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4 hours ago, DGLaderoute said:

I never could find a name for Shizue's cat. After considering some names, I settled on Fumio, which means "literary hero". It seemed like a fitting name for a storyteller's cat.

Crap. I was just one "o" short of being able to pretend I had a character named after me. :P

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"Fun" thing about open warfare supposedly being 1 on 1 duels is that Lions are supposed to be ones using advanced tactics and proper organized army...while everyone else still get to have their Super Special Battle Tactic that acts like "Everyone else suck at warfare, but we have this GEM OF STRATEGIC MIND!", like Daidoji spear formations, Unicorn hit and run horse stratagems, Scorpion tricks and treats (oh, Scorpion army is so small, but so badass, all because of special tactics!!), Crab mastery of defensive warfare (which MUST include organized tactics and formations) and...

And you end up with a situation where only clan I legit don't remember having a special snowflake tactical superiority is Dragon (but they sit at their mountains all day anyway) and Phoenix, for similar reason mixed with the fact they can go just "Shugenja did it"

...and the clan of "tactical genius" is medicore at everything (because it would invade special niches of other clans that have THIS ONE THING AS THEIR SUPER TACTICAL POWER, so no good cavalry for Lion, no good spear formations, no good sabotage, and no good fortifications or siege warfare) and their best tactical genius move is "throw samurai at them until they run out of samurai, we have more" :}.

 

EDIT

Which basically boils down "battles were supposed to look like chaotic skirmishes and Lions were supposed to be so good because they have Professional Army, but everyone got their special tactical snowflake tricks so it's like everyone is using pro army with specialized tactical units and maneuvers"

Edited by WHW

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This being the first fiction for the new L5R I was expecting FFG to pull out all of the stops and start with a really stellar piece. Instead, we got a standard weekly fiction that basically just did some name dropping / story set-up.

I guess it did the job, but color me disappointed that there was no game mechanic preview this week to go with the fiction.

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Wasn't that (fiction and setting wise, I'm pretty sure you could do that with Dragon in CCG) the Crane thing? 

The thing about Lion and Crane was always that Lion was supposed to be organized military powerhouse with super generals and numbers advantage and so on, so Cranes had to rely on "dirty tricks" to win (calling in Imperial favor, dueling Lion generals and telling their army "OK we would lose but your general won and seppukud so go home until you can get a new one", etc)...but they also had this fantasy of Daidoji holding the line against impossible odds. Which evolved into making them super trained super soldiers who won through tactical superiority (spear formations, defensive tactics, etc) - which made Lion looks like incompetent children, because if you are a "military genius" who loses against opponents who you outnumber 1 to 100 or something...

You don't look like a military genius, okay? :P

Oh, and Lion was supposed to be Super Great Army, so their individual samurai also suck ***, because that's a Crane and Dragon fantasy of master swordsmen, not master soldiers. 

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4 minutes ago, Suzume Tomonori said:

This being the first fiction for the new L5R I was expecting FFG to pull out all of the stops and start with a really stellar piece. Instead, we got a standard weekly fiction that basically just did some name dropping / story set-up.

I guess it did the job, but color me disappointed that there was no game mechanic preview this week to go with the fiction.

Yeah. I enjoyed it because I enjoy my L5R. If I was trying to get into a new game, I don't think I would be able to feel this at all. Way too often it assumes that I know what I'm reading about, so to speak. So as a individual piece I give it a good rating, but as a introductory piece to New L5R Fiction, I don't think it was very good. 

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10 minutes ago, WHW said:

"Fun" thing about open warfare supposedly being 1 on 1 duels is that Lions are supposed to be ones using advanced tactics and proper organized army...while everyone else still get to have their Super Special Battle Tactic that acts like "Everyone else suck at warfare, but we have this GEM OF STRATEGIC MIND!", like Daidoji spear formations, Unicorn hit and run horse stratagems, Scorpion tricks and treats (oh, Scorpion army is so small, but so badass, all because of special tactics!!), Crab mastery of defensive warfare (which MUST include organized tactics and formations) and...

And you end up with a situation where only clan I legit don't remember having a special snowflake tactical superiority is Dragon (but they sit at their mountains all day anyway) and Phoenix, for similar reason mixed with the fact they can go just "Shugenja did it"

...and the clan of "tactical genius" is medicore at everything (because it would invade special niches of other clans that have THIS ONE THING AS THEIR SUPER TACTICAL POWER, so no good cavalry for Lion, no good spear formations, no good sabotage, and no good fortifications or siege warfare) and their best tactical genius move is "throw samurai at them until they run out of samurai, we have more" :}.

