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Subject: At War With Itself rss

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Brett Leeson
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Disclaimer: I've only gotten in a couple of plays using the new set, so far. My opinions may change when I've gotten some more time with it, but I wanted to share some early thoughts.

Personally I would, after a couple of plays, give this expansion a 6, although I could see bumping it to a 7 or dropping it to a 5. It's teetering on that fence for me. I haven't gotten a good enough feel for the new Masterminds and Schemes yet to tip the scales.

For me, the new keywords and card types in this game sum up the wild disparity in quality dividing this set.

The Good: Phasing
Phasing is awesome. Phasing is probably my favorite keyword they've done in recent memory, narrowly edging out the very fun Man Out Of Time from Cap 75. Phasing basically lets you take a card with that keyword and swap it with the top card of your deck. On the surface of it, it can seem unimpressive, and early on in games it's not all that useful.

But oh, the combos. What makes phasing amazing is the way it pairs with other keywords in the game. Phasing is fun with Wall Crawl; buy a card that's more useful on this turn than the one with phasing, then put the new card into play and the Phasing card onto the top of the deck. It's fun with Spider-friends in general; buy cheap Phasing cards and go to town with their various "Look at the top card of your deck. If it is cost 2 or less..." abilities.

There's someone in Civil War (Wiccan, maybe?) who has a bunch of abilities along the lines of "Choose a number. Reveal the top card of your deck. If its cost is the same as the number you chose, do something cool" abilities. I started loading up on those and cards with phasing, letting me plant cards on top of my deck whose cost I knew with 100% certainty.

Phasing isn't the most overtly powerful keyword in the game, but it's fun, pairs well with a ton of other keywords and abilities, and lets you build some really fun, interesting combos.

The Bad: Size-Changing
Size changing is just a mess of a keyword. I love the idea of trying to make a nod to size/shape changing heroes, but the execution is all over the place. First off, the mechanic does different things for heroes and villains.

For Heroes, size-changing comes with a class prereq, and if you hit that prereq, the hero card costs 2 less (not stackable). For Villains, if you met the prereq, they effectively lose 2 attack. Honestly, neither one felt remotely thematic - there are dozens of cards that give a bonus of some kind of you've played a particular class of card that turn, so it feels like a rehash of a basic mechanic with a keyword slapped on for heroes. For Villains, it's like Diet Cosmic Threat or something.

And maybe it was just my group, or maybe it's because the effect isn't consistent between hero and villain cards, but while we tended to remember the attack modifier versus villains, everyone kept forgetting about the cost reduction for size changing heroes. I think in large part because "cost reduction" doesn't scream 'size-changing' to us in any way. It's just a bad, sloppy keyword.

The Ugly: Divided Cards
Honestly this is a tough one for me, because Divided cards are kind of good, bad, and ugly all on their own, but in the end for me they were a net negative on the quality of the expansion. First, as Eric said, the art in the game is kind of all over the place, and nowhere in the game is it worse than on the divided cards.

You are almost left with the feeling that they decided not to 'waste' the good art on the Divided cards, since it was going to be shrunk down enough to fit 2 characters on a single card.

Pairings are all over the place. For a pair like Cloak and Dagger, I think this was a very interesting way to go. Especially since their highest-cost card has the amazing ability of letting you use both sides of any divided cards you played that turn. Others are a little bit of a stretch; I get they're a couple, but I'm not sure Storm and Black Panther needed to be divided.

In some cases it seems to be used simply to sneak in some cameos by characters they didn't feel warranted their own cards; Jessica Jones, Amadeus Cho, the other Young Avengers. A surprising number of them are just two versions of the same character, and not in an interesting Bruce Banner/The Hulk, or Ant-Man/Giant-Man kind of way. Even Cap has Divided cards, and is sort of confusingly paired with Battlestar (aka Bucky #5) and not someone better known.

