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Crane Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
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Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page
Go to the Magic: The Gathering page
Go to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords (Base Set) page
Go to the Pathfinder: Core Rulebook page
Go to the Carcassonne page
Go to the Apples to Apples page
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
Go to the Cartoon Network Fluxx page
18 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

If your familiar with Fluxx then this edition will not be overly taxing. Like other versions of Fluxx the rules change as you play and you must collect Keepers to meet your goals. What sets this version apart is there are several cards that meta reference the different shows. For example, there is one action that lets you steal a keeper from another player provided you have another keeper from the same show.

Our kids dig the different ways this version groups it’s goals, (Finn’s buddies, boys and girls, etc.) We like how the characters are a mix of old and new shows. It doesn’t matter what our son is doing, if we ask if he wants to play CN Fluxx, he is all about it. If you have kids (or love CN like we do), then this is an excellent and inexpensive addition to your collection.

Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page

Legend of the Five Rings

73 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

For years I was a Magic player. From time to time I would walk away, but inevitably I would return to it’s siren call. Until I discovered Legend of the Five Rings.

Being in the CCG hobby I was aware of L5R, but never quite got it. The art and layout of many of the early cards turned me off. Two decks? What’s that about?! It wasn’t until I was introduced to the fiction that L5R really hit for me. I had picked up the L5R books for D&D of all things, and found a rich world with compelling characters and flavor filled history. This lead me to seek out the CCG and at least look into it.

Right about then Gold Edition released, and was a terrific jumping on point. The cards featured new (and in my opinion more attractive) frames and a large meta story was just starting. I found a playgroup, picked up my first Crane deck (gotta love dueling), and it was over for me. I was smitten.

I took an extended break from all other forms of gaming. I studied the top decks and thought of ways to beat them piloting my beloved Cranes. I LOVED that the players had such profound affect on the story at large. Many tournaments offered story prizes in addition to cash prizes… and players would SET BOUNTIES, often very large “gifts” to entice players who won to choose the bounty’s story choice. Stranger yet, more often than not players would REJECT these lucrative bounties in favor of their own story choices! Coming from the ultra competitive and “cash driven” MTG this both amazed and delighted me. I did well enough in my area and was a formidable opponent before long. I played through to the end of Diamond edition, the following Arc and end of the Meta story. Then life happened.

I rejoined the military and though I sought out players I found none in the areas I was stationed. L5R took a back seat to other things and we grew apart. Fast forward several years to the release of Celestial Edition and War of Honor. What GORGEOUS new frames! Who were all of these new characters?! What happened to my Crane in the interim (in game) decades? Structured multiplayer?! Joy!

I bought a starter for each clan and built decks for me to play with anyone who would play: my wife, unsuspecting friends, etc. I essentially created my own L5R LCG. A couple years later with the release of Emperor Edition I picked up a Starter box and after much trading leveraged in into a self contained L5R drafting cube. Admittedly I don’t get to play it often, but I still look in on L5R from time to time, if for no other reason than I love the fiction and the wonderful community of players.

So that is my not quite review, but my declaration of love for Legend of the Five Rings. The game itself is incredibly rewarding and deep. The manufacturer revels in providing value to their loyal players. The ravenous fans are among the best and most welcoming for new players I have ever met. I cannot say enough good things about L5R. If you have any doubts whether the game might be for you please at least check out the fiction and see if the your interest is not at least piqued.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Dice Masters Battle for Faerûn page
127 out of 134 gamers thought this was helpful

Dice Masters seemed to find just the right niche for todays gamers: Price point low enough not to deter people not fond of blind buy packaging, enough “deck” construction to keep the power gamers searching for optimal builds, and access to intellectual properties that came with a pre-established fan base. It’s not hard to see then why the game has become SO popular in such a short window of time.

Last year when Avengers vs X-Men Dice Masters released the demand was so high that people were unable to find Starters for sale at retail for several months. Later the Uncanny X-Men expansion released and while popular there has been a group of people that passed on it because they missed out on AvX. When Yu-Gi-Oh Dice Masters came out last month it was the first non-Marvel set, but again there were people that passed due to not being fans of the property. So for anyone that has been interested in Dice Masters but passed so far, Dungeons and Dragons Dice Masters may be what you’ve been waiting for.

