Didn't see a thread like this yet, so I thought I'd share some setup tips to drastically speed up the setup of mage knight, which unfortunately for some players can be a bit of a roadblock to play the game more often. Here's what I use, but obviously tips from other players more then welcome!
- Use zip bags to store everything which has to do with your character, it's base cards, shield tokens, skills. I put the skill card on top of the deck, so I can easily grab it for use as dummy player. I'm using a smaller zip bag for my cards as extra protection inside.
- Buy a simple box like this (it's like 2 USD / EUR at discount shop)
to store all tokens and just grab tokens out of the box while playing, at the end of the game, shuffle them back in. (btw in the pic the left two columns are the tezla expansion's factions)
- Use the Dummy Player App https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/769040/dummy-player-android.... Seriously, you will never play again without it. It saves so much time and hassle organising the dummy player and sorting out the cards again at the end of the game. It also has a nice location reference tab so you don't have to use all those reference cards anymore.
- Take out a lot of wound cards in your setup, you will never need this many solo or with 2p. this allows you to store all cards in the original box, even with the expansions.
At the end of the game, put everything back where it belongs, and next time you should be up & running within a few minutes!
Loser at the 'Pursuit of Happiness Contest'
I got some cotton-stringbags for the enemytokens.
Colored would be nice (green for orcs; purple for mages etc) but I found no cheap so I wrote the color with a pen on the side.
I dont need to shuffle those stacks anymor. Just pull a random token from the bag.
I know this may sound silly, but to shuffle the cards AFTER you play (or BETWEEN plays) is something I always do. Most significant time reducer for me + home made insert. Shuffling takes most of the time I realized. I envy the bag owners for the same reason.
The way I have the enemy tokens setup for storage has really sped up the process for me. I'll dump all the tokens out of their little containers and set them in front of the containers when I play. When I kill a monster I just place it back into the container making it easy for clean up.
The larger circular containers house all of the player shield tokens, level up tokens and skill cards as well as their turn order token. Once someone chooses the player I unscrew that dish from the other dishes and hand it to them. All of what they need minus the deck and miniature is there.
As far as deck shuffling, I'll shuffle the decks when I'm putting them away. Also which decks in which deck boxes makes a difference too.
The pink box houses 5 player characters
The red box houses 2 players and wounds
The brown box houses all the units, artifacts and reference cards
And the black one houses advanced actions, spells (with 17-20 on top to find easier) and the tactics cards.
The yellow box houses all the minatures.
I've been able to setup this game in under 4 minutes. What usually takes the longest is debating what scenario to play and separating the tiles for the scenarios.