I’ve had the opportunity to play two games of Marvel Universe Miniatures Game (“MUMG”) from Knight Models now, so I’ll take the opportunity to share some initial thoughts. We played Guardians of the Galaxy plus Nightcrawler (noting that this isn’t usually a legal list, it was just to even out points in the demo games) versus the Dark Avengers, I had Dark Avengers first game then we switched and played the other team the second game. You’ll notice in the photos that the Guardians team looks a little under scale – this is due to it being comprised of Heroclix models (to get the game to the table and see how it plays).
The models are quite well done, all the ones I’ve seen are made out of white metal and are good sculpts which portray the characters nicely. I have always found working with metal models to be a bit of a pain, but haven’t assembled any yet so will hold judgement. The range seems to be expanding quite quickly as well which is positive.
The rulebook is available for free on the Knight Models site (you can download it here), which is a good start, and is a relatively short 32 pages. I haven’t read through it in its entirety yet, but the basic flow of the game is simple to grasp and there hasn’t been anything glaringly unintuitive over the two games played. The one oddity is the split between “Special Effects” and “Common Abilities” in the back of the rulebook, it seems like these could’ve comfortably been merged into one alphabetical listing – a minor quibble but one that would’ve made it easier in my initial games.
The coolest aspect of this game, aside from getting to play as your favorite comic book character, are the terrain rules. The ability to destroy buildings and throw cars is an excellent and thematically apt addition to the game. It also helps that when I had Groot throw a car it dealt the most damage of any attack I made that game!
The game feels very fast, especially if you have one or two flying models in your list. There’s several abilities that effectively allow models to ignore cover (e.g. fly, wall climbing), and movement is generally fast for the models I’ve seen.
We played the same mission in each game, which gave points for controlling deployment zones (one point for your own, two for the enemy’s, two for being first to get two models into the enemy’s deployment zone). The mission provided some interesting tactical choices, as other games I’ve played usually have objectives more tightly clustered or the ability to place them yourself. It did force us to come to grips with each other quicker, though and made for a more action packed game.
Combat is a straightforward 2d8 plus attack value versus opponents defense value, it seems to generally work out to needing 10+ or higher to hit. Damage from attacks is then a fixed value, which I’m not sure I’m a fan of, as it seems that the difficulty of hitting coupled with a relatively low fixed damage output makes it almost impossible to disable opponents. My rough theoretical thinking is that if Groot wails on a mid-range opponent solidly for three turns, he would disable them, but this is half the game and assumes that your opponent does nothing in response. I can see that there are likely considerable synergies between characters I haven’t worked out yet (having only played two games, with different teams no less), so perhaps this will work itself out as our teams and tactics evolve.
This game seems simple to learn, but offers tactical depth to keep people interested – plus you can throw cars at opponents. Getting to play a team comprised of some of my favorite comic book characters is especially appealing, and something I’m looking forward to doing (Punisher here I come). Hopefully as we get more practice and build custom teams some of my concerns with the combat system will be mitigated. I’m definitely looking forward to building a team and getting more games of this in.
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