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  1. So it came up in a recent game I had, where two players in a space battle both had "Shields Holding" and a debate ensued about whether or not the second player (in Initiative Order) could play that card after the first player had already played a copy of that card. From 2.6 bullet 2 - Multiple action cars with the same name cannot be played during a single timing window to affect the same units or game mechanic. The issue seems to be the use of "or game mechanic", it is clear that two different players playing "Shields Holding" are affecting two distinctly different sets of ships, but "game mechanic" could be used to refer to a Space Battle Round or even just combat Round Hits which clearly both cards do impact. It was also argued that because this card uses "your" it technically is two different timing triggers. The issue was resolved and we moved on, but with a promise of further research. Which bring us to now. It should also be noted that the following cards also have similar issues, so I am asking about those as well. Maneuvering Jets Morale Boost Skilled Retreat Morale Boost and Skilled Retreat in particular have more generic timing windows, not using the "your" in the trigger; while Maneuvering Jets does. My personal feeling is that everything except Skilled Retreat could be used by opposing players. Morale Boost uses "your" in the effect, but I could definitely see the logic in the argument that it could not be played by both players as they are reacting to the same trigger even though it is affecting different units. Skilled Retreat seems like as soon as one player played it, the other player could no longer play it because once it resolves the combat ends in a draw. So what is the answer for these cards when two opposed players both have copies of them, can the second player also play them if the first player does, or not?
  2. tokens, hmm tokens... Well I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a game. Tokens can definitely be over-done. Also, too many tokens can actually be a detriment to a game. With respect to L5R, specifically Emperor/Ivory, I think there were getting to be too many kinds of tokens. However, L5R has definitely always been closer to a board game than a card game. Provinces and the attacking and defending of them have ALWAYS made it that way. I personally am of 2 minds when it comes to tokens and card games. I absolutely agree that nice well done tokens are absolutely fantastic to have available when you have mechanics that generate such things, and or make such things necessary. OTOH, I also totally agree that in a tournament situation needing to bring tokens to the table absolutely hinders the speed at which table changes between rounds occurs, and also increases the foot print of each game at a table. Especially if the number and/or different types required is large. Side note: L5R has always been a particularly difficult game to do tournaments with. Game length, and space requirements and at various points dynasty screw, Fate screw, Event screw, and various other types of randomness make single game matches both a requirement and at the same time a tough pill to swallow at a competitive level. Anything that impedes the start of the next round (of which tokens can be an issue due to setup/cleanup), would obviously be a negative for competitive players. Especially for a game that at times has struggled to keep single games under 50 min let alone best of 3 matches. However, dice and other methods of recording game state (of which there are many) are not absolutely better in all situations. This is especially true in the close quarters that are likely in a tournament situation. While it is true a pad of paper and a writing instrument are much easier to pick up when the game is done, they rely on accurately recording game state changes by both players. A pad and pen also increase the table footprint dramatically. Also, using them to record transient stat bonuses and penalties over the course of a turn or battle is cumbersome. Dice and dials are nice, but are subject to inadvertent as well as intentional manipulation by outside forces (the errant table bump for instance); not to mention ALSO being subject to recording errors (as a pad and pen are). Where as tokens do eliminate some of that, but also create their own unique set of problems. Like cards that generate large numbers of tokens over the course of a game and not having an easy way to consolidate them (i.e. tokens in increments of 1,3,5,10,etc). Of course having incrementally bigger values of tokens could mean slightly higher production costs. I think the argument can be made that there are very few card games where all game state information is (or even can be) stored on the cards themselves or by their board position and/or orientation. That isn't to say tokens are a requirement, but it is to say that tokens do solve problems. For instance, while not specifically using the word token any card whose effects have a limited duration, but last longer than the current turn is ripe for the use of tokens. That is certainly an effect that pops up in a lot of different card games, so having something handy to record that with is beneficial, if for no other reason to avoid arguments, especially in a competitive environment. Also, If there are a lot of different counters to keep track of, something like https://www.amazon.com/Darice-Round-Caddy-Stacks-Count/dp/B006L2UUVA/ref=pd_bxgy_201_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YCREN2BF1E17DFRZEV1B could make life a lot easier to keep them sorted and contained where table space is at a premium.
