Friday, 31 May 2013

Updated FAQs for the current playtest copies

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 08/June/2013


1. How does the Jokull work?

The Jokull areas get no defenders, any card colour allows appropriate units to move into it, these units can also retreat there.

2. How does the Maelstrom work?
This is a black area for game purposes.

If a player occupies the Maelstrom when a 10 or 11 is rolled and the Maelstron spins, that player receives a Crystals (8/5) card before any units are destroyed. The spinning Maelstrom also triggers rebellion in Fate Card Beasties (see rules).

No unit can either move or be forced to move into the Maelstrom, if it spins with defenders in it, they are destroyed and replaced at the end of the round.

3. Can a character that is held in my player reserve be affected by fate cards?
No, not until it is deployed.

4. How does combat with defenders work?
When attacking Defender Units, there is limited combat - see 2-page rules for details.

5. How does the Thieving of mana work and, if I have mana stolen by the the Thief, can I end up with negative mana?
The Thief cannot steal mana if player has none, i.e. at start of game. Players cannot have negative mana.

Mana is stolen by adding mana to thief owner's mana on the mana track and deducting from target player's mana on the mana track.

6. How does moving two areas work?
Units with this ability allow a stack to bypass an intervening stack of defenders, but not an opposing player's stack.

7. If I rebuild a dead unit, do the unit abilities get refreshed in the same round?
If you re-build a unit that had used an ability, their ability is immediately refreshed, e.g. an assassin has used their skill, gets killed, gets re-built, their assassin ability is re-charged.

8. How does retreating work?
You must retreat to a friendly area if possible. If you cannot, then the next option is an area with defenders in it. If you cannot do either of these, the last resort is to retreat into an opponent owned area.

9. When I redeploy at the end of a round using a Fate card, you I have to reveal what I am moving?
No, you do not have to reveal what unit you are moving, just that you are moving a unit. You do have to show and discard a Fate Card of the appropriate colour.

10. Do I have to play a card to activate an area to allow me to use my Special Abilities in that area?
No, the Special Abilities, such as Steal, Spy, Heal, do not require an Active Area to allow their use.

11. If I win a combat with a stack of three and capture a City I'll have a stack of four in an area which breaks the rules, what do I do?
If you want to capture the City by deploying a City from your reserve, you can choose to retreat one unit back to the area it attacked from. This is the attacking players choice - either retreat one unit or choose to destroy the City. If you deployed three new units into the combat, you cannot choose retreat and the city is destroyed.

Fate Cards

020 - Seelie Court.
Cannot be used in combat.

021 - Unseelie Court 
Typo - text is the same as for Seelie Court, +/- effects should be the reverse of what is written. Cannot be used in combat.

023 - Volcanic Eruption
This card can only be played on a Vulkan Special Place. The Fire Player is immune to the damage effects and is the only player who benefits by getting two Fate Cards if the Volcanic Eruption is played and they occupy this area.

024 - Major Volcanic Eruption 
This card can only be played on a Vulkan Special Place. The Fire Player is immune to the damage effects and is the only player who benefits by getting two Fate Cards if the Major Volcanic Eruption is played and they occupy this area.

038 - Faerie Tricks
You cannot force a unit into the Maelstrom.

040 – Clever Sheep.
Check combat strength on cards/units.

043 - Changeling
Card says Changeling, unit piece has Shape Shifter, change to latter.

051 - Rastler Tasler
Once deployed and 'owned' by one player, any subsequently DRAWN will immediately join with the original unit. This is done by the Rastle, Tasler owner accepting the card, placing it face up and adding the unit to the existing Rastler, Tasler unit(s). There are 3 of these cards.

062 - Huldrekall
'Seduce character' only affects an opponent's deployed character, i.e. one with a unit on the board. The seduced character is placed in the seducing player's reserve ready for deployment following normal rules.

063 - Abandoned Ship
You may only move one of your own units.

064 - Huldra
'Seduce character' only affects an opponent's deployed character, i.e. one with a unit on the board. The seduced character is placed in the seducing player's reserve ready for deployment following normal rules.

065 - Burial Mound
Change reference from blue to purple.

073 - Water Wyrm
Can move two areas, as do any units stacked with it.

Character Cards
1. Mac MacMac – Old Rogue rules – revise
2. The Black Cruickshanks – Weather reference, revise
3. Eilidh Jensdottir - Card has 4 Strength, but the corresponding unit token has 5 Strength. 4 is correct.

