FAO GCT - starting up and lack of direction

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 20/04/2014
FAO GCT - starting up and lack of direction

i mentioned this a while ago and thought i'd discuss it further. a few months ago i decided to take the plunge with Bushido after assembling my minis i had since the ito kickstarter and when i came to research the game i was disappointed to find little to no information. the game LOOKS amazing but has next to nothing in place to help new players or potential new players see how it actually plays. 

without actually investing in learning the rules and buying miniatures theres no way for players to see if this a game for them. im unfortunate in that i live far away from anywhere that plays bushido so i can't get in an intro game with anyone and despite reading the rulebook 3 times i feel i have no real clue what im doing and every time i read it through i realise i've been playing things wrong. scrolling through endless forum posts for answers is offputting and time consuming.


i don't know what your plans are but i think it would be a really good idea to post up some videos on youtube teaching the basics of the game and a couple of in depth battle reports. not only would this show off the visual aspect of the game with awesome studio paintjobs and terrain but really help with rules queries and the learning aspect of the game for existing players and newbies alike. i realise your only a small team and very busy but i think this would help tremendously. i know 4 of my group want to play but im in no position to teach them and without further guidence they aren't willing to commit financially. i'm sure they aren't alone either. 

at the moment im just painting and collecting but i'd really like to be able to play and teach others to play with confidence. :)

Joined: 11/12/2012

Best advice is to get playing and dive in, try using a model or two against each other as it clicks far better playing it than just reading.

Gett a 2nd starter set and download the demo scenario for some quick 3v3 games


Hobby Blog and Painting Service

Ret-CrazyFish's picture
Joined: 29/07/2012

Well, I'm not sure how you can really learn the game without learning the rules, at least to some extent.  However, what you can do to help simplify things is to pick a few essential parts of the rules and, as Ret-Ridmasta suggested, play with just a couple of models.  Start off by playing a game with no scenario or terrain, just a couple of models (make sure rice costs are equal on both sides), and only focus on melee combat.  Don't use any ranged attacks, and if you want to keep things super simple you can remove Ki feats and boosts and special attacks/defenses.  After that, slowly add in more parts until you've got everything.  I think the rules are pretty intuitive so it shouldn't take you too many games to get everything in the fold.

Anyway, as for things online, Through the Breach has been doing some Bushido podcasts over the last year.  I'm including a link to the first one that was published as it is appropriate to this topic (Ret-Markdieter and I discuss the Bushido demos I ran at Gen Con last year): http://throughthebreach.com/blog/?p=257

Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study hard, be evil!

Joined: 07/02/2013

Like Crazyfish and Ridmaster suggestesd you could play with smaller Warbands and limit the abilities for the first couple of games.

When i demo the game to newcomers I would usually go for the Idols scenario, with Itsunagi, 2 Templebushi vs Hiro, 2 Ashigaru.

That way both players have somewhat similar setups, at first glance, with me explaining the diffenrences more indepth through the game. Both setups have multiple direct counters the the other which pays of in the progressing game.

I give a general overview of the warbands:

Samurai = big fighters, Ashi/Bushi = Supportfighters + Objetivegrabbers

Then I explain the general melee-mechanic with the inclusion of potential rerolls (I do mention "Do Kote", "Umbrella Block" and "Martial prowess" but remind them that i will explain them later again) since the melee is one of the selling point of bushido and a major difference to other Tabletops.   

After the Roll for Deployment and first activation i might mention how tactitian would be a advantage of the Prefecturestarter and how the Itostarter could make up for inferior placement through their boostable movement. 

3 miniatures per side in the idols scenario makes it quite obvious how good the deployment and movement-advantages might be.

Then i would explain move and run (with their up and downsides compared). Within this turn i explain how exhaustment is bad for your melee skill.

At the beginning of turn 2 I would usually explain spears(firststrike) and how the Ito can simply counter them with lightning reflexes. Contrary to that i explain passtokens through military training, which are used quite a lot in my demogames by newcomers because they are unsure what the best action might be for them, so they like to see what their op does first.  

The first melees commence... I usually don't interfere here (I might explain Boosts and remind them of Parry and Feint) but won't explain special attacks without beeing exsplicitly asked for them. The advantages of Armor become obvious and i mention Itsunagis "swordstyles" and say that we would assume that he is always using "armor piercing" in this particular game  and how that counters Hiros armor. 

