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This is the second in a seven part series on superhero games. Today’s entry is on the DC deck building game, the expansion Crisis (pack 1), and Heroes Unite.

First the base game.

In this deck building game, you get a Super Hero card. These cards are larger than the other cards and give you a special ability to use during the game. For example, Aquaman lets you put any cards with cost 5 or less you buy or gain during your turn on top of your deck. So Aquaman doesn’t suck.

During your turn, you use the Power indicated on your cards to buy other cards/defeat Super-Villains. In the beginning you don’t have a lot of Power because all you have are Punch cards (+1 Power), but as you build your deck, you become more powerful. Also cards you gain might have special text on them which can allow you to pull off some nice combos. It can be important to have cards with Defense capabilities because some of the attacks can be pretty rough.

This is a semi-co-op game. The goal is to defeat all the villains in the Super-Villain stack, so in that respect you’re working with your fellow players. During the game you can add villains to your deck, and some of these cards attack your fellow players. Also, at the end of the game, each card has a victory point value, and the player with the most victory points is the winner. So in that respect you’re also fighting against each other.

Now the expansions.

When Professor and I first tried out Crisis (pack 1) it was with Heroes Unite because we hadn’t sleeved those cards yet (all our cards for the original game are sleeved). Heroes Unite is basically another version of the base game with different cards including different Super Heroes. Crisis is meant to make the game more co-op. Instead of adding villains to your decks, they are destroyed (Super Villains are removed from the game). The Crisis Super Hero cards can give you abilities that help each other (Wonder Woman lets other players destroy Vulnerabilities and Weaknesses). You work together to defeat the Super Villains and the Crisis cards.

Based just on the experience of combining Crisis and Heroes Unite, I really disliked the game. The cards in HU made it extremely difficult to build a decent deck; I’m not sure if this is due to the cost of the cards, the abilities of the cards, or some combination. Halfway through the game, I was still mostly relying on punches and kicks. Thanks to one of the crisis cards, Professor got a new deck, and he was carrying the game. I felt useless which isn’t how I would want anyone else playing the game to feel. I finally had one good round that turned things around for me, but we came close to exhausting the main deck (this causes you to lose) because there were so many turns where I could do nothing.

So then we sleeved Crisis and played with the original game. What a difference! It cut down on play time compared to playing with HU because it was easier to build a good deck, and there were very few rounds when we could do nothing. By about the midpoint we had destroyed nearly all our Vulnerabilities and Punches. Weaknesses were easily destroyed as well. It was a much less frustrating game – in fact it was back to being fun!

I’m still not completely sold on Heroes Unite yet (we need to play with it more), though I do like some of the Super Hero cards. Batgirl makes it easy to get rid of Punch cards, and Nightwing, Starfire, and Booster Gold all give you an opportunity to draw cards (always good in a deck building game). The Crisis expansion gives new versions of the original Super Hero Cards plus six new cards. If there are quite a few Locations out, Swamp Thing is awesome because you get to use the ability of each Location. Green Arrow is also pretty handy since discarding a Punch makes it easier to defeat villains and Super Villains.

When we play, we’re much more likely to play with Crisis because we prefer to be more co-op than competitive.

In the next entry, I’ll discuss Dice Masters.

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  1. By Superhero Games | Game Night on 26 May 2017 at 11:18 am

    […] In the next post, I’ll discuss the DC deck building game. […]

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