Friday, 3 June 2016

Bushido - my first AAR - part 2

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

Sun Tze

last time I set up the scenario and the board for my first Bushido AAR (warning this is a long post, get a cuppa in!)

Onto the Battle then.......

Before each turn you have to roll a d6 for intiative adding any modifiers for traits and skills. You also need to generate Ki, each character having a generation statistic in order to fuel feats later on or boost melee, move or ranged statistics.

Ki generation for Ro-Kan, on the cards you can see a stat on the right hand side e.g 2/6

Ki generation for Ryu

Riku, monk of Ro-Kan focused on the spout of water that had begun to funnel around his outstretched arm, the element responding intuitively with his requests - wrapped and warped itself around his body, drawing more moisture from the still air of the ancient temple until it formed a sheer wall of running water similar to the spectacular falls that dotted the mountains around Ro-Kan.  With a final flick of the hand he shut of all but a thin trickle of Ki to maintain the water wall obscuring him from the foul smelling arquebusier of Ryu across the junction.

Turn 1 - Ro-Kan (6) Ryu (3)

  • Riku takes a walk move to the edge of his terrace and uses a Ki feat to create a wall of water in front of him.  This is a simple action which cost 1 Ki token from his pool and he becomes "Tired"
Riku's "Wall of Water" Ki feat
  • Genji of Ryu runs straight forward 6" to the edge of the control zone (the control zone is the circle in the middle of the board surrounded by the double tram-lined square extends about 4"), normally Genji has a move stat of 4" but the run action adds a half  movement bonus to this, this is a simple action and he becomes "tired" (T)
  • Hotaru of Ro-Kan runs into the opposite end of the control zone and is also "tired" (T) - note although this an IGUG type game I could quite as easily have moved Riku again rather than a different Monk, each model can activate until he/she becomes "exhausted" It is these activations and the tactical use of them that is pivotal in this game.
  • Eiji of Ryu also runs into the control zone to back up Genji  (T)
  • Seiji of Ro-Kan runs into control zone (T) - at this point you may be thinking this doesn't sound tactical at all as they are just running into the same area, however the scenario is about control of a zone, this is achieved by a side with models wholly in the control zone (CZ) of a higher rice score and not outnumbered.  So although the Ryu player has more Rice points in the CZ - 18 for the Takashi twins, they don't outnumber the monks of Ro-Kan and therefore cannot influence the CZ.
  • the Guardsman of Ryu (lets call him Bob) shoots his arquebus at Seiji who is in the open, the range of each weapon is marked on the profile cards and for the arquebus is 6/12/18 so short range is 6" below, medium is 12" and long range is 18" or below anything over 18" is an automatic miss.  in this case the range is 10” so is in medium range, this has a base success level of 5 needed to hit (see photo below for the chart)Seiji has ranged defence (1) so adds that to the success level required i.e Bob now needs a 6. The guard has 2 dice for ranged attacks (marked on his profile card) and rolls a 6 and a 1. The 1 is a failure (1's are always counted as a fail in Bushido) and is discounted but the 6 is equal to the score required. As the score is equal it is successful but the success level is 0, i.e 6-6=0 . Now we know Bob has hit Seiji we need to see what damage he causes, rolling 2d6 for damage 4+6=10, but the arquebus is a powerful firearm capable of smashing armour and pummeling flesh and has a ranged damage bonus of +4 added to the 10 we get 14! However 12 is the max you can have. Comparing success level 0 with damage 12 and you have a wound total of 3 caused, Seiji takes 3 wounds! This leaves Seiji with 3 wounds remaining and a glint in his eye when contemplating most un-monk like thoughts toward Bob.  This seems quite complicated but it's not really that bad, if you look at the pics below it kinda makes some sense.  Bob is now (T)
Then i shall call you "Bob"