  3. You said it! Though my experience is that the tokens do NOT slide that easily, in or out, so I just keep them to the side. My group really likes the feel of the minis, but at times the bases are way too big. and yeah the ID token slot is just terrible on the 2nd Ed versions. Though conveniently, especially on the larger models, the creature tokens do seem to fit a little more snugly. I am going to have to create some sort of custom case for mine, as there really isn't a particularly cheap solution since so many of the off the shelf products are made for comparably smaller minis. I tried gluing them down, but even doing that, because many of them stick out quite a bit, you can't just toss them in a box, or they break off. I even had the arm of a deep one come completely off and had to re-glue it. It surprised me that it wasn't all one piece for such a small mini. Part of the problem here is the minis are subject to warping in transit, which in turn (especially for the bigger ones) makes it difficult to even get them to stay on their bases. That said, for the most part I think the minis look excellent. The bases though don't mesh well with them. I've even found that some of the pegs need to be trimmed as they stick through the base and would make it even more difficult to get the tokens in and out. I've considered just clipping the pegs and not messing with the bases, especially for some of the larger models that can free stand on their own. However, there are quite a few of the smaller ones for which that just won't work.
  4. Makes sense to me. That is how I read it initially, but as it was a new game I let someone argue it the other way. Thanks for the clarification. It is odd though, that Explore can allow you to move up to 3 spaces in a single turn while only taking a single move action (and not being Rita, I love me some Rita!)
  5. In the Rules Reference, under Explore Action it says "An Investigator can perform an explore action of an Explore token only if he occupies the same space as that token or a space adjacent to the door the Explore token is placed on." But on the Quick reference on the back it says: Explore Action: Investigate an Explore token in your space using the app. The first rule implies that the explore action incorporates movement within it, which is reinforced by the fact that most of the time you also get to move one space into the room. The later requires spending movement and splitting the move action. Can an Investigator explore a door from an adjacent space and still have a second action? Or does such an action also require taking a move action, thus ending that investigator's turn?
  6. Hoard as a stand-alone faction (with dishonor immunity) doesn't work in the card game IF Dishonor as a win condition exists. The two really are mutually exclusive. Tangentially, (in the interest of game length) the same is true for Honor and Dishonor, while they both modify the same value anyway. My solution would be to have Dishonor (in the traditional sense) go away. Replacing it with a "stained honor" mechanic. Essentially, you pick an arbitrary number of "Stain" counters, when you accumulate that number your Base Province Strength is permanently and irrevocably reduce to zero and you can no longer win an honor victory (representing basically the entire Empire hunting you down, cutting off your support and supply lines and generally regarding you as an outlaw for your evil deeds). Or conversely, if that is your intention, that you have accumulated sufficient power to flaunt your allegiance to Jigoku openly, depending on how you look at it. :-) You could even have Shadowlands cards that become better once you are "stained" representing no longer holding back Jigoku's true power. If done right it means both honor and Dishonor instead of concentrating on Turbo (which would essentially loose to a faster turbo of the opposite type) have to respect the military game as well. Dishonor, because you do eventually have to crush provinces, and honor because you may find yourself in a situation where honor isn't enough. "Stain" decks might take the form of classic Magistrate decks where you get the opponent to choose something bad + dishonor of a personality, vs something even worse, and have other effects that when targeting a dishonored personality cause "stain" tokens. Either way, Hoard as a stand-alone faction does not exist, BUT hoard as a corrupting influence inside a clan does(hearkening back to how things worked in Imperial). Spider clan becomes the clan of outcasts, lost, and corrupted seeking redemption, with an even greater struggle to avoid using the readily accessible corruption within to accomplish short term goals. Other clans both despise and loath having to work with the Spider, but as they have first hand knowledge of dealing with Jigoku, their expertise is indispensable. So they have a place, just not a very comfortable one. Honor losses still have a place in this fictional environment, just not as a win condition in and of themselves, but more as an adjunct to one of the other arch-types. Anyway, just some random thoughts on what could be done to "fix the Spider", instead of relegating them to the dustbin of history. Actually, this is a pretty good fit for the Spider, because historically the Lion were NOT allowed to wage war outside the boarders of Rokugan. The Lion are more akin to the US National Guard, than to the Army in Rokugan society. Repelling invaders and injecting themselves into inter-clan military conflicts when the conflict is not sanctioned by the emperor. This is exactly, why the conquerors thing works. I'd say they have a limited number of monasteries in remote areas of Rokugan where folks retire (to try and "avoid" needing to call on the power of Jigoku, or to learn how to harness it), and also basically giving them defacto control of frontier territories, building additional "monasteries" then moving on when the more "civilized" parts of Rokugan catch up to them. Becoming the Rokugani equivalent of an expeditionary force of semi-expendable shock troops. They don't own territory in the traditional "clan" sense, but are ceded small parcels throughout all of Rokugan.
