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Marvel Champions

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27 May 2021 14:59 #323510 by boothwah

Ah_Pook wrote: Yea, it remains to be seen whether they make this one fun or not :laugh:

Adam Warlock looks like a super crazy deck building challenge. Equal numbers of cards from all 4 aspects and they have to all be singles... sounds ridiculous. I can't tell if you could even make a good deck that way, but I'm excited to play with it.


The first thought that jumped to mind for me was combat training, heroic intuiton, and armored vest as straight +1 across the board to his stats - Other thoughts - You could really cherry pick the best of the allies across the 4 aspects - or even go all in on the grey package and play like 3 cheap cards of each aspect - Should be fun.
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30 May 2021 09:31 #323571 by Ah_Pook
deckcelsior.com/2021/04/19/episode-37-ma...ring-for-the-future/

A pretty good interview with the two lead designers of MC, if you've got a couple hours to kill
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31 May 2021 00:37 #323581 by Kmann
I've been having fun the past week after going back to the core box heroes Spider-Man and Iron-Man. I just tweaked some MarvelCDB decks I found as I wanted to get straight into playing and not spend an hour or so deck-building.

Playing on expert the duo absolutely destroyed Rhino and Green Goblin's Risky Business. Both recognised as fairly easy scenarios I'll admit, but GG is still fun. I also smashed through expert Crossbones with three random modulars put in.

That last one prompted me to run the pair through the Red Skull campaign proper. So I reset Crossbones with the recommended expert campaign set-up and started over where, again, the pair walloped him, getting the win before scenario 3 came in. Absorbing Man is up next.

Aggression Spider-Man is great at holding the fort while Justice Iron-Man tinkers away setting up his suit. When they're finally both ready to roll they're a force. But I can see bigger challenges ahead when Stark's mucking about getting suited up is going to cause some problems. Looking at you there, Zola...

But they're a really fun combo to play together. Spider-Man's a blast and Iron-Man has a lot of crunchy decisions as he gets ready. It's quite easy to forget about the oldies with the constant stream of hyped newbies coming out.

Speaking of... the new box reveal caught my attention, even though GMW still isn't released here. The hero mechanics seem fun and I am more than ready for some new villains. I am very interested to find out where the difficulty level lies tho.

I think they got Red Skull spot on. It feels like you could successfully take any hero pairing through it and have a fun time and a reasonable challenge. Which is how it should be. The GMW victories I've seen is mostly from people using Strange and Cap.
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31 May 2021 09:35 #323584 by Shellhead
After a lengthy break, I picked up where I left off with Cap's Kooky Quartet versus the Red Skull campaign (basic). We are currently fighting Arnim Zola, and it's going well. We just knocked him down to phase II, while he is still trying to complete the first phase of his scheme. Zola is a reasonably challenging villain, but we just have such a solid, balanced team with just the untuned starters. Cap (Leadership), Hawkeye (Leadership), Scarlet Witch (Justice), and Quicksilver (Protection).

Sometimes Zola will unleash several minions in one turn, but the quartet tends to clear them out in one turn. Maybe Cap does a Shield Toss to nail several, or Hawkeye hits a couple with an Explosive Arrow if they are double-teaming one of the heroes. If a particular minion shows up heavily equipped and maybe Tough, Hawkeye takes him out with a Vibranium Arrow. And sometimes the main scheme will get some momentum going, until Quicksilver spends 2 or 3 actions thwarting, and maybe Cap boosts his own thwart for a turn, Hawkeye fires a Cable Arrow, and Scarlet Witch does some serious justice-style thwarting. However, things definitely took a turn for the worse when Crossfire showed up, especially after Arnim Zola got ahold of his Sniper Rifle.

Although this team has done well, I don't know if they are going to be able to beat Red Skull. My previous run through this campaign was with a similar quartet, only replace Quicksilver (Protection) with Black Panther (Protection), and replace Scarlet Witch (Justice) with Spider-Woman (Aggression/Justice). That team lost hard to Red Skull, and lost again after I made some changes to their aspects. They finally won the third time around with 2 Aggression decks, 1 Justice deck, and Spider-Woman still running Aggression/Justice. By comparison, the un-tuned Kooky Quartet has two Leadership decks and no Aggression. Still, I could see Scarlet Witch maybe knocking down a side scheme every turn, while Hawkeye and Quicksilver both offer a flexible response to the needs of the moment, whether mowing down goons or stunning the villain or doing some thwarting. Also, I have been saving the one-shot tech items from early in the campaign for the Red Skull this time around, instead of squandering them on Taskmaster or Zola.
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03 Jun 2021 00:35 - 03 Jun 2021 00:36 #323659 by Kmann

Ah_Pook wrote: deckcelsior.com/2021/04/19/episode-37-ma...ring-for-the-future/

A pretty good interview with the two lead designers of MC, if you've got a couple hours to kill


Thanks for posting this. I finished it yesterday after a couple of listening sessions. There's some great stuff in there although I felt it succeeded more thanks to the guests rather than the hosts who were a little amateur.

