It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so of course I had to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as soon as I could. I was very pleased with the movie and there was a lot to like about it.
As usual, my hype for a Marvel movie property got me wondering how I could use it as inspiration for a setup in my favorite board game, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (Marvel Legendary). And thus is born another edition of..
The Trials of Chaos!!!
The Trials of Chaos is where I put myself up against a board game challenge to test my mettle. I only allow myself one shot at victory. There are no second chances or redos. I can either emerge a winner or reveal to the world I have been found wanting.
For this trial, I have selected: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game.
In honor of the recently debuted, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, I have created a scenario and setup for Legendary: Marvel a Deck Building Game that tries to capture certain elements of the movie. From this point forward, there will be some spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I will be taking on this untested challenge, which will pit me against both the Hydra High Council, who will be a stand in for the United Nations.
This Scenario will be played with Advanced Solo Rules (as found in the Dark City rule book)
- Namor (Secret Wars vol. 1)
- Namora (World War Hulk)
- Princess Shuri (Black Panther)
Scheme: Secret Hydra Corruption/Open Hydra Revolution (Revelations)
Mastermind: Hydra High Council (S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Villain Group: Hydra Elite (S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Henchmen: Cape Killers (Civil War)
I have included sidekicks and new recruits as possible buys.
My initial plan involved figuring out how to put Wakandan heroes up against Namor and his forces. With the release of the recent Black Panther set, finding Wakandan heroes proved pretty simple. Unfortunately, there is no Namor mastermind. I considered using the Red King (World War Hulk) as a stand in, along with the “Flood the Planet With Melted Glaciers” scheme (Fantastic Four). A battle with a king as he tries to flood the planet, seemed to put me in the right direction, but I wasn’t feeling inspired by this setup. Building the rest of the deck still felt like it would take too much substitution.
Then, I considered flipping the script and playing from the Talocan side of the battle. Namor, Namora, and Attuma (Nekkord from Fear Itself) would make an easy Talocan team. There are plenty of schemes about battling nations, fighting for control of Wakanda, and even fighting against water evaporation, that I had several solid options to move forward with. Then, I hit the problem of who would stand in for the Wakandans since there is obviously no Black Panther or Shuri mastermind and no good guy Wakandan villain group.
For a moment I thought about using Killmonger (Black Panther) as a stand in for Shuri. In the movie, Shuri flirts with the idea of following Killmonger’s more brutal path, so it seemed reasonable to use him as a substitute. I even liked the idea of his armor representing plot armor/protagonist power since I’d be playing as the movie’s “villain.”
Once again though, something felt off, so I thought, “screw it! I’m going to alternate ending this thing!.” In Wakanda Forever, Namor asks Shuri to join him, Talocan and Wakanda vs the rest of the world. Shuri, of course, declines and they end up fighting instead. In my version of the story, Shuri agrees and now we get to play out the battle.
The Hydra High Council felt like an easy representation for the United Nations/World Council. I opted for the “Secret Hydra Corruption/Open Hydra Revolution” because it fit the movie’s idea of the other nations wanting to secretly undermine Wakanda (CIA meetings and French blackops) while also threatening to become much more direct with their attacks. The building SHIELD officers could symbolize the growing number of nations opposing the Wakandan/Talocan alliance. Buying them off would represent negotiations and fighting them would represent war. I could lose by either seeing 15 SHIELD officers by the scheme (too many nations opposing me) or running out of cards in the SHIELD officer deck (no more nations holding back against us).
*If anyone wanted to up the player count, they could use any of the Wakandan heroes to up their numbers or Nekkrod (Attuma) for the Talocan side. I would recommend cops as another henchmen group to continue the theme of fighting the human side of things. As for villains, Shield Elite would make sense, but you could also justify throwing in a team of Avengers. If two powerful nations are taking on the rest of the world, it would be silly not to expect some other superpowered players to get involved.
The first card from the villain deck was Crossbones and I immediately realized that I set up a harder game than I initially thought. All of the Hydra Elite villains place a SHIELD Officer into the escape pile. That would only accelerate the rush through the officer deck and to a potential loss.
Namora’s draw and smash 3 card seemed too good to pass up and I quickly combined that with Shuri’s empower for recruit (buy) card. I hoped leaning heavily into blue range would pay off. It turned out recruiting some decent buy and fight cards wasn’t the worst idea because the SHIELD officers quickly started stacking up alongside the scheme.
Keeping the city pretty clear wasn’t too much of a challenge, but I did need to continue building my deck in order to strike the masterminds. Where a lot of the difficulty came in was needing to stay on top of the scheme’s SHIELD officers. I found it easier to buy them, but then they started to flood my deck. Fighting them kept them out of my deck and restocked their deck enough to keep me from running out later. There were at least two times when I could have hit the mastermind, but instead had to fighting officers to keep them from overwhelming me. As much as I hated it, it was the right call because I would soon get another scheme twist stacking up the officers.
Soon, I branched into adding some Namor cards in order to provide a little more fight and trashing to my deck. Thanks to all the SHIELD officers I was acquiring, the trash and draw Namor, and Namora’s draw and smash cards, I suddenly had a deck that had a lot of cycling power. I still had plenty of lame cards in my deck, but my ability to discard, trash, and draw kept me cycling back around to better cards while discarding what I didn’t need.
I also ended up filling my deck with a lot of new recruits for just a tad bit more damage.
It may not have been the prettiest deck, but it proved to be pretty functional. Unfortunately, by the time things started to come together, I was already nearing the end of the villain deck. I needed to take out the high council quickly.
The first to fall was Baron Zemo, thanks to the high number of villains in my victory pile. Arnim Zola was next. He at first appeared way too big, but thanks to Namor’s big “Imperius Rex” auto knockout a villain ability, I was able to drop Zola six hit points, which put him just in range for one of my attacks. Sadly, I never got “Imperius Rex” setup properly for a free mastermind hit.
The Red Skull came down next, despite his Hydra level adding an additional four hit points to his health. Finally, Viper boosted herself to ten hit points, but still couldn’t handle my Namora and Shuri attacks.
Talocan and Wakanda took on the world and came out on top against all odds. Go vibranium buddies!
– 24 points from Mastermind Tactics
– 15 points from Hydra Elite villains
– 3 points from henchman villains
– 5 points from undercover heroes
– 2 points from bystanders
– 18 from Scheme Twists Played (3 points per scheme twist)
– 0 from villains escaped (1 point per escaped villain)
Final Score: 31 Points
Chaos’ Final Thoughts:
It may have sounded like a walk in the park, but this setup actually proved to be a bit of a nailbiter. I constantly felt like I was on the edge of losing or not doing quite enough to maintain control of the situation. Several times, a wrong decision could have resulted in instant death due to SHIELD officers piling up too much.
I also ended up with only one card left in the villain deck. A timeout loss also almost became a reality.
If I played again, I might lean more into some of Namor’s attacks and trashing in order to thin out shield officers and to send them back into their deck. Of course, then I run the risk of not having enough buy power, which would be awful in its own right.
This game ended up being fun and I’m glad I tried it. I’m not sure I’d call this a must-do scenario, but I think it should provide a decent amount of challenge to any takers. Also, who doesn’t want an excuse to play a game of Legendary?