Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Alternative Play => Topic started by: Zuberi on October 19, 2013, 06:46:15 AM

Title: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on October 19, 2013, 06:46:15 AM
I've played several team games of Mage Wars now following the base rules, and I have found two big problems with it that I am going to set out to fix in this post. First, let me explain the issues.

Problem One: Alternating Positions
From the Mage Wars Rule Book: "Make sure to sit so that the teams are sitting in alternating positions: team A, team B, team A, team B, etc. That way each team will have a chance to react, rather than an entire team taking their Action Phases back-to-back."

This rule makes sense in theory. However, in practice, when team mates are meant to coordinate their plans and share information and discuss strategy, all without revealing too much to their opponents, having them sit on COMPLETE OPPOSITE corners of the table does NOT encourage team play.

Problem Two: Mage Elimination
Battling to the death is fun and exciting in a two player game. In a team game however, not as much. When we play team games, we usually just play till one mage is eliminated and declare that team the loser. The loss of half their team is so devestating that usually loss of the game is ensured and there's no fun dragging it out. However, with this rule in place, team games end up being about "who do we focus on" and then one opposing mage is picked on for the whole game. This doesn't feel right to me either.

Solution: Lifebonded Arena Format
To resolve these two issues, I'm thinking about borrowing ideas from my group's default team variant when we play Magic the Gathering: Two-Headed Giant. It doesn't matter if you're familiar with Magic or this specific variant, I will describe the ideas I'm borrowing and how to apply them to Mage Wars.

Spell Rules
The Unique trait and Epic trait both apply to the whole team. Thus, if your team mate has a Unique spell in play, you may not play another copy of that spell. If your team mate has an Epic spell in their spellbook, you can not also have a copy of it in your spellbook. You also can not put Mage Specific Abilities on spells that you do not control, such as making your team mate's creature into your Pet, or putting Runes on your team mate's equipment (even if you cast the equipment).

Board Setup
Using two Arena Boards create a 4x6 Zone Arena. Labeling the Rows as A through D and the Columns as 1 through 6, the top left zone would be A1 and the bottom right zone would be D6. Team 1 would then start with their mages in B1 and C1, while Team 2 would start in B6 and C6. This allows team members to start near one another, yet with enough room so that they don't compete heavily for conjuration space. They also start within 5 and 6 zones of their opponents, which is comparable to a normal match and allows rush strategies to be just as valid, if not more so, as normal.

Shared Initiative
Initiative shall be shared by team members. When it is your team's turn in initiative order, only one of your team members may act. Decide as a team which team member gets to act whenever it is your team's turn in initiative order. You may not use your Quick Cast Marker unless you are the team member currently acting.

Shared Life
Each team shall have a Life total equal to 75% of the sum of the two mages that make up the team. Any damage done to one mage is cumulative against the entire team, and any healing done to one mage removes damage from the team. Thus it is possible for Mage A to take all the damage, and Mage B to still remove it by healing himself instead of his team mate. Consider this an improved version of Life Bond. For those who don't wish to do the math of percentages, I have calculated 75% of each individual mage at the end of this article.

Mage Life Conversion Cheat Sheet
Convert each individual mage using the chart below and then add the two team mates together. Round the total to the nearest whole number.

38 = 28.5
36 = 27
34 = 25.5
33 = 24.75
32 = 24
30 = 22.5

Edit: Revised to reflect the most recent rule set that we use.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Wildhorn on October 19, 2013, 10:19:01 AM
Problem one is not a problem. It is realistic. Once in the arena, you are not next to your team mate to whisper in its ear. You can set up a strategy before the fight, but once in the arena, no time for chit-chatting, you are fighting for your life.

Problem two, you should use a percent of the life, not just reduce it by a fixed number because that way it advantage mages with higher life. 10 life is bigger percent for a 32 life mage than a 38 hp mage. I think you should not reduce the the life. Just add the life togheter and it would work. No reason to reduce the life if there gonna be twice the firepower to shoot at it.

Shared turn is a very bad idea. First, it might make a player to not play at all which is not fun but it is also unrealistic... Why would a mage stand there whole time doing nothing.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on October 19, 2013, 03:15:45 PM
Quote from: Wildhorn
Problem one is not a problem. It is realistic. Once in the arena, you are not next to your team mate to whisper in its ear. You can set up a strategy before the fight, but once in the arena, no time for chit-chatting, you are fighting for your life.

You sound like you've never played a team game. Even in the rule book it points out that you HAVE to share information with your team mate. The game just does not work unless you know both what your team mate is planning to do and what they are actually doing. But this is difficult when you're as far away from them as possible with enemy player's in between you.

Quote from: Wildhorn
Problem two, you should use a percent of the life, not just reduce it by a fixed number because that way it advantage mages with higher life. 10 life is bigger percent for a 32 life mage than a 38 hp mage.

You are entirely correct on this point and I considered using a Percentage system. However, in the end I opted for simple addition and subtraction because it is easier. When we sit down for a game we don't want to break out a calculator, we want to get into the action. As mentioned, I also considered just proclaiming a fixed amount of 50 life per team for a two player team. Personally I would like to keep the variation in Life totals as a component of game play rather than chucking it out the window, but I can see the advantages of a fixed system. Would that be preferable to people?

