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Quick Look: Mage Knight Ultimate Edition
Designers: Vlaada Chvátil, Paul Grogan, Phil Pettifer
Artists: Chris Raimo, Milan Vavroň
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 1-5
Playing Time: 180+ minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
From the Publisher:
AWARDS & HONORS
My Adventure Begins, Again
I must admit, I was a bit incredulous when I discovered that, when readers from Everything Board Games were given a choice from a list of 14 board games for me to review, Mage Knight won by a fairly large margin—earning more than 20% of votes. (Runner up was Thunderstone Quest, with roughly 11% of the votes.)
After all, the original game is fairly old now, released in 2011. Given the availability of several more recent and in-demand games for me to review, I would have assumed other games in my collection would have garnered more interest.
Being taken aback by this outcome also, oddly enough, correlated with Mage Knight actually being on my mind a lot lately. “Surely this must be happenstance”, I thought to myself. “Just coincidence.”
The more I pondered this situation, the more I came to realize that Mage Knight must be on many peoples’ minds for a reason. It dawned on me that while Mage Knight has sadly slipped from being in the top 3 games on BGG (now 26th place), people like myself must still think about Mage Knight simply because it is still very relevant in todays’ board gaming world.
Because it was revolutionary.
It is necessary to first give a little context into the history of Deck Building mechanics to understand why it is that Mage Knight still stands out today. While Dominion may have the original claim to fame for starting this craze, it spawned so many clones and lookalikes that the market became oversaturated with products that tried to imitate its original style. So many, in fact, that they all highlighted a glaring problem with Deck Builders that in many respects still holds true to this very day.
They were (at the time) all boring.
Now before I light the internet on fire with such in incendiary statement (too late, I said it), let me first clarify that I always admire when a designer thinks up something new. The world needs innovation, and Dominion did the world a favor when it brought itself shining onto store shelves. The world desperately needed a new mechanic, and I forever remain grateful for this design choice.
But I do need to be honest that when I first tried Dominion and several of its imitators (like Thunderstone, Thunderstone Advance, etc…), I couldn’t help but feel that the genre was not living up to its full potential. Many times, gameplay would feel flat and stale by the end of the game. Everyone would generally have access to the same cards, and even though art was generally fantastic, I found that this was usually not enough to keep me from yawning by the time it came to tally up scores. Simply put, the games were not as fun as they should have been.
Criticisms of these games could be summed up as follows :
1) Most cards would feel too similar to others, with only marginal differences, leading to a sense of monotony.
2) Little player interaction —when I hear people deride these types of Deck Builders as “multiplayer solitaire games”, I must wholly agree with this designation.
3) Deck Builders needed some other mechanic to add something (such as fighting and movement) to maintain my interest. (I know that the early renditions of Thunderstone tried to tackle this problem early on with combat, and even tried to add “movement” in more recent incarnations with Thunderstone Quest, but these efforts still fell flat on me for a variety of reasons that I shall discuss in a later review).
4) Cluttered decks and acquiring too many garbage cards.
5) The traditional use of large piles of identical cards in a central marketplace means that adding extra cards and expansions to your games will eventually start taking up grand portions of board game real estate while yielding (in my view) a minimal return in gaming enjoyability and variability.
6) And other smaller issues of contention, mentioned ad nauseam.
When I finally tried out Mage Knight, it was the fulfillment of a dream, as virtually all of my qualms with Deck Building games were resolved in a stroke of sheer, intellectual design genius.
In a word, it was perfection.
Analyzing the Game of Mage Knight
I will commence the actual discussion of Mage Knight by stating that for the purposes of this review, it is addressing both the original base game (with all separately purchased expansions, most notably the Lost Legion) and the newer Mage Knight : Ultimate Edition (which bundles together Mage Knight and all of its published expansions to date). The contents of both are virtually identical in 99% of included material, regardless of when you got them.
I will also stipulate that Mage Knight is absolutely NOT a game that everyone will enjoy.
