Thursday, 30 October 2014

Battle Report - Ronin - Sohei Monks vs Oda Clan Samurai

So another couple of battle reports from wargaming on Wednesdays, this time we tried out Ronin the Samurai game from the Osprey line of games. This is a pretty cool skirmish game, as part of doing a melee fight you have to choose a number of black (attack) and white (defense) chits, so there is a bit of choice in how you approach a fight.

I had a group of Sohei warrior monks with lots of Naginata, a pair of bow men, 1 gunner, and a senior sohei with a big club. On the other side were some Samurai from the Oda clan, with 1 Hatomoto with a yari, 2 Samurai 1 Yari 1 Katana, and a bunch of Ashigaru with Nage-yari and 2 gunners. Oda Nobunaga lead a bunch of campaigns against the monks so this is a bit of a classic match up.

Game 1

The first game we did was a capture the bridge scenario, whoever had the most soldiers on the small bridge would be the winner, so it was a battle for an important crossing.

 Both sides set up and advanced towards the bridge, having some ranged troops take cover behind a few barrels.

I advanced my monks up a bit slower, and tried 2 send to around to kill the gunners, I was a bit concerned about these guys as they can be dangerous, a few bow shots were fired but to no affect due to the good armor of the Samurai forces.

Then I abandoned the flanking idea and head for the bridge, the Ashigaru gunners fired off their shots and managed to get a light wound on my Senior Sohei, not good.

Next turn we had a big melee at the foot of the bridge, as both sides battled for control. My guys were a bit out numbered but I had an extra rank 3 guy so hoped that would carry the day.

Things went poorly for my commander and he took a stun (the blood), and then his light wound was increased to grievous. Finally they wore him down.

Then I had the bright idea of firing my gun into the battle to even the odds, the way it works in this game is that if you miss your target you have to roll against another random guy in the fight. I tried to kill the ashigaru up front but missed, so then rolled and found I now had to roll against my monk, this time I got double 6s so that guy was shoot dead. Not quit what I was looking for really.

At this point we pretty much decided it was now a Samurai bridge so on to game 2.

This game was 24-0 for the Samurai I believe or something high like that.

Game 2

For game 2 we decided to just try the Skirmish scenario from the book, so victory points would be the rank of the models killed, plus 1 for winning a duel, plus the Samurai could gain point by taking heads from my monk, and loose points if a model is killed by a enemy of lesser rank. Additionally we had 2 secondary objectives, mine was to kill 75% of the Samurai and get revenge for the last battle, and theirs was to control the table and capture the entire village area.

We rolled for weather and time of day this time and found that this battle would take place at dawn in the rain, so sight distance would be greatly reduced, and guns could only fire once ever as their powder was now wet.

I decided to spread out again, and the Samurai mostly massed south of the River. I was now hoping to trap them on the ford so they couldn't overwhelm me with numbers, and maybe get a few to drown.

This worked a bit but not as much as I had hoped, in the back ground you can see a few monks going after the Ashigaru gunners. I had a bit more luck with the bowmen in this game, and they got a light wound and a stun on one of the Ashigaru who then took cover behind the village.

The Samurai commander challenged my Senior Sohei to a great duel, which he won winning the Samurai a point, he then took his head earning them another point! Seems that my commander needs to spead less time on prayers and more time training.

in the mean time my monks in the back were getting a few kills, then this guy hear took on 2 ashigaru at once. This forced a morale check for the Samurai but they passed (the Sohei are all fearless so they aren't concerned with losses).

Meanwhile things on the other side of the river were going not great, although my bow armed initiate was able to stand against a Samurai and an Ashigaru and even killed the lowly foot soldier. The battle was pretty even at this point, I was 2 away from my 75% goal I believe.

We ended up with another battle on the bridge, which I heroically lost again.

Finally the Samurai commander went over to kill my plucky Initiate, and have some stern words with that Samurai, while the guys on the bridge killed the last Monk. This left the Samurai in control of 1 quater and me with none (due to everyone being dead), so a another victory for them. I think this battle was in the range of 29-14 or some such so a good bit closer.

So I found this game to be pretty fun, there are 3 skirmish games that can be sued for this now Ronin, the Lord of the Rings game, and the Samurai expansion for SAGA we did. Not sure which is best but they all have their good points.


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