The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘Mage Knight

Mmmm — More Mage Knight

A new MK expansion is an autobuy, of course. And if this post is true, then AH has rereleased Up Front as print on demand. It sounds like an April Fool’s joke, I thought AH was bankrupt after Air Baron, but that may be short-hand for “whoever bought AH’s assets.” Perhaps someone just wanted to start another lawsuit.

Gaming is back to being light, as I’ve been vaguely ill and also having to do an emergency release at work (nothing like having to stay awake until 1am when you have a cold to validate a change).

Written by taogaming

May 2, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Mage Knight, Misc

Tagged with ,

I’m surprised I haven’t seen this before

The new X-Com apparently requires a downloaded app.

This was on my mind because it seems to me that Space Empires could really use an app for book-keeping to avoid would avoid honest mistakes, such as accounting or remembering which ship counters have which technologies. (And cheating, of course).

Anyway, an app is by itself neither good or bad, but I can see it being a boon for some games (and a tedious draw for others). I’m old enough [1] that it’s not a draw, as I prefer to know the underlying systems of the game, but I do think that more apps that streamline said systems would be nice. I personally use the Mage Knight Dummy player app, as it saves me a few minutes of time each game.  But I happen to like my games without technology, mostly. Still, I expect that there will be at least one brilliant game in the next few years that integrates board and app.

[1] Four and half decades today.

[2] And I do remember hearing about that Knizia Excalibur board game that had electronics integrated into the board, but I never recall seeing it. I wonder if it was actually published or just vaporware. This must have been a decade ago.

Written by taogaming

January 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

Posted in Ramblings

Tagged with , ,

Random Notes

  1. I’ve now played Glory to Rome 75 times.
  2. I’ve now played Mage Knight so many times that I had to break down and buy card sleeves. The wear didn’t bother me, but the cards are grimy and sticking. The $$ doesn’t bother me; but, sleeved cards are harder to shuffle and take more storage space. My game (with both expansions) barely fits in the main box. I still may pick up a spare copy, just in case.
  3. Machi Koro does work well flipping the cost of the grocery store and amusement park.
  4. I’ve now played Asante a few times. And I finally opened my Jambo Expansion #1. The huts really make the game much more forgiving.
  5. And a new game….

I’d never heard of Concordia (shows you how much I’m browsing the geek these days). It’s new, but it’s not that new, and in the Top 100. My initial impression is that this has much more staying power than Imperial or Antike (both of which I quit fairly quickly).  The randomness of the setup (and order of the deck) should keep the game feeling different, and ditching the Rondel for cards keeps the end game from degenerating into A–>B–>A–>B plays. Now, I’m not sure this is great; but it seems solidly good.

Rating — Suggest (at least for Novelty)

Written by taogaming

December 8, 2014 at 11:28 pm

I need to find a good way to balance Dungeon Lords as a solo quest

Been playing a lot of solo Mage Knight (while the kids are away, and Jacqui is now working a non-standard schedule). I really like the Dungeon Lords scenario … lots of dungeons means lots of spells and artifacts. But how to make it a solo?

Removing one of each tile still means you can have to deal with a lot of tombs (depending on the number of monasteries). My first game had every monastery show up in the country side, and was night impossible. One possibility is to let the game go to the 3rd night. But I think the other answer is to make the FIRST monastery only produce a secret dungeon (brown token) instead of a secret tomb (dragon token). That way there won’t be a nigh impossible dragon that you have to double back to deal with later.

If I ever do play competitive, I’m going to suggest this scenario. (Or as a coop when the TaoLing returns). Ending a game with ~15 spells and artifacts is amusing.

Written by taogaming

August 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Mage Knight

Tagged with

In other news Mage Knight still exists

I played my 150th game of Mage Knight sometime this month. a fact I just noticed after losing Volkare’s Quest pretty handily just a few minutes ago. (I wasn’t even on the fastest speed, but I find Volkare’s quest much more difficult than Volkare’s return. And remember — when dealing with Volkare it’s often best to kill 2 huge things instead of 5-6 small ones first time around, unless your deck has spells like Chill that keep a single unit from attacking.

