We’re back in 2021 with some more 10 Minute Marvel. I hope that you all had a great holidays and new year. This weeks 10 Minute Marvel is a bit light on the news front. WandaVision announces how many episodes it’s going to be. And …
Tag: Iron Man
For a lot of people board gaming is a social activity, but 2020 has made that less likely and harder to do at least in bigger groups. For some people with serious medical concerns or just general concerns about Covid, that isn’t an option, or maybe with their work, or whatever it might be, so for them, and for the people who just don’t have a game group around for other reasons as well, solo gaming can be a great option. I’m not going to repeat the two, Gloomhaven, and Onirim that I’ve already talked about, so let’s talk about some other games that are good solo and might make a great gift.
This is probably my favorite solo game right now, and it’s fun because you can customize it for the person you are getting it for. Marvel Champions is a Living Card game put out by Fantasy Flight Games, where you take on the roll of a hero (or you can play up to 4), and you face off against a villain, their henchmen and their schemes. You have two sides you can play as a superhero, you are either in your alter ego side, T’Challa, Tony Stark, Peter Parker, etc., or you are in your hero side, Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man, etc. When you are in the alter ego side the villain only schemes and won’t fight you, when you are in your hero side, they’ll scheme slower, and fight you. It’s a balancing act changing between the sides of a hero. What works well in this game, is that it’s a living card game, that means that Fantasy Flight is supporting it by putting out new heroes, villains, and scenarios for it. So if someone is a huge Black Widow fan, you can grab the base game and the Black Widow expansion pack and customize for them. And there are a ton of different character options. Great for a superhero fan if you life, but also just a really good game.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
So, I’m going with another living card game here. If you try and get someone everything for these, it’ll get extremely expensive, but Arkham Horror: The Card Game, is a great solo game, and worth talking about. In this game you are taking an investigator through a series of story where the choices you make can and will make a difference. If you kill a monster, save a person, find out all the cultists, that’ll adjust your scenario, story, and rewards going forward. This game is a really nice puzzle of a game where you are trying to find clues, pass tests, and fight monsters, using cards that are either equipment or abilities, or spending them for resources to make it more likely you’ll pass a test or so that you can buy one of the cards. It’s a really interesting game system that allows itself to tell so many stories in so many different ways in something that is just a card game. Very smartly made and really enjoyable. This is for someone who loves to try and optimize and solve a mystery/challenge the best that they can.
Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger
While the other two have been good gamery games, Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, is basically just a choose your own adventure book, with some cards and some challenges. This one has a ton of nostalgia to it as you play through what is a completely insane story seeing how well you can do, trying not to die, and reading great story. And by great story, I mean that it’s very crazy story but that it’s a lot of fun. It’s written in a very light way and really interesting and enjoyable. This one works well solo because you can kind of just flip through the cards, make decisions quickly, roll dice when needed for the challenges, and continue. None of the decisions you make seem like they have a massive difference in how the game will go, they mainly will get you stuck in areas or having to deal challenges which you’ll probably eventually defeat. This one is good light fun for a solo gamer who is just looking to have a good time.
First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
For your sci-fi solo gamer out there, there is First Martians. In some ways this is almost Martian, the book and movie, the board game. You are on Mars, setting up the first colony there, and things are going to be breaking down. You need to think about food, oxygen levels, you might be out exploring the surface, building things to improve your base. This is a pretty challenging game with a not that well written rule book. Fortunately you can learn to play by watching it on the Watch It Played YouTube channel, Rodney Smith does a great job there. First Martians also gives you a number of ways to play. You can pick one off missions focused on different things, such as exploring Mars, building and adding on to the station, or just trying to make a broken station survive. But then there are also campaigns where you play through a few games in a row. Overall this game, while it has it’s flaws, is so much fun to play and offers quick experiences and longer campaigns depending on what you want.
