Kensei/Rules And Tactics/1e

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The crunch and tactica page for Kensei.

Rules[edit]

Due to the fact the rulebook is translated from Spanish...somewhat capably, there are sections that are unclear or badly phrased.

The rules will be transcribed here for simplicity, made expandable for those wanting to skip straight to the Tactica.

Fosr those familiar with ranked wargames like Warhammer Fantasy, Kensei is a fairly similar experience. Kensei uses ten-sided dice and tape measure.

Basic Rules[edit]

The rulebook shorthand for dice rolls is DC for melee rolls, DD for ranged rolls.

PM is the shorthand for Commandment Points, which are used to make Special Actions during the Orders and Actions phase. The General of your army determines how many you have. Both players make a Commandment dice roll, called an Opposed Roll.

AC is Action Points, which determine how many normal actions like moving or attacking you can do.

Units are groupings of models in formation which move as one.

  • Stats:
    • Attack (AT): Their proficiency with weapons and their ease to hit things. The lower the number, the better the Attack. An Attack roll is called an Attribute Roll.
    • Defense (DF): The ability to not be hit. The higher the number, the better the Defense. These rolls are considered Attribute Tests.
    • Wounds (W): Hit points. The higher the better.
    • Ki (KI): Spiritual defense and attack points. Used to cast spells by Spiritual Characters, used to defend against magic and use special abilities by everything else. The higher the better.
    • Honor (HR): The morale of the model. Improved by having a Bushi or Standard Bearer in the Unit. Used when executing maneuvers, resisting fleeing from the battle, using Taisho abilities, and turn 1 setup. The higher the better. These rolls are considered Attribute Tests.
    • Initiative (IN): Speed in attacking. The higher, the more likely to get to strike first. Initiative is rolled by both players, and is called an Opposed Roll.

Line of Sight is used in the game, and is "real line of sight" meaning you look from the perspective of the model. Regardless of the size of the model, if it is behind anything it is considered to not be in the Line of Sight. A giant dragon behind a small fence is considered to be out of Line of Sight.

When Charging or Running Away, Movement rolls are used.

Premeasuring is not allowed. You can only measure when in actually taking the action, and when checking to see if you qualify for an effect that is already in play.

Types of Models[edit]

Models must be grouped together in formations determined by what type of model it is. Models in formation have Line Of Sight as a 180 degree view from their front.

  • Bushi: Bushi are characters, usually intended to grant bonuses to Units they join although they can act independently. A Bushi can only join a Unit that uses ranged weapons if they have the same kind of ranged weapon. Bushi attack at the same Initiative as the rest of the Unit, although they grant an Initiative bonus. Daisho characters (Samurai and Ashigaru) add 1 to the Initiative and Honor of the Unit. Heroes add 2 Honor and 1 Initiative. Taisho and Daimyo add 3 Honor, 2 Initiative.
  • Special Characters: Special Characters don't grant bonuses to their Unit, and attack independently of the rest of it at their own Initiative. They use their special abilities after the Unit they are in finishes the Orders and Actions phase.
  • Spiritual Characters: Characters who can use magic. They can either use magic or attack/block each turn, they can't do both. Only one Spiritual Character can be taken per army. They behave as Infantry otherwise.
  • Infantry: Standard footplodders. They have a minimum of 3 models and a maximum of 5 in the front rank to be in formation, a maximum of four columns so a Unit cannot be larger than 20 models although some types of models put the maximum lower than that.
  • Cavalry: Mount and rider use one profile. Minimum of 2 models and maximum 5 in the front, maximum of three columns so the largest Cavalry Unit would be 15 models in addition to some making the maximum even lower.
  • Harassers: Models that use their own special movement rules. Also the rules used for models that are not in a Unit. Use a loose formation dictated by distance from each other rather than ranks and columns. All models in a Harasser Unit must be in a minimum of 3 centimeters from each other, and none in the Unit more than 15 centimeters apart. Harasser Line of Sight is a full 360 degrees around.
  • Creatures: Can only be used in magic games. Come in three sizes, small, medium, and large.
  • Artillery/Artifacts: None are currently in the game, although they will eventually be. Function as Infantry, with a Unit consisting only of the model and its crew.

When a model that can act independently leaves or joins a Unit, it costs that model 1 Action Point (more on that later).

Terrain[edit]

Terrain is deployed first at the start of the game. Kensei suggests two options, agreed on by the players.

  • A third person not involved in the game setting up the scenery for both players to then deal with. There are no limitations on the placement.
  • Players take turns based on an Initiative roll placing scenery from all of the scenery that will be used. Each type of terrain must be different than the previously placed terrain, terrain must be 15 centimeters apart at minimum, and when a player decides to put no more scenery the other player gets to place one additional piece and terrain placement ends.

Some terrain provides Cover, which gives bonuses in both melee and ranged combat. Models inside a building or within 3 centimeters of terrain in melee have Cover, which kind is determined by the rules of that terrain.

  • Light Cover gives +1 Attack (remember, low Attack is better) to the roll attempting to shoot at the Unit in Cover. If a Unit is partially obscured by terrain in the Real Line of Sight, it is in Light Cover for the purpose of ranged attacks. For melee, Light Cover provides +1 Defense and +2 Initiative.
  • Heavy Cover in ranged combat is when half or more of the models in the Unit are partially obscured, granting +2 Attack to the ranged roll. In melee, Heavy Cover grants +2 Defense and +2 Initiative.

Terrain each has specific rules. All terrain must be one of these types.

  • Normal Terrain: Blank terrain on the game table. Prairies, valleys, fields, hills. No special rules.
    • Hills: Elevated terrain. Models can't see through Hills, but models can see up them and down them. Models are on Hills when half or more of the Unit is. Models on Hills can see through anything that does not have a rule saying it completely blocks all Line of Sight. Models on Hills have Light Cover, although in melee the Light Cover bonus only lasts one turn. When shooting from a Hill, maximum range is increased by 10 centimeters.
  • Difficult Terrain: Minor obstacles in the way. Forests, crop fields, old battlefields, uneven ground. All non-Harasser Units suffer a 50% penalty to movement through it.
    • Forest: Made up of trees in a minimum radius of 5 centimeters. Units within a Forest can see each other, but those outside of the Forest cannot see anything in or past it.
      • Forest Edge: Units in the Forest Edge have at least one model within 3 centimeters of a tree in the Forest, and have Light Cover.
      • Deep Forest: Units in the Forest itself are in Deep Forest. They suffer a +2 Attack when shooting, and can only see within 15 centimeters of themselves. Harassers have Light Cover while within a Deep Forest.
    • Streams, Brooks, Bogs, River Fords: Portions of watery terrain which can be safely crossed. Shooting from within these terrains has a penalty of +2 Attack, and in melee or when being shot have -2 Defense. Models with Teppos in this terrain must pass a Ki roll or their Teppo gets wet and becomes nonfunctional for the rest of the battle.
  • Impassible Terrain: Terrain troops can't move through. Deep water, steep drops, dangerous paths.
    • Constructions: Buildings of any dimensions, can have models garrison inside them. Constructions block all Line of Sight of the inhabitants from the outside, and ranged attackers within can shoot 360 degrees around. If a model shoots from inside the Construction, it can then be shot by things outside the Construction for than turn although it will have Heavy Cover. Models can occupy a Construction by spending Action Points, and Constructions can be attacked by models which are able to; otherwise, enemy Units must attack the models inside directly. If a Construction is destroyed, all models inside immediately die. Models inside a Construction have Heavy Cover. all Constructions come in two types:
      • Small Constructions: Can be seen past if the model is at a higher elevation than the Construction. Can only hold 4 models inside. Possess 10 Wounds and 6 Armor unless otherwise specified.
        • House: A simple Construction with no other rules. Can hold a single Unit.
        • Altar/Shrine: A Small Construction with 6 Wounds, 5 Armor. Makes all terrain within 15 centimeters Spiritual Terrain, and grants +1 Ki to models inside it.
        • Torii: A gateway which grants immunity to Fear and Terror if within 10 centimeters. Has 7 Wounds, 5 Armor.
        • Bridge: If inside (or actually on it) or within 5 centimeters, Units can only move at half speed. Has 10 Wounds, Armor 5.
      • Large Constructions: Blocks all Line of Sight past it. Can hold 4+ models, decided by the players. Has 20 Wounds and 7 Armor.
        • Pagoda/Temple: A large building which grants Onmyouiji within 10 centimeters a free Meditation, and makes all other terrain within 14 centimeters Spiritual Terrain. Can hold 2 Units.
        • Castle: Can hold 3 Units.
        • Clan Castle: All models inside automatically pass Honor rolls. Can hold 3 Units.
        • Cemetery: A Construction with graves functioning as trees in Forest terrain, which is a Mystical Terrain that grants +1 Honor to models inside it.
        • Ruins: Rubble counts as trees in Forest terrain. Counts as Mystical Terrain. Grant Light Cover rather than Heavy Cover. Ruin Constructions cannot be attacked or destroyed.
    • Rivers, Lakes, Swamps: Entirely impassible water obstacles. Any portion shallow enough to be safely crossed is considered a River Ford, Stream/Brook, or Bog respectively.
  • Obstacle: Something that troops must take extra movements to avoid. Buildings, fences, rubble.
    • Walls, Bushes, Fences: Thin, tall terrain covering a certain distance. At the height of a man (meaning a standing miniature) they are considered Normal Height and do not hinder Sight, can be bypassed like all obstacles, and provide Light Cover to defenders with it between them and their attacker. Very High is taller than a miniature and unless it was specified to have gaps like crenels or palisades then it entirely blocks Sight and all ranged attacks. If Very High does have those things, it grants Heavy Cover to both attacker and defender. In melee, the wall must be charged for one turn for the attackers to climb it, and afterwards the defender has Heavy Cover.
  • Mystical Terrain: Terrain with psychological effects on troops. Cemeteries, monuments, shrines, landmarks. In a 10 centimeter distance around the feature, troops do not Run Away and immediately regroup if they were.

Deployment[edit]

Players do not place miniatures on the field at the start of the game. Instead, they first determine which side of the field each player begins in by having the Taisho make an Honor rolls against each other with the winner picking. Then players determine which one of them begins deployment by having their Taisho make Initiative rolls against each other. The player who won the Initiative roll has 30 centimeters of room on their edge of the table to deploy in, the loser only has 20 centimeters.

Each player uses a face-down Deployment Card (which has what the Unit it represents is and contains written on one side and is in the size of the Unit footprint when placed) to choose the positions of their Units. Players take turns, beginning with the player with higher Initiative, placing cards. The exception to this is models which can begin outside the Deployment Zone (like ninja), which are set aside with where on the map you intend for them to suddenly appear written down.

Once all cards have been placed, players then reveal to their opponent what is on the card as they replace it with models. The models must be in the same formation and facing the same direction as on the card. Harassers and solitary models can be placed any way you want as long as at least one part of their Unit was on part of where the card was.

In this way, all you can be sure of is that there is soldiers of some kind in a particular position, not knowing what exactly they will be.

Battle[edit]

The game consists of six phases each turn; Orders and Actions for the higher Initiative player, Orders and Actions for the lower Initiative player, then Combat and Resolution. At the start of each turn, both players make a Commandment Roll to determine the Initiative.

Special Orders[edit]

During a player's turn, they first issue Special Orders in the following order:

  • 1) Taisho abilities
  • 2) Regrouping fleeing troops
  • 3) Strategic Orders
  • 4) Warning Orders

Special Orders all cost Command Points.

Special Actions[edit]

You first inform your opponent what each Unit is going to do. Only then do you start doing it for every Unit. You can perform Unit Actions in any order.

  • Taisho Abilities (more on them later) can be used once per turn for free, with a second costing 2 Command Points. They require a Ki roll success to use.
  • Attempting to Regroup a fleeing Unit costs 1 Command Point. The Unit makes an Honor roll, if passed they lose one Action Point but you regain control over them, and for free you can rotate them to face any direction. You can attempt to Regroup any fleeing Units as many times as you need so long as you have enough Command Points to spend. If any are left still fleeing at the end of this subphase they immediately spend all this turns Action Points continuing to run away and thus can do nothing else for the rest of the turn.
  • Strategic Orders are using ranged weapons, and charging into melee. You must spend 2 Command Points and perform a Ki roll with your Taisho each Strategic Order you issue, and if the roll fails then the Unit still follows your orders but loses 1 Action Point. Unless the Unit you are commanding has a Line of Sight to the intended target, then you cannot give a Strategic Order unless your Taisho is still alive and has Line of Sight to both your Unit and their intended target, and you can only give such orders to a Unit that has a Bushi character in it. Thus, protecting your officers is very important for ambushes and ranged superiority. For example, if you want your Teppo models to shoot at an enemy within their range but obscured by another Unit of models in front of their targets, your Taisho must be able to see both Units (possibly by being on a Hill) and your Teppos need to have a Bushi character (carrying a Teppo) with them. Spy characters count as a second pair of eyes for your Taisho.
  • Warning Orders cost 1 Command Point. These allow your troops to make Attacks of Opportunity. Attacks of Opportunity are either to shoot ranged weapons, charge an enemy, or move and then charge, all during your opponent's turn at any time you want to interrupt them. Only one Unit each turn can make an Attack of Opportunity each turn, but you can issue Warning Orders to as many as you want so you can choose who will react. A Unit must have the Action Points left over to execute Attacks of Opportunity, one for shooting or charging and two to move then charge. Cavalry charges, ambushes, and getting another volley of lead/arrows into the enemy are the best uses. Note that you must set the conditions ahead of time. For example, you can't just give a Warning Command to a unit of Ashigaru and do what you want whenever, you have to give a logical order like "charge the first enemy who passes the fence line", meaning that if an enemy comes from your side and is nowhere near the fence you can't just decide to change the criteria for their charge (although "charge the first thing in range" or "charge any Ashigaru you see" are legitimate orders as well).

Generic Orders[edit]

Then players make Generic Orders. The opponent can make Countermands, which are reactions to Generic Orders. They are made in the following order:

  • 1) Movement
  • 2) Ranged combat
  • 3) Spiritual Actions (The Countermand is attempting to block the spell being cast, similar to Dispelling in Warhammer Fantasy)
  • 4) Special Actions
  • 5) Charging/Melee (The Countermand is how those being attacked react, like the Charge Reaction of Warhammer Fantasy)

At any point conditions are right, the opponent can use Attack of Opportunities they had previously set up.

Generic Actions[edit]

Like Special Actions, you can perform Generic Actions in any Unit order you want.

Every Action costs Action Points. Infantry, Cavalry, and non-Large Creatures have 2 per turn. Harassers, models by themselves, Characters, and Large Creatures all have 3.

In order to give an opponent the opportunity to spend their Attacks of Opportunity, you must declare your Orders in full before you execute them as Actions.

