Hello everyone, and welcome to another Atomic Mass Transmission.
Today we will look at the new Marvel: Crisis Protocol tournament format, Timelines.
First, a brief refresher on how we at Atomic Mass Games classify the various, and ever-expanding, ways we create to enjoy our games. In general, we break gameplay into three distinct buckets. The first is what we consider Standard or Base gameplay. This is exactly like it sounds. The game, as it is, right out of the Core Rulebook. Standard is by far the most common and most played version of the game, and it is where the vast majority of our design and development efforts go. Next up are Game Modes, which are play experiences that fundamentally change or alter the core rules of MCP. Think of things like Ultimate Encounters, Narrative Scenarios, or next year’s Mojoball. While Game Modes use the foundation of the core rules, they also alter or completely rewrite some portion of the standard gameplay experience to do something new and different.
Finally, (and most important to today’s transmission) are Formats. Formats don’t change anything about how MCP is played on the tabletop. Instead, Formats challenge players during the Turn 0 portion of the game. Formats are designed to make players think differently about how they will create their Rosters by placing unique restrictions or other obstacles in the way of selecting characters, Crisis Cards, and Team Tactic Cards. While Game Modes are designed to create wholly different play experiences on the table, Formats are meant to give players opportunities which promote creative and strategic thinking through their twists on Roster construction. Currently, the two Formats that exist are Battle Realm, which introduces the concept of a Pick and Ban portion before squads are selected, and the Collector format, which allows players draft their Rosters from “packs” of characters like in popular CCGs.
Formats are further classified into Arena or Party formats. These designations exist to help players identify how much pre-planning and coordination is required to successfully run the format. Arena formats are designed to be easily implemented into a classic competitive event, similar to a typical tournament; as each player can provide minis and other necessary components from their personal collections just like in a Standard game. Party formats, on the other hand, typically require a large level of planning and preparation from all the participants, because they rely on players having access to more than what a single player would have available to them, or some level of pre-event planning or prep that goes beyond the individual effort.
Timeline events are the latest Arena Format for MCP, and it is designed for players that wish to challenge their knowledge and skill of both Turn 0 and their mastery of piloting their squad on the tabletop.
Another unique element of the Timeline Format is that it is specifically designed for large convention events such as Adepticon or UK Games Expo. The format requires at least 32 players to ensure an appropriate number of rounds are played. Like all Formats or Game Modes, Timelines don’t represent the “new way to play” MCP, nor does the Format seek to replace Standard play. Instead, this format is meant for players who enjoy the skill-based challenge of competitive play and are ready to up the ante by showing both their creative thinking skills and game mastery. Players will not only have to create their Roster from a limited selection of options, but they will also do so three times. That’s right!, Those players who rise to the Timeline challenge will have to create three separate Rosters, all of which must be completely unique from each other. That means no repeated characters, Team Tactic Cards, or Crisis Cards. They will then pit their Rosters against each other in a series of tournament rounds that specify which Roster the players must use during that Round.
If Timelines sound daunting, that’s the point! We wanted to create a premiere competitive format that utilized all the unique aspects that come from a larger convention style event while pushing players to prove their mastery of the game at all levels. While we can’t wait to see what the challenge-ready players come up with to overcome the intense challenge of the Format, we recognize that, just like every Game Mode and Format before it, Timeline events aren’t for everyone. That’s the whole point of why we approach playing our games the way we do!
While we are extremely excited to kick off this new Crisis Protocol experience, it does not in any way replace or supplant the other beloved experiences. Whether you want to challenge your skills in a standard tournament, play thematic narrative scenarios, try something uniquely different with Team Tournaments, or put yourself to the test of the Timeline, there will likely be something for you at Adepticon or any of our other events across the year.
If Timelines sound like the challenge you’ve been waiting for, we can’t wait to see what you come up with to meet it. At least until the Timeline shifts and a new challenge begins all over again!
Find the official documents at the link below!