It's Time to Face Off Against the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate
After their scrap on the streets of Izu, my Jung Pirates hopped onto their ship and sailed across the Gulf of Three Brothers to Jima to see if they could sell their smuggled wares. In other words, my latest game of Bushido was against the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate (or STS for short). Last time, I blogged the batrep and then explained the skills of the warband I fought.
Well, this batrep is in the can (in other words I’ve played it) but I’ve thought that it might be a little more helpful to explain the skills of the models I faced first and then in my next blog, I’ll report on how the game went.
The first thing to talk about with the STS is their thematic Unique Effect rule which all models have access to. In the background of Jwar Isles, the STS run the gambling and luck houses within the city of Jima. So, their faction rule ties in very nicely with the idea of gambling with Ki tokens. During the Ki generation step, the controller may flip a coin and call ‘heads’ or ‘tails’.
If they get this call right, they gain double their Ki allocation. If they get it wrong, they get nothing. It is a choice though and the STS player does not have to do this. In the game I played, the STS flipped a coin every time they could. As you will see, it can be devastating when the call is right and be infuriating when its wrong but I think it’s a really fun little rule and the way the STS should always be played.
The first model within the STS party was the Oyabun (remember that word for later), Harukichi. I want to say from the start that I love the sculpt for Harukichi. He’s an overweight man wandering around the tough streets of Jima eating a bowl of noodles. What’s not to like? Straight away from looking at Harukichi’s stats, you can see he’s more of a support piece. He only has melee of 2 and his strength modifier is a -1. What Harukichi has in his favour is that he generates 2 Ki a turn and a Ki bank of 10 which means he can hold up to a maximum of ten Ki tokens (which is helpful if you make the right call on the coin toss). He also has Leadership (6) meaning models within 6” can use his Ki stat. He has ‘Iron Mind (1)’ (add one to opposed Ki tests) and ‘Tactician (1)’ (add one to the TAC roll) too.
Harukichi’s first Ki Feat is ‘Cheat of Fate’ and is all about affecting a dice roll (whether Melee, ranged or Ki test) and is an instant feat with a range of 6 inches. This rule requires you to pick the amount of Ki you want to spend to add a dice result of that number plus 1. One dice is removed from your pool before you roll but it allows you to more or less guarantee that a hit takes place. I think it has more use for ranged attacks when you know the target number beforehand but could act as some extra security in an opposed roll. Harukichi’s other feat is an active one called “Fortune’s Favour”. This aura feat has a range of 8 inches and costs 2 Ki to allow you to spend Ki tokens to reroll dice that a model within the aura (including Harukichi) has rolled. It’s a little expensive as written but could see some use with a bubble of rerolls around him. At 8 rice, Harukichi is a nice little support piece.
Clocking in at 9 rice we have Harukichi’s muscle in the form of the Buto, Manu. How do we know the Manu is Harukichi’s muscle? Firstly, he has the trait ‘Bodyguard (2/Oyabun)’ which means that if Manu is 2 inches away from an Oyabun (remember that word we pointed out with Harukichi) and an action is declared against the Oyabun as long as Manu is not exhausted and neither the Oyabun nor Manu are in base to base with an enemy then Manu gets to switch places with this model. It’s a little situational but it should keep Harukichi free from trouble.
The big guy has a melee stat of 3 (which he can boost for 3 ki) and his weapon strength is plus two. Manu is unarmed, so I almost imagine him fighting like the Mountain from Game of Thrones against Oberyn Martell. Manu has ‘Push Defence (0)’ meaning that on a successful defence he can move the attacker 1” away from him which should keep him from being outnumbered. If you sacrifice a dice, you can improve his defence by utilising ‘Throw Defence (1)’ which means that the attacker is moved D2 inches and left prone. Add to these defensive traits that Manu is ‘Immovable’ (may not be pushed and never becomes Prone) and ‘Toughness (1)’ which reduces the number of wounds he takes by 1 (which is better than armour which only reduces the damage roll by 1). Finally, Manu’s Ki Feat is ‘Umbrella Block’ which for 2 Ki grants Manu ‘Parry (1)’ (sacrifice a dice in combat to add 1 to the highest defence roll) which is another nice little defensive boost.
Manu is a big scary guy and so naturally he has the trait ‘Fear (3)’ meaning that after declaring an action against Manu, the attacker has to pass a Ki test of 3 or higher or they are stuck with a wasted action. For his part, Manu is ‘Fearless’ and automatically passes all fear tests he would be required to make. However, being a big scary man makes Manu ‘Large’ which means he has a -1 modifier to the Ranged Attack Target roll so he’s slightly easier to hit. Manu also has the ‘Aware’ trait granting him a 360-degree field of vision so he never enters the surprised state and ‘Sixth Sense’ means that he is never considered surprised and ignores camouflaged.
