I have a couple of tournaments on the horizon, and while I'm leaning heavily towards Jung for the first event, I also keep hearing the distant call of the Tengu (fancy words for faction indecision). The factor that gives me pause with Tengu is that I struggle with what their strengths are. So I decided to do a blog post or two to help with my musings.
There are a few obvious things that Tengu excel at... Near universal Cloudwalk coupled with Movement 5, gives them great mobility without having to worry about all of that pesky terrain getting in the way. However, they also have access to another ability that helps with their mobility and prevents them from getting pinned down... lots and lots of Place effects.
To begin with, it's important to understand what a Place effect is and how it differs from Movement. When you move a distance - lets say 1" - you move the model by that distance and give consideration to anything in the way be it terrain, other models, zones of control etc. With a place effect (in most cases), you relocate the model within that distance and ignore everything en-route to the final position of the model. As you can see, the model has also moved a greater distance.
The principal benefit of this, particularly when you consider that the base size of all models is greater than 1" (1" = 25mm, small base size = 30mm) is that it enables you to leave a Zone of Control and then scarper. However, let's consider another potential use. In the example below, the Blue Gale Scout is not in a good place. He has ended the turn with no Ki and has just about survived an assault from Takeji with Masunagi ready to enter melee in the following turn. That's one dead red canary right there.
And yet... if the Tengu player had some sort of place effect available, Suzume Flock for example, there may be a way to turn the tables. Suzume Flock is an Event played at the start of a turn that enables all Suzume to place within 1". Our Blue Gale Scout could use this to just run away, but where is the fun in that? Instead, you can see below that 1" is just enough distance to place behind Takeji outside of his Zone Control and more amusingly, outside of his line of sight (incidentally, be assured that I checked this with models in real life before writing this blog). If the Tengu player wins the Tactical Roll, the Suzume can seize the initiative and make a point blank shot into the back of a Surprised Takeji. Because placing doesn't count as movement, that's 3 dice ranged attack needing only a 3+. The tables have indeed turned!