March 14, 2019 by Lee
As with many of our games, Test of Honour is a game that we bought when it first released and we had every good intention of getting straight into it. Like most of our games, it went on to the ever growing pile of things to get done!
But recently after having a chat with Big Ben a long time good friend of mine and the owner of 4Ground, he spoke about working with fellow designer and owner of Things from the Basement Joerg Bender. If you haven’t seen any of Joergs designs then please click on his link as he has some excellent kits, most notably Pavlovs House.
Ben spoke about working with Joerg Bender bringing his designs to a wider audience. He showed me some pictures of some of Joergs Japanese range and I fell in love with them. We got to talking about how 4Grounds range and Jorgs range could work well together playing Test of Honour and this got me thinking “hey, I’ve got some bits for that”, “why don’t we put on a game?”.
I bought the core box and the Bandits and Brigands faction, Jamie bought the Ninja faction and Mel bought the Onna bugeisha. I was not a fan of the Wargames Factory plastic figures and so they still remain in the box unbuilt. However, the three other factions were sent to Shaun of Little Ninja Painting who has done a superb job painting them for Battle Bunker Gaming Group.
The next job was to sort out the table, I already had a 3×3 FatMats mat and so all that was required was some terrain. As you have probably guessed, having a great relationship with Ben he brought round 4Grounds Shogunate range of buildings for us to make. Mel instantly took the box of MDF off to the painting room and began to start making the buildings, que the music.
So fast forward to tonight, the night of our first game playing Test of Honour. Ben and Hellyn “Ben’s wife” came round again carrying a box in which he handed to me and said “you better set up the table with these, while we sort out dinner”. Inside the box was a few of Joerg Benders Japanese buildings, which you will see in the pictures below and which are also due for release this weekend at the time of writing.
Joergs buildings in the pictures are as follows –
- The Torii Gate
- The small Shrines
- The Red Bridge
- The tall Fences around the Temple
- The Temple
All of the rest of the buildings and small fences are from the 4Ground Shogunate range of terrain.
I must say that I think all these buildings really work for Test of Honour and I think they would equally work well for Bushido and other games like that.
So, how did Test of Honour play?
Well, I’m not going to go into a full review as I am late to the party on doing this. But I will briefly talk about our experience playing our first game.
Ben and I were playing 12pts of my Bandits and Brigands faction for the intro mission and Hellyn and Mel were playing with Mels Onn Bugeisha faction again at 12pts.
The game and the mechanics seems straight forward, mainly needing 3 swords on the dice to be successful. However, if you roll more X then a fumble may have happened in which case you consult the action. To activate a unit, you draw a counter from the bag and activate the unit type on the counter. This can be a samurai unit or a commoner unit. Each unit type can perform a number of activations (samurai hero can activate 3 times and places 3 counters in the bag for example). Also in the bag goes 3 fate tokens.
When the first or second fate token is drawn then you can draw a skill card and give it to any of your samurai. A samurai can have as many skill cards as he has activations. On the draw of the 3rd fate token then this ends the turn and any unit activated units doesn’t activate this turn. All the used unit counters are placed back in the bag and the turn starts over again and the game is played for a set number of turns.
When a unit is targeted by shooting or melee they have a chance to avoid the attack providing they have not yet activated in the turn. I like this mechanic as it gives the feel of the figures constantly moving about on the battlefield.
Overall we had a really good time playing Test of Honour and the terrain I think set the scene very well and interacted with the figures equally well. Teat of Honour is a great small game which you can certainly get a flavour of the period through the actions and cards in the game. I’m really looking forward to receiving my Mortal Gods pre order…..
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post as much as we have been involved in it. Don’t forget to take a look around at the other games we play.
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