Japan 1565, the Sengoku period; a time of social and political upheaval, unrest and nearly constant conflict. The last Shogun of the Ashikaga Clan is weak and indetermined; if Japan is going to remain strong, the Emperor must appoint a new Shogun in the next 12 months....
Bushido is a game about honor and manipulation, trying to succeed in spite of the plans and machinations of those around you.
One of the things that makes this game so interesting is the role assignment that is done by the active player each turn. On your turn, you are the Daimyo, and you have to assign the other players the following roles:
- Samurai - Your general, this player will be using his own resources but YOUR TROOPS for one battle that you decide to start. Does he have your best interests at heart?
- Bushi - This is the defender, who will face the Samurai in battle. Will he make a deal with the Samurai?
- Sensei - The master has the opportunity to play special tiles and suggests punishments for Samurai that lose their battles. Friend or foe?
- Hatamoto - A troublemaker, rousing Ronin to revolt and weakening powerful Daimyos.
- Tanin - The stranger. Could be a simple monk.. or a sword-master seeking honour. The Tanin chooses which role to take from below.
- Bozu - Asks for alms from every player. It's dishourable to refuse.
- Musashi - Challenges another to a duel for honour.
HOW TO WIN - Get to 50 Daimyo Honor, or have the most at the end of the twelfth month.
MAIN WAYS TO GAIN DAIMYO HONOR
1) Map tiles have an honor value. If you own the tile you have the honor.
2) Hold a tea ceremony and convert Warrior honor to Daimyo honor.
Important note about Daimyo and Warrior honor: Players may never have an equal amount of Daimyo honor. You also may never have the same amount of Warrior honor as another player except at the start of the game. If you gain (or lose) honor and it would put you on another player's value, then you get bumped up one higher (or dropped one lower.) This knowledge can be put to good use.
Katana Tiles represent wealth and power and are used to calculate combat strength in battle. They come in three denominations: single, double and triple; and there are 34 each of 1- and 3-katana, and 62 Doubles. They are mixed into a military bag with 8 Shuriken and 15 Bows.
Shuriken - Resolved after proving the use of Ambush. Each Shuriken kills an enemy troop.
Bows - Each Bow removes the top tile in the opponent's military stack.
Other special tiles go into a political bag:
- Chanoyu (8) - used to hold a Tea Ceremony to convert Warrior Honor to Daimyo Honor, when you are not the Daimyo.
- Geisha (5) - distracts the Daimyo and ends his turn.
- Shinobi (7) - used to spy on another player's resources, and steal an unrevealed heirloom/hostage.
- Ronin (17) - used to destabilise map tiles.
- Seppuku (9) - used against losing Samurai to make them commit ritual suicide.
- Drastic Measures (6) - used to remove Ronin from the map.
- Heirlooms (12) - provides bonus in battle.
- Hostages (12) - 2 in each colour to deter hostilities.
Each territory can have three values on them: honor, koku, katana.
- Honor adds to your Daimyo honor
- Koku is food and represents how many of your 30 troops you can have on the board
- Katana is income and represents how many tiles you can draw on your turn to refresh your resources
Mountains (15) - 2 honor, 2 koku
Village (6) - 4 honor, 6 koku
Town (4) - 6 honor, 4 koku, 2 katana
City (4) - 8 honor, 2 koku, 2 katana
Temple (6) - 10 honor, 1 koku, 1 katana
Rice Paddy (6) - 2 honor, 8 koku
Clan Fortress - 5 koku, 5 katana
Clan Fortresses are inviolable and cannot accumulate ronin, so a player will always have at least 5 koku and 5 katana and will be in the game to the end.
In addition, there are buildings/landscapes and province improvements that may be built, one per turn (per player.) Buildings and landscapes are permanent, unless they have new ones built on top of them. Improvements are removed as a result of battle.
