Marvel Strike Teams Review by WizKids
Quick Glance: Marvel Strike Teams by WizKids
Game Type: Miniatures Combat
Number of Players: 2-5
Mechanics: Action Points, Grid Movement, One vs. Many
Introduction/Overview: I used to be a pretty big HeroClix player back when the game was new. It was an awesome feeling to be able to control my favorite heroes in a knock-down drag-out fight to the death. My friends and I still tell epic stories about the time a lowly common Green Flame took down Galactus. As time went on, the game started to get too complex for its own good and our group drifted away from the game. A couple of years ago, they even did a giant rules reset to try and fix those issues, but I haven’t yet had the desire to check out if the game is good again. Marvel Strike Teams bills itself a a HeroClix game…doe it suffer from the same thing that made me walk away from the miniature game? Or does it rekindle my love of the game?
Gameplay: The first thing I need to say is this: This is NOT a Heroclix game. The only similarity between this and the miniatures game I played for years is that the heroes have the same kind of Clix bases. At no time during the game do you take damage and click down the stats, instead the dials only keep track of the character’s level and how many points that level gives them to build up their arsenal at the beginning of each mission.
The game can be played in several ways, which I appreciate. You can do a super fast 1 shot mission, a slightly longer 3 stage mission, or a full blown campaign.
The basic game play is that you refresh your action points at the start of your turn, and then spend those points to move around a map and attack. It’s pretty simple stuff. Each scenario card gives each side a list of objectives they need to try and complete. Each objective gives them an Objective Point. If you’re doing a short game, whichever side has most points wins. In a longer scenario, however, only the side that wins the final mission actually wins the scenario. Think the final battle in your favorite MCU movie. All the stuff that happens in the first 2 and a half hours is nice, but all that really matters is which hero is standing victorious on top of the rubble of a skyscraper that was destroyed in the melee.
The game plays very quickly, which I appreciate. One of the things with HeroClix was that you could kind of get into some stalemate positions when powers collided to cancel each other out which caused games to drag out. In Marvel Strike Teams, each scenario card is limited to 4 rounds which takes about 20 minutes in most cases. You could play a full 3 stage mission is just about an hour. That’s a good amount of time for a game of this type. Campaign mode is, well, a campaign. You’ll probably play it over several sessions.
Rulebook: It’s a bit more involved of a rulebook than I think it needs to be. The actual game play is very simple and nearly all the information needed about costs and power is printed on the cards. Still, if you have a question about how anything works…it’s probably in there.
Theme: I think the superhero thing has kind of been played out at this point, but if it’s still your thing then it does kind of feel like you’re playing a movie.
Set-Up/Takedown: It’s kind of unavoidable that set-up is going to take a while for a game of this type. It’s more involved than just throwing out a paper map like you mostly do in the original game, but it allows for more variety in layouts, so it’s a decent trade off.
Components: The Clix figures are nicely modeled. I did have an issue with a couple of the figures not moving on their bases at all. It’s not a huge deal, since they were both henchman figures and all have the same dials, so I could just check the numbers on a different figure, but it’s worth noting.
Otherwise the components are pretty good. There are lots of map boards in the box so there’s a lot of variety available. The cards and player boards are of decent quality. I kind of hate they put in generic wood cubes for action and damage tokens. I may spend a buck or two to get some translucent plastic cubes.
Solo-Play: None, but I could rather easily see an app taking over control of the mastermind role.
Final Thoughts: About the only real negative I have for this game is that it doesn’t quite feel as EPIC as HeroClix. In the actual Heroclix game, your heroes for the most part start out with all their powers intact and you bludgeon each other with massive attacks. Here, all the heroes and villains start out with some abilities and get stronger between missions. That just doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.
Despite that, if you are looking for a quick and dirty miniatures game with superheroes, you could do worse with Marvel Strike Teams. I think it would be especially good as an intro to miniatures gaming with kids.
For me personally? I like that it’s more structured than just the open ended battle royales we tended to play in standard HeroClix. I like that campaigns and scenarios are pretty much randomly chosen as well. That helps replay tremendously. For me, it’s maybe a bit lighter of a system than I would like and just doesn’t feel quite as thematic as I had hoped. Maybe I do need to give the newer HeroClix 2.0 rules a try soon.