PBF Mage Knight

@Lordof1 @Marx @yashima

This will be a competitive game using the default Full Conquest scenario. As the expansions only really add more icons in terms of complexity, I think throwing it all in should be fine even with new players, given that I’m on hand to explain everything. No variants, except that by default it is possible, though rarely advisable, to attack other players. If anyone is not comfortable with that possibility, we can remove that option - in which case a player cannot be shifted out of a hex, and that can result in some blocking, though again, not often and not usually to much effect.

So that’s one question.

The next is which character you want to play as. Can randomise, or choose based on theme or whatever you like. The options are Arythea, Goldyx, Norowas, Tovax, Wolfhawk, Braevalar, and Krang. If it’s your first game, you might want to stick with one of the first four instead of an expansion character.

Arythea, the blood cultist

Arythea, the Blood Cultist
While the origins of The Breaking are shrouded in mystery, it is spoken in hushed whispers and knowing glances that it may have been the Blood Cultists who were responsible for the cataclysm and resulting chaos that ensued. Evidence exists that the Cultists were finally successful in their ancient quest to awaken the dark god Amara who repaid his followers by unleashing his might upon the land.
Believed to be the strongest of the known Mage Knights, Arythea has emerged from the chaos more powerful than ever and she has gone forth spreading Amara’s bloody gospel as she crushes her foes under her spiked heel. Under her leadership, the Blood Cultists have slipped the bonds of their former masters in the Dark Crusade and have become a power unto themselves; feared by many and respected by all. No one knows where Arythea will strike next but one thing is certain, the bloody god Amara has directed her to participate in the Council of the Void’s plans and will be pleased with her conquests and the proliferation of his teachings.

Goldyx, mightiest of the draconum

From the day they are hatched until the day they are killed, Draconum seek only two things: combat and evolution. As they wander the land, Draconum look for worthy opponents strong enough to challenge their brutally honed martial abilities with only one goal in mind: personal augmentation. Draconum have never been closely tied to any one faction and since The Breaking they are even more likely to distrust others, even their own kind.
After undergoing the “Surge”, the most powerful of Draconum evolutions, Goldyx has arisen as the mightiest of his kind. He seeks personal wealth and power and The Council of the Void has promised
both beyond anything he had previously dreamed of. That his own brethren may get in his way in his
current assignment only makes him more interested in the riches that lie ahead and the foes that are
worthy of his attentions

Norowas, greatest of the elf lords

Like all great Elven soldiers, Norowas spent centuries mastering the combat arts of both spell and sword. Prior to The Breaking, Norowas had bartered his influence with the Elvish Free Armies to consolidate a position on the High Elven Council, an organization dedicated to bringing their own brand of order to the realm by any means necessary. Norowas embraces these philosophies wholeheartedly and is not above utilizing destructive tactics to achieve his goals. His
recent contact with the Council of the Void has steeled his determination that now is the time and the Council of the Void has the means for him to venture forth and bring an end to the chaos he sees
throughout the land, without mercy or hesitation.

Tovak Wyrmstalker, Head of the Order of the Ninth Circle

The strongest presence left within the Order of the Ninth Circle, Tovak Wyrmstalker is less a leader of this new faction and more a force of nature to be respected and followed. Originally the Order of the Ninth Circle sold their swords in service to other factions, but under the strong hand of Tovak Wyrmstalker they have become a force unto themselves. The more established factions in the Land are certainly beginning to take notice of the Order’s actions.
The Mage Spawn that comprise the Order of the Ninth Circle are held together loosely by their common disdain for the self-proclaimed superiority that the other factions profess, and Tovak Wyrmstalker seeks nothing less than the total defeat of the other factions and their lofty aspirations of supremacy.
After the sudden demise of the two previous heads of the Order, Tovak Wyrmstalker has embraced his
new role as shepherd to the Order’s cause and will not rest until all Mage Spawn are free to determine
their own paths. That the Council of the Void’s current plans are to conquer lands that oppress his
people is all the better.


