Physical game of Luck and Logic previewed in major convention, rules and overall gameplay feel are now revealed
A Mature new TCG from Bushiroad
The earlier half of November saw the unveiling of TCG publisher Bushiroad’s latest TCG, Luck and Logic (L&L), another original TCG released close to two years after the debut of their last original game, Future Card Buddyfight, through late 2013 to early 2014. The physical game will be released in on 28th February 2016 and its anime will begin airing on Japanese networks Tokyo MX, Sun TV, KBS Kyoto, and BS 11 a month earlier starting 9th January 2016.
As with many other titles from this Japanese company, tabletop gamers in Japan and Singapore – in which Bushiroad has a major branch office of operations – are the first to experience the game firsthand.
Bushiroad appears to be inventing games to cover as many age groups and gaming preferences, which brings L&L to be focused to the more mature shounen or seinen crowd with an original anime series that, on first impression, boasts a darker tone and much richer lore compared to Buddyfight and Cardfight!! Vanguard.
This can be seen as an attempted to even further the player-base; The original Vanguard and Buddyfight properties appeal to young players all too impressionable to role-play as their anime characters and older, competitive players. Older players who want something more exclusive to their age group will have to settle for Weiss Schwarz and the lesser known ChaOS, which undoubtedly feature other anime series, but not an original cast of characters and monsters – effectively leaving those who are not into other anime, visual novels and video games in general untapped.
The company appeared at an exhibitor at Singapore’s largest anime and Japanese-medium-entertainment convention, the Anime Festival Asia (AFA) held from 27-29th November 2015 at the Suntec City Convention Centre.
Apart from offering tables for players to play existing Bushiroad TCGs along with merchandise sales, the major draw to attendees was to learn L&L firsthand. The game will also be taught in 20 stores across Japan in December and their leg of the Bushiroad Games’ World Grand Prix.
Trying out the game firsthand
One of J-Network’s reporters attended the said teaching session. Waiting times at the booth were relatively long due space constraints how it took around 30 minutes to an hour for an average learner to learn and play a shortened version of the game, one that used 4 starting Gate cards instead of the typical 6.
Games were taught with two teaching decks, one of the disruptive Red color and a resource-gainer Green. These decks are not confirmed to be the 2 actual Starter Decks the game debuts with, according to on-site staff. And as expected of a Japanese-language game being taught in an English-speaking country, a translation list of all the cards in each deck was provided.
The learning curve prove that the game is indeed complex, and we legitimately found the game to be a heavy cross of common elements from Bushiroad games and elsewhere – the Life and Trigger systems from Z/X, a Hearthsone-like mana resource, the extensive boosting of units in battle using other disposable units a la Vanguard lengthened by a potentially long chain of luck-trigger effects you already experienced in Ange Vierge, as well as a vaguely Fusion-type of summoning from Yu-Gi-Oh! . Yes, it sounds exhaustive, but we mean it: the game has a huge mix of everything there was.
The game’s objective is to summon as many monster units called Members, onto your 6 starting “life” Gate Cards that are arranged in a 3×2 grid, to protect them while attacking those of your opponents to deplete their Gates to 0 before they do so to you. The first to fifth Gates trigger a positive effect upon broken upon fulfilling certain conditions, akin to the Life cards in Z/X and how Z/X-es are deployed on or near the player’s spot on the game to protect their Life. (The complete rules of the L&L are attached to the end of this article.)
Resource-gaining in this game is fast and not over-thought, with the default of drawing 2 cards per turn instead of a typical 1 in most other TCGs, as well as an increase of 1 to the Stock, the mana resource.
For the most part, combat is standard TCG fare – beat down opponent’s members using members of higher stats and buff their stats using spells and other effects.
The color alignments Green, Red, Blue and Yellow also follow virtually any other TCG that uses a 4-, 5- or 6- color pie. Honestly, we were expecting something a bit more unique instead of a Control-V command of the overdone elemental alignment in Magic: The Gathering and Weiss Schwarz. That’s considering how Bushiroad could already muster much effort to design distinct clans and Worlds for Vanguard and Buddyfight as a break-free from a game centered on elemental alignments and instead, one that focuses on different play-style archetypes.
However, the cards are also divided according to a second major classification, the lore’s 4 Worlds, serving both as a second layer of distinction between the cards as well as a deviation from the hackneyed structure.
What L&L brings new to the table, and arguably the most salient seller of the game, are the unique restriction mechanics.
Apart from a Level system that limits the number of cards that can be played or attack per turn, each Member has a unique Limit number, the maximum number of separate card effects that can be applied to it. Generally, powerful Members have a higher Limit, thus they can be buffed with more effects when battling, whereas the weaker ones usually have a non-existent Limit of 0, leaving him no choice but to accept its inevitable destruction when it is engulfed by a stronger Member. It is an interesting system that prevents obscenely long chains of effects from going off simultaneously, and one that prompts players to delegate their buffing effects in a balanced member.
Even more unique are the Paradox cards with rule-changing effects reflected by the namesake. One effect, for instance, changes the battle such that the victorious Member is the one with a higher Aura, a less-used stat on the card, instead of the typical Power, twisting the possible outcomes in battle.
How does the game feel on the whole?
Although our reporter is already a regular patron of Bushiroad’s products, we initially found this system to be very complicated, though it could eventually be an effective way to balance the effects of luck in the game when we look at the big picture.
There has perhaps been one complaint too many in Vanguard when a cardfighter’s main unit, the Vanguard, launches an unguarded attack and wins the game suddenly when it pulls a damage-increasing Critical trigger, or conversely in Weiss Schwarz when Climax pulls often stop otherwise-powerful attacks at random. By putting restrictions on which members and spreading out how frequently members can these effects in L&L, the factor of luck is reduced, lowering the likelihood of sudden wins or obscene changes in damage gaps.
We would take a cautioned guess with our still-limited knowledge that L&L encourages players, to some extent, to constantly extend their field since each Gate has to be protected with a member deployed over it ASAP to prevent it from being targeted directly by the opponent.
The game also follows the card advantage theory quite closely, a concept present in most other TCGs in which card effects are evaluated based on how much net difference in the number of cards each player has on his board. Being able to produce more cards than the opponent increases one’s chances of winning in the long run. Currently, there is the basic action of paying 3 Stock to draw 1 card (a +1 to your card advantage) when you are short of cards on hand for your turn, and this Stock is replenished by 1 whenever one of your members is destroyed. Of course, for such easy actions, the amount of advantage gained are less economical than using intentional card effects, and the onus is on the players to math out what are the cost-effective ways to gain advantage as the game matures.
After the session, the players walked away with a pamphlet about the anime’s lore, a promo card and a deck-box, typical gifts for tryout sessions. Our tutorial guide, on the whole, was quite clear in crystallizing the difficult game for us, using references to similarities in other TCGs for ease of understanding.
In Part 2 of this article, we form first impressions of the anime and the starting prospects of the TCG.
Source: J-Network’s on-site coverage at AFA, FreedomDuo, Anime News Network, L&L Official Website