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Subject: Mage Knight Board Game - Sneak Previews - Week 4 rss

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Paul Grogan
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WEEK 1 Here
WEEK 2 Here
WEEK 3 Here


DAY 22: The Colour of Magic.

Week 4 already. How time has flown. We've covered basic and advanced action cards, enemies and units and now we're onto the Spells.



The game comes with 20 Spell cards. As described in the Walkthrough, for your first game, just shuffle the deck and leave it face down. You dont actually need the spells until the first mage tower is revealed, but in the full game, you reveal three of them as the Spell offer.

Like gaining other cards, when you gain a spell, you choose any one from the offer and put it on top of your deck. This means it will probably be there for you on your next turn.

All spells have 2 uses, and in fact two different spell names. The top half of a spell card shows the basic spell, which costs 1 mana. The bottom effect is more powerful and costs the same mana as the top half, but also 1 black mana. Since black mana is only used at night, this means you cant use the stronger effect of the card during the day.

Onto the card itself. There are plenty of spells that are fairly simple and just give you large amounts of Attack, either Ranged Fire or Siege Ice, etc. But I thought I'd show one a bit more interesting. THat's not to say that the Attack cards aren't useful - I normally grab them first

Tremor / Earthquake, as you can see reduces the armour of enemies. If used against just one, it reduces it more than if you use it against multiple enemies. Note that even if you are fighting more than one enemy, you can still play this spell and just target it against one of them.

Reducing an enemies armour is great, it means you need to do less Attack to kill it. In our last game, I managed to reduce one unit down to Armour 1. I then blocked its attack and simply played 1 card sideways to kill it in melee combat.


DAY 23: Temporary help



This is one of the spells I've had in two different games. In my first game, I used the normal effect, and in my second game where I used it, I used the stronger effect.

This card opens up a whole multitude of options based on what Units are on display. Facing an Ice Attack of 4, dont have any Fire Block in hand, just borrow the Fire Block of the Guardian Golems in the Unit offer.

The stronger effect of this card is just awesome. Altem Mages in the Unit offer but you cant be bothered going all the way to a city to recruit them, or dont have the 11 Influence you need. Simply cast Call to Glory and they are yours. Of course, those Wounded peasants that are using up one of your valuable Command tokens.... Well, we never liked them anyway...


DAY 24: Manipulation of Space and Time



This card has never come up yet in any game we've played. But it looks pretty cool. The basic effect of this card enhances your movement, effectively allowing you to transport yourself to a space 2 hexes away, missing out the hex in between. Even if you do move to an adjacent hex, you are still doing so by bending space, so it doesnt provoke rampaging enemies, who find it all very confusing.

The stronger effect of this card I cant wait to play, just at the right moment. You take your turn, and then take another one, using the same cards as you had before. There are only certain times when this would be useful. For example, if you have a perfect hand of cards ready for taking a city, and you do so, then having all them cards again straight away would be a bit of a waste, but a good combination of movement and attack cards will allow you to effectively gain an extra turn. Nice.


DAY 25: Nothing personal....



The Spell deck comes with 4 spells which affect other players. These are removed from the game for co-op games. You might also want to remove them for learning games with new players.

I've seen this card be played twice now, both by another player, and it hurt. Losing a Crystal just when you need it can be bad. But remember, if you are paying attention, you would have seen when the other player took this spell, know that they have drawn it at the end of their turn, and therefore you know they are probably going to cast it fairly soon. So, you could take that into account.

Mana Radiance is just nasty when used at the right time.


DAY 26: Artifacts!

We're almost at the end of our journey now, with the last of the Deed cards to show you. We've seen basic actions, advanced actions and spells. Finally, Artifacts...

Artifacts are different in a few ways. First of all, there is no Artifact offer. Whenever you gain an Artifact, you draw 2 cards from the top of the deck, choose one of them (which goes on top of your Deed deck) and return the other to the bottom of the Artifact deck.

Secondly, the Artifact has 2 different effects. Whilst the other cards also have 2 effects, the difference with the stronger one is that if you use it, the Artifact is destroyed, remove it from the game. A powerful one-off effect.



I've chosen a nice simple Artifact to show you first. There is one of these rings for each basic colour of mana; they all do a similar thing. Each time you play it, you gain a red mana, a red Crystal and +1 Fame. Or, destroy it to have as much black and red as you want in a turn. Combined with other red cards, this could be very powerful.

In my few games, I've had one of the rings once. I never used it for the stronger effect, but was very happy when I drew it for the mana and Crystal.



DAY 27: Raise your banner.

Some of the Artifacts in the game are known as Banner Artifacts. These have a couple of different uses.

