Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sentinels of the Multiverse - 16/20 hours

I just finished the last of the villains. I was able to beat all of them except the Ennead. I think my team setup wasn't enough to get the job done. In particular, I didn't have enough diversity in my damage types to take down the whole set of villains. Likely, with a better draw, I might have been able to pull out a victory, but it would have been purely luck-based.

Having seen all the villains in action, I can better appreciate both the strengths and the weaknesses of the video-game format. On the one hand, it's nice to have a computer to sort out the complexities of some of the more active decks. When I was facing Matriarch, the bird-summoning villain, there were turns where she'd play something like 20 birds, along with effects that triggered off both their appearance and destruction. To have the computer process the interactions saved a lot of trouble. On the other hand, the resolution mechanics are unable to recognize a pattern.

For example. When one of the matriarch's birds was destroyed, she would do 2 damage to my strongest hero. In addition, one of the other cards in play did 1 damage to every hero except the strongest. And I had another card out that would automatically kill a bird as soon as it was played. Luckily, I was able to set up my damage reduction so that only one of my characters would take damage, calculable as exactly one per bird. If I'd been playing the tabletop game, I'd have been able to just add up the birds and skip the tedious step-by-step resolution. Unfortunately, the video game version made me click through every single damned bird, all 18 of them, 5 clicks per one. It was kind of a nightmare.

Which is a shame, because the Matriarch really is a fun and flavorful villain. I don't think I'd have been able to beat her if I'd gotten even a slightly different draw at the start. But I'm going to have to avoid her, simply so I don't go through that whole clickfest again.

My plan from this point forward was to pick a villain and then go through all the different environments with the same villain and team, so as to compare them accurately, but I don't think I'm going to do that. I don't have enough time to get through all the environments, and I'm kind of itching to get some more time with the rest of the characters. Maybe retry the Ennead with a different team, go for the complete villain sweep. There are also variant villains that might be interesting to try out.

I've not yet had luck in setting up a face-to-face game, and I am increasingly convinced that Sentinels of the Universe was a good purchase for me. Having a chance to actually play this game has been an absolute blast, and I can't wait to see what else it has to offer.

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