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Subject: Marvel Dice Masters: From a Dad's Perspective rss

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Matthew Sanchez
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Hi, All of my reviews are written from the way I think.

1. How the game plays for me.

2. How playable and enjoyable it is for my 9 year old.

3. How playable and enjoyable it is for my 7 year old.

If my wife has played the game we may throw in a section.

Time for review number 3. Marvel Dice masters. I bought in wholesale. I was lucky and found a couple of starters at a local target and used CSI to buy a couple of gravity feeds (60 boosters each). Throw in a few more boosters I bought at a FLGS and I invested a fair amount into this game. It is a collectible after all.

Is it worth it? I love it! This is a great game. I sold it! It just doesn't work well in my family environment. I buy a lot of games (some tell me too many). For me to justify a game that every quarter I'm spending a couple hundred dollars on a game I need to play it a lot and we just didn't play it that much.

I hope Wiz Kids gets rich off this game. I really mean it. I am an recovery Mtg player from back in the 90's so I am very cautious about collectible games. My kids have a little bit of pokemon but don't really play it much (they like the cards). Let's count the ways that I think this is better than MtG and Pokemon.
1. Booster packs are $1 not $5
2. You only need 1 of each card not 3 or 4.
3. THEME (to be discussed later).
4. Easier to teach.
5. Cards will last longer because you don't shuffle them.

But in the end it suffers from one major flaw for me. I am not a tournament player. I don't walk into a building knowing which combinations work well together and face other people with varying amounts of the same knowledge. I invite people over to my house and say "hey I have this great game here. all you have to do is pick 2 to 8 characters that work well together out of my well organized collection of around 130". Yea their response is usually...."What's this game?". It's just too intimidating for casual players. I've tried various ways to make this work and some were better than others but in the end it couldn't justify the cost for ME. Down the road I may pick up a starter pack and just play the base game but for now I'm done.

There rant over... Let's go through my normal questions.


Game Summary/Learning curve: Marvel dice masters is a collectible dice based deck building game. Pick your team and go into battle. Playing is fun and easy. Teaching is no problem. If you have other people who like to go through the cards and pick teams it's great. See above.

Replay Value: Endless. It's a collectible with dice. You can't get more replay value than this. Same teams everytime? That's fine the dice will keep things a bit interesting (for a while). Throw in around 140 different characters and you are going to be busy trying to get the same game to happen twice. Not to mention then are introducing other brands like Dungeons and Dragons down the road. Let's keep hoping for DC Comics.

Theme: Very good. Every character reflects their comic book character well. There is only so much theme you can get into a one on one game with some dice but they crammed it in there. I would probably give it higher but I own Marvel Legendary Deck builder and it's just better at theme.


Element of chance: Ummmm Dice Deck builder. What do you expect. You can manage it with well built teams but in the end you are randomly drawing dice and rolling them. That's chance on chance. If you feel unlucky don't play.


Game Length: Variable but overall short to medium. You can change the number of characters and the max hit points. It should last 30 to 60 minutes in most cases.


Children: The kids love it. Rules are easy and reading is minimal (easily memorized). There is a lot of pregame strategy in selecting the team and they didn't get into that. We usually played with their favorite characters or random draw. My issue wasn't at all with the kids.

Summary: I wrote enough above to not really need much here so I'll keep it short. Love it....Sold it. If I was 10 years younger and didn't have kids I would have a complete set and would be going to local meetups and tournaments. In the end I'm not in my twenties and I have kids so that doesn't happen. I don't get enough value for the cost.


Learning Curve: Low
Replay Value: Endless
Theme: Very Good
Element of Chance: Chance on Chance with a side of chance for good measure.
Game Length: Short to medium.
Children: Good
Value: Low for me. Very high for others.

MDM I will miss you.
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Andre Metelo
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Pretty good review... Only thing that sounded a bit off was the amount of chance.

For some reason, this game feels a lot less random than Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh. Not as predictive as VS System or the Decipher LoTR CCG (there has been many of those, so it needs the full name) though.
 
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Mike Bialecki
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sancmat wrote:


But in the end it suffers from one major flaw for me. I am not a tournament player. I don't walk into a building knowing which combinations work well together and face other people with varying amounts of the same knowledge. I invite people over to my house and say "hey I have this great game here. all you have to do is pick 2 to 8 characters that work well together out of my well organized collection of around 130". Yea their response is usually...."What's this game?". It's just too intimidating for casual players. I've tried various ways to make this work and some were better than others but in the end it couldn't justify the cost for ME. Down the road I may pick up a starter pack and just play the base game but for now I'm done.


Yeah I know this attitude well. I'm a casual ANR player with all the cards. No matter how casual you think you are, when the average player sees all your cards, they assume you're the chess-master of ANR (or MDM) and are simply too intimidated to play. It's difficult to find someone to put the time into learning the rules and then playing a few games to get the hang of the rules. Many other people are just turned off by any sort of customizable games, and that's cool - different strokes and all.
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J.A. Pollock
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i am confused. If you liked it(MDM) so much, why did you sell it?
 
