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Marvel Champions

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19 May 2022 17:04 #333152 by Shellhead

Gary Sax wrote: lol iconic Xmen like shadowcat.


She isn't one of the first ten characters that comes to mind when I hear the name X-Men, but Shadowcat has been in X comics for over 40 years now. I feel old.

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23 May 2022 09:14 #333217 by Shellhead
My friend came over yesterday to continue the Sinister Motives campaign. We apparently learned nothing from our first loss to the Sinister Six, as they beat us two more times in rapid succession. Gotta watch out for Partnership of Pain, which gives a villain an attack with +X ATK. Finally, we both got a strong start to the fourth game. Things got a little iffy in the midpoint, as the Coordinated Effort side scheme gave every villain an acceleration token. But we got things back under control, as Adam Warlock did really impressive thwarting. My Captain Marvel/aggression deck still had the occasional weak turn, but was often good at putting down one or two villains per turn. In the final stretch, we ignored multiple side schemes and went directly for the win.

Then we took on Venom Goblin. He beat us with surprising speed in the first game, flipping 2/3 of Manhattan to symbiote territory. The second game went a lot better, as we nearly finished VG's first form and seemed to have good threat management on the main schemes, though one did slip into symbiote territory. But he was pounding us with attachments, and we let him keep his Advanced Glider for a turn, which gives him double activations against each of us. We both got knocked down to 1 hit point each and had to go to alter ego for healing. During that single turn, he went from 7 to 20 scheme on Upper Manhattan and defeated us. We plan to take on Venom Goblin again soon. I might tune my Captain Marvel deck again before then.

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24 May 2022 00:34 - 24 May 2022 03:47 #333244 by Kmann
Covid's impact on shipping continues to see Champions have an erratic release schedule down here. As a timely example, I ordered IronHeart today but Nova is nowhere to be seen despite them both being released together elsewhere around the world. Go figure.

Fortunately, all the campaign boxes have been released so I've been happily playing through them. I played GMW on Standard and then cruised into Mad Titan's Shadow, which I kept playing on Standard. I really dug that campaign but only played it once before the lure of Sinister Motives - and being able to once again rejoin the Champions conversation - proved too strong.

I shifted back up to Expert for this one and it's been a blast. The two heroes are a lot of fun, SpiderGwen's timing considerations are always interesting and I love the Shield build of Miles. So cool.

It's taken me a few runs at each scenario to beat - and my score is pretty low - but it's been fun. I've now hit the wall with Venom Goblin as I'm just using slightly tweaked pre-cons. I plan to do a deckbuild to hopefully deal with him on the weekend.

And even though I droned on about not buying the Guardians I have ended up with the whole gang, picking up Nebula at half-price just last week to complete the cycle. I'm yet to play Drax, Gamora or Nebula as I literally only picked these up in the last month, but the other Guardians have all been really fun to play. The whole cycle including the campaign box was bought at sale prices so I feel pretty good about it and have no buyer's remorse.

I hadn't planned on picking up IronHeart - or Nova - but the cards they come with seem too good to not have in the collection so my resolve there has faltered as well. I have little interest in the wave of Spider heroes that are coming but I can see the same thing happening.

Such is the nature/reality of LCG's I guess.
Last edit: 24 May 2022 03:47 by Kmann.
The following user(s) said Thank You: boothwah, sornars

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24 May 2022 09:14 #333246 by Shellhead
I skipped the Guardians decks for the same reason I skipped Wasp and Ms. Marvel. I'm less familiar with those characters, so I don't have any great enthusiasm for playing them. If it had been the Janet van Dyne/Pym version of Wasp, I would have been interested. Same goes for the upcoming Ironheart and Nova decks. But I am going to get Spider-Ham for the laughs and the really nasty villain module, and also SP//dr just for the Unshakeable card that will bolster my Thor, Hulk, and She-Hulk decks. I'm also looking forward to Mutant Genesis and cycle 6, but will possibly skip any subsequent mutant decks after cycle 6.

Beyond that, I definitely want certain iconic heroes that have been overlooked for too long: Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, Namor, Luke Cage, Silver Surfer, and Iron Fist. Hopefully there will be a Fantastic Four wave and a street-level wave after Mutant Geneis.

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30 May 2022 11:17 - 30 May 2022 11:18 #333344 by Shellhead
As mentioned throughout this discussion thread, there are multiple ways to enjoy Marvel Champions. Some players really get into the deck-building, but it is optional. Some players are focused on True Solo, playing a single hero deck against the villain, while others prefer to play with two heroes, with or without a second player. I generally prefer to play solitaire with 2 to 4 hero decks, but I have played quite a few two-player games, and even a few three-player games with friends.

