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Subject: Easy rules to understand that didn't overwhelm me rss

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Michele Esmanech
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Last night I played (halfway through) my first game, using the walkthrough, and, let me say, I not only had a BLAST (the game exceeded my expectations, in terms of fun), but I also managed to play the game, without problems or questions.
I have been overwhelmed by rulebooks, other times (see Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 ā€“ ? and Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! ā€“ Kursk 1943) but not this time... and this is the heaviest game I have played.

before playing, I read the rule book twice; watched all the videos (especially [geekurl=http://boardgamegeek.com/video/11547/mage-knight-board-game/walkthrough-of-1st-turn-of-solo-game]Paul's video[/geekurl] and read all the card previews (also posted by Paul), which gave a good idea about gameplay...

I still have to confront with the harder things (PvP is not an issue, as I will play this 100% solitaire, and city conquering, etc.) but so far so good.
I rated the game as heavy 3 (but I would say more 2,8).

So, do others feel like me, that the game is over-rated (in terms of weight), and that it should be more around 3 than 4, or that I still need to go through most of the hard stuff, which will lead me to think this is as heavy as depitched?

cheers
 
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Christian
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I agree, it's not that heavy.
There is no way this game should be weighted heavier than Up Front for instance, which is the case today!
 
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Gunther Schmidl
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The rules seem super intimidating before you actually play. Then they basically make instant sense and we rarely needed to refer back to them except for special icons on the enemies. It helps that the reference cards have all the rules on them.
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Jack Smith
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While I don't yet have the game I have read the rules. The issue with game weight is that it ignores how well the rules are written and how smoothly the game mechanics flow. Even from my reading the rules I could see this was an easy game to pick up. I am not surprised as I found the same with other Vlaada games. He seems to use a strong set of core rules and adds to them carefully. Games from FFG seem to do the opposite. They have good core rules then add to them with little thought to the consequences. This leads to numerous faq's and little annoying quirks.

So for me its not the length or depth of the rules that matter, it is how they interact that matters when looking at complexity. Ratings do not really reflect that.
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Kaiwen Zhang
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the rules are easy, but there are several problems:

1- The whole "ice/fire" stuff which works differently whether its on an unit or an enemy, an attack or a block. And why is "cold/fire" attack not resisted by both ice and fire? They should have made a third type of attack, say "lightning attack", that way it's clear it's not resisted by both ice and fire. even better, make it that units and enemies don't have overlapping terminology.

2- The pvp rules are a tacked-on mess... it breaks regular combat and its very confusing to follow.
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Brian Brokaw
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For me, so far, the only non-intuitive rules are regarding Cold & Fire Attacks vs Armor with Cold & Fire resistance. However, the table on the back page of the rulebook is a quick reminder and solves that problem.

My biggest issue with the game (which still doesn't keep me from rating it a 10, mind you) is remembering all of the rules. Here are rules that I've forgotten in my intro scenario and solo scenario plays so far:

1. -1 Reputation when attacking fortifications
2. +1/+2 Reputation when killing rampaging enemies
3. Forest/Desert move cost differences day/night
4. Fortified enemies in fortifications
5. Start dealing Elite Units for brown tiles
6. Drawing bigger hand near my Keeps and Cities
7. lots more...

There are just a LOT of rules in this game. However, every time I play I enjoy myself and every time I play it feels like I am getting fewer rules wrong. I conquered 1 of 2 cities in my Solo scenario last night and I can't wait to try and take both cities down in my next attempt!
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Chris Linneman
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johncraven wrote:
the rules are easy, but there are several problems:

1- The whole "ice/fire" stuff which works differently whether its on an unit or an enemy, an attack or a block. And why is "cold/fire" attack not resisted by both ice and fire? They should have made a third type of attack, say "lightning attack", that way it's clear it's not resisted by both ice and fire. even better, make it that units and enemies don't have overlapping terminology.


I agree it's confusing, but the reason they went with Cold Fire I think is because Cold Fire block works against both Ice and Fire attacks. It wouldn't be so clear if it was called "Lightning" block.
 
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James King
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brokasaphasia wrote:
For me, so far, the only non-intuitive rules are regarding Cold & Fire Attacks vs Armor with Cold & Fire resistance. However, the table on the back page of the rulebook is a quick reminder and solves that problem.

My biggest issue with the game (which still doesn't keep me from rating it a 10, mind you) is remembering all of the rules. Here are rules that I've forgotten in my intro scenario and solo scenario plays so far:

1. -1 Reputation when attacking fortifications
2. +1/+2 Reputation when killing rampaging enemies
3. Forest/Desert move cost differences day/night
4. Fortified enemies in fortifications
5. Start dealing Elite Units for brown tiles
6. Drawing bigger hand near my Keeps and Cities
7. lots more...