  • Movement: You can make one Movement per turn, plus Occupying a Construction. Each Movement costs 1 Action Point. During Orders you only have to declare the direction you are moving, you can choose the distance as you are taking the Action. Infantry plus any model by itself that isn't Cavalry or Large can move 10 centimeters, Cavalry 15, Large models 13. Some models have a different Movement stat. Harassers and solitary models can spend their Movement in any directions they wish, but each model can only travel a maximum of their Movement. Infantry and Cavalry Units can travel through friendly Units, but the second Unit must not have made their Movement yet, you must clear the second Unit (if it can't, you still suffer penalties and end 3 centimeters from the second Unit), and both Units lose 1 Action Point and 2 Initiative that turn.
    • Advancement is moving in any direction in a 180 degree arc in front of your Unit with one Special Movement allowed before, after, or during the spending of their Movement.
      • Facing is a Special Movement when you spend 2 centimeters in Movement, which lets you change which direction you are facing within 90 degrees (allowing a player making a 2 centimeter shorter Advancement to end the turn facing any direction).
      • Pivoting is a Special Movement which costs 3 centimeters, and is a complete 360 degree about-face.
    • Backwards Movement is when your models move the full distance backwards while facing the same direction.
    • Marching: Standard movement. You'll probably use this only when in a condition that forces you to.
    • Running: Double the distance of Marching. When you subtract centimeters from your Movement, you subtract them from the Running speed if you are running (for example, Infantry that has a -2 centimeter penalty subtracts it from the 20 for running, not doubling the penalty).
    • Occupying a Construction: Occurs as part of Movement and requires one Action Point. To engage occupied Constructions, you too must occupy it. The attacker may put as many models into it as the defender. You can only enter a Construction through base contact with the entrance facing inwards, and to exit you must spend one Action Point to have the Unit placed back at the entrance in base contact facing outwards.
    • Overcoming an Obstacle: Models must spend 2 centimeters to get past obstacles. Very High obstacles cost a full 10 centimeters. Cavalry spend 3 centimeters to clear Normal and High Obstacles, but can never clear a Very High one.
  • Ranged Attacks: Attacking with any ranged attack, like a Teppo or Bow and Arrow.
    • Loading: All weapons begin the game loaded, and cosy 1 Action Point to load after firing. This has to be declared in Orders, like all other Actions.
    • Firing: Firing costs 1 Action Point, and weapons must be reloaded before being fired again. You cannot fire at things engaged in melee unless a special rule allows you to. It has to have Line of Sight in this phase to shoot unless your Taisho/Spy gave you a Strategic Order allowing you to. You cannot premeasure. Each weapon has its own ranges. If out of range, nothing happens except the ammunition is spent. If at long range, the Attack roll has +1 (higher Attack is bad, remember). If at short range, it has -1. Each model that fires rolls one dice for each Wound it has (for example, three mounted archers have two hit points each while the fourth is wounded, so you roll 7 dice for the Unit to shoot with). To score a hit, you must roll a number higher than the Attack stat of your models (which is why a lower Attack is good). Any result of 10 (or 0, depending on what kind of 10-sided dice you are using) reduces your target's Defense against that shot by one point. By spending two Action Points instead of just one, your shot is made with Greater Precision which gives you a -1 Attack bonus. If you have enough Action Points to shoot, reload, and shoot again then it counts as Multiple Shots and the second shot has a penalty of +1 Attack. If your models Marched before shooting, you shoot at a +1 penalty and if they Ran they shoot at a +2 penalty.
      • Defense: The models being shot at make a Defense roll for each hit. The Defense rolls are always against the highest ranked model's Defense stat. A die roll of 1 is always a success. The Defense rolls must be lower than their Defense stat (which is why high Defense is good) to block it.
      • Damage: For each hit which isn't canceled, you roll one die to determine how much damage that deals. Their Armor is subtracted from the Damage roll to determine damage dealt. A Damage roll of 1 is always a miss, a 10 (or 0) is a Crit and deals double Wounds (so a Crit against an enemy with no armor is a whopping 10 damage!). The opponent allocates the damage the Unit received as they see fit.
  • Spiritual Actions: Like everything else, you have to declare your Spiritual intent in the Orders phase. Your opponent has a Countermand, attempting to disrupt the spell with their Onmyouiji, but they must announce that they plan to do it during the Order phase as well. You can only cast spells up to one higher level than your Onmyouiji, and each costs 1 Action Point. You can cast the same spell repeatedly. Each spell requires a Ki roll, at a penalty equal to the spell level. Multiple spells are all made at a cumulative penalty (For example, if only casting a single level 1 spell, its made at just -1. Casting a level 1 and a level 3 are made at -2 and -4. Casting three spells at levels 1, 3, and 4 are made at -3, -5, and -6). If the spell requires a target then Line of Sight is needed unless the spell specifically says it is not. Each spell has a difficulty, and your Ki result must be higher than that number for the spell to succeed. Some spells are Instant and work for one turn, others are Variable and reduce the available Ki and Action points the longer they keep it going and it will count as a spell being cast each turn. Every turn the Variable is active, Ki is reduced by 1 to a maximum of -4 while Action Points are reduced by 1, on the fourth turn -2.
    • Effects: Some spells deal damage. Each potential hit is represented by a dice roll which must exceed the opponent's Ki with one Wound dealt for each point higher the result it. Spells that the opponent resist give a number the opponent must make a Ki roll higher than to resist. Some spells trigger a battle of wills, with both players making Ki rolls against each other.
    • Blocking: Blocking is when an opponent tries to muck up the spell being cast. They must use one Action Point for each spell they try to Block. They must roll a dice higher than the Ki of the Onmyouiji casting the spell, minus the difficulty of the spell, to block it.
    • Concentration: By sacrificing 1 Action Point, the character concentrates and adds +1 to their Ki roll.
    • Meditation: By meditating, they spend 1 Action Point to make a Ki check; if passed, the spell range is increased by 10 centimeters.
  • Special Actions: Special Actions come in two types. Every spell cast costs 1 Action Point.
    • Action Abilities have to have been declared in the Orders for that turn to be used. They cost 1 Action Point, which is spent regardless of whether it works or not. Each requires a Ki roll to function.
    • Combat Abilities do not cost Action Points. They are used before Initiative rolls for combat, and only one can be used per combat round (although a Unit engaged with more than one Unit can use one against each, as that would be a different combat round). Unless otherwise indicated, these last one turn. Traits are not a Special Action, but are permanent active abilities.
  • Charging: Models have to Charge to enter into melee, one does not simply March into Hokkaido. Like everything, Charge had to be an Order before it can be an Action. Otherwise, it can be a Strategic Order. Unless you are in combat, or failed to Charge something, or there is Terrain between you, then you may not be within 5 centimeters of an enemy Unit under any circumstance. Under no circumstance can you make any other Action after a Charge on the same turn. Infantry, Creatures, and Harassers on foot roll 1d10 to determine how far they succeed at Charging and get +2 Initiative and -1 Attack on the Charge while Cavalry and Mounted Harassers roll 2d10 and get +2 Initiative and -2 Attack. Large Creatures Charge 2d10, but only receive the Infantry bonuses. Rolling for Charge is not necessary if you had made a March/Run And Charge Action. If you fail a Charge, you cannot Run next turn. You can Charge over Obstacles, but only if the enemy Unit is further away than 5 centimeters but not touching it.
    • Front/Flank/Rearguard/Oblique: Every Unit has a Front, Flanks (sides), a Rearguard (back), and four Obliques (diagonal angles) coming in Frontal and Rear. Unlike most games, you can actually attack an opponent with diagonal base contact although Obliques count as either Front, Flank, or Rearguard depending on which more of the Units models are close to (if even or in dispute, it defaults to whatever provides the least benefits) and the Flank base contact directions can only have one Unit engaged against it (so for example, just because your have a Unit attacking at the Front Right Oblique which counts as a Front doesn't mean you can then stick another Unit on the front proper; the Front space for attackers is filled up). If an attack zone is unoccupied (or only has one of your Units attacking it in the case of the Front and Rearguatd) but you can't fit your models in base contact, it still counts as attacking that zone as if they could. Otherwise, a successful Charge against the fully occupied Front or Rearguard get assigned to a Flank instead. Harasser Units count the model closest to the enemy in regards to what side they hit, and form into an organized base contact Unit for melee.
    • Direct Charge: Any Charge where you do not have to pivot the Unit to come into flat base contact is a Direct Charge.
    • Indirect Charge: Any Charge where you had to pivot to make flat base contact, or in the case of Harassers had made turns during the Movement portion, is an Indirect Charge. You must stop 5 centimeters away from the enemy target then roll your Charge dice with a result of less than 5 being a failed Charge.
    • Reaction To Charge: If Charged, you can make one of several reactions. Withstand And Combat is when your Unit waits for the enemy to reach them. If the enemy Charge fails, Withstand will allow you to still fulfill your preassigned Orders. If you have made a Charge that turn and are then later Charged in the same turn, your only allowed Reaction is Withstand. Withstand And Shoot allows a Unit with ranged weapons to make an attack at those Charging them as if in the Shooting phase (costing the same amount of Action Points). Just like Withstand, Shoot will allow you to finish your other Orders so long as you still have Action Points enough to do so. Counter-Charge is when an enemy Charges you within your Line of Sight but failed its Charge, allowing you to spend an Action Point to make your own Movement speed as a Charge which nets you the combat bonus instead. Declaring a Counter-charge is a gamble relying on your opponent failing their Charge since if the enemy Unit which successfully makes their Charge they get 2 more Attack Dice in Combat on that turn, and if you succeed you get the Attack Dice bonus. Run Away makes your Unit flee from the attackers, and they will need to be Regrouped as if they had fled against your will.
  • Combat: Any Unit in base contact with the enemy is considered in Combat. Combat is resolved for all Units involved in a particular Combat before moving onto the next group. Combat follows a specific order of resolution. Players who's Unit did not Charge, Counter-charge, or Stand And Shoot that turn must decide before Combat if they want to sacrifice three Combat Dice to adopt a Defensive Position and gain one Defense Dice. Anything Running Away is always in Defense Position until they Regroup.
    • 1) Activation of Abilities: Abilities must be used first. Players make Commandment Rolls against each other to determine who uses theirs first. Every Ability requires a Ki roll.
    • 2) Character Actions and Confrontations: Characters can't be hit by shooting or attacks, they can only be attacked when solo or in combat with one another until their entire Unit is destroyed, at which point they become solitary characters functioning as a Unit. Characters can also attack independently of all other models in their Unit, and spend their Attack Dice however they see fit. Otherwise, the attack for them functions as it does for a Unit as below. At any time in Orders or Actions, a character can leave their Unit by making an Initiative roll against the highest Initiative enemy they are in Combat with. The model moves 2d10 centimeters as the player wishes, and the Unit they left loses 1 Honor. If the Character leaves Combat, any Characters in the enemy Unit can choose to Chase them by making an Initiative roll. If they succeed they launch 2d10 centimeters in pursuit, and if the pursuer reaches the retreating Character they launch into a round of Combat just between the two of them where the pursuer has Initiative.
      • Confrontation: Confrontations are personal duels between two Bushi Characters. Characters who have the Duelist or Assassin abilities can also duel. Only one Confrontation can occur each turn. It happens immediately prior to Unit Initiative, and the challenge consists of the two combatants making an Initiative roll. If the challenger wins, they have Initiative; otherwise, the other player may let the Confrontation take place with their own character having Initiative, make a different challenge, or skip straight to the rest of Combat. Any time a challenge is rejected, the character who rejected it no longer grants any bonuses to their Unit. Confrontations continue to occur as Character VS Character combat until either one of the combatants is dead or flees, by making an Initiative roll to hide back among their Unit which then loses all bonuses the fleeing character provided it; if they fail the roll to leave the Confrontation, they will only be able to use half their Attack Dice in that next round. At the start of every Confrontation round, the players decide who attacks first by Ki roll rather than Initiative rolls. At the beginning of each round, the players can use any abilities they have.
    • 3) Resolution of Initiative: Both players make an Initiative roll for every Unit in the Combat. Any tie is resolved with a second roll just between the tied Units to determine which order the tie goes in.
    • 4) Attack: Each Unit gets their own unshared pool of Combat Dice, which is how many Wounds they have after applying modifiers such as buffs and weapon type. If the Unit you are attacking has half the models as an individual Unit, you gain two extra Combat Dice for that specific Unit and if it has a third or less you gain four extra Combat Dice. Only the Unit that outnumbers the other gets a bonus. You must then determine how many Combat Dice each Unit will spend on those attacking it, which can never be less than half for the victim of your Charge (for example, your Unit of Ashigaru Charged your opponent's Ashigaru, but then one of their Samurai Units Charged you. If you have seven total Combat Dice, a minimum of four must be spent on the Ashigaru you Charged, regardless of how bad you want to kill those Samurai). If a solo character is involved in a Combat and there are other Units to attack, you can't spend more than half your Combat Dice on the character.
      • Attack Roll: You roll each Combat Die, which must exceed your Attack stat to be a hit. A result of 0 or 10 (depending on your dice) reduces the opponent's Defense by one for that roll.
      • Defense Roll: For each hit, the player being attacked makes a Defense roll. If they roll lower than their Defense value, the hit is negated.
      • Damage Roll: For each hit that was not canceled by Defense rolls, the attacker rolls a die. If the target's Armor value is lower than the Damage die result then 1 Wound is caused. Rolls of 1 always do nothing. On a 0 or 10, two Wounds are dealt.
    • 5) Combat Resolution: Combat Resolution is determined by figuring out two numbers after Combat ends. The first, Confrontation Value, is which player has more Wounds left involved in the fight. The second, Damage Difference, is who managed to inflict more damage in the fight. If a Character is killed, the player who got the kill gets three extra Damage Difference points (this includes when a Character is killed in a Confrontation prior to Combat taking place, whereupon it is added to the end of the first round of Unit to Unit Combat Resolution). Both values are used in determining which, if any, troops begin to Run Away.
    • Victory: The player who has a higher Damage Difference.
    • Draw: Equal Damage Difference.
    • Defeat: The player with a lower Damage Difference. A Unit which suffers this must test whether it Runs Away (see below).

Running Away[edit]

Running Away is when your troops have their morale broken and start fleeing the battle; a shameful display! Units that are Running Away move in the exact opposite direction from the closest enemy Unit (in the event of multiples being the same distance away, the one with the most Wounds). Cavalry, Large Creatures, and anything with flying move 3d10, all else moves 2d10. Running Away has multiple causes:

  • As a voluntary Reaction to being Charged. This only works on a turn they have not yet Run Away from a Charge that turn, and costs no Action Points. They do a complete 360 turn before they begin to flee.
  • If in one round of being shot the Unit takes half its total Wounds in damage (excluding Character Wounds), it must make an Honor test or Run Away.
  • If suffering a Defeat in Combat Resolution and the Damage Difference is higher than the Confrontation Value, the Unit must take an Honor test or Run Away. If the Damage Difference is higher than the unmodified value of the Honor of the Unit, it must make an Honor test or Run Away.
  • If a Unit runs away from Combat due to failing an Honor roll, the Unit it was engaged with can attempt to Chase by making the same distance roll as if they were Running Away. This costs no Action Points. If they reach the fleeing enemy, they get an immediate free attack. If they reach another enemy Unit instead they count as having made a successful Charge against it, which is resolved next turn. If the Unit is reached, and survives the free attack, it makes another Running Away roll without the second Unit being able to Chase it a second time.
  • The Unit that is Running Away makes it through all friendly Units in its way. If it doesn't have enough distance to completely clear a Unit, it reaches the other side and stops 3 centimeters away. Any friendly Unit that a Running Away Unit passes through that does not have a Bushi hero in it must make an Honor roll or also start Running Away. If it passes or has a Bushi, it takes a -1 Honor and Initiative penalty for two turns.
  • If a running Unit runs into an enemy Unit, they become locked in Combat. The Unit that was formerly Running Away automatically loses all Initiative and Honor rolls.

Defeat[edit]

  • Any Unit that is attacked successfully from both the Front and Rearguard is automatically destroyed.
  • Any Unit that Runs Away and has to stop due to reaching Terrain, but is reached in a Chase by the enemy Unit is automatically destroyed.
  • A Unit that leaves the table is automatically destroyed.

Army Building[edit]

Listbuilding Rules[edit]

Every option you can take in the game belongs to a category of what kind of soldier it is. All have an assigned "Koku" number. Koku is a unit used to measure an amount of rice, with rice during time of war being extremely valuable and thus something that can be easily traded for commodities so your available Koku represents you feeding and supplying your force. Functionally, Koku is just a name for the same kind of points values and limits seen in almost any wargame.

Each game takes place at one of seven levels of size, which is decided on by the players in advance. This limits how many of certain things you can take and use by category as well as your Koku available.

