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Subject: Question on rewards at end of turn and reverting - Paul please help! rss

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Mike Boucher
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First off - quite simply Mage Knight is the... "BEST GAME... EVER!" LOVING it! The problem solving element of combat is such a refreshing change from the dice rolling randomness of so many other games. And finally there is a game that works solo - brilliantly! Congrats Vlaada on your crowning achievement!! (As an aside - I'm curious - how long did it take you to make/develop this game - must have taken years!?)

Now my question: a scenario game up during a solo game last night that I thought was interesting and haven't seen addressed and I wanted to make sure what I did was okay.
- During second turn of the game (after using a couple movement turns in turn 1), I went into a dungeon, killed a brown enemy, gained an artifact card, and leveled up to level 2 - gaining a skill and advanced action card.
- At my turn end when gathering my rewards from combat, I first looked at the 2 drawn artifact cards, and then picked one.
- Then I looked at my 2 drawn skills and I then wanted to change which artifact card I took based on which skill I wanted to take.
(For those curious, I was playing Arythea for the first time and originally I picked a healing artifact, but when I saw that Arythea has some awesome skills that can use wounds as an advantage, I wanted to take a wound-benefiting skill, and swap the healing card with an attacking artifact instead.
Was that okay?

The rules state that you can't revert if any new information is revealed or once cards are drawn. So by that rule, one may say no, no! However, the rules also state that you can gain rewards in whatever order you choose, so if I had picked my skill first, my artifact choice may have been different. I'd also like to envision the "loot gathering" at the end of your turn as my character sitting there with a pile of booty, where I see everything I can possibly leave with all sitting there, and I can pick and choose the rewards combinations while all information is revealed together. Is that fair? Or you have to select one at a time not knowing what else there will be?

Thanks for your time. If anyone in southern Boston ever wants to play a game let me know! Otherwise I'll continue to enjoy my solo games!

Mike
 
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Jeff Thompson
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You can't "revert" during taking rewards. Reverting is to make it easier to go through the permutations of your cards without having to keep it all "in your head".

You chose to pick your artifact first. Done. Now pick a skill. You can't go back and change the order. No, you can't pick two artifact cards, two skills and then pick.

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Jeff Thornsen
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I always played that the turn sequence goes:

1. Movement
2. Encounter/Combat
3. Declare End of Turn, re-roll Mana die/dice
4. End of turn benefits (Magic Glade, Mines)
5. Rewards from Combat (Artifact, Spell, rolling for crystals, etc)
6. Level Up

There is one special exception that the Ruins tile that gives you a free unit, allows you to temporarily have more units than command tokens, as long as you acquire the required command token during level up.

But I'm not 100% sure that you must acquire rewards in this sequence.
 
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that Matt
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"Pick your rewards in whatever order you choose" does not apply to leveling up. Leveling up (which is what gives you the action and skill gains) happens after the direct rewards from combat. The End of the Turn is explained step-by-step on page 9 of the rulebook.

So, no, you can't back up and re-pick artifacts after seeing your skills.
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Michael Marvosh
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Agree with Mike Jeff (who cares about reading?). You have to pick one, then the other. Order is not important, but doing things one at a time is.
 
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Mike Boucher
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Thanks all for the quick responses. Makes sense what you're saying and in reading it again - it does look like combat rewards and rewards from leveling up are not part of the same joint action. So in that case it makes sense that gaining rewards must happen first (in any order, but one at a time), followed by leveling up skill bonus, which is selected after the other rewards are collected. So in my case I cheated, although next time I'll know Arythea's skills better and would have most likely made that choice up front.
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Daniel Corban
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It just seems easier to say "take your level up and combat rewards in any order you wish" instead of strictly following the numbered outline. Is there any situation where it would harm the game, in any fashion, if someone processed their level up first? I'm actually surprised that the rulebook has this process reversed, creating the need for a special exception in the case of gaining a unit.
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Daniel Hammond
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dcorban wrote:
It just seems easier to say "take your level up and combat rewards in any order you wish" instead of strictly following the numbered outline. Is there any situation where it would harm the game, in any fashion, if someone processed their level up first? I'm actually surprised that the rulebook has this process reversed, creating the need for a special exception in the case of gaining a unit.


It is probably to stop this exact situation. I plundered an artifact, choose to level up first so as to "retroactively" pick the best reward based on the skills that came up.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Exactly how does choosing skills before an artifact harm the game in any way?

Note that I am not referring to retroactively changing a decision. I am simply referring to the order of operations.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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Guess it depends on how the designer views "leveling" up. If when you kill monster X the gods come down and offer you one of two new skills then I guess you could pick one of them before finding out what treasure is left behind. If on the other hand "leveling" involves some training/reflection it is unlikely that your character would do that before searching for loot.

As to what difference does it make?
In the rulebook #5 for End of the Turn is Rewards from Combat.
#6 is Level Up.

Guess it is kind of a rule (call it an order of operations if you like). Not sure how it would harm the game, but certainly sounds like a there is a "correct" order by the rules.
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David desJardins
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dcorban wrote:
Exactly how does choosing skills before an artifact harm the game in any way?


