I’m a huge fan of Sengoku Period Japan, so ever since Warlord Games teased us with the initial box art of their new Samurai miniatures game – Test of Honour – I have been eagerly awaiting more news.
I’m pleased to say that having read through the rulebook, the game actually looks pretty good.
Each player has a small warband, consisting of a Samurai Hero and up to two extra retainers, plus a number of Ashigaru armed with spears, bows or muskets.
Recruitment of your warband is performed using cards, with each scenario deciding how large you force is.
From the rulebook, it appears that your Samurai can gain new skills as you play more scenarios – it appears to be much like Frostgrave in this respect, where your Samurai can gain experience, but the reset of your warband are simply ‘grunts’. This actually fits the period really well, as Ashigaru were very much the common foot soldier of the time.
Turn sequence is decided by drawing tokens from a bag, and there is always the chance that the turn could end before every model has activated – something which is always to be encouraged in my opinion.
The games uses custom dice for ability tests and combat, with modifiers being applied by more or fewer dice being rolled – again, a type of mechanic I enjoy.
As I said, initial impressions of this game are really good. I’m hoping that a demo game of this will be available at UK Wargames shows this year so I’ll get chance to play this in the near future.
Although the game comes with 35 28mm plastic miniatures from the old Wargames Factory Samurai range, which Warlord Games bought last year, I must admit that I am tempted to game this is another scale.
I have always been a fan of the 40mm Samurai range from Steve Barber Models, and indeed, I own most of the range. The various Samurai miniatures in this range are stunning, although I expect that I may need to purchase a few more Ashigaru, looking at the model count from the Test of Honour box.
There is no word on release date for Test of Honour yet – hopefully we will not have very long to wait.