Finally made it to the sharks! These guys are what sold me on the game and were a great lesson in what not to do in Bushido. Early games were frustrating because they never did what I wanted them to do. Eventually, I learned I had to play how they wanted, I couldn’t make them play how I wanted.
Arata is as much a blessing as he is a curse. When he goes off, he hits like a truck that will ruin your opponent’s day. They’ll look at him and say “that was 10 rice?!” and you will laugh as the madman you are.
Other times, Arata will lose you the game because of his Impetuous marker and you will send him back to Davey Jones’ Locker, swearing he’ll never see the light of day again.
Impetuous has 2 major downsides. 1) Your opponent sees it coming. They know who is going to activate, and considering Arata has no ranged attack, can’t wait or focus, there are only so many actions he can take. 2) In order to benefit from the Bleed bonus, you need to get two Bleed tokens on a model the previous turn so they start the turn with one. If you can get that 10 inch Banzai charge off once, he’s more than made back his points.
Arata’s weakness is his predictability. Aggressive on 3 dice means you’re going to be rolling 2 attack and 1 defense almost every time. If you can get a 4th dice, either through Inspiration or Bounty, you’re usually going to put it in defense as he has no toughness or armor. Without the element of surprise, your opponent can easily manipulate things in their favor. Exhausted, Arata rolls 1 and 1 which is relying on strong rolls to keep him alive.
Between Bravery and Fear(5), Arata isn’t getting frightening easily. Picking the right target for Arata is essential. A 1 Ki, non-brave, non-fearless model can get shut down real quick as he charges in. Ranged Defense helps negate his medium size, which is very much appreciated. He’s a sitting duck until engaged in melee. The sooner he gets into BTB the better. Because of impetuous, he’s going to find himself in some vulnerable positions, so Sixth Sense will save his hide frequently.
His 2 Ki is going to be spent on Asp Strike so he can get Lightning Reflexes. Getting that first attack can be his only defense some times. The downside to this is he doesn’t get to use Hammer Strike as often as he wants to. Unblockable(1) is so good on Arata, but you gotta make sure he’s protected after that exchange because he is going to take some damage.
Being able to heal is nice, but it never fully outclasses the damage he takes, so its mostly prolonging the inevitable. With some good defense rolls though he can be a continual thorn in the side of his enemies.
The best use of Arata is with Mari in Queen of the Waves. Giving him flank gives you time to set up the board without the nuisance of Impetuous. Even a turn 5 entry can be a devastating blow to your opponent’s plan if you could get the right set up.
In a perfect world: From ranged, Silver Bullets or Harpoons put a Bleed marker on a model. A Kohanin attacks, getting a second Bleed token on while positioning so the enemy’s rear-arc is exposed to a table edge. Get Taru or a Korusea in and grapple to hold the model in place. Next turn, Arata pops on the board in the rear-arc, Banzai’s in for an all-out assault. The enemy is outnumbered by 2 and held so they’re down 3 dice, likely 1 or 0 left. Arata has enough Ki for Hammer Strike, meaning that 1 dice they rolled is gone. A 3-4 dice attack, plus the charge bonus, with no defense from your opponent. That model is very likely dead. It seems like a lot to dedicate to removing a model, but it’s only 28 points for those 3 models and there are very few models that can survive that attack on even average rolls.
I wanted Arata to be 3rd act Jaws, outsmarting and defying Quint at every turn until he sinks his teeth into him. He’s more 1st act Jaws, picking off the swimmers that aren’t paying attention.
Arata without Impetuous, Ryota is a great choice if you don’t want to Flank with the sharks. He can wait patiently in the back for the field to be coated in Bleed tokens, and then charge in for the kill. Still aggressive so a bit predictable, but since he can wait till late in the turn, your opponent can have fewer options if they’re exhausted/surprised.
He loses Arata’s innate Bleed, but Tiger Strike gives it back, with Sharp so he can cut through tough and get those healing wounds. Powerful Attack(1) will be extra security on a charge that can bypass the thickest Minimoto armor. Take the scenario described above, but add another +3 to the damage roll.
He still requires the same amount of set-up as Arata, but being able to do it in the same turn makes him more beginner-friendly than Arata. Again, using the above scenario, you can use Mari’s command to set up the three kaizoku in one turn, slap an impetuous marker on an enemy to control what your opponent does, and then charge in with Ryota. He gets all the benefits from above, plus the model is exhausted, and he has Powerful Attack.
I’d say that’s worth 4 more rice.
