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Subject: New player wanting a harder solo game rss

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Secret Fire
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Got the game last week and have played three games. Got swamped in my first game but won the second two very easily.

I can see the option for defeating the mastermind a 5th time. I'll try that but is there scope for making the solo game more difficult in other ways? Is playing two handed more difficult? I'd guess that gives you more villain variety and less likelihood of drawing lots of the same heroes?

It's possible I'm doing something wrong. I'm coming from Lord of the Rings LCG as my previous solo card game and that is rock hard from the start.

I've just got the core set. I've been using a randomiser. It's been giving me one villain set and 3 henchmen cards.
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Scott Wheelock
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The core set suffers a bit from easy masterminds; Loki's not bad, but the other three are fairly weak, especially Red Skull. Try playing all the different schemes (some are tougher) and choosing hero combinations that don't complement each other/the mastermind.
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Jason Walker
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The masterminds and schemes get much harder in the expansions. Without them, you're unlikely to approach LoTR levels of difficulty. You should also check out the Advanced Solo rules which tweak it slightly, but power up the Mastermind a bit:

Quote:
Stryfe and Mr. Sinister rely on their Master Strikes to reach their full power. To include the full number of Master Strikes, you can use Advanced Solo Mode for any Mastermind and Scheme. It is the same as the Original Solo Mode from the Legendary™ rulebook, with these adjustments:

During setup, include all 5 Master Strikes.
Whenever you complete a Master Strike, play another card from the Villain Deck.
When a Villain or Mastermind Tactic tells "each other player" to do something, do it yourself. (Note that this doesn't apply to "each other player" effects on heroes.)
Whenever you complete a Scheme Twist, instead of KO’ing a Hero from the HQ of cost 6 or less, put that Hero on the bottom of the Hero Deck. That final point is key for playing some Dark City Schemes solo, so that they don’t end too quickly.


Some Commanders/Masterminds like Odin, Mole Man, and Apocalypse have special abilities linked to the specific Adversaries/Villain Group that they usually "Always Lead." In Advanced Solo Mode, if you don’t use the Group that this Commander Mastermind "Always Leads," then apply that ability to the corresponding Adversary/Villain Group or Backup/Henchmen Group that you are using. Use this rule for other Legendary sets as well. For example, in Advanced Solo Mode:

Mole Man’s abilities apply to whichever Adversary/Villain Group you are using, as if they were Subterranea.
Apocalypse gives +2 to whichever Adversary/Villain Group you are using, as if they were Four Horsemen. If one of each of the different Adversaries/Villains in the group overruns, Apocalypse instantly wins.
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Fromper Fromper
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Advanced Solo is harder than regular solo. And as you noted, there's the Final Blow variation (where you go after the mastermind card as your 5th attack on the MM, after you get the 4 tactics cards).

You can play 2 handed, as if it was a 2 player game, which as you said, ups the number of villains and henchmen. It also makes it harder to get your decks going, since you're recruiting from 5 heroes instead of 3, so getting good combos takes longer. But the game is known for being harder with more players, so 2 player is much easier than 4 or 5, so 2 handed solo will still be relatively easy.

The other option, which definitely ups the difficulty some, while also simulating multi-player experience better, is the Golden Solo variation, invented by Sky Zero here on BGG. Here's the thread that describes it in detail: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1200976/golden-solo-ruleset...

Golden Solo uses the setup for 2 players, so you've got the extra heroes, villains, and henchmen. It plays like a 2 player game, but with one of the players doing nothing useful, so you have to beat the game with just a single deck. With some schemes and masterminds, it can be tough.

But as others have noted, the base game is relatively easy. Once they started publishing expansions, the game got a LOT harder. Not that the heroes from the base set aren't good enough - they are. It's just that the masterminds, schemes, and villains are tougher.

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nathan folsom
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SecretFire81 wrote:
Got the game last week and have played three games. Got swamped in my first game but won the second two very easily.

I can see the option for defeating the mastermind a 5th time. I'll try that but is there scope for making the solo game more difficult in other ways? Is playing two handed more difficult? I'd guess that gives you more villain variety and less likelihood of drawing lots of the same heroes?

It's possible I'm doing something wrong. I'm coming from Lord of the Rings LCG as my previous solo card game and that is rock hard from the start.

I've just got the core set. I've been using a randomiser. It's been giving me one villain set and 3 henchmen cards.
Fromper wrote:
Advanced Solo is harder than regular solo. And as you noted, there's the Final Blow variation (where you go after the mastermind card as your 5th attack on the MM, after you get the 4 tactics cards).

You can play 2 handed, as if it was a 2 player game, which as you said, ups the number of villains and henchmen. It also makes it harder to get your decks going, since you're recruiting from 5 heroes instead of 3, so getting good combos takes longer. But the game is known for being harder with more players, so 2 player is much easier than 4 or 5, so 2 handed solo will still be relatively easy.

The other option, which definitely ups the difficulty some, while also simulating multi-player experience better, is the Golden Solo variation, invented by Sky Zero here on BGG. Here's the thread that describes it in detail: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1200976/golden-solo-ruleset...