There are just a LOT of rules in this game. However, every time I play I enjoy myself and every time I play it feels like I am getting fewer rules wrong. I conquered 1 of 2 cities in my Solo scenario last night and I can't wait to try and take both cities down in my next attempt!


For me it's anything not on the reference cards, such as the reputation modifiers and the draws from the keeps.

I still find myself referring to them on occasion and they're nice to have. It's a much better system than flipping through a book with a poor index.

As far as complexity of the rules goes, I'd say they are actually pretty light on a case-by-case basis. However, putting them together as the game does makes this a very layered experience which is itself a kind of complexity; but one I think they addressed quite well with the walk through scenario and the reference cards.
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Silidus
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johncraven wrote:
the rules are easy, but there are several problems:

1- The whole "ice/fire" stuff which works differently whether its on an unit or an enemy, an attack or a block. And why is "cold/fire" attack not resisted by both ice and fire? They should have made a third type of attack, say "lightning attack", that way it's clear it's not resisted by both ice and fire. even better, make it that units and enemies don't have overlapping terminology.


I wouldn't say its different at all.
"ColdFire" is Ice, or Fire, whichever will work best. If a unit has Ice and Fire resist, it counts as coldfire resist.

Your goal in combat is to wound the enemy, if you are using an ineffective attack (such as Ice on an Ice Resist monster) you must deal twice the damage amount to wound the enemy (kill them). If you are assigning damage to a unit, you must assign twice the number of 'damage' to the unit in order to wound them.

The only difference is that monsters sort of 'autoblock' their armour value.
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Scott Lewis
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johncraven wrote:
1- The whole "ice/fire" stuff which works differently whether its on an unit or an enemy, an attack or a block. And why is "cold/fire" attack not resisted by both ice and fire? They should have made a third type of attack, say "lightning attack", that way it's clear it's not resisted by both ice and fire. even better, make it that units and enemies don't have overlapping terminology.

Well, if it's a coldfire attack, it consists of ice and fire. If you have ice block, that would be enough to block the fire portion... but the ice portion would still be unaffected.
 
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Brian Brokaw
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j_king wrote:
...one I think they addressed quite well with the walk through scenario and the reference cards.

I completely agree.

The walk-through scenario, plus Paul's video is brilliant. Without those two resources, I would have turned away from what turns out to be a really fun game.
 
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Kaiwen Zhang
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QBert80 wrote:
[q="johncraven"]I agree it's confusing, but the reason they went with Cold Fire I think is because Cold Fire block works against both Ice and Fire attacks. It wouldn't be so clear if it was called "Lightning" block.


Hmm no, Lightning block wouldn't exist. You would have Cold Fire block which blocks cold and fire. But lightning attack would not be subject to ice or fire resistance and would need lightning resistance.


Silidus wrote:
I wouldn't say its different at all.
"ColdFire" is Ice, or Fire, whichever will work best. If a unit has Ice and Fire resist, it counts as coldfire resist.


not too hard to add a lightning resistance too

Quote:
Your goal in combat is to wound the enemy, if you are using an ineffective attack (such as Ice on an Ice Resist monster) you must deal twice the damage amount to wound the enemy (kill them). If you are assigning damage to a unit, you must assign twice the number of 'damage' to the unit in order to wound them.



And why do you need block of an opposite element to block an enemy attack anyway? Since resistance is effective against same element, make it consistent and have blocks effective against the same element too... In other words, why is fire resistance effective against fire, but fire block effective against ice?

Why is ice resistance effective against ice attack, but ice block effective against fire attack? make it consistent...

Quote:
Well, if it's a coldfire attack, it consists of ice and fire. If you have ice block, that would be enough to block the fire portion... but the ice portion would still be unaffected.



But that implies you're reducing the damage partially (either the cold part, or the ice part). In reality it goes through completely, so why not just make a third type, way easier to understand.
 
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Kevin Walsh
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johncraven wrote:

Why is ice resistance effective against ice attack, but ice block effective against fire attack? make it consistent...

It is consistent. The rule is that you use fire both to attack ice monsters, and to defend against ice monsters. If ice block defended against ice attack, it would be inconsistent.
 
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Silidus
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johncraven wrote:

Why is ice resistance effective against ice attack, but ice block effective against fire attack? make it consistent...


I never thought the wording was ambiguous until I read that statement. Ice resistance is "resistance to ice", "Ice block" is "I block WITH Ice", not "I block the ice".
 
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John Harney
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Yeah, I'm with you. I'm quite new to board games, having been playing video games for years. I heard a lot of great things about Mage Knight, and after an iffy start I've really gotten into it, either solitaire or with a friend.

Maybe it's not that the rules are simple, but that the walkthrough does such an excellent job of guiding you through the system. I was able to teach my friend how to play the game fairly quickly and he was firing up surprisingly powerful attacks at early levels. The deck building aspect is fantastic, and beautifully simple.
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Jack Smith
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Silidus wrote:
johncraven wrote:

Why is ice resistance effective against ice attack, but ice block effective against fire attack? make it consistent...


