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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

Marvel Champions

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01 Aug 2019 00:01 #300332 by ubarose
Marvel Champions was created by ubarose
Marvel Champions is a cooperative Living Card Game® that invites you to...

Rhino rampages through the streets of New York, Klaw peddles illegal weapons to the world’s most dangerous criminals, Ultron threatens nuclear annihilation. The world needs champions to stop these villains! Are you up to the task?

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01 Aug 2019 08:35 #300333 by fightcitymayor
Replied by fightcitymayor on topic Marvel Champions
But how does a game like this not get lost in the crush of Marvel games released in the past few years? I realize it's FFG (thus sales) and I realize it's an LCG (thus more sales) but it feels like this would have gone over far better 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. It's tough to make a Marvel game feel special when this is the umpteenth million iteration thereof.

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01 Aug 2019 08:41 #300335 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Marvel Champions
Marvel has something like 20 movies and TV shows planned for the next four years. I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't a little frustrated that the game tie-ins are moving too slowly.

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13 Nov 2019 21:13 #304189 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Marvel Champions
Played Marvel Champions tonight. First off, the art is fine. It's a step up from the stuff they're using for marketing and it's otherwise OK. There's nothing scintillating about it, but it's fine. We squared off against what was explained to us as the easiest boss: The Rhino. I was She-Hulk with Aggression and there was also Black Panther with Support (I think), Spider-Man with Protection, and Iron Man with Justice (the game's owner.)

I can't say that I'm particularly impressed. First off, it's basically Sentinels of the Multiverse; a game that I mildly detest, despite my long history in comics and my undying love for the RPG, Villains and Vigilantes. I don't really like co-op games and, other than Spirit Island (and, recently, TE Defenders and some games of TE Zombies), I generally won't play them. So, that's one strike. One plus is that they indulged in a lot of the classic Marvel stuff, even with updated imagery. Nick Fury is there, looking like Samuel L. Jackson. There's Tigra and The Shocker and Hydra and the Helicarrier and so on. Each hero has a nemesis that will be brought out by a particular card in the villain deck if it's drawn at the right time. She-Hulk's is Titania. Each nemesis does different things and will add cards to the villain deck that make it more difficult. Each hero also has an Obligation that forces them to do different things if drawn at the right time. Each hero also has an alter ego, which performs in different ways (changes hand size, different abilities, means the villain can't attack you but instead furthers his scheme, etc.) So, there's plenty of variety in both game state and game play.

However, like many of these games, it's very mechanical, since you're not playing each other but against the game, and it's easy to slip into a state where basically all you're doing is helping other players do interesting things. Iron Man builds up an engine (appropriately) and that player had about two dozen cards in his tableau that he could do a variety of things with. In one turn, he almost singlehandedly lowered the Rhino's threat on his scheme from 2 below a loss to almost zero. On the last turn, he wiped out a full third of Rhino's health by himself and won the game. Black Panther spent a lot of time summoning allies to good effect, while Spider-Man spent most of the time trying to stay alive. I, on the other hand, spent more than one turn not able to do much of anything because I was resource-starved. I think the point of both She-Hulk and Aggression is to deal out big bursts of damage and then rebuild. I was able to kinda do that once, but not nearly as often as I looked at my hand of cards and said: "OK. I can make one play and do nothing to affect the game state, so I'm done."

That's the case with a lot of these kinds of games. I've had it happen in Sentinels multiple times, where someone ends up just feeding cards and/or opportunity to other players so that they can actually do fun and interesting things. This is no different. I mean, that's teamwork, but you might as well replace that one person with a waterbird for all the participation that they have. This is also one of Fantasy Flight's LCGs, which means a constant outflow of cash for the next year or two to build it to the game state where it seems like some of the heroes actually have options. They've already announced the first expansion, which is The Wrecking Crew. That's really cool for the nostalgia factor, but it's not a game model that I want a part of, for mechanical reasons and because it's still a collectible game.

So, yeah. It's not a bad game. It's most certainly not in my wheelhouse. But I can't say that I'd recommend it right now even if it was.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, Shellhead, Gary Sax, quozl, lj1983, mezike, hotseatgames, Sacco, WadeMonnig, Vysetron

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14 Nov 2019 16:33 #304205 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Marvel Champions
They have this weird tension to manage where they want to hold back a lot of the shit people actually want hero and villianwise but also need to ensure the success of the product to start. It looks like they're doing a decent job from a hero perspective, iron man and spider man are in the opening pack, captain is coming, etc. Will be curious to see how deep they go into the back catalog.

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14 Nov 2019 17:44 #304210 by boothwah
Replied by boothwah on topic Marvel Champions
I would be the target market for this 15 years ago - And I WAS! UDE did Vs. System and managed to snag the Marvel and DC licenses simultaneously - It was glorious - The game was good - My favorite CCG of the dozens that impoverished me in my 20's and 30's. I have 10 5 wide long boxes of the stuff. If I have a group that wants to superhero, I have have the stuffs. Man I wish they wouldn't have tried to lean so hard into the competetive CCG space - That game was good, and I think it would have had legs for a long time if they hadn't blown so much money trying to push it into competing with Magic and trying to do the pro tour thing right off the bat...not that I'm complaining about the merch that I won playing it....I would have rather played a lot more of it for longer.

