The boys at Tabletop Games UK carry on with their second article on the basics of Test of Honour!
Jez: So I hope people found the first part of this article helpful and in most cases it’s going to have given people more questions than answers. Sorry for that :). In this second part were going to look at Samurai and that real random element, Fate cards.
The Basic set gives you three options for your Samurai, the Hero, Devoted Samurai and Wise Samurai. The Wise and Devoted are the same thing, but the extra card helps you work out who is who and in my experience so far my Wise Samurai is often the first to die. The hero has a +1 stat line above what you’re getting with the normal Samurai and he/she has 3 actions. With the right fate cards, he could be either a real close in combat monster or the sort to help support from the edges.
The add-on boxes add new Heroes with new ideas, all of them start with at least 1 Fate card so from the off your going to have a slight advantage. They also add the Mounted Samurai/Hero who at 6pts/9pts but a move of 9” gives you a faster option for those scenario objectives. Though mounted troops are susceptible to attacks by spears and Naginata.
Samurai can also have different weapons it’s not just the Katana. The only one that will cost you extra is a b bow at 2pts. Otherwise, it’s as suits you as a player though some have a bit more fun to them, I have a real love of the heavy sword (No-Dachi) and its what my Wise Samurai is armed with and it might explain why he never lasts long as well.
So far I’ve mentioned them more than once in the articles and they are total game changers. Some are situational and some once in play can have a huge effect. But you have so many and you don’t know what’s going to turn up so really hard to plan for. You also have no way of knowing how many you’re going to get as its all down to if you draw a Fate token or not. During Dave and my game at Warlord, I think I had 4 cards out before he saw his first one.
Yes, I know you have to survive the attack first, but if you do you now need four successes to trigger the weapons special ability instead of five. That’s a good boost.
Fountain of Blood
Combined with say Red Mist above or Master Forged weapons perhaps this is going to create a one Samurai killing machine.
Combinations of skills like Knock down, Barge Past, Master-Forged weapons are really nasty and you need to watch out for them turning up. Treat a samurai with those skills to lots and lots of arrow fire.
So you want to go in and beat on the commoners do it then, if they fail they are going to spend a turn stood around doing nothing.
The game is pretty good about what can block Los, but with Perfect Aim you can ignore one of those negative factors.
Long term the fate cards can also help out if you’re playing as part of a campaign. Commanding Presence is a good way to combat dishonour if that’s the direction you plan on going. Special Instructions is one that on the surface doesn’t sound all that special, you can use it once per battle. But that extra movement just once might be all you need to take an objective, get an unit out of trouble or that last ditch attempt at grabbing an objective. if your after a bit more info on how cards can be set up have a read of the designers article, Introducing the expansion sets here.
Even with these cards were just scratching what a force could do. Here’s my own idea for a starting force whilst I get used to playing.
- 1 Samurai hero (5pts)
- 2 Samurai (4pts ea)
- 2 Units of Experienced Spearmen (2pts ea)
- 1 Unit of Experienced Bowmen 3pts
- 1 Sergeant 2pts
- 1 Bowmen 2pts
Hope you enjoyed the articles and along with the articles check out my resources page for lots of handy links.