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Patrick
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Furrylockstar wrote:
i am confused. If you liked it(MDM) so much, why did you sell it?


I think he covered it rather thoroughly in the post:
Quote:
It just doesn't work well in my family environment. I buy a lot of games (some tell me too many). For me to justify a game that every quarter I'm spending a couple hundred dollars on a game I need to play it a lot and we just didn't play it that much.

I hope Wiz Kids gets rich off this game. I really mean it. I am an recovery Mtg player from back in the 90's so I am very cautious about collectible games. My kids have a little bit of pokemon but don't really play it much (they like the cards). Let's count the ways that I think this is better than MtG and Pokemon.
1. Booster packs are $1 not $5
2. You only need 1 of each card not 3 or 4.
3. THEME (to be discussed later).
4. Easier to teach.
5. Cards will last longer because you don't shuffle them.

But in the end it suffers from one major flaw for me. I am not a tournament player. I don't walk into a building knowing which combinations work well together and face other people with varying amounts of the same knowledge. I invite people over to my house and say "hey I have this great game here. all you have to do is pick 2 to 8 characters that work well together out of my well organized collection of around 130". Yea their response is usually...."What's this game?". It's just too intimidating for casual players. I've tried various ways to make this work and some were better than others but in the end it couldn't justify the cost for ME. Down the road I may pick up a starter pack and just play the base game but for now I'm done.
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Fred Snertz
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I am eagerly anticipating playing the game for the first time, but in another thread I saw someone suggest putting out 8 or so characters and having them all be available to both players. That might remove some of the initial intimidation factor of having to pick and understand your own team. Seems like a good way to introduce someone to the game.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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Wow, I think I could recommend some great games to help you out.


In particular, BattleCON: Devastation of Indines.
It's an intense duel-style card game themed around tournament fighters in a fantasy world. There are a couple of products to expand the collection, but ANY BattleCON product gives you tons of game materials and options to explore. It's like picking up the whole MDM set in one purchase. Except there's no deck building. At it's most basic level (which is still pretty intense), you simply choose your fighter, the opponent chooses his, and you begin the match. Each fighter plays dramatically different, but the basic rules of the game are always the same. The trick in this game is to be able to predict what moves your opponents going to use, as there is a simultaneous action selection each round. One thing I like is the "round nature" of this game. Even if a round goes badly, next round I can still do better and make a come back. Most euro games and engine games aren't really like that.


As a runner up, you may want to consider Nature of the Beast: Prairie vs. Polar. In THEORY, it's kind of a collectable game in that you can buy more cards and make new decks and such, but each Nature of the Beast product comes with two ready-made decks and there's not much reason to change them. I think the cute artwork and the theme of animals fighting a secret war under our nose will definitely fit into a family environment, and completely hide the awesome mechanics and gameplay built into this game. Also, as an interesting twist, the goal isn't necessarily to defeat the opponent, but to build up and complete your army first. In fact, due to the Fury and Favor mechanics, you only have a limited number of attacks you can make over the course of the game as each attack brings you closer to raising your Fury too high, which is an alternate lose condition. A lot of people like this game because there is a heavy visual element to the game, as you work within a twelve space grid in front of you, moving animals from one zone to another based on their movement arrows and what actions they are taking.
 
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Matthew Sanchez
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I kick started Battlecon this last time around. I'm totally excited about it. Well not for the 6 month wait but Dad get's to look forward to Christmas this year. I haven't heard of the other one. I will be sure to check it out. My wish list is becoming manageable ; so we need to fix that.


lordrahvin wrote:
Wow, I think I could recommend some great games to help you out.


In particular, BattleCON: Devastation of Indines.
It's an intense duel-style card game themed around tournament fighters in a fantasy world. There are a couple of products to expand the collection, but ANY BattleCON product gives you tons of game materials and options to explore. It's like picking up the whole MDM set in one purchase. Except there's no deck building. At it's most basic level (which is still pretty intense), you simply choose your fighter, the opponent chooses his, and you begin the match. Each fighter plays dramatically different, but the basic rules of the game are always the same. The trick in this game is to be able to predict what moves your opponents going to use, as there is a simultaneous action selection each round. One thing I like is the "round nature" of this game. Even if a round goes badly, next round I can still do better and make a come back. Most euro games and engine games aren't really like that.


As a runner up, you may want to consider Nature of the Beast: Prairie vs. Polar. In THEORY, it's kind of a collectable game in that you can buy more cards and make new decks and such, but each Nature of the Beast product comes with two ready-made decks and there's not much reason to change them. I think the cute artwork and the theme of animals fighting a secret war under our nose will definitely fit into a family environment, and completely hide the awesome mechanics and gameplay built into this game. Also, as an interesting twist, the goal isn't necessarily to defeat the opponent, but to build up and complete your army first. In fact, due to the Fury and Favor mechanics, you only have a limited number of attacks you can make over the course of the game as each attack brings you closer to raising your Fury too high, which is an alternate lose condition. A lot of people like this game because there is a heavy visual element to the game, as you work within a twelve space grid in front of you, moving animals from one zone to another based on their movement arrows and what actions they are taking.
 
