I am hopeful that I can pick up Mutant Genesis, Phoenix, and Cyclops this weekend and dig into a 4-handed solo game immediately. I live just a couple of miles away from what used to be the FFG Event Center, and their retail area was usually well-stocked with their new releases. But now it is the GameZenter, which is a non-Asmodee business that is owned by Christian Petersen. So it doesn't automatically get dibs on the new stuff. The best game/comic store this side of Chicago is just three blocks from my house, and they tend to be a little better stocked on the new Marvel Champions releases. Maybe the local FFG fans just assume that the best place to go is GameZenter, so it stocks out faster than the other game store.
When it comes to storage, Mutant Genesis is arriving just in time. I only sleeve the custom content, but I am close to maxing out the current game boxes for this game:
Marvel Champions base game box: 20 hero decks, the 4 hero dials, tokens, status cards, rule book.
Red Skull box: most of the scenario decks, all of the modular sets, the oversized villain dial, scenario rules sheets.
Mad Titan box: all of my sleeved custom content, consisting of 6 hero decks, 4 scenario decks, several modular sets.
Sinister Motives box: all of the Sinister Motives content, campaign cards for the other two campaign sets, all my folded up hero posters/card lists. EDIT: and all my extra single cards for the hero decks. The leftovers from each hero deck plus the 60 or so singles that I bought online to improve my decks.
So when I obtain Mutant Genesis, I will go thematic and story all of the mutant content there. The campaign, and the hero decks for Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Phoenix, Cyclops, Storm, and Wolverine.
Only opened the heroes so far but man that's a lot of really really fun looking stuff in here. Cyclops I wasn't excited about but he looks really fun and good. Shadowcat's forced form flipping looks like a fun sequencing puzzle to play with. Colossus looks powerful and I really like his tough status stuff, hopefully he can play around his 4 hand size effectively. Phoenix looks wild too... Just a lot of cool stuff all at once
I'm less thrilled about all the reprints, even with alternate art, but eh. There's way more new stuff comparatively so whatever.
I didn't know we were getting new aspect resource cards that actually look playable this time around, that's fun.
edit: to be more elaborate, colossus is super fun and isnt hindered by his 4 hand size. they seem to have figured out ways to make low hand size heroes good finally. he is super screwed by Retaliate, but what are you gonna do. once youre set up he generates resources based on how many tough status cards he has, and he draws a card whenever he loses a tough status card, and his events are super good... hes just exactly what i like in a hero. theres sequencing stuff to play with, he hits like a truck, and his gimmick is fun. plus his whole deck is superpowers so deft focus is really good.
I stopped at the game shop near my house yesterday, because I have a 10% discount card there that I pay to renew every six months. They didn't have the new Marvel Champions stuff yet. Later in the evening, on my way to the gym, I stopped by at Christian Petersen's GameZenter. They didn't have it either, but I noticed that their Marvel Champions display area had four empty hooks set up, likely to accommodate the incoming Cyclops, Phoenix, (and eventually) Storm, and Wolverine packs. Will check again on my way home from work today, then probably give up for the weekend. I am hosting my annual Halloween board game thing for the first time since 2019, so I need to brush up on some game rules anyway.
Saw an interesting comment at the other site. Someone got their cards and tried out the new precons against Rhino and Klaw. 1/2 against Rhino and 0/3 against Klaw. They commented that the mutant precons "just don't have a good way to deal with Masters of Evil, especially if you get two of them out on the same turn."
So I am looking at the Masters of Evil modular set and the previews of the new cards, and not seeing the problem. Colossus is strong enough and tough enough to handle Masters of Evil. Shadowcat does seem unusually weak on the attack for an Aggression deck, so that could be an issue in a solo game involving the Masters. I suppose that the Cyclops Leadership deck could have issues with Melter and especially Whirlwind, but Cyclops himself should be able to take out at least one Master per turn. Only Radioactive Man is an Elite minion, so Phoenix has special cards to mess with the other three Masters, plus she can really dish out the damage and not just when Unleashed.
Narrator: These heroes definitely had a problem against Klaw.
I got insanely lucky yesterday. Instead of going first to the game shop where I have a 10% discount, I instead stopped first at GameZenter, because I could efficiently hit both stores if I went to GameZenter first. GameZenter didn't have the new stuff yet, but I ran into a guy that I got addicted to Marvel Champions last year. He informed me that the other game shop definitely had the new stuff. Then he handed me a promo flyer from that store that gives the bearer a one-time discount of an additional 10%, if they already have the regular 10% discount card! So I went to the other store and picked up Mutant Genesis, Cyclops, and Phoenix for 20% off: $67.84 USD!
Because I didn't want to plunge into 100% new content and I was curious about that Masters of Evil comment at BGG, I set up a 4-handed solo game of the new heroes vs Klaw and the Masters of Evil.
Even with a full mulligan, Cyclops got off to a weak start. But the rest of the team started well and even managed to knock Klaw down from 48 hit points to 21. In hindsight, that was the best turn of the game. This team does struggle against the Masters of Evil. Radioactive Man is Elite, so Phoenix can't use a couple of her best cards against him. He also forces a discard when he attacks, which is hard on Colossus with his hand size of four. Tiger Shark hits hard and has that gimmicky Tough thing. Melter goes after your allies. But the worst is Whirlwind, who attacks all heroes at once, not just the one he is engaged with.
Klaw himself is also pretty nasty. He gets two boost cards on his attacks, and has attachments that give him Retaliate 1 and Stun against anyone that he damages. That Retaliate is bad news for Colossus' Tough cards, and Stun is bad for everyone on this team except Shadowcat, due to a shortage of untapping effects.
