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1
Creative / Seeking user content for OCTGN module - Mage reveal text
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:50:09 AM »
We have just implemented a flavor text feature that prints a message when a mage enters the arena (i.e. is flipped to be revealed for the first time at the start of the match). What we need from you is content.

Submission guidelines are simple. Just say what the mage is, and then tell us what messages you would like to see displayed. Put an @ before the mage's name and a ">" before each seperate message.

For example:

@Beastmaster
>"I will show you that nature is nothing to be trifled with," he says.
> The sound of howling echoes in his wake.

@Necromancer
>"Death has come for you," he cackles.

When messages are displayed, one message at random will be selected from the list of messages associated with that mage (much like how it works for the death messages). The message will be displayed after a declaration that the mage has entered the arena. For example:

Quote
Necromancer enters the Arena! - Channeling is set to 10 and Mana is set to 20 and Life set to 32
"Death has come for you," he cackles.

Please post your submissions below. These will be incorporated into the OCTGN module, so everybody will see your brilliant creations.

2
The ProcrastinatorA Druid Spellbookbuilt by the OCTGN SBB
Attack1 x Surging Wave1 x Acid Ball2 x Hurl Boulder1 x Jet StreamConjuration3 x Tanglevine1 x Wall of Thorns2 x Corrosive Orchid1 x Nightshade Lotus5 x Seedling Pod1 x Samara Tree3 x Bloodspine Wall1 x Etherian Lifetree1 x StranglevineCreature3 x Thornlasher1 x Gorgon Archer2 x Vine Snapper2 x Raptor Vine1 x Kralathor, The Devourer1 x Tataree1 x Gargoyle Sentry1 x Cervere, The Forest ShadowEnchantment1 x Agony1 x Barkskin1 x Nullify1 x Jinx2 x Brace Yourself2 x Rhino Hide1 x Rust1 x Bear StrengthEquipment1 x Eagleclaw Boots1 x Elemental Cloak1 x Mage StaffIncantation2 x Teleport3 x Dissolve3 x Dispel2 x Rouse the Beast1 x Force Push2 x Burst of Thorns1 x Defend1 x Disarm
Total cost: 120 pts


Opening:

Turn 1 (19): Samara Tree [7] (treebond) + Gargoyle Sentry [11] -> (1)

Turn 2 (11+1): Seedling Pod [3] + Seedling Pod [3] + Tataree [6] -> (0)

Turn 3 (10+1): Seedling Pod [3] + Enchantment [2] + Enchantment [2] -> (5)


Theory

The objective with this deck is to have a viable Samara Tree build. I do not claim that this deck is the most amazing thing since Aviary, but it is capable of holding its own surprisingly well (surprising given the general opinion regarding Samara Tree).

Many people compare Samara Tree to Vine Tree and ask the reasonable question: "Why should I use Samara Tree when Vine Tree does the same thing, only better? It is true that Vine Tree can cast Seedling Pods, and that it has the added advantage of being able to cast vine spells and place an extra vine marker, while the Samara Tree's only obvious advantage is that you can reuse seedling pods. Nonetheless, Samara Tree does have a few advantages compared to Vine Tree:

1. If your deck is built for use of seedling pods, Samara Tree is obviously the better choice. So if you can find a strategy that makes good use of seedling pods, it is superior.

2. Currently, the cheapest interceptor in the game is the Gargoyle Sentry, at 11 mana. If you cast Vine Tree, you will not be able to summon an interceptor until round 2 at the earliest, because Vine Tree costs 9 mana. With Samara Tree (7 mana), it is possible to cast Gargoyle Sentry or Guardian Angel round 1. This is extremely relevant when facing hyperaggressive mages like Johktari and Forcemasters. No matter which tree is chosen, treebonding gives a Druid tremendous defensive capabilities, and Samara Tree enables earlier, stronger protection than Vine Tree does.

3. This is just conjecture, but I suspect the sight of a Samara Tree will inspire aggression in most players. I don't have enough evidence to verify this though. Forcing your opponent to advance sooner than they might otherwise have done can be useful; if they are moving then they have a harder time preparing threats.


Now - why use seedling pods? It is a mistake to think of them as primarily mana generators, though they certainly do become that if left unattended for too long. It is also a mistake to think that the advantage lies in being able to cast any plant, because there are not enough non-vine plants for this to matter. The main benefit of a Seedling Pod is that it lets you postpone your decision about what to cast until you have seen what your opponent is doing - i.e., to Procrastinate. Normally, in the early game actions are at a premium and you have to use them or lose them. Sometimes, you make a choice that later turns out to be ineffective against your opponent's strategy. With a Seedling Pod, you can bank your action and then get it back later, making it easier to react to your opponent (and harder for them to react to you).

