Saturday, August 28, 2010

Big Magic Redux

After much discussion I see that Australia's next big tournament MOAB has removed the ban on spells that have a minimum casting value of 15+. The change was largely driven by feedback from the Australasian gaming community who, quite rightly in my opinion, wanted to play the new edition as per the book before deciding if any restrictions are needed.

Now I'll go on record saying six months on from here I'll be fully supportive of what restrictions the local gaming community deem necessary but at least at that time it will be informed decision-making.

For instance it is my view that the effects of Big Magic were compounded at Pilgrimage by tinkering with the Victory Point conditions. The rulebook only gives points for dead or fled off the table but at Pilgrimage units fleeing at the end of the game were also deemed destroyed. Now I understand what the tournament referee was trying to achieve but in making that change he inadvertently gave a boost to the effect of the big spells.

The Ripple Effect!

Changing one rule no matter what the motivation can have undesired flow-on effects. The Dwellers Below and Purple Sun spells test different characteristics. By removing them you give a decided boost to those armies susceptible to them - and importantly give the green light to building bigger units with greater impunity.

In the upshot of the decision on MOAB, I see that some have declared it "open slather" and have indicated that the tournament will see the most egregious combinations imaginable. Hopefully that's not the case for the participants involved, I'd hope the motivation of those attending is at least in part to ensure both parties have a fun game. However that aside, worst case these "combos" will be tested on the table rather than via Theoryhammer and against the background of the full gambit of rules rather than in isolation. From this we'll either see an evolution of tactics to deal with it (if possible) or a clear identification of a problem.

Then at least the decision to institute constraints with be informed AND importantly will more likely be driven by the community as a whole.

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