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Marvel Champions

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25 Feb 2021 01:31 - 25 Feb 2021 01:34 #319656 by Kmann
Finally beat expert Ultron last night in a bruising and brutal grudge match. This was my third attempt and took close to three hours for Ant-Man and the Wasp to emerge victorious.
There was one moment just past the halfway mark where I looked out at the drone-covered board in despair. The threat was also piling up on the main scheme.
I battled on because I'd come too far to tap out. Ultron sat on 52 health laughing at me for a good number of turns while I juggled the unglamorous jobs of clearing the board and the threat.
But there was a definite point when I felt the momentum shift and that despair turned to excitement as a win began to seem possible.
It was a tough battle and a long road but a sweet, sweet victory.
MVPs were Ant-Man's Army of Ants, Justice's Under Surveillance (add 4 to the main scheme's total) and Protection's Muster Courage (give 3 friendly characters a tough card).
Not sure who I'll face up against next. After all this talk of Kang I might send out a new hero team to take a run at him. Maybe Hawkeye and Black Widow? That could be fun.
Last edit: 25 Feb 2021 01:34 by Kmann.
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25 Feb 2021 10:33 #319672 by Shellhead
Although I have not come anywhere near to exhausting the potential combinations of heroes and aspects and scenarios, I keep coming up with ideas for more villain decks. I don't feel like I know the game well enough to try making any custom content yet, but maybe sometime I will give it a go.

1. Mandarin, Iron Man's greatest foe now sidelined because he is practically the archetypal Yellow Peril trope. Quite the scheming mastermind, but also a fearsome combatant; capable of both metal-shattering hand strikes and wielding 10 different powers via his 10 rings. One of his minions should definitely be Ultimo, the giant blue robot with vast strength and powerful eye beams.

2. Doctor Doom. Several robot minions, but also some more powerful minions like Darkoth, the Doomsman, and maybe his old ally Prince Namor. He deserves a boxed set, with each stage a different nefarious attempt at world domination.

3. Galactus. Instead of making Galactus the villain to beat on, represent him through a series of main scheme cards showing his progress at setting up his equipment so he can devour the Earth. The "villain" would be one of his Heralds, wielding the Cosmic Power to keep the heroes busy while Galactus builds up threat tokens.

4. The Super-Skrull. He wields the combined powers of the Fantastic Four. His minions would be shapeshifting Skrull spies, Every time a hero deploys a new ally, flip the top card of the Encounter deck. If it is a treachery card, that ally becomes a minion deployed against that hero.

5. Dormammu. Another multi-stage scenario. Start with a new version of Baron Mordo in a fairly standard scenario, but give him something similar to Dr. Strange's Invocation deck. Second scenario is a battle against Umar, who has a better invocation deck. Final scenario takes the heroes in the Dark Dimension, battling the Mindless Ones, violent brutes who are incapable of scheming.

6. Zodiac. 12 leaders of a criminal cartel, with a penchant for dressing up like representations of the signs of the Zodiac. Have a few options for the main villain, like Scorpio (Jake Fury), Taurus (Cornelius van Lunt), or the original Aries. All the rest would function as minions. Attachments could include the engimatic Zodiac Key or the Thor-stunning Starblazer gun. Gemini might prove to be a counter to the possibly over-powered Beat Cop card, and Aquarius eventually made an interesting deal with the devil that gave him access to the abilities of every member of Zodiac.

Besides the obvious omission of all the X-characters and their villains (except for Avalanche), I hope that Marvel Champions will eventually offer play decks for the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Namor.

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25 Feb 2021 17:50 - 25 Feb 2021 17:52 #319739 by Kmann
That's funny you mention custom content and Namor.

Last night instead of facing Kang again I instead finally got around to making up the custom content Namor villain scenario. It's the first user generated content I've played. Gotta say, it's pretty good!

There's a lot going on; different main scheme conditions for each phase, an environment effect, its own modular set and a ship that's getting flood tokens put on under certain conditions, too many and it sinks and you lose. There's also some very cool ideas happening. For example to represent the choppy ocean water Namor is constantly washing away cards from both your deck and the encounter deck.

I also really liked that, just like the Kang scenario, you're playing through a sort of comic book "story" as opposed to just the standard "fight baddie" with nothing else happening. And I also dug the very old-school comic book art the designer chose for a lot of the cards. Very cool.