D&DDM can be played with any other DM game, albeit with some term swapping. Whether they play well together remains to be seen. There are several new mechanics that will not interact with previous releases, which is to be expected. In addition there are several subfactions introduced for the Adventurer characters that have not received any support or drawbacks.

The dice supplied with D&DDD are superior to previous releases as far as manufacturing and quality control go. Although there are a handful of dice with poor color combinations the dice overall are both pleasant to look at and better made. The cards look great, but suffer from the same packaging issues that plagued earlier sets (i.e. the curved cards, cards crimped/ cut in the seal of the booster, etc.)

As a standalone the game plays great. the new equipment and non-basic action cards are strong enough to warrant running them in place of random character 7-8. There is a lot of internal interaction, with the Experience and Alignment mechanics being the most overt examples. There is not as much viable ramp, so the games also tend to be slower than the average AXM/ UXM games.

All in all I was not disappointed in this iteration of Dice Masters and look forward to seeing if they produce any dedicated expansions to D&D DM.

Go to the Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men page
93 out of 131 gamers thought this was helpful

Uncanny X-Men Dice Masters (UXM) is a compatible follow up the Avengers vs X-Men (AVX). The fact that UXM offers stand alone starters is great since the starters for AVX are almost impossible to find at retail, and almost certainly not at retail price. Even though the set focuses on the X-Men franchise there are still a number of non X-Men available, including several that aren’t reprints. There were several very powerful cards in AVX that seem to be run all the time in Organized Play (OP), but UXM released several answers to deal with them. All in all I’m quite pleased with UXM and look forward to further expansions, particularly D&D and Age of Ultron.

Go to the Android: Netrunner page

Android: Netrunner

28 out of 33 gamers thought this was helpful

This review is based solely off the base set, which is the only component of this game I own. For years gamers heard fans of Netrunner lament it’s passing and even had a MTG pro player attempt to purchase the license to revive it. It was nigh impossible to find product available to buy and when one did find cards they were not sealed and usually expensive. Fast Forward nearly 20 years to FFGs Release of Android: Netrunner, a modified version of the game released under license from WOTC.

The game is well packaged and nicely produced, as has become expected of FFG. The game is based on the conflict between mega corporations (Corps)and street hackers (Runners). The game is mechanically asymmetrical. The players choose who will be the Runner and who will be the Corp. The Corp player plays Agendas which they have to protect in order to move them along, whereas the Runner must attempt to bypass the barriers protecting the Agendas so they can get to the crunchy goodness inside. There is a high learning curve for this game, and players who wish to be competitive must learn the nuances of playing both sides.

As for the product distribution itself I take issue with FFG again releasing a “thinned” game. Players may use up to 3 of any given card to build a competitive deck, but there are certain cards (usually more powerful cards) that only have one copy in the base set. So any player that does so competitively must purchase upwards of 3 base sets to have all the cards wanted to build high end decks. While there is no requirement for a player to play competitively and it played fine by itself it still bothers me that FFG continues to do this with their LCGs. It fosters ill will with the players and creates a lot of waste in the extra cards players with multiple base sets get that they will not likely use.

All in all I really want to enjoy the game, but it just didn’t sit quite right with me. I like the theme and there are a lot of players to find for pick up games. It is one of FFG’s top selling LCGs and receives a lot of support. Though the game might not be for me it doesn’t mean that it’s not for you. As always happy gaming!

Go to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles (Base Set) page
120 out of 143 gamers thought this was helpful

For anyone who’s played the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords, Skull and Shackles will be extremely familiar. The components are of equivalent stock, with minor improvements (the D10 now has a “10” rather than a “0”, helpful for players unfamiliar with the traditional RPG polygon).

So lets talk about what’s new and fresh. The base game comes with 7 characters. There are a few returning from Rise of the Runelords, but in different iterations. They are mechanically different, but not so much that they feel like different characters. I have mixed feelings about this, as I would have loved new original characters, but I understand the need for “Base” classes in a classic RPG. The new characters introduced are very evocative of the new setting, like the Gunslinger and Swashbuckler.

