Marvel Champions LCG Buyer’s Guide

Many Marvel Champions sites have been running buyer’s guides for some time now, and we’re going to be doing one by popular request. However, note that this is a very brief, highly opinionated “quick guide” in terms of what’s worth picking up. It’s one of many resources you should use if you’re picking and choosing packs.

Although the game doesn’t have direct benefits from playing “progression style” (also known as buying and playing every pack in release order), this list will be sorted chronologically, so you can get an idea of how the game has evolved over time.

You can find a list of every pack released to date here.

Updated: August 2020


Core Set

The core set is going to be the starting point for most people as a no-brainer first buy.

The first three scenarios should give you a good idea of what the game is all about, with Rhino easing you into the game and expert Ultron showcasing the high-end difficulty curve fairly well. If you dislike the core set, we recommend trying to spice up the game a bit with this guide before you give it up for good.

So is the core set required to play Marvel Champions? Yes and no. It depends on how you plan to normally play the game.

If you’re playing completely solo, the Core Set comes with the standard and expert modular sets (seven and three cards respectively), which go in nearly every scenario deck to date (read: with the exception of Wrecking Crew at this time). It also packs in five heroes, a ton of player cards (with full playsets), extra mods and three scenarios. It’s the strongest LCG Core Set to date from a value perspective.

If your friend is providing the scenarios for you and you’re just along for the ride, you don’t need the Core Set; but you might be missing out on a few staple player cards. That “staple” pool is shrinking all the time as more cards are released though.

Verdict: Buy it


The Green Goblin

Green Goblin is one of the best packs released to date: full stop.

If you dig the core set, you need to pick up Green Goblin as soon as possible. So far in the game’s lifecycle, the value of two scenarios and four modular sets in one villain pack is pretty much unheard of. That’s like, half a story box.

Risky Business, one of the two included scenarios, suffers from some design flaws in that it’s very easy to “game,” but thematically it still feels like a home run and may satisfy a more casual audience. The idea of a “flipping” villain is intriguing and has not been done that often at all in the first year of the game’s existence.

Mutagen Formula, however, is one of the most fun scenarios in the game and one of the most challenging. It’s well-balanced in that standard play should feel doable, and expert play is incredibly punishing upfront: in a good way, to prevent the “solitaire” feeling you can sometimes get with a few scenarios.

The extra mods are the icing on the cake and it’s great to see our first non-MCU villain. With just this pack and the core set you can get a lot of mileage.

Verdict: Buy it


Captain America

Captain America’s pack is kind of all over the place, but he still very much is worth a buy. I mean, he’s the Cap: how could you forsake him like that?

Iconic stature aside Captain America is a very strong hero that pretty much every player should own at some point. Although his pre-built deck is trying to do two different strategies at once (break it apart as soon as you can), it comes with some staple cards like Squirrel Girl and several other great Leadership cards.

Cap embodies the “powerful” nature of how heroes should feel in Marvel Champions without going too overboard. When he was released he did feel highly effective, but the card pool has enhanced several other core set heroes that can hang with him.

Verdict: Buy it


Ms. Marvel

While everything so far has gotten a “buy it” rating, we’re entering polarizing territory now.

Ms. Marvel is one of the best-designed heroes in the game, but she isn’t going to appeal to everyone. She has a very specific playstyle and an involved strategy that includes swapping to alter-ego often to trigger a lot of her alter-ego specific cards. She’s one of my go-to heroes and designer Michael Boggs did an incredible job developing her. She also has a few staple Protection cards in her pack like Energy Barrier and Tackle, that should appeal Protection-centric deck brewers out there.

However, she doesn’t necessarily feel essential. I’m going to try and be fairly tough with this guide so every single pack doesn’t get a “buy it!” rating, and this is the first in the game’s lifecycle that I can honestly say is going to be a “maybe” for a lot of people.

She works for me though.

Verdict: Wishlist it


Wrecking Crew

Likewise, we aren’t going to shy away from recommendations to outright avoid packs, and Wrecking Crew is the first release that truly feels like a complete misfire.

Wrecking Crew, like Risky Business, can be easily “gamed” but feels even more rote, as the “fight four villains at once” fantasy isn’t fully realized. It’s also very fiddly to get to the table, with multiple decks to get on the table and several provisos that can make any game a pain: from solo play all the way up to four players.

To add insult to injury, Wrecking Crew’s total lack of modular sets feels antithetical to the entire modular nature of the game. It sadly came at a really bad time too, as it was supposed to last us from February 2020 all the way through July 2020, when the Red Skull box was set to originally arrive.

I hope the team learns from this and avoids such a lengthy drought in the future: or putting so much responsibility on a lone scenario pack to deliver. It’s great that they are taking risks this early, but unlike Risky Business (which felt like a bonus for a fully-featured release), Wrecking Crew comprises the entirety of the pack: what you see is what you get.

And what you get is my least-played scenario by a country mile.

Verdict: Skip it


Thor

Thor is a tricky one. Some people love him, some hate him. I fall somewhere on the latter line (hate is a strong word), but not for the reasons you expect. I say this with authority: Thor is not a bad hero.

I cracked open Thor the first day he was available at retail, built a Justice deck from scratch sight unseen, and beat every scenario on expert. Thor can be strong at any player count with the right deck. However, a lot of his kit feels like it’s cherry-picked from other heroes and his efficacy in solo play with other aspects might frustrate some people.

The cards in his pack also feel very situational, including the Jarnbjorn archetype — that, while fun — relies on getting a single card out on the table to combo off of. Thus far (read: everything above), he’s the only skippable hero.

Verdict: Skip it


Black Widow

To date, Black Widow is my “Green Goblin” of hero packs. Translation? Pick it up right away and don’t look back.

Black Widow is the baseline for how all hero packs should be presented, and guest-designer Matt Newman (of Arkham Horror LCG fame) did a fantastic job of really making that happen alongside of co-designer Caleb Grace. Widow feels thematic, strong and engaging at pretty much every turn.

She also comes with some killer cards that Justice absolutely needed to become a more fleshed out aspect, while introducing the preparation archetype into the game for every single hero. This is how an LCG should feel: you buy a pack, the hero is fresh and unique, it feels competitive without being broken, and it comes with a ton of good cards.

Bravo.

Verdict: Buy it


Doctor Strange

Ah Doctor Strange.

Like Thor, I waffle on this hero constantly. He’s fun…at times. He can also feel boring on that very same turn.

I think the designers went a little overboard with Doctor Strange from a power perspective. At some tables, he’s banned for being too powerful. At others, he’s simply not used because he trivializes the entire game, even on Heroic difficulty. I haven’t seen hype die down in just about every community faster than the initial Strange reveal to his actual release: people just seem bored with him.

A lot of the problem is that his Invocation deck has no downsides or penalties and can be gamed very easily with several cards. His hero deck (his 15 cards) do not feel particularly thematic: that honor is reserved for his Invocation deck, which again, is a smidgen too strong. It’s a catch 22 and Strange is caught in the middle. He also feels weird with Protection as his pack aspect, despite the fact that several of the pack’s cards are big wins for Protection as a whole.

If you want a very powerful hero and think the game is too difficult, pick up Doctor Strange. If you want a challenge or feel like the game is too easy, you can probably skip him.

Verdict: Wishlist it


Hulk

Hulk is another “Thor,” but I think he edges out the God of Thunder in more ways than one.

No, I’m not talking about power level. Hulk is a very fun, very smashy hero that feels thematic outside of his dull alter-ego side. Hulk can smash for 13 damage (or more) turn one and keep swinging.

However, like Thor, his Aggression cards are sometimes too niche to use in most decks, with the exception of a select few like Toe to Toe, which is one of the most exciting and best-designed cards so far. He also doesn’t shine in every aspect out of the box.

If you bought him and are banging your head against the wall playing him (I told you to wishlist it below!), try this deck.

Verdict: Wishlist it


The Rise of Red Skull

The Rise of Red Skull, at the time of its street date, practically doubles the currently available scenario pool. That’s good! It also comes with two very fun heroes (Hawkeye and Spider-Woman): that’s good too! There really aren’t a lot of bad things to say about this box.

Not every scenario is mind-blowingly good (Absorbing Man feels very non-interactive at times and Taskmaster doesn’t quite live up to the fantasy), but the box more than delivers what you’d expect out of it. Those expectations, mind, are going to differ for everyone. If you want a “super deep campaign akin to Arkham Horror” you’re going to be disappointed.

Each scenario’s resolution is typically binary, with one card added to your setup/deck. In that sense, it’s more like Lord of the Rings LCG’s campaign, which is a perfectly fine way to go about Marvel Champion’s first box. I appreciate that there’s a few extra mechanics for expert players (persistent health, with healing between scenarios costing you an obligation card that goes into your player deck) and I hope to see that idea live on in each story product.

While I’d like to see story boxes pushed further in the future (and there is a hint of that based on the Galaxy’s Most Wanted stream), The Rise of Red Skull is a long-awaited and satisfying release.

Verdict: Buy it

Marvel Champions LCG OP (Organized Play) Release Guide


What is “Organized Play,” or “OP?”

Although Organized Play is generally more applicable to competitive card games, where players need to organize to actually participate in tournaments, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) has extended efforts to cooperative card games like Lord of the Rings LCG, Arkham Horror LCG and Marvel Champions LCG to provide “OP” promos. These include things like playmats, scenarios and promotional player cards.

The idea is that FFG sends “kits” to stores, who put on organized events (usually on a digital calendar) to get people to come to the store and play a specific game. FFG wins because their games are marketed for free with big events and people likely buy in; the stores win because people are going to the store when they otherwise wouldn’t have and are potentially sold on more product. These kits are not supposed to be sold directly to consumers, but some store owners do order OP kits for this purpose.

