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Mage Knight Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Making Coop More Cooperative rss

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David Renaud
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One criticism I've seen of Mage Knight is that the co-op feels like simultaneous solitaire. Apart from cooperative city assaults, the group mostly tackles obstacles separately. While there's definitely a certain amount of coordination and discussion, I'd appreciate an assisting mechanic. Here are a handful of proposed additional options for players.

SPELLCASTING

Players are able to cast spells on an ally's turn. The spell resolves as if the active player had cast it. The player may use a die from the source in addition to the die used by the active player. If he does, he can't use a die from the source during his next turn. In addition, the player casting the spell will not draw back to his maximum hand size before his turn starts.

Possible restrictions: One can only cast spells on allies within a certain number of spaces. I don't want to force players to explore directly next to one another at all times, but a three to five space wiggle room may be a good restriction.

ADJACENT TRADING

Players are able to trade units, crystals, and/or artifacts. If a player ends his movement adjacent to another player, they may give or take any of the three types of cards/items.

Any traded units are placed under the new owner's command token, which may require another unit to be discarded to make space. A player receiving crystals may not exceed the normal three crystals per colour limit. Artifacts are traded from one players hand to the other's discard pile.

KEEP TRADING

Player are able to trade units, crystals, and/or artifacts at keeps. A player who ends his movement on a keep may throw away a unit, crystal, and/or artifact from his hand. Another player may end his turn on any keep and take the cards or items.

Any acquried units are placed under the new owner's command token, which may require another unit to be discarded to make space. A player receiving crystals may not exceed the normal three crystals per colour limit. Artifacts are placed in the receiving player's discard pile.

BALANCING

As always, city level adjustments are an option for compensating for the added options available to players. Additionally, the PVP Skills variant is a possibility.

PVP SKILLS

When the dummy draws the last card in its deck, it immediately uses its PVP Skill. Arythea's skill affects the player with the most Fame. Tovak will roll a die to determine his colour chosen. The only effect of the skill is the detriment to other players.
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Lex Major
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I like.
 
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Guy Srinivasan
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I don't like trading units. Or actually I do I just want the typical Vlaada mechanical nod to theme. Something like "counting reputation bonuses, skills, and any influence you just generated, if you have more influence than another Mage Knight, that Mage Knight can pass you a unit".
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David Renaud
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GreedyAlgorithm wrote:
I don't like trading units. Or actually I do I just want the typical Vlaada mechanical nod to theme. Something like "counting reputation bonuses, skills, and any influence you just generated, if you have more influence than another Mage Knight, that Mage Knight can pass you a unit".

I quite like that. So, essentially, you can recruit units from adjacent allies, or recruit units left at keeps?

EDIT: Misread that. Thought it required more influence than base requirement. So, receiving a unit from Norowas at night with the passive influence skill and a +1 influence bonus from reputation would need to generate more than three influence, minus reputation penalty?
 
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Greg
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I like too. I was thinking about the lonely co-op problem as well and came to similar conclusions about helping other players. (I believe where you say "cast spell" you mean play action card?). I was going to allow players to provide one card or crystal to adjacent players when they were making a challenge (the distance makes sense in terms of mechanics but not the theme, but whatever makes it more enjoyable really).

Not sure about trading of units, but that's only a personal hang-up.

I was going to use the variant that all rampaging areas would have chance of being a brown token.
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David Renaud
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I actually did mean specifically spell cards, not just actions. I think by restricting it to spells, it forces more of an investment from the assisting player (both a card from hand and using either a crystal or mana die for next turn). It also creates a situation in which players can push for more cooperative abilities by directly aiming for gaining more spells (further pushing the investment for reward element). From a thematic aspect, it's easier to see spells being used at range, as well.

I realize you mentioned skill cards being used adjacent only, which would counteract my last point. Some of the criticisms for other co-op variants that I've seen is the necessity to travel side-by-side. I've tried to limit that with these; allowing players to touch base every now and then and swap resources, then tackle separate objectives.
 
