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Subject: "FFG like" redesign? :-) rss

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Štěpán Honc
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Hello, reading reviews and watching pictures I desire to grab this game and play it over and over :-) The problem is that my girlfriend don't like chits... really, she loves games but loves miniatures even more and strongly prefer FFG style of visual design. Some effect tokens are OK but miniatures are crucial. So there is a challenge for me...

Is there any possibility to make an own redesign by ourselves (the girl is very good illustrator as well), even by adapting everything (size of map tiles, making some cards instead of chits, stats of monsters on the reference sheets...) to use miniatures in this game? I really want to ask you, Magic Realm veterans, what everything would be necessary to change and adapt or, of course, if it is even possible due to some crucial mechanics in the game, before I start to study rulebook and prepare for it (I suppose it should take a year of work at least...)

Please, try to help me in some constructive way

Thank you

kind regards,

Stepan
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Mark Bigney
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Not only would miniatures not be able to contain all the necessary information on the chits, but stacking 8+ minis on a space (be it on the setup card or the map itself) would require a truly gargantuan game. I sincerely doubt it would ever be workable.
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Freelance Police
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If she's a good illustrator, how about cardstock standups? You could have the stats on the standees as well. Then upload the images to BGG to share with others!
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Štěpán Honc
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Gyges wrote:
Not only would miniatures not be able to contain all the necessary information on the chits, but stacking 8+ minis on a space (be it on the setup card or the map itself) would require a truly gargantuan game. I sincerely doubt it would ever be workable.


Thank you! I don't have to care about the area off the board, there are chits allowed... and monster stats I would have written down on some reference sheet or cards, unless there is another problem with it ...

Do you mean that on the only one space (as every tile contains couple of them) can be 8+ monsters at the same time? That would be truly a high challenge
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Štěpán Honc
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Sam and Max wrote:
If she's a good illustrator, how about cardstock standups? You could have the stats on the standees as well. Then upload the images to BGG to share with others!


She is but standups are still not considered as miniatures from her point of view :-)
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi from Germany,

Polylux1 wrote:
... Is there any possibility to make an own redesign ... to use miniatures in this game? I really want to ask you, Magic Realm veterans, what everything would be necessary to change and adapt or, of course, if it is even possible due to some crucial mechanics in the game, before I start to study rulebook and prepare for it (I suppose it should take a year of work at least...)
Please, try to help me in some constructive way
...


MAGIC REALM definitely is a great game.
But is does not come for free, i.e. it takes a lot of enthusiasm and you better be true fans of Fantasy.

The game focusses on the realm as such (represented by the tiles, the inhabitants (monsters, natives, individuals, etc.), fascinating places (e.g. dwellings), fabulous treasures and powerful magic. And last but not least there are the characters or adventurers.

To replace the many counters with miniatures could be done, but there are some points to think about before actually attempting this.

(1) The characters
There are 16 distinct adventurers. Their large round counters could be easily replaced by miniatures. Just find eligible ones and get your purse ready.
Placing and moving them on the realm tiles is simply a size problem, especially when those brave lads share the same clearing. Enlarging the tiles? Yes, possible, but get a laaarge table then.
The counters allow an effective stacking.
Also important: characters are either "hidden" or "in the open". This is easily done by placing their counters tan or green side up.
With miniatures, maybe special markers (wooden cubes?) could be use to indicate the "hidden" status.
More important are the 13 small square counters provided for each character to represent her/his capabilities (MOVE, FIGHT, MAGIC, DUCK, BERSERK) including the so-called ATTENTION counters.
They could be, of course, replaced by writing everything down. But this would indeed kill the game.
In combat, those counters, together with Armor and Weapon counters (and there are a lot of them) are also needed to facilitate battling.
Note: the battle board also hosts the monsters and other adversaries. And those chaps have the option to switch their tactics. Again, easily done by flipping their counters. With miniatures? Mark them? Double the number of models?
Therefore, I strongly suggest to use "printed" or cardboard character models.
This is a very cost-effective and very adaptable solution. There is no limit but your imagination for the design of those "miniatures".
But the problem of stacking remains.

(2) The monsters
It's mainly a question of numbers. There are quite a lot of monsters.
And all of them require two versions.
This could be a solution.

The data for each monster (size! MAGIC REALM uses medium, large and tremendous monsters; maneuver speed, attack speed and attack strength) is given on each counter. In addition, the game system uses parameters like "armored", Fame/Notoriety scores, and possible trophies taken from slain monsters like spider legs, bat wings, etc.

(3) The natives and more
There are many natives and they show up in whole teams. About half of them are mounted. This adds tremendously to the size problem. The realm also offers the adventurers to get and use horses. Another challenge to cover this with miniatures.

(3) The dwellings, treasures, etc.
The 6 dwelling counters could be replaced with corresponding miniatures. But beware the scale! A chapel model might end up as a dominant game component once placed on a Valley tile.
I use cards for all those locations, items, special elements providing all necessary details. The counters are placed on the tiles as usual.