You can sign up for the OP newsletter here, but it has stopped going out since May of 2020.


What has been released so far for Marvel Champions LCG?

Although it is not strictly “OP-related,” full art promos have been provided on location at Gen Con 2019, which were later distributed at PAX Unplugged 2019. These are colloquially referred to as “Gen Con Promos” on storefronts like eBay.

In November of 2019, a “Launch Kit” was distributed to stores. It contained promotional playmats and “comic style cards” of each core set hero. You can find all of the above listed here on our promos page.

Prices for all of these have bottomed out for the most part in the secondhand market. You can find one full set of the core Gen Con or Launch Kit promos for around $30 per set. The playmat is anywhere from $20-$30 (you can also find it bundled with core sets if you look carefully), with the empty cardboard OP box going for roughly $5.


What is coming?

Right now the only confirmed Organized Play items for Marvel Champions LCG are a promotional card for Doctor Strange, as well as a Green Goblin playmat.

Information for these items was provided on-stream by FFG itself very early in 2020, not the Organized Play team. No further information was provided about them.

Speaking to several LGS-es (local gaming stores), I can confirm that several other OP kits, including at least one “story OP kit” have been ordered from FFG. These kits have not been released yet. One was slated for a potential July release, or could have been a Gen Con 2020 release, but has likely been delayed. Another was slated for later in the year. Stores do not know what is in these kits.

As of August 2020, FFG has stated that “more OP kits for our game lines will start reaching stores in November and a revised schedule for our games for 2021 and beyond will be made public at a later date.” The statement did not specify Marvel Champions by name.


So what’s the deal? When are these actually coming?

So, COVID-19 is definitely going to delay anything OP related as it is physical product, meant to be displayed and shipped to stores: many of which are closed. But in the past few years, the Organized Play section of FFG under Asmodee has been undergoing many changes.

Right now, according to sources, there is allegedly only one intern on the FFG Organized Play team that is handling card games. Perhaps the easiest scene to get a big-picture look at OP from is The Lord of the Rings LCG. Last year’s “Fellowship Event” was delayed indefinitely in the fall of 2019, pre-COVID-19. LOTR LCG players have been waiting for more information for nearly a year on when this event might occur, or if it’s even still happening. There has been no communication.

In the meantime, FFG OP has been posting plans for KeyForge even during COVID. On June 24, 2020, FFG OP confirmed that “stores will be able to host chain-bound events again worldwide.” So while OP has slowed down for cooperative LCGs before the pandemic, things are still happening on the competitive side after the pandemic.

It’s become increasingly clear that co-op OP is on the backburner. OP plans may change at any moment, but for now, expect to wait a while.

This page will be updated as new news arises.

Marvel Champions LCG Ant-Man and Wasp card storage guide

In case you haven’t heard, Ant-Man and Wasp will be released as “foldable” triple-identity cards.

What’s that all about?! Well, let’s dig in.


On the recent Marvel Champions Gen Con Online stream, developer Caleb Grace confirmed that Ant-Man and Wasp will utilize folding cards similar to the ones used for the Transformers TCG.

Evidently, this idea came from Andrew Navarro, former head studio at Fantasy Flight Games/FFG.

In short, Ant-Man and Wasp can swap between three forms at will, just like how any identity can “flip” once per turn innately. This includes an alter-ego, tiny and giant form. You can find more info on Ant-Man’s identity here, and more on Wasp’s identity here.

So what does that mean for card storage?

Well, there’s options.


FFG says that the cards are great quality, and do not inherently require sleeves or storage. The sturdiness of Transformers TCG cards backs this up, so long as they are the same technology.

You can also store them regularly. This video from YouTuber Vangelus walks us through the process for sleeving folding cards.


One other option is the Transformers TCG Sliding Combiner Toploader from this Etsy store.

Here are the icons that you can use for the customized toploader logos from ourintrepidher0 on Reddit:


Also, these Dragon Shield Perfect Fit Sideloaders (clear) should work.

As should these KMC “side in” sleeves or these BCW sideloading sleeves.

Ultra Pro and Ultimate Guard sell side-loading sleeves.


Larger deck boxes can fit these pre-sleeved or giant-mechanism-bound foldable cards.

There are lots of options, from cheap to expensive. Craft stores sell boxes by the dozen, and here is a cheap wooden box that will have room for both Ant-Man and Wasp decks. You can also opt for the BCW Prime X4 Gaming Box.

There are also larger binder pages for larger cards. Keep in mind that although the Transformers TCG is ending, there are a lot of storage options for foldable cards out there in the wild right now.


Community member Mark Stewart‎ came up with this handy guide for slicing foldable cards, based on a tutorial for Transformers TCG.

Mark says this method works best when toploaded.


After Ant-Man and Wasp are out, Hall of Heroes plans on writing hands-impressions of at least the Transformers TCG sliding device and storing the cards in a larger deck box. Check back here around October when Ant-Man is released!

FFG/Fantasy Flight Games InFlight Report Recap (7/29/2020)

Start time: 8PM ET – 7/29/2020
FFG Live Twitch Link


Chris Gerber, head of FFG Studio, headlines the InFlight Report: notes that “[FFG] will all be wearing masks during this presentation.”

“Just an overview tonight. We won’t be taking questions during the show. But we will be running a full suite starting tomorrow through Sunday, with plenty of chances to get your questions in.”

The presentation is handed off to John Shaffer, Head of Miniatures at FFG.


Star Wars: X-Wing kicks off Shaffer’s presentation

Heralds of Hope expansion: Rise of Skywalker-based

Tri-Fighter

Jango Fett’s Slave 1

Nimbus-Class V-Wing

Eta-2 Actis expansion

“A number of new exciting announcements to come for the first quarter of 2021.”


Shifting gears to Star Wars: Legion

Anakin Skywalker with two poses

Darth Maul, also with two poses

November confirmed for the above two models

Separatist Specialist Personnel Expansion (January 2021)

Republic Specialists Personnel Expansion (January 2021)

“More of what’s to come in 2021 will be announced later this year.”


Moving into Star Wars: Armada

Galactic Republic Fleet Starter: “a perfect entry point for new players”

Republic Fighter Squadrons expansion

Separatist Fighter Squadrons expansion

Dial pack

Upgrade card collection

These products announced for December of this year, “with more to come.”

Coming back to Chris Gerber “for the rest of the show.”


It’s KeyForge time

Technical difficulties have halted the stream at 7:20 PM central. Gerber jokes about it being “the end of the stream” and offers to start over from the KeyForge portion.

Then it promptly disconnects again minutes later.

The stream is back as of 7:27 PM central!

And then it went down for the third time.

And it’s back up at 8:30 PM central. The technical issue is “hopefully addressed.”

Dark Tidings’ Unfathomable is replacing House Dis

A new tide card is included in Dark Tidings decks as a 38th card.

And Evil Twin deck has a special card back and a name based on an already existing deck. “Televig the Renegade” versus “Televig the Renegade’s Evil Twin.”

February 2021


Shifting to Arkham Horror

“We are proud to reveal the six Mythos packs for the Innsmouth Conspiracy cycle” for Arkham Horror LCG.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is untitled-3-copy-39.jpg

The stream went down again at 8:37 PM central. It went back up a minute later and we were told “this is the last attempt.” It went down again.


It has been uploaded to YouTube at 10:22 PM central. We’re picking up right where we left off with Arkham Horror LCG!


Vehicles are now a card type and will be available in “a few of these [Mythos] packs”. The Innsmouth cycle will “begin in November, with a new pack every month.”

War of the Outer Gods – $19.99 – confirmed for December – this was the GenCon event.

“Any number of investigators pitted against three warring cults.”

Some Aconyte novels will be rolling out, including Arkham Horror books.


Onto Journeys in Middle-earth

The Haunting of Dale digital campaign ($6.99) – October

Dwellers in Darkness pack ($14.95) – October

“Middle-earth is going to war next year.” A new tease for 2021. Journeys in Middle-earth is still kicking.


L5R is up

Dire keyword – gain a powerful ability when they have no fate on them.

The Temptations cycle begins in December – $14.95 per pack.

Fields of Victory and Blood of the Lioness Role-Playing releases. Both planned to release in March of 2021.

These are the “last of the L5R RPG products released by FFG Games.”


Marvel Champions is next

Ant-Man, Wasp, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch hero packs confirmed

“A few cards in the Ant-Man and Wasp deck synergize and work together. A motif that repeats with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.”

Ant-Man confirmed for November, the rest is up in the air.

Galaxy’s Most Wanted campaign – five new scenarios – February 2021 – $39.99 – Collector and Ronan confirmed as villains.


Twilight Imperium is next

The Prophecy of Kings expansion will build up the fourth edition of the game. Seven brand new factions.

The player count expands up to eight players in the fourth edition.

November release, $99.95


X-Men: Mutant Insurrection

“You will build a team of X-Men and acquire allies, striking out from Xavier’s school for good and for ill.” Hellfire Club and Magneto are confirmed as scenarios.

First quarter of 2021 release – $54.95


Descent was briefly teased as an end-of-stream joke

Marvel Champions LCG interview and stream resources

Game preservation/history is a very important topic that isn’t talked about enough. This is a running log of interviews from FFG representatives about Marvel Champions LCG.

