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Subject: Sentinels of the Multiverse: Talking you off the fence rss

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Tim Hange

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Sentinels has been around for a few years, but If you’ve been on the fence about buying in, I’m hoping this review helps you jump off on one side or the other. It’s been my experience among my own friends that this game is very polarizing. There are major reviewers whose opinions widely differ, and user comments also represent a pretty big variance.

The reason to me is obvious. Sentinels has some annoying flaws. It also does some things so incredibly well, that it is easy for some to overlook these problems. It is all going to depend on how much you love what it has to offer, and to what degree the flaws annoy you.

So you should know up front: I overlook the flaws. I LOVE Sentinels. It is my go-to 2 player coop game (with others who love it). Still, my goal is to present the good and bad objectively, and maybe you can decide whether you are missing out on something special, or just glad you passed on the whole thing!


Important Fact: 4 out of 5 felines choose Sentinels as their preferred super-hero cooperative game.

First, for those who need an introduction, the:
Brutally Over-Simplified Overview:
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative, card-driven superhero game in which players take on the role of a hero (or heroes), fighting a villain while managing the good and bad effects of a tricky environment. At the beginning of the game each player takes a superhero deck or two and lays it in front of them with the character card face up. A villain and environment deck are set up in the same way. Play begins with the villain attacking first, by playing the top card of the villain deck, and performing his ability.


The heroes then each have a turn which follows a very simple play order: Play a card from hand. Use the power of one of their cards already on the table. Draw a card to end the turn. Alternately, the hero can skip the turn and draw two cards. Some cards are one-shot events, whereas others lay on the table and provide a continuing benefit. Cards are mainly about attacking, defending, or removing harmful cards from the table.

The environment then takes its turn. The top card of the environment deck is flipped, and players have to deal with whatever was introduced.

Play continues on: Villain, Heroes, Environment, until the Heroes take out the villain or all the heroes become incapacitated (lose all their health). It’s tricky though, because villains deal a lot of damage, and have clever ways of protecting themselves with helper cards as well (like minions and ongoing cards). If a hero’s health drops to zero, he or she becomes incapacitated, but still has an “incapacitated power” that can be used on their turn.

Before I move on to what’s great and what’s flawed about sentinels, there are some potential deal-breaker items I want to get out of the way:

Fanboy Factor: If you are a Marvel or DC fanatic who can’t turn that off, and would spend every moment of an attempt to play sentinels comparing this game to the universe you love, then there really is no need to waste your time. You won’t find the art or characters as polished and compelling as what you are used to, and you’re probably not going to enjoy the game. I’m not saying this negatively. How exclusively loyal one is to a world is their choice.

Player and Hero Count Problem: The rule book states that in setup, each player should take a hero and place it in front of them. One Hero. Yeah, that’s a problem. When my son and I first played this game with one hero each, we found the experience frustrating. It’s interesting that the app version of the game recommends a single player controlling four to five heroes to take down a villain. Here’s my conclusion on the matter:
Sentinels plays best as a two-player game, with each player controlling two heroes, or as a solo game controlling four. Four players each controlling a single hero works OK, but because some of the heroes are supporting characters more than direct attackers, it can be boring to play them individually.

What doesn’t work, in my opinion, is two or three players each playing one character. Yeah, it didn’t take us long to figure that out ourselves, but I wish the rulebook had reflected this reality.

Good Art? Bad Art?
This seems to be the main love-it-or-hate-it factor of the game. My opinion: This artwork is not as polished as comic franchises who employ teams of artists on huge budgets. Still, I find it effective, and even charming. The first character I pulled out of the box was legacy. I took one look and I was hooked.

He is this over-the-top caricature of the “Truth! Justice!” good-boy hero who takes himself way too seriously. It evoked the campy feeling of retro comics and old superhero shows with their exaggerated uni-dimensional characters. Many of the heroes in the base set conjure up a similar retro comic feel as the movie “The Incredibles”. They have just enough caricature and camp to be charming and amusing, while still compelling me to care about the characters, and feel their personality as I play them. I hope I haven’t insulted Adam Rebotarro—maybe this vibe is not what he was going for, but for me, it’s what I catch when I play the game, and precisely why it feels so thematic to me.

With expansions there was a little less camp, and I found some of the characters (like Mr. Fixer and Chrono Ranger) very cool in their own right (though still with a humorous edge).


