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Mage Knight Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: 6-Player Coop (Solo) rss

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I'm not sure if this should be a session report (but too undetailed) or a variant (but not actually changing any official rules) so it is going in general. I was inspired by a recent post about making Mage Knight more epic to finally dive in and try 6-player coop. I have wanted to do this for a while, but time/space limitations made me avoid it. For context, I only play MK solo and I've regularly played solo, "4-handed", which I also do for the LOTR LCG and I have done Eldritch Horror 8-handed several times (so good btw).

So, I buckled down, filled up all the space on my 2, 2'x4' tables and... IT WAS AMAZING! Easily one of the top 5 gaming experiences of my life (full campaign of Legacy Pandemic is another). What is amazing is that with all the expansions it actually feels like 6-player coop was the intended culmination. To give a general sense of why I say this, let me point out some striking features:

1) Given that I use a dummy character, there are exactly 7 sets of everything which is just what you need.
2) Since it requires 2 dice + the number of players (6) = 8, that's how many you have.
3) There are 6 day and night tactics, so you can literally just shuffle and assign them randomly to each player (or AP for about an hour figuring out the start of each day/night, which is actually what I did this time).
4) Ok, tiles are a little bit trickier. Technically you should have 16 countrysides, 6 core non-cities, and 7 core cities. What you have is 14 countrysides, 6 core non-cities, and 5 core cities. So technically your categories aren't quite right, but when you use them all you have EXACTLY the right total number.

The main thing I would have to tinker with if I play again is where to set the city levels. I chose to put Volkare as the last time and then set the "5" cities at 5/7/9/11/15. I ended up winning in near the start of the third night, because I had set up my 4 strongest characters to do a joint attack on Volkare's Camp. It was actually a pretty easy fight, so I probably should have made it harder, but I can see things going sideways very easily if terrain prevents simultaneous attacks. I suspect something like 5/8/11/14/22 would be more reasonable.

One of the biggest challenges to this format is trying to coordinate effectively early on. It is very easy to get clogged up, both in the beginning and once the coasts have been fully extended. I also suspect that if you let the characters naturally progress you'll end up with a couple of powerhouses and the rest will be pretty mediocre. That might not actually be a bad thing, since you can choose how to distribute enemies and in joint assaults. I tried to keep it fairly balanced and ended up with 1 level 6, 1 level 7, 1 level 8, 2 level 9s, and 1 level 10. Norowas fell behind early and then had the scraps to get xp off of as he slowly followed the better heroes. Final note, as in all formats with a dummy timer you can get into major trouble with an unlucky set of draws. In my second night, the dummy drew 6 cards 2 times (btw dummy always went first, ie tactic=0) and ended up only having only 4 turns. I still used up almost all the cards for everyone, but it was way less than optimal.

Conclusion: SO GREAT, TRY IT!!
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I watched a Tezla playthough and that was really awesome. But it was HUGE with just 4 character coop solo play. I hate to think how long it took you to get through a whole playthough. The mind spins.
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Well, what I finished just before this was a full campaign solo of Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe, so...
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RyuSora
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Awesome report! For me playing more than 1 hero would simply take way more time than i wanted, but really awesome report!

How much played time you spent? I can imagine it took you a few days to finish but i wonder if you know how many played hours did you spend?

I would say someone that played 4 heroes at the same time would be a brave man... you are definitely above that my man!
 
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Sounds great, but I'm not sure I'd be ready to try that myself...
 
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I'm not sure about total time. I played it over the course of 6 days and I would guess it was 15 hours of play time or so. I also spent quite a while thinking about the overall strategic choices while not playing. One of things I love about Mage Knight is how you can easily "pause" it between every single turn if needed and then come back to it when there is time.

I agree that 6-player seems daunting, but for anyone who likes the game solo, but wants more of it I highly recommend trying even just 2-player coop. The choices you have with the coop skills and the chance to jointly assault cities adds so much excitement. Then you can bump it up to 3, and 4, and ...
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RyuSora
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If you use the app to handle the dummy player, you can even go 7 heroes

But you probably wont have enough crystals.
 
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Crystals would be fine. From my limited experience the limited tiles would be a problem. As is you are basically using all the adventure spots you can get to. Also, you would probably run out of spells. This wouldn't be a problem for some people, but for me I literally was using every square inch of flat surface I had with 6.
 
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Quick Update: I just finished another 6-player coop game. This time I bumped the city levels to 5/9/13/17 with Volkare at level 30. Won and it wasn't even that close. I will probably run another round over the next couple of weeks. I would be curious what levels people think might actually be pushing the limit of challenging.
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Ben Kyo
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Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
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Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
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I think time pressure (more limited rounds, or a Volkare Returns style scenario) would be a better way to make this more challenging. The difficulty does not scale well when raising city levels beyond a certain point, and I think you are probably past that point.
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Anatoly
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Very nice. Thank you for sharing.
 
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