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Marvel Champions

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08 Jun 2023 17:42 #339618 by Kmann
I loved playing the Boom Boom reward ally in the Mutant Genesis campaign, she was my MVP in a number of games, so it was cool to see her in this pack as an actual ally.

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09 Jun 2023 15:43 #339636 by Shellhead
I was initially excited about the X-23 deck, because aggression is my favorite aspect and I like variety. But I am indifferent about the character, a thin and transparent extension of the Wolverine brand. I care even less about Honey Badger, who was not even on my radar until this announcement, and it feels weird to have a hero deck based on interaction with such a minor character.

Honestly, I think that most of my enthusiasm is for the new aggression cards. "Now I'm Mad" looks ideal for my Hulk deck and possibly my Thor deck. Boom Boom and Rictor are great aggression allies and Rictor should probably cost more. The Direct Approach is a game changer, at least for solo aggression play.

The player side scheme Specialized Training doesn't do much for me. 5 thwart isn't too terrible in a true solo game, but 20 thwart is a nearly impossible requirement in a 4-hero game. Even in a 3-hero game, I am only likely to have one justice deck, and 15 is a lot of thwarting to deliver while still keeping the main scheme in check and potentially fending off other more pressing side schemes. Leveling up is crucial in an escalating MC campaign that is going to have an extremely difficult final boss, but leveling up in a one-off game is of very limited value, especially when playing a deck that is already efficient.
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12 Jun 2023 10:28 #339649 by Shellhead
I downloaded the Brother Voodoo cards last weekend:

drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bEH1df_d...ZcEtrhOp-T9dxfDZ2RZB

Made a leadership deck that included mostly Avenger allies, and ran it against Norman Osborn, since I still had all the Risky Business scenario sitting out on my gaming table. Norman is a bit easy once you get the hang of his timing and prepare for the indirect damage every time he flips. The Brother Voodoo deck sort of plays like a cross between Dr. Strange and SP//dr. Small hand size, but good access to resources, and useful against everything except swarms of minions. My Avenger allies were there to help mop up goons and occasionally chump block.
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19 Jun 2023 11:23 #339720 by Shellhead
I played another game with Brother Voodoo and Valkyrie against Green Goblin, with the Sinister Six modular replacing Goblin Gimmicks. Too hard. Even with Valkyrie's great minion smashing abilities, the Sinister Six are a little too beefy for her to go take down more than one or two in a turn, and then there are all those mutagen minions. Solid loss.

A friend that I got hooked on this game came over yesterday to play. He doesn't have his own cards, so he was excited to try my 8 new X-men decks. We took on the Mutant Genesis campaign, only with the twist that we could switch heroes after each scenario. Game one was Wolverine/aggression (me) and Gambit/justice (him) against Sabretooth. Aside from some tension near the end, it was a strong win. Nimrod showed up, and has haunted this campaign ever since. Game two was Rogue/protection (me) and Phoenix/justice (him) against the Sentinels. We won again with relative ease, though it got really tough at the end with Dark Phoenix, Nimrod, and a couple of Sentinels. Third game was Cyclops/protection (me) and Phoenix/justice (him) again, against Master Mold. This game was really tough, with Dark Phoenix showing up repeatedly, and Nimrod again right at the end, but we managed another win.
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20 Jun 2023 14:52 #339737 by Kmann
Finished a second run through the Mojo scenario pack last night. I was playing Rogue aggression and Gambit justice using a couple of net decks. The first two scenarios were close games and a lot of fun but then I hit the wall with Mojo.

After three close losses I sat down to tinker with the decks last night but decided to spend the time playing instead so just shuffled up and went at it again. The defeats had all been close so I suspected the decks had what it needed to beat him. One of the games I had him down to a handful of health but two turns of atrocious hand draws - pulling all thwart events with both heroes exhausted due to defending- saw me secure the loss. That was painful.

Last night I played more aggressively, ignoring the threat piling up and just attacking Mojo as much as possible. It paid off but it was very tense completely ignoring the motherflipping dragon that was engaged with Rogue for a good three or four turns.

