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Topics - ringkichard

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Off topic / Opting out of Tapatalk's default sig
« on: August 13, 2016, 08:26:51 AM »
Does anyone using Tapatalk know how to turn off the automatic signature? I can turn it off for any single post, but I often forget to, and it's an annoyance to do every time. Is there a setting somewhere to disable it by default?

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Off topic / Arcane Wonders Announces partnership with PSI
« on: September 24, 2015, 03:11:54 PM »
I'm not well informed about the business side of the industry. Does AW's new distribution deal with PSI mean Mage Wars is no longer available from whichever distributor was used before (Diamond?)?

Rules Discussion / Stuck
« on: March 15, 2014, 11:09:24 PM »
The codex entry for stuck says
Quote from: Codex v. 1.0
Stuck (Condition Marker)
Creature is Restrained and Unmovable. At the end of each of its Action Phases, a Stuck creature may attempt an escape roll: on a roll of 7 or higher, remove Stuck. If this creature is Teleported, destroy all Stuck conditions on it. Stuck has no effect on Conjurations and Uncontainable objects. Stuck has a removal cost of 4.

How literally should we take the phrase, "a Stuck creature may attempt an escape roll:" Is the Stuck creature taking a free action? Can an Incapacitated creature attempt an escape?

Website Support and Feedback / Favorite Mage Profile Field manditory?
« on: December 06, 2013, 09:55:48 AM »
I don't want a favorite mage to appear on my profile. I love all my children equally, and I don't like the space it takes up to display.

When I chose the blank entry at the top of the list, it fails to remove my selection and seems to default to Warlock.

Mages / What the Warlord got right
« on: September 24, 2013, 04:15:51 PM »
The Warlord has some design flaws. The most serious seems to have been a romantic idea of how players would use his abilities: he's got Goblins forever and a barracks spawnpoint and Outposts that should encourage him to spread out and conquer territory. Only in practice, he hurriedly casts some Golems and then fights the opponent's summoned critters.

But he's also got some real strengths, so any discussion about fixing the Warlord is going to need to acknowledge that foundation as a place to build from, while also deciding what sort of mage the warlord should be, now that area control has so strongly become the Druid's specialty.

I also want to remain aware that currently we have the Bloodwave (orks) Warlord and that some improvements to the Warlords as a whole are more properly saved for the next setting expansion (German themed mountains?) A wall that extends three zones would help the Warlord achieve his control the Zone mission, but fits the dwarven stonework theme better than the Big Green Horde.

So, what's the Warlord good at?

1. Taunt (Thorg). In practice, Thorg is one of the best tactical pieces in the game. An expanded war school with more taunts would help the Warlord greatly. Warlord spellbooks often have a strategy (summon some creatures and attack) but lack real tactical options. It doesn't help that the best tactical spell in the game is Arcane: Teleport. A level 4 war command Incantation that taunted a target at range could be a good thematic equalizer.

2. Veteran markers. I've only ever gotten veteran markers on Thorg or Thorg's accomplices, but there's a lot of untapped potential there. A Promotion command that turned a bunch of creatures into Veterans could help reduce the Warlord's reliance on Iron Golems, which often feel like they were a crutch to help the Warlord get through development against the Forcemaster.

3. Helm of Gothos. A great wand in search of great spells. Warlord badly needs some higher level commands to push with this equipment. Right now it's just for casting charge on the Iron Golems. But it could be spectacular.

4. Piercing +x. Bleed is nature and poison is dark and tainted is both, but piercing should be War (Okay, and holy). Ballista and piercing strike are a start, but this idea needs to be built up

As for that future Dwarf?
Some ideas: A leutenant familiar that casts commands. A conjuration that prevents enemy creatures from entering it's zone. A Mage ability to extend walls for only their level cost. A Mage ability to allow casting conjurations diagonally as if they the diagonal zone was range 1.

P. S. I got a suspicion the other morning, and I wonder what other people think: in the current environment post Conquest but pre DvN, Channeling 10 is better for agro books than +1 melee.

