Wednesday, 26 June 2013

It's Bird, Definitely not a Plane

It looks like people voted for the tengu in the Bushido Facebook poll, I thought the Minimoto were going to get it (and I voted for them) but a late surge in votes pushed the tengu to the front.  I was wondering if GCT were going for the long-nosed tengu or the bird people route, I'm not surprised they opted for the long-nosed tengu since GCT seem to stay as close to traditional Japanese mythology as possible for most of their supernatural creatures - or at very least give a hefty nod in that direction.

The Temple Bushi and Kazuhiko are both painted and based.  Quite happy how they came out; again, not my finest work, but good tabletop quality and I'm just happy to have a mostly painted force rather than trying to make each model a masterpiece.  Yes, there will be (bad) pictures since my digital camera went the way of the dodo a long time ago, and I don't have the big lights I used to photograph my Sunshine Kriel models.  Once there's daylight again I'll whip out the smartphone and take some pictures.

The Temple Bushi was a real asset in my demo game for Martin Casey and his Savage Wave - though we discovered that the Bakemono Archers aren't quite all we thought they were going to be.  It could just be a starter box thing though, I had a word with one of the other Savage Wave players later and he was telling me about the general tricks the Bakemono Horde can pile onto the table once you throw in the characters.  Well, that's for Martin and the other Savage Wave players to test out.  Zuba was pretty awesome though, he blatted Naoko rather handily before Kenzo finally took the oni down in a few rounds of combat.  I really like Kenzo, he's definitely my favorite troubleshooter for the Ito Clan.

The new tactic of focusing on the majority of the objectives, rather than ALL of them seems to have worked out nicely.  Just piling my guys towards a limited number of objectives and getting an early scenario activation or two really helps.  I can see how problematic armies like the Prefecture ashigaru lists are for scenarios since they can give the ashigaru extra activations.  I noticed that I could reach the objectives at the end of turn one, but I had no more activations to utilize them.  With Hanzo and/or Junichi can easily get to an object and still have an activation or two to do scenario actions on turn one.  Bloody Prefecture.  I'll just have to kill them all.  Or I can run the Ito Clan version of the list using Satoshi and lots of my own ashigaru.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Wave 13 Concept Art

Prefecture of Ryu - Madoka
Temple of Ro-Kan - Fisher Girl
Cult of Yurei - Gaki
Savage Wave - Jun
Ito Clan - Kaihime Ito

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Bushido - a Short Break

Painting is still going strong at the moment, though I've taken a short break of sorts playing Shogun: Total War 2 - I've discovered a love of the Ikko Ikki and inspiring rebellions everywhere.  I've done a lot of piecemeal work on a variety of models and just about finished Kazuhiko and the Temple Bushi.  If I pick up a 2nd Temple Bushi I'd like to give him one of those hats the Prefecture ashigaru wear, or maybe the same hat as Kazuhiko has - it all depends on whether GCT are willing to send me one of the hats when I order the model.

Kazuhiko is a tremendously easy miniature to paint.  I did the base coats and realised he was 80% done with that.  The Temple Bushi was slightly harder and I've been experimenting with Vallejo paints recently, they behave very differently from GW ones so there's been a disaster or two, but the Bushi has made it out pretty well.  For some reason I'm having a lot of trouble getting the eyes done on Bushido miniatures, maybe I'm just getting old and losing my eyesight (and having that piece of metal in my right eye last September didn't help).  Both just need some easy highlighting and basing, then I'll be that much closer to having a fully painted force.  Huzzah.  Then it's on to Sakura and Naoko to finish both options for the starter box.

Next week I'm playing against Martin 'the Swarm' Casey (top WM/H Mercenaries player 2011!) and his Savage Wave starter set (Zuba and six Bakemono of his choice).  I'm very curious to see how it turns out for both of us since I have a lot of trouble with the Prefecture so far, I wonder if it's the way I'm playing, if it's my army choices, or Prefecture are just good against the Ito.  The plan is to try out a different style of playing: rather than trying to out-activate my opponent and prevent them from scoring at any objective, I'll just pile onto an objective or two of my choice and attempt to gain a VP majority there.

I want to make some boards for Bushido, but there's just no space in my room to store all the art supplies I'd need to really do this, so I may hunt down Matt Reid again and commission a few boards if he's still in the terrain-making business.  Failing that, I can start my collection of samurai houses with the laser cut ones from Sarissa Precision.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bushido Rulebook and a Hebi Samurai

 Ito Kenzo is now done, huzzah!  I will update this post with pictures once there's some natural daylight once again.  Also, Ayako and Kazuhiko arrived in the mail, along with my copy of the rulebook, and my Bushido KR multicase!  So a pretty good day for Bushido-related goodness.