Negatives: the font can be a little difficult to read at times because there's a lot of words on the cards and there's a greeny/underwater colour scheme on them. Although, a) I did enjoy this application of pure chrome on his set and b) it may just be due to the work printer I used.

Like I said, it's the first custom content I've played for this game. While I did end up losing the scenario due to the boat sinking (the new Marvel Champions sets will never be delivered now!) I really enjoyed it. I fully recommend diving into it if you're looking for a new villain to take on as all it costs you is some time to print and make up the cards.

While some people get carried away I printed on humble photocopier paper, cut out with big chunky scissors and just slid the cut-out "cards" in front of a sleeved villain set. My efforts won't get any likes on the socials but is more than adequate for playing. :)

So yeah, all up a good experience and a very cool set! I won't be moving on until Namor is defeated.
Last edit: 25 Feb 2021 17:52 by Kmann.
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25 Feb 2021 19:20 #319749 by Ah_Pook
The tabletop simulator mod has an absolutely wild amount of custom content included, if y'all want to try stuff without printing it. Like a staggering amount of stuff.
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25 Feb 2021 19:46 #319751 by boothwah
Custom content really hasn't been a yin for me yet - Getting a new hero every month gives me lots of reasons to go back and run them through the gauntlet - Barely scratched all the runs I want to do with Quicksilver so far - So jazzed for Scarlet Witch here shortly - Then I'll be playing Cap's kooky quartet through everything until the Rocket/Groot box hits most likely.

Right now, I've split my heroes up into teams of 4 to take on Kang expert - Those games will probably last 2 or 3 nights a piece.

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25 Feb 2021 20:16 #319752 by Ah_Pook
Yea I have plenty enough to play with the actual content. Wading into custom content to try to see what's worth playing or not is a whole other thing. Like... Is this TMNT set of heroes good? Is this crazy Pokemon Trainer hero good? Do I want to fight a Pokemon Trainer vs some guy from Star Wars that I sort of recognize the name of?

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25 Feb 2021 22:05 #319757 by Shellhead
I've looked at some of the custom content, and that Namor deck was the only one that impressed me so far, in terms of both balance and creativity.

I'm generally not a quitter, but I bailed on the Red Skull scenario when he completed his first of two main schemes by turn 5. It was a pants-down spanking, and I feel like I need to change one of my heroes to Justice aspect. I already have Spider-Woman as Justice/Aggression, but maybe I want to also make Black Panther into Justice instead of Protection. Then again, Red Skull is hitting for nasty amounts of damage, so we need the healing. Maybe I will make Hawkeye or Cap into Justice, though Cap seems slightly better suited to Leadership. And come to think of it, maybe one of my people should be full Aggression to kick out big damage against the Sleeper and the Skull.

How have you folks handled Red Skull? He keeps getting all these goons, but it was the side schemes that were really wrecking the game for me. Not only does he get a damage bonus for each side scheme in play, but two of those side schemes start with a stupid amount of threat on them (20 and the other is random but at least 20). One side scheme shields Red Skull from all damage, and two of them had the Crisis icon that shielded the main scheme from our thwarting. At one point, Red Skull got a quickstrike minion out and then almost got a free attack, and that would have killed Hawkeye if he hadn't been forced into his civilian identity by his Criminal Past.
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25 Feb 2021 22:34 #319761 by Ah_Pook
I've never played with more than 2p, but basically you need to kill a side scheme a turn. You need a very strong justice deck, and 4p you probably need more dedicated thwarting then just one justice player can put out if side schemes are coming in with 20 threat on them 0_0 but basically if the side schemes get away from you you lose. 4p maybe you need two strong thwarting decks? Not sure how that balances out.

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27 Feb 2021 12:03 #319822 by Shellhead
Took another run at the Red Skull, after switching Cap from Leadership to Justice. Still had Black Panther (Protection), Spider-Woman (Justice/Aggression), and Hawkeye (Leadership). Got slapped down hard.

Red Skull made it to his second main scheme and still had 28 hit points and nearly all of his side schemes out, including the Red House and Mass Chaos (!crisis!) with 24 threat. So, I can't hurt the Red Skull until the Red House is gone, and I can't thwart the main scheme until Mass Crisis is gone. There were a few Hydra goons in play, too. Then, after a bruising round of combat, we have no allies left and then a Heil Hydra pops up. So every Hydra goon gets another attack, and every hero is already tapped, and Black Panther has 1 hit point left. A mook with a jet pack takes out the Black Panther and I'm done.

