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Dylan Bradshaw
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Here are my problems with the game not in any particular order:

1) Unbalanced - They say that this game works good with 1, 2 people. This is impossible unless those players play multiple heroes. The game is impossible to beat at the lower player counts. The rulebook does not give any indication of this. It would have been nice for it to say, "It is impossible to beat with only 2 heroes. Two players must play with two heroes each to win." You will have a horrible experience if you play with just two heroes and will surely die.

2) Lack of interesting Choices - The options on the cards are very basic.. Do I deal damage or do I heal? There is not much more to decide than this. Sure there are equipment cards and such but they do not add much depth to the choices being made in the game. The powers of the characters don't have much depth or strategic thought.

3) Repetition - The cards in the hero decks are to repetitive. There are really no "stand out" cards that you hope will come up because all of the them are so "ho-hum" average. These are the most average superheroes I've ever seen with the least extraordinary powers ever imagined.

If you've made it this far, you've probably realized that I recommend you spare yourself the trouble and DO NOT get this game. It is really an exercise in futility.

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Bern Harkins
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Hi, Dylan. Sorry you've had a bad time of it so far, but here are a few points.

First of all, you are correct that the rulebook really should mention that the number of heroes in a game is always 3-5, regardless of the number of players. I've been playing so long I'd completely forgotten this oversight, and it is a big one.

On lack of interesting choices, though, I have to disagree. Depending on the villain, many games begin with an extremely hostile setup for the heroes, and its a race to even the playing field before they run out of hit points. Damage and healing are both important in a combat game, but there are also deck management, ongoing control, damage types, resource management (cards), denial,and a score of special effects.

Concentrating wholly on damage will lose you most games. You have to know when to build and prepare,and which target you damage can be critically important in many situations.

Your third point just leaves me shaking my head. For any hero in any situation, there is a "golden card" I wish I could draw. It's just not always the same card; the game state is extremely dynamic. Furthermore, it is great fun when a ho-hum card goes *click* for you, and you realize, oh THIS is how you use that. I'm always finding clever new things to do with decks I THOUGHT I knew well.

So,although it is entirely possible that this game will never suit you, my advice would be to play more.The game is short, after all... and it grows much deeper with familiarity.Players remain passionate about it after years of play, because it really, truly is always showing us something new.

YMMV.
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N Burghardt
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Dylan,
Try this variant. It has worked great for us.

Always give the heroes four turns regardless of number of heroes. For example with two heroes this is the turn order:
Villain
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 1
Hero 2
Environment

For three heroes it is:
Villain
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 3
Hero 1
Environment
Villain
Hero 2
Hero 3
Hero 1
Hero 2
Environment
Villain
Hero 3
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 3
Environment

With five heroes one hero misses their turn each round, etc.

You'll find this scales much better. Fewer heroes have less overall health, but their abilities will ramp up more quickly. >4 heroes have more health but slower to build up.

The lack of interesting choices for you is a separate issue. I felt the same at first but realized after a few plays that our decisions were very impactful on success, so if we didn't play smart, we lost. I learned to enjoy it as a simple, but solid, coop that was tough to win without teamwork.
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Gamer D

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dylanbradshaw wrote:
Here are my problems with the game not in any particular order:

1) Unbalanced - They say that this game works good with 1, 2 people. This is impossible unless those players play multiple heroes. The game is impossible to beat at the lower player counts. The rulebook does not give any indication of this. It would have been nice for it to say, "It is impossible to beat with only 2 heroes. Two players must play with two heroes each to win." ...




Just to set the record straight the rule book specifically says at the very end that "two experienced players can play Sentinels if one or both of them play as two heroes each." So it's in there that you should always have at least three heroes but it's probably not as prominent as it should be.

Other than that sorry you don't like the game. I like it personally, especially on the iPad version. I just played a game on the iPad a few minutes ago in fact, beat Mad Bomber Baron Blade which was kind of fun (hadn't played against him before.)
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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Regarding point 2, the choices as far as individual cards to play are generally not that interesting; however, in the context of picking which cards to play as a team is usually much more interesting
Teamwork and synergy can make a big difference.

