Category Archives: l5r

After hiatus… L5R is returning

FFG L5R is approaching… the reviews have been kind of interesting so far. And I think that most AEG L5R players are keeping an eye on it simply coz they love the game.. .and being LCG, it would be cheaper on a player’s wallet.. which is a major point these days. So far we have seen some basic cards and somewhat preview of the crane and lion… just have to wait for the rest. Expected to have a release of sorts at Gencon. We will get more reviews then I suppose.

I’ll probably grab 3x core (For complete playset), but anymore will depend on the playerbase locally. More people means I can get invested in to the game while if less players… well… I’ll just keep the 3x core for nostalgia’s sake. Check out the current preview at L5R at FB, or go to FFG website for more details.

On a sidenote… these are the ccg/lcg games I play on daily basis.

Shadowverse – Daily login for rewards and buy a pack for the every 100g. (Time spent is 5 minutes at most)
Hearthstone – Complete the dailies. Get more gold and buy latest expansion. Dust the spares (Depends on nature quest, between 15 to 30 minutes, if the quest is too annoying, i will reroll or try again tomorrow to reroll. )
Mabinogi – Login for gem reward.. buy packs. fight a friend to get more gems for quest. (I spend more time here to get gems.. so 30 to an hour a day)

So looking at it, it seems I’m less of player these days.. but more to looking forward to crack packs only. For free!

I know Gwent beta is out… but I’m just too lazy to play it on a pc and would rather just wait for the mobile version.

I should start to try to get HearthStone to top spot legend one of these days…

2016 and L5R in FFG

We are now in 2016. By reckoning, still a year and a half more to L5R LCG by FFG. That’s a long way to go and I’m sure we will start getting teaser previews in Jan 2017 in line of the estimated Gencon unveiling. This also means that the actual release production will be by Christmas 2017 or later half of 2018 to get into mass public’s hands.
Only time will tell whether this will significantly change L5r as we know it or will it remain dead… everywhere… we will wait and see i suppose.

 

The old group locally has split up. A few went to MTG, a few to console/PC gaming… dota mostly and the rest disappear to do their own thing.

 

Almost all of them gave a tentative comeback only and only if l5r come back hopefully better. While the promise of LCG format makes it cheaper to go in overall compared to the cracking packs of CCG format, a lot of players are weary of FFG LCG format mainly due to the distribution methods via local company… who is notorious in handling the prize support kits. Among the complaints has been getting an expansion 2-3 months later coz he decides to pool 2 expansions per shipment. Prize kits came in late and tampered (some of the prizes are missing) and few more infamous deeds…..

 

That is the reason that FFG products are having difficulty to grow here. I’ve always favoured AEG prize support, which was very helpful in supporting local communities to grow more players and also WotC prize support for MTG. But FFG prize support… urghh.. is bad really….
A tourney kit of 8 players which only rewards the top player, I find it hard at times to get players to play since they know that by paying, they are getting only participation prize random full bleed card they already have and might not like..(Curse of any LCG, everyone already have the card). unlike WotC/AEG who encourages top 3 prize and 1 lucky draw prize to encourage people to play regardless of winning chances since you might very be that lucky draw winner. With this, even new players are encouraged to play since you stand a chance. But with FFG, only if you have high shot at winning would you be willing to participate, otherwise, why bother to pay and lose as a surety?

 

This is something that FFG needs to buck up or they will lose out the more casual group in the long run.

 

I have gotten my hands on Game of Thrones 2.0 LCG. So far the game is much more streamlined compared to the horrors of 1.0. As I have a void of 2 years of L5R to come, I suppose i will throw my lot at this game and see how it goes.
Ours is the Fury!

 

 

Exiting Orbit 2015

L5R is dead … for at least 2 years.
For those who didn’t know, L5R under AEG has folded. They have sold the entire creative license to FFG for the entirety of L5R. So the current L5R is dead. The last expansion was released, Evil Portents was let go to shops for free. As no company really wants to buy any product for a game life expectancy of zero. However, since the product was already printed, they just charge the shipping for the items. .

