Here is a report of my second Ronin game which took place in late November. I built a special objective for this game, an ancient demon statue, to be transported on a wooden litter.
Okay, now for that battle report. As our camera guy dropped out and I had left my own camera at home I only got some cellphone pictures of the game. Sorry about that, but I still think the photos came out not too bad.
Here is the basic information: The game is Ronin, 150 points (actually it’s something like 152 points per side), two Bushi Buntai facing off in a Capture scenario.
Clan Takeda henchmen stole one of two ancient statues from a temple. The statue is said to hold immense dark powers which might be the decisive factor in the bloody struggle between clans Takeda and Uesugi, so the group carrying the statue is eagerly awaited at the closest fortress.
As the statue is overdue two Samurai, Kobayashi and his disciple Maru, along with their retinue, are sent out to look what’s holding up the delivery of the statue. When the retinue arrives at dawn it seems like the whole group of carriers and guards has mysteriously vanished and the statue just sits there by the side of the road.
It was dawn (so no shooting beyond 18″ for the first two turns) and rainy (no shooting beyond 24″ in general, Teppo [Arquebuses] may only fire once per game) when Kobayashi and his men arrived. From afar they spotted a number of shapes moving towards the position of the statue at high speed. It’s a band of warriors of the accursed Uesugi clan, without a doubt out to steal the righteously liberated statue!
With them they had one of the statue’s trek’s guards who was able to flee the scene as what ever happened. On his mindless flight he ran into the Uesugi patrol and they made him lead them to the statue. [I was short one non-Takeda Ashigaru so they got this traitor to fight on their side].
It was on and stuff would be going down. The game would last for 8 turns or until one side routs or until one side manages to carry the objective off the table. It requires two models to carry a heavy object at regular speed and one model could carry it at half speed.
Unfortunately the rulebook does not state whether or not the models carrying a heavy load were allowed to run during the movement phase. We decided to let them but I wouldn’t suggest it for future games.
Disclaimer: You see, this is more of a “relaxed” approach to the whole theme. It was an introductory game for yeld and a friend of ours to see the rules and whatnot. Neither I, nor the other guys are amazingly good with feudal Japanese history so if you are, bear with us. I’m not one to enjoy mixing fancy fantasy stuff into historical wargaming and this is not what we did. We just took a casual approach, mostly to naming our characters.
The game’s rules are unaltered and nothing depicted in the game is supernatural stuffs. Just fun references and such. 😉
This is the table setup (roughly. Unfortunately there is no photo of the setup so I masterfully recreated it in MS paint):
Uesugi (blue) were played by yeld, I got to command the Takeda (red) retinue.
Uesugi retinue (numbered as in the picture above):
1 Samanosuke – Hatamoto (leader), armed with Yari (Spear)
2 Jean Réno – Samurai, armed with Yari (Spear)
3 Sub Zero – Unarmoured Samurai, armed with Katana and Wakizashi
4 Ryu Hayabusa – Ashigaru Gashira (Ashigaru officer) with Naginata (Pole arm with a blade at the end)
5 Ark – Ashigaru (Takeda traitor, caravan guard), armed with Yari (Spear)
6 Old Muramasa – Ashigaru, armed with Teppo (Arquebus)
7 Ashitaka – Ashigaru, armed with Yumi (Bow)
Takeda retinue (barely any names. Couldn’t think of anything and time was short anyway):
1 Kobayashi – Hatamoto (leader), armed with Naginata
2 Maru – Samurai, armed with Katana and Wakizashi
Two archers, one Ashigaru with Teppo, one more Ashigaru with Yari and one Ashigaru with Naginata
Some of the lists aren’t “legal” as per the Bushi army list. It was “balanced” enough I would say. My two samurai also had points spent on getting an attribute each which I forgot about choosing at the beginning of the game. At turn#2 I remembered but I decided to forgo that then.
As you can see from the arrows in the picture, Old Muramasa and Ashitaka ran towards the fence to take position and give covering fire whilst the Samurai Samanosuke and Jean Réno ran straight off to the demon statue (sounds good, doesn’t it?) to claim it and possibly carry it off the board. Sub Zero, Ark and Ryu Hayabusa moved towards the bamboo forest to cover their flanks.
My own guys moved the archers and Teppo-gunner in position to get a good shot at anybody who would attempt to claim the objective, but without getting into range of the enemy missile troops.
Soon both Uesugi Samurai had grabbed the objective. I moved up my Teppo-gunner to close range towards the enemy leader (Samanosuke), but he missed his shot. Darn. My archers kept on peppering them with arrows but to no avail. At the left flank my Samurai and their Ashigaru friends charged the flank guard.
After some shouting, hacking and slashing Ryu Hayabusa, Ark and one of my Ashigaru had gone to the ground. Sub Zero decided not to advance from zero to hero and legged it towards his pals.
In the mean time the Uesugi Samurai Samanosuke and Jean Réno had grabbed the objective on its wooden thing nobody quite knows a name for (please let me know if you know a fitting term.
I asked around and while surprisingly many people came up with ‘wheelbarrow without wheels’ I’m not entirely convinced that there aren’t any better terms) and dashed towards their table edge. Shouting orders at their missile troops to do the honourable thing and hold the line until they’d run to safety.
….with my missile troops and the retreating Sub Zero hot on their heels.
The rest of my retinue split up at this point, which probably wasn’t the smartest of moves. My Samurai leader Kobayashi ran off to cut off the way of retreat. As my missile fire against samurai so far had ineffectually bounced off their heavy armour I was sure that nothing could harm him, despite running in front of enemy missile troops.
A little overview at this point:
Of course that lucky Uesugi archer managed to wound Kobayashi, at which point he decided it’s better to run back to the road (before he got into close range of the Teppo gunner) and along with Maru and the Ashigaru followed suit.
They finally caught up with Sub Zero and he was quickly cut down.
Fuelled by this quick victory over another samurai, Kobayashi and Maru stormed onwards. Seeing as there were no more warriors between them (carrying the objective) and the Takeda force, the leader of the Uesugi warband sent off his pal Jean Réno to continue carrying the statue to safety while he would stay and face the force.
My two samurai, along with one of the archers, charged towards Samanosuke, but he swiftly retired from Kobayashi and the archer to face Maru alone.
The odds were stacked in favour of Samanosuke and after a quick exchange of blows Maru went down.
Meanwhile old Muramasa and Akitasha had left their firing position to help Jean Réno carry the objective to safety. A desperate charge of my archer was quickly fought off and Uesugi had won the day. Who knows though what terrible curse the mysterious statue bears?
…or something like that. My Samurai leader refrained from committing seppuku.
A fun game was had and it lasted for about 7 or 8 turns. As I said, I don’t think that running with a heavy object is intended to be permitted. I asked on the Ronin Facebook group and most people seem to disallow it but as there was no indication that it wouldn’t work we just tried it with the option to run.
Missile weapons once again proved to be a bit of a ‘wild card’ in the game. One of the main things about this game is that there are no down times due to alternate activation. Which is pretty nice. The combat pool system again proved to be much fun. Good, quick little game, that Ronin. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed the report!
Looking forward to seeing your comments on this one. There are virtual cookies to be won by those who get all the references strewn into this report!