Mage Knight FAQ
Version: February 26, 2016 (corresponds to the official thread updated on 20 Aug 2012 plus some added extras)
Answers to common questions about the rules of Mage Knight Board Game.
Mage Knight Lost Legion FAQ
List of game FAQs
1. Game setup
Q: What do the 3 small coloured circles mean on the bottom of the Hero card?
A: They are for the dummy player rules which you need for the solo and co-op games. Full rules in the Rulebook, p. 12.
Q: What does "Wedge, Wedge, or Fully Open" mean in the scenario?
A: All of the setup options show the different values for the number of players, so if it says Game Setup (for 2, 3 or 4 players) then this would mean a Wedge setup for 2-3 players and a Fully Open board for 4 players. See Rulebook p. 12.
Q: How many dice & Units should there be in a solo game?
A: Three. The dummy player doesnt count as a player for the purposes of this.
Q: When do Elite (aka gold) Units come into play?
A: At the start of a round after a Core (brown) tile has been revealed, you deal one gold and one silver unit until you fill the unit offer. For example, in solo play, when there can be 3 units in the offer, you will deal one gold, one silver and another gold unit.
Q: Where do the 2 or 3 initial tiles come from?
From the stack of X tiles that has been set up for play.
Q: When rolling mana dice at the start of a round, the rules say that at least half of the mana dice in the source should be basic colours and to re-roll black and gold dice if this isn’t the case. Do I re-roll them one at a time or all at once.
A: You re-roll all black and gold dice if you don’t have enough basic colours showing. If there still isn’t enough, repeat....
Q: If I use the motivation skill in a solo game, do I get the mana?
Q: Does 'taking a mana die from the source' (as in Mana Draw stronger effect) count as my 1 die from the source per turn.
A: No. Any effect which specifically tells you to take a die from the source is different from you choosing to take a die from the source to use for mana (which you can only do once).
Note: "Pay a mana" is different from "Take a mana die from the Source"
Q: How can I pay a mana?
A: If something says "Pay a mana", then you can do this in 3 different ways. 1) Use a crystal from your inventory, 2) Use a mana token that you have acquired somehow, 3) Use a die from the source (once per turn).
Look at Pure Magic stronger effect for example. You have to pay a blue mana to activate the stronger effect of the card. Then, it says "When you play this, pay a mana". If you activated the stronger effect by using a blue die from the source, then the mana you have to pay for the effect itself must come from somewhere else. (Unless you had another card effect letting you use more than 1 die from the source that turn).
Q: If I go down a dungeon during the day, can I use black mana from the source
Q: Can I cast the Spell "Rebirth" when down a Dungeon during the day?
A: No. Rebirth is a healing spell and cannot be cast in combat. Technically speaking, you are only in the dungeon for the length of the combat - as soon as the combat ends, you are no longer in the dungeon and can no longer use black mana.
Q: When you use the die from the Mana Steal tactic card, does it count as one of the dice you can use each turn from the source?
A: No, you're not taking it from the Source.
Q: What is the importance of the icons in the top left?
A: These icons limit when the cards can be played. Move cards can only be played in movement, Combat cards in combat and Influence cards when you need Influence. Special cards and Healing cards can be used during your turn (no healing in combat).
However, the official answer is that effects that generate 'something', can only be used when you need 'something'. And this applies not just to playing cards, but also activating (spending) Units, or blowing up artifacts, etc. (Be aware that this rule is changed if you use the Lost Legion expansion!)
You cannot simply play Endless Bag of Gold unless you are interacting or have played another card which needs you to then spend Influence.
You also cannot play Maximal effect, throwing away Rage unless you are in combat. Maximal Effect simply gives you a more powerful version of a card, at the loss of the card.
You can however play a card for movement in the movement part of your turn and just choose not to spend the movement points.
You cannot Activate Peasants for 2 Influence unless you are Interacting or have played another card that means you need to spend influence.
Q: Can cards which generate Influence be played when not interacting.
A: Yes. As Influence can be sometimes used for other things (Diplomacy, Learning, etc.) However, you cannot just play a card that generates Influence unless you are actually doing something that needs influence.
Q: When can I disband a Unit?
A: Only when getting a new one while not having a free command token.
Q: When can I add 3 cards to my deck if I have taken the Long Night tactic?
