Question about Woodland Bard


In a new game that hasn’t started yet. I deployed a Woodland Bard. I used her Summon Mage power, fully expecting that one of the mages in my deck would appear, giving me an extra hero at the start of the game.

The power just says that population will be drawn from the nearest settlement. Since this was the start of the game, I only had the 1 settlement - the one I was in. You can’t get any nearer than the one you’re in. I was expecting the population to be drawn from that settlement. Instead, I got a message saying “No population” (or something like that). The attempt still cost me the 12 mana points, which is a heavy price to pay for something that couldn’t work to begin with. I’m mostly bummed about the loss of 12 mana. That hurts at the begging of the game.

I have a series of questions:

  • So my question is, is this correct?
  • Should the power have fired and a mage drawn from the currently occupied settlement?
  • Could it simply be that it pulled one of the Troll mage cards and there is no population for that? If so, shouldn’t it not select a card that can’t be played?
  • If this is all correct as it happened, should the power simply have been blacked out saying it was unavailable until a settlement is available?


You basically just got unlucky. As you guessed, it sounds like it tried to pull a Mage from another race, which failed as you didn’t have available population for that race. If the Bard had selected an Elf, it would have been deployed just fine.

I think this behavior is correct. The summoning powers are supposed to be a bit of a gamble, to prevent abusive combinations. You wouldn’t want someone to be able, for instance, to stack their deck with nothing but Woodland Bards and Little Wizards (Goblin), and rampage through the entire game unchecked without having to even claim a Goblin settlement.

Similarly, you wouldn’t want the power to only pull mages that you do have the population for. Consider a standard Elf deck (lots of Mages by default), with Bards and about 20 Little Wizards. If the Bard only selected cards you could successfully deploy, this deck would be amazingly powerful in the following way:

  1. Play a bunch of Bards.
  2. Claim one Goblin settlement.
  3. Relinquish all your Elf settlements.
  4. Use your Bards to automatically deploy a horde of Little Wizards.
  5. Rampage.
  6. (Optional) Reclaim your Elf settlements.

When the Little Wizards bounce each other back to your deck, you simply redeploy them with the Bards. Meanwhile you’re putting out thousands and thousands of ranged damage every few hours, and spending no gold at all to do it. If you’ve got a couple Eldermages traveling with the group, you’ve also got unlimited Mana.


Very nice explanation. Makes total sense. I’ll still sulk about the wasted mana for another hour though. :wink:


Yes, what @DrBwaa said! Well put!