Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Second Azukizaka: The Rematch

After the first, Second Battle of Azukizaka with Peter (see Second Battle of Azukizaka) ended in an Imagawa victory, Peter agreed to a rematch.  We would swap sides and replay the battle.  Could the Imagawa maintain the short victory streak with a new general in command?  I was ready to find out.

As a refresher to the battle, the initial army dispositions show the Imagawan army almost overlapping the Oda right at the start of battle.  Making good use of this initial position, Sessai attacked vigorously against the Oda right in Game 1 forcing the collapse of the Oda right.  Sessai's deep thrust into the Oda right and rear brought a swift victory to the Imagawa Clan. 

Initial Dispositions
Would Peter use a similar tactic with the Imagawan army in his hands?
Read on!

Commanding the Oda Clan, Nobuhide advances his army toward the Imagawa positions.  Seeing his enemy arrayed before him, he is confident of victory.

Imagawa left hidden from view.

However, Nobuhide does not fully grasp the situation.  Concealed beyond the line of hills on his right, the Imagawan general, Sessai, masks about a quarter of his army.

Both armies advance with Nobuhide getting the first glimpse of the Imagawan flanking force as it crests the hills on the Oda right.  Nobuhide orders Samurai to take the high ground on the opposite side of the valley. 

The armies advance.
Nobuhide sees the threat to his right.
With Imagawan missile fire softening up the enemy, Sessai attacks on his right and center.
Sessai attacks!
While the Odan teppo hold the treeline facing attacks on the left, the Imagawan Samurai led by Sessai, drive back the Ashugaru spear in the center.  The Ashiguru's retreat forces the supporting Samurai to fall back too, disordered.  Already the Odan center shows signs of wavering.  Archery from the hills above the Odan right weakens the Odan bowmen in the valley below.   
Odan center is driven in.
Gap opens in Odan center.
Nobuhide responds quickly by charging into Sessai's Samurai with his cavalry.  Sessai holds firm as the melee swirls.  On both wings, the Imagawan army attacks.  Spearmen facing the Odan left charge into the bowmen while Cavalry hit the weakened bowmen on the Odan right.  
Attacks and counterattacks across the battlefield.
Cavalry on both sides have trouble crushing the opposing foot.  Those melees continue as losses rise.  In the center, Nobuhide goes on the attack.  The target is the Imagawan archers in the copse of woods.  On the Odan right flank, the Samurai are driven off the second line of hills as the position is overwhelmed by enemy.  Trying to outflank the Odan position, cavalry skirt the foothills in anticipation of sweeping into the Odan rear.  
Odan right is starting to crumble.
While the Oda spear drive deep into the Imagawan center destroying the archers facing them, Nobuhide is seeing less success on the wings.  First, the Odan archers on the left are driven back with great loss.  Second, the archers in melee with the Imagawan cavalry are ridden down and then scattered to the winds.  Pressure mounts against the Odan wings.
Imagawa controlling the wings.  Oda controlling the center.
Imagawan center weakens. 
On the Odan left, Ashigaru spear are bought up to stabilize the situation while Sessai launches renewed assaults against the teppo in the woods.  The gunners in the woods begin to waver as losses pile up.  
Action on the Odan left.
On the Odan left, the Odan spearmen dispatch their adversary and then wheel right to turn toward the center.  Odan cavalry in the center finally scatters the stubborn Samurai but an attack on the right is quickly flanked.  Imawagan cavalry sweeps around into the Odan rear.  
Odan left stabilizes but trouble elsewhere.
While the Odan cavalry sees success in the center, their wings are under increasing threat.  Two more Odan infantry are destroyed.  The Imagawan cavalry in the Odan rear causes great destruction and shows no sign of letting up.  Another Odan foot is within the cavalry's grasp. 
Destruction of the Odan army.
One final foot unit is destroyed, and the Odan army breaks.  Nobuhide has seen enough and orders what is left of his army to withdraw. 
The Odan army is beaten.
Victory to the Imagawa Clan, Sessai, and Peter!

Well-played game by Peter and great fun.  The result looks very similar to the Imagawan victory in the first game played with Peter.  The Imagawan left is in a powerful position.  Once it starts forward, it is hard to stop the steamrolling effect of the enemy's weight upon that flank.  Perhaps maintaining a cavalry reserve to counter threats to the Odan right is the right solution? Something to consider next time this battle is fought.  For now play moves on to the prequel battle and the First Battle of Azukizaka in 1542.  The 1542 battle is slated for three playings this week.  Maybe I can win one?

35 comments:

  1. This looks to have been a titanic struggle Jon and Peter is obviously a very worthy opponent...I look forward to the coming weeks trio of games. You certainly weren't kidding when you said one of your aims in 2022 was to get more Samurai battles on the table!

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    1. It was a good fight. Peter getting his cavalry into the Oda rear was my Achilles Heel. Yes, hope to continue seeing these armies on the table frequently in 2022. Well, at least until players tire of seeing them!

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  2. Beautiful collection of figures Jonathan. Are the hex tiles used for movement/range?

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    1. Yes, hexes are for movement, ranges, and facing calculations.

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  3. That set-up looks amazing. Of course, I shall have to try out this battle myself - with simplifications upon the troop types!

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    1. Glad you like it, Ion! Give it a try and please report back.

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  4. Great looking battle and commentary Jonathan!

    Christopher

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  5. Fantastic battle report. Seems a hard fought game

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  6. A swirling battle indeed - I like the idea of the flanking force not being immediately apparent. Good luck with your three playings, it sounds like an intensive week on the gaming front.

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    1. Well, the flanking force could be seen but there was not much that Oda could do to counter it.

      Busy week on the gaming front, for sure. One down; two to go.

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  7. The Nobuhide do seem to start this game at a disadvantage, so the cavalry reserve to slow the flanking movement on the right seems like a good idea to me.

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    1. That is a suggestion to pursue next time this battle comes up. May not work but certainly worth a try.

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  8. Thanks for a most enjoyable game and you are certainly getting to grips with your Samurai armies with three planned games.

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    1. You are welcome! The game was great fun. I hope I can keep the Samurai armies out in a regular rotation.

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  9. Another fun one to follow!

    That cavalry... doing what I love to see cavalry doing best.

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    1. Thank you! It was a fun one to play too! Sweeping cavalry moves; that is what we all want to see on the gaming table.

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  10. Nice job! I mean Peter of course. 😀😀

    Very pretty to look at. I’m not at all familiar with samurai stuff so know nothing of the Hx. Though this battle as you describe it sounded like a cool challenge. 😀

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    1. Thanks! Peter thanks you too! I am learning the history as I fight some of the battles. So many good books and board games are helpful resources for knowledge too. For me this is OJT of Japanese history.

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  11. Sounds like a fun rematch, Jonathan!

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  12. Great looking game...with lovely colors!

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  13. Another great looking report Jonathan!

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  14. A great looking and sounding game Jonathan…
    With two very pretty armies as well..

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks, Aly! Two pretty armies fought against a good friend and crafty opponent. Great way to spend part of the day.

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  15. Great looking rematch,I am tempted by the period!
    Best Iain

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  16. Wonderful gaming again, Jonathan. Your beautifully painted figures in this scale represent large scale Sengoku battles very well.

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    1. Thanks, Dean! Basic Impetvs on a grid seems to work out too.

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