Welcome, Tommy to our Marvel Champions 20 Questions Hotseat. Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer our questions.
I am absolutely thrilled to answer any and all questions! Thanks so much for having me.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Let’s kick this off with your history with Marvel. What was your history with Marvel, if any, before you discovered Marvel Champions?
Well, some of my best childhood memories are playing with my X-Men figures based on the 90’s cartoon. That was the jumping-off point for me. From there, I got into the other animated Marvel shows which led me to the comic world. After that I started to discover a love for gaming, and since Marvel was a beloved brand for me, it bled over into that too. I began with the X-Men board game from way back in the day. From there I went to Heroclix, VS. System, Arcade games, console games, and Legendary. It’s safe to say I’ve tried the majority of Marvel games. During all of this gaming the MCU began and I hopped right on that train as well.
2. Moving into Marvel Champions, where and when did you learn about the game?
I first heard about the game from a group of friends I have that were at Gencon when the game was first announced. They immediately began to text me information about the game as well as pictures. Naturally, because my friends are awesome they picked me up a set of promos too.
3. Before playing the game, what was your first impression?
Well, since playing the Arkham Horror LCG, I had some idea of what FFG could do with a card game that featured superheroes.
My first impression was nothing but excitement. I was in the process of getting out of Star Wars: Destiny because my life at the moment made it impossible to keep up with and compete. This seemed like the perfect style of game to latch onto. The fact that it had Marvel superheroes plastered all over it was actually just a bonus. I spent a few years playing the Lord of the Rings LCG as well so I was very familiar with how this game would end up being.
4. When did you play the game your first time and how did it affect your first impression?
My buddy Scott came over the weekend it released and we jammed a few games together. I started by playing Black Panther and immediately fell in love with the way he played. From there I couldn’t wait to play more so I played a few solo games before my friends and I could get back together.
5. Clearly you love the game enough to do content for it, what was the final push that made you want to do content?
I had really enjoyed making content with Jack from the Golden Dice Podcast back when I was playing Destiny. I desired to continue making content but I knew I would have to find the right people to do it with or it wouldn’t be enjoyable. BananaCrapshoot and I threw around the idea of teaming up to start a podcast and I knew he was someone I really get along with well. From there it was a no brainer. Banana has been the driving force behind most of what we do at The Side Scheme and without him, there would be no Side Scheme so I want to make sure I thank him for allowing me to be a part of it.
6. Speaking of content, what kind of content do you do for the game and where can people find it?
We host a Podcast with relatively sporadic releases. We mainly try and record when there is news to talk about but we end up recording about twice a month. We also post 3 articles a week covering anything and everything to do with the game. Occasionally we do streams and videos on YouTube and Twitch. People can find all of our content through the Facebook Marvel Champions LCG group, the large Marvel Champions Discord channel, or by searching for the Side Scheme on your podcast provider of choice. Banana is really great about sharing all of our content through those outlets.
7. Has doing content for the game taught you anything about the game or yourself that you may not have learned? If so what was it, If not why not?
I always find that I learn about myself and where I’m at in my journey through games. This game has honestly been a step back in how much I actively am playing in comparison to some of the competitive games I’ve played in the past but what I’ve discovered is that the most rewarding thing about gaming for me is the people you’re playing with and the experience you share. In addition to that, I’ve learned that I really desire a challenge in any game. I love a good problem to solve.
8. Diving into the game itself, who is your favorite hero to play as, what aspect is your favorite and why?
From the current hero pool, I would definitely say that Black Panther is definitely my favorite hero to play. I really enjoy the buildup of his upgrades and his dependency on Wakanda Forever to really be effective. I think deck building with him is challenging but rewarding, and that’s why I like it. That said, my excitement for Doctor Strange is so high that he will undoubtedly surpass Black Panther for that spot.
As far as aspects go, I think it really rotates for me, but I’d say I enjoy Aggression and Protection the most so far. The new Aggression cards have been really great and play great with Black Panther. Protection is another aspect that I think suits Black Panther well. I really like to build decks with a very specific purpose and these aspects and character combinations allow me to do that.
9. How about the villain side, who is your favorite villain to play against, which encounter set is your favorite so far and why?
