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Subject: Why is this game considered to be best with 2 by many people? rss

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Kuro Kokon
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I heard that this game is a multiplayer solitaire.
Is this a great two player game (like Go, Twilight Struggle, Mage Wars, Haggis, etc) or is it regarded best with 2 or less just because having 3 or more players makes it worse (due to the downtime or something)?

To me, this game seems to be focusing more on having fun exploring cool thematic world than exciting player vs player competition.
 
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Byron Campbell
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Kuro Kokon wrote:
is it regarded best with 2 or less just because having 3 or more players makes it worse (due to the downtime or something)?


This. There's a lot to consider in any given turn, especially during a city assault, so downtime per player can be CONSIDERABLE.

I personally think it's best as a solo game.
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Martin Presley
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Kuro Kokon wrote:
I heard that this game is a multiplayer solitaire.
Is this a great two player game (like Go, Twilight Struggle, Mage Wars, Haggis, etc) or is it regarded best with 2 or less just because having 3 or more players makes it worse (due to the downtime or something)?

To me, this game seems to be focusing more on having fun exploring cool thematic world than exciting player vs player competition.


I think 3p cooperative is the best thing personally, since it helps with the AP, but often in 2p, you end up just avoiding each other and racing to conquer the cities. One of the awesome things about MK is you can adapt it to you or your group's style of play, provided you enjoy such heavy, dense games to begin with.
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Magnesi
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Kuro Kokon wrote:
I heard that this game is a multiplayer solitaire.
Is this a great two player game (like Go, Twilight Struggle, Mage Wars, Haggis, etc) or is it regarded best with 2 or less just because having 3 or more players makes it worse (due to the downtime or something)?
With 2 players with PvP the game is really interactive. "Multiplayer solitaire" can somehow happen in multiplayer collaborative and even a little in 3 or 4 players competitive. But not with 2 players and PvP on.

In my opinion, the game is better with 2 players because it's when it's more strategic (with more players, it's harder to plan ahead, and random becomes more important); downtime is minimal, and it's more challenging than solo mode.

Is a better 2 player games than Go, Twilight Struggle, Mage Wars...? Well, it depends a lot on your tastes. The strange thing in this game is that can be played in several ways: solitaire, cooperative, competitive without PvP, competitive with PvP. And it's really different depending on what way you play. I can say that competitive 2 players is really a competitive game, with a lot of interaction. Luck is a factor, but strategy is more important by far.
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Alison Mandible
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This is a great game, and is fun to play 2-player, but it's not really a head-to-head game or a dueling game. If you want every good turn you have to be a bite you're taking out of your opponent, I think you'd find Mage Knight disappointing.
 
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Ben Kyo
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I prefer 3-4 players over 1 or 2, and it seems the only real criticism people have of having more players is increased downtime and game length. You do need experienced players to increase the player count without things taking too long, it's true.
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David desJardins
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Benkyo wrote:
I prefer 3-4 players over 1 or 2, and it seems the only real criticism people have of having more players is increased downtime and game length.


Or people don't like the 3-4 player game because other players can get in your way and interfere with your plans and there's not much you can do about it. In a 2-player game, you can always attack them, but PvP isn't really viable in 3-4 player games, it just makes you both lose.
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Quazi Kenshin
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Actually, I'm a bit surprised that it's not ranked as being "best played with 1."

We have attempted to enjoy Mage Knight as a 2 and 3 player experience, but it fell flat with my group. We all loved the game's mechanics, but it felt like a tedious chore to get through the rounds and we weren't having fun.

However, as a solo experience, I found Mage Knight to be a fantastic puzzler I could lay out on my largest table and casually nip away at throughout the week, or devour in a single long evening.
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David desJardins
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zedoh6 wrote:
Actually, I'm a bit surprised that it's not ranked as being "best played with 1."


Solo games are just not very popular on BGG.

I play board games for the extra complexity and uncertainty of interacting with another player. If I didn't want that there are lots of computer games that can do much of what a solo board game does.

