Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Conversion: Mage Knight vs Star Trek: Frontiers


For my convenience, here are a list of the components in Star Trek: Frontiers compared to components in Mage Knight Board Game. I am sure comparing the two is blasphemy, but as I had experience with one, it has helped me learn the other. Could help learning the other in either direction.

Glossary: (Star Trek: Frontiers vs Mage Knight)

Tiles and Locations:
• Core tiles = Core Tiles
• Frontier Tiles = Countryside Tiles
• Borg Cubes = Cities
• Empty Space = Fields
• Nebula = Forest
• Planets = <doesn't exist>
• Suns = <doesn't exist>
• <doesn't exist> = Desert
• <doesn't exist> = Marsh
• Asteroid Belt = Sea
• Black Holes = Mountains / Lakes
• Outpost = Village
• Class-M Planet = Monastery
• Drydock = Magical Glade
• Research Station = Crystal Mine
• Romulan Starbase = Keep
• Dominion Starbase = Mage Tower
• Away Mission = Adventure Site
• Class-L Planet = Monster Den
• Class-L Distressed Planet = Spawning Grounds
• Class-K Planet = Dungeon
• Class-K Distressed Planet = Tomb
• Class-H Planet = Ruins
• Borg Cubes = Cities

• Ship Card = Mage Knight
• Advanced Action = Advanced Action
• Ship Damage = Wounds
• Crew Wounds = Wounds
• Undiscovered = Spells
• Crew Members (Elite and Regular) = Units (Elite and Regular)
• <doesn't exist> = Artifacts
• Ship's Captain = <doesn't exist>
• Tactics = Day Tactics
• <doesn't exist> = Night Tactics

• Data Core = Mana Source
• Data = Mana
• White Data = Gold Mana (wild)
• Black Data = Black Mana (spells)
• Purple Data = <doesn't exist>

• Romulan Warbird = Orcs
• Romulan Starbase = Keep
• Dominion Starbase = Mage Tower
• Class-L Planet Enemies = Monster Den Enemies
• Class-L Distressed Planet Enemies = Spawning Ground Enemies
• Class-K Planet Enemies = Dungeon Enemies
• Class-K Distressed Planet Enemies = Tomb Enemies
• Class-H Planet Enemies = Ruins Enemies
• Borg Spheres = Draconum
• Bord Cubes = Cities
• Red Borg Cube = Red City
• Blue Borg Cube = Blue City
• Yellow Borg Cube = White City
• Green Borg Cube = Green Borg Cube
• <doesn't exist> = Spawned Enemy

• Faction Tokens = Shield Tokens
• Wound Tokens = <doesn't exist>
• Transport Tokens = <doesn't exist>
• Away Team Token = <doesn't exist>
• Skill Tokens = Skill Tokens

• Long Range Attack Phase = Range / Siege Phase
• Shields Phase = Block Phase
• Assign Damage Phase = Assign Damage Phase
• Attack Phase = Attack Phase
• Diplomacy Phase = <doesn't exist>
• <doesn't exist> = Fortified
• Defense = Armor
• Normal Phasers = Physical Attack
• Photon Pulse = Elemental Cold Attack
• Photon Torpedo = Elemental Fire Attack
• Resistance = Resistance
• Diplomacy = <doesn't exist>
• Disruptor = Swift
• Antimatter Weapon = Brutal
• Biogenic Weapon = Poison
• Energy Dissipator = Paralysis
• Catastrophic Damage = Knocked Out

Stat and Abilities:
• Experience = Fame
• Reputation = Reputation
• Diplomacy = Influence
• Discharge Crew = Disban Units
• Subjugating Outpost = Plunder Village
• Wounded Captain = <doesn't exist>
• Damage = Wounds
• Heal Crew = Healing
• Repair Ship = Healing
• Emergency Repairs = Rest
• Crippled Ship = Exhaustion
• Reverting = Reverting (undo)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mage Knight - Overlooked Rules

Rules Overlooked

Tile Placement

  • Tiles are placed with a specific orientation. (although an official variation does allow for random orientation)
  • Core tiles cannot be placed next to edge (coast line) in wedge shape map
  • Core tiles must always be placed touching at least 2 other tiles.  Countryside tiles are a little more flexible, and can be placed touching only one other tile, as long as the other tile touches 2 other tiles.
  • Tiles cannot be placed outside of the virtually extended coastline (based on map shape).


  • All adventure sites are considered safe sites.You are not required to stop or interact with the location.
  • Moving from one location to another that were both adjacent to a rampaging monster  (Orcs and Draconum) will cause it to attack (ambush).
  • You cannot move onto a space with an undefeated rampaging enemy.
  • You cannot move onto spaces with lakes, mountains. There are abilities that can break this rule.
  • You can move through spaces with other players. Ending your turn on a space with another player initiates combat, if allowed, otherwise you cannot end your turn on a space with another player.


