I’ve been playing a lot of board games the past year. It has been really a lot of fun learning about this whole genre of gaming and bringing new people into it as well. I had to learn a lot of concepts that for the different types of games out there such as area control, deck builder, worker placement. One of my past times is comic books and when I heard there was a Marvel and a DC deck building game I had to check them out. I’ve been playing the Marvel game since it was released and have quite enjoyed it. Then I kept hearing people tell me the DC one was better. A game with Batman and better than Legendary, count me in. So here is my breakdown of the two games after several play through of each with different people.
DC this game runs you about $45 and has no expansions currently. It is a deck builder in that you all have a common market and build your deck from the same pool. When you get enough power you from your cards you can buy from the market or defeat a villain. Pretty simple concept that I think all the deck builders are based upon. Nothing out of the extraordinary here.
There other modifier is the hero card you start off with at the beginning of the game which represents how you should build your deck. However, we saw many times that if the market did not have the type your hero used your ability was not so good.
I will say I really liked the flavor of some of the cards such as Suicide Squad and collect 5 of X you get bonus points. The master villains that you defeat have some pretty interesting effects when they come into play. But they only do so once so it’s kind of a suffer a small setback and move on.
The art is really great for the game and follows the New 52 style of costumes. However, there are several duplicates of cards so it’s the same art over and over, but to me this is not a huge detractor. Since the mutual deck is so large you more than likely won’t see more than 2 or 3 of a card. The other nice thing about this it takes about 30 minutes to play with 5 and is quick to breakdown. However, it is a simple game and you really do not get a chance to engineer a deck concept. The replayability I also find lacking as well since you are really not building a deck as much as collecting cards and the master villains really only interact once with the players. I will say I have won games of DC without every defeating a master villain. This and the imbalance of heroes takes away from it for me.
Legendary is the other hero game out there I want to talk about with the base set runs $60. It’s the same kind of setup start with basic cards and purchases hero’s powers and add them to your deck. The trick here is that you have a mastermind you must defeat as well, a scheme that tweaks gameplay, and villains who are causing havoc to your game. This leads to a cooperative competitive type of game. The board it comes with to setup the game is gorgeous. It shows the different locations of the city and also a the S.H.I.E.L.D hellicarrier so you can recruit heroes.
Sure, you can just focus on the mastermind and getting points but you may lose the overall game because too many villains escaped or the scheme popped up and the negative zone came and destroyed the world. The mastermind directly attacks heroes several times in the game and not just upon first being turned over with his master strike cards. Also, upon defeat by a player the mastermind may also affect gameplay.
You select five to six heroes before the game and build a hero deck with thme. Each of these heroes has affects that are similar to their comic book roots. For instance Hulk hits hard but you gain a wound, which is a trash card in your deck that slows down your game play. These can lead to a deeper game of deck construction. Like any deck builder with a shared market you may not get to draft the cards you like but most of them will have a positive effect on the game instead of just plain +1 attack or buy.
The replayability of Legendary is very high. There are 8 schemes, 5 masterminds, and several villain combinations that you can play with. With just schemes and masterminds alone that’s 40 combinations of scenarios you could be playing.
The art for Legendary is good just like the DC game straight from comics. The downside is each of the hero art of 14 cards is the same picture for each of the different cards. So you can have time recognizing a really good card or just a basic attack. The other down side is it does have a larger setup and break down time because your trying to sort out all the cards. The game length is probably 45 minutes to an hour for a competent set of players. This is a medium difficulty game because you’re not only deck building, but balancing between villain economy, and trying to keep the scheme in mind.
The base game of Legendary was great but some complained it was too easy to win. Well, the expansions help this quite a bit but I’ll leave that there since this only about the base game. There are currently two expansions and a third coming out this February. DC has one coming out later this year that is an expansion but can also be played alone that will have a new set of heroes and master villains. To me DC is not better than Legendary. They both have places on my shelf though depending on the experience of what my group is looking for.