Brigand Hideout (1)
Cost (building phase): 3 Doubles
Activation: 1 Double per Ronin moved, in phase 5.3 (political influence)
Province value: Honor 1 , Koku 2 , Katana 1The Teahouse (2)
Cost (building phase): 5 Doubles
Activation: 3 Doubles to hold a tea ceremony without needing a guest, in phase 5.3 (political influence)
Province value: Honor 5 , Koku 3 , Katana 1The House of the Red Lantern (1)
Cost (building phase): 3 Doubles
Activation: 3 Doubles for the same effect as a Geisha tile, in phase 5.3 (political influence)
Province value: Honor 3 , Koku 3 , Katana 1The Inn (1)
Cost (building phase): 4 Doubles
Activation: 3 Doubles per Shinobi hired, in phase 5.3 (political influence)
Province value: Honor 3 , Koku 3 , Katana 1The Camp (2)
Cost (building phase): 3 Doubles
Activation: automatically and permanently in each phase 9 (i.e. following combat), can rearrange your troops on the board.
Province value: Honor 3 , Koku 3 , Katana 0The Dojo – The School of Martial Arts (2)
Cost (building phase): 4 Doubles
Activation: automatically and permanently throughout each phase 8 (combat)
When the owner of a Dojo is active Daimyo, he may announce to support his Samurai before the Samurai and Bushi build their combat marker stacks. He takes part in the battle and places a third stack of combat markers, taken from behind his own screen. The Daimyo's stack is restricted to katana markers only (of strength 1, 2 or 3), he may not use Shuriken or Bows. The Daimyo's combat markers are added to the Samurai's only after any adjustments, they are never doubled together with the Samurai's. Missile fire from the Bushi may take damage from either or both stacks, Bushi's choice. If the Samurai wins, the Daimyo's combat markers do not count towards the warrior honor for the Samurai.
Should the Samurai not place any combat markers himself, the battle is only fought with the Daimyo's markers, but these markers are still never doubled. In this case (only) the Daimyo also determines the tactics and places a tactics disc from his own supply. In this case the shirking Samurai is always considered to have lost the battle, even if the Daimyo wins, and he must face the normal consequences of a Samurai having lost.
Province value: Honor 3 , Koku 3 , Katana 1The Shrine (1)
Cost (building phase): 6 Doubles
Activation: permanently active (Ooooo. Honour.)
Province value: Honor 7 , Koku 1 , Katana 1Landscape – The Great Irrigation Wheel (10, back side of buildings)
Cost (building phase): 3 Doubles
Activation: permanently active (Ooooo. Koku.)
Province value: Honor 3 , Koku 6 , Katana 0
Province Improvements, effects stack, can build more than 1 of the same per province. They all cost one Double
Small Irrigation (7, Shrine on back)
Province value improvement: Honor 0 , Koku 2 , Katana 0
Small Tori Shrine (7, Irrigation on back)
Province value improvement: Honor 0 , Koku 0 , Katana 1
Stakes (7, armoury on back)
Automatically active during battle. The Battle tactic does not add the number of Troops as a bonus in this province.
Province value improvement: none
The Armory (7, stakes on back)
Automatically active during battle. When attacked, the armoury is removed and replaced with 3 peasant troops which fight for the defender.
Province value improvement: none
The Daimyo will move an amount of troops for the Samurai to use from one of his own territories into a neighboring province owned by the Bushi player.
The Samurai and Bushi will secretly make a stack of katana tiles which they wish to use in the battle. Stacks are revealed at the same time and show the other player only how large the stack is and the strength of the top tile.
Then each player chooses a Tactic disc (see below) and after some fancy math a winner is determined. If you have no tactic discs you draw one at random and must use it for the battle. If your only tactic disc is a kotau disc you must discard it and draw a random one to use for the battle.
There are 38 Tactics disks of 6 types:
- Battle (13) - Most common tactic. Battle strength is total katanas + number of troops
- Duel (10) - Honorable tactics usually result in the least number of casualties. Strength is total katanas
- Ambush (6) - Uh.. yeah. One of my favorites. Strength is total katanas
- Traitor (2) - You win. Period.
