Darren: 21 Points!!! (1487 Victory Points Accumulated)

 

Sitting in 1st Class:

Andrew: 18 Points (1795)

Carl: 16 Points (1060)

Nicholas: 16 Points (1692)

 

Comfortably Seated in Business Class:

Tyler: 15 Points (950)

Roberto: 15 Points (840)

Matt: 12 Points (1462)

 

Now Boarding… :

Shant: 11 Points (1060)

George: 9 Points (695)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

 

Okay! So that’s where things stand after three months! Tim and Darren tied for the lead, with Andrew close behind and Carl and Nicholas within shouting distance! It will all be settled on September 16th at Comics & More in Madison Heights!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

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Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 07/08/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month Two: The Quickening!!

Local Tournament Report

Age of Ultron Month Two went down at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan on July 8th, and we’ve got the results!

Just as everyone was competing for Grandmaster in Month One, in addition to playing for Quest for the Quinjet Points, players were also going for the monthly prize:

Graviton!

We again had 10 competitors (including myself, although, as the Judge, I was, as always, not allowed to accumulate points).

The Build:

For the most part, we followed the WizKids Instruction Sheet and played 300 Point Builds while allowing players to use the Round Table Resource and any Avengers ID card the had accumulated the previous month (by paying its Point cost) or the Hank Pym ID Card if they had bought the Classic Avengers Fast Forces pack. Having said that, players could only play figures that they pulled this month. This basically means that you could play any Avengers ID card you pulled in either month on the Round Table Resource, but to Call-In a figure, you had to actually pull an eligible figure.

(For example, I played a Round Table with four cards: Iron Man, Hank Pym, Jocasta and Protector. If I rolled any of those slots, I could use that card’s Inspiration power for a turn. However, the only corresponding figure I pulled this month was Iron Man, so he was the only piece I could actually call in with the Resource.)

We also decided to allow the use of the Pym Particles Light Object from the Avengers Assemble LE kit (again, by paying its Point cost), as we deemed it as a group to be thematically appropriate.

Some Observations About Age of Ultron, Month 2:

–I played a team that revolved around She-Hulk and Yellowjacket. Having actually got to play She-Hulk this time, I saw nothing to dampen my enthusiasm from Month One. She’s fun to play, and she came through for me in 2 out of the 3 games I played (a little more on that later). I think her Rookie dial has a lot to offer in Constructed, so I’m glad I pulled her.

–Phalanx Ultron went 1-2. I was surprised, but the consensus seemed to be that it’s too easy for certain Builds to out-action him, even in a Sealed Event. I don’t know if I completely agree, but it’s hard to argue when the results were so one-sided this month…

–This whole set seems to be a bit schizophrenic. All of the pieces are either ONLY viable in Sealed or kinda suck in Sealed but good be game-changers in Constructed. We’ll see if Wave 2 brings a bit more balance…

–It’s still tough to make an all-Drone army. Again, the mechanic just isn’t as much fun as it seems like it should be to play…

The only known photo of Carl, the Month Two winner...

Artist’s rendering of Month Two winner “Carl,” based on descriptions provided by other Comics & More competitors…

The Winner:

This month ALSO came down to a pitched battle of unbeatens (mathematically, that wasn’t a huge surprise), and this time, Carl and his Hank Pym/Yellowjacket/Black Knight trio beat Tim’s double Iron Man plus Protector delight! I actually played against Carl’s Build and lost. I went all in with She-Hulk and it didn’t work out too well for me–Hank Pym was able to keep her Movement Power Outwitted after that first miss, which made things a lot tougher, although calling in Iron Man almost completely flipped the script.

I really love Tim’s Build; I think it was smart to double up on ol’ Shellhead, but he just ran up against a team that had a decent counter to that strategy with Carl’s Build. If Carl was able to get Black Knight going, those Iron Men weren’t going to last long…

Actual footage from the final match.

Actual footage from the final match.

Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. After two months, we’ve now got enough data to break the standings down into tiers.

But first, a scoring system refresher:

For the first three events, you score:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

I still don’t have any information yet on what–if anything–will change in terms of scoring for the fourth month. Nevertheless, here are the…

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

(Through Month 2)

In the Pilot’s Seat:

Darren: 15 Points!!! (1122 Victory Points Accumulated)

In the Co-Pilot’s Seat:

Andrew: 12 Points (1105)

Sitting in 1st Class:

Roberto: 11 Points (810)

Tim: 11 Points (770)

Carl: 11 Points (605)

Comfortably Seated in Business Class:

Nicholas: 10 Points (870)

Tyler: 10 Points (655)

George: 9 Points (695)

Now Boarding… :

Matt: 6 Points (740)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

Shant: 5 Points (295)

Okay! So that’s where things stand after two months!

