Well this day was planned no different. We were to game then go to one of my favorite places that just happens to be called the "Sushi House". It's all about theme;)
So while we started painting our armies we based our building of them off a site called kurpfalz-feldherren a website in Germany that a fellow put together with what looked like some cool battle boards. I had my very good friend in the UK (he's German working there) translate them for me and off we were to the races. We found the boards to be a good starting point, and a few translation problems that I simply used commonsense to overcome, but just as a disclaimer these boards aren't necessarily balanced and both Skip and I already are going to modify some of the abilities to make them give more of a period feel (1540 on wards).
Now I wanted to do the Takeda board he had designed but I was unable to get the Cavalry figures I wanted in time to be able to get project done on time. So I used his vanilla Samurai board, while my friend did his Oda battle board. Here are some photos of the two boards we used (remember we plan on making some minor changes to them after having seen how they played).
So our very first battle was fought using the scenario "Battle at the Ford". This was selected because of my interest in Takea's battles at Kawanakajima which I have included a link for your further reading pleasure.
Our forces selected where as follows:
Kevin's vanilla Samurai
1 X Samurai point (4 X Hearthguard models mounted as one unit)
5 X Ashigaru/Ronin points (40 X Warriors made into five units of 8 models each armed as follows 2 X Yari, 2 X Bow, 1 X Teppo (Arquebus).
1 X Warlord
1 X Samurai points (4 X Hearthguard models made into 1 unit)
5 X Ashigaru/Ronin (40 X Warriors made into five units of 8 models each armed as follows 3 X mixed weapons, 1 X Bow, and 1 X Teppo (Arquebus)
At the Ford closet to Skip's Oda he placed 2 X mixed weapons of Ashigaru, 1 X bow Ashigaru, 1 X Samurai, and his Warlord. At the Ford furthest he placed his Teppo and his other mixed weapon unit.
At the Ford location furthest from Skip, closer to me I placed a unit of Yari, Teppo, and bowmen. At the Ford further from me/closer to Skip I placed my Warlord, Yari, bowmen, and my mounted Hearthguard.
[And here is the Grand view of the entire battlefield below.]
The game began with Skip pushing across across the Ford on his right and taking a defensive stance at the Ford to his left. On my turn of one I pushed across the Ford to my right and got right into his face so I can bring the rest of my troops across and advanced to meet him on my left.
[See below with camera on my side of the field facing Skip's Oda]
On my turn of two I popped his Ashigaru mixed weapon unit back across the ford and tried shooting down his bowmen that where now pinned with my bowmen with no success. Throughout this entire game Skip rolled very well for his saves and hits, and of course mine were quite the opposite. Using up most of my command dice to do this my poor Teppo unit on my right stayed well back from where it was truly needed.
[Situation at end of two]
From here on out, it was simply a battle of attrition. Skip's Oda Battle Board has some great abilities (kind of like Byzantine Battle Board) and he was able to always out number me in dice and I basically was attrition-ed done to make it a mute point to continue. Though it was frustrating for me, I still had fun. So it was on to our second battle!
For this battle we played "Champions of God", and I thought this was a good scenario to follow ford as instead of two condensed avenues of approach, you could spread the field.
The order of battle was the same except for Skip changing out one unit of Ashigaru mixed weapon unit of 8 figures for another point of Samurai (hearthguard) and combining it with his other point to have an eight man Samurai unit.
[Below a view of the setup]
As you can see Skip deployed his Teppo, and Bow unit in the center, and his Ashigaru mixed weapons units and Samurai on the flanks. He then promptly moved up his bow unit in range of all three of my missile troops and I promptly shot them to pieces. This was an EXCELLENT start for me! I started to advance on my left flank with the idea of refusing my right but I didn't have quite enough Saga die and he walked into my bow armed unit on my right flank in the woods with his Samurai and with the support of his Ashigaru mixed weapon unit wiped them out. He then executed a skillful retreat on his right as I pressed him with my left.
[Below the situation as described above]
Boy I thought to myself I have him in my pocket now and then...... I waited one turn to bring up the rest of my troops thinking I could execute a combined coup de gras. He jumped into that rocky ground you see right behind his troops thus giving them hardcover and the time he needed to untangle his Samurai in the woods behind my lines to bring them back to support his other troops.
Once more Skip had the luck of the Irish with him and the bastard (love intended) isn't even Irish!!!! His skillful tossing of the dice and my waiting one turn to long, was my undoing.
Just a little frustrating, but my own fault, but again it was still a blast. Plus it helped Skip drive 13 hours back to his home in Georgia. When you drive that long with a smile on your face, I hope it hurts to do so now Skip!!!!
Afterwards we had a nice dinner, talked about our glories and defeats at the Saga table, but more importantly we spent time together as friends.