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Subject: Mage Knight Board Game - Sneak Previews - Week 5 rss

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Paul Grogan
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WEEK 1 Here
WEEK 2 Here
WEEK 3 Here
WEEK 4 Here

DAY 29: You have some skill my young friend

Week 5 starts here. Week 5 is the last week. Thankyou for following this for the last 4 weeks and all of the positive comments that have kept me doing this.


The main topic for this week are Skills. Each Hero has 10 unique Skill tokens which are shuffled and placed face down in a pile at the start of the game. When teaching the game, that is all you need to do. Dont even look at them. Dont even explain or read how they work - new players will already have enough to remember.

Each Hero also comes with a 2-sided reference card which has all of the rules for their skills on them. Again, just put this to one side when setting up the game for the first time.

When a Hero levels up for the first time (from Level 1 to Level 2), they draw 2 Skill tokens from the top of their pile, choose one and place the other one in a Common Skill offer.

Apart the one different card in the Basic Action cards that come with a Hero, the Skills are the only other thing that make that Hero different. Heroes do not have any special rules or anything else that apply to them, just the different skills and the one different card. However, whilst at first, this change might feel subtle, it does fundamentally change the way that these heroes play.

I think this is great news, because it means that those people who want to start creating their own Heroes for the game simply need to come up with 1 Basic action cards and 10 new Skills, and you have a new Hero! Of course, balancing it is another thing entirely.


So... Skills. These are very different from other cards we have shown so far, because they are not cards that go in your deck. All the other cards you gain, go into your deck and will usually only be played once per round, whenever the card comes out. Skill tokens however, sit in front of you and are there each and every turn.

Lets have a look at two of them..



These two skills are from the Hero Tovak. I should have probably put a gap between the two skill tokens in the image, because it looks like one big long skill. Sorry for that.

The left hand Skill is called "Cold Swordsmanship". It is very simple. Each turn, you get either +2 Attack or +2 Ice Attack. Every turn, not once per round. It is like you having a card in your hand every turn with +2 Attack / +2 Ice Attack on it. Tovak is good against fighting Fire based monsters.

The right hand Skill is called "I Feel no Pain". Once per turn, except in combat, Tovak can discard a Wound card from hand to draw a card from his Deed deck. Whilst healing is normally better (since then the Wound is gone permanently), I've used this card when I last played to great effect. It did mean that I wasnt too bothered about taking the odd Wound to my hand, because I was able to discard them and draw another card instead each round.

Of course, I still lost lots of VP for Wound cards at the end of the game!



DAY 30: Shooting Leaves



Two Skills today from a different Hero. Day Sharpshooting is one of a number of skills in the game which boost an effect but by a different amount depending upon the time of day, in this case Ranged Attack. Remember that this Skill is permanent and can be used each turn, and being a fan of killing enemies before they get to hit you, I quite like this skill. 2 extra Ranged Attack in each combat is pretty nice. Of course, when fighting cities, it isn’t that useful, since all the defenders are fortified.

The second skill today is Leaves in the Wind. Again, there are a number of similar skills like this in the game. The flip symbol shows that this Skill can only be used once per Round, you flip it over when it is used – it will refresh at the end of the Round. This Skill gains the Hero one Green Crystal and one White mana token.



DAY 31: Glittering Potions



Potion Making is another example of a Skill which is only usable once per round, and this is another simple one. Those of you that have been following things so far can probably work out what this Skill does already. Once per Round, you can use this Skill to gain Heal 2, which you can then use to heal yourself or your Units. Healing effects cannot be used in combat, and this applies to this Skill too – but they can be used after combat.

Glittering Fortune can be really good if you adopt a plan to work well with it. You turn up to a local village, show them your bag of shiny things and they all go “Ooooo” and “Ahhhh”. Each turn, you gain bonus influence for interaction based on how many different coloured crystals you have. You dont lose the Crystals, just show them. So, if you manage to get all 4 colours in your backpack and don’t need them for anything else, that is +4 Influence each turn. Very nice.



Special Sunday bonus




Someone requested I post one of the Core Map tiles.



DAY 32: Polarazing Negotiations



Dark Negotiation is really easy. +3 Influence per turn at Night, reduced to +2 during the Day.

Polarization. Once per turn, you can use a mana of the opposite colour. This means that during the Day, you could use a black mana (normally unusable) as gold (i.e any basic colour). And at Night, you could use gold as black, so more chance of you being able to power up the stronger effect of Spells.


DAY 33: Come on people. Get a move on.