I never thought the wording was ambiguous until I read that statement. Ice resistance is "resistance to ice", "Ice block" is "I block WITH Ice", not "I block the ice".


Yes, so blocking with ice is a form of fire resistance. It is consistent as you say but I can see why people feel it is not.
 
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Phil Thompson
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Silidus wrote:
johncraven wrote:

Why is ice resistance effective against ice attack, but ice block effective against fire attack? make it consistent...


I never thought the wording was ambiguous until I read that statement. Ice resistance is "resistance to ice", "Ice block" is "I block WITH Ice", not "I block the ice".


The wording may possibly be ambiguous but one look at the card titles makes this clear. Ice blocks are ice sourced, fire blocks are fire sourced. Why would a wall of ice be effective against an ice bolt but not a fire bolt ?

The alternative would be an effect called Ice Block which is powered by red mana and features an illustration of a wall of fire. People would rightly have been crying "Misprint !".

 
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Kaiwen Zhang
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maybe it's easier to understand in Czech I don't know...

It's a working system, I think it's just easier to explicitly say what the block is good for, rather than write down what the element of the block is.

In future expansions, if they do decide to add future elements, you'll have to remember all the relationships.

In other words, I don't think it really matters what type the block is, just what the block is good for. By writing down the element of the block, you're going about in an indirect way to indicate what the block is doing.

Imagine in the future, I want to make a block card that's effective against Lightning and Fire. Under the current system, I have to create another element, called "Stone", which is effective against those two. Why not just write "Block effective against Lightning and Fire" instead of "Stone Block" and then need a chart to explain the elements relationship.

Quote:
The alternative would be an effect called Ice Block which is powered by red mana and features an illustration of a wall of fire. People would rightly have been crying "Misprint !".


Well, I wouldn't call it "Ice block", just "Block against ice"
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Michele Esmanech
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Apart this ice-fire block issue (which is confusing, at first, but, after you understand that it is NOT block FROM fire/ice, but bloch WITH fire/ice, apart the wounding issue, which is now clear to me, thanx to friendly bgg-ers), what I mean with this thread, is that the game is heavy, not because rules are complicated, but beause there are lot of fiddly little rules and exceptions (what comes in my mind is, for example, the fact that you stack effects of having more Monasteries, but if you are near a monastery AND a city you own, you only get the cards given by the city and not also the monastery; or how multiple attcks from multiple enemies work, that you can treat the block a whole, but not the attack).

What I mean is that all these fiddly rules are not game breakers, and, eventually, everyone has missed at least one of them, each game, but, missing one of those, does not change the game mechanics or the game experiance alltogether...

This is what I meant, when I said that the rules are not overwhelming: you can start playing right away, with the main mechanics. If you miss one of the many exceptions, you still have a good time, and the game won't be broken.
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Christian
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Ikim wrote:
you stack effects of having more Monasteries, but if you are near a monastery AND a city you own, you only get the cards given by the city and not also the monastery

Keeps
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Michele Esmanech
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Kris wrote:
Ikim wrote:
you stack effects of having more Monasteries, but if you are near a monastery AND a city you own, you only get the cards given by the city and not also the monastery

Keeps


Yes... keeps... thanx.. I don't have the cards in front of me, so I had to improvise...
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Mike Cathcart
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You actually take the bigger of the two bonuses between cities and keeps. So if you own three keeps you draw three cards and ignore the +2 from the city.
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Shawn Woods
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I learned to never compare war game to strategy game weightings here on BGG. Here are a few very obvious examples of strategy games weighted equal to or higher than war games when they are no where near as heavy (IMO):

[WAR] Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! - 3.1
[WAR] Combat Commander: Pacific - 3.1
[WAR] Wilderness War - 3.3
[WAR] Labyrinth: The War on Terror - 3.4 (war game or not, it is weighted as one)
[WAR] Paths of Glory - 3.8

are much heavier than all of the following...

[STR] El Grande - 3.1
[STR] Chaos in the Old World - 3.1
[STR] Power Grid - 3.4
[STR] Agricola - 3.4
[STR] A Game of Thrones - 3.4
[STR] Troyes - 3.4
[STR] Caylus - 3.8


So when you want to say, "Mage Knight Board Game is not 4.1 weighting", consider what you're weighting it against. Caylus with what 10 pages or so of rules is not a difficult game to learn, play, or teach. It has depth in its strategy, but is by no means difficult or heavy. Mage Knight Board Game, by the amount of rules and components alone has more weight than all of those strategy games, easily. More than a war game like Paths of Glory or Here I Stand (4.1), I doubt it? Problem with BGG weightings is that it is common for a war gamer to play fairly heavy games. Some war games have text books for rule books.
 
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