Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Strategy and Tactics => Topic started by: ShamanX on September 20, 2012, 03:31:43 pm

Title: Opening moves
Post by: ShamanX on September 20, 2012, 03:31:43 pm
Just got my copy. While I'm digesting rules and looking for players to teach / play with, I thought I'd ask what people are doing with their first 3-5 rounds.

I understand that everything is situational to a degree, and even opening moves can be circumscribed by an aggressive opponent. But what are you aiming for with your first moves in different situations? Equipment? Creatures? When are you looking to get a spawn point in play? What's working and what's not?

Would love to hear some people's experiences with their first few rounds... successful or otherwise!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: theduke850 on September 20, 2012, 03:53:11 pm
while I don't have the game yet, I was thinking it would be somewhat like chess. I'll have a repertoire of opening plays and adjust to the opponent as soon as I get a feel of what they are planning. Or, if they seem to be tailoring their game to me, I'll try to use that as well.

incidentally, I was also thinking that area control will also be an important factor in this game, as it is in chess. I'll have to actually get some games played to understand that better.

p.s., I am in no way any good at all at chess, I just know the basics.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: goofy on September 20, 2012, 11:47:59 pm
I like mana siphon on the frost turn.  :evil:
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: paradox22 on September 21, 2012, 02:42:59 am
My opening moves are usually designed to increase mana channeling.  Mana crystals/flowers, moon amulet, spawnzones, or harmonize.  The sooner you get these out the more efficient they become because they have more time to do what they do...generate mana.  

I will then try to get out a large to mid range creature to deal with whatever my opponent summons.  This provides interference while you continue to summon utility cards you'll need.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: ShamanX on September 21, 2012, 08:49:06 am
I read a post here recently about mana efficient spells (persistent) vs. non efficient. I can see that being an important consideration throughout the game. Are you playing a Wizard? Or, are these helpful for the early game with any mage?

I'm curious about about spawn points... Do they become a priority target for your opponent the moment they're put down? They seem like a fairly important object in the arena. Do they require some preliminary protection or are they better to get out right away?
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Klaxas on September 21, 2012, 01:30:28 pm
if i am playing a spawn point (as i frequently do) i try to play it very soon, with maybe a harmonize on it.  its not just the extra mana that makes me use the spawnpoints, its the extra action you get to cast spells.

as for will they become a target.  i think that largely depends on who you are playing against and what spawnpoint you lay out.  most people ignore battle forges i think, by the time you can kill them they have mostly done thier job.  however a beastmaster lair usually becomes a target, as does the gate to voltari.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: piousflea on September 21, 2012, 08:00:54 pm
I feel like it's never "wrong" to start with your basic Spawnpoint (Lair, Gate to Voltari, etc.). Almost every build will spend 15 or more mana on creatures over the course of a game, and the Spawnpoint will almost always generate 15 or more mana over the course of a game, so it is never a "bad move". Also, putting your spawnpoint on your starting square puts it as far "back" as possible, so it is more difficult to attack.

That said, there are definitely very low-creature or creatureless builds that won't really benefit from a Spawnpoint. In that case I'd go mana crystal first.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: paradox22 on September 22, 2012, 07:24:59 pm
Quote
That said, there are definitely very low-creature or creatureless builds that won't really benefit from a Spawnpoint. In that case I'd go mana crystal first.


I generally go with 1 or 2 mana crystals as my opeing move... but I'm still pretty inexpirenced.  Still, I think it's a pretty generic opening move you cant really go wrong with.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Klaxas on September 23, 2012, 01:13:37 am
Quote from: "piousflea" post=1315
I feel like it's never "wrong" to start with your basic Spawnpoint (Lair, Gate to Voltari, etc.). Almost every build will spend 15 or more mana on creatures over the course of a game, and the Spawnpoint will almost always generate 15 or more mana over the course of a game, so it is never a "bad move". Also, putting your spawnpoint on your starting square puts it as far "back" as possible, so it is more difficult to attack.

That said, there are definitely very low-creature or creatureless builds that won't really benefit from a Spawnpoint. In that case I'd go mana crystal first.


not all spawnpoints spawn creatures.  the battle forge is also a spawnpoint.  i have used a creatureless wizard build with 2 battle forges that worked pretty well.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Qixter on September 23, 2012, 09:44:54 pm
I like building my mana base early, but if I am using creatures heavily, I like to use my full action as much as possible to summon creatures each turn. I usually lay out my spell book for my first three or four turns as I love the consistency you can have with this game in preparing your board. Having  a  plan and foundation early really helps the middle and late game. It's also fun to throw out a
small flyer or fast creature early to start disrupting the other mages plans and if you can incorporate this into your opening moves its great to see spells from the other Mage wasted on things that are not important to your overall strategy.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: ShamanX on September 24, 2012, 09:13:49 am
"It's also fun to throw out a
small flyer or fast creature early to start disrupting the other mages plans and if you can incorporate this into your opening moves its great to see spells from the other Mage wasted on things that are not important to your overall strategy."

