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Marvel Champions

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08 Jan 2021 17:55 #317862 by Gary Sax
There's a lot of empty physical space, but the base box is actually pretty full design and scenario-wise at least.
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08 Jan 2021 18:35 #317866 by jeb
that's a laugh because mine is packed. I have spilled out into the RISE OF RED SKULL box for overflow, alas.

Just added Ant-Man, who is really cool. Definitely the most intriguing Hero to play since Spider-Woman. I won't spoil much here, but it plays in a novel mechanical way compared to others.
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10 Jan 2021 11:10 - 10 Jan 2021 12:21 #317899 by Shellhead
So I have played a few games. First, I played a partial game with the pre-made Spider-man deck vs Rhino. It seemed too easy, so I stopped halfway through to re-read some rules and saw that I had overlooked some things. I started over, and it was an amazingly close game where Rhino just barely triumphed. Then I played two games with the pre-made Captain Marvel deck vs Rhino. The first game was a solid victory for Captain Marvel, and the second game was a nail-biter that abruptly ended with a Rhino victory.

Marvel Champions is a good game. It isn't perfect, as some cards seemed weak or overly specific, and the Defense action seems like a waste though maybe it becomes more useful in a multi-player game. The artwork is okay, and better than normal for a superhero game. But there is much to like about Marvel Champions. The choice of attack or thwart or recover can become difficult at times, and maximizing card usage each turn is a pleasant puzzle. The overall flow of the game is a decent thematic representation of the comic book source material. There is vast replay value in this starter box, with the different combinations of heroes and themes (Justice, Leadership, etc) and villains and schemes.

The choice of heroes and villains seems shrewd, with an emphasis on characters that have appeared in MCU movies and tv shows, though using artwork and ideas from the richer comic book continuity. Given the 1 to 4 player limit of the game, it seems like there really should be a Fantastic Four set, but the repeated box office failures of the FF suggest that this might not fit with the current marketing strategy.

I knew that mostly empty starter box was an invitation to fill it up with expansions, and I am already hearing the siren call. In time, I hope to pick up nearly every product published so far, except for a few characters that I don't care about, including Green Goblin, Ms. Marvel, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Last edit: 10 Jan 2021 12:21 by Shellhead.
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10 Jan 2021 14:00 #317903 by jeb
I'm not sure they have access to the Fantastic Four--I think the game licensing and film licensing are under similar rules, so you won't see certain heroes or bad guys in the MARVEL CHAMPIONS game until all that gets sorted. I can't think of another reason to not tap X-MEN before now. Wolverine always makes money.
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10 Jan 2021 14:55 #317907 by Shellhead
Good point, Jeb. It must be licensing, because otherwise nobody ever passes up the chance to cash in on Wolverine. However, it looks like the Hulk licensing isn't a problem for this game like it was for the MCU. Apparently they couldn't do any Hulk movies but they could use Hulk in other movies.
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11 Jan 2021 08:30 #317927 by Ah_Pook


A video I enjoyed about the upcoming Wasp pack. In depth reviews of ask the cards and etc. Just a well made video I dunno.

I'm pretty excited about Wasp, and some of the new cards in her pack look awesome. Ironheart, 2 cost basic ally, 1/1 stats, you draw a card when you play her... This card is going in all my decks I think. It's a worse Maria Hill, but Maria is one of the best cards in the game and Ironheart can go in any aspect deck.

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11 Jan 2021 11:44 #317931 by Michael Barnes
Yeah, I’m all in on this. I got everything. I don’t think it’s like the best card game I’ve ever played or anything but it’s really fun to play, has a lot of dimension, and it’s easy to mount solo. I’m just playing stock decks but I’m thinking about making a couple for the next game. I finally beat Ultron last night with Spidey and Iron Man but it was a close one. Those drones are ridiculous- I get what Gary Sax was saying about the Meat shields now. It can down to a do or die turn but I worked out the puzzle and won it.

I’m really impressed with how well the decks communicate the characters- like how Tony suits up, gets beat up, and can only have one card in hand until he upgrades and gets better. There’s a sense of narrative and even arc in how the characters play.

A subtle thing I like too is how it actually feels closer to Magic than many other CCGs/LCGs. Always that tension between face and creature damage, board control, sack decisions...it’s a very well studied, well developed design.

There is still a touch of “sorry, you got boned” occasionally in the villain deck, but that’s just how card games run. Especially with automated opposition.

So far I’ve liked all the decks I’ve played with Iron Man, Hulk, and Cap being early favorites. I’m tired of kicking Rhino’s ass.
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11 Jan 2021 13:23 #317934 by Gary Sax
As Ah_Pook suggested to me, the core single turn hand puzzle is really good. Tactically taxing but not a lot of long game brow furrowing strategic stuff.

It's actually a great fit for Target shelves imo.
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11 Jan 2021 21:19 #317948 by Ah_Pook
www.twitch.tv/videos/870161228

i streamed a couple games of this tonight, if you want to watch em :) let me know how the stream looks if you do check it out! i did accidentally mute myself for like 20 minutes at the setup/start of the second game, but outside of that and messing up keeping some cards in frame here and there i think it went down quite well.

