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Subject: Druid Nights and Conquer and Hold (partial) Session Report rss

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David desJardins
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Michael Pustilnik
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and I played 1 1/2 games of MKBG today.

The first game was the epic (6 round) variant of Druid Nights, with me (Goldyx) vs. Mike (Tovak). It was pretty interesting.

In the first day round, we went in different directions, Mike taking an early keep while I circled around and ended near him, on a mine, at the end of day one. I hadn't found any glades on my side of the map, while he had already tagged one and was close to a second.

In the first night, he went early and moved to the second glade. I waited patiently on my mine. He improved his hand and I decided to just wait some more on the mine. Finally he went ahead and invoked two brown enemies, killing both and gaining three levels. I attacked him in the glade and inflicted a few wounds while pushing him out and gaining 7 fame. He went to a monastery to heal, I invoked one brown and then headed for a dungeon. As night came to an end, I got the Horn of Wrath from the dungeon and managed to use it to take out a mage tower on the last turn.

In the second day, Mike found a second keep and a nearby red/brown ruin, which got him two artifacts. I recruited two Illusionists in my mage tower, then puttered around and ended the second day by burning a monastery and then capturing his second keep.

In the second night, I went early and used Flight to leapfrog ahead of Mike to take out another mage tower and grab Wings of Wind. He took out a green/green ruin, then a red/green ruin. Eventually I invoked a single red and he also invoked a single red. He ended the night apparently ahead, and I trekked away to recruit another unit and take out a dungeon with my Horn of Wrath.

In the third day, he explored two core tiles, the second was the green city. He captured another keep while killing a dragon, then killed some orcs on the green city tile, and tagged two glades, ending the round on the second. Meanwhile, I took out another mage tower (Horn of Wrath again), recruited again, explored a core tile then took out spawning grounds, tomb, followed by burning another monastery. At the very end of the round I explored another core tile and found yet another mage tower which I conquered. We ended in close proximity, with Mike sitting on one of his two tagged glades, while I hadn't tagged any.

In the third night, I drew Horn of Wrath in my opening hand, and chose Preparation to add the Sword of Justice. (By now I had six artifacts in my deck.) Mike chose Long Night (we both think Midnight Meditation would have been better), and invoked to call up two reds and two browns. This was his battle:

Tovak (level 10) vs Ice Dragon, Fire Dragon, Gargoyle, Minotaur

Flip Red Crystal Craft for blue crystal, red token
Crystallize + blue crystal = green crystal
Savage Monks + green crystal + Utem Crossbowmen = 6 ranged attack, kill Minotaur
Call to Glory + white die + black token (from glade) = Catapults, replacing Utem Crossbowmen
Catapults + red token + Fire Bolt + red crystal = 8 ranged fire attack, kill Ice Dragon
Shield Mastery + Stamina (sideways) + March (sideways) = 5 block, block Gargoyle
Fire Dragon attacks: wounds Catapults (spent), 2 wounds to Hero
Cold Swordsmanship + Northern Monks + blue crystal + Night Sharpshooting = 6 ice + 2 normal attack, kill Fire Dragon
Blood Rage (taking a wound) + Red Cape Monks = 8 attack, kill Gargoyle

Fame +48, gain 6 crystals
use Banner of Courage to ready Savage Monks
Utem Swordsmen not spent

This was a reasonably successful showing, yet it spent most of his army, and left him vulnerable to my huge attack:

Goldyx (level 10) vs Tovak (level 10)

Flight to move adjacent
Will Focus + green die + Agility = move 7, use 5 move to enter and trigger PvP, save remaining move points for attack

destroy Sword of Justice to double physical attacks
Guardian Golems for 2 attack (x2)
Utem Guardsmen for 2 attack (x2)
Utem Swordsmen (taking a wound) for 6 attack (x2)
Freezing Power for 1 attack (x2)
use leftover Move for 2 attack (x2)
destroy Horn of Wrath for 12 attack (x2)
Determination for 2 attack (x2)
Expose + white crystal = 2 attack (x2)
Wings of Wind + white crystal + Universal Power = 4 attack (x2)
Fireball + red crystal = 5 fire attack

Total = 71 attack

Tovak produced 32 block (fully attending), which left me still with enough attack to knock him out with 7 wounds, wound his (spent) Savage Monks, steal their Banner of Courage, and push him into an adjacent plains space.

