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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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Scout Board Game Review

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July 28, 2022
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The Split - Review

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July 21, 2022
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Marvel Champions

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17 Mar 2022 19:42 #331697 by boothwah
You can always proxy. If you sleeve, I find that a color photo copy cut slightly smaller than card size and slid in front another card works as a fantastic solution and I used to do that all the time when i was testing multiple decks for games that had $80 singles.

I'm learning to do some graphic design, solely to make some custom cards - I honestly have little taste for the custom content that's been put out...I have more than enough to keep up with that I don't need to play a bunch of homebrew stuff, but I really dig some of the reskins I've seen. I want to reskin a lot of allies. And Modulars.

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17 Mar 2022 23:19 #331701 by Shellhead
I have some sleeves, but I have used them for custom content plus some proxies to flesh out the custom hero decks. Of the several custom heroes that I have printed and played, only the Wolverine deck stands out as equal in quality to the official starter decks. Some of the custom modular sets are also really good, especially the Enchanted modular which would make a more reasonable nemesis for Valkyrie. And all four of the custom villain scenarios are good. Maestro and Super-Adaptoid are pretty hard, while Leader and Scorpio are fun while still reasonably challenging.

In the past, I taught myself how to use GimpShop well enough to do some decent prototypes for game projects, but my old computer with GimpShop is gone, and the newer version of GimpShop is different enough that I will be starting from scratch with it. I have a couple of ideas for Marvel Champions, but haven't found any free card templates online and haven't had the time or motivation to plunge back into GimpShop.

One idea is a really easy modular set that can be used to dilute a tough scenario. It would feature the early Spider-man villain team The Enforcers, and maybe an easy crisis (!) side scheme featuring a cat stuck in a tree. The other idea would be an alternative Hulk/leadership deck featuring Professor Hulk and his old allies, the Pantheon. Increase his hand size, give him affordable allies and some different upgrades and combat events reflecting his combination of strength and brilliance.

I played a few more turns of my current game against the Hood. Iron Man and Thor both have strong arrays set up, with Iron Man really thwarting the hell out of the main scheme and helping a little with the combat. My untuned Thor deck just had a huge turn, featuring massive card flow, a lightning strike, and two hammer throws. He also brought out Sif and Hercules. In that one turn, he took out Laufey, two other frost giants, Griffin, and Deathunt 9000, though admittedly Iron Man helped soften a couple of them up. However, Vision has been treading water, typically only accomplishing one good attack or thwart per turn.
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18 Mar 2022 18:13 #331726 by Kmann

Shellhead wrote: One idea is a really easy modular set that can be used to dilute a tough scenario. It would feature the early Spider-man villain team The Enforcers, and maybe an easy crisis (!) side scheme featuring a cat stuck in a tree.


I have no idea how it would work mechanically but a whole scenario where the heroes have to save a cat that's stuck in a tree would be absolutely brilliant!

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18 Mar 2022 22:20 #331730 by Shellhead
Laundry night, so I finished my current game against the Hood. Because it was looking close, I played more carefully than usual, thinking very carefully before committing to each play. And so I broke my recent losing streak against the Hood and just barely won this one.

Vision continued to disappoint, with only good play per turn, though some decent defending via protection events that kept him in hero form for nearly the entire game. Iron Man/justice managed to keep the main scheme somewhat under control until the State of Emergency modular set finally kicked up the acceleration tokens to 13!

But the definite star of the game was Thor, who continued to channel impressive card flow and dish out big attacks. On the last four turns of the game, he delivered a Hammer Throw every turn, plus a couple of Lightning Strikes along the way. He also got out heavy hitters like Heimdall, Hercules, and Sif. Iron Man got in the finishing blows with a Repulsor Ray and a couple of shots from the Powered Gauntlets.

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21 Mar 2022 22:48 #331788 by Shellhead
I just received the first of my two orders of singles (all from Guardian decks or Wasp or Ms. Marvel), and I am comparing the best of them side-by-side with the extra cards that came with all of my standalone hero decks (all Avengers).

Avengers cycle:
1. Counterattack is pretty cheap, potentially dealing out serious damage after your hero is hit. Then again, your hero needs to take serious damage for this to be worth it.
2. Moment of Truth is a cheap healing effect for Aggression that only requires you to excess damage to a minion.
3. Brute Force is cheap disposable upgrade that offers piercing damage.
4. Lay Down the Law is a strong, cheap thwart that only works right after a form change.
5. Under Surveillance increases the villain's target number for the main scheme by a lot if you are playing true solo.
6. Beat Cop is an interesting way to thwart and also bank some damage to unleash on a minion later.
7. Teamwork is a nice way to boost either thwarts or attacks without wasting your ally on consequential damage.
8. Muster Courage is an efficient way to get Toughness status cards on multiple friendly characters.
9. Meditation is a great card to play for a big discount on a card played while in alter ego.

Guardians cycle:
1. Brains Over Brawn is an essential card for solo play, as it gives you an attack effect in addition to a thwart.
2. Dauntless gives you retaliation ability if your hero has hit above the original amount.
3. Subdue event gives an enemy attack a -3 penalty.
4. Tackle is stun and maybe some damage to an enemy.
More on this list after I get my other order.

