Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The Fantastic 4 CAN NOT LOSE!

The Fantastic 4 CAN NOT LOSE! Was the rallying cry of Matt "Lederhosen" Bond, away over at the serious gamers table. Myself, Dan, Luke and Ben (Ben? is that your name? I am really sorry if it isn't) had convened to play the prime Ameritrash offering (designed by Italians of course), Marvel Heroes. Being a half-wit, I am always up for any game that involves dice and fighting, and our buddies to our right thoroughly blitzed through Race for the Galaxy, Space Dealer and some other game that looked a bit dull and didn't earn a glowing review from Matt "Bratwurst" Bond. We, on the other hand, took a mere 45 minutes to even go through the rules. Most of which we forgot, quite quickly. If there is one thing Marvel Heroes does not lack, it is rules, lots of tiny, seemingly insignificant rules. None of them are. Insignificant that is. They are all CRUCIAL. Imperative! We butchered many rules throughout our play session, but the game remained uproariously playable. If you screwed up the rules whilst playing most games at the Ribs O' Beef, the bits would probably end up swimming in the Wensum, but when it comes to Marvel Heroes, you simply do not care. You play the games for the scraps, the brawls, the dice rolls. Several times I stood, punching the air in triumph, mostly when my evil henchman (Kingpin) utterly humiliated Dan's heroes in combat (generally due to a crucial rule failing to be applied). For example the time that Kingpin was duelling with Spidey and had his hits reduced to a mere one. Spidey was ready to counter that with his single defence dice. But what is this? Kingpin is playing a card that reduces Spidey's defence dice to a nice round ZERO. Spidey has no defence! Why were his Spidey senses not tingling? Spidey is going home in disgrace. Kingpin has earned another card. Kingpin is playing it on the cowering Spidey. Spidey now requires more plot points to be activated. Dan is glum. And so on. Of course, Dan had his revenge many times, as my "unbeatable" Fantastic 4 suffered terrible dice rolls and crushing beatdowns of their own, as Dan wheeled out the Sandman and other "Most Wanteds" to thwart me at every turn. Meanwhile Luke was racking up victory points at an alarming rate. It was around this time that two well dressed lads stumbled into the games room and enquired as to our activity. They seemed perplexed as we explained we played games for fun. They went out onto the balcony, squeezing past our gaming in the process. Moments later a girl appeared, and Matt "Beckenbauer" Bond told her, falsely, that the balcony was locked. The girl looked positively devastated as she pointed through the window and said "But that's my boyfriend out there". Matt "Berlin Wall" Bond was forced to admit defeat, and let her out, but not before she eyed the game he was playing and observed that she was not familiar with it. Matt "Autobahn" Bond himself was not even familiar with it, so I am not sure what chance she had. Anyways. Time was pushing on and we had played what appeared to be about 25% of our entire game. But we were betting without Luke. For Matt "Herr" Bond had previously observed that "The Fantastic 4 CAN NOT LOSE!". He had made a mistake. Luke had played the Fantastic 4 in all previous games. The refrain should have been "The Fantastic Luke Crocker CAN NOT LOSE!". For Luke did not lose. He beat us all, with ease. But who cared? We had all loved every minute of Marvel Heroes, except those minutes where we all forgot the rules and I spent ages delving into the rulebook attempting to figure out what happens next. Marvel Heroes is a heck of a game, but do not play it with anyone that does not have the patience of a Saint. Or Luke.


andy malcolm said...

Luke, this will make future plays much easier:

reference card

Dan said...

That reference card looks handy. It would be cool to play this again with, like, all the rules. (although maybe less fun)