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Marvel Champions

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04 Mar 2024 11:30 - 04 Mar 2024 11:31 #341900 by Ah_Pook
I recommend subbing in the basic Hope ally for the scenarios that use her, but that's just me :) you can get some really degenerate nonsense going with the encounter set one, which I found warped the scenarios quite a bit.

I really like how Stryfe fucks with your decks economy, it's an interesting effect to play around with.
Last edit: 04 Mar 2024 11:31 by Ah_Pook.
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18 Mar 2024 12:00 #341964 by Shellhead
My friend and I finished the NeXT campaign. It's the easiest campaign, even easier than the Red Skull campaign, because the Red Skull remains a challenging final boss unless your thwarting is strong. We battled Juggernaut with Cyclops and Storm, and continued to switch characters for each scenario. We battled Mister Sinister (flight/strength) with Angel and Domino, then Stryfe with Deadpool and Domino. We had no trouble with Stryfe once my friend noticed the advantage of going to alter ego more often against Stryfe.

At this point, my friend has played every scenario I have except for Klaw, Ultron, Spiral, and Mojo. He has also played most my non-Aggression decks. Fortunately, this game has a lot of replay value, so we can do some mixing and matching with individual scenarios and various modular sets.
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27 Mar 2024 11:22 #342008 by Shellhead
The Age of Apocalypse boxed set is starting to arrive in stores. I don't plan to get it. I still enjoy Marvel Champions, and the boxed sets are the best value in the game aside from the base set. Why not?

The heroes don't inspire me. Bishop has a mullet, a huge gun, and hails from a future dystopia. In the game, this translates into a hero deck built around resource cards and the temporal keyword, which feels flat and unengaging. Magik is a mutant sorcerer with a dark edge, which translates into maneuvering specific cards into being on top of her draw pile and reaping various unthematic benefits from them.

Most of the scenarios don't interest me. Unus the Untouchable was originally a mutant villain with a powerful force field defense, but now he looks like a generic Kree soldier in very bulky body armor and leading a vast horde of similarly equipped troops. The Four Horseman looks more interesting as another one of those multi-villain scenarios, and does appear interesting. The third scenario is Apocalypse, who has always looked like a grotesquely large and muscular clown. His scenario has an unpleasant quantity of acceleration tokens, which demands players to run decks with strong thwarting capacity, or Deadpool. The fourth scenario features an evil version of a founding X-Man: Dark Beast. His scenario is the most tempting one in the box for me, as he uses time travel to send heroes through various critical points in mutant history, including a trial by combat on the moon against the Imperial Guard (Marvel's homage to DC's Legion of Super-Heroes). The final scenario is Apocalypse, again. There is a new mechanic involving side missions that can only be completed by allies, and it looks like more trouble than it is worth.

And finally there is cost. I have spent several hundred dollars on this game, despite receiving the base set as a Christmas present from my ex and also getting store discounts on all the expansions. I don't feel the need to collect every release for this game, so I have only acquired about 70% of the expansions.

Despite everything I wrote above, I'm not done with Marvel Champions yet. The upcoming Iceman hero deck looks fun, and I am really hoping that the next wave of expansions will be focused on the Fantastic Four and their allies, like Namor and the Silver Surfer. And I hope there will be a street-level wave of expansions after that, featuring characters like Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.

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31 Mar 2024 17:12 - 31 Mar 2024 20:10 #342026 by Ah_Pook
Finally got MC back on the table and tried out Angel (aggression) and X-23 (leadership) vs expert Unus, the first villain in the Apocalypse box.

Scattered thoughts:

Angel is ridiculous. Honed Technique Dive Bomb definitely needed to do 4 more damage and cost 2 less and return to your hand to do it again. He's so insanely nuclear, but also pretty linear... Like you put the aerial cards in your deck and you go the fuck off. It's fun to make the number go big but probably only every once in a while, as piloting him doesn't really have much of the fun nuance I enjoy.

X-23 is extremely fun w/ sidekick honey badger. Readies for days, and fun sequencing stuff to play around with as her stats are getting boosted at various times throughout her turn and stuff. Really fun hero kit imo, and the new Sidekick card seems especially made for her.

Unus is a fun first scenario. Straightforward, but solid. Nasty attachments and a bunch of minions. Ally hate but it powers up the villain and minions instead of pushing an alternate loss condition like Project Wideawake did, which is a cool twist. Good start to the new box.

