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Subject: Was this game even tested...? rss

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Ulrich A
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... with each player having just one half of a base game to build his spellbook?

Yes, this is a rhetoric question. The answer is obviously no, or the review would certainly not be so raving.

The rules do not even assume that both players share one game. They assume everybody brings his own cards to the table.

With 60 out of 160, the deckbuilding will be very limited, and the other person will have quite a good idea what you can and can´t have.

In other words: it won´t be possible to play this game (including the deck-building part) in a full and satisfying way with 2, unless you have more than one core set.

Describing the core set as a 2 player game is in my eyes false advertising, 120$ is way too much for a 2-player-cardgame, and I will certainly pass on this one. yuk
 
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John Guytan
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There are more than enough spells for 2 players to customize their spellbooks. I'm not sure where you got the 160 number. There are over 300 spell cards in the set. Each player only gets 120 spellpoints to use, so it does limit how much you can put into the spellbook.

Now, if you want to play with 2 of the same mage type, then yes you would have to buy a new game.

Also, if you just want more of the useful/utility spells (just over 100) cards, then you can get the Core Spell Tome for $20.
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Matt Hulgan
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Historybuff wrote:
Describing the core set as a 2 player game is in my eyes false advertising


Um.. but you CAN play with 1 set. There are tons of good games where you have a fair idea of what your oponent has but they don't stop being 2 player games. Blue Moon, Scarab Lords, and Coppertwaddle are just off the top of my head.

Most of the LCG core packs seem like they'd fall short of your 2 player criteria too.

Just sayin'
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Bryan Pope
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The base game is absolutely 2 player, and our playtesters have been testing for almost a year now using those spells, without running out of great surprises, cool tricks, and fresh spellbook plans.

The base set includes 322 spells. A typical spellbook has about 40-70 spells in it, call it 55 average. That means you could build 2 spellbooks, and still have only used about 1/3 of the total spells.

Perhaps what is confusing is the spell points. 120 spell points is NOT 120 cards. Each spell has a LEVEL, which defines how many spell points it costs to put into your spellbook.

Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks!
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Christopher Paul
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Historybuff wrote:
With 60 out of 160, the deckbuilding will be very limited, and the other person will have quite a good idea what you can and can´t have.




Do you think you can build a deck out of 60 cards like M:TG? Mage Wars uses a point system, and while I'm honestly not sure how big or small a typical deck is, I'm even less sure where you're getting these numbers from...

But this is from the BGG listing for the game, which seems to be updated to the current status of the game (ie, for two players).

Quote:
The Mage Wars®: Core Set includes:

Arena Gameboard
2 Spellbooks
322 Spell Cards
4 Mage Cards
4 Mage Ability Cards
2 Mage Status Boards
8 Status Cubes
20 Action Markers
2 Quickcast Markers
9 Attack Dice
1 Effect Die (d12)
24 Damage Counters
8 Mana Counters
7 Guard Markers
6 Ready Markers
20 Condition Markers,
3 Ability Markers
1 Initiative Marker
Rulebook
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Ulrich A
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Saturnineage wrote:
I'm not sure where you got the 160 number. There are over 300 spell cards in the set.


320/2 = 160, if the players share a copy. And no way to agree who gets those cards both want to use. And even if they find a way to agree, both will by then pretty much know what the other is going to do.

Say one player is a Fire Wizard who wants to use some dark spells.

Other player is a Warlock with a faible for the arcane.

So both will want to use fire, dark and arcane spells, only there will not be enough to make two books. There will be no satisfying way to distribute the cards.

The players will somehow have to agree beforehand about what type of mage each is going to play. This runs totally counter to the surprise spellbook theme of the game. After a play or two, you and your gaming friend will find out they really need another set for satisfactory play, so the price is double of the expected.

You could say the game is worth 120, but then why not tell us beforehand? Advertising it for 60 is still a scam. shake
 
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Ulrich A
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Lord Galactus wrote:
The base game is absolutely 2 player, and our playtesters have been testing for almost a year now using those spells, without running out of great surprises, cool tricks, and fresh spellbook plans.


Why then do the rules clearly assume both players bring their own book to the table?

And not a word about how 2 players should distribute the spells among them before spellbook creation.

