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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition on Kickstarter Now

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30 Mar 2021 13:25 #321441 by ubarose
A mad scientist holds the whole world hostage with his...

A brand new take on the classic comic book card game! 

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30 Mar 2021 14:45 #321442 by Gary Sax
The art definitely looks better. I'm guessing this is kind of a bitter pill for people who have the insane amount of content they've already produced for this game? I dunno.

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30 Mar 2021 15:10 #321443 by Shellhead

Gary Sax wrote: The art definitely looks better. I'm guessing this is kind of a bitter pill for people who have the insane amount of content they've already produced for this game? I dunno.


They had a link at that kickstarter page to conversion rules for the older cards. The original game was reputedly fiddly, and this new edition has streamlined away some of that fiddliness.

In theory, I should have bought Sentinels of the Multiverse because I have long been searching for a good superhero game, but I bounced off the lousy art. Marvel Champions isn't perfect, but it seems to be a highly-refined product compared to Sentinels of the Multiverse.

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30 Mar 2021 15:17 #321445 by Gary Sax
It's cheap, I'm somewhat tempted. So Very Wrong About Games likes it a lot and my tastes are somewhat aligned to theirs.

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30 Mar 2021 15:18 #321446 by mezike
Yeah, Marvel Champions is already kinda Sentinels 3rd ed in some ways. This new version is definitely an upgrade on the previous iteration in all of gameplay, usability and graphic presentation. I’d be all over it but for the high UK shipping - $35 and they don’t even know if VAT and duties will be covered, no ta. It used to be worth the high shipping costs because of all the free stuff they used to bundle in but not in this case.

I’m trying to sell my current set because I’d rather get either this new edition or invest in Marvel but it’s a hard sell even with a steep discount.

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30 Mar 2021 15:24 #321447 by mezike
I should mention that I really love Sentinels, it was the first game that I became a ‘fan’ of and was part of a big transition away from BGG hotness influenced gaming for me. I also made some good friends over on their forums. Some of the expansions were really janky but in general the design work does a really cracking job of making each deck feel thematic to the character it represents - and there’s over a hundred decks in total.
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30 Mar 2021 15:46 #321450 by Jackwraith
I always felt like I should love Sentinels. I'm basically put off by anything Marvel or DC these days, but that's because I'm 50 years old and have read/seen enough Marvel/DC material to last me the rest of my days. There is no sense of excitement for me in seeing Spider-Man vs Shocker on cards or board or anything like that. I've seen it on newsprint before; many times. It is very much a case of "been there, done that." But when I recently sold all of my old RPG stuff, the one game I held on to is Villains and Vigilantes because I still have a thing for weird/janky superhero stuff. Sentinels is very much in that vein, with all kinds of odd characters, some obvious pastiches, and some not so obvious.

But in the three times I've sat down to play the game, all of them have been awful. First off, it's a co-op, which is a strike against for me these days with very few exceptions. Secondly, it very much has the "alpha" problem of co-ops (as does Marvel); not behaviorally, but in that one hero seems to be the point person and everyone else there is just present to support that point person. That's cool if you're actually working as a team but, in my experience, it means the support people had very little agency of their own and were basically just filling space between grandiose actions by the character on point. In my one game of Marvel Champions, it was Iron Man who was singlehandedly defeating the enemy while the rest of us just muddled around the edges. Every game of Sentinels I've played has been something similar.

So, yeah. Just not the game for me, I guess.
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30 Mar 2021 18:26 - 30 Mar 2021 19:10 #321457 by mezike
That’s fair criticism. What I can say about the game is that there are a lot of really intricate combos that can be built across decks but they are super opaque so I imagine a lot of people bounce off with that same sense of superficiality. Some of the people that I know who are much deeper into it than I ever got are figuring out insane near-infinite damage combos or ways to spam cards repeatedly in and out of play, but that kind of stuff seems super deep down into the game and in many cases require the full set to be able to dig into. It can more easily just be an exercise in bashing the bad guy down to zero hit points, so I feel like the Marvel game is more engaging mechanically and more immediately so. Like you I have no affection for the licence but that’s no different to me than made-up analogues.
Last edit: 30 Mar 2021 19:10 by mezike.
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30 Mar 2021 19:38 - 31 Mar 2021 08:45 #321464 by Sagrilarus

Gary Sax wrote: It's cheap, I'm somewhat tempted. So Very Wrong About Games likes it a lot and my tastes are somewhat aligned to theirs.


Man, they just rave about this game and I thought it was the most white bread thing I’d ever played. Even played it a few times to see if it was just a learning thing. Very mechanical, and I think the thematics didn’t add a doggone thing to it. My experience matches Jack’s exactly, one character of consequence, the others spectators.

