I have LOADS of miniatures for feudal Japan and other East Asian armies - both historical and mythical - and purely fantasy! Originally I was doing a mix of multi-figure bases for use with De Bellis Antiquitatis and/or Hordes of the Things and individually based miniatures for use in role-playing games or skirmish games such as Ronin or Dragon Rampant. At some point (over a decade ago, now) I got all excited about Legends of the Five Rings and collected up a huge amount of figures from their old Clan War game and had planned to build HOTT armies for each of the clans and keep some individually based extras for the role-playing game. More recently I decided to abandon the plan of HOTT armies for each clan - and even ditched the one historical Early Samurai DBA army I had (partially) put together
While organized as Legend of the Five Rings Clans, a lot of these COULD be used as pseudo-historical samurai for Ronin or other more historical Samurai skirmish wargames.
I also have to admit, I have very little idea about the actual make up of the armies of Rokugan. I never played Clan War (the miniatures game many of these miniatures were originally made for), I never really played Legends of the Five Rings (the Collectible Card Game), and, while I HAVE a pile of reference books for various editions of the role-playing game (it was REALLY CHEAP to pick up stuff from previous editions, at one point!), I've read very few of them and only briefly ran a game of Savage Worlds loosely based on what little I knew about the setting. So these armies are based solely on the little I know about the different clans and what few miniatures I have available. I make no claim that this is the RIGHT WAY to do it!
The entire force (so far... but I'm not sure when - or WHAT - I'd ever add to it!)
I never really got around to organizing these for Ronin, and though this was one of the two play-able Legends of the Five Rings forces I had for Hordes of the Things, I never took a picture of the Complete Army before I rebased them for this most recent re-org... pictures of the individual multi-figure-based elements are scattered throughout the blog.
Most of this was originally posted on the blog here:
Phoenix Clan for Dragon Rampant
The Phoenix, as I understand it, are peaceniks. They love to study and learn about and practice magic. Life is precious to the Phoenix and therefore I imagine them not using human warriors to defend against invaders, where possible, but rather using conjured void guard and clay soldiers and magic!
As I said, thePhoenix all about the magics - but I'm not really sure how best to represent their Shugenja. I really like that Dragon Rampant leaves it abstract and open to interpretation and gives a number of suggestions about how to represent magic on the tabletop... but have little experience to determine which is the best to go.
Currently I'm thinking of ignoring the "Spellcaster" magical rule (it seems to me it just adds points to a standard unit and doesn't make it really any "better").
Instead I'm thinking of classifying them as Light Foot with Short Range Missiles (4 points). The Wall of Spears ability could represent a conjured wall of thorns (or forming some other magical barrier) and the short range missiles represents ranged offensive magiks...?
A particularly powerful Shugenja could be a single model unit. Others could be in a small unit with multiple lesser shugenja (and perhaps a few yojimbo - body guards) - as seen in some of the units below.
Shugenja with Yojimbo and summoned etherial Void Guard
The Void Guard are terrifying etherial warriors, summoned or conjured into existence to fight for the Phoenix clan - so they are lead by a shugenja who has summoned them - or is there to keep them stable, and he is also accompanied by a Shiba yojimbo (bodyguard) .
These could be fielded as Elite Foot + FEAR! (because the Void Guard are so terrifying!) - 8points!!!?
Alternatively they could be fielded as Elite Foot + Missiles (to represent ranged-shooty-magic that the Shugenja could cast) - also 8 points.
Still another option could be to field them as Elite Foot + Missiles + FEAR! for a whopping 10 points!
ANOTHER Shugenja with Yojimbo and summoned etherial Void Guard
Yes, I can field a second such unit of the same...
ANOTHER option for the Shugenja and Void Guard... (if I combined all the void guard into one unit)
They could also be fielded as Heavy Foot + FEAR! - 6 points
AGGRESSIVE Heavy Foot + FEAR! - 8points!!!?
As Heavy Foot, the unit would have 12 strength points - Void Guard one each, Yojimbo and Shugenja two each. I kind of like this option as it would make the unit look a bit more substantial (in a force where there are already a LOT of small Elite or Reduced Model units)
No shooty options for these, though...
Bow-Armed Shiba Samurai
The Shiba are one of the prominent families of the Phoenix Clan. Where the Isawa (the OTHER prominent family) focus on study and learning magic, the Shiba study the martial arts to protect the Isawa shugenja...
Elite Foot with Missiles - 8 points - Yowza! One third of an entire 24-point force right there!
With the two units above - using one of the 8 point versions - this could be an entire 24-point force!
The Avalanche Guard are Shugenja that, through magic, turned their skin to stone (albeit, FLEXIBLE stone! Or maybe it's just covered with stone...?) - which acts as super hard armour, and then charge into actual combat! I'd likely field them as a Reduced Model, Aggressive, Heavy Foot unit for 6 points.
