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Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game Review

No. of players: 1-5
Amount of time to play: 45 min
Age requirements: 14+
Set-up time: 5-10 minutes

Legendary is a semi-cooperative deck building game. You must recruit heroes from the Marvel Universe to defeat villains and stop their schemes.

Legendary Rules Description:

You begin Legendary by choosing a mastermind to fight and the evil scheme they are trying to accomplish. To setup the game you must create a villain deck and a hero deck. The hero deck, as you’d expect, is full of heroes. The villain deck contains villains, henchmen, scheme cards, master strikes and bystanders.

You start the game with eight shield agents and four shield troopers. On your turn you draw six cards.

Each turn you flip over the top card from the villain deck. If it is a villain or henchman it goes on the villain track and pushes any previously placed villains forward. Villains that reach the end of the track escape. Scheme cards drawn from the villain deck trigger scheme events and if enough are drawn you lose the game. Master strike cards represent the mastermind attacking the heroes. Each mastermind’s master strike affects the players differently. And bystanders that are drawn go under the closest villain on the villain track.

Some villains and henchmen have effects that occur when you fight them, or when they enter or leave the villain track.

Next you may play your cards in any order. Some hero cards grant you recruit points and others increase your attack. You use recruit points to add new heroes to your deck and attack points to eliminate villains on the villain track or attack the mastermind. There are different super hero teams and hero types in the game. Some heroes grant you a superpower ability if you’ve already played a hero from a specific team or a certain hero type. These superpower abilities can add to your recruit or attack points.

If you attack the mastermind you gain one of his four tactics cards. These cards are worth victory points and grant you a one-time instant ability. These are unique to the mastermind and can help you get more victory points.

Once the mastermind is hit a total of four times the players beat the game. You then add your victory points and whoever has the most wins the game. You gain victory points by defeating villains and henchmen, hitting the mastermind and rescuing bystanders. They are kept in a separate pile and not added to your deck.

Quick Review of Legendary:

Legendary has a fun theme. I am a long time Marvel comic book fan and though I no longer collect, I really enjoy super hero games. This one is semi-cooperative and can be enjoyed by a variety of ages.

The components for this game are good. The art is a bit hit or miss for me, but all in all looks pretty good. The cards are of good stock and the board is a nicely done. The dividers are unlabeled which is not a big deal but a bit annoying. There are also no randomizer cards. You can find online randomizers but these would have really been nice to have.

The schemes really make this game’s theme work. And while some are harder to beat than others they are all pretty fun and make sense mechanically.

I like the way the characters interact based on type and team. It may take a game or so, but you will see how certain combos can be used to get the most attack and recruit points.

The game also has variant rules to make it harder. This is useful as I have yet to see the players lose the game. In fact with the default rules you might just play the game competitively and forget the cooperative aspect altogether. You can ramp up the challenge which then requires the players to work together more.

You can even play the game in solo. And while not as fun as when you play it with others it is still a satisfying experience.

Legendary ramps up as you build your deck and recruit more powerful heroes. So early on it seems pretty tough but once you get your deck built you should be kicking some super villain butt. The mechanics are a mix of Ascension and Thunderstone. The game can be enjoyed by all ages and I simply love the theme. If you enjoy comics and super heroes you should get your hands on this game.

Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 3 out of 6
Luck 4 out of 6
Player Interaction 4 out of 6
Replay Value 5 out of 6
Complexity 3 out of 6
Fun 5 out of 6
Overall 5 out of 6 (if you are not a fan of this genre this is more likely a 4)

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