And just to confuse everyone, I'm going to explain the stronger effect first



When you draw this card from your Deed deck, you could play it for the stronger effect in combat. This destroys the Artifact but produces a powerful one-off effect. This card is great for when you are taking on a city full of nasties. You turn up, activate the power of the "Banner of Fear", or "Banner of Almighty Fear and Doom" and I will call my copy. The garrison in the city will hide in terror behind their city walls, and then you march in and kill them.


Next up, the basic effect of the card. You can play this card and attach it to one of your Units. When you do this, that Unit effectively gains an extra ability - in this case, you can spend the Unit to cancel any one attack against you. This spends the Unit but does not use up the Artifact. If you can ready the Unit somehow, you can then use it again.

Once a banner is assigned to a Unit, the stronger effect can no longer be played as this is only usable when played from your hand.

At the end of each Round, when you come to shuffle all your Deed cards together, you may choose to take the banner from the Unit and put it back into your deck.

There are 4 Banners in the game: Fear, Glory, Protection, Courage.




DAY 27a: Special Wednesday bonus preview



The three other special cards from the other 3 Hero decks. This card replaces one of the other action cards so that each players initial deck is 16 cards.




DAY 28: This could hurt a bit



This Artifact should be self explanatory. Big powerful attack at the risk of a wound. Or massive powerful attack at the risk of more wounds. Siege Attack 12 will definitely come in helpful!

Currently, Filip is the winner of the competition "How many self-inflicted wounds can you take from playing this card" with 4 Wounds. I hope it was worth it.



END OF WEEK BONUS PREVIEW



Here are the Tactic cards for Daytime. When I am explaining the game, I always leave these until the very end. I explain all about the action cards, what they can do in their turn etc, and then just as we are ready to start playing the first round of the game, I then show the Tactic cards.

The number on the card determines when you take your turn in the Round, so if you are near another Hero and are both going to be going for the same thing, grabbing the "1" means you will go first. However, you dont get a special power.

The cards get more powerful as the number gets higher. When I am teaching the game, I get the players to look at their hand of cards carefully before choosing a Tactic card. For example, in the walkthrough, the nearest space where you can do anything on the initial board setup is 5 Movement away. If you have been really unlucky and drawn no movement cards at all, I recommend taking Tactic #2 or #5


The game also comes with Night Tactics. You should not show these when people are learning the game until the start of the first Night. Just tell people they are different.


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Philip Moerenhout
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PaulGrogan wrote:
WEEK 1 Here
WEEK 2 Here
WEEK 3 Here


DAY 22: The Colour of Magic.
All spells have 2 uses, and in fact two different spell names. The top half of a spell card shows the basic spell, which costs 1 mana. The bottom effect is more powerful and costs the same mana as the top half, but also 1 black mana. Since black mana is only used at night, this means you cant use the stronger effect of the card during the day.


So, to play the night spell you will have make sure you have at least 1 mana or mana crystal available, since you can take only 1 mana from the pool, correct ?
 
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Filip Murmak
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Yes. There are many ways to generate extra mana/crystal. Through various Deed cards, Units, locations on map, ...
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Paul Grogan
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In fact, collecting crystals is usually advisable for later on in the game. If you dont bother with crystals, then you will generally only have 1 mana per turn unless you use cards like Mana Draw or Unit effects which generate mana.

Later on in the game where you have something really difficult to do (like attacking a city), you really need a nice collection of crystals so that you can power up lots of cards in your hand, rather than just the one.

As Filip says, on your first turn of the game, you will likely be just using the one mana from the source. But as the game goes on, you'll have cards, Units, skills that all provide mana and on your last turn, you could easily be using 8 mana on one turn. That's when it gets complicated

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Paul Grogan
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Original post updated with Day 24.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Quick question about something that just occurred to me:

I didn't see anything in the rules that regulated the use of gold mana from the source. In the only other game I can think of that uses a communal dice selection mechanic (Age of Conan), there is a rule that says players are not allowed to take "wildcard" dice if there is already another "normal" version in the pool of the action that they want to take. This prevents all the wildcard dice from being taken straight away just to prevent the other players from taking them first. There doesn't seem to be anything similar in place for mana in this game; what is to prevent players from using up all the gold mana straight away just to prevent it being available to the other players?
 
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Timothy Pride
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Quick question about something that just occurred to me:

I didn't see anything in the rules that regulated the use of gold mana from the source. In the only other game I can think of that uses a communal dice selection mechanic (Age of Conan), there is a rule that says players are not allowed to take "wildcard" dice if there is already another "normal" version in the pool of the action that they want to take. This prevents all the wildcard dice from being taken straight away just to prevent the other players from taking them first. There doesn't seem to be anything similar in place for mana in this game; what is to prevent players from using up all the gold mana straight away just to prevent it being available to the other players?


