COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: VLAADA CHVATIL Mage Knight Board Game Review

Created: 02/19/2014 3:58 PM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

Photo courtesy of Wizkids
Photo courtesy of Wizkids

I have been a gamer my whole life, and I grew up playing games all the time.  I played anything I could get my hands on video games, board games, etc…

One of the greatest gaming moments for me was when I discovered miniature games.  I could not believe that you could buy packs of collectable figures, and have them battle each other.  It was amazing.

I started playing “Heroclix” made by Wizkids with my friends and college roommates and not too long after “Heroclix” came out, Wizkids released another awesome game called “Mage Knight” and we started playing that.

“Mage Knight” was awesome because the rules were pretty much the same as “Heroclix” and the characters looked awesome.  There were dragons, and knights and other mythical creatures that were fun to play with. 

This past weekend my friends and I got the opportunity to play Wizkids “VLADDA CHVATIL Mage Knight Board Game,” and we had a blast.

The thing that was great about the “Mage Knight Board Game” is that it is a brand new game with new rules, and it is based on the awesome “Mage Knight” miniatures game.

“Mage Knight Board Game” comes with two very detailed rule books that does an excellent job explaining how to play the game.  There are illustrations and examples of different scenarios that will really help you understand what to do when certain situations come up.

Another thing that I really liked about the rulebook was that it walks you through a game and shows you the layout of how the gaming area should look. This was very helpful.

I read the rules, and then my friends and I played a game, and then after the game I read the rules again. That really helped because things made more sense the second time playing.  I suggest that everyone who plays “Mage Knight” do the same thing.

“Mage Knight Board Game” also comes with eight miniatures that are very detailed and look great.  You get four hero characters (Norowas, Tovak, Arythea, Goldyx) and four “Megapolis” miniatures that have the traditional click bases for when you try and conquer it.

There are also 240 cards, 54 mana crystals, seven mana dice, 20 map tiles and two game mats.

The cards, game mats, and playing pieces are very detailed and look great. 

Two to four players can play, and there are many different scenarios that you can choose to play for the theme of your game.  There are eleven different scenarios that are explained in the back of the rulebook that will make playing “Mage Knight” even more exciting.

Before you start playing “Mage Knight,” you need to set up the playing area by laying out the “Fame and Reputation” board, the “Day/Night” board underneath it, the enemy and ruin token piles above it, a tile deck pile, an advanced action deck pile, a mana bank, and the map.

Each scenario you play has an end condition that will end the game.  It may be that you have to conquer a certain city or that all of the map tiles have been revealed.  Once the game ends, you add up all of the characters achievements such as their spells, actions left in their deck, artifacts, etc...  The player with the most fame is the winner. 

There is a card that helps you with the scoring, and this is very helpful and makes figuring out all of the fame points easier.

As you play, your character will gain fame and reputation points by doing things like finding artifacts or conquering towers.  Your character can also lose fame and reputation points for doing things like plundering villages or burning a monastery.

During your turn, you can choose to do nothing, fight monsters, fight players, or move to a new location on the map.  There are also many other options that you can choose from but those are just a few.  Each character can move a certain amount of squares per turn.  If you want to fight a monster you have to move adjacent to it, and then you can start the fight.  To fight you use your deed cards to attack and block attacks.  If you have any mana (red, blue, green, white, gold or black) you can use this to cast spells.  If your character takes damage, you have to try and heal your character, and he can also become poisoned or paralyzed so you have to be careful.

The maps are really cool and each section has something unique that can happen.  There are cards that tell you what each specific symbol or texture on the map means.  Sometimes there are enemies that you will have to fight when you land on a particular spot, or there may even be a mine that you can explore.  There are many different things to discover while you are playing, and that’s why I enjoyed playing it so much.

One of the scenarios that my friends and I played was called “Blitz Conquest.”  I was playing with two other people, and we had to destroy three cities in two days and two nights.  This was a lot of fun and the scenario ended when the last city was destroyed.  I ended up winning because I had the most fame points.

I really think that Wizkids “VLAADA CHVATIL Mage Knight Board Game” is awesome.  The instructions are very well written, and it’s really easy to learn how to play.  I really think the game pieces and miniatures look great and are very detailed.  People who love miniature games and games of strategy are really going to enjoy “Mage Knight Board Game” a lot.  My friends and I had a great time playing, and I know you will as well.  I would highly recommend that you check out “Mage Knight Board Game.”

Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.