With Osprey Game pumping out one blue book after another, Carl and I decided to revisit Ronin. Luckily, Carl has plenty of terrain and Sengoku-era Japanese miniatures, so all I had to do was show up with some dice and the proper fighting spirit.
We decided for a quick, introductory game, so we set the points at 100.
Ashigaru (Yari) x2
Ashigaru (Yumi) x2
The setting was some nondescript village somewhere within the Kanto region.
Peasants returned to their homes as the sun began to dip below the horizon. A pair of consorts looked on, watching the sunset.
Unfortunately, the tranquility is about to be shattered. Carl's band of warriors arrived, hoping to stay the night in the town's inn.
From the opposite trail came my group, who serve under a lord hostile to that of Carl's group.
The two groups spotted each other and charged forward. The peasants, surprised by the sudden, fearsome noise, began to scatter.
The two groups continued to move forward. Some bow shots were exchanged, but no arrows managed to find their mark, either missing or being turned aside by armor.
The combatants met in the middle of the town square. Swords clashed as the last of the peasants ducked inside their homes.
My yari-wielding ashigaru managed to give Carl's ashigaru-gashira a blow to the head, before being chopped down. Combat proved inconclusive elsewhere.
Carl's bow ashigaru managed to stun my own bow ashigaru. The ashigaru-gashira and his underling dealt a grievous blow to their enemy, who retreated. My own samurai, in a valiant demonstration of his martial skill, kept Carl's samurai, ashigaru-gashira, and ashigaru preoccupied.
Carl's ashigaru went down, but his bow ashigaru wounded one of my own. I tried getting another ashigaru into combat, but Carl's ashigaru-gashira turned and dealt the interloper a grievous wound.
It was starting to look dire for my buntai. Another of my ashigaru went down. My ashigaru-gashira tried to help his samurai commander, but the three attackers wouldn't let up.
Like a typhoon, Carl's buntai cut through my warriors, with only my ashigaru-gashira remaining. Realizing his lord and subordinates were all dead, the ashigaru-gashira decided to flee (likely being cut down or catching an arrow in the back for his cowardice). It was a solid victory for Carl.
I enjoyed the game, although the combat system seemed a little arcane at first, with its combination of dice and counters. Another concern we had was just how hard it was to kill people without a lucky break in dice - my samurai was able to hold off three attackers for half the game. We also thought that there wasn't much movement in the game, although that might have been because we played a low point game with only a few models on each side.
It may be that a group of samurai and ashigaru may be passing through the painting queue in the near future.