February 25, 2020, 03:06:48 AM

Author Topic: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?  (Read 6461 times)

piousflea

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 435
  • Banana Stickers 2
    • View Profile
Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« on: October 09, 2012, 09:13:13 PM »
I've seen several people comment about sending "harassment" units to attack the opponent's starting Mana Crystals, but unless I'm totally mistaken this doesn't seem like a great idea.

A Mana Crystal costs 5 mana, gives 1 mana/turn, and has 6 HP / 2 Armor.
Therefore, if you cast Mana Crystal on Round 1, you'll break even at Round 6 and get a Mana surplus by Round 7.

The fastest way to rush the Mana Crystal is with a Bitterwood Fox (5 Mana, Fast, 3 dice atk) or Thunderift Falcon (6 Mana, Fast, 3 dice atk). A 3-dice attack deals an average of 1.81 damage against 2 Armor. It takes an average of 3.3 hits to kill the Mana Crystal.

If you cast a Fox/Falcon on Round 1, it can move 3 spaces on Round 2, and start hitting the Mana Crystal on Round 3. This means that the Mana Crystal is expected to die around Round 6 or 7.

Therefore, even without any attempt by the enemy player to kill your Fox/Falcon, the Mana Crystal won't die until it's already returned its full Mana cost.
   
On the other hand, if the enemy player kills your harassing Fox, you're down a tremendous amount of mana. Not only do you lose the 5 Mana from the fox, but your opponent is gaining a +1 mana advantage every single round.

Am I totally crazy, or is the "zergling rush" really not that great at crippling an economy?

Rumsey

  • Playtester
  • Jr. Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 11:03:38 PM »
Just a side note, but you cannot make three move actions with Fast. You can still only move a maximum of twice. It just lets you take a quick action after moving twice. This quick action cannot be another move however.

Mgrancey

  • Guest
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 05:10:30 PM »
If going against a wizard and they have their Arcane Ring out, a Mana Crystal only costs 4 so its paid back faster.

There is a totem? I believe that gives all Animals Armor and Piercing I believe, might be an Incantation.

Truthfully going to do that, i would send them after the Mage to occupy and wear down while working on getting bigger and/or better out. Such as Redclaw and Timber Wolf's or the Bear or Ape.

Nihilistiskism

  • Master Debater
  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 10:19:58 AM »
Your argument is assumption backed by applied mathematics, but it doesn't make your argument any less an assumption.

I'll explain:

You are stating that X is always true, so Y is the conclusion. However, X is not always true, so your "always" conclusion is a logical fallacy.

Your examples of the "best" means of harassing an opposing Mana Crystal only take creatures into account. Your examples play the assumption that you are never going to move your mage by the time it takes a Mana Crystal to break even. These are unrealistic expectations of gameflow.

Your logic, within the confines of your defined parameters of "best" is sound, but your parameters, themselves, are false.

-nihil
Take a shower, don't talk like a junior high dropout, and stop being such a fatty.

Koz

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 423
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 11:16:37 AM »
Quote from: "Nihilistiskism" post=2093
Your argument is assumption backed by applied mathematics, but it doesn't make your argument any less an assumption.

I'll explain:

You are stating that X is always true, so Y is the conclusion. However, X is not always true, so your "always" conclusion is a logical fallacy.

Your examples of the "best" means of harassing an opposing Mana Crystal only take creatures into account. Your examples play the assumption that you are never going to move your mage by the time it takes a Mana Crystal to break even. These are unrealistic expectations of gameflow.

Your logic, within the confines of your defined parameters of "best" is sound, but your parameters, themselves, are false.

-nihil


While what you say is true, I think he was just looking at the fastest and most efficient way to go after a crystal that is on the opposite side of the board.  Sure, you will be moving your mage during this time, but what are they going to do to the mana crystal that is cost efficient?  They could use an Incarium Longbow (I've seen this done and it's not a bad play), but other than that I don't see a lot of efficient options.  Surely you wouldn't waste mana on an attack spell to go after a crystal would you?  I don't think that's a wise use of your mana, IMO.  Even if you "only" spent 4 mana on a Jet Stream or Geyser, that's still almost the cost of the crystal itself...so you're not really gaining anything.  

You could get the fast trait on your mage and haul ass straight for the crystal and start whacking it in melee, which would be cost effective, but then you aren't attacking their mage so I'm not sure that's the best play either (it's not necessarily a bad play, just questionable)  

I think it's a legitimate question.  Is it worth devoting resources to going after a mana crystal or mana flower?  IF, and this is the question, you can take it out BEFORE they break even on the mana cost of casting it, it's a great play, but it seems pretty hard to do that without spending more resources than you are denying your opponent, or dedicating too many attacks that could be (theoretically) targeting their mage.

Nihilistiskism

  • Master Debater
  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 11:43:22 AM »
I didn't say the question wasn't worth exploration, Koz; I said that the OP's argument was a quantifiable logical fallacy.

And as far as exploring the question:

No. It's senseless theorycrafting. What if A, then B, however, what if C, but X, Y, Z? No. Here's the answer:

In some situations it will be advantageous and cost-effective to expend resources to destroy an opposing mana crystal. In other situations it will not. Mage Wars isn't Bridge. You can't quantify a game like this into "always" and "never" and "maybe." There are too many varied iterations of existence of the board at any given moment.

In other words: You basically answered your question...the question. If it is cost-effective and accessible, then it is "worth" it. Otherwise, it isn't.

