Bushido-Review: Taisho Tenbatsu (Savage Wave)
Next up is Taisho Tenbatsu. Taisho is not a Bakemono, but he goes very well with a Bakemono horde and is the non-Bakemono model that I use most. The lost Samurai (and last of his tribe) brings a variety of Traits, Ki Feats and Unique Effects that give him unparalleled staying power and also some offensive capabilities that any Bakemono will be fascinated by. This comes with the price tag of 12 rice points. Yet, each rice point is worth the investment.
Taisho has Melee Skill 4 (boost for 3 Ki), Walk Statistic 4 and a Ki Statistic of 2/8. This makes him on par with other Samurai. However, the boost of his Melee Skill is worse compared to other Samurai who normally boost for only 2 Ki. This is probably due to his defensive abilities that make him an outstanding tank (being able to withstand large amounts of attacks and damage) – his 7 wounds are combined with the Traits Armour(3), Bravery, Fear(4), Martial Prowess(1), Split Attack. Taisho has Melee Strength +1, Combo Attack(1) and Counter Attack Defence(1). His Unique Effects give you a choice of either Soulless and Fear(5) or Brutal(1), Impetuous, Oni Rage and Powerful Attack(1), each until the End Phase.
This summary already tells you that Taisho has a more defensive and an offensive side to him. Each turn you can chose which one you would like him to use. This is most visible through the Unique Effects but the theme is also carried through in the Special Attacks and the Ki Feats. Taisho’s defensive side alone adds a lot to a Bakemono horde. Taisho can tie up multiple enemies, securing the center of the board or an entire flank while your Bakemonos run around and score at objectives. In essence, Taisho is doing what no Bakemono is able to very well, hold off the enemy.
Taisho’s defensive side is best illustrated by his Ki Feat “Absolute Resolve”, an Instant Ki Feat that gives him Immovable and Toughness(2) until the End Phase, but only once per game. So, push him up the board and bolster Taisho’s Armour(3) with this Ki Feat during the critical turn. In the turn that you would like Taisho to survive, making him Soulless and Fear(5) is also very handy. This will give him protection against Opposed Ki Tests, something Bakemonos do not have, and he is harder to charge. Yet, Melee Skill 4, Martial Prowess and Counter Attack Defence(1) will usually present a challenge for many models in the game. And if Taisho should be suffering wounds, he can heal himself by using “Consume Soul”.
Taisho’s offensive side is depicted through Split Attack, Combo Attack(1) as well as Brutal(1), Impetuous, Oni Rage and Powerful Attack(1) (the latter granted through the Unique Effect) and last but not least “Precision Strike”. “Precision Strike” grants Taisho Armour Piercing. This is an especially nice addition to a Bakemono horde, as there are no Bakemono with the Armour Piercing ability.
Usually, I like to giveTaisho Oni Rage in the first turn. This way you generate at least one addition Ki if not two. The downside to Oni Rage, the Berserk State, is managed best during the start of the game. It is certainly also beneficial later during the game, but its usefulness depends on the situation. For me, playing Taisho defensively is usually more important for the outcome of the games I have had so far. Yet, Brutal(1) and Armour Piercing can be most deadly! Through Spilt Attack Taisho also threatens weaker models who would like to outnumber him and Combo Attack(1) is a nice way to counter to Durable.
So all in all, the enemy can never be safe and the rage can burst out of Taisho at any moment. This is also very fitting to my play style of a Bakemono horde; i.e. how I believe a Bakemono horde should be played – be unpredictable. Taisho’s profile card consists of a whopping total of 15 Traits, Special Attacks and Ki Feats. Taisho is a Swiss army knife equipped for all situations; a lot of which normal Bakemonos struggle with. Taisho Tenbatsu is the Villain of the Jawa Ilses that all the Minions of the Savage Wave have been looking for. „Bananas? BANANAS! Oh, please excuse me. Destruction and Chaos!“
Mit freundlichen Grüßen