Colourful ‘Ronin’ skirmish in 16th century Japan

table

Our first-time experience using Osprey’s Ronin skirmish wargaming rules resulted in pretty much of a mixed bag. We found many aspects of the rules worked well and were simple to follow.  But a few of the rules mechanisms did confuse us, which made this first game a very slow one. In fact, it went so slowly that there was only one casualty in the whole two hours we spent playing.

We now need to decide if this was just first-time inexperience, and with a few more Ronin games under our belt, things will become clear.  Or if we should revert to a samurai version of another set of rules we are already quite familiar with from playing other periods, namely the Legends of the Rising Sun variant of Games Workshop’s Legends series.

Anyway, here is the report from our first Ronin game.

The terrain

IMG_3018_aThe terrain consisted of a small post village straddling a straight highway.  The thatched house in the foreground is by … um … 4Ground.  On the left you can see the red torii gate of the temple, which is a plastic kit by Plastcraft Games. The fencing is also by 4Ground, and the latex road by Miniature World Maker.

IMG_3019_aPeasant cottages lie just off the highway, each with a small garden area shaded by cherry-blossoms trees.  To the left a stream babbles quietly under a stone bridge.  A Perry Miniatures coolie lugs his load across this peaceful scene.

IMG_3020_aPedestrians on the busy highway pass a small temple complex, cross the stream and then proceed past the open doors of the village’s communal rice barn.

IMG_3021_aA monk stands on the ornamental bridge in the temple grounds.  A peaceful scene, about to be shattered by the clarion calls of war …

The game

We fought the game with two small but evenly-matched forces.  We each had two samurai (one mounted) and four ashigaru soldiers with different weapons.  These figures are all by Kingsford Miniatures, by the way.

IMG_3023_a

The main force of Scott’s Takeda clan started by moving towards the highway through a field of long grass. The archer attempted to shoot some enemy at long range, but with no effect.

IMG_3025_aMeanwhile my Hojo clan warriors moved up to the stream from the other side of the board.  My archer also tried a few long shots, but was also unsuccessful.

IMG_3026_aIn the background, Scott makes his next move, whilst my men get ready to wade across the stream. One of my ashigaru carries the distinctive  Hojo banner of  ‘the five lucky colours’.

IMG_3032_aOnce across the stream, my men ran into Scott’s mounted samurai, who had galloped around the edge of the board.  This ‘two infantry vs one cavalry’ melee took quite a while for us to work out under the rules, and in the end it was an inconclusive result, with nothing major happening to any party.

IMG_3029_aMeanwhile Scott’s Takeda soldiers lined the fence alongside the highway, as civilians scampered out of the way.

IMG_3030_aBut, surprise! My mounted samurai had made his way through the village and now suddenly appeared behind the Takeda line.  The soldiers quickly vaulted the fence to get out of the way, whilst one of their number shot a hasty arrow at the approaching horseman – and inflicted a light wound.

IMG_3033_aMy samurai charged in to attack the archer, who was quickly joined by his spear-wielding comrade.  Fighting from behind the protection of the sturdy fence, they wounded the samurai again, causing a fatal wound – the one and only casualty of the game!

At this point we had to finish the game, so victory went to Scott.

About these ads

11 Comments

Filed under 4Ground, Kingsford Miniatures, Perry Miniatures, Samurai, Terrain

11 responses to “Colourful ‘Ronin’ skirmish in 16th century Japan

  1. Rhys

    What a beautiful looking game, Roly. Exactly what skirmish gaming should all be about. It is a pity about the rules, but I hope that it was just a case of lack of familiarity. On another note, I am frantically trying to complete enough of my Minden’s to have a game with you. That should deserve another eye-catching layout, like this one. Rhys (now an arm-chair General).

  2. Despite the confusion with the rules, it was still a most enjoyable game. Looking forward to another fracas under the cherry blossom!

  3. briansmaller

    Lovely stuff guys.

  4. Davy Henderson

    The whole tableau looks terrific. And even though surprisingly there was only one casualty and not a bloodbath, somehow feels more true to life. Please let us know how things go with the rules.

    Davy

  5. Fantastic report and such a lovely table and miniatures.

  6. Brilliant looking figures and terrain!

  7. RIP brave samurai! Looks like a fun game – and as always, looks absolutely stunning.

  8. steharan

    it’s great to see those lovely models and terrain being used in anger :-p
    I look forward to the next one

  9. Anonymous

    Beautiful looking game Roly, really captures the look and feel of a classic Samurai movie!

  10. Scott

    Great stuff. What are the tall yellow fields made out of? Faux fur? They look excellent.

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s