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Author Topic: Feudal Japanese range previews!  (Read 8522 times)
Glorfindel
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« Reply #45 on: 15 March 2020, 11:23:24 AM »

In terms of army composition, this page might be helpful:

[urlhttps://tenkafubu608971038.wordpress.com/2020/01/17/the-changing-nature-of-sengoku-army-composition-in-the-16th-century/][/url]
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #46 on: 15 March 2020, 04:19:51 PM »

Just downloaded the Tenkatoitsu rules - looks like it might just be what I've been looking for for my 3mm samurai. Thanks, hammurabi70

The changing nature of sengoku army composition in the 16th century is also a useful read, Glorfindel
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hammurabi70
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« Reply #47 on: 15 March 2020, 05:07:48 PM »

Just downloaded the Tenkatoitsu rules - looks like it might just be what I've been looking for for my 3mm samurai. Thanks, hammurabi70

As my project on this is on the back-burner, Korea 1950-53 having supplanted it and causing me to come to Pendraken for the figures, I shall be interested in how it develops and what you think of them.  My understanding is that they are more retinue than weapon based.
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #48 on: 15 March 2020, 06:40:44 PM »

As my project on this is on the back-burner, Korea 1950-53 having supplanted it and causing me to come to Pendraken for the figures, I shall be interested in how it develops and what you think of them.  My understanding is that they are more retinue than weapon based.

These days my projects move at such a pace that they look at glaciers and wonder why they are such a hurry Smiley  So, you may get round to this before me!

Retinue based is what I'm after, it seems to me that early armies' units, at least, were all-arms affairs.
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mmcv
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« Reply #49 on: 15 March 2020, 07:02:21 PM »

The whole tenku fuba blog is a good read. As is http://gunbai-militaryhistory.blogspot.com/2018/03/sengoku-period-warfare-part-1-army-and.html and associated articles.

Retinue based is definitely the thing needed, been pondering rules myself in preparation of doing a feudal Japanese project (likely not until the back half of this year or next) and been suspecting I may have to make my own or adapt an existing to suit needs. Or find different rules for different periods and battles.
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Big Insect
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« Reply #50 on: 15 March 2020, 08:47:12 PM »

The whole tenku fuba blog is a good read. As is http://gunbai-militaryhistory.blogspot.com/2018/03/sengoku-period-warfare-part-1-army-and.html and associated articles.

I agree that the link above is a good read.
However, to me it does indicate that troop types were quiet carefully segregated - they may all have been part of a retinue but the constituent parts were distinct and separate. The parts could easily interpenetrate each other and they operated as a whole, but mixed units of Yari and Teppo are not really how I see it. The missile units form up front initially with the yari armed ashigaru behind. As the battle moved towards close combat the yari/naginata armed ashigaru moved forward.

I think the idea that the yari and missile armed ashigaru formed up in combined units, a bit like pike & shot, is IMHO unsupported.
In fact there is a danger that using terminology like 'pike' to describe the yari is terribly misleading. Yes, a few warlords used extra long yari later on in the period, primarily in an anti-cavalry role but fundamentally a yari is a pole-arm / long spear with a long cutting edged blade on it. It was as much a slashing weapon as a stabbing weapon.  Apparently the yari is also occasionally erroneously described as being like an assegai - although personally i can see no similarity at all (especially as a typical Zulu or Stradiot Assegai was probably only about 3 feet long - a 1 foot blade and a 2 foot wooden shaft) and was as much a short range throwing weapon as a close combat stabbing weapon.

Wargames also go on about there being a Japanese cavalry lance, but again in reality this is just a yari - used both mounted and dismounted by mounted samurai.
To think of mounted samurai as 'cavalry' is also misleading - yes there were clans with a lot of mounted samurai but in many ways it's a bit like medieval knights, samurai often fought as well on horseback as they did on foot.

From a rules perspective it all really depends upon the scale you are looking to represent on the table top.
Personally I like to keep my 'units' separate - so a base all one type of troops where possible.

« Last Edit: 15 March 2020, 08:49:38 PM by Big Insect » Logged
Ithoriel
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« Reply #51 on: 15 March 2020, 09:23:18 PM »

I see it more as bow and/or firearms ashigaru peppering the enemy to either weaken them for a charge or to push them into making a charge of their own. Once either is achieved they retire and the initial line of close combat ashigaru meet the enemy. If they need supported/ replaced/ reinforced the foot samurai with their ashigaru join the action. If things get down "to the triarii" so to speak mounted samurai can be deployed to stave off defeat or alternatively lead a pursuit. In extremis the lord and his bodyguard can join in.