I dig the mini-campaign style of this pack and think the various mechanics it employs through its three scenarios are a lot of fun. Kang still remains my fave scenario pack but that could be due to the great memories playing it. It's been roughly a year since Kang last got to the table so I'm going to play it again soon to see how it stands up.

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10 Jul 2023 10:41 #339977 by Shellhead
My friend was looking forward to finishing the Mutant Genesis campaign while he was still in town, but avoided me for nearly 3 weeks after I came down with Covid, even after I recovered. But he finally came over on his last day in town and we started in on the Mansion Attack scenario, featuring the Brotherhood (of Evil Mutants) plus Mystique.

My friend switched to playing the Storm/leadership deck while I played Shadowcat/aggression. Our first opponent was Avalanche, who forces you to tap an ally when he attacks, which was frustrating because the first battleground was the Basketball Court, where all allies and minions gain Toughness. But Avalanche only got a couple of minions while he was in play, and Shadowcat's Wolverine ally was able to ruthlessly dispatch them. However, Storm had to frequently go to alter ego to heal, so Avalanche managed to destroy the Basketball Court and move onto the Cafeteria. In the Cafeteria, everybody gets Retaliate 1. So Storm kept changing the weather to Hurricane, making it Retaliate 2 for everybody while also getting some extra thwarting power.

We finished off Avalanche, so Toad took over the attack on the Cafeteria, and quickly advanced it to the Courtyard, where everybody gets +1 ATK. We were both pretty well set up by that point, with multiple allies in play, so Storm switched to Thunderstorm, making the global bonus into +2 ATK. Then we just pounded on Toad for the win. It was relatively fast game, with neither of the hero decks or even the villain deck getting reshuffled even once.

Then we moved onto Magneto and his Acolytes. My friend stuck with the Storm/leadership deck, and I switched to Cyclops/leadership because it is probably the best hero deck that I have made for Cycle 6. The first game did not go well, aside from the fact that only one Acolyte showed up the whole game. I started with a hand that was actually too good... six great cards but I had to spend four of them to pay for two of them. Storm got a bad starting hand. We didn't even manage to get all the way through the linked series of side schemes that we need to overcome before we can beat Magneto, and didn't beat his first form. One issue was that my friend still has an aversion to chump blocking, and Storm doesn't have the starting hit points or DEF to defend herslef against a heavy hitter like Magneto. So she kept going to alter ego, and then Magento would scheme for 6 or 7.

After our heinous defeat, we had to try again. The second game went a lot better. We steadily burned through Magneto's linked side schemes while also keeping the main scheme under control. My friend finally got more comfortable with chump blocking. And the really big difference was that we were coordinating Storm's weather cards with Cyclops' tactic cards. Especially in the final turns where we were getting +2 ATK for all our guys against Magneto.

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07 Aug 2023 12:26 #340174 by Shellhead
The long-awaited Deadpool preview is up:

shop.asmodee.com/marvel-champions-5-the-...pool-expanded-mc44en

It seems a bit pricy, but is described as an Expanded Pack instead of an Expansion Pack, and includes both a pre-made deck and 47 cards supporting a new fifth aspect for the game, for a total of 18 extra cards. The 'Pool aspect dials up the intensity of the game with more powerful cards that have built-in disadvantages, like icons you would normally only see in the encounter deck or a maximum of one copy of that card per deck. Any hero deck can choose to use the 'Pool aspect. Spider-woman could use 'Pool plus one of the other aspects. Adam Warlock could include 'Pool as one of the four aspects in his deck, though it wouldn't work as well with some of his other capabilities. If at least one player in a given game is playing a deck with the 'Pool aspect, then the encounter deck must include a copy of Crisis of Infinite Deadpools. That card works like a Shadow of the Past to bring in a nasty modular set that features a villain called Dreadpool. When a player defeats Dreadpool, Dreadpool immediately flips over to become a facedown encounter card for that player!