Quote from: Wildhorn
I think you should not reduce the the life. Just add the life togheter and it would work. No reason to reduce the life if there gonna be twice the firepower to shoot at it.

Really need playtesting to determine this. Currently our team games tend to run twice as long as a normal game even with us ending the game after a single death. Sure you have twice the fire power, but having a friend available to support you and bail you out of trouble is a huge benefit as well. Most of our games sees one mage per team in an aggressive role and one mage per team in a support/defensive role and they tend to cancel out the progress made overall so that the fight is kinda drug out.

Increased life is necessary and thematic, I think, but simply combining the life totals would make the game incredibly long I fear. As I said though, the only way to know for sure is through playtesting.

Quote from: Wildhorn
Shared turn is a very bad idea. First, it might make a player to not play at all which is not fun but it is also unrealistic... Why would a mage stand there whole time doing nothing.

I don't see how it would make a player to not play at all. I do worry about the "Alpha Gamer" problem where one person tries to control his entire team, but isn't that a problem that any team game has to face? I know it has cropped up in our team games of Mage Wars already, as well as team games of Magic the Gathering, and pretty much any Cooperative game we play. In the end its kinda up to you not to let your teammate pull your strings.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Wildhorn on October 19, 2013, 07:08:03 PM
I totally agree that you have to share information with team mate but to keep realism, you have to do it in front of opposite team. Use codes (that you setup before game) to communicate or eyes contact.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Wiz-Pig on October 22, 2013, 11:44:24 AM
I totally agree that you have to share information with team mate but to keep realism, you have to do it in front of opposite team. Use codes (that you setup before game) to communicate or eyes contact.

I agree, this should speed up the game play as well since you won't be able to argue with your teammate or discuss details. But rather just stick to quick coded exchanges. Also I think that there is a certain amount of open communication that you can get away with without serious detriment anyway.

A possible solution for shared life totals using percentages is to pre-calculate totals. There are only a limited number of life totals so this isn't hard.

38 = 28.5
36 = 27
32 = 24
30 = 23.5

I would suggest rounding down if you end up with a fraction. The fractions are just there really to shore up a two druid team or give that extra boost to a two Warlock team. This gives combined life totals ranging from 47 to 57

Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on October 23, 2013, 12:14:33 AM
I appreciate the feedback and attempts to improve my variant, but I do not appreciate being told there is no problem when I've experienced it in dozens of games. Thus, if you have an alternate solution that allows team mates to sit next to each other and work together, I'd love to hear it. However, don't tell me that team mates can just communicate openly in front of their opponents. That does not work.

I really like Wiz-Pig's solution to the Life Total problem. A percentage based system does seem to be the fairest way to do things, I just don't want to have to do calculations at the game table to figure it out. With this option, we'd have to either bring a list of the converted values with us or memorize them if we wanted to avoid doing the calculations on the spot, but I believe that is a workable solution and plan to adopt it for the variant. Thank you Wiz-Pig.

I think your math is a little wrong though on the druid and you left out the Priest and Johktari Beastmaster. If I am correct, the converted values should be:

38 = 28.5
36 = 27
34 = 25.5
32 = 24
30 = 22.5

That gives us a range of 45 to 57. Although technically a two druid team would both use their Treebond ability to shoot up to 53 Life.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Wiz-Pig on October 23, 2013, 09:19:56 AM
I think your math is a little wrong though on the druid and you left out the Priest and Johktari Beastmaster. If I am correct, the converted values should be:

38 = 28.5
36 = 27
34 = 25.5
32 = 24
30 = 22.5

That gives us a range of 45 to 57. Although technically a two druid team would both use their Treebond ability to shoot up to 53 Life.

You are correct. And for the record I think either style of play is fine for communication they have there ups and downs. You can always say the Mages have a telepathic link to explain their uncanny communication.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on November 16, 2013, 02:05:35 PM
I have been debating when to update this thread with my findings. I have since played 8 games using these team rules and that seems like a decent trial run to me. Although 2 of those game were on OCTGN and both of them ended because a player disconnected rather than us finishing the game. The first OCTGN game ended in what was obviously the planning stage of the final round, although it could have gone either way. The second OCTGN game ended midgame. My other 6 games however were live and complete games. Here are my findings.

Game length averaged about 3 hours (probably a little less), which I believe is appropriate. It is shorter than the games where we tried killing both mages (as suggested in the rules), longer than the games where we only had to kill a single mage, and a little over twice as long as a 1v1 game. Overall, everyone has been satisfied with the game length and I have not felt the need to adjust Life Totals.

My worries about Shared Turns proved unfounded. There were no issues with Alpha Gamers in any of my games, team play felt very tight, and everyone felt involved equally with the game. We did have questions about quick cast markers, and looking in the rules it says they may be used "before or after any friendly action phase" which clearly indicates that teammates could use it during each other's turn during normal team games, even though nobody ever did so in our previous games. Therefore, we didn't actually have to change the rules for them to accomodate Shared Turns. Either or Both allied mages could use their quick cast during their team's turn regardless of which one of them decided to activate a creature. During the Quick Cast Phase, however, we ruled that only one mage per team could Quick Cast at a time. For the same reason that during the Action Phase they could only take one Creature Action at a time: fairness.

