Saturday, 4 March 2017

Capture the Flag

With the monthly club night, I brought out my newly finished Samurai collection for a go using ‘Katana Rampant’  rules.  Actually these are but the straight Lion Rampant rules with the addition of the  'handgonne' supplement for the use of the teppo (arquebus) units.  After reading comments in the intro section of my newly acquired ‘The Pikemen’s Lament’ (thanks Bill!) in which it was suggested to play on smaller tables to “get at it”; a sediment dear to my heart.  It was thus that we played on a 3 foot square mat using 24 point clans (read: retinues) I mean really, how many turns/time is wasted just moving our little soldiers to attack where everyone, both attacker and defender know where they will but must trudge across vast expanses of table 6” at a time. Especially with the LR style of game, this is not assured in any case so one can have opposing units close together without too much tactical loss.  This was certainly evident as we played two games of the same scenario with two different outcomes due to activation.
Middle of the battle on the 'small' table

The scenario loosely based on one of the missions in TPL which has in this case a poorly guarded umijirushi personal standard and drummers of Okudaira Sadamasa  attempted capture by the Takeda.  Whichever side could ‘guide’ the drummers and standard-bearer off the table to their side wins.
The Takeda move to capture the standard while the Okudaira try to fend them off
Takeda units are moving up in support earlier in the battle

ColinU and KevinA each took half the Takeda (black back-flags) and PeterM and myself took the Okudaira   (red/white back-flags) with everyone using the rule’s failed activation each…which everyone seemed to do quite often and sometimes together during a turn!

The first game the Takeda fended off the Okudaira reclaiming efforts, in the second, the reverse was basically the case with my newly painted half-retinue of Oyamada (with the blue back-flags) offering more distraction than help to either side.
Using all my newly painted 28mm figures (Kingsford Miniatures but for the peasants who are from Perry Miniatures)

While the table was small, but other than having units retreat off table a bit too easily, the action was not too crowded and indeed to me, felt right for the game.  The 3” keep-your-distance controversial rule was not employed and did not hinder the action which was typically fast and chaotic.
The peasants.  In a "what might happen if.." moves, I charged the Takeda mounted samurai with the peasants.  A victory of sorts; the peasants only lost in retreating and not getting themselves killed!

The Oyamada samurai did not get in the action but the lighting is too good not to do a photo op
I tired of painting the usual black armor so put some of the Oyamada ashigaru in brown. Note I used the radical notion of a 4,3,2,2.1 basing style which uses even one less base to mount a 12 figure unit.


  1. Great looking game and figures, Doug. I think LR works great for Samurai games as you have deftly shown here.

  2. Great looking game and figures, Doug. I think LR works great for Samurai games as you have deftly shown here.

    1. Agreed. I think it is the image we have of groups of soldiers running too and fro in Japanese epic movies along with knots of horsemen in sweeping expanses of the plains which evoke movement and randomness, which Lion Rampant certainly provides.
      I am pleased with your kind comment, Dean. It would be fun to have all with Samurai armies to have a grand affair. As we know, basing styles are irrelevant to the rules.

  3. Yes, beautiful looking game and figures.

    I know absolutely nothing about Samurai warfare other than 7 of them, led by Yul Brynner, fought in Mexico against bandits led by Eli Wallach.

    1. Yes, Bill, a very good Eastern, that one.

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