Bob's shot

the token's indicate condition, my homemade tokens have yellow kanji for tired and red kanji for exhausted
  • Seiji needs to heal the bullet wound in his shoulder, luckily his Ki feat of regrowth allows him to gain the trait regeneration(2) till the end of the phase meaning he gains 2 wounds back in the end phase if he makes it that far. He expends 1 Ki and is now "exhausted" (E). (of course what I should have done here was move him closer to a fellow monk for protection as well....oh well)

  • Eiji spies the now exhausted Seiji and walks over to engage him in combat. Although this seems kind of nonchalent, just strolling into melee, but a charge action is a complex action and Eiji who is already "tired" cannot execute a complex action.
  • This is dangerous for Seiji as he’s "exhausted" so suffers in melee as a consequence losing a dice from his melee pool, as he starts with 3 this drops him down to 2. 
  • As the defender Seiji has to declare any Ki feats or special attacks or defences he is going to use in the combat first – he declares he will use sidestep defence (0) which means if he successfully defends and takes no damage he will move away from Eiji by 1" the (0) after the trait means he does not need to expend a dice to perform it, if it was side step defence (1) for example he would have to sacrifice another melee dice to perform it. Eiji will not declare a Ki feat or special attack/defence. 
  • Eiji rolls 4 dice in melee compared to Seiji’s 2, normally Seiji would roll 3 dice in melee but he is exhausted which removes a dice. 
  • Both players decide in secret how many of their dice they will dedicate to attack and how many to defence and roll simultaneously. (this is where solo play flies against the combat system as there is no secret decisions)
  • Eiji as the attacker is confident of beating the exhausted young monk and rolls 3 attack dice and a single defence dice. Seiji, wounded and exhausted decides to roll exclusively defence dice (Eiji’s defence dice is irrelevant!)  
  • Eiji rolls 6,5,4 for a total of 8 (6 for the highest roll and +1 for each roll that wasn’t a 1) 
  • Seiji rolls 5,4 for a total of 6. 
the roll off!
  • Eiji has beaten Seiji’s roll by 2, as it was a successful attack that caused damage, Seiji cannot use side step defence and remains in combat, this could prove pivotal 
  • Eiji rolls 7 on the damage comparing that with the success level 2 causes another 2 wounds, Seiji has only 1 wound left… 
  • Hotaru spots Genji on his own and intercepts him before he can join the combat and finish Seiji off! 
  • Before she gets in to melee she uses her Ki feat “Flame on!” And will now cause fire (1) in melee if she gets wounded. 
  • She has 3 dice and Genji has 4no one declares special attacks/defences or further Ki feats. 
  • Hotaru rolls 2 attack dice and gets a 6,3 for a total of 7  
  • Genji rolls 2 defence dice and gets 6,2 for a total of 7 
  • Hotaru gets a success level of 0 rolling damage dice she gets a 10. Genji has armour (3) which reduces the damage roll by 3 ie the number in the brackets down to 7, comparing the two columns Hotaru inflicts 0 wounds on Genji. (boo-hiss)
