Beginning with a look at Powerhouses, we are relaunching Behind the Mask as occasional features to give insights into different types of Supremes based on Role or in-game function.
Powerhouses are the ‘big guys’ (and girls!) of Pulp City. They are larger and hit harder than most other models, and can soak up heavy punishment. In basic terms, if you want a Supreme to take the fight to your opponent, then a Powerhouse is your best option. Every Faction has access to a Powerhouse, and Hero and Villain Team builds have plenty of options. The flip-side to that is that typically a Team can only include one Powerhouse, and most Powerhouses cost 3 Levels.
Powerhouses have a few key common strengths. Their Attack Traits tend to be exceptionally good. This means they have a good chance of hurting even the toughest Tank or Leader. In addition, most Powerhouses have at least one Action that is an area effect of some type (usually either an Overrun or Pulse). Finally, they can often unload a lot of dice in Attack, backed up by their Role Power which turns 4, 5 or 6 results into EFX on a successful Attack. Their biggest weakness for opponents to exploit is that they usually have at least one low value defensive Trait.
Die-pooling is key for Powerhouses, underscored by the fact they do not add Action Points (AP) like other Roles. Instead, they generate a personal pool of Power Up dice each Round, typically 2 to 4 dice. Therefore it is vital to ensure the rest of your Team generates the AP you need to make maximum use of what will likely be your hardest-hitting model – Support Supremes are vital here. It also means you will want to manage their Power Up resource well. Generally, because of their Role Power, you will more often create EFX offensively than cancelling EFX defensively with a Powerhouse. Therefore, it makes a certain amount of sense to use them mainly for Attacks. It may be worthwhile to assume 2 Power Up dice per each EFX you want to achieve on an Attack. Something else to consider is that if you haven’t previously used a Powerhouse, they will often peak in terms of Power Up die pool in the second.
Powerhouses can offer an incredibly destructive option for your Team, but you need to make other choices around them to ensure plenty of AP to fuel their Actions. They can be harder to fit in Teams playing lower Encounter Level games as they are the equivalent of two or three other Supremes, however if you time their Attacks well they can easily leave an unsuspecting opponent in disarray within a single Activation, rapidly turning the tide of battle.