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Legend of the Five Rings Fan

Daidoji Ryushi

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Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page
Go to the King of Tokyo page
Go to the Warmachine: High Command  page
Go to the Smash Up page
Go to the Trains page
Go to the Pack & Stack page

Pack & Stack

65 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

Pack & Stack is a spacial problem solving game that plays fast and quick, rewarding fast thinking but punishing those who don’t think long enough.

The game mechanics themselves are simple. Easily taught in a few minutes, the game’s real depth comes from the random method of allocating just how much stuff a player has to load in to their moving truck. Each die corresponds with wooden “bricks” of the same color, and each color of brick has a different volume, ranging from 1×1 to 1×5.

The game’s components are top notch; high quality, visually engaging, and feel quite durable. Certainly worth it for the price the game.

Rolling these dice is only half the job however, as they you must quickly find and claim a moving truck from a random assortment of tiles. The trucks all have different footprints for where the bricks can be stacked, and they have a certain height limit as well, creating vertical space that must be considered when picking what truck fits your brick allocation needs the best.

You cannot over fill a truck, and any pieces that don’t fit in to your plans cost you money, twice the volume they represent. You don’t want to waste moving space however too, so any unused space in your truck costs you as well, one money for every vacant space.

These two balancing factors really keep the game from becoming a simple “grab and pray” game, and encourage some critical thought. The fact the trucks are claimed in real time by all the players simultaneously really adds a air of urgency to the game.

The only issue with the game is replay value. The game is great for a single play through, but it doesn’t lend itself to an immediate replay. By the end of the game, most players feel it’s time to move along to something else. Certainly not to say the game isn’t worth the investment; as a filler game between more meaty games, Pack & Stack really shines, but it doesn’t command the attention for a game night feature.

Go to the King of Tokyo: Halloween page
27 out of 29 gamers thought this was helpful

Aside from the Costume Power cards, there really isn’t anything new to this seasonal expansion to King of Tokyo. That aside, who doesn’t want to add a little extra spooky flavor to a great family game, especially close to the Halloween holiday?

First up, there are the two new Monster skins: Boogey Woogie (a giant bump in the night) and Pumpkin Jack (the monstrous trickster of Halloween). As with all the other Monster skins, the pawns and game boards have no mechanical effect on the game.

The Evolution cards for these monsters however are very flavorful for their respective monsters; Boogey ‘s giving him a lot of staying power through healing or energy generation and Jack’s making his opponent’s life chaotic with his trick or treating. Also included in each monster’s Evolution deck are two Gift Evolutions, cards which may be given to an opponent’s monster when you damage them, and convey certain negative effects to those who control them, while often still buffing there own monster.

The Costume Power cards are certainly the focus of this expansion, but they feel a little overpowered for what they cost in Energy. This is balanced by the ability for these cards to be stolen (in reality, bought from) any monster rolling 3 Claw dice and damaging another monster with a costume. They are a lot of fun, but probably only something I would add to the Power deck during the month of October.

The real highlight of this expansion are the black on orange dice. They read clearly and quickly, even more so that the green on black dice included in the base game. In addition, having a second set of dice to pass around the table speeds up play in those large 6 player games.

For the small price, KoT: Halloween really brings a giant presence to the game, and is certainly worth picking up.

Go to the Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad page
8 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

As a gamer who first got in to CCGs with Magic back around the time of Revised Edition and out again after the Apocalypse set, I was a bit rusty with the game, but after playing in the Innistrad pre-release on a pure whim, I was hooked once more on the game.

While not as powerful a set as previous expansions had been (from what I heard), the flavor and story of the new plane of Innistrad hooked me instantly.

As a player who only plays MtG in Limited format events, Innistrad has everything I want and more. Fun balance, creative tropes and a sense of menace surrounding every drawn card. Will it turn the constructed fields on their heads? Not at all, but I get the feeling it wasn’t supposed to.

I highly recommend this story block for players to reintroduce themselves to the original CCG.

Go to the War of Honor page

War of Honor

72 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

Let me say up front, when I was first introduced to the format, I hated multiplayer L5R. With a passion.

War of Honor on the other hand, is a finely crafted and balanced boardgame version of the highly successful CCG. With simplified and streamlined rules compared to the CCG L5R game, the game becomes much easier to pick up and play with players who aren’t familiar with the common elements of CCGs, while still maintaining the familiarity of L5R that it’s veteran players have come to know and love.

The tiered Paths to Victory keep players in the action for almost the entire duration of the game, as smart political play at the table will gain allies long enough to have them protect you, and hopefully make the final jump to the 5th step on your chosen Path to win the game. In previous houserule versions of multiplayer L5R, it was usually everyone ganging up on one player at a time until the game came down to 3 players, one of whom would king-make another.

As a stand alone product using the prebuilt and included decks, the game leaves few players left out of the dynamic strategies introduced with the hex-based map element. Once one adds in cards from their personal L5R collections however, those balanced mechanics start to break down and result in an experience more in line with the king-making of previous multiplayer attempts.

Right out of the box, this game warrants a rating of 8-9 easily, but when incorporating your existing L5R collection, the enjoyment falls.

Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page
69 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve been playing Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) for just about ten years now. In that time I have yet to find a CCG that is as complex and rewarding to play, without the monetary investment that many of the more prominent CGGs (read: Magic) have.

That said, the thing that pulls me in to this game the most is the community of players associated with it. Hopefully without generalizing too much, the more mature playerbase that L5R attracts has always been welcoming and very social. Players go out of their way to help other players with both the game and card accessibility, as well as using the community to provide a lot of support to charities around the world. Very few events held throughout the year lack a charitable aspect to them, ranging from food and clothing drives to fund raising for children’s hospitals.

Gameplay-wise, the factional aspect to the game (and the factional loyalty it inspires) immediately provides even the newest player a group of allied players who wish them to succeed and excel. Fan run Clan forums provide hubs of insight and advice, and facilitate the sharing of decks and strategies without the stigma that pervades NetDecking in other CCGs.

The two-deck system for deck construction offers a wide variety of options in customizing ones deck, and whether you play for fun or the competitiveness, very rarely are decks described or named after a single good card or subset of actions. The added randomization the two decks provide also increase the replay value of game infinitely.

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