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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: just played this....YMMV rss

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Geoff C
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Legendary is a deck building cooperative game, a curious combination that does not work so well for me for a variety of reasons.

1)Deck building is not a mechanic I am fond of. As a ccg player, it just seems like a waste of time, trivial, and random. By comparison to building my own decks in a ccg, it fails utterly. But Im willing to try! Like many deck builders, you start with a generic deck of buy and fight cards, and try to buy more powerful cards to put into your deck and hopefully combo them and/or trim out the weaker cards later.

Why combine this with a co-op? What point is there in keeping your hand secret then, when it makes sense in most deck builders where you are competing with the players? Its a curious combination that doesnt work imo.

2)cooperative games can be fun, but here the game fails...there was no opportunity to cooperate! Sure you can point out options to other players, but there is nothing to do when it is not your turn, unless you have to discard or reveal due to villians abilities. And those are pretty straitforward and again, for the most part utterly lack real decisions on your part. If my teammate is in a fight, why cant I send a shield agent I am not going to use to join in? For a coop game about heroes fighting there was 0 cooperative fighting...which is oddly unthematic. More on that later. So this leads to....

3)Downtime. As the decisions you make are relatively straightforward (fight or buy, based on your hand and whats in play) I found myself very quickly organizing my hand into those 2 options and laying it out on the table, and eying the HQ for my buy options. This happens in about 3 seconds or so once you are used to the symbols. In the 5 player game we had, the rest is downtime. Boring!

4)Theme. While staring at the board (with all this time on my hands) I wondered why I felt like I wasnt a superhero. Well for starters you dont get any hero cards, just shield agent cards. There is minimal reason to combine hero cards of one hero into your deck, as you are better off focusing on tech, mind, strength, generic buy and fight bonuses, etc.

And the villians! They fly by! I lost track of how many villians romped through the city without us doing anything about them. Terrible! One turns up every turn, and without fighting, it will be through the city and 'escape' in 6 turns. There are just so many smashing down doors and doing nefarious deeds right out of the gate while we are still trying to deckbuild that it was just weird...

And the mastermind. Well if you can get up to his strength, you can ignore the villians for the most part and just beat on the mastermind everytime your big fight card came around, which is what we did. Dr.Doom went down like a pansy while the cavalcade of villians romped through the city...it just felt wrong.

I really wished there was a way, like a layered pyramid, of going through the mooks, then the villians, then finally the mastermind. Like the villians would be *waiting* for you, and you had to figure out what was going on (what the dastardly plot was) find them, fight them, and finally defeat the mastermind...you know, like any good superhero should!

And not a bunch of measly shield agents....gimme hero cards right off the bat please!

TLDR;

So ultimately the game doesnt deliver for me for those reasons. I was bored and disapointed and put off by the mechanics that didnt deliver on the theme. Lovely looking cards though.

YMMV.
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Kim Williams
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I'm sorry you didn't have a great time. Obviously this isn't the right game for everyone.

The co-operative aspect is one that varies in importance according to players. Personally we think of it as a pretty perfect mix of getting to care about your own individual score whilst still over-archingly being pleased if good wins (which with some of the really difficult challenges feels like a huge achievement). Some people play it pure co-op (and maybe don't even count their points) while others presumably focus entirely on trying to personally gain the most points. As far as I'm aware it makes no claims to be a pure co-op and therefore shouldn't be judged poorly for not being.

Downtime is less with less players (as with most games). Playing with 2 I've often barely got my deck shuffled and cards drawn before it's my turn again, so it's possible you would enjoy it more with less players. I certainly don't find the down-time (even with 4) to be more than in most of the other games I play.

I was surprised to read that you were just letting most the villains escape. If you're playing remotely competitively you want to hit those villains so you can earn the points. Sometimes the fight consequence combined with a particular scheme does make it worth letting a particular villain escape, but generally that's not the case and often the escape costs are as bad as the fight costs anyway so you may as well fight and gain the points. Also certain schemes make allowing too many villains to escape to cause evil to win - so maybe you'd enjoy those schemes more as they'd force you to fight the villains.

I really like the games sense of moving from a poor starting hand, that's only good enough to recruit, then moving towards a hand that regularly hits the henchmen, then to being able to fight the villains, and finally getting to the hands that can take on the mastermind (sometimes multiple times) There is a real sense of progression, so I'm not at all sad about the start hands being 'measly shield agents' - and actually I think it delivers the pyramid aspect that you were wishing for.

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Sander Kouwenhoven
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I so agree with the OP on this game.

