I decided to take a break from playing Batman and try out the Marvel Miniature Game. The Marvel Miniature Game is produced by Knight Models, the same company that make the Batman Miniatures game. It is based (yep, you guessed it!) on the Marvel Universe.
Marvel Miniature Game: overview
I picked up a copy of the Avengers starter set as soon as they were available. The set includes a small rulebook for the game, 4 character cards and four 35mm scale miniatures with plastic bases.
The other two starter sets available at this time are Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men. Plus there a re a handful of additional models such as Deadpool and Gambit.
The models themselves are all brilliant sculpts, what I have come to expect from Knight Models; I very much like the 35mm scale. Many of the models themselves were available previously from Knight models as a collector’s range. Now they have been developed into a gaming system of their own.
If you already own the models it is possible to download the character cards from the Knight Models website.
On to the game. Our game was the X-men against the Avengers, and we played the scenario from the X-Men rulebook.
Each rulebook for the three different starter factions includes a specific scenario. Setting up was easy, the game is played on a 3ft x 3ft board and we opted for an urban feel in terms of scenery. It’s good to have lots of clutter so that you can pick it up and throw it at your opponent!
The game itself is played using POWER counters. Each character receives a set number based on their power rating and, once activated, you can spend these to perform actions such as moving or attacking.
It works in a similar way to Batman, except you do not need to allocate your counters before the round: you can spend them as you like.
Players take turns to activate their characters and spend their power counters in order to defeat the opponent.
Special Abilities in the Marvel Miniature Game
In our scenario this involved killing a high profile target and keeping yours alive. Each character has a level, some are more powerful than others and have more devastating attacks. Thor’s ‘For Midgard’ causes 4 damage as opposed to Black Widow’s ‘Bullet Barrage’ which causes 1. There are also reactive and passive abilities which give you bonuses or allow you to perform special actions throughout the game.
Some of these actions are great and they really help to add to the superhero feel. Wolverine has a special ability where, if someone picks him up and throws him at the opponent, he can perform a fastball special granting him a free attack.
This is definitely one of the cool things about the game, all of the scenery is interact able and you can pick up and throw anything your character is strong enough to! Numerous crates and even a generator were thrown around in our game. I’m sure once Hulk is released there will be plenty of larger objects being flung about!
It seemed fairly easy to pick up the rules and there weren’t too many special traits to get to grips with. The small rulebook does a fine job of providing you with all the information you need to play the game.
Each attack has its own type such as physical, energy, mental and magic. These also even have subtypes such as electric or hammer. Characters are better at defending against some attacks than others. Colossus for example is immune to electricity attacks! This means you have to think about who you are directing your attacks towards.
Also, the game uses D8 dice. I’m not entirely sure why as of yet, but I guess that D6 just didn’t allow for the necessary range of results when performing attacks. It’s not an issue but it means you need at least 3 D8 dice to play.
As your character takes damage they lose HP (which is tracked on the card) and this can weaken or, in some cases, even make them stronger as they get angry!!
The game flowed nicely and took around 2 hours to play. Game play is pretty fast without any unnecessary pauses or hang ups. Its very cinematic, Thor flying around and cyclops shooting death from his face.
Marvel Miniature Game: Summary
Overall I really enjoyed it. It differs from Batman in a number of ways which means it is no way a replacement, just a nice alternative to have. The lack of objectives really changes the style of the game to more of a beat-em-up. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Marvel universe or skirmish games.
These are only my first impressions of the game. Once I get a few more games under my belt I’ll be able to look at some aspects of the game in more detail.
I’m really looking forward to seeing some high level characters and villains 🙂