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Ersatz Nihilist

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  1. Ersatz Nihilist

    Legend of the Five Rings LCG

    If you get into the game more, you'll find yourself phasing out the Wandering Ronin and using Banzai! for those sorts of things. The main problem with the Wandering Ronin is that he's a cost 3 2/2, but you need to spend at least 1 extra fate on him for to make his ability work, which also burns his time on the field. Admittedly Banzai! only works for military challenges, but you're getting the same boost for 1 honour, rather than 1 fate + the cost of a pretty naff character. When you compare the Wandering Ronin against the Doomed Shugenja in Dragon, both of which are basically mayfly-lifespan characters, the efficiency is completely different. ... plus with the Doomed Shugenja you get the 'Shugenja' keyword, which is pretty valuable in itself. edit - On the other hand he won the game for you, so what do I know? As for comparing it to Netrunner - it's just a completely different game, and pretty much the only thing it has in common is that cards have costs and you "run" on opponents Provinces blind the first time. I'm not sure about which I prefer; I loved NR when it first came out in the same way that I love L5R now, but after a couple of cycles I started to fall out with it because I just couldn't play enough games to keep up with the evolving cardpool, which was in itself quite abstract in it's concepts. Like, when I play these games, I seem to be able to commit cards with people or monsters on them better than I can with shapes or patterns - as beautiful as Netrunner is.
  2. Ersatz Nihilist

    Star Trek TNG - CCG

    I've never actually played this one. Is it the Decipher one? Their Star Wars game was pretty good back in the day, but I wasn't really prepared to get into another CCG at that point in my life. Is this any good? I had a quick look on Youtube for a playthrough or a rules explanation, but the only thing of substance I could find was 480p and had a guy calling the game "Star Trek Cards", and he was terrible.
  3. Ersatz Nihilist

    Legend of the Five Rings LCG

    Incidentally, if you like Attachments, go for Dragon. ... and this was after a few got discarded. I kept having to play the "Don't bow after a conflict" card on him, because I couldn't face twisting twisting this back and forth every turn.
  4. Ersatz Nihilist

    Recommendations like The Elder Scrolls: Legends

    Have a read up on Mage Wars Arena. It's got deck building, and monsters and spells - as well as the concept of space in that spells have ranges, monsters can only move so far, etc etc. It's not nearly as fast paced as an online card game, though - you'll need to stick wound markers on stuff. In terms of mana management, you start with a pool of mana, and you get an income per turn. If you spend more per turn than you're getting you'll deplete your pool.
  5. Ersatz Nihilist

    Legend of the Five Rings LCG

    Yeah, you can definitely get a good feeling for it with two people on a single core set, it just has the problem that come when you've got a deck of single cards - it's inconsistent, and you know once you've played something, it's gone. I spent my entire first game holding on to Way of the Scorpion and I Can Swim as a combo, waiting for the "perfect" target which invariably never game. It turns out that for learning games you're really better off doing stuff so you, y'know - learn. I'd also recommend using the below link which has starter decks for each of the clans; these are 30/30, rather than the 22/22 Crane and Lion ones recommended in the Learn to Play; you get to see a bit more. Starter Clan Decks
  6. Ersatz Nihilist