His big flaw is his 1 Ki. He can’t use Tiger Strike every turn, it’s hard for him to boost and he’s susceptible to opposed Ki tests. Keep him out of range as long as possible against Ito and Cult and he’ll stay on the board longer.
The Kanimiman are the best independent models in Jung. Unlike the Kaizoku, they require very little in the way of boosts, which is good because they don’t have much at their disposal. They still benefit from overwhelming and stacking states on enemies, but you’ll still see results if they get isolated. They thrive on being defensive while chipping away offensively. For maximum damage output, they knock down what you’re Kaizoku set up.
Do you like games? Hideaki has games. Looking at his stat line, he should not be the force that he is, but he is one of the heaviest hitters in Jung.
Retract is the key to Hideaki’s potential. An Instant feat, it can be used right before the damage roll. With Reach on the Gaff, Hideaki will often have the initiative. With only 2 dice, your opponent is easily swayed into rolling aggressively, meaning rolling 2 attack dice can usually get through their defenses. Before the opponent’s damage roll, cast Retract. Now he’s Armor(3) and Durable. With 6 health, his only risk is against Combo Attack.
Scout(1/6) is fantastic. It puts him on the center objective after 1 run, and he gets 2 extra Ki to have a reserve for boosts or Fukku. Fear(5) isn’t always going to trigger a Frightened marker, but when it does it just makes Hideaki better.
Both his weapons are fantastic. His claw at +2 and Sharp helps ensure maximum damage. Critical Attack(1) is rarely used. If he gets more dice, he’s not going to drop one on the chance that he removes a model. Sidestep Defense(0) is great for not getting locked in combat and forcing your opponent to come to you.
The Gaff delivers Bleed tokens and gives him Reach. Sidestep Attack, Push Defense and Drag Defense will all see use as needed. Great for Zone control.
Fukku is situational, and usually, his ki is better spent boosting his attack. When you need to free up another model in melee, it’s a great way to draw the enemy out. You can place the model anywhere in BTB with Hideaki, so you can expose their rear-arc to a friendly model. If Hideaki Sidesteps out of BTB, now the model is a prime target for a ranged attack. With Kami of Relflection, Fukku gets a lot more interesting. I’ll get into that more later.
I wish Kanimiman were allowed in more themes, because Hideaki is super fun to play. Currently, Black Sails and Landing Party are the only themes that he can run with.
Tetsuso is Hibiki’s replacement for Minato. If you need more damage output from Black Sails, this is your answer.
Speed 5 means he can keep pace with Hibiki and makes an excellent VIM. He’s resilient, with tons of ways to disengage. Armor(3) and 10 health, Tetsuso can easily see turn 6. Tack on Vial of Rajin’s breath and you’ve got a 14 inch, Cloudwalk charge that, thanks to his large size, can see over most models and objectives. It’s easy to catch an opponent by surprise as that’s not something they are on the lookout for when you play Jung. Boosting his move is great to get that last-minute push to get the VIM where he needs to be. Booted Vial is a 12-inch run.
Bravery and Fear(5), like Hideaki, won’t work every time, but there’s no harm in having it for the times that it does. Immune[Prone] keeps him mobile and lightfoot keeps him moving fast.
If you’re going to spend 2 extra points on Tetsuso (as fun as the Vial is), Arashi’s Fan will pay off in spades. He’s very vulnerable to range, and his armor won’t save him forever. With the fan, you’ll at least force your opponent to get in close for a counter-attack.
Crushing Blow is an almost every turn Ki Feat. 2 Ki for Brutal and Pierce is a guaranteed increase if you need more attack strength. Boosting should be reserved for when he’s been reduced below 3 dice.
His weapons have a lot of options. Reach on the Naginata lets him get the full benefit of Push Attack and Sidestep Attack. Powerful Attack(1) is there for when you’re up on an advantage. Once you lose initiative, the Claw has Sidestep Defense for getting out of melee, Grapple Attack(0) for setting up a second strike, or Critical Attack (1) for those who love to gamble. +0 on the Naginata can lead to a few underwhelming attack rolls, but Claw +2 is there for when you need damage. Naginata is more for disengaging anyway.
He doesn’t have a lot of defenses against multiple enemies, so if you see a mob coming towards him disengage as soon as possible. If he gets overwhelmed, which is easy to fall victim to with his large base, he loses his edge.
There’s not a lot of themes that allow for Tetsuso, but in elite non-themed lists, or when you need a model that will outlast everyone, Tetsuso rolling all defense will walk away without a scratch the majority of the time.
