Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » General

Subject: First 2 games fell flat for me... help? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Cedric Chong
Singapore
flag msg tools
comic style
badge
comic style
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I want to love Legendary, especially after glowing reviews from very reliable sources. This is not a cheap game. And I spent quite a lot of time on it prior to the first game. I sleeved like 560 cards, read the rules twice, and watched several videos of it's gameplay and review.

But it fell flat. I don't find it challenging. And I don't find it engaging.

Issue #1 - Too easy.
We set up a two player first game based on the suggested set up in the rulebook.

1. Game took 35 minutes.
2. One villain escaped.
3. And we trashed Red Skull.

There was never a moment of "oh my god, we're going to lose". Never a moment of "oh my god, we're so screwed". When it ended, it's like... "is that it?".

So we set up a second game. We want to change heroes, so we painstakingly split up the Hero Deck again, and re-pick the heroes. Take down of the game takes some effort, because we have to sort the KO pile as well. So we decided to keep Red Skull as the mastermind, just change the Scheme. For the second game, we used Superhero Civil War. And just to make sure it's harder, we added one more Twist card than the suggested number.

1. Second game ended in less than 30 minutes.
2. No villain escaped.
3. We just man-handled Red Skull.

And we found out that the Villains don't matter much. What's the penalty? One of the Hero cards in HQ is KO'd. Big deal. I mean if the rule is such that one Hero card from our hand is KO'd, that'd probably hurt more. Therefore, we find we can ignore Villains if we want. Villains with Bystanders (or Escape effect) is another thing. 'Cause a discard of one card from our hand hurts more. But fact is, we have so much fire power that we just wipe the City clean.

Is Legendary too easy?

Comparison to other coop games
Forbidden Island is an easier version of Pandemic. We find the game easy, but we still lost several of our first games.

Space Alert is so much harder its not even funny. Once we reached the Mouse-click part of the game, we got trashed.

I'd also like to make a note on a recent game I played, Friday. It's not coop. It's single player. But it's also a deck-building game. The game is HARD. On it's easiest level, I played six games in a row, and won once.

I feel that coop games should not be easy. Two newbies playing the game for the first time (or first two times) should not walk all over the Mastermind villain so easily.

Perhaps the power score of the Masterminds should, by default, be at least 50% more powerful? I know the rulebook suggested that as ways to make it harder. But I thought the default game should already be hard, and optional variants should be used only for players who have played the game like 100 times and beginning to find the game easy.

Issue #2 - No sense of theme
I don't know how to explain this better. But basically it's like Dominion. Each of us are concentrating on building a good deck. And since we can collaborate, we can say, okay you focus on the Strength icon, I focus on the Tech icon, etc. So we ended up just focusing on building the best deck we can, Dominion-style.

Never during the game do I feel the thematic awe of the Superheroes attacking the Mastermind or the Villains.

It's like, okay, this round I drew these cards. The play is straight-forward. I have 6 attack points, I'll attack this villain. What's the fight effect? Oh, I get some bonus, good. Next. I can combo to get 14 points.. okay, I can take out two cards. Wait, did we just win the game?

Non-Issue #1 - Setup / Take down time
Since I mentioned earlier that the take down time of Legendary is long, I want to clarify that it's a non-issue for us. We do not mind games with slightly longer set-up time or take down time. For example, Earth Reborn is a great game. But many complains of the game is around it's set up and take down time. Not an issue for us. As long as the game play is great.

Some nice things about the game
Again, I'm not trashing the game. Some of the things I appreciate a lot. For example:

1. Great tray! Fit sleeved cards. Plus lots of room for future expansions.

2. Lots of heroes! They have included many popular heroes including Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, Wolverine, and several other of the X-men.

3. Great board. I find the board is really useful in teaching the game.
For example:
a. pointing to Mastermind slot, "this is how we win the game";
b. pointing to Scheme card slot, "this is how we lose the game";
c. pointing to the row of City plus Mastermind, "these are the slots that we can attack";
d. pointing to the row of HQ and SHIELD officer, "these are the six card slots which we can recruit from during our turn";
e. pointing to the Hero and Villain deck, "if either of these two deck runs out, the game is a draw.

Help
We really want to like the game.

Any suggestions?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Charlton
United Kingdom
East Barnet
Hertfordshire
flag msg tools
badge
www.finchleygamesclub.org
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The obvious reply is that it's not really a co-op game. It's a competitive game in which it's possible for everyone to lose. Just as in the comics, the heroes usually win.