Standard 3 is a huge win. It replaces Shadows of the Past with a permanent card that builds up counters and puts your nemesis set into play once it hits 3 counters, or your nemesis activates against you if it's already in play. Then it replaces Advance and Assault with cards that activate against you and also put a counter on the nemesis thing, and a few other nasty tricks. Really fun stuff.

Probably going to build an aggression Magik deck and drop Angel, I think Magik looks really fun and I always like a new Mystic to play with.

Also Sidekick decks are my new shit, officially. I'm like going through the list of heroes and their signature allies mentally working out who needs to get Sidekicked up.
Last edit: 31 Mar 2024 20:10 by Ah_Pook.
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01 Apr 2024 10:34 #342029 by Shellhead
My old friend came over yesterday. He finally got addicted enough to buy some cards, and picked up the NeXT Evolution boxed set despite my recommendation that he needs the base set for the tokens, cards, and hit point wheels. He just really loves playing the Domino deck. Since we had recently played through the NeXT campaign, we went old school and played two scenarios from the base set, just because we have already played almost every other scenario in my collection.

He played the untuned Domino/justice starter while I played a highly-tuned Hulk/aggression deck, against Klaw and the Masters of Evil. We really dominated the game early on, and it was starting to look too easy. But Domino's nemesis Topaz showed up, and her side scheme really pumped up Klaw's attacks, along with a couple of attachments that Klaw picked up right around that time. We got battered and Klaw whipped through his deck a couple of times, so the main scheme was a concern. But we finally pulled it together and Hulk finished Klaw with a 13-point punch.

We kept the same heroes and took on Ultron. I got Hulk's retaliation upgrade in play early on, so between that and Domino's guns, we did a pretty good job of clearing the drones most turns. But I had forgotten the very nasty twist of the final stage of Ultron's main scheme, which forbids the players from removing threat. We tried to step up our attacks on Ultron and go for the win, but he lucked into a bunch of scheming in a single turn and crushed us. Due to holiday plans, we didn't have time for rematch, but I'm sure my friend will now feel the need for an Ultron rematch and go purchase the base set.

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07 Apr 2024 19:11 #342077 by Kmann
Shuffled up for the first time in a few months this week. I saw I had a handful of heroes still in shrink so cracked open Sp//dr. I pit her against Rhino and Lady Deathstrike, which is a modular I hadn't used before.

The first two nights they steamrolled me. I barely got a hit on Rhino and was bogged down by threat and minions. Her hero hand size of 3 kept me behind the pace and I couldn't get her set up.

On Thursday I'd had enough of that nonsense so hit up MCDB and found a deck called 'Interfacing with the Triforce'. It was protection which I wanted to keep Sp/Dr in as that was her precon aspect.

Well, it was a completely different game. Sp/Dr became a monster. Resources a-plenty and hitting hard and often. I took Rhino all the way from stage 1 through to stage 3 as I was having so much fun with the deck.

The precons are usually fairly average but boy, Sp//Dr's is atrocious.

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08 Apr 2024 09:44 #342081 by Shellhead
SP//dr has an okay starter deck, but pitting her against Rhino is a mismatch. Like Iron Man, SP//dr needs time to get set up, and Rhino comes out swinging and has that single-stage main scheme that is so unforgiving.

I knew that my friend would be obsessed with beating Ultron, and sure enough, he was back for more on Friday. He continued to play his untuned Domino/justice deck. For the first two games, I ran a Bruce Banner/justice deck that completely turns the Hulk deck inside out. It is big on putting out lasting resources like Ingenuity and Bruce Banner's lab, and keeping Hulk in alter ego for most of the game. It also runs a significant number of SHIELD cards. My Bruce deck finally got up and rolling at full speed right about the time that Domino got killed. In our rematch, we both struggled for a while, and Ultron managed to get to his unstoppable third stage on his main scheme, and we couldn't deal out damage fast enough to beat him.

For the third game, I played a lightly-tuned War Machine/leadership deck, while my friend continued with Domino/justice. We did really well, holding Ultron at stage 2 of 3 on his main scheme, while dealing enough damage to get him to his second stage. Then we had a couple of rough turns. His drones were 2 ATK at this point, and War Machine got dented by two of them during the villain's activation phase. My friend drew a Concussive Blast during the encounter phase, and that finished off each of our allies that we had been holding back for emergency blocking. Then I drew Gang-Up, and Ultron and those two drones knocked War Machine out of the game. Domino died the following turn. That night, I actually had a mild nightmare about replaying Ultron and getting beat again. It is extremely rare that I dream about games like that.