  • Genji rolls 5,4 for attack for a total of 6 and Hotaru rolls a 2, meaning Genji gets a success level of 4 rolling for damage he gets an 8 and causes 3 wounds on Hotaru. 
  • Not a good round for Hotaru, however she has got her “Flame On!” Ki feat engaged and because Genji wounded her he catches fire! He gains a fire (1) marker. Both models are now exhausted. 
  • The guard reloads and becomes exhausted.  (Looking back here, I read the rules a little wrong and as Bob has reload (3) it should have taken him 3 actions to reload....)
  • Riku drops the wall of water and walks into melee with Eiji, who is "exhausted" and now outnumbered! Usually Eiji would be the defender but he has “First Strike” trait due to his Yari so he attacks first and Riku has to defend. As defender he has to declare any special defences/Ki feats first – he declares that he will boost his melee dice by 1 using his remaining Ki (2) so he will roll 5 dice in total. Eiji has 2 dice total (4 (his base) 1 (exhausted) -1 (outnumbered) 4-1-1=2) 
  • Riku figuring the worst rolls 3 attack and 2 defence, anticipating Eiji using both dice for attack, which he does, banking on his armour to protect him from the worst of it! 
  • Eiji rolls 5,5 for a total attack of 6 (5 highest dice roll +1 for each dice that's not a 1) Riku  rolls 6,5 for a total defence of 7 (6+1) so no damage is taken.
  • Rkiu rolls 6,5,2 for a total attack of 7 (6+1+1) and Eiji rolls nothing in defence for a success level of 7. Rolling for 2d6 for damage Riku rolls a rather rubbish 4 and has to deduct 3 for  Eiji’s   armour for a damage roll of 1. On the wounds table this equates to 1 wound! Leaving Eiji with 5 remaining. Riku now becomes "exhausted". 
  • All of the fighters are now exhausted meaning that it is the end of the turn.
  • End of turn phase and all models become rested. 
  • Seiji heals 2 wounds due to his regeneration Ki feat.
  • Genji takes a wound from the fire and loses his 1 fire marker 
  • Neither side win the VPs as although Ryu has more rice cost models in the control zone they do not outnumber the opponent, Riku does not score as he is just out of the CZ. 
Riku's sudden attack had drawn the attention of the graceful Samurai that had pierced through Seiji's defences and sliced his stomach. Seiji gripped his shoulder where the Dragon soldier's bullet had passed through, the pain was intense but Seiji willed it into the background focussing on his Ki and reaching for his element - Earth.  Drawing strength from the solid rock beneath him and searching for the healing power of the root network that bound the world together, he slowly knit the wound closed easing some of the pain.  In front of him Riku and the Samurai whirled and span, a graceful ballet of controlled violence as monk and warrior deflected blows and counter blows.  The Samurai had so far failed to land a blow on the young monk but Riku's own attack had barely scratched at the tough plate that covered the Samurai's body. 