Written by taogaming

May 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

Posted in Mage Knight, Session Reports

Tagged with

So, were there any classic games released last year?

I’d say no, but my track record recently indicates that I’m not up to date on what’s good. This follows the new Tao-of-Gaming-Rule-Of-Everything ® — “Let’s see if people still like this in a few years.” (Current Tao Media Watching includes such cutting edge shows as The Sopranos and The Shield). So, this is more of an “Do you really think that anything you’ve bought in the last 18 months (say) is likely to reach classic status.

A classic game can get burned out, but after a suitable lapse (say, a few years) you start playing it again.

A classic should have a reasonable chance of making it to 25+ games (for longer games, this could be lowered).

I actually think there were a few classic games 2-3 years ago. I’m still binging on Mage Knight, Sentinels. Other games could become classics, like King of Tokyo. But last year? I don’t know.

So, enlighten me. Open Thread. Given that we’re talking about classic status, I expect the false positive ratio to be tampered down a bit. Say, to 75%, not the usual 90%.

Written by taogaming

May 22, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Random news

So, I get an order from GMT games saying my game has shipped.


I have a head full of pollen; but no recollection of what I ordered. But best to see. It arrived today. Ah, it’s Churchill, the 3player card driven WWII game. Cool!

I flip the box over and what do I see? A monstrous hex map staring at me! This isn’t Churchill, it’s Unconditional Surrender. That’s right, I ordered both. But I thought I’d cancelled this one (after getting more details). Ah well, this can be the game I always want to play and never play. Actually, I might very well be able to. It looks like you can use the training scenarios to work up from a small few unit fight up. This may be my summer project. And the TaoLing may be able to handle it at some point.

Right now the game I always want to play isn’t many, and the games I never play are legion. I’ve played 12 games in the last 30 days , and that includes bridge session. This is about 1/4 (or less) of what I’d normally play, and yet I’m not raring to play random games (although I do have a session of Fed Com for Monday).

I haven’t even played Mage Knight in two months. I should, but I need table space.

Ah well, there’s news from the Gathering. You should read it. But not here.

In non-gaming news:

  • Adventure Time is Smowzow.
  • My new job (the reason for not going to N.F.) is nice. Jacqui works in the same building, so we carpool. It’s adorable.
  • I’m working through the Shield and the Sopranos. I’ve petered out on Supernatural (but I made it to season 6 or 7). I may pick it back up.
  • I need to go see Winter Soldier. Maybe Sunday.
  • My guitar playing is ok, but David Bowie uses obscure chords way too often for me to be able to play my favorites.
  • Welcome to Nightvale. I’ve succumbed. I thought they couldn’t pull it off past the first episode, but they have. (At least, I’m up to the mid 20s).
  • My allergist (a gamer) says I’m allergic to nothing, but there’s so much gunk in the air I’m still sneezing, sore throat, etc.
  • (Update) Based on a recent comic by XKCD I downloaded the Kerbal Space Program simulator. It’s fun and the potential for a real time sink.

I’m going to bed.

Written by taogaming

April 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Official Burnout, but some Sentinels and MK thoughts

I’m burned out. I’ve been going to gaming, playing for maybe an hour, and then heading out for several weeks. So I’m taking a few weeks off.  Given my already reduced publishing schedule, you won’t see much difference. Although I may write up No Retreat 2 at some point, and I’m wondering whether to take advantage of the GMT 1/2 off sale to buy anything. I suppose I could get more Combat Commander scenarios, but I haven’t played it much recently. I’m tempted by lots of stuff, but honestly, would I play it?

So, open thread on that.

And I did notice that the computerized WiF is supposedly coming soon. Again, not something I’d desperately get, but it’s tempting. This is the sort of game I tried to play, but it was just too damn big.

I’m still playing games at home, though.

