To see Karouma Tenbatsu's card follow the link:
So Karouma Tenbatsu's concept and Savage Wave card have both been unveiled. There's a good deal of discussion as to how he fits into a Savage Wave list - is he a suitable replacement for an oni? What models work well with him? Actually... no one, he just goes off killing everything on his own, fill up the rest of your list with stuff that can either screen him or do its own thing. He's an interesting samurai to be sure, but I don't expect him to dramatically shake up existing list styles. I think Karouma is most likely going to take the spot where people would normally take an oni like Bobata or Zuba.
Strangely enough the latest preview showed Satsuki again, she's must be just that good. I think the Savage Wave are missing their preview, so I think their release is going to be the bakemono boomers, but I can't be sure. The boomers are the only remaining concept art that has been shown but not assigned a wave (that I know of).
In case you missed it, GCT are doing a special card competition. I've only submitted one card that would let an Ito Clan acolyte temporarily become a shisai until the end of the turn - it's designed to allow players to bring along Kazuhiko (and future acolytes) a little more if they want to use a single shisai like Ayako on her own. If you ever had some crazy ideas for special cards, now is the time to submit them. Entries close at the end of the month.
I'm still working out how a Theme card would work. So I restrict the model choices (let's say... no samurai for Ito Clan) but what bonuses does that translate into? Once per game Ki feat? Early movement? Rice cost reduction? Free Shrine to Orochi? You want to make the theme force cool and interesting (like Bad Seeds in Warmachine, now that was an amazing theme force) but equal to a normal list at best.
So let's look at a Temple of Orochi style theme:
Can include models of the following types:
So that removes all the samurai and the envoy, but there's still a couple of fighting choices. Now do we go with tier benefits like Warmachine/Hordes, or now that I've placed the restrictions do I immediately start to apply the benefits?
So let's say there's 3 tiers per theme:
Tier 1: you followed the general list build, good for you, have a small bonus of some kind.
Tier 2: ok, the theme made you pick a less than optimal choice here. The bonus should make it worth it.
Tier 3: you went off the deep end, how on earth do you actually expect to win any games with a list like this? Bonus should be pretty good.
If there's no tier system, then it's just basically tier 1 there, you take the models, you get a bonus, woohoo. We could really use some illumination this subject (hint hint to the reader in Malaysia).
edit: It has occurred to me that themes could use a branching system rather than a tier system (think Diablo style skill trees sort of thing). So if you take 3 shisai, you get a bonus, if you take Chiyo, you get a bonus, but they're not dependent on each other, there's no need to meet the requirements of a previous tier.