Overall, everyone in agreed that the variants improved team play and had absolutely nothing detrimental to say about them. I am going to highly recommend these variants for team play. To restate them more concisely:

1) Shared Life: Each mage converts their Life Total based upon the chart below and then adds it together with their teammates to determine their Shared Life Total. Any damage done to a mage is counted against there team's Shared Life Total, and any healing done to a mage removes damage from their team's Shared Life Total regardless of which mage on the team initially took the damage.

CONVERSION CHART
22.5 = Druid
24 = Forcemaster, Necromancer, Priestess, Wizard
25.5 = Johktari Beastmaster, Priest
27 = Beastmaster, Warlord
28.5 = Warlock

2) Shared Turns: Initiative shall pass between teams instead of individuals. When it is a Team's turn during the Quick Cast Phase, 1 of the teammates may Quick Cast a spell. Priority then passes to the next team. When it is a Team's turn during the Action Phase, 1 of the teammates may activate a creature. Priority then passes to the next team.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: kiwipaul on November 20, 2013, 11:27:45 AM
Keep up the discussion.  It is interesting as Mage wars is great one on one, but seems to fail a bit on the team or multi player variety.  Looking forward to trying some of these options.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: abyssalstalker on November 25, 2013, 09:22:46 AM
Just stumbled on this thread today and wanted to share my thoughts.

I had purchased Mage Wars to play with my friends / family 1v1 originally because most of my games were multiplayer and sometimes we just didn't have enough people. For better or worse, everyone I played with liked the aspect of 2V2. As a result, 90% of the games we play are 2v2 teams. We have played about 10 games this way so far. 

After reading the multiplayer rules I realized right off the bat that alternating seats made absolutely no sense. You need to share strategy with your partner. Look over each others books and coordinate a deadly combination. So we sit next to our team mates now.

Another thing we didn't appreciate was the size of the board. With conjurations being zone exclusive we needed more space to spread out if we were running a conjuration heavy strategy. As a result we use two boards and put them next to each other to create a 4X6 grid. We have each team opposite each other in the far corners of the boards. Essentially each full board is a respective team board. This doesn't hurt rushers either because a mage still has the same amount of spaces to reach an enemy mage.

We never combined life because we never had a problem where two mages would completely team up on one. People were too scared the untouched mage would be too powerful. Since we never had that problem we just kept their life untouched and if any mage was killed that team lost since losing an entire mages army / actions is just too devastating. That being said, I actually really like your idea of shared health. While the games we played didn't involve a ganging up on a mage, there were occasional problems. Some games would end up being two 1v1 games in the same arena and sometimes one team mate would get crushed while the other would be doing well. If one died and the other was fine it was indeed frustrating. Combining life pools is a really cool concept that will likely fix this problem. I will probably introduce in my next game and see how our group likes it.

Regarding turn order, we would have all four players roll and whoever won initiation received the token. We would then pass it back and forth to the other team, essentially taking turns by team mates. We did this because having two people on one side go at the same time is just too powerful. Throwing out two huge nukes on a legendary creature before the other team has a chance to react, for example. I personally never liked this method because having three other people have initiation over you could be aggravating. I had tried to think of a solution but nothing came to fruition. I absolutely love your implementation of having it pass between teams and they decide their turn order. This actually adds another layer of strategy and fluidity in a team game. If there's something crucial that's going to happen one side can choose that mage to go first to react. I am absolutely implementing this in our future games as it is the perfect solution.

Finally, for any conjurations that have a ready marker we generally allow people to use as many as they want as long as one of that teams members has an action. For example, a priestess and a warlock are on the same team. If it was the warlocks turn to take an action and they wanted to move and attack, we would allow a priestess to shoot with her temple, if she wanted, and buff with a hand of bim. We found this worked pretty well. It was indeed a bit strong sometimes but the cards were already on the board and players would know if a combo like that was coming and could at least somewhat react with positioning and card choice. Do you also play this way?

We never used the quick cast marker on other team mates turns but that proposes another interesting layer to a team game. I agree, during the initial quick cast it should only be back and forth but during the action stages I think it could work pretty well. I'll have to test it out.

I wanted to say thanks for your ideas. We love Mage Wars and since we only play team games implementing your ideas can drastically improve the game for us.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on November 25, 2013, 04:17:11 PM
Thank you for your thoughts, abyssalstalker. I hope that these variants work as well for you as they have for me.

Regarding board size, it does get a little crowded on a single board, but none of my friends play conjuration heavy builds. That's probably going to change with the introduction of the Druid, but up till now we've managed to make due with a single board mostly because of space limits on the table. I could definitely understand the desire for more space though. Personally, I would still put both team mates in the same starting zone even in a larger arena. It is nice to start as a team working together from the beginning. Starting spread out in different corners kind of puts you by yourself in your own world.

I would start both team mates in the same zone, with teams in opposite corners still. This would separate opponents a bit more than in a 1v1 game (8 zones away from their opponent instead of 5) which could hurt Rush strategies, but I don't think it will hurt much because of the team's ability to sling shot one another with teleports.