Orphaned as a child, Wolfhawk was raised by the greatest Amazon warriors of the Cainus Mons forests. She proved to have an exceptional talent for swordsmanship joining queen Corella’s army at a young age.
Her heroic deeds during the Battle of Nepharus Mons did not go unnoticed and she was soon promoted to Corella’s personal guard. During the next few years, Wolfhawk became one of the queen’s closest and most trusted companions.
When Wolfhawk later became oathsworn to the mysterious Solonavi, some said it was on the orders of the queen herself.
Whatever the reason, Wolfhawk began to set out alone on secret missions under the cover of night. She would go for months at a time, sometimes years. It was no wonder that no one questioned it when she disappeared during The Breaking. It was assumed she had died on one of her dangerous journeys.
But now, she has returned as one of the Mage Knights. Deadlier and swifter than ever, her swords scythe through anyone getting in her way. What convinced the most loyal servant to abandon
her queen and leave her oath to the Solonavi behind? We can only guess; Wolfhawk remains as silent, focused and solitary as she ever was

Braevalar, druid

Braevalar was a storm druid, a part of the Elementalists faction that is motivated by anger for those who ravage the land as much as by the desire to protect it.
Disillusioned by the Elementalists’ reluctance to take the fght to their enemies, Braevalar looked for another way. His search ended one night when a voice spoke to him from the darkness of the forest. It told him there was indeed another way for those with the will to do whatever it takes to defeat their enemies; the way of the Council of the Void. Although the training was hard, Braevalar never lacked
determination. His cunning and knowledge of how to use the terrain around him were great assets, as were his powers over the natural world. Somewhere along the way, however, he lost sight of the importance of protecting nature and now his motivations are… unclear. He serves the Council.

Krang, brainwashed orc shaman

… text pdf of Krang never got uploaded, sorry. He’s an orc shaman under council control, has an illusion to pass as human, can learn to control spirits.

Canonically, you are all amoral selfish bastards, but there is some scope for playing “morally”. You have been tasked with conquering a fractured post-apocalypse empire within 3 days and 3 nights. No getting around that, the empire must fall, but you are free to amass as much fame, knowledge, and treasure as you can during that time. The player that does the most, wins.

Next post will be an overview of basic rules.

This is a default starting deck. Every player will have 2 of these cards replaced by something unique to their character.


You will at first draw 5 of these, and each turn use any number of them, and draw back up to 5 at the end of your turn.

Once a player runs out of cards to draw, they can, instead of taking a turn, call the end of round. Every other player gets one more turn, then the round ends, i.e., night falls or day breaks.

Each card can be used for the minor effect, on top, or a mana of the card colour paid to use the major effect on the bottom.

Your cards can provide move, attack, block, influence, or heal, or manipulate mana, or various other effects. Any non-wound card can alternatively be played for 1 move, attack, block, or influence (not heal). Wound cards are useless and clog your hand.

Mage Knight has an “all-or-nothing” economy. You generate enough move/attack/block/influence to do a thing, or you achieve nothing. No partial payment.

Each turn, unless you rest or call to end the round, you get a move phase followed by an action. Your action will usually be combat or interaction with locals.


Move costs are illustrated below the board. Lakes and mountains are impassible. It also costs 2 move to reveal a new tile adjacent to your current hex. The map has a wedge shape as illustrated. Green tiles can go anywhere in the wedge, with a mild restriction on chaining i’ll explain if it comes up. Brown tiles that come out after the greens are used up contain the 3 cities you have to conquer, cannot be placed on the edge of the wedge, and must be placed adjacent to at least 2 other tiles.

Combat (attack, block)

Combat follows the pattern of siege/ranged attack (from you), blocking/taking damage from your enemies, melee attack (from you), then end regardless of outcome.

Enemies always have an armour value, an attack value, and a fame value. If your ranged attack is equal to or greater than their armour, they are defeated and you get the fame (same with any attack in the melee phase). Siege attack is just like ranged, except it can also be used against fortified enemies. If you don’t defeat them in ranged/siege attack phase, you can play block equal to or greater than an attack to block it. If you don’t do that, you assign damage to yourself and/or units you recruited, taking wound cards to clog up your hand or put the unit out of action.

Interact (influence)

There will be various units available for recruitment at specified sites on the map. You can pay the influence cost to add the unit to your retinue. At first, you can only recruit one unit. As your fame grows, that number will increase. A unit has an effect you can use at any time, once per round, and an armour value you can use to soak damage for you.


Outside of combat, heal can be used to remove wounds from your hand, one wound per heal point. It can also be used to remove a wound from a unit, but this costs 1 heal per level of the unit (1-4).


Sometimes healing won’t cut it. You can spend a turn resting instead of your move+action. If you do, you can still use card effects, you just don’t get a move or action. You can discard (not remove) 1 non-wound, and any number of wounds. If you don’t have a non-wound to discard, the best you can do is discard 1 wound. You can’t die in mage knight, but if you have to spend multiple turns discarding just 1 wound each turn (because you have a lot more wounds than your hand size, so even after discarding, you don’t get to draw a non-wound), you may well be out of contention. Don’t be scared of taking wounds, but also don’t let that happen.


