Thursday 4 March 2021

Bring on the Bad Guys: Marvel Crisis Protocol Round-Up #2

Hello, once again, and welcome to Bring on the Bad Guys.

Sort of.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ll be aware of that whole ‘pandemic’ thing that’s going on at the moment, so it’s not actually possible for me, your host as always, Brad Harmer-Barnes, and my constant compatriots Ian and Dave to get together to make an episode of your favourite superhero themed tabletop gaming show. It’s a sad time, but the time when we can get back together gets closer every day.

However, that’s not stopping Atomic Mass Games, Knight Models and the producers of all the other wonderful games we play from releasing all sorts of wonderful new stuff for us to play with. We’ve decided that the best thing to do is to let you guys know all about it, here, and then get them on the table for a test drive and a gameplay video as soon as government guidelines allow. So, here we go.


Punisher has been a fan favourite for many years, so his appearance in Marvel: Crisis Protocol is hardly a surprise. Taskmaster is something more of an outsider, though; it's possible that bigwigs were banking on the Black Widow movie having made him more popular by now. Of course, global circumstances meant that that hasn’t happened yet, but that shouldn’t detract from what a great character – and Crisis Protocoler – Taskmaster is.

The sculpts and poses are superb. Punisher is stern, and in a power pose, holding a fuck-off gun and dragging along a satchel of ammo and explosives. It’s a minimalist pose, for sure, but one that really suits Frank, a no-nonsense character carrying a load of baggage. Taskmaster, a more typically flamboyant superhero-esque character, has a much more dynamic pose, akin to something you might see in Age of Sigmar, or whatever Mantic are up to this week. The detail on both is absolutely superb.

In terms of powers and boosts, they both have very thematic builds, and The Punisher’s “Heavy Ordnance” is a great way of introducing Off-Board Artillery into the game. Taskmaster has some superb defensive and parrying abilities that reflect his powers of mimicry and fighting prowess really well.

I suspect most people will be buying this set just for The Punisher, due to his standing as a fan-favourite, but this shouldn’t serve to undersell the utility of Taskmaster, who may prove to be a very significant character for the game over the coming months.


An odd-pairing for a single box set, but they’re both characters I like, so I’m not going to complain all that much. The first thing to strike me upon unboxing is how easy to assemble these sculpts look! Finally, a victory for common sense and people with normal vision and normal sized fingers over at the Atomic Mass Games headquarters. So long as Rocket Raccoon’s head doesn’t come with the bottom jaw separate or something, then we should be all good!

Winter Soldier, on paper, appears to be like every single Heroclix of The Winter Soldier I’ve ever owned. A solid brawler, able to soak up damage and dish out some big hits, but at the same time nothing spectacular or exciting that really makes the character stand out. However, I will say that there’s a great card in there that allows for some fantastic tag-team action featuring Captain America and Bucky.

Vision, conversely, is a unique and thematically built character. Everything from the ground up is built to make it feel as though you’re actually playing as Vision, and the phasing mechanic in particular is superb. We love our narrative and thematic gaming here at Bring on the Bad Guys, so we see this as an absolute win.


Oh for fuck’s sake Rocket’s bottom jaw is a separate piece.

Please, please, please Atomic Mass Games, stop it with this obtuse bullshit of yours. There’s absolutely no need for the assembly to be this difficult. It’s, frankly, performative gate-keeping, trying to make new players feel that this is way harder than it is, and all it’s going to do is put them off. Leave the complex kits to Reaver, Forge World and Tamiya. There’s no need for it in a 3’x3’ superhero skirmish game, you absolute weapons. Fortunately, Groot – although perhaps a little more complex than he needed to be – isn’t too hard to put together at all.

It’s nice to have a team in a pack that are designed to be played together as a tag-team, especially with a two-some who are as close knit at Groot and Rocket Raccoon are. Their “Deadly Duo” ability really rams this home, and combined with what we saw earlier with the Captain America and Winter Soldier tag-team ability, one hopes that we’ll be seeing a trend of tag-teams coming soon!

There’s nothing really stand-out on these guys in terms of their cards or abilities, but there is something about them that just looks so super-fun to play.

Hopefully we’ll be able to do that very soon!

Join us shortly for more quickfire superhero reviews!

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Brad Harmer-Barnes is a writer and comedian who has been into tabletop gaming since he was eight years old. He is the host of Fire When Ready and Bring On The Bad Guys on, co-host of Talk Star Wars, and a frequent guest on The E14 GameCast. His latest novel Fog of War is available now in paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RealBradHB using the buttons below!

If Crisis Protocol sounds like your bag, why not have a browse of some of its wares on Amazon via the E14 Affiliate links below? It won't cost you any more, and we get a few pennies for any purchases made via our links - everyone's a winner!

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