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Subject: Is Mage Knight worth it for fantasy lover? rss

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Martin Chudarek
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Would like to ask if u wd recommend me this game, I want something heavy or rather look for dominant species or Scythe, also wd like to know if someone has experience with shadow of a brimstone... Is it worth buying?
 
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John Prewitt
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Mage Knight is hands down the best game I've ever played. People will argue the "fantasy-ness" of it but I think it suits perfectly. It is rather complex (at first) however and the game is basically an ever-evolving puzzle, and expect to play for at least 3-4 hours, and don't ever, ever play with more than 2 people. It is, in my opinion, the "perfect" game, however. I see you are a new user though and I must advise you that Mage Knight is NOT a beginner's game and will take some work to learn. The rules teach you how to play however and it's nowhere near as hard as some will tell you as it is to learn, but it will take reading the rules a few times while you're playing. Expect a first solo game to last 6-7 hours because of rule-checking.

If you want something lighter and SUPER fantasy though, get Legends of Andor, but Mage Knight is "better". If you are new to the hobby I can't recommend this one enough, and then maybe afterwards get Mage Knight.

Dominant Species and Scythe are more "euro" resource management types of games and not really my style. Mage Knight is all about slowly leveling up your hero and using the cards/locations on the map to influence your turn in the best possible way. Extremely tactical game, which I love, though sometimes in big boss fights it seems like a Calculus final (tons of numbers to think about, though no real math).

I'd pass on Shadows of Brimstone from what I've read. It's a money sink in that you need to spend a lot on expansions to keep it fresh. The base game doesn't come with a whole lot of variety. You also roll billions of dice, and from what I understand is an "RPG lite" and is pretty dull unless you're into making up stories for your character and stuff (or whatever it is RPG people do ).
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HenningK
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I generally agree with 79strat - Mage Knight is a fantastic game, but it has a gigantic learning curve and can have serious AP and downtime problems. I, too, would only play solo or with 2 players; possibly 3 when playing coop.
If you are willing to spend lots of hours learning the game and don't mind a game taking 3-5 hours, it is fantastic.

But beware, Mage Knight may look like a typical RPG-like dungeon crawler, but it feels and plays different. While you spend most of the time killing monsters, you are not rolling combat dice. The game is basically a card puzzle game where you need to find the optimal way to use your cards. Many people find it dry, mathy, fiddly and tedious, and it can be. So if puzzle games with lots of calculating different permutations of your cards isn't your thing, steer clear of Mage Knight.
 
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Martin Chudarek
Czech Republic
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Im thinking about exchanging pax porfariana and pax pamir for mage knight...good choice?
 
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John Prewitt
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MapleMatt wrote:
Im thinking about exchanging pax porfariana and pax pamir for mage knight...good choice?


I'll be honest, I haven't heard of that. Doesn't look like much fantasy is going on though. It looks a bit complex so if you can get that I think you can get MK.

Check this out:

http://wizkidsgames.com/wp-content/uploads/mage/MK_walkthrou...
Mage Knight walk-through. Read a few pages and if it doesn't sound too bad then pick it up!
 
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Davin Nisser
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For the fantasy theme alone? Hell no! There are many other games where the fantasy theme comes through much stronger.

For arguably the best complex solo (I'm not a fan of it multiplayer) puzzle game ever coupled with a fantasy theme? Hell yes!
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chris leko
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MapleMatt wrote:
Im thinking about exchanging pax porfariana and pax pamir for mage knight...good choice?


These are completely different gaming experiences. If you have the Pax Porf. collectors edition, then I don't think it'd be a good trade, unless you hate the game.

I like both the Pax games, but I'm a huge fan of Sierra Madre games. There's a lot of game in those smallish boxes.

For me, Mage Knight is probably one of the best "fantasy" games out there, but, to be honest, it's not all that "thematic". It's a great heavy game that utilizes hand and card management with resource management. It could probably be rethemed as almost anything and I'd still like it. It's just a good game. Though it's far more "euro" than "ameritash" in style.
 
