Monday, January 6, 2014

10th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash Update

I have settled on the 21-23 February weekend for the 10th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend. We will be playing Ronin – Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai! (well… and some other stuff…).

This image is © Osprey Publishing and I’ve used it here entirely without their permission (but since I’ve been effectively giving them all sorts of free promotion- by getting all you reader jazzed about playing – and buying – the game, I’m hoping they won’t mind!)

While about 14 people have expressed interest in playing, but I’m expecting about 10 players will actually show up.

Friday Evening

7pm-ish until we’re done

Get to Know Your Buntai (and the others)

We will sort out who is playing which Buntai and then play a few fun, pick up games to learn the rules – for those that haven’t played yet – and gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various Buntai.

For previous campaigns, we’ve usually had one big mega-battle. Ronin doesn’t really lend itself to that sort of play, so I’m hoping over the next seven weeks to get in a lot of games with as many of the local players so I’ll have a cadre of players who will know the basic ins and outs of the game.


9am until whenever we get sick of it… (I’m hoping to get in at least five games)

Ronin Campaign/Tournament.

I will have TEN different Buntai ready for everyone to play with (though players are free to bring their own as well!). Everyone will start with a 400 point master roster with ~150 points being used per game – with casualties being kept track of – some, that don’t DIE, will be able to recover over the course of the campaign. Some guys will be able to advance in ability through an experience system. This is why I’m calling it a “Campaign”

Both the master list and what is fielded in each scenario should conform to the composition requirements for the Buntai. By the last scenario it may be more of a “play with whatever you have left” situation… I’m still trying to work out how to deal with any luckless player who, after three games going very poorly, finds himself without ANY models left in his buntai…. I’m currently thinking them ninjas and let them play assassination scenarios…? We shall see.

We will determine who is playing whom, through a Swiss-draw system - hence “tournament”. I figured this would be easier than some sort of map campaign – but maybe we could try that next time!

The overall winner will be determined by number of victories, ties will be broken by total accumulated victory points, if there is STILL a tie it will go to who ever has the most points remaining in their buntai


This image is © Wizards of the Coast and I’ve used it here entirely without their permission (Again, I’m hoping they won’t mind the free promotion!)

For those who haven’t had enough… we will be playing Ikusa - a big multi-player strategy board game set in Feudal Japan for 3 to 5 players.

In The Meantime…

So what do I need to do between now and then? Well I sat down last night to do a bit of stocktaking to see where I am at and planning to make sure I have everything ready. I started by making up some actual Buntai with all the figures I have to get a sense of what I will actually NEED to have painted for the weekend…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Here are nine of the Buntai. They are (front row, left to right; Ikko-IkkiPeasants, Bandits, "Lion Clan" Bushi Buntai, Sohei; back row, left to right; "Crane Clan" Bushi Buntai, "Dragon Clan" Bushi Buntai, "Crab Clan" Bushi Buntai, and "Phoenix Clan" Bushi Buntai,…) There is one more on it’s way as well A second Sohei Buntai) as a few more figures for one or two of the other Buntai.

Almost all of them I will have all 400 points worth of miniatures painted – which is about double what I really NEED – because only 150 points worth will ever be on the table. The exceptions are the Peasants - as the will have between thirty and forty in the master roster, but only a dozen will likely ever be on the table… Also I think the second Sohei Buntai will be one figure short of 400.

As I finish up the buntai I’ll try and post pictures of them. The only complete one at the moment is the Lion Clan Bushi Buntai. I have painted all the figures I have for the Sohei and Ikko-Ikki - though there are a few figures in the mail that I’m hoping to add to them before the campaign. The  Peasants are also done, except for a few more Peasants en route from Black Hat Miniatures. The Bandits are also very close to being done. The remaining Bushi buntai are what need the most work. I probably won’t even need them. If I get ten players and couple of them are Paul and/or Cory and/or Curt (who are the awesome kind of dudes that paint their own damned toys!) I’ll only need seven or eight of them. But I do want to have ten ready incase I end up with a dozen people on the day!

In all I think I figured I have about 75 figures that I still have to paint. I could probably get those done by the end of January or first week of February (given my regular rate of painting) – and that would give me a couple of weeks to make some new terrain and game boards and such – and, if need be, paint up a few more guys – if January’s play-testing has turned up and major problems with any of the Buntai.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

The Lion Clan" Bushi Buntai! 

After that I'll hopefully have a Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878 report for you as I ams supposed to be heading over to John Bertolini's tomorrow for a game! 


  1. I'm wishing I still lived within driving distance of SK.
    John Bertolini - he's the chap who casts and paints his own Old School 19th century figures, as I recall? If so, I met him at Curt's place in Regina last winter, amazing guy. It was awesome to play with a table full of figures cast and painted by one man. Not often you see that in the hobby.
    If so, tell him Mike Peterson says hello.

  2. Hey Tim will you be sending out invites to your chosen victims...I mean competitors. As well I really hope you save yourself a spot at the table this year, you need to play!

  3. A great line up looks like it will be a good one

  4. Great sounding games and troops!

  5. Looks like a fun-packed weekend in store! Interested in the 'Ikusa' game - looks uncommon like the 'Shogun' game that enjoyed some popularity in this burg about 20 years ago (and we still have the boxed game in this house). Excellent game and concept, I thought...

    1. Thanks! Ikusa is, essentially, the same game. Wizards of the coast/Hasboro bought the rights to it some time ago. Or maybe they just got the rights to it when they bought Avalon Hill? I can't remember... Anyway, same game, new name. Though perhaps like Axis & Allies there's been a few tweaks.

  6. Hi Tim, I'm planning to run a Ronin campaign here in Finland. I would appreciate if you could send over the specs you had for your campaign at: teemu . kujala at kolumbus . fi