I explain how melees are not static in bushido and how they can move around the whole board while both players circle the other ones base and how that can be used for surprise attacks or be a counter to it (this often creates even more interest in the game) 

In turn 3 I explain Secial Attacks/defenses while direcly comparing Hiro and Itsunagi. I mention how Comboattack can wreck practicly any model in the game giving the right Successlevel and how Critical Strike and Powerful Attack can make Hiro benefit from even the slightes advantage (low SL) so that he can be played more defensivly (more Def-dice) but how Itsunagi can potentially make him pay dearly for that through counter attack defense.  

This often creates a somewhat of a paper, sissior, rock-discussion between my 2 "trainees"

As a sidenote i explain how Sidestep defense and Push defense are essentionally 2 sides of the same coin.

I will let them finish their game.

After the game I explain the Starters and point out the general advantages of the 2 factions. How the Ito can support their models with ease through Blood of Orochi and Channel and how the prefecture can uses their tactical advantages through tactician, "move it", command and passtokens.

I introduce the other factions (and show some key models I have with me). I usually invite them to a bigger Demo(full starters/maybe even different or their own ones) later that day or another day at a local Store. 


PS: This is just from the top of my head, so i might have missed something important. A demo is in flow... no 2 demos are the same...

PPS: While this may not solve your problem, it may give you some pointers on what you could concentrate on and maybe even reread on a given turn of the game, while playing with "Mini"-starters.

carados's picture
Joined: 14/05/2013

I think what borkdabasher is trying to say is that he is the only Bushido player in the area and that because of this, he does not know how to play and, perhaps more importantly, develop his game.  Nor how to teach these skills to other players (because there is no one to show him the ropes, hence the video request).  Knowing the rules and playing the rules are different things.  

For example, quoting Mr.Randis

"I give a general overview of the warbands:

Samurai = big fighters, Ashi/Bushi = Supportfighters + Objetivegrabbers"

Saying that Samurai are big fighters and Ashigaru/Bushi are support fighters and objective grabbers is all well and good, but you also need to understand the why behind that as well.  The other problem is that you only read the reasoning behind it, but don't necessarily see the reason.  Are the Samurai the big fighters because of the 4 melee dice compared to 3?  Is that really such a big difference?  Well actually, it is also because of Martial Prowess giving a re-roll to a poor attack or defence roll.  This contributes to them being good fighters because it increases the chance of a good success level which means more (or less if defending) damage.  On top of that, for Hiro, you can use ki to get Feint and/or Parry which gives further re-rolls on your opponents defence and attack dice which further increases the chances of a good success level.  Poorer fighters won't usually have all of these re-rolls that stack the odds in their favour, so they are more at risk of poor rolls that a better fighter would be able to capitalise on and cause big damage.

Another point to raise is that although the Ashigaru/Bushi are well suited for taking objectives, that does not mean the Samurai can't.  In some situations, it may be better to take the objective with the Samurai and use the cheaper models to get in the way, rolling all defence to try and waste activations.  Waste activations - this is a key idea for playing the game but it is something that isn't always immediately obvious.  Reducing the number of activations your opponent has means he has less chances of scoring objective points or trying to hurt your models or in the number of models that he can try and waste your activations with.

Some of the above is completely irrelevant in the first couple of games that a new player has - they are more about learning what the rules are and how it all works.  In terms of developing their game though, so that they can actually play agaisnt a veteran and make a game out of it, this is when further explantions becomes relevant.  So some videos showing the game being played, with brief explanations as to why they are doing the actions they are doing, would be a huge service to the community I think.  Especially for the Cult and Wave, they aren't so intuitive to use. Having my Bakemonos being one shotted in the first few games was... distressing, but they aren't there to fight Monks in 1v1 fights.

Joined: 07/02/2013

I do understand his request for videos but that can`t be helped at the moment.

The best way to learn the game is to play it with another person, even while learning it together. Concentrating on doing it part by part. 

Sit down and read the melee section together. roll some dice and see what it does, understand how the rerolls will effect the outcome (useing Itsunagi and Hiro profiles/both having all 3 kinds of rerolls mentioned). If you like that part of the game dive deeper into the rules and play a game, concentrating on the movement rules in the first turn(reread them), with small warbands like suggested.

I don't see any other way, and gave the best advice i could...

