Sentinels of the Multiverse
|Publisher(s)||Greater Than Games|
|Players||1 to 5|
|Age range||13 and up|
|Setup time||5 minutes|
|Playing time||45-60 minutes|
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a designer card game published by Greater Than Games and released at Gen Con 2011. It is a cooperative game in which players control a team of comic book-style heroes battling a villain. Each player controls one or more heroes, while a villain and environment deck each run themselves. A given game includes 3 to 5 heroes, 1 villain and 1 environment, which can be mixed and matched to create a number of different scenarios. The core game comes with 10 heroes, 4 villains, and 4 environments.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative card game for up to five players. The game mechanics of Sentinels of the Multiverse include aspects that are somewhat similar to a variety of other card games, including Magic: The Gathering and Dominion.
The game is played with three different types of decks of cards: Heroes, Villains, and Environment.
- Hero decks include (usually) one card that represents the hero. It gives the hero's initial hit points and a power they may use. If the hero loses all of their hit points, the hero card is flipped over and the hero cannot play any cards or use any powers, but instead has three incapacitated abilities that can be used for the hero to continue to help their allies. Hero decks also contain forty other cards representing ongoing abilities, equipment, and one-shots that can be played.
- Villain decks also include (usually) one card representing the villain. This card includes their starting hit points, rules for setting up the villain at the start of the game, abilities they take each turn, and a mechanism by which the card may be flipped over. The flipped version of the villain card represents another phase of the fight. Each villain has different flip mechanics. Villain decks also contain twenty-five other cards with one-shots, ongoings, minions, devices, and other types of cards that might be put into play. Villains are generally defeated when reduced to zero or fewer hit points, but may also have other win and/or lose conditions.
- Environment decks represent the environment in which the heroes battle the villain. The environment deck can affect both heroes and villains. Cards in this deck include persistent effects that remain in play until certain conditions are met, one-shots, and neutral targets. Many environment cards can be dismissed if the heroes agree to discard cards or skip turns.
Heroes, Villains, and other targets can all be damaged by damage dealt from any source. Damage has a type, such as melee, projectile, fire, or toxic damage, and certain cards can be used to protect against specific types of damage.
The game is played with three to five heroes, one villain, and one environment. Each villain also has an "advanced" rule that makes them more difficult to fight for an added challenge. Some villain effects are scaled based on 'H', the number of heroes in the game.
Heroes start the game by drawing four cards from their deck into their hand. There is no limit to the number of cards that can be kept in hand. Cards in hand can either be shown or kept hidden. The Villain turn is first, followed by each hero in turn, followed by the environment turn, constituting one round of play. Play continues in turn until the heroes have won or lost. On the villain's turn, any Start of Turn effects are resolved, then a Villain card is played, then any End of Turn effects are resolved. The villain's cards will have specific instructions on where to target damage, such as the hero with the highest hit points. In cases of ties, the players decide as a group where to direct such damage.
On a hero's turn, Start of Turn effects are resolved, then one card may be played, then one power may be used, then one card may be drawn, then End of Turn effects are resolved. If a hero has lost all hit points, then instead Start of Turn effects are resolved, one incapacitated ability may be used, then End of Turn effects are resolved.
Hero and Villain character cards (and in rare cases environment cards) whave a nemesis symbol. If a card is dealing damage to another card that has the same nemesis symbol, that damage is increased by one.
On the environment's turn, Start of Turn effects are resolved, one card is played, and the End of Turn effects are resolved.
The core game provides ten hero, four villain and four environment decks. Expansions provide further heroes, villains, and environments, often themed to a setting or concept. These decks can all be played in a mix-and-match style. Two of the expansions, Vengeance and Villains of the Multiverse, provide team villains rather than standard villains. Team villains are used in groups of three to five, matching the number of heroes in the game, and can not be interchanged with standard villains.
Concept and development
Sentinels was conceived by Christopher Badell. He had been playing various comic-book related games, but found that most of them were based on having just two characters going at one another, and wanted instead one "about people with different abilities and different outlooks getting together to beat an overwhelming threat in a weird environment". This led to the basis of Sentinels.
Badell teamed up with artist Adam Rebottaro to craft the first set. Badell worked on creating a fictional comic-book universe inspired by the long histories developed by both DC Comics and Marvel. Badell crafted a timeline of stories that would be published in the fictional "Sentinel Comics" imprint label, as to be able develop characters and write the flavor text for each card. The initial set featured five heroes inspired by the Avengers, and with characters representing amalgams of known heroes, such as Legacy a mix between Superman and Captain America. Expansions generally include characters that are generally inspired by secondary characters from the major comics. Badell also considered the history of comic book publishing in part of developing characters. One character, Chrono Ranger, a sheriff with time-manipulation powers, was in Badell's mind the result of Sentinel Comics originally having been a cowboy-story publisher and had brought this character from their earlier works into the superhero setting, akin to Groot's publication history. This also led to having variations on heroes following the frequent shifting of alliances in comic books, where they may keep most of their same powers but have subtly-different effects.
