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Author Topic: Teaching Mage Wars  (Read 9498 times)

rodrinat

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Teaching Mage Wars
« on: April 26, 2016, 11:54:33 AM »
Hello. I bought the game a few months ago and i have been teaching this game with the starter rules that comes with the game.
In May, i will be running some demos in my local club (i am from Argentina). I was thinking in changing the starter rules just to me every wizard feel more unique. I want to use the wizards characteristics (hp, channel, attack) and power so they can see some difference between them from the start.
I made a few games like this and i like them. But i wanted to ask you if you feel like this would be balance. In the games i run i feel like the beastmaster could be a little op, but i didn’t run that many games to prove that.
What do you  think?
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iNano78

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 12:25:57 PM »
Hello. I bought the game a few months ago and i have been teaching this game with the starter rules that comes with the game.
In May, i will be running some demos in my local club (i am from Argentina). I was thinking in changing the starter rules just to me every wizard feel more unique. I want to use the wizards characteristics (hp, channel, attack) and power so they can see some difference between them from the start.
I made a few games like this and i like them. But i wanted to ask you if you feel like this would be balance. In the games i run i feel like the beastmaster could be a little op, but i didn’t run that many games to prove that.
What do you  think?

I find that it's best to play (at least) two matches when teaching a new player: one using the Apprentice spell books and following the "How to Teach Mage Wars" document (linked here and included in the organized play kits) and then another using the full board, rules, abilities and 120-point recommended spell books of the same mages.  For this purpose, I generally keep an Arraxian Crown Warlock and Asyran Priestess of Westlock in books with the Apprentice cards in the first half (facing forward) and remaining cards needed to complete the 120-point recommended spell books in the second half (facing backward).
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Kelanen

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 01:25:34 PM »
I find that it's best to play (at least) two matches when teaching a new player: one using the Apprentice spell books and following the "How to Teach Mage Wars" document (linked here and included in the organized play kits) and then another using the full board, rules, abilities and 120-point recommended spell books of the same mages.  For this purpose, I generally keep an Arraxian Crown Warlock and Asyran Priestess of Westlock in books with the Apprentice cards in the first half (facing forward) and remaining cards needed to complete the 120-point recommended spell books in the second half (facing backward).

I do the same except I use Beastmaster and Warlock, and I have teh Apprentice in teh first half of teh book, and then the full book in the second half.

rodrinat

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 04:56:45 PM »
In how much time do you usually run this 2 games?
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jhaelen

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 02:13:28 AM »
In the games i run i feel like the beastmaster could be a little op, but i didn’t run that many games to prove that.
What do you  think?
Don't worry, that's definitely not the case. In my Beginner games, I initially felt the Warlock was OP. Then I thought the Wizard was OP. It's really not indicative of anything.

With time, after having created a couple of your own spell books you'll realize that the Wizard is the strongest, due to its flexibility and cheap access to 'staple' spells.

Kelanen

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 03:31:33 AM »
In how much time do you usually run this 2 games?

It very much depends on the person, but these two books were picked to be the more aggressive, and thus faster.

I'd say typically something like 20-30 mins rules explanation, 60 min Apprentice game and 90-120 min full game?

That's assuming i teach (or someone that knows the game well) - two beginners would be a lot slower. Given people routinely talk of first games taking 3-5 hrs that's not too bad. Games speed up a fair bit after this (or at least decision making speeds up, and time in the game is spent on play, not rules and planning)

Beldin

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 10:48:25 AM »

It very much depends on the person, but these two books were picked to be the more aggressive, and thus faster.

I'd say typically something like 20-30 mins rules explanation, 60 min Apprentice game and 90-120 min full game?

That's assuming i teach (or someone that knows the game well) - two beginners would be a lot slower. Given people routinely talk of first games taking 3-5 hrs that's not too bad. Games speed up a fair bit after this (or at least decision making speeds up, and time in the game is spent on play, not rules and planning)

I have found that people who know other games like magic, 40k, or fantasy flight boardgames pick the game up alot quicker as they already have an understanding of concepts that are in MW.

Ravepig

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 03:04:50 PM »
I've taught the game to six people so far and in all instances (except the first), I used Academy with the pre-built spellbooks to introduce the game. From there, the players jumped right into Arena with no difficulty. The very first time I played was with a buddy who also had never played so we just jumped right into the full game and learned together. It took about 4 hours, but it was fun learning that way. But then again, we also don't feel that a 44 page manual is that big a deal.

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rodrinat

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2016, 05:14:08 PM »
In how much time do you usually run this 2 games?

It very much depends on the person, but these two books were picked to be the more aggressive, and thus faster.

I'd say typically something like 20-30 mins rules explanation, 60 min Apprentice game and 90-120 min full game?

