Mancave update – Birthday and stuff

Sorry Mancavers….its been a while since I last posted because its been crazy here recently.  Most of August has been crazy busy with work and child summer holidays etc but stuff has been happening so bear with me whilst I try to paraphrase everything and start anew.

Firstly August was my birthday and my girls know me really well!  I was given a copy of Twin Shadows, the Tattooine expansion from Fantasy Flight Games for Star Wars Imperial Assault.  I also managed to get a set of extra dice for running my STIA campaign.  Both the girls seem to love it too….Phoebe has a thing for rolling dice and taking them in and out of bags and Grace has a worrying knack of rolling Evades on Defence dice.  I knew there was a reason I didn’t play her often!

Star Wars Imperial Assault Twin Shadows

Star Wars Imperial Assault Twin Shadows

The birthday also brought other goodies to the Mancave.  I invested in an Airbrush and Compressor for painting miniatures.  I opted for a deal from eBay and even though the airbrush provided isn’t the greatest it should allow me to develop my skills and improve.

Ooooo....a big white box...what could it be?

Ooooo….a big white box…what could it be?

Well well well....its a Compressor for my airbrush.

Well well well….its a Compressor for my airbrush.

My new Airbrush Compressor...just waiting on my Iwata Neo now!

My new Airbrush Compressor…just waiting on my Iwata Neo now!

I also bought an Iwata Neo Airbrush for when my mad crazy lack of painting skills improve enough to warrant a better quality airbush, then I’ll use the cheap one provided with my compressor for things like priming and painting scenery.  The two brands and models highly recommended were the Iwata Neo and Badger Patriot 105.  I opted for the Iwata Neo.

Iwata Neo Airbrush

Iwata Neo Airbrush

So I’m definitely looking forward to getting involved and practising with my airbrush.  To prompt me to do more I’ve also entered a monthly painting competition with some of the PRODOS guys on the Warzone Facebook page.  Each month we’ll be taking a mini or unit from sprue to final painting.  Its more of a painters support group rather than a serious competition.  Damn you Evans!

Lastly as an impulse purchase the Mancave has received an upgrade……..we bought a Barcrest Aliens Fruit Machine!!!!  Yes we have a fruit machine in the Mancave.  Its crazy awesome!

The Mancave - before.....

The Mancave – before…..

The Mancave - after by dark.....

The Mancave – after by dark…..

The Mancave - after by light.....

The Mancave – after by light…..

The Aliens Fruit Machine

The Aliens Fruit Machine

I have actually managed to get some gaming in this month too.  Ive been getting involved with Star Wars Armada, building fleet lists and tweaking my builds but only managed 1 serious competitive game.  I grabbed a cheap Gladiator Class Destroyer off eBay to help me build something I’ve been planning.  I’m considering running a swarm of Gladiators rather than using the Victory Class Star destroyers as they’re more maneuverable.  One of the Admirals available to my Imperials, Admiral Motti, will grant extra hull points to each of them so they can be a little tougher when engaging those Rebel Assault Frigates.

Star Wars Armada Gladiator Class SD

Star Wars Armada Gladiator Class SD

I’ve had my first competitive game of Star Wars Armada against Dave Baxter at NAGA.  My Imperial Fleet comprising of two Victory Class Star Destroyers with upgrades, 6 squadrons of TIE Bombers and 2 Squadrons of TIE Interceptors as Escorts managed to eek out a technical victory against Dave’s Rebel List of an Assault Frigate, two Corvettes and 8 squadrons of X-Wings.  It was a tight game but after one of my VSD’s was destroyed by focus fire Dave’s Assault Frigate was forced off the board and unable to turn quickly enough he lost it.  178-165 to the Imperial Fleet!