Badell had anticipated that Sentinels would be a limited series based on his narrative approach; he wrote flavor text pointing to a penultimate event to be revealed with the final expansion, "Sentinels of the Multiverse: Oblivaeon". Badell will still continue to support projects based on Sentinels, including a miniature tabletop adaption of the game in Sentinel Tactics, and looks to actually develop comic books based on the Sentinel Comics label.
Sentinels of the Multiverse has been well received by players and critics since its launch, with Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower podcast giving it the #1 slot in his "top 30 games to look out for from Gen Con 2011", and the review blog Giant Fire Breathing Robot awarding it "Board Game of the Year: 2011". Reviewers generally praised the art and gameplay, while criticizing the small box, lack of HP trackers, and difficulty scaling among different numbers of players.
Greater Than Games released an expansion, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Rook City in the spring of 2012. The expansion added 2 heroes, 4 villains and 2 environments to the base game. The villains in Rook City also include an H icon in some cards, which represents the number of heroes in the game, as a way to improve scaling. The cards used in Rook City are also of a better and thicker cardstock as compared to the original base game.
In the autumn of 2012 Greater Than Games released their second expansion, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Infernal Relics. Similar to Rook City, this expansion added an additional 2 heroes, 4 villains and 2 environments to the game. This expansion also introduced the concept of a super villain group, containing multiple villain characters in a single deck.
As of fall 2013, the Rook City and Infernal Relics expansions are now produced in a combined box.
At the same time as Infernal Relics, Greater Than Games also released a new edition of the base game, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Enhanced Edition. This edition of the game has minor changes to some of the cards and added the H icon to the base game's villains to improve their scalability. A better box with built-in storage inserts was also introduced with this edition, along with dividers for all of the decks available to date. Other improvements include better card stock for all cards and new artwork for the environment cards, in line with what was introduced with Rook City and Infernal Relics. 162 tokens were also included in the new edition to help keep track of damage and the various different types of modifiers.
In spring of 2013, Greater Than Games released the third Expansion, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Shattered Timelines. Similar to Rook City and Infernal Relics, this expansion added 2 heroes, 4 villains, and 2 environments to the game. The Shattered Timelines expansion featured the winning fan-created villain from the Create a Villain Contest run by Greater Than Games in September 2012. The expansion was supported by a Kickstarter campaign that ended successfully on November 29, 2012, having raised $185,200.
During the Shattered Timelines Kickstarter Campaign, Greater Than Games announced that they would use some of the funds raised during that campaign to help finance their fourth expansion Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance. This expansion added 5 heroes, 5 villains, and 2 environments. The new villains have smaller decks than previous villains, as they're designed to be played in a new game mode as a party against the heroes. Vengeance is available as of February 2014. During this time Greater Than Games also released the box set Rook City & Infernal Relics, discontinuing the production of separate boxes for Rook City and Infernal Relics.
The Vengeance box included an advertisement for an upcoming expansion, Wrath of the Cosmos, later released in January 2015. This expansion included 2 heroes, 4 villains and 2 environments. The preorder campaign was largely successful and added 1 more hero, 1 villain, and 1 environment along with 6 hero promos.
The Villains of the Multiverse Expansion, released in December 2015, reintroduces some old villains as well as some new ones, using the Vengeance combat mechanic of having one villain per hero character. This expansion includes ten new villain decks with over-sized villain character cards and four new environment decks. The preorder campaign also allowed the release of 1 promo villain and 1 promo environment, as well as 7 promo hero character cards.
On January 29, 2016, Greater Than Games announced the title of the next expansion, "OblivAeon", which would be on Kickstarter beginning February 9, 2016 and will feature numerous perks. In this announcement, they also stated that this will be the final expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse. That Kickstarter ended on March 11, 2016 with 9,982 backers raising $1,518,321.
In March 2014, Greater Than Games announced a Kickstarter for a new game set in the Sentinels of the Multiverse universe, Sentinel Tactics: The Flame Of Freedom. This reached its funding goal in under 6 hours.
(See the SotM wiki for additional details.)
- Legacy, an American hero and Superman analogue who focuses on damage and buffing other heroes.
