Should You Play L5R? | The Covenant Cast – Episode 28

After playing an extensive amount of Legend of the Five Rings, we are ready to talk seriously about who should play this game. Also – new Netrunner Core! New Netrunner Core!

Main Topic: 14:56
Answers & Questions: 1:07:51

If you have any questions for us, leave us a comment below, or with #askcovenant on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



Google Play:




Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and purchasing. It allows us to keep moving forward!


Ed Ostling says:

only complaint I had about the imperial favor. While playing against phoenix in the thurs gencon event, I had a turn where i won all 4 fights in the turn, claiming 4 rings. The phoenix player used their stronghold on a 3 glory guy I sent home, I lost the favor, my board wiped due to fate. Next two turns I flipped nothing but imperials who were useless.

That being said, I still like the favor mechanic. Sure its tough to remember but a simple habit changed that instantly. But yeah I am biased, I am an old5r refugee who considered it “our game” and am extremely stoked for nu5r.

Akolotu Moeloa says:

#AskCovenent Do you think pre-made “duel decks” might be a useful way to bring new players into Netrunner? Some folks don’t have the time necessary to build/test decks, but might have the time to learn one already built–perhaps two decks designed to be balanced against each other?

Noname Nobody says:

TC: Q-What is the #1 thing that keeps you from getting a game to the table?
Me: A-Time. Never enough time for games.
EXAMPLE: Purchased Metroid 2 remake on 3DS at launch on Friday(15 SEP). This is posting @ 0237 on Monday(18 SEP).

Matthew Sutherland says:

As always, thanks for the insightful and entertaining cast. The reason I don’t get a game to the table is simply having people to play with. I’m an international school teacher and I find myself in places that don’t have groups that play the games I’m interested in. Case in point, I just moved to Tokyo where I thought I could find a lot of FFG game players but there seems to be no organised play out here, except for X- wing. Hopefully that will change but it certainly has been my number one issue.

ジェイムス says:

Thumbs up for reminding everyone, in video, that you sell this game. For what it’s worth it makes it easier, for me at least, to not have that detract from your opinions on the game and it is just a move I respect. Thanks for the great content!

Also, if possible, please stick to the video format for The Covenant Cast. In my opinion it is way better than the audio only format.

Greg Zuvich says:

I have been a giant Star Wars honk since 1977, but I don’t play SW: Destiny because I find it too light a game and a tad boring. L5R is a more complex and rich game, which I like. So, I do agree with the podcast point that a complex rich LCG has been missing from the market, and L5R fills that. In addition, L5R has a rich 20 year history to draw on as well. As an old L5R ccg player, I would also like to say I love the LCG – a better game overall IMHO when compared to the CCG. As a side note, I love to play Netrunner as a casual play game.

Elysiandeathpunch says:

Does anybody know what gear they are using to record this?

Michael Harris says:

What are your impressions of Steamforged games doing public beta testing for guild ball and asking their player base’s opinions? Is it helpful for the players to have direct input in the upkeep of the game than to be behind closed doors? #askcovenant

Justin Farkas says:

Old time fan here watching you guys who were doing vids on Monsterpocalypse.?Have u guys played Mage wars arena and what do u think about the game?
I feel after watching this video and hearing about your dislikes and likes about L5R and net runner you guys may enjoy the game.
I also wonder L5R may have the learning curve that Mage wars arena has in the since it may decrease play time with more experienced players from 3 1/2-4 hours games to 1 1/2 hours and less. Possibly with L5R making matches a lot shorter with the more experienced player.

TurtleDude05 says:

I really liked this game as a ccg. And was skeptical of the bew lcg. But once I started playing it, i became instantly addicted. It was great. I love the fact that you have to think about every move. It’s almost like chess in that way. My only real complaint is that it’s hard to find people in my area that plays. Mostly it’s just for events but not regular play.

Toby Garza says:

Can you guys man another of this video? Catch us up on where things are. New player / interested players what to know 🙂

Tyler Delaney says:

In response to your question, the #1 reason some games don’t make it to the table anymore is the complexity of the rules. Having to re-read the rules before (or even worse – during) a game night is an instant deal breaker. These days, my gaming group favours accessibility over deep strategy.

