MCP: An introduction to affiliations – Criminal Syndicate

So I had a request for Criminal Syndicate. Unlike A-Force I don’t have a ton of games with CS, although I have more against but I have built a roster recently.

The Affiliation:

The Leadership

What’s good about CS?

The leadership makes them very good at playing secures. If you have two models on a point and your opponent has two – you secure it. And you can pass around extracts. Outside of Affiliation, only Toad and Mission Objective let you do this. You also have some good defensive models; Kingpin, Taskmaster, Crossbones, Mysterio, Omega Red which leads back into your game plan.

What’s bad about CS?

A lot of more models are SLOW. Kingpin, MODOK, Omega Red, Crossbones and Mysterio are all Short movers. Black Cat is your only affiliated Long mover. And some of your models don’t really lend themselves to the game plan. Sin only has 4 stamina on her Healthy side, Bullseye and Kraven aren’t very tanky, Mysterio controls an area better than a point. And some of you affiliated models are just not that great. Bullseye is possibly the worst model in the game, Black Cat needs power to work well which CS doesn’t give her and Green Goblin is pretty bad.

What packs do I need for CS?

You have to start with Kingpin who is another single model pack. You also get 2 affiliated tactics cards and a crisis card that CS quite like. Kingpin is also affiliated with Cabal and Spider foes so He’s not a bad model in that respect. In general Kingpin is pretty good. He has a beam, a great spender attack, a throw and is pretty tough.

If you have the core you will have Crossbones who is good-great in Affiliation. Getting the rest of a roster is tricky because none of your other models comes in packs together.

  • Taskmaster is a really good, but he comes with Punisher and 3 cards you’re not really bothered about.
  • Modok is a great model, not so great in CS as he is in Cabal, but worth having.
  • Omega Red is another single figure pack and he’s good for CS as he heals.
  • Sin is not a great CS model, but she brings 2 cards that make Xbones better, and she works well with Xbones, and then maybe you decide to do a Cabal/CS list. In which case having viper is good.
  • Killmonger is ok in CS, but does bring the Wakandan Herbs Crisis, which can be good in CS
  • Kraven isn’t really want you want in CS, but he comes with Lizard, who is, so not a bad choice.
  • Mysterio comes with Carnage, who isn’t brilliant in CS.

So I think which packs you want depends on whether you are considering playing a second affiliation with CS.

  • If you are considering playing Cabal, get the Sin/Viper and MOKOK packs. You now have 4 CS affiliated models, 2 good Xbones/Sin cards, and with the Core box you have 8 affiliated Cabal models including 2 leaders.
  • If you are considering dipping into Spider Foes, get the Green Goblin, Kraven & Lizard and Mysterio & Carnage packs. You now have 5 affiliated CS, another really good CS choice and 7 affiliated Spider foes (Doc Ock was in the core)
  • If you just want to play CS I suggest getting Omega Red and probably Taskmaster/Punisher. You have a solid CS core 4, can add in Zemo (who’s good anywhere), and Maybe Ultron who is ok in CS unaffiliated as he has armour.

What unaffiliated models do I want?

As with everyone else Okoye is good and so is Enchantress. You can double down on moving extracts around and get Toad. Luke Cage also has good play as he is tough and can bodyguard. And anyone who can heal can be useful so Deadpool, Wolverine, Sabretooth are all options, but not necessarily the best ones. Deadpool counts as healthy on his injured side so he quite a good option. His box is quite pricey for one model you want though,

How Does CS Play?

Generally your ideal game is to get some extracts, get onto the secures and stay there. Since your models have good defensive tech they should stay healthy for a while meaning you score more VPs than your opponent. If you have ranged models keep them off the points and blast your enemies.

What are some good Crises?

Any secures that can score decent points for just being there. So you don’t really want the interact secures you want Extremis Consoles, Infinity Formula, Mayor Fisk, Terrigen Mist and Gamma Wave. Demon’s Downtown also falls into this, but it gives incinerate making your models more likely to be dazed, so not ideal.

Hammers is a good extract as you can pass the hammers between you and so is Research station as it’s basically a secure. But you need the Thor/Valkyrie box and the Scarlet witch/Quicksilver box for those. So either you want extracts where you can start with parity like Panic Grips or Ones where someone has to come to the centre and can’t easily get away like Alien Ship or Skrulls.

Any specific Tactics

Cards like Climbing gear, Tactical analysis and Warpath are handy for keeping you on the secures if you are pushed off.

If you have the Hammers Crisis it is possible for models to “share” Hammers. One model hits an enenemy, then pays 2 power to pass it to an Ally who hits an enemy on their turn then passes it back, so you get more benefit. ” 2 power is a lot but if it gets you extra dice for 2 attacks it’s probably worth it.

All according to plan can be a very useful card and it comes with Kingpin. If you have lost priority spending 10 power across your models to go first can be really game winning if it means you daze an opponent’s big or important model before they act.

I’ve not seen it done but Age of Ultron has good play in CS. He returns to his Healthy side meaning he is counting double again. And he has decent defenses.

Your main Goal is trying to stay on those Healthy sides as much as possible. So 2 restricted healing cards, or brace or Field dressing is more useful than the offensive restricted cards. If you can get other Healing cards like X-Ceptional Healing, go for it.

What to watch out for

Being moved off points. You only count double if you’re on the point, so expect to pushed, thrown and walked off points. Crossbones has Aggressive at least to walk back, but that’s only for attacks. Enchantress is your enemy!

You likely have a lot of Physical attacks so you’ll struggle to deal with Carnage, Captain Americas and Black Panthers who deal well with Physical attacks. Likewise your attacks are mostly short range so models with Martial Artist will count blanks in their defense.

I hope that helps! Feel free to leave comments or request future articles in this series.

One comment

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