Duri is as much a cannon as the pistols he carries. Like all kaizoku, he needs some help to get moving reliably. Luckily, most Kancho can offer him some support. Bounty brings him up to 4 dice against important enemies. Yuji can inspire him up to 4 dice (5 stacked with Bounty). Black Sails buys him an extra activation to reload faster or make up for his peg leg. Queen of the Waves can grant him flank to drop in behind your opponent and get that Surprise bonus. With Minato, Powerful Attack(1) helps negate the -1 on his knife.
For me, Duri is not range 3/6/9, he’s 3/6/-. Even with 3 dice, he wants a high success level to fully benefit from the +2, Pierce(2) pistol. Since you’re going to spend 2 activations reloading, you need to do 2 turns worth of damage in 1. Dead Eye is handy when you need it, and generating 2 ki a turn, he’s usually got it to spend. Picking up the new Silver Bullets enhancement and gaining Bleed at range helps set up the sharks, and deal that additional damage when the guns don’t deliver quite enough.
His Once-Per-Game effect to remove all reload markers is going to be used in every game. Picking the right time to use it is important. Usually, turn 3 or 4 is when I find the most benefit. Earlier, and you still have time to reload, later and he’s usually close to getting locked in melee and not getting a shot off at all.
Courage(1), when combined with Leadership or bravery from Mari or Tora, is more than enough to keep Duri fearless.
In melee, Duri can hold his own, but he’s happiest if he disengages. Black Sails giving him Sidestep Defense or Kamikaze placing him 1 inch out of combat is the quickest way to get to safety. Events like Blow the Man Down and the aforementioned No Quarter are great ways to punish opponents who try to engage him.
With Unstable, and not being able to run or charge, Duri makes a poor objective runner, but late game he can get forgotten and snag one while their models are engaged elsewhere. He’s a good choice to leave behind in a zone you’ve won control of as you push your enemies back into the next area.
Duri is typically the first of the Kaizoku to make it into most of my lists. He packs enough of a punch for cheap to make him an easy filler. At 14 rice, he can afford the upgrades he needs.
The other new addition to Jung, Jori is right at home with his Kaizoku brethren. He relies on his Kancho less than other kaizoku but thrives under their leadership.
Lightweight, bleed at range with boostable 3 dice means his short-range is negligible. With Reach, the counter-attack that follows a close-ranged assault isn’t as dangerous. Game Hunter gives Jung some much-needed access to Sharp, although at 2 cost on a 1 ki model you need to plan ahead. Jori hits more consistently than a lot of Jung range thanks to lightweight helping him get into position faster. With Bleed, even low Success Level hits can reliably chip away at an enemy’s wound track.
Reel Them In! helps not only Jori, but his brother Yori as well. Knocking models Prone from a distance of up to 6 inches is fantastic. Being a Pulse hurts compared to an Aura since you will rarely have the 4 Ki to cast it twice for both brothers, but used in the Conclave of Captains theme with the Ashinaga Tenaga’s Believer to reduce the cost of Kaizoku ki feats it becomes 1 ki that’s always worth spending. Being an Active Feat means you have to pay it before you roll to hit, so getting that low target number before you use it is beneficial.
As a starter set model, Jori has a pretty basic trait list, but Bravery and Jump Up are great to have when you need them. 1 Ki is a drawback. Bravery and access to leadership mean Fear isn’t a huge threat, but not being able to go after Disguised models and being vulnerable to Opposed Ki feats is his Achilles heel.
Each Kancho brings out the best in Jori. Mari’s Scout and Flank pair excellently with his lightweight harpoon. Minato’s Powerful Attack(1) helps him take advantage of his melee boost and get the most out of reach. Hibiki’s Evasive and Sidestep Defense lets him hit who he wants when he wants.
If he was a few points cheaper, he would be an auto-include in every list, but at 16 points he’s right where he should be. The most reliable model in Jung, he is consistent and a great place to start for beginners. You will get spoiled by lightweight and for only 3 rice more than his brother, you get a lot more on the table.
Yori is a man in waiting. His sculpt is beautiful. His concept and flavor as a stumbling drunk pirate are incredible, but he’s suffering by only running at 80% capacity, and that remaining 20% is what makes him unique to Jung.
Until Jung gains access to Fire Markers, I have a hard time including Yori. Jori helps bring him up a bit, with Reel Them In! giving Yori the ability to knock models prone. But for the cost, Jung has options that negate most of Yori’s usefulness.
For only 3 less rice than his brother, he loses +1 strength on his Harpoons, Reach, 1 Ranged dice and trades Bravery for Immune(Stun). The ranged dice is the biggest loss, as with only 1 Ki he isn’t going to be able to boost consistently, and getting in close enough to hit reliably means he is vulnerable to a counter-attack.
Stagger giving him Ranged Defense is useful, but he isn’t a high enough threat to be a consistent ranged target by your opponents. Sidestep Defense helps too, but if you’re running Black Sails, he gets that innately from Hibiki.