That said, I’ve seen many comments by those who feel the art is sloppy and cheesy, and don’t see the redeeming values that I do. If you are in that camp, there is probably going to be no way you’ll like this game.


The Undeniable Annoyance: Accounting
This game has a LOT to keep track of. Villains have minions and ongoing cards that reduce certain kinds of damage, or deal additional damage to the character with the second highest health, or trigger the first time that a particular kind of damage is dealt each hero turn. The hero and environment cards also have a ton of this type of conditional triggering. You can’t be passive at the table. You constantly need to be aware of what cards are out and what triggers to look for. I’m not gonna lie, this can be REALLY tedious. It has unfortunately gotten worse with expansions, with some villains like “The Chairman” putting out so many cards that my head hurts to play against him. It’s a clear downside to the game.


I see what they were going for, and it works to some degree. You need all this bad stuff out there to create tension, and to act as a distraction to the heroes while the villain pounds away. It’s what makes the game challenging. I’m not a game designer, so I can’t say how, but I just wish there was some way this could have been done in a more intuitive and less tedious way. I am used to it now but it has been a deal-breaker for some I have introduced the game to.

A common criticism: Useless turns
I do agree that there are times when a hero’s turn kind of goes to waste, especially if you’ve just hand cards discarded by an enemy or an environment. There are two things that mitigate this.

First: Play two heroes. This helps alleviate the frustration when this occurs.

Second: Skip turns to draw two cards. This is a MUST when playing this game. It is important to get the right combos, and you’re gonna need to cycle cards. It is very hard to discipline yourself to do when you are taking hits, but it is often necessary in order to get your best combos going.

Well Gee Whiz Tim! You haven’t made this game sound that appealing so far.
It is, though… it just is.

Here’s What I Love:
Immersive Play:
Sentinels really makes me feel like I’m part of a team of superheroes on whom the fate of the world rests as we take down a tough super-villain one hit at a time. I can’t fully explain why, but when my son and I are across the table, taking shots, figuring out if we can heal each other’s characters, or how we can combo our powers together to take down the beast, it’s just magic.

Tense Moments, Heroic Stories!
(The following actually happened a year ago. I still remember it!) Legacy is incapacitated, Wraith and Tempest just had all their equipment and ongoing cards discarded and are low on health. Grand Warlord Voss is kicking our butts! It’s up to Super-Scientific Tachyon! She takes damage to use a piece of equipment to draw a card at the beginning of her turn. She pulls a one-shot that hits enemy targets and prevents them from dealing damage the next turn! Voss has 20 health left, but we have no gear and low health. Can we take him down before the damage prevention wears off?
FYI. We barely pulled it off. It was a great feeling!

Unique Hero Abilities and Powers
Every hero's abilities are tailored to their personality. Expatriette puts out gun cards and ammo and fires away. The Naturalist goes into different animal modes. The janitor Mr. Fixer has tools and styles that match his kung-fu. Sub-Zero has this weird engine of dealing himself cold damage that with the right cards will trigger damage to the enemy as well. Ra summons ancient Egyptian powers and uses a staff to deal major damage. Legacy protects the other heroes and increases their power. Almost every action in this game is richly thematic, causing you to really feel the personality of each hero.

(Expatriette and her guns "Pride" and "Prejudice". A deadly combo!)

Customizable Play
Taking down Omnitron with Legacy, Tempest, Wraith, and Visionary becoming too easy? Change up the heroes! Use a different environment. Randomize and see if you can turn lemons into lemonade! The ability to turn the difficulty up or down by using different heroes and environments has given us a lot of replay value, and keeps the game fresh.

Summary:
This is a really weird review for me, because as much as I love this game, I totally get it when people don’t. To me, Sentinels is an epic and immersive super hero experience with tons of replay value. To others, it is a budget-feel, fiddly and tedious experience. Trying before you buy is the key. There is an app version with plenty of free play available that might help you make the decision to invest in the table top version.
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Scott Townsend
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You bring up a great point about there being a lot to keep track of. I hadn't really thought about that before but as the game progresses there is a lot to keep track of. I also know that time to time I forget to implement some of the villain's powers/abilities because there is so much going on I just miss it.... oops.

I think one other item to add to your review is that it is also significant which heroes you put against which villains. As you play the game and learn the ins and outs of the different villains and heroes you'll learn that it can be possible to arrange heroes against villains in a way that you can't win. It's also possible to arrange heroes in a way that you just crush the villain, something I'm particularly fond of since I don't like losing . With as many different characters as they have created, I think this fact is unavoidable by the creators, its just something to keep in mind.

