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Subject: Holy Fiddly Pieces Batman!! rss

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David Lyerly
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As a kid, I can remember daydreaming about what super power I’d choose if I could have just one. Would it be flight? Shooting stuff from my hands? Super strength? Telekinesis? I think I might freeze up if ever pressed with having to make such a tough decision. Thankfully in this game, you don’t have to.

One of the great things about Sentinels of the Multiverse is the variety of choices. The core game comes with 10 heroes that are all quite unique. I won’t go into too much detail on each hero as they are well documented in the other reviews. I will say however that I was surprised by how much I grew to enjoy them. Let me clarify. Many of the reviews focus on the fact that each hero in this ‘universe’ is directly comparable to one from the DC or Marvel cannon. For example, Wraith does indeed share some traits with Batman and her backstory is quite similar. She doesn’t feel like a knockoff though. If anything, her character design is an homage with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Once you actually get into the game, you see the characters as themselves. The way they play, how well they team up with others, and their specific strengths in battle are all uniquely their own. You wind up developing a relationship with each character based on previous battles. This is where the game succeeded for me. This is where the replay-ability factor shines.

The villains can seem a little overwhelming. Even the ones that are given a ’1′ complexity rating can wipe the floor with your team given the right circumstances. If that’s not enough, the Environments can be even more daunting. ‘Wagner Mars Base’ had our team of heroes clenching our collective butt cheeks every time we flipped a card from that deck.

It’s not all roses though. It’s important to point out one major quibble. At various points of the game, the number of moving parts and modifiers in play can be quite easy to lose track of. Each and every card in play can (and will) interact with each action in each phase. After a few rounds, the modifiers and elements to keep track of can pile up. The modifier markers can help tremendously, but it’s super (pardon the pun) easy to miss one. We did have to backtrack a few times after discovering we’d miscalculated or omitted a card with a rather obscure effect we’d forgotten about. I’m betting as our familiarity with the game increases, these occurrences will be less frequent. These issues won’t keep me from recommending the game, but it might not be for everyone in your gaming group.

In summation, the theme is fantastic, and you can really get caught up in the struggle of taking down the big baddies. If you can deal with all the juggling, knocking down a 100(HP) villain can be a uniquely rewarding experience.
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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Berrien Springs
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I could not agree more. They came out with tokens to make things easier, but I don't think it does a good enough job. I also wish that they cleaned up the language when they revised the game. It seems like they have multiple ways of saying the same thing or things that sound very similar to one another which can lead to some confusion.

I like the game by the way. These are just things I don't like about the game.
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Ian Allen
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Madison
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I agree with you guys.

I like playing it, but I don't like keeping up with all the fiddly stuff.
I sold my set off with all the promos and everything, but I'll still play it if my buddy wants to set it out and keep track of everything.
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Edna Lindebury
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Truro
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"I don't flirt. I just say what I want." -JJ
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"Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass." -Cordelia
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glookose wrote:
I agree with you guys.

I like playing it, but I don't like keeping up with all the fiddly stuff.
I sold my set off with all the promos and everything, but I'll still play it if my buddy wants to set it out and keep track of everything.


It's funny but I am generally the same way with fiddly-ness, but with Sentinels I don't have a problem. I think it might be because it's co-op so if I'm unsure on how to resolve something, the whole table just agrees on what sounds right and we move on. In competitive games, I'm more inclined to find the answer out right then and there to be fair to everyone.
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Marc Maier
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Darien
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There is an excellent iPad app (Sentinels Sidekick) which makes a lot of the bookkeeping much easier. It handles all the expansions, with villains, environments and heroes, tracking all the various sorts of targets.

Just prop the iPad up at the end of the table where everyone can see and be sure to note changes. It's mainly for tracking hit points, but this alone keeps the table clutter down. Still fiddly in that you have to keep noting changes, but it's much quicker than shifting tokens about. I only play with the app now, and games are smoother.
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Josh
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While respecting other folks opinions on the matter I've never understood why people seem to feel Sentinels if 'Fiddley.' Maybe it comes form the audience the theme appeals to, but when compared to even middleweight euros I enjoy I find the tracking and upkeep in Sentinels is a breeze. The cards and rules are almost always strikingly clear, so much so that most of the problems seem to arise from people instinctively trying to parse the 'intent' of the cards, rather than taking them at face value. I think this may be a holdover from other, less clear, games ^^

Just my H+1 cents.
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Jeff Pratt
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Anacortes
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Just admit it already, Small World is not a fantasy wargame...it's a Mancala variant!
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Nah...I disagree, it's fiddly. I am a long time TCG guy and even I get overwhelmed occasionally, especially with certain villain/location combos. The Ennead comes to mind, as you can end up having to chain through 6 or 7 cards effects each time you flip a villain card. It's not impossible and doesn't stop me from enjoying the game, but others in my group have been less appreciative of walking through card by card and seeing what triggers every turn.
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