He Said, "Welcome To The Frickin' Guardians Of The Galaxy."
In 2014, one of the best films in the MCU to date was released. Guardians of the Galaxy introduced a public who may not have been familiar with them (I certainly wasn't at the time) to a ragtag team of misfits. If they were a Dungeons and Dragons party, they're pretty much all in the chaotic alignment. The shenanigans they get into on the screen and page are a lot of fun and made me fall for them hard. When I had the opportunity to buy the Marvel Legendary: Guardians of the Galaxy expansion, I had to have it. I love the adventures of Star Lord, Groot, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon and Drax, and I really wanted to see how they would square up against Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Time to fuel up the engines, get comfy and press play on that old mix cassette tape!
"For This To Work, I Need That Guy's Leg."
Like most deckbuilding games, you start off with a limited resource of buying and combat (stars and claws for Marvel Legendary). One to five players are challenged to recruit Marvel heroes to fight against the villains who are making their way through New York. You add these heroes to your deck and use their abilities to defeat the henchmen and fiendish mastermind who wants to ruin the world with their scheme. The game can be played fully co-operatively or semi co-operatively as you can choose to be all against the villains, or score based on how well your own deck does. Defeat the mastermind four times before the scheme is complete and you win! The full how-to-play and review is available here.
I Am Groot
This expansion brings in the five core members of the Guardians of the Galaxy to the world of the fantastic deckbuilding game. It also brings the powerful Kree Supreme Intelligence and mighty Thanos as masterminds, and four different grand schemes, including the Kree/Skrull war and Assembling the Infinity Gauntlet.
A key mechanic is the introduction of shards - small cardboard tokens with numbers on both sides. These can be added to heroes, villains and masterminds, giving them a bonus to their strength. However, if you defeat a villain with a shard, you gain one of theirs to use whenever you want. Great for using in the fully co-operative mode, but devious when you're playing to win individually. In addition, you have artifact cards. These stick around after they're played and give you on-going powers. Think continuous spell cards from Yu-Gi-Oh. Generally once a turn abilities, these artifacts can let you gain additional attack strength, buying power, draw cards or gain shards, among other abilities.
The inclusion of the Infinity Gems as a villain group makes for an interesting challenge. They count as artifacts and some of them gain progressive powers as shards get added to them, making them extremely powerful as the game goes on. Be careful though, because gaining too many of them in a match with the Assemble the Infinity Gauntlet scheme will cause you to become mad with power and evil wins!
What A Bunch Of A-Holes
The Guardians of the Galaxy Expansion is an exciting addition to the heroes in the Legendary box. The only thing to be aware of is that if shards come up as part of the mastermind or any of the villain groups, you're probably going to want at least one of the Guardians in your hero deck, otherwise you can be in for a very difficult game.
The galactic threats of the Kree Supreme Intelligence and Thanos are excellently pitched though, and I highly recommend that this expansion is added to your heroic collection. You do need the base game in order to play this though, so don't be tempted to just get the expansion alone. After all, the Avengers aren't just five members, right? (I know they were six for a long time, but you get my point - play the game and you'll see.)