A minimal threat as individuals, a horde of Bakemono can be incredibly effective at securing strategies and overwhelming enemies with sheer numbers.
Horde Ki Edit
The Bakemono have a unique ki mechanic, in that they share a single Ki pool with no maximum Ki storage limit. As such Bakemono are at their best in large Rice games where the warband is almost exclusively made of these "gremlins" (i.e: no Oni, no allies).
What is often overlooked is that the three Horde abilities can be used as part of any Bakemono action, and the Bakemono's condition only worsens for the initial action - not the Ki feat. It is entirely possible for a single Bakemono to use Darkness, Shadow Walk, Summon from the Shadows, AND either a single or complex action as a single activation (though doing so would use up a LOT of ki!).
Moving in Shadow Edit
Two of the Horde abilities are intentionally designed to work together. Darkness causes almost all enemies to lose sight of the Horde, allowing each Bakemono to then be able to Shadow Walk as part of their chose action/s that turn. In this way its possible for a single Bakemono to move 18" in a single turn! (6" for a run + 3" for Shadow Walk, repeated twice).
Teleporting in Daylight Edit
Shadow Walk isn't restricted to only being used under Darkness. Provided the enemy cannot see the Bakemono, they are able to use this Ki feat. Utilize cover and even your own forces to block LoS and teleport away.
Summoning from Shadows Edit
When to Summoning Edit
Darkness + Shadow Walk is one of the Bakemono's main mobility tactics. However should mobility no longer be a requirement and combat has begun, consider using your Ki to call for re-enforcements via Summon from the Shadows.
Using this Ki feat correctly is possibly the trickest part of mastering the tricks of a Bakemono Horde as it comes with a LOT of disadvantages (can only be used once per turn, the new model arrives exhausted, etc...). In fact some may recognize that for its cost its possible to boost a single Bakemono's MS by +2 for a single melee exchange.
However, when used correctly, its possible for the summon to provide a -2 dice penalty to an enemy MULTIPLE times. Consider this:
- At the end of a turn, the last Bakemono to activate engages a 30-40mm enemy in melee. As part of the action, it Summons a new Bakemono directly behind the enemy (it cannot be done on a 50mm enemy as the Bakemono would be in Base-to-Base with it).
- On the second turn, the newly Summoned Bakemono engages the enemy causing it to suffer a -2 dice penalty (-1 for being surprised, -1 for being outnumbered). The target and attacking Bakemono becomes tired.
- Should the enemy attack either of the Bakemono, it will still suffer a -1 dice penalty for being outnumbered
- Should it NOT attack either Bakemono, then the first Bakemono can attack the target to make it suffer Surprised again and exhaust it. The two Bakemono can then alternate their attacks again, making the target now suffer a -3 dice penalty (-1 for being surprised each time, -1 for being outnumbered, and -1 for now being exhausted).
Should you have Nightblood Mushrooms you can empower your new Bakemono to deal even more damage to the enemy.
Who to Summon Edit
Summon from the Shadows can only produce 4-rice value Bakemono (aka the nameless Bakemono). Of these there are four types and each have a role to play:
- Beaters suffer no penalty to their damage roll and should be used against most enemies. These should be the main Summon.
- Bushi deal less damage than Beaters, and can only use their Combo Attack at a notable cost of their MS accuracy. However against Durable enemies (who can only suffer a max of -1 Wd per attack), or an enemy who is already suffering dice penalties, this Combo Attack is fantastic.
- Spearmen should really only be summoned if the above two are already maxed out on the field as First Strike only benefits them if they were attacked.
- Archers have terrible MS, and while being summoned behind a target gives them great accuracy to hit them, it runs the risk of your arrow hitting your own - making them even worse a choice than the spearmen.
Upgrading the Summon Edit
Summon from the Shadows can be upgraded with Cavern Hole. This terrain element gives you an option to summon Bakemono typically half-way up the map (as neither player will want it anywhere save on the centerline). Through this its possible to summon the two Archers to pepper the enemy with arrows, or even run for a strategy while the more "threatening" horde members keep the enemy occupied. Should you have the Rice spare to purchase it, its certainly worth considering.