  7. That Kyoso Ring destruction effect was a sore subject with me. Not necessarily the interaction with the Sensei, but the idea that Rings could be gotten rid of like that. A single unique card completely negating a victory condition is always a terrible idea. Rings played by their own text should have been immune. Aside, from a story perspective I felt like the elemental tournaments leading to "enlightened" personalities always felt wrong story wise. So from that perspective I am kind of glad they didn't do anything more with it, because it likely would have created other problems in the setting. water under the bridge now as they say...
  8. No doubt that is true about AGoT, I played the CCG, and the 1st edition of the LCG, but not the current version (yet). So I am not entirely sure what the actual differences are this time around. My main point was that L5R is uniquely different from their other IP and games in this space. I can't help but think that similar issues are likely to crop up as a result of those differences. The degree to which that occurs hinges a lot on how much FFG is willing to abandon, and how much they are willing to keep from classic L5R from the outset (not to mention which particular rules set). If it were me I'd be willing to abandon anything and everything from classic L5R to make a "better" game from the outset, while still trying to capture the essence of what L5R is. In my mind the key principles in no particular order are: an interactive story element, where player choice(but not necessarily player success at the table, there is just too much baggage that can create) shapes the world; Samurai fighting, dueling, and political maneuvering; Simplicity and Speed. That last one is kind of an overlooked, but important one. When I first started playing L5R, I don't remember hour or even half-hour long games happening too frequently (1-on-1), but now a days, that is almost routine. Maybe L5R just became too complicated mechanically as stuff got added to be a fast game. But I remember the uproar over cutting just 5 min out of swiss rounds caused not too long ago. A close runner up is Balance between clans, but as long as story line "prizes" are not reflective of "relative condition in the story"; then Balance becomes a lot smaller issue, especially if you can play a different clan and still give the victory to somebody else. Balance is a huge issue if potentially your clan gets dissolved because your faction looses "too much" at the card tables.
  9. It is true, the enlightened Crane was more of a perceived thing than an actual thing, but the point is that sort of thing or even the appearance of such should be avoided. Card tournament wins should determine the when, and possibly the who of the story, but not necessarily the how or the why. And also shouldn't be linked to specific mechanical or material advantages in the card game, but rather to flavor. Which is, I think, what most of us are saying. As another example, after "The Race" the Dragon starting with the favor was cool, but that also messed with the fundamental foundation of the game. Design did a good job balancing Dragon starting with the favor, but I personally feel like when it was taken away design didn't do quite as good a job maintaining that balance for Dragon without starting with the favor. The point is that sort of thing is over the top, and in my opinion completely unnecessary, and part of why L5R has struggled. One of the other reasons, it has struggled is because of the constantly changing rules sets, but that is a topic for a different thread...
  10. L5R wasn't LCG competition. Unless there was a plan to make an L5R LCG from AEG? The idea was floated multiple times in the past few years mostly from fans of the game that didn't like the CCG release model or the particular rarity scheme AEG was using. But I am sure nothing like that was ever officially even hinted at, let alone announced. Heck AEG only hinted at an online version, and only to say they were not accepting solicitations from folks to create such things. I would be very disappointed if the first taste was AFTER Gen Con 2016. If that much time passes, I think FFG runs the risk of losing too much of the existing player base to other things. Though, admittedly I would not expect anything more than an overview of play, with maybe some early sampling of cards (probably nothing physical, not full production cards anyway), and possibly a run down on how distribution is going to work. With an outside chance of having an early "state of the world" setup fiction. If L5R gets half of that list by GenCon 2016, I would (personally) be happy. All of it would be worth somersaults and backflips.
