Thursday, 5 March 2015

Ronin Campaign 2 - Capture

This is the second game in our Ronin mini-campaign. You can read about the first here.

The abbot's body had been crucified and left in a wasteland for the birds to peck at as a warning to the monastery. Naturally the monks wanted to recover the body and give it the appropriate funeral rites. The samurai boss was determined to make sure this did not happen.

Both forces entered from opposite edges of the battlefield. The objective was in the centre: a newly painted vignette of the crucifixion of Torii Suneemon which I declared was actually the abbot from the previous battle.

I had a force led by a rank 3 samurai, supported by a rank 2 ashigaru-gashira and three rank 1 ashigaru. Steve had a rank 4 monk, a rank 3 monk and two rank 1 temple attendants, I think. I never actually checked or read his roster and am basing this on what I remember of the game.
Both sides charged towards the crucified body. Part-way there the ashigaru with teppo and ashigaru with bow paused to shoot but with little effect. The ashigaru-gashira and the ashigaru with yari engaged a monk as quickly as they could but neither side could gain an advantage. In the meantime, my samurai cut down a temple attendant.
My ashigaru were split up by the arrival of another monk to aid the first one. The two monks were able to kill both ashigaru in short order while the samurai cut down the other temple attendant. My archer was performing very poorly, but the ashigaru with the teppo fired and was able to cut down the junior monk right after the monk had killed the ashigaru-gashira.

This works because of the turn sequence and is something to exploit. It appears to be intentional in the rules. Steve had used this and the line of sight rules to prevent me from shooting everything at his boss monk. I repaid him by rolling well with my shooting. It all evens out in the end!
With one monk and two temple attendants dead, Steve's senior monk sought the shelter of his dead abbot's gaze and the samurai with two of his ashigaru ganged up on him. The end result was hardly in doubt and the monk died on the final turn of the game. Victory was mine once more, and the monk's force was severely reduced for the final battle, although I seem to be going through ashigaru like nobody's business.

Steve told me that he had thought he might be able to defend enough in the final melee to outlast the turn countdown. Sadly that did not work for him. He also hoped that by being in contact with the objective he might gain the victory if I forgot to contest it by placing one of my own warriors in contact with it. This too did not work for him because I realised what he was up to. Still, it was another good fun game. These rules are simple to play but with sufficient decision-making to keep things interesting. I particularly like the combat pool where you have to decide how many dice to allocate to attacking and defending for each melee.


  1. I've just bought the rules, so it's useful for me to see how they play. While I was reading through I was starting to think that they could easily be adapted to other settings, eg The Musketeers era.

    1. Yes, I think they could be adapted to something like the Three Musketeers with a bit of thought. Some of the skills will translate directly. Others will need adapting or replacing. Missile fire may be an area that requires some thought if you do go that route. We have had one game where missile fire was decisive, but it seems to be more of a threat than anything else in most games. You just fire as many arrows as you can and hope for the best!