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Posted (edited)

Well, what are your thoughts on it?

I haven't touched this game in some time, but skirmish has me interested in trying it again.

I suspect FFG will want to make it the dominant format over time if it improves sales. In a year or so, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a skirmish oriented deluxe expansion.

Edited by Vertrucio

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I think it looks like a better version of the game overall, but I don't have anyone to play it with now, even without all the disease stuff. Would have liked to see this first, and stronghold to be a more expert alternative format that came later.

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I am a fan so far. It lets me introduce the game to a younger audience and those who aren't into sinking so much time into a card game (especially one with so much protocol).

I also wonder if this is a final attempt to keep this game alive. I don't have any data whatsoever, but it seems like the enthusiasm - much like many FFG LCGs (and Destiny) - has dwindled down to the core (small?) fans of the game. I don't know if that's enough to keep it afloat when it seems like Asmodee is cleaning out. 

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Posted (edited)

I am actually considering showing the game to people I know would be put off by the original format (but do enjoy the theme).  It's way more approachable.  Unfortunately it's not exactly easy to play anything competitive right now considering what's going on right now.  Well I guess I could try and get my wife to play it.  She's never showed interest in L5R though.

 

Edited by phillos

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Posted (edited)

I think this can work really well with the new Clan Wars. Streamlining the rules can really make this game shine (in theory anyway) with 3~4 players, though admittedly I have not tried it yet.

What I am hoping they try to do sometime in the relatively near future (so it actually happens) is what Old L5R did towards the end: the Siege expansions. Instead of a 1 v many (let's face it, it may be difficult to get that many L5R players in one area consistently outside of larger towns/cities), FFG could tap into their extensive co-op LCG experience/mechanics and put together a big box expansion that includes scenarios that 1+ players could play through using their decks. 

Edited by puntspeedchunk

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I tried some games of Skirmish. I felt it lacks any of the things I want out of an L5R card game. Way to fast, way to swingy. Takes away the entire pount of the game in my mind.

Got a huge laugh from the article. It's effectively, "We made a game that very few people like. Maybe if we unmake the game and dumb it down real good we can find five more people to buy it.... please buy it don't let Asmodee divest yet another thing to make us more tasty for a buy out."

Sadly everyone in town has been dropping L5R lcg, the game is pretty simple and easy to play and teach but we have been having strong issues with the limited card pool of a LCG, bad card design, repeated bannings/unbannings and no good ongoing story that makes any attempt (no matter how small) makes you feel a part of or to interact with. And prize kits thaf are just..... hey here is box, and a plastic dial. Plus almost every game starts to feel like a mirror match because of limited choices (there is no incentive to play with cards that aren the best and there are only so many of those cards).

We'vr all played card gamea, and L5R from the start back in the mid 90's, but i think this is it for us.

Most of us have started to play Classic L5R again, cresting decks from one legal block at a time. Alot more variation and ability to interact with situations in game. Plus alot of interest has been generated by the new Old L5R fan edition being worked on.

I'll stick it out awhile longer though and buy the LCG, and keep on playing, no point in quitting now, may as well stay to the end.

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I haven't bought a pack since the first cycle and the phoenix clan pack, but I will say I am tempted to dig the cards out and build some skirmish decks.

Would I buy some more cards if I like the format enough? Honestly probably not, but I do really like the prospect of playing a game over 20 minutes instead of the longer time a standard game took.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/31/2020 at 4:33 AM, NathaninVic said:

no good ongoing story that makes any attempt (no matter how small) makes you feel a part of or to interact with

I'm not gonna argue passionately either way for your other points but I really reject this statement.  They've maintained a fantastic story line while giving players a reasonably restrained way to interact with the story.  I don't want to go back to the days of reacting to insane story prize choices and flipping the continuity to fit into what ever the card game wanted to talk about at the time.  I think they've taken alot of that old continuity and smoothed it out nicely.  Also we've had many story choices which have had an appreciable effect on the direction of the story.  Would I like the story line to move a little faster?  Yeah I think they could pick up the pace, but at the same time I don't want them to go too fast since it's nice we've been allowed to see these character breath and develop over the course of the conflict.  I wonder how well the novels will sell because I think there's an opportunity to pick up the pace a bit if they can offload  more of the character building to novellas and novels for major characters.

