WizKids has announced a 'massive redesign' of Mage Knight, its first Collectible Miniature Game, which will be marketed as Mage Knight 2.0. Scheduled for release in November in its standard starter and booster formats, the redesign incorporates lessons from WizKids' other games, tournament play, and player feedback. The company is clearly trying to revive flagging sales on what was its flagship game, and fend off a challenge from Wizards of the Coast, which is launching its own D&D-based fantasy CMG this fall (see 'D&D CMG Plans Revealed').
The key changes to the game are as follow:
Redesigned combat dial: the new pie-shaped window adds a new 'ability nexus' that can modify a figure's speed, attack, defense, or damage value to reflect his or her special abilities as they change in combat.
Relics: powerful items, such as enchanted weapons, armored helmets, and arcane spell books, that unique figures can use during the game. They'll be roughly as hard to find as unique figures.
Constructed terrain: pieces that can be assembled to create landscape features that change the battleground.
Domains: rules that change the environment of a game, such as weather.
New victory conditions will shift the focus of the game to occupation and control from mere survival.
Despite the scale of the changes, Mage Knight 2.0 will be backward compatible -- all existing pieces will be playable in the new game.
Some elements of the relaunch will be especially appealing to retailers. First, the new rules will allow for bigger armies without a dramatic increase in game time, and bigger armies mean more purchases. And second, WizKids is committing to keep Mage Knight out of mass merchants, and will sell it only through game stores, hobby stores, and specialty retail chains such as book and software outlets.