• Greatest Stories Ever Rolled: Maximum Carnage

    A lot of people I know came to Dice Masters through a love of board/collectible games and a casual interest in comic books. Not me. It was the other way around. Iím pretty new to the whole gaming scene. Iíve never played Love Letter, Pandemic, Carcasonne, or Ticket to Ride. But Iíve read a ton of comic books. So, hereís what weíre going to do. "Greatest Stories Ever Rolled" is going to take some of my favorite comic book series, events, or moments and recreate them in Dice Masters. Sound good? Good. Letís kick this series off by looking at one of my favorite comic book events from the 90s, Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage.

    Story Overview: So, New York City. Carnage breaks out of the asylum when the doctors accidently allow Cletus Kassidy to rebond with his symbiote. During the breakout, another inmate, Shriek, gets his attention and the two of them start causing chaos through the city. Spider-Man tries to stop them, but is defeated due to Carnage and Shriek gaining a band of chaotic followers in Doppelganger, Demogoblin, and Carrion. Spidey gets the help of some New-York based heroes as well to stop this threat. Meanwhile, Venom travels all the way across the country to stop Carnage once he learns of his escape. Some pretty big-scale bru-ha-has take place, forcing Spider-Man and Venom to form an unlikely alliance to bring down Carnage. It just wouldnít be a classic Spider-Man story if there werenít some personal issues as well. Peter an MJ are just struggling as a married couple, as Peter promised to take some time off from Spider-Man to focus on their marriage. Then Carnage broke out. The good guy allies consisted of Cloak, Dagger, Black Cat, Firestar, Deathlok, Iron Fist, Captain America, and Morbius. Thereís also throw away appearances by an hero called Nightwatch and the rest of the Avengers at the end. Spoiler: good guys win, and everything pretty much goes back to the way it was before the story started. No lasting changes from this event.

    While Carnage is the only character from the bad guys that has made a DM appearance so far, the good guys are set, having every major hero in DM in some capacity. Weíre going to make Team Spider-Man/Venom from the Maximum Carnage storyline. Hereís our team!

    Spider-Man: Tangled Web. Well, we need Spider-Man. Heís a 4 cost, pumps when he attacks, and can pump everyone else when he attacks as well (with some global use). He might not be the best Spider-Man, but we will probably be using some other Spider-Allies, so letís start with this guy.

    Venom: Spidery or Angelo Fortunato. I debated on this one for a while. This is the choice Iím least confident about on this team. As youíll see later on in this list, our options for ramp are limited. Spidery is a 4 cost over the 6 cost Angelo Fortunato. On the plus side, he dissuades your opponent from amassing a wall of Ďkicks. We donít want them to have blockers. Angelo Fortunato is more expensive, and doesnít let them have sidekicks in the field. For now, Iím going with Venom AF. Why have we not been calling him that all along?

    Black Cat: Party Hardy. With Spidey and Venom above, Iíve established I want characters with decent stats at a reachable cost. This is how I deal with an opponent walling up. Force them to reroll everything, get it off the field, and swing for the win. I hated including a SR on this list, but I feel like I didnít have much of a choice. Black Cat is vital to the story, and this one fits the best.

    Cloak: Tyrone Johnson. We are looking to win through combat damage. The Cloak that gives himself and Dagger +2A and Overcrush gets my vote, even if slightly overpriced at 5 cost.

    Dagger: Tandy Bowen. The cheapest Dagger available to reap the benefits from Cloak. They are both Spider-Allies so that lvl 1 Spidey can give them the boost as well.

    Iron Fist: Immortal. We do not have much ramping ability with the character limitations weíve put on. We need a cheap character. One like Iron Fist that brings decent stats and a useful ability makes him an auto-include. Plus, since this team is not meta competitive, Iíd like to think you will face more casual teams against it. Iron Fistís damage reduction could come in very handy in that regard. His secondary ability will only come in handy if we choose Venom AF over Spidery. Food for thought.

    Captain America: Freedom Fighter. This team wants to be aggressive and push the attack. This Cap helps. I attack with a single sidekick. You either block the sidekick, knocking him out and triggering Capís Resistance ability taking 1 damage. Or you just let the sidekick through, taking 1 damage. Plus, this Captain America spins up every turn. Not bad for a team that wants to win through combat damage. And all for 4 cost. This Cap is actually a little underrated in the big picture of Dice Masters.