My friend might be heading out of town soon. If he is still around next weekend, he will probably want another rematch with Ultron. If we manage to win, the only two unplayed scenarios left in my collection are Spiral and Mojo, and they both look more annoying than fun.

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10 Apr 2024 23:49 #342095 by Ah_Pook
Mojo is sick, but the clock on it is maniacal. You need to bring some heat on that one. One of the better scenarios.

Spiral is okay but you can get really hosed by deck rng so it can go either way.
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15 Apr 2024 10:07 #342134 by Shellhead
Don't how much longer my friend will be in town before returning to Florida, so when he came over on Saturday, I didn't bring out Spiral and Mojo. I will eventually give those scenarios a try, but I can't shake my gut instinct that they will be more annoying than fun.

First game: We finally beat Ultron, with Domino/justice and War Machine/leadership. It played out pretty much as you would expect, with Domino managing the schemes while War Machine cleared the drones and put the hurt on Ultron. Still surprising that we both got killed in our previous attempt with these same two decks against Ultron. The big difference was our response to Upgraded Drones. Last game, we thought we could ignore the Upgraded Drones and just go in for the kill on Ultron, wrapping up the game in 2 or 3 turns. But with +1ATK and one extra hit point, those Upgraded Drones were a serious menace. This time, we got rid of the Upgraded Drones card as fast as it showed up.

Second game: Custom scenario featuring Maestro, the evil genius Hulk from the future. He is trying to kickstart his radioactive wasteland future by setting off nukes in key cities to bring about World War III. My friend continued to play Domino/justice, but I switched to Wolverine/aggression. Maestro has a unique gimmick, the ability to deal out a Dazed status card to heroes and allies. Dazed works just like Stunned or Confused, except that it prevents a hero or ally from tapping to defend. Maestro also has a built-in ability to give a Dazed status card to a hero who takes damage from an undefended attack. Domino spent most of the game dazed, and eventually got defeated, but Wolverine was able to finish the game with a win.

Third game: We both had other plans for the evening, so only 90 minutes or less to play one more game. I picked Sandman plus the City in Chaos (featuring Rhino). We stuck with the same team of Wolverine and Domino, and won easily. We did both adjust our play style to focus on playing allies, because allies are great at clearing the sandy street environment from the Sandman deck. Normally the basic Colossus ally feels a bit expensive even with the X-discount, but he was awesome in this scenario. Able to tank a villain attack with Toughness, then clear 3 sand counters every turn for the rest of the game.

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13 May 2024 10:12 - 13 May 2024 10:14 #342298 by Shellhead
My friend who is obsessed with Marvel Champions came over yesterday, so we had to play a couple of games. He has recently been enjoying my completely untuned SP//dr deck (protection), so he chose that and I took Hawkeye (leadership) up against a fan-made Super-Adaptoid scenario.

It's been quite a while since I mentioned Super-Adaptoid here, so I will give you a quick rundown. In the comics, he is a sophisticated android who can copy the powers, skills and even equipment of his opponents. For game purposes, he has five different adaptation attachments, and he potentially changes attachments at the end of each round, in response to actions taken by the heroes that turn. Certain actions trigger attachments, which means that they go into the mix for the random selection of the next attachment. For example, if you play an ally, Super-Adaptoid might switch to an attachment that gives all of his attacks Overkill. If you thwart, it might switch to an attachment that adds one threat to the main scheme every time he attacks.

To make matters worse, Super-Adaptoid comes with a fan-made modular set that has a nasty synergy with it. A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is a covert organization of criminal scientists. They have a few side schemes, most of which feature an acceleration icon. And their minions are all 2/2 with 3 hit points. If an A.I.M. minion shows up as a boost card, it converts to a facedown encounter card. Whenever one of these A.I.M. enters play, the Super-Adaptoid gets a facedown boost card.

Our first game went badly, as Hawkeye got his nemesis Crossfire on turn two. Crossfire quickstrikes, his side scheme kidnaps Mockingbird, and his event cards each deal 3 points of damage to your identity. Even if you're in alter ego, and you can't block the damage with allies. Later in the game, Crossfire shot Hawkeye in alter ego and killed him, and Super-Adaptoid finished off SP//dr later that same turn with a surprise second attack. Second game was better, as Crossfire didn't show up, but we still lost. One problem is that both of our characters need to get out certain upgrades to be effective, so we start slow. The other problem is that Hawkeye is so fragile, with 9 hits points and DEF 1. All that said, Super-Adaptoid and A.I.M. are fun opponents, not hideous beatdowns like Ronan or Venom Goblin.
Last edit: 13 May 2024 10:14 by Shellhead.

