Home Forums Renaissance Tora No Monogatari: A narrative Sengoku Jidai skirmish campaign

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  • #150675
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    I’ve been trying out solo Test of Honour again. Initially, I was crossing over some settings and mechanics from Two Hour Wargames. However, this meant checking a table to see what an opposing figure would do every time they activated, which was a bit cumbersome. So I went for a more basic approach and took the decision tree from ‘Rangers of Shadow Deep’ as a basis for ‘A.I.’ controlled figures. The result meant that the games flowed a lot better. I may do some bespoke decision trees down the line for important enemy characters, and/or use some of the scenario ideas from ROSD that have random events related to specific scenarios.

    #150676
    Zac
    Participant

    Nice looking table.

    #150710
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Sounds good.  Lets get some AARs! 

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #150713
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Great looking game! I like the bamboo thickets especially.

     

    #150716
    Mike
    Keymaster

    It is just really really nice.
    Lovely.

    #150727
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Wrote a thing about the solo Test of Honour campaign. No AARs, but an explanation of the process and a summation of the campaign so far:
    https://adcgaming.wordpress.com/2021/02/10/solo-test-of-honour/

    #150743
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Sounds like it’s all going pretty well there.  I like that it’s not all super easy wins for the PCs, a lot of adversity there.  I also like that you didn’t go the “he’s a nobles retainer” route and that it’s quite gritty.  Keep those AARs coming!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #150745
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Took me a second to realize Iemon is a capitol ‘i’ and not an ‘l’.
    The 4 photos above are for each game?
    That looks like a well guarded convoy, and the river bandits still managed to take some horses.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #150755
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Yes, one photo for each game. I’m on the 5th one now. The games have been equal points up until now. In the convoy scenario, with the guards so close together, there were more tests of nerve, so most of them retreated when the first few were killed. It can be an unpredictable game, in the first scenario, I’d almost killed all the bad guys when I realised I’d made a rules mistake so re-started, whereupon my guys were slaughtered.

    #150768
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    More detailed AAR of the 5th scenario.

    Goro, the river bandits’ second in command has joined a rival gang, and now he returns with them to take back the spoils of the river bandits’ last raid.

    Rokurō, the river bandit leader, immediately confronts Goro, but Goro cuts him down with one blow. Incensed, the river bandits attack and a fierce fight erupts around Rokurō’s body. Another group attacks the camp from the opposite direction and Toranosuke and Iemon begin a fight with these, gradually driving them back, but taking them further away from the others.

     

    The battle rages until the attackers lose their nerve and back away. Nezumi, a runaway boy form Atsuta, rushes forward and fatally stabs Goro. As the other attackers turn to run, only their leader is left. He fights on bravely before being overcome by Toranosuke, Iemon and Genzaburō, one of the river bandits.

    As the dust settles, only 4 of the river bandits survive. Two of them glare accusingly at Toranosuke, and walk away. Genzaburō decides to head over to the Kiso river, where he has family. Toranosuke offers to take Nezumi back to his village. But only after some unfinished business in Atsuta.

    #150773
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    “Toranosuke looks into the distance, puts his hands inside his sleeves and heads towards town as the credits roll and “Alone again naturally” by Gilbert O’Sullivan plays in the background….”

    Man, that was a bloody fight.  Total trip that the kid shanked Goro, just wild!  But at least T&I can get back to their original business now.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #150791
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Funny how you get attached to some of the characters, like an RPG in that respect. I was quite sad that the guy with the gun left, he’d shot one bad guy that was probably going to cut down Toranosuke.

    The last part of the first chapter:

    Part 6: No-one notices children.

    Toranosuke, Iemon and Nezumi sneak back into Atsuta. While Tora and Iemon keep a low profile at an inn, Nezumi keeps an eye on Hirosaki, the murderer of Toranosuke’s brother. When Hirosaki goes drinking in a sake house, Nezumi fetches the others.

    They wait outside for Hirosaki to emerge, and as he and a friend leave the sake house, Toranosuke attacks.

