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The Realm of Kings Comes to the Legendary: Marvel Deck Building Game

Legendary: Marvel Deck Building Game Realm of Kings

Upper Deck has released Realm of Kings, the latest expansion for the Legendary: Marvel Deck Building Game.

The Inhumans are a mysterious, powerful race living in the hidden city of Attilan, on Earth’s moon. Strongest of all the Inhumans are the Royal Family led by King Blackagar Boltagon.

Long misunderstood the Inhumans have been treated like a failed experiment and rejected as dangerous monsters. For them, the danger lies everywhere! Not only on the cosmic battlefields of space but it also lurks within the palace walls. While space fleets battle for the destiny of empires, Black Bolt’s brother Maximus schemes a betrayal to seize the throne. In Realm of Kings, players command the unearthly powers of the Inhuman Royal Family and fend off mutinous family members and cosmic conquerors. The challengers are many, and without mercy.

Though armed with new keywords and powerful heroes, this expansion also brings with it powerful threats, from Masterminds both within the royal family and without. Whether you encounter the Terrigen Mist or not, embrace your inherent potentials as you wield the magnificent and multifarious powers of the Inhumans against all comers.

The expansion features 100 playable cards, 5 heroes, 2 new masterminds and villain groups, and a rule sheet. A copy of Legendary: Marvel Deck Building Game is required to play.

Purchase: Game NerdzMiniature MarketCool Stuff Inc

Aliens: Bug Hunt Invades Stores

ALIENS: Bug Hunt

Upper Deck has announced the release of ALIENS: Bug Hunt, an all-new cooperative die-rolling combat card game designed for one to four players. The new game includes 125 cards featuring all original art, 30 custom dice, four USCM miniatures, 57 tokens, 30 location tiles, four player boards, one missions order, four player dossier rule books, one dossier envelope and a game board.

Players control a squad of Colonial Marines and work together to take down waves of Aliens. Fans can play as their favorite characters from the movie franchise, and each one has their own unique ability. Players work together to fight the terrifying Xenomorphs by completing missions and evacuating the infested complex before the Xenomorphs converge. Every role is critical as players rely on each other for cover and to make it out alive.

ALIENS: Bug Hunt

The game uses a shuffled stack of location tiles, which adds an element of surprise for the players who don’t know what they are heading into. The tiles also allow for much more interesting replays, since the complex is never the same layout twice.

To celebrate the launch, Upper Deck is giving away a free Grunt alternate art card with purchase of the Aliens: Bug Hunt game (SRP $39.99), available exclusively on the Upper Deck store while supplies last.

Purchase: Upper DeckAmazonGameNerdzMiniature MarketCool Stuff Inc.

Upper Deck’s Brings New Titles at Gen Con 50

Gen Con 50 contributing Sponsor, Upper Deck, will have a host of new titles this year at the convention! Make your way to Booth #1205, and discover their new list of Original Gaming titles!

Dungeon Draft: Over the course of four rounds, 2-5 players will draft Heroes and Weapons and use them to defeat Monsters and complete Quests in an effort to earn XP. You will use Gold to recruit the Heroes and Weapons you draft. Recruiting Heroes and Weapons allow you to defeat Monsters with attack, acquire additional gold and gain sought after XP.  Coming Soon!

Quest for the Antidote: You and the other players have been poisoned by the mad King! Armed with only your wits and a list of antidote ingredients, you must battle the wilds, monsters, and your fellow players to be the first to return to the Apothecary with the items you need. Time is of the essence as every move and roll of the dice will deplete your fading life.

Dread Draw: A strategy card game of press your luck competitive fortune telling. Each round players take turns trying to summon cards from the Draw Deck. Summoned cards must have a greater strength than the one you summoned last. Failure will result in your elimination from the round and loss of cards from your Life Deck. Be the last one standing to win the game. Will fortune smile upon you?

The Dingo Ate the Baby: A fast-paced game for 2-5 players. The goal each day is to collect enough cards within your ranch in an attempt to reach the total value needed for that day, without going over. This seems simple enough, but other players will attempt to sabotage your ranch, using animals, babies, sunlight and darkness to scare, chase, overpopulate and even eat things within your ranch.

Shark Island: A cooperative game for 2-5 players that pits up to 4 Shark Hunter Players against a monstrous Great White Shark Player working to terrorize the island. The Hunters must work together and search the surrounding waters to find and kill the Shark in a rapid form of card combat. The Shark must outsmart the Hunters and accumulate enough terror to win the game.

