Playoffs Review, Round 1
LOSH (1) vs JLI (8)
If anyone had doubts about the LoSH’s legitimacy as a playoff contender, this game put them to rest. MSU faced a returning playoff contender that had invested an upgrade into Saboteur, nullifying the stealth/antistealth combo he had used to such good effect this season. The Legionnaires gained first strike in Turn 3, hitting Blue Beetle for 1, and, more importantly, knocking Flash way past his Outwit for 4, thanks to Wildfire. Unfortunately for them, Cosmic Boy strained himself trying to TK an object at Blue Beetle. Captain Atom pinged Wildfire for 2 damage, who retaliated by KOing Flash. Supergirl then charged Atom for 4 damage. Katana managed to hit Supergirl for 2, which wasn’t enough to prevent Kara from finishing off Captain Atom in Turn 8. The JLI were left with Ralph Dibney and some wounded cohorts against the whole of the LoSH. Although Chameleon was KOed and Wildfire crit missed, the outcome was never in doubt. Legion continues their undefeated streak.
Injuries: Cosmic Boy, Wildfire
Young Justice (4) vs Teen Titans (5)
Tenketsu switched things up for the playoffs, benching his swarm in favor of Mary Marvel and a feated-out Superboy. Only in the fantasy league would saddling E Superboy with enough feats to weigh him in at 166 points be a good idea. Knowing that the Titans would likely start KC Flash, Tenk gambled that Vance would avoid hurting Connor, limiting his options enough for Young Justice to beat down their teenaged rivals. Things started out with Flash, unsurprisingly, gaining first strike, choosing to hit the DEO Agent off her perplex. While Superboy based Kyle Rayner, Flash finished off the poor generic, while Hawk bashed Mary Marvel for 3 and finished her off one turn later. In Young Justice’s half of Turn 5, Connor managed to roll a 9 to hit Kyle’s defense, hitting him for 5! To make matters worse for the Titans, Flash crit missed while attacking Snapper Carr. Red Tornado and Carr worked to bring Hawk down to his last click of life, but GL made his breakaway roll, and Hawk and Flash combined to KO the Tornado. When Connor moved to follow GL, Kyle made another breakaway roll, while Flash got his revenge on the pesky pog in Turn 9. The game was down to Flash and two badly wounded figs in GL and Hawk for the Titans, while YJ had a fully health Kon-El trying to chase down a flyer with willpower. Had this been a game with no time limit, Young Justice had a strong chance, but in this situation, Vance took Stepping Out to a whole new level, holding on to advance to the next round.
SoM (2) vs JSA (7)
Stepper continues to surprise with his lineup choices, eschewing the obvious fire to fight fire Shazam fig in favor of Atom Smasher. Yes. Atom Smasher. But actually, this was a shrewd move, as the giant was equipped with Movethrough and Shakeoff in the hopes of basing Alan Scott and then making a breakaway roll to deal automatic damage. The only problem was, well, giants are a pain to use properly, especially when they’ve got one click of 10 movement and no easy way to get themselves into base contact. Still, Shakeoff managed to knock Raven off of her PC click, which was about the best news the JSA received in this game. Unless one counts the KOing of Detective Chimp. The JSA’s attack rolls were: 4, 5, 5, 3, and finally a 6 to hit in Turn 8. Sentinels of Magic over the defending champs.
Outsiders (3) vs Batman Enemies (6)
The meta-game in this one was more eventful than the actual game, as the first move wasn’t posted until 5 days after lineups were posted, and then the game suffered another delay shortly thereafter due to the need for a map clarification. . The Batman Enemies, perhaps a bit antsy after the wait, charged up the field. In Turn 5, Azrael attempted to show Nightwing who the true heir to the cowl was, and rolled a 4. Which pretty much settled that, to the delight of Nightwing fans. And then the slaughter commenced. G’nort TKed the Doombot away from Joker, leaving him without MM fodder, and Black Adam and Starfire took full advantage and left just enough of him to put into a jar in Arkham. The next turn saw Black Adam push to crit hit on Prometheus, one-shotting the poor villain as he fell from elevated terrain, while Starfire pushed to one-shot the Doombot. Turn 9 saw Kori one-shot Shiva, whose dying words were, “I’ll be back! If Seth ever remakes my dial…” As punctuation, Black Adam decided to crit hit Azrael in Turn 11, and that made game. Outsiders advance to Round 2.
