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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » General

Subject: Too Difficult with Casual Gamers rss

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Jason Miller
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Pennsylvania
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I see plenty of posts saying that this game is too easy but my group has the opposite problem. I love this game and pick it every time it's my turn to choose. We win about 1 out of every 5 games unless we house rule a few things (only playing villains every other turn until everyone has had 2 turns and starting with a hero of cost 3 or 4 in our discard pile). Even then we still only win about 1 in every 3 games.
I think the issue may be that we have a couple casual gamers in our group. We play 5 players almost always. 3 of us pick heroes to match the mastermind & scenario while 1 player always randomizes his pick and another player always picks Deadpool (he used to alternate between Deadpool and Venom but since the Deadpool expansion he picks Deadpool for every match and I am so sick of that character).
My question is: Does anyone have any suggestions to make the game winnable when you have a couple casual gamers playing? Neither pays attention to deck construction, they just buy whatever they can afford. They also get angry when you suggest ways to optimize their decks. I can't kick anyone out of the group, we play with my father and younger brother (both hardcore gamers), my brother-in-law (the randomizer), and older brother (Deadpool).
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Delith Malistar
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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Anyway you slice it, 5 players is about 2 too many I think. The game gets tougher the more players there are.

Because I rarely play with more than 3, I don't have a solution unfortunately, but I'm sure there are other threads out there with variant ways to play with a higher player count.
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Sherri Fillingham
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One thing my group does with five players is that we don't start playing villains until everyone has had two turns. This puts non-gray heroes into everyone's deck before the onslaught begins. (I believe that someone told me that the rule came from Legendary Encounters, but I could be wrong.)

I also do a five-part construction of the villain deck. I make five piles. Each pile gets a master strike and two henchmen. Then I shuffle the villains and deal them out, making sure any extras go in the piles that will be on the bottom of the deck, same with the scheme twists. Bystanders get divided with extras going in the piles closest to the top. Then each pile is shuffled independently and put together. (I hope that made sense. I know how I do it, I'm just not sure I explained it well.) I have found this evens out the game a bit (no getting four scheme twists in the first ten turns). Not sure it makes it easier, but it might help?

Another tactic might be to not match hero to scheme, etc., but to focus on the core heroes for awhile until the group "gets" it a bit better? I don't know what to say. The casual gamers I have played this with have tended to catch on to deck building after a few games.

Good luck!
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Josh Worley
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You could have one player play as the Mastermind, which would effectively make the game only 4 players, albeit it would actually end up a bit harder for those 4 players than it would if you were playing 5 as a co-op.

If you want to make the game easier, there are official variants in the rules (things like the Mastermind gets -1 attack, or -2 attack, etc). You could also pick easier Masterminds and Schemes to use. Leave Thanos, Galactus, Apocalypse, and some of the new X-Men Masterminds in the box... Go up against guys like Red Skull, Magneto, Mysterio, Mole Man, and Nimrod.
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Michael M.
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Couldn't this issue be solved just by putting more Bystanders in the VD?
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Justin H

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If you kick out the guy who always picks Deadpool you'll only be playing with four.

I don't really have much experience with 5 players, but my little experience does show that it's harder. I think most people saying it's easy play 3 or less usually (like me), or solo, which is a good bit of people.

Maybe a solution is take the total amount of henchmen, shuffle half in as normal, and then seed the top third of the Villain deck with the henchmen so that some puffballs come out early.
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s rob
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don't know that it would make the game any easier but to avoid the player always picking Deadpool you could have each player pick 3 characters at random and choose 1 of those to play.

This would be no real change for the person who already picks randomly. The three of you that pick heroes based on the mastermind / scheme would still have a somewhat limit choice in who you play. While the player that always chooses Deadpool would be SOL except for the occasional lucky draw...unless you secretly remove him from the draw.

While doing it this way would have the most affect on the person picking Deadpool it doesn't point them out exclusively.
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YaVerOt YaVerOt
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Your biggest problem is 5 player. My experience says the game isn't winnable or fun at that player count. But I know it must be winnable otherwise Villains, BTiLC, and/or Buffy would have lowered the max player count.

