Saturday, December 3, 2016

Samurai Battles - Return to the Field!

“Time – the one asset none of us are ever gonna get more of.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In a reminder of just how quickly time can slip away, Friday night's scheduled Samurai Battles' games had me searching through the archives to see when the collection was last out on the gaming table.  The answer?  January 2014!  Nearly three years ago.  Astounding, really.  
Enough reflection.  On to the night's activities.

With Jake in town for the weekend, we set up an evening of Commands & Colors: Samurai Battles.  Jake brought a portion of his collection and I fielded mine.  Each would command his own troops on the march towards glory.  Mano-a-Mano, so to speak.  After a quick bite to eat, we sat down to the kitchen table, unrolled the game mat, deployed figures, and got to work.

Since time between our last outing was so far in the past, we began where we started several years ago.  That is, with the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima (1561).  While Rules Rust was evident at the beginning, that was quickly overcome and we dug in for battle.

Games played were the first three phases of the battle.  Jake took command of the Takeda Army while I took charge of the Uesugi Forces.  Four, pleasurable games were played in about three hours with victory falling to Uesugi Clan three out of four games.

Game 1: Fourth Kawanakajima Phase 1
Uesugi forces jump out to a very quick start and dominate the game using a center rapid deployment of their Samurai cavalry.  Takeda heavies never make it into the battle line to engage.  Uesugi wins five banner to zero.
Phase 1: At Start
Phase 1: Conclusion with Uesugi controlling the center
Game 2: Fourth Kawanakajima Phase 2
Uesugi forces apply pressure early.  A fortunate play of cards allows Uesugi to hit hard early and often.  Uesugi wins the battle 5-2.

Phase 2: At Start
Phase 2: At Start
Game 3: Fourth Kawanakajima Phase 3
Uesugi forces launch a quick and devastating attack against the Takeda command tent with the Samurai horse to cripple the spirit of the Takeda clan.  Takeda concedes game and it is reset for a redo.  Thus far, the first three games have not been close and Jake muses how he once thought the system was fun and challenging for both!   "Borg must hate Takeda" was heard in table conversation.
Phase 3: At Start
Game 4: Fourth Kawanakajima Phase 3
In a Phase 3 rematch, the most closely contested battle of the night unfolded.  With impressive use of the Takeda Samurai cavalry on the Takeda right and solid work on the left, Takeda jumps out to a 4-0 lead.  Uesugi, not giving in, picks off a Takeda Samurai foot and leader to make the game 4-2.  Takeda takes out one more unit to bring him within one banner of victory.  Current score is 5-2 Takeda.  Showing some resilience, Uesugi attacks with a combination of Samurai foot and horse to rip open the Takeda center and drive the enemy back to the river.  Banner count 5-5.  With one more impulse, the Takeda horse having already accomplished much on the Takeda right, overruns a severely depleted Uesugi foot to claim victory 6-5.  While the first three games were not close, the last battle was a real nail-biter and came down to the wire.

A very enjoyable evening at the game table with a collection that has been gathering dust from inactivity for three years.  Great to see the forces out on the table and arrayed for battle after such a long absence.  Hopefully, their next outing will not take three years to materialize!  Jake, thanks for the games!

30 comments:

  1. What a great view!
    Fantastic looking game!

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  2. lovely games report and miniature armies, thanks for sharing Jonathan!

    cheers,

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    1. Phil! Your continued support is always a treat!
      BTW, that was a gorgeous Visogoth DBA Army you sold on TMP.

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    2. :o) The Visigoths were actually for Basic Impetus..The sale of the goths help pay my monthly power bill... Also, I'm selling my Basic Impetus Parthian Cavalry army to pay off some other bills, ie internet, home utilities etc, or else I'm in the poo.. :o)

      cheers,

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  3. Unusual (for me!) and so atmospheric...great looking armies!

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    1. Thank you, Phil! Your recent Formigny BatRep was atmospheric too!

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  4. Gorgeous! I need to pull my finger out and paint some samurai.

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    1. Thanks! The game has motivated me to add a unit or two into the painting queue. Unfortunately, at present, mt painting queue is quite long.

      Appreciate the visit and comment!

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  5. This looks lovely. Curiously enough it and Battlelore were the only C&C games that I took no interest in.

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    1. Too bad you have not been drawn to Samurai Battles (yet!). The rules add a whole new dimension to the game play making it one of my favorites in the series. I suggest giving it a go!

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  6. Just a great looking set of miniatures. I never thought of using two half-sized hexes to fit in a larger one.

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    1. Thanks, Dale! The two, half-sized hexes are an expedient for using the figures on two grids. One game map is composed of four inches hexes to accommodate my buddies' four inch rectangular bases and mat while I use a two inch hex mat with the double bases for Impetvs on grid and other exploratory games.

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  7. Nice use of graphic to show battle layout and shots of the miniatures in action.

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    1. Thank you, Peter! Map/game board pairs would likely have been easier to follow if I had aligned the board edges in the same direction. The graphics show Uesugi on the top board edge while our games all show Uesugi deployed on the bottom map edge since I sat on the Uesugi side of the board.

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  8. Nice to see these guys in action! So colourful!

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    1. Yeah, very good to see the collection out and in battle! Colorful, indeed!

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  9. Nice looking armies, great graphics and nice game looks like you were less rusty!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you, Iain! Less rust than before, no doubt! To keep the rust from overcoming everything, need to keep at it.

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  10. IT was great to see you and Jake gets somne games in with your fine Samurai collections!

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    1. Most rewarding evening, indeed! Jake's Takeda really took a pounding in the first three games but his resolve did not waver.

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    2. They were Sohei models representing the Takeda, so perhaps I offended the dice spirits....

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  11. It was an excellent game. Looking at my notes we prior to our game at the end of 2013 we had not played for a year prior to that as well. This game seems to be our December "Go to " when we can meet. I also noted that on those occasions I managed to get wiped in several trials before eking out a small victory in the 3rd or 4th game. In retrospect I might be rather bad at this game....

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    1. The games were great fun for me. We have a December tradition and did not even realize it! Getting SB into the gaming rotation more frequently would be most welcome. Of course, we would need to actually HAVE a gaming rotation. My 2017 Resolution will be more gaming.

      As for being bad at the game, I remember many SB games where your sneaky tactical card play thwarted many a game.

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    2. I have had a few lucky draws, yes. I have discovered that I am undefeated in solo play however.....

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    3. Curiously, I am always outsmarted by my opponent in solo play!

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  12. Great to see some Samurai action, nice one!

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    1. Getting our two Samurai collections into action was a treat!

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