Test of Honour – Force Construction (Part 2)

So I hope people found the first part of this article helpful and in most cases it’s going to have given people more questions than answers.  Sorry for that :).  In this second part were going to look at Samurai and that real random element Fate cards.


The Basic set gives you three options for your Samurai, the Hero, Devoted Samurai and Wise Samurai.  The Wise and Devoted are the same thing, but the extra card helps you work out who is who and in my experience so far my Wise Samurai is often the first to die.  The Hero has a +1 stat line above what you’re getting with the normal Samurai and he/she has 3 actions.  With the right Fate Cards, he could be either a real close in combat monster or the sort to help support from the edges.

The add-on boxes add new Heroes with new ideas, all of them start with at least 1 Fate card so from the off your going to have a slight advantage.  They also add the Mounted Samurai/Hero who at 6pts/9pts but a move of 9” gives you a faster option for those scenario objectives.  Though Mounted troops are susceptible to attacks by Spears and Naginata.

Samurai can also have different weapons it’s not just the Katana.  The only one that will cost you extra is a Bow at 2pts.  Otherwise, it’s as suits you as a player though some have a bit more fun to them, I have a real love of the Heavy Sword (No-Dachi) and its what my Wise Samurai is armed with and it might explain why he never lasts long as well.

Fate Cards

So far I’ve mentioned them more than once in the articles and they are total game changers.  Some are situational and some once in play can have a huge effect.  But you have so many and you don’t know what’s going to turn up so really hard to plan for.  You also have no way of knowing how many you’re going to get as its all down to if you draw a Fate token or not.  During Dave and my game at Warlord, I think I had 4 cards out before he saw his first one.

Red Mist

Yes, I know you have to survive the attack first, but if you do you now need four successes to trigger the weapons special ability instead of five.  That’s a good boost.

Fountain of Blood

Combined with say Red Mist above or Master Forged weapons perhaps this is going to create a one Samurai killing machine.

Combinations of skills like Knock down, Barge Past, Master-Forged weapons are really nasty and you need to watch out for them turning up.  Treat a samurai with those skills to lots and lots of arrow fire.

Dangerous Reputation

So you want to go in and beat on the commoners do it then, if they fail they are going to spend a turn stood around doing nothing.

Perfect Aim

The game is pretty good about what can block Los, but with Perfect Aim you can ignore one of those negative factors.

Long term the fate cards can also help out if you’re playing as part of a campaign.  Commanding Presence is a good way to combat dishonour if that’s the direction you plan on going.  Special Instructions is one that on the surface doesn’t sound all that special, you can use it once per battle.  But that extra movement just once might be all you need to take an objective, get an unit out of trouble or that last ditch attempt at grabbing an objective.  if your after a bit more info on how cards can be set up have a read of Grahams post here.

Even with these cards were just scratching what a force could do.  Here’s my own idea for a starting force whilst I get used to playing.

1 Samurai hero (5pts)

2 Samurai (4pts ea)

2 Units of Experienced Spearmen (2pts ea)

1 Unit of Experienced Bowmen 3pts

1 Sergeant 2pts

1 Bowmen 2pts

Hope you enjoyed the articles and please leave any questions, ideas thathave ahve in the comments.  Along with the articles check out my resources page for lots of handy links.


    • Hi Sam,

      As per page 11 of the Battle Book.

      After a battle in which a hero completes the requirements detailed on his Quest card, the maximum number of Skill cards he can have is increased by 1.

      Hope that answers the question.

  1. I think it was mentioned (not sure if in book or on facebook group?) to leave the Quest Card out if you are running through the scenarios or a pre-determined campaign.. they are kind of there if you just are playing ‘a series of battles’ to give you quests and objectives… but I could be wrong… ?… or mis-heard that..

    • You do have so many options with the quest cards. Intend to find that until you hit say scenario 3-4 they shouldn’t be in the pack as you’ll never complete them early on. Plus people should be focusing on learning the basics.

  2. Is anyone able to tell me about the ball that appears modeled onto some of the swords? Shows up on assembly guide too. Are they supposed to represent the nodachi large sword? Kind of confused how to use that part of the spru. Thanks!

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