Wednesday, January 3, 2024

School of Magic Heroes for 'Hametsu'


Hi All,

I like to have a LOT of things happening on my hobby desk, and this winter is no different! 

Last year my good pal PhilH pointed me towards a new game coming out called 'Hametsu' from Black Site Studios. I looked into it further and thought it might be a good candidate for our group, being as it requires a fairly low figure count, has simple, fast moving rules, and seems chock-full of flashing katana character. 

I duly plunked down for the rulebook and have been very happy with my purchase. The rulebook is gorgeously produced, very high quality stuff and more importantly the rules are excellent as well. So I've been busy ever since, amassing 3d prints and getting things ready to churn out for the Challenge. In fact, I was so keen to try the game that I've hosted several sessions with my primed figures (clutches pearls!), and even have had a few online games with pals from away using Discord. It's been well-received so I'm eager to move forward and get some colour on these figures.

'Hametsu' is essentially a cooperative monster hunting game. It's set in feudal Japan, built around the premise that a cataclysm has created fissures in reality across the country, letting demons (Oni) through into the material world. The population has largely retreated into the relative safety of the cities, while the countryside has been overrun with roving bands of Oni and other nasty creatures. As a result, Japanese society has created bands of 'Hunters' to go out into the wilds and try to stem the tide of evil infesting the country. I know, it sounds very reminiscent to 'Rangers of Shadow' deep, but it has a mannered structure and groovy Boss fights that make it quite unique and compelling.

In the base game the heroes originate from three 'Schools' of martial prowess. They are The School of Magic, The School of Stealth and the School of Strength. Each of the Schools has three 'classes' or archetypes.

Today I have three 'classes' from the School of Magic: A Monk (close combat/healer), a Bunraku (necromancer) and a Onmyoji (mage).

The Monk is a metal figure from Otherworld Miniatures. Surprisingly, I found him to be sort of ropey, which is kind of weird as Otherworld stuff is usually so darn good, but I liked his minimalist pose and so stuck with him (so many of the 3d designs for monks are a little too Marvel for me, if you know what I mean). I'm happy I preserved as I quite like him now.

The Bunraku is a 3d print from Kyoshuneko Miniatures. I was smitten by the effect of her flaming ensorcelled hands (great word: 'ensorcelled'). (Although to be honest, the real character class can't actually cast fire, but don't mess with my jam...).

The Onmyoji is a print designed by Epic Miniatures. I was curious about the whole basket-helm thingy and found that these guys were (and still are) Komuso monks from a specific Zen Buddist sect. Originally descended from samurai, the basket is worn over the head as a symbol shunning one's sense of ego. Interesting. Following this train of logic, I suspect Sarah will suggest that I get my head measured for one...

In the future I plan to post figures from the other two Schools of Magic along with an assortment of the baddies that the heroes have to face and overcome. If I get especially fired up I may even get some terrain completed. Hold my beer.

- Curt

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