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Subject: Spring Season Cards rss

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Mr. Octavius
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Surprised no one has started a thread about this yet. In a recent update CMON has revealed most of the Spring season cards with a short write-up about each: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coolminiornot/rising-su...

Personally I like the idea of certain core cards that will always be available in Spring. Path of the Ninja in particular gives a player a consistent way to lower their honor if they want to go for an Oni Strategy. (It's the only method I can think of for doing so, other than just not taking actions that increase your honor and hoping everyone else stays above you.)

Way of Shogun seems like a very important first buy for Bonsai clan so that they actually have some coin to spend during War, so I'm glad to see they will always have the option available as well (provided Koi and Lotus don't lock them out of it with the first mandate). I was thinking that as the Bonsai clan it's not hugely advantageous to take the Training Mandate, as upgrades are free for you anyway so it's more beneficial if other people take training instead. However, if other people at the table aren't willing to let you take those free upgrades on their turns it could be useful to take Way of Shogun and then Training as often as you can, forcing everyone else to spend their coins before War while you'll have at least 6, or to fall behind on upgrades.

'Honesty' would be better with lower player counts, as in a 3 player game you could potentially get 14vps out of it, while as with 6 players you're getting at most 8. Either way it doesn't seem like a huge swing in endgame scoring and probably won't be in high demand, but as a free season card could be worth grabbing if you can't afford or don't want to pay for any of the other upgrades.

Personally I'd rather get Path of Sword over Path of the Lion. Same cost, and as long as anyone does a recruit mandate during the season you get at least as much extra power, with the potential for more. Sure, the Daimyo can't be captured or betrayed, but how often is your Daimyo going to be in a war with another player by itself? You're opponent can just capture the bushi standing beside him anyway. (This may change when other season's cards are revealed. Maybe with the right cards and Summer's 'Daimyo' monster it will be feasible to contest territories with a single figure.)

Benevolence looks really tempting to me from a negotiation perspective. If I'm spending a coin anyway, I can try to bribe another player with that coin and gain honor and two VP in the process. "Hey, pick training as your mandate and I'll give you my benevolence coin." "I play the Marshall mandate. I'll give you the coin from building my stronghold if you don't move into this territory." "Ally with me and all my benevolence coins are yours." Win-Win.
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I am surprised to that this is the first in-depth thread about the season card update. Since I saw this update though I have tons of concerns/questions regarding these cards. While this is a single mandate action (and a couple of other options to bring these cards into play). It seems to me the hardest to balance.

The first and foremost thing is, that the monsters are extremely good looking and cool. But I would be worried that these would be picked generally always first over the "boring" card choices that enhance some aspect. Of-course it depends what "engine" you are building and at what time the first train mandate is played. Of-course in a 3 player game this will definitely be more a competition for the monsters. While in a 6-player it will be that most of the time people are forced to pick 2/3 cards.

As for the card design on honer. I am surprised that this is bland text. "You loose honor", instead of symbol for honor. More pictures/symbols in my eyes is always better. Cause I do play with people who are not always as fluent in English, but symbols certainly helps to fix this gap. Same thing really goes for force. Or atleast make the words that are "key" on a card stand out, like they made bushi/shinto bold.

I also wonder about the set A/B, are these exclusive for balance? Or can one interchange the cards and build a custom season deck. I was also surprised not to see set C as they mention there are 3 rotating sets. And where do the extra monsters fit in. How are these added to the seasons? It seems like Komainu and Oni of Skulls are mandatory monsters that are always in play during this season, since they are in the core set.

I also wonder if there will be an incentive system to get less useful season cards. Would be interesting if the players could buy a season cards, and then AFTER put a optional coin (or a number of coins), on other season card(s), making those more attractive for other players to pick. But also putting coins on the cards, that might not be useful for that player, so they will have to wager if it's useful for them to buy that card or not. Since the round will come back to the train mandate player. Everyone will be enticed by the coins on the cards. This could surely also play into the alliances well. I'll put a coin on a season card you want ... if you ... etc. Perhaps the benefit, for the people putting on a coin, if that card is bought, one could get points. Perhaps for balance the coins need to be waved off after a player picks a season card, or they can simply stay on the cards for even the other players. I am not sure about the last bit since this is a balance issue.
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Mr. Octavius
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Velorian wrote:
The first and foremost thing is, that the monsters are extremely good looking and cool. But I would be worried that these would be picked generally always first over the "boring" card choices that enhance some aspect. Of-course it depends what "engine" you are building and at what time the first train mandate is played. Of-course in a 3 player game this will definitely be more a competition for the monsters. While in a 6-player it will be that most of the time people are forced to pick 2/3 cards.


There's always 7 mandates played each season, whether you play with 3 or 6, so there will be more competition for hot season cards with 6 players as roughly the same number of Training mandates will be played but more people are buying cards.

I could see people wanting to grab the monsters on their first play, but that impulse will get knocked out of them the first time they see someone's powered up Oni of Skulls get neutralized be being taken prisoner. Komainu is good for someone who wants to contest the Kami tiles, but Oni of Skulls doesn't impress me very much. I'd much rather take Path of Ninja (which would make the Oni somewhat tempting on a second training mandate) or Way of Shogun. Personally I'm most interesting in grabbing Benevolence first (as long as I'm not Bonsai Clan) and see what deals I can try to convince people to go for without them actually costing me anything.

I see what you're saying about symbols. I could go for more symbols on cards (Force could easily be a katana) but sometime you reach a point where too many symbols causes confusion. What would you use for honor? I could easily see people getting honor and vp confused if they both just had a random symbol. (Making the keywords bold on all the cards would be a good choice though.)

Quote:
I also wonder about the set A/B, are these exclusive for balance? Or can one interchange the cards and build a custom season deck. I was also surprised not to see set C as they mention there are 3 rotating sets. And where do the extra monsters fit in. How are these added to the seasons? It seems like Komainu and Oni of Skulls are mandatory monsters that are always in play during this season, since they are in the core set.


I was also surprised by A/B being exclusive to each other, especially since all of the cards in set B cause players to have more coins. Maybe Benevolence can cause too much of a power swing if the available coins in a game are low? Way of the Shogun will be in high demand if you're using set A, as it is the only card in Spring that gives extra coins. I'm also curious if you randomly select A/B/C for each season, or if set B is selected for Spring do you use set B for Summer and Autumn as well?

Set C wasn't shown as it's still being designed/tested.

My guess is the KS monsters will either say which card to swap out for them, a set to use them in (create a 'set D' with [KS monsters] + [existing season cards]), or what season/set to add them to and how many you can add per game.

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I also wonder if there will be an incentive system to get less useful season cards.


Which season cards do you consider less useful? I would guess the incentive is cost. 'Honesty' doesn't seem hugely useful, but it's free. Path of Warlord may not give you a lot of coins over the course of the game, but it's cheap.
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