Vengeance is the newest expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse, the best co-op superhero game ever published. Not only does it offer a slew of new heroes but it also introduces a whole new play mode.
“Adam Rebottaro, the artist for all of Sentinels, and I have been friends for about twenty years,” Christopher Badell one of the co-publishers and co-designers of Sentinels of the Multiverse said. “In our youth, we wanted to play a superhero card game that put the players in the roles of heroes, fighting together against a terribly villain in a dynamic environment. Long story short, it never happened, and one day, we just made it ourselves!”
If you are new to Sentinels of the Multiverse, the gameplay is simple to understand. Each player controls a prebuilt deck of cards which represents a hero and their powers. On a player’s turn they play a card, use a power, and draw a card. They may do more, depending on the powers and card abilities, but that’s the basics of a turn.
The point of the game is for the heroes to team up and take down a villain. Each villain has a prebuilt deck and each of which feels and plays completely different. Some are a cakewalk to defeat and others are nearly impossible, which offers a lot variety for both new and advanced players.
What truly stands out about the Vengeance expansion is that instead of taking on a single villain, the players are now up against a team of villains. The team is lead by Baron Blade, the most beat up and easiest to defeat out of all the Sentinels Villains and with him are a four other big bads who actually take their turns between each player’s turn.
“Vengeance was one of our dream “what if” expansions for us,” Badell said. “When we just got started, we talked a lot about how cool it would be if someday we got to make an expansion based around Baron Blade’s villain team, but that would have to happen after several expansions and would require a lot of demand, so it was highly unlikely. So, when we got to sit down and start building Vengeance, it was a dream come true. Making a villain team that worked as a cohesive A.I. unit against the hero players was a fun challenge, but making it unique was easier, as the gameplay was so significantly different.”
The Vengeful Five aren’t pushovers but they aren’t Iron Legacy (the hardest most evil Sentinels Villain of all time). We’ve seen them defeated once few though the five seem to always be more dangerous when using all five of them because their powers are so well balanced and ping off each other.
“With the Vengeful Five, a lot of the interesting gameplay comes from how they interact with each other, as opposed to regular villains who merely interact with their own mechanics,” Badell said. “Making five separate decks which have good internal consistency and then play well with other decks was a matter of starting at the individual building blocks – making sure each deck solid and coherent. Then, assigning certain “roles” to each of the villains, similar to the different playstyles of the hero decks. Also, it helped a lot to have a good amount of story to build from with those characters.”
Of course a Sentinels expansion wouldn’t be complete without new heroes and Vengeance has five of them! Each feels unique, plays completely different, and are a lot of fun. There is Setback, Knyfe, Parse, The Naturalist, and The Sentinels.
The Sentinels are super interesting because instead of playing one hero it’s actually a team of heroes that work together. Each hero has a much smaller amount of life, but similar to the Vengeful Five their powers mesh and work well together. They aren’t an easy group to control, but when played right they can be very powerful.
The Naturalist is probably the coolest of the new heroes. He has three animal forms, a gazelle, a crocodile, and a rhinoceros. Then depending on which form he currently is in the powers and cards he plays have different options. It makes him a much more versatile hero that can shift to fit whatever the situation demands.
Knyfe is the power house of Vengeance. In many ways she is reminiscent of Ra in the sense that she can deal a lot of damage and deal it fast. She’s great when you need someone beefy or a less complex character for a new player.
Parse is the support character of the bunch. She has a nice balance of light damage dealing but is terrific at manipulating decks. When going up against a tough environment and villain she’s a terrific hero to have around.
Setback is a hard character to play because his powers are all based on luck and having a pool of luck. His complexity in many ways is similar to Night Mist and when played right can be very rewarding.
Vengeance also comes with two new environment decks; Freedom Tower and Mobile Defense Platform. Since the Mobile Defense Platform is Baron Blade’s baby its chocked full with minions and things that hurt the heroes. On the flip side the Freedom Tower is filled with lots of rooms that simply alter the gameplay. Sometimes its good for the heroes and sometimes its bad.
The most impressive thing about the Vengeance expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse is that it feels fresh. At this stage there are already so many heroes, locations, and villains and yet some how Greater Than Games has managed to still produce original content without steeping on what they’ve already done. It’s an impressive feat.
“[When creating a new character its] story first, then initial mechanical concept, then more story, then general deck outline, then more story, then card details, and then story,” Badell said. “At each stage, both thematics and mechanics are compared to make sure each character feels right and plays true to form. But story bookends everything I do.”
The final thing to note about Vengeance is that it comes in a new big sized box. Considering how jam packed the original box is when holding the already released expansions the new box is a must and even includes a nice compartment to hold the overside villain cards and extra tokens. There is even some room still left in the box for any future expansions!
“There’s certainly more SotM to come! Though, the card game is definitely working to a specific end-point,” Badell said. “Sentinel Comics has a LOT of exciting plans for the future, both distant and not at all distant. Just wait! And keep on saving the Multiverse!”
If you don’t already own Sentinels of the Multiverse or the Vengeance Expansion head over to Greater Than Game’s website and get it now!