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Mage Knight Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Help save my copy of MK! rss

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Mitch Renwick
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I pre ordered the Mage Knight reprint, and anxiously awaited its shipping and while we waited, the other gamers that planned to play it with me got more and more excited. This game seemed like it had everything, and would easily be the best game we had ever played.

The day finally arrived when we got to take our first stab at it, and we stumbled through the rules, missed some fine print details, but we had fun. We ran the blitz scenario twice. We figured we had a good hold on the rules, and would reconvene the following week to play the full conquest.

Over a couple months we played the full conquest mode 3 times. The conclusion, the game is very well done, very complex, and very good, but it was taking us 6+ hours to play one game. Often our heads hurt afterward, and one of our players who can suffer from serious AP, was really getting under our skin with his 30 minute turns. We devised rules to speed things up, punish people for taking so long and not planning during others turns, but after one more final play 4 or 5 months ago, Mage Knight has been sitting on my shelf, collecting dust, rotting away.

I can’t help but look at it and think we are missing out on something, something great, and something epic that we could have stories about how one of us pulled out a last ditch effort to win.

So I come here today to save my copy of Mage Knight, and maybe even spur me to order the expansion before it’s sold out everywhere. Saturday when we were done playing games for the night, we started talking about a used game swap meet coming up, and Mage Knight came up as a game to pass along to some other ambitious gamer. I don’t want to see this happen, but at the same time, its hard to hold onto something that will see zero play, that could put some cash back in my pocket, or a new game that will see playing time.

I’m looking for suggestions on different scenarios to try out. One that takes less time than the full conquest, but allows more character development than the blitz mode. We need a happy medium. Something that can be wrapped up in a few hours, but still feels complete. So what game modes would you recommend and why? What do you like playing the most yourself?

Thanks for helping to save a game
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Simon Kamber
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I think some diagnostics are in order before the patient can be treated.

How many players were playing? Did you play only competitive, and did you feel like you were playing directly against each other or did it feel like "multiplayer solitaire"?

(also, it may be worth realizing that the most merciful thing could be to let the patient go. While I like the game, it does have a certain laid-back pace to it)
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Mitch Renwick
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Dulkal wrote:
I think some diagnostics are in order before the patient can be treated.

How many players were playing? Did you play only competitive, and did you feel like you were playing directly against each other or did it feel like "multiplayer solitaire"?

(also, it may be worth realizing that the most merciful thing could be to let the patient go. While I like the game, it does have a certain laid-back pace to it)


I have played solo a couple times to get to know the rules better, but our group games have been almost all 3 player, the only exception being 1 2 player blitz.

We played competitively, but without the PVP rules. So it was very much like multiplayer solitaire, but we did lock each other out of key spots, took risks to try to grab a castle before the next player, burn down monasteries, etc. Basically we would try to sabotage the other players’ plans, or get to a key spot before they could.

I think that either a co-op scenario would be good, or competitive. We play both types of games on a regular basis. For Mage Knight, a co-op might even be better, if we help each other out, it might eliminate some of the AP, and sitting through other people’s turns might not feel so uninteresting.
 
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Simon Kamber
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snowren24 wrote:
I think that either a co-op scenario would be good, or competitive. We play both types of games on a regular basis. For Mage Knight, a co-op might even be better, if we help each other out, it might eliminate some of the AP, and sitting through other people’s turns might not feel so uninteresting.


You may want to give that a try. It is a vastly different feel. We can rule out 'too many players'-issues though. 3 is manageable (4 would have explained your issues).


I am not the right one to advise on competitive scenarios. Never played them much, because the niche MK fills in our groups is the complex coop game.
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Ocean Druen
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There is nothing wrong with having a game that only gets played from time to time, especially one as good as Mage Knight. You also have the solo games which allows you to take it out and play (and design your own scenarios).

This is how I feel; my group have several spectacular games that don't get the play they should because of the time to play - but when we do break them out it becomes an awesome session.

Personally I find that making rules to speed a game up usually backfire too so I would go back to playing without them and play without the AP player if you can. Also think about playing with only two or three players which should speed the game up - I have not played with four players but also feel that more than three would take away from the game.
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that Matt
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snowren24 wrote:
and one of our players who can suffer from serious AP, was really getting under our skin with his 30 minute turns.

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Kevin Lim
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The headache goes away if you play more! I get these headaches too when I play a particularly thinky game. After a while you get used to the combinations of cards and the types of monsters, and some decisions are almost automatic. I would just throw out the AP prone player and get on with some Mage Knight!
 
