Recap: Dungeon Fighter & Mage Knight First Impressions
I love trying new games, and I got two to the table this week. The first, Dungeon Fighter, is a dexterity game that I as initially skeptical about. The second was Mage Knight for which I had high hopes. That, plus a go at the Ennead from Infernal Relics.
Dungeon Fighter. Dungeon Fighter is a dexterity game about die rolling where the dice have no numbers. It’s a co-op and the basic premise is that the players are a band of adventurers going through a dungeon and slaying the horrible monsters within. But this is no game about stats and modifiers – well, some modifiers.
Instead, the board is basically a large target onto which the players lob their dice. But you can’t just hold your die over the bullseye and drop it. Instead, you have to toss it and it must bounce once on the table before it hits the target. You have to give it just the right amount of kick to get it on the target without going past it.
In our game, we fought through several different monsters. Some we had to “pray” against, and launch the dice with both hands together. Some required us not to look upon them, and we had to close our eyes before we tossed the dice. Sometimes we had to jump. And the weapons that we purchased had us doing even wackier throws.
Overall, I had a blast with Dungeon Fighter. I don’t usually like dexterity games, but this one was so unique and entertaining that I couldn’t help enjoying it. Really looking forward to more plays.
Mage Knight. So my track record with Vlaada has been very good. Dungeon Lords, Dungeon Petz, and Through the Ages are all among my favorites. Plus, I like fantasy and D&D style games and that is definitely the theme of Mage Knight. So, I was really looking forward to this and got a chance to play the introductory scenario (just three quick rounds to get the mechanics down).
After my play, I liked the game. But I didn’t love it. Of course, it was highly truncated, but there seemed to be … something lacking. I’m not sure exactly what, though. The tile draws were fine, though I ended up backing myself into a corner. Something to be aware of for the next play for sure.
In my first game, I focused on leveling by killing orcs. But there weren’t enough of them to go around – even though it was only a two player game. I was able to decimate a mage tower, and that was fun, but I don’t know what I really got out of it. Sure I got a spell, but it came so late I never really got to use it and one card entering my starting deck didn’t do much for me.
I think if the game had gone on longer, the hand management portion would have been more important. As it was, there weren’t that many opportunities to add cards to the deck. But, maybe I needed to focus more on monster dens or ruins. Not many came up in our opening game, but maybe other scenarios have more.
It’s definitely something I want to explore further, but my enthusiasm has been slightly muted.
Sentinels of the Multiverse. After my attempts against Gloomweaver and Ambuscade resulted in some easy(ish) victories, we decided to step it up a notch. We faced the Ennead – a team of super villains not unlike our own team.
In order to face their vile order, we brought Bunker, Unity, Nightmist, Promo Fanatic, and Promo Ra. And the Ennead took our lunch money.
Actually, it wasn’t as bad as all that, but it was definitely an extremely hard fought game. The thing that makes the Ennead tough is that after the villain card gets played, the other villains have abilities that trigger. And, after they are killed, they each have an incapacitated ability like heroes do. It’s a great mechanic, but it really operated to our detriment.
We started with five of the Ennead, including Osiris. Because of his ability to make us discard, we targeted him for elimination first. Unfortunately, his incapacitated ability was to kill the target non-character card target with the lowest HP. That effectively stopped Unity in her tracks. Her golems are hero targets with low HP. And dead Osiris just picked them off one by one.
Combine that with Bunker losing his equipment and Ra having a hard time gearing up his damage, and you end up with a recipe for disaster. Still, it was a great game and one to be remembered. Especially when Fanatic, due to her low health, was able to kill one of the Ennead in one shot.