That said it's possible to play as a pure co-op game, just ramp up the difficulty. There are suggestions on how to do this at the back of the rulebook.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clwe
United Kingdom
Essex
flag msg tools
Sorry to hear the game didn't grab you - I agree that it's way too easy, if it's played as a co-op by a bunch of gamers (particularly those who've already cut their teeth on games like Pandemic and Ghost Stories). It should really be treated as a competitive game for most people...and to be fair, the manual says you should be competing as well. I suspect that the marketing for this game was aimed at Marvel fans and not nesessarialy gamers (i.e. those who may find the game reasonably challenging at first).

Anyway, if you play it as a comeptetive race game and not a co-op, it should be fine. If you really want to feel challenged by the game as well as the other players, you can always try adding a few more scheme twists into the villain deck and/or raise the mastermind's power (as suggested in the rulebook).

As for the theme, I think the rulebook mentions that you are a shield operative hiring the heroes (presumably on somoe kind of random flexi-time deal, and each time a hero arrives they only use one power/ability and then disappear like Zorro ). But yeah...the theme is a bit of a stretch in this game. Most deckbuilders struggle with this. Another fine example would be 'Batman's using heat vision? What the hell!?' in the DC deckbuilding game. It personally doesn't bother me as I don't care who/what I represent in most games, but I guess it all depends on how much you want to stretch your imagination...or possibly sense of disbelief.

I have to say, I did have my suspicions about Legendary's co-op a couple of months ago, when preview information was coming out. I said that the villians would be more of a nusciance than a real threat, and it turns out I was right (barring some particularly outlandish draws from the villian deck). IMO, it's a shame this wasn't communicated more clearly, as some people are playing it as a full co-op and are (rightly) feeling disappointed by the lack of challenge.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
steve zhang
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Cedric,

I see most of your points coming from the fact that you are seeing it as a fully co-op game like Pandemic.

I am enjoying the game a lot, and after a few games and going though most of the cards, I suggest you to play this game fully competitively. There are quite a few cards that would only be fun if players are competing among one other, eg. Hulk or some effects that can remove VP from other players.

Sure it can be played either way, but I am now totally convinced that I will only play it competitively with my friends, at least before the expansion comes out, and it is really awesome this way. If you are looking for co-op games, there are much better ones out there. This game, and Sentinels or the Multiverse, are totally covering the two different aspects of my superhero need, and I am satisfied now laugh
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troy eland
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
here is what i did. every time you fight the mastermind up his life by how many players are playing. so if you have 3 players and you are fighting red skull. his life would be 10 on the second fight then 13 and so on. and then after the 4th card is gone you have to fight him one last time. so 5 fights to win.also stop playing co-op. then you will be using all the cards that mess you friends up more. making it harder.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troy eland
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Never during the game do I feel the thematic awe of the Superheroes attacking the Mastermind or the Villains.

are you playing your cards one by one? if so you get this nice combo feel and it's like your heroes set up this really nice combo attack. feels like team work to me.

gold hawkeye shot comboed with the gold wolverine, draw a card OH SNAP! it's iron man! draw one more and SNAP i got my black hawkeye that does even more damage cuz i just play a back iron man.

how is this not thematic at all? it's like me team had this all planed out.

when you get a nice chain going it's so epic
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
btrhoads
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I believe I was like minded when I played my first game, but I played several more games and observed a few things that might help to be aware of.

I think the difficulty scale can swing wildly in either direction. The majority of my plays seemed to be either way too easy or impossible. Out of 7 or 8 games, only 2 felt tense or close. One of the tricks to this game may be recognizing which game setup will represent either a too easy or too hard of a game and trying to temper it during game setup because there are a multitude of ways to do both.

Last night we had an impossible game with 5 players. We were trying to stop Magneto from completing a bank robbery with only one X-Men hero and mostly expensive heroes came in to the HQ early. No one could really afford to buy any of the heroes quick enough, so we could not defeat many of the villains and they just kept marching out of the city. Within 30 minutes the requisite number of bystanders had been kidnapped and removed from the city and only two villains had been defeated. Magneto hadn't even been touched.

In addition to the challenge table in the rulebook, you could also seed the city with one or more villains from the villain deck at setup. Fill the city up before you play if you want. You could play with one less cards in your hand for more challenge. There are lots of things you can do to make the game more challenging.

Ok, having said all that. I don't think you will get a true feeling for the game unless you play more games. You said your games are only lasting roughly 30 minutes, so you don't have much to lose even if the games takes 10 minutes to setup. Try all the schemes and if there are any heroes that you have not played with yet, throw them in the mix. Try the game with varying numbers of people if you can. If you will primarily be playing with only 2 players then figure the challenge sweetspot for you and your friend so you can enjoy the game.

With regard to setup and teardown, it gets easier as you play more games. It isn't any different than Dominion and it is the price we pay for super replayability.

