I’ve been significantly revamping my homebrew feudal rules system for the Sengoku Jidai of feudal Japan. As part of it I played out a test game. As I’ve still no figures for it I used MDF bases with blue and white blu tac and some hastily penned on numbers and letters to represent the units.
The 40×20 bases represent standard units of mixed sonae, i.e. ashigaru armed with spears, bows and guns supported by samurai. The 40×30 bases represent the larger honjin headquarters units of the commanders. The 25×25 bases are small units of ashigaru, either mixed or all spear or all gun. I was playing this as a later period game so everyone is considered to have lots of guns.
Black tokens represent Fatigue, white tokens are reduction of loyalty and the 40×10 MDF strips are representing different formations (vertical for attack, horizontal for firing). All commanders are rate Authority 1 with the army general’s rated Authority 2.
The rules worked pretty well and were fun to play. I do need to make a few tweaks to the loyalty tests as they were a little too easy to pass which caused the game to run on longer than it should have. Nevertheless, it was fun and a few nail biting momenta that could have changed the whole nature of the battle. Had the Ao opening fire done as much damage as it should have to the Shiro front line it would have stalled their advance and possibly prevented their own collapse. Equally had the Ao been able to activate before the Shiro when the two Daimyo were facing each other, the Ao may have been able to pour into the gap and break the Shiro then and there. But it wasn’t to be for the poor Ao clan.
The battle felt very dynamic and the unusual formations that were used (supposedly) on the Japanese battlefields worked pretty much as expected. While there are a lot of very fanciful battle formations drawn out in Japanese writings from generations after the period that are likely more fanciful than real, they were likely based on somewhat realistic formations that I’ve tried to represent here.
Now I’m happy with the core I’ll experiment with the more advanced rules around the use of camps, messengers, banners, duels and seppuku to bring everything together.