Unbelievable, but that was already our 7th meeting with Lukasz where we play the newest Commands & Colors installment – Samurai Battles. This time we prepared something special for Dear Readers – session report from the largest pre-modern era battle on the Japanese soil – Sekigahara 1600 AD. At the same time one of the most fateful clashes, as it for good established Tokugawa Shogunate and – ironically, as achieved by immense bloodshed – an era of 250 years of peace.
Samurai Battles Session reports: Arita Castle 1517 AD - 2 scenarios Okehazama 1560 AD - 2 scenarios Koriyama Castle 1540 AD - 4 scenarios Azukizaka 1542 & 1548 AD - 2 scenarios Fourth Kawanakajima 1561 AD (Phase 1&2) Fourth Kawanakajima 1561 AD (Phase 3,4&5)
By this time you should be pretty well familiar with the game concept and mechanics. But for those who are reading this as a first article in the series, couple of words. Commands & Colors: Samurai Battles game allow players to re-play important engagements of Japanese history mainly regarding the XVI century. The battles, included in huge scenario booklet, focus on the historical deployment of forces and important terrain features in level with the game system. The scale of the game is flexible and varies from battle to battle. For some scenarios, an infantry unit may represent an entire clan of soldiers, while in other scenarios a unit may represent just a few brave warriors.
Not surprisingly, the game follows the well-known mechanisms of Commands (cards driving the moves and creating Fog of War) and Colors (the units designation, having huge impact on battle results). The dices allows us to quickly resolve all battles and the components in the box allow for creation of countless scenarios. Once again, Richard Borg at his best. Time for session reports!
1. Sekigahara 1600 AD (Opening Attack)
This battle was fought around the small village of Sekigahara, astride one of Japan’s key feudal-era roads. It was here that Ishida Mitsunari and his western allies planned to meet and stop the advance of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his eastern allies. Using the wooded hills between two mountains, the western army had a strong defensive position. Although Ieyasu had granted Fukushima Masanori the honor of opening the battle, it was Il Naomase’s mounted “Red Devils” that charged forward first. Masanori quickly followed and charged into the center of Mitsunari position. So the most famous Samurai Battle started!
We rolled for sides – Lukasz took Tokugawa (blue blocks) while I led Ishida side (red block). I truly hoped to turn the historical tide of Sekigahara battle and achieve better result than the actual one 🙂 How did I do, below. But do not hold too much hope…
Close, exciting, fast and furious scenario – what we love in C&C system!
2. Sekigahara 1600 AD (East of Mt. Nangu)
East of Mount Nangu, Asano Yukinaga, hearing the sound of battle, charged his eastern samurai forward. They struck home on Natsuka Masaie’s position, which surprised the other western commanders, who for the most part just watched as the fight unfolded. Yukinaga was quickly gaining the upper hand, while the sizable forces of Masaie allies, Mori and Chosokabe, instead of joining the battle, choose to remain passive and just watch.This situation of loyalty of the western clans unfortunately would surface throughout the battle.
Again, a historical result, with Ishida forces crushed. But rest assured, the victors will remember the shameful display by the disloyal and inactive allies of their opponents. Especially Mori will pay the heavy price.
3. Sekigahara 1600 AD (Assault against Ishida Mitsunari)
Around 8:30 AM, Kuroda Nagamasa led several other eastern generals and their troops in a direct assault against Ishida Mitsunari’s command post. Mitsunari position, however, was guarded by the men of Gamo Bitchu and Shima Sakon. These units had taken cover behind some hurriedly constructed palisades and fought well even though outnumbered. Supported by blanketing fire of the eastern arquebusiers, Nagamasa redoubled his effort, but Mitsunari’s mend refused to pull back.
Well, that was very, very long scenario as Lukasz had 4 cards while I 6. Once he crushed my range units he gradually built position to move further (and with 4 cards it takes time) and just then I executed my desperate charge. All in all a completely not historical result 🙂
Three very great games which all went to Tokugawa / Lukasz. Try as I might, using different tactics and strategies, I was not able to prevail in a single battle. The history loves to repeat – and so it did also this time (with one exception :))!
Banner count was as follows:
- Lukasz (Tokugawa) 15 – Michal (Ishida) 9
More reports approaching – stay tuned!