Each Hero has a Motivation Skill. They all do the same thing, with one slight difference. Each Skill allows the Hero to draw 2 cards, but in addition to this, if they are currently in the lowest position on the Fame track (i.e losing), they also gain a mana token. This skill shows blue mana, but the other Heroes have different colours. Now, the Motivation Skill is a bit tricky because you can use it on another players turn. In fact, this is probably the best idea. Since any mana tokens you gain are only lost at the end of your turn, you can easily gain mana outside of your turn and it stays around, giving you a chance to use it. It even stays around between one game Round and the next, as long as you haven’t had a turn.

The best time to actually use this is right after your turn. The reason for this is that you will draw the 2 cards early to give you more time to plan your turn. Vlaada is very keen on minimising downtime in games, so this is why this Skill can be used in another players turn rather than “at the start of your turn”. Players who decide to wait until the start of their turn to use it will then have to rethink / replan their turn again which slows the game down.


The other Skill today is called “Who Needs Magic”. Once per turn, one of the cards you play sideways counts as 2 ‘something’ instead of 1. Also, if you didn’t use a mana die from the Source this turn, it counts a 3 ‘something’ instead of 2. Now, a clever player (let’s call him, erm…. Paul), wants to use this Skill, playing a card sideways for 3 and laughing as the High Dragon is defeated. And then after the combat, he then wants to use a mana die from the source. This might sound legal, because at the point I (erm, I mean this random player) used the Skill, a mana die hadn’t been used. However, this is illegal and any player trying to stretch the rules like this should be slapped. The official answer is: If you do use this Skill to play a card sideways for 3, then you cannot then use a mana die from the source later in that turn.



DAY 34: Wounds are not all that bad.....



Thanks to Filip for suggesting we show these 2 Skills. We mentioned in earlier posts that the different Skills define the heroes and how they play. We have covered combat, and the impact of Wound cards, both during the game and in terms of end of game scoring. So right now, avoiding Wounds seems to be the best thing to do.

However, these 2 Skills show how Wounds can be useful....

Power of Pain: Once a turn, you can play one Wound sideways, as if it were a non-Wound card. It gives +2 instead of +1. At the end of your turn, put that Wound in your discard pile.

The second skill is what is known as an Interactive Skill. These are removed for Co-Op games because they hurt other players... Each Hero has one Interactive Skill.

Healing Ritual: Once a Round, except in combat: Flip this to throw away up to two Wounds from your hand. One of them goes to the
hand of the closest hero (if tied, you choose) instead to the Wound pile.

This Skill has come out in one of the games I played and it was funny to see the other players running away



DAY 35: The end is nigh



Two skills from Norowas today. This Hero is good at recruiting Units and making them better. You may remember from previous weeks, his special basic action card is one which boosts influence and gives extra Fame for interacting.

The first Skill is Inspiration. Once per round, except in combat, you can flip this skill to either ready a Unit or Heal it.

Combined with the powerful Units, this Skill is great, using it twice in a turn, or healing a high level unit can be very useful.


The other skill is Bonds of Loyalty. This is one of my favourites because I got it in my very first full game, and it seems amazingly powerful.

First of all, this skill gives you an extra command token. i.e The Skill itself counts as another command token, so you can recruit one more Unit. When you gain this Skill, you add 2 more regular Units to the Unit offer.

The Unit that you recruit into this slot costs you 5 less Influence to recruit. But it doesnt stop there. This unit is so loyal to you, it can be used even in situations when you couldn't normally use Units (i.e when down Dungeons or burning down a Monastery)

The only slight downside of this Skill is that you cant dismiss voluntarily the Unit that you recruit into this slot, so if you use it in the early game to recruit a low level Unit, you're going to have to find a clever way of getting rid of it if you want to replace it.


So.... That's it. 35 days worth of updates... What next?

Well, over the next few days, I'm still going to be uploaded a few extra bits and pieces. I've already done some home made player aids that I think are quite useful, but there's probably some other bits of the game I can show too. Updates will stop next week though as I'll be driving east.
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Timothy Pride
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You're such a tease. Isn't it easier to show us the reference card instead the skill token?

Wait, wound count as minus VP? How many per wound?
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Paul Grogan
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If I showed you the reference card, you'd see all 10 Skills

And yes, each Wound is -2VP at the end of the game (except Wounds on Units). And whoever has the most Wound wins "The Greatest Beating" Achievement, which is another -3 VP. I lost 11VP the last time we played it because my "carefully planned" attack on the Green city went a bit wrong.
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clemens kremer
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the last week allready ? i can't go to essen... this might sound wierd but i am going to miss these previews!
since you did some requests before and we are nearing release:
could you show one of the core map tiles ? and (i am just craving for any kind of information at this point) how many different basic cards are in your starting deck ? are they all different (sorry if this was answered allready somewhere) or does it contain duplicates ?
 