The rules were also streamlined. The designers took the (abundant) feedback and clarified some things that players were commonly posting questions about. The fact that the designers have been so receptive to player feedback is one of the little joys of PACG and proves that they are committed to providing the players the best product possible.

The newest addition to the game however was the Ships. Ships provide new ways for the party to move that feel thematic and mechanically sound all at once. In addition ships allow you to loot other ships encountered. This gives the game that little bit of flavored topping while letting the party get a little more bang for their buck.

All in all the follow up to Rise of the Runlords is both new and familiar. By choosing the pirate themed adventure they were ablet to differentiate enough from the classic dungeon crawl without abandoning what makes PACG so fun. I can’t wait to see what’s next, both in Skull and Shackles and whatever follows it up.

Go to the Smash Up page

Smash Up

14 out of 22 gamers thought this was helpful

SMASH UP is a fun and original deck building game. The base game comes with 8 factions that are shuffled together, 2 per player, to form the oddest trope combinations, such as Pirate Aliens, or Wizard Dinosaurs.

The cards are well made and the box has a plastic insert meant to sort the cards, including room for expansions. The game is easily expanded on, and thus far the extra factions we have played feel unique enough to be worth adding to the game.

I will say that some of the factions feel more powerful than other, but the fact that we randomly assign the factions to each player has mitigated that some, and make for some fun randomness and forces players to try new things.

I have yet to win the game, but it’s fun enough that that has not deterred me from trying over and over again. 😛

Go to the Lego Heroica: Castle Fortaan page
10 out of 12 gamers thought this was helpful

We have a soft spot for Legos in our home, and when we saw that they were combining our love of bricks with our love of games we had little choice but to dive in.

Before I get to far into the review it is important to look at the Lego games for their own merit. Sure, most of the games are fairly simplistic, but that is because the audience tends to be younger kids. I’m mainly glad Lego even made games, let alone a dungeon crawl. The components are top notch, the level design is fun, and as for modularity, it’s LEGO! The game almost begs to be re-skinned with more advanced rules, of which their are a lot available online.

When you compare Heroica to other dungeon crawls it is fairly simple, but for our youngest it is just right. When compared to the other Lego games it is much more complex. Their are far more decisions to be made and the game is less linear than the other Lego games.

This product description is for the largest of the Heroica sets. Each set can be played by itself but are fully compatible and the games include suggestions for combining more than one set. We are such fans of the sets that we picked them all up and combined with the Lord of the Rings set make very large dungeons with lots of character and monster options.

Is this the deepest game on the market? Certainly not. Is it fun and approachable for young gamers? Absolutely. In my opinion that is the biggest draw of the game. I like to think of it as a bridge to more advanced games for my wee gamer.

Go to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords (Base Set) page
49 out of 56 gamers thought this was helpful

I have been a fan of the Pathfinder property for years. When I saw this in development I was curious how they’d translate an RPG to a card game. Turns out the translation was both intuitive and well done.

Mechanics: The mechanics of the game are excellent. Each scenario details how to build the locations, which are basically decks the players will explore. Each player controls a character who in turn has their own deck which represents the characters powers, equipment, and health. The ingenious part is that though common rules govern how the characters play each character is different enough to create diverse play. For instance the Fighter plays very differently from the Sorcerer, and each is very evocative of the class represented.

Components: The base game comes with a basic card pool, plus the first of 6 scenarios. This is enough for 4 players to play, but inevitably players will want more. The designers created a campaign for the game, and every two months (each month with later game) a new scenario is released to continue the story. In addition to that the also released a character add on deck, which expands the number of characters available as well as adding enough additional cards to allow two more players to participate. The card stock is admittedly a little flimsy, especially for a game that involves so much shuffling, but that hasn’t bothered me too much.

Theme: The campaign is based around a previously released RPG campaign. If you’ve already played the campaign the story will naturally be familiar. Likewise, as you play the card game story elements of the RPG will be spoiled. AS far as the story itself it’s classic fantasy RPG tropes: Seek out treasures and monsters to defeat the big bad.

Overall we’re fans of the game, and the fact that it’s designed for solo play only adds to the value of this otherwise excellent game.

