Stark Industries rolls out another suit of its flagship armor, that comes in two flavors - the economical 150 point version or the deluxe 300 point coupe.
Which one performs better? Let's take a look:
When you get to the 300 point level, it's hard to justify the expense if there's not an equal return on investment. In this case 300 points buys 4 clicks of life - not even a full 11 clicks on the dial.
Granted, they're all strong clicks (and at about 35 points apiece, they should be), backed with difficult to damage defenses like Invincible and Impervious and capable of dealing 5 or 6 damage in one shot.
Still, at 300 points, a figure needs some added protection - immunity to Outwit is almost a must - those 4 clicks can easily be blown through with a little positioning and an attacker that's a fraction of the cost. Likewise, a 300 pointer that's sporting a TA they can't use just means points wasted (at least in a 300 point game).
For 300 points, you're practically paying for the whole Shield Helicarrier so what does that price tag come with?
Indomitable is necessary to keep him moving, and move he will with his move and attack trait or his speed of 10 and a range of 8, giving him a sweeping 13 swing on his attack, 14 if he self Perplexes.
He's guaranteed to deal damage as well, with Precision Strike negating several evasion and reduction options, Tony Stark's opponents better hope he misses with that Natural 12 attack (again, it could be a 13!).
There's almost nowhere to hide as well, with Improved targeting letting him shoot through walls and terrain, ignoring hindering terrain protection powers like Stealth. At best opponents will need to use their minions as meat shields.
The foes of shell head would be well served basing Tony with a bruiser - limiting the use of his twin targets, move and attack, RCE and Psychic Blast in one swoop.
A strong hit puts him on Invincible and gives him Psychic Blast, which is another reason for the person playing this former iron monger to stay back and keep firing through walls, because once based he's very limited in his options (even if he can strike for up to 6 damage in close combat).
This brings us to the start of the 150 point dial, front loaded with Outwit and more Precision Strike, Tony can then save that black counter power for a bigger threat - like Charge, or an opponent's Outwit.
Sadly the 150 point model isn't as resilient
as the 300 point Stark.
Topping out at a 17 defense and Invulnerability and it never gets better. The 150 pointer WILL take damage, and may heal from it with 2 clicks of Regeneration, but will be in constant threat of KO.
He's got a smattering of useful abilities on every one of his clicks except his last, and Pulse Wave, Perplex, and Outwit should come in handy, but it's hard to look at this 150 points and not find a better use for it somewhere else.
It's also worth noting that for the cost of the upgraded version, a person could field two 150 pointers - which may be a better investment altogether - as both would receive support from the other (2 Shield TAs) and the twin Outwit would be doubly frustrating.
It's a fair bet that two 150 pointers could take on the single 300 pointer and have a decent chance of winning more often than not - which doesn't bode well for the 300's rating.
Which is the better option?
Ultimately, I think the answer lies somewhere in map choice. A battlefield full of blocking terrain will be Tony's best friend, letting him put distance between himself and his target.
Blowing holes in walls will help him get first strike and improve his defense at range by creating more hindering terrain on the battlefield. At 300 points, Iron Man may need to hit and run - targeting opponents that can shut him down or chase him down first, then falling back to a better position, picking his ground to make a stand.
Overall the piece feels like a strong tentpole and on the surface appears to have a decent shot of winning a few games as a one man army, without appear overbalanced or too weak.
Fans should have fun running this figure,
as it offers a lot of firepower and options while requiring a level of skill play and strategical thinking to make it competitive.