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Sam Newman
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I have thought that there definitely should be trading.


I have played a handful of 2 player co ops and a few 3 player co ops.

The cooperative aspect really comes from helping eachother figure out the best way to get things done.

-Splitting up
-this includes leaving easier things for allies who can't tackle harder or farther things while you can
-Being aware what source dies your allies need soon and leaving it for them or even changing other die into the color they need (by rerolling or a card such as mana draw)
-Helping them figure out how to play their cards in order to be successful in their feats.
-having more than one mind looking at how to use 8 cards and 3 units in order to kill and block 3 enemies in the most efficient way is huge.


If you do it right, its really more like 50% of your character is you, 25% is one friend and 25% is the other. Then you have 25% investments in their kights as well. Working together to play the individual heroes is a big component to cooperative scenarios.






However I do truly wish you could trade (or give) crystals at the least.
 
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Georg D.
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I think I would implement Trading based on influence.

Trading

Adjacent Trading

If you stand adjacent to each other you can give things to other players or take it from them.

You can Trade crystals and artifacts by spending 1 point of influence per piece. (As usual when you get an artifact it goes to the top of your drawpile. To give away an artifact it has to be in your hand.)

For this kind of Trading your modifier due to reputation is ignored – other mageknights give a shit about your reputation.

You can convince a unit to change owner. In this case you have to pay influence according to the modifier of the former owner – your own modifier will be applied. (So mr good guy can get other units for free but mr badass has to invest some influence – he still has to convince the unit itself.)

Trading counts as special action, you can do it anytime during your move.


Keep Trading
You can use Keeps for far distant Trading.

During your turn if you are in a keep you can drop crystals, artifacts or units for free. (mark somehow in which keep you dropped it.)

If you are in a keep you can take things other players dropped. The price in influence is based on the distance between keeps. If both keeps are on the same tile it is for free, if the keep is on a neighbour tile it costs one influence per trading good, if there is one tile between it costs 2 influence,...

Units have the same costs based on distance but they are modified by your reputation
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Nixitur
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Some very interesting variants here. I haven't gotten around to playing coop yet, but I really like these ideas.
A note for the OP: I think it's better to base the range from which you can cast spells on tiles, not spaces since it's easier to check.
Say, you can cast spells during another player's turn from the same or an adjacent tile for the normal spell cost. If you are two tiles away, you have to pay one more card color mana or something. In any case, if you use a mana die, you forfeit the one mana die you can use in your turn.

I don't quite understand this one, though.
Fluxx wrote:
You can convince a unit to change owner. In this case you have to pay influence according to the modifier of the former owner – your own modifier will be applied. (So mr good guy can get other units for free but mr badass has to invest some influence – he still has to convince the unit itself.)
So, you have to pay "former owner modifier - your modifier" for a minimum of 0? That seems extremely overpowered and would skew the balance towards "good actions" even further. Sure, it's thematic since the units would prefer a "good" lord over an "evil" one, but for free? That seems a bit much.
Maybe put the minimal influence cost for unit trading at half the original cost divided by two and rounded down? After all, thematically, while the units have heard of your reputation, you are still a stranger to them.
Edit: Hmm, no, that wouldn't make sense. That would mean that even an extremely good lord might pay more for a traded unit than they would pay if they recruited it newly. That doesn't make sense...
Okay, so no, my idea is a terrible one. Still think 0 cost for getting units from an evil player is just too good.
 
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Georg D.
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Nixitur wrote:
Still think 0 cost for getting units from an evil player is just too good.

perhaps you're right. My thoughts were that someone with a positive modifierwill have few probem to gain new units while the one with a negative modifier will have much trouble. So usually it would be a bad move to transfer units from Mr bad to Mr good. So I don't need to make it too difficult. The othr way would be quit good so it shouldn't be too easy. (remember it is cooperataive game - you don't steal a unit against the former owners will)
 
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