Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Song of Spear and Shield. A Japanese Monastery Raid

Blazing Naginatas at dawn.


In some respects this is a rerun of our April 15. The first, home, side is identical. I went into quite an in-depth look at the rules in that article, so if you want more let your appendages do the walking.

I must stress that there is many a muckle before the beam. We are using beta version 3.3 which is a couple of years old now. We think its pretty workable or we wouldn't keep playing it. When Tony proposed this game I had to think: Battlesworn, Flying Lead or Flashing Steel?

I had this notion that there was a gap in the library and the market. There's several largish fantasy games out there, but they are all pretty poor quality. All yougoigo and lots of stats and dice rolling aimed at the players who have little or no experience of a decent game!

So this one is a dust the cobwebs off game. The next will be a rerun of a game we did several times to test Dragon  Rampant. The third will be a big bits to the wall all-out grind of a Japanese fantasy game to test the rules until they squeal!

400 points is a small game, this one is 572, a large is 800. Next is 1,542. So big is going to be 2,000. Ish.





The plot is this. The leader is heading somewhere with a small bodyguard. There is a guard force available and peasants from the village will assemble at the alarm. They will be expected to line up for the progression, but not to be armed in any way.

Here's something you haven't seen for a while, my old Purbec Terrain. Most of this is 30-odd years old. Back in the day it was the best available and the only one I know of where the tiles are reversable. Very close observers will see a change in the room with the return of furniture from our shop. The table is an oak campaign table that has graced shop and attended pirate events.


The Home Side
“Accountant” (single figure) Q3 C3, Armoured 3, Leader, Sword @ 84 (M*8+6=14)
4 warrior monk bodyguards & 8 guards with naginata's C4, C2, impetus, 2 handed weapon @ 30 (M3)
2x8 peasants with bamboo spears Q5, C1 (untrained civilians with some enthusiasm)spear @ 8 (M1)
Points 572 29 models, so max size unit 10 Morale =66 break 22
(Impetus gives a +1Q in first bound only) (M= Morale points)
Attacking Side. Last time I had a more sedate, armoured side. This time I'm going for a more aggressive force:
“Patron” (single figure or in unit below) Q3 C3, Armoured 3, Leader, Sword @ 84 (M*8+6=14)
2 warrior monk with naginata's Q4, C2, Dashing 2 handed weapon @ 30 (M3)
1 warrior monk with big hammer, Q4, C2, Dashing, mace @ 24 (M2)
1 warrior monk Armour 2 with standard & sword Q4, C2, Dashing@ 51 (M8)
1 warrior monk (single figure) Q4 C2 Longbow, fast shooter, good shot, sword @ 44 (M4)

Boss” Armour 2 sub commander, lead from the front, 2 handed weapon, sword Q4, C3 @ 59 (M9)
2x5 Bandits, Q5 C3 naginata, dashing @ 25 (M3)
Points 572 17 figures, so max size unit 6 Morale =118 break 39
The Game. This is essentially an ambush. My force, the raiders, have got as close as they dare, ready to run out, hit the enemy then run. Sounds simple. But if there's no chance of discovery then it can be a one sided game that's not fun to play. So, there are guards, a guard tower and people milling about. Look at the first scene of Seven Samurai, the whole series of events is sparked by a wood collector overhearing the bandits.



So round one, the Accountant starts walking towards the village. A dice is rolled and a 6. The guards spot something and yell at the accountant and banding the alarm triangle.


Consternation on my part, I get the archer going, a hit at long range sending a peasant reeling and stopping the accountant getting too close for most of the game. I send one bandit mob screaming down the road.  If I could have got these in contact in 1st move, I'd have got +2 ambush plus +1 for being unformed.  Oh well!


Despite being armed only with farm tools the peasants go for the bandits and pile in. They take several casualties but kill a few bandits. Meanstwhile the archer chalks up an impressive bodycount (we lost track but it was 4-5).


Now its time for the monks on both sides to get involved. The defenders squeeze past the peasants and clash with the aggressors. Numbers tell and the smaller unit gets the upper hand. By this time the first bunch of attackers had been isolated. We are both ex-reenactors and can remember fights like these.


The archer works his way forward hoping to get a shot at the accountant. One good shot----.


Now the last unit of bandit finally makes it forward. By the way, on hills using movement bases helps! In fights you may need to move figures on or off, but when your hand doesn't work so well I'm sacrificing look for ease of movement and speed.



Eventually the peasants get pointy bamboo (2 actions near a building) and the plus helps. One group of survivors charge up hill at the archer and take him out (how Kurosawa is that?) The rest engage the bandits while the monks filter in from behind. I'm not sure if this would be allowed, but it looked and felt right. All figures stayed within contact. The armoured bandit leader faced off 4.

The Patron noticed the spearmen on the hill and rushed to take them, one bandit should have followed, but didn't.  The patron goes down, poked to death with sticks!  That breaks my force as I've lost the standard bearer. Tony had lost a lot, but mostly peasants so he wasn't close.

An excellent game, fast (considering its been a while). Everything we needed was recorded on a ¼ of a folded A4 sheet. You get a side advantage to help each be more realistic. I had given the attackers the Ambush advantage, that worked. Tony had the Unyielding, allowing him to ignore 3 wounds. He didn't use them, keeping them for the accountant!

Note the wargaming Elixir, ginger beer without which nothing is possible!



Guards guarding
 Yes yes, the Accountant Comes!


















Those on the hill are my dead, not reinforcements!