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Subject: A few quibbles with the multiplayer. rss

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Aaron Chasteen
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I played a 3 player game and I noticed some frustrating situations.

For turn order, the first few players can use up the better spots and you're left wandering at a disadvantage. Seems like more options should be available or catch up mechanism would be added for balance.

With little options as the last player, I tried to attack the other players and player-to-player combat seemed to be awkward and not as intuitive as fighting monsters on the board. The game doesn't create interesting ways to mess with the other player's deck - discard random card, steal a card, lose a mana etc. Something to not make the multiplayer feel like solitaire.

The new cards you acquire do not seem correlate evenly with the amount of ice and fire monsters that randomly show up. One will show up and everyone is not given equal chance prepare for them. I'm used to Ghost Stories where the different colored or currencies of combat are somewhat balanced.

Finally, the game drags with lots of players. Adding different objectives for winning, improving player interaction, speeding up exploration and movement might fix the 3 or 4 player game. I can't help but think there are ways to tweak or shorten the multiplayer.

Do you guys play with any house rules for 3 to 4 players?

For 1 to 2 players I have no complaints. The game is still revolutionary and I love it, but for these reasons, gamelength and set up it drops in rating.
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David desJardins
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Attacking other players rarely works in 3+ player games. It's a great mechanic in 2-player games (only).

Some of my friends don't like the game with 3 or more players, either. So you're not alone. I think it's just a matter of taste.

Maybe there are some clever ideas to fix the things you don't like about the multiplayer game, but I haven't seen them.

With 4 players there is the possibility to play as two teams.
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Erich Schneider
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achasteen wrote:
For turn order, the first few players can use up the better spots and you're left wandering at a disadvantage. Seems like more options should be available or catch up mechanism would be added for balance.


In the Lost Legion expansion, some "Slowing Down the Leader" variant rules were provided. Fortunately, they also work with the unexpanded game, and the rulebook is available online:

http://wizkidsgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/mk-lost-l...

The variants are on page 12 and 13.
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Claudio Hornblower
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We play it mostly coop as we aren't very competitive with this one; with 3-pl we use the full open map (B side + 5 columns, as per rulebook), sometimes with the Rampage! official variant to assure rampaging kills for everyone. Expect that this sometimes makes the movement harder (brown + red tokens in 2 adjacent spots...happen) particularly in the first levels.
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Ryan Yan
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achasteen wrote:
For turn order, the first few players can use up the better spots and you're left wandering at a disadvantage. Seems like more options should be available or catch up mechanism would be added for balance.

If you pick #6 Right Moment, you may play another turn immediately after you turn 1, to jump in front of your competitor.
If you pick #5 Great Start, you start with 2 more cards than others, so that you may move farther over you competitor.
In case you missed it, you can go through the space where your competitor occupies, as long as you don't end your movement there (which leads to PvP).

Quote:
With little options as the last player, I tried to attack the other players and player-to-player combat seemed to be awkward and not as intuitive as fighting monsters on the board. The game doesn't create interesting ways to mess with the other player's deck - discard random card, steal a card, lose a mana etc. Something to not make the multiplayer feel like solitaire.

There are ways to mess things:
discard/steal a card: Mind Read / Mind Steal;
lose a mana: Mana Meltdown.
Basically there are 4 competitive spells (among 20) and one competitive skill (among 10) per hero to do such "nasty" things. Maybe that's not enough for you though

Quote:
The new cards you acquire do not seem correlate evenly with the amount of ice and fire monsters that randomly show up. One will show up and everyone is not given equal chance prepare for them. I'm used to Ghost Stories where the different colored or currencies of combat are somewhat balanced.

They are balanced. The only problem is that not all enemy tokens / cards show up in one game to make it even, like they almost do in GS (if you play long enough before you lose too soon, i mean).

Quote:
Finally, the game drags with lots of players. Adding different objectives for winning, improving player interaction, speeding up exploration and movement might fix the 3 or 4 player game. I can't help but think there are ways to tweak or shorten the multiplayer.

There are a few official variant rules (e.g. interactive combat; more in MK:LL) to improve player interaction. But keep in mind that would lengthen the game time further.
"Blitz" version of some scenarios does speed up a game.
Team rule seems good to you, given your stress on player interaction. When you get familiar with PvP rules, you may find direct confrontation even fiercer in 2v2 than in a 2-P game.
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Alex Brown
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I'd like to see a scenario where players start in 'corners' and move toward a common, contested goal (probably a city).

I think that would take some of the edge from the 'players going first get all the good spots' - even though I think tactics sort most of this out.
 
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David desJardins
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Alex Brown wrote:
I'd like to see a scenario where players start in 'corners' and move toward a common, contested goal (probably a city).


I've tried to do this for two players. I haven't gotten it quite right yet.
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Ali Cali
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Alex Brown wrote:
I'd like to see a scenario where players start in 'corners' and move toward a common, contested goal (probably a city).

I think that would take some of the edge from the 'players going first get all the good spots' - even though I think tactics sort most of this out.

First, I have no issues with any multiplayer, but following up on the above quote, perhaps something like the Gauntlet variant where the center is a city and there are several tiles in a star pattern (or something) branching away from the center in a straight light until they reach the starting point. All tiles would be face-down except the ones at the end of each branch where each knight starts. The tiles would have to be rotated so that the each knight goes through the normal direction (and not be completely stopped by impassable terrain).

I don't know if I like this variant, though. This is way more like multi-player solitaire than the regular rules, since nobody can take away targets or help reveal tiles/enemies until the end. However, it seems kind of cool to have a race to the middle; do you take out targets to get stronger, or rush to the middle to be first (and hopefully strong enough). Perhaps extra fame for reaching the middle first?
 
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C Boehm
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Attacking other players rarely works in 3+ player games. It's a great mechanic in 2-player games (only).


In my experience attacking other players only has 1 of 2 purposes

1) To gain xp when if you cant do anything else ...this can often be the case in a 4-5player start, if you cant do anything else attack another player who has atleast a level on you, push them a hex and claim your xp (be sure to tell them thats your only intention so you dont risk them actually fully joining the battle and trying to hit back, which would be bad for both of you)

2) To put the pain on another player, this will usually only be worth it in very competive games such as 1v1, 2v2 or in rare cases in maybe a 3player game where one player is clearly ahead ...
 
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