by Ze Mario in Portugal from BGG:
I read somewhere that this is the ideal scenario for learning the game, so we decided to play it. Hugo had already fixed the map with the missing rice paddies, so we gave it a go. For no particular reason, I got the Ikeda Army and Hugo, Tokugawa’s.
Tokugawa’s army begins with three contingents. Tokugawa begins on the top of a large hill, surrounded by rice paddies. It seems a pretty hard position to attack. Imagine the battlefield from my point of view, Tokugawa’s on my left, with 15 units.
On the right are his other two contingents. We have a long valley across the battlefield, and on the right, Naomasa is on extreme side of the valley, near the mountain to the north. Oda’s behind that mountain, a bit far from the area where the action is going to take place on a near future.
My army, Ikeda’s, has 4 contigents. On the left side, I have Mori, that I’m guessing is supposed to battle Tokugawa. The problem is that the army of these two that decides to strike the other has to cross the rice paddies, which will take a long time during which they’ll be exposed to range attacks in the meanwhile. On the right of Mori, is Ikeda’s contigent. Across the valley, opposite to Naomasa, I start with two contigents Yokisuki, and Terumasa. On this side, it seemed clear to us that Naomasa was supposed to hold Yokisuki and Terumasa’s attack until Oda forces arrived to help him out.
The actual session report:
I marched Yokisuki and Terumasa across the valley to hit Naomasa while he was alone. I was hoping to eliminate that contigent before Oda arrived, since they still had a long way and rough terrain to cross. When they got in range, they were saluted by archers and gunners, and my own returned fire. Oda’s forces began their cross-country march.
Yokisuki and Terumasa continued to walk, and they finally hit Naomasa’s men. Both sides sustained a more or less equal damage. Maybe it shouldn’t have been like that, but I guess we’re still amateurs with the maneuvers. Oda continued to march. The left side of the battlefield is asleep.
More fighting. Terumasa begins to circle around Naomasa’s units and striking their flanks. Naomasa’s units fight back like hell. Finally, Terumasa and Naomasa find themselves on the battlefield and we have our first individual combat on the game. Naomasa loses his head, since Terumasa is a superior warrior, and rolling two 0’s and a 1 doesn’t help any warrior. Oda still marching.
Oda’s fastest units arrive at the party. They attack Yokisuki, who until then was having a quiet day. Naomasa Jr. (his replacement) attacks Terumasa! And Terumasa wipes him out. Hugo gets pissed about his bad luck and says he’s going to get a samurai. Tokugawa sends one on the direction of the fight. I’m feeling that I’ll eventually have to support my troops on the right with Ikeda, so I have Mori retreat to a safer position, on the bottom of the mountain behind him, just in case.
I like samurai too! Mori spends his action phase to get a samurai. I get a 7/7 samurai, which is the best from the available. I get pretty excited about this and send him on Tokugawa’s direction, across the rice paddy. Ahah, I’ll kill his so-taisho, with the luck I’m having. Terumasa is still battling, Naomasa’s army routs!
My samurai is positioned. We read the rules and realise a So-Taisho can’t be challenged while in his honjin… Great, so if I want to challenge someone, I have to march the samurai in the opposite direction, to the far right of the battlefield. Hugo, at the same time, begins a sortie with Tokugawa to support Oda against Yokisuki and Terumasa. I’ll have to do something about that, since Terumasa’s contingent is about to collapse. Hugo’s samurai charges Yokisuki and kills him.
I decide to backup the contingents on the right with Ikeda’s. This will be complicated since now I can only activate contingents on Ikeda’s range. Hugo’s samurai challenges Terumasa and gets decapitated. Ikeda’s men run across the valley to support the battle on the right, and some of his men begin to position themselves to face Tokugawa. In the end of the turn, Terumasa’s contigent flees.
We now have the remaining contingents that began on the right of the ferocious battle, supported by their so-taisho’s. Several units are eliminated. In the end of the turn, both Yokisuki and Oda routs. We count the rout points and it seems that the game has come to an end. I got 51 rout points from Hugo’s army, and Hugo got 35 from mine.
Great, great game. We had a lot of fun playing this. There are still some mechanics in the game that we left to try out on the next battles. We also noticed that we barely used recover and rally, which we guess would have prevented such a massive retreat in the armys on the right flank. I mean, by the end of the game, Oda, Yokisuki, Naomada and Terumasa had fled! This felt a bit weird, and we realized that it wouldn’t be like this if we had used rally more often.
The game took 4-4,5 hours.