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Mage Wars => Domination => Topic started by: iNano78 on May 06, 2016, 03:20:26 PM

Title: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on May 06, 2016, 03:20:26 PM
I feel like I might be in a minority here, but I love me some Domination, especially multiplayer Domination.  When our Mage Wars group first got going, we dreaded odd numbers as that meant somebody was sitting out while others played their 1-on-1 Arena matches.  Upon Domination's release at Gen Con 2015, that all changed!  I've got about a dozen plays of Domination under my belt now (mostly 3-way free-for-all, plus some 2-on-2 team play).  I'm currently 14W-21L-3D after 38 three-way free-for-all Domination matches that I've reported on BGG. Here is what I've noticed so far:

Multiplayer strategy

With that in mind, let's look at cards and abilities that become far more powerful/important in Domination than they were in Arena.

Part I: The Obvious


Part II: Perhaps slightly less Obvious (at first)


Mage considerations:
(My play group's record for 3-way Domination for each mage, Win-Loss-Draw, in parentheses... which I'll try to keep up to date.  Keep in mind that, all else being equal, an average mage/player would expect to win 33% of his/her 3-way matches)

Beastmaster
- Straywood: (7-12-2)
- Johktari: (0-0-0)

Druid
- Wychwood (4-7-1)

Necromancer
- Skeletal: (5-6-1)
- Zombie: (0-1-0)

Warlord
- Bloodwave: (4-11-2)
- Anvil Throne: (3-0-0)

Wizard
- Air Wizard: (3-6-0)

Priest(ess)
- Asyra Priestess: (0-1-0)
- Malakai Priest: (2-2-1)

Warlock
- Arraxian Crown: (0-3-0)
- Adramelech: (0-11-0)

Forcemaster
- Selenia (4-4-0)
Pre-Academy Forcemaster:
Post-Academy Forcemaster:

Siren
- (3-7-0)

Paladin
- (0-1-0)

How about you?  What strategies and tactics have worked for you in multiplayer Domination?  What's your favourite mage and why?  Feel free to post some of your most epic moments, like that time when two Firestorms rained down on a Skeleton horde and wiped it out in a single round!!  Or that time you deployed Slaknir, then used your Over-Extended Goblins to steal all the orbs in the final round! 8)
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on May 06, 2016, 03:20:45 PM
*Reserved for links to spell books. WIP*

At risk of giving away all my secrets to my foes, here are spell lists for some of my current multiplayer Domination spell books.  Feel free to check them out and discuss them in their own threads.

Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on May 06, 2016, 04:43:49 PM
I feel like I might be in a minority here, but I love me some Domination, especially multiplayer Domination.  When our group first got going, we dreaded odd numbers as that meant somebody was sitting out while others played their 1-on-1 Arena matches.  Upon Domination's release at Gen Con, that all changed!  I've got about a dozen plays of Domination under my belt now (mostly 3-way free-for-all, plus some 2-on-2 team play).  I'm currently 6W-3L-1D in 10 3-way matches that I've recorded on BGG. Here is what I've noticed so far:

Multiplayer strategy
  • Like many non-cooperative multiplayer games (like war games, 4X games, etc), a player can benefit relative to others by avoiding conflict while others battle each other for supremacy.  For instance, if player A attacks player B, then player C indirectly benefits, since it doesn't cost player C any resources to benefit from player B's demise, and player A spends significant resources engaging player B.  Thus, if player B gets off to a strong start, and player A "takes one for the team" to knock B down a notch, player C will likely go on to win win (unless player A has enough left in the tank to challenge player C as well).
  • Likewise, and especially in a 4-player free-for-all, kingmaker scenarios often come into play. If player A challenges player B (leader) while C and D do their own thing, then once player B is no longer a threat, player A will generally be too exhausted (e.g. deprived of resources) to compete for first and will likely join forces with the weaker of C/D, and the weaker of C/D will often prevail with A becoming the effective "kingmaker." Thus, a valid Domination strategy often involves "doing your own thing (V'tar) while putting in a minimal effort to hold back the perceived leaders" and/or "trying to sustain second (of 3) or third (of 4) place and then stealing the win from the leader at the last possible moment, when it's too late for the other non-leader(s) to ignore the perceived leader."

With that in mind, let's look at cards and abilities that become far more powerful/important in Domination than they were in Arena.

Part I: The Obvious
  • A spawn point and a good number of cheap creatures is a must.  If you plan to win by V'tar, you need to hit some orbs.  And after hitting them, you'll need to defend those orbs, too.
  • If legal in your play group, Galaxxus is an auto-include: first to get and orb + Galaxxus out will generally win with rare (but possible) exception.  For our group, we've found that banning Galaxxus has improved our games.  We have less runaway leader issues, games are less predictable (more back-and-forth; more closer matches with come-from-behind wins), and removing Galaxxus opens up more spell book building options.  Banning Galaxxus is a win-win!
  • Guarding is crucial.  Altar of the Iron Guard is almost as much of an auto-include as Galaxxus (where legal); thus...
  • Fast/Elusive/Flying creatures are clutch.  In fact, these groups deserve their own bullet points:
  • Elusive is probably the most important trait of all in Domination, since it allows you to "orb-steal" - not to mention makes your creatures immune to Hinder (aside from Vine markers).  Mongoose Agility and Panther Stealth look like good choices, and might be in many cases, but they can easily be Dispeled; creatures with inherent Elusiveness are much better (e.g. Terraki, Cervere, Rajah, Slaknir), as answers aren't as abundant (e.g. they might require a Tanglevine or attack spells to neutralize).
  • Next up is Flying, since getting around the board unhindered is important, as is getting past walls and Vine markers. 
  • If you can do one of those and add Fast, you're in good shape. Thus, Thunderrift Falcon is almost certainly the best level 1 creature in the format.  Along with Cervere and Terraki (and even Tarok to counter enemy fliers), you can see that the Beastmaster is a pretty good choice for your first Domination book.  We'll come back to that later.