If you have an interview to add to this page, contact us at hallofheroescontact(at)gmail.com


Key Marvel Champions LCG staff:

Caleb Grace – Lead Designer

Michael Boggs – Lead Designer

Nate French – Executive Game Designer

Evan Johnson – Marketing

Matt Newman – Guest Designer (Lead Designer, Arkham Horror LCG)

Guzmanco – FFG Intern/Freelance Artist

Andrew Navaro – Former Head of Studio


Navigation


July 2019:

Marvel Champions LCG’s first announcement trailer

Marvel Champions LCG post-reveal stream with Navaro, Caleb and Nate

Marvel Champions LCG tutorial with Team Covenant and Evan Johnson


August 2019:

Marvel Champions GenCon interview with FFG rep “Peter”

Marvel Champions playthrough with Caleb, Boggs and Derek Shuck

Marvel Champions Gen Con 2019 playthrough with Evan Johnson from AsmodeeLive


September 2019:

No Responsibility Podcast Episode 3 interview with Boggs

Captain America reveal stream with Caleb

Comicbook.com interview with Caleb

“Since Marvel Comics are popular with people of all ages and backgrounds, we wanted to design a game that could appeal to all of them. As a result, Marvel Champions is by far our most accessible LCG to date.” – Caleb


October 2019:

Ms. Marvel reveal stream with Boggs

Marvel Champions playthrough with Caleb and Boggs hosted by Brian Keilen

Marvel Champions Monthly Episode 3 interview with Caleb and Boggs

Marvel Champions Spiel 2019 interview with Nate French from Asmodee Live


November 2019:

Early Team Covenant stream with Boggs

“Michael Boggs Answers Your Questions” Team Covenant stream

Deckcelsior Episode 8 interview with Caleb

Bad Publicity interview with Boggs


December 2019:

Caleb, Boggs and Evan take on Green Goblin with Thor, Ms. Marvel and Captain America

Les Lives de TT video walkthrough with an Asmodee rep


January 2020:

The Official Marvel Champions LCG Card Game Overview video

Black Widow reveal stream with Matt Newman

Bad Publicity interview with Boggs – Ms. Marvel’s design


February 2020:

Doctor Strange reveal stream with Caleb


March 2020:

Hulk reveal stream with Boggs

“Making him feel like Hulk without being frustrating to play…it was hard to get that balance. It was also a bit of making sure that he wasn’t single-minded in terms of what he could do.” – Boggs

“Generally when I play him solo, I try to make sure I have enough cards from the aspect in there. Obviously leadership and justice are good ways to go about that.” – Boggs

“We explored that very early on in the core set. She-Hulk didn’t have a thwart side but Jennifer Walters did. It ended up feeling….it made the character a bit more complicated than we wanted. With She-Hulk it didn’t fit and with Banner it didn’t really fit. But it’s definitely a possibility for the future.” – Boggs

“We have different artists that do [the head shots in the bottom right of the hero cards]. We actually use someone internally, Chris Beck, he’s one of our internal designers. It’s supposed to be reminiscent of those old comic books….and they look a little bit different. We like that one is sort of this new-age thing and one is a callback to those previous versions of the heroes.” -Boggs

“So we actually for a long time Bruce Banner played with this idea that you couldn’t just flip into your alter-ego form…that there was an additional step and if you failed the step you had to flip back as Hulk. But it became frustrating…sometimes you [just need to go into alter-ego.] So Inner Demons, the obligation, seemed like the best way to go about that. We felt like more than maybe any other hero, this obligation card breaks the boundaries of what we can do with obligation cards.” – Boggs

Team Covenant interview with FFG’s Steve Horvath that touches briefly on Champions (28:00 in)


April 2020:

The Rise of Red Skull box reveal with Boggs

Marvel Champions Monthly Episode 12 interview with Matt Newman

Critical Encounters Episode 11 interview with Caleb

1-2 Punchboard interview with Michael Boggs

“The fifth aspect was called ‘determination,’ and it focused on doing whatever necessary to get ahead. An example of this is the upcoming aggression event in Hulk’s pack, Toe to Toe, which costs 1 resource to play, deals 5 damage to an enemy, but forces that enemy to attack you first.” – Boggs


May 2020:

FFG Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Evan Johnson and Boggs

“Both Caleb and I are huge X-Men fans. We want to do it. I hope we can down the line.” – Boggs

Deckcelsior Episode 20 interview with Caleb and Boggs

Bad Publicity Episode 15 interview with Boggs

Marvel Champions Monthly panel art interview with FFG intern Guzmanco

“It’s very rare that I stumble upon the ‘perfect’ artwork for a card. Home By Dawn was one of those times.” – Guzmanco


July 2020:

The Once and Future Kang reveal stream with Caleb

“We designed standard with the idea that people should be able to show up with a pre-built deck. Buy it, show up with your friends and play, and feel like you have a really good shot. We built expert mode for people with custom decks, for people who like to build stronger decks. I encourage those players to skip standard and go right to expert.” – Caleb

“It’s tough. But I thought Wrecking Crew was tough. Now I’m getting feedback that it’s very easy.”

“It’s always interesting when it gets to the public. We playtested all those heroes in the first wave a ton. There was no feedback where there was one hero clearly better than the other. It depends on how you pilot them.”

The Side Scheme interview with Caleb

“I don’t think there’s a goal to define certain power levels or ascribe characters to those power levels. I understand the desire from the fanbase for that…it’s more about trying to capture the feel of the character.” -Caleb

“We wanted to do something quickly [about the lack of difficulty]…but we couldn’t do a new kit as that takes time and money. We wanted to fix it as soon as we could and talked about possible solutions. But ultimately it was Jeremy Zwirn who overheard our conversation (me and Boggs) who said ‘why don’t you just reveal an extra card every turn?'” -Caleb

July 2020 InFlight Report

Marvel Champions Gen Con Online stream

Caleb: “We were asked by someone…at the executive or the license level [to add Scott Lang]. This was the first time where someone at that level weighed in.” -Caleb


August 2020:

Critical Encounters Episode 25 interview with Boggs

“[My favorite villain is] Venom. Spider-Man has always been my favorite hero, and Venom was the antithesis of everything he was trying to do.” – Boggs

“Nate [French] thought of the name ‘Breakin and Takin.’ Nate said ‘Rhino is breaking things and taking them.’ And we said ‘yep that needs to go on the card.'” – Boggs

“Nate French was the designer of the core set, but it was decided after that, that Caleb would be the lead designer. He is technically the boss but it’s very much a collaborative effort between us, which I appreciate. He tends to focus more on the story and thematic things like that, and I focus on the backend processes, things like that.” – Boggs

“Matt Newman is the reason ‘Elite” even exists in our game. We wanted to make a minion special in some way, and Matt suggested Elite. That will come into play in the future. We’ve planted a lot of seeds and because we want to want to introduce things gradually, we’re trying to sprout them very slowly.” – Boggs

“I’ve been working on the game for two years now…” -Boggs in August of 2020

Bad Publicity interview with Caleb

“As far as I know, [Nate] kind of invented [the co-op card genre.] We’ve found that the most stable, long-running LCGs are co-op LCGs” – Caleb

“I want to give props to Jeremy Zwirn. We were playtesting Strange and he didn’t have [Vapors of Valtorr.] One of his comments was that he didn’t feel magical enough. At the end of the day it was just ‘doing damage or removing threat…’ so he suggested the idea of transforming this status into that status. I said that’s super dope, let’s do that.” -Caleb

“Cap’s design really came back to Aragorn and my love of the Lord of the Rings LCG core set. He spends a resource and he gets back up. That really applies to Cap, with the ‘I can do this all day’ quote.” – Caleb

“For me it’s all about Hawkeye’s quiver. That’s how he all comes together. Matt [Newman] helped with that. He said ‘I want to take an arrow and put it in the quiver and save it for later.” – Caleb

“So I was kind of elected to go carry and torch and [make the pitch to Marvel]. So when they said we’re going to Marvel, I was thinking New York City, the publishing house, I was going to get to meet Joe Quesada…no we’re going to [Los Angeles], at Disney Headquarters with the licensing team. Don’t get me wrong it was great but it wasn’t Marvel HQ.” -Caleb

“Nate was the one who felt very strongly that we need a hero that breaks the deckbuilding rules very early…two aspects. There was some talk about Hulk, like the Bruce Banner and Hulk dichotomy…but ultimately we scaled back from that because Hulk is going to resonate with a lot of our younger audience who wants to smash things. So when we were talking about who was going into the story box it had this Avenger theme and this Hydra theme, so we wanted Hawkeye in for sure. But Jessica Drew, sure it makes sense, she has this weird connection to Hydra…she was a double-agent, hey, double-agent, two aspects.” – Caleb

“We have the Incite keyword, which maybe hasn’t been spoiled yet. Honestly for the longest time we called it doom, because it works like doom in Lord of the Rings.” – Caleb

“I’m excited for people to see that [Red Skull box] comic. I pitched that, too. We were pretty well into the development process where it occurred to me, when I was writing the story. And I said ‘why am I writing a story for a comic book game, there should be a comic here. We shelled out a little more to get an artist, to write out comic scripts for the artist to illustrate. The comics are actually in the rules document, it’s not a separate thing. They’re not going to blow anyone’s minds, they’re kind of campy and a callback…the story is an excuse for most people to fight.” – Caleb

Alter-Egos interview with Boggs

“They have us working from home until October: maybe a little after that. FFG and Asmodee have been planning renovations on our building…maybe a couple of years from now…but now is the time to do it.” – Boggs

“Sometimes I’ll get ahead of myself and design a card that’s too complex for the game. A resource kicker is an example. Myself and Nate French kind of pushed that idea for example: like, this card as a cost, pay this specific resource with it. And I think Caleb has done a good job recognizing when that stuff is a little out of hand, and maybe too frustrating. I think it’s a fun design personally.” – Boggs

