Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Villainous Pairups in Sentinels of the Multiverse

So I've been playing a lot of Sentinels of the Multiverse (SotM). You should, too.

The latest Sentinels expansion is Vengeance, and unlike the previous expansions that only introduced new heroes, villainous masterminds, and environments, Vengeance introduces a new style of play. Instead of 3-5 heroes fighting 1 villainous mastermind in a single environment, Vengeance lets 3-5 heroes face off against 3-5 villains, each roughly equal in power to a hero.

It's a neat concept, but the actual game play experience is a little weak. 3-5 extra decks take up a lot of space on the table, and the interleaving of hero and villain turns is a bit complicated. The extra decks also take a lot more time to play, but the games don't last for very many turns. Heroes don't have time to set up their big combos, and villains play maybe 1/3rd of their decks at most. The fact that the Vengeance villains have a lot of ongoing and equipment destruction doesn't help the situation.

Another slight sadness for Vengeance is that the game is still limited to only five heroes. If you want to play with six friends, or if you want to experiment solo with a six hero match, it doesn't expand the
game to allow that. Admittedly, the designers of SotM never suggested they were going to allow six players, so I'm not faulting them for that. But it is an itch I'd like to scratch.

One thing I've been experimenting with is a semi-Vengeance style game using the normal villains.

Villainous Pair Ups

This is an alternate setup for SotM. Pick six hero decks, one environment deck, and two full size villain decks (not Vengeful 5 decks or alternate "team decks") from difficulty 1 or 2 villains. Set up one of the villains to start the game, followed by three of the heroes, the other villain, the last three heroes, and the environment deck. Play proceeds more or less normally, with a villain turn, three hero turns, the other villain turn, three more hero turns, and the environment turn. For scaling purposes, treat H as 4.

I've been experimenting with this format, and I've found it's reasonably challenging. Omnitron is rarely a challenge by himself, and Ambuscade is a speed bump 95% of the time, but the two of them together are reasonable difficult. More challenging villains, such as Plague Rat or Akash'bhuta, can combine to be nearly as hard as the difficulty 4 villains like Iron Legacy or the Chairman.

It's also a fun format, since with 6 heroes, there's more interaction and potential synergies between heroes.

Programming Note
So the extent that this blog has a following, it's mostly people who play GURPS. I'll be posting more stuff about GURPS in the future, I promise, but I have been playing a huge amount of SotM recently. There should be an Effectiveness of Template type article up soon, I hope.


  1. I got to play Sentinels of the Multiverse at my local game shop, nice game. As far as the Effectiveness of Template type article, I would love to hear your thoughts on the dungeon artificer.

    1. I've only seen the Artificer in play once or twice, so I don't know how much insight I really have. It's not obviously broken like a Shaman, so it's harder to evaluate without experience. But hey, why not.

  2. You needn't defend going off on tangents. I only know about SotM from your post just now, and while I'm not much of a card game fan, I have been spending some quality time with Hero System, so the itches we're scratching are similar.


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