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Subject: Mage Wars Where to start? rss

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Kevin Unger
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I enjoy Mage Ware but don't own any.....YET. I want to go all in on Mage Wars. But where do I start? Do I buy the core? Academy? Is it like other games where I want multiples for duplicates? What expansions are a must get vs. a fun to have?

Any experienced Mage Wars players out there who can steer me in the right direction, your feedback would be very appreciated!
 
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Kevin Unger
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Additionally, does anyone know the differences between the original Big Box and the Arena box?
 
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Warren Zdan
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If you've already played and enjoy Mage Wars, then I'd start with Arena, not Academy. Academy is mostly for introducing new players to some core concepts in Mage Wars. Unfortunately, it is like other games where you want multiples for duplicates, at least if you're planning on having several spell books constructed at once. There are some good utility cards (teleport, dispel, dissolve, etc.) you'll probably want at least one or two copies of in each mage's spell book. There are some spell tomes you can pick up to try and address the need for duplicates, but in most cases, it's cheaper and better to buy another core box instead of spell tomes 1 & 2. There's a thread from some time back that compares them.

As for expansions, the only one that stands out to me as significantly better/worse than the rest is the forcemaster vs. warlord. The warlord has a deckbuilding penalty for the school of magic a lot of the good utility spells are in, so he can sometimes feel a bit weaker than the other mages. I didn't like the forcemaster as much, either, but that's more a personal preference. All the academy sets you'll probably want at some point if you're planning on going all in, but I'd start with the arena expansions first.

I don't believe there's any difference between the arena box and the old big box. They just added arena to the name to differentiate it from the academy releases. That being said, I' only have the old big boxes, never picked up the arena core, so there might be some differences I'm unaware of.
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Prositter wrote:
I enjoy Mage Ware but don't own any.....YET. I want to go all in on Mage Wars. But where do I start? Do I buy the core? Academy? Is it like other games where I want multiples for duplicates? What expansions are a must get vs. a fun to have?

Any experienced Mage Wars players out there who can steer me in the right direction, your feedback would be very appreciated!


There is no difference between Mage Wars and Mage Wars Arena other than box size. When Mage Wars Academy came out, Mage Wars was renamed to Mage Wars Arena to differentiate from Mage Wars Academy.

If what you want is full arena combat across 12 zones, you want Mage War Arena. If you want duplicates of spells in the core box, you can pick up Core Spell Tome and Core Spell Tome 2 - bot of which also have additional spells not found in the core box. The other expansions have different mages, each with their own style of play.

Mage Wars Academy is a streamlined set played in a single zone - there is no movement. You can use cards from Academy in Arena, but not the other way around (granted, the Academy cards are weak compared to what's in Arena). If time is a constraint and you want something that can be played in 30 minutes, then Academy is a better option.
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Thanee
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Prositter wrote:
I enjoy Mage Ware but don't own any.....YET. I want to go all in on Mage Wars. But where do I start? Do I buy the core? Academy? Is it like other games where I want multiples for duplicates? What expansions are a must get vs. a fun to have?


If you already know Mage Wars Arena, then you do not need Academy (maybe later for the cards, but it is a simpler version of the game).

The obvious start is the Mage Wars Arena core set. It includes everything you need to play.

You do not really need multiples, since there are special expansions (Mage Wars: Core Spell Tome 1 and Mage Wars: Core Spell Tome 2) for that purpose, if they still make those (not entirely sure).

The best expansion is Mage Wars Arena: Battlegrounds Domination, which has new play modes that are really neat.

Other than that, it is mostly a question of getting new mages, and which interest you the most.

Bye
Thanee
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heroesbane wrote:
There is no difference between Mage Wars and Mage Wars Arena other than box size.
I'm quite sure that's not correct.
The 'Mage Wars Arena' box includes more copies of several staple cards, making it the better choice to buy unless you can get the older 'Mage Wars' base game for a significant discount.

One or two of the early expansions (sorry, I don't recall which) also have additional copies of some cards in the re-released version.

If you really want to go 'all-in', you should buy two copies of the base game. I don't feel you need two copies of any of the expansions though (as long as you get the re-released versions).

Imho, you should definitely get all of the small box expansions for the 'Arena' line.
'The Lost Grimoire' also offers some good value, being a collection of some of the most popular promo cards (plus a few designs, iirc).

I'd consider the 'Battlegrounds' expansion optional, as it's a new game mode and most of the cards in the box have been designed to support it.

I cannot say much about the 'Academy' sets, since I basically ignored they exist. However, I've read that they contain quite a few good low-level spells. Maybe someone else can comment on them or make recommendations.
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Thanee
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Yeah, for tournament play, the Academy sets are quite useful, especially the cheap armor equipment cards (like the ones from Arena, just for different slots, so they stack with those) are a staple.

And, yes, the newer Arena core set is slightly different, but only an improvement (also small stuff like a better folded board, better health token denominations), so no reason to hunt down the older one.

Bye
Thanee
 
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jhaelen wrote:
heroesbane wrote:
There is no difference between Mage Wars and Mage Wars Arena other than box size.
I'm quite sure that's not correct.
The 'Mage Wars Arena' box includes more copies of several staple cards, making it the better choice to buy unless you can get the older 'Mage Wars' base game for a significant discount.


I misspoke. Here's the differences...

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameversion/264813/english-se...

Quote:

• 12"x12" box size
• 2 new Spellbook designs
• New Arena Board design
• Alternate Art for Bear Strength, Dispel, Dissolve, Minor Heal and Rhino Hide
• New Artwork for Battle Fury, Force Push, Hand of Bim Shalla, Teleport, and Temple of Light
• 14 additional core spell cards (to make spellbook building easier, including Dispel, Dissolve, Force Push and others)
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