Marvel Champions: The Card Game Review | Zatu Games

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95%

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Deck building can be quick and easy
  • Marvel theme
  • Different play styles of Heroes

Might Not Like

  • Solo play can be swingy
  • Some

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Marvel Champions: The Card Game Review

Marvel Champions Box Art

Marvel Champions is the latest living card game (LCG) from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). FFG are known for their LCGs so how does Marvel Champions shape up against Arkham Horror and The Lord of the Rings?

Marvel Champions is a one to four player super hero game where players take on the role of one of five Marvel heroes to battle it out against one of three villains. Play as Captain Marvel, Spiderman, She Hulk, Black Panther or Iron Man and face off against Rhino, Klaw or Ultron.

During a players turn they will play cards. (paying for the cost by discarding other cards from their hand). Then, activate cards and perform a number of actions all in attempt to defeat the “big bad” and to thwart his schemes. Players can also switch from alter ego to hero form once per turn. And activate their characters special ability as well the basic recovery. Once a player has performed all of their actions it passes to the next player. They repeat the process until all players have performed their actions.

Next is the villain phase. During the villain phase threat is added on the main scheme based on player count. Then the villain will either attack (if you are in hero form) or scheme (if you are in alter ego form). When they attack or scheme a boost card is revealed from the encounter deck and added to the Villian’s base attack/scheme value. Each player (in turn order) is then dealt an encounter card. Any minions in play will also attack or scheme.

As well as hero specific cards players will construct their deck with “basic” cards and choose one of the aspects their character will play; Leadership, Protection, Aggression and Justice. All the heroes and aspects are interchangeable.

Each hero also has an obligation that is added in to the enemies encounter deck and must be dealt with if it is revealed and hero specific nemesis are set aside. The enemies also have side scheme that is added in to the enemies encounter deck.

Play continues this way with the hero phase then the villain phase until either the villain has been reduced to zero health and the heroes win, or the main scheme has enough threat to end the game or all heroes health has been reduced to zero.

Thinking like Marvel Champions

I am not a seasoned LCG player. I have played the core Arkham Horror core box and that is about it. So I will not be comparing the gameplay to Arkham Horror or The Lord of the Rings LCGs (much) and I am coming this from a “novice” point of view when it comes to LCGs.

Marvel Champions has a lot of variability and replay-ability straight out of the box. There are five heroes, four aspects and three villains so there is a lot combinations and permutations to experiment with. In addition to this there are various side schemes and nemesis that can be added in to the encounter deck to further increase replay-ability. Each villain also has an additional “expert” card that can be played with to increase the difficulty.

As with all LCGs there are going to be a lot of extra expansions and card packs over the coming months/years, FFG have the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to go at so there is a lot of potential. The replay-ability and the scope is almost endless and I am very much looking forward to seeing what is coming next.

But how does it far as a game? Well, I played this 14 times in the first 10 days. Often playing single or double handed solo games. It is fantastic. I am struggling to think of what other game might beat this as game of the year for me. It is quick to play (especially solo) and feels streamlined compared to Arkham Horror, which I have played minimally.

The game feels very thematic with the obligations on point with the character. For example, Spiderman’s obligation is his eviction notice which ties in with the films and his character.

The use of the hero and alter-ego form is a very interesting mechanism. When in hero form the villain/minion will attack your hero and deal you damage. However, when in alter-ego form the villain/minions will scheme and add threat to the scheme. You can make some interesting and tactical choices of when to switch from one form to the other. The hand limit also changes depending on which form you are in. For example, Tony Stark’s hand limit is six but when in Iron Man form it will depend on the number of tech upgrades. Again this feels very thematic.

There are a lot of keywords and some edge case rules which might confuse players at first or when certain combinations of cards come up, but I think this is the nature of LCGs in general. In the instances where I have been unsure I have just go with what makes sense. After a few plays though the game feels smooth and streamlined.

Each of the heroes feels and plays differently and comes with their own play style. Add in to that the different aspects, villains and side scheme and you have a different feeling game each time.

Marvel Champions, for me, is the LCG that I didn’t know I wanted. I love the universe, enjoy the solo game as well as playing with others. Personally, I like the cooperative nature of it and how thematic it feels. I can see this one growing. Not just in content, but in my love for the game over the coming months/years. Just need to defeat Klaw and then Ultron and I will be ready for more villains.

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

Might Not Like

Zatu Score

95%

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fast shipping, prices is good, ordered 2 times, and will be ordering again in the near future

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My first order from this company and certainly won't be the last.Great website,great service with items being despatched really fast.Thanks to all the team

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Good collection of games. Affordable prices!

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2nd order from Zatu. Great selection of games at a reasonable price!

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Excellent website giving full description of the game I was interested in. Easy to order, good price and prompt delivery.

As boardgames in The Netherlands are hard to find in English I tried out Zatu Games for the first time. Amazing amount of titles to choose from, some with really good discounts and the delivery was surprisingly swift! Absolute recommendation!

As boardgames in The Netherlands are hard to find in English I tried out Zatu Games for the first time. Amazing amount of titles to choose from, some with really good discounts and the delivery was surprisingly swift! Absolute recommendation!

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Prices are decent, makes you comfortable and they have cool discounts. They make you feel welcome and it makes online shopping a breeze

I am very pleased with this store. All of the games are very nicely packaged and sent on time. The prices are usually the best comparing to other similar retailers and the customer service/support is fast and efficient. The only reason that I didn't rate it with 5 stars is the website. It is very problematic and I am having an issue almost every time I use it.

I am very pleased with this store. All of the games are very nicely packaged and sent on time. The prices are usually the best comparing to other similar retailers and the customer service/support is fast and efficient. The only reason that I didn't rate it with 5 stars is the website. It is very problematic and I am having an issue almost every time I use it.

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