     

    Hirosaki leaps back at the first blow and is only wounded, his friend fights back but is engaged by Iemon. Hirosaki manages to draw sword and defend himself. Screams ring out, the guard will be alerted soon. Toranosuke manages to cut down Hirosaki, Iemon pushes the other man away and the 3 flee into the night.

    Toranosuke returns furtively  to his village in Western Owari and leaves Nezumi with his parents.  He and Iemon decide to leave the next day, to keep a low profile following the killing of Hirosaki. The next morning they leave for the Kiso river, to visit Genzaburō. It is the 3rd year of Eiroku, and the village is abuzz with the news that the lord of Owari, Oda Nobunaga, has defeated and killed Imagawa Yoshimoto at Okehazama.

    #150847
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Yaaaay, he won!  Well, at least he has finished the first leg of the revenge cycle.  What now awaits our hero?  Join up into a sonai and go to war so you can merge the 2 game sizes?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #150858
    Thomaston
    Participant

    @DSG
    No, no, no, he’s going to join the Oda army and be given the job of caring for Oda’s sandles.

    Nice games and I only just noticed how beautifully painted the minis are. Are these 28mm or bigger?
    I was surprised the river bandits didn’t run after their leader was cut down and felt like Toranosuke deserved to be shunned by the River Bandits, he got their leader killed.

    Curious, at the time wasn’t samurai the only class to carry swords? Merchants only carried them after the war was over?

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #150872
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    I was thinking Toranosuke might end up commanding enough men to play some Feudal Patrol, but I think big battles may be a bit too far! Next he’s off to the Kiso river, as I want to find out more about the Hachisuka clan, so may as well generate some games while I’m researching.

    All the figures are 28mm (nominally), mostly Kensei but lots of others as well.

    Everyone passed their morale test when the leader was cut down, so I guess they were incensed rather than frightened.  The precursor to the last scenario was a split in the bandits, with Goro resenting Toranosuke’s growing influence. Toranosuke had done more in the rescue scenario than Goro, so I assume there were factions developing. I did honour tests for the survivors, the two that walked away presumably blamed Toranosuke for causing the bandits’ demise.

    The date is around 1560, so anyone and everyone carries swords. The first major restrictions on owning weapons doesn’t begin until the 1580’s.

    #151169
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Chapter 2 – The Kiso River

    1. The Palanquin

    Toranosuke and Iemon travel to the border between Owari and Mino and meet up with Genzaburō. The 3 work transporting goods along the river, but after a while Genzaburō is lured back to the criminal life. He accepts a job to transport some stolen matchlock guns to a bushi called Tomoda. Given the location, Tomoda was probably a retainer of Tsubauchi Torisada, one of the local kokujin. Genzaburō comes up with the foolproof scheme of putting the guns in a palanquin and pretending to be transporting a high ranking official. On the final part of the overland route, they are attacked by a gang of robbers. Toranosuke and Iemon make quick work of the leaders, and the rest of the robbers flee. The guns are safely delivered to Tomoda-dono, and the smugglers are paid.

    A couple of things to note. The drawing of skill cards in ToH can help define a character. I just grab a load at random for each game rather than sort them. Toranosuke had a lightning strike card, so he is clearly a talented swordsman. As he has tended to roll a lot of fumbles, however, he probably still lacks the confidence in his abilities. Iemon drew ‘Intimidating Presence’ so became something of an enforcer, and Genzaburō had a command ability, so he became the leader of the boat crew. The latter two graduated from just being random followers, so the cards have helped flesh them out as characters.

    The other thing I introduced was a ‘seeker’ type for the AI bad guys. Basically these change their goal to ‘nearest objective’ rather than nearest enemy, and if they have an objective token will always try and move away with it to where the scenario dictates. Again, no die rolls are involved, it’s just a short list of priority actions.

    #151179
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Hey alright, they made good on a job without it falling apart.  Yet…

    Am I understanding correctly that even the main PCs (T&I) do not have consistent skills/cards that carry over between games?  Or are you saying in drawing the cards that those were new ones in addition to what they previously had?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #151183
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    You draw skill cards during the game, and after the game you can keep 1 card for 1 of your characters permanently. But each character has a maximum number of skill cards that they can hold, and I’ve mostly been drawing fairly useless ones, so at the moment they still only have 1 each.

