I’ve had Mage Knight for years, and really WANT to like it. Want to go on an adventure on hexes, and roll dice and get stuff, and all that. But every time I play, it’s just sooooo slow to start out. Turns spent just trying to move, etc. etc. Pretty much everything Tom said really. Then, by the time it’s mid-end, the battles are just SO obnoxious to get through all the fire/ice/block/ranged/cold-fire/hot-ice/poison/whatever, that it’s not even fun. Doing all those numbers is TEDIOUS as hell.
So, I picked up Unicornus Knights this week. Put a map together of hexes, move around, roll dice to have combat, get cool skills, get allies. Bam. It’s obviously nowhere near as in depth as Mage Knight. The landscape is mainly there to affect movement, defense, etc.(not as many things to visit). But it TOTALLY scratches that itch for me. Combat is dice-rolly, but not TOOOO many dice. Not as many spells and stuff, but enough. Cool characters, fun theme. Plays is a fraction of the time.
The rulebook is a mess. There’s an UK reprint available online, hopefully it’ll ship with that in the future.
tldr: Unicornus Knights replaced Mage Knight for me.