Monday, November 28, 2016

Gaming Again (WarmaHordes and Ronin)

After a too-long drought, I'm finally getting to play some miniatures games again. Something about this time of year just seems to lend itself to pushing toy soldiers around a table. (It's not just the inclement weather, either—even back when I lived in L.A., wintertime was always a popular time for miniatures.)

A couple weeks ago I dusted off my Skorne minis and played a small game of WarmaHordes. It was using the MkII rules, as my opponent and I haven't had a chance to really get into MkIII, but we like what we've seen with the new edition and are planning to have a game of it really soon. I'm particularly interested to see how Rasheth's revised Feat works out.

As with most W/H games I've played so far, this one came down to failing to act at a critical moment and things quickly spiraling out of control. This time, it was the Skorne who got the thrashing...

Then this past Saturday, I sat down with my wife for a game of Ronin, the samurai skirmish game from Osprey Publishing. It was great to finally get a chance to play, nearly two years after painting up my two buntai (gangs).

We ran the basic "Skirmish" scenario to get a feel for the system, and I was duly impressed. It's very quick to pick up, and close combat is lots of fun and incredibly bloody! The game ended up culminating with a deadly showdown amidst the pillars of a local shrine that left the site strewn with corpses.

Other highlights included my sohei (warrior-monk) getting brained by a peasant's mattock and the yojimbo (bodyguard) of the Ikko-Ikki's leader getting knocked senseless by a bullet meant for his lord, then standing by helplessly as his lord was cut down by the opposing samurai.

In the end, it was a fairly one-sided victory for the Bushi in part because I was absolutely on fire with my dice rolls, but also because using the peasantry of the Ikko-Ikki is a bit trickier than wading in with professional warriors.

We both enjoyed the game quite a bit, though, and are thinking about giving the campaign system a spin. Amazingly for a first outing with a game, I didn't forget any major rules—a testament to Ronin's tight, simple design.

Some selected shots from the game:

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