Level Koku Minimum Basic Units Required Minimum Samurai Daisho Required Maximum Special Units Allowed Maximum Elite Units Allowed Maximum Creature Level Sum Allowed Maximum Strength of Spiritual Characters
Level 1 500 2 1 1 1 1 1
Level 2 1000 2 1 2 2 2 2
Level 3 1500 2 1 2 2 2 2
Level 4 2000 3 1 3 3 3 2
Level 5 2500 3 1 3 3 3 3
Level 6 3000 4 2 4 4 4 4
Level 7 3500-6000 5 3 4 4 5 5
  • At levels 4 and higher, players are allowed to take a Daimyo.
  • Bushi, Ashigaru Daisho, and Special characters have no upwards limit nor are they required, so use them as you see fit. Legendary Creatures are the Level 4 creatures, and can only be used in battles level size 4 and higher. You can mix and match your maximum allowed creatures, for example in a level 5 battle you have a three point maximum sum of Creatures allowed so you could take three Gaki (Level 1+Level 1+Level 1) or a Gaikotsu (Level 3). Battle size also indicates the maximum power of the Onmyouji in it. The highest rank character is always the General, although to prevent situations where that is unclear; you cannot take the same point value twice on the General.

Traits[edit]

  • Commandment: Character grants their Honor bonus to all Units within 15 centimeters, 30 if mounted, as if they were in that Unit.
  • Heinin: Cannot regroup unless they are at least 20 centimeters away from any enemy.
  • Duelist: The Character, and any other model in their Unit, can make challenges for Confrontations as if they were a Bushi character.
  • Samurai: The Honor bonus provided by the Commandment ability of other Characters affects Samurai 10 more centimeters away (25 if the Character is on foot, 40 if mounted).
  • Projectiles: Can use ranged weapons. Automatically lose Initiative if Charged.
  • Loner: Cannot join Units. Function the same as Harassers, have 3 Action Points, +2 Movement, and enemies shooting at the model have +1 Attack.
  • Sohei: Gain +1 to Damage rolls against Undead.
  • Assassin: Can make ranged attacks specifically against a Character in a Unit, with a Heavy Cover penalty.
  • Great Warrior: Model has 1 more Wound. This Wound does not give extra Attack Dice, but counts towards Combat Resolution. Some models also gain +1 Honor as well.
  • Legendary: Model has one extra Attack Die.
  • Ronin: If a Unit with a Ronin in it fails an Honor roll to not Run Away, they can reroll it.
  • Bow Master: Model has as many Attack Dice for ranged combat as it has maximum Wounds, regardless of how many they have lost.
  • Hidden: The model lies in wait in a Unit, appearing as any other model in it, until they get into Combat at which point they reveal themselves to your opponent.
  • Ninjutsu: Model has one more Attack Dice, and does not suffer any penalties for ranged combat (including those from the Projectiles Trait).
  • No Combat: Models can only engage specific enemies, or other models with the No Combat Trait which are resolved as Confrontations.
  • Martial Arts: Scores crits on rolls of 8, 9, or 10 (or 0 depending on the kind of die used) rather than only on a 10 (or 0).
  • Flying: Model ignores any Terrain or Units it moves over, and automatically passes when attempting to Charge over and Obstacle.
  • Fear: Any Unit in Combat with models with the Fear Trait lose 1 Honor. This is not temporary.
  • Ethereal: Model cannot be affected by any projectile or ranged attack.
  • Terror: Models that are not Undead lose 3 Honor when in Combat with a Unit with a model with Terror. Heinin must pass an Honor roll to Charge a Terror Unit or the Charge fails.
  • Small: Models attempting to shoot Small models have +1 Attack.
  • Big: Models attempting to shoot Big models have -1 Attack. All non-Character, non-Big, non-Undead models treat Big models as also having Terror.
  • Undead: Undead have +1 Armor. Undead cannot Run Away, and if compelled to do so lose Wounds equal to how many points they lose Combat Resolution by. If the enemy Unit has twice as many models as the Unit the Undead model is in, the Undead model gains two Attack Dice. If outnumbered by triple, the Undead gain three Attack Dice.

Taisho[edit]

  • The Taisho is the General of your army, who is the highest level Bushi character and can issue special Taisho abilities. If you have a Daimyo, they must be the Taisho. You can have multiple Taisho and only at level 7 battles are you required to have more than one. Consider adding them sparingly, since the death of one is a terrible blow to your army.

Commandment Points are awarded based on the level of your highest rank Taisho. Daimyo provide 4, Shirei-Kan provide 3, Hatamoto provide 2, Daisho Samurai provide 1. Daisho Ashigaru cannot be Taisho. Taisho on Hills gain 1 Commandment Point.

If the Taisho dies, all friendly Units within 30 centimeters must take an immediate Honor roll or Run Away. Commandment rolls still occur, but the Taisho's Honor is no longer added. Taisho abilities cannot be used anymore.

All Taisho can use the following abilities:

  • Forest of Spears: At the end of the Orders phase, Ashigaru gain the ordinarily Samurai-only "Forest of Spears" ability for one turn using the Ki roll of a character in the Unit or of any character with the Commandment ability within 15 centimeters.
  • Banzai: Grants any Unit the Banzai ability, normally only available to the No-dachi Samurai. Rolled with the Taisho's Ki. Can only be successfully used once per battle, although it if fails then you can make another attempt.
  • Ashigaru's General: Used in the Orders phase. Removes the Heinin penalty from all Ashigaru so they can regroup even if under 20 centimeters from an enemy, and grants them -1 Attack.
  • Master In Calligraphy: If two or more Units are Running Away, the General can immediately attempt to regroup them at the cost of a single Commandment Point.

In addition, each Caste Taisho has access to additional abilities.

Caste[edit]

Players must also choose which of the four castes they are playing, as each have army-wide benefits.

Kuge[edit]

Heinin ranged weapon attacks have -1 Attack. Kuge Taisho abilities:

  • Fulfill Your Duty: Once per game, you have a turn where you can reroll all Honor rolls.
  • Clandestine Practices: At the beginning of the game, you can select a Unit of Ninja which enters from ANY edge of the battlefield on the second turn and can immediately take all actions as any other Unit.

Buke[edit]

Cavalry have +3 centimeters to whatever kind of Action Movement they are making. Buke Taisho abilities:

  • Expert Strategist: At the start of the battle, after all cards are placed, your opponent reveals all of theirs. You can then swap the positions of two of your cards, although their position remains the same. You can't choose any Units that have been sapped revealed by an enemy Spy.
  • Bushido Law: Once per game, for one turn all Units have +2 Honor and +2 Initiative.

Sohei[edit]

Heinin have the same bonus as the Kuge give, but applying to melee rather than shooting. Sohei Taisho abilities:

  • The Wheel Of Dharma: Sohei Taisho deaths don't cause any Running Away tests, Units can continue regrouping and using his Honor as if he was still alive.
  • Divine Wind: Once per battle, all Units have +3 to their Charge roll.

Otokodate[edit]

All Samurai models gain the Ronin special ability and one more point of Honor (HR). Otokodate Taisho abilities:

  • Buying The Enemy: One of the enemy Units loses one Action Point, and cannot make an Attack of Opportunity.
  • Hate To Samurai: One of your Units which isn't a Samurai or Ronin can reroll failed dice when attacking Samurai models for one turn.

Magic[edit]

Players who choose to use magic must first select their alignment from Infernal, Celestial, Earthly, and Death, then which of the two disciplines available to each they will use. If you field multiple Onmyouiji, you must use the same choice for both. Magic cannot be used without an Onmyouiji. Onmyouiji maximum strength available determined by the size of the battle. Even if you can afford the Koku, you can't bring too elite an Onmyouiji to a smaller battle.

Shikigami, the two models that come with each Onmyouiji, are extensions of the Onmyouiji. They are purchased with Koku and share the limit on maximum levels for Creatures and Onmyouiji you can field, but give you a special model with nifty abilities that can cast spells like the Onmyouiji and have a better stat/cost ratio than most Creatures. They operate independently of the Onmyouiji, and can go fuck off and do whatever on the battlefield. If the Shikigami dies, the Onmyouiji takes an immediate Wound, if the Onmyouiji dies their Shikigami immediately die as well. If a Shikigami casts a spell, the Onmyouiji loses one Action Point and the spells they themselves cast for the next turn have a penalty of -1 Ki. Shikigami can't cast spells higher level than themselves and can't cast spells with variable durations, but otherwise cast by themselves the same as their master would (but using their own stats), allowing you to gain a whole extra set of spellcasting attempts.

Gear[edit]

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Tillage:

No bonuses or penalties.

  • Yari:
    • Infantry With Yari: +3 Initiative, -1 Attack for one turn if Charged, only against one Unit per turn.
    • Cavalry With Yari: -1 Armor to Infantry targets. If Charging Cavalry, gain +1 Initiative and cause -1 to Armor of targets.
  • Onagamaki:

Causes -1 Armor to the target.

  • Jumonji Yari:

Has the stats of a Yari. Causes a critical hit on 9-10.

  • Ono (Axe):

Causes a critical hit on 9-10.

  • Naginata:

Causes -1 Defense to target.

  • Omi Yari:

+1 Initiative. Causes a critical hit on 8-10.

  • Katana:

-1 Attack. Cannot have stat penalties or bonuses when attacking enemies in buildings.

  • Jingama:

Causes -1 Defense to Cavalry, and negates mounted bonuses.

  • Bo:

+3 Initiative.

  • Shinobi Gatana:

Causes -2 to Defense of target.

  • Mitsu Dogu (Sodegamari, Sasumata, Tsukobo):

Causes -2 Initiative to target.

  • Saber:

Causes a critical hit on 9-10.

  • Kanabo-Tetsubo:

Caused -1 Armor to target.

  • Wakizashi:

-1 Attack when fighting inside a building.

  • Claws and Jaws:

No bonuses or penalties apply to attacks.

  • No-Dachi:

-1 Attack. Causes a critical hit on 9-10.

  • Kusarigama:

Causes -1 Defense to target.

  • Hata-Jirushi:

A Battle Standard. Grants +1 Honor to Unit, costs 1 Koku per Unit to equip. The death of the Hata-Jirushi bearer gives your opponent 5 extra points of Koku in game types that use points to determine victory, so bear in mind that a morale booster can work against you.

  • Kiseru

A weapon used only by Kabukimono. Grants +1 Initiative in battle, +2 Ki in Confrontations.

  • Tessen:

A fan. Can be used to send signals, as a symbol of office, or to fan yourself with. Women and dandy guys (not in space) can use them to show modesty. Having a Character equipped with a Tessen means they can't attack.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

Ranged weapons have a short range distance that provides -1 Attack, a medium range that is unmodified, and a long range with a -1 Attack penalty. Most ranged weapons reduce the Defense of their targets permanently.

  • Bow

Short range up to 20 centimeters. Medium range 21-40. Long range 41-60. Causes -1 Defense to target.

  • Ozutsu:

Short range up to 20 centimeters. Medium range 21-40. No long range. Can attack buildings. Each model provides one additional ranged Attack Dice. Causes a 50% Defense penalty to target. Causes a critical hit on 7-10.

  • Shuriken:

Short range up to 20 centimeters. No medium or long range. Can only make 1 shot per turn. Causes -1 Defense to target.

  • Sling (Ishitsubute):

Short range up to 20 centimeters. Medium range 21-35. Long range 36-70. Cavalry that take Sling damage must make a Ki test to not have their Movement in Movement and Charge cut by half for one turn. Infantry that take Sling damage suffer -1 Initiative for one turn.

  • Teppo:

Short range up to 25 centimeters. Medium range 26-45. No long range. Causes a 50% Defense penalty to target

  • Blowpipe:

Short range up to 30 centimeters. No medium or long range. Causes a critical hit on 9-10.

  • Firethrower:

Short range up to 20 centimeters. Medium range 21-40. Long range 41-70. Causes -2 Defense to target. Causes a critical hit on 8-10. Can attack buildings.

  • Igneous Attack:

Short range up to 15 centimeters. Medium range 16-30. Can be used on Units in ranged or close combat. Causes -1 Defense to target.

Armor[edit]

  • No Armor:

1 Armor Point.

  • Light Armor (Hara-Ate):

2 Armor Points.

  • Average Armor (Haramaki-Do):

3 Armor Points.

  • Heavy Armor (O-Yoroi):

4 Armor Points

  • Legendary Armor:

4 Armor Points, 5 against ranged attacks.

  • Mounted:

+1 Armor Point.

Tactics[edit]

Game Types[edit]

Kensei battles can be played in multiple scenarios for victory, and both players do not need to have the same victory conditions. For competitive games, it is advised players choose three possible victory conditions for their opponent to select one from as their necessity for victory, then do the same in reverse. It is possible in this way for both players to win, or both to lose. Otherwise, picking what seems fun or fulfills a narrative is the way to go.

  • Pitched Battle: At the end of six turns, the player who has defeated more Koku worth of models wins.
  • Assassination: The player who eliminates the enemy General wins.
  • Head Hunt: Similar to Pitched Battle in that players have six turns to kill as many models as possible, although rather than Koku cost the following points are awarded: Bushi Heroes/Taisho 9 points, Clan Hero 7 points, Busho 5 points, Daisho Samurai 3 points, Daisho Ashigaru 2 points. Special Characters 6 points. Spiritual Characters 7 points. Immediate victory for eliminating all Characters. Infantry=1 point, Cavalry=2 points, Lone Models=3 points. Creatures=their Wounds in points.
  • Territorial Control: At the end of the fifth turn, the play area is divided into four portions. The player with more Koku worth of models in that quadrant counts as controlling that quadrant, the player who controls more wins.
  • Building Control: The player who controls more buildings at the end of the game, wins the game. Castle=4 points. Temple=4 points. Tori=2 points. House=2 points. Cemetery=2 points.
  • Command Post: Both players have an area designated as their camp. The Taisho and their Unit remain there. The player who gains control of the other camp wins.
  • Sacred Objects: Both players gain two pieces of scenery each, to place on their side of the map as they choose. When a Unit gains control of the special scenery, they gain control of it and by destroying the Unit the object is destroyed as well. The player who controls more scenery wins.

Model Analysis[edit]

Basic Units[edit]

  • Yari Ashigaru

Your basic Infantry model, Heinin with Light Armor and a Yari which grants +3 Initiative and a bonus of -1 Attack for the first turn against a Charged Unit.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
7 3 1 3 3 2 14 5-20

With their horrible attacking power and morale they won't be able to do jack shit and are also going to need a Character to maintain order in their ranks.

At only 14 Koku each model and with a minimum Unit size of 5 they can make effective screens for your troops. Their weak durability makes them ineffective as a long-term Tarpit, but they function well in groups of 5 or 10 as Redirectors (small Units of models that sit on the flanks of large Units to protect them). For a Tarpit you'll probably want Heishi unless the other player is aggressive enough that you need the Charge buff.

  • Heishi

Heinin with Light Armor and an Onagamaki, which causes a -1 Armor debuff to whatever they hit.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
7 3 1 3 3 2 16 5-20

Their weapon makes them better at the Anvil role, although as Redirectors you will want the Yari Ashigaru instead for the Attack buff when Charged. The job of Heishi is to soften up something you want to wipe out with something else. When fighting them, avoid sending in your more elite models which need their Armor to survive long enough to justify their point cost.

  • Yumi Ashigaru

Your basic ranged models. Heinin with the Projectiles Trait. Equipped with Light Armor, a Bow, and a Wakizashi which grants them -1 Attack inside a Building.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
7 3 1 3 3 2 15 5-20

The Bow debuff makes any Unit you can pelt with enough arrows is in for a rough night when they make contact with your melee models. When in doubt, when without enough Koku to take your caste's better ranged option, Bow it up.

