Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 2-4
Amount of time to play: 20-60 min
Age requirements: 10+
Set-up time: minimal
In VS System 2PCG you play a marvel hero or villain and try to defeat your opponent with supporting characters and clever plot twists.
The VS System was a collectible card game years ago. 2PCG stands for 2 Player Card Game and this box contains everything you need to play. It is not the same game. It has been streamlined and is not collectible.
VS System 2PCG comes with four teams Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Villains and X-Men. You must pick a main character and then build a 60 card deck. You cannot have more than four copies of a card and may not use the supporting version of your main character in your deck.
Your deck is made up of three types of cards; supporting characters, plot twists and locations. On your turn you may play one card as a resource and then place supporting characters costing up to your number of resources. If the resource is a location you play it face-up. But if it is a character or plot twist, it is played face down.
Characters are placed in your front or back row. Characters in the front row may attack characters in your enemy’s front row. Characters in the back row cannot attack unless they possess a range icon. They also cannot be attacked if there are still any non-stunned characters in the front row. If a front row character has a flight icon they can ignore non-flying opponents in the opposing front row to hit the back row.
To initiate combat you tap your character and tell your opponent which character is being assaulted. You may also play any combat plot twists you’d like. Your opponent then can respond with a combat plot twist if they like. This continues until both players no longer wish to play plot twists. Each plot twist is resolved when it is played. Then you simultaneously compare both character’s attack and defense stats. If a character’s attack meets or beats its target’s defense, the defender is stunned and takes gain one wound token. If the total number of wound tokens exceeds their health they are discarded. Two of your characters that share a team affiliation may team attack. They add their attack values together to determine if they stun their target. The defender may hit one attacker in a team attack.
Many characters have different powers and some of these powers are always in effect. Other powers need to be activated. To activate a power you need to flip a location that matches the power’s icon face down or discard a matching location from your hand. Your main character has a power and when it is triggered a certain number of times they level. Level 2 main characters have better stats and gain an additional power.
The first player to knock out their opponent’s main character wins.
I was a fan of the original VS System, but did not want to sink the money into a second collectible game (I played a lot of Heroclix). This new way to buy the game and the streamlined rules are great. I really enjoy the deck construction too.
The components are the only negative thing I have found with this game. Some packs of cards are chipped on the edges. I sleeved my cards so this is not a huge deal. I also know some players asked Upper Deck customer service to send them new cards. So you could do that. The rules are well-written and easy to understand. There is even a useful FAQ for any lingering issues that might arise.
As a big Marvel fan I really enjoy VS System 2PCG’s theme. It is cool how each character has been implemented and what different powers they bring to the game.
Some fans don’t like how the powers and locations work. They feel like having the location icons and powers visible telegraphs your moves. I am not sure that makes a huge difference. And you always have the option to play a location from your hand to use its icon.
I also like that one box is enough to make a few different decks. I am excited for more cards but happy that sets will be released just a few times a year. Then it isn’t too much to keep up with.
My son and I have played a ton of games since I got this and we are still enjoying it. If you are looking for a fun card game you can enjoy with your friends and yours kids, pick this up.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 4 out of 6
Player Interaction 6 out of 6
Replay Value 6 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 6 out of 6
Overall 6 out of 6