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This is a neater way of storing my playtests for my customs that I want other people to be able to see. I mostly intend on posting about units that I'd like to submit to the SoV.
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Single Seishin Samurai vs. Gladiators

Posted May 21st, 2021 at 02:09 AM by Astroking112
It's time for some more fun with the Seishin Samurai! I know not whether the sculpt's availability still holds, but the unit is fun and with the end of the semester here at last, it felt like a great time to go ahead and run another playtest.

RUINED CITY by Leaf_It
No glyphs. 500 points.

Astro: Spartacus, Crixus, Capuan Gladiators x3
Shiftrex: Kaemon Awa, Tagawa Samurai Archers x2, Tagawa Samurai, Seishin Samurai x6, Isamu

SURVIVING UNITS:
Kaemon Awa (unwounded), 3x TSA, 1x Tagawa Samurai, 5x Seishin Samurai (2 spawned)
~325 Points Left

GAME SUMMARY:
I led with Crixus and the Capuans while Shiftrex started mobilizing the archers. I tried to stop him from grabbing the dispersed height around the map, but failed to grab a strong foothold due to some early defensive whiffs for the Capuans. Crixus was the only unit to achieve an early kill, but he disengaged from the resulting Seishin because I didn't want him tied down when he was so close to the starting zone. Unfortunately, while he was trying to clear out threats, he ended up dealing heavy damage to himself with Counter Strike from the Tagawa Samurai, and then Kaemon Awa began firing into him repeatedly.

The Capuans kept falling as I tried to knock down the archers from height, ultimately only succeeding in wiping out about one squads worth of them. Spartacus moved out and managed to kill an archer (and the resulting Seishin), but was tied down for long enough to fall to the archers' combined onslaught.

THOUGHTS
The Gladiators never really felt like they had a great chance, but that was kind of the expectation on this map without any range or a solid counter against the Samurai. I never really felt like the Seishin Samurai turned around the game, though; they led to me taking one more LEA and Spartacus getting tied down for another turn, but overall, I mostly played the Gladiators as expected and just faced a little more trouble in breaking through the Samurai barriers (note that only 3 Seishin were ever spawned, too).

Still, I am a bit concerned about how viable this unit is. I don't think that they're A-tier by any means, but the Samurai are an inherently frustrating army to go against when they work well. Masha Shingai was designed to exacerbate their unique traits, boosting both strengths and weaknesses, whereas the Seishin were designed more in the vein of Sir Gilbert: they address one of the Samurai's greatest weaknesses of relying on defense rolls on expensive figures. As a result, they make the Samurai a lot more fun to play and really make the army stand out, but I'm concerned that this might be too much for their price right now.

I also think that Shiftrex's idea of taking them without Raelin is quite interesting. They can be a surprisingly aggressive unit when built that way, and while leaving them in Raelin's aura can be tempting, their added mobility with the archers is also worth experimenting with.

SHIFTREX'S THOUGHTS
They feel sound from a gameplay perspective. Instead of taking 120 points of them, I could've taken a Hydra or something else to round out the army more.
I really like the passive value that they bring to an army--the insurance to give the Samurai a way to get past bad rolls is great and offers an alternative to taking Raelin.
They can also be used aggressively, getting value out of suboptimal positions for the living Samurai.
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