At last, a Bakemono with Melee Skill 3. Rinsho is the powerhouse of Bakemono that the Brutes would like to be. Armour (1), Fear (3), Regeneration (2) and 8 wounds make Rinsho a hard nut to crack. In addition, he can receive Regeneration (4) through the Hyper Regeneration Ki Feat. This is fairly important, because with Rinsho there is one major drawback – depending on your viewpoint. As soon as has wounds marked on his wound track, he gains Aggressive, Combo Attack (0) and Fear (4). This might not sound too bad, but I believe Aggressive (also Defensive) to be one of the worst trades to have in Bushido. As soon as the opponent knows how you must select your dice, you become predictable. And nothing is worse than a predictable Savage Wave player!
My Bakemono horde is often full of models with last stand tokens and I always aim to make the opponent wary of his dice choices. The aggressive trait takes all this away. That being said, Combo Attack (0) is a nice thing to have and during the end phase you can regenerate Rinsho with Hyper Regeneration, once he is done smashing the opponent into the ground. However, you do not want to overextend Rinsho, but rather protect him with other cheaper and “dispensable” Bakemonos. Rinsho should be used much like an Oni, who chooses his targets while being screened by smaller Bakemonos. I think that Rinsho is actually better than Boba and Kano in many ways and on par with Waka or Yusha when comparing the damage output in melee. On the offensive side, Rinsho brings Brutal (1), Melee Strength +2, Powerful Attack (1) or at times Combo Attack (0) to the fight. This is very impressive for a Bakemono.
Rinsho can also make use of the Bakemomo horde Ki Feats Darkness and Shadow Walk as well as the supportive Ki Feats from Okina & Oto. With Darkness and Shadow Walk Rinsho may well be able to surprise attack an unsuspecting model, however this is very Ki intensive. The easier way is to tire enemy models with other Bakemonos first and/or use Tra-Peng’s stun ability, after which Rinsho can deliver the final blow. Bakemono’s already engaged in melee can move around the base of the engaged model in order to change the facing of the enemy model. This can be utilized by Rinsho to surprise attack the model in question.
With Rinsho a themed Bakemono list has become more competitive, which I very much appreciate. Rinsho together with some Tribal Brutes will be the cornerstones of my war band. I know Tribal Brutes are not liked because of their unreliability (Stupidity 2), but I have always liked them and I believe that together with Rinsho they can present a challenge to opponents, especially since nobody expects Bakemonos to have any sort of staying power. For non-themed war bands Rinsho presents a fearsome addition alongside other beat sticks like Taihso or Rashka.
All in all, Rinsho brings what Bakemonos have lacked so far (strength and staying power), while synergizing well with all the important Bakemono tricks (Tra-Peng, Okina & Oto, Darkness and Shadow Walk).
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
– kleiner gargoyle