Meanwhole more obvious pairings get totally ignored. How are you going to have an expansion with both Luke Cage and Danny Rand, and not have any Power Man and Iron Fist action?

Most damningly, though, we found in our first games that the Divided cards tended to drag out turns and lead to some AP. When you wind up with a handful of Divided cards, trying to figure out which side of each you wanted to use, in order to maximize your return and get the most bonuses frequently ground turns to a halt. "OK, so if I use Storm, Hercules, Iron Lad, and Iron Fist, I get this...but if I used Black Panther, Amadeus Cho, Stature, and Daredevil...oh, but if I..."

The Others:
SHIELD Clearance is ok. It's just kind of there. It's a keyword specifically designed to be a bit of a nuisance, since it encourages you to hang onto the basic SHIELD hero cards that you're otherwise trying hard to cull out of your deck. It's an interesting idea, and works well enough, but it's hard to have a lot of love for a keyword that serves no purpose beyond deliberately trying to keep your deck a bit clogged.

Fortify is also less exciting than I expected. Some of the effects are kind of neat - Luke Cage fortifying the Wound deck opens up some interesting strategic opportunities when using heroes that cause wounds. Villains fortifying things is an interesting idea and leads to some tough decisions (keep someone from escaping the city, or take out the guy fortifying your deck and reducing the number of cards you draw?) but, again, it's hard to get too excited about the negative effects.

In Conclusion:
Look, more Legendary is almost never a bad thing. I love having more characters, more schemes, the new masterminds are pretty cool. Phasing alone almost makes the cost of this set worthwhile, and there are plenty of other goodies to be found here.

But this expansion, as others have noted, definitely feels like it swung for the fences and definitely did NOT knock it out of the park. Phasing is incredible, but Size-Changing is a waste of a concept, and the Divided Cards are a bit small and cramped, all over the place in terms of the quality and logic of the pairings, and feature some of the worst art yet found in the game.

I can't fault their ambition with this one, but this set really does have as many stumbles as succeses. I think a few of its core concepts could have used a little more playtesting and development, because some of them feel a little half-baked.
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KusHniR
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do u own all of the other expansions? where does it rate (for example : best is dark city, 2nd: Secret Wars,p1 , 3rd: FF, 4th: GOG .. etc).
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Without the complexity of the expansions - oh this game does not offer the players enough meaningful decisions.
With the complexity of the expansions - oh this is too complicated,there is so much AP.
People will always complain about something, I get it. However, AP is possible with any game, it being more dependent on the players amd not on the game. The only legitimate complaint against thr Divided cards is that the text is too small.
I am not a fan of size changing. It could have been much better implemented, it could have been more thematic and more interesting. However, it is unreasonable to claim that it is a bad keyword because you forget the rules.
Overall, I would rate the review a 6.
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Mike Runnestrand
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You should be reading this comic.
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I love the idea of Divided cards, but after playing with them, I hate how they are designed.

"Oh, this Cloak triggers this other Cloak. Oh...but the first one gives recruit and the second one gives attack. So I want Dagger and then Cloak since they both give attack...but then their super powers don't trigger. Wait a minute, these cards suck!"

Great idea, WAY too watered down in power level to be exciting though.
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Greg Schuette
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I'm going to have to respectively disagree. This expansion has been a hit with every group I've played in, unlike some of the others.

Divided cards add some decision making to the game, which to most of the groups I play with was becoming sorely lacking. There are now interesting decisions to make because of these cards. Similar in feel to the Uru Weapons.

Size-changing has been a hit as well. I can get there on theme, and the mechanic itself is helpful.

Phasing has set up some great combos. Makes some core heroes better (Gambit and Daredevil).

Fortify has been fun, and has led to some fun decision making as stated above.

Overall this is easily one of my favorite expansions. It isn't an introduction expansion (but honestly 10 expansions in I don't expect it to be).
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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I have to agree with a lot of the above responders. Complexity is something this game seriously needed. If you play this game enough, it practically plays itself.

