Having recounted the tales of the Amazon, the Berserker, the Black Knight and the Captain, the story now moves on to the next group of four characters in my effort to play each in turn moving on only after finishing with positive VPs.
I’m not very enthusiastic about the Druid. He seems best equipped to skulk about the Realm attempting to keep a low profile. His combat skills are negligible and his magic is the most humble sort. After a few failures I decided to make him a seeker of magical lore. I also took the option making the Druid immune from Curses. For the starting spells I chose Guide Spider or Octopus and Stones Fly. With the former, the Druid could count on looting the Cairns or the Pool without fear of harassment. I also took pains, for the first time in the Tour, to create a map that would facilitate easy movement. It was worth the effort. Finding the Pool, the Hoard and the Lair in the northern part of the Realm, the Druid looted the Black Book and the Beast Pipes gaining three of the four spells he needed. Having also found the Sacred Grail and Golden Crown the Druid had an opportunity to earn a lot of fame if he could find the right natives. The Chapel and the Guard House were far to the south, but the careful map setup made the trip easy (having the Seven League Boots and their extra move phase didn’t hurt either.)
Score: 9 VPs (with VPs in Great Treasure, Spells x2, Notoriety and Gold)
I love playing the Dwarf. The challenge of being limited to 2 phases a day due to the Short Legs “advantage” coupled with powerful chits and good starting gear is a lot of fun. Careful set-up of the map allowed the Dwarf to make a quick dash for the cave clearings of the Borderlands. As luck would have it, the Dwarf had stumbled upon the Lost City with the Hoard, the Cairns and the Statue treasure sites clustered together. The Dwarf slowly plundered a few baubles from the Hoard until the Tremendous Flying Dragon appeared. Luckily the Dwarf was hidden and his attack from Ambush slew the Dragon before it could attack him. When the Tremendous Dragon prowled from the Lair to the Hoard the Dwarf easily slew the slow beast. Despite these successes the Borderlands was becoming too thick with monsters for the Dwarf to hang around. He made his way to the Guard House where he hired the Guard. Following Guard HQ allowed the Dwarf to move much faster. Almost as important the Guard helped the Dwarf slay the Tremendous Troll and then loot the Vault. His last effort was to reach the House where he sold the Golden Arm Band to the Soldiers.
Score: 13 VPs (with VPs in Great Treasure, Fame x2, Notoriety x2)
The Elf is another character that I play often. Using Peace with Nature, the Elf can control when denizens appear in his tile, assuming he’s got Gold magic available. Using Persuade, he can pacify hostile natives or even the occasional Giant. I wanted to be able to hire some natives as soon as possible and when the Altar offered up the Bejeweled Dwarf Vest it seemed like the Soldiers would soon be in the employ of the Elf. At the House the Solders quickly agreed to a term of service as the Patrol arrived and challenged the Elf. Forgoing Persuade, the Elf and the Soldiers made short work of the Patrol. Finding the Hoard soon after that, the Elf, assisted by Soldier HQ found some very useful items including the Seven League Boots, the Blasted Jewel and the Enchanter’s Skull. When the Tremendous Flying Dragon appeared the Elf sent a feathered shaft straight into a gap in its nearly impervious armor (he rolled a “1” on the missile table.) When the Cloven Hoof appeared things took an evil turn. The Elf led his band to the Guard House and the evil artifact prompted the Guard to challenge the Elf. The Soldiers slew their counterparts the Guard, but Soldier HQ fell in the melee. Moving alone to the Inn the Elf sold the Cloven Hoof to the Rogues, hired the Company and destroyed the hapless thieves.
Score: 10 VPs (with VPs in Great Treasure, Fame, Notoriety x2, Gold)
The Magician is easily my favorite character in Magic Realm. There are many ways to play him based on the spells he chooses. For this game I took Transform, Remedy and Control Spider or Octopus. Often I use Transform as a way of compensating for a map that does not offer easy movement by becoming a creature that can walk the woods. This time I put it together with some care and so held Transform as an offensive spell. This plan also made it practical to hire some Rogues, though only one was willing to sign on. The duo quickly located the Lair but as they did a Tremendous Troll caught their scent. Unleashing a powerful spell the Magician transformed the Troll into a Frog that the Rogue promptly skewered. Unfortunately only a short time later a brace of Dragons appeared, but not before the Magician found the Dragonfang Necklace. Leaving the Rogue to his gristly fate, the Magician slipped away to enchant a chit for Purple magic before returning. Using the Dragonfang Necklace he commanded the Tremendous Flying Dragon to turn on the Heavy Flying Dragons. After a brief struggle the only Dragon left alive was the one enchanted by the Magician. From then on the Magician made use of his Dragon friend “Scales”, pausing every other day to recharge his source of Purple magic. The Magician looted the Vault opened by the faithful Scales, who even absorbed the Curse from the Remains of the Thief. (Where were you when the Moudly Skeleton turned up?) Finally saying good-bye to the Dragon, the Magician had a hefty trove that he sold to the Rogues ending his adventure in the Realm.
Score: 18 VPs (with VPs in Great Treasure, Fame, Notoriety x2, Gold)
Next Part III (Pilgrim, Sorcerer, Swordsman, White Knight)
The Magician is easily my favorite character in Magic Realm.
I love the Magician too. It's very satisfying to pull off a win with him (though it happens rarely enough for me), and the strategies, as you said, are plentiful but challenging.
One thing this effort has taught me is the value of setting up the map to the best advantage. Even when I'm trying to do it I struggle because sometimes the random draw of the tiles can just be tough. But with a good map the Magician seems to have more time to search for treasure because he isn't spending valuable phases enchanting purple magic in order to transform himself. I now like transform much more as an offensive spell as long as the Magician has a few friends along with him.