Posted by: thederangedbear | July 21, 2008

Marquee Mondays: Crime Lords vs TNB

VS is a casual game. Not just that, but a marquee format is a casual game’s casual game. So what’s the point of all this refining? Why not just play something that I love and throw caution to the wind?

In a nutshell, I really hate losing. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a very competitive person. I can’t explain how that works. I prefer situations where no one I know loses – I’m a big fan of old school co-op games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES or Contra. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible in VS System, so if someone’s gotta lose… I’d rather it not be me : )

More then that, I have this feeling that if I take these events seriously, other people will too, and that will help foster a more competitive and enjoyable tournament experience.


Here’s the TNB list I played against:

4 Barnacle – Acolyte
4 Chrome – Acolyte
4 Amelia Voght – Acolyte
4 Senyaka – Acolyte
4 Rem-Ram – Acolyte
4 Kleinstock Brothers – Acolyte
4 Joanna Cargill – Acolyte
4 Spoor – Acolyte
4 Anne-Marie Cortez – Acolyte
2 Scanner – Acolyte

4 Air Strike
4 The New Brotherhood
4 Boot to the Head
4 The Next Brotherhood
4 Planet X – Team-Up
2 Trial by Fire

Basically Tommy Ashton’s LA list. You can’t play Call Down the Lightning but you gain The Next Brotherhood , which seems like a reasonable trade-off.

Quicksilver – House of M seems good, and clearly has potential. I don’t know whether or not it’s better then what you have already though.

This goes for other cards like Surprise Attack Attack. I remember Erick “erick” Reyes playing it in his TNB builds, but I don’t like it that much on principle – average of 3 and 5 is four, and you still can play an excess of + 4 ATK pumps that you can play which help you get over large characters in addition to the possibility of the four extra burn.

I think as a stock list though, this deck is probably, at most five cards different then other things we might see floating around.

We’re testing this with the mulligan condition being 4 The New Brotherhood (TNB).

The challenger, to refresh your memory:

Characters: 32
9x The Hand – Army * HYDRA
4x Roscoe Sweeny – Fixer
1x A.I.M. Agents – Army * A.I.M.
4x Sin – Synthia Schmidt * RAID
4x James Barnes ♦ Winter Soldier – Communist Puppet * RAID
4x Master Man – Max Lohmer * RAID
2x Masked Marauder – Frank Farnum
1x The Gorgon – Tomi Shishido * HYDRA
1x M.O.D.O.K. – Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing * A.I.M.
1x Kingpin – The Kingpin of Crime
1x The Sleeper – Doomsday Device * RAID
Plot Twists: 12
4x Total Anarchy
4x Cover Fire
4x Mobilize
Locations: 8
4x Geraci Family Estate
2x Dr Fate’s Tower
2x Damocles Base
Equipment: 7
3x Helm of Nabu – Fate Artifact
2x Amulet of Nabu – Fate Artifact
2x Cloak of Nabu – Fate Artifact

Mulligan condition is ol’ chicken and waffles.

I give TNB odds:

On the first turn of the game, TNB Rem-Rams for Joanna Cargill. I have nothing, and I am given a pleasant surprise in Rem-Ram coming over for three via 4 The New Brotherhood .


Turn two, I have Sin while my buddy 4 Chrome. I run Sin into Chrome to save some life, and Rem-Ram faces me. I think the END is 42 – 47 at this point.

On three, TNB plays Joanna Cargill. I however, have merely a single copy of The Hand. Underwhelming, but I guess in some sense it’s like I’m dropping a four drop since he lets me get double usage out of mine.

I get faced hard. An adventurous Air Strike replaces into Planet X which replaces into… something. I sit at a somewhat precarious 23 END.

Turn four, I have my hero: Master Man. The bad guys add Spoor to their cause. I flip Total Anarchy and send Master Man to fly over to hit Rem-Ram. Sin has no attacks due to formation.

Spoor into Master Man, with his power targeting himself makes the Brotherhood four drop a 12 ATK on my 8 DEF. I flip Geraci to reinforce. TNB goes for the team attack, but The Hand jumps to the top of the top of my deck since I’m somewhat paranoid of getting faced out of the game – in retrospect I think this was a mistake.

Then again, I’m just going to re-draw him next turn so it should be okay.

Next turn, TNB plays Scanner from the resource row keeping himself down to four resources. I debate between Gorgon or re-playing The Hand, but there’s no real choice here and I play two copies of the Hand.

I’m at 19.

Chrome – Acolyte goes into Master Man with a Spoor – Acolyte activation and an Air Strike , I power-up and he flips up The New Brotherhood he replaced into.

I’m at 14.

I recover Master Man, and Scanner checks the top four cards of the deck, and an Air Strike on Joanna Cargill. reveals that the card she floated to the top was The Next Brotherhood. Ouch.

Ultimately… I have one more copy of The Hand and he has two other large guys with a + 6 ATK bonus.

Crime Lords: 0 – TNB: 1

Sin didn’t seem particularly useful in this match-up, if she were The Handor something she might’ve been much better, the addition of more copies of The Hand would also let me run birthing chambers possibly and make cover fire even better.

I got to flip Total Anarchy this game. I don’t think it would’ve been better in Flame Trap in this situation – since it acted as a deterrent for him getting too aggressive with his three drop. The TNB of the Modern Era is pretty curvish anyhow, and Total Anarchy is one of those cards that seems like it will always perform whereas Flame Trap has a much higher variance in it’s effectiveness.

