Ninja All-Stars: Building a Team
Ninja All-Stars includes pre-built teams for each clan that allow players to quickly and easily pick up an play a game of Ninja All-Stars. While one-off games of Ninja All-Stars are exciting and very enjoyable. Building a team and playing them through a series of games in a league, during which they gain experience, changing and growing as a team, is one of the best ways to play Ninja All-Stars. In this article we will go over building a brand new Tora team.
For this league we each began 80 koban to spend to recruit ninja for our team. Koban is the currency in kagejima, and represents how much it costs a clan to feed, train, and equip a ninja. Each ninja’s entry specifies how many koban the ninja costs to recruit. A player must choose a single clan, and may only recruit ninja from the chosen clan. Additionally, players may recruit Ronin mercenaries that will join any clan.
Each ninja has a minimum and maximum listed on their entry, shown as a number range such as 1-3, 0-4, etc. The the first number is the minimum, and is how many of the ninja must be on the team for it to be legal. The second number is the maximum, a team may never have more ninja of that type than the maximum number listed. For instance, every team is required to take one, and only one, chunin to lead their team.
When you build a team, fill out one of the included blank scrolls with your team’s stats as you build it so you can easily remember which ninja you have recruited, and the rules that go along with them. For models, we decided to use a mix of clan-specific models and shrine ninja. Once some of our basic ninja earn their stripes, we’ll upgrade them to clan specific models in reward for their efforts.
Lets take a look at the starting team Tora!
First, let’s go over the team scroll. At the top is the general team information, which includes the team’s name, player’s name, rating, clan, league name, and the amount of koban in the team’s treasury. The rest of the sheet is dedicated to tracking the ninja on your team. Each ninja is given two lines to record their information.
The first ninja we recruited was our chunin, since every team is required to have a chunin to lead it. The chunin is an important figure within a team so we gave him a suitably impressive name right from the start: Fire Claw. Soon, opposing teams will tremble at the whisper of his name!
Next, we recorded Fire Claw’s attributes: Movement, Attack, Defense, and Affinity. Tora Chunin begin with two keyword abilities: Combat Master and Fire Master. Combat Master allows a model to reroll one die when making a non-ranged attack, while Fire Master allows a model to reroll all non-Fire results once per round.
The next two entries are Game XP (Experience) and Total XP. Since we haven’t played a game yet, we mark total XP as zero. We then fill out the cost to recruit the chunin, 20 koban. This leaves our starting team with 60 more koban to recruit more ninja.
On the bottom line, we record Fire Claw’s ninja type, chunin, and his ability. All chunin have their choice between two abilities when they are recruited. Tora chunin may choose between Tiger Strike or Pounce. Tiger Strike grants the chunin +3 AT for a turn, at the expense of a -3 DF for the remainder of the round. Pounce grants the chunin a free 3 spaces of movement before an attack, at the expense of getting a Slow token at the end of his turn. Once the ability is chosen it can not be changed, so choose carefully!
Once our chunin was recorded we turned to the next required ninja for our team, kaiken. Tora is required to recruit two kaiken on their team. We recorded both kaiken’s attributes and cost on the team scroll. We decided not to give them a name yet, choosing to see how they distinguished themselves on the field first. Each kaiken cost 8 koban, reducing our total to 44 koban.
After our mandatory ninja were recruited it was time to select some ninja to tailor the team to our own game plan. Madoushi was an easy pick. Their mystical abilities can really turn the tide of a challenge, and in the case of Clan Tora they are ferocious combatants in their own right. Plus, look at the beard! It seemed only fitting that our revered madoushi would get a proper name right from the start, so Yamada-san was born.
Tora madoushi start with two keyword abilities: Fire Mastery and Engulf. Fire Mastery for a madoushi is the same as it is for the chunin. Engulf is a nasty little ability that Poisons a model if a Fire result is rolled during combat, even if it was not chosen! Since this is a Tora poison, we like to think of it as burning them up from the inside. Ouch!
Like chunin, madoushi can select from two different abilities when they are recruited. Tora madoushi choose between Volcano Pots or Metal to Dust. Volcano Pots are thrown at opposing ninja and Stun them in a spectacular explosion! Metal to Dust is a defensive ability that gives enemy ninja that attack the madoushi -2 AT as their weapons crumble to dust. We decided to go all offense with Yamada-san, picking Volcano Pots.
Yamada-san cost 13 koban to recruit reducing our remaining koban to 31.
A speedy kunoichi is not mandatory for Clan Tora, but their insane movement of 8 cannot be ignored, especially when considering challenges such as Capture the Medal. Tora Kunoichi even have a decent amount of hit with their 2 AT compared to enemy kunoichi.
All kunoichi possess the keyword ability Nimble. Nimble allows a model to reroll all the dice when making a dodge roll. Models are required to make a dodge roll if they want to move through spaces in an enemy ninja’s influence zone, making a free reroll extremely handy. Recruiting the kunoichi costs another 10 koban, leaving our treasury with only 21 remaining.
Our final two recruits are two yajiri. Tora yajiri get +2 AT when making a ranged attack. This makes Tora yajiri one of the hardest hitting yajiri in the game. Only the best for Fire Claw’s team!
The yajiri cost 8 koban each (16 total) bringing our final treasury to only 5 koban. Time to go play some challenges and earn more koban!