If you do not like rules-heavy games and large doses of chunky math calculations, you are probably not going to get anything out of this review, and in the interest of saving time, I would say it is probably best for you to move on to other things.
For those of you who are not turned down by a challenge, read on!
Note that this game review will not go into full detail regarding all gameplay elements, but I will do my best to succinctly describe how certain aspects of the game play out while highlighting any challenges and strong/weak points to the game.
Mage Knight: The “Story”
There is admittedly nothing new or revolutionary about the background context for the “story” in this game, although it supposedly draws from a series of books I have not read. But the bottom line is that you are one of several “Mage Knights” seeking to conquer the land or complete your other mission objectives in an allotted time frame or risk complete failure, while competing (or perhaps cooperating) with other Mage Knights of a similar conquest-oriented mindset.
Setting up the Game
1) The Characters : Pick one to start with!
Arythea : The Blood Cultist (Base Game or included in UE)
Goldyx : The Winged Green Lizard (Base Game or Included in UE)
Norowas : A famed Elven Leader (Base Game or included in UE
Tovak : A brutish fighter (Base Game or included in UE)
Braevelar : A Druid (Shades of Tesla Expansion or included in UE)
Wolfhawk : A solitary wanderer (Lost Legion Expansion or included in UE)
Krang : A trollish chieftain/shaman (Individually sold or in UE)
Each character has a 16 card base deck they start the game with. 14 of these cards are identical to those in other character starting decks, but the last 2 cards (1 card if playing just the original MK game instead of UE) are unique to each character, infusing some great personality and flavor into their roles that sets them apart from other characters, both thematically and mechanically.
2) Choose a Mission. These are not really centered around story (as this is mostly non-existent), you simply set the conditions for victory for the game. This may include being the first player to conquer a specific colored city. Or you may need to defeat a legendary army (General Volkaire from the Lost Legion expansion) on the far corners of the map in a solo or cooperative mission. You may need to acquire the most resources of a certain type, or activate more portals or Druid groves or some such thing than other players. Needless to say, there is a healthy dose of variety to chose when setting up your game.
3) Determine player order. Players choose “Turn Order” cards at the beginning of the game and at the start of each game day/night phase. Lower numbered cards take turns first. In addition, each turn order card has a special power that can be used once per day/ night, and to offset advantages first players can have, lower numbered cards have more powerful abilities that can be used.
4) Set up the map: Your Mission/Scenario will tell you how to set up tiles, and what predefined array to configure them in. Most of these tiles will be randomly chosen, so you will never know exactly what is where, but generally speaking, the general layout of the land will always be in one of several preconfigured patterns that is based on the number of players in the game. Tiles can be joined together and configured neatly thanks to a fashionably sound design, though at the commence of the game, you will only know relatively little of your surroundings outside of your starting location; the rest will have to be revealed as tiles are explored and revealed later.
5) Play the Game. Win.
Conceptually speaking, that is about all this game consists of on the most basic level. Once you get into the nitty-gritty of things, it is of course much more complex than that, so let us analyze the game on a more detailed level.
The game starts by placing all characters on the entrance/portal to this vast new land to be explored/conquered/defended.
The game layout for the world is set up with an octo-hex tile system that introduces you to your surroundings on tile at a time, making your environs a complete mystery until you do some exploring (Fog of War Style).
You will start the game limited to 5 cards randomly drawn from your deck, but unlike other Deck Builders, your hand size will grow as time goes on thanks to a Level Up system your characters will go through.
Another distinction is that when you run out of cards, you will NOT immediately reshuffle and draw a new set of cards. Instead, this triggers an “End/Beginning of Day” cycle that will initiate the end of the round and cause a rotation between Night and Day that will usually serve as a means of tracking how much time remains in the game before you need to complete your objective and the game is over. More on the Day/Night Cycles later.
