Legend of the five Rings: Battle for Rokugan Release
Das erste Brettspiel zu Legend of the five Rings, Battle for Rokugan von Fantasy Flight Games ist erschienen und es gibt nochmal zwei Einblicke in die Spielmechanik.
In the early days of the Emerald Empire, the Rokugani daimyō battle for control of the realm and the honor of their clans. The responsibility placed upon these individuals is overwhelming. Some may falter in their duty and lose their hold on the realm, failing their clan, while others feel the pull of the dark Shadowlands and the powers they promise. If a daimyō gives in to the temptation, they may destroy their honor… but they may also lead their clan to victory.
We’ve already explored the heart of the game with our previews of control tokens and an example of gameplay. Now, as you prepare to launch your conquest of the Emerald Empire, we offer a closer look at what it means to fight without honor in Battle for Rokugan!
Command the Shadowlands
Battle for Rokugan is a turn-based strategy game played over the course of five rounds in which two to five Rokugani daimyō must form their strategies, distribute their forces, and battle for control of the provinces that make up the Emerald Empire. By bluffing, using diplomacy, and placing combat tokens, the daimyō expand their Clans’ territory and move closer to victory. With each province they conquer, the daimyō earn honor for their Clan, and if they take over an entire territory, they further bolster their strength. In the end, the most honorable daimyō will win the day, but temptation and the fear of failure are ever-present.
To the south of Rokugan lie the blighted Shadowlands, a dark realm under the sway of Fu Leng and the corrupted armies from the realm of Jigoku. The only safeguard between the Shadowlands and Rokugan is the mighty Kaiu Wall and its builders and defenders, the Crab Clan. Should the Wall ever fall, goblins, ogres, undead, and legendary demons known as oni would spill forth from the Shadowlands to destroy civilization. Yet the call of these dark lands is undeniable.
The Shadowlands are divided into two single-province territories, each of which has its own territory card and defense bonus. These cards grant dark, powerful abilities to the daimyō who use them, but they require sacrifice. No matter the benefits, surrendering to temptation does not reflect well on your virtue—and you will never gain honor for controlling Shadowland territories or for having faceup control tokens in either Shadowlands province.
If you control a province within the Shadowlands, you take the appropriate territory card as normal. However, unlike other areas of the Emerald Empire, these territory cards are not played during the upkeep phase. Rather, they are played at the start of the controlling player’s turn during the placement phase. If you take over the northern area of the Shadowlands, which are more heavily surrounded by the Crab Clan’s territory, you may choose to Animate the Dead and add them to your forces.
By using this ability, you can remove one of your control tokens from a non-Shadowlands province and reaplace it with a combat token from your discard pile. Then, after using this ability, you place a combat token from your hand as usual.
Meanwhile, if you claim the area further south, where the clans of Rokugan have little power to stop you, you may murder as you please, keeping only the strongest warriors within your ranks. If you Purge the Weak, you will not place a combat token during your turn.
Instead, you discard one combat token from your hand. You may then choose two combat tokens on the board to reveal and discard. With the powers of darkness at your call, not even the strongest clan can stand against you. But will brute force be enough to win the day?
A loss of honor may occur if you willingly sacrifice it for power, but it can also happen if you fail those who have placed their faith in you. As a Rokugani daimyō, your mission is to defend your people and conquer the realm in the name of your clan. If you fail—if you lose your hold on Emerald Empire—you and the warriors under your command become ronin.
In Battle for Rokugan, to become ronin means that you do not have any control tokens on the board at the start of the upkeep phase. You have lost all the provinces in your care, and are therefore left with no choice but to fight for any area you may hope to conquer. During the placement phase, you may place your army tokens on any land border as you struggle to regain your territory and your honor. However, as ronin have no territories and no influence, you are unable to place raid or diplomacy tokens until you can regain control of a province.
n the example shown above, the Unicorn clan’s warriors are ronin. During the placement phase, they can place their tokens on any border. In this case they are preparing to attack provinces controlled by the Scorpion and Crab Clans. If either Scorpion or Crab leave their provinces undefended, or if they place military units that are overpowered when the combat tokens are revealed, the Unicorn will gain control of the area and no longer be ronin. They are restored to the heat of conflict between the clans, but whether they are able to bring victory to their clan remains in the hands of fate.