Part II: Perhaps slightly less Obvious (at first)
  • Action economy is really what wins in Domination.  Sure, that means you want lots of creatures.  And while getting off to a strong start by building a large army of minor creatures might be fine (and scoring the first orb + dropping Galaxxus might auto-win), it might also put a big juicy target on your chest.  Whereas finding a way to get extra actions out of your creatures, like trading your mage's quickcast for an extra attack (via Battle Fury) or a full action for two full actions (via Whirling Strike) might allow you to make a late comeback for the V'tar win, especially if your target creature can double-tap an orb, or poke a guard, then an orb, then another orb, to steal away several orbs in one round.
  • Action economy can also be interupted; e.g. by teleporting away the (potential) target of Whirling Strike / Battle Fury, or by dropping a zone attack spell that causes Daze and/or Stun on several enemy creatures (see Hail of Stones).
  • Board control can also win games.  A perfectly timed Tanglevine can pin a mage far from the action on a crucial turn.  Putting up a wall can just as easily win or lose you the game ("Be careful where you build your walls!").  Force Wave and Repulse are better bang for your buck than Force Push, since you're often dealing with hordes of enemy creatures.  And you can never go wrong with putting 4x Teleport in your spell book, even in the presence of Astral Anchor.
  • You should always have at least one back-up plan; e.g. killing the V'tar leader after he's already taken a few Zone Attacks and/or been pushed through a Wall of Thorns a couple times.  Mages don't tend to pack a lot of armor in Domination books because most of the time it's a waste of points that could be better spent elsewhere.
  • Similarly, you should pack at least a little armor, like an Elemental Cloak or Barkskin or a Hauberk, just in case your opponents turn unfriendly towards you.
  • Non-V'tar threats can be just as good as getting an orb.  For instance, my most successful matches have involved not only competing for orbs but also dropping a threat that must be dealt with.  For example, a Necromancer dropping an Altar of Skulls + Acolyte means serious business if everybody else's strategies revovle around small creatures that aren't immune to poison.  Goblins and Falcons and Foxes will suffer the same fate if the Altar activates.  Thus, all the non-Necromancers tend to drop whatever their doing to deal with the Altar, meaning the orbs are relatively uncontested for the Necromancer's horde to scoop up.  Other threats can have a similar effect.
  • "Legendary" means "There can be only one!"  This rarely comes up in Arena play (outside mirror matches), but in Domination, there are several cards that prevent the opponent from doing the same.  If a Druid sees a Beastmaster, she might want to cast her Cervere early to deny the Beastmaster a chance.  And any mage can viably drop Altar of the Iron Guard, both to benefit from it and to prevent others from doing likewise.


Mage considerations:
(I might in the future put our play group's record with these mages in parentheses, Win-Loss-Draw... when I have time)

Beatmaster.
  • Either Beastmaster will work, but Straywood can pump out Falcons and Foxes faster than anybody else.
  • Has the best selection of Fast and Elusive and Flying creatures, and is in-school for enchantments that make more creature fast/elusive/flying.
  • Has one of the best spawn points.
  • Can get in the action him/herself.
  • Packleader's Cowl is worth playing, especially if somebody else beats you to AotIG.

Druid. 
  • Can beat a Beastmaster to Cervere.
  • Has some great creatures for the format in Vine Snappers, who have a nasty full-action bite that can take out Sslaks quickly, and the fact they're unmoveable (but not Achnored) means they make pretty awesome guards (although only their weaker quick-attack gets to counterstrike).
  • Alas, she'll need a lot of Teleports to make sure she can get her rooted creatures where she needs them. 
  • Has the strongest board control, through vine markers, walls, Tangle/Stranglevine, Thornlasher, even her Stuck weapon.
  • Due to treebond's lifelink and Barkskin, she's one of the tougher mages to kill if she gets a V'tar lead.
  • Hindering vines and a selection of walls can make life difficult for the opponents' premium creatures.

Necromancer.
  • Zombies are crap (except perhaps the Brute as a guard or the Plaged Zombie as a Rot distributor), but Skeletons are OK for their cost.
  • Has the best spawnpoint for multiplayer Domination in Graveyard, as it gets extra mana nearly every round past round 2.
  • Has lots of asymmetric zone and arena effects, like Idol of Pestilence, Altar of Skulls, Deathlock, Poison Gas Cloud, Malacoda, Plagued, etc, that make it difficult for minor living creatures to compete.
  • Probably gets the most use out of some of the terrain and non-card objects in Domination, like the "sacrificial altar" that gives you half-mana plus a V'tar for sacrificing a creature.  You can do this with Plagues Zombie and/or your Eternal Servant and quickly ramp up your V'tar, allowing you to keep up with another mage who has an orb advantage, or allowing you to pull away into the lead.
  • Wall of Bones is one of the best walls and in-school for the Necromancer.

Warlord.
  • Bloodwave in particular can command an army of cheap Goblins.
  • Good conjurations and a little extra set-up time allow the Warlord to come from behind better than most other mages.
  • He has a crazy good selection of cheap walls.  Not only can a Warlord pack a pile of Earth and Stone Walls, but Wall of Pikes can strategically prevent a passage- or LoS-blocking wall from being placed (e.g. in front of your Akiro's Hammer).
  • MANY good Domination cards are in-school for the Warlord, including Hail of Stones, Altar of the Iron Guard, Slaknir, Guard Dog, Akiro's Hammer (a must if Galaxxus is legal), Galaxxus itself, Battle Fury, Whirling Strike, Evade... - even Flank Attack can be good in this format.  Not sure if I've seen Akiro's Battle Cry yet, though.  As powerful as giving all your guys Fast might be, it's hard for a Warlord to come up with 14 mana!
  • Even Spike Pit and Earthquake become useful in Domination.

Priestess.
  • Currently sucks, but hopefully Academy will change that by providing new minor creatures and enhancements for them.

Warlock.
  • Also sucks, but it's my personal goal to win a 3-way Domination match with a Warlock sporting Pentagram and Gate to Hell, fueled by Ring of Fire and Firestorm, with lots of teleporting imps who give the nature mages a tough time.

Wizard.
  • This one's interesting.  The Wizard has few good cheap creatures for the format.  Blue Gremlin is probably his best bet, but it isn't as cheap as the competition.  So at a glance, he seems like a poor choice.
  • He could try an unorthodox "buddy" or "strong few" strategy with a Hydra wiping out Sslak's and a Gargoyle guarding his orb(s).  But I don't see how this alone could compete with a Druid or Beastmaster or Warlord.
  • However, he has a good spawnpoint, and Wizard's Tower seems good in any format (although has a target painted on it, which will drop quickly if focused on by the other mages)... but more importantly ...
  • He has lots of threats that say "must deal with me or else"... which means he might be able to keep the opposing mages sufficiently distracted that they can't compete for orbs.  For instance, Wizard's Tower, Mordok's Obelisk and Mana Siphon each mess with the typical Domination strategies.  And Teleport Trap supported by V'tar Sentry could provide protection that other mages can't justify.
  • Many Domination-specific cards in the expansion are Arcane or Air: the Gate is like an Arcane Garrison Post, Windstorm and Sandstorm are nifty alternatives to Force Push (especially if you're sporting a Gale Force Ring and Akiro's Favor), and the V'tarrian Energy Wave hits multiple zones like an Earthquake.
  • Or, the Wizard could go for a completley unorthodox strategy of trying to kill the other mages simultaneously through DoT and preventing V'tar wins using V'tar Suppression.  Not sure it can work outside 1-on-1, but if any mage can do it, the Wizard probably can (or perhaps the Necromancer, being immune to poison and all).