Game 1: Aggression Black Panther + Justice Ant-Man vs Expert Klaw + Anachronauts. This one starts out real dicey, but we pull it out in the end. Klaw pulls 2 boost cards when he attacks, and the Anachronaut encounter set is packed with really nasty boost effects top to bottom. Fun game.

Game 2: Aggression Hawkeye + Justice/Leadership Spiderwoman vs Expert Taskmaster + Weapon Master. This one went okay in spite of Spiderwoman drawing consistently awful hands.
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15 Jan 2021 07:37 - 15 Jan 2021 07:44 #318037 by Ah_Pook
Played a few rounds with Dr. Mabuse last night, which was quite fun :)

Game 1: Aggression Black Panther + Justice Hulk vs Expert Crossbones + the three encounter sets from the Kang scenario. We won this one but it was extremely close. BP got knocked out in the final round but Hulk smashed enough to finish the job. I'm not against the concept of a Hulk Justice deck, but this one grabbed off MarvelCDB just seemed poorly thought out, so it was basically 15 Hulk hero cards and 25 blank cards. We had to just focus Fire the villain down as fast as we could, which turned out to be juuust fast enough. Pretty sure we lose of Hulk hadn't drawn his +10 ATK card that particular round at the end.

Game 2: Aggression Ms. Marvel + Justice Ant Man vs Expert Red Skull + Leggings of Hydra. This one was BRUTAL. those are probably my two favorite decks I've made, and I've won that extremely hard setup with them before, but this one spiralled out of control almost immediately with turn 1 + turn 2 Legions of Hydra side schemes. We made a valiant effort, but it was just prolonging the inevitable after a while :laugh: We ended up with RS at like 10 HP in stage 2 still, and both heroes getting knocked out. That's endgame difficulty though, and that scenario can just bend you over if the side schemes or certain cards come out in the wrong order.

Hope to do it again sometime soon Doc :)
Last edit: 15 Jan 2021 07:44 by Ah_Pook.
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15 Jan 2021 09:01 #318038 by Michael Barnes
>>Leggings of Hydra<<

I knew that Lululemon logo had some kind of hidden meaning!
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17 Jan 2021 10:11 #318095 by Shellhead
I have played Marvel Champions 8 times now, always against the Rhino deck. Spider-man solo, Captain Marvel solo, and Spider-man plus Captain Marvel. Except for one win with Captain Marvel solo, I have been losing. I am starting to wonder if I am playing wrong. The basic structure seems to often give the villain twice (or more) as many action as the hero, and the hero only has a chance because a clever player can find strong synergies in the cardplay. Sometimes I lose due to heroes getting eliminated and sometimes due to the Rhino getting enough scheme points on his main scheme.

If I am playing wrong, I suspect that the problem is in how I am playing the villain turn. This is how I am playing it:

1. Put one scheme point on the main scheme, or more if there are acceleration tokens on it, either from side schemes or from exhausting the villain deck and reshuffling it.
2. The villain attacks each hero, starting with the first player. Then each minion attacks the hero it is engaged with. If a hero is in alter ego form, then the villain and minions scheme instead. All attacks or scheme attempts include discarding the top card of the villain deck and checking for boost or star icons.
3. Then I play a card from the villain deck against each hero, with extra cards depending on side scheme effects or possible surge effects.

In a bad turn, Rhino plus a minion or two might deal out a lot of damage or scheme and then I'm toast.

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17 Jan 2021 10:39 #318097 by jeb
It sounds like you have the Villain Phase down, but I want to make sure in a 2p game you are doing a (hero 1, hero 2), villain, (hero 2, hero 1), villain, etc. The heroes all go, then the Villain. And the hero(s) phase ends with untapping everything and drawing back to full handsize. So you should have some effects that let you Respond to certain things and can Defend if needed. You can have one hero’s allies defend for the other hero as well. Defending with your hero is usually the best defense, with the downside that you are exhausted into your next turn and can’t recover or use your default attack/thwart without some trick to get untapped.
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17 Jan 2021 10:42 #318098 by Gary Sax
I think that's right.

Remember that unless there's a special power, enemies don't have trample in Magic the Gathering parlance. That's what I was saying upthread---one effective way to play is to try to pump out chump allies every turn or two and let them eat huge enemy attacks. If you fight and play fight cards around those ally plays you can keep an equilibrium a bit where you stay in superhero form as long as possible.
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17 Jan 2021 11:05 #318099 by Shellhead
Yes, my hero phases with two heroes involve each hero getting a turn and then untapping everything at the end of their turns and refilling their hands.

I haven't been using the Defend action, because it seems like a really poor use of my limited actions. If I am not regularly attacking the villain's main scheme, I could easily lose a solo game by just taking one turn in alter ego form to heal. If I am not regularly attacking the villain, I will never win and the scheming will accelerate each time the villain deck is exhausted.

Here is how I generally use allies: to pick off minions or to thwart the main scheme or any especially annoying side scheme. When an ally is down to one hit point, I throw them in the way of a big attack by a villain or minion. I have finally come to realize that Nick Fury is overpriced, given that he is only good for one immediate effect, plus one more attack/thwart/meatshield sacrifice that same turn before he is discarded. It also feels like an ally is almost always a better buy than a support card like Tac Team (or the spy guys who do thwarting), because the ally is more flexible. The only advantage of a support card like Tac Team is that they don't get incidentally wiped by widespread damage like the Shocker or the Hulk.

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