Expanding the new Starter Set

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Mcgreag
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Joined: 07/08/2019
Expanding the new Starter Set

As it seems like all threads about list building are about the old version and how to expand the old starter I though it would be a good to have a thread about the new starter. Both for me personally but also other new players coming into Bushido with the new release.
First I have to say that for me personally "Rule of Cool" plays a big part in what models to get. The whole reason I choose to play Temple of Ro-Kan in the first place was Hotaru as the sculpt is just amazing and after having read Fire and Ice as well as Paradise Lost my first purchases after the starter set where Hotaru and Aiko. Now I have no idea if they are a good way to expand but there seems to be at least some synergy with Aiko feeding Ki to Hotaru.

Initiation
This seems to be potentially one of the most powerful themes in the game, you are looking at 6-8 extra Ki every turn. But also very limiting and very fragile as the loss of a single model can shut down the bonus. To me the most obvious way to expand would be one of the 2 element monks Kenko or Yumi as that would significantly increase the resilience. The largest detractor from expanding within this theme for me is how limiting it is from the Rule of Cool perspective. Sure I can put Aiko with her Guardian in it but It's not like I'm building to the strengths of the theme if I do that.

Righteous Warriors
This theme will give you many more options, so many that I find it difficult to know where to start. Based on the older threads Master Po seems to be the way to go unless you are building with some specific plan in mind. Is that still the case? And if it is are there any other good options for the same role he has? I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of the model for him. What about Kami, which once are best to get? From a Rule of Cool perspective I'm looking mostly at Oki Shisa and one of the Shohei, how reasonable are those to include?

Bastions of the Mountain
Considering you can't use a single model from the starter set in this theme it doesn't feel like the way to go :) Long term I will definitively look into it as both Kitsune rate highly on my Rule of Cool list.

No theme

How realistic is it to do this? Would it be reasonable to start getting some Yokai and include in your lists before getting enough for a Bastions list?

Anyway don't take anything I've said above as fact, I have only played a handful of games and can't really say what is good or bad yet. So how would you expand upon the new starter set? Both up to 100 rice lists but also sideways to make more varied 70 rice lists (as most of my opponents will likely play 70 rice for the time being).

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GCT Master Enos
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Rather than "No Theme" look at the two Ronin themes as they allow all models and give minor benefits.

Grand Master of Bushido (Smog Con '14)

Mcgreag
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For tournaments the ronin themes look fine but for causal games they might as well be no theme so I'll stick to that designation for now.

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Axiam
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Don't forget that for initiation theme you can double up on elements using temple enhancements. I think I ran: Aiko with the gorinto terrain for 4ki a turn, Riku, Hotaru, Yuuki, Suchiro and Kenko when I tried and took some enhancements to add extra water and air into the list. Hotaru is the weak point though (albeit survived the game) as it is tough getting fire into the list with the new fire character being such a high rice cost and the impetuous makes her difficult to keep alive.
Was a good and fun to play list though, if you can keep all the elements going you can hand out two virtues a turn, have a tireless character each turn, give Yuuki an extra action each turn and go a bit crazy with boosts (virtue tokens can be exchanged for 2 ki). All in all I missed having air kamis but didn't lose too much with the virtue tokens allowing movement boosts or extra damage etc. And Riku was able to create area denial in the same way for zones etc (he is really good now in Risen Sun, would highly recommend).

Axiam

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GCT Master Enos
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If only there was a "Student" card that gave Fire type...

Grand Master of Bushido (Smog Con '14)

asdepicas
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Joined: 06/08/2016

master enos now you´ve got me really intrigued, you know there are couple of us in the facebook group who really hope to see such a card some day...

 

@mcgreag i would expand with those models you like most. nearly every model in bushido is playable and worth its cost (i think im using every temple model except for yim and seiji, wich are overshadowed by other temple models and a litle bit boring). if you are going to play at 70 rice i would consider going the righteous warriors theme route. initiation can be very fragile, even more at 70 rice and righteous warriors allows you to use a wider range of models.

 

if you want a fun and strong initiation list here is the one i used to win a tournament some weeks ago. its not easy to master but can face nearly aanything (if you are going to face many ninja i highly recommend adding koji and some packs)

Aiko

Haru

Hotaru

Kira

Riku (student of master Po)

Saruka

Yuuki (wind kick)

Gorinto

mark.linnell
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Joined: 10/01/2020

It can be hard to try and cover all bases in an Initiation list. Even though Initiation is quite a restrictive theme (the bonus is admittedly very good) due to the breadth of abilities that the monks have available to them you have multiple different play styles available to you.

Metal - Suchiro & Kenko (also Earth) while relatively expensive can be real damage powerhouses and are pretty good on the defence as well. Student of Master Po is a cheap way of giving someone extra hitting power, especially on monks that have more circumstantial Ki feats. Yim unfortunately suffers from the "Jack of all trades, master of none" problem.  

Earth - Isn't too bad as Haru can be cheap mobile cover, Kenko is a great all rounder and Seiji only really suffers because Binding Roots can be hard to bring to bear.

Water - Riku has amazing battlefield control, good defense and isn't a pushover in terms of damage either. Yumi (also Air) has a whole host of CC positional tech and can be a massive ranged attack deterrent. Ume just doesn't seem to have a place really though.   

Air - Kira is decent but just seems to lack that special something. Yuuki can be surprisingly punchy and quick, and Koji can do some real shenanigans with his monkey squad. Both Student of Master Akari/Koju can give a nice Ki feat (Koju being my favourite).