See also Article: Eurogames are inherently single player (although you might regret it).
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Phil McDonald
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Multiplayer solo? I hear that used about lots of different games... Through the Ages, 7 Wonders, Kingsburg amongst others (all great games by the way).

It might be fairer to say lower-interaction.

There are 3 great ways to enjoy this fantastic game for me....

1. Solo, using the free app for the dummy player.

2. Multiplayer with opponents who don't have AP

3. By vassal pbem which allows the game to played in bite sized chunks and removes all AP and downtime from the equation.
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Kuro Kokon
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Thank you for the replies.

Your comments suggest that Mage Knight isn't specifically great with 2 players (yet better than having more players) and the biggest (and maybe the only) downside of having 3 or more players is the downtime.
I assume that to be the answer to my question.

I agree with that and I don't see anything mechanically wrong with 3 or 4P Mage Knight.
Yes, having less players makes games more strategic and less chaotic, but I don't think Mage Knight is meant to be played too seriously and it's more about thematic experiences to me.

syzygia wrote:
Is a better 2 player games than Go, Twilight Struggle, Mage Wars...? Well, it depends a lot on your tastes. The strange thing in this game is that can be played in several ways: solitaire, cooperative, competitive without PvP, competitive with PvP. And it's really different depending on what way you play. I can say that competitive 2 players is really a competitive game, with a lot of interaction. Luck is a factor, but strategy is more important by far.

I enjoy direct interactions in abstract strategy games and american combat games more than indirect interactions in euro games (e.g. making your opponent's engine less efficient by taking actions / resources that your opponent wants, etc).
I prefer dueling games to racing games (such as Dominion) and I want tense situations in games to be made by opponents (as in Chess and Go) rather than by game systems (as in Agricola and In the Year of the Dragon).
 
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Shane Hockin
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We were a little disappointed with this as a multi-player game... until the Lost Legion expansion came out. It made multiplayer much more fun for our group. That said, Mage Knight remains my favorite solo game.
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Brandon Held
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Kuro Kokon wrote:
Thank you for the replies.

Your comments suggest that Mage Knight isn't specifically great with 2 players (yet better than having more players) and the biggest (and maybe the only) downside of having 3 or more players is the downtime.
I assume that to be the answer to my question.

I agree with that and I don't see anything mechanically wrong with 3 or 4P Mage Knight.
Yes, having less players makes games more strategic and less chaotic, but I don't think Mage Knight is meant to be played too seriously and it's more about thematic experiences to me.

syzygia wrote:
Is a better 2 player games than Go, Twilight Struggle, Mage Wars...? Well, it depends a lot on your tastes. The strange thing in this game is that can be played in several ways: solitaire, cooperative, competitive without PvP, competitive with PvP. And it's really different depending on what way you play. I can say that competitive 2 players is really a competitive game, with a lot of interaction. Luck is a factor, but strategy is more important by far.

I enjoy direct interactions in abstract strategy games and american combat games more than indirect interactions in euro games (e.g. making your opponent's engine less efficient by taking actions / resources that your opponent wants, etc).
I prefer dueling games to racing games (such as Dominion) and I want tense situations in games to be made by opponents (as in Chess and Go) rather than by game systems (as in Agricola and In the Year of the Dragon).


I mainly play cooperative two player-it's not as if the game isn't great with two players. Mage Knight doesn't lose any of its luster as a 1, 2 or 3 player game, especially with the Lost Legion expansion. As other people have already said, it's the issue of prolonged playing time and some of the scenarios work better with fewer people and some work better with more people. I think it reaches a tipping point with 4 people though-I wouldn't play a scenario with more than 4 people, it would be too much of a time eater.

 
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Alex Florin
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The votes are quite close between best with 1 and best with 2 actually. I think it is best with both 1 and 2 though I have played it many more times solo but that's just cause I have more opportunities to do so than with others.
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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Kuro Kokon wrote:
Thank you for the replies.