I have a feeling that your feelings won't change much even after many plays.
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brian
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Everyone is entitled to their opinion but that opinion should be based on facts.

The game is for 3-5 players. I don't know of (m)any games that state(s) a player count and then makes a point in the rules to say that you shouldn't play it with a different amount than the allotted player count. As mentioned above, SotM does make an exception and say experienced players can try it with less if they control more - getting you back to the 3-5 count. (For example, the #1 BGG game of Twilight Struggle is for 2 players, no where in the rules does it tell you that it is unbalanced for 1 or 3+...)

As to your other points, I guess they can be valid but I find you aren't playing the same game I am. If you are looking at just your hand with blinders on, then maybe there is always 1 obvious choice. But I find each turn usually an agonizing decision of which order to play cards to maximize my impact. Some cards are temporarily useless in may hand given certain situations but a goal would be to make them useful or just use them as discards when that time comes up.

Certain cards are more interesting than others, especially when looking at combos within your own deck or how best to synergize with the other heroes. Often times it comes down to survive long enough to get your engine going or to make that one major play your deck was designed to do. So searching for these cards is a goal and in no way "ho-hum" average. Each hero has a handful of cards you want. Ra with his staff. Tachyon manipulating her Burst discards. Wraith and Absolute Zero looking to get their equipment and ongoing combos working.

About the only boring character is Legacy as he is the most straight-forward but necessary heroes. That is the only one I feel is on auto pilot. But even he has certain cards you are looking for to make him more useful and interesting such as his ring so you can buff the other players while still doing something a little more interesting on your turn.

It sounds like this game isn't for you or that you just don't get the depth of what is present. For me, this game gets better with each play and seeing so many different situations from team selection to villain/environment combo. And having played a ton of face to face and a ton of PBF, I can see that we often make less optimal choices in the urgent flow of a real time game vs when we have the time to study the options and can make even a more optimal play with a slowed down pace. And having seen the slowed down play, there is usually more than just an obvious choice.
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Lee Valentine
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Exo Desta wrote:

But as for the player count.. I just bought The Captain is Dead, which is a full-on co-op, as SotM, but that game has a tag of 2-7 players. Foolishness. It plays wonderfully solo, as SotM, with the caveat: you must play more than one character. As SotM.

I don't think this can rightly be considered a knock against the game - it's just how co-ops work. Which I'm personally glad for - they make great solitaire games, once you understand the above caveat.




I wouldn't say that without aids that SotM is a "wonderful[] solo" experience. It is MUCH more work and is MUCH more fiddly for a single person to manage than many other solo games that I've played. That's why there was a market for the Sentinels Sidekick app. It's easier with this helper app. Still, since I bought the fully playable "video game" version, I've never played the physical card game solo.

Lee
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Vic DiGital
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nburghardt wrote:
Dylan,
Try this variant. It has worked great for us.

Always give the heroes four turns regardless of number of heroes. For example with two heroes this is the turn order:
Villain
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 1
Hero 2
Environment

For three heroes it is:
Villain
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 3
Hero 1
Environment
Villain
Hero 2
Hero 3
Hero 1
Hero 2
Environment
Villain
Hero 3
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 3
Environment

With five heroes one hero misses their turn each round, etc.

You'll find this scales much better. Fewer heroes have less overall health, but their abilities will ramp up more quickly. >4 heroes have more health but slower to build up.

The lack of interesting choices for you is a separate issue. I felt the same at first but realized after a few plays that our decisions were very impactful on success, so if we didn't play smart, we lost. I learned to enjoy it as a simple, but solid, coop that was tough to win without teamwork.


Hmm.. this sounds pretty interesting. I'm going to have to give it a try, as I don't enjoy having to control two heroes at a time. A lot of bookkeeping with one character becomes overwhelming with two, to the point that you get pulled out of the immersive theme of the game because you're spending so much time just figuring out what cards you have in your hand.

