Asgardians Have Arrived in MCP!

Thor, Valkyrie, Loki, and Hela have arrived in Marvel Crisis Protocol!

I’ve been doing some coverage of every expansion that’s been coming out for MCP, and in this latest wave of releases we finally get Thor, who is both an Avenger and an Asgardian. This gives him some really cool playable options. Valkyrie is also here, benefitting from that awesome Asgardian ability to get extra power each turn!

Additionally, we get Loki and Hela – and while they are typically Evil, they are absolutely gorgeous sculpts and fantastic characters to bring into the game here! Hera in particular, is my favorite! Loki also comes with the Mind Gem, the first Infinity Stone in the game, which costs 1 additional threat, and counts as a team member when it comes to Roster Building!

My local store didn’t get Vision of Bucky in yet, so I’ll be on the look out for those soon! For now, it’s time to get painting!

Marvel Crisis Protocol Expansions!

So we’re finally getting more expansions for Marvel Crisis Protocol! I was a bit late picking these up, but I’m happy to finally have them and decided in my recent videos to do more than just an unboxing, but rather I’d also build them, since sometimes assembling these can be moderately difficult to some newcomers.

Shuri and Okoye Assembly and Unboxing

Shuri and Okoye are a 2-pack, and help you round out your Wakandans, if you were looking to put together a Wakandan list. Along with Black Panther and Killmonger, these two complete all current Wakandans available for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Okoye is my favorite from the Black Panther film, but in the game she seems to be a competent, lower priced hero. Shuri on the other hand, while more expensive, is more of a support character that can likely help out any team regardless of team affiliation.

Venom Assembly and Unboxing

Venom is the first expansion we’ve seen for MCP that doesn’t actually belong to any pre-existing team affiliation. And while he does have a special card that works specifically with Spider-Man, he seems more or less designed to work well in any build. He is a bit expensive, and larger than most, but also is very strong and has the ability to heal himself. To make up for that, he is also one of the slowest characters in game, so if you use him you’ll have to take your time getting into position, or consider team tactic cards that will help your movement.

With all the new expansions already revealed, and more showing up on social media all the time, Marvel Crisis Protocol looks more and more fun each month!

Sci-Fi Corridor Terrain Reviews

With a growing focus on tabletop terrain for both Legion and RPG needs, I’ve been always on the lookout for new terrain to review. Having worked with LV-427 Designs before, I was delighted to see their re-designed modular corridors, which are now larger and more compatible with games like Legion than before!

The Hangar Bay is perfect for a large battle inside a Star Destroyer, or even the Death Star!

The Hangar Bay was the first or the new large rooms that I’ve seen. I was really excited to see rooms of this size because the first time I saw their terrain it was primarily corridors and smaller rooms, which work great for the RPG, but not as good for Legion. Larger rooms make it easier to fit and move larger units around the game board!

Hibernation Chamber and Conference Room are both a real delight!

The Hibernation Chamber and Conference room each feature a series of 4 interconnected tiles to make one large room. They each also have a removable centerpiece, helping make them versatile and perfect for both role play functions and also for battling inside a station or destroyer!

Stay tuned to see what’s next!

Prime Prizes

I made a video about a Prime at Serenity Games in Florida for this weekend. The first place prize was a box to hold miniatures, and it was “Supposed” to come with 2 foam trays. The first place winner opted to give the box to my friend Sean, who took 2nd. The Judge for the tournament told us that when he opened the box there was only one tray, and he wasn’t sure what happened. It was suggested Sean could contact FFG for a replacement tray or something similar.

Those of us who were still there were talking about the situation and how the box looked strange with all that empty space in there. We verified on FFG’s announcement page that it was indeed supposed to come with two foam trays. We all began to speculate as to what happened to the foam tray, because the Judge appeared to have only opened the box with prizes at the end of the night, yet the box was behind the counter of the store throughout the day – so we wondered if someone wandered over and snatched something out during the day.

So in my video I talked about this. I speculated that perhaps someone stole the tray. I was wrong. Nobody stole the tray. I’ve since edited my video to remove the remarks.

It turns out every tray shipped from FFG with only one foam tray. We certainly didn’t know that at the time. And the way it was explained to us at the tournament, seemed to imply that the Judge was just as surprised as we were, (Which is why several of us suspected someone ELSE got into the prize support box when nobody was looking).