That's assuming i teach (or someone that knows the game well) - two beginners would be a lot slower. Given people routinely talk of first games taking 3-5 hrs that's not too bad. Games speed up a fair bit after this (or at least decision making speeds up, and time in the game is spent on play, not rules and planning)

i dont think i will have that much time. That´s why i wanted to change the apprentice rules. My idea was that this time we play this mode and the next time we gather i introduce to them the full game.
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Kelanen

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 04:07:09 AM »
i dont think i will have that much time. That´s why i wanted to change the apprentice rules. My idea was that this time we play this mode and the next time we gather i introduce to them the full game.

That's already what I dd - one apprentice game, and then the next is the full game.

If they don't have time for that, then honestly MW is the wrong game for that group...

Zuberi

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 07:41:04 AM »
You might lament the lack of flavor in apprentice, especially if you teach it repeatedly, but it's not really a concern. The apprentice game is all about learning the basics, and variable powers definitely aren't needed for that and may actually be a detriment to some people's learning curve. Stick to normal apprentice and just let them know variable mage abilities exist for next time when they play the full version.

iNano78

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2016, 07:52:04 AM »
In my experience, it takes about 15 minutes to explain the game (goal, round structure, all the things a creature can do on its turn, skim through the spells in the opponent's spell book without going into detail regarding each keyword), then about 45 minutes to play through the Apprentice match.  Then it takes 90-120 minutes to play the full 120-point match... or we stop when we run out of allotted time, but usually by this point they're already realizing just how awesome Mage Wars is and how many things they could do (or do differently).

Try not to bog things down with keywords.  I generally end up playing the Priestess, and I summon a soldier with a defense and a Unicorn with Regenerate just to show what those things do, and then I play them aggressively to keep the match short.  I try to avoid spells and abilities dealing Daze/Stun/Sleep, etc, and I don't heal much (aside from Regenerate) as I don't want to bog us down with rules/keyword explanations and I don't want to draw out the game.

If you don't have time for both at your event (because you want to run a lot of demos), then you'll still need about an hour per new player to teach and run a single Apprentice match.  If you want to oversee two new players playing against each other, add 30 minutes and try to help them plan their spells without absolutely telling them what to do (because that isn't fun for them)... e.g. it might be useful to narrow their options to a few good choices (e.g. "if I were you, I might try this or that or that.").
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 08:00:17 AM by iNano78 »
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2016, 10:51:48 AM »
I only explain keywords as they come up.

I remember being at a convention and helping to do demos once, and the other ambassadors were giving super long explanations of the rules before even starting. I could tell it was overwhelming people, but apparently this was how they were "supposed" to do it, probably because otherwise some of the keywords go unexplained. But there are simply too many keywords in the core set to explain them all in one apprentice game.

When I tried to do a demo without bogging down the players with excessively long and wordy pregame explanation, an Arcane Wonders staff member told me not to do it that way and that I needed to include the long wordy explanation at the beginning.

Personally I think it might be better to play in Apprentice mode maybe 2-3 times before going to the full game.

When I first started playing Mage Wars Arena in 2013, I started out in the full game. I had a losing streak for the first half a year and it was pretty frustrating. If I had played even a single game in apprentice mode it would have helped a lot.


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rodrinat

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2016, 04:43:13 PM »
Yes, i will be running 2 o 3 demos that day so i cant spend 3-4 hs per games. i will make the standard apprentice games then.

i will make them play each other and the idea was to spend 1hs-1.30hs per games. The next time we gather if i see them  confident  about the rules, i will introduce to the the full game.

Thank you very much for the help, i will take notes of your advice.

I will be posting the photos of the event when we make it.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Teaching Mage Wars
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2016, 08:39:27 PM »
Yes, i will be running 2 o 3 demos that day so i cant spend 3-4 hs per games. i will make the standard apprentice games then.

i will make them play each other and the idea was to spend 1hs-1.30hs per games. The next time we gather if i see them  confident  about the rules, i will introduce to the the full game.

Thank you very much for the help, i will take notes of your advice.

I will be posting the photos of the event when we make it.

I doubt it's going to take an hour an a half in apprentice mode. Maybe an hour at most but that rarely happens.

One way to speed up the demo when you have a lot of demos to do is to start all the mages at 12 damage, and one zone away from each other with one creature and one equipment each. This generally isn't advisable unless you have a lot of demos to do, but it can be pretty useful for busy days at a convention.

You can find the instructions for Apprentice mode in the resources and downloads section of the forum. Keep in mind that the apprentice spellbooks listed there are not the 4th edition ones. The 4th ed apprentice spellbooks are in the 4th ed core rulebook, and are simpler and have fewer cards than they do in earlier editions.

Good luck!
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