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Marvel Champions (FFG)... uh oh...

CitizenKeen

Rules Lawyer
Validated User
Yeah, the more and more that's revealed, it becomes ever clearer that they're revealing the complexity slowly but that there's a lot of room to explore. I'm really excited.
 

BrianDR

Registered User
Validated User
Apologies if someone already posted this, but I found this explanation helpful: https://teamcovenant.com/learning/marvel-champions-lcg/what-is-marvel-champions-lcg-superhero-living-card-game-announcement

Two things stick out at me:

First, it's interesting that the distribution model seems to separate additional player cards and additional scenarios into two different types of packs. Presumably because the hero packs are a full preconstructed deck, so there wouldn't be room to have a scenario in the same pack as well. I know with the other coop LCGs I eventually got to a point where I honestly already had more scenarios than I had time for, but I always crave new cards for deckbuilding - so that works for me. But I wonder if it will create a problem where one type of pack or the other sells much better.

Secondly, I'm wondering how deck construction will work just on a thematic level. You would think that thematically most cards in a Spiderman deck would relate to Spiderman. Which would pose a problem for actually having choices in deckbuilding. The article implies that you have to include all 15 Spiderman cards in a Spiderman deck, and then 25+ other cards that relate to your aspect. Which allows for more deckbuilding choices, but means the bulk of cards out there are going to be generic/not specific to a given hero. I wonder how they are going to fill out those card sets from a thematic perspective. Some will be allies, which is cool, but looking at the cards spoiled so far, is most of my deck going to be generic-feeling cards like "Lead from the front", "Make the call" and "The power of leadership" (example Leadership aspect cards)?
 

AndersGabrielsson

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I may be alone in this, but I think this game could have benefited from the deckbuilding method used in the Star Wars LCG, where you have "pods" of IIRC six cards and you pick a number of those to build your deck. This would have allowed for easier swapping of different aspects of the heroes as well as groups of thematically linked neutral cards. It would also make deckbuilding much less daunting for newer players, but here Imsuppose they assume that newer players will just use the basic decks as-is. (Perhaps less importantly, I think it also creates an interesting balancing dynamic since you're not picking individual cards.)
 

CitizenKeen

Rules Lawyer
Validated User
The joy of pods was that they were internally balancing - you could put cards in a pod that were stronger than average and they'd be weighed down by cards that were weaker. You could also expand synergies (since we know the deck is going to have all six of these cards, we can rely on their presence).

I think this is just a "best of both worlds" approach. They get 15-25 cards (depending on how you count: 15 Signature Cards, 2 Identity faces, 5 Nemesis Cards, 1 Obligation) that are guaranteed to work together. Black Panther can have rule-breaking cards (5 Wakanda Forevers, each with slight differences), etc., and Killmonger can be immune. You know Killmonger's ability is going to be relevant because Killmonger only shows up when Black Panther is there. You don't have to worry about Wakanda Forever triggering off of twenty cards, because there are only (and, ostensibly, will ever be only) 4 Black Panther Upgrades.

But you still get the full deck building experience.

And, it allows for a Smash-Up style building in a way that the Star Wars pod system doesn't. I can (ostensibly) go buy the new Ms. Marvel deck, swap out Iron Man for Ms. Marvel, boom, have a new deck. Different from Core, but doesn't require me to actually think about deck-building. I think that's a huge selling point.

B BrianDR I think some packs will absolutely sell more than others. That's not a problem unless they don't plan for it. I think it'll be especially interesting because if the decks are themed. Did anybody really have a preference for the Miskatonic Museum versus the Essex County Express, based on the pack? No. But there will absolutely be people who view Ms. Marvel or Captain America as a "must buy" based purely on who is on the outside. That's an aspect I don't think we've seen before. Which gets extra weird if, say, there's a clutch card in Cyclop's pack, but Cyclops doesn't get a lot of love because he's Cyclops, and so the card doesn't get reprinted as often as Doctor Strange's pack, even though Doctor Strange's pack is full of duds.

Having played the game a half dozen times, I can say that the game absolutely feels like you're playing the hero. It's very similar to Sentinels of the Multiverse in that way (and different than Legendary, which is terrible at evoking the feeling of playing a super hero). If you get really hung up on the fact that your Spider-Man deck has a card with a picture of Sam Wilson on it, then yes, that's going to be a problem. But I always felt like I was being Spider-Man or She Hulk or whomever every time I play the game. I think the core 15 cards plus identity really are just that - the core of the deck. The Aspect + Hero balance is really <italian chef kiss> perfect.
 

