The Shadow Wind Clan, also known as the Kage Kaze Zoku, are highly skilled covert operatives, very adept in assassinations and sabotage. The clan is made up of 3 houses, Bleeding Moon, North Star, and Long Shadow, each with their own ways of conducting their operations.
In this article, we'll have a look at the new House Long Shadow starter set for Bushido Risen Sun and we'll also exclusively reveal 2 upcoming profiles and artwork for a pair of Shadow Wind Clan ninjas.
We've been covering Bushido for years, so if you'd like to learn more about the game, check out our guide to Bushido Risen Sun, our review of the Bushido Risen Sun 2-player starter set, and our "Start Collecting" guide to Bushido, which includes an interview with the game's developer.
What Is Bushido Risen Sun?
Bushido is a skirmish wargame in a fantasy feudal Japanese setting, the Jwar Isles. Here different factions battle for supremacy, including warrior clans, pirates, martial artists, mythical creatures, and dark forces of horrifying creatures. Bushido is made by GCT Studios and the current edition is called Risen Sun.
There are 2 core mechanics that make Bushido an interesting and tactical skirmish game. The first is the activation system. Units have three stages of activation: Unactivated, Tired, and Exhausted.
When a unit activates, it can complete either a simple or a complex action. A simple action makes an Unactivated unit Tired, or a Tired unit Exhausted. A complex action makes an Unactivated unit Exhausted.
This gives you some flexibility in terms of how you control your units, and you don’t need to complete all of a single unit’s activations in one go. This means that you can activate a unit to simple action move, then your opponent activates a unit and you can then either activate the same unit again to simple action move or attack, or a completely different unit.
If a unit is attacked in melee combat, they take an action to defend themselves, with exhausted units suffering a modifier to their rolls. This means that you can swarm heroes and hard-hitting units with lesser units, soaking up their activations and making them exhausted before you move in for the kill with another unit.
The second core mechanic is the combat system. Combat in Bushido is risk/reward. When units engage in combat, both units attack and defend simultaneously. So even though your unit attacked, it can still be damaged by the defender. Each unit has a combat stat, which details the amount of dice rolled when they engage in combat.
These dice can be split between attack and defense however you choose, and the highest roll for each has to beat your opponent’s roll to hit them and dodge their own attack.
For example, if we rolled 2 dice, 1 for attack and 1 for defense, and got a 3 on both dice. Our opponent would have to roll 3 or more to defend against our attack, and 3 or more to beat our defense. Ties are decided by whoever rolled the most dice for the encounter and if that is a draw, the active player. the player whose model is making the action wins.
Up to 2 additional dice rolled, that aren't 1's, can be used to add +1 to the dice roll. So 3 dice of 2, 3, and 4 in attack, would add +2 to the highest roll of 4 to make 6. If no dice are rolled for attack or defense, the roll is counted as 0.
This dice mechanic means that you have to not only read your opponent’s intent but judge the odds for attacking. Do you go all-in for attack or defense, or spread the odds across both? It also makes attacking a risk, as you could fail to hit your opponent, but be dealt damage in return.
What's a Themed List in Bushido?
When selecting a warband in Bushido, you must first choose a Faction from the 12 available. Each faction also has access to Theme cards, which offer special abilities, but restrict the units that can be included in the warband.
House Long Shadow comes from the Shadow Wind Clan faction, and so can be included in any Shadow Wind Clan warbands. Alternatively, you can use a theme card like House Long Shadow which only allows Long Shadow, Ronin Long Shadow, and Karapan models, but gives you the ability to block any effect from an opponents own Theme card that states a specific turn it can be used, as well as giving you the option to choose an opponent's table edge for your flanking units, and also reveals which table edges all of your opponent's flanking units will come from.
Who Are House Long Shadow?
Even amongst the secretive Shadow Clans - those who operate in the darkness performing deeds that would stain the souls of lesser men - The House of the Long Shadow are an enigma, specialising in subterfuge and clandestine operations. Before any battle, The Long Shadow will have studied the terrain, enemy tactics, and the target's fighting techniques and swordsmanship.
While all Ninjas can perform feats beyond the abilities of most mortals, The Long Shadow has been rumoured to use teleportation, invisibility, and even the shadows themselves from which to attack and harass foes.
House Long Shadow is a brand new themed box release for Bushido Risen Sun. They fall under the Shadow Wind Clan faction, but by taking the House Long Shadow theme card, it gives you access to some powerful abilities on the Theme card, and also some great events and enhancements, like the Scouted Deployment event, which lets you place an enemy unit (without Flank or Scout) during deployment, allowing you to disrupt their initial plans, leave an enemy vulnerable, or simply leave them out of position for a planned combo for your opponent.
Why Play House Long Shadow?
House Long Shadow are specialists are reading the enemy, denying them their abilities, as well as remaining hidden until the moment they strike. All of their units have Camouflage, which keeps them hidden while they're in cover. They also have access to the standard Shadow Wind abilities of Armour and Assassin which gives them some survivability and helps them improve damage against surprised units.
Where Should I Start With House Long Shadow?
The best place to start with the House Long Shadow is with the House Long Shadow-themed box. It contains 7 miniatures. It also has 1 theme card and 10 other cards, all of which are restricted to the House Long Shadow theme.
