Friday, 11 April 2014
Ronin Samurai Skirmish Game
Last Wednesday was my first taste of the new Osprey Samurai skirmish game. We decided on a simple scenario of four separate factions (including Ian's very lovely Korean faction) attempting to intercept a civilian messenger passing through a small village. Who exactly carries the message isn't known, so basically your group had to approach and accost each of the several civilians present on a D6 roll (4,5,6 being the message bearer). Once the message was found, the civilian was to be led by your faction off the board.
The game mechanics are extremely simple, and each figure is an individual with their own (sometimes particular) attributes. In this sense it's far more like a Role Playing Game. Initiative rolls are made at the beginning of every combat round and the players are allotted a certain amount of combat actions depending on their troop type and special abilities. So for instance Samurai would be given more actions over ordinary Ashigaru or peasants. Each player secretly chooses how many attack or defend actions they will take and places them on the table. Common sense states that it's usually better to use a 'defend' action against an 'attack' but again that would depend on each characters armour and skills. Wounds are caused by getting die rolls that surpass the opponents armour values etc.
Our game turned out to be particularly bloody, with Russ' faction concealing their highly skilled bowmen in the treeline and sending peasant allies out to scour the village. Shooting down those who ventured too near. Simon's group went pell mell into the village center whilst trying to screen himself using his own (lesser skilled) arquebus and bowmen. Ian's Korean's were definitely intimidating as they charged across the bridge and seized the first civilian (to no avail, as the message was still not found). All this time Russ was causing misery with arrows finding their target on a regular basis. In trying to avoid this and the excitable Korean invaders, I suddenly turned a corner to notice Simon's faction about to pounce on another retreating civilian. As he crept along the side of a building I tried a couple of pot shots before hurling my men into battle. In the meantime I'd sent a lone Ashigaru around the flank to steal the civilian away (who it turns out had the real message!). After the multitude of flashing blades had ceased it was revealed that I'd slightly bested Simon's faction - but only just! Whilst Ian's foreign devils managed to grab my lone Ashigaru and take the messenger for themselves.
In conclusion, a highly enjoyable game and one which I'll certainly be investing in. Oh yeah, and I resisted the temptation to shout "Banzai!" at every opportunity.....