How about you?  What strategies and tactics have worked for you in multiplayer Domination?  What's your favourite mage and why?  Feel free to post some of your most epic moments, like that time when two Firestorms rained down on a Skeleton horde and wiped it out in one round!!  Or that time you deployed Slaknir, then used your Battle Fury-fueled Goblins to steal all the orbs in the final round! 8)

Banning galaxxus isn't necessary if you play on a smaller board. I've tried to point out many times that you don't need that many orbs to win, you just need to have more orbs than your opponent for long enough that they can't catch up. This means that getting one orb and a galaxxus and then stalling the opponent from gaining access to the remaining orbs is a possible strategy. Unfortunately, the only way to do this viably (at least that I know of) is to protect the sslaks with enchantments like turn to stone, bull endurance, gator toughness, giant size, etc. This strategy won't work if there are too many sslaks/orbs.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on May 07, 2016, 09:40:00 AM
Banning galaxxus isn't necessary if you play on a smaller board. I've tried to point out many times that you don't need that many orbs to win, you just need to have more orbs than your opponent for long enough that they can't catch up. This means that getting one orb and a galaxxus and then stalling the opponent from gaining access to the remaining orbs is a possible strategy. Unfortunately, the only way to do this viably (at least that I know of) is to protect the sslaks with enchantments like turn to stone, bull endurance, gator toughness, giant size, etc. This strategy won't work if there are too many sslaks/orbs.

You've partially proved my point. "Get 1 orb, drop Galaxxus, protect other orbs and/or your own. Win." ... is a valid strategy when Galaxxus is legal. And that's how most of our matches used to go. And it got old fast.

Case 1: with Galaxxus
- one player manages to acquire an orb and get a Galaxxus in play a round before everybody else - let's say round 3. Now this player has a 2+ V'tar lead (might be 3 if orb was acquired in round 2 and Galaxxus added round 3) and merely needs to protect that lead. Galaxxus itself is tough to destroy (there are ways: Akiro's Hammer, a couple of Force Hammers, etc) but it can't simply change hands (barring Conquer) like an orb can. More often than not, that player will go on to win, which means 8-10 more rounds playing out the inevitable, after 2-3 rounds that were "interesting."  That might not be fun for everyone.

Case 2: no Galaxxus
- it's difficult (But possible) to score a second orb before everybody has 1. And it's relatively easy for players to take away an orb than to take out Galaxxus AND take away an orb. Thus, it's a lot more likely that non- early game leaders can come back in the late game. This means everybody has a chance, giving some hope to everyone, and making it more fun.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on May 07, 2016, 12:56:21 PM
I think the problem is more likely to be your metagame, not galaxxus. A mage that tries to protect the sslaks and use only one orb is susceptible to swarms. If  you destroy his galaxxus and get out enough creatures to overwhem the enemy who is using galaxxus, you should be fine.

One thing you can do is nullify the sslaks that your buddy build opponent wants to protect. also, warlord can use harsforge monolith to great effect. turn to stone has upkeep +4. That's really expensive to maintain. If you put enough pressure on them and force them to use their mana in other ways, the turn to stone will come off and you can have an easier time attacking the ssllaks. Deathlock will counter all bull endurances on sslaks simultaneously because it's life gain is not innate. You could also use rusts on the sslaks, or acid balls. or just dispel the turn to stones. or you can curse the sslaks and use DOT to kill them. it's not that difficult to destroy galaxxus, and it, unlike the wizard tower, is actually costed right.

Although I haven't played domination much lately, so I haven't tried all these things myself.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on May 09, 2016, 07:53:25 AM
I think the problem is more likely to be your metagame, not galaxxus. A mage that tries to protect the sslaks and use only one orb is susceptible to swarms. If  you destroy his galaxxus and get out enough creatures to overwhem the enemy who is using galaxxus, you should be fine.

I've read and reread your post a few times, and I can't really get my head around this.  The early metagame is mainly shaped by the rules and card pool.  Perhaps it might evolve with many plays within the same group, but it will start by perception of card strength and what cards best contribute to your strategy.  Assuming Galaxxus is legal, if you want any hope of winning by V'tar (and in multiplayer, you have a much greater chance of winning by V'tar than by eliminating all other mages), then you must run Galaxxus.  And if you are first to get Galaxxus in play, your primary strategy is going to be to protect your Galaxxus and/or the orb(s) you control that allowed you to cast Galaxxus. Your back-up plan (e.g. if your opponents make a tremendous effort to take out your Galaxxus) might be to take additional uncontested orbs... but only in extreme cases where your opponents put a considerable amount of resources into taking out your Galaxxus. 

The "cause" is the existence of Galaxxus; the metagame is the "effect."  It isn't the other way around.  We don't use Galaxxus because of the metagame.  The metagame exists because Galaxxus exists.

I'm not a Mage Wars playtester so I have no idea if this is true, but I suspect that Galaxxus was originally "Warlord (or War mage) only" - partly because the Warlord is thought to be under-powered in Arena, and partly because it makes sense thematically (the orcs and/or dwarves found a way to replicate the power of the orbs, as per the flavour text).  Then the playtesters/designers realized that the Warlord kicked butt at Domination if he was the only mage who could use Galaxxus, and that the Warlord was actually pretty good at Domination even without Galaxxus, so rather than scrap Galaxxus entirely, they opened up Galaxxus to every mage (but kept it War school both for theme and because "hey, it's got to belong to some school so might as well be War and benefit the Warlord slightly more than other mages").  But it's so overpowered and, after a few matches, everybody discovers that it's absolutely crucial to a successful V'tar strategy (seriously, try winning without Galaxxus against somebody that has Galaxxus and let me know how that goes for you), and it will shape the meta all on its own.  Even a Druid will gladly pay triple for Galaxxus, partly because she is among the best at protecting it.

Net result: Either (1) get used to the fact that everybody has a Galaxxus in their book and the first person to play theirs will generally win (unless s/he gets killed), making outcomes of matches predictable beyond round 3, or (2) ban Galaxxus and make your multiplayer Domination matches more unpredictable and fun for all players.  If your experience is different, then I congratulate you... but I don't see how this could possibly be limited to - or due to - our local meta.  It's pretty much ingrained in the Galaxxus card text and rules of Domination.

One thing you can do is nullify the sslaks that your buddy build opponent wants to protect. also, warlord can use harsforge monolith to great effect. turn to stone has upkeep +4. That's really expensive to maintain. If you put enough pressure on them and force them to use their mana in other ways, the turn to stone will come off and you can have an easier time attacking the ssllaks. Deathlock will counter all bull endurances on sslaks simultaneously because it's life gain is not innate. You could also use rusts on the sslaks, or acid balls. or just dispel the turn to stones. or you can curse the sslaks and use DOT to kill them. it's not that difficult to destroy galaxxus, and it, unlike the wizard tower, is actually costed right.

Although I haven't played domination much lately, so I haven't tried all these things myself.

I've considered Turn to Stone and other "protect Sslaks that enemies attack" types of strategies and they're very hard to pull off since they take so many resources that could otherwise be spent trying to secure your own orbs.  It falls into one of two categories: either (1) player(s) C (and D) benefits when player A spends resources preventing player B from acquiring an orb, or (2) it's a "win more" situation where you're so far ahead already that you can afford to waste resources stopping your opponent while also acquiring orbs on demand.

