Bushido is one of those games I've tried to get people to play locally that I have to be honest and say I've struggled with. I think there's some sort of mental block with a lot of gamers over games without a physical rulebook. It's an understandable first test, it really is. I mean if it doesn't even have a rulebook yet is it even a game yet? I obviously say yes, because you get a free little rulebook with the starter sets, and the rules exist. But hey, I still tried pimping it because I think it's an good little game you know. Besides, it's at the stage where they're still probably finalising what that first edition rulebook will look like, so the game could actually really do with experienced gamers playing it, and feeding back their thoughts to the guys at GCT Studio's. Any who, me and the Cursed, who I've tried to get involved with the game, decided to trek all the way from the West Midlands to Cardiff this Saturday to take a look at what was billed as the worlds first ever Bushido Tournament held at Firestorm Games.
Now for those of you who don't know this, port towns are notoriously bad at dealing with traffic. The reason being is that roughly 50% of the potential dispersal area for congestion is, to not put too fine a point on it, bloody sea! So unless you're in a boat you're stuffed if you drive that way. So port towns are notoriously bad for being able to let pressure in their system ease out of the center. Put it this way it took us 1 hour 43 minutes to get to Cardiff... and then 59 minutes to get through the Cardiff traffic to Firestorm games. A journey the satnav was telling us should only take 6 minutes. Honestly, I was so close to beating someone to death with a plastic fork it was untrue. Genuinely Cardiff's collected town planning department must have an IQ score of spoon! Any way we finally got to Firestorm Games just before my head exploded, which was quite handy.
For those of you who haven't been to Firestorm Games, it's just off of the Penarth Road on Trade Street, it creeps up on you, and if you're not careful you can miss it. Coming from the east of the city you'll first see the Brains Brewery, this is a sure sign you're getting very, very close. The street entrance you are looking for looks like this:
|This way lies toy soldiers|
Once there though it's a pretty good little shop / gaming venue. That looks something like this:
|The outside is painted a 'nice' shade of pastel green now!|
|Inside it's a shop... yeah quite the revelation that!|
It's not a bad little shop. Although it doesn't actually have that great a range of the games I'm currently playing the most right now, Infinity, Freebooter's Fate and they have no stock of Heavy Gear Blitz at all. Still if you're after discount Games Workshop stock or Flames of War stuff you're in luck. Any way if you find yourself in Cardiff you should pop along and look them up, to see what you think for yourself.
By the time we had got to Firestorm the tournament was already under way, stupid bloody traffic! There were only 12 people playing in the tournament, but for a game that's barely a year old, if that, I don't think that's too bad a turnout. The measure of these things though is whether people actually had a good time, and wandering around the place having chats with people it seemed like they were having a whale of a time. I have to be brutally honest and say that I no longer have the stomach for a full weekends worth of gaming, so the fact it was only a one day event certainly appealed to me. It was also very well organised and ably run by Mick Green (I think that's his name), and were they to run another tournament I'd certainly be interested in going, because the people seemed cool, they had cake and the boards looked ace:
|The battle of the hastily primed and part painted forces... was a damn good game though!|
|The Temple Ro Kan Force in this picture is utterly gorgeous looking.|
|Possibly my favourite board of the day.|
|The Cult of Yurei force in this picture was really nicely painted.|
It wasn't just the tables that looked nice though, the small warbands themselves looked pretty darn good. There was a really nice Cult of Yerei force painted by the shows organiser and a splendid looking Temple Ro Kan force on some Micro Art Bases that were to die for. There was also a really cool looking Prefecture of Ryu warband painted by Adam Wilcox, he won best painted faction for them, and that prize was very hotly contested let me tell you! Generally the painting standard was good and I'd go as far to say that the painting standard across the board was top notch. It was certainly nice to see armies painted more than the minimum three colour standard you see at some tournaments. True there were one or two part painted factions as people had clearly hastily tried getting ready for the tournament a week before, but you could see that everyone had made an effort, which was great to see. Because lets be honest, it's often this side of the hobby that gets neglected by some tournament goers, by no means all, but some.
So what about Bushido as a tournament game then? Does it suit tournament play? Well not having taken part I can't really comment, but there are a number of things that I will say in its favour that means I personally think it does suit tournament play:
- The 2' by 2' play area is genius. Bushido doesn't take up too much space and can cram a lot of game into a very tight area, and still give you space to store dice etc. around the edge. Its contained nature helps event organisers and players alike.
- The small nature of the warbands means it's easy to move from game to game.
- Although games are quick and frenetic and take up a small amount of time, a lot of play and tactics is crammed into that time. A Warhammer Fantasy Tornament was going on at the same time. In the time it took them to play one and a half games the Bushido gamers played 4 games and had time to stop for Pizza and Cake.
- All of the above means it lends itself far more to the social aspects of tournament play. You do have time to chat with your opponent if you want to, and to take things easy and enjoy the games. There's no sense of panic about getting things done in time... plus there's time for cake and there should always be time for cake!!!
So would I now actually consider attending a tournament again? Honestly? Yes. If it was as well run as this one clearly was, and as much fun as this one was. I'll be keeping my eyes open for anymore Bushido tournaments that may be happening anytime soon.
So to wrap up who were the winners? Well apart from everyone who attended... the overall winner was Carlos of GCT Studios with his Prefecture of Ryu force. I'm reliably informed by the other members of GCT Studios that it must have been a fix, or that he was cheating because he's rubbish. Second was John Conway with his Temple Ro Kan and Third was John Wood with his Prefecture of Ryu. As I mentioned above, Adam Wilcox took home the best painted prize, which was thoroughly deserved. A special mention has to go to Odin form GCT Studios as well, who seemed to have the worst luck with the dice, although it didn't seem to ruin his enjoyment of the game, or though that could have been the beer. I think it might possibly have been the close proximity of the Cursed affecting his dice, but even so his dice rolls were dire!
|This was a depressingly average roll for Odin.|
So there you have it, the worlds first ever Bushido tournament, and hopefully the start of many more to come. I'm certainly going to be turning up to the next one, and the Cursed might even come with me. Why? Because he's actually decided to back the Bushido Ito Faction Indiegogo campaign, which by the way is painfully close to reaching its second stretch goal of $20,000, sitting just shy when I last checked at $19,360. The Cursed has decided to go for the $100 perk, or the I want I-Two if you will and pick up not only the Ito when they are eventually released, but also pick up a Savage Wave force for now. This is so I can smash him about a bit with those, before destroying his Ito when they arrive! Any way the guys at GCT Studios posted a fan made video to their campaign today that's worth taking a look at, whoever is responsible, well done Sir, you did a bang up job:
Any way that's enough Bushido for today. I'd just like to remind people of my Birthday Post and ask that you all help me promote it wherever you can, because the quicker I get to those Follower targets the quicker I get to give those prizes away. Peace out!