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Jordan
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Wait... for cold swordsmanship, when would I want to use the normal attack instead of the ice attack?
 
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Bryan Graham
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TrophyChase wrote:
Wait... for cold swordsmanship, when would I want to use the normal attack instead of the ice attack?

When the have Ice Resistance.
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Paul Grogan
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ckremer2 wrote:
the last week allready ? i can't go to essen... this might sound wierd but i am going to miss these previews!
since you did some requests before and we are nearing release:
could you show one of the core map tiles ? and (i am just craving for any kind of information at this point) how many different basic cards are in your starting deck ? are they all different (sorry if this was answered allready somewhere) or does it contain duplicates ?


Thanks for the requests. I will definitely post some extra map tiles over the weekend for you.

The basic 16 cards are not all unique. There are 2 Rage cards, 2 Stamina cards, 2 March cards and 2 Switfness cards. However some of the Heroes have one of these cards replaced with their special improved action card.
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Paul Grogan
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Broccoli wrote:
TrophyChase wrote:
Wait... for cold swordsmanship, when would I want to use the normal attack instead of the ice attack?

When the have Ice Resistance.


Very good question. It shows a good understanding of the rules to think to ask this.

And the exact right answer. Also shows a good understanding
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Chris J Davis
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Q: There was something I didn't quite understand from the walkthrough. If you choose to take a skill from the common skill offer, it says that you must take the advanced action that is *lowest* in position in the advanced action offer. I presume this means *instead* of the card you would normally take (as a penalty for taking a skill that doesn't belong to you)...?

EDIT: Never mind - I just found the answer in the rulebook.
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Paul Grogan
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Updated with Day 31 and a special weekend bonus preview
 
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Darrell Goodridge
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So on Glittering Fortune, do you lose the crystals, or just show them your shinies?
 
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Paul Grogan
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You just show them, Crystals are too powerful to give up for a one-off 1 Influence.
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Kevin Seachrist
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Glittering Fortune is the first misfire I've seen in terms of icons, though I'm not sure I would have been able to come up with a better visual in the limited space of a skill counter. It LOOKS like you get one influence for a set of four unlike colored crystals (or perhaps that you get to jam your gauntleted thumb into the side of a shadow warrior's head, but that's clearly not right). In fact you get +1 influence per color of crystal in your inventory. Stuff like this isn't a big deal if it's rare and the correct description or errata is front and center for the players.
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Filip Murmak
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Rykaar wrote:
Glittering Fortune is the first misfire I've seen in terms of icons, though I'm not sure I would have been able to come up with a better visual in the limited space of a skill counter. It LOOKS like you get one influence for a set of four unlike colored crystals (or perhaps that you get to jam your gauntleted thumb into the side of a shadow warrior's head, but that's clearly not right). In fact you get +1 influence per color of crystal in your inventory. Stuff like this isn't a big deal if it's rare and the correct description or errata is front and center for the players.


Actually there were couple of iterations for this particular skill. Initially it was giving you plus 1 Influence per different colour of crystal in your inventory. But that was way too powerful (as you were able to use it for Action cards which grants you other benefits for spending Influence). So Vlaada has decided to change it for "plus 1 reputation per colour of crystals in your Inventory."

The depicting is accurate as it could be, taking in account the size of the tile (yes, they are really small).
 
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Chris J Davis
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karel_danek wrote:
Rykaar wrote:
Glittering Fortune is the first misfire I've seen in terms of icons, though I'm not sure I would have been able to come up with a better visual in the limited space of a skill counter. It LOOKS like you get one influence for a set of four unlike colored crystals (or perhaps that you get to jam your gauntleted thumb into the side of a shadow warrior's head, but that's clearly not right). In fact you get +1 influence per color of crystal in your inventory. Stuff like this isn't a big deal if it's rare and the correct description or errata is front and center for the players.


Actually there were couple of iterations for this particular skill. Initially it was giving you plus 1 Influence per different colour of crystal in your inventory. But that was way too powerful (as you were able to use it for Action cards which grants you other benefits for spending Influence). So Vlaada has decided to change it for "plus 1 reputation per colour of crystals in your Inventory."


