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Mage Knight - Rants & Raves

more comments Of, By and For the MK Gamers... some of its pulled from the Official chat pages.

SLDWeb Master's Notes: Please send in your Rants & Raves to SALT2002@aol.com and I'll post them here.


The whole strategy of things is one of the attractions of Mage Knight, and I agree totally with the sheer ridiculousness of the whole 'This is my army, and this is how I mush everyone with it' style of post. Besides which, this only works as long as the dice are with you.

A lot of careful thought should go into your whole style of play. Which way are you most comfortable? Can you sit back and just use ranged attacks, or are you a more hack and slay type of guy?

Then you should think about how you'll play, and with what. A number of cheap ranged combat capable figures is useful. Send them out first, as a
forlorn hope, in exactly the style early musketmen were used. OK, they'll end up dead most likely, but they can help wear down your opponent.

Prefer hack and slay? OK, then do you go for the large number of cheap troops, or the smaller number of better ones? With a large number of
troops, try the 'horns of the Buffalo' tactics of the Zulu War. Close with your enemy fast, with two horns on the flanks, and a 'chest' coming up the
middle. Follow this up with a reserve of figures to exploit breakthroughs... As for the small number of better figures idea, then make the most of the terrain. Don't let your enemy come at you from the flanks, as he'll just roll you up. Try forming a small square so the rear arc is protected. (Watch out for flying figures though.

Above all, read about medieval battles, and the tactics they used. Evens that they'll work well on the table top.

John.


Stratagies! Not Armies Re-Post
This is a repost of the orignal essay I wrote depicting my strategies when I play. I read a post earlier requesting it. I really appreciate the feed back it got. (sarcasm intended) *l* Anyway here it is... this was intended to get some sort of reaction with ideas and comments.. it got about 5 replies consting of less than 3 words apiece)

Ok, Ladies and Gentlemen! I present to you a new era in Miniature gaming... Instead of attempting to put the ultimate army together that will work together in any fasion to smash the opponents to little bitty pieces with sharp pointy teeth, I suggest you instead develop a metagame ideal for the army type before you even step to the mini's box to build your army!

What is a >Metagame Ideal?> Metagame literally means "between games" and ideal in this sence means a focus or intent. So what do you want to do to your opponent? Grind them to tiny pieces with hot flying lead? Crush them With an entirely offensive army. Or do you wanna 50/50 them, taking half shooters and half fighters.. shoot at them till they get there, and then pulverize them with your healthy units?

The beauty of this game is that 300 points of magi and demi magi are equal to 300 points of zombies, skeletons, and imps. If played the same way. Strategy, and the use thereof is what makes an army powerful. Would you dare take a Magus, and a Storm golem to a hand to hand slaughterfest? NO! How about Count Vladd, and the Paladin Prince in an army of Dwarven Boomers? NO! What about your starting terrain? We need to know these things too! Just posting your army is giving us the opportunity to tell you that your army sucks. If instead you give an army list, the strategy and how this intertwines with your 2 starting terrain pieces, life would be so much more wonderful. We'd also all begin to learn something more about the game.

The idea of this post is because I'm tired of seeing "critique this army list"
2 ** Buttweasels
3 * mutant sisters
1 u SuperStompyAzzWhipper!
2 *** Cannon Dumplings!

The basic strat of this army is to put everything in front of my superstompyazzwhipper, march to the center Under cover of my Cannon Dumplings, (they're the best shooters in the game you know..) (since I know my opponent will do the same) and pray to god that I roll better... That seems to be the normal strategy. Remember the United states almost didn't become independent because we played by those exact rules..then some guy figgures out we can sneak attack the opponent.. and we crush the opposition. (George Washington at Valley Forge on X-mas morn)
anyway.. it's late.. you've seen my rants.. now what do you have to say about it? Post your strats, thoughts, and comments here. Any flame will be covered with retardant and ignored.

Ragnar(1/2/2001)

RE: Stratagies! Not Armies Re-Post
I think you are on the right track with Strategies over Armies. After playing only foru or five games at the 100 and 200 point size, I have a good handle on how to play well. I have about 50 figures, and I'm still playing with my troop choices. My first step after agreeing on the size of battle is deciding on what strategy I want to use.

Strategy is the same the world/universe over. I will choose:
A. Trash army of low points and high figure counts (Zulus, Tyranids [termagant/hormagant style],Russians, Orcs, etc.) Plans usually run to "they can't shoot/hack us fast enough.
B. Quality army of high points, low troop count (British line troops, Dark Angels, German, Roman Legion, etc.) Bang! You, you and you are dead! Hold on, here it comes!
C. Mix of both (American troops, Space Marines, ect.) Results are mixed, if you like and can control lots of fiddly bits, you will do well. If you get sidetracked easily, your opponent will run you over, or make you commit piecemeal until your are dead.

You need to decide on maneuver, block, distance, and special units before the game.
A blocking unit may be a grave digger that usually is a special. Many people will try to kill a cheap one even if it means passing by a shot at a better target. If your opponent thinks you want to bring back a dead figure, but you don't, that is a good block for you.
Maneuver units are formations that can work well together, but plan on placement so they don't get outflanked easily.
Distance is archery, gunnery, flying, and levitated troops. My cheesiest trick so far is to take a Ki Devil and Magus, wait until a maneuver formation is in range, and have the Ki Devil get levitated by the Magus to the center of as many figs as possible but not contact any of them, the Ki Devil can use his Shockwave to hit them all. It won't kill many troops, but they should start to take damage. The Ki Devil will most likely be contacted by someone in their impulse, but not attacked, he can wait until two impulses before moving again (or pushing out of the area next turn, back to the Magus for round two). Proper strategy for that tactic to work is to hide them both behind blocking terrain, and have a close combat figure near the wounded group to start picking them off.

