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Subject: How much strategy in this game? rss

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Miles Stevenson
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I recently picked up Marvel Legendary and was highly disappointed. The Marvel game was incredibly random and I felt like I had very little opportunity to use anything more than very basic strategy (recruit more heroes that punch or heroes that buy heroes that punch, rinse, repeat). The card interactions weren't very intricate or interesting, and since the heroes that you have available to recruit were random combined with your deck being random, there was so much randomness in the game that it was hard for any real strategy to cut through all the entropy.

Can I get some opinions on how much strategy and card interaction there is in this game? I don't need it to be as deep as MtG, but if players can't get creative to make impressive card interactions or more interesting decisions, then I don't think this game would be for me. How random is it? Can I use strategy to compensate for the randomness or is this pretty much just playing "War" with a lot of rules?

Thanks.
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Warren Davis
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Tons. Of. Strategy.

The base game has 10 heroes. Each hero has their own deck, filled w/awesome combos.

Buy this game, then have fun figuring out a.) how each hero works and b.) which heroes work best against which villains & environments, each of which have their own decks.
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never played the others....but from what I can tell Sentinels is the one to get (which I own)

lots and lots of card interaction in Sentinels, to the point, some people complain

actual strategy??? well, that i really can't answer, you play the hand you are dealt, you take the strategy there
 
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Chris Garrett
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hermeticmage wrote:
Tons. Of. Strategy.


Every deck is played in it's own unique way. Your hoping for different types of cards to come up and deciding if you need to do some damage (and whom to damage) heal or do any number of things.

It's very simple to pick up and some heroes require a lot less strategy than others, but either way you do need to think before you play that card!
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Brian Blankstein
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Second Warren.

The heroes can also interact with each other in interesting ways. By way of example, some of the heroes depend on taking damage now in order to do big things later. So, you might find yourself hitting your friend instead of the villain.

So you can play the same lineup twice, just changing out one or two heroes, and have a totally different game. Or you can change everything and have a totallier (that's a word now) different game.
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Magic Pink
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hermeticmage wrote:
Tons. Of. Strategy.


Oh yeah. LOTS of tons. Heaps of lots even. It's a really good game.
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Paul DeStefano
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Tons of variety. Without a doubt.

Strategy? I would not classify this as a "strategy" game.



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Aditya C
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There is strategy and planning involved with certain decks (like my favorite, Absolute Zero). However, it still isn't a brain burner by any means. If you have played TCGs like MTG or YGO, you'll probably have a relatively easy time figuring out the optimal moves after a couple of games with for a specific hero.
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Jason Cookingham
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There isn't much strategy.

As you get to know the decks, you will know which is capable of... and you can try to plan for that, but most of the game is tactical choices.

There is quite a bit of card interaction. Cards interact with each other within each deck, and they will impact cards in other decks. A hero may have a card that is useless against one villain, but could be a game changer against another villain. The environments can (but don't always) greatly change the nature of the fight between heroes and villains.

Most decks have multiple cards, and the decks have strong themes. It is as random as deck shuffling can be, but I have rarely seen a game won or lost due to a bad shuffle.

It is much more than 'War' with lots of rules.
I like the game a lot. It is a fun and thematic, but it is not deep.

The video section has a lot entries. I'd recommend checking out some of them to see if you can get a feel for game play.

Good luck!

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Miles Stevenson
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I guess what I mean by strategy is the ability to maximize the card interactions in your hand to play a much more powerful turn.

A good example would be in Dominion I think. Where you get to a point where playing the cards in your hand in a certain order with the card interactions happening in a certain way will make a much more powerful and interesting turn, so you are constantly thinking about how to get the most out of how each card interacts and then play them in a certain order. Sometimes in Dominion your turn can be really long because you are chaining one card interaction off another, drawing more cards, picking another one to chain, etc. etc.

So I guess, does the order in which you play the cards affect how they interact to the point where you are trying to figure out which "combo" of plays would do the most damage or heal the most, or whatever you are trying to accomplish on your turn.

It sounds like the answer to that is yes. In which case I need to order this game.
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Paul DeStefano
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warfinger wrote:

So I guess, does the order in which you play the cards affect how they interact to the point where you are trying to figure out which "combo" of plays would do the most damage or heal the most, or whatever you are trying to accomplish on your turn.

It sounds like the answer to that is yes. In which case I need to order this game.


I have to say the answer is no.

You're only allowed to play one card a turn.
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Alison Mandible
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I played once on a relatively easy difficulty (I guess-- my friend said it was an intro villain) and it was dead boring.

