Recommend
176 
 Thumb up
 Hide
32 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Mage Knight Board Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Understanding your decisions: from Competent to Expert. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: MKstrat [+] Mage_Knight [+] [View All]
Alex Brown
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
mb
I have written a strategy guide for beginning players looking to become competent here. This post is for players who are already comfortable with the game but want to improve. I don’t recommend reading if you are a new player or someone who wants to discover the game for themselves; there is a lot of tactical and very specific discussion here.

Using black mana


It’s hard not to look at the spell offer and imagine playing each card at its stronger effect. However, the truth is that black mana is tricky and should not be considered a given.

There are a few different in-game tips you should be aware of with black mana. Firstly, you can use it in a dungeon (or tomb) during the day. This is a big deal, as brown enemies don’t have the resistances that can make a red or blue damage spell go awry (Draconis power is wildly unpredictable if your invested in fire or ice attacks).

Secondly, you can take black mana with the stronger ability of Mana Draw, allowing you at least one card to powerup a spell if you aren’t having much luck with the source. Glades can be tough to access with their five movement requirement at night, but starting the round in one and using Preparation can be enough.

Still, overall black mana is tough to manage for a few reasons. Needing two mana to power the spell means you need that source mana and the other mana from elsewhere. It’s very difficult to power the spell from your own mana, and for that reason I tend to like Amulet of Darkness even though it’s not highly regarded in general. The pressure a spell puts on your crystals and other plans is immense and cannot be overstated; I think I started to have a lot more predictable success when I focused on acquiring two quality spells, rather than simply acquiring them ad hoc.

Every so often you will have that game where everything clicks and you wreak havoc with strong spells; more often than not though you will need to carefully plan for the spell turn each night and you will want to make its incredible power count. Managing mana is important but learning to manage black mana well is a definite stepping stone towards accomplished play.

Understanding the qualities of the basic deck


The redundancy of the basic deck means you can plan to always have a rough amount of movement, attack, block and influence. This means you can define the worst-case scenarios; for example, you know that you might not draw Rage, but with four cards you will have four physical attack no matter what. This is the basis of competent play.

Where I think an expert player reveals themselves is in their management of the ‘role’ players of the basic deck: Tranquility, Mana Draw, Concentration and Crystallise. In each round you will probably use some of these cards as sideways blanks, but the ones you use for their effects are pivotal.

In general a strong player is aware of how they might play these cards if they are still yet to draw them. Knowing Tranquility hasn’t been used yet can allow you to take a few wounds for a benefit and clear the damage before the round ends. This can be crucial for the health of your deck and for units you want to keep from round-to-round. I mentioned Mana Draw above, but I think it takes on even more significance for two more reasons: white mana tends to be used the least in the basic deck and being able to use two mana on early turns can be necessary to move and defeat an enemy in one turn.

Outside of character-specific abilities, Concentration is my favourite card of the basic deck (or Will Focus!). If you are not already aware, Concentration plus Swiftness is the best combo in the basic deck-it allows for the painless removal of most Rampaging Orcs, and many brown enemies too. Outside of that, being able to use two cards for six movement, influence or attack is something worth saving for. The extra mana is even useful in a pinch. Crystallise is probably the most underrated basic Action, good for making a soft turn useful and there is rarely a time when you don’t want any crystal added to your inventory.

In some ways this is an extension of managing mana, but I see most of my powerful turns involving one of these cards. Planning for turns where you maximise each card is the key; often the ancillary effects are the cogs that turn the basic currencies to destructive capacities.

Building a character


Planning how you will use your cards every turn is critical; planning how you will build your deck can involve even more subtle layers of finesse.

I’ve won plenty of games where I just jammed in as many powerful effects as I could. However, as I started raising the levels of the cities beyond the rulebook nominations, I found raw power just wasn't getting the job done anymore. As the game provides a variety of enemies and interactions, so must you be prepared for them when cities start throwing out five defenders.

There are some effects like Horn of Wrath, Banner of Fear and Wings of Night that can eliminate the need to even think about defence. They don’t come up every game. Instead you need to be open to defeating enemies that can Paralyze, enemies with a variety of resistances, the wrong colour Draconis blocking your way into a city, and more. Even if you think these are only endgame situations, attacking an unseen Keep or Mage Tower still offers a wide variety of enemies to have to be prepared for.

