Robert Gardunia
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A friend and I tried this out last night and I wanted to throw my commentary in after having explained it to wife and thinking about it some. I'll be making a lot of comparisons to a deck-building game everyone in our group loves and that we've played the hell out of, Thunderstone.

First off, there are a lot of similarities to Thunderstone, so if you've played that, this is pretty easy to grasp. Primarily the difference is that in Legendary, you don't have to make a choice of 'shopping' or 'fighting' as you can do both in a round. Some heroes (Thor in our game) are quite useful in doing both at once. There is an HQ which marginally relates to the village in Thunderstone, except that there are no goods, only hero cards, and the inventory is constantly changing. Other things that were similar to Thunderstone were the concept of a progression of areas Villains would move through before escaping the city. Mechanics were fairly different from the Dungeon in Thunderstone, but it still reminded me of it. Mind you, there are a lot of other things here that separate Legendary from Thunderstone. The concept of a Mastermind and specific groups of villains supporting them (reminiscent of Sentinels of the Multiverse), Schemes that represent the Mission you are currently on (or more correctly, the mission the Mastermind is on). Bystanders that need to be saved. But it felt similar in a lot of ways (villain groups vs. monster groups, Wounds that slow your decks, etc). That being said, because you could buy and fight at once, it seemed a lot quicker and more streamlined than Thunderstone overall.

Another thing that really separates Legendary from Thunderstone is that you're not really buying up a party and gear per se here, but more as what I like to think of as team maneuvers or tactics. This makes a lot of sense to me in terms of Marvel with the combination of powers. Think fastball special... though I can't give a specific example with wolverine/hulk since they weren't in our game. Since you had to play cards in a certain order to get chains, it not only gave a lot of room for strategy but it also did 'feel' to me like there were fairly cinematic play progressions. For instance, something might happen like this (I don't recall all the card names offhand so bear with me).

1. Lead Endless Cyclops, which allows you to pull the card back to your hand if you have to discard a card (blue-ranged)

2. Follow with Rogue's Copy Power, and copy Cyclops in 1 (red-mind I think)

3. Follow with the smaller Cyclops power that forces you to discard a card, pick up card 1 (green-power)

4. Replay 1

5. Play the big Cyclops power that add +2 damage per Xmen hero in play (yellow)

6. Play a SHIELD soldier (gray)

7. End with Cappy getting +1 damage per color in play (blue, red, yellow, green, gray for 5)


That's the mechanic (which was some pretty ridiculous damage as I recall), but in my head I saw:

1. Cyclops making a feint attack, allowing Rogue to get close to him

2. Rogue touches Cyclops to momentarily take his power and attacks with eyebeams

3. Cyclops, briefly weakened, combines a smaller attack with Rogue's

4. He then grits his teeth and turns on the power, and intensifies his attack greatly

5. Shouting out a tactic to Rogue they then start circle strafing the mastermind with twin eye-beams

6. The SHIELD squad closes, concentrating their firepower under the command of...

7. Cappy, who precisely times the hailstorm of beams and bullets and slams into the Mastermind, taking him out.


As soon as my mind made the transition of mechanic to the story of a particular battle, the game got IMMENSELY more cool! None of the mechanics are very difficult, so it only took about halfway through the game for that to happen. We like Thunderstone because we feel it's immersive, we feel like we are guiding a party (or parties) or heroes into town or to the Dungeon to fight, but once in the Dungeon, it's pretty much lay down the smack or not. While Legendary pretty much works the same way, the combat, especially later in the game, can get to be quite a bit more complex as setting up combos gets more intricate. Because you have to lay cards in order, the concept (as mentioned above) of a progression of actions or scene plays out pretty nicely too, which I felt was even more immersive than Thunderstone!

There were a couple of things that were puzzling or a little disappointing though that have been mentioned by many others. I'll quickly list them:

1. The storage try for the game is sub-par. Thunderstone, once it got into expansions, pretty much set (or at least followed) a standard for this IMO, so not following this or improving on it was a mistake.

2. Likewise, the card separators were not labelled. That seemed really silly to me. Sure I could write my own labels, but again, this has been kind of a standard for any other deck-builder so I don't understand why it was left out here.

3. Villians seemed awfully passive. There were some negative effects, but nothing was really all that bad. Maybe it was just the mix of VIllians? Over the course of the game only one of use received any wounds, right at the end, as a side effect of a Mastermind tactic.

4. Too easy to win? Of 8 bystanders needing to be taken for us to lose, only one left the city. At no time were we ever worried about losing. Most other co-op games we own (and we own a LOT) have a definite sense of doom that hangs over you throughout and you never really know how it's going to turn out till then end. This, however, could've been cause by:

2-player game not balanced well? With more players, Villains would be coming out much faster

We might have been screwing up some rules to our favor?

