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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Bit Anticlimatic rss

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Evan
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So, I have been eyeing this one for a while and about a month ago, Massdrop had a bundle where you could get the base game, plus Dark City, Paint the Town Red, Captain America 75th Anniversary and Guardians of the Galaxy for a ridiculously good price. My son is almost 7 and is starting to get into the hobby. He also loves Marvel (especially Iron Man) so I figured getting this would be a no brainer.

Our first chance to play it was tonight. We used the base set up as suggested in the game for a three player game (me, my wife, and our son). Yes, I know, I have heard that Red Skull is the easiest Mastermind in the game. So I figured going in that we would win.

What I didn't figure was how easily we would do it. Through luck of the draw, we were able to attack Red Skull four times and defeat the scheme and not be exposed to a single Master Strike. Only three of eight scheme twists came out and only one villain escaped the city. There was no tension whatsoever. Now, my wife was thrilled because we started a bit late and she got an important phone call in the middle of the game that delayed us by 15 minutes. Killing Red Skull so easily allowed us to get our son to bed at a reasonable time. However, I couldn't help but feel a bit let down.

Yes, I know I have a ton of additional content to pull from and some of my Masterminds (like Thanos) have a 24 attack rating, but I'm surprised Upper Deck would set up such an easy first encounter scenario. I don't know if the five heroes (Wolverine, Spider Man, Iron Man, Cyclops and Hawkeye) are perfectly situated for combo attacks, if we got an extremely lucky shuffle, or if my expectations were too high, but it was a bit of a disappointment. I'm sure this will hit the table multiple times because my kid LOVED it, which makes the purchase well worth it in my mind, but please tell me it gets better than this? I love deck builders (Dominion, Star Realms) and just figured this one would be a slam dunk for me. Now, I'm not so sure.
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Jerome Nowak

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GoingTopShelf wrote:
So, I have been eyeing this one for a while and about a month ago, Massdrop had a bundle where you could get the base game, plus Dark City, Paint the Town Red, Captain America 75th Anniversary and Guardians of the Galaxy for a ridiculously good price. My son is almost 7 and is starting to get into the hobby. He also loves Marvel (especially Iron Man) so I figured getting this would be a no brainer.

Our first chance to play it was tonight. We used the base set up as suggested in the game for a three player game (me, my wife, and our son). Yes, I know, I have heard that Red Skull is the easiest Mastermind in the game. So I figured going in that we would win.

What I didn't figure was how easily we would do it. Through luck of the draw, we were able to attack Red Skull four times and defeat the scheme and not be exposed to a single Master Strike. Only three of eight scheme twists came out and only one villain escaped the city. There was no tension whatsoever. Now, my wife was thrilled because we started a bit late and she got an important phone call in the middle of the game that delayed us by 15 minutes. Killing Red Skull so easily allowed us to get our son to bed at a reasonable time. However, I couldn't help but feel a bit let down.

Yes, I know I have a ton of additional content to pull from and some of my Masterminds (like Thanos) have a 24 attack rating, but I'm surprised Upper Deck would set up such an easy first encounter scenario. I don't know if the five heroes (Wolverine, Spider Man, Iron Man, Cyclops and Hawkeye) are perfectly situated for combo attacks, if we got an extremely lucky shuffle, or if my expectations were too high, but it was a bit of a disappointment. I'm sure this will hit the table multiple times because my kid LOVED it, which makes the purchase well worth it in my mind, but please tell me it gets better than this? I love deck builders (Dominion, Star Realms) and just figured this one would be a slam dunk for me. Now, I'm not so sure.


It can be very difficult.

I love the game.
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Adelin Dumitru
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Well, I was looking forward to an informative post, given its length, but it felt really anticlimatic.

If you already have the expansions, why don't you try them out before you complain about how easy the game is? Red Skull is designed especially for those who have not played a deckbuilding game before, so that people will grasp the basics without fearing being doomed by a bad decision during the game.

For most people, it definitely gets better than this. Just like I hope your sessions reports will get better than this .

