Starlord Expansion. Atomic Mass Games

Given the nature of movies, studios often need to take a gamble.  For every character that is known the world over such as Spider-Man, Superman or Batman, there is a Crow or Hellboy waiting in the wings, which despite their success are still considered a risk due to the smaller circulation of their comics. If it’s done correctly though it can be a huge reward for the parent company and put the name of a long-forgotten character or team right into the public attention!

Case in point is Guardians of the Galaxy, a comic book that by all accounts should not have had the success it did.  A group of misfits thrown together to fight against a powerful foe is not an uncommon theme in movies, but when those misfits are based on characters from a comic book that most of the world has never heard of, it is a real gamble.

Well for Marvel Studios it was a gamble that really paid off and Guardians of the Galaxy was a runaway success and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.  Most of this was down to excellent casting, a fast-paced and fun script and a visual feel that set it apart from the already established Marvel canon of the time.  And while the characters had changed slightly since their comic debuts, they remain in essence the same.

Star-Lord, as we all know from the movies, is the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and was created by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, first appeared in Marvel Preview #4 (January 1976).  He is slightly different from the movies in the comics as he is the son of J’son of Spartax rather than Ego the Living Planet, and J’son is also the evil galactic dictator of the Spartax Empire.

Star-Lord is still a wise-cracking and headstrong idealist but not as goofy as his movie counterpart and ends up becoming the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, a misfit team from across the galaxy that includes Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax the Destroyer, and Bug; taking the name of Guardians of the Galaxy in a nod to a team that saved the universe many times before decades earlier.

Now Star-Lord is getting the Atomic Mass Games makeover for their superhero miniatures game Marvel Crisis Protocol and leads into battle The Guardians of the Galaxy in this all-new faction.

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!

Star-Lord

Peter Quill was born on Earth, the son of Earthling Meredith Quill and stranded alien warlord J’son, Quill’s mother died when he was unable to defend her from an alien attack of Badoon soldiers who had come to kill him as the rightful heir to the Spartax empire!

The Miniature

And so we come to another all-new faction for Marvel Crisis Protocol, The Guardians of the Galaxy!

Star-Lord is a pretty straight forward miniature to put together, though I did at first think that he was going to be a nightmare because his head is in four pieces.  As I mentioned in my video unboxing, while I do understand the need to make such small pieces for kits, it would be a nice touch if in future releases we didn’t have to assemble a piece so small and was cast as a whole.  I know it comes down to the tooling of the sprues but it is very frustrating when you have vision problems.  Thankfully Atomic Mass Games did include two heads in the pack so you have a spare in case a piece decides to go off an adventure all of its own.

The head in the end actually had no problems at all going together and was far easier than Valkyrie or Shuree to assemble.

Moving on to the rest of the miniature and it is posed leaping into the air with one of his rocket boots firing and giving the illusion that the miniature has just taken off.  The pose is very slick and has very natural lines of movement to it that easily convey speed and motion and the sculpt is pretty much spot on to the comic book run by Dan Abnett from the early 2000s, which in turn was the main influence for the movie version.

Faction Card

The Faction Card for the Guardians of the Galaxy Faction is listed below.

  • Star-Lord  (Leader)
  • Gamora
  • Nebula
  • Rocket Racoon
  • Groot
  • Drax the Destroyer
  • Ronan the Accuser
  • Angela

Crisis Card

The Star-Lord expansion also comes with its own Crisis Card detailed below.

Panic Grips City as Evacuation Efforts Continue! This is a 19 Threat Extraction mission which sees you placing four Citizen tokens as shown on map card B.  Players gain 1 VP for each Citizen held by one of their characters during the clean-up phase. The Citizens may be evacuated for a cost of 6 Power during a characters activation.

Team Tactic Cards

The Star-Lord Expansion comes with two brand new Team Tactics cards for use in your games.

