For today’s article, we are going to focus in on the upcoming release of Rocket Raccoon.
Rocket Raccoon is the third 2-point character to be released for Marvel Crisis Protocol, and he packs quite the punch for such a low cost model. With two range 5 attacks and a medium move, Rocket should be able to reach out and roll dice on the majority of characters attempting to interact with the scenario, while still being able to keep far enough back to carefully!) hold a secure objective. With a quite a few of the core box characters having weaker energy defenses (3 dice versus 4 dice), Rocket is especially dangerous, especially to other characters with only 2 energy dice, such as his buddy, Groot and Venom.
If you really want to dish out damage over a multitude of characters, the “Deadly Duo” Team Tactics card can really help you out, allowing the player to spend 2 power off of Rocket and an allied Groot (that must be within Range 2 of each other), allowing Rocket to then make up to 3 plasma rifle attacks, each of which must target a different character.
Since the plasma rifle also allows Rocket to gain a power per damage dealt to enemy characters, the low investment of 2 power off of Rocket could net the player quite a bit more, dice permitting, allowing the Rocket to use his more powerful “Hadron Enforcer” attack. Not only does this attack offer more dice, but it can also be used to damage other enemy characters within range two, and even push them small, allowing them to be moved out of position, off of contested secure objectives, or out of attack range of Rocket’s teammates, forcing your opponent to waste critical actions just to move back into position.
Rules Tip! Depending on positioning and base size, you may even be able to push a character towards another character such that they are moved past the character they are moved towards! While this isn’t all that easy with a small movement and the enemy model being pushed needing to be within range 2, other characters, such as Venom with his “Web Snare” and “Klyntar Rage” Superpowers, can quite easily pull or throw a character behind his base, especially because you ignore the character performing a throw or push for the purposes of collusions and halting the movement!
Finally, even if your opponents manage to survive the withering hail of Rocket’s potent ranged attacks, they still need to be wary on closing in on Rocket’s position to deal with him due to his “Booby Traps” super power. If you managed to hang onto 3 power after blasting your opponent’s team, when an enemy character ends a movement within range 3, Rocket can spend three power, and then deal 0-4 damage (about 1 point on average). KO-ing of Dazing a character with this will end the enemy character’s activation prematurely, so enemy characters with 1-4 Health left really have to consider how much they want to get their hands on Rocket! Additionally, ending any movement (including movementfrom throws or pushes) also triggers this superpower, so enjoy throwing enemy models into one of
Rocket’s many hidden caches of explosives. It’ll be a blast!
Unfortunately, for all of Rocket’s very strong offense, his defense is far from stellar. With two physical land energy defense, and even with his “Small Statue” innate superpower (granting Rocket cover, which allows him to modify any non-failure dice into a block during the modify dice step of an attack), any concerted effort to attack Rocket will most likely end in our hero taking three damage and being Dazed or KO’d.
A good trick towards keeping Rocket in one piece, aside from hanging out within range 1 of his buddy Groot to make use of Rocket’s “Personal Bodyguard” superpower, is to hide him. Placing Rocket behind anything Size 2 of more (such that a line cannot be trace from Rocket’s base to an Enemy character’s base) will keep him out of line of sight and thus unable to be targeted by a majority of attacks. Plus, assuming the enemy character is size 2 or above and Rocket is hiding behind a Size 2 piece of interactive
terrain, Rocket can trace LOS to them and attack them without being able to be targeted back, so let Rocket act like a trash panda and look for good spots for him to hide behind a dumpster.
Make sure to watch out of attack that ignore LOS and cover like Captain America’s Shield Throw attack or Doctor Octopus’s Arm Lasers, as they can spell the end for a more hapless raccoon. Finally, with only 2 physical dense dice, Rocket is also very vulnerable having things thrown at him (especially Groot!), so hanging out on top of terrain (instead of behind), taking the “Brace for Impact” team tactic card, or even going it solo behind a Size 2 piece of terrain are all good ideas. Rocket simply is not a character you want to have going toe to toe with anyone, and he especially dislikes being moved out from behind LOS blockers or away from his buddy Groot.
Rules Tip! Since a model cannot partially overlap terrain and a thrown model or interactive terrain piece collides with the first piece of terrain or
character the movement tool or a thrown model contacts, a character standing on top of interactive terrain cannot be hit by a throw….unless you throw the terrain the character is standing on at them!
So what sorts of teammates will Rocket likely enjoy?
Starting with affiliations, Rocket will, of course, benefit from being a part of a Guardians of the Galaxy team, as the many rerolls granted from the “Winging it” Leadership ability can really push Rocket’s offense to the limit, especially when combined with the many shots from the “Deadly Duo” team tactics card. Similarly, Wankana can allow for slightly more accurate shooting at the cost of some of the power Rocket really wants for his other abilities, as well as giving Rocket a small bump to is limited defensive
abilities. Cabal rewards Rocket proclivity for blasting away with the potential for even more power generation, allowing for the potential of more frequent uses of Booby traps of the Hadron Enforcer.
Avengers allows for more defensive play, cutting the cost of Booby traps down to two power. Asgard allows Rocket the potential to stay alive for a bit longer and lets him shake off some of the nastier status effects that might make it to him, such as stun and shock.
As for the rest of the team, Groot is a clear favorite pairing especially when it comes to keeping Rocket from taking damage. Similarly any other more durable characters that enjoy brawling in the center of the table (such as Venom, Ultron, Thor, etc.), and soaking up attention while Rocket blasts from the backlines are ideal. The dice fixing of Shuri’s “Upgrades” super power, as well as having another range 5 attack with a push to keep both long ranged characters safer is definitely helpful, but be cautious not to
not have enough Characters that can make it across the table, especially in games that include the “Gamma Shelter” Secure objective, which really push the confrontation to the center of the table, away from the flanks.
Just make sure to keep your favorite Raccoon safe and out of the enemy crosshairs while he hangs out in or behind a favorite car or dumpster, blowing holes into your opponent’s best laid plans!
About the Writer Section
Ian Usie has spent a lifetime gaming, dabbling in everything from many of the highlights of video gaming (Starting with the Super Nintendo and Atari 2600) to a more recent decade of Tabletop Wargaming. Ian has played Privateer Press’ Warmachine and Hordes games for around 7 years competitively, and has more recently taken a strong interest in Atomic Mass Games’ Marvel: Crisis Protocol tabletop hobby miniatures game. You can commonly find him playing and teaching others to play a variety of tabletop games multiple nights of the week, as well as painting miniatures associated with those games.