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The standard of Einar shall never fall. Hatamoto Taro will never fail. Outnumbered ten to one, the Samurai of Einar gather under the waving yellow banner, and at Taro's command, fight with such renewed might that their enemies falter and scatter at their feet.

Taro's sword has been passed down for five generations, his armor, seven generations. He will not dishonor his forefathers by proving himself unworthy of bearing these tools of war. In battle Taro shows unrelenting courage, and that makes him nigh unbeatable.

Stats

  • Life: 5
  • Move: 5
  • Range: 1
  • Attack: 2
  • Defense: 2
  • Point Value: 130

Abilities

  • Heroic Defense Aura
    When defending against a normal attack by an adjacent figure with any Samurai or Ashigaru figures you control within 8 clear sight spaces of Hatamoto Taro, you may roll Einar Valkyrie dice. Each Einar symbol rolled counts as an additional shield. Heroic Defense Aura does not affect Hatamoto Taro.
  • Adjacent Tough 1
    When rolling defense dice for Hatamoto Taro, if Hatamoto Taro is adjacent to at least one figure who follows Einar that you control, add one automatic shield to the defense roll.

Synergy

  • Adjacent Tough 1 : Any figures that follow Einar
    When rolling defense, any adjacent unit that follows Einar may aid Hatamoto Taro through his Adjacent Tough 1 ability.
  • Kato Katsuro: Kato Katsuro's Command
    As a Samurai Hero, Hatamoto Taro may benifit from Kato Katsuro's Command ability.
  • Sacred Band: Disciplined Army Defense Bonus
    Having a "Disciplined" personality, Hatamoto Taro is compatible with the Sacred Band's Disciplined Army Defense Bonus.

Behind the Game

Taro is the only Samurai in the game who does not have the counterstrike power.
The Japanese writing on Taro's flag translates as "Hero" [1]
All the standard bearers have one "allegiance" power, an ability that work only with those of a certain allegiance. Sir Gilbert gives a movement boost Jandar Squads. Laglor give a range boost to all ranged Vydar figures. Acolarh grants a movement boost to all Ullar figures. Ornak turn-exchanges with all Utgar Heroes x2. However, Taro's allegiance is power is unqiue in that it does not help fellow Einar unit, but instead is is inverted, fellow Eniar units help him instead - thorugh his Adjacent Tough 1, a power based on the Gorillinators' Tough ability but is superior to theirs as Taro's works against Special Attacks as well, although the Gorillinators are not dependant on other units to use their abilty.

  • 'How many dice for the Heroic Defense Aura?
    How many dice do I roll when using Heroic Defense Aura?
    You should roll the normal number of defense dice plus any enhancements from spheres of influence, auras, height, and glyphs. Instead of using regular defense dice, use Hatamoto Taro’s Valkyrie dice.

Strategy

While his high point cost and low attack and defense cause many to call him the weakest flagbearer in the game, the right pairing can make Hatamoto a deadly asset to an Einar Army. The key is to pair Taro with a major Samurai-based army. Combined with Taro, a Samurai's defense now becomes the major method of killing off enemy figures. Ashigaru are enchanced as well, but this is a small bonus, as they only have a defense of one(1).

The Izumi Samurai are the cheapest Samurai unit at only 60 points. Having a Defense of 5, they can ward off ranged fire with an Attack of 3 or less, and being in Taro's Aura they can hold their own and possibly counter-strike against figures with an Attack of 5 or less. Using this they can act as bodyguards to Taro, or they can lock-down Ranged opponents, forcing them to either attack them and risk a Counter Strike, or run and risk a leaving-engagement strike. The Kozuke are the Samurai's shock troops and are 100 points well spent. Although they lack the defensive capabilities of the Izumi and Tagawa, that is more than made up for with their Attack of 5 and potential Move of 8 (Plus any movement bonuses). Your best bet is to send these 3 figures out at the beginning of the game: with a threat range of 9 (Move + range), the Kozuke have the ability to charge up to ranged units, and take them out in the same turn. Tagawa Samurai are princed at 120 points, they are the heavy hitters of your melee force. When you are eliminating your foes quickly with the Kozuke, be sure to leave a few lower-defense units for the Tagawa. If you are lucky it won't be long before their Bloodlust maximum is reached and Heroic Defensive Aura, combined with Counter Strike, just might let you gain an experience marker without using an order marker--a handy bonus for any situation.

When used with Kato Katsuro, Taro becomes even more effective as you no longer have to put Order Markers on his card. Do not attempt to use Taro as a Samurai himself, he does not have counterstrike (the only Samurai in the game not to have it) and his low attack and defense will leave him at the mercy of his attacker. [2]

References

  1. The Book of Hatamoto Taro
  2. Heroscapers.com

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