The Marvel Cinematic Universe has done quite a lot over the years, giving us some truly amazing movies and characters, and putting superhero firmly into the collective consciousness of an eager public.With its vast pantheon of characters, the MCU has some truly larger than life characters, who seem to leap right out of the comic book pages and onto the screen.
If the MCU is guilty of anything however, it is its villains who often let down movies, being little more than two dimensional pantomime characters, without the twirling mustaches. Though on occasion they not only get it right but absolutely nail it!
For every Maleketh or Killian Eldrich, there is an Erik Killmonger waiting in the wings, ready to knock audiences out of their seats.
Joining Killmonger as a tour de force big bad we have had a few really amazing characters that totally owned every single scene they appeared in, often outshining the main protagonist themselves.
Chief among these is the character of Loki, the adopted brother of Thor and the Asgardian god of mischief, played with great relish by Tom Hiddleston! This is perhaps one of the closest portrayals of a character from Marvel comics as one can get. He is evil, yet has a purpose to his actions, cowardly yet braver than most heroes, self-serving and yet self-sacrificing.
Female antagonists in superhero fiction are pretty commonplace and can often be a real thorn in the side of the heroes, and much like the onscreen appearance of Loki, Australian actress Cate Blanchet totally nailed her part as Hela the Goddess of Death.
However, some liberties had been taken from the comics and mythos of the character. In Norse mythology, she is simply known as Hel and is the Goddess of Death and the ruler of the underworld Niflheim. While the comic books kept some of this background, they changed the fact for the movies and that she is actually the daughter of Loki and a giantess!
Hela is a total power force in the comics and being the ruler of Niflheim has a vast army of dead warriors at her command!
As with my other reviews, I will take a look at the models and cards in my unboxing at the link below and give a brief recap on the characters, as well as break down their cards and offer my own thoughts on how best to use them in your games of Marvel Crisis Protocol! So let us kick off with a look at Loki God of Mischief!
Loki made his debut in Journey into Mystery #85 (October 1962), and has been a very popular character for coming close to sixty years now! The God of Mischief is often the cause of his adopted brother Thor no end of problems. The son of Frost Giant Laufey, Loki was raised alongside Thor by Odin the All-Father of the Gods of Asgard and his wife Frigga (who had a biological son Balder with Odin). Though he was treated fairly he often felt put on by everyone around him and an outsider and thus began his long hatred of the people of Asgard and he soon began the first of many attempts to either bring them under his control or destroy them completely.
Loki has also fought side by side with his fellow Asgardians on many occasions and has even come to the aid of Earth’s mightiest heroes when it suited his own needs!
He is a very skilled magic user and comes pretty close to being one of the most powerful magic users in the Marvel Comics Universe, often pitting his powers against Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, and more!
Hela, as noted above, is the daughter of Loki and ruler of the Niflheim and commands the souls of the dead Asgardians. She made her debut in Journey into Mystery #102 and was adapted by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby from old Norse tales. In the comics, she has plotted to bring about Ragnorok the Asgardian/Norse end of cycle/doomsday prophecy, met and fought for the souls of the X-Men (namely Wolverine) fought against The Avengers, The Hulk and dozens more Marvel characters down the years.
She is able to command a vast army of dead warriors from her dead domain of Nefilheim and use them to overwhelm any force against her. She is a deadly combatant who like most Asgardians is skilled with most weapons and forms of combat, has mystical powers and is superhumanly strong, even for an Asgardian!
The two characters that we get in this expansion are highly detailed and fairly easy to assemble, with only a few small parts (and I do mean small!) that could cause any real issues.
Loki is very simple and is posed in a very dramatic stance, with his scepter outstretched and his hand aiding in his balance. This is a great stance to tsculpt the miniature in and he has small segments of ice that go on his feet that help steady him on his base, these add the touch of his Frost Giant ancestry to the story of the miniature, though could quite easily be left off if needed.
The facial detail here is among the very best in the entire range of Marvel Crisis Protocol and looks very much like Loki from the comic books, chiseled looks of youth, yet with a certain sadness that the character often seems to have about him.
