Last week I used my Marvel post to review a Marvel-based card game. Well now, I will be kicking off the new series “TGON Plays Unplugged”, where I will be talking about board games, card games, RPGs and other tabletop games. Please note that I will discuss aspects of games that I enjoy and don’t enjoy, but I will not be assigning a score – board games are such a different experience for everyone! If you like what you read, please feel free to check them out.
In the last post I tackled Legendary, so it is only fitting to continue with it’s sister, Legendary: Villains.
Released: 2014 | Country: United States | Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment Designer: Devin Low | Artist: Various | Players: 1-5 | Age: 14+ | Time: 45 min
Like Legendary, Legendary: Villains is a (mostly) co-operative deck-building card game based on Marvel Comics. Instead of working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to recruit heroes and take down villains, players will work with HYDRA to recruit iconic villains and stop heroes – while trying to get ahead of other players themselves. The base game fully integrates with the original Legendary, and includes 15 classic baddies such as Venom, Ultron, Kingpin, Magneto, Juggernaut and Loki – as well as antagonizing “commander” heroes Dr. Strange, Nick Fury, Professor X, and Odin. Please note that this game is separate from “Legendary” and other games in the Legendary or Legendary Encounters series.
LEARNING CURVE: MINIMAL
Like the original, the game is fairly simple to learn. The rules are easy to grasp and it can be taught through gameplay, which is a plus. The game is a standard deck-builder – you draw cards from your deck into your hand, and use them to either attack heroes or recruit more powerful cards, which go into your discard pile. When your deck is empty, you shuffle the discard pile into a new, more powerful deck.
The thing with the Legendary series is that it all comes down to the luck of the draw, and maybe I haven’t been lucky with this game – but I find it significantly more difficult than Legendary. Like Legendary, the game usually starts out very difficult and gets easier as it goes on since your deck becomes more powerful – however, most cards have effects that negatively affect other players, which is an interesting and detrimental mechanic in a co-operative game.
My experiences with Legendary: Villains have not been as positive as those with Legendary. One thing I do appreciate is that the game can be mixed and matched with Legendary, and integrates seamlessly. If you want Loki and Kingpin to join your fight against Galactus, you can do so.
The box itself is absolutely gigantic, and is large enough to hold all cards and expansions, as well as several of the base game. If you are getting into Legendary and are interested in the expansions, I almost recommend this game as a must even if you aren’t interested, purely just for box space and more play options. Like Legendary, it is organized with blank “divider” cards; however, it does not have individual wells and isn’t very organized. Cards can get mixed up, and this can be annoying and take longer to set up a game, especially if you have expansions. I recommend investing in fan-made box organizer inserts – or, if you are like me, elastic banding the cards together by character for easy reference. This game comes with a gorgeous and useful playmat, that is vastly superior to the base game’s board.
As with Legendary, gameplay itself varies – it can be great, and you can have a “bad game”. This is entirely dependent on the villains and heroes you choose, and their effects.
The artwork for the box and cards are by assorted artists or taken straight from the comics, and is usually fantastic and very diverse.
This game technically only has one stand-alone expansion – however, all Legendary expansions since the game’s release are designed as Legendary: Villains expansions as well. Earlier Legendary expansions (Dark City, Paint the Town Red, Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Four) can also integrate seamlessly.
Legendary: Villains – Fear Itself (2015)
- Fear Itself is a small expansion and the only expansion fully geared towards Legendary: Villains. Based on a comic event of the same name, this expansion features most of “The Worthy” – a group of heroes and villains who were possessed by evil spirits inhabiting Uru hammers (like Mjolnir). This expansion includes Skadi the Herald of the Serpent (Sin), Nerkkod the Breaker of Oceans (Attuma), Nul the Breaker of Worlds (Hulk), Greithoth the Breaker of Chains (Absorbing Man), Skirn the Breaker of Men (Titania) and Kuurth the Breaker of Stone (Juggernaut), fighting against Uru-Enchanted Iron Man and The Mighty, a group of heroes with enchanted Asgardian weapons.
Legendary: Secret Wars, Volume 1 (2015)
- Based on the Secret Wars comic event, the second “big box” expansion is the first one designed to integrate with both Legendary and Legendary: Villains. This expansion includes characters from all over the Marvel universes: including new recruitable villains Maximus the Mad, Proxima Midnight, and Thanos. This expansion also allows one player to be the villain playing against his friends for the first time.
Legendary: Secret Wars, Volume 2 (2015) –
This is primarily a Legendary expansion, but it designed to expand Legendary: Villains as well. Another “big box”, this expansion includes more unusual villains, such as Corvus Glaive, Black Swan, and Arkon the Magnificent, and heroes to fight including the Guardians of the Galaxy and the 1992 animated series X-Men.
Legendary: Captain America 75th Anniversary (2016)
- This small expansion is mostly a Legendary expansion and doesn’t really add any new recruitable villains – but it adds masterminds Heinrich Zemo and Arnim Zola.
Legendary: Civil War (2016)
- This is primarily a Legendary expansion, but it designed to expand Legendary: Villains as well. The newest “big box” expansion, this add-on gets morally grey as heroes are the villains in this infamous arc. The expansion includes “divided” cards to fit with the Civil War theme, such as Stature/Iron Lad and Wiccan/Speed. Fighting against Maria Hill, The Great Lakes Avengers, Iron Man and Misty Knight is the right thing to do….right?
Legendary: Deadpool (2016)
- This small expansion is primarily for Legendary and isn’t out yet, and no details have been released – but I think you get the idea.
IF YOU LIKED LEGENDARY: VILLAINS, TRY:
The original game which pits your heroes against the villains.