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Subject: And then you WHAT?! rss

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Jessey
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War of Honor - Session Report
I picked up War of Honor within days of my local store getting it. I'm new to the L5R CCG with Before the Dawn and have been eager to get into War of Honor as I believe it will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back (that is the resistance a few of my friends have to this wonderful game). Also, there are 3 of us who regularly play and it's awkward when one person has to assume the non-glamorous role of 'watcher'.

I got home, shredded the shrink and dove into the box... The reviews will assure you that the components are (as usual) phenomenal. But you didn't come here for a component breakdown () so let's get to the Session.

The Daimyo's:
Myself leading the Phoenix to War. My clan of allegiance, we brought an army of priests and smooth talkers hoping to end hostilities with minimal casualties... of course we also brought ample spell scrolls to *cause* casualties should things turn ugly (and that's what I love about Phoenix, ever prepared to burn your house down).

My friend, leading the Scorpion to War. His clan of allegiance and my most loyal CCG partner. He is the most competitive person I know and he is willing to do whatever it takes to win, which is why he's a Scorpion.

The New Guy (TM). I was out of the room when he picked his deck (he picked first) and for some reason Scorpion let the guy who has never seen L5R before (or a CCG for that matter) play Dragon. Why, I'll never know. At the time I thought it would be a disaster (Enlightenment kind of greatly benefits from actually understanding the game so you can play the rings...)

The Game:
After a 30 minutes rules run-down we dove in, assuring The New Guy that by the time his first battle was over that everything we had said during the rules prep would make sense.

Things began at the usual pace. Everyone except The New Guy bought 2 holdings on their first turn and was happier for it. The New Guy bought a holding and a nice cheap personality (he happened to be going last meaning he had the Bamboo Harvesters -- I'm not sure that he realized not buying 2 holdings wouldn't hurt him too badly relative to us but hey, it worked out for him). I had a horrendous starting Dynasty in which both of my decks honour gaining events turned up... and it was impossible for me to make 8.

We meandered along building up until T3 when The New Guy asks me what "Changing the Paths" does. I explain it. Then he declared "I'd like to attack someone" and the Scorpion promptly said "Attack Jessey (that's me), he's better than both of us at the game" (*sigh* that is the role I assume with all games, because I own them I am therefore the best-- I would like to point out that I rarely win...) So they attacked me. Two on one... and what Fortress do they target -- why my Open action Honour gain... *grumble grumble*

The battle was fierce, lots of dishonouring and Monk-tastic-mania. I proceeded to use a variety of run-away and gain honour, send-home and gain honour to get a net of 8 honour and eject all of my personalities from the battle I had no hope of winning (further fueling Scorpion's claim that I would win this game). During all of that the Dragon used Changing Paths to get out his Ring of Air. Once I was out of there the Scorpion used some strategies against his own personalities to finish off the requirements for a Ring of Water and they broke my province... they both got 1 Military 1 Enlightenment and I got 1 Honor... and lost a province and Fortress.

My turn! I declare war on Scorpion, target his Open Dishonour fortress and the Dragon joined me. I ticked honour that turn, Dragon managed to drop Void during the battle, I dropped Earth and the Scorpion player complained. Then I use my Limited fortress to swap with a Scorpion one removing him from adjacency to Toshi Ranbo. I'm a tad vengeful.

Scorpion up, he points out how Dragon's winning at 2 Enlightenment, 2 Military and still has all his provinces in tact. I point out how the removal of my Open action fortress has made it impossible for he and I to ally. He complains, attacks me, I oppose with 2 personalities and in the end he can't break my province, can't tick dishonour, and I tick honour, he complains more and buys some people and it's the Dragon.

He declares war on me again with the Scorpion (sine I just had a Province recovered via the Honour Path of Victory). They maul me again since I didn't oppose them. Dragon shrugs and drops Ring of Earth. He's Military 3, Enlightenment 3.

On my turn Scorpion points out how Dragon is winning (I point out how he hasn't made it any better, being responsible for 2 of the 3 ticks he's accrued). Scorpion denies responsibility and blames my vengeful attack. I point out that the fortress he flipped face up last turn puts us in ally range again. He says "I'll join you" so we go to battle together, Phoenix and Scorpion - the twins again united (for those who don't know, Bayushi - the Kami who founded the Scorpion and Shiba - the Kami of Phoenix, were twins).

