What is it?
Deck builder games in their purest form. Every core box provides all the cards necessary to play the game. The add-ons are there if you want more characters and missions.
What do you get?
All the cards you can eat! Honestly, every big box comes stacked with all what feels like infinite options. There is a big board that acts like a game guide and rules but nothing else.
How does it work?
All the Legendary & Encounters games share an underlying formula; players have combat and buying values. At the end of your turn, the enemy phase begins by flipping over their deck and progressing along a track that inevitably gets more and more congested until they eventually fight you or complete part of their plan hurting you in ways the mission specifies.
Is it any good?
I’m being quite generic here as I’m covering the Aliens, Predator, Marvel and Firefly games in one swoop here. They have different game play mechanics on the surface but underlying, the game boards all look the same and the setup for each act is always the same. If you know how to play one, you will quickly be able to pick up the next.
Are they good? Yea, they are a hell of a lot of fun. They bring out the solo experience as they act as an independent enemy. One of the biggest issues I found was playing with friends often didn’t make much difference to the experience as your hands are open anyway. In fact, you always play your full hand every turn so there is little difference you make except deciding which flavour of cards your deck should be filled with. The more players there are doesn’t make the game easier and in my experience can speed up the enemy rapidly making a 2-3 player game pretty optimal.
As mentioned, it plays really nicely solo too. I really like the surprise of playing each game against each enemy for the first time. It can take some getting used to to actually beat some bosses/missions. On a negative note, once you clear a level, I’m not overly keen on playing that mission again. Every box does come with a lot of missions but it’s a sore point at times.
I’m a deck builder fan. I have been since my Magic days. This is a deck builder that doesn’t force you with pregame options but create a good deck on the fly instead. It works really nicely for that and if you lose you can feel reassured that it was the deck and its lack of choices rather than your ability that let you down.
Legendary & Encounters games are probably a try before you buy item as they are not on the cheap side but I’m sure if you have any experience with card games and you like them, this will be a hit.