Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
 Hide
33 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Magic Realm» Forums » General

Subject: Is Mage Knight a worthy successor to Magic Realm? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jeffery Bass
United States
San Carlos
California
flag msg tools
badge
What's this? Why, it's the Hiller Flying Platform! It flew in 1955.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm willing to bet many, if not most, of those of us who lurk in the Magic Realm forums have also acquired Mage Knight the Board Game, or are interested in it. Is this new game the answer to Magic Realm that many have claimed, or at least hoped?

Not that Magic Realm needs an "answer" but if you enjoy the depth and strategy of Magic Realm, you definitely want to take a close look at Mage Knight. Here are some things about Mage Knight, designed by Vlaada Chvatil that have similarities to Magic Realm, as well as differences:

Modular board. Not a big deal anymore, but the Mage Knight world is built of hex tiles. Instead of clearings in each hex, there are seven individual mini-hexes in each large hex tile in which encounters and interesting things take place. Terrain is a factor in Mage Knight, similar to Runebound in which each individual mini-hex has a single terrain type requiring more or less movement points to traverse. Like Magic Realm, there are mountains and caves to negotiate, plus some other terrain types such as hills and deserts.

Hired Natives. Mage Knight has a wide variety of different kinds of NPC's (non player characters) that the main hero can "hire" to do his dirty work. I would say the variety of permutations of their different abilities, and what they offer to the player in combat, is far greater in Mage Knight than in Magic Realm. The NPC's in Mage Knight come as a single entity. They do not ride on horses and there are no separate game systems in Mage Knight such as the Pony/Horse/Warhorse units in Magic Realm.

Capability Management. In Magic Realm, you have to manage Move and Fight chits in "combos" with your weapon (i.e. length vs. speed). In Mage Knight, you similarly manage combat elements (Attack and Block) as well as Movement using a deck of cards. Mage Knight exploits the concept of deck building to provide the player with a core capability represented in a hand of cards which is partly discarded and refreshed with each turn. Which leads to the next aspect...

Deterministic Combat. Like that of Magic Realm, combat in Mage Knight is a puzzle that can be solved before the fight takes place (except for the magic "color" system, there are no dice at all in Mage Knight). The monsters in Mage Knight do not "flip", so they are a bit more static than those of Magic Realm, but they do have various enhancements of their ability to inflict harm which must be overcome with some clever combinations of cards in the Mage Knight player's deck. The Mage Knight rulebook encourages players to just plunge into their combats. If their combination of card plays leads to failure, you are allowed to "revert" or backtrack through the fight and try a different tactic. Players can agree not to do this, but if so they invite a fair amount of analysis paralysis. In practice, it's far more fun in Mage Knight to try a few different kinds of combos using the "reversion" rule. If the combat doesn't work out, back it up and try it a different way. I usually play Magic Realm the same way (using my own "undo" which is what I wish you could do in Realmspeak).

Detailed Magic System. In Mage Knight, like Magic Realm, powerful effects permeate the game which require colored magic (or Mana) for players to perform. In Mage Knight, the Mana system is used to enhance virtually all tasks, from movement, to influencing locals, to waging combat. It is thoroughly interpenetrated into the game system.

Unique Characters. In Mage Knight, players start at a basic level which would be the case in Magic Realm if you use the Development variant. In Mage Knight, the variety of hero/characters is far less than Magic Realm. In Mage Knight there are only four possible heroes to choose from, unlike the 16 in Magic Realm. And they all start with pretty much the same capabilities. In fact, the starting deck for each player in Mage Knight is virtually identical. But each character in Mage Knight is cleverly designed to develop in quite unique ways as the game progresses. When a hero levels up in Mage Knight, the available skills are unique to each character. So, after a few levels are reached, each player's hero is substantially different. Add to this the interplay of different features under each player-hero's control, such as NPC Units, Advanced Actions, Spells and Artifacts, the result in Mage Knight is that each player has distinct strengths and weaknesses that set them apart from the other characters.

Cryptic Rule book. Mage Knight's designer has taken a curiously similar path to Magic Realm in trying to spoon feed the game to the newbie with a Walkthrough Encounter which evokes the similar encounter system as the original Magic Realm rules. So, there are two sets of rules in Mage Knight: the Walkthrough Rules and the Full Rules. These rule sets are the same and self consistent but neither of the sets contains all the rules, so you end up having to flip back and forth between both sets, which is a pain. On the plus side, the Mage Knight rules seem far more graspable than Magic Realm. I was pretty much able to dispense with any but the most casual of references to the rules in Mage Knight after two plays, something impossible with Magic Realm. (Set up time for Mage Knight is about 10 times shorter than Magic Realm, too).