Rules Discussion / Mind Control + Steal Enchantment
« on: September 16, 2013, 10:02:35 PM »
In a game between two Forcemasters, what happens when I try to cast Steal Enchantment on my opponent's face up Mind Control which is on a creature I own?

Much like my earlier Warlord book with 4 Iron Golem and lots of wands and Teleport, this book plays against type. Nearly every card is out of school, and some are opposing school. I've only played it a little bit, but it was lots of fun, so I'm sharing it now:

1 Brogan Bloodstone
2 Knight of Westlock
2 Dire Wolf

1 Armor Ward
2 Bear Strength
1 Divine Intervention
1Enchantment Transfusion
2 Force Hold
2 Mongoose Agility
1 Nullify
1 Poisoned Blood
1 Retaliate

1 Battle Forge
1 Deathlock
1 Hand of Bim-Shalla
2 Mana Crystal
1 Crown of Protection
1 Dawnbreaker Ring
2 Dragonscale Hauberk
1 Elemental Cloak
1 Gauntlets of Strength
1 Leather Boots
2 Staff of Asyra

3 Dispel
2 Dissolve
1 Force Push
1 Force Wave
1 Lay Hands
1 Purge Magic
2 Purify
2 Seeking Dispel
2 Teleport

This is an aggressive book built on the back of the Priestess's natural 10 channeling and ability to purge status effect tokens, as well as some of her Priestess Only exclusives. Her Divine Reward is almost never used, and the book plays very little healing in general.

The book has two lines of play, one for non-living targets (Wizard's Tower, Iron Golems) and one for everyone else.

Soft targets can be attacked with this opening:

1. 20 - Mana Crystal, Battleforge, advance 1 zone.
2. 18+1 - Crown of Protection, Dire Wolf, use Crown on Wolf
3. 15+1 - Leather Boots, Dire Wolf, use Crown on 2nd Wolf.

Later turns Force Push/Teleport the Wolves into combat, equip some more armor for yourself and the Wolves, and go and bleed your opponent to death.

The plan for hard targets is

1. 20 - Mana Crystal, Mana Crystal
2. 22 - Enchantment, Bogan Bloodstone
3. 14 - Staff of Asyra, Hand of Bim-Shalla

By which point your opponent should have summoned an Iron Golem, and you go and do the unthinkable by trying to murder it.

The key to this plan is that Bogan's piercing and the staff's +2 vs non-living give you a pretty good match up against Golems if you can fight them one at a time, and that your opponent's Wizard's Tower is better at repelling you than at rescuing a Teleported Iron Golem, or sending reinforcements. Retaliate is a key card here, because it's a free attack not subject to Jinx. And when you get a chance to summon a Knight, you should.

There's a lot of directions to extend this book, depending on what you want to cut. Bridge troll would absolutely love armor tokens from Crown of Protection, and the book could certainly stand to include Valshalla or Simandriel.

There's also the Enchantment Transfusion line of play to consider: Nullify + Divine Intervention + Force Hold is a pretty potent payload against a turtling Wizard or Warlord, but could use the addition of a Jinx (and a stumble if you're playing promos).

The Poison Blood and Deathlock are expensive in this book, but are probably going to be very important in all ago books, especially with all those Plants coming quite soon. They're originally included because of their interaction with Bleed from the Dire Wolves, but they are useful enough, I think, to include on their own.

The ability to remove status effects and curses is probably this books other major metagame strength: Stuck, Weak, Crippled, etc are a big part of a lot of control strategies, and Priestess is very good at pushing through those, against Gorgon Archer especially. Cards that would destroy a Beastmaster are largely not important to a Priestess.

And, finally, against Curse Warlock and other enchantment heavy books, this Priestess doesn't skimp on the enchantment removal, though it does feel a bit light on the artifact hate, so some adjustments might be needed there if your expected matches include more Battleforge powered agro. Against Forcemaster, for example, this book probably just needs to cast its own Forge and Armor up while summoning Knights.

