Marvel United Review
Marvel United, a chance to assemble teams of Super Heroes and take down those super villains in a unique cooperative gaming experience. The heroes are totally interchangeable and therefore you can pick your heroes to challenge a villain in a situation that never ever occurred in the MCU. Are they able to defeat the enemy or will the villain complete their Masterplan? Will you pick the right team to get the job done?
How Does It Play?
A game for 1 to 4 players, that’s right, a solo mode is available. Players take on the role of the heroes and the game will play out the villain.
Set the board up first with 6 unique locations in a clock shape and lay out all associated counters. Pick up the villain with 12 master plan cards and place the mini on a location. Our heroes then line up in the location opposite.
The heroes simply have to stop the villain with a knock out before the villain completes their master plan. The villains master plan is completed in 2 ways, either they have no new master plan card to draw and victory is theirs, or they have a unique victory condition which if they complete also sees their victory. Every villain is different there and heroes have to adapt to those changed circumstances.
The villain takes the first turn. Plays their first masterplan card in a storyline around the outside of the board. Follow the situation on the drawn card. Once worked through the heroes get three turns, which, if in a 4-player game, this means the 4th player does not get a turn before the villain launches into the next part of their masterplan. It can get messy quickly. Players get to play cards which will either be attack, movement or heroic actions, or combinations of.
The heroes then need to manage the game. They have to balance managing defeating small-time thugs, rescuing civilians and completing objectives before they even get a crack at taking on the villain direct and going for the knockout. In true MCU style, the further heroes get to defeating the villain, the intensity of the situation ramps up making it even more challenging.
Who Stars In This Game?
This game was part of a huge CMON kickstarter project that saw so many Marvel characters introduced. This set of the base game is a great starting point. We see Ironman, Captain America,
The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Captain Marvel all start for us in this set. So, we have a great choice of heroes to assemble from the off.
Ironman is a well-balanced character with a blend of attack, movement and Heroic actions. Captain America, unsurprisingly is full of heroic actions in abundance. The Black Widow, elite assassin has an emphasis on attack actions as does the incredible Hulk, who is quite immobile. Finally, Captain Marvel sees us also full of attack and movement actions with not much time for heroism. So, as a player team, you need to make sure you get the best balance out of your squad.
Our villains are as follows.
The Red Skull. A classic villain who creates fear. This is his alternative victory, a tracker on the villain dashboard that if it reaches the end gives him an auto victory.
Ultron. Not the worst villain in my opinion. You’ll ned to manage the other elements of the game board here as if the locations all overflow then the game is lost and Ultron is victorious.
Taskmaster. He’s evasive and causes crisis on the locations, preventing heroes striking him. Additional actions are required to remove these tokens from play in order to get to Taskmaster. Time is not your friend here. But then I have found it isn’t against a friend against any hero.
There is no hiding the fact that I was so unimpressed with this game on reading the rules. It felt too basic and was going to be unchallenging. It felt like there wasn’t enough depth. So, in the first game played with Hulk and the Black Widow against the Red Skill, I was shocked to see the heroes get battered. We are still yet to defeat this particular villain, thankfully we have won some other games. The rules are quite straight forward but there is a lot more depth and strategy than first meets the eye.
It’s also a fast game! Which I always appreciate. You can set, play a game and pack away in one hour. The game taking about 45-50 minutes. There is a definite end point. The game has to end when the villain can draw no more cards, so that is a grand total of 12 turns and then you are done, win or lose. That is the cut throat part, it is fast, intense play that all of a sudden end with defeat or victory. The great thing being you win or lose as a group of players (or solo).
The critics of this game probably do not like it for reasons I have outlined above, my wife is actually one of them. I get that and this game won’t be for everyone, and that is no problem. I bought this as
a game to play with my family (boys when they get a bit older) because this is I think a great family game where everyone can work together on a common goal. That is something my wife can see and how our family can enjoy all playing together in a few years’ time. It will help teach those all-important life skills of teamwork, cooperation and the understanding of winning or losing.
Greater depth can also be introduced with expansion sets. There are plenty to pick from that will include many more of your favourite characters and villains. So, I highly recommend them if you enjoy this base game. The game is already highly replayable, an expansion or 2 adds so much more on top of this still. Who doesn’t want to see Groot battling alongside Spiderman against Hela?
One For The Artists
For those gamers who enjoy painting ,this is absolutely up your street. The minis are stunning and some of the best I’ve seen in any game. The artwork I’ve seen on social media is truly exceptional and I’m jealous that I do not possess those skills. You cannot overlook this game if you enjoy this side of the hobby.
Quick, intense and critically, fun! Marvel United is a wonderfully simple co operative game that provides a challenge every time it comes out on our table top. Definitely look to add this one to your collection.
This blog was written by David Ireland.