Anyhow, I’m sorry if it looked like I may have said that the store did something shifty. I didn’t mean to suggest that. I honestly thought that someone broke into the box and snatched it. I apologize to Serenity Games. It’s a cool store, with a very nice setup, and they ran a fine event. Would go again.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2020! I hope everyone had a great Holiday Season! Things were busy and stressful for me, but overall they were also great! We got a dog and named her Hera! She’s amazing! I played in both an Armada Prime and a Legion Prime, and I’m ready for some new expansions to finally come out! So what’s actually coming?

Armada! Armada should be getting Wave 8 in January, but it’s beginning to look like it might end up getting pushed back to February. Wave 8 brings us the Starhawk and the Onager, two new large ships and some new mechanics as well! Wave 8 also is bringing us some new errata to how Raddus works, and a new attack range called “Extreme” range, (anything beyond long range). 2020 is also supposed to bring us the Clone Wars for Star Wars Armada! I doubt that we’ll actually see the Clone Wars release in Q4 like they had originally projected, but as long as we get regular releases AFTER new factions are introduced all will be forgiven. My fear is that we’ll get 2 new factions, and still be stuck in the “1 wave per year” schedule that we’ve been in. Fortunately, the plan is to increase the release schedule a bit more, so that’s good! And hey, maybe we’ll get some newer stuff announced beyond what we already expect!

Legion! Legion is due for a ton of expansions in the first quarter of 2020! R2D2, Imperial Bunker, Luke and Vader operatives, Trooper Expansions, as well as the Phase 2 Clones, Super Battle Droids, and Tanks for the Clone Wars factions! It’s going to be an expensive quarter if you’re like me and collect all 4 factions! We’ve also got a new expansion that will include Hostages and new objectives coming! And on top of that Cassian Andor and Iden Versio for Rebels and Empire were also announced! It’s also likely that we’ll see a few more expansion announced for the Q2 and Q3 timeframe soon! I’m really anxious what’s coming in 2020, as FFG shrinks their delay between announcement and release!

X-Wing! X-Wing have Wave 6 coming with a staggered release, in that the reprints aren’t coming at the same time the new ships are. But Wave 6 is still likely going to come by February at the latest. 2 New Ships may be slim, but we’re also getting new pilots and more scenarios in the 3 new card packs that are coming in Q1, 2 of which are already processing for shipment! We also are expecting the announcement of Wave 7 any day now! We do know that Wave 7 will have a new ship for both the Separatists and the Republic! A points adjustment is also coming in January!

There’s a ton of stuff on the horizon and I’m hyped! Between Marvel Crisis Protocol, and other kickstarters that should hopefully begin shipping soon also I’m gonna be up to my elbows in new games this year! Happy Gaming!

Reviews!

So I’ve updated the website a bit to include a section for reviews. I get asked an awful lot about the products in my videos and I thought it might be helpful to consolidate my reviews here. I also have lists of some updated sections of videos in my discord, but for the reviews I wanted to keep them also here on the site.

Also if you have a product you’d like reviewed, feel free to reach out to me at mailcrabbok@gmail.com and we’ll work something out!

When should our games slow down?

Expandable games have always been favorites of mine. Every few months we’ll get a new wave of expansions, and more stuff to add to our tabletops! It’s a constant drain on our wallets, but also a constant flow of new gaming goodness, weather it’s tiny spaceships, large capital ships, or little men and aliens! But do these games at some point become saturated?

X-Wing 1st edition is a good example of a game that seemed to try to do too much, too fast. I started playing X-Wing right as Wave 3 came out – and at that point we already had X-Wings, Y-Wings, B-Wings, A-Wings, Millennium Falcons, and almost every highly recognized ship that most casual fans would recognize. Not long after I started playing we began to see a nonstop wave of announcements. Huge ships were coming! Imperial Aces were coming! Wave 4 was Coming! Wave 5 was also announced! All of these things were all coming in almost the same small window of time! X-Wing started digging into Legends! Then the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm happened, and not long after that there was more direction on releasing products that were canon and focused on new products like Episode 7.

With the release of the Force Awakens Core Set – we began to really see what happens when FFG tries too hard to release something too quickly – we got a ton of generic pilots like “Blue Ace” that had no real function other than to simply be filler. We also saw Poe, the greatest pilot in the resistance, only at Pilot Skill 8 – something they later had to fix. We then saw a separate T-70 X-Wing expansion with even more generic pilots – and then once the movie finally came out and more pilots were actually revealed – we got yet ANOTHER T-70 in a Heroes of the Resistance pack, with even MORE pilots. At this point the T-70 was over saturated with too many nameless pilots. I can’t help but think that if they’d just slowed down and waited until AFTER the movie came out – they could have gotten it right the first time! Core set could have had Poe’s Black One – and the T-70 expansion could have been the stock Blue and Grey! But I wonder if they aren’t also running the risk of doing the same thing to Legion?

