Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
33 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Mage Knight Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Units - how essential are they (forked from PBF3) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Harald Korneliussen
Norway
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
In ohgrande's recent play by forum game (PBF3), there was a discussion on units and playing style. Paul Smith (SaiSaysPlayGo) wrote:

Interesting. I thought playing without the ability to interact was a big handicap. On the other hand, it seems to be working - Arythea will have the lead by the end of the day.

... and Barry (ChickenSedan) answered:

And Tovak has a lot of skills that encourage playing with few units. Norowas, on the other hand, lives by his units.


I agree that Norowas lives by his units of course, but personally I've had little luck with Tovak, and less with Arythea, without focusing pretty heavily on units. I can't see how the swordsmanship/sharpshooting skills etc. make up for Norowas' awesome unit advantages.

Not to speak of the banner artifacts, which lose half of their utility (theoretically) unless you have an unit worth using them on.

IME, it's the flexibility of units that is the killer. It seems clear to me that even the humble crossbowmen (3 attack/3 block/2 ranged attack, 4 armor) is better than swordsmanship/sharpshooting - and certainly the siege skills, which are so small that they almost never make the difference.

I recently won a Tovak solo game where I took almost all my skills from Norowas' pool - with two illusionists and a forester with banner of fear, just about every attack could be nullified (the one illusionist was also with Bonds of Loyalty, so I took my first Tomb in that game).

By comparison, an Arythea solo game where I grabbed Tovak's + attack skills in addition to my own was an absolute disaster (even though yes, of course I had some units there as well).

So, people who burn monasteries on the first round, play (almost) without units and do well, what's your secret? Any tips to going it alone?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Blue (They/She)
Canada
Guelph
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I actually almost always play a very unit-heavy game. This game I'm playing in PBF3 is a very strange one for me in that respect, but it's come down to a lot of hands where I'm all set to hire a unit, and instead my hand is made entirely of Attack cards and there's a really tasty Monastery next door (this PBF is actually the first time I've ever sacked a Monastery, too). We'll see how it turns out, I'm nervous that being at -5 Rep is going to kick me badly now that the elite units are out.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
vintermann wrote:
So, people who burn monasteries on the first round, play (almost) without units and do well, what's your secret?


The secret is that artifacts are hugely powerful. Draw the Horn of Wrath in the first monastery!

If you're playing the Conquest scenarios, especially with only two players, the game ends awfully fast. Either each player takes out one city, at about the same time (often in the second night), and you score it up, or else one player takes out the first city while the second player isn't ready to kill the second city, and then it's usually an auto-win for player one. To beat a single level 3 or 4 city you don't need a huge army, and you may never see gold units in the entire game.

Obviously, if you're playing solo conquest, and you need to beat a second, level 9, city, that's a different picture. Still, in that case it isn't a huge problem to be at X for a part of the game, you just have to kill a dragon at some point to get back to -3, and then that's not too much of a penalty late in the game, really.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
that Matt
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
I'm a quitter. I come from a long line of quitters. It's amazing I'm here at all.
badge
I can feel bits of my brain falling away like wet cake.
Avatar
mbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
Obviously, if you're playing solo conquest, and you need to beat a second, level 9, city, that's a different picture.

(Typo Mistake note: the cities are 5 and 8.)


Edit:
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tumorous wrote:
(Typo note: the cities are 5 and 8.)


Sorry. It's not a typo, I just didn't remember and didn't bother to look it up. I've never played any of the solo scenarios myself.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Durst
United States
Tampa
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I too like playing with units. They are a safety valve for when you get a bad draw of monster that you cannot beat. But I disagree in that Norowas skills are better. Tovak's skills are mostly every turn and he becomes a beast by himself. And Icy Block is so very good later in the game as to be worth taking Tovak just for that.

That is what I like about this game, each of the characters is viable in different ways depending on how you develop them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Linneman
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't like playing without units myself, so take this with a grain of salt, but it seems to me like one way to make up for a lack of units would be to try to increase your hand size. The advantage of units is that they are always available -- like a permanent card in your hand -- so having a hand size of 8 or 9 would seem to be a good substitute. This means taking on lots of keep, taking advantage of well-placed villages to plunder them, and taking tactics like Sparing Power and Planning.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Playing without interacting is a lot different from playing without units. It just means you can't upgrade your units, can't replace wounded/spent units with fresh ones, etc. You still should usually hire some cheap units early, before your reputation gets terrible. If you don't have units yet, then that's more of a reason to take care with your reputation.

Again, though, if all you're trying to do is get to one city and then you expect the game to be over, there are lots and lots of ways to do that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Stop poking me! Ow! I mean it! That hurts!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My last 2p game I got to the monastery, learned Intimidate, hired some Northern Monks and then merrily burnt that sucker down to find the Banner of Fear.

Awesome start, right? Except that now my deck's real, real bad for reputation (since any rep I gain from offing orcs is more than offset by the Intimidate) and I ended up not recruiting another unit the rest of the game.

That ended up hurting me about the final 1/3 to 1/4 of the game, where my opponent ended up vaulting ahead while I was without enough hand size to do what I wanted to do. (Granted, being stuck without move a couple turns didn't help either!)

So to me, units are pretty essential. Even if they're crap units, you can wound 'em and replace 'em with something better.

pk
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PatK wrote:
That ended up hurting me about the final 1/3 to 1/4 of the game, where my opponent ended up vaulting ahead while I was without enough hand size to do what I wanted to do. (Granted, being stuck without move a couple turns didn't help either!)