I got it, played it, but it didn't move me for the same reasons described as points 3 and 4. (Although I do normally like co-ops and deckbuilding games)

Though not a bad game per se, this was a great disappoint to me...

For a much better implementation of co-op deckbuilding I recommend Thunderstone Advance: Root of Corruption
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Gamer D

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To each his own. It sounds like the reviewer went into it hating deckbuilding and came out of it still hating deckbuilding. Personally for me this is my favorite deckbuilding game. It's not my favorite cooperative game but I definitely like it.

Also a couple of minor points:

- as per the rules the game can be played either full- or semi-cooperatively. Keeping your hand secret is only needed if you're playing semi-coop and focussing on the victory points at the end. There's nothing wrong though with playing full coop and open hands and just letting the victory points determine the MVP or ignoring them altogether.

- Most of the time you don't directly affect each other but there are hero cards that can assist other players, allowing them to draw extra cards or to KO wounds from their discard piles, etc. It just depends on the heroes you buy.

- I do agree that the game works best with 1-3 players. Five players can get a little bogged down by comparison.
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Thomas
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I agree with you on every point, well said. There are much better games out there and this was a waste of time
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Pixxel Wizzard
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Talonz wrote:
Deck building is not a mechanic I am fond of...it just seems like a waste of time


Why are you reviewing a game in a genre that you hate? Seems like less of a review and more of a soapbox for you to blast deckbuilding games in general.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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This is another game I like because of the theme and the feel of building up a superhero team. A good game and a keeper for me!
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Mike Beiter
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What do TLDR and YMMV stand for?
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
What do TLDR and YMMV stand for?


TLDR = Too long, didn't read
YMMV = your mileage may vary
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Sam Holden
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1) It's unlikely you'll like a game with "Deck Building Game" in the title

2) This is currently my son's favourite game, so I've played it two player a lot recently. We don't play co-op at all. Not even semi-coop. Sure you are both fighting a common enemy thematically but that's never made us actually play in a coop fashion.

The "each other player either draws or discards a card, your choice" card - "draw" has never been selected in our games.

If we are at the last mastermind card and I'm far enough behind in points that beating him won't win it for me, I won't fight him but will instead be trying to gain points from villains or will be trying to meet the scheme end conditions before my opponent beats the mastermind again.

Choosing which hero to recruit and which villain to fight always has the blocking aspect considered (like most worker placement games) - I'll recruit a card that is bad for my deck because it is *great* for my opponent's for example. I'm looking at you spiderman!!!

3) Downtime is a "feature" of deck builders I think. The more random ones (like Legendary, as compared with dominion) a little less so since the situation changes due to other players' actions more often (the available heroes and villains change each turn as opposed to say Dominion where a pile being exhausted is uncommon).

But fundamentally there's not much planning you can do but playing a hand can take some time especially when people use chaining draw type strategies or are slow at shuffling. Which makes downtime an issue.

Though I'm guessing really - I've only played 2 players and likely only ever will (the wife shows no interest).

For the villains flying by I've always thought that would be an issue with lots of players - with 5 players you have 10 villains appearing (ignoring the non-villain cards) while starter hands are all that is in play - it wouldn't be that uncommon for 5 to escape as either nobody gets a 3 or 4 fight hand while a 3 or 4 fight villain is available. With 3 players though, not a single villain escaping is common.

4) I agree the theme is thin. I think rather than being a super hero you are a SHIELD commander trying to recruit heroes to your cause and send them to combat the bad guys, but that fails in many aspects too (especially when you ignore the coop nature like we do).


It's not my favourite game by a long shot, but I find it playable enough. My main complaint is actually the size of the villain/hero decks at the start - they aren't fun to shuffle, and that's with 2 players with 5 they must be reaching ludicrous size...
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Jim Kane
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Marvel Legendary is one of my favorite games, particularly with the expansion Dark City.

While I agree the game has some flaws and take down times can be a bit long and the downtime in a 5 player game admittedly can drag a bit with new players who haven't played. However, I do not think this review is a fair assessment of the game. There is a lot of deep super hero theme below the surface. Hulk gets stronger when he's wounded, Captain America is at his best when leading a diverse team, Rogue can copy another heroes power just as a few examples.

The expansion answers some of your criticisms with much harder Masterminds and some more player to player interaction for example Colossus can put himself in the line of fire and prevent other players from getting wounds.

To me this sounds like someone who had a negative mindset before playing, then played 1 time and for whatever reason wrote a review and posted it.
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Thomas
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Kane21 wrote:
Marvel Legendary is one of my favorite games, particularly with the expansion Dark City.