Edited by phillos

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, phillos said:

I'm not gonna argue passionately either way for your other points but I really reject this statement.  They've maintained a fantastic story line while giving players a reasonably restrained way to interact with the story.  I don't want to go back to the days of reacting to insane story prize choices and flipping the continuity to fit into what ever the card game wanted to talk about at the time.  I think they've taken alot of that old continuity and smoothed it out nicely.  Also we've had many story choices which have had an appreciable effect on the direction of the story.  Would I like the story line to move a little faster?  Yeah I think they could pick up the pace, but at the same time I don't want them to go too fast since it's nice we've been allowed to see these character breath and develop over the course of the conflict.  I wonder how well the novels will sell because I think there's an opportunity to pick up the pace a bit if they can offload  more of the character building to novellas and novels for major characters.

I may have been to brief, but I am mostly refering to player involvement in the story line, akin to the Clan Letters of old, voting on Clan choices, there was a time when new sets came out minor plot elements were left up to a vote from each strongholds tournament winners and resolved in that manner.

From what I've seen entirely with the LCG tourney structute, if you don't go to worlds or a select other few events then you have no chance of said interaction at all.

Maybe my store just cuts that part outnof every event that we have had and never told us. I've seen nothing of the sort, absolutely nothing.

Even if those little things really didn't amount to as much as what choices the Hatamoto's get to make it certainly feels like, from a player in a store perspective that I'm way less involved with the story then before.

As to my stand on the current storyline? I'm pretty mixed, they do a good job with the fiction but I am fairly staunchly opposed to anyform of reboots. I'm either for a full restart with new characters and themes, ignoring AEG's story. The 25% different modem sours me on the 25 year relationship i had with the setting and the characters.

i am eager to read the novels, but if its like the rest of FFG's history with novels then we will see two to four and then nothing else ever (which is a shame), it was never a profitable venture for them, and even when the books at on the Christmas sale they stay there year after year with no one buying them.

Without going on a further tangent, I think that whether it's Skirmish or a new alternate format that this game won't expand or grow unless we have some greater form of more regular "playrt involvement events" that occur regulary and at a local level (like every month), even just dinky things to make one feel like that. Thats what the game needs, not a faster playing format, a deeper connection that peoplr can make

Edited by NathaninVic

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Posted (edited)

I'm very upset with skirmish, this game have a big problem of testing a design and they waste resources in this mode.

About the story, sorry but no FFG in my opinion are not doing the things right.

First ,it's a dirty trick, all is the same untill I say is different. All the beloved character and background is no FFG, is old AEG. In this new setting, why is so admired, Kisada ,Toshimoko, Hitomi, etc..? We don't know nothing about this characters that maybe are in a little part of a story.And what about characters that not belong to this year? They are added for the coolness. We need something similar than the way of the clans series that give us knowledge of what happens in this Rokugan.

Second, all people complain about sky is fallin story of oL5r. I've read about 90% of the new story and is total blandness.
In 2/3 years of oL5r we had the opening of the black scroll, the rise of shadowland ,the clan wars, the battle of beiden pass and the second day of thunder.
Now in a similitude with LotR, it's two years of history and we are still in the Shire.
And, if you are going to make novels please tell me some relevant, like the old ones, how about instead Shiba Tsukune fight some spirit she resolve the elemental disorder?

Edited by Daigotsu Arashi

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1 hour ago, Daigotsu Arashi said:

Second, all people complain about sky is fallin story of oL5r. I've read about 90% of the new story and is total blandness.
In 2/3 years of oL5r we had the opening of the black scroll, the rise of shadowland ,the clan wars, the battle of beiden pass and the second day of thunder.
Now in a similitude with LotR, it's two years of history and we are still in the Shire.
And, if you are going to make novels please tell me some relevant, like the old ones, how about instead Shiba Tsukune fight some spirit she resolve the elemental disorder?

So you're upset that the story isn't ramming events down your throat faster then you can react to them.  Remember that O5R started in the clan war, the 1st Scroll had been "opened" thus the plague that Kachiko was using as a cover for her poisoning the Emperor and many of the major "events" were baked into the plans from the start.  There is nothing wrong with the pacing we've seen as they have been setting the tone for the story and putting pieces in place leading towards a rising tension.  We are way to early in the story for people to be "resolving" anything as the LCG model is built on more of a 5 year story plan not a 2 year rotation like O5R was initially built. 

