Belated update


The last time I played Bushido was way back in 2016, after I got my Rise of the Age board game from GCT Studios. The minis were compatible and I added on some faction specific cards so I could play Bushido.

My one and only game had me thinking it was the fantasy equivalent of Infinity. Simple core rules, then you add on the complexity of model specific rules and skills that you need to look up because the skills are nested.

Some how, the latest version of Bushido (Risen Sun) grabbed the interest of my gaming group and there are several games going on every week now.

I decided to try the game again and played a 50 rice game using the Prefecture of Ryu vs the Minimoto Clan. Short of it: I lost, as I got tabled. Kept forgetting my critical attack skill so I have no one to blame but myself. I was also at a rice disadvantage, since my warband cost 48 rice vs my opponent’s 50 rice, and I should’ve gotten some cards to offset that but it was just a demo game to learn the rules.

As for the game itself:

  • Great activation sequence as each model has 2 actions BUT you take one of your 2 actions first, then the other side activates, then it’s back to you where you can continue with your recently activated model’s 2nd action or activate another model entirely. Why this is important is after the 2nd activation your models is Exhausted and will fight as a penalty so activation sequence is pretty important. (That's if you take 2 Simple actions. You can take one Complex action that will end your activation and make your model Exhausted straight away.)
  • You better know the specific skills of your models like the back of your hand because so much depends on them. The Bushido app helps but since you can’t isolate specific cards pertaining to your warband, it’s a pain to use.
  • Focus on objectives! That’s why I lost. I didn’t realise the Minimoto Clan had such tough armour and they can actually ignore the Exhausted penalty and most of the can even modify the outnumbered penalty so they are really tough. I didn't manage to take out even one of them while all 3 of mine got tabled.
  • Not a fan of the "looking up tables to determine damage" thing. There's an alternative shortcut method so if I were to play Bushido more, I'm sure I can wrap my head around it.
  • Big fan of the 2x2 table size and it's easy to get Japanese themed terrain from aquarium shops etc.
  • Big fan also of the simultaneous combat and the whole "poker guessing" aspect of how you allocate the dice you have: allocate all to Attack, or reserve some for Defence?

Would I play again? Sure, but only if I can use the minis I already have. I’m not looking to sink more money into it.

If you like the looks of the Bushido minis, and you like crunchy, crunchy games on the same level as Infinity, you should take a closer look at the game. The starter set isn’t expensive and the minis are Siocast, so you don’t have the issue of assembling metal minis to contend with.