I like deck-based games best when there's a "Johnny" element to the card combinations, and some risk to playing out your hand (I love Lookout in Dominion). I wasn't feeling either of those.

While this has stopped me, personally, from exploring the game farther, I'm not saying you shouldn't... but if you're worried about there being enough strategy, you might try starting with the harder villains (whoever those are) and more complex characters, and then scale back if that's too much. Cuz it's clearly possible for a simple Sentinels setup to be too simple to meet your criteria.
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warfinger wrote:
So I guess, does the order in which you play the cards affect how they interact to the point where you are trying to figure out which "combo" of plays would do the most damage or heal the most, or whatever you are trying to accomplish on your turn.


Yes and no. An individual player usually doesn't get to think about that stuff during a turn, but when you're collaborating and planning out the hero turns there is plenty of opportunities for this kind of planning.

"I can attack that enemy and then you can finish it off with your card and THEN use that power to that awesome thing"
"But if you do THIS instead of attacking the enemy THEN I can do this different awesome thing after you"
"Oooooh! Tough choices!"

's what I'm talking about.
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Paul DeStefano
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grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?
 
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Miles Stevenson
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Geosphere wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?


It's kind of a Magic the Gathering term. It means a deck that is really "tricky" which uses card interactions in strange ways that the designers might not have originally intended.

I dunno. I'm on the fence and have a feeling this game might not be for me. All the art and the flavor looks really cool. But it's starting to sound like a game where the more experienced player simply tells the other players which of their cards to play to get the most out of their turn. I think when it is the responsibility of the group to maximize the card interactions instead of the individual, the game just comes down to one player taking the lead and suggesting to everyone else how to play their hand. Even if the "best" player stops himself from doing that, the other players will inevitably start looking to the "best" player for suggestions/support.

 
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Bryan Graham
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I'll both agree and disagree with what many have said. I would personally describe the game as more tactical and less strategic. As far as what you're asking for (looking for cool combos), you won't see a lot of that on an individual player's turn, but you will see that over the course of several turns, and you will see it across a single iteration of all hero turns.

Basically, the tactics mainly come from synergizing between the various heroes. Some heroes (Absolute Zero and Argent Adept) have a lot more self-combo stuff, but mostly it's between heroes. Figuring out what the TEAM should do in a turn is very tactical. Figuring out what YOU should do in a turn is less so. Personally, I play it a lot solo, so it's very tactical for me.
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Bryan Graham
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warfinger wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?


It's kind of a Magic the Gathering term. It means a deck that is really "tricky" which uses card interactions in strange ways that the designers might not have originally intended.

I dunno. I'm on the fence and have a feeling this game might not be for me. All the art and the flavor looks really cool. But it's starting to sound like a game where the more experienced player simply tells the other players which of their cards to play to get the most out of their turn. I think when it is the responsibility of the group to maximize the card interactions instead of the individual, the game just comes down to one player taking the lead and suggesting to everyone else how to play their hand. Even if the "best" player stops himself from doing that, the other players will inevitably start looking to the "best" player for suggestions/support.


You're not wrong, but the "alpha player" problem isn't unique to Sentinels, and it'll be a problem for any co-op you try. Our group doesn't find it to be too much of a problem, but for many groups it is.
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Mike Hunnicutt
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cookinjr wrote:

Most decks have multiple cards, and the decks have strong themes. It is as random as deck shuffling can be, but I have rarely seen a game won or lost due to a bad shuffle.


Monday night, during a solo 3 hero game, I drew all four of Baron Blade's "Hasten Doom" cards in a row, one right after another(Each hero takes 2 toxic damage and Blade plays another card). I forget if I lost that game but that was amazing! My wife said I must not have shuffled the deck well but I've had this game about a year and have shuffled this deck many, many times.
It was totally fun, though.
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Aditya C
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Geosphere wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?


Johnny, Timmy, and Spike are the names given to three types of players. It is used as the basis for card design in MTG.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Broccoli wrote:
As far as what you're asking for (looking for cool combos), you won't see a lot of that on an individual player's turn, but you will see that over the course of several turns, and you will see it across a single iteration of all hero turns.


Agreed.

You will never get a "I play this to trigger my this and this to then redraw this, repeat three times to power this and win".

It is far more "You give me a +1, the villain gives -2, that environment is +1 as long as That guy has that out" and figuring all of the team effects for the best choice.
 
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Justin
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Caibre wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?


Johnny, Timmy, and Spike are the names given to three types of players. It is used as the basis for card design in MTG.


If you want to know more you can read about it here

http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtgcom/...
 
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Justin
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Broccoli wrote:
warfinger wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?