I'm not sure what you mean about Harshforge Monolith being something worth playing in Domination.  In my experience, Enchantments don't see nearly as much play in multiplayer Domination as in Arena, so either I'm missing something or you meant another card.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on May 09, 2016, 08:14:54 AM
I think the problem is more likely to be your metagame, not galaxxus. A mage that tries to protect the sslaks and use only one orb is susceptible to swarms. If  you destroy his galaxxus and get out enough creatures to overwhem the enemy who is using galaxxus, you should be fine.

I've read and reread your post a few times, and I can't really get my head around this.  The early metagame is mainly shaped by the rules and card pool.  Perhaps it might evolve with many plays within the same group, but it will start by perception of card strength and what cards best contribute to your strategy.  Assuming Galaxxus is legal, if you want any hope of winning by V'tar (and in multiplayer, you have a much greater chance of winning by V'tar than by eliminating all other mages), then you must run Galaxxus.  And if you are first to get Galaxxus in play, your primary strategy is going to be to protect your Galaxxus and/or the orb(s) you control that allowed you to cast Galaxxus. Your back-up plan (e.g. if your opponents make a tremendous effort to take out your Galaxxus) might be to take additional uncontested orbs... but only in extreme cases where your opponents put a considerable amount of resources into taking out your Galaxxus. 

The "cause" is the existence of Galaxxus; the metagame is the "effect."  It isn't the other way around.  We don't use Galaxxus because of the metagame.  The metagame exists because Galaxxus exists.

I'm not a Mage Wars playtester so I have no idea if this is true, but I suspect that Galaxxus was originally "Warlord (or War mage) only" - partly because the Warlord is thought to be under-powered in Arena, and partly because it makes sense thematically (the orcs and/or dwarves found a way to replicate the power of the orbs, as per the flavour text).  Then the playtesters/designers realized that the Warlord kicked butt at Domination if he was the only mage who could use Galaxxus, and that the Warlord was actually pretty good at Domination even without Galaxxus, so rather than scrap Galaxxus entirely, they opened up Galaxxus to every mage (but kept it War school both for theme and because "hey, it's got to belong to some school so might as well be War and benefit the Warlord slightly more than other mages").  But it's so overpowered and, after a few matches, everybody discovers that it's absolutely crucial to a successful V'tar strategy (seriously, try winning without Galaxxus against somebody that has Galaxxus and let me know how that goes for you), and it will shape the meta all on its own.  Even a Druid will gladly pay triple for Galaxxus, partly because she is among the best at protecting it.

Net result: Either (1) get used to the fact that everybody has a Galaxxus in their book and the first person to play theirs will generally win (unless s/he gets killed), making outcomes of matches predictable beyond round 3, or (2) ban Galaxxus and make your multiplayer Domination matches more unpredictable and fun for all players.  If your experience is different, then I congratulate you... but I don't see how this could possibly be limited to - or due to - our local meta.  It's pretty much ingrained in the Galaxxus card text and rules of Domination.

One thing you can do is nullify the sslaks that your buddy build opponent wants to protect. also, warlord can use harsforge monolith to great effect. turn to stone has upkeep +4. That's really expensive to maintain. If you put enough pressure on them and force them to use their mana in other ways, the turn to stone will come off and you can have an easier time attacking the ssllaks. Deathlock will counter all bull endurances on sslaks simultaneously because it's life gain is not innate. You could also use rusts on the sslaks, or acid balls. or just dispel the turn to stones. or you can curse the sslaks and use DOT to kill them. it's not that difficult to destroy galaxxus, and it, unlike the wizard tower, is actually costed right.

Although I haven't played domination much lately, so I haven't tried all these things myself.

I've considered Turn to Stone and other "protect Sslaks that enemies attack" types of strategies and they're very hard to pull off since they take so many resources that could otherwise be spent trying to secure your own orbs.  It falls into one of two categories: either (1) player(s) C (and D) benefits when player A spends resources preventing player B from acquiring an orb, or (2) it's a "win more" situation where you're so far ahead already that you can afford to waste resources stopping your opponent while also acquiring orbs on demand.

I'm not sure what you mean about Harshforge Monolith being something worth playing in Domination.  In my experience, Enchantments don't see nearly as much play in multiplayer Domination as in Arena, so either I'm missing something or you meant another card.

I'm more familiar with 1v1 Domination tbh, and the only official map that really is balanced on is Path of War. How big are your maps for multiplayer domination? How many orbs/sslaks, and how many players? My current guess is that 2 sslaks/orbs per player  in the game is optimal for balance, but I'm not entirely certain.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on May 09, 2016, 08:22:36 AM
I'm more familiar with 1v1 Domination tbh, and the only official map that really is balanced on is Path of War. How big are your maps for multiplayer domination? How many orbs/sslaks, and how many players? My current guess is that 2 sslaks/orbs per player  in the game is optimal for balance, but I'm not entirely certain.

See the Domination rule book.  We've tried all the 3-player maps at least a couple times each (although we try to stay away from the one with 2 unprotected orbs near the player starting on the north side) and a couple of the 4-player maps.  We tend to play the smaller maps with lower V'tar goal when we are more pressed for time, and the larger maps with higher V'tar goal when we have oodles of time.  We haven't tried any custom maps (yet).

Sure, you could play on a really small custom map and/or with a higher V'tar goal, or use house rules (e.g. like you need to control the zone with the orb/Galaxxus in order to gain V'tar, etc), and generally tweak the rules to make mage killing more viable and orbs less tempting... or you could just ban Galaxxus.  We just banned Galaxxus.  It worked for us.  We're unlikely to tweak the maps, rules, etc, just to try to come up with another solution when removing the problem card is a much easier solution.  Ymmv.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: wtcannonjr on May 09, 2016, 09:44:04 PM
Some strategies we use to handle Galaxxus.

Brogan with +3 Piercing
Any level 4 or higher creature with Piercing Strike Incantation
Casting Zone Exclusive conjurations that benefit you into zones that your opponent must use to place a Galaxxus. As Domination is a race game it can really help to force opponents to use actions that delay progress toward the finish such as destroying walls or taking down powerful conjurations. While they do that you focus on the nearest orbs.
Priestess using Heal spells to keep opponent Guardians alive to delay or prevent the trigger for Galaxxus.
Akiros' Hammer with Wall of Pikes to guarantee LOS for at least one shot.

Your mileage may vary.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Crow on May 26, 2016, 03:13:33 PM
FWIW, we allow Glaxxus in free-for-all games of 3+ players, but ban it from 2v2 games. 

Haven't tried a larger team game yet, so I can't comment.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on May 27, 2016, 08:45:10 AM
Bump.  Added links to books for a Wizard and a Warlock - two of the more challenging mages in Domination.  See the 2nd post (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16804.msg69366#msg69366).

