So, the time finally came for me to test the Sekigahara game on the board. My fellow buddy, Marcin (stormwalker) was more then happy to accompany me in that endeavor so on Sunday evening we both sit down to plunge into the year 1600 and war for the unification of Japan. We draw sides and I got rebels under Togugawa, while Marcin was leading forces of Ishida “regent”. As it was introductory game, and we decided not to ready any strategies earlier, the fun was great from discovering the game piece by piece. So let us start.

The board looks like this at the beginning of the game (I just move one stack of units):

Almost initial set-up (click to enlarge)

And below full map of events with pretty detailed description what was going on:

The full campaign which abruptly ended mid-way (click to enlarge)

To start with, we really had zero idea what to do in initial rounds, so started to muster the units and do some consolidations as far as units are concerned. Then – from Turn 2 – things started to rapidly speed-up:

(1) What Michal will do if he needs to try the wargame? Attack of course 🙂 So In Turn 2, after amassing some cards I moved four blocks of Maeda clan and attacked Kyoto, wiping out 2 enemy blocks and losing none of mine. Hurry, great victory!

First battle of the game (click to enlarge)

Well, not necessary, as counter-attack killed 3 out of my 4 blocks as I had no more cards for that clan. Tough learning.

Clever counter-attack by Marcin (click to enlarge)

And one observation: in Sekigahara blocks/units which are killed in battle, do not come back to the game. If you are dead, you are dead. I like this!

(2) In the meantime, my Tokugawa clan, lead by Tokugawa himself, approached Ueda castle. After two furious battles, the defenders had to surrender to the besiegers. That was great blow to Ishida, as at this time I had 6-3 lead in castles.

Tokugawa takes Ueda castle (Click to enlarge)

(3) But you would underestimate Ishida (Marcin) if you think that he just sit and recruit new forces. Well, he recruited a lot and then moved. And when he moved, castles started to fall. First was Miyazu castle…

(4) …and then also Anotsu was conquered.

(5) Marcin move to take down two castles which were relatively far away left the gap between his forces. As Tokugawa was already free from Ueda Castle Siege, I moved him quickly towards Kuwana and managed to intercept the forces of Ishida himself. I had good cards, slightly more units – why not try:

We did not suspect it will be final battle… (click to enlarge)

The battle was really epic. At some point in time it was obvious that my forces will prevail, the question was just “how much”? Thanks to “Loyalty Challenge Card” I managed to swing one of Marcin units. The effect was devastating, as suddenly it occurred that I am inflicting so many loses that Ishida forces are wiped-up completely:

And the result is… end of Ishida! (click to enlarge)

And as Ishida was leading that stack… the game is immediately won by Tokugawa. Wow, that was epic ending, although I think somehow pre-mature. Marcin was just getting traction and if he managed to concentrate his forces, I would have problem with stopping him. The history likes to repeat. The final battle was actually not so far away from Sekigahara…

As for the game, I can see why it is so attractive. Very aesthetic component and graphics, straightforward, not overly complex rules but tons of strategic decisions. Very limited luck factor, need to plan well in advance and very, very thematic theme well reflected in the game. I will for sure play more!