Developing a cohesive deck is subtle because it isn’t the whole game like in the lighter fare of games that are deckbuilding for the sake of it. However, the more I play the more I look to build a flexible character that utilises his or her innate strengths and expected skills, but also is prepared for the different resistances and powers I’m likely to face. For example, I might pick up an early Swift Bolt as Norowas. In early games I’d then focus on having Ranged Attack in spades. I now think this is bad in general, as you will defeat many enemies easily but there will be that Crypt Worm in a dungeon who laughs at you. I think it’s more important to be competitive in all scenarios than dominant in most and helpless in some. So now I pass on adding Day Sharpshooting too in that situation.

Using reputation

One of the flavourful drawcards of Mage Knight is the idea you could be a ‘good’ or ‘evil’ character. If you want to play that way be my guest but I think it bad strategy. Rather, I love the reputation track as a strategic resource, and much more often see it as my hero doing sound business or simply doing what he or she has to do to further the mission set by the Council of the Void.

To defeat the higher city levels you need units. Not just any units, but the big gold ones that only come out when you hit the Core tiles. These gold units are so good that I fully recommend getting to the core tiles as soon as possible (at least when playing solo) and learning a few of the tricks to ‘rig’ the map so that you get the Core tiles where you want (as they offer some very difficult terrain to cross). Getting those gold units can sometimes be very hard if you’ve trashed your reputation early in the game.

As such I see management of your reputation as very important. Getting the bonus from a defeated city is a bit of a bail out, but negatives to your reputation can add up very fast, as plundering a village and burning down a monastery offer huge benefits. Unfortunately, they are choices, and the minuses you incur for simply assaulting fortified sites are not. It’s one reason I’m surprised Noble Manners is panned so much; there are very, very few ways to get positive reputation and sometimes the map just doesn’t throw out convenient rampaging enemies. Those two-fame Prowlers or Diggers certainly lose their lustre after a few turns!

If you’re playing to win you should see reputation as another resource to manage, and be careful to keep it relatively fluid. It’s one of the few things you don’t get points for in the end, so ending with -5 is fine if you want to go on some sort of crusade in the last round. Before then though, and this matters exponentially when dealing with big cities, you want to keep it close enough to allow you to pick up those gold units or key action or spell as soon as possible.

Understanding the risks

In my advice to new players I talked about not taking risks. Well, there does come a point where you understand the game system enough to be able to make decisions about what you don’t know. The key is knowing the parameters of the enemy classes.

The brown enemies are most important, as you never know who you are going to draw, and they can be summoned. You also fight them without units and in Monster Dens and Spawning Grounds for great rewards. The most dangerous enemy you will face is Medusa, as you can never afford to be Paralyzed, and with six attack very rarely can you lose a unit to her. Having access to the Determination for five block card helps here, but accessing four ranged attack is better in most situations. After Medusa you need to have an answer to the Crypt Worm with six fortified health and Gargoyles with four physical resistance. Werewolves and Minotaurs are slightly more palatable, but they can still dole out the wounds. It can be a tall order, but defeating these enemies often bestows upon you a substantial bounty.

Beyond this being prepared for the various resistances and abilities is paramount. While some abilities, like Swiftness, are relatively weak, most need some sort of plan and knowing the city can help too when it comes to Brutal or Poison, which can get out of hand quickly when present in numbers. This point reinforces the need to be flexible, but also to scout cities and other enemies wherever possible.

As you become more proficient and look to ramp up the pace of your games you will take risks with the enemy classes that can leave you needing to Rest or disband several units. Don’t automatically assume this is a bad thing. One of the wonderful things I discovered about Mage Knight was that even at a high level those rules I dismissed as chrome or worst-case scenarios can actually work in your favour. I won one game where I had to rest and spent the rest of the round sitting in a glade patching my deck up. I thought I was done for but the benefits I gained from the Tomb were immense. It definitely made for a novel game.

Conclusions


I’m not someone who likes to own a lot of games. I like to find the games I consider best-in-class and play them rather than sample endless iterations of the same mechanisms or themes over and over. I like to master games and still have them reward me for playing them well.

Mage Knight met my expectations for a modern epic game and then exceeded them. Not only does it do a good job capturing the aesthetic and narrative of adventure games like Legend of Zelda, the adaptation of the deckbuilding mechanism feels at once appropriate and meaningful for a game of this type. To be able to create a game of this depth and complexity into what is really a neat package of components is a triumph.

All gushing aside, it wouldn’t matter one bit if Mage Knight didn’t justify what is really a substantial time commitment, particularly for a young parent like myself, to make. It absolutely does. As a puzzle, the blending of strategic and tactical thinking is richly presented, but frankly also in an accessible way that is cohesive and satisfying.