DrFaust

Roll away the dew.
Validated User
But I always felt like I was being Spider-Man or She Hulk or whomever every time I play the game. I think the core 15 cards plus identity really are just that - the core of the deck. The Aspect + Hero balance is really <italian chef kiss> perfect.
You're killing me, Smalls. I'm trying so hard not to want to get into this one.
 

CitizenKeen

Rules Lawyer
Validated User
You're killing me, Smalls. I'm trying so hard not to want to get into this one.
You are talking to the wrong person here. I'm the assistant chief fireman on the Marvel Champions hype train. I've been begging for this exact game[1] for three years.

I want to share one anecdote with you. I'm not going to talk about playing Iron Man and losing cards off the top of your deck as Ultron turns your cards into drones. I'm not going to talk about playing Spider-Man and how despite the Eviction Notice you got last turn, when you go home to Aunt May everything feels better and you've recovered. I'm not going to talk about the time I drew Energy Absorption and Energy Channel off of Alpha Flight Station to take Rhino from almost full health to no health in one turn as Captain Marvel, because she just goes fuckin' BLAMMO. Because those are really thematic and fun experiences, but lots of games have fun and thematic experiences.

No, the one anecdote I want to share is when it goes past fun and thematic and becomes fuckin' magic. When you've built this Black Panther engine that just fuckin' hums, protecting the other players and dropping Wakanda Forever and ever, occasionally going back to being T'Challa so you can just cash in all those sweet fuckin' resources that Shuri and The Golden City get you, before you go back to being an unstoppable ninja. And then, the excitement and fear[2] you feel when Killmonger shows up, because he's always got a chance to show up when you're playing Black Panther, and Killmonger is immune to Black Panther tech. Because you can't go at him with all that sweet tech and the heart-shaped herb. You've got to deal with him mano-a-mano, because it's your fucking kingdom and you better fucking earn it.

The first time you topdeck Shadow of the Past into Killmonger... You remember when Baltar took his head off the desk or you found out it was Lore leading those renegade Borg? It feels like that.

But I mean, don't buy it. It's probably going to be terrible.

[1] What I begged for was a co-op LCG with a light theme. Marvel was just an example of an IP I'd be happy with.
[2] You know, with an upper bound for excitement and fear of "it's a board game".
 

BrianDR

Registered User
Validated User
If you get really hung up on the fact that your Spider-Man deck has a card with a picture of Sam Wilson on it, then yes, that's going to be a problem.
I think you've misunderstood my question. I don't care about the art. I'm just wondering - if 15/40 cards in a Spiderman deck are Spiderman cards (Web shooters, and Aunt May and all that), what are the other 25 cards?
We know some of them are allies, but also that there's an ally cap so it can't be that many. If you've played the game - what was the rest of your deck made up of?
 

CitizenKeen

Rules Lawyer
Validated User
I think you've misunderstood my question. I don't care about the art. I'm just wondering - if 15/40 cards in a Spiderman deck are Spiderman cards (Web shooters, and Aunt May and all that), what are the other 25 cards?
We know some of them are allies, but also that there's an ally cap so it can't be that many. If you've played the game - what was the rest of your deck made up of?
Sorry, I didn't quite misunderstand your question, but maybe I didn't answer it.

There are four Aspects - Justice, Aggression, Protection, and Leadership. These are the "factions" of the game, though they're not factions, they're personalities. Are you playing the Iron Man who wants to lead the Avengers when Cap is away, the one we see in later MCU movies? Then you're playing Leadership Iron Man. Are you playing the Iron Man who is myopically focused on winning the Civil War? Then you're Aggression Iron Man. Et cetera.

So, Aggression has lots of cards like Relentless Assault and Chase them Down and upgrades like Combat Training and allies like Hulk and Tigra. It's the aggressive playstyle. Protection has cards like Get Behind Me and upgrades like Armored Vest and allies like Luke Cage. It's the... protection playstyle, if you like making sure everybody survives to the end.

Playstyle-wise, the cards feel mostly secondary to the core cards, because the core cards often synergize. So when I was playing Justice Spider-Man, I felt like I was playing a Spider-Man deck with Justice cards in it, not the other way around, even though the numbers were the other way.

However, those Aspect cards have a variety of heroes on them. Great Responsibility has Spider-Man on it, which is great if you're Spider-Man. But if you're playing Aggression Spider-Man, Chase Them Down has Captain Marvel on it, and The Power of Aggression has Tigra on it. So if having Captain Marvel and Tigra on the cards in your Spider-Man deck is immersion breaking, that can be a problem.

But "feel-wise", the cards definitely feel like the 25 augment the 15.
 
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