Rixus Mar's picture
Rixus Mar
Joined: 04/12/2013

Maybe some of the community players could be persuaded to do Bushido demos on youtube? I'm on youtube the whole time looking for battle reports as i'm much in the same boat as borkdabasher - i was looking into starter sets a long time ago when i first joined this site and it was the lack of stuff on youtube that disuaded me. So i've spent my time on these forums instead.


I have the same trouble getting people in my club to invest in the game and if there were a video or two i could point them towards i feel it could convince them better than i ever could.


It would also help with popularity and publicity - a lot of people don't even know this game exists. The ones who have rated it have rated it high but its a small drop in the ocean compared to the other games out there. If you make videos one will feed the other and, hopefully, will creat an upward spiral.

[i]Saru mo ki kara ochiru[/i]
dmeep's picture
Joined: 13/06/2013

Ive tried to do demos for different systems at my local club and for people that never played a TTG before and something that I found helped is actually sitting down and play out a combat with two models on my own beforehand.

Trying to give myself a basic grip on the mechanics before I try to teach them to someone else and also seeing if any questions arise right then and there. Researching them and not get caught of guard in the demo. Theese are all cold start demos ofc where I pick up a system and try to teach myself how to play it from the rulebook alone.


currently there is only one, in my mind, good video of bushido out there and thats the crit of gamers battle report



The problem with making videos is that you need two fully painted warbands and some good looking terrain in addition to the technical knowhow and equipment to record edit and post something thats actually usefull.

A good speaking voice also helps, Ive tried to get friends that I am trying to lure into table top games to listen to podcasts. Some of them dont get through a single episode because they cant stand the voice of the person doing the podcast :(


If someone has all of this a series of short videos with movement, melee and ranged combat explained might not be a bad idea.

Joined: 20/04/2014

I've tried the small game approach and im still not really any better off everytime I go over something it seems ive been doing it wrong previously. Its not entirely helpful or encouraging to learn that way hence the call for some sort of learning aid or video or something. It has as much to do with my learning the rules as it does with other potential players who are just as lost getting some encouragement to take the leap n buy into the game.
I'll have to keep trying unless I get my wish granted but it would be a great tool for GCT as they double as a marketing ad not just a how to if they use nice terrain studio models. Thanks for the imput guys interesting reading.

Joined: 03/06/2014

Can you get to Fanboy3 at the end of Aug for Jason's tourney?

Joined: 20/04/2014

im away in cornwall until september 2nd mate im afraid :(

Ret-A_Palmer's picture
Joined: 15/05/2013

And Teri from Geek & Sundry made a quick playthrough video.  There's a couple of rules errors in it, but it's pretty good for learning the game:


Joined: 27/08/2012

I've watched both videos and from a noob perspective I learned WAY more from the Geek and Sundry one because it was envisioned as a demo. They explained each thing step by step. The Crit video is good but it's just a record of a game and seems to focus too much on what dice were rolled. 

I'd second the motion for a series of short instructional vids like the ones that Infinity had out a few years back and Beasts of War did for Carnevale recently. 

Ret-MattT's picture
Joined: 26/04/2013

Thinking about doing a Bushido for Beginners thing in short episodes explaining the mechanics. Unfortunately am I a total n00b in recording vidoes.

[i]The Eagle shares the nest. The Dragon burns it. Join the Black Eagle and crush the usurpers![/i]
Joined: 20/04/2014

doesn't have to be flashy as long as it's clear what it is you're getting accross. :)

Ret-MattT's picture
Joined: 26/04/2013

I´ve watched some BeastOfWar videos and think they are way to long. If I´m interested in a new game I first want an elevator pitch of what it is about and then 5 minutes of basic action. Like FFGs intro to X-wing.

[i]The Eagle shares the nest. The Dragon burns it. Join the Black Eagle and crush the usurpers![/i]
Joined: 21/09/2014

I concur with the original post. There are not many videos and there are hardly any battle reports being posted on this forum despite some of the stunning painting and boards that are posted on the forum. Perhaps something like a battle report competition to win some silvermoon credits would benefit the whole community and get a lot of new battle reports out there. At the end of the day reading battle reports and watching them is a big gate way to get a lot of people into the game. The lack of them made me think there was not a very big following and discouraged me a bit when deciding if i should get into it or not.