20150805_193707 20150805_193713 20150805_205433

Last night saw a defence of my position in the NAGA X-Wing League against a very determined Scott Russell and his Psycho Tycho and Outrider Dash combo.  As soon as Scott sends me his fleet list I’ll post it as a comment on this post.  My Imperial Fleet consisted of the following:-

Darth Vader (32) TIE Advanced (29), TIE/x1 (0), Calculation (1), Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1), Advanced Targeting Computer (5)

Colonel Jendon (43) Lambda-Class Shuttle (26), Fire-Control System (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4), Emperor Palpatine (8), ST-321 (3)

Lieutenant Colzet (25) TIE Advanced (23), TIE/x1 (0), Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1), Advanced Targeting Computer (5)

Colzet's TIE Advanced (left) and Vader's TIE Advanced (right) flank Colonel Jendon's Lambda bearing Emperor Palpatine.

Colzet’s TIE Advanced (left) and Vader’s TIE Advanced (right) flank Colonel Jendon’s Lambda bearing Emperor Palpatine.

My Fleet less the Twin Ion Engines (unshown)

My Fleet less the Twin Ion Engines (unshown)

The idea was to advance slowly using Jendon to Target Lock the biggest threat and pass his Targets Locks off to Vader and Colzet.  With the constant Target Locks and ability to K-turn and close quickly using soft 3 greens I could try to slide past the rebel ships and take down the biggest threats.  Scott’s fleet closed very quickly using 2-3 actions per ship and stressing itself to ridiculous levels allowing his two ships to strip shields from Jendons Lambda but my twin TIE Advanced’s both assaulted Tycho and closed quickly not allowing Dash’s Outrider to use its Heavy Laser Cannon at R2-3.  The setting of dice from Palpatine really saved the day as neither TIE Advanced even took damage.  My three ships destroyed Tycho in a couple of turns even with his ridiculous numbers of evade dice.  He parked on an asteroid and without a shot Colzet and Vader tore him to pieces as Jendon stopped dead and caused Dash to smash into the back of him.  Now with three ships versus Scotts 1 it was merely a matter of time before Colzet and Vader did the business and finished Dash off.  After 5 turns with Dash whittling a few hits off the Lambda every round it eventually fell and was destroyed onto to have Colzet sweep in and finish it off for the win.  Victory to my Imperial fleet.

So all in all its been a really busy time here.  I have made a vow to attempt to post more often following a super bust August including my daughters Summer Holidays.

I started painting my Xenos from my AvP core box set.  I’m not going with anything clever just a nice clean table quality paint job.  Grace, my eldest daughter, wanted to have a go at painting one herself so I helped her assemble and glue one of the Xenos before helping her prime it and drybrush it.  All her won work but once its based and finished (during her next visit) I’m sure that it will be very difficult to distinguish between hers and mine.  She’s better than I gave her credit for!

I’m hitting them up with a Black Prime basecoat, then drybrushing the highest points with Pure Silver from the P3 range, following that a wash of Nuln Oil from GW to add depth before spraying a Satin Varnish all over to protect the paint.  Only once this is dry will I start to paint the domes of the Xeno heads with GW’s ‘Ardcoat to add a wet look.  Heres some WiP shots of my work so far.

Next week I’ll be getting a demo for Guildball from Mark Southerd at NAGA so I’ll finally get a chance to play my fishermen team against his Alchemists.  he’s not only a very good player but also a professional demo guy for it so I should be on the wrong end of a beating!  Im still doing my “Gaming on a Budget” series of articles and will be posting one as soon as I decide what this months purchases will be.

Over and out for now Mancavers!

Watch this space for more Mancave updates.  There will be Star Trek Attack Wing updates as the new waves drop, Star Wars X-Wing updates including hopefully a glimpse of the new core set from Fantasy Flight Games for The Force Awakens, a review of the new Smash-Up:Munchkin and hopefully more updates on painting all my AvP stuff.  With so much going on its going to be a very busy time!

Legendary Encounters playthrough (@ NAGA 10/06/2015)

Legendary Encounters

Legendary Encounters

Recently at NAGA I played Legendary:A Marvel Deckbuilding Game and this prompted me to take the plunge and buy a game I had been watching for a while now, Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deckbuilding Game.  I decided to run a playthrough at NAGA last night so here goes my little report.  Players were Brent Jay, James Christie-Green, Derek Maynard and myself.

