In Marvel United, 2 to 4 players take the role of Heroes working together to thwart the master plan of a Villain. You'll build a Storyline by drawing the Villain's cards and playing your own Hero cards to counter the Villain's schemes.
Your cards allow you to move your Hero around, rescue Civilians, defeat Thugs, clear Threats, and use your Hero's unigue powers. Choose cards carefully, as Heroes can unite their abilities to act as the perfect team. Meanwhile, the Villain will roam the city, weaving their plan, spreading chaos, deploying Henchmen, and attacking the Heroes.
Only after accomplishing the necessary Missions will the Heroes be ready to directly attack the Villain and take them down for good!
- 10 Miniatures
- 8 Location cards
- 3 Mission cards
- 1 mission guide
- 3 villain Dashboards
- 18 Threat cards
- 3 Challenge Cards
- 84 Hero Cards
- 36 Master plan Cards
- 36 Thug/Civilian tokens
- 6 Threat
- 4 invulnerable tokens
- 57 Action tokens
- 35 Health tokens
- 18 crisis tokens
- 1 Villain Tracker
1 Place the Mission Guide at the center of the table and the 3 Mission Cards on the slots at its bottom (in any order). 2 Choose a Villain to face and place its Villain Dashboard on the slot at the top of the Mission Guide (we recommend new players start with Red Skull). The Villain Dashboard indicates how much Health the Villain has, depending on the number of Heroes.
Place that number of Health tokens on the Dashboard. If the Villain Dashboard has a track, place the Villain Tracker on its "0" space.
Example: In a 4-player game, Red Skull starts with a pile of 11 Health tokens.
3 Randomly pick 6 Locations and place them around the Mission Guide. Fill any marked slots of each Location with either Civilian or Thug tokens, as indicated. 4 Shuffle the Villain's Threat cards and place 1 face-up on the slots at the bottom of each Location (covering the 'End of Turn' effect), adding a Threat token to the slots next to them.
Some Threat cards contain Henchmen, characters in the service of the Villain. Each of their cards indicates the number of Health tokens that should be placed on them.
Example: Crossbones always enters the game with 6 Health tokens.
5 Place all remaining tokens, separated into pools, within reach of all players. 6 Take the Villain's Master Plan deck, shuffle it, and place it facedown next to a random Location. Then, place the Villain's game piece in that Location. 7| Each player chooses a Hero and places their game piece on the Location opposite of the Villain. Then, each player shuffles their corresponding Hero deck and places it facedown next to them. 8 Each player draws 3 cards from the top of their deck into their hand. You are now ready to start with the first Villain turn!
Important: All players should familiarize themselves with the text on the Viliam Dashboard and all 6 Threat cards, as they will inform the particulars of the game being played.
Object of the Game
HEROES WIN if they defeat the Villain. To be able to damage the Villain, Heroes must first accomplish at least 2 of the 3 available Missions.
HEROES LOSE if the Villain completes their master plan. This happens if any of these conditions are met:
The Villain achieves the conditions of the Villainous Plot stated on their Dashboard (if they have one).
The Villain must draw a Master Plan card, but their deck is empty.
Any Hero starts their turn with no cards both in their deck and in their hand.
The game always starts with the Villain taking their turn. Draw the top card from the Master Plan deck and place it faceup on the table. This is the start of the Storyline that will guide the entire game.
Each Master Plan card played will have different elements that must be executed in order, from top to bottom, one after the other.
Move the Villain clockwise (unless otherwise indicated) a number of Locations equal to the number shown on the card.
If there is a Threat card with the symbol in the Location where the Villain ends their movement (even if the movement was zero), immediately resolve the effect described on that Threat card.
Example: Red Skull moves 2 Locations clockwise, triggering the Threat effect at his destination.
Activate the effect detailed on the Villain Dashboard, as well as any effects shown on Threat cards. These effects complicate the Heroes' lives in all sorts of different ways, often dealing damage to them.
Add the indicated number of Thug and/or Civilian tokens on the Villain's Location and those around it.
The central Location on the card represents where the Villain is, with the two adjacent Locations to either side.
Go in clockwise order adding the tokens to the Locations. At each Location, first place the required Thug tokens, then the required Civilian tokens. If there are not enough empty slots available at a Location, check the Overflow effect on the Villain Dashboard to see what happens.
Example: Going in clockwise order, the first Location gets a Thug
1, then a Civilian 2. Then Red Skull's Location gets a Thug 3. Finally, the last Location gets a Thug 4. As there's no empty slot to place the remaining Civilian 5, the Villain's Overflow effect is triggered once 6.
