Legendary – A Super-Powered Board Game

legendary

Today, we’re going to review Legendary – A Marvel Deck Building Game

  • Publisher – Upper Deck Entertainment
  • Published in 2012
  • Recommended Players – 1 to 5
  • Suggested Age – 10+

This is what the box for the main game contains:

  • Rulebook
  • Game Board
  • 560 cards, of which there are:

14 cards for each of the 15 Heroes

8 cards for each of the 7 Villain Groups

10 cards for each of the 4 Henchmen Villain Groups

40 S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Cards

20 S.H.I.E.L.D Trooper Cards

30 S.H.I.E.L.D Officer Cards

30 Bystanders

30 Wounds

4 cards for each of the 4 Masterminds

8 different Scheme cards

11 Scheme Twist cards

5 Master Strike cards

60 dividers for all your cards.

The Heroes included in the base game are Captain America, Cyclops, Deadpool,Black Widow, Emma Frost, Storm, Thor, Spider-Man, Rogue, Nick Fury, Gambit, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Hulk, and Iron Man.

The Masterminds included in the base game are Red Skull, Loki, Dr. Doom, and Magneto.

The Villain Groups included in the base game are HYDRA, The Brotherhood, Spider-Foes, Enemies of Asgard, Mutations, Masters of Evil, and Skrulls.

The Henchmen included in the base game are Hand Ninjas, Savage Land Mutates, Doombots, and Sentinels.


First, lets explain the broad category of “deck-builders”. Veteran board-game players know what that type of game is, but for the newly recruited, rules for these type of games follow a loose set of rules like the following:

  1. First, you start with a deck of very basic, and most likely very weak cards.
  2. On your turn, you use these cards to gain better cards from the pool which are put into your discard pile for the time being, or use them to attack another player or enemy.
  3. At the end of your turn, all cards in your hand are discarded (used or not), and you draw another hand of a set size.
  4. If you can’t draw that set size (for example, 6 cards), you shuffle your discard pile and it becomes your new deck. Doing this, your deck slowly becomes stronger as the game goes on and you are able to accomplish more.

Ok, now that we’ve got that handled, lets take a look at the board you’ll be playing on:

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Looks a bit daunting, just a tad overwhelming, right? Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier then it looks.

First, on the Mastermind space you place your chosen Mastermind Villain for this game (all 5 of their cards). Each has a specific Villain group that they always lead (Red Skull always leads HYDRA, so you need to include them with your Villains if you use him), and they each have a Master Strike ability. They also have health (usually 6-7, could be up to 10-12).The goal of the game is to defeat the Mastermind FOUR times. Each time you deal that much damage to them, you defeat them once. This damage has to be done all on one person’s turn, it’s not cumulative.

The space below the Mastermind is simply where you put the S.H.I.E.L.D Officers. They are a basic card you can recruit if you can’t afford, or don’t want, any of the other heroes you can recruit on your turn.

Above the Mastermind is the Scheme slot. Every Mastermind has a master Scheme they want to pull off, and there are 8 Schemes in the base game (for example, Incite a Superhero Civil War, or Unlock The Power of the Cosmic Cube). 

The K.O slot is simple. If a card tells you to K.O a hero, it goes in here. Scheme Twists, Master Strikes, etc all go in here once they are used.

The Villain Deck slot holds, you guessed it, the Villain Deck. This is comprised of a certain number of Villain Groups, Henchmen groups, Bystanders, Master Strikes, and Scheme Twists and all shuffled together. For instance, a game with 2 players would include 2 Villain Groups, 1 Henchmen group, 2 Bystanders, 5 Master Strike Cards, and about 8 Scheme Twist cards.

The Hero Deck slot is similar. In this deck, you place the 5 random Heroes you want to play with this game, and shuffle them up.

The HQ holds the heroes you can recruit. It holds 5 cards from the Hero deck, and you simply reveal the top card of the Hero deck and place them until there are 5 in the HQ. If someone recruits one, the hole immediately gets filled with another Hero.

The City above the HQ is where Villains are kept. Just like the HQ, there are 5 slots. At the start of every player’s turn, one card from the Villain Deck is drawn. If it’s a Villain (as opposed to a Scheme Twist, Bystander, or Master Strike), it gets placed in the Sewers slot closest to the deck. If there’s a villain already in that spot, that villain gets moved up a slot, into the Bank. You can attack Villains just like you can the Mastermind, and they give you Victory Points at the end of the game.

