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Caldera

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  1. I'm struggling to see how to fit Yoritomo in. His stats when non-boosted are terrible for his cost, so you definitely don't want to pay for him outright. Obvious choice is to Charge! him in, but then you'll need to include various other 4 or 5 costers to increase effectiveness of Charge! But if you don't have Charge! in hand at the right time (or if it gets discarded at the wrong time) then you'll end up having to buy your decent characters outright leaving very little surplus fate. Bear in mind too that Charge! and Gaijin Customs cost 1 fate each - I think the idea of Yoritomo on paper is better than it'll be in reality, although we'll have to see. I think Kudaka will be a much better neutral option for us to use
  2. I am Ready is probably my key card, which is why I’m not keen on the swarm/go wide route. But yeah I can see the value in cashing in on it immediately after using FGG for instant high impact - which is the kind of thing that wins Provinces, sometimes even while games. [Dreams: ”If you control more participating characters than an opponent, place one fate on a cavalry character you control”] I ditched Ide Trader some time ago, also Shinjo Outrider (like @L5RBr said, there are no in-clan ways to honour it... so it tends to float around in a permanent state of dishonour). Altansarnai is only in there so long as Charge! is; she’s out if/when I switch my RL choice (which I plan to once the whole cycle is out). Nergui is a controversial one, I know: I’ve found her to be very situational and like Altansarnai I only really use her with Charge! I think i’d keep her in if I went with the (rumoured) new stronghold + Lion splash, but not if I go the Shugenja/Phoenix splash route.
  3. I think there is mix of some real good stuff as well as some absolute duds based on the spoilers we’be seen so far - as well as several “Could be good, IF...” cards. So the duds in my view are the Battle Maiden Recruits (eurgh!) and the Regulars (i’m not sure yet on Unleash the Djinn, which I know is role-locked anyway). The obvious stars for me are Master of the Swift Waters (bring on pack 4!), Shitome Encampment, Shinjo Shono and Invocation of Ash. I’m on the fence about Sneaky Shinjo, the Naga Scout, the one that puts facedown Dynasty cards into the conflict as 1- characters, and the rumoured Stronghold. This is mainly because i’ve yet to see any convincing benefits of outnumbering your opponent. I’m looking to see effects that let you cancel an event or remove an attachment, or make your opponent dishonour or bow a character (preferably both!) if you control more characters in a conflict. If we do then these cards go up in value. If we don’t... it’s the UniShugenja route for me. Space in my Dynasty deck is already pretty tight, the only filler being the Yurts. So i’m thinking: Shitome Encampment > Yurts Shinjo Shono > Nergui Master of the Swift Waters > Altansarnai or Miya Mystic (2 very different options) I think another thing to consider are the neutrals, and i’m particularly excited about the Mantis ones. I wonder if they’ll fit more easily into Unicorn?
  4. I think it would need a Spiritcaller-like ability (which we don’t have) to make this worthwhile, otherwise it’s Charge fodder - albeit a very decent one at that. It’s just that, like someone said above, Uni seem to be being pulled in opposite directions: You want the ‘Regulars face-up along with other juicy Charge targets like Moto or Altansarnai... but you also want all your cards to be facedown to maximise that new “put into the conflict as 1-Mil characters” attachment (which itself needs you to have a non-Assassinateable Shugenja out, which needs its own fate investment...). So the two seem to work against each other.
  5. Good stuff! As you know, Crane splash is my preferred choice, but I fully agree that it’s a matter of personal play style (i’ve always found Uni-Scorp to be utterly disastrous but I know it works really well for others). I think Uni-Phoenix is going to become strong by the end of the forthcoming cycle, but i’m not sure it’s time is yet. Uni-Crab on the other hand seems to be emerging as the splash of choice for those who have enjoyed particular success recently. I’ve not tried it myself but one of the two newly-crowned Unicorn Hatamotos did exceptionally well with Uni-Crab at the UK Grand Kotei and has posted an article on the Utaku Palaces group on Facebook which may be worth checking out...
