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Monday, 4 August 2014

Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs Xmen

So I go from buying a Starter box on friday, buying a booster box on Sat and playing in a tournament on Sunday. Yes, those are all in the same week -_-

So what is MDM about? It's a strange mix of a CCG and a DBG (deck building game). The CCG comes into play with the fact that you have to buy boosters and the cards are basically totally random; along with the dice, and there are common/uncommon/rare/super-rare distinctions among the cards. Just an idea of how rare the super-rares can be. you can buy a whole box of the boosters, which is 60 packs and 120 cards in all; since each booster comes with 2 cards and 2 dice, and it's not guaranteed there will be a super-rare in it at all. 

The DBG experience comes in since you have to pre-select your cards/dice before the match, place them in front of you where they become your own private market place and then buy them during the game and try to use them to beat your opponent from 20 life down to 0. Each card has its own specific dice it must use. For example, the beast card can only use the beast dice and so on. Usually you'll need at least 4 dice per card just to be safe since there's also a max limit of how many dice per card you can field and it's usually 4. 

So it's a combination of luck as well as collectible-gamingness. As well as some strategy like most DBGs. In reality, I would consider this to be pretty similar to High Command for Warmachine/Hordes, just that it also uses dice instead of cards. However, the one issue I have with it is the existence of some really annoying and what one might call OP cards. Also rules issues. I mean the last CC-anything I played was Magic: The gathering and that was eons ago. Like back in Ice Age. So you might say I've been out of touch with that culture. I've been mostly playing LCGs; living card games where there is basically no blind buy, or table top games like warmachine and x-wing where again, there are no blind buys/rares/whatnot. It's a game where basically almost everyone can have the same thing on board without worrying too much about costs. So there's a bit of a culture shock coming into this game and seeing how powerful certain Super-Rare cards are. 

So anyway, like I mentioned, I took part in a tournament on Sunday where it seemed like Green goblins and Tsarinas ran rampant. It was quite interesting to see how many Goblins and Tsarinas there were. My own list was simple, Green goblin; the common version, Deadpool, Thor and Human Torch; the common one. We played 4 rounds; best 2 out of 3 games. First round, I got Green Goblined to death. 2nd round, opponent had no green goblin so I won that. 3rd round, Green Goblined to death. My opponent had amazing luck for that one. Almost all his Tsarina and Green Goblin dice came up with characters. I think throughout the 2 games I played with him, he only rolled energy sides maybe 3 times for those dice. 4th game, opponent had no Goblin or Tsarina so that ended with a win. 

The top 3 lists were as follows. 

First
Distraction
Gearing Up


Black Widow - Tsarina (129) 4 Dice
Human Torch - Johnny Storm (78) 3 Dice
Storm - Wind Rider (92) 3 Dice
Beast - Mutate #666 (3) 3 Dice
Mr Fantastic - Elastic (131) 1 Die
Phoenix - Ms Psyche (54) 1 Die
Ghost Rider - Johnny Blaze (44) 2 Dice
Cyclops - If Looks Could Kill (69) 2 Dice

Second
Gearing Up
Invulnerability

Black Widow - Tsarina (129) 4 Dice
Professor X - Charles Francis Xavier (119) 3 Dice
Silver Surfer - Sentinel (90) 2 Dice
Cyclops - If Looks Could Kill (69) 3 Dice
Gambit - Ace in the Hole (43) 2 Dice
Green Goblin - Goblin-Lord (45) 2 Dice
Storm - Wind Rider (92) 1 Die
Nick Fury - WWII Veteran (83) 1 Die

Third
Distraction
Power Bolt

Green Goblin - Gobby (130) 3 Dice
Beast - Mutate #666 (3) 3 Dice
Human Torch - Johnny Storm (78) 3 Dice
Magneto - Sonderkommando (112) 1 Die
Silver Surfer - Silverado (58) 1 Die
Colossus - Russian Bear (68) 2 Dice
Cyclops - If Looks Could Kill (69) 1 Die
Angel - High Ground (35) 1 Die

Overall, I'd say I like the game. Which is not to say it's a perfect game but it's an interesting game and it definitely could use some fine-tweaking. As well as just outright erratas and bans. One issue I think that could use some work is the fact that when character dice die, they go back to the prep area which means you get to add them to your roll again next turn. This just seems wrong somehow as it usually seems to end up in a ever larger cascade of characters coming out.