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He's tough, but I don't think he's unbeatable like what I hear about Ronan, and overall I think the box is spot on in terms of difficulty. I took Hulk and She-Hulk through the campaign just to see if it could be done and they absolutely clobbered him. Of course I've only ever played it two handed so I can imagine things get crazy very fast with four heroes on the table.
All that said, my power duo of Iron-Man and Spider-Man who had mostly coasted through the campaign and beaten every single individual villain I threw at them, took their first loss ever to Red Skull last night by getting schemed out.
It was pilot error. I'd been keeping tabs on the main scheme but also clearing side schemes that could've stuck around a little longer with no real detriment. He was getting close to the win when I got the card that makes you pull two Hydra minions. Being clever I chose two basic soldiers who only have 2hp and no tough or guard. They do, however, both incite 1. Couple that with Iron-Man reshuffling his deck and pulling an encounter for doing so, Red Skull's level 3 scheme stat of 3, an attachment I hadn't bothered to clear which gives him +1 scheme, getting a "villain schemes" encounter and pulling a boost card that let him scheme again and it was all over. Even with the Surveillance Van sitting out on the main.
In the immortal words of Ron Burgundy, it escalated quickly... But I know this pair can beat him so I'll ignore the 'campaign is over' rule and send them out again.
Lesson learnt. Don't fool around just get Iron-Man suited up and out the door asap.
I reshuffled and focused on building the suit at all costs, which paid off. It was still a tough battle but the duo were victorious. They were able to keep Red Skull from progressing to his second scenario card (I had the surveillance van out which adds 4 to the main scheme) so it was a convincing win. But at no point did it feel like the game was in the bag or I was in total control like these guys have with some other villains. Red Skull felt like things could quickly spiral out of control at any moment and his constant re-upping of Tough status saved him from some big hits. This all kept it fun and made for a very fitting end to this super fun pairing.
Inspired by Shellhead I might try a four handed game next. That sounds pretty crazy. I can't leave games set-up so I'm a little worried about how long it might take, as well as the mental tax of it, but I'm pretty keen to give it a whirl for the experience. And, frankly, the idea of just pitting two heroes against any of the pre-GMW villains sounds kinda boring as I've just spent the last few months revisiting them all.
Speaking of GMW, here's another interview with one of the designers. This one is 1 on 1 and more directly addresses the difficulty question.
Kmann wrote: Inspired by Shellhead I might try a four handed game next. That sounds pretty crazy. I can't leave games set-up so I'm a little worried about how long it might take, as well as the mental tax of it, but I'm pretty keen to give it a whirl for the experience. And, frankly, the idea of just pitting two heroes against any of the pre-GMW villains sounds kinda boring as I've just spent the last few months revisiting them all.
I enjoy playing three- and four-handed games of MC, but I have the luxury of leaving a game in progress undisturbed on my gaming table. It's in the basement, so my cat doesn't go down there unless I am down there. Those games do run long even though I am playing alone and so don't have any table talk going on. But I feel like both the Kang and Red Skull scenarios reach their full potential with four heroes.
Justice Ms Marvel is so dominant at her role it's hilarious. Multitasking and Turn The Tide made her a true force. Once you have Embiggen and Shrink out its remove 4 threat from 2 different schemes, and if you clear all the threat from one do 8 damage all for 2 cards and 1 resource cost (which her suit or sense of justice pays for). Or remove 4+4+2+2 threat divided up however you want and do 5 damage, whichever is more relevant. She's so fun to play.
Leadership Black Panther was fine. The deck concept was to get a bunch of allies out and use Strength in Numbers to dig out copies of Wakanda Forever, which sort of happened eventually. Mainly he just played cheap allies for blocks and played Wakanda Forever as it came up, which as it turns out is still very good.
Speaking of Kang and the Wrecking Crew, I just realized that 60% of the villains from the original Secret War are represented in Marvel Champions: Absorbing Man, Kang, Klaw, Ultron, the Wrecking Crew, and Titania. Not yet represented in Marvel Champions: Dr. Doom, Dr. Octopus, Enchanteress, the Lizard, Molecule Man, and Volcana.
However I'm putting MC back on the shelf for now and instead starting a second run through the Dunwich Campaign of Arkham Horror: LCG.
After over four months of nothing the GMW box is finally available at one online shop here. I'm expecting more shops to start selling it on Friday. But what was a day one purchase is now just a 'maybe'. The long wait and mixed reaction has drained my enthusiasm for it. Don't hold me to it but I think I'm going to sit out this Guardians cycle.
I really hope they come back to earth with the Sinister Six - although I do think some of those villains deserve their own scenario pack - and the heroes that follow, as I would be all about that.
For each hero, make a stack with their discard pile on the bottom, the put their undrawn cards on top. Then put all of their cards in play on top, but faceup. Put the hero on the very top with the current side faceup, either hero or alter ego. If they have any Kang obligations, put those faceup right under the hero/alter ego card. Then stack each hero pile on top of each other and put in the box, underneath that red or blue reference card. Same for the villain. Discard pile on the bottom of the stack, then undrawn cards facedown on top. Next put all the schemes and minions in play faceup on top. Then put the villain's current form faceup on the very top of the stack. Put all of these cards in your game box together. If your particular storage method won't allow for this, maybe just find a safe place to put your stack, or ideally use one of those generic ccg boxes that can hold at least 250 cards.
They also put up a Nebula hero preview article. She has Gamora as her signature ally and nemesis, and also comes with a team up card for Gamora. Fun stuff thematically. I really like how they mirrored her villain gimmick in her hero pack, where you attach techniques to her that fire off and then discard. Looks like fun stuff.
Shellhead wrote: . If your particular storage method won't allow for this
I'm just using the core box and the Red Skull box. These comfortably fit everything up to GMW - hero, villains & scenarios penny sleeved, aspects not - with plenty of room to spare.
I'd take photos to capture the board state and stopping when the villain levels up would make for a decent cliffhanger. The only real problem I foresee is my own laziness...