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Subject: How is Mage Knight any different than any other Fantasy game? rss

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Timothy Pride
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Well, that certainly got your attention.

I'm not a Mage Knight player. In fact, I've never aware that they exist before I'm aware of this boardgame. But I love fantasy, and judging by the preview so far, the only Fantasy adventure that can compete that I can think of is only Magic Realm. So I'm certainly going to pick this up.

But sometimes here and there I read "I probably won't pick this cause it strays away too far from Mage Knight I know" or any variation of that. It boogles my mind. I've never played Mage Knight, and all I see is a great game. How far away it strays from the original Mage Knight that makes you despise it?

Unless you didn't like Fantasy adventure game at all, but that begs the question why you like original Mage Knight in the first place.

So please, educate us the uninitiated. Tell us what's so "Special" about Mage Knight element that separates it from "generic" fantasy game. And also tell us why you think those specialties are not translated into this boardgame.


Forgive my little sarcastic tone there, but I'm really curious. Truly.
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How is Mage Knight any different than any other Fantasy game?

Vlaada
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Dan Massek
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The original was a collectable miniatures game that used a ruler for movement and dice for combat resolution, so it was quite different. They even seem to have taken liberties with the lore.
 
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While I've been watching the previews keenly, I know nothing about the Mage Knight franchise so can't specifically speak for it.

However I can sympathise, as I have been irritated by how X-Com and Syndicate (video games) are being turned into First Person Shooters. Any significant departure from the format and themes of the original source material invites questions as to why the name is being applied to this new product. In the vast majority of cases (see countless Hollywood remakes), it's merely to cash in on the existing audience of the brand.

So, why call it "Mage Knight" rather than some other fantasy game?
 
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I agree... maybe it's selfish but I hope Vlaada didn't sacrifice an inch of gameplay for Mage Knight theme.
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Christopher Paul
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Any reason that they chose to use the Mage Knight name instead of just doing a new fantasy game? I don't care much one way or the other (never played the original Mage Knight). But I am interested in Vlaada's version!
 
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Christopher Paul
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fateswanderer wrote:
While I've been watching the previews keenly, I know nothing about the Mage Knight franchise so can't specifically speak for it.

However I can sympathise, as I have been irritated by how X-Com and Syndicate (video games) are being turned into First Person Shooters. Any significant departure from the format and themes of the original source material invites questions as to why the name is being applied to this new product. In the vast majority of cases (see countless Hollywood remakes), it's merely to cash in on the existing audience of the brand.

So, why call it "Mage Knight" rather than some other fantasy game?


Oops, I was a beat too late! This says it all...
 
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out4blood wrote:
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How is Mage Knight any different than any other Fantasy game?

Vlaada


Exactly.
 
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Timothy Pride
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fateswanderer wrote:
So, why call it "Mage Knight" rather than some other fantasy game?


Well, I won't deny that it is certainly a branding move. But they also never said that this is Mage Knight 2.0, but Mage Knight Board Game. They are not changing the gameplay, they're just expanding the world of Mage Knight. Like how FFG expanding Runebound world (Runewars, RuneAge, and such).

Another example (in video game), did you get irritated about Starcraft: Ghost? It's waaaay departure of the original Starcraft, from RTS to 3rd person shooter. If you did, well, I can't say anymore. But for me I was very excited! To be able to "zoom" more into the world of Starcraft. (It's a pity they never completed it). If I want to play RTS in Starcraft world, I just play Starcraft. But if I wanted to take a breather from RTS but still wanted to be in Starcraft world, I'll play Starcraft: Ghost. Why the same cannot be applied to Mage Knight and Mage Knight Board Game?

So far at least what I've seen (CMIIWW), like their namesake, the heroes are not your fantasy troupe, they are all "Mage" (can cast Magic). Not just regular Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric and such.
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Timothy Pride
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out4blood wrote:
Quote:
How is Mage Knight any different than any other Fantasy game?

Vlaada


My feelings exactly . Although, I was asking about the original Mage Knight, not the Board Game.
 
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Robert Schwieger
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Quote:
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How is Mage Knight any different than any other Fantasy game?

Vlaada


To be honest, I hope it's nothing like Prophecy. I thought that game was toward the bottom of the fantasy-adventure heap. I am excited by aspects of the game revealed in the previews that link it to Magic Realm.

Not at all concerned whether it's tied to the Mage Knight property or not, though I can see why some fans are upset in the change in direction. Let's just hope it turns out to be a great game.
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Darkmot wrote:

Well, I won't deny that it is certainly a branding move. But they also never said that this is Mage Knight 2.0, but Mage Knight Board Game. They are not changing the gameplay, they're just expanding the world of Mage Knight. Like how FFG expanding Runebound world (Runewars, RuneAge, and such).

