Friday, 25 April 2014

One Corner at a Time

Well, this post has been sitting in the draft box for a while...  There may be several edits throughout the post as I wrote the original draft at least a week ago.

Wave 17 has been revealed in all its glory, and it's a rather impressive wave.  At first glance I felt the Ito Clan came out the weakest, which isn't saying much as everyone got something pretty awesome.  The big winners were Temple and Savage Wave I feel, with Temple gaining chain lightning and mass condition removal, and Savage Wave getting a "support" oni - Yusha may have support Ki feats I wouldn't be afraid to get him involved in a fight, he's still a full-blooded oni.

Yatsumata had some minor changes from playtest - she became a 40mm base... and that's about it.  My only playtest experience with her was against Savage Wave and all she did was eat bakemono all game, it was a bit uninspiring.  Edit: in reality she just arrived with a 50mm base, and we recently confirmed she is supposed to be on a 50mm base.  So she's very fast and likes getting shot...  I feel Yatsumata occupies a similar role to Kenzo as a hit and run specialist, she is very much like Kenzo with half his Ki feats or specials active all the time.  At the moment I still prefer Kenzo after a couple of games with Yatsumata, but those were against Cult, so I'll have to try her out against a few other factions to really get a feel for her.

Recently, I tried out a rather disgusting combo to gain a turn 1 scenario advantage and was so impressed with it that I think I'm going to save it as a pocket strategy for a tournament of some sort (sorry guys).  My opponent (Jim) was less impressed (much to my glee) but it probably marks a turning point in my battle against Cult's mass of forward deploying models.  I might play a couple more games with the list to see how it works out against other factions, but if it works out as planned, then I think I'll shelf it for a while; it may be successful, but it isn't that much fun to play against.  Though, if someone else on the Ito Clan forums comes up with the list on the Lists thread, I'll reveal my list and the tactics behind it.

Now I just need to sit down and think of some posts to write that aren't Ito-centric...

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Weight of Paper

Well my first Bushido tournament turned out a total bust.  Somewhat gutting, and I'm quite annoyed at the player base for it, but I can't force people to play.  That's a day and a half wasted, and fuel to get to Stirling and back.  Not to mention asking Steve at Common Ground Games to open early so we'd be able to start at 11am promptly.  I don't mind wasting my time, but wasting someone else's time really galls me.

So... the next tournament is on the 17th of May, at Highlander Games in Dundee.  I'm not sure what the numbers in Dundee are, but I would expect about 8-10 players total, which isn't bad for a game that's just starting to get its feet up here.  If there's more I'll be pleasantly surprised.  I do need to sort out my quick reference sheets, as I discovered a typo, but I think everything else I sorted out for today can be reused for the Dundee tournament.  I'm trying to sort out some extra goodies for the top 3 places with the extra time too.

Wave 16 is now available for pre-order, and I've ordered Yatsumata for the Ito Clan, and another Itsunagi.  I'm really unhappy with how my Itsunagi turned out, and now that I've done more painting in the last six months than I did before my first Itsunagi, I think I can do a lot better.  I just noticed Yatsumata is listed as a 40mm base model... so it's smaller than it was in playtest (I think).  I wonder what else has changed...  I'm certainly going to push it up the painting schedule and try it out in place of Kenzo.

I'm going to push to get more painting done this week, I'm falling further and further behind with the Ito Clan models, so it's time to churn out 2-3 at a minimum to prevent unpainted models creeping into my lists.  First up will be Hitoshi since he's in just about all my lists (as I can't have a 3rd Temple Bushi and I don't want to use Akimoto), followed by Satoshi since the poor samurai has been languishing away not even close to painted for so long.  After that we'll see where my fancy takes me, but I hope to get the faction fully painted by the end of the month if all goes well.

Wednesday/Friday/Saturday: Hitoshi + Satoshi
Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Kaihime + Yatsumata
Saturday/Sunday: Yatsumata (if not finished) + Jade Mamba Guard
Monday Wednesday/Friday: Masunagi + Yukio

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Orders of Magnitude

Satoshi was pulled out of the miniatures case at last (he was getting a good layer of dust) and I got to test him out with an Elixir of Vigor.  So far it works out pretty well, getting extra attacks out of models like Takeji (CLEAVE!) and the other ashigaru does mean you simply out-activate a lot of opponents.  It does however determine your activation order quite severely: to get the most effect out of Battle Stations/Order, 3 ashigaru must have activated, then Sakura must activate before Satoshi to give him some extra Ki, and finally Satoshi activates to give the order.  Of course you can move some things around, but that's the basic formula.  If something screws with Satoshi (such as a Ki feat like "Instill Wrath" or "Hypnotic Gaze") then it all falls apart.

Martial Superiority

Ito Masunagi
+ Vial of Raijin's Breath
+ Elixir of Vigor
Jade Mamba Guard
Temple Bushi

I did find that I'm not such a great fan of the Jade Mamba Guard simply because Masunagi out-paces her once he uses the Vial of Raijin's Breath - that and I really like Asp Strike and the tactical flexibility that Temple Bushi have.  I'd probably drop her in favour of another Temple Bushi (or even Chiyo) and take Orochi's Shadow for some extra Blood of Orochi when I think I need it.  On turn 1, Sakura needs to give Satoshi 2 Ki or else he can't use the Elixir of Vigor AND use his Order trait to get the ashigaru extra activations.  I'd like to get a little more Blood of Orochi into the list, but that would involve using an unreleased profile (I expect he'll be in wave 18).  Of course I could swap out Masunagi for Kenzo, but I already use Kenzo in my favourite list, I'd like to use the other models in the faction every now and then.

So it's an interesting list, and one that works very well for turn 1 scenario pushes, but it has two very identifiable weak points - Satoshi to disrupt the Order, or Sakura to disrupt the flow of Ki to Satoshi.  If you can keep those 2 safe, then it's a pretty good list.