Thinkin’ Bushido: Tengu Faction Part 2

Welcome back to Voracious Gamer for another addition to the Bushido articles. We’re going to keep on keepin’ on with Tengu faction breakdown and review. If you missed it here’s part 1 of the series and here’s the Learnin’ series. I’m a noob still and at the time of writing this I’ve zero games. But hell we read the rules together and we’ve already reviewed a good chunk of them might as well round it out and get to themes and special cards too! We’ll start with the four remaining Hill tribesmen and cover the Giant Eagle and Zephyr Guard as well in this article. Please leave your thoughts on the pieces if you’ve got any.


The first Tribesmen of the day is Kanut. With a whopping 4*5 he’s bringing the best MS we’ve seen so far with a +2 weapon strength mod to the 2d6 damage roll and powerful attack (1) push attack(0) he’s a melee hoss already. 3 ranged is fine with a good range band of 3/5/7. He’s got the Tengu (bushido?) wide standard of 4 and a ki stat of 2/6. Armmo(2) means he gets two shots then he’s out of ranged weapons. I think it’s because he throws axes! Armor(1) is nice as always , a -1 to the 2d6 roll for damage. Fearless is new for the Tengu, it is as you’d think he auto passes fear tests. Iron Mind(1) adds 1 to its highest dice in opposed ki tests when ‘not the active model’ so he’s hard to ki at. Leadership(8) means friendlies within 8 inches can use his ki stat for fear tests. Light weight means he can move and make a ranged attack without the penalty. And toughness(1) reduces the number of HP he loses by 1 when he takes damage. He’s sitting at 6 HP with two feats to go over. Inspiration has a 6 inch range and a 2 ki cost. The target friendly gains +1 to MS or RAS until the end phase! Wow that’s nice too bad it’s only once per turn. He can get Taliriktug from the last post up to 5 MS then he’d be swinging with brutal(2) and +1 weapon strength! Ouch probably dealing double digit damage. His last feat is ‘Tenacious’ it’s a personal 2 ki cost that increases his toughness by +1. Nice! Also there must be a model or ability that can remove toughness because it says he can ‘gain toughness(1) or toughness(+1)’ unless that’s just generic ability text. The bargaining cost of this beast is 10 rice the highest yet. He’s solid and comes with a nasty MS while boosting his allies. He could make the Tengu Bushi profile pretty lethal and buff his own tribesmen up to 4*3. With all those traits he’s bound to stay alive for a bit maybe even long enough to meet up with Ryuhobo for a heal or a Ki offload via channel.


Next let’s Maniitok about this guy Maniitok. He’s got the tribesmen basics. With 3*3 MS 4 Move and 2/6 ki, armor(1), Bravery giving rerolls for fear tests and last stand. Last stand allows him to remain fighting for the turn when reduced to 0 wounds. There was recently a question on the facebook group about last stand models taking additional wounds after going into last stand. They pretty much go metal mario for the remainder of the turn and their life. Spend all the Ki and go wile when that triggers. 6 HP again bringing a push attack like Zenkibo with a +1 on the damage roll. He’s cheap I think at only 6 rice but we’ve yet to discuss his feats. The first is call Hack and it gives him Powerful Attack (0) until the current action. Which means he doesn’t have to lose a MS die to use powerful attack granting him +3 to the 2d6 damage roll! It is a 3 ki feat which is kind of pricey but he’s pulling two each round.

He’s also got a 2 ki feat called thresher giving him Indomitable(1) and Split Attack for the action. The first allows him to ignore 1 model in BtB when determining outnumber and the split attack allows him to (if in BtB with multiple models) split the MS pool between them with a minimum of 1 each. His condition only decreases a degree after the final melee exchange. This guy eats up hordes. Send him in to murder the jedi academy. He’s good at single target damage too with Hack giving him +3 to the damage roll. I think for 6 rice he is real good. Maybe even worth trading out for the hill tribesmen in my first list for one rice you get a lot but it’ll depend on how useful or prevalent fear is in the game\my meta.


Our next contender for the 6 rice Tribesmen slot (of which there may be many) in your list is Nuniq. She’s bringing a 3*3 MS with Move 4 and 1/6 Ki. She adds side step defense to the Tengu toolbox with her melee weapon and sits at the what I’m assuming is default 6 HP. As far as traits are concerned she’s got a healthy armor(1), with first strike like Zenkibo it allows her to attack with initiative if she started a melee exchange outside of BtB. Force of Will(1) adds +1 to opposed ki when it’s the active model (the other version of this trait is Iron mind which adds +1 when you are NOT the active player on opposed ki tests). She’s got light footed which allows her to treat difficult terrain as normal where other models are moving at half speed. She’s got scout deployment which means you get +1 on the roll to choose deployment and she’ll go out after both sides deploy with an additional 4″ of range. Flank deployment as well means deploying from any table edge on turn 2 on a d6 of 3+ and turn 4 on a d6 of 2+. Choose one or the other for deployment! The last trait at play here is Steadfast which allows her to allocate melee dice when frightened freely. Normally there is a restriction when frightened because you gain the defensive trait (must allocate equal dice to attack and defense or more in defense). She’s got a unique effect giving her +1 MS and +2 melee strength mod in melee exchanges with Animals type models. That paired with steadfast and first strike means she’s a real huntress a monster slayer that can get in and do some damage.

