Well yes, it happened in the end! Due to gradual lift of corona-virus related restrictions I was finally able to play a game live. It was a small, 2-players event and of course I invited my most ardent wagrames opponent – Jakub.

We have not played face to face for 3 months and then suddenly there is opportunity to do so. What game to choose? Two-thirds of our collections are competitive, two-players wargames. We were faced with that dilemma but finally decided on something astonishing, excellent, beautiful and exciting – we played Sekigahara!

Sekigahara AARs:
Sekigahara – first game, first impressions
Sekigahara – very interesting second full game!

The Game

I am not sure if there are people who does not know that famous game but, in such case, a short description.

Sekigahara box

Sekigahara is a 3-hour block game based on the Japanese campaign waged in 1600. The 7-week war, fought along Japan’s two major highways and in scattered sieges and backcountry skirmishes, elevated Tokugawa Ieyasu to Shogun and unified Japan for 265 years.

There are some very interesting special mechanics of the game:

  • No dice are used – I really like it!
  • Cards represent loyalty and motivation. Without a matching card, an army will not enter battle – key thing when preparing for attack.
  • Allegiance is represented by hand size, which fluctuates each turn.
  • Battles are a series of deployments, from hidden unit stacks, based on hidden loyalty factors. Loyalty Challenge cards create potential defection events.

Last but not least, the game is very thematic and beautifully produced – a real masterpiece in GMT Games collection.

The Photo Session Report

Set-up of the game; I am leading Ishida (yellow blocks) and Kuba Tokugawa (black blocks)
First blood was drawn next to Ueda castle – unsuccessful Tokugawa attack (click to enlarge)
Another Tokugawa attack on castle – this time Gifu (click to enlarge)
But this time it was countered by a nasty surprise and counter-attack (click to enlarge)
In the ensuing battle most of Tokugawa forces are being destroyed (click to enlarge)
Second attack on Ueda is much better prepared and my forces must flee to castle (click to enlarge)
Situation mid-game. I lost Uesugi castle but got Myiazu. Ueda still holds (click to enlarge)
After two more attacks with Tokugawa himself leading siege Ueda finally surrenders (click to enlarge)
I am taking the western part of the board while Jakub occupies eastern (click to enlarge)
Both sides ready for last turn. A lot can happen!
Kuba does a nasty trick attacking my Okazaki castle and at the same time mustering in Kiyosu. My bad I forgot I need to occupy this space to prevent this. In response I am attacking both Kiyosu and Tsurga, eliminating 8 blocks at the cost of 2. Pyrrhic victory…
Final score – Tokugawa (Jakub) wins with Ishida (me) 14-13. Very close and exciting game and we will for sure will play more of this! (click to enlarge)
The losses on both sides were significant but comparable (click to enlarge)


Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a summer. Still, that was such a wonderful and refreshing experience to meet with old friend playing one of my favorite and best games ever published. I hope for more, but one must be mindful that we are still not past the hard times of pandemic.