Round Of Four

Magic Realm Tournament: "Round of Four"


The Magic Realm Tournament E game, featuring four very experienced players and a nail-biting finish, really should have been recorded for posterity. But let me start the story here and perhaps some of the other players will fill in with their own perspectives. The players were Joan Carles Artes, myself (Steve McKnight), and Tom and Ron Spring. The rules were that the top two finishers would go into the final round, and the other two would be eliminated from the tournament.

Tom and Ron are brothers which added an element of intrigue to the game. Would they band together and pick off me and Joan one after another? After communicating with Tom and hearing that he didn't want to go into the last round alone with Ron, Tom and I agreed to work together despite my suspicions.

We were all restricted from taking any character we had played in any of the preceding three rounds, and after Ron had picked up the Captain and Joan took the White Knight, I took the Sorceror and Tom took the Elf. This posed an immediate problem because the White Knight, if played well, can become nearly invulnerable and just about run away with a game. Joan, who is an expert at playing the White Knight, had waited until the fourth round of the tournament to pick his favorite character and was now the odds-on favorite to win the round and prevent either me or Tom (or both) from advancing.

Because of his "Honor" advantage, it's just too easy for the White Knight to sell his armor and Great Sword to buy a warhorse and Morning Star, gaining the ability to maneuver at speed=4 without fatiguing and attack with speed=3. For that reason, I always play with the "Knights' Adjustment": the White Knight is "Friendly" and not "Allied" with the Order. That makes Whitey have to go out on his own two feet and russle up some gold before he can come back to buy the warhorse and become virtually invulnerable.

But in the Magic Realm Tournament E "round of four" game, we're playing without any unpublished Optional Rules, and Joan certainly knew how to play the White Knight. So the White Knight had started at the Chapel, quickly sold his armor to the Order, and purchased the H6/H4 warhorse and the Morning Star at Price x1, and had even hired O3 on a boon.

In the meantime, I had started with the Sorceror at the Inn with "Fiery Blast" (of course), "Melt into Mist" (essential for survival), and "Transform" (especially for the White Knight!). This choice meant that I couldn't take "Dissolve Spell," so that if I cast "Melt into Mist" on myself I couldn't ever break the spell. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and the White Knight was certainly a powerful threat.

On Day 1, I attacked the Rogues from hiding with Fiery blast and took out RHQ and five others for 60 Notoriety and 13 Gold, before Melting into Mist to escape retribution. On Day 3, while the Sorceror was looting workhorses, the Company shows up. I sold a horse to CHQ and used the proceeds to hire the Company.

By Day 6, I and my hired band were a few clearing from the cleaned-out Inn and five clearings from the Chapel, where the White Knight was putting his finishing touches on assembling his arsenal, hiring an army, and, along the way, slaughtering my friends the Lancers, who showed up on Day 6.

On Day 7, with the Company following, I used the extra move from my workhorse to show up unexpectedly at the Chapel and block the Knight and his hired help. In combat, I had three of the Company Pikeman and the Great Swordsman attacking the White Knight, while a Short Swordsman distracted O3's attention. Then I cast "Transform," turning the Knight and his warhorse into a Lion that the Company dispatched. Thank goodness he wasn't transformed into a Tremendous Flying Dragon instead!

Unfortunately, when the Knight died C1 was attacking an unhired O3, so the Order immediately started battling me. I could run away if necessary, but the Order would slaughter the Company and leave me relatively defenseless. So I took out OHQ by transforming him into a ferocious Bird who continued to fly at SHQ's face until he was finally dispatched. The Company Great Swordsman, C5, undercut and took out O2's horse and, subsequently, O2. After that, out of Type VI Magic chits and unable to cast another Transform spell, I sacrificed one Company member after another until C5 was able to match directions with O1 and O3's warhorses and then finish them off. I ended up with the surviving CHQ Short Swordsman, C5, and the C6 Crossbowman, four dead Knights of the Order, a dead White Knight, and a huge pile of abandoned stuff in the clearing.

After looting the weapons, armor, and warhorses and selling them to the Patrol HQ, I hired the Patrol and set out to find treasure with my two hired HQ's. The Elf even agreed to trade the Magic Wand for a warhorse, so I could guarantee that the next foe I ran into would be transformed into a Frog.

It was still early in the game, and Magic Realm has many pitfalls, but at least I had proved that the White Knight is not unbeatable even without the Knights' Adjustment!