I hope I have gone some of the way to convincing you of the tremendous value in this game and if you have been frustrated by initial experiences, stick with it!
  • [+] Dice rolls
Duke Of Lizards
United States
Montpelier
Vermont
flag msg tools
Livin's mostly wasting time, and I waste my share of mine
badge
I am a breathing time machine
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for the great articles. I'm at the competent-moving-to-expert stage in my plays; just this week, I finally broke the 200 pt. level in a solo full conquest and now I'm wondering how to increase that. Before I step up the city level, I think there are things I can do with my play that will boost my score. This leads me to a question about spells. You wrote:

Quote:
I think I started to have a lot more predictable success when I focused on acquiring two quality spells, rather than simply acquiring them ad hoc.


I think I've been guilty of the wanton adding of spells. "They're so powerful," I tell myself. But a late game hand of 3-4 spells can often be troublesome. Without movement/block/attack to complement the effects of the spells, they become less useful. Then I'm stuck in a position of not wanting to play a spell sideways, nor discard it.

So here are my questions: Is there a particular spell or type of spell you aim to acquire? How much do you weigh the type of mana you are generating (e.g., with skill tokens)? Are you generally complementing the advanced actions you've added to your deck by adding spells that give different abilities?

Thanks again. I look forward to your thoughts.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Berry
United States
Denver
CO - Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review; One topic that I think should be reviewed is the value of picking advanced actions and spells with more than one use.

Agility is both movement and attack.

Ambush is both movement and a concentrate for your next attack or block.

Intimidation is both influence and attack.

The spell Space/Time Bending is both movement and card conservation/empowerment (as you can take two turns using the same card pool).

Wings of Wind/Night lets you move up to 5 spaces for one movement point a piece and the empowered effect is to have enemies skip the next damage phase if you have movement left over; I've found this makes taking cities much easier.

Having choices and moving forward most turns are what I find to be the more important things to improving the hero/deck.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
United States
Astoria
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just wanted to say these two articles are some of the best, most useful, and eminently readable things I've seen on BGG. Thanks for contributing!
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Brown
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
mb
Thanks

polychrotid wrote:

So here are my questions: Is there a particular spell or type of spell you aim to acquire?


Definitely anything that can skip the Block or Assign Damage phases. Then white spells that destroy enemies (no resistance). I'm not a big fan of movement spells in general, I think their powers are mimicked as actions better, whereas the jump in attack values from actions to spells is huge.

The restriction on what is on offer means you can't always be optimal, but I try to be flexible. I lean towards big attacks in spells but if I've already picked up a lot of offense in abilities or units, I might branch out more into niche cards like Restoration.

polychrotid wrote:

How much do you weigh the type of mana you are generating (e.g., with skill tokens)?


I think it's huge. Crystals equal power. The three-crystal max. has become more of an issue for me lately as I make crystal hoarding a priority. Having the right mana available all the time makes things easy; I think Polarization might be the best ability in the game.

If you can generate the coloured mana yourself, it definitely raises the attraction of spells of that colour. Ease of use is a big deal; the better your deck gets is dependent on being able to do everything in it .

In the early game I find ranged or siege damage most appealing; it's levels up fast (so long as you can do it in one shot!). Once I've got a few more advanced actions or effects requiring mana, I'll try and tailor my deck to what I can power up.

polychrotid wrote:

Are you generally complementing the advanced actions you've added to your deck by adding spells that give different abilities?


Different elements are important because Purple, Red and White enemies can be very difficult or easy depending on your spread of offense. Units help out a lot here, but if I've picked up Fireball as a spell I'll value things like Northern Monks or Ice Golems over Amotep Gunners.

I definitely like to let my first skill and ability set the tone. From there depending on what units I think I can get, I will try to find effects that are versatile rather than redundant.

I find the character development in this game immensely satisfying. The limited effects on offer mean you can't always get exactly what you want, so you have to decide in the now what is the best card. I would say with experience different abilities are best for taking down the biggest cities.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Brown
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
mb
delewobmesid wrote:
Nice review; One topic that I think should be reviewed is the value of picking advanced actions and spells with more than one use.


The nature of the solo game at least definitely welcomes flexibility as you have to do everything yourself and be ready for anything.

I'd be interested to hear if this is the same for multiplayer games, where I imagine the disadvantages of redundancy might not be such a burden on the focusing of power it could provide.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great article.

