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Go to the Agricola page
Go to the Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game page
Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page
Go to the Twilight Imperium (3ed) page
Go to the War of Honor page

War of Honor

66 out of 104 gamers thought this was helpful

This is almost a must have for any casual L5R CCG fan. It features 4 complete decks that seem fairly balanced and feature good rare cards. Its good to start an L5R collection, to increase an existing collection, or just to exist on its own as a board game.

I would say my favorite part is that because one cannot advance the any particular victory condition more than 1 step a turn, it makes it much more reasonable to play with legacy cards. There are limits to this, as some sets just have stronger battle actions than others and those with the best of multiple sets have an advantage, but its much more reasonable.

I hope that we see an expansion that brings back some of the old multiplayer cards or creates cards with mechanics that influence the newer design.

Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page
75 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

If you like CCGs and like the idea of asian fantasy where you play samurai fighting for honor and glory of your empire, you’re looking at the right game.

This game is especially interesting because it has 4 victory conditions;
(For reference, Magic the Gathering has 2. Reduce opponent’s life to 0 often fought through the classic ‘get dudes and attack’ but sometimes through direct damage and spells, or force them to run out of cards in their deck)

Military, where you destroy an enemy in the classic ‘get dudes, attack, destroy his stuff’ and take all his provinces. Provinces both represent the amount of territory you possess (like in pretty much any classic strategy game) as well as influence how many personalities, holdings, and events will be available each turn. (personalities are the main ‘dudes’ and holdings let you pay for stuff, where ‘dudes’ is a fill in term for the women, men, and creatures that make up the leaders of your army)

Honor, if you start your turn above 40 honor (tracked similar to ‘life’ in other games, except it has other adverse effects on the game) you and your clan are so honorable nothing matters because even if enemies are breaking down your door, you’ll be forever remembered and respected and that’s what really matters in the life of a samurai. You have to start your turn that way though, so other players could slander you down before 40 honor before you win.

By reverse, Dishonor, if you stoop below -20 honor you are so dishonorable that your presence cannot be tolerated. If you don’t win the game via military right away, you lose. Basically going to be caste out because the empire cannot tolerate such dishonorable scum. One can imagine the emerald legions take out any families that would stoop so low.

The last, and usually considered most difficult to win is by enlightenment. The game’s title, ‘Legend of the 5 Rings’ is represented by elemental rings. Each ring can be discarded for a special effect, but they also have a condition that if met simply enter play and can be used over and over without being discarded. If 5 different rings enter play by their own special condition, you become enlightened. You will ascend to the heavens and achieve more than any of your enemies.

Because there are 4 conditions, it makes switching which victory condition you are aiming to achieve very powerful. If you are honorable warriors, you may start off attacking like any other brutes, but then suddenly after a few honorable actions sit back and try to achieve honor. In reverse, they may come out starting with defensive honor but if they can trick their opponent into over-reaching in an attempt to stop the build up of honor, they will attack in retribution and suddenly become a military threat. More than any other CCG I find it has bluffs and tricks to make your opponent afraid to defend or take a certain action because its counter may or may not be common in the opponents deck.

Most other CCGs tend to operate with blinders on, basically a deck does what it does and it works or it doesn’t depending on what the opponent has. In L5R, even the most straightforward military decks will feel completely different against a defensive honor or dishonor player. Breaking down further based on what types of control and whan needs to be done to offset honor gains and losses.

Also AEG, the creators, seem to try to mitigated the secondary market a little. Releasing direct to player sets or special ‘learn to play’ sets that include rare and powerful cards so that its not as expensive to play as some other CCGs. This could possibly be improved on further, but its interesting none the less.

Go to the Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game page
74 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

I am impressed at how much I love this game. The ability to interact with other players allows for enough intrigue, bluffs, and alternate victory routes to put this title in the same league as twilight imperium. Except in half the time (or less). when I first played it I thought “oh, its like the computer game” (and it is) but the more I play it the more I appreciate it on its own right. The computer game requires a lot more management and I think is more improved by AI opponents and long drawn out games usually trying to improve all victory conditions at once for most of the early game. This is like a rush of the experience with more narrow victory alternates for some factions, but it actually enhances and changes how the game plays and makes positioning and forthought that much more important.

The pieces in the game are well made, bright, colorful. I love the spinners, though I wish culture was better tracked (the little pillers are annoying to manage, where a slider like how ‘trade’ and ‘coins’ are tracked would be an improvement).

In spite how complex this game is, its fairly simple to learn (still only getting 2 stars, on ‘easy to learn’ because you still need to play through it once to really get the feel for the game. Chances are when you 1st pick it up, you’ll understand the basics but won’t be able to rush a victory condition besides maybe military)

Really the only downside I’d put this is I feel you NEED 4 players. 3, and by horror 2, just doesn’t cut it. But if you can get 4 good spirited players (maybe not as good spirited as what diplomacy and twilight imperium require, but backstabbing can happen very quickly and harshly late game) on even a semi regular basis its a blast.

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