  11. First, let me just say that the Crane Enlightened thing wouldn't have been nearly so bad if AEG hadn't ALSO decided to add mechanical benefits to the trait in the CCG. Having an extra keyword can have mechanical benefits in and of itself, adding stuff on top of that was almost like a snowball effect. YES! L5R has at it's core the differentiating feature of an interactive story line. Lose that and L5R loses the thing that makes it unique. That said, winning a Kotei or similar event should be worth (at most) a card credit and a non-mechnical keyword on a faction appropriate personality, with the personality in question getting some significant role in an unfolding plot line. A Gencon/Euro Champs win should be similar, but with personality getting a role in a major plot line. Faction votes should present individual players with a broad stroke, not unlike the Path choices, but maybe a little more generic. For instance, setup the story plot points. Give a brief overview of the initial state of things. Then present each clan with the options to focus on specific things in a rank order, like: Internal physical threats to Rokugan, External Physical threats to Rokugan, Spiritual threats to Rokugan, Threats to the Emperor, or threats to that clan's power. Based on how the polling goes as each plot point unfolds have the clans responding to those events as appropriate (but hopefully in a way that makes each clans responses unique, i.e. if the Lion and the Dragon both rank external threats as most important you would still expect their responses to be different). At the same time items that rank low for a faction might mean losing ground in that area, leaving something vulnerable, or not participating in certain story line points. The key is to have a framework that gives equal story time to each area and each clan as a result, representing how the overall plot is impacting each of the "areas" and then focusing on the clans that focused in that area or not and the repercussions of those choices. Without revealing too much about what is going to happen ahead of time. When AEG announced the whole "transparency" thing I was disappointed, because complete transparency eliminates the ability to create good plots twist moments that are the hallmark of good story telling. That said the whole Naga wake up or go evil thing absolutely should have been communicated ahead of time, or at least hinted at. Lastly, Allow for tournament wins to not be tied directly to the faction that won (at the winners discretion). I.e. if a player wins with a Crab deck, but wants the Victory to go to the Dragon, let that happen with the stipulation that the faction of the winning deck is ALSO, playing some major role in the particular plot point that event win represents. A dual win, or a major assist if you will. Combined together, this would keep tournament performance from creating a situation where factional imbalance in the card game creates story time imbalance in the story plot. Which has been a sore point with just about every player at some point. Anyway, just some thoughts on how to make this work, and not suck.
  12. here's a quick thought. What if the Core Set was like a bunch of generic ronin Samurai, after all we have had (even in the recent past) a number of more generically named personality cards (Seasoned Ronin, Armed Rice Farmer, Banished, Boyoh Mercenary, Gaijin Sorcerer, Imperial Cartographer, not to mention all the nonhuman cards like The Red Hunger, Goblin this or that, Ratling this or that etc.) Plus like a couple of key political figures for each clan like a Champion, and a couple Diamyo for each clan (that could be named, but could just be "Dragon Clan Champion" or "Togashi Diamyo" maybe with a "real" name as a subtitle to denote which core set it comes from). Then the packs end up being the "Core" Personalities that get cycled through. Or maybe it is the reverse, and we don't see any Champion or Diamyo or key people in the core set, just a bunch of basic personality cards that fill in for stuff that comes in the packs. Either way I think we will definitely see more generic personality cards, and probably to a greater degree than in current L5R. I'm just hoping those end up being core faction/mechanic cards and save the names for folks that expand that function within a clans play style. I'm willing to accept "Phoenix Fire Weaver", and "Togashi Void Disciple" as personality cards in the core set that never go away and never get story time in liu of getting a differently named version of Togashi Akagi every year or two, that only sometimes gets story time. No offense intended here, but if you want to tell a story I think the RPG is a great way to do that, but an LCG especially with a long cycle period is going to be a poor medium to do that with. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it probably won't take anywhere near the same form as "classic" l5r; or it won't follow the same model as FFGs other LCGs. I think the chances are about 80/20 on those two options. What ever happens I do think the community, baring the new product being a steaming pile of dog squeeze will be there for the launch.
