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Author Topic: Mobility, an in depth look  (Read 2910 times)

The Dude

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Mobility, an in depth look
« on: March 27, 2013, 11:12:38 PM »
There is only one way to gain tempo advantage in Mage Wars, and that is through forcing your opponent to react. A good way to gauge if you have tempo advantage is to see what spells the opponent is playing. If they are spending both their mageís actions on dissolve/heal/ face down enchants on themselves, go on the attack! It is the only way to win.

   But what is the best way to attack? Well, there is two true ways that I have found that have worked, and that is to damage and to choke. An efficient mage is doing both of these things at once in an effort to bottleneck enemy movement into a force that they cannot avoid. You can do 3 different things to bottleneck:

1.   Walls
2.   Creatures (preferably bigger)
3.   Traps

Letís look at an example:

   The warlord has just spent his actions dispelling the wizardís hawkeye and throwing a fireball in an attempt to force a retreat from the wizard. The warlock is in the upper left corner and the wizard is in the zone next to him. The wizard has both of his actions remaining. He uses the quickcast to cast a stone wall directly underneath the warlock, and then casts thunderbolt, stunning the Warlock, dealing six damage, and trapping him. While this is a simple example, it shows the power of choking out an opponent. If the mage does not have a free range of movement, that mage cannot efficiently attack without some consequence. This brings us to out topic of the day: Mobility.

   Now, you may be thinking: ďWhat the hell does mobility have to do with tempo?Ē And the answer is that to most efficiently use the spells you need to win, you must be able to use them in the zone that will get the most use and be able to to move that zone in the least amount of actions possible. This may seems like an obvious concept, bet itís nuanced application is not so obvious. I have lost many games simply because I could not get to where I needed to go when I needed to get there.  But, we will talk about about what you can do to mobilize you and your creatures in a moment.  What we will talk about now is how to stop the opponent from moving. If they cannot move, it will be nigh impossible for them to gain tempo, much less tempo advantage.

   The best way to do this is by stunning your opponent. This not only completely stops movement, but it also makes them lose all of their actions for a round. This gives you a full round to gain tempo advantage and is useful in aggressive,  mid-range, and control strategies.  For aggressive players, stun your opponent the round before you are going to deal the most damage as this dictates the moment you gain the tempo advantage. For midrange strategies, stun the opponent the round before you are going to move and attack with your biggest creatures and strongest spells. For control strategies, you want to stun your opponent as often as possible in order to build without consequence. Of course, you always want to stun your opponent AFTER they have acted for the turn. This provides the most efficiency for the mana you have used on the spell.

   Another effective way to stop enemy movement, and one that occurs the most frequently is the hindrance keyword . Hindering enemy movement can set you up for massive turns, but there is, in fact, a most efficient way to hinder. You want your opponent to have to choose between a rock and a hard place: either stay and fight a difficult threat, or move and fight a potentially more difficult threat. For this reason, hindering is most effective in aggressive and midrange strategy. With aggressive strategies, you want to be able to lead them (through hindrance) into a bigger creature pack, or damage mass, than before. For midrange strategies, hindering them into traps is an awesome idea, as it will oft act as a wall to the opponent, as most of them do not want to waste a seeking dispel on it, nor do they want to trigger itís potentially harmful effect.

   The final way of slowing and stopping movement actually has two parts: enchantments, such as turn to stone and force hold, and walls. They are grouped this way because they are most effective in a control and midrange build. You can use these to stop movement, and allow you to build that engine that allows you to win the game. Using walls later as you start to gain the tempo edge will help you dominate the board, as well as using turn to stone and force hold to stop opposing midrange strategies from using big creatures while they, too, build.

   Often I use creatures as sort of walls for my opponents.  This the main use for huge fatties such as the hydra or the Earth Elemental. They are terrible for movement, but your opponent cannot rest in that zone any longer without much risk.  Strategic placement of creatures to use as walls can be just as effective as the walls themselves.