Dragon opposes with his army of monks. I send every Shugenja to battle I've got and the Scorpion brings all his unbowed guys. It's shaping up to be one heck of a fight. We take turns doing mean things to each other... and suddenly the Dragon ejects his last personality from the battle with a Settling the Homeless.. I was at 2 honour for the turn and needed 2 more to tick (after I bought a personality in Dynasty Phase), but we'd taken the province... so I pass... Scorpion was at 2 dishonour and needed 6 more to tick.. so he plays Restoring Order on my dishonoured Shug... I freak out:

"YOU DID WHAT?!"

...and he shrugs, 'we're still winning' I count Force - we are still good. I count again, to be sure, then I play Desperate Mediation - getting me my Honour needed and we're still winning. He then bows one of my Shugs for more dishonour... I count again.. we no longer had the strength to break the province -- Dragon player is in hysterics at this point. I eject using my Fortress Battle on my own personality (I was the attacker!) and the Scorpion had no more valid targets for dishonour.

Net result: I honour ticked, played a Ring of Air, lost a good shugenja and spell, Dragon lost nothing and Scorpion wasted a bunch of cards... not what I had hoped for.

Fast-forward to Dragon. He single handedly mauls a Scorpion province. No rings, Military 4. When play rolled back to him again (I was now very close to winning myself) he declares an attack on me (who was heavily under manned since the Scorpion had decided to swing at me on his last turn... and killed everyone and got another Military for himself). I valiantly defend - this is the game deciding moment. If Dragon wins he'll be Military 5 and it's settled.

We go back and forth, I do some clever send homes, he moves back in (oddly enough moves in a different monk from the one who I sent home - who was far more frightening to oppose...), force boosts and I play some City of Tears Spell Ninja tricks and use Consumed by Five Fires to eliminate the biggest threat. Then Scorpion counts force - we each have a dishonoured personality on the field and the Dragon has cards in hand - I'm winning by 4 so he uses his action to bow my 4F Shugenja -- declaring he'd rather we tied and everyone died then I win.

"YOU DO WHAT?!"

.. I protest and then Dragon Settles the Homeless sending home my last unbowed guy leaving me with 0 Force. For a moment Scorpion looks like a fool but he realizes I can save my province with my Ring of Earth.

I look at my hand, I have the cards to boost province strength beyond what Dragon can possibly muster - and with my Ring of Earth his Ring of Earth is little help... Dragon shows his hand to me and says he has no battle actions left (new players, eh?) and then uses his Ring of Earth to at least make the effort, forcing me to use mine... which I do.

"I bow my Ring of Earth, and lower my Province Strength by three."

Scorpion: "YOU WHAT?!"

Phoenix: "I ensured your defeat."

Dragon: "Wait, I win!?"

Scorpion: "YOU WHAT?!"

Phoenix: "Yes, you win."

Dragon: *can't speak, he's laughing too hard*


That was the first night of War of Honour and we're all looking forward to another. The New Guy (Dragon) wants to come back for more L5R next week
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J A
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Nice session report.

Hopefully War of Honor can introduce more new blood in your area, although it sounds like the Scorpion player whines too much - which may be a reason for prospective players not wanting to have a game.

Candi wrote:
I eject using my Fortress Limited on my own personality (I was the attacker!) and the Scorpion had no more valid targets for dishonour.


I'm not sure this is correct, I thought you could only take a limited action during your action phase?
 
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Jessey
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Jangus wrote:
Nice session report.

Hopefully War of Honor can introduce more new blood in your area, although it sounds like the Scorpion player whines too much - which may be a reason for prospective players not wanting to have a game.

Candi wrote:
I eject using my Fortress Limited on my own personality (I was the attacker!) and the Scorpion had no more valid targets for dishonour.


I'm not sure this is correct, I thought you could only take a limited action during your action phase?


You are right, it's a Battle action.

And he's not as much of a whiner as I've made him out to be. Mostly he was just stating facts, such as 'I don't think I can make 8 Dishonour or burn your province.. what a waste' - to which I smiled brightly -- he's probably the easiest to get along with guy I know.

Our little group has grown from one (me!) to now three dedicated and 2 Uber Casual. So far I've just been introducing my friends and seeing how it falls with them, but now that I've burned through everyone (and scored 3) I'm turning my eye to seeing who else in this area plays (which I have via forums to no avail).

I'm hoping to run a Learn to Play event of some capacity in a couple weeks, and a Constructed after that... hopefully with Stronghold Store support!
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