  • Katana Samurai

Samurai with Medium Armor, equipped with Katana.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 4 4 3 23 5-20

Samurai Trait will make them stand up straight and man up when a model with Commandment is nearby, and the Katana reduces their Attack by 1 as well as negates all other bonuses or penalties to their Attack. Your cheap basic Samurai models and basis of comparison. They're a cheap killy option, but they don't have the numbers of Yari or the debuff potential of Heishi. They'll last longer and stick in the fight even beyond that so if you have Morale issues they'll be your preferred option, but otherwise you're going to need to balance them with your other expensive killers.

  • Yumi Samurai

Samurai with the Projectiles Trait, equipped with Medium Armor, a Bow, and a Katana.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 4 4 3 28 5-20

At almost twice the cost of their Ashigaru equivalent, they're situational on value. They carry the Katana as well, meaning you're paying five points to have Katana Samurai who fulfills the role of Yumi Ashigaru when not in melee. If you play very aggressively and need adaptability or prefer a "Come At Me Bro" playstyle where you want to plant yourself somewhere and wait for the enemy to come to you, Yumi Samurai are very worthwhile. But if you favor a cautious approach where you have plenty of support and don't expect your Yumi to get into melee, they're far too overcosted. Yumi Samurai do have a neat advantage over their Bowless kin where if they cause an enemy Unit to Run Away they can make Chase like normal, then the next turn can just fire into the fleeing enemy.

  • Kiba Musha

Cavalry Samurai with Medium Armor and a Katana.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 2 4 5 4 33 3-10

Your basic Cavalry. Their low Koku cost allows you to get a simple 100 point Cavalry Unit onto the field (the extra point being the Hata-Jirushi).

  • Yari Kiba Musha

Cavalry Harasser Samurai equipped with Light Armor and a Yari, which causes -1 to the Armor of any Infantry in Combat with you and -1 to the Armor of any model type, plus a +1 Initiative when you Charge. Cannot take Hata-Jirushi.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 2 4 5 4 34 3-10

The addition of a Yari for a single point is a fairly worthwhile expenditure compared to ordinary Kiba Musha, and more importantly they are Harassers meaning you have MUCH more liberal rules in regards to formation and movement. That being said, if you actually plan on engaging enemies head-on with your Cavalry the worse Armor of the Yari Kiba Musha makes them still your second choice for the general Anvil role.

If you plan on seriously out-maneuvering your opponent and getting flank Charges constantly, take Yari Kiba Musha. If you think your Cavalry may have to be jousting with other Cavalry or if you need something with more staying power, take ordinary Kiba Musha. If you want to go full Cavalry, take both.

  • Ishitsubute Ashigaru

Harasser Heinin with Light Armor and a Sling which causes -1 Initiative to Infantry it hits for a single turn, and causes a Ki test against Cavalry it hits to reduce their movement by half for a turn.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
7 3 1 3 4 2 16 5-15

Compared to Yumi Ashigaru, look to the weapon difference. The Bow of Yumi deals the same damage but gives a -1 Defense debuff that lasts all game. The Sling of the Ishitsubute causes temporary debuffs. The Medium range of the Sling is five points shorter, the long range ten points longer.

Chances are you want to hit the Infantry at shorter range, when your models will be engaging them. Cavalry will be best to aim for at long range when reducing their speed will hurt them the most. The anti-Cavalry role is where the Ishitsubute shine. Crippling their movement not only gives you more time to get into position, but can put you in the position to Charge them with your own to have the advantage.

Still, for one point more you're losing out on an extremely useful effect since the Ishitsubute debuffs are less useful as the game goes on. If you plan to take them, just take groups of 5. Taking more gives you a better chance to hit something and cause the debuff, but you should probably just take another Unit for a second target or more Yumi instead.

  • No Bushi

Harasser Projectile Samurai equipped with Light Armor, a Bow, and a Katana.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 4 4 3 29 5-10

Having Harasser is great, and has no drawbacks. Compared to Yumi Samurai, you're paying an extra point for Harasser which will pay off if you need to traverse difficult terrain quickly and have easier movement. Not necessary, but not a bad thing to have.

  • Kuro

Heinin equipped with Tillage and nothing else.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
8 2 1 3 3 2 5 5-20

These SUCK. So why take them? Only 5 Koku each! If you can keep them from running (taking a Hata-Jirushi (unless playing a points game) and putting some kind of Character in is mandatory) then you have a fantastic Tarpit! Not to mention you can swarm foes in small Units, automatically destroying enemies that should tear through them like tissue paper.

  • Onna Komasu

Samurai with Light Armor, equipped with a Bo.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 4 4 3 19 5-20

That +3 Initiative the Bo gives them makes them among the fastest non-Character models in melee possible to field. They have the same basic stats as Katana Samurai, although the downside is the lower Armor and inability to take a Hata-Jirushi. That being said, they only cost 19 Koku putting them just slightly above the Ashigaru range for something that's got a better statline, making Kensei one of the few games to reward you for playing Nuns.

Basic Heroes[edit]

Bushi[edit]

  • Daimyo

Your Daimyo's stats differ based on your caste.

Caste Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative
Kuge 4 6 5 6 7 8
Buke 3 5 5 6 8 7
Sohei 3 5 5 7 7 7
Otokodate 4 6 5 7 6 8

All Daimyo cost 115 Koku, and can be Mounted as Cavalry for 35 more Koku. All come standard with a Katana and a choice of Yari or Naginata as their second weapon for free. They can be also given a Bow for 15 Koku or any caste other than Buke can take a Teppo for 20 Koku. All Daimyo have a Legendary O-Yoroi for Armor. Daimyo are automatically a Taisho. Daimyo get 2 generic Taisho abilities and one of the caste-specific ones. Taking a Daimyo is great if you can to get the maximum possible Taisho abilities not to mention their impressive statline, but DO NOT LET HIM BE KILLED if playing a points game. You WILL lose.

Daimyo have the Commandment Trait.

  • Shirei-Kan

Also called "Clan Hero" sometimes in the rules. Once again, their stats differ by caste.

Caste Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative
Kuge 4 5 4 5 6 7
Buke 3 4 4 5 7 6
Sohei 3 4 4 6 6 6
Otokodate 4 5 4 6 5 7

Shirei-Kan cost 96 Koku, and can be Cavalry for 30 more. They have the same weapon options as a Daimyo, but their Bow is only 12 Koku and their Teppo (still not allowed for Buke) is 18. They get one generic Taisho ability and one caste Taisho ability. They also have the Commandment Trait.

The main role of a Shirei-Kan is as Taisho. They're pretty expensive, so if you need another Bushi with Commandment you will probably want to skip the Shirei-Kan.

  • Busho Hatamoto

The lowest rank Taisho possibility. Once again, caste-specific stats.

Caste Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative
Kuge 5 5 3 4 5 6
Buke 4 4 3 4 6 5
Sohei 4 4 3 5 5 5
Otokodate 5 5 3 5 4 6

The Busho Hatamoto costs 82 Koku, 20 more to ride a horsie. Same weapons options as the Shirei-Kan for the same Koku values, but with the extra option for Otokodate Busho Hatamoto to use an Ozutsu for 22 Koku. Equipped with an O-Yoroi.

Only gets only one ability from either generic or caste Taisho abilities.

  • Samurai Daisho

The cheapest Commandment Character available. Chances are good that if you just need a cheap officer to grant a bonus to Honor and inspire Samurai models, the Samurai Daisho is where to go.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 2 4 5 4 75

They cost 12 more Koku for a horse. Same weapon options as Busho Hatamoto but 10 Koku for a Yumi, 15 for a Teppo (not for Buke), 20 for an Ozutsu (Otokodate only). They have Medium Armor.

  • Ashigaru Daisho

Identical stats to the Samurai Daisho, except with one point higher Attack (which is bad) and only Light Armor. Costs 75 Koku. Can't take a horse. Same weapons as a Samurai Daisho, but 10 Koku each for Bow and Teppo (still not allowed for Buke), and 20 for the Ozutsu (still Otokodate only).

Special[edit]

  • Kensei

Roll credits.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
3 6 5 7 7 7 110

Holy fucking shit, Kensei are beasts. On top of all that, they have Legendary, meaning they get one extra Combat Dice.

They Loner meaning they cannot join a Unit and must be fielded by themselves only. They come with Light Armor and a Katana.

The fact they have the Duelist Trait as well means not only can they tear apart a Unit like a protagonist in a Samurai movie but they can also engage a Character in a duel; something they'll usually win. Think all that is amazing? They have special abilities on top of all that.

    • A Clean Cut: Combat Ability, reduces an enemy's Armor by 2.
    • My Sword Is My Armor: Combat Ability, increases the Kensei's Armor by 2.
    • The Path Is Void: Combat Ability, reduces an enemy's Defense by 1.
    • Stopping Arrows: Action Ability, increase Defense by 1 against ranged attacks.

What. A. Beast.

  • Geisha

Geishas have the No Combat Trait, and even if they could attack their stats are abysmal.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
6 3 3 7 5 6 80

They have no Armor, and carry a Tessen. They have the Hidden Trait, so you use a generic model in their Unit to represent them until your opponent becomes aware of them.

    • Inspire: Free ability, once revealed she can make a Ki roll which if passed lets her give her Unit a reroll on any failed attribute roll. This can only be done once per turn, and disallows Distract and Assassin that turn.
    • Distract: Free Ability, once revealed she can make a Ki roll and if successful target a Unit within 30 centimeters to increase the difficulty of an ability of theirs by 3 points.
    • Assassin: Combat Ability, as a Special Attack she makes a Ki roll against another Character. If she succeeds she rolls 4 Damage Dice to deal Wounds. If none of them hit, she takes 1 Wound.

Geisha are multi-role buffers, debuffers, and Character killers obviously. They're a good choice for enhancing a point-sink Unit even further, and their ability to kill Characters regardless of their non-Ki stats without a chance for them to avoid it means that you can even kill an enemy Taisho very quickly.

  • Spy

Another multi-role Character.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
4 5 3 6 7 5 98

They don't have Armor, but do have a Katana.

They have the Duelist and Hidden Traits.

    • Yutei: Before the game begins, as the opponent places their Units you can make a Ki roll for the Spy. If successful, you get to see what is in the Unit, including any Hidden Characters. You can do this three times for each Spy.
    • Metsuke: Combat Ability, when attacking a Unit with Ninja, the Metsuke has double Combat Dice and +3 Initiative.
    • Kaiden: Action Ability: Reveals all Hidden Characters within 30 centimeters.
    • Capturing Geisha: When fighting a Unit with a Geisha, the Spy can make an Honor roll against her. If he wins, she is removed as if a casualty.

Needless to say, having a Spy around can be quite handy both for recon and for defending yourself, especially against Kuge players.

  • Weapon Master

Similar stats to the Spy, although with one more point of Wounds, 5 Honor and 7 Initiative. Light Armor, Katana, and the Duelist Trait. Koku cost is 111.

    • Is With Us: Grants his Unit +1 Defense and +2 Initiative.
    • Clever: Combat Ability, for one turn lose 1 Defense to reduce Attack by 3 and gain +1 Initiative and Ki.
    • High Guard: Combat Ability, increase Defense by 1 point for a turn.
    • Step Back: Combat Ability, cause Crits on a 9+.

Weapons Masters are raw combat Characters, focused on buffing their Unit and being devastating by gaining the best possible Attack value. If you want a killer pure and simple, take a Weapons Master and stick them anywhere you think they'll get into a fight.

  • Kabukimono
Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
4 5 3 6 4 6 91

Duelists and Loners who wear Light Armor and come with a Katana and a Kiseru.

    • Sadic and Braggart: Combat Ability, increase enemy Attack by 1.
    • Drunkard: Combat Ability, cancel a Wound at the cost of +1 Attack and -1 Defense.
    • Use The Kiseru: Action Ability, use the Kiseru rather than the Katana for attacks.
  • Kagemusha

A complete body double for any Character you want, having all of their stats and abilities other than Wounds, which is just 1.

They are a Samurai Trait Character with a Katana, Yari, Naginata, and for 10 points a Bow. They have the same Armor and Koku cost as what they are doubling as.

You begin the game with the Character that the Kagemusha is pretending to be Hidden in a Unit, while the Kagemusha uses their model and pretends to be them.

When the ruse is revealed (by the Hidden Character entering combat most likely), you replace the model your other Character was pretending to be with what it really is. Unless killed, the Kagemusha remains.

While a Kagemusha can be anything, the only viable use is being a duplicate Taisho since otherwise you're paying top Koku for the same model but only one Wound.

  • Kyudo Hanshi Judan

A Projectiles, Mastery In Archery, Loner Trait Character. No Armor, equipped with a Wakizashi and a Bow.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
4 5 4 6 5 4 105
    • Incendiary Arrows: Action Ability, attacks can be made against Constructions and have +2 on damage rolls.
    • War Arrows: Attacks made by the Kyudo Hanshi Judan reduce enemy Armor by 2.
    • Kuboraya Arrows: Action Ability, attacks Crit on 9+ and reduce target Honor by 1 for one turn.
    • Firing On The Move: Action Ability, suffer no modifiers to Attack for moving.
    • Critical Shot: Action Ability, Crit on 8+.
    • Running Away And Shooting: Action Ability, react to a Charge by Running Away and shooting with a penalty of +2 Attack.

The Kyudo Hanshi Judan is the Kensei of ranged combat, and it shows. Take them to cripple advancing troops, or to sow fear into their ranks. Their mobility will let you adapt better to the battlefield than a Unit of Yumi can.

  • Shinobi/Kunoichi

A solo Ninja. Have the Projectiles, Loner, Assassin, and Ninjutsu Traits. Wear Light Armor. Equipped with a Shinobi Gatana, Kusarigama, Shuriken, and a Blowpipe. Generally you'll want to favor the Shinobi Gatana for its -2 to Defense of target, the Blowpipe to attack from 20 centimeters to 30 centimeters as well as against weakened targets due to its longer range and 9+ Crit, and the Shuriken once per turn against a foe who still has Defense left if possible (under 20 centimeters away) for its extra -1 Defense debuff.

When choosing, you must first decide if you are fielding a male of female. Females can replace any of the stock abilities with Seduction. You must then choose what kind of specialist they are.

    • Mitsumono: Identity specialist, loses Loner and can be fielded within a Unit if you want although no Honor or Initiative bonus is given. Is represented by any model you like, so as far as your opponent knows it could be anything from Taisho to Kappa. Counts as a Bushi, and cannot be in the same Unit as another Bushi. If the Ninja leaves the Unit, they can't join another.
    • Kamari: Surprise attack specialist. Deploys like a Ninja, but if an enemy occupies the same terrain as it then you can choose whether or not to reveal it, rather than being forced to.
    • Denuki: Infiltration specialist. During your Taisho Order Phase, shuffle your opponent's Unit cards and pick one at random. The Ninja paralyzes the Unit for a turn, and appears in base contact with them.
Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
4 5 3 6 6 7 117
    • Rappa: Action Ability, all Units within 20 centimeters make a Ki roll against the Ninja. Any model with Commandment within 15 centimeters of a Unit can lend their Ki. Any Units that fail must pass an Honor roll or Run Away.
    • Vanishing: Combat Ability, move 2D10 centimeters away from the Unit the Ninja is in combat with, no Chase reaction is allowed. If they fail the Ki test, they suffer -4 Initiative.
    • Incendiary Bomb: Action Ability, for 2 Action Points make an Attack roll. It deals 3 Damage Dice to the enemy, unless the Attack roll result is a 1 or 2 in which cause the Ninja takes the Damage Dice instead.
    • Seduction: Kunoichi who replaced another ability can take this. The Kunoichi makes a Ki roll against any model within 20 centimeters. If it fails, it moves towards her (leaving its Unit) until it is in combat with her, Confrontation if alone or regular combat if she is a Mitsumono in a Unit.