The fact that Carl attended Month One, immediately dropped and THEN went on to win Month Two means that things are actually WIDE OPEN at the moment. Darren is still King of the Mountain thanks to his spectacular showing in Month One, but Andrew, Roberto and Tim’s consistent play over the first two months has them right in the thick of things.

Even Matt, who was great in Month One but wasn’t able to attend Month Two, still has a shot–but he’s probably gonna have to win Months Three AND Four! It’s even trickier for Brian and Shant, but again, if someone pulls off two event victories in a row, anything is possible.

And if you expect to find yourself somewhere near southeastern Michigan next month and want to join in on the action (even if you didn’t play in the first two contests), Month Three is currently scheduled to go down at 6:15pm on August 5th, right back at Comics & More in Madison Heights!!

And for Month Three, in addition to the Quest for the Quinjet points, competitors will also be playing for this guy:

High Evolutionary

Also, all participants will receive Captain America’s Avengers ID Card!! Hope to see you there! And keep an eye on this space to read about the results next month!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 06/10/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month One: Electric Bugaloo!!

Local Tournament Report

Did you here that? Age of Ultron hit southeastern Michigan hard last Wednesday (June 10th), and we’ve got the full report!

Wave One of the new Marvel Heroclix Storyline Organized Play set has released, and I was privileged to run Month One at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan. In all, we had 10* competitors hit the tables to compete for the Month One Grandmaster LE!

Grandmaster LE

(*One competitor bought in, but had to bow out before dice started rolling. I took his place to make our numbers even, but as the Judge, I’m obviously not allowed to accumulate points.)

The Build:

For the most part, we followed the WizKids Instruction Sheet and played 300 Point Builds while allowing players to use the Hank Pym Avengers ID card as well (by paying its Point cost) if they had bought the Classic Avengers Fast Forces pack. We also decided to allow the use of the Pym Particles Light Object from the Avengers Assemble LE kit (again, by paying its Point cost), as we deemed it as a group to be thematically appropriate.

Some Observations About Age of Ultron, Month 1:

–In our Age of Ultron SLOP Preview, I mentioned that my biggest personal wants from this first Wave were Black Panther (Super Rare), Jocasta (Rare with the “Entity Possession” Trait) and the Protector ID card. Well, someone upstairs loves me, because in my two packs, I pulled… Black Panther, Jocasta and the Protector ID card. I can’t make this stuff up.

–The “Thebes, Egypt” side of the Wave One Map (remember, there is no Month Two Map, so all Month Two games will still be played on Month One Maps) seemed almost tailored to the powers of Black Panther. There were multiple tracts of Blocking Terrain to activate his Trait (CLOAKING TECH: Black Panther can use Stealth and Toughness. When it isn’t your turn, lines of fire to him are blocked if he is adjacent to blocking terrain.) and Special Attack Power (SPRING FROM THE SHADOWS: Black Panther can use Charge. When Black Panther occupies hindering terrain or is adjacent to blocking terrain, he can use Sidestep.).

Black Panther already has an awesome Dial and Power Set; the possibility of playing on the “Thebes, Egypt” Map really elevates Black Panther into a must-play if you pull him.

–For that matter, watching the players at my venue, in terms of Wave One Primary Attackers, my personal Top Five would now look like this:

She-Hulk AOU

5. AOU023 She-Hulk (Uncommon): While I was more concerned in our Preview about how she’d interact with AVAS044 Arcade in Constructed formats, I have to say that her full dial Damage Output Potential is frightening. Her top dial Attack Value is middling (it’s a 10), but there are enough supporting pieces with Perplex or Prob in this set to boost that. If you can grab a heavy object on your way, there’s not many figures in this set that She-Hulk can’t one-shot with that opening Charge/Flurry click.

In fact, I personally went 2-1, and the one game I lost was to a She-Hulk team that wrecked my Black Panther with a Heavy item hit. If I saw She-Hulk in my Uncommon slot and didn’t pull any of the next 4 pieces, I would revolve my team around Jennifer Walters.

