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Subject: PBF Solo - (I don't own the game, and I'm addicted!) rss

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I only got to borrow this game, but I want to play it solo a few hundred more times! So, to keep it up, and to get more comfortable with the BGG forum things, I figured I'd start a thread of mine own to do a solo game!

I'm really looking forward to eventually playing a competitive PBF with the others here, and I would love strategy advice from onlookers to improve my game. I havn't the chance yet to play with others, and suggestions are welcome!

To start, I need to draw 2 countryside tiles:
Starting Tiles, left to right: 6d12 = (4 + 6 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 7) = 41

3 Source die to begin: 3custom6{iid:1197625;iid:1197624;iid:1197623;iid:1197622;iid:1197621;iid:1197620} -> ( iid:1197624 iid:1197624 iid:1197622) ->
[+]


Adv. Actions (Alphabetical Order) 8d28 = (23 + 6 + 14 + 13 + 17 + 8 + 17 + 28) = 126

Spells (Alphabetical Order) 8d20 = (4 + 9 + 9 + 8 + 10 + 4 + 7 + 6) = 57

And let's see what I've got to start with!
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  • 212819. ripptor
  • 6d12 =
  • (4 + 6 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 7) =
  • 41
  • Starting Tiles, left to right:
  • Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:48 am
  • [+]
  • 212823. ripptor
  • 3custom6{iid:1197625;iid:1197624;iid:1197623;iid:1197622;iid:1197621;iid:1197620} =
  • ( iid:1197624 iid:1197624 iid:1197622) =
  • iid:1197624 iid:1197624 iid:1197622
  • 3 Source die to begin:
  • Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:52 am
  • [+]
  • 212824. ripptor
  • 8d28 =
  • (23 + 6 + 14 + 13 + 17 + 8 + 17 + 28) =
  • 126
  • Adv. Actions (Alphabetical Order)
  • Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:54 am
  • [+]
  • 212825. ripptor
  • 8d20 =
  • (4 + 9 + 9 + 8 + 10 + 4 + 7 + 6) =
  • 57
  • Spells (Alphabetical Order)
  • Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:55 am
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And now I need 2 orcs from Pawell's chart:
Left to Right: 2d12 = (1 + 9) = 10
 
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  • 2d12 =
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  • Left to Right:
  • Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:04 am
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Units: 10d20 = (2 + 4 + 14 + 6 + 6 + 2 + 3 + 7 + 16 + 13) = 73
 
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  • 10d20 =
  • (2 + 4 + 14 + 6 + 6 + 2 + 3 + 7 + 16 + 13) =
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  • Units:
  • Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:46 am
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and 5 cards to start:

Alphabetically: 10d16 = (13 + 16 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 6 + 14 + 4 + 16) = 85
 
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  • 10d16 =
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  • Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:10 am
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Starting Hand:
(B) March
(B) Swiftness
(B) Cold Toughness
(B) Mana Draw
(B) Tranquility

Now... what should I do, starting with tactics?
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Michael Pustilnik
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I assume this is a solo conquest scenario?

It is clear that Tovak should be heading NW and not NE. The Prowlers won't give Tovak a level up; the Cursed Hags will. The Mage Tower in the desert is not an easy target, but if Tovak can take it, he is doing well.

I see two possible plans:

1. Choose Rethink or Great Start as a tactic, hope to draw some influence cards, and head to the village to recruit Foresters. Then plunder the village and assault the mage tower on turn 2.
2. Choose Great Start as a tactic, and kill the Cursed Hages turn 1. Level up! Turn 2, go the the village and recruit Foresters. Plunder if necessary, then assault the mage tower turn 3.

I think plan 2 is clearly superior. Plan 1 could work out badly if Tovak doesn't draw influence from Rethink or Great Start. Plan 2 actually cannot fail even if the two cards Tovak draws are useless. March and two sideways cards gets next to the Hags. Cold Toughness blocks them. Advanced Swiftness powered by gold mana plus 2 sideways cards kills them.

Of course, some of the cards that Tovak draws could certainly help. Another movement card would certainly help. Advanced Concentration on Swiftness would kill the Hags without needing to use Cold Toughness to block.

So, my plan is: Take Great Start, planning to kill the Cursed Hags on turn 1.

 
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Michael Pustilnik
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Of course, Tovak can change his plan depending on what he draws. If he draws Promise and Threaten from the great start, he could instead move to the village and recruit on turn 1.
 
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Pawel Bulacz
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I would choose Mana Steal with red and go to the Village.
Then depending what you draw and after pillaging recruit foresters or go down to monster den.
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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pabula wrote:
I would choose Mana Steal with red and go to the Village.
Then depending what you draw and after pillaging recruit foresters or go down to monster den.


Tovak has no red cards, stealing a red die won't help! At least not right away. Also, Tovak doesn't know for sure if he wants to go after the Hags or to the village to recruit. It depends on what is on top of his deck.