*Don't take it personally, please. I just love the game and I don't understand why someone would jump to conclusions so fast, after just 1 game against the easiest mastermind.
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Sherri Fillingham
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It does get better. And it has a good bit of randomness. I suspect that if you replayed the entire scenario you might still win, but not do so as easily.

The additional content definitely will help. They upped the difficulty in the expansions and that makes it far more engaging.

I'm glad your son loved it. I think you will come to like it, too.
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Ranger Rob
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The base set masterminds can be easy. Red Skull especially so.

When you mix in the Dark City Expansion things kick up a notch to a gamer's game and will get you the difficulty you are looking for.

If it continues to be too easy for you liking, there are quite a few "upgraded toughness" base game mastermind cards that folks have made up. You would only need to print out the Mastermind card, and use it in place of the base game one...keeping the tactic cards as they were.

You can find these upgraded masterminds here...along with many other custom cards for Marvel legendary.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qYpy-UubSe4k0uUTxhd4...


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Josh Worley
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You'll find that the Tactics cards for the base set Masterminds actually help you out with effects (additional card draws, additional attack/recruit, etc).

The Tactics cards for the expansion set Masterminds can be very brutal. Several Tactics require you to shuffle them back into the Tactics pile, resulting in you now fighting the Mastermind more than four times.
 
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Josh Worley
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RangerRob24 wrote:
The base set masterminds can be easy. Red Skull especially so.

When you mix in the Dark City Expansion things kick up a notch to a gamer's game and will get you the difficulty you are looking for.

If it continues to be too easy for you liking, there are quite a few "upgraded toughness" base game mastermind cards that folks have made up. You would only need to print out the Mastermind card, and use it in place of the base game one...keeping the tactic cards as they were.

You can find these upgraded masterminds here...along with many other custom cards for Marvel legendary.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qYpy-UubSe4k0uUTxhd4...




The base game rules actually also list official variants to ramp up the difficulty as well.
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Evan
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Well, I was looking forward to an informative post, given its length, but it felt really anticlimatic.

If you already have the expansions, why don't you try them out before you complain about how easy the game is? Red Skull is designed especially for those who have not played a deckbuilding game before, so that people will grasp the basics without fearing being doomed by a bad decision during the game.

For most people, it definitely gets better than this. Just like I hope your sessions reports will get better than this .

*Don't take it personally, please. I just love the game and I don't understand why someone would jump to conclusions so fast, after just 1 game against the easiest mastermind.


It's called a "session report" which by title has neither a positive nor negative connotation. You get what you get. Nowhere in my report did I say that the game was bad. I just said that it was easier than I expected it to be and I expected it to be fairly easy given other session reports. That's all. I was just looking for Legendary veterans to affirm that subsequent Masterminds will provide the tension I am looking for.

Also remember that I am trying to balance this out for the whole family. My wife and son don't have the experience I do with deck builders. The mechanic is unfamiliar to them. My wife didn't even realize at first what Maria could do (despite my telling her during set up. She was confused because she doesn't have an attack symbol on her and the first 10-15 hero cards we drew all had attack symbols, but no recruit power). If I put in Thanos with an attack power of 24, I might get the thrill I am looking for, but my 7 year old would be devastated when we lose. Also, he's not as familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Dark City characters, so I want to introduce those slowly.

My report was mainly to solicit feedback from the community and find out Mastermind/Hero combos that will provide the right balance. Challenging enough for me, but accessible and familiar enough for the family.
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Evan
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One other thing that I haven't been able to easily find out from searching the forums is this...

Can I mix and match any of the 30+ heroes I have or does complete randomization make it harder (easier) to win the game? For example, Deadpool in the original game has no affiliation. If I pick him, plus one GotG character, plus one Avenger, one Marvel Knight and one X-Man, will I cease to have any combo stacking power in my deck? Is that one way to up the difficulty level? Would putting nothing but Avengers in my deck make it far too easy?

