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Subject: Quicklook Reviews - Sentinels of the Multiverse rss

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Ned Meier
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Legacy, Haka, The Visionary, Absolute Zero…These may not sound like superheroes you are familiar with but that is exactly why Greater Than Games Sentinels of the Multiverse is one of the best games around. Sentinels base game, along with its many expansions, builds the world of superheroes and villains that rivals Marvel and DC. 1 to 5 players take on the role of one of the many (10 in the base game) superheroes, battling the forces of evil such as Baron Blade, Citizen Dawn, or Omnitron, run by a very difficult AI system. But the heroes will not only be battling the villain and his henchmen, but also the environment they find themselves. Do you have what it takes to be a Sentinel of the Multiverse?

What’s in the Box

Sentinels of the Multiverse comes with everything you need for a very rich game experience. And the number of heroes and villains in the base game alone will keep you from playing the same game twice for quite a while. In the box you will find a whole bunch of cards. Each hero has its own hero card which looks like a comic book cover. The name at the top of the card is written in the characters logo font, there is beautiful full card art, the number of hit points the hero has underneath the Sentinels of the Multiverse logo (making it appear to be an issue number, and at the bottom of the card a hero power that is used in gameplay. Next to the hero power is a logo that is used when battling a nemesis. The back of the card displays what will happen when the hero is defeated. Each hero comes with its own unique 40 card deck. There is no deck building in SotM, so these decks will always stay together.

The base game also comes with 4 villains, that each have a rules card and their own unique 25 card deck. The villain cards are organized much like the hero cards. Four 15 card environment decks are included to allow you to set your battles in various locations, each with their own advantages and challenges. You will keep track of lots of damage so the game comes with a whole bunch of small damage tokens. There are also a bunch of rectangular tokens to remind players of certain damage modifiers.

Finally, because there are so many unique decks each hero, villain, and environment comes with its own full art divider card. These allow you to easily find the decks you need. The insert of the box is made to hold several decks of cards, the ones included, plus expansions, and keep them from getting mixed together.

The rulebook is nicely written with easy to follow rules, a quick rule page to remind players during games, character bios, and a difficulty chart so you know which decks to use with new or experienced players.

What’s Not in the Box

If you have any interest in this game, play board games, and have even a small interest in comic books you are more than likely a collector. That means you will not want to stop at just the base game. There are 2 large box expansions and 2 small box expansions that add more heroes, villains, and environments to the game. A third big box expansion will be released shortly, and a final expansion is in the works. While you definitely don’t need any expansions to enjoy the game you will get them, trust me. A large playmat is available to mark where each deck goes while playing and help organize the game, but it is pretty expensive and isn’t really needed. You will also use a lot of damage tokens in the game, and it can get a bit fiddly. There is a nice app available to keep track of the damage but again it isn’t needed if you don’t mind moving tokens around all the time.

Gameplay Review

Sentinels of the Multiverse is an extremely easy game to learn but difficult game to master (due to the amount of heroes and villains available, and the interactions between them). As a kid who grew up reading superhero comics but hasn’t found a board game that captures the feel, I quickly fell in love with this game.

Each player will select a hero and shuffle up their deck. A villain will be chosen and an environment deck. Each villain comes with a card that will explain how to set them up and exactly what they will do each turn. Each player will draw 4 cards and you are ready to play.

The villain will go first. One player will check for any start of villain turn abilities on cards, then play a villain card, then check for any end of villain turn abilities. Next it will be the heroes turn. Players determine what order they will play in. Then beginning of hero turn abilities will trigger. The active player will play a card from their hand, then use a power, and then draw a card. Abilities on cards may trigger more cards being played, or drawing more cards, or destroying cards. The hero turn is over after checking for end of hero turn abilities. Each player will take their turn using the same steps.

The round ends with the environment turn. Players will check for beginning of environment turn abilities, play an environment card, and check for end of environment turn abilities.