  6. It’s an interesting article and it’s got people talking about it in a critical (but positive) way which I think is a good thing. Personally I disagree with the author that go-wide is the only option for Unicorn: I’m increasingly going the tall/narrow route in order to leverage that fate advantage that is one of Unicorn’s strengths (and an often forgotten one at that). The problem is though that the author is a World-renowned Hatamoto who has achieved success and i’m....not, so the evidence so far does seem to support his view! I’ve experienced some (very relative) success with Crane splash including 3x Political Rivals. One of the main problems though is having Talisman stolen, like the previous poster said, plus Rivals are very weak to any trick that can pull them into a military conflict. Another problem is that there is very little my deck can do to disrupt or hurt the opponent. So i’m considering other splashes. Personally I like the Keeper role for Unicorn (mainly for Talisman and the Initiates). However the bigger issue for me is that we’ve got the Void role, where there is already stiff competition for that province slot - thus rendering any Void-only or Keeper-only Void roles inferior (if only Massing at Twilight or Tears of Ameratsu were a different element!). Imagine if we were Keeper of Something Else and could then access more punishing provinces to use with Talisman, like Feast or Famine, River of Gold or even Frostbitten Crossing....
  7. The characters I’d like to immediately blank are, in the following order of priority: 1) Kisada 2) Ujiaki 3) LPB 4) Doji Challenger 5) That Scorpion one that harpoons a character and dishonours then afterwards Haven’t faced Kitsuki Investigator yet: In fact I can’t remember the last time I faced or saw anyone playing Dragon full-stop. I actually think Moto Juro is pretty strong, up there with the best of the other ‘new’ 5 cost characters (apart from Ujiaki who is ridiculously OTT good). Juro seems to be a prime target for Cloud The Mind when i’m playing against Phoenix. Border Rider never lasts long on the board as she rides around with a placard saying “Come on - Assassinate me!”, although i’m wondering if that can be leveredged to good effect in a Unicorn Dishonour deck..
  8. I find the relative abundance of decent neutral cards refreshing. It reduces (although doesn't eliminate) that rock-paper-scissors effect that you get when all the decent counters are in-faction only. I think back to Conquest, when Tyranids were seriously disadvantaged in the big elites meta because all the control cards were in-faction and Tyranids couldn't ally with anyone, meaning that if your Warlord ended up at the same planet as a Possessed then it was effectively game over. Maybe it reduces the diversity within decks, but it actually increases the diversity of the range of decks that are competitive. For example by being able to run Court Games in my Crab or Unicorn decks I actually have a half-chance of not being completely white-washed by Crane or Scorpion in Political conflicts. Banzai brings similar benefits to more Politically-orientated clans. Otherwise its just a race to each other's Stronghold over 3 turns. Another way of looking at it is to consider attachment hate, of which the only neutral option (Miya Mystic) is terrible - which led to Dragon being the default go-to splash for most Clans for the first few months of the game, which is hardly a good advert for deck diversity.
  9. To be fair things did feel unnervingly quiet over here until recently, so I think people can be forgiven for thinking that there was less community appetite for the game than anticipated.... ... thankfully however things seem to be rapidly gathering pace in the south east with a number of stores now advertising their L5R OP schedule for the coming months now that the kits have arrived on these shores, starting with Magic Madhouse this Saturday: Woo-hoo! (Other tourneys this weekend are of course available ?). Even better, someone in the London L5R Facebook group has kindly started a weekly post of all known L5R activity in the region, from OP tourneys to informal regular L5R game nights. I recommend joining up if you haven’t already. So I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Obviously if you are from London, BC or London, CA or something then ignore this...
  10. I was going to say that the Unicorn card doesn’t seem that good against other clans (apart from Phoenix) considering that Unicorn characters often have impressive Glory stats themselves. But having re-read the card I wonder if there is some mileage in using Nergüi to send one of your own characters home ready to fight in another conflict, e.g. if you’ve over-committed (or rather, your opponent doesn’t commit anything to defence) and you currently have over-kill on the Province break? After all, moving out of a conflict has always been the bigger problem for Unicorn...It’s just that annoying Military conflict restriction again.