Currently a popular rush strategy in my group is for one team member to move 1 or 2 spaces, teleport their team mate as far as they can, and then their team mate summons a big bad critter. Occasionally they'll throw in a Rouse the Beast to get an attack off on round 1, so slowing down such a rush would actually rebalance the cosmos methinks.

I have been giving serious thought to creating a custom 5x5 board for the game. I think that would be a great size and layout for both team and FFA games. It could support up to 4 mages in a FFA game with each mage starting in the central zone along one of the 4 edges of the board. This would make you equidistant to ALL of your opponents (4 zones away from each of them) and give you 25 zones total to play with. Compare that to a 1v1 match on a single board in which you start 5 zones apart and have 12 zones to play with.

Regarding Shared Life, feel free to adjust the values. The values we use are the only ones I've tested. Because people in my group are happy with the results, I saw no need to experiment and tweak them. However, if your group prefers a longer or shorter game, adjusting the Life Values is an easy way to accomplish that.

Regarding the Quick Cast marker, we had never used it during a teammates turn either before implementing this variant. However, when introduced with the idea of Shared Turns, the question of the Quick Cast marker came up. I'm not sure why, but before making a decision on the subject, I looked it up in the Codex and it has pretty much the same wording as the Temple of Light and other such conjurations: "can be used before or after any friendly Action Phase"

If there is one thing I am considering changing about our team games still, it is the Quick Cast rules, as being able to use both Quick Casts in a row allows for some extremely powerful combos. However, based on the wording in the codex, any change to fix this would be implementing yet another variant as currently it is in the rules to be able to do such combos. Thus far it hasn't been taken advantage of often (most of the players tend to forget about it), so further testing is definitely needed.

I hope that you'll post your findings and opinions on things after you've had a chance to try them. I'd really enjoy hearing from others.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: LokiDFC on November 25, 2013, 09:45:17 PM
Glad to see such a thread. I've played around 15 team games, mostly thru octgn. We used a 4x4 board... Basically went into paint and copy/pasted one of the columns to make it an even 16 zones. You have to do a bit of setup on everyone's machine by changing the background image to accomplish this, but its not too difficult once you find the file. We actually made about 5-6 differently themed maps to try out, but we've only done two.

At first we would have both mages start in same zone, but we've found it more challenging to have them start in opposite corners and NOT speak/plan attacks. What made us do this wasnt that one guy would be Alpha player, it would be more that one guy would be weaker(minute difference, but there is one) and it became that the weaker teammate would just ask what he should do.

Not being able to speak to partner does make the game take a lot longer but it has definitely stepped everyone's game up. So much more challenging to have to try to anticipate what your partner AND opponents will do. We are all friends so we basically roll dice at start of game and the best roll pairs with third, and 2nd pairs with 4th. That's also the order of initiative that we use, and we don't share HP between partners. It's much more independent and as I said, games can take a while, but we enjoy the challenge of it. Anyone who likes this game isn't really going to be shying away from challenges...

Longest game was near 6 hours, and one of the mages on winning team was dead two hours before the end. The winner happened to be a beastmaster with a lair that basically made sure to bring out two creatures every turn while his partner kept the opposing mages busy in first few rounds. Some mistakes were made by both sides but nothing so major that you could say the losing team was clearly less skilled. A lot of it boils down to both mages having same cards in hand to do the same thing in a round when you only needed one.

I do like your proposed method... Should definitely speed up games. I'll bring it up to the guys. Here's hoping we get a DvN update sometime soon for octgn.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on November 26, 2013, 12:00:32 AM
Quote from: LokiDFC
wasnt that one guy would be Alpha player, it would be more that one guy would be weaker(minute difference, but there is one) and it became that the weaker teammate would just ask what he should do.

I agree, that is an important difference. I personally have no problem with a player asking for help or advice. One of the best ways to improve your game is to seek advice. As long as it is a dialogue between them and not simply one person bullying the other into playing his way, I don't see an issue.

I do not think I would like playing in team games with you though. Being completely unable to talk during the game would not only ruin the feeling of being on a team, but it would ruin the social aspect of playing a game together. It would also make it harder to follow the rules regarding duplicating spells. I prefer my challenge to come from my opponents, not from being unable to work with my team mate.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: dfcdaryth on November 26, 2013, 10:20:43 AM
Taken a bit too literally...   We abide by the ol Spades rule, "No talking across the board."

Oooh but quite a bit of trash talk gets slung in all directions, and the ruling debates are certainly epic.  The social interaction that we love out of those types of games is still very muchprevalent.

Quote
Being completely unable to talk during the game would not only ruin the feeling of being on a team, but it would ruin the social aspect of playing a game together. It would also make it harder to follow the rules regarding duplicating spells. 

