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Subject: Mage Wars Creative Corner - The Anvil Throne Warlord! rss

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Scott "Tox" Morris
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Creative Director, Aaron Brosman, delivers unto you, the Anvil Throne Warlord and Runesmithing!

http://www.arcanewonders.com/arcane-wonders/creative-corner

Let us know your thoughts on this amazing new Mage coming in Forged in Fire!
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Tom Lynch
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I love the look of the dwarf warlord! The runes are a fantastic power and I cannot wait to try this guy out.
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Mike Beiter
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The runes look very fun. I just hope he does not overshadow the orc. Hopefully the new war spells will make them both equally playable options.
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Jonathan Challis
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
The runes look very fun. I just hope he does not overshadow the orc. Hopefully the new war spells will make them both equally playable options.


If he doesn't overshadow the orc then he's unplayable. Better to write-off one mage than two...

That said, I don't think he does overshadow the orc, and I don't think that boosting War spells is going to be enough.

Specialising in War (which has too many Novice spells) and penalising Arcane (which has too many essential spells) is just a failed concept.

Unless there are War/Earth Teleport and Dispel substitutes as a minimum, then they will both be the bottom rung of the power tiers.

The problem was baked in too long ago - War spells needed to almost all lack novice, Wizards needed to have War as triple cost, and Battle Orders needed to be a free action. And that still was probably not enough...
 
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Ivan Kidd
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I disagree that improving the card pool won't be enough to balance the Warlord out. Giving War some more powerful and versatile spells will definitely increase his viability. He also definitely needs a non-arcane alternative to Dispel, although it doesn't have to be a War/Earth spell and it doesn't have to be a duplicate of Dispel. I think Force Push and other Pushes are already a fair enough alternative to Teleport, except that Teleport needs nerfed a little. My suggestion is to simply introduce a trait that prevents teleport from occurring just like how Unmovable prevents Pushes.

The problems are not unsolvable. They can all be solved by increasing the card pool, actually. But it will require a lot of new cards and this expansion is not going to fix things entirely. The Wizard is still going to be at the top and the Warlord somewhere among the bottom. I do think that the Warlord can at least become playable with this expansion, though. And future expansions can balance things even further.
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Jonathan Challis
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Zub3ri wrote:
The Wizard is still going to be at the top and the Warlord somewhere among the bottom. I do think that the Warlord can at least become playable with this expansion, though.


That would more than meet my definition of unplayable...
 
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Alex Banks
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If the original Orc warlord is unbalanced, why can't Arcane Wonders just release a new version of his card within this expansion? It would be one extra card and all they'd have to do is buff one of his abilities a bit. Seems sensible to me seeing as how they've been pretty open about the fact thy know the Warlord is struggling.

A warlord can cast a Dispel or Teleport on a Wand the same as any other mage, and with rune crafting it's even more powerful and annoying to dissolve. Dispel and Teleport are both very useful cards but if we talk like they win/lose games single handedly, out of the hundreds of other cards available, then I think we're talking about a broken game, not just a broken mage..
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Mike Beiter
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Not that I want to see this thread turn into a warlord vs wizard arcane vs war school debate...

But I never saw a problem with the orc warlord. He only hit my table a couple times but in each game he was a threat. He did not need teleport etc to be a force to be reckoned with.

With 120 points in your spellbook and most of my games usually ending with less than half of your spells being cast, the warlord has plenty of points to dabble into these "essential" arcane spells and still pack a versatile punch.

 
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Ivan Kidd
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Alexthebanks wrote:
all they'd have to do is buff one of his abilities a bit.


Except that his abilities aren't weak. It's the card pool that's the problem. There's not enough strong War spells and he's forced to take "essential" Arcane spells, which handicaps his spellpoint budget. If he had the cards to support him, he'd be fine.

Kelanen wrote:
That would more than meet my definition of unplayable...


Do you believe that currently ALL of the mages are unplayable except for the Wizard? I do think we should strive for every mage to be on the same level, but I don't think that's necessary for them to be considered at least playable. If we bring the Warlord up to the level of the likes of the Priest and the Beastmaster then I believe this expansion will have been a success. It can certainly do that and narrow the gap between best and worst mage in the game, and then future expansions could reduce that gap even further.
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Jonathan Challis
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Zub3ri wrote:

Kelanen wrote:
That would more than meet my definition of unplayable...


Do you believe that currently ALL of the mages are unplayable except for the Wizard? I do think we should strive for every mage to be on the same level, but I don't think that's necessary for them to be considered at least playable.


No, the Warlock and ForceMaster are close enough to certainly be playable, and I wouldn't completely disregard Necromancer and maybe Druid.