It is worth mentioning that the benefits of Procrastinating are strongest in the early-mid game. In the late game, quick reactions become more important. As long as you have your tree cast a Seedling Pod as often as possible, though, you should still be able to react almost as fast as the Vine Tree using the stored actions from previous turns.

Presently, the selection of options to cast with the pod is a bit limited, though there still is enough variety to make Procrastinating beneficial. In the future, as more plant spells are released, this strategy will grow stronger. Each plant is a tool in the Procrastinator's toolbox, to be used when needed.

In Practice:

I tested my Procrastinator build against a slightly modified version of this build earlier today. My opponent's strategy simply consisted of summoning Skeletal Knights and Bridge Trolls (along with equipment and various enchantments) and directly attacking my mage  or (if not available) my other plants. I took heavy damage early on, but then my plants overwhelmed my opponent's army. The game ended with a boulder to the face followed up with a 6-die attack from my (buffed) Druid. I had 4 damage on my Druid at the end due to her spectacular regenerative abilities (via Barkskin).

Some observations:

- Tataree is fantastic. More on how best to use him below.

- I usually do not cast many enchantments, but found myself casting a lot. This build works well with enchantments.

- I only ever had 4 Seedling Pods out at a time. 5 may be overkill, though I might have been able to put out another if my opponent had been less aggro.

- Vine Raptors are amazing guards, especially when enchanted with Rhino Hide

- Vine tokens are great for blocking your opponent's escape, especially since you use them much less.

How to Use Tataree

Here is a simple heuristic you can follow to optimize use of Tataree's ability:

1. Which do you need more: actions or mana?
     If actions, go to 2
     If mana, go to 3

2.  Do the first available action from the following list:
     1. Pollinate a pod with exactly 1 mana.
     2. Pollinate a pod with 2+ mana or the Samara Tree
     3. Pollinate a pod with exactly 0 mana.

3. Do the first available action from the following list:
     1. Pollinate a pod with 2+ mana or the Samara Tree
     2. Pollinate a pod with exactly 1 mana.
     3. Pollinate a pod with exactly 0 mana.

Note: When choosing between pollinating a 2+ mana pod or the Samara Tree, you should pollinate whichever one you think is more likely to cast a spell next round.

Here's the logic:

- If a pod has 1 mana, pollinating it will allow it to bloom on the following round (2+1 from channeling), so this is highest priority if you are in need of actions. In other words, pollinating a 1 mana pod gives you <+1 action> next round, relative to not pollinating anything.
- If a pod has 2+ mana, pollinating it will give you an effective discount if you decide to let it bloom on the following round. Mana soon is better than mana later. <+1 mana>
- Similarly, pollinating the Samara Tree will give you a discount on the next pod you cast. If you think you are more likely to cast a pod than to let a pod bloom, then the tree is a better choice. Usually, you are more likely to want to allow a pod to bloom (unless you are currently Procrastinating). <+1 mana>
- 0 mana pods are the lowest priority because pollinating them does not give you a benefit next round. Never pollinate a 0 mana pod unless you have a really good reason (the rest of your pods are burning with poisoned flames or something) or no other options.

There may of course be occasions where positional considerations make a particular pod more attractive to pollinate than the above would suggest.

Planned changes for the next iteration of this deck

- Remove 1 seedling pod
- Add Enchanter's Ring, 2 rhino hides, and Eagle Wings

Enchantments are encouraged in this build, so an Enchanter's Ring is a good investment. I found myself casting a lot of enchantments (Enchantments are another way to procrastinate, though with less flexibility). Rhino Hide is the number 1 enchantment for plants, as it dramatically improves their survival rate.

Anticipated Questions

Why no Druid's Leaf Ring?
I have found that my Druid on average only personally casts about 2-4 plant spells over the course of the game. Spending 2 mana and one of my precious early-game actions is not worth the measly return.

What is the deal with the Gorgon Archer?
You want to encourage your opponent to rush you, counter-intuitive though it may seem, because of the lack of mobility of your army. Gorgon Archer is quite effective at this, and good at deterring the strategy of sniping you from outside your grove of seedlings. Eagle Wings, which I plan to add, makes the Gorgon dangerous even at 0 range. Plus, she can shoot over Bloodspine walls.

Why Cervere, rather than Grizzly?
Cheaper. Also, you have no shortage of heavy hitters; Cervere provides mobility and elusive attacks to get around guards.


That's it for now. Suggestions, questions, and comments are welcome, of course.

3
Force Orb and Force Sword state that they are "not affected by conditions". However, Restrained and Incapacitated (examples on the cards) are not really conditions in the same way that Daze is, which makes the scope a little confusing. I found nothing in the rules supplement, so hopefully somebody can clarify here: are these affected by cards that give +X to defense rolls?

For instance, would these be affected by Defense Ring?

4
Time for another OCTGN crowdsourcing project. For other ways to help improve the OCTGN module, see the following thread:

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=15204.0

Please read the following before posting:


One of the new features for the upcoming release of the Mage Wars OCTGN module allows a player to click on a spell and get a list of all rulings and clarifications for that spell.