-nihil
Take a shower, don't talk like a junior high dropout, and stop being such a fatty.

piousflea

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 435
  • Banana Stickers 2
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 04:41:44 PM »
Quote from: "Rumsey" post=1984
Just a side note, but you cannot make three move actions with Fast. You can still only move a maximum of twice. It just lets you take a quick action after moving twice. This quick action cannot be another move however.


Ooh, I never noticed that. I thought you could move -> move -> quick action (move). That makes the "zergling rush" even worse!

Quote from: "Nihilistiskism"
In other words: You basically answered your question...the question. If it is cost-effective and accessible, then it is "worth" it. Otherwise, it isn't.


Problem is, it is very very difficult to make a zergling rush cost-effective. I'm not saying it's impossible, it's just difficult.

For example, if your Fox rush kills the mana crystal, you still have a Fox running around. That Fox can continue to attack units, Hinder larger creatures etc, and pay for itself several times over. That would be highly cost effective.

However, just killing a mana crystal and losing your Fox is not cost effective.

the_iron_troll

  • New Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 10:56:25 AM »
I agree, piousflea. I'm not going to be trying to kill my opponent's Crystals very often.

I think the main reason that mana denial through attacking Crystals and Flowers is not that effective is that it's only 1 extra mana/turn, compared to Mages' innate 10 mana/turn. If you really depended on your Crystals/Flowers for your economy, and thus there was a large payoff for the "zergling rush" of crippling your opponent's economy, then the strategy might be risky but potentially profitable - but as things stand, it seems that your resources will usually be better used in other ways.

fas723

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 276
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 12:52:26 PM »
As always; what is best for the moment is what you should do. If there is a ungarded cristal in front of you why not attack it?

I don't dissagree with the Fox example, but even if you can't kill the cristal in 6 turns is it worthless not going after it then? I mean every turn it is still in play its a gain for your opponent. If you can kill it turn 10 its much better than to leave it.

Nihilistiskism

  • Master Debater
  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 02:11:49 AM »
Quote from: "fas723" post=2168
As always; what is best for the moment is what you should do. If there is a ungarded cristal in front of you why not attack it?

I don't dissagree with the Fox example, but even if you can't kill the cristal in 6 turns is it worthless not going after it then? I mean every turn it is still in play its a gain for your opponent. If you can kill it turn 10 its much better than to leave it.


This is one of those issues where there will be two sides to the fence, and neither side right or wrong.

Side A: If you can't destroy a resource-production element within the timeframe by which the cost of playing that element is recouped in the resources gained, it isn't worth it to try and destroy it at all.

Side B: Any time you can eliminate a resource-production element, regardless of the timeframes involved, it is a good idea.

It's a...philosophical question; not a logical question.

-nihil
Take a shower, don't talk like a junior high dropout, and stop being such a fatty.

Shad0w

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 08:26:36 AM »
Quote from: "Nihilistiskism" post=2330
Quote from: "fas723" post=2168
As always; what is best for the moment is what you should do. If there is a ungarded cristal in front of you why not attack it?

I don't dissagree with the Fox example, but even if you can't kill the cristal in 6 turns is it worthless not going after it then? I mean every turn it is still in play its a gain for your opponent. If you can kill it turn 10 its much better than to leave it.


This is one of those issues where there will be two sides to the fence, and neither side right or wrong.

Side A: If you can't destroy a resource-production element within the timeframe by which the cost of playing that element is recouped in the resources gained, it isn't worth it to try and destroy it at all.

Side B: Any time you can eliminate a resource-production element, regardless of the timeframes involved, it is a good idea.

It's a...philosophical question; not a logical question.

-nihil


I would say this is a matter of action efficiency. How much personally does a player think each full action and quick action is worth. If you think that a quick action is worth about 3 mana then that would be equal to 3 rounds of mana gain per quick attack used to destroy it. When you consider that the fastest games of MW are about 6-9 rounds and long games are 15-20 rounds. You then need to consider how quickly your build can kill. If you can not kill till rounds 15+ then it may worth destroying the extra mana gen, but If your build can kill in 6-9 rounds I would say it is not worth wasting the extra time on the mana gen items.
"Darth come prove to meet you are worthy of the fighting for your school in the arena and not just another scholar to be discarded like an worn out rag doll"


Quote: Shad0w the Arcmage

kfzkjunru

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 0
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 09:37:46 PM »
I've noticed that attacking mana producers early is a waste but many times devoting a small creature to attacking them during the mid game can be useful. If your opponent has a few big creatures he has to either devote a large creature to defending or have them die after a few turns of attacking. The starting turns are far too important for setting up your board presence to worry about destroying them.

rapsodi

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 04:28:51 PM »
The point in figuring out if it's worth you time to attack the mana crystal, isn't how much it already have produced, but how much it's going to produce.

So if it's going to produce more, than it cost you to kill it, then it's worth the cost to kill it.

alexandermpa

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 08:37:40 PM »
I have used harassment creatures to target the enemy wizards mana crystals and his spawnpoint while playing with the priestess.  He was using a lot of evasion tactics like teleport to keep me from attacking him so I just sat back and took out his support conjurations.  It was efficient in that situation because it allowed to keep affecting the board after he used up his mana teleporting out of range.

residualshade

  • Jr. Mage
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Harassing the Mana Crystal - Why?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 08:49:34 PM »
i usually have my creatures take paths to their targets that let them take swats at the crystals/mana flowers on there way to them. while you dont want to dedicate too much to the venture. dont underestimate the value of dropping your opponents channel.