Marvelcdb.com has a large archive of deck designs by a variety of players, and it has a nice visual layout. There is room for strategic tips for playing a given deck, plus feedback from other players. I have not spent much time at the site, though, because deck design doesn't usually interest me in this game. The card pool is still relatively shallow, plus 15 cards out of 40-50 are automatically determined by which hero you are playing. Accordingly, too many deck designs focus on the same few concepts, like stun-lock and ally swarm.

But I recently saw an amazing deck design on Marvelcdb which is a Hulkless Hulk deck. This is a Justice deck is designed for Hulk to stay in Bruce Banner form for nearly the whole game, completely subverting the obvious Hulk/Aggression slant of the starter deck. Because it is designed to be a solo deck, it runs an ally swarm (9). It does a lot of thwarting, but a player can also flip to Hulk near the end and just smash the villain. The designer bragged that he has already beaten Rhino, Klaw, Sandman, and Thanos (!) with this deck. Because I didn't want to mess up a bunch of my decks by borrowing cards, I made a proxy deck based on screenshots and scans of cards, then sleeved them.

My first game against Rhino/Bomb Threat ended quickly due to Rhino scheming out, but I easily beat him in the second game. Sandman/A Mess of Things went down easy in a single play. Klaw/Masters of Evil turned out to be really hard, especially since I drew my nemesis Abomination every_single_game. I thought that Abomination would be a joke since I was planning to stay in alter ego, but he was originally a spy in the comics, which is why he schemes for two. And his Clash of the Titans cards send him hunting down my allies. I finally won on the 4th (!) game against Klaw.

This is a swingy deck, or maybe every solo game is very swingy and I just didn't know that because I rarely play solo. In the bad games, I get up and rolling with the resources and thwarting too slowly, and the villain schemes out before I get through my deck the first time. In the good games, I get a big array of resources, allies, and supports together and completely control the game. One hard lesson that I learned is that if I am not thwarting enough, I need to Hulk out so that the villains and minions are attacking me instead of scheming. But with only 15 Hulk cards out of a deck of 50, those Hulk turns are generally less effective than the Bruce Banner turns.

Banner deck: marvelcdb.com/decklist/view/19277/hulk-s...ner-beats-thanos-1.0
Last edit: 30 May 2022 11:18 by Shellhead.

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31 May 2022 09:14 #333372 by Shellhead
Friend came over yesterday, so we went after Venom Goblin again with Adam Warlock and Captain Marvel/aggression. First game, I got off to a slow start, but Adam did well and we were doing okay except for the lack of damage on Venom Goblin. Second game, I got a strong start, but Adam floundered and we got got soundly beaten.

I persuaded my friend to let me swap in the Banner deck described in the previous post. In theory, we would have had two good thwarting decks slowing down Venom Goblin until we both had good arrays of cards in play, then I could Hulk out and beat Venom Goblin to a pulp. In reality, an early Venom Goblin card forced me into Hulk form for a turn, which slowed my necessary buildup time (comparable to Iron Man). We were starting to turn things around, when VG got in some vicious attacks, including a hit for 8 damage on a tapped out Adam Warlock. We lost again.

The problem with these final campaign bosses (with the possible exception of the Red Skull) is that they are so hard that even veteran players with good tactics can't win at standard difficulty without a lot of luck. And then if you get that luck and win, it feels a little cheap because it took the luck to win. We might take one more run at him, swapping out the Goblin Gear for the Goblin Gimmicks module.

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03 Jun 2022 23:40 - 03 Jun 2022 23:41 #333441 by Ah_Pook
Standard is doable with good decks on all the hardest villains so far in my experience, even if some of them are a slog. Expert gets pretty dicey against the hardest villains (Ronan, notably). Expert Venom Goblin is really fun I think, though hes definitely on the harder end. Not so far gone as to be not winnable or not fun imo. He's basically Mutagen Formula but tuned up a lot. he hits a lot of the same notes, just hits them a little harder for the power creepin decks that have come out since the original GG scenario pack. the main swing is if you can get rid of Advanced Glider and We Are One when they show up, or if they kill you.
Last edit: 03 Jun 2022 23:41 by Ah_Pook.
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04 Jun 2022 16:42 - 04 Jun 2022 16:44 #333455 by boothwah
Just finished a really fun game of Escape the Museum with Band of Badoon as the random modular. 2 handed solo.