I printed out some of the Sentinels Promo characters — Team Leader Tachyon is a straight improvement over Tachyon (more HP, better power). Bunker of War can be amazing against the right villains (killing an ongoing is huge). The new Tempest seems like a downgrade. The new wraiths are situational. I like Young Legacy. The Fanatic Redeemer can be nice, again, situational. I’ll be trying the rest soon. This will hit 50 plays probably in next week.

I’ll get the Krang expansion for MK as soon as I see it. (I may still run by the store to get it). The combo of today’s earlier game against Legendary Volkare was fun:

  1. Play the emerald ring for infinite green and black.
  2. Play a black mana with the Altem Mages (I think) to turn all my attacks into Siege attacks.
  3. Play Into the Heat (with red mana) to give all my units +3 to their attacks.
  4. Spend 24 attack from units, plus
  5. Spend a blue (with a green and black) for 8 more attack from Manabolt.
  6. Use a variety of other cards and skills for about 16 more attack, all siege.
  7. Wipe out all 12 tokens facing during the ranged attack phase.
  8. Because it’s Volkare and cooperative, that’s only half his army. (The TaoLing faced the other half, and dealt with 3 of the four big units, but left the rest), so then … discard the Banner of (Courage?) to ready all of my units, so that I can do Steps 2,4 and 6 again next turn….

I defeated 20 units in two turns while taking a single wound. I think that’s a record. Then again, since we were holed up in the Red city, and the Taoling had +5 Reputation and +3 Influence (with Wolfhawk) and 4 markers on the city, he could recruit a free artifact every turn. He ended with 8. Combo-tastic.



Written by taogaming

October 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Worst Start Ever

Playing a cooperative game of Mage Knight, my opening move was to go to a magical glade and kill some easy orcs (the expansion ones that have two single point attacks). Not enough to get me a level, but it was just a waystation to the ruins. Double orcs for four crystals (and likely enough fame to get to level 3). With the perfect draw (A gold mana from the glade, concentration and swiftness) I figured I could range attack one of the two orcs, and then maybe eat a wound or two and kill the other the following turn. Disaster ensued as I drew both Ironclads (which have physical resistance, so I’d need a range 6, not a range 5) and with a brutal attack. I lost most of my hand, so that I only took four wounds, and had to crawl back to the glade to heal. I ended the day still at level one with no followers and only a single crystal.

Hardly a good start on a game versus Volkare at Legendary Strength. Amazingly, we won, thanks to the TaoLing having a good run, and to a few lucky artifacts (the Shield of whatever and the Sword of Justice) that I earned in the next two rounds. (Coupled with camping on a dungeon for a few spare turns to race up to fame).

First time I’ve beaten Volkare at Legendary strength. Amazing after such an inauspicious start. It came down to a very tight ending, helped out by the fact that, as Athyra, I had 4 automatic points of attack each turn and could spend 1 wound a turn as 2 points, so once we’d taken out the larger units, I could just take the 3-4 wounds and then kill a unit  with a wound I’d gotten (and any others that I had cards for).

I did suffer a 52 point penalty for wounds at the end, though.

Written by taogaming

October 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Mage Knight, Session Reports

Tagged with

A Good Start

I doubt I’ll ever have a Mage Knight start as good.

  1. Run over to a magic glade, nuke an orc (eating four wounds), and grab Mana Storm.  Discard a wound
  2. Use the gold token to tranquility 2 wounds (lucky draw). Discard a wound
  3. Use Mana Storm to reroll the source, hoping for 3 different colors (likely, with gold & black wild). Get it, so wander over to the nearby “Spend 4 different mana to gain 10 fame” and score it (3 from source, plus the gold you got from the magical glade). End Turn 3 with 14 fame.

That game ended using the sword of justice to double physical attacks (and cancel resistance) and the Soulreaper (?) attack 8 and gain a crystal for each defeated enemy.  A literal killer combo.

I’ve also now twice beaten Volkare’s return on the medium difficult and speed setting twice, after several not -even-close failed attempts. It takes a fair bit of luck, at least at my skill.

Written by taogaming

August 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Session Reports

Tagged with