“The most common piece of feedback is that we needed more villains to play. We looked at other LCGs and thought player cards always make things more fun to play. But it’s also trying new encounter sets and thinking I want to try this with another deck. I think these six heroes were important but I would have liked to add another scenario or something.” – Boggs

So we thought it would be fun to release these print and play things. So it might have been Chris Gerber, head of studio…it might have been someone else…they sent out an email kind of telling us ‘we want to do this fun thing, please come up with a pitch.’ So Caleb and I thought it should be a modular set….Caleb was kind of busy at the time, so I whipped something together for that that plays off our Guardians of the Galaxy announcement, because he’s in the box and such a powerful character. So we gathered our art assets and gathered some feedback from our playtesters…it was probably the fastest product I’ve ever worked on. I don’t think the whole thing took more than…two weeks maybe? Modular sets are pretty easy to design. We looked at the meta, and lots of decks run lots of allies…leadership tends to be very powerful. Generally speaking people use allies with one hit point remaining to block an attack.” – Boggs

“Ms. Marvel’s deck, I’ve played that over 100 times, and I’m kind of biased because it fits a style I like to play…but comments from people are like ‘I don’t understand how this deck works’…I can see how it can be difficult to pilot. That’s maybe a mistake I’ve made in the past.” – Boggs

“Our feedback really on the core set…you’re supposed to be this larger-than-life hero. That’s kind of what we see in standard mode. If you pull it off it should feel good, but at the same time if you’re losing over and over in standard mode, then we didn’t do our job correctly. Expert mode is intended to be a step up from that. Some people don’t want to play games unless they’re winning. Andrew Navarro was talking to…I want to say Caleb and Nate…about how his son or daughter, how they played the very first level of Rhino, and that’s it. They wanted to win. We want to make sure people can have that experience, but if that’s not quite exciting to you, then you can play expert mode. And then there’s heroic mode.” – Boggs

“Generally speaking, we want players to be in hero form around…80% of the game. That’s our goal. Alter-ego is fun, it’s a great element for the players to have. You’re very intentionally not interacting with the villain. You can maybe play a support or upgrade or something like that. We want to make sure players are encouraged, as much as they reasonably can be, to interact with what the encounter deck is trying to do.” – Boggs

September 2020:

Card Game Cooperative interview with Caleb Grace

“In Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, you get the signature ally of the other. Which is neat because it unlocks their alter-ego power, as well.” -Caleb

“As a huge Captain America fan I wanted him in the base game right away. I don’t remember who it was exactly who said it should be its own pack…but I agreed to it right away. Because that was going to be the first question when people saw the lineup: ‘where’s Cap?'” – Caleb

“If we can line things up to piggyback off something like a Black Widow movie, then absolutely we will. Why wouldn’t you? If you know there’s a bid budget movie coming out…then for sure from an FFG standpoint, then let’s make sure we do that. Others are serendipitous. We included She-Hulk for reasons entirely of our own, and we find out later that she’s going to get her own show.” – Caleb

“Think like a marketing person. Hulk is going to sell on his own. So let’s save Hulk for a pack…let’s get another member of the team on there that can fulfill that role of the tank. That’s where we came up with She-Hulk [for the tank of the core set]. As for her design and power level or whatever, I read the comments…as designers we’re not going to make heroes that are as popular as the next.” – Caleb

La Mano de Thanos interview with Michael Boggs

“I think that four heroes and one villain and one campaign…that will be very common [for a cycle], but it’s not a rule: we can break it sometime.” – Boggs

“[Team-up] will be…I think at first, it will only be for special cases. But as the game grows and as time goes on…it will be become more common.” – Boggs

“The most demanded hero is Moon Knight. Probably the most demanded villain is Thanos.” – Boggs

“Caleb and I both agree that if some heroes are better in solo or better in multiplayer. Hulk is a big angry monster. So thematically if you’re playing him solo it makes sense that he’s not great at threat…I don’t think people like to lose but it kind of tells a story…but I think more Justice cards, or even more Aggression or Protection cards will give Hulk more power to play in solo.” – Boggs

“Usually I think [including more modular sets] it makes the game easier…since the game is less consistent. But, I think there are exceptions. If you play Rhino and put MODOK and Legions of Hydra in there…that’s two very hard sets. But if you play Mutagen formula and add two different encounter sets I can see them making it inconsistent. It depends but I think it usually makes things easier.” – Boggs

If a card does not say you should shuffle the deck, should you do it anyway?

“So…in the past, I made a mistake. I said before that no, you do not shuffle. But Caleb and I have talked very recently. And we decided that anytime you search, you always shuffle. We will update the rules reference eventually…to make it that you always shuffle.” – Boggs

“So we will add a rule. The identity cards only work for the hero. Whereas the ally only help themselves.” – Boggs

Alter Egos interview with Caleb Grace

“We identified a weakness in the release model. Here’s your deluxe box and here’s the packs…but to get its full value you have to have that deluxe box. So if it’s out of print, people are discouraged from getting the packs. If there are six packs in a cycle, the first pack will always sell a lot more…it’s a consumer habit, people start out really excited for that first pack but they don’t really pick up that second or third pack or whatever…so it might create a chokepoint if stores are tied together.” – Caleb

“I don’t really know all of the sales numbers. The closest I got to ‘how is the game doing?’ is hearing that Marvel is happy, and Steve [Horvath – Head of Asmodee US] is happy.” – Caleb

“The campaign kind of came near the end…naturally the campaign is the last thing we do, because we had all of the scenarios done at that point. Then it was like, alright, we need to shift gears and focus in on this campaign. And come up with something evocative and interesting and fun. But I didn’t feel like I had a whole lot of time to explore and iterate. So I say I kind of cheated, as Lord of the Rings players will recognize some things here…they’re very akin to some Lord of the Rings content.” – Caleb

“Coming to the game with Lord of the Rings, that’s a lesson we already learned, scaling from one to four player. The game is going to be different, it just is. Once you focus on that you just try to make it feel good at all counts. You just want to make sure playing it one player is a lot of fun and playing it four player is a lot of fun. There’s no real science there [with exact card counts] it’s more like ‘does it feel right?’ Around 35 cards feels right. Depending on the villain’s design and what they’re about it might be appropriate to go smaller or bigger. I would need a really compelling reason to go less than 30 cards…or much higher than 40.” – Caleb

“It looks like a modular set to me. Stuff that’s campaign-specific is labeled somewhere with ‘campaign.’ So if you look at the obligations they say expert campaign set. Maybe because it’s how they’re presented, in the rules, as being mandatory for the campaign…but I see no reason why you can’t just add these to any scenario. If you’re playing the actual Hydra campaign, it probably doesn’t work. It’s not a full modular set at that point. I don’t know, play whatever you want, I guess.” – Caleb

“I understand there was a mixup whether it was Hydra Patrol or Assault [as the recommended modular set for Crossbones]. I don’t know how they ended up different on the card and rules…that drives me crazy. Those two sets were probably one set at one point, and we cut that set into two…and maybe made the change on the rules and didn’t make the change on the card.” – Caleb

“This is not an RPG LCG like Arkham is. This is an action adventure…quick adventure fighting the villain. We feel those constraints…265 cards goes quickly.” – Caleb

“That’s a lesson we learned in the box and we learned for Guardians of the Galaxy. The difference between one player and two player or even starting with three threat on a side scheme. It’s such a huge difference. Boggs said we need another lever to tweak so these numbers can be exactly what we want them to be. I don’t know if we spoiled that or not.” – Caleb

Quicksilver + Rise of Red Skull Ant-Man/Wasp gameplay with Caleb and Evan


Future streams:

TBA

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Marvel Champions AMA Recap (5/14/2020)

FFG representatives: Michael Boggs, Designer | Evan Johnson, FFG Marketing

Link to the original AMA source
Start time: 2PM ET – 5/14/2020
FFG Live Twitch Link



What are the release plans for upcoming hero packs?

Evan: Our current plan and this is subject to change….but, the current plan is that in the United States Black Widow will release on June 5, that Friday. Doctor Strange in July. Then Hulk in August.

So basically we’re returning to one hero pack per month. With Hulk in August, we will be returning to global releases. Our current directive and strategy is to have no other country release the Hulk hero pack until August. And we’ll all get this at the same time.

“The seven Marvel releases in June” rumor includes Crisis Protocol from Atomic Games. They are not Marvel Champions products, just the Black Widow pack.

For Hawkeye’s quiver, are you supposed to shuffle the top five cards into your deck?

Boggs: No, we decided to introduce a new language with this into the game, this language will become more common. You look at the top five cards, pick the one you need then put the rest back in the same order.

Of all the cards you designed for Champions, what’s your favorite?

Boggs: It’s in the upcoming Hulk pack, it’s Toe-to-Toe. I like the playstyle and the story it brings about. I like cheesing it too as it’s not a cost but an effect. You can stun them or have tough on your character, or still defend.

Is there a card that you wish you would have designed or released differently?

Boggs: I think in retrospect the card “Great Responsibility.”

I see a lot of people overlook that card. It’s a powerful card especially in multiplayer. In retrospect we should have done a simpler effect in its place, then saved that effect for later once the playerbase understood its functionality.

Will there be reprints for errata-ed cards?

Boggs: Yes if we’ve errata-ed something we issue a reprint change with our production team, it should be fixed in reprints later.

Do allies foreshadow how future heroes will work?

Boggs: That’s an interesting question. Not necessarily.

