Friday, May 31, 2013

A Few Random Thoughts about Sentinels of the Multiverse

So, in a recent post, I mentioned that I've been playing a lot of Sentinels of the Multiverse lately, at least when out and about playing board games.  As you may already know, I particularly like cooperative games, but I thought that I'd mention here a few things that have been running through my brain lately. 

I like that characters aren't completely useless after they die are defeated.  This is actually common among modern board gamers:  Player elimination is generally considered a bad thing.  I do like one particular game series - The Red Dragon Inn - that requires player elimination, since it's last man standing, but, in my experience, by the time that one player is finally eliminated, the game isn't terribly far from the end.  In Sentinels, since the game-wide lose condition (some villains have additional ways to defeat the heroes) is the defeat of all of the heroes, there must be some threat that one of the heroes will go down; unless a single hero's defeat meant a loss - which wouldn't work thematically - this would have to happen.  While it doesn't seem to be a perfect solution, I can't think of anything better automatically, and it works thematically. 

I like that all villains flip, and flip differently.  They did this cool thing where every villain basically has two "forms" that (can) both come up during battle.  However, what I like even more is that each villain has a different way to flip.  In the base game alone, the four villains have either three or four (depending on how picky you are) different ways to flip:  Omnitron flips every turn (spending half the game in each form), Baron Blade flips when he's "defeated" the first time (as he jumps into his power armor), and Citizen Dawn and Grand Warlord Voss each flip when the heroes have fought their way through their mooks.  I also had a chance recently to fight against a promotional villain who flips when he gets his cloaking device out of his deck, and flips back when he loses it. 

Fanatic and Visionary:  Challenging or Underpowered?  These are two of the heroes in the base game (out of ten), and the two that have given me the most chagrin.  Visionary just dies at the slightest provocation:  Since she has no healing or damage reduction, she basically has to luck into either of two rather flimsy defenses:  One that takes a very small amount of damage for her, and another that makes her invulnerable, but prevents her from doing anything at the same time.  Fanatic, on the other hand, has a teeny bit of healing, but deals herself so much damage during the game that it's very negated.  In both cases, I'm trying to decide whether the hero is just challenging to play, or should just be played by someone who doesn't mind being defeated a third of the way in. 

Those are just a few thoughts that I thought that I'd share.  Overall, is good times. 

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