September 18, 2020, 08:44:15 AM

Author Topic: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area  (Read 6455 times)

Sailor Vulcan

  • Secret Identity: Imaginator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3130
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2015, 04:21:55 PM »
Okay, this has gotten ridiculous, and now I'm having a lot of trouble suspending my disbelief and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

For the past several years, I thought that I was the only mage wars player in columbus ohio. Whenever I try to reach out, people almost never respond, and it's impossible to organize anything. Besides those who I introduced to the game myself within the past half a year, only three mage wars players have EVER responded, and I only managed to meet one of them to play two games fo mage wars once, and then never saw that person again. Seriously, this is starting to get really, really, REALLY frustrating.


I've been looking everywhere and reaching out everywhere for years now. WHERE ARE ALL THE COLUMBUS OHIO MAGE WARS PLAYERS? I know you exist!

I honestly can't help thinking that people are just ignoring me on purpose.

And no, that's not paranoia talking, that's "I live in a big effing metropolitan area and I have reached out again and again for the past three years on facebook, boardgamegeek, game conventions, cafes/cofeeshops, these forums, and pretty much every other place where other mage wars players could conceivably be found except for reddit and twitter, and I only got responses from three people, only two of which were willing to schedule anything with me," talking.

Now that I think about it, I've only ever played 1, maybe 2 full nonapprentice games of mage wars in real life outside of Origins and Gen Con, and they were both against the same opponent, who I never saw again after that point because I made an absolute fool of myself in my stressed and sleep-deprived state.

Let me repeat that:

I'VE ONLY EVER PLAYED 1 OR 2 FULL GAMES OF MAGE WARS IN REAL LIFE OUTSIDE OF CONVENTIONS.
ALMOST ALL of my games are on OCTGN, and I've been playing mage wars for THREE YEARS now.

If there really are "many of us", then why aren't there any meetup or facebook groups for columbus ohio mage wars players beside the facebook group I made? And why have almost all of my attempts to reach out to people been completely ignored?

The most likely explanations I've been able to come up with are either

1) there ARE NOT many of us, and runatyr was simply wrong about that as a question of fact. Or maybe there used to be more and most oft them left the area and he hasn't seen them recently enough to know that they left.
2)Everyone is just ignoring me for some reason.

1 doesn't account for how many people have enjoyed mage wars at Origins, nor does it account for why most of the local community would have left the area at around the same time without a regular local player knowing about it.

Which leaves me with 2, but then that begs the question of WHY is everyone just ignoring me? Did I do something really bad to alienate the entire local community? Is there something about me that people just don't like? These sound extremely unlikely, but every other explanation I can think of is just as unlikely if not more so.

And no one seems to have a satisfactory answer to this question.

I am BEYOND fed up now.

I have half a mind to just ask Arcane Wonders how popular has Mage Wars REALLY been at Origins? I know that it's doubtful that they've been at all dishonest about that, but I'm clutching at straws here, and any information that would shed some light on why I can't ******* get any of the mage wars players in the whole Columbus area to play a single non-apprentice game of mage wars with me, would be VERY VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

I'm hoping I didn't waste my money on Mage Wars Arena, since I really like this game. I'm guessing I'll probably just have to switch to Academy though, since my playgroup lives an hour away and we've never had time for a full non-apprentice game, and it seems evident now that NO ONE ELSE in the columbus ohio area is ever going to play mage wars with me outside of conventions.

This is very upsetting to me, and I am completely at a loss for figuring out WTF is going on with this whole situation.

Insert obscene language here.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 04:23:31 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster
I am Sailor Vulcan! Champion of justice and reason! And yes, I am already aware my uniform is considered flashy, unprofessional, and borderline sexually provocative for my species by most intelligent lifeforms. I did not choose this outfit. Shut up.

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2015, 07:12:06 PM »
I know nothing about Columbus Ohio, but board gamers can be kind of insular, in my experience. They tend to game with friends, often in private residences, and don't really recruit much. This can make them difficult to find. The exception to this are games with active tournaments and organized play bringing people into game stores. The game length of Mage Wars makes this exception a hard category for it to fit into. Meanwhile, the fact that it is typically two player means that it is really easy to find a friend to play against and then never have to look elsewhere, and I think that is legitimately how a lot of people play.

So, it might not be that people are ignoring you. They may simply just not be looking for others at all. They already have 1+ people to play against, in private, and don't feel the need to find more.

