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Saga meets L5R

Where the designs of new factions (official and homebrewed) and the forthcoming supplements are discussed

Saga meets L5R

Postby ducat » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:25 pm

I always loved Legends of the 5 Rings, and this looks a great chance to translate it into a great skirmish system. I have a Clan War Crab Clan army that would be great for this, so I thought I would try to work on an alternative Samurai type setting involving the L5R fluff and clans. Hopefully a few others on here have a penchance for L5R too and can lend a hand.

So far I have come up with the following ideas -

Your unit choices are (with their saga equivilents)-

Clan Warlord = warlord
Clan Samurai = heathguard
Clan Warriors = warriors
Ashigaru = levy

Crab Clan - Use the Earth Battle Board
Heavy Armour - Your clan warlord, clan samurai receive +1 armour. (your clan warlord and clan samurai have armour 6).

Heavy Weapons - Your clan warlord and clan samurai may be armed with Tetsubos. These work exactly like dane axes.

Crane Clan - Use the Air Battle Board
Harriers - You may arm your clan warriors with Kami(bows). If they are armed with bows, their armour is reduced by 1 in melee (therefore they are armour 4 vs shooting, 3 vs melee).

Unicorn Clan - Use the Water Battle Board
Cavalry - Your clan warlord, clan samurai and clan warriors may be mounted. all usual mounted rules apply.

Dragon Clan - Use the Void Battle Board
Two weapon fighting - Your clan warlord and clan samurai are armed with two weapons. They may exchanged attack dice for defence dice on a 1 for 1 basis.

Lion Clan - Use the Fire Battle Board
Death seekers - One, and only one, unit of 4 Clan Samurai may be upgrade to Deathseekers. They recieve 4 attacks each, but their armour is reduced to 3.

Pheonix Clan - Masters of the Elements
At the start of the pheonix players turn, they pick any one of the 5 battle boards. They must use that battle board until their next turn whereupon they may choose again.

I thought to start with the basic six clans first and get some army builds up, as this would lend itself to board design more.

For the Boards, I figured one for each of the 5 rings - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Void. Various armys would then be assigned a board type.

Dice could then potentially have various symbols for each of the 5 Boards as appropiate too.

Well thats what I have so far. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
ducat
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby ikon » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:16 am

Great idea,

I Love L5R, i am not sold on the idea of "5 ring" battle boards i think you could better represent the clans by having clan specific boards then the abilities could be named after the techniques of the roleplaying game.

What era were you thinking? I am fond of the early pre clan coup time.

my thoughts for clans would be

Unicorn - mostly mounted abilities like normans

Dragon - could have ise zumi and lots of reroll type effects

Crab - remove fatigue and defence

Lion - give out fatigue and offence

Scorpion - no idea how to make them sneaky maybe they force opponents to reroll or steal dice

Crane - one ability could be iajitsu duel if the odds are exactly 1 on 1 the bonus attack dice

Phoenix - Archery heavy

instead of heros of the viking age, Heros of Rokugan:

I remember a Lion charicer that was cav so he could allow a unit to be mounted ( i think the crab had something similar)

Minor clan allies instead of flemish

I will have to pull out my old way of the clan books and have a read.
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby Grognik » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:51 am

Looks like I'm reviving an old thread here. Did you ever make any progress on this?

I've been working on a Legend of the Five Rings version of SAGA set during the Clan War era. Each clan (Crab, Crane, Dragon, Lion, Phoenix, Unicorn and Scorpion for the initial run with Naga, Nezumi, Shadowlands & Mantis [Minor Clans] coming later) will have it's own battle board, dice labels and faction lists. Just sorting through the various existing battle boards and faction abilities for ones that work for each clan aspect.

Have the base list pretty much done, getting the old Clan War unit types was actually easier than I expected, it is balancing the battle boards that are giving me the biggest headache :p The basic design of the battle boards and dice sets are done as are clan specific fatigue markers .. Here are a couple of design concepts so far, let me know what you think :)

Image Image
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby Yuusha » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:10 am

Nice dice Grognik :)

Balancing the battle boards while keeping them characterful is indeed the tough bit. Not sure I'd have buke though. For Sengoku Japan it kind of makes sense for ashigaru to be warriors, but for L5R I think ashigaru can be levy while most samurai are warriors and hearth guard would be elites, veterans or heavy cavalry/infantry. Perhaps even characters if it was the RPG~
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby GelasticJake » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:00 pm

I've been poking around this forum off and on for a little while now. I'm not sure if I saw this thread and was inspired by it and then forgot the thread existed, or if I've discovered this thread by happy accident and my current project is a coincidence. A month or two ago, a buddy of mine got our group into Saga. We've played a couple games and started an Age of the Wolf campaign, and somewhere along the line I got it into my head that Legend of the Five Rings and Saga are meant to be together. I've started the process of conversion.

