The Genpei Project

A blog to document my development of a variant rule set and set of scenarios covering the Genpei War of 1180-1185, for the C&C version of Samurai Battles

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GP30. Koromogawa, June 1189

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KOROMOGAWA, June 1189

Declared a traitor by imperial decree and hunted by his brother, the shogun Yoritomo, Minamoto no Yoshitsune spent the first years after the Genpei War on the run across Japan, accompanied by a few loyal retainers. He eventually found refuge in the northern province of Mutsu with his childhood guardian, Fujiwara no Hidehira. When Hidehira died in 1188, his son Yasuhira came under increasing pressure from Yoritomo to betray the oath made by his father to protect Yoshitsune. In June, 1189, Yasuhira eventually bowed to Yoritomo’s directive and attacked Yoshitsune in the Takadachi mansion above the Koromo River. Yoshitsune prepared for death, reciting sutras while his dozen remaining retainers mounted an heroic defense against overwhelming odds. Chief among these was Yoshitsune’s oldest and most faithful companion, the monk Benkei, who held the bridge across the river and famously remained standing even after death, confusing the attackers who were afraid to approach him. Yoshitsune committed seppuku and a retainer killed his wife and infant daughter. So died the hero of the Genpei War and one of the most famous samurai in Japanese history.


From gallery of goshublue



Minamoto (Yellow)
Command cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 5

Fujiwara (Red)
> Move first
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 3


Victory – 5 banners
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated
The Fujiwara may not win unless there is at least one Fujiwara unit on the Minamoto side of the Koromo River at the same time as they have 5 Victory Banners
See Death of a Hero special rule


Special Rules

* Legendary Monk – Any unit to which Benkei is attached rerolls all H&F in battle for additional results, as if it were a sohei unit (the first H&F on an Inspired Leadership roll is still cancelled and does not trigger a reroll) . In all other respects, the unit functions as a normal unit of its type.

* Intimidating Defense – The Koromo River is unfordable to Fujiwara units while there is a Minamoto unit or leader on the bridge hex.

* Death of a Hero – Yoshitsune may not leave the five building hexes representing the Takadachi mansion.
At any time after the Fujiwara have gained their 4th Victory Banner, and if no Fujiwara unit occupies a Takadachi mansion building hex, Yoshitsune may be ordered by command card to commit seppuku instead of moving. Yoshitsune is removed from the board and the Minamoto player gains 2 Victory Banners. This ordered seppuku has none of the other rulebook effects of seppuku and rulebook seppuku performed by Yoshitsune instead of a leader retreat does not grant the Victory Banner award.


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GP29. Dan-no-Ura - The End, April 1185

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DAN-NO-URA – The End, April 1185

Despite early success for the Taira, two events late in the day turned the battle against them. First, the strong tide in the Shinomoseki Strait reversed, now favouring the Minamoto and allowing them to bring their superior numbers to bear. Second, an important Taira vassal, Taguchi Shigeyoshi, defected to the Minamoto and revealed to them the position of the imperial barge, which the Taira had disguised as a common vessel. Following Shigeyoshi’s betrayal, more and more Taira allies began defecting to the enemy. The Minamoto concentrated their attacks on the imperial barge in an attempt to capture the Emperor Antoku and secure the sacred regalia.

With these changes in fortune, the Taira knew that they were defeated. Many committed suicide by leaping into the sea and drowning. Among these were Lady Nii, widow of Kiyomori, who took her grandson, the eight year old Emperor Antoku, in her arms and plunged beneath the waves. Some Taira samurai died fighting, including Noritsune who sought to kill Yoshitsune but was foiled in his pursuit of vengeance by a legendary leap made by the young Minamoto general to another boat. The head of the Taira clan, Munemori, dithered while his family were finding honourable deaths around him, and was captured. The Taira attempted to take the sacred regalia with them to the bottom of the sea, denying them to the enemy. The Minamoto were able to retrieve the jewel and mirror but the sacred sword, Kusanagi, was lost forever to the depths.

By sunset, the battle of Dan-no-Ura was over. The Taira clan, the dominant political and military force in Japan for over two decades, was destroyed. The Genpei War ended and with it the classical Heian period. The Minamoto were the victors and established a system of political control by the military elite that would dominate Japan for the next seven centuries.


