Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Ogam Battle of Uji 1120 the fantasy version 1 of 2

I'm surrounded by drunken fools,  I need bigger monsters!”

This is a version of the battle of Uji on 20 June,1180. The opening battle of the Gempei war. I've long had a fascination for this battle. My old copy of Steven Turnbull's The Samurai A Military History falls open on p44 after about 33 years of use. There were no survivors on the defenders side, so all accounts come from the winners. The injured threw themselves into the river so as to not make a mess and Samurai on both sides shuttled across the bridge, took a head, returned. I have a vision of everyone politely keeping to the left. I've used this battle several times as a rules test, so the similarity between it and the battle for the fords in the Celtic book made it all the more a candidate. I have used the names of the original participants, no disrespect is intended.

Way back when there was a half decent club here I did this battle with Hordes of Things and 6mm Baccus Samurai. The defenders had a hero, half shooters, half blades facing 2 full size forces. When the archery duel started despite being outnumbered the defenders pushed the attackers back. That allowed the hero to cross the river engage & defeat the blades while the defenders blades filed in behind. They broke.

Now on come the full force of cavalry, facing just the archers. Changing from column to line, they approached, the hero and surviving blades poured back over the river. The archers broke up the oncoming line that hit in bits, to be pushed back or killed. Eventually they broke as well!

I decided that the existing legendary hero did no justice to the monks, so I've added:
Legendary Monk Hero 80 points Q3 C3 Armoured, Shooter (Long), Group Fighter, Add Good Shot and Legendary Shooter for 26 points.
Option b) Q3 C3 Armoured, Hammering blow, Group Fighter, 106 points
Option c) Q3 C3 Armoured, Combat master, Group Fighter, 106 points

Now this is OGAM, not a historical set so I can “do a 300”. Could this be used for a near-historical refight? Yes, if you've got the Samurai!

The Defenders are a family affair, an overprotective great-aunt and a cousin protecting the pampered prince. They get over the bridge and the prince declares he's tired. HE's tired, everyone has just humped their kit from the capital at short notice-. So he takes a nap---.

Amaterasu, Goddess of the Sun 212 points Q2 C3 Burst of Light, Breathtaking Beauty

Prince Mochihito (Religious Leader) 60 points Q3 C2 Bard
4 Chosen Sohei bodyguard Q4 C3 Fanatic ½ cost, 54

Minamoto Yorimasa 144 points Q3 C3 Armoured, Mounted, Long Move, Shooter (Long), Bard

Monk Heroes Tajima, Jomyo, Ichirai Hochi Q3 C3 Armoured, Combat master, Group Fighter, 106 points

Samurai (CO) 22 points Q4 C2 Armoured, 8x22= 176
Samurai (CO) Q4 C2 Armoured, Shooter (Long) and Good Shot for 32 points. 8x32= 256
Sohei of Mii-dera (CO) 19 points Q4 C2 Fanatic 16x19=304
God 212
Legends 586
Mortals 736
Total 1,534

The Attackers. For whatever reason, Raijin commands the force of a local Dai Oni from a local mountain to attack. As in the original battle, the focus was the capture of the prince.

Counters.  Forward point = sober, rear = pissed.  Undead have black & white bases.

Raijin, God of Thunder 368 points Q2 C4 Lightning, Weather Control, Flying, Long Move, Hammering Blow

Dai Oni 114 points Q3 C3 Big, Hammering Blow, Teleportation .
Oni 2x 84 = 168 points Q3 C3 Big, Hammering Blow
Giant Spider 70 points Q3 C3 Big, Poison

Goblin Warriors (CO) 22 points Q4 C2 Armoured, Drunkard 8x22= 176
Goblin Followers (CO) 15 points Q4 C2 Drunkard 16x15 = 240
Goblin Follower archer (CO) 20 points Q4 C2 Drunkard Shooter (Medium) 12x20 =240
Undead 16 points Q4 C2 Undead, Short Move 8x16= 128
Undead archers 21 points Q4 C2 Undead, Short Move Shooter (Medium) 4x21 =84
God 368
Legends 352
Mortals 868
Total 1,588