For example, suppose you are confused about whether Blue Gremlin needs LOS to the zone to which he is teleporting. You can now simply click on Blue Gremlin and obtain that ruling (He doesn't), without having to open another window or get out your rules supplement or do anything else. The objective here is to reduce the rules burden on players, especially new players.

Here is where you come in. There are a lot of niche rules cases in Mage Wars, and the dev team has enough on its plate already without searching for these. We have already included everything from the official rules supplement, so we now ask for your help locating obscure rulings that are not covered in any of the official sources.

Unlike the previous crowdsourcing project, you do not need to do any formatting here; just post the ruling that you want us to include in the OCTGN module's database, and we will add it. If you can include a concise, clear phrasing of the ruling, that will be even more helpful to us. It is also helpful (though not required) if you can include a link to the post in which the ruling was clarified.

Some guidelines:
- Do not post rulings that are covered in an official Mage Wars rule document. We have those already. We are looking for rulings scattered about this or any other forum (such as BGG).

- It would be helpful, but is by no means required, if you can link the post where the ruling was given and/or summarize the ruling clearly and concisely.

- Rulings should be on the mechanics of specific spells, not on broader game mechanics. So each ruling should pertain to a specific spell. Please specify to which spell the ruling applies.


Admins, it would be helpful to get this post stickied; it can function as a long term location for players to submit rulings they want added to the module.

5
Rules Discussion / OR spell schools in game
« on: March 15, 2015, 07:52:11 AM »
When determining the school of a spell during the game (NOT during spellbook construction), does a spell with multiple choices for the spell school (such as Elemental Wand or Enchanter's Ring) count as being all of its spell schools, or only the one that was chosen for spellbook construction?

For instance, suppose I am a necromancer, and have equipped an elemental wand. So far, so good. Then you play a card (let's call it "Baleful Resonance") that gives all Earth spells the Upkeep +1 trait.

If the wand is treated as counting as all four elemental schools at once, then no problem; it gains upkeep +1 because it counts as an Earth spell.

But if it only counts as the school that I chose during spellbook construction, we have a bit of a problem. Being lazy, I had seen that all four school choices cost the same, and therefore did not bother choosing. So I have no idea what school it is.

Even if I had chosen a school, keeping track of which one it was is an undesirable burden.


So does the wand count as all four elemental schools simultaneously, then? I assume it does, but I want a ruling so that I can be sure.

6
For other ways to help improve the OCTGN module, see the following thread:

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=15274.msg48553#msg48553

Please read the following before posting:

Are you interested in contributing to the Mage Wars OCTGN module, but don't have the time or coding experience? Here is an opportunity for you to get involved.

First, some explanation. The upcoming OCTGN release has many new features, some of which require extensive text (not code, but content). Specifically, one of the new features displays a message whenever a creature dies in combat. This message is tailored to the creature that died and (optionally) the sort of attack that killed it. Our objective is to build up a large database of such messages so that there is a lot of variety in what messages display when a creature dies (the message shown is chosen randomly from a list of appropriate messages).

Here is where your creativity comes it. We need a LOT of messages, and it is difficult to come up with a large enough variety ourselves. So we decided to try an experiment in crowdsourcing. If successful, we may crowdsource other content-related features. What we are looking for, plain and simple, is appropriately formatted death messages.

How this works is simple; you post a message (or list of messages) in the correct format, we read them (to make sure they are appropriate and formatted correctly), and then we add them to the file in the module that stores the list of messages. Given the number of Mage Wars fans, we hope to generate an extensive and varied list of messages so that each creature death in the arena can be given a unique and fitting message.

FORMATTING - Please read this section carefully and completely:
To minimize the formatting work on our end, we ask that you take care to follow these instructions exactly when formatting your death message submissions:

Each message consists of two parts; the message itself, and filters that determine which sorts of creature will trigger the message. The two parts of the message are separated by an '@' character. For example:

<D> falls in combat!@Type=Creature

The message always appears on the left, and the filters always appear on the right. The <D> is a placeholder for the name of the creature that will be replaced by the creature's name (exactly as it appears on the card). You may use as many or as few <D>s as you like.

<A> functions as a placeholder for the attacker's name. Please only include it if you use one of the filters that refers to the attacker.

<AM> and <DM> refer, respectively, to the names of the mages (not the players) that control the attacking creature and the dead creature.