Second, will any scheme at all work with any Hero/Mastermind combo? Can I use a scheme from the Captain America 75th expansion with the base game (and vice versa) with no adverse effects?
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Try the following:

Kingpin as a Mastermind
Use Maggia Goons as a Henchmen group and Streets of New York / MLF / Enemies of Asgard
Try whatever scheme appeals to you.
Spiderman, Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Thor and Black Suit Spiderman as heroes.

And play the official Final Blow variant - you have to hit the mastermind a 5th time in order to get his mastermind card and end the game.
 
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Evan
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swirlsaepi wrote:
You'll find that the Tactics cards for the base set Masterminds actually help you out with effects (additional card draws, additional attack/recruit, etc).

The Tactics cards for the expansion set Masterminds can be very brutal. Several Tactics require you to shuffle them back into the Tactics pile, resulting in you now fighting the Mastermind more than four times.


I did find that odd. When we beat a Mastermind, I figured that the point value was enough reward, but to your point, the after affects were often incredibly beneficial as well. I found that a bit counterintuitive. I guess thematically it works, but from a gameplay perspective, it seemed to make it far easier.

I've heard there is a scheme or some kind of card effect in one of the later big box expansions (Civil War maybe?) that makes Red Skull worth playing again. I'm interested to see how that works eventually.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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You can use anything with anything. The only thing you'll miss will be some combos that rely on affiliations-triggered superpowers and you'll be more vulnerable to master strikes such as Kingpin's.

Most combos should be fine, because you will have 14 cards of each hero. If you play with a deck full of avengers, for instance, some games might be easier, especially if you have some of the rares (Captain America's rare comes to mind) that take into account the number of heroes of one affiliation that have been used.
 
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Evan
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Try the following:

Kingpin as a Mastermind
Use Maggia Goons as a Henchmen group and Streets of New York / MLF / Enemies of Asgard
Try whatever scheme appeals to you.
Spiderman, Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Thor and Black Suit Spiderman as heroes.

And play the official Final Blow variant - you have to hit the mastermind a 5th time in order to get his mastermind card and end the game.


Perfect, thanks. My son has a little league game tonight, but we plan to bring this back to the table on Thursday. I'll use this setup and report back in this thread.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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If you want something even more thematic, this should be fun, though a bit difficult, so you should play a couple of more games before turning to it:

Mastermind: Baron Zemo
Villain groups: Masters of Evil WW II, Zola's Creations, Hydra, Masters of Evil
Henchmen: for the lack of better henchmen, Maggia Goons
Scheme: Change the Outcome of World War II
Heroes: Captain America 1941, Agent X-13, Winter Soldier, Nick Fury, Wolverine (since he's old, he could have fought against Zemo back then)
 
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Evan
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
If you want something even more thematic, this should be fun, though a bit difficult, so you should play a couple of more games before turning to it:

Mastermind: Baron Zemo
Villain groups: Masters of Evil WW II, Zola's Creations, Hydra, Masters of Evil
Henchmen: for the lack of better henchmen, Maggia Goons
Scheme: Change the Outcome of World War II
Heroes: Captain America 1941, Agent X-13, Winter Soldier, Nick Fury, Wolverine (since he's old, he could have fought against Zemo back then)


Another good one, thanks. My son LOVES Cap and he knows all about Nick Fury from the Lego Marvel video games. This one might work for all of us.
 
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Josh Worley
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Like Adelin said, you can mix anything from any expansion and use it with anything else. Since Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China actually uses the same engine, you can even use those Heroes or Masterminds or Schemes with Marvel characters. The Legendary Encounters games use a slightly different engine so they aren't completely interchangeable, but parts of them can be integrated into the games also. Legendary: Villains – A Marvel Deck Building Game is also completely interchangeable, although there are some terminology differences you'd have to remember.

Guardians of the Galaxy introduces Shards, which are tokens that provide a temporary boost to attack and are then discarded back to the main pool of tokens. They are fiddly and require bookkeeping each turn. They're quite fun to play with if you're doing a thematic setup (such as using all GOTG Heroes playing against Thanos or something) because all of the characters (Heroes, Villains, Masterminds) will use them. But otherwise I prefer to avoid using GOTG content because of the extra fiddliness that is involved.