Injuries: Prometheus, Azrael
Minions of Doom (1) vs. Thunderbolts (8)
The top Marvel seed got a nasty surprise to open this game when the BFC turned out to be White Noise. With the retirement of the con artist, one has to wonder whether Seth will re-issue this BFC, but it turned out to be a game-changer here. After barriering in Turn 2, the T-bolts went for blood in Turn 3, as Songbird took advantage of a successful outwit to knock Radioactive Man past his top clicks. Doom responded by double-targeting MACH-IV and pog Dallas Riordan…and rolled a 4, which was enough to net him 6 victory points, but not touch the primary target. Songbird was more effective, pushing to finish off Radioactive Man (Mendoza!!!), while Blizzard barriered again to limit Doom’s ability to retaliate. Turn 5 saw the T-bolts continue the beating, as MACH-IV, Techno, and Blizzard combined to KO Taskmaster, while Karnak hit Captain Mako for 3 clicks. Peotor and the Intergang Medic wounded Karnak and Swordsman in their half of the turn, only to see Songbird and Techno take out Peotor. In the meantime, Doom found himself based by Blizzard, leaving him open to MACH-IV’s attack. Knocked past his mastermind, with little support left from his teammates, Doom fell to MACH-IV in Turn 10, with Mako falling later that same turn. Although the Thunderbolts won this one decisively on points, they were down to 9 clicks of life between the whole team, with a large part of that due to Mako’s Arachnos ability. Had Wakandaman been able to roll a 6 earlier in the game, this one could have gone the other way.
Injuries: Captain Mako
SHIELD (4) vs Iron Man Rogues (5)
A couple of thoughts come to mind, seeing this matchup: 1) declaring “no contest” significantly altered the playoff landscape, as these teams could easily have been the 1 and 2 seeds and 2) the Marvel Division looks very, very strong. Binary started things off for SHIELD, drawing first blood with 3 damage on Firebrand in Turn 2. Jpuffy’s formidable looking squad showed some cracks in their armor, as they had to take their time to gain position against a much more mobile team. Hawkeye continued to chip away at Madame Masque’s army of mastermind fodder, dealing 4 to Killer Shrike. However, the Rogues responded in Turn 4 by neutering Mandroid Armor and damaging Black Knight off his Charge click. LeeMac’s whittling continued to bear fruit with Wolverine and Binary finishing off Spymaster (with a crit hit) in the bottom of the turn,. To add insult to injury, Hawkeye blasted Crimson Dynamo for 4. Titanium Man entered the fray, wiping the SHIELD medic from the map, but LeeMac aggressively pressed the attack, pushing Wolverine to KO Firebrand, leaving Masque without fodder. Binary pushed to deal 3 damage to her, effectively taking her out of the game. A turn consisting of 3 misses sealed the Iron Man Rogues’ fate in Turn 6, ending a promising run for the rookie squad.
Ultimates (2) vs. West Coast Avengers (7)
The Ultimates’ return to the playoffs featured a Thor-less lineup that nevertheless managed to gain the first strike against their 616 opponents with 4 damage to Aleta, courtesy of the LE Tony Stark. Ultimate Scarlet Witch finished her off in Turn 4, while Tony pushed to KO the always dangerous Mockingbird. The WCA’s Vision burned Ultimate Cap’s Protected card, setting up Hawkeye’s Armor Piercing damage to Cap and Tony. Fury responded by crit hitting and KOing 616 Wanda. In Turn 6, Tony burned Clint’s Protected, while Cap managed to damage Vision. Wonderman attempted to return fire, only to crit miss. Attempting to rid the Ultimates of Probability Control, Hawkeye fired on their version of Scarlet Witch, only to see her turn a hit into another crit miss! The dice continued their love affair with the Ultimates in Turn 8, as they scored hits on the remaining WCA: Vision, Wonderman, and Hawkeye. Based by Wasp, vicious x was forced to KO her while the rest of the Ultimates closed in to finish them off two turns later.
Injuries: Scarlet Witch (WCA), Wonderman, Hawkeye
60s Avengers (3) vs Freedom Phalanx (6)
Our final Marvel game featured yet another version of the Avengers as well as…City of Heroes’ version of the Avengers. Plus Invincible. After surviving a miss by Positron, the Avengers slingshotted (slungshot?) Echo out against him for 3 damage, due to Power Dampening Field being in play. Phalanx responded with a TK bomb on Thor, courtesy of Invincible. Echo continued to wear down Positron, while Swordsman clipped Invincible off his HSS click. Each side exchanged misses, with the Avengers missing 4 times in Turn 5, including a crit miss by Moon Knight. Echo followed suit by injuring herself a turn later. Fortunately for the Avengers, the Freedom Phalanx seemed intent on not hurting anybody, either, which meant that Echo finally managed to KO Positron, while Statesman and Invincibility were whittled down by Thor, Doc Spectrum, and Swordsman. The remainder of the game devolved into a slow but certain victory by the Avengers against a team that all but surrendered, as the Phalanx passed or pushed itself to death.
Injuries: Moon Knight, Echo