Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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Welcome to my short(ish) review! I decided to review every game I own, and seeing as that takes a while, they're kinda rushed! I tried to break things down nonetheless, and I hope you enjoy the review!

Rushed Reviews Of All My Games

The Short Sell:
Take charge of the battlefield in this deck-building game of superheroes and supervillains, vying to control a team of heroes and shield agents (Your deck!) to beat the mastermind before their evil scheme can come to pass!

Components:
- Wound Cards
- Bystander Cards
- Shield Agent Cards
- Shield Trooper Cards
- Shield Officer Cards
- Henchmen Cards (Sets of 10)
- Villain Cards (Sets of 8)
- Hero Cards (Sets of 14)
- Mastermind Cards (Sets of 5)
- Scheme Cards
- Game Board

Being a deck-building game, all there really is to this is an absolute ton of cards, and in this case a fairly nice-looking board for playing onto. The cards are reasonably nice quality, although I can unfortunately say they aren't beer-immune (A lesson why I shouldn't let people have alcoholic drinks at the table - The stuff just eats through cards.

I'd possibly give a 4/5, but I'm going to nab a point off from somewhere for the awful customer service when I tried to enquire about replacing the basic agent/trooper cards (Starting deck) that were damaged...'Buy another game/Buy some ~thousand sleeves are not acceptable responses.

3/5

Setup:

1. Create Player Decks (8 Agents & 4 Troopers each), one for each player.
2. Place Wound, Shield Officer (Maria Hill) & Bystander Decks on their marked spaces on the board (Shuffle the latter and placing facedown if you have Dark City)
3. Choose a Mastermind & Scheme.
4. Check Scheme for special setup instructions, following them as necessary.
5. Create the Villain Deck and place it in the space provided
- Choose Henchman Groups (May be specified on the mastermind. # depends on #players)
- Choose Villain Groups ((May be specified on the mastermind. # depends on #players)
- Add Bystanders (# depends on #players)
- Add the 5 Master Strike Cards
- Add the X Scheme Twist cards (X specified on scheme card).
- Shuffle Well!
6. Create the Hero Deck and place it in the space provided.
- Choose Hero's (5 normally, 6 in 5-player).
- Shuffle Well!
- Place 5 out in the HQ.

So it's not exactly the quickest setup in the world, needing lots of different piles put together, as well as the fact you need to separate these piles again at the end of the game. It's made a little better by organizing the game well in the box, but with no titled-dividers or such included in the game as standard it's definitely on the sub-par level here.

2/5

Gameplay:

This is the first section where Legendary shines. The first thing to mention is this game is semi-cooperative, with players working together to defeat the mastermind & their scheme, but competing for who can get the most points (Take out the most bad-guys along the way). It's a deck-builder, so players start with a standard deck, then add to it through the game to get stronger.

Each turn, the active/current player plays cards from their hand to get fight & recruit, card-order is important, with some abilities being activated by others, or being beneficial to do in certain order (Gambits 'stack the deck' for example [draw 2, put 1 card form hand on deck], lets you setup your next draw-a-card/reveal-a-card or next turn nicely). There's no limit to number of cards played, so the order is the important part - The fight generated is used to fight bad guys rampaging the city or attack the mastermind, while recruit lets you 'buy' new hero cards from the HQ.

The mechanism that drives the game is the villain deck. At the start of each turn the top card of the villain deck is drawn - If it's a villain/henchman card, it enters the right-most city space, pushing any others in that space to the left, if a villain/henchman escapes, they KO one of the hero cards in the HQ, and if they escape with a Bystander force everyone to discard cards from their hand (So the hero deck is diminished and next-turn for each player gets hit). If it's a scheme-twist, then some effect of the scheme occurs, which is specific to each scheme card (There's lots of different possibilities, with different lose conditions for each game). A master-strike and you refer to the mastermind card for a negative-effect that strikes out at the players.

When players start getting enough fight to go up against the mastermind they can do so, taking one of his 4 'tactics' cards each time they defeat him (Which is sometimes positive in the base game, but always negative with dark-city cards) Defeat him 4 times (So all 4 tactics used) and the players win! Each time a player defeats a villain/henchman/mastermind they take that card and add it to their personal victory-pile, so at this end-point everyone adds up the points listed on the cards and an individual-winner is declared!

Possibly a bit long, sorry about that, I think the mechanics of the game work well, and the combo-ing nature of the cards in the game make for good decisions in play order and what cards to add to your deck. Very cool gameplay!

9/10

Theme:

This is one of the bright-points about Marvel: Legendary. It does an amazing job of sucking you in to the world of superheroes and valiantly fighting crime across the city. The escalation of strength as you go through the game is a great representation of the media, where things build up until a grand final battle (Particularly with the final-showdown variant in the rules that we use, where after the last tactic-card goes, you all do 1 more turn, add recruit & fight and the winner gets extra points for dealing the finishing blow).

Of course you aren't playing the heroes per-say, and it's more like you're a high-up person in shield getting heroes to fight the good-fight - kind of like being Coulson in the 'Agents of Shield' TV series, chasing after heroes and bringing them into the fold (Y'know...it would be so cool to have an 'artifacts' deck based on the ones found in the series, that would go into the hero deck to make them stronger). I don't think it's necessarily a feeling for everyone, but I absolutely love taking on this particular role!

9/10

Conclusion:

So in summary, fantastic theme, fantastic gameplay, less-than-ideal setup (But a fair trade for the thematic feeling of the game), and crappy customer-service. I'm not really taking the latter into consideration for my rating, but I couldn't help slipping it in ^^. I think the games great, and it certainly a favourite among my friends, to the point it's easily in my top-3 most played. Love it!

My BGG Rating: 8.5/10

Overall: 7.9/10
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