Great Start is the right tactic here. If Tovak draws Threaten, he can recruit Foresters on turn 1. If he draws Rage, Improvisation, Concentration, or a movement card, he can kill the Hags on turn 1 and level up immediately. Either way, he will take out the Mage Tower soon and gain a good spell. And then he can us that spell to beat the monster in the Monster Den.
 
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Is it so important to recruit the foresters? With the Mage Tower available on Day 1, the Guardian Golems look like the best first hire to me.. they can shunt off the Hags the following turn without any help, and holding Cold Toughness makes me feel pretty confident about taking it without hurt..

I was thinking of choosing Planning, and running to the village, drawing to 6, then if necessary, pillaging to 8 to get to and take the Mage Tower. Then, buy the Golems, kill the hag, and see what to do from there...

Is this a bad idea?
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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Interesting, three different players would choose three different tactics. This is what is so great about this game!

Your plan seems appealing, especially since Guardian Golems is a good unit to fight the Hags with. The problem with your plan is it involves attacking the Mage Tower in the desert during the day without a unit. Even with eight cards, this may not be so easy. And you really only have 7 cards to do it with, because you want to save Tranquility to heal the wounds that you are probably going to take during the assault.

You will also lose 1 reputation for the plunder, and one for the assault, so you will need 8 Influence to hire the Golems. I suppose you could take In Need as your AA, that would work.

I still favor Great Start. 8 out of 10 (with Mana Exploit removed, 8 out of 9) of Tovak's skills are per turn skills, so you want to get that skill working for you as soon as possible. Double Time, Shield Mastery, Cold Swordsmanship, or I Don't Give a Damn will all help in the assault on the mage tower. It may even be possible to get both units; 60% of the purple enemies are worth 5 fame, which would give Tovak a second command token if he kills the Hags on turn 1. So, here is my plan:
Take Great Start.
Turn 1: Kill Hags (probably, but it depends on what the 2 new cards are). Level up!
Turn 2: Recruit Foresters. Plunder village.
Turn 3: Assault the mage tower.
Turn 4: Recruit Golems or head towards the monster den.

 
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Michael Pustilnik
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Also, considering that there are a bunch of hills on the map that Tovak will need to move through, Foresters are not only cheaper to recruit than Guardian Golems, but better!
 
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Planning is stronger than Great Start, except in the narrow possibility that I draw Concentration, which would allow for a powered kill of the hags.. problem being that it uses the gold die, with a 66% chance of taking away Cold Toughness's powered block. And Cold Toughness is what makes Mage Towers easy pickings for Tovak.. The ONLY way that C. Tough doesn't save you by itself is in the narrow possibility that an Illusionist pulls Werewolves.

The Mage Tower is easy, even better if we draw 1/2 Rages left in the deck, a greater then 25% chance, 50% if we resort to pillaging the village. Afterwards, we for sure have a red die left to recruit the Golems with either Improvisation or Threaten.

Since we don't plan on taking any wounds this turn, it seems, we can even cantrip Tranquility as necessary to dig deeper, fixing any bad draws we might face. Planning makes all our future turns better, allowing us better chances at taking the tower, killing the hags, recruiting the units, and getting into the mountains (or through the desert, maybe).
 
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Pawel Bulacz
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We should play against each other - not together
Totally different plans
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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Getting a skill working for you one turn earlier is even better than having an extra card in your hand. Double Time, Cold Swordsmanship, or even Resistance Break could help you when you assault the tower.

Anything you draw with Great Start will either help against the Hags, or provide Influence to recruit the Foresters. For example, if you draw Rage, you can use March and Swiftness to move next to the Hags, Cold Toughness to block, and powered Rage plus a sideways card to kill them. This even leaves the gold die in the source for next turn. That's pretty efficient.

 
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Michael Pustilnik
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pabula wrote:
We should play against each other - not together
Totally different plans


Actually, I find this discussion very interesting
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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Another problem with Planning is it makes your first turn problematical. If you play Swiftness and March to get to the village, you are not using a die from the source, which is inefficient. If you use the gold die to power March, you might reroll it into a black or red die, leaving yourself with only red mana on turn 2.
 
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pabula wrote:
We should play against each other - not together
Totally different plans


You know, that would be interesting... Starting with the same board, hand, and offers, see who can get the best first turn? or best game overall?

That would be an interesting thing to see!

MikePustilnik wrote:
Getting a skill working for you one turn earlier is even better than having an extra card in your hand. Double Time, Cold Swordsmanship, or even Resistance Break could help you when you assault the tower.


Yes, but my plan of assaulting the tower first only delays the skill token by one turn, then for the rest of your turns, you have both an extra card AND a skill token. The extra possibilities are compounded!
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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I really don't see how Planning would help you. The turn you assault the Mage Tower, you plan to block with advanced Cold Toughness, and you also need 5 move, and 5-8 attack. You can't do that and keep two cards left in your hand.