I think it’s cool when they’re somewhat parallel. The She-Hulk ally was just spoiled. That’s something I enjoyed in testing. But that’s not a rule. We want to show the hero the best way we can. Sometimes there will be similarities, but not every time.

How do you decide how to represent each hero? Which personality, or ally versus hero?

Boggs: Generally speaking we try to represent heroes the way we feel has the broadest appeal. So we pull from multiple versions of the hero, we pull from multiple comics. It’s hard to have that greater scope but we try the best we can.

In competitive card games we often see keywords pull the game forward. How do keywords inform your design for our present mechanics and card types?

Boggs: We definitely want to introduce new keywords into the game as time goes on. But we are in a fortunate situation where we can push the boundaries of the mechanics in those current kits.

We’ll see that going forward, there are kits for each hero that help them stand out. We don’t have to rely as heavily on keywords as other games. We won’t be pushing as hard on it as some other games do.

What Marvel comics are you reading right now?

Boggs: Immortal Hulk for sure when I was doing design work on him. Every now and then I’ll try to keep updated on Ms. Marvel, as she was a character I discovered when designing her kit. There’s a whole host of comics I can’t talk about right now.

Who is your favorite villain of the new campaign box?

Boggs: I’m partial to Absorbing Man. He was one I really had to discover. Any material he touches he can turn into that, wood or whatever it is.

But when I’m playing the box, Red Skull is the villain to have at the end of the box, Caleb Grace did a great job with him. Mechanically I love Red Skull, thematically I love Absorbing Man.

If you had to open the Red Skull campaign box who would you choose as a hero?

Boggs: I would choose Spider-Woman. She’s more intricate than Hawkeye. That’s intended and I like that playstyle.

Getting boosted up on all her stats based on the number of aspect cards she’s played, that’s like a new puzzle to solve. You can do some really cool combos you can’t pull off with other characters.

Is there a mechanic from another LCG you can think of that you’d want to add?

Boggs: From Netrunner, not really. From Arkham maybe, Matt is always there to help us and has inspired a lot of our designs. Not really any I can think off of the top of my head.

A lot of people were making comparisons to Red Skull’s campaign and expected it to be Arkham Horror-esque. It’s a bit different but there is that sort of “want” there so maybe we can take some lessons down the line from Matt.

When assigning heroes to their starting aspect in their pre-built decks is it more about mechanics or theme?

Boggs: A lot of times we’ll establish the hero’s 15 cards first before we put them into an aspect. But we knew with Captain America he was going to be Leadership. We knew Hulk was going to be Aggression. For Ms. Marvel we debated for a long time between Justice and Protection.

Black Widow went Justice so Ms. Marvel was the Protection pick. We try to make sure those cards work well with the hero they come with, and that there isn’t anything too wonky.

What’s the highest Heroic level that someone from FFG has achieved?

Boggs: To my knowledge Heroic level 2. I personally haven’t seen above that. I also haven’t seen anyone beat the Klaw challenge I put in the article defeat [Klaw on Heroic level 3 while using The Doomsday Chair as the modular encounter set].

When I first wrote that article I thought about Heroic 2, but I wanted something more that people had to reach for. If it takes a few times it’s worth it, it’s nice to have that achievement.

With all the heroes, aspects and modular sets the game has a lot of replayability. But the game has the same arc to it, beating the villain down at the end with building tempo and tempo hits. Do you have plans for more encounter cards for variance?

Boggs: Oh yeah definitely. Early on in the core set and the early scenarios we didn’t want to overwhelm players with new mechanics. So we really wanted to keep things introductory and straight-forward.

Going forward we can start playing with new challenges and new mechanics that throw curveballs at players with things they haven’t seen before.

Are there plans to reblance the four aspects in the future to have identical card counts?

Boggs: We’re not necessarily striving to have identical card counts but we try to strive for balance in general. Spider-Woman we knew would upset that balance a little bit, but we keep them as close as we can.

A lot of people are going to be drawn to Aggression and Justice because they are really simple in their gameplan. There’s not a whole lot more to them in the core set and even going forward that’s our focus.

Many of the game’s side schemes are simply a combination of a regular side scheme icon or a similar effect and feel the same. Are you adding more flavor to them over time?

Boggs: Yeah for a long time in the core set we had more varied side schemes. We had forced interrupts and triggers there. But as time went on we found that it was easy to miss those things.

You’re sitting there in a two player game and looking at your stuff, sometimes it’s easier to forget things, especially with inexperienced gamers. Using those big symbols was the way to do it. Going forward there is room to spice things up and create new challenges.

If you were to make a fifth aspect what would it revolve around?

Boggs: If we did do it we’d go back to the core set development aspect that was cut. Determination’s color was purple, we had that as a fifth aspect. The idea was to deal yourself encounter cards, put threat on the main scheme or deal yourself damage to knock out the villain. That aspect didn’t stand on its own.

Some of those could be ported into other aspects. Toe-to-Toe was even a Determination card, but we changed it to Aggression and it was just as thematic. I don’t know if we’ll go back to a fifth aspect but it would be a good start and that’s where we’d go.

Will there be additional statuses or conditions added?

Boggs: Yeah we could maybe do that. If we introduced that it would have to be in a box. Though, if we wanted to play with that in the future, it would be unfair to introduce them in the Red Skull box then ask players to do different mechanics if they just bought a hero pack.

It would have to be a very thought out…planned out way. But it’s not off the table.

How much do you value balance? Is the focus on balancing all the heroes or making them more fun and unique?

Boggs: Yeah we try to make sure the cards are balanced and won’t break the game. But because we want players to feel as heroic as possible we do push the power on players a bit. As long at the end of the day those characters feel like they should and have those strong storytelling moments, that’s fine. If we do miss that mark it won’t destroy any meta or anything like that.

Evan: By the way, we aren’t pulling too many rules questions. Boggs would have to read cards and it would slow down the AMA. You can submit questions on our rules form.

Was there another name for Marvel Champions at one point?

Boggs: At the time I really liked the name Marvel Crisis. This is before we knew about Crisis Protocol. I pushed for that and there was a reason for not going that way.

Nate French actually pitched “Marvel Champions” and Andrew Navarro, who was head of the studio at the time, he completely agreed. And I think it’s fitting, I think you feel like a champion while playing the game.

Is there an ability you’ve changed on a hero, or have you ever bumped up heroes at one point, ability-wise?

Boggs: I don’t know about that, but we definitely saved ideas for later. Spider-Woman’s dual aspect mechanic was something we tried out in Hulk, because of his split personality. But it made Hulk way too thoughtful.

There should be more smashing, there’s not a lot of brain power behind that. But Spider-Woman’s double-agent spy thing allowed for that split down the middle. We ended up saving for that her, and we do that all the time and think of mechanics that are really cool and save it for another hero then come up with something different.

I want an equal number of scenarios to hero packs. What are the ratios of hero and villain packs going to be in the future?

Boggs: We talked about this early on, how we were going to release packs. We’ve explored these systems with other LCGs. There are pros and cons to both. Right now it feels like there aren’t enough scenarios to play against, but with the release of Rise of Red Skull there’s five more, which will double them and there’s more modular sets.

Going forward that number will get even bigger. In the future getting more heroes will be more exciting because you can customize those sets to your liking.

A lot of the game seems to be focused around deckbuilding for solo play. What are your plans for group play?

Boggs: So when we want to support single-player but this is a co-op game. And most of the aspects shine in that co-op aspect. We tried to create varieties for settings like single-player and vice-versa, but as far as team-ups are concerned, Black Widow and Hulk really compliment each other: smashing and controlling.

In the core set I like Iron Man and Spider-Man: Iron Man swings at the villain and Spider-Man locks down the board.

Will we see characters that work similarly? Like Scarlet Spider to Spider-Man?

Boggs: I think we’ll do it similarly to She-Hulk and Hulk. Those two are functionally the same with gamma and rage. But both She-Hulk and Hulk do things differently.
Nate French believes that there are 100s of different ways to do each character, with each iteration feeling different but still like that character. There’s a lot of ways to do that.

Is there a PVP plan? Maybe tying it to Civil War?

Boggs: We’ve talked about it. It’s been mentioned. It’s something we can maybe see it one day. I’ve heard quite a few of the same sentiments. Maybe something we’ll see down the line.

Some aspects lack enough versatility and thwart potential, especially on Heroic. We have to pick Leadership and Justice to win. Are you going to add more flexible cards to Aggression and Protection?

Boggs: Yeah we’ll see more versatility for each aspect. Each aspect should be able to succeed in their own right.

How many comics do you think you’ve read when designing characters?

Boggs: Easily over 100. Maybe 200. For the core set I wanted to delve as much as possible for the hero and villain backstories. Especially crossovers, and Ms. Marvel. For each character I want to read an entire series for sure.

Did you have a superhero you pretended to be and why?

Boggs: I have a younger brother. He’s three and a half years younger and my cousin is two years younger. I picked Spider-Man. But when I was on the playground I got stuck with Colossus as the biggest kid in my class. Colossus was cool but I secretly wanted to be Wolverine or Iceman. But I couldn’t be those, I was too tall. I still play Spider-Man today in my house though.

If you could have a beer or drink with anyone in the Marvel universe who would it be?

Boggs: Probably Peter Parker. That’s a default answer but he seems like a cool guy who has seen a lot.

Do you follow any of the custom fanmade decks? Have there been any you’ve wanted to produce?

Boggs: Honestly we don’t look at the fan made content too much. Caleb and I agree that we don’t want to cloud our vision. We don’t want to look at content and have someone say we ripped them off. Not that we would do that but we want to go in fresh.