Huh? This is in contradiction of what it says in the preview.
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Filip Murmak
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bleached_lizard wrote:
karel_danek wrote:
Rykaar wrote:
Glittering Fortune is the first misfire I've seen in terms of icons, though I'm not sure I would have been able to come up with a better visual in the limited space of a skill counter. It LOOKS like you get one influence for a set of four unlike colored crystals (or perhaps that you get to jam your gauntleted thumb into the side of a shadow warrior's head, but that's clearly not right). In fact you get +1 influence per color of crystal in your inventory. Stuff like this isn't a big deal if it's rare and the correct description or errata is front and center for the players.


Actually there were couple of iterations for this particular skill. Initially it was giving you plus 1 Influence per different colour of crystal in your inventory. But that was way too powerful (as you were able to use it for Action cards which grants you other benefits for spending Influence). So Vlaada has decided to change it for "plus 1 reputation per colour of crystals in your Inventory."


Huh? This is in contradiction of what it says in the preview.


No it's not

Influence during interaction is basically reputation, that's why it's depicted like that.
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Paul Grogan
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Something that gives +1 Reputation each turn for different coloured Crystals definitely isnt right.

I think what Filip meant to say is that this skill effectively gives a temporary reputation boost. Hence the gauntlet symbol. If you have 3 different coloured crystals and are currently at +2 on the reputation track, then your effective bonus for influence when interacting is +5.



An original version of the skill just gave Influence. However, there are certain cards that allow you to spend Influence for other things in the game, and this Skill was too powerful when combined with them. So, the limiting factor is that the Influence gained from this Skill can only be used in Interaction. Since everything we have showed so far only covers the use of Influence when interacting, it looks like they are the same thing.

However.... Advanced Action Card: Diplomacy: Influence 2, You may use Influence as Block this turn. So Glittering Fortune cannot be used to gain extra Block through use of diplomacy.


I personally dont think the icons are bad - I've played quite a few times and never had an issue with it. Though I like the jamming of a gauntlet into the side of a shadow warriors head, and might have to self-errata this skill to do just that


Although the game comes with a Skill Reference card, we have only ever needed to refer to that card for the complex skills. Skill like this one, we never need to refer to the reference card as we found it pretty clear.

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Does the cards state that it's called Potion Making or Glittering Fortune? If not, a bit of the theme would be lost.
 
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Paul Grogan
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Antianti wrote:
Does the cards state that it's called Potion Making or Glittering Fortune? If not, a bit of the theme would be lost.


Yes, the Skill Reference card has the name of the Skill on it. I try and use this name for added flavour when playing the game to describe what I do.


BTW: Just updated with todays preview...
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clemens kremer
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strange how green and white are 'opposite' colours... they seem more like 'ally' colours (that might just be mtg talking though...).
 
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Paul Grogan
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ckremer2 wrote:
strange how green and white are 'opposite' colours... they seem more like 'ally' colours (that might just be mtg talking though...).


And anyone who turns their Units cards 90 degrees clockwise and says the word "Tap" loses 10 reputation, 50 fame and has a High Dragon try and eat them!
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Ido Abelman
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ckremer2 wrote:
strange how green and white are 'opposite' colours... they seem more like 'ally' colours (that might just be mtg talking though...).

Since classic time, the four element were paired as earth vs. air and water vs. fire. MTG doing it otherwise don't really matter.
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Paul Grogan
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Updated with Day 33
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Kevin Warrender
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For the Motivation Skill, playing it off-turn, is there any kind of "action window" where you can / can't play it, or is it really "at any point in the game".

2 examples:

1) Player A decides to move into Player B's space (to prepare for PvP combat). Player B uses Motivation Skill to draw 2 cards.

Legal? I assume yes.


2) Player A is in Player B's space and commences with combat. He ends up playing an attack which Player B has no block for. Player B uses Motivation Skill to draw 2 cards, hoping to get the Block card he needs.

Also legal?

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Paul Grogan
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jerkules wrote:
For the Motivation Skill, playing it off-turn, is there any kind of "action window" where you can / can't play it, or is it really "at any point in the game".

2 examples:

1) Player A decides to move into Player B's space (to prepare for PvP combat). Player B uses Motivation Skill to draw 2 cards.

Legal? I assume yes.


2) Player A is in Player B's space and commences with combat. He ends up playing an attack which Player B has no block for. Player B uses Motivation Skill to draw 2 cards, hoping to get the Block card he needs.

Also legal?



Very good question. I dont know the answer, so I'll wait for Vlaada to give you the full answer.
 
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