As to the novels you seem to have a far more forgiving memory of them then I must as I remember be surprised out how out of tune the Clan War ones were with what was the established canon at the time they were published.  The 4 Winds era was a little better, but only because they mostly focused on a period that the story had essentially jumped past.

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I really like Skirmish and it would have been cool if it was in the core set alongside the stronghold format. The stories are serviceable to give the game background, but I don't think they are great. The overarching pace is extremly slow, character development is awkward, because the stories jump from one protagonist to another and the world doesn't seem "alive" to me.

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Posted (edited)

I'm somewhat hopeful for L5R with Skirmish. When I read the released in the design article, I agreed almost point by point with the diagnostic of the problems and it made me feel hopeful for the health of the game for the first time in months. On my area nL5R had a huge start because there was a lot of the original game looking forward to it. We sold tons of Core Sets and the first cycle. Then both sales and tournaments dried up. Now there is just a very reduced core of players, and sales are reduced to those and collectors. I am now one of the later. My experience last time I played with a friend over the weekend, was one single long, protacted game of endless micro-decisions. No "gotcha moment" in over an hour, no involvement. After some thought, I decided I wouldn't bother with the game, and decided I would only keep buying packs as they came out just for collecting purposes (I have loved the world almost since the beginning) and I wasn't at all surprised at all the following Monday back at the store, when my friend let us know he didn't want to continue buying packs and sold is collection.

Now, we weren't playing at a competitive level. I'm sure if we were really regular players we would have better decks that got to their point faster, some of those micro-decisions woud be on auto-pilot decisions based on experience. We wouldn't have to read and reread the other player's card to remember what they did. That game wouldn't have taken over an hour, maybe just 45 minutes. Still, I can't imagine teaching that game to a new player, or playing for fun as it is, honestly. I can play 3 games of MTG on Arena in that time. Again, it's not just the time it takes, but the involvement, too. All those decisions...  there are a lot of cool mechanics and ideas, but the sheer accumulation of them takes the life of out it.

And speaking of taking the life out of it, putting together a legal deck is another chore. When you have a customizable game where you absolutely do need to use a website to deckbuild that tells you what is legal and what is not, you have a big problem. I'm not speaking only of banned/restricted lists, but also of role-locked cards. At first, I was not too against these, but i see now this is another layer of complication (as well as another set of decisions you have to make) on an already complex game.

Will it be enough to "save" the game, or is it too late already? Frankly, I haven't designed any decks based on the Skirmish ruleset and probably I won't bother until something exciting happens (for me, it would be the possibility to play a Shadowlands deck, for instance). However if I ever play again, it will be something like Skirmish, not the original game. Maybe somebody who has more experience playing will have more informed opinions, but I honestly think that if there is ever a second edition of the core set something like Skirmish should be the standard ruleset from then on, with the current "Stronghold" as just one more variant. That would mean no new role locked cards and phasing out those who are already in the pool. Maybe some of them are viable if reprinted without a role limitations, others less so.

About the only thing I don't like about Skirmish is the lack of Stronhgold cards. I think they add a lot of flavor to the game, so I hope some other iteration of the Skirmish ruleset puts them back in the game.

Edited by Mon no Oni

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Posted (edited)

I was excited when FF bought the game but quickly lost interest in the game after the first cycle.

My favorite deck to play was Crane dueling but I despised the dueling mechanic for this game.

It didnt help there was no Spider or Mantis clans since they were among my top four.

Scorpion was really the only clan in this version I liked to play and they were just okay. Dusted off the old game and played with them when I was in the mood for L5R.

I haven't had time to really look into the new update but it doesn't seem to fix much about what I disliked about the game.

Really wish they would scrap this game, go back to the drawing board, and come out with a better product for second edition. 

Sorry but I enjoyed the original version a lot more. I want to like this version but I  don't. 

Edited by TechnoGolem

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@TechnoGolem A second edition of nL5R would be kinda risky. The game hasn’t been around as long as GoT and doesn’t have a strong following. Granted i agree it needs somewhat of a rehaul.


