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Mage Wars Arena» Forums » General

Subject: Apprentice or Academy rss

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Jonathan Cowlishaw
United States
Orem
Utah
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Which way would work better to learn Mage Wars? Starting with Academy or starting with Arena in apprentice mode?
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Tony Gullotti
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Fort Wayne
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Officially, we recommend getting started with the Mage Wars Academy Core Set. Players will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of Mage Wars and will be able to easily transition into Arena. Since all cards found in Academy can be used in Arena, it also allows players to jump in at a lower initial cost.

Arcan Wonders does not have plans to continue apprentice mode events.
 
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Jonathan Challis
United Kingdom
Inkpen
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Opinions vary - mine is that if you are planning on playing Arena as the end-state then you should avoid Academy and play Apprentice mode first. Having said that, most people I have come across jumped straight into full Arena with no problems.

Academy's value if any is as a separate game. It has no value to me that way, but there are too many divergent rules and strategies to make it a good training aid in my opinion.

Arcane Wonders (and others) have different opinions, but then AW also has a financial interest in making a sucky product work...
 
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Ivan Kidd
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I agree that apprentice mode works better as an introduction due to all the differences, and think academy is simply its own game. However, I think academy is a good game that simply needs more expansions to increase its depth.
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Tom Cannon
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JonathanC wrote:
Which way would work better to learn Mage Wars? Starting with Academy or starting with Arena in apprentice mode?


I believe it depends on your gaming experience and what you like in a game. Looking at your game collection on BGG I would compare the Arena game experience as more like Star Wars: Imperial Assault and Descent: Journeys in the Dark. While Academy game experience is more similar to Legendary, Dominion, Dice Masters, and MtG.

These comparisons are based on the following:

Academy - players battle each other in close proximity to one another. In Mage Wars terminology each mage starts in the same zone. There is no movement action in this game. I find this similar to the comparison games since each player is essentially playing from a tableau of resources. While the mechanisms are different in each game (a spellbook, a deck, a common card pool to draft during the game, etc.), the experience feels very static to me without the element of movement choices and board positioning.

Arena in Apprentice mode - players have a small 2x3 arena with 6 zones in which to take actions and battle. The 5 types of spells are the same, but now a movement action is needed for each creature in order to get into a tactical position and make attacks or cast spells within a given range. This movement action is often a tradeoff for other actions so making a choice becomes another type of decision tree that each player must mentally handle for each creature. In this way I compare it to the above games in your collection that feature a board, character movement, and tradeoff decisions between no or limited movement and taking other actions on any given turn.

Hopefully, comparing these two game experiences to similar games you have played will help with your decision. Personally, I did not have a choice since Arena arrived on the scene several years ahead of Academy. However, based on my years of past experience with fantasy games and wargames, I prefer the Arena style game as others above have stated. When I first bought Arena I jumped right into the advanced rules and didn't learn the Apprentice mode. Of course, I had been playing boardgames of all types over 40 years at that point so my experience level was at the high end.
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Chris Brett
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Personally, as someone who teaches a lot of players; Academy first, then Apprentice, and then full Arena.

That said; Arena is perfectly playable out of the box, depends on the player's gaming experience. Arena is a big game with a lot of strategic options (that's what's great about it) but it can be a big learning curve.

Academy teaches a lot of core mechanics and gives you a quick (20-30mins) game - although some diehard fans of Arena believe you should only play arena
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Eric
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Chriz007 wrote:
Personally, as someone who teaches a lot of players; Academy first, then Apprentice, and then full Arena.

That said; Arena is perfectly playable out of the box, depends on the player's gaming experience. Arena is a big game with a lot of strategic options (that's what's great about it) but it can be a big learning curve.

Academy teaches a lot of core mechanics and gives you a quick (20-30mins) game - although some diehard fans of Arena believe you should only play arena


I really like the way mage wars uses the codex of terms. I just printed out the combined codex that has all the terms from every game, then placed them in plastic sheets and help them together with loose rings that clasp. It works perfectly and it's really quick and easy to find out what a creature does if you aren't sure.
 
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