In case you hadn’t realised reading the blog, and despite it being discontinued, I really like Marvel Universe Miniatures Game. Given the amount I’ve been playing this year, I thought it’d be worthwhile following up my initial thoughts post from back in early-January.
Obviously this post needs to mention that the game, sadly, has been discontinued. Among our group, we’ve continued to play the game, and have been busily constructing terrain and painting models to get different options to the table. I’ve played 13 games this year (35% of my total games played and clocking in at more than two a month so far), and the game still seems fresh and provides surprises. I imagine as we continue optimal strategies may form, but that seems a while away and the DC miniatures also add an avenue for expansion should we choose to pursue that.
To hit quickly on the models, which are no longer available from Knight Models given the discontinuation, the range is hit and miss for sculpt quality and ease of assembly. I’ve talked before about the models so won’t go on too much about it here, but I’ve definitely hit issues assembling some models. That said, I stand by my initial comment that they are cool depictions of the characters and generally pretty good sculpts.
So, after 13 games this year, I can comfortably say I’m a fan of the system. I think that the initial reservations about the ability to hit and fixed damage levels has balanced out as I’ve gotten more familiar with the characters and their abilities. The scenarios also do a good job of forcing decisions between pursuing the mission and beating on your opponent – with neither ever feeling optimal – which I really like.
The characters and teams feel well thought through, and don’t seem to offer anything that feels overpowered at 50 levels. One minor annoyance is that certain teams have awkward levels with certain characters (Avengers starter plus Hulk and Vision ends up at 51 points), however I think this is a factor of the game being discontinued, with gaps with future releases potentially planned to fill these gaps. The new DC Universe Tournment Pack was released by Knight Models recently, which pushes that game up to 60 levels, so we’ll probably have a go at that level and see what we can do. Could hobble some of the teams with fewer options and no big hitters like Hulk to fill out the team, but I think my street level team could get even better at that level.
As we’ve played more, the synergy available between characters has become evident in certain places. My games with the X-Men have shown Emma Frost and Jean Grey to be a formidable team as they dish out mental defence debuffs and follow-up with mental attacks. It speaks well that not all characters are bruisers and each has their role to play. My street level team also seems to hold its own among the outright superheros which I also like from a balance perspective.
One final point here on gameplay, building on the above, you are rewarded for including characters with a mix of different attacks and abilities. Certain teams seem to do really well in dealing with Hulk by bringing mental attacks, Thor has a magic attack which is hard to avoid and so on. We’ve realised as we play that having a ‘toolbox’ of attacks rewards you and provides the ability to counter any particular character.
I’ll definitely continue to play this game of course, and am hoping to round out the year with 26 games under my belt. In addition to the ‘usual’ team games pushing to 60 levels, I also have a Daredevil/Elektra vs Hand agents scenario in mind, a battle within the confines of the Daity Sichuan restaurant, and getting the Chinatown table (with Pork Chop Express, a suitable model for which I’m still looking for!) finished for a battle over that. In addition, I would love to run an event to get some players together to enjoy a day of superheros and meet more players around Melbourne. If anyone has any experience running an event and ideas on where I should hold it, I’d welcome some assistance (in comments or via the contact form).
This is probably my favourite game currently (although Wild West Exodus second edition is gradually catching up), and I’m excited thinking about potential games in future. I have some ideas for cool alternate scenarios, but they haven’t been necessary yet, as we continue to experience new strategies within the basic teams and scenarios. Looking forward to my next game, and look out here for my coming series of games from Good Friday where I played three games in a row!