As for the cards in your initial deck, they will generally have varied amounts of abilities you can perform with them, the most basic of which are:
Resource Generation (Mana, Influence)
Physical or Magical Resistance
Elemental Attack (Ice, Fire, etc)
All of such abilities will contain a modifier (Attack 2, Block 4, etc).
Most importantly, unlike many other Deck Builders, you won’t often find yourself cheated of the opportunity to do what you want to on your turn—If through some unfortunate circumstance you draw nothing but attack cards on your turn, and you desperately want to move to that village over yonder, you can play any card “sideways” at a 1:1 ratio to generate the resource you need at the moment. For example, a card with an “Attack 4” modifier can instead be placed sideways to generate one point of movement.
And as for card acquisition, while you may have come to expect to be able to buy/acquire cards whenever you want in other Deck Builders, this is not the case for Mage Knight ; For example if you want to buy that tempting little card that is clearly on display at all times in the central marketplace, you will first need to travel to a village to buy it. But there are other means of acquiring cards, too (again, more on this later).
Here are the various types of cards you can acquire in your journey:
Advanced Action Cards — A significant upgrade over your starting deck, get these as soon as able to!
Units — Specialized fighting mercenaries that you can generally acquire in town with Influence generated from cards and abilities. You can assign these to fight against monsters in your stead so you can avoid taking wounds, but you are generally limited to using each unit once per day/night. Once obtained, they will stay in your play area for the rest of the game unless they are killed or until you relieve them of duty since there is a level-based cap on the number of units you can have serving in action for you.
Advanced Units — More powerful units that pack a mean punch.
Spells — These stay in your play area until you are ready to use them, and upon activation they are destroyed/consumed. These can have a large variety of affects ; They can directly screw with your opponent by giving them wounds or stealing their mana, but also generate mana for you, deal damage, give your magical or physical resistance, or even break down enemy strongholds and fortifications! Too many specialized effects to list fully!
Artifacts —Rare. These cards all do radically different and crazy things!
If for some reason you think all of these different types of cards did not offer enough on their own, each one also has a secondary and more powerful ability that can be utilized instead of its basic ability if you opt to consume Mana of the appropriate type for the card. Mana (represented by cool little colored plastic crystals) can be Red, White, Blue, Green, Gold or Black, and can be generated in a variety of ways, from using cards, to using a nifty random dice-generated mana pool at the start of of day/night that players can utilize.
An artifacts’ secondary ability generally does not cost mana, but in exchange for activating this more powerful effect, the artifact is destroyed. The upside is that this effect is usually game-changing.
How to acquire these distinct card types varies. Sometimes you may get them for leveling up or as a reward for defeating a dungeon monster, but as a broad generalization you can buy Units/Advanced Units and Advanced Actions in villages by exerting your Influence; You gain Artifacts by defeating some high-level monsters or perhaps by razing and destroying a local Monastery (at the cost of losing reputation and a precious location for healing your wounds); Spells are obtained at Mage Towers. Needless to say, you will seldom find yourself wanting to pass up an opportunity to get ANY new card to add to your deck, because they make all the difference!
During each turn you may use your cards (up to your hand limit, though you can circumstantially get many more than otherwise allowed) to Move and Take an Action—though if you want to move, you must do this first before taking an action; you cannot Take and Action and then proceed to move!
Actions generally include: Buying cards; visiting a location (such as a dungeon), or confronting an enemy; assaulting a keep or mage tower or city; performing a special action such as visiting a Magical Glade to get a free mana ; Visiting a monastery for healing (or raze it to the ground to permanently destroy it but gain a powerful artifact).
To move, you need to use cards that have a movement value printed on them. But it is not necessarily so simple, as the land has various terrain types, from deserts and glades to forests and plains, each of which requires a different total value accrued on your cards to move onto. Generally speaking, the more Movement points you acquire on cards on your turn, the more terrain hexes you can travel.
As an added twist, there is a different movement cost associated with terrain types depending on whether it is day or night. For example, it may cost 5 points to travel across a desert hex during the day due to the blazing sun, but at night it may only cost 2 to traverse since it has cooled down.