And, I will add, when a move is made by two players on the same team, completely in synch, with zero communication other than the circumstances on the board...    It makes it that much sweeter.  Aaand the other side of that sword hurts quite a bit, too..  Like Yosemite Sam trying to keep the expletives at bay.  Oooooggghhh!!!
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: abyssalstalker on November 26, 2013, 01:08:14 PM
Zuberi,

a 5 X 5 board would be very interesting. I've always wanted to try a balanced FFA match. I have read somewhere that Arcane Wonders is looking to develop more rules / pieces for mutliplayer / team games. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

When my group has the two boards set up in a 2V2 game we are only 3 spaces away from each other. We could move and cast a spell on them if needed turn one. We don't consider the mages to be in "their own world" since team mates are this close. Almost all of us are conservative and economic players which leads to an investment in conjurations. With a 4X6 grid each player has six zones dedicated to conjurations which is the same in a 1v1 4X3 board. We found this to be the best balance since of having all the slots you would in a 1v1 game but also not crippling rush strategies. Having mages in the same zone would make it hard to establish conjurations early since zones and movement is limited. This is just what we prefer, however.

I had never thought about the strategy of teleporting a mage early to summon a large creature. That's a pretty fun idea and I will have to try that sometime. The only issue I see with this is that since (in our game) both mages are pretty close they can focus fire the big creature down. I guess this can be countered having the large creatures owners use block and counterspells, though.

My group generally enjoys longer games so I'll keep the health at face value for each mage. Games took around four hours without shared health so we'll adjust as necessary. The 100% or 75% value doesn't have to be hard, either. It can be agreed upon by everyone at the start of the game to determine game length which adds a nice fluidity.

I definitely see the quick cast being an issue. I'll initially leave it that you can't use both quick cast during the initial quick cast phase. I had originally thought to leave it that both mages can quick cast in a row if they decide to (similar to temple of light ready markers). However, I foresee this being too strong so what I think we will probably end up with is that a mage can use one quick cast per creature action even if it is your team mates. This will allow more options but also be balanced. Only time will tell what works, though!

I just received DvN today and plan on playing a lot of team games in about two weeks since a few of us are taking simultaneous vacations. I'll definitely report how these mechanics work out.

Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: abyssalstalker on December 09, 2013, 10:44:29 AM
So, I recently played a couple of games implementing these new strategies and have come to report my findings.

I absolutely love the team-based initiative. It promotes a more team-based approach that you can talk to your partner and decide who can go when. My only complaint is that you'll often hear "do you want to go, should I go?" etc. It does slow down the action phases when no one NEEDS it since they take a couple of seconds to be courteous to each other. That aside, I think it's near perfect and its here to stay. Thank you for resolving my woes with 2V2 initiative!

I told my group they could use their quick cast on another players creature action but no one utilized it. I suspect it's completely fine and balanced and has some occasional tactical use. I still do not allow two quick casts in a row, however even during the action stage. I will probably keep this as-is.

Regarding the pooled life, we had a lot of problems. Once a mage is damaged past their max life it seems unnatural to mark it lower on the status board. Also, there were a lot of rule issues. If there's bloodthirsty monsters but only one mage is damaged (past their max) how can that work? If a Warlock is played on a team we found that him charging at the enemies with his health plus the other mages seemed a bit peculiar. We also thought how would heal spells and regen work? If we cast a heal on a mage that is damaged by 5 and we roll a 10, does that extra 5 leak over? Does it apply to the other mage? This could affect something like bloodthirsty. If a mage has regen and the other doesnt, can he utilize the regen?

I'd love to combine health pools but we run into many, many issues. Can we possibly discuss this more and find a suitable solution? If not, I fear I'll have to revert.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on December 09, 2013, 11:48:03 AM
With regards to the shared life, this is how we've been handling it.

- Only one person tracks Life and Damage for their team. We use dice to do this since the status board doesn't go up high enough. Paper and Pencil would also work. Thus, none of the mages have individual damage or life to keep track of. It's all pooled together as a team resource.

- If either mage has taken damage, both mages are considered to be damaged because they both share it. Thus bloodthirsty would work against both of them.

- The two mages sharing life while acting separately might indeed seem peculiar. This system does not accurately portray realism better than the default team rules. Instead it is simply meant to eliminate the player elimination aspect mechanically. You could justify it by saying they are linked magically if you would like.

- Casting a healing spell on either mage will heal their shared damage, so it applies equally to both mages.

- Regarding Regeneration, my play group has debated this mechanic and are somewhat divided on it. Some argue that you can stack regeneration by applying it individually to each mage, while others argue that it is affecting the same damage pool and thus can not be stacked. Both arguments have merit. Currently we are playing that it does stack if each mage has it individually.

I have a feeling that most of your issues arise from the fact that you are still having each mage track damage individually. Once you switch to having a single person track this information for their team, I think it will resolve most of your issues. It is no longer the mage taking damage, it is the team. No longer is the mage receiving healing, it is the team. It is a group endeavor.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: abyssalstalker on December 09, 2013, 12:13:20 PM
What you propose does make the most sense and would be fairly easy to implement. This buffs bloodthirsty a bit, but that's fine.

My group did bring up a situation in which this may be abused, however. What if a warlock and priestess are on the same team. The warlock rushes forward and starts causing mayhem. The priestess can stay way in the back and heal herself, thus healing the warlock (the team). Is this fair? Yes, both mages can team up on the warlock but the priestess doesnt have to worry about jynx, nullify etc while she does her own thing removed from the battle. What counter argument can be made against this?
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: jacksmack on December 09, 2013, 12:27:19 PM
What you propose does make the most sense and would be fairly easy to implement. This buffs bloodthirsty a bit, but that's fine.

