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Subject: This or Mage Knight? rss

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ben saylor
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I am going to buy a game this summer and I am looking for a fantasy themed game and am curious should I get this or Mage Knight. I only have a few hours to play at a time and do not always have a lot of time to play. I want something easy to setup and semi quick to learn. The second edition of Descent looks to fit that niche pretty well but I hear good things about Mage Knight.
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Keith Collins
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If you want to play solo. I would get Mage Knight. If you want to play quickly, I would not get Mage Knight, especially if you play with 4 players.
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KC Bagley
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Mage Knight is a great game, but is very deep and rule heavy (not a bad thing at all). The nice thing is you'll always be learning something new and there is plenty of replay value. Also It is pretty time consuming.

Whereas Descent 2e is much easier to learn and a much quicker play. I feel after trying it this demo weekend that it will be easier to get others to play if they don't mind the idea of a one against the rest kind of game. Not so sure how deep it is (or how well balanced), as I've only played a few rounds of the intro quest and the 2-encounter Fat Goblin quest, but it seems to be much better this time around. And it looks like replay value with "epic play" is going to be huge and tons of fun. It is far less fiddly than 1e was and I don't remember any downtime (all games were quick and satisfying).

Set-up times seem to be about the same for both games, depending on the scenarios/quests. I love both of them. You can technically solo both of them. I did for Descent 1e, playing as both overlord and heroes, but it's not made for that and its like playing chess with yourself. Whereas Mage Knight has the great solo variants. *Not sure if this was a concern for you*

I can't really recommend one over the other as I said I love both. But based off your 3 criteria: not a lot of time, easy setup, semi quick to learn... I would say Descent 2e is definitely your better bet.
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Zed TwoEggs
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Yup, I think KC is spot on. Here's a couple differences between the two:

Descent lends itself to campaigns, while Mage Knight is designed for single sessions.
The mechanics of Descent are dungeons and dragons-esque while Mage Knight has elements of deck building.
I think it's fair to say Descent tells more of a story than Mage Knight..
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Sylvain BONNEAU
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Setup & play-time wise, I'd chose Descent. The new quest format really helps keeping the game time under 2 hours. The rules are streamlined and playing hero-side is straightforward - and it is easy to introduce newcomers. Mage Knight is a way meatier game. Learning the game is not as easy: your first run will easily last 3-4 hours if not more. It's a very… "mathy" game, which tends to favor analysis-paralysis.
But you should also ask yourself what sort of games you and your buddies like. If you're into ameritrash tactical in-your-face games, go for Descent. If your gaming group enjoys euro-ish hand-management and woodencubing with sentiment, Mage Knight is a must-have.

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Mr G
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As per all the very helpful comments above,

Mage Knight = very meaty, complex, long (3+hours), decent solo, looks well produced in a wargame style.

Descent 2 = decent level of decision making, simple, medium length (1-3hours, I believe), cannot solo effectively, looks amazing.

If your idea of fantasy stretches to science fiction, you might also consider Gears of War. Great game which is co-op or solo.

Gears of War = meaty, simple, medium length, great solo or co-op, looks lovely.

 
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Christian
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Re: This or Mage Knight?nd
fentum wrote:
Mage Knight = very meaty, complex, long (3+hours), decent solo, looks well produced in a wargame style.

MK solo mode is much better than "decent", it is very engaging and one of the best solo game experience IMHO.
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Mark O'Reilly
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another point to chuck into the mix:
descent 2nd ed will naturaly be spot on production value being produced by ffg, mage knight however has v poor production value
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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biffta wrote:
another point to chuck into the mix:
descent 2nd ed will naturaly be spot on production value being produced by ffg, mage knight however has v poor production value


Actually - I'm not sure I agree with that.

Mage Knight has cards that you will need to sleeve because they are thin, but other than that, I've not had a problem - the artwork is gorgeous, the rulebooks well written and clear, the miniatures painted to a decent standard (not great), and I have not found a card with a misprint yet (not saying they aren't there).

The card quality may not be up to FFG's standards, but otherwise I am very happy with the quality.

Having said all that - the games are completely different. From the way the OP framed the question, it sounds like the decision has already been made that Descent is the game to get. Mage Knight really isn't a quick multiplayer game, it takes a long time to learn (20 page walkthrough before you even touch the rules book), and it takes a while to set up too.
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Keith Collins
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biffta wrote:
another point to chuck into the mix:
descent 2nd ed will naturaly be spot on production value being produced by ffg, mage knight however has v poor production value


I had no production issues with my Mage Knight game. One of the few games I did not have to punch all the cardboard myself as well.
 
