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Subject: Possible purchase, looking for advice first rss

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Jon A.
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I like adventure games that involve character building, meaningful decisions that impact the journey and my character, and exploring maps. Furthermore, I have some investment in Terrinoth as a player of Runewars and Descent 2nd. However, I already one Mage Knight, which is one of my favorite games. Is this different enough?

Now while I adore Mage Knight, my wife is intimidated every time we play it given the options and the need to navigate the cards. So I'm wondering if this game will offer me strategic and tactical depth while not being too complicated for her. I don't mind taking it down a few notches, but I don't want anything too dominated by random chance.

I've heard from some, most notably SU&SD, that the game isn't very interactive. Is this the experience that everyone else is having?

Are their concerns with the tokens used in lieu of dice becoming excessively worn over time?

Edit: Yes, I have seen some previews. I was hoping for some input from someone with firsthand experience, preferably from those also experienced with Mage Knight, but anyone with anything constructive to add is welcome to reply.
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David Williams
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Re: Should I buy this based on the following preferences and concerns:
I'm in a similar position - own and love Mage Knight and play it with my son (usually cooperative) and occasonally solo if I have time to kill. I love it, but it does make my head spin somewhat, especially when beer is also applied.

I have ordered Runebound as a lighter alternative which is also a bit more strategic and less random than Talisman which is the ultimate beer-accompanying adventure game.

So from everything I have read I think they will be different enough. However I also don't really anticipate buying any more adventure style games for a long time - I also have Descent 2E and Legends of Drizzt so a fantasy adventure game for almost any situation.

As for your concerns, having not played the game I can only explain why I don't think they are a problem. For player interaction I'm fine with that being relatively rare, as it is in Mage Knight. The fact another player gets to do the combat for the monsters should help by adding some limited interaction while reducing downtime somewhat, especially for 2 player games.

While some people are concerned about the tokens, I'm not. Feedback from players who have actually used the new combat system has been mostly positive, and I think it looks fun and different. They are essentially D2s and the only concern is how well they will withstand play. They don't need to remain immaculate to function and if they ever get really tatty (which will hopefully be years rather than weeks or months) I imagine FFG will find a way to sell us extras/replacements. A few sheets of cardboard shouldn't break the bank and if it's had that much play I'd consider it a decent amount of fun for the money.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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I can let you know tomorrow, but I have played the old one and mage knight plenty.

Interaction is low, but it sounds like you are playing 2 players? Then it's a ton of interaction as you will always be controlling monster casting. I loved the last runebound with no more than 3 for similar reasons. I'm guessing the same will be true here.

Runebound came out with a bunch of scenarios, I'm sure future ones here will really mix things up too.
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Aswin Agastya
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From the premise, with the exception of mechanical interaction (in form of controlling monster), your're really shouldn't expect interaction.

I mean, a large overland area, two adventurers, each go separate way... how you're expecting them to interact thematically?
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Julia
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I'd say you can go and grab your copy without too much thought. The game is not deterministic like an 18XX game, but it's strategic enough to appeal you. So far we played quite a few games, and it was always possible to build a specific engine, hunt for powerful items and prep for final battle. There is a randomness intrinsic of rolling dice, casting tokens and drawing cards, but actually good players are capable of controlling the randomness by making the right choices.
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Jon A.
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SeerMagic wrote:
I can let you know tomorrow, but I have played the old one and mage knight plenty.

Interaction is low, but it sounds like you are playing 2 players? Then it's a ton of interaction as you will always be controlling monster casting. I loved the last runebound with no more than 3 for similar reasons. I'm guessing the same will be true here.

Runebound came out with a bunch of scenarios, I'm sure future ones here will really mix things up too.
This sounds good, but I'm a bit leery of too many expansions. Between Descent, Star Wars Armada, and Netrunner, I already have a significant commitment to FFG serial releases. Now I understand that this is an FFG game, and that does mean expansions. But I wonder how flooded we will be with them.

Sevej wrote:
From the premise, with the exception of mechanical interaction (in form of controlling monster), your're really shouldn't expect interaction.

I mean, a large overland area, two adventurers, each go separate way... how you're expecting them to interact thematically?
Well Mage Knight allows for interaction through cooperative play or through fighting one another in competitive play. So there are ways to do it. Sure, you don't bounce off of or aid one another every turn, but you either work together toward the same goal, or race to that goal in opposition to one another.

Scarlet Witch wrote:
I'd say you can go and grab your copy without too much thought. The game is not deterministic like an 18XX game, but it's strategic enough to appeal you. So far we played quite a few games, and it was always possible to build a specific engine, hunt for powerful items and prep for final battle. There is a randomness intrinsic of rolling dice, casting tokens and drawing cards, but actually good players are capable of controlling the randomness by making the right choices.
This is one thing that I needed to hear. I don't mind elements of chance, but I want to be able to mitigate those aspects of the game. It's also nice to know that character building is analogous to crafting an engine. I'm the type that needs considerable depth to a system to keep me engaged for long periods of time.
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Julia
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Omphaloskeptic wrote:
This is one thing that I needed to hear. I don't mind elements of chance, but I want to be able to mitigate those aspects of the game. It's also nice to know that character building is analogous to crafting an engine. I'm the type that needs considerable depth to a system to keep me engaged for long periods of time.
There's enough depth to keep anyone's engaged for a while. This doesn't mean the game is particularly "heavy", but that's rich enough to entertain for long. You can try developing a lot of different strategies to victory since many cards can be paired to trigger different powerful combos.