There are currently 13 filter types (though more may be added later). These are:

Name
Type
Subtype
Trait
Mage

DamageType
Range
AttackTrait

AttackerName
AttackerType
AttackerSubtype
AttackerTrait
AttackerMage

Let's go through what each one does:
Name - The most extreme filter - specifies the exact card.
Type - Can be either Creature or Conjuration.
Subtype - One of the subtypes listed on the card underneath the type, for example, Plant or Undead.
Trait - One of the keywords possessed by the card (even if not printed on it), for example Living or Flying
DamageType - The type of damage that killed this object, for example Flame or Acid.
AttackTrait - A trait possessed by the attack that killed this object, for example Ethereal or Critical Damage (Devour is handled separately, so don't bother with that trait)
AttackerName - Name of the attacker
AttackerType - Attacker's type (creature, conjuration, etc.)
AttackerSubtype - A subtype of the attacker
AttackerTrait - A trait possessed by the attacker
Range - The range of the attack that killed the creature. "Melee","Ranged","Counterstrike","Damage Barrier", or "Passage Attack" are all valid options at the moment.
Mage - The name of the mage that controls the creature (e.g. Wizard, Forcemaster, Beastmaster, etc.)
AttackerMage - The name of the mage that controls the attacker (see above).
Each filter can be either positive (only cards that match the filter are eligible for the message) or negative (only cards that do not match are eligible). Positive filters are denoted with =, and negative with !=

For example, a message with the filter

@DamageType=Flame

would only be displayed for objects destroyed by flame attacks, whereas

@Trait!=Flying

would only be displayed for objects that do not have the flying trait.

A single message can have multiple filters, both positive and negative. For instance, a message with the filters

@Type=Creature,DamageType=Flame,Subtype=Canine,Subtype!=Skeleton

would only be displayed for creatures with the Canine subtype (but not the Skeleton subtype) that were killed by a flame-type attack.

Each filter should be separated from the next by a comma, as seen above. Do NOT put a comma and a space (a, b, c) as the function will not read this properly.

The message will be displayed to both players, so it should make sense when read by both (For instance, "The <D> gazes at you, feeling betrayed in its last moments" would not make sense when read by your opponent.)

For genders, there are three types of pronouns currently available:

Personal Subject (He, Her, It)
Personal Object (Him, Her, It)
Personal Possessive Determiner (His, Her, Its)

For defender, the placeholders are
<ds> (subject)
<do> (object)
<dp> (possessive determiner)

For the attacker, similarly, they are
<as>
<ao>
<ap>

Please make sure your submissions are formatted correctly, or they might not be read properly (in which case they will never be displayed). Also be sure to spell things properly and use proper grammar/punctuation so that the OCTGN module looks as polished as possible!

Let's see what the community can come up with! We look forward to your submissions. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about the formatting. To give you some more examples, here are the creature death messages that are currently included in the list (I'll try to keep this list up to date with new submissions; note that your submissions may be edited slightly):