A: As soon as your deck is empty. See Rulebook, p. 9, End of the Turn, 7d.
3.2. Basic Actions
Q: When I play another card with cards like Concentration, Will Focus and Maximal Effect, how does this work with resistances?
A: The second card played is what matters since the first card is just making the second card better. So, if you play Maximal Effect with Ice Shield on an enemy with Fire Resistance - the Ice Shield special effect still happens. But not if the enemy has Ice Resistance.
Q: Could you better explain Cold Toughness?
A: You get Ice Block 5 (self explanitory); then you get Ice Block +1 for each special ability (Paralyze, Poison, Swift, Brutal, Fortified), and +1 for each resistance (Fire, Cold, Physical) and +1 for each color of attack (Fire, Cold); +2 if Cold Fire (counts as two colors).
So you would get the 5 base points plus 6 bonus points against Altem Mages, 5 against High Dragons, 4 against Ice Dragons and Freezers, 3 bonus against Gunners and Fire Dragons, 1 against Golems and Guardsmen, 0 against Swordsmen.
Q: Does an enemy in a fortified location or an enemy in the green city count as having another ability for the purposes of Tovaks Cold Toughness card?
A: No. The card only gives +1 for those abilities physically printed on the token. Any other abilities granted to the token from any other source are not counted.
3.3. Advanced Actions
Q: Can you explain Maximal Effect a bit better?
A: I hope so. Maximal Effect essentially copies the text of another card either 2 or 3 times. So if you play Maximal effect and throw away a Rage, you get Attack 2, Attack 2, Attack 2. If you play Maximal Effect and Crystallize, you get 3 opportunities to convert mana into a crystal. Note that if you use the stronger version of Maximal Effect with Crystalize, you get the text "Gain a crystal of any color" twice, so you gain 2 crystals.
Q: Can I play Maximal Effect with Determination to gain Block 5, Block 5 and then block 2 different enemies?
A: No. Both of the blocks generated are from one card, Maximal Effect produces the effect of the card twice. Enemies must be blocked individually and Block leftover from one card cannot be used to block another enemy.
Q: If I recruit a Unit with Heroic Tale but disband it and then recruit another one in the same interaction, do I get fame/rep for both recruited Units?
Q: When I play the stronger effect of Crystal Mastery, do I get back all the ones I used before playing the card, and the one I used to play the card?
A: Crystal Mastery returns all crystals you have used that turn, including ones you use before or after you play the card and IF you used a blue crystal to power it, you get that one back too. Note: The cost of the stronger effect is NOT a blue crystal, it is a blue Mana, which could be a crystal, or it could be from the source, or a mana token. So, if you power this card with a mana die from the source, you do not then get a blue crystal back in return.
Q: Does the Demolish Spell still work on enemies with Fire Resistance?
A: The first part does since this card is not targeting the enemy, but rather the building they are in. The second part (Enemies get -1 armour) has no effect.
Q: If I use the basic power of Call to Arms, and the unit I choose is the Utem Swordsmen, with the power: "Attack or Block 6. This Unit becomes Wounded." What happens?
A: You can wound the Unit, since you are not 'Assigning Damage' to them. However, it says in the rules that any Unit recruited from the offer is recruited ready and healthy, so when recruited, it is healed.
Q: Time Bending: can I take multiple extra turns if I cast it multiple times?
A: No. If cast multiple times during a turn (for example through Maximal Effect & Magic Talent), it grants only one extra turn. (source)
Q: What happens if I use Magic Talent's basic effect to cast Time Bending in the spell offer?
A: Magic Talent is set aside for the rest of the round, instead of Time Bending. (source)
Q: I start my turn in a space adjacent to a rampaging enemy. I spend 2 Move points and explore. Do I provoke the enemy?
A: No. Only actually moving from one adjacent space to another provokes rampaging enemies.
Q: If I assault a City and play both Earthquake and Demolish, what happens?
A: The order is important. You should play Earthquake first to reduce the armor by 4 and then play Demolish, removing the site fortification.
Q: If I play Ice Shield but the Block isn’t enough, is the enemy armor still reduced?
A: Yes. Rulebook, page 8. Section 8a.
Q: If I play a card sideways as Attack 1 or Block 1, will it get boosted by Ambush.
