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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Well done, Eirik. I'm not sure whether what you've written is a review, either, but I do know I've read a great many reviews that I've enjoyed less.
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Ivan Kolev
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Thank you Eirik, you give your opinion on a question which I suppose everyone's asking - is this the (first) adventure boardgame which could compete with PnP or Computer RPG's.

I guess I'm not such an adventure gaming fan, but I do feel that itch of a solid RPG experience you mention. So far I've found it only in some of the best CRPG's. Now I wonder if Mage Knight can deliver it. Your post is the strongest positive answer I've read so far. The usual style of reviews with long descriptions of components and mechanics rarely gives a good answer to the question "would I like this game". What's most important is how the game plays and what did the reviewer feel while playing, what he liked, what he didn't, and why. Maybe a good way to get that info is also through videos showing the game being played, in this case Paul Grogan's video does a good job, although a bit short.

Now, the next question to you would be - OK, it feels great on the first couple of plays, but how does it feel say on the 20th? Or the 50th? Maybe you should write again in a few months...
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Jack Smith
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Thanks for your post it was very useful. I'm still on the fence about Mage Knight but I have tried Magic Realm which I really like so I know the sort of game I am looking for.

I need a game with interesting decisions and dire consequences for failure. I'm still not sure if Mage Knight provides that. However the fact you can adjust the game tells me it can be changed to suit my preference so I am almost certain to buy it when the reprint comes out.
 
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N S.
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Wow, another gushing review. This game is clearly something special, as it's pretty hard to find anybody with anything bad to say about it.

I think the minis are the only reason I haven't picked up this game yet. They just look kind of...tacky I guess.

Also, just curious, but how many days and nights (in the world of the game) does a game last?
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Itai Perez
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It depends on the scenario. The walkthrough is 2 days and 1 night. Then short scenarii are 2 days and 2 nights and the long ones 3 days and 3 nights.
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James Champagne
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Noahboa wrote:
Wow, another gushing review. This game is clearly something special, as it's pretty hard to find anybody with anything bad to say about it.

I think the minis are the only reason I haven't picked up this game yet. They just look kind of...tacky I guess.

Also, just curious, but how many days and nights (in the world of the game) does a game last?


Between two days and once night and two days and two nights.

Also, I was a little worried about the quality of the minis, but I can tell you after opening the box that the pictures online just don't do them justice.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Noahboa wrote:
I think the minis are the only reason I haven't picked up this game yet. They just look kind of...tacky I guess.

I must be pretty lowbrow. When I opened the box, my first thought was "Wow - these look great!".
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Matt
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It is interesting that the question was raised whether or not Mage Knight compares to a computer rpg. I jumped into board games about a year and a half ago, and I have been looking for something like that since I first started.

As a simple answer, I have to say no, it doesn't compare to a computer rpg experience in terms of a game building over dozens of hours, seeing a character slowly build up, and an engrossing story pull you all the way. But then again, how could any board game?

When I first started playing board games, I got Runebound. I still love that game. Sure, it didn't scratch some of the itches from a computer rpg, but the stuff it did was cool.

I tried some other games which I didn't think did as good of a job as Runebound, I slowly started to realize it just wasn't going to happen for a board game to really be like a computer rpg.

Mage Knight is fantastic game, probably my #1 favorite! Having played other games, I just see it really nailing things that were missed in other games. It gets a heck of a lot closer to a computer rpg than I thought would be possible

That being said, I think it is also important to think about what you are looking to get out of your playing experience. I enjoy video games, but one thing that makes things uneven is how you can just "level up" in a rpg and be strong enough to win regardless of your mental skill level.

With board games, that's done away with. Everything is SO much more tactical. I LOVE that. You've really got to think and choose carefully amongst your decisions and Mage Knight does that so well.

In video games, often times your decisions don't really matter. You can rewind, or even go back and choose those alternate choices later. Not much consequence (I realize there are some games that do change that, but I'm talking generally here).

I hope that makes sense!

Matt
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Itai wrote:
It depends on the scenario. The walkthrough is 2 days and 1 night. Then short scenarii are 2 days and 2 nights and the long ones 3 days and 3 nights.

Does it seem weird to anybody else that your character undergoes this epic journey, gaining a reputation for good or for ill, exploring the realm, going on quests, slaying monsters, sacking monasteries and whatnot, yet all of this is supposed to happen in three days?

As for the minis, I guess I just need to see them in person before I judge them. Am I correct in thinking that they are not quite up to the standard of prepainted minis set by Claustrophobia or Tannhauser?
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Paul Beakley
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Yeah...the day/night cycle is mechanically interesting but thematically tough to reconcile. I arrived at this monastery all beat up last night, then they healed me, then they taught me how to shoot a fire bolt and sent me on my way. Then I left,took down a band of orcs in the afternoon and crossed a desert. Then that night, I found a glade, scouted and defeated the defenses of a keep, and meditated afterward. The next morning I took over a city and called it good!

