Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game

Children of the Empire, Fantasy Flight’s latest expansion for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, is a massive expansion featuring 234 cards (three copies of each of 76 cards and one copy of six cards). Unlike previous expansions that focused on a single clan or a cycle of events, this expansion does not begin any new cycle nor cater to any one clan, making this expansion the perfect compliment to the core set.  Instead, this expansion focuses on new mechanics and themes.

The first new mechanic is Composure.  Composure is considered to be maintained as long as your honor bid is lower than your opponent.  Each clan has new cards that have different effects that can be activated only if they have maintained their composure. For the Scorpion Clan, who rely on high-honor bids, maintaining composure will be difficult, but their Courtier can switch honor dials with their opponent to regain composure and causing your opponent to lose his.

This expansion places a heavy emphasis on duels.  Every clan will have a new character type called a duelist to add to their ranks.  Each duelist makes use of the rewritten template “Initiate a duel” which provides clearer language than that previously provided on cards like Policy Debate.   Each clan’s duelist is unique and reflects the values and strengths of their clan.  Moreover, some events will trigger a duel, and some attachments are more powerful when used in a duel.

Children of the Empire does a good job reflecting the living aspect of a living card game.  Several event cards in this expansion reflects the events that have been described in short stories and novels set in Rokugan.  For example, “In Defense of Rokugan” recreates the sacrifice made by Tomonatsu describe in the short story “Dark Hands of Heaven” by Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda.

Lastly, Children of the Empire includes multiple neutral cards, including a new version of Akodo Toturi, who was originally a Lion Clan Champion seen in the core set.  In this expansion, he serves the emperor and can activate special powers as long as he maintains Imperial Favor. In addition to this champion, the Imperial ranks include courtiers, magistrates, and even duelists.

Children of the Empire is certainly worthy of being called a premium expansion. Go to Fantasy Flight Games to learn more about Children of the Empire.

Following the announcement that Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) is ending Android: Netrunner The Card Game, fans of the other Living Card Games (LCG) produced by FFG may have some concerns.  Fantasy Flight released a blog post on the topic in order to provide additional perspective.

The post is primarily a ‘Question & Answer’ style format.  FFG Head of Studio, Andrew Navaro, and Card Game Manager, Mercedes Opheim, provide their thoughts on LCGs in general, current production approaches, and how things are evolving going forward.  Developers for games like Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, Arkham Horror: The Card Game and The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, weigh in on their respective games with thoughts on how the past year progressed, current challenges for each game, and what to expect in the upcoming year.

You can read the entire blog post here.

FFG has announced an upcoming release to Legend of the Five Rings:  The Card Game.  Whispers of Shadow and Steel is a novella set in the fictional land of Rokugan.  This is the second installment of Legends of the Five Rings Fiction, but the first to include 2 new upgraded art cards that can be used in L5R:TCG.  This novella is approximately 100 pages long and features the Scorpion Clan, and specifically, Bayushi Yojiro, one of this clan’s characters.

There will be three copies of each card, for a total of 6 cards, which will be tucked inside the book.  The first card is an extended art version of Bayushi from the Imperial Cycle:

As a MagistrateBayushi Yojiro alters the rules of conflicts—in his case, ignoring the effects of status tokens on participating characters. This can enhance the dishonorable Scorpions around him, and erase the bonus of your opponent’s honorable characters.

The second card is from the upcoming Elemental Cycle for this game, and features an ability unique to the Scorpion Clan:  Infiltrator:

Infiltrator is an attachment that allows you, as an action, to reveal the top card of your opponent’s conflict deck and either play it as if it were in your hand or discard it.

As an attachment, you can repeat this process every turn, as long as your infiltrator is in play, and as long as your bid remains higher than your opponent’s. This allows you to infiltrate your opponent’s conflict deck and turn their very best weapons against them—a tactic well befitting a Scorpion.

From FFG:

They’re already existing cards (or soon to be existing cards) with full art. They’ll look different than what will be in the standard LCG packs, but will function the same in-game (same stats, abilities, etc.). From a pure gameplay perspective, these promotional cards won’t be exclusive to people who purchase the book, but if you’re looking for the fantastic alt-art cards to make your deck ‘pop’, these are for you.

There is yet no release date set for Whispers of Shadow and Steel, but it is available for preorder from both local retailers and FFG.

For a review of Legends of the Five Rings, click here and for more information on this expansion, click here 

There have been a number of product updates from Fantasy Flight Games with some new cycles on the way for their Living Card Games and expansions for their big box games.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a Living Card Game (new, fixed content is released each month) for 1-4 players in which players are investigators in a world inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction. The game has cycles (story arcs) where players create a deck for an investigator which they upgrade through the course of the cycle based on experience which they earn.