One nice thing about writing these pieces up is I get to reassess my play. For example, I misremembered Spoor’s targeting clause as being “Target attacker” – which means you could use it for stunbacks.

Game 2 – TNB has evens.

Turn 1 – I first blood TNB off The Hand

Turn 2 – TNB gets back in the groove with Rem-Ram, Barnacle and Amelia Voght.

Turn 3 – I have Bucky, while TNB has Cargill and puts everyone up. Bucky beats Amelia and The Handgoes after Barnacle – Acolyteand I take 8 on the swings back.

TNB gives up Amelia during recovery, his rationale being that Barnacle – Acolyte has the same amount of attack and he may get to free recruit Amelia next turn.

Turn 4 – TNB has Spoor – Acolyte everyone up front, I recruit Master Man, flip Fate’s Tower to get an Amulet then Amulet and Helm up white boy Master Man is 10-8

Turn 5 – TNB scoops it up having drawn no pumps.

Crime Lords: 1 – TNB: 1

Lessons: I’m a bit concerned about the inclusion of Fate Artifacts, namely that I’m not drawing them. I think Omnipotence or Acrobatic Dodge might suit my needs similarly without having such a large commitment in terms of slots.

I was rethinking the event of the first game, and it occurs to me that reinforcement is at it’s best when you can just pop out of nowhere and say “Surprise!”. Sin, however, sits on the board the whole game and just telegraphs: “Hey, I’m going to punish you for going pump crazy”, which means she generally saves you a couple of END only.

I guess this isn’t neccessarily an indictment against Sin, but I do think that The Hand would probably be more awesome. Just my thinking.

Game 3 – TNB has odds.

Turn 1 – TNB has turn one Barnacle – Acolyte, with The New Brotherhood , I activateRoscoe Sweeny fetching Roscoe Sweeny.

Turn 2 – Pre build, I discard the Roscoe Sweeny I fetched to fish out The Hand , and recruit two of them. TNB recruits Amelia Voght normally then Air Strike.

Turn 3 – TNB leads the turn with Rem-Ram, nabbing Senyaka over various 1-2 drops, then plays Chrome . I have James Barnes, and three copies of The Hand in the grip. I opt to go super Army Style.

I take some damage.

Turn 4 – I draw Cover Fire , and cycle Bucky for Master Man. TNB sets boosts out Senyaka. I flip Total Anarchy, and go after Chrome – Acolyte. TNB passes on attacks in the face of The Hand.

Turn 5 – TNB sets a resource the free recruits Amelia replacing the old one, then recruits Spoor – Acolyte from the row getting me for 4. Everyone is up front with the exception of Senyaka behind Barnacle making him a 4 ATK

After laying a resource I have two cards in hand – Bucky and a Fate Artifact. I play Bucky and pass.


Barnacles goes after Master Man, with Planet X . I use the Hand. Rem-Ram goes into Master Man with Spoor activation (6 ATK) that digs into a second copy of The New Brotherhood (8 ATK) with a Trial by Fire (12 ATK) I play Cover Fire giving me twenty DEF and get the wall.

TNB passes on attacks. Next turn I play out M.O.D.O.K.a>off Roscoe Sweeny.

I send MODOC into Spoor – Acolyte, then Master Man into Amelia. TNB plays Boot to the Head on Master Man, which reveals… The Next Brotherhood.

wtf is this shit

That, along with a Planet X knock me down to exactly 0.

Crime Lords: 1 – TNB: 2

IMO, since TNB misfired in game 2, the scorei is more like Crime Lords: 0 – TNB: 2


All my losses I think you would attribute as ‘bad beats’. TNB is so frustrating because of their ability to stunback. You have to swing like two-three spots down the curve in order to constitute a safe attack.

One thing about TNB is that they always seem to move up their guys front. They never care about breakthrough since there guys are so huge on the ATK that they always want to keep their guys in front so they can threaten an attack on your initiative – they don’t have much range. Advance Recon seems like the perfect card to take advantage of this.

I think version 2.0 should look something more like:

13x The Hand – Army * HYDRA
4x Roscoe Sweeny – Fixer
4x Master Man

4x Total Anarchy
4x Cover Fire
4x Mobilize
4x Losing the Argument
3x Advance Recon

4x Geraci Family Estate
2x Damocles Base

Things that are debatable:
The Fates, Sin, Bucky

Things that I want to Add:
Omnipotence , Have a Blast! , Pathetic Attempt , King Takes Knight, and Men of Steel.

Cover Fire gets way better the more copies of the Hand you play. One thing I’m worried about is that I’m not fating up. I think I need to commit to it more, but the list is already pretty packed if I’m going to play so much army. Hmm…

Total Anarchy AND Advance Recon might be overkill against a single archetype that might not neccessarily even get played. Locally, I know of at least four people who favor the Brotherhood.

What do you guys think?

Until next time.





  1. I really don’t get the Total Anarchy in the version 2 of this deck. It doesnt seem like it gets online until turn 4 and by that point wouldnt you be so far behind that they could kill you by just attacking your 4 drop multiple times just to finish you off with stun endurance loss? Also in version 2.0 it looks like a deck that could take advantage of Birthing Chamber, any thoughts on that?

  2. Yeah, you’re totally right about that.

    I think Birthing Chamber is a great idea. Do you have any thoughts on how I could avoid getting spanked by a random Flame Trap?

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