I'm willing to give it one more go with my campaign team, and I'm thinking of going with Captain America (Justice), Black Panther (Justice), Spider-Woman (Aggression/Protection), and Hawkeye (Aggression).
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27 Feb 2021 12:53 #319825 by Ah_Pook
Shellhead I'm not sure how much deckbuilding you're doing, but my #1 tip for doing better in this game across the board is taking more cheap allies. Again I'm not sure how the balance skews 4p vs 2p, but like my Aggression decks generally have every single 2+3 cost ally and none of the more expensive allies (Wasp, Hulk [usually as just a 5hp shield since he's so random], Spidergirl, Valkyrie, Brawn, and Tigra. Usually also Mockingbird.) Every ally is a hit you don't take and a defense you don't have to exhaust to defend yknow. Don't know if that advice helps in this scenario or not, but it can't hurt :)
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27 Feb 2021 14:06 #319827 by Michael Barnes
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27 Feb 2021 22:42 #319837 by Shellhead
No deck building, just swapping out aspect modules between default decks. I seem to have hit upon a working recipe for serving up Red Skull's head on a platter. Cap (Justice), Black Panther (Justice), Spider-Woman (Aggression/Justice), and Hawkeye (Aggression). Lots of thwarting keeps Red Skull from dealing out the big damage, and the aggression damage output helps put down the Hydra goons.

Black Panther has got his whole Panther upgrade train running. Hawkeye currently has 3 different arrows in his quiver, plus Tigra policing Hydra goons, and Hulk standing by in case we need a wild rampage. Skull's main scheme is on stage 2, but we keep knocking it down to practically zero, and Skull himself is also on stage 2.

But the really big difference is that I noticed that Spider-man enters play dealing 3 thwart _per player_ to a side scheme, not just 3 thwart total. And one of the side schemes lets me search the discard and deck for a free ally for each hero, so we have been seeing quite a bit of Spider-man this game.
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28 Feb 2021 19:49 #319852 by Shellhead

Shellhead wrote: No deck building, just swapping out aspect modules between default decks. I seem to have hit upon a working recipe for serving up Red Skull's head on a platter. Cap (Justice), Black Panther (Justice), Spider-Woman (Aggression/Justice), and Hawkeye (Aggression). Lots of thwarting keeps Red Skull from dealing out the big damage, and the aggression damage output helps put down the Hydra goons.


This worked, giving me a decisive victory over the Red Skull after two failed attempts. In the final turn, we smashed through a guard minion, a tough status, and 26 hit points, and honestly could have probably dealt out 45 points of damage if necessary. I have re-named this villain as the Red Face. I will eventually do this campaign again with Cap's Kooky Quartet, and again with a revenge squad consisting of Dr. Strange, Quicksilver, and Thor.
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28 Feb 2021 22:05 #319858 by Kmann
I recently took the two Hulk's through the Red Skull campaign on expert and it was a lot of fun. Hulk was aggression (duh) and She-Hulk was leadership.

Taskmaster and Zola needed two attempts to get past but surprisingly the green team absolutely pummelled Red Skull on their first attempt. You could say Red Skull didn't like them when they were angry...
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01 Mar 2021 09:53 #319866 by Shellhead
I'm sure it was intentional, but Cap's nemesis Baron Zemo has a nasty synergy with the whole Red Skull campaign. Two of his five cards are Hydra goons, and the Baron himself is also Hydra. One of his five cards is Heil Hydra, an event which causes every Hydra minion in play to attack. And if any hero is currently lacking Hydra opponents, Heil Hydra makes them search the discard pile and deck to put a Hydra minion in play against them. Similar situation with Spider-Woman's nemesis The Viper (who later became Madame Hydra), who of course is Hydra and has two Hydra goons in her mini-deck and another copy of Heil Hydra. Either Zemo or the Viper showed up in half of my games in this campaign, though fortunately they never showed up together in the same game.

By the way, I want to give a shout out to the quality tokens in this game. There aren't quite enough of them, and the Threat tokens could use a few 10s, but they are suitably colorful and in a comic book style. I really appreciate that they used different sizes for different denominations, to make it easier to see how much is on a card at a glance. And the use of different shapes of tokens is a nice way to distinguish them for a colorblind player.
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