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Subject: Review of Mage Wars rss

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Max Hansen
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Got a call from my LGS that my copy of Mage Wars had arrived so I went over and picked it up yesterday and then played a game this afternoon and here are my thoughts of the game.

1. In trying to setup the recommended starting books for each mage, we could not properly set up those books as 1 or 2 cards were missing from each book. I had even purchased the extra cards and were still short. The starting cards in the game should fulfill the initial starting decks as they recommend.

2. Setting up those books with my son's help still took us a long time and we followed their recommendations. Setting up your own book would be sure to take quite a bit of time but after playing through it several times and as the cards effectiveness becomes apparent, this should become easier.

3. The 1st 2 turns or so are basically just used to set up your mage and get them ready for combat. That was to be expected.

4. As we played Priestess against Beastmaster, one of the BIG things that became apparent was although the board is big, it is not big enough.
Near the end, I had my Priestess in one zone with 2 pieces of equipment, 2 enhancements, and 2 spells and my son had 4 creatures each with an enhancement.
Where do you find the room in the zone to place all of the cards that are associated with all of those creatures??

5. Often times while playing, it would be nice for each player to have a copy of the rule book to make sure they knew what an effect did or how a rule played out. I will print a second copy off and have it handy.(It is 48 pages after all !)

6.Mentions in the rule book with about rage tokens but none were found.

One additional thing was that the cleanup phase after the game is over can be quite daunting as you set up your spell book and then putting everything back in the spot where it belongs can take a while.
It might be better to get larger card holders (3x3) and set up your own spellbook so there is a little less page turning or not use a spell book and just have the cards stacked in your hand and you could flick through them easily.

All in all I liked what was there aside from the minor quibbles. The customization that can happen will be a big feature of this Mage Wars as no two players will have the same spell book. Enjoy it I did.
I look forward to your comments and seeing how others feel about this game.
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Thomas Leitner
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mathewsdad wrote:
Got a call from my LGS that my copy of Mage Wars had arrived so I went over and picked it up yesterday and then played a game this afternoon and here are my thoughts of the game.

1. In trying to setup the recommended starting books for each mage, we could not properly set up those books as 1 or 2 cards were missing from each book. I had even purchased the extra cards and were still short. The starting cards in the game should fulfill the initial starting decks as they recommend.

2. Setting up those books with my son's help still took us a long time and we followed their recommendations. Setting up your own book would be sure to take quite a bit of time but after playing through it several times and as the cards effectiveness becomes apparent, this should become easier.

3. The 1st 2 turns or so are basically just used to set up your mage and get them ready for combat. That was to be expected.

4. As we played Priestess against Beastmaster, one of the BIG things that became apparent was although the board is big, it is not big enough.
Near the end, I had my Priestess in one zone with 2 pieces of equipment, 2 enhancements, and 2 spells and my son had 4 creatures each with an enhancement.
Where do you find the room in the zone to place all of the cards that are associated with all of those creatures??

5. Often times while playing, it would be nice for each player to have a copy of the rule book to make sure they knew what an effect did or how a rule played out. I will print a second copy off and have it handy.(It is 48 pages after all !)

6.Mentions in the rule book with about rage tokens but none were found.

One additional thing was that the cleanup phase after the game is over can be quite daunting as you set up your spell book and then putting everything back in the spot where it belongs can take a while.
It might be better to get larger card holders (3x3) and set up your own spellbook so there is a little less page turning or not use a spell book and just have the cards stacked in your hand and you could flick through them easily.

All in all I liked what was there aside from the minor quibbles. The customization that can happen will be a big feature of this Mage Wars as no two players will have the same spell book. Enjoy it I did.
I look forward to your comments and seeing how others feel about this game.


