Learnin’ Bushido: Part 4, Scenarios!

We’re back with the next part of our Learnin’ Bushido Series! We’ve gone over about everything at this point so check out the previous posts( I, II, III) if you need game\mechanics details. In this post I’d like to cover the various scenarios and victory conditions covered in the downloadable tournament pack (see part 2 for links or do some googlin’ already and get to GCT Studios’ gorgeous site to browse the galleries!). Once we go over win conditions and all that jazz we’ll be in a good place to start looking at different model stats and special cards, maybe even run a demo eh?

mainbushido
So tournament rules. I play by them or at least prefer to as it’s structured and I guess I don’t have any other reasons. I dig it and I like the healthy amount of competition. You’re opponent and you will choose the game size 35, 42 or 50 and make lists. The models you have should have the Facing marked on the base to determine and maintain LoS and such. They recommend 75 minute, 90 minute and 105 minute rounds for the game levels. So let’s try to keep our 50 rice games under two hours shall we? The Tournament rules include details about terrain setup and scenario selection that pertain to tournament organizers alone. What we’re interested in is a few pages down the ‘Scenario Rules’ themselves.

There are 5 aspects of a Scenario. The name to add ‘cinematic experience’ the Type (there are three), deployment, game length, objective interactions and victory conditions.

The first type is Scenario Objectives. In this type there are terrain elements to interact with. When a model does interact with the objective the alignment changes. The objectives should also have a facing as most are on 30 or 40mm bases. They turn to face the opponent that controls them or towards the center if they are neutral. The next type of scenario is a Very Important Model scenario or VIM. In a VIM there are certain models to be kept a live captured or killed.

VIMs can be hidden, open or nominated. In Hidden missions each player secretly nominates one of their non-insignificant models as the VIM. You don’t find out until the end phase of the last turn!
**This means players need to record which turn models are killed on. I also think players should write on a central white board or piece of paper to declare their VIM and anything else in secret.

An Open VIM has each player choosing one of their non-insignificant models as the VIM. While a nominated VIM has each player choosing one of their opponents non-insignificant models. Sometimes a nominated model can leave play and return (not sure what mechanics lead to it) but if that happens it’s no longer nominated. Replaced models are not considered to have left play, there are certain rules that ‘explicitly’ discuss leaving play.

The third type of scenario is Zone Control. In Zone Control scenarios players must control certain areas of the board. They do so by having a higher rice cost of models than their opponent within the designated space. During the end phase a player receives 1 SP for controlling a friendly zone, 2 sp for a neutral and 3 sp for controlling an enemy zone. SP are not VP, think of SP or scenario points as a resource within the scenario to ultimately generate victory points. (kind of like scheme markers for malifaux). The scenarios will have at least one of these types but could have a combination to make things interesting.

Deployment is the next bit we’ll need cover. The scenario will say to deploy via baseline or corner square. In baseline models are setup with their base on the edge of the board and in corner they are deployed in a 6″ square in opposite corners of the board. The length of the game can be either a fixed(x) turns or it’ll say variable(x) this means during the starting phase of turn x roll a d6. On a 4+ the game goes on for another turn. Roll again the next turn of course but the game always ends after the seventh turn. Because we have things to do like painting Bushido!!

The last factor in a scenario are the Scenario objective Interactions. Players can interact with the scenario objectives on the board (placed during deployment according to the scenario). There are two types of interact actions. Influence(Simple/Complex), Prayer(x)(Simple/Complex) and Worship (Simple/Complex). Now the simple/Complex bit just means that some objectives might require a simple and others a complex. If you take an interact action you can change the alignment of the objective by one degree so From enemy to neutral or neutral to friendly. Prayer(x) interact actions are interesting indeed. Each player starts the game with x prayer tokens. When you interact with an objective and take the prayer action you score Scenario Points based on the alignment of the objective. 1 for a friendly, 2 for neutral and 3 for enemy aligned objectives. Taking the Worship action places a worship marker next to the objective you interacted with. When an enemy tries to change the alignment of an objective they must first remove all of your worship markers. Each needs an additional interaction. So you can buff up objectives then move on to others or die defending them and rely on them scoring for a bit.