I don't understand the uproar over the art. It's not great, but it's just a game. It's certainly better than I could do.

Overall, this is a great game that is very different than a lot of what is out there. I love it.
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David Aubert
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I understand the feeling.
SotM is what I called the 'Best game I'll almost never play' because of the bookkeeping.
Yet, after discovering this game in its videogame format, I bought the physical game and gave it a go ... and it wasn't that bad, my second game was a '5 villains vengeance-style' game, and it went OK. So, the bookkeeping wasn't as harsh as I thought (Maybe years of playing Arkham Horror will all expansion at once helped me to keep track of non-euclidian book keeping).
And now it is one of my favorite solo game both in its computer version but in its cardboard version too.
 
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Josh
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I love playing 3p with one hero each. Useless turns aren't bad when they go fast and it can really up the challenge on some villains, leading to more of those delicious tense situations and making everyone feel more important.

The variable difficulty with the villains is also awesome, you can adjust how hard you want to plwy in so many ways.
 
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Tim Hange

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srtown wrote:
You bring up a great point about there being a lot to keep track of. I hadn't really thought about that before but as the game progresses there is a lot to keep track of. I also know that time to time I forget to implement some of the villain's powers/abilities because there is so much going on I just miss it.... oops.


Yeah, that still happens to us after years of play, and to me, that's indicitive of a problem in game design. Even the videogame lets you rewind your turns, and I think it is precisely because it is so easy to forget the many trigger cards on the table.

srtown wrote:
I think one other item to add to your review is that it is also significant which heroes you put against which villains. As you play the game and learn the ins and outs of the different villains and heroes you'll learn that it can be possible to arrange heroes against villains in a way that you can't win. It's also possible to arrange heroes in a way that you just crush the villain


Yeah, I get this completely! For instance, I have to discipline myself not to use Legacy, Super-Scientific Tachyon, Tempest, and Wraith together. I just always win with them. I really try to mix it up. I think a good way is to randomize four heroes, the villian, and the environment, and then give yourself the leeway to change out one hero.

I'm glad you enjoy this game. It just has SO MUCH personality and theme.



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Tim Hange

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I guess it's up to personal opinion. I love playing Legacy as part of a pair, but he's pretty boring just as a single character. The Scholar is the same way. Three heroes is kind of tough against most villains, though the "H" value will certainly be smaller.

 
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Mara Johannes-Graham
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Hello, everyone!

I have been a fan of Sentinels for years, now I have the great pleasure of working with the team who created it.

I often search the web for conversations about Sentinels of the Multiverse so I can "hear" what fans are saying. It is terrific to read all of the candid comments!

Personally, I adore playing the comic heroes battling the evil villains. It really tapped into an untouched niche for me because it is reminiscent of the Marvel Universe, of which I am a huge fan, but comes with its own unique flare. I am also a fan of cooperative games, so it was a must-try for me. Once I did, I was hooked. The character back-story and flavor text add to the immersive play which makes for an amazing cooperative gaming experience.

Thank you so much for all of your comments! Have a wonderful New Year!

GTGMara
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Josh
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Board Game Greek wrote:
srtown wrote:
You bring up a great point about there being a lot to keep track of. I hadn't really thought about that before but as the game progresses there is a lot to keep track of. I also know that time to time I forget to implement some of the villain's powers/abilities because there is so much going on I just miss it.... oops.


Yeah, that still happens to us after years of play, and to me, that's indicitive of a problem in game design. Even the videogame lets you rewind your turns, and I think it is precisely because it is so easy to forget the many trigger cards on the table.

srtown wrote:
I think one other item to add to your review is that it is also significant which heroes you put against which villains. As you play the game and learn the ins and outs of the different villains and heroes you'll learn that it can be possible to arrange heroes against villains in a way that you can't win. It's also possible to arrange heroes in a way that you just crush the villain


Yeah, I get this completely! For instance, I have to discipline myself not to use Legacy, Super-Scientific Tachyon, Tempest, and Wraith together. I just always win with them. I really try to mix it up. I think a good way is to randomize four heroes, the villian, and the environment, and then give yourself the leeway to change out one hero.

I'm glad you enjoy this game. It just has SO MUCH personality and theme.





