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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » General

Subject: Introducing Legendary to New Players rss

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Benjamin Machanik
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So this is a question I've been pondering now I have all the expansions at last.

I have one person who has been playing Legendary with me from the beginning and whom I have tried each set as I got it. We both love Legendary to the point of near addiction - we can play it for a long time without growing bored.

As such, when either of us have friends over we almost always want to teach them the game. But, having all the expansions, I find Legendary is best introduced in doses.

So I usually start their first game purely with Base set Heroes, Masterminds, Schemes and Villains. I don't always follow the recommended set-up - I use Red Skull for people completely unfamiliar with card games/deck builders but most people I know can grasp the basics at least.

Normally the next game I have is Villains set Commanders, Plots, Adversaries and Allies. This gives them the other side of the story, so to speak, and also gets them used to the idea that eventually most of the terms are interchangeable if sets are mixed (Which I often do). Villains also introduces the idea of keywords (Dodge, Elusive, X-Treme Attack). Finally, Villains is just a little bit tougher than the base set - even the 'weakest' commander, Dr. Strange, can win games if he has luck (whereas Red Skull and Magneto from base set are typically pushovers especially if only using cards from the base set).

I also should mention I use 'advanced' things like sidekicks and special bystanders right from the Base Set introduction - and probably will include the special wounds and sidekicks from civil war. For villains game I usually swap in New Recruits for Sidekicks though.

So I think this is a good introductory course, but I want to know - what next? I feel like suddenly introducing all the expansions after that is going to be confusing and may put people off, especially those who started unfamiliar with board games - which is a fair amount of people I teach. I personally think adding in expansions 1 or 2 at a time is the best way to go.

So what I am asking, really, is what order would people put all the expansions in terms of
1) Most difficult schemes/masterminds/villains
2) Most complicated keywords and other rules additions (like shards)

Personally, my own learning went Base Set -> Dark City - > Paint the Town Red -> Secret Wars 1 & 2 -> Villains Base Set - > Fear Itself -> Fantastic Four - > Captain America - > Guardians of the Galaxy -> Civil War. However, I really doubt that is the order of 'difficulty'

I don't expect a definitive answer, but being able to look at what people personally would rank them as would help me think the best strategy of introduction (and maybe at what point it's safe to stop dripping info and open the floodgates)
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Adam Steele
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Wisconsin
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First, a little self-promotion, I made a bunch of setups for new players in terms of mechanics to help introduce them to deck builder concepts. It helps for people who are not familiar with deck builders at all, and people who have trouble in general. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1601633/setups-new-players
That out of the way, I tend to introduce people by at least game 2 with their favorite Marvel licenses. You're in the same boat I am, with all the sets, so you have a lot of leeway to customize. Of course, stick to a single set as much as possible to minimize the mechanics they need to know. I'm a little concerned with introducing Villains as early as you do, though. Villains has a lot of stuff to it, far more complex than the original base game. When you do, I'm with you, make it all actual Villains stuff so the terminology matches, then you can mix. The scheme doesn't matter as far as being a part of a set, because players aren't going to pick up on that (unless it relies on a mechanic from that set). As far as difficulty, I'd say Guardians of the Galaxy is probably among the more difficult ones. The shards & artifacts break a lot of what the game typically does. Captain America's Man Out of Time mechanic can also be frustrating mostly because you have to remember to apply it. Ultimately though, if you can make a good, thematic setup while restricting mechanics as much as possible, that will help the learning process significantly.
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Secret Wars Vols. 1 and 2 are relatively easy to learn, and they're valuable in teaching the idea of "Hero Class"---which pops up everywhere anyway---what with double-Class Heroes and ability triggers and critical strikes and Spectrum. Rise of the Living Dead is OK but, again, simple.

Dark City is also pretty easy to learn. Dark City has some of the best Heroes still and some of the best schemes. An obvious must-have if there is such a thing.

The topdecking of base set Gambit, Dark City Daredevil are good to pair with Paint the Town Red's Wall-crawl and Feast, and to a lesser degree Civil War's Phasing. For the most part, what makes these better to start with than the others listed below, however, is how seamlessly and intuitively their mechanics fit with the rest of the game. How many people forget that Critical Strikes are a mechanic (and a pretty good one) just because it fits existing rules and concepts so well? Bribe takes one second to explain, and Versatile is just as good. Even Teleport is intuitive! Feast and Wall-crawl are also pretty simple.

PTTR isn't that great otherwise, and I rarely whip out Scarlet Spider or Spider-Woman. Black suit Spider-Man gets more love, and even Moon Knight gets used once in a while. I can't even remember the last one---though I could look it up, that's not the point---and this sort of demonstrates how much I actually like the set. Bland schemes, and I really hate Carnage/Maximum Carnage, and so, simple as it is, this set really doesn't have that much to recommend it.

Fantastic Four's Focus is especially tricky to teach. Burrow and Cosmic Threat are barely in the game. Fortunately, Fantastic Four is one of the best sets yet, better even than Dark City, Wars 1 and 2, or War.

Civil War's Size-changing and Divided are tricky and best saved for when you're comfortable with the other concepts. S.H.I.E.L.D. Clearance is pretty wonky, too.

Captain America is a solid set thematically and it has some really satisfying schemes, but Man Out of Time can be confusing to teach, and Savior isn't that interesting either.

As much as I like the mechanics in it, Fear Itself is not that great thematically and I basically never pull it out. Villains is much the same, but I don't really like most of the Ally Decks it has. Again, it stays in that separate box that really doesn't fit anywhere else. They are simple enough to teach. A shame Villains keywords, up to and including even X-Treme Attack, don't get much love. Dodge, how I have missed thee!

Guardians of the Galaxy really demands to be played with only Guardians of the Galaxy components. Shards can be tricky, especially with that "exhaust the shard pile, no more shards" rule. Artifacts are are really fun, but they're also basically reliable abilities with minor deck-thinning in one! Mostly, though, the Heroes are simply OP compared to the rest. Schemes are only OK.

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Benjamin Machanik
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Organous wrote:
First, a little self-promotion, I made a bunch of setups for new players in terms of mechanics to help introduce them to deck builder concepts. It helps for people who are not familiar with deck builders at all, and people who have trouble in general. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1601633/setups-new-players


Very useful stuff I'll keep that bookmarked

Thanks both of you for feedback so far
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