Are X-Men a possibility based on the licenses you currently have?

Boggs: Potentially. We’re still exploring things. Both Caleb and I are huge X-Men fans. We want to do it. I hope we can down the line.

For X-Men I want to design Iceman. For Fantastic Four I’m a little less familiar with them, I’ve never really read their comics much. I saw the movie in 2005, I think that’s when it came out, but I’m not super familiar. But I would pick Sue Storm, I like her force bubbles. I don’t know how we’d represent invisibility mechanically but I’m sure we’d find a way.

How soon before we see repeating heroes with a different alter-ego?

Boggs: It would probably be a long time, if ever.

There’s a lot of new heroes we want to do but it is a possibility, if we felt it was appropriate.

How much new content is in the pipleline or designed?

Boggs: More than three waves or four waves worth. Over 20 packs are waiting.

Evan: So that’s….two years worth of releases.

How do you choose what heroes to work on for each cycle?

Boggs: We created a line plan. We have a skeleton in place kind of like how the MCU structured their movies. We have that in place for a long term plan.

For heroes that have become villains or vice-versa in the comics, will we see both sides of them in the game?

Boggs: Yeah there’s nothing stopping us from doing that.

I want to see Ghost Rider. What’s up with him?

Boggs: I don’t know a lot about him but he’s one we could see for sure.

What other lesser known characters are you thinking about?

Boggs: The big names draw people in. But lesser characters are equally important because they show that the Marvel universe is much greater than the big characters. But a lot of people are also fanatical about smaller characters like Moon Knight.

I don’t know a lot about him and haven’t read a lot of his stuff but the miniature side of the office even talks about him. We want to release as many of those characters as possible even if they haven’t made it to the big screen yet.

If someone came up to you and asked to have you sign a card for them, what would it be?

Boggs: One of Ms. Marvel’s cards or the hero card. I’m proud of her. She has a special place in my heart because she pulled me into the comics.

Is there a question you’d like to be asked?

Boggs: “How’s my day?”

Will Marvel Champions be the only Marvel game published by FFG?

Evan: I can answer that. No. And that’s all we’re going to be saying about that today.

Similar to Arkham’s “Return to” series, is there a chance to revisit old scenarios with new twists?

Boggs: Yeah we’ve talked about that. It’s something that could maybe happen down the line. We’d prefer to do new scenarios. There’s so many characters and so many situations that it would be exciting to make new content.

Are you happy with how the standard and expert sets work?

Boggs: We did that intentionally. Early on in the core set we wanted to make each villain act differently in their base activation cards.

Over time we realized that having a standard and expert set allowed us to not create the same effects over and over. Maybe down the line we’ll see an expansion or tweak on that.

If you could design any villain what would it be?

Boggs: Venom. I love Spider-Man. Venom was so big in the ’90s and he’s just a fun villain. He’d be fun to design.

Are we going to see more gameplay streams?

Evan: As soon as we can get back in the office we’ll be doing more of that. You can see something showcasing Strange, Widow and Hulk playing together. We’re looking forward to it.

Would you say Namor is a hero or villain?

Boggs: I’ll admit I’m not really knowledgeable about him, but a bit of both? Going back to the earlier villain or hero question, he could be both.

Is it hard to recall the public meta and your private design meta at the same time?

Boggs: Yes! In my head I’ll think “why don’t they like this combo?” but it hasn’t been released yet. It is a bit of a juggling act.

When will Thanos come?

Evan: It’s safe to say he will come at some point.

Boggs: Yeah it would be a missed opportunity to not do him eventually.

How has remote work impacted the design process?

Boggs: It’s made some things easier, some harder. When it’s me by myself it’s easier to get into the zone and focus. But at the same time there’s a lot of things I need to communicate with Caleb on or the art team. It’s been an adjustment but it hasn’t slowed things down and in some ways it’s sped things up and made it more streamlined.

Are there going to be street-level heroes or villains soon?

Boggs: Yeah potentially, I love Daredevil and Kingpin. Those are very fun heroes and I know Caleb likes them as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them eventually.

It sounds like the Rise of Red Skull box includes the Reality Stone. More to come?

Boggs: Maybe.

Evan: Thank you for joining us. Again, the plan is to have global releases in August again, but plans can change, things are crazy.

Marvel Champions LCG storage solutions

We’re looking to add to this list over time, so if you have a storage solution, contact us at hallofheroescontact(at)gmail.com! Not all entries will be accepted.

Your first step should be searching for Marvel Champions LCG on Etsy.

Our beginner blog also has a few storage tips and covers more topics like sleeves.

Check out our Arkham Horror LCG storage solutions article here!


Hall of Heroes’ solutions

Hall of Heroes’ approach to storage is multi-faceted: a 3-inch binder for player cards, individual deck boxes for heroes and wooden storage boxes for encounter cards/scenarios. This is the approach we use for every single LCG.

A 3-inch binder holds all player cards for Lord of the Rings LCG, which is an eight year old game. All Arkham Horror LCG player cards to date are also comfortably stored in a 3-inch binder. Odds are, Marvel LCG’s entire lifetime will be stored here too. Dividers are used to separate each aspect (this set gets you every single aspect color, with white used for basic cards). A note: you may want to go 4-inch just in case.

As for the deck boxes, each box is catered to a specific hero, usually corresponding to the logo/color (Black Widow is on the left, Thor is on the right). All contain a pre-built deck for every hero (perfect for get-togethers pre-and-post-pandemic), obtained through multiple core sets and buying two of every hero pack.

They have a card divider in them to separate obligation/nemesis sets. These specific high quality boxes are designed for Magic: The Gathering and will run you $15-25, but you can re-use them as needed for other card games.

Hero cards are stored inside of Ultra Pro “Mini Snap” card holders for extra effect. It adds a cool little weight to slamming the card down on either side when you’re flipping between alter-ego and hero form.

The tokens and the hero board are from Buy the Same Token, which is highlighted below.

Encounter cards can be stored in the “Artist’s Case” from Hobby Lobby, which will run you $24.99 on sale (it’s almost always on sale). You can also look for coupons, which work online.

The next step is to pick up a Broken Token insert (or any insert) for the case. As you can see with the above image that has all of Arkham Horror’s encounter sets (all deluxes and mythos packs up to the end of The Circle Undone at the time), as well as standalone scenarios stored, there is plenty of room to grow.

The top of our Artist’s Case is decorated with various bits of Marvel art (simply pasted on with Mod Podge), taken from various coffee table books. You can often get them very cheaply used.

The second image shows what Marvel Champions LCG looks like with all of the scenarios and mods stored through August 2020 in the Artist’s Case. The dividers are from Tesseract Games.


Deck boxes

Boardinary Gamers came up with an interesting idea: craft cassette case-like deckboxes! You can find more information here on their official Twitter account, but the product can be located here and it holds 30 sleeved cards per case, according to the crafter.

Burger Tokens sells smaller perfect-fit deck boxes.

You can also make your own tuck boxes.


Spice up the original box

Michael Lorenzo took the most economical route and used the original storage box, with dividers, to separate all of their cards. It’s almost full, but a viable option!

You can find the horizontal dividers in the image above here, or dividers at the top of this page here.

You can 3D-print your own core set insert, too. Or use this alternate insert file.

Here’s another insert project for Rise of Red Skull!

Stephanie Richards, directly above, used the Folded Space insert, which will run you 13,50 €. The Broken Token insert for the core box can be found here.

Scott Plays uses a combination of foam, dividers and a custom core set box insert.

You can also get really creative like Make Your Piece Games did with this custom box (instructions here).

Harbor Freight sells a reasonably priced aluminum case that you can use to store cards.

Daydream Gaming also sells special boxes.

You can locate their storefront here.


Portable bags/backpacks

These tend to run on the pricey side, but if you’re constantly going from place to place, they can do the trick. We’ve tested out the Enhance Backpack, and have found that cards stay very snug when walking around.

Another option is the Pirate Lab card case. Or the Big Metal Box from CardKingPro.


Gamegenic Dungeon

Philip van Niekerk uses the Gamegenic Dungeon 1110+ convertible box, which will run you $59.99.

As you can see in the image above there is some dead space, but it fits Marvel LCG cards nicely.

You can also opt for the Fortress or the Stronghold.


The Cards Against Humanity Big Box

This huge box is also an option for people who are looking for a higher quality way to store their cards.

You can find it for $14.99 on Amazon. You can also opt for this three-row box from BCW.


IKEA storage

Several community members have recommended the “Moppe” box from IKEA. It’s a cheap $20 wooden box that allows for card storage.

Another community member stored their Netrunner cards in this EKET two-drawer cabinet from IKEA, set on top of a desk or end table.


Plain old plano or card boxes

The perfect storage solution for anything, even Gloomhaven and Marvel Champions! Plano Boxes will do the trick for storing tokens and bits.

You can go even cheaper for card storage and buy cardboard boxes for a few bucks.

StoneMaier Games sells cheap plastic resource containers specifically made for tabletop games.


Dividers

There are a few options for dividers.

Tesseract Games sells horizontal and vertical dividers.

OneSharpJoeCrafts sells wooden dividers.

KirbysWorkshop sells very cheap clear plastic dividers.

You can also print off your own using Scott Plays’ dividers, found here.


Mobile phone/tablet holders

Lee Butcher brought these sweet mobile holders to our attention: perfect for dials.

They’re called “Bergenes” at IKEA and are very cheap.


Uberstax

Alex van Vloten uses the colorful Uberstax holders to prop up their cards, and they look great! The multi-tier and modular setup is perfect for people who want to customize their board state.

You can find these universal game piece holders here at the Uberstax website.


