So today see’s the release of two new expansion packs for Warlords Test of Honour. It’s a game we’ve covered in detail with loads of articles, not only looking at the initial game but also at force construction and tactics. All of which I’ll probably now need to redo :/
So the two sets released are the Daimyo’s Retinue and Chobei’s Renegades. Both will bring new elements, tactics and ideas to the game. We also know 2 more sets are due at some point as well.
So let’s look at each force in turn.
The Daimyo Retinue is much like the other mounted box set. It uses the existing plastics with a new metal Hero, plus metal heads for conversions.
The force is led by Daimyo Osugawa who is a tough Mounted Samurai hero, along with his starting skill card of Lord and Master he’s going to be great for keeping the force together. Lord and Master is a great card which boosts the Honour of nearby troops and could be very handy if you use low Honour troops like the Ronin. The set also includes cards to allow the use of mounted retainers a slight step away from the historical, but as it adds to the game it’s nothing to be overly worried about. These can be armed either with Katana or Spear.
Another very handy unit is the mounted Sergeant, after he has moved he can allow a nearby mounted commoner unit to move for free. Yes Move, not a charge. Whilst at first it might not seem like a great thing it allows a model to reposition itself and then use its action to move again, charge an enemy, shoot or whatever else you plan. A great way to grab objectives and things like that.
The cards included in the box give a good mix of new abilities for your Samurai and are usable by mounted or foot Samurai alike. A couple we have already seen show off by Graham like Terrifying Visage which causes a charged unit to pass a test of honour roll or lose 1 dice from the avoid. Great way for samurai to run down those lowly Ashigaru getting in the way. Others like cavalry tactic will allow a samurai to move a friendly mounted commoner unit in the same way a Sergeant does. Glory seeker looks fun, it allows a Samurai to charge 7” until its cut an enemy down. Momentum with it allowing you to draw the next action token after you’ve cut down an enemy could lead to all sorts of fun if you manage to combine it with other cards improving your combat ability.
So let’s look at the other set, shall we?
Based on the larger than life historical character of Banzuiin Chobei, Chobei’s Renegades bring a real step away from the normal force of Samurai and Ashigaru we’ve seen in the core set. Much like the Ronin they bring a totally new avenue and game direction. Like the Ronin the set is made up of the Ashigaru sprues along with a metal character.
Chobei is a character that is not going to go down easy at all. His high strength means that he’s going to hit like a freight train and he also has the ability to ignore some of the blood spots he’s taken. He looks like a one man storming party and is great fun to play. His renegade commoners in groups have a great ability in that they count as having bows for shooting and spears for melee. The dual ability really does give you some nice options and I like the idea of perhaps running them with some renegade cavalry from the Daimyo’s box or the previous box set as well.
The cards in the set are great and can give a force some really good options as well as the enemy a few surprises. My favourites are things like Outrage which after losing a friendly group gives the Samurai +1 Strength, Lead from the Front which gives commoner units +1 dice on strike rolls if they are within 3” of the Samurai and Friendly Aid which can allow you to remove wounds from your force.
I’m liking the direction that Warlord is going with the game and yes like many people I’d love to see more, but I’m also a person who prefers the slow and steady approach. I’ve seen companies rush stuff out as a knee-jerk reaction and more often than not it’s been an utter mess.
But what does come next, well we’ll just have to wait and see 🙂