While I agree the game has some flaws and take down times can be a bit long and the downtime in a 5 player game admittedly can drag a bit with new players who haven't played. However, I do not think this review is a fair assessment of the game. There is a lot of deep super hero theme below the surface. Hulk gets stronger when he's wounded, Captain America is at his best when leading a diverse team, Rogue can copy another heroes power just as a few examples.

The expansion answers some of your criticisms with much harder Masterminds and some more player to player interaction for example Colossus can put himself in the line of fire and prevent other players from getting wounds.

To me this sounds like someone who had a negative mindset before playing, then played 1 time and for whatever reason wrote a review and posted it.


I disagree, I bought the expansion and it was basically "more of the same". There are enough fan boy reviews out there what's wrong with some honest criticism. Not everyone can like it do let it be.
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Sorry to be "that guy," but this needs to be broken down:

Talonz wrote:
Deck building is not a mechanic I am fond of.


So you don't like something, you go into this knowing you won't like it. Gee, wonder how this is going to go?

Talonz wrote:
Why combine this with a co-op?


Cause....it's a different take on the genre?[/q]

Talonz wrote:
What point is there in keeping your hand secret then


Did....you play the game correctly? It's only partially co-op. If the table beats the boss, whoever scored the most points wins. It's only co-op insofar as if you lose, you all lose.

Talonz wrote:
there was no opportunity to cooperate!


Well, now I'm pretty sure you didn't play the game right. Did no one ever say, "if you beat X on your turn, I can beat Y on my turn" or "don't buy X, I need that to combo with Y"? That's called cooperating.

Talonz wrote:
Downtime.



I'm gonna sum up your complaint here. "my turns are quick and easy and take 3 seconds and I don't have anything to do between turns, but the people I'm playing with don't take their turns fast enough so I'm bored during downtime." If this wasn't your complaint, then in a 5-player game, you'd be complaining over 12 seconds of downtime between turns. So, you're complaining about the people you're playing with, not the game, and transferring that to the game. That's helpful.

Talonz wrote:
Theme


I....don't know if you understand what the theme of this game is, either. You apparently don't, since you think you're playing as a superhero, which you're not. So.....yes, the game fails at applying a theme that it's not applying.

Talonz wrote:
And the villians! They fly by!


If more than a few escape early on and you're still winning, then you might be playing the game wrong, or doing too easy of a "campaign." Villians escaping should have consequence. Beating them is also the way to score points, so if people aren't trying to beat them, then they're doing something majorly wrong.

Talonz wrote:
And the mastermind. Well if you can get up to his strength, you can ignore the villians for the most part and just beat on the mastermind everytime your big fight card came around


This point in the game should take no more than a few turns, similar to Dominion where as people get enough money to start buying Provinces, everything else is ignored, they're bought up quickly, and the game ends. If it's dragging because, at the sounds of it, you were the only one beating on Dr. Doom, and it had to go around a few times, then, well, once again, the people you play with suck.




So, tl; dr version: Learn what the theme actually is, play the game right (sounds like you didn't), and get people who don't suck to play with.
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Joe Cohen
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Talonz wrote:
There is minimal reason to combine hero cards of one hero into your deck, as you are better off focusing on tech, mind, strength, generic buy and fight bonuses, etc.


Yes, that's exactly right. Think of the comics, where in a fight, you'll go from panel to panel:

Panel One: Colossus throws Wolverine at a Sentinel
Panel Two: Cyclops shoots Sebastian Shaw
Panel Three: Kitty finds herself pinned by an enemy
Panel Four: Storm swoops down, and she and Kitty take down the enemy
Panel Five: Cyclops shoots an enemy who has the jump on Colossus.

You're not choosing a single hero, you're figuring out how they work together. It sounds to me like you really don't enjoy that conceit in Legendary, which is fine, it's not for everyone. Maybe you should try Sentinels of the Multiverse; you play a single hero and do your thing, while working with other hero players.
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Gamer D

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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Kane21 wrote:
Marvel Legendary is one of my favorite games, particularly with the expansion Dark City....

The expansion answers some of your criticisms with much harder Masterminds and some more player to player interaction for example Colossus can put himself in the line of fire and prevent other players from getting wounds.

To me this sounds like someone who had a negative mindset before playing, then played 1 time and for whatever reason wrote a review and posted it.


I disagree, I bought the expansion and it was basically "more of the same". There are enough fan boy reviews out there what's wrong with some honest criticism. Not everyone can like it do let it be.


