Ninja or Samurai? Find out in Daimyo’s Fall

Ninja or Samurai? Find out in Daimyo’s Fall

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Daimyo’s Fall is a deck-crafting game where players take on the roles of heroes in a land of a fallen Daimyo, or ruler. 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, can play a game in 60 minutes. Of course, familiarity with the game will make the game play faster.  Daimyo’s Fall comes to Kickstarter on May 9th, 2017.

The cards in Daimyo’s Fall are full of colorful and beautiful illustrations. There are hero cards, reinforcement cards, treasure cards (and a special type of treasure card, called Regalia), and lastly, Mon cards, which represent currency in the game

Hero Cards

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Hero cards have nine different pieces of information that is clearly identified. Although it may seem like a lot of information, you’ll learn them just after a few rounds of play. Heroes don’t cycle through your deck like a normal deck building game, another reason you will learn their abilities and rules quickly. In addition to the nice layout of information, you’ll notice that heroes have different frames. Ninja have purple frames and samurai have a red frame. Identifying the class enables players to see which treasure cards each hero may pick up and determines the reinforcement or treasure cards that a player can use.

Reinforcement Cards

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There are 18 different reinforcement cards, with all but two having six copies. Reinforcements allow players to get bonuses, gain skills or get victory points. There are eight different points of information on a reinforcement card.

Reinforcements are purchased to add to your deck. One unique feature of Daimyo’s Fall is the resell action. Each reinforcement card has a purchase cost as well as a value when sold. Mitsuki Sanada, above, is purchased for 10 Mon, but can be sold back for 5 Mon.

Treasure Cards

Treasure cards have two copies each and fall into two decks based on the samurai or ninja. To draw a treasure card, you must fulfill the loot condition of the active hero. Treasure cards work like reinforcements, but typically have a more powerful skill or bonus that heroes can use. Treasure is important because they give players victory points, which in turn, allow players to win the game. As mentioned above, there are some special treasure cards called Regalia and are difficult to acquire. The cost to draw one is high. However, players can also trade in treasures to draw a Regalia card.

Mon Cards

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Mon cards allow players to purchase reinforcements or heroes. They generate 1 Mon when discarded to the discard pile. An interesting limit in the game is that you can’t have more Mon cards than what you start with.  As the game progresses, they aren’t as useful, so find a way to remove them if possible.

Setup

In Daimyo’s Fall, each player starts the game with the identical decks of cards. All the heroes are shuffled into a deck and one is randomly disbursed to each player.  You can purchase more heroes, but you cannot have more than three heroes.  As in normal deckbuilders, you shuffle your starting deck and place your hero card in front of you. It is never shuffled into your deck.

The Domain

The Domain is the play area of Daimyo’s Fall and represents the palace of the missing Daimyo, the treasure, and the lotus tree at the top of the castle. Remember, once all petals fall from the lotus tree, the power of the daimyo is lost. Essentially, the loss of petals in Daimyo’s Fall represents a limit to the length of the game. Treasure cards, when played, release petals from the tree, so pay attention to the loss of petals throughout the game. There can be 40 or 50 petal tokens depending on the number of players.

There will be six face-down decks in the domain. You have a shuffled ninja reinforcement deck with 4 face-up cards available for purchase as well as a shuffled samurai reinforcements deck with four face-up cards available to purchase.  In addition, you’ll have a face-down hero deck, a ninja treasure deck, a samurai treasure deck, and a regalia deck. Besides the four ninja and samurai cards available for purchase, one hero card is drawn and placed face-up. This hero card forces a loss of petals based on the petal loss number displayed.  The domain is now set-up ready for play.

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Game Play

The game is played in rounds and a round is considered complete once every player has taken a turn. The oldest player gets to go first. Players, on their turns, play their Mon, reinforcement or hero cards to gain abilities and effects, to buy cards, or loot treasures. A turn has four phases. The Starting Phase has six actions that must be taken in order.

