My View

My View

Saturday, 19 July 2014


I decided to try out Samurai Battles, which I acquired at the tail end of last year.
The game, from Zvezda, comes in two versions. One with rules similar to Art of Tactic, the other Commands and Colors rules , by Richard Borg.
I gave away the Zvezda rules and plastic 20mm figures and used 15mm figures. These were based for DBR, for those interested, but had no effect for game purposes.
I decided to play the first, introductory, scenario. This had equal forces.
A shot of the set up from my perspective.

 Each side had ten units: 1 x Cavalry; 2 x Samurai; 2x Ashigaru Bows; 1 x Ashigaru Arquebus and 3 x Ashigaru spearmen, as this side on view of the set shows. Each side also had one mounted and two foot generals.
 The game will be familiar to players of Richard Borg's games. It is probably closer to Battle Cry, but also uses rules from C&C. There are two main changes. As well as the usual play deck, there is a second deck of Dragon Cards. They can effect both your and the enemy's units and are paid for by the second new innovation: Honor & Fortune tokens. Each Dragon card costs H&F tokens to play.
The scenario determines how many H&F tokens each side starts with (5 for this one). They can also be obtained by not drawing a Dragon card and during close combat, when an H&F symbol is rolled. However, when a unit suffers a retreat result, it costs H&F tokens for each hex retreated. This element of resource management adds a new level of complexity to the game and gives a bit of period flavour as it forces players to keep on attacking or lose honour.

The game itself was quite tense as Rick and I got our head around the rules and the new mechanics. It was the first to five banners and I won 5-3. The last pic shows the end state of the game.