Hela is again another quite straight-forward model to build and the only real issue comes when assembling her head dress and the wisps of smoke that attach her to her base. The head is made up from three pieces and though they are not as small as the peices on some of the models in the range, they are still quite fragile and great care needs to be taken when cutting them from the plastic sprue. As I said in my video, I do find this miniature to be the weakest to date of all the scuplts, despite the great detailling, this is most likely down to the wisps of smoke that are on her base which do nothing really other than add a strange pose to the characters over all stance.
Other than that the over all animation on both miniatures is very fluid with great lines of movement on both models.
As with all of the miniatures in the Marvel Crisis Protocol range of miniatures, Atomic Mass Games have given a quite detailed assembly guide that instructs you on how best to assemble each miniature. This also features details of the company on the flip side and also comes with details on how to use the Infinity Gems so please keep this safe as it will be important during play.
Using Infinity Gems is pretty simple, with each Gem being treated as a character in your roster, so if you already have ten characters in your roster and wish to take a Gem you will have to lose someone! Only characters that have the bold keyword Gem Bearer on their character card may take an Infinity Gem which does the following.
- Increases the amount of power generated each turn by the character by one.
- A character may only have one Infinity Gem at a time, even if it has several listed on it card. The exception to this rule will be a character equiped with the Infinity Gauntlet!
- Each Infinity Gem grants a unique superpower found on its card!
The Mind Gem
Loki comes with the Infinity Mind Gem card, though his character can also be equiped with the Space Gem card (but not both)
The Mind Gem allows Loki or the Gem Bearer to use its superpower once per turn. This is an Active superpower that as a power cost of 2 to use and allows the Gem Bearer to target an enemy character within range 3 and advance it Short.
The Infinity Mind Gem increases the Threat value of the character by 1.
Team Tactics Cards
The Loki and Hela Expansion comes with two brand new Team Tactics cards for use in your games.
Doomed Prophecy: This is an unaffiliated card and is an reactive card. Doomed Prophecy allows a character to spend three power to play the card. The character then cannot roll any defense dice against Physical based attacks, but adds dice equal to its own Physical defense to any Physical attacks it makes untill the begining of its next activation. With most Asgardian characters having a very high Physical defense this can make for some pretty powerful attacks, just watch out for those sneaky attacks against this character once you have played this card as you won’t be able to defend against incoming Physical attacks at all!
Sibling Rivalry: This is an Unaffiliated and reactive card: Sibling Rivalry allows Thor to pick up an allied Loki within Range 2 and throw him Medium. This causes no damage to the Loki character but the target will take damage as per a collision and rolls two fewer dice to Dodge and suffers the Staggered special condition! Basically put this card recreates the Get Help scene from the movie Thor Ragnorok where Thor picks up and throws Loki into some oncoming guards, a great nod to the MCU and not the only one found in the game!
Loki Character Card
As with all of the other characters in the core set, this expansion comes with character cards for the models provided. Loki always has a trick or two up his sleeves, he is the God of Mischief after all!
Stamina. Loki begins the game with stamina of 5, and once he has taken enough damage to flip he has a further 5 stamina!
Movement. Loki has average speed for his size and hismovement is Medium
Size. Loki is a human-size coming in at 2.
Threat. Loki has a threat level of 4 which makes him a good choice as a supporting character in your roster due to his ranged attacks!
Defense. Loki is average at most defense and has a Physical, Energy defense of 3 and Mystic defense of 4.
Abilities and Powers
Strike: This is an physical attack that has a range of 2, damage of 5 and power cost of 0. If the attack is successful then the character gains power equal to that dealt out!
Frost Blast: An energy attack that is a Beam 3 attack and deals 4 damage at a cost of 0 power. If this attack is successful then the target character gains the Slow special condition.
illusions: A mystical attack that has a range of 4 and deals 6 damage at a cost of 3 power. On a double wild this attack causes Mesmerise which advances the target its speed and all other characters within range 2 of the target suffer 1 damage.
I Am A God!: (Reactive): This power costs 2 power and allows Loki add blanks to his successes, meaning he only fails on skulls!
