New player looking for advice


A friend of mine recently introduced me to the game, so I figured now was a good time to pick up some models. I fell in love with the Wave instantly, and now I need some help picking up models.

I know the starter pack is the ideal place to start, but I need help beyond it. I want to start out small, but still have enough models to offer some variation to whatever lists I build. I love the onis (most of them at least, the guy in the starter box doesn't really excite me too much), so if anyone has a tip on one or two that are good on the board, that would be great. I know I'll probably need some of the little guys as well, so the same goes there I guess.

So yeah, if someone could provide me a list of some models that are good for a starting out Wave player, that'd be fantastic. Hope to hear from some of you soon.

Take care.

carados's picture

I've been lurking for a while now but I walk from the shadows to say...

Tra-Peng will be your next purchase.

By carados

I haven't actually bought anything yet, I'm on the lookout for things to buy along with the starter. Sorry for not mentioning it.

By Exelzior (not verified)
carados's picture

Oh right, get Tra-Peng as well then.  The guy is rock solid for just 5 rice and fits in practically every single list.  Even all-Oni lists can benefit from his inclusion.

The Onis are quite difficult to play with but they do tend to be the main draw for the Savage Wave.  I would recommend Bobata and one of the Onisho, Kano if you want to smash face with tetsubo or Boba if you want to smash face with iron balls.  Perhaps even both - it depends on what kind of budget you are working to.

I would also suggest picking up Jun and/or a slave or two.  These guys are good with the Oni and help with the outnumbering issue that tends to plague them.

A little explanation to help you try and understand the above.
The Oni are typically hard hitting and tough models that can take several weak hits before going down whilst still being able to smash people into oblivion.  The problem is that they are expensive models and yet they have depressingly average melee skill.  Opponents are likely to have more activations than Oni and can also benefit from outnumbering more easily.  An exhasuted Oni who is outnumbered 2:1 in combat has a -2 melee skill penalty, which typically means that they can only roll one die in melee.  Compare to samurai, who in the same situation would still have two dice to play with and still benefit from a re-roll to one of them.  This means that an Oni can be very quickly overwhelmed if they cannot kill models in a single hit.  

Slaves help in this regard by being cheap models and so help even the odds preventing the Oni from being so easily outnumbered.  They also provide a benefit to Oni in reducing enemy melee dice if they happen to outnumber instead.  An Oni hits with such awesome power that most models will opt to go all-defence in a melee exchange with an Oni even if they have two or even three dice to play with.

The Onisho are baby Onis and so they, predictably, play as cheaper but weaker Onis.  This makes it less likely for you to be outnumbered but you still benefit from powerful attacks.  They also have the added benefit of bringing either stun markers or ranged armour piercing attacks to your list.  Both of which are extremely helpful.  Stun markers, from Kano, reduce the melee skill of your opponent by one.  Armour piercing ignores the armour benefit that the two samurai factions (Ryu and Ito) have.

Bobata is a nice alternative to Zuba.  He doesn't hit quite so hard, but he applies stun markers to models similar to Kano (Tra-Peng also spreads around stun markers!). 

By carados

Question: Can the bakemono fill the same kind of role as those slaves would, or is it too much of a risk/investment to put the little gremlin guys to work in that role?

Also, thank you very much for the tips. I'm loving both Kano and Boba in terms of models, so I might end up picking them both up. On that note, are there any models in the wave that one should NOT buy under any circumstance? I know every model probably has its place, but still, games tend to have certain guys that people simply find to be bad.

By Exelzior (not verified)
carados's picture

Avoid Waka like the plague.  All the others are reasonable to some extent - it largely depends on how you want to build your collection in the early stages.

As for the Bakemono question, you are absolutely correct that they can fill the same roles as the slaves would.  The difference between the Bakemono and everyone else in the game is that the Bakemono have the Horde card.  This means that all of the ki the Bakemonos generate is stored on the one card and they can all spend from that pool of ki, as well as use the ki feats from the Horde card.  The situation is more complex than it first appears.

If you compare a Bakemono to a Slave, you will notice that the Bakemono is worse than the Slave, and yet costs more rice.  The reason for this is the Horde card and the ki mechanic they use.  In short, the more Bakemono you take, the stronger they become in terms of speed, manovourability, board control and denial.  The caveat here is that a Bakemono is still a Bakemono, and will struggle to take down competent fighters.  They need heavy hitters to smash face, but currently all of the Wave beatsticks are non-Bakemonos and so do not contribute to their horde card.

The list building situation is thus:
The more beatsticks you take, the less points you can spend on Bakemono.
The less you spend on Bakemono, the less impressive they get.
The more Bakemonos you take, the less you can spend on beatsticks.
The less you spend on beatsticks, the more the Bakemono struggle to kill their enemies.

Since you said you liked the Oni, if you want to take three or four of them then it becomes better for you to recruit slaves into your list rather than Bakemono for the dual reason of: 1) better and cheaper models and 2) synergy between slaves and Oni.  Tra-Peng is the only exception.