If you happen to reach the edge of a map tile, you may opt to use some movement points to reveal the next adjacent tile and its revealed locations and monsters, represented by distinct symbols on the hex grid.
Scattered across the land and tiles are a various assortment of obstructions and traversable terrains; monsters (represented by double-sided and multi-hued circular tokens) may be clearly visible and identifiable so that you know what you are up against, or situationally speaking, you may not know what you are up against until it is right up in your face. As an example, if you are wandering about during the day, for the most part you can see what monsters are on the map and know what’s there (unless it is in a dungeon or keep—enemies there are only revealed after you get close to them and decide to enter and challenge their occupants). However, during nighttime, if you reveal a new tile, you will have no clue as to what that newly revealed monster token is since it is dark; it may be an easy-to-vanquish foe, or it might be something that will leave you hobbling away crippled from your wounds!
The Day/Night cycles affect the game in several other ways; most spells have an entirely different effect that happens if cast at night time, and Arythea, being a blood cultist can gain powers that are enhanced in the night as she levels up (more on the level up mechanics later).
This is just a sampling of what a day or night in Mage Knight may entail. But most surely, if you want to conquer the land, it is inevitable that you will partake in battle.
The Combat System
Perhaps the most intimidating part about Mage Knight is the combat. Again, I will reiterate that if you do not like math, you will probably hate Mage Knight, as the best description I have for fighting monsters (or even other players!) is Algebra 101.
This is because, much as in basic algebra, the system follows a sort of “Order of Operations”, and as a result of this, the order you play your cards in can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a battle—even though you may enter a fight with 5 cards, how you use them can often determine whether you succeed or fail in defeating your opponent or opponents (and you can be required to face multiple foes at once!)
Generally speaking, the phase of a battle sequence is an exchange of blows between you and and your enemies that flows as follows :
Ranged attack phase : Many times you will be lacking in ranged attacks, but if you happen to have these cards in hand, you have a chance to deal damage to your opponent before they get to attack you. Most of the time, your ranged attack will not be enough to finish them off, but it can happen, especially as you gain levels later in the game. If your ranged attack fails to deal a killing blow, the damage you dealt will carry over to your main attack phase (but will be reset if you fail to defeat the enemy during your turn).
Defense phase : The enemy gets to attack you first most of the time.You must defend by using “Block” cards. If you do not block all points of damage, you will be dealt Wound Cards corresponding to how much damage was done to you. These wound cards are essentially the traditional Deck Builder “junk”cards that can clutter your deck unless you perform healing to remove them.
Attack Phase: If you have any attack cards left, now is your chance to finish off your foe and claim your reward. If not, the enemy survives to fight you again at full health another day. And this can happen often enough!
Spells and Units can generally be activated any time during combat. You can chose to assign damage to one of your Units if you do not want wound cards entering your deck, but this often means you will not be able to use the Unit again until you heal it. Likewise, you can often use Units to attack and do damage.
Complicating this is the fact that both you and your opponents can have various types of physical/elemental damage resistance and special attacks and abilities, which can make damage calculations interesting to say the least, especially as you gain levels, have more enemies to fight simultaneously, have more hit points, etc.
Speaking of wounds, once you cycle them into your deck, if you draw too many of them on your turn (more than half of your maximum hand size) you are essentially knocked out, and lose your turn until you can heal enough to be under your wound quota again, consequently wasting your precious turns. Ouch!
There are tons of different tokens that represent all the different enemies you can pit yourself against. There is definitely enough variety to keep things interesting and as you level up, you will often find yourself having to take on multiple enemies at once, which keeps things challenging. Defeating monsters can also increase your reputation (making it easier for you to acquire new units), though certain actions may also decrease your reputation and make your life more difficult along your journey, as services in town may cost more Influence.
