Trials of Chaos #1

A Quick Note:  Hey.  It’s Chaos.  I regret to inform you that our normally scheduled Clash of Chaos and Confetti has to be postponed until week.  Confetti is under the weather and unable to compete.  As much as I want to believe this is just her trying to cowardly avoid defending her title against me, I’ll grant her the benefit of the doubt… this time.  Don’t worry though, we’ll get in our clash of Marvel United next week.

My thirst for combat unsated, I must create my own challenge to overcome.  I introduce to you the first (and possibly only) ever:

Trial of Chaos!!!

I shall put myself to a board game test.  I will allow myself only one shot at victory.  I can either emerge a winner or reveal to the world I have been found wanting.

This week, I’ll be taking on an old favorite of mine: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game.

The Challenge:

In honor of the recently debuted, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I have created a scenario and setup for Legendary: Marvel a Deck Building Game that tries to capture certain elements of the movie while also maintaining a similar feel.  From this point forward, there will be some spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessI will be taking on this untested challenge, which will pit me against both the Illuminati and a power-boosted Scarlet Witch.  

The Premise:

Doctor Strange and America Chavez (Ms. America) face off against The Illuminati and their Ultron bots.  If that wasn’t bad enough, The Scarlet Witch also has her eyes set on destroying Doctor Strange and has become more powerful than ever imagined through continued use of the Darkhold.  Do Strange and Chavez have what it takes to make it past The Illuminati and survive The Scarlet Witch?

The Setup:

This Scenario will be played with Advanced Solo Rules (as found in the Dark City rule book)

 Heroes:

  • Ms. America (Dimensions)
  • Doctor Strange (Doctor Strange and the The Shadows of Nightmares)
  • Doctor Strange (Secret Wars vol. 1)

Scheme: Transform Citizens into Demons (Dark City)

*Jean Grey will be replaced with Scarlet Witch (Revelations)

Mastermind: Illuminati, Secret Society (World War Hulk)

Villain Group: Illuminati (World War Hulk)

Henchmen: Sidera Maris, Bridge Builders (Into the Cosmos)

I have included sidekicks and new recruits as possible buys.

Setup Rationale:

For my heroes, I’ll be using Ms. America (America Chavez) and two versions of Doctor Strange.  Like in the movie, I expect Doctor Strange to be doing most of the fighting while Ms. America provides some backup.  It can also be argued that two versions of Doctor Strange makes sense because there are multiple versions of him present in the movie (this argument works well since we’ll even see a Doctor Strange in the villain deck).

Since there is no mastermind version of Scarlet Witch, The Illuminati felt like a good choice for the big bad.  They filled both the mastermind and villain group roles.  While this isn’t a one for one match up with the movie version of The Illuminati, I felt this still fit the spirit of what I wanted.  Also, because of their look, I went with the Sidera Maris, Bridge Builders to fill in for the Ultron robots present during the Illuminati scenes.

I knew I needed to fit Scarlet Witch into this game somehow, and that led me to choosing the “Transform Citizens into Demons” scheme.  This scheme normally has Jean Grey mixed into the villain deck, where she’ll pop out and act as a power-boosted foe.  Each scheme twist will stack facedown bystanders near the scheme which enhance Jean Grey until dealt with.  I replaced Jean Grey with Scarlet Witch, meaning Wanda was now successfully incorporated as an additional foe in this set up.  The bystanders technically don’t make thematic sense with the movie, so I switched up what they represented.  Instead of demonized citizens, I’ll imagine the bystanders as spells from the Darkhold.  The more in play, the stronger The Scarlet Witch becomes.  It then also makes sense that destroying them weakens her and any special bystanders act as spells that aid Doctor Strange and America Chavez.  This seems like the perfect set up to create a huge and scary Scarlet Witch.  

In the end, I feel like the setup captures the idea of Strange and Chavez battling the Illuminati while also having to deal with a rampaging Scarlet Witch, who they must battle with over control of the Darkhold’s power.  

Let’s see how this goes!

The Game:

The game started off with an early evil Doctor Strange followed quickly by a Scarlet Witch.  At first, I didn’t think Wanda would be too bad, until scheme twists started spewing from the deck.  It didn’t take long for the several present Scarlet Witch cards to go from power levels in the high single digits to the teens to the twenties.  

I scrambled to get a deck going while trying to blast through as many of the bystanders (Darkhold spells) as quickly as possible.  Every time I thought I might shrink The Scarlet Witch enough, she almost immediately regrew in size and then some.  I could not gain any real ground on her.  By running though so many bystanders, I ended up gaining quite a few small perks from special bystanders, but nothing that completely changed the makeup of the game or gave me much hope.    Being defeated by being overwhelmed and overrun by Scarlet Witches suddenly seemed like the most likely outcome.

On the bright side, The Illuminati didn’t feel like too much of a threat due to the regularly appearing scheme twists slowing down their assault.  I still got hit by some master strikes, but even that didn’t seem too bad.  

My strategy quickly became to focus on building an attack heavy deck.  The attack helped me cull the mob of bystanders/spells and pick off a non-Scarlet Witch Villain.  It was important to either knock out Illuminati villains and henchmen where possible or use repositioning to let them escape first.  I had to do everything I could to keep the Wandas from escaping.  It didn’t take too long for one Scarlet Witch to finally break through and for others to start lining up.

The game seemed like a sure loss, until I realized that I was too focused on the terror that was The Scarlet Witch.  There was no way I could touch her.  However, I didn’t have to beat her,  I just had to get past The Illuminati.  My attack heavy deck slowly worked its way up to being able to hit The Illuminati.  

My Doctor Strange cards provided some decent draw and firepower, but my big gun was Ms. America Chavez’s Hyper-Cosmic Awareness.  That card could hit for a minimum of five, but often grew even larger.  

In the end, I fought my way through The Illuminati and found victory that way.  I never defeated even one Scarlet Witch.  Like in the movie, I guess I have to leave beating her to herself.  

Final Results:

Points Earned:

– 28 points from Mastermind Tactics

– 4 from Villains

-24 from bystanders

Points Lost:

– 24 from Scheme Twists Played (3 points per scheme twist)

– 2 from villains escaped (1 point per escaped villain)

Final Score: 30 Points

Chaos’ Final Thoughts:

I’m sure this game would have worked out differently had the Scarlet Witches or Scheme twists come out differently, but I ended up really enjoying the story this game told.  

Like in the movie, Wanda proved pretty much unstoppable and the Illuminati, while still bad, were nothing compared to the Scarlet Witch.  Strange’s built up power meant a lot, but America Chavez also grew into her strength by the end as well.  

I would definitely recommend this set up and be willing to try it again myself.

If you wanted to play at a higher player count, The Vishanti, any member of the Illuminati, or Clea could be added as additional heroes.  For the villain deck I would probably go with Demons from Limbo for henchmen and either Lords of the Netherworld, Fear Lords, or Monster Metropolis as the additional villain groups.  

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