20th Jul2021

‘Crisis Protocol: Incredible Hulk Expansion’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

It seems like an age since I last played Crisis Protocol, and what better way is there to celebrate the easing of restrictions across the UK than with a few friendly games using some new miniatures. The first in a series of these reviews is this one, for the iconic Incredible Hulk. This expansion was actually launched way back when Crisis Protocol first came out – and I think it was actually among the initial line up. It probably says quite a lot about Hulk’s popularity within Crisis Protocol that it has taken me this long to get hold of it!

Anyway, without further ado, let’s take a look at the model. The Hulk model comes on a large base (unsurprisingly) and he moves short, so whilst he isn’t able to cover a lot of ground, he occupies so much space that the impact is somewhat mitigated. He also has at least one interesting ability to make up for his lack of mobility, but I’ll cover that later. This model is fantastic – it is as big and chunky as you could ever hope, and Hulk’s furious expression, his rippling muscles and his impressive posture fit the character perfectly. The size of the Hulk model makes it one of the more interesting to paint, and the amount of solid green on him leads to some interesting use of washes – hopefully you can see this in my pictures.

In terms of what Hulk brings to the table, firstly he brings his own crisis card which has just three objectives on it, worth just fifteen Threat. Considering that Hulk is the first Threat 6 model that we’ve encountered, you might expect him to want to play in high Threat games. Actually, Hulk is better off facing smaller opposing teams due to the fact that he does not have both a healthy and a wounded side to his character card – he is simply KO’d as soon as his (admittedly huge) 20 health is depleted. This means that he is susceptible to being ganged up on, and so being the spearhead of a smaller team fighting against an equally small team really helps him.

Hulk brings two “specific” Team Tactics cards – one called Gamma Launch that is unaffiliated and allows Hulk to throw any allied character, and one called Anger Management which is Avengers affiliated and allows other Avengers team members to effectively power up Hulk at a cost to his health. Gamma Launch is interesting and this is one way in which Hulk’s own mobility is mitigated, because he can throw a team mate up to five – which is quite far. A great use for this is throwing a nearby ally to a distant objective to either capture it or at least contest it. Anger Management simply allows a nearby Avenger to transfer power to Hulk, whilst suffering the same amount as damage.

The actual Hulk character himself is very interesting, and at the time of release, he was the only character who effectively had a single-sided character sheet. Hulk starts with 20 health, but when this is reduced to zero, he is KO’d. As most of you will know, one key rule in Crisis Protocol is that characters must usually be staggered (and their character sheet flipped) once their health reaches zero. At that point, that character (usually) becomes immune to damage until their next turn, meaning that eliminating a character in one turn is (usually) impossible. With Hulk, that rule is not true – Hulk can be KO’d on turn one, potentially, but you’ll need to deal 20 damage to do it. I should also mention that Hulk’s defence is poor – rating at two, two and three for physical, energy and mystical, respectively.

So what is Hulk good at? Well, he’s an absolute weapon, that’s what. He is size 4, so basically immovable by many effects and characters, and he has a passive ability that ensures he gains three power each phase, rather than one. His basic attack is called strike, and it costs no power, rolls six dice and can cause a character of any size to be pushed back by two. He has a range three energy attack that is strength five for a cost of three, and of course he has “Hulk Smash” as his final ability. For four power, Hulk Smash allows Hulk to roll eight dice, push an opponent of any size (before damage) and a good chance to inflict stun – this is a beast of an attack.

For his Superpowers, Hulk has a huge jump that allows him to leap up to range two (a fair distance based on his base size). His second Superpower is “The Strongest One There Is” which allows Hulk to just pick up and throw someone up to medium range. This is limited to up to size 4 characters (which is almost everyone) and the main thing is, it moves someone a good distance away, and potentially into significant danger. Finally, aside from his Inner Rage (which is where the extra power generation comes from) Hulk is immune to Poison.

Hulk is a character that does get KO’d quite frequently, but if you can use characters or Team Tactics cards to activate him multiple times or have him heal up, he can be very dangerous. Even if he is to fall in battle, you want to make sure you get Hulk Smash onto at least one or two characters to either stagger or KO them with relative ease. He can compete for objectives on his own against almost any pair of smaller characters, and if you choose to support him, he can throw his partner using Gamma Launch to either pick off unattended objectives, or simply give your opponent the thought that you might do that at some point. He’s expensive at Threat 6 so he isn’t ideal in every battle, but he is worth the cost when you do bring him in, and he plays just like you would expect him to.

Crisis Protocol: Incredible Hulk Expansion is 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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