Go to the LEGO - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey page
31 out of 34 gamers thought this was helpful

So when Lego picked up the license for the Tolkien Movie Verse my first reaction was: LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS VIDEO AND BOARD GAMES!!! I didn’t even know this was in the works when I saw it on the shelves of a local big box store. Naturally I had to pick it up.

After constructing the set several things stuck out at me:

First- I LOVE that the board has a built in modularity. You don’t just take apart and reassemble the board, it has hinges that let you swivel certain sections.

Second- The game is more than just memory. Each Hobbit Hole has TWO tiles inside, so the top one has to be collected before you can access the tile below it.

Third- the goal of the game is NOT to have the most matches, it’s to collect the most Dwarves. SO if you find a Dwarf: good job, turn over, move on. If you find something ELSE though, you try to make a match. Each other sort of tile has a different action upon matching. The thing to remember is that none of the other players can see what you’ve found!

I haven’t played a Lego Board Game I haven’t liked yet, and this is no exception. I love this series of games because I can even play it with my youngest (5) and keep him involved. Being that it’s also Hobbit Legos, well, that’s a pleasant icing on top. 😉

Go to the War of Honor page

War of Honor

78 out of 85 gamers thought this was helpful

Over the last several years Alderac has released several intro sets designed to get new players into the game. Often the problem with this was that the sets were so jam packed with good stuff they often didn’t get into the hands of new players and were usually picked up and torn through for the swag. Fast forward to War of Honor.

Now, War of Honor was not directly intended for new players, however the high complexity level of standard Legend of the Five Rings was dialed back quite a bit to allow players unfamiliar with L5R to slip in much easier. The designers of the decks made a conscious effort to remove reactions, or abilities that can be played on opponents turns, to speed up game play and increase simplicity. They also purposely left out several other mechanics that are integral to the game, but can be daunting for new players to wrap their heads around such as duels, cavalry, and the Imperial Favor.

War of Honor introduces an entire new way of tracking for victory. In Standard L5R players can win by military victory, honor victory, enlightenment, and dishonoring your opponent. WoH maintains all of these, but rather than continually tracking honor the created method in which on any given turn if you get enough honor or cause enough dishonor you move up one space on the honor/ dishonor track of the victory tracker respectively. This cuts down on some of book-keeping aspects of L5R while brilliantly allowing honor/ dishonor to coexist.

The components in WoH are second to none. Not only are they high quality stock they are well designed and attractive to the eyes. The game also comes with a well designed insert to hold all the components that come with the game fairly snug. Alderac wasn’t content with just giving us just the pieces for the included clans, though, so they also included the pieces needed to play any of the other current clans as well, so that when players inevitably decide to expand into the rest of their collection they can do so. They even created a set of tiles and tokens for Ronin, but you have to get those direct from Alderac (don’t worry, if you’re a Ronin player it’s only a buck or so plus shipping)

I’ve heard some players complain about the Clans chosen to personify the different victory conditions, but I don’t think these complaints are valid. I’m traditionally a Crane player myself and in my mind Crane and honor victories are pretty much synonymous, but I completely understand Alderac’s decision to go with a different clan to keep that simplicity level high.

War of Honor was primarily designed to address player’s long standing concerns about L5R multi-player, and it does so in fantastic form. The new method of victory is intuitive and well designed. The addition of the tiles really helped addressing the “pile on player X” factor you might see in other multi-player formats.

In the end War of Honor is a fantastic value. If your new to L5R or even interested in the game at all this is a great affordable way to get a taste of how the game plays from several aspects. If your a veteran L5R player chances are you have already picked this up. If you haven’t then you are missing out.

Go to the Pathfinder: Core Rulebook page
78 out of 91 gamers thought this was helpful

So Wizards of the Coast is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hasbro Ent., obviously a publicly traded company. One of their business models rely on scheduled obscelesence. SO it should be no wonder that they’d eventually decide that it was time to stop producing D&D 3.5 and move on.