Across the way, Seiji could see Hotaru was in trouble, fiery tears were pouring down her cheeks and she was clearly favouring her right leg following a cut from the other Samurai's katana.  As fierce as she was Hotaru was still only a child and Seiji felt a flash of guilt seeing her wounded.  Still the swordsman wasn't having it his own way as he was desperately trying to dowse a small fire that was bubbling the enamel on his "Haidate".  Seiji hoped that she could hold out until he could come to her aid. 

Turn 2 Ro-Kan (2) Ryu (3) 

  • Ki generation all the monks regain any spent Ki and Seiji, who's stored a Ki point from turn 1 now has 3. All of the Ryu players have twice as much Ki as they didn't expend any at all in turn 1, this could be a tough round for the monks…. 

  • Genji decides to put Hotaru out of the fight if he can and launches an attack on her by boosting his melee to 5 dice with 3 Ki expended. Hotaru boosts her melee by a dice with 2 Ki expended (temple are able to boost cheaper than most factions..) she will now roll 4 dice. She is also going to use her side step defence (0) which she can do without sacrificing a dice.  
  • Genji chooses 3 attack and 2 defence and Hotaru goes for 2 and 2. (In hindsight I should have rolled all 4 dice as defence, so she could wait out the combat and get some back up)
  • Genji’s attack roll is 6,5,2 for a total attack of 8 
  • Hotaru’s defence is 4,2 for a defence of 5 this is an attack success of 3 for Genji. rolling 2d6 a 4 is rolled on for damagae and cross checked to cause 2 wounds. Hotaru only has 2 wounds left so she sinks to the floor…. having beaten up a young girl - Genji is now "tired"
flame off.....
  • Riku attacks Eiji with renewed vigour, boosting his melee by 1 dice. Eiji has first strike so chooses to boost his melee also by 1 dice (this costs him 3 Ki) both would now normally roll 5 dice with the boosts but Eiji is outnumbered so loses a dice back down to 4. 
  • Eiji chooses 2 and 2 dice rolls and gets 2,2 for his attack for a total of 3 and 2,1 (discards the 1 as a fail) for a total defence of 2. Riku chooses 3 attack and 2 defence and gets 5,3,1 for a total attack of 6 and 6,5 for a total defence of 7. Comparing rolls Eiji has 3 attack to Riku’s 7 defence meaning he (Eiji) does no damage. 
  • Riku has 6 attack to Eiji’s 2 defence for a success of 4. Rolling for damage Riku scores 5 +1  for his melee bonus -3 for Eiji’s armour = 3, compare the totals on the wounds chart for 2 wounds and both combatants are "tired". (again in hindsight the tactical thing to do here would be to roll all defence for Eiji and wait for Genji to back him up!)
  • Genji walks toward the combat but misjudged the distance and runs out of range becoming "exhausted". 
  • Riku melees Eiji again, rolling 4 to his dice V's 3 for Eiji. 
  • Eiji goes first and goes all out attack with 3 dice in an effort to wound the monk and hoping his armour will save himRiku in an act of prescience uses 3 dice for defence and 1 for attack! The rolls are  
  • Eiji – 6,4,3 total attack 8 and 0 defence 
  • Riku – 6,4,3 total defence 8 and 3 attack 
  • Eiji scores no hits and Riku has success level 3, rolling 8 for damage – 3 for Eiji’s armour for 5 damage and scores 2 more wounds on Eiji who has a single wound left. both models are now "exhausted." 

  • Seiji activates and melees Eiji, he has 3 dice plus he increases this to 4 through Ki. Eiji on the other hand is exhausted and outnumbered and can only roll 2 dice. He needs to roll 2 for defence and hope his brother helps out next turn…. Seiji has gone hell for leather and will roll 4 attack! 
  • The roll ends up with Seiji rolling 6,4,2=8 vs 3,2 from Eiji for a total defence of 4.  This equates to a success level 4 and damage of 8-3 for Eiji’s armour, for damage total of  5.  Cross referencing this causes 3 wounds and Eiji sinks to the floor….. Seiji is "tired" 
  • The guardsman Bob has to move for a clear shot on Riku and is "tired". (at this point he should have still been loading, my bad should read the rules more carefully, hence the walkthrough I guess)
  • Seiji moves closer into the control zone and uses regrowth to heal 2 wounds in the end phase and is "exhausted" 
  • Bob  shoots at Riku, he is medium range away and needs a 5 on 2 dice, there are no modifiers so ….. He rolls a 2,1 and has to discard the 1 for a total of 2 , total miss and the turn ends. (thankfully my mis-read part of the rules did not affect the game)
Seiji heals himself whilst flanking Genji, Eiji lies on the floor knocked senseless.

  • in the End phase neither side scores a VP as Riku and Bob are not in the Control Zone and although Genji out rices Seiji he does not outnumber him…  
  • Seiji heals 2 wounds leaving him with 5. 

Genji, wiped the girl's blood off of his katana blade with a small scrap of her robe, he wasn't proud of putting her down but neither did it worry him, she was just an obstacle to securing the Takashi influence in this sector. Her fire magic had worried him and he looked mournfully at the sooted stain on his thigh plate.  the cries of his brother brought him back to his senses and he glanced over to see Eiji thrust and parry with great swoops of his Yari against the the male monks. Frowning he saw part of his brother's armour hanging loose where it had been dislodge by the monk's kicks and strikes and the wince as his twin took another blow to the chest.

Genji, dropped the rag and hurried over the hotly contested courtyard, seeking to come to Eiji's aid when a particularly solid roundhouse from one of the monks connected with his neck and he dropped to the ground with a clatter of metal armour striking the tiled floor.  The monk stalked around the stunned Samurai, as Genji stood over his brother's body tears rolling down his face, when he saw a slight movement of Eiji's chest indicating that his twin yet lived! More calmly he drew his wazaki and hefted his katana and prepared to defend his family's honour.