---------------

<D> seems almost relieved as the peace of death greets <do> once more.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Undead,Trait=Nonliving
The unholy magic binding <D> together unravels, and <ds> collapses to the floor!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Undead
The room dims briefly as dark powers flee from <D>'s remains!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Undead
<D> wilts and shrivels away!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Plant
<D> collapses, <dp> damage too extensive to regrow!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Plant,Trait=Living
<D> exhales a cloud of sulfur and brimstone as <ds> collapses!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Demon
<D> sneers mockingly as the life leaves <dp> body!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Demon,Trait=Living
<D> screams in exhilaration, <dp> soul joyfully returning to the infernian depths whence it came!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Demon
<D> salutes <dp> commander with <dp> dying breath!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Soldier,Trait=Living,Subtype!=Goblin
<D> dies as <dp> lived - with honor!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Knight,Trait=Living
<D> screams a fearsome battle cry before succumbing to <dp> injuries!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Soldier,Trait=Living
<D> whimpers and collapses!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Canine,Trait=Living
<D> seems to have finally mastered 'Play Dead'...@Type=Creature,Subtype=Canine,Trait=Living
<D> dies with a snarl upon <dp> lips!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Canine,Trait=Living
<D> floats gently to the ground, a beatific smile upon <dp> lips.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Angel,Trait=Flying,Trait=Living
The radiant glow fades from <D> as <dp> eyes close forever.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Angel,Trait=Living
You hear the faint sound of a heavenly choir as <D> passes from this world.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Angel,Trait=Living
<D> dissipates into nothingness!@Trait=Incorporeal
<D> fades away like mist!@Trait=Incorporeal
<D> has perished in battle!@Type=Creature
<D> dies with a snarl, as wretched in death as <ds> was in life.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Lycanthrope
<D> contorts horribly, <dp> foul curse partially lifted in death.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Lycanthrope
<D> twitches <dp> legs grotesquely for a few seconds, then is still.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Insect
<D> has gone to the halls of <dp> forefathers.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Dwarf
<D>'s scaly eyes close forevermore.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Reptile
<D> crumbles to the ground!@Type=Conjuration,Trait=Nonliving,Trait=Corporeal
<D> is demolished!@Type=Conjuration,Trait=Corporeal
<D> is felled!@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Tree
Sticky sap flies everywhere as <D> bursts apart!@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype=Plant
<D>'s bones crumble, eaten away to nothing by the acid!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Skeleton,DamageType=Acid
The ethereal force of the attack rips <D>'s essence apart!@Type=Creature,AttackTrait=Ethereal,Trait=Incorporeal
<D> gurgles as <dp> life-blood spills upon the arena floor!@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype!=Plant
It's super effective!@Type=Creature,DamageType=Flame,Subtype=Plant
<D> does not go gentle into that good night.@Type=Creature,Trait=Living
<D> should never have returned from the dead to begin with.@Subtype=Undead
<D> served <dp> purpose.@Type=Creature
Did somebody forget to water <D>?@Subtype=Plant,Subtype=Vine
<D> dissolves into a puddle!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Ooze
A sweet odor emanates from the charred,slimy remains of <D>. Is that...flan?@Type=Creature,Subtype=Ooze,DamageType=Flame
<D> melts into a pool of slime!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Ooze
You hear a sickening crunch as <D>'s exoskeleton implodes!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Insect,DamageType!=Poison,DamageType!=Psychic
<D> screams as <dp> mind is destroyed!@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,DamageType=Psychic
<D> explodes into fragments! The gods will not be pleased...@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Altar
The <D> clears.@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Cloud,Trait!=Epic,Trait!=Legendary
<D> is destroyed by...electicity? That isn't how physics works.@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Metal,AttackType=Lightning
<D> is desecrated!@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Temple
The animal spirits cry out as <D> is annihilated!@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Totem
The gods are furious at the destruction of <D>!@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Temple
Reality breathes a sigh of relief as a rip in its fabric is forever closed!@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Portal
You smell something very much like roast chicken.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Bird,DamageType=Flame
<D> goes down hissing!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Serpent,Trait=Living
A wave of psychic energy washes over you as <D> dies!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Psyoculus
<D> falls to the ground with a tremendous crash!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Golem
Looks like somebody doesn't believe in faeries...@Type=Creature,Subtype=Faerie
<D> gives a piteous yowl before collapsing!@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype=Cat
<D> did not land on <dp> feet.@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype=Cat
<D> just couldn't regenerate fast enough.@Type=Creature,Trait=Regenerate,Trait!=Finite Life,Subtype=Troll
<D> crumbles, releasing a small flood of mana into the ground!@Type=Conjuration,Subtype=Mana
<D> meets <dp> death with stoic resolve.@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype=Dwarf
<D> dies with a snarl, a proud orcish warrior to the end!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Orc,Subtype=Soldier,Subtype=Living
"Rosebud!" gasps <D> with <dp> dying breath.@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype=Dwarf
Headshot!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Zombie
<D>'s bones clatter to the floor, the magic that bound them destroyed.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Skeleton
Fragments of <D> scatter everywhere!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Skeleton
<D> has gone home.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Angel,Trait=Living
"I! WILL! BE! AVENGED!" roars <D> in deathly fury.@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype=Orc
<D> is graceful, even in death.@Type=Creature,Trait=Living,Subtype=Angel
<D> enters the hibernation of eternity.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Bear,Trait=Living
<D> squawks weakly, then collapses.@Type=Creature,Subtype=Bird,Trait=Living
<D> is slain. Will anybody even remember <dp> name?@Type=Creature,Subtype=Goblin,Trait!=Legendary,Trait=Living
<A> grunts, "I pick my teeth with your bones".@Type=Creature,AttackerType=Creature,AttackerTrait=Living,AttackerSubtype=Troll,Subtype=Skeleton
<A> found <D>'s lack of faith disturbing.@AttackerName=Forcemaster,Type=Creature
Shun the nonbelievers! Shun! SHUN!@AttackerName=Highland Unicorn,Type=Creature
They stole my frickin' kidney!@Name=Highland Unicorn,AttackerType=Creature
What does the fox say?@Name=Bitterwood Fox
Good Gods! Is that <D>'s head floating inside there?@Type=Creature,Trait=Corporeal,AttackerName=Devouring Jelly
"I welcome death's cold embrace."@Name=Necromancer
As the old Sortilege proverb goes, "Five heads are better than one."@AttackerName=Darkfenne Hydra,AttackTrait=Triplestrike,Name!=Darkfenne Hydra,Name!=Cerberus,AttackerMage=Wizard
The silence is shattered by the shrill scream of <D> as <ds> plummets towards the arena floor.@Type=Creature,Trait=Flying
Life has become intolerable for <D> due to the incessant pummeling from <A>.@Type=Creature,AttackerName=Darkfenne Hydra,Trait=Living,AttackTrait=Triplestrike
<AM> applauds <A> on a swift, merciless kill.@AttackerType=Creature,AttackerMage=Wizard,Type=Creature
<D> is messily devoured by <A>!@Type!=Conjuration,Trait=Corporeal,AttackTrait=Devour,AttackerType=Creature
<D> is now one with Asyra's Light!@Type=Creature,Subtype=Cleric,Mage=Priestess
Yes pumpkin, All dogs go to heaven.@Subtype=Canine,Subtype!=Demon,Trait=Living
Straight to Hell with you, unholy beast!@SubType=Demon,AttackerMage=Priest
Toasty!@DamageType=Flame
Frosty!@DamageType=Frost