    Legend of the Five Rings LCG

    I've been playing it, and I've dabbled in the AEG CCG; generally I try to keep clear of CCGs though as I have the collectors gene, and random card packs combined with Ebay would end up with me breaking the bank trying to collect everything. Short Review: I'm enjoying it, thumbs up. A Bit more Detail: The first problem you're going to have is that in only owning a single core set, you're not going to have a vast amount of deck building options, in fact you're going to struggle to make full 40/40 decks with it. On the upside, the first cycle is going to be pumped out at the rate of one a week in starting in November, which means that they're going to be dumping 120 more cards (in triplicate) into the pool really fast, which will help out with your options. Obviously, your other choices are to get one or two more core sets, which certain customer groups balk at, but I pretty much side with FFG, as I reckon it's better to get more variety and allow the customer to scale themselves as the core sets are most 1x copies. I mean, look at Netrunner. My third copy of that netted about 7 cards for £30, at least with the newer games they do, there's a lot less waste! In terms of the game itself, there's a lot to like about it: - Economy - One of the bigger problems with the L5R CCG was that a huge chunk of your deck needed to be devoted to economy, and it's really really hard to make economy cards interesting. FFG have done away with that and all clans have a similar income. Additional income is made at various decision points throughout the game. If you pass first in the Dynasty Phase, you get paid. Currency is stacked on unclaimed rings, so when those rings are next selected you get the money. So basically, if you need more cash, you make the decision to get it, but that isn't always your optimal route. If it is, great. Permanent, ongoing board wipe forever - I'm a massive fan of board wipe mechanisms; Game of Thrones was amazing because of the Valar Morghoulis card - this game has your characters permanently and slowly fading away, so you not only have to decide what characters you want to get out, but also how long you want to keep them for by paying more resources for them. It means that serious board threats really only need to be weathered if you can't deal with them. Reduced snowballing - in the original CCG, if you had a province broken, you were pretty much into a death spiral; you had less cards to play out, which meant that you were less likely to be able to mount a successful defence, let alone attack - so you'd likely get more provinces broken. In this version, if a card comes up in a broken province, you always get a chance to put it into play before it's lost, so while you're making decisions under a bit of pressure, they're likely not going to be all that different to the decisions you'd make anyway. The fact that incomes are now fixed for the most part means that nobody gets dicked over because they didn't draw their money cards - but of course it can all go a bit wrong still if all your characters are high cost; but that's a deck building issue. A Game of Inches - In terms of conflicts, this game is very much a game of inches. Game of Thrones pretty much had events like "All attackers die. lol", which was often utterly horrendous and changed the dynamics of the game enormously fast; L5R makes lots of tiny adjustments with it's events and characters, so it's more of a balancing act. I've had a lot of success as Scorpion by just nudging ahead of my opponent little bit by little bit each time, depleting my hand as it's easier for the Scorpion to rebuild theirs. Decision Points - There's a lot of decisions to make in this game. What characters to play? Should I pass first? How many cards to I want to draw and is that going to hand too much honour to my opponent? Should I defend? If so, by how much? Which ring is in play? Is this a Military of Political conflict? What are the effects of the region I'm attacking? etc. There's constant questions, and while sometimes the decisions you'll make are "blind" (such as selecting card draw), you can always make educated guesses from the state of the board. There are a few things I like less: - Length of play - This can be a long game. Expect your first few games to hit at least two hours. This is partially because everyone is reading the cards they have but also because of the density of the decision points. Added to that, if one player really gives up on attack and commits to defending they're setting themselves up to lose, but over a really long timescale. Generally I'm finding that it's worth allowing a province to break if you can trade for more. It's natural for people to want to protect themselves more than they should when they're learning the game, but it can lead to frustration. If it helps for reference, I've got 6 or 7 games under my belt now and we're getting down towards an hour. Once we start learning the tricks of the clans and breaking provinces is less of a "let me work this out" headache, I reckon we'll hit 45 mins. This game is heavy for a card game - I can play a couple of games of Game of Thrones or Netrunner on the trot, no problem. By the end of one of these I'm a little bit brain-wasted. This is not a game I'll ever be doing tournaments for. The Community - Oh dear god, the L5R community are a bunch of crazies. Like 21 pages of discussion on whether a character depicted in the art on the card is wearing their clothes the right way. Should that be tucked in on the left or the right? Perhaps we're looking at a picture of of somebodies reflection in the Mirror? It can be quite offputting, and while a lot of people are friendly, there's a lot of snobbery around L5R in terms of lore, but then people have spent about 2 decades learning the intricate history of a place that doesn't exist. FFG have of course chosen to reboot, but that's not stopping it all, and I expect any deviation from the expected in the future is going to be met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Overall, I would recommend the game. The rules are pretty intuitive and easy to pick up - and generally you'll learn it fast. there are some deck building quirks I missed the first time (no more than 10 characters in your Conflict Deck is one I missed initally), and I'm really enjoying it a lot!
  7. They're suffering from PTSD. The console wars are no joke.
  8. I think you mean lord it over rather than laud. The latter would mean to heap praise surely? But I take your point. I'm totally one of those brute force PC people (although full disclosure: Have pre-ordered an X, because it looks aces), but I'm very firmly of the belief that framerate looks great, and is more important than anything else in terms of game graphics. Obviously, you might feel differently, but I don't want to get into the nightmare of prepending everything I say with "in my opinion". In all honesty, if console games all came with the option of "dial back graphics to always run at 60fps", I would totally ditch the PC. edit - Added "Graphics". Obviously if a game is super amazing, I'll play at low fps.
  9. Consistent frame rate > Frame rate > Everything else.
  10. Which is always.
  11. Ersatz Nihilist

    Gaming Refunds: What's Fair?

    Yawn.
  12. Ersatz Nihilist

    Gaming Refunds: What's Fair?

    I'm actually pretty likely to buy a Scorpio based on this policy. So it's not even vaguely an anti-Xbox thread. But I guess the tedious console wars don't fight themselves.
  13. Ersatz Nihilist

    Gaming Refunds: What's Fair?

    What a load of rubbish. How about the platform holders just say that if you've played it for less than 2 hours, it's eligible? Steam absolutely gets on peoples cases if they're abusing it - so let's make the default stance pro- rather than anti-consumer.
  14. Ersatz Nihilist

    Gaming Refunds: What's Fair?

    We clearly do. Your idea is terrible because developers will either set 1 minute trial periods, or reject anything that doesn't fit their narrow definition of "broken". Who's going to police that? Demos are the answer. Either that, or let people demo it for themselves with a refund policy. Or I guess you could be okay with Piracy as a third option?
  15. Ersatz Nihilist

    Gaming Refunds: What's Fair?

    Developers need to start offering demos more regularly, then.
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