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Marvel Crisis Protocol: Building Your Roster – Picking Affiliation

7 Minute Read
Jul 17 2021

The ability to play in person is coming back – time to assemble your Marvel Crisis Protocol roster!

It has been a rough year for gaming. Stores have been shut down, playgroups have had to stay home, production and release delays have hit across the board. 2021 is looking much brighter, and with some areas of the world opening up in-person gaming again, we’re seeing a lot of old friends and new faces across the tabletop once again.

Crisis Protocol has continued to grow even during a global pandemic. Now that gaming is opening up again, I want to write a series of articles aimed at bridging the gap for people who haven’t been playing for the last 18 months. Maybe you got started in MCP when it was released but haven’t kept up with releases for the last year. Or you might be one of the many people who were waiting for more models and affiliations (X-Men anyone?) before jumping in head-first. Or maybe like me, you have been collecting and painting superheroes just waiting for the day when you can put them all on a table with friends again.

Before I dive in, I should give one caveat. Many people have still been playing MCP using TableTop Simulator and other platforms. Semi-competitive league play was ongoing through the pandemic. There are a lot of good resources out there covering the competitive side of the game, and a lot of people have used those leagues to stay abreast of what is popular/good and such. These articles are geared more toward people who have not been keeping up with the game and want a refresher. If you have been playing for the last year please feel free to chat it up in the comments section and disagree with any of the advice or comments I have here but know that the articles are geared for the more casual players here.


The first topic I want to cover is the affiliation options that are now available in MCP. I remember the last day we all got together at our local game store and played a semi-casual event. The Asgardians had just come out, and I was playing with my newly painted Hela. We had a whole four affiliations to choose from (Avengers, Cabal, Wakanda, and Asgard) with rumors of the Black Order coming soon! Most rosters still held mostly core set models, with a few small variations. Now we have 15 Affiliations to choose from with 79 characters released or spoiled, with more coming out every month!

As a refresher (or for our newer players!) your affiliation is chosen when you build your team after the crisis has been chosen. Your roster can have multiple affiliations in it. Really your roster can be any random 10 models if you want. To choose an affiliation, you must have more than 50% of your squad be chosen from members of that affiliation. This percentage is from the count of models, not their threat values. In some situations, you might have more than one choice available. You have to choose one option when you choose your squad.


For example: John builds a 17 threat squad consisting of Captain America, Black Panther, Shuri, Okoye, and Captain Marvel. Shuri and Okoye are in the Wakanda affiliation, Captain America and Captain Marvel are Avengers. Black panther is in both affiliations, so either one could be chosen and would gain the leadership ability of either Cap or Black Panther, but that choice has to be made during squad building. As an extra wrinkle Captain Marvel, Shuri and Okoye are all members of the A-Force so John could choose A-Force but would not get any leadership bonus since She Hulk is not in the roster.

When choosing your roster, it is important to remember what the affiliation does for you. If the leader is present, their leadership ability is active and affects all allied characters regardless of what affiliation(s) they are normally part of. The affiliation also often opens up the use of faction-specific tactics cards. These work differently than the leadership ability in that most of them say something like “an A-Force character may spend…”. this can only be used by a character who is a member of the A-Force affiliation list, and not just an ally who is in an A-Force squad.

If they’re not on this list, they aren’t a “Criminal Syndicate” character, even if they are following Kingpin into battle!

criminal syndicate affiliation list

Next, let’s look at an overview of what all the affiliations give you when chosen.


  • She-Hulk: any time an ally is damaged another ally gets 1 power (limit one per turn per character)
  • Tactics: A-Force Assemble, Special Delivery, Stalwart Determination


  • Thor: each turn 1 character can spend 1 power to remove a damage or condition
  • Tactics: Odin’s Blessing, Rainbow Bridge


  • Captain America: once per character per turn reduce the power cost of a superpower by 1
  • Sam Wilson Cap: when an allied character is dazed/KO’d, another character can move and heal 1/remove a condition
  • Tactics: Avengers Assemble, Second Wind

Black Order 

  • Thanos: score one VP when an enemy is KO’d. While injured this changes to: take damage to reroll attack dice
  • Tactics: Blood to Spare, Mothership, Price of Failure

Brotherhood of Mutants 

  • Magneto: whenever terrain is destroyed, a number of allied characters equal to the terrain size gain one power, once per turn
  • Mystique: refunds 1 power per turn spent on interacting with an extract objective. Also allows allies to put a token on an objective to control it as long as it is uncontested.
  • Tactics: Asteroid M, The Books of Truth, Difficult to Please


  • Red Skull: every attack that causes damage to an enemy generates an extra power
  • Sin: after VPs are scored in cleanup, roll a die for each enemy holding or contesting an objective for a chance to push that enemy or make them drop what they are holding.
  • Tactics: Cosmic Invigoration, Dark Reign

Criminal Syndicate 

  • Kingpin: spend 2 power to pass an objective token to an ally. Each ally counts as 2 characters when counting contesting healthy models.
  • Tactics: All According to Plan, Cruelty, Shadow Organization

Guardians of the Galaxy 

  • Star-Lord: discard a tactics card that hasn’t been used to give one ally three tokens that can be used to reroll 2 dice each, but only for the current round.
  • Tactics: Crew of the Milano, Lovable Misfits


  • Dr. Strange: once per turn spend 1 power to change an attack’s damage type. If a buffed attack does damage, give the hex condition
  • Tactics: Pentagram of Farallah


  • Black Bolt: one each of your turns, you can move one power token to a nearby ally
  • Tactics: Attilan Rising, Inhuman Royal Family, Terrigenesis

Spider Foes 

  • Green Goblin: once per turn spend 1 power to reroll an opponent’s defense die
  • Tactics: Neogenetic Recombinator, Sinister Traps

Uncanny X-Men 

  • Storm: gives cover to allied characters. Also allows a once per round place effect moving a character to within range one of an ally that was in range 2
  • Cyclops: allied characters can spend power to reduce the power cost of the active character’s attacks
  • Tactics:  Children of the Atom, First Class, To Me My X-Men


  • Black Panther: spend one power to reroll one die on any attack, defense, or dodge roll
  • Tactics: Vibranium Shielding, Wakanda Forever

Web Warriors 

  • Amazing Spider-Man: once per turn either give out the slow condition or place an already slowed enemy
  • Spider-Man (Miles Morales): re-reroll 1 defense die per attack, and if a character is holding or contesting an objective they can modify/reroll skulls
  • Tactics: All Webbed Up, Web Barrier


  • Cable: once per character per turn reroll one attack die
  • Tactics: Pretty Sneaky Sis, Cat and Mouse, Dirty Work

There are a lot of options to choose from! It is hard to rank the different affiliations, because they all do very different things. Some of them are good because of the characters on their list, others are chosen for their leadership ability, and others are good because of tactics cards that they unlock. Really any of these factions are playable, and they all see use even in competitive events. Choosing a faction to play is often based on what models look cool, or picking favorites from the comics.

I would love to see this team in the game!

How do you choose your factions? Do any of these factions feel extra good or extra bad against the field? Let us know in the comments!

Author: Ben Andraka
  • Marvel Crisis Protocol: The Kingpin Has Arrived