- Absolute Zero, a hero who messes with fire and cold damage to heal himself and hurt the enemy.
- Wraith, a Batman-type heroine using many types of gadgets.
- Tachyon, a speedster whose powers are fueled by her discard pile.
- Bunker, an armored juggernaut who switches between different "modes", using a variety of weapons like Gatling guns and grenade launchers.
- Haka, a Maori tribal strongman who focuses on survival, milling his deck, and taking out low health opponents.
- Fanatic, an angel on earth, a versatile hero who benefits from boosts to damage.
- Visionary, a psychic who does many things to mess with her opponents.
- Ra, the Egyptian sun god who does all things fire.
- Tempest, an alien amphibian who controls storms, does a lot of damage and support.
- Expatriette, a Punisher type gunslinger with a variety of guns and ammunition.
- Mr. Fixer, a martial artist and mechanic. Many extra benefits given to a single power.
- The Argent Adept, a complex master musician with 5 instruments and a variety of songs.
- Nightmist, an expert in the occult, uses spells and relics to both harm and heal herself to great effect.
- Chrono Ranger, a time traveling gun-toter who posts bounties on his targets.
- Omnitron-X, a future version of the villain, Omnitron, who grew a conscience, all-around support hero with minor healing.
- K.N.Y.F.E., a melee and energy damage focused hero who isn't afraid to hurt herself for the greater good.
- The Naturalist, a sort of "beast boy" with three forms, a rhino for survival, a gazelle for support, and a crocodile for damage.
- Parse, an analytical mastermind, uses her bow and powers of observation to hinder the villains and support her team.
- The Sentinels, a team of four low-hp heroes who team together to make one multi-talented hero.
- Setback, fueled by bad luck, he uses his luck against his enemies, occasionally causing collateral damage.
Wrath of the Cosmos
- Captain Cosmic, a Green Lantern analogue, and an energy master who uses his constructs to buff his allies and do damage.
- Sky-Scraper, an Ant-Man-type heroine who uses her size manipulation and cards called "links" to damage the enemy and debuff them.
- Akash'Thriya, the villain Akash'Bhuta taking action to protect her home and herself
- The Harpy, the villain Matriarch redeeming herself for her crimes
- La Comodora, the villain La Capitan attempting to right the wrongs of her youth
- Lifeline, the villain Deadline trying to make up for the death and destruction caused by his actions
- Luminary, the villain Baron Blade determined not to allow anyone to take out his arch-nemesis except himself
- Unity, a technomancer who creates golems to support her and do damage.
- The Scholar, an elemental expert that focuses on self healing, survival, and team support.
- Guise, a hero who frequently breaks the 4th wall, realizing he is in a game, similar to the DC character Ambush Bug and the Marvel character Deadpool.
- Stuntman, the villain Ambuscade taking a turn at doing right
- Void Guard: Dr. Medico, a member of The Sentinels team who acquired a crystal shard that granted great power
- Void Guard: Idealist, a member of The Sentinels team who acquired a crystal shard that granted great power
- Void Guard: Mainstay, a member of The Sentinels team who acquired a crystal shard that granted great power
- Void Guard: Writhe, a member of The Sentinels team who acquired a crystal shard that granted great power
- America's Newest Legacy (AKA "Young Legacy", analogue to Supergirl)
- Rook City Wraith
- Ra: Horus of Two Horizons
- Redeemer Fanatic
- Dark Visionary
- The Eternal Haka
- Freedom Six Team Leader Tachyon
- Freedom Six Wraith: Price of Freedom
- Freedom Six Unity
- Freedom Six Bunker: Engine of War
- Freedom Six Absolute Zero
- Freedom Six Tempest
- Dark Watch Expatriette
- Dark Watch Mr. Fixer
- Dark Watch Nightmist
- Dark Watch Setback
- America's Greatest Legacy
- G.I. Bunker
- The Super-Scientific Tachyon
- Prime Wardens Argent Adept
- Prime Wardens Haka
- Prime Wardens Fanatic
- Prime Wardens Captain Cosmic
- Prime Wardens Tempest
- Rogue Agent KNYFE
- The Argent Adept Kvothe Six-String
- The Scholar of the infinite
- Chrono-ranger The Best Of Times.
