Ninjas of Iga is the most recent expansion for Test of Honour to be released by Warlord Games. The expansion contains 7x 28mm metal miniatures, a rules booklet, 10x 25mm round bases, 2x Test of Honour group bases, and 18x new cards and is priced at GBP 27.50
Having assembled and painted the models, I had a look through the new rules and cards to see how they could be used in the game.
Most of the miniatures come in two parts to enable some pretty dynamic poses but there isn’t really much scope to mix and match the parts in order to create a wider variety of poses. One or two of the joints weren’t brilliant so I needed to use some accelerator when gluing them together to get a decent bond. The detail on the sculpts is excellent and the castings and very crisp with minimal clean-up required. I painted the models with the same very dark brown and grey/blue colour scheme I recently trialled on some Dixon Miniatures Ninja and then based them to match the rest of my Test of Honour collection before picking out the details of the weapons, equipment & skin (Foundry Oriental Flesh). I’m pleased with how they turned out and looking forward to getting them on the table in the near future.
The rules booklet in the boxed set is “Darkness and Deceit” which is the same 12 page booklet that comes with Bandits & Brigands expansion (more on that at a later date). The booklet opens with defining a few new keywords for recruitment cards – Unarmoured (+1 Agility, opponents roll + 1 damage dice), Mounted (9″ move action; spear/naginata armed infantry gain +1 Strike & Avoice dice vs Mounted and Quick Fire (shooting attacks trigger damage bonus on three swords). The next section of the rules is expanded terrain and movement rules covering climbing, leaping, falling, low rough terrain, entering buildings and defending buildings.
Next there are new scenario rules covering darkness, lanterns, random movement and unaware enemies – all essential things for sneaky ninja to take advantage of! Carrying items and optional victory point rules are also included. The final section of the rules is four new scenarios, which are designed to introduce players to the new rules and are Sudden Attack, Ambush in the Dark, Undercover Raid & Assassination. Cut out counters are included for lanterns which are an important part of the darkness rules but MDF models of these are also available. All the extra rules feel like they will add a lot to the game and the rules for ambushing unaware targets are particularly innovative and interesting.
The included recruitment cards are 3x Individual Ninja (2 point commoners); 2x Ninja Group (3 point commoner groups); 2x Ninja Lieutenant (6 point samurai); 1x Ninja Hero (7 point samurai hero) and one named character: Kato the Shadow, an 8 point samurai hero). Regardless of the equipment depicted on the model, all ninja count as armed with two swords and thrown weapons which nicely abstracts the wide variety of weapon options and makes it easier to use proxy miniatures. All ninja have Unarmoured and Quick Fire keywords and Kato starts with the “Black as Night” skill card. Thrown weapons have a range of 9″ with two damage dice and two swords have the useful effect on a critical strike of removing one die from the target’s avoid roll.
The skill cards include a couple of quests, three infamy cards, two mastery cards (most notably Shuriken which gives thrown weapons a damage bonus as long as one sword is removed) and two agility cards. The Silent Running agility card allows a 5″ Cautious move per turn and Black as Night, an ongoing effect which makes it harder to spot all ninja in a force in the darkness.
I do also have all the other expansions for Test of Honour but I painted these miniatures first as they were nice and easy and I was particularly looking forward to trying out the rules for them. As I work my way through the other expansions, I’ll post a review of each of them.