Turn 3 Ro-Kan (3) Ryu (4) 

  • Ki generation – Riku has 4, Seiji 2, Genji 3 and Bob the Guardsman 3 

  • Genji walks into combat with Seiji, Seiji as defender must declare first and he decides he will use side step defence (0) again with no Ki boost to his melee dice. Genji declares he will use critical strike attack (0) which means if his attack is successful and he rolls the same damage score as his attack roll the defender is removed from play. 
  • Genji will roll 3 attack and 1 defence, Seiji will roll all 3 in defence. 
  • Genji rolls total attack 6 and Seiji rolls total defence 6. This is a draw and therefore has a  success rating of 0, rolling high ie 10 he scores 2 wounds on Seiji. (no critical strike) both are now "tired".
  • Riku, who is now out Genji's Line of Sight (LoS) walks into melee causing a surprise attack on Genji  
  • Riku boosts his melee for 5 dice, Genji is surprised and outnumbered and rolls just 2 dice. Riku goes 4 attack 1 defence and Genji goes 2 defence. 
  • Riku rolls 6,4,2,1 ignoring the 1 for an attack total of 8.
  • Genji rolls 2,1 for a total of 2. Riku’s success level being 6, rolling 2d6 for damage and taking off 3 for Genji’s armour he scores a total of 6
  • When cross referenced we have total wounds 6! And Genji drops to the floor  Riku is now "tired"

  • Bob frantically tries to reload his arquebus but he sees the writing on the wall…..(t) 

  • Seiji walks toward the guard and uses his Ki feat binding roots to hold the guard in place mid load. (E)
uh oh!

  • Effectively the game is over. Both monks are in the control zone and no Ryu model is or will be able to so Ro-Kan gain 2 VP  winning the game!

Hin desperately rammed the lead ball down the barrel of his firearm, his powerful lords were lying on the tiled floor and the Ro-Kan monks were stalking toward him with stern looks on their young faces. Behind them the fire surrounding the girl flickered and extinguished increasing the gloom in the cavernous courtyard. Hin was in big trouble, there was no way the cumbersome arquebus would be loaded in time, dropping the weapon he turned to flee.  Instantly roots and creeper vines burst out from between the tiles and twined around his legs and torso, binding him to the spot and tightening to restrict his breathing.

"Dragon man,  you live this day and will continue to do so.....if you deliver a message to your lords." the voice of the 'water' monk reverberated through the fear fog in Hin's mind.  "You may take these pups back to their family and tell the Takashi's that the balance will be maintained, with or without their help"

The vines held Hin tight as he watched the two monks stoop over the fallen girl and lift her without visible effort, heading back down the corridor and into the darkness beyond. 

I hope you enjoyed my first AAR for Bushido, it was a little hard going at times as i tried to explain various rules, I completely forgot to use certain traits such as "martial prowess" for the twins which would have re-rolled certain combat dice rolls but it gave me a flavour (and hopefully you guys too) of the game and just how good it can be when played with two players.  I really can't wait to start playing it for real.

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
Sun Tze

"But when you think you're safe, is when you are most vulnerable"
Seven Samurai

hope you enjoy


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your first Bushido batrep, Andy. I thought you did a great job in explaining the rules. This version of Bushido is very different to the old Bushido that I used to play in the 1980's. You're still tempting me and I'm still resisting, but damn, it does look like a lot of fun.

    1. Yes Bryan I think it's changed considerably, for the better I hope. Like yourself with 7TV and 7TV2e, you can't compare the two and sometimes that makes it easier to accept the changes. Although the game might seem complicated at first - as young Jez from Carrion Crow has said in a previous comment and my rules heavy AAR might support that but in actual fact it flows really well and once you have your head around the basics it is a fairly simple system with very few charts and rules, in fact the whole ruleset is about 28 pages (I think?)