Fortunately for the rest of us Paizo decided that that simply would not do. When WotC created the D20 Open Game License they gave any publisher carte-blanche to create any D&D 3.x material the wanted to so long as they acknowledged the source of the original rules. Paizo use this foundation to create their own updated and, in my opinion, improved D&D 3.+ rules set. Gone are “dead” levels where players don’t get some sort of bonus. All classes are beefed up a bit, and further more nearly every class receives a number of customizing tweaks to make one’s Wizard distinct from other Wizards.

Most importantly it took a rules set that might have otherwise slipped into obscurity gave it an invigorating shot in the arm. The franchise has grown to the point that Paizo has produced it’s own line of blind buy pre-painted miniatures as well as countless fantastic play aids and a monthly campaign that DMs can buy into and use as they see fit. The sort of support Paizo throws behind the Pathfinder franchise puts WotC support of D&D to shame, both in quality and usefulness.

For anyone wanting to get into roleplaying enough cannot be said about Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Beginner Box is enough for several players to start playing and go through several levels before committing further. The additional stands, cutouts, and tokens are just (very delicious) icing on the cake. If you want to try to scratch to RPG fix Pathfinder should be your first stop along the way.

Go to the Carcassonne page


87 out of 107 gamers thought this was helpful

We love Carcassonne in our household. Sometimes we’d play as a family, sometimes just my wife and I’d play. Either way we always had a great time playing.

The components are high quality and rugged enough to easily weather dozens of plays. This game pretty much introduced meeple, which are now in some minds synonymous with games.

Game play is new every time you shuffle the tiles and start a new game, or at least the layout is. It combines the randomness of a card deck with a highly modular board game.

The instructions are clear enough that unindoctrinated players can approach it and pick it up with ease. The only thing that might give brand new players a pause is the whole thing with farmers on the same plot being wonky. Aside from that, the rest of the gaem is pretty straight forward.

All in all I (we) love this game, and on a lazy afternoon we will often pull it out and enjoy some time together. There’s no reason those of you reading this can’t do the same, especially at the price point. In short, this game belongs in every collection.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
48 out of 57 gamers thought this was helpful

So we try to get together as a family to play games once a week or so, typically Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne. I recently picked this up and I cannot describe how impressed I am by this game.

There are enough variables in LoWD to keep players on their toes every game. From the buildings laid out to Lords each game will not only give each player revised priorities each game, but a different playing field as well.

The components are extremely high quality. The tokens are all heavy card stock or wood and the cards are all textured heavy duty. Topping it off though is the box insert that, unlike most games, is designed not just for storage, but to ease game play and setup.

Anyone familiar with D&D’s Forgotten Realms will instantly recognize some of the characters and settings. For those of us without a lot of time in FR not knowing the theme will not hurt gameplay, and might in fact entice players to delve deeper into the world.

This game is likely to replace our go to game. It has learned a great deal from it’s predecessors, seamlessly blending the solid mechanics of a euro with the rich theme and swag of an ameri-trash. I cannot recommend the game enough.

Go to the Dominion page


72 out of 100 gamers thought this was helpful

I wanted to like Dominion…. I REALLY did…. it seemed like just about everyone in the gaming community was raving about it and I sooooo wanted to get me some of that… Alas, it was not to be.

We gave it a try. We felt deflated. We gave it another, still no spark. From the fourth game on we wondered why we weren’t just playing something else.

Admittedly, it may have been the way we played. It could have been the group. Maybe it was my mood. It just felt like we were all playing solitaire together. The theme was lackluster and the game could have been skinned with just about anything. the cards just FELT wrong after so many years of other card games.

There are a lot of people who enjoy Dominion, and more power to them. I hope they have a blast every game. I’m just not one of them. The one thing I DID get from Dominion was to really look into a game before purchasing to make sure it might fit my style.

Go to the Risk page


23 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

Risk is Risk. There’s no way around it. You either enjoy it or you don’t. I like the revised edition much more than the original version because it allows for victory conditions other than “slog it out to the end” and it does away with the linear cards for re-enforcements, leading to players sitting on their cards.

My suggestion is to try one of the many variants available. They take what might be a predictable game and in some cases turn it on it’s head. I own Lord of the Rings: Trilogy Edition Risk and Metal Gear Solid Risk, and each has it’s own unique take on the game.