It needs to be mentioned that an essential component to your success in Mage Knight is Leveling Up your characters. This is achieved through fighting monsters and thus receiving Experience Points, which are tracked on a handy side board. Once your marker crosses a certain threshold, you Level Up, and these power ups radically boost your in-game ability to wreak havoc upon the Battlefield and your real-life game rivals.
Each Level Up generally presents you with one of several upgrades, depending on what level you obtain, of course. These are:
Increase your maximum hand size: This allows you to essentially draw and take more wounds in combat without as much of a risk of being knocked out. A larger hand size also means you are much more likely to be able to take out multiple enemies in a single turn, something that can be impossible at lower levels
Gain an Advanced Action Card
Gain a New Character Ability
While Advanced Action cards have already been discussed and are able to be acquired by any character, Character Abilities are what sets your Character apart from all other Mage Knights. These come in the form of 10 special tokens that come with a reference card that explains what each token does. When it is time for you to acquire a special Character Ability during a Level Up procedure, you basically draw two random Character Ability tokens, and choose the one that you wish to keep; the other is placed into a common pool that will contain the discarded Character Ability tokens from other players.
Interestingly, if it suits you better than the random Abilities that you just drew, and there is already such a “discarded” ability token in the central pool, you may instead opt to take another characters’ ability!
It really needs to be said that most, if not of these abilities really excel at defining the roles of their respective characters —and are extremely potent. Norowas, for example can become a sort of master tactician and is able to use his Influece to accomplish things that no other character can (bringing Units into Dungeons / Ruins is normally impossible since they are too afraid to enter, but Norowas’ charisma means they can actually fight monsters in such depths if you choose this skill. Arythea can harness the power of the night and blood (wound cards) to make it so that having an excess of wound cards can actually work in her favor instead of cluttering her deck; and Goldyx can finally unveil the power of his wings to fly over mointains and large bodies of water that are otherwise not traversable, potentially enabling him to reach a resource or objective much faster than any other character.
All of these abilities are totally unique (though some of them simply enable free Mana generation of a different color for each player) and make it so that by the time you have wrapped up your game, you feel like a god—the fully realized embodiment of power and untapped potential your character could have achieved.
And so it will proceed until the game completes itself.
You will pretty much keep exploring, fighting and pillaging until a predetermined number of game days have elapsed. Once your time limit has expired, if you have met your objective (as defined in the pre-game setup), you either outright win (if playing in a coop mode) or you can tally up your score to see if you achieved victory over your other human opponents—though it should be noted that if neither you nor your opponent met the prerequisite conditions for winning (such as conquering a specific city), neither of you technically win, though you may still tally up points for fun.
And that is Mage Knight, in a nutshell.
As for the critiques of the game…
From a component standpoint, there are relatively few negatives, but they are there.
The production quality for the original Mage Knight expansions (Shades of Tesla, Lost Legion) originally had some issues where the backings of new cards and monster tokens did not exactly match the hues of the original cards. It was a subtle difference that became almost unnoticeable with sleeves, but it bears mentioning that if left uncorrected, keen eyes could see the top card of their deck, note its color, discern the source of the card (base game or expansion) and then make a conclusion about their odds on drawing a particular card, which could taint the gameplay in their favor. Wizkids was at the time able to send corrected versions of those cards, but it should be noted that if you attempt to correct the issue now, it may not be feasible since the old expansions may be out of production.
Thankfully, the issue is totally rectified if you buy the newer Mage Knight : Ultimate Edition, as nothing is being manufactured under separate conditions for the print runs.
There is an issue with the Hero Clix bases that are for cities —it can be very difficult to discern the difference in the colors of tokens you are supposed to draw (particularly between purple and browns), and I often had to put the pieces directly under light to correctly identify what monster tokens to draw, but this again can be easily remedied if you instead opt to use the City reference cards instead of the actual game pieces that rest on the board. So in this regard, it is disappointing that relying upon the reference card almost renders the physical City pieces as functionally useless, especially given how fantastic their appearance is.