Though I shuffled the cards well, the allies clumped in most of the decks, so there were long stretches when I didn't have any chump blockers. Klaw spammed out a bunch of side schemes early, and there was a steady stream of minions, including both mooks and Masters of Evil. This X-men team was completely lacking the ability to clear multiple minions, and that was definitely a problem in this scenario. They should recruit Valkyrie!
At different points in the game, both Cyclops and Phoenix got knocked down to one hit point. Colossus got knocked down to six hit points in one rough turn, and despite multiple attempts, never got around to healing again. Fortunately, I got better at managing his Tough card economy, so he never took any more damage.
Most of the heroes worked well thematically. Phoenix did some legit psionic stuff and also dealt out good amounts of thwarting and damage. Her ally Storm is really cool. Shadowcat conveyed the shifting thing well without coming across as an imitation Vision. Colossus was tough and hit hard, just like he should. But Cyclops was a floundering disappointment. His allies clumped, so his leadership cards were mostly junk when I drew them. I never got his Field Commander upgrade into play, so his attachments weren't that useful and he rarely got to use his default blast. So he didn't lead much, he didn't do much tactical stuff, and he didn't get to blast things much. Maybe it was bad luck, or maybe this precon needs a lot of help.
Overall, we roughed up Klaw pretty badly on turn one, but he kept healing throughout the game while we battled his minions, so we never quite beat his first stage. Meanwhile, a flurry of side schemes with Acceleration icons swamped us, and Klaw readily moved to his second stage before we could get rid of even one of those Acceleration icons. The White Queen (Emma Frost) nemesis of Shadowcat showed up late in the game and was painfully effective. Klaw won, and there will be a rematch this weekend.
Yea I don't play precons so I dunno. Cyclops is good if you get him set up with his field Commander and visor, so he can tee stuff up and shoot someone every round. He wants all the X-Men basic stuff to trigger off playing his allies and stuff too, and then just the regular Leadership stuff (by which I mean Make The Call and Rapid Response I guess ).
man Colossus is so combotastic and fun when he gets going. hes gotta hard mulligan for Iron Will and Titanium Muscles but once those are out hes off to the races.
Cyclops is fun too, but hes less explosive I guess. a well timed Exploit Weakness for an extra 10+ damage is a real feel good moment though.
took on Operation Wideawake tonight and its a spicy meatball. tons of nasty side schemes, tons of nasty minions, a Steady/Stalwart villain with some nasty and hard to get rid of attachments, all tied to a hard limit of players+3 chump blocks and you instalose. some encounter cards will take away from that chump block limit too because of course. its nasty, i love it. felt on the edge of breaking bad the whole time. it felt like a fixed version of Taskmaster AND The Collector, which was impressive. really a fun time.
Master Mold is up next and he looks nasty AF. 3SCH 4ATK and when he schemes you tutor a minion... AND hes Stalwart... yea im looking forward to this jerk
My second game against Klaw and the Masters of Evil isn't going well. Again, Klaw has already reached the second stage of his scheme and has healed back much of the damage that he has taken. There are 6 acceleration icons in play, including two on side schemes that have 12 threat each. Twice, Klaw cleared his deck with unexpected speed due to the Masters of Evil card that makes you discard encounter cards until you get a Master. Worst of all, Mister Sinister entered the game. He was dispatched quickly enough, but his side scheme gives an extra boost icon to every boost card. With Klaw drawing two boost cards on every attack activation, that is brutal.
So I am thinking ahead about how I might handle another replay more effectively. An underlying problem with this setup is that there is only one justice and one aggression deck in the game, but the four-player headcount insures excessive threat on the side schemes and more minions entering play each turn. Rather than trying to manage the threat, I should just lean into the direct attacks. It would also help if I got lucky and got Cyclops running smoothly with his two crucial upgrades early in the game. And maybe I should let Phoenix off the leash so she can abuse those nice bonus effects on her cards.
Master Mold initial impression: a less interesting version of Wideawake. All the same modulars, but the boss has bigger numbers and is always Stalwart vs Steady then Stalwart. Losing the defeated ally loss condition makes it a pretty vanilla scenario tbh. The numbers are big and there's lots of nasty minions, but those are generally the easy things to handle in this game imo. I do like that he tutors a minion when he schemes to keep the minion pressure up, but after how intense and interesting Wideawake felt it was just kind of a lesser version of it (even though technically the numbers are bigger so it should be harder). Not a bad scenario by any means, and one that I'll probably play regularly because it's pretty straightforward, but I guess I was hoping for more from it.
My second game of X-Men vs Klaw and the Masters of Evil was another loss. By the end of the game, there were 8 acceleration icons in play, so +12 threat to the main scheme at the beginning of each turn. On a good turn, I was thwarting more than that, but on a bad turn, not enough. Also, we ended up getting three of the four nemesis villains in play: Mr. Sinister, White Queen, and Juggernaut. Both Sinister and Juggernaut brought side schemes that had that bonus boost icon, so at the end of the game, every boost card was getting two boost icons added to it.
The true underlying problem is that these precons aren't focused enough to take Klaw down while managing the threat. The 15-card hero package is fine for each of these heroes, but the aspect and basic cards lacked focus. So Phoenix wasn't thwarting consistently, and Shadowcat wasn't attacking consistently. Colossus works pretty well, but could benefit from the newer basic cards (the ones designed to patch the Hulk) that help the small-hand brawlers like him. Cyclops has a decent design concept, but it seems to overreach in the same way that the Spectrum deck overreaches, with combos that don't easily come together.
There are some good things about these decks. Each X-Men has cards that buff X-men allies, and it was handy to have them buff each other's allies. Storm and Wolverine are not cheap allies, but they are worth every point and should be buffed after entering play. This last game, I had Wolverine buffed to the point where he had 7 hit points and was hitting for 5 piercing damage.