Other Things

1. If revising map, make area corner boundaries clearer.
2. Need to add about 18 defender units to cover 2-player on standard map. Temp fix for now, leave distant areas empty and fill with dead defenders when anyone gets there or seas only get 1 defender.
3. Make Maelstrom area darker and create a spinning Maelstrom counter.
4. Check for any remaining mana cost icons on Beastie Units (earlier versions of the game had a mana cost for deployed Beasties).

Optional Rules


Don't hide units under your faction marker, only use to them to denote Fate Beasties or Characters when required. You can see your units more easily, so can your opponents!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Updated Rules, components etc.

Updated 18/05/2013

The online feedback form is here: Magic Maelstrom Feedback

Good two-player game tonight between Allan (Dark - 270 points) and I (Ice - 285), which we both enjoyed(!).

Have updated the Errata-Updates page with rules clarifications and things to be fixed in the two demo copies of the game. 

I feel that the game has really come together now, particularly with the alternative actions. Here is some information and downloads to help you understand the game.

There's now a Two-page introduction to the game available describing the game play and concepts (download PDF)

And below are some shots of the:
Two-page rules (download PDF)
Quick Reference Guide (download PDF)
Player Reference Sheet (download PDF)
Standard Game Setup Sheet (download PDF)
and a starting set of Ice Player Units, with four starting characters drawn from the deck.

All you need to play as the ice player, just add the board,
fate and resource cards, plus an opponent  or three

Player Reference Sheet
Starting units ready for deployment on the board.
Two page rules and the quick reference sheet (fronts)
Two page rules and the quick reference sheet (backs)
Player Reference Sheet in action (detail shot below), dead assassin, mage and spy block use of their skills, character skills are marked as used or available with tokens.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Quick Demo at Local Games Shop (Black Lion Games)

As part of their celebration of 15 years in business, Black Lion Games are having a variety of events to celebrate. Go and pay them a visit, buy a game or join in an event.

Yer man Liam of Black Lion Games
Thanks to Liam for hosting, the feedback and filling me in on the past 20 years in Edinburgh gaming history, bringing me up to date since I was last involved. Look forward to another demo in the shop.

We played two player on the full board and had time for one round to show the game mechanics.

End score was close (we didn't record it as it was a brief demo), I realised I'd deployed a Dark/Ice only creature despite being the Light player - must make this more obvious if I can't remember / spot it. Cheating game designers, eh? Didn't have the quick wittedness to pass it off as a special rule that applied on a Thursday evening in May. In Edinburgh. When it's raining...

Also, interestingly, I got kicked out of my Boglands area by sneaky attack and managed to retreat my beaten up army into the Maelstrom and win against the defenders!

After discussion about this with Liam, beginning to wonder if the Defenders should be renamed Encounters, as they represent an area that may or may not be occupied?

Used the new alternative player action rules and they worked well.

Liam - the online feedback form is here: Magic Maelstrom Feedback

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Playtesting Alternate Actions - some photos

The End of the Game
Ice Player View

Dark Player View (The Winner)

Light Player View
Fire Player View

Draft Player Reference Sheet with Actions
Defender casualties and the Fate Deck / discards

Detailed shot of game
Detailed shot of game
Detailed shot of game
Detailed shot of game

Playtesting notes: Alternate player actions

This iteration of the Magic Maelstrom game reduces player downtime. This is achieved by having actions pass sequentially round the players rather than having traditional player turns where each player takes all their actions, completes their turn, then the next player takes all their actions and so on.

The Player Reference Sheet (below) was created to give a visual representation of the action options available to players and also show clearly which actions have been taken by each player. This also addresses the feedback received about it being too easy to forget which unit special abilities were either available or used.

Magic Maelstrom: Player Reference Sheet
This works by having players slide a token to show when an action is completed - here is a quick shot from a draft version of the Sheet:

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

MM: Europe - new ideas

MM: Europe Version

Map will include areas that may be subject to sea-level rise, i.e. they become sea areas if drowned land card  for that area is played.

8 potential drowned lands?

- Any city unit in an area that has a drowned land card played on it is destroyed, all other units are unaffected(? or lose one health)

Draw drowning land cards at start and place them face down against turn track, i.e. each player draws 2 cards and then decides which order they will take effect.

This means limited knowledge of which areas will be affected.

More cards than possible slots, so uncertainty as to which areas will come out.

Glaciated areas that become available as glaciers melt - similar rules to above.

Players make up all stacks in advance (# stacks? time limited? Dummy units?).

Each player in turn then places one stack on the board in the area of their choice until all stacks are deployed.

Fill the rest with defenders.