So what to do with the existing product at shops? Frankly no idea. Some of us here have been trying to get some sort value out of it. ;

Among the ideas was to run more draft tournaments. Or even, screw the standard and go back to a more viable format for all. Modern Highlander. While modern covers further back, the local players here have suggested to only include sets not too far back, using only Celestial edition onwards. And being highlander, there should be enough cards in the pool for people to share a bit and build decent decks. And there is enough cards in the community pool to make a decent deck with Celestial, Emperor, Ivory edition.

Since I’m on hiatus, it looks like my L5R hiatus is now permanent. Somewhat I’m ok with that. At least until 2017, the game will be kept alive by others. Post-2017, we will see if FFG screw it up or bring a new fresh perspective. More importantly, that brings in fresh new players. A new generation of L5R players. And being a vet like me…. for the love of the game in AEG’s form.. I really hope not. If FFG changes it too much… I might not return. If it still retains some of the current charm and yet brings a fresh new game, I might just return. A wait and see scenario indeed.

No gaming on card and board games except that I got myself a copy of A Game of Thrones 2.0. The game looks a lot cleaner. It’s also obvious from the..1x core is not enough. Need to get 3x core to be competitive. I will grab the balance of the cores needed in a month or two as I would like to observe the local community support for this game first before deciding anything.

Till then, adios.

Good luck participants! L5R Kotei SG 2015!

To those attending kotei Singapore L5R this coming weekend, I wish all of you godspeed and godbless.

P/S: Phoenix players, win it for the clan! UTZ!

Here’s what I think about Crane’s 20 Festivals Starter

I haven’t written anything on L5R for a while, but 20 Festivals seems like a good time to kickstart things to write something about. As you well know, AEG has just released all the starter decks in pdf the same day as I’m writing this post. Since I’ve always played Crane, here are the links to the Crane starter, which will be the subject of discussion today:

Crane Dynasty

Crane Fate

Note that the Dynasty only has the first player side on it.

Let’s kick things off with the Dynasty side, then Fate, then a summary on how well these two sides gel with each other.

 

Dynasty

Holdings: 18 (2 Fortifications)

Personalities: 22

Events: 0

The stronghold ability is a very simple one: If you have a peep, bow the box to gain 2 honour. The deck has approximately 10% of its number to help with the defense of your provinces by their own text, but everything else is for honour running.

f167687b598b4deb85a33a0af8d0083cFor a starter deck, I was honestly surprised about the singular focus that the Dynasty provides. The gold curve is not too bad, with most peeps hovering at 5G each. But a number of them rely heavily on the use of the Imperial Favour. It seems a bit of a glass cannon to me at first glance, but thankfully it’s also chockfull of affordable Duelists. Here are the peep rundown (if they have multiple traits, I’ll choose the one that they’ll be heavily relied upon):

Courtier: 9

Duelist: 10

Just plain Samurai: 3

Perhaps the card that caught my eye the most is Kakita Jikeru. She’s cheap, and more likely than not is definitely netting you honour on your opponent’s turn. Of course you need a Fortification or she’s just a plain ol’ cheap courtier, which is why there’s only 1 copy of her in the deck. But I wouldn’t run so many Fortifications myself, at most would be 3 copies. Sticking a holding onto a province can make the province a very tempting target.

Speaking of gold, I have the impression that the Crane are paying for their abundance of it in Ivory 1. The gold scheme, like the peeps, are meant for running. It would take some adjustment to play normally again, what with the oodles of gold in Ivory 1, but the holding selection is by no means bad. But it does require you to make a choice between honour and gold. It becomes a dilemma when you reach 30 honour. Do you use everything for a home stretch and defend with everything else you have on the table or do you weather another turn by buying more warm bodies for a better defense?

Speaking of defending, everyone is squishy. Expect someone to die with every other action. The reliance of duel also means that there is a possibility that you might never get to use your focus effects. Which brings us to the next deck:

Fate

For a dueling deck, this is going to make a lot of people squirm. While the deck does have 30% of FV 4 in it, here’s where it might make you shake in your boots a bit: It also has 25% FV 1 cards.

