Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » General

Subject: Playing as the Mastermind rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tomer Mlynarsky
Israel
flag msg tools
I'm surprised there isn't much talk about this aspect of the game. Personally, I haven't tried it yet which is why I wonder how other people's experience with this went.

Wondering if to try this next time around.


Also, for those who tried, how do you play it?

1) Shared HQ or different one for mastermind and players?

2) Do you randomize everything? Or do you pick some other method?
Obviously some scenarios would be too overpowered\underpowered for the mastermind?

3) Do you like it more or less than regular play?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Unfortunately I play Legendary mostly solo currently, it's not as popular as other games in my groups. But I did play with the Ambition deck twice, once with four heroes versus the mastermind and another with three. Five total players is too many for the game in general and that is still true with the Ambition deck, there is too much downtime between your turns and the balance feels off. Three heores vs a player Mastermind felt more reasonable and in that case the Ambition deck was a good addition. In particular the player who was the Mastermind that game doesn't like Legendary too much but did enjoy it as the Mastermind, so in his case the Ambition deck is a must-use addition in future games. Personally I think I would lean toward using it over not using it in games with three or four total players (in a two player game it might work best if one player controls two heroes, I'm not sure how well it would play if it was one hero using the solo rules versus a Mastermind.)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David M. Cabal Inés
Spain
Oviedo
Principado de Asturias
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GrandMasterFox wrote:
I'm surprised there isn't much talk about this aspect of the game. Personally, I haven't tried it yet which is why I wonder how other people's experience with this went.

Wondering if to try this next time around.

I tried twice but we have being a lot of time without playing (since SW1) and you need a minimum of players. We usually play with 3-6 players then mastermind is very useful. But I think the best number is 3-4 against a mastermind. I like to play as mastermind because I usually are the most experienced player in the table.

We are playing the RangerBob campaign and I usually get the setup ready before leaving home to where we will play it and I set the mastermind decks too in advance.

GrandMasterFox wrote:

Also, for those who tried, how do you play it?

1) Shared HQ or different one for mastermind and players?

Different One. A thematic one, e.g. when they played against Loki I set up a mastermind deck with Loki, Enchantress and Skirn (Titania) and I tested the deck because when I tried Kingpin, Bullseye and Electro it was a complete disaster (probably my fault because I used Electro instead Elektra, more thematic and probably more suitable).

I use hydra for starting deck and the ambition as "villains".

GrandMasterFox wrote:

2) Do you randomize everything? Or do you pick some other method?
Obviously some scenarios would be too overpowered\underpowered for the mastermind?

I randomize decks but I pick characters from campaign.

GrandMasterFox wrote:

3) Do you like it more or less than regular play?

I like it, but playing 6 players is quite slow, I think that best version is 2vs1 or 3vs1, because Legendary with 2 or 3 players is quite easy. 4 vs 1 is just the limit, but 5 vs 1 is great when you have 6 players and you want to play Legendary with a Easy set up (e.g. Red Skull) could be an opcion to teach new players in a group with 2-4 veterans.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jem
France
flag msg tools
I tried it for the first time on Saturday (I bought SW v1 specifically an hour before my friends came over) and had some mixed feelings.

So, to answer some questions:

1) For the 1 session I've done, we went separate. The heroes had just failed against Mysterio & Brainwash The Military (I messed up the setup and failed to mix in the Sinister Six!) so I set them up with the same game but using Loki as the MM (and yes, the Enemies of Asgard) and some easier heroes while giving myself an "Ally" deck of The Punisher, Deadpool and The Winter Soldier - I figured Loki might try to mind-control some of the Earth's most deadly killers (also, I don't own Villains...)

2) As I say, I cherry picked the allies and did the same for the heroes too - to make things easier for the beleaguered heroes I went for an all SHIELD/Avengers setup of Cap 1941, Agent X-13, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hulk and Thor.

Without meaning to, I think I stumbled on to quite a cruel Ally choice - Deadpool's otherwise derided common "Here, Hold This For A Second" becomes really quite powerful when you're the mastermind and the city is full - giving a good chance of forcing a discard for the heroes on the following turn(s).

