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What is so cool about Legend of the Five Rings ?

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Hi, Conquest player here. I know why every other LCG appeal to people:
 
StarWars is StarWars.
A Game of Thrones is a medieval setting about some noble houses fighting about the iron throne. It got books and most importantly the series now which show how cool it is.
Arkham Horror is about the supernatural and some people seem to like it (I don't see the charm in it but I'm mostly jaded since all the arkham horror boardgames are cooperative).
W40K Conquest is the Warhammer 40K universe where there is only war.
 
Gamemechanically, Conquest is awesome since it's quite deep and all factions have different playstyles.
 
Space Marines are resilient and have powerful combattricks that deal more damage or prevent it.
Imperial Guard are truly weak but numerous and always got more units than you though. Their warlords strenghten their weak units and got abilities that kinda sacrifices one of their weak units AND one of the enemies.
Eldar are specialized, as strong as Space Marines(!) and focus on exhausting (tapping) their enemies and bringing their units back from the dead temporarily.
Dark Eldar can't take damage but they deal it out aplenty!   Their playstyle is to win the battle before it begins by discarding your cards, removing your units or killing them outright!   If they have to fight, ranged units are there.

Orks  are strong and get better when they have taken a bit of damage. Their gameplan is to get damaged and hit back even harder.
Chaos Space Marines have difficult to use units with difficult to use abilities and powerful daemons that can be made cheaper with your cultists

Tau focus on attachments that make their units stronger and they got a lot of'em!   All their units are special in some way (ranged, stronger command, get back resources etc).

 

 

 

 

Legend of the Five Rings is a universe I have never heard about until here on Fantasy Flight a few months ago. So it's about some samurai clans that clash....is there magic, undead, Dark Elves and the like?

Was the mechanics of the L5R CCG as good as Conquest (the best I've ever seen!)

 

I guess it boils down to that all other LCGs have exciting universes while I've never heard of L5R and some samurai clans fighting sounds like: "ok...."

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Yeah it is kinda like that but the mechanics move along military / political / mystical aspects with added stuff like honor, magic, economy, and dueling (roughly in this order concerning their importance).  

 

The Crab Clan is the defensive military faction with some economy going on.

The Crane Clan is the political faction and also has a focus on honor and dueling. 

The Dragon Clan is the jack-of-all-trades faction with an emphasis on mysticism and a little dueling.

The Lion Clan is the ultimate military faction that has some honor-y things too. 

The Mantis Clan is the offensive military faction with a little bit of everything mixed in. 

The Phoenix Clan is the magic faction with an emphasis on defense.

The Scorpion Clan is the sneaky political control faction that actually has very little outside of being a sneaky political control faction.

The Spider Clan is the evil military faction with daemons, monsters, and corrupted samurai/ninja doing corrupting things.

The Unicorn is another offensive military faction with some magic whose whole stick is being fast&furious.  

 

There is quite a lot of common ground between the factions though and they don't play that differently they just have gimmicks and are strongly separated thematically. You can go full-magic with the Scorpion or full-political with the Lion it will just play a little stranger than doing the same playstyle with a Phoenix or a Crane. 

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I'm not going to write a lot, because you need to read stuff by yourself. Yes you do.

 

You want to know the L5R setting better ? Just (download for free and) read the RPG 3rd or 4th edition book, and you will have the answers to all your questions. Of course we could describe to you the settings, but it will be incomplete AND you won't feel and grasp the setting the same way you would otherwise. L5R appeals to your imagination a lot. It's a univers that really takes you somewhere else... you need to feel it for youself by reading the basic books of the RPG.

 

About the mechanics, the rules have changed a bit over the years. But moreover the card design have changed a lot depending on the period you're considering. The global mechanics of the game are amazing. I would even dare say the best I've ever played. But it often got a bit messy with the card design and the overall balance of the game. AEG tried to do too much too hard, and often the better is the enemy of the good.

Edited by Katsutoshi

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Sorry but you started it. When you start such a list in such a forum, you'd better be accurate !