  2. Many thanks for posting this Andy, as it clearly took a lot of time and effort to put together. I admit it hasn't sold me on the rules. But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy your write-up and explanation as to what was taking place. Certainly if I do pick them up then you can expect plenty of hits on this posting as I'll doubtless be revisiting it a few times to get the flow in my head. Great looking write-up, tabletop and painted minis - you can't ask for more than that :-)

    1. no worries dude, the rules certainly look a little complicated at first and daunting, hence why I wanted a solo walk through first rather than a competitive all out game with big factions and all the bells and whistles. by doing that I was able to line the system up in my head and let it flow, which it eventually did. The combat system and the way it is designed is very tactical in the number of attack/defence dice you use and any special attacks/defences, making the game more interesting imho.

      There is very little bookkeeping and no need to write up army lists as the profile cards contain all the info you need and can record the wounds taken with a drymarker if you put the card in a protective sleeve - it's actually a fairly contained and neat game, I played it out in a relatively small space and even bigger games are generally on 2x2' with a little space around the edges for cards and tokens.

      Still as I've said on Bryan's posting today "horses for courses" some will love the way it plays/looks and others won't, no offence taken and I guess these blogs are just our chance to waffle on about the games we like to see and play.... :-)

  3. Another very enjoyable read sir!

  4. Ooh, that was exciting! I truly thought the samurai had got in sewn up in Turn 2, but the monk's ability to regenerate probably tipped the balance in their favour. Well done, Andy. I can see that a lot of time and effort went into your AAR, and you explained the rules well. I can't quote get my head round the fact it was only three turns, as it felt longer.

    1. It was exciting, I really, I really enjoyed it! I thought the samurai had it won too, but I didn't use their Ki feats as well as the Temple monks, the game will be even better when played against a thinking opponent.

      I think as the AAR was v rules heavy it slowed it down but with more games under my belt the AARs will become more narrative and less clunky/rulesy...

      I've got a feeling this is going to be my go-to game! :-)

  5. Thank you for an excellent post and batrep. I love everything about this live action report, most of all the clear and concise way you explain how the rules work. I could actually understand what was going on, and it made me want to `have a go` for myself. Thoroughly enjoyable read as well, and had me gripped to the very end. I found myself really desperately rooting for Hin to get of that last all important shot off. Alas, wasn't to be :( Very well written and really made me feel like I was there, or reading a gripping, good book.

    Please, can we have more, and very soon. I cant wait to tell the guys about this so thy can come read it for themselves.


    1. Thank you Steve, I will hopefully be doing more soon, in 2 weeks I will be uni free for the summer so will get muchos gaming done :-)

      Hin didn't really stand a chance against the powerful monks, but he would have put a hole in one of them with his arquebus!

    2. Ha, yes that's what I was hoping to see. But wasn't to be. Poor fella. Mind you, he learned a few vital lessons about never under-estimating your opponent(s) on that unfortunate failed mission.

    3. Or trusting in the strength of his two powerful lords.... ;-)

  6. this was an exercise in `how to write a good in game report` I thoroughly enjoyed every last sentence, and especially appreciated your rules explanations, which helped me to understand and ultimately enjoy, that much more, what I was reading. Thank you for a wonderful read, which I savoured over my morning croissant and coffee.

    1. Thank you Hil, I enjoyed writing it so hopefully will be gaming some more soon. Jealous about the croissant as I'm making do with garage tea and bad junk food

    2. Owwww, *munch munch... cheeks full*

      I`m sorry to hear that

      *a few crumbs fly out*

      Good, yes please write more.

    3. The curse of long shifts in bumpy ambulances lol

  7. Those Monks are simply *lethal* aren't they. Love it.

    1. They certainly are highly trained in the deadly arts

  8. An exhuasting but rewarding read, with some great explanations for the various rules, feats etc. that came into play = it must have taken you an age to play as you made notes for this.

    1. It sure was exhausting to write up too buddy, it did take a long while to write up!

  9. more more more

  10. WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!