The Student is a young and fierce practitioner of the Bushido arts- armed with a Katana and poised to draw his blade from its Saya (scabbard).
His backstory will be heavily explored in the first Solo Narrative Campaign as we explore how he came to train under The Master.
Designer's Notes- Where Does The Student Fit?
When designing the Student, Paul and James aimed to create a character that could act a benchmark for good strength, speed, utility and defence.
The No Daichi armed Warrior hits harder, the Master defends himself more skilfully and the Ronin closes the distance and soak the hits better than the Student can.
But no Samurai can do as much as well as the Student!
For detailed information on the Student, check this update.
A dark spectre on the battlefield, the Ronin stalks his prey like the cold shadow of death itself.
Armed with a Naginata (Sword-staff), the Ronin Miniature attacks without fear despite the falling shafts of arrows!
Fuelled by hate, he has left a trail of destruction and broken bodies across Japan.
We will explore his backstory extensively in the first Solo Narrative Campaign 'Path Of The Ronin'.
Designer's Notes- Where Does The Ronin Fit?
When designing the Ronin, Paul and James knew they wanted an Aggressive character with an in-built thematic charge up mechanic that needs exploiting in order to unlock the Ronin's full potential.
His Kamae Tree makes getting into the Red Aggressive Kamae very easy but will stop you simply moving back to the Green Balanced or Yellow Defensive Kamae positions with a one-direction Kamae branch.
For detailed information on the Ronin, check this update.
A stoic and quiet older man, the Master remains keen-eyed and his blade sharp. Armed with a Tachi (an older pattern of sword prevalent in the Sengoku period),
the Master Miniature echoes his strong defensive focus with his blade out- poised perfectly in front of him, a 'master' of both form and function.
Hiding a dark past, the Master speaks but a little and the darkening shadows around him are full of whispers.
His backstory will be extensively revealed in the first Solo Narrative Campaign 'Path Of The Ronin'.
Designer's Notes- Where Does The Master Fit?
Designing the Master has been one of the easiest and most fun character design periods so far for Paul and James.
They knew that the Master had to be a character that played similarly to the Student- but was much more focussed on Defence and using the enemy's aggression against them!
Some of his Ability Cards will even have conditional effects that only activate when the ENEMY is in a Kamae!
For detailed information on the Master, check this update.
The Warrior, an Onna-Bugeisha (meaning Woman-Warrior), lets out a piercing battle-cry and hefts her long Nodaichi Sword!
She is coming for your head and no man or demon is going to stop her from taking it...
Possessing very strong, sweeping Signature Attacks, the Warrior damages herself in a relentless quest for revenge against those that conspired to murder her family and destroy her Clan.
The Warrior's backstory will be extensively revealed in the first Solo Narrative Campaign 'Path Of The Ronin'.
Designer's Notes- Where Does The Warrior Fit?
Armed with the mighty Nodaichi, the Warrior is an extremely aggressive fighter.
Senjutsu being a evocative, theme-driven game, Paul and James sought to balance her cards in a way that translates the backstory to the battlefield.
Missing her left eye gave Paul and James a lot of room to make her weaker on the left side (losing half your vision may do that!)
but very strong on her right side and a little "jumpy" about being outflanked.
For detailed information on the Warrior, check this update.
The Ninja is a very unique fighter, who must use a whole host of tricks and diversions to gain the upper hand against his opponents.
His Core Card Special Ability reflects this, allowing the Ninja player to search their own Ability Card Deck for any "Ninja Signature" prepared cards they need.
Because of the slow speed of the Core Ability Card, a clever opponent will keep pressure on the Ninja player to stop this cycle of engagement and preparation.
Ninja are nimble and deadly if underestimated!
What the Core Card allows a Ninja Player to do that other Samurai cannot, is to fill the Ability Card deck with traps, secret-weapons, poisons and amazing, exotic equipment.
Examples include Caltrops, Smoke Bombs, Burning Powder and more!
Armed with a Kusarigama (His Core Weapon Card), an unusual sickle-and-chain weapon, the Ninja can choose to strike in front of him or with a focus spend,
throw the chain end of the weapon at the opponent across long distances to strike from afar!
The Ninja's Kamae Tree is a little different to the other Samurai we've seen so far.
He has a unique Kamae position named Concealment, which cannot be accessed through a Kamae Branch like the Kamae Positions of other Samurai.
Instead the Ninja player must use cards that directly move the Ninja to this concealment position- making the experience of playing the Ninja a challenge but a very rewarding one at that!
For detailed information on the Ninja, check this update.
Ashigaru & Akita
The Ashigaru and his Akita guard dog have a unique dynamic on the battlefield, where the controlling Player must make sure their lowly Ashigaru works in tandem with the powerful Akita to bring down your enemies.
Neither the Ashigaru or the dog are strong in isolation, with each having fewer wounds than a regular fighter and less spectacular feats of endurance, skill and strength reflected in their Signature Cards.
Combined however, you have a potent team that will leave any opponent desperately defending themselves against tooth and spearpoint!
The Akita once unleashed can be recalled or given commands (including "Recall", "Scout", "Guard me" and "Attack!"),
but left without commands will follow its own initiative as a trained, toothy killer, sniffing out shinobi hiding in the dark!
As the dog gets more stressed, the Ashigaru handler's control of the animal reduces!
For detailed information on the Ashigaru and Akita, check this update.
The Assassin is the high damage-output, high vulnerability fighter.
With a fantastic system for Focus generation on the Kamae Tree and a Focus-gaining special ability on the Core Card, the Assassin specialises on doing as much as he can quickly and then escaping to safety.
