Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Magic Realm Day Planning

One of the more unpopular elements of Avalon Hill's Magic Realm is the requirement to pre-record your daily actions.  At a beginning of each game day, players write down their actions, which are then revealed simultaneously. Player order is determined randomly, by drawing character markers from a cup, in sequence, and playing in the order of the drawn markers.

I've never understood why pre-recording daily actions is unpopular.  Other popular games, like Roborally and Pirates Cove, have similar rules.  Pre-planning adds a welcome measure of uncertainty to the game day.  Should I hide first, before moving into an area others might reach first and attract prowling monsters to?  Should I remain unhidden, and chance being blocked by another player?  Will I take my turn last, with all the treasures looted, before I arrive at a treasure site?  Will I successfully hide with a single attempt, or should I record a second hide action?

Although I like the daily pre-planning aspect of Magic Realm, an alternative game turn order for unwritten turns could be applied.  Players could be seated around the table in clockwise order from fastest to slowest characters, with turns taken in that order.  Faster characters could pass their turns, until the slowest character is reached, at which point the order of play reverses, with the slower players required to act before faster.  That way, faster characters could pass their turns, waiting for the slower characters to reveal treasure sites and prowling monsters, with the faster characters then looting or avoiding.

But which Magic Realm characters are fastest and which are slowest?  The slowest character, arguably, is the Dwarf, being limited to two actions per day, rather than the four (two regular and two sunlight) of most others.  And the fastest?  I would suggest the fastest character is the Elf.  You can debate the speed of the Magic Realm characters, but here is the order I would set.

1.  Elf
2.  Woodsgirl
3.  Druid
4.  Acrobat
5.  Swordsman (he can, of course, pre-empt anyone if he wishes)
6.  Amazon
7.  Witch
8.  Gypsy
9.  Magician
10. Hunstman
11. Witch King
12. Valkyrie
13. Captain
14. Enchantress
15. Sorceror
16. Wizard
17. Maiden
18. Pilgrim
19. Black Knight
20. Siren
21. Berserker
22. White Knight
23. Dwarf

All of my "Magic Realm" expansion characters are highlighted in red.  I'm still working on developing my final expansion character.

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