If you want to like the game, like I wanted to, then keep playing. I think you can get there. My first game or three was a little flat, but A couple of really good games offset the not-so-great games.

Good Luck!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Corban
Canada
Newmarket
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1) It is far too easy if you play this cooperative without boosting the difficulty.
2) Red Skull is the easiest mastermind.
3) The game is easiest with only two players.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cedric Chong
Singapore
flag msg tools
comic style
badge
comic style
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks people, there are lots of great suggestions!

Lucky I posted this instead of just giving up on the game. Will go back and give it another try (or two).

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, the fewer people in this game, the easier. The reason being that the villains draw cards on everyone's turn, but only one person play cards on their turn. So, if you have 5 players you get 20 villain cards marching across the board while each player has only had 4 turns to 'beef up' their deck so they have a better individual draw. In a 2 player game each hero has had 10 turns by this time and has (in theory) a streamlined combo-engine in place.

An interesting alternative(by no means am I assuming better) might have been to allow 'damage' to stay on villain cards for an entire round and only bring out one villain per round, but ramp up the damage needed to kill one off(increasing per-player in the game). This might lead(again without play testing who knows? this is just conjecture) to an interesting situation of cooperation, calculation, and bluffing. Sure I can hurt Juggernaut with my hand, but will someone else finish him off and get the points? If no one attacks anyone then the villains will lose. How much damage should I do? Maybe I can bargain leaving a card in the HQ for someone to recruit for this villain's life total. It'd ramp up the meta-game a lot, it would totally change the tenor of the game. Would it be good or bad? I don't know, all this just came out of a 2 minute what if about adjusting for # of players. It would undoubtedly change the game. Some would like it more, and some would like it less. This is why they get away with publishing so many games every year and we keep buying them like addicts
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Mitchell
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What if you only draw 5 cards instead of 6 each turn in a two player game? I would think that would ramp up the challenege of a two player game. I can't think of any way it would break it and it's such an easy rule change...
Will have to try this soon.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Charlton
United Kingdom
East Barnet
Hertfordshire
flag msg tools
badge
www.finchleygamesclub.org
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sputnikam wrote:
What if you only draw 5 cards instead of 6 each turn in a two player game? I would think that would ramp up the challenege of a two player game. I can't think of any way it would break it and it's such an easy rule change...
Will have to try this soon.


I'd probably start with a 10 card deck rather than 12 if trying that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Holtrop
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmb
A few quick things:

- Both of your games were with the easiest Mastermind, Red Skull. Try Loki, he's the toughest (from a purely attack value standpoint)
- Try some of the difficulty tweaks on page 19 of the rule book to up the Mastermind's power
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cliff Fuller
United States
New York
NY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It seems like you're well aware that two games is a small sample size. I don't know how experienced you are as a gamer, but our group had the opposite experience - and it was definitely because we didn't use the "suggested first play" set up of Red Skull and Scheme from the rulebook.

Our group is five players. We went 100% random with no knowledge of the cards' strengths, weaknesses, and combos, and played four games, and they ran the entire spectrum of Easy-to-Hard difficulty levels.

Games One & Two: Loki + Legacy Virus scheme.
This is a KILLER combo and in a 5-player I don't see this as a Heroes victory too many times.

Loki is the toughest Villain with a 10 Attack. It takes a while for your deck to build an attack engine strong enough to fight him. His Master Strike makes Heroes take Wounds if they don't have Strength Icons in their hand. Our (randomized) Heroes over both games did not include many Strength Icons at all, so each Master Strike was virtually a 5-card Wound hit to our group.

The Legacy Virus' Evil Wins condition is if the Wound Deck (30 cards) is expended. Each of the 8 Scheme Twists make Heroes take Wounds if they don't have Tech Icons in their hand.

Based on this "perfect storm" of dual-wound whammies and due to the "luck of the draw" that saw Master Strikes and Scheme Twists early and often in the Villain deck our 5-player game was flooded with Wounds and led to our swift Hero destruction.

Game Three: Dr. Doom + Negative Zone Prison Breakout

We went a bit longer this game, but ultimately succumbed to the Villain deck, which saw enough high-attack cards we couldn't defeat slide to their escape off the City Track. It wasn't as big a buzzsaw as the Loki/Legacy combo, and in this one we started achieving meaningful combos in our built decks before we lost.

Game Four: Dr. Doom + Super Hero Civil War

If this was our first-ever game of LEGENDARY, I would have likely posted the same sentiments you did about the difficulty level being too low.

The Super Hero Civil War Scheme "Evil Wins" condition is if the Hero Deck runs out. This was the first game we were able to actively build our decks and shape them to make the best combos. Black Widow ended up becoming the Mastermind Killer. One of her cards allow the power of an attack to be the number of Bystanders she's rescued.