While I agree in general with your point about units, especially since they have a wide range of utility and defensive abilities in addition to attack, I think it bears mentioning that you don't need them.

Today I had a 232 point solo win with the cities on Level 8 and Level 11. My only units were Herbalists and Catapults, and I bought the Catapults in the red city after I conquered it.

Of course I had the luxury of getting an early Horn of Wrath along with Expose and Tremor/Earthquake but if I had forced myself into recruiting rather than reacting to what the game was giving me I wouldn't have fared as well as I did.

I mention this because I used to be really focused on recruiting units, even when the offer was less than stellar, and I think my play suffered from it. Reacting to the game state by reading the offers and building your character accordingly is as much a skill as building a cohesive structure is.

Another thing to mention about higher level cities is that the value of spells like Earthquake and Expose, etc. increases dramatically when you start to add more enemies at higher levels.

I strongly agree with crystal accumulation. The game I talked about above was with Tovak, who has less than stellar mana management, so I picked up three bolt advanced actions with an eye towards the crystals they provide. Worked very well.

edit: clarity
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Brown
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
mb
alfonzo54 wrote:

Another thing to mention about higher level cities is that the value of spells like Earthquake and Expose, etc. increases dramatically when you start to add more enemies at higher levels.


Yes I think this underlies a lot of what I was trying to say. I think there is a bias in much of my advice for i) solo and also ii) big cities with four or five defenders.

I really look forward to playing more multiplayer games which I think would allow for more focused strategies. As it stands if you are soloing, I do think flexibility is critical.

That said I take your point about units. Overall I was probably forcing the reputation angle as a corollary to the wound analogy, but I have legitimate concerns about how flippant people can be about gaining reputation. You can win through without units, although they tend to be the most consistent answer simply because they are easiest to use.

The game puzzle really is amazing in how it can throw different looks at you every single time.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, even with how much you can drift into the spells/manabase side of your character's power structure it's important to keep an eye on rep. Perhaps there won't be any offensive spells when you need to pick up another one, or you'll get unlucky with your artifact draws, or your crystal collection will get exhausted. Then you'll need to grab a couple of units to bulk up for that last push. Keeping your avenues of advancement open is important. I've learned that the hard way.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lior Kiperman
Israel
Ramat Gan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
alfonzo54 wrote:
I strongly agree with crystal accumulation. The game I talked about above was with Tovak, who has less than stellar mana management, so I picked up three bolt advanced actions with an eye towards the crystals they provide. Worked very well.

In my last game (solo conquest) I played as Tovak and got a similar score (238), and I can tell you that my main problem was crystals. At the end of the 2nd day round that started with 2 black mana dice out of 3 dice, I had only 1 green crystal left. Then I realized I've already used Mana Search (Night tactics #3) so I had to be really careful about mana in the following night round. It took me by surprise that 3 out of 3 mana dice in the source were gold mana at the start of that night. It is so much easier to advance further in this game when you have more mana crystals. I decided to get Decompose, an advanced action card which I rarely take, in order to provide me with more crystals. Tovak moved from my lowest score in solo conquest (203) to my highest score (238). I guess next I'll try to increase the current lowest score - Goldyx's with a score of 221.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Original Thumb #50
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
HealingAura wrote:
alfonzo54 wrote:
I strongly agree with crystal accumulation. The game I talked about above was with Tovak, who has less than stellar mana management, so I picked up three bolt advanced actions with an eye towards the crystals they provide. Worked very well.

In my last game (solo conquest) I played as Tovak and got a similar score (238), and I can tell you that my main problem was crystals. At the end of the 2nd day round that started with 2 black mana dice out of 3 dice, I had only 1 green crystal left. Then I realized I've already used Mana Search (Night tactics #3) so I had to be really careful about mana in the following night round. It took me by surprise that 3 out of 3 mana dice in the source were gold mana at the start of that night. It is so much easier to advance further in this game when you have more mana crystals. I decided to get Decompose, an advanced action card which I rarely take, in order to provide me with more crystals. Tovak moved from my lowest score in solo conquest (203) to my highest score (238). I guess next I'll try to increase the current lowest score - Goldyx's with a score of 221.


From the rules:
The right part is the Source. Roll as many mana dice as there
are actual players plus 2, and place them there. At least half
of the dice have to show basic colors (red, blue, white or
green). If not, keep rerolling all the black and gold dice until
this is true.