I also corrected some typos in the OP, made some edits to some of the "mage considerations" based on my experience, and added the Malakai Priest and Forcemaster to the considerations, and rearranged the mages from strong/intuitive to weak/unintuitive/difficult-to-build.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Halewijn on May 27, 2016, 02:30:13 PM
cool tread.

However, you seem to forget 1 crucial strategy: killing the opponent. This might be too hard for 3 or 4 player games. But many domination players forget armor in domination and can be killed in two turns. I've won games like this before as a forcemaster. Mind control also helps a lot for the action efficiency.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on May 27, 2016, 03:53:38 PM
Has anyone tried a deck where killing the Mage was their primary strategy and getting vtar was secondary?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on May 27, 2016, 04:00:53 PM
cool tread.

However, you seem to forget 1 crucial strategy: killing the opponent. This might be too hard for 3 or 4 player games. But many domination players forget armor in domination and can be killed in two turns. I've won games like this before as a forcemaster. Mind control also helps a lot for the action efficiency.

It can certainly happen.  One time, my Necromancer was 1 V'tar away from victory when a Warlock and a Beastmaster teamed up to Firestorm and Falcon-peck him to death.  And in another, a Straywood Beastmaster just had to hold on to 1 of 3 orbs AND survive in order to win, but the other two mages (a Necromancer and a Bloodwave Warlord) teamed up to wipe out his army and bring him to the verge of death... and then the Warlord used Slaknir to make all Goblins Elusive and he stole the win (the Beastmaster technically survived, but was hiding in a corner with 2 or 3 hit points remaining and was stripped of all his orbs).

While mage death can occur in multiplayer, there's also the possibility that the attacking mages come up just a little bit short, allowing the leader to hold an orb or two while running away to hide/turtle while cruising to victory. Going for the kill is risky, even in 1-on-1, since you might not be able to make the kill in time.  But it's also risky to completely omit any armor in your spell book!  A little armor goes a long way in Domination, as you're unlikely to see a whole lot of Dissolve/Crumble/Acid Ball/Rust in multiplayer Domination.  A single chest piece or an Elemental Cloak or Rhino Hide might be enough to keep you alive while the V'tar count continues to tick towards the scenario goal.  I generally pack at least 1 piece of (in-school) armor or Brace Yourself or Rhino Hide or something (Barkskin in the Druid's case) - just to provide some late-game protection in situations where your opponents are running out of options and/or think they might be able to take you out with little resistance.  When this happens, you generally only need to survive a round or two.

As for building a book that specifically seeks to win by killing the other mages in a multiplayer match... I tried it once (with a DoT Necromancer and V'tar Suppression), and it seemed to be a losing strategy.  I didn't execute it well, but I felt that even if I'd played better and even if I'd had other more aggressive spells, I don't think I could have won.  There are a lot of things the other mages can do to slow you down - from armor to healing to a well-timed/placed wall or by teleporting you away or Tanglevine/Force Hold/Spiked Pit/Astral Anchor, etc.  Getting slowed down even for just a round or two could make a match unwinnable (e.g. they'll win on V'tar before you finish them).  And in multiplayer, there are a lot more variables, so many things changing every round, that it's difficult to plan far ahead and plan for everything that your 2 or 3 opponents could do.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: jhaelen on June 27, 2016, 02:21:19 PM
Hi iNano,

This is really a great resource!
Did you get to build/playtest some more?

Last week I finally got the Battlegrounds Set, a player in our boardgame group is willing to give it a try, _and_ I actually found a new Mage Wars player, so I'd really like to play it next month.

I hope I can use your spellbooks at least as a starting point (I noticed some Academy cards that I will have to replace with something else).
I'm still unsure what to do about Galaxxus, especially because there's only two copies of it in the box. It's pretty obvious that if I'm going to allow it in games, every mage (or side) will want one...
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on June 27, 2016, 04:07:19 PM
Hi iNano,

This is really a great resource!
Did you get to build/playtest some more?

Last week I finally got the Battlegrounds Set, a player in our boardgame group is willing to give it a try, _and_ I actually found a new Mage Wars player, so I'd really like to play it next month.

I hope I can use your spellbooks at least as a starting point (I noticed some Academy cards that I will have to replace with something else).
I'm still unsure what to do about Galaxxus, especially because there's only two copies of it in the box. It's pretty obvious that if I'm going to allow it in games, every mage (or side) will want one...

Glad you like it! 

My group generally gets together every 2 weeks, and we don't always play Domination, so... I generally get about 1-2 Domination matches in per month.  That isn't a rapid rate, so my knowledge changes slowly.  That said, I'll try to keep my spell books up-to-date in the second post.

I most recently tried the Adramelech Warlock and made some tweaks; I need to put up a Warlord - or perhaps get BigL16 to post his, since he's our local Warlord expert (although I also have a Warlord multiplayer Domination win under my belt  ;D Elusive goblins with Whirling Strike are soooo gooood); and I'm starting to work on a Malakai Priest...  :o
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Ravepig on June 28, 2016, 07:25:47 AM
Thanks for your post- your strategies for building a domination spellbook were great. Each person in my group *finally* each got a copy of domination, so we are looking to play our first game of domination next Tuesday. I'd be interested in seeing your beastmaster book in preparation for that game.

Thanks again! I'll post here on how our first Domination game turns out.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: BigL16 on June 28, 2016, 07:37:48 AM
Hi iNano,

This is really a great resource!
Did you get to build/playtest some more?

Last week I finally got the Battlegrounds Set, a player in our boardgame group is willing to give it a try, _and_ I actually found a new Mage Wars player, so I'd really like to play it next month.

I hope I can use your spellbooks at least as a starting point (I noticed some Academy cards that I will have to replace with something else).
I'm still unsure what to do about Galaxxus, especially because there's only two copies of it in the box. It's pretty obvious that if I'm going to allow it in games, every mage (or side) will want one...

Glad you like it! 

...or perhaps get BigL16 to post his, since he's our local Warlord expert...

LOL I hardly think my win rate qualifies me as an expert in anything Mage Wars :P  But I am starting to change my ways for the better :)
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on June 28, 2016, 09:18:19 AM
Thanks for your post- your strategies for building a domination spellbook were great. Each person in my group *finally* each got a copy of domination, so we are looking to play our first game of domination next Tuesday. I'd be interested in seeing your beastmaster book in preparation for that game.

Thanks again! I'll post here on how our first Domination game turns out.

