Torii VS. Test of Honour

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Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Wiz on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:50 pm

Has anybody tried either Torii (a smaller skirmish level rules of the Kensei game) or Test of Honour (by Warlord Games)? We're looking to get into a skirmish-level samurai setting wargame, and both seem to fit the bill pretty well.

Warlord Games' starter set seems to be best value (40 GBP), with 2 twin forces of models in plastic, whereas Torii has only 4 faction sets (40EUR each), but rules are also included and the metal models are kind of cooler. Both games seem to play about 10 models a side, and a game takes under an hour.

Does anybody have any comments or experience of either of them?

Oh, should probably mention that we'll be using this to attract Japanese gamers to our group too, so I guess easy-to-translate rules would be a plus.
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Re: Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Primarch on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:26 pm

I haven't played either, but I have played Ronin, from Osprey Publishing. Each model generates a number of tokens per turn which it can use to either boost it's attack or defence (Black and White counters from the Go board game are pretty useful if you have them handy). Better warriors generate more tokens, but you need to be careful how you use them. It's an ok game, fairly simple in many ways, but it allows for some customisation of your force and has a few scenarios.

I have had some experience with the Warlord plastics (formerly Wargames Factory Plastics). They used to be cheaper and still weren't worth the money IMHO. The poses are very static, the armour looks odd in places and some parts just don't go together very well. I haven't used the Kensei figures, but they do look pretty nice. Steel Fist Miniatures do some nice minis, as do the Perry Brothers. Warlord is the only plastic option in town though, unless you fancy going smaller in scale with Zvezda.
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Re: Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Wiz on Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:47 am

Yes, Ronin was on my shortlist too (the combat attack vs defence dice looked good), but I had to cross it off as maybe a little too 'unsupported' as a complete game. Test of Honour and Torii seemed to have nice easy starter buy-ins. Bushido was also on the list, but the models seem very pricey, and the fantasy/folklore aspect wasn't quite so appealing.

Thanks for the heads up on Warlord's plastics. I knew those sculpts were familiar from somewhere! The Torii ones (metal) beat them hands down, but Titan Forge's "Dragon Empire" stuff looks totally awesome. I think they've just finished shipping all their kickstarter pledges, so fingers crossed that they'll be on general sale soon.

Serious question though, as I know you've been in this hobby a very long time and tried a whole lot of games out - do you think it's better to have an easier/cheaper buy-in for a game (i.e. Warlord's set), or to impress firsttimers more with better models (i.e. Torii) even at a slightly pricier cost?
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Re: Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Primarch on Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:37 am

Since you only need a handful of models, I guess the Torii figures might be better. They look nicer, so there is more visual appeal there. Ring-Tail stock them, so it means that players have easy access to a Japanese webshop, rather than having to go through Warlord's 'English only' shopping cart as well. You can always point out different places to get minis from and the costs. (I'm not sure how 'model specific' Torii/Kensei are). The other thing to think about is model construction. How much work needs to be done once they have the figures in hand? Warlord's models aren't that complex, but still require a bit of thought in terms of matching up parts and getting them into the correct position. The original Wargames Factory minis came without instructions of any kind, making assembly an exercise in trial and error. Warlord have included a set of instructions with them now. I have no idea about the Torii minis though.
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Re: Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Wiz on Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:41 am

I think the Torii minis are mostly one part metal models, so I guess they're good to go out of the box. I hadn't thought of the complexity of Warlord's models, so thanks for that point!

Noticed that Ringtail does sell Warlord's Test of Honour range too!
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Re: Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Simon W on Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:02 am

Just a thought. If you are thinking about skirmish gaming then Steve Barber Models do a nice samurai range in 40mm.
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Re: Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Wiz on Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:03 am

Thanks - I'd not come across them before. They seem very well-researched, don't they?
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Re: Torii VS. Test of Honour

Postby Simon W on Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:05 am

It’s a nice-looking range. I’ve had a hankering for them for a while now. It’s a shame that Aoshima don’t make their 1/35 scale samurai sets any more. They would be alright for skirmish games as well. I’ve been in correspondence with Aoshima on the subject this week as I was eyeing them for a school model club project. They told me they don’t make them anymore and they don’t even know where the molds are anymore. Shame really...
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