Board Game Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Expansion for Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

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Legendary is one of my favourite games. I’ve reviewed all the other expansions and the base game, so go check those out if you want a full description of the rules. The general idea in the game is that you are collecting heroes into your deck and using them to try and defeat a Mastermind, the villains and henchmen they employ, and try to stop whatever scheme they’re trying to pull off. This expansion, as you have already guessed, focuses on the Guardians of the Galaxy, stars of last year’s hit movie.

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Star-Lord, Groot, Gamora, Rocket, and Drax are the heroes you get in the box. It comes with four schemes, two new masterminds, two new villain groups, and shards.

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These are little tokens that will give you a bonus to your attack. You can keep them from round to round, so you can steadily build up a big pool of attack. If you go up against Thanos you’ll need it because he is the toughest mastermind yet. You thought Apocalypse and Galactus were hard?

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Yeah that’s right, 24! The other Mastermind is the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree, who leads the Kree Starforce. The other villain group included in the expansion is the Infinity Gems. How can gems be villains? Well, that’s because they can be used as artifacts. Yes, the other new thing this expansion introduces is the concept of artifacts. These are cards that will stay in front of you after you play them, and will give you a bonus or an action every round. Drax has an artifact that simply gives you an extra attack each round. Star-Lord has one that gives you a shard. They’re powerful cards, and when you defeat the Infinity Gems they don’t go to your victory pile as normal, they become part of your deck and when you draw them you can play them as artifacts.

There are four new schemes as well to add to the pile. My favourite so far is probably the Negabomb one, this has a small deck of bystanders at the start of the game. Whenever you draw a scheme twist it gets shuffled into the deck and a card is drawn. If it’s a bystander you’re alright, if not…

I love the tension that comes from drawing the card, and it’s something that plays about with the formula of the game. I do love how Legendary can find ways to use the scheme twists for different things. The Kree-Skrull war is interesting as well, because you’re trying to figure out who you should defeat in the city so that the two sides don’t become unbalanced.

The big things that the expansion brings are shards and artifacts. I love the artifacts and I hope that they incorporate these into future expansions, as one of my complaints with the game is that they introduce cool things in expansions but don’t follow them up. It would even be nice to have specific artifacts like Captain America’s shield, or Mjolnir (although I don’t know how they’d work that in given those two heroes already have a full complement of cards. But it adds a new dimension to the game and they can be very powerful.

Now the shards. Overall I think they’re quite cool. However, only one sheet would fit into the expansion box (which is fun, else the price would have risen) but as such they’re double sided so you end up flipping them around in order to make change. This can get frustrating, especially when you build up a big pool, which you really have to do if you fight Thanos. When I fought the Supreme Intelligence it wasn’t as bad because I could use them at a faster rate. This leads to another problem, and that it can make it too easy to defeat the enemies. Together the Guardians are a powerful combination and I’ll need to play it more to see how effective shards are with other heroes, but I didn’t have any problems in defeating the Supreme Intelligence. It does add more adding up to the game, although at least they’re tokens so it’s not as bad as all the Focusing that came with the Fantastic Four.

The heroes themselves are cool. Star-Lord is very artifact focused and Rocket has a strong card that allows you to gain a shard for every other Guardian you played that turn, which is usually a lot when you’re playing with the full set of Guardians. Drax is probably my favourite though. His rare card allows you to double your attack, and that includes whatever attack you have with shards.

So there’s quite a lot of cool stuff here. Shards can be annoying in some ways but it adds something new to the game and unless you play with the Guardians all the time you won’t be using them every game. Thanos is immense and even with shards he’s still tough to take down. The artifacts add a new dimension to the game so all in all it’s another hit. I do hope that artifacts and other keywords filter through to new expansions. Another thing to keep in mind is that with this expansion my box is bursting. I can barely fit anything else in there, so with the next expansion I’m going to have to spread between two boxes.

But I love Legendary and I love the Guardians of the Galaxy Expansion. So far this game is going from strength to strength. Will it ever disappoint me?

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6 thoughts on “Board Game Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Expansion for Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

  1. Just picked this up… First scheme I played was Unite the Shards… This showed a rather annoying flaw with dual sided shards… The scheme limits the shards in play to 30… So you can’t flip them over otherwise the pool gets messed up. This means you have to be really careful to keep them straight. It wasn’t a problem for me in my single player game but 3 people… that is pretty trusting! I would have rather payed another $1 for single sided shards, while I play with friends its just too easy to accidentally flip over the ones or hear “I had a 5, where did it go!”.

    • Yeah I had this same problem as well. I’m not the best at maths either so it can get confusing when you try and work out what is in the pool. I did it so that the 30 was made out of both sides of the shards, so we flipped them over. Still not sure if that was the correct thing to do but oh well.

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