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Topics - blackirishguilt

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1
Website Support and Feedback / Updated conditions list
« on: July 30, 2014, 10:35:07 AM »
Hey guys.  Love the website but as I was printing off the rules today for a friend I noticed that the conditions list only includes the original conditions in the Core Set.  It would be great to get an updated quick reference with all the conditions from the expansions to keep handy.  Thanks, and keep up the great work!

2
Spellbook Design and Construction / Army of Darkness
« on: July 21, 2014, 01:18:48 PM »
[spellbook]
[spellbookheader]
[spellbookname]Army of Darkness[/spellbookname]
[mage]Necromancer[/mage]
[/spellbookheader]
[spells]
[spellclass]Conjuration[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNJ01]1 x  Altar of Skulls[/mwcard]
[mwcard=MW1J20]1 x Sacrificial Altar[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNW02]4 x  Wall of Bones[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Creature[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNC07]1 x  Mort[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC13]2 x  Skeletal Archer[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC14]2 x  Skeletal Knight[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC02]2 x  Deathfang[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC05]1 x  Ichthellid[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC09]4 x  Plague Zombie[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Enchantment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=mw1e16]2 x  Force Hold[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e02]3 x  Block[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e38]2 x  Teleport Trap[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e09]2 x  Agony[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e08]1 x  Death Link[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e14]2 x  Enfeeble[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e19]2 x  Ghoul Rot[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e22]1 x  Hellfire Trap[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e27]2 x  Marked for Death[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e29]3 x  Nullify[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Equipment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNQ03]1 x  Deathshroud Staff[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q19]1 x  Mage Wand[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ05]1 x  Libro Mortuos[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q05]1 x  Demonhide Armor[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1q07]1 x  Elemental Cloak[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ01]1 x  Cloak of Shadows[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ02]1 x  Death Ring[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Incantation[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNI05]1 x  Unholy Resurgence[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i19]2 x  Piercing Strike[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNI03]3 x  Reassemble[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i08]2 x  Drain Life[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i28]2 x  Teleport[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i26]1 x  Sleep[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i02]1 x  Battle Fury[/mwcard]
[/spells]
[cost]Total cost: 120 pts[/cost]
[/spellbook]


Summon skeletal army, control the battlefield, support from the back line.  It's the unholy Priest version of Necro!  Very much a work in progress but I want to tinker with this idea.  Consider this a placeholder. :p

3
Spellbook Design and Construction / 1st Necro - Black Death
« on: July 15, 2014, 10:05:09 AM »
[spellbook]
[spellbookheader]
[spellbookname]Black Death[/spellbookname]
[mage]Necromancer[/mage]
[/spellbookheader]
[spells]
[spellclass]Conjuration[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNW02]2 x  Wall of Bones[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j20]1 x  Sacrificial Altar[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j18]2 x  Poison Gas Cloud[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNJ01]1 x  Altar of Skulls[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1j11]1 x  Idol of Pestilence[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Creature[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNC01]2 x  Acolyte of the Bog Queen[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC19]4 x  Venomous Zombie[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC22]3 x  Zombie Brute[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1c08]3 x  Darkfenne Bat[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC09]4 x  Plague Zombie[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1c12]2 x  Emerald Tegu[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1c23]1 x  Malacoda[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC24]3 x  Zombie Minion[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNC23]4 x  Zombie Crawler[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Enchantment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=mw1e19]2 x  Ghoul Rot[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e27]2 x  Marked for Death[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e08]1 x  Death Link[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1e16]2 x  Force Hold[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Equipment[/spellclass]
[mwcard=DNQ01]1 x  Cloak of Shadows[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ02]1 x  Death Ring[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ05]1 x  Libro Mortuos[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNQ03]1 x  Deathshroud Staff[/mwcard]
[spellclass]Incantation[/spellclass]
[mwcard=mw1i28]2 x  Teleport[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i06]3 x  Dispel[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i07]2 x  Dissolve[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNI06]2 x  Zombie Frenzy[/mwcard]
[mwcard=mw1i08]1 x  Drain Life[/mwcard]
[mwcard=DNI01]1 x  Animate Dead[/mwcard]
[/spells]
[cost]Total cost: 120 pts[/cost]
[/spellbook]


My 1st take on a Necro book.  It's pretty straight forward in wanting to get the poison going as quickly as possible and keep it going with the late game [mwcard=DNJ01]Altar of Skulls[/mwcard] + [mwcard=mw1j11] Idol of Pestilence[/mwcard].  Zombies are mostly there as meat shields though [mwcard=DNQ03]Deathshroud Staff[/mwcard] + [mwcard=DNI06]Zombie Frenzy[/mwcard] does allow for some big combat turns especially once the blood starts flowing.  Thanks for any input!

