My miniatures arrived just before 9am, so I was in time for the Bushido tournament. There was some damage across a good number of miniatures in the top tray of the case - Sojobo seems to have born the brunt of it, with his staff bending and one of his wings needing a fix - but that's a small price to pay for having my miniatures there for the tournament.
Game One: Prefecture of Ryu - the Idols (1-0 victory)
Strangely enough I ended up playing against Robert (Dr Kaos) again, my first opponent last year. He'd changed up his warband a bit since last time: both Hiro and Genji made an appearance along with Matsu the Thunder and Bikou.
I managed to get the early scenario rush but I was quickly suffering attrition. Bikou simply deleted my Zephyr Guard, and my Kami of the Strong West Wind aren't models that last a long time in close combat. On the other hand I did manage to pull off a complete hogwash critical strike attack on Hiro to get my game back in the eleventh hour. Eventually dice was called, but I'm absolutely certain that Rob would have turned the game into a 1-1 draw if we'd managed to get to round 6.
Game Two: Temple of Ro-Kan - the Envoy (3-0 victory)
I played against IrishJohn and his non-themed Temple of Ro-Kan. Unfortunately John's a Bushido newcomer so wasn't prepared for something like my warband. He made some good decisions with what he had, and I can see him developing into a really good player with more experience. I'd peg John as a player to watch out for next year.
Game Three: Silvermoon Trade Syndicate (Jade Rose Gumi) - Ryodo (2-0 victory)
My hardest game of the tournament by far. If I hadn't won this game through sheer grit I'm 100% certain Johan would have won the tournament. His warband was brutal to play against, it had so many special cards and nine models, so he could get a ludicrously activation advantage. I realised that I was going to have to burn through all the special cards as quickly as possibly, so just threw all my biggest threats at him as fast as I could so he would spend the cards. It *sort of* worked in that he spent them, but it was still horrific to have to deal with them regardless. It's really a case of choosing the biggest frog to eat first.
I managed to get into the middle zone very quickly with the Wind Watchers placement effect and threaten his zone constantly by throwing models at it. If Johan had been less keen to defend his zone and put pressure on mine, I'm fairly confident I'd have lost the game. As it was, the Dominate spam from Hokibo kept me in the running so that Hokibo wasn't turned into a pincushion by Wasupu and the Kyoaku-Han Crossbowman.
Game Four: Tengu Decension (White Mesa) - Keii (1-2 loss)
Apparently this was the final table to determine the tournament winner, so I was pretty happy regardless. I was matched up against James Hasker's White Mesa warband with a higher model count. After the game against Johan's Silvermoon, I was really mentally out of it. This wasn't a long game as I simply got out-attritioned early and didn't have the activations spare to get scenario actions done. My cunning plan to execute Sanjakubo very quickly didn't pan out as he survived a really stupid number of activations in melee against Hokibo, but oh well, these things happen. I did manage to pull off a sneaky last turn score to get the final victory point just to prevent a 3-0 stomp by James. With this loss, my tournament ranking takes a tanking (a weakness of the tournament point scoring system) so I'll be interested to see just how much a loss in the final round can effect someone's final placement in the standings.