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Subject: What is the re-playability of this game from a solo perspective? rss

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steve perkins
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I've played a borrowed copy of Mage Knight twice and I quite liked it, but I couldn't bring myself to get my own copy because of the lack of re-playability.

There was just one mission of conquer the two castles. You started with the same basic cards, went exploring to get better cards to give you the chance of beating the castles and that was it.

I own the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, now that is similar, but the variety is a lot more. I've got a total of 33 adventures to progress through and can use as few as 1 up to 6 adventurers in the party, chosen from 11 different ones giving me many permutations.

It's the same 33 adventures each time, but you do get to see a lot of different cards and you can choose a different career path for each adventurer.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is, will I find the same perceived lack of re-playability in this new Star Trek/ Mage Knight? Can anyone who has bought it primarily for the solo game give me a good reason to buy it. I do like Star Trek (Watched all the films and T.V Series) and I like deck-building games, which is why I would really like to buy this.

Bought it and loving it.
 
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Greg
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Here is a poll I ran some time back in the 1 Player Guild. As you can see MK, was in the top 5 so I think it has plenty of legs to quite a few soloists. BTW, Pathfinder is a long campaign but it can get extremely boring. Sure you see new cards and stuff but its just the same thing with a higher number essentially.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1564326/poll-solo-games-are...
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Erik Miller
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I have played over 20+ games of MK solo and only 2 of Star Trek Frontiers (due to the fact that I just moved) but I find that they are both great for soloing. MK has a better variety right now due to expansions/it came with a bit more stuff in the base game box, but the 4 characters play differently, you can only pick 5 of your 10 skills each time you play, and the map is never the same.

You can also change the difficulty by making the final enemies harder/easier to fight, give you less time to accomplish your goal, etc.


All in all, MK/STF is my second most played solo game behind Sentinels of the Multiverse. I have played 2 solo campaigns of Pathfinder and find myself burned out on it. I will go back to it later, but in the end it is just a dice fest. MK/STF has some luck, but I really like how you get to balance your options- is it worth taking wounds to get this? What do I do next? Everything is planned out and is fun to play. I thoroughly enjoy it each time I play it.

Also, I am a huge ST fan, so I like frontiers better, though it is a little bit easier vs. MK and just has less in the base game box probably due to the licensing cost for the ST vs. MK license.



That being said, it is still much of the same, just with some new cards. There are still the conquer this place or do this in x turn missions. If you didn't like the scenarios in MK, there is really nothing different enough here to make you want it. The rules are more streamlined and easier to understand, and there are differences, like no artifact deck, new cards, no day/night cycle, etc., but the scenarios are basically the same.
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Alison Mandible
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steve perkins wrote:
There was just one mission of conquer the two castles. You started with the same basic cards, went exploring to get better cards to give you the chance of beating the castles and that was it.


Scenarios are not what gives Mage Knight its replayability in the first place. But if you want, there are solo adaptations of most co-op scenarios, posted to the forums here.
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Robert Leonhard
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I solo ST:F a lot, and I find it's a different challenge each time. Each of the four ships that come with the game have different captain's abilities and different skill development possibilities. As mentioned, you can adapt the solo conquest and other solo scenarios by varying the strengths of the Borg Cubes.

But in addition to that, ST:F lends itself to good variants. I put together a list of random away team missions, for example, that you can find under "Variants," and I suspect more fan-based variants will come.

I also would anticipate WizKids putting out expansions as they did with MK that will enhance solo play.
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Jon W
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steve perkins wrote:
will I find the same perceived lack of re-playability in this new Star Trek/ Mage Knight?

Given your reasoning about MK's replayability, the answer is very likely yes.
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steve perkins
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Thanks to all that have taken the time to reply. I think that I'll keep an eye out on this and maybe wait to see what expansions come out for it. It's not like I haven't got other things to play.

I did like the general game play of Mage Knight and with the fact there are 4 ships and you can vary how you can proceed with each ship might just swing it for me. The fact it is Star Trek, just might be the deciding factor. I can imagine myself as a Picard or Kirk.

Thanks also for pointing me to Star Realms and Limes as other possible solo games worthy of a look.