I would say choice rather than problem. You could simplify but then it wouldn't be the same game. No one is levelling the charge that the fact Diplomacy doesn't account for troop quality, weather, or civil unrest is a problem, it is just a choice. Similarly the fact you don't know how your decisions in a Legacy game will imlact things four scenarios on is not a problem, it is just a choice. Remembering the events can be tricky but it also allows for complexity of interaction and an air of mass combat and chaos. It isn't for everyone but I think its not bad design either.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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I love this game and don't find the fiddly factor bad at all, but I understand that it is overwhelming for some. I have found that people who have played a lot of Magic: The Gathering, or miniatures games like Warhammer 40K, have more experience remembering which modifiers are in play and are more likely to enjoy this game than people who have no experience tracking lots of modifiers.
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Greg Austin
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I keep coming back to the Sentinels page for a morale boost. I've had it for quite a few months now and have just managed three solo attempts and finally this week a play with another person. I don't think I've made it to the end of a game yet. I always run out of time and energy.
When I played with my friend, we played Absolute Zero, Haka, and Fanatic vs. Voss in Megalopolis,and the only dent that was put into Voss was by the environment's Train card after an hour and a half. We looked at the 30-60 minute time on the box and he said "eeh, beg to differ there." We gave up on that session. I suspect this will stay a solo game for me. Some day I'll finish one.

Good review, though--reminds me that I just need to play more.
 
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Josh
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Faville wrote:
I keep coming back to the Sentinels page for a morale boost. I've had it for quite a few months now and have just managed three solo attempts and finally this week a play with another person. I don't think I've made it to the end of a game yet. I always run out of time and energy.
When I played with my friend, we played Absolute Zero, Haka, and Fanatic vs. Voss in Megalopolis,and the only dent that was put into Voss was by the environment's Train card after an hour and a half. We looked at the 30-60 minute time on the box and he said "eeh, beg to differ there." We gave up on that session. I suspect this will stay a solo game for me. Some day I'll finish one.

Good review, though--reminds me that I just need to play more.


I would love to know how your games worked. It seems baffling to me for Voss to be that rough.
 
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No, I've had Voss games that take that long.

In my experience, physical games will take around half an hour on average, with certain villains like Gloomweaver taking closer to the hour mark. (Digital games take 5-10 minutes, by comparison. <.<) What adds to the time sink is extra hero turns and complex bookkeeping. When you're just starting off, especially if you're only playing by yourself or with other new players, you're going to spend a lot of time reading and rereading cards, trying to figure out what to do at any given moment, suddenly realizing you forgot something and needing to backtrack, and generally just kind of poking your way slowly through the game. This will get better with experience. It's also worth noting that five-hero games are generally easier, though that does up your tie quotient.

If you want to learn the bookkeeping and familiarize yourself with the cards, playing the digital version first is a really good idea. I mean, yes, it's a further expenditure, I don't know what your financial situation is, but it plays the way the rules are meant to be interpreted. It certainly helped me learn to play the more complicated heroes in the later expansions! But once you get used to seeing cards do certain things when they're played, and most especially once you know what's in any given deck, you'll find yourself spending less time dithering and more time focused on what needs to be done.
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Greg Austin
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Shadrach wrote:
I would love to know how your games worked. It seems baffling to me for Voss to be that rough.


To be fair a portion of that 90 min was teaching the game. Another good portion was looking up advice on Absolute Zero, which my friend picked and I had never used, trying to see why just about every card he had in hand plus his power involved damaging himself to no apparent benefit (we did figure out that there were cards yet to uncover that worked to balance that).
For Voss, he constantly had minions out, and once we'd get rid of minions, Forced Deployment came out, so there was rarely any rest, nor could we ever generate enough damage to knock any points off of Voss due to the minion protection. It's possible we played a rule or two wrong, but we pored over wording and compared cards fairly carefully.
I think we did play the first Forced Deployment incorrectly, since it says "at the beginning of the villain turn" to return minions in the trash to play, and that should probably mean at the beginning of the next villain turn, at least that's how we played the next two.
 
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Josh
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Faville wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
I would love to know how your games worked. It seems baffling to me for Voss to be that rough.


