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119 out of 129 gamers thought this was helpful

My friends and I have been playing Mage Wars for a few months now and I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite games to come out in a long time. The game play is a lot of fun and highly addictive. Most of the things I loved about Magic is present without the one huge drawback… having to spend and spend and spend and spend to remain competitive.

Before I go on, every single member of my gaming circle has forever sworn off Magic the Gathering for this one main reason, spending a fortune chasing rare cards, building strategies around these cards only to have Wizards declare said cards illegal in tourney play thus de-valuing them. Mage Wars will be upgraded with new cards in the future to be sure, but given the nature of how you buy the cards as sets, chasing rares is a thing of the past.

Secondly, building clever combinations of cards that cause fun things to happen to you or terrible things to happen to your opponent is half the fun of a game like this. A real drawback of Magic was that you would build a killer deck only to draw all the supporting or filler cards and not have your combos go off…. If I am an all powerful wizard it seems that I could cast any spell I knew until my powers began to wane. This is exactly how Mage Wars works, you can select any spells in your repertoire until you exhaust them and or your magical power.

Thirdly the element of movement in a limited space is excellent and adds a dimension of play that suddenly includes things like traps of walling in your opponent; in defensive play building barricades and ducking out from behind them to get off a shot against your opponent really adds a level of realism that was lacking in Magic. Plus a successful spell does not guarantee damage to your opponent, you must roll dice to determine that, so there is that element of chance.

The components could be a little better, the life and manna counter are too easy to bump and knock the little cubes off their numbers, this has upset a few games in our group. Arcane Wonders could look to Fantasy Flight games and their copious use of spinner type counters in games like Infiltration and Wiz War for some future guidance in component construction.

The artwork is excellent and the cards seem printed on high quality stock, the board is also well constructed, the box has plenty of little niches to sort components into.

Finally if you buy this, be prepared to have it consume a lot of your gaming time as it becomes addictive, after a game you immediately want to tune your deck and play again… that, in my humble opinion, is a hallmark of an excellent game.

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