Spears Across The Takahashigawa. A Lion Rampant campaign.

We’ve started a 15mm samurai campaign using Lion Rampant medieval skirmish rules. The situation represents a feud between the Mori and Ukita clans across the Takahashi river which forms the border between their domains. There’s no specific samurai mod used, normal Lion Rampant troop types are just crossed over. Each 40mm base represents 3 ‘figures,’ so what would normally be a 12-man unit is 4 bases.

Beginning Mori force:
1 Kibamusha* (Mtd sergeants)
1 Foot Samurai (foot MAA)
2 Ashigaru yari and yumi (foot yeoman, mixed weapons)
1 Teppo-tai (foot crossbows)

Beginning Ukita force:
1 Kibamusha* (Mtd sergeants)
1 Foot Samurai (foot MAA)
2 Ashigaru yari (foot sergeants)
1 Teppo-tai (foot crossbows)
1 Sharpshooters (bidowers)

Scenario 1: Fire and Stones (Hammer and Anvil)

Mori commander: Amano Takashige (commanding)
Ukita commander: Hanabusa Masayuki (rash)

Mori boasts: I will make them run.
Half of the enemy will fall to my sword.

Ukita boasts: I shall strike the first blow.
I shall smite the enemy’s best warriors.

An Ukita raiding party led by Hanabusa Masayuki was returning back across the Takahashigawa when it was caught by a Mori force led by Amano Takashige. The Ukita had to try to flee back to their own domain before the Mori cornered them.

^ Mori samurai block the ford to slow the Ukita escape.

^ The Ukita arrive.

^ Masayuki leads his cavalry to take the ford.

The Ukita, weary from their raiding, were quickly caught by the pursuing Mori, who initially were content with shooting the enemy to further degrade them. Masayuki led his cavalry in a reckless charge against the Mori samurai holding the ford, to open the escape route. However, he was repulsed and the Mori capitalised by charging themselves and putting the Ukita, and Masayuki, to flight.

^ Buddha looks on as the Mori samurai, having repulsed the first Ukita charge, are now threatened by Ukita ashigaru.

Some excellent shooting by the Mori had caused enough casualties to make any fighting likely to be in their favour. Nevertheless, Ukita ashigaru were able to dislodge the Mori samurai from the ford. The Mori now sought to hold the ford from the other side of the river and complete the encirclement with the pursuing ashigaru.

^ Takashige leads his kibamusha back across the river to take command of the blocking force. The Ukita are herded into the Mori trap.

Some Ukita skirmishers had manager to cross the river further down from the ford and now looked to make good their escape. The other Ukita would have to fight their way out.

^ The trap shuts on the Ukita. The ashigaru would be destroyed by their Mori counterparts to their front and the Mori teppo-tai to their rear. The Ukita samurai fought to the last, managing to break the Mori samurai who had been guarding the ford in the process.

By the end, only the Ukita skirmishers had escaped. A victory for the Mori.

Each side, remarkably, made good on their pre-battle boasts. Glory accrued was:
Mori: 5 for scenario, 3 for successful boasts. Total = 8
Ukita: 1 for scenario, 3 for successful boasts. Total = 4

Notable in this game was the excellent performance of the Mori missile troops. The extra versatility of the mixed spear and bow units was really worth the extra points. This was in contrast to some very poor early courage tests for the Ukita. Also, the ‘commanding’ attribute of Takashige made those key activations all the more certain.

All figures are Old Glory

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