Cavalry” outflanking force Each requires a “6” to come on, which takes 1 action or reaction.
Legend Bake-Neko, Giant Goblin Cat 80 points Q3 C3 Big, Stealth, Ambusher, Forester
Ushi Oni spider goblins, Q4 C3, Dashing, Long, Poison @38 8x38= 304
Mounted Goblins Q4 C2 Ambusher, Drunkard, Long, Shoot (Medium) 31points 4x31= 124

Legend 80
Mortals 428
Total 508

The games – game 1 Tony takes the Minamoto. I had a plan, simple, elegant, what can go wrong!
Well, Tony had 2 ways to play it. Defensive like the original battle, defending the river and bridge and using local advantage to overcome greater numbers.

Nope, he played it aggressively. So the first part of my plan, the bridge. My units- I had one sober unit of goblins. One. I sent my cheapest legend spider in. I'd hoped to push back or be pushed back, once I'd spread the load I'd send in my Oni. Spider walks up, dies. Damn. Send in the Warriors. One activation. Tony uses the reaction then his first activation to throw a Sohei unit across and into them. At first I get the better of them, pushing them back towards the bank-. But then that left a gap so he sent in a Samurai unit across the bridge straight into my first Oni – dead. I pulled up my one sober goblin follower unit and sent in my other Oni, who had nowhere else to go and was about to be charged. Dead, do you see a pattern developing here?

On the flanks things developed. On my right my goblin archers spent a ;lot of energy getting out of the way of sohei and samurai rather than, say, shooting. I did get one goblin unit over on my far right who were intercepted by more sohei in a push-and-shove that got them near to being shoved back into the water.

The stars of my force were my skeletons. I nearly didn't include them. I positioned them near the bridge to either effect a crossing, covering for that one sober unit. Tony sent a unit of sohei over the river, my skeleton archers managed to kill one before shambling out of the way. They hit my others but outnumbered and fighting up the bank, they were pushed back. The fighting here, never had we so many tied results that cost both us both multiple casualties. Seeing an opportunity, Tony sent one of the sohei heroes into them, he did well, reducing them to 1. My archers on that side never got a shot off.

So at this stage Tony had a good bridgehead. I kept rolling for my outflanking force. A 6 on one D6 and on it would come. I mean, like buses, they'll be here soon, right? Wrong. My cunning plan was to wait until at least one unit showed up then launch my teleporting Oni at the prince and Raijin to hold up the Lady. What I didn't expect was a depleted samurai unit with 3 passes to crash into the Dai Oni and take him down. I had been looking for a gap to stomp Minamoto Yorimasa .

Damn. If I could take the pressure off my attacking goblins over the river, my force MUST turn up soon! So I sent in Raijin, couldn't resist taking out that pesky sohei hero with some lightning in passing. Up, over the archers who shot and got a pushback result. Up comes Amaterasu and bang, he's dead! Morale, and my drunken idiots cut and run, all except my few remaining skeletons and most useless unit of archers.

Running a mostly drunk unit is a real challenge. Last week with drunk units on both sides it was less noticeable, but my lack of quality allowed Tony to seize the initiative and be aggressive. Still, I'd recommend trying it! I'm going to be buying more skeletons, planning for an undead & ghost army for Izanami.

At the start

Mine at the end, 3 pissed goblin archers, 2 skeleton archers 1 skeleton fighter-.
Next week we're going to run this game again, swapping sides. Having no doubt that Tony's dice-rolling is better than mine, should be interesting. Possibly quick-. After that it's back to the Greeks and the last of the new scenarios, a sea invasion. The last in this series will be as unusual a Japanese game as I can make it. Village based with a Shugenja on each side. I'm also working on a list of the Sengoku range with suggestions for use.