Posts Tagged ‘marvel legendary’

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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So, as you may remember from my article a few weeks back, I’ve become rather addicted to the Legendary Marvel (or Marvel Legendary…no one seems quite certain) game from Upper Deck Entertainment.  Since playing around with the base set for a while, I wanted to add in some new stuff to play with, which is where I opted to add in the Civil War expansion pack.

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This set draws its inspiration and introduces characters from not the recent Captain America movie, nor the recent comic event, but from the original Civil War of a few years back, which was a massive storyline a la Original Sin, Axis or Secret Wars. In this there was a split amongst various heroes as to whether or not they should allow themselves to be put on a government register, with the pro-registration forces led by Iron Man and the dissenters under Captain America. It’s available on Marvel Unlimited, and I highly recommend giving it a read.

So what do you get in this pack? Well, the new characters are a mixed bag. There’s a fair amount of filler, and if you’re not a total Marvel Zombie, it’s unlikely you’ll be fussed about playing with Wicca or Hulking in your deck. However, there are also a few heavy hitters in the form of Cloak and Dagger, Winter Soldier, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist posing as Daredevil. No matter how big a fan you are (at least, if you’re a big enough Marvel fan to be playing Marvel Legendary in the first place), there’s certainly more than a few characters that you’ve heard of.

An extra nice mechanic is that you now get double cards.  These cards, when held in landscape orientation actually feature two smaller cards on them, and when they’re in your hand, it’s then up to you to decide which of the two sides you want to bring into play, it expands variety, and flexibility, and for the “tag team” heroes, like Cloak and Dagger or the doubled up Storm and Black Panther set, really feels thematic, as the two characters working in tandem is central to their concept. What’s odd though is that every character in this set has them…even Daredevil, Vision or Hercules. Sad to say, this actually cheapens the effect, and makes it feel like a novelty, rather than something designed with specific heroes in mind.

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The villains and masterminds are all from the pro-registration forces…SHIELD Elite, Maria Hill, Iron Man…and then Baron Helmut Zemo for some reason. I guess he’s the main villain in the recent Captain America movie…

So, if you’re using these villains/masterminds and you’re a theme driven gamer, you’re either going to have to play them as a Civil War era conflict, or with the Villains set,   Of course, putting the villains up against Maria Hill could be fun, anyway.

I guess how “essential” this expansion is will come down to what sort of gamer you are.  If you like playing Legendary as a purely tactical deck-builder, then there will certainly be plenty here to keep you occupied, and the new Avengers cards will be a great addition to that batch you already have, allowing for even more superpower combinations. If, however, you’re a theme driven gamer, who likes to sort set-ups based on how things could conceivably work in the comics, then for the most part you will have to accept that most of the stories you make will be time-locked to the Civil War-era.  If that’s an era you don’t remember particularly fondly, then maybe this set won’t be for you.  Although the Cloak and Dagger cards are pretty cool. And I do really like Winter Soldier…


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