DC Super Heroes United: Introducing the game – Part 2

Dear DC Super Heroes United fans,

It’s Andrea again, with the second installment of the Core Box design insights.

Let’s have a look at the last Villains and Heroes that were revealed as being in the core set, shall we?

I’ll bring the big boy out first: Darkseid. The ruler of Apokolips and one of the most powerful beings in the universe, he’ll be looking to gain control over the Anti-Life Equation. Darkseid is so powerful that we thought that breaking the regular scheme of villain fighting would have been the right thing to do. He doesn’t need Henchmen or even Threats. His “Threats” are replaced by five fragments of the Anti-Life Equation, and he’ll be on the hunt to collect them all, thus winning the game. Of course, in the meantime, he’s going to deal massive damage to heroes through his powers, notably his  Omega Sanction. Heroes must try to stop him from collecting pieces of the equation while still performing other missions, to finally be able to damage him (and Darkseid won’t be an easy opponent to take down). I believe the fight against Darkseid represents an innovative and challenging playing pattern that will delight United aficionados and entertain players new to the system, making him a real menace even when confronted by powerful heroes like Superman.

Then we have our last, but not least, villain in this core set, the Cheetah. A classic enemy of Wonder Woman, she’s probably the villain with the most linear game plan, so I would suggest players new to United to face her as their first villain. But this doesn’t mean she will go down that easily at all! The Cheetah is the quintessential evasive villain and might end up fulfilling her master plan before Heroes even have the chance to hit her with a serious punch or two. Let me provide you with a useful hint: Wonder Woman is likely the perfect Hero to face her, but if you want to have a real edge, bring along someone who can be faster than a cheetah to the fight.

Now for the Heroes. I’ll start with Cyborg, aka “Vic” Stone. Players might be surprised by his apparent lack of Equipment, the reason being that Cyb is his own equipment. A well-rounded and flexible Hero, Victor can provide mobility through his Boom Tubes, firepower with the Mechano arsenal, and perform incredibly powerful and flexible turns when activating his Cybernetic Enhancements. Cyborg will prove a solid addition to any line-up of Heroes, bringing both flexibility and a number of actions to the team.

Next is Aquaman, ruler of the seas. He not only has one of the most powerful and flexible pieces of Equipment in the whole game, the Trident of Poseidon, that can be used to heal himself, damage his foes, or rescue a civilian in danger almost anywhere (this Equipment proved to be so good that we had to increase its recharge cost during development not only once, but twice). Aquaman’s real power comes from the flexibility and reach granted by his Atlantean Physiology and Life Force Connection, not to mention the possibility to summon a Tidal Wave once per game. If you need a Hero able to recover quickly from damage while providing balance to the team, you will hardly find a better fit for the role than the king of Atlantis.

I am going to close this article with a quick look at some of the Locations featured in this core set.

We did something special with Locations here, since two of them, Apokolyps and Hall of Doom, are strictly linked to two of the villains in the box. This doesn’t mean these Locations can’t be used with other villains, but their (negative) effects have been tailored to match specific villains’ game plans. Apokolyps is specially designed to break some Heroes’ game play. If they need to go there for any reason, and to make it even easier for Darkseid to KO heroes, which might help him ensure a quick victory.

So, we wanted the other locations to have helpful end of turn effects, even if some of these (Gotham City and Central City, notably) have double-edged side effects… Everyone knows that Gotham is a city that seems to make even regular villains a bit more dangerous, and Central city can be so crowded to easily overflow… Another very interesting Location will be Atlantis, where you might choose to speed up evacuating the underwater city, thus gaining a precious wild action token, but again at the risk of causing overflow to hit the heroes and facilitate the villain’s plan fulfilment.

While respecting the overall need for token gaining effects (but expert players might notice the absence of movement enhancing Location, given the excellent mobility ratio of heroes in this set), we did our best in creating Location effects that both are thematically connected and provide interesting variations (and sometimes extra challenges) to gameplay.

I can’t wait to hear what you think about our DC Super Heroes core set in the comments and I’ll leave you asking…

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