You should never start a round in a solo game with more than 1 black or gold die (when you have 3 dice in the source)
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lior Kiperman
Israel
Ramat Gan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ouch!! Well that could have made things a lot easier... I'm glad I managed to win even without that rule though :)

I don't think that >50% situation ever happened to me before in solo conquest so I totally forgot about it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eðvarð Hilmarsson
Iceland
Reykjavik
Reykjavik
flag msg tools
Cthulhu whispers to me when I sleep......
badge
Cthulhu whispers to me when I sleep......
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Both of the strategy posts have been a great read.

After fumbling around with a couple of games (getting the hang of the rules and not really having a strategy to follow), I plan on having an unused player deck handy to help me estimate what should be left in the draw deck.

I knew the game had a "deeper" quality to it then the surface I have been scratching, thanks for getting me to the tasty bits faster.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sup dude
msg tools
mbmb
This thread is pretty amazing.

I have to say that I've only played the game a few times with friends.
We always play multiplayer and I struggle to understand how early I can take a mage tower and start buying spells.

This article focuses on building a balanced deck, but I just find I am unable to get enough powerful cards in mine. I seem to lack the ability to transition in the mid-game.

Is that a general order that I should be following?
for example, rampaging units first, then mage towers? or should I take on dungeons before mage towers?

I understand that much of this is situational depending on what exists in the offer. I just am having trouble deciding if I can rush towards a mage tower or if I should be focusing on buying advanced actions in the offer before I do this?

It seems that generally advanced actions < artifacts < spells.
does this mean that I need to fight enemies in a similar order.
IE. rampaging, then dungeons, then mage towers?

Any advice helps we are suppose to play again this weekend

Cheers and thanks again for the great articles.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sup dude
msg tools
mbmb
Read this again today after playing 10-20 games.
Think my entire view of the game has changed.
Really enjoyed your article even more the second time.

Played solo campaign the other day with the cities level 8 and 11.
Also won but couldn't quite kill the last enemy.

I haven't really considered leaving the levels at the base level and try to increase my score first. Just thought going for both cities at 11 would be badass .
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mat J
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Really fantastic write-ups for both parts, and I spent most of my time reading it alternating between nodding my head and raising my eyebrows thinking: "Oh, well... that makes a lot of sense, why didn't I think of that?"

I'm not sure I even consider myself a competent player yet (only win solo maybe a quarter of my attempts) and I was struggling with figuring out why it was that in recent games when I win, I win fairly easily, and when I lose (or abort the attempt) I don't tend to come close at all. (Which has changed from when I first started playing, when I would lose, but lose with only one enemy standing in the last city.)

For instance, in my last win (about 195 with Arythea) it was all about early advanced action bolts, and using them to crush all the rampaging enemies along the way to the core tiles. Then they turned into crystal generation and started powering my spells against the city. Seems obvious now why this was so successful.

In my last losses, I think I must have focused on getting spells but I could never power them for use when I needed them (and the last game where I played as Goldyx and kept rolling 3 green source mana certainly didn't help).

At any rate, great stuff, and I'll be returning to both posts to remind myself what I'm doing wrong for a long while. Thanks.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Boucher
United States
Milton
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
North_Wolf wrote:

After fumbling around with a couple of games (getting the hang of the rules and not really having a strategy to follow), I plan on having an unused player deck handy to help me estimate what should be left in the draw deck.



I'm not sure which post it was stated, but remember reading more than once that as a general rule, it is allowed for you to look at the down faced remaining cards in your deck, to see what is left. But you must then shuffle the cards when you put your draw pile back. That allows for those of us (self included) with crappy memories to not worry as much as remembering every last card that's been played. According to Paul, Vlaada said this is allowable. That will save you from having to manage a secondary deck - a much easier solution!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Duke Of Lizards
United States
Montpelier
Vermont
flag msg tools
Livin's mostly wasting time, and I waste my share of mine
badge
I am a breathing time machine
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mabouche wrote:
North_Wolf wrote:

After fumbling around with a couple of games (getting the hang of the rules and not really having a strategy to follow), I plan on having an unused player deck handy to help me estimate what should be left in the draw deck.



I'm not sure which post it was stated, but remember reading more than once that as a general rule, it is allowed for you to look at the down faced remaining cards in your deck, to see what is left. But you must then shuffle the cards when you put your draw pile back. That allows for those of us (self included) with crappy memories to not worry as much as remembering every last card that's been played. According to Paul, Vlaada said this is allowable. That will save you from having to manage a secondary deck - a much easier solution!


