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Subject: Are there decisions to be made? rss

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Todd
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Some cooperative games that I have played seem to lack meaningful decisions. Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game would be an example of this IMHO.

Does Sentinels present a player with real decisions?

Also, does this game have the Alpha Player problem that Pandemic can have? Obviously every group is different, but some experienced players in Pandemic can try to dictate strategy to new players.

Thoughts?
 
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Kevin Seachrist
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Falcons wrote:
Some cooperative games that I have played seem to lack meaningful decisions. Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game would be an example of this IMHO.

Does Sentinels present a player with real decisions?


Yes, it does. Quite often, especially with environment cards, one agonizing decision is who will sacrifice (their turn/their cards/their health) for the greater good to counter a seriously detrimental effect.

At other times you may find you have an abundance of really cool powers in hand, but you can only play one card per turn, so playing a card that gives you an ongoing power or effect means you can't pull off an even more powerful one-shot effect. You also frequently have to decide between pitching an excellent power card from your hand if you already have a copy in play when you would really like to keep it handy as a backup.


Falcons wrote:
Also, does this game have the Alpha Player problem that Pandemic can have? Obviously every group is different, but some experienced players in Pandemic can try to dictate strategy to new players.

Thoughts?


For my group it doesn't. We talk about strategies, but we don't necessarily show our hands. It's more about saying "I can either blast warlord Voss for 5 damage or I can work on his minions this turn" and the group can talk about it. Games like Pandemic tend to feature less complicated roles for each player, and therefore it's much easier for one person to try to take a "big picture" view and orchestrate everyone's actions. That's actually what I intensely dislike about Pandemic and games of that sort.
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Christopher Paul
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Just chiming in that I agree with the above post. Defenders of the Realm and Sentinels of the Multiverse are the two best coops I've played for these reasons: little to no bossiness, highly thematic, lots of choices and decisions to be made, and super fun!
 
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Michael Denman
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Falcons wrote:
Some cooperative games that I have played seem to lack meaningful decisions. Does Sentinels present a player with real decisions?


Yes, in the form of teamwork questions which is great for a co-op. Figuring out who's going after what can be critical.

Falcons wrote:
Also, does this game have the Alpha Player problem that Pandemic can have? Obviously every group is different, but some experienced players in Pandemic can try to dictate strategy to new players.


I suppose nothing is impossible, but it'd be really hard in this game. Once you get going, each hero probably has quite a few ongoing effects to remember, as well as what's in their hands. I don't know anyone who'd WANT to try to keep it all straight. It's all you can do to know what YOU are doing.
 
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Christopher Paul
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Also, some heroes are not "obvious" in how to play them. Absolute Zero is an example of this - I was intrigued by him b/c he seemed to be a "bad" hero (his power is to do damage to himself?) So no one can really tell you what to do, you have to figure out how to make him work...
 
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Paul Smith
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For my initial play the answer was no. There were few meaningful decisions. You get to play one card a turn. You get to attack a person. You only have 4 cards in hand to start and some of them are very situational. One does some damage, another one does more. Hmm, which one am I going to pick? Then, the next decision is who to attack. The boss, minion, or environment. A number of turns, it was only the boss (I was the last of 4 players).

Yes, there are group decisions about who's going to target a specific problem, but the conversation usually went like, who can take care of problem #1. Random player: "I can".

In some cases the conversation extended to:
Random player #1: "I can"
Randon player #2: "I can"
Random player #1: "... or I can do 5 damage to boss "
Randon player #2: "I can only do 2 damage to boss"
Randon player #1: "OK, I'll do 5 damage to boss and you take care of problem #1"

The decision trees are faily simple and easy to optimize such that the decisions are obvious.

This was my experience from one (and probably last) play of the game.

 
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Ted Swalwell
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chucker101 wrote:
For my initial play the answer was no. There were few meaningful decisions. You get to play one card a turn. You get to attack a person. You only have 4 cards in hand to start and some of them are very situational. One does some damage, another one does more. Hmm, which one am I going to pick? Then, the next decision is who to attack. The boss, minion, or environment. A number of turns, it was only the boss (I was the last of 4 players).

Yes, there are group decisions about who's going to target a specific problem, but the conversation usually went like, who can take care of problem #1. Random player: "I can".

In some cases the conversation extended to:
Random player #1: "I can"
Randon player #2: "I can"
Random player #1: "... or I can do 5 damage to boss "
Randon player #2: "I can only do 2 damage to boss"
Randon player #1: "OK, I'll do 5 damage to boss and you take care of problem #1"

The decision trees are faily simple and easy to optimize such that the decisions are obvious.

This was my experience from one (and probably last) play of the game.



Hmm. I've not really had exeperience of this. For us, there have been a few simple 'I'm strictly better than you...' decisions, but it's normally been much more complex. To borrow your style:

Who can take care of problem #1?

Random hero #1: "I can with X."
Randon hero #2: "I can with Y, but I might be better saving that for Possible Problem #2, which would be much worse."
Random hero #1: "Alternatively, I can play a recuring event which deals damage every turn to the boss, but I'll need to pay for it with health. and, of course, it could be wrecked if that enviroment card comes up."
Randon hero #2: "Well I can otherwise play a power that allows me to heal everyone, which would be good."
Random hero #3: "I can stop that enviroment coming up, and deal 4 damage. Or I could deal 7 damage, and wreck the laser cannon."
Randon hero #4: "Well, I can use Z to start dealing with problem #1, but not as effectively as you guys. On the other hand, I've nothing really useful now."


And so on. It all basically boils down to luck-management, but it's fun, very thematic, and definately worth a few more plays.


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