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I've played a couple games of Crisis Mode from the Crisis Expansion (Pack 1) of the DC Comics Deck-Building Game with one, two, and three players. While we like the cooperative mode of it (it always seemed weird in the base game that the heroes were competing against each other), the biggest issue we have is that the game takes so long. While the base game takes about 45 minutes, the Crisis Mode has never taken less than 2 hours (and once almost made it to 3 hours).

The main reason it takes so long of course is that we have to go through so many villains and their crisis events. If we reduce the number of those, then the game would be faster but would be easier because it means you're less likely to run out of the deck cards. So I'm not sure that this is feasible.

What houserules can we employ to make Crisis Mode take an hour or less without reducing difficulty?

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I know that this is an old question, but how about this suggestion?

The main complaint that I am reading here is that the crisis and villain stacks are too large for a normal paced game. How about cutting all stacks in half, or maybe just the crisis, villain, and main deck in half?

In a normal game (non Crisis), we do not see every card in the main deck. By the time we are about half way through the deck, someone has culled their deck enough to kill the super villain every or every other turn.

For Crisis, if you simply remove half of the main deck after shuffling, and half of the rest of the cards, then the game should be just a difficult, but will be faster.

When we do Crisis, it is a lot of luck. If we get stuck with something that requires everyone to destroy a defense or attack card at the same time, then we could go through half of the deck before we see another defense card. Then we need to wait for the player without one to get enough power to purchase it. Then we need to wait for that player to go through their deck and draw it. Removing half of the deck would not reduce this luck factor, and could help speed up the clock for those games where you just had bad luck with the randomizing of Crisis cards.

  • No worries about this being an old question; new answers are always appreciated if the existing answers are inadequate! Do you do anything to deal with the fact that splitting the main deck in half may prevent you from including cards that are necessary to defeat crisis cards? I could see this being a problem with, for instance, Final Countdown requires you to discard cards with costs 1-7. But if you don't have any 7 cost cards in your half of the deck, it can't be completed. Same with if there are three times more Villains than Heroes, and you get the crisis that requires Heroes to beat. – Thunderforge Jan 11 '17 at 16:11
  • We would chalk that up to bad luck. We get stuck on so many of the Crisis cards anyway with a full deck, that failing 1 time because of this wouldn't matter to us. We have run through half of our full deck on 1 crisis many times. Those situations ultimately result in us losing, anyway. – smckitrick Jan 11 '17 at 16:22
  • Okay, thanks. I didn't know if you tried to do something like building the deck while ensuring there were X random Villains, Y random Heroes, etc. – Thunderforge Jan 11 '17 at 16:36
  • We have done that with other variations and crossovers. But, not with Crisis. When combining 2 main sets, we would shuffle each type together and take half of each combined type to form our main deck. Or, we would set all of them in their own stacks, go around the table, and have each player pick which set they wanted a given type from (Heroes from heroes, Villains from base, Equipment from base, Super Powers from heroes, Locations from base). That gives some nice variety, and if using a deck with high combo potential, allows each user to either enhance or diminish that potential. – smckitrick Jan 11 '17 at 16:46
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One thing that my friends and I do is take out cards that we don't like. When you have multiple sets combined, chances are that nobody will like seeing a Martian Manhunter or Suicide Squad. Edit the deck to take out cards that nobody wants to buy, so that people are always getting what they want.

After you edit the main deck, you can also play with a house rule for people to destroy a card from the main deck while in the line-up instead of gaining it. That way, later in the game when you want to be buying 5+ cost cards, you can just get rid of the lower cost cards and move on.

  • I think that paying to destroy a card rather than gain it would make a Crisis game more difficult, since you're going through the main deck faster, which is your countdown clock. Also, I don't think that Crisis is intended to be used with multiple sets like you say. I always thought it was either the base game or Heroes Unite and one of the Crisis expansions, since otherwise you have too many cards in your countdown deck. – Thunderforge Aug 10 '15 at 20:04
  • You can also choose to not destroy it. It doesn't strictly make the game more difficult. I feel that it just gives you more options without making the game too easy. – Andrew Aug 10 '15 at 20:06
  • The question was asking about how to make the game go faster, and I don't think that this answer really addresses that. I'm not looking for more options, I'm looking for a faster game. I'm afraid I'm going to have to downvote the answer. – Thunderforge Aug 10 '15 at 22:12

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