Monday, May 13, 2013

Samurai Skirmish "Trouble at Home" (K. M. Campaign Scenario 1)

The younger years of Kusunoki Masashige (1294-1336), prior to joining Go-Daigo's War to destroy the Kamakura Shogunate, were full of adventure as he struggled to maintain control of his small 600 Koku estate in Kawchi Province north of present day Tokyo.  I played this game using Dropwing's "Naginata" rules system for samurai skirmish warfare.

In 1314, at the age of 20, the young Masashige was returning from a trip to Kamakura with his loyal retainers.
As he and his retainers neared the Tone River, they saw bandit troops raiding his home taking advantage of his absence.
Masashige ordered his men to attack immediately and secure his household.  In his first small unit action, Masashige was a bit unsure of his capabilities as a leader.
 Masashige moved his archers to the bridge.  His heavy samurai followed the archers over the bridge.  In order to expand the line, the partially armored samurai forded the stream to the west of the bridge.  The bandit leader recognizing the threat to his force which was split between inside and outside the house ordered all his forces out to confront the on-coming samurai.  His archers picked up cover positions and his partially armored troops followed his peasant yari infantry south into the on-coming samurai onslaught.
   Masashige's archers mowed down the Yari peasants cleanly as they approached.  {  I really like the way this system handles ranged combat.  It requires a separate skill and modifiers than the close combat.  This makes the feel much more realistic.  The bandit archers returned fire, but range and their lack of skill ended the turn with no hits.
  The samurai now charged forward into the Ashigaru yari infantry and cut down two of them instantly.  {I guess it is only fitting that since the game is called "Naginata", the most powerful weapon is in fact the Naginata.}  They cleaved the enemy despite high defense rolls and armor.  At this point the Bandit leader had lost almost 40% of his force in 2 rounds.  He chose to withdraw to the north.  

      As the bandits started to withdraw, the weaker elements decided to run and some of the rash Ashigaru charged into the samurai only to die {Temperament rules - another great aspect of this game is the way it handles  not only morale, but uncontrolled reactions of your troops.  It adds to the book keeping with a specific modifier for each individual, but it makes for very interesting game play.  It gets chaotic when individuals break or charge and mess up you plans.}  In the end, the bandits lost 1 archer peasant, 4x Ashigaru yari, 2x Ashigaru w/ clubs and 4x Peasants yari.   Masashige had one of his samurai wounded.  I awrded XP based on the skills of defeated enemy's armor plus weapon striking power, so if a samurai killed a partially armored Ashigaru yari bandit ( Armor +4 + Yari +3= 8XPs)   After 120 XPs I will increase their skill in their primary weapons system by +1.
      This was fun and very quick game.  I think thoug that I will stray from the historically correct representation and add in a Clan War'ish / Fantasy aspect with mythical elements in the next battle.  Over all I rate the "Naginata" Rule Set with an "A".  I actually like it better than the "Road to Osaka" for smaller skirmishes.  It could be a headache with larger battles, but perfect for this scale.

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