We’re big fans of Marvel in our house, and earlier this year my kids (ages 8 and 11) got to check out the Marvel Battleworld line from Funko Games. They enjoyed it so much that when we found out a new series was being released, I knew we were going to have to check it out. Luckily for us, Funko Games was once again happy to oblige and sent us the items from the new line, Ultimate Armory.
What Is Marvel Battleworld: Ultimate Armory?
Marvel Battleworld: Ultimate Armory is the third series of the Marvel Battleworld franchise. It is a collectible figure game where figures represent a variety of Marvel characters that each have their own stats and powers. These figures are used to defeat various villains. It is compatible with the Marvel Battleworld Series 1 line (Mystery of the Thanostones) and the Series 2 line (Treachery at Twilight). The game is intended for 1-4 players ages 6+ and takes around 15-30 minutes to play. The Ultimate Armory line includes a Battle Ball (MSRP $8.99) and a Mega Pack (MSRP $19.99).
Marvel Battleworld: Ultimate Armory Contents
Since there are two items in this series, I will break them down separately. Overall, I will say they are solid pieces and the game has been neatly designed to give a decent amount of strategy but without an overwhelming amount of pieces to sort out and organize. For a game designed for kids, this is really well thought out and makes me appreciate the game more.
Ultimate Armory Mega Pack With Vision (MSRP $19.99)
The Ultimate Armory Mega Pack includes the following:
- 1 Exclusive Hero Mover
- 1 Exclusive Hero Card
- 3 Hero Movers
- 3 Hero Cards
- 2 Thanostones with 1 Mystery Hero Mover Each
- 2 Mystery Hero Cards
- 13 Battle Cards
- 1 Attack Die
- 13 Danger Tokens
- 1 Danger Coin
- 7 Armor Tokens
The Hero Movers are clearly the best part of the game, and they are done in bright colors, are easy to identify as beloved characters, and you will quickly find yourself wanting to collect a nice variety of them. I will note the Vision we got was a Chase variation. The double-sided cards are playing card thickness with fun artwork, easy-to-read stats, and the hexagon shape is really nice for putting the battlefield together. The Thanostones are a fun one-time use thing. They need to be cracked like a particularly stubborn egg and revealing the Mystery Hero is a lot of fun, although some may be disappointed that they are one-time use items. I do like that the Thanostones have a number on the bottom that matches a Mystery Card, so you can keep the mystery until the big reveal. The Danger Tokens, the Armor Tokens, and the Danger Coin are thick cardboard, but easy to read and sturdy enough for the purpose they have in the game. The attack die is your basic 12-sided die with some custom symbols, but it’s easy to read and works well. The price point and component quality point are just about what I would expect, and this set contains everything you need to play a 1-4 person game.
Ultimate Armory Battle Ball (MSRP $8.99)
The Ultimate Armory Battle Ball contains the following:
- 1 Hero Mover
- 1 Hero Card
- 1 Thanostone with 1 Mystery Hero Mover
- 1 Mystery Hero Card
- 5 Battle Cards
- 1 Attack Die
- 5 Danger Tokens
- 1 Danger Coin
- 3 Armor Tokens
The only real difference between the Battle Ball and the Mega Pack is that the Battle Ball contains enough pieces for a 1-2 player game instead of a 1-4 player game like the Mega Pack. Same quality pieces, just not as many of them. The selection of potential Heroes to receive is also the same, except the Mega Pack has one exclusive figure. The Battle Ball can be used to slide a Hero Mover and their Hero Card into as well, but we find that we just don’t bother as much with that feature.
How to Play Marvel Battleworld: Ultimate Armory
Overall, this game takes minutes to set up and learn, so kids can actually figure out play and get to playing quickly. My kids have run plenty of games on their own too. It is worth noting that the Mega Pack and Battle Ball are the same game with the same rules. The big difference if you’ve played previous versions is that this series adds in Armor Tokens.
The goal of Marvel Battleworld: Ultimate Armory is to win a set number of battles against Marvel villains based on the number of starting Heroes you have before you lose 3 Battles. This is accomplished with a series of strategy-based attacks using your Heroes’ stats as well as recruiting new Heroes to help you via the Thanostones. The game can be played with one player or cooperatively with more than one.
Setup for the game is actually delightfully easy. Honestly, the hardest thing you need to do the first time you play is punch out some cardboard tokens. Take the following steps to set up your game:
Step 1: Select how many Starting Heroes you want to play with. A Single-Player can play with as many as they want, but in a Multi-Player game, there should be a single Starting Hero per Player. Once you know how many Starting Heroes you want, that determines how many of the rest of the cards you need as well as how many Battles you must Win.
