Today, I tried out the game Ronin with the owner of Westside Comics and Games in Kapolei. I took the opportunity to bring out my terrain and dust off some of the figures I have had sitting in foam for a couple years. The setting was outside the wall of a Korean fortress during the Imjin War around 1598. The local Choson commander has finally seen his request for Hwacha (Literally "Fire Car" Rocket Arrow cart) fulfilled and the new units have been set up for a demonstration fire this afternoon. The local Japanese commander hearing the news and fearing the imbalance this new weapon system might bring to the region, orders a small group of samurai and ashigaru to raid the town and capture the Hwacha. The approach of the Japanese triggers the militia and several Heavy Infantry to run to the defense of the Hwacha in the middle of town.
Japanese entered from the east (right side), Choson entered from the west (left). Objective two Hwacha located in the middle of town in front of the main gate.
** We found the archery to be fairly ineffective at range even against poorly armored troops. Best to be under 24" for any real damage. Also if choosing to shoot twice in the turn (once during movement and once during action) to be a neat feature of the game system. Also the modifiers (atk and def) are pretty good.**
Didn't take any more good pictures during the game, but we had to call it short because of time. The Combat pool system takes a little getting used to, but is actually pretty neat. It is quite deadly. Most combat ended in kills. By the end of turn 4, our last turn, two Koreans were dead and one lightly wounded with two Japanese dead at that point.
The systems is pretty solid. No major issues with the rules. The lack of a well defined Mongol faction is disappointing. Also a distinction between Ming and Qing troops would have increased the variety of game and scenario options. If players are prepared ahead of time you can easily play this game of around 150 pts in 45 mins I think.