Much appreciated guys.
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Barry Miller
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A sincere question...

So having four different decks of cards (The Ship Deck, The Crew Deck, The Advanced Action Deck, and the Undiscovered Deck), each of which is shuffled completely differently for each game...

Plus, the stack of tiles, which is shuffled differently for each game...

Plus, the stacks of enemy and planet tokens, which is shuffled differently for each game...

Plus, the different Skill Tokens available and shuffled differently for each game...

Plus, MULTIPLY each of the above items by the four Captains, each with a different ability to choose from for each game,

Plus, MULTIPLY all the above by the nine or so scenarios that come with the base game, and...

All that doesn't add up to make a replayable game? If this be the case, then I've had a wrong notion of the definition of "replayability" all these years!

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Joseph Cochran
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Regarding MK you said:
steve perkins wrote:
There was just one mission of conquer the two castles. You started with the same basic cards, went exploring to get better cards to give you the chance of beating the castles and that was it.


Regrding ST you said:
steve perkins wrote:
I did like the general game play of Mage Knight and with the fact there are 4 ships and you can vary how you can proceed with each ship might just swing it for me.


It's worth pointing out that the four ship decks are AS IDENTICAL as the four Mage Knight decks are in the base game. After looking through them you can tell that the Defiant is Tovak, the Bird of Prey is Goldyx, the Klingon battlecruiser is Arythea and the Enterprise is Norowas. It's a reskin and there's no more or less variety between the player characters than there is in the other game.
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steve perkins
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bgm1961 wrote:

A sincere question...

So having four different decks of cards (The Ship Deck, The Crew Deck, The Advanced Action Deck, and the Undiscovered Deck), each of which is shuffled completely differently for each game...

Plus, the stack of tiles, which is shuffled differently for each game...

Plus, the stacks of enemy and planet tokens, which is shuffled differently for each game...

Plus, the different Skill Tokens available and shuffled differently for each game...

Plus, MULTIPLY each of the above items by the four Captains, each with a different ability to choose from for each game,

Plus, MULTIPLY all the above by the nine or so scenarios that come with the base game, and...

All that doesn't add up to make a replayable game? If this be the case, then I've had a wrong notion of the definition of "replayability" all these years!



Thank you for the additional information and for taking the time to write it. It certainly gives me additional food for thought.

From playing Mage Knight, The tiles did come out differently, but had similar things on them. The skill tokens again had similar things on them.

I am interested in the different abilities the Captains can choose from and yes there are a lot of variables, however, I was under the impression there is still only the one solo mission rather than nine? If that is the case then it still is an issue for me.

For example from other solo games I play. Lord of the Rings LCG not only has similar levels of variables, but has different missions. In Legendary I can choose from different Superheroes and importantly I can choose from a number of different missions.

Amending the difficulty level of the Borg, isn't a different mission, it's the same one.

It's a little difficult to put into writing my desire to want to like Star Trek: Frontiers with it's attractive components. (and for that matter Mage Knight, I have no problem with the swords and sorcery theme) But not wanting to pay a quite large amount for doing the same mission 4 times with the 4 different Captains and thinking, well that's it.

I'll think I'll just for now hold fire. But once again I do appreciate the input.
 
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Barry Miller
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steve perkins wrote:
...however, I was under the impression there is still only the one solo mission rather than nine? If that is the case then it still is an issue for me.

Yeah, I can definitely see how that would be.

To clarify where I was coming from... the Frontier rules provide for a "Dummy Player" which can be used to solo any of the 2+ player scenarios (some more easily than others). I don't know if MK had the same, or not.

So as I understand it, any of the 2-4 player competitive scenarios can be played solo by using the Dummy player rules. There are six such scenarios. Though note that while only one of the six (the introductory scenario) has a specific solo variant, the other five can easily be adapted in the same way to play solo. In addition to those six competitive scenarios, two more are designed for co-op play which I assume can be played without needing the Dummy Player, much in the same way that any co-op game can be played solo.

Then there's the solo only scenario, which you mentioned. The solo scenario is of course designed for one player only, so the Dummy Player rules aren't used. Edit: Upon a 2nd look at the rulebook, I was wrong. The Dummy Player is used, even for the solo scenario.

