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

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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
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August 11, 2022
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August 10, 2022
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August 09, 2022
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August 04, 2022
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August 01, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

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July 29, 2022
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July 28, 2022
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July 27, 2022
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July 26, 2022
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July 25, 2022
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The Split - Review

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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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Marvel Champions

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21 Apr 2022 14:54 #332454 by boothwah
I think she looks like Iron Man - They say she has 4 interfaces - once all 4 are on the table, plus her innate, that's 5 free resources /tap for effects a turn. That's bonkers - I'm assuming they are going to put some sort of search card or two in her kit, so you can fish them out. I also am trusting that design gave her some easy ways to cycle /churn through the deck.

Opened my Sinister Motives last night and sleeved - I am so enamored of the subject matter, and the modulars are amazing - I spent about 3 minutes contemplating playing with the precons, and then naaahhhhhhhhhhhh. Ghost spider prot was built last night - probably going to make Miles sit out the first round and run it with Spiderman Justice. or maybe Spider-Woman J/L Shield build.
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21 Apr 2022 15:18 #332456 by Shellhead
When I recently tuned all my decks, one of the biggest changes was to Spider-man and Iron Man. I always ran Spider-man with the core Justice aspect cards plus the core basics, but decided to give Iron Man that set and then do some tweaking to the Justice and basic. And I used to run Iron Man with the core Leadership cards but gave that to Spider-man (with some adjustments) to thematically represent his Marvel Team-Up run. Anyway, I've been running that Spider-man/leadership deck along with the two default hero decks from Sinister Motives, and it has been going great. I upgrade Black Cat with Inspired, so she gets 2 ATK without any consequential damage. Hawkeye is great for immediately slapping damage on incoming minions. Last Stand is a nice alternative to the usual chump block exit, when dealing with a villain with indirect damage (Sandman) or overkill (Venom, at times).

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21 Apr 2022 16:02 - 21 Apr 2022 16:05 #332458 by Ah_Pook

boothwah wrote: I think she looks like Iron Man - They say she has 4 interfaces - once all 4 are on the table, plus her innate, that's 5 free resources /tap for effects a turn. That's bonkers - I'm assuming they are going to put some sort of search card or two in her kit, so you can fish them out. I also am trusting that design gave her some easy ways to cycle /churn through the deck.

Opened my Sinister Motives last night and sleeved - I am so enamored of the subject matter, and the modulars are amazing - I spent about 3 minutes contemplating playing with the precons, and then naaahhhhhhhhhhhh. Ghost spider prot was built last night - probably going to make Miles sit out the first round and run it with Spiderman Justice. or maybe Spider-Woman J/L Shield build.


Yea I mean she looks interesting at least :) I just see low hand size and worry, since all the low hand size heroes have been rough so far. Thor got way better and I really like him now, but I still don't really gel with Drax or She Hulk let alone Hulk.

And man don't sleep on Miles, he really climbed fast up my personal favorite heroes in the game list :)

Edit: assuming the last two scenarios land (and basically everything I've seen says they do) I think Sinister Motives is the best campaign box so far. Just really good stuff all around.
Last edit: 21 Apr 2022 16:05 by Ah_Pook.

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21 Apr 2022 16:52 #332463 by Shellhead
Host Spider is the key to making SP//dr work well. Tap it to untap SP//dr each turn, so you can be certain of doing either a basic thwart or basic attack that will be ideally boosted +2 by tapping the matching interface card. Without that Host Spider, she could have some slow turns where all she does is defend and then play one card. The interface that can be tapped for +2 defense makes her one of the durable heroes in the game, especially with Ejection Protocol for some major healing.

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22 Apr 2022 09:51 #332474 by Shellhead
Defeated Mysterio. The overall scenario was an interesting challenge, and there were several turns where a hero got hit with a half dozen encounter cards. Miles in particular kept getting hit with Delusion of Collusion, preventing him from untapping allies or personas until he goes into alter ego and discards an ally or persona. And the illusion Old Grudge kept Lizard coming after Gwen throughout the game. The weirdest thing was that Spider-man never took a single hit point of damage, even though the game went on long enough that I had 4 acceleration tokens on the main scheme. Between his natural DEF of 3, his Backflips, his webbing, and his chump-blocking, he just never took a hit.

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22 Apr 2022 12:50 #332479 by Ah_Pook
I've thing im really liking about the scenario design in this box is them splitting large chunks of the villain decks out into modulars and requiring the modular during setup for that villain. Gives you more fun stuff to play around with (whispers of paranoia being a perfect example) without watering down the actual scenarios these things were designed for.

