We're Geeks. We Play Games.

I'll put something more exciting here later.


In the meantime, have a beverage and relax. It could be awhile.


What beverage would I suggest?

  • A nice sangria.
  • An old fashioned.
  • A Long Island Iced Tea.
by

The Super-Hero Deck Building Face-Off

                                                             

Last year saw the release of deck building games from both DC Comics and the House of M (that's Marvel Comics for those who don't know).  I, of course, wanted them both and debated with myself for months about which one I was going to get first.  Finally, I had my chance to try them both at PAX East this past March and I walked out with the DC Deck Building Game.  I want to take a few minutes and explain to you what I was debating over and why I made the choice I did.

First, the great debate.  The first issue I had to resolve was the cost.  Whether you buy your games on-line, at your friendly local gaming store or somewhere in between, the cost of Legendary is going to cast you $15-$20 more than the DC Deck Building Game.  Granted, it is justified, seeing as Legendary comes with more than twice the number of cards and a board.  But in the end it came down to this- I couldn't afford both and I didn't know which I was willing to take the risk on.

The second issue was the game play.  Legendary is a semi-cooperative game where the players work together to defeat the game. The players will all lose if they fail but if they win, one player will be declared the true winner.  I like cooperative games and I like that there is a twist on it letting one player be the ultimate winner.  The DC Deck Building Game, on the other-hand, is a head-to-head game, every player for themselves.  Although I like cooperative games, I have nothing against beating the snot out of my opponents.  Again, I couldn't get them both, and I couldn't decide on game style, so the debate raged on.

The third and most difficult issue was which universe to choose.  I'm the kind of guy who likes Star Wars and Star Trek and I like both Marvel and DC comics.  How do I choose?

Luckily, I had the chance to try both games at PAX East.  And as I said earlier, I walked out with the DC Deck Building Game.  There were a bunch of reasons why, but mostly it came down to the cold hard truth:  I liked it better.  Both games use very similar mechanics (almost to the point that I want to see if they could somehow be hacked to work together).  In both games players start with a generic deck that consists of very basic useful cards and very annoying useless cards.  Players use the cards they draw into their hand to acquire cards that will be added to their decks.  There are a couple of differences here.  The cards in Legendary have two stats, one used for attack, the other for recruit.  Players are able to use each card for both, so there are no hard choices to be made.  The heroes players recruit go into their discard pile, while the villains get trashed. DC has one stat that is used to gain cards, be they hero, villain, equipment etc., which all go into the players' discard piles. 

Both games have a similar goal, beat the bad guys, and in both games the players are, in a way, working together to accomplish that goal.  The difference is that in the DC game, those bad guys go into the players deck to be used later, and often hurt the players opponents.  In Legendary, everyone works together to tackle the scheme of the mastermind, but once he is beaten, game over.  Once the bad guys are beaten in either game we find another similarity, Victory Points.  All cards acquired in either game have victory points on the bottom corner that get tallied up to determine the winner.  Granted, in Legendary, if you beat the bad guy everyone is a winner, but only one can be the best.

There are few other things I want to point out.  First is set up, DC takes about a minute, Legendary takes 10-15 minutes.  Second, portability, DC comes in a small box that can be easily put in a suitcase, backpack or whatever. Legendary is a beast of a box; not so easy to tote around.  Third, theme.  Legendary has players playing S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that are recruiting heroes to help defeat the villains threatening the city.  It's a team working together.  In DC you randomly choose a hero to play and, depending on the cards you get, you could have a bullet-proof, Trident toting Batman, and the villains you gain are used against the other players.  There is no team work here, it's an all-out slug fest.  And finally, I think it should be pointed out that both games have expansions.  Legendary's Dark City is already available, and DC's Heroes Unite is scheduled for later this year.  It should be noted that the DC Deck Building Game: Heroes Unite is a stand alone game that can be used with the original, but doesn't require it, while Legendary: Dark City is a true expansion and requires Legendary to play it.

Super-hero fandom is at an all time high these days, so if you fancy a chance to get in on some super tabletop gaming, you have some choices to make.

DC Comics Deck Building Game

Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 30 Min
Publisher: Cryptizoic
Category: Deck Building

And finally, because I know Lori won't let the opportunity pass, I will try to beat her to the punch.  She and I have played many games of the DC Deck Building Game and I have yet to win.  I win fine when I play other people, but I can't beat Lori.  It's aggravating!*

*If by aggravating, you mean awesome. ;) It should say a lot about the game that although he has yet to beat me, he still enjoys playing. And I would give it a 5 Knight score, as I love playing this game so much that I bought my own. -Lori