I got in a few games of Ronin
– Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai
Saturday. First I tried
a game with the boy in the afternoon….
We each took more or less
identical Buntai with a Samurai and four Ashigaru. Two of the Ashigaru had yumi
(bows), the other two had yari (spears). My Samurai had a Naginata, Finnegan’s
Samurai had a Tetsubo.
We played the “Skirmish”
scenario – which is pretty much a straight up “There they are, go get ‘em” sort
of thing. There are additional objectives that you roll for that, if completed
gain you additional vicoty points. I think Finnegan rolled the one where he had
to have the most figures in three of the table’s quarters to get the bonus 5VP.
I think I had to kill 75% of his force!?
(Remember: click on the pictures
for a bigger version)
Turn One running towards each
other – my archers loosed off a few arrows with little effect.
This might have been the end of
By Turn Two are warriors were in
combat… well… most of them… Finnegan’s Samurai hadn’t quite made it to anyone
so I shot him full of arrows (or at least tried).
This might have been the end of
Turn Two or sometime during Turn Three…? I think we only got to three – out of
what was supposed to be an 8 turn game.
As this was the very first run
through of the game after reading the rules earlier in the week we got hung up
a few times – but for the most par things were pretty easy to remember and I
imagine after a few more games things will go very quickly. I like the combat
system. There’s a bit more decision making that simply who to hit – You have a
combat pool of which you can draw attack of defence tokens – so you could
choose to do an all out attack (choosing all attack tokens), that, if you get
the initiative, could lay down some hurt on your opponents, or take a totally
defensive posture to just try and get out of there alive (not making any
attacks at all, or, preferably some subtle balance of the two that will give
you enough fight to take down your opponents but cautious enough to keep you
around for the next round.
Later in the evening Patrick
stopped by and we had a go at it…
For our first game we used the
same two Buntai, and the same scenario. I think I had the control ¾ of the
field objective, but Patrick rolled the capture the enemy leader one (so I had
to quickly reread the rules on subduing foes!).
Turn Two and we are in the thick
of it. I think we rolled 11 turns for this game (game length is generally
random 6+d6 turns for the Skirmish Scenario).
Things went south for me very
quickly – in our first round of combat Patrick’s samurai captured mine?! And
then one of his Ashigaru killed one of mine!?
The next turn his Samurai passed
off my captured samurai to his free Ashigaru and chased down one of my archers
with his samurai!
Then he chased down my other
Ashigaru – who was already battling two of his Ashigaru… In a last ditch effort
to free my samurai my remaining Ashigaru ran up and tried to shoot his Ashigaru
that was holding my samurai prisoner. I managed to lightly wound him… but that
didn’t free my Samurai and that was pretty much the end of it for me…
Next we made up two new Buntai
with the small collection of historical samurai and Legend of the Five Rings
miniatures I have.
Patrick made a Kakita Academy
Koryu Buntai. He had a Sensei with Jenjutsu, Commander and Powerful attributes,
a Senpai with Commander, Kenjutso and Niten attribures, Two initiates with
Kenjutsu and a novice with only a sword to fill out the points.
I took another Bushi Buntai, but
this time only took Samurai. I took a Bushou with Kenjutsu, Sejo-jutsu, and
Intuition attributes, and three samurai with Kenjutsu. None of my Bushi had any
WE again played the Skirmish
scenario, and I, once again, had to control ¾ of the table to get the bonus
points. Patrick had to survive and take less than 25% casualties.
Things were looking up for me
after the first round of combat. My Bushou had taken down one of the initiates.
And only one of my samurai in combat with the Kakita Academy Sensei had been
Things went downhill rapidly
His Sensei took down two of my
samurai and then his Senpai grievously wounded my Boshou…
The next turn saw my remaining
samurai chopped to bits by three opponents and my Boshou finished off…
Combat is fast and deadly. I
think the longest game was four turns… Of course in all three games we pretty
much all charged headlong into close combat as fast as we could – because
that’s what we were wanting to try out. I think in the future it might be more
advantageous to try and keep in mind the other objective that can score bonus
victory points and take more missile troops and maybe try and soften up the
other buntai with some arrows or something before isolating and
ganging up on the survivors…
We shall see. I am definitely
keen to try some more.
This could very well be what we end up playing 10th
Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash
- I have lots of Samurai (okay, most
of them are Legends of the Five rings figures… but a lot of them are fairly
historically accurate…) that I could paint up for a few Buntai. I could do with
a few Monks and a few more Ashigaru and some bandit-looking guys and peasants
and such… but that will probably have to wait until the new year.
Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:
Maybe those Generic South/Central Americans – they’re done,
and I took some pictures of them, but it was getting later in the afternoon and
the light was fading fast so they didn’t turn out so awesome… maybe I’ll try taking
some new ones tomorrow…