And last, Solitaire Suitability. Magic Realm is excellent as a solo game and so is Mage Knight, for the same reasons: The NPC/monster combat system is fully automated and the decisions to be made by players are as deep and meaningful for the solo adventurer as they are for a gang.

OK, I can go on with an endless list of comparisons but I think you get the idea.

Magic Realm is one of my favorite games. Mage Knight seems to me to be one of the best implementations of a heavy adventuring board game we've seen recently that even comes close to matching the depth and narrative quality of Magic Realm.





28 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Mesich
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Horta chortles.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No?

whistle

A couple of weekends ago I saw several games of Mage Knight played with new people actually picking up the rules. I think the player characters even SURVIVED!

That's no Magic Realm!

laugh

I'll try and actual get into one of the games next month and see.






10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Schwieger
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I too noticed many of the similarities you mentioned here. I purchased Mage Knight and have played it a few times. I can see wanting to play it maybe a few more before it goes out the door. It doesn't have anything like the depth or replayability of Magic Realm, a game I'll be playing for the rest of my life.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffery Bass
United States
San Carlos
California
flag msg tools
badge
What's this? Why, it's the Hiller Flying Platform! It flew in 1955.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, in Mage Knight you cannot be killed. You can be knocked out, however, which in my first few plays of Mage Knight happened to my character more than once.

The interesting comparison with Magic Realm is that there is a two-tier system of healing in both games. In Magic Realm you often have to convert a wounded chit into a fatigued chit before that chit is "healed", a two-step process. In Mage Knight, you can "rest" a wound or "heal" a wound, a dual process. In resting, you discard the wound, but it is still in your deck to be drawn later. In healing, you actually remove the wound completely from your hand and deck. Of course, it's more difficult to heal than to rest.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Over 50 Gamer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
Oliver......one cool cat
badge
MEOW!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's funny, I was actually going to post a very similar thread to this and was wondering if anyone felt the same way. Nothing tops Magic Realm for me, but it's a beast. Mage Knight gives me a similar, although lighter, experience. It feels not quite as open ended as MR, a litle more constrained. On the plus side, I can set up and play the full MK solo game, without rules lookup in a few hours now. It's a LOT of fun, just not the same depth of enjoyment I get if I make the effort to set up MR.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
troy martin
Poland
Phoenix
Arizona
flag msg tools
I have a copy of MR for sale.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just bought both of these games and I look forward to getting to grips with them over the next year (or more, from I have read about Magic Realm) Maybe then I'll be able to give some feedback on them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moritz Eggert
Germany
Munich/Germany
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The answer to the question in the title of your entry is simply:

No.

But I don't think "Mage Knight" tries to do that, I am sure it is a solid game, though, knowing the designers other work.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David S.
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
flag msg tools
V1 Rotate
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the question is the wrong one to ask. I think a better question to ask is "Will Mage Knight scratch my Magic Realm itch"?

I think the answer to this is yes. I own both, and while I don't think that MK tries to be like MR, in some ways it is. I think this can be said:

MR is a RPG game with some conquesting

MK is a conquest game with some RPGing

Mage Knight is an excellent game as is Magic Realm. If I had to choose one I would choose MR, but I don't have to so I'll gladly play both. (And more likely MK will hit the table more than MR as its a lot shorter)
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffery Bass
United States
San Carlos
California
flag msg tools
badge
What's this? Why, it's the Hiller Flying Platform! It flew in 1955.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interestingly, someone blogged on this very subject on Fortress Ameritrash. The link is: http://fortressat.com/index.php/blogs-by-members/2979.

Also, Michael Barnes waxes about Mage Knight with references to Magic Realm on Game Shark at: http://www.gameshark.com/features/876/Cracked-LCD-228-Mage-K...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Sizemore
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
www.NevermoreGames.com
badge
This is NOT a Chihuahua. It is a Sphynx cat. A bald, grouchy Sphynx cat who will bite you if you mistake him for a Chihuahua.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There has been a bit of traffic on this topic over on the MK side; I hadn't looked here -- nice work!

