Weiss Schwarz – A simple outlook on the game
It is technically downtime for L5R. I’m too lazy to build new decks, because the expansion is just over the horizon, and I can’t really test the new set since 33 cards from that set has yet to be previewed. People have told me I should build anyway, based on incomplete preview, but I noted to them, recall that Empire at war previews, “Superior Mobility” was not previewed, and that card proved to be staple in almost all decks for the capability of movement or destruction in one action.
In the meantime, I spend my time playing Weiss Schwarz. As noted in the previous blog, the game is simple. The objective, in a nutshell is to damage opponent’s 28 life.
Basically the game starts with areas in the game, deck area, discard pile (waiting room), stock pile, life pile (called ‘clock’), stage for you to have characters in play, with 3 in the front row (center stage) and 2 behind (back stage), forming a inverted triangle with two of the front character.
You can check the playmat area here. Source = http://weissschwarz.wikia.com/wiki/Play_Area
The basic is to play a character, then you attack. You attack the character in front of you and when the battle begins, the two characters compares the battle points, usually incremental in 500 from lowest printed stat of 500 up to 10,000. The higher stat character ‘wins’ and the one with the lower power stats ‘loses’ and is knocked-out and discarded into waiting room (discard pile). But that’s just a battle between two characters and does not deal any damage to the player.
So how do you deal damage to the player to win?
The real damage dealt is with the soul marker at the lower left bottom of the character card, near the name. So when you attack, you deal damage equal to the character soul power. Denoted by the small symbol similar to “Scouts” logo.
To add some variety and speed up the game, when you attack, you count the soul point of the character and you flip the top card of your deck and see if there’s any soul symbol on that card, if there is, you add the number to the soul damage. Your flipped card will be kept in stock pile, which can be used to pay for abilities and cost of bringing characters into play.
How does soul damage count? Soul damage is taken from the top card of your deck and placed in the ‘clock’ area. Then opponent will flip open any number of cards equal to the soul damage and add it to their ‘life damage’ “clock” area. Once you have taken 7 damage, you can choose one card to be permanent level marker and discard the rest into the waiting room. Levels determined how some cards can be played as they have the Level restriction on their card. Each level gives more and more powerful characters. Most of the level 3 characters are around 10000 power. Powerful, yes. But remember that at level 3, you’re only at most 7 life away from being knocked out. Basically, once you level up to level 4, you’re gone. Game end.
So, it may seem that you can easily take damage in the game and lose quickly to a deck that stacks heavy on soul damage… However, there is a chance that a type of card, climax card will appear during the deck. If it does, the damage is cancelled immediately. And climax cards are usual one turn effect cards, giving powerful abilities for the players. Such as all your characters get +1 Soul points, or +1000 power that sort of thing.
With such a powerful card, how do they balance it? Easy. By making it maximum of 8 copies for any deck. With a max limit of 8, you have 12.5% change of seeing it appear. Making the game somewhat heavy on luck base, but quick game and can be fun.
So the game is balanced by that fact. Soul damage is more important and the game can be wicked fast which makes the game not dominated by having a bunch of high stat number characters. I’ve had games where my opponent have 3 level 3 characters with stats reaching 11k. I just dropped 3 level 0 character, stats no more 3k. But I still kill off the opponent since I deal enough soul damage to him, even when my character all die off since they fought higher stats opponents.
So in a nutshell, I’m liking the game so far, and although it seems simple, there are intricacies involved as some cards have their built-in ability to increase stats, removal, return back to play from being knocked out and all sorts of various stuff.
On the other hand, this is just distraction. I’m just waiting for the release of L5R The Dead of Winter expansion…. I’m very itchy to build a few deck archetypes I’ve been eyeing.