They are close enough to have a fighting chance, and to let superior tactics win. The Warlord just isn't.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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Alexthebanks wrote:

If the original Orc warlord is unbalanced, why can't Arcane Wonders just release a new version of his card within this expansion?


I agree. I'd also support a nerf and reprint Wizard and Teleport for teh overall good of the game (I say this as someone who's primary deck is Wizard with 3 Teleports).

Alexthebanks wrote:

Dispel and Teleport are both very useful cards but if we talk like they win/lose games single handedly, out of the hundreds of other cards available, then I think we're talking about a broken game, not just a broken mage..


Singlehanded? No. But a substantial % contribution? Yes.

When I can include 3 Teleports for the price you can, I have a huge advantage. Ditto Dispel (by which I mean Dispel/Seeking Dispel/Steal Enchabtment/Nullify).

I don't think we have a broken game, but we do have broken cards. Bim Shalla was one (and got the wrong nerf), and Teleport is another - it should have been level 4 and more importantly Epic.
 
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Mike Beiter
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Kelanen wrote:
Alexthebanks wrote:

If the original Orc warlord is unbalanced, why can't Arcane Wonders just release a new version of his card within this expansion?


I agree. I'd also support a nerf and reprint Wizard and Teleport for teh overall good of the game (I say this as someone who's primary deck is Wizard with 3 Teleports).

Alexthebanks wrote:

Dispel and Teleport are both very useful cards but if we talk like they win/lose games single handedly, out of the hundreds of other cards available, then I think we're talking about a broken game, not just a broken mage..


Singlehanded? No. But a substantial % contribution? Yes.

When I can include 3 Teleports for the price you can, I have a huge advantage. Ditto Dispel (by which I mean Dispel/Seeking Dispel/Steal Enchabtment/Nullify).

I don't think we have a broken game, but we do have broken cards. Bim Shalla was one (and got the wrong nerf), and Teleport is another - it should have been level 4 and more importantly Epic.


I would like to see some of those changes as well. Since they have used errata on a few cards already, why not weaken the wizard and teleport slightly?
Up teleports cost to put in the spell book or even up its mana cost.
Give wizard a barred school to help out a bit etc.

I do think adding some strong war school spells will help a lot to compensate.
Id rather not see a war school teleport variant, but ways to make their basic strategy more effective and add some counters to the arcane school.
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Jonathan Challis
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MajaiofDreams wrote:

Up teleports cost to put in the spell book or even up its mana cost.


Making it Epic is the single most important change - it limits it's use, and stops it going in wands.

MajaiofDreams wrote:

Give wizard a barred school to help out a bit etc.


Agreed. As I've written elsewhere if Warlord is War/Earth with triple Arcane, then there is no justification whatsoever in why the Wizard wasn't Arcan/Elem with triple War. Just on principle.

It wouldn't come close to solving the problem - Arcane is much stronger, War has far too many novice spells, and Wizard still gets 4 elemental choices, but it would be a much needed small step in the right direction, and there are a lot of those that are needed. Removing Novice from most War spells would be another.

MajaiofDreams wrote:

I do think adding some strong war school spells will help a lot to compensate.


If they are strong enough, and importantly high enough level, then it will help. Remember however, however the Wizard (and to a lesser extent everyone not Warlord) are already playing with a bunch of spare levels in hand that they have saved over the Warlord, and can afford to pick up the same spells at double cost. It probably requires a whole bunch of really good Warlord Only or War Mage Only spells.

...and be aware that the Paladin is going to erode the Warlord's tiny niche yet further...

MajaiofDreams wrote:

Id rather not see a war school teleport variant, but ways to make their basic strategy more effective and add some counters to the arcane school.


War/Earth Teleports and Dispels would be clunky, but maybe necessary at this stage sadly.

I'd love to see some War conjurations that stopped all Teleporting/Pushing, etc. That might be an interesting regearing...
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Ivan Kidd
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I don't want to have the same conversation twice, so I'm going to point you guys to this topic on the Arcane Wonders forums if you're concerned about the balance of the various mages: http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13773.msg3178...
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Jonathan Challis
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Zub3ri wrote:
I don't want to have the same conversation twice, so I'm going to point you guys to this topic on the Arcane Wonders forums if you're concerned about the balance of the various mages: http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13773.msg3178...


That's fair enough, but equally, I don't want to go to another forum to talk about it - BGG is my one stop shop, and will remain so. I've no use for any publisher/designers own sites, but I'm pleased if they are useful to others.

But thanks for providing the link anyway.
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John Q
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There we go, now this is the Warlord I was waiting for. Tough, powered up equipment and the ability to make his troops fast? Sign me up, this General is destined for glory!
 
