Jason Carrington
United States
Prospect Heights
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These are entirely untested and made for co-op. I wanted to add some variety without making cards that needed to be shuffled in with real cards, so schemes it is.
In my opinion there are 2 ends to a spectrum that should be avoided in schemes. One side is when you feel that there is nothing you can do to effect the loose condition "It doesn't much matter if those villains escape, all that really matters is hitting the Mastermind before the next scheme twist comes up." and the other is when the threat fizzles "We can get fight of 5-7 consistently so no villains will escape, it is just a matter of time before we draw a 13 hand a couple times". So far the best way I have found to balance this is to make a few very strong villains that you need to keep from escaping.
Let me know what you guys think.

Prison break variant - Choose one villain group. All members of that group get +3.

Goblin queen variant - When a non-queen villain escapes and there are no queens in the city count the number of scheme twists played and the number of queens encountered(escaped or defeated).
If the number of scheme twists is higher search the villain deck for a random queen and put it on top.
Otherwise search the villain deck for a scheme twist and put it on top. (If there are no more twists grab a queen?)

(Requires Masterminds from expansion)
Sinister 6
8 twists, shuffle all(8 or 10) unused masterminds into the villain deck (not the tactics, just the top card with the master strike on it). Masterminds get +2 fight for each twist next to them. If a Mastermind escapes perform it's master strike. If there is a master strike card perform the master strike of each Mastermind in the city(left to right) after the normal master strike effect.

twist - If there are no masterminds in the city reveal cards until you find one and play it, shuffle the villain deck. If you search the villain deck and do not find a Mastermind, shuffle this scheme twist and all Masterminds from victory piles or KO into the villain deck.
If there was a mastermind in the city put this twist next to the mastermind closest to the villain deck and play the next card of the villain deck.

evil wins - 5 Masterminds escape.

I know, complicated Scheme twist ability. Hopefully the "searched but didn't find" ability wont happen too often but I didn't want the heroes to feel like they won after defeating half the Masterminds.

(Requires Masterminds from expansion, essentially a harder prison break)
Henchmen Wanted, Now Hiring
8 twists, shuffle all unused masterminds into the villain deck (not the tactics, just the top card with the master strike on it). Masterminds do not escape, the villain that would push them escapes instead. (In the unlikely event there would be 6 Masterminds in the city, KO the one with the lowest fight value.) If there is a master strike card perform the master strike of each Mastermind in the city(left to right) after the normal master strike effect.

twist - Shuffle all Masterminds from victory piles and KO into the Villain deck. Play the top 2 cards of the villain deck.

evil wins - 12 villains escape.

The flavor is that with more masterminds trying to operate out of one city there is a higher demand for henchmen and they give better job offers making it harder to deter villains from signing up.

Hostage Exchange
8 twists. When a villain escapes the rightmost villain captures a bystander.

twist - Put the twist next to this card. Each hero rescues a bystander and then KOs X points worth of cards from their victory pile where X is the number of twists next to this.

evil wins - the number bystander that have been KOed or carried off is 3 times the number of players.

This scheme should make the game even more co-op. It is the only one that specifically cares about points and it encourages players to feed some of the easy points to the weaker members of their team.

-Played this one - It was pretty stupid. The scheme twist was the best part. Shuffling 6 cards every turn was the worst part.-
Strike force (this is meant to be more of a wacky variant than a well rounded scheme)
8 twists. If a non-gray hero is KOed put it on the bottom of the hero deck.
Exchange Rules (Ignored during a twist)-
When you gain a card, KO the top card of your deck. (if something would gain you a card and put it on top of your deck, do this first)
If anything else causes you to KO a card, gain a card costing 0 from the KO or a wound. (You will always have 12 cards in your deck.)

twist - Ignore the exchange rules during the resolution of this twist. Each player in turn order KOs their hand and then gains that many card from HQ, KO, or wounds, put those cards into that players hand. The total cost of gained cards can not be greater than the total cost of KOed cards.

evil wins - 7 twists are played.

My guess for this one is that the players will get moderately strong quickly but then their power level will fluctuate randomly instead of the steady increase of most games. If this does not work as written a shorter game could feel less chaotic, you could try "Evil wins - 5 scheme twists are played" and only fight the easier Masterminds (Red skull or Magneto). We could also play with rules where you always get Star equal to the lost cards cost on your next turn.
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Duane Crago
United States
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Sounds interesting. I may have to give this one a try soon.
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