Each scenario has three VP available. The game can draw if players tie but each VP can only be scored by one player. So a tie would happen if player A got VP 1 both players missed VP 2 and player B snagged VP 3. Each scenario tells you when and how they’re scored. Some have additional rules that effect the objectives on the table or the scenario point pools being generated by prayer and zone control. This will make sense shortly, for example Decreasing (popular) means the turn after scoring the objective on which the most simple actions were taken is removed from the board! Ties mean the player that didn’t score the VP that round chooses. But that objective is gone, which really changes things up because it’ll apply pressure to all the other objectives as surviving models start battling. I like this mechanic a lot and I think It’ll lead to some really dynamic and shifting games.

Another victory condition is Decreasing(Scorer) in which the player who scored the VP removes a scenario objective of their own. The opponent decides which if there are multiples! Sweet game changing objective shenanigans, right? Next we have Reset(x/x) this means during the starting phase of turns x and x the scenario points total resets to 0. The last one is Reset Influence (x/x) which means the alignments of scenario objectives is turned back to neutral at the beginning of turns x and x. Wow the scenarios seem to shift as you play them and there are 12! Not to mention the variability in your warband and that of your opponents. I like what I’m hearing at this point. Let’s go through two here and maybe the others in a future post once we’ve played them out a bit.

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Botoku is the first we’ll run through. This one includes scenario objectives and a zone of control. Notice the objectives start of aligned and the zone is a  neutral grey.  The scenario is using a modified corner deployment of 5 inches and has a fixed game length of 6 turns. Each player will start with 6 prayer markers and the prayer interact action is a simple one for this game. The first VP goes to the player with the most Scenario Points during the End Phase of Turn 4. Remember those are scored by taking the prayer action on one of the objectives. You’d get 3sp for taking the action on your opponents and 1sp for taking it on your own. You’d have to think about how you’ll spend your 6 prayer markers in the four turns. Spend them on your own objective for easy scenario points or be risky and go for your opponents! The second VP is scored at the end of Turn 5 in the same way and the third VP is scored at the end of turn 6. Oh, don’t forget that you can also score SP by controlling the 4 inch circle in the center of the table. Those are racked up during each end phase.  For example on turn one you get more rice cost in models in the 4″ circle than your opponent. Since it’s a neutral zone in the end phase you get 2 sp but next turn it’s a friendly zone to you so you’d only get 1 sp from controlling it while your opponent would get 3 sp in the end phase if he can push you out. I’m really starting to see the potential value in the special attacks and defenses at this point! Getting excited for a demo indeed. (I think I misread this and the neutral objective in the center of the table stays neutral granting two sp the whole game it’s alignment doesn’t shift. There I go creating rules and complications)

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Let’s look at one more scenario to fully grok them. Ichi no Riten is the name of this one. Starts with an open VIM declaration meaning the players choose one of their models to be VIM. The Scenario also includes a zone of control aspect using two 8 inch spheres. (I’d recommend marking their center with a token of sorts). Using baseline deployment here with the Variable turn length which means turn 5 is the last turn unless aa 4+ is rolled during the starting phase. No interact actions here. Our first VP is scored to the player with the most SP at the end of Turn 3. The second VP foes to the player with the most SP during the end phase of turn 5 and the last goes to the player whose declared VIM is closest to his opponents baseline at the end of the game. Kind of an escort type mission. With a battle for control happening in the center. I’m guessing it may be challenging to keep your VIM alive since your opponent will know who it is. At the same time you could try to control both zones and not care about the VIM VP. Good stuff, promising some delicious crunchy decision making and resource management that we all love so much!

That’s scenarios! We’re ready to play this beast or at least muddle through a turn or two. I’ve got my first game scheduled for this Saturday using the collection from a local gamer in my area. We’re going to go with 35 rice and just test the waters. I’ve got Tengu reinforcements incoming for the first of next month. Once I get the rest of them I’ll have 60 or so rice worth of mini’s. I’m a bit slow with hobby projects  and I’ve got some Batman Miniatures game and Malifuax to paint and model before I can get to the lovely Tengu force and their ice bases. In the meantime I’ll post up the battle report from my intro game and we can start our next Bushido series. The faction breakdowns! Which may only span the Tengu.. depending on the time involved and such. (Part 1 of the Tengu Faction Review)

Follow me over @vorgames and look out for my next Learnin’ series covering Batman Miniatures Game or Malifaux we’ll let fate decide.

 

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