Wednesday, July 01, 2009

[Samurai] Progress...of sorts...

Those of you who have delved back through the archives of this blog will know that my "samurai project" is my own personal white whale. Initially conceived as a bit of a larfy side-project, it has turned into a borderline obsessive quest of reading, research, and searching for the perfect set of rules.

I had settled some time ago on Taiko! as being a nice compromise between playability and historical accuracy. Last week I finally sat down and painted my first unit, the Matsudaira command stand:

(Apologies for the scribbling on the central banner. I don't even want to know how unintelligble that is!)

And I then based up our two armies and this is what came out:

Not bad, eh? For those keeping track at home, Des's Ikko-Ikki fanatic army (with its huge block of peasants) is on camera left, my intrepid Matsudaira samurai are on camera right. And that would have been all she wrote except for the fact that I found out that in the time since I started the "samurai project," a new rules system has come out! Thank you very much Crimson Katana for that little piece of info!

What else could I do but resignedly put in an order for Battles in the Age of War from Peter Pig? I thought at the very least I might be able to steal some bits and pieces from it.

BAW arrived in the mail today; I haven't read it cover to cover, but I've done a detailed skim. And I'm totally sold. It takes all of the great esoteric elements of games like Killer Katanas and Daimyo and weds them to a solid, playable system. And it's written with the beginner in mind, meaning someone doesn't have to be an expert in Sengoku warfare to pick it up and get going with it. Just the sort of thing I've ranted about in the past!

I'm not so much of a Phillistine as to ditch Taiko! though. I have a small collection of Zvezda 20mm Samurai and I'll happily use Taiko! for skirmish gaming, as the rules can work at that level just fine.

The only downside to all this is that now I have to do some rebasing! Damn you, Moby Dick!

One of the things I like about BAW (and I'll be writing more in-depth about the rules as I get into them) is that there's a "small form" game that uses smaller armies. I'll be going with this for two reasons: (1) the particular campaign we're simulating was a pretty "small potatoes" provincial conflict to begin with; and (2) that means less minis to paint so we can actually get a game going!!!

Hopefully that'll leave enough surplus samurai to throw together a third army. Maybe Takeda. Hmmm...

At any rate, I'm happy for a chance to rebase. The bases I used are too thin for my taste. I'm going to go for thicker bases to increase grippability factor, always important with small-scale minis with lots of delicate sashimono, yari, and banners.


  1. Coolness! I just ran through a small skimirsh of BAW myself. I really thought I was going to hate the Motivation rule, but it seems to add an interesting element tot he game. You're command looks great! and don't worry about the banners, they look great. Remember, you're painting 10mm figs... not the easiest to slap on detail.

    Hey, is it just me or does it seem to be that you can move and shoot in this game as long as you have the AP for it?

  2. Great work on those banners!
    Nice to finally land the "eternity project"


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