Game Night: 24 April 2007 – Marvel Heroes

I had planned to do a complete session report for Marvel Heroes, the strategy board game by Fantasy Flight Games, but thanks to a long day at work on Wednesday I didn’t get to it right away and most of the details have evaporated. Instead of a full session report, here are some of the highlights I do remember:

  • Unlikely Outcomes: When the Green Goblin goes up against The Incredible Hulk, the end result should be one squished goblin. Thanks to some truly awful dice rolling, it was the Hulk who wound up taking a powder, while the Goblin went on to threaten Iron Man. Also unusual: Avalanche beat down Wolverine and the Dread Dormammu sent Captain America packing. Some of this was due to bad dice rolls, but there was also some excellent use of villains as backups, which allowed for re-rolling, stats enhancement and other sneaky tricks.
  • Awesome Soundtrack: Gus scoured his music collection to put together a excellent playlist of superhero theme songs (Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, The Greatest American Hero) and superhero-themed songs (“Superman’s Song” by Crash Test Dummies, “Superman” by Five For Fighting, and “Ode to a Superhero” an excellent parody of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” by Weird Al Yankovic).
  • Cheap Victory: I led the Uncanny X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Jean Gray) to victory in our first game, but a review of the rules between games revealed that I had interpreted one of the key rules incorrectly, giving me the Arch-Nemesis token throughout the game when it should have gone to Gus or Miscellaneous G™.
  • The Learning Curve: It’s not all that difficult to learn Marvel Heroes, but we were all starting from scratch and it took me most of the first game to get used to the turn sequences and all the various phases and sub-phases within each turn. As a result, the game felt a little flat to me. It wasn’t until the middle of the second game that we really started to understand how Mastermind Villains worked (and even after two games we’d never had a hero and a Mastermind Villain go head-to-head in combat).

I definitely think Marvel Heroes will make another appearance at Game Night, and now that we’re more familiar with the rules we should be able to concentrate more on the heroics and less on the crunchy rules.

9 thoughts on “Game Night: 24 April 2007 – Marvel Heroes”

  1. Dread Dormammu besting Captain America wasn’t an upset; it was a close call. Cap really was outclassed and should have bean toasted in seconds, but a whole lot of wonky rolls lead to a number of rounds of combat and what was very close to a victory for the Shield Throwing Patriot. In the end, he ran out of luck before he could defeat the guy with the flaming head. Next time, try a hose.

    Inside: Spiral, ninja flunkies overwhelm Spiderman, Power Man, area men.

  2. I found a flowchart for the game that pointed out a couple of things we had done incorrectly. Including paying the plot points/level to keep heroes on the board (which we just left for free).

    And, according to this, your mastermind gets to do one scheming action AND attempt the master plan.

    It also appears that, during the clean up after a battle, if your heroes wasn’t KO’d out, he gets to lose all the KO tokens and start fresh on the next phase.

    So, just a few things that would make it more smooth and fun, methinks.

  3. Filed under Lessons Learned. I’ve started going through the rules again and have been finding the same mistakes. They shall not be made again!

  4. We definitely made errors during play. A visit to Fantasy Flight Games’ website yesterday revealed that they’ve recently posted the entire rule book online. I’ll be reviewing the PDF myself and I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to play Marvel Heroes come next Game Night.

  5. Sounds cool to me.

    Hell, I’d be available for another Night tonight if you folks were available. 🙂 But, I know, I’m pushy.

    FYI, we only made it about half-way through my soundtrack playlist for the night…

  6. I curious what folks thought the best team to play was. The Marvel Knights seem weak compared to the others. They may have some strengths that may become evident thru more play.

    Also, did folks get a chance to bring any team power-ups into play?

  7. I curious what folks thought the best team to play was. The Marvel Knights seem weak compared to the others. They may have some strengths that may become evident thru more play.

    Also, did folks get a chance to bring any team power-ups into play?

    I was really pushing toward getting a team power-up in our second game, but fell short of my goal because some sneaky bastard won the game.

    I played both the X-Men (first game) and the Marvel Knights (second game). I was leveraging Dr. Strange’s supporting power to pick up extra Plot Points, but I didn’t really get a feel for the strength of the teams based on the two games.

  8. What are your thoughts on the nemesis/archvillain mechanic vs. the villains from the deck?

    The ones from the deck seemed wimpy, not really a challenge to any of the herroes. It seemed like really hard work to KO a hero.

    Also our group didn’t really get into the real competitive side of things. Maybe because there was so much to keep track of.

  9. What are your thoughts on the nemesis/archvillain mechanic vs. the villains from the deck?

    The ones from the deck seemed wimpy, not really a challenge to any of the herroes. It seemed like really hard work to KO a hero.

    Also our group didn’t really get into the real competitive side of things. Maybe because there was so much to keep track of.

    We bungled the Master Villain rules a bit, which I think may have undercut their power. Villains drawn from the deck were all over the place. It took Dormammu forever to take out Captain America, but the Green Goblin sent the Hulk crying home to Betty Ross!

    We’re planning to play again on the 15th and I’m hoping we’ve identified our problem areas with the rules. I should have a better idea of how the mechanics are working after a couple more games.

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