7
Rules Discussion / Does Weak affect conjurations?
« on: January 23, 2015, 05:01:32 AM »
Does Weak affect conjurations? I couldn't find anything in the rules supplement. The text for Weak reads:

Quote from: Rulebook pp44
This is a poison condition which weakens a creature.
For each Weak condition on it, the creature loses 1
attack die from all non-spell attacks it makes. Cannot
reduce an attack to zero dice. Has no effect on damage
barriers or attack spells. Weak has a removal cost
of 2.

On one hand, it specifically refers to creatures. On the other hand, all of the other conditions that do not affect conjurations very explicitly state that they have no effect on conjurations, which this does not do.

This is relevant for Corrosive Orchid and Nightshade Lotus, which are living conjurations with non-spell attacks.

8
Custom Cards / Prophet Mini-Expansion (printable)
« on: July 14, 2014, 02:09:50 PM »
After making some significant modifications to the prophet and his equipment, I thought it might be fun to put it together with some other cards to make a mini expansion. The file is too large to upload here, so I put it on BGG:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/105433/prophet-fan-made-mini-expansion

It features some of my older cards with modifications, as well as a few completely new cards (themed around prophecy).

If you want to try it out, the cards are formatted 9 to a sheet on letter-sized paper, so all you have to do is print it out, cut out the cards, and put them in sleeves in front of official cards. If you do try it out, I would be interested to hear how the game goes.

9
General Discussion / New Promo Cards Sighted
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:41:36 AM »
Don't know if anybody has seen this, but there are some interesting new promo cards coming up:

From what little I can read, they are:

Fire Elemental
Creature, Flame
20 Mana
2 flame attacks, one of which is melee 5 and one of which is zone (presumably the same zone) 2. I am guessing that they will probably cause burns.

Spiked Armor
Equipment, War School (not sure what level)
9 Mana
Gives Lightning +/- ? (guessing minus based on precedent), a damage barrier (1 die, with bleed, piercing, and something else), and of course armor +? (probably 2)

Bloodwave Greatbow
Creature, (looks like an orc soldier)
12 Mana
Appears to have 2 attacks, one of which is a 4-dice range (1-2) full attack with no special effects. Can't read the text very well, but his attack appears to gain piercing +2 under some conditions.

Raincloud
Conjuration, Weather, some other subtype (probably hydro), Air School (1) + Water School (1)
8 Mana, 5 Life
Incorporeal, Flying (!), Hydro Immunity
"All ? in Raincloud's zone gain the Flame -?, Acid -? and Regenerate 1 traits." Also has something about burn and corrode conditions.

10
General Discussion / Forged In Fire
« on: March 03, 2014, 07:59:31 AM »
Now that we finally have something from Forged in Fire:



Discussion time.

This looks like a useful curse, though it seems pretty easy to dispel. I like that it encourages burn stacking; as the preview says, water is a pretty hard counter. Is it worth 2 spell levels, though? I suppose with a few wardstones, it could be pretty fearsome.

11
General Discussion / Leaving Room for Future Design
« on: February 27, 2014, 11:37:28 AM »
I'm not sure where this best fits, so I'll put it here.

There are several traits in the various codices that seem to me to have been inefficiently designed. By this I mean that they are far more specific than they need to be, and limit options for reuse in other contexts. I have decided to compile a list of these traits, and ways that they could be reworded to allow for the maximum possible scope of use; no need to come up with a new trait when an existing one will do.

This is NOT a revision of existing traits to incorporate rulings; any altered trait must still function in the same way as the original trait, but must also allow for applications beyond the scope of the original trait.

Revised Codex

Extendable
When you cast this conjuration, you may pay additional mana equal to its cost plus its level as part of the cost of casting the spell. If you do, when this spell resolves, you may take an additional conjuration of the same name out of your spellbook and place it on any zone adjacent to the first zone (or zone border adjacent to the first zone border if it is a wall). The second conjuration must be placed within LOS.


There is no reason to restrict this trait to walls; honestly, there is no reason to restrict it to conjurations, aside from theme.

Magebind +X
It is more difficult to cast this spell on a mage. If this spell targets a mage, its cost is increased by X. Only the reveal cost of an enchantment is affected by this trait, not the casting cost. The adjusted cost is used for all purposes in spells, abilities, or effects which refer to the cost (or reveal cost) of this spell.


