Test of Honour Sengoku Designer's Notes

Test of Honour Sengoku is an expansion book for the game that focuses on the battles, alliances and betrayals of the different samurai clans of the Sengoku period.

Choose your Allegiance

The clans included are Hojo, Mori, Takeda, Uesugi, Saito, Yagyu, Oda, Honda, Toyotomi, Shimazu, Date and Tokugawa (and of course you are free to use the rules to 'count as' any other clan you like). 

Note there is still no restriction to what you can actually have in your force. When picking your clan you are just choosing your allegiance. While the 'classic' clan force might consist of samurai and ashigaru, you could have a force of Ronin and Ninjas fighting for the Oda clan or a force of Onna Bugeisha and Sohei Monks loyal to the Shimazu clan.

You can also have an independent force of Ikko-ikki, Ronin, Bandits or Ninjas if you don't want to pledge allegiance to one clan.

As with the main game, you are free to tell your own story!

Clan Proficiencies

Belonging to a particular clan (or independent faction such as Ikko-ikki) provides your force with extra abilities called proficiencies during a Test of Honour Sengoku battle. 

Proficiencies represent techniques that a clan preferred or were famous for – such as a specific weapon or a way of fighting – as well as a clan’s wider influence and reputation, its politics and diplomacy.

During recruitment, each player chooses two of his clan’s proficiencies to use during the coming battle. You then choose one of your ally’s clan proficiencies, for a total of three.

So for example, if your chosen clan is Oda, you might choose the Gunnery Drills and Disciplined proficiencies. And if you chose the Saito clan as your allies you could also use their Ruthless proficiency.

Favoured Skills

Each clan also has three favoured skill types that best reflect its nature. For example, the Oda clan favours Strength, Infamy and Commander skills. If a character reaches his max with only favoured skills then he can gain an extra skill of any type.

Having plenty of favoured skills also makes many of the proficiencies more powerful.

New Tokens

When playing a Test of Honour Sengoku battle you’ll need to add two extra tokens into the container along with the Action and Fate tokens. When you draw one of these 'Clan tokens' you get to choose one of your proficiencies and activate its rules. 

Spare blood drop markers work fine as your Clan tokens or you could perhaps paint two of your Follower tokens a distinct colour. However it just so happens that those lovely people at Sarissa Precision have created a colour printed MDF token set including the required Clan tokens.

20 New Scenarios

Each scenario in the book is inspired by the history or character of a particular clan (though they can be played by anybody).

For example 'Cunning Ruse' is based on one of Oda Nobunaga's early battles where he tricked the enemy with an 'army' of straw dummies and flags.

'Open the Gate' emulates the heroics of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who scaled a mountain to gain entry to an enemy castle and led a surprise raid, blowing up the gunpowder store and opening the gate for the main army to pour in. 

'Sudden Betrayal' starts at the moment when one side's allies turn on their former friends, inspired by the devious deals of Ieyasu Tokugawa at the great battle of Sekigahara.

New Weapons

There's a selection of new armaments to give you some new options on the battlefield.

The ozutsu heavy musket gives you a Strength 5 missile weapon (new models for these incoming).

Ninjas get some extra choices with tiger claws for fast climbing and weighted chains to entangle the enemy.

A man catcher will help you control your opponents while a jitte can trap their blades. Perfect for clans trying to impose law and order on their territories.

Next there are three new arrow types that can replace the standard armour-piercing point - barbed arrows inflict vicious wounds, screaming arrows whistle through the air and spook the enemy, while fire arrows can make the foe flinch back from a defended position, not to mention setting things on fire (which I'll come to in a minute...).

I've also included rules for cannons. Obviously these aren't something a small warband would generally lug around, so they should only be used if both players agree or in a specially designed scenario. However I know some of you have cannon models so I thought it would be a fun addition!


Setting buildings on fire opens up loads more interesting avenues for scenarios and tactics during games. 

You can set a fire using fire arrows, flaming torches (both accessed with Trait cards) or using a Test of Wits if you're inside the building. This will start placing fire markers, which may spread each time a Fate token is drawn or may be doused by the defenders.

A number of the new scenarios concern setting fires as the objective, but it is an option in any game if you're feeling destructive! Unaware warriors move towards a fire, so this provides some new possible angles during a sneaky mission.


FAQ about the book:

Is this a large scale battle system?

Nope. A few people asked this question on Facebook and the answer is no, this is not a different game system. It's the same game with an extra level of detail to give the various clans unique rules.

Do I need a new force?

No. However, in Sengoku battles part of your force is denoted as allies from a different clan. These could just be some of your existing models, although you might like to recruit some new warriors as your allies, maybe with a different colour scheme to show the difference.

Which Clans are included?

Hojo, Mori, Takeda, Uesugi, Saito, Yagyu, Oda, Honda, Toyotomi, Shimazu, Date and Tokugawa. As well as rules, there is a historical account of each clan and if you read them in sequence, they the tell the story of the Sengoku period.

Do you have to have ashigaru? 

Not at all. The freedom to include whatever warriors you want stays the same. For example, you could have a force of Ronin hired by Takeda, Sohei siding with Mori, Ninjas working for Oda or even bandits doing the dirty-work of the Saito clan (or a mix of all of them). Onna Bugeisha naturally fit with any clan.

You can also have an independent force of Ikko-ikki, Ronin, Bandits or Ninjas if you don't want to pledge allegiance to one clan.