3) It's too early to say. I took my foot off the gas a little a few turns in with the heroic players paralysed by an early-game wound spam (5-player games move too fast in the first 20 turns) but I also found myself a little stuck with the Ambition deck, too many expensive options and too few options to KO my starter cards left me unable to respond once everyone had powered up and they were keeping the city basically empty.

The randomisation of the Ambition deck can tie the MM player's hands behind their back (by the end of the game I had seen all but one of the 7+ attack ambitions, and only two below that) and the fact the wound deck gets chewed through so fast in a big game leaves one avenue of "attack" closed. I think playing with Villains (and Bindings) may well change this, but it might shift too far the other way - Heroes don't really have good ways to deal with Bindings, so dishing them out on heroic players by using Magneto could be horrible.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've tried it once, and wasn't a huge fan. I played as mastermind against 3 heroes using my own HQ, but never really felt integrated into the game. People just kind of conversed and waited while I took my turn, unconcerned with anything I did beyond the ambition being played. I doubt they even knew which characters I was building my deck around.

Perhaps it would be different if we had shared the HQ, since my card buying would directly affect what was available to them, but I find this to be unsatisfying thematically even if it works mechanically.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jindianajonz wrote:
I've tried it once, and wasn't a huge fan. I played as mastermind against 3 heroes using my own HQ, but never really felt integrated into the game. People just kind of spoke and waited while I took my turn, unconcerned with anything I did beyond the ambition being played. I doubt they even knew which characters I was building my deck around.

Perhaps it would be different if we had shared the HQ, since my card buying would directly affect what was available to them, but I find this to be unsatisfying thematically even if it works mechanically.


Just curious did you have cards that affect other players in your deck you were building or vice versa for the heroes? I only ask because such cards can affect the opposing side normally (eg a hero that plays a card that gives another player a wound can give it to the Mastermind and vice versa when the Mastermind plays such a card.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think there was too much. We played thematically, so they had a deck of heroes and I had a deck of villains. There aren't many hero cards, IIRC, that can affect a sole opposing player, so I wasn't getting much from them.

The only decks I remember using are Sabretooth, Uru-Juggernaut (Kuurth?) and Bullseye, maybe Enchantress too, but I didn't see any cards that would directly affect them. You are right that this may have helped keep things interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jindianajonz wrote:
I don't think there was too much. We played thematically, so they had a deck of heroes and I had a deck of villains. There aren't many hero cards, IIRC, that can affect a sole opposing player, so I wasn't getting much from them.

The only decks I remember using are Sabretooth, Uru-Juggernaut (Kuurth?) and Bullseye, maybe Enchantress too, but I didn't see any cards that would directly affect them. You are right that this may have helped keep things interesting.


Interestingly Sabretooth's ultimate card allows him to have all the other players draw a card that he can then choose to KO. It would actually be pretty nasty played by a Mastermind!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
??? ???
msg tools
I have tried it, and I must say it is one of my favorite aspects of the game.

However, some setups are definitely unbalanced if playing with different hero pools (which we still do because it's more fun and thematic). Anytime the Mastermind has Emma Frost in their pool it's kind of GG for the heroes from the start as there is no realistic way to compete with the speed the villain deck gains from her Shadowed Thoughts card (which is a common).

But overall it is really fun and a gamemode I definitely recommend if the players can handle to sometimes be playing at a severe disadvantage, and sometimes at a great advantage.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jem
France
flag msg tools
jindianajonz wrote:
I've tried it once, and wasn't a huge fan. I played as mastermind against 3 heroes using my own HQ, but never really felt integrated into the game. People just kind of conversed and waited while I took my turn, unconcerned with anything I did beyond the ambition being played. I doubt they even knew which characters I was building my deck around.

xLVNx wrote:
However, some setups are definitely unbalanced if playing with different hero pools (which we still do because it's more fun and thematic). Anytime the Mastermind has Emma Frost in their pool it's kind of GG for the heroes from the start as there is no realistic way to compete with the speed the villain deck gains from her Shadowed Thoughts card (which is a common).