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22 Mar 2022 08:12 #331789 by Ah_Pook

Shellhead wrote: until the State of Emergency modular set finally kicked up the acceleration tokens to 13!

.


Man I've never had even close to this many acceleration tokens in any game of this. Like not even remotely close.

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22 Mar 2022 10:45 #331797 by Shellhead

Ah_Pook wrote:

Shellhead wrote: until the State of Emergency modular set finally kicked up the acceleration tokens to 13!

.


Man I've never had even close to this many acceleration tokens in any game of this. Like not even remotely close.


It was a record for me. Stages 2 and 3 of the Hood's main scheme each generate an acceleration tokens. Loki's side scheme has an acceleration symbol. Electro's (Power Drain modular) side scheme has an acceleration symbol. State of Emergency has four side schemes that each have an acceleration symbol, and all four came into play. We went through the encounter deck three full times, plus two more due to bad timing with Kang's Chosen, which forces you to discard cards until you either get a temporal minion or empty the encounter deck.

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24 Mar 2022 22:44 #331831 by Shellhead

Shellhead wrote: I just received the first of my two orders of singles (all from Guardian decks or Wasp or Ms. Marvel), and I am comparing the best of them side-by-side with the extra cards that came with all of my standalone hero decks (all Avengers).

Avengers cycle:
1. Counterattack is pretty cheap, potentially dealing out serious damage after your hero is hit. Then again, your hero needs to take serious damage for this to be worth it.
2. Moment of Truth is a cheap healing effect for Aggression that only requires you to excess damage to a minion.
3. Brute Force is cheap disposable upgrade that offers piercing damage.
4. Lay Down the Law is a strong, cheap thwart that only works right after a form change.
5. Under Surveillance increases the villain's target number for the main scheme by a lot if you are playing true solo.
6. Beat Cop is an interesting way to thwart and also bank some damage to unleash on a minion later.
7. Teamwork is a nice way to boost either thwarts or attacks without wasting your ally on consequential damage.
8. Muster Courage is an efficient way to get Toughness status cards on multiple friendly characters.
9. Meditation is a great card to play for a big discount on a card played while in alter ego.

Guardians cycle (& Wasp & Ms Marvel):
1. Brains Over Brawn is an essential card for solo play, as it gives you an attack effect in addition to a thwart.
2. Dauntless gives you retaliation ability if your hero has hit above the original amount.
3. Subdue event gives an enemy attack a -3 penalty.
4. Tackle is stun and maybe some damage to an enemy.
More on this list after I get my other order.


Got my other order of singles, so picking up where I left on the Guardians cycle:

5. Air Supremacy allows 3 damage to X enemies, where X is number of aerial characters you control. Great way to benefit from allies besides constantly throwing them under the bus.
6. Athletic Conditioning costs 1 resource to discard a stun or confuse status from your hero, which cheaper than most untap methods.
7. "Bring it!" is free and draws 1 card for each minion engaged with you. Perfect for Thor and Valkyrie.
8. Deflection for 2 is expensive for a defense event, but prevents up to 5 damage.
9. Lie in Wait is a cheap upgrade that you discard to do 3 damage to a minion after it engages you.
10. Perseverance is a cheap event that gives you Tough status if you just changed form. Any hero can use this when changing from alter ego to hero form, but the best use is for those with extra forms like Vision, Ant-man, and Spectrum. Or She-Hulk, who has other incentives to change forms often.
11. Preemptive Strike is a great, cheap protection event. Cancel all the boost tokens on a boost card, then deal 1 damage to the villain for each boost token.
12. Surprise Attack is a cheap 3 or 4 point attack if you just changed form.

Overall, I think that the Guardians/Wasp/Ms Marvel decks got better aspect and basic cards than the Avengers, but really it was the Wasp deck that really stood out. I don't really care about Nadia van Dyne (say, compared to Janet Pym), but it looks like a good pack to get for both the starter deck and the extra cards.

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27 Mar 2022 19:54 #331902 by Shellhead
After sorting through all the singles I purchased, as well as the extra cards from the various decks I bought, I sat down and tuned all 20 hero decks. It was relatively painless. I've played all 20 decks enough to know the strengths and the weaknesses of all the heroes. More importantly, I easily recognized at least a few cards in each deck that I consistently just played for the resource instead of the card effect. Then I added a few cards of the same aspect and usually the same cost as the ones removed, so as to not throw off the cost curve.

I didn't change much about the Valkyrie deck, because the problematic cards tend to be her own Valkyrie cards that must all be included. The biggest changes were swapping the aspects of Iron Man (now Justice) and Spider-man (now Leadership). I also changed more than half the protection cards in Vision's deck, generally from ones that are explicitly defenses to ones that still protect him even if he is intangible and therefore unable to defend.

