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Subject: Villains of the Multiverse - relative difficulty rss

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Hey all,

So I run a regular Sentinels campaign game. Our next battle is going to be against some VoTM villains, and I'm looking to run a reasonably difficult but not "end of season boss"-brutal game.

I often use Matthew Gray's difficulty chart to estimate a particular combination ahead of time, but there's understandably nothing there for Villains of the Multiverse, as there are just too many combinations (and not too much play data, I'd imagine).

And they do seem to vary. For example, Operative doesn't seem too bad compared to someone like Sergeant Steel, who pulls out a new target almost every turn and can do some serious damage.

I already know we will be facing at least Sergeant Steel and Miss Information (VoTM version) - so I'd like to add two more who won't result in a likely TPK

Ideas: Ambuscade would fit our campaign thematically (Ms.I has hired him before for a failed hit on Parse), and The Operative might be a good bit of foreshadowing for the next season.

So, if you know VoTM, how does that lineup (SS, Ms.I, Ambuscade, Operative) sound? If it's too strong (I can't imagine it's too weak), which weaker villains would you suggest subbing in?

I can always suggest to the players that this match would be a good time to use their stronger heroes, so we do have plenty of possibilities for tweaking it on the hero side too. I just want to get a sense, you know?

Finally, it would be nice to also get some balance in terms of fiddly-ness. Ok, I know that's a losing proposition with Vengeance-style, it's all fiddly. But some more than others, right? I can see Ms.I is going to be some work, and SS will take at least some reading. So villains without too many ongoings/kit/targets will be appealing...
 
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Bill Stull
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Greazer can be an easier one to track and isn't too difficult. It's also humorous to have him get damaged by his own hair.
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Maciej Stępiński
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I haven't played too much of Villains so far, but from my small experience, here's a breakdown of difficulties:

-Operative: If she was a solo villain, I would rate her as 0,5. She barely does anything, has no minions and her special effects rarely trigger and she's very easy to kill. If you want to make the game easier, she's the best pick.

-Ambuscade: I played with him I think 3 times and he while he wasn't as bad as Operative, he was still rather underwhelming. Of his crew only Glamour is a pain to deal with, but other than that and I can't remember any special cases of "OMG what is this?" when playing him.

-Miss Information: After playing her once, I can safely say that she's not as scary as one might think. She's way less fiddly than her original version and a lot of her cards just don't do all that much. Or maybe I was just lucky.

-La Capitan: Not even nearly as tough as her original, but hey, prequels. No crew, limited disrubtion and generally little threat, if only because she dies very fast.

-Bugbear: Surprisingly not as tough as they paint him. If you have a balanced team with some reliable control abilities, he won't be a big problem. Sure, he deals a lot of damage, but that's about all he does.

-Greazer: Surprisingly well thought out guy who you want to beat, but not too fast and not too often. I love the fact that his pompadour is a target and hitting it will make him retaliate and beating him up or getting rid by getting killed doesn't actually make the game easier and in some cases A LOT harder. He's fun.

-Plague Rat: He hurts. A lot. The catch is, that he sometimes hurts other villains as well, if he doesn't have any Ghostbusters Handlers with him. If your team can handle small fries on a regular basis, he will help you a bit. If not, prepare for danger. Definitely a lot more interesting than his original self. Also- heroes can no longer get infected, which is a plus for me.

-Hammer and Anvil: I played against them once and it was a massacre. Their tactic is a bit of a gamble- sometimes they do a lot, bring each other back, smack heroes for massive damage, but sometimes they don't, changing positions and barely being there. The latter didn't happen to me and we died. Let's assume they are really tough and Visionary (their nemezis) is really out of luck.

-Seargent Steel: Yikes, his team packs a punch! Sometimes they barely do anything and you're like "he's not so tough", then a card comes and you're like "OMG we're gonna die!". Probaly my favourite of the bunch, he's always a challange.

-Biomaner: !@#$ this guy. I think I won against him maybe once out of three, but I'm not sure if it's him or just a bad composition. The annoying thing about him is the constant regeneration and built-in damage reduction, making beating him with many heroes really hard. Get some irreducible damage or heroes that strike more than once per turn to get him, otherwise prepare for some real trouble.

That's about all I can say after a few plays.
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Jettosan wrote:
I haven't played too much of Villains so far, but from my small experience, here's a breakdown of difficulties

This is super helpful. Thank you!
 
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For anyone who's interested: we ran a scenario where FILTER had captured an incapacitated KNYFE (who fell in our last battle) and had her under AI reprogramming, simulated by playing in Celestial Tribunal with Representative of Earth beginning in play, hosting KNYFE's character card.

This meant Sergeant Steel was a lock, and we also included Miss Information, as she has been the mastermind behind the scenes of several of our recent battles, since the finale of our first season.

The other two villains were Proletariat and Biomancer (Steel had taken a bold risk, and thrown open the cells to hold us off!). So overall, I reckon we had 2 hard (SS & BM), 2 easy (MI & P), and that's how it played out.

Well, Steel WRECKED US. We had a double turn from the Pyro early on, and that almost wiped the team. Tempest was the only one incapacitated, though, and for a while after that he used his ridiculous incap to make us immune to fire. That helped a lot while Pyro kept doing his thing!

Miss Information did almost nothing except that her Advanced ability (-1 to all hero damage) destroyed our team's damage potential, and especially our all-target damage, meaning we had no realistic way to burn down every villain at once.

We chose to endure Proletariat & Biomancer and our Fanatic one-shotted Steel with Wrathful Retribution. Once the Sentinels (and esp. Writhe) became highest HP, they tanked Biomancer for us. Setback then one-shotted Proletariat & rescued KNYFE, and we ground down Miss Information.

Finally there was Biomancer. I'm not sure we'd have ever done it except for Fanatic's Divine Focus, which disabled his first-damage resistance each turn and let the others burn him down. Setback finished it again with a damage spike. (I just love Setback!)

Next session: we finally confront Miss Information for real, and (hopefully) discover who it is behind the mask!
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