- Steel Fan (3) - Katana value is always doubled and the traitor has to engage in a fight.
- Kotau (4) - Used at the end of a turn to gain audience with the Emperor
Duel versus Battle - The katana total for the Duel player is doubled and the Battle player adds his troops to his katana total. The defeated party loses the difference in troops.
Battle versus Ambush - The Battle player first doubles his katana amount then adds his troops to his total. The defeated party looses the difference in troops. Once this is resolved, the Battle player will lose one troop for every 2 single-katana tiles played by the Ambush side. This is the extra damage caused by the Ambush.
Ambush versus Duel - The katana total for the Ambush player is doubled. The defeated party looses the difference in troops. Then the Duel player looses one troops for every 2 single-katana tiles played by the Ambush side.
Duel versus Duel - Special "high stakes" fight between the commanders of the armies. Defeated player loses half (round up) of his Samurai honor which the victor gains. The defeated player must retreat to a friendly neighboring province. If you cannot retreat the troops are removed from the board, but do not count as slain for honor purposes.
Battle versus Battle - Carnage ensues. Troops are added to the katana total for both sides. The loser loses everything. The winner loses one troop for every triple-katana tile played by his opponent.
Ambush versus Ambush - Defeated party loses katana difference in troops. Then both players lose one troop for EVERY single-katana played by their opponent.
Traitor versus the other three - Traitor wins, but that player will still lose one troop for every 2 single-katana tiles played in an Ambush.
Traitor versus Traitor - Defeated player loses katana difference in troops.
Anything versus the Steel Fan - Fan user's katana are doubled, compare values, lose difference and account for Ambush losses.
- Bushi wins ties.
- If there are any Bushi troops left, the Samurai must retreat but still earns honor from the battle if he won.
- If both players lose all troops the province becomes neutral and its values are subtracted from the Daimyo's totals.
- If the Samurai loses but still kills all Bushi troops and there are some attacking troops remaining the province is still conquered for the Daimyo. The Samurai only receives honor for troops he killed.
- If at any time the Ronin equal or exceed the number of regular troops in a province after a fight, an automatic revolt takes place.
Used katanas are put back in the draw bag and tactics are discarded. Discarded tactics are shuffled back when 4 or less tactics remain to be drawn.
- Number of defeated troops
- Number of katana, bows and shuriken played
- Bonus honor from Daimyo
- Honor equal to the provincial honor, assuming there were attacking troops left to occupy it
The Bushi also gains Samurai honor equal to the number of attacking troops he killed.
- Number of troops lost by the enemy
The Bushi gains Samurai honor equal to the number of attacking troops killed as well as the value of the province, assuming he maintains control of it.
5 SPECIAL CASES
If a Daimyo won't or can't attack his turn ends immediately during the battle announcement phase. Go to phase 1 for the next Daimyo.
Nuetral provinces are conquered by moving in troops. In this case, the role assignment of Samurai and Bushi was just for show and neither player gains battle honor.
If you use 0 katana in a fight you immediately lose, no tactics are played and you lose all your troops. If both players use 0 the Bushi wins and the Samurai loses all attacking troops.
If your stack is reduced to zero tiles from Bows, you lose automatically. Reduce troops per remaining opponent katana strength.
If your troops are reduced to zero from Shuriken, you lose automatically.
Anytime Ronin are played, troops are regrouped, or a fight takes place, the number of Ronin must be immediately compared to the number of troops remaining in the province. If the Ronin equal or outnumber the troops the troops and an equal number of Ronin are removed from the board.
Each player is given 3 tactics: 1 Ambush, 1 Duel, 1 Battle. You also have 2 bonus honor markers, values 3 and 6, which are used to give Samurai incentive to do their best. Also a Campaign marker is available for each player (attack twice, or bring out the daimyo's personal troops.)