 

 

The Crab Clan is a military-focused faction, not just a 'defensive' one.

 

The Lion Clan is the ultimate military faction that has some honor-y things too. Some ? Some ??? Eh, the Lion is THE most honorable faction.

 

Talking about the Mantis and not talking about Economy ? wrong. :) Oh and Mantis ? Naval. They are mainly islanders and sailers.

 

The Phoenix Clan is the magic faction with an emphasis on defense. Not really on defense, I would say this of the Crane military. The Phoenix is not just about magic, it's about knowledge as a whole. I would also add it believes in peace (that's what you tried to say by 'defense', but I believe the sense is very different).

 

The Scorpion Clan also has ninjas. (Although we all know ninjas don't exist).

 

Oh and Unicorn ? Horses. They are mainly riders.  :) 

Edited by Katsutoshi

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The Lion clan may be the most focused on honor but I have oftener argued that the Scorpion clan is in fact the most honorable as they are willing to do what is necessary and take on that role willingly so the other Clans don't have to.

Campaigner, Kaze No Shiro has all the fiction for L5R. Might wanna give some of that a once over for some ideas on the setting and style.

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For a very broad sense of the setting I don't think it's unfair to characterize L5R as Game of Thrones but with Asian culture instead of European.

 

There is magic which mostly takes the form of communing with elemental spirits of earth, water, air, and fire. Those plus the Void which binds them together make up the titular Five Rings. Other mystical practices are either politically unpopular due to being of foreign origin or outright reviled for drawing on the Realm of Evil.

 

There are undead, but since the Empire universally practices cremation to ensure the bodies of their honored ancestors aren't defiled by becoming zombies they're only common at times when large numbers of corpses aren't given proper funerals.

 

There aren't elves, but there are a number of intelligent non-human races. Most prominently the snake people known as Naga and the rat people known as Nezumi both of which were playable factions in the past. However, the focus of the story is pretty much always on humanity.

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Hi, Conquest player here. I know why every other LCG appeal to people:

 

(eye straining highlights)

 

I guess it boils down to that all other LCGs have exciting universes while I've never heard of L5R and some samurai clans fighting sounds like: "ok...."

 

 

There are two primary draws to Legend of the Five Rings as a game.  

 

The first is the ongoing, interactive storyline.  Players doing their best and getting to have input on how the story plays out.  Most of the people (not all) that have been hanging around in this forum for the last year (as of tomorrow) are of this type.  We love the story and/or the characters of the game.  We want to see their stories continue, or at least, end well.  (These are samurai.  End well normally means a good death.)

 

The second draw has been gameplay, be it the ccg or the rpg.  The RPG has an amazing easy and deep system that handles interpersonal conflict as well as it does combat.  The CCG's system of 'I take an action, you take an action' along with the ridged turn structure, make for a much more Tactical game than some other ccgs with their reactionary 'stacks'.

 

 

 

Talking about the Mantis and not talking about Economy ? wrong. :) Oh and Mantis ? Naval. They are mainly islanders and sailors.

 

As one of the resident Mantis, I take issue with this.  Only one family is all about the money and the boats.  They just loan that gold and Naval out to the others a lot.  We also have to most shugenja (magic user) families, behind the Phoenix (they have three), that can show their faces in the Empire (sorry Spider).  The other Clans, except Spider and Phoenix, have only one shugenja family apeice.

Mantis have a lot of diversity that gets overlooked often since Naval allows us to shoot first in combat (like Han Solo).  The other clans get pissy since they didn't get easy access to that keyword.

 

 

 

Those plus the Void which binds them together make up the titular Five Rings

 

The Fifth Element!

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The RPG has an amazing easy and deep system that handles interpersonal conflict as well as it does combat.

 

Well, I agree with everything except the stuff about the interactive story (it seems like it is just as much a deterrent as a charm) and this quote. The RPG indeed has an amazing, easy, and deep system... but oh boy it handles both personal conflict and combat awfully :rolleyes: ! 