  • You always fight rampaging enemies (Orcs and Draconian) adjacently
  • You always fight fortified enemies (Keep, Mage Tower, City) on their location
  • You loose 1 reputation for attempting to fight in a fortified location (Keep, Mage Tower, City)
  • You loose 3 reputation for attempting to burn down a Monastery. Get Artifact if you are successful.
  • You gain reputation for defeating a rampaging enemies: +1 for Orcs and +2 for Draconian. You get no reputation bonus for fighting non rampaging Orcs/Draconian in ruins (does not ambush either).
  • Any enemies you fight in a fortified location get the fortified defense (cannot use range attack). Any of these enemies already with fortified cannot be attacked with siege attack either.
  • Failure to defeat monster in Tomb, Dungeon, or Monastery are discarded
  • Failure to defeat monster in Monster Den, Spawning Ground, or Ruins stay there
  • Failure to defeat enemies in fortified location requires a withdrawal to the location you came from (free).  If your previous location is not a safe location (Mountain/Lake/Monster/Player) you have to do a Forced Withdrawal, which includes a Wound penalty for each unsafe step you have to back track until you end in a safe location.
  • Place shield token for each enemy defeated in City. When city fully defeated, city Leader is player with most shield tokens, or player with first shield token from those tied.
  • Place shield token when you conquer Keep. Bonus card draw for Owner, when adjacent. Ownership can be taken away by other players.
  • Place shield token when you conquer Mage Tower. Get a free spell for conquering. Anyone can then use Mage Tower to buy spells. Cannot change Ownership.
  • Monsters with elemental resistances are also immune to all non-block, non-attack effects of the players cards of the that color, and of unit abilities powered by that color of mana.
  • Acquired cards to go the top of your draw deck, not your discard.
  • When grouping enemies for big attacks, enemies share all resistances and attributes
  • Knock out: If you take wounds to your hand equal to or greater than your max hand size during a combat, you must discard every non-wound card in your hand (knockout rule). This does not include wound cards that were in your hand prior to combat.
  • Units can take damage even if they are not ready (previously activated)

Card Draws, Discard and Refresh

  • Must play or discard at least 1 card every turn.
  • May discard extra non-wound cards at end of turn.
  • When on or adjacent to your conquered Keep, you get +1 hand limit increase for each of your conquered Keeps.
  • When on or adjacent to your conquered City, you get +2 hand limit increase if you are the city leader, and +1 if you are not.
  • If you are adjacent to both your conquered Keep and conquered City, use only the hand limit bonus increase for which ever is better.
  • Disbanded units are removed from the game
  • Unit offer and Monastery Advanced Action offer are not refreshed until the end of the round.
  • Advanced Action and Spell offer are refreshed immediately
  • Advanced Action and Spell offer order are important:
    • At end of round, the last card is discarded to the bottom and refreshed
    • When taking an opponents skill, you can only take the bottom Advanced Action card.
  • When Monastery revealed, add Advanced Action to Unit offer.
  • Enemies with cold/fire are immune to blue/red effects
  • You can plunder a Village between turns to gain 2 extra cards at a cost of 1 reputation.


  • Mana dice rolled at start of round have to be at least 50% regular colors. Re-roll black/gold dice until this condition is met.
  • Your inventory can hold 3 of each mana crystal color. Any additional are converted to manage.
  • Black mana is considered depleted (unavailable) during the day, and Gold mana is considered depleted during the night. Black mana cannot be used during the day, and Gold mana cannot be used during the night, although there are adventure sites and cards that break this rule by changing day to night and vice a versa.
  • Gold mana is a wild card during the day (only). Black mana is not a wild card, and is only used to power stronger spells.
  • You cannot take a mana die that you will not use
  • The Friendly rules say you cannot take a Gold mana die when there is the basic color available that you wish to use

Wounds and Healing

  • Cannot discard wound cards at end of turn.
  • Wounds in hand (or on units) only destroyed by healing or Magical Glade.  Magical Glade can also destroy wound in discard pile.
  • Wounds healed by healing cards, healing units, Villages and Monasteries.
  • Rest by discarding a non-wound card, and then discarding (not destroying) any wounds in hand. Cannot move or play action this turn, but can play special effects cards (or special effect units).
  • Exhaustion happens when all cards in hand are wounds, at start of turn (no movement or actions). Discard one wound card and end your turn. Can still play special effect units.
  • To heal a Wounded Unit, you have to pay Healing points equal to the level of the Unit, per wound.

Leveling Up

  • Leveling up happens at the end of your turn
  • For even level ups, you get a skill and one Advanced Action offer card (then replenish)
    • Skill: Draw 2 and either:
      • Pick one from these and place other in common pool and pick any Advanced Action card in the offer OR
      • Pick one placed from another player in the common pool and take the bottom Advanced Action card in the offer. You cannot select one of your previously discarded skills.
  • For odd level ups, turn your level token over as a new command token to recruit more units, and increase your armor / hand size limit.


  • Only Wounds in hand (or on units) can be destroyed by Healing. Magical Gales are special and destroy a Wound in hand or Discard Pile.
  • In Cities you get +1 reputation for each shield you have

Dummy Player

  • Dummy Player is used anytime a game is Solo or Cooperative. The Dummy Player sets the tempo of the game.
  • The crystal colors on the bottom of the character cards indicate starting crystals for dummy player.
  • Dummy Player draws 3 cards per turn, and draws additional for each crystal of matching color of 3rd card only.
  • End of round, Dummy Player gets the bottom Advanced Action card and 1 crystal for discarded bottom Spell.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Adventures are just tales

"Adventures are just tales of someone else being miserable far far away."
-- B. V. Larson (Star Force Series)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Stephen Colbert's Super Coin Toss

Board Games are making a comeback, but in shorter versions, because kids just don't have enough time.  So Stephen Colbert designs a board game called Super Coin Toss.

Super Coin Toss
"It all takes place in the enchanted realm of Quarteria. Each player has farmers, soldiers, merchants, and bandits, and the object is to cultivate enough grain that the merchants can sell to pay the soldiers to protect you from your opponent's bandits. And of course, there are two giant robots who box.

To start we put our tokens one space from the finish line.  Whoever goes first wins the game.  To determine that we flip the Medallion of Fate, which is designed to look like a US Quarter, sold separately, for $5."

Thursday, June 30, 2016

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