Firstly it takes an absolute age to get the same set-up straight out of the box.  If you include the time taken to sort through 602 cards into the correct decks and separate them then you’re looking a good hour and a half at least.  The cards come in no particular order and took me and my OH a good hour or so to sort through.  There is also the small possibility that “some” cards might be missing so its worth checking before you play.

Legendary Encounters Box Contents

Legendary Encounters Box Contents

I list 602 playable cards because that’s what the card list I downloaded told me there were. Here’s the card breakdown:

  • 10 Role Avatars
  • 10 Role Character cards
  • 35 Specialists
  • 25 Grunts
  • 10 Sergeants
  • 224 Character cards (16 characters, 14 cards each)
  • 4 Locations
  • 12 Objectives
  • 132 Hive cards (12 mini decks, one for each Objective)
  • 24 Drone cards
  • 14 Hatchery cards
  • 40 Strikes
  • 4 Alien Avatars
  • 36 Alien Player cards
  • 15 Agenda cards
  • 5 Secrets Revealed cards

Once set-up has been done once I’m sure it will get easier for me.

Legendary Encounters Game Mat Set-Up

Legendary Encounters Game Mat Set-Up

Rather than complicate the matter we decided we would concentrate on learning the new and different mechanics that had been added and we would run though a 4 player, basic version of the ALIEN game using the following Objectives:-

1 – The SOS

2 – No One Can Hear You Scream

3 – The Perfect Organism

Legendary Encounters Objectives and Objective Decks

Legendary Encounters Objectives and Objective Decks

The objectives play out like the plot of the ALIEN movie.  We would be using a famous location from the movie to generate Hazards and conditions for our game.  The location for ALIEN was The Nostromo so that was our location but the core set covers all four films in the quadrilogy so the others were:-

The Nostromo

Hadleys Hope

Fiorina “Fury” 161

The Auriga

Legandary Encounters Locations

Legandary Encounters Locations

The game also includes characters from all four movies in the set and during tonights game as we were playing the ALIEN storyline we used the characters from that movie.  Each film adds four characters, once you are comfortable playing you can mix and match the characters even to the point of using four versions of Ripley.  The main characters from the ALIEN film that formed our Barracks were:-

Captain Dallas

Navigator Lambert

Chief Engineer Parker

Warrant Officer Ripley

You may be forgiven for thinking that stacking your deck with Ripleys will help as she managed to survive the movie but a good combination of each will allow you to function well and combine cards at the right time to do the right thing.

Warrant officer Ripley's Deck (forming part of the Barracks)

Warrant officer Ripley’s Deck (forming part of the Barracks)

Before the game begins each player gets 7 Specialists and 5 Grunts to populate their draw deck.  These represent the resources at their disposal to battle enemies and “recruit” Heros and Sergeants to help them.  Grunts add to your Combat score (denoted by the slash icon in the bottom left of the card and a number above it) and Specialists add to your recruitment” (shown with a star and a number in the bottom right).  Certain cards may require you to spend “recruitment” points to perform certain action or Combat points to “Scan” a room but more of this later.

Starting Deck - Specialists and Grunts

Starting Deck – Specialists and Grunts

They each then select an Avatar which represents how much Health that player starts the game with and allows them to add an additional card to their Draw Deck.  The basic example game limits which Avatars are used:-




Medic (4 player game)

Scout (5 player game)

as you gain experience in playing the game more and more Avatars can be used and if you wanted to you could simply pick any of the Avatars from the deck.  Derek had the Gunner, I the Researcher, Brent the Medic and James the Technician.

Legendary Encounters Roles

Legendary Encounters Roles

There are actually a couple ways to play Legendary Encounters: fully cooperative, fully cooperative until somebody dies, semi-cooperative with a potential hidden traitor. I’ll only cover the basic fully cooperative mode first, and then explain the other variants in later reports as we add layers of depth to the game.