Honestly, if I'd had two more, I probably would have just called them "Elite Foot"... as it is I only have the four... as Heavy Foot they have 12 strength points which divides easily into four.
I had thought of attaching a Shugenja with a Yojimbo to the unit - like I've done with the Void Guard above and Clay Soldiers below, but that just didn't make any sense, fluff-wise. Unlike the Void Guard and Clay Soldiers, the Avalanche Guard are not summoned creatures, but rather are themselves warrior Shugenja.. why would there be other shugenja present with them or a need for Yojimbo? I guess If I had two heavily armoured Samurai I could attach them as Yojimbo and call it a full-strength unit of Elite Foot...?
Shugenja (and Protective Elements)
The four Clay Soldiers and two Yojimbo have one strength point each - and the Shugenja has six (and would have to be tracked with a die once all the other elements of the unit have been removed). These could be fielded as:
Light Foot with Short Ranged Missiles - 4 points
Light Missiles - 4 points
the former would represent a (relatively) weaker/shorter-ranged shooty magician with slightly tougher protectors... the latter would represent a more powerful shooty magician that's got some weak-ass protectors that would be better off just staying out of close combat!
I wish I had more of the Clay Soldiers - if I'd had 12, I'd totally have fielded them as Ravenous Hordes - 1 point - Terrible... basically a speed bump to place on the table and slow anyone that wants to advance in their direction! Instead they're just being used as more elements conjured to protect Shugenja.
Reduced Model, Light Foot...? (+Aggressive? +Cleric? +Wizardling and the Sod Off! spell?)
I'm not really sure how best to represent these. I think they just counter magic...? Part of me feels like calling them Light Foot + Wizardling. Wizardling is a less power version of Spellcaster. Spellcaster adds 4 points to the cost of the unit and allows the unit to cast any of the spells available in the list. Wizardling is cheaper (2 points) but only gives them access to three. I feel like I want to make my own rule for them and give them Wizardling and ONE SPELL (Sod Off! cancels the effect of any spell with a "until the start of the players next activation" duration) but make that spell +2 to cast (normally it is 8+ - the hardest spell to cast! - this would effectively make it 6+). As I'm only ever going to play with people using my own miniatures, I feel like I can make up my own damned rules for them...
Alternative Isawa Inquisitor unit - same as above, but with two Yojimbo - and so each element is worth two Strength Points each - just to make it look like a (slightly) more substantial (looking) unit.
Mounted Shiba Samurai
I suppose I could call them a "Reduced Model, Elite Mounted"... but that would be just too much... there are ENOUGH reduced model units in this army already! I need a few more mounted samurai before I could field these without feeling ashamed of myself. The problem is - these horses are WAY huger than any other samurai horses I have, and I only have six or eight of these models, and only these two are actually painted. originally I was going to give two each to the Crane, Lion and Phoenix clans - for use in their Hordes of the Things armies - they would have two on a single base that would represent an element of "Riders" or "Knights". So do I steal the unpainted ones from the other clans and give the Phoenix all the big horses and buy some new ones for the other clans when (IF) I ever get to adding mounted elements to their forces. Or do I just go ahead and mix these with others and hope that no one notices (or minds, if the do notice) that a couple of the horses are considerably bigger than the others in the unit...?
An assortment of others I've painted for the Phoenix Clan - Coutiers, MORE Shugenja, an Ashigaru with a tepo, and a Jade Samurai (not actually a thing from L5R - the model is a Shadowrun miniature - from a pack of stylized items meant to represent programs or avatars while netrunning)
There are maybe a half dozen other miniatures in the Phoenix drawer... I'm in no rush to paint them. They would just be more characters... or miniatures that would need MORE miniatures to complete a unit - and as I have a complete force here (28-32+ points worth, depending on how I chose to represent things - 24 points is suggested size for an army) I have NO desire to be buying anything new for these any time soon!
The Lion share a border with the Phoenix above (and, indeed, being in the MIDDLE of Rokugan, share borders with MOST of the other clans!). They tend to be considerable more martial than the Phoenix. Though not as gruff and "uncivilized" as the Crab, they are less in love with courtly matters than their chief rival, the Crane clan.
Much of this was originally posted here:
Lion Clan for Dragon Rampant
Also You can see how they were organized for Ronin here:
Lion Clan Bushi Buntai Redux
Matsu Tsuko - the Daimyo of the Lion Clan - and her personal body guard
Foot Samurai - Elite Foot - 6 Points
Kitso Family Shugenja
Single Model, Light Missile unit - 4 points
More Foot Samurai
Elite Foot - 6 Points
Ashigaru with Yari - Spear-Armed Retainers
Light Foot - 3 points
Ashigaru with Bow
Light Missile - 4 points
What would the Lion Clan be without LIONS!? These will be fielded as Lesser War Beasts for 4 points.
