Monday, 29 September 2014

Wave 20 Pre-Order Available

It is that wonderful time again where the next wave of models are up for pre-order.  It's been interesting to see what each faction has gotten this wave, as it includes profiles that didn't appear in playtesting - which is oddly something I would like in future, it's much more exciting as a Retainer this way.

Prefecture of Ryu: Shuichi, Michi Shisai
Shuichi is a pretty simple profile.  There's nothing especially snazzy about him, but he brings a way to remove harmful conditions from friendly models and Warding Shomyo, one of the more powerful aura Ki feats in the game.  I really like the Michi theme Prefecture have started to focus on.

Temple of Ro-Kan: Master Akari
I would be amazed if a model actually hit Master Akari with a ranged attack.  He's got a good selection of melee based Ki feats, a good Ki stat, and well, he's a master monk.  Akari is pretty much the best VIM I can think of in the game, but he does seem to be a model of extremes: huge defensive stats, but almost no health, so if you hit him, he's just plain old dead a lot of the time.  Especially as Ito, I would poison the crap out of him every time.

Cult of Yurei: Yugio
The burakumin is much like Shuichi for Prefecture: the profile is very simple and straightforward for the most part.  He comes with a little Conspiracy of the Cult so he can help mitigate his low Ki stat, but he brings the ability to help out friendly shugenja.  He also comes with Warding Shomyo (shomyos for everyone!), which makes me a little sad inside.  Since I view Ikiryo as the least fun model to play against in the game, I don't approve of any model that gives her a buff of any sort.  He's pretty good for the other shugenja though, especially Waku.  The idea of a really big Marionette though is rather horrific (5 Ki with Kimiko's Whistle and Blasphemous Conviction going).

Savage Wave: Kaihei (lots of kaihei)
Rather decent hounds for the Savage Wave.  I suspect they're going to be a hidden gem.  They come with 2 profile cards, so you can bring 4 kaihei - this leads to some interesting variation if you just want to bring 2 kaihei: do you bring both on one profile card, or one of each profile?  I like that they're very into their slams.  For 40 rice you could bring the full kaihei pack (4 kaihei, the Alpha, and Yusha) which has a lot of internal synergy, but would most likely need to focus on very specific objectives each turn - personally I think it would work really well.

Ito Clan: Ito Mizuki
Yep, the Ito Clan won this wave.  In your face suckers!  Mizuki is an amazing control and support model.  Poor Ayako is probably going to be sitting in the foam tray for a while now because of this lovely lady (unfortunately).  The Blessings of Orochi are incredibly powerful and useful on just about every model in the faction.  They either save lots of Ki, or cover the weaknesses certain models have (such as Itsunagi's complete lack of Armour).

Silvermoon Trade Syndicate: Sukoshi Kani & Nomi
The oddballs of this wave.  They bring some models with Scout to the Silvermoon and they both have very specific focuses: Kani sneaks around and then throws out her Makibishi, Nomi tries to stalk models with good Camouflage stats so that other models can target them.  I think their main value is Scout and Flank however.  If Kani can get into an enemy zone/idol and throw down her Makibishi on top of it, she's paying her points back as soon as a single enemy model fails a test.  Nomi is a bit of a trickier one as he must be within the enemy's Camouflage range to be able to reveal them, it sounds very tricky to pull off, but I'm sure the rewards are worth it if you skewer a model like Tra-peng with a repeating crossbow.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Not Command & Conquer

Finally made my pledge for a Red Alert level of Rise of the Kage.  So right now, this is what I'm planning to get hold of, I expect more to be available by the time the Kickstarter has finished:

It's something of a pity it's going to be roughly this time next year before we see the game in person.

Got to play against David Hamilton's Prefecture ashigaru horde on Tuesday and it wasn't as horrific as I was expecting.  Yatsumata did her thing and sat quite contently in the middle zone of Ryodo, whilst Yukio Kushimori (of all people) went around killing things.  Not much to say about this game if I'm honest; I got some bad dice at the start of the game, which then turned into amazing dice; Dave had okay dice throughout, but amazing dice win out over average dice regardless of game.

This weekend we're heading through to Common Ground Games once again for a day of Bushido - hopefully with more of the Dundee players coming through.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Video and Discount Codes

Teri from Geek & Sundry has put up a couple of videos about Bushido on both her channels (her personal channel and the one she has on Geek & Sundry).  The above video also includes a code for a 20% discount code for Bushido orders on the GCT Studios store - the code is valid until the end of the month, so get ordering!  There's a quick playthrough video of a 20 rice game, but there's a horrible, horrible error where they hold excess Ki (Ikiryo gets 9 Ki at one point) until the end phase.  Other than that however, it's pretty useful for beginners.

Rise of the Kage

Very impressed with what I've seen of the Rise of the Kage so far.  You should all fund this.  Go.  Do it now.  Don't worry, I'll wait here.  WHY HAVE YOU NOT THROWN ALL YOUR WORLDLY MONEY AT THIS YET?!  As for myself, once I get paid for this next bathroom I should be going for a Red Alert pledge.

