Arcomage is a minigame included in two installments of the Might and Magic series of fantasy role-playing games. It is included in both Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor and Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer. 3DO also released it as a stand-alone game in 2000. In the stand-alone version a single player could play against a computer opponent or two players could play via a LAN or TCP/IP connection. Arcomage is a computer based card game which takes on many of the themes of the game in which it is set. Arcomage is an actual part of the story of the game - in that characters may enter a tavern and play for money. In both games, there is a quest to win a game of arcomage in every tavern in the land.
Arcomage was developed by Stickman Games and is the brainchild of Jon Van Caneghem. The game was sold to 3DO.
Arcomage takes the form of a tabletop game, in which there are two players, each with a deck of cards, a "tower" and a "wall", as well as several other variables that determine whether they win or lose, and what cards they can play. As Might and Magic is a single-player game, one would always play against an AI opponent - making the game relatively easy to win.
Players take it in turns to:
- Draw the appropriate number of cards to complete their 6-part deck (one or more cards would have been played or discarded during their previous turn)
- Either play or discard a card, depending on their options - in some cases dicard will be the only option available, as the player might not have the appropriate amount of "gems", "bricks" or "recruits".
- If their chosen card allows it, play again and/or choose a card to discard.
Every tavern has its different victory conditions, so players must adapt their styles for different situations.
As well as having a "Tower", "Wall" and Deck of Cards, each player also has:
- "Quarry" - controls how many "bricks" are gained each turn
- "Bricks" - spent on brick cards
- "Magic" - controls how many "gems" are gained each turn
- "Gems" - spent on gem cards
- "Dungeon" - controls how many "recruits" are gained each turn
- "Recruits" - spent on recruit cards
Arcomage employs a wide range of cards, each with their own name, effects and picture. Several cards were added to the original deck in Might and Magic VIII. Examples include:
- Faerie (recruit card): 2 damage (to enemy tower/wall); play Again. Cost: 1 recruit.
- Portcullis (brick card): +5 wall; +1 dungeon. Cost: 9 bricks.
- Sanctuary (gem card): + 10 tower; +5 wall; gain 5 recruits. Cost: 15 gems.
Some people have made their own online versions of Arcomage, although even MArcomage only has a handful of players. This version is much almost exactly like the original in set-up (tower, wall, resources, productions) but has a numerous and expanding stock of cards to choose from, with increasily more complicated effects such as "last card played" and token based effects.