We had a particularly good group of heros vs the mastermind (Magneto). For instance, I can see Magneto and the Brotherhood being a LOT more brutal if there weren't any xmen in play.

...Time and plays will tell.


Overall, we enjoyed the game quite a bit and I look forward to getting a copy (If I can ever find one for sale!). I definitely think there are enough difference here for Legendary and Thunderstone to share a shelf in my game library.

Added after:
One more quick note. We liked how the hero decks were put together. They seemed to good job of capturing the flavor of each of the heroes well. Cyclops was powerful but brash and dangerous to people around him. Rogue was versatile but also dangerous. Cappy was all about the versatility of the team. Thor was massive ranged support and when recruitment was high (which I read as when morale/charisma was high, he was more powerful. Deadpool's effects were just weird, naturally.
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Darrell Goodridge
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Windsor Locks
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Currently at 1:2 ratio, getting better every week
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1. Most other reviews compliment the tray saying it leaves room for many expansions. I believe Thunderstones answer was take out the insert and pile all your cards in one box. One point to Legendary.

2. UDE has admitted that not labeling the dividers was a printing error. However, at least you can label them however you want, with power colors, by number, alphabetically, etc.

3. Probably agree with you here. The villain effects aren't particularly nasty until you get the KO from hand effects.

4. It's fairly general knowledge by now that 2-player co-op is the easiest (ie no challenge) to beat. If you're going 2-player, at least play competitively.


Other than that, I found your comparisons to Thunderstone fair and accurate. While similar, they are distinct enough to both warrant a spot on the shelf.
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Robert Gardunia
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Admittedly, the initial Thunderstone card storage was terrible. In the first big expansion, they more or less fixed that perfectly. I did mention that though

 
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Scott
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This has replaced Thunderstone for me because the design changes in Advanced left me cold. Actually I'd still play TS from time to time, but the last expansion before Advanced was end of the line.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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I've just gotten into deckbuilding with Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin, and I find it really cool. I've already pre-ordered Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game from our online store, and I believe the separate theme of both can justify their inclusion in my collection.

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Chris Morris
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Can anyone give some input to someone who does not like Thunderstone? I found it rather dull and slow moving. I always felt that the basic cards were so underpowered you wanted to rid them from your deck ASAP.

Would Legendary fit the bill better than the original Thunderstone in this sense? Just looking for some sort of opinion in this regard.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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lubomirvaic wrote:
Can anyone give some input to someone who does not like Thunderstone? I found it rather dull and slow moving. I always felt that the basic cards were so underpowered you wanted to rid them from your deck ASAP.

Would Legendary fit the bill better than the original Thunderstone in this sense? Just looking for some sort of opinion in this regard.


Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin fixed this in a way by having the regulars be able to draw an extra card in the dungeon if they were armed with a polearm, and conveniently the standard starting weapons now are spears, which are polearms....

I also view the basic regulars as potential level 1 heroes, as you can level them up from their starting level of 0 and then destroy them to be replaced by a level 1 named hero. Having a few regulars left over can also serve as good ablative shields for many battle effects which force you to destroy heroes.
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Jerold Wallis

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Some of the thunder stone epic variant rules fix the speed. Especially the one where you gain two experience points in addition to trashing one card when resting. In two turns, you can discard two militia and get ready to upgrade a third one (to any available hero) using 3 eps when you next enter the village. That gets things moving pretty fast

JW
 
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Stephen Keller
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Midnight Rider wrote:
This has replaced Thunderstone for me because the design changes in Advanced left me cold. Actually I'd still play TS from time to time, but the last expansion before Advanced was end of the line.


Crazy thought here: Couldn't you just not play Thunderstone Advance or the expansion you didn't like and just play the Thunderstone that you actually like?
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This is exactly the comparison I was looking for!
Legendary has moved onto my list of games to be on the lookout for.
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Scott Collins
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I'm still torn between this game and Thunderstone Advance. I want to add a deck building game to my arsenal. I will mainly be playing either one of these solo, maybe once or twice a week with a group. Only thing that is making me straw further and further away from Legendary is how easy it seems and none of the variants seem worthwhile to up the difficulty. I want a DIFFICULT deck building solo game that has a lot of randomness (replayability) to it. Shadowrift has scratched that itch for me but I'm trying to find another.
 
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David Wilcox
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I would tell anyone who owns Thunderstone (particularly Dragonspire or Advance) to stick to what you have. Legendary doesn't really bring anything new and is a mere clone of what has already been done (Thunderstone & Ascension).

One of the things that REALLY BOTHERED ME was that you would have 10 "Cyclops" cards which had different actions & effects yet there was no discernable artwork. Upper Deck's art is great, but it is replicated sooooo much that it is a real eyesore. There should be notable differentiation in cards rather than a copy/paste effect.
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