Seems to me there's none. Doesn't mean it's necessary though. In Age of Conan it is needed maybe because the die is discarded after use. So there are lesser selections for later players. But in here, the die is rolled again, and put back into poll (unless it's a black for day or gold for night, then, tough luck)
 
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Chris J Davis
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Darkmot wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
Quick question about something that just occurred to me:

I didn't see anything in the rules that regulated the use of gold mana from the source. In the only other game I can think of that uses a communal dice selection mechanic (Age of Conan), there is a rule that says players are not allowed to take "wildcard" dice if there is already another "normal" version in the pool of the action that they want to take. This prevents all the wildcard dice from being taken straight away just to prevent the other players from taking them first. There doesn't seem to be anything similar in place for mana in this game; what is to prevent players from using up all the gold mana straight away just to prevent it being available to the other players?


Seems to me there's none. Doesn't mean it's necessary though. In Age of Conan it is needed maybe because the die is discarded after use. So there are lesser selections for later players. But in here, the die is rolled again, and put back into poll (unless it's a black for day or gold for night, then, tough luck)


It seems it would still always be preferable to take a gold die over any other colour though, even if you didn't *really* need it.
 
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Paul Grogan
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Quick question about something that just occurred to me:

I didn't see anything in the rules that regulated the use of gold mana from the source. In the only other game I can think of that uses a communal dice selection mechanic (Age of Conan), there is a rule that says players are not allowed to take "wildcard" dice if there is already another "normal" version in the pool of the action that they want to take. This prevents all the wildcard dice from being taken straight away just to prevent the other players from taking them first. There doesn't seem to be anything similar in place for mana in this game; what is to prevent players from using up all the gold mana straight away just to prevent it being available to the other players?


There is a variant rule which you can choose to use if you like. I in fact always use this rule unless the game is very competitive.

The rule is called "Friendly Mana", and basically means that you can't use gold mana from the source if the source contains the colour that you want.

Of course, in competitive games, you want to be using the gold mana in preference to the others, so that the other players cant use it
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Filip Murmak
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Quick question about something that just occurred to me:

I didn't see anything in the rules that regulated the use of gold mana from the source. In the only other game I can think of that uses a communal dice selection mechanic (Age of Conan), there is a rule that says players are not allowed to take "wildcard" dice if there is already another "normal" version in the pool of the action that they want to take. This prevents all the wildcard dice from being taken straight away just to prevent the other players from taking them first. There doesn't seem to be anything similar in place for mana in this game; what is to prevent players from using up all the gold mana straight away just to prevent it being available to the other players?


As Paul mentioned, standard rules don't restrict using gold mana like that, but the variant (which I use as well most of the time) forces you to be friendly.

Though, I've to say I've seen some very smart way to make players spend their acumulated crystals by simply blowing off some mana colour from the Source. A great way to do that is by taking one of Night tactic cards, which allows you to reroll some dice in Source every turn. In fact, it can be quite important element and if played cleverly, you can make other players' life quite miserable (imagine there are 5 dice in Source, 2 black, 3 playable and you reroll 2 playable, maybe some will turn into black/gold as well, whilst you use the 3rd playable and will reroll it as well. Sometimes that can cause the Source to be depleted pretty much the whole night).

But all in all, it's up to players to agree which way they're gonna approach the game and choose adequate variant(s).
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Paul Grogan
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Updated original post with Day 24
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Christian Kløve
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karel_danek wrote:
A great way to do that is by taking one of Night tactic cards, which allows you to reroll some dice in Source every turn.


Ah, yes the Tactics cards. Are you going to preview those as well? Maybe some skills?
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Timothy Pride
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Official variant is nice. That saves a lot of debates in which should and should not be in Board game. Vlaada is being really through this time .


Kløve wrote:
karel_danek wrote:
A great way to do that is by taking one of Night tactic cards, which allows you to reroll some dice in Source every turn.


Ah, yes the Tactics cards. Are you going to preview those as well? Maybe some skills?


Agreed. That's what I want to ask after reading walkthrough, but forgot. Will you?
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clemens kremer
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you can use the spell (day 24) to jump over more than one space though right ? it is worded (at least to me) in such a way that wherever you are, you can jump one space when you take your next move (spend movement points according to the hex you move into), and the move after that, and so on... but now that i am typing it i am not so sure any more. need to read up on he movement rules i guess (don't have the walkthrough in front of me at the moment)...
really like the spells so far ! how difficult is it to get a hold of them during a game (since you have played tons and some spells have not come up yet)? with how many spells do you usualy end your game ? can you try to focus on getting them or is it more or less rnadom what cards you get (you just grab whatever is available at a certain time) ?
 
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Paul Grogan
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Kløve wrote:
karel_danek wrote:
A great way to do that is by taking one of Night tactic cards, which allows you to reroll some dice in Source every turn.


