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Disney Villainous: General Discussion and Strategy

Disney nerds, rejoice! There has finally been a Disney-themed game that’s actually pretty good!

Disney Villainous. The components look delicious, the play is asymmetrical, yet keeps you involved in other players turns, it’s strategic but with RNG that keeps you on your toes, and it’s good for 2-6 players (with expansion(s)). Also, almost every game I’ve played has come down to a hair’s breadth of tension as to who was going to win.

The art assets are amazing, I have to put this in here, too. It’s a beautiful game to have or display.

I like to play without going through my playable cards or the Fate cards to keep some surprise, but I’ve seen all of them by now. Please feel free to spoiler-text anything you think may be, well, a spoiler to a new player.

(I should also mention all are each stand-alone and combinable with the others)

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One of my favorite parts of this game is: you have to be a total D to the other players! It’s Disney themed, but it’s so cutthroat! I rarely like games where I have to be a total a-hole, but this makes me literally cackle sometimes (out loud) when I just screwed someone over.

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Seconded.

A great family game for all the family. Even the greater family if you want. No, actually I’m pretty sure it’s just 6 players, never mind.

Still, Disney has some pretty memorable villains and you get to pretend to be them! (Not actually required but highly recommended). Just remember to stop after the game.
Singing ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ and calling people ‘my dear, sweet child’ when you hand them a document really unnerves colleagues, apparently.

But what does HR know?

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I’ve been trying to play as King John (first set). It seems so simple, way simpler than any other character, start your turn with 20 power: win! But everything you want to do is so expensive. I can’t get his strategy to work.

The Evil Queen (first expansion), OK, she seems like a terrible choice, she has zero allies in her deck, you have this complicated poison-and-delivery mechanic, there’s a locked area in your realm, and you have to get a bit screwed over to use it to win. But daaam, it can work for a patient player.

Third expansion has Yzma and Scar. Scar is a bit OP, IMHO. If you don’t nail him down early and constantly, you can’t Fate him anymore, his Allies are expensive and initially weak, but powerful when combined, and Fating him when he has allies will just hand him the win. Yzma is a bit more subtle. She has only one Ally, who can be turned against you, and she gets kind of screwed if she gets Fated, but you get a lot of cards to reveal what’s in your decks and return your ally to your side.

They both have a mechanic (as does Hook and others) where a Fate, normally considered an attack against you, can help you win, so the other player(s) get defensive to make you lose through attrition, basically.

There’s some marrow, here!

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My copy should arrive today… and then I’ll learn all the evil ways of villains from this thread and I’ll be victoriously villaining it out over the other players (cackles madly)

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I think of Prince John as a sort of timer for the game. If he is included then eventually he’ll win if he just keeps hopping between the power locations. I know the heroes mitigate this a bit but if they don’t hammer his fate he can easily deal with them as there’s loads of allies in his deck. If a hero isn’t covering a power location then ignore it.

That’s the spirit! Mwuhahaha!

It’s not the best game ever but it’s dripping with theme and that ticks my box. Enjoy!

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I want to love Villainous. It is so very pretty and my entire family is major Disney fans so we can certainly quote all the movies and get all the jokes on the cards. The idea of the completely asymmetric design is just amazing. I buy every expansion as soon as I can and can’t wait to try all the new characters and see how their mechanics fit their personality and movie plot lines.

But… I have to admit I usually only maybe like the game when I actually play rather than think about it in theory. At lower player counts with the right players, it is a pretty good game with some really solid things going on in the actual game play. At higher player counts or with the wrong players, ones who do too much fating and never advance their own agendas, it can seriously drag. It has way more down time than warranted for the kind of game it is and sits on the table for longer than it should.

But… It is so pretty sitting on the table so does it really matter if it sits there too long? And the characters are just so much fun to figure out! And I always want to play it again to try out someone new, or to replay someone I lost badly with to see if I can figure out how to make them work this time, or to see how Villain X does against Villain Y who we’ve never matched up against each other before.

So do I love Villainous or not? If I were talking to a GAMER gamer, one who I knew their taste in games and they were heavy on flawless mechanics, I’d tell them it probably wasn’t their game. For someone else like me, someone who from where I’m sitting on my couch right now I can see a stuffed Donald Duck and Toby from the Great Mouse Detective plus a figurine of Figment dressed up as Hamlet (ignoring all the Star Wars and Marvel stuff since that doesn’t really count for this conversation), yeah, I’d tell someone like that to go for it no question.

