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Mage Knight Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: How is the 2p and 4p co op for this game? How difficult is it? rss

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Brian Tanner
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Odenton
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Hey all,

I have been looking more seriously at getting this game recently. In the past, I always kind of passed on it because of the seeming game length and complexity of the game, but recently I've been researching it more.

These kinds of questions may be buried in the 128pages of forum posts, but my BGG search-fu did not yield much on some of the questions (though to be fair, it isn't particularly strong ).

Anyways, some background: I really like co op games, and am always interested in getting new ones. I like pure co op games, I don't much care for the "co op but 1 of us is a traitor" style games. I also really like hard co op games, if it isn't hard and victory is a foregone conclusion, I get bored with the game. My favorite co op game by far is Ghost Stories, I love that game . I recently got Defenders of the Realm as well. I've only had a chance to play it once so far, but quite liked it (we lost, so it seems like it may be a hard game as well, but I'll need more plays with it). Oddly enough though, I really don't like Pandemic, I find it incredibly boring and don't much care for the theme (I like swords and magic!).

In terms of "complex" games and such, I also enjoy Warhammer 40k, though sadly I don't get to play it too often. My significant other is also a gamer who can handle more complex games (the 2p), and the group I'd be looking to game with are gamers as well, but the most "complex" thing they have is probably Eldritch Horror. Me and the significant other also really enjoy games with rpg-like mechanics (leveling up, getting new loot, etc).

I read a lot about how this game is great solo. I've never really been one to play board games solo (which is kind of weird considering I've played video games solo since Mario on the NES), it is an odd concept to me having not really tried it. I probably wouldn't play this one solo either, at least that isn't why I'm interested in buying it. I am curious how good the "competitive" parts of the game are, but that isn't the main reason why I'm interested in it either.

So with all of that background, some questions about the game:

- How does it play co op with 2 people? How difficult is the game? Is it challenging, or would I get bored with it? Realistically, how long does a co op game take with 2 (I see the play time listed as 150min)?

- Same questions with 4, does it co op well with 4 / how long does it take?

I've read some forums posts describing the co op as essentially "multiplayer solitaire", do others find this to be true? I like Ghost Stories because you HAVE to work as a team, everyone can't just look out for themselves.

- Final question: Is there any easy way to artificially shorten the game length? For example, when I'm playing a game of Runewars with friends, to shorten the length I usually just do something simple like make the game end after the 6th year instead of the 7th. Can something similar be done with this game?

Thanks!

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Ben Kyo
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Osaka
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bktanner wrote:
- How does it play co op with 2 people? How difficult is the game? Is it challenging, or would I get bored with it? Realistically, how long does a co op game take with 2 (I see the play time listed as 150min)?

- Same questions with 4, does it co op well with 4 / how long does it take?

Can take 3-4 hours, but is possible in 2.5 hours two player. Expect considerably longer per additional player (+1 hour per experienced player, +2 per inexperienced player)

bktanner wrote:
I've read some forums posts describing the co op as essentially "multiplayer solitaire", do others find this to be true? I like Ghost Stories because you HAVE to work as a team, everyone can't just look out for themselves.

I don't think so. Depends on the difficulty you set. If it is too easy then yes, each person can just do their own thing. There are two limiting factors - one is that the score is based off the lowest scoring player and the other is that in a really difficult game every player needs to pull their weight, so you need to cooperate to make sure everyone can play efficiently instead of 1-2 players breaking away and hogging all the targets.

On the other hand, Mage Knight doesn't have the "putting out fires" aspect of most co-op games. You spend a good chunk of the game just trying to level-up as efficiently as you can, and then you come together for the final crunch, where you find out if played well enough. I can see how that might not satisfy someone who is after a particular kind of co-op experience.

bktanner wrote:
- Final question: Is there any easy way to artificially shorten the game length? For example, when I'm playing a game of Runewars with friends, to shorten the length I usually just do something simple like make the game end after the 6th year instead of the 7th. Can something similar be done with this game?

Kind of. The blitz scenarios are definitely shorter, but it is still a long game. A blitz game with new players will take longer than a full game with experienced players.
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Jonathan Meltzer
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Greetings! My wife and I seem to be much like you folks where it comes to the co-ops. We have Mage Knight, and while we enjoy many aspects of the gameplay, we have found that you need to house rule a few things in order to make it teamwork instead of solitaire. Even then I am not sure it has the feel of a co-op. If I were to play solitaire games I could see how it would rock that way, but we have kind of regretted our purchase a bit.

We also really like to analyze moves in depth before making them...and so, for us, games of MK take several hours, even for the blitz scenario (where you play two days and nights instead of three). We like to work together on each other's plays, especially since that is really the only way you get to cooperate.

Now, we have heard that the Lost Legion expansion helps to make it more of a co-op, but I have never played with LL and we are not sure if we want to put more money into the game for the few times that we have the hours to play it.

The game is great, but it is not a co-op in the sense that we were looking for one.

Hope that helps a bit. If you are looking for what Mage Knight is, it does very well, but if you are looking for a co-op where teamwork is prevalent and necessary (Ghost Stories, Shadowrift, Pathfinder ACG, others), this is not it.
 
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Ali Cali
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For coop, the Lost Legion expansion is excellent. You all gear up for a final, epic battle that seems impossible. However, that final battle by itself could take 30 minutes for all players to plan and execute, and is a major brain-burner.

There is some multiplayer solitaire, but not nearly enough to sink this excellent game. You all agree on which direction you're going and what you'll accomplish. Then you set out on your individual tasks for a few rounds until you come back together.

Mage Knight plus Lost Legion is my favorite coop (and I've played and very much enjoyed Ghost Stories), so long as everyone can invest the time (a few hours). If time is very short, Hanabi is simple, but surprisingly challenging when using the variant to go for a perfect score.
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Phil McDonald
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4p is probably best avoided, as are opponents with AP unless you play by vassal pbem (this game plays superbly on there Asynchronously).

I hate Ghost Stories and am not keen on co-op games in general (unless playing solo). Group-think can really slow a game down and even ruin it if you get an alpha player who wants to make all the decisions.

However, if I wanted to play a game in co-op mode, this would be it. Shared objectives but seperate turns without input from other players.

Downtime with 4 players is a problem, even with no AP if you are playing F2F.

This game is multiplayer solitaire, and more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

It's also by far the best solo game I've ever played, especially if you download the free app to automate the dummy player.
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