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Topics - IndyPendant

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1
General Discussion / Academy misplay.
« on: September 25, 2015, 01:46:29 AM »
Hi all.

I love Mage Wars.  I currently own 3 Cores, 5-ish Spell Tomes, a half dozen extra spellbooks, and every expansion put out so far.  I've kind of drifted away from Mage Wars over the last year and a half, due primarily to an *insane* difficulty in finding sufficient opponents where I live (Vancouver, Canada).  Tonight though, I happened to meet one of the few (read: two) other people I know that play it here, and he busted out the copy of Academy he purchased at Gencon.

Edit: The rest of this post can be ignored now, thanks to Halewijn.  Turns out my query was a misplay: Stagger seemed to be a permanent condition!  Needless to say, that skewed the game radically.  It's not, so editing my post appropriately.  Nothing to see here, move along, and thanks Halewijn! ; )

--IndyPendant.

2
General Discussion / Is anyone else a little concerned...
« on: January 03, 2015, 03:48:34 PM »
...by the idea that we won't be getting another new-mage expansion for roughly one full year?

Please note: this assumes that what I've read on various forums is correct: that Battlegrounds and Academy will be released before Paladin vs Siren.  Assumption #2: AW is only working on perfecting one expansion at a time.  Assumption #3: AW takes its time to playtest and perfect expansions before release--something I wholeheartedly approve of, but does mean at least 4 months, and usually closer to 6 months, between releases.

We're getting some new cards in each of the other expansions, and presumably Battlegrounds at least would introduce a new style of gameplay.  But is there enough variety with the current state of the game to maintain interest for one full year without any new mages?

Or am I just posting sky-is-falling silly worries? : )

3
Rules Discussion / Bleed, undamaged, Hand of Bim-Shalla.
« on: October 20, 2014, 07:54:04 PM »
Hi all.

Here's an odd situation that came up in a game I played recently:

My mage gets a Bleed token from moving through a Bloodspine Wall.  Did not have any damage on him (the Wall's attack dealt no damage either).  I went to use Hand of Bim-Shalla to remove the Bleed, and my opponent asked if I could do that, since I had no damage to heal in the first place.

After looking through the FAQ and coming up with nothing, I read through the various RAW sections and finally decided that I couldn't use the Hand.  Now I come to the rules gurus here seeking clarification:

What happens if a creature with a Bleed token on it, but no damage yet, tries to use a healing effect to remove the token?

--IndyPendant.

4
Spellbook Design and Construction / Modular Spellbooks!
« on: February 17, 2014, 05:45:44 PM »
Spellbooks are heavy.

Now that I'm carrying around all four Core starter books whenever I go gaming so that I can teach new players, if I want variety in my own mage choices, I'm often carrying 8 - 10 spellbooks with me.  After I complained, a friend of mine told me to just put my books in a binder, using UltraPro card pages.  Good idea, but I still need to take them out of the binder for a game: I realized a standard college report cover with a slider clip solves that problem.  Hmm...but...then I realized: if I'm taking pages out to create spellbooks anyway, and all of my (for example) melee-oriented mages that use a Battle Forge tend to want the same cards...wow!

Welcome to the next level of Mage Wars! : )

Ultra-Pro sells double-sided pages that can hold 18 cards (http://www.ultrapro.com/product_info.php?products_id=1313).  Put them in a standard ring binder--a 1" size can hold up to thirty pages, surprisingly--and take them out as needed.  Now I can use the same page in multiple spellbooks--my books are now modularized!  The commonly-used cards, like Teleport/Dispel/Dissolve, that I always kept running out of, I now have spares for.