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22 Apr 2022 13:39 #332483 by Shellhead
Before Sinister Motives arrived, I was playing The Hood scenario a lot. I liked to randomly select mods from the overall available mods, but felt that some of them tended to feel unthematic for the Hood (or most other specific scenarios), like Armies of Titan or Goblin Gimmicks. So I left those mods out of the pool of random mods. From that standpoint, Goblin Gear, Personal Nightmare, and Whispers of Paranoia also seem like mods that I wouldn't use with the Hood or most other scenarios. Goblin Gear would be great with the Green Goblin scenario, for example, but completely out of place with Klaw. But the other mods would easily fit almost anywhere.

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22 Apr 2022 15:13 #332489 by Ah_Pook
I like head canoning up why the hood would be using Osborn goblin tech or teaming up with aliens or whatever :)
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22 Apr 2022 15:25 #332490 by Shellhead
The Hood seems very opportunistic, so him getting or even stealing Osborn tech makes sense to me. For that matter, I can see a wide range of Earth-based villains using Osborn tech. Speaking of which, next time I play Mutagen Formula, I'm going to mix in both the Goblin Gear and Osborn Tech cards. Should be brutal.

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22 Apr 2022 16:12 #332491 by Shellhead
On the other hand, Guerilla Tactics is probably too dangerous a mod to put in some scenarios, especially The Hood.

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23 Apr 2022 13:41 - 23 Apr 2022 18:37 #332511 by boothwah

Ah_Pook wrote: I like head canoning up why the hood would be using Osborn goblin tech or teaming up with aliens or whatever :)


Me too!

Randomizer gave me Nebula + kree militants and temporal mods vs. Gamora and Captain Marvel. Temporal mod! Multiverse. Instant head cannon ruling on ally Nebula getting to take on herself and also secretly hoping that SotP gets pulled to see the nemesis. And Kree militants explained Carol's part in the chase to get the *time* stone kree science stolen maguffin thingy. That was a fun game.
Last edit: 23 Apr 2022 18:37 by boothwah. Reason: Auto correct Gamora to Gatorade. Ha. Their both green.
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25 Apr 2022 00:12 #332535 by Shellhead
A couple of friends came over to play Marvel Champions. One is a semi-experienced player but doesn't own any cards, and the other is an inexperienced player who hasn't tuned any of his decks yet, so we all played my hero decks.

First game was against a custom villain, the Leader. He is an old enemy of the Hulk, and a classic evil genius. In this scenario, he has recruited several other evil genius villains to help him create a lethal orbital death ray. I ran Iron Man/justice, while my friends ran Thor/aggression and Spectrum/leadership. We took a random modular set instead of the recommended Doomsday Chair (MODOK), and got Electro. A card from the scenario brought in Hulk's whole nemesis set (the Abomination), plus Iron Man's nemesis Whiplash showed up early. Thor's nemesis Loki showed up late in the game, but we just ignored him and went for the kill.

The various evil geniuses had cards that made it more challenging to take them out. Certain minions kept going after the same villains, so the Awesome Android kept after Thor, while Electro dogged Spectrum, and Whiplash went for Iron Man. The Leader did lots of scheming, but Iron Man did lots of thwarting. Twice, a gamma bomb went off, doing 2 damage to every hero and ally in play, except Spectrum was immune to one of those blasts because she was in gamma form. Just before the end of the game, the Leader finally got out his second stage scheme, which is the death ray. At the start of each villain turn, the death ray does indirect damage equal to the amount of threat on his main scheme, and we can allocate that damage to our heroes and our allies. Fortunately, we managed to hold that damage low just long enough to finish beating down the Leader.

Second game was against The Hood. I ran Valkyrie/aggression, while my friends ran Quicksilver/protection and Scarlet Witch/justice. The Hood started out with Ransacked Armory, and eventually picked up Electro, Hydra Patrol, Bomb Scare, Doomsday Chair, and the Quicksilver nemesis Avalanche. Valkyrie went through goons like a hot knife through butter, while Scarlet Witch thwarted a lot and Quicksilver, well, had a lot of difficulties.

Again, certain villains kept going after the same heroes. Avalanche harassed Quicksilver. Electro kept hitting Scarlet Witch, who was played by the same guy who played Spectrum in the previous game. Hydra goons kept going after everybody, but especially Valkyrie. In the final stretch, we managed to get The Hood down to 3 hit points on his second form, before he managed to scheme for the win. His win, not ours.
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25 Apr 2022 10:15 #332540 by Shellhead
Still thinking about yesterday's games. There were some wild things that happened in both games.

Abomination showed up early in the Leader game, and kept coming back to attack Spectrum. The Red Ghost minion couldn't be attacked, but you could spend energy resources (yellow) to deal damage to him. On two occasions, the Wizard slapped anti-gravity discs on Iron Man, cancelling my ability to go aerial each time until I could remove them by discarding two science resources (blue). For a while, there was a side scheme that prevented us from attacking any evil genius minions. Another side scheme (The Zero Cannon) killed an ally at the start of each villain turn.