Battered Unit Marker
I have a few more as well...
Some of the other painted stuff I have (there are not enough of these to fill out a unit - or they're just fun extras that will NEVER be in a unit for Dragon Rampant)
Eventually I will have options for Missile-armed Elite foot (armoured samurai with bow), possibly some Heavy Cavalry (mounted samurai), a few MORE archers (more ashigaru, or lighter armoured samurai?), MORE units of Foot Samurai (Elite Foot).
Once they're all painted the elite foot will be reorganized - I have enough of the Matsu Lion's Pride (elite, all-female Samurai unit) to form one unit of six. I'm currently using one - the one with two swords in the second unit of Elite Foot. At SOME point, when my interests gen-u-inely return to the far east and Samurai and I actually get to painting up all the minis I have, I could potentially order a few more from Perry miniatures - just to fill out a couple last units (more archers, and a reduced sized unit of Heavy Missile - ashigaru armed with Tepo - muskets - not really part of the L5R world... but these are MY fantasy figures, I can add in whatever I want!!!)
Originally posted on the blog here:
Crab Clan for Dragon Rampant
Now, I'm no expert on world of the Legends of the Five Rings, and what little I knew from perusing a bunch of books I picked up for both he role-playing game and the Clan War miniatures game, I've mostly forgotten. What I DO know is that the Crab Clan are a dour lot, living in the south of Rokugan along the border with the Shadowlands - they've maintained a wall for centuries and are the first line of defence against the evil that lurks across the border. Always vigilant and on guard, they have little time for courtly matters...
I forgot to take a picture of the whole force so far... it's not really a PLAYABLE force at this point, so I don't really feel too bad about that. When I get to finishing a few more up I'll take a picture of the lot of them.
No picture yet because... well... he's not painted yet!
I DO have one larger Hero-like-figure - probably one of the named characters from Clan War - a warlord/daimyo type. He'll be in a unit all of his own - either as a Reduced Model unit or Single Model, Elite Foot unit (in the reduced model unit, he is accompanied by a standard bearer - who isn't really all that tough - it's still the big guy taking all the damage - the standard bearer is really just there as an abstract element to mark when the Big Guy is reduced to half strength!) Either Way, another 6 point unit. I could also add any fantastical rules... Fear, Slayer, Hatred...? Any of those could be used.
Foot Samurai - which should be the largest element of any Crab Force... but I have only two painted so far...
I will have one unit of lightly armoured samurai (like the one on the right of the picture), and two units of more heavily armoured samurai (like the one on the left) with loads of Tetsubos - those giant clubs that the Crab tend to favour. All three units of six warriors. As I mentioned, only these two have been painted of the 18 in total...
The two more heavily armoured units will, obviously, be Elite Foot at 6 points. Unfortunately, there is no way to downgrade units slightly (as there are in later games by Daniel Mercy), so I think the best way to classify the more lightly armoured samurai is Reduced Model, Offensive, Heavy Foot, also at 6 points - it reduces their Armour value, slightly (which can have a fairly large effect in terms of casualties taken... but they get 12 strength points instead of 6... so they can TAKE a lot more damage before they all die... They also have slightly lower Courage and so are more likely to flee...
I imagine these are poorer samurai, from poorer families or seventh sons, lacking the full armour of the more prominent families or earlier born brothers. They could be classified as Reduced Model, Offensive, Light Foot for 5 points.
I have four more to finish painting for this unit. These are bow-armed samurai - but without armour. Despite the lack of armour, they are highly trained and deadly - their capacity to cause casualties and take (or deflect) damage is greater than a unit of massed Ashigaru, thus the reduced model count. (also, I only had six models I could put in the unit... so...). They will be classified as Reduced Model, Light Missile at 4 points. (If I wanted to make them SUPER bad-ass, I could add "Sharpshooter" for another 2 points, giving them a 4+ shoot value - making them even deadlier!)
Kuni Witch Hunters
These are super elite warrior monks tasked with tracking down and dealing with tainted individuals, Bloodspeakers and other servants of the Shadowlands that operated within the Empire. They could be the catalyst for many scenarios against other clan forces - the Witch Hunters have tracked down a blood speaker or tainted individual living amongst another clan and called down some fellow Crab Clan warriors to root them out as the opposing clan doesn't want to just give them up!
They would likely be classified as a Reduced Model, Offensive Light Foot, Cleric...? Making them 5 or 9 points (depending on whether undead are actually present - clerics only cost the extra 4 if there is something for them to oppose!). Alternatively, they could be given HATRED (+1 point) and nominate one unit to contain the Tainted/Bloodspeaker/etc that is their quarry...?
These I imagine as the retainers of all the samurai - lightly-armoured, spear/yari-armed, not-so-enthusiastic warriors that are brought out to hold a flank or something. They would be classified as straight up Light Foot at 3 points. I have four more to finish painting to complete the unit.
Okay I do have ONE unit that I don't have enough figures for. All I have for this unit are these two, painted dudes with Teppo (harquebuses). IF I ever felt the urge to fill out the unit and pick up another four, they'd be a Reduced Model, Heavy Missile Unit at 4 points.
I'm not sure there ARE gunpowder weapons in Legend of the Five Rings. So I'd likely only bother finishing off this unit if I were to ever feel the urge to use them as a not-so-fantasy-rokugani samurai force...
So, lots of options there.
Daimyo - Reduced/Single Model, Elite Foot - 6 points
Samurai, Heavily Armoured - Elite Foot - 6 points
Samurai, Heavily Armoured - Elite Foot - 6 points
Samurai, Lightly-Armoured - Reduced Model, Offensive, Heavy Foot - 6 points
Samurai, Unarmoured - Reduced Model, Offensive, Light Foot - 5 points
Samurai Archers, Unarmored - Reduced Model, Light Missile - 4 points
(or Sharpshooters @6 points)
Kuni Witch Hunters - Reduced Model, Offensive Light Foot, Cleric - 5-9 points
Retainers/Ashigaru with Spear/Yari - Light Foot - 3 points
A standard Dragon Rampant force is generally made up of 24 points of troops. Which means the Reduced/Single Model Daimyo (not pictured, but mentioned above) with the three other samurai (the two heavily armoured and one lightly armoured) could be a complete force right there.
To get these on the table quickest, the most likely route would to be to field the Kuni Witch Hunters and Unarmored Samurai (which are done!) for 10 points, finish up the archers and retainers for another 7 points (17 points total - 8 minis to paint) and finish up the Daimyo and his standard bearer and give them a one-point fantastical rule (Hatred or Enchanted Weapons... probably Hatred...) for another 7 points, bringing the total to 24 and requiring only 10 more models to be painted. Of course, if they were fighting undead, the Kuni would then be worth 9 points and the retainers could be dropped and the Daimyo added (without the Hatred/Enchanted Weapons)... even less to paint (six models!)!
In total there are only twenty-six miniatures I have to paint to complete this totally playable force with a few options... the only options I could imagine adding are the four Teppo-armed Ashigaru to finish the unit of Heavy Missile - but that's a pretty LOW priority.
THE OTHER CLANS
I do have miniatures to put together forces for most of the other major clans - along with a few other factions.. I definitely have enough forces, that once they are finished I'd have full Dragon Rampant warbands for Crane, Dragon, and likely the Naga... I have a LOT of Scorpion miniatures... but they're mostly NINJAS - not sure how that could be fielded as a Dragon Rampant army!?
I also have assorted civilians and peasants. AT some point when I get them all finished up and organized I'll take pictures and post them here. For now, you can find pictures of some them elsewhere on the blog:
Japanese Courtiers, Villagers, and Townspeople
Sohei Buntai #1
Sohei Buntai #2
Dragon Clan Bushi Buntai
Not entirely sure how the Ikko-Ikki could be used in Rokugan...? or the Sohei...? Perhaps the latter could be part of the Dragon Clan?
Assorted Game Reports
Where you can see the above forces in ACTION!
Ronin - Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai
Ronin - Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai - first games
STILL More Ronin
Again with the Ronin
Sohei vs. Ikko-Ikki
Lion Clan vs. Peasants!
Two More Games of Ronin
Yet Another Game of Ronin
10th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash – Ronin Report
Hordes of the Things
2010 Winter Wargaming Weekend Part 1 – Friday Night - a generic Samurai HOTT army was used in a HOTT fantasy battle-royale involving Normans, Picts, Vikings, Warrior Wymin, and Orks!
HOTT/DBA Double-Header - The HOTT game was the Phoenix Clan versus Orcs - probably the only pictures of the Phoenix Clan HOTT army all together.
HOTT Summer 2012 part One: The Campaign Kickoff - a smaller HotT campaign I ran for three other guys. I played in it and use a Lion Clan army for the weekend.
HOTT Summer 2012 Part Two: Year One of the Campaign
HOTT Summer 2012 Part Three: Year Two of the Campaign
HOTT Summer 2012 Part Four: Year Three of the Campaign
HOTT Summer 2012 Part Five: Year Four of the Campaign
There are a few posts about the Savage Worlds/Legends of the Five Rings role-playing campaign over on Savage Timmy's Playhouse - you can find them here:
Welcome to Rokugan
Murder at Kyotei Castle – Part One - the adventure WAS concluded... but I never posted a Part Two update...?
Kintani Valley Bandits