Do you find that it makes it easier to win, knowing that you have two almost back-to-back turns and can plan out your optimal strategy much better?

Also, does (H) still count as only two (or three) heroes, or as four? If it's four, I can see a villain having an even easier time wiping the floor with the heroes.
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Rob Rob
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dylanbradshaw wrote:

2) Lack of interesting Choices - The options on the cards are very basic.. Do I deal damage or do I heal? There is not much more to decide than this. Sure there are equipment cards and such but they do not add much depth to the choices being made in the game. The powers of the characters don't have much depth or strategic thought.

3) Repetition - The cards in the hero decks are to repetitive. There are really no "stand out" cards that you hope will come up because all of the them are so "ho-hum" average. These are the most average superheroes I've ever seen with the least extraordinary powers ever imagined.

1) I think you might be missing out on the power of card combos. Certain card combinations synergism with the hero powers to become more than the sum of their parts.

2) I actually like that every hero card has value with very few if any OOP "killer cards." I find I don't spend turns simply churning through a hero deck looking for that "one" card. The app certainly helped me realize the value of each card. For example, Absolute Zero's card which moves villain affects from the end to the beginning of the turn or Wraith's finisher card which destroys all her equipment cards for x2 damage.
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David B
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My only problem with Sentinels, and it really is just a minor quibble, is that I would rather get my prostate checked than play it.
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MGS
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pfctsqr wrote:
My only problem with Sentinels, and it really is just a minor quibble, is that I would rather get my prostate checked than play it.


It is ok if that is your thing.
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brian
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pfctsqr wrote:
My only problem with Sentinels, and it really is just a minor quibble, is that I would rather get my prostate checked than play it.

You must really like to get your prostate checked!
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Jason Farris
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I'll add my two cents to some of the comments made.

I can't argue about the two player game. It blows monkey chow unless you like to play multiple heroes.

Most heroes (perhaps all) have their signature cards that are far better than other cards, so There is a definite power differential in the cards in each deck. Wraith has impromptu invention that is arguably the best search and play card in the game. Legacy has Legacy ring, which as already mentioned, opens his options up quite a but.

I will disagree with others that say no hero is better than any other. There are clearly better heroes and worse heroes in the game. There's even data behind it. Wraith and Tempest are up there because they both have strong combat and cards that can deal with almost any eventuality, whereas heroes the rely on specialized combos tend to be weaker overall.

And there are clearly some heroes that are far better against certain villains. Sadly it's not always the nemesis of the villain. For example, wraith and infrared eyepiece vs. citizen dawn is pretty much game over for dawn. Haka and savage mana can make Voss into a wimp.

However imbalance between heroes is no worse than imbalance in any other cooperative game. You may not want to play all weak heroes against iron legacy, but you may enjoy playing weaker heroes for their card diversity.

As others have said, the worst thing in sentinels is the bookkeeping. I've been loving the app for that very reason and can't wait for more content.
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Gamer D

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Exo Desta wrote:
Agreed. I was kind of just talking about co-ops in general; that they make great solitaire games.

But yeah SotM actually suffers I think, like you say, when played solitaire. With more players, you have more minds able to track everything.

It's a shame, but I still haven't tried the app yet. Maybe I'll have to get on that.


The digital version is great for solitaire, though, since it does all the fiddly tracking.
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
E
The game is for 3-5 players. I don't know of (m)any games that state(s) a player count and then makes a point in the rules to say that you shouldn't play it with a different amount than the allotted player count. As mentioned above, SotM does make an exception and say experienced players can try it with less if they control more - getting you back to the 3-5 count. ...


