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Author Topic: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game  (Read 6973 times)

Ravepig

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First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« on: May 02, 2016, 03:51:17 PM »
Tomorrow night we have our first 4 player PVP Arena Death match scheduled. Will be using two Arena boards for set up per the Arena Multiplayer rules. Since this is our first multiplayer game, curious if it's better to use the two arena boards, or should we use one of the four player layouts recommended in Domination (though won't be playing actual domination for clarification).

Also, curious if there are any potential hiccups we should anticipate with a 4 player Arena game?

We're keeping our chosen mages secret until set up tomorrow, but I plan to play a Necro w skeleton horde. Any obvious suggestions/strategies with this mage for a 4 player PVP?
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iNano78

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 03:57:50 PM »
Four-player Arena free-for-all?  It can be done, but I fear (a) long game length, especially if (b) a player gets knocked out early and has nothing to do for the next 2 hours while the other guys play it out, and (c) various possible king-maker scenarios and/or inevitability in the late game (e.g. some degree of runaway leader).

Why not 2-vs-2 team play, or *gasp* Domination?
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Ravepig

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 04:13:14 PM »
Four-player Arena free-for-all?  It can be done, but I fear (a) long game length, especially if (b) a player gets knocked out early and has nothing to do for the next 2 hours while the other guys play it out, and (c) various possible king-maker scenarios and/or inevitability in the late game (e.g. some degree of runaway leader).

Why not 2-vs-2 team play, or *gasp* Domination?

I'm dying to try Domination- but as it stands, I'm the only one who owns a copy and two of the other guys have just started playing Mage Wars, so I didn't want to overwhelm them with learning another mode of play.

2 vs 2 might be a good option. I'll run it by the group and get their thoughts. Thanks for the feedback.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 04:44:11 PM »
I've always been frustrated with 4 player free for all in any game. If the winner is the last one standing, then that favors defensive strategies. If the winner is the first person to eliminate an opponent from the game, that favors aggressive strategies. And having the person who eliminates the most opponents be the winner doesn't really make sense since you could kill-steal, and there are only four players so it only takes two kills to win.

Free for all probably is much more balanced when it has a lot of players. I would guess that if there's any way to make a balanced free for all arena without making it take more than a day or be too confusing, it would need to have five players, no more and no less. I'm not certain of this though.
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baronzaltor

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2016, 05:38:17 PM »
The very first 2 games of mage wars we ever played were both 4 way games..so we ended up having to teach ourselves the game while also managing a mass melee.

it was pretty chaotic.

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2016, 05:40:21 PM »
The very first 2 games of mage wars we ever played were both 4 way games..so we ended up having to teach ourselves the game while also managing a mass melee.

it was pretty chaotic.

And the winning mage was ...?
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baronzaltor

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2016, 07:54:41 PM »
The very first 2 games of mage wars we ever played were both 4 way games..so we ended up having to teach ourselves the game while also managing a mass melee.

it was pretty chaotic.

And the winning mage was ...?
The first game didnt finish due to length.  Second time it was Warlock.. but it cannot be stated enough that like 50% of the game was played wrong since it was a learn as you go thing.

Ravepig

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2016, 08:12:00 PM »
The very first 2 games of mage wars we ever played were both 4 way games..so we ended up having to teach ourselves the game while also managing a mass melee.

it was pretty chaotic.

And the winning mage was ...?
The first game didnt finish due to length.  Second time it was Warlock.. but it cannot be stated enough that like 50% of the game was played wrong since it was a learn as you go thing.

Wow. Talk about jumping right in! Nice!
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jhaelen

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2016, 01:50:20 AM »
The first game didnt finish due to length.
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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2016, 07:52:00 AM »
With 4 people of whom 2-3 are new, I'd go with two parallel 1-on-1 Apprentice mode matches followed by a second pair of the same (first round winners play winners, losers play losers, like a mini Swiss tournament), rather than a chaotic 4-way free-for-all. A team match could work, though, especially if beginners team with experienced players - but if you're the only experienced player, I think I'd stick to 1-on-1 until everybody grasps the basics.
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Ravepig

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2016, 09:06:06 AM »
With 4 people of whom 2-3 are new, I'd go with two parallel 1-on-1 Apprentice mode matches followed by a second pair of the same (first round winners play winners, losers play losers, like a mini Swiss tournament), rather than a chaotic 4-way free-for-all. A team match could work, though, especially if beginners team with experienced players - but if you're the only experienced player, I think I'd stick to 1-on-1 until everybody grasps the basics.

The *new* guys have each played twice now and are old MTG players so they caught on pretty quick. I'm hoping this PVP will entice them to expand their MW collection by prompting them to purchase Domination. Also, with this group, I'm sure it will sort of turn into a 2v2 by default with the last two mages standing duking it out for the top spot.
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iNano78

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2016, 09:40:14 AM »
With 4 people of whom 2-3 are new, I'd go with two parallel 1-on-1 Apprentice mode matches followed by a second pair of the same (first round winners play winners, losers play losers, like a mini Swiss tournament), rather than a chaotic 4-way free-for-all. A team match could work, though, especially if beginners team with experienced players - but if you're the only experienced player, I think I'd stick to 1-on-1 until everybody grasps the basics.