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to move away from mechanics and focus on cool.

Crab Clan...they defend a HUGE wall on the western border of the Empire...on the other side?

Doom and death and corruption...monsters from your worst nightmares. 

men and women stand against that wave and die everyday...and everyday the Crab clan gets back on that wall.

Edited by Hidatom

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Scorpion Clan...

they know that thing you did...they know every secret.

and they will use those secrets to further their agenda. 

they are sneaky and devious and can not be trusted. 

and they may be the only hope the Empire has.

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Mantis clan 

pirates and lowly merchants...they control the seas east of Rokugan

barely noticed by the noble samurai they have become a storm

because of ONE man...he stood when no one else would. 

the storm is showing Rokugan you don't have to be born great to be great.

 

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For a very broad sense of the setting I don't think it's unfair to characterize L5R as Game of Thrones but with Asian culture instead of European.

 

 

lol

Actually, it's a little more accurate to say Game of Thrones is a lot like L5R with a European spin because even as long as it has taken Martin to work on GoT, L5R predates GoT by a good five or six years. ;)

 

The setting is an amalgamation of Eastern themes (primarily Japanese, but with its fair share of Chinese, Korean, and even some Indian mixed in) adapted through a western mind-set.  So, yes, its a game of samurai, but . . . within it you'll find every shade of samurai from the idealized to the demonized.

 

Casual card play encouraged players to choose a faction (a clan or other grouping depending on the edition in question) with which they could identify either through faction identity or faction mechanics in order to pursue victory through a number of possible win conditions--military (wipe out the other side first), honor (cross the honor goal point total first), dishonor (force your opponent to fall below the dishonor minimum first), or enlightenment (achieve five personal goals representing the philosophical underpinnings of the game/setting first). Overall, each faction tended to be 'better' at one form of victory condition than another, but depending on the cards available and what edition or expansion of the game you were playing, might be able to achieve one or more of the other conditions.  And, depending on the level of play, players had to plan their deck in such a way as to defend against any of the other victory conditions at the same time that they pursued their own.  It meant a constant balancing act of choices and priorities that could change dramatically with each edition.  

 

Tournament play took the faction loyalty issue to the next level.  Winning did not merely reward the player's own ego. Players succeeding at tournament play could have the opportunity to achieve many long term goals--make a story selection, create a character, decide which factions would 'ally' later, etc... In effect, CHANGE the game world in some way, small or large, that would have a visible and lasting effect that winner could point to and take credit/blame for.  (Love it or hate it, that alone was a wonderful psychological 'hook' for the game--many fans of a game call their game of choice 'my game,' but successful L5R players could point the actual elements of the game and prove their claim.)

 

RPG play in Rokguan adapted the factions (clans) in a system that I've found remarkably adaptable to whatever the GM and his/her table prefer to play.  Campaigns can run the gamut from hack-and-slash monster-of-the-week games to spine-chilling horror games to subtle political intrigue to generational community building and every combination in between.  Every edition of it had some balance issues, but then just about every game has those issues if it lasts long enough to produce four (or in this case, four and half) editions.

Edited by Azamiko

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Talking about the Mantis and not talking about Economy ? wrong. :) Oh and Mantis ? Naval. They are mainly islanders and sailors.

 

As one of the resident Mantis, I take issue with this.  Only one family is all about the money and the boats.  They just loan that gold and Naval out to the others a lot.  We also have to most shugenja (magic user) families, behind the Phoenix (they have three), that can show their faces in the Empire (sorry Spider).  The other Clans, except Spider and Phoenix, have only one shugenja family apeice.

Mantis have a lot of diversity that gets overlooked often since Naval allows us to shoot first in combat (like Han Solo).  The other clans get pissy since they didn't get easy access to that keyword.

 

Hey this wasn't supposed to tell everything about the Mantis. Nor this was supposed to say everything about the other clans. When you consider the Mantis as a whole, what are its main strenghts and mains characteristics ? Everyone will agree to say Economy and Navy.