For me, MK really falls short in the theme department. Yes, it's true, the monsters in both games really are just cardboard counters with numbers (and no names) on them. But somehow the denizens of the Realm just strike me as more interesting, and colorful. Part of this is due, no doubt, to the wider variety of tactics employed my the creatures in MR. But there's also the fact that monsters will follow you, and block you. Some of them employ, or are vulnerable to, strange and fantastic effects. The natives are fickle, too -- they might sell to you, or they might fight you. You might hire from a group early in the game, then come back and wipe them out just for spite and a few extra points near the end. And, of course, the map is infinitely more interesting in MR.

Many of the decisions in MR revolve around how to handle certain denizens. Do I try to sneak around to get to the next clearing? Or do I attempt to slip in and steal the treasure without a fight? Is there anyone in the area I could hire to help me kill this thing? What are the chances of another monster showing up this turn and screwing up all my plans?

In MK, the decisions are much simpler, and much less interesting. Do I kill whatever cardboard monster is in this generic map feature, or do I move on to the next generic map feature and hope for something easier? There is no way to win without killing a lot of monsters, so the question of timing really is the only one you need to ask -- kill it now, or kill it later?

I also find the random action availability in MK to be more annoying than thematic. The planning phase has never been my favorite part of MR (why can't I change my mind about moving after I fail to hide?), but it's a lot better than the random ordering of actions dictated by the cards in MK. The map says move then fight. The cards say fight then move. There is no good way to deal with this situation, often.

I'm willing to give MK one more shot. I think I may have been pushing through my cards a bit faster than necessary, and perhaps this is one reason for my frustration with the game. But nothing in the new game has captured my imagination like Magic Realm did, and I doubt I'll ever think Mage Knight worthy of the effort I've already expended learning to get around and survive in the Realm.
4 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Gauthier
United States
Monticello
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have given a lot of heartfelt thought to re-imagining Magic Realm into a game more like Arkham Horror or Prophecy. One without the planning ahead stage. And, more importantly, one without the wacky combat where no matter how much faster you are, each monster or enemy character has basically a 1 in 3 chance of hitting you automatically. And if you aren't fast enough, there is literally zero chance of avoiding ANY tactic.

I love MR, and I want to see it modernized without losing all of the non-combat options that make it great - hiring natives, Hiding, etc. It doesn't sound like Mage Knight is the answer, but nothing else out there really it, either.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Sizemore
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
www.NevermoreGames.com
badge
This is NOT a Chihuahua. It is a Sphynx cat. A bald, grouchy Sphynx cat who will bite you if you mistake him for a Chihuahua.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Taeblewalker wrote:
And, more importantly, one without the wacky combat where no matter how much faster you are, each monster or enemy character has basically a 1 in 3 chance of hitting you automatically. And if you aren't fast enough, there is literally zero chance of avoiding ANY tactic.


If your weapon is longer than your opponent's, and faster than his maneuver, he can't hit you at all, assuming your attack is heavy enough to kill. If you're slower, then you have a 1/3 chance of hitting first.

But yeah, I've had some thoughts about an updated, streamlined MR, too. Mage Knight, it seems to me, is going to be popular with the folks who just can't get enough optimization exercises. As an adventure game, though, it's pretty lame.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Beakley
United States
Tempe
AZ
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In response to the OP: in my opinion, Mage Knight is superior to Magic Realm in almost every way I can imagine.

I've played, I don't know, maybe 200 MR games mostly via Realmspeak. Maybe only 3 or 4 with live players. I spend a couple hundred bucks building a Karim reprint and bought the nice bound rules from Lulu. I'm not a decades-long fan of the game, but I'd like to think I know MR pretty well.

I did say "almost," and I will cop to a few things I like about Magic Realm better. I like the MR map better; the interlocking pathways thing is very clever and I LOVE the enchanted flipsides. I like the MR scale better: the game certainly feels like a decent day-by-day simulation, while in Mage Knight the "days" seem highly theoretical at best and just silly at worst. Magic Realm gameplay is probably a bit more "emergent", although Mage Knight shares this property and, well...it's a modern game published by a modern publisher with an active interest in expanding it. I also think the range of play styles in MR is much broader, due to the intersection of different character types and the choose-your-own-VPs system. MR scales wonderfully up to a huge number of players, which also expands on the whole emergent-gameplay quality of the game.

MR is bigger in all dimensions, but bigger isn't always better. The fact I can play two MK games in an evening while probably not actually finishing a MR game in a day -- that's a big deal.

