JermEx Machina
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I keep hearing/reading how complex and hard to understand this game is.

Got my copy just after christmas and gave the rule book a read. It was a lot of information, but generally intuitive.

So I set it up to play through the "City finding" Scenario with the wife.

She had no problem understanding the rules as I presented them.
This game just feels good to play. It makes sense unto-itself, and is really satisfying when you figure out an awesome play.

Ultimately I just wanted to say, I think this game gets a bad rap.
I was watching a Youtube video the other day and the guys was all "We played it for hours and I had less of an idea of how to play at the end then I did in the beginning" (I'm paraphrasing)

Dunno why people have such a hard time coming to terms with the rules...

Anyway, just a little ramble.
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Ben Kyo
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JermEx wrote:
I keep hearing/reading how complex and hard to understand this game is.

Got my copy just after christmas and gave the rule book a read. It was a lot of information, but generally intuitive.

So I set it up to play through the "City finding" Scenario with the wife.

She had no problem understanding the rules as I presented them.
This game just feels good to play. It makes sense unto-itself, and is really satisfying when you figure out an awesome play.

Ultimately I just wanted to say, I think this game gets a bad rap.
I was watching a Youtube video the other day and the guys was all "We played it for hours and I had less of an idea of how to play at the end then I did in the beginning" (I'm paraphrasing)

Dunno why people have such a hard time coming to terms with the rules...

Agreed. I think problems arise when people learn from videos and/or make assumptions instead of reading the rules. It's not hard to teach, and it's not hard for new players to play, as long as one person at the table knows the rules.
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Craig Truesdell
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My initial reaction to the game was not good. I had someone showing me how to play and still it kinda blew in my view. Cold fire dragons? really?

night day mana what? pick your strategy card for the day what? explore how?!?!

but we kept playing....

and then it all clicked, I felt like I was in control of the situation and it was challenging in a good way.... it is an excellent design with a lot of choices and what seems like fiddly systems but they are not, they will make sense, just stick with it!

so if people never got past the "what the heck am I doing phase", it will appear to be overly complex and confusing

We used the VASSAL module in PBEM mode. The VASSAL module is just incredible, once we learned how the automation worked, it was a great experience.
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Rob Perry
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JermEx wrote:
I keep hearing/reading how complex and hard to understand this game is.

Got my copy just after christmas and gave the rule book a read. It was a lot of information, but generally intuitive.

So I set it up to play through the "City finding" Scenario with the wife.

She had no problem understanding the rules as I presented them.
This game just feels good to play. It makes sense unto-itself, and is really satisfying when you figure out an awesome play.

Ultimately I just wanted to say, I think this game gets a bad rap.
I was watching a Youtube video the other day and the guys was all "We played it for hours and I had less of an idea of how to play at the end then I did in the beginning" (I'm paraphrasing)

Dunno why people have such a hard time coming to terms with the rules...

Anyway, just a little ramble.


I just played my 4th game ever, and am still referring to the rulebooks constantly.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and though I don't know you from Adam, I'm betting you're missing a lot more than you think you are.
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Jake M

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I agree with you completely. I just got the game a couple of weeks ago and sure there were a lot of information, but with the location cards it really never be came overwhelming to any degree. Sure, my first two games it helped to have the rule book next to me, but I don’t think that translates to the “woah this game so complicated” rap the game seems to often attract.

After my third solo game, I re-read the rules and realized I had forgotten to decrease reputation when assaulting cities each time and that I couldn’t place brown tiles on the coast. With that in mind, I’ve completed two more solo games since and did not feel the need to to look at the rule book at all. I am fairly confident that I didn’t miss anything, but of course that doesn’t mean I find the game easy. I certainly can improve my playing ability and get highher scores for sure (which I am excited to do!), but I do think the games’ complexity gets exaggerated, which unfortunately can drive some gamers away.
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Salvatore Corrao
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JermEx wrote:
I keep hearing/reading how complex and hard to understand this game is.


Most people are lazy or stupid. Most people don't like reading.
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Salvatore Corrao
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And then you find forums where people say they want to buy their first board game and ask whether a game such as Puerto Rico could be a good choice. Then, you hear the roaring, probably from the same people who find Mage Knight terrible to learn, "Oh no, Oh my god. PR is too difficult for a beginner! You should star with playing marbles on the beach for at least a summer."

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RyuSora
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There is hundreds of micro rules to be remembered and keep track of, other than that the 'play' of the game is pretty straight forward. Just play cards and do stuff
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Quantum Jack
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Yeah... i learned Magic Realm first. Mage knight was a breeze by comparison. 2 short rulebooks in light conversational tone as compared to 122 pages of dense legalese? No contest.