Aeon’s End Legacy
So I mentioned campaign games above, and I think it’s fitting to wrap up this list with a game that has a campaign to it. There are a lot that I could have picked, Mage Knight, Deep Madness, Folklore the Affliction, Sword and Sorcery, Reich Busters, and a whole lot more, but I’m picking Aeon’s End Legacy because I like deck building games, and I think that the game play offered in Aeon’s End is really interesting and easy to solo. By that I mean that in lot of these games you can’t just play them true solo, even something like Gloomhaven you have to control two characters, so you’re doing more “house keeping” and keeping track of leveling up multiple characters. Aeon’s End Legacy isn’t true solo, you do have to control at least two characters, but the game play is much simpler. You don’t need to think about 10 different stats, what weapon or dice to use or roll. Instead, you are just playing your hand of cards when the turn comes up. I’m a big fan of Aeon’s End: War Eternal, so Aeon’s End Legacy is one that I have on my shelf that I need to play, but that I’ve heard great things about and that I can recommend knowing the system well.
Now, there are obviously a lot of other games I could mention, Mansions of Madness, which I’ve talked about before, really most cooperative games can be played solo. I’m even playing through, or will be soon, Pandemic Legacy Season 2 solo. So even games that aren’t truly solo, as long as there isn’t hidden information, can be played solo, but I think that hopefully these are some good options. I basically went with cooperative games, but there are solo variants for things like Alien Artifacts and Scythe out there as well, they just need a bit more house keeping in what is done.
What solo game would recommend for a solo gamer? Or if you are one, what would you want to get?
Recording episodes back to back before a move, we we’re light on news, but I talk about a new expansion that has come out for Marvel Champions. Plus, I finish off my Top 10 Marvel heroes. Thank you for checking out the podcast, I hope …
Yes, I am limiting myself again, I wanted to do my Top 10 Marvel heroes, I considered for a moment Superheroes, but I will come back and do DC at some point. I also considered adding in villains, but again, that’s another list, and why would I blend them all together when I can get a bunch of lists out of them. Look for some talk about this on 10 Minute Marvel as I’ll probably start doing deeper dives into some of these characters.
10 – Deadpool
Deadpool is basically the only straight up comedy act on the list. Yes, he is hyper violent as well at times but he lives in a completely absurd world of his own in a lot of ways. I was resistant to him for a while just because he had such a following and didn’t play a major part directly in the comics. But the stuff I’ve read of his generally is a good amount of fun and he works as a character who is comedy and doesn’t spend his time bumping up against the main characters but is just off in his own little world doing his thing. And then when he does interact with other characters, it’s good entertainment.
9 – Ant-Man
Now, do I prefer Pym or Lang as Ant-Man, probably Lang, but both are good. I think that they both provide an interesting feel for Ant-Man, but this will be more about Lang since he’s in the MCU as Ant-Man. I like the idea of a criminal turned super hero, because you get that blend of things that shouldn’t be done and still trying to be better than he was before. Also Paul Rudd just does a solid job in that role with comedy but also creating a character who has a bit of a heart. Lang and Ant-Man are a good blend of comedy and heart, which I think you’ll see further on the list.
8 – Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch could probably be a villain as well, but I think that she works well in either direction. As a hero she’s a terrifying power that you’re worried about won’t be able to control herself. On the flip side as a villain, she’s even more scary. I like a character who has just an insane level of power but you don’t know if they’ll be able to control it, and while some heroes, like the Hulk, can smash anything, Scarlet Witch is so much beyond that, if she makes a mistake, or loses control that can just alter the world, alter the past or present and completely change reality as you know it. Add in the fact that she’s not all that stable mentally, it creates an even crazier power set for her and more interesting stories as you wait for her to break.
7 – Magik
Now, admittedly she isn’t a character that I’ve read a ton of stuff focused directly on her, but I like her character in the X-Men comics that I’ve read. Her powers are interesting and she just has an edgier look to her than a lot of the other heroes. In fact, she’s sometimes a little bit shaky as to how actually good she is. But with that, she also has a complex backstory and a brother, Colossus who is also part of the X-Men. So that adds in an interesting dynamic to her character. Her power set with sorcery and teleportation are very interesting as well as she kind of has a larger breath to her powers than a lot of other characters.
