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Wiz-War has returned, and it looks horrible!

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24 Jan 2023 13:42 #337986 by drewcula

Smeagol wrote: My 23 year old son Smeagol jr and his friends love Wiz-War and I cringe when they want to borrow my FFG copy and take to his 23 year old party condo.

So I'm getting this so he can have his own copy, they are far more likely to play with 6, and the compoents won't bother them , or he can dig some reaper bones out of the tub to spruce up the wizards! He would never go all in on a FFG re release with expansions, just too expensive.


This is probably the best outcome for this edition. BUT WILL HE SLEEVE THE CARDS?!
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24 Jan 2023 13:58 #337987 by Shellhead
I'm slightly tempted by this kickstarter, and, nostalgia aside, the artwork doesn't look any worse than the art for 1st edition Wiz-War. That said, I think that Tom Wham would have been a better fit than Phil Foglio. But I still have my illicit print-and-play set that scales up to 12 players, not that anybody would ever have time for a 12-player game of Wiz-War. I downloaded some files off BGG, printed everything on label paper, then stuck the card labels on a stack of leftover common cards from Legend of the Burning Sands that I bought on clearance for this purpose. I stuck the map section label stickers onto sheets of thin card board, along with sticker labels of the token sheets. Generic meeples for the wizards, in various colors.

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24 Jan 2023 14:59 #337988 by Smeagol
He and his crew are big into Pauper Magic, so there is some chance, depending on the size!

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24 Jan 2023 17:25 #337990 by ubarose
This new edition doesn’t bother me, but I prefer our old 6th edition over the FFG edition. Plus, I learned the game on an even earlier edition with even jankier art. It looks like it will retail for cheap, which is a plus.
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24 Jan 2023 18:56 #337991 by Sagrilarus

ubarose wrote: It looks like it will retail for cheap, which is a plus.


The hobby needs more of this.
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24 Jan 2023 21:44 #337992 by dysjunct
Currently 4200% funded, so I guess the art isn’t holding it back too much.

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25 Jan 2023 08:08 #337994 by fightcitymayor

dysjunct wrote: Currently 4200% funded, so I guess the art isn’t holding it back too much.

Sadly the dollar amount "goal" is rarely the actual goal (in this case, there is no way SJG was looking to raise a paltry $1,000) and exists purely so folks think like this ("Well, this must be an amazingly successful project because it's 4200% funded!!!") In reality, SJG only raising $45k for what some consider an all-time classic is more of an indictment of what's on offer than a reason for celebration.
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25 Jan 2023 08:25 #337995 by Legomancer
Wiz-War is beloved by some older gamers and has, I'm betting, close to zero appeal to current gamers. It's got everything they hate: chaos, randomness, take-that, player elimination, unknown game length. It's just a nostalgia trip at this point, and it's not alone. There are plenty of other "stone cold classics" that get zero traction these days. The previous editions of WW didn't exactly set the sales charts on fire, and the people bitching the most about this edition already own a copy if not multiple ones.

What someone correctly pointed out is that SJG should have aimed this at the Munchkin crowd, which DOES like all those above things, though I suspect they seldom stray far from anything that doesn't have "Munchkin" in the title. Get that tired ass John Kovalic art and just go for that crowd. Of course the True Fans would possibly still be pissed off but what are you gonna do. I don't know that SJG has it within their power to make my nephews and kids read my Facebook posts, invite me to Thanksgiving, and love Wiz-War as much as they should.
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25 Jan 2023 08:53 #337997 by drewcula
While explaining my fondness of WW to a hobby group, they immediately mistook it for Epic Spell Wars. I corrected them, and gave some analogies to Munchkin. Someone asked, "Then what's the difference between Wiz-War and Munchkin Quest?"
It's not a co-op.
"Then what's the difference between Wiz-War and Munchkin Dungeon?"
I didn't have an immediate answer for this one. But after a whooping two minutes of review of BGG, I replied that it's just Munchkin w/ minis*. It's not as directly confrontational as WW.

IDK if that's accurate.

What I do know is that SJG is apparently capable of manufacturing minis that look like John Kovalic illustrations.

And I remain torn. This could have been a big $$$, grossly overproduced, plastic fantastic, 300+ spell card crate of awesomeness. SJG has done it before (OGRE, Car Wars). Or it could have been a little $ micro game / bag game. SJG has done that before too (AGTfOS, Undead, OGRE, etc).

What I'm getting isn't really either. I'll keep my pledge as both a curiosity and as a burner copy.

###

Meanwhile, I read the comments here, on BGG, and on KS. SJ and friends summarize the FFG edition as a CCG inspired drafting game that distances itself from WW's roots. This 9th edition is promoted as "shuffle and play!"