I like both games, but MR makes me laugh at modern "complex" games.
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I just got this at Christmas too. I watched the Rocky Royal videos first then as I was reading the rule book I could visualize what the rule book was trying to explain. I played 1 City finding scenario and 2 solo conquest. Now, I won’t say it’s easy cause of the time put in to learn the rules and the fact that I was double checking everything in the rule book for the 3 games but the game is intuitive and has a good flow to it. I was completely engrossed with it while playing.
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David Deal
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I agree with the OP. Without the walkthrough it would've been tough, but with it was not so bad. I am the one in my group that usually reads the rules for new games and teaches the rest of the group how to play and I did find this one rather difficult to explain. After trying (and mostly failing) to explain in an ordered manner I finally just said let's play a couple turns nice and slow and by the end of the first round everyone had it. It's all we've been playing for the last several weeks.
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Rob Perry
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Wolverutto wrote:


Most people are lazy or stupid. Most people don't like reading.


I know several people with this attitude. Interestingly, they're some of the dumbest, laziest people I know.
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Quantum Jack
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vaderizer wrote:
Wolverutto wrote:


Most people are lazy or stupid. Most people don't like reading.


I know several people with this attitude. Interestingly, they're some of the dumbest, laziest people I know.


And yet, most rules questions are answered by quoting the rulebook. Seems to imply that people who don't get it didn't really read it.
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Rob Perry
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Quantum_Jack wrote:


And yet, most rules questions are answered by quoting the rulebook. Seems to imply that people who don't get it didn't really read it.


Here's a quote from the rulebook:

"This is a complex game"
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JermEx Machina
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vaderizer wrote:

I just played my 4th game ever, and am still referring to the rulebooks constantly.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and though I don't know you from Adam, I'm betting you're missing a lot more than you think you are.


I figured the same.

I thought to myself "I must have missed a bunch of rules, because this did not meet my expectations of complexity"

So I re-read the walk-through, Read the rule-book, watched several videos.
It just wasn't the case. The game has a self-contained logic which ties it together quite nicely.

There are many games with "Fiddly" rules which may seem arbitrary. But I would strongly argue this isn't one of those games. The writers even present the rules using the world's logic to the reader.

For instance; Losing reputation from attacking local strongholds, the Monster you find in a Den remains there if unbeaten (That is it's home), in a dungeon you draw new monsters (It's sprawling, there's more variety down there).

This game does have a quantity of rules, I'll grant you that. However, Quantity does not equal complexity.

The most complicated system is Combat (Specifically involving several targets and PvP) Those rules are slightly obtuse, but I would not say elaborate or complex.

I'm going to attempt to teach this to one of my very "Rules-averse" Gamer friends, as something of a Litmus test. I'll post results here.
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Who Am I?
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This is an argument that can't be won by either side.

People who feel the game is too complex, or that the rules are impenetrable, won't be swayed otherwise. People who feel the game isn't that difficult, or that rules are only a burden because of quantity and not complexity, are even more unlikely to be convinced otherwise.

(For the record, I'm in the same camp as the OP.)
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Salvatore Corrao
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I have to say that even though I don't find the game complex, as I said, I don't like the rulebook. It was the same with Dungeon Lords and Tash-Kalar.
For complex games I prefer the style of GMT's rulebooks.
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Peter De Carvalho
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Wolverutto wrote:
And then you find forums where people say they want to buy their first board game and ask whether a game such as Puerto Rico could be a good choice. Then, you hear the roaring, probably from the same people who find Mage Knight terrible to learn, "Oh no, Oh my god. PR is too difficult for a beginner! You should star with playing marbles on the beach for at least a summer."



I’ve got all the expansions for tiddlywinks and am wondering where to go from here. Does anyone have any experience with connect-four? What should I keep in mind before my first game?
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Craig Truesdell
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Start with connect 3.5E and see if you like it, if you do and want more, skip connect 4E and go straight to connect 5E or go to connect finder..
 
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Marco Scardigno
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The worst offender I have seen is Shut Up and Sit Down's video review of Mage Knight. Compare that to their video review of Twilight Imperium 4 for a good laugh. Absolutely bonkers. Zero consistency.
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JermEx wrote:


This game does have a quantity of rules, I'll grant you that. However, Quantity does not equal complexity.



The quantity of rules is exactly what makes Mage Knight complex.

The mechanics of the game are very simple. It's primarily what makes the game so great.

