Thinkin’ Bushido: Tengu Faction Part 3

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for the big bad birds of the Tengu. In this weeks’ Thinkin’ Bushido Addition we cover the large samurai birds and the Kami to round out the faction review. In the last two posts we’ve covered the Tengu Hill Tribes men and the smaller based Tengu like the Zephyr guard. (I learned that the Zephyr guard’s unique effect places him within 1″ of his current location rather than one inch from anything on the table. Kind of obvious in hindsight but I was holding out on him being a bad ass. See part 2 of the Faction Review if that’s confusing.) Let’s dive in and see what the tail end of the faction has in store then we’ll be equipped to list build\theory craft and perhaps review a second bushido faction? Here’s part 1 and part 2 of the faction review along with the Learnin’ Bushido series.

Buzenbo is the first of our Tengu Samurai. He’s got a 3*3 MS AND 3*3 RAS with a speedy 5 move and a 2/8 ki stat. With Armor (3) damage rolls are reduced by three against him, Armor piercing (ranged) has him ignoring armor with his bow. The bow is sitting at a nice +2 to the damage rolls and a really great range band of 6/12/18! This guy is a ranged monster so far! He’s of course got Fly and Fear (4). I don’t know if we’ve discussed Fear yet in any detail. Fear tests are target tests that use the models ki stat. So models have to pass a Fear(4) test to declare anything that would bring them into base contact. If Buzenbo declares an action that would bring him into contact with an enemy must take a fear(4) test or be frightened. Remember frightened means -1MS and the model gains the defensive trait which means at least as many dice must be allocated to defense as attack. During the end phase the model can take a fear test to remove the condition. If it fails the condition remains.

Buzenbo of course follows up with Fearless making him immune to fear(x) on other models. Martial Prowess (1) is new for the Tengu. This means he can reroll one of his attack or defense dice during a melee exchange. Reload (1) give him a reload marker after he takes a Ranged attack action. He has to later take a simple action to remove the counter before he can fire again.  The last trait is Strong Mind which means he gets + 1 to Ki stat for opposed ki tests. His melee attack is decent at +1 to the damage rolls and a push attack(1). The push attack will allow this arrow shooting hoss to push foes away so he can take a fly action to run out to the next objective or to a better vantage point for the arrow of Buzenbo. He’s got a hefty HP bar of 9! Wow, this guy isn’t going to die fast with armor 3 and 9 HP he seems like the most resilient piece we’ve seen so far sans the healers.

The first of his two feats is ‘Quick Reload’ which is an active 3 ki feat to remove reload markers. This means on turn two Buzenbo will be able to fire twice in a round if he hadn’t spent ki yet. He could take a simple action to fire then burn three ki to ‘feat’ his reload marker away and fire again the next activation to really mess with folks up to 18 inches away! His second feat is ‘Wing Buffet’ a 2 ki pulse that requires BtB. All models in Btb take a Size Target(5) test or be pushed d3 inches from the model. Kind of cool trick to escape getting too stuck in with such a good ranged piece. This dude’s rice cost makes sense to me at a savory 13! He seems well worth the points as an elite Tengu selection.


Hokibo is the next samurai on our list. He’s got a sweet mask like shredder from TMNT and a card full of text. Let’s see what goodness this 14 rice monster has in store. With a 4*3 MS he’s not playing around when he gets into melee. A 0 RAS means he’s going to be running for the aforementioned melee. Move 5 means he’ll get there and he’ll get there fast. And a 2/8 ki stat is average from what we’ve seen so far.

To begin his trait line he’s got several things similar to Buzenbo those being Armor (3), Fly, Fear (4), Fearless, Martial Prowess (1) and Strong Mind (1). Oh, actually he’s got all the same traits even that real nice 9 HP. Where he differs is in the weapon grids no ranged weapon means he’s got a nice +2 melee weapon that has a crit strike attack (1) and push defense (0) special. Crit strike is freaking great! So if he succeeds at a melee exchange and his damage roll has matching numbers so the 2 d6 for damage come up two 4s or something then you remove the model from the game! He just ends them on doubles, that’s uncontrollable but the potential threat is serious.

