Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mobile Games: Summoners War & Others

Video games has always been apart of my life. My interest in war games has its roots in video games. Growing up playing games like Masters of Monsters, Dark Wizard and Final Fantasy Tactics had inspired me to design table top games in a similar vein (I later learn those games already exist so I had no need to design them). Mobile games are something I've only recently started getting into. I have a friend that is big into mobile games and he would tell me about the games he played. There was only one game that interest me enough to want to play it myself. I had been thinking about getting a tablet for a while but this game seal the deal for me to pick one up. That one game was Summoners War. I pick up a tablet as soon as I could and I've been playing it ever since.

The game's full title is Summoners War: Sky Arena. Something to keep in mind as Summoner Wars is the name of a different game that also has a table top and mobile version. I wouldn't be surprised if I eventually get into playing Summoner Wars but that is for another time (if you don't notice the difference it's whether "s" is after Summoner or War). Summoners War is a Pokemon like game where you play as wizards summoning monsters oppose to being little kids trying to capture wild animals. What I like most about the game is the designs of the monsters. Many of them I could easily see in a Warhammer or Kings of War army. More than once have I consider trying to paint up a model in the style of the game. Here are some of my favorite units so far.

With the amount of time I spend playing Summoners War I figure I should make some content about it here. What and How is the question. It's not the type of game where I could make a new account and based my force on the characters from Chaos Magic. What units you have available to you is completely random, besides the initial 5. And the more powerful the unit is, the rarer and harder it is to come by. I also don't think I could make it work on my existing account. Since there is no way to rename the monsters it would be incredibly hard to keep track of the Chaos cast from my current monsters. This means trying to do a narrative playing in Summoners War is out of the question. I have consider painting models in Summoners War style before but I'm currently in a position where it is unlikely I will be picking up very many new models soon. There are a lot of ideas in Summoners War that I could use in designing a campaign. However I don't think campaign designing is ideal for a long term and ongoing project. So where does that leave me? What I've decided to do is to write about my "adventures" playing Summoners War and connect the narrative somehow with the miniature hobby. How will this look? I have no idea. This is something I came up with as I was writing this article and I will probably won't know for sure what this will look like until write the first (or maybe the fifth) chapter. This will be a learning experience for me and I hope the end product will be something people will find entertaining.

Since starting Summoners Wars I have tried my hand at a few other mobile games though I haven't found anything I enjoy as much as Summoners Wars. That said, I did come across another game in the same genre that is based on the DC Comics license. It's called DC Legends and it came out this month. This is the second game I've played that seemed to try to cash in on the popularity of another game by using the DC license. The first game was Infinite Crisis which was a DC clone of League of Legends. I don't think clones are necessarily bad. Even though Infinite Crisis blatantly ripped off not only the style of League of Legends but several characters as well, I found the game very fun and entertaining. Too bad the powers that be didn't give it time to find its footing before pulling the plug. What I find most funny about both these games was the way the story justified the games mechanics. In Infinite Crisis an event happen that cause several different universe to merge together. The heroes are disorient because of the effects of the event. They need protectors (ie you the player) to direct them to their goal. In DC Legends case, the Black Lanterns have nearly wiped out all life in the universe. The dead now serve the Black Lanterns as ghosts or shades. Defeating the shades may earn you a shard of a hero's soul. Collect enough shards and you can bring that hero back from the abyss, returning them to life. That is the game's plot. The game's mechanics is that you are able to earn various characters shards in several different ways. Once you have enough shards for a particular character you can recruit them to your team (or power them up if you already have them). I have played many comic book games, but these two are the only ones I've seen that the plot explains the mechanics. In most games the plot ignores that the mechanics even exists.

I don't like it as much as Summoners Wars but I enjoy DC Legends well enough to continue playing for a while. There are some issues I have with the game but it is common for online games to need a few months to work out the kinks. It is highly unlikely I will try to connect anything from the game to any Chaos Magic fluff. On the other hand, there is a DC base war game so it is possible in the future. I don't know anyone who is playing it but the rule book is on the shelf at my local gaming store. I'm not sure what exactly I will be writing about relating to DC Legends, but I will definitely not be posting any pictures from the game. Given the newest of it, I can see myself writing guides about its various features. Once I have two or three articles on DC Legends, I will make a page so that information will be easy to find.

Summoners War
DC Legends