• Greatest Stories Ever Rolled: Batman & TMNT Adventures

    Welcome back to the Greatest Stories Ever Rolled. We take a look at the comics that inspired and impacted us and recreate those teams, stories, or events in Dice Masters.

    So, here we are again. Weíve done four of these GSER articles on Marvel storylines, three DC, a D&D, and one with my Indy comic wish list. One thing that jumps out at me is that I havenít done one on an inter-company crossover yet. One of the biggest selling points of Dice Masters is that we can play with these characters who donít normally interact. The easy answer, and where many of your minds first jump to, would be to do one on Marvel vs DC. Thereís a lot of things I donít like about that though. As big as it is in comic book history, it just doesnít do it for me. Thereís a lot of things I just donít agree with as a comic book fan: such as Superman dispatching Juggernaut effortlessly before his showdown with Hulk; the off-panel bru-ha-ha to the much advertised battle between Wolverine and Lobo; the single panel fight between Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) and Silver Surfer. Itís all flash, no substance. Not to mention that Peter Parker didnít actually participate in the battle, because at the time of the event Ben Reilly was the only web-slinger in comics. I need my comics to make me feel something. They can give me goosebumps and make the hair on the back of my neck stand up with anticipation of an epic confrontation. They can bring me to tears with the death of a loved character. They can make me laugh out loud. Iím not picky to which feeling it is, but I need something.

    I grew up watching after school cartoons in the 90s. While Iím always going to be a Marvel guy, Batman: The Animated Series holds a very special place in my heart. Itís arguably one of the greatest superhero cartoons of any era. Equally as impactful to my upbringing was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With the TMNT, it wasnít just the cartoons though. It was the cartoons, the movies, the action figures, I had a Raphael cereal bowl growing up. Even as an adult, I had the entire family dress up as TMNT characters for a local comic con last year. So, when I saw that DC was working with IDW and Nickelodeon to publish a Batman and TMNT crossover mini-series, I became interested. I was even more turned on to it after realizing that the ďBatmanĒ parts were lifted straight from the TAS (The Animated Series) universe. The artwork, the design, even the way the characters talkedÖ just like they appeared in the original animated series. Over on the TMNT side of things, we see the characters as they are in the current animated series on Nickelodeon. I actually havenít seen the new series yet, so I wonít blindly judge. But it seems like the characters are largely the same, just maybe more extreme in what makes the characters unique. Thatís fine. Donatello is a little nerdier, Mikey is a little goofier. Iím cool with that. So I decided to pick up the first issue of this crossover to see if it was any good. Oh. Itís good. So good in fact, that itís getting its own edition here on GSER, despite being fresh off the press! Itís the funniest comic Iíve read in a long time. I have no problem already putting it up on the crossover pantheon.

    So, here we go! The Greatest Stories Ever Rolled presents Batman & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures. The story is pretty simple. Some dimensional portals get opened up in New York City (TMNT dimension) thanks to some Krang technology. The dimension these portals lead to? You guessed it: Gotham City over in Batmanís dimension. More specifically, the portals open up right in Arkham Asylum. Inmates escape to the Turtlesí dimension. Batman investigates, and ends up in their dimension as well. After a brief throw-down, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl team up with the Ninja Turtles to stop all of the villains that have seemingly joined forces. Michelangelo and Joker really stand out in this series in their respective roles. Interactions between Leonardo and Batman are everything I hoped they would be. And maybe most importantly, Shredder comes off as an absolute force. I love everything about this crossover. I canít find a bad thing to say, except that itís only a mini-series, so we know there wonít be any lasting character development in the aftermath. Regardless, this comic is fun. It made me laugh out loud seeing the opening title sequence of Batman The Animated Series displayed on a two-page spread, with Michelangelo filling in for Batman. I was wide-eyed in awe as the Shredder shook off the Jokerís laughing gas through sheer force of will. So so so good.

    Now, on to Dice Masters. The first thing we need to decide is if we are going Good Guys or Bad Guys. Good Guys gives us our pick from Leo, Raph, Donnie, Mikey, April, Splinter, Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Alfred. The Bad Guys gives us even more of a selection with Shredder, Foot Ninja, Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Tiger Claw, Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Clayface. Ugh, I just donít knowÖ So, letís do both! Iíll keep the reasoning behind the choices a little more brief. Changing the format up a little for this one. Hope everyone enjoys. (Not doing links to retrobox this time, since I'm using cards that aren't in it yet.)

    First, the Good Guys.

