October 18, 2017, 08:33:33 PM

Author Topic: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con  (Read 492 times)

Sailor Vulcan

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Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« on: August 21, 2017, 01:53:48 PM »
Hi. I wrote a blogpost with my thoughts about the recent Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con as well as thoroughly debunking common misconceptions about Mage Wars Academy. Thought some people might be interested in this, and I hope it convinces more people to give Mage Wars Academy another chance. I wasn't sure where to post this because there doesn't seem to be an event page for the Gen Con Mage Wars Academy tournament. Not sure why there isn't.

http://sailorvulcansstarship.blogspot.com/2017/08/reflection-on-mage-wars-academy.html

Edit: added recap of the matches I played in the tournament with commentary as well as a link to the spellbook I used. Edited organization and presentation so it reads much better now. If you already read it and didn't like it I encourage you to try reading it again, it's much better now.

Edit: added in a line about how the lack of move actions in academy means that academy full actions have less value than arena full actions relative to quick actions.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 10:10:42 AM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 09:26:51 PM »
This is an interesting post and blog. You're 100% right in that I forgot to make an Academy event post and that's a mistake on my part.

This was our first year running an Academy event at Gen Con and over all for a first attempt it went well enough. It's my intention to continue doing an academy event as well as helping to build that community as well. Now that there are 6 mages available for Academy I believe the appeal will grow.

I said it in person multiple times I know but I want to publicly congratulate you on your victory Sailor Vulcan! You fought with inspiration.
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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 01:48:22 AM »
congrats on your win. academy can be quite competitive.

DaveW

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 09:50:25 AM »
I am wondering what you believe is misconceived regarding Academy. I know that I don't play it simply because I don't want to. Thanks.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 09:56:27 AM »
I am wondering what you believe is misconceived regarding Academy. I know that I don't play it simply because I don't want to. Thanks.
Did you read through my blog post? I explained there.

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 11:31:50 AM »
Hey Sailor :)

Congrats with the Win!!

Hope to play a bit of Academy in the future. (and Domination)
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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 09:42:02 PM »
I am wondering what you believe is misconceived regarding Academy. I know that I don't play it simply because I don't want to. Thanks.
Did you read through my blog post? I explained there.

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No. I was at work and didn't have time to read it. Besides, I was hoping that you would provide a brief summary. After that, I thought I would read it if I wanted clarification or more detail.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 09:53:54 PM »
I am wondering what you believe is misconceived regarding Academy. I know that I don't play it simply because I don't want to. Thanks.
Did you read through my blog post? I explained there.

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No. I was at work and didn't have time to read it. Besides, I was hoping that you would provide a brief summary. After that, I thought I would read it if I wanted clarification or more detail.
Ah ok why didn't you say so?

Basically I gave a tournament report and explained how a part of me feels like I didn't deserve my victory because of the extremely low turnout and because the majority of the competition didn't seem prepared for competitive academy play or perhaps didn't think that genuinely challenging competitive play in academy would even be a thing until they actually got to gen con, in large part because of unintentionally deceptive advertising of academy on arcane wonders' part, and partly because it's all too easy for an arena player new to academy to think they know academy better than they actually do, and to assume that whatever problems they have with it are caused by the quality of the game design rather than their own lack of experience with Academy. I went into detail commenting on and debunking some of these misconceptions, such as the idea that Academy is just watered down arena, or the idea that Academy needs to have quickcast phases to be balanced.

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 04:17:36 AM »
Hi Sailor


Academy IS a watered down version of Arena no matter how you twist or turn it.
Just like a volcano is less hot than the sun.
Academy still has a lot of depth and complexity to it, just like a volcano is still damn hot.

Just compare the card count, the 1 zone vs a board, no conjurations, less mana = less possibilities, less HP = shorter games = less complexity, etc etc.

Does this mean academy is dull and boring? Of course not. I have personally only played a single game of academy (and that was against you) but now that we are seeing more expansions i might pick up this game.
But as with everything else in my life, time is an issue.
I can understand that your disappointed that opponents came less prepared than you for a tournament, but i think it's too early in academy's stage to expect much more.
From the one game i played i could certainly see that my arena knowledge only helped me so little in Academy. I could imagine that other players needs to learn this as well.

For whats its worth, i think its great that you steamrolled yourself through the tournament and proved that skill + strong book will wreck a casual approach.

Status quo remains. AW are advertising (or at least has) this game as an entry experience to Arena but in reality its a very deep and competitive game game on its own.
But still the 'little brother' to Arena.


Congratz with your win.

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 07:36:24 AM »
Hi Sailor


Academy IS a watered down version of Arena no matter how you twist or turn it.
Just like a volcano is less hot than the sun.
Academy still has a lot of depth and complexity to it, just like a volcano is still damn hot.

Just compare the card count, the 1 zone vs a board, no conjurations, less mana = less possibilities, less HP = shorter games = less complexity, etc etc.

Does this mean academy is dull and boring? Of course not. I have personally only played a single game of academy (and that was against you) but now that we are seeing more expansions i might pick up this game.
But as with everything else in my life, time is an issue.
I can understand that your disappointed that opponents came less prepared than you for a tournament, but i think it's too early in academy's stage to expect much more.
From the one game i played i could certainly see that my arena knowledge only helped me so little in Academy. I could imagine that other players needs to learn this as well.

For whats its worth, i think its great that you steamrolled yourself through the tournament and proved that skill + strong book will wreck a casual approach.