Deck 1 was a Quicksilver justice deck that abuses One Way or Another and Justive Served to draw lots of cards and thwart for 12-15 a turn.

Deck 2 was Nebula aggression, tuned to get multiple copies of Follow Through on the board and do stupid stuff with Into the Fray while she had her technique out that gives piercing and overkill. Surprisingly easily to set up, and by turn three I had a play that smashed a minion, did 6 damage to the villain, removed 6 threat, and healed for 6.

It was fun, and felt like a comic story. Quicksilver was racing around the museum, discovering all kinds of artifacts until they finally found the ship....Nebula ran interference, slipping in and out of the shadows, ambushing minions and distracting the Collector with stuns and confuses and knocking him down. The last turn was glorious ...Quicksilver burst out 20 thwart, blowing us into the third stage, and Nebula finished it off by playing Into the Fray for 6 threat removal plus a knockout on the villain to clear the rest of the threat.
Last edit: 04 Jun 2022 16:44 by boothwah.
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05 Jun 2022 10:05 #333464 by Shellhead
Friend came over for more Marvel Champions. To get over the repeated beatdowns that we recently got from Venom Goblin, we played the two normal Green Goblin scenarios. He played an untuned Miles Morales/Justice (SHIELD) deck, while I played a modestly tuned Hawkeye/Leadership deck. At 9 hit points each, we were playing two of the least durable heroes in the game.

Risky Business was going very smoothly for us, with Norman held to the first stage of his main scheme for the entire game. But a turn or so after we defeated his first villain stage, my friend made an error and let his hit points get too low just before I kicked over Criminal Enterprise back into State of Madness. The resulting indirect damage took Miles completely out of the game. But I was set up pretty well, with a couple of good arrows in the quiver, plus Mockingbird, War Machine, and US Agent all in play for a West Coast Avengers reunion. On the final turn of the game, I played a leadership card that gave all of my allies +1 ATK (plus War Machine had a Sidearm for +1 ATK). I tapped them all for attacks, shot Green Goblin with an arrow, and then hit him with my bow for the final 3 points of damage for the win.

Then we took on the notorious Mutagen Formula, and that game went even smoother. Green Goblin never got to the second stage of his main scheme. Neither of our heroes got eliminated. The big threat in this scenario is getting swarmed by minions, so I was careful about when I used my Explosive Arrows. Miles and SHIELD did a great job with the thwarting, though we did have one turn near the end where Goblin managed to scheme from 0 to 13 threat in a single turn. Hawkeye finished off Goblin with two Vibranium Arrows in one turn.

We did so well that I am wondering if these two decks could handle Venom Goblin. Probably not.

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05 Jun 2022 12:21 #333467 by Ah_Pook
Expert Mutagen is still one of my favorite scenarios. Starting the game with 2 encounter cards per player and getting 3 more each when you flip to stage 3 always gives you a mountain of bullshit to fight through.

Expert Venom Goblin seems just as fun but maybe tuned a little too hard to play as often. Probably would hit the sweet spot if you swapped out Goblin Gear for Goblin Gimmicks.

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05 Jun 2022 22:16 #333474 by Shellhead
Still having fun with that Banner deck. Went up against Maestro (custom) today, with Hulk/justice (Banner), Dr. Strange/protection, and Wolverine (custom)/aggression.

Maestro is an evil genius version of the Hulk from a dark potential future. In this scenario, he is time travelling back to the present detonate some nuclear weapons in an attempt to kick off World War III. This would generate enough radioactivity to mutate the Hulk into Maestro and ensure the dark future from which Maestro comes. His minions include Hulk-like terrorists and the Dogs of War, big robot dogs that grant themselves and Maestro both Piercing and Overkill on their attacks.

Maestro's other big gimmick is that he dishes out a new status card called Dazed. When a character is Dazed, its next attempt to defend or play a defense event fails and then Dazed is discarded. There are multiple ways in this scenario to get Dazed, but the most common is that a character is Dazed by taking damage from an undefended attack by Maestro. So characters who get Dazed tend to stay Dazed or else get knocked out of the game.

All of my heroes fared well early on and each got an impressive array of cards into play. Banner had multiple resource supports/upgrades and also some SHIELD cards. Strange got his usual good stuff out, especially the Cloak and the Eye. Even Wolverine got some nice upgrades in play, giving him +1 ATK, +1 DEF, +2 REC, and +3 hit points, plus his deadly claws.