Are you asking why the designer wrote the rules the way he did? It's hard for us to read his mind. There are lots of somewhat arbitrary decisions a designer has to make, but once the decisions are made, then everyone should play by the same rules unless there is a real reason to deviate (imho).
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Daniel Corban
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From the perspective of rules-writing, it should be easier to just put everything in a strict numbered form, even if the order of operations has no effect on the outcome. Although, in this case, it appears it was more effort to do so, since an entire paragraph to explain an exception had to be composed. An exception that would be completely avoided if the order of the two actions were simply reversed.

I personally won't be policing myself or others in this regard until I discover that an arbitrary order of the two actions could give an advantage. The mental effort is better spent elsewhere. However, if someone asks which to do first, I will answer "always do level up last".

If you saw someone process their level up before taking combat rewards, would you chastise them? If so, what explanation would you give for it being "wrong" other than "this happens to be how they are numbered in the rulebook"?
 
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David desJardins
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dcorban wrote:
If you saw someone process their level up before taking combat rewards, would you chastise them? If so, what explanation would you give for it being "wrong" other than "this happens to be how they are numbered in the rulebook"?


No, I wouldn't need to "chastise" them. I'd just point out they are doing it wrong. 99% of people want to play by the rules, so, if you point out they are inadvertently breaking the rules, they will start doing it right. Only 1%, or less, will start arguing that the rules say to do one thing but they don't give enough of a justification for that approach and so they should be allowed to do something else if they feel like it.
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David desJardins
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dcorban wrote:
I personally won't be policing myself or others in this regard until I discover that an arbitrary order of the two actions could give an advantage.


Well, of course it could be an advantage to see your skill from leveling up, before you choose your rewards. No one questions that, do they? For example, if you get a skill that generates mana, then you might be less likely to choose an artifact that generates mana. And so on.

Why do you want to choose an order different than the rules say, if not to get an advantage?
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Daniel Corban
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It is just as much advantage in choosing your artifact first. I see no inherent advantage in doing either first. If you gain an artifact that generates mana, you will be less likely to choose the similar skill.

I am asking for anyone who has discovered an advantage in doing it one way over another to bring it to our attention. I have yet to discover it myself.

Pretend that a child's mother insisted he always eat his green beans before his potatoes. If there is no advantage in eating one before the other, then why are the mother and her child even expending any mental energy on such a rule?
 
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David desJardins
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dcorban wrote:
It is just as much advantage in choosing your artifact first. I see no inherent advantage in doing either first.


No, it's clearly better to be able to choose which to do first, than to follow the prescribed order. Then you can choose whichever you think gives you more information.

The reason to follow the rules is so that the people who don't want to follow the rules don't get an advantage over those who do. If you really don't see any advantage at all to doing it one way or the other, I don't understand why you're making such a fuss over the idea of following the sequence in the rules.
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Vlaada Chvatil
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Hello guys. Few notes from development:

Level up, as an important decision, was done at the end of the turn all the time. Combat rewards originally were not. First, I moved artifact choice there, and later also other rewards, to speed things up. But I have kept the order. I wanted the reward as close to the combat as possible, for thematic reasons.

Then I introduced that Units providing ruin. We strictly followed rules, and it was a bit annoying - you know you have enough Fame for the new unit, but you have not done your level up, but you still have to disband one of your loyals...

In next version of "game overview", I switched these two steps. Well, maybe it was that we were used to it other way, but people didn't like that change. Plus, it caused another problem: you roll for crystals gained from some combats and if you roll black, you get Fame, which can cause level up. In this order, it would mean you spend your entire turn on wrong level. Or, we have to introduce exception, that if you gain level during rewards, you may level up after the combat rewards...

And yes, we were also considering "any order". But there are more questions then - can I do level up, then take rewards, and level up again because of the black roll? Can I split level up actions - most advantageous order is taking a skill first (lots of new information), then artifact, and then Advanced Action from level up. Etc. Lots of small rules that need to be clarified. And to be honest, I think MK offers enough freedom and choices to players - even now it easily happens the player who is taking bigger reward and level up at the same time is still not done when it is his turn to play again.

In the end, I reverted to the original order, that seemed most natural, and made this small exception. Note this case is so special, that I would probably have spent the paragraph about it even if not allowing this:

Note if you gain a chance to recruit a unit as your combat reward, you cannot use your new command token, because level up is after combat rewards...

Instead, I chosed the small exception that looks relatively okay and player friendly.
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Daniel Hammond
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Great game Vlaada!
 
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Daniel Corban
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Vlaada wrote:
Plus, it caused another problem: you roll for crystals gained from some combats and if you roll black, you get Fame, which can cause level up.

This is exactly what I was seeking. A concrete reason for having level up performed last. If there is going to be an exception in the rules, it is better that it known from the start of the process (gaining a unit and earning a command token in same turn), rather than an unknown (randomly earning a fame that causes a level up). Thanks for bringing it to our attention and also for the insight into the development process.
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