Author Topic: 2X Mage and Witch along with other mini expansions  (Read 2743 times)

Offline dirk2112

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2X Mage and Witch along with other mini expansions
« on: April 07, 2016, 05:46:13 AM »
My wife and son love the mage and the witch, but they never really made a difference when we played with them.  After going back and forth with Christopher about it in another thread, I decided to purchase a second set of tiles.  We played 2 games with 16 mage and witch tiles and they made a bigger difference.

Game 1 (2X Mage & Witch, Wind Roses, new German Cathedrals)

My son used 2 wind rose tiles to score an extra 6 points and close a few cities.  My wife used 1 wind rose tiles to score 3 extra points and start a new city.  I got the last wind rose tile close to the game end and used it to complete a 12 point city, but didn't get the bonus 3 points.  The wind rose bonus points were not a game changer by any means, but my wife seemed to enjoy them. 

The German Cathedrals were played differently by each player.  My wife never made an archbishop.  She used the roads exclusively and because of that her meeple were never trapped.  My son uses robbers a lot more than I do and he would close a decent sized road off with the Cathedral and then install an archbishop.  If we ever play this with Abbey and Mayor, the wagon may be deadly with these.  My son's best archbishop scored 22 points.   I did not do a good job with the archbishops.  Low on meeple after competing with my wife on farmland,  I scored small numbers of points just trying to get my archbishops back.

The mage and witch tiles were used exclusively in cities.  I thought the German Cathedral bonus may cause them to appear on roads, but it never happened.  I was able to close 2 cities with the mage gaining a total of 20 bonus points.  My wife and son fought each other with the witch.  My wife lost at least 10 points to the witch whereas my son lost only 4.   With 16 tiles, the mage only made a difference twice and the witch 3 times.  That means there were 7 occasions where the tiles came out to spare a city from the witch or move the mage.  I won this game by 19 points in part due to the feuding of the other players, but mainly to well placed farmers. 

Game 2 (2X Mage & Witch, Corn Circles II, Halflings I)

The mage and witch were passed around and around.  Like the previous game, they were used exclusively in cities.  My son and I scored a bunch of extra points with the mage.  My wife would move the witch to our cities and then close them for us.  She finished far in last place, so I don't think this was a really good strategy.  The mage and witch were a lot of fun, but were not the game changer that the other 2 expansions were.

The corn circles really changed the game.  My wife wondered why cundco didn't create a little UFO/martian meeple for this expansion.  I am sure if they did, we would all buy it.  We never used them to add a meeple.  The robber corn circle was used by my wife to steal and later close a 9 tile road my son was working on.  I had the best field and my wife had the second best.  My son played the farmer corn circle and kicked us off.  I was able to get the best farm back on a subsequent turn.  My wife was able to use the shield corn circle to steal a city that had the mage present.  We thought that was the play of the game....

The halflings were used by me to close cities and cloisters to get meeple back.  I used two of them to close a really big city that my son had run roads into.  My wife used hers to do the same.  My wife pulled the last pitch fork corn circle and placed it.  She saw that I had a farm with 5 cities and one with 4 cities and her lone farm was only connected to 2 completed cities.  She yanked her farmer and I chose to yank the 4 city farmer.  My son then played the perfect Halfling to unite the 2 now vacant farms and place his farmer.   He spent the rest of the game defending that farm and adding cities to it.  He doesn't like farmers and he rarely wins because he never plays them.  My wife thought she was going to compete with me to get the big farm back, she totally didn't see him doing that.  That farm ended up with 8 completed cities for 24 points.  He scored 189 points total beating me by 12. 

Mage & Witch - 16 tiles is a big improvement.
Halflings - At first my wife and son thought they were stupid, but after one game they both really liked them.  They are very powerful.
Corn Circles - My wife loves the theme, my son loves how they work, I think the pitchforks can be a bit too powerful depending on when they come out. 

« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 05:52:48 AM by dirk2112 »

Offline Christopher

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Re: 2X Mage and Witch along with other mini expansions
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 10:42:37 AM »
I was looking forward to hearing this review! I think you were right about increasing the number of tiles. I'm glad to hear it worked well. It's a shame the witch isn't used to much effect though. But it's great that the expansion was of better use.

I recently purchased second copies of each of the minis. I plan to do the same thing and use two sets in games. Was it okay though? You didn't find it was too many with the number of tiles you were using? I might add a few more other tiles. You had, 120 tiles in the first game, 114 in the second, plus however many halflings you used? I might wait for the 170 tiles barrier and then add the second sets. Hopefully then they will be prevalent throughout the game. But you found it all right? You didn't have tiles appearing too often and moving the figures around before altered scoring?

Thanks for the review!
Look to the north. Keep looking. There's nothing coming from the south.

Offline dirk2112

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Re: 2X Mage and Witch along with other mini expansions
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 11:04:14 AM »
We always play with GQ11, in fact I don't think we have played without it since we got that expansion.

So game 1 had 72 + 10(GQ11) + 16 (M&W) + 6(Windrose) + 6 Cathedrals - 1 (Windrose replaced start tile) = 109 right?

Game 2 had 72 +  10(GQ11) + 16 (M&W) + 6(Corn circles) + 12 halflings = 116, but 2 halflings were never used. 

So 13% of the tiles used move the mage or witch. 

I used the mage exclusively to get more points for myself.  My family passed the witch around and on paper it looks like she didn't do much damage, but she did have an impact.  When I had 2 cities going and the witch was in one of them, I would just finish off the other city.  If she was in my only city, I would start a new one.  The witch penalty can be avoided whereas the mage bonus is sought after.  They are moved by the same pieces, but they are played very differently.  I supposed the best play with the witch is to put her in an opponents biggest city and then close it.  That is what my wife was doing, but while she was doing that to us, she wasn't gaining any points for herself.    A better play would be to prevent the big city from being completed.  The halflings made that harder in the second game though. 

But you found it all right? You didn't have tiles appearing too often and moving the figures around before altered scoring?

We enjoyed it.  I do my best to shuffle the tiles into 6 stacks.  People draw from whichever stack they want.  On a couple of occasions we had back to back Mage/Witch tiles.  With them being 13% of the tiles, they should come up once per every ~7 turns (3 players each have 2 to 3 turns).  In 3 turns, you can start and finish a small city, but nothing too big.  There is plenty of tiles to get rid of the witch and plenty of opportunity to steal the mage.  The big difference is they were always relevant whereas in past games there would be long times where they just sat off the board.  I don't think adding more tiles altered the scoring as much, but it definitely altered the gameplay. 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 11:34:16 AM by dirk2112 »

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