In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Samurai Assortment

In the two weeks since my flurry of assembly, I've bashed on with getting paint on things. 

First done, mainly because they were the easiest, was the group of unarmoured warriors converted from Pulp Figures Tong gangsters. I spent a little more time on the skin tones than I usually do.

I also have this fellow, ready to give an energetic drum solo. The drum came to me already quite nicely painted. I should make a pavilion for it.

Next is this handful of mounted bushi which were given to me years ago already based and primed. They're from The Assault Group. They're from an earlier era. By the Sengoku Jidai Samurai had moved away from mounted archery and were acting more as shock cavalry.

But I think lighter armoured, mounted archers in archaic armour works for Ronin living off of raiding and banditry. 

Their much more individual and elaborately laced armour did slow me down. 

I had originally thought of using the chap in red armour as my overall commander, but with his quiver of arrows I decided to keep him with the archers. 

That leaves the chap in blue armour to be my Ronin commander. His blue armour provides a nice contrast to the dominant red of the Daimyo's force.

Here's my group of six Samurai on foot, including the two where I switched katanas for pole arms and fixed broken scabbards. 

Finally the last of my mounted bushi, giving a big boost to Yokshie Tokubetsu's cavalry arm.

So until my order from Perry Miniatures arrives, that's all of my Ronin/Ikko-ikki done. I've just got 9 ashigaru with yaris and 9 ashigaru with teppos to paint for Yokshie Tokubetsu. Can I get them done before the order arrives?

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Heaven and Earth (Samurai Movie)

A random post on the Feudal Japanese Miniature Wargaming Facebook group helped me find this 1990 Samurai epic. I rented the DVD many many years ago but have never been able to find it since. Mostly because in 1993 Oliver Stone also released a movie of the same title.

So Sunday lunch was spent watching this extremely colourful retelling of the struggle between Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin over Shinano province that resultd in the five battles of  Kawanakajima.

There's also an Osprey about the campaigns. 

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Sunday Samurai Stock Taking

Last weekend's game got me delving into the Big Box of Unpainted Samurai, and seeing that although I've got significant reinforcements for the Lord of Tea, the Rebels are still awfully outnumbered. 

So I started checking the PerryKingsford, and AW Miniatures webstores. I also discovered the Footsore Japanese figures, but they are stupidly expensive at around $9 a figure! I did a lot of math and sample shopping carts and checking of currency exchange rates over the week. Kingsford are really nice, and Canadian, but packs of 4 for Cdn$18.99 makes them about twice as expensive as Perry. AW have some groovy palanquins, one of which would make a nifty objective for a scenario, but I'd have to convert angry villagers into ronin/ikko-ikki types. Perry have what I want, and the prices aren't terrible. I'd be able to buy about twice as much for 25% less compared to Kingsford. I'm still kicking the tires on a possible Perry order.

In the meantime I started assembling. I had a bunch of stuff that I'd bought second hand from a chap at Hot Lead about 10 years ago, so there were four duplicate Samurai waving katanas. A couple of broken scabbards and a miscast sword too. Encouraged by my figure modifying with the Warlord plastics, I got out my trusty Dremel to replace katanas with yaris.

For this era the rank and file Samurai would be primarily fighting with yaris, so more Samurai waving katanas about isn't what I wanted. Yari armed samurai on foot is what is really lacking  in the Lord of Tea's sonae. Rather than buy a pack of samurai with yaris I thought I'd just try and make a couple. Fortunately I've got quite a stash of extra feudal Japanese weapons.

And if I messed up, oh well, I bought the figure for $2 10 years ago. I'd just buy a proper pack from the Perrys.

Conversion on left.

Conversion on right. Removed the distinctive deer antlers as well. Used an antler to replace the broken scabbard. Gave him the less used naginata to work with the overhand grip.

Replaced sword with yari on the mounted samurai as well.

All assembled! Just waiting for glue to set before priming

This flurry of activity has resulted in 3 mounted samurai (1 with yari, two with katana), 6 samurai on foot (four with yaris/naginata, 2 with katanas), 9 ashigaru with yaris and 9 ashigaru with teppo. 

While I was getting some 19th century sailors out to give to Mikey last night, I also discovered a bag of Pulp Figures Yangzte River Pirates. They were left overs form Dan's Back of Beyond stuff, and I guess he didn't find them suitable for converting into bandit types. Shaven heads, bare torsos, pants, open hands on three of the five. The footwear on a couple are wrong, but I'll hide that with grass. So give them yaris instead of the curved swords they come with and they're now another group of ikko-ikki.

While rooting about I realized that I had not one, but two, holy men among the primed but unpainted Perry civilians. These painted very quickly on Friday evening. I used contrast paint for the blue robe. 

I also painted some wooden disks as themed Deployment Points. The script on the left is a Buddhist chant.

Just some civilians and extra bits left now!