I haven't run a Beastmaster myself because he's popular among our other players. But as you can parse out from the opening post, you can't really go wrong if you start with the following and go from there:

Straywood Beastmaster
Lair
6x Thunderrift Falcon
1x Cervere, Forest Shadow
Maybe 1 of Tarraki or Rajah or Tarok
1-2x Panther Stealth
2x Battle Fury
1x Whirling Strike
4x Tanglevine
Lots of Walls of your choice
Some combination of multiple Force Push, Force Wave, Repulse, Teleport
A few attack spells (maybe Surging Wave and Force Hammer)
As many Rouse the Beast as you can afford
Packleader's Cowl (or Altar of the Iron Guard if you think you can get it out first)
Some armor (but not as much as you'd run in Arena)
At least one of each of Dispel (or Disperse), Dissolve (or Crumble), Seeking Dispel
Group Heal
Maybe some passive healing, like Raincloud or Renewing Spring or Mohktari or Highland Unicorn
Maybe ways to add Piercing (e.g. Lion Savagery, Wolf Fury or Tooth and Nail).
Consider a few Foxes or higher level creatures if you expect a longer game or are playing to a higher V'tar goal
Perhaps a Mage Wand so you can bind your most useful Incantation in a given match (might be Rouse or Group Mend or a Push or Battle Fury or a Dispel/Dissolve/Seeking Dispel).
If you have room, throw in an Eagle Wings for Cervere (!) or Mongoose Agility for your mage.  Or maybe a Guard Dog, since your creatures tend to be weak in that department (although your primary strategy should be to steal orbs and win through action economy, not necessarily to Guard your orbs).

You need a plan to deal with Idol of Pestilence / Altar of Skulls.  And maybe Burns. 

From there, you can try tricks like Giant Size (to cast either on your own creature or on a Sslak an enemy is going for) or Tangleroot (to weaken a creature your opponent is using to kill a Sslak, or on a Usslak you want to take out if you don't want its counterstrike to hurt so much).  But you're probably better off just strengthening your main strategy of swarming and stealing as many orbs as possible with your highly elusive and fast creatures.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Ravepig on June 28, 2016, 12:20:45 PM
Thanks for your post- your strategies for building a domination spellbook were great. Each person in my group *finally* each got a copy of domination, so we are looking to play our first game of domination next Tuesday. I'd be interested in seeing your beastmaster book in preparation for that game.

Thanks again! I'll post here on how our first Domination game turns out.

I haven't run a Beastmaster myself because he's popular among our other players. But as you can parse out from the opening post, you can't really go wrong if you start with the following and go from there:

Straywood Beastmaster
Lair
6x Thunderrift Falcon
1x Cervere, Forest Shadow
Maybe 1 of Tarraki or Rajah or Tarok
1-2x Panther Stealth
2x Battle Fury
1x Whirling Strike
4x Tanglevine
Lots of Walls of your choice
Some combination of multiple Force Push, Force Wave, Repulse, Teleport
A few attack spells (maybe Surging Wave and Force Hammer)
As many Rouse the Beast as you can afford
Packleader's Cowl (or Altar of the Iron Guard if you think you can get it out first)
Some armor (but not as much as you'd run in Arena)
At least one of each of Dispel (or Disperse), Dissolve (or Crumble), Seeking Dispel
Group Heal
Maybe some passive healing, like Raincloud or Renewing Spring or Mohktari or Highland Unicorn
Maybe ways to add Piercing (e.g. Lion Savagery, Wolf Fury or Tooth and Nail).
Consider a few Foxes or higher level creatures if you expect a longer game or are playing to a higher V'tar goal
Perhaps a Mage Wand so you can bind your most useful Incantation in a given match (might be Rouse or Group Mend or a Push or Battle Fury or a Dispel/Dissolve/Seeking Dispel).
If you have room, throw in an Eagle Wings for Cervere (!) or Mongoose Agility for your mage.  Or maybe a Guard Dog, since your creatures tend to be weak in that department (although your primary strategy should be to steal orbs and win through action economy, not necessarily to Guard your orbs).

You need a plan to deal with Idol of Pestilence / Altar of Skulls.  And maybe Burns. 

From there, you can try tricks like Giant Size (to cast either on your own creature or on a Sslak an enemy is going for) or Tangleroot (to weaken a creature your opponent is using to kill a Sslak, or on a Usslak you want to take out if you don't want its counterstrike to hurt so much).  But you're probably better off just strengthening your main strategy of swarming and stealing as many orbs as possible with your highly elusive and fast creatures.

This is excellent- thank you!!!
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on June 29, 2016, 11:24:34 AM
This is excellent- thank you!!!

I threw together a Straywood Beastmaster book last night based on my post above.  http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16804.msg69366#msg69366 (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16804.msg69366#msg69366)

Warning: Completely untested, and has way more creatures and enchantments and ways to heal than necessary in order to test a few possibilities.  In no way do I guarantee that this will work.  Player discretion is advised.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Ravepig on July 01, 2016, 10:18:50 AM
This is excellent- thank you!!!

I threw together a Straywood Beastmaster book last night based on my post above.  http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16804.msg69366#msg69366 (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16804.msg69366#msg69366)

Warning: Completely untested, and has way more creatures and enchantments and ways to heal than necessary in order to test a few possibilities.  In no way do I guarantee that this will work.  Player discretion is advised.

Ha ha ha- understood! Still, appreciate the book. You are way more experienced with this than I am, so I will give it a try and let you know how it works for me. The benefit I have is that no one in our group has played domination, so just in me taking advice from you has already given me the advantage!
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Erebus on July 05, 2016, 02:05:37 PM
Thanks for the great resource! I love Domination, especially with three or more people. My group will probably also ban Galaxxus, since it's an auto-include for us.

I've been wanting to play recently but haven't had the time to build any new spellbooks, so maybe we'll use a few of yours. Thanks!
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on July 05, 2016, 02:32:58 PM
Earlier today I updated the first post with our group's win/loss/draw records for each mage in 3-way Domination (ignoring team play and other player counts).  Skill obviously plays a big factor, so there's certainly some bias towards "favourite" mages of our top players... but that said, the results sort of make sense.  Keep in mind, in 3-way free-for-alls, an average mage would expect to win 1/3 of its matches on average.

The Necromancer comes in right on average with a 33% win rate (2-4-0), although one of his losses was running zombies and trying to kill the other mages via DoT... which didn't work too well.

The Druid is very popular, and is well above average with as many wins as losses (3-3-1), which is impressive in 3-way competition.

The Bloodwave Warlord is our top mage, going 4-2-1 so far!

Straywood Beastmaster is our most played mage and is also well below average right now, with a 2-8-1 record.

Both Warlocks are winless (0-2-0 each), with each having a "kill everybody" attempt and a failed V'tar attempt.  They struggle to keep up with the more swarmy mages and often end up playing kingmaker.

We haven't tried a Holy mage or Forcemaster in multiplayer Domination yet, and the Wizard needs more plays to really get an idea of where he stands.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Ravepig on July 06, 2016, 10:00:55 AM
Earlier today I updated the first post with our group's win/loss/draw records for each mage in 3-way Domination (ignoring team play and other player counts).  Skill obviously plays a big factor, so there's certainly some bias towards "favourite" mages of our top players... but that said, the results sort of make sense.  Keep in mind, in 3-way free-for-alls, an average mage would expect to win 1/3 of its matches on average.

