I wanted to work through the Strike Team problem before going forward and screwing it up by just doing it randomly. I have 86 heroes available for this operation, including the agent and Iceman. So, it's a lot to break down and I thought I'd show my process.
Requirements and Assumptions
First thing to figure is whether to bring the agent or not. I am not a fan of level parking, but if you want to park, you will obviously not want to include the agent. Since the agent is really my best hero, and at L300, the Agent will be included, which means I can drop a Luke Cage or someone.
I would like to have at least 2 of everything on each strike team. By everything, I mean:
- One Shot Artist
Generalists take care of themselves, so, breaking down the roster will go like that. The reason I want at least two of everything is because we will have to split our initial strike teams into two more strike teams after mission 2. Would not do to find ourselves outmatched or outclassed down the line.
The Agent is the most flexible, followed by The Punisher, Mockingbird, Omega Sentinel, Vision, Moon Knight and Agent Venom. So, if we come up against a shortage, we will want to use the more flexible classed characters to fill the holes. You can already figure that the Punisher will go on the opposite team from the agent. Probably Mockingbird as well.
Tank and One Shot Artists are pretty clear. Havok and Thor are one shot guys, Captain America and Wonderman are tanks. Mini-Agents (the Agent is a mini-agent as well) are characters who do a variety of things, including team healing. Iron Fist is my favorite Mini-Agent, but Dr. Strange fits the bill as well. If you can't have an agent, you probably want a mini-agent as a fill in.
Doctor Doom does not partner with anyone except the Agent. So, if I will use the agent, Doctor Doom will be welded to his side. Something to consider.
Last thing, I do not want to shift my characters around in their classes beyond what I already have. So, there is some positional scarcity, based on what I do for PVP. I am willing to maybe alter someone's class (say a one shot artist), to make the fight a better matchup, but the goal is to have classes ready to oppose.
As I said, I don't want to be juggling my hero bonus to fill out the strike team, even though I do not believe a PVP tournament to be imminent. But, I believe in being prepared.
To arrange the team the way I want, I will need 8 infiltrators, four to each team so I can have two on each mission three team. Fortunately, I have 8.
- Agent Venom
If I need a force multiplier, for a third, there are:
The following characters have some tankability:
- Captain America*
- Luke Cage
- Black Knight
- Red Hulk
- Moon Knight*^
Folks marked with an asterisk tank passively (in the uniforms which I use). Folks with a carat are occasional tanks, with specific things or situations where they will tank. Phoenix can make anyone tank with her L6. The rest require a discreet action to tank up. Something to be aware of.
One Shot Artists
The following characters are considered by me to be one shot artists. They can do enough damage to kill someone in one turn without that person being setup in a previous turn or by another character. They might need to set themselves up in a previous round, which is acceptable for multi round fights.
- Iron Man*
- Iron Fist
- War Machine
- Red Hulk*
Starred characters are good for turn 2 or turn 3 one shots, but not on turn 1.
- Dr. Strange
- Iron Fist
- Mr. Fantastic
- Scarlet Witch
- Emma Frost
- Omega Sentinel
- Daimon Hellstrom
Some of these do not do heals so much as they propagate buffs that are like something the agent might do. In the case of Psylocke, for example, she can do shields and coordinated attacks. In the case of Omega, she's a swiss army knife of skills.