To their credit they did know their stuff and had some good questions prepared that led to revealing answers, although some of this can also be attributed to the outgoing personality of the guests - especially Caleb Grace who saved many an awkward silence.

It was frustrating however that they didn't directly address GMWs difficulty spike and the community response to it. There were a few opportunities to do so that went begging. But the stuff from Michael Boggs talking about his design decisions for the campaign was great and revealed a lot about his thinking and why certain decisions were made. And there was a lot of insight into the overall design process.

So, I'd agree that it's definitely worth a listen for fans of the game.

Elsewhere... my current Red Skull campaign is still rocking along nicely. Taskmaster had me worried for the first third of the game as Iron-Man had real trouble finding his suit. With nearly the whole damn thing buried in the back half of his deck, Spider-Man was really sweating trying to keep things from getting out of hand.

But once things stabilised I was able to cruise into control. The pair were so in charge that I left Taskmaster on 8hp and did a whole extra run through the encounter deck searching for more captured heroes - which admittedly was a bit of a grind once the danger had been drained from the scenario.

I ended up rescuing three of the four captives, and with both heroes at full health and no obligations in their decks. So I'm heading into Zola in as strong a position as possible.
Last edit: 03 Jun 2021 00:36 by Kmann.
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07 Jun 2021 09:28 #323769 by Shellhead
Cap's Kooky Quartet finished off Arnim Zola and moved on to Red Skull. It did get close near the end with Zola, with a calculated decision about when to give up on the thwarting and go for the kill. Red Skull has been nasty, as expected. The Sleeper came out early, but we were able to do 19 damage to him on our next hero turn, and then Cap finished him off with Shield Block and Retaliation 1. I was worried that we might not do enough thwarting, but Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are both great at it. Hawkeye and Cap are good at mopping up minions. We might pull this off on the first play.
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07 Jun 2021 20:46 - 08 Jun 2021 06:57 #323790 by Ah_Pook
i tried Leadership Doctor Strange and Justice Captain America vs Expert Ronan tonight, and won. Man it was a grind though. 2.5 hrs to finally pull out the win, though it was much better than the typical turn 2 party wipe Ronan throws at you on Expert. its weird that they designed a villain who is basically only playable with the couple of S Tier heroes, but it is what it is. Constant stun + confuse, plus getting lucky to not die to random boost overkill... yea we got there in the end.

Edit: a highlight was him attacking us SIX (!) times in a single round.
Last edit: 08 Jun 2021 06:57 by Ah_Pook.
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08 Jun 2021 17:41 #323807 by boothwah
I get Gamorra today - Most excited about playing around with her deckbuilding - Definitely going to run her a bunch solo and work out a prot build.

Pulled Star Lord last week. Star Lord is fun, and if you use his trade an encounter card for 3 resources trick sparingly, he can be op. I teamed him with Avengers leadership and went all in on setting up the Strength in numbers, Avengers Assemble, Blaze of Glory wins. In four games against Drang/Klaw/Taskmaster/Crossbones (paired with Rocket aggro) he was good for final turn swings of 30+ reliably. Good fun.
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08 Jun 2021 19:10 #323809 by Ah_Pook
Yea if you're careful about not hanging yourself Starlord can do some incredible stuff. Him and Gamora are both super fun.
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09 Jun 2021 10:22 #323819 by Shellhead
The war against Red Skull has been going fairly well, but I think I am now on the brink of a crushing defeat. We just finished off Red Skull I, but the combination of his own surge effects and the side effects of certain Scarlet Witch cards led to a point where his main scheme was gaining 9 points at the start of each turn. So he moved on to his second scheme, and also every single side scheme is currently in play, except the Sleeper one that gets permanently removed. The heroes are about to start their turn. All of my heroes have 6 hit points, except Hawkeye, who has 9. Red Skull is currently hitting for a minimum of 8 damage on his every attack (base of 1, +1 for his sidearm and +6 for his side schemes), and we currently don't have any allies in play. The Red House side scheme prevents us from doing damage to the Red Skull, while another side scheme has the crisis symbol (!) that prevents most of our attempts to thwart the main scheme.

