The first set to come out, which I ignored despite many of my buddies getting into it, was the Avengers vs. X-men (AvX). After falling into that game and mentioning it on my blog (you can read it here), I found myself scrambling to pick up everything for it and the soon-released Uncanny X-men (UCM). As excited was I was with having over 250 dice and more than 100 cards for each set, these were Marvel and I was sad that my favorite characters from DC weren't done.
And then I got the call- it finally came in! So I begged and begged and begged the wife to get some money and ran out to buy almost a full case- that's $150 worth of cards and dice! But I got them. And let me tell you, I'm not sad.
First off, the dice are really neat. I especially like my Superman dice because of the beautiful, almost pearlescent blue color. Batman's die is really, really yellow (and black, of course). And this set doesn't depend on the clear dice like UCM did. I don't mind them, but I want the easier-to-read dice for most of the collection...
The cards are the same quality, but they use mostly New 52 artwork (that's the redone universe where Supes doesn't wear his underwear on the outside), which I love! It isn't completely New 52, so it's nice to be able to glimpse some of the old artwork as well. But overall, the cards aren't any different to the last two sets.
What is cool is the evolution of the rules. The first set is the first, so there's nothing really there other than the basics. In that set, direct damage and 'spamming' was the order of the day (see Gambit and the various Sidekick-summoners). The second set made affiliations and Action Dice really important, allowing 'team-ups' and with characters making Action Dice easier to buy and use. Keep in mind that there is also a Yu-gi-oh and Dungeons and Dragons version of the game, so there's some other effects that I don't know about. But now we have this set, which makes the old Thrown Car ability a special Trait (Overcrush). In addition, there are so many cards in this set that are 'busters' for the others, including characters that can't be hurt in certain phases and characters that 'filter out' sidekicks and lower level heroes/villains. Affiliation is even more important in this set than the UCM one, but it's not based on the 'team-up' format like that one. Overall, it's cool to see how more rules and effects get added with each edition.
I haven't had the opportunity to actually play with these cards yet, but my comic shop is running a tournament on the 23rd. The prize is a cheaper Superman, which is not something I can pass up. If I can't go for whatever reason, I'll have to wheel and deal to get that card. But playing is more fun, so I'll just have to make sure I go. Now to get one of my buddies to be my 'practice' victim...
Let me know if you've gotten into the game yet and why you dig it. If you haven't checked it out and have some questions, let me know. Happy Gaming!