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Subject: 4 players too many for first game? rss

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Got this game for christmas and three of my friends are keen on trying it. From what I understand, the consensus here seems to be that 4 players is too many unless all the players are experienced.

Is this also the case in the first reconnaisance mission?
 
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Dr. Octatrack
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Personally, I would never* play this game with more than 3 players. It is my go-to epic solo game, and I think the sweet spot is 2 players (or 3 if everyone knows how to play).

*Never say never! Of course, I would play with 4 if the opportunity arose, but I think you may be in for a long game with a lot of downtime. In fact, 4 players could be good if everyone knows the rules and you use PvP.
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Mark Bauer
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Geddon wrote:

*Never say never! Of course, I would play with 4 if the opportunity arose, but I think you may be in for a long game with a lot of downtime. In fact, 4 players could be good if everyone knows the rules and you use PvP.


I say never

4 players? no way... 3 is maybe debatable. But I had a Volkares Return last time with a friend (we both played the game before) and it took us more than 6 hours. It was epic, but I cannot imagine another player.
3 players maybe in a blitz version...
Don't forget: Thats my opinion, but the OP asked for opinions

When it comes to First Reconnaissance... Well, that's maybe okay, because its half the "size" of a regular scenario and has some rules removed. I would still be careful though. You don't want all the players be bored, because they have to wait 20 minutes until its their turn again.
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bryden
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I would start with 2 players before I went for more. Especially if you do not have a good grasp of the rules and you need an excellent grasp of the rules. Under no circumstances should you think that you can play Mage Knight from the rule book. I think that the box states 60 minutes per player but it seems to go up with more players. 90+ minutes per player with 4 players is common if playing the full game, that's 6 hours.

If you are well versed in the rules and the other players understand the time commitment (and frustrations) that they will have along the way then you might be able to slog your way through the game in 6+ hours and never get to play the game again.

Once I taught the game to 2 players and after 2 hours they had not finished the first day yet. My son who was playing along was extremely frustrated by the very slow play. It was a 3 player game.

I would suggest that you play a series of games (blitz) with 2 players until everyone gets a good grasp of what is going on before you attempt a 4 player game. We play a 4 player game in about 4 hours (full game) but others around here can't seem to get done in 6. However, in my games all players know what they are doing.
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Phil McDonald
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Best solo game I've ever played

2 player is best for your first competitive game

3 player is optimal for F2F providing you all know the rules an no-one has AP.

4 player is a fantastic experience by vassal pbem as it removes all the downtime and AP.

Enjoy !
 
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Einmal ist keinmal
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Bad idea. You're going to turn them off of the game in their first play.

I suggest getting 2 copies of the game and have two 2-player games simultaneously. You can still teach everyone there and they learn the game in half the time.
 
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Simon Kamber
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If you have four players who want to play, go ahead. I have done so several times without issues.

Yes, the game will be long. And with unexperienced players, you cannot always expect to finish a full 6-round scenario in one sitting. But the first re con should be no trouble at all, and a four-player coop is an epic experience.
 
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Simon Kamber
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Desiderata wrote:
Bad idea. You're going to turn them off of the game in their first play.

I suggest getting 2 copies of the game and have two 2-player games simultaneously. You can still teach everyone there and they learn the game in half the time.


I disagree with that. Getting two games is exaggerated. I would much rather get two different games and have a better collection

Even if four runs longer, I have taught 4-player groups more than once without scaring anyone off.
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Trevin Beattie
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I tried teaching three new players in a 4-player game once at home, and regretted it. One of the problems was that I couldn't help two players at once when one had a question with his end-of-turn rewards and the other had a question with planning his next turn, and one or both of them ended up getting frustrated. Another problem though is that this is not the sort of game these particular players are used to.

On the flip side, I taught another 4-player game in the Mage Knight event at BGG.CON 2013 and it was a much better experience. But in that case IIRC two of those players had either played it just once before or at least watched the videos, so they only needed minimal assistance.

I would personally recommend just one new player at a time in this game. If you have other players, make sure they are both experienced enough and willing to help teach, so that you can take your own turn without having to stop to answer questions.
 
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Thanks for the feedback. I have decided to just play two separate nights. One with 2 players and one with 3. And I will for the 2 player one first so that I am more prepared to teach the 3 player game.
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Sky Zero
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I've played multiple 4 player learning games using Reconnaissance as the mission and it's ALWAYS gone over extremely well. The beauty of the starting mission is that it plays roughly the same length regardless of number of players. All of my reconnaissance learning games teaching others finish somewhere between 3-4 hours with rules and I've taught it at least half a dozen times.
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Paul Grogan
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Check out all my instructional How to Play videos at youtube.com/GamingRulesVideos
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IMO, 4 players is too many for first reconnaissance. The map is too small and the player going last ends up sometimes with a negative play experience because of it.
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Thorsten Schröder
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My guess is (and I say this very cautiosly) that if (and only if) everyone at the table knows that it's going to be a learning the game session and not an actual game session it could be done. But people should be warned.