For me, it's not the format/mechanics that irks me most. I never really expected it to stay a clicky game forever. However, from what I seen, this isn't "expanding" the world of Mage Knight - it's rewriting it from scratch, using some existing elements, but only where convenient.

Quote:
So far at least what I've seen (CMIIWW), like their namesake, the heroes are not your fantasy troupe, they are all "Mage" (can cast Magic). Not just regular Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric and such.

In the original Mage Knight game, there were no characters called "Mage Knights". There were mages, warriors, and warriors who knew magic, but the phrase was never used (to my knowledge) as a description in the lore, but only in the title.


Because Vlaada is making this, I'm sure it's a great game. But it seems to me that this new WizKids company (which is really not the WizKids that I knew when I played the game) is just trying to use it's old license, not caring if they bastardize the lore in the process. THAT in particular is what is irking me. If they'd have gone for any other generic theme, I wouldn't have been feeling this way. And I admit, without seeing the game, I can't speak for ALL the thematic elements... but from what I have seen, there is very little in common, lore-wise, with the original game.

This is not growing the MK universe, it's rewriting it (and pasting names of old stuff on it here and there). That doesn't mean it's a bad GAME, but even great games can be soured by poor theme (or, in this case, misapplied theme).


Maybe it's just because the old Mage Knight game was (and still is) one of my favorite games, and not just because of the mechanics; I liked the story it told, a story which is seemingly gone now.

To be honest, I felt the same way about the video games, to various degrees, although at least they kept the general story overall. But in the DS game, the way some of the characters behave is not very characteristic of the way their characters in the official lore was. MK:Apocalypse used a lot of same shapes, but kind of took it's own path as well. The DS game was as close to a clone of the tabletop game as you may expect, and it was fun in it's own right, but didn't have the same feel; it certainly didn't feel "canon".


I'm still not convinced I *won't* get it. But the utter disregard for the lore of the original game (from what I can tell) is not making me jump for joy over this one, regardless of who made it. Same with the artwork. It's great artwork, for what it is... but it does not have the same feel in many cases.
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Darkmot wrote:
Well, I won't deny that it is certainly a branding move. But they also never said that this is Mage Knight 2.0, but Mage Knight Board Game.


I'm just explaining possible reactions - I'm a Vlaada fan and am personally looking forward to this game.

The corollary of tapping into a franchise audience is not to disappoint fan expectations. A better example than Starcraft: Ghost is Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight. This game had dramatically different mechanics to the main C&C series and was originally supposed to be a side game titled "C&C: Arena". However the brains in the marketing department decided to title it C&C 4 (as if it were the next major installment). Fans felt betrayed because it wasn't the experience they were expecting, sales were poor (despite it being a decent multiplayer team game) and the C&C brand was trashed. Good job, marketing department.

I'm guessing that Mage Knight fans are disappointed they aren't getting something closer to what they enjoyed in the original.
 
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Timothy Pride
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sigmazero13 wrote:

Maybe it's just because the old Mage Knight game was (and still is) one of my favorite games, and not just because of the mechanics; I liked the story it told, a story which is seemingly gone now.

....

I'm still not convinced I *won't* get it. But the utter disregard for the lore of the original game (from what I can tell) is not making me jump for joy over this one, regardless of who made it. Same with the artwork. It's great artwork, for what it is... but it does not have the same feel in many cases.



Again, please elaborate. I'm not familiar with any Mage Knight lore. So tell me (point by point if you can), what are missing from the original Mage Knight into this Board Game?

All I have read always sings the same tune, that "This game is missing the original lore". But WHAT is exactly?

fateswanderer wrote:
The corollary of tapping into a franchise audience is not to disappoint fan expectations. A better example than Starcraft: Ghost is Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight. This game had dramatically different mechanics to the main C&C series and was originally supposed to be a side game titled "C&C: Arena". However the brains in the marketing department decided to title it C&C 4 (as if it were the next major installment). Fans felt betrayed because it wasn't the experience they were expecting, sales were poor (despite it being a decent multiplayer team game) and the C&C brand was trashed. Good job, marketing department.


I agree. Branding, if done right (like Starcraft: Ghost) can be great. But it can also attack back (C&C4) if done wrong. But in this case, I think WizKids is doing "Starcraft:Ghost" instead "C&C4" if you get what I mean.
 
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I think we should just be happy that somebody was willing to give Vlaada oportunity to spend over a year worth of development on making such an epic and massive game.

I for one, am really greatfull for that to Wizkids. I've not played many other games in past months and I don't plan to in near future
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chris pacher
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Darkmot wrote:

Again, please elaborate. I'm not familiar with any Mage Knight lore. So tell me (point by point if you can), what are missing from the original Mage Knight into this Board Game?

All I have read always sings the same tune, that "This game is missing the original lore". But WHAT is exactly?


timothy, i am very close to sigmazero's oppinion here and want to add that MK has such a huge lore that cant be explained in short terms.

