Test of Honour isn’t a new game; at least it isn’t new in the sense that it just arrived on the market. If I recall, the game itself has been available for at least a year. Admittedly when it first released I was so swamped with Konflikt 47, Black Powder, and Bolt Action, I didn’t think I could convince my wife to allow me to purchase yet another box of miniatures for yet another game.
That all changed last week. We were watching an older Samurai movie on Netflix (all properly subbed for us commoners), and I remarked that Warlord Games had a Samurai miniatures game. To my surprise (I nearly dropped my popcorn), she smiled and said “I think I’d like to play that too.”
And then came the apocalypse…
Naturally I went online immediately and bought the box set. I mean, wouldn’t anyone do the same if they had a chance to game with their significant other? The answer is ‘obviously’–shh, no. There is no other answer. Trust me.
With the assistance of Amazon Prime (as well as living in a region with a few Amazon DC’s), I had the box in hand in a day. Now for the fun part–the unboxing.
As you can see from the pictures, the box is full of pretties. All Warlord starter kits are a beast–they pack every one with as much as they can fit and then some. This core box is no exception to that rule.
Along with the plethora of plastic sprues needed to assemble your miniatures, there are dice, bases, movement bases (a new thing for Warlord), a deck of cards and tokens (needed to play), several instruction leaflets, a booklet containing the rules, and… oh what is this?
Okay, so two things. (1) I appreciate what Warlord is trying to do here. (2) I dislike it.
On the first point, I am sure including cardboard (or some sort of hard card) 2D terrain makes sense. Financially, it is a smart move. It is easy to produce, it drives the cost of the core set down, and there is no extra work required by the player. You just pop out the pieces and you are ready to play. But ew.
I’m going to rant about a highly subjective issue for a moment; you may skip this if you want…
This brings me to my second point; it’s 2D terrain. In a box set full of 3D miniatures. It just feels so… cheap, which is why it’s included to be sure. But c’mon.
Everything about this starter box is great. The miniatures are detailed, the rules and mechanics are easy to follow. Is it really that much more in costs to include a few pieces of MDF terrain? A bridge and a cart perhaps? A lamp set maybe?
The joy of wargaming, at least for me (you may all disagree–and that’s cool), partly comes from the terrain and board layout. It immerses me in the action. Sure, you can play on a table with 2D terrain–but why?
Warlord, you have such an incredible relationship with 4Ground and Sarissa Precision; Couldn’t you have included one measly MDF kit?
Alright, I am done ranting. Let’s get back to the good stuff.
There is a lot of ‘awesome’ in this box and this game is steadily becoming one of my favorites. Besides the mechanics which are similar to Bolt Action in a lot of respects , the game is pretty easy to pick up. Perhaps my favorite part about it is that you aren’t limited to Warlord Games miniatures. The core box is great and the plastic miniatures–previously made by Wargames Factory–are decent enough (I will post some blogs up explaining ways to convert them), but there are other wonderful Edo Period miniatures by manufacturers like Perry Miniatures, Foot Sore (coming soon, I hear), and Reaper. That you can easily use miniatures from other wargaming systems like Bushido and Kensei means you aren’t limited by the sort of force you can bring to the table.
Of course I would like to stress that supporting Warlord Games and the creators of Test of Honour is important in order to keep the game alive. There are a lot of expansion sets to this game and more are planned. Subscribe to this blog to see reviews of those expansions!
With that, I highly recommend this starter set and, barring a few minor quibbles, it is a very good product. Definitely pick up the core box and give it a go!