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Marvel Champions

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15 Jul 2021 14:22 #324713 by Shellhead
I was never a Venom fan, but might consider his deck if it offers a novel playing experience. I am looking forward to everything after the Guardians. War Machine, because I'm a big Iron Man fan. Valkyrie, so I can field a decent old-school Defenders team with Hulk and Dr. Strange. Vision, because he was a crucial member of the Avengers during my peak Marvel comic years. Titan's Shadow and Sinister Motives for more scenarios, and maybe The Hood if it gets good reviews.

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15 Jul 2021 20:19 #324719 by Kmann
Was not expecting to be hyped for War Machine but here we are. Play style seems really fun and the art looks great.

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19 Jul 2021 10:28 #324791 by Shellhead
Still working on getting the custom content ready for play. Lots of scissors work yesterday, and I got most of the villain stuff sleeved. I realize that it seems like a ridiculous amount of work when I could be playing online with minimal effort. But I have been in this hobby long enough to know that games and websites come and go, but at least my own physical possessions will probably be around for the long haul. In particular, games based on licensed intellectual property tend to have a limited lifespan, and once that agreement expires, support vanishes and product supply dries up. Look up Death Angel or Marvel Heroes some time for examples. In fact, I'm starting to think that it might be a good medium-term investment to buy one of everything for Marvel Champions and leave it all untouched in original packaging. Probably be able to sell it all for 5x in a decade.

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22 Jul 2021 08:07 - 22 Jul 2021 08:12 #324825 by sornars
I may be a bit late with this advice but for custom content for Arkham Horror, I've used makeplayingcards.com to print out the PnP materials provided by FFG. I had the benefit of using a prefilled link but I imagine mastering their editor/a bit of photoshop would be less effort than all that cutting and the cards are almost as good as regular one without sleeves. With sleeves you cannot tell the difference. The costs seemed reasonable enough to me - they turned out to be approximately what I'd be willing to pay for that content at MSRP - $13 for 30 cards + shipping.

Here are the settings I used:
2.48"x3.46" (63×88mm) (31 cards)
Card stock: (S33) Superior Smooth
Card finishing: MPC game card finish
Packaging: Plain white tuck box
With Shrink-wrapped

On linkrot: I'm a digital hoarder and always worry about things going offline or disappearing. For TTS mods in particular you can snapshot them including their assets using tools so that they're fully playable offline even if all of the hosts get taken down. github.com/eigengrau/tts-backup
Last edit: 22 Jul 2021 08:12 by sornars.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shellhead, jeb, Gary Sax, Kmann

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22 Jul 2021 09:39 #324826 by Shellhead
That's great info, but I just finished sleeving everything last night, including the Leader scenario that I found a few days ago. The friend that I hooked on Marvel Champions is back in town for a week, so I pushed to finish getting all this custom content ready. That Leader scenario looks pretty interesting, because the villain doesn't win by completing his final scheme. Instead, every time the Leader schemes, his final scheme deals out indirect damage equal to the number of scheme tokens on it.

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22 Jul 2021 12:29 #324829 by Ah_Pook
The Hood scenario pack announced

www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2021/.../unbridled-ambition/

Some really cool looking stuff. 9(!) modular sets is awesome, including Standard 2 and Expert 2 to change up every encounter... Just awesome stuff. Very exciting!
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23 Jul 2021 14:17 #324865 by boothwah
I'm excited for the Hood pack. My 25 year old CCG Super Nerd Sense tells me this will be a pack that resells for a lot for a while. Hope they overprint, because the modules and extra standard and expert encounter cards will put it the top of a lot of buying lists for people getting into the game later this year and next.

