News for November 2011
Zot! 14
A preview of the myriad spells and ferocious magical battles in Wiz-War
Wiz-War | Published 29 November 2011

Wiz-War is coming. Created in 1983 by Tom Jolly, this classic board game of magical mayhem pits 2-4 players against each other in a no-spells-barred struggle for sorcerous supremacy. A bit zany, a lot spontaneous, Wiz-War has entertained players for decades... and Fantasy Flight Games is bringing it back!

For now, the warring wizards seclude themselves in their tall towers to train for the coming confrontation, poring through musty tomes while pouring careful drops of powerful alchemical reagents. Their magical defenses must be tested. Spell strategies must be flexible, to account for the unstable dynamics of an underground treasure hunt.

Spellcasting 101

Imagine you’re a mighty mage seeking to steal your opponents’ treasures before they steal yours. Battling in a magical, subterranean labyrinth, you must outwit or outmuscle your opponents. Some of them will seek to avoid you, trick you, and block you, winding through the corridors without meeting you. How will you protect your cache from these thieves while you cast magics to reveal the true locations of their hidden treasures? Other wizards will ready themselves like warriors, flinging themselves at you with volleys of fireballs, lightning bolts, and Zot! While you maintain magic to prevent stealthy thieves from unlocking your goods, how will you survive such onslaughts of elemental energies?

In each round of Wiz-War, you have the opportunity to move your wizard through the halls of the labyrinth (usually three spaces) and cast spells. You may cast any number of neutral spells, but only one attack spell per turn. You can cast many of your spells for greater effect if you can supply them with extra energy. Meanwhile, even the most amazing mages have limited mental capacity, and whatever spells you seek to memorize, you must maintain within your maximum hand size (normally seven cards). Thus, your spell-slinging needs to strike a fine balance between subtle tricks that you can cast at will, sustained spells that count against your hand size, powerful attack spells, energy to fuel them, and clever counterspells.

With all the options at hand, tucked up sleeves, writ in spellbooks, and penned on scrolled parchments, perhaps it may prove best to focus on a few essential spells and specialize in a select set of others that provide key strengths?

There’s only a little time to train for the coming confrontation, young wizard, so let us begin by exploring the schools of magic and identifying their key strengths.

Schools of magic

The schools of magic are groups of related spells, each of which has its own unique feel and specialization.

Cantrip: Cantrips are the foundational set of spells for all wizards entering the labyrinth. Typically, a game’s spell deck will consist of these basic cantrips, plus three other schools (selected randomly or by some other means) shuffled together.

Alchemy: The school of Alchemy specializes in creating items, particularly magic stones. These mystic gems bestow useful powers upon anyone carrying them, though dedicated alchemists should be wary of fire, since it can shatter all of their carefully-crafted gemstones.

Conjuring: Conjurers specialize at creating inanimate objects, such as walls and thornbushes designed to hinder opposing wizards. When Conjurers duel, the twists and turns of the labyrinth are often left littered with an assortment of dangerous debris.

Elemental: The Elemental school of magic is the deadliest in combat because it commands the powers of the four elements–wind, water, earth, and fire. With this powerful school at his disposal, a wizard can subject his rivals to powers like the mighty fireball and lightning blast.

Mentalism: Mentalism is the school of the mind. Mentalists use their magic to erase the other wizards' minds, steal spells from their memories, or compel them to act against their own interests. Energy to power spells is common in this school, but only in small bursts.

Mutation: A wizard who has mastered the school of Mutation can change his shape as easily as his clothes. Though the various transformations of this school offer tremendous power, they all have weaknesses, and only one transformation can be applied at a time.

Thaumaturgy: The final school of magic is the most ancient. It contains a well-balanced mix of traditional spells, as well as an above-average amount of magical energy. Thaumaturgists often find themselves drawn to the school’s versatility.

When you enter the magical maze of Wiz-War, you will prepare your Cantrips, along with the spells from three other schools of magic. This means you may face tremendous variety from contest to contest as you combine different schools of magic. A game containing Elemental magic is bloodier, Alchemy makes the number of items skyrocket, and Mentalism introduces more energy into the deck. With so many possible combinations of spells, Wiz-War delivers a new experience every time.

While you wait to establish your magical mastery in the underground labyrinth, keep checking back here for previews and updates. Next up: A look at navigating the labyrinth!

Deep underground in a magical maze, dueling wizards scheme to steal each other’s treasures during the classic, clever (and sometimes comical) confrontations of Wiz-War! This classic board game of magical mayhem for 2-4 players pits players’ wizards against each other in a stupendous struggle for magical mastery.

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Comments (14)

The Warp
Published: 11/29/2011 2:48:25 PM

This looks great so far.  I can not wait to start Wizzing!  or Warring!  er....

Joe K.
Published: 11/29/2011 2:37:51 PM

i can see some awesome print-on-demand cards in the future :)

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