First a disclaimer. I'm a newby at this. So far my Saga experience has consisted of 4 or 5 battles. A friend of mine has lent me the various books and I've perused them, but reading isn't playing. I've also only ever played one campaign of Legend of the Five Rings. It lasted for more than a year in real-time, and began in-game I think in 1168, so that's the only era of historical Rokugan that I have even a passing familiarity with. And all of what you're gonna read is rough-drafty, still in-process, and might end up getting changed.

So here's where I'm at: For my first run at this, since I'm new to Saga, I didn't want to invent new Saga abilities whole-cloth. What I decided I'd do is give each Great Clan it's own battle-board composed of Saga Abilities cherry-picked from the existing boards. My goal is to create a battleboard for each Clan that is balanced, effective, feels like how that Clan fights, and is unique. (i.e. No two boards sharing the same Saga Ability.) So for example right now, the Crane battle-board has 10 Abilities picked from the boards of the Anglo-Danes, the Scots, the Norse-Gaels, the Irish, and the Rus Princes. And no other board has the Abilities that are on the Crane board.

Will this work? I don't know, but I'm giving it a try, and enlisting a few of my friends to help out. I actually have one bit that's ready to playtest: The Yasuki War. Full battle-companies and boards ready to play for both Crane and Crab. A friend and I are going to give it a shot sometime soon. If folks are interested, I could share what I have so far?
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby ducat » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:19 pm

Do let us know how it goes. It was something that never got any further for me, although one day I may revisit it and see what I can do.

I need to try and get some proper software on my pc so i can play around with this sort of thing again.
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby StygianBeach » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:58 am

Hallo!

I have been thinking about L5R Saga for a while, and my thoughts so far are....

1 point = 5 Hearthguard = 10 Warriors = 15 Levies.

Heathguard move M with Armour 4
Warriors move M with Armour 3
Levies move M with Armour 2

The lower Armour is to represent the lack of shields in the Rokugan armoury and the bigger unit size is an attempt ot balance this (maybe 6/12/18 would be better?).
Warlords are kept the same as Saga though.

The Factions: The Crab Clan.
The Crab are the Guardians of the Empire, they stand on the Wall and keep the Evil at bay. They are rude and Uncouth but honest. Crab are mighty on the battlefield and unbending in their duty.
Faction Rules.
Crab Clan Warlords, Hearthguard and Warriors may have Dane Axes.
1 unit of Crab Clan Hearthguard of 5 models exactly may be Beserkers (same as Vikings).
1 unit of Crab Clan Hearthguard may be armed with Bows.
Crab Clan levies are armed with Spears (1/2 Melee attacks).

The Factions: The Crane Clan.
The Crane are the masters of negotiation and they excel as duellists. They are rich and their political schemes act as an unseen hand shaping the Empire and the other clans.
Faction Rules.
Crane Clan Hearthguard may be armed with Bows.
1 unit of Crane Clan Hearthguard without Bows may be Mounted.
1 unit of Crane Clan Warriors may be armed with Bows.
Crane Clan levies are armed with Bows.
Some Crane Clan abilities may instigate a Challenge.

The Factions: The Lion Clan.
The Lion are the finest Warriors in the Empire, they are also the most numerous. They value loyalty and honour above all else and are easily offended if either are challenged.
Faction Rules.
1 unit of Lion Clan Hearthguard may be Mounted.
1 unit of Lion Clan Hearthguard have Dane Axes.
1 unit of Lion Clan Warriors may be Mounted.
1 unit of Lion Clan of Heathguard or Warriors may be armed with Javelins.
Lion Clan levies are armed with Spears (1/2 Melee attacks).
Some Lion Clan abilities require Wrath.

The next step will be adding in the Dragon Clan and trying out some Battleboards.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby Yuusha » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:03 pm

Hey Stygian - Nice ideas. You've definitely put a lot of thought into it all.