  11. I’ve noted a couple of people mention attachments to help combat Scorpion. I recently took a hammering as Crab against Scorpion when my opponent Called in Favours on my Watch Commander and froze me out of the game. In light of that I am wary of playing any attachments that can be taken off me and used against me with punishing effects. i have thought about Above Question and Finger of Jade, but they only protect the character not the attachment itself....
  12. Just picking up on this (although I realise the conversation thread has kind of moved on). Actually your clarification is helpful as I hadn’t realised that the Stronghold Showdown was a separate special event from the other stuff (the events all have similar-sounding names, confusing to me at least). Actually i’ve just seen a new thread where someone mentions that the Season 1 kits haven’t shipped from the US yet, but which may explain the relative radio silence over here... ...and new spoilers have appeared at last for the Phoenix Clan pack too. Regroup, everyone: The game is still alive in the ‘meat’ world!
  13. Not sure I buy the argument about there being too big a gap between new cards as a reason to quit at this stage. I mean, everyone knows that the first clan pack is coming out next month (maybe even sooner), and that this will then be followed by another cycle and so on. I can see why people might think the meta has gone stale, but if i felt that (which personally i don’t) then i’d probably be filling the time some other way until the new cards were released rather than selling up. But each to their own. However, the two main concerns I have about the game are (1) the online gaming aspect and (2) the OP structure. So: 1) Again this is down to individual preference, and I know people get a lot of fun out of playing Jigoku or whatever. But ultimately it’s a physical card game designed to be played face-to-face in-person with a fellow human being. Maybe you’ll have one or two gaming nights each week where you play 2-3 games (maybe more if you play on a weekend), and maybe you’ll ramp it up before a major tourney. But my regular gaming buddy reckons he’s getting in at least a couple of games online pretty much every night. Then there was another poster on this forum from the UK whose posts I used to enjoy reading and who was there at the start for the inaugural London5R event who announced in the New Year that the game was dead to him... and when I read further it looked like he’d been playing L5R on Jigoku solidly every day over the whole Christmas & New Year period. It’s small wonder that some people are losing interest in of the game so quickly! 2) I appreciate this won’t impact on those players who don’t tend to go OP tourneys anyway, but the OP scene (outside of Koteis) seems to be struggling to take off over here - which I think has a lot to do with the delays and confusion over the Stronghold kits, but is also perhaps a symptom of the different OP set up for L5R compared to FFGs traditional model. With Conquest or Thrones you’d be having the Store Championships [SCs] right now, so for someone like me living in South East England on pretty much every weekend between late Jan and the start of April there’d be a local game stores somewhere in the capital or Home Counties holding their SC (i’d usually only make one or two at most, but there’d be a circuit of players doing the rounds and swelling the numbers at every such event - at my last Conquest SC at my local store we were graced with the presence of the eventual runner-up at Worlds). Then there’d be approx 4-5 Regionals across the UK through the summer (so most of us would make one maybe two), and then the UK Nationals to top it off at the end of the summer (and then Worlds for those fortunate enough to be able to make it across the Atlantic). Plus there’d be Nationals in France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic etc etc.... all happening around a similar time, none of which i’d go to of course, but it was fun to watch the results coming in on the regular forums, making the game feel so alive. By contrast the OP structure for L5R just doesn’t seem to be generating the same buzz, especially the Stronghold kits - which seem more like glorified Game Night Kits with their ‘4 rounds of Swiss and no top-cut’ structure. Last time I checked there was only one store in the capital advertising their Stronghold schedule, and seemingly precious little else in the wider South East region. I’m sticking with the game as I absolutely love it, and recognise that it is still very much in its nascent stages. But I just hope the excitement we saw back at launch can be maintained in the long-term.
  14. Definitely agree with all the comments about the Scorpion stronghold. I think it’s the strongest one out there as it’s almost always useable each round - and if it’s not then you are still exercising control over your opponent by forcing them to bid higher than they are comfortable with, which presents its own risks given the ease at which Scorpion can score quick (dis)honour points through dishonouring their opponents’ characters.
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