Play continues this way until all of the heroes are defeated or the villain is finally subdued. Once a player is eliminated their hero will still affect the game in someway. These abilities are listed on the back of the villain card. So even if your character is knocked out you still have a somewhat active role in the game. But gameplay is pretty balanced that if your character is defeated it won’t be very long before the game is over.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a wonderful game for so many reasons. The art and back story provided is above and beyond what most games will give you. Plus the sheer amount of choices in heroes, villains, and environments is amazing. You could form different teams to fight against different villains and never run out of match ups. Plus the last expansion added villain teams that changes gameplay up a bit. I also love that you can play this solo (one person controlling a team of heroes) or even with 2 people (each person controlling 2 heroes) and it is still very fun. But the sweet spot is 4 or 5 players. It sounds like you may have a bit of downtime but the game moves quickly and you are always triggering things, or helping each other out during other heroes turns.

The only downside of Sentinels of the Multiverse is the amount of math involved. Heroes, villains, and the environment all can modify attacks and the attacks can be of several different kinds. Plus as the game progresses more and more cards come out and it can be difficult keeping track of everything. So if reading and math are things you like to avoid while gaming than this is not the game for you. But if you enjoy great gameplay, variability, and fun than it won’t matter, especially if you buy the app.

For images and to read more reviews please visit quicklookreviews.wordpress.com
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Roberta Yang
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I see the "Twelve paragraphs regurgitating the rulebook and one paragraph of actual review" school of reviewing is still popular.
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Jakob Gruber
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salty53 wrote:
I see the "Twelve paragraphs regurgitating the rulebook and one paragraph of actual review" school of reviewing is still popular.


Seconded. I appreciate the effort that went into writing the review, but I always skip over the mechanics part of reviews.
 
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Colin Marsh
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salty53 wrote:
I see the "Twelve paragraphs regurgitating the rulebook and one paragraph of actual review" school of reviewing is still popular.


hyperbole when used to humorous effect is entertaining. in this case though it really just makes you seem like a jerk. you could have easily said something like "the game has been out for a few years and your review would have been better if you focused on what you liked and why you liked it rather than mechanics."

while the review does spend time on game flow the closing two paragraphs explain the posters feelings about the game and i would say make several helpful points for someone trying to buy this game. there are also opinions sprinkled throughout the earlier parts of the review.

Things I take away from this review

1. SOTM is designed with an eye towards the collector market as it crosses two hobbies that have a serious collectors bent - comic books & board games - I agree that this is true and it's a fair point to make about the game since it does assume it's players will likely buy the expansions. there are villains and heroes in the base rule book that aren't provided with the game.

2. sotm knows it has a comic book fan audience and it embraces that theme - the art and flavor text are given a great deal of attention as is the back story of the heroes. the reviewer is a comic book fan and this game really captured the feel of being in a comic book for him in a way other games have not.

3. the games is easy to learn for new players as the basic mechanics are simple but can get complex as there are lots of combinations and interactions that aren't simple. the reviewer does like this as the heroes interact and help one another but points out its downsides later.

4. the game is fun at multiple player counts including solo & 2 player but he finds it most fun with 4 or 5.

5. there is a lot of variety in each game as you can create a large number of unique setups which the reviewer really likes.

6. on the downside the game can be really fiddly and it can be hard to keep track of damage with all the modifiers that interact. the reviewer points out that apps are available and recommends using them.

7. there's an expensive playmat (remember the geared towards collectors point) available that the reviewer would not recommend buying.

Those are 7 things that a reader of this forum could reasonably take away from that review. Now here's my list of what I took away from your response to this review:

1. you spent the least effort possible to make certain that you publicly criticized someone knowing full well you added nothing useful to future readers of the Sentinels of the Multiverse review forum.

2. you use quotation marks in what I can only describe as an interesting way that i've not seen before. your use of them was neither a quote nor the title of an article and doesn't even appear to be the common misuse of quotes for emphasis or sarcasm. You referred to a perceived school of thought but elected to put it in quotes. that was a definite take away for me. there may be an english style rule out there i wasn't familiar with; that's something.

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Andrew Arenson
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I agree that the one-liner dismissal of the review was rude.

That being said, I usually don't feel like taking the time to wade through the rules explanation parts of a review, so if someone's posting a review I recommend that you start by up front giving me your opinions.
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