In the basic cooperative mode, the goal is to accomplish three mission objectives before everyone dies—these objectives will be selected during setup.

If you’re already familiar with Legendary Marvel or Upper Decks other Deckbuilding games there are a few key differences, which we’ll cover first, and then get into more detail later:

Hidden enemies: Enemy cards aren’t revealed as soon as they’re taken from the deck. Instead, they enter the Complex face-down and you must spend “Combat” points to scan the rooms to reveal them.

Strikes: Instead of Wound cards that just fill up your deck with useless cards and deny you heros to do battle etc, there are Strike cards that sit next to your Avatar card and do damage. Take too much damage, and you die.

Roles: Each player starts with the same deck of Specialists and Grunts, but then gets an additional role character card that gets shuffled in, giving each player a slight specialization.

Alien Players: If a player dies because of a Chestburster, they can become an alien with a new objective: kill the humans.

When you start your game the only cards placed on the gaming mat are the Sergeants Deck (generic USMC Sergeants to help you fight the Alien), the Barracks Deck (made up of the decks of the four characters named above), the Strikes Deck (the damage that Players avatars take when events occur or Aliens attack you), the Hatchery (comprising the three objective decks and one Drone card per player per deck), the Location Card (in our case “The Nostromo”) and the Objectives (the plot of our game – loosely following the ALIEN movie in our case.  Before play begins you move the top five cards from the Barracks deck into the HQ area of the gaming mat.  These represent Heroes you can “recruit” to help you fight or save you from Alien strikes etc.

Each players turn is broken down into four phases:-

Hive Phase

Each turn you move the top card from the Hive Deck (made up of the 3 relevant Objective Decks and a number of Drone cards from the Drone deck – 1 per player per deck) into the Complex starting with the Ventilation Shafts moving through the locations (Ventilation Shafts – Power Station – Weapons Locker – Med-Lab – Airlock) until the enemy eventually drops into the Combat Zone whereupon they are instantly revealed and any abilities etc resolved.

Action Phase

The player can then spend his cards each turn to “recruit” new Heros, “Scan” a room or Battle an enemy.  Scanning is a new mechanic.  To keep the game suspenseful and interesting enemies now move through the complex face down and remain a mystery until it is scanned by spending “Combat” points.  It is then revealed and you action any “Reveal” abilities on its card.  It may also trigger other events such as the Hazards on the Location card or the Events on the Objective card.

You can spend “Recruitment” points to hire Heros by paying their recruitment value.  When a Hero or Sergeant is acquired in this way they are added to their discard pile for use later.  This is how you go about building a deck to do battle with the Xenomorph menace.

Players can also spend “Combat” or “attack” points from cards to attack any face-up enemy in the Combat Zone, the Complex or infront of that player I.E Facehuggers.

There are five “classes,” represented by little icons at the top left of each card. Each card has at least one class. Many cards will have a class icon followed by an ability in the description section—to use that ability, you must have already played another card with that icon on your turn.

There’s also the new “Coordinate” ability: some cards say “Coordinate” in the description section. During a player’s turn, each other player may play one Coordinate card and draw to replace it. The active player may choose to use that card as if he played it, counting any card effects (including the class icons). It’s a way to share icons for needed effects, as well as boosting attacking or recruiting power for a player who needs a few more.

The game mat "in play"

The game mat “in play”

Strike Phase

Players then get attacked by any Enemies in the “Combat Zone” taking “Strikes” dependant on the enemy performing the attack.  These “Strike” cards damage the player directly by reducing the health value shown on the bottom left of their Avatar card.  Once a player takes “strikes” equal to their health they are dead and removed from the game.

Cleanup Phase

Lastly each round each player discards all cards in their hand or in play unless they have the “Vigilance” ability and redraw 6 new cards from their Draw Deck.  You tend to cycle through these cards very quickly.

