Review: Warring Clans Samurai miniatures

So here we are finally I have the new warring clans range from footsore/warbanner. So with this article I am taking a look at the 12 samurai models and next week sometime we will have a look at the ashigaru miniatures. So the above 12 minis are availible as a bundle currently and also include the ashigaru sergeant figure. So 13 in total all for £45 saving you £7 on buying them individually. I purchased the complete bundle for £115 saving me £17 on everything.

As far as price goes I have spent a lot more on a lot less. They really are very good quality miniatures as i have come to expect from footsore.

There is currently a video on the three swords facebook page and shared on the footsore page if you want to see an unboxing.

Size wise the range is spot on with existing 28mm samurai minis. Now I did pick the largest of the warring clans range for this photo (far left).

Below are some individual pictures of all 12 of the samurai.

I have only had two issues so far both with the same model. Horned helm samurai had a hole in his belly (easily fixed with some liquid green stuff) and also his spear was missed out. Not a worry a quick message to footsore and one is on the way.

Prep work on the minis was minimal, bit of flash to remove here and there and a little bit of filing. I also drilled out some of the holes for the sashimonos to sit in mostly for extra security but a couple because they needed it. I leave the pudding bases on as I cover them when basing and also the mdf bases are a little lower than the warlord plastic bases so it keeps the height about the same.

Putting the models together was also a very simple task. Once cleaned up all the weapons sat into place very nicely, only tricky one I found was the chap swinging the katana overhead, had to bend one of the arms slightly to accomodate the hands correctly. Mostly it was just a case of dab of superglue and pose however you like. The archer has a nice touch of coming with an optional helmet but most figures are as you see them.

I still cannot decide on my favourite figure yet. Torn between the Kanabo, katana/naginata combo and the Onna.

Anyway hope you have enjoyed my insights on the range. I can say they are well worth considering if you want a few impressive samurai models leading your ToH warbands. Next time take a look at the Cannon fodder……I mean Ashigaru……

Couldn’t resist getting these in

Until next time,

Matt

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Warring States 2: Warband Introduction

Asuka and the Nightsisters

 

warband

During the warring states period many villages and towns found their young men joining the ranks of the local lords armies. This left the towns ripe for plunder by opposing forces or Bandits. One such village found itself under attack by several bandits, however the local women were no strangers to the sword, they learnt long ago that those who do not wield a blade can still die upon them. Asuka, wife of the local swordmaster and extremely skilled swordswomen led several of the townswomen and fought back against the more numerous bandits, caught off guard by this sudden and violent counter attack the bandits fell back. Sadly the village was already burning and the winter supplies taken or ruined. Many of these women were injured either by blade or fire, Asuka herself took a blazing brand strike to her face scarring her badly. Now they go to battle with faces painted in terrifying visages. Asuka wears a mask ashamed she allowed herself to get hit. With nothing to stay for and revenge burning on their minds they set out to hunt down the bandits who razed their village, along the way they help out others in need, recruiting skilled women into the ranks. They strike deadly and swift and all are learning to fear the name “Nightsisters”

Easy Ninja of Iga

20108335_498620653815891_5854101485744560647_n                               A HOW I PAINTED MY FIRST NINJA – by Kieran

So I put out a picture of the first ninja I did from the Ninja of Iga expansion set. Since then I have had a few people ask how I did it as I did mention I had tried a new technique for me that has become a bit of a revelation.
I will prefix this ‘How I’ article with saying there are no ground breaking new ideas all have been learnt from someone else and it is just so quick and easy pretty much anyone will be able to produce the same finish I hope.

So what will we need? Well I will tell you what I used and then you can adjust to suit yourself:
1) Valejo matt black paint

2) GW white spray paint

3) GW grey spray paint

4) GW nuln oil shade

5) GW drkenhof nightshade shade

Some people call the process we are going to use underpainting some by another technical name. What we are trying to do here is set up your highlights before adding any colour so there is nothing it cannot be used for as a base so let us see what happens.

 Step 1: Base coat the miniature black

Step 2: Taking the grey GW spray and holding it about 12 inches away  from the miniature and at a 45 degree angle lightly spray over the black layer. You should hopefully see that the highlights are hit with this pass. The more passes you do the more grey will get transferred obviously but that way the middle highlight will take over on the finished model so best judgement must be used at this point.

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Step 3: This is basically the same as the above but using the White spray holding it further away and making less passes so it creates the top highlight for the miniature. Again too heavier a coat will take over on the finished miniature so again bit of a judgement call.

At this point it will look very patchy but bear with it as we will sort this out in the next few steps.

Note: I used spray can paint here but the process would probably work better with an airbrush but seen as I don’t own one I wanted to show this way so more people can make use it.

Step 4: Once the gradient undercoat is done then it’s a case of using the shading washes to  get to the final look.
First I used the Nuln oil wash. It took about three coats to get to where I was happy with it but the number of coats you need to use will depend on how heavy the grey and white spray coats were.
You can then see the highlights starting to come out.
I literally left the miniature on the side and whenever I walked past I gave it another coat so it didn’t take too much extra time at all.

