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Subject: The Red Skull kicks my butt. rss

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Matt Shepherd
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Man, the Avengers have it tough with ol' Johann Schmidt, don't they?

Or maybe my strategy just bites. But here's what happens to me when I'm playing the Earth's Mightiest and they go up against the Skull:

First, I tend to lead with Thor or the Hulk when I'm heading into a bigger headline, as usually I need the muscle. Cap, god bless 'im, goes down like a limp noodle in a fight. More often then not (scenarios) the headline is already at a boosted threat level; neither Thor or the Hulk have really spectacular trouble reduction.

And sometimes you just have to tackle those Nemesis headlines or get frozen out of the game entirely.

But then the Skull uses his Scheming ability, discards a villain card, and bam, the threat rating of the headline goes up by three dice. With a decent roll, I'm suddenly looking at a trouble rating of 9+, and that's when things start to go south.

Last game, it was a Sentinel with Maggia Enforcers and Hand Ninja first; Dormammu with a Trap and more Maggia Enforcers and... something else... second. I lost the first fight outright, thanks to the Sentinel knocking Cap (supporting) out of the ballpark with his first shot.

The second fight, the Hulk struggled through to face the Skull, but since the Skull already had his Dust of Death (from the first fight) and drew three good henchmen, the fight was pretty much over before it even started. One KO on a decent attack roll for the Skull, no Combat Ability for the Hulk for a crap Outwit roll, and Dust of Death... and that's all she wrote.

I had fun playing regardless, but it seems that the Red Skull is disproportionately out of whack with Dr. Doom and Magneto, both of whom I've Nemesised (?) with and who are sort-of effective, if they roll really well, but not out-of-the-ballpark menacing like the Skull.

Is he utterly terrifying (and appropriately, given that the Avengers have the heaviest hitters in the game), or am I missing some blindingly obvious strategy here?
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Pragmatically turning whims into principles
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Try using Iron Man.

He has decent trouble shooting numbers and is good in cambat. With thor in support, you can lower the trouble even further. And his power card is icing on the cake.
 
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Colin Hunter
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Honestly if you play safe with the Hulk or thor you should be pretty safe. Also consider using Capt america for lesser headlines. You can easily reduce the threat (especially with thor in back up). Even big headlines can get reduced although this is risky. Ironman is another good choice.
 
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Michael Denman
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I've been trying to find this out elsewhere, but this is as good a place as any to try again. Suppose Cap is Troubleshooting with Thor in support. Does the Red Skull's scheming ability add 3 (Thor) to the trouble or 1 (Cap)? His power doesn't specify Ready or Supporting so I'm not sure. Thanks!
 
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Chad Walton
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Except that supporting characters aren't in the specific district so it seems to me he couldn't choose...
 
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Barry Figgins
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1.
 
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Michael Denman
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C.H.A.D. wrote:
Except that supporting characters aren't in the specific district so it seems to me he couldn't choose...


Supporting heroes seem to be in the district they are supporting (albeit temporarily). My source for this opinion is the Sentinel's Area Attack power which clearly indicates that Supporting characters ARE in the District.

My problem is that Red Skull's power doesn't specify Ready and/or Supporting whereas the Sentinel's power does. After seeing the poor wording used by the designers for other rules and cards (obviously they aren't CCG players), I'm just left wondering if they intended the Red Skull's power to be able to key off of the Supporting hero.
 
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Paul Bryant
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Hulk with a good Outwit Ally card is pretty unstoppable. Ideally get a 4 or 5 outwit avenger and slap your plot point on there then add one more. Then have him backed by Thor. This should give the hulk a pretty good chance at winning a high level headline while having the health to then tackle the Red Skull.

There is my two cents. Red skull is tough because as you said.. the avengers are a damned tough team.

(edit typo)
 
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Michael Denman
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[deleted because I've become tired of the topic and I just want to sit back and let a designer give us an actual answer although I'd welcome a compelling argument against Supporting heroes being in the District]
 
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Chad Walton
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The first white box on page 8 of the rulebook titled "Supporting Super Heroes" states that "A Super Hero in the Support Space of a given Area is considered to be in that Area, and you can use the Support ability of that Super Hero in all the Districts of that Area."

To me this says they are not in a specific District. In fact all the little highlighted boxes with rules on what Supporting Characters do all refer to the Support Space in the area and nothing about Supporting characters being considered in a district. This leads me to believe it is the Sentinel card that is poorly worded (as it is one example against four). Not a big surprise considering the errata and FAQ updates on the fire-head villian and the angry space-monkey villian.
 
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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I'm with Mr. Skeletor on this.
 
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Michael Denman
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MrSkeletor wrote:
New Q about red skull, when does he have to announce he is using his blocking power? and how long does it last for?


I'd say he has to use it before powers are chosen and it lasts until the next time powers are chosen.
 
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Michael Denman
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An official answer! All is right with the world again...

"Red Skull's ability refers only to Ready Super Heroes. A Supporting Hero in a Support space is in the Area but not in a specific District.

The Sentinels' ability should be worded something like "inflict 1 KO to
every other Ready Hero in the District and every Supporting Hero of that
team that is in the same Area." We will add this to the next FAQ update."

 
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Paul Bryant
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I have played the avengers more then any other team in the game and have played more then a few games. I can say very safely that the Avengers are hands down the hardest team to win with.

It comes down to generally poor trouble reduction, weak event support powers and most importantly they face the most brutal scheming power in the game.

As I mentioned before, Hulk with a good outwit is very powerful but that is very dependent on you getting that good outwit ally as well as having the plot points to pay for him/her.

To have a good chance at the Red Skull keep a few things in mind.

1. Don't ever go for anything higher then a 3 level mastermind threat with the Hulk or Thor. Anything higher and you will most likely loose the fight before you even get to Red Skull. Also if you do win the fight odds are high Red Skull will only need 1 hit to take you out.

2. Don't ever go for a mastermind threat with Captain America.

3. Don't ever go for anything higher then 4 level mastermind threat with your full team unless you hold the Sentinel villian card.

3. Do buy the Hulk upgrade first if you can at all. Now you can tackle the 3 level mastermind threats with Hulk and level 4 ones if you have Thor in support.

4. Do by the Jet Upgrade second. Your best bet at taking out the Red Skull is to have a few people to throw at him but more importantly to throw at the fight before him. Hulk at level 2 along with Iron Man are a good duo to make combat ready with Thor and Captain America as support. This as long as you hold the Sentinel villian card can take out any mastermind headline and have a good chance against the Red Skull even if you have no allies.

There are more ways I am sure but those 4 have worked well for me. Just know when you play that the avengers have an uphill battle.

If you get stuck with them a lot you can throw a monkey wrench into things by opting for the senario where everyone switches Arch Nemesise and watch someone else squirm under the weight of threat numbers they never though possible on mastermind headlines. (Be warned Marvel Knights don't have too much trouble with Red Skull do to there superior trouble reduction.)
 
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Luke O'Hearn
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riledguy wrote:
There are more ways I am sure but those 4 have worked well for me. Just know when you play that the avengers have an uphill battle.


Try to manipulate the score board. In a perfect game you'd stay in second place (just by a hair) every round but the last. In practice, don't take a small VP gain if it will put you just past the leader (at the end of the round).
 
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