So the game progressing slowly to begin with and many checks of the rulebook were made.  Sometimes a cards text isn;t so clear and having the rulebook handy will certainly help.  Each player took their turn attempting to recruit new Heros or Sergeants and Scanning rooms.  Almost immediately an Egg was revealed.  The Egg lays dormant until an Event card is revealed, which could be at any time and then the player that revealed the Event suffers both the Event effects and any other Event effects from Egg’s and the Objective, etc.

Eventually, in my absence I hasten to add, a card dropped into the Combat Zone on my turn, when it was revealed it was an Event.  That event triggered the effect of the Egg which forced me to take the Facehugger card from the Hatchery Deck.  Through some other mechanism I also managed to acquire a second Facehugger on the same turn.  This was leaving me in a very bad place as I could only kill one this turn and relied on my fellow players to attack and kill the second one or risk me falling prey to a Chestburster.

About the Facehuggers, there are a lot of these, and they can crop up in a couple different ways. If you get a Facehugger, it sits in front of you, and you have until the end of the next player’s turn to kill it. If it isn’t killed, then you put a Chestburster card into your discard pile. As it says: “When you draw this, you suffer extreme pain and die.”

I had enough “Attack” to kill one of my Facehuggers but was reliant on Brent, James and Derek to co-operate and co-ordinate and kill the second or I die.

Legendary Encounters - Facehugger and Chestburster

Legendary Encounters – Facehugger and Chestburster

I survived my turn but had a Facehugger leftover.  Brent took his turn unable to kill it.  This chain of events, much like the film caused a knock-on affect where other players then began to suffer because they hadn’t co-operated and aided me.  At the end of Brent’s turn my second Facehugger turned into a Chestburster and was put into my Discard pile.  Only once I drew that Chestburster was it “Game Over Man, Game Over!” for me.  I had enough cards in my Draw Deck to survive another turn but my number was up, eventually I would succumb to the beast and die.

Brent had his own issues to worry about as he took drew a Facehugger and was unable to deal with it, so it remained in front of him waiting to be killed by James.

James was unable to help Brent during his turn and by this point both Brent and I had been affected by Chestbursters.

The play progressed and after James turn Brent and I were no longer affected by the Alien Strikes as any player with a Chestburster is considered to be “part of the family” and is ignored by the Aliens.  My wounds got ignored and any bad stuff would affect the next player, Brent, who too had a Chestburster so had the same effects.  All our collective bad stuff was passed onto James.

During James’ turn he scanned and revealed our ultimate enemy in the game “The Perfect Organism”.  It was unkillable except for a single chance.  If it was within the Airlock location and the Airlock Controls event card was attached to that location then the guys had a chance to kill it, if they could muster 10 attack.  As neither could do anything about it the beast passed down into the Combat Zone.  This was pretty full now and there were a number of nasties in there doing Double Strikes and Strikes that were unavoidable.  During the Strike Phase of James turn he was forced to draw 8 Strike cards which killed him outright.

This left Derek as the only living player, although that wouldn’t be the case for long.  The situation got far worse for Derek as another enemy dropped into the Combat Zone.  Without enough attack to do any serious damage to anything in the Combat Zone and without enough “recruitment” to move “The Perfect Organism” back into the Airlock Derek was forced to draw 9 Strike cards in the Strike Phase which rapidly reduced his health, not helped by the fact that one was a double damage card.

All in all a brutal example of how this game can work.  I cannot stress how important it is that players co-operate and co-ordinate attacks and share heros etc.  This is the ONLY way to win this game.  Playing solo wont help.  I like the idea of the Strike Deck as you pick up minor wounds, some of which can be healed, etc.  The suspense of never knowing what damage you will receive makes taking Strikes a real threat rather than simply acquiring useless cards in your draw deck like Legendary Marvel.

This is a great game and gameplay will never be the same twice although a limited number of Objectives will mean that playing the same missions will feel samey but there is replayability there.  I can reccommend a basic game first to get your head around the new mechanics etc before you move onto fully-cooperative mode (until someone dies) and finally semi-cooperative mode (with hidden agendas).  I’m going to play through each movie one by one to see how each plays out and then start to mix and match decks and Heros.