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Chris May
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A one handed war weapon makes the warlord much better just by itself!
 
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Ivan Kidd
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That's fine. I still won't repeat all the arguments, but to sum it up: There's nothing inherently wrong with any of the mage cards. The problems are with the card pool and can be solved by releasing more cards. This solution is probably going to be a slow one, however, taking multiple expansions to knock the Wizard off the top rung. Many people would like errata to be released temporarily to achieve balance immediately so that we don't lose players while the card pool is improved, but once the card pool is better such errata would become unnecessary.

The main problem with teleport is not that it is under-costed or overpowered, it's that it doesn't have a counter. If there was a trait that countered it, such as Unmovable counters Push, it would be about equal to the Push spells in the game.

The problem with Dispel is that it has a monopoly on a game effect. There needs to be non-arcane alternatives to it.
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Jonathan Challis
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Zub3ri wrote:
That's fine. I still won't repeat all the arguments, but to sum it up: There's nothing inherently wrong with any of the mage cards. The problems are with the card pool and can be solved by releasing more cards. This solution is probably going to be a slow one, however, taking multiple expansions to knock the Wizard off the top rung. Many people would like errata to be released temporarily to achieve balance immediately so that we don't lose players while the card pool is improved, but once the card pool is better such errata would become unnecessary.

The main problem with teleport is not that it is under-costed or overpowered, it's that it doesn't have a counter. If there was a trait that countered it, such as Unmovable counters Push, it would be about equal to the Push spells in the game.

The problem with Dispel is that it has a monopoly on a game effect. There needs to be non-arcane alternatives to it.


I would agree with most of that (but there ARE problems with the mage cards still, using cards to fix it is a plaster), and that necessitates errata in my view. I'm not going to leave the game over it, I love it, but having failed to spot a problem before they released it, failing to fix it rapidly is twice as bad IMO.
 
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Ivan Kidd
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Well, after much debate, there isn't any issue with the Mage cards that has seen consensus of agreement. You might not like some of the Mage cards, but if the majority of players can't agree that there is a problem, then it is unfair to judge Arcane Wonders for not resolving an issue that we can't even agree is an issue.
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Jonathan Challis
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Kelanen wrote:
Zub3ri wrote:
I don't want to have the same conversation twice, so I'm going to point you guys to this topic on the Arcane Wonders forums if you're concerned about the balance of the various mages: http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13773.msg3178...


That's fair enough, but equally, I don't want to go to another forum to talk about it - BGG is my one stop shop, and will remain so. I've no use for any publisher/designers own sites, but I'm pleased if they are useful to others.


*sighs* Okay, I caved... lol. I just love this game too much.

You have made some excellent posts there, as have some others, and given me much to think on. I will respond, but I want to digest things, and self-analyse in light of several thought-provoking posts first.

I'm half convinced on some areas, but not others I think, but I'll let things percolate awhile longer before I post there.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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Zub3ri wrote:
Well, after much debate, there isn't any issue with the Mage cards that has seen consensus of agreement. You might not like some of the Mage cards, but if the majority of players can't agree that there is a problem, then it is unfair to judge Arcane Wonders for not resolving an issue that we can't even agree is an issue.


If that is indeed the consensus then I agree, although I wonder if that may be an ivory tower view conflicting with the one I see on the ground. I also think it's very much the consensus that you keep proclaiming on the thread to a lot of immediate dissent.

I am also sure that there is a very different view/meta/issue with timed vs untimed games, and unlike a competitive ccg environment that's not an easy balance to strike. I've no idea what the answer is there.

Lastly, you are more interested in a 'good' fix, and don't mind waiting a few years for it. To me that's not acceptable, and too many players are being lost now, and in their first few months because of this. I agree the long term fixes are needed, but so is a short term, one.
 
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Tom Cannon
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Zub3ri wrote:

[...]

The main problem with teleport is not that it is under-costed or overpowered, it's that it doesn't have a counter. If there was a trait that countered it, such as Unmovable counters Push, it would be about equal to the Push spells in the game.

[...]


I have found Walls and Obscured are strong counters to Teleport.

However, I am not looking for simple alternate versions/defenses of different spells to "balance" the game. I enjoy the complexity of asymmetrically designed conflict. It encourages deeper analysis of why something is stronger or weaker and how that might be countered in a given situation.

Viva la Warlord!
 
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Aaron Brosman
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I appreciate all of the debate on this thread. Right now I've got several items on my personal "watch list", and Teleport and the Wizard Mage card are on it. In working on future sets I'm trying to add options against Teleport and possible options for Dispel and other "required" cards. I am always interested in how our players games have been going. I'm especially interested to see more tournament results.
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