Hey folks, welcome to game day!
I was intending to have a truly mammoth blog ready for today, as a sort of Christmas-special game day blog or something, but real life has intruded and I’ve not been able to write anything up. So that’s been pushed up to the beginning of next year now, and instead I’m going to share some thoughts with you on a game expansion I tried out for the first time yesterday – the Crisis Expansion to DC Deck Building Game!
Yes, it was only last week that I took you all through the main game, but what the hell. The Crisis Expansion Pack is the first proper expansion this game has seen, introducing some new heroes, new main deck cards, and two new modes of play. Pretty impressive, really! As I only played this for the first time yesterday, this will be more of a first thoughts style blog than anything else, at any rate.
So first, we have new superheroes – six of them, in fact:
There are some really interesting abilities on these superheroes, four of which have been in the base set as Hero cards, the other two being supported with the new main deck cards:
I didn’t use any of these when I played with the game, but it looks like there are a few interesting twists being added to the game here, nonetheless!
The first of the two new modes of play is Impossible Mode, which replaces the base game’s Super Villain deck with much tougher variants:
You can see in the comparison above that the new super villains (the bottom four) are slightly more difficult to beat, but some of them also have more difficult first appearance-attacks, and grant better bonuses once you’ve defeated them.
The second, and to me, much more interesting new mode is Crisis Mode – more interesting, because you can now play DC solo! Crisis Mode is probably the bulk of this box, as you use the Super-Villains and the main deck cards, along with new Super Hero cards, and a new Crisis deck:
The new mode of play is co-operative, and involves a few rules-changes, but these new Super Heroes support that by having benefits to your team-mates such as drawing extra cards, stacking your deck, etc. It also does away with the Victory Point conditions, and you win if you defeat 12 Super Villains, but lose if the main deck runs out. With the main deck therefore acting like a timer, there are twists added, such as adding the top of the main deck to the game at the start of your turn, but also the new Super Villains and, particularly, the Crisis cards add more cards from the main deck, trying to defeat you that way.
These new cards are essentially the opposition here. They act almost as gate-keepers to the Super-Villains, as you need to defeat the Crisis card before you can attempt to defeat them. One of these cards in particular, Dimension Shift, can only be beaten if you reveal a card with cost of exactly 2 from the top of your deck. When I played this game yesterday, I was playing as Martian Manhunter, whose effect allows you to place a hero on top of your deck from your discard pile if you played two or more heroes that turn. You’d think it would be fairly straightforward to beat this card, therefore, given the number of heroes that cost 2, but no! It caused me to cycle through my deck repeatedly over about 45 minutes while I tried to get past it! Bah!
For me, Crisis mode is awesome. Even setting aside the fact that it allows for solo play (always a winner with me, remember!), it adds an extra layer to the game that elevates it from being “just another deck-builder”. In fact, I would go so far as to say it begins to approach Marvel Legendary as an awesome game experience. See, while I do like deck-building games, they can tend to be very much of a muchness, and I usually like to have a good break between playing games with them as a result. However, when the deck-building aspect is suitably masked behind deeper mechanics, such as with Marvel or Arcana, then you focus more on a game experience and less on the purely nuts-and-bolts “I have this much currency in my hand, so can afford this card, which I place in my discard pile before doing it all over again”. It’s pretty exciting to note, of course, that this is explicitly Crisis Pack 1, so I’m hoping we see further packs that expand on the number of Crisis cards available, increasing the options for this mode of play!
It’s all about the levels, people!
Buy it from amazon:
Crisis Expansion Pack 1