The map is made of hex tiles, top-to-bottom rows of the following heights: 4, 5, 6, 6, 6, 5, 4 (in a 6-player game) and are initially face down. Starting with the eldest player (as in old Japan) each player places one troop on a Clan Fortress of their choice. These fortresses are identical, but it gives you a position on the map.
Each player then chooses a tile, flips it and places one troop there (the minimum occupation force). Once all tiles are occupied, starting values are totalled. All remaining troops currently allowed a player (koku total minus troops already on the board) can be placed in their provinces however they wish. Remember that your Clan Fortress cannot be attacked, but you may want troops there to spearhead an assault.
The starting player (eldest) then draws 12 support tiles. The second player draws 13; the third 14, etc. 6 tiles from each bag (military and political) go into the Market. Each player then draws a 4th, random tactic. And the game is ready to begin.
TANIN POLITICAL TILES
Heirlooms - There are two types, sword and armour, which each give a +1 strength bonus. You may combine one of each for a total of +2. The addition is done after any possible doubling of strength. If forced to commit seppuku, the heirlooms are lost and cause family shame worth 2 Daimyo honour.
Hostages - After movement, but before battle begins, a bushi may execute any revealed hostages matching the colour of the attacking daimyo. As this is a dishourable act, the bushi loses daimyo honor equal to what is on the tiles; the daimyo loses daimyo honor TWICE that amount. Any unexecuted hostages are available to be rescued by a victorious samurai; he may take ONE and place it in his hand.
Drastic Measures - Allow the daimyo to remove ronin from any ONE of his own provinces.
SHRINE OF THE ANCESTORS (Not used until the hand tracker can support giving to/taking from other players.)
Players may donate resource markers to the Kami of his ancestors here, to walk under their protection henceforth. Any player may donate in the phase immediately after battle (first action of phase 11). To donate, place any number of resource markers as a stack in front of the pillar of your color. Place the markers face-up on top of any of your markers that may be there already, so that only height of the stack and the topmost marker can be seen. Only the height of the stack counts (i.e. the number of markers in it).
The player with the highest stack of donations (or players, in case of equally high stacks) has the optional privilege to immediately replace any tactics disc played from the stack of tactics discs, even if it was a Kotau disc. Each time he uses the privilege he puts the topmost marker from his stack of donations back into the pouch by way of exchange.
MARKETPLACE (Not used until the hand tracker can support giving to/taking from other players.)
A player who has just won a battle, either as Samurai or as Bushi, is allowed to trade on the market. At game set-up, after all players have drawn their resources, the marketplace screen is put up and 12 resources, 6 from each pouch, are randomly drawn and placed openly in front of the screen. When the victor wants to trade he takes one or two markers from the market and places the same number from behind his screen openly back into the market in exchange. In a double turn the market may be used twice.
Whenever a trade has been done, the active Daymio takes his tax in form of one marker of his choice, taken from the marketplace. Because of the tax, the offers on the market become fewer as the game progresses. War is not good for trade.
Taxes are collected by all players when the turn marker passes from one column of the turn display to the next, i.e. from turn 4 to turn 5 or from turn 8 to turn 9 (or any subsequent turn, if Kotau causes turns to be skipped- the event is triggered by the column change). Taxes are collected in the form of additional resource draws from the pouches. For every 10 points of Daymio honor you have (rounded up), you get one draw.
COUNCIL OF THE DAIMYOS
After turn 12, assuming no player has 50 points of
Daymio honor, players decide whether to continue playing. If the simple majority of players votes for continuing, the turn marker is set back to turn 9 (possibly causing new war taxes if you use that rule) and play continues; the Daymios have decided that no worthy candidate for a Shogun has emerged yet (meaning that they see a chance to still dump the opposition). It is possible to have a new council when even after the 16th round no player has won- ad infinitum.