Her first feat is a 2 ki feat with a four inch range. Nuniq performs a target ki test with the target equal to (6 – the targets camo trait). If she succeeds they lose camo! While Tarobo can grant 6th sense to friendlies to ignore camo Nuniq can take the camo off for the entire warband to see! Not bad for 2 ki but she’s going to have to get real close. Her second feat besides being a wall of text comparable to my posts is called Snare. It’s a 2 ki cost feat that targets an enemy without fly or intangible or in BtB with a friendly. When it declares a walk, melee, run or charge it must try to take a move (5) target test first. Remember the move test dice pool is determined by the models size. See Learnin’ Bushido Part 3. The test increases to a 6 for models using run or charge that were targeted by snare. If the target fails the test it’s action is complete. If I’m reading this correctly there is no range or LoS here it’s just tarter a model and snare them. For 6 rice you’re snaring folks across the table and bringing a de-camouflager. The difference between the regular 5 rice hill tribesmen and this piece are massive and for 1 more rice I think she’s worth it especially if you’re fighting the kind of big bad monster Cult of Yurei list I’m going to make after the Tengu!


The last of our tribesman bringing a 3*3 MS 4 movement and a nice 2/8 ki. He’s got armor(1), Bravery, Force of will(1) which is +1 on opposed ki tests when he’s the active player. Standard 6HP of course. Push defense on his melee means he can escape a bit if he gets tangled up or displace something if needed. Even moving your opponent 1 inch from a marker could tilt things in your favor because they’d have to use a simple action to get close to it again. Also pushing models into your other models BtB maybe? Let’s look at his feats before we start dreaming too much. The first is Binding Roots, it’s a pulse 3″ (X+1) ki cost feat that gives each enemy in the area the held effect. Remember that requires a target size test to escape. Seems awesome, especially against hordes of smaller things. It’s also a 2 ki cost way to deny your opponent a simple action which is valuable for out activation purposes.

His second feat is “voice of the wind”, it’s a target 6″ and is 2 ki to cast. On an opposed ki test success the target model is placed within 1″ of it’s location. Telekinesis folks, the Tengu have it all now. Seriously though that’s pretty good at a 6″ range it’s not shabby. There’s a special card that will extend range of ki feats by 2″ it’s be nice here for sure an 8″ displace would make this cat annoying to go after and punishing to get locked up with since he’s still brining 3*3 MS to the table. A good model all around but competing with a good deal of lower cost tribesmen and similarly cost Shisai and shugenja. The jury may be out until we start seeing the effects of certain traits in game. Oh, we almost forgot to cover his unique effects. During the start phase he can give a friendly model immunity (poison) or Immunity (Fire) until the end phase. That’s a first for the Tengu too and maybe worth this dude’s rice. That would bard against certain conditions and be a good investment.


Let’s get back to birds though. The Zephyr Guard is the generic Zenkibo if you remember back to the first part of this series. For one rice less he brings a similar stat line 3*3 MS 4*2 Movement and 1/6 ki. Armor (2) nice as always complete with fly and first strike. He’s at a -1 on weapon strength but wields a push attack. He’s got 5 HP and the Precision Strike feat which grants him armor piercing for 2 ki. It’s got that same awesome unique effect though. During the starting phase if he’s not in BtB you just move him within 1″ of an enemy?! I like it a lot, he’s a good scenario piece and counter to get in the way when things are coming for the squishier birds. At only 5 rice too I think this model is going to pretty damn useful. Running two could let you place them both on the same enemy from anywhere on the table? I may be misunderstanding it but if not, then yes please. Two Zephyr Guard, right?


The giant eagle is next and also a gorgeous eagle model but we’ll review models and such as I acquire them. No sense in reviewing pictures of them. Anyways this guy is a good piece of kit indeed. With 3 MS and 6 Move he’s the fastest thing I’ve seen in the game so far. He’s got a bird brain so it comes along with a 2/0 ki stat. With Auto-disengage he can fly away whenever he wants. Charging bonus (sharp) is a new one for the Tengu. So that means on a charge action he gains the Sharp trait. Sharp is really quite good it allows you to ignore armor AND toughness on a successful charge attack. Man this eagle can’t boost but he’s got a chance to rend some things and the range to reach your stunned targets. I’m picturing a Sanjakubo\Tarobo\Giant Eagle combo now. Sanja stuns a an enemy that Tarobo used his unique effect stun on then the eagle comes in and ignores their armor while their at -2MS? Even better if you could pulse with Qimmiq’s binding roots to hold them in place. Really seems like getting attacked by a flock of birds! I’m getting ahead of myself here on theorycrafting let’s get back to Giant Eagle’s traits.