Deadpool himself is nearly indestructible. He can only be defeated by an attack if he is in alter-ego form, and there are not many cards in the game that can damage a character in alter-ego form. But his abilities and cards can generate and benefit from acceleration tokens, so he needs to win relatively quickly before the villain can scheme to victory. The style and tone of his cards seems dead on, a mixture of humor, annoyance, and a bit of 4th wall breaking. For example, Armed to the Teeth allows you to _search your collection_ for a weapon upgrade and and eventually swap it with a weapon upgrade that you already control. Other cards seem designed to amuse the player and annoy any other players in the game, especially the 0-cost event Exhausting Personality.

With the new aspect, the exciting Deadpool hero, and a brutal new modular set, this set seems like a mandatory purchase for most Marvel Champions players.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, Kmann

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22 Aug 2023 15:04 #340295 by boothwah
Got NeXt thus weekend and we played through the first 3 scenarios. First two were fun and very repayable. Juggernaut kicked our butts. As he should. Cable is fun. Domino is bonkers in a " I can't believe you can do that in a barely tuned precon" kind if way. I believe with deckbuilding she us definitely SpiderHam tier

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11 Sep 2023 14:26 #340493 by boothwah
So now that we are up to a grand total of 45 heroes and 41 villains, I feel I should update my buyer's guide :

You should get it all. :) If you have an extra $800.00 laying around. If not, the core and your favorite hero is a good place to start.

After that, without taking into account your personal affinity towards a particular hero or storyline - A campaign box is the best bang for your buck :
- Rise of the Red Skull - I think it has the best difficulty across the villains and it is the "easiest" campaign.
- Sinister Motives - Both of the heroes are excellent and the villains are a good mixed bag with a monster at the end in Venom Goblins
- Next Evolution - I love X-force. The villains are a nice progression. Player side schemes are such a huge change in the game and the box is full of them. From a deckbuilding perspective, it's right up there with RotRs
- Mutant Genesis - 4 more great villains and a fittingly epic end boss. You can bump this one up if you loved the 90's show.
- Mad Titan's Shadow - Love this box - a good mix of thematically satisfying fights, and then a couple of big tests in Thanos and Loki. Characters are so-so.
- Galaxies Most Wanted - Not gonna lie - I rarely play 3 out of the 5 scenarios in the box. But I love Groot and Rocket. And if you are a deckbuilder, there are some keystone cards - Deft focus, Hard to Ignore, Hand Cannon, and the Rocket and Groot Allies.

The Scenario packs are great - people bash on Wrecking Crew, and it's decently easy in low player counts, but I still like it. The rest of them are all great villains.

Hero Packs - I don't know your kinks - buy stuff you like until you start deck building...Hall of Heroes is your friend for previewing packs to see what aspect cards are included.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shellhead, Gary Sax, sornars, Kmann

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11 Sep 2023 15:49 #340494 by Shellhead
My buyer guide tips:

You must buy the base set to play the game, but it is a very good value. Marvel Champions offers up multiple ways to play the game, so you need to start with just the base set and get a feel for what you want out of this game. Do you want to play short, fast, straight-forward solitaire games? Do you want to play more epic co-op games with your friends? Do you want to win more often, or do you prefer a difficult challenge? Are you frustrated by the untuned starter decks, or do you appreciate not needing to worry about deck-building? Over time, your preferences may change.

I agree that the Red Skull campaign is the easiest campaign and a suitable challenge after the base game, though it does set up the pattern of offering a very challenging final boss. Galaxy's Most Wanted is the hardest campaign, and at least two of the five scenarios are downright unenjoyable for most players. The other campaigns fall in between these two extremes, though I feel that the final villain of Sinister Motives is overwhelming and not fun.

Playing solitaire with a single hero generally leads to a fast game that is more luck-dependent. Three or four players will face a long game that can get a bit repetitive. Two-player (one hero each) is the sweet spot for this game in terms of play time and level of challenge. If you are going to do any deck-building, you should purchase individual hero decks that focus on your preferred aspect(s), in part because the base game doesn't have enough cards to offer much deckbuilding. You can also buy single cards from online vendors, though the prices are a bit high.

Every campaign box (with the possible exception of Galaxy's Most Wanted) is a good deal. Two new hero decks and five scenarios that can be played individually or as a campaign.