Wow. Talk about choosing your fights. Not to mention that the number of lethal duels in the deck is exactly 2, in the form of Come One at a Time. But they can kill more than 1 peep each time if given the chance (which, most likely they won’t be since they’re going to die at the next actions anyway). Everything else just bows or occasionally, sends someone home.

So like the Dynasty deck, the duels in the Fate deck are basically honour gainers as well, first and foremost. Shinai is going to be one of the most important card in this deck, since just by winning you advance your winning condition. Thankfully, there are also cards that can unbow your peeps so that will be very useful. Imperial Summons is also there for some measure of Open control.

Summary

I like it. The deck escapes the pitfall of a “perfect” duelling deck and has solid cards that does the things that you want consistently. The wonky FV might throw some people off, but if you can control your hand and pick the right moments to initiate duels, you won’t be in any sort of trouble. Perhaps the majority amount of non-lethal duels can be a good thing, since the low FV will not kill your peeps for your opponent that easily at least.

But how does the Fate synergize with the Dynasty?

Like bread and butter.

It’s a no-brainer on what this deck wants to achieve. It wants to honour run and it wants to do it fast. With some tweaks of maximizing what you want and getting rid of the rest, the deck can really rev up to be a decent speed machine. You’ll be losing people and provinces left right and center, but you really don’t care about any of that because all you want to do with this deck is to keep one province intact by at least being equal to the opposing army when you cross 40 at the end of the 4th/5th turn or so.

It’s a good base if you want to go to the full courtier honour or dueling honour route, but it’s a really poor springboard if  you want to go military. I would hazard to say that there’s nothing for the military player in the starter at all, so a purchase is not necessary if you want to go full Iron Crane on someone. But a mixed focus would screw up the deck, so I can understand that if the designers wanted to showcase the core of a clan, nothing beats honour running when it comes to the Crane.

Inzen’s kickstart to 2015 gaming

New year of gaming. I was card game sabbatical for most of 2014. Since i don’t have dedicated gaming time, I squeeze my time here and then between…
DESTINY

Since September, most of my gaming has been Destiny. A multiplayer online first person shooter on PS3/PS4/Xbox360/XboxOne. I played on PS3 and crossbuyed for PS4. The game is mainly so-so with grievance on the RNG (Random Number Generator a.k.a. Loots) but I have been staying on the game mainly due to good friends who i get to know over the course of the gaming. I still login nightly for some raids/event or just random stuff. My OCD kicked in so my daily login is mainly to get the daily loot and to increase my storage of material for future expansion House of Wolves, which will be released sometimes March… or May apparently from reddit sources.

L5R

L5R has just released the spoiler for 20 Festival, a new sort of semi base set they are doing now. Instead of once in two years base set, they release it yearly and follow sort of MTG style rotation. I’ve more or less promised the mrs that I wont buy much L5R during the Ivory arc. So I get my decks from local players to just play for fun to satisfy the cardboard addict in me.

Also of note, this year, South East Asia region here gets two kotei. Malaysia will host on the 2nd half of the year while the 1st half will be held by Singapore. Both countries have always been lumped together back the mainly due to the low number of players. But the fact is that both countries are at least 350km apart (200 miles) and nowadays have more sizeable number of players. So it’s good to have two tournament yearly as that will keep the interest locked on. Previous years, after a kotei, the interest dies down until the next year, since that’s the next major tournament.

MTG

I have always cracked a pack or two of MTG here and there, just try my luck to see whether i can strike gold mine. Case in point, so far I’ve only cracked 10 packs of the latest mtg expansion and got an Ugin. So yeah, it covered my pack cost.
The only interest thing about mtg that caught my eye is the new casual format, tiny leaders that picked up like a storm. It’s EDH lite. Meant for one-on-one. You have a commander like EDH. 50 card deck inclusive commander. Highlander 1x copy of each except basic lands. Life starts at 25 and no commander damage. Cardpool is legacy and most importantly, you can only include cards which are 3 casting cost or lower… you got that right.. 3CC or lower. X casting cost counts as 0 for the deckbuilding purposes.
Read further on this at tinyleaders.blogspot.com

The leader choices are not as limited but there are some limitations. Interesting formats so far since you need only a bit of cards to 50 cards, so budget-wise its cheaper to EDH 100-cards. I’ll be building Kira first.. since I just love to hate… so i will get a decklist up soon.