Mission 2 Teams
- Angel (Mini Agent)
- Cable (Blaster 1)
- Captain America (Tank 1, Bruiser 1)
- Captain Britain (Bruiser 2)
- Iceman (Bruiser 3)
- Ms. Marvel (Bruiser 4)
- Wolverine (Scrapper 1, Tank 2)
- 4 Infitratrors
- 3 Scrappers
- 3 Blasters
- 4 Tacticians
- 2 Tanks
- 3 Mini Agents
- 2 One Shot Artists
- Union Jack (Scrapper 2) (I LOVE running him with Captain America)
- Psylocke (Inf 1) (I love running her with Union Jack, Captain America and Captain B)
- Wasp (Inf 2) (Union Jack again, with her EISO, she's actually pretty good in a fight)
- Thor (Blaster 2, One Shot 1)
- Red Hulk (Tank 3, Tact 1, One Shot 2)
- Tigra (Inf 3) (I want to spread bleeders out as a strategy, so Elektra on one team, Tigra on the other)
- Spiral (Inf 4) (I like her with Cap B... Agent Venom will have to go on the other team)
- Rescue (Tact 1, Tank 4, Mini Agent 2)
- Black Widow (Tact 2) (Another one for Cap A + UJ)
- Hawkeye (Blaster 4) (More Cap A + UJ goodness... also, Widow goodness)
- Quicksilver (Scrapper 4) (UJ Goodness)
- Hank Pym (Tact 3) (Wasp Goodness)
- Doctor Doom (Tact 4, Mini Agent 3)
- Agent (Mini Agent 4) (Where Doom Goes, So Goes Agent)
- Black Panther (Tact 1)
- Cyclops (Blast 1)
- Gambit (Inf 1, One Shot 1)
- Havok (Blast 2, One Shot 2)
- Iron Man (Blast 3, One Shot 3)
- War Machine (Blast 4, One Shot 4)
- X-23 (Bruiser 1)
- 3 Infiltrators
- 4 Scrappers
- 3 Bruisers
- 3 Tacticians
- 4 Tanks
- 4 Mini Agents
- Black Knight (Tact 2, Tank 1)
- Wonder Man (Bruiser 2, Tank 2)
- Elektra (Inf 2) (I like the synergy with X-23 and Black Knight)
- Agent Venom (Inf 3) (propagation of Paragon Debuffs)
- Satana (Inf 4)
- Colossus (Bruiser 3, Tank 3)
- Daimon Hellstrom (Mini Agent 1) (Where Satana Goes, So Goes Hellstrom)
- Omega Sentinel (Scrapper 1, Mini Agent 2, Tank 4)
- Magneto (Tact 3)
- Loki (Tact 4)
- Sabretooth (Scrap 2) (Hellstrom + Omega?)
- Deadpool (Scrap 3) (Nice with Cable)
- Shatterstar (Scrap 4)
- Hercules (Bruiser 4, Tank 4)
- Iron Fist (Mini Agent 3)
- Dr. Strange (Mini Agent 4)
- Heimdall (Where Herc Goes, So Goes Heimdall)
That is the bare bones of how I divided up my teams. I then filled them out with whoever else I felt like. I left crappy characters at home... no Luke Cage, no She-Hulk, and so on. This allows me to split these teams again for the third mission, without having any holes in what I want to do while maintaining flexibility for class matchups, fight roles, and deploys.
This was the first cut at the problem. It worked acceptably, and let me complete the score challenges with breathing room, and gave me a lot of flexibility in prosecuting the fights. But, in running the missions, I thought I could do better.
I took a different approach for my second run through. I started by looking at the fights in Special Operations - Apocalypse, Mission 3. Basically, there are three categories of fights in mission 3: Boss fight, Sentinels, Test Subjects. I planned what team I would use for each of the boss fights. Then I figured out how I would beat the Sentinels. There are some characters who are really well setup for sentinels, like Bishop, Vision, Magneto and Omega Sentinel, so I split the Sentinel Destroyers up into the various teams, so they would be well spread. Then, there are the test subjects, where, in my experience, the tacticians present the biggest problem, as they suck stamina dry. So, I looked at stamina replenishing characters, like Herc, Emma, Mr. Fantastic, and Thing, and spread them around to the teams. I took some of what I did above over to the second version (Cap + UJ, Herc + Heimdall, etc), and that gave me 7-9 per mission 3 strike team. I then ran a random sort on my team, to fill them out to 20, which was unnecessary, but still interesting to do, excluded the agent (and Doom, since Doom goes where the agent goes), and went on my merry way.
In some ways, the first cut was more fun. It was an approach based on imperfect information and it worked very well. My second approach, looking at the end and determining my needs from the end, was probably the better strategy, but for general fun, I like the preparing for the unexpected.