Marvel has a long history in the game industry going back nearly as long as the comics themselves. This Fall we will see two new games hit the market and I’m eager to give both a try.
First we will start with Marvel Champions (Living Card Game) from Fantasy Flight Games. Marvel has put out a number of card games in the past like OverPower and the VS System where players made decks from randomly packaged boosters of cards to play head to head and Marvel Legendary a more co-operative deck-building game without blind boosters and a more traditional board game feel.
Marvel Champions walks the line between these two formats. As a Living Card Game we will see monthly releases, which I’ll explore a bit more later. Needless to say the expansions will add new cards, new characters to play, and villains to fight without the need to chase blind boosters and those hard to get rare cards. Plus these expansions will always stay in print allowing you to pick them up long after their original release date.
So what is this game all about? The Core box (which will retail for $84.99) has everything you need for 1 – 4 players to jump into the action. It has 350+ cards, 100 token, 5 hit point trackers, and more. Each player will take the role of a hero (Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and She-Hulk in the core box) battling classic Marvel villains in devious schemes.
Players get a pre-built deck for their hero of choice which contains upgrades like Iron Man’s armor, events such as Swinging Web Kick, and allies like Daredevil to come to your aid. These cards are played by paying the resource cost on the card by discarding other cards from your hand. Your deck isn’t your only source of actions; an interesting mechanic is that your hero is more than this alter-ego. All Hero cards are double sided, with their Hero persona on one side and their real-life Alter-ego on the other. This allows players to flip back and forth between the two to utilize a variety of skills and tactics.
The game allows you to play the Hero’s straight out of the box as pre-built decks or do some light deck building swapping aspect type and neutral cards from other decks and expansions to give your hero a more unique feel built towards your personal play style.
The Villain you’ll fight against has it’s own deck with unique cards and Scheme Cards they will attempt to bring to fruition by placing Threat on it. This leaves the heroes in the balancing act of fighting the villain as well as trying to stop the scheme from advancing! The Villains deck is automated meaning no player will directly control the villain. After each player has activated they will have to draw a card from the Villains encounter deck bringing powers, tools, and minions to the board the heroes will have to deal with as well.
As a Living Card Game there will be new products released each month in the form of either Hero Packs ($21.99) or Scenario packs ($28.99). Hero packs will include a new fully playable hero deck out of the box, the first of which is Captain America. Scenario packs will introduce a new villain, scenarios, and modular encounter sets adding even more replayablity to an already widely replayable game.
Next week we will explore Marvel Crisis Protocol, a miniatures game from Atomic Mass Games.