Blue Gremlins!
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Dapuma on September 28, 2012, 11:27:28 pm
If I am a Wizard, is there any reason not to summon my familiar first turn to get him generating mana?  Is it better to get the Voltari out first, I reasoned the position of the spawn point would not be that important because you can teleport with a mage wand, mainly want to protect it to get extra actions and and extra mana

Is the necklace for 1 channeling worth it or does equipment get nuked too fast the first few rounds of battle to really matter?
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Klaxas on September 29, 2012, 01:55:59 am
i do not usually use the familiar myself.  personal preference.  he does generate more mana if you summon him sooner though.

as for the 1 channeling equipment it useually survives.  most people only put 2 or 3 disolves in a deck, and they save it for nasty stuff.  lash of hellfire, or a mage wand with heal, or an elemental wand with an attack spell.  things like the increased mana generaly get ignored.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: paradox22 on September 29, 2012, 01:58:09 am
Quote
as for the 1 channeling equipment it useually survives. most people only put 2 or 3 disolves in a deck, and they save it for nasty stuff. lash of hellfire, or a mage wand with heal, or an elemental wand with an attack spell. things like the increased mana generaly get ignored


Agreed...  This has been my expirence as well.  Can't focus on the moonstone when the warlock has that damn helmet out or a heal wand.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Dapuma on September 29, 2012, 05:19:50 am
With such powerful equipment out there, how come there is not 6 copies of anti equipment stuff in each deck

Is it becaue there are not enough cards per core set and mage tome to run 6 of everything there?

Kind of like 3rd edt Magic - everyone ran 4 copies of Disenchant because there were so many enchantments or artifcacts, you pretty much had to
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: the_iron_troll on September 30, 2012, 10:32:43 pm
Dapuma, the thing about Mage Wars is that you have limited resources. If you play two pieces of equipment, and your opponent Dissolves both of them... I don't know about you, but I would probably stop playing equipment at that point, and run out my Enchantments or more creatures. And then your other 4 Dissolves sit in your spellbook just taking up space, and (unless you're a Water Wizard) costing you 8 spell points.

Additionally, if you DO end up playing the guy who plays 7 different pieces of equipment, you can put a Dissolve on a Mage Wand, protect your wand with some Reverse Magic or Nullify, and go to town on the guy.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Klaxas on September 30, 2012, 10:53:40 pm
very true i have done that before.  of course if i am playing a deck that revoles around equipment, i dont want it destroyed so i will be heavy on the nullify and reverse magic myself.  nothing more satifying than someone putting disolve in a mage wand and then casting only to find out you have reverse magic to desytroy his mage wand lol
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: ShamanX on October 04, 2012, 04:52:26 pm
Would love to hear more about this as I am about to play a Wizard for the first time vs. a Priestess. I was wondering how a creatureless build would work. I've noticed some cards (e.g. Mordok's Obelisk) that would seem to favor it.

Please elaborate... :)
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: piousflea on October 04, 2012, 09:57:01 pm
Quote from: "the_iron_troll" post=1588
Dapuma, the thing about Mage Wars is that you have limited resources. If you play two pieces of equipment, and your opponent Dissolves both of them... I don't know about you, but I would probably stop playing equipment at that point, and run out my Enchantments or more creatures. And then your other 4 Dissolves sit in your spellbook just taking up space, and (unless you're a Water Wizard) costing you 8 spell points.

Additionally, if you DO end up playing the guy who plays 7 different pieces of equipment, you can put a Dissolve on a Mage Wand, protect your wand with some Reverse Magic or Nullify, and go to town on the guy.


I agree with this. A lot of builds are not very equipment-heavy and after eating a few Dissolves you stop playing equipment. On the other hand, Equipment-dependent builds WILL contain a bunch of reflects and nullifies. If you show your Dissolves early it is likely you'll eventually eat some bad Reflects. In either case, unless you're a Water Mage or you really really hate equipment, stacking Dissolves isn't an amazing idea. (although it is by no means a terrible idea)
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Jon.Ambriz on October 07, 2012, 02:08:18 am
Well my opening move is to usually play some mana generating spell from the start coupled with an equipment or Harmonize turn one. Then I'll play my spawn point and another Harmonize on it round two. Just like everyone else, the sooner I can get to spawning creatures for not a whole lot, the more mana overall I'll be able to have in the long run.