The painted character minis are almost all great—though Arythea looks like she spent too many hours at a radioactive tanning salon when compared to her cover art (she definitely does NOT resemble her Tinder pic!) and some minis have a little trouble keeping their swords up and erect (TMI), but other than that, I am satisfied will all of the minis.
It can help to have a few pill-poppers and plastic containers for storing components and tokens, but this is no where as bad as Gloomhaven, so ultimately does not adversely affect my perception of the game at all.
Be warned, the game can also take up a lot of table space when set up!
Other than that, the components really have no other issues, it is mostly a flawless presentation.
The assessment of the gameplay is probably much more open to debate.
I would not blame anyone for dismissing the game immediately due to the complex rule set and having to cross reference two relatively long rule books to learn to play the game. But if you can get over that hurdle and the sharp learning curve, I would personally say that this is the most balanced and engrossing Deck Builder in my collection – with a few caveats.
While the game officially supports up to 4 players, I will say that unless you want to dedicate a full day to the game, the game is best meant for solo or 2 players. Even with two players, we found that our initial play times when learning to play the game could be around 5 hours, and even though we eventually learned to par things down to less than 2.5 hours on a good day with a “short” mission, it needs to be said that there will potentially be a lot of down time with this game, with some turns lasting 10, 20, or even 30 minutes (even WITHOUT analysis paralysis!)
Add more players and you will only be compounding the situation.
This is quite literally the only game I have ever played where the rules suggest helping your opponent out if they are having trouble figuring out the viability of their moves! And I do think this is helpful and essential, because there are many times you get this gut feeling that you can pull off some sort of incredible in-game feat, but only need time to figure out your procedure. Most of the time this gut feeling is right, and once you get the hang of the game, having your fellow players help you lay out your cards can speed up the flow of the game, even if it is a bit awkward wrapping your mind around the fact that you are sleeping with the enemy in this regard—I mean it is supposed to be a competitive game in many instances…
Because of this, I say Mage Knight is at its best as either a solo game or as the ultimate 1 vs 1 grudge match.
I usually cannot stand solo games since I find that one of the whole points of gaming is socialization and finding someone to share the experience with, but Mage Knight is definitely an exception here—especially the Lost Legion / General Volkaire content that is truly exceptional and a most formidable challenge. If you can say that you have defeated Volkaire, my hat is off to you!
But as a 2-player competitive game—Holy smokes, this game kills!
The gameplay is just so immense, engrossing and fiercely competitive that it will make you and your fellow players into mortal enemies for a good chunk of the day. You will feel the sting as your rival gets to a prime location first, but have sheer energy course through your veins when the situation reversed and you lay waste to an entire legion of troops in the course of a single turn with a 15-card smack down!
And it needs to be said that since most of the cards in the game are totally distinct from each other, you have unparalleled variation in your decks from game to game.
While there are some duplicate cards in the Units and Advanced units, the Spells, Artifacts and Advanced Actions are all unique and available and more than ample in quantities —which not only makes for a different playing experience every time (especially when coupled with randomized terrains, monsters, and character abilities), but it fuels your drive to win to such a point that you do everything in your power to get the best cards in your hand to achieve and maintain a competitive edge.
Play this game with your spouse only if you are absolutely sure of the stability of your marriage!
Another feather in its cap, Mage Knight also includes a good number of variant modes and rules. While I normally consider these sorts of things to be unnecessary fluff, the variants in Mage Knight are all good!
One of the variant rules can help tame a “runaway leader” situation that can sometimes occur when one player gets so far ahead due to luck that they are nigh impossible to catch up to in score. But these situations come up so very rarely in my experience that they are hardly worth mentioning, as the game really does offer a ton of ways to mitigate luck and make a comeback, but nevertheless it is nice feature to have even though we never implement it.