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28 May 2024 10:34 #342366 by Shellhead
When we get beat by a villain, my friend insists on replaying the scenario until we finally win. To avoid getting bored or suffering excessively from a bad match-up (like Dr. Strange vs The Hood), I allow myself to change heroes every other game or so. So we played three more games against the custom Super-Adaptoid scenario on Sunday. My friend continued to play my untuned SP//dr protection deck.

Because I had recently picked up the new Iceman/aggression starter deck and tried it a few times without tuning it, I wanted to play that against the Super-Adaptoid. We had a long, but entertaining game but gradually got crushed once there were three acceleration tokens on the main scheme. The untuned Iceman starter is an unusually effective deck. His signature move is slapped Frostbite upgrade cards on enemies any time he does a basic attack or defense, giving that opponent a -1 scheme or -1 attack on their next activation. Most of his hero cards have the keyword Ice and some of his other cards have the keyword X-Men, so Team-Building Exercise is very helpful. Several of his cards work better against an opponent with an upgrade, which would be anybody with a Frostbite card. Like most of the other mutant heroes in this game, his cards are fun and thematic.

Second game went worse. Super-Adaptoid kept slamming us with indirect damage, which is tolerable with allies but harder if you are focusing on attacking and thwarting. The untuned SP//dr deck has lackluster allies. The untuned Iceman deck has better allies, but his hero and attacks cards tend to be better.

Third game, I was done with fooling around with Super-Adaptoid, so I switched to my untuned Deadpool/'pool deck. SP//dr occasionally stunned S-A, and I used Armed To The Teeth to bring out Sonic Rifle to keep S-A confused. We kept the game under control, though our steady march to victory was interrupted late in the game when Crisis of Infinite Deadpools brought Dreadpool into play. We managed to fight our way through to the win anyway.

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28 May 2024 18:29 #342382 by Kmann
If you have time or inclination build the 'Interfacing with the Triforce' Sp//Dr deck on MCDB for your pal. I found it lightyears better and way more fun than her pre-con which, imo, is abysmal.

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03 Jun 2024 10:41 #342418 by Shellhead

Kmann wrote: If you have time or inclination build the 'Interfacing with the Triforce' Sp//Dr deck on MCDB for your pal. I found it lightyears better and way more fun than her pre-con which, imo, is abysmal.


I took a look at that Triforce design, and it looked good, but I was perplexed by the comments, like "Ven#m turns every medical counter into 10 power!" I didn't get around to redesigning the deck before my friend came over on Saturday, but offered him the chance to re-tune it while I assembled the first Baron Zemo custom scenario. It was necessary, because he noticed that he was somehow playing with a to-small SP//dr deck of just 32 cards, which helps explain why it did so well in recent play. I just handed him my stacks of spare Protection and Basic cards, and he managed to figure out on his own that Assess the Situation was a great card for the deck. I agree that Team-Building Exercise and a couple more Spider-allies would be great, but I keep all of my heroes decks ready to go, so I'm not going to strip my Ghost Spider protection deck of all her allies.

Baron Zemo's first custom scenario (Firestarter) is fun, even though the only new cards are his 3 villain stages, his 2 main schemes, and an environment card that allows for more than one Baron Zemo in play at a time (due to Life Model Decoys). The rest of his deck is the Standard encounter cards, the Captain America nemesis set (Baron Zemo), and the modular sets of Bomb Scare, Legions of Hydra, and the Masters of Evil. There is a subtle and nasty synergy in these encounter cards, plus the Bomb Scare side scheme starts in play. For the first game, my friend played SP//dr protection, while I played Valkyrie/aggression because I underestimated Zemo and mistakenly assumed that the minions were the most challenging aspect of his scenario. We got solidly beat, without even advancing Zemo to his second stage.

I switched to my solid Captain America/leadership deck and my friend slightly tuned SP//dr again, and we easily won the second game against Zemo. Cap periodically stunned Zemo and SP//dr sometimes confused Zemo. We kept the main scheme from ever reaching the second stage, and finally beat Baron Zemo into submission. One key difference was that we realized the serious threat posed by Madame Hydra and her Legions of Hydra side-scheme. While that side-scheme is in play, she can't be damaged and her every activation also puts 2 more threat on it.