 

EDIT

Which basically boils down "battles were supposed to look like chaotic skirmishes and Lions were supposed to be so good because they have Professional Army, but everyone got their special tactical snowflake tricks so it's like everyone is using pro army with specialized tactical units and maneuvers"

Even as a Lion sympathizer I never liked their "tactical genius" hat. The only way you can prove you're a tactical genius is to win battles against superior forces. But a) the Lion almost never had inferior forces, and b) having one clan consistently outsmarting the others would have been hugely unfair. So their tactical ability turned into an informed attribute pretty much immediately.

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Tactical genius is also to ensure the good supply lines for a big army with little cost.
Lions have a big *** army but is the poorest clan.
they also have a "borders" with unicors dragon crane phoenix and scorpion.
they mosty never use their full force in a war because of that.
 

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That, and Lion became a "cool kid to defeat in order to make sure everyone understand how SPECIAL you are". 

One thing we did in our L5R RPG was to give Lion an...interesting tradition. Basic idea was that Lion took to the heart the old saying that in order to be virtuous and just, you need to actively seek out wrongs to right. So in our L5R, a lot of Lions who will find case of someone outside of Lion territory sympathetic - say, they see a small lineage of samurai abused and unable to pursue justice - ask their lords for a "vacation" and organizes a small warband to support the case they champion.

This way Lions get to do something when they aren't at war, and can be super special tactical snowflakes - you could totally do something like "We had our victory secured, but then 15 Lion came, organized defenders army and lead them into battle, and despite our superior numbers and advantageous terrain, we still got played like children, **** Akodo Tacticans!!!"

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Just now, Kakita Renju said:

Tactical genius is also to ensure the good supply lines for a big army with little cost.
Lions have a big *** army but is the poorest clan.
they also have a "borders" with unicors dragon crane phoenix and scorpion.
they mosty never use their full force in a war because of that.
 

The Lion are fairly wealthy, actually.  They have the resources to be one of the wealthiest clans, but just care so little about such things to really exploit it.  It doesn't help that they don't have anyone who really focuses on such things.  They don't have a family like the Yasuki, who know how to do economy.
It is the Dragon who are unquestionably the poorest clan.  Their few resources, gold and iron mostly, are both limited due to one (iron) being needed by the clan, and the other, gold, being not very useful because the Dragon don't have much anything else.  Any profit they make on gold is spent imminently on food, clothing, and other supplies.
Note also that the Lion's strength in war is that they are GOOD AT IT.  **** good at it.  The "Sword and Fan" book points out that aside from the Akodo family's mastery of strategy and tactics, the Lion are also unique in that they can match any clan's strength and blunt it.  They can field enough cavalry to at least meet the Unicorn's and rob them of half their advantage while having enough regular troops to just march against the Unicorn, most of which are trained in anti-cavalry tactics.  Say what you will about the Lion, but I always did like how inserting they were when it comes to war.

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12 minutes ago, WHW said:

Wasn't that (fiction and setting wise, I'm pretty sure you could do that with Dragon in CCG) the Crane thing? 

The thing about Lion and Crane was always that Lion was supposed to be organized military powerhouse with super generals and numbers advantage and so on, so Cranes had to rely on "dirty tricks" to win (calling in Imperial favor, dueling Lion generals and telling their army "OK we would lose but your general won and seppukud so go home until you can get a new one", etc)...but they also had this fantasy of Daidoji holding the line against impossible odds. Which evolved into making them super trained super soldiers who won through tactical superiority (spear formations, defensive tactics, etc) - which made Lion looks like incompetent children, because if you are a "military genius" who loses against opponents who you outnumber 1 to 100 or something...

You don't look like a military genius, okay? :P

Oh, and Lion was supposed to be Super Great Army, so their individual samurai also suck ***, because that's a Crane and Dragon fantasy of master swordsmen, not master soldiers. 

The thing about the Lion is that if you met their army head on, army to army, you were probably going to lose.
So the Crane did most of their fighting in the Court, using their political might to undermine their opponent's military might. That wouldn't 100% succeed of course, and that's where the Daidoji come in and do their thing with traps and ambush tactics; it won't win the war, but it will delay long enough for the courtiers to win the war. And if all else fails, there is always a Kenshinzen ready to duel an opposing commander.
But if the Kakita/Daidoji armies met the Akodo/Matsu armies in a true battle? The Lion win handedly.