Another optional rule includes a full on PvP rule, allowing you to directly confront your Mage Knight rivals on the map in battle when they are starting to encroach on your territory. This certainly takes the intensity up a notch, though it bears mentioning if you spend too much time in direct combat with another player, you may not leave yourself with enough cards or time to complete your mission!
The only other negative thing I have to say about Mage Knight is that it leaves you with such a feeling of power at the end of the game that your spirits can come crashing down when you realize that this is not a legacy/campaign game and you do not get to keep or bring your obtained cards, levels and experience into your next game…Boooooo!
So in this day and age is Mage Knight still worth talking about?
Absolutely. Not only did it take a decaying formula and breathe some new life into it, Mage Knight totally revamped and reworked the underpinnings of classic Deck Builders and helped to bring out their dormant potential, paving the way for games like Clank! that made combat and movement in a Deck Builder far more accessible to the ordinary players out there.
Vlaada Chvatil made a masterpiece with this one. Even though it is a bit more limited in its potential audience due to its difficulty, in my mind it clearly sits on the top of the competition as the king of Deck Builders, especially when you consider how small of a box it comes in when compared to behemoths like Dominion Thunderstone Quest, that can each have thousands of cards when paired with expansion content—Mage Knight somehow manages to do so much more with substantially less volume and mass, which is another crowning achievement, given that I can literally fit every Mage Knight expansion ever created into the original 2011 version’s game box.
And while I would hardly consider Mage Knight to be an RPG in any sense of the word (it is fundamentally a strategy game), it nevertheless constantly rekindles my hearts’ desire for a “perfect” RPG-in-a-box, and the undying hope that somehow, some day, someone out there will take a system like Mage Knight and make it into a continuous, story-driven campaign style game. I would be hard pressed to give any game a 10 in any category, but Mage Knight comes awfully close…if they somehow manage to fuse the wonderful and engrossing combat and exploration mechanics into a persistent, RPG world, I may just have to dole out my first ever 10 for gameplay.
Difficulty/Learning curve : 9/10 (Not factored into final score average)
Story/ Theme : 6/10
Art/Presentation : 9/10
Component quality: 8/10
Replay ability : 9.5/10
Fun : 9.5/10
Gameplay : 9.2
Final Score : 8.5 / 10 (if average)
Adjusted scored of 9.2 / 10 overall—The whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts for this game!
Jazz Paladin- Reviewer
Jazz Paladin is an eccentric at heart — When he is not learning to make exotic new foods at home, such as Queso Fresco cheese and Oaxacan molé, he is busy collecting vintage saxophones, harps, and other music-related paraphernalia. An avid music enthusiast, when he is not pining over the latest board games that are yet-to-be-released, his is probably hard at work making jazzy renditions of classic/retro video game music tunes as Jazz Paladin on Spotify and other digital music services.
See Jazz Paladin’s reviews HERE.
Spells aren't put in front of u and are destroyed when used.just discard They stay in ur hand like any other card u can also use them as plus oone.other than that nice review for a awesome game
Always love seeing people talk about Mage Knight! Note that you are misunderstanding the rules about being knocked out. You are only knocked out IF you take a number of wounds equal to your hand size depicted on your armor. If you start your turn with a hand with nothing but action cards, you can only do a slow recovery. But if you have at least one non-wound card, you can choose to do either a normal turn or a rest turn. In a rest turn, you have to discard at least one non-wound card and can choose to discard ANY number of wounds in your hand, plus you can do any special/healing effects. Hope this is helpful!
You say: “If your ranged attack fails to deal a killing blow, the damage you dealt will carry over to your main attack phase”
I think this might be a mistake, I’m afraid! In the description of the ranged attack phase in the rulebook it says “An Attack of lower total value than the total Armor of the enemies has no effect and any damage dealt does not carry over to subsequent phases or turns.”
Which is a shame! I got excited when I read that as I thought I might have been playing wrong.
In practice it doesn’t generally matter much; you can just keep the ranged attack cards handy and use them in the main attack phase, which comes to much the same thing.