Two quite different opinions, which is interesting.

It's certainly true that there are a lot of hero cards from early sets which suddenly seem very different when viewed from the mastermind's perspective from the known irritants (Hulk's Crazed Rampage for instance), through the naughty/nice cards (Hawkeye's Covering Fire) to some which are normally helpful (Storm's Spinning Cyclone).

As I mentioned above, I was surprised at how effective Here, Hold This For A Second turned out to be - it's cheap, so you can get it working early and start putting bystanders on the villains nearest the escape to force discards - even later on it remains useful because if you can build good attack you can potentially force a couple of discards in quick succession by using Pure Evil to advance the villains.

It's true that the mastermind player is somewhat isolated too - with no dedicated board spaces to use, it's easy for the MM's turn to be largely ignored by the players, especially if using a separate HQ. I actually had my MM setup on a separate table, because my coffee table is only a little larger than the base set's board.


Going back to something I touched on previously, the randomisation of MM play could be huge. Firstly there's the Ambition cards available, a more limited range (and slower turnover) than an HQ (but popping something like an extra scheme twist or extra masterstrike could be massive in some games). For the record, with SWv2 included, it's possible to go 10 turns without ever seeing an Ambition card of cost 5 or less (other than Pure Evil) meaning you need to power up a lot to have much influence. Then there's the fact that some of the Ambition effects can have enormously different consequences depending on a single random selection. In particular, Dark Apprentice could potentially add Galactus to a game, with potentially devastating results.

I'm wondering whether Ruthless Strike (cost: 4 attack, becomes a master strike that takes effect immediately) should be modified slightly to something like "cost: * : This card costs half the Mastermind's printed attack (rounded down)" as it would perhaps balance better with some of the more horrible masterstrikes (Galactus, anyone?).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
??? ???
msg tools
Jemjar wrote:
Two quite different opinions, which is interesting.

That is sort of because it differs very much from game to game. Some games the mastermind player gets a hero setup that can not integrate with the game in any other way than with fighting points (which makes their presence feel far away). But with some heroes like Emma Frost, Thranos, and most of the Villains line this changes as there are many ways for the mastermind to affect the boardstate in horrible ways.

However, sometimes the mastermind is stuck with heroes that does not interact much with the board itself like Thor, Spiderman, etc. as purchase-power in itself isn't as important when you play the villain (with separate pools) as no one is going to steal that rare from you like when you are on the heroic side. This makes the mastermind plaer feel very distant in those games as they are literally playing solitare.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomer Mlynarsky
Israel
flag msg tools
xLVNx wrote:
That is sort of because it differs very much from game to game.

I suppose it also varies from group to group. People who play more cooperatively might find it more enjoyable in a one vs many scenario and people who play more competitively might not unless it's 1-on-1.

Actually I wonder based on the reactions above, doesn't this actually make more sense mechanically (though not thematically) to use a shared HQ?

That way, both sides try to block each other's move from the HQ. The mastermind wants to block the players from getting the rare cards, but they try to block him from Emma's cards as well.

Thus each side could get stuck with cards they don't really want and need to find a way to work with them, or KO them.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
??? ???
msg tools
GrandMasterFox wrote:
xLVNx wrote:
That is sort of because it differs very much from game to game.

I suppose it also varies from group to group. People who play more cooperatively might find it more enjoyable in a one vs many scenario and people who play more competitively might not unless it's 1-on-1.

Actually I wonder based on the reactions above, doesn't this actually make more sense mechanically (though not thematically) to use a shared HQ?

That way, both sides try to block each other's move from the HQ. The mastermind wants to block the players from getting the rare cards, but they try to block him from Emma's cards as well.

Thus each side could get stuck with cards they don't really want and need to find a way to work with them, or KO them.