To use a good example, let's take two of my spellbooks, the Beastmaster Battleforge, and the Forcemaster Grizzlies:

Quote
Beastmaster Battleforge

---  Conjuration  ---
1 Wall of Thorns
3 Tanglevine
1 Battle Forge
1 Hand of Bim-Shalla

---  Creature  ---
2 Thunderift Falcon
2 Feral Bobcat
2 Timber Wolf
1 Cervere, The Forest Shadow
2 Steelclaw Grizzly
1 Kralathor, The Devourer

---  Enchantment  ---
3 Bear Strength
3 Regrowth
3 Rhino Hide
2 Mongoose Agility
1 Agony
1 Poisoned Blood
1 Falcon Precision
2 Retaliate
2 Vampirism
1 Cheetah Speed
1 Eagle Wings
1 Enchantment Transfusion
1 Bull Endurance
1 Nullify
1 Healing Charm
1 Block
1 Akiro's Favor

---  Equipment  ---
1 Enchanter's Ring
1 Ring of Beasts
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Dragonscale Hauberk
1 Elemental Cloak
1 Gauntlets of Strength
1 Veterans Belt
1 Vorpal Blade
1 Wand of Healing
1 Mage Staff
1 Bearskin

---  Incantation  ---
2 Teleport
2 Force Push
1 Battle Fury
2 Dispel
2 Dissolve
2 Rouse the Beast
                         Forcemaster Grizzlies

---  Attack  ---
2 Force Hammer

---  Conjuration  ---
1 Hand of Bim-Shalla
1 Wall of Thorns
1 Battle Forge
1 Suppression Orb

---  Creature  ---
2 Steelclaw Grizzly

---  Enchantment  ---
2 Bear Strength
2 Rhino Hide
3 Regrowth
2 Vampirism
1 Mongoose Agility
1 Cheetah Speed
2 Force Hold
2 Retaliate
1 Nullify
1 Block
1 Healing Charm
1 Akiro's Favor

---  Equipment  ---
1 Veterans Belt
1 Dragonscale Hauberk
1 Galvitar, Force Blade
1 Force Ring
1 Enchanter's Ring
1 Dancing Scimitar
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Gauntlets of Strength
1 Elemental Cloak
1 Wand of Healing

---  Incantation  ---
2 Dispel
2 Dissolve
2 Teleport
3 Force Push
1 Battle Fury

These two spellbooks share a number of common cards.  And many of those cards are ones I want in other spellbooks, and are hard to get in any quantity.  Almost any Battleforge deck with a melee mage is going to want certain equipment cards, and *every* spellbook is going to want 2 each Dispel/Dissolve/ForcePush/Teleport.  Just about any book with two Grizzlies is going to want to invest in enchantments to support those Big Nasties.  So!  Both of those books now use the same two pages, the Battleforge Melee Page, and the Grizzlies Page:

Quote
Battleforge Melee Page

---  Conjuration  ---
1 Battle Forge
1 Hand of Bim-Shalla

---  Equipment  ---
1 Enchanter's Ring
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Gauntlets of Strength
1 Dragonscale Hauberk
1 Veterans Belt
1 Elemental Cloak
1 Wand of Healing

---  Incantation  ---
2 Dispel
2 Dissolve
2 Force Push
2 Teleport

---  Enchantment  ---
1 Akiro's Favor
                         Grizzlies Page

---  Creature  ---
2 Steelclaw Grizzly

---  Enchantment  ---
2 Bear Strength
2 Regrowth
2 Vampirism
1 Mongoose Agility
1 Falcon Precision
2 Rhino Hide
2 Retaliate
1 Nullify
1 Block
1 Healing Charm

---  Incantation  ---
1 Battle Fury

If I want to play my Beastmaster Battleforge book, I take out the two pages listed above, and then add the other two pages that are specific to the BM BF book.  If I play the Forcemaster Grizzlies, I add that book's page instead of the two BM BF pages.  My Druid Solo book also uses the Battleforge Melee Page.  If I ever get around to creating a Johktari BM book, it would probably use the Grizzlies Page.  I now have two Necromancer spellbooks: two pages are shared by both spellbooks, and then each book uses two more pages of their own: one book with a Zombies theme, and one with Skeletons.

