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Subject: Seriously? rss

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Jonathan Woody
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Ok, so I really enjoy this game so far, but I am starting to get seriously frustrated and feel like maybe I am doing something fundamentally wrong.

On my latest outing playing solo conquest, I really tried to maximize my hands and put together a pretty good batch of cards. Despite some horrible terrain traps, I managed to expose both cities by the beginning of the 2nd night, and had conquered a keep and mage tower and even burned a monastery just for the heck of it.

I had what I thought was a pretty good deck, and had even managed to snag the Altem Mages using the night version of Call to Arms. Pretty slick, I thought.

So, I go to assault the first city, Green, at level 5. I figure I should do ok given I am level 6 and doing pretty well.

I look at the tiles and realize that there is no way for me to enter combat with this particular grouping and survive. I pulled Gunners for my white, minotaur and medusa for my browns.

Given my setup, I could take out the Medusa with a siege attack, but had no chance of absorbing 5 physical and 6 fire damage on two brutal enemies. Meaning they would have completely knocked me out.

At which point I realize that I don't possibly have enough turns left to backtrack around and get new gear (the terrain had me horribly boxed in), and then make it back to and destroy even one of the cities.

Given that you have to work with what the game deals you in terms of the offers and what cards get dealt each turn, how the heck do you guys keep pulling off consistent wins? What the heck and I doing wrong?

P.S. -- please forgive the bitch session, I am just blowing off steam


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Box of Delights
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remember, you may need to conquer a city in more than one attack; you may be able to take out one enemy with siege before it attacks you, or you mayba be able to block one or more of the enemies on the first attack and then take at least one of them out before you retreat and try again next turn; or you may be able to have some UNITS soak up some damage. Use your units, do not molly-coddle them, they are working for you and must lay down their lives in defence of their mage knight. Be prepared to take some wounds yourself, and be prepared to assault the city twice. Maybe give us an example of the city, the enemies, and the units, cards and skills you have and we can offer some ideas on how we might take it down. Best of luck, Rick.
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Klaude Thomas
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ricky2002 wrote:
remember, you may need to conquer a city in more than one attack; you may be able to take out one enemy with siege before it attacks you, or you mayba be able to block one or more of the enemies on the first attack and then take at least one of them out before you retreat and try again next turn; or you may be able to have some UNITS soak up some damage. Use your units, do not molly-coddle them, they are working for you and must lay down their lives in defence of their mage knight. Be prepared to take some wounds yourself, and be prepared to assault the city twice. Maybe give us an example of the city, the enemies, and the units, cards and skills you have and we can offer some ideas on how we might take it down. Best of luck, Rick.

Exactly right. Assault from a safe hex so you won't take wounds from backtracking, and deal with the most dangerous foe first if you can. The medusa in this case. After retreat you'll draw into new options. Last game I played I needed to assault the red city three times to capture it.

BTW I believe Arythea is best to solo with due to her wound management.
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Scott Douglass
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Also remember that even if you get knocked out, you can keep fighting with units and skills. I once killed 4 enemies with one unit attack after being knocked out against Volkare (yes, Tremor is really strong).

How bad taking wounds is depends on your setup. If you have a good healing card or unit like Herbalists, it's not as big a deal. Skills like Motivation and I Feel No Pain can be used to recover quickly after being knocked out (just use them after you resolve combat so you have at least 1 non-wound card in your hand).

I think new players are often too afraid of taking wounds. If you can avoid it, great, but it's often necessary to advance quickly, which can be important, depending on the game state. The key is making sure that you know how to handle wounds, and ensuring that you aren't entering a fight where you can get completely screwed (taking wounds with no return for your investment). Taking wounds to soften up a city is often fine. Hell, as Arythea I often end up needing to take a wound in order to get more resources from Invocation or Power of Pain in order to take out that last enemy.
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Alex Brown
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Alter Mages with even minimal backup should have made this a walk in the park, though.

Do you wound your units?
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Georg D.
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propably not the best version but I don't know your other cards/units:

I suppose you had at least 6 cards in your hand and an armor of 4.
You killed the medusa by a siege attack. That needed 2 (?) cards. Now you use your alte mages to block the minotaur. The gunner shoots at your altem mage: 12 damage - 10 (resistance to fire) =2 ==> you get one wound to your hand.
Now you blocked everything and still have 4 cards and all remaining units to kill at least one of the enemies.

(If you really had a good deck there should have been a better way than to wound a level IV unit - but if there is no other way you have to do it, the city must fall.)
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Steve Townsend
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Briefly - I feel your pain.

I just finished my 5th game, and it's my belief that the single biggest game-changer in city assault is possession of artifacts. Fortunately for my alter ego's conscience, I revisited the site descriptions and discovered that these can be gotten via other routes than torching monasteries.

