Academy or Arena Mage Wars? Arcane Wonders Has You Covered At GAMA 2015

March 19, 2015 - 10:16pm
 

Mage Wars is a huge hit for Arcane Wonders and designer Bryan Pope. Released in 2012 the game helped put the company on the map and solidified its position as a premier head-to-head skirmish card game pitting magic user vs magic user. Think of it as a card driven system (like Magic: the Gathering) that is played on a tactical board adding a huge spatial component. As apposed to Magic: the Gathering there are no sets and releases to collect, only the core game and several expansions adding new magic user types, all with no redundancy of cards. The core has not changed very much between reprintings, just rulebook spiffings and a couple of card erratas, but the fourth reprint will have one huge nomenclature change. To differentiate from a new upcoming play style Mage Wars core, which is Mage Wars as we currently know it, will now be know as Mage Wars: Arena. According to the Mage Wars website preview, this reprint will include:
  • 2 New Spellbook designs
  • New Arena Board design
  • Alternate Art for Bear Strength, Dispel, Dissolve, Minor Heal and Rhino Hide
  • New Artwork for Battle Fury, Force Push, Hand of Bim Shalla, Teleport, and Temple of Light
  • Plus, 14 additional spell cards have been added to make spellbook building easier, including Dispel, Dissolve, Force Push and others.
If you already own Mage Wars and have no need for the redundant components (Action Markers, spell books, extra cards for multiple deck builds, etc) then beyond the smaller box and new board, there will not be much need for you to pick this up. If you are brand new to the game or want an easy way to pick up the extra cards and components, this new reprint is the way to go. mage_wars_academy_2_neuf3i   Why make the distinction of Arena title? Well because there will be a new way to play Mage Wars. One of the gripes of the core game is its steep learning curve and long playing times. Enter: Mage Wars: Academy. Think of this new system as a better way to get new players into the world of Mage Wars and also a way for veterans for fans of Arena to grab even more options for their combatants in the core game. As Arcane Wonders puts it, Academy:

will be a 2 player starter set that comes with 2 Mages, 2 Spellbooks and a new gameplay design that is completely “board-less” offering players more portability and faster gameplay (Games average 20-30 minutes) all for roughly half the price of the current Core Set!

Expect the Arena core reprint in April 2015 and the new Academy products around Q3 but one can hope for a Gen Con sneak peak! For more information for both Mage Wars product lines, visit the Arcane Wonders website. P.S. There will also be Mage Wars: Arena Battlegrounds expansion that will feature a Domination mode, but that is for a different place and different time my friend!