If u like to search for the resources thread in the MK part of the realm worx community or dive into my webpage (to be found in my profile). although it is a german page it does have an english navigation and more than half of the material to be found there is in english.

if u like to get an impression look out for images, scenarios and the background section.

hope you find your answers and enjoy the trip(s) ;-)
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First thing I did when I played MK back in the day was ask "which figures are the mage knights?" Seems to me Vlaada at least answered that question with the board game.

I'll admit that if MKBG doesn't share critters or setting with the original, then it's disingenuous to use the name just to push product.

I'd have to also say that for myself, for my own selfish gamer needs, it would be difficult to care less. MKBG is an awesome looking game based on these previews, so I'm probably going to buy a copy unless the rulebook totally collapses the impression I have of it.

I didn't play MK long enough to acquire a sense of righteous indignation if someone messes with the lore, but I have enough indignation over movie remakes that I can at least sympathize. However, again the gamer side of me looking for an awesome fantasy battle experience in a contained period of time and on a contained budget sees this game as something really special in the making, and I would hope other gamer get past the name. Grumble? Sure. Post about it? Go ahead. But pass on the game because it shares the name with another game that's out of print and really isn't mechanically scratching the same itch anyway? That seems silly if MKBG is just what you are looking for (minus the title).
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Darkmot wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:

Maybe it's just because the old Mage Knight game was (and still is) one of my favorite games, and not just because of the mechanics; I liked the story it told, a story which is seemingly gone now.

....

I'm still not convinced I *won't* get it. But the utter disregard for the lore of the original game (from what I can tell) is not making me jump for joy over this one, regardless of who made it. Same with the artwork. It's great artwork, for what it is... but it does not have the same feel in many cases.



Again, please elaborate. I'm not familiar with any Mage Knight lore. So tell me (point by point if you can), what are missing from the original Mage Knight into this Board Game?

All I have read always sings the same tune, that "This game is missing the original lore". But WHAT is exactly?

Like mkstrategos said, I'm not sure if I can summarize it. While maybe not as deep and rich as things like Song of Ice and Fire, or Lord of the Rings, the MK lore was decently rich.

One thing that seems to be missing is the whole concept of Magestone. Sure, there are various colored crystals, but they only seem to be tangentially related to Magestone; in MK, Magestone was a MAJOR contention point for the factions - especially for Atlantis. The whole reason the rebellion started was because Atlantis enslaved the dwarves (and others) to mine the Magestone in strip mines, because of the dwarves immunity to the magical radiation. The Black Powder rebellion started when gunpowder was used to create weapons, bypassing the need for the Atlantean mages.

The whole concept of Tezla seems to be missing as well - another major contention between three of the factions (Atlantis, Necropolis, Elementals) was the super-mage Tezla, who despite a long life and extreme mastery of the elements of Life, Death, and Technomancy, could not live forever. After his death, followers of these individual elements fought relentlessly, and a schism occurred causing war in the land.

The Solonavi and Apocalypse factions, mysterious in purpose though diametrically opposed to each other, added an air of enigma. The fact the Solonavi seem to be gone altogether is pretty big, as they were growing rather pointedly in influence across the land.

The alliances between Elven Lords and Atlantis, and the betrayal by Atlantis. The alliance between the Black Powder Rebels and Orcs. The mystical Draconum.

To really explain it all, you'd need to be familiar with the whole slew of Mage Knight story; there were pages and pages and pages of fiction and lore, including a rather detailed "journal" of an observer of the land, detailing the ever-changing story of the Land.

Unfortunately, the previews don't really evoke any of this lore, but rather it just feels like name-dropping into elements that are only lightly based on the original factions. The term "Mage Knight" to describe characters is very out of place. The use of different colored crystals as magic sources is slightly based on Magestone, but only barely. Even the artwork, while nice in its own right, does not invoke the same feel as before to me.

Honestly, it just feels like a completely different mythos with the same name tacked onto it.


Again, it still looks like a good game, and I *WANT* to like it (or I wouldn't be subscribed to the game's forums). But I'm just having a very hard time accepting that this game is in any way "Mage Knight", regardless of the name. The more I see, the more I just wish they'd have left the Mage Knight line alone, and just created a new fantasy world for this game.


EDIT: Just as an example of the what I'm talking about for artwork - the Guardian Golems. Great artwork... but I'm not sure which faction they are meant to represent.

Atlantis Golems were VERY robot-looking; the Guardian Golem looks too "alive" to be an Atlantis golem.

Black Powder golems were very steampunk-ish.

Necropolis Golems looked like big beings of bone and flesh.

MAYBE the guardian golems are Elemental, I don't know; but even the Elemental Golems tended to look like distinct living things, like trees.