    Fine, Iím cheating. Iím using a card thatís not out yet. But I think one of the new versions of Batman is perfect: Always Prepared. The one with the Flip ability. The side we like is the one that says ďWhen fielded, your opponent must reroll their active Villain character dice.Ē This shows that Batman is ready for any villains, regardless of what dimension they are from. Any good Batman, needs a Robin. So we use Kid Detective that gets a little stronger while Batman is active. For Batgirl, no sense in beating around the bush. The SR Babs is where itís at. April, No Mere Damsel, will help us get Turtles for cheaper, and itís an early game purchase. Win-win. Thereís half of our team. So, letís figure out which Turtles we want to use. Leonardo is my favorite, and I like the offensively skewed Fearless Leader with Turtle Power. Plus, this way thereís no confusion like there is with Leo/Big Brother versions from the first TMNT box. Raphael has always been my least favorite Turtle. So, weíre going to take one thatís very situational, Second Son. Depending on what kind of team youíre facing you might buy him, might not. I feel like we have enough control in place already. Batman can clear the field, and Batgirl could pick off a few potential blockers. Iíd also like to point out now that we have two characters with Turtle Power, so weíre taking the 4-cost versions of Michelangelo and Donatello with no abilities, Party Dude and Does Machines. They both start out with 4A on level 1, and only go up from there. With two different Turtle Powers available, we could be looking at them for 2 cost each. We might as well go big with character discounts, and pick up Big Entrance. We could be looking at 1-cost Turtles. Yes, please. Last, letís bring Unstable Canister. That could come back to bite us with so many of our characters having low defense, but I like the ease of being able to ping Batgirl when needed. So, the strategy: We get April and Big Entrance. Batman and Leonardo are up next. Pick up Batgirl or Robin along the way if the rolls donít agree with you or you need a way to keep opposing side at bay. Leonardo and April open the door, allow Mikey and Donnie to make their Big Entrance. Batman rolls the opposing Villains (or non-Villains if you need) and the Turtles bring enough attack power for the win.

    Now, the Bad Guys.

    Iím going to start building at the back end of this team, and build up to the big bosses. Right off the bat for the taking, we get Clayface, Terror, and Villainous Pact. Bag control, and even if your rolls donít give you a mask, you can make one out of a sidekick. Love it. Thereís our engine. Foot Ninja, Shredderís Army provides an early purchase. Iím really just sold on the 2-cost here. Swarm is a bonus. Poison Ivy is one of my favorite comic book villains, so weíre picking her. I feel like you just canít go wrong with the common Home and Garden. A good, reliable blocker. Scarecrow has a few cool moments in the series, especially the end of issue #5. A lot of people like the rare version from Worldís Finest, Hallucinogenic Vapors. For good reason. But we donít really have a reliable method of KOing him, so Iíd rather have the uncommon, Horror of Gotham. This can quickly turn the numbers game in your favor, suddenly stealing would be blockers to either push the attack with, or as fodder for a Clayface global. Bonus points if your opponent has any characters with Ally. We donít have a beatstick yet. For this, I like Tiger Claw, Lost Humanity. Three damage to each opposing character when he hits the field. Love it. Harley Quinn has a few different versions that could be helpful. We know we are taking some version of the Joker, so the 3-cost Dr. Harleen Quenzel is tempting, but ultimately, I think the 4-cost common from Worldís Finest, Leadership Skills, will be better, letting us get some bigger guys in for cheap. HOWEVER! If the Batman/Turtles team gets to cheat by having a card not yet released, the Villains do too! Say hello to the 3-cost rare Harley Quinn, Tough Cookie. ďWhile Harley Quinn is active, at the beginning of your turn, if you control at least 2 different Villain character dice, your opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.Ē I think we will consistently have at least 2 active villains. Of course, we canít have Harley without JokerÖ I donít love any version. But I think we should go with Clown Prince of Crime just to lock out any opposing win condition. That leaves one character slot left. You know who it is: Shredder. My favorite version is the 6-cost Oroku Saki. His stats top out at 8A/8D, and each player loses life at the start of their turn. Last but not least, letís get a basic action with some direct damage. Betrayal fits perfectly, especially given the Joker/Shredder relationship in the comic. The strategy: Foot Ninja are cheap, and a good place to start. The globals on Villainous Pact and Clayface can give some early bag management. I think you go for Harley and Shredder as soon as possible. I can see winning the game purely by getting Foot Ninjas, Harley, Shredder, and either Betrayal for direct damage or Tiger Claw to clear the way and finish the job attacking.

    I love both of these teams. Matched up against each other, I think the Good Guys have the advantage. But if I was to take one of these teams to a shop to play others, Iíd want to use the Villains. That Shredder/Harley combo could be something to look at outside of this goofy article series. They are both mask characters, so they can be protected by Raven. The 6-cost Shredder might be too expensive, especially for a character thatís not going to win you the game anytime soon. But I really love the combo in theory.

    Well, I donít post these articles for my own sake, I want to know what you guys think. So, let me know in the comments below. Peace out! Roll on!
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      I'm enjoying this series of articles very much. I'm looking forward to playing this version of Harley Quinn (and since she's a common I know'll be able to do so, i.e I still don't own Batgirl Babs). In my area where we're still semi-casual and playing unlimited constructed, I could see walling up this HQ, some cheap villain with high D, maybe Pepper Potts, and otherwise just building up to a modest swing and crunch character purchases (you mentioned the mask protecting Raven, maybe use the latest version of Beholder and make it unblockable with the BAC from iron Man). Thanks again for some great ideas and the entertainment.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      It's actually the Rare Harley Quinn, but it will be the alt art participation prize in next month's Batman TAS Villains OP.
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      Quote Originally Posted by pk2317 View Post
      It's actually the Rare Harley Quinn, but it will be the alt art participation prize in next month's Batman TAS Villains OP.
      Thanks for the correction on rarity.
    1. gkpon66's Avatar
      gkpon66 -
      As usual, like how you connect the story to the game and give me a bunch of comic history. Keep it up! Gary