Ranged defense (1) adds a +1 to the TN of ranged attacks targeting him. Perfect, he’s got scout too already the fastest piece in the faction and now he deploys +4″ out, not bad especially when you consider his last trait Sixth Sense. He’ll be able to ignore camo swoop in on a charge and ignore armor and toughness all on his base card. This guy seems worth his 8 rice for sure at 7 HP he’s a tank. Now the craziest (read best) part his unique effect. During the starting phase he can be removed from the table and then placed in BtB with any table edge the next starting phase. He stays wounded and keeps his conditions but the tactical options are sweet. I’m thinking scout the first turn to harass and threaten some space then leave the table at the start of second turn to show up where needed for third. Most games play out in 5 so he could leave fourth and come back 5th to score or threaten again. Really digging this piece. Maybe even have him leave the table and come into BtB with a waiting ryuhobo to drop a heal on him?


Next we have this jive turkey Naigubu and man I hope he’s good because again the model is really fantastic. He’s meditating in the air with a bunch of birds holding his cloaks, ace modeling GCT. Okay to start things of he’s got a 1 MS, you’re going to want some Zephyr guards unless he’s hiding some kind of spirit shield on the next card. With a 3/10 ki stat he’s the best Shisai (wizard\ addict), no wonder he has a second card. Channel(8) has him assigning Ki out to his peeps (ha!). Fearless means he’ll auto pass fear tests. Oh, Heal(2)! Naigubu can take a simple action to heal 2 HP when not BtB or he can heal it from a model in BtB! Oh double healers with a ton of tribesmen and a giant eagle is sounding like the next list I want to try. Leech (8) means he can absorb or take Ki away from folks within 8 inches, slow has him unable to run or charge and strong mind is well we know what that is now, right? (+1 on opposed ki tests when he’s not the active player) For 10 rice he seems awesome so far except for the 6 HP but heals though. I’m assuming one can escape a combat in bushido long enough to heal? We’ll see how that works. If clumping is punished there may be issues.


Let’s look at his feats first with a target 12″ 2 ki feat he can barrage you with a wall of text. Okay, lets break this down. He grants a blessing token to a friendly non-soulless (odd word) mode. That model can spend it like an instant ki feat. To get one of four elementally themed effects. The first being Fire, +1 melee strength and fire 1/1 until the action is resolved. I don’t know what fire 1/1 means but maybe that’s a ranged attack or he’s on fire? Next is water which allows you to discard the blessing to heal two wounds. (12 inch heals! Or 14″ with that special card we’ll review) Earh grants armor(2) for an action. I don’t know if armor(2) on an armor(1) tribesmen would make them armor(3) or not but they’d be durable as hell with that. Air is the last one and grants +1 move and light footed!  That’s shooting and moving without the penalty. He could make for a speedy accurate sanjakubo or anything else really. I like this feat a lot. It’s called “Blessing of the Kami”. The second of his three feats is “Spirit Ward” it’s a 6 inch aura with cost of 2 ki. Kami starting or entering the aura cannot move closer to the model. I don’t know how prevalent Kami will be in the game. Could be a decent Kami hunter or at least prevent the kami from coming to aide your opponent if they have any. The temple of ro-kan has kami and the tengu can use a few of them. The cult has some dark and gnarly kami too.

The last feat here is “Warding Shomyo” another 6 inch aura but this one sets you back 3 ki and gives you Disturb Flow(1/6) and negates special attacks and defenses in the aura. Disturb flow means ki feats will cost 1 extra ki within 6 inches of the model with disturb flow hence the (1/6) syntax. Last but hopefully not least are his unique effects. Because he’s not unique enough yet! He just mirages 2″ from his spot during the starting phase so he’ll be real hard to pin down. Then he can choose one of three additional bits to happen during the starting phase. He could gain durable(ranged attacks) which means he’d only take a single wound if he takes any damage from a ranged attack! If he’s not worrying about getting shot then  you could choose the second effect where an enemy model that moves into BtB gets a stun marker. It’s kind of like him shaming an enemy for charging such a venerable shisai. The third and final option is stealing a targets camo until the end phase. I think that’ll play a big part because odds are he’ll be hunted with something you don’t want this guy alive on the edge of the battle. I’d imagine your enemies best hunters may have camo when they get close he could reveal them for your guards to swoop in. (we need to find out guards ignore camo with that unique effect!?)

That’s all the Tengu madness for today and almost the whole faction. In the next post we’ll go over the four big bad birds of the Tengu Buzenbo, Hokibo, Kotenbo and the recently announced Jirobo and we’ll try to come up with a mnemonic device to tell them apart, just you wait and see. We’ll also cover Kami and Sojobo the duel faction model. Let me know what you think if you’ve played and\or slayed these models yourself. Cheers

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