Legendary: Noir

Posted: March 21, 2017 in Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Gaming, Legendary
Tags: , , , ,

Mystery, secrets, and betrayal. Marvel Legendary’s twelfth expansion steps into a universe where superpowers are replaced by gritty stories. This hundred card small box expansion hosts Heroes, Schemes, and Villains in a way never before seen in the Legendary universe. This is Legendary: Noir.

It seems a fair while since there has been an expansion for Marvel Legendary, and this one is rather a strange one. This time, it’s focused on the Marvel Noir universe – a parallel timeline of the multiverse that sets everything in a 1920s Noir setting, with some steampunk thrown in for good measure.

At a hundred cards, Legendary: Noir feels substantial enough to add some character (and characters) to your games, without getting stretched too thin (something the Secret Wars double pack was criticised for). The artwork is all nicely evocative, and suits the mood of the set, yet is no so different that it seems jarring alongside your other cards.

The five new heroes are new takes on Iron Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Angel; although Spider-Man is probably best known, due to his prominence in the Spider-Verse crossover a couple of years ago. The new heroes do synch well together, and you’ll have fun with their combinations.

The Masterminds are Noir versions of The Green Goblin (here envisioned as a mob boss), and an evil Charles Xavier. They have some tough combat abilities, and their accompanying gangs of Sinister Six and the X-Men are nicely done and highly thematic.

The new Investigation ability, which allows players to examine, draw and rearrange the top cards of their decks is a very nice one, and is perfect for helping to set up combos of superpowers later in the game; especially if combined with Phasing.

Unfortunately, what holds the expansion back is what a niche area of the Marvel Universe it covers. Secret Wars was a massive event, covering every character, running for months. Ditto for Fear Itself and Civil War. Noir, as great as it was, was several years ago and only ran for a short period. As a result, the more casual Legendary player may struggle to find much of interest here.

That’s a real shame, because the card art and the mechanics absolutely nail the Noir theme. It’s just that that theme will likely only appeal to Marvel zombies and legendary completists.

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Brad Harmer-Barnes is a games journalist and comedy writer from Kent, England, and has written for (among others) Miniature Wargames magazine, Fortress: Ameritrash, Emotionally14.com and Suppressing-Fire.Com, which he also edits. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @realbradhb

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