    #151184
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    2. The raid

    The three return to the legitimate business of transporting goods. But one evening there is a commotion in the village. Cries of panic ring out, the village is under attack! Toranosuke, Iemon and Genzaburō quickly get their crew together and rush to save the villagers.

    The 3 engage the raiders, while the rest of the crew try and lead the villagers to safety. The stiff resistance gives the robbers pause and, during a break in the fighting, most of the villagers are led away.

    When the raiders depart, part of the village is burning, some villagers are dead and two are missing.

    The village leaders meet and decide to protest to the local ji-zamurai Ishidake Kazuyoshi, about the lack of protection. Toranosuke volunteers to handle the meeting…

    #151302
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Oooo…  will this become a confrontation, an assignment or perhaps a job opportunity as a retainer…?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #151365
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Toranosuke and Iemon arrive at the meeting. It’s raining.

    #151374
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    The Ji-zamurai’s steward.

    Toranosuke and Iemon travel to meet the steward of the ji-zamurai responsible for the village to ask for greater protection against attack by robbers. Genzaburō, ever cautious, takes some men and follows the two in case something goes amiss. The interview with the steward and his secretary becomes heated. The ji-zamurai’s men stand up and draw swords, Toranosuke is unarmed, and Iemon has only a concealed dagger.…

    Toranosuke tries to disarm the steward, Morinari, but is pushed away. The other man strikes at Iemon injuring him, but Iemon is able to stab the man with his concealed dagger. Morinari is briefly distracted and Toranosuke wrestles him to the floor, stunning him. More men enter the house. Toranosuke grabs Morinari’s sword and flees outside, where Genzaburō and the crew rush to help.

    Morinari comes to, grabs a sword from one of the men and pursues Toranosuke outside. A running fight ensues, with Toranosuke and the rest forced back. Toranosuke cuts down one of the pursuers, causing Morinari and his men to shrink back. Toranosuke and the others flee back toward their village.

    Toranosuke and the others return to the village. Why did Morinari try and kill Toranosuke? What will the villagers decide to do next?

    The discussion was handled by a die roll on a reaction table from the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ RPG, and went as bad as it possibly could be. The two main characters managed to win the initial fight, despite having minuses to hit and damage. They were probably lucky on balance to get away that easily. Even where characters ‘die’ in ToH, the after battle event table is pretty survivable, I changed it so a permanent wound outcome for anyone other than the main character means death, or otherwise written out of the campaign. In this scenario, a capture event would have meant death too. But even so, the 3 survived.

    I used the weather table from LOTR here too. ToH has some weather rules, but again, in a solo campaign, you can decide any appropriate modifiers you like before the game.

    #151379
    Thomaston
    Participant

    The Palanquin read like a smal fight of a few people but the photos looked like a small batle 😀

    The turn of events is unfortunate. I was hoping they get a job it like DSG. Now I’m wondering if they’ll be hunted down.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #151382
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Loving the extra effects.

    #151393
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Ya wow, not what I was expecting at all!  With Morinari knowing what village they came from I expect some retribution.  Makes me wonder if he is in league with the raiders, maybe to clear out that village for resettlement for a favored retainer or something. Hijinks and shenanigans, all is not what it seems!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #151616
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    The meeting

    The village leaders hold a meeting to decide what to do. There are 3 options.

    Make weapons and train the villagers to fight to resist the Ishidake.

    Seek protection from Tsubauchi Torisada via Tomoda.

    Toranosuke and Iemon leave the village.

    Toranosuke argues for seeking protection from Tsubauchi, and offers to meet Tomoda to discuss it. The villagers reject this out of hand, and argue between the other two courses of action. The villagers begin to lean towards those who argue that Toranosuke was responsible for provoking the attack at the meeting. As the argument becomes heated, Toranosuke decides to leave the village.

    The next morning, Toranosuke and Iemon prepare to leave. Genzaburō, however, decides to stay. The two take their leave of Genzaburō and part on good terms. They plan to travel further up the Kiso river and possibly return to Owari. But Toranosuke still burns with thoughts of vengeance against Morinari.