When Legion came out, FFG said they’d be releasing at least one expansion every month. That’s a tall order for a company that has always had a much slower release pace. The surprising part is that they were largely able to stick to that planned release schedule – minus a few select hiccups from time to time – which has been great for the launch of the game! But is it getting to be too much? Now that the Rebels and the Empire have larger selections of options at every category – do we still need a constant flow of new expansions every single month?

The answer is partly yes, partly no.

While the rebels and empire may not need quite so much to keep them alive, the Clone Wars is also now launching, (And in many peoples hand’s already). Republic and Separatist armies will become very stale if they aren’t given many more options, and soon. Currently they don’t even have a single special forces expansion announced yet, and no operatives either – so it seems reasonable that for the first year at least – these new factions should probably expect a roughly similar release schedule that the original two factions got. I say roughly, because I also expect the occasional rebel and imperial expansion to be thrown in. We’ve already seen Luke and Vader’s new operatives previewed – and rumors of new commanders are spreading like wildfire – so that will also probably happen in 2020. But for staple units? I think we’re good for now. We simply can’t expect a new corps unit type every 3 months for every faction. Once you get your 4th corps, or 4th heavy – I think the well is going to begin to run dry. So I suggest by this time next year, they begin to slow things down a little bit – and maybe stagger releases to every OTHER month. (Unless they have other plans like Sub Factions, etc).

Armada has taken this type of plan to heart, perhaps a bit too much. With an average of one wave per year – many fans begin to fear the game is dead. In a recent Ask me Anything – FFG Head of Studio Andrew Navarro hinted that there were only so many recognizable ships that they could reasonably create for Armada, and expect them to sell well enough. Which is one reason they have slowed the production down so much. We are expecting things to pick back up significantly once the Clone Wars releases in late 2020, but until then it’s likely going to continue to be a slow release schedule for Armada – and personally I’m moderately ok with that.

Armada at least, is in a very good place in terms of ship variety and game mechanics. The game has been extremely well designed compared to other games in it’s class, and balance has been surprisingly good. Many lists are viable, and the meta-game varies tremendously from region to region. Armada isn’t really in a place where it is heavily dependent on new expansions to keep the game going – as it’s able to sustain itself fairly well with a minimum of effort. But it would certainly be comforting if we had a BIT more than 1 ship a year, wouldn’t it?

So what is the magic number? How fast is too fast? How slow is too slow? I’d like to think that a wave of expansions every 3 – 6 months is somewhere in the ballpark – but that really depends on the game and how comfortable the community is with a change to their schedule. One thing is crucial though – Communication is key. If FFG decides to slow down Legion production, for example, they NEED to inform the public that this is planned, so as to not create a panic and “The game is DEAD!” reactions that other games have seen in the past. Reassure us that our games are still supported, and we’ll love you forever!

Rebel Attack on Imperial Space Nine!

Had some fun taking photos of my Wiz Kids DS9, and my Star Wars Armada ships! They scale so perfectly with each other!

The Empire is enjoying a calm day aboard the station.

Makes me really wish we had Star Trek : Armada!

Suddenly an attack by the rebels!
The must be growing desperate to declare an attack this deep in Imperial Space!
It has been a hard fought battle… but the Empire will reclaim the station…. someday.

Clone Wars in Armada!

At Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, FFG announced that they are finally bringing Clone Wars to Star Wars Armada! This will complete the cycle of Clone Wars coming to all of their games that still have physical product in development.

This is extremely good news for Armada players! There has certainly been a lack of news over the past few years, but now Armada is approaching what very well may be a golden age. The Super Star Destroyer, the Rebellion in the Rim campaign, two un-announced “sizeable” ships, and the Clone Wars itself, all in development at this point means we have more product in the pipeline for Armada than we’ve ever had before.

Hopefully this means new Armada players will have a cheaper entry point. Either through a cheaper starter or an essentials pack. Armada’s principle downfall has been it’s entry cost, and with a $99 starter, many players simply skip it and jump to X-Wing instead. Although the high cost of entry hasn’t been a problem with Legion, that may likely be due to the tremendous amount of units that come in the Legion core set, compared to the Armada Core Set.

So most of the new product should be in stores before the end of 2019, while the Clone Wars should be hitting Armada in 2020! And this almost certainly doesn’t mean the end of support for the Rebels and the Empire as well! Plus we have high hopes for card packs to come as well, which will allow new players to gain all the missing upgrade cards that were exclusive to only one faction previously! Armada’s future is very bright!