Shinobi are designed to fuck up an opponent's plans, pure and simple. Use Kamari and Denuki in offensive games to set up your maneuvers how you like, use Mitsumono and the others in defensive games. Denuki can kill any Characters in a Unit using Assassinate without facing a huge group of men. Mitsumono can likewise give a Unit with a Character engaging one of your own a nasty surprise. Kunoichi in a Unit can leave your opponent absolutely fuming.

Kuge[edit]

Kuge rely on heavy troops that are designed to support Ashigaru, plus using Ninja to disrupt the enemy. You're better than anyone else from the front, and have insurance sneaking around behind and from the sides.

Special[edit]

  • Onna-Bushi

Equipped with Medium Armor, Samurai Trait, armed with Naginata.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 4 4 5 29
    • Warrior Women: All friendly Units within 20 centimeters have +1 Honor.
    • Cherry Tree Flowers: Combat Ability. Every slain Onna-Bushi causes a Damage roll against the Armor of the enemy Unit that killed her.

Onna-Bushi are a five-star Unit that will chip away at enemy Defense, deal a fair amount of Wounds, and even dying can make themselves useful. Their passive ability will make it much less risky to invest yourself in Heinin. Compared to Katana Samurai, you're paying five more points for a two point increase in Initiative, the ability to debuff enemies you attack, improving morale in a bubble, and having a last chance to strike an enemy as you die. The only thing you lose is the Katana ability to disregard debuffs while attacking. Most Kuge lists will want at least a 10-15 strong Unit of Onna-Bushi as a result.

  • Teppotai (Teppo Ashigaru)

Projectile Heinin, armed with a Teppo and a Wakizashi plus Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
7 3 1 4 3 2 23
    • Wall of Stakes: Action Ability costing 1 Action Point, Teppotai put up a terrain fence of sharpened stakes in front of them. It provides Light Cover against other ranged attacks, Heavy Cover in melee, and entirely prevents Cavalry from attacking them head-on.
    • Alternated Shot: Action Ability that costs 1 Action Point (you still have to spend Action Points on shooting and reloading as well however), gain an additional two Attack Dice for the Unit.

Teppotai are very powerful, but are more inclined towards defensive play where they can be stationary. They do well in multiple Units of 5 or 10. Remember that they are still Heinin, and need protection for morale. They are invaluable at eliminating super durable models and delaying Cavalry.

  • Kuge Great Guard

Heavy Armor, Samurai Trait, and equipped with Omi Yari which give +1 Initiative.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 4 4 4 39
    • Terrific Appearance: Causes -1 Honor to Units trying to attack the Kuge Great Guard, which is factored into Combat Resolution as well.
    • Knocking Down Enemies: Combat Ability, causes -1 Defense to enemies Kuge Great Guard is engaged with.

The Great Guard are amazing examples of Samurai, and turn the Kuge weaknesses (reliance on squishy Heinin) against the foe by being better armored and diminishing their enemy's staying power.

  • Onna Kiba Musha

A 3-10 Unit size Cavalry with Medium Armor, the Samurai Trait, and Naginata.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 2 4 4 5 37
    • Warrior Women: All friendly Units within 20 centimeters have +1 Honor.
    • Cherry Tree Flowers: Combat Ability. Every slain Onna Kiba Musha causes a Damage roll against the Armor of the enemy Unit that killed her.

As you would expect, mounted Onna-Bushi. Compared to Kiba Musha, Onna Kiba Musha cost 4 more Koku, have one point better Attack, one point worse Honor, one point higher Initiative, lose the dubuff-proof Katana but gain an enemy-debuffing Naginata, inspire morale on your forces and get to make a last attempt at damage on death.

Not as superior as Onna-Bushi are to Katana Samurai, but still worth considering. Your Cavalry is less likely to be near the Heinin so the morale boost is reduced in importance too, unless trying to use Yari Ashigaru as an Anvil so your Onna Kiba Musha can circle around and destroy the enemy Unit from behind.

Elite[edit]

  • Ninjas'

Ninjutsu, Loners, Projectiles, Harassers. Light Armor, Shinobi Gatana and Shuriken. No Hata-Jirushi option. Unit size of 3-10.

Ninja have special deployment, after all other models are placed (other than other Ninja) in a terrain piece that isn't in Line of Sight of enemy models and isn't in their deployment zone. You don't place anything on the field, just write down on their card where they are. When you decide to move them, you then show the other player their card and take their turn. Otherwise, the first enemy Unit within 5 centimeters of them suffers a surprise attack as the Ninja make a successful Charge.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 2 5 5 7 60
    • Trained Assassin: Combat Ability, can gamble half your Combat Dice in a Ki test. If passed, you can allocate those Combat Dice to a Character in the Unit. If failed, you lose the dice.
    • Vanishing: Action Ability, in the Orders and Actions Phase the Ninja make a Ki test. If passed, they make a free Movement away from the Unit they are engaged with, with the enemy not being allowed to Chase. If they fail, they suffer -4 Initiative for a turn.

Ninja are very useful, and can be used in a number of ways such as setting up to ambush from behind and eliminate a whole Unit, to deny enemies access to an important terrain like a Graveyard or Construction, or to slow an enemy that you REALLY don't want to engage yet. The Clandestine Practices Taisho ability can force an enemy to choose between halting their advance or losing their ranged support.

  • Yabusame

Samurai Projectile Harasser Cavalry wearing no Armor, bearing Bows and Katanas. They cannot take a Hata-Jirushi. Unit size 3-10.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 2 4 4 3 46
    • Firing On The Move: No modifiers to your Attack due to Movement.
    • Critical Shot: Action Ability, Crit on 8+.
    • Running Away And Shooting: Action Ability, react to a Charge by Running Away and shooting with a penalty of +2 Attack.

Basically a Unit of mounted Kyudo Hanshi Judan, they can't survive melee so they need to stay out of range for Charges while circling foes. The fact they are Harassers means you don't need to waste time reforming to make sharp turns or reverse direction, which is a great help. Beware Ishitsubute Ashigaru.

Buke[edit]

Buke bring the pain with heavy models, a greatly expanded version of what the core options, and independence. An army that focuses on standard tactics and excels at it.

Special[edit]

  • No-dachi Samurai

Medium Armor Samurai with No-dachi, which provides -1 Attack and Crits on 9+. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 4 5 3 43
    • Fight For The Emperor: No-dachi Samurai have one reroll on an Honor roll per turn.
    • Banzai: Action Ability, a Charge that has a 2d10 distance rather than the usual single d10.

No-dachi Samurai are very point-expensive models with a lot of perks. They're very killy, durable, and don't need babysitting thanks to their high Honor and the reroll. Their Charge length is an amazing bonus, but don't go overboard. You have to invest quite a bit of Koku into a single Unit. If you take them, you're planning on being a steamroller. Careful not to get too far away from your other models, despite their durability you'll drop to getting double-teamed just like everyone else.

  • Yari Samurai

Medium Armored Samurai equipped with Yari. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
6 4 1 4 5 3 29
    • Protect The Lord: The Forest of Spears ability prevents Characters from being challenged to Confrontations for a turn.
    • Forest of Spears: Action Ability, used as a reaction to a Charge or activated as any other Action. Cancels the Charge bonus of the enemy and gives +1 Defense.

Defensive Samurai. Take these with your Taisho, or to protect any character you'll want eliminating the redshirts without worry from Duelists. Keep in mind they can't protect characters from Assassins.

  • Ji Samurai

Light Armored Samurai Harassers with Jingama, which cause -1 to the Defense of Cavalry and negate their mounted bonuses (including their 2 points of Armor). Cannot take Hata-Jirushi. Unit size 3-10.

(Ji)

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
6 4 1 4 5 3 40

Every Ji Samurai you field also gives you a free Dog model, which have their own Unit. Dogs cannot be more than 60 centimeters away from their Ji Samurai and take their Orders immediately after the Ji Samurai.

    • Warn The Dogs: Action Ability, gives the Dogs an Attack of Opportunity without costing any Commandment Points or your Actions Of Opportunity limit.

(Dogs)

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative
7 2 1 2 2 6
    • Chase: Dogs move and Charge as Harasser Cavalry, and otherwise behave as Harasser Infantry.

Altogether, you're paying into a lot of Koku for decent anti-Cavalry models and some nifty ambushers that can lie in wait and pin down something when it turns a corner of a Wall. Remember that attacking something from the other side of a Unit that the Dogs are ripping at will destroy it just like anything else. An interesting choice, but be sure you have a plan to use them. They're not entirely useless in small numbers, making a decent speedbump in the path of Cavalry.

  • O-Ban

Heavy Armored Cavalry Samurai armed with Jumonji Yari which cause a Crit on 9+. Unit size 3-10.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 2 4 5 4 51
    • Intimidate: Combat Ability, causes -1 Honor and -1 Initiative to target Unit.
    • Crush With The Horses: Combat Ability, with each Attack made an additional Combat Dice is rolled as if made by an Attack 8 using Claws (no bonuses or penalties to this Attack).

The heaviest Cavalry in the game, and they cost as such. You're not going to be fielding these in big numbers outside of large games. Proper use of Intimidate at the right time can be almost as useful as their combat potential.

Elite[edit]

  • Kengo

Legendary Harasser Duelist Loner Samurai equipped with Light Armor and a Katana. Cannot take Hata-Jirushi. Unit size 1-3.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
4 6 3 5 6 5 62
    • No Thinking: Every Attack reduces enemy Defense by 1.
    • Two Swords: Combat Ability, increase Defense by 1 in Combat or Confrontations.
    • I Dare You: Combat Ability, improves his Attack to 3 in Confrontations.

Kengo are a gamble option. Cost a fuckload of Koku, and their main use is to throw at a Unit and focus on getting them into a Confrontation to quickly eliminate any Characters in the other Unit. If they eliminate the enemy Taisho, then they've probably paid for themselves and will die. If they wipe out other Duelists who could kill YOUR Taisho, they've probably paid for themselves and will die. If you can put them against a Bushi Character who's purpose was to boost the morale of a Unit, they may be able to deal enough damage to that Unit to cause it to Run Away afterwards.

  • Yumi Kiba Musha

Samurai Cavalry Projectile Harassers equipped with Medium Armor, a Bow, and a Katana. They can't use Hata-Jirushi. Unit size 3-10.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 2 5 5 4 53
    • Pulling Out: Yumi Kiba Musha don't suffer penalties for the Projectile Trait due to Charges.
    • Kuboraya Arrows: Action Ability, attacks Crit on 9+ and reduce target Honor by 1 for one turn.

Mounted ranged support, and actually crunch to be more effective than Yumi Ashigaru so there's that, and as a bonus they aren't Heinen scum so in the rare chance they'll get bogged down you don't have to worry about them making a break for it.

Sohei[edit]

Every non-core model Sohei can field has the Sohei ability, giving you an advantage over players using Death Creatures, and the entire Undead army. Sohei strategy is based on superior options that can crush plenty of weaker enemies and demoralize/debuff the elite. They are a balanced faction, effective against all enemy types but without hard counters to anything.

Special[edit]

  • Naginata Sohei

Sohei Infantry, equipped with Medium Armor and a Naginata. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 5 4 4 31
    • Battle Cry: Action Ability, used as a Countermand or reaction to being Charged. Make a Ki roll against the Charging Unit, if you succeed you may reduce the Charge distance by d10.
    • 'Till The End: For one turn per game, automatically pass all Honor checks.

Naginata Sohei give you an effective Tarpit as between their increased durability, ability to possibly end a Charge against them, their unlikelihood of fleeing, and the Defense reduction their weapons afford them you end up with a master tactician's wet dream.

  • Ama Kihei

Sohei Harasser Cavalry, equipped with Light Armor and a Naginata. Unit size 3-10.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
6 4 2 5 4 4 39
    • Overwhelming Beauty: Combat Ability, increase the Attack of enemy Units attacking them by 1 point, and each must succeed a Ki roll or they cannot make any Actions for a turn.
    • Death Chant: Action Ability, for one Action Point every enemy Unit within 20 centimeters must make a Ki roll against this Unit. If they fail, their Honor and Initiative are reduced by 1 point.

Ama Kihei take the Harasser role far more literally than the others in the category. While they aren't bad for their cost, shutting down a Unit for a turn and continually weakening every enemy in a large bubble around them is beyond useful. No strategy is not improved by these ladies' effects. Be warned, they're going to be the focus of shooting right off the bat.

  • Mitsu Dogu Sohei

Sohei Infantry, equipped with Mitsu Dogu and Light Armor. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 5 4 4 29
    • Combined Attack: Action Ability, grants 2 Combat Dice for every four models involved in the combat. Note that this is yours and those of your enemy.
    • Martial Arts: Combat Ability, gain the Martial Arts Trait for a turn.

To get the most out of these models, you obviously want as many as possible in the Unit. Due to the Initiative penalty their weapon gives their opponent they will be less effective against things that are slow already. You'll want to use Martial Arts along with their bonus Combat Dice to get in as many crits as possible. Not an amazing option overall, but they are conditionally amazing against horde armies and small elite armies alike.

  • Yumi Sohei

Sohei Projectiles Infantry, equipped with Medium Armor, a Yumi, and a Wakizashi. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 5 4 4 34
    • Incendiary Arrows: Action Ability, attacks can be made against Constructions and deal a Crit on 8-10.
    • Soya War Arrows: Action Ability, cause -2 Armor to hit enemies.

Very powerful Archers. Not much more to be said except that they're worth their cost.

Elite[edit]

  • Ikame Bo (Terrific Bonzo)

Infantry, Sohei, Great Warrior (+1 Honor), Harasser, Loners. Equipped with Kanabo-Tetsubo and Medium Armor. Unit Size 1-4, cannot take Hata-Jirushi.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
4 5 3 7 5 5 55
    • Revolving Hit: Combat Ability, when Charging they gain 1 more Combat Dice for every model in the enemy Unit.
    • Remain Steadfast: Action Ability, used when Charged. Make a Ki roll against the opponent, if successful they lose all bonuses from Charging.

A subversion on the usual Tarpit concept, being a somewhat expensive model type that has flexible movement, is fairly durable with decent damage output, and is good both on attack and defense. You'll never need many, but taking one or two on the flanks is advisable. They're also a cheap way to keep enemies from instantly destroying you with a front and back attack by crushing puny Ninja! Against Cavalry, they won't be much more than a damaging speedbump though. Once you're safe from flanking feel free to wheel them into the biggest Unit you can. Their weapon effect, -1 Armor to what they hit, is great with all their possible attacks.

  • Teppo Sohei

Infantry, Sohei, Projectiles. Equipped with Teppo, Katanas, and Light Armor. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 5 4 4 38
    • Wooden Shields: Action Ability, while active they have Heavy Cover against ranged attacks but have half Movement speed.
    • Alternated Shot: Action Ability, costs an Action Point on top of the one for actually making the shooting Action. Gain 2 more Combat Dice for every four models in your Unit.

A much more costly but superior version of the Kuge Teppotai. Since you can deploy your shields whenever it behooves you to get your Teppo Sohei where you want them as quickly as possible, although if you aren't facing return fire from other ranged enemies you don't need to bother. You can still move with shields active but the slowdown isn't pleasant to deal with, and if you plan on Alternated Shot you don't want to have to move. You'll also want your Teppo at numbers divisible by four unless you want extra to have some casualty buffer (at that price, you don't want it most likely). If you don't want to bother using the shields and stay on the move, taking them as multiple Units of 5 will force your opponent to choose what to shoot. Remember the 50% Defense reduction of Teppo on targets is great, meaning you'll want to aim for the most durable things your enemy has. As Sohei, they'll shred any expensive Death or Undead enemies.

Otokodate[edit]

Otokodate specialize in deciding what they want to die and making it happen so their ordinary options available to the other factions can do the work mopping up what's left. Blow em away, slit their throats, and keep your own boys safe and pushing against the Samurai. Beware massed Heinin, which the Otokodate have no real special defense against.

