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Jan 092013

This is long over due, but I wanted to make sure that I gave this game a proper play test. Mage Wars is a mutation of the board and card game genres that borrows a miniature game feel. That is, it combines elements from card and board games to create a unique play experience. In this article we will focus on mechanics, “deck construction”, combat and more.


But before going crazy on the game let’s talk about their history. The crew at Arcane Wonders started developing Mage Wars five years ago. In that time they have run several play tests and visited several convention; experiences that they used to further develop the game.


The basic idea behind Mage Wars is that you control a mage in the battle arena. Each mage casts spells to defeat the other in tactical combat of magic. When one mage has lost all their life the game ends. The basic game comes with everything for two mages four mage options.


At first Mage Wars is a little bit overwhelming to learn. But the support offered by Arcane Wonders makes the curve an easy burden. They have how to videos and a packaging disclaimer. They are doing a great job keeping in touch with the players, which is a great asset to the game.


Where do you start talking about a new game type. I think it would be easiest to start with the board. It is pretty basic. It establishes the arena where you will perform combat. The board also features the mana counters, quick reference chart and a life chart. Further the board is gridded into 12 zones for easy movement and combat. At the start of a game each mage is in an opposing corner diagonally. Since there is no diagonal movement in the game this pretty much safeguards the players from a cheap victory.


One of the most unique and fundamental aspects of Mage Wars is the “deck construction”, which isn’t deck construction at all. In Mage Wars there is no drawing. When you sit down to play Mage Wars you start by choosing a mage. The basic game comes with four mages. Once you have selected one you will build your spell book out of the cards you own. I should note that your choice in a mage will affect what spells you can choose. Each mage has schools of magic it can use. While playing you get to select your spells from the spellbook. You start the game with zero spells. During the planning phase each player selects 2 spells. As a big CCG player I find this to be the coolest element. There is no top deck, or bad luck. You are responsible for your choice, which means it is tactics and not luck of the draw. There is still some luck involved in combat, but for precombat mistakes only you are to blame.


Each round is broken into two stages, ready and action. In the ready stage you prepare by adding mana, picking spells, and applying upkeep effects. During the action stage mages take turns casting spells, summoning, placing enchantments, and attacking. The exchange of turns is based on initiative that is rolled at the start of the game. Action markers are used to designate what in play cards can and can’t be used.


Combat is where the awesome stuff happens. It is a pretty simple system. Mage Wars uses special d6’s for combat.

  • Blanks are misses.
  • Numbers are hits.
  • Exploding numbers are critical hits.
  • Some spells have special effects that only trigger if you roll the correct result. 

Rather than listen to me stumble through combat with words you should watch these videos. They walk you through a few turns of the game.


Mage Wars is a unique gaming experience. It sets up an arena where mages collide. You can easily have a lot to command once the game gets rolling. The mechanic that puts Mage Wars over the top is the spellbook. By removing luck of the draw from the game it opens up so many doors to strategy. While it may look like other board games it is not. This is a game that you absolutely must try in order to judge it.

You can learn more about Mage Wars here.


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Dystopian Legions Rules Download

 Spartan Games  Comments Off on Dystopian Legions Rules Download
Oct 272012

Well have you been wondering about Dystopian Legions?  Well think no more, read instead.


From Spartan Games

“The Dystopian Legions 80 page Quick Play rulebook, which is included in every starter set, is now available to download from the Spartan Games website. It covers all areas of the game mechanics you will need to play a full game of Dystopian Legions, along with descriptive examples and colour diagrams to aid understanding. It can be used as a step-by-step guide, taking you from building your forces and setting up your Game Board, through each phase of a Turn Sequence, and how to work out who has won once the game is over.


So if you’ve ordered Dystopian Legions already why not have an early look before your stock arrives? And if you’re still wondering if Dystopian Legions is right for you, or if it will live up to the success of Dystopian Wars, here’s a chance to judge for yourself:”

Dystopian Legions Download 

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Jun 112012

Force on Force is a modern day skirmish game that has no standard line for its models.  In other words it is just a set of rules.  I had tha opportunity to play a quick game at Origins Game fair and I thought I would  share what I learned before I do the book review.  This is not in any way a complete game review and it is important you know that because you can only get so much out of a demo.

I was a little leery of the fact that there is not a miniatures line to go with the game.  After playing the game I am really starting to like the fact that you can proxy your models for your force.  It does two thing for me.  It saves money, and it makes it easy to play any force I want.  Those are important to me.

Force on Force is a simple game to pick up that allows you to apply tactics.  Which is a seemingly unique quality in a skirmish game in our current trending.  It was nice to play a game that wasn’t dependent on simple tricks and gimmicks to win a battle, or a game that requires the player to go first in order to win.  that isn’t the feel I received from playing the demo at all.

The rules are a little different though, well the dice mechanic is.  The system is set up so that different levels of units use different dice.   For example, using a popular motif for labeling units, core troop would use a d6 for their skill rolls while elite troops would be assigned a d8.    The basic concept is the bigger the die the better the troop.  On the flipside though the smaller the die the more likely you are to roll any given number.  For example, you have a 25% chance of rolling a 1,2,3, or a 4 on a d4.  The dice and type of unit are cross referenced  on charts to determine effects.  The other thing that I thought was cool wounded models have a chance of standing back up on their next turn.

If I was to base my opinion of Force on Force entirely on the demo it is certainly worth trying.  I did pick up a copy of the rules to review.  I hope to have it read by the end of next week and a book review written shortly after.



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Bushido’s Fifth Faction the Ito

 Bushido, Gaming News, GCT Studios, Miniatures  Comments Off on Bushido’s Fifth Faction the Ito
May 022012

GCT Studios has announced there next wave of mini’s and they are letting you in on project.

Heere is a quick overview of Bushido from our friends at GCT Studios and copied from the article.

“Welcome, here’s a quick intro…

GCT Studios launched Bushido last year and we have had an excellent time sharing our world with you. Bushido is a table-top, 32mm miniatures, Oriental Fantasy, skirmish game, where fast and brutal gameplay combine with real strategic depth.

We launched with four factions and grand plans to release more and really fill out the Jwar Isles. Now we have concepted the next faction and our excitement levels have risen to the point that we want to share it with you NOW… And that’s where you come in, we need your support to get this off the concept table and released sooner.

With your help the Ito will come to life and leave their island. You can cause the Prefecture of Ryu yet another setback as their uneasy alliance with the Ito comes crashing to an end, the upper echelons of the Takashi clan’s fears of an attack from across the Silver Strait finally realised.

You can help us to allow the Ito to finally shed their veil of deceipt and reveal their true nature to world.”

Continue reading »

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How Awesome; Necron Inside News

 Gaming News, Warhammer 40K  Comments Off on How Awesome; Necron Inside News
Oct 112011
The Cover of the Current Necron sourcebook, Co...

Image via Wikipedia

My Local Game Store just informed me that Necrons are on the way. He said GW was going to make the announcement around the 22nd of October (no surprise there).   I hope that they go with preorders right from that  date instead of making us wait until the 5th of November like they always do.


So come back soon so we can give you an idea of the bits break down.   Yes, that is right I said bits.  And if half the rumors are true this is going to be a great release for bits.

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