Last friday, I played with a friend (2nd play for him so not yet advanced player but still more confortable than a newbie), and it was pretty epic.
Maximum Carnage (+1 on Crime with Special Headline)
F4 modified (Sue nerfs opp att, Reed nerf opp def, Doom can boost and 2nd Masterplan gives 2 Henchmen)
No luck on the story track, only Avengers and MK card (I dont know if its the same on your games, but on our side, 9 games out of 10, the story track is filled with unplayed teams cards ).
Mostly low headlines available (2 and 3 VP), except a 6VP Mastermind one.
X-men get to go first and decide not to start with the High VP headline, but with a Crime 3VP Mastermind one, Wolverine supported by Storm runs into the district.
Unfortunately, high threat roll ends in a 5 reduced trouble, enough to see the Molecule Man appears.
Each one is able to give 1 KO to the other on the 1st sequence, but MM lucks out (Red 4att) and defeats Wolverine (Orange 5def), who is unable to get a 4hits result on his roll, so no possible regeneration !
So here goes MM on the Most Wanted list, Magneto getting his 1st Masterplan in the process.
F4 try a more aggressive approach by taking The Thing, backed by Johnny to tackle the Danger 6VP Mastermind Headline. 3 trouble reduction but still a 5 trouble level in the district (due to Doom's interference), which makes Xmen happy as they will be able to return the favor by picking the MM as well.
They add him some good backups (notably Maggia...), and give The Thing 2KO in just the 1st sequence ! MM keeps on his good rolls and put The Thing down quickly, giving Doom his 1st Masterplan without getting his hands dirty.
F4 and X-men crying for their loss, start packing resource cards thanks to story actions, X-men even manage to get 1 purple card
So pretty high scores at the end of 1st round : F4 0VP // Xmen 1VP
F4 own the lower score, so start this round, and use Lockjaw to boost their lineup. After the epic fail against MM, they decide to tackle 2 low VP Headlines, using the same previous pair (TT + HT), in order to be below 3 reduced trouble (to avoid MM).
1st troubleshooting ends with reduced trouble of 2, Xmen prefer to keep their cards for later, so easy VPs for the F4.
Meanwhile, Jean Grey supported by Cyclops, moves for a 3 VP Mastermind Headline, reduces trouble to 0, easy VPs as well. But Magneto steps in, and challenges the Phoenix.
Challenge accepted, but Magneto totally forgets about JG's Professor-X and Cyc's Team leader. So he gets kicked in his behind properly, loosing outwit in both sequences. I guess Magneto forgot at the moment to use his Anti-Gravity fields to skip outwit, but Im not even sure he had enough cards to use it anyway...
And here comes the Danger Room for the X-men (1 extra die per sequence).
Then, Thing moves alone to another Danger 3VP Mastermind Headline, and meets Kraven, who suffers a huge "Punch" in his face.
So Thing ends in full shape to fight 3KO Doom. Thing goes Yellow, Doom Orange, and believe it or not, Doom's (2 Att) hits Lockjaw (5Def), and then he wins outwit (Doom 3dice vs Thing 4dice) so Thing gets 2 KO on 1st phase. He still resists in 2nd phase (No KO for both), but collapses in 3rd phase, giving the Mastermind his 2nd Masterplan.
God it feels bad for the F4 !
Still a few action rounds to use, so Jean goes solo to a Mystery 2VP headlines, and reduces trouble to 0, before moving back home.
F4 5VP // Xmen 6VP
All new Headlines come out.
Mr Fantastic takes Thing with him trying to solve a Mystery 4VP NM Headline. Unfortunately, they still allow Molecule Man to come back (trouble reduced to 3).
After a 1st combat sequence with no KO on both guys, Reed suffers Outwit loss on 2nd sequence (4dice vs 5dice). On 3rd sequence, Richards gives MM 1KO but gets hit again on outwit (3 vs 3). So one more time Molecule Man is still up and keeps his place in the Most Wanted lineup!
Man, so here the scenario description about "lots of psychopath villains on the streets" (in french wordings) makes perfect sense !