From gallery of goshublue



Taira (Red)
Command cards 5
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 3

Minamoto (Yellow)
> Move first
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 5


Victory – 8 banners
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated
Once it enters play, the Imperial Barge is a Command Ship worth 3 Victory Banners to the Minamoto if eliminated


Special Rules

Ocean hexes are passable and Naval Warfare rules are in effect.
Wind/tide is in the direction of the arrow (see map)
Green-bordered Ocean hexes denote section border hexes

* Shigeyoshi’s Betrayal - The Taira player may not order Shigeyoshi to detach from his unit (he may still attach to another unit if his original unit is destroyed). As soon as the Minamoto gain their 5th Victory Banner, Shigeyoshi and his unit defect to the Minamoto. Replace their red banners with yellow ones. The Taira player immediately discards a Command card and his Command is reduced by one for the rest of the game. See the Imperial Barge rule.
If Shigeyoshi is killed before the Minamoto gain 5 Victory Banners, the Shigeyoshi’s Betrayal, Imperial Barge and Sacred Regalia Special Rules will not come into effect during the battle.
In the Vassal log yellow substitutes of Shigeyoshi and his unit are provided off board for convenience. If Shigeyoshi’s unit has lost figures or if he is attached to another unit, the substitute unit will need to be adjusted to reflect this.

* The Imperial Barge – The three Taira Irregular Peasant Infantry units represent decoy ships, one of which is the Imperial Barge. When the Shigeyoshi’s Betrayal rule is triggered, the Taira player immediately chooses one of the Irregular Peasant Infantry units to become the Imperial Barge, replacing it with a full strength Command Ship (the “commander” is the child Emperor Antoku). Once the Imperial Barge is in play, the Sacred Regalia rule may be used.
If all three Irregular Peasant Infantry decoys are destroyed before the Minamoto gain 5 Victory Banners, the Imperial Barge and Sacred Regalia Special Rules will not come into effect during the battle.
In the Vassal log the red Command Group and Imperial Barge are provided off board for convenience

* The Sacred Regalia – When the Taira player orders the Imperial Barge, he may choose to throw one of the three sacred regalia into the sea. If doing so, the Imperial Barge may not move or battle that turn. Each time one of the sacred regalia is discarded, one claimed Victory Banner is removed from the Minamoto total. This may be done a maximum of three times (players may mark this by putting three tokens such as coins with the Imperial Barge and removing one as each of the sacred regalia is lost). The Taira may not discard sacred regalia while the Imperial Barge is grappled.
For convenience in the Vassal log the Imperial Barge label has a number designator that may be reduced as the sacred regalia are discarded

* Legendary Leap – Yoshitsune may perform a leader escape in any direction, not only toward his baseline, and when performing a leader escape may cross an open ocean hex to reach a Minamoto unit two hexes away.


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G27. Yashima, March 1185

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GP27. YASHIMA, March 1185

Yoshitsune’s small cavalry force made the two day journey across Shikoku to the Taira capital in exile at Yashima. Yashima was an island separated from the shore by a strait that was easily fordable. The Minamoto set fire to the village of Takamatsu on the near shore and then charged across the strait to Yashima. The Taira panicked, believing that they faced an invasion by a full army. They abandoned their palace and took to their boats with their families and the emperor Antoku.

The Minamoto set fire to the palace and formed up on the beach. Realising too late that they had been tricked into fleeing from a small cavalry squadron, Taira no Munemori ordered his samurai to retake the island. By sustained arrow fire, amphibious assaults and personal duels, the Taira attempted to drive the Minamoto from the beach. Bands of defectors came in from the local area to swell the Minamoto ranks until they numbered three hundred and the Taira were unable to establish a sustained bridgehead.

Late in the day, the Taira rowed a boat off the Minamoto position, bearing a beautiful maiden holding aloft a red fan painted with a setting sun, daring the enemy to hit it at extreme arrow range. Yoshitsune’s most talented archer, Nasu no Yoichi, struck and destroyed the fan with a single humming bulb, a miraculous shot that earned the admiration of both sides.

Night fell and the Taira had been unable to retake Yashima. Having originally landed on Shikoku with only fifty men, Yoshitsune had now driven the Taira from their last home. The Taira and the child emperor Antoku were cast adrift on Japan’s inner sea with no port of refuge.


