5 Of Our Favorite “More Challenging” Board Games You Should Try

1. Legendary: A Marvel Deck-Building Game


To all Marvel fans out there, this is definitely the board game for you! Legendary is a Marvel Universe-based deck-building game where each player assumes the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (yes, this is finally your chance to be a Maria Hill or simply your good ‘ol Agent) and assembles a team of heroes to fight the villains and their evil Mastermind’s scheme.


The concept of a deck-building game is simple: your deck grows as you play! It is similar to Trading Card Games in a way that each player has a deck of cards to play, but in a deck-building game, players use the same card collection, and deck-building happens as part of the game. Games like this usually end when a certain number of card types is depleted, or when a specific situation occurs. 

Legendary is both a competitive and a cooperative game as victory points are earned by each player every time he/she fights and defeats villains, and at the same time, the players, as a team, collectively win the game when they defeat the Mastermind’s scheme. On the contrary, failure to defeat the Mastermind means a loss for everyone.





Board- The blue-colored board has spots allotted for decks including the Mastermind, S.H.I.E.L.D Officer Maria Hill, Villain, Hero, Scheme, Wounds, Bystanders and Escaped Villains decks. At the center of the board is where the Headquarters (HQ), the Cityscape, and the space for Knocked-Out (KO) cards are located.



Villain Deck – This deck contains a roster of different cards: the Villain and Henchmen cards, Scheme Twist cards, Master Strike cards, and Bystander cards. When drawn, villain and henchmen cards introduce a new villain/henchman to the city, while Scheme Twist cards give a certain effect on the play depending on the Masterminds’ scheme. Drawing Master Strike cards, meanwhile, essentially allows the ‘Mastermind’ to execute further evil on the players, and the drawing of Bystander cards would represent a civilian being captured by a villain. This deck is created based on an over-arching Mastermind and the scheme the mastermind is trying to complete.

To set up this deck, players first choose a scheme and a Mastermind. The choices for your Mastermind could be Magneto, Loki, Red Skull, or Dr. Doom.

Moreover, schemes may have tailored instructions on how to build the villain deck. For the base set of Legendary that we played, some examples of the schemes include The Legacy Virus, Midtown Bank Robbery, Super Hero Civil War, Unleash the Power of the Cosmic Secret, and the Invasion of the Skrulls Shapeshifters.


Hero Deck – This is the deck made up of – yes, you’ve guessed it- the hero cards. Based on the number of players, set-up the Hero deck by combining sets of 3-6 hero cards; the number of hero sets required is displayed on the game board. Note: Each hero is represented by a set of 14 cards, 1 rare, 3 uncommons, and 5 of each type of common.

Player decks – Each player assembles a 12 card deck of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents and Troopers, making a deck of 8 Agents and 4 Troopers. Everyone starts out with the same starting player deck.  You will shuffle them and play them face down in front of you.intense_dd_marvel_5

Shuffle all the decks and have each player draw 6 cards from their Player deck. Reveal the top 5 cards of the Hero deck on top of the HQ, and your team is ready to play.


The players win the game if they defeat the Mastermind 4 times. The players lose when the scheme’s “Evil Wins” conditions are met. If either the Villain deck or the Hero deck run out of cards, and the players cannot successfully finish the Mastermind by the end of that turn, the game is a draw.



The turns are actually quite easy and broken down into 3 steps:
1. Villain Phase
2. Recruit and Battle
3. Cleanup

1.Villain Phase – Draw the top card from the Villain deck. Drawing a ‘Villain’ card would mean an entry of a villain into the city; this is done by placing the card on the rightmost side of the Villain track, which is consisted of 5 different locations in the city. Drawing a ‘Scheme Twist’ would advance a Mastermind’s scheme. A’ Master Strike’ will help the Mastermind directly attack the heroes. Getting a ‘Bystander’ card would let the villain closest to the Villain Deck capture a ‘bystander’ (essentially a civilian) that you would want to save from that villain, of course.As each Villain card move further to the left of the track, they would get closer to escaping the city and the heroes – which could mean some very nasty things that will happen to the heroes.

2.Recruit and Battle – This is the step where cards can be added to the deck or the battling of Villains and Mastermind happens. Most of the Hero cards will have either a Recruit number or Fight number (seen on the left and right side of the card). Recruit points are used as a currency to add cards from the Hero deck to your Player deck.Meanwhile, Fight points are used to fight off the villains on the track. If your card/s fight points equals the fight value of the villain you are trying to eliminate, you KO that villain and he/she is added to your own Victory pile.

Sometimes, when you fight Villains, they will have a side effect, like knocking-out a Hero or wounding other players. As for the Mastermind, attacking him would give the team a Mastermind Tactic, to be added to the Victory Pile. 


Here’s a card of Deadpool (who’s about to have one of the most awaited geeky movies of 2016) and its Fight points and Recruit points

3. Cleanup.  Transfer everything in play/hand to your discard pile (to be drawn and used later on in the game),  and draw 6 new cards.



We were all eagerly waiting to play Legendary as it features very familiar Marvel characters, but when we started learning how to play it, it surely was no walk in the park. Since we were determined to learn how to play it, though, we just said, ‘Ok, lezz do dis’.

Legendary may be harder to grasp for some at first compared to the other board games as there are a lot of key things to remember to fully maximize the game elements, but once you start playing with the help of Dyce N Dyne’s Game Relations Officers , you’ll eventually get everything. Our group was still discussing what ‘this’ and ‘that’ thing was 15 minutes into the game, but we all eventually digested the mechanics.

Legendary brings more to the table than the typical deck-building game. First, there are hundreds of possible card combinations for both Heroes and Villains, which makes the re-play value higher. On top of that, the cards feature some great art that helps you appreciate the game better.  Furthermore, the cards gel well with each other in a way that the system of earning rewards for every action is well-executed on the cards.

To those who have just started playing board games and have appreciated its benefits, these ‘tougher’ board games could serve as a great way to welcome you to the wider world of board games. These five board games are actually not the toughest ones as they would squeak against the ones that take more than 3 hours and even DAYS, but these five are surely great stepping stones if you aim to try the toughest ones. To those who can be considered ‘board game addicts‘ who have not tried any of these yet, what are you waiting for?

It’s a new year, and it’s time to level your ‘board game’ game up at Dyce n Dyne!


Dyce N Dyne

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