Also, Dapuma, I generally have a rule of thumb to only have 2 Dissolves in my book since that covers my bases for equipment. I can take out the two most annoying pieces of equipment that my opponent has on and then focus him down with reflects, reverse attacks/magick, and blocks.

Though I am interested in hearing about the spellbook load out for a Water Wizard, considering that I think only Dissolve and Geyser are the only Water School spells in the current game.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Scarob on October 07, 2012, 08:50:13 am
Now that i have the game ^^ - with only two games, one being a go through of the walkthrough in the rulebook (Me as eastmaster) - and another where we made our own spellbooks (Me as wizard vs Warlock)- i found that starting with mana gen works best as it took over 9 turns for my opponent to take out even just two Mana Crystals XD - sooo much mana lol

I've found that having two of the majority of spells works well. I'm interested in seeing how well the other mages work out, and may be changing my mind to which I thought I'd prefer XD, which was the Wizard - leaning towards the Beastmaster hehehe
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Jon.Ambriz on October 07, 2012, 12:38:21 pm
Quote from: "Scarob" post=1836
Now that i have the game ^^ - with only two games, one being a go through of the walkthrough in the rulebook (Me as eastmaster) - and another where we made our own spellbooks (Me as wizard vs Warlock)- i found that starting with mana gen works best as it took over 9 turns for my opponent to take out even just two Mana Crystals XD - sooo much mana lol

I've found that having two of the majority of spells works well. I'm interested in seeing how well the other mages work out, and may be changing my mind to which I thought I'd prefer XD, which was the Wizard - leaning towards the Beastmaster hehehe

Beastmaster is slightly more annoying than the other three mages, since he can quick cast all his level 1 creatures :pinch: But, that's when I throw out my "prison"- three/four Wall of Fire with a Poison Gas Cloud, Idol of Pestilence, and Mordok's Obelisk in the zone. Time to watch all those critters die bwhahahaha!
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Nata on October 07, 2012, 01:21:21 pm
Quote from: "goofy" post=1296
I like mana siphon on the frost turn.  :evil:


Ive expanded a bit on this. This will be my opening in case my opponent gets the initiative.
This works if the opponent moves 0-1 steps.
1st turn:
Move 2 steps. Cast Mana Siphon. Save rest of mana for 2nd turn.
2nd turn
In case opponent moved once: Force push to corner.
Stone Wall him in.
3rd turn.
2 teleport traps on the sides of his "cage" unless he's done something clever.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Jon.Ambriz on October 07, 2012, 02:43:56 pm
Quote from: "Karnivor" post=1845
Quote from: "goofy" post=1296
I like mana siphon on the frost turn.  :evil:


Ive expanded a bit on this. This will be my opening in case my opponent gets the initiative.
This works if the opponent moves 0-1 steps.
1st turn:
Move 2 steps. Cast Mana Siphon. Save rest of mana for 2nd turn.
2nd turn
In case opponent moved once: Force push to corner.
Stone Wall him in.
3rd turn.
2 teleport traps on the sides of his "cage" unless he's done something clever.

On the full board, that would be a little hard to pull off, since the full board is 4x3. But, that combo is pretty great to do.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Nata on October 07, 2012, 05:23:46 pm
Quote from: "Jon.Ambriz" post=1847
Quote from: "Karnivor" post=1845
Quote from: "goofy" post=1296
I like mana siphon on the frost turn.  :evil:


Ive expanded a bit on this. This will be my opening in case my opponent gets the initiative.
This works if the opponent moves 0-1 steps.
1st turn:
Move 2 steps. Cast Mana Siphon. Save rest of mana for 2nd turn.
2nd turn
In case opponent moved once: Force push to corner.
Stone Wall him in.
3rd turn.
2 teleport traps on the sides of his "cage" unless he's done something clever.

On the full board, that would be a little hard to pull off, since the full board is 4x3. But, that combo is pretty great to do.


