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Subject: Mage Knight is not like Dominion rss

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Adam Skinner
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Seven Hills
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I think what differentiates both Mage Knight Board Game and StarCraft: The Board Game from Dominion and it's ilk is this:

While you are adding cards to your deck, your primary objective is not simply to add more cards to your deck. In Starcraft, you use the cards to win fights against other players' fleets. In Mage Knight, you use your cards to win fights (primarily against mobs), move your character, and heal. Other cards in the game don't go into your deck at all, like your units.

In Dominion, you often add cards to your hand simply so you can buy more cards. This happens in Mage Knight with Influence cards (how you buy units and spells). In Dominion, the only way you score points is with cards at the end of the game. In Mage Knight, while the cards you acquire do score points at the end of the game, it's only a small part of the total score: activities on the board during play score you points (which is scored on an actual scoring track), as well as significant bonuses (3 points) for having different majorities at end game (regions conquered, number of spells and mana crystals, etc).

Mage Knight doesn't feel like Dominion, not in the way that Tanto Cuore does. While you do cycle through your deck of cards 5 at a time (generally), your purpose is much more open ended than "how can I buy more cards?". Because the decisions in Mage Knight are much less trivial than in Dominion, each turn takes longer, and this in and of itself makes the game feel unlike a deck-building game.

In a world where games with the Deckbuilding mechanic rely on just that mechanic for their gameplay, are are often lauded for it, Mage Knight uses the "add cards to your deck and reshuffle when complete" idea without really stepping into a "deckbuilding" role. Another thing that differentiates Mage Knight from both Starcraft and Dominion is that when your deck is out of cards, you don't just shuffle it and draw in more cards. You play your turn with less cards, everyone else gets one more turn, and then *everyone* shuffles their hand, discard pile, and draw pile together. Many parts of the game reset, and you start a new round (moving from Day to Night).
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Tim Kelly
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Not to mention...Mage Knight is fun to play. whistle
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Robert R
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You know... I was thinking of posting something similar for those looking for a new "deck-building game", but with fewer words. Well said.
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Simon Lundström
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Now who are these five?
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adam.skinner wrote:
While you are adding cards to your deck, your primary objective is not simply to add more cards to your deck.


This is true for all games that use a deck-building mechanism. Most of Arclight's deckbuilders except Tanto Cuore does this: Barbarossa, El Alamein, Dynamite Nurse. You get some cards, figure out what to do with them. Either you use the cards, or of you can't play them in an effective way, you can always try to enhance your deck in some way by either removing dumb cards or buy some new better.
 
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Michael Denman
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Yeah, this is not a deckbuilder. Just as with Blood Bowl Team Manager, the deck-building is just a small part of the big picture.
 
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