    The meeting was handled by the reaction tables in the Bushido RPG, but any RPG style decision maker would work. I gave Toranosuke a test of wits to make his case and provide a bonus to his argument being chosen. Needless to say he failed, and the villagers decided against him. Have to say, I was a bit sad to lose Genzaburō again, he was clearly shaping up to be the brains of the outfit.

    #151621
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    The Rōnin

    The two travellers meet a group of 4 rōnin, travelling to join the fighting upriver. Toranosuke decides to accompany them, he could use the money, and the fighting probably won’t go on for too long. The 6 of them join a Saitō force under Adachi Rokubei attacking the forces of Oda Nobunaga, who has crossed the Kiso river into Mino province.

    Toranosuke and the rōnin’s contingent undertakes a scouting expedition, and run into an Oda force. It is Toranosuke’s first experience of battle, and he initially hangs back on the flank.

    The Saitō leader rushes forward, some of the rōnin charge recklessly in search of recognition and reward. The two forces clash amidst the flying arrows and sounds of gunshots. The Oda commander is cut down by the Saitō commander, Toranosuke takes the opportunity to rush forward and engage an enemy bushi. After a brief exchange, Toranosuke manages to overcome the bushi, Iemon rushes forward to take the head.

    The Oda retreat, but rally briefly against a rash pursuit. The Saitō leader is wounded, but the last of the Oda commanders is overcome by some ashigaru and the Oda flee. All of the rōnin have survived, and Toranosuke and Iemon scavenge some armour and go to present the head for a pay bonus.

    I made a few changes for ToH here. One was to give anyone with an action remaining a free avoid action against missile fire. Bows are a bit too powerful in how they can be used to use up enemy figure’s actions. The other introduction was heavy armour, which was just a case of reducing dodge by 1 and reducing damage taken by 1, basically the inverse of unarmoured. This made heavy-armoured bushi hard to kill in one blow, and in most of the cases here they were lightly wounded first, before being cut down, which was the kind of effect I was looking for. 

    #151628
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I really like how this flows much like real life.  The little tweaks really seem to work.  I’ve been tinkering with Mikes Burning Sands for viking stuff, could work with ronin style games too with the addition of an “honor” system and perhaps more fighting styles.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #153402
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    The Battle of Moribe

    The Saitō army attack the Oda at Moribe. As their contingent clashes with the enemy, Toranosuke and the rōnin try and outflank the enemy. An Oda bushi lunges at Toranosuke, wounding him. As Toranosuke reels back the rōnin attack the bushi distracting him enough for Iemon to spring forward and deliver a killing blow with his spear. But then a gunshot rings out and Iemon falls dead, the rōnin flinch back. Toranosuke rushes forward to engage a group of ashigaru and defend the fallen Iemon’s body.

    Toranosuke forces back the ashigaru supported by the rōnin. He sees the musketeer who shot Iemon and cuts him down. Toranosuke and the rōnin fall back to join the others, but elsewhere it’s clear the battle is going badly for the Saitō. In a brief lull in the fighting, Toranosuke’s contingent falls back to rally around Adachi.

    The Battle of Moribe was a real event, and to represent the battle going on around the action here, I added a special token to the activation cup. If the Oda draw it they get an honour card, if the Saitō draw it they take a dishonour card. After a couple of turns, I added another token. It was really sad to lose Iemon, the only other survivor of the first scenario, he’d saved Toranosuke several times. Now Toranosuke has to carry on the battle while wounded, and with only the rōnin for support, and they haven’t proven very effective so far.

    #153406
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Whaaaaaat! Iemon died just like that? I never liked teppo and this only reinforces it.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #153408
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    NoooOOooOOoOOooooo!  Man that’s a bummer, and also why big battles are so scary; death can come from out of nowhere due to the shear number of enemies present.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #153411
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    The teppō turned out to be rather influential. The guy on the horse was shot with a teppō too. Iemon was very unlucky though. I’d re-done the after-battle tables so only the main character had the near-invulnerability. Even so, the chance of actually dying for a supporting character was quite small.

    #153545
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    The Battle of Moribe continued

    The fighting rages but the Oda continue to force back the Saitō. Toranosuke and some other bushi try and force their way through the Oda line. The Oda line give, but does not break.

