Review of Marvel United: Fantastic Four Expansion

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As we saw in last week’s blog, I recently got a ton of new Marvel United content! There was way too much to go through, so I thought I’d tackle it in pieces. This week, we’ll look at Marvel United: Fantastic Four: this is an expansion: you must have either the X-Men: Marvel United set (which we reviewed here) or the base Marvel United set (which we reviewed here and here).

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(Don’t worry, this blog won’t be taken over by Marvel United, we’ll have some Top 10 lists and other reviews coming soon!)

Unboxing

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This box is about the same size as the the original Marvel United box (but a little thinner). There’s no new instructions, but a little pamphlet that talks about what the expansion adds.

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This shows the components on one side … (see above)

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And some rules/explanations on the other side. Note that this set adds two new very interesting things. First, it adds The Takeover Challenge, which basically allows you to make the game harder if you think it’s too easy … we haven’t played it because we usually barely win! More importantly, it adds the Fantastic Four Card which is a new way to encourage cooperation. We’ll discuss that more below.

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There’s 4 new Locations (see above), 2 of which have bad effects even if you defeat the challenge on them …

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The Doombot tokens are “Doom’s thugs” and have special rules. The KO! tokens allow for representation when a hero is KOed.

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The inside of the box holds the rest.

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There’s two new villains: Super-Skrull and Doctor Doom! (although Dr. Doom can also be a hero … what you say? Can’t you imagine Dr. Doom teaming up with the Fantastic Four to fight Galactus?)

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The minis and cards look really great: they are kept in place pretty well by the insert.

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The minis themselves really pop, especially with all the different colors.

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All in all, the game keeps with the Marvel United traditions and looks pretty good.

Solo Play

I played a solo player game using just the characters and locations in the Fantastic Four box. I think the only thing I used from the main box were two other Locations and the tokens. I suspect, for this box, everything is balanced and play-tested pretty well for things in this box. So, for my review, I am really only looking at this box’s gameplay: Trying to combine this with all the other Marvel United content would be an explosion of combinations.

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For my first solo game, I played The Human Torch and the Silver Surfer.

And I chose to play against the evil Dr. Doom!

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I mean, these minis look pretty awesome on the board.

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In the end, my Heroes were victorious, taking advantage of the Silver Surfer’s Cosmic Awareness and Johnny’s Nova Blast. The threats made Doombots just appear everywhere: I almost lost a number of times as the Doombots threatened to overwhelm me.

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The game still works great solo: Doctor Doom adds a nice wrinkle to the equation. I still have no desire to play using the “official” solo rules: the solo character running two Heroes seems to work best for me.

Cooperative Play

So, one of the coolest new features of the Fantastic Four Expansion is the cooperative Fantastic Four card: see below.

When members of the Fantastic Four play certain Teamwork cards, they add tokens to the card: later Teamwork cards can then execute all tokens that used to be on the card! Early Teamwork turns are lame, but later Teamwork turns are awesome!

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You can see above, after a lot of previous Teamwork cards, the Fantastic Four card allows a member of the Fantastic Four to do so much! This card only works for the Fantastic Four heroes, but it really does promote teamwork for the FF: “I’ll play this okay card on my turn to add a token, but it will make the later turn for my comrade awesome!”

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In the final turn, Sue Storm (aka the Invisible Girl) played a Teamwork card! It allowed to her so many actions! She moved, moved, and punched, punched, punched, taking Dr. Doom down!

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The cooperative play seemed a little more pronounced in this session of Marvel United, as the Teamwork cards really seemed to promote “do a lesser action on my turn to promote an awesome turn for my comrade”. The only problem is that if you play one member of the Fantastic Four, I think you want everyone else to be a member because this Teamwork power is so awesome and ONLY works with the Fantastic Four.

Conclusion

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If you like Marvel United and you like the Fantastic Four, this is a great expansion. The Teamwork cards really inspire cooperation, the minis are Fantastic (no pun intended), and the new Villains and Locations add more to a great game.

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