The board in LotR Risk is a radical departure from what experienced Risk players are used to and makes everyone rethink their strategy from turn one. The inclusion of leaders fortresses adds another strategic layer to the game that is very fresh. Best of all the game has a built in end. Every turn the ring marches to Mount Doom and aside from a few obstacles you can see about how much longer you have to implement your strategy.

MGS Risk is a re-skin of the Revised Edition, but with several valuable inclusions. First you get to hire mercenaries, experienced warfighters that you can use to lead your armies. Second is the currency system, or Drebin points, that allows you to pay for your mercenaries as well as play specialty cards that can greatly impact the game. The last major inclusion is the addition of Outer Haven, an advanced submarine that is a 3 space territory that can move to any of the continents.

In closing Risk is pretty much the same as ever (with some exception), but the many varieties make it fresh and thematic. I like to think of Risk as a deck of cards, just a basic construct that you can use to play any other number of more complex games. I’m looking forward to picking up Risk: Legacy and seeing just how far the core Risk game can be pushed.

Go to the Apples to Apples page

Apples to Apples

58 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

We often have people over to hang out and play games, and invariably we play Apples to Apples. We’ll describe it to new players and they’ll say “That sounds stupid,” but once they’ve played a few hands they’re always hooked.

Game play is simple: The players take turns judging green cards. Each player also has a personal hand of red cards cards. Whoever is judging for the round draws a green card, says the word out loud (an adjective), and lays it down. Each other player then throws one of their red cards (nouns) face down. After each player has thrown a card the judge shuffles the cards (so as to avoid bias), and chooses which one they think best matches the green card played. First player to earn 5 green cards wins.

The game shines when you have a good group of people sitting around playing. The table talk and social interaction makes it a perfect party game. We have a house rule that the judge should count down the cards played from worst to least worst (because sometimes ALL the cards played are horrible), and ridicules the choices,

The other aspect of Apples to Apples to remember is that you are ALWAYS trying to play to the judge as the game is entirely subjective. Knowing the people you are playing with and what their trump cards are will go a long way to winning.

We have shelves and cabinets full of games in our household, but if you had to ask me which one I get the most out of, I’d have to answer Apples to Apples.

Go to the Chrononauts page


27 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

Lets begin by saying I really enjoy this game. I love the idea that you can screw with the timestream so much that existence itself collapses. I enjoy that each player gets two paths to victory. The game play is simple enough that you can have a new player up and running pretty quickly.

My experience however has been that you have to have an audience for Chrononauts. There are some games that you can just sit down with just about anyone. Chrononauts is simply not one of them. The biggest complaint I got was usually from non-gamers: “I just don’t get it”. This is in truth a fair criticism.

The theme is great and the entire game is structured around it, but if a player isn’t into it they’re just not going to have a good time. I suppose this could really be said of any game, but for some reason Chrononauts is one of those games that’s either a hit or miss. For my two cents I like it and hope that you’ll enjoy it as well.

Go to the Tide of Iron page

Tide of Iron

52 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

I had wanted to pick this up off and on for several years, so when I found it on sale for the holidays I snagged it up. I’ve only sat and played it once, so this review is going to deal with the components and set up more than the depth.

Setup: Takes a bit of time to be sure. Some organization before hand will pay dividends as it will make every subsequent setup go much faster. I ended up using Plano boxes, and the original box is large enough to accommodate quite a few of these.

Rules: The rules were not overly difficult to trudge through. I’m sure in some of the other scenarios we may have to reference them more for the special abilities of some units, but most of the rules were straight forward.

Components: WOW! This game is SO stacked, especially for the price. SO many units with great sculpts for the price point. The fact that the game is designed to be modular gives players more bang for their buck. The tiles used to create the board are high quality card stock and the cards included should easily survive a dozen or more plays.

So there you go. Quick and dirty. For my money and level of involvement Tide of Iron may well be the best wargame I’ve picked up yet. The sheer replayability makes it worth purchasing.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: 4th Edition page
51 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

I really wanted to enjoy this edition, especially with all the useful bits they started to produce to support it. I didn’t mind the “miniature game” feel of combat. I didn’t mind that it felt like a MMO, with powers that regenerated over time.

