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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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...
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.