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Mitch Renwick
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Are there any co-op senarios that people would recommend? We'd be looking for a medium legnth game. Something between the blitz learning senario and the full out conquest senario.

Kicking the AP player isnt much of an option unfortunately. I just wish there was a way to kick the AP out of him.
 
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Ocean Druen
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snowren24 wrote:

Kicking the AP player isnt much of an option unfortunately. I just wish there was a way to kick the AP out of him.


Maybe try to play real time

He / She will be recruiting the first units and everyone else will be storming the castle!!
 
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Chris Berry
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Try Dungeon Lords and/or Mines Liberation; AP won't have as much to 'process' as their are fewer things to process (and no city assaults to deal with).
 
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aurax golden chubby dragon
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The game is complex and takes a lot of time. That is one of its main characteristics.

Even the coop blitz can take easily 1 hour per player. Maybe you are asking for more than can be actually done

Maybe your group could share the game and each player play a couple of solo games to get more familiar with the rules and mechanics. Then, when you play together, everything will be easier.

Also, the cooperative is definetely the way to go as you can interact with each other during the long turns and help the AP guy a bit... also, because others can compensate your mistakes, you dont need to absolutely optimize every card you play
 
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Scott Smart

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I'd definitely suggest a Full Co-op game so you all can help each other out. However, keep in mind that this game is very lengthy which is why I love it so much (I must be weird because it seems like most people want 30-90 min games. I, on the other hand, crave 2.5-5 hour games like this, Civ, Axis&Allies, etc and not thrilled with very many games of the shorter length.). So, if your group is mostly a 3 hour game group, you might be wise to give the game up to someone who has the time to let this excellent game breathe so to speak.
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John Jersey
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snowren24 wrote:
Are there any co-op senarios that people would recommend? We'd be looking for a medium legnth game. Something between the blitz learning senario and the full out conquest senario.

Kicking the AP player isnt much of an option unfortunately. I just wish there was a way to kick the AP out of him.

I think a coop game may help with your AP sufferer too, playing together against the game, you will all be planning your turns together with an overall plan so if your slow thinker agrees to "the big picture" it may help you push him in one direction or another. You all sound like a committed group and that's awesome. Maybe put off putting MK on the chopping block for the next trade off that comes around and give coop a try?
 
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Joey Miseirvitch
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We instituted a house rule of two free movement points per turn. This allowed for the heavier AP players to free up time juggling movement vs attack vs blocking calculations with their cards. Also, it sped the game along very nicely without counterbalancing the game mechanics in any way. A normal 3.5 hour game was cut by 45 minutes with this simple change (3 player competitive). For experienced players, you will have to adjust difficulty with cities, but aside from that, it's a huge change and it has brought more plays to my table because of it! Glad I tried it on a solo playing whim.
 
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Rod Aguirre
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I would:

1) Play less frequently
2) Play cooperatively
4) Play open handed

I would think that what's slowing the play is the competition between the players.
There's a great podcast with Geof Gambill, Jesse Dean and Paul Grogan where these issues are discussed:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7601097/podcasts/LongView/Mage_Knigh...
 
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Daniel Corban
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What on earth could someone even be doing for 30 minutes? You only have 5-7 cards.

Another problem is that you said you have played it three times over a few months. You are undoubtedly still having your head in the rulebook. At least one person at the table needs to have the rules mostly internalized.
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David desJardins
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dcorban wrote:
What on earth could someone even be doing for 30 minutes? You only have 5-7 cards.


You can have more cards than that. And units, and skills. I've certainly been in plenty of situations where I could play better if I take 30 minutes than only 20 minutes. But you have to have some kind of tradeoff (that is appropriate for your group) between making your move better and delaying the game for everyone else.
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Daniel Corban
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I don't know why I am bothering to reply, but no shit Sherlock.
 
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David desJardins
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dcorban wrote:
I don't know why I am bothering to reply, but no shit Sherlock.


If you knew what someone could be doing for 30 minutes, why did you ask? I'm guessing this is one of those mysteries that will never be resolved.

Here's another answer:
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G B
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Hilarious video! But I would lose it watching people take 20 minute turns too. Egads.
 
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David desJardins
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My guess is that people's understanding of "What could you be doing for 30 minutes?" correlates strongly with whether they are in an occupation where they actually do think for 30 minutes (or 3 hours or 3 days or 3 months or 3 years) at a time about a single problem or question.
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