Later, I took 4 random decks and went after the Hood again, though still on standard difficulty. I had Ant-Man (leadership), War Machine (leadership), Dr. Strange (protection), and Scarlet Witch (protection). The Hood started with Hydra Assault and soon picked up Under Attack. He nearly also got Ant-man's nemesis Yellowjacket, but Dr. Strange nerfed Shadow of the Past. In a sign that these decks were working much better now that they were tuned, we held The Hood to his first stage scheme for a long time and took out his his first villain stage before he got to his second stage scheme. He eventually got A Mess of Things in play, and the Scorpion got in a couple of good attacks before we dispatched him. The Hood never got farther than halfway through his second stage scheme before we beat him.

I didn't adjust Ant-man much, but adding Iron Man as an ally worked great because he could just load up on free tech upgrades that were already in the Ant-man deck. War Machine got his full array of tech out and dealt out lots of damage, but his leadership stuff didn't really come together. Dr. Strange also did well, but a curious thing happened. His untuned starter has a fair amount of junk, so I tended to focus heavily on playing his 5-card spell deck. But once I tuned his deck, I found myself playing more of those cards and less of his spell deck.

Scarlet Witch had a sub-par game, and I'm not entirely sure why. I did put a two each of Swift Retribution and Followed in her deck, and ended up never playing either card, so that was a bit of a drag. Otherwise, it just seemed like her cards clumped up, alternating between a hand of justice or hand of scarlet witch cards. I may have added two or three more cards than I removed from her deck, so that may have diluted her Scarlet Witch cards a bit.
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28 Mar 2022 10:52 - 28 Mar 2022 10:55 #331918 by Ah_Pook
Does Scarlet Witch's deck have Sorcerer Supreme or 3x Meditation in it? Those are incredible cards if not, and will help with deck cycling.

I've been in the outs with this game for a while since Asmodee screwed up my orders for Vision and Valkyrie and then ignored my emails for like 4 months. I did finally pick those up recently tho so I'm ready to get back into the swing. Plus Sinister Motives should be out in a few weeks which is cool.

Edit: just saw your were playing with Dr Strange as well. Those 4 cards are extremely worth proxying extra copies of if you play those two characters together, or any mystics now that I remember Adam Warlock ;)
Last edit: 28 Mar 2022 10:55 by Ah_Pook.
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28 Mar 2022 11:27 #331922 by Shellhead
Sorcerer Supreme is a unique card and I like to keep all of my hero decks ready for action, so I kept it with Dr. Strange. I left the Spiritual Meditations in Scarlet Witch's deck because she needs the card flow more than Strange. As for the regular Meditation cards, I put one in Black Widow's deck and two in She-Hulk's deck. Black Widow can get a lot done in Alter Ego compared to most heroes, and She-Hulk has a strong (no pun intended) incentive to switch forms often.

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28 Mar 2022 13:23 #331930 by Ah_Pook
I would have sworn I checked Sorcerer Supreme last time I played and it wasn't unique, but also I could easily be remembering it wrong ;) and I definitely meant Spiritual Meditation. That's the only card I've run into that I felt warranted proxying so far, really.

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28 Mar 2022 16:24 - 28 Mar 2022 16:59 #331937 by boothwah
Super cool, Shell-head. I've thought about doing a whole collection build for giggles - with the knowlege that I would probably deconstruct half the decks before i got through playing all of them, it still sounds like a fun exercise.


Edit :

ate my lunch and thought about it and it all fell apart when I got through the first 5 builds and was like....am I really not going to just reach over and grab the Quincarrier out of Thor's deck. Yup, I would. So, exercise ended.
Last edit: 28 Mar 2022 16:59 by boothwah.
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30 Mar 2022 21:25 #331991 by Shellhead
The Hood is definitely my favorite villain, even though I think the comic book version of the Hood is an annoying Gary Stu. The seemingly endless variety of combinations of modular sets is fun. So I am taking another run at him with a team. This time it's Captain America/leadership, Valkyrie/aggression, and Iron Man/justice. The Hood has so far gotten out Crossfire's Crew and Masters of Evil, plus Iron Man's nemesis Whiplash showed up early in the game.

I know that I changed a few cards in Cap's deck, but it hasn't made an impact because Cap was already so good. Valkyrie's minor adjustments help, plus I am getting better at playing her Valkyrie cards. She even took out three minions in one turn. Iron Man also got some relatively minor adjustments, and yet was ready to armor up in turn 2.

The Hood is down to 3 hit points on his first stage. Cap and Iron Man are fairly battered. The second stage of the villain scheme should have already popped, except that Iron Man slapped an upgrade on it that significantly increases the target number for that scheme. The game could go either way at this point. The only allies in play right now are Daredevil and Hawkeye, but Hawkeye will be valuable because there are so many minions in the deck right now. Another good ally this game has been Hulk. I took him out of the Captain Marvel/aggression deck and put him with Valkyrie, because she is running a lot of the muscle resource, which works better with Hulk's random flip than all those lightning resources in Captain Marvel's deck.

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31 Mar 2022 10:39 #332003 by Virabhadra
Shell, what's your setup for playing 4-handed? I have the official "4 player" mat and there's barely enough room on it for the bad guys and one late-game hero.

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