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Matt Brown
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79strat wrote:
MapleMatt wrote:
Im thinking about exchanging pax porfariana and pax pamir for mage knight...good choice?


I'll be honest, I haven't heard of that. Doesn't look like much fantasy is going on though. It looks a bit complex so if you can get that I think you can get MK.

Check this out:

http://wizkidsgames.com/wp-content/uploads/mage/MK_walkthrou...
Mage Knight walk-through. Read a few pages and if it doesn't sound too bad then pick it up!


I raise you. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB7C824980F797C4A

I just want to back what was previously said. MK is a 1-2 player game. Only do three player when everybody knows what they are doing. 4-6 hours with two players is typical for a full scenario. I would say 5-8 hours is more typical with three who know what they are doing. If you want something with a higher player count, look elsewhere. Best I've played, but it really isn't designed for multiplayer. Expansions do offer faster scenarios though.
 
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John Prewitt
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Personally you couldn't pay me to watch a video of someone playing a board game, but to each his own (I prefer reading! ).
 
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Partially this depends on whether you are just a new user To BGG or a relatively new board gamer in general. If the latter, I would not recommend this game. There are simply just too many mechanics and rules to make it a first, or even early, step into board gaming. Also, as others have said there are a million fantasy-themed games out there that would be easier to learn.

I agree with others who say that the theme, while it does work, is not necessarily key or fully integrated. It is easy to envision the same game with a totally different theme -- obviously something the publishers see as well Star Trek: Frontiers, anyone?

This game is one of my favorites, and is best for solo play IMO But I consider myself to be a relatively experienced gamer. Unless you consider yourself to have a medium amount of gaming experience with rules-heavy games, I think you would buy this and it would sit on the shelf.
 
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Ian Kissell
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I traded for Mage Knight hoping for a nice thematic heavy fantasy game, but was disappointed. I think that Mage Knight is a good game, but clearly should be in the try first category. There are a TON of little rules to remember, it takes a Long time to play, even with 2 (and should never be played with 4), and is extremely AP inducing. You can set up some great combos, but the last turns are a lot of "I'm going to move two, then attack with 6, and block...oh wait, I'm 1 block short..............okay....I'll move four and...no that won't work..........."

I would never suggest a blind buy of Mage Knight. Still a good game though, and one with the best in game leveling up system I have seen. It just slows down too much at the end.

Also, as far as the games you listed, Scythe is by far the lightist. It is not really a heavy game at all, and plays in 1/3 of the time of the others.
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Bern Harkins
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At the risk of sounding redundant, Mage Knight is a real son of a motherless dog to learn... it will take three or four games before you will have enough grasp of the mechanics to really PLAY.

That said, I know of no experience in gaming as glorious as using your fully developed characters to destroy your opposition. The sense of power is palpable. You get about a half hour of this mode at the end of a four hour game.

Worth it? You'll have to decide. Our group of three plays about three times a year.



Shadows of Brimstone is an unbalanced mess of a game with lots of holes in the design. At the same time it is very entertaining; an absolute riot to play if you can forgive it its shortcomings.
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Quylthulg
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I don't think Mage Knight is as hard to learn as it's made out to be (for experienced gamers). The rulebook looks a little daunting, but every little rule makes sense and most of it dovetails with concepts from other fantasy games. I learned it in two games and feel like I'd remember most of it despite not having played in a couple of weeks (in the middle of a thorough house cleaning right now, so can't cry). I should also note that I have a terrible attention span, and still did it.

My one criticism of it is that the time limit when soloing feels too short, despite the real world time taken. This can be house-ruled, though.
 
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AJ
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I have Mage Knight, Dominant Species and Scythe. They are all very good games, but Mage Knight is the only 10 in my collection.

If you are looking for something heavy, both Mage Knight and Dominant Species are great games. They are also very different games.