I've been continuing my Marvel Team Ups with randomizer help - I watched Black Widow Wednesday, so last night was super satisfying to be pull Wasp and Black Widow - Risky Business + Master of Time + Goblin Gimmicks - Was super fun to build Natasha's full protection build - Final turn Natasha did 8 damage on the villains phase to knock him down.
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24 Jul 2021 17:22 #324908 by Kmann
Having shelved Marvel Champions for the last month or so I dusted it off this week and got some heroes back on the table. I hadn't played either of the Captains, Marvel and America, in over a year so teamed them up for my return. An overpowered combo sure, but I was okay with that - especially coming off the back of a failed AH LCG campaign.

To present some challenge for the OP pair, I faced them up against expert Ultron with the Masters of Evil modular. It was a fun game, not a cakewalk, but the two Cap's emerged victorious. The next night, in a moment of madness, I decided to face off against my old mates Klaw and the Anachronauts. These guys gave me problems for around a month before I finally beat them. This time around tho, no problem! Still challenging but the two Captains were able to handle whatever came up and got the win. Both games were really fun but its a strong hero combo.

Despite my many posts saying I was going to pass on the GMW box I caved on the weekend and ordered it. My FLGS had a crazy bundle deal going where it was $15 off plus you got the original promo MC playmat and the five original promo cards. They just moved premises so I assume they must of found a box of promos in the shift. It was too good a deal to pass up so I nabbed it. Guess I'm going into space afterall! :laugh:

I still don't think this will lead into purchasing the other Guardians though - except maybe Venom. But we'll see. Never say never, right. At the moment it's all moot anyway as NONE of them are available yet. They're not sold out - they just haven't even gone onsale yet.

Following the news I'm surprisingly looking forward to War Machine. And very excited for The Hood. That pack looks really great and I love that they're bringing in new Standard and Expert cards.

I would like to see more of these villain scenario packs. I really dig them.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars

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26 Jul 2021 10:19 #324929 by Shellhead
An old friend is visiting for a week, and I got him hooked on Marvel Champions the last time he was in town, so of course we had to play some more. He has never been a comic book fan, so he has only a general pop culture familiarity with DC and Marvel superheroes, not even certain of which characters are with which company. So he decided to go with a familiar character and played Spider-man (justice) in both games. I have been looking forward to playing with some custom content, so we used custom villain scenarios for both games.

For the first game, I played the Hulk (aggression) and we went up against the Leader plus the Doomsday Chair module (M.O.D.O.K.), at Standard level. Like the Hulk, the Leader received his power from exposure to a massive dose of gamma radiation. However, instead of invulnerability and superhuman strength, the Leader got superhuman intelligence. In this scenario, the Leader has recruited several other mad scientist villains (known collectively as the Intelligencia), and they are developing the Ultimate Weapon. So the first stage of the main scheme is a typical main scheme that the heroes want to thwart, but the second scheme is radically different. Normally the heroes instantly lose when the final main scheme reaches a certain number of scheme points per player. The Ultimate Weapon instead deals out indirect damage (which can be freely allocated to any combination of heroes and allies as long as no points are wasted) every turn equal to the quantity of scheme tokens on it. In practical terms, it is likely to kill all the good guys within 2 to 3 turns of activation.

The game played out oddly. Hulk is normally lousy at thwarting and good at smashing bad guys, but I kept drawing into my few thwart cards and using them. Meanwhile, Spider-man was supposed to be doing most of our thwarting, but kept getting bogged down with fighting multiple minions. Then once every few turns, the Hulk would draw into a devastating hand of destruction and clear out the minions. Late in the game, Hulk's nemesis Abomination showed up, but it was due to a special Leader card and not the usual standard card that brings in a nemesis. Abomination hits for 3, or 5 if his target player top decks an aggression card after his attack. At one point, two consecutive gamma bombs detonated, doing no harm to Hulk (yay), while Spider-man was safe in his Peter Parker identity. Despite our heroic efforts at thwarting, the Ultimate Weapon finally hit the table, and one of us wasn't going to survive the next turn. But the Hulk got a nice combination of aggression cards and managed to pulverize the Leader before he could even fire his first shot with the Ultimate Weapon. Great game.

