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It’s been a while since my last board game review. Want to know what happened in the 14,000,605 different timelines that Dr. Strange looked into? well maybe you’ll have an idea in the Marvel Cinematic Universe board game by USAopoly, Thanos Rising. Just like in the movie players will battle Thanos and his generals in an attempt to stop him from gathering the Infinity stones. Thanos Rising is a 4 player Co-operative game. Players will use their dice to recruit fellow heroes to bolster their forces and defeat Thanos‘ army.
First thing players will notice is the pre-painted figure of Thanos. I don’t think it’s made from plaster, but is definitely of a stone like material, with a very solid base. The dice are just big enough for the symbols to be clearly seen and quickly determined for quicker games. everything else is made of card or cardboard, which is of good quality as well. The Infinity Gauntlet board has notches in it for where the infinity stones fit, each with their own unique shape to mirror that of the movie. The stones on the other hand aren’t and are just those colored plastic crystals that you find on the bottom of vases to help keep fake flowers in place, which is kind of a bummer since they went to the trouble of cutting out slots for the stones.
Setup is very simple, each player will receive one of the four team leaders (Captain America, Black Panther, Gamora, and Dr. Strange) along with their corresponding deployment tokens and locations. In the middle there will be 2 areas, the Infinity Gauntlet, and the Deployment Zone. The Infinity Gauntlet part is very simple, just place it within reach of at least one of the players, with the 6 Infinity stone boards face up in each of the 6 slots on the side. place the Infinity stones on top of their corresponding board, with the control counters nearby. The Deployment zone is also very easy, Set it in an area where everyone can reach with Thanos in the middle facing one of the 3 sectors. Shuffle the deck and deal 3 cards to each sector, surrounding Thanos, with the damage counters nearby. The dice can be placed within reach of everyone.
There are a variety of ways to lose the game, The most obvious being that if Thanos gains all 6 Infinity stones. The 2nd way to lose the game is if Thanos and his army defeat 10 heroes, and the last is if one of the team gets eliminated. The way to win though is if the players are able to defeat 7 out of 10 of Thanos‘ generals. Simple enough but hard to accomplish.
After deciding which player starts, a player’s turn will start with them deciding which area they want to go to, either to fight the generals or to recruit a hero to their team, this is done by placing their deployment token in the corresponding sector. After which they will roll the Thanos, and Infinity stone dice. The Infinity stone die is simple in that it has all 6 colors of the infinity stones on it, whatever is rolled players will add 1 on its counter. Once an Infinity Stone has gained 5 counters, Thanos has retrieved that stone and gained a new ability which is revealed on the other side of the Infinity stone card.The Thanos die has different faces of which I will describe; There is the turn right, turn left, infinity gauntlet and and infinity stone. The first two are very simple, just move Thanos in the direction depicted on the dice face.
The gauntlet face means that Thanos doesn’t move but instead activates all villains not in his sector, and the last one forces the player to reroll the infinity stone die instead of moving Thanos. Once Thanos is done moving/not moving all heroes in his sector are damaged, including the active player’s own heroes if they chose to go that sector. The villains will also activate and use their abilities as written on the card.
Once you are done getting your butts handed to you, its time to retaliate by rolling your own dice, everyone starts with their own sets of dice. Captain America with 4 red, Black Panther with 3 red and 1 blue, Gamora with 3 reds and a black, and Dr. Strange with 3 reds and 1 green die. As you may have guessed each of the colors are different, Red dice can roll Power, depicted by an explosion symbol, better. The blue for science, green for mystic, and black for cosmic. The players will roll, and place at least 1 dice on a card in their sector, and re-roll the remaining dice, repeating this until they have none left. Players if they get lucky may place all their dice down at once.
The players will try to meet the requirements on the cards to either recruit them or hurt them. So if a hero needed 3 power symbols, the player would need to roll and place a total of 3 power to recruit that hero into their team bolstering their forces giving them a better chance at stopping Thanos. The villains on the other hand just like the heroes also have health, and players can only deal 1 damage to each villain in a turn from dice rolls. If a player damages them they get to take a bonus tile giving the player a variety of bonuses like a symbol, or an extra die.
Once they are done rolling, the turn is passed to the next player repeating this process until they either win or lose.
The game I found to be a lot of fun. The dice rolls make for a fun and unpredictable game, along with the deck of cards where you don’t know what will be coming. The game isn’t too hard which I like, unlike some other player vs game board games out there, we won at a rate of like 1 out 4 games. The card art is very well done, though I’m pretty sure the Captain America card isn’t Chris Evans. Of course like any other game there are some problems with it, one of them being the Thanos figure, don’t get me wrong the sculpting is awesome but the material its made of made movement a hassle, we had to pick it up and place it back in the deployment zone in the new sector, I would have appreciated maybe something like a mini turntable to make the changing of sectors easier.