To be fair a portion of that 90 min was teaching the game. Another good portion was looking up advice on Absolute Zero, which my friend picked and I had never used, trying to see why just about every card he had in hand plus his power involved damaging himself to no apparent benefit (we did figure out that there were cards yet to uncover that worked to balance that).
For Voss, he constantly had minions out, and once we'd get rid of minions, Forced Deployment came out, so there was rarely any rest, nor could we ever generate enough damage to knock any points off of Voss due to the minion protection. It's possible we played a rule or two wrong, but we pored over wording and compared cards fairly carefully.
I think we did play the first Forced Deployment incorrectly, since it says "at the beginning of the villain turn" to return minions in the trash to play, and that should probably mean at the beginning of the next villain turn, at least that's how we played the next two.


You are correct on forced deployment. Remember for Villains *start of turn* *play a card* and *end of turn* are three distinct times, once you are playing a card, start of turn is past. For that matchup look to have Haka's savage mana hide minions (negsting forced deployment) Rampage to wipe them out en masse. Zealot wants to get hurt so she can use ... I forget the name... a card thwt does the difference betwee. Her max and current health in a single slam.

AZ is in fact one of the most complex out of the box heroes. He has a longer setul time but his combos can be nasty. He is one of the 'self combo' heroes. Most tend to combo off each other.
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Christopher Ebert
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Board Game Greek wrote:
[size=14][b]What doesn’t work, in my opinion, is two or three players each playing one character. Yeah, it didn’t take us long to figure that out ourselves, but I wish the rulebook had reflected this reality.


It kinda does. Check out page 10 on the rule book, last paragraph under "Advanced Play" While it's not said in the beginning at setup, some new players would probably be overwhelmed controlling more than one character at a time.

Quote:
The game is optimized for four players, but Three or Five Player Teams make relatively little difference in game difficulty. Two experienced players can play a two player version of the game if one or both of them play as two heroes each.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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I'd also add that Megalopolis can add to the frustration factor. I always use Insula Primalis as a first environment.
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Tim Hange

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Mara,
Thanks for stopping by this thread. I appreciate your openness as a GTG member to hear candid discussion about Sentinels. I'm not sure what your position in the company is, but would you be willing to pass a suggestion on? In the interest of improving the experience in future reprints of Sentinels, I had a thought that might improve the game play while preserving the fun mechanic.

What if:. Cards had a color band across the bottom, or colored dots in the unused flavor text area that could help with the accounting. For example:.
Red dot:. This card has a start of turn action
Yellow dot: This card has an end of action
Blue dot: this card has some sort of ongoing trigger (when a player draws a card, when a player uses a power, etc). This might make it easy to scan the table and look for these kinds of triggers and effects.

It's just a thought as to how to alleviate this concern that some have with tracking and accounting.

Other readers in this thread...Any thoughts or ideas on how to improve this aspect of the game?
 
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Not to rain on parades, but I am pretty sure a lot of ideas were playtested at >G. The dots are no good, there are persistant effects, and effects that change when in a turn other effects happen.

If you have the tablespace you could try keeping SoT effects to the left of the villain card, lersistent beneath, and EoT to the right. This kind of organization doesn't work for everyone obviously.

 
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Good review!

Shadrach wrote:
Not to rain on parades, but I am pretty sure a lot of ideas were playtested at >G. The dots are no good, there are persistant effects, and effects that change when in a turn other effects happen.


I played around with a simple icon system. You need to put a dot/icon inline with the text (or use a colored font) because many cards have more than one effect.

Four icons get the job done:
Start of turn
End of turn
Conditional
Stats bump/immunities

If it is true that they play tested icons I would love to know who they had play testing because, as an infrequent player, I definitely found the icons helpful. Was much easier scanning for effects during the multistage turn order, especially for some villains that would have a dozen cards out.
 
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Tim Hange

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foldedcard wrote:
Good review!

Shadrach wrote:
Not to rain on parades, but I am pretty sure a lot of ideas were playtested at >G. The dots are no good, there are persistant effects, and effects that change when in a turn other effects happen.


I played around with a simple icon system. You need to put a dot/icon inline with the text (or use a colored font) because many cards have more than one effect.

Four icons get the job done:
Start of turn
End of turn
Conditional
Stats bump/immunities

If it is true that they play tested icons I would love to know who they had play testing because, as an infrequent player, I definitely found the icons helpful. Was much easier scanning for effects during the multistage turn order, especially for some villains that would have a dozen cards out.


I personally see huge merit in such a system.
 