How many times have you picked up a hand and actually stopped to think about what you're going to do? Hardly ever. The entire idea of the mechanics of this game was that you have 2 cards that trigger off each other and you should decide who to play first.

Except you never really do, the optimal choice is always there. So I like the idea they give a bit more choices in how to act that are actually meaningful.

Also shield clearance does more than just clog your deck, it makes Nick Fury much better and turns Shield Officers into actual useful cards. KO-ing your starter cards is the best strategy in this game and this forces you to remember they are in your deck and actually be more careful about not-clogging your deck.

AdelinDumitru wrote:
it is unreasonable to claim that it is a bad keyword because you forget the rules.

I slightly disagree here, there are situations where the complaint is completely legitimate.

Rulebook being disorganized, messy rules, icons not clear enough, incorrect theming etc

In this case, the complaint is that:
1) The keyword is used on heroes and villains in two different ways (messy rules)
2) The theme isn't clear making the word not easily pop in your mind.

So I could see it being a legitimate complaint. The main question is, how many people actually had this problem?
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Brett Leeson
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kushnir wrote:
do u own all of the other expansions? where does it rate (for example : best is dark city, 2nd: Secret Wars,p1 , 3rd: FF, 4th: GOG .. etc).


I own all of the non-Villain expansions. I'm not sure quite sure yet where I'd rank this among them. I think it's definitely the weakest so far of the big box expansions.
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Brett Leeson
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Without the complexity of the expansions - oh this game does not offer the players enough meaningful decisions.
With the complexity of the expansions - oh this is too complicated,there is so much AP.
People will always complain about something, I get it. However, AP is possible with any game, it being more dependent on the players amd not on the game. The only legitimate complaint against thr Divided cards is that the text is too small.
I am not a fan of size changing. It could have been much better implemented, it could have been more thematic and more interesting. However, it is unreasonable to claim that it is a bad keyword because you forget the rules.
Overall, I would rate the review a 6.


Overall I rate your comment a 4. Hey, being snarky is fun and easy.
For the record, I don't believe I ever once complained "it's too complex," I simply complained that - in my experience so far - the Divided cards tended to bog down turns a bit, cramping the flow of the game.

There are several 'legitimate' complaints to be made about them, frankly. The text IS small and cramped and hard for some players to read. The art on them is some of the weakest in the game. Some of the pairings are a bit odd; it felt very much like they came up with the idea around Cloak & Dagger and then started trying to figure out what other characters in the set they could shoehorn into Divided cards.

But I think the fact that every player who had about 3+ Divided cards in hand started taking turns that were two or three times longer than normal, trying to figure out the different ramifications of what order to play which side of what divided card is worth mentioning, frankly.

If you don't mind the longer turns, fabulous. But they did cause a lot more down time for other players, slow the game down, and interrupt the flow, and I stand by that being a legitimate point of contention. It's not "complicated," it was just slow, and people started getting distracted and fidgity waiting for someone with a hand full of Divided cards to figure out what they wanted to do and finish their turn.

I also, for the record, did not say Size-Changing was a bad keyword 'because' we kept having to remind people about the cost discount. I said it was a bad keyword and we kept having to remind people how it worked. As you yourself pointed out, it's not interesting and it's not thematic. I also took issue with the fact that it doesn't work consistently between heroes and villains which, in turn, kept mixing people up how it worked.

If the rule was more consistent, or more thematic, I suspect that is a complaint that would never have come up, but since nobody could figure out how either effect captured the idea of size-changing, people kept tripping over it.
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Dan C
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So far I like everything except the layout on the Divided cards. I wish they had applied "size changing" to the font. Unforgivably small. Like "should have included magnifying glass in the box" small.
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Eric Reiter
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I agree with Brett about taking too long. I like plenty of complex games, but that doesn't mean I don't like simple ones, or that simple equals bad.
I don't consider Legendary to be complex, and don't think it needs to be.