It's tempting to just go after the Red Skull directly. My team can often kick out 20 points of damage per turn, so even with the presence of the Red House, we could possibly beat the Red Skull in four turns. But we can't reliably put four allies into play every turn, so the heroes will soon be taking some hard direct hits, for an average of 10 damage minus a DEF ranging from 1 (Hawkeye) to 4 (Quicksilver). So we need to also do some healing, but that will give the Skull extra chances to scheme. And then he will bring out goons from time to time. On the other hand, one of his side schemes is a prison, and every time we beat that side scheme, we get to put a free ally into play, so that's a worthwhile secondary target.

One carefully tested element of Marvel Champions seems to be the existence of at least two main schemes for each villain (aside from Rhino and the Wrecking Crew). Those scheme acceleration tokens can build up to an unmanageable level, so it's a bit of a break for heroes when the villain advances to his second scheme and all those acceleration tokens get discarded. So with Red Skull, we went from 9 getting added to the main scheme each turn to just 4 for now. However, Red Skull has this really unfun treachery card that allows him to add 2 to every scheme in play. It is a demoralizing card that also drags out the playtime for a win or accelerates a loss. It also might be the first step that the creators of Marvel Champions took in the wrong direction, leading to the controversial difficulty level of the GMW box.
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09 Jun 2021 12:33 - 09 Jun 2021 12:35 #323823 by Ah_Pook
You don't remove acceleration tokens, so... Bad news there :laugh:. Also, Masterplan is one of the three Expert cards from the core set and it adds 4 threat to every side scheme in play, and if no side schemes are in play it discards until it finds one to put in play. It's got a picture of Red Skull on it, and it is certainly the card that kills a lot of Red Skull expert encounters.
Last edit: 09 Jun 2021 12:35 by Ah_Pook.
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09 Jun 2021 12:52 #323824 by Shellhead
Okay, I will put those acceleration tokens back on. Red Skull just advanced to scheme #2 this turn, so no significant impact yet. Some of the acceleration is coming from side schemes, anyway. As for Masterplan, I am fortunately still playing on basic level, not expert. But I am almost certainly screwed now. Red Skull has 64 hit points, and can't be attacked until we get rid of The Red House. The main scheme has just 4 points on it, but will gain at least 9 per turn until we get rid of a couple of relevant side schemes, which we won't really have time to do. We also can't thwart the main scheme much until we get rid of another side scheme. So all we can do right now is thwart side schemes and kill minions, while Red Skull will be dealing out at least 4 attacks per turn for an average of 10 damage each. I think that we will lose in about 3 turns.

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09 Jun 2021 12:56 - 09 Jun 2021 15:19 #323825 by Ah_Pook
It sounds pretty spicy, for sure. I believe in Cap though! In my experience if you don't stay ahead of the side schemes you're done. If he has all of them in play you're in for a bad time.

Re: difficulty, the designers mentioned in that interview that Red Skull originally had Legions of Hydra as his encounter set in the campaign, but they swapped it since so many testers complained it was too hard. Madame Hydra makes that scenario insanely hard tho, it's a true fact. 2 copies of the side scheme that puts Madame Hydra in play in the side scheme deck, you can't kill Madame Hydra while the scheme is in play, and she adds threat to the scheme when she activates... Brutal. I guess they didn't take that type of difficulty feedback when designing GMW for whatever reason :laugh:
Last edit: 09 Jun 2021 15:19 by Ah_Pook.

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09 Jun 2021 23:47 #323840 by Shellhead
Yup, three turns. When the dust cleared after Red Skull's third turn on his second main scheme, Scarlet Witch was gone and the second main scheme was complete. Quicksilver had 1 hit point and Cap had 4 hit points. (Hawkeye had 8 hit points, but he had been ruthlessly chump blocking all game.) There were three goons out and every side scheme except the Red House. Red Skull himself still had 63 hit points. It was a total route. I don't think that I can beat Red Skull with anything less than 2 Justice decks plus 1 Aggression deck, unless maybe I play true solo with one of the best heroes.
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10 Jun 2021 06:18 - 10 Jun 2021 11:12 #323841 by Ah_Pook
Try Quicksilver and Cap Justice. With Heroic Intuition (plus whatever the upgrade in QS hero kit is called) they can Thwart for 6 each every turn without having to draw thwart events. Be sure you pack 3x Skilled Investigator too. Hawkeye does great with Aggression, and then that leaves you with SW as a wild card. Leadership for chump blocks maybe?

If this is in a campaign be sure QS has the THW upgrade, he'll get the most out of it.
Last edit: 10 Jun 2021 11:12 by Ah_Pook.
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