Another excellent deck combination was Spiderman early to grab cheap fast cards and Hulk late to do serious damage to Villains and Dr. Doom. (Several Spidey cards have a Strength Icon, which helps Hulk out quite a bit).

The game has plenty of randomness and chaos. Each game you're drawing blind to determine Heroes, Masterminds, Villains, Schemes, and Henchman/Villain Support.

The combos that occur (or *don't* occur) due to this can swing the difficulty level drastically. Sometimes it's tougher for a Hero to do what he's designed to do if he isn't teamed with other specific Heroes.

Additionally, games with more players in general will amplify the luck and chaos element even more - there's less chance to enact your ideal play when your turn arrives due to the machinations of the 4 players in front of you. That card you want to buy may be KO'd or recruited by another player. The only villain on the board you could defeat is long gone. Master Strikes choke your deck.

Also note that Red Skull is the weakest Villain. The other three scale upwards: 8 (Magneto), 9 (Dr. Doom), and 10 (Loki).

Another point to consider - especially if you've played other deckbuilder-type games before: in our four completed games with five players, the average deck size (including wounds) at the end of the game, win or lose, was between 20-23 cards. There's probably a learning curve for deckbuilding or LCG veterans used to the specific tactics and engine-building or deck-thinning rhythms of, say, a Dominion, or Thunderstone, or Nightfall.

The takeaway is that there's so many cards, and so many combinations of cards, and so much infinite deck draws in the main decks and player decks, that there are always going to be swingy "too easy/too hard" claims game to game.

The suggested ways to beef up difficulty are well-taken. Seriously, if you give LEGENDARY another shot, I'd suggest the Loki/Legacy Virus tandem to see how much more difficult the game can be. I'd also add the number of players, because it makes your turns tighter when you don't get as much choice in the HQ or City Spaces.

I like this game for what it is - a thematic, social experience based in the Marvel Universe. But it took us four games to understand the swings between easy and hard based on the randomly drawn and selected universe of cards.
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
7 of 8
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
maxixe wrote:
Issue #2 - No sense of theme
I don't know how to explain this better. But basically it's like Dominion. Each of us are concentrating on building a good deck. And since we can collaborate, we can say, okay you focus on the Strength icon, I focus on the Tech icon, etc. So we ended up just focusing on building the best deck we can, Dominion-style.

Never during the game do I feel the thematic awe of the Superheroes attacking the Mastermind or the Villains.

It's like, okay, this round I drew these cards. The play is straight-forward. I have 6 attack points, I'll attack this villain. What's the fight effect? Oh, I get some bonus, good. Next. I can combo to get 14 points.. okay, I can take out two cards. Wait, did we just win the game?


Full disclosure: I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive.

I had the same problem when I played Thunderstone until I read one suggestion that made me take notice. Use Fudge Dice for all attacks. You can add or take away dice based on the level of difficulty you choose. I would not recommend anymore than 4 fudge dice for any one game.

The dice roll is used for the villain. This way you have to be certain if you are going to attack because the villian can be stronger than you anticipated.

This doesn't imbalance the game or change the core rules at all. Just adds an element of randomness to the battles.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremiah Proffitt
United States
Rolla
Missouri
flag msg tools
mb
I do agree with you on one point that there are too many monster effects that don't really hurt your overall game-play that much. I think the only bad ones are reveal a color or take a wound; or KO a hero, worst yet 3/4 of the villain tactic cards are actually good for the players who attack the villain, while he just sits there and doesn't react at all. Also I don't think your playing on the ideal difficult. Try playing with 4-5 players and I guarantee you will have an oh crap moment. The only reason is because more villain cards are being drawn and more heroes are being bought which can limit options on deck-building. Combine that with the suggested ways of increasing the difficulty and the game can get heart-stopping.

Also choose a different villain like Loki. ; )
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron Lacock
United States
Wylie
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hackryder wrote:

The suggested ways to beef up difficulty are well-taken. Seriously, if you give LEGENDARY another shot, I'd suggest the Loki/Legacy Virus tandem to see how much more difficult the game can be. I'd also add the number of players, because it makes your turns tighter when you don't get as much choice in the HQ or City Spaces.


Thanks for this response. Like the OP, I too have found this game far to easy/simple to really enjoy. I really want to like it, but it's been disappointing. I'm still looking for the meaningful, impacting decisions to make. I've been playing The Lord of the Rings:TCG lately and it leans the other way, towards being too hard, but in the end I really enjoy the challenge. I'll try some of the harder Mastermind combinations you mentioned. That may help. The suggestions in the rules for making the game more difficult didn't work yet either, but I can keep ratcheting them up.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.