Fire - Hotaru has a great host of abilities for her rice cost, but Impetuous really can put a spanner in the works. Saruka seems a bit lacklustre for the cost. Sure her ranged attack is quite nice but it's short range and she doesn't really bring anything else to the table. Combo attack + Student of Master Po has some legs, but that 3 combat dice is a killer.

No Element - Aiko is buffing machine, just have to make sure she never sees combat. Master Akari is a defensive monster but is quite pricey and goes down quickly if (big if) something gets through. Master Koju has some great abilities but really needs to be played right in order to get the most out of them.

Terrain - Gorinto is pretty much an auto-include as it's very cheap and helps skew your Ki generation that little bit more. 

Mcgreag
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Joined: 07/08/2019

Thanks for all the tips, I hadn't considered adding elements through the upgrade cards for Initiation.

Based on the suggestions here and things I like the look of my next set of additions (which are currently in the mail) ended up being Riku, Koji, Oki Shisa and the Air + Water kami set. Next addition is probably going to be one of the masters but I need to play a bit with what I already have first, should be enough for some fairly varied lists.

asdepicas
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@mark.linell i have to slightly disagree on some of the monks. Ume has her place, at only 10 rice she is the least expensive monk available, but can do some interesting things paired with another bigger monk as she can copy the maneuvers from a near non unsui monk (same as Haru) pair both of them with couple of throwing/slamming monks and you can have a fun (at least for you) list with many many slam/throw attacks available (my record is 16 slam/throw attacks in one turn)

Kira is one of our best objective runners, high mobility and a throw attack make her really interesting.

Saruka may rely totally on her ranged attack, but in an initiation warband where she generates 3 ki each turn she can use that ranged atack as soon as turn1, and belive me, that kamehame can be really devastating.

Beware of master akari, as the last australian national has shown, the litle master can be devastating due to his ability to act up to 6 times in a turn.

finally gorinto is a great asset but far from autoinclude, there are many temple monks that do not rely so much on their ki abilities (not to talk about non-monk temple models) and you can play many warbands that already generate the ki they need.

Mcgreag
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After a lot of 70 rice games I finally got to play my first 100 rice match. I played Initiation Ro-Kan vs Black Sails Jung.

We played Bokotu with 2-1 victory for me, while my opponent managed to snag the first VP with just a 1 scenario point advantage (10-11) the game was already more or less over by then and I only had to be careful so I wouldn't wipe him out. Killed all but one of his models losing only Hotaru, Koji and his pack and the Silverback.

The list felt really powerful with the addition of the two 4 dice monks, much more so than my earlier attempts at 70 rice. I was actually starting to question maining Temple as I felt that while I could push people around a bit it wasn't enough to gain an advantage on the objectives while having a difficult time killing anything. A part of that was bad damage rolls and another part was probably not pushing things correctly but still. But now having seen what it can accomplish at a 100 rice it doesn't feel so bad anymore.

This is what I brought and how I think each part performed.

Riku - Student of Master Koju, Wind Kick. Koju for the wind element mainly, never ended up using Wind Kick but it doesn't feel like a bad inclusion. Tsunami was great utility, 8 inch push back almost feels OP when you see it in action and he is really tanky so he will protect his elements.

Kenko - Student of Master Morita. My choice was between Kenko and Suchiro, in the end I went with Kenko because it allowed me to cover all 5 elements with my 2 tanky monks. With Suchiro Haru feels like a weak link that I would have to play very carefully with. That said I will definitively test Suchiro at a later time. He was my main combat piece dominating the center and while he did take some damage from mainly ranged attacks and bleeds his regrowth combined with virtue tokens from Aiko brought him back up to full again.

Hotaru - Hotai's Coin. Did exactly was she was supposed to (deal a bunch of damage before going up in flames). Hotai's Coin was great upgrade for her as she has neither any melee rerolls nor Kata, it removed one of the weaknesess I feelt she had based on earlier games.

Haru. Solid mobile cover. Need to be better at keeping him close enough to Kenko or Riku for his unique effect but other than that he did everything he was supposed to.

KojiKoji's Pack. The monkies where fun but I do feel this would be the first model I would consider replacing. It's not that he's bad but he feels more like a meta call or sideboard material than something you always want in your list. Giving away that many extra pass tokes also makes the turn 1 Hotaru charge more difficult to pull off. Not sure what to replace him with, I'm thinking Kira because I don't really have any good objective runner in the list or maybe Yuuki.

Aiko. A buffing monster. She brings so much utility it's hard to even consider playing without her.

Silverback. 3 dice, brutal, throw attack (0) and enough hp to tank a few hits for just 10 point is a steal, sure it's aloof and it's aggressive so it will die sooner or later but it's hard to say no to that much power in for that cost.

Gorintou. Two Virture tokens per turn? Yes please.

Moment of Enlightment. My experience from 70 rice was that the theme would break in turn 2 or 3 at the latest and some monks would end up a bit ki starved after that. I took this card to counteract that but in the end I didn't even use it. With the way I have setup the list I really don't see much point in this card.

Spiritual Harmony. Taken for similar reasons as the previous card and similar to that I didn't even use it and don't see too much point in having it. Skipping on these last 2 cards would give me enough points to upgrade Koji to Yuuki or Kira with upgrade card for example.

 

Maybe not so much an expansion to the starter set at this point considering I only used a single model from it but I do consider switching in one more :)

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