Rocket Boots: This card is an active, unaffiliated card that may be played by an allied character.  This character then gains the Flight innate superpower for this round.  At the end of the round one die is rolled, if the result is a blank then the character is stunned, if it is a fail then the character sis both stunned and staggered, other results allow the character to make a move Small!

Crew of the Milano: This is an active card, any number of Guardians of the Galaxy characters may spend 1 power to play this card, for each character that spent power, remove all special conditions and they cannot suffer further special conditions for the rest of this round!

Star-Lord Character Card

Star-Lord is the leader of the Guardians and calls the shots.  This is a quick break down of Star-Lord’s character card

Stamina. Star-Lord begins the game with stamina of 6, and once he has taken enough damage to flip he has a further 5 stamina!

Movement. Star-Lord has average speed for his size and his movement is Medium

Size. Star-Lord is human-size coming in at 2.

Threat. Star-Lord has a threat level of 3 which makes him a good choice as an objective taking character in your roster.

Defense. Star-Lord has an average defense against physical and energy with all coming in at 3

Elemen Gun: This is an energy attack that has a range of 4, damage of 5 and power cost of 0. After the attack is resolved, the character gains power equal to damage dealt.

Full Auto: This is an energy attack that has a range of 4, damage of 7 and power cost of 3. After the attack is resolved, for each Wild rolled the target gains one of the following special conditions, bleed, Shock, Slow or Stunned.

Winging It (Affiliation, Guardians of the Galaxy)  This is Star-Lord’s leadership ability.  Once per round at the start of the turn, you may choose an allied character and discard a Team Tactic Card using this ability.  The chosen model then gains 3 Winging It tokens which all it to re-roll up to 2 of its dice per discard, all remaining Winging It tokens are removed during the next clean up phase.

Plucky Attitude (Innate): When attacking, if Star-Lord rolls no hits he may reroll all of his current attack pool, while defending if Star-Lord fails to roll any blocks he may reroll all of his current defense pool!

Flight, Gem Bearer(Power, Innate): Star-Lord can fly and treats all terrain as size 5 for movement purposes.  He is also the Gem Bearer of the Power Gem (see below)

Other than his Stamina going from 6 to 5 when he is flipped, there is no other change to Star-Lord’s card

Infinity Gem: Power:  This Infinity Gem takes up a slot on your roster and increases the Threat value of the bearer by 1.  During the power phase, the bearer of this Infinity Gem gains 2 power instead of the regular 1 power!

Bullpen

So another new faction and one that requires a different approach to playing.  The Guardians are very eclectic and have a strange bunch of powers and abilities, that work okay when they are used alone, but really tend to pop when you use the synergy of the team as a whole.  Star-Lord is a pretty average character, but has a slight edge over other 3 Threat characters in that he is a flyer, has a pretty good movement with Medium, and a lot of cool abilities that allow him to make rerolls and aid his team.

Star-Lord has excellent ranged attacks and due to his nature is ideal to quickly move up the table to seize objectives and cut off your opponents from a distance!  The Crew of the Milano card is an excellent way to get rid of those pesky status changing tokens, and Winging It is something that your opponent will dread you taking as it can be so unpredictable during the game and make life really difficult for them!

The Guardians are a team that each model works excellently with the others, so its best to not break up the set and keep them together. They are pretty low cost and you could field all of the models so far for under 16 threat, even if you give Star-Lord the Infinity Gem. Once you get them together they seem to gel and work really well, but alone they don’t tend to last that long.

Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak that is affecting the entire planet, releases for Marvel Crisis Protocol are pretty much erratic at the moment and while Rocket and Groot are already available, we will have to wait till Nebula and Gamora are finally released in the UK before we get our hands on them.

Please check out the links below for more Marvel Crisis Protocol

Atomic Mas Games Website

Atomic Mass Games Facebook

Battle Kiwi

Marvel Crisis Protocol UK Fans

Sorastro’s Painting Guides

Tabletop Oddity

The Gamers Guild

 

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