   But how can you maximize mobility for yourself and your creatures? Keywords.  Flying, elusive, pest, fast. These are all great abilities that will allow you to move your creatures with as little trouble as possible. And for your mage? Teleport and elusive with fast will make your mage as slippery as a mongoose.  Yes, that is a perfect scenario, but in it contains a point: any one of those are great abilities to give your mage. On a quick side note: most enemies will not use purge magic. It simply costs too much. Unless they are the wizard, of course. But to be certain, I usually beef up two creatures with a bunch of enchantments that will bait the mage into purging them. This may seem like a tempo loss, but removing that threat from their spellbook will allow you to beef your mage without consequence. This concept of baiting is still in itís premature stages, but once I learn more, I will share. But, I digress. Destroy enemy walls. It is worth the mana spent to make them lose what could hinder you later in the game.  Set a path through the arena and keep that path clear. IT doesnít have to be the entire board, but it should lead from one side of the board to another, going through the middle. This  will help in mobility for yourself and your creatures.
   
        We have covers two incredible topics: Mobility and tempo. Next time I will cover the final piece to this puzzleÖ.
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sIKE

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Re: Mobility, an in depth look
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 12:45:34 AM »
Great write up! Curses are an effective way of getting a mage to cast a Purge Magic also, put a Agony and a Chains of Agony (and all for a measly 8 Mana) and that Mongoose Agility or Cheetah Speed may never even make as a Hidden Cast. It has frozen my choices for buffing my Mage with Enchantments more times than I care to think about. I then either have to purge all Enchantments (even my own) or live with the Curses. This has been very effective at hindering my movement and the opposing magic gain the movement advantage that you speak of hear.
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Re: Mobility, an in depth look
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 03:55:57 AM »
I'm really liking these strategy articles, very much my kind of thing and the way I like to look at games like this as well.

In my opinion, timing and positioning are as important as all the things you list above. For that reason I think push (and I count all the push, pull, shove etc effects in here) are a really strong tactic in the 'to and fro' of battle and specifically in dictating the positions and ability to deliver your payload (more on this later) at the target. If, through judicious and timely use of a simple 3pt Push, an offensive mage can set this up for example :

0000
XY00
0000

X enemy mage
Y your mage

Then you have 'control' of 3/4 of the board with only 2 move/range and can really press your advantage.

Obvious stuff to the journeyman player and again an ideal situation perhaps but a lot of people tend to play the short term moves in games that involve movement and tactical deployment and overlook future potential and optimum deployment of resources.

I played a really good multiplayer CCG for years where delivery method (actually *getting* the dice on target) and payload (damage, curses landing etc etc) was well documented. I think this theory absolutely applies to MW as well and the advice in your articles really helps with that delivery method as being where YOU need to be and controlling the fight - in range, out of range or right up in their grill.... one of the biggest deciding factors in winning or losing a game of MW if you ask me.

The Dude

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Re: Mobility, an in depth look
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 10:40:10 AM »
PUSH! That was what I was forgetting last night! This is why I like the forcemaster so much, is because she destroys enemy mobility while making better her own, and she does that through push and pull tactics... it really is a strong (yet advanced) way to move your creatures around the board. Teleport is great, it's just, I think people rely on it to much as a get out of jail free card, which it is not at all. IF you are losing the game, teleport isn't going to do much, especially when you cast it to move two zones away and then heal. But, thank you for the great ideas!
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sdougla2

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Re: Mobility, an in depth look
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 05:06:19 PM »
If your opponent has an enormous board advantage, Teleport won't save you, I agree with you there (and I think heals are relatively weak, but that's another topic). On the other hand, Teleport allows you to escape from a poor position or force your opponent into a poor position. Maybe your opponent doesn't dominate the whole board, but they can Teleport you into the middle of the section of the board that they dominate, and get attacks in with all of their creatures. Teleport is essential for these types of situations. So while Teleport won't save you from a clearly losing position, it can save you from a weak position if you have a stronger position elsewhere.
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Re: Mobility, an in depth look
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 07:21:44 PM »
no I totally agree, I just mean as an escape card, if your opponent is playing the tempo to his advantage, it will hinder his tempo, not destroy it. IT's not an easy card to play correctly...
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Re: Mobility, an in depth look
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 12:30:16 AM »
My favorite use of Teleport is forcing my opponent to face multiple Earth Elementals/Iron Golems, particularly in a zone with a Poison Gas Cloud. Toss a Force Hold on there, and your opponent will be in trouble, especially if Huginn is pocketing the Teleport so that the Wizard can toss a couple of Hurled Boulders in their face.
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