Monday, May 8, 2017

Samurai Civil War - May Project (Week 1)

I'm a little behind schedule already - I had planned to start this during "Golden Week" in Japan (last week) but have only now managed to get it started. It's designed as an "extended battle" (mini-campaign) that will run throughout May. I'll be doing a few moves each day, and hopefully a weekly update.

I'm basically experimenting with some ideas that will allow me to play through a small campaign, rather than just a lone battle. Selected to test the concept are my Japanese Civil War ("sengoku jidai" era) samurai.

The back story.......

Last year, the daimyo (warlord) for this particular region died and the Emperor appointed his son, Lord Nobouki, as his successor. The more conservative samurai in the area objected to this, and rallied behind their own leader, Lord Hideyoshi - initially as just an opposition faction, but still loyal to the Emperor.

Shortly after, Lord Hideyoshi became seriously ill. His family allege that Lord Nobouki's allies attempted an assassination. No proof has yet been produced, but tensions continued to grow over the winter months, with the rebels assembling their own army. Now, as the nation prepares to celebrate the annual setsubon Festival, the rebels have begun to gather in a village near the border of Lord Hideyoshi's territory, awaiting the arrival of allies before they embark on a full campaign.

The battlefield.....

The village can be seen at the bottom of the above picture - the southern part of the battlefield. It has strategic importance as it is near a river with two crossing points (bridges), and enemy (or allied) forces can approach across either. Typical of rural Japan, the countryside is littered with hills and forest, leaving little room for a full blown battle in the area. However, possibilities for smaller skirmishers that build to deciding the overall campaign exist.

The arrival point and timing of the various forces will largely be decided by dice (so that even I will be surprised). The Loyalist forces (led by my White Faction) will arrive from the north, on the opposite side of the river to the village. But undecided factions will enter from the various side roads.

Some surprises......

I have a group of "wandering peasants" trotting around the battlefield, with their movement controlled by dice throw, making them a totally random feature. Whether they help or hinder the various troop movements will remain to be seen.

The loyalty of my four other factions (Blue, Green, Teal and Yellow) is unknown and will not be determined until they arrive on the battlefield (if they do).

The Loyalist forces do not know that Lord Hideyoshi's youngest brother, Yoshiake, has attracted an allied force of some "beasties" (troops from my Giant Nations" army - orcs, goblins, trolls etc). Just to add a fantasy element to the mix. The rebels will also have some artillery arriving (as soon as I finish painting it) and perhaps so will the allies - again, depending on how my painting progresses.

The campaign so far....

Little has happened so far beyond the initial arrival of the peasants (north-west of the village and so far they seem intent on moving away from it, so appear more likely to come into contact with Loyalist forces than the rebels) and the initial deployment of the rebels.

With Lord Hideyoshi indisposed due to his illness, his middle brother, Masakage has taken command of the faction's army, and has set himself up in the village, surrounded by his personal guard of samurai. Yoshiake will arrive with the "beasties".

The initial rebel positions can be seen above, with foot soldiers on either side of the village and mounted samurai on the left flank, preparing to advance toward the western bridge and report on the situation there. The "messenger corps" of the Rebels are gathered in the center, sheltered in the confines of the village.

To come.....

Over the coming week, I expect the Loyalist forces and "beastie" allies of the rebels to arrive. Perhaps also some of the neutral faction troops.

Plus, the rebels will be deploying to secure their position.

More maneuvering than fighting, perhaps? At this stage anyway.