This seems rather shaky. Do you have a reference? When you acquire new cards, they usually go on top of the deck. Other cards are specifically placed on the top or bottom of your deck due to either their own effects or via tactics cards. This look and shuffle would seriously impact those mechanisms.
1 
 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
polychrotid wrote:
mabouche wrote:
I'm not sure which post it was stated, but remember reading more than once that as a general rule, it is allowed for you to look at the down faced remaining cards in your deck, to see what is left. But you must then shuffle the cards when you put your draw pile back. That allows for those of us (self included) with crappy memories to not worry as much as remembering every last card that's been played. According to Paul, Vlaada said this is allowable. That will save you from having to manage a secondary deck - a much easier solution!


This seems rather shaky. Do you have a reference? When you acquire new cards, they usually go on top of the deck. Other cards are specifically placed on the top or bottom of your deck due to either their own effects or via tactics cards. This look and shuffle would seriously impact those mechanisms.

I think I know what that's referring to, but I recall Paul making this as a suggestion to help beginning players (or maybe just players during their first game). Not a general rule. It's a hard thing to search through the forums for, though. Edit: Here 'tis:

When I am teaching the game, I even allow players to look through their draw pile so they know what they have left in there. They must shuffle it afterwards of course.

Looking through decks any time seems a bit much for general play... but I wouldn't object if a player wanted to have a player aid at the table listing starting decks. Provided that it did not produce over-extended lengths of analysis paralysis. (Of course, I hardly ever play multiplayer.) Edit: Aaand it looks like I made the same suggestion in that thread. At least I'm consistent.
7 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Boucher
United States
Milton
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry if I mislead/misremembered the peeking/reshuffling your draw pile as an allowable general rule - but thanks for finding the reference which states it as a valid suggestion for newer players. I personally think it's a reasonable house rule, esp if not overdone.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When we have one player get down to the end of their deck we will often just reveal the last few cards rather than spend time reconstructing them.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Hello!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks Alex for the insightful guide to this truly awesome game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anders Gabrielsson
Sweden
Uppsala
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I didn't see any direct replies to this so I'll give my input, though my experience is still limited.
hayes13 wrote:
Is that a general order that I should be following?
for example, rampaging units first, then mage towers? or should I take on dungeons before mage towers?

I understand that much of this is situational depending on what exists in the offer. I just am having trouble deciding if I can rush towards a mage tower or if I should be focusing on buying advanced actions in the offer before I do this?

It seems that generally advanced actions < artifacts < spells.
does this mean that I need to fight enemies in a similar order.
IE. rampaging, then dungeons, then mage towers?

To take your last point first, rampaging orcs should be your first targets, but then it depends. If you know what enemies are guarding a keep or mage tower and have the cards to beat them, do that! Getting a spell or an extra card in hand (even if just for a turn or two) along with better recruiting opportunities is a good step up. It can be worth taking a couple of wounds to get an early power boost, but usually no more than that (unless you have skills that help you with wound management).

I usually don't enter dungeons early on, unless I get a great hand of cards that allow me to handle the worst enemies. Every turn should be an improvement to your deck or position, and getting your butt kicked by an unlucky brown draw doesn't do that. OTOH, the rewards can be great and if you don't have anything else nearby it could still be worth it. I generally consider mage towers and keeps easier targets.

As for card values, I think artifacts are the best, hands down. Spells are great, sure, but they also cost mana to use and that's a big drawback. Spells are more powerful than advanced actions, but that doesn't always make them better - again, paying mana is painful, and by the midgame you want to accumulate mana for the last few big turns when you assault the cities.

Another key to making it to the midgame in good condition is to grab a unit or three. Even if their abilities are weak they are in addition to the cards you have in your hand so they make every turn potentially stronger, and you always have access to them for when you want them (once per day/night). Even a small bonus to attack or block can make a huge difference.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Susan Brindle
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
One really simple trick I've found is to remember that forever is a very short period of time. The RPG player in me recoils at the idea of taking losses of any kind, because that card could've been useful forever. But then you take into account that Forever means "once per round, until the end of the game" which means "Six times, tops." More often, chances to throw away units and artifacts means you're looking at more like 1-3 uses of the thing to begin with. When you keep in mind that "Forever" is actually just "3" you get a much clearer idea of acceptable losses.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
FOWL Noah
msg tools
Awesome thread! Thanks to the OP!
 
 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.