Saturday afternoon and Ed, Mike and Dan piled down to my gaff and we got down to some hobby.
I remain very fond of Bushido, but as yet, my strategy when playing involves my figures moving forward on mass hoping to overwhelm my opponent with numbers. However, my most recent game, my Silver Moon Trade Syndicate, against Mike's Ito Clan, has opened my eyes to a number of facts:
1. The Ito Clan are very tough.
2. Being hit with a pointed stick is painful. Being hit with a poisonous pointed stick is deadly. (For the second game in a row Mike targeted my Golden Sentinel model with a poisoned long bow, and for the second game running the Sentinel wasn't alive for turn two).
3. Having models with a maximum of only two allocated chi per turn makes an opposed chi test versus Mizuki Ito, who has a three chi level, very difficult to win. She can possess enemy models with the Obey skill on a successful chi test, and Fitiaumua, my sumo wrestler, was possessed twice and so wasn't able to play any effective part in the early game.
4. Another effective tactic is the blinding ability of the Ito model Naoko. Having already removed the Golden Sentinel, Mike had Naoko blind both Saki and my street fighter Kyoaku-Han which lead to their eventual deaths.
If I am to do the Syndicate any justice I need to have a serious rethink on how I get them to work. Perhaps my current list doesn't have what it takes to go toe to toe with the more combat focused factions? More thinking required for next time.
I have played Blood Bowl the miniatures game in the past, and somewhere in the War Vault is a team of Skaven, the Skittberg Steelers (Go Steelers!). However, I have never played the alternative version before, and so after our Bushido bash, the four of us broke open Blood Bowl Team Manager the Card Game and settled down to 20 minutes of sorting out counters, markers and cards. All this can be quite daunting, but fortunately Dan is very good at explaining the premise and goal of such games.
You 'manage' your team through the season deciding when and where to play your individual team members. You play a number of rounds, made up of standard league games and cup games with the aim of scoring fan points. Whoever has scored the most fan points at the end of the season wins.
You start the 'season' with your initial player cards, Skaven in my case, and during each round you cycle through your team, with the potential of gaining star players, which increases the strength of your roster for the next round. There are event cards, foul markers, stadiums with different benefits and numerous other subtleties and consequences which I couldn't possibly learn from just one game. Your team is made up of Lineman, Throwers, Blitzers etc. who are worth a number of points which are totalled up at the end of the round to see if you have won a particular league or cup game. Oh, and yes, you also have the opportunity to roll dice to see if you knock over opposing players, or even, have them removed from play.
I decided to just concern myself with the fan points, rather than the acquisition of better star players, which was helped when I was randomly dealt an event card which allowed me to score two fan points even if I lost an individual match (Result!). Dan took Goblins, Ed chose Orks and Miked plumped for Chaos Dwarves.
The game flew along at a pace and I got a better understanding of the technicalities. The cup games appeared to attract more fan points, so that is where I focused my attention. The foul markers which add a random effect to game results decided to victimise Ed, and his players were regularly sent off. I had a four fan point lead over Mike at the start of the last round, and I managed to hold onto the lead until the end of the season, ("I say, we are top of the league, I say we are top of the league!"- English football supporter chant - circa. 2016).
Thanks again to Ed, Mike and Dan for a very enjoyable Saturday.