Learnin’ Bushido: Part 3, Terrain, Game Phases and Errata

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Welcome back to Voracious gamer we’re going to keep going with our Learnin’ Bushido series taking you through my learning process in long verbose run on sentences. 🙂 We’ve covered a good deal of the game in the first two parts of this series including the mechanics and stat cards in part 1 and action and ability types and ki in part 2. Today We’ll discuss Terrain, game setup and errata both from the online errata and the book. Yep, that’s right I received my physical copy of the rules along with some other Bushido goods including Sanjakubo from Part 1 of the series! Look for my Product overview posts coming down the road.

I read through everything in the physical book and compared to the free pdf it’s fairly spot on but there are some additions\differences that we’ll go over. I want to begin with Terrain the last bit of rules we haven’t touched on yet. It’s nice and simple (as it should be for all you game designers out there!) there are two traits that a terrain element has Visibility and Difficulty. For Visibility the element is either ‘Blocking’ which means no LoS can be drawn through it or ‘Obscuring’. LoS can be drawn 3″ into Obscuring terrain and no further. (more variables to the guestimate game!)

The difficulty for terrain can be Impassable, Difficult or Normal. Impassable is well.. Impassable. Difficult can be moved through at .5 the move rate and Normal is normal. Terrain elements can have parts with different traits. Like a house with a bamboo garden out front would include the walls (blocking impassable) the garden (obscuring, difficult) the windows (Blocking, difficult) and so on. Use those variables to define each piece. It seems like it’ll be obvious to both players but if all else fails ask the dice.

 

When deploying terrain players alternate. Until the terrains pieces combined area covers between 1/4 and half of the table using a variety of terrain elements. I think terrain is going to be important due to how deadly some things seem. I like these placement rules as they get both players in the game right away. So after choosing the terrain together the players decide who places it all. The only restriction to this is that no impassable terrain can be placed within 2″ of scenario or objectives and cannot be in a Zone (deployment?). The player that did not place the terrain chooses their deployment zone.

Choosing the terrain ahead of time and placing it next to each other to make sure you have a quarter to half the table of terrain is a really cool idea and makes me want to keep on with themed boards. My first one will be a swamp!

Now I want to cover errata but let’s run through game setup and the turn sequence first. Players create their warband ahead of time and agree on a scenario or let fate decide and go with a  random one. (The Voracious Gamer way) Players next nominate objectives if any in the scenarios and begin the terrain placement process we just covered. Once deployment has been decided a tactical roll is done. I can’t find the rules for that kind of roll so perhaps it means just roll a single d6. One way or another you determine a winner and that person decides who deploys their force first. When you deploy the entire force goes out at the same time except for models with special deployment rules. Then the game starts!

 

There are three phases to a single game turn. Scenarios dictate the number of turns to be played. We’ll cover those in the next post Part 4. The first phase is called the starting phase. Some scenarios have you roll for a variable game length if that’s the case do it before the first turn gets rolling. After that is Ki generation. All models gain Ki equal to the first number in their Ki stat. Oh, ask and ye shall receive a quarter of the way down the page we have a description of tactical rolls. Looks like my assumption was correct both roll a d6 and the highest wins.

**Remember as the active player you declare second with using unique effects, ki feats or special cards

Next in the starting phase unique effects are resolved with the active player resolving first. Players next count their pass tokens. To do that each player counts the number of models in their warband and the player with lowest amount gains the difference in pass tokens. Oh, interesting so  you can’t out activate as hard as I was thinking I like that it adds some balance and prevents hording as being a viable tactic. That’s it for the Starting phase. The next phase is the bread and butter the Main Phase. This is what we’ve been discussing where the active player chooses a model and takes an action with it degrading its condition before passing activation to his opponent. Once both players activate all models and use all their pass tokens the main phase is over. The appropriately named End Phase starts with resolving effects that occur in the end phase.

*resolve negative effects before positive ones!*

Next in the end phase check the scenario description to see how many if any VP are scored. If one player loses all his models the game ends if both players still have models and the game length in turn hasn’t been met then remove exhausted condition markers and discard unspent Pass tokens.  (I’m trying to think of how\why you’d have unspent pass tokens but I’ll leave that question for game 2 or 3 we’re only getting started here.) Also I forgot to mention that pass tokens can be spent instead of activating a model.