It does actually work both ways very well. I prefer separate, because it feels better. But shared does indeed prevent the feel of that the MM plays Solitare in certain setups.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tommy Brownell
United States
Twin Oaks
OK
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We played this way for the first time last night, completely random set-up with the Mastermind (Dr. Doom) having his own team for the Mark of Konshu scheme.

So it was Doom recruiting Bullseye, Loki and Kraven with a villain deck consisting of the Khonshu Guardians, Corvus Glaive (as a Guardian), The Mighty (from Fear Itself) and The Marvel Knights versus Thing, Silk, Emma Frost, Captain Britain and Thanos.

Despite the fact that he was rarely interacting with the City (aside from pushing more cards out with Ambition cards), the Mastermind player loved screwing with us, especially with Loki's cards, stealing cards from us, giving us Bindings and so on. He nearly won the game (had six Guardians escape), but my Captain Britain/Thanos/Corvus Glaive onslaught became too much by the end.

There was a *lot* going on, but thankfully he's played Legendary with me several times, so he knew he to manage his side of things with his own deck of characters on top of the Ambition cards.

This will probably become our default mode of play now, honestly.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jem
France
flag msg tools
Had another spin at this yesterday, we played Kingpin & Steal the Weaponized Plutonium (Savage Land Mutates, Four Horsemen, Hydra, Streets of NY, Underworld) with the MM (me) using Thanos, Maximus and Proxima Midnight (hand picked) against Prof X, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye and Deadpool (random).

As the MM, I largely found myself without much to do - often ending up with recruit but not enough attack to make a difference. The heroes did a good job across the board and their access to card draw and card KO (plus two heroes to block the Masterstrike) meant that they had a relatively easy time of the scheme, with no plutonium being stolen at all.

Again, two games isn't enough to really form an opinion from, but it did feel like I had few options to cause mayhem and general give them all a headache - I played the occasional villain card, kept fighting the Endless Armies of Hydra to be annoying but that was about it. I didn't really feel like I was involved despite having what could have been a good set of characters to work with.

Lack of card KO and card draw cost me I think, combined with never getting to use Maximus's uncommon (pump more henchmen into the city). I can't help wondering if Pure Evil is a shade too expensive, whether it would be better balanced at 4 attack.

So far I feel that the whole thing is too dependent on the setup - KP is rather weak (but with tricky tactics) and the STWP scheme is just about managing the city where escapes are irrelevant unless there's plutonium going with them. I murdered a few of my own lackeys on a couple of occasions but in general felt that there wasn't much I could achieve - with little to no KO available, the EAoH offered me the only entertaining Fight effect.

One issue, to my mind, is that the Mastermind can keep hold of too few ambition cards - with only three spaces available, you either need to generate powerful attack quickly, or be prepared to sacrifice some useful cards if they come up too early. Gone is the heroic option of leaving that powerful rare card in the HQ until you can afford to pick it up - I think I'd prefer a system like the city track, where you start with only Pure Evil but build up to having five ambition cards - weaker in the early game, stronger in the latter stages; to match the heroic players building up too.

Conversely, playing with your own HQ means slower turnover of your recruitment options, with Maximus's commons being less tempting than almost any alternative I found myself choked by cards encouraging me to defeat my own henchmen - good when they're Sentinels or Maggia Goons, weaker with SLMs.

Frankly, it might just be that Thanos, Maximus and Proxima midnight are just a bit rubbish - had I seen Maximus's uncommon earlier I might have had more of an effect on procedings (I can't help noticing that there's potentially something of a loop to playing Pieces on a Chessboard to push the city along then triggering both commons to get your henchman back into your victory pile). Beyond that Thanos was largely useless and PM was doing a reasonable job but requires card KO and/or draw to whittle a big deck down.

From reading the Complete Card Text I wonder if some of the Villainous Allies might be better options, or using a commander and a bunch of the heroes - any version of Avengers vs X-Men has potential, with Hawkeye / Black Widow / Hulk or Emma Frost / Wolverine / Rogue as a pair of terrifying line-ups.

In general though, the conclusion remains the same : further testing needed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.