Grand Master Ekusa


Master Ekusa has long been a staple of Bushido games. In fact, way back after UK Games Expo 2011 the Temple Starter blister with Ekusa sitting on his Tortoise, Kame Sam, was the miniature that got many players into Bushido.


Of course, this resculpt has been seen at conventions this year and it's great to see it finally released.

Designer notes

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Ekusa has changed a few times over the years. In previous editions, his Healing was a Ki Feat and he did not have Inspiration. He’s a difficult model to get right. He wants to sit at around his 22 Rice, we don’t want a “Budget Master”, they should all be significant profiles. However Ekusa is a support model and 22 Rice of support is hard to justify.

Luckily Ekusa has some tricks. Contemplate Existence is an amazing Ki Feat. For one action it removes ALL activation counters from an enemy. This is Temple’s only Opposed Ki Feat and they made it a good one! Being able to shut down an enemy model makes Ekusa’s Rice Cost a lot more bearable, knowing your opponent should also be playing down some rice.

Ekusa is then free to use his myriad support rules with his second action.  Whether that is his Heal trait, Channel and Leach, providing Virtue Benefits or Inspiration, Ekusa can always find a way to help.

The resculpt is bigger (Ekusa found Kami Sam when she would fit on his outstretched hand, but this species of Tortoise never stops growing) and now on a 50mm base.

To facilitate this change, Ekusa will get Errata allowing him to go on 40mm or 50mm bases. This really has little difference in game and his “Size” will remain Medium. Temple could do with a little boost so allowing him a little extra Place Effect movement is fine I think.

You can see his investiture as Grand Master places Ekusa at the centre of the Temple’s Ki flows, he appears younger and more vibrant. He now levitates above a pool on Kame Sam’s back rather than sitting on her shell. What other powers does a Grand Master of the Temple possess? Why does the Temple avoid appointing to the position?

Well to answer one question, the new Ekusa model comes with an Enhancement Card. These new abilities really ramp up Ekusa's already formidable supporting powers to make him invaluable in almost any situation. He gains a Virtue Token himself which is nice. He also adds yet another Virtue Effect which gives a kind of Dirty Fighting Ki Feat effect.

The whole Warband will benefit from gaining Ki from Virtue Tokens too so expect to see Ekusa alongside Aiko in many lists! He also likes Kuma and Tsutsumi in his lists.

The final benefit can be hard to use but is phenomenal when employed correctly. Making a huge difference to Monks, who already generate and use the most Ki of any faction, the Believer Trait will let you boost for 1 Ki, reduce all Ki Feats cost by 1 and combined with the increased ki generation plus Ekusa’s Channel and Leech you should always have Ki to do whatever you need.

Ekusa was appointed Grand Master by a meeting of The Temple’s Masters (see further down this post). These conclaves are rare and Ekusa does not waste this opportunity. The Masters take to the field, showing their incomparable ability in the martial arts and in Ki Manipulation in the Theme Card packed with Ekusa: Masters of the Art.

This offers totally new warband options to Temple players and, while highly restrictive, each model should be able to do a lot of work every game!

You will likely only have 4 models in a Masters of the Art warband so victory will not be easy but the additional abilities this theme gives should even things a bit. The Focus, in this warband, will always be giving 3 Ki (And with Master Ekusa, you can put it anywhere you like!) which is almost a Moment of Enlightenment every turn.

Having all of the Special Attack and Defence options means your bluffing and mind games will be top level in every Melee Exchange. Plus Slam, Throw and Sweep on everyone is great for control. Finally with so few models, the once per game Tireless does wonders to help with your lack of activations.

We know a few players have had trouble getting an Ekusa model recently, so we are happy to release this resculpt. We don’t like to just do a resculpt and in this case the blister will come with the Grand Master of the Temple Card as well as the Masters of the Art Theme. We hope even those who already have the old model will be happy to upgrade and get the new cards.

Grand Master Ekusa will be available to Pre-Order on the 9th of Jan to be shipped late Jan.

The Temple

The room was nondescript. Seven simple cushions were arranged in a circle. One against the wall, the Master had no use for it.
Seven ageing monks and one tortoise met around the circle.

“The new threat requires action.”

Master Po, as usual, cut to the heart of the matter.

“This is a threat of our own making”

The other masters nodded at Koju’s comment but Akari has a unique perspective.

“We have allies” The others turned to hear.

“Other temples would come, if we asked. We need not face them alone.”

Akari took a breath to centre himself, it was natural for him to speak at speed but not here.

“The samurai must address the Savage Wave. It is not something we should attempt alone”

Another breath to keep his words at a more human pace. Tanuki speak quickly, words mashing in to each other and Akari long ago learned this made humans doubt the wisdom behind them.

“Sealing the savage wave away from our world is our responsibility, but dealing with those who are here now should be done by armies of men where possible. It is the old enemy returned, they who fell, that we should fight.”

“They have not returned.” The voice was nasally and the sentence abrupt, to the point. Master Enos rarely used excessive words to convey his meaning.

“They have always been here and always will be. We should defeat them but their presence is lasting, outside time."

“There are methods we can use to return them to the right path” Master Morita didn’t even open his eyes.

“With this threat surfacing at this point in linear chronology, we must act. I propose we establish a leader for the duration of the crisis.” Master Koju sipped her tea, indicating that the cryptic comment was all she would be contributing for now. It was almost as if she was not taking part in a conversation, but speaking her part as it came. Following a script of the discussion only she has read.

Master Enos rose to address the assembled Masters of the Ro-Kan Temple. 

“Based on the nature of this threat there is only one choice. Only one Master has the wisdom and experience necessary to combat this old enemy.”

“Trust me, I know what they are and the dangers of what they seek. I know the full extent of their capabilities and I tell you the truth, even among this circle, most of you would not be able to lead us to victory. Only I have looked into the void from the other side, only I have been inducted into mysteries as dark and darker still than those the enemy practices.”

“So do not be angered when I tell you that only one of us has studied the Void enough to combat them using the full resources of The Temple. Only one of us has made the sacrifices necessary to see the whole problem. Only one of us is the logical choice. I am ready to propose a Grand Master of the Temple of Ro-Kan.”

Some of the other masters stirred but Morita and Po already grasped the point.

Morita, his eyes still closed, reluctantly managed to speak “I do not like this action, there is a reason The Temple no longer has a Grand Master.”

“Let Master Enos make his proposal and we will agree to it.” Master Koju again seemed to be waiting for events to pass that she already knew would occur but none noticed this time the single tear she shed after saying her part.