What happens when you combine some of DC's biggest heroes and a siege game?  In this case you get Justice League: Axis of Villains, which fails to capture the spirit or uniqueness of the characters.

Players can be Batman, Superman, Green Lantern or the Flash.  They're on the Justice League Satellite, which is surrounded by eight sides.  Each hero has five Arch Villains.  If the players clear the board of all villains, they win!  If the villains destroy the four parts of the Satellite, the players lose.

Gameplay is very similar to Castle Panic.  Each turn a player rolls a 6-sided die (Control Die) and an 8-sided die (Number Die).  Some rolls move the villains on the section indicated on the Control Die one or two spaces closer to the Satellite.  (If a villain lands on a Hot Spot, they flip a Villain Card, which can do anything from bring defeated villains back to bringing out an Ultra Villain.)  Some put an Arch Villain into play at the section of the Control Die.  If a villain makes it to the Satellite, they destroy a section, and if all four sections are destroyed the game ends; if a Ultra Villain makes it to the Satellite the players lose immediately.  And if the JL symbol comes up, the players cam move their hero that many spaces -- usually to battle the villains!
Combat is pretty simple.   A hero can play a Power Card before combat to use a power or get an advantage.  Then the player rolls two 10-sided dice against their own Arch Villains, or one 10-sided die against another villain; if another hero is on the same space, they can roll dice as well.  If the dice results are higher than the villain's points, the heroes win and remove the villain from the board (plus get a Power card); if it's a tie, nothing happens; and if the results are less than the villain, the hero(es) get moved to the Satellite.

Justice League: Axis of Villains is disappointing.  The heroes' powers aren't that impressive (usually involving moving around the board), and since they need Power Cards to use, they can't be used that much.  The game doesn't even try to balance the difference in power between Batman's villains and the others (Superman has problems defeating Two-Face?  Really?) and it can be frustrating to roll the dice over and over and over before finally being able to move one's hero.  There are several good superhero-based games out there, but I can't add Justice League: Axis of Villains to that fun group.

Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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