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Subject: Alternative Game Suggestion to MKBG? rss

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John Callahan
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I'm looking for a good two-player dungeon crawler to play with my 15 year old son. He is an experienced online gamer and has begun playing D&D with friends at FLGSs. I've purchased MKBG, but now fear that its complexity level is too high. Would like something with a campaign feature, is not purely a card game (meaning, there is a board, there are miniatures), is not too simplistic (e.g., Claustrophobia), has an engaging theme, and is either solely for two-players, or plays very well with two players. Does that exist? (I will likely keep MKBG to play solo, but don't think it's right for the two of us.)

Thanks.
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Dan Poe
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Earth Reborn- this game is amazing. The difficultly level is tailored to your needs. The rulebook starts you off easy, and as you complete each mission, there are additional rules added. It eventually gets very complex, but because you have been gradually adding rules it is very easy to grasp.

Dripping with theme and awesome minis, eventually you can create your own missions/board layouts with the SAGS system.

If you want to be on the same team, try Gears of War: The Board Game
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I haven't played it, but Descent: Journeys in the Dark fits your requirements.

The D&D games, Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game, Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game and Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game, do as well.

The D&D games can be played solo as well, if you want to play on your own. I considered getting Descent a while back, but there didn't seem to be a good solo variant, so decided against it.
 
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John Callahan
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honeyralmond wrote:
I haven't played it, but Descent: Journeys in the Dark fits your requirements.

The D&D games, Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game, Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game and Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game, do as well.

The D&D games can be played solo as well, if you want to play on your own. I considered getting Descent a while back, but there didn't seem to be a good solo variant, so decided against it.
Yes, I considered Descent, but the write-ups say very mixed things about two player -- that the non-OL needs to play at least three, if not four, characters in order to work. I worried that would be overly forced.

Thanks for suggestions.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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MK is much less complex than any version of D&D 3rd Ed onwards, and I was playing much more complex games at 15.

I'd say don't assume there's a problem unless you actually see some evidence of it, most 15 year old gamers will be fine with MK (better than many adults actually - it's adults that seem to lose patience with more complex games).
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Lucas Moyer-Horner
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I agree with Jonathan that MK is at least worth a try with your son. It might work well to go through the process of getting comfortable with the rules together; probably around 5 plays. Plus, it's an outstanding co-op game.

I can recommend Descent 2nd Edition as well. I play 2-player with my wife. It works really well for one of us to be OL and 1 hero, the other controls 2 heroes. We find that Descent with 3 heroes actually favors the heroes; whereas using only 2 heroes favors the OL.
 
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John Callahan
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Lukas, just so I understand... one player controls both the OL AND one of the heroes? Seems like a bit of conflict of interest, no? Thanks for perspective... much appreciated.
 
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John Callahan
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dbpoe wrote:
Earth Reborn- this game is amazing. The difficultly level is tailored to your needs. The rulebook starts you off easy, and as you complete each mission, there are additional rules added. It eventually gets very complex, but because you have been gradually adding rules it is very easy to grasp.

Dripping with theme and awesome minis, eventually you can create your own missions/board layouts with the SAGS system.

If you want to be on the same team, try Gears of War: The Board Game
Just watched the reviews for Earth Reborn. Thanks for bringing to my attention... I was not aware of the game. I like how the scenarios in sequence teach the rules. That is very helpful.
 
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Todd Pytel
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I'll also echo the comments to at least give MK a try. Play it solo a few times first maybe, in order to better prepare yourself to teach it smoothly. But MK is the kind of game that pushes on everybody the first few times out.
 
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Lucas Moyer-Horner
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Yes, one player is OL and 1 hero. I've played quite a few Descent 2ed campaigns in which the OL is also a hero and it works well. The hero-only player(s) have the final say on hero decisions, even the one controlled by the OL. Our OLs (myself included) have never gone so far as to use their hero to benefit the OL-- not to say there aren't the occasional joking accusations
 
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Jason R
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JHCallahan wrote:
dbpoe wrote:
Earth Reborn- this game is amazing. The difficultly level is tailored to your needs. The rulebook starts you off easy, and as you complete each mission, there are additional rules added. It eventually gets very complex, but because you have been gradually adding rules it is very easy to grasp.

Dripping with theme and awesome minis, eventually you can create your own missions/board layouts with the SAGS system.

If you want to be on the same team, try Gears of War: The Board Game
Just watched the reviews for Earth Reborn. Thanks for bringing to my attention... I was not aware of the game. I like how the scenarios in sequence teach the rules. That is very helpful.
Earth Reborn is indeed awesome. I was always feeling like it needed a few more characters though on each side. Still awesome. If you like that maybe check out Duel of Ages II. Tons of variety. Though no campaign mode as far as I know.

