View Full Version : Mana Screw ~ This is why designer favor it ~

06-05-2013, 01:32 PM
This has been a discussion since the day #1 I joined to the forum, which means like day #2 of kickstarter. I started out with one side (No mana screw) but I knew there were reason behind.

Most I have heard from pro-mana screw players here (probably I missed many other great points) were "so even a bad players can beat good players at times." That statement did not click me even though they probably had something deeper with the statement.

So as usual, I had to have some evidence based argument/discussion. Therefore, past couple days I've done a little bit of google search.

This is my conclusion and summary with of course references: http://houshasen.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/%E3%80%90hex%E3%80%91-why-resource-screw/

For those of you (probably majority) who don't want to read my blog, the key information is the following from Mark Rosewater.

The followings are five sample positive points regarding to the “resource screw” made by Mark Rosewater, the head designer for MtG.

It allows anyone the chance to win – I’ve never really gotten into chess. Why? Because I suck. And I know that if I play anyone better than me, I’m going to get crushed. Every time. Now, many people work past this point, but lots of others like me never do. One of the good things about Magic is that anyone can walk into a game with a least a little optimism. Even if you’re up against a hybrid clone of Jon Finkel and Kai Budde, there’s at least a chance that the game will handicap in your favor. A little hope goes a long way.

It allows anyone the chance to lose – Poor little egos, so fragile. (That’s why I have my ego do weights.) One of the problems of playing games is that someone has to lose. Oftentimes, the loss hurts. This is where mana screw comes to save the day. It’s a great scapegoat. If you don’t feel like owning up to the loss, mana screw will gladly take the hit. Mana screw doesn’t mind. It’s glad it could be of service. Seriously, in a game where ego investment is so high (because you spend so much time building your deck, the win and/or loss feels more personal), having a built-in relief valve is actually very important. Perhaps you’ve heard a player or two do this?

Gameplay variance – One of Magic’s biggest selling points is that no two games play the same. Mana screw plays a key role in this. Games where you consistently get your mana (or whatever resource the game uses) have much less variance because you can rely on how the resource management will play out. But the inconsistency of the mana creates a much wider swing.

Allows For More Dramatic Comebacks – I’ve talked in my column before about how having your back to the wall makes games more exciting. While it’s fun to trounce someone, the highest highs in the game tend to come from constantly skating on the jaws of defeat into victory. I can tell you twenty stories about games I won where I was at 1 and my opponent was at 20. The reverse, not so much. This is how mana screw works. The losses blend together into a vague fuzziness, but the games where mana screw almost cost you the game become legendary.

Adds Skill To Deck Construction – Good players understand that there are ways to minimize the threat of mana screw. As such, they take these steps when building their decks. One need only look at the deck of a beginner to see how valuable this knowledge is.

Source: http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr249

06-05-2013, 01:36 PM
If "mana screw" allows bad players to beat good players, mana screw should be the least of your worries in Hex.
It doesn't matter whether it's mana flood or w/e mechanics Hex has. We're all playing by the same rules and because Hex is like an engine; it only works when all the pieces are together. So sure, the game can get tedious or boring due to w/e, but it works.