Shogun / Samurai Swords / Ikusa is the last game in the original Milton BradleyGamemaster series. It focuses on the chaotic feudal society of Japan during the Middle Ages. Players play one of several factions that erupt into a civil war, trying to consolidate their strongholds and then defeat other armies for the right to be called Shogun, the supreme ruler.
In the game, players command forces on islands of feudal Japan. Player forces include provincial forces in the provinces and mobile armies commanded by daimyos. In each turn, players will allocate their koku into bids and purchases for the round. The round begins with the allocation of turn order, which is determined by bid, and in the case of tied bids, by player agreement or random draw. Then players other bids and payments are accounted for in purchases of castles and fortresses, drafting of new troops and ronin, and a bid for the lone ninja. Following the bids phase, players in turn order plan and execute attacks against enemy territories, with attacks resolved through die rolls. A player wins the game when he or she has captured a certain number of territories, either via straight conquest or by vanquishing the last of an opponent's diamyos and taking over that player's forces.
The game was originally published as Shogun and was later changed to Samurai Swords due to a name conflict with James Clavell's Shogun. Ikusa is the latest iteration of the game.
5 colored sets of 72 plastic military units with these pieces:
9 Sword samurai
9 Bow samurai
6 Standard bearers
Notes: New sets came with a product reply card. Also, Milton Bradley, in their infinite wisdom, often included extra pieces. (Somes set came with 3 or 4 extra Spearman from each army and one or two extra Ronin figures.)
In my opinion Shogun is only really good balanced if you are play with five persons. But in most cases its hard to find enough people who are interest to play a couple of hours. So we have created a new map especially for four players. As an alternative, the map represents China from 475 to 221 BC, the Warring States period. The number of provinces are reduced too 54 equivalent. Some new rules are also included. First, mountains are not passable for any kind of troops from both sides of an province border. And second, an attack across a river gives a first-strike advantage for the defender.
Thats all... have fun!
Here's my new version of the Samurai Swords map. I've had limited help from Samurai Archives. What's new: According to history: more Ikko-Ikki, sohei, Ezo was reduced, sea lines improved.
Map was made with illustrator CS3.
If you see problems or historical problems, let me know...
Rules Summary (v2) Same as v1 except: (A) I streamlined some of the verbage. No rules were changed, though. (B) Pages 5 and 6, when printed back to back, create a very brief but helpful player aid. NOTE: IKUSA introduced a few new rules which are not reflected in this document.
Version 1.3 der Zusammenfassung; Fehler über das Aufnehmen von Einheiten durch Armeen in den Phasen A und D wurden korrigiert.
Eine Zusammenfassung der Regeln für Armeen und Provinzstreitkräfte, um auf einen Blick alle Details zu haben, die man sich im Spiel schlecht merken kann.
v1.4 of the summary; mistakes about units joining armies in phases A and D have been corrected.
This file summarizes the rules that differentiate armies and provincial forces in Ikusa on one page. For in-game reference as it is difficult to remember all details.
The newest release of this game, called Ikusa, did away with the little samurai sword turn order pieces. I thought that folks might miss or want to have the little swords again. Print these on heavy card stock, glue the back side, fold along the gray line and let them dry. Then, cut out the sword shape and laminate them. Use as turn order designators (as in the original game). Enjoy.
Reference sheet useful for quick referencing and provides a structured summary for teaching the game.
This file contains all 187 ref sheets that I have made so far, for the convenience of those who wish to download all at one go.