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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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.

Kickstarter: MidKnight Heroes Miniatures

Hi all.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but this Kickstarter project got me excited.  The guys at MidKnight Heroes are running a funding campaign to get their core group of miniatures off the ground.

The goal is to fund the first three miniatures in their range with rewards adding new miniatures at rising funding goals. Below you have Elvia, Leonide, and Oda, the three heroes of the MidKnight Heroes world.

MidKnight Heroes Core Characters

MidKnight Heroes Core Characters

They have started sculpting their first mini, Leonide, a race of Fai (humanoid monster race) which you can see below.  I think this is a great start to awesome looking miniature.

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Finally, here is a link to the MidKnight Heroe’s Website, and a link to their Kickstarter.

The Painting Continues- Hell Dorado Saracen Starter

I’m still working on that Saracen starter for Hell Dorado slowly but surely.  Below you’ll find some pictures of the leader, Nazir  Ibn Hamid Ibn Hajjad and his trusty sidekick Youssaff.

Hell Dorado Logo

Hell Dorado Logo

I’ve been painting the entire starter up now for about two months, which shows how slow of a painter I am since I don’t sit down to paint on a regular basis.

cipherlogo Youssaff describes Nazir as being so compassionate, he wept for every soul lost in the battles in Hell. Therefore, Nazir asked Youssaf to burn his out with his scimitar so that he shall forever see the light of Allah.  Youssaff has been his companion ever since.

In game, Nazir provides a good use of buffs as well as hitting power.  However, you don’t want to lose him in the game as he provides quite a bit of the army’s command points at 5.  Since command is important, you want to keep Nazir around.  However, with Nazir’s healing ability, you’ll want to get him into base to base with your allies so they can be healed.  Being near Nazir gives the rest of the army a +1 to combat, which is nice, but again, you have to keep him towards the front of the army.

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Besides some touch-up and a couple little spots of black, I think he is done.

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Below, you can see the progress I was before the previous painting session. Not the bands on the arms, the embroidery on Nazir’s cloth, his beard, and jewel are not painted as shown above.

For the sword, I tried an experiment using non-metallic metal style of painting.  There are a lot of tutorials to view for this.  I didn’t do that good of a job as I’m still learning.  However, I used the method of NMM for the sword, then glazed over it with Plate Mail Metal paint by The Army Painter.

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The choice of colors was based on the fact that I wanted something more colorful and brighter than the off-white of Youssaf’s trousers and the rest of the traditional garb of the other models.

I started off with P3 Menoth White Base, an off white color, then, added some RMS Linen White for the highlights.  I washed the cloth with P3 Flesh Wash, then went back over the cloth to bring the color back up to the highlights.

For the blue on Nazir’s outfit, I started with Warpaint Electic Blue.  I added some of the base from Youssaf’s pants to the blue to highlight it up.  I used P3 blue wash, then went back through with highlights.

For Youssaf’s skin, I used P3 Idrian Flesh, and also some RMS Earth Brown and slowly added in some lighter brown such as Leather brown from the Warpaint line for the highlights.

The Hell Dorado models are nice, and have a lot of character.  They do require some clean-up as the mold line is obvious, but not bad.  A simple file such as a fingernail file or miniature file will do the trick.

Below is a stock photograph of Nazir and Youssef from the Cipher Site:

Nazir Studio Scheme

 

Finally, here is a group shot of the starter, with Nazir and Chalms done, while the blessed warriors and Pillar of Faith continue to get paint slapped on them.

Saracen Starter WIP

I’ll keep everyone updated with progress!