Big Kuma

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Big Kuma

What are everyone's thoughts on Kuma? I have found that he is really effective particularly against melee skill 3 models that have low ki stats. In turn two I move him into combat, burn two ki to give him fear 5 and pop a stunned marker on the enemy to boot. With a bit of luck they will be only throwing one dice most likely in defence. Using all three dice in attack plus brutal and popping another two ki to gain a combo attack mean that the opponent will likely be quite dead.
Giving out that stunned marker can really put the hurt on more powerful melee 4 opponents. With an abundance of temple models having access to side step and push defence it should be a simple matter to put multiple opponents onto a stunned model, bringing it down to one defence dice and letting Kuma deliver the coup de grace
Add to this the other great bonuses he can gain from his animal tokens, 10 wounds, first strike, armour, indominatible and the handy binding roots ability. I think that he's a solid addition to our faction and a lot more than just a simple tank.

Axiam
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I'd say he was more a 'finisher' archetype than 'tank' although his hp, indomitable 1, push defence and stun capability mean he can hold his own fairly well. He is sort of a cheaper Master Po 'finisher-tank' so having both is very hard to play against especially as there are some fantastic cheap options to keep the activation count high on the temple side.

I'm a temple player and to be honest I think him having powerful attack and brutal 1 is on the over powered side. With two fire Kami and Aiko he can get his melee str up to a ridiculous +7 or have +4 with combo attack.

I'd suggest he needs nerfing as he is too reliably able to one shot multiple models in a turn within the temple list without his high rice cost having a negative effect on activations. In a different war band I'd have less issues with him but Temple were always strong!

Axiam

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I agree that he might be too strong for an 11 point model. He feels more like a 12 point model to me (although I am happy to take him at 11!). Whilst Kuma is a great finisher I like to activate him early just to put a stun marker on an enemy model. That way if I get the chance I can safely engage that model with something else to tire it out before Kuma can finish it off.

GCT Master Enos
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With two fire Kami and Aiko he can get his melee str up to a ridiculous +7 or have +4 with combo attack.

For 23 Rice that better be good!

Grand Master of Bushido (Smog Con '14)

Ret-dgraz
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Have to agree with Master Enos. That's stacking an awful lot of eggs in one basket. To earn his full potential he does need a little set-up. Without that support he can easily be outnumbered and taken down.

Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.

GCT Master Enos
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I used Kuma as a finisher.  He's very good once a model has been exhausted and already engaged at coming in and adding more penalties and hitting hard.

This is something new for Temple but he's not close to other factions models doing the same (Rashka and Masunagi come to mind) and also doesn't have their (Any?) Defences.

With the errata to the Alphas theme, he will see more play for me as he can use war cry to engage the Oni.
No bravery was the dealbreaker previously.

I did try him as a front line engage model who can tank a hit but TBH he didn't suit that role.  He needs a lot of help from Earth Kami and the like to make that work.  But if it works for you then great!

Grand Master of Bushido (Smog Con '14)

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So that's the real reason for the errata to the Alpha theme ! I have been wondering ;)

Axiam
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Well I gave Kuma a go while play testing the monks with Ben, as I don't actually have Kuma myself, and with alt Kenko and all the kids was able to control a lot of the field against a fairly brutal Ito list Ben was trialling. Kuma basically carried the whole list, tanked and murdered Itsunagi in a turn (thanks to stun, brutal and powerful attack) and was the only model to get kills over the three turns we played so despite the investment of points the amount of activations those extra models add in, it just makes using Kuma more effective.

Axiam

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I did play like a moron, though! :P

Axiam
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You play a bit aggressively at times when you should be tanking but it is easy to under estimate how powerful even one dice in attack can be when getting a guaranteed +1 (assuming greater than a 1 is rolled) and the damage roll is at +4. Plus it is very difficult to get 10 dmg through in a single hit for most characters, so Kuma doesn't necessarily need to roll a lot of defence to survive if the opponent doesn't go down.

Axiam

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Kuma (or the dragon warrior for his friends, you know if you saw the movie) is my tank. He's the one that all the models go to attack... because he looks like a hammer just like master Po, but I see him more like an anvil... indomitable 1 and he stun make him extremely viable for holding models in place and 10 wounds is an excellent buffer for Aiko to heal especially if she has prayer beads 1... he's also an excellent finisher, but I don't find it quite efficient as any other model with 4 dice. I usually play him with Yuuki with a patient mantis stance... with good positioning and strategy you're attacking an exhausted, stunned and outnumbered model with 1-2 dice with unblockable strike, pop vitality and guess what... yep you guessed correctly - no amount or armor or toughness will save you from that ;)

yenohoney