One more time I had occasion to play C&C Samurai Battles game as a series of a consecutive, geographically connected sets of scenarios. Today I am presenting one of the greatest tactical feats of Oda Nobunaga – a true genius of his times. With much smaller forces, using the clever strategy, he crushed so far unstoppable Samurai Cavalry army. All this in Nagashino 1575 AD – a 4 scenario mini-campaign, featuring:
- main battle overview
- central attack
- right wing
- left wing
It is really great to play an overview version, and then zoom on some aspects of this clash. Enjoy the picture-rich session report plus historical background!
Other 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) - Sekigahara 1600 AD - 3 scenarios - Anegawa 1570 AD - 3 scenarios
First things first, some more information about the game for those who have not heard about it (I hope there are not too many players like this anymore!) On top of this, above you can find one of my how-to-play videos which clearly presents the flow of the game.
The Commands & Colors: Samurai Battles game allow players to portray important engagements of Japanese history mainly from the XVI century, before Tokugawa Shogunate. 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. The game follows the well-proven mechanics 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. In essence, Richard Borg at his best!
Without further delay, let us jump to this wonderful campaign!
1. Nagashino 1575AD (Battle Overview)
In the summer of 1575 Takeda Katsuyori led his army into the Tokugawa domain and besieged Nagashino Castle. Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu led a combined army to relieve the siege. They established their position on the plain of Shitirabara. Their army contained 3,000 Teppo with European arquebuses purchased from Portuguese traders. Even though Takeda Katsuyori was faced with a numerically superior force, Katsuyori, over the objections of his veteran commanders, opted to attack.
Wary of the Takeda cavalry charge, Oda Nobunaga constructed wooden palisades, interspersed with breaks to allow counterattacks. When the Katsuyori attack force emerged from the forest, counting on the Oda gunpowder being wet from the recent rains, Katsuyori saw an opportunity to defeat his enemies and ordered his cavalry to charge.
Firing by rank, the Teppo decimated the first wave of cavalry as they tried to close for the kill. Takeda’s pride became his downfall. Time and again, he ordered new charges that all failed. Thousands of Takeda cavalry dies as a result. Unable to breach the Oda defenses by mid-afternoon, the Takeda were forced to retire and the siege was lifted. This battle marked the end of the unchallenged ascendancy of the mounted samurai.
2. Nagashino 1575 AD (Takeda Center Attack)
Even though Takeda Katsuyori was faced with a numerically superior force, Katsuyori, over the objections of his veteran commanders, opted to attack. Wary of the Takeda cavalry charge, Oda Nobunaga constructed wooden palisades, interspersed with breaks to allow counterattacks. In the center, when the Katsuyori attack force emerged from the forest, he saw an opportunity to defeat his enemies and ordered his cavalry to charge. It was a straightforward fight, with Naito Masatoyo and Takeda Nobukado leading the attack.
The Oda-Tokugawa line, held out in the face of a series of Takeda cavalry charges, which could not break the gunner’s resolve. Unable to breach the Oda defenses by mid-afternoon, the Takeda were forced to retire and the siege was lifted. The victory was a measure of revenge for Tokugawa Ieyasu who had lost an army to the Takeda cavalry earlier at Mikata-Ga-Hara.
3. Nagashino 1575 AD (Takeda Right Attack)
On the right, when Baba Nobuharu’s attack force emerged from the forest, he also saw an opportunity to defeat his enemies and ordered his cavalry to charge. But because of the forested hill to his right, he could not outflank Oda Nobunaga’s defensive position. After receiving heavy casualties Baba’s vanguard withdrew. The forces of Sanada Nobutsuma and Tsuchiya Masatsungu, however, continued the attack and momentarily broke through the Oda line. The advance came to a halt, when a number of leaders perished in the hand-to-hand combat. Unable to breach the Oda defenses by mid-afternoon, the Takeda were forced to retire and the siege was lifted.
4. Nagashino 1575 AD (Takeda Left Attack)
The extreme right of the Oda-Tokugawa army was not protected by wooden pallisades, as were the center and left. So when Yamagata Masakage and Hera Masatane charged forward it became one huge melee. Although Yamagata Masakage was skilled in combat, which was also proved this day, he was no match for a hail of bullets, which shot him from his horse. At this point in the battle Takeda Katsuyori ordered a general attack, but even this assault could not break the Oda-Tokugawa lines.
That was a very interesting historical campaign, although charging as Takeda could be frustrating at times. It took a lot of planning to cross river and even then it was extremely difficult to overwhelm palisades. It worked twice, but only in one instance Takeda has won.
Banner count was as follows:
- Player perspective: Lukasz 18 – Michal 25
- Historical sides perspective: Oda 25 – Takeda 18
More reports approaching – stay tuned!