For a third game, we went up against the second custom scenario for Baron Zemo, Vengeance. Again, the only new cards were 3 villain stages for Zemo, a single-stage main scheme, and an environment card. The rest of the encounter deck consisted of the Standard encounter cards, the Wrecking Crew modular set, and a custom modular set representing a much larger version of the Masters of Evil modular set. One neat twist is that the new main scheme has a low fixed target number of 6. But instead of losing when Zemo hit 6 on the main scheme, it clears off all the threat and deals out a facedown encounter card to the first player. So the only way we could lose is to have our heroes physically defeated by enemy attacks.

With so many members of the Masters of Evil, we often faced several minions in play at any given time. We continued playing Captain America and SP//dr. It was a fun game, though we got off to a slow start because we kept treating every new minion as a mini-crisis. After we beat every minion at least once, we started doing a better job of taking the fight directly to Zemo for our eventual victory.

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10 Jun 2024 17:53 #342457 by Shellhead
The friend that I got hooked on Marvel Champions finally bought some cards for himself. He skipped the base set, reasoning that he only plays the game with me and I already have a base set. So he bought the NeXT campaign just because he was addicted to Domino/justice. He also got the hero decks for War Machine, Ant-man, and Scarlet Witch. However, he has recently been obsessed with playing my lightly-tuned SP//dr-protection deck.

In my ongoing effort to avoid ever playing the Spiral or Mojo scenarios, I downloaded and printed the custom scenarios for The Owl and Dr. Octopus with the Sinister Six. We played both this last weekend.

In the comics, the Owl is an unimpressive Daredevil villain. He is a criminal mastermind but not especially brilliant, has no super powers, and a physique that is similar to that of Foggy Nelson. However, his custom scenario is brutal. Characters take 1 point of damage every time they thwart the main scheme. Minions gain surge. And the Owl himself gets +1 ATK (max ATK of 4) for each minion engaged with the hero he is attacking. Most of his deck comes from existing modular sets: A Mess of Things (Scorpion), Running Interference (Tombstone), and Power Drain (Electro). He also uses some cards from the Rhino scenario, plus the Spider-man nemesis set (Vulture). We lost our first three games (!) though I was playing a decently-tuned Iceman/aggression deck. Finally I switched to my very good War Machine/leadership deck and we won.

Then we played against the Doc Ock/Sinister Six scenario. My friend is not a comic fan but has seen some movies, and was pleased that he recognized Doctor Octopus. My friend switched to playing an completely un-tuned Cable deck, while I played a lightly-tuned Ms. Marvel deck. We had a solid win.

Finally, we played against The Hood, with modulars in play including City in Chaos (Rhino), Lady Deathstrike, Sinister Syndicate, and Down to Earth. We got beat badly, which of course means we will be doing a re-match soon.

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24 Jun 2024 10:30 #342540 by Shellhead

Ah_Pook wrote: Mojo is sick, but the clock on it is maniacal. You need to bring some heat on that one. One of the better scenarios.

Spiral is okay but you can get really hosed by deck rng so it can go either way.


My friend and I finally finished playing two-player against every campaign, scenario, and custom scenario that I have, including the Spiral and Mojo scenarios. I was dreading the Spiral one because she has that potentially annoying teleportation gimmick. I played a moderately-tuned Angel/protection deck while my friend played a slightly-tuned Domino/justice deck.

Spiral was surprisingly easy, possibly because we talked strategy after setup but before starting play. We didn't preview her cards or the genre modulars, so we were surprised when she started getting swords and when one of us took a 6-point hit from the Dragon as a 4-point boost card. But we cornered her early and pounded her down to a few hit points while also hammering on the main scheme. We soon flipped her again and thrashed her soundly, then one more flip for the abrupt win.

Mojo was also easier than expected. Angel came out swinging hard and Domino thwarted mercilessly, so we were in a good position to finish him shortly after he shuffled in his third and final genre modular. Good thing, because he put out three nasty minions from the modular sets on his final turn. But we were free to ignore them and went directly for the win.

We also got off light on the minions while fighting Spiral. That Dragon only showed up as a boost card, but as a minion, it would have had Toughness, 20 hit points, and Retaliate 1. Both scenarios seemed potentially swingy, with nasty minions and some fairly mild treachery cards. And there were other cards that looked like obvious distractions to be ignored.

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