I realise that's an idealised version  and in combat things would probably be a deal messier, but that's the feel I'm going for.

Later in the wars, as armies grow ever larger, individual units of troops more or less identically armed seem more likely.
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mmcv
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« Reply #52 on: 15 March 2020, 11:25:41 PM »

The scale of the battle is an important factor. If you're doing a smaller scale battle of sonae vs sonae then segregated units by weapon make sense as you're operating at that tactical level. If you're keen on the Priestlyesque style of games there's an adaption of Pike and Shotte that fits this:
http://www.warlordgames.com/downloads/pdf/Pike-and-Shotte-Samurai-Army.pdf

If you're wanting to run a much larger battle where you're dealing with the combined formations (te) and each unit represents a sonae in its own right, dealing with the variance of mixed arms in each unit becomes more important. I imagine many rules could be adapted to deal with this though, if you have a favoured "generic ruleset" you could flavour it up a bit. You could potentially do this with P&S but suspect it might be a bit bland if everything is mixed unit.

If we assume that each unit had a core of ashigaru yari and then on top of that some ratio of archers, guns.and samurai, you could easily adjust the combat factors to reflect that makeup. E.g stronger melee if more samurai, stronger ranged if more guns.

There's a similar discussion going on in the BBB group at the moment for if those rules works be suitable, I suggested using Aggressive rules for higher proportion of samurai and Skirmisher rules for higher proportion of guns. That's abstracting it out to a high level to allow large battles to play quickly. This would allow for proper usage of large scale tactical formations but you'd potentially lose a lot of period specific flavour.

I suspect with some tweaking FK&P could work here too as it already has rules for mixed units of different strengths, could even use the gallant gent rule to represent a strong samurai presence in a unit. Would potentially need to nerf the cavalry a bit as they don't seem to have been as prominent or effective on Japanese battlefields, operating more in support roles and for mobility than outright charges (though they did happen and some clans, the Takeda for instance, where famous for them).

One of the criticisms leveled towards some of the rule sets for the period seems to be that they try and simulate every nuance of the period warfare rather than capturing the flavour of it in a reasonably payable way. I haven't played any of them myself so this is purely based on reviews.

As Big Insect pointed out the difference between yari spears and yari "pikes" was likely reasonably negligible so generally wouldn't need to be distinguished in rules. I'm sure this is the same for many aspects of the warfare, so I suppose it's a question of where you fall in the scale between "perfect complex simulation" and "simple abstract representation" that decides which rules week work for you...

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FierceKitty
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« Reply #53 on: 08 April 2020, 05:13:11 PM »

I'm always grimly amused by certain types of raving. Remember how WRG used to maintain that you had a shield or you didn't, and if you did, it was immaterial whether it was a 20-pound scutum or aspis, or a two-pound caetrum? Even idiots as hypnotised by the sound of their own gibberish as they were might have worked out that in such a case nobody would have gone to the expense of the bigger affair, or taken the endless trouble of schlepping it around. Now it seems a stabbing spear the size of a large javelin is the same as a two-hander as long as many contemporary European weapons, and the naga-yari was carried just to deter low-flying herons. Or that there's something in this hobby that is deadly to intelligence and to looking at the actual evidence.
« Last Edit: 08 April 2020, 05:22:34 PM by FierceKitty » Logged

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mmcv
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« Reply #54 on: 08 April 2020, 06:01:22 PM »

I feel you're disregarding the very real risk that low flying herons present to a military formation....

The difference is negligible from the perspective of how they would be used in a rule set. They are a formation of long spearmen, but based on what I've seen, typically most troops would have similar length yari, generally increasing length throughout the period, but there wasn't a point where one side had significantly longer yari than the other in such a way that you'd need to distinguish them greatly. Not in the way you would say for a phalangite vs a hoplite formation.

A yari formation would be mostly one type of yari with perhaps a handful mixed in with a different length for different functions. No one is claiming that a short yari and a long yari are fundamentally the same, just that from a rule perspective at anything above skirmish level there's not a significant enough impact to justify a large difference in the rules for a formation of yari armed troops.

Unless you want a highly detailed simulation style of rules that tries to model every single nuance, but for most purposes that's too granular.

Also herons, they're vicious.
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #55 on: 08 April 2020, 06:01:51 PM »

Surely the question is not "was there a difference" but "is the difference significant enough to model."

That's a line many of us will draw in very different places at the best of times. We may well draw it in different places depending on the size of action being modelled, the period involved and even the specific theatre.

The fact that someone draws the line in a different place than you would doesn't make them dumb, it just shows a different emphasis on the available factors.

Teppo-gumi, will you pleeease deal with that sodding heron!
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