For last night's games of Test of Honour at Half Day Studio, I decided to put away Jiro's warband and instead used the miniatures from the Bandits & Brigands box.
My first game was against Bill. We've been discussing Osprey's Ronin rules, especially since everyone basically has a Buntai warband ready to go thanks to Test of Honour. I had asked Bill if we could try a Samurai only game, and he agreed.
We had 20 points to spend. Bill took his custom Lady Yoshikira, a Devoted Samurai, and a Ninja Lieutenant. I took the Bandit character hero, Kojiro, two Bandit Bruisers, and a Bandit Lieutenant armed with a bow.
The objective was to control the Torii gate by the end of five turns.
Both sides rushed for the gate, with Lady Yoshikira leading the charge. While my Lieutenant couldn't hit anything with his bow and arrows, a Bruiser managed to cut down one of Bill's supporting Samurai.
The dueling continued as Lady Yoshikira managing to fend off three attackers!
Unfortunately, Bill's warband couldn't recover from the activation imbalance, and both the Ninja and Lady Yoshikira fell, ending the game early.
The game basically confirmed what I had thought - Test of Honour is best used for warband sized games, while the smaller skirmish sized games should be left for Ronin, which does a better job of making close combat more interesting than just activating and rolling dice.
My second game of the night was against Sam. Using the Bandits again, I made the largest sized warband possible (16 points), which Sam then met.
Our warbands were:
Bandit Samurai Hero Character
Bandit with Bow
Bandit with Musket
Sergeant of Archery
Loyal Bowmen Group
The mission was simple - whoever had the last Samurai standing, won.
With half of Bill's warband armed with bows, most of my initial activations were spent on Cautious Moves, which gave my warband free Evades in case of attacks. Sam's hero, hoping to get into my warband's flank, charged forward and used the terrain to block my Bandit archer's line of sight.
However, luck quickly turned against Sam when my Bandit hero managed to wound, then cut down his Samurai hero. Since I rolled a critical with the damage (at least 5 swords), my Bandit Hero was able to follow up and charge the Sergeant of Archery, who was also chopped into pieces.
The game ended the next turn, when Sam, unable to roll enough swords to evade, lost his Wise Samurai to my Bandit Bruiser.
This was a rough game for Sam, and my victory was secured more through lucky rolls on my part (and unlucky rolls on Sam's) rather than any kind of tactical genius.
I do have to say, the sculpts for the Bandits are fantastic, since they're all original, compared to the plastics that Warlord bought from the now-defunct Wargames Factory.