In my opinion, the scenario packs are also worth the money, though they tend to cater to specific interests. Green Goblin is a nice mini-campaign, with two linked scenarios, plus it has several modular sets that can be mixed and matched with other modular sets to adjust theme or difficulty level. Wrecking Crew is just a straight-forward slugfest, though some players claim that they can easily manipulate the scenario. Kang is fun if you are playing with two or more heroes, especially with more than one player. The Hood potentially uses several modular sets in each game, and the pack includes several new modular sets. I dislike Mojo in the comics, so I haven't tried his scenario set, but it's another mini-campaign.

The individual hero decks are the one part of the game that feels a bit over-priced for what you get. If money is no object, sure buy one of everything. Otherwise, focus on the heroes you like, either from comics or the movies, because this game generally does a nice job of delivering the thematic differences between the various heroes. If you like winning, the Dr. Strange deck is somewhat overpowered. If you like a challenge, the Hulk deck is somewhat underpowered. Don't buy the Valkyrie deck unless you are going to play with at least two heroes in a given game, because she is overly specialized in defeating minions. If you have a favorite aspect and want to do deck-building, focus on the hero decks that feature that aspect.

It would be easy for the game designers to churn out more products more quickly for Marvel Champions, as Marvel has a lot of characters with a lot of history. But so far the game designers have done a good job of making most of the heroes and most of the villains seem fairly distinct from all the rest.

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23 Oct 2023 10:13 #340823 by Shellhead
My old friend is back in town, the one that I hooked on Marvel Champions. We have played through the four campaigns I own, plus most of the scenario packs and even three fan-made scenarios. So we could either do the base game scenarios or I could buy some new (to me) content. I picked up the Angel hero deck and the Mojo scenario pack. The night that I picked them up, I played a two-handed solitaire game of Wolverine/Aggression and Angel/Protection against Magog, the first villain scenario in the pack.

We lost to Mogo, but it was a reasonably close game until near the end. Wolverine dishes out a lot of damage and Angel is moderately good at both thwarting and attacking with some occasional untaps. But we randomly got the Horror modular set, and all the minions came into play near the end. Magog's sidekick Personal Champion is bad enough, with a big attack and 7 hit points per player, but the Kraken was nearly as bad.

I didn't have time to tune the Angel deck before my friend came over the next day, so I stuck with Wolverine, and my friend decided to play the Miles Morales version of Spider-man. My Miles deck is only slightly-tuned, so it is still a Justice deck with a significant number of SHIELD cards. We were doing okay against Magog plus the sci-fi modular set, until we got a bad turn where the Personal Champion came back just one turn after we last defeated him. He had the guard trait and was on Wolverine, so Wolverine had no choice but to unleash all his attacks on Personal Champion. My friend wanted me to hold off until Miles could go, because Miles had attacks that would also stun and confuse a target, and Magog was too Stalwart to be affected. I was Wolverine, though, so I sliced and diced that Personal Champion into the discard pile. I was down to 2 hit points then, despite having my adamantium skeleton in play, so I went into alter ego.

Magog schemed hard against Wolverine and was just 3 ratings points away from victory. Then I drew an encounter card of Toad 2.0, who stole one of my upgrades. (Upgrade card goes facedown under Toad until Toad is defeated.) My claws were a permanent upgrade, immune to the effect, so he stole my adamantium skeleton. The skeleton gave me +4 hit points, so I lost those hit points, going from 2 hit points to -2 and dead. It was close to dinner time, so I went upstairs to feed my cats. I don't know what happened next, but the game ended the following turn with a Magog victory. I think my friend just gave up in the face of bad odds so we could go get food.

Both of the hero decks could benefit from some additional tuning, but this Magog scenario reinforces my belief that Marvel Champions is experiencing power creep. Even though Marvel Champions is a co-op/solitaire game, I dislike the power creep because it makes the early scenarios a bit too easy for the later hero decks, and the later scenarios too difficult for the early hero decks unless they are really well-tuned. And deck-tuning has never been the enjoyable part of the game for me. I realize that the difficulty level of the game can be adjusted with modular sets, or changing from the Standard encounter set to Expert or even Standard II. But I feel like the game is relatively lacking in ways to dial down the difficulty level.