The Dragon don't have the political acumen of the Crane, but they also keep to themselves. When they do get offensive, they do it in small decisive skirmishes; they show up, aid the side they support, and then leave (sometimes even running from the side they aided, as they didn't ask for aid - silly Dragon). Where their strengths lie is a combination of far-above-average individual swordsman (not great in formation, but so so deadly one-on-one), and a shugenja family that isn't afraid to join the fight. But even that wouldn't be enough to truly stand face to face against the Lion on the field of battle... which is why they let their mountains do most of the work for them. Agasha spells/potions and Mirumoto archers punish anyone foolish enough to try and storm a mountain, and they generally avoid going out into the world to conquer neighboring territory (the Dragon being the only clan whose lands have stayed the same since the beginning of the Empire).
When forced into confrontation outside of their control, they also play the game of "duel the commander," but don't tend to fare very well when that doesn't work (as Shinjo Shono demonstrated in prior fictions).
But, as with the Crane, if the Dragon armies were forced into open conflict with the Lion armies, the Lion win handedly.

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Yeah but 300 Daidoji holding a line against superior forces is a cool story fodder, "our supply lines are, like, good, I guess" isn't a really exciting fantasy to write or read about. 

Again, Lion can't have good duelists because it's Crane Dragon niche, it can't have exceptional horsemen because Unicorn niche, it can't have awesome archers because Wasp niche, it can't have good shugenja because Phoenix niche, it can't have combined shugenja-bushi corps because Dragon niche, it can't have bruisers and siege warfare because Crab niche, and it can't have tactics (which are in nature assymetrical and "dishonorable" to audience, though lore in RPGs desperately tried to make Akodo accept "scorpionish" behavior in war in order to make any sense) and sabotage because Scorpion.

Only things that are left is organized army (which ends up being often discarded and informed, because Lion are HONORABLE SAMURAI --> They will fight HONORABLY 1 on 1 on battlefields), good supply lines (which aren't exciting to read or write about and can't be shown in a "cool way"), and "fighting as groups", which doesn't really work in practice because everyone else work in groups better when shown "on screen" because they have actual tricks and tactics to show, instead of being generic "good soldiers". 

 

I hope FFG figured out some way to make Lion have some personality and nuance past "brash charging bullies". Lion is my favorite clan in theory (and our own interpretation), and my second least favorite clan in practice and original interpretation (Scorpion and Spider tying for the "least favorite execution and interpretation" spot)

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To be fair, you never see the Lion just destroying their enemy because if you gave them that kind of narrative power, they would just overtake the entire Empire. They've got the armies to do it, after all.
If the other clans aren't competent enough at their own tricks to hold the might of the Lion in check, then the Lion's might overwhelms all. And that doesn't make for a good story. :P 

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9 minutes ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:
1 minute ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

To be fair, you never see the Lion just destroying their enemy because if you gave them that kind of narrative power, they would just overtake the entire Empire. They've got the armies to do it, after all.
If the other clans aren't competent enough at their own tricks to hold the might of the Lion in check, then the Lion's might overwhelms all. And that doesn't make for a good story. :P 

HOW DO I TURN THIS BOX OFF AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH STUPID FORUM SOFTWARE
Yeah, but at this point I don't remember any "Awesome Lion Victory" that happened on screen...but I'm pretty sure that a lot of "WHO IS THIS GUY, HE TOTALLY DEFEATED LIONS, SO GLORIOUS AND POWERFUL WOW WOW" happening, especially when Unicorn were involved :P. 

Which is why IMHO Lion Identity needed to be investigated and redesigned slightly. 

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5 minutes ago, WHW said:

That, and Lion became a "cool kid to defeat in order to make sure everyone understand how SPECIAL you are". 

One thing we did in our L5R RPG was to give Lion an...interesting tradition. Basic idea was that Lion took to the heart the old saying that in order to be virtuous and just, you need to actively seek out wrongs to right. So in our L5R, a lot of Lions who will find case of someone outside of Lion territory sympathetic - say, they see a small lineage of samurai abused and unable to pursue justice - ask their lords for a "vacation" and organizes a small warband to support the case they champion.