Special[edit]

  • Katana Ashigaru

Infantry Heinin, equipped with a Katana and Light Armor. Unit size 5-20.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
7 3 1 3 3 2 19
    • Banzai: Action Ability, make a Charge at 2D10 distance instead of 1D10.

Compared to Yari Ashigaru you're spending 5 points to trade +3 Initiative plus a one-turn -1 Attack if Charged for a constant -1 Attack and no stat penalties or bonuses attacking inside a Construction and gaining a double Charge distance potential. Their primary use is getting into fights and staying useful throughout them, and make for a highly aggressive force that will pin your opponent down closer to their side of the map or will rush anything thinking it can hide in a building. That -1 Attack is awfully expensive though, so you should know what you're doing with them. Against other Infantry you'll most likely be the one able to decide when a Charge occurs, which means you can count on Charge bonuses if you know what you're doing. They can be sent around to flank tied up enemies and quickly doubleteam enemies, or kept waiting to Commandment dash at an enemy that Runs Away while pulling off flank protection.

  • Teppo Ronin

Infantry, Ronin, Projectiles. Equipped with Teppo, Katanas, and Medium Armor. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
6 4 1 4 4 3 38
    • Wooden Shields: Action Ability, while active they have Heavy Cover against ranged attacks but have half Movement speed.
    • Alternated Shot: Action Ability, costs an Action Point on top of the one for actually making the shooting Action. Gain 2 more Combat Dice for every four models in your Unit.

Its the Teppo Sohei only without the Sohei ability, and one less point of Ki, Honor, and Initiative. Luckily those aren't exceedingly important, and in exchange you get the Ronin ability that lets you reroll Run Away rolls and one level higher armor which is arguably the much better deal. Use them as you would the Sohei version, and know they'll be slightly better in close combat if push comes to shove.

  • Ozutsu

Infantry, Harasser, Ronin, Projectiles, equipped with an Ozutsu, Katana, and Medium Armor. Unit size 3-10.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 4 1 5 4 4 50
    • Long Distance: Action Ability, maximum firing range increases by 15 centimeters for one turn.
    • Bombing: Action Ability, grants any of your Units with Ozutsu or Cannons (not just the Unit using this ability) within 30 centimeters of your Taisho the ability to fire on ANYTHING the Taisho or a Spy has Line of Sight to at a +1 Attack penalty.

Holy fucking shit. The best weapons in the game, the potential to shoot almost fucking anything that you want. They soak Koku like heavy cavalry, but are absolutely worth it. As the only artillery currently in the game, the ability to field Ozutsu puts you at a major advantage in the game if you use them well. If not...well, you put a LOT of points into cannons getting diced to pieces by a larger force. Kuge Ninja buttsecks can also tie up your Ozutsu in melee, leaving the rest of your force high and dry so make sure you have something to shield them from melee on standby.

  • Machi Yakko

Heinin Infantry, equipped with a Jumonji Yari and Medium Armor. Unit size 5-15.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
6 4 1 4 5 3 37
    • Protect The Lord: Combat Ability, anything in a Unit equipped with Yari (not just this one) cannot be challenged by characters for a turn.
    • Assault: Action Ability, attack a Construction with no penalties or bonuses to Close Combat for a turn.

Not terribly useful for their stats at their Koku price, the primary purpose of the Machi Yakko is to give you the ability to field your Characters without fear of being taken out by character-killers other than those with special abilities when you field Yari troops, of which you have decent options. Assault will basically give you a good reason to get that character in your spearbunker rather than something stronger that can help you storm the fort. You'll rarely ever have a reason to field more than one Unit of these since you only need one Unit and you can get twice the Yari Ashigaru or a Yari Kiba Musha for that price. Take enough for the Unit to survive.

Elite[edit]

  • Kyokaku

Infantry, Harasser, Heinin, Projectiles, Duelist, Loner. Equipped with a Yumi, a Katana, and Light Armor. Unit size 1-5. Cannot take a Hata-Jirushi.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
5 5 2 5 5 6 57
    • The Way Of Kykotsu: Combat Ability, when active the Kyokaku gains 2 Combat Dice in Confrontations.
    • Hate For The Samurai: Combat Ability, in Combat gain 1 Combat Dice for every 2 enemy Samurai in the same Combat.
    • Defenders Of The People: Every friendly non-Samurai within 30 centimeters has +1 Initiative.

Moderately useful options, given almost every player in the game will be taking some form of Samurai. They can't take damage and are very expensive in Koku, so you must defend them and count on getting them into the flanks of an enemy rather than a head-on fight. Duelist is their greatest advantage, since you can keep challenging until the enemy is dead or demoralized. By taking these in large numbers, you're dedicating your strategy to their use since losing them to a cavalry charge or arrows is easy and as damaging as losing a large Unit. The bonus to Initiative will help you with this. By only taking one however, you've paid a mere 57 points to make most of your army faster and giving you a simple protection from being attacked on the flanks or from behind. Mitigating the risk is their double Wounds at least.

  • Assassins

Infantry, Harasser, Duelist, Loner, Ronin. Equipped with Katanas and Light Armor. Unit size 1-5, no Hata-Jirushi option.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
4 5 3 5 5 6 60
    • Eliminate The Lord: Combat Ability, in a Confrontation each Assassin will take the place of the last if killed until there are no more Assassins in the Unit. Only then does the Confrontation end.
    • Alternative Weapons: Combat Ability, can use one of the following instead of the Katana in Confrontations and Close Combat. Sai, adds +1 to the Attack of enemies using any sword weapon. Claws, deals -1 Defense to hit enemies.
    • Foul Play: Combat Ability, deal crits on 8-10.

They're what you expect them to be. A very, very good way to make sure a specific character dies, or that a small elite Unit gets wiped our or crippled. They suck up Koku, and to get the most out of them you want to take as many as possible in a Unit. Taking more than one Unit is more pricy, and has very little additional use.

Spiritual[edit]

Since not all of the spiritual alignments are in the game yet, there is no restriction on who can take what.

Onmyouiji[edit]

Celestial[edit]
  • Celestial Onmyouiji

Spiritual Character, Infantry, Celestial Knowledge. Equipped with a Tessen, and no armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 6 4 2 6 5 3 61
2 6 4 3 7 5 3 73
3 6 4 4 8 5 3 95

Celestial Onmyouiji share the position of cheapest with Death, and are the second weakest on defense. They are also the second weakest on offense and are the slowest, although since they can't attack due to only having a Tessen that shouldn't matter.

    • Book Of Light

Generalized enough to be useful to anyone. Focused on making you better and saving you from ranged attacks, with the highest spell capable of eating most of a single Wound model Unit. Useful for any army.

      • Spheres Of Light (Level 1)

Either a Unit or a specific Character within 60 centimeters takes a 2 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Power Word (Level 1)

Variable spell, +2 Initiative to a Unit within 40 centimeters.

      • Spheres Of Light (Level 2)

As above, but four Magic Dice.

      • Spheres of Protection (Level 2)

Variable spell, Character within 40 centimeters gains +1 Defense and +2 Armor against projectiles for a turn.

      • Blind (Level 2)

Target Projectiles Unit within 60 centimeters must make a Magic Resistance roll for every model in it and lose 1 shooting Attack Die for each failure for a turn.

      • Path To Victory (Level 3)

Variable spell, all friendly models gain +1 Honor and +1 to Damage rolls for a turn.

      • Burning Light (Level 4)

Target Unit within 50 centimeters must make a Magic Resistance roll for every model in it and take one Wound for each failure.

    • Book Of Time

Spells debuff foes, deliver your models almost anywhere you want them to be, and can deal massive damage to single enemies. Not as useful for armies focusing on cavalry and charging unless you want to be in your opponent's face ASAP for tactics like Kuge Ninja spitroasting or forcing Run Away to get their models off the board. Far more useful for defensive armies to quickly plant themselves favorably in regards to terrain such as on a hill, in trees, around and in a Construction, etc.

      • Physical Disruption (Level 1)

Target Unit within 40 centimeters takes a 3 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Fleeting Moment (Level 1)

Variable spell, target Unit within 50 centimeters must pass a Ki roll against the caster or receive -3 Initiative for a turn.

      • Physical Disruption (Level 2)

As above, but 5 Magic Dice.

      • Walk Over Reality (Level 2)

Variable spell, target Infantry Unit within 40 centimeters can move like Cavalry for a turn, although if it Charges it will get the standard Infantry Charge bonuses.

      • Disorientate (Level 2)

Target Unit within 50 centimeters must pass a Ki roll against the caster or lose 1 Action Point for a turn.

      • Ripping The Veil (Level 3)

Any Character within 40 centimeters and in Line of Sight of the caster may be moved anywhere else within 40!centimeters and in Line of Sight of the caster that is not within 5 centimeters of one of its enemies. Can be used on your enemies...

      • Cloak Of Ashes (Level 4)

Target Character within 60 centimeters takes an 8 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

  • Yataragatsu

Small Creature, Flying, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws and has no armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 7 4 2 5 6 4 34
2 6 5 3 6 6 4 43
3 5 6 4 7 6 4 52
    • Guide Of The Skies: Allows the Onmyouiji to ignore Line of Sight spell requirements.

Guide Of The Skies is extremely useful early in a game, or in a game with lots of terrain to hide in or around. Ripping a Taisho out of his fortress into your lines with nowhere to run but further from safety is especially nice. In open fields, the effect and thus the Yataragatsu itself loses much of its use.

  • Kitsume

Small Creature, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws and has Light Armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 5 3 2 4 5 5 31
2 4 4 3 5 5 5 40
3 3 5 4 6 5 5 49
    • Humanoid Shape: Kitsume can join a friendly Unit to boost it's own Attack Dice by 1, but loses Small Creature.

If you want a Shikigame for Celestial and aren't concerned with Line of Sight being blocked, take the Kitsume. For a fairly low amount of Koku you get a powerful attack Creature that can hide in a Unit if you are concerned with its survivability by itself.

Infernal[edit]
  • Infernal Onmyouiji

Spiritual Character, Infantry, Infernal Knowledge. Equipped with a Katana and has no armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 4 2 2 6 3 5 66
2 4 2 3 7 3 5 78
3 4 2 4 8 3 5 100

The most pricey point-wise along with Earthly. Also the single best in combat, although with the lowest Defense and no armor the Infernal Onmyouiji is a major pricey glass cannon. But you should be avoiding melee with him anyway, making the only risk from Confrontations with faster models.

    • Book Of War

Players wanting to boost the raw killing power of models, play morale games, or use raw blasting power should use their Onmyouiji as the Hymukai Sun Tzu.

      • Projectiles Of Fire (Level 1)

Target Unit within 60 centimeters takes a 2 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Cloak of Terror (Level 1)

Variable spell, target Unit within 40 centimeters causes a -2 Honor penalty to any roll for a turn.

      • Projectiles Of Fire (Level 2)

As above, but four Magic Dice.

      • Warlord (Level 2)

Variable spell, for one turn target Character gains 2 Combat Dice and can reroll Initiative in Confrontations once.

      • Channel Of Fire (Level 2)

All models in a Unit within a 40 centimeter line in any direction take a 3 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure. This affects both friendly and enemy models.

      • Rain Of Blood (Level 3)

Variable spell, all Infernal models gain -1 Attack and all enemy Units have -1 Honor.

      • Deflagration (Level 4)

All Units, friend and foe, within a 20 centimeter radius of the Onmyouiji take a 7 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure. This affects both friendly and enemy models.

    • Book Of Rage

While War provides direct blasting and buffing, Rage bolsters ranged attacks, will give you a much cheaper Oni, and gives more control of the blasting done. Rage works better for armies with large Units of Heinin.

      • Tongue Of Destruction (Level 1)

Variable spell, target Unit within 40 centimeters takes a 3 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Iraki's Rage (Level 1)

Variable spell, target Unit within 40 centimeters gains 2 Attack Dice for every five miniatures in it but if not already in melee must make a Charge towards the nearest foe regardless of whether or not it could succeed.

      • Tongue Of Destruction (Level 2)

As above, but five Magic Dice.

      • Ikari's Servant (Level 2)

Variable spell, caster or one of their Shikigami transform into the Oni Creature for one turn. Cannot cast spells while an Oni.

      • Guiding Arrows (Level 2)

Target Projectiles Unit within 40 centimeters has -1 Attack and +1 Damage to their ranged attacks for a turn.

      • Infernal Explosion (Level 3)

A 15 centimeter radius template that can be placed within 50 centimeters of the caster deals takes a 5 Magic Dice attack to all Units within the radius, suffering a Wound for each failure. All Characters affected receive 3 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Sacrifice (Level 4)

Instantly kill between one and four Heinin models of your choice (yours or those of your enemy) within 40 centimeters of the caster to deal a 3 Magic Dice attack per sacrificed model to a Unit of choice within 40 centimeters, suffering a Wound for each failure.

  • Inugami

Small Creature, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws, and has no armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 5 3 2 4 3 7 29
2 4 4 3 5 3 7 38
3 3 5 4 6 3 7 47
    • Infernal Dog: Can spend an Action Point to make a Ki roll against any Unit within 20 centimeters, causing 1 Damage Dice per level against it if successful.

Inugami are one of the best Shikigami in the game if you want to invest your points into them. They do best protecting a Unit from being flanked by standing by its side until the time is right to swing it around into a flank of something you're in melee with, and being able to make a short range attack based on Ki can soften up an enemy waiting to get into position, or do fantastic damage against something far more durable than spiritual. Remember that since they lack any armor and have to be a Loner they will attract ranged attacks like a magnet.

  • Tsuchigumo

Small Creature, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws, has Medium Armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 6 3 2 4 4 4 30
2 5 4 3 5 4 4 39
3 4 5 4 6 4 4 48
    • Protective Cloth: Both Tsuchigumo and its Onmyouiji have +1 Defense against Projectiles if level 1-2, +2 Defense against Projectiles at level 3.

Tsuchigumo trades a small amount of the offensive power and most of the speed of the Inugami for raw durability and morale. Take him instead if you will be playing a smaller elite army that needs real protection and/or is vulnerable to mass shooting.

Earthly[edit]
  • Earthly Onmyouiji

Spiritual Character, Infantry, Earthly Knowledge. Equipped with a Bo and Light Armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 7 5 2 6 4 4 66
2 7 5 3 7 4 4 78
3 7 5 4 8 4 4 100

The other more expensive Onmyouiji. The Bo makes them the single fastest one in melee, and they are the only one with Armor. On top of that they have the highest Defense and second highest Honor, at the cost of the single worst Attack score of the four.

    • Book Of Animals

Mostly buffs and area damage spells, as well as the ability to control your opponent's movement.

      • Poisonous Projectile (Level 1)

Target Unit or Character within 60 centimeters takes a 2 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Essential Energy (Level 1)

Variable spell, target Unit within 40 centimeters gains +1 Initiative and +5 Movement for a turn.

      • Poisonous Projectile (Level 2)

As above, but 4 Magic Dice.

      • Flying (Level 2)

Variable spell, target Unit within 40 centimeters gains Flying for a turn. Note that while using this spell to quickly get inside a fortress or in enemy lines seems appealing, trying to land with your back against a wall, near an isolated enemy, or behind all foes is preferable so as to not be charged from both sides and destroyed.

      • Bolt The Mount (Level 2)

Variable spell, target enemy Cavalry Unit within 50 centimeters must make a Ki roll against the caster. If the caster wins, the Cavalry move 2d10 centimeters forward. This does not use up its movement or actions. You won't often get to use this spell, but getting an enemy out of position or having to spend precious Action Points to re-orient themselves is fantastic. Beware, it can backfire if they end up behind you when you're fighting something in front thanks to their extra distance.

