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Warhammer: Diskwars» Forums » General

Subject: Thoughts on magic? rss

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Reid Miles Chapman
Canada
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What are peoples opinions on the Magic X mechanic? I am personally exceptionally disappointed as "reliable alternative to ranged combat" is the farthest thing from my mind when I think of Warhammer Magic. Did the original diskwars also handle magic in such a dull way?

I'm thinking of developing cards for magic, the cards would represent classic warhammer fantasy spells and would all in some way or another feature a modifier for the casters existing Magic value. Not sure exactly how they would be doled out though, but I feel it could make magic much more interesting.
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David Stahler Jr.
United States
Wheelock
Vermont
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Personally, I like it. Simple, straightforward, clean. I can imagine for myself the particular trappings of the attack if I want. Cluttering it up with more cards and mechanics would, for me, go against the spirit of the game.
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Totter
Denmark
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I already have a weird vibe over the fact that melee is pure tactics, while ranged is very close to pure luck. So I think magic suits the melee part perfectly regarding the magic X. While the command cards sometimes gives a d6 -2 etc. which brings it closer to the ranged luck based way of doing things.

I like how the luck parts are mostly taken out of this game.
 
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trevor wolf

Missouri
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Keep in mind that disks with magic are casters. Where their advantage really shines is in their use with command cards. The magic attack is really just a basic attack for them
 
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MGS
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Weston
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Magic is actually just a "magic blast". The true magic system of WHD is really related to the command cards. There, even just in the core set, you start to see some options including defensive spells such as the Shield of Saphery and the cooler Fulminating Cage linking damage to the opponent's movement. The whole command cards system adds flavor to the game. Eager Troops, Intimidate, Nurgle Rot, Blood for the Blood God, all the Empower cards, they add another dimension to the your army giving you options creating space for strategic and tactical thinking and creative play which will only be enhanced in future expansions. The system is really a flavorful, well oiled machine at this point.
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Reid Miles Chapman
Canada
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I understand that, but even a simple "magic blast" in warhammer fantasy is a risky affair. Presently there are not very many spell command cards (though they are easily my favourites) and people are reluctant to use them because of the general ease of killing non-hero wizards.
 
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Rafael K.
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Overall I like it just as it is. But I think that basically the whole core set seems a bit straight forward so far, which is absolutely ok. You always start with the rather simple abilities and move up from there. So I think that down the road new Command Cards and new disks will add more flavour.

I like the integration of various amounts of luck quite a lot. From the nearly complete ability to plan melee, adding some damage counters via a magic "base attack", playing a command card at the right moment with potentially devastating effect to the randomness with ranged attacks. In comparison to a game that is completely random due to dice rolls everywhere I totally prefer this variety.

As for flavour for the magic attacks... sure its not very colorful, but space on the disks is limited. And for people playing such games for years, I think, they dont care too much anymore if it is a fireball or the lightning ray... In the end its just damage. When we get to debuffs though it might get a bit more interesting.
 
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MechaBri Zilla
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Having played a couple of games of Warhammer Fantasy, I can see where you are coming from. The strength of WFB is that it is a fluffy immersive wargame experience. But it isn't balanced, it has a lot of wierdness in it's rules, and it's VERY complicated.

The strength of this game is how pure it's tactics are, and how it rewards thoughtful play. It is a game you could go to a tournament with and feel good that the better player won.

Don't get me wrong, I love WFB. I don't get to play a lot, but I love it. I'm a Tomb Kings guy myself, and that is part of my problem. They are a very week army. You have to be an excellent general to win them.

All that said, if you want to house rule it, to get more of that WFB feel, I say more power too you! Go for it! I'd even like to see what variants you come up with and might even try them. However, I love this game for what it is. A fast, clean, game that is easy to learn and teach and doesn't leave you feeling like your army is so underpowered that you can't possibly win. I say that, and I'm currently rolling with a 0-5 record. But I know in each game I was out thought.
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Benjamin Bottorff
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Just a quick comment about how magic was in the original Diskwars. Because if boring is your problem with the new system then you might like the old one better but I'll contrast the two and attempt to display why I think the new one is much better.

As a note: the original diskwars used a similar cost scale as this diskwars but a very different power scale. A typical infantry would cost 3 points, have 3 attack, 3 counter, and 3 toughness, and move 3 flips. Something like an Orc Boyz would actually cost about 6 points (or maybe 7) but it would be an advanced unit. A typical army was 150 points and you bought heros the same way you bought any other unit.

In the original Diskwars which used a collectable model, spells were disks you collected just like units. You purchased them as part of your army like units and in order to use them you activated a caster of the appropriate level. The spells did all kids of things but because there were so many things most of them ended up being, like most of the units in the original Diskwars, useless or inefficient (in many armies all the expansions for an army couldn't provide basic units more efficient than the original base set but had all kinds of very situational units that you would have to work hard of to even have odds of breaking even with them).
-Initially there were some problems in that the designers seemed to severely over-estimate how useful spells were and made spellcasters especially high level ones very expensive (thus not only did including spells cut into your army by themselves, but they also required you to buy units that were expensive and generally useless for anything else. In later expansions they started giving better spellcasters but that didn't fix a few other problems. Even then, spellcasting was frequently inefficient especially for high level spells.
-Because spellcasting was so costly and the effects so diverse, it frequently became more of a CCG-esk cheese fest rather than a strategy game. To be fair, this was as much the Disks fault as the spells and there were several spells that were efficient enough to use as part of normal play but it was still a problem.
:For example: typically you might see spells like Fireball which for 6 points dealt 6 damage to a target in a strait line (the existence of which made it risky to include any frontline disk which could not survive Fireball and costed more than 6 points. This was a lvl 2 spell. Now the Familiar disk (which was banned in tournaments almost immediately), could use a spell you just cast letting you blast two units away. Then you could also include a doppleganger (who I think was also banned in tournaments) who could mimic another disks focus abilities and have him mimic the familiar letting you inflict 6 damage to 3 targets (or to the same target 3 times) all for the price of a 6 point spell, a lvl 2 caster, a familiar, and a doppleganger.
:Another example: There was an adept spellcaster (who AFAIK was legal in tournaments) who could double any number on any spell and was a lvl III caster. The generally not worthwhile Twister spell (lvl 3 cost 15ish) targeted a point in 12' had you pick up all the disks in 6' of that point then drop all those disks from 12' above another point 12' away from the spellcaster. Think about that for a moment and consider that the typical game was king of the hills style.
-For every example of a spell that was worthwhile/abusable there were probably a dozen that were not.
-Basically: Magic was pretty broken in terms of balance and strategy but you could do a lot of fun/strange/cool stuff with it.

The current system gives you magic in two forms.
:There is the basic, Activate to deal x damage in medium range.
:There are a wide variety of command card spells some of which can backfire spectacularly.
-This has the effect of making it so that casters always have a use (original Diskwars casters who've run out of spells tended not to).
-Allows the designers to give the player access to a variety of potent spells but still puts several effective limits on them (each one takes up a command card that could be something else, each one must work in synergy with your other command cards as well as your army, if you lose your casters your enemy has completely nullified one of your cards).
-Still gives the ability to distinguish between the relative power of the various casters (just consider how much scarier a mage 4 is than a mage 3) and customise to what extent and how an army uses magic.

Personally, I love the new system. The old one was fine for if you weren't playing the game too hard and were just bashing around with friends but if you're looking for a stable (but brutal) strategy game like I think the Diskwars system works best for then the new one gives both design control and player options in a very elegant way.
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