Trickster: (Reactive): When Loki is targetted by an attack this power may be used at a cost of 2 power. Loki moves Short and if this puts him out of LOS of the attack or out of its range then the attack ends. If its the attacker’s activation, they may choose another action instead. This power can only be used once per turn.
Asgardian (Innate): All characters with this trait gain an additional power during the assign power phase each turn.
God of Mischief (Innate): While within range 4 of Loki all enemy characters must spend 1 power before using any Active or Reactive based superpowers. Also once his card is flipped anyone within range 4 of Loki does not roll extra dice for critical rolls!
Gem Bearer (Innate): This character gains an extra power per turn if it is equipped with an Infinity Gem. Loki may take either the Mind or Space Gem!
Loki’s card stays the same once it is flipped apart from God of Mischief as noted above!
Hela Character Card
The second character card in the expansion is for Hela, and as the Goddess of Death, she has a few special rules to her card and uses some of the tokens that are given in the Expansion to represent Captured Souls.
Stamina. Hela begins the game with stamina of 6, and once she has taken enough damage to flip she has a further 4 stamina!
Movement. Hela moves at Medium, making her a good character to rush forwards.
Size. Hela is a human-size coming in at 2.
Threat. Hela has a Threat of 4.
Defense. Hela is above average when it comes to defense and has Physical, Energy, and Mystic all at 4
Abilities and Powers
Hel Forged Blade This is a Physical attack that has a range of 2, damage of 5 and power cost of 0. Once the attack is resolved the character gains power equal to that dealt! On the roll of a Wild, this attack causes the Bleed special condition.
Claim Soul: A Mystical attack that has a range of 4 and deals 6 damage at a cost of 2 power. After the attack is resolved and it causes damage then Hela gains a Captured Soul token
Rain of Hel: A Physical attack that has a range of 3 and deals 7 damage at a cost of 4 power. If the target has the Bleed special condition then it cant count Wilds as successes when defending. On a Wild, this attack gains the Explosive trait and before damage is dealt, any other enemy character within range 2 of the target suffers 1 damage!
Army of Hel: (Active): This power costs 0 power to use. The character may discard 1-3 Captured Soul tokens and during its next attack this turn it may add one attack dice for each Captured Soul token discarded, if successful then the target gains the Bleed special condition. This power may only be used once per turn!
Asgardian (Innate): All characters with this trait gain an additional power during the assign power phase each turn.
Goddess of Death (Innate): When another character is Dazed or KO’d, Hela gains a Captured Soul Token. Hela may only have a maximum of 3 Captured Soul Tokens at any one time.
Queen of Hel(Reactive): Once Hela flips she gains this special power. If Hela has 3 Captured Soul Tokens when she would normally be KO’d she may use this power at a cost of 0 and remove all wounds and Captured Soul Tokens from the character and it is NOT KO’d!
Where does one even begin to start with Loki and Hela! Both of these characters are pretty formidable on their own, but if you take them together then they become very difficult to take out, and if you add Thor and Valkyrie to the roster, almost unstoppable!
Both Loki and Hela are gods so naturally, the stats should reflect such a high status. Loki is ideal for making long-ranged attacks and denying objectives to all but the hardiest of characters and can easily hold his own against most other characters so far in Marvel Crisis Protocol. He is best used at a distance to keep characters at bay or off objectives as with only 10 stamina he is still not that tough really and a good hit from Hulk or Crossbones could end up knocking him out of the game.
He really comes into his own however if he is carrying a Gem. The Mind Gem will give him 3 power each turn and another ability that allows him to move other models.
Add to this his God of Mischief which makes hitting him even harder (especially if he has flipped when it cancels out Criticals) and you have a fantastic go to character!
Hela is again a game changer, who can easily turn the tide of a battle. She gains Captured Soul tokens every time someone (regardless of which team they are on) is Dazed of KO’d and can use those to do extra damage or remove all the damage done to her which would normally see her out of the game for good! This is a lot like Ultrons ability to Terminator himself back together again and can be a major pain in the neck for your opponent.
All in all a really good set that I can see many players using in their rosters till Thanos comes out!
Please check out the links below for more Marvel Crisis Protocol