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Author Topic: Legendary Encounters - An ALIEN Deck-Building Game  (Read 52836 times)

Mr. Domino
Oct 09, 2013, 02:49:39 PM
Topic on: Oct 09, 2013, 02:49:39 PM
Q
Alright, so here's something a lot of us already know: the Alien franchise does not have a particularly strong history with tabletop gaming. In many ways the opposite of it's videogame history, the games have generally been great, but short-lived, quickly forgotten, and few and far-between. There have only been, to me knowledge, 6 tabletop games based on the franchise in over 30 years - 2 of which were aimed at children, and made to tie in to the original movie release, and the unreleased Operation: Aliens cartoon show, respectively. Of the other 4, we had one miniatures game (the AVP Horrorclix releases, limited though they were), one Role-playing game (Leading Edge games' notoriously difficult to track down book), one Board game (Also from Leading Edge, and even harder to procure), and one Collectible Card Game (The legendary Aliens/Predator CCG, cut down before it's time).

But now, a decade since the Horrorclix box sets were released (and a decade before that since the CCG), the recent tabletop gaming revolution is finally paying the Alien franchise a visit.

Legendary is a Deck-building game (a new format of card game that has been taking the gaming world by storm since its' introduction in 2008) based on the Marvel Comics license. Players start with a deck of weak cards representing SHIELD Agents and recruit super-heroes like Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Deadpool into their deck in order to be able to take on all manner of villains before they destroy the city. It's a cooperative-style game, with all the players working together against the game's built-in AI running the villains, and as someone who's not all that big of a Marvel fan, let me tell you, it's a ton of fun. I have a weekly board game group that meets and since it released last year, we've played Legendary at least 30 or 40 times.

Now, Upper Deck is releasing a new core set for Legendary with some tweaks to the core game mechanics to make it fit it's new license - ALIEN. I know this won't mean as much to everybody as it does to me, but this is a pretty huge deal. Tabletop gaming has been making a huge comeback over the last couple of years (mostly due to the inevitable social backlash against WoW and similar MMO-games), and to now see Alien in the ring with a game based on one of the most popular and successful engines on the market right now is truly exciting. Here's the press release for the game:

Quote from: Upper Deck
Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game is a fully cooperative game with original art. While based on the Marvel superheroes version of Legendary, the two games will be compatible but cannot be fully integrated.

Legendary Encounters is a deck-building game in the same family as Legendary, but now players must cooperate in order to survive against hordes of aliens. Players take turns recruiting cards for their deck from a central selection in order to improve their deck and defeat enemy cards that are added to the central game board.



Corporal Hicks
Oct 09, 2013, 04:58:56 PM
Reply #1 on: Oct 09, 2013, 04:58:56 PM
Q
I've always loved card games, have done from a young age. I currently only play Magic (and not very well) but over the years I've enjoyed others. I even have a near complete collection of the premiere set for the Aliens Predator CCG and about 4 starter decks but I've never had the chance to play.

I'm really curious about this and will probably purchase. I've never played any of the new deck building games though. I understand you get everything you need from the box and there are no boosters or additional cards or etc?

Not too sure about it not being competitive play though... :-\

Have you played many of these DBGs?


Mr. Domino
Oct 09, 2013, 05:40:10 PM
Reply #2 on: Oct 09, 2013, 05:40:10 PM
Q
I've played well over a dozen deck-building games (Thunderstone, Nightfall, Core Worlds, Legendary, Quarriors, and the Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Resident Evil, and DC Comics games spring immediately to mind), and I think it's a wonderful model. You're correct in that everything you need is in the box, no boosters or anything (although the successful ones get expansion sets from time to time).

Essentially the way they tend to work is you start out with a small deck (usually 10 or 12 cards) that are all very low powered, but give you a little bit of whatever resources the game uses. You use those resources to buy other cards from a common pool, and those go straight to your discard pile. You play every card in your hand each turn, and redraw a new hand, so you cycle through your deck very quickly, and as you run out of cards to draw, you simply reshuffle (including the awesome new cards you've bought) and draw a new hand. Because of this, a large part of the game is in the actual deck-building process, trying to grab good cards that combo off of each other, and weed out starter cards, and cards that aren't working with your strategy.