      • Calling The Birds (Level 3)

Variable spell, a Forest must be within 50 centimeters to cast. Target enemy Unit within 50 centimeters takes a 5 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Swarm of Insects (Level 4)

Variable spell, creates a 15 centimeter diameter template which travels 3d10 centimeters and deals 6 Magic Dice attack to every Unit (friend and foe) it touches, suffering a Wound for each failure. All Units it affects automatically Run Away, and regain control the turn they are no longer in it. If maintained for more than one turn, the caster can choose which direction it travels for the next 3d10 centimeters. Its possible, if unlikely, to use this spell to force an enemy straight off the board.

    • Book Of Nature

The arguably more useful Book as it has the ability to change terrain. Has the best of the Level 1 and 2 damage spells in the game.

      • Throwing Stones (Level 1)

Target Unit within 60 centimeters takes a 4 Damage Dice shooting attack at Attack 4.

      • Vines (Level 1)

Variable, target Unit within 40 centimeters moves as if in Difficult Terrain. Great at stopping Cavalry as it rushes past.

      • Throwing Stones (Level 2)

As above, but 6 Damage Dice at Attack 3.

      • Changing Nature (Level 2)

Target Terrain within 40 centimeters that is 10-15 centimeters in diameter permanently transforms into a Bog. Anything from Construction to Hill is a potential target. Note that you can cheat this spell by only using terrain smaller than 10 centimeters diameter or larger than 15.

      • Favorable Winds (Level 2)

Variable spell, all friendly Units within 20 centimeters have -1 Attack using Projectiles and gain +10 centimeters to each of their max ranges.

      • Stealing Energy (Level 3)

Target Unit within 40 centimeters takes a 7 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

      • Forces of Nature (Level 4)

All Units (friend and foe) in a 30 centimeter line straight ahead of the caster take a 5 Magic Dice attack, suffering a Wound for each failure.

  • Kamaitachi

Small Creature, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws. Has no armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 6 4 2 4 3 7 29
2 5 5 3 5 3 7 38
3 4 6 4 6 3 7 47
    • Fleeting Attack: Attack a Unit or Character within 20 centimeters as a Ranged Attack, rolling as many dice as its Close Combat DC.

Its an Inugami with worse Attack but better Defense and a situationally better special attack. Use it in the same way.

  • Kodama

Small Creature, Loner. Uses Jaws And Claws, has Medium Armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 7 3 2 5 6 4 32
2 6 4 3 6 6 4 41
3 5 5 4 7 6 4 50
    • Grow Green Again: The Kodama or Onmyouiji master can recover 1 Wound if the Kodama enters a Forest and makes a dice roll that is lower or equal to their Ki. Once this ability is used successfully inside a Forest, it cannot be used again in the same forest.

Not that great a Shikigami. While the Earthly Onmyouiji is the only one you're really going to be able to successfully take into Close Combat, you still don't want to if you can avoid it. Thus spending those points on model who's only purpose is to toddle around from Forest to Forest and heal its master isn't that great. Its stats are unimpressive, so it isn't like a walking tank that can take a breather either. In a game with a lot of Forests it can be interesting, but generally you'll not find it as useful as similarly priced options.

Death[edit]
  • Onmyouiji Of Death

Spiritual Character, Infantry, Knowledge Of The Dead. Equipped with a Tessen and no Armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 5 3 2 6 3 5 61
2 5 3 3 7 3 5 73
3 5 3 4 8 3 5 95

The other cheapest Onmyouiji, which like its Celestial counterpart cannot attack due to only having a Tessen. Has the second weakest Defense, and is as dishonorable as the Infernal Onmyouiji.

    • Book Of Shadows

A jack of all trades Book, contains some basic direct damage, some nice but not amazing buffs, and one of the best spells in the game as its Level 4 that will make short work of anyone who takes hordes.

      • Lashes Of Dark Energy (Level 1)

Variable spell, target Unit within 40 centimeters rolls a 3 dice Magic Resistance test. Each failed roll causes 1 Wound.

      • Armor Of Shadows (Level 2)

Variable spell, target model within 40 centimeters, either a friendly model or the caster, gains +1 Armor against Close Combat and +2 Armor against Projectiles.

      • Lashes Of Dark Energy (Level 2)

As above, but with 5 dice.

      • Ghostly Mount (Level 2)

Variable spell, target model on foot within 40 centimeters counts as mounted for the purpose of Movement and Charge plus any Charge bonuses. Model also gains 2 VT.

      • Dark Claws (Level 2)

Instantaneous spell, give +3 DC and -1AT to any model in the same Close Combat as the caster.

      • Eternal Night (Level 3)

Variable, ALL friendly Units gain +1 Damage and ALL enemy Units suffer -1 IN while the spell lasts.

      • Well Of The Forgotten (Level 4)

Instantaneous spell, enemy Unit within 50 centimeters makes a Magic Resistance roll for every model in that Unit, suffering a Wound for each failure.

    • Book Of The Dead

The much better Death Book. The ability to spirit a Kensei or an Assassin into combat, or a Commandment Character back out of it, is invaluable. Weakening ranged opponents is always a plus, as Kensei has many nasty ones, and bol the Level 3 and Level 4 spells can be potentially match finishers.

      • Projectile Of Corruption (Level 1)

Instantaneous spell, target Unit within 60 centimeters takes a 2 dice Magic Damage Attack.

      • Weakness (Level 1)

Variable spell, target Unit within 60 centimeters has their Range reduced to a maximum of Medium Range and suffers +1 Attack for the spell duration.

      • Projectile Of Corruption (Level 2)

As above, but 4 dice.

      • Shiryo (Level 2)

Variable spell, target Character within 30 centimeters cannot by targeted by ranged attacks (it can still be targeted by spells), and ignores Terrain including Difficult Terrain. If it stops inside Impassible Terrain, it is automatically destroyed. These effects last for the spell duration.

      • Mekubare (Level 2)

Instantaneous spell, target Unit within 40 centimeters must pass a Ki roll against the caster or Run Away.

      • Opening The Nekara (Level 3)

Variable spell, a Unit (controlled by either player) made up of human models (so no Creatures or Undead) that has been destroyed is brought back to life with +1 Attack and -1 all other stats. It appears anywhere within 25 centimeters of the caster that is a rules legal place for a Unit to be. It remains under the control of the casting player for the spell duration or until the caster is killed.

      • Breath Of Death (Level 4)

Variable spell, target Unit or Character within 50 centimeters takes 8 dice of Magical Damage every turn this spell is active.

  • Nezumi

Small Creature, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws. Has no armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 6 4 2 4 5 5 29
2 5 5 3 5 5 5 38
3 4 6 4 6 5 5 47
    • Curse: For 1 AC, the Nezumi can target a Character within 30 centimeters and make a Ki roll against itself. If successful, the Character takes a +1 Attack penalty and loses 1 point of DF And IN. This can only affect one Character at a time, and every turn the Character may make a Ki roll against the Nezumi to dispel the Curse.

Another Inugami/Kamaitachi, only with lower Initiative and higher Honor. The debuff is nice if you plan on Duels.

  • Nekomata

Small Creature, Loner. Uses Jaws And Claws, has Medium Armor.

Level Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost
1 6 3 2 5 3 7 29
2 5 4 3 6 3 7 38
3 4 5 4 7 3 7 47
    • Raising The Dead: Can create one "Dead" per level by taking a Ki test per Dead desired. They are represented by casualties over the course of the battle, and as a result this ability can only be used once casualties have been caused by either side. Deads appear next to the Nekomata. Deads do not die when the Nekomata does.
        • Dead

Harasser.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative
6 3 2 2 2 4

Same as the Nezumi. Take it instead if Cursing Characters is not useful to you, or feel free to take both. If you do the latter, remember that the Nekomata's special ability depends on its level while the Nezumi's does not.

Creatures[edit]

Infernal[edit]
  • Amanojaku

Level 1. Small Creature. Small. Equipped with an Axe, Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 3 1 3 4 3 29 3-9
    • Torment: Action Ability, target Unit within 20 centimeters must make a Magic Resistance roll for every Amanojaku in the Unit using this ability, taking a Wound for each failure.

Amanojaku are not a terrible choice, but aren't great either. For their cost and stats you're much better off looking at your standard human troops, although the ability to deal Magic Damage without having to succeed at casting a spell is worthy of note.

  • Onibi

Level 1. Small Creature. Small. Uses an Igneous Attack, equipped with Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 4 3 3 25 3-9
    • Onibi Fire: Action Ability, Flame Attack with a 40 centimeter range as if a Projectile Attack using Ki instead of AT.

Onibi are a far better choice. Cheaper, higher stats, and Fire Attacks are always a welcome addition.

  • Shikome

Level 2 Normal Creature. Flying. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 3 4 3 6 47 1-6
    • Chase Up To Hell: Action Ability, target Running Away Unit within 40 centimeters gets a Charge from the Shikome that grants 2 free Attacks instead of 1, after which they return to their start position (effectively making this a ranged attack that does not count as a Projectiles attack, does not require Line Of Sight, and ignores Terrain).
    • Flesh Eaters: Passive ability, for every model killed by the Shikome a Ki roll is made, restoring a Wound to the Unit for every success.

Shikome are a fantastic, if very pricey, option. Self-healing and combos fantastically with Psychology games. Their Flying will let them get wherever they need to go; a large chunk of the reason to go Infernal in the first place is access to these "happy" harpies since most casual games will likely be at points levels where Level 2 is your highest level of Creature available. They don't actually have to be in a place to get into combat if the Unit is getting banged up as you can position them so Units that break will be in range and those free Attacks will heal them.

  • Ushi Oni

Level 2. Normal Creature, Harasser. Fear. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 2 4 4 5 46 1-6
    • Absolute Cruelty: Action Ability, after destroying an enemy Unit all enemy Units within 20 centimeters with Line Of Sight to the Destroyed Unit make a Ki roll against the Ushi Oni or lose 2 Honor until their next turn.
    • Rush: Action Ability, Charges like an ordinary Charge action but with a bonus +1 to DC and Damage.

Ushi Oni are decent for Otokodate and Sohei, as they lack a heavy cavalry that the Ushi Oni make up for, but their high point cost and lesser stats makes them of dubious value for Kuge and Buke.

  • Oni

Level 3. Large, Creature. Big, Fear. Equipped with a Tetsubo and Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 4 6 5 5 4 89 1-3
    • Wild Charge: Action Ability, Charge like Cavalry with an extra 2D10 to their Movement.
    • Flesh Eaters: As Shikome.

Absolutely fucking insane stats, able to get across the board on a Charge and devastate their quarry, able to self heal with kills they WILL be causing. What's not to love? Well, their massive point cost and low Unit size. In a game where getting flanked right automatically destroys the Unit, something that costs so much and is begging to go out on its own is going to be dangerous to field. That doesn't mean Oni are useless by any means, only that they WILL need support. Cavalry if possible to keep up with them. If you can keep their flanks clear, feel free to bring a trio of these demons to raise hell. Beware both the Kuge Ninjas and Death magic that can bring undead on your flanks out of nowhere.

  • Nue

Level 3 Large Creature. Big, Flying, Fear. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 4 7 4 6 5 84 1
    • Nue's Curse: Action Ability, target Unit within 60 centimeters increases the difficulty of all tests by 1, decreases test roll results by 1, and have -1 to opposed rolls. Can only affect one Unit at a time.
    • Stroke Of Madness: Action Ability, target Unit within 40 centimeters loses 2 AC for the rest of the turn.

If playing at a point level where you can take a Nue but not the Level 4 Creatures, do it. Two great debuffs you don't have to cast, one that persists through death. Not very expensive compared to what you drop taking most decent Creature Units. Great stats. Cripple a deathstar Unit, and act as a flanker for the rest of the game.

  • Jorogumo

Level 4. Large Creature, Infernal. Big, Terror, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Heavy Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
3 4 11 5 6 5 115 1
    • Spider Web: Action Ability, target a Unit within 30 centimeters. First pass a Ki test, then pas a Ki test against the enemy Unit. If both are successful, the Unit is immobilized and cannot leave its position to Move or Run Away. Every turn afterwards the Unit can make a Ki roll against the Jorogumo to free themselves.
    • Torment: Action Ability, target Unit within 20 centimeters takes a Magical Damage roll for every model in the Unit, taking one Wound for each loss.

With the Oni, you have a tank who's greatest strength (other than its strength) is its greatest liability, as they can get out of range of protection for your army. But not only is the Jorogumo cheaper than a Unit of Oni, she actually negates the weakness of being a solo model with the ability to pin Units. Beyond that, she has the power to eat a Unit in Close Combat as well as an ability to eat a Unit who happens to be nearby. You obviously still want to protect her, she just makes it easier. Take her if you can.

  • Hiderigami

Level 4. Large Creature, Infernal. Big, Terror, Loner. Equipped with a Tetsubo and Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 3 10 5 6 5 120 1
    • Dry Throats: Action Ability, target Unit within 40 centimeters that is not made up of Creatures. Deals 6 dice of Magical Damage.
    • Dry Land: Passive ability, and water feature (swamp, river) the Hiderigami enters, crosses, or comes within 5 centimeters of becomes Normal Terrain.

Not as good as the Jorogumo. Dry Throats is only better against Units with five models or less and it has worse stats for a higher cost. The only reason to choose the Hiderigami is if you are faced with a lot of water features that will be a problem for you.

Celestial[edit]
  • Raiju

Level 1. Small Creature, Harasser. Small. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 4 3 3 25 3-9
    • Ride The Lightning Bolt: Action Ability, may make a Ki Test. If passed, the Raiju are removed from the battlefield and the controlling player selects a place anywhere on the battlefield that is 5 centimeters from all other Units. If an enemy Unit moves into the designated area, the Raiju reappear 5 centimeters away from it as this ability does not let the Raiju reappear into Combat. It has 1 AC after reappearing and may Charge on the same turn. In order to reappear, a second Ki Test must be made at +1. If failed, then the Raiju take the same test again next turn at the beginning of the Orders And Actions Phase at +2, and every subsequent turn makes the test at an additional +1 after that until the Raiju finally descend. If the first test reappearance test is a failure they scatter D10 centimeters (but still at least 5 centimeters from enemy Units) when they finally arrive.

Raiju are fantastic. In Kensei, the ability to teleport some models with decent combat stats into enemy lines to set up an automatic Unit destruction or hold an Objective cannot be undersold. Their only drawback is abysmal Honor and Initiative.

  • Basan

Level 1. Small Creature, Harasser. Small, Flying. Uses Igneous Attack, equipped with Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 4 3 3 30 3-9
    • Basan's Fire: Action Ability, ignores Cover modifiers. Target Unit within 30 centimeters within Line Of Sight suffers an AT5 Projectile Attack, with one DD per Basan in the Unit.

Another decent offense Creature. Not as useful as the Raiju in general, but if your opponent likes to use a lot of fences and natural barriers the Basan can smoke them out. Flying is also a factor in complex terrain. Sadly, the Basan cannot attack Constructions as it has no proper Flame Attack since Basan'sFire is only described as a magical fire spell in the flavor text.

  • Komainu

Level 2. Normal Creature. Fear. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 3 4 4 5 44 1-4
    • Take Form: Passive Ability. At the beginning of the turn, before the Commandment Roll, the Komainu can change their form.
      • Supernatural Form: The default state at the start of the game, no changes.
      • Stone: -2 Initiative, gains Heavy Armor.
      • Metal: Immune to all Projectile Attacks.

Another fantastic choice, and without drawback. Turn Metal as you move into position, turn to Stone in order to become a Tarpit or Supernatural if against a foe you could potentially finish off before they can strike. They cost you in point, but Fear is an amazing bonus.