Cyberjace says:

Im all in! I’ve got 3 cores coming and i vow to buy every expansion. After about 2 cores 3 deluxes expansions and a few cycles i dripped out of netrunner about the time the drafts came out i just didnt see buying more. 
But l5r to me seems alot more potential considering all the different mechanics in the game from holdings strongholds conflict deck dystany decks role cards honor and dishonor ect. I’ll be honest ffg has their work cut out for em. Its alot of potential. The game could be tweaked in soooo many ways so many outlets.

Peter Crighton says:

#askcovenant What do you think of digital CCGs like The Elder Scrolls: Legends or Eternal?

Great to be able to see you again! Will you keep the video format? I’d love that!

Billy Fellin says:

The biggest barrier for me to getting a game onto the table is the time element. For example, I love games like Eldritch Horror and Game of Thrones: The Board Game, but my friends and I don’t always have time for an Eldritch Horror or GoT session. A secondary barrier would be the game itself, meaning if we are playing with new players or non-gamers that we are trying to get into gaming, the games are going to be different than ones we would normally play on a game night with my hardcore gamer friends.

Also, a question! For Steven and Zach, what card from Empire at War are you most excited to play with or have had the most fun with thus far in the early stages of this new meta? #askcovenant

Chip Altman says:

Covenant Theology Cast!!!!! 😀 I’ll watch it. #thumbsup
Of course, you wouldn’t be limited to discussing “covenant theology” but you should cover it 😉
Okay for real, don’t do stuff that’ll hurt sales … but if you can figure out how …

ishottheroflcopter says:

7 or 8 years? The new core was rumored before the game even released? Mind blown…

Jason Kossowan says:

20 mins to get to the topic of the video – ouch.

I have a feeling the current Imperial Favor is a patch until they come out with a 2.0 of it. We’re still seeing EZMode L5R and a lot of us OG players want to be able to run for honor. 🙂

ant82790 says:

I personally liked this game.. last version of L5R, my first clan was Lion, then Pheonix, Mantis, then became interested in the Scorpion.. in the LCG version, I started with Lion which I LOVE oh so very much.. and starting to see how truly nasty the Scorpion is..

Carlos Eduardo Saldanha says:

#AskCovenant, What’s your opinion about L5R cannibalize AGOT LCG or vice-versa?

One thing that comes to mind of all FFG customers is that L5R has many elements imported from previous LCG, most of them belonging to AGOT.
With the licence transition of ASOI&F to CMON and the fact that L5R and AGOT LCG “compete” for the same spot, the same kind of game, what do you expect to see being made from FFG for both these games? Will they fragment the customer-base, cannibalizing eachother? Will FFG end AGOT to provide more resources into L5R? Will FFG end an older LCG (SW LCG) to keep these two up? Or, if it flunks, could L5R be on a potential situation of vanishing from the market again?

I’m very skeptical about L5R. I’ve played the original back in ’97 and I couldn’t maintain the game because I was a teenager with no job and could only manage one game and that game was M:TG. But I’ve played alot of L5R back then and it was one of my fav games.
I look into this game and I don’t see L5R as you mention. It’s cool to see that people that played the CCG say this game feels like the CCG but not to me. I see too many trinkets, too many gimmicks and little to none backbreaking decisions the old version had.
The CCG was always mentioned as the chess of card games due to its complexity and how penalizing an error could be. People who disliked it say it was due to the “whirlpool effect” and no chance of coming back… well, that’s what an error could do in that game. But now it’s simplified. Losing a Province is no big deal anymore. Having an Army to play a turn is not a thing anymore. Sequecing plays for getting 5 Rings is not a thing anymore. Honor is not a thing anymore, neither Dishonor. This is a mild version of AGOT LCG with only two conflicts with some Rings in the middle. A few aspects of the original game were ported into this game but the game itself is not L5R.

Nice podcast with great topics as usual. 🙂

Ukyoprime says:

I feel like this review suffers somewhat for lacking anyone who played the L5R CCG. Because fundamentally that’s going to be the core audience. Pulling in new folks is definitely an objective, but the foundation is going to be the whackjobs that have a clan mon tattoo – the ones that never truly left Rokugan. They are providing a context to their space that nobody in this vid has tapped into, and I think that that’s a HUGE piece of what gives L5R its magic.

