Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. is a cooperative board game where players create a team of iconic Marvel heroes from the 20 available, and try to stop the evil schemes of 1 of the 4 villains included in the set. In this review, we'll have a quick look at how the game plays, which heroes are available, and if it's worth picking up against the other Marvel games out there.
Want to check out more of our Marvel-related Tabletop reviews? Over the years we've taken an in-depth look at the fabulous dice-filled board game Marvel Dice Throne, the classic miniature skirmish game Marvel HeroClix, and the light-weight, family friendly Splendor: Marvel. Now read on for our review of the brand-new Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R.!
What Is Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R.?
Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. -- which stands for Defense Alliance for Global and Galactic Emergency Response -- is a cooperative board game for 1 to 5 players, meaning it can be played solo. Fans of Eldritch Horror and Pandemic will find similarities in some mechanics and how the board looks and operates. Everything required to play is included in Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R., but it could also easily be a base set with more heroes and villains coming in the future.
How Do You Play Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R.?
Play in Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. is split between 2 phases, the Hero and the Nemesis phase. In the Hero phase, players take turns completing actions, such as moving or battling enemies, along with a set of unique actions that each hero has. In the Nemesis phase, the threat increases, an enemy event card is resolved and any enemies on the board activate.
The heroes can lose the game in several ways, either if the threat track gets too high, all 5 bases are overrun after 12 rounds (which happens when enemies attack them), or if all heroes are defeated. This means that the heroes need to balance not losing as obstacles and threats grow on the board, whilst still completing the missions and then winning the final showdown.
Which Marvel Heroes Are Included in Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R.?
Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. has 20 heroes to choose from, but they all come on double-sided cards, so by picking one, you block another player from taking 2. The heroes on each side are similar, as you will see in our list below, which does stop your team-up loading up on one type of hero and allows you to seek out awesome combos and teamwork options.
The double-sided hero sheets are:
- Iron Man / War Machine
- Thor / Mighty Thor
- Sorcerer Supreme (Stephen Strange) / Sorcerer Supreme (Jericho Drumm)
- Black Panther (T'Challa) / Black Panther (Shuri)
- Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) / Black Widow (Yelena Belova)
- Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) / Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau)
- Spier-Man (Peter Parker) / Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
- Hulk / She-Hulk
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) / Captain American (Sam Wilson)
- Daredevil / Elektra
How Many Players Does Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. Support And How Long Does It Take To Play?
Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. supports up to 5 players, with players in 2-player games getting more actions than normal, and in single-player games, a player controls 2 heroes. Games can take a while, with the box suggesting 3 to 4 hours, and at the higher player counts, that can be accurate. Solo and 2 player games when you know the rules can be rattled through in an hour and a half to 2 hours.
The different combinations of heroes and 4 villains does give a lot of replayability, and the game length means you will get a lot of table time out of the box.
What Are Our Final Thoughts On Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R.?
The gameplay for Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. is well done and provides an interesting game, but it feels like a missed opportunity with the quality of the components. The hero cards feel flimsy and the game uses cardboard standees and not plastic miniatures. While the art looks great, don't have a high-end component feel to them. The board looks really nice when set up, but the multiple-card components feel like you're playing a game of Marvel Champions with a board, without the random deck elements for your hero, which is fine if that's what you want.
With the amount of Marvel IP games out there, it takes something to stand out, and while the gameplay is solid, it's not perfect. There are some awesome opportunities for working out combos and team creation, which is where the strength of D.A.G.G.E.R. lies, but it does feel like it could have been so much better.
Should I Buy Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R.?
If you're a huge Marvel fan and this sounds like your sort of game, then it almost certainly will be. It's a great solo game and there are a lot of fun teamwork opportunities. The game might have worked outside of the Marvel IP, but it's going to be the biggest pull here and it does compete against some great other Marvel games, and some outstanding games of a similar nature that aren't Marvel.
The copy of Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R. used to produce this preview was provided by Asmodee UK. Photographs courtesy of the author.