Preview a Conflict Example in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
The conflicts of Rokugan are not a straight forward affair. Whether in court or on the battlefield, the Great Clans understand the strategic need to keep their tactics close to their chest, revealing themselves only when they are sure to defeat their foes.
These intrigues and displays of strength are brought to life in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game during the conflict phase. Today, we’re looking at an in-depth of example of this phase during a game between Jenny, a Dragon Clan player, and Alex, a Phoenix Clan player. This article will provide a micro-view of a single conflict; for a broader view of the game, click here for the start of a turn, and here for the end.
Plans Within Plans
In this example, it is Jenny, the Dragon player’s turn to declare a conflict. Before the conflict is declared, Jenny has the opportunity to play conflict cards or use actions on cards in play—this is called an action window and is an opportunity for both Jenny and Alex to play cards and use abilities. To prepare for the conflict ahead, Jenny decides to use the ability of an Agasha Swordsmith (Core Set, 56) in her home area by looking at the top five cards of her deck, revealing Ancestral Daishō (Core Set, 151), and adding it to her hand. The ability to play cards or use abilities during an action window alternates between players until both consecutively pass. Alex passes on his opportunity, and so does Jenny.
Jenny now has the opportunity to declare a conflict, and chooses to declare a military Earth conflict, sending Agasha Swordsmith, Togashi Initiate (Core Set, 55) and Seeker of Enlightenment (Core Set, 59), who is currently boosted by there being one fate on the Water ring, to an unknown province.
Before Alex has an opportunity to send warriors to defend his land in a military conflict, the attacked province is flipped up and revealed as Elemental Fury (Core Set, 16). While some provinces contain actions that can be used during a conflict like a normal ability, Elemental Fury triggers right after it’s revealed and allows Alex to switch the contested Earth ring with an unclaimed ring. Alex chooses the Fire ring, to potentially use Isawa Masahiro's (Core Set, 90) ability. Alex then decides to send Isawa Masahiro and Shiba Peacemaker (Core Set, 82) as defenders.
At this point, Alex is winning the conflict with seven total military skill to Jenny’s four. Starting with the defending player, players now have another action window to bolster their warriors in hopes of winning the conflict. Alex decides to pass his first opportunity, since he is currently winning the conflict. Jenny uses the Togashi Initiate’s ability and pays a fate to the Earth ring to honor the Initiate, adding the character's glory to their skills; in this case, two. This also boosts the skills of Seeker of Enlightenment. Jenny and Alex now have the same amount of military skill at seven.
Jenny now has enough skill to win the conflict, but not to break Elemental Fury. Since Alex doesn’t want Jenny to receive the benefits of the Fire ring, he decides to play Cloud the Mind (Core Set, 202) from his hand, blanking the Seeker of Enlightenment’s ability. Alex total skill remains at seven, while Jenny’s is reduced to five.
While Jenny has more tricks up her sleeve, she doesn’t want her skill reduced further, and decides to play her own Cloud the Mind on Isawa Masahiro, negating his ability to discard any of the attacking characters. Since Alex is still winning, he passes his action back to Jenny, who decides to pay a fate to equip the Ancestral Daishō she drew earlier to the Seeker of Enlightenment, tying up the players’ total skill at seven once again.
Alex then decides to play Seeker of Knowledge (Core Set, 171) to the conflict from his hand. Since the Seeker of Knowledge is a character being played from hand, Alex is able to place additional fate on her at this time, but chooses not to. Though she contributes zero military skill, she could be useful later due to her "courtier" trait. Jenny decides to equip a Fine Katana (Core Set, 200) to the Togashi Initiate, giving them an additional two military skill. This brings Jenny's total skill to nine, topping Alex’s seven.
Since Alex now controls a courtier, Seeker of Knowledge, he plays For Shame! (Core Set, 207), targeting the Togashi Initiate, who now must either become dishonored or bow. Jenny chooses to dishonor the Initiate. Since they are in the honored state, they simply lose the honored status and revert to an ordinary state. Had the Initiate been in the ordinary state to begin with, they would receive the dishonored status and subtract their glory value from their skills. Regardless, Jenny still loses the honored bonus and now has seven military skill to Alex’s seven.
If Jenny and Alex both pass, Jenny wins the Fire ring but does not break the province. Not one to give up so easily, though, she plays Banzai! (Core Set, 204) on her Agasha Swordsmith, resolving it twice to give her four more military skill; eleven to Alex’s seven, enough to win the ring and break the province.
With that, Alex passes, conceding the conflict. Either he has no more tricks up his sleeve, or has something prepared for his opportunity to initiate a conflict and exact vengeance against Jenny. Elemental Fury is turned 180 degrees and Jenny has the option of discarding the facedown dynasty card on the province. From there, the game continues with Jenny resolving the effect of the Fire ring by honoring or dishonoring a character and all participating characters bowing and returning to their home area.
The Path Forward
This concludes our overview of the general rules of Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, but be sure to check out the Fantasy Flight Games Facebook page this Friday at 11 a.m. CST for our first Facebook Live Stream! Tweet your Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game questions to @FFGames on Twitter with the hashtag "#L5Rlive" to have them answered by Story Lead Katrina Ostrander and Designers Brad Andres and Nate French live on air!
Prepare for conflict and pick up the Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Core Set (L5C01) at Gen Con 2017 or from your local retailer when it hits stores in the fourth quarter of 2017!