Review: Test of Honour Ronin

Rating:  3 stars

The Ronin box set for Test of Honour was one of the wave one expansions for the game.

The box set allows players to field a force comprising fully of masterless Samurai, led by a special character – Tadashi ‘The Dishonoured’.

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The box contains the aforementioned metal miniature of Tadashi, a single plastic sprue of Samurai, 10 bases, 2 group bases, and a number of recruitment and skill cards.

The metal heads are designed to be added to the plastic miniatures, thus differentiating them from the models in the core box and giving them more character. The skill cards provided are themed around dirty tricks and dishonour, making the Ronin something of an unscrupulous force.

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The recruitment cards allow the player to recruit a complete force of Ronin. As well as Tadashi himself, there are four groups of Ronin and two individual Ronin – This gives a full cost of 16 points – add to this two other Samurai cards from the base game, and you have a complete 24 point force.

However, the box set only provides you with 6 miniatures for this force, so the remaining 11 figures will have to be sourced elsewhere, which is something of a common feature of the Wave one releases for Test of Honour – most provide the recruitment cards, but not a complete set of miniatures for that warband.

The separate heads provided to customise the plastic miniatures are well sculpted, and give some nice character to the models. The only thing to remember is to ensure that you remove the heads with a spigot large enough to help secure the metal head to the plastic body.

Tadashi himself is a very nice model – he’s dressed in armour, wielding a Kanabo (spiked club)  and clad in a Mino (straw rain cape). This should look great when painted.

The only problem with this set is the plastic miniatures themselves. As I have previously noted when I reviewed the Samurai Warband, these plastic miniatures leave a lot to be desired – they are fiddly to assemble and, with the odd exception, most of these poses look awkward due to positions of the arms and hands. Given that these are plastic, you can spend the time to customise these with the help of a modelling knife and plastic glue – it just depends on whether you think it’s worth the extra time investment in order to do this.

The Ronin box set is certainly the cheapest of the wave one releases, and the extra ‘bits’ are nice enough. The Ronin warband looks to be an interesting one to play, as it completely lacks missile weapons – its tactics will be unsubtle, which suits my gaming tactics very well indeed!

Overall it’s not a bad expansion, but be aware that you will need to purchase a fair amount of extra models to make the warband viable at 24 points.

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