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Subject: Which Big $$$ game should go on my Father's Day wishlist? rss

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Mr. D
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Mage Knight
Eclipse
Merchant & Marauders

3 games I'm very interested in -- but they're very costly, so I can only get one.

Which would you recommend? Time to play? Complexity to learn? Fun factor? For hardcore gamers only or casual gamer friendly?


I enjoy most quality games (with the exception of pure abstracts and party games) -- Power Grid, Arkham Horror, FFG's Civilization, Acquire, Cosmic Encounter, Race for the Galaxy, Twilight Struggle, Battlestar Galactica, Dominion, 7 Wonders and the list goes on and on....

Thanks so much
-TR
 
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Greg Austin
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I'm still a 'beginner' in the recent gaming world, but if I were picking I would get Mage Knight, simply because it looks the most interesting plus I would most likely be playing it solo for at least a few years (I have a 6 year old who might be up for something like this when she's got more of an attention span).
 
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Sam Li
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How many players do you usually play with? Mage Knight is very good solo, but can only accommodate up to 4, while Eclipse goes up to 6.
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TTorres
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I agree the player count question is very important here. All three are prized games in my collection by the way, but for very different reasons.
 
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Darren M
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Eclipse would be my pick from those 3 as I think it would hit the table the most often out of those plus it's an excellent game.

All 3 games are great though and eventually you know you'll have to add them all.
 
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Mr. D
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I have only recently started solo gaming....and that is purely LotR:LCG (at this point). So the fact that Mage Knight plays solo is a very minor consideration.

I do usually have 4-6 players.
 
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Mr. D
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Tonman wrote:
I agree the player count question is very important here. All three are prized games in my collection by the way, but for very different reasons.


I'd be interested in those reasons.
 
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David Bernier
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How many hours do you have in a gaming session?

If you have 6+ hours...i'd higly consider Twilight Imperium 3rd edition. It has epic written all over! It's a space game with exploration, negociation, battles, politics, economy management, interaction and epicness!

For 2-4 players i'd also check Runewars. I own the game and don't play as often as i'd like but everytime it's an epic evening. Modular board, 4 asymetrical factions (which is a must for me), ressource management, bidding, questing, exploration, war...

Eclipse is awesome too, even though I suck at this game. We played a 4 player game last week and I must say that it really start to shine at this number of player. 2-player Eclipse is inevitably going to end in conflict, so don't expect to win with any other ways (maybe I suck that bad though and didn't understand lol).

Merchants and Marauders I only played 1.5 times. It's a really fun game but not as epic as the others.

Mage Knight I heard nothing but good comments. Looks really cool.

You're lucky to have a regular 4+ players to game
Enjoy it!
 
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Brandon M
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“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.” ― Gary Gygax
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I have played 1 co-op game of Mage Knight and 2 games of Merchants and Marauders.

With that limited experience, I would recommend Mage Knight out of those two. I felt there was more potential with Mage Knight (co-op, vs, solo play) and of the two, Mage Knight is the one I am considering buying.

M&M is fun, but it is not a game I see myself wanting to play enough with multiple groups that one copy in circle of games plenty.

 
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Matt Brown
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Mage Knight will hard to get a hold of since it was officially sold out at the end of April. There are copies out there, but not nearly as easy as the others to get. Second printing street date for Eclipse looks to be June 15th.

EDIT: I don't have Eclipse yet due to it being in preorder, but as somebody who does have Mage Knight, there is an intro scenario to help get your feet wet and then there are various ways to change the game up via variants and such that come with the game. The walkthrough and rule book are both roughly 20 pages each.
 
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Mr. Monkey
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Tubarush wrote:
I do usually have 4-6 players.


I would recommend Mage Knight if it weren't for the above statement. While I've not had a full 4 player game of it ( ...yet...), I could see it getting a little bogged down. If you were going for 1-3 players however, it's a great pick.
 
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TTorres
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Tubarush wrote:
Tonman wrote:
I agree the player count question is very important here. All three are prized games in my collection by the way, but for very different reasons.


I'd be interested in those reasons.


Hello Mr. D,

First of all, since you state "4-6 players" I would unequivocally recommend Eclipse. It plays well up to 6, and includes wide variety, i.e. random seeding of exploration tiles and space hexes, seven total race variants, plus random technology draws each turn.

For me Eclipse offers an epic play arc in a very reasonable timespan. At the start of the game I find myself exploring much like an adventure game, and fairly self absorbed as I glean what strategic opportunities are presenting themselves to me. At mid-game the speed of development quickens: the map is quite built at this stage and I'm feeling the pinch of time as I begin to race towards whatever goals/builds I see possible (whether tech, colonization, etc.). For the last third of the game antagonistic urges burst beyond their diplomatic restrictions as everyone races towards end-game. Lots of itches get scratched for me in this game.

Merchants and Marauders is an adventure game at its heart. The pace is not nearly as defined as with Eclipse, and that will serve to be both a benefit and detriment depending on the players, that session's circumstances, and my mood. It's much more open ended than Eclipse feels, but that also leaves less urgency in gameplay. Where Eclipse has a limited turn duration, M&M can meander (or drag) along. Regardless, I love the open-ended feeling of adventure. It's much more narrative, if only because the individuals with whom I play are prone to throw ourselves into the circumstances with glee. If your group enjoys table-talk to take the narrative beyond what's presented (and you enjoy pirates) I heartily recommend this title.

Mage Knight is something I am only interested (at this point, at least) in playing as a solo game. Although I've taught the game to smaller groups, the solo games have been tremendously engaging.

Some words of caution: the rulebooks are painful, especially for solo play. There are critical rules that are split across both books, found at unexpected locations in the text, and are not cross-referenced. Now that I have spent a long time working to understand the rules, have out of necessity researched many more rules online, and finally arrived at a working knowledge of the solo rules, I am grateful for the effort. At this stage it's fairly straight forward to set up and play a solo game, but it remains a long set-up and break down. Also, after every game I feel like I"ve discovered or forgotten a minor rule here or there.

Regardless, as my goal is not to "play perfectly" and "achieve the most optimum score possible", this is a tremendously enjoyable experience. If I was a competitive solo game player, I imagine the game would lose interest quickly due to the effort it feels like it takes sometimes just to keep things moving smoothly.

As it stands every solo game of Mage Knight I've played to date has felt unique, has introduced unexpected problems to try and solve, has presented epic experiences that are experienced as narrative adventure stories.

That was off the cuff, but I hope it's helpful! Feel free to ask questions if you have any.

Best,
Ton
 
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