Hercules AOU

4. AOU033 Hercules (Rare): Like She-Hulk on steroids. He can Charge and Flurry THROUGH Blocking Terrain, which almost makes him a silver bullet for Black Panther, except for his one glaring weakness: Outwit can just RUIN him, and there’s a significant amount of it in the set–including on Black Panther’s first click.

Black Panther AOU

3. AOU045 Black Panther (Super Rare): I talked at length about him already; he gives you both trickeration, solid (if not spectacular) stats and an excellent amount of avoidance (through his improved Stealth Trait and down dial Super Senses).

Quasar AOU

2. AOU047 Quasar (Super Rare): This set has so little range it’s almost ridiculous. That’s why you can revolve your team around a close combatant and do quite well in a Wave One event. But Quasar is the Outlier.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: As much as I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s books, I still have no idea if I used “outlier” correctly. It’s a fun word though, and I feel like it makes me seem smarter–even if this admission confirms my stupidity.]

He gives you everything you could ask for in a Primary Attacker for a Constructed Build–in a limited environment like this, he and his 9 Range is virtually unstoppable.

Ultron Phalanx

1. AOU055A Ultron (Phalanx) (Chase):

We had competitors pull both Chases; the player who pulled Ultron from his time as leader of the Phalanx decided playing his 300 Point dial would be a little too cheesy and elected instead to play his Drone dial (he went 1-2, so he still found some success). I can’t say I would have been as charitable if I had pulled him!

Phalanx Ultron just would not work as a one-man army in Constructed. It would just be to easy to out-action him and chew through his dial, even with the back-to-back Stop Clicks.

But in Sealed? Yikes. He’s a monster with an extreme amount of survivability, and his 19 Impervious that shows up with his Stop Clicks would be EXTREMELY tough for most teams to even hit. Maybe you can play keep away with someone like Quasar, but man, it will not be easy…

— Ultron-7 (the other Chase) and Goliath (Super Rare) would probably be the sixth and seventh figures on this list in terms of best pieces to build around. So counting them, of the seven best Primary Attackers in the entire Wave, 1 is an Uncommon, 1 is a Rare, 3 are Super Rares and 2 are Chases. All of which is to say, it’s entirely possible that you won’t get one of the “Power 7” figures in your two boosters, which will make for some pretty tough sledding.

If you pull a Jocasta, you might be able to turn Victor Mancha or Tess-One or Iron Man into a Primary Attacker, but you really need to back them up with some heavy support if that’s the way you’re going. Hmmm… maybe, like, Protector and Wasp, or something. I mean, y’know, just spitballing there…

–The whole Main Dial/Drone Dial thing with the Ultron pieces (including the Chases) seems like an interesting idea that never reached it’s full potential in the design stage.

Now, we still have a bunch of Ultron dials to come (including two more Chases, I’m assuming, even though I’d prefer an alternate timeline Morgan Le Fay!), so that may make the Drones more viable in Constructed. But in Sealed, it’s still tough to do much with them unless your lucky enough to pull two.

Now, if you pull a Vision or Jocasta alongside them, it may suddenly be worth it to play some Drone dials…

The Winner:

FullSizeRender (1)

After a pitched battle of unbeatens, Darren piloted his Jocasta on Victor Mancha/Protector/Wasp Build to victory against Matt’s She-Hulk/Black Knight/Ant-Man squad to take not just the Grandmaster First Prize, but also the points lead in the Quest for the Quinjet!!

After some deliberation, it has been determined that we will follow WizKids suggested scoring scheme to determine our Quinjet winner at the end of the Storyline. That means that for the first three events, the scoring system looks like this:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

I don’t have information yet on what–if anything–will change in terms of scoring for the fourth month. Nevertheless, here are the…

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

Darren: 10 Points!!! (882 Victory Points Accumulated)

Matt: 6 Points (740)

Andrew: 6 Points (590)

Tyler: 6 Points (575)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

Roberto: 5 Points (495)

Nicholas: 5 Points (440)

Tim: 5 Points (245)

George: 4 Points (175)

Carl: 1 Point (0)

Okay! So that’s where things stand after Month One! And if you expect to find yourself somewhere near southeastern Michigan next month and want to join in on the action (even if you didn’t play Month One, if you join us for Month Two and win, you’ll be right in the thick of things!!), Month Two is currently scheduled to go down at 6:15pm on July 8th, right back at Comics & More in Madison Heights!!

And for Month Two, in addition to the Quest for the Quinjet points, competitors will also be playing for this guy:

 

Graviton!

 

Hope to see you there! And keep an eye on this space to read about the results next month!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!