The Escaped Villain slot comes into play if you have villains on all 5 of the City slots, and you draw another villain. You have nowhere to put it, so the villain that has been out the longest “escapes”, and as a penalty makes you K.O one of your heroes.

The Wound and Bystander slots are just where the extra Bystander and Wound cards go. Bystanders are worth Victory Points, Wounds take up slots in your deck and make you less powerful as a result.

Again, that is a lot of knowledge to deal with, but turns are fairly simple in Legendary.

  1. Play the top card of the Villain Deck (Villains go into the City; Master Strike is different depending on the Mastermind, it will say on the Mastermind card; Scheme Twist cards are placed next to the Scheme and may have an effect depending on the amount of them drawn; Bystanders are kidnapped by a random Villain and are rescued if you defeat that villain for extra Victory Points).
  2. You play cards from your hand to either recruit stronger heroes or attack Villains/Masterminds
  3. Discard all cards from your hand, used or not, and draw 6 new cards. If unable to draw 6 cards, shuffle your discard pile and draw up to 6.

If you get rid of all the jargon, it’s pretty easy.

Here’s an example of one of the cards you always start with, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent:

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The circle in the bottom right is the cost of the card to recruit. Obviously, as you start with this card, the cost is 0. The star means this card gives recruit points and does not attack. You get 1 recruit point by playing this card. Obviously, if you have 6 of these cards in your hand, you will have 6 recruit points to recruit that turn. The recruited heroes go directly to your discard pile, and when you shuffle it into your new deck, you’ll have access to them.

Here’s an example of a recruited hero:

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This Deadpool card cost 3 Recruit points. The claw marks means he does 2 damage, and he has an ability that lets me re-draw my hand up to 4 cards if he’s the first Hero I play that turn.

As you build and build, suddenly you may have a turn where you can do 12 damage and have 8 recruit points. Not only can you recruit that powerful Hero, but you can damage the Mastermind himself, or maybe 1 or more Villains.

If your team successfully defeats the Mastermind 4 times, your entire team wins. There is also an individual winner, which is calculated by Victory Points. They are received for every Villain you subdue, every time you defeat the Mastermind, and every Bystander you rescue.


This is honestly one of those games that you need to play yourself in order to fully understand. I can attempt to explain it over the Internet until my fingers are bleeding, or you could play a round and you’d get it. It’s just one of those games.

Suffice it to say, this is a fun game. One of the draws to me personally is that it’s flexible enough to be played by 1 single person, or up to 5 players at once.

It helps to have an imagination, and love super heroes. You can start to get lost in the attack/recruit point stats, but it’s fun to imagine what your Heroes are doing.

“Gambit and the Hulk just took down Juggernaut in the Sewers!”

“Rogue and Deadpool just took down Magneto for the fourth time, his scheme to unlock the cosmic cube was foiled!!”

Trust me, it makes the game more fun. Seriously, trust me.

I only had a few gripes with it, all in all. The first is that when you originally buy the game, the cards are all plastic wrapped and you have to sort them into their groups. All 560 cards. That wouldn’t be so bad if they were grouped correctly, but they’re not. Instead, you have to go through and sort them yourself (took me at least 20 minutes). The game comes with dividers, but the case itself does not have the best design. The cards are constantly falling over, and the dividers are kind of useless unless you write on the top of them for reference. The last issue is simply that if you play with 4 or 5 people, this game gets easy fast. I’ve been told that the Dark City expansion adds more difficult villains such as Apocalypse, but the base game is approximately $70.00 and Dark City is another $50.00 or so. I would recommend playing the base game first before deciding to buy that expansion. There are also 4 other smaller expansions that are about $20.00, that include Guardians of the Galaxy, more Spider-Man foes/allies, Secret Wars, and Fantastic Four.

The board itself is sturdy, the cards are high quality, and the rule book is clear and concise.

If you like games with a ton of cards, and you like Marvel superheroes, I’d call it a buy.

Final Rating

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Couch Review – Citizens of Earth

Citizens of Earth
Citizens of Earth

Today, we’re going to be reviewing Citizens of Earth, an RPG by developer “Eden Industries” and publisher “ATLUS”. This game was released January 20th, 2015 and I’m excited to get started.

Story
Green - Pass

Lets start with the story, shall we? Considering Citizens of Earth is an RPG, this is one of the most important factors. It seems to take inspiration from many older RPGs, and I find a lot of “Earthbound” in this game.