Dominant Species is not in any way a fantasy game. It is, in my opinion,a much "meaner" game than Mage Knight (which is not necessarily a bad thing). I think learning the rules in Dominant Species was more straight forward than Mage Knight, but strategy significantly more difficult (maybe I am just very bad at Dominant Species). Dominant Species is a game of ... well dominance... where you are adapting, spawning more species, spreading out and trying to take over the world!

Mage Knight has a lot of rules and components but they do a very good job with the rulebooks so I did not find it difficult to learn. It's got beautiful components (Wizkids quality issues aside) and immersive art. You are managing a hand of cards to best explore, fight/defeat baddies to level up and gain new skills to build up the best reputation in the land (my explanation makes this sound tres lame but it is unlike any other game I've ever tried and I love it).

Assuming you like the sounds of both of these, it may come down to player count.

If you are looking to play primarily with 2 (or less), Mage Knight wins hand down. While I have heard that some people play Dominant Species with two, this is best at 4-5 for me.

If you will be gaming with 4+, you are looking for Dominant Species. Mage Knight is best at 2 (I've played once with 4 and, while it was epic, it took something like 6 hours to do....)

If you will be gaming with 3 you are out of luck. Just kidding! I've never played DS at 3, but Scythe is quite good at that count....

 
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Ludovic Roy
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Short answer is...

If you have coin for one more game, make it Mage Knight, everything else is just not as good.

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ajsoares wrote:
Mage Knight is best at 2

Respectfully disagree and offer a different view here: I think MK is ideal solo. Even with just 2 (which I have played), there is far too much waiting around time. To me, this is the best solo, complex non-wargame out there. 2 or more: there are many other choices which play more smoothly.
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AJ
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adm1 wrote:
ajsoares wrote:
Mage Knight is best at 2

Respectfully disagree and offer a different view here: I think MK is ideal solo. Even with just 2 (which I have played), there is far too much waiting around time. To me, this is the best solo, complex non-wargame out there. 2 or more: there are many other choices which play more smoothly.


Fair enough I absolutely meant to say "2 or less". I love MK at 2, but you're right - there is still a lot of downtime with 2... I use that to plan my next move, but playing with AP prone players could be painful. For solo though, I'd recommend also getting the Lost Legion expansion...
 
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AJ
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ajsoares wrote:
adm1 wrote:
ajsoares wrote:
Mage Knight is best at 2

Respectfully disagree and offer a different view here: I think MK is ideal solo. Even with just 2 (which I have played), there is far too much waiting around time. To me, this is the best solo, complex non-wargame out there. 2 or more: there are many other choices which play more smoothly.


Fair enough I absolutely meant to say "2 or less". I love MK at 2, but you're right - there is still a lot of downtime with 2... I use that to plan my next move, but playing with AP prone players could be painful. For solo though, I'd recommend also getting the Lost Legion expansion...


Also - funny enough, but there tends to be more waiting around time with my group playing Dominant Species.
 
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John Prewitt
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adm1 wrote:
Partially this depends on whether you are just a new user To BGG or a relatively new board gamer in general. If the latter, I would not recommend this game. There are simply just too many mechanics and rules to make it a first, or even early, step into board gaming. Also, as others have said there are a million fantasy-themed games out there that would be easier to learn.

I agree with others who say that the theme, while it does work, is not necessarily key or fully integrated. It is easy to envision the same game with a totally different theme -- obviously something the publishers see as well Star Trek: Frontiers, anyone?

This game is one of my favorites, and is best for solo play IMO But I consider myself to be a relatively experienced gamer. Unless you consider yourself to have a medium amount of gaming experience with rules-heavy games, I think you would buy this and it would sit on the shelf.


Mage Knight was the 4th game I ever bought, I went from Talisman/Eldritch Horror/War of the Ring (which was too much at the time)/Mage Knight (which I had no trouble learning), so it's all relative, but I enjoy a challenge. What struck me personally was how hard the game is to actually WIN when you first start out.
 
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