Legend of the Five Rings

Tista Minis

Posted on November 19 2021

Legend of the Five Rings

The card game is a fantastic two-player game that can be played by using the base game. You and your opponent should take control of one of the seven clans and must fight each other for military or political dominance in a fictional land . 


Using cards from your hand, you must be the first player to take your opponent's strength. However, always be careful of your opponent’s manners to avoid embarrassing your clan and even worse-l lose the game.


Versions and expansions


As one of the best trading card games, there are numerous expansions of it, and they will continue to be so until the end of the series.


Clan war


One of the most notable is Clan War, released in 2020, a significant box expansion that adds 234 cards. Interestingly, it also introduces the possibility of involving up to six players instead of the usual two.


Children of the Empire


Children of the Empire is another 'premium expansion. There are also 234 cards to the game, and this time with a focus on building the original imperial theme. There are no significant changes in gameplay mechanics, rather just a bunch of new cards to add additional color.


Otherwise, there are many more minor expansions, usually divided into 60-card Dynasty packs and 78-card Clan packs, focusing on building specific clans.


Unboxing Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game


  • 7 Stronghold cards
  • 117 dynasty cards
  • 98 conflict cards
  • 17 province cards
  • 20 status cards
  • 40 cards of destination
  • 50 tokens of honor
  • Five ring pieces
  • One first player chip
  • Two dials of honor
  • One imperial favor card
  • Five role cards
  • Two reference cards

In the game one embodies one of the great clans of Rokugan (6 at the beginning) who are engaged in a constant struggle for territory, influence and power in an empire engulfed in political crises and threatened by supernatural terrors (think of Game of Thrones and the conflicts between the noble houses while everything is about to go to hell as no one gives the ball to the monsters that stalk from the Mordor on duty).


 In each game the objective involves defeating the enemy clan in any of the conditions of victory, either by destroying the enemy provinces with the military strength of your characters or alternatively by winning or losing the opponent a specific amount of points "honor", which would become a parallel resource/statistic that has many uses. 


In addition, lighting and immediate victory can be achieved by putting into play the 5 elemental rings that give the game its name and are represented by special cards that require crazy combets to be played.


How to play Legend of the Five Rings

In the game one handles 2 separate decks called the dynasty and destiny deck. Don’t worry, only one (destiny) works as the active hand while the dynasty deck is used to mark the 4 provinces of each player and contains mainly the heroes and resources that are used to buy things in the game, while the target hand is for concrete action cards, adding to the heroes followers, equipment, spells and various crazy tricks.


Turn-by-turn players use samurai abilities in play to primarily amass a military force powerful enough to overcome enemy defenses and blow up the 4 provinces.

For your monkey to come into play you have to go producing gold with the resources coming out of your provinces, but you also have to be aware of the level of honor you have as this is used as a requirement for various things, between them controlling whether or not your samurai can come into play. You may have a samurai who is a killing machine and has the gold to buy it, but if you don’t have the necessary level of honor he won’t join your army.

The military game has many strategic subtleties and a high interaction between players that transcends the typical "throw my attack number against your defense number" but also involves a series of combat actions that are played alternately by each player and that may involve maneuvers, political manipulations, duels, land use, etc. etc.


This logic of alternating actions is also present in a separate phase of the game where all kinds of actions are done that do not directly involve combat, and where the other options that allow the game to unfold are manifested. 


You can use more political-oriented characters to override your opponent before combat occurs or make all kinds of interactions and rare combets that thematically cover all aspects of the politico-military conflicts between the fiefdoms of Rokugan.


Phases


There are five phases in each round of Legend of the Five Rings:


  • Dynasty

  • Draw 

  • Conflict

  • Fate

  • Regroup 

  • Cards can be discarded, replenished and the game restarts for the next round.


    As the game progresses…


    The rounds continue as indicated above until a player manages to break three of his opponent's provinces and then advances to break his strength successfully. Once this is achieved, they win!  Legend of the Five Rings is a card game that combines a series of brilliantly designed mechanics in order to create a competitive two-player game


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