  1. Put non-exhausted cards into the discard pile. Change active heroes
  2. Move cards from your hand to the discard pile.
  3. Draw until five cards are in hand.
  4. Choose one non-exhausted hero to the active hero for this round. Active heroes can do 3 things:
  • Use loot conditions
  • Determine the skills that reinforcements and treasures can be used.
  • Duel
  1. Recovery all exhausted reinforcement, treasure, or hero cards by turning them vertically.

When choosing reinforcement or treasure cards, remember, only samurai can use samurai based cards and the same is true for ninja based reinforcements and treasures. If you have an active samurai hero, be sure to build a deck with a lot of samurai reinforcement cards.

The second phase of a player’s turn is the Main Phase. Players can take as many of the following actions as they wish, in any order. In this phase, a player can:

  • Deploy reinforcements or treasure. Deploying means to play a card and gain the bonuses immediately.
  • Purchase reinforcements or heroes. To purchase, discard Mon cards and buy the cards that you wish to put into your deck discard pile to be shuffled and drawn later.
  • Sell one or more reinforcement cards from your hand to gain Mon. Money gained this way must be spent this turn and can’t be saved or banked. An important note for gameplay is that heroes can be sold, but you must always have one hero. Also, a player’s deck can’t have less than six cards, so you can’t sell cards if your deck will go below six cards.
  • Use a Heroes’ skill. Skills are usually activated by paying a cost. Inactive heroes can use skills, but exhausted heroes cannot.
  • Return or Discard a reinforcement card from your hand. Some cards have rules that give you bonuses when you discard or when you return a card to its specific deck in the domain similar to selling a card.
  • Spend trade points. Trade points are gained through reinforcements and are special currency. You can spend trade points gained from deploying cards at any time during the turn.
  • Loot- When the actions match the active hero’s loot condition, you may draw an appropriate treasure card. Remember, this is how you score victory points and acquire better skills.

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The third phase is the End Phase of the player’s turn. Not much happens at this point, but there are some effects that may activate at this point.

The last phase is the End of the Round phase. This is sort of a clean-up phase and the top card of the hero deck is revealed and is now able to be purchased. Don’t forget to remove petal tokens when you do so!  Also, the first player must choose two reinforcement cards and discard them and reveal two new reinforcement cards.  The first player token passes to the player on the left.

The end of the game occurs when the last petal token is removed. At this point, players count their victory points from reinforcements, treasure and hero cards. Ties are broken by the person who has the most treasure cards.

Although the game follows the traditional deck building rules, there are some fun interactions. There are times you can trade out treasures by using loot points. By spending up to 3 loot points, you can have three different “trade’ effects, depending what you want to do. You can trade the same class of treasure for another, trade a class of treasure for a different class of treasure, or trade out treasure for a single Regalia card. Remember, Regalia are powerful treasures and it might be beneficial to trade those cards out.

The second interesting interaction is dueling. Active heroes can duel other heroes. The attack and defense value of the heroes are based on their purchase and sell costs, respectively. Simply compare the attack value (purchase) value against the defender’s sell value, and the higher number wins. However, you can boost your value by discarding cards in your hand. So, you may discard cards and use the purchase cost as a boost to your attack or defense. Doing so means you may not have many cards in hand, but it may guarantee a win. Heroes will have a duel condition if they win or they may gain other bonuses. A hero that loses a duel must be turned inactive.

At first, there may seem to be large amounts of information on some of the cards. However, you don’t need all the information at once and you’ll learn what the icons mean rather quickly.  The text on the cards are also color coded- for example, we mentioned the colors associated with the samurai and ninja earlier. Text that matches a specific class is also color-coded for easy identification. In addition, words in bold print call out loot conditions so you always have a clear understanding of what must be done to gain those treasure cards.

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The rulebook identifies some confusing interactions with cards and clarifies weird or strange situations. The examples are well thought out and identified in the rules. In addition, there is a summary of the gameplay, index of terms, a list of symbols and their meanings, and some clarifications.

If you like anime inspired games as well as deck building games, Daimyo’s Fall gives enough unique qualities that it’s a no brainer to back and support. Kickstarter is to help creators with new projects, and this is exactly that. A new project from Axis Mundo and their design team.