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Random Rebels

In an effort to bulk up the opposition for the Lord of Tea, I've scrounged an assortment of figures from the stash, including the Warlord plastics.

After my first attempt with the plastics, I had to rip arms off and retry things. I also had to sacrifice a couple of sets of musket holding arms, until I cut the right angles to be holding the second ammunition pack. So the rebels have two ammunition carriers as support options and a teppo ko gashira to command the firing line. The remaining two were built as archers. 

Scratch built ammunition carrier far left.
Redone teppo ko gashira in center. Made the pointing finger from green stuff.

I didn't really like assembling or painting the Warlord plastics. The details are very soft, and there are some historical issues. I don't think ashigaru should have two swords, for example. But they were free. Although I wouldn't buy anymore.

The Ikko-ikki also included rebellious vassal samurai, so I pulled a couple of Samurai with katanas from the lead pile and a bare headed ashigaru, plus an archer. According to Tenka Fubu blog, warrior monks with cowls and naginata were an Edo period romanticism. 

For the sashimono I Google Searched "ikko-ikki banners" and got some hits.

The most famous Ikko-ikki banner. “Advance and be reborn in Paradise. Retreat and fall immediately into Hell.” 

The Battle of Azukizaka. Note big banner in upper right
Six character name sashimono from the Hoganji Temple.

I think I achieved a reasonable facsimile. 

Also in the stash was this, I think, Pulp Figures Yangtze River pirate. I gave him a yari from my Japanese weapon horde.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Battle at the Tea House of Autumn Leaves

Yokshie Tokubetsu watched a bright orange leaf fall to the ground, swaying gently on a light breeze. There was a haiku in there. Something about grace and beauty even in age and death. But he was thirsty. Fortunately, the teahouse in the next village was quite good with very pretty serving girls.

Then one of his outriders approached with a pretty young villager. She pointed to the distance. "Bandits my Lord!"

I decided to spend the holiday Monday by pushing some Samurai around and giving Seven Spears/Dux Britannarium another try. Yes, I bought the Special and printed it off before lunch.

So I put out a basic Ikko-ikki force, and rolled a force morale of 7. I decided that the not quite finished samurai would make acceptable sub-commanders, and my red helmeted ronin were the designated champions.

The Rebel Lord deployed with teppo in front, elite warriors behind, followed by the warriors. Lords, marked by the Sharp Practice chips, and the two champions were evenly spread.

I then set up a basic Late Sengoku force and had to use a partially painted mounted ronin as a proxy to give me a fourth mounted samurai figure. The red and yellow hatamoto are the group of elite foot. The Lord of Tea rolled up a Force Morale of 9.

A conventional deployment. Teppo and skirmishing archers up front. Ashigaru warriors behind with the champion and then the foot elites in the rear. The Lord with his cavalry are off to the flank to make a flanking attack around the village.

Warriors surge forward

Champions clash! And I wasn't really sure what to do, since this wasn't a pre-battle duel. But champions and Big Men engaging in single combat should be a thing. I rolled some dice, they didn't hit each other.

The Lord plays Carpe Diem to throw down a couple of other cards to give his charge some extra kick.

The elite rebel foot take 3 dead and retreat with 3 shock.

The rebel warriors in the upper right by the pond are going to try and be a speed bump for the cavalry. Kinda, almost works. Slows the cavalry down for one turn.

The second rebel champion engages the ashigaru and takes a wound and three shock. He is joined by the group of elite foot for a general confused melee in front of the teahouse. I just added the dice for the champions to each side and rolled it as one big fight.

The ashigaru retire, but the elite rebels then take more hits and shock from the archers and the teppos and also fall back

The Lord has routed the rebel warriors that engaged him, he now smashes into the rebel elites, who take three more shock, which routes them too

"I just want some tea! Get out of the way!"

The Rebel teppos spent all game getting up to the farm yard where they fired one volley, killing an ashigaru teppoman

The Lord of Tea then plays Step Forth to activate Noble 2, who shoots the archers and then charges with the ashigaru into the remaining group of rebel elites. They take more shock and also rout!

The Rebel Force Morale has crashed to 0!

Yokshie Tokubetsu sat on the porch of the teahouse while his ashigaru presented him with the heads of the enemy. It had been a good fight. His losses had been minimal, while he had shattered the rebels. His troops had fought well and his own yari had been bloodied in three thunderous charges. 

As he sipped his tea, he contemplated commissioning a suitably heroic painted screen for his castle.

So, that was interesting. The Fate Card Deck is a nice mechanic. I'm still wrapping my head around a few things though. The Activation Deck has cards for Units, not just the Lords. I wasn't sure what those did. I let them activate a group without a Lord. And Champions fighting and dueling. I need to get that figured out. The mechanic with secretly allocating dice to attack or defense just doesn't work for solo play.

I may still mash this up ideas from Sharp Practice though.

But it's a promising start.