Even with a major faux pas like a handful of wounds on Night 1 after an over-ambitious Mage Tower invasion, I managed to break 100 for the first time yesterday because I had a balanced mix of artifacts, units (Level III and II), AAs and Spells in hand, and conquered the first city at the end of Round 6.
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David desJardins
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jhwedmd wrote:
Given my setup, I could take out the Medusa with a siege attack, but had no chance of absorbing 5 physical and 6 fire damage on two brutal enemies. Meaning they would have completely knocked me out.


You can't come up with 5 block? That's one basic action card. You should also be assigning damage to your units.
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Jonathan Woody
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Quote:
You can't come up with 5 block? That's one basic action card. You should also be assigning damage to your units.


Yes, it is one basic action card. However it doesn't do a heck of a lot of good if its not in my hand.

I have rebuilt my setup as much as possible to try and get some focused help. Please also bear in mind that this game was taking place at 4 am in the morning, not the best time for critical thinking.

Hand: Intimidate, Concentration, Demolish, Sword of Justice, Call to Arms
Available Units: Altem Mages
Unit Offer: Catapults and some others
Enemies: Medusa, Minotaur, Gunners
Mana Pool: Can't remember but I had lots of crystals

So, I took out the Medusa with Call to Arms using the Siege Fire Attack of Catapults from the Unit offer. Then I think my brain shut down.

So, now that I was in the block phase I realize that the Minotaurs attack for 5 physical and the Gunners attack for 6 fire, both brutal.

So, it appears to me now that I should have blocked the gunners with the mages and a crystal, then used the mages to take the damage from the minotaurs for 1 wound to them, 2 wounds to me (I think).

Demolish to drop the Gunner's and Mino's armor to 5 (Ice resist) and 4 respectively.

Then Concentration, Intimidate, trash Sword of Justice to generate 14 physical damage and take out both.

Someone please check me on that and tell me if it would have worked.

Damn you 4 am!





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David desJardins
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If you've only got one unwounded or ready unit, you haven't really prepared to take out the city. Building your army is the most fundamental thing you can to do prepare for a large battle. Even spent unwounded units are very useful.
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Jonathan Woody
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DaviddesJ wrote:
If you've only got one unwounded or ready unit, you haven't really prepared to take out the city. Building your army is the most fundamental thing you can to do prepare for a large battle. Even spent unwounded units are very useful.


That raises an interesting strategy question. If you are wounded, and you have wounded units, your options are limited.

In my example I had 2 wounds in hand and 2 wounded units initially. I parked it in the glade just north of the green city initially and took two turn to heal my hand. My reputation was in the dirt thanks to taking a keep, mage tower, and burning a monastery as well as using intimidate at least once at full power.

So, with the game moving on, what do you do? Do you sit there and cycle cards until you get tranquility, try to move through difficult terrain and gain enough reputation to offset the bad rep you alread have so you can hit a monastery or village? It would seem that that would burn a lot of turns and rounds trying to get somewhere or get a card to heal the units.

I get trying to think ahead and plan, but once you have a hand that is a good attack hand, what is the better approach? Use it and take down part of the city, or use it for movement/influence and hope to generate another good hand later?
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David desJardins
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You should be planning much earlier in the game about how to build up your army. Especially in the solo game.

This is why I don't understand the people who say there's "no strategy". They are going to reach a point in the game where they say, "What do I do now?" But the answer is, "Do something different earlier."
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Jonathan Woody
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I understand what you are saying, and I did plan earlier. I planned and got 3 units, 2 spells, stockpiled crystals, and explored early to find the cities with time to spare.

However, eventually, there comes a point due to the cards you have in your hand, the terrain, and the available resources that dictate when you have to attack or not.

You wouldn't plan the whole game and then attack a city with a handful of influence and move cards. Nor would you burn your high end attack cards moving across terrain.

So, since you can't predict what draw you are going to get when you move into position to attack, you have to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. Unless there is some way I am missing to stack the deck so you pull the cards you need exactly when you need them.

The example I gave earlier, I think I could've done quite well had it not been 4 am and my brain not working. And I appreciate all the advice folks are giving.
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David desJardins
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jhwedmd wrote:
I understand what you are saying, and I did plan earlier. I planned and got 3 units, 2 spells, stockpiled crystals, and explored early to find the cities with time to spare.


It doesn't count as building an army if you have wounded units and no way to heal them. A big part of the game is figuring out how you're going to either avoid wounding your units early, or healing them, or replacing them. Just too much of the potential power of any hero is tied up in their ready, unwounded units.
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Jonathan Woody
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Ok, I'll keep working on it, thanks for all the advice folks!
 
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Daniel Corban
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jhwedmd wrote:

So, since you can't predict what draw you are going to get when you move into position to attack, you have to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.