If the Master Plan card has a Special Effect described on it, resolve it last (if possible).
Once the Master Plan card is fully resolved, it's time for the Heroes to act!
Players collectively choose which Hero will start the game. Then, they will take their turns in clockwise order until the end of the game.
During their turn, players follow these steps in order:
- Draw A Card
- Play A Card
- Resolve Actions
- Location Effect
1. Draw a Card
The active player draws the top card from their Hero deck into their hand. If their Hero was KO'd, they draw up to 4 cards instead (see "KO" on page 10).
Note: There is no limit to the number of cards a player may have in their hand. If their deck runs out, the player simply doesn't draw a card.
2. Play a Card
The active player chooses a Hero card from their hand and adds it to the end of the Storyline, to the right of the last card played.
3. Resolve Actions
Look at the symbols at the bottom part of the Hero card just played AND at the bottom of the previous Hero card in the Storyline (even if they are separated by a Master Plan card): each of these symbols corresponds to an action the Hero can perform this turn, in any order (the first player in the game does not benefit from the actions of another Hero's card, as there are no other Hero cards in the Storyline yet).
Keep in mind that when Heroes unite their efforts, they only benefit from the symbols at the bottom of the other Hero's card, not from any special effects or extra symbols shown above that.
Example 1: Captain America plays his card. Combined with Black Widow's symbols, this turn he can perform 1 Attack, 2 Moves, and 1 Heroic Action, in any order.
Example 2: Captain Marvel plays her card. Besides her 2 Heroic Actions, she can also perform the Move action from Iron Man's card. She cannot use Iron Man's special effect.
The active player may perform the following actions, once per symbol available to them, in any order they like:
Move the Hero to an adjacent Location, in any direction.
Deal 1 damage to an enemy of your choice in the active Hero's Location.
If attacking a Thug, it is eliminated upon receiving 1 damage (unless a Threat card in its Location says otherwise). See "Defeat Thugs" on page 9 to learn what to do with defeated Thugs.
If attacking a Henchman on a Threat card, remove 1 Health token from the card for each damage dealt. See "Clear Threats" on page 9 to learn what to do with defeated Henchmen.
Only after resolving 2 Missions, Heroes can attack the Villain directly. Remove 1 Health token from the Villain Dashboard for each damage dealt. See "Completing Missions" on page 10 to learn about defeating the Villain.
This can be used to do one of two things:
Rescue 1 Civilian in the active Hero's Location. See "Rescue Civilians" on page 9 to learn what to do with rescued Civilians.
Place a Heroic Action token on an empty slot of the Threat card in the active Hero's Location in order to clear that Threat. See "Clear Threats" on page 9 to learn what to do with cleared Threats.
This can be used to perform either a action.
In each Hero deck, there are a few cards with a Special Effect described in a box above the regular action symbols.
The active Hero may apply the listed effect before or after any other of their actions. Remember that these Special Effects cannot be performed by other Heroes.
If the active Hero has any Action tokens in their possession (Move, Attack, Heroic Action, or Wild), they may spend them at any point during this step to perform the corresponding action. Note that when a Hero gets an Action token, they may hold on to them and spend them during any future turn.
4. Location Effect
If the Location where the active Hero ends their turn has no Threat card on it, the player may choose to apply the End of Turn effect detailed at the bottom of the Location. Each turn, a Hero can only use a single Location Effect.
Example: Captain Marvel ends her turn on the Helicarrier, where there's no Threat covering the End of Turn effect. She decides to use it and moves to another Location (she won't be able to use that Location's effect as well this turn).
Once the active player has completed all the steps of their turn, the next player in clockwise order becomes the active player, performing their turn
Each time 3 Hero cards have been added to the Storyline, a new Master Plan card is drawn from the deck, added to the end of the Storyline, and resolved. The next player then takes their turn.
Play continues in this fashion until players complete their first Mission, at which point the Villain becomes Under Pressure and starts adding a Master Plan card to the Storyline after every TWO Hero cards.
The game proceeds this way until either the players defeat the Villain or the Villain completes their master plan.
Completing Missions is a crucial step in the Heroes' road to victory. Every game has 3 Missions available for the Heroes to tackle. They can be completed in any order.
Endangered Civilians are always in need of rescuing. If a Location can't hold any more of them, the Villain's 6).
Whenever a Civilian is rescued, take its token and place it on an empty slot of the "Rescue Civilians" Mission card (if possible. Otherwise discard it).
Thugs are always threatening to dominate Locations, triggering the Villain's Overflow effect if the Location can't hold any more.
Whenever a Thug is defeated, take its token and place it on an empty slot of the "Defeat Thugs" Mission card (if possible. Otherwise discard it).
