Hello everyone! Andrea Chiarvesio here, designer of Marvel United, Marvel United: X-Men, and I’m proud to say, Marvel United: Multiverse! Today, we’re covering the much of what’s new in this new core box of the game, apart from, of course, new Heroes and Villains to play.
We will cover 3 things: Equipment cards, Solo mode, and a few characters making a comeback! When we approached designing the second season of Marvel United, the main questions in our heads were “what is the game still missing?” and “What are our players asking for that could make the game better?”.
A very vocal request was, “we want each hero to feel more unique.” People wanted to see Captain America throwing his shield, Spider-Man using his webshooter, and Thor flying with Mjolnir. We tried to represent these through special powers in the previous season, but it’s a huge challenge to represent all the iconic special weapons, equipment, and gear in three or four special cards, while still wanting to also show the hero’s true nature and superpowers.
After a lot of brainstorming and a long trial and error design process, the solution came almost naturally to us. Why don’t we add Equipment cards to Heroes? Instead of being part of the Hero deck, they would work like the Training cards that we introduced in the Marvel United: X-Men - First Class expansion. We could finally address exactly what players were asking for. Many heroes in this season will come with their own Equipment cards and start the game with these.
As a classic example, Captain Carter will start the game with her signature Shield that can be either thrown to attack an adjacent Location or used to ignore 1 damage dealt to a Hero in her Location. Cosmic Ghost Rider can use his Hellfire Chain to attack enemies in his Location and use his Hell Cycle to fast travel to an adjacent Location. And that’s just two of the many examples. This increases the feeling of playing a unique Hero with not only their powers but also their signature gear. But as our smarter readers might have been thinking already, this idea brought some serious balancing issues with it. The extra power and flexibility provided by Equipment would make games a lot easier when playing without Challenges. The best way to make sure the new Equipment was properly balanced was to play the game in Hard Challenge mode, so removing the double wild from the Heroes’ deck when using Equipment cards proved to be the perfect way to preserve game balance.
As you might imagine, we also had to make sure that this solution would have worked retroactively for the full United line. This also proved very useful in order to even the scales a little bit between heroes from all the seasons.
Another comment we heard quite often was that players would have liked a way to play in Solo Mode with a single Hero instead of having a team of three heroes. It made a lot of sense thematically, of course. The solo mode for the first two seasons was designed by Rugerfred Sedda in order to preserve the cooperative experience of the multiplayer game and we were satisfied with it, but players were clearly asking for a different experience in solo mode.
Rugerfred was happy to go back and design a totally new solo mode that will see a single hero facing off against the villain. In order to maintain the comic book feeling of a hero facing an enemy alone but being able to count on a cast of supporting heroes, he designed a new mechanic called the Support deck that introduces deckbuilding to Marvel United. I don’t really want to say more about it, but I’ll just add that not only has it become one of my personal favourite ways of playing Marvel United, but it also led to other mechanics you’ll see in Season 3 that I am not at liberty to discuss in this article yet…
There is still a lot left in the Master Plan. Trust me. Another request that we heard loud and clear from our players was that they wanted the possibility to play with a heroic version of Loki. You were heard! This Multiverse core set indeed comes with an incredible set of Heroes, Villains, and one special Anti-Hero, Cosmic Ghost Rider (he is the Villain we would suggest to face off against first when discovering the Multiverse. Try to stop him while he is trying to punish the bad guys that he has decided are beyond redemption).
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the amazing gameplay twists that Season 3 has in store for our players! What’s next in the Master Plan?