Your comments suggest that Mage Knight isn't specifically great with 2 players (yet better than having more players) and the biggest (and maybe the only) downside of having 3 or more players is the downtime.
I assume that to be the answer to my question. . . .


My own opinion is that Mage Knight is a great solo game, but is an even better 2-player game. Even without PvP, there is a large amount of interaction. There are interactive spells and skills, and even declaring the end of the round when the opponent still has several cards left in his draw pile can be a powerful form of attack.

For 3- and 4- player Mage Knight, I prefer PBF to face-to-face, where I can do what I like when it is not my turn.
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Magnesi
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Kuro Kokon wrote:
Your comments suggest that Mage Knight isn't specifically great with 2 players (yet better than having more players) and the biggest (and maybe the only) downside of having 3 or more players is the downtime.
I assume that to be the answer to my question.
Let me insist. MK competitive with two players is obviously different than other formats. It is more interactive, strategic and aggressive. That can be better or not, depending on your taste, but it is definitively different.

The main reason is because a move that hurts both you and one opponent is a viable strategy only in that format. The obvious example is a direct player vs player attack (quite common in 2 players, usually a loss of resources in other formats), but, as Mike pointed out, there are other examples.

Quote:
I enjoy direct interactions in abstract strategy games and american combat games more than indirect interactions in euro games (e.g. making your opponent's engine less efficient by taking actions / resources that your opponent wants, etc).
I prefer dueling games to racing games (such as Dominion) and I want tense situations in games to be made by opponents (as in Chess and Go) rather than by game systems (as in Agricola and In the Year of the Dragon).
Mage knight has some direct interaction: you can directly attack your opponent, giving him wounds, stealing artifacts, disabling his units... in very competitive scenarios is almost the only way to win.
However, it's also true that it isn't the main kind of interaction. Indirect interaction is more frequent, and, after reading your paragraph, I wouldn't recommend the game if that's what you're looking for.

Kuro Kokon wrote:
Yes, having less players makes games more strategic and less chaotic, but I don't think Mage Knight is meant to be played too seriously and it's more about thematic experiences to me.
That's funny. There are plenty of posts of people complaining that they wanted a thematic "adventure game" and found MK too heavy. I assume it depends on what you compare it. "thematic" and "heavily strategic" aren't incompatible.

Anyway, as I said, I wouldn't recommend this game given your preferences.
 
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Sam Butler
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espoon82 wrote:
We were a little disappointed with this as a multi-player game... until the Lost Legion expansion came out. It made multiplayer much more fun for our group. That said, Mage Knight remains my favorite solo game.


Precisely this--the expansion. There are new skills that encourage player interaction in the expansion, and cooperative scenarios become a lot more fun with Volkare as a common enemy.

I do think it plays extremely well as a solo game, though!
 
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Philip
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To me this game is best a 3.

Yes theirs is some downtime. But with a busy live I get to hang out with my boardgame buddy and the downtime because hassle / tease time.
 
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Matt Brown
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Played it with 3 finally. I still prefer 1-2. 3-player creates just enough downtime to where I would consider it the lesser option. Our game took 8 hours. Even if I am 3 hours part of that, I'm sitting there for 5. A 2-player game can easily be done in 6 hours, and it fells like it plays quick for what it is. My friend and I did a game in 5.5 hours and the first day/night was done in 90 minutes, and it felt like we were cranking along at a brisk pace.
 
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Ben Kyo
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matthean wrote:
Played it with 3 finally. I still prefer 1-2. 3-player creates just enough downtime to where I would consider it the lesser option. Our game took 8 hours. Even if I am 3 hours part of that, I'm sitting there for 5. A 2-player game can easily be done in 6 hours, and it fells like it plays quick for what it is. My friend and I did a game in 5.5 hours and the first day/night was done in 90 minutes, and it felt like we were cranking along at a brisk pace.

It's all down to experience. I can play a 2-player game with an inexperienced partner in two and a half hours. Once you get to that point, 3-4 players becomes possible in a reasonable time-frame.
 
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