I finally got a chance to play Sentinels of the Multiverse tonight with my daughter. I had fun, but we did get our rear ends handed to us. Probably because we had no idea what our heroes did well, and what the villain was like.
For my character, I picked Legacy, and I learned once we got to playing, Legacy is not a direct damage dealer. He is the bard of super heroes. Not in flavor, but in execution. He can limit damage and bolster other hero's damage, but he doesn't have a lot of damage effects of his own in his deck.
My daughter picked Fanatic, who is very much a direct damage dealer. This might have actually been a good combination, except that the villain seems to have a lot of effects that have to do with minions, and Fanatic is better at one on one damage dealing rather than area damage (although she does have at least one power that is a whopper of an area damage dealer).
The battle field was the Mars Base. I haven't really looked that much at the various other terrains, so I'm not sure if this was more or less brutal than other environments, but I do know that oxygen leaks are a pain later on in the game with a few discards in the environment trash.
And finally, our villain for the evening was Grand Warlord Voss, who looks like a cross between Doomsday and Darkseid, which I suppose should not bode well right from the get go.
Right off the bat, my daughter wanted to do direct damage to Voss, but his victory conditions include getting 10 minions on the board, and fairly early on, the villain deck vomited up a card that allowed the villain to draw an extra card if the card that went into play was a minion. Yikes.
Since I do almost no damage with the effects I have in my deck, I went into heavy boosting mode for my daughter. Eventually she got a "holy nova" effect that wiped the board, but she did that just before the oxygen leak would have killed off the minions anyway. That's okay, because I took damage to keep her from taking damage just before we drew a meteor swarm, which kept anyone from taking damage. Sigh.
Long story short, by the time we wiped out the 7 minions that Voss had out on the board (in part because his flagship, once it's in play, pulls minions from his trash pile), Voss started doing direct damage to us, and the oxygen leak was up to 9 damage from the environment trash . . . we went down hard and Voss was just closing in on half his hit points.
I'm sure with a few more go rounds I'll get the hang of when not to play any powers at all, and when to hold back on using effects that seem "neat," but honestly, the first time you play, you always want to see what the new toys do.
Looking forward to playing this again, with more players, to see how it works out under those conditions.
I have read that the biggest criticism of this game is that there is a lot to track. While it's no worse than a lot of RPGs when it comes to buffs and debuffs and the like, I will say that, yes, it can get a little confusing trying to track all of the effects going at one time, but then again, by the next turn, half of those effects can easily be wiped out. There seems to be a sort of ebb and flow as to how many effects are going on before either the villain cards or the environment cards work to whittle down the number of ongoing effects again.
I had fun, would like to try it again with more people, but best of all, I got to sit down and play it with my daughter, so that's the best thing of all.