Legendary Encounters: Free Hugs for All

Well the week started rather poorly from a geekery point of view as I took the family to the UK Games Expo to collect my copy of AvP from PRODOS but unfortunately there was no copy for me to collect so not only did I waste my money and fuel going there but also the time of my kids and better half, Lucy.  Not a great start.

I consoled myself from this geek low by ordering a copy of Legendary Encounters, the Aliens variant of the Marvel Deckbuilding game I play tested last week with Brent & Nick at NAGA.  I was suitably impressed by the Marvel game to invest as long as the price was right.  I had seen the game at UKGE for around £45 and various sources seemed to confirm that was the average price.  Being the consummate cheapskate and thrift finder extraordinaire I hunted and between Hairy Gamer Tris & I we located a copy at for a princely sun of £39.  Happy in the knowledge that this was a cracking deal I ordered.  Today my copy arrived and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deck Building Game

Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deck Building Game

This co-operative deckbuilding game is produced by Upper Deck and part of the 20th Century Fox IP.  It is set in the ALIEN universe.

Legendary Encounters has the same basic mechanics system as its forebear, Legendary:A Marvel Deckbuilding Game. It is set in the ALIEN universe so the characters and locations of the infamous movie franchise.  Encounters will take place in locations from all four feature films: ALIEN, ALIENS, ALIEN3 and ALIEN Resurrection.  As in, the adventures of Ripley and her quest to destroy the dark nightmare-spawn of H.R. Giger, the titular Alien xenomorph.

The deck building mechanisms are mostly the same: players use recruitment points to buy better character cards to put into your starting deck of basic cards, and use combat points to defeat enemies. While you might be forgiven for thinking this is Upper Deck’s attempt to cash in by simply re-skinning the original Legendary, Encounters actually changes things up dramatically.

For starters, Legendary Encounters is purely cooperative and it needs to be, as it will take all the teamwork you can muster to survive the tetralogy of films. In a departure from the original game, each player will get their own avatar card at the beginning (with typical roles such as commander, synthetic, medic), and a special corresponding card that only they get in the starting deck. Your avatar has its own Health and Defense and the idea is to survive and defeat the Facehuggers, Xenomorphs and the Alien Queen whilst simultaneously trying to avoid the ultimate chest-bursting death, becoming the victim of a Facehugger as it implants a Chestburster.  If a players fate is to die at the Xeno’s hands then that player will join the ranks of the Aliens and play a Xenomorph trying to stop the surviving players from achieving their mission objectives.

In Encounters, you work your way through objectives. You and your team can only win the game is you surpass all three objectives (and survive). While you may completely randomize all of the objectives, you can also set them up in such a way that you play through all four films in order, with thematic events tied to the source material. For example, to play through the events of the first film, ALIEN, you would use the following objectives, in order: The SOS, No One Can Hear You Scream, and The Perfect Organism. The 3 objectives always end with you destroying the main xenomorph antagonist of each movie I.E. the Alien Queen, the Hybrid, etc. For the Character Deck-full of cards you can purchase to strengthen your deck-you’ll use the iconic characters from each film, including no less than four different Ripleys.

Each objective also comes with its own set of unique chapters or challenges in the form of a “mini-deck”, which are stacked on top of one another and collectively called The Hive. This takes the place of the Villain Deck from the original Legendary Marvel Deckbuilding Game.  There is a twist though and this is what makes this game more than a simple re-skinning of the original game: the cards enter The Complex in a constantly moving row like the original, but each card is placed face down. You don’t get to see what that card is until you choose to “Scan” it by using some of your excess combat. And that card may be anything from a xenomorph drone, to a hazard, to a random event, to your actual objective goals.  As you encounter these hazards and problems you must deal with them to stop them from escaping The Complex and damaging you.