But unless a person has a photographic memory, there is absolutely no way that they will be able to retain all of the rules - or even a majority of the rules - from a single (or even multiple) read-throughs of the rulebooks.

It's not that the rulebooks are poorly written. On the contrary, I had an easier time reading them than any other rulebook in my (limited) game collection. They're great. I think they would benefit hugely by having an index or an alphabetical rules reference, but regardless, all the rules are there and easy to understand.

You just have to remember them all.

AND you need to know when you're getting something wrong. For example, I've only realized after a few games that Units need healing based on their level - not 1 heal to 1 wound like a hero takes. Or that core tiles in the walkthrough scenario can't border the coastline. Or that the walkthrough scenario is 4 rounds for solo, not 3 as in a 2-4 player game.

I read these rules. I just didn't retain them. And if not for discussing my play-throughs with my buddy, or watching Ricky Royal videos, I would have kept making these mistakes because I had no idea I was getting them wrong.

Look, JermEx, in your OP, you call the First Reconnaissance scenario the "City Finding" scenario. Now, maybe you just didn't feel like typing out the full name, or you were keeping it simple for the post, but it would seem to me you just didn't recall the name of the scenario and didn't feel like looking it up when writing your post.

All I'm saying is perhaps there's lots of other things you might not be remembering from your first few readthroughs of the rules. Yes, the gameplay is fun and simple, but playing the game correctly might be more complex than you're giving the game credit for.

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Spencer Geller
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Those are all minor details though. I think he means the general flow of the game is pretty simple to figure out, which I agree with. Even if you forget all the actions you can do at each city for instance, you can just quickly look it up, it doesn't need to be laundry-list memorized. I played three games, once with one friend, and two the next day with five friends (one watched the first game, than two left so we had three playing for the last game). We played the first reconnaissance once and the full conquest twice. We already learned the rules after the first game, and when my friends joined, they also understood the rules (I'm gonna be completely honest and say they're not terribly bright). I think you just need a friend (who has gamesense) to explain some of the finer aspects of the rules that most people may not get.
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Yeah, it depends on how hyperbolic the person claiming the game is complex is being. It's complex, but it's also not prohibitively so. Saying the game is or is not complex is relative. Compared to most of the hobby boardgames out there, I'd say that calling it complex is a fair statement.

At it's core, the concepts are simple and yes, most of them make thematic sense. But there are a lot of upkeep steps at the end of the Round, and there are some non-intuitive things to have to remember as well (all learned with practice and repetition). It's difficult to come up with a thematic mnemonic for things like the difference between using your one die from the source and taking a die from the source (the latter being that it is in addition to your one die you may use). And even more if we're including the Lost Legion rules to the game (i.e. Arcane Immunity).

Some folks like to play games where the rules are unambiguous for the entire game (many of the best Euro games fall into this category). Others have a higher tolerance for mid-game rules referencing. Mage Knight has edge cases where even the most experienced Mage Knighter might have to reference the rules at times.

I'm sure those who learn from just the rules and pushing the pieces around have a harder time that those who are taught the game (whether from a friend or from a video such as Ricky Royal).

Quote:
AND you need to know when you're getting something wrong. For example, I've only realized after a few games that Units need healing based on their level - not 1 heal to 1 wound like a hero takes. Or that core tiles in the walkthrough scenario can't border the coastline.

It's not just the Walkthrough that this is the case. I believe it's all scenarios when using the Wedge map.
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Papa November
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Agree with the general sentiments in this thread. I had no problem at all learning the basic flow and structure of the game, and then I watched the Ricky Royal videos (that guy is a godsend for learning new games) and felt like I had it down even more.

Even so, there's still little rule intricacies that I have to go back and reference or pick up randomly. The funny part is, if you're playing solo or if you are the one teaching others how to play, it takes a bit of chance for you to even figure out that you missed a rule. I was skimming through the Lost Legion rulebook the other day and noticed for the first time that rampaging enemies won't auto-attack on an adjacent move if there's a wall between you and them. Had never even occurred to me to think about that one!
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Marco Scardigno
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PapaNovember wrote:
The funny part is, if you're playing solo or if you are the one teaching others how to play, it takes a bit of chance for you to even figure out that you missed a rule.


I agree. I think every MK player should read these to make sure they are playing right:

WizKids Official FAQ
https://wizkids.com/mage-knight/ Select 'Official FAQ'

A rules reference sheet for during play
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/75296/complete-rules-refe...

A thread of commonly missed rules
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/740856/commonly-missed-rule...

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