Last week we covered a Cabal character that has fallen out of favor slightly, but who still remains an obviously powerful character within MCP, and the Cabal Affiliation, in MODOK. This week we are going to take a look at a Cabal character straight out of the Core Set. This character was viewed as one of the weakest when the Core Set came out, and most player’s opinion of him did not improve as more and more options were introduced into the Cabal Affiliation. Poor Crossbones never got the respect he deserved, but this article is going to explore why Brock Rumlow is better than many people think.
At first glance Crossbones looks to be a respectable 3 Threat brawler with 4 Physical Defense and a respectable 6 wounds. Things start to look worse when we get to Crossbones’ Energy and Mystic Defense of 2, but he has a Superpower to help with that we will go over later! The nail in the coffin for Crossbones when it comes to getting on the table is usually his slow movement speed. With just a Short move available, and only a Range 2 builder attack, it can be extremely difficult to get Crossbones in a place where he will make an impact. If we are just looking for a solid 3 Threat character to never move obviously one with a decent ranged attack would make much more sense than Crossbones!
Thankfully Crossbones has a couple ways to mitigate his lack of mobility. First, he has his Aggressive superpower. If Crossbones suffers damage he can simply move Short toward the character who attacked him. This ability is completely free, and only requires Crossbones to take a single point of damage. Even better is when Crossbones takes this damage to move closer to his attacker you are getting Power to use the Inured to Pain superpower on any follow up attack. Even best (ok that was lazy writing) is when your opponent is trying to push poor Crossbones off of a Secure with their attack, but he moves right back onto it with his Aggressiveness.
Crossbones “spender” attack only costs 2 Power and is the other way you can become more mobile than your opponent is expecting. With a respectable Range 3, 5 dice, attack Crossbones gets to be placed within Range 1 of the target completely for free. No wilds or damage required. If you do manage to roll a Wild Crossbones gets to throw his target (if they are Size 2 or less) Short and THEN place within Range 1! From a single Overpower Crossbones can be placed Range 3 plus a Short throw away from where he started his attack. That isn’t very slow.
The actual spender attack on Crossbones card is Haymaker. Spending 4 Power for an 8 dice attack isn’t a terrible deal, and it is likely you will build up to 4 Power quickly with Red Skull’s Leadership in play. As all MCP players know dice can come out cold as ice sometimes, but Cabal Crossbones has an answer for that. The Dark Reign Cabal card is an excellent combo with Crossbones’ Haymaker spender. Re-rolling all of those 8 dice will make most enemy characters extremely sad.
With the 3 Power cost of Dark Reign and the 4 Power cost of Haymaker it may be best if another character other than Crossbones spends the power to play Dark Reign, but a Red Skull Cabal team shouldn’t have any issues getting 7 Power on two characters.
Crossbones won’t just do a ton of damage, but he will be extremely annoying for your opponent to remove from the table as well. Paying one Power to reduce damage by 1, even down to zero, makes Crossbones much more survivable than he first appears. Some opponent’s may try to simply ignore the big brute to deny his ability to generate power for a devastating Haymaker, but this just allows Crossbones to punch away with his builder until later in the game when he has plenty of power to throw an 8 dice Haymaker. Admittedly, if you opponent ignores poor Crossbones, he may have to choose between his Haymaker and his Overpower attacks, but MCP is all about tough choices!
Crossbones also has some excellent synergy with his wife, and second Cabal leader, Sin. All of these interactions, and Tactics Cards, deserve their very own article which will come out next week. Hopefully, some of these tips have convinced you to give poor Brock a try in your next Cabal game. While he may not be as flashy as some other Cabal options Crossbones can hit well above his 3 Threat weight class, and can frustrate your opponent with how difficult he can be to remove from the table.