You’ll certainly need to “scan” and identify those Xenos nice and early and take care of them, else they slide down to the Combat Zone. Any Xeno in the Combat Zone at the end of a player’s turn will damage that player, forcing them to draw a card from the Strike Deck. These represent damage, twists and setbacks to your character. Too many Strikes, and you die and are eliminated from the game……

…except if you get preyed upon by a Facehugger. If a Facehugger gets you and isn’t defeated right away, you’ll be impregnated with an Alien  and forced to take the Chestburster card into your deck. While you have the Chestburster card the Xenos won’t attack you, but the next time you draw the card you die…and come back as a Xeno player in opposition to the remaining surviving players. You’ll re-enter the game with new character cards and your own deck of cards to completely destroy the fragile flesh-sacks, the other players. If you can accrue enough damage to surpass the heroes’ Defense, you’ll force them to draw a strike, and hasten their doom…..thus condemning then to the same fate as sealed your demise.

As if that’s not enough to give the players nightmares, Encounters gives you the option to play with an optional traitor mode. Each player is given a loyalty card card the beginning of the game. Most of the loyalty cards are Good Agendas, but one of the cards will be an Evil Agenda, representing a player who is secretly working for the Corporation, think of the actions of David from Prometheus or Carter Burke from ALIENS . If you’re the evil player, you need to kill all the other players and escape the xenomorph infested facility. The others will eventually find out who you are, but that only hastens your desire to escape with the alien samples.

I’ll do a proper review and a play through at some point over the weekend.  Im so gald I made this investment and yearn to open my secret evil agenda for the Corporation and infect the other players returning to Earth with my valuable Xenomorph cargo.

Im hoping to get a run through at NAGA at some point in the not too distant future.

Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game (NAGA 27-05-2015)


Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is set in the Marvel Comics universe.   Legendary is a deck building game for 1-5 players. It has a play time of about 45 minutes and works well with any number of players.  We played with 3 players (Nick, Brent and I) and the game lasted about an hour and a bit but we were learning the rules as we went.

To set up the game, players choose a mastermind villain (Magneto, Loki, Dr. Doom, etc.), stack that particular villain’s attack cards underneath it, then modify the villain deck as needed based on that villain’s particular scheme. Players then choose a number of hero decks – Spider-Man, Hulk, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc. – and shuffle them together; since players use only a handful of hero decks out of the fifteen included, the hero deck can vary widely in terms of what’s available.

In Legendary, players assemble a team of super heroes from the Marvel universe to try and thwart the schemes of an evil Mastermind.

Each player starts with a pre-determined number of SHIELD agents and Troopers.  Agents add to your ability to recruit Heroes such as Spiderman, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, etc.  Troopers are your basic fighting resource and they can support more powerful heroes as you battle the forces of an evil mastermind.  Over the course of the game, players will recruit powerful hero cards to add to their deck in order to build a stronger and more resourceful deck. Players need to build both their recruitment powers (to enlist more heroes) and their fighting ability (to combat the villains who keep popping up to cause trouble). Players recruit heroes from an array of five cards which are based upon SHIELD’d flying HQ, with empty slots refilled as required.

At the start of a player’s turn, he reveals a villain and adds it to the row of villains. Each other villain moves one space along the city trying to escape.  This row has a limited number of spaces, and if it fills up, the earliest villain to arrive escapes, possibly punishing the heroes in some way. Some villains also take an action when showing up for the first time, such as kidnapping an innocent bystander. The villain deck also contains “master strike” cards, and whenever one of these shows up, the mastermind villain (controlled by the game) takes a bonus action.  It also contains Scheme Twist cards.  As the evil Mastermind acquires more and more Twist cards he or she can affect the players in various ways

As players fight and defeat villains, they collect those cards, which will be worth points at game’s end. Players can also fight the mastermind; if a player has enough fighting power, he claims one of the attack cards beneath the mastermind, which has a particular effect on the game. If all of these cards are claimed, the game ends and players tally their points to see who wins. If the mastermind completes his scheme, however – having a certain number of villains escape, for example, or imposing a certain number of wounds on the heroes – then the players all lose.