The Zodiac scenario looked a little easier, so I played the complex custom Moon Knight (all) deck, at standard level. We also included the Experimental Weapons module from the Red Skull boxed set. Scorpio is more of a fighter than a schemer, but his scheming triggers an interesting effect called Read the Stars. Every time a player must Read the Stars, he draws four cards from a special side deck with 13 cards representing the 12 signs of the zodiac plus one extra for Scorpio. If the matching minion for a given sign card is drawn, that triggers a special effect on that minion's card, against the player who is reading the stars. So it became crucial to clear out minions quickly, but they all had 4 or 5 hit points each. Various game effects tended to accelerate the rate at which scheme tokens were placed on the main scheme, so we sometimes had to ignore the goons and do a lot of thwarting.

Moon Knight is a challenging character to play. He is required to play all four aspects, and must include at least 4 cards for each aspect in his deck. He has a special deck of 2 heroic identities and 3 alter ego identities, and he has to cycle through the deck before all five identities become available again. Even with cards that helped him switch identities more often, it meant that he spent more time in alter ego than most heroes would, giving Scorpio extra chances to scheme and force me to Read the Stars. Alter ego Marc Spector has a hand size of 7, but the other two alter egos only get 5 cards, and the two heroes get 4 cards. All of the non-Marc identities get a one point discount on one specific aspect (Moon Knight is aggression, Jake Locksley is justice, etc.), but justice is problematic because most of the justice cards can only be played by a Hero identity but Jake is an Alter Ego.

Both Moon Knight and Spider-man took some serious beatings, but we managed to hang in there and again pull out a last-second win. I suspect that this Zodiac scenario would be much easier if at least one of the heroes was effective at mass attacks, like Captain America (shield toss), Hawkeye (explosive arrows), or especially Thor due to his synergistic cards for manhandling minions. Also, none of Scorpio's minions had the Guard trait, so it would be entirely possible for an aggression deck to just focus on quickly hammering on Scorpio. Anyway, another great game.

After the Zodiac game, my friend actually requested that we watch a comic book-based movie or show, because the game put him in the mood. It was getting late for a Sunday night, so I suggested a two-part episode of the excellent Justice League cartoon. (I have all the MCU movies plus Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse, but any of those were going to be at least 2 hours long.) Pondering the possibilities, I chose Wild Cards, and it was perfect. The Joker creates a twisted version of a reality tv show by planting 25 hidden bombs in Las Vegas, and gives the League just 22 minutes to find and disarm them all before they detonate. Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkgirl answer the call, and find themselves pitted against a particularly powerful line-up of the Royal Flush Gang. Joker and Harley Quinn enliven the proceedings with humorous commentary, while the bomb timer counts down in real-time over the course of both episodes.

In Marvel Champions terms, it felt like the bombs were the first main scheme, while the Royal Flush Gang were minions. When the bombs were neutralized, the Joker revealed his second main scheme, as the bombs were just a way to get a large audience of tv viewers to become victims of a mass mind control attack. My friend was able to enjoy the episode more than usual because he was familiar with Batman, Superman, Flash, the Joker, and even Harley Quinn.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars, DarthJoJo, Kmann

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28 Jul 2021 11:12 #324980 by Ah_Pook
@Kmann, my #1 tip for the GMW scenarios is if you find them annoyingly hard try swapping out the modular sets. They really went off the deep end with incredibly annoying minions in basically all of the modular sets in that box. For example, swapping out Menagerie Medley for Temporal in the Infiltrate The Museum scenario made the scenario actually fun instead of just savagely punishing the last time I played it. Mainly getting rid of the 4 copies of the Psionic Ghost who comes into play when drawn as a boost card really helped.
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30 Jul 2021 10:06 - 30 Jul 2021 10:09 #325060 by Shellhead
My visiting friend and I tried some more custom content, at the standard difficulty level. The custom Black Knight (aggression) and Black Widow (justice) versus Taskmaster plus the custom expanded version of the Masters of Evil modular set. I left out the two Hydra modular sets that are included with Taskmaster in the Red Skull campaign, because I was worried that we might already be facing too many minions with just the Masters of Evil. And since I wasn't sure how well the Black Knight deck would play, I left in the 4 free allies that can be rescued in the campaign Taskmaster module.