- The Hunted Naturalist
- The Adamant Sentinels
- Santa Guise
- Termination Bunker
- Termination Unity
- Termination Absolute Zero
- Fugue State Parse
- Extremist Sky-Scraper
- Fused Captain Cosmic
- Visionary Unleashed
- Completionist Guise
- Ivana Ramonat: Luminary
- Darkwatch Harpy
- Action Hero Stuntman
- Supply and Demand Benchmark
- Spirit of the Void Akash'Thriya
- Curse of the Black Spot La Commodora
- Blood Mage Lifeline
- Xtreme Argent Adept
- Xtreme Captain Cosmic
- Xtreme Fanatic
- Xtreme Haka
- Xtreme Tempest
- The Void Guard: Dr. Medico, Malpractice
- The Void Guard: Super Sentai Idealist
- The Void Guard: Road Warrior Mainstay
- The Void Guard: Cosmic Inventor Writhe
- Setting Sun Ra
- Freedom Five Absolute Zero
- Freedom Five Bunker
- Freedom Five Legacy
- Freedom Five Tachyon
- Freedom Five The Wraith
(See the SotM wiki for additional details.)
- Citizen Dawn, leader of the Citizens of the Sun, a sort of mutant army, she is a minion controller who is immune to damage for a few turns if too many of her Citizens are destroyed.
- Baron Blade, a mad scientist attempting to end the world.
- Grand Warlord Voss, an invading alien warlord bringing with him a vast armada.
- Omnitron, a robot factory gone bad. Uses drones to do his dirty work.
- The Matriarch, a bird controller who attacks you if you destroy her birds.
- The Chairman, an organized crime kingpin of Rook City.
- Plague Rat, who infects heroes and deals a lot of irreducible and toxic damage.
- Spite, a Bane-like ex-death row inmate given powers through chemical experiments and drugs.
- Akash'bhuta, Mother Earth on a mission to destroy all life. High health, but damages herself when you destroy her body parts.
- Apostate, a fallen angel. Uses many relics and pet demons in his never ending attack.
- GloomWeaver, a demon fueled by gloom and despair being summoned to Earth by cultists and their zombie minions.
- The Ennead, 9 Egyptian gods/goddesses in 1 team.
- The Dreamer, a younger version of The Visionary giving life to her nightmares while dreaming, the heroes must stop her from destroying herself.
- La Capitan, a time traveling pirate captain with a crew from across the ages.
- Kismet, uses her incredibly good luck and a talisman to manipulate the heroes into failure.
- Iron Legacy, an alternate dimension Legacy whose daughter has been killed (ensuring the end of the Legacy line) who seeks absolute control.
- Fright Train, a powerhouse with a cow-catcher helmet and a variety of train puns.
- Ermine, a Catwoman-like thief who turns her enemies against themselves.
- Vengeful Baron Blade, leader of the Vengeful Five, still using technology and mad science to destroy whatever he can.
- Friction, a speedster whose (stolen) prototype speedsuit gives her powers, with a chance of burning herself up if the suit fails.
- Proletariat, a communist themed villain who copies himself and uses his hammer to inflict punishment.
Wrath of the Cosmos
- Deadline, a last-of-his-species alien who is sworn to protect dying races and will destroy Earth to do so, if he must.
- Infinitor, Captain Cosmic's brother, also an energy manipulator whose manifestations do a lot of damage.
- Kaargra Warfang, a queen of the galactic gladiatorial ring who challenges you to sway her crowd in your favor.
- Progeny, a world destroyer and shapeshifter who takes on multiple natural traits to fight you.
Villains of the Multiverse
- Ambuscade, returning with a whole new line-up of sidekicks who want to take down the Sentinels.
- Biomancer, a flesh crafter and necromancer who uses his advanced homunculi and healing powers for a variety of effects.
- Bugbear, a former cartel man who stumbled across a hungry Bloodstone, and now seeks to feed its mad hunger.
- Citizens Hammer and Anvil, who fight together using their fire wielding and wing/shield creation powers to boost one another and change the heroes' tactics.
- Greazer, straight out of an episode of intergalactic Happy Days, this alien bounty hunter with an incredible pompadour is only after his target.
- La Capitan, who has not had enough of messing with the heroes' timelines, and whose pet monkey causes much mischief.
- Miss Information, her previous attempts have failed, so she has returned with new allies and a whole new plan to tamper with the sentinels' dimensional physics.
- The Operative, who has been resurrected in a Ra's al Ghul style tank by a man named Zhu Long, and has been trained in a new style of martial arts.
- Plague Rat, who has been captured by RevoCorp scientists, and who gets more powerful, understandably, if his handlers are not around.
- Sergeant Steele, K.N.Y.F.E.'s old colleague, who has come to bring her and her "superhero friends" back to The Block.
- OblivAeon and its Scions, as a special format of play
- Ambuscade, a bounty hunter after the ultimate prey: superheroes.
