Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared adds three new villains to the popular Disney-themed tabletop game, giving players new challenges to overcome as they strive to prove that they're the wickedest villain in all the land. Last year, Ravensburger released Villainous, an asymmetric tabletop game in which players controlled a famous Disney villain as they raced to complete a unique objective before other players. Villainous is unique in that players mostly act independently of each other, with each player having their own board and deck of cards. With the exception of players using a Fate action to unleash a hero or another negative effect on a rival, players don't interact at all, so Villainous is usually a race to see who can successfully implement their strategy first.
Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared is the newest expansion for Villainous and adds three new villains to the Disney game - Scar from The Lion King, Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective, and Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove. While the three villains each have unique objectives, they all have a common theme - players need to manipulate their Fate decks to defeat one or more Heroes in order to win.
Ratigan is probably the most straightforward of the three villains and also the most dangerous, as he has two ways to win the game. His primary objective is to start his turn with the Robot Queen at Buckingham Palace. The Robot Queen is an Item card that costs a whopping 15 Power to play, but Ratigan has several cards that reduces the cost of Items, so players can get the Robot Queen onto their board and start moving it towards Buckingham Palace. If a rival player manages to discard the Robot Queen from the Ratigan's realm, Ratigan's objective immediately changes - instead of getting an Item to a specific location, he simply needs to defeat Basil, a hero with 6 Strength. Ratigan has a LOT of cards than can be used to defeat heroes, so loading him up with Fate cards isn't necessarily an easy path to victory. One thing to keep in mind with Ratigan is that the Ratigan player can only switch objectives if the Robot Queen is disposed from their realm - they can't switch objectives simply by disposing Ratigan from their hand.
Scar's objective is a bit more complex - he must start his turn with at least 15 Strength in his Succession pile. The Succession pile is made up of heroes that Scar has defeated during the game, but the Succession pile isn't created until Scar defeats Mufasa. So - Scar's objective is to get Mufasa on the board, defeat him, and then start defeating other heroes as quickly as possible. Like Ratigan, using Fate on Scar is a risky maneuver - while Heroes hinder Scar's actions, they're also ultimately the key to his victory. Scar also has a lot of cards in his deck to manage his Fate deck, including cards that allow him to quickly cycle through his own Fate deck and cards that allow him to play cards from his Fate discard pile. Scar's Hyenas also provide buffs to each other, so if Scar can get his Allies onto the board, he could quickly become unstoppable.
Yzma is probably the most complex Villain in Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared. Unlike other Villains, Yzma has four Fate decks, each of which are located at one of her Realm's locations. Yzma needs to find Kuzco (who is hidden in one of the Fate decks) and then use Kronk to defeat him. While Kronk is one of the most powerful Ally cards in the game (as he has 6 Strength and isn't discarded when used to defeat a hero), he can become a Hero if moved to another location 3 or more times. So, while Yzma needs Kronk on the board, she should only play him once Kuzco is on the board and can be cornered. Yzma is probably the most difficult Villain in Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared and should only be played by someone who has a firm understanding of how the game works.
One thing that I liked about Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared is that it adds a risk factor to using Fate on an opponent. All three Villains in Evil Comes Prepared needs certain cards from the Fate deck to appear, so players risk helping their opponents whenever they use a Fate action. The Villains also have their own balancing acts to maintain, since most need to manipulate their Fate decks in order to complete their objectives. Each Villain also comes with a differing learning curve, with Ratigan perfect for players who have never played Villainous before, Scar for players who can either quickly pick up the game or have played a few times, and Yzma for veteran Villainous players.
Villainous remains a great gateway game that can easily be brought into any gaming group. The game is a great way to learn about deck manipulation and asymmetric games, and it has enough strategy to occupy even veteran board game players. Plus, Evil Comes Prepared can be played as a standalone game, so you don't even need to buy the other Villainous boxes if you only want to play as Scar, Ratigan, or Yzma.
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