Ah, yes the Tactics cards. Are you going to preview those as well? Maybe some skills?


Tactics cards were going to be the special weekend preview that I'm going to do tonight. You read my mind

Skills will be next week - starting on Friday.
 
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Paul Grogan
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ckremer2 wrote:
you can use the spell (day 24) to jump over more than one space though right ? it is worded (at least to me) in such a way that wherever you are, you can jump one space when you take your next move (spend movement points according to the hex you move into), and the move after that, and so on... but now that i am typing it i am not so sure any more. need to read up on he movement rules i guess (don't have the walkthrough in front of me at the moment)...
really like the spells so far ! how difficult is it to get a hold of them during a game (since you have played tons and some spells have not come up yet)? with how many spells do you usualy end your game ? can you try to focus on getting them or is it more or less rnadom what cards you get (you just grab whatever is available at a certain time) ?


Well, I've never used the card, but I'm pretty sure it is like this (and Filip / Vlaada will correct me in about 14 nanoseconds if I am wrong).

Space Bending lasts for your whole turn, not just one move. So yes, your first move can be to a space that is 2 away. Then you move again, to another space that is 2 away, etc.

There are six ways to get spells (I think this is all)
1. Conquering a Mage Tower
2. Interacting at an already conquered Mage Tower
3. Reward from any Tomb
4. Sometimes a reward from a Dungeon
5. Reward from certain Ruins
6. Interacting at the Blue City

Spells are powerful, more so that Advanced Actions. They are harder to get, and cost more to play.

How many you end with depends on the scenario and the length of the game. In our first ever game, playing the tutorial scenario, one player got a Spell but didnt cast it before the game ended. He drew it into hand the turn after he gained it, but it just wasnt useful for him at that time.

The last few times I have played it, I have played Blitz Conquest, which is a 4 Round version of the Full Conquest (normally 6 Rounds). I think the players ended with between 0 and 3 spells in their deck, so that could be more if you play the full 6 Rounds. It all depends what you choose to do. One player in our last game got his reputation so high that he could have just stayed at a Mage Tower each turn buying Spells. He would have had loads of them, but of course, every turn he was doing this, the other players were off doing more rewarding things

I wouldnt say it is random what you get, but you have to adapt to the way the game pans out. If you explore a tile and it has a Mage Tower on it, and you could defeat the inhabitants, then you probably should. You get a Spell of your choice from the offer. If you say "I'm not going with a Spell strategy", ignore the mage tower and just waste a turn going somewhere else instead, I think that would be a bit silly. There isnt a 'strategy' in going for / not going for spells, everything is good, you just have to take the right things at the right time.

If for example, you had a character that could somehow generate red mana, then taking a red spell might be a wise choice.
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Bryan Graham
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I just wanted a clarification for Space Bending. What does 2 away mean? My interpretation would be that hexes that are adjacent to you are 0 away, out from that is 1 away, and out from that is 2 away, meaning you'd "fly over" 2 hexes each move, but I can understand the interpretation that you'd only skip over one. It really hinges on the interpretation of what "away" means. Are adjacent hexes 0 away or 1 away?

Been loving the previews, thanks for doing them
 
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Philip Moerenhout
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Pretty sure that adjacent hexes are 1 away
 
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Filip Murmak
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Borg wrote:
Pretty sure that adjacent hexes are 1 away


That is correct
 
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Filip Murmak
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Regarding Spells, as Paul mentioned, it's so diverse every game. Sometimes you manage to get 5 or even more of them in single game, sometimes just one, if even. It depends on what map tiles will be drawn, what are you going to conquer/explore yourself or even what Hero do you play. Some have Influence/Reputation boosting skills, which can come in handy when you want to lay your hands on that powerful Tornado spell you see in Spell offer ...

All in all, Spells are the most powerful cards in game, though if you take in account the heavy need of mana, it makes them a bit tricky.
 
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Paul Grogan
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karel_danek wrote:
All in all, Spells are the most powerful cards in game, though if you take in account the heavy need of mana, it makes them a bit tricky.


Later this week I'm covering Artifacts. In my opinion, Artifacts are the most powerful cards in the game, which is why I was saving them until the end
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Filip Murmak
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PaulGrogan wrote:
karel_danek wrote:
All in all, Spells are the most powerful cards in game, though if you take in account the heavy need of mana, it makes them a bit tricky.


Later this week I'm covering Artifacts. In my opinion, Artifacts are the most powerful cards in the game, which is why I was saving them until the end


Well they are if you take in account the mana price of Spells...
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Paul Grogan
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Original post updated.
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Paul Grogan
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Original post updated with the first Artifact.
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Timothy Pride
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Question. With this artifact can you use black mana during DAY and outside dungeon?
 
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