From gallery of goshublue



Minamoto (Yellow)
Command cards 5
Dragon Cards 0
H&F 0

Taira (Red)
Command Cards 6
Dragon Cards 0
H&F 0


Victory – The first side to start their turn with 15 H&F
(The 30 total H&F token limit available in the game still applies)
The Taira may not win unless they have a unit on a land hex at the same time as they start their turn with 15 H&F
No Victory Banners are awarded in this scenario


Special Rules

Ocean hexes are passable to Taira units and naval rules are in effect.
Minamoto units may not embark onto Ocean hexes.
Wind/tide is in the direction of the arrow.
Green-bordered Ocean hexes denote border hexes

Gaining and Losing H&F

* Neither army may choose to take 2 H&F at the end of its turn but may still take a Dragon Card and discard a Dragon Card for 1 H&F if they have not played a Dragon Card for its effect that turn
* Leaders do not gain H&F for committing seppuku
* H&F are gained normally on battle rolls and by card text effects
* The Taira gain 2 H&F for each Taira unit (not leader) that disembarks from an Ocean onto a land hex.
* The Taira lose 2 H&F for any Taira unit that embarks from a land hex onto an Ocean hex
* Both armies lose 2 H&F for each of their units (not leaders) that is destroyed.

* Nemesis of the Taira – The Taira army gains 5 H&F if Yoshitsune is destroyed

* The Palace - An ordered Minamoto unit that starts its turn in the palace Building hex may set fire to the palace. The palace hex is removed from the board and the Minamoto army gains 3 H&F. That unit may not move or battle that turn.

* The Setting Sun Fan
The Taira Irregular Peasant Infantry Unit represents the boat bearing the maiden with the setting sun fan (this may be marked with a token such as a coin). It may not be ordered to move and may take hits normally.
Any ranged attack against this boat by a Minamoto unit that does not roll an H&F symbol loses the Minamoto army 2 H&F.
If a Minamoto ranged attack rolls an H&F symbol, the Minamoto army gains 5 H&F instead of any H&F rolled, the token is removed, the boat is free to move normally thereafter and the special H&F gain and loss rules no longer apply to ranged attacks targeting it.


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GP26. Yoshito's Redoubt, March 1185

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GP26. YOSHITO’S REDOUBT, March 1185

In spring of 1185 the Minamoto were ready to make the final assault against the Taira. Yoshitsune received imperial sanction from retired emperor Go-Shirakawa and marched to Watanabe on the coast of the inner sea, where his army gathered a fleet of boats. On the eve of their intended departure a gale rose, blowing in the direction of Shikoku. In order to take advantage of the following wind, Yoshitsune ordered the fleet to embark, but after a heated argument with his senior commander Kajiwara Kagetoki, and with most of the boat crews unwilling to brave the tempest, only Yoshitsune and five boats carrying his closest retainers launched. They weathered the storm and landed before dawn at the eastern end of Shikoku, two days’ ride from Yashima.

They immediately met a Taira patrol of local samurai who Yoshitsune convinced to defect to his service. These new allies informed him that a garrison of Taira loyalists were encamped nearby, led by Sakuraba no Suke Yoshito. Not wanting to leave a dangerous enemy in his rear, Yoshitsune’s small force made a surprise attack on Yoshito’s redoubt. The redoubt was a natural defensive position, surrounded on three sides by marsh and fronted by a deep fosse. Yoshitsune’s cavalry braved heavy arrow fire to cross the fosse. Yoshito fled on horseback. Yoshitsune captured twenty of Yoshito’s archers and offered their heads to the god of war.


From gallery of goshublue



Taira (Red)
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 5

Minamoto (Yellow)
Commander: Yoshitsune
Command cards 6
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 9


Victory – 4 banners
The Minamoto may not win unless they have at least one unit over the Taira side of the fosse hex line in the centre section at the same time as they have 4 Victory Banners


Special Rules

The fosse hexes are Ravine terrain

All water hexes are Marsh terrain and follow Marsh terrain rules


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GP25. Kojima, October 1184

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GP25. KOJIMA, October 1184

Six months after their victory at Ichi-no-Tani, Minamoto no Yoritomo finally sent his brother Noriyori west with a force of 30,000 men to suppress Taira allies in the Chigoku provinces of western Honshu, and then Kyushu. A fleet of 500 Taira boats, under the command of the sons of Shigemori, left Yashima and landed at Kojima Island, off Bizen. Learning of this, Noriyori marched his army to occupy the shore opposite Kojima. The Fujito Strait separating Kojima from the mainland was 500 yards wide and the Minamoto had no boats to cross. Safely out of reach, the Taira put to sea daily in their own boats to taunt them.

