Name: Oz Gonzalez
Where are you from, tell us about your playgroup?: I'm from a lot of places, but I would say Seattle/Bellevue, USA, at this point. My play group has been meeting weekly(or more) for over 14 years. Anywhere from 2 - 14 people. I'm one of the two jerks responsible for the monster that is Case.
How did you hear about or get involved in L5R? Every time I would come home from military leave, in the last 90's, my brother and friends would be playing this. They convinced me to buy a Naga starter from Hidden Emperor, and that was that. We played at a buddy's house, always multi-player or at Neutral Ground in NYC.
Did you/Do you consider yourself a clan loyalist? Yes. I was a Naga loyalist for 1-2 years, then a Phoenix one for about 14 Years(always Samurai focused). Last 18 months I played Crab. Also played Ratling for about 18 months, again with the HoR box, so like 5+ years before they were any good
What did you like about or what drew you to your clan of choice? I chose Phoenix in gold after the Naga went away, because their Samurai looked really weak. I always enjoyed playing clans the way you were not supposed to.
What was your first L5R tournament experience? First pre-release was Spirit Wars, in Seattle. First tournament was Everything to Gain 3 I believe, also in Seattle. I played the Nezumi box from Heroes of Rokugan. YEA.
Favorite story or quote from the fiction? Why? I loved 2 Phoenix stories. I hated how Shiba Aikune was punked out of the emerald championship in gold arc, but his attitude was all I needed. Also, there was a stand alone story about Asako Hirotsugu that really stayed with me.
Favorite character? Why? Shiba Aikune, and Asako Hirotsugu. Aikune was just a walking time bomb. Hirotsugu was a cool and tragic Bloodspeaker.
Best memory or experience you had playing L5R or because of L5R. Too many man, almost 20 years of this lol.
Favorite deck that you built or played and why. I really liked my City of Remembrance decks. So good and powerful, and the only Phoenix decks that could stand the terribly trinity of Crane Dueling/Mantis Raiding/Khol Wall. Also liked Lion Paragons in early Emperor. Just a pure beatdown.
Favorite Arc and why. Lotus. When every other action is powerful, then the playing field is even
Favorite Tournament experiences. Playing Dan Tibbles in a round of 32 stands out. First attack of the game was a 5 province loss(4 retributions). Making the cut and conceding to people I like stands out too for some reason(Wong, Capaletti, etc lol). Also, once in a Kotei in Vancouver in the early 2000s, I tore my copy of Make a Wish. That was fun
Anything else you would like to tell players about L5R at that time, or any stories to bring back some fond memories for old school players or inspire new ones? Just that at it's height, no game was better. And I've played over 100 different card games.