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Summoner Wars: Master Set» Forums » General

Subject: Should Santa bring me Summoners or Mages? rss

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Scrappy McGhee
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Although my wife is not a gamer, every Christmas she buys me a couple of new games to enjoy with my gamer friends. There are a lot of games that came out this year that I want to get, but I'll have to be a bit selective. I would actually like to get both Summoner Wars and Mage Wars, but I have a feeling that, in my wife's eyes, this would be like buying a white iPhone and a black one to match different outfits (a sign of addiction).

Since I can't get both at once, which one should I get? I haven't had a chance to play either one, so I would like to hear what people like about both games to help me come to a decision. Right now I'm leaning more toward Summoner Wars because of the growing list of factions, but I still really like the look of Mage Wars.
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They're both pretty good and well-received (so far). You're correct that Summoner Wars offers a larger variety of factions but I think that, overall, Mage Wars offers more strategic depth and layers.

But again, it would depend on what you're looking for.

There are new releases and expansions being rapidly prepared for Mage Wars already, though.

Good luck!
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Jeff Meyer
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Well, I can't speak for Mage Wars, but I can say that Summoner Wars has rocked my world. There's a reason it is Tom Vasel's #2 game and it has climbed so high on the BGG rank lists. It's great fun so long as you don't mind direct conflict in a game. enough dice rolling and luck to be unpredictable, but deep enough strategy to try and counter luck. Even my wife likes it a lot. I think the best description I have is MtG - expense + chess = SW. Thematic, strategic and fun. You can also get into customizing decks, if you like the deckbuilding aspect of CCGs; however, everyone has access to the same cards since they are not randomly distributed. Also, Plaid Hat Games has a great community and excellent customer service. You could try it on iOS or Vassal to see if it's your thing. It's my first 10 rating, if that helps.
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B. Nahkalaka
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I love Summoner Wars. I haven't played Mage Wars, but I can tell that I don't think I would like it as much. That's just my opinion. Summoner Wars, there's so much variety and I get a good amount of enjoyment out of playing it. Some games when I'm feeling upbeat and just want to play, you can go crazy and do some random, crazy stuff and have fun and get a ton of laughs. But I can play seriously and there's just both of us sitting there almost not talking as it come down to the final move, or something like that. It's extremely fun with tons of replayability. So obviously my vote goes to Summoner Wars.

Oh yeah, and Plaid Hat is awesome...
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The Other Tom
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Well this was posted in the Summoner Wars forum. whistle

I will say with the SW gaming system it feels very clean and crisp. Of the 200+ games I own this is only one of four 10's I have given. The game is really solid in so many ways. Mage Wars might have more depth to a certain degree, but it has not enticed me in the least. I think it is due to what the game delivers. It just looks more bogged down with a steeper learning curve and on top of that less fluidity with the possibility of AP.

For myself, Summoner Wars is fast, fun, and endlessly replayable.
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Randall Shaw
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Summoner Wars.

The game is fun, tense, fast, easy to get into and teach. There is also a ton of replayability (and this doesn't' take into account the Reinforcement Packs and Second Summoners).

"...Mage Wars offers more strategic depth and layers."

Perhaps but I doubt it. I'm not chomping at the bit to play MW in order to find out either. I do know you'll spend more time learning how to play MW. I'd rather spend that time playing SW.

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Justin Robben
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Mage Wars Arena

I haven't had this much fun (or had a game this much on my mind...what spell to take out of my book, what to change, what to include...should I have reached for a dispel earlier? Should I have been more aggressive?? Should I have summoned a big defender on turn 1? Should I have teleported out of that zone?? Should I have equipped my Mage earlier with his ranged weapon? Should I have put armor on? Should I...) in a looong time.

It's endless possibilities, myriad build options, beautiful artwork and loads of fun. Overandoverandoverandover.

And, btw, I am a big Summoner Wars fan.

My answer, however, is easily, Mage Wars.
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Randall Shaw
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"My answer, however, is easily, Mage Wars."

Well, well. I'd say they've found a 'collector for life'.

Wouldn't you?
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The Other Tom
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Kalidor wrote:
...should I have reached for a dispel earlier? Should I have been more aggressive?? Should I have summoned a big defender on turn 1? Should I have teleported out of that zone?? Should I have equipped my Mage earlier with his ranged weapon? Should I have put armor on? Should I...) in a looong time.


zombie

I'm sold.