Uhhh... Richard Garfield cites Wiz-War as a primary influence on M:tG. And FFG's rules for spell school drafting were ultimately "options." The OG rules were right there in the back of the rule book, free for anyone to adopt. I always play FFG's "BIG BOOK OF SPELLS" and that is literally "shuffle and play."

I bitch, but I do genuinely love that Wiz-War is getting attention.
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25 Jan 2023 14:04 #338009 by hotseatgames
I have never drafted with Wiz-War, that sounds ponderous. I believe the way I play is called "Big book of spells". One huge stack with the white cantrips and several schools, a second huge stack with the black cantrips and the remaining schools. Choose whichever is closest to you on the table, done.

We also use permanent summons or whatever. I think having things you summon count as part of your hand sucks.

It's been a long time since I played. But literally EVERY time we play, I say why don't we play this more often?
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25 Jan 2023 16:37 - 25 Jan 2023 16:39 #338013 by Jexik
I think I gotta play this sometime, if for no other reason than to know what the fuss is about. I had heard awhile ago about the inspiration to Richard Garfield. The other game cited is Cosmic Encounter. Interesting that Magic started off two-player.
Last edit: 25 Jan 2023 16:39 by Jexik.
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25 Jan 2023 17:16 #338015 by sornars
They've updated the Kickstarter since launch with some much better photos. It still looks bad but not quite as aggressively so. The cover art (and card back) remains terrible. $30 shipping to the UK makes this a non-starter.
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25 Jan 2023 17:39 #338017 by Jackwraith
Yeah, we always plays Big Book of Spells and Permanent Summons. As hotseat points out, drafting is just adding another mechanism to a game that doesn't need one. We play often enough that we've seen the full deck many, many times and don't have to worry about not seeing this or that school often enough. Likewise, having summons drag down your hand size works against the whole principle of the chaos of WW in the first place. What? Just realized that that Rosebush you summoned to block someone is now blocking your best path to home plate? Life is rough, yo.

In semi-contrast to Legomancer's thoughts, I have yet to encounter a gamer of any age or any stripe who hasn't enjoyed Wiz-War to some degree. Certainly, some like it more than others, but my borderline-hardcore, Euro- and puzzle-loving girlfriend likes playing Wiz-War. We're both in our 50s and we have two friends in their 20s who make pretty regular appearances at our place to play games and I introduced both of them to WW and they LOVE it. Obviously, my anecdotal evidence is worth as much as his generalizations, but I don't think it's worth the time trying to suggest that the difference in opinion here is based on old people vs the new generation's tastes.
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26 Jan 2023 08:05 #338027 by Ah_Pook
This is one of those Kickstarters that I just don't understand backing tbh, regardless of how you feel about SJG's handling of the reprint. There are no stretch goals or Kickstarter incentives and it's coming to retail. You will be able to just buy this later, and it will be cheaper...
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26 Jan 2023 12:13 #338036 by Not Sure
I've said a few things on the Discord, but haven't been posting much here.

I'm fairly well-known as having some strong opinions on Wiz-War. Overall, I like the direction and choices made on this edition, other than the cover (yep, ugly and dumb).

The updated pictures show that the cards are basically straight 7th Edition cards, I can recognize everything I can read, all the way down to "Illusion Wall", which was a notorious argument-starter of a card. Including that tells me there's a very different design methodology (possibly none) at work than FFG did.

The real crux of the problem with FFG's edition was that the drafting wasn't really optional, it was designed into the mix of the game. This is why the common problems of "too many shit counter spells" exists. During design, there was an editorial decision that every sub-deck had to provide some number of counterspells, so that when you mixed them up with two others you'd get something "balanced". But when you mash them all together, that's way too many counters, and attacking is unreliable. Then you start running with numbers, and the forums are full of fan "fixes" for that.

It comes down to mismatched understandings, and trying to put a design stamp on something that didn't need it. There was a lot of concern about "fair" and "balance" and thinking that would make it more fun, when it's exactly the opposite. A card like "Sudden Death" isn't fair, but knowing it's out there makes you play a little differently. Knowing there's just not a lot of counters in the deck makes you play a little differently, and rewards some aggression.

So overall, I'm happy that SJG have gone back to the source and appear to be printing a basic usable set, with a great variety of boards (and without printing player colors on them so you can actually see new ones!) and enough components to let groups play. I'm even happier that it's super cheap.

Does the world actually want a take-that game from the 80s in a no-frills production? Probably not. But compared to an endless stream of $500 pig-in-a-poke Kickstarters full of plastic and needlessly "deluxe" reprint versions of games, I'd sure like to see more of this.
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