Jared Voshall
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For those of you who want a bit more thematic a game for Legendary, here's a quick set of rules to try out by playing one of the included heroes out of the box. Nothing fancy, but it does make for a significantly faster game, since you'll start with a significantly more powerful cards in your deck. Also note that, due to the nature of how the various character cards are put together, not all decks will be well-balanced.

The setup is simple: During setup, select 4 heroes to make up the Heroes deck. Then, when each player creates their starting deck, each player selects one of the remaining heroes, removes one of each of the Common cards, and adds the rest to the standard starting deck.

After that, play the game as normal. Again, note that this will not be a balanced game by any stretch of the imagination, and you will need to significantly upgrade the difficulty of the Villains and Mastermind to make the game anything other than a total cakewalk (I'm going to run a few games tomorrow to see how this variant works, and I'll be starting with the highest difficulty possible - +5 Mastermind and Villain strength and +3 Plot Twists).

Let me know what you all think, and Upper Deck: If you like the idea, feel free to steal it for one of your expansions. Only thing I think I'd add to it is special Hero cards that give each player a couple of once per turn abilities.

[edit 1] Ran my first game with this variant as Spidey with assists from Storm, Hulk, and Captain America VS Loki, the Enemies of Asgard, and the Savage Land Mutants trying to unleash the Legacy Virus. Very close game (defeated Loki the same turn the Villain deck ran out), but very frustrating (it's really tough trying to nab 8-15 attack strength, especially as Spidey). I'll try +3/+3 next go round, then if that goes well, maybe +5/+3/+1 (Mastermind, Villain, Henchman). That should help even out the game and make for fewer wasted turns - though I should also try the more physically capable characters as well (which is to say, almost anyone else).

[edit 2] Ran my second game of this, with Wolverine and The Hulk taking on Loki in a bank heist. This was the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the Spidey game, with Wolverine regularly hitting attacks in the mid 20s, and Hulk pounding out 10-15 power attacks pretty easily. Took out Loki and stopped the bank heist in 20 minutes flat, even with the +5 Strength to everything. It'll definitely take quite a bit to balance everything out. I think adding in special abilities for each character will be the way to go more than messing with the strength of the villains (though they definitely need to be tougher, the question is, how much? +5 to everything is too much for Spidey, but too little for Wolverine). Hm... I think I'll take a look at how much each character can build up and figure out from there how to proceed with this. Just be warned: some characters are EXTREMELY more powerful than others.
Magius out.
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Jared Voshall
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New post as this will bring in a new aspect to the conversation. I've crunched the numbers, and have found the relative strengths of each of the characters as they'd progress through a 'typical' game, rating how the decks progress in Attack Power through the game. I'll list the results here for reference:

Black Widow 56.90/10.14
Captain America 9.95
Cyclops 8.75
Deadpool 8.05
Emma Frost 8.85
Gambit 7.25
Hawkeye 11.10
Hulk 12.65
Iron Man 13.70
Nick Fury 7.95
Rogue 9.40
Spiderman 5.20
Storm 8.55
Thor 6.90
Wolverine 14.75


Black Widow is an interesting case in this, as her cards become more powerful the more bystanders she's rescued, and she can easily trim her deck back until only the most powerful cards remain (approximately turn 7). Once she gets down to 6 cards, she can easily play at over double the max capacity of any other hero, and is absolutely ridiculous if she gets all the bystanders (to the order of 96 damage per turn - maximum for anyone else is 32). For this reason, I highly recommend not allowing players to pick her as their player pick.

Spiderman, on the other hand, is significantly weaker than the other heroes, clocking in at an average damage of 5.2, and a maximum possible damage (though relatively reliable) of 9. While Thor isn't quite as strong as the rest, he can occasionally trade his impressive 8.2 average Economy over to Attack Power, which capped out during my tests at a potential 28 Attack if all Economy were channeled over to Attack Power.

Back on the overpowered side, I would recommend steering clear of Hawkeye, Wolverine, Hulk, and Iron Mine, as each of them have an Average Damage over 10, meaning that they can waltz through the game, even against a fully powered up Loki and friends (which is to say, +5 to all opponents).

For these reasons, I would recommend choosing from Captain America, Cyclops, Deadpool, Emma Frost, Gambit, Nick Fury, Rogue, Storm or Thor, and adding +2 to the Mastermind (putting Loki just in range of all the player characters), +1 to the Villains, and leaving the henchmen as is (so you can just power through them because who doesn't like tearing through minions?). I'll probably do some testing with this new information through Turkey day.
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