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
biffta wrote:
another point to chuck into the mix:
descent 2nd ed will naturaly be spot on production value being produced by ffg, mage knight however has v poor production value


Actually - I'm not sure I agree with that.

Mage Knight has cards that you will need to sleeve because they are thin, but other than that, I've not had a problem - the artwork is gorgeous, the rulebooks well written and clear, the miniatures painted to a decent standard (not great), and I have not found a card with a misprint yet (not saying they aren't there).

The card quality may not be up to FFG's standards, but otherwise I am very happy with the quality.

Having said all that - the games are completely different. From the way the OP framed the question, it sounds like the decision has already been made that Descent is the game to get. Mage Knight really isn't a quick multiplayer game, it takes a long time to learn (20 page walkthrough before you even touch the rules book), and it takes a while to set up too.

I think you misunderstand something here. While the term Production Value does take the quality into account so is it also about the quantity of stuff you get. See it like the worth of the stuff you get with the game. And you get a total of 4 minis in MK, which is rather dwarfed by what you get with Descent.
 
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Mr G
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Znuff wrote:
RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
biffta wrote:
another point to chuck into the mix:
descent 2nd ed will naturaly be spot on production value being produced by ffg, mage knight however has v poor production value


Actually - I'm not sure I agree with that.

Mage Knight has cards that you will need to sleeve because they are thin, but other than that, I've not had a problem - the artwork is gorgeous, the rulebooks well written and clear, the miniatures painted to a decent standard (not great), and I have not found a card with a misprint yet (not saying they aren't there).

The card quality may not be up to FFG's standards, but otherwise I am very happy with the quality.

Having said all that - the games are completely different. From the way the OP framed the question, it sounds like the decision has already been made that Descent is the game to get. Mage Knight really isn't a quick multiplayer game, it takes a long time to learn (20 page walkthrough before you even touch the rules book), and it takes a while to set up too.

I think you misunderstand something here. While the term Production Value does take the quality into account so is it also about the quantity of stuff you get. See it like the worth of the stuff you get with the game. And you get a total of 4 minis in MK, which is rather dwarfed by what you get with Descent.



Yup. Mage Knight is good for a war game, but not great vs FFG production values
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Znuff wrote:
RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
biffta wrote:
another point to chuck into the mix:
descent 2nd ed will naturaly be spot on production value being produced by ffg, mage knight however has v poor production value


Actually - I'm not sure I agree with that.

Mage Knight has cards that you will need to sleeve because they are thin, but other than that, I've not had a problem - the artwork is gorgeous, the rulebooks well written and clear, the miniatures painted to a decent standard (not great), and I have not found a card with a misprint yet (not saying they aren't there).

The card quality may not be up to FFG's standards, but otherwise I am very happy with the quality.

Having said all that - the games are completely different. From the way the OP framed the question, it sounds like the decision has already been made that Descent is the game to get. Mage Knight really isn't a quick multiplayer game, it takes a long time to learn (20 page walkthrough before you even touch the rules book), and it takes a while to set up too.

I think you misunderstand something here. While the term Production Value does take the quality into account so is it also about the quantity of stuff you get. See it like the worth of the stuff you get with the game. And you get a total of 4 minis in MK, which is rather dwarfed by what you get with Descent.


Production value has nothing to do with the amount of stuff in the box.
Production value is the quality of stuff in the box.

You are talking about value for money - and that subjective, because the most lavish productin in the world might get played once, in which case it doesn't matter how many pretty figures it has.

Mage Knight only has 4 minis (plus another 4 castles), but they are pre-painted, and they do have groovy see-through bases so you can see tokens and the board beneath them. That's good production value.
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The Galaxy is Just Packed!
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If you want a tactical miniatures game: Descent

If you want a strategy game: Mage Knight

If you want something sooner rather than later: Descent
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Michael Coop
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I would buy both. They're both very good games, but both are different. Too different to be considered 'similar'

Mage Knight is a great game - it deserves Game of the Year (and is the unofficial GotY 2011 by gamers!) It has hand management and deck building elements, so you build your deck and your deck is the actions you can take per round. Further, you explore the map and try to conquer (or help) as much as possible, gaining fame and leveling up. Further, interacting between different opponents to race to complete different activities, objectives and to conquer locations.
Sure, the cards are flimsy, but nothing that good quality sleeves can't fix.

Descent is a mainly dungeon-crawling experience. Sure, the scenarios flow onto each other, but it's working together against one person that's important to complete a common goal. Including many different scenarios and enemies to defeat, Descent gives you differing goals to complete and a whole quest book full of things. With weapons upgrades, different class cards etc.

