Jump to content
Kakita Shijin

Dueling, A Bottom-Up Opinion

Recommended Posts

FFG has done a good job designing the game top-down. They retained elements from the CCG (two decks, provinces, strongholds). They baked in philosophy from feudal Japan (sakura, mono no aware). Well done.

Then there’s the dueling mechanic. I’d say this one is definitely a “bottom-up” design; clearly they just wanted to keep the rules simple in this area, and clearly they just really like dials. That’s not a problem, I like dials too. Dueling can cause an honor exchange; also, bottom-up design. That’s how the dial works for card drawing, so they carry it over to keep things simple.

Here’s where my opinion comes in:

The honor dial / dueling mechanic creates flavor, and we should enjoy it.

Can we think of scenarios where it doesn’t make sense? Sure! Does it conflict with our notions of L5R flavor? Absolutely it does. So what are we to do? I say, we open our minds to new flavor. I say we imagine positively. This is how dueling works now, and it creates space for interpretation. The old L5R duel system had problems. We had to pay attention to focus values while deck building. We sometimes dumped our entire fate hand into a duel. Balancing these things for the sake of dueling was fun in its own way, but it was painful too.

Since FFG was mindful of the need to design our game top-down, I’m willing to embrace this system even if it is an obvious re-use of the dial. In fact, as I think about it, it’s elegant. Well done.

Edited by Kakita Shijin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree and kudos. 

Bidding high, they mentioned, is being dishonorable. I don't see why the same isn't true for dueling. 

Using the sun to your advantage, blade partially unsheathed, kicking dirt . This is bidding high. 

Bidding low means you are confident in your own abilities. And don't need tricks. 

I will be bidding high. 

Edited by BayushiCroy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, BayushiCroy said:

... No? 

Just because we both bid 5 doesn't mean no one is acting dishonorably, it means we are both acting very dishonorably. We just don't owe our opponent anything.

Would not both of you lose honor in a non LCG enviroment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Drudenfusz said:

My Crane will simply wear the Latest Fashion (or whatever the attachment is called that gives the peep +4 politics) and thus will become unbeatable in political duels. Dial? Who needs to every change that, a 1 will always be enough!

Until their fate comes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Kakita Shiro said:

I don't care about the dial, I care about the use of honor. I think fate (without trading the difference) would have been a good currency here. 

I thought the same thing before the ama. My reasoning was thematic and dueling tied to the person not the clan as a whole, like honor makes it feel. 

But honestly either is fine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the honor dial is actually the right way to go since card drawing is also tied to honor.  In Old5R you focused away cards from your hand. In Nu5R if you bid more honor in a duel you may not be able to afford to bid large amonts of honor when it comes time to draw more cards again. The net result is essentially the same......if you are determined to win that duel you could be sacrificing you ability to play cards in hand.

On a side note this concept from FFG design that using more tricks or "cards" is tied to honor is rather clever.  While there may be a disconnect from the old school players who favored the low/no honor clans/factions it does make a lot of sense considering the setting of the game.  I'm excited to try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's even thematically consistent - if you think of honor/dishonor as a relative measure of standing between clans and not absolute, then two people not exchanging honor for both bidding 5 in a duel makes sense. Both duelists are being dishonorable, but their mutual dishonor doesn't really push the overall conflict towards a conclusion.

Bidding 1 in a duel means that the duelist is playing by the rules - even (and especially) when such restraint could get them killed. Bidding 5 means that the duelist is doing whatever they have to to win and it's really obvious. 

Think of it this way - being a better duelist is now in actually having a better stat, not in having bigger focus values. Only crappy duelists have to rely on the honor dial to bring them victory (or so say the Crane).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that dueling involves a real choice: are you willing to risk some dishonor to improve your chances to win. This is very thematic for an L5R game. And it makes much more sense than discarding cards, or paying an economic price, which are the other costs that could be added to trying to win duels.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kakita Shiro said:

I don't care about the dial, I care about the use of honor. I think fate (without trading the difference) would have been a good currency here. 

I would not be surprised to see duels that involve Fate Tokens, maybe not as a Core Rule, but as a card effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having played the RPG years ago, I feel that losing honor for dialing high makes sense. In a first blood duel, inflicting a grievous wound is dishonorable. When dueling to the death you're supposed to use just enough force to beat your opponent with one clean strike.

The only aspect the new system doesn't really cover is that not killing your opponent with one clean strike and having to use a second strike was also considered dishonorable, but I can live with that to have a streamlined system that doesn't cost my entire conflict hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this is a dueling subsystem that, from the limited amount we've seen, solves most of the problems that AEG had with the theme...

1. Doesn't cost you your cards from hand (or deck) to play in the duel.

2. Doesn't shut a non-dueling deck out of the dueling sub-game entirely.

Just curing the second point makes me happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kakita Shiro said:

I don't care about the dial, I care about the use of honor. I think fate (without trading the difference) would have been a good currency here. 

It is interesting that duels appear to be inherently dishonorable (because a deck that uses duels must spend honor to win unless it is a bully-duel situation - which weirdly appears to be a more honorable type of duel according to the info that has been spoiled so far). Traditional honor decks (before Ivory) used duels to defend. However, now that all decks - both military and political - can attack and break provinces, maybe the new mechanics for duels are more appropriate to the new FFG game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, BayushiCroy said:

I don't understand you point. In a non lcg environment we don't have dials. 

What? 

He's saying that, even if you are using the sun to your advantage, blade partially unsheathed, kicking dirt, if your opponent is doing the same, it somehow becomes A-Okay in the views of everyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, yes, I am working on an article about this, but here are my thoughts on the Dial and Dueling.

I love it.

Period. End of line.

Why? Oh, okay, I can explain this. As a games theorist, the Honor Dial in L5R LCG is what is called a Prisoner's Dilemma mechanic. Look it up on Wikipedia. It's a CLASSIC core pillar to game theory, and beautiful in its simplicity. Tying the card draw to this mechanic? Awesome! Tying dueling to this mechanic? Be still my heart. Before this, I hated dueling. Dueling was, always, a one-sided fist fight in the CCG. Now, while you may still be able to make it a one-sided fight, the influence of the dial can create interesting situations where you can control your opponent's choices.

For example, I can almost guarantee there will be a card in this game which creates a duel where the winner gains 2 Honor from the bank. I throw this down, creating a duel between my 3 Skill guy and your 1 Skill guy. What do you bid? What do I bid? If you want to stop me from winning, you HAVE to bid a 3. At least. A bid of 4 means you have a shot at winning. A bid of 5 is also a chance of winning. However, how much do I want that 2 honor? Do I have anything that keys off of winning duels? Will winning the duel make me Honored, and thus more likely to win this conflict? Or am I doing this just to get the 2 honor, and I'm going to bid 1 no matter what you bid, because then I am guaranteed 2 honor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...