6 – Doctor Strange
So with Strange, I actually was interested in him before the Doctor Strange film came out, that movie definitely made me more interested and brought about more comics because there hadn’t been many or any for a little bit. But his power set is just so interesting to me. I like the magic that he can do and just the breath of what it can cover. But I also like that so much of who he is, is tied into who he was and how he’s had his “come to Jesus” moment where he realized that his pride and his goals weren’t fulfilling his life and when it was all taken away from him he didn’t know who he was. There’s another character who is always trying to prove himself against his past, but he’ll show up later and it is interesting to see how they deal with their hubris in different ways.
5 – Rogue
Now, Rogue might be a surprising character, and some of it might be that she fairly often ties closely to another character higher on my list. But I also find her power and character interesting. She can absorb other peoples powers and basically neutralize them, but it comes at a cost. She absorbs and that means that she steals from them and she can’t control it, it doesn’t matter if she wants to or not, she will steal their powers and drain their life force. So how can she have a normal relationship with a human being and that’s a very common struggle with her. I think you’ll find that I like the characters who have those human struggles, both with previous ones I’ve mentioned and ones coming up. It just makes them feel more like they could be real people and real heroes.
4 – Thor
Now, let me preface this by saying, I’m 100% Norwegian, so I like Thor some for that reason. But that’s not just it. For Thor, I like the fact that you can get some more epic and mythological battles going on. It isn’t just Thor versus some supervillain, it can be Thor facing off against gods and comsic beings, and I like that you get a wider scope with him. Now, clearly he isn’t the only hero who has that, but I like him better than most. Now, the fact that he’s also displaced kind of from his world and having to deal with humans is interesting as well. I like a fish out of water, and I like a character who has flaws when dealing with that, and Thor definitely has flaws. He’s a good blend of big action, big moments and still be caring that works well.
3 – Iron Man
Now, I can thank the MCU for making me like Iron Man so much, and as much as I like Iron Man, so much of what I like about Iron Man is Tony Stark. He is a deeply flawed character who desperately wants to do the right thing and always ends up doing the right thing poorly. If he knew he was doing the wrong thing and did it anyways, or if he was doing the right thing and it always worked out, that’d be boring, but he fails so often. And not only does he fail at the big super hero things, Iron Man/Tony Stark fails at the small normal life things as well, relationships, drinking, drugs, and he’s just not a great member of society. But every time that he fails in his life, in saving the world, whatever it might be, he gets back up and tries again.
2 – Spider-Man
Now, I will say, I’m done for good with Uncle Ben dying, but I really like Spider-Man as a character. Apparently I like the characters that provide a bit of humor. Spider-Man does it in a really fun loving way, and I just like how wholesome and earnest his character is. I also really like him because of the 90’s cartoon and because of the cast of villains that he has. Spider-Man has some of the best villains to go up against, and they have done a solid job with them in the movies, and they always do a great job in the comics with them. I think that Spider-Man/Peter Parker works as well because he’s so relatable for kids and people in general reading comics. Issues with school and friendship and balancing of his life abound, and while Iron Man has relatable flaws as well, Spider-Mans are just a bit simpler and feel more like everyday life.
1 – Gambit
Now this mainly comes from watching the TV show in the 90’s and then carried into reading the comics in the mid 2000’s and early 2010’s. Gambit is just a fun character for me. I like him as a bit of a loner who doesn’t play well with others. But he has a good heart, he just doesn’t want other people to know it. There’s definitely a bit of a vibe that is similar to that of Wolverine, stand-off-ish and not a team player, but while a lot of people love Wolverine, I like it when Gambit does it better. He has an awkward kind of charm to him where things end up in his favor, after normally not starting out that way at all, and it just works for a comic book character.
So who are your favorite Marvel heroes? Do you have any overlap with me? There are so many characters that it’s just hard to pick 10 and really think about what makes some stand out over others.
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Lighter news week though we have an Olivia Wilde directed Sony project to talk about, and a comic book coming out that might have been meant for an MCU tie in. Plus, I’m finally getting around to watching Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. If you are …
We have some news, first not some great news about the Disney+ shows, but not surprising news there. And New Mutants news? Then I look at a Marvel Cinematic Universe film that might have been overlooked, but now is one that I really think holds …