For a long time, the heroes held the line. Banner and Strange did a lot of thwarting, while Wolverine did most of the fighting. Strange's friend Night Nurse helped get rid of the annoying Dazed cards, and sometimes he would change a Dazed into a Tough card. Together, they managed to beat Maestro's first villain stage, which had 54 hit points.

But the side schemes were going untended, and Maestro's side schemes tend to feature more than one icon, usually acceleration or extra card icons. Then some bad stuff happened. Baron Mordo entered the game, and his side scheme took away Strange's thwarting invocation. Another Mordo card caused one of Strange's spell events to fail, plus Strange's own obligation card forced him to massively overpay for a couple of events. Wolverine got Dazed and stayed that way for a couple of turns. Banner got forced into Hulk form twice, though at least he got in a couple of good hits that way, including a 13-point punch to Maestro. But all those acceleration tokens began to add up, and the extra encounter cards were getting to be a slog. Maestro schemed his way to victory.

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06 Jun 2022 17:37 #333500 by boothwah
Since I had them set up, I took the QS justice and Nebula agression decks out against the randomizer giving me Zola with the Legions of Hydra. I managed to beat him without ever doing an attack to his face and taking retaliation until the last round - all of the rest of the damage he took was from overkill and retaliation off of Nebula, and the Double Time event for Quicksilver (not an attack, damage packets don't cause retaliate).



Then I let the randomizer pick two random heros to build - I ended up with War Machine justice and Rocket leadership - This is where deck building can be story telling. I knew what I wanted to do with WM right away, with all the new SHIELD stuff. Sonic Rifles, flipping every turn and managing threat with the static SHIELD stuff and blazing away with guns. Then I started going through all the Rocket stuff....there's kind of a generic guardians plug and play leadership build that can be used for all of them...Blaze of Glory, Power in all of us to power CITT and the grey guardians, mostly a good stuff deck to go with your hero kit. I'm flipping through the grey stuff, and Two Against the World catches my eye...I fondly remember my Call for Aid War Machine deck that pulled Iron Man to set up your kit. And then I got to thinking, Rocket could run Call for Aid for Iron Man, and they both could run Two Against the World and Rocket would love dropping free tech.

I start going through some more cards, and the Guardians leadership card that lets you draw a card for playing upgrades on allies....hrmmmm Iron Man gets free upgrades...salvage can pull Reinforced Suit back from trash......Ohhh Yondu like upgrades too!!!!!! Gimme Cosmo.

And there was this pile of cards that I never would have built, but for the moment that I had this funny thought of Rocket working as the armorer for a SHIELD facility, The deck totally needs the War Machine deck to work. But basically Rocket pulls Iron Man, and loads him up with with upgrades (honorary guardian) and gets to draw cards for it to boot - And play Two against the World to put tech into play from the deck and ready your buffed Iron Man and your partner, War Machine.

Tried them out last night and blasted through Ebony Maw expert. I'm still tweaking Rocket a little bit but the concept was proofed and was fun.

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06 Jun 2022 19:28 #333502 by Ah_Pook
Tried out Ironheart today and holy hell, she's a BEAST. She needs to get off level 1 to get off 4 hand size, but assuming you can get that in a timely fashion she takes off fast. Her power level on level 3 is wiiiiiild. I played her with a pretty standard Justice deck doing totally normal Justice things and had a 40dmg final turn... She crushes. Very fun.

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06 Jun 2022 22:10 #333504 by Shellhead
I'm not delighted with the new Ironheart deck. I like that the designers continue to create distinctive heroes and scenarios, but power creep has ruined too many card games over the years and I would hate to see that happen to Marvel Champions. I don't like that stage 3 Ironheart has better stats than any other hero in the game, especially Iron Man (Marvel's first armored hero and still most popular) or Thor, an actual god. I wonder if the upcoming Phoenix will even have stats comparable to Ironheart. It's a thematic miss, comparable to making Ronan and Venom Goblin more powerful than Thanos with his Infinity Gauntlet.

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07 Jun 2022 07:31 - 07 Jun 2022 08:13 #333506 by Ah_Pook
Her mk3 stats are right in line with Tony's with his full suit. I don't have the cards in front of me atm, but raw stats wise they're almost 1 to 1 if I'm remembering his cards right. Her progress counter gimmick is the real ridiculous bit. Assuming you're in a scenario that let's you generate a lot of them they're just infinite efficient damage that ignores guard, retaliate and stun. It's a great payoff, but Iron Man's endgame has great payoffs too.
Last edit: 07 Jun 2022 08:13 by Ah_Pook.

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