A Minamoto samurai named Sasaki no Saburo Moritsuna bribed a local fisherman to reveal to him that there were hidden shallows which could be forded to the island. When the Taira next put out in their boats he plunged into the shallows with his retainers against the orders of his commanders. When the Minamoto realised that Sasaki had discovered a ford, the whole army followed him. The panicked Taira sent their entire fleet against them but were unable to prevent the Minamoto forcing the crossing. The Taira retreated back to Yashima. The Minamoto were victorious but without boats, Noriyori was unable to pursue them and consolidate his victory.


From gallery of goshublue



Minamoto (Yellow)
Commander: Noriyori
Command cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 3

Taira (Red)
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 3


Victory – 5 banners for the Taira
The Minamoto do not gain Victory Banners for destroying enemy units or leaders. The Minamoto army wins an automatic victory if it begins its turn with at least 2 units on the Kojima Island land hexes on the Taira side of the board.


Special Rules

Ocean and shallows hexes are passable for Taira units, which follow naval rules.
Minamoto units may not embark onto Ocean hexes.
Wind/tide direction is indicated by the arrow

* Fujito Shallows – The shallows marked with sandbars function as land hexes for Minamoto units and Ocean hexes for Taira units.
An ordered Minamoto unit entering a shallows hex must stop normal movement, but may move additional hexes granted by card effects (2 hexes maximum with a Cavalry Charge card) and may take ground

* Trust in Naval Superiority – Taira units may not disembark onto land hexes unless there is at least one Minamoto unit on a Kojima Island land hex on the Taira side of the board


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GP24. Ichi-no-Tani - The Fatal Shore, March 1184

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GP24. ICHI-NO-TANI – THE FATAL SHORE, March 1184

With Yoshitsune’s cavalry now inside the fortress and fire spreading through the camp buildings, the Taira abandoned their walls and fled in the only direction left open to them, the seashore and their waiting ships. The panicked troops crowded onto the boats in such numbers that many capsized. The crews started fending away common soldiers, hacking off their arms when they held onto the gunwales, so that the senior clan nobles could escape. The Minamoto hunted down the fleeing enemy, seeking glory by taking the heads of Taira family members. Over half of the Taira clan’s senior nobles were captured or slain. The battle of Ichi-no-Tani was over and the Minamoto had won a decisive victory. The remnants of the broken Taira clan sailed back to Yashima and would never again return to mainland Honshu.


From gallery of goshublue



Minamoto (Yellow)
Command cards 5
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 6

Taira (Red)
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 2


Victory – 6 banners
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated
(See the Desperate Escape special rule)


Special Rules

Ocean hexes are passable for Taira units, and units on Ocean hexes follow Naval rules.
Minamoto units may not embark onto Ocean hexes.
Wind/tide direction is onshore as indicated by the direction of the arrow


* Desperate Escape – Taira units may exit across their own baseline by ordered movement and are removed from the game. Each leader attached to an exiting Taira unit earns the Taira army 1 Victory Banner. If the last Taira unit in play exits the board in this manner before the Minamoto have achieved 6 Victory Banners, the Taira win an automatic victory.


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GP23. Ichi-no-Tani - Hiyodori Ravine, March 1184

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GP23. ICHI-NO-TANI – HIYODORI RAVINE, March 1184

After destroying the Taira garrison at Mikusa, Minamoto no Yoshitsune divided his force. 7,000 men under his senior lieutenant Doi no Jiro Sanehira made a diversionary attack against the western wall of Ichi-no-Tani while Yoshitsune led 3,000 cavalry into the steep hills that formed the northern border of the fortress, and which the Taira had believed were impassable. With the aid of a local guide, Yoshitsune discovered Hiyodori Ravine, a precipitous, treacherous defile that cut through the cliffs directly into the unprotected rear of Ichi-no-Tani. Confident despite the reservations of his men, Yoshitsune ordered a reckless charge down the ravine, and reached the bottom successfully. The Minamoto attacked the surprised Taira and set fire to the camp buildings.


From gallery of goshublue



Minamoto (Yellow)
Commander: Yoshitsune
Command cards 6
Dragon Cards 3
H&F 7

Taira (Red)
Commander: Michimori
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 4


Victory – 6 banners
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated
(See the Burning Ichi-no-Tani special rule)
The Minamoto may not win unless they have 3 units on non-ravine hexes at the same time as they have 6 Victory Banners


Special Rules

All hill hexes are impassable

The Ravine – All open terrain hexes on the Minamoto side of the line of green-bordered hexes (including the green-bordered hexes themselves) are ravine hexes.

