A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, May 2, 2008

A quick comment on the old game Clan War

For those of you who don't remember, in the late 90s AEG released Clan War, the Legend of the Five Rings miniatures game. It was a Warhammer Fantasy scaled game where Samurai and other Asian themed models fought in a fantasy world that took bits of medieval China and Japan as its main inspiration. Legend of the Five Rings, the CCG was (and still is!) the game where all the story and the basic fiction came from, and its also an RPG on its third or fourth edition. Not counting the D20 version.

What happened? Short version: The first version was effectively a beta test, with a later cleaned up edition afterwards. Games Workshop was still king of the hill at this time and it already had an upwards climb because of it. Customers effectively being beta testers did not help any. By the time the fixed edition came out, it was too late, and for a while you could find the figures which were really great in many cases (Oni no Jimen, the Elemental Terror of Earth has found a place in my Warhammer 40K Chaos Marine army as either a Chaos Spawn or a Greater Demon.) at dirt cheap clearance prices.

What follows is my initial thoughts on the game as inspired by a comment on the Bell of Lost Souls blog when Clan War was brought up as a superior to Warhammer Fantasy 5th edition game. (A hint: It was just as flawed and pretty much for the SAME REASONS.)

Clan War? The game that was more hero and magic centered than Warhammer 5th yet also added in buying packs of cards to make your armies do anything?

The game that actively PUNISHED people who didn't have expensive heroes because morale was so abusive losing a commander or failing a break test generally meant that unit was leaving the table?

Where a single wound left out of spells mage could chase a unit who lost 2 soldiers off the board merely by staying within 8" or so of it?

Where you could lose 20 models moving in to combat, but kill one guy and cause a daisy chain morale break where an entire ARMY ran off the board?

Where the infantry was pointless since getting into stupid commander duels was the whole point of half the armies?

Where the big bad EEEVIIILLL army was effectively the weakest army in the game since there were so many pieces of equipment, those dumb cards, and spells that ONLY screwed over that faction?

Clan War was one of the WORST miniatures games I ever had the displeasure of playing. And I am glad it fell apart for being a buggy betatest as first edition pile of garbage. As flawed as Third Edition 40K was, I vastly preferred it. A friend of mine and I actually stopped playing Clan War to go back to 40K, then the Clan War group pretty much fell apart as the two "boosters" of the game had to stop playing and the few remaining players finally realized nobody liked the stupid game.

A shame because it had a killer backstory and some fantastic models.

Yeah. Everything above is true. I saw all these things happen in actual games. And you needed to buy MULTIPLE packages of cards for special game effects, and each pack usually had 1 or 2 of these cards.

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