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War of Honor

War of Honor is an exciting new way to play Legend of the Five Rings, incorporating board game concepts to take the L5R CGG multiplayer experience to a whole new level. Featuring four completely built Clan decks, tiles, counters and more, as well as tiles for all the other Clans in L5R, there’s enough for anyone to start playing right away.

By the inclusion of a modular board of tiles, and changing from static victory conditions to a victory point based method, War of Honor creates a robust and exciting game, where no player need play in fear of king-making. Best of all, by taking starter decks and other cards from the L5R CCG, you can expand your experience! Simply pop open a starter deck, grab the associated Clan tiles, and you’re ready to play.

User Reviews (8)

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Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Crane Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Smash Up Fan
78 of 85 gamers found this helpful
“Great for new or experienced players...”

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.

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Unicorn Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
70 of 78 gamers found this helpful
“L5R is now officially a board game”

A successful CCG in its own right, Legend of the Five Rings has gathered numerous fans due to its deep strategical elements, multiple victory conditions, and interactive ongoing storyline. War of Honor builds upon L5R by introducing streamlined rules that support multiplayer gameplay. However, it has a steep learning curve, and many have dubbed it “a board game with cards.” For some reason, board games are more easily forgiven for complex rules than are CCGs, and now that L5R has entered the board game genre with War of Honor, it too can enjoy that luxury.

I would say that there are two primary ways to enjoy this game. First, if you are already a fan of L5R, you will appreciate the multiplayer aspect of War of Honor, and I would consider the game to be the best way to play L5R with 3+ players nowadays. Second, if you are new to L5R, this game stands on its own by including four balanced, fully playable decks. These are expandable by incorporating cards from the CCG, but it’s not necessary.

As I said before, one of the hallmarks of L5R is the existence of multiple ways to win, and War of Honor holds true to that, as each player is trying to fulfill one of the four victory conditions: Honor (political domination), Enlightenment (spiritual ascension), Military (the physical conquest of opposing provinces), or Dishonor (shaming rival clans). Each of the four decks included in the base game are especially geared towards one of these four conditions, while having the potential to switch between them if necessary.

This is an intensely social game. Forming alliances with other players, and then breaking them when they no longer suit your means, is the core of War of Honor strategy, and for this reason War of Honor is best played with four players, or five if players are bringing constructed decks, but six or more tends to produce much longer gameplay.

If you are new to L5R, this is a good start as it introduces the core gameplay, streamlined for easier use. That is not to say that this is a simple game; L5R is actually one of the more complex card games out there, as stated above. But if you like warfare, politics, or the samurai fiction on which the game’s setting is based, War of Honor is a good choice.

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Legend of the Five Rings Fan
72 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“A melding of boardgame and CCG, multiplayer L5R is fun again!”

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.

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Vanguard Beta 1.0 Tester
I Play This One a LOT
63 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“More than just Multiplayer L5R”

AEG has Expanded their popular collectable card game into the realm of board gaming. While it is true, that you use a deck of L5R cards to play, the game comes with 4 ready to play decks, and you can play indefinitely without adding a single card. If you are already familiar with the CCG, you’ll pick up War of Honor easily, as there are a few minor, though game altering, changes. If you are new to the world of L5R altogether, it may take a bit to learn the card mechanics, but over all it isn’t horrible.

The game has significant expansion possibilities, as well as cross over value with the CCG. The game play tends to be fast paced, and engaging. It is especially fun with more than 2 players as the dynamic changes substantially. Give this game a try.

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Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Spider Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Went to Gen Con 2012
67 of 103 gamers found this helpful
“Great Multiplayer for Old and New Players Alike”

While I still play the newer expansions to the L5R CCG (Emperor Edition being the current one), friends of mine used to play this game a long time ago also. And while they are not playing the current story arc or even really buying any of the new cards from the newest expansion, they do love the fact that they can play the game with their older cards in a multiplayer setting that does not take hours and hours to play. The rules for this game are similar to the L5R CCG but the victory conditions have changed enough so that you are not just playing kingmaker during said multiplayer games. So whether you are a new player or an old player with a bunch of cards gathering dust on a shelf somewhere pick this up and have some great times once again.

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66 of 104 gamers found this helpful
“good for new and veteran players. ”

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.

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Mantis Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
The Bronze Heart
63 of 100 gamers found this helpful
“My favorite way to play L5R”

War of Honor makes playing with a large group tremendously fun. This set comes with great sturdy materials and is very well designed. The actual game is well thought out and lends itself to the card play wonderfully.

One of the best things about it is that you are almost always relevant and can get back into the running to win very easily. It is best with six people in my opinion but four or five is also really good. No one will feel left out in this amazing game.

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Mantis Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
62 of 118 gamers found this helpful
“Interesting change to L5R multiplayer”

Playing multiplayer Legend of the Five Rings was always difficult due to the rules being more geared toward 1-on-1 play. No longer. Bryan Reese and company at AEG crossed L5R with a board game and fixed a lot of the problems that multiplayer L5R once had.


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