Since I like a challenge, I’d have to say either Ultron or Mutagen Formula Green Goblin are my favorites to play against. I don’t mind losing an encounter either, as long as I feel like I had a chance to win. I also like that both of these encounters have the ability to make things difficult right away because that’s when I feel the heroes are the weakest.
10. How do you prefer to play and if it is not alone, what does your playgroup look like?
I very much prefer to play multiplayer, but I think 2 or 3 players is the sweet spot. In our group, we have a handful of staple players and then a rotating cast of players that like to mix in. We have about 8-10 local people I tend to play with. I would say that the large majority of the games I’ve played have been with my friend Scott though.
11. Do you customize your gaming experience anyway that goes beyond the official rules for the game, if so how and why?
Well, with all of the social distancing and people staying at home, it is very difficult to get that experience of playing with other players. To try and offer a new solution to this we started a draft league in our Discord channel with 8 players per season. All of the games will be played solo and reported back to the Discord. We obviously are on the honor system for wins and losses though. If you’d like more information on that I wrote a detailed article all about it not long ago.
12. As is, how does Marvel Champions stack up to other games you play or have played? It’s far more casual than most of the games I’ve played, but I would say that it is unrivaled when it comes to theme. The mechanics really capture the characters and the universe in an incredible way.
13. Is there anything you would change with how the game currently is? If so how, If not why not?
I really like where the game is and I love where it is going. I feel like we are about to round out a nice group of heroes and I am ready for more encounters to be released after that because we need even more variety there in my opinion.
14. What was the craziest game you’ve had so far or your favorite memory from playing the game to date?
I’m not sure what the craziest game I’ve played is but I know I can tell you my favorite one was when Scott and I beat expert Ultron for the first time. It felt like we had 2 really great decks that were really playing well off each other. We ran Black Panther Protection and Spider-Man Leadership.
15. If FFG came to you and said they wanted to put you in charge of creating OP for this game, how would you do it and what would that look like?
Wow! That’s a big undertaking. I think I would implement the draft league we created. We formatted it to accommodate solo play but the original idea was to provide stores a way to host events and run leagues. As far as the prizes or products that went along with an OP kit, I’d love to see new OP specific encounters. I think that would be a great way to introduce more encounters and a great way to give us some really challenging ones at the same time. I’d also keep releasing the comic art promos because they are amazing.
16. If you could bring any hero into the game, who would they be, what would they do and why?
Timing is everything for heroes in my opinion. I’d want to make sure that any hero released would make sense to team up with the current cycle, or at least take on the villains thematically. That said I’d love to see an Adam Warlock hero. I’d love to see a mechanic where, when he flips, he enters the soul stone and has a separate deck (similar to the invocation deck of Dr. Strange) he has to use.
17. If you could bring any villain into the game, who would they be, what would they do and why?
It would of course be Thanos the Mad Titan. He would bring balance to the universe, duh. I’d like to see an Infinity Gauntlet encounter or campaign where he assembles the gauntlet by taking the stones from the players.
18. If you had to turn yourself into a card for the game, what kind of card (it can be a hero, upgrade, event, hero, villain, minion, etc) would you be, what would you do and why?
I would absolutely be a member of Thanos’ Black Order. Maybe Black Dwarf and be a guard minion for Thanos with an absurd amount of health.
19. Time to head towards the conclusion but we need to touch on the MCU. What is your favorite MCU film and why?
Winter Soldier followed closely by Guardians of the Galaxy. Winter Soldier is an immensely well acted and written movie. The characters are captivating and the spy/militaristic thriller feel of the movie really entertained me.
20. Before we get out of here, what is something you would like to share with our readers that most of them may not know about yourself?
I am a father of two amazing little boys that I love more than I could ever express to anyone and you may even hear them from time to time if you listen closely to our podcast.
Thanks again Tommy for answering our questions. We wish you the best in your content and would like to thank you for giving back to the community.
Thanks so much for inviting me, it really is an honor. I’m grateful to anyone who reads this or any article I’ve written, as well as listens to any podcast I’ve been on.
If people would like to find you or your content, where can they find it?
You can find us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and Patreon, as well as anywhere podcasts can be heard simply by searching The Side Scheme.
Thank you readers for reading this article and stay tuned for our next entry into this series, coming Friday. Till then, we wish you nothing but the best and stay safe out there.