Discarding a card as the Assassin will gain a focus when playing the Core Card's special ability, this thematically represents his scalpel-like precision and desire to end the duel as quickly as possible- shrinking your hand of options in order to pick the card and play the Ability Card that most appeals to you.
The Assassin's Tanto Slice is a fast and simple Core Weapon Card with a great focus-spend movement on it.
For detailed information on the Assassin, check this update.
The Sailor is our homage to William Adams, an English Pilot who washed up onto the shore of Japan in the 16th century and incredibly rose up the ranks to become a full Samurai!
His Core Card's Special Ability allows you to swap out the Pistol for his Carrack Sword, whilst the Pistol is out you may use it to take the "Dreaded Shot" Gold Attack Ability Card or must defend yourself by using it as a rudimentary club!
The Carrack Sword is a great 1-spaced Weapon Card with a focus-spend step forwards.
For detailed information on the Sailor, check this update.
The Monk's Core Card contains a Special Ability that allows you to pull specific cards from your Ability Card Deck (before shuffling the deck).
Use it to pull 2 Stun Cards and an Enlightened Card to your Hand.
Each Enlightened Card contains a powerful Ability that once played, works to permanently buff the Monk until the end of the duel!
The Monk is a powerful fighter to play, with a great Weapon Card, 'Jumonji Yari Stab'.
A backwards 1 optional movement, solid attack pattern and then a Focus-spend to move into the Defensive (Yellow) Kamae position means that the Monk is rarely flanked!
The Monk has three 'Enlightened' Ability Cards, representing the Mind, Body and Soul. These Ability Cards are not discarded after being played, but instead are put in front of you in the Player Area.
Once all Enlightened Cards have been played and are out in front of you, you will gain the use of the Jade Card 'Zen Master' which provides a powerful alternative to the Monk's Core Card!
For detailed information on the Monk, check this update.
Yasuke & Oda Nobunaga
An African-born mercenary, Yasuke, was brought to Japan in the service of the Jesuit Christian Missionaries devoted to bringing Christendom to Japan.
Whilst history tells us that the Japanese had very different plans for this influx of Christians, we do know that at some point on Yasuke's journey he was presented to Oda Nobunaga, a powerful and incredibly ambitious Daimyo (Feudal Lord).
"When Oda Nobunaga saw Yasuke, he immediately took an interest and managed to convince the Jesuits to allow Yasuke into his service."
Yasuke would remain with Oda Nobunaga until he disappears from history, staying at his side as a Retainer with the many privileges gifted only to loyal and impressive men close to the Daimyo.
It is for this reason that today Yasuke is considered to be the first "Black African Samurai".
SSG has reflected his worldly origins in his miniature, described as towering over the other Japanese Samurai of Oda's court and being incredible strong and agile.
This information is from update #16.
Miyamoto Musashi is likely the most famous Rōnin of all time, and indeed one of the most famous swordsmen and Samurai ever to live.
A famed duellist, Musashi travelled the length and breadth of feudal Japan, seeking out new opponents to defeat in duels.
Later in life Musashi would write "The Book Of The Five Rings", a manual on Kenjutsu (Swordsmanship).
This treatise is still widely read today and contains many transferable anecdotes and life lessons that Musashi recorded in his relatively straight-forward style.
There is a great emphasis in the Book Of The Five Rings for right-mindedness and avoiding over reliance on one trick/style.
Musashi is famously depicted as using two swords in many of the Woodblock paintings we have today. This is something that he himself advocated for in training and when fighting multiple opponents.
It is also something SSG has decided to depict on his miniature as he prepares to fight Sasaki Kojirō, perhaps his most famous duel, fought in April 1612.
The fateful duel, according to legend, lasted just ten minutes.
SSG has chosen to depict this duel in Senjutsu's Season 1 Legends pack because of the fantastic differences that can be found between the two master fighters.
On Musashi's miniature you can see a wooden Bokken which Musashi used to taunt Kojirō and as a way of gaining a reach advantage over his opponent's huge sword.
He fashioned this, according to legend, from the oar of his rowboat as he travelled to the island of Funa-jima for the duel.
The remaining broken end of the oar can be found by the miniature's feet.
This information is from update #24.
Sasaki Kojirō was a master swordsman from the old and powerful Sasaki clan, born in 1575 in the late Sengoku period.
With the nickname "Ganryū" or "Large Rock Style", Kojirō's duels revolved around the use of his larger than average sword and an unusual technique,
the "Tsubame Gaeshi" or "Swallow Reversal"/"Turning Swallow Cut". This technique, according to legend, required great strength from the user and revolved around brutally changing the direction of a sword's target following a downwards deflection of the enemy's opening cut.
Instead of carrying the strike downward, Kojirō would use a sideways flick of the blade to wound the opponent fatally.
Kojirō's sword is mired in historical obscurity and legend.
It is believed the sword had a straight edge and was very long (35.5 inches) but it is unclear whether the sword was forged specifically to this design or was an amalgamation of an older blade with a modern mounting. With this long blade, Kojirō fought savagely, earning a reputation as a skilled duellist.
He was so enraged and confident of his victory against Musashi that his scabbard cannot be found on the miniature, according to legend he cast it away - possibly into the sea itself!
On Kojirō's back we find a Tessen, or War Fan, which he used to defeat three enemy assailants at the same time, all armed with swords.
In Senjutsu, as an alternative Core Weapon Card, you may arm Kojirō, or any fighter, with the Tessen, an option we will be examining in Kojirō's Samurai Spotlight.
Kojirō had a reputation for being flamboyant and often went everywhere with a retinue of followers, whilst being dressed as a Kabuki Theatre actor.
It was this showmanship that Musashi would exploit in their famous and fatal duel...
This information is from update #24.