This is obviously critically important, so no one would forget to include the rule for this, ...

...unless it´s really a problem that can´t be satisfactorily solved.
 
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Gabe Covert
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Saturnineage wrote:
There are more than enough spells for 2 players to customize their spellbooks. I'm not sure where you got the 160 number. There are over 300 spell cards in the set. Each player only gets 120 spellpoints to use, so it does limit how much you can put into the spellbook.

Now, if you want to play with 2 of the same mage type, then yes you would have to buy a new game.

Also, if you just want more of the useful/utility spells (just over 100) cards, then you can get the Core Spell Tome for $20.


I didn't realize my flying monkeys had set up shop in Austria...

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Bryan Pope
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Thanks Christopher! Yes, those counts you posted are correct. Players should easily have enough spells for 2 players!

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Viktor Karlsson Mantel
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Do you mean you should share the game with another player? That can be hard, its like trying to share a game like Eclipse.

If you mean just for the match, draft cards then.
 
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John Guytan
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Historybuff wrote:


320/2 = 160, if the players share a copy. And no way to agree who gets those cards both want to use. And even if they find a way to agree, both will by then pretty much know what the other is going to do.


I think 2 people who want to play a game together can be friendly enough to agree on how to handle spell selection. For example, if you both want the same spell, then just flip a coin.

Even if you knew what the other player had in his spellbook, you still don't know what they are going to do strategically during the game. He may be planning for you to attack him one way, and be completely surprised by how you use your spells and how your creatures advance/hold back.

Nearly every game I've played of Mage Wars comes down to each player having a few life points left. Rarely is it ever lopsided.
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Kevin Seachrist
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I can see the OP didn't quite get the card counts vs points aspect of this, but his point is still a concern: If I buy the base set and the supplementary tome and have copycat friends who want to use the same schools of magic that I do, can I reasonably expect to build two very similar decks (i.e. still two different mages, but let's use the sorcerer vs "fire mage" example from above) without fighting over cards?

I'm not really looking for the "you can be adults about who drafts what". Clearly that's true. I'm looking more for the answer of "you won't have many or any conflicts until you have multiple spellbooks assembled.

...Because I'd actually like to have one fairly refined book for each of the four mages.

I'll be buying the game regardless, and will frequently be playing in a context where I'm the only owner of the game, so I'll need to supply sufficient spellbooks with some variety built in. I want to make sure I know what I need to set aside for the initial investment.
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Carl Killough
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Well I'm putting my faith in the playtesters on this one. I liked the look of the game enough that I could see investing more than just the base set. I doubt I would buy two...just wait for some form of expansion.

But really it sounds like there is plenty there without having to worry about buying more than one set. I don't see anything worth calling a 'scam'. And if it is as terrible and underhanded as our OP seems to think, I doubt this company would be around long afterwards. I'm sure they realize that.
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Geoff Speare
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This looks like the kind of game where people who are really into it are going to want to spend hours poring over the spells choosing their "ideal" spellbook...and playing against people who did the same.

This is harder if you don't own the game.

It is less fun (at least to me) to make two spellbooks and hand one to another player. You know what they can do (and probably put some thought into it), they don't. Even if the game included enough for two people to make any spellbook they want, you'd still need to hand someone half your spells. Plus, they'd probably want to see a rulebook, and the board so they can visualize what's going on...and hey presto, they have their own copy of the game.

I don't think it's sneaky (or "not tested"), I think it's the nature of this kind of game.
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Christopher Paul
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galfridus wrote:
This looks like the kind of game where people who are really into it are going to want to spend hours poring over the spells choosing their "ideal" spellbook...and playing against people who did the same.

This is harder if you don't own the game.

It is less fun (at least to me) to make two spellbooks and hand one to another player. You know what they can do (and probably put some thought into it), they don't. Even if the game included enough for two people to make any spellbook they want, you'd still need to hand someone half your spells. Plus, they'd probably want to see a rulebook, and the board so they can visualize what's going on...and hey presto, they have their own copy of the game.

I don't think it's sneaky (or "not tested"), I think it's the nature of this kind of game.


Agreed. I think (assuming the game is fun at all ) fun can be had by just one person owning it and making a couple of decks, or once people learn it, making a card pool and each making your deck before the game.