Do you have sidekicks from Secret Wars V1? Or New Recruits from Villains? Those are two ways to make the game easier without house-ruling.
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Adelin Dumitru
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Double the number of bystanders in the villain deck.
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Des T.
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I'd suggest building the hero and villain decks for your group beforehand instead of letting them choose. That way, you have more control over how complex and/or difficult the game is.

If you insist on letting them pick, consider running thematic games. "Today, we're playing Avengers vs. Hydra." That allows you to select the "leaders" that are highly synergetic with their teams (Captain America, Cyclops, etc.). It will also allow you to stop the Deadpool fan from picking him every game. Who knows, maybe he discovers another character he really enjoys.
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Eric Sanner
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I have a house rule that we don't play this game with 5 people. You don't get a chance to see the one or two cards you may have bought before the city over runs likely multiple times.
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Fernando Santos
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I have played several times the game with 5 players, yes, it's more difficult and sometimes i see a defeat but also several wins.
Your main concern is really two non gamers playing a deck building game in a non building way.
My advice play two turns of just buying heroes and no cards from the villain deck, use an app to do a smart randomize of the scheme/mastermind/villains and so on.
And the player who always wants to play deadpooll? Grow up already...
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I am 2 for 2 in five player games, often with new players, picking random heroes. I think that we used a base set mastermind or scheme in each game, so that helped. They were hard games and we would get close to losing after 20 turns, but people's decks would come online and we would pull it off.

Card synergies tend to be fairly obvious, so if players are paying attention to what they are buying, they should be able to build competent decks. You make it sound like your players are not even trying. Maybe the game is too heavy for your group? There is no shame in it. You may be playing with players who don't want to think about their decisions and just want to have silly fun. Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards and Fluxx exist for a reason.
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Ken Comstock
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What I did to deal with this:

- max. 4 players, period. If there were 5 of us I wouldn't play and just helped the others with the rules, etc.
- selected the MM and scheme for the group ahead of time, and that was that. I selected based on how many newbs there were. Good options are noted above in the other responses.
- For heroes, I always selected Black Widow as one of them, then random selected the others and made it part of the fun as we revealed them together. I used dice to do this and let them roll.
- briefed them on what I knew about the strengths and weaknesses of the various heroes
- told them to that while was coop, was more fun played competitive, so that key was to think about synergies between cards they bought, looking for chains, so they could kill more bad buys and gain more points. That helped, believe it or not. Knowing there was a single winner of winners helped the casual folks to get more invested in the game, I think. Dunno. Was more fun that way, to be sure.

If Randomizer and Brother Deadpool are lost causes, then maybe put them in a corner with a copy of Old Maid or Candy Land or some Archie comic books and tell 'em they can't sit at to the big people table until they learn to mind their manners.
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Jem
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M_Strauss wrote:
Couldn't this issue be solved just by putting more Bystanders in the VD?

Do that and you shift the game balance, powering up some heroes (the already terrifying Black Widow and Jean Grey, for instance) to the relative detriment of others, as well as skewing the power of enemies like Mr Sinister and the Marauders. Not to mention you ruin schemes like Midtown Bank.

In short, it's a nice idea but can easily come up against issues.

5-player is tough, to be sure, and it can be tricky to handle a few of the schemes. Bear in mind though that dilution of the villains in a bigger deck will reign in the difficulty of some schemes - look for ones which focus on increasingly powerful special enemies (Replace Earth's Leaders with Killbots, Brainwash the Military, Corrupt the Next Generation, etc.) as well as ones which focus on a specific villain group (Splice Humans with Spider DNA).

If possible, try to use heroes which power up fast, especially the wall-crawling spider-friends - they'll allow players to rapidly gather up the cards they need to reveal when enemy effects hit.
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Stephen Puderbaugh
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Syreni wrote:
We play 5 players almost always. 3 of us pick heroes to match the mastermind & scenario while 1 player always randomizes his pick and another player always picks Deadpool (he used to alternate between Deadpool and Venom but since the Deadpool expansion he picks Deadpool for every match and I am so sick of that character).