- Miss Information, the heroes' secretary, secretly plotting against them and booby-trapping their assignments and equipment.
- Wager Master an alien come to earth to "test" humanity in his odd game, constantly changes the rules and forces the heroes to play by them.
- Chokepoint, a reborn ferro-mancer and regular opponent of the Freedom Five and their allies. She uses the heroes' equipment against them, and rages when she cannot.
- Mad Bomber Blade
- Cosmic Omnitron
- Spite: Agent of Gloom
- Skinwalker Gloomweaver
- Unstable Kismet
- Tormented Ally: Infinitor
(See the SotM wiki for additional details.)
- Insula Primalis, Dinosaurs and lava running amok.
- Megalopolis, a metropolis featuring police shoot-outs, run away trains and bad traffic.
- Ruins of Atlantis, an underwater environment with krakens aplenty.
- Wagner Mars Base, Bad for the heroes. Many things to screw you up.
- Pike Industrial Complex, Vats and rats. The occasional chemical explosion.
- Rook City, another metropolis featuring crime and enemies aplenty, similar to Gotham City.
- Realm of Discord, Changes the rules of the game with distortions.
- Tomb of Anubis, Anubis shall come with mummies and traps. But treasures await if you survive.
- The Block, a space prison, with inmates and enforcers fighting each other.
- Time Cataclysym, time runs amok, and brings you many unique challenges.
- Freedom Tower, many rooms will help the heroes, and occasionally give the villains a small damage boost.
- Mobile Defense Platform, with workers and machinery to keep it afloat, but with an auto-lose condition.
Wrath of the Cosmos
- The Enclave of the Endlings, a sanctuary for many unique last-of-their-species aliens.
- Dok'Thorath Capital, an alien city where "Thorathians" and rebels are fighting for influence.
Villains of the Multiverse
- Court of Blood, an Transylvanian inspired town full of vampires and angry mobs.
- Madame Mittermeier’s Fantastical Festival of Conundrums & Curiosities, a carnival whose attractions all seem to be fatal traps.
- Magmaria, a region deep near the earth's core, whose magma creatures grow and value strange crystals.
- Temple of Zhu Long, a Himalayan refuge for the martial master hermit, Zhu Long, and his ninja academy.
- Fort Adamant, a military installation involved in experimentation and training of super-powered forces
- Nexus of the Void, an island which defies more laws of reality than it follows.
- Champion Studios, the studio lot of a major movie production company, located in San Alonso.
- Maerynian Refuge, the new home on Earth for Tempest’s people the Maerynians.
- Mordengrad, the militarized industrial city that is the base of operations for Baron Blade.
- Final Wasteland, an alternate dimension where monsters rule the world.
- Silver Gulch, a wild west theme area, complete with shoot outs.
- Omnitron-IV, another incarnation of Omnitron summoning drones and trying to rebuild itself.
- Celestial Tribunal, a sword-like space station which roams the universe, pronouncing judgment on anyone it comes across.
Number of cards
- The core game, either original or Enhanced Edition, has 578 cards. (41 for each of ten heroes; 27 for each of four villains; 15 for each of four environments)
- The Rook City expansion has 222 cards. (41 for each of two heroes; 27 for each of four villains; 15 for each of two environments; two extra for the Operative)
- The Infernal Relics expansion has 228 cards. (41 for each of two heroes; 27 for each of four villains; 15 for each of two environments; eight extra for the Ennead)
- The Shattered Timelines expansion has 220 cards. (41 for each of two heroes; 27 for each of four villains; 15 for each of two environments)
- The Vengeance expansion has 344 cards. (41 for each of four heroes; 45 for one hero team; 20 for each of the five villains; 5 oversized villain character cards; 15 for each of the two environments)
- The Wrath of the Cosmos expansion has 224 cards. (41 for one hero; 43 for the other hero; 27 for three of the villains; 19 for Kaargra Warfang; 10 for the title deck; and 15 for each of the two environments)
- The Villains of the Multiverse expansion has 271 cards. (20 for each of the 10 villains; 11 oversized villain character cards; 15 for each of the four environments)
- The eleven mini-expansions collectively have 291 cards. (41 for each of three heroes; 27 for each of four villains; 15 for each of four environments)
- There are 37 promo hero character cards. (1 each for thirty-three promo heroes; 4 for the adamant sentinels)
- There are 12 promo villain character cards. (2 each for six promo villains)
- The total number of cards is 2,427.
(Note: This now includes over-sized Villain character cards.)
- Nelson, Samantha (July 21, 2015). "Sentinels Of The Multiverse pays tribute to convoluted comic-book universes". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 9, 2016.