Rules Discussion / DvN rules questions
« on: September 03, 2013, 05:54:53 AM »
My Mage is wearing Bearskin and no other armor and has 2 corrode markers. I cast Dragonscale Hauberk and return my Bearskin to my spellbook. Does this destroy the corrode markers?

(If this question makes no sense, see the new preview card on facebook)

Rules Discussion / Battle Fury & +2 vs X
« on: August 27, 2013, 12:03:54 PM »
If my melee attack has +2 vs Flying (or non-living, or whatever) does my second attack with Battle Fury gain the bonus?

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.
Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. - Sun Tzu, misattributed

Iíve been thinking lately about the difference between strategic play and tactical play, and the different sorts of cards that help both, especially the extra spell action cards like familiars and spawn points.  Iím still working out the details, but hereís what Iíve got so far.

Consider the two best extra-action conjurations in the game as of Summer 2013: Battle Forge and Wizardís Tower.

These are the best both on paper (theyíre the lowest mana cost, and can be used turn after turn) and in practice (Grizzly Wizard did very well at GenCon). But they arenít very much alike.

Battle Forge gives its extra action during Deployment, and because itís restricted to casting Equipment itís of limited tactical value: the best it can do to influence an immediate combat is to provide Armor for your Mage. It doesnít push or stun or anything else. During the actions phase of play, it just kinda sits there.

Wizardís Tower, on the other hand, is limited to quick action attack spells, and is therefore of very little strategic value. A Wizardís Tower can cast a Fireball, but so could the Wizard himself. The Wizard is even capable of casting 2 fireballs a turn. The Strategic option of casting three fireballs in one turn is generally poor: it would cost 24 mana, and that would be better spent casting large legendary Angels which can hit turn after turn.

To hear me discribe these cards just now, you might think theyíre useless, but remember that I just finished saying that theyíre the best extra-action conjurations in the game. Maybe Iím not giving the full story? Lets try this again:

Battle Forge gives an extra action during Deployment for casting strategic Equipment. Because Equipment cannot be wiped away by Destroy Magic or Purge Magic the way that Enchantments can be, a Mage using Battle Forge can accumulate a strategic defensive advantage that can not be easily disassembled without spending costly tactical resources. Any attempt to attack that strategic defensive position is opperating at 67% speed at best, and will be easy to resist.

Wizardís tower, on the other hand, grants exceptional tactical speed and flexibility. A Wizard with a Tower can string together triple-action-combos, and do tremendous spike damage that can either end the game immediately or push the opponent into sudden crisis. Even if the opponent is prepared for that, Wizardís tower, unlike creatures, is ready immediately when cast and can reverse a tempo disadvantage and can easily help divide and conquer an opposing force through attack spells with reliable proc effects like Jet Stream, Surging Wave, and Arc Lightning.

There, that sounds better, doesnít it?
The key to understanding these cards lies in appreciating their different roles.

Iíve still got lots more I want to say about this, but Iíve got to go to work. Next time I hope to talk about the bubble, and crisis. And maybe a little about that Balista promo everyone's talking about.

Strategy and Tactics / Too big to kill
« on: August 20, 2013, 11:12:35 AM »
I first ran into this effect when I started playing a Warlord book with 4x Iron Golem. What I found is that most players quickly decide that there's no profitable way to kill an Iron Golem (arm 5, 13 health, 13 mana) so they don't bother, and instead try to play around it with Teleport or Force Hold or whatever.

Then I noticed it again when I ran Necropian Vamp and Bridge Troll with Wizard. They were much easier for opponents to work around than to actually kill. Like the card says: easier to build another bridge.

Weirdly, my Beastmaster's Grizzlies never really brought out this behavior in opponents, except that they'd draw a lot of Gorgon Archer fire. This was good for me, because Grizzlies are hard to kill and I generally want my opponents to try to kill my stuff... if I can make them fail.

I have lost creatures that I would have expected to be avoided instead: Valshalla and my own Gorgon Archers, for example. I have also killed opposing Necropian Vamps successfully, and both successfully and unsuccessfully gone after opposing Gorgon Archers. My experience has been a mixed bag, is what I'm saying.