That said, I'm hoping my group likes it enough that a few of them will want to pick up copies too. (I'm also hoping this for Android: Netrunner). I think the true heart of both of these games lies in creating your own deck, with all options available to you, before you show up for the game day.

First, however, they have to prove they're worth it, which is where the "bare bones" lower-priced version is preferable to a large initial investment.
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Jeffrey Speer
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I find this disingenuous- while I can sort of see the oP's "point" it doesn't seem like it would be any kind of issue.

 
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Mike Beiter
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I think it all comes down to how hard core you want to be about this game. There will be players who want to come to the table with their mage and spells all being a complete surprise to their opponent.
They want it to be like a constructed deck format in Magic the Gathering.
There is certainly nothing wrong with this play style, and I personally do find it fun on occasion.
The strategy of composing the right spells to be ready for an unknown opponent…
Having every card at your disposal for creating with no limitations outside of the games spell book construction rules…

But some players, myself included, will enjoy drafting cards back and forth between opponents and then assembling your spell book from what options you are given and make the best of it. There is strategy in counter draft style when you see what spells your opponent is going for so you try and select spells that will hopefully challenge them

I definitely feel there are more than enough spells for two players to make diverse spell books with tons of surprises and combos they will unleash as the cards are played.

Building the spell book is only part of the fun. It all comes down to the game play and experience that matters to me. My fun will come from getting into the actual gaming experience, not from creating an unknown spell book that I will surprise my opponent with.

What I would like to see is a formalized or recommended rule on how players can draft cards.

Perhaps that is simply how the OP could have started this post. Instead of attacking the game, simply ask.
“How do I divide my base set of cards between multiple players? What is the formal rule for multiplayer spell book construction?”
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Laszlo Stadler
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The way I plan do do it is to play the suggested basic spellbooks with some of my friends (there should be enough cards in the main set to build two of the suggested builds). We can change the mages so there will be something new for a while. Then I'm sure there are enough leftover cards to tweak these builds by some cards. By this point, hopefully they will be hooked enough to get their own sets and then we can start the real game: bulding spellbooks from scratch and see how they work out.

I don't think if it really matters if the other one knows about my cards. I will know about theirs too. I still won't know which cards they're going to play, there are a lot of possibilities.

The game seems flexible enough so that these trivialities don't really impair the fun.
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Marc Bennett
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
I think it all comes down to how hard core you want to be about this game. There will be players who want to come to the table with their mage and spells all being a complete surprise to their opponent.
They want it to be like a constructed deck format in Magic the Gathering.
There is certainly nothing wrong with this play style, and I personally do find it fun on occasion.
The strategy of composing the right spells to be ready for an unknown opponent…
Having every card at your disposal for creating with no limitations outside of the games spell book construction rules…

But some players, myself included, will enjoy drafting cards back and forth between opponents and then assembling your spell book from what options you are given and make the best of it. There is strategy in counter draft style when you see what spells your opponent is going for so you try and select spells that will hopefully challenge them

I definitely feel there are more than enough spells for two players to make diverse spell books with tons of surprises and combos they will unleash as the cards are played.

Building the spell book is only part of the fun. It all comes down to the game play and experience that matters to me. My fun will come from getting into the actual gaming experience, not from creating an unknown spell book that I will surprise my opponent with.

What I would like to see is a formalized or recommended rule on how players can draft cards.

Perhaps that is simply how the OP could have started this post. Instead of attacking the game, simply ask.
“How do I divide my base set of cards between multiple players? What is the formal rule for multiplayer spell book construction?”


i dont know about an official draft rules but i came up with one i plan to use if it ever comes to that. not sure where it is im sleepy but here it is.

basicly give each mage thier mage only spells (wizard only etc) and any school spells that they are the only ones able to use (ie warlock and dark only spells. as more expansions come out no spells will fit this catagory. wizard has to choose an elemental school before drafting starts). then sort all spells by school. shuffle them up and deal them out in piles of 5. (or 10 or whatever. as more expansions come out increase the number of cards per pile to save time)

all cards are face up and public knowledge. players take turns drafting piles, here would be a 4 player example.

player 1-1 pile
player 2-1 pile
player 3-1 pile
player 4-2 piles
player 3-1 pile
player 2-1 pile
player 1-2 piles

and you continue with players 1 and 4 getting 2 piles each until all the piles are gone. in 2 players player 1 would get one pile then everyone would get 2 after that. obviously i havent tested it but ive seen similar mechanics used before and they work fairly well.
 
