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Author Topic: Any official variants to speed up a game?  (Read 5427 times)

theduke850

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Any official variants to speed up a game?
« on: September 25, 2012, 08:22:19 AM »
I've been reading some of the player reviews coming out and really the only recurring complaint/concern is that the game takes too long to play... or longer than what they feel the game should take (personally I don't have an issue with the game length)

anyway, as the topic asks, are there any variants that help speed up the game?

My thoughts are:
1. put a timer on the planning phase
2. start with lower health
3. put a timer on the whole game - player with the least damage at the end wins (I believe that is how some of the tournaments have been done)

any other ideas?

Gigan

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 01:54:48 PM »
For our demos and tournaments, we held games to 50 min.  Mages all had the same channeling (10) and health (20).  There were no special ability cards used for the Mages.  The board was also half the size of the full game.

We definitely had a lot of people finish before the 50 min. were up.

stadi

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 05:11:40 AM »
This is of course not official, but I thought of something like this:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/10132254#10132254

- After round 10 15 and 18 there comes an earthquake that damages everything.
- After round 10 and 15 both mages receive 15-15 extra mana
- After round x and y both mages get some direct damage.
- After round x healing spells cost double (this might need some extra balancing because of the priestess)
- etc...

Jon.Ambriz

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2012, 01:33:14 AM »
I have played at the last couple of demo tournaments that MW had at Gen Con the last two years, and having a timer really does make the game go by a lot faster. Players have to think more quickly and get through the turns a lot faster than a casual game. 50 minutes feels way to short in my mind for tournament play, but then again, having to think on the fly is a much better idea.

Looking at those effects stadi that seems to not go with the flow of the Arena. The rounds go by fairly quickly and on those rounds where an earthquake occurred, then that could screw up a well thought out strategy that a player had been building from an earlier round, or be the deciding factor between a Mage surviving one round, or dying before the Planning phase could be complete (I am basing this on the assumption that if an arena wide attack were to occur, the Upkeep phase would be the phase to do said action in).
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That's a nice spell you have there. It'd be a shame if something happened to it.

Rumsey

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 01:27:10 AM »
Or you could just walk by and randomly kick their table.  Earthquake right?

Mgrancey

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 06:27:09 PM »
Hmm, a Messy Battlefield. Where conjurations or equipment scattered about the field waiting to be claimed. Claiming could be a Free action as long as you are in the zone or maybe a Quick action if 1 away?

Encourages movement, make them mysterious anyways by face down, oops that was a trap! could be included as well. Thoughts?

Talamare

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 01:25:11 AM »
Halve max health, Halve deck size limitation

DarthDadaD20

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 01:12:59 AM »
You know, I am surprised by everyones initial reaction to how long this game takes to play. I have to guess people are comparing it to card games in expected length, because playing many different miniature skirmish games and miniature war games, thats about how long they take to play. My games so far have not taken any longer than any of the games I have played (and I've played a lot) that need to use LoS,movement,or any of your stranded miniature game rules.
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Adam Wells

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 01:22:35 PM »
Hi! This post was jerky!  See the next post for my actual, valid response!


[strike]I have an official variant that may help!

Play more aggressive books!  I don't know why everyone wants to be so defensive in this game or spend so much time defending their creatures. it kind of confuses me.  I mean, there's a lot of strategies that make me -want- to go 'LOL SMASH UR FACE BRAH!'

Slap 2x Elemental Wand (Fireball), Hawk wings and Cheetah speed on a wizard, and go nuts.[/strike]

Adam Wells

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 04:42:48 PM »
Okay, so that last post came off as REALLY abrasive, and kind of killed what was turning out to be a really productive thread.  Sorry about that!

Anyway, let me give an improved version of the above post.

What I think slows down this game is concern about creatures.  After trying a few different options to investigate the problem - including a Creature-only beastmaster book and a no-creature Wizard book, both actually Silly fun! - i've come to the conclusion that creatures are serious tar pits in this game, as are walls.  Both require the mage to dedicate serious resources to remove in terms of turns, spells, and mana.  So how do we get around that?

Sorta-quoth the rulebook: "The game ends when one mage's damage exceeds their maximum life."

Sorta quoth the rulebook again "One mage's damage exceeds their maximum life."

So, how do we speed up Mage Wars as a whole based on that quote?  Easy.

First, we have to recognize that most non-legendary creatures aren't serious threats.  A mage can take several hits from a small unnamed creature and laugh it off. This is based on the fact that only 1/3 of the dice faces guarantee damage, and even then only 1-2 points at a time.  I don't have the math handy, but it takes 5-6 dice to guarantee any damage to stick before we include armor.  Once armor gets involved, it starts getting to unattainable numbers for unnamed creatures, and even some named or legendary creatures!

So, that means all this time spent trashing firebrand imps and the like is basically a waste; let them run at you, slap on some leather gloves and head on your way.  It also means that you can be considerably more aggressive on mage movement, and assign small creatures in your spellbook to tarpit duty, considering there aren't elusive critters on the other side that ignore hinder.

My advice is to play mean once you have the creatures all tied up.  Take the mage around the edge of the arena, pull out some 0-2 ranged spells and hammer your opponent into dust with a wand or something.  My previous post about the flying dual-wand nightmare of a mage is still totally valid, though.

My Thoughts on Tournaments

Having participated in the gen con apprentice tournaments, i can say that the 50-minute time limit is perfect for that mode.  However, I think its not that great for actual, 120 point book play.

I'm stealing some ideas from other game systems for this, but I think the variable clock idea from Hordes/Warmachine may be an option to persue.  Matches there last X + Y amount of time.  X is a set number based on the tournament size, while Y is a roll of 2d6 additional minutes.  The clock is kept secret, known only to the TO, so players can't bank on having a set amount of time and must work quickly to ensure they're able to complete the game in time.  Books down (no more actions) when time runs out, even if you are mid-action.

The other option is chess clocks (i prefer Death Clock).  In-game, it would be represented by an enchantment cast on the mage that kills them after X amount of time.  For us in the real world, each player has 1 hour on a chess clock for the game.  When your time runs out, your mage instantly dies.  Phases alternate, so the initiative player would complete channeling, hit the clock, then his opponent, and back and forth through the phases and actions and make decisions. This means each player has the option to use their time as they see fit.  Stalling and slow play are not acceptable here, as they literally kill you.  I like this option the most of the two, but it would require some work from Arcane Wonders on how exactly the details work.  IE quick cast phases and mandatory enchantments.

Adam

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Re: Any official variants to speed up a game?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 01:49:57 AM »
That X+Y clock is brilliant.  I personally hate in any game (Mage Wars or otherwise) when both players see it is going to time and one tries to do a bunch of damage (or heal) at the buzzer even though it wouldn't be a good longterm move at all if the clock weren't about to expire.  It makes for cheesy endings.