Saturday, September 28, 2013
Ayie Joyimbo! Bandi-Tos are raiding the village!
We got in the last test game for ChrisB's Kegscon 7 Samurai game Wednesday; while several of the club guys have been helping playtest, this was my run-though. When I showed up after work, he'd already arrived and set up the village.
ChrisB has made all the terrain himself, and I must admit, it looks damn good. He's based the basic arrangement of the buildings on the actual village from the film, along with a number of other details (notably the costumes of the samurai themselves.
Scattered around the village were a number of targets for the attacking bandits, with the more valuable ones located deeper within the village complex.
Part of what I think will really make this a stand-out game is the attention to prep and detail ChrisB has put in. For example, each player has a colour coded reference sheet that matches the colour of his forces, and which shows actual identifier pictures of each model, along with its corresponding stats. Oh, and each player has colour-matching dice as well.
The samurai will be controlled by a GM in the convention game. Wednesday night ernieR took control of them, as he's one of the more experienced Ronin players in the group (I think he's run through games with ChrisB pretty much every week since they got a hold of the game).
As in the movie, the bandit attack is funneled by the stone wall surrounding the village. Once inside, it's more or less a free-for-all. Bandits score points by capturing or killing villagers (captures are worth more than kills), and seizing sake and rice. While they can't directly attack each other, they're free to kill-steal, kill peasants other players are trying to capture, and fire into combat (where, let's face it, mistakes happen).
I hung back a little, being a tad suspicious of the funnelling. I figured I'd let the other guys take the initial rush of the samurai, and then work my way around the sides to get to the juicy, higher-point objectives deeper in the village (my lads are the dashing band with pink accents).
As I had expected, the samurai with ranged weapons unloaded on the over-eager bandits in front of the press, and several of the raiders ended up with an arrow in the knee. My guys were cozy and safe behind.
One the logjam loosened up, things began to happen in a hurry. Some of the bandits pushed forwards to intercept the charging samurai, while others flooded around the edges, making a beeline for the loot.
I left my bowman to cover the entrace, and provide harrassing fire, but sent the rest of my merry band down the left "channel of the village. My plan was to avoid contact with the samurai as much as possible, seize loot, and profit.
This plan was facilitated by the massive furball thay broke out around the centre mound of the village.
On the other side of the tablek team Blue had the same idea.
Although they had to provide their own fodder.
I grabbed some early point ( a male villager and some sake), and then worked the rest of my gang deeper, towards the juicier targets.
I figured I should grab what I could, as things weren't going well for the bandits on the left.
On my side of the table, though, the samurai were taking some hits. Wounds in the game are cumulative, and numbers can compensate for skill. While the samurai were going down hard, they were beginning to take casualties.
One of my guys, armed with a teppo, got in on the action, when he blew away one of the wounded samurai, and then took the opportunity to snatch another villager.
The climax of the game came when the last three or so samurai tried to charge the line of missile troops guarding the front gate. It didn't work out well. Though they mopped most of the shooters, the last Samurai was grievously wounded, and couldn't catch the remaining bandits, who fled with their loot.
Nick the Lemming ended up winning the scenario. As well a decent haul of loot, he managed to rack up something like 4 samurai kills (by being a filthy kill-stealer, delivering the coup-de-gras against samurai other players had wounded, not that I'm bitter, or anything).
My first impressions of Ronin, albeit coloured by ChrisB's feast for the senses, is positive. The game's fairly intuitive, allows for flexibility in scenario play, and allow a number of factors to be relevant in combat. If I wasn't already stacked up behind more projects than I could manage, I'd be giving it a look.
I'm hoping all goes well for ChrisB at the actual game today. He's put in a ton of work, and it paid off.