A: Yes. Playing a card sideways is 'like' playing a card which says "Attack 1"
Q: If I activate a Unit for its Attack value after I have played Ambush, is that attack boosted.
A: No. Activating a Unit ability is not the same as playing a card in this respect.
Q: If I attack a city, can I choose to fight only some of the enemies?
A: No. When you assault a city, you must fight every enemy using the normal rules for fighting more than one enemy.
Q: If I attack a city with 3 enemies and one of them is a Crypt Worm, does this mean they are all double fortified?
A: No. When it comes to attacking them, you can still divide them into groups for the purpose of combining attack cards. And only if you do this they share resistance and fortification icons.
Q: If I attack a city, kill one enemy and then retreat, does that enemy respawn.
A: No. Any enemies you kill are not replaced, so that you have have multiple attempts to take a city.
Q: Is a spell powered by Red mana considered a Red card for the purposes of resistance and special effects.
A: Yes. If a Spell powered by Red Mana said "Attack 4, Target suffers 3rd degree burns", then an enemy with Fire Resistance would still be fully hit by the Attack 4 but would not suffer the other effect. If however, it said "Fire Attack 4", then this would be halved to 2.
Q: Can Leadership skill be used to boost an ability of a Unit that it doesnt have?
LEADERSHIP: Once a turn: When activating a Unit, add +3 to its Block, or +2 to its Attack, or +1 to its Ranged (not Siege) Attack, regardless of its elements.
A: No. You can only give +3 Block to a Unit which already has a Block value
Q: In the Red City, if you are fighting an enemy that summons a monster, does that monster benefit from the Brutal ability of the city
Q: Can armor drop below 1 (e.g. through Howl of the Pack or Shocktroops from the expansion)?
A: No. Armor can never be less than 1.
Q: Do Altem Mages abilities apply to all of the attacks of the turn?
Q: If I start the turn with 4 cards in hand but 1 Healing card. I choose to do a standard rest, but then I play that healing card. Now I only have wound cards in hand, so I can’t fulfill the mandatory requirement of discarding a non-Wound card. What happens?
A: You cannot discard Wound cards as a Standard Rest unless you discard a one non-Wound card. The two options the Resting offers (Standard Rest, and Slow Recovery) are optional, not mandatory. You announce you are resting, play the healing card, and now you only have Wound cards in hand. You now process the 'resting' which is now a complete rest, show you have nothing but Wounds in hand, and then discard one Wound card.
Of course, in this situation, it may have been a lot better to declare a rest, not play the healing card, and then perform a standard rest, discarding the one non-Wound card in hand and then all your Wound cards.
Q: Can you cumulate Who Needs Magic?, I don't give a damn, Universal power on the same sideway card?
7. Player vs Player
Q: Can "end of round" be declared during PvP combat?
A: No. (discussion)
Q: The rulebook says on p9 " End of turn 7b " that any keep you own as well as the day tactic card "Planning" can increase your HAND LIMIT. However, the day tactic card nor the keep explanation card ever mentions Hand Limit. Those cards say " draw up to your hand size, then draw an additional card ... " which is a different thing entirely
and something I did abuse in my first game.
On both cards " draw an extra card" should probably be replaced by " increases your hand limit by one" ?
A: Unfortunately, the reference card is misleading. Apologies for this. The rulebook is correct. Page 9: Section 7, drawing new cards: Keeps and the Planning card increase your hand limit.
Q: How many movement points does it cost to move into a City
A: 2. Always 2. Ignore any terrain which is visible around the city and in the same space.
Q: Does the final scoring for shield tokens in cities still happen if the city is not conquered?
A: No. The city needs to be conquered to be worth anything in final scoring.
Q: When do you get things acquired through interaction?
A: You get the stuff you bought (or acquired by some card effect) immediately. Only combat rewards are claimed at the end of your turn. You can use the new units immediately (for example to get more influencefor recruiting, healing, etc.). The new spells and advanced actions go to the top of your deck (unless stated otherwise), and you can even draw them on the same turn (when you use an effect allowing you to draw a card).
You may replenish the Advanced action or Spell offer immediately, but this counts as "revealing new information" so then you can't revert anymore. In any case, you should replenish them before your turn ends.