Golden Solo uses the setup for 2 players, so you've got the extra heroes, villains, and henchmen. It plays like a 2 player game, but with one of the players doing nothing useful, so you have to beat the game with just a single deck. With some schemes and masterminds, it can be tough.

But as others have noted, the base game is relatively easy. Once they started publishing expansions, the game got a LOT harder. Not that the heroes from the base set aren't good enough - they are. It's just that the masterminds, schemes, and villains are tougher.

I've tried Golden Solo a handful of times, but I definitely prefer to play the Dark City revision to the core set's solo play. This isn't to say that Golden Solo is a bad format - for being non-official, it's pretty popular among users on this site! One turn-off for me is the additional set-up/take-down time, resulting from more heroes and villains being used. Also, it didn't seem to mitigate the problem of schemes which play a bunch of extra cards from the villain deck - in fact, it was sometimes much worse.

Personally, if the additional master strikes in advanced solo mode don't make the game significantly more difficult for you, feel free to use the 'challenge modes' listed on page 19 of the core set rule book. There are even more in the Dark City expansion and the Villains rule book!
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Legendary Fanatic
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TravelSized wrote:
The masterminds and schemes get much harder in the expansions. Without them, you're unlikely to approach LoTR levels of difficulty. You should also check out the Advanced Solo rules which tweak it slightly, but power up the Mastermind a bit:

Quote:
Stryfe and Mr. Sinister rely on their Master Strikes to reach their full power. To include the full number of Master Strikes, you can use Advanced Solo Mode for any Mastermind and Scheme. It is the same as the Original Solo Mode from the Legendary™ rulebook, with these adjustments:

During setup, include all 5 Master Strikes.
Whenever you complete a Master Strike, play another card from the Villain Deck.
When a Villain or Mastermind Tactic tells "each other player" to do something, do it yourself. (Note that this doesn't apply to "each other player" effects on heroes.)
Whenever you complete a Scheme Twist, instead of KO’ing a Hero from the HQ of cost 6 or less, put that Hero on the bottom of the Hero Deck. That final point is key for playing some Dark City Schemes solo, so that they don’t end too quickly.


Some Commanders/Masterminds like Odin, Mole Man, and Apocalypse have special abilities linked to the specific Adversaries/Villain Group that they usually "Always Lead." In Advanced Solo Mode, if you don’t use the Group that this Commander Mastermind "Always Leads," then apply that ability to the corresponding Adversary/Villain Group or Backup/Henchmen Group that you are using. Use this rule for other Legendary sets as well. For example, in Advanced Solo Mode:

Mole Man’s abilities apply to whichever Adversary/Villain Group you are using, as if they were Subterranea.
Apocalypse gives +2 to whichever Adversary/Villain Group you are using, as if they were Four Horsemen. If one of each of the different Adversaries/Villains in the group overruns, Apocalypse instantly wins.

Advanced Solo Mode definitely improves gameplay and it's how I always play. And one of the many things I like about Legendary is that they supplied Challenge Modes to make the game more interesting on page 19 of the Rule Book. You can really change the level of difficulty to suit your preference. For me, I play against the 4 original Masterminds using the Tyrant Mastermind Challenge Mode. It's really the only way I've found to give Red Skull even a slight chance!!
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Secret Fire
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This is all good information. Thank you all.

I will definitely try advanced solo next and see how that goes.

It seems like the schemes are more crucial than the masterminds?

As far as buying expansions goes I want to be sure I'm loving the game before I spend the money. I've not been much a comics reader for fifteeeb years or so and I'm probably stuck on the silver age. That means a lot do the expansions are of no interest to me from a character perspective.

I'd love to have Black Panther and Black Bolt, Dr Strange, Daredevil and most of all the FF. it annoys me that if I got Black Panther he wouldn't be an Avenger but rather some secret wars reboot specific faction. Could I just House rule him to the Abengers or would that break the game?

Am I right in thinking the expansions have more card art rather than all character cards being duplicate art?
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Justin H

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Yes, all sets after the core features unique art on each card type for the Heroes, so each Hero has 4 different arts. Huge improvement for comic fans, a but a bit harder for casual players to breakdown when they aren't as familiar with the Heroes.
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Darth Ed
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Welcome to the Legendary BGG forums community!

I strongly recommend playing the official Advanced Solo Mode rules and incorporating one or more of the Challenge Modes. You can find the rules for both in the Dark City rules sheet here:

http://upperdeck.com/OP/RuleBooks/Legendary_Rules-Dark_City....
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Justin H

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It seems like to me that UD went all in on the multiplayer co-op competitive with the core set. The Masterminds really aren't much of a threat Solo or co-op, maybe with the intent on having players focus on getting VP. The later sets offer a bigger challenge in regards to being a threat.