The *new* guys have each played twice now and are old MTG players so they caught on pretty quick. I'm hoping this PVP will entice them to expand their MW collection by prompting them to purchase Domination. Also, with this group, I'm sure it will sort of turn into a 2v2 by default with the last two mages standing duking it out for the top spot.

In that case, you're likely done with Apprentice mode and everybody can enjoy the full 120-point experience.

A best case scenario is they love your big 4-player free-for-all and dive in head-first, acquiring Domination and other expansions.  A worst case scenario is the game drags, feels fiddly, becomes a NPE for one or more players, and you scare them away with the complexity and play time / down time.  So... depends on your risk tolerance.

When our group has an even number of players show up, we usually stick to 1-on-1 Arena matches, and rarely (but occasionally) play 2-on-2 Team Domination.  We usually only play multiplayer (e.g. 3-way free-for-all) Domination when we have an odd number show up.  If 5 players show up, there's one 3-way Domination match and 1 Arena (or Domination) 1-on-1 match, since 5-player free-for-alls probably wouldn't finish before our weeknight venue closes.  But ymmv.  Please let us know how it works out.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 09:42:23 AM by iNano78 »
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Ravepig

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2016, 08:44:36 AM »
As requested here is a breakdown of last night's game. At the table we had a Warlord, Priestess, Warlock and the Necro (me). We did wind up playing 2v2, which to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I would have changed some things in my book had I known that we were going to do that. Still, it was fun and we did well. The Warlock and necro worked together to basically wall off the warlord while we ganged up against the priestess. After four hours of play we basically had the priestess down to 9 health, Warlock with only 7 damage, and my necro with only 2 damage, and the warlord at full health. I think the challenge we had was the guy who played the warlock (my teammate) is very inexperienced (not that I'm a master by any means), but he made some really poor decisions early on in my opinion. Had he been more aggressive in the beginning, I think we would have had the priestess out of the game much earlier. Still, it was a long game, and I think it wet some appetites for Domination. I know some think 4 hours is a long game, but after gaming for 12 hours on Saturday and gearing up for a 1V1 game of Axis and Allies Global next weekend (about 15 hours of playtime), 4 hours of Mage Wars is nothing to me so long as everybody is having fun.

We finally decided to call it a night at 10:00 since everybody has this stupid thing called work the next morning. We agreed to a draw. Even though the Priestess had the most damage, she refused to concede no matter what time it was, thus in the interest of sanity- a draw it was. Still, the necro deck is pretty nasty. I threw out 4 archers along with the armory and a Fortified Position enchantment to secure my mage's spot while sending melee creatures to the front-lines.
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iNano78

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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2016, 03:51:02 PM »
As requested here is a breakdown of last night's game. At the table we had a Warlord, Priestess, Warlock and the Necro (me). We did wind up playing 2v2, which to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I would have changed some things in my book had I known that we were going to do that. Still, it was fun and we did well. The Warlock and necro worked together to basically wall off the warlord while we ganged up against the priestess. After four hours of play we basically had the priestess down to 9 health, Warlock with only 7 damage, and my necro with only 2 damage, and the warlord at full health. I think the challenge we had was the guy who played the warlock (my teammate) is very inexperienced (not that I'm a master by any means), but he made some really poor decisions early on in my opinion. Had he been more aggressive in the beginning, I think we would have had the priestess out of the game much earlier. Still, it was a long game, and I think it wet some appetites for Domination. I know some think 4 hours is a long game, but after gaming for 12 hours on Saturday and gearing up for a 1V1 game of Axis and Allies Global next weekend (about 15 hours of playtime), 4 hours of Mage Wars is nothing to me so long as everybody is having fun.

We finally decided to call it a night at 10:00 since everybody has this stupid thing called work the next morning. We agreed to a draw. Even though the Priestess had the most damage, she refused to concede no matter what time it was, thus in the interest of sanity- a draw it was. Still, the necro deck is pretty nasty. I threw out 4 archers along with the armory and a Fortified Position enchantment to secure my mage's spot while sending melee creatures to the front-lines.

If you'd had more time and the Priestess was knocked out first, would you have called the game at that point, or would it have been 2-on-1 against the fresh Warlord?  i.e. Was your win condition the first kill or annihilation of both members of the opposing team?  I think the former is preferable to the latter, as 2-on-1 is hard to come back from.  But if playing to the first kill, then some sort of lifebond between teammates might be a good idea.
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Re: First Four Player Arenda Death Match Game
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2016, 12:26:10 AM »
We play 4 player in teams, first team to lose a player loses. We've played free for all with the win if the player on your left dies (through any means).