- 1 Starting Hero: 1 Thanostone or 1 Additional Hero, 1 Thanostone Battle Card, 4 Other Battle Cards, 3 Battles to Win
- 2 Starting Heroes: 2 Thanostones or 2 Additional Heroes, 2 Thanostone Battle Cards, 7 Other Battle Cards, 5 Battles to Win
- 3 Starting Heroes: 3 Thanostones or 3 Additional Heroes, 3 Thanostone Battle Cards, 10 Other Battle Cards, 7 Battles to Win
- 4 Starting Heroes: 4 Thanostones or 4 Additional Heroes, 4 Thanostone Battle Cards, 13 Other Battle Cards, 9 Battles to Win
- 5 Starting Heroes: 5 Thanostones or 5 Additional Heroes, 5 Thanostone Battle Cards, 16 Other Battle Cards, 11 Battles to Win
Step 2: Each Player selects their Starting Hero and takes the matching Hero Card.
Step 3: Shuffle your Thanostone Battle Cards in with your Other Battle Cards and place them facedown in a stack.
Step 4: Place the Thanostones (or additional heroes) with their Mystery Cards (or Hero Cards), the Danger Tokens, the Armor Tokens, Attack Die, and Danger Coin Nearby. If any Heroes need an Armor Token, place those Armor Tokens on them at this time.
The nice thing about this game is that the actual gameplay is pretty straightforward. You can still add any of the expansions from previous series, and adding multiple expansions usually doesn’t bog the game down or make it feel too complex.
Step 1: All Active Hero Cards are flipped color side up. Draw a Battle Card for each Active Hero and place them in front of the players creating the Battleworld. Whenever a new Battle Card is played, it must touch the edge of a Battle Card already in the Battleworld.
Step 2: Active Heroes can Attack in any order but each Active Hero only attacks once per turn. The Hero Mover is placed on any Active Battle Card. An Active Hero does not have to move, but more than one Hero can be on the same Battle Card. Each Battle Card has a number your Hero must match or beat to win, as well as symbols for Attack Types that can be used. Roll your die and then choose an Attack Type from the Battle and add your Hero’s bonus (indicated on the Hero Card) to your roll. Rolling a star always succeeds, while a Thanos face always misses. If your Attack hits, place your Hero on the first blue space at the bottom of the Battle Card (the Hit Track). If your Hero is on the last Hit Track space then the battle is won and the Card is flipped over. If you miss, place a Danger Token on the first red space at the top of the Battle Card (The Danger Track). If your Danger Token reaches the last red space, you have lost. Flip the Battle Card over and place the Danger Token on top of it to indicate a lost Battle. Once you have marked the outcome of the Attack, flip the Hero Card to the black and white side to indicate that Hero is done for this turn.
Step 3: After all the Heroes have attacked, check to see if Danger advances on some Battles. To do this flip the Danger Coin (it has a Moon side and a Sun side). Next, see the result and look for any Active Battle Cards with that symbol on them. A Danger Token is placed on the next open Danger Track space for any Battle that has a symbol that matches the flip result.
Thanostone Battles: After winning a Thanostone Battle, you may claim an open a Thanostone. Place the rescued Hero on any Battle and add the matching Hero Card to your Active Heroes. If you are using a new Thanostone, the number on the stone will match the number of the Mystery Bag with the right card. If you have no new Thanostones, you can select a Hero from your collection or draw a surprise Hero from a reusable Thanostone if you have one of those. This new Active Hero can be played immediately or later in the turn.
Armor Tokens: These are the new addition, but really aren’t too complicated. The 10+ Side makes a Villain harder to attack because that 10+ is the new Attack Target Number. When a Hero is placed on the Battle’s Hit Track, the Armor breaks and the Armor Token is removed making the new Attack Target Number easier. The +3 Side is for Heroes. If a Hero Card says Heroes are Armored, they start with an Armor Token. A Hero can have any number of Armor Tokens. On an attack, a Hero can use an Armor Attack by adding that +3 to the highest relevant attack. No matter the outcome of that Attack, they must discard the Armor Token after it was used in an Armored Attack.
Game End: This is a cooperative-style game, so everyone playing wins or loses together. The Players lose the game if they lose 3 Battles. The Players win if they, before losing a total of 3 Battles, win the number of Battles determined by the number of Starting Heroes they selected.
Why You Should Play Marvel Battleworld: Ultimate Armory
My overall argument for playing is that it is simple but fun and still keeps a strategic component to gameplay.
The components are well done and any kid who loves Marvel characters will easily find recognizable characters among the Hero Movers (and some quirky variations too). The artwork is fun and still makes the information easy to find and understand.
Gameplay is so quick to start and can easily be taught while playing. The cooperative nature makes it easier to bring in younger players, and it’s nice to have something where the boys are a team and the oldest isn’t just out strategizing his brother all of the time. Dice rolls will always leave a certain luck aspect to the game, but learning how to use each Hero’s unique powers to their advantage is a lot of fun and gives a nice sense of strategy without being overwhelming. It’s extra fun to see younger kids “get it” when they realize how their Hero is best played.
You can get started by just buying a Battle Ball, but I do recommend the Mega Pack in order to include more players and have a better variety of Heroes to choose from. Either will give you all of the pieces you need to play the game. I will note that the kids do get excited to get new Battle Balls and see what new heroes they can add to their collection. Right now, Target has the Series 3 Battle Ball and Mega Pack available to purchase. Older items are still available through several places including the Funko Games Store if you find yourself simply wanting to add more.