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The revamped Feudal Japanese have been released!
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Author Topic: Samurai rules  (Read 2470 times)
Nick the Lemming
Posts: 421

« Reply #30 on: 06 July 2020, 08:48:55 PM »

Thanks for the reply Mark; like Ithoriel I think I'll stick with something based on Tenkatoitsu though. I'm not persuaded by your claims, as I don't believe they accurately describe Sengoku-era warfare.

Ithoriel: When / if you do your home-made Tenkatoitsu rules, I'd be interested in what you've come up with.

Posts: 1889

« Reply #31 on: 06 July 2020, 10:37:07 PM »

My understanding of the warfare is that you'd typically have a front line of guns covered by archers while reloading, mostly in loose groups rather than a continuous line. Then the spears would advance to combat. The samurai, cavalry or foot, would typically be used to fill gaps in the line or charge into areas of weakness to break the enemy.

From what I can tell, cavalry in the period were not a major component of the warfare due to the lack of powerful horses and the rough terrain not lending itself well to horses. There are a few notable exceptions where full units of cavalry were fielded but that seems to have been fairly rare and only in the more northern regions where it was less mountainous. So small groups of cavalry interspersed through the infantry formation does make some sense in a support role when massed cavalry charges are impractical.

This means there was certainly less need for the close order pike and shot style formations seen in Europe, but does seem like various troop types would have worked in mixed formations, certainly in the earlier stages. One of the reasons Oda was so successful was his massing of firearms from different clans together into concentrated units rather than the loose formations favoured previously. This would indicate that mixed formations had been in common use.

The Sengoku Jidai covers a wide period and the warfare did seem to change a fair bit over the course of it. And there are very much different scales. I don't think a single ruleset could cover both the smaller battles between clans and the huge battles towards the end where the likes of Tokugawa was fielding 20 sonae himself let alone the other allied commanders and sub clans.

Lieutenant General
Posts: 7389

« Reply #32 on: 07 July 2020, 01:55:06 AM »

Mark, I will await your rules with interest .... and am not above stealing good ideas to incorporate into my own Smiley

My aim at the moment is to produce a game with a dozen or so units a side, which models my own view of how things may have worked, that is set in the middle 1500's period of the Sengoku Jidai, that models the friction inherent in any battle and also the challenges of commanding troops without radios or even megaphones! Nothing like giving oneself a challenge Smiley

I suspect your aims are not radically different!

On cavalry, all the accounts I've read (all secondary sources as I don't read Japanese) of the period I'm aiming for refer to small groups of cavalry attached to the sonae to exploit success or cover failure.

Even the accounts of the supposedly massive Takeda cavalry charge at Nagashino has groups of 30-50 horsemen riding up to the barricades, half a dozen to a dozen being shot off their horse and the rest riding off.

The few stats I've seen show 5% to 15% of samurai armies fighting mounted with the higher percentages being Eastern Japanese clans.

I'm not a big fan of the view that Japanese horses were broken down nags capable of no more than 9mph when loaded. I believe they were small, sturdy and agile. Ideal for raiding, skirmishing, tip and run tactics and pursuits but not for devastating heavy cavalry charges.

As ever, YMMV Smiley

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!
Posts: 181

« Reply #33 on: 26 July 2020, 01:19:09 PM »

Well thanks for all the comments. Some very interesting ideas to work with. I'll maybe get a copy of the Peter pig rules to start with and wait for the new rules release.
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