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26 Oct 2023 12:32 #340860 by Shellhead
Even though I still haven't played much with the Mojo scenario pack, I downloaded the custom fan-made Mandarin scenario:

drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gLlEDdLr...Gv-LfgK8tYuwTCSb0Cxp

As you might deduce from my avatar, I am a big Iron Man fan, and Mandarin is his greatest enemy. This scenario looks pretty tough, with the second and final stage of the main scheme gaining 2(!) threat per player per turn. The scenario comes with a special modular set representing the Mandarin's 10 powerful rings, and you could easily add this modular set to some other villain scenario, just like you could with the Infinity Gauntlet modular set from The Mad Titan's Shadow campaign. There are a lot of custom villain scenarios in various stages of fan-testing, and this Mandarin is one of just six that completed all stages of testing. I'm a fan of the Zodiac scenario which is another one of those six, but I have also enjoyed the not-yet-finalized scenarios for Super-Adaptoid, Maestro, and the Leader.

Mandarin gets Overkill any time he has a ring attachment, so chump blocking is less useful in this scenario, though it can still be used against the 7 minions in his set, plus any minions in the other modular set that you choose. Your allies will still be helpful against several cards that deliver indirect damage. In keeping with his depiction in comics, Mandarin enjoys personal combat just as much as villainous scheming, so some of his cards let him do both at the same time.

The rings are individually less harsh than the six cards from the aforementioned Infinity Gauntlet set, but Mandarin keeps his rings and gets cumulatively more nasty as he accumulates rings. However, players can discard up to two rings any time they spend a combination of three resources: red/blue/yellow.

I look forward to trying this scenario soon. Iron Man first, of course, then War Machine. Mandarin has a long history of villainy that has also included fighting Hulk, the Avengers, and the X-Men.
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30 Oct 2023 09:31 #340885 by Shellhead
I tried out the Mandarin scenario on Friday night, starting with a true solo game with my well-tuned Iron Man/justice deck. It was a fun game, but I kept control most the time, and defeated Mandarin while he was still on the first stage of his main scheme. Then I played a two-handed solo game with Iron Man and my slightly-tuned War Machine/leadership deck. The leadership aspect of my War Machine deck feels underdeveloped, with me usually using the leadership cards to pay for War Machine cards or to discard a set of resources to get rid of Mandarin rings. This game was going fairly well until I hit a string of bad luck near the end. When I lose, I usually lose due to the villain completing his main scheme. But this time I lost due to the villain physically defeated both of my heroes. On the second to last turn of the game, Iron Man was really low on hit points and switched to alter ego, but got taken out by a ring effect anyway. On the final turn, War Machine got Mandarin down to four hit points, then got wasted by a card that dealt out several points of indirect damage when I didn't have any allies left in play.

My friend came over on Saturday and we played two games. First game, we took vengeance upon Magog. My friend played Miles Morales again but I switched from Wolverine to the War Machine deck that was already laying out. Then we took on Mandarin. My friend played my well-tuned Quicksilver/protection deck, while I foolishly played my untuned Angel/protection starter. We got slapped around pretty badly and then Mandarin physically defeated Angel. That left Quicksilver facing three minions plus a Mandarin with several rings in play, so he just quit. The Angel deck has great potential for efficient card play and untap effects, but needs some tuning. I think that most of his allies are overcosted by one point due to their aerial trait.

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30 Oct 2023 13:51 #340888 by Shellhead
We were originally going to play the Spiral scenario from the Mojo pack right after we beat Magog, but we found the setup for Spiral perplexing and it seemed like the scenario would be impossible as written. I later figured it out, but in the moment, it was too much. That is an ongoing challenge for the designers: Doing innovative scenarios without making them excessively complicated.

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05 Nov 2023 11:16 #340942 by Ah_Pook
Standard 3 is interesting. They explicitly say it should be approximately the same difficulty as Standard 1, just different. Magik looks fun too.
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