Friday, July 30, 2010

Now Hiring: 12 Angry Men!

When Lex Luthor & Brainiac SUMMON THE SKULLSHIP they can carry up to 12 adjacent friendly characters. A veritable dirty dozen passengers - enough to make a Green Lantern jealous. This set-up is perfect for a swarm team - Lex-iac can drop a host of figures into the midst of battle easily overrunning smaller teams. The question remains - who gets to ride shotgun? How do we separate who is good enough to serve as henchmen to the smartest guys in the room, and who is merely a scrub?

I don't want no scrub,
A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me,
Hanging out the passenger side,
Of his best friends ride...
-No Scrubs by TLC

For starters, Keyword sharing figures have a priority. Unfortunately for theme players the Legion of Doom has far too many members incapable of being carried. Bizarro #1 and Grodd fly, AA Black Manta is a transporter, Giganta and Toymen are giants. It's a shame the designers didn't adopt Chase Stein's LEAPFROG into the Skullship, allowing for any speed symbol friendly figure to tag along, the ship is big enough to house an army (as seen in Crisis on Infinite Earths #9).

As it is, only Solomon Grundy, Captain Cold, and HT Black Manta will be hitching a ride - making for awkward travel conversation and leaving a completely inefficient 9 empty seats.

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

Here. Go kick him out the airlock.

Better then to switch to the generic keywords starting with Robot. Because the Skullship is a 200 point investment, we'll cherry pick the best of the 'bots, seeking out those that can easily fit onto a twelve figure team, without breaking the point build bank.

#1.) R Robotman (Or - 46 points) can use the Outsiders TA on friendly figures which means the Skullship won’t suffer a movement penalty. Cliff Steele also helps keep the damage values stable for that second duo attack!

#2.) Phalanx Soldier (HoT – 31). The Skull Ship makes for a fast, easy deployment of a Phalanx Swarm. Phalanx are economical, common enough to find multiples of and can easily fit onto a high point game with the Superman Enemies. Save 3 to 9 chairs (or more) on the Skull Ship for them!

#3.) Doombot 5953 (Si – 40). Enhancement + Wildcard = win. For 40 points the terrible twosome get a double use of Outwit, and a damage bump to their ranged Duo attacks. Another generic that’s cost effective and Min/Maxes use of the SE TA, so hopefully Doom won’t mind if these two fellow evil geniuses borrow a few.

#4.) Think of Thinker (Aa – 55) like an upgraded Doombot. He’s a Wildcard, AND has Outwit, which will give this team 3 ways to counter powers. He’s universe specific, if that sort of thing matters, and like the Doombots can copy other TAs as well (SHIELD, PD) to help bring the hurt.

#5.) If you’d rather the Skull Ship have Perplex than a third Outwit, R Omac (Cd – 59) is yet another Wildcard that synergizes nicely with the villainous duo. Bump their AV up to 11, or increase the devious duo’s defenses.

#6.) Of all the robots available, Danger (Mu, 124) may give an opponent the most grief. PC, the ability to nerf modifiers, and an uncounterable front dial make Danger her first, middle, and last name. Like Cher, or Madonna but evil. And robotic.

#7.) If you’re not going the route of the Robot Keyword, or couldn’t afford to buy three FF starters, try using V U-men (Mm, 22) instead. These generics provide some Enhancement, letting the Skull Ship rain down loads of damage with ranged attacks.

#8.) Speaking of ranged attacks, V Metropolis SCU (Ht, 21) is the only Armor keyword figure with the PD TA, which will help those U-men Enhanced duo attacks hit their targets. The Hydra TA possessing R Dreadnought (CM, 30) provides the same benefit for Robot keywords.

#9.) While they don’t fill much of a secondary attacker role R Mandroid Armor (Ct, 28) offers some cheap TK for the rest of the team, and serves to boost ranged attack, or damage values.

#10.) V Skullbuster (Mu, 39) doesn’t offer much in the way of synergy – no TA to share, no support powers. He’s just a solid attacker with range, Stealth, opening 10av/3 damage and two Keywords that mesh with Bru-thor: Robot & Armor. Plus, he’s got the whole Skull motif going on, which makes him a shoe in for the Skullship short bus.

Here's a few sample builds taking full advantage of all 12 chairs.

200 BB040 Lex Luthor and Brainiac
10 - Outsmart
55 AA033 Thinker
10 - Outsmart
46 OR007 Robotman
279 9x HA008 Phalanx Soldier
Total 600
Keyword Robot
+ 13 to map roll,
+ 6 theme PC rerolls

BB040 Lex Luthor and Brainiac
93 3x HA008 Phalanx Soldier
46 OR007 Robotman
124 MU039 Danger
120 3x SI107 Doombot 5953
59 HA010 M-11
39 MM009 Skullbuster
59 CD076 OMAC
60 2x CM013 Dreadnought
Total 800
Keyword: Robot
+ 13 to map roll
+ 6 theme PC rerolls

200 BB040 Lex Luthor and Brainiac
39 MM009 Skullbuster
40 UI051 Silver Samurai
28 CT007 Mandroid Armor
88 4x MM003 U-Men
121 HA060 Kurse
84 4x HT006 Metropolis SCU
Total: 600
Keyword: Armor

+ 13 to map roll
+ 6 theme PC rerolls

Putting it all together:

Obviously, not everyone has a battalion of Phalanx Soldiers, so mix and match to your taste and collection. As the point value increases, be sure to add more expensive tie up pieces like Bi-Beast & Skull Brother. Ahab makes a perfect passenger as well, as he can snipe from the back row through friendly figures with his SP. LE Ultron-13 also compliments Lex and Brainiac with the MoD wild card TA. It doesn't take a twelfth level intellect to determine who's a scrub, and who is worthy of taking a seat on the world's most evil jury, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared either... good luck!