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Subject: "Delay" too powerful? rss

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Ethan Glasser-Camp
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I was just talking to a few friends and they said they loved Wizard's Academy but they hadn't found it nearly as draining or complex as I had found it. Instead they had just used 5-6 mana each game using "delay" to shuffle disasters back into the deck, thereby delaying the progression and increased difficulty of the game while they collected stuff all around the board, and then they were so "on top of it" that they never needed to worry about threats ever actually hitting the mana crystal.

I really don't like the idea that Wizard's Academy is "solved"! In particular, this solution feels really unbalanced. It's possible that this strategy only works on some missions but they said they had gotten midway through the intermediate scenarios with it. Have other players found that using Delay like this dramatically lowers the difficulty? Any suggestions on nerfing the technique?
 
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Arthur O'Dwyer
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I'm confused on a couple of details in that story. Don't most scenarios give you only something like 6 mana to start with? (Checked. Basic scenarios give 6; intermediate give 5; expert give 3.) So if you always spend "5 or 6 mana" on mana crystal actions...

And then also, "they said they had gotten midway through the intermediate scenarios" — isn't "getting midway" a fancy way to say "losing"? Shouldn't their goal be to get all the way through, before they call it solved?

(As to your actual question about whether repeated "Delay" is a good strategy, I don't know; sorry. I suspect it might be. Spending 5 of your 6 mana on "Delay" would extend the early game by 25 turns, which sounds like a pretty good head start. Of course you risk suddenly losing that last mana by bad luck, but maybe that's unlikely enough that it doesn't matter.)

Anyway, an obvious way to nerf the technique would be to decrease the amount of mana available in the scenario — drop it from 6 to 4, for example.
 
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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From what I remember, this will only take you so far. Once you run out of mana you’re at very high risk of being wiped out by a bit of bad luck and there’ll be s lot of turns for that bad luck to happen.

It’s quite a while since I played (shortly after release) and I haven’t played more than a handful of games, so I could easily be wrong.
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Ethan Glasser-Camp
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I could have sworn they said "five or six" mana, but we were just shooting the breeze after a different board game ended and hadn't gotten the game out, so maybe they just meant "most of the mana".

"Gotten midway through the intermediate scenarios" was my way of saying "had successfully won on the first intermediate scenarios". In other words, "midway" is intended to apply to the group of scenarios, not to each scenario individually. The point is that it's (allegedly) a strategy that works on a lot of scenarios, even on the intermediate level. (Of course, I haven't played with them yet, so maybe they're misplaying some other rule or otherwise making the game way easier for themselves.)

Having a "go to" strategy that is reliably successful, especially if that strategy isn't obvious from just knowing the rules, seems to me like a pretty powerful inducement to quarterbacking, and removes a lot of the tension in a game that seemed, even on the earlier scenarios, to be quite taxing. Lowering the number of mana crystals doesn't change whether the strategy is as powerful as other alternatives; it just means you can't use it for as long. That might help restore the tension, but it still seems just as prone to quarterbacking.

I'll try to play with them and see if it's as powerful as they say. It could be that this is much ado about nothing...
 
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Andrew Riley
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Quuxplusone wrote:
And then also, "they said they had gotten midway through the intermediate scenarios" — isn't "getting midway" a fancy way to say "losing"? Shouldn't their goal be to get all the way through, before they call it solved?
I imagine they meant they'd got all the way through half the scenarios, rather than midway through all the scenarios.
 
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