Also, the game looks like a great skeleton for a far more greater project: all elements are modular and very easy to interchange; tokens coming with alphanumerical codes leave the door open for different subsets to be swapped in the future; the scenario structure leaves huge spaces to vary: you can have coop scenarios as "all against all" scenarios as whatevs; same for the skill system, the deck is divided into subdecks as well. I'm really excited about the game because it gives me the idea it was created thinking of the future, and really the only limit here is the imagination of the authors. I'm feeling like I just put my feet on an entire world to discover, and it was a lot of time (since I discovered Descent 1st edition, back in 2008) that I wasn't so excited for a game.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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Omphaloskeptic wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
Runebound came out with a bunch of scenarios, I'm sure future ones here will really mix things up too.
This sounds good, but I'm a bit leery of too many expansions. Between Descent, Star Wars Armada, and Netrunner, I already have a significant commitment to FFG serial releases. Now I understand that this is an FFG game, and that does mean expansions. But I wonder how flooded we will be with them.
Runebound isn't the powerhouse those games are. If anything they might start release figures mixed with descent. Scenarios will probably be just a deck of cards like they did with 2nd, that's not so expansive. Or they might take it the old big box expansion way. New map, new stuff, new scenarios. Either way, I doubt real seriously it'll be anywhere near the release schedule of the games you listed.
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Matt Asher
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Scarlet Witch wrote:
So far we played quite a few games
cry I don't even have a copy yet cry
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Enon Sci
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Omphaloskeptic wrote:

Well Mage Knight allows for interaction through cooperative play or through fighting one another in competitive play. So there are ways to do it. Sure, you don't bounce off of or aid one another every turn, but you either work together toward the same goal, or race to that goal in opposition to one another.
Never played Mage Knight. Could somebody enlighten me as to the range of interactions in the cooperative side of things? Is it mainly combat assists, and the like?
 
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David Williams
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Never played Mage Knight. Could somebody enlighten me as to the range of interactions in the cooperative side of things? Is it mainly combat assists, and the like?
I would strongly advise posing this question on the Mage Knight forums where I'm sure you'll get a more full discussion without risk of derailing. But basically:

1. Planning your strategies together so you don't get in each others way.

2. A few interactive cooperative skills which benefit both players.

3. Planning and executing cooperative assaults on cities and bosses.

I think that's about it. I'd definitely encourage you to check out the Mage Knight forums if it piques your interest. It's a fantastic solo & co-op game IMO. Hard on the brain, but very satisfying when you complete the objectives.
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It's different enough, but, while I haven't played MK, my impression of MK is there's some real hand management that's more a trait of Euros than Ameritrash. RB3 has some hand management with the training cards (see the rules) but it's not Euro-brain-burning. More like, "I don't want to use this card for its Skill use, so what else can I use it for?" Long-term choices are more like understanding how to best use your trophies (experience points) and gold to buy skills and items. While RB3 isn't random choice, it's a race game, so you *can* press your luck with another encounter (combat, social, or quest) rather than rest. At four players, we had a small amount of "who can get there first" interaction.

The tokens won't wear out any more than any frequently handled cardboard component in any of your other games. Do you have any worn cardboard pieces? Yes, I do know someone who would rattle the tokens in a dice cup for several minutes before casting them.
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David Williams
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Sam and Max wrote:
It's different enough, but, while I haven't played MK, my impression of MK is there's some real hand management that's more a trait of Euros than Ameritrash. RB3 has some hand management with the training cards (see the rules) but it's not Euro-brain-burning. More like, "I don't want to use this card for its Skill use, so what else can I use it for?" Long-term choices are more like understanding how to best use your trophies (experience points) and gold to buy skills and items.
They are actually quite similar in all those respects. The main reason Mage Knight involves more calculation is because there is usually less hidden information. You can usually see enemies, or at least know exactly what a hidden enemy could be, and combat is fully deterministic. The interactions between cards are more complex than interactions between tokens, and there are usually more choices. Even with only 5 cards each card has 2 effects to choose from depending how you use mana etc.

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While RB3 isn't random choice, it's a race game, so you *can* press your luck with another encounter (combat, social, or quest) rather than rest. At four players, we had a small amount of "who can get there first" interaction.
True but all of that applies to Mage Knight as well - when competitive it's a race against each other, and cooperative it's a race against the clock. Interaction tends to be limited for the same reason as in Runebound (even if it were allowed) namely it tends to hold up both players more than it will benefit anyone.

I would say the biggest differences are:

1. Runebound is definitely more flavourful. It has a good amount of flavour text and the quests and encounters actually are presented as such. In Mage Knight all that is left behind the scenes. Exploring some Ruins generally just means you fight some enemies or donate some mana.

2. Mage Knight is more deterministic, and as such I think it's easier to spend a lot of time calculating. Not necessarily AP, but definitely more calculation is required. Runebound sidesteps that by being less restrictive - if you can't get where you want to go with your movement roll, you just take another move action. In Mage Knight, it feels much more likely you will waste a turn and fail to accomplish anything useful.

I love both games, but they are different enough to have both I think. Runebound is much lighter but more flavourful. Mage Knight is a real thinker's game and while most of the mechanics make sense thematically, there isn't much embellishment etc. Some have called it 'soulless' and while I don't exactly agree I can see where they are coming from.

Watching Ricky Royal's Mage Knight videos should make the differences pretty clear.
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