Tuesday, December 12, 2023

A Sampling of Samurai

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Wyndom Lancaster Resort nee Host
Event: HMGSs' Fall In(tm) Open 25mm tournament, Round 3
Players: Phil Gardocki running Timurid
               Jeff Black running Samurai
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.

Yesterday I was running Samurai for 3 games.  Hopefully I know how to beat them as well. We will see.

The Forces:

Samurai (list 221)
The Samurai are commanded by unnamed commanders.  Their qualities are Brilliant, Competent and Ordinary.
12    Samurai, Medium swordsmen, bow, most are elite   
3    Mounted Samurai, Heavy cavalry, bow, some elite
2    Scouts, Light cavalry, bow    
4    Levy           
Breakpoint of 21

The Timurids, list 273, are led by Lram, a Strategist, his brother Darian the Brilliant, and his other brother Darian, the Ordinary
4 Nobles, Heavy cavalry, impact, bow, elite    
3 Horse Archers, Medium cavalry bow    
4 Turkomans, Light cavalry, bow, elite    
2 Turkomans, Light cavalry, bow
2 Archers, Bowmen, Stakes
1 Afghan Archer, Light Infantry, bow
2 Persian Archers, Bowmen, Mediocre
2 Elephants, one with armor
1 Naffatun, Light Infantry, Incendiary
Break Point 21

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!" or "痛い!", this implies a disorder from missiles. Letters in parenthesis represent some value change for the specific unit. For commanders it is s for strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent and o for Ordinary, u for unreliable. For troops it is e for Elite, and m for Mediocre. Other abbreviations, Hvy Heavy, XB Crossbow, LB, Longbow, Jav Javelin, 2HW 2 Handed Weapons, B Bow, Kn Knight, HKn Heavy Knight, HC Heavy Cavalry, Md Medium, Sgt Sergeants, LC Light Cavalry, Chr Chariot, Cat Cataphract, Pa Pavise, LI, Light Infantry, HG Hand Gun, FKn Foot Knight, Hvy Spear, Heavy Spearmen.

Commanders are rated s for Strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent, o for Ordinary and u for Unreliable

Inappropriately capitalized words are used to highlight terms that are specific to the game. For example Brilliant, Competent and Ordinary have specific game values for the commanders.

Any confusion between commanders names, or mislabeled units or conditions is to be considered part of the fun.

"XX" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.


The Timurids win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains.

A new ground cloth has been acquired for the larger battles.

Jeff has told me this was the first run with this army.

All that is visible are 7 foot and 5 horse.  My list of the day before was 14 foot and 7 horse. So I am expecting a large flank march of about 4 HC

Darian takes the left with his force of elephants and bow.

While Lram takes the center with his Nobles

His flank is covered by elite Turkomans.

We are both running a flank march.  The "tide is in", so they are certainly on the same side.  And I know for certain which of the flank marches is smaller. 

Turn 1:

A roll for my unseen command is made.  A '6'.  So my command will flee onto the board at the top of turn 2, and his will follow on to the board at the bottom of the turn.

Ok, this has me very worried.  The only saving grace is that the Japanese flank march will have to traverse most of the board before it is effective.  The order is to rush across the board.

  Hopefully I can defeat his on board Samurai before they can intervene. 

The Turkomans advance on the outnumbered Japanese scouts.

Surprise!  4 Samurai charge out of the plantation.  The Persian bowman(Mediocre) withstand the charge with only minor disorder.  The elephant tramples their foe with ease.

It looks like we got the pursuit wrong there.  The elephant should not have pursued in the Samurai turn.

Samurai archery disorders the Afghan archers.

Mounted Samurai vector in on the Turkomans.

While that does not make sense tactically, it does make sense if they Samurai are linking up with a flank march.

Turn 2:

With more luck than I deserve, an elephant tramples another Samurai foot.  Trading a Persian archer for it.

The other elephant bears down on the line of Samurai foot.  The corner of the Samurai line is charged and flanked by Persian Nobles.

The remaining Samurai horse evade Lram's charge.

But Samurai warriors are legendary for a reason.  One archer is flanked, another is just cut down.  One troop of elephants is now steaks for the spits.

Another Samurai foot is defeated. 

The Samurai horsemen return to bow range and loose arrows.

The Japanese flank march arrives.  Wait, is that more Samurai?  Yari?  LEVY!  I was soiling my saddles when it came on.

I had a good laugh at that.  It was clever of Jeff.  The flank march cost him 12 points, and counts as 4 units.  Where as my two light horse counts as 1.  

This has been an intense battle so far. 

At the bottom of turn 2, the score is already 10 (not 9 as indicated) for Timurid out of 21, and 7 for the Samurai, also out of 21.

Turn 3:

Darrians remaining troop of elephants charge.  His command is reduced to just 2 lights and the troop, so he joins the battle. His bravery is rewarded, as his +1 led to a tie that round.

Lram Nobles are closing in
I think I owe Jeff an apology.  I am pretty sure we did not count the horsemen with copper armor as "panicked"

Lrams remaining Nobles charge again.  One Samurai horse stays and holds up the line.
Important note.  The edge of the board is not the end of the cloth, but around where the beige felt ends.

Turkomans charge Japanese scouts, who elect to stay at their peril.

In the middle of the 3rd, the score is tied, 11 all.

Samurai warriors charge in from the rear.  Trapping a Light.  But losing another Samurai unit to Lram's Noble horsemen

Again the Samurai horse return to trade arrows.

The Levy from the flank march approach the Persian battle line.

The score is now Timurid 14 to Samurai 13.
Win, lose or draw, this game is not going the distance.  Some photos from the other areas.

A Land Ironclad modified with an 8 inch cannon.

Some magnificent ships astride a Chinese junk.

In the dealers area.  Impressive.

Turn 4:

Back to the Game.

Another Samurai unit is destroyed, and another one is flanked.

One Samurai horse has evaded off board.  Another is routed.  Japanese scouts however are victorious over the Turkomans

Darrian, who led the flank march that fled on turn 2, finally has returned to the fight.

The score is 16 for the Timurids, and 18 for the Samurai.

Samurai charge the elephants flanks.  Nearly routing them and nearly killing Darian.  Upper right, Samurai push back a flank charging Noble.
Just one pip higher on the elephant, and that would have been the 5 points the Samurai needed to win.
Levy charge.  Most of those lines are evades by Turkomans.

The Levy flank march now is to fractured for an ordinary commander to deal with.

The score is almost tie, with the Timurids at 17, to the Samurai's 18.

Amazingly, Darian's elephant remains undefeated.  But a Samurai rout path disordered another Samurai for 2 needed of the 3 to demoralize the Japanese.

The last point was a defeated Samurai horse, with a +1 for a cohesion ht on a nearby Levy from  Turkoman bowfire.

Off the coast, a Japanese looking fort.

I don't know the game, but I actually have that dragon on my bureau at home.

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