My group did bring up a situation in which this may be abused, however. What if a warlock and priestess are on the same team. The warlock rushes forward and starts causing mayhem. The priestess can stay way in the back and heal herself, thus healing the warlock (the team). Is this fair? Yes, both mages can team up on the warlock but the priestess doesnt have to worry about jynx, nullify etc while she does her own thing removed from the battle. What counter argument can be made against this?

Go for the priestess?

Summon twice as many creatures as the Warlock and destroy everything he summons?

Im not worried about such playstyle in 2vs2 (i have no experience in 2vs2 i should say).
But rather cheeze combos like malacoda Divine port an enemy into a wall corner.

I guess shared life solves that, but otherwise you could very quickly kill 1 mage:

A necromancer in a corner with malacoda poisen gas cloud bear strengths, force crush.
Divine port 1 enemy in there. Can be done in round 3.

Other cheese combos like tripple teleporting the same mage into a corner with 2 devouring jellys and 2 hydras.
Its gonna do TONS of damage in no time as well.
(nullify (to stop nullify), teleport to kill zone, he walks, .2 teleport to kill zone, he forcepush ( port) third teleport to kill zone).
Next round rinse and repeat. He will take 20 damage a turn if not more.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on December 09, 2013, 01:02:35 PM
I don't think that plan would be overpowered. Therefore, I don't consider it abuse. I think having one mage play support while the other goes on offense is a valid strategy in a team game. If the priestess is really causing trouble, I don't think the Warlock could block your team from getting to her for too long.

Extreme scenario, she walls herself in with a Grimson Deadeye, Archer's Tower, and a Mage Wand with Heal attached. She may be able to get off one attack per round with Grimson, but otherwise her functionality is limited purely to healing. Meanwhile your team would be able to simply out produce them I expect. You could get out more enchantments, conjurations, creatures, etc than the Warlock could produce, and he wouldn't be able to deal with everything you pump out on his own. You'd eventually overwhelm them.

With that said, even though I don't think it would be a problem, it is something that should be playtested. I don't expect I'll have another game until after the holidays myself, but I will see if my group is willing to try out some kind of Warlock/Priestess strategy when next we do battle.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: jacksmack on December 10, 2013, 09:18:22 AM
Or this badboy:

BM

19
ring of beasts -2
Redclaw -15
2

11
Fox -4
Fox -5
2

11
Fox -4
Fox -5
2

11
Fox -4
pet Fox -7
0

Round 5 - keeel time:
9
Call of the wild -4
Call of the wild -4
1


Priestess:

20
Enchanters ring -2
Cheetah speed -4
14

24
Marked for death -5
Wal of stone -7
12

22
Nullify -3
Wall of stone -7
12

22
Divine -11
Enchantment transfusion -5 (-2-3 DI MfD N)
6

16
Cheetah speed to get inside range of enemy with lowest armor and or fewest enchantments.
Acid ball -5
Acid ball -5
6
Enchantment transfuse Divine, nullify and marked for death inside wall of stone canine corner.

damage (hopefully vs 0 armor):
5xfox = 3B + 1M + 1R + 1C + 1C = 5x7dice
Redclaw = 5B + 1M + 1C + 1C = 1x8dice
Pet fox = 3B + 2P + 1M + 1R + 1C +1C = 1x9dice

35
 8
 9
= 52 dice

Plus a little from Acid Ball.

Bon appetite.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Schwenkgott on April 12, 2014, 04:14:46 PM
We did some 2on2 games on octgn these last days and i want to share with you our feedback.

First of all, we tried two different gameboards. The first one is the standard gameboard 4x3. It has provided good action from the start with not too many zones to spawn conjurations.

The second board we used is the double sized board 6x4. Here players had lots of time to build up and we had to wait some rounds for the action to start.

We used the rules proposed in this thread:

1) Shared life
2) Team initiative
3) Players of a Team may not cast 2 Quickcasts at a time without the other Team has the possibility to cast inbetween

The biggest problem on all games was the teleport spell. This problem is more crucial with the bigger board, but also with the standard board. One team always teleported one enemy mage to the horde of creatures to focus him down. Thats in fact very effective, but boring. That way the game does not resemble the original mage wars experience.
So we are thinking of adding annother rule to our ruleset.

4) No offensive use of Teleport on enemy Mages (creatures are allowed to teleport)

The fifth rule is not that crucial but can increase the fun in the game.

5) Teamplayers should not chose the same mage twice.

What do you think of these rules?
What is your experience with 2on2 matches?
Do you use additional/other rules?
What rules would you change?
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: abyssalstalker on April 15, 2014, 09:13:42 AM
Hi Schwenkgott,

How did you manage to use a 6X4 board via OCTGN? Did you use the alt board markers? I would love to use two game boards but haven't seen it implemented, yet.

As far as your teleporting is concerned - yeah, it does happen. In fact, I'd say teleport is one of the spells that usually swings the game one way or the other. However, the game is long (usually 3+ hours) with a 6X4 board (I love longer games though, but I'm just stating a fact) so removing the offensive teleport could really extend a game length. You can usually get a sense of when one is coming and in that instance just make sure to have a nullify or make sure your not in a position to get thrown into a bad position. Remember teleport has a certain range of 0-2 for target and destination!