The Fantastic Four Returns…. to Marvel Legendary from Upper Deck

For years now there’s been persistent rumors there’s been a ban/lower prioritization of the Fantastic Four and X-Men from Marvel due to their movie ownership at Fox. No actual evidence has been presented, just conspiratorial connect the dots that ignore the creation of new X-Men characters, the licensed material that does get released, and use of some of the Fantastic Four characters in the comics themselves. While it is clear “something” was up, exactly what isn’t beyond a “deemphasis.”

Part of the fuel to the fire was the discontinuation of the Marvel Legendary: Fantastic Four expansion by Upper Deck for their popular deck-building game.

As reported by ICv2, Upper Deck Senior Brand Manager Jason Brenner has said that the “company has been authorized to immediately go back to press on a new printing of the product, which will be available in six to eight weeks.”

The expansion was originally released in the fourth quarter of 2013 and went out of print due to a “licensor-controlled issue.” This out of print status has led the expansion to be covetted and the aftermarket price to incease over 10x. Originally retailing for $19.99, expansions are being sold for over $300.

Three out of the four of the Fantastic Four appeared in the first Dice Masters set, Avengers vs. X-Men by WizKids released in 2014. They haven’t appeared in the game since. The Thing was one of the releases for Knight Models’ Marvel Universe Miniature Game and was released last year.

Can the team’s return to comics be far behind?

Upper Deck Releases Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game

Upper-Deck-Legendary-Deck-Building-Game-Encounters-PredatorUpper Deck and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products have officially released Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game, which is sure to become an instant hit with both Predator fans and gamers around the world.

This new release brings an exciting and unique element of gameplay to the popular Legendary Deck Building games, allowing players to choose a fully cooperative mode or fully competitive mode of play. In cooperative mode, players take on the role of the Humans and work together to complete objectives, stay alive and defeat the Predator.  In competitive mode, the basic game mechanics are the same, but players take on the role of the Predators, whose objective is to hunt their prey and earn the most honor.

The new game takes you through Predator 1 and 2 and is 100% compatible with Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game.

Designed for 1 to five players, the game includes 700 cards featuring all new original art, a full color 33” x 14” game mat and color rule book, with a retail price of $59.99.

Get the game today!




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Game Review: Legendary Villains – Fear Itself

legendaryFollowing on the perhaps poorly conceived relaunch/reintegration of the Marvel Legendary franchise from Upper Deck comes one of the most bizarre choices possible for the continuation of the series.  The previous Villains title offered some fan favorites, though acting as the protagonists rather than as the the villains, potentially strange choice for the format which has mostly favored heroes.  This expansion, the first of the Villains base game and the seventh title thus far in this series, takes on the same dynamic with the strangest inspiration yet.  While there might have been a few minor problems with previous releases, they nonetheless gave fans an outlet for their favorite characters by providing a lot of these favorites as playable characters.  For instance while some of the mechanics of the Guardians of the Galaxy expansion were a little different from what had come before, at least fans got to play as their favorite character from the books or movie.

While Marvel doesn’t tend towards the company wide crossover as much as DC Comics does, it still occurs, and one of the more recent crossovers was also one of the more lackluster – Fear Itself.  Although big things were planned for this story, it ended up as a bit of a missed opportunity for Marvel to pull out all the stops.  This crossover thus is a strange inspiration for the first expansion of this series.  After all while the villain focused approach to the games might be a little weird, it is still conceivable that someone might want to play as Magneto or Venom.  But how many comic/board games fans have always wished that they could invoke the essence of Null or Skadi?  No?  Then how about Kuurth, Nerkkod or Greithoth?  Probably also no.  It is conceivable, especially considering that the following expansion is for Secret Wars, that there is some hope of a boost to sales of trade paperbacks through these release of expansions for the Legendary Universe, because really nothing else makes sense in terms of the overall logic behind the releases.

For the non-comic fans among the gamers interested in the Legendary franchise, this will likely be more of the same, another sequence of cards that mean little outside of their in game text, but for fans of both mediums, they are likely to be somewhat confused by the choices here.  It is nice to see some of the usual Marvel heroes making an appearance here as adversaries, but once again that is only a tease for their own inclusion in the game itself as playable characters (such as Ms. Marvel.)  On the whole this is the most confusing and least sensical of all the expansions thus far, taking the direction of the otherwise fun base game(s) in a strange direction.