But definitely give Mage Knight a good try though. It is really a great game that once you get the rules down.
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Box of Delights
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You might want to try Level 7 [Omega Protocol] if you want something competitive. It's kinda Descent-like but a competitive alternative to Gears of War: The Board Game. I'll be doing a video review soon.

Do you want co-op or competitive ?

You might find the D&D games simplistic, but are co-op. Duel of Ages II is a good shout, for competitive and a bit more open world.
 
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Mr G
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Give Mage Knight a try, but definitely watch the Ricky Royal series of videos rather than struggling through the rule books. These are an EXCELLENT way to learn the game.

You might also try Runebound. A cracking game of overland fantasy adventure, with a sweet spot at two players. It is a lot simpler than MK, and good fun.

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Michael Bishop
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My son is 12 and we just tried Mage Knight "cold" yesterday. No videos or tutorials. Just myself, him, and the rulebook. He did just fine. I read game mechanics aloud to him and the "Game Walkthrough" book (included) is an invaluable asset. It presents the game to you from setup to finish and is intended to work through as you play so you don't get overwhelmed with all the rules. It just simply unfolded one mechanic at a time from start to finish. He asked to play again today and promptly decided to explore player combat to boot, the little punk

He only lost the game during the end game "Achievements" phase because he had a single wound that cost him enough points to lose.

I'll add my two cents on other dungeon crawler games that my son enjoys:

Descent 2nd Edition: We started a campaign with myself as the Overlord and my son and my friend playing heroes. I guess they picked the "wrong" characters because I'm stomping them to death. They have virtually no chance; if you lose or don't have time to explore early, it goes downhill fast. Losses affect the entire campaign. It feels incredibly unbalanced and there are numerous threads about this issue on D2E boards.

Prophecy: Fun game if you can find it. Kind of an "above ground" dungeon crawler; it's a lot like Talisman. It can be played competitively and cooperatively; the "official" co-op variant is in the Dragon Realm expansion. The co-op variant posted here on BGG is just as good.

Castle Panic: It's like a board tower defense game. Competitively and co-op; everyone loses if the castle falls, but if you win, the person with the most kills is the Master Slayer. The base game is fairly easy, but add The Wizard Tower expansion and it's a real challenge.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: You buy the base set and you have your choice of 7 characters to play through one "intro" adventure and the first part of a six-part adventure path. More adventure installments are coming every other month; the 2nd part ships this month. This one's relatively new and great fun. Game mechanics aren't complex, but still an awfully neat concept. Totally cooperative.

Hope that gives you some games to look into or maybe give Mage Knight a shot.
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mike m
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fentum wrote:
You might also try Runebound. A cracking game of overland fantasy adventure, with a sweet spot at two players. It is a lot simpler than MK, and good fun.
^^seconded, every word of it. I appreciate MK quite a bit (played it 9 times this month, so i'm not trying to knock MK at all!), but find RB more fun, certainly simpler (though i wouldn't call it simplistic). I also find it more thematic than MK and comes closest to filling the almost-an-rpg board game niche of any game i've played (PACG fills that better, but not if you want dudes on a map).

RB does not have a campaign feature, but neither does MK.
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Al Wilson
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Thank you for the mentions of Runebound!!! I didn't even know about this game until today, and have been pretty disappointed in MK. I just watched Rahdo's run-through of Runebound and realize THAT was the game I was looking for when I bought MK.
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michael peterson
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Runebound is the first, and possibly only, board game I have ready all of the flavor texts for all the cards. Very thematic and great game. The big box xpacs are also really well done. MK is awesome (obligatory)
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William Giant
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Myth by Merc Miniatures is looking to be really darned good.

The rules for it are even available online for it now:
http://www.mercsminis.com/Downloads/Myth/Myth_Rulebook_lores...

Okay, so it's a ways out, but it's something to look forward to.

I'm also going to second Level 7 [Omega Protocol]. It's been getting rave reviews, and the game play looks fantastic. If I had a 15yr old geek son I would definitely pick this up. My wife doesn't care for slaying nightmare creatures though.

Just to throw out another good game I have to mention Mice and Mystics. The game is geared to be accessible to younger people, but it's still a very unique approach to dungeon crawling, and it's just so darned good. My wife and I blazed through the first scenario book in about a week because we just loved playing the game. So, the theme might feel a bit juvenile at first, think Red Wall, but the game plays out in such a way it might even let a teen boy give it a pass. The new Mice and Mystics: Heart of Glorm expansion makes the game quite a bit darker in theme and more difficult too.
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michael peterson
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Runebound is not a dungeon crawler but it is MKBG light. I love Mage Knight but would sooner play Runebound. It is more simple but gives you a sense of awesomeness as you level. The them is great. The flavor text is great and very relevant to your actions. Good loot. Good stuff.
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