Randomizing setups is, overall, quite fun and definitely adds to the difficulty factor. One thing I would recommend if you do this method, for your first few games, check over the Scheme/Mastermind to see what effects will be used (for example Loki's Master Strike requires you to reveal a strength Hero, Kingpin's and Mephisto's Master Strikes require you to reveal a Marvel Knight Hero, Magneto's requires an X-Men Hero, etc) and make sure that you're including some of those in your Hero deck.

After the first few games you'll be better adapted and suited to dealing with those effects if you don't have them included in the game at all. But there's no point in unnecessary difficulty and potentially soiling your child's opinion of the game because you randomized a particularly difficult setup and lost. If you want a hard setup for multiple players, try Loki w/ the Legacy Virus Scheme and no Strength or Tech Heroes. You'll cry.

There are literally billions (perhaps trillions now) of permutations for randomized setups, but why not start out with some of the easier ones until everyone gets the hang of it?
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Evan
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swirlsaepi wrote:
Like Adelin said, you can mix anything from any expansion and use it with anything else. Since Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China actually uses the same engine, you can even use those Heroes or Masterminds or Schemes with Marvel characters. The Legendary Encounters games use a slightly different engine so they aren't completely interchangeable, but parts of them can be integrated into the games also. Legendary: Villains – A Marvel Deck Building Game is also completely interchangeable, although there are some terminology differences you'd have to remember.

Guardians of the Galaxy introduces Shards, which are tokens that provide a temporary boost to attack and are then discarded back to the main pool of tokens. They are fiddly and require bookkeeping each turn. They're quite fun to play with if you're doing a thematic setup (such as using all GOTG Heroes playing against Thanos or something) because all of the characters (Heroes, Villains, Masterminds) will use them. But otherwise I prefer to avoid using GOTG content because of the extra fiddliness that is involved.

Randomizing setups is, overall, quite fun and definitely adds to the difficulty factor. One thing I would recommend if you do this method, for your first few games, check over the Scheme/Mastermind to see what effects will be used (for example Loki's Master Strike requires you to reveal a strength Hero, Kingpin's and Mephisto's Master Strikes require you to reveal a Marvel Knight Hero, Magneto's requires an X-Men Hero, etc) and make sure that you're including some of those in your Hero deck.

After the first few games you'll be better adapted and suited to dealing with those effects if you don't have them included in the game at all. But there's no point in unnecessary difficulty and potentially soiling your child's opinion of the game because you randomized a particularly difficult setup and lost. If you want a hard setup for multiple players, try Loki w/ the Legacy Virus Scheme and no Strength or Tech Heroes. You'll cry.

There are literally billions (perhaps trillions now) of permutations for randomized setups, but why not start out with some of the easier ones until everyone gets the hang of it?


This is very helpful, thank you. The part about the fiddliness of GotG and setting up hero decks to account for Master Strike considerations is exactly what I was looking for.

I think my initial post might have mislead some readers. I LOVE deck builders. This is a deck builder, and a very thematic one at that, so I know I will love it once I get better acquainted. I guess my main initial critique was Upper Deck's recommended first play through setup.

Let's say I don't own the game. I go to my FLGS, and they have it in their personal library to try out (which is exactly the case at my local CSI). I pull the game down, set it up, and play. I beat the game easily. I might say "Eh. Nice theme, good concept, but there's no challenge. This isn't worth the $50". If they had used a different initial setup, something just a bit harder, but still beatable a majority of times, I think they capture the best of both worlds. They capture the Marvel fan who might be unfamiliar to deck builders, AND they capture the deck building fan who is somewhat agnostic to the theme.

My post was merely to express disappointment with the initial setup configuration and how easy it was to beat, not necessarily the game itself.
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David A
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GoingTopShelf wrote:
I guess my main initial critique was Upper Deck's recommended first play through setup.
<snip>
My post was merely to express disappointment with the initial setup configuration and how easy it was to beat, not necessarily the game itself.