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Oh. My. GOD. I am totally in this demographic.

I pulled up the roles from my BG Stats app.


Not enough plays for any real analysis but Queen of Hearts is the current champion in our group as the only one with 100% win rate and more than one win.

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Queen of Hearts has 100% win rate!? Blimey. So much luck involved with her and she’s pretty easy to shut down as she is forced to use her guards to deal with heroes. Kudos to your group.
Also poor Hades. Not played that expansion so dunno.

I agree with your analysis that the game can drag. It did with one of my 6 player games. That one we didn’t finish which was a shame (actually I think I was the queen of hearts that time and spent most of the time fire fighting an invasion of anthropomorphic animals and a blonde wearing blue).

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And I thought this would be a discussion about Disney taking over the streaming world or something like that :thinking:

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That’s the Villainous Disney discussion. You might be able to res the thread :joy:

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Those are very different stats than my group, but we’re also working with a small sample size of 3-5 players a session, once a week (unless we skip it for something else). What’s the app you’re using, I’ll see if we can plug in what we remember to get some numbers.

Oh, who am I kidding, I could do this on paper, or with a spreadsheet, but I didn’t get to where I am today by not being a lazy, lazy man.

I did like the bonus look at the authors and titles on your shelf. NERD! Who the heck has The Sculptor? (Adding to list of books I don’t have yet. YET.) I also saw the Figment books at EPCOT (or, now, it’s just called Epcot) but I was too broke from the tickets and lodging and food for “stuff” :cry:

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The app is Board Game Stats. I have the Deep Stats add on, but I don’t think you need that for what I showed here.

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I played a test game against myself tonight and while Maleficent worked out nicely and won… I completely failed with Prince John… how is he supposed to get rich if his cards are so expensive?

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I got this for my step-daughter for her 18th and played our first game last Friday to mostly positive results. It was a 3 player game between myself (Jafar), my wife (Prince John) and the aforementioned step-daughter (Queen of Hearts) with my wife being the eventual winner with me a close-ish 2nd.
I liked the production quality and some of the mechanics but it feels like its way too easy to dog-pile an opponent into oblivion. Case in point for about 3 rounds straight I was fated by both opponents, which drastically affected my economy. The mechanics seemed geared towards situations where a player might actually want heroes to appear but in my case, said hero was already out but was going to take me 6 turns of going between locations to amass enough power to do anything.
I’m a pretty chill guy and accept that if it’s in the game, it’s fair & allowed but I could see someone else getting REALLY frustrated in that situation.

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This game can really screw you, but you can still look back and see where you went wrong. The RNG and strat elements seem well balanced. And for every time I’ve heard “X character is OP,” there has been an opposite opinion, which I think is really interesting for a licensed thematic game. The dev did some balancing and playtesting here, when they could have released any old piece of crap and still made bank.


Thanks for the link, @brattyjedi, I feel like a bad nerd for not knowing about it sooner.


@Yashima You can win with John, I know you can. I think a lot of it is getting allies early and fating opponents, and also I think @Gungeon has the right idea above. I mean, I haven’t been able to do it yet, but that doesn’t mean I won’t next time.


Good step-parenting, @simian, getting an 18 year old a game instead of a party bus :clap::clap::clap:

Steamrolling one of the opponents is a valid and accepted technique, it usually means the other players see you as the main threat. This is the main reason I lose most of my PvP games, the other players say to each other, “OK, we take out Justin first.”

It’s really kind of a compliment!
(as I try to convince myself in my head, “They are trying to kill you out of respect for your mad skills”).

But, yeah, there isn’t much of a catch-up mechanic if you get ganged up on. There’s only the Fate token for larger games that keeps you from getting totally drowned from everyone Fating one player.

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In my experience in four or so games, it’s pretty easy to ignore heroes as the Queen of Hearts.

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I thought you get the fate token so you couldn’t be fated by opponents twice in a row, to stop this sort of thing?
In your case SIX times in a row is a hell of a battering!
No wonder you struggled! Well done for still managing a close second!

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Fair enough, I haven’t had that much experience playing her. I just remember enlarged heroes covering power and attack (can’t remember the icon name to initiate fights) so that I couldn’t get an economy going effectively until late. Maybe that’s the point.

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