Strategies come in refused flank, strong center, weak center, oblique movement (marching at an angle to gang up on one side of the board), ambush and snipe, Waaagh!, and variations on these themes. Choosing one before the game will help you play better, and help you not get caught trying to react to the other players strategies.

Good luck! Rangar, I look forward to seeing your posts in the future.

P.S. Please keep your responses to twenty five words or more. If you can't string that many words together, I not interested in your opinion.

klapper(1/2/2001)


When Magus Attacks:

1x * Demi-magus
2x ** Demi-magus
1x *** Demi-magus
1x Anunub
1x Magus
2x Blocking Terrain (place at least one in the center of the playing field)

Turn 1; (hopefully going last, and rolling a "6" for Command) Move the 4 Demi-magus forward the maximum range in a tight "C" formation (towards the Blocking terrain) with just enough room for Magus to be Magic Levitation(ed) in by Anunub inside the "C" formation, touching all 4 Demi-magus. Blast away with Magus at 12" ASAP (doing five (5) points to each target or 1d6+4 to one target, even behind blocking terrain. Baring Magic Immunity of course :-)

Turn 2; Push Magus at least once in this position and Blast away again, then move Anunub up or start hunting your opponents ranged models with your *** Demi-magus. Don't forget to roll for Command every turn.

Turn 3+; Continue to use the Magus/Anunub Magic Levitation combo to get whoever you need into a compromising position and attack your opponents weaknesses. Don't push magus to much so you can use his high attack and damage to clean up the end game. What ever you do, don't let them capture or damage your magus, watch out for Magic Immunity and have fun. (Caution, this is some-what of a cheesy army...)

SLDWeb Master


Ranged vs. Close Combat:

Well, you're generally getting less in the way of base stats in exchange for the range.

Compare the Standard Utem Crossbowman (11 points) with the Weak Utem Guardsman (11 points). Their stats are identical, except that the UC has a 10 inch range and the UG does 2 points of damage instead of 1.

Plus, the Standard UC is slightly rarer than the Weak UG, so you're slightly less likely to be able to field as many of them. And to use fire formationsyou've got to make sure that all your figures have the same (or greater) range as your primary firer, which often means you have to invest more heavily in the formation, because often the weakest (and cheapest) figures have lesser ranges.

Also, long range attacks:
-don't get the benefit of attacking from the rear arc
-can't be used to capture opponents
-take penalties for firing through hindering terrain
-are completely hosed by Magic Immunity (if using Magic Blast or Magic Enhancement)
-can't (unless it's a Magic Blast) be used to attack opponents with Stealth who are in or behind hindering terrain
-have to deal with the +2 defense granted by Battle Armor (unless you're using Shockwave)
-can't (unless it's Shockwave) attack enemy figures who have one of yours captive
-can't fire into melee (unless it's Shockwave) when you've got a friendly figure involved

So, in addition to costing more for slightly weaker abilities & the ability to attack from a distance, ranged combat figures have to deal with more restrictions & modifiers than close combat figures do.

I'd say they've got more than enough disadvantages to offset the advantage of hitting from a distance. Heck, the ranged guys might actually be the ones getting shortchanged...

patdolan67@home.com


Model Averages:

Value: 28
Attack Range: 9 inches (of those figures that have a range greater than zero)
Health: 7 clicks
Speed: 8 inches
Attack Value: 9
Defend Value: 15
Damage: 2

What does any of this mean? Heck if I know! :)

Seriously though, it may help you formulate some strategies. For instance, this data means that if you've got a unit that can dish out 4 points of damage each time it attacks, you'll be able to kill an average opponent in two turns. If you only do 3 points of damage, it'll take 3 turns.

It also means that you need figures with at least a speed of 9 or better to rush the average figure that has a ranged attack.

Now, I'll freely admit these numbers may not be completely accurate. They don't take into account how likely you are to run into various figures. The values for Crushers are treated the same as they are for Utem Crossbowmen, despite the fact that you're much more likely to run into the latter than the former. Still, it gives you someplace to start...:)

When measuring ranges, the distance for ranged combat is almost 1.5 inches greater than for moving into hand to hand combat because you have to measure center to center for ranged combat, but hand to hand combat is fought base to base. This means, for instance, that a figure with a 10 inch range and a Speed of 10 can be out of range to shoot at an enemy, but may still be able to move into base to base contact with that enemy. (this is kind of a moot point since the FAQ ruled that you can measure whenever you want, but it's still an interesting tidbit...:)

And for those of you who may not know this, here's the table of which totals you'll get by rolling which numbers on 2D6 (T=Total, D=Which two die faces add to give that total):

T D
02 = (1,1)
03 = (1,2) (2,1)
04 = (1,3) (3,1) (2,2)
05 = (1,4) (4,1) (2,3) (3,2)
06 = (1,5) (5,1) (2,4) (4,2) (3,3)
07 = (1,6) (6,1) (2,5) (5,2) (3,4) (4,3)
08 = (2,6) (6,2) (3,5) (5,3) (4,4)
09 = (3,6) (6,3) (4,5) (5,4)
10 = (4,6) (6,4) (5,5)
11 = (5,6) (6,5)
12 = (6,6)

For instance, you're more likely to roll a 7 than any other number, because you can get that total with 6 possible combinations on 2D6.

What does that mean to you? Simple: Just because you need a high number doesn't mean it's necessarily harder to get than a low number. For a 7 or better, you've got a 21 out of 36 chance of getting the result you need, that's better than 50/50.

So, if you've got a figure toe to toe with a Blade Golem on turn three, and you need a 5 to hit it for 2 points of damage, or a 7 to capture the sucker, you may want to take the gamble...your odds aren't as bad as you may think, and the payoff is higher...:)

patdolan67@home.com