Will you choose samurai or ninja to claim the great daimyo’s treasure before the last petal on the lotus tree falls? Find out on May 9th on Kickstarter, play it on Tabletop Simulator through Steam, or download the print and play from the website.

Daimyo’s Fall- A deck building game

Designed by Enrica Fincati and Francesco Simioni

Published by Axis Mundo

2-5 players

60 minutes

Ages 14+

Find Daimyo’s Fall can be found in the following locations:

On the web: http://www.daimyosfall.com/site/index.php

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daimyosfall/

Boardgame Geek: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/192891/daimyos-fall

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New Link on Boardgame Geek for my Work in Progress and What I’ve Been Up To

I haven’t posted here in a long time but I haven’t forgotten this site.  I’ve been busy with a few personal projects and have been writing for Initiative Magazine, the sister magazine to Figure Painter Magazine.

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I’ve been writing a draft adventure for the new Star Trek: Adventures RPG play test from Modiphius Entertainment as well as working on a module to upload Thunderbirds: The Cooperative Game onto Tabletopia for them as well.

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In addition, I’ve been working on taking real board games and importing them into Tabletopia and Tabletop Simulator for the Indie Game Alliance, a covenant of independent game developers and designers.

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To join the IGA, you can follow this link: https://www.indiegamealliance.com/join.php?refer=1557

 

Lastly, I’m working on a worker placement design called New Alcatraz,  for a game with the unique mechanic of having something dangerous happen as you place your worker.  Check out the thread on Board Game Geek.

 

The Iron Golem from Soda Pop Miniatures

Ninja Division and design studio Soda Pop Miniatures have released a special Super Dungeon Explore model called the Iron Golem which focuses on the new SDE tactics game coming to steam.

I was able to pick up the Iron Golem at Gen Con 2016.  Although he was available for sale at the booth, who knows when he will hit the store.  He is sold with a Steam key which can be used to activate SDE Tactics once it is available.

 

Does the Theme Fit the Mechanics or Do the Mechanics Fit the Theme?

I’ve played all sorts of games over the years, from the early 80s playing Dungeon and Dragons to contemporary times playing social deduction games like Coup, worker placement games like Lords of Waterdeep, miniature games like Malifaux, Freeblades, and more.

I’ve been toying with game design and have a couple of thoughts and ideas on creating games.

I’m curious, though, what are your thoughts on mechanics and theme?  The argument is that some games have themes that are just tacked on to the rules and mechanics. For example, there is an argument that the worker placement game Lords of Waterdeep, although a great game, doesn’t really have much theme. People suggest that you can add any other theme or setting and the game will still be the same.

A great site, the League of Game Makers, discusses this and probably does a better job explaining it.

I’d like to suggest an experiment. Let’s pretend we are working on a miniature game (tabletop war game), with miniatures that you push across the board. Think if Warhammer 40k, Warmachine, Malifaux, Infinity, Flames of War, and others.

Let’s start with the mechanics. In the game, to attack another model, you roll a number of dice equal to an attack stat and try to beat the target model’s defense stat. Simple enough. However, to do multiple wounds, you can decide to split your dice pool, and you hope each “split” equals or exceeds the target’s defense.

To explain further, let’s pretend model A has an attack value of 4 (roll 4d6 during an attack) and model B has a defense of 7.  Model A swings his sword and the player rolls 4d6 and gets a 5, 2, 4, and 3. That combined roll of 14 easily beats a 7 for one wound. However, the rolling player decides to split his dice after the roll, and combining the roll into two groups with the 5 and 2 together, and the second group with the 4 and 3 together. Both groups equal a 7 for two wounds, as both groups equal or exceeded the defense.

If the theme of a game is applied to mechanics, what setting would fit this type of mechanic?  Fantasy? High fantasy with magic, wizards, clerics, sorcerers and more. Or, does this mechanic fit modern day ninjas? Far future space fights?

What are your thoughts? What settings or themes can you think that might fit this mechanic better?  I’ve got my thoughts and it’s a simple mechanic that I’m playing around with to see what happens.