To summarize: There are ten scenarios in the rulebook. Nine of the ten can be played solitaire, as follows:
6 scenarios: Designed for 2-4 players. Can play solo by using the dummy player rules for the second player.
2 scenarios: Designed for Co-op. Should be easily solo-able.
1 scenario: Designed strictly for solitaire play. No dummy player.
1 scenario: Can't be played solo. Requires a minimum of three players.

For my only game so far, I played the introductory scenario which is meant for 2-4 players, solo. I simply used the Dummy Player rules and it went great!

I hope this helps. And BTW, I didn't mean to be snarky with my earlier post in case it came across that way.

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steve perkins
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bgm1961 wrote:

steve perkins wrote:
...however, I was under the impression there is still only the one solo mission rather than nine? If that is the case then it still is an issue for me.

Yeah, I can definitely see how that would be.

To clarify where I was coming from... the Frontier rules provide for a "Dummy Player" which can be used to solo any of the 2+ player scenarios (some more easily than others). I don't know if MK had the same, or not.

So as I understand it, any of the 2-4 player competitive scenarios can be played solo by using the Dummy player rules. There are six such scenarios. Though note that while only one of the six (the introductory scenario) has a specific solo variant, the other five can easily be adapted in the same way to play solo. In addition to those six competitive scenarios, two more are designed for co-op play which I assume can be played without needing the Dummy Player, much in the same way that any co-op game can be played solo.

Then there's the solo only scenario, which you mentioned. The solo scenario is of course designed for one player only, so the Dummy Player rules aren't used. Edit: Upon a 2nd look at the rulebook, I was wrong. The Dummy Player is used, even for the solo scenario.

To summarize: There are ten scenarios in the rulebook. Nine of the ten can be played solitaire, as follows:
6 scenarios: Designed for 2-4 players. Can play solo by using the dummy player rules for the second player.
2 scenarios: Designed for Co-op. Should be easily solo-able.
1 scenario: Designed strictly for solitaire play. No dummy player.
1 scenario: Can't be played solo. Requires a minimum of three players.

For my only game so far, I played the introductory scenario which is meant for 2-4 players, solo. I simply used the Dummy Player rules and it went great!

I hope this helps. And BTW, I didn't mean to be snarky with my earlier post in case it came across that way.



Darn you and your excellent explanation.

You have definitely got me all interested again. Oh this is going to be so hard now to make my mind up. I think I'll have to think long and hard over the weekend and not do my usual thing of, must get this tomorrow morning.

Thank you and don't worry you hadn't come across as snarky. whistle
 
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Barry Miller
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Well, before you get too interested based only on my post above... let me add one caveat onto the number of scenarios I listed...

Some of the scenarios are copies of each other, only differentiated by scope. For instance two of the scenarios are the "standard game" scenario, except one is longer than the other:

- The "Full Conquest" scenario (6 rounds) is the "standard game"
- The "Blitz Conquest" scenario (4 rounds) is a, "shorter scenario that shares most of the mechanics of the standard game, but is faster." It has only minor setup & rules tweaks from the "Full Conquest" scenario.

And there's the "Full Cooperation" (6 rounds) and the "Blitz Cooperation" (4 rounds) scenarios, that adhere to the same pattern as above.

So, to be absolutely transparent when it comes to the number of distinctive scenarios that you can play solo, I'd actually provide the below list for you to consider, which boils the nine scenarios down to only four or five that are distinctive.

Distinctive Scenarios by Name

- First Reconnaissance (introductory scenario with specific solo variant rules)
- Conquest (competitive, can be played solo as discussed in above post)
- Cooperation
- Solo Conquest (specific solo version of the Conquest scenario. Looks different enough to list it separately, plus as it's the only true solo scenario, it can't be omitted)!
- Liberate the Research Stations
- Conquer and Hold*
- One to Return*

* The last two scenarios on the list, I have not played. They're listed in the rulebook as, "very competitive", so while they might be adapted for solo play, I'm not sure how satisfying of a solo experience they will be for solitaire.

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