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Alejandro Rascon
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I love that sense of wrecking havoc in that countryside in an afternoon, or a couple of nights. Crossing the dessert in a single morning and exploring some ruins in the afternoon. Its like these mage knights move in hulk-like leaps.
 
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Dan Conley
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Sphere wrote:
Noahboa wrote:
I think the minis are the only reason I haven't picked up this game yet. They just look kind of...tacky I guess.

I must be pretty lowbrow. When I opened the box, my first thought was "Wow - these look great!".


My sentiments exactly! Except I believe I substituted "sweet" for "great"!
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Nico Buffing
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I do like this game a lot, but I dont think it is a substitute for DnD or that exploration/loot/questing computer game.
The game just plays too slow and feels too limiting in the actions you can do with the severe hand management aspect.
Its not that you can do what you want and move where you want, its more like your hand dictates the best move at any given time and you follow suit.
 
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Mikkel Øberg
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Infyra wrote:
Its not that you can do what you want and move where you want, its more like your hand dictates the best move at any given time and you follow suit.

It is quite fair you do not enjoy a game that I personally find absolutely marvellous, but your above quote is exactly what makes it a game with rules, restrictions and win-conditions.

Without the restrictions of the cards on what you want and where you want to go each turn it would not be a game, but a piece of improvisation theater.
 
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Ed Bradley
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Gregaria wrote:
Infyra wrote:
Its not that you can do what you want and move where you want, its more like your hand dictates the best move at any given time and you follow suit.

It is quite fair you do not enjoy a game that I personally find absolutely marvellous, but your above quote is exactly what makes it a game with rules, restrictions and win-conditions.

Without the restrictions of the cards on what you want and where you want to go each turn it would not be a game, but a piece of improvisation theater.


What nonsense.

There are plenty of ways to constrain the player without arbitrarily restricting their basic options every turn.

Are you really claiming that every single non-card-driven game out there is "improvisation theater"?
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Nico Buffing
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I said I like the game a lot, I just don't think it is, for me, a substitute to the whole DnD experience. I don't mind rules, goals or challenges. I just like to have more freedom to follow my own wish or idea in a given turn instead of finding out my hand dictates another action to be more profitable.
I still play games for fun and theme more then to win, and that is probably why I personally like thematic ameritrash games more then math heavy euro's.
Personally I think the DnD experience is more thematic then calculated risk/reward that this game or euro's in general have going for them.
My idea game would be something that feels thematic both in mechanics and in the general flow of a game, and for me that also means a roleplaying-fantasy monster-slaying quest needs a bit more speed and freedom then this game gives me.

I just gave my opinion because, even though this was the only must-buy for me at Essen this year, and I do not regretting getting it;
some people haven't played the game yet, the game is not very available, driving up the prices, and some people might be expecting something more like a "better playing Runebound" (or any other DnD substitute) when initially seeing pictures and reading about this game.
 
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Ivan Kolev
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freudianslip27 wrote:
I hope that makes sense!

Actually, it was very well said.

It's clear that we can't expect from boardgames some of the features of (C)RPG's, e.g. epic 100 hour branching storylines, or unlimited freedom. In exchange we can get things we usually don't get from RPG's - e.g. a full game ending in a couple of hours, or a stronger puzzle/tactical element. Not that videogames can't do it (at least because a game like Mage Knight could easily be implemented in software, hopefully it will happen one day ), they just don't for some reason. The only videogame I know which follows a similar design idea - exploration/battle/loot/upgrade/repeat/VPs, all in half an hour - is "Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space". Rogue-like's have a similar idea too, but feel more repetitive and usually take longer (and the extra time is usually of lower quality).

What I expect from such a game (board or video) is to create the feeling that you experience a story, preferably a bit different each time. This is usually achieved by a series of events, interesting things that happen regularly. Ideally you'd occasionally run into something new even after a few dozen plays.
Some games (especially FFG's) achieve this with event decks, which is an approach I like. It also supports the theme well and creates the sense of experience. I don't see it in Mage Knight and I wonder would I still find something new after I run a few times into the game's limited number of elements (villages/monasteries/keeps/towers/ruins/cities) and learn how they function. But maybe that's where expansions will help.
The other thing I'm a bit concerned is the random hand of actions, which feels restricting and unthematic ("today you can only move, you'll fight tomorrow" - ?!), though I could accept it as another puzzle/tactical element.
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Walker (Matt) Jones
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PBeakley wrote:
Yeah...the day/night cycle is mechanically interesting but thematically tough to reconcile. I arrived at this monastery all beat up last night, then they healed me, then they taught me how to shoot a fire bolt and sent me on my way. Then I left,took down a band of orcs in the afternoon and crossed a desert. Then that night, I found a glade, scouted and defeated the defenses of a keep, and meditated afterward. The next morning I took over a city and called it good!



The flavor text for the game states that you are amongst the greatest heroes in all of the land. You needn't sleep or eat. You are an adventuring machine!
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