Marvel Sleeves

There are several Marvel options for sleeves.

Gamegenic (who is owned by Asmodee) is selling official Marvel Champions sleeves for the player/encounter/villain cards, as well as specific hero sleeves. This video will walk you through the look and feel of the new Gamegenic sleeve line.

Upper Deck is selling Marvel-themed sleeves: a few of which line up with current Champions heroes.


Playmats

You can find the official Marvel Champions mats for sale here.

Big Viking mats also sells gigantic table-wide mats.

Inked Gaming also sells many playmats.

Lizard Den sells Marvel Champions playmats as well.

Or, you can print your own using a few of these mat templates from Designhacker.


Playmat storage

You can grab tubes like these on Amazon or most gaming stores.

Check out all of the currently available playmats for Champions at the bottom of this page.

This 28″ tube from Ultra Pro stores the 1-4 player mats.


Ant-Man and Wasp storage

Didn’t you hear? Ant-Man and Wasp are going to be represented by unique folding identity cards!

Here’s the rundown on how to store them properly.


Token and dial options

Buy the Same Token

There’s no coincidence they are listed first: Buy the Same Token is by far my favorite token shop for Marvel Champions.

Not only do they provide multiple flavor-specific tokens like Enterprise/Madness Counters for Risky Business (double-sided), but also tokens like arrow counters for Hawkeye, which flip into “two damage.”

One of the reasons everyone in my playgroup loves these tokens is because of how clear they are. A few other tokens solutions are a little smaller and less clear, which leads to confusion across the table. Many of these are double-sided with different counts (which allows you to buy less for more utility). They’re amazing. The outfit also sells easels.

You can find Buy the Same Token on Etsy. The token dimensions are 18mm x 18mm x 3mm.

Extra dials

CogOTwo opened up a shop where you can purchase themed hero or villain dials for Marvel Champions. You can find that storefront here or their official site here.

Make Your Piece Games has a great blog on how to customize your own dials.

Aurbits

Aurbits are high quality fiberglass tokens and some of the most decadent things you can purchase for Marvel Champions.

You can find Aurbits tokens here. They come in prices of $6.99 through $15.99 for individual sets, with a “full set” (Stunned, Confused, Tough, Counter, Acceleration, and First Player Tokens) costing you $69.99. You can also get a “full pack” of Damage and Threat tokens for an additional $46.40.

Burger Tokens

Burger Tokens is a beloved staple of the Marvel Champions LCG community. Not only are the folks over there very communication-oriented, but the price is right, as you’re partially making the tokens yourself with coins.

You can find a large pack of Burger Tokens for Marvel Champions here for $20.00.

Burger Tokens also sells sleek (and cheap) deckboxes.

Dracula’s Tokens

For many years, Dracula’s Tokens (or Drac’s Tokens) have been my go-to choice for every LCG on the market.

As of mid-2020, they are now offering Marvel Champions tokens! You can find their store here on Etsy.

Daydream Gaming tokens

Daydream Gaming was one of the first suppliers to provide Marvel Champions tokens during its launch, and the company is still going strong.

You can find a full set here for $49.99, or opt for piecemeal token purchases.

3D-printed tokens

There are several options for 3D-printed tokens. You can make your own! Or try this Etsy store JeffsGamingStuff.

Or, eBay regularly has them on sale.

Team Covenant Cosmic tokens

Team Covenant is known throughout the Marvel Champions community, most notably for streaming the game before it was released and bringing awareness to it pre-launch.

In addition to offering LCG monthly subscriptions, they also sell “Cosmic Tokens.” They’re a bit on the pricey side (options usually clock in at $20 or $50, with $20 covering each hero), but you can find their high quality tokens and boards here.

The board measurements are: ~4 3/8″ x 4 3/8″ (11.11cm x 11.11cm)

Token measurements are: .68″ x .68″ (17.175 mm x 17.175 mm)

Make your own

Make Your Piece Games has a great blog on how to craft your own professional looking tokens.

Marvel Champions LCG beginner’s guide


So you just picked up the core set for Marvel Champions (and maybe some more hero or villain packs): welcome! This guide will serve as a staging ground for newcomers and help direct you on where to go next.

You can find more in-depth storage solutions from the community here.


Step 1: Storage Solutions

A lot of folks refer to this as “the game away from the game.” Storage! It’s always a pain and can be very overwhelming at first. Here are a few tips from someone who has every current LCG product in various storage solutions.

Just roll with the insert in the core set

Unlike other LCGs, Marvel Champions contains an insert by default. Grab some toploaders to section each hero and villain off for the cheapest possible solution. Toploaders are long enough to serve as dividers into the grooves of the insert.

Or, use these dividers from Scott Plays found on this page. Etsy also has no shortage of cheap Marvel Champions storage products.

Broken Token

Broken Token is known as one of the biggest insert providers in the tabletop industry. Their stuff is a little pricey, but the company itself is very reliable. You can grab the wooden insert for $29.99 here, or on sites like Amazon.

Note that most of the inserts are a very tight fit, and you may need to “hammer” them into the box.

Artist’s Supply Box

One of the most popular storage solutions for any LCG is the “Artist’s Supply Box” from Hobby Lobby. The MSRP is $49.99, but it is frequently on sale for $24.99 and there are countless coupons available on the site.

Broken Token also sells an Artist’s Supply Box insert. It’s a pricey combo ($24.99 + $28.99) but one of the most “complete” ways to store a collection.

Consider binders for player cards

A 3-inch binder should fit the lifetime of Marvel Champions’ player cards.

It sounds hyperbolic, but note that a 3-inch binder comfortably fits all of Arkham Horror LCG’s player cards, and all of Lord of the Rings LCG’s player cards: and the latter game has been out for eight years.

Grab some binder card pages and these dividers. Use the red, blue, green and yellow dividers for Aggression, Leadership, Protection and Justice respectively, using white for basic cards.

Even if you’re against the idea of binders, knowing that you’ll likely be able to store every single Marvel Champions player card ever in them is comforting.

Sleeves

Sleeves are an eternal debate for any card game community, but I’ll just link a few here (no affiliation):

TitanShield (150 sleeves for $9.99)

Dragon Shield (100 sleeves for $10.99)

Ultimate Guard Katana (100 sleeves for $9.99)

Gamegenic (the new FFG standard is GGS10047ML – varying prices)

Sleeve Kings (100 sleeves for $2.50)

Step 2: Play an intro game

Marvel Champions makes things very easy for you from the start.

Grab the Rhino scenario (21 cards), as well as the Bomb Scare modular set (6 cards) and the “standard” set (7 cards). All of those cards will serve as your encounter deck. Place Rhino Stage I on the table and put Rhino Stage II under him.

If you’re playing solo, either choose Captain Marvel or Spider-Man (the latter is perfect, as Justice works great solo). If you’re playing with two people, grab the Spider-Man and Captain Marvel starter decks, which are separate from the rest of the box. You can find the full starter deck lists for Captain Marvel and Spider-Man here if you lost those inserts or accidentally broke their decks apart. Give the Learn to Play booklets and Rules Reference Guide a once-over!

If you have any rules questions, odds are you’ll find it here (this list is updated on a weekly basis). You’ll also be able to consult the current rules reference guide at that link. The “main” Discord is also happy to answer rules questions around the clock in the #rulings channel.

Step 3: Explore new builds and heroes

Here at Hall of Heroes we have listings for every hero in the game. Get a feel for how a hero works by viewing their cards before you buy them.

Out of the core set, Leadership (ally-centric) is generally considered the strongest aspect, followed by Justice (threat control), then Aggression (damage), then Protection (mitigation or control). The parenthetical approximations of each playstyle are almost a gross understatement of what they all do, especially with a growing card pool, but within the core, that’s the gist.

A perfect way to explore deckbuilding outside of the confines of the starter decks is by testing Black Panther Leadership and Iron Man Justice. Both are very flashy aspects that showcase the importance of both damage and threat mitigation: the latter of which is an unsung but very important part of the game.

You can find the Black Panther Leadership deck here and the Iron Man Justice deck here. Both only utilize the core set and have a miniature strategy guide included in their descriptions. Try to beat every core set scenario on standard first with the recommended modular sets. Then move into expert, making sure to include the three expert cards, and starting on the villain’s Stage II, moving into Stage III for the win.

Step 4: Expand your knowledge on Marvel Champions topics

The world of Marvel Champions is always moving forward, but here at Hall of Heroes we do our best to keep up with it. Here are some ways you can keep going after the core set:

Here are some off-site new player resources!

How to buy Marvel Champions LCG’s Black Widow and Doctor Strange


Update: Black Widow, Doctor Strange and Hulk are all out in the US: no more importing needed! However, you may find the below information useful if there are stock issues and you need to find a pack elsewhere.

Marvel Champions’ Black Widow hero pack is out…so long as you do not reside in the US.

Yep, in case you missed it, Asmodee (and by proxy Fantasy Flight Games) has put a hold on all new product released from April 1, 2020 on. That includes Black Widow, as she just missed the cutoff along with new Lord of the Rings LCG and Arkham Horror: The Card Game packs.

But the bad news didn’t stop there. Black Widow was initially delayed until May, then subsequently pushed back to June. Doctor Strange is now taking a July slot, with Hulk due in August and The Rise of Red Skull expansion set for a September release. You can find all of the current release dates here in one convenient place.

While we can debate the logistics of the move until the cows come home, the fact of the matter is, Asmodee did what it thought it had to do, and hopefully all of the impacted parties are safe. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until June (or beyond, if the pack gets pushed again) to play a legal, physical version of Black Widow. There’s options!