The Necromancer comes in right on average with a 33% win rate (2-4-0), although one of his losses was running zombies and trying to kill the other mages via DoT... which didn't work too well.

The Druid is very popular, and is well above average with as many wins as losses (3-3-1), which is impressive in 3-way competition.

The Bloodwave Warlord is our top mage, going 4-2-1 so far!

Straywood Beastmaster is our most played mage and is also well below average right now, with a 2-8-1 record.

Both Warlocks are winless (0-2-0 each), with each having a "kill everybody" attempt and a failed V'tar attempt.  They struggle to keep up with the more swarmy mages and often end up playing kingmaker.

We haven't tried a Holy mage or Forcemaster in multiplayer Domination yet, and the Wizard needs more plays to really get an idea of where he stands.

My beastmaster build is a variation of what you posted and with it won our first game of domination. Of course, I was playing against a Priestess and a Warlock, so maybe that wasn't a fair trial.

The warlock in general seems to struggle in our group over all. Only one win under his belt, and that was me playing a very new player, so again, not sure that one win was even legit.

Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Ravepig on July 20, 2016, 08:44:02 AM
Finally had our first official game of 3 player Domination last night. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun, and definitely the only way to play multi-player in my opinion. I ended up going with a Necro-skelly build, my opponents chose a Bloodwave Warlord, and the last mage was a basic wizard.

For the first couple rounds everybody sat back doing their basic build-up. So, I took the opportunity and decided to take the main zone with two orbs. From there it was all defense as I pretty much made myself the target collecting two orbs every upkeep phase. I held everybody off almost to the very end when the wizard cast chain lightening in my zone, followed by the Warlord using his Fast command to move a bunch of creatures two zones to attack finishing most of my guys off. It left me with my mage, 1 skelly archer and 8 orbs (needed 9 to win).

Because of that, there wasn't much I could do and the Warlord wound up winning as he had moved two guard dogs into the zone he needed to win.

Even having lost my first game, it was a lot of fun and I'm already excited for our next play. I definitely learned from a few key mistakes I made that would have likely won me the game, one of which is to make sure I have more teleports in my book. I only had 1 teleport that I used early on. Had I had a second, I could have teleported to that zone where you can sacrifice one creature for an orb, which would have won me the game. I will also be adding more walls. I only had 3 in my book. Had I had at least 1 more, I would have blocked the warlord from advancing that last round. And I will be adding some teleport traps as well. With just one or two of those in my book, I likely would have won the game as well.

Live and learn- either way, it was a blast!
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: jhaelen on July 21, 2016, 03:41:15 AM
Live and learn- either way, it was a blast!
Thanks for the report, sounds great!
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on January 11, 2017, 10:55:22 AM
Another effect that I've found to be quite valuable in (multiplayer) Domination is direct damage that can be precisely controlled. Examples include Disciple of Radiance's passive ability, Necromancer's Plaguemaster ability, Moloch's Torment, revealing a curse enchantment, etc. The reason is, the timing of destroying a Sslak is crucial. If you "accidentally" destroy it with your last full action of a round, or it dies during upkeep in a round where you don't have initiative, an opponent might steal the unguarded neutral orb(s) with a later action or an early action with initiative priority at the start of the following round. Being able to deal that 1-2 remaining damage to an orb guardian with 100% certainty using your quickcast marker (e.g. a healing spell with Disciple of Radiance(s) in the zone) or during upkeep (Plaguemaster or Moloch's Torment or many curse enchantments or Malacoda, etc), or allowing it to stay alive with 1 health remaining (by NOT revealing a curse or NOT using Plaguemaster/Mordok's Amulet or moving Malacoda out of the zone, etc) can make the difference between you or an opponent claiming an orb first! I can't count the number of times where an improbably bad or good attack roll caused a Sslak to die at an inopportune time. And that could be the difference between a win and a loss in a close match. Thus, spells that can deal direct damage like those listed above can be surprisingly strong in Domination.

To counter this, sometimes it's appropriate to have a creature Guard before a Sslak is destroyed by direct damage (when it can be predicted), but that isn't foolproof since Elusive creatures - or, for instance, Aurora Lucere vs a Minor creature - could bypass your guard.

Conversely, you can also cause an orb guardian your opponent has been fighting to lose its last 1-2 health when it would be least advantageous for your opponent: e.g. drop a Poison Gas Cloud during the final quick-cast phase, causing it to die during upkeep, so you can swoop in and steal it with initiative to open the following round!

What effects have you noticed to be surprisingly effective (or ineffective) in multiplayer Domination?
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on January 26, 2017, 11:43:53 AM
If you aren't playing Multiplayer Domination, this is what you're missing out on.

Quote
Wow! The most epic three-for-all Domination match yet. Here's a "brief" summary, for those who weren't there to witness it in all its glory!

The Skeleton Necromancer (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16805.msg79895#msg79895) had initiative and opened with Altar of the Iron Guard (to beat the Warlord to it) and Graveyard. The Bloodwave Warlord led with Titanodon (for all his mana), and would later bring out 2x Garrison Posts and a Barracks. The Siren (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=17656.0) opted to open with Beds of Urchins and Shallow Seas in 2 zones that each contained orbs, including the one neighbouring the Graveyard, then corralled that orb with Coral Barriers. The Necromancer decided to move in and attack the Sslak anyway, dealing 0 damage to the Sslak and taking 10 damage from the Urchins + Sslak's counterstrike! No healing in the Necro's book meant this damage would stick. Then the Siren sent a Deptonne Bloodshaman into the Necromancer's/orb's zone, but the Necro countered with a Chant of Rage on the Bloodshaman to distract it with the legendary skeleton, Turghut. Meanwhile, the slow Titanodon was Lesser Teleported along and sent to attack the Usslak protecting 2 orbs. This drew the attention of the Necromancer, who conjured a Poison Gas Cloud, Stench of Death, Plagued (on the Warlord himself, who was in the zone under contention) and Idol of Pestilence (in the zone protected by Urchin + Shallow Sea + guarding Sslak + Coral Barriers) over several rounds, which meant a lot of direct damage for living creatures in the zone containing 2 orbs - which generally included the Titanodon, Warlord and Siren, plus their lesser minions. Titanodon received medical attention in the form of 2x Minor Heals to remove ~11 damage, but eventually died anyway from all the curses/direct poison damage, plus Rot + Plaguemaster ability, plus ranged shots from a Skeleton Archer and Turghut, and also having beenTeleported into a Hydrothermal Vent + Bed of Urchins! Meanwhile, an Orc Butcher, Goblin Alchemist and Knight of Westlock helped the Warlord secure the 2 orbs in the zone of primary contention while the Necromancer took 2 other zones with the help of Turghut, Mort, 2 Skeleton Sentries, and several Skeleton Minions, despite a Garrison Post located in the zone of one of these orbs. The race was on... albeit a little later than usual (e.g. nobody held an orb until 6 or 7 rounds in!). But the Siren kept pressure on the V'tar-scoring mages by bringing in Blightheart - who got a massive triple attack via Whirling Strike - and at least a couple Shoalsdeep Thrashers. Meanwhile, the Necromancer's minions took care of a Goblin Bomber summoned directly to his skeleton horde's zone (via Garrison Post), but lucky for the undead army, it didn't detonate upon destruction. The undead minions then focused on destroying the Garrison Post rather than other pressing issues... and in a round where the Necromancer might have walled himself off to protect his fragile body (along with his orbs), he instead opted to mess with the Warlord's creatures (including a recently summoned Dwarf Kriegshammer)... and then suffered the consequences, as the opposing mages teamed up to Teleport him into danger and attack him! He responded by dispatching his skeleton horde, abandoning both his orbs in an effort to take out all the Warlord's and Siren's creatures (all except the Kriegshammer), but it was too late, as the opposing mages hit him with attack spells and pushed him into the Arena wall, dealing the final ~12 damage to him despite his Rhino Hide (a Bleed he couldn't remove didn't help his situation). Then the Siren turned on the Warlord to deal ~4 damage and finish him as well! The Siren, with no creatures left on the map, won by annihilation!
(The losing mages were defeated while tied at 6 V'tar with a goal of 10; the Siren never even attempted to touch an orb, despite an unprotected orb in a zone with Urchins + Shallow Sea after the Sslak had been obliterated by damage from Idol of Pestilence)
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on February 28, 2017, 02:11:49 PM
Mods, feel free to move this thread to the new Domination sub-forum (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?board=104.0), and each of my spell books linked in the 2nd post (quoted below for convenience) to the Domination\Spellbook Design and Construction (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?board=105.0) child-board. Thanks!