I don’t find Katakuchi to be worth the trade-off most of the time. Gaining Fearless isn’t as important in a faction with lots of access to Bravery, Leadership, and access to Frightened removal, there are typically better options than also gaining Aggressive and Unstable.
His ability to pull people with ranged attacks is great, but he’s not consistent in damaging. Only 2 ranged dice means he’s hitting at low success levels, and +0 makes it hard for him to damage anything with armor or tough. For 2 rice more, you can bring Ashinaga Tenaga who is able to boost more consistently at range.
Then there are the Sake Bottles. I loved this thematically since I first read them. Throwing alcohol on your enemies that are on fire is such a pirate move. And increasing the value of every fire marker on a model is going to hurt if you’ve stacked several markers on them. But as of writing this, Jung lacks access to anything that can deliver fire. As soon as they get it, Yori will be back on the table to sling his drunken chaos into the mix, but until then, Jung has access to better options.
The named Kohanin is a steal at 9 rice. Boostable 3 in melee and access to Sweep Attack (0) is solid on its own, but with Jung’s options for increasing it, Sho can quickly become a powerhouse. Under Yuji’s inspiration and hunting a Bountied model, Sho becomes 5 melee dice.
Dodge(1) lets you be a bit more aggressive than most Kaizoku allow. Typically, kaizoku need to roll more defensive to protect themselves as they lack armor and tough so being able to swing a bit more recklessly makes a big difference. Drag Defense(0) is great for pulling enemies out of BTB with others and make Sho a great second man in.
The best trick in the cheap kaizoku arsenal is spinning around the base of a model they are engaged with. Either through Sidestep defense, or simply moving around on their second activation and attacking, using the kaizoku to expose the rear-arc of your enemies means the next man in hits with Surprised, Outnumbered, and likely Exhausted penalties on the enemy.
-1 on his hook makes it harder to get the Bleed Tokens out, so he’s a great target for the Triangle Knife. Keeping Bleed, but going up to +1? Gaining Pierce and Combo Attack (1) still makes him insanely affordable at 11 rice.
If you need him cheaper, he’s can be the target of the Peg Leg, as it drops him down to the same cost as a generic Kohanin, just a bit slower. For 1 rice, he can innately do everything Kohanin have the potential to do, plus more.
The bread and butter of Jung, most lists are going to include 1, if not both, Kohanin. 8 rice makes them great list filler, and with all the benefits they can get from their superiors, they quickly become under-costed models.
Similar to Sho, they benefit greatly from the Triangle Knife, it’s an upgrade in every way for them. Drag Defense(1) isn’t going to be used frequently. If you need it, you’re better off just paying the extra rice and bringing Sho. Their ki feat gives them Dodge(1) and Jump Up, so they match Sho’s trait box.
The Kohanin thrive as activation eaters and scenario runners. Their playstyle differs depending on the captain. Minato and Yuji can boost them with Powerful Attack and Inspiration, turning them into damage generators. Hibiki makes them slippery eels that are a thorn in the side of your opponent. Mari uses them to overwhelm her foes with numbers.
One of the least interesting models on the card, but some of the most fun to play within the faction.
Taru’s primary goal is an entangler, using his net to tie up his enemies. He’s cheap, which makes up for his inconsistency, but at 11 rice, he rarely makes a list before Sho for me. If I just need Grapple, Water Kami make a better, cheaper option. However, his access to turning Objectives and the Kaizoku boosts keeps him from getting benched.
His ranged attack is a trap. You’re better off closing the distance and engaging in melee. His melee stats are better, and he doesn’t lose access to the Net on a success. There are times when you want to keep him out of BTB so Immobilized is the better option than Held, but if the primary goal is to tie up a model, get in, get the grapple and roll defensively on the counter. The best use if on Mari or Yuji’s command action. If you can immobilize a target and get in with a kohanin before they can remove it, you’ll see some results.
Tornado is an interesting option and even with 1 Ki, Taru usually has the ki to spend. The important thing to note is the target of your new counter-attack does not have to be the initial attacker. Getting position for this is tough, since Taru has to be within 2 inches, and after spending 2 ki to use Tornado, you’re probably not going to be able to boost his ranged pool. Targeting a close range, Bountied model is your best option for delivering damage.
Some games, Taru is just not going to have the option to use his abilities. No ranged weapons on your opponents is a quick way to nullify a lot of Taru’s strengths. Even in those cases, he is a great objective runner and gets the Kaizoku boosts from his captain to make up for some of his cost.
The generic form of Taru, they share a similar relationship as Sho and the Kohanin. Typically, the Korusea will make my lists before Taru. They make great targets for peg legs to bring their costs down even lower, and Dirty Fighting is a more universal benefit than Tornado.
Not being able to boost Ranged means throwing the net is an even worse idea without Yuji’s inspiration or a bounty on the enemy, but you don’t need a high success level to trigger entangling. Grapple (1) puts them at risk, as they tend to have to roll all in attack and hope the grapple shuts down the attack. Like all Kaizoku, you’re better off using the Kaizoku to exhaust models and have one of the heavy hitters finish them off.