Again, maybe a minor thing to some, but lots of minor things can add up to a major thing to someone who had a deep investment in Mage Knight, not just because of the game, but because of the story behind it. I maintain my stance: This new game is NOT Mage Knight.
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Rykaar wrote:
First thing I did when I played MK back in the day was ask "which figures are the mage knights?" Seems to me Vlaada at least answered that question with the board game.

Honestly, he didn't "answer" the question, he made up the answer; in the original game, there were no "Mage Knights", and from everything I gathered, there was never meant to be. It wasn't a term applied to characters, but rather just a name for the game signifying the mix of magic and warfare in combat.

The fact that this game HAS characters called "Mage Knights" is one of the first things that got my dander up, because it strikes me as a forced usage of the name by someone clueless about the theme.

Vlaada's games are very fun (at least the ones I've tried), but this whole makes me think of what may happen if, say, a die-hard Trekkie with no knowledge of Star Wars lore tried to write a theme-heavy game in the Star Wars universe.


Fun game or not, the theme is getting in the way for me in a non-trivial way.
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Perhaps they'll begin injecting the Mage Knight theme back into the game as more expansions are released. Of course, that doesn't change what the game is and isn't now.
 
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Jotora wrote:
Perhaps they'll begin injecting the Mage Knight theme back into the game as more expansions are released. Of course, that doesn't change what the game is and isn't now.

That would be great, and even that glimmer of hope may be worthwhile.


The gameplay may still outweigh the theme factor for me. In fact, I can say I'll almost definitely get it - the big question will be how long I keep it (IE, will the theme get in the way, or will I just dismiss it?)
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Jotora wrote:
Perhaps they'll begin injecting the Mage Knight theme back into the game as more expansions are released. Of course, that doesn't change what the game is and isn't now.

That would be great, and even that glimmer of hope may be worthwhile.


The gameplay may still outweigh the theme factor for me. In fact, I can say I'll almost definitely get it - the big question will be how long I keep it (IE, will the theme get in the way, or will I just dismiss it?)


I would look at it this way. Think of this as a completely different game called Mage Knight but pronounced "Maggi ke-nig-et". Kinda like maggi sauce and the silly english knights like in the Holy Grail.

Then you can enjoy the game for what it is.

Otherwise, based on your fanboism the game will never live up to the image that you have of it.
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I played MK from the very beginning and was quite active on MK Realms,
but honestly, I couldn't care less if the "lore is right" for the boardgame.

Sure there were no Mage Knights and the Atlantis Guild Golems looked like robots .... so what ?

It's not as if the game stands or falls with the lore of the game. Sorry, but I think the mechanics and gameplay are far more important.

And as to being "nothing" of the original game in the boardgame : Look at the Cards & counters : there are Amotep Gunners, Utem Crossbowman, a Summoner and even an Ironclad looking very much like the original sculpt, wielding two hammers, even that ugly crypt worm looks exactly the same and is even doing the same pose as the sculpt.

Obviously the use of the MageKnight name is a business/money decision. Anybody who believes differently is just being naive.
They could have created a new fantasy universe, but by restarting the MK line they might just pull some of the old crowd back in on top of the newcomers.
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KissaTaikuri wrote:
Otherwise, based on your fanboism the game will never live up to the image that you have of it.

As currently constituted, that's true, but largely because it seems like they didn't even care. They could have made the new game fit the old lore quite easily, but instead, they just chose to throw it away and rebuild it. Now, if it was the same group of writers, that would be one thing - reinvisioning it to bring it in line with how they originally wanted it. In this case, it's just a new company who bought the name but otherwise doesn't care about it.

Borg wrote:
...but by restarting the MK line they might just pull some of the old crowd back in on top of the newcomers.

Or they may just push them away, too; I've talked with a couple of the people in the old MK group we used to have, and not a one of them is interested in this new "reboot".

New players wouldn't care either way if it was Mage Knight or something else; using Mage Knight would only be used as a ploy to draw old players back in. For some, it will work - they won't care. For others, it will do just the opposite, when they realize this isn't the same kind of Mage Knight they were hoping for. Obviously, you're in the former camp. I'm in the latter.


Again, for me, it's nothing to do with the mechanics. And there are plenty of those who don't care about the lore or theme as much. And this may still be a great game - maybe I'll even get it and just ignore the retheme.
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:


Borg wrote:
...but by restarting the MK line they might just pull some of the old crowd back in on top of the newcomers.

Or they may just push them away, too; I've talked with a couple of the people in the old MK group we used to have, and not a one of them is interested in this new "reboot".


Push away who ? Afaik there's nobody left to push away, everybody's gone. MK is dead and terminated.

sigmazero13 wrote:

They used a FEW similar images and units. That doesn't mean a thing for the lore itself.

So you'd rather have nothing at all, then ?


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