You are the Vice President of the World. You recently got elected, and after one day of mildly difficult work you had to take a vacation. The game starts on your first day back, and there’s a rally against you in your hometown! Without getting into too many details, this is the most normal situation you are going to encounter in this game and events escalate quickly.

As the Vice President, you don’t fight. You recruit your constituents to fight for you, like any normal politician. There are 40 party members to recruit in total, each leveling separately and having their own special attacks and strengths/weaknesses. As a note, there are only certain characters you have no choice of recruiting, many others can be bypassed altogether. On my playthrough, I had less than half upon completion.

The storyline itself is nothing we haven’t seen before, but with every bit of dialogue they’re attempting to get a giggle out of you, and puns are everywhere. Books titled “Be Your Own Co-Pilot, written by Pilot”, or attacks by enemies such as “Protester hurts you deep inside with scathing ridicule”. One of my personal favorites was “Spiteful youth seen beating crows with cracked bat, apprehend at once!” seen on a police computer, an obvious shout-out to Earthbound. The game also lets you name all the characters you recruit. I named my Mom, “Dad”. Bringing the system down one step at a time.


Visual/Audio
Green - Pass

The graphics aren’t the draw of this game, but they do their job. They give the game the feeling it may take place in a Saturday morning cartoon, and the character models are each widely different (they’ve obviously not cloned different characters). 

As above, you can tell effort was really put in to the audio effects and music as well. Characters are almost all fully voiced, and the music sounds like a mix of something you’d hear in a cartoon, an older RPG, and an early 90’s music video. If the original music isn’t retro enough for you, there’s a setting for that as well. I did find that some of the sound clips got repetitive, but once you get into the groove, you don’t notice it as much. You’re obviously not getting blockbuster sound and music, but for this developer’s modest budget they did a great job.


Pacing/Game Length
Green - Pass

The game is split into chapters, and each one plays almost like an episode of a TV show. I beat the game in about 14 hours and in that time, I recruited less then half of the total characters, but I also explored every nook and cranny of each area (I’m an item hoarder, I have a problem). I would say you could probably beat this game in 8-10 hours if you were determined and only recruited the minimum amount of characters. Alternatively, you could probably get up to 20 hours of gameplay if you attempted a 100% playthrough.

I would say this gameplay length is about perfect. This game definitely plays like an older RPG, but it can get repetitive fast – especially the combat. The funny dialogue is nice, but I don’t think I could sit through a traditional RPG’s worth (30-40 hours minimum).


Game Mechanics
Green - Pass

Combat certainly takes many cues from Earthbound and older RPGs. Encounters aren’t generated randomly, but when you make contact with an enemy on the map while exploring. Depending on how many enemies are around, you can expect to fight 1 to 4 at once. You can have as many as three active characters fight for you, and combat is turn-based. Attacks either use energy or generate energy, and this is the basis of combat as well as buffs and debuffs. As said above, each character levels independently and have their own special attacks. One of my personal favorites is Conspiracy Guy, who can accuse enemies of covering up government secrets, confuse them by explaining one of his many theories, apply truth serum, or attack with a cattle prod.

Enemies of course have strengths and weaknesses, which help you decide which characters to use in each area. This is one of the reasons to recruit as many characters as you can. Health only recovers when you rest or level up, so make sure to always have health generation items, or a healer in your active party.

Certain maps can have tons of enemies and you can over-level fairly quickly. This can get a bit repetitive, but on the plus side if you can manage to “Charge” behind an enemy, and you’re a high enough level above them, you can instantly win the battle.

Recruitment can be tedious or fun, depending on the character. Some may have you going across the world to find items, others may just want you to collect an item, help them with something, or beat a minigame.


Replay Value
Red - Fail

Once you beat the game’s main story, you can keep playing to get the rest of the characters. Because of this, I would say this game has little to no replay value, unless you come back to the game years later.


Final Rating Maybe
Even though I gave the game Greens almost all the way through, I can’t give it more then a Maybe for a final score. Depending on the gamer, they may love this game or absolutely hate it.

– If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, quick RPG with references to all sorts of older RPGs and pop culture, then give this game a try. It was only $15 when I bought it, and I found it well worth the purchase.

– If you don’t like turn-based RPGs, are looking for a more serious storyline, and get bored of repetitive game mechanics quickly, I would pass.