Reckless Charge – Every time a cavalry unit or lone cavalry leader enters a ravine hex it rolls 1 die and loses 1 figure on a sword result (this may incur a 1 die Leader Casualty check if a leader is attached to the unit).

Reckless Courage – The Minamoto player may play Infantry Onslaught, Order Green Unit and Order Blue Unit as if they were Cavalry Charge

* Burning Ichi-no-Tani – An ordered Minamoto unit adjacent to a building hex may set it on fire if it does not move or battle that turn. The building hex is removed from the board and the Minamoto army gains 1 Victory Banner


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GP22. Ichi-no-Tani - Ikuta Wood, March 1184

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GP22. ICHI-NO-TANI – IKUTA WOOD, March 1184

Taira no Tomomori led the eastern defense of Ichi-no-Tani against the attack of the main Minamoto army. The Taira were strongly positioned both on the wall and in advance shield wall and abatis fortifications in Ikuta Wood. Individual Minamoto samurai first attacked these positions in demonstrations of personal courage. Minamoto no Noriyori’s senior commander, Kajiwara Kagetoki, then ordered the general assault, led by his sons. In furious fighting, some Minamoto samurai penetrated the fortress but in numbers insufficient to press the attack, and were driven back by determined Taira resistance. With neither side able to gain an advantage, the fighting around the wall and in the wood ground into a bitter, bloody stalemate.


From gallery of goshublue



Taira (Red)
Commander: Tomomori
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 4

Minamoto (Yellow)
> Move first
Commander: Kagetoki
Command cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 4


Victory – 6 banners
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated
The Minamoto may not win unless they have at least 2 units on the Palisade hex line or on the Taira side of the Palisade hex line at the same time as they have 6 Victory Banners


Special Rules

The line of building hexes represents Stockade terrain

The green-bordered building hexes represent Arrow Towers and follow Stockade and Arrow Tower terrain rules


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GP21. Ichi-no-Tani - Mikusa, March 1184

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ICHI-NO-TANI - MIKUSA, March 1184

The Minamoto moved south from the capital to attack the Taira fortress of Ichi-no-Tani. Noriyori advanced on Ichi-no-Tani from the east with the main army while his brother Yoshitsune force marched a smaller flanking force of 10,000 to attack from the west. As night came on, Yoshitsune’s division reached the village of Onabara between Ichi-no-Tani and a Taira forward post of 3,000 beneath the western slopes of Mount Mikusa, commanded by Taira no Sukemori. Unwilling to wait and risk the possibility that the smaller Taira detachment might be reinforced, Yoshitsune chose to make a night attack. To light their way, he ordered Onabara set on fire, and all the trees and grassland along their line of march. The Taira vanguard was stationed to the west, where they expected the Minamoto assault, and the unprepared Taira rearguard were resting in anticipation battle the following day. With the advantage of surprise and superior numbers, Yoshitsune won a quick victory.


From gallery of goshublue



Minamoto (Yellow)
> Move first
Commander: Yoshitsune
Command cards 6
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 8

Taira (Red)
Commander: Sukemori
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 1
H&F 5


Victory – 5 banners
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated
The Taira Command Tent is worth 3 Banners to the Minamoto if eliminated


Special Rules

* Caught off guard – The Taira army may not use the First Strike and Ambush cards for their printed effect. The Taira player may still play First Strike when attacked in close combat in order to cycle the card, but it has no effect


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GP20. Nishinomiya

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NISHINOMIYA, February 1184

Ama no Rokuro of Awaji Province transferred his loyalty from the Taira to the Minamoto. He loaded two large vessels with commandeered rice and arms, and sailed for the capital. Taira no Noritsune pursued with a fleet of smaller craft, which Rokuro turned to face off the coast near the town of Nishinomiya. Noritsune’s assault was so fierce that Rokuro was forced to retreat to the port of Fukehi.


From gallery of goshublue



Rebels (Yellow)
Command cards 5
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 5

Taira (Red)
> Move first
Commander: Noritsune
Command Cards 5
Dragon Cards 2
H&F 6


Victory – 5 banners
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated
See the Supply Ships special rule


Special Rules

Ocean hexes are passable and Naval Warfare rules are in effect.
Wind/tide is in the direction of the arrow
Green-bordered hexes denote section border hexes

* Supply Ships – The two Rebel Peasant Infantry units represent Rokuro’s supply ships. When a Taira unit grapples a supply ship, it gains a Victory Banner which it keeps only so long as the supply ship remains grappled. 2 such Victory Banners are available, one for each supply ship.


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