Crabs of the Eastern Sea
Horse Shoe Crab – A fun mobile piece of terrain, Armor(3) Tough(3) means it’s hard to remove from the board. It can give you an edge in Zone control, or block your opponent out from an objective. It’s insanely cheap at 1 rice, but you’ll have to have a plan for it to get the cost back, especially factoring all the great cheap Special Cards Jung has access to.
Giant Fiddler Crab – A Move(6) challenge isn’t too hard to pass for most models, but those times when it does, you instantly made back your 4 rice. Unstable, Slow, and Weak (Melee), benefits every other model in Jung. Size tests from Blow the man down are even harder to pass. Kaizou love being able to attack first in melee and Weak protects them on the defense.
They make decent use of the new Knife that crabs have access to as it gives them a better attack should the enemy pass the challenge. Going up to +1 Pierce(1) from a -2 is hilariously great for 1 rice, even if there are about a dozen other models that want the Knife as well.
The fiddler benefits from early turn activations, chewing up your enemies’ chance to respond to bigger hitters. If you can get the fiddler attached to an enemy early it frees up the Itsiro Crab Swarm to activate late in a turn, where they shine.
Itsiro Crab Swarm – 3 dice, Armor(2), Durable. These little guys can put the hurt on unsuspecting foes. Targeting already exhausted and weakened foes who can’t afford to attack back will keep them alive. Even if you only get 3 attacks off with this guy, at 7 rice(8 if you take the knife) he will put out more damage than the equally valued Kohanin.
If Tetsuso isn’t what you’re looking for, Lua is the other powerhouse option. For the same cost, he has fewer options at his disposal but is more consistent in what he does do: obliterate weak models. PIrates don’t play fair, and a recurring theme you’ll find within Jung is trying not to square off similarly costed enemies. The high rice models (Kancho’s excluded) much prefer to take on the low cost enemies, while Jung’s cheap models like to take on the big threats together. Two Kohanin and Sho are much happier to go after Master Po than Lua is.
If Lua (and this applies to Tetsuso as well) wants to go after the bigger threats, follow the cardinal rule of Jung: Weaken the enemy with states first. Knock them prone, exhaust them, outnumber them, hold them. Jung wants to be in combat when your opponent has 1 die to defend with.
With 3 Dice in melee, Lua rolls best defensively. 2 in defense, 1 in offense. His 10 health boxes and tough(1) will help shield him from some below-average defense rolls, and Brutal(1) helps a good offense. He won’t always hit this way, but when he does,+2 Axe with access to Powerful Attack (0) with Hack will cause damage.
If you need to hold a zone, Lua is a champion. Endurance prevents him from losing dice when exhausted, and in Docks of Ryu Tireless will let him attack back on his terms. A camped Lua rolling full defense is going to require our opponent to sink multiple models into bringing him down. Forceback Attack(1) is there to help him push enemies out of his territory.
Fear(4) is useful when he’s hunting 1 ki foe, but you need a bad roll for 2 ki models to fail. Steadfast is good to have, as he lacks bravery, and can’t benefit from Mari or Tora’s Leadership.
Dirty Fighting is a shield against a lot of weaknesses. He hates Combo Attacks, Sidesteps, Pushes, and Counterstrikes. 2 Ki to lock it down is worth it, but it means you can’t be hitting with Powerful Attack(0) as well most turns. If he’s aggressively chewing up activations, Dirty Fighting will be used once a turn. When he’s going for a kill, that’s when you’ll save the Ki for Hack.
With his medium size, he makes a great target for Arashi’s Fan, if you’re not bringing Tetsuso. Or, he can have some fun with the Vial as well. With 3 dice he’s gotta pick the right charge target, but the big man lumbering through models and terrain on a 12-inch charge is a threat your opponent has to deal with.
There is no list that doesn’t want Asami. A ranged Prone machine, her board control, and support make it hard to know just how to use her Ki because she never has enough.
Keeping her out of melee is important. You will never want to roll an attack dice, even if you’re up on dice. Sidestep out, and let other people do the bloody work. In my ranged list, I camp Duri next to her, if a model tries to enter BTB with her, trigger Blow the Man Down and watch them fly away. Now you’ve got a prone model within Duri’s short-range. She also likes to camp next to Yuji or Mari as they rattle off commands. Yori makes a decent shield as he can dive in front of ranged attacks that cross his path, and can gain Ranged Defense(1).