MISC

There are still two card games that I got that didn’t see much play yet. I should get a move on to break it out and get some games in, but the reason i didn’t back then is I do not want to be the pioneer holding the fort like i did with L5R. So i will wait to see a healthier group before coming in. Two games i have in the backburner that i will play soon.. maybe… hopefully.
1) Doomtown Reloaded – AEG
2) Warhammer 40k LCG – FFG
The player base have increased a bit of sorts… but then, just last week, I have just got my hands on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for 3ds. GG.

The Fires of War – Phoenix Clan Strategy Article – by Andrew Summerhill

The Fires of War

By Andrew Summerhill

When I went to the Legend of the Five Rings World Championships this year, I went filled with elation and excitement, looking forward to the thrill of games without the usual trepidation of playing with my favourite Clan, the Phoenix, that I’ve had at other points in Ivory. Let’s face it, with every Sensei printed until the A Line in the Sand expansion giving us a weakened economy, a Stronghold whose Ability most players hardly use, and a generally lower power level of Personalities, it’s been hard for Phoenix players to feel the same passion and competitiveness that other Clans have enjoyed. But at Worlds, I felt all of this and more.

Why?

Because I was playing with the Koiso Sensei.

Playing Koiso Sensei freed my mind of the usual restrictions I think many of us players have imposed on ourselves. As many players had written off Koiso Sensei as uncompetitive, I stopped trying to find ways to get the most out of X, or manipulate the best result of Y, and instead focused on building a deck that I enjoyed playing. In every game, I felt like something cool happened, created special moments–burning units to the ground, incinerating my own men in order to stop an Honor gain in Battle Resolution…in other words, a plethora of happenings which, after the game, I could look back at and enjoy.

And then the weirdest thing happened; I started winning games.

Once I enjoyed playing the game again, I started to notice the patterns and plays that made it better. And now, with The New Order upon us, I’m more excited to be a Phoenix Clan player than I have been in a very long time. Not only does The New Order bring new options to my new favourite Sensei, but I think that the much-maligned Rae Sensei finally got the “shot of adrenaline” it needed to become a powerful but, more importantly, a fun deck in its own right. New cards like Bushido’s Scourge and Fire Kami’s Greed provide new and exciting options for Shugenja decks in general, but especially for the Phoenix, who can make use of Isawa Tenkawa with his incredible 5 Chi to cripple the enemy with huge Fear and Force-penalty Actions. Meanwhile, Final Ruin provides an aggressive answer to nearly any problem, with its ability to destroy cards with relative ease. Even better is that all of these spells allow the targeting of your own Samurai, allowing you to use them to great effect with the aforementioned Rae Sensei in order to keep the pressure on your opponents in every Battle without risking your precious Shugenja. Moreover, Tenkawa brings more than just his 5 Chi to the table, as his Open Action will help deal with Political decks trying to affect your cards in the action phase, or with Attachment “hate”, that can be the bane of Shugenja decks.

For my Fire Shugenja, I’m excited by the new options provided by Isawa Nomura and Isawa Fujigawa, both of whom instantly find a spot in my deck. Nomura allows a reactive amount of Force to suddenly hit the table, meaning my opponent suddenly has to deal with a surprisingly high-strength unit. Fujigawa helps deal with some of the harder match-ups facing Phoenix players, thanks to the Unstoppable and Courtesy keyword combination. Going second, when you’re used to going first, can affect the game of even the best player, so having an edge that will help offset that loss of momentum is a massive boon, especially when it allows your spells to be fully effective nearly all of the time. This is especially true when you end up destroying one of your Spells for a Ranged Attack, only to have a well-timed Turtle’s Shell disrupt your whole plan.