So if you really want to "expand" MAGIC REALM be sure about your real interest (addiction?!) in the game and the Fantasy genre.
MAGIC REALM does NOT really need miniatures as its scope is beyond duels.
A game like CASTLE RAVENLOFT is perfect for miniatures.

If you stick to your idea, feel free to ask detailed questions about the elements you want to replace with more "visual" game components.

I'm sure I would also profit from your questions and ideas.


Cheers
U.L.H.







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Jay Richardson
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Štěpán Honc wrote:
Thank you! I don't have to care about the area off the board, there are chits allowed... and monster stats I would have written down on some reference sheet or cards, unless there is another problem with it ...

Stats aren't really a problem; the rulebook contains charts showing the complete stats of every creature/individual in the game, and you could easily make up your own custom charts if you wanted to.

Most of the counter redesigns currently available have way too much data on them anyway, as much of the information is only rarely needed and/or easily memorized... but it would be annoying to not be able to see the Move and Attack values of the monsters just by glancing at the board.

Štěpán Honc wrote:
Do you mean that on the only one space (as every tile contains couple of them) can be 8+ monsters at the same time? That would be truly a high challenge

Each tile can have three to six spaces ("clearings"). It is not unusual to occasionally see a single clearing with 20 or more individuals present in it at the same time: characters, hired natives, hired native leaders, native horses, and monsters.

For example, with a little bad luck you could easily get all 18 Goblins (three different types) together in a single clearing. And the Chapel could easily have the Order (1 native leader, 3 natives, 4 warhorses), the Lancers (1 native leader, 3 natives, 4 ponies), and the Patrol (1 native leader, 2 natives, 3 workhorses) present at the same time. That's 11 natives and 11 horses. And since horses can be killed, you have to have some way to indicate whether each of those natives is riding a horse or not.

In addition, you'll need a way to indicate whether characters and natives are hidden or not, and if any monsters are hired or controlled you'll probably need to be able to indicate their hidden status as well.

Miniatures can be cool, but using them with Magic Realm will probably be very awkward and have a negative impact on the gameplay.
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Štěpán Honc
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Guys, thank you very much, your answers really exceed all of my expectations, thanks A LOT to Germany especially!

It seems it should be possible - for multiple characters on the clearing I would use a neutral "horde" miniatures, numbered maybe, to indicate more than one character in there, with respective cards outside of the board to gather all present miniatures onto. I my head it seems good :-)

Horses, skills, weapons, markers of hiding and all other staff I would definitely use in cardboard version, like effect or order tokens in Descent. It works great to amount of roughly four counters per miniature so then I should put weapons or whatever onto respective hero sheet.

So, now is the time to study really carefully in deep your answers and prepare more questions but first of them are obvious:

Is the idea of "horde" miniatures completely wrong from some technical aspect I don't see?

If equipment and weapons would be gathered by character sheets, how many other chits - counters may be present under ONE miniature at time?


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Mike Urban
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I actually have put character miniatures in my copy of the game. The only state that needs to be kept for the characters is their hidden/unhidden status, and the original counter, green side up, can be placed under or near a hidden character. It makes it easier to see and identify the characters, really. I wouldn't do this for monsters nor denizens, who arrive in stacks and varieties.
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mjw65ss
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I shudder just thinking about this kind of project. I would probably keep losing the miniature "Lost Keys".
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Štěpán Honc
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Ostadan wrote:
I actually have put character miniatures in my copy of the game. The only state that needs to be kept for the characters is their hidden/unhidden status, and the original counter, green side up, can be placed under or near a hidden character. It makes it easier to see and identify the characters, really. I wouldn't do this for monsters nor denizens, who arrive in stacks and varieties.


Thank you for good news! Gonna to download rulebook :-)
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi,

some more thoughts ...

Polylux1 wrote:
...
Is the idea of "horde" miniatures completely wrong from some technical aspect I don't see?

If equipment and weapons would be gathered by character sheets, how many other chits - counters may be present under ONE miniature at time?

The "horde" mechanism will work, but it requires quite some bookkeeping. And the situation will change rather often, so maintain accuracy.

To keep score of the adventurers' fate, their equipment, capabilities, etc. you can use the original character cards. This would require to note down each and every game turn activities.
I made my own character sheets providing all the space needed to place all counters and to plot each game turn's activities by using specific activity markers.


In order to save space on the table, I also use this much smaller version.
As you can see, all possessions of a character and all her/his MOVE, FIGHT, etc. counters are kept off board. Normally, NO counter is kept with a character counter on the realm tiles.

I think 6 dwellings are not that thrilling.
Here are some more.
Each one has its own cards with all the specific rules. This keeps the rules book short.


Cheers
U.L.H.

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BrentS
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richfam wrote:


Most of the counter redesigns currently available have way too much data on them anyway, as much of the information is only rarely needed and/or easily memorized... but it would be annoying to not be able to see the Move and Attack values of the monsters just by glancing at the board.