My friend did a better job of playing Black Widow than I usually do, but the real star was this fan-made Black Knight deck. The core gimmick is that the Black Knight has a cursed ebony sword, and a ghostly ancestor who can help him control the intensity of the curse. His sword makes all of his attacks piercing, and gets a +1 ATK for each card under his curse card, up to a maximum of 3. At the end of each BK turn, he takes a point of indirect damage for each card under the curse, then adds a card under the curse, to a maximum of 3. His ancestor card can tap once per turn to add or remove a card to the curse. Other BK cards allow him to make extra attacks or cancel all damage from one attack and then deal damage to the attacker equal to the number of cards under the curse. He also has a squire who can do some healing, a helm that can be tapped for a resource every turn, and armor that gives him +3 hit points and +2 REC.

Thanks to careful management of the curse, I didn't take a lot of damage from it over the course of the game. But the constant flow of cards to and from the curse cycled my deck quickly and made some key cards unavailable by chance, like that armor I mentioned above. But the combination of the BK cards and the aggression cards made it easy to wipe out Masters of Evil almost as quickly as they showed up, plus occasionally getting hard hits through to the Taskmaster. Even when BK's nemesis Morgan Le Fay showed up, it was just a minor speedbump for us. Black Widow did plenty of thwarting but ran low on hit points three times, partly because my friend still recoils slightly from the concept of chump blockers. There were a few tense moments, but once we got to the second stage of Taskmaster, victory felt inevitable.
Last edit: 30 Jul 2021 10:09 by Shellhead.
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02 Aug 2021 12:11 #325136 by Shellhead
Played my first three-player game of Marvel Champions yesterday. I've played solitaire games with 3 and even 4 heroes, but this was my first time with three actual players. My visitor played Doctor Strange (protection), a new player and long-term comic fan played Spider-man (justice), and I played She-Hulk (aggression), against Kang on standard difficulty. The game took over five hours, because the new player kept forgetting basic rules and often felt overwhelmed by his choices after he built up a fair amount of supports and upgrades on the table. Despite his decades of gaming experience, he has never played any CCGs, not even Magic, so he struggled with some concepts that many gamers take in stride.

Dr. Strange was the star of the game. Though running the protection cards, he was often great at thwarting and attacking, and was also sometimes able to stun Kang. Spider-man should have been doing a lot of thwarting, but his player kept spending his justice cards to play Spider-man cards, which is an understandable error for the first hour or two of play. I had my own struggles playing She-Hulk. She should be changing her identity nearly every turn, because she has some nice thwarting in her alter ego, but gets to deal out 2 points of damage every time she changes into She-Hulk. But due to the lack of thwarting by Spider-Man, I felt that it was necessary to spend more time in hero form so Kang wouldn't get extra chances to scheme.

We handled Kang I fairly well, but things got shaky when we were split up to deal with the alternate reality phase II Kangs. All three got a fair amount of scheming done before Doc defeated Rama-Tut and joined me against the Scarlet Centurion and also a Tyrannosaurus Rex. After that, we both helped Spider-Man overcome Iron Lad. Throughout the game, Ancient Warriors from the Temporal module kept attacking Strange, until it became a running joke. By the time we got to Kang III, we were all fairly battered and needed to do some healing, but Kang III was scheming so hard that there wasn't time for full healing. Just before our final turn, Kang had 24 hit points, plus a toughness card and a temporal shield (one-shot toughness plus retaliate: 1), and he needed 5 more tokens to complete his scheme. He was gaining 6 scheme at the start of every turn, plus there was a side scheme with a crisis symbol and 6 scheme that we had to beat before we could go after the main scheme. We went on a desperate final attack and managed to dish out enough damage to get the win.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars, DarthJoJo, Ah_Pook, Kmann

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07 Aug 2021 17:49 #325314 by Ah_Pook
Mad Titans Shadow got pushed back out of August, and presumably everything else after it did too.
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07 Aug 2021 17:56 #325315 by Gary Sax
Definitely seems FFG is struggling to hit targets right now, that Arkham LCG expansion set is still being pushed back too.