It’s not just the Spells and Shugenja in The New Order that benefit those Phoenix players with a more military mind-set, as we got some great utility actions that help keep the fires burning. Jade Ascension is an almost auto-include for many decks now, allowing you to get the greatest use of your Spells, and as the rightful masters of the Elemental kami that we are, lose no momentum for doing so. Sulphurous Swamps will help ruin a Defensive and/or Political player’s day when timed right, as he’s forced to discard most of his Fate Hand to try and stop your assault, whilst Honed to a Razor’s Edge allows Absent movement to Battlefields combined with a straightening effect, potentially twice per instance of the card thanks to the powerful Discipline Keyword.

By putting these powerful cards into the Arc environment for Phoenix, we get a deck that looks something like this:

The Eternal Temple of the Phoenix – Koiso Sensei
Dynasty (40)
1 Dark Audience
3 Alchemy Lab
2 Earthborn Temple
3 Famous Bazaar
2 Nexus of Lies
3 Productive Mine
3 Silver Mine
2 Temple of Serenity
3 Isawa Fujigawa
3 Isawa Hibana
3 Isawa Hikarou
3 Isawa Ikariya
1 Isawa Kaname, Advisor to the Ruby Champion – exp
3 Isawa Muira
3 Isawa Nomura
2 Isawa Orinoko

Fate (40)
3 Firestorm Legion
3 Family Sword
3 Burning Spirit
2 Final Ruin
3 Fire Kami’s Greed
1 Searing Siege
2 Steal the Candle’s Flame
3 The Dragon’s Talon
1 A Game of Dice
1 Creating Order
2 Fall Back!
3 Honed to a Razor’s Edge
3 Relentless
3 Sneak Attack
3 Sulphurous Swamps
2 The Turtle’s Shell
2 Way of the Phoenix

The deck focuses on one thing only, and that’s the complete destruction of your opponent’s forces once you get to Battle. Burning Spirit and Isawa Nomura mean that with a well-placed Sneak Attack, your army could be as much as 12 Force higher than the opponent expected before the Battle has even begun; this is an incredible amount of pressure to put on the enemy. Alchemy Labs can raise that total even higher, or ensure your Ranged Attacks do even more damage and are more resilient to Ranged Attack-altering effects. As every personality is an Isawa, Family Sword provides a great Force:Gold ratio and you can attach it as soon as you’re ready, never having to worry about saving it for the “right” Personality, because you can just move it to another Personality when you wish. Supporting cards like Turtle’s Shell and Relentless mean that the opponents actions don’t “stick to you”, ensuring you can keep those high Force units contributing to the Battle, while the Koiso Sensei itself means that fully half of your deck can be destroyed in a pinch to either ensure victory or deny your opponent honour from Battle Resolution.

All in all, the deck plays aggressively, attacking Turn after Turn, always costing your opponents for every defence they undertake. As long as their cost for fighting battles is higher than yours, then you’re well on your way to proving that, just like their namesake, the Phoenix can always rise from the ashes to greatness!

[The New Order] Phoenix Clan Public Letters

Public Letter

For the Great Clans of Rokugan,

I write this letter to you on behalf of the Elemental Council. They wish for me, as the voice of
the Phoenix, to deliver to you directly their opinion on a number of matters currently concerning
our beloved Empire.

There is much talk of the Divine Empress Iweko I and her two sons regarding who should ascend to take her place when she decides to step down from the throne. The Phoenix believe that tradition is what holds the Empire together. Our Empire was founded on traditions, and we have followed those traditions for over a thousand years. While the Phoenix would never wish to imply anything but respect for Iweko Shibatsu, the clan believes that moving forward into the future, especially with many of the recent events that have happened in both Rokugan and the Colonies, that tradition will be our anchor in an ever-changing and new world.

The Phoenix believe that Iweko Seikan has both a strong understanding of the traditions of Rokugan’s past, and has demonstrated his ability to muster forces in order to maintain the balance and traditions of our Empire when need be. It is clear that moving ahead, when our Divine Empress decides to cede the Throne, the eldest son should take it.

The Phoenix also believe that Seikan-sama, because of the principles and ideals he holds in high regard, would agree with the Elemental Council’s assessment about the purity of a soul and will best understand how to keep Rokugan a strong empire in light of these new discoveries. The Phoenix Clan respects all samurai, no matter their birth, but also understand that certain people, born of lineages that have mingled with those from outside the Empire, may be in need of special guidance and assistance as new threats to both the bodies and minds of samurai come to light.