  13. The thing I see as a problem with non-unique named characters that *NEVER* cycle out of the environment is the continuing story line meshing. One of the things that makes L5R what it is, is that a perceived slight against the wrong person can be a death sentence for a character. How many Crab die each day standing on the wall? Poison is considered a perfectly natural means of advancement, even if a dishonorable one. The land of Rokugan is a very deadly place to live. Characters that live forever will ALWAYS feel out of place in such a setting. OTOH, I absolutely agree with those that say "Mirumoto Bushi #1", or any other doctored up generic title, is a terrible name for a personality card in L5R the card game. But it does solve the Akodo Bob (the Sensei) sticking around forever training Lion Samurai to the end of the universe problem in an LCG release format. Of course you could simply say that Akodo Bob has a son Akodo Bob, who took his fathers place, and does exactly the same thing(slightly reminiscent of Highlander(1986)). But then you basically need to exclude that guy from story time to avoid confusion. Which defeats the point of having named such a character, since no amount of player investment can over come the development exclusion. Also (potentially) frustrates the player base over the long haul as they invest time and effort into the character only to never have that effort go anywhere. It is not so cut and dry as either side is portraying it. For my part, I don't like the idea of a bunch of generic personalities, but I absolutely recognize the value of it from a total design perspective as relates to L5R as an LCG. Having cards that never cycle out also creates design constraints not to mention hamstrings the Meta environment over the lifetime of the game. I think what we will see is likely something akin to how AGoTs was treated. Just about the time stuff started cycling around FFG hit the reset button on the game. What I would hope for (short of that) is a reconstituted "soul of..." mechanic where every so often stuff in the "never cycles out" sets gets a face lift so to speak, but doesn't really change and doesn't invalidate the older card, other than to limit putting both in a single deck. Sort of creating the illusion of the passage of time. I'll tell you though, I think FFG is going to have its hands full, and I do not envy them the task they have before them.
  14. The starts in play holdings while not perfect, were a step in the RIGHT direction, and the abandonment of same was one of the biggest steps backwards for the game mechanically. If it were me and I was going to keep much of the structure intact, but try to avoid the exponential resource growth, I'd set up a system where during setup after SH are revealed each player gets a certain amount of "gold" to purchase starts in play holdings enough so that you eliminate the roughly 2-3 turns of resource build up, AND you eliminate resource screw. It can be inferred from deck construction trends through Celestial/Emperor that it would also eliminate the exponential growth factor as well (as the need for "extra" holdings would be less). Alternatively, you could print SHs with flat out MORE GP on them, but I liked the idea of having a little bit more variety, and you could go back to the Imperial Tax mechanic which was simpler than gold pooling(not saying gold pooling was bad, but once a player has 4-5 holdings in play plus SH; gold pooling just matters a lot less). I like dueling and always have flavor wise, but the basic mechanics of it have never lent themselves to being particularly balanced. Mainly because the balance between the theoretical opportunity cost, vs the potential Meta opportunity cost just never can even out over the course of a single game. It does manifest itself over the course of a tournament, but that is little consolation to either side in the debate. Not to mention particular cards just hosing one side or the other. Dueling should move to a mechanic more like the keyword actions from Ivory, where the card does something probably bad for your opponent, based on the difference between the "duel stat" of the two personalities involved, and then each player discards a card from the top of their deck, and if you have the higher FV, you get a bonus effect from the same card (for "winning" the duel). That way dueling cards and other cards can be "about the same power level" while still sort of capturing the "feel" of a duel. Also eliminate Focus Effects, as an unnecessary complication to a much simpler mechanic. Sample card text might be something like "Iajutsu Battle: Target your personality and a personality opposing him. If your personality has higher Chi, bow the opposing target. If you win the duel destroy a target attachment in the losers unit." Enlightenment: Fix #1: The Rings are not cards in your deck, and once "played" cannot be removed. Everybody, brings a set to the table. Fix #2: Requirements to play the Rings should always involve your opponent at some level (i.e. no 3 random spells to get a Ring), but should also never be entirely dependent on your opponent taking (or not taking!) a particular move (I.e. no requirement for the opponent to attack). The Ivory Rings were almost there, as were the celestial rings... Fix #3: win at start of turn always. Honor vs. Dishonor - Move to a "War of Honor" type system for at least one of these victory conditions, maybe something like each time a personality is dishonored, and/or each time a personality dies dishonorably, and/or anytime a player loses 5 honor in a single turn that player gets a dishonor token, and if you ever END your turn with some number of Dishonor Tokens you lose. You could even have especially nasty "Shadowlands" personalities add a Dishonor Token (or 2). The key point would be to not have a repeatable way to remove them (or have it be extremely rare and single use/RFG type cards). Anyway, I don't think the game is as warped as McDermott, but mechanically it could definitely use an overhaul. One of the biggest things that bugged me about all the changes over the years is I always felt like some things were at once too much, and at the same time not enough. Or the ensuing design based on those changes didn't line up in one or more areas some how. Like Dueling changes, like monks alternately being the only folks to play Kiho, then NOT, leaving them in a mechanical vacuum. Eliminating Clan Discount AND blood money, but then screwing the proverbial pooch on how some personalities got costed, relative to the available gold schemes. Not to mention the disparity of efficiency between attachments and personalities. Water under the bridge at this point. Here's hoping that FF can address these issues without gutting the things that really do make L5R an enjoyable game.
  15. Since the following two mechanics of L5R were brought up, and have been voiced to me personally as creating NPEs for new players(multiple times over the years), I thought I might pontificate a bit on them. 1) Province Destruction for losing a battle and 2) The all or nothing nature of Battle Resolution. Here is the cut and dry of it. The two mechanics above make large scale battles in L5R very swingy (in some cases epically so), and encourage careful/thoughtful play as well as considerations for what could potentially occur. Going all in on a single province (especially early) and losing (especially on defense) generally leaves you down resources AND with a potentially reduced ability to recover. Hence the general rule that "good military decks don't defend". The problem with this is the new player. The new player is just learning the game, and the level of swingy to the point that the game can be over before it feels like it really began can be a big turn off. Also, those quick defeats generally fail to teach a new player exactly what they did wrong, unless they have a particularly knowledgeable mentor. On the other hand, those mechanics are definitely what give L5R it's epic feel. Loosing a province hurts and it is meant to. Also, doing things to curb that basically just slows down the game. Which just leads to an even more swingy battle later, as more resources are at risk. The other issue that L5R has (in comparison to magic for example) is the amount of investment required to take provinces, and the balance between spending resource to get more resources later or having offense/defense now. The main thing is it is a double wammy when you lose (especially on defense). If I were king of L5R design (or redesign) I'd look for ways to have battle resolution be more attrition oriented. One of the things Magic got right early on is keeping the board fluid (in that stuff tends not to stick around for the entire game). In L5R, that tends to only happen to one side (except in certain periods of the games history where power was ramped up). Incidentally, some of my favorite memories of L5R are from those same periods, specifically because the higher the power level of the cards (especially action cards), the less losing armies or provinces matter (but the more important and powerful card draw becomes). The advantage to that situation is that games become more back and forth instead of the more lop-sided victories that tend to happen today (especially with less experienced players). So the question is do you put it on the cards or do you build that board clearing mechanism into the rules. Yu was a pretty good idea that was terribly implemented, but is an example of a rules solution. The main problems were the cost of having Yu, and that it was almost exclusively handed to one faction (flavorful, but abusive). The suggestion of essentially having every Samurai by rule effectively having Yu, has merit, though I might also extend that to Bushi as well. I might also suggest Bushi/Samurai have some Innate province strength boosting ability when defending at resolution (bowed or not), making them more desirable if you expect to go to battle, and also bigger targets for movement tricks on defense. Of course that ignores the core mechanic of destroying provinces in the first place. Maybe that just needs to be done away with? Or curbed in some manner (as my suggestion above would do). I've often thought it might be neat to have "Devastated provinces" where instead of losing it out right, buying something from the "devastated" province costs something extra for the rest of the game, with military victory being opponent has no undevestated provinces. Anyways, just some thoughts...
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