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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » Reviews

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Ben Bowers
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Mile High Reviews. I hope everyone had a good holiday break and got in a large amount of eating (did you have turkey wrapped in bacon?) and gaming, both important things. My local store did their annual 30 hours of gaming all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In these I was able to play many new games and several old favorites. In one of the breaks I was looking at the new game release shelf and today’s game caught my eye. We are going to be looking at Legendary by Upper Deck.

It is a semi-cooperative deck building game. This game caught my eye because I am a big fan of Marvel's super heroes and also the deck building, so this seemed like a good fit. I had hard some great things about this game coming out of Gen Con, but had not had a change to play it for myself there. So I picked it up and I was surprised, it is an interesting take on two genres that are overused in gaming right now, cooperative games and deck building games. I will get to the components and a rules overview and then give you what I thought of the game.

Components

In the box you get 550 cards that are separated in to several different types of cards. You have your main villain cards, henchmen cards, villain groups, schemes and scheme twists, bystanders, wounds, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, and of course hero cards.

These cards are made out of decent card stock. They do not feel as well made as something you would find in a trading card game, but are pretty standard for a deck building game. They also have some pretty sweet artwork. That goes for everything in this game, Upper Deck did a great job of getting some high quality comics artists to illustrate everything. The only compliant I would have is that all of one type of card has the same artwork, now I understand this to keep the cost from being ridiculous, but I would have loved to see things like Iron Man in many different cool poses and situations. The other component is a board that is used to play the game on.

This again has the same cool art work, also it makes the playing space look nice and organized, but is not essential to game play. This is nice, as it makes the game more portable. The box is made of good quality cardboard and has a lot of room for expansions which is nice.

Game Play

The game play is simple, but the game takes a bit to set up. You have to choose which main villain, called the mastermind, you want to face, the base set comes with four. Next you pick the scheme that you want to play; each of these gives you different victory conditions for the mastermind. There are eight of these in the game. That makes for a lot of different options to fight against. Additionally, depending on the number of players involved in a game, you then add henchmen groups, villain groups and bystanders to the villain deck. You shuffle all of these together. Each turn you flip up the top card of this deck. If it is a bad guy it invades the city, it starts in the sewers and then each time a new card is places it moves to the left. If it ever reaches the other side and is then pushed out it leaves the board. Each of these villain cards has a number over red claw marks, this is how much force it takes to defeat them.

I will get to force in a bit. If the card is a bystander it gets picked up by the closet villain, letting villains with bystanders attached escape is bad. If it’s a different type of card the scenario will tell you what to do.

On the hero side you choose 5 of the included 14 heroes and shuffle all of their cards together. This forms the hero deck. Five cards are placed out and players can buy these cards and add them to their deck. There is also a pile of S.H.I.E.L.D. Officer cards that players can buy. Whenever a card is purchased it is replaced by another card from the top of the hero deck.

Players start with 12 cards in their deck, each of these decks is exactly the same. On your turn you draw 6 cards and then play them to defeat villains, buy new hero cards or defeat the mastermind. When you buy a hero card it goes to your discard pile, so you will be able to use it when you reshuffle your deck. You will eventually be able to get rid of these starting cards and replace them with better hero cards.

The game continues until either the mastermind wins or has been defeated 4 times. If the mastermind wins all of the players lose the game. If the players are able to defeat the mastermind 4 times, they win. At this point each player counts up the points of the villains they have defeated. Whoever has the most points then wins the game. This last part is optional and the game can be played as a straight co-op game.

Overall

I really like this game, it feels very different than most of the copycat deck builders out there. They took a good set of mechanics and put a great theme over it. I would recommend this game to people who like deck builders, but are burnt out by seeing so much of the same stuff out there. I would also recommend this to people who like co-op games. It is interesting how each player builds their deck to deal with the challenges they are facing. I also like that there is a huge amount of variety, so there is much replay value here. You have 4 masterminds and 8 schemes, so that is 32 combinations of scenarios, plus so many more with all of the villains groups and heroes. This game is also ripe for expansion. There are many more villains and heroes that they could add, like the Fantastic Four which are nowhere to be found, even though Dr. Doom is here. There are a couple other things that I think they could add in an expansion that would make this game one of the classics. I did not think that I would find a deck builder that would fit up there with Ascension and Dominion for me, but Legendary has Hulk-Smashed it way onto that list.

This review was originally posted at http://www.mozupro.com/miles-high-reviews-legendary/?SSScrol...
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Croyd Crenson
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Thanks. This game IS a lot of fun.
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Halden
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Nice review. I really like this game.
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CanCon, BunnyCon...BorderCon!!!
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May 2018 be all you dreamed it would be and be all that you dreamed...
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Dammit I'm trying to ween off deck-builders...Now I have to try this at the very least...
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Shadow Ninja
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Great review though I still had some questions.

How similar is it to Thunderstone Advance? I like the theme of Marvel heroes and the gameplay of Thunderstone, though I'm worried it would be too similar.

About how long does a game take (assuming the players are familiar with the rules)/Is there much AP?
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Michael Denman
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ShadowNinja42 wrote:
Great review though I still had some questions.

How similar is it to Thunderstone Advance? I like the theme of Marvel heroes and the gameplay of Thunderstone, though I'm worried it would be too similar.

About how long does a game take (assuming the players are familiar with the rules)/Is there much AP?


Eh, I'm not feeling much kinship with Thunderstone here, but it is at about the same difficulty level. Let me pick through a few of the differing points here and see if that doesn't help you.

1. With TH you will be fighting one creature or buying one card. With LE you can do both on the same turn and do them multiple times.

2. With TH your victory point cards (monsters) go into your deck and while they do sometimes have some use, they really tend to glut your deck more than anything else. With LE your victory point cards are set off to the side as you claim them.

3. TH is going to have a bigger AP problem than LE. Every time I want to go into the Dungeon in TH, I have to calculate light penalty and what a monster is immune to and which weapons can pair off with which heroes. With LE, I have a certain set amount of Attack and I just take down whoever looks good at the time.

4. With TH, you know exactly what's for sale in the village, at least until some of it runs out. With LE, you're either buying from what's currently showing or you're out of luck.

If that's not enough help, maybe you can define the gameplay elements you like about Thunderstone and I can tell you how Legendary handles the same thing.
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