Monday, December 23, 2013

2nd Battle of Azuki-zaka, 1548 - BatRep

After Saturday's game postponement, I struck out towards Moscow on Sunday morning for a day of Samurai Battles' gaming in 15mm with Jake.  Fog was thick up and back but the roads were mostly clear for the 190 mile round trip.  When I arrived, the battle line was drawn for the 2nd Battle of Azuki-zaki.  All I needed to do was unload my troops and deploy.  Following a tour around Jake's game room with stops at his recently completed display case handiwork and close scrutiny of his figures on display, we exchanged gifts and set about our business.

The Oda were arrayed for battle when I arrived so my troops would fight as the Imagawa.  Having set up my troops, we were ready to begin.  In this battle, first side to collect six banners wins.

In the initial deployment, the Imagawa have a lone archer unit out front of the battle line in woods.  Hills protect the left.  With the Imagawa battle line overlapping both flanks of the enemy, my first thought was to use the cover offered by the hills to outflank the enemy right.  If card draw allowed, I would also pursue an attack on the Oda left.  Oda held a more central position.  Could I launch a flanking maneuver before my center came under pressure?

As is often said, "The stage is set!"
Initial deployment
In  a recent post, I mentioned my notion of creating what I called "Unifying Banners" to allow easy identification of the differently clad troops.  With banners in place, I think this approach does lend a unifying attribute to the army.
Close up showing Unifying Banners
Birdseye view from the center
Ground level view of center
Moving first, Imagawa advances on the left and the right.  On the Imagawa right, Ashigaru spear advance across the gap between lines to close with Oda missile troops and prevent the enemy from firing.
Contact with Oda missile troops

In the center,  Oda advances his battle line and brings overpowering force against the Imagawa salient held by the archers.  My archers take heavy casualties but are able to retreat before being eliminated.  
Archers attacked
To counter Oda's central push, foot Samurai are brought up to apply pressure to the left of Oda's advance line.  After heavy fighting, my Samurai prevail in eliminating Ashigaru spear. 
Imagawa Samurai counterattack

Success but with heavy casualties
While clashes in the center expand, Imagawa positions for an attack on the right.
Imagawa right
Imagawa right center
Engaged in the center and up three banners to one, Imagawa fails to respond to a breakthrough by Oda mounted Samurai.

Oda casualties mount in the center
First, Oda mounted Samurai destroy an Imagawa foot unit in the center battle line and then plunge deep into the Imagawa rear.  Thinking it out of harm's way after the initial attack in the salient, the hapless archers are ridden down.  The leader attached commits Seppuku rather than retreat.
Oda Breakthrough

Imagawa archers destroyed
Continuing on, the Samurai hit Red Devil Ashigaru from behind.  Damaged, but not destroyed, the Imagawa spearmen fall back towards their own lines.
Oda Rampage continues

Close-up of Oda Samurai attack

Battle in center continues
Back on the Imagawa right, Imagawa spear push Oda missile troops back from the woods destroying one but not before Oda mounted Samurai clear out the center.  The Imagawa army is split in two!
Clash on the right

Imagawa army split!
At this point in the battle, banner count is knotted at 5:5.  This will be another nail-biting finish!  Imagawa must attack somewhere before the rampaging mounted Samurai, deep in the center, can get back into the fray.  Attacking from behind the cover of the hills on the Imagawa left, Imagawa mounted Samurai attack Oda positions on the hill.
Imagawa Samurai attack!
The combat for control of the hill continues long enough for the Oda Samurai to destroy one more Imagawa unit.  Before Oda Samurai could engage one more Imagawa unit, Imagawa's Samurai prevail in destroying the sixth Oda stand.

Victory for Imagawa!
The Last Stand

Thus ended Game One of Four.

It had been awhile since our last Samurai Battles contest.  After reacquainting ourselves to the rules and a few rulebook checks, the game proceeded smoothly. Great fun with a very dynamic game.  I felt the game momentum swung to each player at various points in the game making for wild gyrations in emotion.  First, you're losing then you're winning; only to return to the feeling of losing the battle once again.


  1. Brilliant! Wonderful troops on both sides, I don't know how you paint 6mm frankly. This is one of the best tabletop adaptations I've seen of C&C. The masses of 6mm, banners, bright colors, terrain and great painting make this shine. Thanks for sharing!

    1. These are the 15mm figs. If you want to see how the 6mm look I did a "Travel Edition" on my blog last December. -Jake

    2. Thanks for the flattering comments, Monty! The figures are 15mm rather than 6mm. Does that change your assessment? I hope not!

  2. Say what a great looking game! Lovely bright colors going on!


  3. I do really enjoy these rules for Samurai. The only other set I have really tried is "Killer Katanas" and it doesn't play as quickly. Thanks for coming down, the minis look fantastic.

  4. Great pictures and a very lovely tabletop.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Jon... maybe some new toys under the tree?


    1. Thanks, Peter!

      If there to be any figures under the tree, I must put them there myself.

      Merry Christmas!

  5. Just catching up on blogs, Jonathan - this is a wonderful looking game with beautifully painted figures. I've only played Command and Colors once - a small EIR vs. Barbarians game, but I liked it's fairly fast-play. BTW, that is a long drive you took - but well worth it. Merry Christmas, Dean

    1. Thank you, Dean! Yes, long drive under difficult weather conditions but definitely worth it!

      I really enjoy the C&C system. The Samurai Battles version takes the common mechanisms to a whole new plateau by adding much chrome.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Paul! From you, that is very high praise. I appreciate it!

  7. Not my area of interest. But I find the look of your game terrific. I would not change my way of gaming CCN, but your game is looking so good and clean. I would recommend your pictures for an Inspiration for everybody who wants to play this board game with miniatures instead of blocks.

    1. Andre', you are most kind! This was not originally an interest of mine but I have become fascinated by it after being introduced to the period from a friend.