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Subject: Playing the Villian in a 5 player game...will it work? rss

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Wikiro Trio
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I was thinking about giving someone a shot at being the villain because I have an older brother that likes taking on the masses. He hates co-ops with a passion and doesn't even like this game. I was thinking, could it be possible to play the villain like the heroes. 4 card hand and draws at the beginning ever turn. There might need to be some tweaks but that's why I opened this thread anyone have any ideas?



-LMK
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Julian Wasson
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It's possible, but to be perfectly frank I'm not really sure why you wouldn't just play a game that's designed to be one-versus-many in the first place if that's what you're looking for. One of the reasons I love SotM is that it's basically Raid Decks from WoWTCG but I don't have to talk somebody into running the baddie. I would recommend looking into that or MtG's Archenemy format before trying to tweak SotM into something it fundamentally isn't suited to.
 
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fba827 fba827
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I would not suggest that the villain have a hand of 4 because the villain deck is smaller and you would run out of cards considerably faster (causing a faster reshuffle for the villain deck which in turn would affect how some villains play who are dependant upon the villain discard pile, such as baron blade, or on certain cards, such apostate or gloomweaver). Also, the villain having a "hand" of cards at any given time makes a difference to the heroes since they have ways to affect the villain deck and affect villain cards in play, but no game mechanic exists to affect the villain hand

I would either....

a) let him run the villain (and environment) as is "i.e. play the top card from deck every turn and do what it says" thus not changing any of the rules just having him be the designated person that flips the villain stuff and gets to keep track of the villain and environment side of things

b) let him run the villain side by drawing 2 cards every turn, then choosing one to play and putting the unselected card at the bottom of the villain deck (thus not maintaining a hand of cards but still offering some choice)

c) similar to option b, but he draws 3 cards every turn and of those cards, he plays one, returns one to the top of the villain deck, and puts the final one at the bottom of the villain deck. This gives him a little more choice/strategy but still does not give him a hand of cards.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on it.
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dypaca
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Another issue I forsee is that when something effects multiple cards, the players choose the order they are resolved. Sometimes the order doesn't make much difference, but sometimes it can be huge. I think the villain player would start to feel pretty cheated by this.

On the other hand, choosing the optimal time to destroy ongoings/equipment could be devastating, so maybe it would balance out.
 
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Wikiro Trio
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Well for one I want to do it with SotM because I own SotM. Also how many good hero games are their really? Legendary is a once and a while game, while SotM is an event.

Well I'm sticking with the 4 cards hand. The villain doesn't reshuffle when the deck goes dry he wastes his hand then starts over with a fresh 4 cards after depletion reshuffle. Holding out on cards and choosing the enemy would make the game way harder for the heros so I feel it can only be done with 5 players 4 heroes. Rules I would try to add would be something like prevent damage from villian this turn to say draw 3 card and replace 3 cards back on top of the deck or something. For Baren Blade the cards have to be in the grave to count as the 15 so I don't see the problem there.

Thank you for all the replies. I was wondering what abilities in the game you can add to give maybe more options for the villain. The stratagem per villain is definitely not infinite so I'm thinking maybe environment control. Though, I find that non-thematic and a form of over-powering.

LMK
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Julian Wasson
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I really don't think this would feel good for anybody involved. The mechanics are designed to give the hero players lots of choice when there's ambiguity, which is going to feel crappy for the villain. And being able to sit on weak or untimely cards and get to important cards faster depending on which method you use is going to be really strong and unbalance the game in favor of the villain. So it's going to be this weird situation where the villain is actually extra strong, but the player will feel weak. That's a nightmare scenario.

Also, the reason I suggested those other games is that they're designed for versus play. There are interrupts and more dynamic reactionary choices to make. SotM is simple and relatively deterministic because it has to account for one side having no real agency. Games that are designed for 1-vs-many play will take advantage of the ability of humans to make choices and timing calls. Having your brother play the villain won't make him like SotM, because it won't be a good game. As a co-op it's dynamic, but as a competitive game you're going to miss the flexibility of a real competitive system.