A question I have for you.  I assumed that you would prefer to play with Oni compared to Bakemono.  Does this mean you would prefer to avoid Bakemono or you flat out don't want to get them?   

I worry that with the way I've worded my responses here, it sounds like I dismiss Bakemono.  This is not the case.  Bakemono are strong choices, they just have a completely different playstyle to Oni heavy lists.

By carados

Thanks again for the fast answer.

And to answer your question, no, I don't want to leave out the bakemono completely, I just want to be able to play around with one or two onis as well. It's not that I have a problem with the bakemono, it's just that I tend to dislike horde armies that make everything work with the smallest of guys, leaving the bigger, more interesting models on the bench. What I want most of all is balance between them all; a little bit of gremlins, a bit of slaves, and then of course some onis.

Also, I need to ask, is it a good choise to pick up an extra bakemono blister? Or should they be summoned once they start dying, so that they keep refilling the ranks?

I think my main reason so far in regards to being hesitant about slaves, has more to do with the models rather than any rules they have. The weapons look very thin, and I really don't want to break something. A silly reason maybe, but still, I'd hate to spend the money and end up breaking them.

And one last thing, how do the Wave fair against the Ito Clan? Cause as of now, they'll probably end up being my go-to opponents until more people around here start picking up the game.

By Exelzior (not verified)
carados's picture

Ah, well that makes things interesting then :)
If you have enough Bakemonos, then you don't really need slaves.  You should be aiming to generate at least 5-6 ki per turn at the minimum.  This allows you to use the most powerful of their horde ki feats, Darkness and Summon from the Shadows, early on.  You can do this with rice investments of around 17-25, leaving you with enough leftover rice for an Oni and something else - assuming a 50 rice game.

You don't need the extra Bakemono blister as such.  With clever conversion work, you can get 8 Bakemono out of the original 6 by chopping two of them in half and then doing funny things with them.  Along with 4 standard builds, I have one two of my guys drowing (one head first, one legs first), one of them is wading through water (no legs) and a fourth one is being eaten by a swamp monster (legs dangling out of the mouth).  

You never want all 8 available Bakemono on the board at once, but sometimes you do want two of one type.  If you are stuck with the 6 original models, then you will be short of one or two types.  Even so, you can probably get away with modelling them as: two archers, two spears and any combination of bushi and beater for the remaining two.  Remember, the Bakemonos aren't the ones who do the damage (the archers can be deceptively dangerous though).

My main opponent plays Ito and I can definitely say we have game against them.  You have to play with the scenario in mind though, because the Ito can very quickly decimate your Bakemono horde leaving your Onis stranded.  Some of the Ito models will appear completely overpowered (e.g. Kenzo Ito) but they can be taken down with clever play.  No matter how good Kenzo is, he will get flattened if he is outnumbered three or four to one and Zuba charges him in the back,

By carados
Ret-Ruro's picture

As an Ito player I can say that you do have a pretty good chance. Perma Darkness can be a real pain because without the new Mizuki Ito (who is really heavy in Rice) nobody can see through the darkness effectively making them move 4". And the Ito really rely on mobility.

Also most caster type models will become Ki batteries instead of actual casters as they can't do a thing in the Darkness. But you still have to pay attention to the heavy hitters as models sutch as Kenzo, Itsunagi, Kaihime, Matsunagi, can hit you VERY hard and most of them have either some options to get out of combat if they are getting outnumbered(Side Step Defense mostly) or outright hit you hard for the first time when you just want to make them Tired (They buy some dice, maybe even a Feint and then proceed to roll, they use up their Martial Prowless reroll and then hit with BoO Poison on top of all this ouch.)

So make them crawl in Darkness and choose your fights well is all I can say about this matchup. (Also be wary of suicidal Ito footsoldiers who just buy lightning reflex and throw everything in attack hoping for the best. Also Oni's really hate Hitoshi because of the Immobilise steer clear of any fight that will get you outnumbered because Hitoshi will just run in and try Immo. or Sweep to make your situation worse.)

By Ret-Ruro

What's this 'Darkness' you're talking about? I haven't read all the cards and such yet, so I'm quite a bit behind.

By Exelzior (not verified)
Ret-A_Palmer's picture

It's one of the Ki feats you can use on the Bakemono Horde card.  It reduces all line of sight to 4" unless you're souless/have sixth sense/bakemono.

By Ret-A_Palmer --

The Jumo Ring - a Bushido Blog

Having read the card now, I have a question: Does the darkness affect my onis as well as my enemies? Cause if it does, is it worth getting someone like Boba, or any non-bakemono with ranged attacks?

By Exelzior (not verified)
Ret-A_Palmer's picture

Yes, it effects your own models.

By Ret-A_Palmer --

The Jumo Ring - a Bushido Blog