Actually, if it is mid-day or later, you should be able to predict with some accuracy what type of cards you will draw. This is precisely how I do so well in the game and part of what makes it fun for me.
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Tamer Morad

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Everyone has been giving out some great advice!
So My only tip: (yes I am quite pride of this idea)
Place all your Terrain Cards into a clear card sheet holder for very quick and easy referencing!
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Rich P
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If I know I'm going to assault a city later that Round, I'll make sure I spend as few Units as possible and prioritise healing any wounded ones if I can. You also want as large a hand size as possible: taking Planning, Great Start or Sparing Power tactics, using Motivation skill or starting on a village or keep will help here. All this will give you many more options for dealing with cities.

My favourite method for tackling cities is to remove the site fortifications and use ranged/siege attacks on the most annoying enemies. I think avoiding having to spend any resources on Block is preferable; stopping attacks entirely is usually more efficient. This involves some planning earlier in the game, building your deck and Units to fit this strategy. It's a rare game where nothing turns up in any of the Offers to help conquer cities.
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Stefano Tine'
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Nice to discover this thread. I have just had my first 2 solo conquest campaigns and I was feeling miserable for my utter failures.

First campaign, with Goldyx, I guess I wasted too much time visiting the countryside and I didn't even get to see the 2nd city. Only managed to defeat one enemy out of 3 in the first city. Finished with a - useless - 85 points or so.

In the second run, with Arythea, I rushed on, found both cities, but after finally taking the first one on the 2nd attempt (with a daring flying attack over the lake) there was no way I could even dent the 2nd one before time was up. Finished with a - somewhat more significative - 78 points or so. Fewer points than before because I didn't get a single artefact or spell (no luck crossing mage towers on my way).

Guess spells might be the real bonus to actually succeed some day. But artefacts are nice, too. However, firstly I think I need to work hard on my movement engine, as I was taking forever to move around.

Question: Mana Storm says you can reroll all mana dice in the Source and then use 3 more mana dice this turn. But what if you used one (mana die) to activate it and there are only 2 left in the Source? Reroll that one mana die as well?

 
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Steve Townsend
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barbanera wrote:

Question: Mana Storm says you can reroll all mana dice in the Source and then use 3 more mana dice this turn. But what if you used one (mana die) to activate it and there are only 2 left in the Source? Reroll that one mana die as well?



Previously covered here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/827864/mana-storm-in-solo-pl...
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Jeff C
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Try conquering more keeps. It lets you have more cards in your hand. I managed to beat the solo for the very first time last night. I conquered three keeps, and I was able to have my hand + 3 cards when I'm on or adjacent to a keep.

I also got lucky with the spells. The "Call to Arms" spell lets you automatically pick up a unit with the use of a white and black mana. Try to accumulate as many cards as you can. This will allow you to play more turns with more cards in your hand without exhausting your deed deck. Are you alternating between gold units and regular units after you've explored a core tile? Gold units are extremely powerful.

Also, try to explore new terrains in your advantage. Explore fast and try to keep the core tiles close to a keep you own. This will let you assault the city with more cards in your hand if you start next to the keep.

If there are mines near by, try to stop by them and collect crystals on your way to the cities. Crystals are really helpful!!

You can also discard sucky cards from your hand before the end of your turn. This will let you pickup more useful cards for moving or attacking on your next turn. So, try to know your deck and predict what you will pick up by remembering what you did on your previous turns.

Good luck! This has helped me greatly! I usually end the game with 120-130 points, and with the bonus's added up together, I come up to around 180 points.
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Yaakov Simon
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My 2 cents, I find the biggest hurdle is to take the 1st city. Once I have conquered that city, I can usually recruit some advanced units that will make me strong enough to get the 2nd city.

I like to try and take out the 1st city by the end of 2nd night. If I am lucky, then I use the tactic card that lets me save up cards (Long night?). I then have 4 or so extra cards to help out with the assault.

You definitely need to have spells or artifacts to help take out the city. My favorite are abilities that:
d10-1 Eliminate resistances
d10-2 Reduce armor
d10-3 Prevent one enemy from attacking (or automatically kill). Even if I don't kill this enemy, I don't have to worry about blocking it.

In rounds 1 & 2, I am focused on the spell offer and I am looking for spells that will give me these abilities.

Hope this helps!
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Lots of great advice so far about building up your units and playing strategically with an eye towards the city battles. I would add a few more things that can make a big difference:

1) Having spells that allow you to destroy an enemy immediately, or to skip an enemy's attack

2) Conquering multiple keeps and being able to start your assault turn next to a keep with a large hand of cards

3) Related to the previous point, sit on cards or discard useless ones to attempt to start an assault with a powerful hand. Trying a city assault with a 5-card hand, which includes Intimidate (I am too lazy to check what the other cards are) is not a great idea in the first place.

Hope this helps, and better luck next time!
 
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