I don't think there's a need to change the base unit rules or limiting existing abilities to only being for one clan. The undead army faction from Saga don't have lower armour I believe, but I can't see them using shields. The 4/8/12 and 3/4/5 armour is balanced enough. I think changing this will just cause knock-on problems - e.g. Your Crab berserkers are far more powerful than base berserkers as they have +1 unit size and they aren't losing as much armour if they're equivalent to Viking berserkers in Saga. For abilities - consider that the Mirumoto would also issue challenges and have duels on the battlefield. Finally, for faction makeup... well, I'd not be too restrictive or defined. There are a lot of exceptions and oddities in Rokugan.

Hearthguard - Samurai elite (Warlords are always samurai elite)
Warriors - Normal samurai and ji-samurai
Levy - Ashigaru

Additional rule suggestions and considerations:
If a unit of levy is wiped out in melee then only other levy units within S take a fatigue token. Samurai are above it.
Dane axes are replaced by heavy weapons (tetsubo, ono, nodachi, bisento, other exotic weapons). These function mechanically identically to dane axes.
Ashigaru may only be equipped with spears or bows.
Nearly all abilities on battle boards will only apply to samurai units (with monks, ninja and shugenja counting as samurai units). A few will only affect samurai elite. Very, very few should work on ashigaru as these have never been the focus of L5R. To make up for this some factions will have a small benefit to their ashigaru to make them a valid choice if they entirely lack abilities to benefit ashigaru units.
Each Clan should have a few enticing options in their rules that are thematic for them and fit with their fluff.
Warlords gain an additional wound, just like the trait from Age of the Wolf, but they may no longer fob off hits onto nearby samurai units. This makes them overall more susceptible to damage, but stronger when on their own. Alternatively they gain resilience 2 (ignoring first 2 hits suffered from any attack), but can still no longer fob off hits. This makes the leader characters more heroic imo. This rule could also apply to priests, and certainly would warlord-priests.
All clans may take 2 champions/heroes for 1 point. Each counts as a hearthguard unit of 1 by themselves (so, they generate 2 sage dice for 1 point, the same as splitting a warrior unit into 2 lots of 4) and gains the warlord resilience rule. Each has armour 6 versus ranged and armour 5 in melee (same as a warlord). Each generates 3 attacks. Each awards 3 victory points. They may be armed with heavy weapons, normal melee weapons, a bow and/or mounted. These then can represent other important heroes or even RPG protagonists. They are more effective than hearth guard for their cost, but killing them awards more victory points. 1 unit of hearthguard would be worth 4 VPs, but the heroes would be 6VPs if you kill them both.

Rokugani ponies and Unicorn horse special rules: All factions may only have one mounted samurai unit, except the Unicorn which may have multiple. Unicorn use Unicorn horses unless stated otherwise. Rokugani ponies move L, but their armour is lowered by 1 against ranged attacks. They take an additional fatigue if they end their turn in difficult terrain. Unicorn horses sometimes have armour and their riders wear riding armour. They do not suffer the penalty against ranged attacks, but they do take an additional fatigue if they end their turn in difficult terrain. Unicorn cavalry units may be equipped with a short bow - this functions identically to a javelin (allowing them to move and shoot as one action, but at a reduced range).

I'll put some Clan rule suggestions below, but I'm not sure of appropriate dice requirements for the ability suggestions

Crab:
May take heavy weapons on all samurai units
1 unit may be berserkers (same as Vikings)
One samurai unit may be equipped with bows (but not any berserkers)
One samurai unit, but not the warlord or berserkers, may be mounted
Crab Clan levies must be armed with spears but fight at increased effectiveness (1/2 melee attacks instead of 1/3)
No ashigaru abilities - The Crab expect their peasants to be able to defend themselves, usually because of necessity, but they're hesitant to equip and train them for war considering the foes they usually face and the resources (jade) that would be required to properly field them.
Ability suggestions:
Kaiu armour (melee): Samurai elite count as behind heavy cover for this melee (+1 armour, +1 save)
We are the Wall (reaction): Unit may reroll any failed saves
Crab resilience (reaction): Unit gains resilience 1. If it has resilience already then it may ignore a further unsaved wound
Irish abilities relating to terrain to represent Hiruma scout ambushes
Dane ability to give fatigue to enemy army units
Viking ability to remove a fatigue in melee from samurai
Viking ability to remove fatigue from units around the warlord from samurai