Looking at these two spellbooks alone, with the modularized pages I'm now using two less each of Dispel, Dissolve, Force Push, Teleport, Steelclaw Grizzly, Bear Strength, Regrowth, Vampirism, Rhino Hide, and Retaliate.  Those are all examples of cards I'm constantly running out of.  I only have one copy of the Promo card Akiro's Favor; now I can include it in more than one spellbook.  No more need for proxies!

The binder is much lighter; with four spellbooks of pages, it weighs about 1/3 to 1/4 what four actual spellbooks weigh.  It takes less space in my backpack.  It's easier to examine my spellbook during a game to figure out what spells to choose each turn, since I only have four double-sided pages to look through.  It's easier to put the cards back after a game in their original order, since I can quickly remember what spells go where when there's only three to four pages per spellbook.

There are only a few minor down-sides I've discovered so far: it's a bit harder to design and modify spellbooks using this method for example; I use a spreadsheet to list each page per book, that also totals the spellbook point costs per page for that mage (since the page's book costs will change).  It can also be a bit awkward in smaller play areas to handle a report-sized spellbook.  The actual spellbooks do look much cooler than a simple report cover; I still use the game's spellbooks when teaching new players, for example. ; )   To me, the many benefits of my modular spellbooks far outweigh the few minor issues though.

5
Mages / Why the Malakai Priest isn't very good.
« on: January 24, 2014, 12:11:51 AM »
*Holds gauntlet up, lets it drop.* ; )  I was thinking about this recently, and I've finally figured out why the Malakai Priest seems such a poor choice to me: because the (Straywood) Beastmaster does it all better.  I shall explain:

Holy Avenger:
First, there's these two problems: "...the first time it attacks an enemy creature who attacked and damaged another friendly creature or Holy conjuration..."  It would have been much better if this had said "whenever" instead of "the first time", and left out the "and damaged" part entirely.  Most Holy creatures and conjurations have defenses, or high armour, and thus have had their life reduced when compared to other creatures in balance.  But the HA needs damage to be taken to trigger its bonuses.  This effect can also be manipulated by your opponent, since he can usually choose which of his creatures attack which target in what order.  And finally, the current meta has only the Asyrian Cleric as a low-level creature choice for HA, which...isn't exactly ideal for the role; the only other options are 12-13 mana level-3 holy creatures.  Four additional mana for a special ability that is of limited use?  No thanks.  The Beastmaster's Pet is soooooooooooo much the better option, it's not even funny.

Malakai's Fire:
The Priest starts with 9 Channeling.  Bringing out his HA costs additional mana.  And then, to add insult to injury, in order to inflict a Burn token he needs to spend a mana each time.  For this ability to be worth it, ideally you want to be using it every round to keep up the heat--which effectively causes the Priest to have 8-ish Channeling.  On average, a single Burn deals 3 damage.  However, using it requires Light damage, which means either his 2 dice base attack (which is at least one die less than any other mage), a Staff of Asyra, or attack spells.  --Which effectively means the 8-mana Staff of Asyra is required equipment, asap.  For the already mana-starved 8-channeling Priest.  Meanwhile, the Beastmaster doesn't have to pay a mana every time he wants to use his +1 Melee ability, and can equip the 5-mana Mage Staff and deal almost as much damage (although no Daze/Stun chance).  In this case, the Priest actually comes out ahead in potential overall damage, particularly with the Dawnbreaker Ring and Daze/Stun factored in--but it's just too mana-intensive for the manaphiliac Priest to realistically expect to effectively use.  (He really is just pouring out the mana.)

Creature Pool:
This issue will likely be corrected over the long term, but the fact is that currently the Priest's creature selection kind of sucks for him.  The mana-starved Priest needs to have multiple creatures out so they can take damage and trigger the HA, which means those creatures hit will likely need healing (or replacements when they die).  All of those creatures cost a minimum 12-13 mana, irrespective of all the other mana being drained out of the Priest by everything else he needs to do.  This is a nightmare.  Meanwhile, the Beastmaster's problem is which mana-efficient and effective low-costing creatures to exclude from his book, because he's got too many to be able to include them all.  (In addition, the Beastmaster even has his Ring of Beasts to reduce mana issues even further.)  Once again, Beastmaster wins effortlessly.