That’s the whole damn thing. We still need to go over the scenarios themselves and take into consideration traits and faction stat differences and all that synergy goodness that is no doubt buried in here. I’m really looking forward to getting models on the table now. I feel we’ve come a long way from deciphering the stat card last week, cheers to that. Miniature games get an errata to fix balance and to update new things. Not sure what the story is for bushido but there are about 6 pages of errata for the main rules and 4 pages of individual model errata. Not much at all really, a very approachable amount when you compare it to some games. Let’s go through it to see what’s changed in the game we just learned! I’m assuming the errata brings the pdf to be current with the physical copy of the rulebook but let us find out together.

For those actually checking out the document from their download site (link in Part 2) the bold text is the replacement bit and new stuff is in red. Here goes a list of the changes albeit a brief encapsulated (for all you programmers out there) one.

 

  • activating models can only enter BtB with one enemy per activation.
  • Los is drawing a lone from ANY part of the models volume to the target.

**LoS is blocked by friendlies!**

  • When ‘placing’ a model as a result of some text or effect the model can’t be placed in BtB, the placing model chooses the facing
  • The ki boost lasts until the models activation where before it only lasted until the test was finished in which the boost was applied. Nice change
  • Models heal marked wounds from their track and can’t be healed beyond it. Not sure what changed there probably just rewording.
  • Ohh, some new stuff Models with a rice cost of Su are summoned into the game so have no rice cost. Models with sp as the rice cost have a special rule on their card. If a models rice cost is increased due to themed lists (oh themed lists!! I’m excited to read more about that.) then it’s base rice cost is still used if any effects or things reference it in game.
  • If a card for a warband has a variable rice cost it’s based on the un-printed rice cost on the models profile card? I may have confused myself typing that one but let’s let it lie.
  • Theme list cards! Heyo, here they are.  Oh.. A player may use one per warband. We’ll read about the available themes soon my intrepid reader.

Next There’s a big chunk of alternate profile cards and their ‘suggested model to represent’ I don’t know if that means these are multi faction models and their counterparts? I know Tengu has a model that has a card for temple of ro khan. Or maybe they are additional model cards that don’t have their own model in the game yet. We’ll get to the bottom of that or perhaps the grizzled vets at the facebook group can help.

Next a type of test is covered that we skipped or maybe its not in the downloadable rules it is in the physical copy. Size tests, a size test is a target test. Models roll a number of dice equal to their size mod to hit the target number specified by whatever prompts the test.
a1

Here are the updated and most recent ranged attack modifiers:
a2

  • A bit of new text is included here about gaining reload markers and removing X ammo markers from the model where X is equal to the number of ranged attacks made. I’m assuming some/all models have ammo capacity before they start taking reload markers.
  • Models rolling no dice for an attack test have a final result of zero but roll no attack damage
  • Slight outnumbering change so models suffer a -1 mod for each enemy in BtB with which they are not currently resolving a melee exchange with.
  • Ki feats can’t be reduced below one! So no zero cost ki feats.

There are several traits with rewording and added text. To make a long story short check the errata if you’re playing or playing against models with Aggressive, Auto disengage, bodyguard, bravery, camouflage, Channel, Co-ordinated attack, cowardly, defensive, durable, first strike, heal, kami, regenerate, rise, strong, stubborn, terror and weak. Whew, it seems like a lot but it’s not really just be aware that there are updates there most are very slight changes and I think the physical book reflects them.

 

The Controlled state is reworded a bit and three new states are added these are Immobilized which makes ya stuck until you get out of BtB or into a new melee exchange. Disguised which requires successful ki tests to target and Held which requires the aforementioned size test to escape.

So if you recall when acting in a melee exchange you can remove dice from your pool to spend on special attacks. You cannot reduce your pool to zero by doing this. Slam and all throw variations follow the moving into other models rule from part 1. If a model is being moved about by special attacks and it enters BtB it stops there. And the immobilize attack was added corresponding with the immobilize counters.

Power attack is changed from +2 to damage to +3 (more power!!!!). The wording for both throw specials is changed to show that the model is ‘moved’ rather than placed. The last one is funny it looks like the removed our old and new friend the tactical roll and replaced it with ‘players make an opposed test using a single d6’ to decide who is the active player. This is a good change as cutting down on jargon is rarely a bad move. (another note for the game designers)

That’s it. The rest of the errata is rewording existing profile cards. None for the Tengu because their perfect.. Oh, I mean because their new so they probably didn’t need it. Either way you’re going to want to skim this doc. In the next part of the series we’ll put the cherry on this sundae and learn about the 12 different scenarios and how to get the almighty VP. As always please let me know what you think. I’d appreciate corrections or insight!

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