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09 Aug 2021 10:36 #325365 by Shellhead
Played a 2-hero solitaire game yesterday, with some of the fanmade content: hero decks for Blade and Daredevil. They went up against the starting scenario for the Red Skull campaign, which consists of Crossbones plus the following modules: Hydra Patrol, Legions of Hydra, and Experimental Weapons. Crossbones has main scheme with three stages, and the first two give him a random weapon from the Experimental Weapons deck. His main gimmick in this deck is a variety of weapons and gear that give him ranged, piercing, indirect damage, retaliate, or armor. He is not a big schemer, but his schemes have relatively low target numbers. To make matters worse, at least a couple of his encounter cards let him discard cards until he draws a weapon, and that can sometimes send half his deck to the discard pile immediately, generating more acceleration tokens than normal. A couple of his weapon cards are machine guns, giving him some potential for extra indirect damage after his main attack. The Hydra modules generate a lot of Hydra goons.

I ran Daredevil with a set of justice and neutral cards from the base game, swapping out his own ally card for a comparable justice ally. His base stats of 2-2-2 feel wrong to me, and should probably have been ATK 1 and DEF 3 instead of 2s in both. He does have some defensive cards, but they are underpowered compared to Spider-man's Backflip and Webbed Up cards. His signature ally of Elektra is nice with a 3 ATT, but has a 25% chance of inflicting a Confused status card on Daredevil when she enters play. Overall, Daredevil seemed easily bruised and spent more time healing than most characters, despite some timely help from Blade in this game. His nemesis Bullseye is nasty, somewhat similar to Hawkeye's nemesis Crossfire, with quick strike and the ability to snipe at allies.

I ran Blade with a set of protection and neutral cards from the base game, even though the thematic choice should have been aggression cards. Blade's main gimmick is that he can gain and spend blood tokens for extra healing or untaps, but he also loses a blood token at the start of each turn. Usually Blade can only get more blood tokens while in alter ego form, but he has a resource card similar to the Pym Particle that gives him a free blood token. He has some nice offensive moves and a weapon that gives him +1 ATT. His nemesis Dracula is interesting, with the ability to steal blood tokens from Blade and do some healing. In actual play, Blade (protection) almost never ran low on hit points and so never had the opportunity to really stock up on blood tokens after the first batch ran out.

The first game seemed to be going okay, except that Daredevil was unlucky and took some hard hits. So he had to do some healing three times that game, leaving Blade to forge on in hero form without respite. Daredevil also never built up a good set of upgrades and support in play. Bullseye came out early on, and returned later, plus managed to take out Jessica Jones with a sniper shot. The heroes held the line on the first main scheme for a long time, but finally Crossbones was able to advance to phase two. The combination of experimental weapons, machine gun bursts, and waves of goons wore the heroes down, until both heroes ran out of allies, Daredevil was healing in alter ego again, and Blade got caught off-guard with a surprise attack during the encounter card phase. Blade got wiped out, and I was hopelessly far behind to even attempt to win with just Daredevil.

So I played again, with zero changes in the decks. This time, the heroes were more proactive about getting rid of the weapon attachments quickly, and also got some better timing with getting certain cards. Neither nemesis showed up this game. Both heroes managed to build up a decent set of upgrades, supports, and allies, and were able to defeat Crossbones after he started the third and final stage of his main scheme.

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