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Subject: This or Star Trek Frontiers rss

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Shabazz
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Hi all, i am looking for a game to play almost exclusively solo. My local game store has both ST:Frontiers and Mage Knight and i am raking my brain which one to get. Big fan of sci-fi and not really of fantasy so themewise Star Trek seems to appeal to me more. But i am worried as i've read somewhere that compared to mage knight, star trek is somewhat dumbed down, and i like complexity in my games.

Further, am i understanding correctly that there is only one solo play scenario in star trek? Anyone know how much solo play i can get from star trek and how much from mage knight?

Thanks for any insights...
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Kasper Lauest
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There's much more content for Mage Knight (if in print) and there is no guarantee that they will release as much for the Star Trek version. Infact, I barely see that game anywhere, so I would guess that they won't. I would go for Mage Knight, unless you really want that sci-fi theme. As for the game, I haven't actually played the Star Trek version, but I don't think the very minor gameplay differences will impact your enjoyment of the game much, if at all.
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Jorge
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izajsek wrote:
Hi all, i am looking for a game to play almost exclusively solo. My local game store has both ST:Frontiers and Mage Knight and i am raking my brain which one to get. Big fan of sci-fi and not really of fantasy so themewise Star Trek seems to appeal to me more. But i am worried as i've read somewhere that compared to mage knight, star trek is somewhat dumbed down, and i like complexity in my games.

Further, am i understanding correctly that there is only one solo play scenario in star trek? Anyone know how much solo play i can get from star trek and how much from mage knight?

Thanks for any insights...
Zdravo Shabazz! So, these two games are almost identical, with ST:F having few tweaks. Be advised that both are almost equally as rules-heavy; ST:F is a bit "lighter", but really, compared to the overall complexity, it's not noticeable. It still has a "long" playing time, almost as much as MK.

Now, it has been streamlined a bit, indeed. Battles are a bit easier, rounds are uniform (No Day/Night cycles, with different rules), there are less card decks in the offer (reserve) to handle... but, as I indicated, it's not a huge deal compared to the overall complexity. Both are equally heavy.

Therefore, I'd suggest go with what you feel is more enjoyable for you. Clearly, MK is "superior", according to my standards, but if you enjoy more Sci-Fi, go for ST:F. Regarding the scenarios, almost every single scenario in ST:F can be played solo, even if not specified by the rulebook, which is the case for MK as well.
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izajsek wrote:
Hi all, i am looking for a game to play almost exclusively solo. My local game store has both ST:Frontiers and Mage Knight and i am raking my brain which one to get. Big fan of sci-fi and not really of fantasy so themewise Star Trek seems to appeal to me more. But i am worried as i've read somewhere that compared to mage knight, star trek is somewhat dumbed down, and i like complexity in my games.

Further, am i understanding correctly that there is only one solo play scenario in star trek? Anyone know how much solo play i can get from star trek and how much from mage knight?

Thanks for any insights...

Frontiers is a little stream-lined, but it's still incredibly complex. When comparing the base game I would go with the theme you like more, both games have only one solo scenario actually. I think the popularity of this game solo was a surprise and the took notice only when making the expansions. And here is the rub - the first expansion for MK is a must if you're a solo player, it give a huge amount of solo scenarios and an enemy you can fight instead of the dummy player. Will there be such an expansion for Frontiers? I've no idea. So take that into account, how much you want to risk it. The base game is good solo in both cases, but expanded MK trumps ST:F at the moment.
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Ghorron
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As for expansions, there were no definitive statements, but Andrew Parks has dropped some hints about an upcoming expansions that might involve some Khaaaaaaaan experience ^^

If you want plenty enpansions then go for Mage Knight, if you prefer SciFi over Fantasy then Frontiers is your game.
 
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HenningK
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I haven't actually played Frontiers, so take these with a grain of salt.