What you get with the core set is a great feel for how the game plays, but most people will tell you their enjoyment increased greatly with the purchase of their next set, frequently that set being Dark City. The Hero designs are improve as well in regards to complexity.
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Darth Ed
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jhochges wrote:
It seems like to me that UD went all in on the multiplayer co-op competitive with the core set. The Masterminds really aren't much of a threat Solo or co-op, maybe with the intent on having players focus on getting VP. The later sets offer a bigger challenge in regards to being a threat.
Nah, I think they just adjusted the difficulty lower because they wanted the game to be accessible to families and people who had never played a deck-building game before.
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Jason Walker
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SecretFire81 wrote:
It seems like the schemes are more crucial than the masterminds?

In terms of difficulty, I don't know that I'd totally agree with that. After all, defeating the Mastermind is the only way to win. Some schemes are tougher than others in general, and the same goes with Masterminds. Some combos are nearly impossible because of how they play off of each other.

Take a look at this page that has the text of all the cards, and you can get an idea of what's out there in terms of schemes and masterminds. You could even try some of the schemes from there, if you want.

Complete Card Text - all cards (through Dimensions)
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Jason Walker
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Also, take a look at this recent post for more information on resources, tips, and more: Tips for New Marvel Legendary players from a new player
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Fromper Fromper
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nate the dawg wrote:
I've tried Golden Solo a handful of times, but I definitely prefer to play the Dark City revision to the core set's solo play. This isn't to say that Golden Solo is a bad format - for being non-official, it's pretty popular among users on this site! One turn-off for me is the additional set-up/take-down time, resulting from more heroes and villains being used. Also, it didn't seem to mitigate the problem of schemes which play a bunch of extra cards from the villain deck - in fact, it was sometimes much worse.

Personally, if the additional master strikes in advanced solo mode don't make the game significantly more difficult for you, feel free to use the 'challenge modes' listed on page 19 of the core set rule book. There are even more in the Dark City expansion and the Villains rule book!
It's not the difficulty level that makes me enjoy Golden Solo more than Advanced Solo. I suspect they're both similar in that regard, though Golden Solo is probably a slight bit tougher. It's the play style.

In both the original published Solo and Advanced Solo variations, there are only 11 villain cards in the entire villain deck - one villain group and 3 henchmen. You just have to hope the scheme twists and master strikes don't beat you before you can hit the mastermind enough times. Defeating villains in the city is a very minor aspect of the play in those games - it's all about building your deck quickly (which is easy with only 3 heroes in the hero deck instead of the normal 5) and taking out the mastermind fast.

In the multi-player game, building your deck is slower, due to the 5 heroes not necessarily working perfectly together, and recruiting whatever random stuff happens to show up in the HQ. The majority of the focus is on defeating villains in the city along the way, until you can get enough power to take out the mastermind. That's what the game is mostly about. It's a slower building game than regular or advanced solo, with a lot more fighting villains in the city along the way. And that's what Golden Solo replicates, in a way that Advanced Solo doesn't.

I actually gave Advanced Solo another try, joining the last monthly League, and playing another half a dozen games afterward, and I still prefer Golden Solo, because the game play just feels more similar to a multi-player game.
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Jay M
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Join in the monthly solo leagues posted and run here. That way, the "difficulty" is not just the pass/fail of whether you won, but the competition of how well you won compared to the other players.
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Todd
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That's my main issue with Advanced Solo - with half the deck Twists and Strikes, and you have to play an extra card after a Strike, the games are so short.
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Jeff Knutson
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Fromper wrote:
nate the dawg wrote:
I've tried Golden Solo a handful of times, but I definitely prefer to play the Dark City revision to the core set's solo play. This isn't to say that Golden Solo is a bad format - for being non-official, it's pretty popular among users on this site! One turn-off for me is the additional set-up/take-down time, resulting from more heroes and villains being used. Also, it didn't seem to mitigate the problem of schemes which play a bunch of extra cards from the villain deck - in fact, it was sometimes much worse.

Personally, if the additional master strikes in advanced solo mode don't make the game significantly more difficult for you, feel free to use the 'challenge modes' listed on page 19 of the core set rule book. There are even more in the Dark City expansion and the Villains rule book!
It's not the difficulty level that makes me enjoy Golden Solo more than Advanced Solo. I suspect they're both similar in that regard, though Golden Solo is probably a slight bit tougher. It's the play style.

In both the original published Solo and Advanced Solo variations, there are only 11 villain cards in the entire villain deck - one villain group and 3 henchmen. You just have to hope the scheme twists and master strikes don't beat you before you can hit the mastermind enough times. Defeating villains in the city is a very minor aspect of the play in those games - it's all about building your deck quickly (which is easy with only 3 heroes in the hero deck instead of the normal 5) and taking out the mastermind fast.

In the multi-player game, building your deck is slower, due to the 5 heroes not necessarily working perfectly together, and recruiting whatever random stuff happens to show up in the HQ. The majority of the focus is on defeating villains in the city along the way, until you can get enough power to take out the mastermind. That's what the game is mostly about. It's a slower building game than regular or advanced solo, with a lot more fighting villains in the city along the way. And that's what Golden Solo replicates, in a way that Advanced Solo doesn't.

I actually gave Advanced Solo another try, joining the last monthly League, and playing another half a dozen games afterward, and I still prefer Golden Solo, because the game play just feels more similar to a multi-player game.

^^^ Exactly this.
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