Restore Your Glory
Will you fall into darkness and sacrifice your honor for power? Should you fail your clan, will you be able to fight your way back from the jaws of defeat? What are you willing to lose in order to win the Battle for Rokugan?
The Emerald Empire is filled with strife as the seven honorable clans clash and battle to become the dominant force of the realm. Each clan has selected a trusted daimyō to formulate their military strategies and lead their forces to victory. Now, your fight for honor and glory begins: Battle for Rokugan is on sale now at your local retailer and online through our website!
The Forces Gather
In Battle for Rokugan, two to five players become the Rokugani daimyō who fight for control of the Emerald Empire in the name of their clan. Over the course of five rounds, these daimyō must gather resources, formulate military strategies, and battle with rival clans. Starting at the beginning of the game, you and those destined to become your rivals each pledge your swords to one of the seven honorable clans, claiming that clan’s special ability, daimyō screen, and combat and control tokens.
Once you’ve gained the boons of your chosen clan, you’ll draw a secret objective card and begin to lay claim to the bountiful land of the Emerald Empire by placing control tokens in unclaimed provinces. Each of these areas provides you with different amounts of honor—which in Battle for Rokugan is the ultimate measure of a true leader. When the conflicts and bloodshed are over, the most honorable daimyō shall win the day, proving that their clan is the worthiest of the Emperor’s favor and best equipped to guide Rokugan into a new age of peace and prosperity.
The Conflict Commences
Each round of Battle for Rokugan consists of three phases: upkeep, placement, and resolution. During the upkeep phase, you determine the first player for the round by drawing from the initiative deck. Next, you draw a secret hand of six combat tokens that will provide your resources for the duration of the round. With these combat tokens, you will strengthen the defenses of your provinces, seek diplomatic resolutions or divine intervention, bluff your rivals, assemble your military forces, and prepare raiding parties. This is also the time when you can use the powers of territories already under your control by playing territory cards: powerful abilities that you receive as a reward for controlling all of the provinces within a territory.
From left to right: Blessing, Diplomacy, Army, Navy, Raid, Shinobi, Bluff.
Once all the daimyō have taken stock of their resources, you lay your battle plans during the placement phase. Here, you’ll distribute your forces by placing combat tokens on the map. For an in-depth look at the different combat tokens at your disposal and their effects, you can view our previous article here. During this phase, reading your enemies‘ intentions is key. As all combat tokens are placed facedown, there is no certain way of knowing whether your rival is sending an army to your province (and if so, how strong it is), or whether they are bluffing. Truly wise daimyō must be able to divide truth from fiction.
All truths come to light when the combat tokens are revealed during the resolution phase. To resolve a battle, the invading daimyō weighs the strength of their armies against those of the defender, who may bolster their defenses with bonuses from their control tokens. You can find a closer look at these confrontations, including battle examples, in our resolution phase preview here. Once strengths have been totaled, the strongest clan wins the conflict and comes one step closer to victory.
The Dust Settles
When the resolution phase ends, the victorious daimyō claim the spoils of war. If you control all of the provinces within a territory, you’ll gain the territory card for that region, offering an edge that you may use during the next round. Alternatively, should you fail your clan and lose all provinces under your control, you’ll become a wandering ronin. In this event, the only way to regain your land and honor is to strike anywhere you see an opportunity. Ronin can place combat tokens on any border during the placement phase until they have reclaimed a province to act as the base of their clan.
Unicorn is ronin and may attack any border, in this case targeting Scorpion and Crab.
After all the bloodshed and shifting areas of control, the daimyō must reach a peace and declare a winner at the end of five rounds. At this time, the player who has earned the most honor by conquering provinces and territories and completing their secret objective will earn the favor of the Emperor and be granted supremacy over the Emerald Empire in the name of their clan. Only one daimyō will conquer Rokugan and lead their clan to glory. Gather your wits and employ all your cunning to ensure that that leader is you.
The Victor Rises
Fight for the honor of your clan. The land is yours to claim. Take control of the Emerald Empire and win the Battle for Rokugan!
Der deutschen Vertrieb der Fantasy Flight Produkte liegt bei Asmodee.
Quelle: Fantasy Flight Games