Minimoto: Design Journal Pt.4




Hauru is a Blacksmith. When the armies of Jyoto go to war, they bring their Blacksmiths with them.  The Minimoto clan revere this ancient and essential profession and the best Steelsmiths and Sword Smiths are treated almost like Priests.  Indeed the reliance on the Tetsubo is almost as much about the Samurai reverence for the swords made by the Clans Swordsmiths as it is preference for then due to their great strength.

Hauru himself is not a high ranking Blacksmith, he makes Tetsubo and can make special adjustments to his weapons based on the enemy he sees on the battlefield.



Obviously the first thing you notice is he grants an extra Enhancement card. This will be a feature of most Blacksmith models, the models come with an enhancement card and they have different ways of bringing them into play. For the starter box I went for a simple one, but as you can see very powerful. The ability to see where the enhancement is needed and then give it out is great as your opponent can’t simply send their armoured guys to where your Armour Piercing model is not!
Hauru is a metallurgist and he knows how to burn away impurities from his pure steel. In the same way he can burn away impurities from his soldiers, at the cost of burning them with his forge fire! A little pain never hurt a Minimoto though right? As the Blacksmiths make extensive contact with Fire and Metal Kami to aid in their forging, they often accompany the patrols when a Blacksmith is present. Beyond that, Hauru has the Leadership trait which is usually on big high Rice Cost models but in this case the reverence for the Blacksmiths is such that no Minimoto would want to be seen fleeing by a Blacksmith. This is an important part of the Minimoto as they are not as tightly controlled an army as The Prefecture of Ryu, instead relying on the strength of every individual to carry the day.

Blacksmiths are one of the parts of the new faction that makes them unique. Hauru is just the first but his Weighted Tetsubo and ability to recruit Fire and Metal Kami make him a great addition to any Minimoto list. The Kami open all kinds of avenues for new tactics from adding more damage and melee strength with the Fire Kami to the Metal Kami offering Brutal in melee and…  wait is that model out yet?



Raiko is one of the Unblessed, while technically an Ashigaru he has not yet earned the right to call himself a soldier of the Minimoto clan. When a soldier first joins the armies of Jyoto they are sent into the field without  armour. 



As you can see, Raiko will perform feats of near insane bravery if a Blacksmith is watching, as this can earn him his iron. He has already begun Ashigaru training too, learning to work with other Ashigaru and to knock a foe to the ground with the force of a blow. This is an interesting point with the design here. I wanted the Minimoto to be shown to be powerful in melee in ways other than just high Melee Strength or the Strong trait (Though they have these too!) and knocking opponents prone is one way to show how hard they hit. Though the Special Ability is called “Sweep Attack” which may conjure images of tripping an opponent or kicking their legs from under them, in this case the flavour is more smashed to the ground by brute force!

Taken together the unblessed alongside the Ashigaru make a great core to build a force upon. Most Minimoto models are high Rice Cost so the unblessed especially are a great boon, allowing a few decent models and still leaving room for the big Samurai.

These models round out the Minimoto Starter set, with just over three weeks until they are released we hope you are as excited as we are to welcome them to the fray. Pre-orders will be available soon.