Friday, March 30, 2018

Zen 10 Challenge - Test of Honour AAR

This past weekend, Bill ran an event for Test of Honour at Half Day Studio. Each player would bring along a 24 point list and play in up to three scenarios, each with a different points level and objective. 

As one person unfortunately couldn't make it, Bill decided to step in to even up the number of players. 

My first game was against Sam, in a 15 point game where the objective was to control the bridge at the end of five turns.

Our warbands were identical - a Hero Samurai with an accompanying samurai, along with a Sergeant of Archery and a Bowmen group.

Both sides had their samurai advance to the bridge while the bowmen engaged at range.

After a flurry of blows in a ferocious melee, Sam's Hero Samurai took a heavy wound and failed his Test of Honour to continue on. As his blood dripped from the bridge to the river below, I declared victory.*

*Which, to my great shame, was wrong. Technically, the game should have continued to turn 5, but I made the mistake of assuming that a lost Hero Samurai caused the warband to flee. Not catching that turned out to be a bigger problem than expected...

My next game was against Bill in an 18 point scenario in which the two opposing sides would need to capture the retainer, who was resting at the entrance to a shrine. The game took place in darkness, and only the area between the fences was considered illuminated by the moon - although the lanterns to either side of the gate also provided light.

Poor luck on Bill's part meant that when his Hero Samurai failed her test to take control of the retainer, he fled directly towards my own warband. My Hero Samurai passed the test and led the retainer deeper into the woods.

With the objective in hand, my warband stipped their advance and began to target Bill's Hero Samurai with ranged attacks, hoping to kill her and end the scenario quickly (like I said, problems...). Bill continued to advance, hoping to get past my two samurai and retake the retainer.

However, that put Bill's Hero in range of both of my own samurai, who teamed up to strike her down. Again, I thought this ended the scenario, which was reinforced by Bill's concession. The only consolation to this mistake was that it was unlikely that Bill's commoners could take down the two samurai in the remaining turns, thanks to the differences in action amounts and abilities scores.

The last game was against Kai, and we were back at the bridge-control scenario (which Kai hadn't played yet. This meant that I didn't get a chance to play the 24 point scenario control objective game).

A feature in this tournament were quest cards. Players weren't supposed to have any in their skill decks - instead, each table had its own objectives. For this game, each player was supposed to draw a quest. To my great misfortune, I drew the quest which meant I had to play with 13 points instead of 15. This meant I had to drop my Sergeant of Archery from the game.

I played conservatively with my points and activation disadvantage, which was likely a mistake. Kai managed a long range shot that took out one of my bowmen

Kai's Samurai Hero quickly charged over the bridged and cut down my supporting samurai.

Now it was a two-on-one fight, with my Samurai Hero desperately trying to fend off both of Kai's samurai.

Kai also brought his lone spearman over the bridge, as if I didn't have enough problems as it was!

My only hope was to move my Samurai Hero onto the bridge and hope to contest the objective and end the game in a draw. However, Kai's Samurai Hero cut down both of the remaining bowmen, causing my Samurai Hero to take, and then fail, a Test of Nerves, which forced him back off the bridge and into the river.

Kai's Samurai Hero, scoring a critical success on the last damage roll against the bowmen, used the Follow Up move to get onto the bridge, securing both it and victory.

The final game was a 10 point battle royale between the four warbands.

While I advanced cautiously, the rest of the samurai quickly moved to the center of the table.

Kai's samurai was the first to be cut down, causing his warband to flee the battle (yes, that was actually in the scenario's rules this time!).

Sam's samurai exchanged blows with Bill's before a failed Test of Wits meant that my musketman targeted Sam's samurai instead of Bill's, breaking our under-the-table truce. While Sam's Samurai Hero slew my musketman, the warrior fell to a lucky set of rolls from my Bowmen.

The next few turns was spent with my own Samurai Hero trying to strike a fatal blow against Bill's. However, I failed, and my Samurai Hero was cut down like a bamboo stalk, leaving Bill's warband victorious.

With all the games over, and the points tallied up, the winner of the event was... Bill! Since he was the one running the event, however, the title went to the person next in line... me! Regardless, Sam, Kai, and I each got a chance to pick from the prize pull. I decided to grab the Ninjas of Iga boxset, as it would allow me to run a Ninja warband in future games.

I had a great time. Bill's scenarios were cleverly planned out and his tables filled with appropriate scenery. While it may be time to put Test of Honour away for a little bit, I'm looking forward to revisiting the game in the future and seeing what other expansions Warlord has planned.

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