Home Forums Nordic Weasel Games Historical Takeda vs. Uesugi—a skirmish in Japan

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    Avatar photoNathaniel Weber

    I happily got my 28mm Japanese on the tabletop for their first game, using Ivan’s new Knyghte Pyke and Sworde (I find that title exhausting to type!) to play. I set up a simple skirmish. Ashigaru and samurai of the Uesugi have been tasked to seize a bridge in preparation for the main army’s advance into Takeda territory; Takeda retainers have moved up to defend that bridge. Some details about the game follow, or you can skip to pictures below.

    The Uesugi had 2 units of Ashigaru foot (counting as Light Foot, with armor 3, bravery 3, fighting +1), 1 unit each of teppo (Fire) and yumi ashigaru (missile), and 1 unit of samurai (chargers, fighting +2, bravery 4, armor 4). A special rule I inflicted on them were that the foot samurai were overly interested in glory and had to be the first unit activated by the Uesugi each turn.

    The Takeda defenders were a unit each of teppo and yumi ashigaru, 2 ashigaru foot (one of which lacked body armor and were armor 2), plus a samurai commander with 5 charisma. Their teppo and heavy ashigaru didn’t arrive until turn 2 and 3.

    The game was a hard battle for the bridge. The Uesugi samurai charged up the bridge and made 3 separate attempts to seize it. They were briefly in control of the bridge, having killed the Takeda commander plus several of the unarmored ashigaru, but were nearly shot off the bridge by a volley of fire from the teppo. They ended the game having retreated back to their side of the bridge, with 2 samurai dead and the others wounded.

    Meanwhile, the Uesugi ashigaru forded the shallow river and attacked on both flanks. They had a pretty even dust-up with the Takeda ashigaru on the right side of the bridge, but suffered a humiliating setback against the archers on the left side—the ashigaru spearmen trudged through the muddy creek and up its other bank only to be roughly hurled back with heavy losses.

    By the end of the game, the Takeda were battered but every non-missile Uesugi soldier was dead or wounded, and they hadn’t managed a definitive crossing of the bridge, so the Takeda won.

    The rules were quick and fun and, like most of Nordic Weasel Games, had plenty of movement and a nice crunchy feel. As is my endless need to tinker I added a few house rules as I went and now excitedly await the upcoming Japanese supplement (and will be making my own rules along those lines to hold me over until then!)

    One more thing—I am in love with the river I ordered from Wargamers’ Terrain in the US. It was a lovely investment that will likely be used on my gaming table for years to come.


    Avatar photoThomaston

    That’s interesting. Takeda only having fire troops left sound like they were just barely hanging on. I’m assuming both sides missile and fire were out of ammo?

    Tired is enough.

    Avatar photoNathaniel Weber

    Yes, ammo was burned up.

    I did introduce a rule while playing that a Fire or Missile unit could spend an action to scrounge up extra ammo once per game and get 1 point back. For the teppo fire unit, that represented ashigaru getting fresh ram-rods and the squad leader distributing his last reserve of bullets (I was just reading an account from one of the training manuals-esque documents of the time period that suggested that teppo squad leaders keep a few extra rounds and ramrods on hand). For the archers, I imagined the presence of nearby retainers carrying ammo, also a feature of battles from that period.

    Avatar photoSteve Johnson

    Lovely looking game!

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    That’s a brutal fight to the last shot and the last man (almost).
    Leaving the figures lying around by the river adds a cinematic flair.

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