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Step 5: As above using the wash. I wanted to try and take that grey off the highlight and because I wanted to have a more indigo finish I then used a couple of coats of the nightshade blue wash to finish off to where I was happy with the final look.

Step 6: Final detail bits and basing. This is all personal preference so will just show my finished miniature as this guide is more about getting the ninja black robes done and dusted.
Hope it helps and good luck if you want to use it.

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Countering the Swarm

ShiroyamaBattle

So earlier today Kieran posted an article on how effective using a swarm would be. So because of that I thought I would bring you some thoughts on how I would change / counter that list.

Firstly if you haven’t read Kieran’s article yet please do so or some of this wont make any sense.

Counter 1: Pick the middle one!!

If your faced with a large group of single ashigaru or even better ronin. Then try and kill the one that has the most models within 6″ of it. This will instantly cause all other models to take a test of nerve and free up some much needed space on the battlefield. I say especially ronin as they only test on 2 dice meaning they have a very slim success chance. Even with 3 dice if you pick a good target several models will flee out of range to counter charge you. This is the one of the biggest weaknesses if your opponent decides to take all 1pt models.

Change 1: Add a musician and a sergeant to the warband. At the expense of 4 1pt models, you now have 2 support characters that help avoid what I have just mentioned and also gives you an extra attack/charge as well. I rarely see a musician used but in this type of warband he is perfect.

 

Counter 2: If you know you will be facing a warband like this and have a chance to plan against it. Taking several bow armed models may be a good way to limit the activation counter disadvantage you will be faced with. Especially if you have one or two samurai with bows. Ideally you want to be forcing the horde to expend at least one of their own activation tokens for every one of yours. Just to limit what they can do. The downside is if you don’t manage to kill several off they will still eventually get to you.

Change 2: Take a second samurai. if you ignore the change for the previous suggestion then I would definitely do this. This then gives you 5 samurai tokens and 15 commoner tokens in the bag. Definitely still has that swarm feeling.  But gives you a bit more hitting power too.

Example Swarm List:

Samurai Hero 5pts, Devoted Samurai 4pts, musician 2pts, 13 spearmen 13pts

the above is 24pts with 5 samurai tokens and 14 commoner tokens. It has a bit more staying power due to the musician, will still outnumber almost every other warband ive ever fought. The commoners provide an effective screen for the samurai and musician who move up cautiously and then engage when up close. Should leave plenty of models to grab objectives.

Example counter list:

Senzo the Thorn 7pts, Wise Samurai with bow 6pts, sergeant 2pts, Pauper Archers 3pts, Pauper Archer 2pts, Spearmen Group 2pts, 2 Spearmen 2pts

Above gives 5 samurai tokens, 6 commoner tokens. This force can put out a potential 7 shots per turn. You use the spearmen as a road block with the sergeant to allow them to attack even if they have already been or had to dodge. Senzo is great because of his 5″ move and shoot, helps to stop from becoming tied down by enemies. Hopefully you can pick off several opposing commoners, preferably the ones threatening objectives. Use the commoner archers against the closer targets whilst aiming further away with your samurai.

So these are just a few of my thoughts on Kierans earlier article, but as always would love to hear what you guys think.

 

How do you run?

So Andy Hobday recently put a question up regards advice for the set up of a 24 point warband.
Now as many people have posted there is a mixture of multiple Samurai and different set ups of Ashigaru with a sprinkling of the different support characters like Sergeants etc.
What I did was make at the time was a fun comment but the more I think about it the more I wanted to explore it and I will even be trying to do this for one of my warbands that I am building at the moment.
So what did I suggest? Well to be honest in a lot of games we see a big range of set ups and one of those is termed either the hoard or spam list where the whole set up is based on numbers.  So how would this work in Test of  Honour? Well basically we take the single Samurai Hero and to that we add a number of single point single figure cards up to the remaining points level. So for a 24 point band that would be in basic case a 5 point Samurai Hero and 19 Ashigaru spearmen.

Now on the surface people may dismiss this but on further reflection I think it could be a viable warband for the following reasons.

  1. Activation token saturation. What I mean like this is the number of commoner tokens in the bag will have an effect on game. At some point your opponent will have used all their commoner tokens and when the probability of them still being pulled from the bag then you are going to have a swing at the point in the game where your activations dominate.
  2. Swarm. Using your numbers to force your opponents use of activations from attacks. So you have 19 goes at any of your opponents units so you can force them to use up their avoids long before you then decide to slam in with your samurai to finish them off.
  3. Surround. Having those types of numbers mean you can surround an enemy. Then forcing them to take blood drops because they can’t effectively back away from attacks so even if you fail to wound you can still have an effect and those blood drops will have their effect later.
  4. Denial. In objective based battles use your numbers to  deny your opponent claiming objective by just having them in the vicinity. This means your opponent would have to first try to clear the models which would in turn give you more option to go  and grab the odd objective yourself.

So am I thinking too much about this? Dont think so but like everything its needs testing so I will be and I would be interested to hear if anyone else has other ideas.