 

Can we sump up a clan with two words ? Hell no. Mantis has many shugenja family, but their numbers aren't impressive. So I wouldn't say Mantis is any more about magic than the other clans (except Phoenix of course).

Edited by Katsutoshi

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The Lion clan may be the most focused on honor but I have oftener argued that the Scorpion clan is in fact the most honorable as they are willing to do what is necessary and take on that role willingly so the other Clans don't have to.

 

 

Yea, I've heard this theory before. Sadly, Scorpions seems to be the only one to find such a theory interesting :P !

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As you can probably tell, one thing this game does extremely well, better than any other game I know, is foster loyalty to an individual faction. A large part of its success is the way a player can pick a faction, join its community, feel a sense of belonging, and engage in (mostly) friendly rivalries with other factions. This ends up breeding a very passionate fanbase.
 

Actually, it's a little more accurate to say Game of Thrones is a lot like L5R with a European spin because even as long as it has taken Martin to work on GoT, L5R predates GoT by a good five or six years. ;)

That's funny, because pretty much the first thing I thought when I discovered GoT was, "This is like L5R with white people!"

 

That said, though, GoT was first published in 1996, so L5R only predates it by one year.

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The Lion clan may be the most focused on honor but I have oftener argued that the Scorpion clan is in fact the most honorable as they are willing to do what is necessary and take on that role willingly so the other Clans don't have to.

 

Yea, I've heard this theory before. Sadly, Scorpions seems to be the only one to find such a theory interesting :P !

I wouldn't call it a theory so much as an interpretation. I also wouldn't call myself a Scorpion.

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As you can probably tell, one thing this game does extremely well, better than any other game I know, is foster loyalty to an individual faction. A large part of its success is the way a player can pick a faction, join its community, feel a sense of belonging, and engage in (mostly) friendly rivalries with other factions. This ends up breeding a very passionate fanbase.

 

Actually, it's a little more accurate to say Game of Thrones is a lot like L5R with a European spin because even as long as it has taken Martin to work on GoT, L5R predates GoT by a good five or six years. ;)

That's funny, because pretty much the first thing I thought when I discovered GoT was, "This is like L5R with white people!"

 

That said, though, GoT was first published in 1996, so L5R only predates it by one year.

1995. It's the only survivor from the so called Class of 95 named so due to the many CCGs released that year.

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As you can probably tell, one thing this game does extremely well, better than any other game I know, is foster loyalty to an individual faction. A large part of its success is the way a player can pick a faction, join its community, feel a sense of belonging, and engage in (mostly) friendly rivalries with other factions. This ends up breeding a very passionate fanbase.

 

Actually, it's a little more accurate to say Game of Thrones is a lot like L5R with a European spin because even as long as it has taken Martin to work on GoT, L5R predates GoT by a good five or six years. ;)

That's funny, because pretty much the first thing I thought when I discovered GoT was, "This is like L5R with white people!"

 

That said, though, GoT was first published in 1996, so L5R only predates it by one year.

 

Sorry, got my dates confused; you are quite right on L5R's first appearance.  Don't know why I was thinking of it as 1991. Just getting old, I guess. ;)

 

I've also used Avatar the Last Airbender (cartoon, NOT movie) as a frame of reference for newer players interested in the magical variations as well.

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The games ability to generate clan loyalty was exceptional and hopefully can be continued. As an aside I have got out my old netrunner decks and purchased wh conquest to try that out. Having looked at it the ff game (wh) bears a very strong resemblence to sabrtooths 'hotus heresy' and 'dark millenium' with similar game mechanics and art. Therefore I expect l5r to gave similar mechanics with counters(ff likes counters in its vase sets, bulks it out and makes I more game like i presume) - the artwork seems more washed out and primary coloured than sabertooths (that could just be my memory though).

I'll probably pick one of these to keep me going until l5r.

All the above is total guesswork of course...

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