As far as having two different mages on one team.... does that really matter? I haven't found any issues with people choosing the same mage. If they both go necro and swarm zombies they lose a lot of versatility. There are cards that could benefit both mages though like that one that buffs all friendly zombies but that is the trade off. I personally like to run a defensive and an offensive mage on a team. One who goes forward and initiates and the other to support. However, I've seen two aggressive mages, too. I think the 2v2 dynamic is great that it allows more variables like this.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Schwenkgott on April 15, 2014, 11:17:13 AM
I created a double sized gameboard with irfanview. Every player who attends the 2vs2 game simply has to change the gameboard.png and annother file and it works. For the future i hope Sike will manage to add the option to change the gameboard in 2vs2 matches. But i dont know if this is possible. Changing the background seems to be an option only for subscribers.

Here you can see the bigger gameboard, we've played on.

(http://img5.fotos-hochladen.net/uploads/gameboardkg1my6h82n.jpg)
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: sIKE on April 15, 2014, 12:21:06 PM
I am hoping to make this available with the next release and one of the reasons we changed the board size with the 1.5.0.0 release to make this easier.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on April 15, 2014, 03:31:15 PM
I'm really glad to hear you guys like my variant! Teleport can definitely be an issue. Separating a mage from his team mate can give you a huge advantage over them. This can also be accomplished with Walls. I have not seen it become a big enough issue to need an additional rule myself, but that may be because all of my games take place on a single game board. It can become cramped on occasion, but in general it works just fine for us and keeps the action flowing.

To answer your questions:
What do you think of these rules?
I disagree with the rule that team mates can't both play the same mage. That reduces the options and variation available to teams and I don't really see any reason for it. I certainly understand the desire to nerf teleport, especially on a bigger board. I really wish there was an official way to defend against teleport in the game. Personally, I will not be making such a rule for my games because it's not a big issue for us on a single board and I want to be minimally invasive with what I change about the game. But, I do see why you would make such a rule and hope it works out for you.

What is your experience with 2on2 matches?
I've had a lot of good experience with 2v2 Matches. They are quite common in my group. Just the other day I played Priest and Necromancer vs Warlock and Forcemaster. The Forcemaster managed to get my Priest away from my team mate early in the game and block him off with a wall. They got my team down to half life before we'd even scratched them. My team made a good recovery however and the last round was a real nail biter. We did lose, but we got them down to only 5 life left. Game took just a little over 90 minutes.

Do you use additional/other rules?
The only rules I use are the ones posted here. Shared Life and Team Initiative. Besides that, everything else is by the book as written. We used to allow a mage to make their team mate's creature into a Pet or Holy Avenger (as the rules just specify friendly creature, not necessarily one you control) until the forums told us we couldn't. A friend of mine actually suggested going back to that rule so we could make a Unicorn into both a Pet and a Holy Avenger at the same time. That actually made me realize why it might be a good idea to keep such abilities limited to your own creatures.

What rules would you change?
I can't think of anything else that I would change really. I've thought about modifying the board, and I am looking forward to the module boards they've announced. I think 4x4 might be better for team games, and 5x5 would be best for FFA games methinks. Could also experiment with more abstract shapes and designs. But otherwise the game seems to run fine and smooth as we have it now.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: abyssalstalker on April 16, 2014, 09:29:40 AM
I am hoping to make this available with the next release and one of the reasons we changed the board size with the 1.5.0.0 release to make this easier.

This is awesome news. Can't wait to get into some sweet 2v2
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Schwenkgott on April 28, 2014, 05:37:10 AM
Thanks for your feedback.

Here is annother update: Murphy showed me some other gameboards, that can be found online. They can provide new experience of the game, not only in 1on1 matchups, but especially in 2on2 matchups. We played yesterday on one of these new gameboards and it was very funny.

Packed in a nice little rar-file, you can now download these gameboards here
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ogu7dm5vrzoll4/New%20Gameboards.rar

The readme in the rar-file should explain, what to do to get them working in octgn. Its absolutly not complicated.

The file contains the following maps:

Forest 4x5
Inferno 3x4
Slimy Rocks 4x4
Arena Standard 3x4
Arena Huge 4x6
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: krj on September 25, 2014, 07:29:23 AM
what about Finite Life? if one mage has it, the second still can cast healing on himself and heal team damages?
Title: Team Play
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on September 25, 2014, 08:36:54 AM
what about Finite Life? if one mage has it, the second still can cast healing on himself and heal team damages?

And what if both mages are wearing Regrowth belt? I think we should employ the same solution to this that mtg two headed giant uses: gaining and losing damage or life happens to individual players and then the result is applied to their team damage/life total.

I think it would be unfair if you only had to use one action and five mana to prevent the whole team from healing, rather than just one mage, since friendly mages occupy different positions and they are not designed for sharing traits or conditions, including healing traits.