It became apparent to me that So Very Wrong About Games was the most aptly named podcast in the genre. Never agreed with those guys.


I’m curious what these Sentinel guys will do when they want to republish this in five years. “The Even More Definitive Edition”?
Last edit: 31 Mar 2021 08:45 by Sagrilarus.
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30 Mar 2021 22:00 #321470 by hotseatgames

Sagrilarus wrote: It became apparent to me that So Very Wrong About Games was the most aptly named podcast in the genre. Never agreed with those guys.


:whistle: They have been right at least once.
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30 Mar 2021 22:05 #321471 by Sagrilarus
Blind squirrels find nuts now and again. :)
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31 Mar 2021 00:23 #321474 by Shellhead

Jackwraith wrote: I always felt like I should love Sentinels. I'm basically put off by anything Marvel or DC these days, but that's because I'm 50 years old and have read/seen enough Marvel/DC material to last me the rest of my days. There is no sense of excitement for me in seeing Spider-Man vs Shocker on cards or board or anything like that. I've seen it on newsprint before; many times. It is very much a case of "been there, done that." But when I recently sold all of my old RPG stuff, the one game I held on to is Villains and Vigilantes because I still have a thing for weird/janky superhero stuff. Sentinels is very much in that vein, with all kinds of odd characters, some obvious pastiches, and some not so obvious.


I'm a few years older, and I totally get what you're saying about Marvel and DC. I was obsessed with Marvel until around 1985, when I suddenly got a lot more interested in DC and some of the smaller publishers. These days, both DC and Marvel have changed so much that I don't feel interested in any new comics unless I can check them out for free at the library. Fortunately, the local library has a pretty impressive trade paperback collection. And when it comes to music, there are an awful lot of good classic rock songs that I just don't need to ever hear again.

But my specific problem with many non-DC/Marvel properties is that too many of their characters look like cheap knock-offs, especially all the Superman clones. And it's even more common to see characters that are an obvious combination of two well-known DC or Marvel characters. To me, the only thing worse than an overexposed character is a very cheap, shallow imitation of an overexposed character.

As for Villains & Vigilantes, that was actually the rpg that I played the most when I was a teenager. I ran the FGU mods at first, until the first set of Marvel Handbooks came out. I statted up every single Marvel character from the handbooks using V&V, so I could run a campaign where my friends played new heroes in the Marvel Universe. At my first GenCon in 1982, I got my 2nd edition V&V rulebook autographed by Jeff Dee and Jack Herman. Better yet, I got to play V&V with Bill Willingham the next day. But after a long stretch of unemployment in 1991, I sold a lot of my comics and all my V&V stuff. I even gave away all my Marvel character sheets to the friend who bought the V&V rules and mods.
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31 Mar 2021 01:00 #321475 by Jackwraith
That's awesome that you got to meet those guys. I met Bill a couple times at some small press shows while we were running the comic studio and we talked about V&V a lot. The funny thing is that, mechanically, the system was pretty bad. They did some updates in later years with some translation tables so you could still use all the characters from Opponents Unlimited, etc.

Oddly, my problem with DC and Marvel isn't just their properties. It's really superheroes, in general. I tuned out of superhero comics except for Kurt Busiek's Astro City in the mid-90s because I'd seen it all before and was starting to read retread storylines even though they were dressed in different ways and it's possible that the writers/editors of the time didn't even know that they were basically repeating the same schtick from the mid-70s. It all just became very tired for me. I was fine with the first 8 or 9 Marvel films, but then burned out on those, too. So it's kind of weird that I still have this attachment to offbeat superhero stuff. Instinctual behavior from a very young age. Or something.

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31 Mar 2021 08:11 #321484 by fightcitymayor

Gary Sax wrote: The art definitely looks better. I'm guessing this is kind of a bitter pill for people who have the insane amount of content they've already produced for this game? I dunno.

Sentinels always felt like Exhibit A of game lines that people bought because they had always bought it. Thus the nearly endless stream of expansions, promos, KS-exclusives, etc. I would also wager because there was so much product made that a decent % of buyers never even bothered cracking the shrink on most of their purchases. So this gives them a chance to do that "collecting without playing" thing all over again for another decade.
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31 Mar 2021 15:40 #321514 by Joebot
Sentinels feels like the classic example of a "boardgame that works better as an app." I've played the app a lot. It's pretty fun. I've never played the physical game, and I have no desire to ever, ever do that. A lot of characters have abilities that break the normal flow of the game, like "after every player turn, optionally discard a card to do something-something." The app prompts you as appropriate, and you can do the thing, or not do the thing, and it moves along. Trying to keep track of all that shit in the physical game has to be grueling and tedious as hell.
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