So it was a long weekend due to Canadian Thanksgiving so we got together and played a couple of boardgames.

MARVEL Champions *new to my table

What I liked

This reminds me a great deal of the classic Sentinels of the Multiverse but with a few key changes.

  • First, the that the core hero deck is set up for customizing by adding other specialities (leadership, defense, support, etc.).
  • Second, it has an alter ego mechanic. While in the alter ego, there are certain abilities you can use that aren’t available to the hero and vice versa. Also the super villain doesn’t attack alter egos but instead adds to their scheme. If the scheme is completed before the super villain is defeated, players lose.
  • I like that the decks can be set up differently every time and the instructions provide a set up for each hero character. Many deck games rely upon the draw and draft but this isn’t one so the only luck is the draw from your own deck and the supper villain deck.
  • I also appreciated that the cards were color coded according to the super hero and according to the specialities. It made sorting the cards much easier after the game and recognizing what they might be best for during play.

With This I Took Issue

  • The mechanics encourage player co-operation though there is no mechanic for keeping an eliminated player involved.
  • There is a set up for two players to start with prearranged decks, but there isn’t much in the way of a quick start guide.
  • There is plenty of space for the decks but there are no dividers included in the box to help keep them organized.
  • I have a feeling that I will be kit bashing a player play mat for keeping track of cards in play and cards in hand (as a co-op game and one that we were learning, we played with open hands as we couldn’t find anything in the rules about table talk either).
  • I really wish that the Event cards had a reminder printed on them that they are discarded after use.

Overall, I expect I’ll play this again and probably pick up a few of the expansion decks to add more characters into it. When I’ve got a bit more time, I’ll be kit-bashing some additional bits to help organize the pieces.

El Grande *new to my table

Classic Eurogame with a set number of turns and points gained on regions of control

Out of a set of cards, you pick about a third of them to set up your deck. On your turn you get to choose your card to play and there are enough that you will have about four left over at the end. Each card determines your initiative against the other cards and a potential special ability to use on your turn. The catch – the higher the card number and earlier you go in a turn, the fewer control markers you get to add to the board.

  • The Turn Track is really good with a sub-track for the point scoring rounds listing the names of the regions.
  • When the King’s Marker is on a region, no one can add or remove control markers from it and usually you can only place control markers adjacent to the region that the King’s Marker is in.
  • There is also a beefy tower that you can put control markers in that get scored as a region and you get to allocate on the board during the scoring rounds. You secretly note where you will be sending your control markers and potentially tip control to your favour and collect the most points for it.
  • Apparently there were a number of expansions which added more regions, including France and the Americas. We didn’t play with them but I can see them providing a bit of variety if you played this a great deal.

If you are a fan of games like Tower of Babel with control marker placement mechanics and shared victory points, you will probably enjoy El Grande.