The game already has enough restriction in main clan and support clan. Having further restriction by seeker or keeper is just ridiculous. Roles should be additive, never restrictive. The ‘Support of (Clan)’ roles are perfect examples of this by adding to deck building without purposely locking you out of options. Seeker/Keeper roles shouldn’t lock you out of cards. The cards should be designed to be better under those roles (various examples could be, cost less, enter with more fate, have boosted stats, abilities useable only in that role...etc.) but generally viable without them.

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My wife and I actually both enjoy the new Skirmish format quite a bit, it's faster, less stopping points, easier to teach and learn, and it feels like the clans are more balanced against each other a bit (haven't played them all yet). The stronghold format was far to obtuse for my wife, she today doing it slow, boring, tedious, and having to many rules to remember. Whereas stronghold she actually enjoys and is willing to play, both because of its ease to remember and the speed of play.

Having played O5R (Mantis Clan for life), and played at the first worlds for N5R, I'm much happier with the skirmish format. The only change I would want would be the inclusion of skirmish style strongholds, something that gives some minor bonus or effect that is in line with the clan your playing as. I'm also hopeful that this easier to hear format will be easier to teach out here in Japan, I've had practically no luck getting the stronghold format any footing here.

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A lot of stuff I'm seeing online indicates that, besides die hards for Stronghold, Skirmish is being received super well.

From that, I see them transitioning to NewL5R 1.5 with a proper set of starter decks, all in Skirmish format, as a kind of new starter. Then they may also start printing cards as Skirmish or Stronghold only, to avoid bloating any errata documents with card lists.

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Posted (edited)

Good job Tyler.  I like Skirmish mode.  I think it does distill the game down to the interesting parts and rushes toward the tension.  Also it greatly speeds up rounds for a tournament setting.  I would have liked it to be the format from the beginning.  That said yeah it removes a ton from the current card pool.  Though it removes things like provinces, role locking and stronghold abilities which were the most problematic parts of the game.  So I'm actually not sad to see any of it go.

The issues of course with doing this is you've created now two modes of play for an already niche game.  Though if a local game store in my area went all in on skirmish and that equated to a boost in the local attendance then I wouldn't cry too much about the lost options in the pool.  More local players is more valuable to me than more crunch in the game.  Will it do that?  I guess one day we'll see when this quarantine is lifted. 

They need to figure out some way to regain people who  jumped off prior to this point and to entice new players into the game.  Going all in on Stronghold mode isn't going to do that.  That path is a sure way to see this game eventually fizzle out in a couple years if LCG history is any indication.  I think they should jump into prebuilt starter decks designed for Skirmish.  Make the cards in there compatible with Stronghold, but design them for Skirmish (and therefore easier to parse).  Make that the entry point rather than the core set (which is a terrible intro product).  That seems like a distribution model and format that is way more new player friendly and if you have cards in there that are Stronghold compatible it would also appeal to the hard core base. Sort of like the Arkham starter decks.  The AGOT starter decks failed, but they were all reprints correct?  They gave the existing player base no reason to pick them up which would have given that product a floor profitability.

Edited by phillos

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A little concerned that it boils down to "who is first player" but it definitely has gotten me reinvigorated. I had decided to stop buying L5R after the Crab pack was released simply because I never found the time to get L5R to the table. I did feel that the provinces not being generic was an improvement over Old5R but I can see that them being gone really speeds up gameplay. I'm going to give it a shot, and may end up picking Clan War up if my FLGS ever opens again. 

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14 minutes ago, HirumaShigure said:

A little concerned that it boils down to "who is first player" but it definitely has gotten me reinvigorated. I had decided to stop buying L5R after the Crab pack was released simply because I never found the time to get L5R to the table. I did feel that the provinces not being generic was an improvement over Old5R but I can see that them being gone really speeds up gameplay. I'm going to give it a shot, and may end up picking Clan War up if my FLGS ever opens again. 

I think goes first is less important then folks give credit.  It definitely matters for aggro but honor is only 6 points as well and with aggressive bidding I can see it happening late turn 2 early turn 3 if you play somewhat defensive.  Just takes stalling 1 break to turn the game against Aggro

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