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I am thinking of going into either L5R or AGOT. The theme seem to be similar, but nevermind that. I am basically searching for a more challenging game (as in difficult choices to make) but without complicated rules to learn. Both games can be played with many players, but I would only want to focus on two players.

By comparing these two games, which game focuses more on tactical decisions? Which game focus more on deck building? Which game has rules that is easier to learn? Ultimately, which is more fun (for a two player game)

Both games seems to have many different types of cards, as in plot cards, spells, personalities, attachments,events..... I think this makes them more difficult to learn compared to other more simple ones like Yugioh. (only monster, trap, spells)

By the way, although I normally prefer the LCG model, it doesn't matter that L5R is a CCG. I am more interested in the game mechanics and the decisions to make while playing rather that collecting all the rare cards.

Thanks.
 
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David Boeren
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I don't know how many people are experienced in both of them. I will say that right now L5R has free downloadable cards and decks for all factions, so grab them while you can and you can try out the game.

Personally though, I'd go with one of the LCGs. I've only had a little experience with L5R but it seemed a bit bland to me. That is, the card special abilities seemed like mostly rehashes of the same few basic actions - exhaust a card, send a card home, send a card back, make a ranged attack. Not a lot of variety in my impression. There is some, but when comparing it to the Call of Cthulhu LCG which is the game I'm most familiar with it didn't seem to offer nearly as much creativity and tactical decisions.

Now, I don't really have experience with A Game of Thrones either. But, when I browse their cards in an online deckbuilder it looks similar to Call of Cthulhu - cards have a wide variety of special abilities. I expect there would be a significantly greater number of interesting deck building decisions as well as tactical decisions because of this.

If you're still open to other games, and you're OK with a dedicated 2p game, I would suggest you also check out Call of Cthulhu as a possibility. Because it allows free mixing of factions, it's got more variety I feel than A Game of Thrones which is effectively single-faction with the ability to maybe put in a couple of "foreign" cards.
 
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Conan McNamara
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Brunswick
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I haven't played L5R, but I love AGoT. It's awesome two player. I've played about 40 games, 3 have been multiplayer and that's quite fun too.

AGoT has some fiddly rules, my friend and I still have to check the FAQ when we have a card to play in response played in response to a character's ability triggered by something else. This is the exception though, it's almost always straightforward.

If you have any interest in the theme for AGoT I say go for it, it's a great game, tons of fun to make decks, and playing the houses from the series rules! (though I was playing this before I read the books, in fact the game inspired me to read the books).

Cheers.
 
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Mark Hendrix
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I love AGOT as a card game and I do admit that it being a LCG is a really strong draw point for me. I do think it plays well as a 2-player and especially so for someone looking for fun and not a tournie competitive style of play. The core set easily gives 4 pre-constructed decks with different styles of play so a new player who wants more cards can figure out what suits them.

If you are looking at L5R CCG, a new entry that may allow easy entry with this "L5R world" is War of Honor which is a boxed set of L5R decks and is built as a "modified" style of play to facilitate entry into the L5R CCG. I think it would be worth considering as well.
 
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Can you guys tell me more about which combat is more interesting? (L5R or AGOT)
I actually love combat themed games. As far as I know, some factions in L5R can avoid combat.
 
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Albert Jr. Cukingnan
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Though its possible to win without attacking in AGOT, combat is very very likely to happen.

As far as mechanics and overall game goes, I enjoy both, but I find AGOT to be a faster and quicker game. A problem I have with L5 is that games can stall to the point that the table gets cluttered by personalities and holdings. AGOT keeps the table relatively cleaner.

However, one major thing is that L5's combat is usually more active due to fate cards and the number of battle actions that get thrown around all the time. Event cards are less frequent in AGOT but there's still a lot of interaction in combat if the players know what they are doing.

Also, L5's cards, even though they squeeze fluff in card effects, are usually easier to understand. Fantasy Flight Games is quite terrible in their card wording so AGOT rather falls flat here, specially with timing issues.

As for focus on deck building, I would say that both games are on par but if I had to pick one, I'd say AGOT is better. As far as cards go, its easier to pick the stronger and better card in L5R. However, AGOT cards usually require more thought, with players only realizing how a certain card can be exploited after a few plays. L5R though, has a bigger card pool and I personally love the card layout and face.

Ironically though, AGOT is faster to teach, though newer players will have a harder time grasping the nuances of the cards. L5 takes longer to teach, but newer players will get how the cards work faster, as card effects are more direct, as opposed to AGOT. That said though, I find it easier to predict what will happen in L5 as opposed to AGOT.

Games in AGOT also tend to be less one sided, allowing a player behind to make a come back despite how grim things look, which is harder in L5 as your provinces diminish.

As for which is the better game, I prefer AGOT though that just may be me. I like the theme better and I think it plays better. However, L5 is still good imo, and those looking for a mishmashed Japanese theme should love it.

I must apologize by telling you to just try both out if you still haven't. AGOT is easy enough with the core set. For L5, try War of Honor and if you end up liking it, the upcoming Emperor Edition starts a new cycle of card legality, good for 2 years, and have more or less pre-constructed decks for each clan which you can use for War of Honor too.
 
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