Michael Harris says:

The biggest reason that I don’t get a game on the table is if I cannot conceptualize watt the game is wanting to doing theme-wise I can deal with complexity as long as I understand why I’m doing something instead of just doing it. The theme has to be appealing for me.

squwilf says:

I prefer watching to just listening. Keep the camera.

Jason Wylie says:

Really looking forward to the upcoming cast covering the new netrunner. In answer to question “with all the existing product for anr how does one enter into game quickly” ffg could consider making a jumpstart kit to compliment the core 2.0. Something that helps to compliment the different ids pulling from existing legal content but not give you everything and also gives the target scope (suggested strategies) of the existing data packs and deluxe boxes. For people like me spend time enjoying the cards and deck building, this would compliment core 2.0 well. Also this is just a thought. The world champ decks feel counter productive to getting a player into the world and the amount of content feels overwhelming.

Brian Meuser says:

Why the Unitarian church comment?

Will Standfest says:

Destiny has been my first foray into FFG games. After listening to this show for a while, Steven’s love of Netrunner has me excited about trying the game. The revised Core set sounded like a great starting point for a new player. I am confused by your comments that it’s not a great starting point for new players, and I’m wondering how you would recommend someone try out Netrunner for the first time, and what would I even buy to start getting into the game? #AskCovenant

KAM1138a says:

L5R is my favorite Card game, and top ten of all games of all time. The art looks good, the story (what I’ve read) seems good, but I’m very skeptical about this game.
I’ll be trying the game, but unless it is a home-run mechanically…well, then I can’t see justifying the cost and effort of an LCG.
On that–I’ve really begun to think that an LCG format is a NEGATIVE, except the case where you are intensely focused on that one game.

Rafa Gamba says:

I did not think it was too complicated at all. I am a retired mtg player, and I felt that it was right up my alley. This game is a hit! I loved the experience this game brought, both the flavor and the gameplay. Highly recommend this game !!

Chromatism says:

A thoroughly enjoyable show. Loved the discussion, and thank you very much for the entertainment. I would also like to give you guys props (perhaps a little ashamedly!) for putting the ‘Main Topic’ link down in the description. Having said that I’m certainly more inclined to watch through from the beginning in the future. As an older L5R player I personally love what FFG have accomplished… though I also have similar reservations about the Imperial Favour. Though as you guys also mentioned, I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with the honour win/loss conditions in the future. Cheers!

Marcelo Silveira says:

the “honor win” mechanic is a problem within the scenario itself, and cause of most of the hatred against the Crane Clan, the Lion, the Crab and the Unicorn hate them because they completely avoid battle and still win by having someone at the court whispering at the Emperor’s ears… hence why whenever an Emperor that didn’t like the Crane arose the other Clans tried to erradicate it from existence (moment when the Kakita and Daidoji remember to Rokugan that they exist)

Akolotu Moeloa says:

L5R sounds like it has the highest barrier to entry from a rules standpoint of all the existing LCGs. I worry its long-term success is going to be heavily dependent on those interested in the setting willing to put in the time to learn such a complex, nuanced game. That said, I think this game would make for terrible tournament play. I would approach it as a medium weight board game and play it occasionally for the longer, story aspects.

Tupinamba77 says:

Thank you very much for this in depth and balanced review. Very good discussion indeed. The one point that raises my eyebrow is this reluctance about a game taking 1.5 – 2 hours. I’ve seen the same argument raised elsewhere and find it strange, as to me 2 hours for a strategy game is pretty standard. Even fast, really.

Wesu Maru says:

My biggest concern as an old school L5R player has to do with honor, from the point of the honorable clans (Crane, Phoenix, etc). It feels very un-thematic for Crane to be playing in a dishonorable fashion, whether that be from playing assassination cards and losing honor, splashing for dishonor cards from, say, scorpion, or losing honor from duels. In fact, the biggest feel bad for me is that Crane, who’s nickname in the original game was ‘The Imperial Kneepads”, has to potentially be losing honor when dueling. Dueling and honor running is their core identity, and it just feels very bad from my limited experience. I hope FFG can address my concerns in future expansion packs.