Edit:  Oh yeah.  Probably the thing that excites me the most about this book is making [mwcard=DNC09]Plague Zombie[/mwcard] my Eternal Servant and putting it on the [mwcard=mw1j20]Sacrificial Altar[/mwcard].  Buff a Zombie, Rot everything in the zone, then bring it back to do it all over again.  I may need to take something out to fit in a [mwcard=DNQ10] Meditation Amulet[/mwcard] to keep up with mana needs and I feel like [mwcard=DNJ04] Graveyard[/mwcard] could play well with this strategy too.  Thoughts?

4
Strategy and Tactics / Openings, pt. 2
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:30:40 AM »
Alright guys and gals, we've got theory discussion going in the other thread, so lets use this one to look at specific openings.  Hopefully, this will be a place we can discuss optimal openings for different Mages and playstyles, compiled for easy reference.  Here is the suggested format:

Mage: Name of Mage
Playstyle: Aggressive/Defensive/Economy/Midrange

T1: (starting Mana) Action 1; Action 2 [remaining Mana]
T2: (starting Mana) Action 1; Action 2 [remaining Mana]
T3: (starting Mana) Action 1; Action 2 [remaining Mana]

Brief discussion on card/action choices, timing, and general strategy of the opening.


Don't feel restricted or locked in to 3 turns, but it's probably a good general guideline for the opening phase of the game.  If we get lots of suggestions and discussion I will pull some of the better openings and compile them here in the first post later. 

Thanks for contributing everyone!

5
Strategy and Tactics / On: Openings
« on: July 07, 2014, 01:17:45 PM »
I really enjoyed reading through the stickied strategy threads, but after playing non-stop for the past few weeks and developing my own thoughts, I thought I would offer an alternative on openings to the thread here.  I hope to develop additional ideas on topics like spell book design, mid-game decision making, end-game tactics and more to add to this "article" series.  Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Note: We will only be looking at Mages from the Core set to begin with and will expand to include other Mages in future articles, though the concepts should apply to any and all Mages and players.

Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine. - Spielmann


Though Spielmannís quote was directly related to the game of chess, it can easily be applied to any game that requires branching decision making.  As Mage Wars falls into that category, I thought it would be interesting to look at how we can adapt lessons learned from other games to help us succeed in the Arena. 

So to begin at the beginning, what can we take from the first part: ďPlay the opening like a bookĒ?  Well, while the mid-game requires artistry and wit and the end-game is dominated by seeing the most efficient way to close, the opening is in the realm of the tactician.  It is steeped in theory and craft and sets the tone for the rest of the game.  Rather than give scripted openings, I hope to instead delve into more of the game theory behind possible openings so that you can find something that works well for you.

With that in mind, there are a few things Iíve learned in my new found love of Mage Wars that I would like to share with you all.  My apologies if these are so basic that they are commonly accepted practices, but I havenít seen them spelled out as such, so I thought I would share in the hopes that I can help even new players who find their way to the game.

The rules of Mage Wars help us start our examination of the opening by limiting the amount of actions we can take at the beginning of the game.  Unlike chess where our army is already on the field, here we start with just our Mage who can take just two actions; one full, one quick cast.  The action limitation coupled with our starting Mana serves to limit the ceiling available in the opening.  I believe that you can classify the opening possibilities into three categories:

  • Aggressive
  • Midrange
  • Passive

The Aggressive opening follows a similar opening philosophy to that of the chess players who open with a Queenís Pawn Game in that the goal is to quickly achieve a strong presence in the center of the board.  In doing so, the aggressive player looks to control line of fire from the center to allow for better deployment and attack options while forcing their opponent to react to them instead of developing their own plan.

I tend to prefer the Aggressive opening with more mobile Mages or those who donít mind being on the front line of the fight like the Beastmaster and Warlock, especially if I win initiative for the first turn.  The Aggressive opening is categorized by using the Mageís full action to sprint to the center of the Arena.  From there, they can quick cast something that will develop their preferred line of attack.  Moving to the center zone gives you ďvisionĒ on over 80% of the arena, restricting your opponent to their starting corner and the opposite corner as the only zones available that you canít immediately interact with.

Already there is room for lots of customization here, but for my money, nothing is better for the Aggressive strategy than a Spawnpoint.  Getting one down on turn 1 gives me the most bang for my buck and guarantees I will see a return on my initial investment.  Iíve had great success with this strategy deploying the [mwcard=MW1J10]Lair[/mwcard] with the Beastmaster.  See this example of a Hyper-Aggressive opening play:

Turn 1 - Sprint to center, quick cast [mwcard=MW1J10]Lair[/mwcard] in opponentís center. (4 mana remaining)
Turn 2 - Deploy [mwcard=MW1C37]Thunderift Falcon[/mwcard], Pet, cast [mwcard=MW1I23]Rouse the Beast[/mwcard], cast [mwcard=MW1I02]Battle Fury[/mwcard]. (1 mana remaining.)