The first street thug that the STS brought along with them was Senpu. He has a melee stat of 3 and ‘Force Back Attack (0)’ means that a successful attack will force the defender back 1” and then move Senpu back into base to base which is nice for forcing someone off an objective. Sacrificing one dice will allow Senpu to utilise ‘Sweep Attack’ which means that a successful attack means that the defender suffers half damage but is placed as Prone. His only trait is ‘Ranged Defence (1)’ which, as we’ve seen with Itsunagi Ito (see the last blog), makes Senpu a little more difficult to hit with a Ranged Attack. Senpu clocks in at 6 rice which is about the level you would expect for a henchman type model.
Spending 2 Ki in his active turn, Senpu can gain ‘Combo Attack (0)’ (see my blog on the Ito clan for how this works) via his Ki Feat “Chain Attack”. I’m a big fan of his second Ki Feat that he can only use when not in combat and is called “Wind Wall”. For a mere 2 Ki, Senpu and all models he’s in base to base with gain ‘Ranged Defence (2)’ meaning that all those models now gain a +2 modifier to the target number for a ranged attack.
The final member of the STS was the man armed with a funky little crossbow, Wasupu. His Ranged attack is 3 and the range is 4/8/12, which is quite a long way for a game played over 2’ by 2’, and has a damage of +1 which means he’s a dangerous little shooter. Add to that, he has ‘Armour Piercing (Ranged)’ which means all Ranged Attacks ignore armour for the damage roll which is a nice little bonus. Wasupu only has ‘Ammo (4)’ which does mean he’s only shooting a maximum of 4 times in the entire game. Unfortunately, he’s not great in melee with a melee stat of 2 and a damage modifier of -1.
Wasupu’s first Ki Feat is a costly one (not if he calls his Coin Flip right though) at 3 Ki and grants his ‘Rapid Fire (2)’ until the end phase via “Strafe”. This ability allows Wasupu to perform 2 Ranged attacks when he during the same activation and that can be against different targets. To make it even better, his condition will only worse by one degree for both shots. However, per the errata his second ranged hit will suffer a +1 modifier to the target roll. Finally, to make Senpu a little more deadly, he can spend 2 Ki to gain ‘Sharp (Ranged)’ to ignore enemy model’s armour (which his armour piercing already does) and toughness when he succeeds with a ranged attack. Those two Feats allow Wasupu to become a real menace at range and Wasupu only costs 6 rice.
So that was the STS force I faced with my 35 Rice of Jung Pirates. As you can see, the STS members only added up to 29 Rice. I played once again with my 35 rice Pirate list so the STS had 6 rice to upgrade their force. The first thing to explain is that each model can only have one enhancement (unless the enhancement has the keyword stackable). So, the enhancements that the STS took (all of which can only be used by the STS) were for:
Harukichi: Daikokuten’s Coin String for 1 Rice. This enhancement allows Harukichi to generate one extra Ki in the Ki generation phase. This enhancement has the restriction Saiko-Komon and Oyabun which meant that being an Oyabun, Harukichi was fine to take.
Manu: Ink of the World Tree for 1 Rice which granted him an additional Ki Feat which allowed him to gain armour equal to the number of Ki tokens spent. This had the restriction of Buto but was stackable. That meant Manu could also have Maneki-Neko for 1 Rice. This enhancement allows Manu to generate one luck token a turn (during the Ki generation phase) which he or any model within 6 inches can spend to re-roll one dice.
Aside from enhancements, the Bushido player can also purchase events to make things a little bit more interesting. An event can only be played once (at the time directed by the event card) and once resolved is discarded. The STS player bought Dark Secrets for 3 rice (this price is variable). This event is played during the main phase of an active turn and requires the STS player to select a model with Ki statistic of less than the rice cost spent (3 in this case) who must be 3 inches away from an STS model. An opposed Ki test is then taken with the STS player using the rice cost spent as the number of dice (again 3). If the STS is successful, the model beaten gains two control tokens. A controlled model switches sides for a number of actions equal to the number of control tokens on it (a simple action spends one token whilst a complex spends two). However, the controlled model cannot spend Ki but does generate it.
With all the models explained, join me in the next blog to see how my Pirates fared against these gamblers and watch in despair (and triumph) as their Ki generation Unique Effect changed the momentum of the game and added another wrinkle to a wonderfully complex game... Until now...