If you don't know about it, you can find out more about Rise of the Kage on Kickstarter or on the Rise of the Kage website.

The Kickstarter updates are quite exciting, there are extra maps, more guard types, a new guard boss (according to TGN there's going to be three different guard bosses), and most importantly: more ninja.  GCT have certainly listened to what the people pledging are asking for, and the stretch goals have changed rapidly from "some new guards" to what they are now.  This is one I'll be keeping an eye on.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Bushido Basics: Warband Construction

Constructing Your Warband

I'm going to assume you, the reader, is familiar with the basic mechanics of Bushido and you know how to throw together a warband. What you may not know is how to make a coherent warband rather than a big collection of all your random models. Random models can work, but that's most often by accident rather than intent.

Scenario, Scenario, Scenario
Before you even think about what to throw into your warband, think about the following things:
Do you have a good VIM model?
How would you like your list to function?
Can you contest zones?

The first question is the easiest to answer. Good VIMs are generally models that can avoid combat in some way. This could be from traits such as Fly, to Ki feats like “Mirage”. Some people like to take very tanky and tough VIMs, but a good number of VIM scenarios award victory points for damage caused to a VIM. From my own experience, the sneakier the VIM, the better.

The second question is a much more probing question in warband construction: How do you see your warband functioning? Is your list planning to roll up the table and kill things? Are you more about scenario denial? Is there some crazy tricks you can pull off with the list? You need to look at how your list will function as a cohesive whole. An excellent example of this was John Sinclair's list that I played against at Common Ground Games:

Temple of Ro-Kan (50 rice)
Master Ekusa
Grey Pilgrim + Prayer Beads
Minor Air Kami
Rice Farmer

The list focuses around a turn of being able to use kamikaze attacks at no risk while Aura of Serenity is up. The Shisa and the Grey Pilgrim are soulless models, so can utilize their dice as they like, whereas John's opponent will have to go full defence. John has a clear idea of what to do with the models in his list here. The warband has some bad match ups (anything with lots of soulless) but the list was built with clear intent and purpose, and there is clear synergy between many of the models.

There are many styles of lists, so think about how you want to achieve some scenario objectives. Is your warband planning to simply hope they can kill enemy models until you have the activation advantage? What happens when your opponent simply rolls all defence dice all the time and nothing dies? This is where knowing the scenario scoring conditions comes in handy, though be aware different factions have different flavours and methods of achieving their goals: the Ito Clan tends to just murder everything on the table, the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate usually relies on special cards, the Prefecture of Ryu will have lots of pass tokens, and so on.

Contesting zones is an interesting dilemma for most players (myself included a lot of the time) as you need models AND rice to hold zones. It means you can contest zones with lots of cheap models, or just a few very expensive ones. It takes a lot of thought about which zones you are going to attempt to hold, and which zones you will only move a token model towards. Certain models make really effective zone controllers, especially models with slams or throws as you can get enemy models away from the scoring requirements for zone control. Effects that give you control tokens on enemy models are incredibly powerful in scenarios with zones, as you flip an enemy model over to your warband for scoring purposes if they end the turn controlled.

You should be able to divide your warband into 3 components when you think about zones: defenders, fighters, tricksters.  Defenders are usually your cheapest or long-ranged models. They're only in your friendly zone for scoring purposes, the majority of their actions are about doing things to the other zones from within the friendly zone. Fighters are generally your best fighters (ironic eh?) as there will be the densest concentration of models in the middle zone or area of the board in most games and you want to be able to stay there for as long as possible. Tricksters are the elusive and difficult to attack models (they can usually be a good VIM) that can dance about and force your opponent to commit more models to defending their home zone.  Of course, some models can swap roles quite easily, such as the Shimogama Vipers for the Ito Clan; they're are so mobile they can shift between all three roles in a pinch.

So, have you picked a good VIM, are you aware of how you want your list to function, and can you contest zones?  If you can answer yes to all these questions, you should have a proper functional warband.

Wave 20 Concept Art

Prefecture of Ryu - Shuichi, Michi Priest
Temple of Ro-Kan - Master Akari
Cult of Yurei - Yugio
Savage Wave - Kaihei Beasts
Ito Clan - Mizuki Ito
Silvermoon Trade Syndicate - Sukoshi Kani & Nomi

Back, Just Not in Black

Ok, I have the internet again guys, all is well again in the world (of Bushido).  I had to scrap some of the articles I was writing since they didn't actually help anyone beyond describing each scenario.  The warband construction article uses some unreleased profiles in an example - I was expecting them to be in Wave 20 - so there's a little editing needing done in that one.  I need to work on doing some graphics for the one about how to stand at objectives, it's probably going to be on the weekend when I find the time for that.  I'll start posting again once everything is edited and has the graphics to suit.