18th Nov2020

‘Marvel: Crisis Protocol – Venom and Shuri & Okoye Expansion(s)’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Following on from the Black Panther and Killmonger review that we did for Atomic Mass’s Marvel: Crisis Protocol a few months ago, I’m delighted to have picked up the other two expansions that were released at the same time, namely, Venom and Shuri and Okoye. The addition of Shuri and Okoye to my roster enables me to play with the full Wakanda faction, including the “Wakanda Forever” faction card. Venom, on the other hand, is a large and very aggressive character who works well with Spider-man, but can fit in more or less any roster.

First of all, let’s talk about what you get in the boxes. Where Shuri and Okoye are concerned, the box contains two sprues, one for each for T’Challa’s sister and his trusted General. Okoye is a relatively straightforward build by Crisis Protocol standards, although you should still be aware that you’ll need a much steadier hand than you would if you were building Warhammer figures. Shuri, on the other hand, is a nightmare – each arm is made up of three or four 2-3mm square pieces, her head is miniscule with long braids of hair and she stands on just one leg, making her hard to mount on a base.

Venom, on other hand is large and relatively straightforward to put together. He does have some fiddly tendrils to attach and glue, but in the main, I had no problems. Both of these sets come with a pair of Tactics cards each, with Shuri (and Black Panther) having access to the Vibranium Shielding card and either (or any character) having access to Advanced R&D, which allows for up to five power to be redistributed to other, allied characters. Venom receives Lethal Protector and Uneasy Allies, which allow him to either switch the target of an attack to him, or to boost an attack by three dice if both Venom and Spider-man take 1 damage each.

Of course, each of the three characters comes with their own stats sheet, with Venom perhaps being the most surprising. Venom is extremely tough, and his damaged side is almost identical to his full health equivalent. He has two attacks at range three, one of which offers five dice and the other a whopping seven. His other abilities allow him to counterattack once per turn, and when he does attack, his Symbiote Instincts ability prevents defence dice from being modified. The only things that work against him are his slow speed and his weakness to energy damage.

Shuri is a much less capable frontline combatant than Venom, as you might expect, but her ranged attacks and abilities make her an excellent addition to a full Wakanda roster. She has an attack that always stuns the target and may also stagger, and she can use block dice instead of attack symbols if she uses her Super Genius ability. With solid defence in all areas, she is also tougher than most ranged fighters, and she even gains power whenever she rolls a failure (which works well with Wakanda Forever.)

Okoye on the other hand is more of a close-range fighter with a powerful, free attack that deals both energy and physical damage. She can also use a bodyguard style ability that, like Venom, allows her to take the brunt of an attack instead of a nearby ally. She also has a couple of supporting abilities that allow her to reroll one defence or attack die, and an ability to use blanks when defending an enemy attacking at close range. Finally, she has a range four Spear Blast attack that can be useful in either closing the distance or finishing off a weakened enemy towards the end of the fight.

Whilst Shuri and Okoye clearly work best in collaboration with Black Panther and Killmonger, they make for great looking models with interesting playstles in their own right. Wakanda Forever is a powerful faction ability, and the way that these ladies manage and manipulate power and work together to direct and mitigate damage is very useful. Venom, on the other hand, is all about devastating the opposing team with his two huge attacks and using his excellent stats to tank as much damage as possible whilst defending his allies.

Marvel: Crisis Protocol and the Venom and Shuri & Okoye expansions are available online at 365Games.co.uk, or at your local games store. Don’t know where yours is? Try this handy games store locator

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