Here’s a game I’ve been wanting to make happen for a long time— bringing some version of WAVING HANDS into the spatial reality of miniatures. I’ve had the miniatures painted and in a box for a year or more. I’ve had the spell component cards done. I just have to put it all together, which I finally have done. The Magi will debut at the Summer Gaming camp for Kids I will be throwing in two weeks, and preliminary run through results have me very, very positive. I like this game, but then again, I should since it’s been around forever and was pretty close to perfect as designed. Waving Hands started in 1977 as a game submission that ended up being a magazine article in a defunct PBM magazine called Sauce of the Nile. A long time ago I asked Richard Bartle, the original author, if I could make a miniatures variant. It turned out he had always wanted to have the spatial moving and attacks element of this game but was constrained by publishing space in the magazine he published it in. So the Waving Hands that I have played via email and admired all these years was originally visualized in a manner not too different from the version I am attempting. My version, called “The Magi” because the good names are all taken, will move wizards either a short or long distance as a phase outside of spellcaster, then the wizard has a choice of actions, most of which involve spellcasting or fighting. In my game, the spells are built by cards which are played in spell sequence face down by the caster, along with the actual somatic gesture which is public open knowledge (unless you are blinded). Thus your wizardly opponents only know what they can see (and remember, and guess at).
As a PBM game, it’s frankly excellent. With miniatures, I hope it will be the same. The game mechanics are simple enough, Move, Move Short and Perform an Action, Cleanup.
This colorful cast of characters below are my Wizards. I have 14 spellcasters from various origins.. including cave shaman and a magical Cyclops.
Many of these are the old Ral Partha/Iron Wind Metals Spellbinder Line, but not all of them. Some I have no idea of the provenance of. Aren’t they a colorful bunch?
The concept behind Waving Hands for miniatures is that this is a wizards duel. Each wizard character has 15 hit points. They cast spells by making gestures. Gestures (in this game) are printed on cards. Cards build your spell (hidden from everyone but you) but when put the gesture down you MUST make the actual gesture in public for all to see. Thus the players have imperfect knowledge but if they concentrate they can take a guess at what you are planning to cast and take steps to avoid or counter it. I’m looking forward to running this game. AT LONG LAST.
Click here to listen to a longish ramble on everything you need to know to play: http://tinyvox.com/act5.mp3″
2013 has become the year of bringing long procrastinated projects to fruition for me. First Big Danged Boats and now the Magi. What next?