Staying focused in Marvel Crisis Protocol
Hello! My name is Sugi and welcome to TURN ZER0 GAMING. Although this is a new blog/brand for the Marvel Crisis Protocol player base, we are very passionate about this new game. I have been playing wargames for a little over 12 years now, but I am always looking for new games to learn and master. I am personally excited to see what AMG, as well as the community, does with this game.
I have played a LOT of Games Workshop games (40K 5th-8th ED, WFB, AoS, Kill Team, WarCry), as well as other wargames over the years (Warmachine/Hoardes, Flames of War, Infinity, Star Wars: Legion, etc...). As you can imagine, I have discovered that as a casual/competitive player some fundamental principles apply to this game. Now that Atomic Mass Games has released their new take on wargames with Crisis Protocol, I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the fundamentals that can help win games and make you a better player.
Now I do want to say that I know not everyone reading cares about playing competitively. That's fine, but I wanted to write this to help showcase items that can cause tunnel vision for players. I have seen a lot of new players pick this up as their first miniature wargame and ask questions either online or in our local store. I wanted to offer some experience I have learned over the years to help anyone and everyone interested in reading.
GETTING LOST IN THE DETAILS
First off, one of the BIGGEST mistakes I see players make is getting tunnel vision. For those of you who may not know what tunnel vision is, it’s when you lose sight of how to win the game. Wargames generally tend to focus on objectives and victory points to determine a winner. Crisis Protocol is no different and follows a very similar formula. This game is very cool because it offers players a different experience from the "standard" wargame. However, with all the cool themes, superpowers and special effects inside the game engine, you still win games by having more VP than your opponent.
Starting a new game or your very first miniature game is a fantastic experience. Unwrapping the plastic, building the models, painting them and reading the rules... All these things lend themselves to memories and excitement when getting started. But sometimes the allure of rolling dice and killing models can be too much. Tunnel vision happens when you start placing models on the table and feel the urge to Hulk smash the opponent's M.O.D.O.K.. You begin to figure out ways to get up close and personal and roll 6-8 dice to perform a big attack and smash the enemy. However, Crisis Protocol is a tactical game based on scoring objectives and gaining victory points. If you lose sight of that, you can set yourself up to lose the game.
Turn one for most games is positioning characters. You rarely have the opportunity to attack turn one. However, turn two is when characters can begin rolling dice and attacking each other. This is the first opportunity for players to get sidetracked.
You are now presented with a choice. You can choose to push for controlling objectives and scoring victory points. Or, you can begin to attack characters and roll those cool eight-sided dice. As a wargamer, rolling dice is a lot of fun. Using superpowers, dealing wounds and seeing what happens is one of the most fun things wargames offer. However, this may not be the best path to winning games. That high you get when you stun a character or roll well is intoxicating. But that feeling is one of the traps that can lead to losing your focus.
Now I am not saying you should not have fun. Games are all about the community and having a good time. But sometimes the feelings you enjoy, can be disingenuous. When playing Crisis Protocol, you need to focus on the objectives on the table. The crisis cards are not only setting up the maximum threat but your path to winning the game. Where are the objectives on the table? How many points can you score each round? How can you contest objectives to slow down your opponent? These are all questions you should focus on at the start of the game.
THE BEST OFFENSE
Being able to craft a game plan and stick to it is not always easy though. As you play each game, your opponent will make choices that force you to make difficult decisions. This is the fun of wargaming, but also the challenge. There are times you must make risky choices or hope for a lucky dice roll to set you up with an advantage. Regardless of what the game presents to you, staying focused on the victory points will always help move your choices in the right decision. This is what can help separate good players from great players.
One of the best tips I can share is to take your time during game setup. When both Crisis Cards are revealed, take a moment to read them. Figure out what the maximum victory point total per turn is. Then figure out a way to score points and deny your opponent points. Crisis Protocol presents players with a LOT of information as you play. You have your team, the opponent's team, team tactics, and the crisis cards. But at the point when the crisis cards are chosen, you can take a quiet moment to figure out how you can win the game.
Being able to determine a path to victory is very important. But staying on that path is equally important. As I mentioned previously, turn one is all about positioning your team. Turn two and each turn afterward is an evolving pool of potential choices. Do you attack an enemy character? Should you contest an objective? Which character do you activate? All these questions and more are constantly in flux as the game progresses. But once you determine how to win the game, your choices should reflect that decision.
And that keeps leading back to staying on track. Crisis Protocol is a lot of fun to play. The game has an amazing theme, the characters are interesting, and the gameplay is well designed. But always remember to stay focused. There will be times you feel the urge to run in and smash the opponent. There will be times you feel the need to shoot some webbing or throw Cap's shield. But before you do, take a breath and think about the game plan. Does this choice help me get closer to winning the game? Does this action give me an advantage? Will this decision slow down the opponent? If you can keep picking actions that give you small advantages, you will most likely win the game.
Now there will be times where you get an awful roll of the dice. Or your opponent may roll extremely well. There is no way to account for the odds falling out of favor with your game. But outside of fringe cases, making good choices throughout the game will net you advantages. Over time those advantages will set you up for more ways to win the game.
Thanks for reading this article. I hope that I was able to convey how distractions can set players up for failure. Good players understand how to craft a game plan for victory and stick with it. Each Crisis Card may be different, but the plan is always going to be the same. Find a way to score victory points and deny your opponent points. If you can stay focused on that, you will find games to be a lot easier for you. Although this is a very general article, this simple step can make a big impact on your games. Distracted players have a much harder time finding success. And that is something I want everyone in the community to experience, success.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out our new podcast! We are TURN ZER0 GAMING and my name is Sugi. Thank you for reading this and please feel free to comment and let us know what you think. We want to hear from you!