The units included in House Long Shadow are:
- Sude- The big hitter of Long Shadow. Doesn't appear strong on base stats alone, but at the start of each turn, Sude can either be Agile, or Invisible, which means line of sight cannot be drawn to them, and they surprise any enemies they engage. They also have a Garotte attack that can only be used when their target is surprised, and by using their Ki ability, Strangulation, it also gains Critical Attack and Powerful Attack. Critical attack removes the target from play if both damage dice roll the same number, and Assassin allows you to roll 3 dice, improving the chances that you can pick 2 of the same number.
- Gokuran - Has a lot of casting abilities that set them apart from the other Long Shadows. They can gain agile or a Ki token at the start of each turn, and they can use the Ki abilities of Darkness, which stops all non-soulless, non-sixth sense, non-Bakemono units drawing line of sight beyond 4 inches, or Shadow Crows, which uses a terrain card as a marker, blocks line of sight and also stops any non-Long Shadow units within the template from using special abilities, channel, leech or focus.
- Sunzuko - Likes to follow opposing flankers onto the battlefield. Sunsuko has flank themselves, and before they are deployed if an enemy deploys using flank then can deploy within 3 inches of them, but not within their zone of control. They also come armed with a rope dart which can be used in ranged or melee, and if the attack causes damage, the target is drawn 1 inch towards Sunzuko. They can also choose to immobilize targets on successful rope dart attacks or gain agile at the start of each turn.
- Kanae - Loves to control the facing of enemies with their 2 Ki feats. Distraction is a Ki challenge that Kanae can change the facing of the enemy or Threat which is a Ki feat aura that means any enemies ending their moves within the aura must turn to face Kanae. They also have a unique ability, like the others, and can either take Agile or make enemies face them and give Fire (1/2) to their melee weapon.
- Souji - Is a blowgun specialist. Their blowgun has Poison (1/3) which can be used at a maximum range of 8 inches. They can always inflict 1 damage, even against Tough targets using the Pinprick Ki feat, and using their unique ability, they can either choose agile or remove a reload marker if they use a walk action, keeping them mobile while still being able to fire.
- Wakaba - Is a disguise expert and begins the game with a Disgusise 7 token which can be difficult to beat in a Ki test. They also have some options for moving enemy models with their Entice Ki feat and their unique start of activation ability which means that all enemies with 2 inches must turn to face them. They can usually always surprise their targets as well. because if they lose their disguised marker when they attack, they count as surprising their target.
- The Shadow Crow - The 0-cost crow can only be recruited with the House Long Shadow theme card and while they don't have any aggressive damaging benefit, they offer some extremely useful options. With a move of 5 and the All-Knowing unique effect, if they are in base-to-base contact with an enemy, they have to reveal if that model is their Very Important Model which are used for some scenarios. If it is killed, it can return using the Flank trait, and they give the enemy that kills it a Death Sentence marker, which boost attacks against them. They can also use their peck attack to blind enemies, which then means that all Ninja models have line of sight to the blind model, regardless of range or blocking features.
What Products Are Available For House Long Shadow And Where Should I Go Next?
All of the current Shadow Wind Clan models can be used with any House Long Shadow outside of the Theme Card, but there are 2 House Long Shadow models that have been in the range prior to their Theme Box.
- Kouhei - Is a solid ranged fighter for House Long Shadow. Each turn you will be choosing between their 2 Ki feats. Either Hail of Steel, which allows them to make 3 ranged attacks, or Prediction which requires your opponent to declare which unit they will be activating next. Each turn they can also choose between agile and elusive depending on their movement requirement for the turn.
- Shizuka - Is a surprisingly resilient fighter for Hose Long Shadow. Their Ki feat Mirage lets them move away from an attack if they succeed in an opposed ki test, they can also Shadow Walk with their other Ki feat for some bonus movement if required and they come with Parry and Dodge, which makes them very hard to hit in combat. And when they're ready to strike themselves, they can choose to gain Pierce (2) over agile that turn.
Once you've picked up those 2 models on top of the House Long Shadow-themed box, you will have access to all of the House Long Shadow units. They can also take the animal Karapan profile under the theme, or you can opt for a mix of Shadow Wind Clan models by creating your own list outside of the Theme card.
Bushido Shadow Wind Clan Exclusive Reveal
GCT Studios was kind enough to share the artwork and profiles for Phantom and Spectre, 2 brand-new ninjas coming soon for the Shadow Wind Clan.
The pair can both be taken together for the costly 40 rice, but their synergies on the battlefield are insane. Their shared ki abilities boost both of them when used and after saving their ki from the first turn, you'll be able to use one of their abilities each on turn 2 and 3 for some devastating combos.
The Dual Attack ability is also very powerful. 2 damage rolls for Phantom and then a free damage roll on whoever is in base-to-base contact with Spectre. And each turn you also have the option to give them intangible, swap their positions, or if you only recruited one of them, switch it for the other one if their abilities suit the situation more.
These 2 are my favorite units for Bushido and I'm going to build a warband purely around making use of their pair abilities when they're released.
The copies of the Bushido House Long Shadow Products used to produce this guide were purchased by the author.