Collin Schrader
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California
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Here's a battle report from quite a while ago I completely forgot about! This was my first play of HS:M, featuring me vs. Drowtung. I don't think she's been on the boards... but now she'll have a reason to!
It being my first play, I hadn't yet made the couple hundred custom heroes, so drafting was limited to the default ten. The 1200 point armies looked like:

-Drowtung, 1200 pts-
Red Skull
Hulk
Abomination
Silver Surfer

-Me, 1130 pts-
Spider-Man
Thanos
Iron Man
Captain America
Venom

My Dr. Pepper, cool and refreshing, nearly slipped from my sweaty grip as the forces were arrayed across the battlefield. There was a LOT of green muscle on the other side of the table, paired with Surfer's maneuverable ranged attacks. And, the Red Skull.

My guys were no wimps, and as a team could mop up several Waves of normal HS characters with no problem, but even so their brawn was not the equal of their opposition. I knew that my team's strength and best shot at winning would be versatility, solid Spider-defense coupled with Cap's team boost, and all those ranged attacks.

It was also unusual for me to have numerical superiority. In most minis games, I tend to pick the points-heavy elite race, like my beloved High Elves in Warhammer, and be concerned with systematically picking off tactical targets. No wars of attrition for me. Well, this was only a one-man advantage, but it did mean I could do some gang tactics, and afford to lose someone.

The scenario was Theft at Stark Enterprises, a fairly standard king of the hill scenario, so there would at least be no new factors giving advantages in either direction. Hopefully it wouldn't amount to a capture-and-hold slugfest against a pair of gamma-soaked mountains.

---

The battle began as Hulk and Abomination charged toward the center of the battlefield, the street thundering under their combined gaits. The Red Skull moved up as a vanguard, Mausers at the ready. Captain America, with Thanos and Iron Man on either side, moved out to meet them. Repulsor blasts, symbiotic web shots, and vibranium shield alike made for an opening volley that proved most uneffective.

The Silver Surfer soared into the sidelines and began a shooting match with Iron Man high above the city. Meanwhile, Venom and Thanos pounded furiously against the green behemoths, while Spider-Man hung back in the reserves, making off-color remarks to help keep up the team morale. The effort proved futile, for the Red Skull snuck up on his old foe and finally administered the killing dose of Dust of Death that had been years in coming.

As Red Skull stood triumphant over the fallen Cap, a hush fell over the rest of the team with a sense of desperation. In the skies, the duel between the man of iron and the silver herald was drawing to a close, and a final well-placed plasma disc blasted the Surfer from his board and into unconsciousness, hurtling to the ground far below. Even as Iron Man flew to rejoin his team, the unexpected sharp retort of pistol fire sounded, as the bullets found a section of armor plate damaged by cosmic blasts... Down went Iron Man, another victim of the Red Skull.

The ground trembled, and pavement was splintered like plywood as the Hulk's blows failed to find their mark. Venom's unnatural agility kept him the barest moment out of his foe's reach, but his retaliatory strikes seemed only to make the brute angrier, and with anger came strength, and with strength, the dark side? Perhaps not, but danger to be sure. The Hulk stomped down with a massive foot, causing concrete to ripple and asphalt to shred. Fortunately Venom was several meters in the air at the time. A great roar of frustration and rage bellowed from the green giant, matched by an insidious snarl and frightful tongue waggling from the symbiote. The two shared a moment, before resuming fisticuffs.

But Venom's dangerous game was more than a mismatched boxing bout. The Hulk, filled with mindless belligerence, gave no thought to his beleaguered comrade.

Again and again, Thanos' meaty, gauntlet-clad fists crashed into the solid wall of Abomination's torso, until, with a mighty double-fisted uppercut, the Mad Titan sent Abomination arcing through the sky in the general direction of Cucamunga. Thanos declared his superiority to the cosmos, even as a massive green fist closed around his skull. Like a warrior's flail, or perhaps a lady's weighty purse, Hulk swung Thanos bodily into Venom, sending him sprawling and causing a great rent in the ground, before slamming Thanos into and through the pavement.

The Hulk bellowed at the ruined battlefield around him, heroes and villains alike decimated and scattered, as Red Skull looked on with a macabre grin, proceeding with confidence into the Stark warehouse...miraculously the only structure still intact. But then, accompanied by a guitar riff and sporting a clever one-liner, more than likely, "What's the happs, chumps?!" the forgotten Spider-Man swung into action! The wall-crawler's Spider Sense more than adequately kept him flipping out of the Hulk's formidable grasp. Spider-Man had spent his time taking a photo documentary of the battle and was fresh, while the Hulk's weariness quickly caught up with him. With a few quick blasts of webbing, Spidey made a sleep mask to ease the Hulk into a nap, and the brute slowly sunk to the ground chuckling and mumbling, before succumbing to resounding snores.

The Red Skull shook his fist and scrammed into the warehouse to retrieve the weapon prototype, and Spidey swung in after him through a conveniently open window. He was greeted by a hail of bullets, but he nimbly danced between them and fired back with his own web shooters. "Whoa, well aren't you the Princess of Iowa?" "Grrr!"

For several minutes, the two exchanged shots, as Spider-Man repeatedly jumped up onto the upper floor of the warehouse, released a few shots, and leapt back down at regular intervals. The Red Skull stopped firing momentarily, his, uh, brow creased in confusion. "What, why... Why do you keep doing that?"

Spider-Man paused long enough to lay it out for him. "You see, at the end of each round I need to be standing on these cement spaces here, or else you get away with the prototype, right?"

"Uh-huh."

"Well, in the other parts of the turn, I can jump up there to have a height advantage, and you're one of the only people that can't get up here to negate it. I just need to remember to get back on the ground at the end of each turn, so your namby-pamby self doesn't win."

The Red Skull scratched at his chin with the sight of one of his Mausers. "Hmm. That's clever thinking, Spider-Man... But now, prepare yourself for your final --"

At that moment, Thanos appeared beside Red Skull and Spider-Man in a flash of light, briefly exchanged glances with them both, and punched Red Skull squarely in his dilapidated face, sending him hurtling through the tortured walls of the Stark warehouse, and causing the structure to crash down around the victorious duo. Thanos put his arms akimbo and laughed heartily, as Spidey snared the weapon prototype and leapt to safety. The unlikely pair downed a few Dr. Peppers to celebrate their victory.

---

While I'm pretty confident Spider-Man would have gotten the best of Red Skull anyway, Thanos' resurrection cemented the win instantly. It was a rather even game, even with the early loss of Captain America. Kudos to the points calculation.
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Collin Schrader
United States
California
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For whatever reason, this bit of writing has been awarded second place in one of Mozart78's session report contests!

The particular list may be found here
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/40712

A humble thanks to everyone who has thumbed my stuff, and a laurel and hearty handshake to everyone responsible for my three geekgold.
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