Sunday, 19 May 2019

It's Too Bright


All the capitals, but honestly, if you're reading this blog, you already know Risen Sun is available.  The Pre-Order will end on the 1st of July, so it won't all be available before the UK Games Expo.  There are a number of things I'm proud of with the work I put into Risen Sun, but two stand out in particular: the redesign of Satou Kioshi, and my suggestion for the cover (though someone else has obviously done all the hard work).
"I actually like the plain white with the logo.  Could go with traditional Japanese bookbinding pattern along the spine."
LOOK AT THAT.  LOOK AT IT!  I mean, the binding is on the wrong side, but it's still a gorgeous-looking book.  My OCD also noted that a corner of the title label has folded over.

The downside to Risen Sun (Risun?) is that I cannot afford all the new goods to update my collection.  I've ordered rulebooks, ronin cards, and Eldest Brother for myself and Jim; and two factions for each of us.  I don't have any of the models in the Prefecture starter box, so I ordered that too.  My Ito Clan updates and Jim's Savage Wave are going to have to wait a while.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Not Just a Lucky Number

I travelled to Rotterdam to play in the Benelux Bushido Masters and thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  I did spend an inordinate amount of time walking around with Hannah - so much so that I was walking with a limp a day after my arrival in Amsterdam.  I blame my new walking boots for that, the right one doesn't seem to grip my ankle very well.  Guess it's back to trainers only for now.

I came second, again using the Satou clan style Prefecture.  I was beaten out by a Death & Decay warband, which was also my only loss - and even then I'm pretty sure I could have won with a minor shift in tactics.  I also got to play against a whole range of new things and discover things I simply didn't know about, such as: why does Dudiko have Pierce (3) natively on her bow?  This is something I discussed this with Jason afterwards and we had an "oh yeah, we could have done this instead" moment about it, but it's too late to fix now.

There were three Prefecture players, out of 8 players.  All the warbands were quite different, though the other two Prefecture players both brought Katsumoto, which tells me his stock is quite impressive.  I didn't see him getting used to his full potential, he was more of an Order battery.  On the other hand, using Dominate against something like Death & Decay is usually quite pointless.

I would like to play around with the Jung Pirates before the UK Masters in a couple of weeks, having now brought the same Prefecture warband to tournaments twice now; but Jim isn't wanting to play Bushido until the cards come out, so I don't have anyone to practice against.  I'm getting more sold on having a sideboard over theme bonuses, but that's also something I'm going to have to explore a bit more.

Another thing I'm discovering is that seven models is absolutely fine for a warband size.  I'm used to having eight with the Jung, but the results with seven models on my Prefecture warband says seven models still gets results.  I'm going to try to get a few more Jung Pirates models painted up, but I'm going to keep the Prefecture stuff on hand for the UK Games Expo.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Daimyo of the South - "I'm going to spend 6 Pass Tokens"

I spend the Mother's Day weekend visiting my parents, and actual Mother's Day playing Bushido at the Daimyo of the South tournament.  The two locations proved to be conveniently close.  I brought my Prefecture of Ryu, and honestly expected to get a rather middling placement with it.  There are several incredibly obvious weaknesses in my Hare clan themed warband, but no one brought the right tools to exploit them.

My final standing was... Well I won the tournament.  Weirdly that makes the current Daimyo of the South (me) one of the people who lives the furthest north.  All of my games were quite hard work, more of an exercise in applying a sledgehammer than a scalpel in terms of combat.  Generally the superior fighting skills of my warband would win out, but I had to go full Sun Tze after a bit of greed against James Goddard’s Death & Decay went badly for me.  I actually managed to pull of a tactical feint.

Here are the key features of the Prefecture that I discovered:

  • You will nearly always win the Tactical Roll.
  • Pass Tokens do more than you think they do.
  • Learn to place terrain to maximum advantage.
  • Critical Strike may not be reliable, but it is terrifying.

Reliably winning the Tactical Roll every turn gives you a huge advantage over the opponent.  It was really strange to play against Harukichi and have to worry that my opponent might win a Tactical Roll.  I was able to dictate where a lot of the game was being played and get off Active Ki feats before my opponent could.

I'm finding the Prefecture is very good at fighting, but you do need to have a game plan before the game starts.  It's very much a case of looking at the scenario, the opponent's warband, and then working around that.  You literally need a Battle Plan.  Being able to decide terrain placement was stupendously useful - I mostly just jammed up my opponent's side of the board with terrain and relied on Kioshi, Tactician, and a massive Scout value to make sure I started the game on good terms.

Vanguard proved to be a mission-critical choice of Special Card.  Being able to get those ashigaru up the table allowed me to adopt my usual stance on winning games of Bushido: build up as much of a scenario point lead as quickly as possible, to the point where it is impossible for my opponent to score enough scenario points to equalise in a single turn.  Two of my four games reached this stage.  I may have lost the ability to hold the board, but my opponent simply couldn't score fast enough to catch up.

Pass Tokens.  There's something of an art to using Pass Tokens.  I had a number of turns where I didn't use them, but they allow for the precise application of force (for the lack of a better word).  There were times where the opposing warbands weren't quite in melee range of each other, but I held the scenario advantage, so simply waiting for my opponent to come forward without burning activations was greatly beneficial to me.

So what's next?  I'm going to play about with a few different Prefecture warbands.  Katusmoto and Matsu both present options I haven't explored in the faction yet.