Base Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse
Play Time (Box): 30-60 minutes
Play Time (Goof): 45-60 minutes
Producer: Greater than Games
Designer/s: Christopher Badell, Paul Bender and Adam Rebottaro
Goof of the Multiverse is back! (Come on GTG, let’s make this a thing). Today we’re looking at the first lot of mini-expansions I fell in love with.
What I like about the mini-expansions for Sentinels of the Multiverse is the fact a single deck can really shake up the variability, and they’re really affordable (picked up mine between $7 and $11 AUD from different places). Each mini-expansion contains either a single hero, villain, or environment. Kicking off Mini-Expansion Mondays in May with a *kapow*, today we’re checking out three of the heroes (with environment and villains to come).
As an overview I do want to say this – one of the interesting things about mini-expansions is the ability for designers to mess around with existing mechanics. And Sentinels has really embraced this mentality.
I’ll leave this as a mini-introduction and get into talking about the actual expansions.
Unity is a complex character I kinda want to enjoy more than I do. She centers on her Golems, which usually require her to either give up a card from hand or destroy a piece of equipment before they can come into play.
The problem I have with playing Unity is she requires more set up than Absolute Zero before she’s really effective. And you can get really hosed by bad draw (in my opinion more than most of the other characters). There will be turns where you’ve got no choice but to pass either playing a card or using a power, however generally you won’t want to do both and draw another card because you lose tempo which is really important for Unity. Her Golems employ a lot of small passive buffs but realistically if you don’t have at least two or three out (depending on which are out) you’re better off playing pretty much any other character.
I will say, the fact her Golems don’t have either the ongoing or equipment keywords is a nice buffer. But their low health often means you’re going to struggle to keep them out and working. When you consider a card like Raptor Bot compared to Tachyon’s burst cards, you have to do a hell of a lot more work with Unity to do those higher amounts of damage.
She’s a fun yet not overly viable character without some serious support.
Pros: +Fun, +Interesting Interactions
Cons: -Requires too much setup, -Requires too much luck
Thematically Unity works beautifully. The character bio is all about how she tears things apart to turn them into Golems. So having to destroy or discard something in one place to make something new in another is in keeping with her concept. I think they’ve done well to blend the mechanics and theme (just maybe needed a bit more of a buff with power levels).
Pros: ++Mechanics Synergise with Storyline
I get what the artist was going for with Unity. And I like the fact the bots are all robotic imitations of other heroes and villains. But I sorta just find her artwork a bit… boring. It’s consistent with the larger game. It just doesn’t do anything to really get me excited to play her. It’s all very much a central figure and a dull background. The only exception to this for me is the ‘Brainstorm’ card. When you compare it to the artwork of all the other heroes, it’s very bland.
Pros: +Robots are Imitations
Cons: -Artwork is bland and boring
Unity modifies the base game by:
Sentinels of the Multiverse doesn’t have a healer class. I read somewhere once this was a deliberate decision as healers could make the game too easy and it didn’t really work with their gameplay model. I actually accept this. I always thought of Tempest and Legacy as support characters who have the ability to heal, but yeah it’s not like they’re dedicated.
The Scholar’s ability to “gain 1 hp” was what originally drew me to pick him up. He plays more like a tanking class than what I originally assumed (makes sense now I think about it. Survivability and such).
Everything is tied into keeping him alive. However for what I assume is a more tanky class, he only has two copies of one card which allow him to redirect damage to himself. Admittedly, this is sometimes enough because you’re then trying to get the health back through small amounts of healing for several rounds.
I really like the fact you need to take damage in order for his abilities to work. There are times when I really wished the villain had just hurt me a tiny bit more (and no we’re not talking about my fetishes here). Because the more damage you’ve taken, the more you can heal, the more you can trigger your abilities.
I feel like The Scholar has a huge amount of deck control through card draw, and the ability to hunt down his elemental forms. He’s fun to play, especially when trying to work out which cards you need to discard in order to keep his elemental forms active.
Pros: ++Fantastic Mechanics, ++Deck Control, +Fun.
I love the concept of The Scholar. He feels like he’s biding his time until he unleashes one massively deadly hit. You have to use up all the cards in hand to do this, which I can just picture is The Scholar having channeled all of his energy into one massive blast. And if this didn’t take the enemy down, then The Scholar is done for.
Pros: ++Mechanics Synergise with Storyline
There’s something about the casual beachy clothes draped with a dressing gown I just find both simultaneously charming and hilarious (maybe it reminds me of my father). The artwork for The Scholar is really quite unique, with a couple which stand out for me as being a bit out of place (looking at you ‘Offensive Transmutation’) but as a general rule it paints a really interesting story of a swamp dweller who channels alchemy and generally needs his rest.
Pros: ++Paints a Story
Cons: -Couple of Inconsistent Artwork
The Scholar modifies the base game by:
Guise is fun to play. The fact he makes you act a bit silly while you play (a point I’ll discuss in more detail below) is part of the charm. He also bounces off other player’s characters a fair amount, using others equipment and taking actions during other people’s turns. It’s a fun, chaotic way of playing.
Pros: +Fun, +Chaotic
I go back and forth on Guise. In a very Deadpool loving way I appreciate him. Fourth wall breaking, and not just from a flavour point of view. There’s a card called ‘Best Card Ever!’ which has as part of its gameplay text “If you throw your hands in the air and yell, woo! You may play a card”. And I’m going to praise this kind of thing in a moment but let me talk about my issues with it for a moment.
What this does it take a semi-serious strategy game and makes it silly. I go from imagining this superhero smack down with story arcs and plot points and suddenly my suspension of disbelief is gone. If Guise was in every game I played, I’d probably lose interest in playing Sentinels of the Multiverse all together (which is a big statement. As of today I’m clocking in 66 plays since July 2017).
Where I think it’s a positive is in having the player effectively bouncing during other people’s turns. Imagine it for a moment, on Guise’s turn the player throws their hands in the air. On the next player’s turn they interrupt to quickly play a card. And the next player’s as well. When it’s their turn again they start asking what equipment you’ve got they might be able to borrow for a minute. Tell me you didn’t just imagine a comic book scenario where this exact thing happens. Yes, some might see it as annoying but it’s generally not as intrusive as it sounds.
Pros: ++Mechancs Synergise with Theme, +Fits Character Archetype
Cons: – -Ruins Suspension of Disbelief
The artist NAILED Guise’s artwork. The fact ‘Look What I Found’ is literally Guise using a part of the card to beat Wager Master in the face is absolutely hysterical. But more than this, the production team adds flavour text all over the card. ‘Retcon’ for example reads “Destroy 1 Ongoing or Environment Card. Awesome! I’m a Great Hero. You May Draw A Card or Play A Card”. There is a small downside to this which is it becomes hard at a glance to identify what a card actually does at a quick glance.
I’d honestly only recommend Guise for relatively experienced players.
Pros: ++Production is Amazing
Cons: -Harder to Read
Guise modifies the base game by:
I really enjoyed analyzing the mini-expansion heroes in Sentinels of the Multiverse. I really believe each of these is worth buying, if only to increase the variety of your game (if you haven’t played your copy 66 times this may not be an issue for you yet).
Let me know if you’re interested in the mini-expansion Villains and/or Environments. I’m keen to give these a look over too.
While I purchased these expansions from multiple places, I did purchase most of them from Tabletop Wonderland
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Please comment, lets get the conversations flowing!