Ninja All-Stars - Ideas for Games

I recently reviewed Ninja All-Stars and I have been really pleased with the game. I thought I would drop a quick post in to highlight some of the house rules we have implemented when playing standalone games. Hope they help.

Ronin Roulette

The idea behind Ronin is that they are wandering samurai who have no master. They provide their services for money and/or personal reasons. We personally found the idea you can conscript ANY Ronin to be a bit silly. These warriors come and go like the wind to wherever it may take them.

So during league or standalone games we perform what is called "Ronin Roulette". The Ronin deck is shuffled and 2 Ronin are drawn to each player. They then have the option of hiring them into their clan and in league play if they continue to pay their upkeep can keep them. This makes for some interesting decisions rather than being able to build the strongest list all the time. Also it means you get chance to use all those lovely models!

I think this also adds a nice story element too as you can imagine the Ronin drifting into your clans village and offering their services. This has definitely helped keep our games interesting.

Limited KB Coins

Our general rule of thumb for 2 player standalone games is 70KB. We have found that 100KB just takes some of the list building fun out of the game. At 100KB you can always take 4 strong units and 2 cheerleaders for your clan. Most mission limits are 6-7 ninja so this maximizes your lists potential for strong units. But if you drop that max size to 70KB you suddenly get a different picture, you are limited in what you can fit in your list. Do I take an Oni or that Clan Hero I like? This has made our games much more interesting and replayability is huge as each time we have come back we have pretty much made new lists.

For three player games we dropped the limit to 65KB and for 4 player games we dropped it again for 60KB and it all seems to have gone swimmingly so far.

Mission Scaling with Three or Four Players

We have also found that the missions can get very crowded with larger numbers of players. A quick rule we have implemented is to simply reduce the number of ninja allowed on the board once you reach three players by one and with a four player game by two. For example Brawl would be 5 (not 6) ninja in a three player game and 4 in a four player game. Simples.

Craig McNicholas

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


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