Future non-enchantment spells that cost more when targeting mages seem entirely reasonable. In fact, there are perhaps even some current non-enchantment spells that would benefit from this treatment...

Novice
Basic apprentice spells. This spell costs spell points equal to its level for all mages, even when they are not trained in the appropriate schools.


An obvious change.

Indestructible
This object cannot be destroyed as a result of having more damage than life.


There is absolutely no reason to prevent an indestructible object from taking damage (if it has no life, the damage is meaningless anyway), and if a card comes along for which there is, it would be better treated as an exception than as the rule.


Please feel free to suggest other addenda to these or other traits (keeping in mind that the intent is not to clarify the rules, but rather to broaden existing traits so they can be reused in other contexts).

12
Creative / Mini Damage/Mana dials
« on: January 22, 2014, 05:47:27 AM »
Mana and damage counters are aesthetically appealing, but can be tedious to place at times, especially when you run low on them. As an alternative, consider these:

These dials function in the same way as mana/damage counters, but require only one token per card (2 if the card has channeling). They retain their position through magnetic attraction to a paper clip attached to the card. The magnetic attraction is sufficient to prevent the dial from slipping (it won't shift even if the dice strike it while rolling), while still being easy for the player to adjust. Observe this dial retaining its position even when vertical:

The paper clip does cause the card to project above the table slightly, but this is not necessarily a bad this (easier to pick it up, for instance). The current damage or mana can be read off the number below the bar of the paper clip (or the number that is oriented in the same direction as the text on the card). When there is no damage or mana, simply remove the dial entirely.

For those interested in making their own, a pdf template for the dials is attached. The magnets that I used are 1/2 inch (12mm) diameter ceramic disc magnets from The Magnet Source [item 07002], available at pretty much any Ace Hardware store at a very reasonable price ($3-4 for a pack of 10, generally). Any reasonably strong magnet will work, though I prefer ceramic magnets over neodymium because of price. Any type of paper clip (assuming it is made of metal) will probably work. You can mount the dials on cardstock, construction paper, or even just regular printer paper; the dials do not need to be very sturdy, although they feel nicer when they are.

13
Creative / How to make a status dial (easily)
« on: December 23, 2013, 08:36:06 PM »
I don't like the status boards provided with the game, because the cubes slide around. I decided to make a status dial instead. This has been done before, but I wanted to make sure the wheels don't slide around (as they do when using brads to secure them). I also wanted to use materials that were easy to get.

I realized that CDs and their cases already form a decently sturdy dial. Taking inspiration from commercial neodymium-based life counters (which are overpriced), I added two magnetically secured dials on top of this to form a nice, compact status dial. The result:



I ended up using ceramic magnets (available at most hardware stores) because they are significantly cheaper than neodymium and just as good for these purposes. The damage dial is made from the CD and turns by stroking the side; the mana and channeling are magnetically secured and can be rotated freely (but thanks to the magnets, they will not rotate by themselves).

This was extremely easy to do. If anybody wants to make their own, here are the instructions, though they are probably not needed. You need to cut your own dials and cover out of the cardboard, and to write your own numbers on the side of the dial. It does not take very long.




14
Alternative Play / Mage Wars Portability Project
« on: December 08, 2013, 04:58:26 PM »
I'm not sure if this really counts as "Alternative Play" (no rule changes), but I couldn't figure out where else to put it, so I'll put it here for now.

One of the major problems with Mage Wars is how not portable it is. The objective of this thread is to provide replacements for game components, with the ultimate objective being to fit the entire game (or a portable and playable subset of the game) into as few deck boxes as possible (small deck boxes; think UltraPro). This will be mostly accomplished by converting as many things as possible into 2.5"x3.5" cards and finding alternative ways to represent aspects of the game state. This is not intended to replace the game components, but rather to provide an alternative for players who find themselves traveling and want to bring the game along with them in as little space as possible.

Game Board
This is the easiest to replace. The mage wars board is basically a modified tic-tac-toe board. Here are ways to simulate it:

Draw a board with chalk/markers/pencil/pretty much anything else.

Say what you will, this works and is extremely easy and quick to do.

Mark zone intersections.



These cards represent zone intersections. Just place 6 of them in a grid (or 20, if you absolutely need to define the arena outer boundaries), with as much space between them as you would like. The lines between the four-pointed stars become the zone borders. Also lets you build custom or multiplayer boards. The fancy purple-starred card replaces the initiative and compass tokens - just point it at the player with initiative, and use its compass when you need to determine directions at random.

Note that you don't have to use these cards - literally anything will do for a zone intersection. I have played Mage Wars on a board made out of peanuts and tangerines (true story!). Post-its also work nicely.

Mage Status Boards

Use Status Cards



Note that this life card is scaled to 5-per-row and color coded by severity of your injuries. But where, you ask, is the place for zero on either of these cards? Simple: just don't put the marker on the track if it is at zero (put it on your mage card or something if you are worried about losing it).