Status quo remains. AW are advertising (or at least has) this game as an entry experience to Arena but in reality its a very deep and competitive game game on its own.
But still the 'little brother' to Arena.


Congratz with your win.
We might be arguing definitions here. Clearly you understand that the learning curve for Academy, while less steep than Arena's, still diverges from Arena's learning curve at some point. Academy is smaller than Arena, but making it smaller also changes the gameplay, and not just by making the gameplay smaller. Most academy cards are not merely weaker versions of arena counterparts, because then they would not be as likely to be useful in arena. Because of this, a lot of arena strategies might not ever have academy analogues, and vice versa. In arena I don't think it's likely that we'll ever see a single creature guarding against more than 2 or 3 other creatures in a single round like my Aurora Assault spellbook does because of the additional pest rule in academy. The closest counterpart i can think of to this book in arena is probably someone who uses a tanky attack spell rush with gargoyle buddy and wizards tower, and that would still play very differently.

The definition of watered down on Google dictionary:

"altered so as to be weaker in force, content, or value."

I don't think this is what you are trying to say, is it?

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 10:13:07 AM »
Not for nothing sailor, but by that definition that's exactly what academy is. Its all of those things you describe. Its diminished in force as most academy cards have lower life totals and dice counts than the arena counterparts. Its currently weaker in content as there are over 500 arena cards (i believe, havent counted in a while) and academy has much fewer than that. Maybe 100 plus cards? Its also "weaker" in value as the game itself is much cheaper to purchase all portions of as a full set of arena  (core + Xpacs + domination) will cost you well over 150 dollars if one buys it all at once, 60 for a core and 35 to 40 per xpac. Where as one could fully enter academy and be totally caught up for about 100/120 bucks.

Literally every aspect of your definition of watered down has been met by this game. Now that is not to say that its bad or unstrategic or not worth playing. I enjoy academy. I just don't play it more than arena because i prefer arena. I dont pay domination either for the same reason. But trust me dude, watered down is nit a bad thing, its just a spot on description of what academy is.
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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 10:25:06 AM »
agreed. that does not diminish the level at which it can be played. you can have very serious competition in this environment. we have seen continued improvement int the caliber of play in arena. i would expect the same for academy.

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 10:34:31 AM »
Not for nothing sailor, but by that definition that's exactly what academy is. Its all of those things you describe. Its diminished in force as most academy cards have lower life totals and dice counts than the arena counterparts. Its currently weaker in content as there are over 500 arena cards (i believe, havent counted in a while) and academy has much fewer than that. Maybe 100 plus cards? Its also "weaker" in value as the game itself is much cheaper to purchase all portions of as a full set of arena  (core + Xpacs + domination) will cost you well over 150 dollars if one buys it all at once, 60 for a core and 35 to 40 per xpac. Where as one could fully enter academy and be totally caught up for about 100/120 bucks.

Literally every aspect of your definition of watered down has been met by this game. Now that is not to say that its bad or unstrategic or not worth playing. I enjoy academy. I just don't play it more than arena because i prefer arena. I dont pay domination either for the same reason. But trust me dude, watered down is nit a bad thing, its just a spot on description of what academy is.
I was thinking of content and value in terms of how good the game is and how high quality it is, not in how big the card pool currently is or how much money it costs to play. Watered down has negative connotations of being lower *quality* than the original, which Academy is not. The card pool for academy is smaller because academy is younger than arena, not because it's "Arena but watered down". And the size difference really does change the nature of the gameplay. Mage Wars isn't just a particular game, it's a highly modular fantasy combat system which uses cards, Saying that Academy is watered down Arena is like saying orange juice is just watered down oranges. The experience of eating an orange does not fully encompass the experience of drinking a cup of orange juice, for all that there is orange juice in an orange technically. Likewise, the experience of playing arena does not fully encompass the experience of playing academy. Saying that academy is just watered down arena is equivalent to saying that arena is just suped up academy, and if that were the case no one would ever have any reason to play both except for time constraints because everything academy had to offer arena would offer too plus more. And i can tell you that is not the case because I have played both games and I like them both independently of each other. I don't just play academy because I don't always have time for arena, I play academy because I like academy specifically.

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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 10:39:27 AM »
The Gen Con Judges have heard your requests Sailor Vulcan and we shall now respond!

First we once again take this opportunity to congratulate you on your win sir! You opened some eyes there and we salute you!

We will personally make sure you have competent, hard fighting challengers for next years tournament. We possess the strongest meta of any city in Mage Wars, we will train from now until next Gen Con to make sure the Academy Trophy rides up with Charlotte, and it's coming home with us too.

Sailor Vulcan: I am coming for your title. What you gonna do when the Silverclawgrizzly runs wild on you!
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Re: Reflection on the Mage Wars Academy tournament at Gen Con
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 10:50:49 AM »
The Gen Con Judges have heard your requests Sailor Vulcan and we shall now respond!

First we once again take this opportunity to congratulate you on your win sir! You opened some eyes there and we salute you!

We will personally make sure you have competent, hard fighting challengers for next years tournament. We possess the strongest meta of any city in Mage Wars, we will train from now until next Gen Con to make sure the Academy Trophy rides up with Charlotte, and it's coming home with us too.

Sailor Vulcan: I am coming for your title. What you gonna do when the Silverclawgrizzly runs wild on you!
Shrink it and then ignore the pest who thinks he can defeat me, muahaha! If that doesnt work there's always second place. One of the risks commonly associated with having more challenging and fun opponents is that you don't always win lol.

But seriously, thank you. I'm really looking forward to some more challenging fights. Bring it on!

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