Well… That was an interesting roller coaster ride. I really enjoyed playing the samurai. It is fun army to use and can hold its own against. More types of armies than it can’t. On my limited experience, Thirty Years War French foot are its nemesis. If there was a single army capable of beating everything then we all would be using it and that would get boring very quickly.
So, what do i think.
* Do not take much lancer armed cavalry. As per the advice in an open competition it has a limited capability. I think one unit of the horse archer version is prober,y the best. I believe “Miss Shogun” herself Lynette uses two.
* When used in pairs with a TC , warrior units can get across the board very quickly and as fast as a regular division of foot. (If used right, 12″ in two moves). This unexpected speed is an quality to be capitalised on.
* Bring the max of heavy armoured samurai and as many more as you wish. They are your stable diet the army.
* A GC is needed to help with surviving the close range shooting so that you can charge without loosing dice.
* The whole list has many variations so you are not limited to single combination.
* The armour factor at long range advantage cannot be under estimated. It more than once saved me from two or more hits.
I see this will be a regular army for me at competition and I will be as “boring” as Ben with his selection of Thirty Years War French. 🙂
I was not last :p
Who would have thought it. I had drawn Simon (ranked 3rd and who we had a practice game with on Friday evening). So I was officially up against Simon’s horse heavy TYW Germans. A lot of heavy metal. On the plus side he had lost his voice and was using sign language (well a random Aussie version of it) with a pad and pen. Of course wargamers are a sympathetic lot; he didn’t get any micky-taking at all… Honest 🙂
So given it was a mounted army facing me I tried to fill the table with terrain but a nice flat open space was provided. Oh hum here we go…..
Taking the learning points provided and learnt, I needed to take as much of the board to try to close down his ability to zip around the board. I divided my army into three all arms groups and kept them mutually supporting. Left flank, centre-ish and right flank. Simon deployed his army centre and my right. Four guns going down with more targets than a turkey shoot. The table sagged under the weight of all of our heavy armor.
I had first move and into the breach we advanced gaining half way before the real action started. I used the push a unit of cavalry out to delay his light horse. This worked, but a series of effect carbines and artillery sent them routing in short order. But I had a good portion of the board.
On the extreme right Simon pushed his dragoons round and matched them with some armored archers. We had some comical moments where slow evades on his part was matched with slow pursuits. Eventually capturing both, but only able to kill one. This put me in a good place to threaten his foot and baggage.
Also the right the hatamoto moved up to join the samurai vs kurrissiers fight that was going on. They very nearly failed morale immediately and quickly started to loose bases. I think they where gamed out. After some furious combats my samurai on this side broke, not after a few horse hair raising moments for Simon.
On the left a a bit of dancing with the warriors and a rash charge by Simon left one unit ready to be ping ponged by the samurai, but casualties else where caused the army to break.
As always with Simon it was fun and hard fought Game. Comparing how my friendly went against him and my nemesis game went against Alasdair I was playing much tighter and things where coming together to deal with the all mounted armies.
After Saturday evenings lost saw me drawn against Ben Jones’s (11th) Thirty Years War French. I have known Ben for many years from my old club at Oxford. Ben is well rehearsed with his army and I know from previous games it will have a lot of foot and regimental guns. The challenge will be getting some points off him as his foot will beat my samurai easily with either gunfire or having the advantage at impact. So a plan is called for.
Fill the board with terrian to slow him down and deploy as far away as possible so that he has less time to defeat my army. Hopefully I will be able to get some overlaps which could give me the edge in combat.
I went for forests which would not only slow down his army but also limit the fields of fire for his artillery. Most of the woods and a steep hill all landed in his deployment area. So far so good.
I deployed my battle line just in the board in a good solid long line. The average troops where kept hidden behind the samurai to avoid being picked off by artillery. I deployed my cavalry so that it could rush forward and delay his movement further. Ben deployed, expecting me to advance through the cover of the woods to fall on his firing line.
I had first move and rushed my cavalry forward, leaving the main samurai battle line on my rear edge drinking tea and eating rice on this overcast Sunday morning. After one or two more moves of this I could see Ben realise I was not going to impale myself on his battle line… So he began the long march across the table. Dropping into columns and bunching up.
I should mention on my right in the open bit of the board ben had deployed his superior veteran foot and artillery. The artillery was slowly chipping away at my end samurai units. Eventually these broke. He had unit of dragoons working the extreme right, but a unit of cavalry with armoured archers stopped them and they spent the rest of game hiding in the woods. The french superiors continued to advance. My cavalry slow dropped back. During this play the artillery where firing through a gap of less than one base width. This seemed a bit usual. A rule check by us both seemed to allow it, even though our feeling was there should be a min width to shoot through. The rules are the rules, so we continued. Later on in the game our umpire (Don Avis) ruled that this was not the case. A genuine mistake had been made by Ben and I and a bit of “horse trading” and generosity on Bens part we agreed that his artillery was now blocked. This meant Ben would no longer be able to target a unit of followers which was taking damage.
Now the French where half across the board but still bunched up around the woods. With hindsight I made a game changing mistake here. I should have pushed off by back line and closed to combat. However allowed the advance of the superiors to stop me. My thoughts where they would turn my line. In fact that was going to happen anyway and I should have gone for the points instead of having a rare moment of caution.
So after few moves the french arrived in good order. A few rounds of firing forced me to charge. I was able to pick on a few of his average units but it was not to be. An interesting deployment he made was to put his average cavalry unit in the middle and to the front of his battle line. This had the effect of stopping me being able to charge without the Horse interrupting on a double plus.
A few rounds of combat saw my army break and a 25-0 to Ben.