Just to clear something up, the Sentinels box says the game is for 2-5 players. I think that's part of the problem, the box should probably say it's for 3-5 players since that's what it's obviously balanced around. The 1 or 2-player variants are just an optional thing if you want to run multiple heroes per player, but the core game is meant for 3-5 players. Ssomeone buying the game off the shelf who just saw the box wouldn't know any of that and might be thrown off if they try and play with two heroes without spotting the single sentence at the end of the rulebook.
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dugman wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
E
The game is for 3-5 players. I don't know of (m)any games that state(s) a player count and then makes a point in the rules to say that you shouldn't play it with a different amount than the allotted player count. As mentioned above, SotM does make an exception and say experienced players can try it with less if they control more - getting you back to the 3-5 count. ...


Just to clear something up, the Sentinels box says the game is for 2-5 players. I think that's part of the problem, the box should probably say it's for 3-5 players since that's what it's obviously balanced around. The 1 or 2-player variants are just an optional thing if you want to run multiple heroes per player, but the core game is meant for 3-5 players. Ssomeone buying the game off the shelf who just saw the box wouldn't know any of that and might be thrown off if they try and play with two heroes without spotting the single sentence at the end of the rulebook.
As long as the rulebook makes it clear that you need that many heroes for a normal game, I think that should be fine. With fully-co-op games like this, you can end up having players control more than one hero anyways.
 
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brian
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dugman wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
E
The game is for 3-5 players. I don't know of (m)any games that state(s) a player count and then makes a point in the rules to say that you shouldn't play it with a different amount than the allotted player count. As mentioned above, SotM does make an exception and say experienced players can try it with less if they control more - getting you back to the 3-5 count. ...


Just to clear something up, the Sentinels box says the game is for 2-5 players. I think that's part of the problem, the box should probably say it's for 3-5 players since that's what it's obviously balanced around. The 1 or 2-player variants are just an optional thing if you want to run multiple heroes per player, but the core game is meant for 3-5 players. Ssomeone buying the game off the shelf who just saw the box wouldn't know any of that and might be thrown off if they try and play with two heroes without spotting the single sentence at the end of the rulebook.

I stand corrected then. I learned this game with the original edition which was advertised as 3-5. I looked back at the old Rook City campaign and it was still advertising 3-5 at that time. But my enhanced edition does say 2-5 now so it changed at some point and I wasn't aware of it.
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N Burghardt
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VicDigital wrote:
nburghardt wrote:
Dylan,
Try this variant. It has worked great for us.

Always give the heroes four turns regardless of number of heroes. For example with two heroes this is the turn order:
Villain
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 1
Hero 2
Environment

For three heroes it is:
Villain
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 3
Hero 1
Environment
Villain
Hero 2
Hero 3
Hero 1
Hero 2
Environment
Villain
Hero 3
Hero 1
Hero 2
Hero 3
Environment

With five heroes one hero misses their turn each round, etc.

You'll find this scales much better. Fewer heroes have less overall health, but their abilities will ramp up more quickly. >4 heroes have more health but slower to build up.

The lack of interesting choices for you is a separate issue. I felt the same at first but realized after a few plays that our decisions were very impactful on success, so if we didn't play smart, we lost. I learned to enjoy it as a simple, but solid, coop that was tough to win without teamwork.


Hmm.. this sounds pretty interesting. I'm going to have to give it a try, as I don't enjoy having to control two heroes at a time. A lot of bookkeeping with one character becomes overwhelming with two, to the point that you get pulled out of the immersive theme of the game because you're spending so much time just figuring out what cards you have in your hand.

Do you find that it makes it easier to win, knowing that you have two almost back-to-back turns and can plan out your optimal strategy much better?

Also, does (H) still count as only two (or three) heroes, or as four? If it's four, I can see a villain having an even easier time riping the floor with the heroes.

We treat (H) as 4 heroes since we take four hero turns. Your back to back turns are very strong. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. With only two heroes you might want to avoid too many support characters.
 
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Rob Rob
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Smilinbrax wrote:

I will disagree with others that say no hero is better than any other. There are clearly better heroes and worse heroes in the game. There's even data behind it. Wraith and Tempest are up there because they both have strong combat and cards that can deal with almost any eventuality, whereas heroes the rely on specialized combos tend to be weaker overall.

