Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wave 19 Available

Wave 19 is now available for pre-order, and all the cards are available for viewing.  Pretty sure Cult got the most out of the wave with Tenbatsu and the Penanggalan.  For the Ito, Satsuki is finally released to the general public (after being in playtesting *forever*).  She's slightly better than her playtest version - she doesn't just remove a poison token and cause damage, she causes the remaining ones to 'stack up' as if it were the end phase - so you often get a double dose of poison.  Certainly the potential to make poison bombing someone a lot more powerful.  My main problem is that I have so few targets to hit with a poison bomb in most games, but this may have more to do with my usual opponent playing Cult and almost everything being soulless.

Playing my Ito much more aggressively seems to be working out, I've started deploying and moving my models so that I'm nearly always gunning for the enemy zone/objectives very early on - why go for a mid or close objective when I get quite easily get all the way across the board?  It forces my opponents to deploy in a defensive manner and I can usually just wander around the rest of the board at my leisure.  I wonder if this is how Temple is meant to be played too, I'll have to get my Temple models back out and spruced up for some testing.

Jim has taken the plunge for the Savage Wave (saving me the trouble) so it will be interesting to see how that works out.  It's a bit of a non-traditional list of purchases though, it's more of a Yusha style warband rather than a bunch of fighting oni like Bobata and Zuba.  I really want to see what normal kaihei hounds do, it feels a like you're missing out on something when you take Yusha simply because he can't bring along his pack of kaihei yet.

All my terrain for my next board has arrived, I'm planning something a little more urban this time, with plenty of bamboo too.  The gorintos from Master Crafted are working out really nicely, I'm probably going to order a couple more batches to make some 'walls'.  The bamboo from ebay is rather flimsy, but I think that's the not quite the right word to describe it.  They don't look bad, they aren't going to break, but they're very bendy and flexible, I was expecting something a little tougher at holding it's shape.  However, given how often my terrain gets nudged and bumped, I think the plastic bamboo will hold up really well over time.  I just need to figure out how much I'm going to use and in what sort of formations.

I've got quite a lot of terrain just lying around that hasn't been painted/built/based, so I'm spending this week doing all that sort of thing.  So far I have a good gorinto formation, and I just finished an old 50mm base that I'd planned to stick a warjack from Warmachine on ages ago.  I instead turned it into a 50mm objective for Botoku, or just a generic 50mm piece of scenery.  I've also got a bajillion barrels, sacks of grain, giant water barrels, so there's a lot to keep me occupied this week.  Once I'm finished I'll be a happy chappy however, as a good board really sells the game.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Savage Beatings

Well all that experimenting hasn't been for nothing, though you honestly couldn't tell with tonight's game as Martin left Zuba hugely exposed at the end of turn 1, and compounded his error immediately at the start of turn 2, which meant my first three activations were "kill Zuba" and Kenzo did just that (two success level 6 attacks will do that).  It was a short, short game.

I'm starting to adopt a 'tri-core line up' in my lists, it feels like a very MOBA thing to do actually.  I bring Kenzo, Naoko, and Saburo, then design my list around that.  If I can't bring Saburo, I bring along Chiyo now because I'm finding her ability to use leap undeniably useful.  I do like Yatsumata, but find her limited against targets with decent amounts of armour or toughness; whereas with Kenzo you just activate powerful attack.  "But what about Masunagi/Takeji?" you may ask.  I like moving around the board as much as possible, being stuck in a straight fight means I'm not working on scenarios, and having models that are faster than my opponent is a big deal.  So is having steady now that I think about it.  That means if the model isn't a hebi or has boostable movement, I'm probably not interested in it.  That and I didn't get into the Ito Clan for the 'normal' people, I got into it for the crazy snake cult!

Speaking about Zuba and the Savage Wave, I'm vaguely concerned about how people play the oni.  When Ricki first started playing he was amazingly aggressive with his oni, they were smushing things left and right - I haven't played Ricki but I'd like to think he continues to play this way.  Martin plays his oni like they're the most fragile eggshells ever created that need to be cherished and unharmed (this last game notwithstanding).  Personally I think that oni should be played as near suicidal models, you need to have a success level 8 hit to have a chance to one-shot an oni.  So yes, you just did a heap of damage to that oni that didn't roll defence dice, but you're just flat out dead if the oni hits back.  Oh, and it ate your soul to heal up a bit.  My opinion is that if the oni survives a game on 1 health but killed at least one model, it's doing it's job.  They should be able to sustain quite a lot of combat.  Also why don't I see more of Bobata?!  Holy crap he's baller levels of awesome.  Except for his moobs.

That's not to say you should be stupid with your oni, in that last game Martin was aggressive with Zuba, he just made some terrible, terrible choices as to where he was going to leave Zuba standing, and when to activate Zuba... ok, let's just say Martin had an off day.  I think Tenbatsu suits Martin's playstyle much better than Zuba - I don't think I've ever seen Martin use Zuba's slam, and Martin tends to try for a straight up fight.  I think Tenbatsu will be easier to navigate through his screening bakemono and being a samurai, he's a pretty damn good fighter.  It's very tempting to get some Savage Wave to see if I can get some different results.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Spreads Like Butter

Not had a good time in Bushido recently, but I'm trying new things out, and I don't think I play enough zone control scenarios.  I did lose to Jim rather badly at G3 a week ago because all my models got bogged down fighting in a zone rather needlessly, by the time I realised that I needed to spread out, and quickly, Jim had already accrued a large scenario point lead.  But seeing the reaction to me spreading out was very interesting.  I've come to see that I'm playing far too conservatively with my models, when I should just be gunning for the scenario objectives and trying to get deeper into the enemy part of the board.

Our last game on Friday was stupendously close, I should have won it, but I got greedy (again).  The game ended 2-1 (Jim-Me) with Jim scoring 14 scenario points, and me scoring 13.  After the game I realised there were three different things I could have done to secure my scenario victory, and they're all things I'll definitely keep in mind for future games: on turn 4 I could have prayed twice at my own objective so that it would have been removed after I scored, then Jim would not have been able to reach it with Nezumi-kun; I could have moved Nezumi-kun to a board edge while I had a control token on him, so he could not have reached my objective; I could have moved a Temple Bushi back to my objective and just defended it.

I did get to use the latest playtest model for the Ito Clan, and I'm very impressed with her.  So far she's certainly opened up my scenario options and ability to get further down the board unhindered.  I've been using Yatsumata a bit more and I'm coming to see Yatsumata really turns into the rock the rest of my list can revolve around.  She sits next to an objective or in a scenario zone, and there's not a lot anyone can do about her.  I'm still a bit on the fence over whether I like her or Kenzo more - I feel I get more out of Kenzo, but she does have indomitable and causes fear, so can sometimes ignore the odd model that wants to attack her, whereas Kenzo just keeps getting piled on by 'chaff' models.  Also, Yatsumata is an awesome model now that I've gotten off my arse and painted her...

There have been some interesting threads on the forums, particularly Kabocha's painted models thread, where he showed some pictures of a really nice gorinto surrounded by bamboo, and told everyone where to find such wonders: ebay for the bamboo, and for the gorinto.  I have now ordered both, and some random jungle plants.

Quite happy with the rate I'm painting at the moment, I'm finishing a miniature every time I take the time to get painting, there's only 5 miniatures for the Ito Clan that I have left to do.  They're not done to the standards that my Trollbloods were done to, but all I'm really after is a decent paint job and a fully painted faction.  Bushido is a game that looks amazing with good terrain and fully painted warbands.  Speaking of which, I should start work on my next board!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Thematic Differences

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.