Quite happy with the way Kenzo turned out, but I can't help thinking I should have tried a more ambitious colour scheme for my Ito Clan, rather than the standard green - if you've seen the Sunshine Kriel, then you know I like my alternative colour schemes.  Maybe I'll go crazy and sell my Ito Clan stuff one day just to repaint it all in a different colour (and correct horrible mistakes like Chiyo's face and Itsunagi's skin).  Meanwhile, I'm just happy that my force is getting more and more painted.  Kenzo is the main reason I picked up the Ito Clan, so having him painted makes me feel a lot better about my faction choice.  Originally his armour was going to be black, with green shoulder guards, but it looked weird so I just made it all green, and I feel Kenzo came out the better for it.

Great, I can see the mistakes, I'll have to go back and fix them or go crazy.

So I now have all the models for my first 50 rice list, which is filled with Blood of Orochi models, it's just a matter of getting them all assembled and painted.  Next on the painting table is the humble Temple Bushi, since he's in every single one of the lists I can come up with.  Once the Temple Bushi is done, Sakura will be the only model in the starter box not painted.  Neither of the two models look particularly difficult to paint, so I expect I'll plough through them in the next week.  I may even find time to do Naoko since she's a ridiculously easy model to paint.

As for the rulebook, it's pretty neat.  It's fairly thin at 128 pages, a good majority of that is background material, which is interesting.  It looks like there will be 10 factions, if the major powers list is anything to go by.  The five that aren't out yet look to be: Minimoto Clan (bear themed samurai with Tetsubo clubs), Tengu and their Hill Warrior human followers, the Silvermoon Syndicate (yakuza), Shiho Clan (eagle themed samurai and raiders?), and Jung Pirates.

There's a handy reference sheet in the back of the book, and a page with token icons printed on it, but I'm not too keen to stick my new rulebook into a photocopier and damage the spine.  Give us a PDF to print out!  There's more scenarios too, though a quite of few of them are the same scenario only with objective removal conditions.  Given that games only last 6 turns normally, the limited number of scenarios for now is to be expected.  There's also a nice section going over the general strengths and weaknesses of each faction, quite handy for newcomers to the game.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Snakes & Still No Ladders

Painting is progressing pretty steadily, and I'm happy that my Ito Clan force is getting visible painting progress.  I've just finished Chiyo, putting my starter box at 3/5 complete, with only the Temple Bushi and Sakura remaining.  Since Kenzo is sitting at 50% done on my desk I think I'll paint him next, even though he's not part of the normal starter box.

Another game against Dave's Prefecture today, at 35 rice, my 50 rice list reinforcements still haven't arrived from GCT - though they are about to ship out everyone's copy of the rulebook, so I can forgive them for the delay I guess.  I used the old starter box set (even if only Chiyo was painted out of that set) and it definitely feels like I get more out of it than the normal one.  Dave won 2-1 on that one, mostly because Bikou is total bullshit.

I do wonder how on earth certain models make it through any sort of play-testing, I only had to look at her card to go "wtf?"; actual play experience confirmed this.  Who gives a model that generates 2 Ki, a 2 cost Ki feat that lets her shoot 3 times?  Shooting is extremely powerful in Bushido for the most part, and 3 shots that ignore armour just... words cannot describe the feeling of design failure.  I mean, when you have a look at the Prefecture forum and see this, something needs a fix.  Personally I'd like to see Bikou's "Hail of Steel" being 1 Ki more expensive or being Rapid Fire (2) instead.  At the moment she picks someone within 8" and they just die if they have no Toughness.  Models with a 'death bubble' around them probably need a fix.

Other than her however, the game was pretty good.  Kenzo did his thing and became bogged down fighting Mizuchi for 4 turns before finally killing the the bloody dragon.  I did have some unlucky dice but Dave mostly just continued to defend as much as he could on Mizuchi.  Feint is a very powerful ability to activate, and if you want someone dead, definitely dedicate the Ki or resources to using that skill.  Sakura turned out to be a Ki battery yet again, though she did help a Temple Bushi take down Mikio, but I'm finding her to be rather disappointing at the moment.  I'd really like her to be more active.

In other news, I just gave Satoshi a new spear blade since my Satoshi did not have one when the model arrived.  So I rooted around my majestically large Warmachine collection to find a model with a suitable blade, and managed to pin the new blade to Satoshi's spear shaft.  It's a bit shorter than the original, but it's very strong.  Once Satoshi is done and I'll pick up another Temple Bushi and Takeji, I can then try a full Ito Clan ashigaru/samurai force.

Maybe I should make a special sub-section of the blog for my Bushido balancing feedback...
Update: Done!  There's a link in the side tab for my suggested changes now.  Or click here.