Crane
Warlord may be mounted or equipped with a bow.
One samurai elite unit may be upgraded to Daidoji Heavy Bushi. They gain the resilience special rule as a unit (the first unsaved wound against them from any attack is ignored), but they may not use any challenge abilities.
Two units may be equipped with bows
A warrior unit with bows may count as Elite Crane Archers - losing 1 armour and gaining the benefits of a crossbow to their ranged attacks
Various existing challenge abilities, but can only be used on samurai units (how brave are you, etc.)
Perfect strike (melee - Rare die): Every roll of a 6 generates an additional attack that must be rolled immediately. Further 6s do not generate further attacks.
Harriers (Orders - Uncommon die): You may change two common symbols to two uncommon symbols or one uncommon to a rare symbol.
Political Manipulations (Activation reaction - Uncommon): Once your opponent has selected a unit and an activation choice (move, shoot, rest, etc.) you may change the activated unit to any other samurai unit in your opponent's force (but not their warlord). If that unit could not take that activation that must take a rest activation instead.

Lion
Musing: Maybe giving them similar rules to crusaders where they get virtues based on Bushido/Honour?
Warlord may be mounted, given a heavy weapon or equipped with a bow.
May take heavy weapons on all samurai units
1 hearth guard unit may be death seekers - They count as armour 4 but generate 3 attacks each (similar to Vikings).
One samurai unit may be equipped with bows (but not any death seekers)
One levy unit may be equipped with bows
One samurai unit, but not any death seekers, may be mounted
One hearth guard unit may be changed to a beast master unit. Replace the 4 samurai elite with 1 samurai elite and 3 war lions. The armour of the unit is reduced to 4, but they may move L. The war lions each have 2 attacks, but 3 on the charge. The samurai elite must be the last model removed from the unit. All models count as being equipped with heavy weapons.
Leadership (Order - Common and uncommon): You may reroll one order die and convert the other to any type of die (rare, common or uncommon)
Bushido (Activation - Rare): You may immediately activate this unit. Once that activation is complete you may activate it again.
Matsu's Fury (Melee - Two Rare): Activate your unit for a move. If they end up in combat their attack dice cap is removed and they generate twice as many base attacks.
Intimidate
An ability that lowers enemy armour
Scots ability that gives a mini-orders phase?

Dragon
Warlord may be equipped with a bow.
One samurai elite unit may be upgraded to Togashi monks. Their armour is reduced by one and they no longer count as samurai for the purposes of abilities. They count as being armed with javelins (flaming breath), lose one fatigue at the start of every turn and may be activated once for free each turn.
Two samurai units may be mounted
Two units may be equipped with bows
A samurai unit with bows may count as Mirumoto Mountaineers - They may have one free activation to shoot for free on your turn if they have not already activated. They may move through difficult terrain without shortening their movement. Their armour is reduced by 1 against enemy shooting.
Various existing challenge abilities, but can only be used on samurai units (how brave are you, etc.)
Niten (melee - Common): The samurai unit gains a defence die. You may reroll any failed saves from defence die (but not hits).
Two hands (Melee - Uncommon): The samurai unit gains your choice of two attack or defence die.
Whirling Blades (Melee - Rare): The samurai unit rolls a D6 for each enemy they are outnumbered by. They gain an extra attack die for each 4+ rolled. (This ability can shred levy units! Of course it is limited by the attack die cap)

Scorpion...
Ninja - Cause :P
Bayushi House Guard or some other iconic unit - Maybe hearth guard with only one attack each, but they always get 4 defence die and save on a 4+?
Feint abilities - Perhaps an extra hit for each hit you have above the enemy's number of hits (if they hit 3 times and you hit 5, then you gain 2 hits!)
Poison - An ability to ignore resilience rules or always cause a minimum of one wound from combat...

Phoenix...
Isawa unit
Shiba yojimbo ability or Elemental Legion unit

Unicorn...
Shinjo horse archers?
Utaku mounted infantry - or an ability to give an infantry unit an L move?
Otaku - Upgraded unit. Maybe worth more VPs but ignores the fatigue and movement penalties for cavalry in terrain?

Mantis...
Hmm!