1. There are enough cards in the base set to build all four starter spell books. Either you are missing cards, or you did not see the erratum listed on the Mage Wars website altering the Priestess' book slightly as her book and that of the Beastmaster cannot be played simultaneously as printed. My guess is the latter

2. This has been my experience. Give it a few plays. Setup gets faster.

3. Yep

4. You should not place equipment on the board. Can't remember if this is mentioned in the rule book, or was something I was told at a demo. Keep equipment near your play area to avoid congestion.

5. Agreed

6. Some tokens used by only one creature are not provided. Rage is not the only one missing, though in general Arcane Wonders provided a nice supply of tokens.



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On #1, I just want to clarify, your copy wasn't missing cards, but the suggested deck build required more copies of the spell than what came with the game?
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William Barrier
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The base game and the core tomb do not come with enough cards to make all the suggested decks. There are a couple of cards that do not have enough copies.
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David Napier
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I am really interested in this game. My primary playing partner would be my 10 year old son. I am worried that being able to pick from all of his spells would be too much for him. I am also a little worried about play time. What did your son like/dislike about the game?

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Thomas Leitner
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Yokozuma wrote:
The base game and the core tomb do not come with enough cards to make all the suggested decks. There are a couple of cards that do not have enough copies.


I should have been clearer. There are enough cards in the base game to make the suggested spell books, but only two at a time.
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Mike Beiter
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I am also concerned about the size of the zones. As mentioned, equipment stays with your mage info off the board so that helps a little. But if several minions with multiple enchantments on them all enter the same zone, it looks like it can get a bit clutered.

You could always use a "zone marker" or something as a place holder for that zone, and then put all cards in it off to the side on the table where there is more room. And when the number of cards thins out, simply return them to the zone and remove the place holder marker.

Many games already use such a mechanic when one space on the board holds a large number of cards or units.
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Bartosz Rzepka
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MDJD wrote:
1. There are enough cards in the base set to build all four starter spell books. Either you are missing cards, or you did not see the erratum listed on the Mage Wars website altering the Priestess' book slightly as her book and that of the Beastmaster cannot be played simultaneously as printed. My guess is the latter


You are not correct - according to rulebook - there are enough cards to build any TWO starting books at any time.

And with Core Spell Tome you can build almost all of them, exept 3 cards will be missing (if I remember correctly). This is based on card listings on BGG and rulebook with errata.

EDIT - I didn't see your further post - you are correct in there
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Laszlo Stadler
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mathewsdad wrote:
Got a call from my LGS that my copy of Mage Wars had arrived so I went over and picked it up yesterday


Isn't the release date supposed to be the 21st? How did your LGS manage to have it in stock this early?
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Darrell Goodridge
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stadi wrote:
mathewsdad wrote:
Got a call from my LGS that my copy of Mage Wars had arrived so I went over and picked it up yesterday


Isn't the release date supposed to be the 21st? How did your LGS manage to have it in stock this early?


This confused me as well.
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Chris Corbin
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I believe the game is already shipping to people who pre-ordered direct from the website. it is possible the game store took some orders from there. just a guess.
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Harvie Jarriell
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Some online retailers already show it in stock, which means some of the distributors would also already have it in stock already.

It is quite possible for some stores to already have it on thier shelves or to have it shortly.
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Max Hansen
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In intiatially setting up the spell books, it would only take adding 3 or 4 more cards to the base game so that all 4 starter books could be available for play from the start. My son and I went about trying to set up all 4 books intiatially and the ability to try and play all 4 mages from the beginning should be a given
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Chris Corbin
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I think that's just a minor issue, not too hard to take the cards you need for one mage from another, it's just 3 or 4 cards. since you are only ever going to be playing 2 mages at a time.
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Harvie Jarriell
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True, but would it have been that much of an issue for them to include the 3 or 4 cards so all the books could have been built in preparation for play? Or at least added those last few needed spell to the Core Spell Tome?

For experienced players it's no big deal. But the shorter the setup time, the easier it is to intro the game to new players. Giving them the choice of any of the four mages without having to tear apart one mage's starting book to build another's starting book will greatly shorten that setup time.
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