Gameday First Play – Mage Knight Board Game
Deck-building in a Fantasy Realm.
It’s Runebound meets Trains.
The Mage Knight board game puts you in control of one of four powerful Mage Knights as you explore (and conquer) a corner of the Mage Knight universe under the control of the Atlantean Empire.
Sooo… This is one of those games that I won’t explain too much. Too many details, too many niggly little things… Also, to be honest, it’s been nearly two weeks since I played it and I forgot a lot of those things too 😀
I do remember most ‘Fame’ (or something similar) wins..
But… just the game play basics here.
You control a mini and have a starting deck of cards. You also have an amount of armour and a hand limit on a chip which is on top of a stack of similar chips. As you progress you reveal further chips, increasing your hand limit, defence and party size.
On your turn you play cards… These let you move, attack, purchase equipment etc Each card can be discarded for +1 of almost anything. So if you have a Move 2 card, you can discard any card to make it Move 3. Simple.
Terrain on the board matters and movement can be quite tricky across difficult regions. It gets expensive, costing a lot of movement, therefore, a lot of cards.
Combat is complex, even if it was fresh in my memory. Critters, in the form of random tokens have numbers and icons… lots of icons…
They are resistant to certain damage, weak to other types and of course require an amount of damage to kill… If you take on multiples you can do one at a time, or all at once and it really can matter.
They also hit you for an amount of damage in the form of cards which fill up your hand/deck.
Yes, these were the damage cards I ended the game with. Experienced players are laughing at me right now 🙂 But go hard or go home, right!? BTW, if you don’t know these are worth minus points at the end of the game and I effectively halved my score 🙂
Other things I liked about the game are…
Your Group – You can add people to your group to give you abilities and fight/block for you. These guys are cool… I had a Scout that let me move further. Later on I had a massive Guardian with a load of defence who could take hits for me. It was nice having a super team with me to back me up.
Day/Night – You alternate the 4 rounds between Night and Day. Things can change on certain effects and abilities depending on the time of Day. Most importantly, movement is harder and visibility is reduced, which is cool and thematic.
The Source – This area contains dice with different symbols that can be used to add to effects or use use additional/enhanced abilities. As they are dice you can’t guarantee the colour you want will be there. Also, once you’ve taken your one die for the turn you roll it and put it back. I liked this randomness.
Overall I liked it… But it’s very confusing with all the icons. I still, after nearly 3 hours didn’t understand how combat worked, I just knew what I needed.
This game needs crib sheets and I’ve seen some good ones that I would probably demand with the next play. Although, there is a Star Trek version of it that will be more streamlined I hope so maybe that would work better?
I did enjoy this.