Each round, 5 dice are rolled to represent the available mana this day or night. Mana comes in 6 varieties: white, blue, red, green, gold, and black. Gold is wild and can be used for anything during the day, but is useless at night. Black is used to power the major effect of powerful spells, and can only be used at night.

You get to use 1 mana from the source each turn. After your turn, you roll and return the mana die you used. There are effects that allow taking more, or generating more.

There are some ways to turn mana into crystals. A crystal is identical in just about every way, except it can be stored for use in future turns/rounds.

Looking again at the default deck, the leftmost card can generate 3 or 5 of the basic points: move, attack, block, or influence, but at the cost of discarding another non-wound card. The next can generate non-green mana, or green mana be paid to boost another card significantly. The next can make crystals. The next generates more mana. Then 4 move cards. 2 move or ranged attack cards. 2 attack or block cards. 1 block or attack card. 2 influence cards. 1 heal card.

Note that whenever you get to add a new card to your deck, it goes on top of the deck, so you’ll probably be able to use it next turn.

Maybe I’ll explain this image further in a subsequent post, this post got longer than I anticipated.

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Happy with PvP but also happy if it isn’t available. I’ll give Goldyx a try please.


I’d like to play either Tovak or Wolfhawk… Wolfhawk is a preference by lore, but I’ve only played MK once and I don’t know if she is significantly more complicated. If she is, I’m happy with Tovak.


Wolfhawk is an OK choice. She has some abilities that work better with less units, and since units are a significant force multiplier this can cause some tension. But if you are comfortable with that, there’s no reason not to pick her.

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Sure! Let’s do that. Thanks!



Fame track in on the left, reputation track on the right. Each time you enter a new row of the fame track, you get some benefit. The first row shows one unit command token. The second indicates a new skill token and a card. So every other row you become able to command one more unit, and this also comes with gradual ncreases to your armour and hand size. Every other row you will choose between two skills you draw from your own tokens, or a skill someone else rejected and put into the common pool. You also get one “advanced action” from the card offer and put it on top of your deck.

Reputation affects your influence when you take an interaction action.

Player board

Note this has a bunch of buttons which aren’t relevant for PBF, but you can see the portrait with an octagonal token showing 2 armour and 5 hand size, some space for mana and mana crystals. Below that is the deck of 16 cards. Next to that are shield tokens you’ll use to mark conquests, and a stack of skill tokens. Next to that is space for up to 6 units, and one command token. Below those are a player piece and a marker we’ll use to indicate the order in which players take turns each round.

(background art by the excellent Jonas de Ro)


Card offer

Note that this isn’t the actual card offer for our game, which is saved on another computer (oops). But you can see there is a spell offer of 3 cards that can be gained in specific ways such as conquering and interacting with mage towers. An advanced action offer of 3 cards that you’ll mostly get from going up the fame track. A deck of powerful artifacts. A deck of wounds. A unit offer of 5 units that you may be able to recruit. And a monastery offer of advanced action(s) that can be learnt by visiting a monastery.

Don’t want to get into the weeds here, but do note that:

  • Spells always cost a mana, and the more powerful half costs a mana and a black mana.
  • The spell and advanced action offers are replenished every time a card is taken. The unit offer is fully replaced only at the start of a new round.
  • Unit cards have some important info in the portrait half, going clockwise from top left: influence cost, unit level, armour, and icons indicating sites where the unit can be recruited. So, for example, the Utem Guardsmen cost 5 influence, are level 2, have 5 armour, and can be recruited at keeps and villages.
  • There is another deck of elite units, some of these will only enter the unit offer after core (brown) tiles are explored.
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Back to the main focal point of the game.

You can see the start of the wedge map, that will extend upwards. The point of the wedge has a portal from which you will all start your mission.

Terrain costs are noted on the card below the map: 2 for grassland, 3 for hills and daytime forests, 4 for wastelands, and 5 for daytime deserts and swamps. Also 2 to enter a city, regardless of its depicted terrain.

There are 5 mana dice already rolled and next to the terrain cost graphics. These represent the source of available mana for this round.

On the map you can see 5 tokens already placed., and a dungeon without a token. Each of these represents a point of interest and needs some explanation:

  • Marauding orcs
    The green tokens are orcs causing trouble. No-one can enter this hex. If you move from an adjacent hex to an adjacent hex, or if you end your move adjacent and choose to fight as your action, you will enter combat with them. Once defeated, the hex can be moved through (in a subsequent turn), and you get +1 reputation.

