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Author Topic: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...  (Read 3481 times)

Nihilistiskism

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Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« on: October 22, 2012, 06:17:06 AM »
?

While playing through this game, I can honestly say that there is really only one thing that I have found in the rules, makeup, gameplay, and design about which I am kind of ambivalent; the rules re: ranged attacks.

Currently, a figure can make a ranged attack regardless of other figures in its square on the board. To me, this has been the only counter-intuitive aspect of the rules. In most other games that I have played, when your creature is "engaged" or "based" or (insert your preferred term), it cannot implement ranged combat actions. From a thematic standpoint it simply makes sense, in my opinion, that a Royal Archer with a Darkfene Hydra staring it down, standing right next to it, probably wouldn't be whipping out his bow to shoot at a different enemy 2 squares away. No, he'd probably be whipping out his knife to try and fend off the Hydra.

Now, don't get me wrong, please; this is part of the design of Mage Wars, and I very much like the design of Mage Wars. Given the size of the board it would simply be too easy to stop dangerous ranged attacks if all you needed to do was drop a creature into the square with the ranged combat attacker, effectively nullifying that threat at little hindrance to your own strategy (presuming a spellbook containing even a smattering of creatures, which most presumably do). So my ambivalence isn't directed at the design, as I fully understand said design, but more at the destruction of theme, which I feel is very rich and fluid in this game. Basically, every time I face down opposing ranged creatures I am "jolted" out of the realism of the game by remembering that you can't "tie them up" by putting creatures in their faces.

So, what's your least favorite aspect of Mage Wars?

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Arcanus

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 01:18:46 PM »
Hello Nihil!

I just had to answer this post because it is a favorite subject of mine, and I am full agreement with you!   :)

Mage Wars has been designed to play as realistically and intuitively as possible, so it feels real, and everything has rich flavor and color. It has been a struggle to achieve that while also making the game simple, easy, and not too complex.

For the longest time we had an "Archer Suppression" system.  It took various forms over the years, and at some point each of these rules below was in effect:
An Archer cannot make its ranged attack if:
[ul]
  [li]an enemy active creature is in its zone.[/li]
  [li]if it receives a melee attack prior to its activation[/li]
  [li]if there is a guard in its zone[/li]
  [li]if there is a threat in its zone (at one time we had both guards and threats)[/li]
[/ul]

In the end, after much debate and discussion, we decided to pull out the archer suppression rules in order to simplify the game and make it easier and more approachable.

Some interesting design history; Along with with archer suppression, we pulled out a few other rules, such as Melee engagement.  Creatures could engage each other in melee and tie each other up.  That was fun and interesting, lots of great tactics.  But it also greatly increased game time and complexity. In the end we pulled it out and later added in the "hindering" system which helps simulate to some degree the effect of "disengaging from melee".

We also removed LoF (line of fire).  I fought tooth and nail for that one!  Walls might block LoF, but not LoS (for example a Wall of clear Ice).  That allows for some interesting tactics like casting a Sleep spell on an Archer on the other side of a Wall of Ice.  He cannot hit you with his bow, but you can cast a spell on him.

We used to have 2 types of Defenses (Dodge and Block), and they work differently against 2 types of attacks - wide area, and heavy. Dodges work great against heavy attacks, like a giant's club, but can't get away from a wide area flame blast.  Block defenses like a large shield work great to cover up from a wide area flame blast, but don't help avoid a giant's hammer.

We wanted Mage Wars to be approachable and simple, without overwhelming new players.  I feel like we struck a good balance.

However, there is opportunity to include new rules later.  For example, we were careful in what walls we chose for the first set, so that we have opportunity to introduce LoF later if we want.  We can also add a rule for archer suppression.  Our thought is to build the player base and then add to the game a little bit at a time, with new mechanics and rules.

We're always open to your suggestions too!

Nihilistiskism

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 03:22:05 PM »
Always neat to hear insights into the design process.

I don't think I'm advocating a change to the rules; as they are currently written the game is very fluid and realistic. I'm only ambivalent about the ranged attack thing because it is unrealistic to me. I understand completely why it exists as it does, and I think the correct decision in removing archer suppression altogether was made.

A word of caution: Be careful. Adding a new mechanic here or there can be exciting...but history has shown that it also very easily has the power to destroy games, as well.

-nihil
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Arcanus

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 10:05:29 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  We will be careful!

Mathias

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 06:43:06 PM »
Archer Suppression quite appeals to me.

I was playing a Priestess once and had 2 Archers in play and an equip-bow.
Some Hawk-Eye and Temple of ... (the +1 attack-temple).
It was so powerful that my opponents summons where killed once they entered the field.

I'm in favor for a rule that will hinder archers using ranged when enemies are present in their zone and there is nog guard to protect the archer.
Or some dice penalty.

pixelgeek

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 08:56:15 PM »
Oddly this hasn't cropped up in our games yet but if it did I would just assume that the issue is the size of the zones and that a creature can move away from an opponent to shoot a bow.
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charlesatan

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2012, 08:00:44 PM »
Quote from: "pixelgeek" post=5669
Oddly this hasn't cropped up in our games yet but if it did I would just assume that the issue is the size of the zones and that a creature can move away from an opponent to shoot a bow.


Most Ranged Attacks tend to be Full Round Action, so they won't be able to fire in the same round they move away.

Alternatively, you can give all Ranged Attackers Slow, so that it's even harder for them to escape melee and attack (which is the case with the Gorgon Archer).

pixelgeek

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2012, 08:54:01 PM »
Quote from: "charlesatan" post=5707
Quote from: "pixelgeek" post=5669
Oddly this hasn't cropped up in our games yet but if it did I would just assume that the issue is the size of the zones and that a creature can move away from an opponent to shoot a bow.


Most Ranged Attacks tend to be Full Round Action, so they won't be able to fire in the same round they move away.


I didn't mean an actual move but was suggesting a rationalization for the ability of them to fire while an enemy is in the zone
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Kaljamaha

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Re: Your LEAST favorite aspect of Mage Wars is...
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2012, 08:50:33 AM »
A simple way to handle this would be for Guarding to force all enemy creatures in the same zone, if they wish to attack (while in that zone), to use their melee attack against the guarding creature.