I think of that as more a feature than a flaw. If each hero were as equally powerful or effective as the next, that'd be an awfully boring game. In a way, it's a "team building" game (as opposed to a deck builder). The hero team which can crush Villain A may be completely ineffective against Villain B.
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pfctsqr wrote:
My only problem with Sentinels, and it really is just a minor quibble, is that I would rather get my prostate checked than play it.


Bit of a derail here:

I am honestly curious, if you hate the game so much (you rated it a 1) why haunt it's forums? There's not even a need towhite knight for people in the Sentinels forums. I've seen rabid fans of certain games in many places tear into 'doubters' but repeatedly and with no reason I can discern,for the difference of reaction, I've seen Sentinels fans politely disagree and offer constructive criticism in the face of axnegative opinion or play experience time after time.
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I just recently played my first game, 3 players. Bunker, Wraith, and Tachyon vs. Baron Blade. We won, but it did feel more of a slog than expected. One card and action per turn felt a bit simple and restrictive, and holy cow there's a lot lot lot of reading.

Hopefully next playthrough will be better, but I can see the OP's reservations about this game.
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Evidently, not an option for those playing for the first time. But, this is one of the reasons why I don't introduce more than one or two elements each time we play. Familiarity also helps quite a bit in keeping track of what's going on.
 
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ayejae wrote:
I just recently played my first game, 3 players. Bunker, Wraith, and Tachyon vs. Baron Blade. We won, but it did feel more of a slog than expected. One card and action per turn felt a bit simple and restrictive, and holy cow there's a lot lot lot of reading.

Hopefully next playthrough will be better, but I can see the OP's reservations about this game.


One card and one action *is* restrictive, but it is more H cards and H actions if you remember to play as a team It means the villain is pressuring you as you struggle to build up.

As for the text. Yeah there is a lot, this *does* improve with plays. Bunker's mode cards are a pile of text to start, but once you play a couple times card name reminds you what they do in shorthand.

Bunker is also a sloooow start hero at times, one of my least favorite but awesome when he comes together. I'm sorry for whoever had him their first go of things.
 
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Shadrach wrote:
ayejae wrote:
I just recently played my first game, 3 players. Bunker, Wraith, and Tachyon vs. Baron Blade. We won, but it did feel more of a slog than expected. One card and action per turn felt a bit simple and restrictive, and holy cow there's a lot lot lot of reading.


One card and one action *is* restrictive, but it is more H cards and H actions if you remember to play as a team It means the villain is pressuring you as you struggle to build up.


Do you mean in terms of getting stuff done, as in you should be able to draw, play, and do 2 actions each turn instead of just 1, or is this more so an issue of lack of variety?
 
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ackmondual wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
ayejae wrote:
I just recently played my first game, 3 players. Bunker, Wraith, and Tachyon vs. Baron Blade. We won, but it did feel more of a slog than expected. One card and action per turn felt a bit simple and restrictive, and holy cow there's a lot lot lot of reading.


One card and one action *is* restrictive, but it is more H cards and H actions if you remember to play as a team It means the villain is pressuring you as you struggle to build up.


Do you mean in terms of getting stuff done, as in you should be able to draw, play, and do 2 actions each turn instead of just 1, or is this more so an issue of lack of variety?


No I don't mean restrictive in a bad way. I mean it in a design choice way. No one in Sentinels is an island, and tou can't drop a killer hand in a go to ultra mega combo win (well not without lots of planning and prep) the restrictive nature means you *must* make choices, which is funny because it is one of those things some detractors seek to hold against it. (A lack of choice) Does bunker drop his grenade launcher now, or his heavy plating? Does he feed these thred cards to the omni cannon or save them? Etc.

If players could just do what twice as much not only would it invalidate some of the 'hooks' of some characters, it would horribly unbalance the game.

Imagine playing Pandemic where you only drew one outbreak card per turn. Bleck.
 
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