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Ulrich A
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Hmmm.

Some thoughts:

1. I appreciate the general moderation and politeness of those who seem to totally disagree with my posts.

2. I am really surprised that no one -including the majority who understand my point- seems to share my criticism.

Is really everybody so getting used to sleazy marketing ploys that they have simply stopped caring? Or are those who agree too lazy to post? laugh

3. That there are no official draft rules is the heart of the matter. To me this proves beyond reasonable doubt that even the designers do not assume that the game is comfortably playable for two with just *one* copy of the base game, no expansion.

This is my poster book definition of a scam. (unless it were a solitaire game, of course)
 
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Geoff Speare
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Historybuff wrote:
Hmmm.

Some thoughts:

1. I appreciate the general moderation and politeness of those who seem to totally disagree with my posts.

2. I am really surprised that no one -including the majority who understand my point- seems to share my criticism.

Is really everybody so getting used to sleazy marketing ploys that they have simply stopped caring? Or are those who agree too lazy to post? laugh

3. That there are no official draft rules is the heart of the matter. To me this proves beyond reasonable doubt that even the designers do not assume that the game is comfortably playable for two with just *one* copy of the base game, no expansion.

This is my poster book definition of a scam. (unless it were a solitaire game, of course)


Your definition of "comfortably" demands a duplicate of everything. If I'm going to make my own spellbook, I want a copy of the rules, the board and counters (to evaluate the usefulness of spells) and the spells themselves. At that point you are buying double the content and might as well split it into two boxes.

People who play this way are going to want their own copies. The time they will put into the game makes the monetary cost less of a concern.

There are other methods/styles of play which don't require duplicates of everything: playing with the example spellbooks, drafting, one person doing all spellbook designs, etc. Some people will be happy with this. Some people will not and will be driven to buy a copy for themselves. At least they were able to evaluate the game using a single copy first!

This is not a scam. It is a business decision which seems a reasonable balance of production costs, price points, and playability.

Are they trying to get you to buy more? Of course they are!
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David desJardins
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Historybuff wrote:
2. I am really surprised that no one -including the majority who understand my point- seems to share my criticism.


Most people, when they discover that even those who are intelligent and well-informed completely disagree with them, will at least stop to consider the possibility that they are just wrong.

Most people don't have a problem with the idea that there's a limited set of cards (but way more than the number to build two decks) and they will just share them. This doesn't mean they are engaged in a "scam" or "sleazy" or "lazy". (Some of those terms seem libelous, to me.) It just means they have no problem playing a game that doesn't appeal to you. That's the brilliance of the market, different people can like different things, and everyone can buy what they like.

Since you, with your brilliant intellect, were able to uncover the truth, it can't be all that great of a "scam". I suggest you pursue the obvious plan and just buy something else with your money.
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Ulrich A
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DaviddesJ wrote:


Most people, when they discover that even those who are intelligent and well-informed completely disagree with them, will at least stop to consider the possibility that they are just wrong.


Not all completely disagreed with me. Some just disagreed for the most part.

Stopping to consider the possibility I am just wrong...

...

...

Nope.

I still think marketing a 1 1/2 player game as a 2 player game is sleazy.

My apologies that I also sympathize with those who would *not* go to boardgamegeek first and simply buy the game in good faith, reasonably expecting completeness for 2 out of the box.
 
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David desJardins
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Historybuff wrote:
My apologies that I also sympathize with those who would *not* go to boardgamegeek first and simply buy the game in good faith, reasonably expecting completeness for 2 out of the box.


There's a factual question, are many buyers going to be surprised and disappointed that they have to share from a limited supply of cards when building decks for two players?

I think the factual answer is "no".
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Darrell Goodridge
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It's my understanding that you can build all FOUR suggested decks with the cards in one base set. Obviously those are not optimized, but the fact it can be done clearly refutes your claim of sleazy tactics.

4 unoptimized spellbooks would clearly translate to 2 optimized ones. If you or your playing partner doesn't understand sharing, that's not the designer's fault.
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