It sounds like you are playing with 5 heroes. For 5 players, you should be using 6 heroes.

How are you losing the games? Is the hero deck running out? Is the city being overrun before you get a chance to strike? Are you not able to build enough attack to hit the mastermind? Something else?

There are many good suggetions above. Hopefully you'll find something to help - even if the one person keeps picking Deadpool all the time (which you may not be able to "fix").
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Steve Bird
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For 5-player games, especially with new players, I've gone with the house rule that you don't turn over any villain deck cards for the first one or two rounds. Seems to work well. That said, a 5-player game takes a long time, and can feel like a slog by the end.
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Jason Miller
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Thanks everyone, for all the suggestions. We slow-roll the villains, meaning we play one every other turn, until everyone has had to shuffle their decks once. We also start with a random 2-3 cost hero in our discard pile.
I haven't thought to seed the villain deck, that may make things easier.
We mostly lose due to being overrun or the scheme going off. The three of us start strategies by buying only certain cards that fit our decks. I'll buy sidekick/new recruits when nothing in the HQ fits my deck.
The other two, though, buy the most expensive card they can afford whether it fits their deck or not. I have tried to discuss strategy with them but they don't want to think that much, apparently. This upsets me as this is easily my favorite game to play (since this is my family, I can't kick someone out of family game day).
Oh, and for the recommendation of Fluxx and Epic Spell Wars, we have those and the two none-gamers love them more than Legendary. They are also really into the DC Deck Builder which, due to lack of complexity and any story, tends to bore me easily.
Maybe I can get my D&D group to play before we start our quests, then I can get some strategy gaming in. But I will try seeding the villain deck.
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Adelin Dumitru
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What expansions do you have for Legendary?
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David A
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Another option that has been used in high-player-count games was to replace a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent with an Officer in 4 players and replace two of them in a 5 player game. That gives you a little more recruit to work with to potentially build up some stronger cards a little sooner.
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YaVerOt YaVerOt
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At this point here's how I see the problem:
1. You're maxing out the difficulty by playing 5 players.
2. You have at least one player who doesn't want to try playing the game better.

You're already doing reasonable mitigation on the 5 player front, by delaying the starting villains.

One option not yet considered: can this be fixed by seating order? Are the weaker players sitting next to each other so it is too long before someone handles the threat in a co-op game? If that is all the edge you need to have wins...

Although having players who merely buy the most expensive, ignoring how it helps/hinders the group or their own decks, leads me to suggest you try the variant where each player has their own 3 hero HQ. That way whatever they recruit fits their deck. Yes it means you'll always have one player with Deadpool-Deadpool-Venom.
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Des T.
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yaverot wrote:
..., leads me to suggest you try the variant where each player has their own 3 hero HQ...


Oooh, haven't heard of that variant before. An interesting idea.
 
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Jason Miller
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I've never heard of the individual 3 character HQ either. We own every expansion now (just got my reprint of Fantastic Four yesterday) so with over 130 heroes that is very doable. I will suggest that this Sunday when we get together.
I did find out that my 5th player (the Deadpool fanatic) will not be playing with us from Sept to Feb. This leaves the 3 gamers and a randomizer. So I've got some awesome months of Legendary in my very near future!
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Wait until you add X-Men.
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James Weidlich
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Some 4-5 player tips.

Keep the henchmen out of the villain deck. Shuffle the villain deck and then split it in three. Add 10 henchmen to the top part, and then split the rest in the other two decks. This makes the henchmen more prevalent at the start.

Replace 1 Shield Agent with Maria Hill, and replace another with an extra trooper (if you have any other starter sets.)

Also add some bystanders (2-3/player), to the wound pike. It makes collecting wounds less annoying with new players. Just keep it facedown, and treat the bystanders as a close call and KO them.
 
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