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Matthew Sanchez
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As john mentioned I covered my reasons in the review and I am rather wordy so I'll leave it to that. But I hear you. This was a tough decision. I really hope someone at one of my gaming groups gets into it so I can take advantage of their addiction.

I am not someone who would shy away because of the choices. But in the end for my marvel deck building fix with the kids I would rather do Legendary and I tried at 4 parties to get someone to play and failed every time.

Not all great games are for everyone. I was just re-watching rahdo's top 10 games of 2013 video and he commented that he excludes all games that require 3+ players since most of the time he plays with his wife (I'm sure being an american on a Mediterranean island doesn't help). That doesn't mean he wouldn't like them.... They just don't work for his environment.


See even when I'm trying to not be wordy this happens .



Furrylockstar wrote:
i am confused. If you liked it(MDM) so much, why did you sell it?
 
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Kallen McInerney
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Whenever I play this game with a new person I just select their team. I usually thrown in Ironman and Warmachine so players can see some obvious cohesion. Could probably come up with a list of noob friendly decks so this isn't a problem. They can then pick a deck with players they're interested in.
 
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Matthew Sanchez
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Yea, you're probably right. I can be a little dramatic at times. If you are a tournament style player who properly builds a well balanced team the random is manageable. When trying the random team building games we found that a good team will always beat a disorganized team.


This game has random elements but only in a good way. I play many styles of games. I'm the oddball who likes Robo Rally, Le Havre and Small World. And compared to some games (Puerto Rico for example) this is a lot of chance. This isn't Yahtzee (now I just made different people mad cool ) where the winner is the person who gets that one great roll.





metelo wrote:
Pretty good review... Only thing that sounded a bit off was the amount of chance.

For some reason, this game feels a lot less random than Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh. Not as predictive as VS System or the Decipher LoTR CCG (there has been many of those, so it needs the full name) though.
 
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Matthew Sanchez
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I forgot to mention. I've done a couple of reviews in this format and plan to continue doing so. If you want to come see what does work for me and/or the kids here is my geek list.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/175921/board-games-dads-pe...
 
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Matthew Sanchez
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If your goal is to get other people to buy in and be long term players I think this is a great strategy. I couldn't get my friends even to the first game. Too many less intimidating games out there. For reference I find I'm having a similar problem with Caverna (a totally different game). I enjoy it but other than my 9 year old (he's a bit odd too) I can't get anyone to play. Another game of the year contender that down the road I might sell if I can get it to the table more.




Oiler wrote:
Whenever I play this game with a new person I just select their team. I usually thrown in Ironman and Warmachine so players can see some obvious cohesion. Could probably come up with a list of noob friendly decks so this isn't a problem. They can then pick a deck with players they're interested in.
 
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Really nice review, thanks!

I haven't had the chance to give it a try, and while I love the theme (and dice), like you I used to be MTG player in the 90's (loved it, but managed to put an end to it), so those darn "collectible games" tend to light up a lot of warning lights and bells in my mind...

I don't have that much free time for gaming nowadays (nor do my buddy's), so I wonder if in your opinion a starter and the occasional booster would be enough for and having a few games, or if you'd recommend a bigger investment to actually enjoy the game?

Thanks,
A.

 
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Matthew Sanchez
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If I get back into it at some point I'll go with just a starter. Having just the starter. This would make team selection easier for casual players. The extra characters are cool but if you start getting boosters you need a few of each characters dice.

So I would go with either just a starter or I would jump up to a booster box at the discounted rates to keep the price down. at $40 you can get quite a few dice and characters.


Axtklinge wrote:
Really nice review, thanks!

I haven't had the chance to give it a try, and while I love the theme (and dice), like you I used to be MTG player in the 90's (loved it, but managed to put an end to it), so those darn "collectible games" tend to light up a lot of warning lights and bells in my mind...

I don't have that much free time for gaming nowadays (nor do my buddy's), so I wonder if in your opinion a starter and the occasional booster would be enough for and having a few games, or if you'd recommend a bigger investment to actually enjoy the game?

Thanks,
A.

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Brook Gentlestream
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Axtklinge wrote:
I don't have that much free time for gaming nowadays (nor do my buddy's), so I wonder if in your opinion a starter and the occasional booster would be enough for and having a few games, or if you'd recommend a bigger investment to actually enjoy the game?


I think once you have an initial investment of $50 or so, then an occasional booster every now and then would be fine for you. But just the starter and a couple of boosters won't even be enough to create different teams for the smaller beginner-level games.
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A. M
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That's more or less what I expected to read.
(Which is a pitty because there's a lot of cool looking dice not included in the starter... ).
Anyway, I guess I'll try to grab a starter (if I can actually find one), and see how it goes, both game play and feedback from the crew wise.

Thanks for your tips guys!
A.
 
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