No, it works on the full board unless I missed something. You start 5 moves apart, you move 2, cast Mana Siphon one space ahead and it has range 2. Next turn you move 1 and cast 2 quickspells.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Jon.Ambriz on October 07, 2012, 11:43:13 pm
Yeah, you are right, that could be done as early as the starting round, provided you still have line of sight, and you don't mind taking a huge hit to your mana supply. Knocking off Channeling at that early of a round is ridiculously aggressive, and if you can get if off, then a ton of kudos to you.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Nata on October 08, 2012, 07:21:36 pm
I cant :( Missed the bit about having to pay for the lvl of the wall when you extend. Going to try with Wall of Thorns instead.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: PBKWMatt on October 08, 2012, 08:21:06 pm
I like a battleforge (cheap overall cost) and then a mage buff of some type.  I like Cheetah Speed or Fly.  

Battleforge early almost always is cost effective as it regularly contributes.  Wand, cheap armor, great armor, staff/lash.  Etc.  

A creature works well too.  Something fast or something that flies.  Or, better yet, a fast flyer.  Thunderift Falcon comes to mind.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Jon.Ambriz on October 13, 2012, 06:07:21 pm
Quote from: "Karnivor" post=1942
I cant :( Missed the bit about having to pay for the lvl of the wall when you extend. Going to try with Wall of Thorns instead.

You don't have to pay the level for the wall when you extend; you have to pay the full mana cost for the wall. So having multiple walls is a good thing if you have the mana to burn
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: theduke850 on October 13, 2012, 07:18:27 pm
"when you cast a wall, you may immediately take a second identical wall spell card out of your spellbook (if you have one) and cast it at the same time. you must pay the full mana cost of both spells, plus mana equal to the spell's level."

Direct quote from the rule book pg. 21
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: piousflea on October 13, 2012, 10:15:38 pm
My first move is typically extremely boring - Mana Crystal + Harmonize (on wizard). Then again, my entire style is to go for long games and not try to win quickly. A beatdown deck would probably use the first turn to get a spawnpoint or battleforge up, and then start moving toward the opponent.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Scarob on October 14, 2012, 02:07:07 pm
Quote from: "ghbell" post=1943
I like a battleforge (cheap overall cost) and then a mage buff of some type.  I like Cheetah Speed or Fly.


Ermm mage buff of some type...like fly??? .....Eagle Wings....no you cant - it can only target Non-mage Living Creatures....otherwise a flying mage would be a little OP....

also

Quote from: "theduke850" post=2134
"when you cast a wall, you may immediately take a second identical wall spell card out of your spellbook (if you have one) and cast it at the same time. you must pay the full mana cost of both spells, plus mana equal to the spell's level."

Direct quote from the rule book pg. 21


the rulebook uses a wizard casting a level 2 wall with a mana cost of 7. you then can take out a second copy of the same type of wall, pay an additional 7 and the level of the new card - for a total of 16 (manna cost + mana cost + level) - so yes Duke is correct


as for my opening moves i prefer mana gen - followed by equipment - Armoured Wizard for me so far has worked nicely ^^ especially with Mage Wand and Force Push, and Elemental Wand and Jet Stream - one to two pushes and 2 dice attack - push into wall so at the most you can double push, causing 5 dice of damage and a daze ^^ only for 7 mana hehehe
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: fas723 on October 15, 2012, 08:03:23 am
My next opening move:

Wizzard:
Turn 1: Move 1 step to the right. Cast lightning ring + Hawkeye.
Turn 2: Move 1 step to the right. Cast elemental wand and bind Thunder bolt + Shoot.

That is 21 mana out of 30, and you have made an attack of 8 dice with high stun chance.
Now you have a thunder bolt (3 in range) for 10 mana each round and 10 in channeling. 9 mana as leftovers which you can cast cheata speed to avoid his creatures and walls with LOS issues, but still be able to shoot.

He won't live more than 4 turnes. If he does; start your next tactic.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: SeanDeCoy on October 16, 2012, 10:57:15 am
I spend almost no time setting up. My first turn I cast the biggest creature I can, while still saving enough mana to put a nullify on them.

If I'm doing a weenie rush then I'm just summoning something like a Bitterwood Fox and a Mana Flower every turn while moving towards the enemy.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: the_iron_troll on October 20, 2012, 04:25:22 pm
A note, fas723: if you want to hit someone with a Thunderbolt on Turn 2, you won't be able to move on that round, because it's a Full Round action. So you won't be able to hit your opponent if they stay in their starting square.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: fas723 on October 20, 2012, 05:45:37 pm
Quote from: "the_iron_troll" post=2394
A note, fas723: if you want to hit someone with a Thunderbolt on Turn 2, you won't be able to move on that round, because it's a Full Round action. So you won't be able to hit your opponent if they stay in their starting square.


Not if it is in the wand.  :P
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Hedge on October 20, 2012, 05:55:05 pm
it is still a full action to cast, even when on the wand. moving uses part of your full action.