This honestly is not the first time I've had issues with this kind of thing. As a freshman in high school I wanted to get into D&D. Even though I actually knew a few people who played, I could never seem to get into a game. After two years of failing to play, I finally bought the books, taught myself, and organized my own group. Sometimes if you want something, you have to make it yourself, including a game group.

I recently moved to Richmond, and for the past 3 weeks my partner and I have been going to a local game store every Thursday at 5:30, setting up the Arena, and putting up a sign inviting people to Demo the game. The first week not a single person tried it the whole 4 hours we sat there. The next week they had a huge Force of Will event, and again nobody tried out Mage Wars but we did talk to a bunch of people and several seemed interested. Even though they were there for other reasons, it got me publicity of sorts. This last week, we had multiple demos back to back the entire time there. It can be slow and painful, but I'm positive that I'll eventually have a regular group.

So, maybe you aren't having luck finding people to play with other than those who you introduce the game to yourself. But that can be enough. Persistence and consistency go a long ways. Some tricks that I've found useful:

1. Set a date/time to play and be consistent. People like forming habits/routines and being able to count on their schedule.

2. Don't take a vote on when/where you should meet. Simply set a place and time and tell people that's what you're doing. If others have issues with it, they'll tell you and if too many have issues you can choose to change things around. But again, you decide the changes. If you put these kinds of decisions to a committee, they will die in committee and nothing will ever get done. Remember that you can't please everyone.

3. Play in a public place, preferably one where interested gamers are likely to be. Unless you're only interested in people you're already friends with, inviting strangers over to your house is going to severely limit interest in joining your group. Playing in public makes people feel more comfortable usually, and playing around other gamers is basically free advertisement.

4. Advertise. Sounds like you're already doing this, but you might have more luck once you set a time/place as mentioned above. Vague requests to play a game sometime at some place isn't going to get as much of a response as "I'm going to be at specific place at specific time on a regular basis." With this information people will actually check their calendars, might even make room on their calendars since they know it is definitely going to happen, and don't have to negotiate with a stranger on issues of convenience and logistics which can cause loads of anxiety (and there's already plenty enough anxiety when joining a new group).

Anyways, I'm sorry you've had so much trouble finding people to play with and I hope it improves.

jhaelen

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2015, 02:32:01 AM »
1) there ARE NOT many of us
Most likely this in combination with what Zuberi mentioned:
I suspect that most of the Mage Wars players are not interested in playing in public and/or at tournaments. It might also be popular with couples.

I have/had a similar problem with the CoC LCG: While it seems a somewhat popular game that at least sells well, it's really hard to find (regular) players for it.

Halewijn

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 1786
  • Banana Stickers 6
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2015, 10:27:01 AM »
I have never seen you in real life, so it can be really wrong, but you seem to be very intense about it. I can imagine you being very excited once you have found people and maybe be a little too intense and scare them off.

Also, you are very experienced  in mage wars and I presume you kick their ass while playing a game? Maybe try not using too advanced strategys when teaching someone. No one likes getting destroyed in a game. Not saying you should lose on purpose. In general its always better when both people are new or both experienced.

And what jhaelen said.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 11:24:05 AM by Halewijn »
  • Favourite Mage: Bloodwave Warlord
When in doubt kill it with fire? I never doubt and crush them right away.

Sailor Vulcan

  • Secret Identity: Imaginator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3130
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2015, 11:24:37 AM »
Part of the problem with that is that I'm not very good at pretending that I'm not holding back. If I go easy on someone they'll have a pretty decent chance of figuring it out. I'm thinking that if and when my playgroup moves on to the full game, I'll be playing a weaker deck. Maybe I'll lower my spellbook points or something. Not sure what the optimal method for handicapping is.
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster
I am Sailor Vulcan! Champion of justice and reason! And yes, I am already aware my uniform is considered flashy, unprofessional, and borderline sexually provocative for my species by most intelligent lifeforms. I did not choose this outfit. Shut up.

Coshade

  • Arcane Duels Host
  • Administrator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
  • Banana Stickers 6
    • View Profile
    • Arcane Duels!
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2015, 01:02:12 PM »
Intangible was the one that actually got a lot of us into Mage Wars out here. What he did was just facebook all the people he knew played board games, and said lets all get together once a week an play! It ended up being a pretty consistent thing for a few months where we had 10+ people going. If most of the people from that group hadn't moved away I think we would still all get together today.
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2015, 02:15:37 PM »
Part of the problem with that is that I'm not very good at pretending that I'm not holding back. If I go easy on someone they'll have a pretty decent chance of figuring it out. I'm thinking that if and when my playgroup moves on to the full game, I'll be playing a weaker deck. Maybe I'll lower my spellbook points or something. Not sure what the optimal method for handicapping is.