We never know what the unknown holds for our dear and beloved Empire, and the Phoenix will serve as the pillars to guide those who may be more susceptible to outside influences and corruption. We will guide those who lose their way, just as we will guide the Empire, with Seikan-sama as our Emperor when that time times. The Phoenix will be on the front lines to ensure the spiritual purity of the Empire’s people, and will not shy away from doing whatever is necessary to ensure a spiritually and theologically safe Empire in the months and years to come.

The Phoenix ask that you stand with and support the Clan in this brave new and unknown world.

Shiba Tsukimi

L5R – The personality card design edition (or what was DT smoking?!)

This post will be long. BLOODY LONG. Otherwise just read this TLDR version:
What is DT doing with card design, screwing the game for most part.

If you’re in for a show, we’ll continue with my exceptionally detailed analysis on this matter having played from Imperial edition till Ivory Edition competitively so you better believe i know my SHIT. Read the rest of this entry

May 2014 Updates

L5R malaysia Kotei is only few days away.

I’ve been out of l5r for awhile, as Phoenix is not exactly stellar and not performing too well. That fits fine for me as I take some vacation time away by focusing on family for awhile. No new gaming front from me today except for four things.

1) Diablo 3 – Reaper of Souls

Back in Diablo 3. Thanks to recent Reaper of Souls and the now dead Auction House.

The changes make it worth playing again. Grind is now a must since you have to focus on finding the equipment you want and need. I took my time to level up all the characters to level 70. 4 down so far, Monk was the first to reach 70, followed by Wizard then Crusader and latest is Demon Hunter. what’s left at 62 for now is Barbarian and Witch Doctor. I initially didn’t want to spend time levelling Crusader, but a high leveled friend assisted and that shot up my Crusader from level 1 to level 65 in 2 hours. How? First you create a level crusader with Torment 6. Then your high powered friend steamrolled through and you gain massive xp. Lvl 70 in 2-3 hours tops

Crusader is now my most strongest character but needs more loot/work. Definitely can sustain herself in torment 2 but dps is quite low, so it takes awhile to kill an elite. This game will probably last me at least a few more months thanks to my OCD trying to fully equip my characters.

2) Weiss Schwarz Sword Art Online Vol2 English

Returned to Weiss Schwarz last week after managed to split the box. I take Asuna (Yellow) and Kirito (Blue) while my friend took Sugu/Leyfa (Green) and the other girl, (Red). THe set is in english, so that’s a plus. We opened three boxes and that gives us most cards but we’re short by a few RR and R. Will probably source singles for those. The game is still simple enough if you’re not competitive about it and i probably will not be competitive about this game. There’s just too much luck involved.

Playing casually makes it great though. Good for the lols. And so much Asuna.

3) Star Realms (http://starrealms.com/)

This is a very good deck building game. If you’ve played Dominion, Star trek deck building game and various stuff, this should be a familiar ground. The exception is that the game is build with MTG in mind. While you can’t quite interrupt opponent’s action via instance speed cards, there enough life gain, combo and direct damage in the game to play with. Winning objective is to reduce opponent’s life to 0. A fairly cheaply priced game, I think around USD16.99 and it’s highly addictive. Friendships have been ruined during the course of the game. 🙂 I recommend this game a lot.

4) Eve Online

Yeah. Somehow or rather i got back into eve. There are various changes from 2 years ago that it seems like almost a new game. Interface changes, new ships. Exhumer/Mining Barges reconfiguration that I almost couldn’t recognise them. Hulk is no longer the most tankier of the exhumers.

Industry changes is coming in summer. I like the new Sister of Eve ships as well, Nestor and Stratios. Exploration has been greatly simplified and it makes easier.

A lot of interesting changes but the main reason for me is that we now have more guys to play the game with. The thing about MMORPG is the community. If you play solo, then there are better things to do frankly.

So have fun. For those attending kotei 2014. All the best.