I'm not interested Marvel characters vs a deck of bad things. If it has any of the design DNA leftover from LOTR LCG, then I can tell you that I would only be interested in the game as a replacement for kindling around the campfire. At least the art looks better than Legendary. I think this is a hard pass from me.
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18 Nov 2019 10:25 #304320 by blatz
Replied by blatz on topic Marvel Champions
I'm gonna take the other side on this one. The kids and I are really enjoying this one so far. I love how easy (and optional) the deck building is and how you can choose a hero and play them in different ways. Want Spider-Man to be the team leader? Just shuffle his cards into the leadership deck and, boom, you're done.

It's obvious they've learned a lot about what didn't work in the LOTR game. I always felt like deckbuilding was the whole game in LOTR and that games were almost 100% dictated by how well you built your deck and whether the right cards happened to come up at the right time. Marvel Champions feels better to me in that far more of the game is decided by your card play DURING the game. Also, the theme. Never once have I thought "Man, it would be so cool to see Bilbo and Denethor tooling around in the Dead Marshes." But She-Hulk and Captain Marvel teaming up to stop Ultron? That's what comic books were all about for me as a kid.

The core set is a complete experience but definitely feels like the framework for a lot more interesting things down the road. I think I'm on board, at least for a while.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, Gary Sax, mezike

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18 Nov 2019 12:58 - 18 Nov 2019 13:01 #304322 by Josh Look
Replied by Josh Look on topic Marvel Champions
I really like it. FWIW, I wasn’t a big fan of the LOTR LCG because it felt a little too mechanical and while I like was Arkham is doing on paper, I don’t like the commitment of playing through storylines. Marvel is way more pickup and play, which is perfect for how I approach any CCG these days. The main strategy is balancing your hero mode and your alter-ego, kind of like, I don’t know, a superhero would. Flipping back and forth between the two feels fresh, though it’s kind of in the Transformers CCG as well though not anywhere near as well implemented as it is here. Is it the be-all-end-all of superhero games? Probably not, but nothing else has come as close to doing what I want a superhero game to do. They snuck out heroes personal lives in, and I love being able to pick a hero or two, pick a bad guy and smash ‘em together for 45 minutes. It’s great fun so far.
Last edit: 18 Nov 2019 13:01 by Josh Look.

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18 Nov 2019 13:01 #304323 by Space Ghost
Replied by Space Ghost on topic Marvel Champions
Josh - did you like Capes & Cowls (or did you get a chance to play it, and if so....)?

P.S. Congratulations!
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19 Nov 2019 07:17 - 19 Nov 2019 07:18 #304350 by Josh Look
Replied by Josh Look on topic Marvel Champions
Thank you!

I did the one time I played it, which was years ago. Not sure how I’d feel about it now.

I should say that when it comes to superhero games, this is where a license will go much further with me than original characters made for the game. My investment goes way up if I’m playing as _the_ Spider-Man, not a thinly veiled Spidey analogue, so long as I’m doing Spidey things and Spidey things are happening to me. I care about that stuff and while it won’t give me the emotional gut-punch like when Peter tells Aunt May what really happened on the night Uncle Ben died in Spider-Man 2, I love seeing the alter-ego stuff come up in Champions because it’s well-executed enough.
Last edit: 19 Nov 2019 07:18 by Josh Look.
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28 Aug 2020 17:46 #313597 by Ah_Pook
Replied by Ah_Pook on topic Marvel Champions
Had this had legs for any of y'all? I'm vaguely looking at a bundle of secondhand stuff, but I'm on the fence.

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28 Aug 2020 20:48 #313599 by boothwah
Replied by boothwah on topic Marvel Champions

Ah_Pook wrote: Had this had legs for any of y'all? I'm vaguely looking at a bundle of secondhand stuff, but I'm on the fence.


I wanted to resist it. Got in with the Core and a few packs, now I'm caught up and on a subscription service.......

I love it. I'm playing a lot solo, and it's fun playing casual with folks too. Its in a good spot now that there is some villain diversity. If you like it, you'll be in for all of it....so there is that.

Its my quarantine pick for 2020. A nice little puzzle solver with some deck building that plays well solo, and you can be clever with your friends when we all leave the bunker.
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29 Aug 2020 11:21 #313602 by Ah_Pook
Replied by Ah_Pook on topic Marvel Champions
the used bundle fell through but a fortuitous ebay coupon got me the base game for $25, so thats pretty cool. @boothwah, any expansion packs you think are immediate buys to go with the base game?

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30 Aug 2020 04:05 #313609 by boothwah
Replied by boothwah on topic Marvel Champions

Ah_Pook wrote: the used bundle fell through but a fortuitous ebay coupon got me the base game for $25, so thats pretty cool. @boothwah, any expansion packs you think are immediate buys to go with the base game?


All of them. >.<

If you can get your hands on green goblin thats two extra scenarios. That would be a first buy. Or maybe the first campaign pack that hits next week, Rise of the Red Skull. It will have 2 Heroes and 5 villains for 40ish...yes I would buy that first.

Every hero pack is valuable in that it will give you more options to build the different aspects. Other than that, grab whichever Hero's you dig. I would say Captain America is most noob friendly in that he has a good kit and is straitforward. Dr. Strange is OP. Black Widow is my current favorite.
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31 Aug 2020 11:59 #313628 by Dr. Mabuse
Replied by Dr. Mabuse on topic Marvel Champions
Yep, Black Widow is fantastic! I also dig Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel. This has been my solo game for 2020 as well.
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