I got to thinking about this when the idea of playing Troll instead of Grizzly came up. The question was, "Is Troll too easy to kill to be a good replacement?" So I have to ask, is anyone out there trying to kill it?

General Discussion / The Eratta.
« on: July 19, 2013, 04:14:47 PM »
Wow. I go to take my lunch break, and I discover Hand-Solo Forcemaster is nerfed twice and so is Temple Priestess/Priest. Huh. Between this and the new defensive cards in Conquest, are we entering a new age of control books?

Rules Discussion / Defense + Block
« on: July 18, 2013, 03:57:41 PM »
I searched the rules forum and the FAQ for an answer to this question, because it seems quite basic and I expect it has been asked and answered, but I couldn't find it. So here goes.
tl;dr: Does a successful use of Knight of Westlock's 8+ defense allow me to skip past revealing a face down Block?


I control a Knight of Westlock with a face down Block enchantment attached. My opponent attacks my Knight with his Wizard's Arcane Zap. If the Knight's 8+ defense ability is successful, does the Block enchantment still get revealed?

Block says,
Quote from: Block
When this creature is attacked, you must reveal Block during the avoid attack step. Block counts as a defense, and the attack is avoided. Then destroy Block. If the attack is unavoidable, destroy Block without effect.

The relevant rules in the "When can you reveal" sidebar say that an enchantment can be revealed,
Quote from: sidebar
"At the end of any of the eight steps of an attack or three steps of casting a spell. Example: After the Avoid Attack Step of an attack, you could reveal the Rhino Hide enchantment on your creature to reduce the amount of damage it will take from that attack."

Since the card says that block is revealed during step 2, I assume that is an exception to the usual rule that enchantments are revealed at the end of each step? Is "at the end" of a step "during" that step?

Working on the assumption that Block is revealed during step 2, and not at the end, do the rules tell us what order the effects are resolved in?
Since the Knight is my creature, can I chose in which order to resolve the effects?

Suppose I chose to resolve the Knight's 8+ defense first, and it is successful.
The rules for attack step 2 (Avoid Attack) say,
Quote from: Attack Step 2
"The defender may now attempt to avoid an attack by using a Defense. Important: The defender must decide whether to use a Defense (see ďDefensesĒ page 24) before the attacker proceeds to the next step and rolls the dice. If the attack is avoided, skip to Step 5: Additional Strikes.

Do I skip to Step 5 without continuing the rest of Step 2? If so, have I avoided revealing my Enchantment?


The Defenses sidebar on page 24 is a little confusing, because it seems like it's talking about both defenses like Cobra Reflexes and Single Use Enchantments like Block. This is even more confusing because we sometimes call both types of enchantment "defenses", because a revealed Block says it, "counts as a defense."

The sidebar seems to be talking about the kind of defenses given by Deflection Bracers and Force Sword, but does contain the line:
Quote from: p.24
"Important: A creature can never use more than one Defense against a single attack (even if it has multiple mandatory enchantments that are all revealed when it is attacked!). You must choose only one of the available Defenses to use each time the creature is Attacked."

Do the rules consider the face down Block enchantment a Defense? If my Knight of Westlock were Stunned, it would not be able to use it's 8+ defense. Would it be able to use the Block attached to it? If it were unable to benefit from Block, would the enchantment be revealed anyway, just as if it were attacked by a unavoidable spell? If I chose to use the 8+ defense and it fails, am I unable to use the Block's defense, even if it must be revealed?

I know how I'd play all this if I weren't examining it closely: I would trigger the mandatory Block when the Knight is attacked and chose not to use the optional 8+ defense, which would preserve it for later. If the knight were Stunned, I would have assumed Block works anyway (though now I'm not sure).

But, according to the rules, can I use a Defense ability on a creature before the Block Enchantment has its mandatory trigger set-off, and thereby skip using it?


