Wednesday 1 August 2018

New Avengers: Breakout, Issue #1

This is the first stage of my Super Mission Force campaign. I’ll be using the Breakout event from the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying rulebook, which in turn was based on the storyline of the same name in the pages of the New Avengers back in 2005.

The premise of the story is that the Avengers were disassembled when Scarlet Witch went nuclear in the wake of the House of M storyline. However, fate conspires to bring a group of heroes back together when there is a mass breakout at the Raft maximum security facility.

The idea of using RPG scenarios to frame a miniatures campaign came from the Angry Piper (Dead Dick’s Tavern blog) and it makes lots of decisions for me in terms of planning and allows me to get on with the bits I enjoy - painting and playing.

An additional advantage of this approach is that it allows me to use the campaign resources from the excellent Marvel Heroic Roleplaying from Margaret Weis Productions. Although I love this system, it never really took with the people I have roleplayed with (partly genre, partly system) and so I never got further than the introductory adventure.

Sadly, despite winning design awards, the game lost its license (I think this was when Disney bought Marvel) and so only a few source books were produced. However, I have almost all of it, which means that there is a lot of potential in this idea.

This first action scene is on the deck of the Raft, a maximum security prison for super-powered villains, and sees heroes respond to the emergency from the surrounding area.

My Raft has been put together using my Dropzone Commander tiles with a few buildings and other industrial terrain to add some cover. The sea is simply the reverse side of my green flock’s black because it’s night time.

The heroes for this game are some of the highest profile characters in the Marvel universe:

  • Captain America was the first responder to the emergency, and headed straight there in a helicopter with some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
  • Spider-Man was settling down to a movie night with Mary Jane (his wife, not the narcotic) when he heard the explosion. He used his webbing to hitch a ride on Captain America’s transport.
  • Iron Man was at a party some miles away when he was alerted to the emergency, and is flying towards the Raft as fast as he can.
  • The S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents are a mix of Raft staff and Captain America’s reinforcements. The models were drafted in from my Terminator Resistance force.

The only villain in this scenario is Count Nefaria, hence the need to get him painted, a character who is one of the most physically powerful villains in the Marvel universe.


Description: There has been a massive power outage on the Raft prison facility, threatening to release scores of super-powered villain into New York. As heroes and security services rules to stem the tide, the first to emerge is the immensely powerful Count Nefaria.

Setup: Define a 3’x2’ area as the Raft. Captain America and Spider-Man deploy on one of the shorter edges of the Raft, whilst Count Nefaria deploys within 6’ of the opposite edge at the point of the main entrance to the lower levels. A henchmen group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents deploys in the centre of the Raft.

The area surrounding the Raft is water and presents a danger of drowning to those that land in it. Other suitable terrain can be placed around the Raft surface as appropriate.

Special Rules: Iron Man is travelling towards the Raft at high speed. At the start of each turn make a chance test to see if Iron Man has arrived. On turn 1 the test is TN4, on turn two it’s TN3, and so on. Iron Man will arrive automatically on turn five.

When he arrives, place Iron Man on the board edge closest to the end of the Raft at which Captain America deployed.

Objective: The heroes must subdue Count Nefaria. The Count must survive to the end of the game.

End Game: Count Nefaria is waitingbfor his ionic energy to replenish enough for him to escape far from any pursuing authorities. He will be fully replenished after five rounds.

Rewards: 2/1

Special Events & Conditions: None

Post-Battle Specials: If Count Nefaria escapes, some of the reinforcements destined for the Raft will be sent in pursuit of him instead. Heroic henchmen will not be able to use the ‘hordes’ rule in scenario three.

Well, that was...brief.

I only go to the beginning of turn three and Spider-Man lands an almighty blow that knocks Count Nefaria out cold (he really was weak from the power dampeners). 

Admittedly, the Count was entangled (+1D) and Spider-Man was charging (+1D) and using his Power Attack manoeuvre (+2 rerolls), but 8 goals on 7 Dice is still a lot. However, the Count failing to get any on his 5 dice (with a reroll) meant that his Regen ability counted for nothing, and failing his KO check ended the game. If I use Nefaria again, I may look at toughening him up a bit, although it really was just a lucky hit that dropped him.

Amongst the heroes, Spider-Man was obviously the star of the show, and Iron Man was late. Captain America was tough to use as he had neither the speed or range to get into combat with Nefaria. He was left on ‘Battle of New York’ duty, marshalling the extras and supporting them with his Enhance ability. I suppose this was in character and did save the henchmen from significant damage.

I probably did the wrong thing with Count Nefaria on the first turn, as charging henchmen gives them more dice in defence. The Count should have blasted them from a distance.

There was no post-game sequence as I’m only tracking the heroes in this campaign and they didn’t even take damage, let alone get knocked out. However, they do have 2 story points towards developing during the campaign.

The next scenario could be a few weeks as there are a couple of characters I need to paint and they still haven’t arrived yet. However, this was an enjoyable start to what could be a long project.


  1. Brief, but a lot of fun! Cracking start Kieron.

    1. Thanks. I was a bit shocked how quickly it finished...but that’s dice games.

  2. Awesome report it was great. Opening the images in a new tab certainly makes it easier to read on a pc.

    1. True. I never really think about it any more as I only view blogs on my phone now.

  3. Cracking stuff, Kieron. Highly inspirational. I was a “TSR” Marvel Super-Heroes fan myself, and this bought back a lot of memories. More please :-)

    1. Thanks. I’ve had a look at the old TSR modules but the MHR stuff suits my current collection better.