Christopher Detlef says:

#AskCovenant So L5R is requiring us to buy 3 cores. Which means 3 sets of tokens, dials, rings, etc. Most of which won’t be used. Do you think it would be more profitable and draw in more people if FFG released a second product that was only the cards from the core set and left out the cardboard? Less weight, smaller box, and they could sell it for $5-15 less than the standard core box. That way we could get into the competitive scene for under $100?

Elarfendir says:

14:50 Actual start of discussion about L5R

Allen Jones says:

#AskCovenant The number one thing that keeps me from getting a game on the table is the mood of the room. Sometimes even though you may have a group that likes playing a type of game, they may be feeling something else. Much as you may play a thousand games of Destiny, but that day you may just want to X-Wing. As a host I try to discern what everyone is feeling and make the choice according to the desires of my table.

James Taylor says:

Ok, I am back again, comment on a different video from Covenant. Good work guys, I appreciate the effort and the quality in the videos.

On the point of the “Imperial Favor”, you are so right.

After buying 3 cores, building 2 full decks (Phoenix and Scorpion) and playing a number of practice games and playing a couple of ACTUAL games, two things that I would not want to fight for are the Imperial Favor and the Void Ring. Fighting for the Air Ring (as the attacker) directly contributes to a victory condition. Fighting for the Fire Ring (as the attacker) is fighting for a victory condition indirectly. Fighting for the earth ring, gives you an extra card, and takes one from the opponent…cute, but not all that. Fighting for the Water Ring, gives me a bow/stand to a character. Bowing a courtier/shugenja does not completely remove it from the next combat because many of those actions do not require participation or “being ready/standing”. So, it is not really worth fighting hard for, unless you are bowing a “bushi”.

But Void…causes your opponent to waste one “fate”. So, you are fighting for removing one of your opponent’s “fate”…there are better ways to get your opponent to waste “fate”. “Assassinate” trades three honor for a two fate character, not counting attachments on that character. “Pacification” (Phoenix Condition) on a character with a “-” [dash] diplomacy stat causes your opponent to have wasted the “casting” cost of that character, plus attachments, plus extra “fate” placed on that character. But even if you put “Pacification” on a champion, you have now restricted that character you half the conflicts (and possibly only one of those). Champions cost 5 “fate” out of the gate. My 2 “fate” in “Pacification” is all that and a side of guacamole. But you can add the “text blanking spell” to that and the list would go on. The Void ring should be MORE! It is supposed to be a flipping magical ring that is tuned to the nature of the Rokugan Universe.

To that I add, the Imperial Favor…fighting for an additional “+1” to martial/diplomacy. You guys are right, it is a “win more” condition. Ties go to the attacker, so if I am the defender, I have to already be “winning”. With the rare occasion where the “+1” gives you the defense win or tie as attacker, “Congrats…you got lucky” but the other 80%+ cases you would lose anyways. If the Imperial favor was “+/- 2 fate/honor for you/opponent/character”, on the other hand. Hell, what if the void ring allowed you to refill a province “face up” during the next “Dynasty” Phase. You could buy an additional person. That could be worth fighting for!!

So, it feels like there are two places in this new L5R where FFG was, for lack of a better word, lazy.

But I have hope…

Mikael Svensson says:

Enjoyed your return to live video guys. I will go all-in on this one and plan to do as much tournament play as is possible. Netrunner is/was a fantastic game but I will not play it competitively as it has degenerated to something not resembling the Netrunner I love.I still have my old collection from the Wizards of the Coast days and I will much rather play that than the LCG of today.

L5R seems to place somewhere between Netrunner / AGoT and Doomtown: Reloaded in complexity, and since Doomtown is my favorite game I will consider L5R to be a nice chance to relax a bit gaming wise.

Looking forward to this one.

Trent Hamm says:

The number one thing that keeps me from getting a game on the table is time. I have a life with a lot of commitments and responsibilities and those often devour my gaming time.

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!