P.S.  I was hoping that the ruling on the interaction between Reverse Attack and Block might offer some insight into this, but Reverse Attack isn't actually a defense, so it doesn't (potentially) end Step 2, it just redirects the attack (per the FAQ), then proceeds with the rest of the steps as normal.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Metagaming with 4golem.bok
« on: July 16, 2013, 12:24:41 PM »
I haven't had time or the opportunity to test it more than a couple of games, but I've been working on a new book that has 3 goals:
  • Uses a neglected mage well
  • Performs passably against agro Forcemaster, and Temple spam books
  • Takes some of the new cards for a test drive

Here's what I've got so far:
Quote from: experimental 4golem.bok
Warlord (Bloodwave)

4 Iron Golem
2 Dwarf Panzergarde
2 Grimson Deadeye, Sniper
1 Thorg, Chief Bodyguard
(30 points)

2 Mage Wand
2 Helm of Command

1 Dragonscale Hauberk
1 Eagleclaw Boots
1 Regrowth Belt
1 Ring of Command
(23 points)

2 Teleport
2 Force Push
2 Charge

2 Battle Fury
1 Whirling Strike
1 Sniper Shot
1 Perfect Strike

2 Dissolve
2 Dispel
(34 points)

2 Mana Flower
1 Archer's Watchtower
3 Wall of Steel
(11 points)

1 Standard Bearer
1 Fortified Position
2 Spiked Pit

1 Nullify
1 Armor Ward
1 Enfeeble
18 points

2 Hurl Boulder
4 points


The heart and soul of this book is the 4 Iron Golems. They're ridiculously cheap for what they are capable of. 5 Armor, 13 health, and 6 Melee for 13 mana is the most efficient attritional creature in the game. And unlike the legendary creatures, you can bring all 4 into play at once. If your opponent cannot avoid fighting the Golems, he or she is in some real trouble. They'd be the best creature in the game by a wide margin if they were not slow.

The rest of the book is dedicated to improving on the Golems' strengths and addressing their weaknesses. Which basically means "Forcing your opponent to fight the Golems, and punishing them when they do."

Charge, Teleport, and Force Push (2 of each) provide the mobility your Golems lack. The Warlord can re-use those spells with 2 Mage Wand and 2 Helm of Command. Steel Wall, Enfeeble, and Spiked Pit can help him keep his targets in place. This book is committed to playing positionally, and has the tools to do it.

The soldiers in the book are all anti-kite. The Panzergarde can take a hit, and can step in front of attack spells for the Warlord. Grimson's range is effective against dancing enemies, and Thorg is especially good at luring enemy creatures to their deaths. His taunt is as good as a push against most creatures.

The book has 2 main ways of increasing the effectiveness of its Golems: the Standard Bearer enchantment and Veteran tokens. While the Standard Bearer must enchant a Soldier (Dwarf Panzergarde for preference), its +1 Melee and +1 Armor applies to "all other friendly creatures in the same zone". Veteran tokens are awarded "whenever a friendly non-Mage creature melee attacks and destroys an enemy creature." Unlike most other buffs, these abilities work on the non-living, non-soldier, Iron Golems.

Aside from that, the book generally lacks ways to increase the power of its creatures. This is a book designed to do an efficient and powerful thing over and over again. It's not interested in building a Pet Steelclaw with Vampirism, Bear Strength, and Cheetah Speed. For that price, this book summons three Iron Golems and uses brute force to smash that Bear to death. In a pinch, the Warlord can use his Battle Orders ability to buff Thorg and the Panzergarde, or to give Grimson +1 Ranged (and if the Warlord is wearing the ring, the spell is free), but Iron Golems should be doing the heavy strategic lifting, and those kind of tactical plays aren't the planned path to victory.

There's one exception to this, and that's the temple build. The plan against Temple of Light is to block Line of Sight with a Wall of Steel and then chip it down with Grimson in the Archer's Watchtower. Whenever the Laser Tower player breaks the wall, summon another one. The book has two copies of Grimson, because the first one will probably die, and it'll be important to summon a Panzergarde or two to soak up ranged spell attacks.