Shugenja - Any thoughts? I think the heroes/champions with bows could be said to be shugenja. I believe the Phoenix should be able to take a samurai elite unit of shugenja and to give them the Norman ability to double their range.
Yuusha
 
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby Yuusha » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:35 pm

Here is a list of some battle board abilities and what Clans each could work best for:

Taunting (Welsh - Rare) - Crab - Crab loudly taunting their enemies
Hit and Run (Welsh) - Crab - To represent Hiruma harassing tactics
Strength lies in numbers (Welsh) - Crane levy. Common die - As the Crane recruit a lot of levy this could benefit them nicely (though levy attacks will still be capped)
Answering the Call (Welsh) - Lion - Representing the Lion commander's sound control of his or her forces
Shoulder to Shoulder (Anglo-Saxons) - Phoenix - defensive ability thematic with Shiba
Bretwalda (Anglo-Saxons) - Phoenix - Good for representing a Shiba's tenacity or an Isawa using defensive spells
Backward! (Bretons) - Unicorn - Representing their superior cavalry
Lady Mary (Bretons) - Mantis - Representing Tsuruchi archers! Samurai only :)
Strong Rain (Bretons) - Mantis - Another shooting ability for samurai only to represent Tsuruchi marksmanship
Attack! (Bretons) - Mantis - Same as above
Britanny Forever (Bretons) - Mantis - Same as above
Fight! (Bretons) - Crab - Samurai only. Representing Hiruma engaged in melee
Saint Kado (Bretons) - Dragon - Samurai only. Representing Mirumoto mountaineers
The Shadow of Death (Bretons) - Crane - Samurai only. To represent their elite archers and Asahina archers. Less shots as they center, but a great capacity for damage
In all directions (Bretons) - Unicorn - Cavalry mobility :)
The Devil's Dance (Bretons) - Dragon - To represent Mirumoto niten adding to defence and Togashi using bamboo tattoos, etc. Generally speaking they have the highest defence raising techniques outside of directly engaging enemies in melee, so this seems reasonable as a suggestion.
Noble Lineage (Anglo-Danish) - Scorpion - Perhaps representing their adaptability and subterfuge
Trapped (Anglo-Danish) - Crab - Use of traps, intimidation, fortifications, etc.
Intimidation (Anglo-Danish) - Lion - Just fits
Hard as Iron (Anglo Danish) - Crab - Crab armour and defensive strength
The Push (Anglo Danish) - Scorpion - Adding damage after a successful melee should be rewarding for a crafty Scorpion force
Stubbornness (Anglo Danish) - Mantis or Crab - Makes sense for both
Shieldwall (Anglo Danish) - Crane - For their defensive lines. Not quite as effective as shoulder to shoulder (due to lacking the defence dice element for units of 10 or more)
Exhaustion (Anglo Danish) - Scorpion - Wearing enemies down and then eliminating them. Perhaps rename to venom?
Unforgiving (Anglo Danish) - Scorpion - For poison use and tiring enemies out with unconventional or dishonourable tactics
Lords of Battle (Anglo Danish) - Mantis - A strong ability for representing Yoritomo tenacity and skill
Massed Volley (Normans) - Mantis - For Tsuruchi super long range.
Aimed Volley (Normans) - Lion - As the Akodo are very good at hitting enemies, including with shooting
Terrified (Normans) - Unicorn - Scary cavalry? You bet!
Stamping (Normans) - Unicorn - Very relatable for their larger horses. Perhaps add a fatigue to the enemy unit if your unit is mounted on Otaku steeds.
Crush (Normans) - Scorpion or Mantis - For rewarding clever use of forces and abilities
Pursuit (Normans) - Unicorn - Riding down enemies!
Gallop (Normans) - Unicorn - Bursts of speed
Dex Aie (Normans) - Lion - For when their warlords get angry
Njord (Vikings) - Crab - Keeping them in the fight
Frigg (Vikings) - Crab - Their stubbornness and melee skill
Thor (Vikings) - Crab - Raging Crab continuing to fight?
Ullr (Vikings) - Lion - Akodo melee accuracy
Heimdal (Vikings) - Lion - When Matsu berserkers and death seekers enter the fray! I've always thought the lowering armour aspect made this underwhelming (what you gained in hits the enemy did as well because you were easier to hit. This makes the ability only really useful for suicide attacks). Perhaps increase the number of attacks to 4, with 6 if the discarded die was rare. This would make it more appealing even where you hope to keep the unit alive.
Loki (Vikings) - Crane or Scorpion - For Daidoji saboteurs or Scorpion ninja representation
Odin (Vikings) - Scorpion - Maybe representing blackmail and confusion techniques?
Valhalla (Vikings) - Lion - For death or glory combats!
Ragnarok (Vikings) - Mantis - For Osano-wo's blessings
Without Mercy (Scots) - Lion - For Akodo tactical supremacy
Keeping the distance (Scots) - Phoenix - Their battlefield duty
Hold the Ground (Scots) - Phoenix or Dragon - Good defence
Running Away (Scots) - Scorpion - Because honour is nothing
Give Ground (Scots) - Crane - Defence of the Daidoji
Counter-Attack (Scots) - Dragon - Evolving defence into offence
Of Wood and Steel (Scots) - Phoenix or Crab - Strength in defence
Tireless (Scots) - Mantis or Lion - An ability for them to conserve their strength
A barrier of spears (Scots) - Phoenix - Protecting their shugenja

