Update: Blood and Bushido has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 25 days. If you already have the base game, you may back for the expansion only, otherwise it is also available together with Way of the Samurai deluxe.
Our preview post below was published on August 31.
Blood and Bushido is an expansion to the solitaire push-your-luck hand-management game Way of the Samurai. It brings five new modules to enhance and vary gameplay, plus new surroundings and weapons and a powerful enemy. It will launch on Kickstarter on September 3 and the base game will be available as well.
In Way of the Samurai you are trying to stay undefeated in 61 duels, like the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Official play time is 1-30 minutes, so this is no certainty. The enemies all play different, and you can choose from several weapons to attack them with. Every turn you draw cards that will add or subtract to your strength, technique and guard. You've got a small reserve of ki that you can spend for special actions. And you can try to make combos for a bonus. You can read our session report for more details.
The Bushido module adds virtue cards. Every game you can try to unlock one with your combos to be granted a permanent advantage. Like redrawing two cards every round, gaining bonus strength or technique to spend whenever you want, exchanging ki for life etc.
The Gisei module adds a small sacrifice deck. When you need to raise your guard, you can exchange one life to draw a card from it. There's still a risk though. Four cards will indeed give a bonus, but one of the cards will lower your guard instead.
The Blood module adds a separate injury deck for the player. It will not only make you lose life or ki, but also slowly cap your strength and technique, and you'll lose the fight when this deck is empty.
1 vs 3 is a new game mode where you are surrounded by three enemies and have to fight them all.
Yoroi is an armour card. You can use it to give yourself more health, while learning or during campaign play - or to make your enemy tougher.
The new enemy Shiro is already fully armoured, and a dual-wielding powerhouse that has some tricks up his sleeve when you manage to wound him. The new weapons give you either mulligans (Yari) or a draw-two-pick-one choice for special cards (Wakizashi). New locations for your fights are the Bamboo Forest and the Cliff (yes, you can fall off).