The book has a few tricks. If you cast Spiked Pit and then teleport your opponent's mage into that zone, he or she is going to be stuck there for the entire next activation (baring teleport). If you do this after the opponent has activated, you've bought yourself quite a bit of time to beat with Iron Golems. And don't forget that you can stack Nullify and Armor Ward. The requirement of baiting the Nullify makes the Armor Ward more likely to prohibit, rather than just tax. 

The gameplan against a Forcemaster book with multiple Hands of Bim-Shalla is for the Warlord to hug a Guarding Iron Golem. A fully charged Forcemaster does a terrifying amount of dice in damage, but is still only going to kill one Iron Golem a turn, worst case; 5 Armor counts for a lot. If the Forcemaster comes into the zone on turn 5, you should have 2 Iron Golems, a defensive enchantment (Nullify or Armor Ward), A Mage Wand of Teleport, and Eagle Claw Boots waiting for her. If she holds off to ready a decoy and a dissolve, you can buy yourself even more time with Walls and Spiked Pits, and then cast Grimson to let him take shots at the Hands. Just don't give the Forcemaster a chance to unload a full action attack with Battle Fury, and feel free to use Teleport and Force Push defensively. The goal is to stick with the guards until you have enough muscle to win a damage race. Save your Dispels for Force Field, and buy as much time as you can. If you get to 4 large guards (Thorg, Golems) you can kill her in two consecutive turns. 

The book does have some unfavorable matchups: Wizards can be a problem. Air Wizard especially (Elemental Wand of Chain Lightning looks like a beating), but any opponent who can buy Teleport and Mage Wand at wholesale price is going to to be a tough nut to crack. Thankfully, Iron Golems are immune to poison effects, which makes your Sniper better than their Gorgon Archers, and your Golems really don't care about Poison Gas Cloud. And they're probably the best creature in the game for beating through Wall of Stone/Steel. I expect that this matchup would have difficulty finishing within tournament time limits.

Curse focused Warlock can also be an issue. You need to block LoS with walls, because you've only got one Nullify and only two Dispels. Without positional support, the Golems will have to work hard to corner the Warlock. Best plan is probably to hide while building up Golems, then telegank the Warlock into the Golem Pit to end the game quickly.

Other than that, there are some individual cards to be careful of. Valshalla has a lightning sword, which is unpleasant because nearly every creature in the book has Lightning +2, and Brogan Bloodstone has Piercing +3, which makes him really unpleasant with Hand of Bim Shalla + Bear Strength + Battle Fury.

Let me know what you think!

Rules Discussion / Restrained creatures with intercept
« on: July 11, 2013, 10:37:11 PM »
My Warlord shares a zone with a Dwarf Panzergarde I control. The Dwarf is guarding.
My opponent plays a Tanglevine on my Dwarf.
My opponent then makes a ranged attack targeting my Warlord.

May my Panzergarde use its Intercept ability? Will it be able to redirect the ranged attack to itself?

Intercept's Codex entry says:
"Intercept: If this creature is guarding, and if a ranged attack targets a non-flying object in the same zone, this creature may redirect that ranged attack to itself, as long as it can be a legal target for that attack. The intercept is announced and occurs immediately after the Declare Attack Step (and before the Avoid Attack Step). It loses its guard marker at the end of the attack which it intercepts. Cannot intercept a zone attack."

Guard's Rulebook entry says:
"Guarding has 2 benefits:
ē Counterstrike: As long as the creature is guarding, all of its quick melee attacks gain the Counterstrike trait.
ē Protect the Zone: If a creature is in a zone with one or more enemies with guard markers (except for guards
he can ignore; see sidebar), that creature cannot make a melee attack against any object without a guard marker.

Important:Spells and other ranged attacks always ignore guards! Also, a creature may always attack itself, or an object attached to itself, ignoring all guards."

The Ignoring Guards sidebar in the Rulebook says:
Restrained Guards: A guard that is Restrained cannot protect its zone, and can be ignored by any attacker.

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