Monday, 12 May 2014

Lords of Corruption

Twenty six this week over five tables.

Mr Bond showed up with Descent 2 again, the dungeon crawling roleplaying lite game, and most of the same heroes took on his evil shenanigans once more. I think they had a better run of it this time, with a wounded Pete burning Bondys minions with wild abandon.

Lewis brought along his freshly purchased Kingsburg, and managed to fill a whole evening with its dice rolling, action selecting mechanics, whilst on the table over, they played the Legendary Marvel deck builder no less than three times. And no less than three times they failed in their co-operative bid to defeat the evil doers - ( Magneto I believe ). Pathetic. I won't be coming to watch your summer blockbuster film.

Legendary Marvel is a deck builder with a nice range of possibilities - before the game starts you get to pick and choose exactly what cards will be making up your game by selecting the heroes available, the villains they will be facing and the nefarious plot that is going on. Thematically this fits very nicely into the comic book Marvel world - want Ironman, the Hulk and Wolverine to face off against Loki trying to activate the Macguffin Cube ? Can do ! If you are really into your Marvel character clashes then this capability is going to offer you a lot of interesting what if replay. If you don't know your Black Widow from your Emma Frost, then this is going to be less compelling, but still provide variation in your play.

Play for a player is pretty much like any deckbuilder, buy sexy cards into your personal deck, slowly improving the quality of your cards from the small pool available at any one time. Play cards with a fight capability to deal with villains, play cards with a purchase capability to buy more cards into your deck.

The villain deck here serves as an interesting programmed game timer - a villain card being pulled and resolved each turn with a whole host of different effects. Depending on the plot and villains involved, just how the game timer evolves will be different each time - but by and large the heroes will need to deal with an increasing villain presence whilst also buying time for them to assemble ever more kick ass decks to deal with serious threats - and defeat the arch villain.

The art and presentation of the game is as you would hope for a rich comic book IP - very good. Some bits of the board are somewhat disappointing, but the character and card art is great - assuming of course you like comic book art.

In theory the Pathfinder Adventure card game shares a lot of the same setup mechanics as Legendary - pick your heroes, bad guys and scenario, and then launch forth on a co-operative battle to rid the world of evil. However. The games could not be further apart in actual play  - and whilst admittedly Marvel is a gung ho deck builder and Pathfinder much less so, for my money Marvel produces a compelling themed multi replay card game, and Pathfinder... well... does not. About the only place that Pathfinder scores points over Marvel is in its campaign narrative where you can improve over time and bring your characters along ( which is pretty much the *only* positive to Pathfinder, and the only reason in my opinion it has a following at all ).

Upstairs Lords of Waterdeep got another play, and I actually got to experience the pasted on theme cube shuffler for the first time. Expansion was in play, and corruption was rampant. So rampant in fact that 10 point negative penalties were being handed out akimbo, which all in all seemed a bit random and arbitrary ( regardless of whether you had been good or not, if you were forced to take a corruption you got a score hit ). Phil - or as we liked to call him, Ian - grumbled a bit when first forced to take his 10 point punishment - there was literally nothing he could do about it. After a rules check he took his lumps and went onto score a very decent second place.

Lords is very popular down the Ribs, but despite never playing it, I have never been entirely enthused with its premise. Having played it my opinion hasn't changed, its an inoffensive way to spend an evening gaming, but for my money it is by and large an exercise of going through the motions - there no are clever optimisations, synergies or ploys on offer here. It's monopoly. In the Euro era. But perhaps therein lies some its charm - its simple, untaxing, and yet offer some familiar Euro cubes and action placements to make. I think if you wanted to actually make a more challenging version of this, you would make the actions more synergistic, and your rewards better able to build upon - thus requiring some planning of how to ramp up end game scoring.

In the end corruption free Dave ended up the winner, whilst I, hopelessly corrupt ended up fifth. I managed to beat Fletch into six however which I took as a victory !

Lastly Village got played on the far table, a single point separating first and second place.

A smattering of fillers were played, including Resistance. Pip despite being an evil doer managed to help the good guys onto a straight three in a row quest success - 'wasn't sure what to do' - but nevertheless the bad guys won, when an otherwise completely below the radar Merlin Phil voted out of step with the group on the last vote, and attracted the attention of the assassin. The second round of Resistancing saw the bad guys trash the quests 3 to 2- with a very nice two fail results on the last quest.


Mr Bond said...

Cheers for the update. I am lazy and would have written something along the lines of "The players in Descent are a bunch of gits. Especially Pete and his blasted blast. I'll kill them all next time."

Anonymous said...

Having recently taken on the mantle of Overlord myself I draw great pleasure in beating down those pesky heroes again and again and again - the original evil wizard.

Mr Bond said...

Immense pleasure, Anon!

I'm all jovial and laugh along with them when they wipe out my zombie minions or my flesh moulders. "Ha ha. Nice one guys! You showed those zombies the meaning of crispy" - but I'm actually seething and it takes all my willpower not to shake with rage. But I will have revenge for every poor minion they have slaughtered. Next session I am going to murder them. Then murder them again. I will murder them repeatedly while laughing at them as they weep for mercy.

Good job they don't read this...

Minitrue said...

I have a hat for that...

Eric Bresci said...

It's only fair Bondy - i thought that the gamey way that the guests weren't affected by the blast was a bit sick making myself. And without that cheese i don't think we would have won. Revenge is deserved! rich

Mr Bond said...

I wasn't too upset by the non-dying guests. But don't worry, Rich, you will be the first to die! Pete shall be the last. He will suffer a slow and lingering death - perhaps from a disease.