I think some of the shooting abilities of the Normans and Bretons could be given to the Phoenix with the added requirement of shugenja only.
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Re: Saga meets L5R

Postby Yuusha » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:25 pm

Another key thing will be defining the role of each clans - its strengths, strategic options and even weaknesses

Crab - Defence, tenacity, high armour and damage reduction, harassing tactics, strong attack. Strength - Should be hard to budge, dangerous to fight yet able to wear down enemies who do not engage. Weaknesses - Slow (no movement boosts or activation abilities if possible), maybe have slightly more uncommon/rare dice needed across their battle board if they have a very good selection of abilities to make choices harder, weak versus stronger ranged enemies. Relies greatly on melee and longer games where their fatigue reduction will give them an edge.
Crane - Some defence and damage reduction, harassing abilities, duelling, ranged accuracy, political tricks. Strength - Strong duelling threat, ability to use melee screen to protect ranged options or to hold a position, options to damage and manipulate enemies on the battlefield regardless of remaining army strength, some greater ability control due to politics. Weaknesses - They should only have 1-2 attack options for melee forcing them to rely on duels, ranged or weathering attacks with defence. Their ranged options should be somewhat limited and they lack army control or speed buffs. They aren't good at handling fatigue.
Dragon - Strong defence and counter attack, many attacks, some ranged options, a few tricky abilities. Strength - Should be unpredictable with options to use their abilities in different ways. Good ranged resistance (due to higher defences and magic resisting abilities), very adaptable with ranged, cavalry and melee options. Weaknesses - Should lack the melee strength and melee reduction of other Clans, no movement ability options (though maybe a trick ability - perhaps swapping the location of two units or having some exit the table and enter elsewhere?), limited fatigue removal, lack of army control.
Lion - Accurate ranged and very accurate melee, very strong attack, tactical options, good army control. Strength - Accuracy and melee power giving you the ability to directly attack opponents. They should excel at a lot without being the best at anything. Weaknesses - Not the best at anything, troops tend to cause damage to themselves for greatest benefits - this is a theme to look at for their abilities.
Scorpion - They should get rewards for cleverly engaging enemies or emerging as the winner of a melee. Damage boosts against worn down enemies and some ability to wear them down quickly. Should be able to harass enemies and thereby whittle them down. Some ability to manipulate the enemy. Weaknesses - Lack of defence, attack best later in the game and weak early, lacking army control and the ability to reduce their own fatigue.
Phoenix - Excellent ranged, but only on elite units. Very strong defence. Maybe an ability to sacrifice warriors to protect hearth guard. Magic should give them some adaptable options (such as perhaps an ability that lets you go up in movement length category, remove a fatigue or activate a unit). Weaknesses - Small elite forces preferred as hearth guard strong, but some defensive abilities will work best on larger units. Will require careful coordination of melee and ranged elements. Reliant on magic abilities, which will be limited.
Unicorn - Amazing cavalry and mobility. Very strong melee and shooting under some circumstances. Weaknesses: Taking and holding terrain or mounting a defence. Weak against ranged attacks. They die quickly basically.
Mantis - Some options in melee, amazing shooting (best ranged) and can be surprisingly tough. Fairly well rounded. Weaknesses: Not the strongest or toughest, immobile on land.
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