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Mage Wars Arena» Forums » Variants

Subject: a drafting variant with a bidding system rss

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Chris Corbin
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OK, so the main issue I am concerned about is if more than one player is building a spellbook from a single core set.

my idea is a bidding system for the cards which are contested (both players want a spell in their book) they bid with the spell points of their chosen mage above the initial cost of the spell.

I am thinking that if one mage has training matching the contested spell that they should have priority and should be allowed to claim the spell, but if neither mage has the relevant training, or if both do, then the bidding starts and goes to the player willing to pay the most for it.

an example:

role the 12d to determine who goes first.

player A goes first and he picks a level 1 spell in the dark school which he has training in.

player B then has the option to contest the card if she also has the necessarily training, she does not so the card is uncontested.

player A then takes the card and pays the cost under the normal rules to place it in his spellbook.

it is player B's turn to choose and she picks a level 2 fire spell which she has the necessary training for (in this example I am assuming the player A is the Warlok and player B is the wizard which has chosen the fire school as it's optional element)

player A also has training in the fire school and also has his eyes on the spell, he chooses to contest the choice and announces that decision.

player A then places a bid of 3 points on the card (verbally) and sees if player B chooses to match or up the bid

player B chooses to not match the bid

player A claims the spell and pays the "new" cost of the spell.

Note: this leaves player A with two cards and player B with none. to even things out, if a player wins a card on a bid when it was another players turn to choose, that player skips their next turn to choose a card and can not bid on the next players choice. this limits any frivolous bidding a player might be tempted to do just to be a pain.

choosing continues back and forth until all points have been spent.


that's it... kind of a rough draft, but it can be put into a tighter rules set if it needs to be.

if this seems like a good idea let me know... if it seems like a stupid idea let me know why. I am really interested in the game and will almost certainly get it, but I probably won't get more than one core set or the core spell tome... probably... maybe not.
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Ayumi Hakase
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Intriguing and worthy of consideration. We'll know more once the game ships.

I'm curious about card distribution, too. The assumption is that there are enough cards to go around based on schools of magic, and this game has been developed over a number of years with some extensive play testing.

I thing everything depends on the number of often-used spell cards and the number of multiples.

Please keep your drafting variant and bidding system in view as events unfold.
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Mike Beiter
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Definitely an interesting idea. The only down side is if two mages are contesting constantly, then a more agressive bidder may have a very small 120 point spellbook if their opponent keeps bidding them up.
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Gary Sweatt
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It baffles me how many people want to offer suggestions to improve a game before it even comes out...
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Chris Corbin
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
Definitely an interesting idea. The only down side is if two mages are contesting constantly, then a more agressive bidder may have a very small 120 point spellbook if their opponent keeps bidding them up.


yes, well, you could let them win a bid on a somewhat inconsequential spell and then take your free turn to pick a key spell. there will have to be some tinkering once I get the game to see how well it works.
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Chris Corbin
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Monoutopia wrote:
It baffles me how many people want to offer suggestions to improve a game before it even comes out...


not trying to improve the game... it seems to have gone through an extensive play testing period and the mechanics appear balanced.

As I said, I am considering how to equitably split a single core set between two players who wish to use the same spells in there spell book. Granted, the card distribution of the core set will determine how necessary a drafting variant may be; but I saw that the points system for building a spellbook presented a unique opportunity for bidding on cards against other players and thought it sounded fun and wanted to share it.
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Mike Beiter
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Monoutopia wrote:
It baffles me how many people want to offer suggestions to improve a game before it even comes out...


It is not even about improving the game. It is coming up with a way for each player to make custom spell books without each player having to buy their own set. Since no official rules exist, it will be house ruled how each gaming group handles spell book creation until the designers add a draft mechanic to the rules.

So hopefully an official draft format will be introduced to the game soon, as many of the players are seeking a formalized way to handle this dilemma.
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Chris Corbin
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Coincidentally, the full core set card list was just posted. some spells have up to 5 copies, but there are plenty of single copy cards that might be hard to divvy up without starting fights... I'm thinking that bidding could have a place in my games.

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/81352/mage-wars-core-set-c...
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Fano Pratchett
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Some guy on the Mage Wars.com boards has suggested that the company should develop a basic spells expansion to augment the game and solve the problem. Guess he has deep pockets. Or a real habit.

This is just more stuff to buy. Too bad we might have to.

Don't like either idea. What do you think?
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Chris Corbin
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well I know there is the Core spell tome and they are going to bring out a 4 player expansion and anyone is welcome to buy multiple copies of the core set and have all the cards the could want. As for me, I am not making plans to buy more than one core set initially and in the case of a dispute between players wanting a card with only a single copy, I think making bids will be fun and interesting; in addition to forcing each player to really asses the value of each card for their spellbook.
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Havelock Vetinari
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What if:

Player A (Arcane/Fire) wants to pick a Dark school spell.

Player B (Dark/Fire) wants it as well. Does he have the right of veto?

There should be no preference. Especially when Player A has to pay double the cost. They should bid as normal, but if one of them has no training in that magic school he will have to pay double the cost as usual (or triple if it's his opposite magic school like Dark-Holy or Nature-Fire).

But this bidding concept isn't good for me. Both players will know each other's Spellbook (deck). And there will be much less fun in it.
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Chris Corbin
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my thinking is that player B could veto and that it would be treated as a winning bid... so she would lose her next turn and could not veto or bid on player A's next choice.

or another thought is to not use the preference concept and let each mage bid over the normal cost of the spell... so a level 2 dark spell would start at 2 for the dark mage and 4 for non-dark mage and the bids will be the amount extra they are willing to pay. which might be what you were suggesting? but that could lead to almost every card being bid on and might end up being too costly to make a usable spellbook.

regardless, you are right about each player knowing what is in each others spellbook, but that would be the case with a single core set however you decide to split up the cards. Not an ideal situation, but it is the one I am faced with.
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Ayumi Hakase
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Of course, bidding for the cards lets the players know what's in your hand in a very explicit way. I'm after an element of surprise, playing the Priestess, and choosing a spell from another school when building the spellbook and USING it for stragegic surprise will be important to my gameplan.

Looks like I'll have to buy sets in doubles. I knew this game was going to cost money; it's my first customizable card game. Avoided CGC/LCG for two decades. But Mage Wars is just TOO GOOD an idea to pass up.

And gaming is my only vice, so it could be worse!

So looking forward to the day my core set is delivered. Am ready to get my game on!

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