  • Keep
    Gray tokens are keeps. Move next to them during the day to see the defenders. You can assault a keep by moving onto it, losing 1 reputation and fighting a fortified enemy. Once conquered, a keep will increase your hand size while you are on or adjacent to it, and you can recruit there. A keep is unusual in that it blocks movement for other players, who would have to conquer it again to wrest control from the other player and move into it (and get only half fame for doing so)

  • Mage Tower
    Purple tokens are mage towers. Very similar to keeps, except that conquering them gives you a spell, and you can also buy spells here for 7 influence and a mana matching the spell.

  • Ruin
    Yellow tokens are ruins, revealed during the day, only revealed when you move onto them at night. Unlike the fortified sites above, moving onto a ruin doesn’t initiate anything. You can choose to go into a ruin as your action, in which case, in this example, you would have to fight two enemies (white are elite) for a potential reward of an artifact and a spell. This is a very tough example of a ruin.

  • Dungeon
    Like ruins, you have to actually choose to use an action to go in. Dungeons are underground, so night rules always apply, and cramped, so units can’t be used. You would face a random monster (brown token) and if you win, receive an artifact or spell (it’s random). Unlike most other sites, a dungeon can be visited repeatedly, but there’s only the one reward, and you only get half fame for each subsequent monster defeated.

There are more sites, but I’ll describe them as they come up.

The last thing I want to note here is


Each player in turn chooses one tactic to use this day (or night). Each tactic provides some kind of benefit, aside from “early bird” (1), and also determines player turn order in the current round. So “early bird” is guaranteed to go first, “the right moment” (6) last, and loosely speaking the higher number the greater the effect of the tactic.


I would like to to be Braevalar the Druid if nobody else is interested :slight_smile:

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Righto. So we are good to start. I will send you all your starting hands, field any questions you might have, then you can select tactics based on what you need to supplement your starting hands, in the arbitrary just-rolled order of:


I might also redo the setup, as the depicted start looks pretty harsh. I’ll do a full explanation of any icons and minutiae I might have skipped once I decide on the start.


The offer

The map

So, the current decision is which tactic to take. Descriptions on the cards in the image above.

Very blue source right now, aside from that only one white.

The rampaging orcs you can see are a) resistant to physical attacks, which means any attack that isn’t fire, ice, or coldfire is going to be halved against them, and b) brutal, which means if you don’t block them they do double damage. That’s 4 wounds with your current armour!

The top left ruin is tough - defended by an orc and a dragon.

The rightmost ruin is not a fight - spend 4 mana all at once, in all 4 colours, and get 10 fame.

The site type I haven’t mentioned yet is the cave, the monster den at the top. Fight a random monster, if you beat it you get 2 random crystals as additional reward.

So, if I am remembering correctly, I first select a Tactic, and that will determine the play order going forward?

I will select the Number 5 Tactic, because my cards in hand suck for the current set of circumstances and I would like more, please. :slight_smile:

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OK, Marx selects Great Start and gets two more cards (which I will send tomorrow), and certainly isn’t going first. @Lordof1 next to pick from the remaining options.

Does the black mana stay even though it’s day? Ami misremembering, I thought it got rerolled?

Regardless, I shall show my thinking as I’m early in the game (I won’t do this the whole way through!). I have nothing in hand currently that can defeat the orcs, thanks to their resistance. I’m not sure I have much that can fight the keep either and I can’t get past the orcs to do anything else.


I noticed I can place another title to the east next to the keep, which I missed at first… so I’ll take card 4 - planning - instead please.

This does not leave me much of a choice, does it? With my current hand, extra mana does not seem to make any sense. I am not keen do to a double turn–I mean it is not like an extra turn just a rescheduling the value of which at this point seems minimal. So I think I have to “Rethink”. My current hand of cards is a bit lopsided, it seems to me.

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At the start of a round, if half or more of the source is black and/or gold, the black and gold mana is rerolled. That is not the case here, so you guys are stuck with the black.

@Lordof1 you cannot place a tile next to the keep. That is off the map. I assume this does not change the choice of planning.

@yashima please message me which 3 cards you are discarding.

Correct, no change, thanks.

So I am up for my first turn.

  • I want to move into that Forest I can see just ahead—using Druidic Paths which provides 2 movement points which should be enough to get me to the trees. (Then I hug some trees before I remember I serve the Void)

  • As my action, I would like to use a blue mana from the source to Crystallize into a red mana