From what I read, it seems like Frontiers simplifies a few things or leaves some little mechanics out. After learning of these differences, I decided against buying Frontiers because:
- Complexity and playtime are reduced, but not by much. It's still a very long game with lots of rules and fine details. So it can't act as a simpler, shorter alternative to MK.
- Removing fortifications apparently makes ranged weapons quite overpowered.
- Frontiers is easier for a number of reasons: you can always attack an enemy from an adjacent hex which reduces your need for movement; you can use the strong effect of spells/undiscovered cards in each round (only every other round in MK); you gain additional XP for revealing new tiles.
- It's just not pretty. I usually don't care too much about aesthetics as long as the game is good, but the film stills aren't good (neither in quality nor in choice of motif), the card layout doesn't look appealing, and the board just looks so empty and unexciting.

All in all, it sounds like Frontiers offers 90% of the complexity and playtime of MK with less than half of its difficulty. This is good for people who find MK with its constant need for optimization too hard and want a similarly complex, but more relaxing experience. But that constant need of optimization is precisely why I love MK so much, so I can only assume that Frontiers would disappoint me.
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Trantor42 wrote:
I haven't actually played Frontiers, so take these with a grain of salt.

From what I read, it seems like Frontiers simplifies a few things or leaves some little mechanics out. After learning of these differences, I decided against buying Frontiers because:
- Complexity and playtime are reduced, but not by much. It's still a very long game with lots of rules and fine details. So it can't act as a simpler, shorter alternative to MK.
- Removing fortifications apparently makes ranged weapons quite overpowered.
- Frontiers is easier for a number of reasons: you can always attack an enemy from an adjacent hex which reduces your need for movement; you can use the strong effect of spells/undiscovered cards in each round (only every other round in MK); you gain additional XP for revealing new tiles.
- It's just not pretty. I usually don't care too much about aesthetics as long as the game is good, but the film stills aren't good (neither in quality nor in choice of motif), the card layout doesn't look appealing, and the board just looks so empty and unexciting.

All in all, it sounds like Frontiers offers 90% of the complexity and playtime of MK with less than half of its difficulty. This is good for people who find MK with its constant need for optimization too hard and want a similarly complex, but more relaxing experience. But that constant need of optimization is precisely why I love MK so much, so I can only assume that Frontiers would disappoint me.

I have to at least partially disagree. Some elements have been removed, but that makes thematic sense (e.g. day-night cycle) and I don't think this makes the game much easier. Even if it is a small difference, far from 50% you describe (also, not sure how you can judge the difficulty without playing it). I do love MK, actually I like it much more than Frontiers, simply because I do not enjoy ST that much, but that said I have to admit that thematically Frontiers works much better. As for not being pretty... well, that is totally subjective and at least there are (so far) no broken components as in MK expansions.
 
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Thorondor The Lord of the Eagles
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Minnesota
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izajsek wrote:
Hi all, i am looking for a game to play almost exclusively solo. My local game store has both ST:Frontiers and Mage Knight and i am raking my brain which one to get. Big fan of sci-fi and not really of fantasy so themewise Star Trek seems to appeal to me more. But i am worried as i've read somewhere that compared to mage knight, star trek is somewhat dumbed down, and i like complexity in my games.

Further, am i understanding correctly that there is only one solo play scenario in star trek? Anyone know how much solo play i can get from star trek and how much from mage knight?

Thanks for any insights...



Since you enjoy complex games I would highly recommend Mage Knight over Star Trek: Frontiers. ST:F is roughly 80% as complex and difficult as MK (no artifacts, fortifications, day/night, etc...), and that's without accounting for the three expansions that have already come out for MK. Also Mage Knight has all-original artwork on every card compared to stills for ST:F. If you were planning to play the game only occasionally with some friends who aren't necessarily into complex games, then ST:F would also be a good option. But since you specifically want to play this solo, I think you will find that MK has much more to offer in this regard. I will second what others have said about the Lost Legion expansion being a particularly excellent purchase for solo play.
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Zeus Cat

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I have not played the Star Trek version, but the solo game in Mage Knight has incredible replayability. The way the game is structured each play through is unique and quite the challenge.
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Ronald Cruz
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I recommend Mage Knight. Go see some of the reviews on BGG of the Star Trek game from people who had played Mage Knight and you'll see that, from the challenge/strategy/mechanics standpoint, MK is the tighter and more challenging (and ultimately more fulfilling game). From your description of what you want I just think that MK is more what you're looking for. I highly recommend seeing some of those reviews.
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