Aug 26, 2015

[Games] Legendary: Paint the Town Red

So Legendary has become sort of the flavor of the month in terms of card games here at the Sietch. What can I say - the core system is pretty brilliant and it's definitely one of the better deckbuilding games around. And their dedication to bringing popular franchises to life is what really brings the whole thing home. As much as we've all enjoyed fighting Aliens in Encounters, it's really time to take to the streets with the Marvel superheroes.

Legendary: Paint the Town Red is an expansion that is all about one of the favorite characters - everyone's favorite wall crawler, Spider-Man. And while this may seem like a rather narrow focus for an entire card expansion, you have to really appreciate just how much was accomplished with this character and the many, many villains he has faced over the years.

This small box expansion may not seem like much at first, but it definitely shows a lot of heart and we're all the better for it existing at all. And if anything, it also demonstrates how the game developers learned from the first game and managed to come up with some rather interesting card mechanics to really make things interesting.

My thanks to my partner, Tobie, for getting this for us as an early birthday present.

Synopsis: Legendary: Paint the Town Red is an expansion for the Legendary deckbuilding game. The expansion was designed by Devin Low. It introduces 5 new heroes and 2 new masterminds together with their accompany villain groups, along with 4 new schemes.

This is the big Spider-Man focused expansion, and thus we get 5 new sets of hero cards based on various characters who have appeared in Spider-Man comics over the years. Our roster includes Black Cat, Moon Knight, Scarlet Spider, Spider-Woman and the Symbiote Spider-Man. And no, that's not Venom per se, but it's the equivalent of when Peter Parker was still using the symbiote as a costume after the events of the original Secret Wars.

What is notable about this expansion is the introduction of the new keyword, Wall Crawl. The mechanic is pretty simple - instead of placing a newly purchased / recruited card in your discard pile (in line with the standard gain mechanic), you instead get to place Wall Crawl cards on top of your deck. Thus these cards are going to come into play a lot sooner, especially if you already have a way to draw cards during your turn, thus immediately giving you the benefit of what you purchased. A lot of the cards in this expansion require you to look at the top card of your deck, and so a well-timed recruit of a Wall Crawl character can really add something to your game.

But what are the heroes without their villains, right? So this time around we have Carnage and the Maximum Carnage villain group and Mysterio with the Sinister Six. Mysterio seems pretty harmless until his Master Strike is triggered and he starts becoming harder and harder to kill as more copies / illusions are added into the mix. And then there's Carnage, who brings with him the Feast keyword, which means attacking him and his villain group tends to result in you automatically KO-ing the top card of your deck. That's KO and not discard.

Black Spider-Man and Spider-Man are definitely the heroes that are easier to love in this set. They can be pretty lethal, especially if you play a game with the original Spider-Man in the mix as well. Spider-Woman and Black Cat both have clear strategies in mind, but are harder to trigger since their cards tend to cost more and are quite quirky by design. Moon Knight is probably the odd man out here. Despite having the cards with the Wall Crawl keyword, he really is better suited as a Marvel Knight I suppose. I can't say this quite definitively since we don't have the Dark City expansion just yet.

The schemes are nicely tied to the Spider-Man part of the Marvel universe with clever ones like Web of Lies, which requires that you have a certain number of bystanders in your victory pile before you can attack the Mastermind. Throw in Mysterio's ability to essentially extend the game and you end up with a dire need to rush the Mastermind before he does too much damage. Cards with Feast can be pretty nasty, plus how it can trigger additional effects like players taking wounds or the villain returning to the city. Blast you, Carrion!

On the whole, Legendary: Paint the Town Red is a solid expansion for the game and a really fun play experience as well. Any Spider-Man fan must consider this expansion a must-have given the lovely character set included in the game. And so this expansion gets a good 4 surprise combinations between Spider-Woman and Black Cat out of a possible 5.

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