But what's the last 1/3 to 1/4 of the game? The 2p Full Conquest is normally six rounds, but if we don't have a lot of PvP, it usually actually ends in the second night.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Morgan
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I usually only fill half of my available unit slots (I play as Goldyx about 75% of the time).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Linneman
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:

But what's the last 1/3 to 1/4 of the game? The 2p Full Conquest is normally six rounds, but if we don't have a lot of PvP, it usually actually ends in the second night.


I was Patrick's opponent and we were playing the Druid Nights scenario. Things started turning against him during the second day, maybe two-thirds through the game. And since there is more at stake in the latter part of the game, this is significant.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
QBert80 wrote:
I was Patrick's opponent and we were playing the Druid Nights scenario. Things started turning against him during the second day, maybe two-thirds through the game. And since there is more at stake in the latter part of the game, this is significant.


That makes sense, Druid Nights also has the extra source of fame, so you can hire more units faster than you otherwise might. But if he's got one good unit and one mediocre unit, and you've got a few good units, I wouldn't think that would be a decisive advantage. I think you won't normally see gold units available in the second day, and maybe not even the second night, and if you do see them in the second night then the game is almost over by the time you might get them, an expensive unit that you only use once shouldn't be a huge swing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Linneman
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:

That makes sense, Druid Nights also has the extra source of fame, so you can hire more units faster than you otherwise might. But if he's got one good unit and one mediocre unit, and you've got a few good units, I wouldn't think that would be a decisive advantage. I think you won't normally see gold units available in the second day, and maybe not even the second night, and if you do see them in the second night then the game is almost over by the time you might get them, an expensive unit that you only use once shouldn't be a huge swing.


Yeah, I don't think it's a decisive advantage, but it's certainly an advantage. I'd rather have four extra units than one extra artifact. It's more that sacking your reputation early on limits your options. If a really nice advanced action comes up on the monastery offer and you can't get it, that's annoying. Maybe the unit offer is particularly juicy. Maybe you had to take some wounds and could get rid of them if only you had reputation. And don't forget the cities have some pretty nice interaction options as well. Also, don't forget that not recruiting units gives an extra three points to your opponent, who will certainly win that scoring category.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
QBert80 wrote:
Yeah, I don't think it's a decisive advantage, but it's certainly an advantage. I'd rather have four extra units than one extra artifact.


Who's talking about four extra units? The player who recruited one unit early should certainly get a second one later, if maybe a weaker one. And you're never reaching level 9 in time to recruit a 5th unit in most 4-round games, so at most we're talking about 4 vs 2.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Nuance over novelty
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
vintermann wrote:
So, people who burn monasteries on the first round, play (almost) without units and do well, what's your secret?

The secret is that artifacts are hugely powerful. Draw the Horn of Wrath in the first monastery!

If you're playing the Conquest scenarios, especially with only two players, the game ends awfully fast.

Excellent point. Tanking your reputation is only painful if there's a lot of game left to play.

Seems to me Norowas is much better in longer (3 - 4 player) games because of this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SaiSaysPlayGo wrote:
Seems to me Norowas is much better in longer (3 - 4 player) games because of this.


I think whether a 3-4 player game is longer, depends on the players. If everyone plays well, they still only need to conquer one city each, and the game is over. If you have some stronger players and some weaker players (or maybe an unlucky player), then some players might not do "their share" and so the game lasts longer for the others as they have more to do.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Nuance over novelty
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
SaiSaysPlayGo wrote:
Seems to me Norowas is much better in longer (3 - 4 player) games because of this.


I think whether a 3-4 player game is longer, depends on the players.

I was thinking that a 3-4 player game would have 1 additional phase with Gold Units (compared to 2 player) because it takes a little more time to find all of the cities.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SaiSaysPlayGo wrote:
I was thinking that a 3-4 player game would have 1 additional phase with Gold Units (compared to 2 player) because it takes a little more time to find all of the cities.


Why do you think it takes more time to find the cities? I don't see why it would take any longer for 4 players to find 4 cities, or 3 players to find 3 cities than it does for 2 players to find 2 cities. Unless some of them aren't playing well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Nuance over novelty
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There's incentive to follow behind another player so you don't have to spend your movement points exploring.

In a 4 player game, is it good play for each player to go off in their own direction staying away from other players and exploring their own tiles?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Dietz
United States
Watertown
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
I think it's a bit longer because the farthest city away is farther from the starting space (because there are more core tiles).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SaiSaysPlayGo wrote:
There's incentive to follow behind another player so you don't have to spend your movement points exploring.


No way. The value of being the first onto the new tiles and getting the best opportunities is way more than saving a couple of move points. Unless you make a habit of exploring when you don't have any movement left, and someone else is right there to jump ahead of you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jcdietz03 wrote:
I think it's a bit longer because the farthest city away is farther from the starting space (because there are more core tiles).


That makes sense. I haven't played enough 3-4 player games to be sure. The 2-player Full Conquest does seem awfully short. I've been wondering if we should add more cities and/or non-city core tiles.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Nuance over novelty
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
.Unless you make a habit of exploring when you don't have any movement left, and someone else is right there to jump ahead of you.

That's a very good point. When I have to explore a tile, I try to do it when I feel it will be difficult for others to get to it. In hindsight, some of my opponents have been "holding the door open" for me by allowing me to get to a tile they explored first.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barry
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
The thing I like about Tovak's skills is that they can be used every turn. Units get one use (unless refreshed) per round.

Also, I agree with the above poster who mentioned how powerful early artifacts can be. In that PBF, I've gotten two uses out of the Golden Grail, and hope to use the strong effect on the second night.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.