Thatís a 7 die Flying/Fast attack in your opponentís starting corner on turn 2 that has lots of flexibility (replace [mwcard=MW1I02]Battle Fury[/mwcard] with a [mwcard=MW1Q19]Mage Wand[/mwcard], [mwcard=MW1C04]Bitterwood Fox[/mwcard], or Enchantment based on your preferred play style).  You can also cast the [mwcard=MW1J10]Lair[/mwcard] in your zone to make it more durable if you donít want to press as hard. 

I theorize that you could do something similar with the Warlock and [mwcard=MW1J06]Gate to Hell[/mwcard], though when I tried it I made a huge error and placed it in the wrong zone.  Similar to the Lair opening we could sprint to center, quick cast our Spawnpoint in enemy territory, then retreat to build a [mwcard=MW1J04]Battle Forge[/mwcard]/[mwcard=MW1J12]Mana Crystal[/mwcard] infrastructure while waiting for the proper time to set off our hellish time bomb.

Side Note - In examining your opening plays, positioning and proper Mana usage are absolutely critical.  One small miscalculation can throw off your entire plan.  For instance, did you know that moving up one square instead of moving laterally from your starting zone gives your opponent 2 extra zones to move into without being in range of you? 

On that note, letís shift gears and look at our Midrange options.  Again, this is an opening I will often consider if I have the initiative but donít want to be as aggressive.  This style of opening would include a move action followed by two quick spells.  While I wonít control the center in the same way I would by sprinting, I leverage my Mana into two spells to help build what I need more quickly.  This is also a great strategy to employ if I want to get things like a [mwcard=MW1J24]Temple of Light[/mwcard] into the center while keeping my Mage more protected.

Midrange favors the player who wants some presence but doesnít want to overextend.  Iíve had a lot of success with this style of opening with the Priestess building Mana accelerators and Temples as well as the Wizard with his [mwcard=MW1J07]Gate to Voltari[/mwcard]+ [mwcard=MW1E20]Harmonize[/mwcard].  You are able to react quickly to threats while still investing in your own infrastructure.

The last style would be Passive, and is not one I tend to favor though I will sometimes adopt it if my opponent wins initiative and displays an Aggressive posture.  Passive openings tend to give up movement to cast two spells right in their starting zone.  This will often lead to using the full action on a creature to get something impactful on the board early with the full action while protecting that investment or building resources with the quick cast.

This play style is very adaptable, which is nice, though you are limited to targeting only three zones which can be a drawback if you plan on deploying lots of zone exclusives.  The Warlock with a buddy plan can start this way with making something like a [mwcard=MW1C03]Dark Pact Slayer[/mwcard] your Bloodreaper right away, or you can get a nice medium sized pet for your Beastmaster.  The Priestess can have a [mwcard=MW1C22]Knight of Westlock[/mwcard] bodyguard while she builds towards the end-game or summon a [mwcard=MW1C28]Royal Archer[/mwcard] to deter anyone from advancing into your territory. 

I donít normally like to cast a Spawnpoint in a Passive opening, but a Familiar can often be a good play as investing in them early to get an advantage in actions throughout the game can be very effective.  For example, lets look at one of my favorite plays to make with the Beastmaster if I find myself going second:

Turn 1: Cast [mwcard=MW1C13]Fellella, Pixie Familiar[/mwcard], quick cast [mwcard=MW1J13]Mana Flower[/mwcard] (2 mana remaining)
Turn 2: Move, [mwcard=MW1E20]Harmonize[/mwcard] from Felella (1 +3 from me), cast [mwcard=MW1Q25]Ring of Beasts [/mwcard], quick cast [mwcard=MW1C37]Thunderift Falcon[/mwcard], Pet

If you prefer a different level 1 animal, thatís also fine and you can choose not to Pet if you want to save your mana for a third turn play, but with 10 mana every turn and Fellella generating 2 of her own itís quite easy to play a level 1 animal, build light armor (like [mwcard=MW1Q15]Leather Boots[/mwcard],[mwcard=MW1Q16]Leather Gloves[/mwcard]) and cast an Enchantment every turn to get a swarm going very early then switch gears to either go more aggressive with your Mage or drop back into more of a support role.

I hope this generates some ideas for new players like myself to get started thinking on how they want to approach their openings and, perhaps more importantly why they make the choices they make.  As Iíve started building my spell books, Iíve found I like to have a play in mind based on whether or not I have initiative and if I want to have an Aggressive, Midrange, or Passive opening.  The next step towards domination is building the spell book around those openings so that we can progress our main plan, remain adaptive, and answer the threats presented by our opponentÖ.but weíll get into that in more detail next time. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this and feel free to leave feedback letting me know if you agree, disagree, or how you craft your opening based on your experience.  Thanks everyone!







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