I get what you're saying, but keep in mind, the set-up is intended to be easy primarily for two reasons:

1) To introduce people to the idea of a deck builder (not everyone is familiar with them - I was a complete newbie to it when I got the game)
and
2) To introduce people to the mechanics and flow of the game.

If either of those is too crunchy or difficult, it could work against itself and put people off.
 
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Steve Bird
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I had a very similar initial experience. I was raised on '80s Marvel, and love deck builders, but felt let down by the base set. (I also play these games with my spouse and kid.) Each expansion makes the overall game more enjoyable and more replayable. If you're looking for good scenarios that have been well-thought out both thematically and in terms of difficulty/balance, I strongly recommend trawling through these two "Weekly Challenge" threads. They have also enhanced my family's enjoyment of the game.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1008529/weekly-challenge-su...
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1375425/all-new-weekly-...
 
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Evan
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sabird wrote:
I had a very similar initial experience. I was raised on '80s Marvel, and love deck builders, but felt let down by the base set. (I also play these games with my spouse and kid.) Each expansion makes the overall game more enjoyable and more replayable. If you're looking for good scenarios that have been well-thought out both thematically and in terms of difficulty/balance, I strongly recommend trawling through these two "Weekly Challenge" threads. They have also enhanced my family's enjoyment of the game.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1008529/weekly-challenge-su...
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1375425/all-new-weekly-...


Thanks for the reference. I will bookmark these and check them out.
 
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Justin H

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The initial setup is meant to be easy, so you can focus on the game system rather than just winning the game itself. As you add in the expansion it will get tougher and more complex. I've been losing a fair amount to some of Masterminds/Schemes in Secret Wars and Civil Wars, but there are for sure others that aren't slouches too.
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Michael M.
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...now that I think about it, I can't remember the last time I actually won.
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Adelin Dumitru
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I've lost 4 games in a row to a stupid setup the last time I played Legendary. Predict Future Crime is one of the most annoying schemes out there. And I played against a Mastermind which does not mess with the villain deck... I think it's almost impossible to win against that scheme if you face Shiklah or Dr. Strange.
 
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For what it's worth, the base set was the first thing to come out and was anticlimactic even as a whole for many players. Look through the archives far enough and you'll find plenty of posts giving feedback to Upper Deck along the following lines:

1. The game is generally too easy.
2. Hero art is the same on every card.

Future expansions, and especially Dark City, were designed especially to meet this feedback, and the game hasn't been the same since. So I completely agree with what you're saying. I myself count Legendary Marvel as my single favorite game----and yet the base set is a mere 6/10, in my book.

I do have a thought, before you add tons of stuff to the base set. Stick with just the base set. Then, once you've played through using every hero and are comfortable with it, add just one expansion at a time. It's definitely worth it, especially considering all the later keywords and such you'll get.

Here's a short little Base Set "campaign" to get you started.

Level 1:

Mastermind: Red Skull
Scheme: Secret Invasion of the Skrull Shapeshifters
Heroes: Spider-Man, Gambit, Wolverine, Cyclops, Captain America, Deadpool.

Level 2:

Mastermind: Magneto
Scheme: Your choice.
Heroes: Any, but don't use any X-Men.

Level 3:

Mastermind: Dr. Doom
Scheme: Replace Earth's Leaders with Killbots
Villains: Radiation, Brotherhood.
Heroes: Black Widow. Others are your choice.

Level 4: [Good luck!]

Mastermind: Loki
Scheme: Legacy Virus
Heroes: (Your choice.)
 
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Evan
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I actually don't mind that all the card art is the same in the base game. I heard it bothered a lot of players, but it doesn't phase me. I figured the expansions had 14 different looks for each super hero, but that isn't the case either. There are only 4 prints for each hero in each expansion, right? I guess some differentiation is nice, but it actually makes it a bit harder when putting the game back in the box. It's a take it or leave it thing for me.
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