Cast a finite life on a warlock on one side of the arena, and all of a sudden his priestess teammate can't use her ability. Or even worse, necromancers poison immunity could protect his teammates by proxy. How would you put rot conditions on the whole team if one of players on that team is a Necromancer? If you try to put a rot condition on a priestess, it should not be prevented by her teammate's poison immunity trait.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: ScaredyCat on September 25, 2014, 09:23:57 PM
After reading  this thread I am intrigued by Zubrei's suggestion to have joint-team turns. 

My group has played quite a few 2v2 games with team mates sitting across table.  We initially discussed joint-team play but elected not to go down this route.  We wanted to avoid changing the official rules. 

We did change the board though: http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=14232.0 (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=14232.0)).

Regarding players sitting next to one another or collaborating in secret, while the two mages are acting as a single player, they are two mages and should act accordingly.  We permit cross-table talk.  The two mages can talk or yell in the arena.  Allowing the two mages to secretly collaborate during planning is not permitted; they can talk to each other but they must do so across the table in the presence of their opponents.  Again, these mages are in combat in an arena, not sitting next to each other in the stands operating robots.

The joint-life total was also discussed early in our team-play but was quickly discarded due to the rule challenges it poses (Regen, Finite Life, Blood-thirsty, condition markers, mage specific traits, and many more).  We have not experienced any problems with individual mages' life.  Each mage needs to look after one another - if one mage dies early then the other mage is likely doomed. 

I will revisit the joint-team play idea with my group.  This seems like a very doable idea and solves one pesky challenge we've had with "passing" because you have the fewest active creatures (do you have the fewest literally or fewer than your opponent).
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Mystery on October 27, 2014, 01:41:09 PM
Hey guys

We would love to play more team games. I read all the info about team initiative and shared live.
The idea is good, but thematically with finit life, healing I don't like it. And we would really like to increase players to like 3vs3 or 4vs4 and of course with single mage targeting and normal mage life, 4 hurl boulders in quick might just be to fatal. So i thought about having one conjuration with lifebond 3-4x#Number of mages.

The idea is that you could transfer some damage from one mage to the conjuration and then from there to another mage, just shouldn't be to much as then you could still have for example a priestess healing in the back and the frontliner taking damage. Bit it is limited to a certain transfer per round.

I thought about having like a force conjuration with like 10 life incorporeal situated in the very back in the middle. And then having lifebond 3 per mage which can be shared by all mages

what do you think about it? Would you reduce it to 2 per mage or increase to 4?

Title: Team Play
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on October 27, 2014, 04:00:56 PM
Thematically, you could justify the regular shared life rules this same way and say it's an indestructible conjuration cast by the judge/referee on the entire arena and mages are not permitted to  negate its effects. That way you don't need a card in your spellbook to represent it.

Or even better, it could be an innate property of the arena the fight takes place in, just like the outer arena walls.

If you want to try teams without shared life, Dignitary format is a multiplayer format which does not have shared life and actually works better that way. If your familiar with MtG, it's basically mage wars version of emperor format.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Moloch on October 29, 2014, 02:30:27 PM
There is already a Lifebond mechanik in the game so I think shared life fits the games theme well enough.
Three possible lore explenations how to achive this much stronger Mage-Bond:
1. A very powerfull enchantment cast in preparationb for the batte (to strong to disenchant with the limited mana available during battle)
2. A set of two very personal items, maybe Earrings(for item slot conveniance). The active Bond would protect the item from destruction so a dissolve would cost as much as the mages have combined life left->destruction impractical.
My favorite:
3. It is a very common preparation ritual known to almost any mage since training to become a mage is difficult and very very very dangerous (failed to controll that hydra you just summoned?). As one of the first practical techniques every apprentice learns to bond with his teacher/master there is no difficulty to utilise it when figthing as a team with another fully trained mage.

Anyway I love the suggested modifications, shared life and team initiative and will work them into our next 2v2.

I would love for Arcane Wonders to release those stones that hinder teleportation soon but until then I will also houserule no offensive teleports in 2v2. Undeniably they add tactical debth but they also make many defensive strategys much less viable especialy vs. up to 4 teleports/seeking dispells/decoys per turn. We play with 2 gameboards making such displacement even more devasting and if the victim gets frustrated by such shenanigans a 2v2 will last much longer making the unpleasent experience much worse.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on January 14, 2015, 10:11:33 AM
I realized that I had neglected this thread when someone recently asked about team games. I've updated the initial post to reflect the most recent rule set that we use. I also have added the name that I've taken to calling this format: Lifebonded Arena.
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Lukard on January 14, 2015, 11:16:41 AM
Hey Zuberi,

I have a small suggestions when it comes to the total shared life. Instead of using percentages, you might want to try the following formula: (Sum of Mages Life) - (Fixed Life modifier)

Let's suppose we come up with a Fixed Life Modifier equals 15 for a 2v2 game; so, we would have the following example:

Beast Master Life = 36
Necromancer Life = 32
Shared Life = 36 + 32 - 15 = 53

I am not sure if you tried it already, but it might work and is quite simple.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Team Play
Post by: Zuberi on January 14, 2015, 11:22:15 AM
That was actually what I initially used when testing shared life, but as Wildhorn pointed out using a fixed modifier unfairly advantages mages with higher Life. With a fixed number like you suggest, you are removing a bigger chunk of Life from lower Life mages than you are from higher Life mages.