There are other examples I could mention--most of the best creature enchantments are in the Nature School, for example--but these are in my mind the biggest issues.  I think the Priest suffers from a slightly lesser version of the Warlord's problem: the Wizard does (almost) everything the Warlord can do, and does it much better than the Warlord.  The Beastmaster does (almost) everything the Priest can do, and does it at least slightly better than the Priest (and in some cases, does it much better).

Thoughts?

6
General Discussion / Help me find a box to carry my Mage Wars!
« on: January 20, 2014, 09:53:40 PM »
Hi all.

ACG's Portability Project (over in the Alternative Play forum) has led me to the point where I might actually be able to carry the game in my backpack.  I'd prefer to keep the cards in their spellbooks though, just for style sake (instead of using deck boxes).   So I'm trying now to find a container, cardboard or plastic, for my books and game pieces.  My crafting level is approximately minus five, so making one myself would be more hassle than it's worth.  I thought I would check here to see if anyone has any ideas; here's what I need:

1) Available in Canada.

2) Not too expensive.  ($10 - $20 ish range)

3) Internal dimensions of roughly 8.5" wide, 7" deep, and 4.5" high (21x18x12 cm)   Or preferably: roughly 13.5" x 8.5" x 3" (34x21x8 cm).  --All measurements give or take half an inch (give or take a centimeter).

4) Reasonably sturdy cardboard/plastic/'wood' material.  (A typical board game box would suffice for my purposes, in terms of sturdiness.)

Anyone have any ideas where I might be able to find something like that?

7
General Discussion / Temple of Light, six months later.
« on: January 12, 2014, 05:52:05 AM »
Hi all.

(Edit: Post re-written to more clearly convey what I wanted to say.)

It's now been nearly six months since AW released errata on these three cards.  They happened before my time, happening just as I started getting interested in Mage Wars, so I never got to try the combos that inspired the nerfs.  Battle Fury and Hand of Bim-Shalla both seem to have survived their erratas very well; they are still included in many spellbooks.

But what about the Temple of Light?

Priestess is one of my favourite mages, currently second only to Beastmaster.  With the Temple of Light errata, I never bother to include it in any of my books.  Even with the Necromancer and Wizard and their current nonliving-heavy meta, I never include the card in my books.  I've never had the card played against me either, not once.

I do understand why *a* change was necessary; as originally written, I agree that the card was too powerful.  However, I thought then, and six months later, I still think that AW has nerfed the card into utter uselessness now.  AW has made mistakes in the past, and I consider this to be one of them.  So I thought I'd check in with the community here: we've had time to playtest the change, what do you think?  Am I missing something?

And, from those players that may defend the errata, I would like one more question answered: is it included in *your* current Priest/Priestess book(s)?  (Do you walk your talk? ; )

For those that agree with me that the errata was too much, what would you have done instead?  (My personal idea was to leave the card unchanged, except that X does not add to the effect die roll.  So no mana cost, the number of temples in play still determines the damage dice rolled, but the effect die remains 9-10 Stun/11+ Daze.  Possibly reverse the Stun/Daze positions, so that +2 vs Non-Living is a little better.  Problem solved.)

8
General Discussion / Duplicate Mage-Only, Epic DvN cards: why?
« on: December 01, 2013, 11:13:44 AM »
Hi all.

One thing has bothered me a bit ever since I purchased my DvN box: there are a number of cards in the expansion that are both (Druid or Necromancer) Only and Epic...and two copies of them were included in the set.

Why?

You can only every include one copy of an Epic card in any spellbook.  Since the cards are Druid or Necromancer Only, no other mages will be including them.  The only reason I can think of for two copies is for a future expansion which has the 'alternate' versions of the mages (like Conquest of Kumanjaro).  This still seems a waste to me however; why not just include another copy of those key cards in that expansion, if/when it comes out.