Besides, your plan uses up most of your deck in the assault, so you won't have enough of a deck left to benefit from Planning. Great Start gets a skill working for you right away (most of the time), allowing you to conserve cards and do more during the round.

I guess I've said all I can. You are in command. Good luck, whatever you decide
 
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Joshua Miller
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I would take Great Start, and then go for the Cursed Hags unless you draw cards that make that too costly. You can beat them no matter what you draw, but some draws will make it smarter to go to the village to conserve cards.

But I would strongly consider not blocking the Hags, so that you can save your Cold Toughness for the probable assault on the Mage Tower. You have Tranquility in your hand, and two of the three advanced actions can also be used for healing. The poison wound going into your discard is not ideal, but you may be able to accomplish more by taking it. It depends, of course, on what enemy you see in the Mage Tower, and on what you draw with Great Start. If you draw Concentration or your other Swiftness (powered by mana draw strong effect), you have an instant kill in ranged combat!

Taking planning or mana steal and going to the village is also a strong plan, but a bit worse overall IMO.
 
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Jimmy Wei
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Goto village in first turn seems flexible as u can see what's in the mage town and plunder later if u don't have a good hand. I think you can mana draw with gold die and change the red die to green. So u will have one green and one red die in next turn and you can use the strong effect of "Tranquility" and "March" in your first turn. (If u use gold die only and re-roll it to Red or Black, you could be blocked by source mana, that's real critical issue...)

As for tactics,Nothing is obviously better...It depends on your play style...The risk for Great Start & mana steal & Planning are same if u don't draw a red card....Personally I think the first priority is how you can manipulate the source pool, Mana steal with red is more risky than others but also more profitable , coz u can use one more strong action card. I think risk(profit) level for 3 tactics is Mana steal > Great start > Planning, and if I were u I won't choose Rethink, a bad draw will result u hard to deal with the 2 red dices
 
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clemens kremer
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One more vote for great start. The fact that you have mana draw in hand means you can react well to whatever you draw...
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Phil Pettifer
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I think I'd be tempted by Rethink, keeping March and Mana Draw. Any red card helps with recruiting the Foresters or killing the Hags on turn 1 and it means we'll be more likely to be going first. Also using a red mana on turn one should help the pool a bit.

I'd usually take Planning if the desert Mage Tower tile comes up straight away as it can be very difficult to conquer but with the Foresters and the level up from the Hags we'll probably be OK. Especially as the level up gives us Refreshing Walk - a very nice cards to get early in this situation.
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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I'm glad we are getting more participation here!

Glamorous Mucus wrote:
I would take Great Start, and then go for the Cursed Hags unless you draw cards that make that too costly. You can beat them no matter what you draw, but some draws will make it smarter to go to the village to conserve cards.


Thanks for voting for Great Start!

Glamorous Mucus wrote:
But I would strongly consider not blocking the Hags, so that you can save your Cold Toughness for the probable assault on the Mage Tower.


Mage Knight is all about efficiency. The Hags have an attack of 3, and Tovak's unique card, Cold Toughness is in your hand, giving you block 3. That's efficient!

Of course you get to see what is defending the Mage Tower before you decide how to kill the Hags. Cold Toughness is not very good against Ice Mages, for example. But blocking the Hags with Cold Toughness stops 4 wounds with one card and no mana. It is hard to say no to that!

Glamorous Mucus wrote:
You have Tranquility in your hand, and two of the three advanced actions can also be used for healing. The poison wound going into your discard is not ideal, but you may be able to accomplish more by taking it. It depends, of course, on what enemy you see in the Mage Tower, and on what you draw with Great Start. If you draw Concentration or your other Swiftness (powered by mana draw strong effect), you have an instant kill in ranged combat!

Taking planning or mana steal and going to the village is also a strong plan, but a bit worse overall IMO.


If the Hags are unblocked, that's two wounds to hand and two to discard. That's a lot! But it is true that Refreshing Walk or In Need in the AA can deal with the two wounds to the hand. In any case, Joshua's point about seeing what is in the tower before planning the battle against the Hags is a good one.
 
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Tovak's Cold Toughness is the best way to deal with the Mage Tower, conserving somewhere between a few card and a LOT of cards.. As has been pointed out, taking the tower is the hardest thing to do this first turn, and throwing away the best tool for it seems rash.. Especially if we plan to only have 5 cards to do it with.

But, I'm all for trying a different play style, so we'll try out Great Start and see what happens!

Draw 2: 5d11 = (3 + 9 + 4 + 2 + 10) = 28

Ary's Tactic: 1d5 = (1) = 1
 
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  • 5d11 =
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  • Draw 2:
  • Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:21 pm
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  • 214457. ripptor
  • 1d5 =
  • (1) =
  • 1
  • Ary's Tactic:
  • Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:22 pm
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