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Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Mage Knight Resurrection

Mage Knight Resurrection is a relatively new release that I impulse bought. I have a mate that's really in to Heroclix, but personally, I could care less about superheros (I know, I'm a bad nerd), so I picked this up to have some more high-fantasyesque figures I could use to play with him.

Don't let the Mage Knight name fool you - this is 95% a Heroclix expansion with some Mage Knight figures. All the tokens, counters, and cards included are designed for Heroclix, although it does come with extra bases you can use for the Mage Knight 2.0 rules still available on WizKids website.

The set comes in at $25, which hits my disposable "Maybe I'll play this once" level. So, what do you get in the box?

Six pre-painted, pre-determined figures

A bunch of terrain and effect tokens

Stat cards for the figures (using Heroclix rules)

A bunch of "horde tokens". These are basically really cheap models that don't even deserve a 3D figure, and fight in swarms.

Dials you can swap the figures to for use with the Mage Knight 2.0 rules.

The Heroclix cheat-sheet. It's actually a pretty durable, nice quality reference material.
Two double sided, fold out maps 

You also get, but not pictured, a black and white Heroclix instruction manual.

So, what's the concept of the game? Both players build an army - figures have point values as in most miniatures games. They fight on these grid-style maps. Each figure has a movememnt value, an attack value, a defensive value, and a damage stat. Each time the figure takes damage, you rotate the dial the figure is on, and their stats usually change - most often getting lower as the figure takes more damage, but somethings they increase as well.

Each stat can also have a varying special ability associated with it, and these frequently change as the figure's dial rotates.

Each turn you get a set amount of actions to activate figures. On the basic end, they move, shoot, or fight in close combat. As you start getting some advanced abilities, they might be able to charge into combat, or pick up a rock and throw it.

In this example, the grey box around the figures movement stat shows that is has the "Running Shot" ability, allowing it to move and shoot in the same activation.

As the figure takes damage, it loses running shot, but gains Leap/Climb, allowing it to move through terrain better.
Heroclix is a collectible miniatures game. Much like Magic: The Gathering, you can buy booster packs, but you have no idea what you get in the box. This starter box comes with the same six pre-determined figures, and is probably all I'll end up buying, as it's pretty easy to get carried away with collectible games.

Some folks get really into this ruleset - I was shocked at GenCon to see the Heroclix "arena" rivaling the Magic area, and definitely putting other miniatures games to shame in terms of attendance. However, it can just as easily be played as a casual almost-board-game. Two players could even share this starter box and play with three figures per side.

Clocking in at only $25, I think this set is worth it if the idea interests you. However, do be cautioned against the Mage Knight name - this is a Heroclix expansion set - not really intended to be played as Mage Knight.

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