Important: If an effect "discards" a Civilian or Thug token, it is returned to the pool, not placed on a Mission card.
The Threat cards that the Villain places on the Locations, covering their End of Turn effect, may have all sorts of different effects, from constant effects at that Location or the entire game, to effects triggered by a Master Plan's BAM!, to effects triggered by the Villain's presence.
When it comes to clearing them, Threats are divided into two basic types:
Henchmen: To clear this Threat, Heroes must defeat them, removing all of their Health tokens.
Other: All other Threats are cleared by placing 3 Heroic Action tokens on its slots (see "Heroic Action" on page 8). Note that some Threats may display other types of actions that must be spent.
Once a Threat has been cleared, remove its card, returning any tokens on it to the pool. The Threat has no effect anymore and its Location's End of Turn effect can now be used by the Heroes.
Take the Threat token located next to it and place it on an empty slot of the "Clear Threats" Mission card (if possible. Otherwise discard it).
Note: After their respective Missions have been completed, rescuing Civilians, defeating Thugs, and clearing Threats does not advance the game. However, doing so still helps the players avoid Overflow effects and gain benefits from more Locations.
Remember that Missions can be completed in any order. Once all slots of a Mission card are filled, the Mission is complete!
Remove its card from the game, returning its tokens to the pool. If necessary, move the remaining Missions to the right so that the leftmost slots are left empty, unlocking the effects listed above them.
Once the first Mission is complete, the Villain becomes Under Pressure and starts playing Master Plan cards after every 2 Hero cards, instead of after every 3 cards.
Once the second Mission is complete, the Heroes are able to damage the Villain directly. Once all Health tokens are removed from the Villain Dashboard, the Villain is defeated and the Heroes win the game!
Players don't have to complete the third Mission, but doing so allows all players to immediately draw 1 card from their deck into their hand.
Heroes usually take damage when attacked by the Villain or Henchmen due to activated BAM! effects. For each damage a Hero takes, they must discard 1 card from their hand, placing it at the bottom of their deck.
If a Hero discards the last card from their hand, they are immediately KO'd. Lay down that Hero's game piece to indicate that it must be ignored by all game effects, both negative and positive.
Then, immediately resolve the BAM! effect on the Villain Dashboard (this could cause another Hero to be KO'd, creating a chain reaction). At the start of that Hero's next turn, their piece is placed back upright. During the Draw Card step, the player draws up to 4 cards from their deck.
Note: If a Hero plays their last card during their turn, they get to perform their full turn before being KO'd.
If you want, you can add Challenges to your game in order to up the difficulty and introduce new twists. Below, you can see the 3 basic Challenges included in this set.
Other expansions will provide you with additional Challenges that you can freely add and combine. Challenge cards are provided to help you easily choose and remember the Challenges in play.
Moderate Challenge: Each player removes the card from their Hero deck.
Hard challenge: Each player removes the card from their Hero deck.
Heroic challenge: Each player removes both the and cards from their Hero deck.
Invulnerable: If a Hero card states that the Hero cannot take any damage until their next turn, place an Invulnerable token on the Hero as a reminder, removing it at start of their next turn.
Crisis: Crisis tokens are used by certain Villains to represent their various nefarious influences.
Simply use them as described by the texts on the cards and dashboards. Some of them will tell you how Crisis enters play, and others what adverse effect it causes.
Breaking Ties: If there are ever events or effects whose conditions are tied, the players decide how they should be resolved.
Unlimited Tokens: The supply of tokens is considered to be unlimited. If for any reason a specific token runs out, players may use anything as replacements.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Solo Mode
Marvel United may also be played by a single player. In this special mode, they act as S.H.I.E.L.D., coordinating the efforts of multiple Heroes at once. The Solo Mode uses all the same rules as the regular game, with the following exceptions:
Choose 3 Heroes and shuffle their decks together to create your Hero deck. The different card backs do not affect the game (you can use this information to your advantage).
If you wish to do so, you may only add Challenges that support single-player games.
During setup, draw 5 cards into your hand instead of 3.
Turns are resolved in the normal sequence, with you playing every Hero turn.
Each turn, you may play the card of any Hero in your hand, even if it's the same Hero as the last card played. You always benefit normally from the symbols on the previously played card (but not from their Special Effect, even if it's the same Hero).
The Hero whose card you played is considered the active Hero that turn.
Any effect that refers to "another player" refers to "you".
Any effect that refers to "you" refers to the specific Hero in guestion, except when concerning your Action tokens (which can be used by any Hero) or your hand of cards, which belong to the player.
If you are ever KO'd, you immediately lose.