    A wave of panic sweeps through the Saitō as the news that Adachi has been slain by an Oda bushi spreads. Somehow, in the chaos, Toranosuke and one of the rōnin, Muneyori, escape, the other 3 rōnin lie dead on the field. Toranosuke and Muneyori head back towards Saitō territory and rest up for the next action.

    I kept the two special tokens in to represent the battle going against the Saitō. In the actual battle, Adachi was slain by Maeda Toshiie, who would go on to great things under Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. Muneyori hasn’t developed much of a character yet, unfortunately, but hopefully that’ll change in the next few scenarios. If he survives, that is…

    #153586
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    It’s just good that they both survived without major debilitating injury.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #153599
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Jūshijō

    Ten days after the debacle at Moribe, Toranosuke, Muneyori and the Saitō army are at the village of Jūshijō as the Oda launch a morning attack.

    The first Oda assault is beaten back by the Saitō, Toranosuke defeats an enemy bushi.

    Then, from behind the houses, Saitō troops fall back. A Saitō commander has panicked and his men fall back with him. Toranosuke rushes over. Now separated from Muneyori, Toranosuke and an ashigaru are able to overcome the Oda bushi leading this assault. The Oda withdraw.

    #153682
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Karumi

    The Saitō push on to Nobunaga’s position at Karumi. The fighting is sporadic and continues throughout the day. Toranosuke and Muneyori push forward, fortunately bringing them out of the way of the Oda commander, Sassa Narimasa. As evening falls, the two sides separate. The next day the Saitō withdraw.

    Toranosuke has become more competent in battle and is developing some leadership abilities. But he is tired of the factionalism within the Saitō, and decides to head back down the river, possibly to head back into Owari to his village. Muneyori decided to stay and try and seek his fortune with the Saitō. Toranosuke isn’t too upset with this, Muneyori had proven himself to be rather unreliable.

    And that’s the end of Chapter 2. A full recap and notes and observations can be found here:
    https://adcgaming.wordpress.com/2021/03/10/tora-no-monogatari-a-solo-test-of-honour-campaign-part-two/

    #153684
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    On one hand it’s too bad Toranosuke couldn’t gain fame and glory by taking out Narimasa, but on the other hand he probably isn’t yet skilled enough to survive such an encounter.  (unless he had a teppo…)

    I do so enjoy this story!  Looking forwards to chapter 3.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #153688
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I wonder where this is leading next. It’s been kind of a roller coaster so far, bandit skimish and a small battle. Back to small bandit skirmish next? Or is Toranosuke going to turn into a wandering yojimbo?

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #153691
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    I’m keeping historical characters as ‘fixed points’ so Narimasa was quite safe. Had he been cut down, he would have just escaped or something.

    I think I might try and send him back amongst the Kiso river kokujin. I initially thought that the chapter was going to be about intrigue and gun smuggling on the river. The first attack on the palanquin was supposed to be by people pretending to be bandits, but the story never went the way to find out who they were.

    #154091
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    Chapter 3.
    1.The ikkō-shū
    Toranosuke heads back down the Kiso river, intending to return to Owari and possibly visit his family. On the way he meets a group of ikkō-shū adherents, followers of the Hongan-Ji Jōdo Shinshū sect. They are heading to Nagashima to seek employment as temple guards. Because the group are well armed, they decide to push on ahead of the main group of travellers and reach the next village. But it’s a violent age, and inevitably trouble ensues.

    Bandits emerge from the trees and circle round the travellers. One of the ikkō, Kotarō charges them, but is cut down by 2 brigands. Some of the ikkō fall back, Toranosuke shouts at the group to attack the left. He charges the brigands, cutting down two, but is wounded when only one of the ikkō follow.

    The ikkō-shū leader, Nagayori, cuts down another one of the brigands, and Toranosuke kills the man who wounded him. The rest of the ikkō have shrunk back, leaving Toranosuke and Nagayori alone. But the brigands have had enough and retreat back into the trees.

    Kotarō is dead and another of the ikkō badly injured. The group carry him to the next village.

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