Sunday 22 March 2015

Painting Table Update - Ronin

I have been wanting to do something with 28mm historical Samurai for a while. I had a accumulated a few Perry Miniatures models, but hadn't figured out what to do with them until Osprey released Ronin as part of its wargames series.

Ronin is designed for small scale skirmishes with 4 to 20 models a side, which means I didn't have a lot of painting to do. But between Chaos Dwarfs, Bushido, Inquisitor, I only just got around to painting them.

The warbands/battle groups in Ronin are called Buntai. So here is my first Buntai.

They aren't supposed to have a very uniform look, but I tried to put a little bit of blue on all of them.


The Sashimono (back banners) show that they belong to the Shimazu clan. The Shimazu were based in the far west of Japan in Satsuma, far enough away from the centres of power to develop a few idiosyncrasies. They were one of the first clans to encounter westerners and to use muskets. But in spite of that, at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, the clan leader Shimazu Yoshihiro turned up carrying a bow, which was considered quite quaint.

The Shimazu were unique among the Samurai in being involved in two overseas ventures. The first was the unsuccessful invasion of Korea in the 1590s. The second was in 1609 when, at the behest of the Shogun, they invaded the independent kingdom of Ryukyu, now the island chain of Okinawa, conquering it and absorbing it into Japan.

Two hundred years after this they were the instigators of the Satsuma rebellion whose history would be mangled by Tom Cruise and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles among others.

These first five are a 100 point Bushi buntai, consisting of three Ashigaru, including one with a teppo (musket), an Ashigaru-Gashira (basically a sergeant) and a Samurai. I'll be boosting it up to 200 points in due course and working on a couple of other Buntai so they have someone to fight. If you look in the background of the top two shots you see the beginnings of the next Buntai.

Friday 6 March 2015

Bushido Game 2 - Prison Break

Following on from my previous post here is the follow up, the second game in my Bushido mini-campaign. The first game didn't allow peasants or Bakemono, this one excluded monks and oni.

The first scenario saw the monks investigate the apparently deserted Shimoda village, but while this was going on the surviving villagers were being held prisoner by the Bakemono. But the villagers weren't sitting around doing nothing. Assisted by the fox spirit Kitsune and a minor Kami, they were planning an escape attempt.

If you're interested, the scenario can be found here.

The Battlefield: the Bakemono's foul lair, a dismal cave filled with twisted plants and stagnant pools.
Deployment, the villagers are held in the centre, surrounded by Bakemono waiting to pounce.
The minor Kami summons a wind to blow away a Bakemono archer.
Kitsune, Kintaru and a rice farmer attack the Bakemono, giving the others a chance to get away.
But Tra-Peng stabs Kitsune from behind, taking her out in one round and costing the Temple their highest cost character.
With Kitsune defeated, the remaining peasants are looking badly outnumbered.
Kintaru and the Rice Farmer are quickly defeated and the Bakemono pursue the remaining peasants.
Pushed into a corner, the remaining villagers hold out long enough to scrape a draw.

The villagers started the battle well, taking out two Bakemono, but the sudden loss of Kistune swung the game for the Bakemono, who quickly summoned reinforcements. The Bakemono held the far corner for the whole game, but fisher girl quickly did the same for the opposite corner. Despite being pursued right into the corner, the Bakemono couldn't finish off enough villagers to capture the other corner and so the game ended as a no-score draw.

Playing with only Peasants was really interesting. I had to make heavy use of buffs and Hisao was invaluable at boosting peasants combat value and using his command ability to give the Temple multiple activations.

I will post the details of game 3 when I get the chance to write the scenario and play it.