If at any time both "bags" are empty the law of Mikado is enforced. All players suffer an extra tax from the Emperor (for starving the lands) and must return everything they have (support tiles) from their hands back to the bag. The player who could not complete his resource draw then draws 12 tiles, the next 13, etc, then continues their turn as normal.
1. Daimyo Phase - Remove household troops if they are on the board. Check for not enough/too many troops. Turn in your campaign marker to place household troops, if desired. Draw tiles equal to your katana value from the bags. Discard any number of tactics then draw back to 4. Play any yellow-bordered tiles (hostages, heirlooms, drastic measures.)
2. Conduct a free tea ceremony
Tea ceremonies are easy. You have to invite another player; they can accept or refuse. If they refuse, they lose 10 Samurai honor for the insult (if they don't have 10, then they can't refuse) and you lose 2 Daimyo honor for your clan losing face.
If they accept you give them 5 of your Samurai honor. Then you can convert any amount of your remaining Samurai honor into Daimyo honor at a 2-to-1 rate.
3. Purchase honor points - Daimyo can open his treasury and buy 1 point of Daimyo honor for every 3 triple-katana tiles traded in
4. Assign roles to other players
5. Political Influence Phase (everyone but the daimyo may participate)
Sensei plays effect tiles
1) Any number of Ronin tiles, but only one per province.
2) Any number of Shinobi
3) One Geisha - immediately ends the current Daimyo's turn, including moving the turn marker
4) One Chanoyu - the Sensei holds a tea ceremony of his own, just like above
After this, all other non-Daimyo players can play the same as above, but must spend two of the same tile to get the effect of one. For instance, place one Ronin on the board by discarding a second Ronin.
Buildings that can be activated for political effects may now be used (again, not by the daimyo, though.)
6. Hatamoto phase
The Hatamoto player draws 2 support tiles, then he can play any number of Ronin, one per province, just like the Sensei. Then, he may choose any Daimyo province containing Ronin and have a battle with him as attacker using the Ronin as troops and the Daimyo as Bushi. Neither of them gain honor from the fight.
7. Mobilization - The Daimyo regroups his troops (you can move any number of your troops among any adjacent provinces, must leave the minimum of 1 per province) and decides which province will be attacked, where he will attack from and how many troops will be used for the attack. The Daimyo places bonus honor token(s) in the target province if he wants to (the 3, the 6 or both and once you place it, it's gone.) If the daimyo wishes to have a campaign and attack twice this turn, the campaign marker is played now. If the bushi has hostages matching the daimyo's colour, he may kill them now.
8. Fight between Samurai and Bushi, improvements are destroyed.
9. Honor and other values adjusted based on fight results, winner may shop at the Market (with a tax to the daimyo.)
10. Council of the Sensei
If the Samurai lost, the Sensei can play a Seppuku tile to suggest ritual sacrifice as punishment or a loss of 2 to 10 Warrior Honour. If the Sensei does not demand seppuku, then the other non-Daimyo players can play 2 Seppuku tiles to suggest the punishment. The Daimyo can agree, or instead demand the minimum punishment of 1 Samurai honor. If the Sensei's suggestion at any point is accepted, the Sensei gains 2 Daimyo honor in appreciation.
11. Donations/To Arms!/Building - Players may decide to make offerings at their shrines. The Sensei decides if all players gain extra support tiles (Sensei draws first) equal to 1 during turns 1 - 4, 2 during turns 5 - 8 and 3 during turns 9 - 12. The decision is everyone draws or no one draws. Then each player, starting with the Daimyo, may place a build order.
Each player gets a chance to play a kotau tactic disc beginning with the sensei; only one may be played total per turn. If no one plays one the turn marker advances a month and the next Daimyo begins on phase 1. If it is month 12, the daimyos vote to concede to the one with the most honour, or continue the game for another 4 turns (collecting new war taxes as a result.)
If someone does speak with the Emperor they may do one of three things:
- Prevent the turn counter from advancing.
- Make the turn counter advance two months.
- Draw 5 support tiles