The Forgotten Age is the next cycle in which players may choose from five new investigators including Ursula Downs, Leo Anderson, Finn Edwards, and Calvin Wright. The latest article on the Fantasy Flight Games website spotlights Calvin Wright.

Designer, Matt Newman:

“Calvin made his original debut as a promotional investigator for a special Arkham Horror event many years ago. Most players never got the chance to play with Calvin, so we wanted to add him to the official roster of investigators across all of our Arkham Horror Files games. We decided to take this opportunity to expand Calvin’s backstory and themes of sacrifice and altruism that make Calvin unique among other investigators.” [source]

For more details about The Forgotten Age and Calvin Wright read Matt Newman’s article on the Fantasy Flight Games website.

Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition: Sanctum of Twilight Expansion

In Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, players are investigators in a world based on H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction. The game takes place in various environments which are represented by tiles. Investigators are represented by miniatures which move across the tiles to encounter horrors and look for clues. The game is assisted by a digital application which adds ambiance and controls the flow of the story.

The Sanctum of Twilight expansion adds the Silver Twilight Lodge which is run by the most influential citizens of Arkham. They gather there to do business, plan parades, and lobby politicians … but also to enact secret rituals. The expansion adds two new investigators, Charlie Kane and Lily Chen, as well new spells, items, mechanics, and a new monster. Read the full preview on the Fantasy Flight Games website.

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

A new Rookery variant has been added to A Game of Thrones: The Card Game which encourages a new style of game play. The “Rookery” is a set of twelve cards which players can bring to their game and use to swap with cards in their draw and plot decks. Players can do this after seeing their opponent’s faction and agenda but before they draw their opening hand. In order to celebrate this new Rookery variant a Great Hall event has been added to the 2018 Organized Calendar which will happen after the Regional Championships have begun and will have prize support.

Eight intro decks have also been added to the game representing:

  • House Stark
  • House Lannister
  • House Greyjoy
  • House Baratheon
  • House Tyrell
  • House Martell
  • House Targaryen
  • Night’s Watch

These decks are designed to introduce new players to the game and highlight the unique features of each faction. Each pre-constructed deck contains 69 cards which is broken down into a 60 card deck, a faction card, an agenda card, and 7 plot cards.

Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game

Read a new piece of fiction set in the world of Legend of the Five Rings called “Repentance Does Not Come First” by Robert Denton III. The story focuses on the Phoenix Clan who bear the soul of Rokugan and try to do so without losing their own. Earth Scion Isawa Tadaka senses an approaching darkness and has a plan to stop it but at what cost? You can read the short fiction on their website.

This also ties into the Elemental Cycle, the next cycle for the Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. This cycle will be released as 6 packs over the course of 6 weeks and emphasizes the five elemental rings of Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void. For more details you can check out their press release.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced that they will be releasing The Sword and the Spirits, a new novella by Robert Denton III set in the world of Legend of the Five Rings. Physical copies of the novella will include two exclusive alternate art cards for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game.

The novella will focus on the Phoenix Clan and their investigation into an elemental disturbance and the possibly dark secrets of a vassal family located in the mountains. While investigating the murder, Isawa Tadaka and Shiba Tsukune will stumble upon a conspiracy ancient in nature.

Shiba Tsukune wasn’t supposed to become the Champion of the Phoenix Clan, but their ancient sword chose her. Trained as a samurai warrior, she was to be the bodyguard of Isawa Tadaka, a powerful shugenja—and the man she loved. Although her new duties have drawn them apart, she refuses to stand by and watch as Tadaka falls to the darkness within him.

Tsukune follows Tadaka north to Cliffside Shrine, home of the Kaito family, where he must investigate the mysterious death of a prominent priestess. All around them, the shrine shows signs of decay and desecration, and the wards that have bound an evil demon for centuries are fraying. What secrets are the Kaito family keeping? And can Tsukune save Tadaka from descending down a dark path before it’s too late?

Sword in the Spirits will include over 100 pages of tales designed to compliment Legends of the Five Rings lore. It will be released to coincide with Disciples of the Void, a Phoenix Clan Pack for Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game.

In addition to the novella, The Sword and the Spirits will include two alternate art cards for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game.

Kaito Kosori will be an alternate art card for a card debuting in Disciples of the Void. The cards will be the first time a character from Kaito family makes an appearance in Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game. Kosori will honor the family tradition of bow use combined with mystical elements.

The Second card will feature extended art of Ofushikai, the sword that chose Shiba Tsukune as Clan Champion. Ofushukai is not included in Disciples of the Void, so for now will not be legal for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game tournament play until it is released in a Dynasty Pack later in 2018.

About Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game

Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game published by Fantasy Flight Games. The game is set in Rokugan, the original setting for the Legend of the Five Rings collectible card game published by AEG. Players create decks of clan specific cards from the base game and supplemental decks when preparing to do battle. Two players will battle for 45-90 minutes.