Score: 7.0

Game Review: Legendary Villains

legendaryLegendary Villains, the standalone semi-expansion to Upper Deck’s Legendary lineup adds in components which will perhaps look a bit different for gaming fans even if comic fans are not surprised by putting the villain in the spotlight.  In recent years the role of the villain as protagonist has been a popular enough one in comics, with the likes of Magneto, Deathstroke and Sinestro each getting their own series.  While this is a popular enough theme in comics, it doesn’t necessarily compute the same with my gaming fans.  Many gaming fans like games because of the challenges which are posed, be that a need for cunning or dexterity, but rarely do gamers end up playing the role of the bad guy in games.  In fact certain games such as “The Doom That Came to Atlantic City” are not as well liked specifically because players are forced into contests of destruction as opposed to heroism.

That being the case, this is a strange enough concept as applied to a table top board game, but it is equally true that the medium of board games has to be shaken up every now and then with something new to the mix in order to keep the games relevant and challenging enough.  The question though is whether this is that game, and the answer is … not really.  This game acts as primarily as game of opposites from the original Legendary base game with villains swapping places with heroes and vice versa.  Although it is nice to see some characters that have been bypassed so far by the Legendary universe (for instance Wasp), they also show up only as enemies to the main characters, who are the villains.  The choice of the characters is reminiscent of the original version, with a wide enough spectrum of choice – Bullseye, Dr. Octopus, Electro, Enchantress, Green Goblin, Juggernaut, Kingpin, Kraven, Loki, Magneto, Mysterio, Mystique, Sabretooth, Ultron and Venom.  The commander cards are a bit more more limited in scope – Dr. Strange, Nick Fury, Odin and Professor X.  As whole the game comes off as being pretty much of a copycat, except for those that want to play as villains which might be a thing for comic fans, but probably less so for the strict gamers.

While the game might struggle in terms of its applicability to non-comic fans and in its lack of originality, it also deserves some mention in its use as an expansion for the base game.  As this is essentially an opposite version of the original, the game text is easily changed for interplay with the original by negating the game text (for instance bystanders are captured/freed.)  While this does add a bit to the overall dynamic for the series, it also doesn’t do so by much.  Whereby the expansions thus far have added to the game play by pushing the series forward in certain directions in terms of story telling, this does not do so as much.  While there are instances in comics of heroes banding together with villains against a common threat, it also doesn’t happen all that often.  Also due to the individuals chosen for the games, if choosing randomly from the entire selection it would be possible to play character versus characters, for instance either Kingpin or Professor X as both character and main villain/commander.  One way in which this expansion does expand the game is by the use of even more specialized bystander cards, though these don’t really justify the cost of the entire game as an expansion only.

As a game this is a bit of a letdown, though still enjoyable, especially that the theme is a bit off mark.  As an expansion it has similar problems, providing some fun new options but also missing the mark where it might have helped more.  This thus stands as a passable game, but the bigger letdown of the series thus far.

Score: 7.4

Game Review: Legendary Paint The Town Red Expansion

legendaryThe “Paint the Town Red” expansion for Legendary is the third expansion in the series, and the second in a row with a stronger thematic concept.  Although the second expansion came right out and declared itself the Fantastic Four expansion, this is definitely the Spider-Man expansion even though it doesn’t really identify itself as such except for the box art.  As an overall analysis of this game series reveals, it is the street level characters that are the bigger push in terms of popularity, but it is also these characters, their villains and these villains’ schemes which make for a much easier game play experience.  The Dark City expansion helped a bit to counter this trend of the street level scenarios being that much easier to play, but this expansion goes much closer to the original trend.  As opposed to the grand schemes of certain villains, this expansion plays out a lot more like a Spider-Man comic, fun at times but never in any real danger that the characters (or in this case the players) are in much danger.

The focus here is all Spider-Man, meaning that anyone expecting more variety will be disappointed.  Instead this sticks close to the Spider-Man story lines with Black Cat, Moon Knight, Scarlet Spider, Symbiote Spider-Man and Spider-Woman.  The schemes are equally related, focusing on Carnage and Mysterio and various spider-related problems, although one does strive for a bit more by trying to take on the Clone Saga.  As with the Fantastic Four expansion, this does little to expand any of the more disappointing mechanics of the game, as the S.H.I.E.L.D. draw pile and the bystanders are once again left untouched.  This is an expansion on the same scale as the Fantastic Four expansion, incorporating in fewer cards while also adding to the refinement of the game play experience.

