Jay: This week, we dive into the new expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse, Vengeance. Vengeance is a new twist on the traditional Sentinels game..
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I wasn't bothered by the inclusion of the nemeses - the thing to realize is that Vengeance really only includes one new "villain", in the form of the Vengeful Five, and it's perfectly thematic for a villain team formed specifically to take on the heroes to lace in lesser criminals with grudges instead of thugs as their "minions". Which appears in whose deck doesn't really matter per se because the individual members of the Five are not standalone villains.
And -that- is what bothers me. I had really expected from the way they talked that the Five would be individual fleshed out villains that you could use by themselves or as part of this new team mode, and you simply can't because they don't have the full deck, they don't have the HP, and they don't have reverse sides.
The most disruptive part of this expansion was the interlacing of the character and villain turns. It removes quite a lot of the teamwork that is the hallmark of Sentinels before Vengeance (on the hero side).
I also feel lied to by all the superhero cartoons I watched growing up. Super villain groups are supposed to have infighting and bickering, and be less effective as a result. The Vengeful Five are a finely tuned machine that work together better than the heroes. Stupid villains, stop defeating my heroes.
"with [the] most hit points"
"I have heard that [the] entire story arc of Sentinels is already written."
Having now played a four player game with The Sentinels, Setback, the Naturalist and The Wraith against four of the five (only omitting Friction), I don't know that I agree. It's certainly a rough fight and Ermine especially is a gigantic pain in everyone's collective rear ends (including the other villains - she discarded soooo many of Baron Blade's most devastating cards), but I think it actually requires much more teamwork - focus firing the villains down one by one, trying to have sacrificial ongoings/equipment to feed Ermine while the most critical ones stay out to keep the affected heroes functional, having tanks temporarily take the pressure off other heroes while you try to scrape together some healing, etc.
(Incidentally, although area damage effects were certainly useful, I found large single target hits just as useful if not more so. The Nemesis targets went away when you knocked out their parent deck and tended in many cases to be beefy enough not to be worth pounding on when you could be getting the villain character down.)
It's not a fight I think I'd want to tackle very often - it's tough and it's significantly slower - but I think it works pretty well for what it is. I just wish they'd built it so that you could fight each villain involved in normal one-on-3-to-5 mode as well. And despite the liberal pounding my Sentinels received individually and collectively, I was really impressed at their utility and staying power, even despite Ermine screwing me out of all my signature power search cards, one of my big draw cards, many of my big attack cards, and pretty much all of my ongoings except a few turns off and on of Sentinel Tactics. I imagine they'll be crazy fun to field against villains that don't screw their deck and playing field quite so assiduously. Mainstay's Block power absorbed -so- much damage over the game.