“Get them before they get you” is the philosophy of X-Force, a team of mutants created by Cable. Read our Marvel United: X-Men — X-Force review to learn more about this group of attack-minded Heroes.
Marvel United: X-Men — X-Force Overview
The X-Force expansion brings together some of Marvel United’s most aggressive and proactive Heroes: Cable, Cannonball, Domino, and Shatterstar. This expansion also includes a new Villain (Stryfe), Locations, and a Hazardous Locations challenge.
X-Force’s new components can be used to play a mighty X-Force-themed game or added to your other Marvel United experiences.
SinceX-Force is an expansion, you’ll need a core set (Marvel United or Marvel United: X-Men ) to play it. You’ll also need to know the basic rules of play, so check out our Marvel United review if you need a refresher.
The 4 Heroes in the X-Force expansion are an aggressive bunch who are all about actively attacking their foes rather than simply reacting to their plans.
While each Hero’s deck of cards has roughly an even distribution of the 3 main action icons (Move, Heroic, Attack), they do have a specialty.
As the X-Force team’s creator, Cable is an excellent teammate and leader. Most of his Hero cards feature Wild icons — or the ability to generate Wild tokens.
Similar to another X-Men leader, Professor Xavier, 6 of Cable’s cards feature special abilities.
Cannonball’s specialty is movement; all his ability and double icon cards (except his Wild) feature a Move icon.
Moreover, his “Energy Field Propulsion” cards allow him to Attack whenever he performs a Move action.
Even though Domino has the most single action icon cards, she still specializes in Attack. As a “Master Assassin,” her special ability card allows her to deal 3 damage to a Villain or Henchman in her Location.
Furthermore, her 3 “Probability Manipulation” cards affect the Villain’s turn by ignoring “BAM!” and overflow effects or movement whenever it is the most recent Domino card in the Storyline.
Shatterstar’s deck focuses on Heroic actions — and with his special ability cards, it is almost like he’s sacrificing himself for the team.
With “Vibratory Shockwaves,” he can discard 1 card to gain Attacks, but then his “Healing Factor” cards allow him to draw back up to a hand of 3 cards.
Villain — Stryfe
Stryfe is a relentless Villain out for blood; whether it’s his “BAM!” effect or his “Psionic Mastery” cards, he likes to damage all Heroes.
As the leader of the Dark Riders, he actively adds Thugs to Locations and occasionally converts Civilians into them. As part of his villainous plot, Heroes lose when Thugs fully occupy all Locations.
Stryfe’s Threat cards are no joke either.
The “Legacy Virus” card forces Heroes starting their turn in that Location to skip drawing a card or ignore 1 action symbol.
His “Forcefields” card lets him ignore 1 damage each Hero turn. Since this effect is cumulative, with 3 in play, Stryfe ignores the first 3 damage he would take.
Hazardous Locations Challenge
The Hazardous Locations Challenge uses many of the new Locations in X-Force.
To play this challenge, 3 Hazardous Locations must be included during setup among the Locations used in the game.
These Locations feature a negative “End of Turn” effect that Heroes must perform.
Marvel United: X-Men — X-Force Review
The Heroes in the X-Force expansion make for quite a team. They all feel balanced and powerful; their action specialty only further improves a team of Heroes’ capabilities.
On their own, Cable, Cannonball, Domino, and Shatterstar are great to add to a team to compensate in areas where the other Heroes might be lacking. When all 4 are on a team together, they’re virtually unstoppable.
While all the Heroes are incredibly strong, I like Domino the most because her game-changing abilities feel the most unique to Marvel United.
I was less of a fan of Stryfe because he effectively pigeonholes the Heroes’ strategy, forcing them to take out his Threat cards if they want any hope of winning the game.
He also isn’t particularly interesting as a Villain. Sure, he will stop at nothing to deal damage to the Heroes, but it all feels very monotonous and there have been other Villains like him before.
Hazardous Locations Challenge
The Hazardous Locations present a new and exciting challenge to players that’s easy to implement.
I enjoyed playing with them because it added a different point of tension to our games when having to weigh whether it was worth clearing the Threats or performing actions in these Hazardous Locations.
The highlight of this expansion is the dynamic new Heroes. The Hazardous Locations challenge freshens up the gameplay experience, but unfortunately, there isn’t anything particularly remarkable about the Villain, Stryfe.
As such, I wouldn’t say Marvel United: X-Men — X-Force is an essential expansion to own, even though it does have its strengths.