Personally I really like both the game and the expansion, but that being said I agree that for someone who doesn't like the base game or deck building games in general the expansion isn't going to make the like the game. It adds a lot of new stuff but doesn't fundamentally change the game.

However if you LIKE Legendary then the expansion is awesome.
 
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Dave Maynor
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Mediocre game at best as a full co-op.

As a competitive co-op, it is amazing. You have to play against the game AND against each other for this one to shine.
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Gamer D

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i3ullseye wrote:
Mediocre game at best as a full co-op.

As a competitive co-op, it is amazing. You have to play against the game AND against each other for this one to shine.


It helps in full co-op if you increase the difficulty as well. Give the base game masterminds a point or two of extra power, that makes the game closer.
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Mike Beiter
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I would never associate this game with the coop element at its heart. You're definitely playing against the other players. It just has the threat of the mastermind and scheme as a common enemy element too add depth to the game. You win as an individual.

You all are working towards keeping the villains and the scheme in check but that's the extent of it. I have taught this game to a number of people and I have never explained it as a coop game.

 
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Markus
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Sorry to be "that guy," but this needs to be broken down:

sybrwookie wrote:
Learn what the theme actually is, play the game right (sounds like you didn't), and get people who don't suck to play with.


That's a horrible way retort to a pretty reasonable negative review. Did you really need to insult the guy, his skill at learning rules AND his friends?
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Jim Kane
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[q="That's a horrible way retort to a pretty reasonable negative review. Did you really need to insult the guy, his skill at learning rules AND his friends?[/q]

To be fair it really does seem as if they were not playing properly. There is a consequence when villains escape and if the villains were truly "flying by" as the OP described then the easy victory he also described doesn't seem possible.

This is another reason people shouldn't write a review after a single play.
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Brook Gentlestream
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1) It's not fair to post a negative review of a game in a genre you're not fond of. There are people who love deck-building games. Your review doesn't help them decide if this is a game they should buy -- they already know its a deck-building game. You should be addressing the specifics of whether its a good deck-building game or a bad deck-building game, whether its typical or atypical for the genre, what's unique about it, etc.

2) Given that this is not a co-operative game, I don't see how any of this is relevant. Each player has a score, and there's one winner at the end. You should be trying to maximize your score while hindering your opponent's ability to do the same. And yes, fight the mastermind, so you win. If possible, don't let the opponents fight the mastermind or they'll get a lot of points from it.

3) Here's a fairly legitimate point -- though again, you attribute it to all deck-builders, not just this game. Does this have more or less downtime than a typical deck-building game?

4) Theme. This is perfectly legit. This game makes some weird assumptions in regards to theme, and how/when the mechanics tie to theme. It's really weird. If you can get past that and focus on "superheroes are cool!" then that's great. But in your first game, there's a "this is really bizzare" reaction. Most people get over it by the third game or so.

On your point about Dr Doom -- for some reason all the Masterminds in the original set are terrible. The Dark City expansion has some much better Masterminds. For example, Strife has a card that triggers a Master Strike when you hurt him. Or hurts all the other opponents in some way (but not you) when you beat him.

Some "schemes" in the original box were definitely more fun than others. If you were playing "Open the Dark Portal" scheme, for example, I recommend trying "Midtown Bank Robbery" next time. Again, it's weird theme-wise, but just think of it as the bad guys stealing prototype weapons, instead of money and it usually works more thematically.
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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The thing I found most laughable is that the last line (Lovely looking cards though) is meant as a compliment when it is in fact the worse thing about this game.

I love this game, but the art is awful. The attack symbol is barely visible from a distance (why didn't they use a shape like they did with the recruit icon?) and all the heros have exact same picture?
I understand they changed that for the expansion but still...

Not to metnion that the rare cards don't have any colored background...

But other than that? I love this game and think the op is nuts.
Obviously not everyone is going to like everything and sure the game has flaws but if you're not into deck building what did you expect?

That would be like someone saying he hates CCG because you have to waste time on random boosters...
That is a valid opinion, but in that case why are you playing such a game in the first place?

1) This game is not co-op. It can be co-op if you want it to be, but the vp are there for a reason. You are supposed to compete.

2) You are defintily not playing this with the right people.
I played this game multiple times and half the time people start screaming, "no please let me buy that, or fight that guy"
I'm not even talking about cards that actually affect other players, like hawkeye that lets other people draw.

3)I'm sorry but that's just flat out silly. This is clearly an issue you had because you were playing with really slow people for some reason.