Hedge
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: fas723 on October 23, 2012, 10:22:06 am
Shit, my bad. I thought the Wand made the spell quick. Have read it wrong since the beginning. :ohmy:
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: bormBroodewer on November 07, 2012, 09:01:39 am
there are some great tactics here...

My favorite opener? I like to sprint to Center and quickcast an engine(crystal;flower) or a spawnpoint. I have this need to control center-board at all costs. Even if I TURTLE, I do it in the (2) center squares. This is mainly to support my Teleport Contingency plan(s), because a Corner Stronghold really hurts your Teleport options.

Often, the threat of full rush-down is enough to disrupt the opponents gameplan. So just getting to Center first allows me to dictate pace without even committing (feint rush).
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Talamare on November 11, 2012, 12:17:41 am
I am a cute little turtle wizard, in my side of the board, turtling with my increase channel, lightning bolting things that get close, and thunderbolting ones that are afraid to come near

Also I stack a bunch of ranged on the same spot and cast sacred ground
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: wash17 on November 15, 2012, 11:51:06 am
A fun way to open as beast master is to summon your fairy familiar, and harmonize her from the get go. She can now place an enchantment a turn at no cost to the mage. I find this build also works well with allot of decoy spells: If you don't to cast anything of importance that turn, throw out a decoy. Your mage now effectively has +2 mana when it is destroyed, or when you want to reveal it for the boost. If you put a bunch of decoy in your spell book, this can also act as a +2 channel a turn for 6 turns-not efficient, but there if it turns out you need the extra juice. The beast master may now also concentrate on summoning and other set up, while your fairy buffs your starting rush.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Haema on November 15, 2012, 01:37:29 pm
Playing as a curse enchantment heavy Warlock:

Open with Morloch's Torment and Ring of Curses and move one space towards middle column.
14 Mana left (19-5)

Turn two, move two spaces up the middle column and set Ghoul Rot
21 Mana left (23-2)

Turn three, activate Ghoul Rot before Upkeep, pay for Morloch's Torment for 3 damage (and repeat every turn). Then set and activate Magebane and set Nullify on opponent mage.
16 Mana left (28-5-1-4-2)

After that, during the next two turns (with a total mana of 34), put out Idol of Pestilence and try to put on a burn with Fireball (or by Exploding opponent equipment), and bring out Malacoda. Then again, can't plan that far ahead and need to react to whatever opponent is doing.
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 15, 2012, 05:06:32 pm
Quote from: "Haema" post=3621
Playing as a curse enchantment heavy Warlock:

Open with Morloch's Torment and Ring of Curses and move one space towards middle column.
14 Mana left (19-5)

Turn two, move two spaces up the middle column and set Ghoul Rot
21 Mana left (23-2)

Turn three, activate Ghoul Rot before Upkeep, pay for Morloch's Torment for 3 damage (and repeat every turn). Then set and activate Magebane and set Nullify on opponent mage.
16 Mana left (28-5-1-4-2)

After that, during the next two turns (with a total mana of 34), put out Idol of Pestilence and try to put on a burn with Fireball (or by Exploding opponent equipment), and bring out Malacoda. Then again, can't plan that far ahead and need to react to whatever opponent is doing.


It seems like a lot of dedication to a strategy that is easily disrupted and/or stopped dead.

Example: I see you coming and put a wall between us. Now you can't see to curse me or throw a fireball at me.

Example: I see you coming and put a nullify or reverse magic on myself. Now you have to throw your timing off to seeking dispel my enchantments that could bite you hard in the ass should you choose to ignore them.

Secondarily: You are rushing the board without any thought to defensive measures. Against the Priestess, for example, she could 1st turn drop Brogan and Bear's Strength to severely harm your Warlock if he comes in for what is, in reality, very small ping damage.

A very good discussion was held in another thread about the overall weakness that Curse play suffers. Curses are easily dispelled, don't do very much harm if ignored, and detract from defense and more effective offense.

-nihil
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: werner on November 20, 2012, 12:23:33 pm
I've become fond of the "Sneaky Cheetah:"

Turn 1: Sprint to Near_Center; quickcast facedown_CheetahSpeed
Turn 2: (reveal CheetahSpeed); Sprint to Opponent; Melee plus LightningBolt
Title: Re: Opening moves
Post by: Mike1977 on November 27, 2012, 04:25:30 pm
I made two small videos for anyone interested.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/video/23423/mage-wars/mage-wars-opening-strategies-divine-interventi
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/video/23430/mage-wars/mage-wars-opening-strategies-valshalla-lightni