Early in the Hood game, Madame Masque got a flamethrower, elevating her to an ATK of 5!. We didn't eliminate her quickly, because Valkyrie still didn't have her murder combos set up yet, and got bent by two consecutive villain turns that forced her to tap. Nobody got burned right away, because Scarlet Witch went into alter ego to buy some time. On the next villain turn, Scarlet Witch got 3 facedown cards, and all three of them were Biomechanical Upgrades (from the Doomsday Chair module). So even though Madame Masque only had 4 hit points, we had to defeat her four times (!) to get rid of her and her flamethrower.

The friend playing Quicksilver in the Hood game seemed to have a real struggle playing Quicksilver, especially compared to the first game when he played Thor. He has only played a few games of MC so far, and he is in his early 70s. So maybe he was getting tired during the second game, but we had to keep reminding him to discard his event cards after playing, tap certain upgrades when he used them, and not tap certain other upgrades. We didn't want to constantly coach him, but he kept succumbing to analysis paralysis. In all fairness, Quicksilver did have some rotten luck that game. On the other hand, my friend kept complaining that there wasn't any healing in his protection deck, but I have found that Quicksilver/protection doesn't usually take much damage. That player recently took the plunge into this game and bought the core, the Red Skull campaign and several hero decks. Hopefully he has the chance to play some solitaire games and get a better handle on the rules and strategy.

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27 Apr 2022 11:21 #332599 by Shellhead
Resumed my solo three-hero play of the Sinister Motives campaign. Due to my reputation of 12 after beating Mysterio, I was permitted to flip my SHIELD upgrades over to enhanced side, and also allowed to include up to three copies of a card to each of my hero decks, from any aspect. But I'm not much of a deckbuilder, and I didn't want to loot any of my other hero decks. So Spider-man (Parker)/leadership added 3 copies of Browbeat (aggression), which is likely a slightly improved Haymaker, plus his SHIELD gear now gives him +3 hit points. Ghost-Spider/protection took the Wraith ally (justice), who can take a damage to cancel a boost effect, plus her Shock Knuckles now give her +1 ATK and a better chance of stunning an enemy. Spider-man (Morales)/justice took 3 copies of Expert Defense (protection), and his SHIELD upgrade now gives him +2 THW. We also start with the Venom ally in play, though he still causes us to get a bonus facedown encounter card each turn.

Then we took on the Sinister Six: Dr. Octopus, Electro, Hobgoblin, Kraven the Hunter, Scorpion, and Vulture. Several of the villains start in play, and they each have 7 to 10 hit points. Each villain has a special bonus effect if they manage to inflict damage. One of them is the active villain, but the other are occasionally triggered into action by encounter cards, and the active villain token can move often. Cards can also bring back defeated villains. Sometimes a card will make one villain a particular problem that needs to be dealt with quickly. Defeating any of the six villains gives a reward of removing 4 threat from a side scheme. There will always be a side scheme, because the heroes can only win this scenario by defeating one particular side scheme that has two stages and a large amount of threat on both stages.

In actual play, this scenario has been easier than expected. My three spider-characters are all pretty good at defense, so the villains don't often get their bonus effects on their attacks. Defeating any given villain is entirely possible each turn. The only really challenge so far has been certain attachments or card effects that give a villain a large bonus to ATK... potentially big enough to one-shot even a healthy hero. When I stopped play last night, I already had the big side scheme on the second stage, with maybe 20 threat left on the second stage. I have beaten every villain at least twice, and there are currently just two in play. The main scheme did advance to the second stage, but is currently just slightly above zero threat and has only one acceleration token. This may end up being easier than the Mysterio scenario.

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29 Apr 2022 22:16 #332701 by Shellhead
Ugh, Venom Goblin. I was started to think that Sinister Motives was the easiest campaign. Sure, Venom Goblin was doing a lot of scheming and has three simultaneous main schemes, plus getting too many scary attachments, but we were handling it pretty well until we defeated his first form.

Then we all got slapped with 2 extra facedown cards courtesy of his second form, and it was right around the time when 2 out of 3 heroes exhausted their decks and got a facedown card. On top of that, we had a couple of side schemes generating extra facedown cards. So we got 14 facedown cards the next villain phase, including 6 minions, 3 surges, 2 side schemes, a nemesis (Lizard), and 4 attachments. One of the attachments gives Venom Goblin a bonus activation after each activation. So he attacks the same hero twice in a row. Or schemes twice in a row. Against each hero each turn, until a hero takes an action to discard attack events costing a total of 3 or more resources.

This first game against Venom Goblin might be a bust. But we were seriously manhandling him until he went to his second form. Miles was totally smashing his schemes, and sometimes even had time to help Peter and Gwen punch out VG. Now the game suddenly looks impossible, but I will fight to the bitter end in hopes of learning some hard lessons for the next game.

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