Sticking with Summoner Wars.
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Meeple Me
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I've only played Summoner Wars, but I've looked into Mage Wars quite a bit. From what I gather, you need to spend some time learning the cards in Mage Wars to play effectively. Summoner Wars definitely rewards players who get to know the factions well, but it can be played fairly easily by new players as they just need to read the cards as they come into their hand. The play time also seems quite different. So in order to decide ask yourself two questions:
Who will your opponent mostly likely be? (Casual gamer, or gamer who will dedicate some time to build and/or learn a spell book?)
What is game length that you are looking for? (30min or several hours?)
For me, the answer is Summoner Wars.
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Scrappy McGhee
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I'm good with all game lengths, but with a PvP type of game I'm usually looking for the shorter option. I usually play with my weekly group of avid gamers, but I've also been looking for more games that I can play with some of my non-gamer friends. Although it would be cool to be able to play it with my wife, I'm not thinking I'll be able to get her to play a fantasy-themed game.

For now, I'm thinking of going with Summoner Wars. I'll probably be picking up Mage Wars soon, though. With both games having such a passionate following, I think both would be wise purchases.

One more question, does buying one of these games make buying the other one unnecessary? That is, if I have both, am I going to end up preferring and therefore only playing one of them?
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Scrappy McGhee
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K_Lawnmower wrote:

Oh yeah, and Plaid Hat is awesome...


Have to agree there. Mice and Mystics is my other holiday choice this year!
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Randall Shaw
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"One more question, does buying one of these games make buying the other one unnecessary?"

I'm thinking that will indeed be the case. You do need to figure out which is more to your liking though and you shouldn't have much trouble moving whichever title you decide should go (as long as you don't wait too long, that is...cool
 
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Wind Lane
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RPGs - Natures way of saying "You would never be able to do this in real life." NOT A BAD THING.
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I'm not so sure buying one means you shouldn't buy the other. Mage Wars is going to tickle that optimization nerve a whole lot more than Summoner Wars while Summoner Wars is probably going to get your tactical nodules a little more firmly.

I'm interested in both - already own everything for Summoner Wars, so it's more a matter of sampling Mage Wars to see if what has sounded like fun really is.
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James Sitz
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lunchbox0179 wrote:
One more question, does buying one of these games make buying the other one unnecessary? That is, if I have both, am I going to end up preferring and therefore only playing one of them?


From what I can tell, no. People like Tom Vasel and Justin seem to enjoy both and have room in their lives for both. This might come down more to your personality and likely playing partners.

Despite its high praise, I've been avoiding Mage Wars for the same reason I avoid Twilight Struggle. Long play time for a 2 player game is almost never going to get played.
 
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Scrappy McGhee
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Great! Then maybe both games may be in my future. Sometimes my RPG group has days where only two of us can show up. It sounds like Mage Wars may fit in as a good 2 player game to fill that bigger time slot. Usually after playing back to back sessions of shorter games, I've had enough for the day.

However, I think I might buy Summoner Wars first
 
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Joseph Arthur Ellis
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Involvement: Mage Wars is definitely more involved, more time, more rules, more deckbuilding. Summoner Wars is up and running and over a lot quicker and is more streamlined.

Mechanics: Summoner Wars is more of a "game"... IE card draws, hand management, game economy, 48 spaces and cards easily block line of sight, strict 3 moves/attacks per turn. Meanwhile I think Mage Wars is aiming for more of a visceral set of mechanics, with lots of lasting effects, every creature getting an action, just a few spaces that hold tons of cards, and taking away the whole card draw hand management aspect for a thematic "spell book." It's more "pretend to be an epic mage for 2 hours" while Summoner Wars is I think more a short battle of wits against the opponent.

Theme: This is connected to mechanics... MW has that Magic artwork and is going for that sorta generic fantasy feel and everything in the game serves the theme. SW I think, when push comes to shove, puts mechanics over theme, but at the same time its artwork/theme is more unique (Swamp Orcs? The Mountain Vargath?), and the backstory and world around it is a lot richer at the moment (you can read a bio for every unit at plaidhatgames.com). Some people hate Summoner Wars artwork, I've never understood why.
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Stefan Kaiser
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Summoner Wars ! ninja

With the Master Set you get 6 factions to start with and additional factions can easily be acquired for under 10 bucks. I haven't played Mage Wars (and do not intend to buy it) but I've read that the playing time is on the heavier side of the scale and the learning curve might be a little steep at the beginning...

With Summoner Wars you can just jump right into the action and go at it... only a few rules, little time for setup... bring on the board and play...
 
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