This isn't a trivial issue: there are 6 utterly wasted cards in a 220-card list: Altar of Skulls, Graveyard, Libro Mortuos, Samara Tree, Vine Tree, and Ziggurat of Undeath.  That's one more level-1 card we could have had to play with without changing the card count, or maybe a higher level card and a couple extra Teleports, for example.

Am I missing something?

--IndyPendant.

9
Alternative Play / Small house rule to discourage rush strategies.
« on: November 04, 2013, 06:58:55 PM »
Hi all.

So, rush builds seem to be king atm, and the DvN expansion does not look to be changing this.  Some people are fine with that, and this idea isn't directed at those people.  Some people dislike that, and for various reasons; here's my idea of a house rule that might mitigate this a bit:

During the first round of the game, no creature can leave their corner zone for any reason.

I see one major flaw with this idea: the Divine-Intervention'd Big Creature tactic still works.  So something would have to be done about that as well; perhaps make Divine Intervention's target Mage Only, or have a less disruptive additional house rule that Divine Intervention cannot be revealed until the third (or even fourth!) round.

I'm posting this because I'm curious what the community thinks.  Would this bring back non-rush strategies, as I think it would?  Would it make spawnpoints more attractive, since you have more time to recover from the initial investment?  Would it hurt rush strategies *too* much?

What do you think?

--IndyPendant

10
General Discussion / Arcane Wonders customer service experience.
« on: October 17, 2013, 03:13:24 AM »
I don't know if this is the right forum for this post; if not, please move it to the appropriate forum with my apologies.

I would like to share my experience with AW's customer service.

About a month ago, I purchased a copy of FM vs WL, but never actually made a FM deck until about two weeks ago.  When I did so, I discovered that my FM spellbook was defective: the upper right sleeve pockets were splitting along that dotted line there, causing those cards to fit in loosely at best.  This is a Bad Thing (tm), for obvious reasons.  I'm on good relations with the store I bought it from, so I asked them, but they said I would have to contact the manufacturer.

I checked the AW website, decided to fill out the Contact Us form in brief, and wait and see what kind of response I got.  Based on my previous experiences with customer service at other organizations, I wasn't expecting much. ; )  --Particularly since I live in Canada, and there's often shipping issues outside the U.S.

That was late in the evening, Friday Oct 4th.  The *next day*, I get an emailed response from Customer Service.  (Can I say who?  She(?) was apparently the Director of Customer Service, I'm sure I can say that much.)  She says she just needs my address to send the replacement, and could I email pics so she can show it to quality control?  I fire off the info and pics that night, and mention some other minor issues I had had.  That was late Saturday evening.  Two days later, on the following Monday, I get a follow-up email from her saying the replacement spellbook has been shipped, along with replacements for some cards that I had mentioned and photographed (more for that QC part) were damaged when I bought them.

I received the package earlier this afternoon, nine days after she said they were shipped out.

So!  Prompt, friendly, competent, and efficient customer service.  Resulting in one very happy customer. : )

Thanks!

11
Hi all.

I know it is highly unlikely this would ever be implemented, but I believe this would most likely single-handedly fix most the Warlord's issues.  I thought I would share it with the community here, see what people thought.  Essentially, it is to change Battle Orders to read:

"Once per round, when the Warlord casts a non-Epic, Quick Action, Single Target Command Incantation, the Warlord may pay additional mana equal to the spell's casting cost.  If he does so, that spell's target changes to 'all friendly Soldiers in the same zone as the Warlord'."

This 'fix' would serve four primary purposes:

1) It would bring the Warlord's special abilities up to a level on par with other mages.

2) It would guide the Warlord into casting all those War Incantations more often, particularly the low-cost Novice ones.

3) It would allow greater versatility in his soldiers, possibly allowing more Veteran tokens to get deployed (by a critical casting of Power Strike, Piercing Strike, or even a double-costed Battle Fury for example).

4) It would make Horn of Gothos and Helm of Command much more viable for play.

What do you think?

--IndyPendant.

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