Ulfsark Games Machined Dice Review

Ulfsark Games is a Danish game accessory company that produces coins, dice, and more, eventually hoping for a new miniature game soon. You can find them on the web and on Facebook. Ulfsark Games’ Alex Atkinson sent along a sample of their metal dice, one of each die type, A D4, D6, D8, D10, D00, D12, and D20, for review. The dice arrived in a padded envelope in a single baggie. I’m not sure what their normal shipments are like when ordering from them, but they did come well protected. However, having one baggie meant that I wasn’t able to identify what each die was called without the included note. The dice belong to a line called Dragon Scales which has a variety of sub-types within it.

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The D4 comes from the Celtic line and is black.

The D6 is pipped and is brass is color. The die is described at only available in the D6 variety and is limited in number. The pips are indented with no coloring.

The D8 comes from the Celtic line of dice and is light green.

The D10 is part of Ulfsark’s Techno line and is gold.

The percentile, or D00 die, belongs to the Elven line and is red.

The D12 is part of the Gearpunk line and is light red.

Lastly, the D20, belonging to the Dwarven line, is dark blue.

The dice felt great in my hand and make a pleasing sound when rolling on a wooden table or desk.

Listen to the dice: D6, D10, D12 and D20, and lastly, all of the dice at once.

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Each model line has a unique theme and the images go well with the theme. For the Celtic line, the dice have chains linked together around the numbers. The Techno line looks like a form of binary surrounding the numbers, while the Elven and Dwarven are consistent with their themes as well, with scrollwork or symbols. The symbols don’t change on each die type, but the patterns do change. Some circle the numbers, while others are above and below the numbers. A good thing about the dice is that the numbers and designs are etched or milled into the sides and inked so that the designs will not rub off or flake away over time. Some abuse may occur if you store them in a bag, but the hardiness and make-up of the aluminum means wear and tear shouldn’t be an issue.

As a gamer, I find that the weight of the dice, as well as the sound they make, are incredible. This is the first time I’ve actually held metal machined dice and rolled them, and I find the weight to be extremely satisfying. One of the current downsides of the D12 and D20 I received, though, is the size of the dice. They are 16mm and when compared to other dice from other companies, they look small in comparison to the well-known 20mm sizes.  However, with the current Kickstarter, the plan is a bump in size from 16mm to 20mm to fit in with other well-known brands of dice.  I look forward to the 20mm size as they will look right at home with my all of my other dice.

 

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Above you can see how the size differences look compared to the new 20mm dice. The first photo is a stock photo from Ulfsark Games, while the second (below) is a photo on my dining room table. Again, the most recent Kickstarter is to update the dice size and replenish stock levels.

Here you can see the size of the 16mm VS the 20mm yellow dice.

Here you can see the size of the 16mm VS the 20mm yellow dice.

Ulfsark Games is on their third Kickstarter and you view the current and previous campaigns below.

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As it’s hard to tell exactly what the dice are like while rolling in blog post, so I uploaded a couple different videos showing how they roll.dice4

Dice Rolling on Youtube:

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I want to sincerely thank Alex Atkinson, owner at Ulfsark, for the opportunity to do a review over the sample dice he sent along. I highly recommend these dice from Ulfsark Games, and if you get the chance, grab some from their current Kickstarter.

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Warzone Project

I picked a Mishima starter from the game Warzone: Resurrection and started working on them this past weekend.

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The starter comes with 12 models.  Ten ronin troopers, Hiroko the leader, and a large Meka walker.  The models are made from resin and the models are nice with a few bits of flash that are easily  cleaned.

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I was able to get the models together while watching some Netflix and tonight I finished the bases.

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The bases are made from some cork sheets and glued onto the bases.  I wanted it to be simple, but interesting.

Hopefully I’ll get the models painted over the next few weeks.

How many of my readers have played Warzone?   What do you think of the game and models?

Freeblades

I picked up some Freeblades models by DGS games  in September and I’m making slow progress. I think I”m about done, but I’ll need to add some details to things like pouches, hilts, etc.  This is the Haradelan Questers starter, then with more models added.  They are knightly models on a quest for peace and justice.

 

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I’ve since done quite a bit more painting on these models and even painted the bases black.  I’ll update when they are all done.