The first of his three feats is ‘Dominate’ which is a 6″ 2 ki feat to select the next non-exhausted model to activate. Nothing like controlling your enemies activation or denying them a critical move before you get to go. I can see that being used a good deal. The next feat is ‘Kenjutsu Sensei’ again a 6″ 2 ki feat. This targets a friendly model and give them an instruction token. Any time the model could use instant ki feats they can use the kenjutsu token to gain one of four effects. Reduces special attacks and defenses by 1, gain powerful attack(1) which is + 3 on the damage roll!, gain armor piercing melee to root out opponent tank pieces or gain jump up to remove a prone marker before activation.  This guy has some serious utility being able to boost his own models with whatever is needed in the situation feels valuable and may lead to this guy seeing a lot of table time in higher rice lists. Wing buffet is his third feat which is again the BtB 2 ki pulse that moves models d3 inches who fail a size target(5) test. At 14 rice this guy is a real threat on the board and a chunk of your list, use him wisely but I imagine he’s not going to go down without a hell of a fight. He’s a melee support piece with solid stats and feats for a big (relatively) price.


Kotenbo is up next coming in with a lower 3*3 MS similar 0 RAS and an average 4 move with an average 2/6 ki stat with a nice 7 HP surprise! He’s got Armor (3) as the big Tengu do and Bravery means he can reroll a failed fear test. Command (Bushi/2) is a new and interesting addition to the Tengu toolbox. Basically he can activate 2 other Tengu Bushi models having them perform simple actions! This would allow three Tengu to go before their opponent gets a chance to react that would probably mean something dies if you’re using it right. It would also allow you to scatter If an objective is pulled or a new threat presents itself. And of course he’s got Fly. With a +2 Push defense (0) melee weapon he’s no chump in melee exchanges. The first of his two feats is ‘Battle Hardened’ which is a 3 ki feat that gives him last stand and Rise (4) until the end phase. This is a ONCE per game feat. Wow, so Last stand means he can drop to 0 wounds and keep on fighting for the rest of the round that’s amazing but Rise is where this feat becomes awesome! When he drops to 0 while under the effects of Rise (4) he goes prone instead of dies. Then he can take a target number 4 test at the end of the current action to regain all his HP! If he fails then he dies like normal. But this has super defensive and offensive capabilities. He’s gross if you could  kill him and have to kill him all over again. The second feat he’s got is ‘Hack’ a 3 ki feat granting powerful attack (0). I could see this being used in some situations but you probably want to get 3 ki on him and throw him into some useful place to wait for a good ‘Battle Hardened’ turn. We’ll see how he ends up playing. At 9 rice it’s a sweet piece with some great abilities and he’s got some real staying power which the tengu seem to be a little short on sans the armor 3 wing buffeting samurai.


This guy was just recently announced (Early Sept 2016). He’s got the same base stat line, HP and rice cost as Kotenbo above. He’s also got similar traits with Armor (3) , Bravery and Fly. He’s +2 melee weapon comes with a side step defense (1) and a counter attack defense (1) making him quite the shifty piece to launch an attack against. The first of his two feats is his instant ‘Aegis of Blades’ which can’t be cast on the move and costs 4 ki giving him Impenetrable Defence and Parry (1) until the end phase! Impenetrable defense is a new ability for the Tengu and helps reinforce that ‘staying power’ that they may be short on. With this up enemies have to discard their highest attack dice!? That with Parry (1) it’s better to leave this tank of bird alone when he pops aegis of blades the second or  third round. His last feat is ‘Combat Instinct’ a 2 ki instant that forces opponents to reveal their special attacks before dice are allocated. This allows him to prepare for shenanigans and stay on an objective if needed. For 9 rice I really dig this piece he’s resilient and provides some key defensive and traits for the tengu. I’ll definitely include him in a list or two.

That’s the entire faction but there are three more model cards to cover the first is a duel faction model who has a card for temple and one for Tegu. His name is Sojobo, the Exile. I don’t think I’m allowed to post this pic up on the site. He’s got a nice 4*2 MS and an average 4 move paired with a ki stat of 2/8 and hp 6. His melee weapon has no bonus to damage but does grant counter attack defense (1) and push defense (0). As far as traits go with this guy he’s got armor (1), Fly, Martial Prowess (1)  , Parry (1) Sixth Sense (ignores camo). He’s got First Strike which means he gains the initiative in melee exchanges if he started outside of btb when the exchange was declared. He’s also got soulless which means he’s immune to opposed ki tests and fear tests. He seems like a great utility piece so far with some survivability and First Strike is not to be over looked. He’s also got Aegis of Blades as a feat just like Jirobo! His second feat is Mountain Gale which is a 2 ki feat that will make models suffer a +2 mod on ranged attacks until the end phase as long as sojobo is in play! I don’t see a restriction on this so I think it affects the entire board. That’s awesome! It means your opponent won’t be able to pick the big bird off from afar they’ll have to close in to finish the job. I think that allows the Tengu then to fly away and keep at a range with their superior- ish range. Sojobo has a unique effect that keeps him from being targeted or interacting with friendly leech\channel actions. That’s kind of lame. He’s a solo piece but with Aegis of Blades he’s 13 rice of goodness and sure to do some good scoring while giving your opponent hell.