I seem to be in the minority on this, but I don't think one should ever hold back in a game. Not only is it condescending, but it is actually unfair to your opponent. You are denying them the opportunity to learn from your strategies and improve their game play.

I think it's better to make your game play more transparent, especially to brand new players. By this, I mean you need to explain not only what you're doing during a game, but why you're doing it so that they understand your thoughts and strategies and have an easier time combating them. You're not holding back your punches, but you are telegraphing them, and once they know what to look out for they won't need you to hold back.

Also, you need to be able to win gracefully. When you win you shouldn't make them feel like you're gloating over their crushed remains, but rather that they are respected and a joy to play against. They need to feel like you're taking them seriously.

Anyways, as long as you find a way to make sure everyone has fun is the important thing.

sIKE

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 4172
  • Banana Stickers 18
  • Ugh
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2015, 03:50:15 PM »
When I am teaching, I am never playing win, I am playing to teach. For example guards or flying or elusive. I try to position myself in way that I can illustrate the "counter" card that they could play to enhance the understanding of the game.

Next time you go to teach a 5 year old how to ride a bike, tell em: get on the bike, grab the handlebars and push the pedals with your feet as fast as you can, race you to the corner, the last one their is a rotten egg. Feels good to win does it not? >:)

Hope the sarcasm and the point come through clearly...
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

Zuberi

  • Rules Guru
  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 2504
  • Banana Stickers 57
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2015, 04:52:12 PM »
When I am teaching, I am never playing win, I am playing to teach. For example guards or flying or elusive. I try to position myself in way that I can illustrate the "counter" card that they could play to enhance the understanding of the game.

Next time you go to teach a 5 year old how to ride a bike, tell em: get on the bike, grab the handlebars and push the pedals with your feet as fast as you can, race you to the corner, the last one their is a rotten egg. Feels good to win does it not? >:)

Hope the sarcasm and the point come through clearly...

I agree that the point is to teach the game. The game is about killing your opponent however, which makes the point teaching them the best way to kill their opponent. If you purposefully play badly, then they learn to play badly.

With the biking analogy, teaching them how to operate the bike would be equivalent to explaining the game before you play. The actual game would then be the bike race. If I purposefully avoid the most efficient path to win the race, then they probably aren't going to learn that path and be ill prepared for a legitimate competition. If we take out the racing competition and just focus on the learning to ride part, then I'm not going to teach them how to ride a bike by sitting on it backwards as a demonstration. You have to show them the proper way to do things.

Which is what I mean when I say you should play your best. It is so you can teach them how to seriously compete and proper tactics. You can do this without being a jerk. You most certainly illustrate the points of your positions and ways to counter your positions, but you take those positions because they are good positions to take.

Anyways, we're veering off topic. I was simply responding to his comment that he has trouble pretending that he's not holding back, probably because he realizes most people would be insulted to find out that he was just toying with them. So, I was letting him know that he doesn't have to do that. Or he could simply ask his opponent beforehand, "would you like for me to take it easy on you?"

To further answer Sailor Vulcan's question, if you do want to play with a handicap I recommend lowering your Mage's starting Life. This handicap is easy to scale and can be done without needing to modify your book any.

Halewijn

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 1786
  • Banana Stickers 6
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2015, 06:43:21 PM »
I did not mean you should hold back. Just dont use advanced stuff when someone is playing his first 2-3 times.

Examples not to do:

-when the opponent has no armor, using the wall thorn push when he has the initiative. To do it again during your initiative.

-In general I wouldnt use sleep.

-Mana denial

-Extreme rushing him to dead early on.

-Etc...

In general, use a strong, but straight forward deck. Not denying their actions. Let them have fun using their own deck. Simply, dont hold back, but dont use the really nasty stuff. These things are fun once you get into the game more.
  • Favourite Mage: Bloodwave Warlord
When in doubt kill it with fire? I never doubt and crush them right away.

exid

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 866
  • Banana Stickers 4
  • The longer the better!
    • View Profile
Re: Trying to figure out why mage wars has not caught on in my area
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2015, 02:38:38 AM »
if you play hard teaching and he/she plays again, then it's a future real MW-gamer!
(game darwinism)