This way Lions get to do something when they aren't at war, and can be super special tactical snowflakes - you could totally do something like "We had our victory secured, but then 15 Lion came, organized defenders army and lead them into battle, and despite our superior numbers and advantageous terrain, we still got played like children, **** Akodo Tacticans!!!"

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's cannon.  The Lion take matters of honor to heart, after all.  At least one possible story-line for players in a book involved a samurai-ko that was wronged (possibly raped and shamed), that later gets revenge by a dozen or so Lion bushi, all on warrior pilgrimages (meaning they ronin), ready to go 47 ronin on the wrong doer's sorry hide.

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14 minutes ago, WHW said:

That, and Lion became a "cool kid to defeat in order to make sure everyone understand how SPECIAL you are".

This is actually why I became sympathetic to the furballs. "Big army stomps small army" isn't a satisfying narrative. "Small army wins big upset" is. This meant, in a weird way, the Lion were the underdogs in every conflict they entered.

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2 minutes ago, Samurai Fox said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's cannon.  The Lion take matters of honor to heart, after all.  At least one possible story-line for players in a book involved a samurai-ko that was wronged (possibly raped and shamed), that later gets revenge by a dozen or so Lion bushi, all on warrior pilgrimages (meaning they ronin), ready to go 47 ronin on the wrong doer's sorry hide.

I have a very soft spot for Musha Shugyo, so that's pretty much how we made it work. 

1. Lion hears about someone being wronged and unable to fight for themselves

2. Lion in question is bored because **** 1000 years of peace

3. Lion asks daimyo for permission to kick ***

4. Daimyo goes "sure, you need to be tested in ACTUAL WARFARE to be any use anyway and we will gain some sweet sweet rep for this"

5. Lion and friends goes anonymous, but will often wear a random identifying sign that people will associate with them and call them after it

6. Lion warband goes and kicks ***, much drama ensues if the other side also recruited lions, very drama much tragedy

7. Lions go home, Ikoma storytellers make sure everyone hear about this story of Lions being awesome, also making sure that while everyone in the story is technically anonymous, everyone will know who is who in order to spread good rep and bad rep ("Totally not Bayushi XYZ was bad, so Totally Not Akodo UTZ helped Totally Not Indebted To Us Bayushi XYZ's Brother to right the wrongs, and it was awesome and everyone thinks lions are awesome now")

Fun way of giving Lion some form of soft influence, too. 

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5 hours ago, TechnoGolem said:

It was a little disappointing to see that Hotaru using a naginata. I was hoping the Crane champion would be a more traditional duelist. 

To me this make total sense. It seem that they are going for a more true to life view of samurai this time around. Where you would use a weapon better suited to the fight and not just you katana because you are a samurai.

5 hours ago, TechnoGolem said:

I couldn't help but cringe when I got to the part where she has a school girl crush on Kachico. What was the point of turning the character into a woman again? Bad fan service? It sure feels that way. Why couldn't they make the love interest a different female character if they wanted to go this route?

This is really no different then the original.

5 hours ago, TechnoGolem said:

It looks like the first story prize will be who wins the position of Emerald Champion.

 

Maybe? 

But to me it is looking like we may get the Coup early in this timeline.

 

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1 hour ago, Suzume Tomonori said:

This being the first fiction for the new L5R I was expecting FFG to pull out all of the stops and start with a really stellar piece. Instead, we got a standard weekly fiction that basically just did some name dropping / story set-up.

I guess it did the job, but color me disappointed that there was no game mechanic preview this week to go with the fiction.

Basically, this fiction job (and the future initial ones) is to lay out the plot and the characters. We never were going to get a shocking twist o earth shaking revelation. So, I agree, it does it's job, and does it very well, I add. On the other hand, this was a perfect chance to preview the Hotaru card, with no further coment, leading to "next week we will discuss the mechanics of the Crane Clan". That would have been the biggest hype bang for your article money.

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15 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

 

This is really no different then the original.

 

I don't know about that.  I remember Hoturi's relationship more balanced and Crane-like.  Dripping with smugness, for sure, but also very skillfully keeping his 'On' while showing his lust in the way only a Crane could.
Read their story from Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun sometime if you can.  The interactions between the two were a far cry from 'hormonal teens' and much more in line with Rokugani romance:  subtle, careful, and full of innuendo.  Not to mention, is was a delicious example both of Rokugani courtship and the fluid dangers of the Imperial Court.

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