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Subject: Thoughts after a single play.. rss

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Apex
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...so you know I know it all by now.

First of all, thanks for Jardeon for his awesome work on the PnP version. Absolutely top notch components and attention to detail.

Second of all ... a big thumbs down for the original AH printing which Jardeon also owns. What a steaming pile.

If you want to know where games have come from 1979-80 until today...you just need 2 words.... Information Architecture.

Now on with the thoughts...well...really just 1 thought.

The thing that's so compelling about this game is the strategic possibility that each character brings to the board. Everything from competing board layouts to combat techniques, to simply how you move. What I found a little missing, however, is a good sense of relative strength within weapons.

For example, I played as the Black Knight and that mace when it's alerted is pretty darn amazing. However, it's to compare it against anything else short of just building the replays at the game. So ultimately, this won't be a good gateway game for folks when it could very easily show them so many things about why boardgames are fantastic.

Experience truly is the best weapon in this game. Also...beating the snot out of goblins...they have it coming.
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George Ramos
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I doubt anyone will argue with you that Magic Realm isn't a good gateway game.

The interactions of the players and the weapons, considering each character's unique set of action chits, is worth investigating. There's so much to explore!

As an owner of the 2nd edition game I agree, whole-heartedly: learning the rulebook is a chore. Thanks to the 3rd edition rules, and MRIPE, and the BGG community for keeping this game alive for more of us to discover!
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Jared
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Right, so I've been trying to get Keith into Magic Realm for about a half-decade now... part of the slow start was that our first attempts used the original 1st edition rules, and all my previous experience as a Magic Realm player had been in games where we had a "game master" who had all the rules memorized, so it was my first attempts at teaching the game to someone else.

Karim's redesign and the new 3rd edition rules made a world of difference. Also, having gone through the videos on Bookshelf Games, along with the character examples really helped cement my understanding of the game.

So, it seemed the easiest way to get a game going was to set Keith up with the Black Knight and send him after the guard (no Watchful Natives, it's his first game, after all). It worked very well as a teaching example, explaining combat speeds, weapon lengths, alerted vs unasserted, armor and sharpness stars (and how they don't apply with blunt weapons).

After his one-round takedown of the Guard, and a few turns of looting the clearing, he was off to the Inn to sell his ill-gotten gains. A lucky monster roll had the Company show up just as he was flush with cash, and a lucky hiring roll later had him hiring them at PRICE X 1. So now, the Black Knight has his army, a boatload of Notoriety, and it was time to go hunting.

BK ducks into Borderlands, and is promptly set upon by six Spear Goblins. Not a bad fight to learn combat with Hired Natives, since those guys are mostly harmless (as long as they don't change tactics) and no horses for the Company, so we didn't have to deal with combat horse rules. The company made short work of the Spear Goblins, netting only basic fame & notoriety gains since the BK didn't land any of the killing blows himself.

Day 18 saw the Black Knight set upon by the Axe goblins, who were prowling that day... it was getting late in the real world by this point, so we figured we could resolve that combat and call it quits. If memory serves me right, it was another mostly one-sided fight, with the BK + Company killing all six Axe goblins, while only losing 1 member to a bad change tactics roll.

For my part, I took the Captain out for a spin, hoping to find a treasure site early, loot it empty, sell for a profit, and hire the Soldiers. Well, about half of that plan worked. I found the Lair by day 8, killed a pair of Heavy Flying Dragons, and looted out quite a bit from it, but ran out of time trying to get back to sell off the loot (probably because I started at the Guard house, but someone wiped the Guard off the face of the earth. I ended day 18 by killing one ghost and running away from the other before I wound up wounded to death. Fortunately, the Black Knight was more distracted by Goblin Wars to think about coming after me to cash in on all the loot I was hauling around

The final outcome was:

BK: 7 Fame (needed 30), 45 Notoriety (needed 40)
Captain: 15 Fame (needed 30), 17 Notoriety (needed 40)
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Michael Mesich
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medlinke wrote:
...so you know I know it all by now.

First of all, thanks for Jardeon for his awesome work on the PnP version. Absolutely top notch components and attention to detail.

Second of all ... a big thumbs down for the original AH printing which Jardeon also owns. What a steaming pile.

If you want to know where games have come from 1979-80 until today...you just need 2 words.... Information Architecture.

Now on with the thoughts...well...really just 1 thought.

The thing that's so compelling about this game is the strategic possibility that each character brings to the board. Everything from competing board layouts to combat techniques, to simply how you move. What I found a little missing, however, is a good sense of relative strength within weapons.

For example, I played as the Black Knight and that mace when it's alerted is pretty darn amazing. However, it's to compare it against anything else short of just building the replays at the game. So ultimately, this won't be a good gateway game for folks when it could very easily show them so many things about why boardgames are fantastic.

Experience truly is the best weapon in this game. Also...beating the snot out of goblins...they have it coming.


Must ... contain ... NERD RAGE ...
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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medlinke wrote:
Second of all ... a big thumbs down for the original AH printing which Jardeon also owns. What a steaming pile.

Without which, people wouldn't be able to rip it off today. There was a great deal of brilliance in that original release, which deserves respect.
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Apex
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okay okay okay enough

Steaming Pile from an information design standpoint. Let me qualify that. Nothing is color coded, information that could be on the counters are not, etc. The same could be said for most games of the era. What people are willing to swallow for game design has changed a lot.

Not a good gateway game. I think the complexity and difficulty of entry with 1st edition is a direct conflict with what would be seen as a gateway game. Generally gateway games are:

1 - Widely available
2 - Low Complexity
3 - Have concise & clear rules
4 - Have a large & easily accessible established player-base
5 - Priced low enough to encourage purchase, but not so low that it has shoddy production.

Some examples:
* - of Catan
* - Carcassonne
* - Ticket to Ride

Glad to see there's some life on these boards though. MR is a fantastic game. It CLEARLY inspired a genre unto itself. Look at all the love and quick sellout for Mage Knight which appears to be almost a direct ripoff or the many other overland clones that simplify to varying degrees of success like Runebound of Return of the Heroes.

You may now resume normal blood pressure and rage.
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Kurt Weihs
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Quote:
Steaming Pile from an information design standpoint. Let me qualify that. Nothing is color coded, information that could be on the counters are not, etc. The same could be said for most games of the era. What people are willing to swallow for game design has changed a lot.



Game design has come a long way. Holding games designed in the late '70's to today's standards is hardly fair. This is a game that screams for a re-make. The home-grown copies I have seen on here are amazing. Hopefully, the game company that does the re-design will look at what's being done here and use those ideas to update the game while maintaining as much of the original flavor.
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Steve
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The way that the subtle differences in the chit system convey a completely different game experience to different characters is awe inspiring, from a design perspective.
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