There are a number of them that are competitive (the Star Trek Deck-Building Game and Core Worlds probably being my two favorites), but the cooperative mechanic works really well, especially in Legendary. In the Marvel version, you've got a number of different "Masterminds", which are your big bad that you're trying to defeat (Magneto, Doom, Red Skull, etc.) and a bunch of "scheme" cards, which define the parameters of the scenario (is the mastermind trying to steal a shipment of weaponized plutonium? Unleash the Legacy Virus? Open portals to the Dark dimension? Replace Earth's leaders with killbots?). There's a ton of different combinations of Mastermind and scheme cards to add to replayability, and it only gets crazier when you add in the fact that the lesser villains that show up in the villain deck will be different each time as well. Even though it's a complete game in a box, you get a lot of the "never the same game twice" factor that makes CCGs so appealing.


RakaiThwei
Oct 09, 2013, 06:49:37 PM
Reply #3 on: Oct 09, 2013, 06:49:37 PM
Q
So this means I can now have Aliens and Predators fighting against Marvel's superheroes in the Legendary game? I mean they did say it was compatible but then that's what they said with HorrorClix and HeroClix.

-Rakai'Thwei


p1nk81cd
Oct 10, 2013, 12:04:37 AM
Reply #4 on: Oct 10, 2013, 12:04:37 AM
Q
So no playable Aliens?

*John Hammond's voice*

DAMN!


PRJ_since1990
Oct 10, 2013, 12:19:08 AM
Reply #5 on: Oct 10, 2013, 12:19:08 AM
Q
So no playable Aliens?

*John Hammond's voice*

DAMN!
Totally heard it in his voice too.

I'm excited. I play Magic weekly so it will be cool to try something new. And if this is co-op, then my gf should enjoy it too. She likes playing against me, but much prefers to play with me.


Mr. Domino
Oct 10, 2013, 03:58:04 AM
Reply #6 on: Oct 10, 2013, 03:58:04 AM
Q
So this means I can now have Aliens and Predators fighting against Marvel's superheroes in the Legendary game? I mean they did say it was compatible but then that's what they said with HorrorClix and HeroClix.

-Rakai'Thwei

Horror and HeroClix were never actually intended to be compatible (although it ended up not being hard to run the conversion - Alien Hive vs. Green Lantern Corps is still one of the most fun games I ever played) - these will likely be much like the DC and Lord of the Rings deck-building games - built on the same engine and fully compatible, but with different card backs and different terms, so you're really only a bunch of opaque card sleeves away from having Avengers vs. Aliens.


RakaiThwei
Oct 10, 2013, 05:22:14 AM
Reply #7 on: Oct 10, 2013, 05:22:14 AM
Q
Horror and HeroClix were never actually intended to be compatible (although it ended up not being hard to run the conversion - Alien Hive vs. Green Lantern Corps is still one of the most fun games I ever played) - these will likely be much like the DC and Lord of the Rings deck-building games - built on the same engine and fully compatible, but with different card backs and different terms, so you're really only a bunch of opaque card sleeves away from having Avengers vs. Aliens.

Mind sending me that campaign scenario for Green Lantern vs Aliens for the Clix games?

And really? So Marvel vs Aliens would likely be compatible with this? I can kill Superheroes with the Alien/Predator cards?! Shit, I am getting this deck even if I have no one to play with! Heh heh heh!

-Rakai'Thwei


Mr. Clemens
Oct 10, 2013, 02:03:04 PM
Reply #8 on: Oct 10, 2013, 02:03:04 PM
Q
Quite excited for this release. I'm one of those guys who was disappointed when the new Star Wars game was changed from co-op to competitive in development, so this'll suit me and my son to a T; it's easier to get the youngsters to want to learn a game when they're not simultaneously trying to defend themselves from the teacher!

I don't think this game's title is doing it any favours, though. 'Legendary Encounters: an Alien card game'? Wouldn't 'Alien: a Legendary card game' be better? I worry about brand confusion scaring off the casual gamers. Ah, well... as long as I get a copy.

For the record, there's no mention of any predators being involved. And I, personally, really hope there won't be.

Mr. Domino, does Legendary make use of any sort of movement/locations, or do all the cards just sit on the table and duke it out, like Star Wars?


Mr. Domino
Oct 10, 2013, 02:21:49 PM
Reply #9 on: Oct 10, 2013, 02:21:49 PM
Q
Mind sending me that campaign scenario for Green Lantern vs Aliens for the Clix games?

