Marvel Champions is a one to four-player superhero 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. And now The Once and Future Kang. Each hero is represented by a deck of cards made up 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.
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 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.
Players will need to manage the number of threat tokens that are placed on a scheme as if a certain quantity is reached the scheme advances to the next stage and eventually the Villain will win by completing his scheme. 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) and as such the publisher Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) are supporting the game with new Hero & Villain packs to further expand the game, the combinations and replayability. Check out a full review & final thoughts of the core game here.
Divide and Conquer
One of the new scenario packs is The Once and Future Kang.
The Once and Future Kang is unlike any villain you have faced before. From a time gone to futures not yet determined, The Once and Future Kang is deadly. It will sure to put up a fight against the heroes. Face off against present-day Kang. Before he divides the team and sends them to different timelines to fight against different versions of Kang. Where you may have previously relied on your fellow heroes for support, this is no longer the case. You will all be cast back to different historical moments in time. Once historical Kang has been defeated the heroes can return to the present day. This is where they can take down Kang once and for all.
The Once and Future Kang scenario pack comes with three modular encounter sets which can be added to keep the game fresh, interesting and challenging.
Dealing with the Past
I am going to jump right to the point here, The Once and Future Kang is an amazing scenario pack. In all previous scenarios, you fight stage I of the villain, defeat it and fight stage II. This is assuming you are not playing the harder difficulties. Players can assist each other and help one another take down the villain in true hero fashion. The Once and Future Kang turns this on its head. After defeating stage I of Kang each player is sent back to a different part in history. They then face off against a different version of Kang, alone. With no support or assistance from your fellow heroes, you will need to defeat this version of Kang before being brought back to the present day.
This fundamental twist on the core gameplay makes Kang, in my opinion, one of the most interesting and challenging villains to date.
It is not without its flaws though. The brilliance of sending each hero to a different time stream shines more if you are playing with two or more characters. When playing true solo it does lose some of its shine. Kang is still a great scenario pack when playing true solo. It is just even better when playing with two characters as that sense of separation and being alone is heightened when you don't have your fellow heroes help.
The three modular encounter sets are great fun as well. From facing off against a T-Rex in the Temporal set to taking on some of Kang's personal guard in the Anachronauts set. Each set provides a challenging experience for you to overcome. I have not played many games with the Anachronauts or Masters of Time module sets. This is as they are super challenging. The times I have played were great fun though. The obligation also works slightly different with Kang. You don't shuffle in your hero specific obligation at the beginning of the game. Instead, Kang has his own set of obligation cards that are tough and tricky to deal with. This includes placing the top eight cards from your deck under the obligation to not being able to play hero specific cards from your hand.