  • Tennyo

Level 2. Normal Creature. Flying. Equipped with a Yumi, a Katana, and Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 4 2 5 4 5 55 2-6
    • Shooting With The Spirit: Action Ability, can shoot at any Unit regardless of Line Of Sight or viewing angle.
    • Beyond Limits: Action Ability, may shoot at any Unit regardless of distance as long as the Tennyo has Line Of Sight. Always counts as Long Range.

Another situational Creature. Good archers that can Fly anywhere you want them and shoot almost anything you want shot. Expensive, so their use is purely dependent on terrain.

  • Byakko

Level 3. Large Creature. Big, Loner, Fear. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 5 7 5 6 6 92 1
    • Casting The Lightning: Action Ability, target Unit within 40 centimeters takes an opposed Ki roll. If the Byakko wins, target takes 3 dice of Magical Damage.
    • Lord Of The Tempest: Passive, every two turns at any time the Byakko can gain +5 Movement for the rest of the turn.

Durable/killy as hell for his level and point cost, with a modest ranged attack to prey on low morale troops and the ability to jet into or out of danger. While the Raiju offer more tactical advantage, the Byakko is a better investment otherwise. Take both if possible.

  • Kirin

Level 3. Large Creature, Harasser. Big. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 5 5 5 6 6 81 1-2
    • Controlling The Kami: Action Ability: Target Creature with Line Of Sight makes an opposed Ki roll. If the Kirin wins, the enemy Creature loses 2 AC in its next Orders And Actions Phase. This only affects a sole creature, not an entire Unit.
    • Magical Fire: Action Ability, target Unit with Line Of Sight automatically takes 4 dice of Magical Damage.

There's nothing not to love about Kirin. A damn fine decent range attack without casting requirements or a Ki roll, the ability to shut down individual enemy Creatures, and decent stats. You want at least one Kirin.

  • Suzako

Level 4. Large Creature. Big, Loner, Flying, Terror. Uses Igneous Attack, equipped with Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
3 5 10 5 6 6 122 1
    • Burning The Air: Action Ability, ALL things within 25 centimeters (friend, foe, Construction) take 4 dice of Magical Damage.
    • Burn To Ashes: Action Ability, a 40 centimeter line of destruction that deals 4 dice of Magical Damage to anything in its path, friend/foe/Construction, and destroys building terrain/Forests.

If you want to DESTROY the enemy, you take a Suzako. It has one purpose, wiping the map clean. Its a liability to you as much as a strength, as you need to plan your movement and bait the enemy into giving you lines of fire. Its not immortal, but its hard not to have it kill at least its point cost in the worst of circumstances.

  • Baku

Level 4. Large Creature. Big, Loner, Terror. Uses Igneous Attack, equipped with Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 5 12 6 6 5 118 1
    • Devout Nightmares: Action Ability, make an opposed Ki roll against a target Spiritual Character. If the Baku wins, one of the following two effects of your choice happens:
      • For one turn, the difficulty of the Character to use abilities or cast Spells is increased by 2.
      • Chosen active Spell is dispelled or stops taking effect.
    • Repel Spirits: Action Ability, target non-Celestial Creature Unit makes an opposed Ki roll against the Baku. If the Baku wins, the enemy Unit starts Running Away.

Like the Kirin, the Baku lets you fuck with your opponent's supernatural models. The Baku is superior because of its higher stats and ability to fuck with Onmyouiji in addition to Creatures. Take both if you can, but beware frustrated opponents declaring "No more Supernatural models!" as you swell with their tears.

Earthly[edit]
  • Tanuki

Level 1. Small Creature, Harasser. Small. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 1 4 3 4 27 3-9
    • Tanuki's Luck: Passive, you may reroll ANY dice roll involving the Tanuki themselves. You must accept the second result.

Fairly standard stats, and their ability will make them more survivable or offensive depending on how you want to use that reroll. Not terrible, nothing special either.

  • Kappa

Level 1. Small Creature, Harasser. Small. Equipped with Sabres, Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 4 1 5 3 3 42 3-9
    • Turtle Shell: Action Ability, increases Defense by 1.

Fairly bad stats, more survivable but paying a lot for it. Their Sabre will give them a higher crit chance, but since their offensive power is so bad for their Koku that's not exactly a good tradeoff. The higher Ki is okay, but without higher Honor you can't count on them to maintain when the enemy gets tricky. You'd think you would get an ability to bypass any water Terrain, which would make them situationally useful, but you don't. You're better off investing points into your Onmyouiji and her companions. Kappa are a bad investment.

  • Karasu Tengu

Level 2. Normal Creature, Harasser. Flying. Equipped with a Naginata and Light Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 2 5 4 5 50 2-6
    • Shadows: Passive, Projectile Attacks against them have +1 Attack.
    • Throwing "Tengu's Stones": Action Ability, a Projectile Attack made at the Tengu's Attack. Maximum Range is 40 centimeters, with no range modifiers. Functions as a Sling.

Not a bad choice, although expensive. Similar role as the Tennyo as a highly mobile ranged attacker, although instead of being able to snipe anything this Tengu is going to want to harass Cavalry and claim advantageous positions. But if your opponent isn't bringing horsies, its less likely to be worth those points. Its only real advantage is the Flying and impunity with which it can take a high ground and nail anything in a 40 centimeter radius. If they do get into melee, they won't do too bad and their Naginata will reduce their opponent's Defense, allowing you to soften up or finish off vulnerable targets.

  • Dai-Tengu

Level 2. Normal Creature, Harassers. Flying, Loner, Duelist. Equipped with Katana, Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 4 4 5 5 6 71 1-3
    • Fleeting Attack: Action Ability, enemy Unit cannot make a Withstand And Shoot attack on the Dai-Tengu and this attack counts as a Flank Attack.
    • Sword Masters: Combat Ability, Crits on a 7+ Damage Roll.

Dai-Tengu are fantastic for Sohei, who don't have a good Character-killer. Even the other armies can get a lot of mileage out of them, as the ability to swoop down and deal a fair chunk of damage quickly is fantastic. You'll want to use them as ambushers lying in wait, or as a hammer. You can even use them as an anvil if you invest in them.

  • Genbu

Level 3. Large Creature, Harasser. Big, Loner, Fear. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Heavy Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 9 6 6 3 92 1
    • Snake Attack: Combat Ability, an extra 2 DC Attack that is Poisoned (Crits on a 9+ Damage Roll).
    • Turtle Shell: Action Ability, lasts a full turn in which Defense is increased by 2, and DC are reduced by 3.

This is a suped up version of what the Kappa were trying to be and failed. Unless Genbu gets flanked, he's going to sit somewhere and refuse to move. Ludicrously high Wounds, good Defense that you can bolster to amazing, high Honor, high Ki, and high armor. He's not bad at killing either. Added Fear will make low morale Units of Heinin intended to flank-destroy or swarm enemies think twice. Put him on the side of a deathstar Unit, and he's going to make sure it gets where it needs to be.

  • Sesho-Shekki

Level 3. Large Creature, Harasser. Big, Projectiles, Fear. Equipped with a Sling, Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 4 5 5 6 4 85 1-3
    • Throwing Pebbles: Passive, Attack 4 Projectile Attack that ignores Distance and Movement modifiers. Has as many Firing Dice as the Sesho-Shekki has Wounds remaining.
    • Swift Movement: Action Ability, as a Movement (so you can't use a later Movement that turn) the Sesho-Shekki teleports to anywhere you want within 40centimeters.

Still very durable, with a decent ranged attack you can use to fuck up Cavalry movements. The ability to go anywhere is amazingly good, and it has a great melee potential. Another model to control the battlefield, generally superior to the Genbu if you aren't needing a mobile shield for your main force. That Fear combined with the ability to go anywhere is a potent combo.

  • Mizuchi

Level 4. Large Creature. Big, Loner, Terror, Flying. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Medium Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
3 4 10 6 5 6 118 1
    • Acid Cloud: Action Ability, choose a point exactly 40 centimeters away from the Mizuchi. All Units between the two points take 4 dice of Magical Damage.
    • Calling The Rain: Action Ability, models that use powder (AKA Teppos and Ozutsu) cannot fire for one turn and must take a Load Action afterwards. All Cavalry Charge distance reduced by 1d10 per attempt for the entire rest of the battle.

Amazing stats, although not as impressive as most Level 4 Creatures. You take the Mizuchi if you have no intention of taking Cavalry or guns, making them ideal for high population infantry Buke armies and terrible for most Kuge ones that aren't going for Onna Bushi spam. The template attack is nifty, and easier to avoid friendly fire than most you'd see on a Level 4. Altogether a very good, balanced option.

  • Daidarobotchi

Level 4. Large Creature. Big, Loner, Terror. Uses Claws And Jaws, equipped with Heavy Armor.

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 4 13 6 5 5 116 1
    • Lord Of The Forests: Action Ability, gain permanent control of a Forest. It moves 3d10 per turn in the direction the player wants every turn, and every Unit (friend and foe) that it comes into contact with suffers an 8 dice AT5 Attack.
    • Lord Of The Ground: Action Ability, all Constructions within 30 centimeters are immediately destroyed and all models within instantly killed. Any Units within the same radius suffer a 5 dice AT5 Attack as if Close Combat.

Ludicrously amazing, insanely killy, can almost solo an army. Why is this not the most insane game-breaking model? Because it WILL cause friendly fire, and thanks to the rules of auto-destroying models if you can surround them it will need a fair amount of support. Once this hits the battlefield, its going to be your opponent's main target and it will do as much damage to its protectors as the foe. If you're insanely good at battlefield control and evaluating risks, go for it. If not, this is more likely to lose you the game if you use it as anything more than a heavy melee attacker than win it.

Death[edit]
  • Gaki

Level 1. Small Creature. Small, Undead, Fear. Uses Claws And Jaws, uses no armor but has Undead defense (2 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
6 3 1 4 2 3 21 3-9
    • Flesh Eaters: Passive, for every enemy they destroy they may make a Ki test. Every success restores a dead model to the Unit.

Gaki are amazingly good if you can throw them at something weak, like Heinin. You want a big Unit of them. If you can't put them at something they can feasibly kill many of quickly however, they're not a great investment. Fear is still a nice bonus however, and if you want it but have no access otherwise it is a good way to get it.

  • Onryo

Level 1. Normal Creature, Harasser. Ethereal, Undead, Fear. Equipped with a Jumonji-Yari, uses no armor but has Undead defense (2 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 3 1 5 3 4 68 3-9
    • Ghostly Advance: Passive, ignores all obstacles in Movement and can pass through all Terrain as well as both friendly and enemy Units. Difficult Terrain is also ignored, and Onryo ignore all Cover modifiers granted to enemies.

Oh yeah, these are good. Pricey, but good. Ignore ALL Projectiles and Ranged Attacks (so those nasty Level 4 Creature templates too), Fear, go anywhere you want regardless of all other factors without fear, and you can attack things on the opposite sides of walls as if open ground while opponents in return suffer the standard penalty. This is in addition to the Jumonji-Yari giving you bonuses if something has the balls to Charge you, a bonus against Cavalry, and a Crit on 9+. The drawback is that they are fragile, and aren't very killy for their cost

  • Goryo

Level 2. Normal Creature, Harasser. Ethereal, Undead, Fear. Uses an Igneous Attack, uses no armor but has Undead defense (2 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 4 3 5 6 4 70 1-4
    • Eternal Vengeance: Passive ability, at the beginning of the turn the Goryo select an enemy Character. When engaged in Combat with a Unit containing the Character, they can focus entirely on that Character instead of the Unit. They may only choose a different Character once their current target dies.
    • Ghostly Advance: As Onryo.

The same as Onryo only with better stats, the ability to assassinate Characters, and a ranged attack. The drawbacks? Two points more each, a lower maximum Unit size, and losing the Jumonji-Yari's bonuses in exchange for that -1 Defense they'll cause to their opponent per attack. So in other words, no notable drawbacks to a massive buff. TAKE THEM.

  • Honne Samurai

Level 2. Normal Creature, Harasser. Undead, Fear. Equipped with a Katana, uses no armor but has Medium Undead defense (4 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 2 4 6 3 55 3-6
    • Honor Of The Dead: Passive, automatically pass the first Honor roll every turn.
    • Vigor: Action Ability, gain +5 Movement to a Charge and Crit on a 9+ on the Damage Roll.

A decent choice. Emulate Buke in the other armies with this model with a decent defense and decent offense Unit that wants to get into battle and shrug off morale. Not as amazing as Goryo, but still a recommended choice.

  • Gaikotsu

Level 3. Large Creature. Large, Undead, Fear. Equipped with a Sabre, uses no armor but has Medium Undead for defense (4 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
3 4 8 4 5 4 98 1-2
    • Fading: Action Ability, teleport anywhere within 30 centimeters. You may still make Movement actions afterwards.
    • Bells Of Death: Action Ability, all Units (friend and foe) within 30 centimeters make an opposed Ki roll against the Gaikotsu. If they lose, they must take an Honor test or Run Away.

Take them. Killer stats, teleportation, and psychology fuckery. Use Fading to get far enough away from your own troops to Bell the enemy without affecting your own. While you can take them in Units of two, consider them solo so you can Fade and Bell in two 30 centimeter bubbles.

  • Onmoraki

Level 3. Large Creature. Big, Undead, Ethereal, Flying. Uses Claws And Jaws, uses no armor but has Light Undead for defense (3 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
5 4 5 5 3 5 98 1-2
    • Dismember: Combat Ability, 8+ to Crit for the next two Combats.
    • Soul Eaters: Passive, recover 1 Wound for every two models killed.

A very good option, just not quite as good as Onryo and Gaikotsu. Its another Heining mulcher, far better at its job than Gaki.

  • Shinigami

Level 4. Large Creature. Big, Undead, Terror, Loner. Equipped with a Bo, uses no armor but has Light Undead (3 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
3 5 11 5 6 5 120 1
    • Pot Of Souls: Action Ability, target Unit within 30 centimeters takes a Magical Resistance roll for every miniature in it, losing a Wound for each failure.
    • Thoughts Of Death: Action Ability, target Unit within 50 centimeters with Line Of Sight makes an opposed Ki roll with the Shinigami. If the enemy fails, they have their AT increased by 1, have their DF, AR, HR, and IN reduced by 1, and has its Movement cut by half. Every turn it can make another opposed Ki roll with the Shinigami to cancel the effect.

Fast as fuck thanks to the Bo, modestly killy, a bit fragile for a Level 4 Creature but with a great ranged attack and a long distance complete crippling. Its amazing, not much else to say.

  • Jubokko

Level 4. Large Creature. Big, Undead, Terror, Loner. Uses Claws And Jaws, uses no armor but has Heavy Undead for defense (5 Armor).

Attack Defense Wounds Ki Honor Initiative Koku Cost Unit Size
4 3 13 5 6 4 120 1
    • Vampire: Passive, if a Unit is destroyed within 30 centimeters of the Jubokko, it grains Heavy Armor (+5 more Armor), every model (friend and foe) killed within 30 centimeters of the Jubokko restored 1 Wound per model, and if at full Wounds already the maximum amount then its Maximum Wounds score increases by 1 for the rest of the game (maximum 1 per turn).
    • Infernal Roots: Action Ability, target Unit within 30 centimeters is moved into Close Combat with the Jubokko and cannot move from that spot while still in Close Combat with the Jubokko (unspecified what happens on a Run Away).

The Jubokko is an investment in time during the battle. You'll have to keep it protected while you score some kills. Its not going to be unable to fight in melee, but the low Defense is a bit of a problem and its not as killy as your standard Level 4 so it won't be wiping out a Unit on its own. You want a Unit gone, or a boost to its Wounds, before you pivot into melee. After that point, with your 10 Armor bloodsucking tree, feel free to ram into the foe at will and ensnare things like ranged support or Units with Commandment Characters. Or hang back and nab enemies out of their protection and into your lines where you can immediately surround them for an automatic Unit destruction.