Swedens oldest Con had it´s first Bushido tournament during the Easter. 8 players showed up and battled for superiority of the Jwar Isles. I brought my usual suspects; the Ito Clan after some internal debate whether I should pick SIlvermoon (more on that later).
I didn´t take any pictures (Ret-Henrix did though), but it was some beautiful terrain and neat warbands (all painted). In short, just what a good miniature game tournament should look like!
This was my Ito Warband. The strategy is to blind a low wounds (as in <= 6 wounds) model and shoot it Turn 1 with Kaihime stacked up with 4 BoO. The result is you get 1 model ahead at the end of Turn 2 which is quite an advantage. The Vial is to not get flatfooted by rush strategies trying to score T1. Naoko can do a flying run move and grab an objective by her 1st action. This proved to be quite useful in more ways than I has anticipated. More on that later.
Naoko + Vial of Raijin´s Breath (1 per game Move +2 & Fly)
2 x Temple Bushi
Game 1 was Botoku vs Ito imposters
The Ito enemies consisted of Kenzo, Masunagi, Kaihime, Naoko, Takeiji & Jade Mamba Guard.
My immediate thought was that the warband was all about killing power and that he had to start winning combats fast at he lacked tactical tricks. Naoko was his lynchpin and I had to watch her cloesly. Both warbands started to circle each other with my Naoko blidning Masunagi and his blinding my Kaihime. It turned into a general scrum where Hitoshis fork grappled Masunagi crippling much of his offensive power while my superior numbers constantly allowed me a slight tactical edge. He never got return for his superior combat skill and in the end he was ground down by suprise attacks, debuffs and poison.
Win for Ito! Well, the true Ito of course.
Game 2 Reikan vs Temple
Temple brought Sojobo, Kenko, Grey Pilgrim (New model, cool!), Aiko, Air Kami, 2 Peasants
I thought this one would go really bad. Temple with a flyer in Vim? I imagined he´d just fly right over my line, grab the first VP and then keep Sojobo safe while chasing my VIM. Predictably he picked Sojobo while I picked Naoko. She is very hard to catch so it´s the most reasonable choice. I spread the warband to cover as much ground as possible and force him to commit somewhere within at least 2 of my guys. Instead he waited and the Ito slowly approached the Temple deploy until Naoko could fly straight into his end zone and score the first VP. Yay, Ito beat Temple in speed! Flush with success I sent as many parts of the warband I could after Sojobo. Unfortunately did I make a grave tactical error here by not Slithering away with Naoko when I could. Sojobo is a impressive defensive model and he weathered 3-4 Ito Ashigarus bearing down on him while the Pilgrim bounced lightning between them. The result was that I slaughtered most of his guys while the real battle failed and Naoko fell.
Loss for Ito. Lesson is to not lose focus on the scenario.
Game 3 Keii vs Ruy
Ruy brought the Martial Prowess & Discipline list of Hiro, Genji, Matsu, Jin, Junich and 2 Ashigaru + Inspiring Speech and 2 Pass tokens.
This is exactly the scenario Ruy loves. The Speech will feed enough Ki to Junichi who will Order 3 Ashigaru forward to grab the objectives in force. This is the reason for the Vial. I could fly Naoko up to either objective and then Pray with her, negating a little of Ruys action advantage. The strategy held up good enough with me both sticking a posion arrow into a Yariman and Naoko praying. Unlucky enough one of the Temple Bushi fell making numbers even again thus making the fight into a typical tug-of-war. Matsu managed to Slam my guys on occasion and I posioned some ending the action in a draw due to Ruy depleting the prayer pool.
Game 4 The Idols vs Cult
Yureis puppets brought Kato, Ikiryo, Taka, Nezumi, Nezumi Kun, Shichiro, a rat swarm and Drain Spirit
The Cult is a testament to why Bushido is such a good game. Where as the other factions are more or less stratight forward the disparate minions of Yurei can show up in any shape and form making it hard to formulate a strategy against them. Worse was that the player had gone 3-0 in every game up until this match. Obviously not an easy struggle. I reasoned that he´d send his Yokais and Shichiro forward as a screen for his support cast and this is what happened. Cult is in my opinion harder to win against the longer you wait, making a reactive play against it a losing game. With that in mind I decided to sacrifice Naoko for an advantage and sent her flying straight over the screen of rats and ratmen towards the puppet master, biting his head straight off. The Cult reacted by sending eveything after Naoko and I started to clear up the forward elements by Itos superior fighting powess. This worked reasonable well, killing Shicihiro and the summoned rat swarms fast enough, but when Nezumi stood down to 1 wound surronded by 3 Ito Ashigaru the luck ran out. 8+ actions later did the Ratman still live and I had no way of go for the objective despite shooting Ikiryo. Instead Taka snuck forward and managed a scenario action to much.
Small victory for Cult.
Cult predictably won the tournament followed by Ruy & Ruy, Temple and the group of Itos following with me as first Ito at 5th place. The list worked as intended and I wouldn´t change anything really, but in hindsight wouldn´t SIlvermoon had been such a bad choice either. I don´t like that STS don´t have any bonus movement to balance up against the fast and scouting warbands. At the end of the day I remembered the Event card Bought Loyalty which simply negates an enemy action unless they roll a 6. That´d be the simplest solution! When Junichi tries to blow his horn or Kenko fly forward I´d just jingle some Moons at them. Next time it´s gangstas'!
It was top fun. Bushido holds it´s promise that it works for tournament play and is an awesome game. Looking forward to the next event!