If you're looking for a competitive superhero card game, you can find VS System or Overpower for not expensive on ebay. That's one nice thing about dead CCGs, it's not expensive to get into them anymore. VS System even has a one-versus-many set called "Coming of Galactus." I would highly recommend looking into that. There's only one official set, but it would be simpler to use their format and homebrew up new villain decks than to completely remake SotM to make it fun for competitive play.
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Sergio Macias
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Well, I, for once, think you should give it a go and tell us how it works. It sounds like an interesting experiment. If it works or at least you all have fun playing even if it's a mess, then more power to you And if it doesn't work as soon as you remember that's not the way the game is intended to be played it'll be fine
 
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Wikiro Trio
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Well obviously its a co-op but any game can be tweaked. I'm just trying to find the minimum tweak to do it. Also Vs and Overpower were games I played when they first came out and they were dreadful. My opinion obviously and you go enjoy those. Like I said, I have SotM now and want to find the minimum convert to play, I'm stubborn that way. There should be something to it, no games rules are set in stone. Netrunner gave me a few ideas I could try. Like build up power for the villain before he can draw a new card by sacrificing an action. I'll let everyone know what I come up with but some help would be great.

-LMK
 
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Carlos "Koey"
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You could always try Heros vs Heros.
If you really want to turn it into a competitive game.
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Wikiro Trio
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Hmmm....can you do that? If so BRILLIANT! I'll try it.

-LMK
 
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Shawn George
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Wikiro wrote:
Well for one I want to do it with SotM because I own SotM. Also how many good hero games are their really? Legendary is a once and a while game, while SotM is an event.

Well I'm sticking with the 4 cards hand. The villain doesn't reshuffle when the deck goes dry he wastes his hand then starts over with a fresh 4 cards after depletion reshuffle. Holding out on cards and choosing the enemy would make the game way harder for the heros so I feel it can only be done with 5 players 4 heroes. Rules I would try to add would be something like prevent damage from villian this turn to say draw 3 card and replace 3 cards back on top of the deck or something. For Baren Blade the cards have to be in the grave to count as the 15 so I don't see the problem there.

Thank you for all the replies. I was wondering what abilities in the game you can add to give maybe more options for the villain. The stratagem per villain is definitely not infinite so I'm thinking maybe environment control. Though, I find that non-thematic and a form of over-powering.

LMK


In my opinion, the most balanced option would be option b from fba827's post above (2 card hand), only drawing the 2 cards after the "start of villain turn" phase. The villain may choose the order of effects for any villain cards, while the heroes retain the ability to choose the order of effects for hero and environment cards.

Hero team vs. hero team could be interesting, although I think you'd have to play without an environment deck (as some cards just wouldn't work in that scenario, like Self-Destruct Sequence on Wagner Mars Base). All references to "hero cards" would be changed to refer to your own team, while references to "villain cards" would be changed to refer to the other team.
 
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Julian Wasson
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Actually, I think Self Destruct Sequence in an otherwise competitive game is friggin brilliant. Nobody wants to get stuck doing it themselves and giving the other team an advantage, but somebody has to or you all lose. Having to negotiate with your enemy in a situation like that is both super fun and super thematic. This card alone makes the hero vs hero idea sound much more appealing to me. Maybe still not worth redesigning the whole game and rewriting most cards to make it work and be balanced at all, but still that's a really cool thing.

Also, note that fba827's suggestions all are HUGE boosts to the Villain. It means that you're getting to your crucial cards TWICE AS FAST, and there's no limit on the crappy cards you can bury. Also it doesn't avoid breaking control heroes any more than the hand version does, as you can still easily filter the card left there to the bottom. At least with a hand you have to spend your whole draw on it. I think a hand of 3-4 cards will break the game less than playing one and burying one each turn. Also, the hand management angle of deciding which cards to save for later and which to play now is really fun. I wouldn't want to deprive any player of that.

Maybe a better tweak to control heroes would be to say that any time it wants you to look at the top of the villain deck, you look at that many random cards from the villain hand, and any time you discard cards from the villain hand, you draw that many cards from the villain deck. This means that you have a chance to eat away at the villain's saved cards, and gives you maximum knowledge of what they have and can play immediately. Also before you put a card into the villain hand (say, with Suggestion), you have to put a random card from the villain hand back on top of the villain deck. This way you'll always have the same hand size (I'm leaning towards 3 because villain decks are slimmer than hero decks, but maybe start with trying 4 for consistency's sake).
 
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Eric Lucero
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I say get Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition), have your brother play the dungeon lord, and thank me later. cool
 
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