What I could not get past however was that we never felt a sense of story while playing. The rules are so wrapped around the tactical interactions that even social interaction with NPCs was reduced to challenges. I feel that this version of D&D was the weakest of the 3 I have played, but I look Forward to D&D Next which is currently being playtested.

Go to the Zombies!!! (2ed) page

Zombies!!! (2ed)

16 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

For several months we stopped calling our game nights “Game Nights” and started calling them “Zombie Nights”; that’s how much our group enjoyed the game. Not because it was full of depth and difficult choices, but because it was dripping with theme, had it’s own twisted sense of humor, and you get to annihilate zombies.

The part we enjoyed most was always the social aspects, and the opportunity to dog-pile whoever was getting closest to the chopper (in all our games we only ever had a player win by accumulating zombies ONCE). Our games always devolved into screwing the winner, which is just how we liked it.

So if your looking for the Mona Lisa of boardgames, keep looking, but if your wanting the Sunday funnies, this may be right up your alley.

Go to the Zombie Dice page

Zombie Dice

9 out of 26 gamers thought this was helpful

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the game very much, but it’s not the kind of game I gather people together. This is a great filler game though, to be thrown when you’ve got a few minutes to kill and have the urge to hunt some humans. The expansion adds three new dice: two horror movie cliches, and Santa Claus of all people. The rules could be written a little better, but for the price the game is a great way yo fill the moments between things you really want to do.

Go to the Legend of the Five Rings - Emperor Edition page
107 out of 115 gamers thought this was helpful

So I’ve played L5R off and on for the better part of a decade now, starting with Gold Edition. I played heavily through the following Diamond Edition’s arc but work and life have put me on hiatus for the most part since then. I continued to follow L5R over the years though, and when they redesigned the card faces I could not pass on purchasing and picked up a bunch of Celestial Ed. decks. I still was not able to play much, but it felt great to support AEG and L5R in what little ways I could.

Fast forward to Emperor Edition. As soon as I saw how much they were packing into the clan starters I had to pick some up…. ALL of them in fact, so I will be basing this review primarily on the content of those decks.

To start the packaging is AMAZING. FAR superior to any other CCG on the market today. The external box is heavy duty card stock and intended to be reused. Inside are the individual decks, each of them also constructed of the same high quality card stock and capable of holding a sleeved tournament legal deck. It’s such a little thing, but it just goes to show how much value AEG wanted to provide with this product.

The decks are constructed to be played straight out of the box and do so pretty well. They were built with new players in mind, and it shows, making for tense games that match each clan fairly evenly. In addition to the deck there are three additional Stongholds provided for each clan, giving each clan 4 themes to build around right from the get go (previous core sets only included two strongholds.)

Now for the SWAG. Since the boxes are designed for sleeved decks there is a bit of extra space inside as the deck included is not sleeved. In keeping with providing player value AEG chose to include not one or two additional boosters, but THREE. These packs in addition to the included deck help to offset the initial cost of the Starter, which retails at ~ $25, but can be found less expensive online if one were so inclined.

AEG didn’t stop there. They also included clan specific tokens to help ease game play, and immediate story interaction with the ability to vote on a personality from your clan to become experienced (though the promotion has already been resolved it was very cool nonetheless).

Now the only thing against the Emperor Edition starters stems from the game itself. L5R can be very daunting to approach for new players. If a player is not very familiar with CCGs then it can be hard for them to wrap their heads around some of the more intricate interactions. There are so many little nuances in the game that make for a very steep learning curve that may turn some off.

These intricacies however are one of the games strengths. Once a player has the basics down a whole world of possible gaming opens up. Does one play the latest tech to win as often as possible? Do they support one clan fanatically? Do they strive to win through enlightenment? Do they play specific cards in their decks to affect the ongoing story? These are but a few of the things that keep the rabid fan base coming back for more.

In closing if your primarily a boardgamer perhaps look into L5Rs fixed multiplayer game War of Honor which is also jam-packed with value. If you’re a lapsed L5R player now is a great time to jump back in. If your new to CCGs or are looking for something new, L5R has perhaps the best support and community of any CCG ever produced.

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