So, they're both very good games. To differ between them, Mage Knight gives a variety of the game statistics (different monsters/objectives etc.) but few scenarios (a couple of Co-Op, Conquest and Team missions). Descent doesn't have changing game stats (so, each enemy is the same so you know what you're facing beforehand...most of the time) and very few play styles (1 vs many) but it does have many different quests.

In my opinion, both. Once you buy one, you'll still want the other one. However, for value for money - both.
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Tadeu Zubaran
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If you want a deep game with a puzzle feeling get Mage Knight.
If you want a shallow, luck filled, beer and pretzel game get Descent.
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Proto Persona
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tkzubaran wrote:
If you want a deep game with a puzzle feeling get Mage Knight.
If you want a shallow, luck filled, beer and pretzel game get Descent.

Not the most enthusiastic fan are you? That's a rather harsh and dismissive description of the game, I'm assuming you've played it enough to boil it down so accurately?
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Sylvain BONNEAU
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Proto Persona wrote:
tkzubaran wrote:
If you want a shallow, luck filled, beer and pretzel game get Descent.

Not the most enthusiastic fan are you? That's a rather harsh and dismissive description of the game, I'm assuming you've played it enough to boil it down so accurately?


Or maybe he loves beer and pretzel?

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Dustin
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Mage Knight takes a long time to play. Also, every game pretty much plays the same. Which at first you won't notice, but it's getting that way to me.
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If you want to have a fun time with your friends with lots of laughter and trash talk go for Descent (based on the first edition, second edition is still in pre-order for me).

If you want a very deep but also super fiddly and kind of dry-ish game in which everything (including combat) can be calculated to the last detail go for Mage Knight. Another thing to consider is that Mage Knight has a LOT of downtime. Really, you can play a half game of descent in the time the other three players need to take their turn.
 
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Paul Paella
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Here's my (negative) opinion of Mage Knight, someone who loves fantasy games, and love fantasy adventure/quest/delve/story board/card/conquer/whatever games.

Unlike many gamers, I found Mage Knight to be one of the most overrated and boring games I've played in a long time. It's my worst game of 2011. After two plays I will never play it again. I found it boring, slow, very random and far too fiddly for the little payoff the game offers. In our 4+ hour games the characters barely did anything and most of your time is spent waiting for your turn.

Mage Knight games take a long time to play and in our 4 player games most of my time was spent doing nothing. The randomly drawn cards from your deck can dictate whether or not your turn is eventful or not. There are many occasions when you don't the draw cards you need and your turn is over in seconds. On turns when you do have a lot of cards to play, turns can take forever while players figure out the best combinations of cards for every option permutation. I found this torturous. Add in another random element, the mana dice, and much of your game is dictated by unmitigated randomness. I didn't enjoy the combats and whatever you do, do not get injured in this game!!

I just don't see the draw in Mage Knight. The rules are long and clunky, just like the game.
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Tadeu Zubaran
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Proto Persona wrote:
tkzubaran wrote:
If you want a deep game with a puzzle feeling get Mage Knight.
If you want a shallow, luck filled, beer and pretzel game get Descent.

Not the most enthusiastic fan are you? That's a rather harsh and dismissive description of the game, I'm assuming you've played it enough to boil it down so accurately?


Yup, I played a few times. I think it is an awful game for a sober adult.
 
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Ryan McCabe
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tkzubaran wrote:
Proto Persona wrote:
tkzubaran wrote:
If you want a deep game with a puzzle feeling get Mage Knight.
If you want a shallow, luck filled, beer and pretzel game get Descent.

Not the most enthusiastic fan are you? That's a rather harsh and dismissive description of the game, I'm assuming you've played it enough to boil it down so accurately?


Yup, I played a few times. I think it is an awful game for a sober adult.


Your arguments are so convincing.
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Proto Persona
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tkzubaran wrote:
Proto Persona wrote:
tkzubaran wrote:
If you want a deep game with a puzzle feeling get Mage Knight.
If you want a shallow, luck filled, beer and pretzel game get Descent.

Not the most enthusiastic fan are you? That's a rather harsh and dismissive description of the game, I'm assuming you've played it enough to boil it down so accurately?


Yup, I played a few times. I think it is an awful game for a sober adult.

You played Descent 2nd edition a few times? Where at, a preview event or the Realms of Terrinoth event?

I just find it compelling that you have so thoroughly dismissed the new version of Descent with such a limited number of chances to play the game under your belt. Meanwhile you seem to be an endorser of a game that people are labeling "long, "fiddly", "random", and "clunky". Those terms are not what I use to describe a fun experience. More detailed feedback would be appreciated by me, and possibly others.
 
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