    The final character spot. We have Deathlok, Morbius, and FirestarÖ and I did not pick any of them. Not that it was totally intentional, but all 3 characters on the bench only have character cards NOT depicting their look from Maximum Carnage. Morbius was not rocking the high collar, Firestar was wearing a leather jacket at the time, and modern Deathlok looks very different from 90s Deathlok. It might not even be the same Deathlok. Iím not sure. Our final character isÖ

    Mary Jane: MJ. Sheís an important part of the story. This isnít a cop out. Promise. 2 cost for an early purchase, and can help get some damage here or there through granting Overcrush. Especially if itís to Spidey himself. She canít give Overcrush to Venom, but heís the only character on this team exempt. Spider-Man, Captain America, Dagger, and even Iron Fist are all prime candidates to take advantage of Overcrush.

    Basic Actions

    Anger Issues. We like combat. Overcrush is our friend. Globals that increase attack are friends too. And how does Anger Issues fit thematically on this team? Well, exhibit A: Venom. Exhibit B: Spider-Man comes to a breaking point midway through the series proclaiming that he wonít hold back, no more Mr. Nice Guy, etc.

    Resurrection. We need some form of bag management. Guaranteeing that third turn Captain America could be huge. Also, in the story, Shriek Ďkillsí Dagger early on, sending Cloak in to a rage. Dagger returns before the climax, resurrected.

    Strategy: Iím running this team at our next local constructed play night. I donít expect to win, per say, but I expect Captain America to catch people off guard with some early pressure. Follow up with Spider-Man to keep the threat of an attacking Spider-Man and Captain America in the forefront. Some early sidekicks of my own would cause me to go for Iron Fist and MJ early. Early MJ means I probably go for Spider-Man over Captain America, but only slightly. (Spidey gets buff when he attacks, and Cap spins himself up. Both are great for Overcrush.) I buy Venom the first chance I get. No questions asked. The oppression he provides against my opponent will likely be the key to winning most games. Iím probably not purchasing Anger Issues unless itís a late game wall vs wall scenario and I canít purchase Black Cat. Cloak and Dagger are definitely the two that donít seem to fit in to the strategy. I canít see a scenario where I purchase either of them over some of my lower cost characters. They do work well together, and Iíll keep them for story purposes. But I think they are wasted slots. If my opponent brings PXG, I think I go Iron Fist first, ramp hard in to Venom. If my opponent brings Red Dragon, I may be tempted to buy Anger Issues earlier on, but shouldnít. If my opponent brings BEWD, I try to combo moving Venom to prep via Iron Fist on turn 3 or 4. I wish I could justify Transfer Power from a storyline perspective with this Captain America, to increase the threat of a sidekick getting through unblocked. That's definitely a basic action I want to see on the opposing side.

    I'm excited to try this team out, since the comic series played such an important role in my young fandom. Do you think I should have picked a different character? Leave a comment below.

    Roll on.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Kitten's Avatar
      Kitten -
      This series is a TERRIFIC idea, I love it. This could be used to introduce lesser known characters to players who aren't into comics. An interesting article might be how the Marvel Civil War started, and a team using those characters.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Maximum Carnage is one of my favorite event comics (and video games). Just fantastic.
    1. gkpon66's Avatar
      gkpon66 -
      Really like the idea of a scenario presented and seeing how the players would respond. Not having been a comic guy for 30+ years, it might be time to see what is out there and bring it to the players. Thanks Randy. Gary
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      I wish there was a way to work Z.Morbius in to the team-but we need regular Morbius instead of the zombie version for him!
    1. grundalow's Avatar
      grundalow -
      My playmat approves of this article.
    1. Jonasty's Avatar
      Jonasty -
      I love the concept for this series, please many more! You could even do it with the D&D sets given how much fiction is out there, Salvatore's Drizzt coming to mind.

      Maximum Carnage is an amazing story and a great start for this. I've seen a lot of love for Venom AF in the threads recently but I'm a huge fan of Spidery. That card is such a great card.

      I'm actually a huge fan of the various Civil War SpiderMan cards. I love the penalizing of my opponent when they field their own characters.