I probably would have everyone play with an open cardhand and they should explain and include everyone in their thinking process(perhaps viewed as a coop game) Any rules questions that arise should be decided by everyone on the fly an written down to be reread in the rules after the session, so they dont slow down the game.
but it would still be a good idea if the owner of the game plays some solo games before the session. Or at least watch the excellent youtube videos.
 
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Andrew H
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With the three player game, you can do a variant of the walk-through that seems to help. When setting things up, deal out the keep, mage tower, and monetary location cards to each player and say each player gets a bonus of 1 fame for reaching their location, and a second fame if they manage to upgrade at that location. It lets each learner focus on one part, while observing the other players as they focus on their section.
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Mark Bauer
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fur94 wrote:
With the three player game, you can do a variant of the walk-through that seems to help. When setting things up, deal out the keep, mage tower, and monetary location cards to each player and say each player gets a bonus of 1 fame for reaching their location, and a second fame if they manage to upgrade at that location. It lets each learner focus on one part, while observing the other players as they focus on their section.


I might be mistaken, but I believe the mage tower and the keep are two sides of the same site description card.
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Andrew H
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Anduin wrote:
fur94 wrote:
With the three player game, you can do a variant of the walk-through that seems to help. When setting things up, deal out the keep, mage tower, and monetary location cards to each player and say each player gets a bonus of 1 fame for reaching their location, and a second fame if they manage to upgrade at that location. It lets each learner focus on one part, while observing the other players as they focus on their section.


I might be mistaken, but I believe the mage tower and the keep are two sides of the same site description card.


I just checked and saw you're correct about the keep and mage tower card. If you can divide up the three sites another way (regular die roll, another location card), the site goals can still help teach the game to three players. They should be able to reach their site and still find the city in the 3 rounds, but they can concentrate more on learning one part while still seeing the whole walk through.
 
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Finished my first game with friends today. Tried a solo run of the game yesterday, so that I had some knowledge of what we were going to be doing.

First I started playing with just one friend, but after the first day round ended a friend dropped by. We decided to ask him to join, and just restarted. This second rules explenation went much smoother, probably by learning from my mistakes explaining it to the first person. I reckon the 3 player game lasted 3 hours, including the rules pitch. It could easily have ended earlier if one of us chose to go for the last tile reveal earlier, but we all enjoyed taking our time and trying to do some epic stuff.

Biggest tip : give players the cards of the new things they encounter.

Other nice tip : explain the system for taking wounds to your characters as simply as "divide by your armor and round up". Still doesnt stop armor and block being confusing. Combat is really the only really hard thing to explain.

What would you recommend for our next game? Full conquest or blitz?
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Plaid Dragon
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Geddon wrote:
Personally, I would never* play this game with more than 3 players. It is my go-to epic solo game, and I think the sweet spot is 2 players (or 3 if everyone knows how to play).

*Never say never! Of course, I would play with 4 if the opportunity arose, but I think you may be in for a long game with a lot of downtime. In fact, 4 players could be good if everyone knows the rules and you use PvP.


My first game was a four-player with another first timer as well. I think we took about 6 hours which seemed long.

Our second round (which will also be four players) is coming up in a couple of weeks. Should go much faster, at least speaking for myself, given I've picked it and it's expansions up, studied the rules like mad, and gone through solo conquest and volkaire about 5-6 times each now.
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Plaid_Dragon wrote:
Geddon wrote:
Personally, I would never* play this game with more than 3 players. It is my go-to epic solo game, and I think the sweet spot is 2 players (or 3 if everyone knows how to play).

*Never say never! Of course, I would play with 4 if the opportunity arose, but I think you may be in for a long game with a lot of downtime. In fact, 4 players could be good if everyone knows the rules and you use PvP.


My first game was a four-player with another first timer as well. I think we took about 6 hours which seemed long.

Our second round (which will also be four players) is coming up in a couple of weeks. Should go much faster, at least speaking for myself, given I've picked it and it's expansions up, studied the rules like mad, and gone through solo conquest and volkaire about 5-6 times each now.


Did you play first recon for 6 hours, or was it another scenario?
 
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Sky Zero
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I still say don't listen to the naysayers, it plays fine with 4!
 
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skyzero wrote:
I still say don't listen to the naysayers, it plays fine with 4!


Going to be playing with 3 newcomers today, so I hope you are right. What scenario would you recommend for us?
 
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