I mostly play it at the end of the day, with my wife with a glass of wine or something relaxing. Granted, I'm not a fan of deck builders. Legendary is, so far, the only one I enjoy and I don't think that is likely to change. But we don't pull out Legendary for an epic strategy fest, and I don't think making it complex helps the game. That is definitely all opinion, and your mileage may vary.

What isn't opinion is that the divided cards slow down the game. How much remains to be seen. As we learn them it will increase the speed we play for sure, but not much about the expansion compels me to learn the heroes that well.

I think he raised some excellent points about missed opportunities. And looking back, the weakest expansions in my opinion, have been the ones tied to story lines. That could be the choice of story lines (because I didn't care for any of those events) or it could be the limitations and deadlines those types of things inherently have.

Either way, this big box, and the last two have made me think that next time I'll probably venture out to a FLGS and play a few games before pulling the trigger on a $40 box set that may only have 50 usable cards for me.

I'm way more interested in sets like Dark City and the small boxes that are just tied a group of heroes...heroes...mind you. Actual Marvel heroes that I recognize.


EDIT: It always strikes me as odd when people argue so strongly against a review, rather than post their positive review. You're only making his review rise to the top by posting here. Just write your own glowing review to counter his points. Why fight over opinions?
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nathan folsom
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I was originally on the fence about the divided cards, and now that I've played a few games, I have to say that I like everything but their appearance. I didn't like the look of the horizontal cards when MTG did it, and nothing has changed in that respect.

The gameplay, however, has been amazing. It's like they reused versatile! I agree that use of divided cards seems to have slowed players turns a bit, but unless you're only using Civil War they won't come up that often.
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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Pariah74 wrote:

EDIT: It always strikes me as odd when people argue so strongly against a review, rather than post their positive review. You're only making his review rise to the top by posting here. Just write your own glowing review to counter his points. Why fight over opinions?


First, nobody is fighting. There is a discussion going on. Discussion won't last long if it's something like this:
"This is why I don't like the game"
"I agree"
and...?

Second, why are people commenting on a review they disagree with? Umm... Isn't that the whole point? If nobody is commenting on the review why make a thread on a discussion forum about it in the first place? One could just post it on a blog or something.

And part of the main reason why some people want to comment is that when a third person who might contemplate on getting this particular game or expansion comes to read the review, they want to put their 2 cents on it so that the 3rd party might get different points of view.

I don't see the problem here at all.
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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CrookedWook wrote:

But I think the fact that every player who had about 3+ Divided cards in hand started taking turns that were two or three times longer than normal, trying to figure out the different ramifications of what order to play which side of what divided card is worth mentioning, frankly.


Out of curiosity, do the players in your group start to think about moves only when it is their turns? I've often find out that telling people to concentrate on their next moves as soon as they end their turn speed up the game dramatically.

Sure, some stuff can change (Oh, I wanted to buy that, oh you defeated that villain in the city...)
But it doesn't change that much and you can just adjust to the new situation.


On the other hand, the people who insist on not even bothering to look at their cards until their turn is up take forever even with just the base game.
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Eric Reiter
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I didn't say there was no point in discussion, but snarking at somebody's review by "rating" it, is not exactly the kind of thing I usually consider a discussion.

If he feels so strongly that the review was terrible, then writing his own review is a sensible suggestion.
Thanks for your input, but I do realize we are on a discussion board.
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Adelin Dumitru
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Pariah74 wrote:
I didn't say there was no point in discussion, but snarking at somebody's review by "rating" it, is not exactly the kind of thing I usually consider a discussion.

If he feels so strongly that the review was terrible, then writing his own review is a sensible suggestion.
Thanks for your input, but I do realize we are on a discussion board.


Yeah, it is obvious that you hate this expansion since you rated it a 4. Following your logic, what are you doing here, criticizing a game you do not agree with? Why don't you go and make your own game?
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Pariah74 wrote:


I'm way more interested in sets like Dark City and the small boxes that are just tied a group of heroes...heroes...mind you. Actual Marvel heroes that I recognize.


