Marvel Legendary via Vassal

2015-05-09

As any reader of this blog is probably aware, I started playing Dice Masters a short while ago. Coincidentally, the second Avengers movie was released within the last two weeks and I had the opportunity to watch that with a friend. I am absolutely certain that this confluence of events has left me thinking about Marvel Legendary.

The Legendary games from Upper Deck are well regarded. I first started getting into them either as a result of watching tons of reviews of boardgames, or as a result of being super interested in deckbuilding games and then watching a bunch of reviews of boardgames. In any case, I was able to open a new copy of Legendary Encounters at my local game store and try the game out with a random other customer.  I loved the game immediately.  Setup was brutal (1 hour) but the gameplay was tight and very deckbuilder-y through and through.

I haven’t had the opportunity to play Legendary for a couple of months now. I have the Apprentice Edition of Ascension which I play with my neighbor and Dee, and I play Ascension on my phone a lot, too. I also have Star Realms on my computers and my phone, but I find myself sticking mainly to Ascension.  Well, combine the recent superhero-itis with the familiarity of my deckbuilder of choice, and the time is ripe to start playing with other deckbuilders!

So what did I think of Marvel Legendary?

Well, first off: Vassal is not at all intuitive to get started with. This likely depends hugely on the specific game you’re trying to play, but I was completely lost with how to start playing Marvel Legendary. Through trial and error I was able to eventually figure it out, though.  Right now I will say this: I’d way rather play in person.  I find the experience clunky and uncomfortable on the PC, at least through Vassal.  It’s serviceable, but nowhere near as nice as playing a native game application or playing a physical version.  As to the game itself… well, it was honestly too easy and a little on the boring side.  I’m sure these two things were related to each other, and there are many suggestions from the manual on how to bump up difficulty.  I’m sure my stumbling around, trying to figure out the UI for Vassal also contributed somewhat.

In conclusion: Vassal is clunky, but I love that I can actually try playing the game this way without having to spring for a real physical copy. I’ll give it a few more tries and see what I think. Definitely neat that this is possible to do!