The Silvermoon Trade Syndicate will be available for the first time at GenCon in... well, two weeks from now (well, yesterday, but still). So while GCT has posted up plenty of previews, what do the actual starter contents look like? Well, the fellows at GCT sent me a set. So here's a little ditty I wrote up as I took the figures out of the package.
So let's unbox and do a little review of the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate starter set.
At GenCon, GCT Studios will be releasing their 6th faction for their skirmish game, Bushido. This faction is the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate. They essentially run the commerce of the Jwar Isles, or at least, all the major commerce. That gives them a lot of power, but also makes them wary of others and they always are looking to make their hold stronger.
Being the huge Bushido fan that I am (as mentioned in my previous reviews), I was giddy like a schoolboy when the package that contained my shiny, new starter set arrived.
So let's take this starter set apart and see what we get.
The starter contains 5 models, like most of the starter sets do. The models included are: Harukichi, Manu, Senpu, Tsubaki and Wasupu.
Starting with Harukichi, we see a pattern that will be common throughout the starter. The model comes in 3 pieces. The main piece includes the legs, torso and head while the other two parts are the arms/hands of the model. In this case, Harukichi is holding a cane and a bowl of rice. I gotta say, I love the symbolism in that, especially since Rice is the term used for when you buy models in the game.
As for his rules, Harukichi's all about fixing things so the odds always work in his favor. He's nearly helpless in an actual fight, but his Ki feats are very powerful. He can either alter a single die during a roll or he can cause rerolls of dice. Both of those can come in handy. One other “fluffy” rule he has is that whenever he would gain Ki, his player can flip a coin. If they call the flip correctly, Harukichi gains double Ki. If they call it incorrectly, he gains no Ki at all.
So what keeps Harukichi safe and confident on the battlefield? That'd be his Buto bodygard, Manu, the next to come out of the package. Manu is big. Large-level-big. Bushido already had a sumo (or jumo as it's called in t he Jwar Isles) wrestler, Mikio from the Prefecture of Ryu. Manu makes Mikio look like a kid by comparison. Again, he's got the 3-piece construction of Harukichi, striking a pose of “I'm going to grab you and crush you.” As for rules, Manu hits like a ton of bricks and as mentioned, has Bodyguard. He's got Oni-levels of defensive ability, so he's going to be on the table for quite some time.
I'd say that Harukichi and Manu are sort of the “showcase pair” for the starter set. We now move into the lower-rice cost models that round out the starter. First up is Senpu. Senpu's model gives you the option on how you want his head facing, since he's a 4-part model as opposed to the 3-piece we've seen so far. Though most of the time he'll just be facing straight ahead. I do like the pose they put him in, as it does feel like he's charging headlong into the enemy. His rules, as mentioned, are pretty standard. He has average stats but he can help out his pals by giving them Ranged Defense (2) via one of his Ki Feats.
Senpu also has the “flip a coin” rule for when he gains Ki.
Wasupu is the ranged attacker of the starter. His model, like Senpu, is 4 pieces. However, he does come with some extra bits and bangles you can put on him (or any of the models, if you prefer) that can help you personalize them to your taste. His rules make him a solid ranged-attacker. He doesn't have to worry about reloading (kind-of, anyway... he has 4 ammo, but can take a complex action to regain all of it when he's out). He has pretty good range bands, so expect him to be letting bolts fly at key enemy pieces.
Wasupu is the last of the starter set models with the “flip a coin” rule for whenever they gain Ki. I foresee this being a common rule in the Syndicate, making the whole faction fit well with the “gambling kingpins” that they're made out to be in the fluff.
The final model in the starter is Tsubaki. She is also a 4-piece model, but unlike the other 4-piecers we've had, it's one of her legs and not her head that makes up the 4th piece. Tsubaki is a fan-dancer and her rules are all about distracting the opposing force. She begins the game disguised, making it very hard for the enemy to attack her until she's attacked them. Her one Ki Feat is Seduction which can make an enemy model Stupid for the remainder of the turn. Her single-shot ranged attack can make enemies blind. Tsubaki is a board-controller extraordinaire, but she bruises like a grape, so make sure she's safely protected.
Overall, the sculpting for various Bushido models has certainly improved over the time I've been following the game. Some of the very early sculpts have elements that... could be improved (and I'll leave it at that), but these all look really good. As always from GCT, there's very little flash hanging on to the models and not any major mold line problems, either. I've always been rather happy with the ease of which the figures go together. However, there are some itty-bitty joints on these guys. We'll see how well those hands stay attached to the wrists.
I think the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate will be a good addition to the overall Bushido world. They've got some interesting Ki mechanics and can really mess with probability which is rather unique to them. I can't wait to get these guys together and try them out against my other factions on the tabletop.