The last two models we’ll go over are the Kami. From what I can tell these Kami are only available when you take one of the two available Tengu theme lists. We’ll go over the theme lists next week.


The First of the magical Kami available for themed warbands is the Kami of the Strong West Wind. This guy has a whole slew of traits to make up for his meh 1 MS, 2 RAS amazing 7 move! And 0/2 ki stat. The first is Auto disengage which means he can leave combat without declaring a disengage. Dodge (1) means he can force a reroll of his opponents attack dice (one of them). Durable means he only suffers one wounds if he suffers any. (reduce all damage to one) Elusive allows him to ignore enemy ZoC during movement. He can ghost around like you’d expect an air kami to. Fly, of course. Insignificant means he has no ZoC, can’t add to outnumbering, can’t perform simple or complex scenario actions. Kami means he can remove ki tokens when he suffers wounds, interesting indeed? The model cannot be leeched from or channeled to and it’s immune to poison/fire AND cannot be healed.. Yikes so many rules on this little bugger what’s next? So Parry (1) means he can add 1 to his highest defense die rolled in a melee exchange. Ranged defense (2) means opponents have a +2 mod to shoot at him with ranged attacks. He is air after all. Then Soulless which like sojobo allows him to auto win opposed ki duels and fear tests. His Health vial is weird because Ki are his health. He costs 4 rice and I think one can hire a max of two Kami.

He’s got a unique effect rivaling his list of traits. Let’s see here. When he suffers wounds from melee he gets to be placed anywhere within 2″. He starts the game with 2 ki (two health really since he’s kami). During the starting phase he can be removed from play to grant all models within 2″ +1 move, evasive and light footed until the end phase. Or he can grant all of that to a single model in BtB and stay in play! Now this may be a typo but I don’t see a trait called evasive. There is one called elusive?? But +1 move and light footed means move 6 Tengu samurai! These birds can be REALLY fast with a wind kami floating around them granting +1 mov every round. The pulse buff may be useful for some game defining turn stuff too. He’s got a ranged attack with a horrible band of 2/3/4 but models hit by his attack suffer no damage. Instead you can place the model within 1″ of the kami?! That’s awesome too, this means he can move enemies and Friendlies too (I think you can target friendlies) and line them up for other activations. Nothing like out of turn movement tricks to keep your opponent on your toes. I really dig this Kami and for 4 rice he’s totally worth it. Let’s check out the Eternal Earth Kami next!


The last Kami on the roster is the Eternal Earth Kami. He’s got a 2 MS and 3 move with a 1/2 ki stat. His traits are a breath of fresh air compared to the kami of the west wind (haha see what I did there?) as there are only 7. He’s got armor (3), Brutal (1) which lets him add 1 to his highest attack dice in melee exchanges. Durable has him taking 1 wound at a time. Kami as above grants a whole mess of things but most importantly it makes their Ki act as HP. He’s got soulless and Steady too. Steady means he can never be knocked prone. He’s got a melee weapon with no specials. Let’s see what magic is awaiting in his unique effect. He deals a wound when he suffers a wound from melee. He starts the game with two ki and during the starting phase he can be removed from play to give a friendly model in BtB durable until the end phase. Or he remains in play and gives a friendly in BtB armor (2) until the end phase. Man that would make for some really tanky birds. That whole staying power thing I was worried about is solved with this guy just throwing out armor 2 (and the fact that these dudes can fly like mad so they don’t really need it if they’re surgical with strikes.). I could see holding out for a late game durable though. Durable is just too good, reducing all damage down to one for a round! Both Kami add some synergy and theme feeling to the Tengu forces we’ve covered this far.

That’s it, we’ve covered the entire range! Even the yet to be released and oh so tanky Jirobo! Now that we’ve got a good grasp on the faction as a whole we can dive into upgrades available then warband creation! In our fourth and final post in the Tengu faction review series we’ll go over the two available Tengu themed lists as well as the Tengu specific Upgrades. As always if you’ve played or slayed any of these models I’d love to hear your feedback. I’m so excited to get the Tengu on the table and really dig into Bushido. I recruited another friend willing to demo so I’ll be ordering some Cult of Yuri here soon. I also had a wonderful idea for a zen sand garden bushido board to make down the line. We’ll go over all that and more. Until then cheers and goodnight.


Extra Life Donation Page: We’re playing games for 24 hours November 5th to raise money for the children’s miracle network hospitals!


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