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Author Topic: 2 vs 2 Apprentice spellbooks or not?  (Read 2817 times)

Indalecio

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2 vs 2 Apprentice spellbooks or not?
« on: April 04, 2013, 03:09:36 AM »
Hi,
So I intend to try this game at our next boardgame session and after I carefully read through everything I wonder what kind of configuration we would need to run.

None of us have played this before, and I will be standing for the rules master  B)  However all 4 players have tons of experience of similar games and I expect everybody to learn MW quite fast. I guess I think the only constraint will be to get used to the spells and decide what to pick during the planning phase. But in terms of rules I think weŽll overcome the complexity.

I mean us to play 2 vs 2 on a regular board. I have read multiple threads about whether to use the 4x3 board or extend it but I think weŽll stick to the original setup as we only have access to one board and I don't want the game to drag for too long which will surely happen if we leave more room to the mages to build up. 4x3 should speed up things due to the proximity of basically everything wanting to hurt you.

We may also set our life totals to something more manageable in order for us to finish the game at some point.

However, I am not sure if Apprentice spell books will last long enough for this type of setup. I mean, 30-ish  spells per mage means 15 turns not taking spawnpoints/familars into account. Even if it looks to me like everything will turn into a blood bath due to us having 4 mages (granted they will be in teams) and a small board, it feels like 15 turns is a bit short, forcing you to play spells you don't need and possibly running out of spells too which would be a disaster.

So has any of you tried Apprentice spellbooks in multiplayer? Are my concerns valid? Opting for the standard start spellbooks (I downloaded the new lists) is not a problem for us, but the leap is also bigger for newbies to learn the game even with our experience of card/board games. I guess my players would really prefer the start lists because they would enjoy having more choices, but they do not realize how difficult it can get to ingest it all at planning phase.

A last question: since this is 2 vs 2 and I have access to all 6 possible mages, are there mage combinations that we should try to avoid? Are you games more fun if you mix one aggro mage (with more low level  creatures) and one control mage (relying on conjurations mostly) or does it not matter at all? I guess I just don't want the teams to be too unbalanced, even if I realize the answer to that question will come eventually based on own experience of the game.

Oh and try to explain Flying to Mtg players, lol  :unsure:

Thanks for your input.

kiwipaul

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Re: 2 vs 2 Apprentice spellbooks or not?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 08:19:32 AM »
Hi, wondering if you checked this out.  We are planning to do this next week.  How did it go?

Zuberi

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Re: 2 vs 2 Apprentice spellbooks or not?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 10:59:58 AM »
I am also curious how this went, and I feel bad that nobody ever responded to offer advice before it took place. On the chance that Indalecia does not respond to you kiwipaul (he hasn't posted since April) here are my ideas on the matter.

First: I would probably not do Apprentice Mode team games to teach the game. I love team games and play them more often than 1v1, but I don't believe it would improve upon the learning experience. Instead, I would run a small Apprentice level tournament. Split the board in half, like normal for Apprentice games, and pit 2 of the players against each other on the left half of the board and the other two against each other on the right half. Then do 2 Swiss Rounds. After these two games, hopefully people will have a good grasp on the game (though I've seen people require more than 2 Apprentice Games to be comfortable with it) and you can move up to the full game. You will also be able to give one of them the title of Champion, painting a large target on his back, lol.

Second: If you do opt for the team game version of Apprentice Mode, I would recommend limiting the board to 2x3 zones as is normal in Apprentice Mode. It is setup this way for a reason. Most new players turtle. By limiting the board space, it makes it easier for players to break out of their shell, and actually swings the game in favor of aggressive strategies. The small space makes the game more fast paced and exciting while they deal with learning curves and analysis paralysis.

Third: I am going to shamelessly promote my variant for Team Games. I highly recommend you try it after you move up to the full game, as it has improved things for my group. The Variant is as follows (maybe I should come up with a fancy name for it).

1) Shared Life: Each mage converts their Life Total based upon the chart below and then adds it together with their teammates to determine their Shared Life Total. Any damage done to a mage is counted against their team's Shared Life Total, and any healing done to a mage removes damage from their team's Shared Life Total regardless of which mage on the team initially took the damage.

CONVERSION CHART
22.5 = Druid
24 = Forcemaster, Necromancer, Priestess, Wizard
25.5 = Johktari Beastmaster, Priest
27 = Beastmaster, Warlord
28.5 = Warlock

If you end up with a fraction after adding the teammates Life Totals together, round down.

2) Shared Turns: Initiative shall pass between teams instead of individuals. When it is a Team's turn during the Quick Cast Phase, 1 of the teammates may Quick Cast a spell. Priority then passes to the next team. When it is a Team's turn during the Action Phase, 1 of the teammates may activate a creature. Priority then passes to the next team.

If you do play team games, hopefully this variant will improve them for you as it has for my group. The Shared Life avoids the problems of player elimination and results in a game that is neither too long or short for my gaming group. The Life Totals in the chart are the result of multiplying each mage's starting life by 0.75 and in 2v2 matches this results in a Shared Life Total equaling 150% the average Life of the two mages. The Shared Turns eliminates the need for alternating seating, allowing team members to sit next to each other and coordinate plans.

kiwipaul

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Re: 2 vs 2 Apprentice spellbooks or not?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 11:22:20 AM »
Hi Zuberi,

Thanks for the reply.   Three of us have played a number of times.  Only one person will be playing for the first or second time.  He is an experienced gamer and has watched the game and has a good head for strategy.  We are finishing off the apprentice round, then starting on the expanded lists.

I like your multi rules.  We may give that a try, first I shall say how it develops tomorrow.  Hoping to close the gap after my two defeats last week.   

Looking forward to the expanded lists where we will reverse the roles taken in the apprentice rounds.  After that, onto the expansions. 

Any chance you are located in The Netherlands Zuberi?

Zuberi

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Re: 2 vs 2 Apprentice spellbooks or not?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 01:57:54 PM »
Unfortunately I live across the pond from you, kiwipaul. Currently I reside in North Carolina in the United States.