No, I really want to understand this. If it took you 3 seconds to finish your turn (which sounds about right), that would mean that you have to wait for 4 other people to do the same and means you have to wait 12 seconds!
That's a horrible downtime to you?
12 seconds?
It sounds like you were playing with people who were totally slow for some reason. Even non board game fans I played this game with never took more than 20 seconds and that was just in the first couple of turns they learned the basics.


4)Oh you have got to be kidding me...
You are not supposed to be a superhero. You are clearly someone drafting a *group* of heroes. That's why you recruit other heroes.

If we use the Avengers movie analogy, you are not Thor or Ironman. You are Nick Fury who recruits all of them to form the Avengers.

Secondly, no reason to get a single hero? Are you sure you're playing this game right?
Most hero cards combo well with themselves...
For example, Hulk gives you a wound then removes it to gain even more power
Black Widow gathers loads of bystanders then turns them into attack power
etc

Thirdly, As for the villains... You are definitly not playing this correctly. The villains are some of the best options for VP. Players should be wiping them out asap.

But if you are apperantly playing this wrong and just going through co-op of not letting evil wins, then obviously you can look at it as the main villain being a bigger threat than the tiny ones. There is a reason why Thor doesn't go around stopping shoplifters when Loki is about.
Also, you realize that in many of the schemes, villains escaping is the lose condition?

And as for the mastermind, I don't see your point at all. The mastermind is a bigger threat than the tiny villains and certinly more than the henchmen. Why *would't* you target him as often as you can even in "real life"?

While your suggestion of a "waiting game" might be fun on its own right, that's not the direction they chose. This is a matter of preference. I prefer their version. That way you have pressure and have to make a choice.

If you want hero cards off the bat, you can actually play it like that, but that goes against the whole point of deck building.
You start with a crappy deck and evolve it as you play.
We're now basically back to paragraph one, you don't like deck building games. Fine, it's your right, but it's just flat out dumb to play such games if you don't like them or complain there is something wrong with the game for it.

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Brian M
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
I would never associate this game with the coop element at its heart. You're definitely playing against the other players. It just has the threat of the mastermind and scheme as a common enemy element too add depth to the game. You win as an individual.

You all are working towards keeping the villains and the scheme in check but that's the extent of it. I have taught this game to a number of people and I have never explained it as a coop game.



Ditto this!

Legendary is NOT a co-op. Trying to play it that way can work, with the right people and the right mindset, but you have to kind of squint at the game and try not to play it wrong for it to work that way. It's a competitive game.
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Rauli Kettunen
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sybrwookie wrote:
If more than a few escape early on and you're still winning, then you might be playing the game wrong, or doing too easy of a "campaign." Villians escaping should have consequence. Beating them is also the way to score points, so if people aren't trying to beat them, then they're doing something majorly wrong.


I would disagree with this for the most part. Unless the Scheme used revolves around # of heroes KOd or # of villains escaping as an Evil Wins trigger (there are what, 3-4 of those among the current 16 Schemes?), villains escaping has very little bearing on winning or losing. So you KO a hero from the HQ, big deal, finally I get rid of that Spider-Man instead having to recruit him and get someone else in his place. Ditto for heroes that neither player is interested in, KO and get someone else.
 
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StormKnight wrote:
MajaiofDreams wrote:
I would never associate this game with the coop element at its heart. You're definitely playing against the other players. It just has the threat of the mastermind and scheme as a common enemy element too add depth to the game. You win as an individual.

You all are working towards keeping the villains and the scheme in check but that's the extent of it. I have taught this game to a number of people and I have never explained it as a coop game.



Ditto this!

Legendary is NOT a co-op. Trying to play it that way can work, with the right people and the right mindset, but you have to kind of squint at the game and try not to play it wrong for it to work that way. It's a competitive game.


That said, it's also a random crapshoot if you're playing >3P. 5 is just too random. 4 is pretty random, but can work. The heroes that are available for purchase on your turn, and the villains available for defeating, are going to be gone by your next turn, almost guaranteed. With fewer players, you have a little more time to develop a deck the way you want to build it rather than grabbing the best cards you can before someone else does and hoping for occasional synergy. It's like Ascension in that respect: pretty darn good as a 2P game, but sucks for more than that. Legendary allows for a few more players, but maxing them is not going to make the game better, and certainly won't help the OP's complaint about downtime.

And as most have said here, beating the villains isn't the real goal: it's beating your opponents. You help when absolutely necessary, but if you can take a parting shot at someone, even better.
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