Here we were the second night of the battle of Nagashino with Del and I still holding the cross roads behind light cover against Brian and Rick. Brian and Rick’s forces were inching forward in the center with matchlocks and bringing cavalry and infantry to both flanks. Brian and Rick were not moving fast but their troops with missile type weapons were wearing some of my troops down.
While I waited for Brian’s large cavalry unit to make a move my own cavalry unit was taking casualty after casualty from Brian’s foot archers. The +1 against mounted troops started to really tell and I was forced to make a morale roll. After making one on the next card when I lost another figure now being down to two stands failed the morale roll. They were forced to retreat and would need to move full movement and make morale rolls for the next two turns. (They were off the table before I made a morale roll and therefore fled without doing any injury to the enemy).
(Click to enlarge the images)
I would not say I can count cards and had no real attempt at keeping track to the movement cards but was fairly certain some movement cards for my infantry were coming up. A cavalry card for Brian was also in the future. Which came up first could be important as he had a large cavalry force and I had only foot troops. His mounted samurai would get the advantage in numbers because of their lances in a combat.
While Del inflicted casualties on Rick’s matchlock and archer troops with his own archers on the other flank the infantry cards that came up allowed me to hit one of Brian’s infantry units with two of mine. Brian had maneuvered his foot samurai in front of two units of archers wisely to protect them. I had hoped for the infantry cards to come up before and they did. It turned into a real bloodbath of melee and I forced a morale check but just barely came out ahead. The enemy unit was forced to retreat several turns but was not out of action totally.
Meanwhile Brian’s cavalry card came up and my foot samurai met his large mounted samurai in combat. Several things now occur to me. If I had used my commander of that unit to issue a challenge as he was in range I might have forced a retreat. If Brian’s leader does not take the challenge to personal combat a morale check is forced. Hind sight is twenty-twenty as they say.
We squared off and the melee was largely one-sided as I took three casualties inflicted one. We rolled for leaders and I rolled a two on two D6 a leader kill. Again the death of the leader would have forced a morale roll with some negative modifiers could have really turned out well for me. Brian had two bodyguards for his leader of the unit and rolled the leader taking the blow and the leader was saved. I was forced back two inches.
A new turn was started and the end started to come near. Casualties to one of my center matchlock units cased them to retreat and I was unable to get them back under control before they left the table. Brian maneuvered a large infantry unit with lances into my infantry that had forced back one of his units. I took more and more casualties not always losing the melee’s but being forced to make morale rolls.
Meanwhile Brian’s large cavalry ground down another of my units until it routed from the game with only two figures left I was lucky it lasted so long. Rick lost a leader due to Del catching him exposed on the other flank and winning a melee. Still my flank was slowly ground down with my last two units destroyed. I was left with a fragile matchlock unit with 50% casualties int the center and a fresh unit of pikemen in the center but they were ashigura and not really high quality troops. Between all the 5 or 6 units Brian alone could bring to bear they would not have stood a chance.
Del had also been ground down on the other flank in a series of melee with cavalry and infantry. I enjoyed the game and the figures though. Something I am going to have to work out is how I want to approach the games. I can’t sit back and wait for a chance too much damage can happen at long-range. I need to balance weapon types and unit size along with a chance for the cards to give a slight advantage. Such as two infantry cards being drawn in a row allowing a player to get a numerical advantage for a short time. I needed more archers that was for sure. (I had none in the game.) The correct tactical use of challenges could also come in handy. You could always lose the combat but at times the benefit out weights the risk I think. It is just something time and practice with the rules set and period will allow at least me to get better.
We had no challenges in the second night and only one in the first night. You can read this post to see what happened with that challenge. I like these figures and time period and look forward to future games. After discussion on basing of the figures we decided that next week the club will play a dark ages game with Del’s figures.