Bottom line: I will never play MR again (live) as long as I own Mage Knight. For me, and I speak only for myself, it's absolutely a worthy successor.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Sizemore
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
www.NevermoreGames.com
badge
This is NOT a Chihuahua. It is a Sphynx cat. A bald, grouchy Sphynx cat who will bite you if you mistake him for a Chihuahua.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PBeakley wrote:

MR is bigger in all dimensions, but bigger isn't always better. The fact I can play two MK games in an evening while probably not actually finishing a MR game in a day -- that's a big deal.

Bottom line: I will never play MR again (live) as long as I own Mage Knight. For me, and I speak only for myself, it's absolutely a worthy successor.


Or you could just play several games of chess -- they'd be even more strategic, and just as thematic.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
badge
If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
skipsizemore wrote:
Or you could just play several games of chess ...

That's what I usually do.


Is chess a worthy successor to MR and MK?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Beakley
United States
Tempe
AZ
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tic tac toe! I can play tons of that in an evening. Coin flipping as well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Bradley
United Kingdom
Haverhill
Suffolk
flag msg tools
badge
The best things in life aren't things.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First I was talking about Eclipse and some Buddha Guy mentioned Mage Knight.

Then I looked at Mage Knight and found it interesting. And it being my birthday I treated myself. It's good but the card-driven aspect irks a bit.

THEN the Buddha Guy started arguing with some Skip Guy about something called Magic Realm. Of which I had never heard.

Then I looked in here.
Oh.
Oooooh. Looooook....
*swoon*

So now I've gone and plonked a hefty chunk of cash down on eBay for a copy of MR.

If I don't love it beyond reason you'll be hearing from me. All of you
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
flag msg tools
badge
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Fwing wrote:


If I don't love it beyond reason you'll be hearing from me. All of you


You won't at first.. the rule book is...nasty.

But be patient and use realmspeak and you'll find yourself one day smitten despite yourself.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Bradley
United Kingdom
Haverhill
Suffolk
flag msg tools
badge
The best things in life aren't things.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Albatros28215 wrote:
Fwing wrote:


If I don't love it beyond reason you'll be hearing from me. All of you


You won't at first.. the rule book is...nasty.

But be patient and use realmspeak and you'll find yourself one day smitten despite yourself.


Hehe I'm looking forward to seeing this legendary rulebook.
How does it compare to High Frontier? HF doesn't compete in size, of course. . .
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
badge
If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Fwing wrote:
Albatros28215 wrote:
Fwing wrote:

If I don't love it beyond reason you'll be hearing from me. All of you

You won't at first.. the rule book is...nasty.

But be patient and use realmspeak and you'll find yourself one day smitten despite yourself.

Hehe I'm looking forward to seeing this legendary rulebook.

The rule book is the cheap part. You can see it right here, right now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Bradley
United Kingdom
Haverhill
Suffolk
flag msg tools
badge
The best things in life aren't things.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Patrick Carroll wrote:
Fwing wrote:
Albatros28215 wrote:
Fwing wrote:

If I don't love it beyond reason you'll be hearing from me. All of you

You won't at first.. the rule book is...nasty.

But be patient and use realmspeak and you'll find yourself one day smitten despite yourself.

Hehe I'm looking forward to seeing this legendary rulebook.

The rule book is the cheap part. You can see it right here, right now.


Yeah but that's the cleaned up 3.1 version. I want to see the 1st edition hieroglyphics
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
badge
If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Fwing wrote:
Yeah but that's the cleaned up 3.1 version. I want to see the 1st edition hieroglyphics

Oh, that. Well, it's just a rule book. Quite ordinary and harmless-looking. The problems don't show up until you try to apply the rules and play a game. Then you see what's missing or what's not working.

But it looks and reads a lot like versions 2 and 3, actually. The latest one is toughest because there's more in it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
flag msg tools
badge
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wait until you get to sharpness stars, mounted hirelings and magic (maniacal evil laughter ensues) ...3.1 is the best version by far but the underpinings are complicated mainly due to the audacity of the design. If you can get over that hill, that design starts to shine after a few plays.

We surviving fans are like the marines. The few and proud to have survived the boot camp, we are now brainwashed into believing we are elite!

Cross your fingers for a rumored potential reprint. Handled with care, this game could be a blockbuster in today's market. There's a lot Eclipse offers the SF fan that a streamlined MR could offer fantasy/RPG fans.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
MGS
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Warhammer: Diskwars
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here is what I did to learn the game.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/357924/learning-magic-realm-...

Good luck.

Now, I need to find a way to learn MK.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.