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Faville wrote:
I keep coming back to the Sentinels page for a morale boost. I've had it for quite a few months now and have just managed three solo attempts and finally this week a play with another person. I don't think I've made it to the end of a game yet. I always run out of time and energy.
When I played with my friend, we played Absolute Zero, Haka, and Fanatic vs. Voss in Megalopolis,and the only dent that was put into Voss was by the environment's Train card after an hour and a half. We looked at the 30-60 minute time on the box and he said "eeh, beg to differ there." We gave up on that session. I suspect this will stay a solo game for me. Some day I'll finish one.

Good review, though--reminds me that I just need to play more.

For a teaching game I'd highly recommend playing Baron Blade in Insula Primalis and limiting hero choices to Legacy, Ra, Haka, Wraith, Bunker, Tempest, and Tachyon from the base set. Insula Primalis because out of the environments it doesn't force any equipment or ongoing destruction nor preventing hero card plays or power use. Baron Blade just because he is a simpler villain to setup and has less to track. The heroes that aren't listed from the base set I wouldn't recommend due to complexity, affects, or having a different playstyle that isn't intuitive for a first play through. At the least they should not play Absolute Zero since he is the most complex hero and is the only one with a three rating in the base set.
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Board Game Greek wrote:
foldedcard wrote:
Good review!

Shadrach wrote:
Not to rain on parades, but I am pretty sure a lot of ideas were playtested at >G. The dots are no good, there are persistant effects, and effects that change when in a turn other effects happen.


I played around with a simple icon system. You need to put a dot/icon inline with the text (or use a colored font) because many cards have more than one effect.

Four icons get the job done:
Start of turn
End of turn
Conditional
Stats bump/immunities

If it is true that they play tested icons I would love to know who they had play testing because, as an infrequent player, I definitely found the icons helpful. Was much easier scanning for effects during the multistage turn order, especially for some villains that would have a dozen cards out.


I personally see huge merit in such a system.

I don't want anymore on the cards for my preference. What I'd suggest instead is maybe looking into getting this https://greaterthangames.com/store/sentinels-of-the-multiver... or making your own tokens for tracking purposes.
 
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Damien
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Sonvar wrote:
Board Game Greek wrote:
foldedcard wrote:
Good review!

Shadrach wrote:
Not to rain on parades, but I am pretty sure a lot of ideas were playtested at >G. The dots are no good, there are persistant effects, and effects that change when in a turn other effects happen.


I played around with a simple icon system. You need to put a dot/icon inline with the text (or use a colored font) because many cards have more than one effect.

Four icons get the job done:
Start of turn
End of turn
Conditional
Stats bump/immunities

If it is true that they play tested icons I would love to know who they had play testing because, as an infrequent player, I definitely found the icons helpful. Was much easier scanning for effects during the multistage turn order, especially for some villains that would have a dozen cards out.


I personally see huge merit in such a system.

I don't want anymore on the cards for my preference. What I'd suggest instead is maybe looking into getting this https://greaterthangames.com/store/sentinels-of-the-multiver... or making your own tokens for tracking purposes.


It doesn't have to be MORE on the cards -- could be as simple as a colored keyword for each effect. I have that token pack -- it just trades endless scanning for endless fiddling with tokens!
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Bill Stull
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It would result in a change to all the cards and I'd prefer they stay as is. As to the token pack I haven't used them myself for this game but have used similar in other games so I don't see it making things more fiddly. It still accomplishes what you are asking for, would be more noticeable then a card change as it's raised, and even if a card change happened it would still require scanning.
 
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Andrew Arenson
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Icons: Others have suggested this, and I see the merits, but don't hold your breath. The designers are firmly against it, with the aim being to create a game that can be as much as possible understood with the fewest number of rules. While color coding or icons might be a good tradeoff for some, for _this_ game, they aren't going to happen.


Getting stuck w/ a support hero: Whenever I'm playing a turn that doesn't require much thought, that's when I have the brainspace to think about what everyone else is doing and enjoy the rest of the action around the table. I get to enjoy the tactics of the whole match and interacting with friends.

2-hero games: It may not be as prominent as it should be, but I'm pretty sure the rulebook mentions playing with multiple heroes per player when only two people are playing.

3-hero games and scaling: The original set was designed before scaling factors existed, so the scaling factor was retrofitted and doesn't make as much difference as it does for the expansions. Watch out for trying to win against the four Core villains with only three heroes. Doable, for sure, but often quite difficult.
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