Xmen with Storm ready and Wolverine in support, will try to limit the villains from spreading.
But troubleshooting a Crime 4Vp Mastermind Headline, added to a very high threat roll (trouble reduced to 9), shows the Lord of the Dark Dimension (backed by AIM + Dodge) ready to fight.
So in addition to not be able to use their allies (Black Widow 0PP and Vision 1PP) because of AIM, Dormammu will discard them in the first 2 combat sequences, so that they wont be used later.
But guess what, Storm, despite getting 1KO, is able to give 2KO back on the 1st sequence (using Lightning and despite better Dormammu's outwit number). She goes full Lightning on 2nd phase, using Danger Room to roll 6 dice, but ends with 2 poor hits...Dormammu's diabolical laugh suddenly stopped, when his 5 dice rolls ends in a 2 hits result as well...
So Storm defeats the Dark Lord, but then denies Magneto's challenge (Imo, she could take her shot at him but whatever...).
F4 pick a Story card.
F4 6VP // Xmen 10VP
Finally a bit of luck for the F4, as they will be able to tackle first a Crime 5VP Mastermind Headline using a Shield Intervention. But Crime threat being increased leaves a reduced trouble of 6. Molecule Man (with Hydra -1Att) on the road again !!
Johnny is ready (supported by his sister) to fight. With the useless help of Namor, Human Torch misses Molecule Man (2 hits for 4 dice so no Nova Blast) and takes a KO in defense. After equal outwit, Johnny goes all-in (red) on 2nd sequence and ends with a nice 7hits (3 dice), so thanks to Nova Blast, Molecule Man is finally out !! What a pain in the a** !!
On their side, Xmen send Wolverine + Cyclops downtown to a Crime 3VP Headline. Magneto's interference gives a reduced trouble of 5, just enough for the Sentinels (with Trap) to show up !
Wolverine is starting well, giving 2KO to Sentinels on the 1st sequence, but gets outwitted, putting Cyclops out. On 2nd sequence, Wolverine aims for Regeneration (Orange), but fails (3 hits) and takes his 2nd KO...
Magneto wins again without fighting, and takes out 5VP from the Xmen score.
Xmen finds a low consolation in a new story card but then the scores are reversed (compared to Round 2) !
F4 10VP // Xmen 6VP
With very light hope of winning, Xmen move Phoenix supported by Cyclops to a Mystery 3VP Headline, which shows no villain appearance.
F4 pick a story card, and aim a Crime 4VP Headline (they have Miss Hulk 2PP), Doom picking additionnal cards meanwhile. Doom was right, because Elektro with Fury could mean trouble, even for Johnny + Sue (both ready) and Thing supporting.
But Nova Blast prooves its worth again (adding to a very poor defense roll and Miss Hulk's help), and Elektro is quickly defeated. F4 reaches 15VP on the last Action round.
But Doom is right there, with 3KO, waiting to take out 5VP to the F4, and put Xmen in a good position to end just ahead of F4 (if they win their last Headline of course).
Doom lucks out on Henchmen (-1 def + Trap), and Miss Hulk fails her attack (2hits) but Human Torch wins Outwit (!). Both with 1KO, both choosing Yellow on 2nd sequence, and Johnny ends up high score on att (3 hits with 1 die) and gives a 2nd KO to Doom. 2nd sequence outwit (HT 4dice vs D 5dice) turns in favor of...Human Torch (6hits vs 5hits) !!
F4 are now sure to win the game (15VP).
Xmen still keep on their idea to go for a last Headline anyway (3VP Danger) with Jean and Scott, which take care of Blaastar in a single combat sequence, Danger Room and special ready and support abilities giving them easy win.
F4 15VP // Xmen 12VP.
Overall a very long game (longest 2p Ive ever played), mostly due to several combat loss for heroes, which delay the 15Vp achievment. Very tense combats as well, indeed poor rolls (like 2hits with 5 dice) on combat and high rolls on troubleshooting, make our heroes' life difficult...Mostly against Molecule Man !
If only Doom had won his last combat, Xmen would have won the game !