Super Heroes on the Tabletop

It's christmas time and Marvel's What If returns tomorrow for season two! And wouldn't that be a great time to take a look what options wargamers have to bring super heroes to the tabletop?

Marvel - What If

With the Marvel IP, there are two very obvious choices, Marvel Crisis Protocol and in addition, due to S01E05 What if - Zombies? (yet the comic book series Marvel Zombies was already published in 2005) the Zombicide Spin-Off Marvel Zombies!

Asmodee - Marvel Crisis Protocol Asmodee - Marvel Crisis Protocol Asmodee - Marvel Crisis Protocol

Marvel Crisis Protocol is a game made by Asmodee / Atomic Mass Games, and shares some similarities with Star Wars Shatterpoint. It is a 40mm scale skirmish, where two or more groups of super heroes (or villians) fight eachother, with heavy involvement of the terrain. You can basically interact with anything, throw it, destroy it, throw other characters into it. The range itself is already pretty vast, with lots of third party components for further options. We will cover the starter set in an upcoming review.

Zombicide - Marvel Zombies Zombicide - Marvel Zombies Zombicide - DCeased

Marvel Zombies is a spin-off of the Zombicide series by Guillotine Games, in a colaboration of Asmodee and CoolMiniOrNot and uses a 32mm scale. It is a miniature board game, so not entirely a classic tabletop rule set. I would like to point out, due to certain (zombie) super-heroes mechanisms, it is not compatible with the 2nd edition of "regular" Zombicide. Marvel Zombies has a lot of supplements, giving you access to a lot of the heroes from the Marvel Universe, with some options being limited to the Kickstarter pledgers. Just recently a second crowd funding campaign was successful, covering the Zombified variant of the DC Universe, with Zombicide DCeased. DCeased is said to be published in April 2025. We will look into Zombicide / Marvel Zombies as well.

Marvel United Marvel United Marvel United

And another, rather miniature board game by CoolMiniorNot / SpinMaster Games, is Marvel United. It is a coop-board game, where your heroes play against the game itself, so not really the classic tabletop experience. But the miniatures would provide a proper Chibi-style ressource for other rule sets.

WizKids - HeroClix WizKids - HeroClix WizKids - HeroClix

Beside Asmodee there is WizKids with the HeroClix range, that covers both models of DC and Marvel comics. They come prepainted and are more of a collectible board game, as a lot of the regular components of wargaming are missing (like model building, terrain etc.).

Knight Models - Batman Miniatures Game Knight Models - Batman Miniatures Game

Another company holding licenses to publish a super hero rule set with Marvel and DC characters is Knight Models. They have the Batman Miniatures Game and Spiderman Miniatures Games. While the models look very nice, a lot of details were just painted on and the models were cast in a rather soft metal, not ideal for gaming, rather display purposes.

Pulp City - Dr Red Pulp City - White Tiger Pulp City - Prof Hammer Pulp City - Papa Zombie

The evergreen among the super hero rule systems is Pulp City. Not having licensed characters, but own creations, is probably one of the games in this genre that has been around for the longest time, since 2012.

Osprey Wargames - A Fistful of Kung Fu Osprey Wargames - A Fistful of Kung Fu Osprey Wargames - A Fistful of Kung Fu

Among the vast options of Osprey Wargames there is A Fistful of Kung Fu, which is not per-se a super hero rule system, but Hong Kong movie game rules, gives you a lot of options to cover supernatural characters and beyond-human power levels in your characters. Absolutely worth a closer look.

Crooked Dice Games Studio - 7TV 80s Heroes Crooked Dice Games Studio - 7TV Thundercats

A similar approach takes 7TV, a cinematic skirmish game by Crooked Dice. The core idea is that you "shoot a movie" and the supplements are the scripts for the various settings, among them fantasy, spy or post-apocalypse stories.

Starbreach - Supers

And then there is Supers by StarBreach which is free, and covers a generic ruleset to be used with super heroes.

I hope I gave you some inspirations about superhero wargaming. Enjoy the holidays and new episodes of What-If!

Posted by Dennis B.

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