Marvel Champions is a 1-4 player superhero game, where each player takes on the role of a Marvel hero 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. Each Hero is represented by a deck of cards, consisting of basic cards, Hero-specific cards and aspect cards (one of leadership, justice, aggression and protection). Each Villain is also represented by a deck of cards, comprising villain-specific cards, basic villain cards and a modular encounter set.
During a player's turn, they will play cards, paying the cost by discarding other cards from their hand. Then they will activate cards and perform a number of actions, all in an attempt to defeat the ‘big bad’ and thwart his schemes. Players can also switch from alter ego to Hero form once per turn and activate their character’s special ability, as well as the basic recovery, attack, or defend actions. 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.
Time to Defend
Next is the villain phase. During the villain phase, threat is added to 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 Villain'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.
Players will need to manage the number of threat tokens that are placed on a scheme. If a certain quantity of tokens is placed on the scheme, it will advance to the next stage, taking the Villain closer to victory. In addition to the threat/schemes, players will also have to take out minions and deal damage to the Villain to reduce his health to zero and win the game. Marvel Champions is a living card game (LCG). As such, the publisher, Fantasy Flight Games, is expanding the game with new Hero & Villain packs. Check out a full review & final thoughts of the core game here.
Little & Large
One of the new Hero packs is Ant-Man.
With the ability to grow to giant size or shrink down to tiny form, Ant-Man is ready for anything. Ant-Man is -the first Hero to have two Hero forms as well as their Alter-Ego form. You can switch from any form to any other form, making for some compelling gameplay choices and decisions. There are some cards that work when in giant form and some that work when in tiny form. Playing as Ant-Man gives you combos and synergy aplenty.
The Ant-Man Hero pack comes with a pre-built leadership deck of 40 cards, including his own nemesis and obligation cards, as well as new cards for further deck-building options.
Ant-Man Hero Pack: Final Thoughts
Oh, man...if I was to describe the Ant-Man Hero pack in one word, it would be "fun". This Hero is so much fun to play. The introduction of the three-sided folding card and the two hero forms is amazing. The cardplay and combos that you can create can make for some amazingly cool and thematic turns and I love it. Once again, FFG has done something different and kept Marvel Champions fresh, entertaining, and fun.
There are some really great Ant-Man cards in the deck, such as Resize, which lets you change to your other hero form and draw a card. This can create some really interesting combos with cards like Army of Ants and Hive Mind. Army of Ants deals one damage to the enemy if you are in tiny hero form. Tie this in with Ant Man's Helmet, which has a kicker when you change to either tiny form or giant form, and you can pull off some cool turns.
There is also a new wild resource card, Pym Particles, which will trigger a different ability depending on your form when it is played. Ant-Man comes with a leadership deck and there are some great new cards to add to the leadership aspect for future deck-building. Moxie, for example, gives your hero +1 attack, +1 thwart and +1 defence till the end of the round when you change form.
Versatile is another way to describe Ant-Man. He seems to be good at a lot of things. Swapping forms from tiny hero to giant hero to alter ego and so on. However, with Villains like Taskmaster, who deals damage when changing to Hero form, all this changing form can cause problems. As a result, Ant-Man doesn’t feel overpowered. He just feels funs and exciting to play.
One of the big draws of Ant-Man is partnering him with the Wasp. Cards like Swarm Tactics play into the synergy between these two characters, making it really good fun when they are on the table together.
I think I have said "fun" too many times in this review, but that is the feeling I get when playing Ant-Man. I think it's the best way to sum up this Hero pack.