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Subject: DC Deck-Building Game - A Simple Review rss

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Sean
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DC Deck-Building Game – A Simple Review





As a big fan of DC comics and deck building games, this should have been a no brainer for me but after hearing some negative comments about the game, I hesitated before finally deciding that it was worth the plunge.
My rationale was that I had in the past bought many trading cards, ornaments and other DC collectables that are now sitting around gathering dust. One more box wasn’t going to break me and I still held on to the hope that the game would actually be enjoyable.
Was it? Lets find out.

Production/Components:
As with most games, the first impression is usually the quality of the box and without leaping up in slow motion while fireworks soar in the background, the DC Deck-Building Game box is well made with nice colourful artwork on the front, back and sides.
Once you crack the shrink-wrap you are presented with the following components:-
• 36 Punch starting cards
• 16 Vulnerability starting cards
• 114 main deck cards (including hero cards, villain cards, location cards, equipment cards and super power cards).
• 16 kick cards
• 12 Super-Villain cards
• 20 weakness cards
• Total = 214 cards
• 7 oversized Super Hero/Player cards
• 1 rule book

The cards in this game are stunning and it’s easily one of (if not the) best looking card games on the market. The artwork is taken from around the DC world and not limited to one single artist.
The cards are of a decent standard in terms of quality and thickness and although most people will probably sleeve them due to the sheer beauty of the artwork, the un-sleeved cards will stand up to careful play just fine.
Now, before I comment on the insert, I had previously heard the complaints about how poorly designed it was and to be honest I put it down to people wanting the moon on a stick. I mean, how annoying can one insert be? The answer is quite a bit actually. The insert simply doesn’t work and it’s clear that Cryptozoic really didn’t even bother testing it in any way, shape or form. Firstly the section for the oversized player/hero cards has finger grooves that go half way down meaning that the groove stops well before the cards and you end up trying to hook the cards out with your nails or turning the box upside down. The other cards have a Dominion style divider system but the dividers are tiny and the cards end up falling into each other anyway. You are probably better off taking the insert out and bagging the cards.
One other small gripe about the components is the size of the player/hero cards. They are only slightly bigger than the other cards and I feel they could have gone the whole hog and made actual player mats. The player cards are just a little underwhelming.



Gameplay:
This is a very simple game with elements of both Dominion and Ascension.
A simple overview of the game is as follows – You chose your super hero character (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Cyborg) and these will provide you with a specific power for the whole game. You then receive a pre-determined starting deck of 7 punch cards and 3 vulnerability cards. The punch cards provide +1 power and power is the currency in the game. The vulnerability cards do nothing and simply clog your hand up. Like Dominion and Ascension you draw 5 cards, resolve any affects on the cards and then count up your power. You then spend the power to obtain the main deck, kick and super-villain cards that you can afford.
The main deck cards are laid out in a row of 5 and are only replenished after your go, the kick cards are always available until the last one goes and the super-villain cards are there to be defeated/won if you have enough power. When you win a super-villain, the next one out will perform an attack that affects all players.
The weakness cards work in the same way as curses in Dominion and subtract from your final total. You gain weaknesses usually after another player plays a card with an attack effect.
All cards bought/won are put into your discard pile unless you have a card action that states otherwise with the exception of locations. Locations work in the same way as constructs in Ascension and sit in front of you providing bonuses.
Each card has a victory point value in the bottom left and at the end of the game, you add up your points and the person with the most wins.
There isn’t really much more to add, it’s that simple.




My thoughts:
There are plenty of things that could put someone off this game like the fact that as Superman, you can buy the Bat-Mobile or Wonder Woman’s lasso and as the flash you can get Green Lanterns ring and have Superman’s laser vision. I personally didn’t really care as I worked around it and chose to look at it as the other heroes helping out rather than Superman actually driving the Bat-mobile.
There are also some overpowered cards in the deck like the Dark Knight card that gives you +2 power, an equipment into your hand if you have Catwoman and (wait for it) every bit of equipment in the draw pile! When you consider that it only costs 5 power (which is only slightly above average) it can be a devastating card. In one game my opponent managed to use it 3 times and gather 10 free equipment cards and that was before she spent the 2 power.
This game really does have it’s flaws but I have to say that I absolutely love it. It looks wonderful, the player cards add a dimension and even though Batman can buy the flash’s super speed, the hero who’s power/equipment it is will get a much better bonus from the card. For example, Green Lantern will benefit much more from the power ring card as it compliments the Green Lantern base power and the same goes for the other heroes.
This is a quick, fire it on the table, bosh it out game. You don’t have to think too hard but it has just enough about it that you can employ different strategies.
Hopefully the inevitable expansions will iron out the problems but for now, this is a game that I think fans of the DC universe and fans of deck building games will enjoy if they don’t expect too much.
If all else fails, I’d genuinely buy this for the artwork alone.



Scoring:

Production = 9 (I’ll forgive the abysmal insert because the cards are stunning)

Gameplay = 7 (nothing new here but fun all the same)

Fun Factor = 8 (there’s a lot of attack cards, cards that do mass effect attacks and it’s all simple, involving, immersive and has no down time)

Longevity = 7(I’m almost positive there will be loads of expansions with new rules and lots of new cards and even if there’s not, you can tailor the game to suit you with teams, rule variants, etc)

Overall = 8 - Good. Simple. Visually striking. Involving. Fun.





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steve perkins
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seany4 wrote:
There are also some overpowered cards in the deck like the Dark Knight card that gives you +2 power, an equipment into your hand if you have Catwoman and (wait for it) every bit of equipment in the draw pile! When you consider that it only costs 5 power (which is only slightly above average) it can be a devastating card. In one game my opponent managed to use it 3 times and gather 10 free equipment cards and that was before she spent the 2 power.


It would be overpowered if it was the correct use. You only get the equipment cards in the line up not the draw pile. So the most you can get is 5 cards, if you are really lucky. Otherwise it will probably be 1, 2 or 3 on average.

It is the same with Princess Diana of Themyscira. Only villains of cost 7 or less in the line up.

I think Green Arrow's Bow is more powerful, with it's ability to reduce the total required to beat the Super-Villains by 2.

I also like The Riddler. The ability to pluck 4, 5, 6 and 7 cost cards off the top of the deck for a cost of 3 is superb. There is little risk as the lowest cost card is 2.

Regards

Steve


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Sean
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Steve, apologies it was my terminology in the review and not my rules interpretation that was wrong. We played it correctly and there were 3, 3 and 4 equipment cards in the line up and I felt that was a game changer for only 5 power. That's before you add the 2 power in.
 
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steve perkins
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No apologies needed.

I see, you got 10 cards from 3 different uses of the card. My opponent only got 3 cards in total and I believe he used it 3 times as well. It definitely is powerful, but it does depend on what is out there.

I think if you know your opponent has picked it up, you just try to take the equipment cards to prevent it's use.

Green Arrow's Bow on the other hand can't be foiled, nor can The Riddler.

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Paul Cuthbert
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Great review, I am really loving this game too. The issue of superheroes using other superheroes items ie aquaman using the bat mobile has not put me off at all.

My 4 year old daughter loves all the artwork, especially all the female heroes and villains, and wonder woman especially. She wanted to play for a while, had no idea what to do and we used it as a math style game. She even gained enough power to defeat a super villain!!

Can't wait to play it again
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Scott Harper

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I really liked your review and concur on most points.

I'm also either willing to overlook or come up with rationales for characters using other characters' equipment/powers as well. It's just a game, and is fun just the way it is. It'd be tough to make the game work perfectly logical for all players anyway.

A fun, easy-to-learn game that you can get going right away.
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