Since Mike couldn't do anything on his turn but discard one wound, and I could pummel him again and again putting more and more wounds in his hand while he was defenseless, he gave up. His 48 fame from the invocation wasn't going to be nearly enough of a buffer. (Also, I could easily invoke for about 24 fame.)

In game two, we tried Conquer and Hold with me (Arythea) vs Mike (Norowas). It was an interesting start, as Mike used Mana Steal to take a first-turn keep, with three wounds. He leveled up, taking Day Sharpshooting and Fire Bolt. I attacked him, he fully attended and did 2 wounds to me with his Fire Bolt and Day Sharpshooting, but I was able to do 3 fire attack with Battle Versatility, which he couldn't quite block, so I pushed him out of his keep and leveled up myself. Since he had fully attended, it was my turn again, I attacked him again and inflicted more wounds as he partially attended. Then he rested and discarded a bunch of wounds. I got overenthusiastic and attacked him again, I did yet more wounds, but I left myself with only a 1-card hand. He was able to attack me and push me away from my keep, and then recapture the keep in the last turn of the round. So he ended in possession of the keep, but with 8 wounds in his deck to my 2, also I had taken my Invocation skill so I was able to use wounds.

In the first night, I went off and eventually managed to take a mage tower and recruit Red Cape Monks, but that was about all I could accomplish. Mike hired a unit in his keep and then eventually (in two rounds of fighting) took out the adjacent brown/purple ruin, gaining a spell (Snowstorm/Blizzard) and a bunch of crystals, at the cost of even more wounds. But I also had some wounds from my fighting.

Going into the second day, Mike was considerably higher level, with lots of crystals, but about 10 wounds in his deck, while I had 3 or 4 and also had a way to use them with Invocation. I took out a second mage tower using my Red Cape Monks, while he recruited another unit. Then I moved toward a keep but I couldn't take it. He used Prayer of Weather to reach one of my mage towers, but at this point we both forgot that the mage tower should be defended by two purples. So he easily took it from the single purple defender. A couple of turns later, after I still wasn't accomplishing much, we remembered that we were supposed to add a second defender. We couldn't really agree on what to do about this, it certainly changed the game a lot in my view, and it was getting quite late so we called the game at that point.

I do think the game would have been in an interesting and pretty balanced position at that point, if we had played with the right rules. Mike had a lot more wounds, but otherwise a better deck and also a better army. He had enough block with his units to be pretty safe from PvP, while threatening me. It's not at all clear how it would have played out and how much the wounds would have hindered him.
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David desJardins
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P.S. In the first game, I happened to also have Banner of Fear in my deck when I attacked Tovak, so I knew he wouldn't be able to use it against me. Imagine if you spent your entire hand and army to generate 71 attack, and then your opponent ignored it all using advanced Banner of Fear ("Skip the Block and Assigning Damage phases of this Combat"). He did have Golden Grail in his deck, but this (Heal 6), or even Banner of Protection ("At the end of your turn, you may throw away all Wounds you received this turn") doesn't protect you against huge attacks, because you get knocked out, and have to discard the artifact, before you can use it.
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Michael Pustilnik
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I think what I should have done was take Midnight Meditation, but not used it immediately. I still invoke and get 48 fame as before, but with Midnight Meditation in reserve, I leave myself an out. After Dave's big attack knocked me out, I can still use Midnight Meditation to shuffle 5 wounds back into my deck and draw 5 new cards before my next turn. Dave could attack again, of course, but unless he produced another knockout (unlikely), I could take a rest turn and still do some stuff for the remainder of the round.
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Paul Smith
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No wonder you're so paranoid in your PBF game.
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David desJardins
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SaiSaysPlayGo wrote:
No wonder you're so paranoid in your PBF game.


And that was before the 71 attack.

Seriously, though, the 2p dynamics are so different from playing with 3 or 4 players. The PvP rules greatly improve the 2p game, for me. With 3 or 4 players, I'm not convinced they add much. If they just turn into a diplomatic element ("Let's all attack Joe because he's winning") I'm not sure I'd like that. If other people have played 3-4 player games where PvP played an interesting role, I'd like to see more session reports.
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