Pride of Nekomata is made up from charactors from the The Ainu people of Rishiri island. The Ainu have ever been an insular and reclusive people, their way of life unchanged for generations. The inhabitants of the island did not often trade with their neighbours on Hokkaido and avoided all contact with their fellow Japanese on the southern Islands despite technically being under the rule of Empress Shinzua. For generations they maintained a peaceful life in devotion to the Kami, spirits of nature that can be found in every rock, tree and animal on Rishiri.
The latest crossover set for Wild West Exodus and Lost World Exodus brings us six of the Ainu. Its a shame it wasn’t seven as there special posse rule is quite cool but that is for later. In Lost World Exodus they are classed as The Empire for posse selection however with their background they can be taken in WWX as Warrior Nation. Indeed looking at the models there is such a characterful fusion of Japanese and Tribal visions they make for a very unique force. Samurai style armour combined with the wild flowing cloth of the American Indian Breechclout.
Being a predominately Union player for WWX I really wasn’t overly keen on the whole Pride of Nekomata set, don’t get me wrong they look incredible, but they are not a Union release. However after assembling them (bases pending) I had a read through the rules for them. Again more out of intrigue than anything else. Which then led to me reading some of the lore. I can safely say that my stable of factions I am collecting has now expanded by one.
This posse (when you add a sixth hand) can be really damaging. You have a leader that can discard his opponents Adventure cards, up another charactors grit or actions for the turn or just tear someone apart. Komanu Rayon is a bit of a beast, literally.
One model however doesn’t make a force. Kenzai Hyo is allows rerolls to grit checks I have found this to be phenomenally useful in the games I have played with other factions although they do have to be quite close. Tora Kokan is has some really cool rules. These include an extra free strike action for when you can get him up close and personal with your opponent. Yama Mimi is another close combat specialist, although she is able to generate Fortune chips during the game. Yorona Chita is the Prides answer to the Green Arrow, however she would probably win hands down. No long range penalties and able to force move for no additional cost should mean she is right where you need her!
Finally we come on to Ichiko Kuga she is Komanu Rayons right hand in the Pride of Nekomata. Kitted out ith a variety of unique traits including one of my favourites, compel. Compel allows you to try and take over an enemy unit and activate it as if it was one of your own for one action. Yes those devious minds are at work. They count as freindly to the Pride of Nekomata player so could shoot at the opposition, their own team. Kind of fun right?
Overall this is a very neat and tidy set. The whole pride is here and able to work together from the get go. It is a very Face heavy but this leads into the last thing about the posse. This is the posse card and special rules that brings out as well. If five off the six slots are taken up by Nekomata Faces, so the entire posse set. The whole posse gains Dispersed placement. This isn’t a rule I remember from when I used to play but basically once all standard deployment has been done then dispersed placement models can be placed anywhere as long as they are more than 12″ away from an enemy model. So pretty much setting up for the pride to ravage the enemy from turn one.
If you take the entire posse as well you are also able to play as part of an outlaw force. I must admit this bit confused me thematically. I guess though when the Empire want something done they will do what is needed. Overall a very nice drop for Wild West Exodus and it is definitely time we start seeing more of LWX.
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