*Reserved for links to spell books. WIP*

At risk of giving away all my secrets to my foes, here are spell lists for some of my current multiplayer Domination spell books.  Feel free to check them out and discuss them in their own threads.

  • Skeleton Necromancer: "Skulls & Bones" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16805.0)
  • Wychwood Druid: "Fierce Control" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16806.0)
  • Adramelech Warlock: "And Hell Followed With Her" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16858.0)
  • Straywood Beastmaster: "Aerial Dominance" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16918.0)
  • Malakai Priest: "Step Into the Light" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16925.0)
  • Air Wizard: "The Schoolyard Bully" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=16857.0) (needs work)
  • Siren: "Shark Frenzy" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=17656.0) (has a win via killing all the other Mages!)
  • Bloodwave Warlord: "Goblin Outpost" (http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=17654.0) (needs work; not as good as BigL16's Domination Warlord books)
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on December 21, 2018, 09:24:33 AM
So ends another year of 3-way Domination matches. And after 38 matches, we're growing a little bit bored of the few 3-way maps included in the rule book, along with the handful of maps and custom scenarios we've been able to come up with. One driver for our lack of creativity is related to the challenges of making "fair" 3-way maps from 4-sided tiles. There really aren't many options of having mages start at range 3-4 from each other and equidistant from orbs when using squares. Starting in 2019, we'll be dabbling with hexagonal Domination tiles. Paper prototypes below (please excuse the terrible initial attempt at colour matching; these are just a mock-up).

(http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=16804.0;attach=3387;image)
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on December 21, 2018, 09:25:32 AM
And other attachment ('cause file size limitation per post).

(http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=16804.0;attach=3389;image)
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: wtcannonjr on December 22, 2018, 12:05:34 PM
Interesting.

Let us know how this works out for your group.

I've been considering a 4-player domination style format for tournament play but haven't had time to put it down on paper yet. This allows more players to interact in each game without too much more table space.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: iNano78 on December 22, 2018, 06:06:22 PM
Interesting.

Let us know how this works out for your group.

I've been considering a 4-player domination style format for tournament play but haven't had time to put it down on paper yet. This allows more players to interact in each game without too much more table space.
The downside of 4 player Domination, whether in teams or free-for-all, is that it takes so long. When we have 4, we’d always prefer two parallel 1-on1 Arena death matches, likely followed by a “winners” match and a “losers” match, rather than one loooonngg 4-player game. But ymmv.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: wtcannonjr on December 23, 2018, 11:27:46 AM
I am imagining a 2-3 hour maximum for each match. Say 5 V'Tar points to end it. Each V'Tar point earned by a player in each match would be converted to Tournament Points with additional Tournament Points added for killing an opponent mage. This would allow players to try a mix of strategies during the tournament.

After X number of rounds the tournament points are totaled and ranked to determine the top 6 players and prizes awarded based on that ranking.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Arkdeniz on December 23, 2018, 03:55:29 PM
I am imagining a 2-3 hour maximum for each match. Say 5 V'Tar points to end it. Each V'Tar point earned by a player in each match would be converted to Tournament Points with additional Tournament Points added for killing an opponent mage. This would allow players to try a mix of strategies during the tournament.

After X number of rounds the tournament points are totaled and ranked to determine the top 6 players and prizes awarded based on that ranking.

5 points only?

The game will be over in 5 turns. I don't think you'll need 3 hours.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: wtcannonjr on December 23, 2018, 08:35:21 PM
I am imagining a 2-3 hour maximum for each match. Say 5 V'Tar points to end it. Each V'Tar point earned by a player in each match would be converted to Tournament Points with additional Tournament Points added for killing an opponent mage. This would allow players to try a mix of strategies during the tournament.

After X number of rounds the tournament points are totaled and ranked to determine the top 6 players and prizes awarded based on that ranking.

5 points only?

The game will be over in 5 turns. I don't think you'll need 3 hours.
I wasn't planning to leave the orbs without a guardian or two.

Also, the arena layout may include some distance between starting mages and the orb locations.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Arkdeniz on December 25, 2018, 08:15:27 PM
It is easy enough to get a guarded orb on T2 even if it is two zones away, and build a quick offensive straight away to take a second orb on T4.

Vtar of 0+1+1+2+2. Five turns. (And that is assuming Galaxxus is not in play)

In a three or four player game nobody will be willing to take the momentum hit necessary to slow down one player, knowing a third player will come through the middle. Everyone will charge straight for the orb rush.

I think, from having played 3 player domination a lot, you need a win condition of at least 8 points to ensure the mages get mixed up with each other.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: wtcannonjr on December 25, 2018, 10:31:48 PM
Your point about higher V'tar points might work best. I've also considered two standard guardians in each orb zone or map configurations which place the same orb equidistant from multiple mages at the start. There are several variables to consider that could make this interesting.
Title: Re: Let's talk Multiplayer Domination
Post by: Arkdeniz on December 26, 2018, 12:22:59 AM
Two Sslaks or an Usslak would certainly slow the players down.

I have seen equidistant orbs work well in bringing on mage conflict, but I have also seen games where two mages have long standoffs over a zone, with neither player wanting to move first.

As you say, lots of variables are in play, but the longer a game goes, the more player interaction will be forthcoming.

Anyway, great to see some action on the Domnation front - it is an underused style of the game.