At this point the “street vs. skies” divide in this game might almost be moot anyway.  At the very least the base game is required to play Paint the Town Red, but by incorporating in the other expansions the imbalance between the two character types is less evident.  While heavy hitters like the Fantastic Four might have no trouble in a street level scenario, at least in this way one can face Black Cat against Galactus and see what happens.  That is the fun of these expansions, is that their price is not outlandish, and that they therefore help to build the game easily and inexpensively, even if the individual expansion offers little else new, the sum ends up being greater the parts.

Score: 8.2 

Game Review: Legendary Fantastic Four Expansion

legendaryThe Fantastic Four expansion for the Legendary Marvel Deck Building game is the first one with a strong thematic outlook.  The base game and Dark City have focused more so on an overall approach to the Marvel universe, including various characters from various inspirations.  This expansion narrows that field of view considerably by looking at Marvel’s number one family.  This is a smaller expansion, and bodes well for Marvel’s approach moving forward, to focus on smaller corners of its universe while allowing fans to pick out the pieces that interest them the most.  In this case even most non-fans are likely to be interested because of the potential of the characters involved, the core of the team plus their main hanger-on – Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, the Thing and Silver Surfer.

As a game that has been defined by either the street level scenarios and villains being rather easy to beat versus the power scenarios and villains being harder to beat, this game definitely is more in the second category.  In fact some of the scenarios and combinations are downright impossible to beat (required over five run-throughs to defeat) as the challenges are that much stronger.  Interestingly this fits thematically with the group as well, as the team itself, although powerful in a sense, has gone up against some ridiculously powerful opponents and managed to walk away victorious.

As this is a smaller expansion it does not do much to help some of the previous problem with the game.  While Dark City helped expand on the concept of the bystanders, there just isn’t enough room in this small boox to add more to the bystander deck.  Instead there are the five heroes, two new masterminds, their schemes, two villain groups and nothing else.  As opposed to Dark City which was mostly a full game without the board (though it still required the base game to play) this feels like much more of a true expansion, especially as it is smaller in scale and priced to sell as such.  The combination of theme and in-game mechanics make this the best of the series so far, dependent on the main game, but refining it to be much better with its inclusion.

Score: 8.8 

Game Review: Legendary Dark City Expansion

darkcityThe Dark City Expansion for in Upper Deck’s Legendary games is perhaps an unexpected one for the franchise.  The base game introduced a number of different characters and scenarios, but it did not really go too far in either direction in terms of the scope of the game.  Comic book characters are roughly divided into two different camps, the street level and the planet busters.  Most of the “street level” masterminds and schemes from the first game proves easy enough to beat, while the few more powerful schemes proved to be more challenging.  This led to more experienced gamers mostly focusing only on the bigger and badder schemes as opposed to the smaller scale ones.  Despite this set of mechanics, for the first expansion the series seemingly decided to go smaller and to focus on the street as opposed to the skies.

It is likely due in part to fan service that the theme behind this expansion was released second, only after the base game.  After all the street level contains a lot of the more popular characters that fans would want to play, even if the track record is that it makes for a worse game play experience.  Although there are some more obscure characters such as Cable, Domino and Forge, there are also fan favorites including Angel, Bishop, Blade, Elektra, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Iceman, Jean Grey, Professor X, The Punisher, Daredevil and already the second implementation of Wolverine.

The expansion is designed to be more street level, but it also does better to address the fact that the street level encounters in the base game were a bit too easy.  Instead here there are more complicated scenarios, some of which incorporate in some famous story arcs from the comics.  It is also worth mentioning that the bystanders are expanded upon here.  While it might be nice to see some added variety in the starting decks or in the S.H.I.E.L.D. deck (of which there are 2 and 1 different kinds of cards respectively), at least the otherwise bland bystander deck is expanded upon with news reporter, paramedic and radiation scientist.  While it is somewhat unlikely to run into too many radiation scientists on the street, this at least adds a new dynamic to these cards which no one much seems to care about, as the specific type of bystander can now have different effects.  For instance rescuing the news reporter allows the player to immediately draw another card, which could have a big effect (or no effect) on the passage of a particular hand and could theoretically turn one’s luck around.

In the end this is not kind as good as the original, but more due to a lack of strong central theme.  As opposed to other expansions which help to refine a player’s interests in the game, this one could have just as easily served as another half to the base game.  There is little to distinguish this expansion aside from the individual characters included.  Certainly some gamers that are also fans of comics are going to want to pick up this expansion solely for the ability to play as their favorite characters, but equally this expansion does little to refine the game, only to make it bigger.  It is still a fun expansion, only that perhaps more could have been done.

Score: 8.2

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