Ninja: The Legend of the Scorpion Clan from AEG follows the Legend of the Five Rings product line. According to the AEG website:
The game centers around one very dangerous night at a castle in the provinces of the Lion Clan. Honorable Lion samurai stand vigilant watch around the castle, protecting it from harm. The Scorpion Clan sends one well trained ninja to infiltrate the castle for nefarious purposes… it may be to assassinate an imperial guest under the Lion’s protection, or poison the well, or steal the daimyo’s war plans for the coming season. Whatever the goal, the ninja has vowed to accomplish it, or die trying. Worse yet for the Lion Clan, the ninja has an accomplice: a traitor among the ranks of the Lion samurai whose true loyalty lies with the Scorpion.
The intruders move in secret, marking their positions on a small copy of the game board. They can move freely, but the faster they move, the easier they are to detect. Moats, walls, and most especially sentries all serve to hamper their movement. And if a guard stumbles across their position, the alarm will be raised!
I played this game at this year’s Gen Con and I have to admit it is a mixed bag.
- The board looks amazing, great artwork
- The miniatures are acceptable, nothing special (on par with Shogun minis)
- The game is a bit too rules intensive. The rules could have been slimmed down and streamlined considerably
- Once a ninja states that he/she is searching an area on the map the gig is up. You know that the ninja is adjacent to that square or very nearby and you can divert your guards to intercept. This meta-gaming seems like a huge flaw in the game design
It is a very cool concept, but I would wait for a second edition, allow AEG to iron out some flaws.
Shots of the game demo: