I 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 I never played Clan War (the miniatures game these were originally made for), I never really played Legends of the Five Rings (the Collectible Card Game), and, while I HAVE a pile of reference books for various editions of the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, I've read very few of them and only briefly ran a game of Savage Worlds lonely 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 think a lot of these miniatures are 20 years old now. I picked up the ones I have 8-9 years ago. I don't think they're getting any easier to come by, so I probably won't be adding any more to any of these forces - at least not any of the fantastical Clan War Minis. If I did add anything else, at som point, it would be just generic samurai and ashigaru from the likes of Perry Miniatures or Dixon. (Though there is that "Daimyo" expansion in the new Reaper Bones Kickstarter!)
These limitations have meant some of the units may not be what they really SHOULD be... The Clay Soldiers, for example, should not be a reduced model unit. As I understand it, they are low-quality warriors conjured up from the earth in large number - there should be a HORDE of them!
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!
The entire force (so far... but I'm not sure when - or WHAT - I'd ever add to it!)
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.
Bow-Armed Shiba Samurai - Elite Foot with Missiles - 8 points
Yowza! One third of the entire force right there!
The Shiba are one of the prominent families of the Phoenix Clan. Where the Isawa focus on study and learning magic, the Shiba study the martial arts to protect the Isawa shugenja...
Void Guard - Elite Foot + FEAR! - 8points!!!?
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 accompanied by a yojimbo. (The yojimbo in this unit is one I recently painted - I would like to paint a few more for other units, so that all the yojimbo are better armoured!)
A SECIND unit of Void Guard - as above...
...and that right there - two units of Void Guard with one unit of Bow-Armed Samurai - that could be an entire 24-point force for Dragon Rampant.
an alternative to the above units...
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)
Avalanche Guard - Reduced Model, Aggressive, Heavy Foot - 6 point
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 Ive done with the Void Guard above and Slay 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 that have, through magic, turned their skin to stone (albeit, FLEXIBLE stone! Or maybe it's just covered with stone...?) - which acts as super hard armour.
Clay Soldiers - Reduced Model, Ravenous Hordes - 1 point
This is how I initially envisioned the unit - a very small unit of Clay Soldiers... 2 strength points per model... I feel like a proper unit of Clay Soldiers should have 12 of them.
Then, I thought maybe I'm going about this all wrong - maybe DON'T even bother trying to have a UNIT of "Clay Soldiers", but rather have the Clay Soldiers be conjured protective elements for a Shugenja...?
Shugenja (and Protective Elements) - Light Foot with Short Ranged Missiles.
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).
Isawa Inquisitors - 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!
Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:
I WAS supposed to be finishing up a few Necomunda items this week... (y'know, according to THE PLAN). Now that I've got these done, however, I wouldn't mind actually PLAYING A GAME with them... So there could be a Dragon Rampant game report coming up...
I do have Necromunda stuff on the workbench... and more Legends of the Five Rings stuff for rebasing (plus a few to paint up to finish off units)... and I did prime some of the Hellboy miniatures last week... could be anything!