It also goes without saying that keeping your pre-order with your LGS (local gaming store) will help them tremendously in this time of need. Here at Hall of Heroes we are still keeping our pre-orders with two US stores.

Here’s where to import Black Widow and Doctor Strange

Again, the distribution stoppage ordered by Asmodee only impacts new products in the United States. That’s pretty specific, and old product like Captain America, Ms. Marvel and Green Goblin are still shipping in the US, if you can find them.

But Black Widow is also cleared for release in many countries, as Asmodee has varying agreements with global distributors that differ from the agreements in the US. Dr. Strange is also cleared for release in April and mid-May in several countries. Here are a few options for English-language cards.

Hulk is aiming for a worldwide August release. If we hear about any importing opportunities, they will be added here.

Barnes and Noble (US)

Barnes and Noble sold the Black Widow early in the US.

The initial batch of shipments already shipped and community members confirmed the receipt of legitimate packs. Barnes and Noble jumped the gun and sold the packs during the pandemic: it remains to be seen if they will sell more, or continue to sell Doctor Strange/Hulk before FFG gives everyone the green light.

The UK (or import to the US)

Black Widow shipped in the UK nationwide on April 21. Doctor Strange shipped on April 27 at some UK stores, and on May 15 in others.

If you’re a US resident, the UK is probably the fastest and cheapest shipping option available. Board Game Prices is an aggregate site that can point you in the right direction.

One store that offers shipping to the US is Chaos Cards. According to several community members they are a reliable store and provide reasonably-priced shipping costs. Ordering the Black Widow pack, shipped to the US, comes to roughly $23 USD. Stock may fluctuate as people rush to order the pack, so keep checking back. You can find that Chaos Cards listing here.

The Bearded Card Trader is also selling Marvel Champions packs and ships to the US. This store is a bit pricier when it comes to international shipping, clocking in at roughly $32 USD shipped to the US.

Firestorm Games has packs on sale and ships internationally. One pack is roughly $28 USD shipped to the US.

Shiny Games ships to the US at a reasonable rate (~$22 all-in).

Dice and Decks also sells Marvel Champions packs internationally.

Travelling Man ships packs to the UK only.

Shiny Games also has stock in an off-and-on fashion.

Megalopolis is shipping to most of Europe.

Australia (or import to the US)

Games Bandit is one of the most vocal purveyors of Marvel Champions product around the globe. They regularly post in various Champions communities and are very open about product availability and release timings.

Buying a hero pack from Games Bandit will run you roughly $38 USD per pack. You can find the listing here (Games Bandit says that they are out of Widow stock, and they don’t expect a restock until April 2021).

Doctor Strange will release on May 15, but Games Bandit shipped US orders earlier, as they should arrive by the time that street date hits. You can find that listing here. Depending on when you order, you could get it before the eventual US release. It’s pricey, but the store consistently has stock. .

Finland

Community members report that PoroMagia is a reliable option that also ships to certain regions. Buying it at PoroMagia comes out to roughly $22 USD, shipped, but they currently do not offer US shipping.

If your store is sold out in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or the United Kingdom, this is an option.

You can find their listing here, though stock may fluctuate.

As more stores are verified with Hall of Heroes — reach out to us via hallofheroescontact(at)gmail.com — they will be added to this list. Good luck!

How to play Lord of the Rings LCG on Tabletop Simulator (TTS)


Editor’s Note: After the overwhelmingly positive reactions to the Marvel Champions Tabletop Simulator tutorial, we decided to create how-tos for the other co-op LCGs as well.

You can find the Arkham Horror LCG tutorial here.


Step 1: Get Tabletop Simulator

This is an easy one! Well, maybe not for your wallet. You can find the program here.

Tabletop Simulator’s MSRP is $20, but it is constantly on sale for $10. Whether that sale is directly on the Steam storefront or elsewhere, make sure you do some due diligence by Googling “Tabletop Simulator sale” before buying it.

You could also sift through a deals aggregate site like Slickdeals.


Step 2: Load the Lord of the Rings: LCG Complete 4-Player mod

There are several Lord of the Rings LCG mods, but “Complete 4-Player” is usually the most-updated one.

All you need to do is log into your Steam account and hit “subscribe” on the Complete 4-player mod page. It will automatically incorporate with the Tabletop Simulator program.

After loading up Tabletop Simulator, press “Create” and look for the Complete 4-player mod in the main menu. A giant digital table will load, as will every deck and encounter set in the game. Custom content can be found above the main table (for the Crimson mod).


Step 3: Learn how to navigate the mod

Take a look at the image above (here’s a higher resolution version) to see where everything is located.

You can click and drag everything to suit your needs, or grab items out of the pouches by clicking on them and flicking the contents out of the bag. This is how you’ll grab heroes, as well as player and encounter cards to build those decks.

Every card in the game is in those bags: if you take the time to learn where everything is, it’ll be a cinch to start a game.


Step 4: Make your player deck

Making a deck is tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s as simple as making one in real life.

First, pick which three heroes you want to start with. All the heroes are located in one giant stack at the top of the screen. Likewise, all allies, attachments, events, sidequests and sphere cards are in decks at the top. To choose individual cards in a stack and build your deck without having to manually sort every card, right-click on a stack, and select “search.” This will show each card available in each stack on the right side of the screen. Simply click and drag the cards you want onto the table to create your deck. You can also create a deck on the upper left-hand corner of the screen to more easily locate cards.

OR, you can import a deck from RingsDB. Head to the DB and find the deck you want. After you’ve located it, click the “export” link at the top right-hand corner of the DB listing (below the title), and select “plain text.” Copy all of the text from “Main Deck” down to “Cards up to….” Head to the text box in Tabletop Simulator at the top left-hand corner of the screen. Click the “T” text symbol in the upper left vertical toolbar to edit the text near the deckbuilder. Paste your RingsDB text in, then hit “build deck.” Done!

Mash all of the cards together into one stack (including the heroes, for now, by flipping the deck upside-down and putting the hero cards on there, or by grouping them by selecting the deck and the heroes then pressing “G”) and right click on it: select “save object” and give it a name. Congratulations, you’ve saved your first deck! To instantly spawn it into an online game, have the lobby owner give you permissions and then select “objects,” at the top of the screen and click on “saved objects.” Then click the deck you want and it will appear in the game. Slide the heroes out and your deck will be fully intact.

To initiate a game, assign yourself a “player color,” which allows you to have a hand that you can manipulate at the bottom of the screen. You can do this by selecting your name in the top right corner of the screen with “change color.” In this mod, each color matches with a certain player mat. Pick the side you prefer.

Slide your three heroes into each “hero” slot on the mat. You can then tick up their resources each turn with the button counters right above them. To “deal” yourself cards, hover over your finished deck and press the numerical value you need on your keyboard. It’ll automatically deal you six cards if you press the number “6” for instance.

You can also highlight the deck and select “deal,” then your color on the color wheel to deal yourself a single card. Threat can be tracked with the convenient threat tracker on your mat. Your deck and your discard can “slot” into place in the designated areas.

To take cards off of a pile for any reason, “flick” them quickly off of the deck. To move the whole pile, deliberately click and hold.

Now you’re ready to go!


Step 5: Make the encounter deck

Find the deluxe box/cycle you want to play at the top right-hand corner of the screen. Drag out each “deck box” until you find the scenario (AP) you want to play.

In each bag (“easy” or “normal”) there are several stacks. The first stack is often the rulebook required for playing those scenarios. The second group is often the quest card stack, which you can place on the “quest deck” portion of the encounter mat in the middle of the screen. The third stack is usually the entire encounter deck, which you can place in the “encounter deck” slot. The fourth stack is typically “staging” cards that require setup.

After you’ve followed the individual setup instructions, press “R” to shuffle the encounter deck, and “F” to flip the cards so that they are facedown and you cannot see them (if they aren’t already).


Step 6: Play

Proceed how you normally would in a real game based on the Learn to Play booklet.

Some of the most useful commands are:

  • Left/right-click: Add or remove a digit from a counter.
  • Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V: Copy and paste a bag or object. Useful for when you want token bags in each player’s play area to save time.
  • 1-9: Deal yourself that many cards off the highlighted deck.
  • Q or E: Tilt cards like you would be exhausting them in real life. Also useful for slotting in side schemes when they roll off of the encounter deck vertically. For the best results, change the “degree” symbol at the top right of the screen to 90 degrees (90°).
  • L: “Lock” an item so that it doesn’t fly around if you accidentally grab it.
  • G: “Group” items together. Useful for selecting several stacks of cards and making them all one pile.
  • F: Flip cards when they need to be revealed, or need to be face down.
  • R: Shuffle a deck. Works with both player and encounter decks. You can mash R to rapidly shuffle cards for fun.
  • + or -: Make something bigger or smaller (useful to scale cards to the size of your liking). If the numpad + and – keys aren’t working, try them on the numerical row above your QWERTY lettered section.
  • Tab: Point at something on the table, useful for multiplayer when you’re talking out a turn. You can also hold tab to draw a line with the ruler tool to further make your point.
  • Alt: Make an object appear bigger for a moment on-screen. Useful for reading detailed cards you may not have memorized yet.
  • Save game: Click on “games” (the dice icon) at the top of the screen, then press save and load. Then press “create” and save your game with as many descriptors as possible so you remember it.

Alternatively, you can also play Lord of the Rings LCG on another program called OCTGN. There’s a great writeup here to help get you started. OCTGN isn’t as flashy, but is much easier to setup and learn. It’s also free.

It goes without saying: make sure you own the decks and support the growth of Lord of the Rings LCG.