Use a Status Dial

Instructions for making a basic status dial here:
How to make a status dial (easily)
Unfortunately, the current model is still about as bulky as a regular status board, though it does have fewer separate parts. I will see if I can improve upon this. I am considering 3D printing as an option.

Action and Quickcast Markers

These are unnecessary. Take a page out of Magic and turn creatures sideways after they have acted. The facing of the card can be used to keep track of who owns it (and players generally remember which ones they own anyway). You can also keep your objects closer to your side of each zone.

Similarly, the quickcast marker can be represented by turning your Mage card (not the one with your picture, but the one with your abilities) sideways.

I have tried this, and it works well. I no longer use action markers in my own games, and barely notice the difference.

Spellbooks

As many have noted, the books are not necessary; keeping the cards in a deck works fine and takes up less space (also less setup and take-down time for the game). I personally prefer to use decks as a general rule, but in terms of portability they are an obvious choice.

Dice
Not going to mess with these (yet). I can't think of any alternative that would use less space, and they aren't terribly bulky anyway.

Assorted Tokens
Still working on these. Not all should be replaced, but I think there is definitely some scope for reductions here.

Mage Ability Tokens



If your mage's ability is one use per round, you can turn this card over to indicate when the ability has been used. If its ability is a pet-type ability, slide this card underneath its target. This works because all mages have at most one ability that requires a single special token (not considering warlord's vet tokens).

Mana and Damage Markers

Miniature dials can function to display health and mana very efficiently; each creature needs only one or two such dials. Examples:



These require a bit more assembly than the other solutions here, but the materials are very cheap. This thread contains more information and resources for constructing these dials.

Imaginator proposes use of change such as pennies, dimes, etc. as damage/mana markers. He also proposes a "penny mage" optional variant for this. Depending on the type of change you use, this could potentially cut down on space a bit by reducing component sizes.

Stackable Conditions

These are replacements for stackable conditions. Print them doublesided and put them under the creature so that the desired part of the card sticks out:



Initiative and Compass Rose Markers

The following special zone intersection replaces the initiative and compass rose markers. Just point the initiative arrows at the player that currently holds the initiative.



Rulebook and Codex
The best way to carry these is in your brain. I am still thinking about a replacement codex, though.


Comments and suggestions welcome.

15
General Discussion / First Impressions / Observations for DvN
« on: November 23, 2013, 03:58:26 PM »
I received DvN yesterday and tried it out today with some modifications to the suggested decks. I played the druid and my opponent played the necromancer. I ended up winning with no damage due to my success in keeping the necromancer and his minions far away from my mage. Thoughts:

- Samara tree is very good. I lifebonded it on the first turn and soon started popping out seedling pods. I definitely prefer it to the vine tree (which I also cast, but which saw less use). I think part of the appeal is that you can continuously have it casting spells without having to decide immediately what they are, whereas with the vine tree you have to either cast a spell or else lose the benefit of its action for that turn.

- Thornlashers are excellent. Definitely my favorite of the Druid's plant creatures. Vine Snappers and tangle/stranglevines also work very well together.

- Meditation amulet is fantastic (at least for the druid). Using my plants to keep the enemy at bay (a task for which they are very well suited), I meditated for all but 3-4 rounds in the game. Definitely an autoinclude for druid, and probably other swarm mages as well (to perhaps a lesser degree).

- I underestimated the impact of the lack of armor for the Druid's creatures. It hurts a lot, even with the regeneration. I also underestimated the strength of the resilient trait - very few of my opponent's zombies were destroyed (although this might also have been because I focused my attacks on the enemy mage). I won mostly because my opponent was not able to prevent me from attacking him. The necromancer is definitely a mage that should stay in the shadows, as far from the action as possible.

Some interesting combos to note:

- Put two Thornlashers in adjacent zones with a Bloodspine wall or Wall of Pikes between them. Then have them play a game of "volleyball" with the creature of your choice. Bonus points with Bloodspine wall if it can bleed.

- Mordok's Obelisk is an autoinclude in any Druid deck, since it only affects creatures (and the druid has many alternatives). Even against a mage that only uses 2 or so creatures, it will pay for itself quickly.

- Eternal Servant + Plague Zombie is an amusing, if rather disgusting combo. As long as you keep some mana in reserve, you can quickly rack up rot conditions. Sacrificial Altar works especially well with this. It essentially amounts to 9 mana per round for zone autorot and +2 Melee/Piercing for a minion of your choice (besides which the Plague Zombie also gets an attack with piercing +1) - a pretty good bargain, I think. This would be my Eternal Servant of choice, though I have not tried it yet.

In summary I am really enjoying the new set. I was a little disappointed not to receive the promo cards with my preorder though - I guess it only applies to sets preordered directly from Arcane Wonders.

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