Game Components

The base game includes a game board and a huge 500 cards:-

  • 60 starting cards (Agents and Troopers)
  • 30 S.H.I.E.L.D. Officers
  • 15 Hero decks (14 cards each)
  • 4 Masterminds (5 cards each)
  • 7 Villain Groups (8 cards each)
  • 4 Henchman Villain Groups (10 cards each)
  • 8 Scheme cards
  • 11 Scheme Twist cards
  • 5 Master Strike cards
  • 30 Bystander cards
  • 30 Wound cards
  • 60 Divider cards

The heroes in the base set are: Black Widow, Captain America, Cyclops, Deadpool, Emma Frost, Gambit, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, Nick Fury, Rogue, Spider-Man, Storm, Thor, and Wolverine. The Evil Masterminds are Dr. Doom, Loki, Magneto, and Red Skull.

How To Play

legendary board setup

The setup of the game takes a little bit of time. The villain deck must be created (Consisting of Villains, Henchmen, Bystanders, Scheme Cards and Master Strikes). Then the hero deck must be built. You chose 5 different super heroes to play during the game and all of their cards are shuffled into 1 big deck. You then deal 5 heroes into the HQ for recruiting and you’re ready to play.

We set-up to play and our evil Mastermind was the Red Skull.  We chose Captain America, Spiderman, Thor Odinson, The Hulk and Iron Man as our heroes and dealt the top five cards from the combined Hero Deck onto the board.

Evil  Mastermind Red Skull

Evil Mastermind Red Skull

The turns are actually quite easy and broken down into 3 steps:
1. Villain Phase
2. Recruit and Battle
3. Cleanup

1. Villain Phase. Play the top card of the villain deck. If it’s a Villain it goes onto the villain track. The track is a series of 5 different locations around the city. As the villains progress along the track, they get closer to escaping from the heroes (bad stuff can happen if they do). Each villain has a fight strength and some unique abilities.
Other cards that may appear are bystanders (who get captured by villains), Scheme cards (the effect varies depending on the Masterminds scheme), and Master Strike cards (which are basically the Mastermind getting his hands dirty and pounding on the players).

2. Recruit and Battle This is where you can add cards to your deck by recruiting them from the SHIELD deck or the Heroes deck or battle the Villains or Evil Mastermind. Almost all of the Super Hero cards will have either a recruit number or fight number. You use your recruit points as a form of currency to add heroes from the HQ to your play deck. Fight points are used to battle the villains on the villain track. If your fight points equal his fight value, you KO him and he is added to your score pile.
Hero cards also will usually have a special ability that will help the player in some way (such as drawing more cards or adding to other cards fight/recruit power).

SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson

SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson

HERO Thor Odinson

HERO Thor Odinson

HERO The Incredible Hulk

HERO The Incredible Hulk

HERO Captain America

HERO Captain America

HERO Spiderman

HERO Spiderman

3. Cleanup Discard your hand and draw 6 new cards. This is the standard cleanup phase found in most all deck building games. Discard everything in play/hand and draw 6 news cards.

In our game we did manage to defeat the Red Skull and I won convincingly with 34 points worth of Villains and Masterminds versus Nicks 14 and Brents 9.

Overall I was very impressed with Legendary.  Once we picked up the rules it became quite easy to play.  It was only once I;d started writing this review that I realised Legendary:A Marvel Deckbuilding Game was related to another game that I had previously looked at and seriously considered Legendary:Encounters (the Aliens version of the same game).

Legendary: Encounters

Legendary: Encounters

The core box set usually retails at around £48/$60.  That isn’t too bad at all for a game with the almost infinite replayability that this game does.  I cannot fault the slick graphics and layout of the images which are typically Marvel…bright and engaging.  There are plenty of expansions to keep this game interesting including but not limited to Legendary:Dark City, Legendary: Fantastic 4, Legendary:Guardians of the Galaxy and Legendary: Paint the Town Red.  All are reasonably priced at around £20 each although Legendary:Encounters and Legendary:Dark City are stand alone games in their own right and subsequently retail at an average price of £45.

Legendary Expansions

Legendary Expansions