Hm, you do realize that Marvel Legendary is based on comic events, not MCU, right? Even if you are only familiar with MCU, Civil War gives us Luke Cage, Vision, Peter Parker, Captain America, Falcon, arguably Daredevil. Aren't you familiar with those?
 
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Jake Finnegan
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Pariah74 wrote:
I didn't say there was no point in discussion, but snarking at somebody's review by "rating" it, is not exactly the kind of thing I usually consider a discussion.

If he feels so strongly that the review was terrible, then writing his own review is a sensible suggestion.
Thanks for your input, but I do realize we are on a discussion board.


Yeah, it is obvious that you hate this expansion since you rated it a 4. Following your logic, what are you doing here, criticizing a game you do not agree with? Why don't you go and make your own game?


What's obvious is you've yet to figure out how to disagree with someone respectfully. His point is reasonable. Absolutely feel free to write a glowing 10 out of 10 review of the expansion you love. I, for one, would like to read a review like that. Perhaps it would change my opinion on the expansion seeing it in a different light. I've got several play throughs with 1,2 and 4 person games and I'm in the lukewarm boat like these guys, sitting somewhere in that 6 or 7 range. There are things I love with this set, things I don't, and things that missed the mark. It doesn't do the game any harm to say that, if anything it's good for the game. If all the developers had to read were 10/10 reviews they wouldn't know what to work on.
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Justin H

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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Pariah74 wrote:
I didn't say there was no point in discussion, but snarking at somebody's review by "rating" it, is not exactly the kind of thing I usually consider a discussion.

If he feels so strongly that the review was terrible, then writing his own review is a sensible suggestion.
Thanks for your input, but I do realize we are on a discussion board.


Yeah, it is obvious that you hate this expansion since you rated it a 4. Following your logic, what are you doing here, criticizing a game you do not agree with? Why don't you go and make your own game?


Yeah, well... I'm going to make my own Legendary, with blackjack and hookers.
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Brett Leeson
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Legendary Deadwood. laugh
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Eric Reiter
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I was probably reading comics before you were born. There's no point in discussing things with you, you clearly can't tolerate different opinions.
I'll just move along and leave you to your anger.
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Adelin Dumitru
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Pariah74 wrote:
I was probably reading comics before you were born. There's no point in discussing things with you, you clearly can't tolerate different opinions.

See you around, son. kiss Congrats on being my first ever block.

You know announcing me of that is kind of against the rules right?
 
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Jeffery Arnold
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I know I'm late to this discussion but I'm not understanding why they didn't go and instead of splitting the divided cards into two tiny cards, instead make the cards multi-colored and bring back the "Versatile" keyword...

Divided cards are the same cost so it was dumb to have two cost icons per card, Nearly every single one had the same attack/recruit per side so the versatile keyword would've worked perfectly, then the cards could've had the two effects with the "Divided" keyword meaning something like "if you choose attack then you get this effect, if you choose recruit then this one".

Then the cards would've been normal full sized cards that could've had both characters together as the art. The primary divided cards could've all been the iconic dynamic duo team-ups: Power man & Iron fist, Cloak & Dagger, Daredevil & Elektra, Captain & Falcon, Mrs Marvel & Spider-woman, Ant-man & Wasp, and someone like Spiderman could've been Spiderman/Iron Spider, with Spider-man on both sides of the conflict.

Or the characters could've actually been the opposing members of each side, since as it is now each divided card shows two hero's from the same side... not really "divided"... The opposing characters could've been: Captain America/Ironman, Invisible Woman/Mr Fantastic, Spiderman/Iron Spider, Spider Woman/Mrs Marvel, Antman/Wasp, etc. And you'd have to choose at the beginning if you were left side or right side or something.
 
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Michael Green
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One of the best things about Divided cards is having to choose which colour to play. That would be lost if they were multi-class cards with versatile.
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