It's kind of a Magic the Gathering term. It means a deck that is really "tricky" which uses card interactions in strange ways that the designers might not have originally intended.

I dunno. I'm on the fence and have a feeling this game might not be for me. All the art and the flavor looks really cool. But it's starting to sound like a game where the more experienced player simply tells the other players which of their cards to play to get the most out of their turn. I think when it is the responsibility of the group to maximize the card interactions instead of the individual, the game just comes down to one player taking the lead and suggesting to everyone else how to play their hand. Even if the "best" player stops himself from doing that, the other players will inevitably start looking to the "best" player for suggestions/support.


You're not wrong, but the "alpha player" problem isn't unique to Sentinels, and it'll be a problem for any co-op you try. Our group doesn't find it to be too much of a problem, but for many groups it is.


The alpha player is mitigated by several things. One, everyone has their own hand that is not open information. Two, there is usually a lot going on and is very difficult for one person to keep track of.
Because of these things it usually becomes a group discussion on how best to proceed, not an Alpha player telling everyone what to do.
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Broccoli wrote:
warfinger wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?


It's kind of a Magic the Gathering term. It means a deck that is really "tricky" which uses card interactions in strange ways that the designers might not have originally intended.

I dunno. I'm on the fence and have a feeling this game might not be for me. All the art and the flavor looks really cool. But it's starting to sound like a game where the more experienced player simply tells the other players which of their cards to play to get the most out of their turn. I think when it is the responsibility of the group to maximize the card interactions instead of the individual, the game just comes down to one player taking the lead and suggesting to everyone else how to play their hand. Even if the "best" player stops himself from doing that, the other players will inevitably start looking to the "best" player for suggestions/support.


You're not wrong, but the "alpha player" problem isn't unique to Sentinels, and it'll be a problem for any co-op you try. Our group doesn't find it to be too much of a problem, but for many groups it is.
We don't have "alpha player" issues in our group (unless it is me?!?), but since players don't share their hand then this is less likely to be an issue than with other co-ops. Certainly there should be table talk in this game and one player may lead the rest, but ultimately players have to figure out which card to play from their hand each turn by themselves unless they ask for help.

It may come down to this. If you are looking for a deeply strategic game, you'll not find it here. The game is about reacting to what is happening at the moment.

If you like tactical games where you have to somehow deal with the hand you are dealt with against villain and environment cards that seem stacked against you then this might work for you. For me, figuring out how to maximize the use of a hero and interact and combine with the rest of your team of other heroes against particular villains is very gratifying. Playing the right card or power at the right time can have a powerful impact on the game.

For instance our first play with Tachyon had her play a bit part through must of the game building up to an unbelievable winning blow to win the game. We've had players with Absolute Zero completely confounded through half the game only to come out swinging in the second half.

The way the heroes match up with their deck immerses players into their roles like no other superhero game that I've played. The whole game plays out like a comic book where heroes often start out by not having a clue as to how to stop the villain while nearly dying in the first half before turning things around and coming together to scrape out a narrow victory.

This is all great fun for me, but try before buy if possible or try to find a play through video. I noticed there was a Vassal module for it that perhaps you can try (I haven't tried Vassal yet, so I'm not sure how that works).
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Aaron Bredon
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warfinger wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
grasa_total wrote:
a "Johnny" element to the card combinations


What does this mean?


It's kind of a Magic the Gathering term. It means a deck that is really "tricky" which uses card interactions in strange ways that the designers might not have originally intended.


There are a few 'Johnny' style decks - the most noticeable are Argent Adept (who can sometimes do 20 things in one turn), The Scholar, and Omnitron-X.

You can also sometimes have multi-player 'Johnny' effects (Fanatic plays End of Days, which normally destroys all cards on both sides before it goes away, but the first hero card it destroys is Unity's Bee Bot, which destroys End of Days before it can destroy any more hero cards.)

You will not usually have the standard co-op problem of one player deciding what to do - since hands are private, you wind up with a discussion on the lines of 'I can take out the Defense Platform if someone can damage it first' or 'I can take care of Channel the Eclipse, but we need to kill Citizen Anvil or he will bring back Citizen Hammer'
 
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Alison Mandible
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warfinger wrote:
It's kind of a Magic the Gathering term. It means a deck that is really "tricky" which uses card interactions in strange ways that the designers might not have originally intended.


Right (and sorry about the jargon). More broadly, it means that play feels 'creative', or feels like it expresses something about the person playing. Which sounds grandiose, I realize, but I think the distinction works. A game can have hard choices and interesting puzzles, but if my gut feeling is that there's one right answer, which expert players of different personalities would tend to agree on, it's less exciting to me.
 
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