I know your view on this, Jay, but this is one issue on which I respectfully disagree. This is one area where MR shows its age. Stats like fame, notoriety and gold values, vulnerability (of natives who are not designated by chit size), weapon length and armoured status are best not hidden away in the rulebook.....and it's difficult for MR veterans to realise that they are not easily memorised or accessable. The remodelled chits available are not cluttered and I, as a long time player, still find that they greatly enhance play. I very much appreciate modern games where I can understand as much of the game state as possible from looking at the board, and the greatly enhanced flow of play that comes with less rulebook/chart consultation. Whether it be the redesign of the original artwork (which I use), or Karim's redesign, I believe this is a major enhancement of the game.

Brent.
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matthew clark
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I'd been thinking of whether MR with figures and modelled terrain would be possible, especially as I already have a lot of suitable figures.

The scale of the figures would be important to consider and because of how many figures would have to fit into clearings at any one time I would only be considering 15mm or smaller.

There are photos on the BGG site showing where a game owner has 'modelled' the MR from hard foam i think.

I think it is possible to solve the counter info by mounting the miniatures on a magnetic base. To the underneath of this you can then attach a double sided magnetic counter that can be flipped when necessary. Personally i prefer to keep all written info out of sight on the modelled terrain for aesthetic reasons otherwise why go to the effort of modelling the game? If a character or denizen has a horse one could save space by just using the horse counter underneath the character figure. There are some aspects about not being able to see the stats of a creature in order to work out if you can beat it or not I like. It makes it less 'gamey' in my mind. I did something similar to this when i converted 'Conflict of Heroes' into a miniature game (photos are there somewhere).

Terrain:
You could save yourself a lot of work here by not having to make two copies of every tile (when they are enchanted tiles flip). My solution to that is just to have the usual unenchanted tile. When enchanted one could use a single or numerous coloured small beads or gems, the kind you get from a craft shop to place in the clearings. They would look like jewels. Or maybe mount them to look like a street lantern that can be pegged into the tile or maybe a tree that has the appropriate coloured fruit on it?

Even at 10mm scale I suspect you would have to make the tiles twice as big as the ones from the boardgame. I don't have them to hand but you're probably looking at 20cm width across the tile flats. Alternatively you could work from a paper map or the Realmspeak site 'off table' along with all the other play aids. Then just have the tiles in play where characters are located plus the connecting ones 'on table.'
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi from Germany again,

regarding the simple ways of marking enchanted tiles ...
most tiles are not just adding a magic color (e.g. Valleys) but they also show different paths (all three types). Please, take a look at the Deep Woods tile for example. Therefore, there is a real requirement to have 2 times 20 tiles (for a "no-flip" version).

Or more ...
This is an example for a typical game of MAGIC REALM. It lasted 35 game turns.


Cheers
U.L.H.

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David S.
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Uwe,

I find your set very interesting. Haha I love the power cookies, but can't read what they do. Also, the volcano is pretty neat. Half of your set also confuses me.

Back to topic:
Unless you're doing a game with more than 4 people I rarely see more than 3 chits in a single clearing at once (except the goblins and wolves obviously). And placing 3 or 4 minis in a clearing shouldn't be too hard. If a clearing starts to pile up with chits you can just use a proxy chit. Use two 'A' labeled chits, put one on the clearing and the other to the side, then place all the minis in that clearing next to the 'A' chit on the side. I couldn't see needing more than maybe A-E at a time.
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Uwe Heilmann
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Great!

A reply!

Thanks.

The Power Cookies are "small treasures" and allow to quickly return fatigued counters to play.

The volcano is one of 11 so-called VERY SPECIAL tiles. Another one is the REALM CASTLE (also visible in the picture).
As I have several sets of the tiles, I modified the redundant ones (in most cases different paths between the clearings).
This way, for example, each OAK WOODS tile now is different. I even use tiles without any paths between the clearings (so-called unexplored tiles of the Magic Realm).

There are unlimited options and possibilities in the Magic Realm game.


Cheers
U.L.H.

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Trevor Dewey
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richfam wrote:

Stats aren't really a problem; the rulebook contains charts showing the complete stats of every creature/individual in the game, and you could easily make up your own custom charts if you wanted to.

Most of the counter redesigns currently available have way too much data on them anyway, as much of the information is only rarely needed and/or easily memorized... but it would be annoying to not be able to see the Move and Attack values of the monsters just by glancing at the board.


I could not disagree more. I think this is the one case where your 20+ years of play (at least I think you mentioned at least 20 years of play) are a hindrance instead of a help. I think it is clear you 'know' the stats so well that you never have to look up (for example) the weapon length value for a Great Swordsman and don't remember what a pain that is.

The single biggest problem I had with learning the standard game was combat precisely because of the lack of stats on the monster/native counters. It wasn't until I discovered the remodeled counters that I actually started playing the game correctly. Indeed one reason I don't like the Karim redesign is I think he mucked up the counters (not as bad as in standard but nowhere as good, crisp or easy to read as the remodeled).

Remodeled are here -> http://www.magicrealm.org/components/



Edit: Just read BrentS pretty much agree.
 
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