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Marvellous Dice Masters – Uncanny X-Men

Marvel Dice Masters Uncanny Xmen BoxOver the past six months there’s been a battle raging in the board gaming world. A battle for Marvel, a battle for Dice Masters!

Since its release, the original Avengers Vs X-Men Dice Masters sets have been in high demand. A demand so great and underestimated by Wizkids that it’s left many gamers across the world empty-handed and disappointed.

Now, in November 2014, Wizkids have launched the second instalment of the Dice Master universe. Enter – Marvel Dice Master: Uncanny X-Men!!!

What’s in Uncanny X-Men??? Marvellous Dice and Cards!!!

For those of you who haven’t played the previous Dice Masters game – you should check out my post about the release of the Avengers VS X-Men set.

If you did manage to get your hands on a copy of Avengers Vs X-Men, and enjoyed it, then you’re in for more of the same fun with the latest version!

Marvel Dice Masters Uncanny Xmen New Actions ColoursThe new Uncanny X-Men starter-set contains some newly coloured basic action dice in – Pink, Orange, Brown and Purple. Each of these dice sets are used to represent one of the ten basic action cards:- Ambush, Feedback, Imprisoned, Possession, Reckless Melee, Enrage, Transfer Power, Selective Shield, Relentless and “Take That, Villain”.

The starter set also comes with cards and dice for eight characters:

  • Wolverine
  • Magneto
  • Cyclops
  • Angel
  • Kitty Pryde
  • Quicksilver
  • Iceman
  • Juggernaut

It’s Uncanny!!! What’s the Difference???

As you may or may not have noticed, four of the eight characters included in the Uncanny X-Men – Wolverine, Magneto, Cyclops and Angel – were also available in the previous set!Marvel Dice Masters Uncanny X-men Old Characters

So what’s the difference?

First and foremost these new incarnations have different artwork to that of their Avengers Vs X-Men brothers. They also have different special powers, which some of you might see as an improvement on some of the previous versions.

Marvel-Uncanny-Xmen-New-CharactersI have to admit that when I opened my starter set I was quite worried. With hundreds of Marvel characters to choose from, the starter set consists of 50% reused characters! An inspection of the sets card-list reveals a total of ten characters that have returned for a second Dice Master outing!

Angel, Captain America, Cyclops, Iron Man, Magneto, Mystique, Professor X, Spider-Man, Storm and Wolverine.

Don’t worry though! Even with these repeat appearances there’s plenty more characters available in the foil booster packs! Check out this fantastic list of available characters and equipment:

Ant-man, Apocalypse, Bishop, Black Panther, Cable, Emma Frost, Falcon, Iceman, Juggernaut, Kitty Pryde, Magik, Magneto, Marvel Girl, Mister Sinister, Namor, Psylocke, Pyro, Quicksilver, Red Hulk, Sabretooth, Scarlet Witch, Sentinel, She-Hulk, Toad, Vision, X-23, Cerebro

In a World of Super Heroes… How Do I Build a Super-powered Team???

Much like the Avengers Vs X-Men set, Uncanny X-Men can be expanded by purchasing a booster pack containing two cards with matching dice. These packs are purchased individually, or for the die-hard fans, you can buy an entire box of them! As an interesting note, for those who ordered a booster box for the previous set, there’s a fundamental change to the distribution of the Uncanny X-Men set!

In Avengers Vs Xmen you got sixty boosters with a chance of zero to one super rare card. However, with Uncanny Xmen, there’s ninety boosters to a box and from what I’ve read – a likelihood of 1-2 super rare cards to a box.

The four super rare cards from Avengers Vs Xmen – Black Widow, Green Goblin, Mr Fantastic and Wolverine – are now joined by four new super rare comrades. Enter Emma Frost – Hellfire Club, Iron Man – Industrialist, Scarlet Witch – Controls Probability and Spider-Man – Superhero. As a massive fan of Iron Man, I really hope that I can get my hands on a copy of this super rare to join my Black Widow and Wolverine!

New Characters… New Super Rares… New Mechanics???

As I mentioned earlier, this set is very much a repeat of the great gameplay we saw in the previous set. There’s very little change in terms of the core mechanics, however there’s some interesting new powers available.

There’s a new Heroic trait which, in the starter set, Wolverine – Superhero and Cyclops – Superhero both have. This new addition to the game lets you pair up your characters with other heroic characters. For example, when you field Wolverine – Superhero, he can pair up with another heroic character until your next turn. If you decide to pair up characters then Wolverine and his partner can only be blocked by two or more characters each! That’s quite a powerful ability!

Although there’s not a lot of new mechanics to be found in Uncanny X-men – there’s definitely plenty of new characters, and some new skills for our old favourites!  The only thing that might bother Avengers fans is the focus on X-men but to be honest, if you buy a set called the Uncanny X-men then it really shouldn’t be a surprise!

There’s new cards included for Spider-man, Iron-man and Captain America but I would personally have loved some more Thor and regular Hulk cards to go with them. Hopefully we’ll get more of these guys in future expansions!

Uncanny X-men… My Final Thoughts…

Marvel-Uncanny-Xmen-DiceFirst off I want to say that I still really enjoy Dice Masters, it’s fun, fast and it certainly has some fantastic dice. The Uncanny X-Men set brings a great many new characters to the fray and I really enjoy going through my set to create new teams and combos. This is the game that replaced Quarriors for me and I want to see more of the same in the future!

However, despite my love for the game, I have some concerns about Dice Masters… In particular, I’m concerned about the problems that Wizkids had with the initial distribution of the first game and what impact this might have had on the game.

The supply of Uncanny X-men seems to be good enough to handle current demand – but, with people struggling to get hold of Avengers vs X-Men over the past six months, I fear that demand for the range has suffered in the long run! Don’t get me wrong, this new set is great, but I do worry that people will be unforgiving of past mistakes and uptake of the game will suffer!

I genuinely hope that my concerns are unwarranted, the game is definitely worth playing and there’s plenty of Orgnaised Play events for it. I’ve even heard about an event being run at my friendly local gaming store here in Bristol! I for one really hope that Dice Masters will go from strength to strength and that we’ll see many more expansions just as good as Uncanny X-Men!!!

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Tom Randell

Driven Instructional Designer by day, board game fanatic by night! Tom has a long background in eLearning design and is a strong believer that story and narrative are crucial to creating excellent learning and gaming experiences. A passionate blogger, game reviewer and play tester, he enjoys spending his time playing games of all genres.