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Author Topic: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?  (Read 505 times)

Offline Jack Hooligan

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Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« on: March 30, 2021, 03:04:49 PM »
I've got Ronin on order and want two Buntais so I can run two player games to start with. I'm leaning towards the Sohei Monks and the Bandits at the moment because I like the look of the models and think they'd be fun to paint. For those with Ronin experience, would these two put on a good game?
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Offline Panaldi

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2021, 09:18:58 PM »
Not entirely sure that’s the best pairing. Ronin Buntai are not perfectly balanced, and while the Sohei are rather top of the food chain, the bandits are... not...

In our experience Bushi or Ikko Ikki could be better sparring partners for the monks. As a caveat, we played Bushi, Sohei, Bandits and Ikko until now.

Offline nandrin

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2021, 10:45:19 AM »
The most important thing when deciding for a Buntai should be "do I like the look?". If these are the two most appealing factions for you, then go for it. It makes no sense playing with miniatures you don´t like. And I agree they look great!

Last week I played a RONIN match with Bandits vs. Samurai and the bandits won. But I admit they are kind of a challenge to play whereas Sohei are pretty much a no-brainer to field. It depends heavily on the scenario how good or bad a buntai will perform, but I think you will have fun with all factions.
I agree that the various buntai are not balanced perfectly because this is a story driven system and not really suitable for tournaments. From out of the rules the author himself considers Bushi, Sohei and Koryu the strongest factions - but others are more fun to play with!  :D

Offline Maniac

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2021, 03:26:28 PM »
I would disagree on the Koryu.  Perhaps vs factions other than Bushi, but versus Bushi their lack of armor struggles to hold the line.

Bushi and Sohei are top of the food chain, for sure.  Bandits do well in scenarios where they can speed bump the opposing forces.  Their generally higher model count can really slow things down, but they are going to die.

We have not tried the pirates or the Koreans yet though, so no opinion on those forces.

Sohei do well due to a combination of medium armor, fearlessness, and naginatas across the board.

Bushi do well due to medium/Heavy armor and plentiful commanders.

A rank 3+ in either faction is going to be brutal for weaker foes as they can divert more impetus into attacks or enhanced attacks.  Their generally decent stats plus armor, coupled with kenjutsu or similar can enable them to last for quite a while.
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Offline Jack Hooligan

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 03:06:50 PM »
Are Bandits simply never competitive against the monks  or do they need lots of numbers to be a challenge?

Offline craigjwoodfield

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2021, 11:11:27 PM »
Numbers help a lot. I enjoy playing Bandits the most.  :D

As has been noted, they weren't all created equal, and that was somewhat deliberate.

Offline Metternich

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 06:14:20 PM »
In 200 pts games my son and I allow the bandits to take a single Senior Ronin (in addition to the Bandit Leader in heavy armor) if the Sohei have either an Abbot or a Senior Sohei.  That single Rank 4 figure helps even up the odds with the Sohei.  Also, make sure you use the Osprey Errata for Ronin, makes Tetsubo a little more even against the Naginata and clarifies that the Bandits can take up to 25% of their figures as armed with Teppo (not the 10% listed in Ronin).  That said, in our first game of Ronin the Bandits won (the teppo can bring down even a Senior Sohei !).
 Even with the Errata, the Nodachi is still somewhat short-changed against both the Naginata (the super-weapon of the Ronin rules) and Tetsubo.  There are two potential fixes:  En Garde (essentially Ronin 2.0) increases the points value for halberd (naginata equivalent) to an extra point as compared against both the great sword (nodachi equivalent), great weapon (tetsubo equivalent) or spear (yari) (in Ronin they are all 3 points; in En Garde the halberd costs 3 points and these others two).  The second, is use of a House Rule (we allow the Nodachi, if fighting against two figures, to make a second attack against another figure if the nodachi wielder causes a wound on the first figure).  In addition, highly recommend using the En Garde rule for weapons jitsu (Weapons Master, in En Garde) to allow a re-roll of one attack/defence die if the initial roll was a 1 or 2 (not if it is a 1 - 5, which Ronin would allow).   For Bandits, highly recommend that you make one of the Gashira a teppo user, and give him the jitsu to be expert in it (giving him a shoot of 2, and the re-roll ability if he "misses').

Offline Bowman

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2021, 08:04:22 PM »

........Bushi do well due to medium/Heavy armor and plentiful commanders.

A rank 3+ in either faction is going to be brutal for weaker foes as they can divert more impetus into attacks or enhanced attacks.  Their generally decent stats plus armor, coupled with kenjutsu or similar can enable them to last for quite a while.

Yep, and that’s what the Teppo are for!

I find also numbers are a force. As Uncle Joe said, “Quantity is a quality all of its own”. My friend made a Chinese Peasant list and they are tough to deal with. The rabble protect the high level Ming soldiers from the guns, and suicidal rabble ganging up on Samurai eventually kill them by a thousand cuts. Not a legit Buntai but as balanced as the others (which is to say somewhat not balanced).

Like most war games, Scenario design is key and having sufficient terrain to thwart missile troops is also important.

And thanks for the interesting house rules. I also like the En Garde mechanisms.

It’s a great game. My favourite Buntai is Koryu. I have never one a game with them but they all go down swinging in a blaze of cinematic glory.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 08:07:47 PM by Bowman »
"This I have known ever since I stretched out my fingers to the abomination within that great gilded frame; stretched out my fingers and touched a cold and unyielding surface of polished glass." 

H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"

Offline Metternich

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1942
Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2021, 09:33:53 PM »
In a 200 point game we usually include 3 peasants with improvised weapons within the Bandit Buntai - as you noted, "quantity has a quality all its own."  The peasants make good speed bumps, and with them ganging up on a singel Sohei you can try to finish off a rank 3 or 4 figure by using a rank  3 or above (and the peasants can contribute a die to the higher rank's attack or defense).  I couldn't see the peasants managing to bring down a rank 3 or 4 on their own; typically if we try that the rank 3 Sohei or rank 4 Sohei kills two of them.   Generally, isn't worth the points to give peasants a yari (unless you have a peasant Buntai, I suppose !).  The yari costs as much as the peasant (and you can probably find better uses for the 3 points per peasant so equipped). 
   

Offline Pijlie

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 08:56:29 AM »
Koryu are a problem because they do not have armour and IIRC no ranged weapons. Most other factions are reasnably matched but vary wildly in playing style or (in case of peasants) number of figures.
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Offline Maniac

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Re: Ronin - Best Two Starting Buntais?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2021, 01:47:53 PM »
The Teppo can indeed be an equalizer, but it is slow (needing a reload) and less accurate.  Conversely the yumi will struggle against anyone with armor which reduces the potency of it's fire rate.


 

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