The way I ran it was essentially just each side plays by the rules of their respective game - all the Aliens, in HeroClix terms, automatically have Willpower, since there's no pushing damage in Horrorclix, but they still become vulnerable, so, in Heroclix terms, all the Green Lanterns essentially gain Penetrating Shot and Exploit Weakness against an alien with 2 action counters. You still put out Victim tokens, and the GLs count as Protectors (or whatever the Horrorclix term was for Good Guys), so they can rescue the victim tokens, but they don't get any benefit from doing so, aside from denying the Aliens. The Alien player also still gets a hand of plot twist cards, just as the GL player has access to any feats they want to use.

When I played it, we did 1000 pts. on each side - the full GLCorps box set with Ganthet, Katma Tui, Tomar Re, Ch'p, Gnort, Arisia, and Abin Sur, along with Kiliwog, Hal Jordan, Jon Stewart, and Kyle Rayner from outside of the box set. The Alien side had the complete Alien box set, along with the fully upgraded Queen and Egg Sac attachment. It was glorious fun. The Aliens made short work of most of the GLs, but then Ganthet strode in and started disintegrating the bugs at long range. In the end, it came down to a battle of wills between Ganthet and the Queen, and, well, in brightest day, in blackest night, no xenomorph will leave this fight.

I don't think this game's title is doing it any favours, though. 'Legendary Encounters: an Alien card game'? Wouldn't 'Alien: a Legendary card game' be better? I worry about brand confusion scaring off the casual gamers. Ah, well... as long as I get a copy.

For the record, there's no mention of any predators being involved. And I, personally, really hope there won't be.

The reason for the title is because Upper Deck has already secured the rights to the Predator and Firefly franchises to use in future deck-builders. From what I understand, the idea is for those to be standalone sets, but that can also be mixed together if the players so choose. So after a while, you'll have Legendary, which is a blanket name for Comic book properties using the Legendary engine, and Legendary Encounters, which is the same thing for Film/TV licenses.

Mr. Domino, does Legendary make use of any sort of movement/locations, or do all the cards just sit on the table and duke it out, like Star Wars?

Neither entirely. In Marvel Legendary, there are five locations in "The City". As a Villain comes out from the Villain deck, he enters "The Sewers". If another Villain comes out before he's defeated, that villain will enter "The Sewers", and the first Villain will be pushed into "The Bank" - and so on into "The Rooftops", "The Streets", and "The Bridge". If the city is ever entirely full (which will generally happen quite often - it's extremely difficult to keep the villain population in check, especially early-game), and another villain comes out of the villain deck, then the villain in "The Bridge" will be pushed into the "Escaped Villains" stack, and the players take some penalties, often dependent upon the scenario. There's no movement on the player side - you simply play down your heroes, spend your recuitment points on more cards into your discard pile, and if you have enough attack points, taking out a villain card from one of the City locations.


Prime113
Oct 11, 2013, 03:23:24 AM
Reply #10 on: Oct 11, 2013, 03:23:24 AM
Q
Read about the deck-building concept. Not sure I understand it perfectly, but I have always loved card games. Started with Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, though I haven't played much in recent years.

Depending on the price, I'll definitely try and pick it up as soon as I can.


Xenomrph
Oct 11, 2013, 03:40:03 AM
Reply #11 on: Oct 11, 2013, 03:40:03 AM
Q
Huh, this is pretty unexpected. I'll likely buy a bunch of packs/decks of this, if the art and gameplay are cool. I've still got a shitton of the Aliens/Predator (and Terminator) CCG cards.


Mr. Domino
Oct 11, 2013, 03:48:14 AM
Reply #12 on: Oct 11, 2013, 03:48:14 AM
Q
Part of the nice thing about this is that it's all in one box! The only add-on you need is card sleeves, unless you're one of those awful heathens who plays cards unsleeved.


RakaiThwei
Oct 11, 2013, 04:35:55 AM
Reply #13 on: Oct 11, 2013, 04:35:55 AM
Q
I've still got a shitton of the Aliens/Predator (and Terminator) CCG cards.

Now those are definitely compatible, from what I remember!

The company which made those cards made some kind of systems and scenario for that to occur!

-Rakai'Thwei


Xenomrph
Oct 11, 2013, 02:39:41 PM
Reply #14 on: Oct 11, 2013, 02:39:41 PM
Q
Yep, the Aliens/Predator and Terminator cards were designed to be compatible from a gameplay standpoint. :)


 

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