If she is attacking at range, you will be using Tide Master, every time. Better ranged band or ignoring LOS and Cover are never a bad thing to have access to, but Sweep Attack (0) is her primary objective most times. Knocking models prone from 6 inches away (or more if you buy Tide Maser twice) is a blast that every other model in Jung loves her for. With 3 ranged dice, she hits consistently, as she doesn’t need a high success level. Level 0 is just as much a success as level 5.
Her Zone control is excellent with Drag Attack and Forceback Attack moving models 1 inch from their current position. She moves as well, so be aware of her positioning. She’s also great at pulling your models out of engagements. She does not deal any damage, so firing into melee has no downside. If the goal is to disengage your model, it doesn’t often matter which model gets pulled out, the end result is the same.
Cleansing will save your hide when you need it, but it’s hard to have the right amount of ki for it. Playing into high token lists (Cult control, Ito Poison, or Minimoto Fire)will change her tactics a bit, and an early turn focus won’t hurt keep things safe.
The new cycle card, Miyakomo Rising is fantastic with Asami. Camp a Water Kami in BTB and it can heal back the health she lost from Cultist, or she can buy more life for the Water Kami to keep binding enemies up. For 2 rice, it’s worth bringing if Asami is on your list.
You gotta give her a shield of some kind, or make sure every enemy is tied up before she gets too close to the front lines. Hanging back 4-6 inches from the centerline is usually her sweet spot. Lack of lightweight on her Sorcery is unfortunate, but again, she just needs to hit her target number so she can move into a better position if need be.
Asami is one of my favorite models in Jung. She’s consistent and her constant flinging of prone markers makes Jung work better. For 14 rice, she is a steal who will often do more than your Kancho, as long as she’s protected.
My most recent experiment in Jung (thanks to the Conclave of Captains theme), I’m slowly coming around to Ashinaga. The harpoons pair nicely with Jori, granting them Prone. Bleed is always a welcome addition. Their nets work more consistently that Taru and the Korusea, as they often have the ki to boost. Entangling and Grapple in Melee is fantastic, since it holds and immobilizes all at once.
In Conclave of Captains, Believer benefits the midrange kaizoku the most. Jori absolutely loves 1 cost Reel Them In. Duri will take Dead Eye for 2 ki. Sho gaining Sweep Attack every turn for 1 ki is also more than welcome. It’s not a huge boost to everyone, but it’s enough to keep the kaizoku close.
8 health make Ashinaga a great activation eater, as they can risk a bit more aggression. Reach and Push Def(0) keeps combat on their terms.
Temo is the Pluto of Bushido. He’s no longer friendly faction, and I hope he gets some new pygmy pals soon because he’s kind of lonely over with the ronin.
On a serious note, Temo is another great source of states that Jung thrives on. Blind and Frightened help reduce their dice pool and Impetuous and Aggressive lets you take advantage of your models with Reach. 3 Ammo disappears fast, so make sure each shot counts.
He likes to be with Hibiki, as he gives him a better Sidestep defense and Evasive automatically, saving his ki for boosts. With the right terrain set up and board position, Lurker will be an every turn ki feat.
He’s solid in a ranged list and enough of a pest to draw enemies’ attention and ire, freeing up other models to take the scenario.
Kami of the Morning Dew
Like Ashinaga, Grapple and immobilize in one action is what Jung loves. Add in Slow if they attack back and healing each turn and the water kami will want to be in most lists.
Yori can use Katakuchi to cancel out Defensive and let the Water Kami roll all-out attacks to ensure the grapple.
Agile, Evasive, Dodge(2), the Water Kami is hard to hit when you don’t want it to be, and with 3 ki, resilient when you want to slow your opponent. With Miyakomo Rising letter them “heal” back up to 3 ki, they will be a wet blanket on your opponent’s plans for a long time.
Kami of Reflection
Ki Mirror has limited used in Jung, but the ones it has are great. Mostly range extenders for Mari’s Provoke and Yuji’s Inspiration, it also lets Yori launch his Katakuchi to any friendly model in his line of sight, which is a cheap way to remove Frightened.
The most fun way of using it is with Hideaki. Fukku needs a target within 2 inches. With Ki mirror, that extends to anywhere in Hideaki’s line of sight. Free up engaged models, pull models off scenario, or just rearrange the board. Best if you can get the Fiddler crab on a model first to give it Weak, making it harder for it to pass the size test.
Beyond it’s ki feat, the Kami of Reflection is a good source of damage, as Sharp(2) and the damage on taking wounds makes it a model your opponent doesn’t want to engage with.