Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Some suggestions for 15mm Battlesworn Japan 1 almost historical

Battlesworn Japan. No fantasy (almost).

Up to the Medieval, Japan was a wild land of thick forests and scattered settlements. Not hard to envisage anything emerging from the forests.

The following have an eye on what is available. A small force like this is a good way to start using a collection without waiting to get everything painted to the “nines”. One advantage of 15mm is that with most ranges, one pack of a given code will give you enough for 2 sides.

Early. The first settlers military kit followed the Chinese model.*

Leader/Warmage shaman-queen (2)
Tank or Brute hero (1)
4 Fighters with either spear or ax (4)
2 Shooters with bow or sling (2)
6 Rabble with pike or spear (3)

Pre-Samurai or Emeshi. Not much has changed, except there's heroes on horses and you are not supposed to shoot anyone of higher status, or with the wrong type of arrow.**

Leader/Tank (2)
Cavalry (2)
4Fighters large shield spear (4)
4 Shooters large shield (4)

Medieval. The Genpei War has about everything you could want in a skirmish setting. I'm not going to list every scenario or faction. The bow was queen of the battlefield, swords were status symbols. Naginata polearms were the close in weapon. All sides were formed of alliances between clans and all styles of organisation can be found in any army. As everyone had similar armour I resisted the urge to add a Tank, let alone Cavalry/Tank/Archer.
(I've just bought a whole load of these, franticly painting.  Not quite the standard 18mm, but stand up well to my GZG SF Japanese, once I get my cops sorted there will be some revolting colonists with a charismatic leader)

There were three distinct styles of fighting:

We are armoured, we have bows, come and get us. Armoured archers behind pavices, heavily armoured horse archers. Few supporters.

Leader Cavalry (3)
Cavalry (2)
4 Bushi fighters (4)
3 Shooters (3)

Fast moving. Lighter infantry, many with naginata rather than bow. More followers and lighter cavalry.

Leader Cavalry (3)
Cavalry (2)
4 Bushi fighters (4)
1 Shooter (1)
4 rabble (2)

Attack! Warrior monks of this period charged into battle without much regard for strategy or tactics. Both sides used monks, so this gives you the menu to pick and mix. Plus you can use the monks and peasants for later periods.

Abbot Leader/Tank, Leader/Rogue or Leader/Brute (2)
Brute (as some monks were retired Samurai) (1)
Rogue/Shooter (or sniper) (2)
4 Fighters (4)
3 Rogues (novices, servants or religious peasants) (3)

Age of War Leaders tend to stay at the back, relying on disciplined or fanatic forces.

Ikko Ikki

Brute (1)
4 Fighter monks/Samurai (4)
4 Arquebusier or rogue (4)
6 Rabble fanatic peasants (3)

4 Cavalry (8)
4 Fights Samurai (4)

New Technology
4 Fighters Samurai (4)
4 Arquebusiers (4)
4 Rogues Ashigaru (4)

Town Militia these were raised to counter the Ikko Ikki
4 Fighters Swordmen (4)
5 Rogues spearmen (5)
6 Rabble (3)

Couldn't resist:

Crazy 88
Leader/Fighter or Leader/Warmage (2)
2 Brutes no.1 bodyguards (2)
4 Fighter bodyguards (4)
Sniper (thrower) (1)
6 Rabble (3)

Village defence force
Leader/Shooter (2)
Brute (1)
4 Fighters (4)
2 Rogues (2)
6 Rabble (3)

Village Attackers
Cavalry Leader (3)
2 Cavalry (4)
Sniper (1)
4 Fighters (4)

for earlier, try:

Leader/Tank (2)
Brute (1)
4 Fighters (4)
2 Shooters (2)
6 Rabble (3)

Suggested layout. A village with a Y shape central road, the top forks with trees either side.

Stem (of Y) has fields one side, with small wall or barricade, other wooded hill. Bottom of Y is a river ford protected by hedges and short barrier.

Suggested deployment. Defenders are split into 4, rabble, fighters and rogues at each junction and the command team in the centre. Attackers can choose any edge to come on.

*I can envisage a clan turning up at Troy. The placement clerk says “Name?” Blank stares. He sighs, shrugs and points “YOU-GO-LEFT—THERE, OK?” Makes note. “Watch out with those sticks, the other lot have JAVA-LINS, JA-VA-LINS! “Never mind, you'll get the point.” “Ah ladies, welcome, I've got a job for you if you're interested?

**I can see most battles like this. The place is agreed, servants on both sides set up the shields and quivers at about maximum range. The participants would wander in, after a nice cup of green tea.

They'd start shooting at each other, accompanied by the occasional “oh good shot” from the other side. Then the local hotheads start calling names, then go out in the middle and have a scrap. Everyone else stops to watch, get rid of the tea. Now the main event, the chiefs, heroes or champions go out and have a scrap. The losing side decides to go for more tea, leaving the other side and servants to scrap over any left kit. Most people go home having had an exciting day and get on with the serious business of farming.